Page [unnumbered] A COMMENTA∣RIE VPON THE LAMENTATIONS OF IEREMY:
VVherein are contained; first, the method and order of euery Chapter layd open in seuerall Tables; then, a literall in∣terpretation of the text out of the Hebrew, with a Paraphrasticall expo∣sition of the sense thereof: Afterward, a collection of diuers doc∣trines, gathered sometimes out of a whole verse in generall, or from the coherence of the text; and sometimes out of the particular words of the same; with examples, now and then, shewing how the same doctrines haue bin ve∣rified in experience; Moreouer, the reason or proofe of euery doctrine; and lastly, the particular vses, that are to be made of them, for the edification of the Church of God.
Ierem. 13. 22.
AT LONDON, Printed by the Widdow Orwin, for Thomas Man, dwelling in Pa∣ter Noster row, at the signe of the Talbot. 1593.
To the Christian Reader, grace, mercie, and peace from God the father, and from our Lord Iesus Christ.
IT is, and hath been long time a question more enquired into vpon occasion, thē soundly weyed for the good of Gods Church, whether there be any moe waies of right handling the Scrip∣tures then one? and if there bee, which is the best thereof? The solution whereunto (as ap∣peareth by the infinite varietie of preaching among vs Englishmen more then in all the Churches of God be∣sides) hath been, that there are indeed diuers manners of preaching, which may all be profitably vsed for the edification of the bodie of Christ. But if the practise of many be well weyed, it will easily appeare (supposing that there be diuers) that we haue been very carelesse to enquire after the best and to vse it. For, whilest some giue them∣selues, vpon the least occasion, to enter into a common place of Diui∣nitie, and to handle it most largely (which is the right way in Cate∣chising and laying the foundations of Religion) and others labour to shewe themselues learned in the tongues, and humaine Artes, or of great reading in diuine and heathen writers, we see that the peo∣ple is brought either into such amazednesse, as they thinke that any thing may be made of the Scriptures, or to such an vnsetlednesse in iudgement, as they rather hunt after varietie of teachers for their straunge manner of preaching, then for sound instruction for their owne edification. How this sore may bee cured, I will not take vpon me precisely to say, for it is easier rightly to espie a fault, then to shew the way to amend it, and it may be that there is not one, but diuers causes of this enormitie, some whereof are growne to such vlcers, as may not without danger be touched. Onely I will be bold to say some thing to the questiō propoūded before, not so much striuing whether there be diuers kinds of teaching, as labouring to shew such away as Page [unnumbered] must needes be the best and most profitable. First therefore we are to know that the end wherefore Christ Iesus when he ascended into heauen, and leading captiuitie captiue gaue guifts vnto men, was for the edification of the bodie of Christ, Eph. 4. 12. that is, to build vp Gods people in the true knowledge of his holy word, and so to con∣firme them in the faith, and reforme them in their liues. Now to the end that this may be done, I suppose euery one will confesse first, that the workman whom God hath fitted to this great worke, must be that scribe taught vnto the kingdome of heauen, which is like vnto the housholder that bringeth out of his treasurie things both old and new, Matth 13. 52. that is, furnished with al kinds of know∣ledge meet to expresse Gods will to his people in most effectuall man∣ner: Then it cannot be denied that, seeing it is onely the word of God that can perswade the conscience, the first thing that is to be done in the right teaching of the same to Gods people, must needes be, the cleere and euident deliuerance of the sense of the text in hand; that out of the same, as from a fountaine that runneth cleer∣ly, all that he is further to deliuer may be seene to be deriued. Se∣condly, seeing what soeuer was written aforetime was written for our learning, Rom. 15. 4. it must needes be that euery sentence of the holy Scripture containeth in it (at least) one generall doctrine; and therefore the sense being once vnderstood, the next thing that is to be considered, is, the collecting of the same out of the text, in such plaine and manifest manner, as must needes be acknowledged in the conscience of the hearers to be so; which being enlarged by the examples and testimonies of the Scriptures, and manifested by the force of reason grounded vpon the same, must needes take such roote in the consciences of the hearers, as they shall either bee throughly perswaded of the trueth of it (if it be rightly and effec∣tually handled) or leaue such a print therein as shall conuince the same. Thirdly, seeing the generall doctrine is like vnto goodly meat set vpon the table before young children, which needeth to be car∣ued vnto them, that euery one may haue his portion in due season, Mat. 24. 45. Therefore is the right vse to be propounded vnto them of the same doctrine, that it may appeare how it is profitable, either for all Christians in general, or for certaine special ones in particu∣lar. This is that which the Apostle meaneth when he saith, that the whole scripture is profitable to teach, (that is, to learne doctrine Page [unnumbered] out of it, and not onely so, but also) to improue, (that is, to con∣fute all errors contrary to wholsome doctrine) to correct, (that is, to reproue the mishehauiours of them that walke disorderedly) To in∣struct in righteousnes, (that is, to direct Gods people in all the wayes of godlinesse) 2. Tim. 3. 16. yea and to arme vs with pati∣ence and comfort in all kindes of trouble, Rom. 15. 4. This course being taken by the Preacher shall not onely free him from the slaun∣der of running out of his text, but also be so profitable for the hea∣rer, as experience shall prooue this kind of teaching to bee such as is not iustly to be excepted against. But is not this (will some say) a great iniurie offered vnto others that preach after another fa∣shton, and a straightning of the giftes of Gods spirit which are di∣uers, to some thus, and to others thus, and yet by the same spirite wrought to the edification of the Church of Christ? I answere, first, as concerning men, let them be assured that they haue awar∣rant out of the word, and aperswasion in their hearts, that the care of Gods glory and desire of edifiyng his people did lead them to their maner that they vse, and then is all this nothing against thē, but di∣rectly for them. Secondly, the commēding of one kind of teaching as most profitable, doth no way bound the spirit of God further then it hath pleased the Lord to limite himself by the rules of his own word. I confesse that God giueth vnto diuers men diuers measures, and to some to excell in one thing, and to some in others, for one hath an excellent dexteritie in interpreting the text; another can in speci∣all manner gather doctrines; another exceedeth in application, but let it be considered that all these are branches of that method hi∣therto commended vnto vs: so that, whosoeuer is endued with speci∣all ability and facilitie in one of these, must labour also to performe the other aright, and not to account it a course different from his owne, further then that one doth his duetie in greater measure, and in a higher degree then another. Yet would I not so be vnderstood, as though I did affirme it of necessitie to gather euery doctrine at all times that the text may afforde, or out of euery doctrine to de∣riue both matter of reproofe, correction, instruction, patience, and comfort. For albe it I doe not doubt but that the word of God, be∣ing, as God himselfe is, infinitely rich euen in euery sentence for e∣uery branch of edification: yet seeing the deuiding of the worde of Page [unnumbered] God aright, is the wisdome of the wise steward to dispence the same in due season, it belongeth to the teacher to see what is most meete & expedient that way, who shall often discerne apparant necessitie to stand vpō one, when there is as euident reason to omit, or, at least, not to vrge or enlarge the other: and therefore as it is a sure groūd for the hearer to learne to discerne of and chuse his teacher by his abilitie and dexteritie in expounding the text, and gathering the doctrines out of the same; so is it hardly within his power to iudge either of his choyse of doctrines or of the vse and application that he maketh (so that he vse none but that which is found and agreea∣ble to the text) sauing so farre as concerneth his owne edification in particular. This I am sure of (for I haue seene it in continuall ex∣perience) that the want of this way in the teacher is the cause that he often thinketh his text so barren, as hee is glad to runne into by∣wayes to fill vp his time, and so maketh his labour as water spilt vp∣on a stone that neuer profiteth any, and the want of power to see who handle the word of God aright, and grace to vse their mini∣sterie ordinarilie, is the cause, not onely of the gadding of the mul∣titude (where they may easily come to varietie of teachers) but al∣so of the rents and distractions that so many fall vsually into; for if they had been seasoned with that heauēly teaching which the or∣dinarie ministerie of him that deuideth the word of GOD aright, doth afforde, not onely their iudgements would haue been better in∣formed to discerne the spirit of error when it is tendred vnto them, but also this wandering and confused kind of teaching that many do vse, would haue seemed vnsauorie vnto them.
But my purpose is not, either to set downe any directions for the preacher, or to prescribe a course for the hearer, saue onely to shew, and that briefly, such a way as is proued by experience to bee most comfortable for the minister, seeing his labour thereby to be blessed, and not to be in vaine, and most profitable to the hearer, who shall thereby attaine to the greatest measure of knowledge and soundnes of iudgement. Now (because examples are the most easie way of teaching) I with the comfortable assistance of another brother, (who when this booke commeth to his hands may see his share in the trauaile therof) hauing occasion to goe thorough the two first chap∣ters of these Lamentations, and the most parte of the third, percei∣ued that the method and matter might be not altogether vnprofi∣table Page [unnumbered] vnto others: and therefore I reuiewed the chiefe notes that we had collected from the larger discourse therof, and adding thereun∣to the other two chapters haue set the whole downe in such manner as thou seest. The particulars, I confesse, as they bee set downe, are farre more briefe then when they were spoken, and more short then is meete to be vsed many publike ministerie, or expected by any in∣different auditorie (for why should I trouble the Reader with large discourses in that which may as wel be expressed in short sentences?) seeing I haue laboured to abridge rather then to enlarge any thing, which will be as profitable to the Reader of any tolerable vnder∣standing, as if euery thing were amplified to the vttermost. For as to a Musitian that hath so much skill as to knowe the concords and rules of descant, it is as good a direction to haue the ground, as if he had euery seuerall poynt pricked out vnto him, seeing hee is in∣ured with the manner of deuision vpon euery poynt according as it falleth out in the ground: so to him that is any thing well qualified either with the gift of teaching, beeing a minister, or of hearing with iudgement and discretion being a priuate person, this short handling of these chapters may be as plaine a direction vnto him as if euery poynt were amply enlarged.
To conclude, that thou mayst the better perceiue and reape pro∣fit by this present exposition, vnderstand that in al things I haue la∣boured for breuitie: and therfore it may peraduenture seem somwhat obscure, especially seeing how the doctrines are gathered out of the text is seldome set downe; yet for the better direction therin I haue expressed in another character the words, or at least some part ther∣of with &c. out of which it doth arise. I am somwhat more plenti∣full in the two first chapters, then in the rest; partly because the same things did often occurre, and that now and then in the selfe same wordes; and partly that it may appeare what varietie and a∣bundance of matter is contayned in the holy scriptures; and yet where the greatest plenty is expressed, I haue not set downe all the doctrines that my selfe could haue collected, much lesse that which the text in it selfe contayned: for who can draw that fountain drie, which is bottomlesse? this I doe therefore say, that euery man, who either hath the calling to teach the word of God vnto his people, or prepareth himselfe to be furnished thereunto, when the Lord of the Page [unnumbered] vineyarde shall set him on work may be prouoked and allured to take paynes, and to pray for a blessing vpon his labours that way, which he may haue good hope (vsing the meanes) to attaine vnto, seeing so great riches be there to be obtayned, by the handes of all those that rightly digge therein. The Lord make vs able and willing to trauaile with all carefulnes in that heauenly labour of sear∣ching out the vnspeakeable treasures of knowledge and wisdome that lye hidden in his blessed worde, and vouchsafe so to blesse vs therein, as may be most to his glory, the good of his poore Church, and the endlesse comfort of our owne soules.Page [unnumbered]
The Lamentations of Jeremie in a Table.
Page [unnumbered] The first chapter cō∣taineth the
- euils of the church and common weale in 11. verses
- discour∣sed in eight verses by
- question in foureverses how these miseries came vpon the
- Citie in ge∣nerall
- solitarie. [verse 1]
- how affec∣ted with it, the
- mourneth. [verse 2]
- is not comforted.
- cause her friends
- forsake her.
- are against her.
- peo∣ple in parti∣cular
- their out∣ward estate, the
- flight. [verse 3]
- finding no rest.
- at home
- abroade, their foes
- take them at the vantage.
- at home
- the ouerthrow of religion in regarde of the
- place, that is de∣solate, for that
- none come. [verse 4]
- the gates are shut vp.
- generall all professors.
- place, that is de∣solate, for that
- their out∣ward estate, the
- Citie in ge∣nerall
- answer in 4. verses their sinnes ef∣fecting
- externallie in regarde of
- the aduer∣saries, the
- thing they
- rule ouer them. [verse 5]
- enioye it quietly.
- Gods correction.
- their sinnes.
- thing they
- goe into captiuitie. [verse 6]
- lose their beautie.
- particularly her princes wanting
- the aduer∣saries, the
- internally in
- themselues re∣mēbring their
- griefe. [verse 7]
- losse of
- pleasant things.
- reiecting them. [verse 8]
- working in
- others to despise them.
- thēmselues, griefe and sorrowe.
- themselues re∣mēbring their
- externallie in regarde of
- question in foureverses how these miseries came vpon the
- praied for to be amended in 3. verses conteining a
- confession of
- the cause, their sinne not acknowledged. [verse 9]
- their miserie, in
- falling so sodainelie.
- wanting comforters.
- what, that God would
- why, the
- Church is spoyled. [verse 10]
- famished. [verse 11]
- made vile.
- what, that God would
- confession of
- discour∣sed in eight verses by
- cōtestation in 11. verses see *
Page [unnumbered]Page [unnumbered]* Contesta∣tion or cal∣ling of her estate vnto the cōside∣ration of
- other nati∣ons in 8. verses, shewing that her punishmēt
- is not of them in 4. verses by
- generall consideration of her sorrow, being
- greater then of any other, 12. verses.
- from God.
- particular by diuers allego∣ries in the 13. 14. 15. verses, shewing the worke of
- Gods own hand, what
- it is, a
- fier in her bones, 13. verse.
- snare to her feete.
- generallie, ouerthrowe.
- particularlie in her
- it is, a
- Gods in∣struments
- whence their strēgth is; from God,
- remēbring her sinnes, 14. verse.
- taking her strength from her.
- what they doe
- generallie, keepe her vnder.
- particu∣larly, in
- plaine termes
- tread her vnder, 15. verse.
- breake her strength.
- borrowed speech, tread the presse, &c
- plaine termes
- whence their strēgth is; from God,
- Gods own hand, what
- generall consideration of her sorrow, being
- ought to bepi∣tied of them in 4. verses contai∣ning her mi∣series in
- want comforts, 16. verse.
- haue desolate children.
- aggrauated by that which
- is done of
- them seeking and not finding help, 17. verse.
- God making all men their foes.
- they are seperated, as, &c. vers. 18.
- God hath done it iustlie.
- is done of
- particular in respect of
- sex, the captiuitie of
- young men.
- called vpon, 19. verse.
- deceiued her.
- Church go∣uerners
- what they doe,
- seeke foode.
- die in the Citie.
- sex, the captiuitie of
- is not of them in 4. verses by
- God in 3. verses, a
- Confession of their
- miserie, 20. verse.
- aduersaries crueltie.
- petition to
- be deliuered, 21. 22. verses.
- punish the aduersaries.
- Confession of their
- other nati∣ons in 8. verses, shewing that her punishmēt
Page [unnumbered] The secōd Chapter containeth an
- expostula∣tion in 10. verses for their mise∣ries,
- generall vpon the whole kingdome, in 7. verses,
- propoun∣ded in the 1. verse.
- thing, she is
- darkned, 1. verse.
- throwne downe.
- causes, Gods
- forgetting of her.
- thing, she is
- declared in re∣spect of the o∣uerthrow of the
- Common weale in 4. verses,
- remouing her
- glorie in
- building, 2. verse.
- strength, 3. verse.
- glorie in
- laying on them
- his angrie hand, 4. verse.
- destruction, 5. verse.
- remouing her
- religion in 2. verses,
- Circumstances, 6. verse.
- Altar, 7. verse.
- Circumstances, 6. verse.
- Common weale in 4. verses,
- propoun∣ded in the 1. verse.
- particular vpō the citie, in 3. verses.
- walles, 8. verse.
- gates, 9. verse.
- decay of
- sorrow in
- old, 10. verse.
- decay of
- generall vpon the whole kingdome, in 7. verses,
- instruction in 12. verses containing the
- entrance in 2. verses.
- the sorrow of the Prophet, 11. verse.
- cause in
- generall, the miserie that befalleth the people.
- particular, the infants
- ouerthrowe in the streetes.
- manner how
- calling to their mothers for food, 12. verse.
- dying in their laps.
- thing see β
- the aggrauating of the euils in 5. verses.
- that no euill is like this, 13. verse.
- there is no helpe for it
- on earth
- from themselues.
- from others: for their foes reproach by
- gestures, 15. 16. verses.
- from God: for he
- performeth his threatnings, 17. verse.
- strengthneth the enemie.
- on earth
- counsel of the Prophet,
- how to come to God, by shewing
- the blasphemie of the aduersaries, 18. verse.
- their owne re∣pentance, in
- crying for helpe, 19. verse.
- to pray to him
- expostulating with God
- an intreatie to consider what he doth, 20. verse.
- a question, mouing him to pitie.
- declaring their miserie in the
- decay of all estates, 21. verse.
- increasing of their griefe, 22. verse.
- expostulating with God
- how to come to God, by shewing
- the aggrauating of the euils in 5. verses.
- entrance in 2. verses.
Page [unnumbered] The third Chapter, cōtaining a
- complaint in verses 41 consisting of an
- expostula∣tiō to verse 19. & shew∣eth
- Gods heauie hand vpon them in 13. verses.
- the effect of it in
- the foes verse 14.
- them, in
- borrowed termes 15. 16. verses.
- plaine termes 17. 18. verses.
- report of the spirituall bat∣taile, the
- strife from the 19. to 22. verses.
- the thing from 22. to 40. verses, respecting
- Gods people
- Particularly these, by experience, to 25. verse.
- generally all that bee lowly, to 31. verse.
- God himselfe, his
- nature and loue to his, to 37. verse.
- power to 40. verse.
- Gods people
- vse of it to
- examine our selues
- turne to God
- verse 40. 41.
- the thing from 22. to 40. verses, respecting
- expostula∣tiō to verse 19. & shew∣eth
- praier con∣taining a
- Confession of
- their innes in the 42 verse.
- the iugments felt for them to verse 55.
- Gods doings towards them from 43. to 46.
- being farre from hearing them from 43. to 45.
- making them odious verse 46.
- effect of it
- the foes speake euill 46.
- feare 47.
- weepe continually from 48. to 51.
- they are grieued 51.
- the foes, what they
- seeke occasions 52.
- vse al extremitie 53.
- cause them (as it were) to despaire 54.
- Gods doings towards them from 43. to 46.
- petition for
- deliuerance to the godly
- their faith and his former mercies verse 55. to 59.
- the peruersnesse of the foes 59.
- ouerthrow to the wicked
- causes, to 64.
- thing, to the end of the Chapter.
- deliuerance to the godly
- Confession of
Page [unnumbered] The fourth Chapter containeth
- A discourse of the euils that were vpon the Iewes in 20. verses, by
- questiō, ex∣postulating the ouer∣throwe of al things in 10. vers. in
- generall in the 1. & 2. verses the
- Temple destroyed verse 1.
- rulers despised 2. verse.
- particu∣lar from the 3. to 11. verse
- expressed from 3. to 9. verse,
- in it selfe from 3. to 6. verse, their estate in
- particular, in 3 & 4. verses, the
- mothers crueltie in 3. verse.
- infants hungrie in 4. verse.
- generall, aboundance turned into penu∣rie, 5. verse.
- particular, in 3 & 4. verses, the
- by exemplifi∣cation in 6. 7. 8. verses, by
- comparison, the punishment of Sodome, 6. verse
- instance of the Nazarites 7. 8. verses, who
- were most pure 7. verse.
- are blacke 7 8.
- in it selfe from 3. to 6. verse, their estate in
- aggrauated in 9. and 10. verses by
- comparing death by the sworde to be lesse then by famine 9. verse.
- considering how the mothers did eate their children, 10. verse.
- expressed from 3. to 9. verse,
- generall in the 1. & 2. verses the
- answer in 10. verses, shewing the cause
- efficient God in the 11. & 12. verses, who
- being angrie, 11. verse.
- did that which man would not haue beleeued, 12. verse.
- mouing, their sinnes from 13. to 21. verse,
- past frō 13. to 17. verse,
- set downe in the 13. and 14. verses.
- condemned and reuenged by their aduersaries in 15. and 16. verses.
- present their obstinacie frō 17. to 21.
- continuing in that vaine confidence of resting vpon men in 17. verse.
- not being dri∣uen to seek to God, from 18. to 21. by
- their foes in 18. 19.
- preuailing, 18. verse.
- being expert, 19. vers.
- their king ouerthrowne, 20. verse.
- their foes in 18. 19.
- past frō 13. to 17. verse,
- efficient God in the 11. & 12. verses, who
- questiō, ex∣postulating the ouer∣throwe of al things in 10. vers. in
- The end of all these e∣uils in 2. verses, the
- ouertthrow of the wicked in the 21. verse.
- deliuerance of the godlie in the 22. verse.
Page [unnumbered] The fift Chapter cōtaineth a
- patheticall expostula∣tion in 16. verses, ex∣postulating their mise∣ries in
- generall frō 1. to the 11. verse,
- propounded to God to consider of in 1. verse.
- exempli∣fied from 2. to 11. verse, in respect of their
- Countrey in 2. 3. and 4. verses.
- possessed by straungers, 2. verse.
- being vnprofi∣table to thē in 3. & 4. vers. for
- protection, 3. verse.
- maintenance, 4. verse.
- aduersaries from 5. to 11. verse, what they
- expressed 5. and 6. verses.
- wearie them with per∣secution, 5. verse.
- cause them to begge, 6. verse.
- amplified in 7. and 8. verses, by
- lessening their fathers pu∣nishments, 7. verse.
- 〈◊〉 the greatnesse of their slauerie, 8. verse.
- expressed 5. and 6. verses.
- cause them to
- doe, make them liue in continuall danger of death, 9. verse.
- appeare vgly and loathsome, in 10. verse.
- Countrey in 2. 3. and 4. verses.
- particular from 11. to 18. verse,
- vpon whom, women, maides, Princes, Elders, young men and children, from 11. to 15. verse.
- what is wrought by the same in 15 and 16. verse, decay of
- ioy and gladnesse, 15▪ verse.
- prosperitie, 16. verse.
- generall frō 1. to the 11. verse,
- prayer in 7. verses, con∣taining a
- confession in 16. 17. and 18. verses, of
- sinne, 16. verse.
- punishment for sinne, in 17. and 18. verses.
- calamities vpon their outward estate, 17. verse.
- desolation of the Church, 18. verse.
- petition from 19. to the end to be
- freed in the 19. and 20. verses,
- of whom it is desired, of God, 19. verse.
- what it is, 20. verse.
- whereunto, 21. verse.
- why, 22. verse.
- freed in the 19. and 20. verses,
- confession in 16. 17. and 18. verses, of
The occasion and argument of the Lamentations.
WHether this excellent booke was made vpon occasion of the death of Iosiah, being (as it were) the beginning of Gods heauie hand vpon the Iewes for their contempt and abuse of his worde so long foretolde by the Prophets, which caused this seruant of God so exceedingly to lament as is mentioned, 2. Chron. 35. 25, &c. Or rather vpon the ouerthrowe of the Ci∣tie Ierusalem, and burning of the temple therein; it needeth not greatly to be inquired, seeing it is euident that it was indighted by the spirit of God, and penned by the Prophet Ieremy, to drawe the Church of God into a serious consideration of their sinnes that caused the same, and to true and vnfained repentance, ear∣nestly praying vnto the Lord to remooue his angrie countenance from them, and to turne his gracious fauour as in former time vnto them.
The first Chapter.
THis Prophet purposing to expresse in most patheticall maner, the mar∣ucilous change that GOD had wrought in the estate of his people, by turning their famous prosperity into most woefull calamitie, dooth vndertake the person of one asto∣nished at a moste lamentable and suddaine spectackle. For God ha∣uing said of Ierusalem, This is my rest for euer, here will I dwell, for I haue a delight therein, Psal. 132. 14. And yet notwith∣standing the Citie was rased from the foundation and vtter∣lie destroyed, the Temple spoyled by the heathen and consu∣med with fire, the King caried away captiue, his children first Page 2 killed before his face, the Nobles murthered and the people scattered hither and thither, being the scumme of the world, and a derision to all Nations, wherethey did become; it gaue such cause of amazednesse and astonishment, that the Pro∣phet beginneth and proceedeth his speech in such manner as followeth.
[How] that is, in what wonderfull maner, and by what strange meanes [doth the citie] i. Ierusalem that famous place, * being the praise of the whole earth, and terror to all Nations, being by Gods owne commaundement begun and perfec∣ted by those famous Kings so much feared and obeyed Da∣uid and Salomon [remaine solitarie] that is, her walles are cast downe, her houses decayed, her streetes grow〈…〉uer with grasse, none comming thither or going thence [That was full of people] that is, heretofore euerie house was inhabi∣ted, euery street replenished with commers and goers, great concourse and accesse of all kinde of people was there to be seene, from al Nations both farre & neere [she that is as a widdow] that is, she is as a woman hauing lost her husband not sought vnto by any, but mourning in a desolate corner [she that was great among the Nations] that is, not onely of mightie power and authoritie, but also of great accompt and estimation, by reason of her famous victories against her foes, and that re∣nowned Temple so sumptuouslie builded to the praise and seruice of God [and Princes among the Prouinces] that is, ha∣uing many Nations subiect vnto her, and paying yearely tri∣bute; which was especiallie in the time of Dauid and Solo∣mon. 1. Chron. 18. 6, &c. 2. Chron. 8. 7. [is made tributarie] that is, is constrayned to become a slaue to other Nations, and to pay them tribute, in token ofsubiection to them, read 2. Kings 24 and 25. Chap. and 2. Chron. 36.
The doctrines that are to be learned out of this verse.
Doctrine. GEnerallie out of the whole verse. God often al∣tereth the outward estate of his Church in this * world. The truth of this doctrine appeareth, not only by the Page 3 examples of the scripture, especiallie in the Israelites and the Apostles; but also the stories of latter times and euen by dai∣lie experience. The causes moouing him thereunto are; first, that he might dailie declare himselfe the disposer and gouer∣nour of all things: secondlie, to take from vs (that doe natu∣rallie settle our affections in the earth) all occasion of promi∣sing our selues any certaintie heere. The vse of this doctrine is; first, to prepare our selues to all conditions, whether pros∣peritie or aduersitie, sicknes or health. &c. according to the example of the Apostle Phil. 4. 11. 12. for else it is certaine that affliction cōming vpon vs, will be most grieuous and in∣tolerable. Secondlie, to teach vs to settle our affections vp∣on heauen and the things that leade thereunto, which is a most certaine anchor-holde, and will neuer faile vs, as this world will doe, euen in the most excellent things thereof.
Doctrine. [How] the maner of the speech teacheth this * doctrine. It is our duetie to striue with our selues to bee affec∣ted with the miseries of Gods people. 2. Chron. 11. 28. 29. The reason hereof is; for that we are fellow-members of one bo∣die whereof Christ is the head. 1. Cor. 12. 25. 26 &c. The vse of this doctrine is; first, to reproue them that seeke onelie for their owne good, not respecting the state of their brethren. Secondlie, to teach vs to put on tender compassion and la∣bour (according to our callings) to profite the whole church of God and euerie member thereof: els cannot we assure our selues to bee liuelie members of that bodie.
Doctrine. [was] God giueth sometimes vnto his church * an outward estate that flourisheth both in wealth and peace. This appeareth in the example of this people, especiallie in the time of Solomon and other kings after him. The reasons hereof are; First, that he might giue his people a taste, euen of all kinde of earthly blessings. Deut. 28. 2. &c. Psal. 84. 11. Secondly, that they might haue all oportunitie to serue him, and euery kinde of encouragement thereunto. The vse here∣of is; first, to reproue the follie of Fryers and Iesuites that vn∣dertake a continual voluntary pouerty, and afflicting of their own bodies, seeing euery mēber is to be partaker of the com∣mon Page 4 blessings that God bestoweth vpon his church. Second∣ly, it confuteth the opinion of them that thinke the Church of God to be alwaies vnder the crosse outwardly. Thirdly, it te∣cheth vs to prayse the Lord that vseth all kinde of meanes to manifest his loue vnto his seruāts, which praise must be dou∣bled by vs if we enioie any share of this outward prosperitie.
Doctrine. [remaine solitarie that was, &c.] The outward * flourishing estate of Gods Church lasteth not alwaies, but is often changed into affliction and aduersity. This appeareth by the whole course of the scriptures: for the reason and causes hereof see the first doctrine. The vse is; to teach vs, to make the time of our peace most profitable vnto vs, to fur∣ther vs in the waies of godlinesse; else, in aduersitie wee either fall away, or at least the burthen will seeme intolerable vnto vs as wee see it is to such as promise to themselues continu∣all prosperitie.
Doctrine, [solitarie, ful, &c.] God often changeth the con∣dition * of his seruants in this life, from one extreame to ano∣ther: examples hereof; Ioseph, from imprisonment to the e∣state of a Prince. Iob, from great riches and honour to ex∣treame pouertie and reproach; the Israelites from intolera∣ble seruitude in Aegypt, to the most renoumed amongst the Nations. The reasons of it are, First, that his mightie power might appeare to all the world, especiallie to his Church▪ Se∣condlie, that we may learne to ascribe all vnto his Maiestie, and nothing to our selues or any other. The vse is, to teach vs not to build vpon anie thing in this life, seeing it is so subiect to change; but in all things to feare and serue him that soe wee may haue comfort whether in wealth or want.
Doctrine. [Was full of people] It is a great blessing of God for a Nation to bee populous Gene. 12. 2. The vse is, to re∣proue * them that murmur at the multitude of people in this land; and to teach vs to acknowledg it among the rest of Gods blessings bestowed vpon this land at this instant.
Doctrine. [Princesse among, &c.] God often maketh his people in their prosperitie most admired of all people in the * world; this was verefied in the Israelites often; and is seene Page 5 vsuallie in experience: the reason, First, that God may shew himselfe to loue his seruants: secondlie, that the godly may knowe that godlinesse is not without rewarde, euen in this life: thirdlie, that the wicked may haue all excuse taken from them, in that they are not allured to religion by such notable spectacles of Gods loue to them that feare him. The vse is, to teach vs whensoeuer the Lord dooth so, either for our selues or others, to breake out into the praise of his holy name, and to growe in strength and courage to performe euery good duetie of our calling.
Doctrine. [is made tributarie] God often humbleth his * seruants vnder all his foes and their aduersaries; this was no∣tablie verefied by this people in Aegypt, and in this place. The reason is; their disobedience to his word. Deut. 28. 36. 37. The vse is; first, to shew vnto vs how great Gods anger is for sinne, that dooth punish it so seuerelie, euen in his dea∣rest children▪ secondly, to teach vs not to measure the fauour of God towards our selues or others by the blessings or ad∣uersities of this life seeing the wicked doe often flourish when the godlie are in great miserie, Psal. 73. 4, &c. and on the other side, the godlie doe prosper when the wicked are in great distresse, Iosua, 5. 1. &c.
[She] that is, Ierusalem [weepeth] that is, for griefe of her * prosperitie lost, and crosses vpon her, she breaketh out into teares [continuallie] that is not for a moment but without in∣termission [in the night] that is, her griefe is so great that it constraineth her to weepe when she should sleepe and re∣fresh her wearinesse with rest [her teares runne downe her cheekes] that is, her weeping is in such aboundance, as it cau∣seth riuers of teares to distill from her eyes [among all her lo∣uers] that is, her neighbour Nations in league with her, the strangers that sought to her from farre, and merchants that resorted to her [she hath none to comfort her] that is, they doe vtterlie withdraw themselues from her, denying her all kinde of succour [all her friends] i. such as were most inward with her, and beholding to her [haue dealt treacherously with her] i. she trusting to them for helpe, they haue hindred her [andPage 6are her enemies] i. become her foes and doe her as much harme as they are able to doe.
Doctrine. [weepeth] according to the measure of Gods * correcting hand vpon vs must our griefe be. The reason, first, because God is sure to be (at the least) so angrie as his rods are heauie. Secondly, our sinnes doe cause him to afflict vs, which we must repent of according to the measure of Gods anger against them appearing by his smiting of vs. The vse is, first, to reprooue them that remaine vnrepentant, when the correcting hand of God is vpon them: secondly, to teach vs to increase in sorrowe and lamentation, seeing the trou∣bles of the Church in generall, and our owne crosses in parti∣cular be daily increased.
Doctrine. [weepeth] weeping for sinne and the punish∣ments * thereof is such a signe of true repentance, as we must labor to shew forth, especiallie in the times of our calamitie common with the rest of Gods Church. The reason, first, be∣cause the heart appeareth then to be truelie affected when it breaketh out into teares. Secondly, the godlie haue alwaies (especially in the dayes of their humiliation by fasting and prayer) been brought thereunto, Ioel 2. 12. The vse is, to re∣prooue our corruption, that can easilie be brought to weepe for a worldly losse, but hardly for our sinnes, and the punish∣ment thereof; which hardnesse of heart we must labour a∣gainst with all diligence, carefullie vsing all the meanes that God hath appointed thereunto.
Doctrine. [none to comfort her] It is a grieuous plague to lack comforts in affliction; the contrary whereof is an excee∣ding * blessing. The reason, because, first, the comfortable wordes and deedes of others will mitigate the sense of the miserie. Secondly, it addeth vnto the griefe to be left alone in it. The vse is, first, to shew vnto vs, that Gods people, whome he loueth, may be left destitute of all worldly friends, and yet remaine in his fauour, as this people were: secondly, to teach vs to magnifie the name of God, and to esteeme our afflicti∣on very light vnto vs, seeing we haue so many freinds so wil∣ling and readie to do any thing for vs.
Page 7Doctrine. [dealt treacherously] It is an intolerable griefe to haue freinds become soes. The reason, because, first, we put * great trust in our freinds and promise to ourselues much as∣sistance by them. Secondly, they hauing been most inward with vs, may doe vs more harme then those that we haue al∣waies esteemed enemies. The vse is, to teach vs, first, to take heed with what men we make freindship. Secondly, not to be dismaied though our freinds become our foes, seeing it hath been often the lot of the godly, but to seeke to God the more earnestly for his assistance.
Doctrine, [none] God often leaueth his people destitute of all outward helpe and comfort. The reasons hereof see *vers. 1. Doctr. 5. The vse is, to teach vs to rest vpon him a∣lone, at whose disposition all things are, and not vpon anie outward thing, seeme it neuer so glorious to our outward eyes.
[Iudah] i. the inhabitants of the kingdome [goeth away]*i. willingly leaue their countrey, goods and dwelling, [be∣cause of affliction] i. extremity of troubles [and great ser∣uitude] i. extremitie of slauerie that they are in [she dwelleth among the heathen] i. is constrained to liue among the Ido∣latrous and godlesse people [and findeth no rest] i. no cour∣teous entertainment or kindnes, which naturally is shewed to straungers [all her persecutors tooke her in the straits] i. whosoeuer set themselues against her, tooke her at the most aduantage to hurt her.
Doctrine. [goeth away] the outward thinges of this life * are the soonest lost (and those that are furthest from the minde, the soonest of all) and being enioyed, they are the most vncertaine. The reasons are, because, first, they are most subiect to all kinde of enemies. Secondly, God know∣eth that we may best want them. The vse is, first, that we learne to make least accoūt of them, as things without which we may be perfectly happie: Secondly, to endeuour most of all to obtaine the true knowledge and feare of God, which is the treasure layde vp in heauen, which the thiefe cannot steale, Matth. 6. 19. 20.
Page 8Doctrine. [goeth away, &c.] It is naturall for a man to seeke to better his outward estate, and his duety to seek farre * and neere for the freedome and rest of conscience, 2. Chro. 11. 13. to 17. The vse to teach vs, first, that they are without naturall affection, that regard not, or will take no paines to better their outward estate, (& if they haue a familie) worse then Infidels if they prouide not for them, 1. Timothie 5. 8. &c. Secondly, to shew vs, that if we cannot enioy the bene∣fite of Gods word and sacraments in peace where we are, we ought to remoue our dwellings, and neither make our selues matter of continuall trouble, by holding our dwellings with allother inconueniences, nor contēt our selues with those cor∣ruptions or wants that vsually are at home where we dwell.
Doctrine. [among the heathen, &c.] It is better to liue * any where then in our own countrey where our gouernours seeke to oppresse vs. The reason is, for that their hatred be∣ing assisted with their might, will neuer let vs liue in any to∣lerable peace. The vse is, to teach vs to giue place vnto vio∣lence, if by no other meanes the rulers will bee appeased with vs.
Doctrine. Of two euils (if neither be sinfull) we may and ought to choose the lesse, to auoyd the greater. The reason * is, because we must ease our owne burthen as much as may be. The vse is to teach vs, to pray to God for wisdome, that we may be able to discerne of things as they are, and for po∣wer to doe accordingly.
Doctrine. [norest] It is grieuous and dangerous to dwell among the vngodlie. The reason is, because, first, they can * administer no matter of true comfort vnto vs, whereas all their waies be full of offence. Secondly, they are strong to drawe vs to euill, and we weake to shunne their ill example. The vse is to teach vs, first, neuer to take any delight in their companie, but to mourne if we be constrained to dwell with them. Psal. 120. 5. &c. Secondly, to auoyde their companie to the vttermost of our power, and where we cannot, to su∣spect euen their friendship.
Doctrine. [findeth no rest] When God meaneth to punish *Page 9 hee stirreth vp meanes, but when he meaneth it not, the meanes shall not prosper: the reason is, because all things are at his disposition, and can bring nothing to passe further then he giueth power thereunto. The vse is, to teach vs alwaies to seeke vnto the Lord for any thing that wee would haue, or would be ryd of, and not rest vpon the outward meanes as is the maner of naturall men.
Doctrine. [no rest] There is no place or meanes to escape * Gods hand, when he meaneth to punish. The reason is, be∣cause he is euery where, and cannot be fled from. Psal▪ 139. 7. &c. The vse is, to teach vs to endeuour to walke vprightlie as in his presence, alwaies remembring that he seeth vs, and we cannot flee from him.
Doctrine. [all her persequutors, &c.] There is no kinde of * people so generallie and so euill intreated in their aduersitie, as the godlie. The reason is, because, first, the world which e∣uer hateth them, hath then opportunitie to satisfie their ra∣ging malice vpon them: secondly, God then meaneth to trie them throughlie. The vse is to teach vs, to prepare our selues to beare all extremities in this life, and not to think it strange when we are euill intreated, seeing it hath euer been the Lot of the godlie; as both the examples of scriptures, and the lat∣ter times doe witnesse.
Doctrine. [tooke her] This people seemeth to be vtterly o∣uerthrowne for euer, and yet they returned into their land, * and became a common wealth againe: so is it often with the Church of God, Psal. 139. 1. &c. The reason is, for that they be often brought vnto so exceeding miserie in outward ap∣pearance. The vse is, to teach vs, first, neuer to despayre, though our calamities be neuer so many and grieuous: se∣condly, that there is no assured safetie, but in the true feare of God, but if we haue it, we are sure to ouercome
[The waies of Sion] i. the pathes that leade to the temple * built vpon mount Sion [Lament] i. looke not so beated as heretofore, but are green with grasse and out of their kinde∣lie order; a figuratiue speech [because no man commeth] i. there is no such recourse [to the solemne feastes] i. the speciall Page 10 times that were appointed for sacrifices, Psal. 42. 4. [all her gates are desolate] i. no comming in and going out at the gates, as heretofore [her priests sigh] i. the sonnes of Aaron that were appointed to the ministerie of the worde and sa∣crifices doe lament, for that none come to the sacrifices as in former times [her virgins are discomfited] i. those that are least subiect to sorrowe are greatly grieued [shee is in heaui∣nesse] i the whole nation of all estates and ages are filled with sorrowe and lamentation.
Doctrine. [waies of Sion] The ouerthrowe of the com∣mon * wealth bringeth with it the ouerthrowe of the Chur∣ches outward peace. The reason is, because, first, the peace of the Church ariseth from the peace of the common wealth. Ierem. 29. 7. &c. The members of the Church being also members of the common wealth, must needes haue a share in the common calamitie thereof. I he vse is, to teach vs, first, to seeke the peace of the common wealth, that we may ob∣taine peace vnto the Church, and not to rebell against or re∣uile the gouernours thereof. Secondly, to learne to mourne when we see iustice peruerted in the common wealth, being assured that it will tend to the ouerthrow of religion if God stay it not in time.
Doctrine [Lament because, &c.] When the things that * God hath giuen vs here are not applied to the appointed vse, we haue iust cause to mourne, seeing our sinnes haue caused the let thereof, Deut. 28. 15. &c. to the end, Isaiah 13. 19, &c. The vse is, first, to giue vs cause of mourning that haue here∣tofore enioyed many good things, and are now shut vp from the vse of them, and they lye waste not profitable for our selues or any other. Secondly, to teach vs, not to hoard or any waies to abuse any of Gods blessings, least they be made vt∣terly vnprofitable vnto vs or our posteritie.
Doctrine. [waies of Sion] The earth and earthly things doe often admonish men of their sinnes, either by denying that * comfort which naturally they bring with them, Leuit. 18. 25. or bringing griefe or punishment with them. Mich. 2. 10. The reason is, because, first, God hath made all his creatures Page 11 as written bookes, wherein man may reade his sinnes: se∣condly, that man may haue no shewe of excuse left him at that great day of accompt. The vse is to teach vs, first, how o∣dious and vgly a thing sinne is, that peruerteth the course of nature in Gods creatures; and therefore must seeme much more vile vnto vs, that are the committers thereof: second∣ly, that there is no way to escape intollerable punishment for sinne, but by vnfained repentance, seeing all Gods crea∣tures are able to witnesse against vs.
Doctrine. [Lament, &c.] All Gods creatures mourne * when God is disobeyed, and reioyce when he is obeyed by his people. The reason is, because all things were created to obey him in their kinde, and for the vse of man, being also obedient, which end is peruerted by the sinne of man. The vse is to teach vs, first, that man by sinne is made the worst of Gods creatures: secondly, that we must alwaies labour to loath and forsake sinne, that maketh vs so detestable before God and all his workes.
Doctrine. [no man commeth] The seruice of God is not ty∣ed * to any place, but vpon condition of their obedience that dwell therein. Ierem. 26. 4. &c. The reason is, because God himselfe is not tied to any people, nor respecteth any persons but such as feare him, Acts 10. 34 35. The vse is, first, to re∣prooue the vaine boasting of the papists in their pretensed chaire of Peter, like the wicked Priests among the Iewes, Ierem. 7. 4. which was most vaine, though that place had glorious promises, Psal. 87. 1. 2. whereas Rome hath vtterly none: Secondly, to teach vs not to put any confidence in any earthly priuiledges to shelter vs in our sinnes, but to turne vnto the Lord with all our hearts.
Doctrine. [The Priests mourne] It is a great griefe to Gods * ministers to be depriued of their ministerie, or to see it vn∣profitable to the Church, Ioel. 2. 12. Ieremy 15. 10. The rea∣son is, because, first, God is greatly dishonored thereby: se∣condly, it giueth occasion of interrupting all good things a∣mong the people, and matter of all kindes of sinne, as we see by experience. The vse is, first, to reproue them (as farre from Page 12 this feeling) that doe so easilie displace or set themselues a∣gainst Gods ministers; secondly, to teach both that minister who is thus dealt with, and that people to whome his mini∣sterie belonged, to mourne when such a crosse is laide vp∣on them; seeing it is an action that God vsuallie causeth to bee done for the sinne of contempt or abuse of his ho∣ly worde.
Doctrine. [Priests] The ministers must be guides to the * people, to leade them to mourning (when there is cause) as also to all other dueties: the reason is, because God hath not onelie appointed them to teach the people, but also to be a patterne vnto them of all goodnesse. Tit. 2. 7. The vse is, first, to bewaile the woefull estate of the Church, with vs that is so pestered with ignorant, idle, and vngodly ones, in steade of Gods ministers: secondly, to stirre vp all those that God hath enabled vnto this high calling, to growe more and more in the performance of all good dueties, to the good example of their flocks.
Doctrine. [virgins] They that seeme most exempt from it * must mourne at the decaye of religion: the reason is, for that it concerneth Gods glorie, and euery mans saluation. The vse is, first, to reproue them that lay not to heart the distres∣ses of Gods people for the trueth, thinking it sufficient, that themselues liue in safetie. Secondly, to teach vs to striue to bee grieued when wee heare of the decaye of the religion in any place, though it be safe where we are.
Doctrine. [in heauinesse, &c.] The greatest losse that can * befall Gods people, is the losse of the exercise of the worde and Sacraments. The reason is, because God hath appointed them to be the meanes of begetting, and confirming faith in vs. The vse is, first, to reprooue them that thinke they may be without the same well enough: secondly to teach vs to care for it aboue all things; esteeming it the fielde for the buying whereof we will sell all that we haue Matth. 13 44,
[Her aduersaries] i. those that oppresse her, and desire her destruction [are the chiefe▪ i. haue rule ouer her, Deut. 28 13. *[her enemies prosper] i. they that hate her doe easily preuaile Page 13 and doe what they list [for the Lord hath afflicted her for the multitude of her trāsgressiōs] i. God being angry with her sins and purposing to punish them in her, hath giuen strength to the enemie to preuaile against her [her children] i. euen those that for their tender yeares should haue been spared if there had beene anie compassion in them [are gone into captiuity] are caried away into a farre cuntrey, to be made slaues [be∣fore the enemie] i. they in triumph and hatred driuing them before them as Cattell.
Doctrine. [her aduersaries] The cause apparant of all the * miseries of Gods people is the prospering and preuailing of their enemies. This appeareth manifestly by the examples of all ages and euen by daily experience. The reason is, because, the enemy seeketh to please himself in sinne, and to suppresse all goodnes, as being a hinderance thereunto: but the godlie is of a contrarie disposition. The vse is, to teach vs to mourne when the Lord giueth the enemies of the trueth the vpper hand against the godlie.
Doctrine. [aduersaries chiefe &c.] It oftentimes cōmeth to * passe that the wicked prosper in all things of this life, and the godly contrarie. Psal. 73. 4. &c. Iob. 21. 7. The reason is, be∣cause, first, God wil by giuing them prosperitie make the wic∣ked without excuse. Secondly, the godly being assured of Gods fauour and yet pinched, they may the more earnestlie bend their affections to the enheritance which is prepared for them. The vse is, to teach vs, first, not to admire too much the successe of wordlings: secondly, to assure vs that, that e∣state cannot last long, and therfore to teach vs patience, Psal. 73. 18. 24.
Doctrine. [aduersaries enemies] the hebrew wordes signi∣fie properly, oppressors and haters: teaching vs, that it is the * naturall disposition of the wicked towards the godly, to op∣presse them in action and hate them in affection: this hath appeared true in all ages. The reason is, because of the vnap∣peaseable malice of Sathan and the wicked his instrumentes against the godly. The vse is, to teach vs, first, how to e∣steeme of all that are enemies to religion, though they cary Page 14 neuer so faire a shew of frendship to vs: secondly, to be care∣full that we walke wiselie towards them, neuer prouoking them, and yet neuer giuing anie aduantage to them against vs.
Doctrine. [for the Lord &c] The wicked neuer preuaile against the godly, further then the Lord giueth strength vn∣to * them, Iob. 1. 11. 12. 1. King. 22. 22. Math. 8. 31. 32. The reason is, because, all power is of God, and euerie one of his creatures haue their bounds giuen them of him, which they cannot passe. The vse is to teach vs, first, not to feare man but God, from whome his power commeth: secondly, to labour to be at one with the Lord, and then shall all crea∣tures worke to our good. Rom. 8. 28. Psalme. 91. 1.
Doctrine. [the Lord hath &c] In all our afflictions we must * not looke to the instruments but to the Lord that smiteth by them. The godly haue euer done so. Ioh 1, 21. 2. Sam. 16. 10. Acts. 4. 28. The reason is, because, they haue no power a∣gainst vs, except it be giuen them from aboue, Iohn. 19. 11. The vse is to teach vs, first, to bee more patient towards the instruments, and not to be as the dogg that snatcheth at the stone cast at him, not regarding the thrower. Secondly, to seeke the cause of our afflictions in our selues; for els the iust Iudge of the world would not correct vs.
Doctrine. [afflicted her &c] All our afflictions come from * the Lord, who is the chiefe worker thereof. The reason is, be∣cause, all power is in his hand. The vse is to teach vs, in sick∣nesse, heauinesse, &c. not to seeke vnto the Phisitian, Musicke or such like; but first vnto the Lord by true repentance, and then to these as second causes.
Doctrine. [for the &c] It is the sinne of the godly that cau∣seth * the Lord to lay all their troubles vpon them; so hath the Church euer confessed. Dan. 9. 5. Nehem. 1. 6. Psal. 78. The vse is to teach vs, first, how horrible sinne is in Gods sight, that causeth him to correct so seuerelie those that he loueth so dearely: & therefore we must hate it with a perfect hatred. Secondly, whensoeuer we are afflicted to examine our selues, and finding out our sinnes, repent therof and leaue them; vn∣till Page 15 which time (if God loue vs) he will neuer leaue smiting of vs.
Doctrine. [multitude] when God withdraweth his strēgth * from his seruants they fall into many grieuous sinnes, one in the necke of another: so did Dauid, from adulterie to ma∣king of Vriah drunke, after to murther him: and Peter, first to deny his maister: then to forsweare him: after to curse him∣selfe if euer he knew him. The reason is, because we haue no custody of our selues. The vse is, to teach vs, to labor to keep a good conscience in euery thing, lest we fall from sinne to sinne, and at length make conscience of nothing.
Doctrine. [her children] when God meaneth to punish * man, he will not spare to depriue him of that which is most deare vnto him. The reason is, because, the Lord meaneth to humble him sufficiently. The vse is, to teach vs, that whenso∣euer the Lord dealeth so with vs, it is because of the hardnes of our harts that otherwise wil not be thorowly softned; and therefore to take it patiently.
Doctrine. [are gone &c] The wicked beare such malice * vnto the truth, that when they get aduantage, they spare nei∣ther age, nor sex, thinking to roote out the godly from vnder heauen. The reason is, as Doctr. 3. The vse is, not to thinke our selues forsaken of God, though we should fall into the hands of such spoilers, seeing it hath been the lot of his dearest chil∣dren heretofore.
[And from the daughter of Sion] i. the people of Ierusalem*[all her beautie is departed] i. she hath lost al her glorie as the temple and the seruice of God in it [her princes] i. her rulers. [are become like hartes] i. pyned away and hauing lost al cou∣rage [that find no pasture] i. being vtterly impouerished [and they are gone without strength before the pur suer] i. caried in∣to captiuitie without power or courage to make any resis∣tance.
Doctrine. [her beautie] The Church of God doth esteeme * the exercises of religion the most excellent and glorious thing that can be had in this life. The reason is, because, first, they are notable signes of Gods fauor and presence. Second∣ly, Page 16 there is more true comfort in them, then in the whole worlde besides. The vse is, to teach vs to esteeme them ac∣cordingly (if we wil prooue our selues liuely members of the Church of God) and to be more grieued with the losse there∣of (if they be taken from vs) then of all worldly blessings whatsoeuer.
Doctrine. [her Princes] the weakning of the Rulers is the * height of miserie vpon the rest of the members of that body. The reason is, for that without the strength and authority of the gouernours, the rest are exposed to the violence of all their enemies, and contrary. The vse is to teach vs, to pray heartely for them, and to maintaine their strength and coun∣tenance to the vttermost, that vnder their winges we may finde shelter against the iniuries of our enemies, that other∣wise wil spoyle vs.
Doctrine. That people hath a heauie iudgement vpon * them, whose guides are destitute, and depriued of necessary courage. The reason is, because their authoritie and exam∣ple lead the rest (as we see in Magistrates and ministers) which otherwise are easily quailed in any good thing. The vse is, to teach vs to pray vnto God that our magistrates and ministers may neuer want courage to do as they should, and to bewayle the want of it wheresoeuer it appeareth.
Doctrine. [are become, &c.] They that haue the grea∣test outward priuiledge doe often come the soonest into * distresse when God punisheth for sinne, Amos 6. 7. The reason is, because, first, they haue taken more liberty to sinne as not being subiect to controlment. Secondly, they should haue been guides and examples of all goodnesse to their in∣feriours, but prooue (often) cleane contrary. The vse is to teach vs, first, how vaine a thing it is for a man of authoritie or wealth, to promise to himselfe any immunity of punish∣ment because thereof. Secondly, that the more we are a∣dorned with outward priuiledges, the more carefully wee ought to take heede to our wayes, lest our iudgement proue heauier then it should haue been if we had been of meaner condition.
Page 17[Ierusalem] i. the people dwelling in Ierusalem [remem∣bred] i. carefully called to minde [in the dayes of her affliction and mourning] i. when distresses and great sorrowe was vp∣on her [all her pleasant things that shee had in times past] i. those blessings which in great aboundance she had enioy∣ed [when her people fell into the hand of the enemie] i. their aduersaries had rule ouer them [and none did helpe her] i. all being against her, and none succouring her [the aduersarie sawe her] i. gazed vpon her as at a monster [did mocke at her Sabbaoths] derided the exercises of religion, that shee had vsed.
Doctrine. [in the dayes] In the time of affliction wee doe better consider of the blessings that our prosperity yeelded * vnto vs, then when wee enioyed them The reason is; be∣cause prosperity maketh vs secure, but aduersity maketh vs to knowe our selues, and what we haue lost. The vse is, to shewe vs our naturall corruption in abusing prosperitie, which wee must striue against in the time of our peace or it will bee the more intolerable vnto vs when God afflic∣eth vs.
Doctrine. [remembred] the time of aduersity is fit, where∣in we may best recount the prosperity that in former times * we haue enioyed. The reason is; because, first, our iudge∣ments are the more sound: secondly, we shall the better be affected with our present crosse, and the losse of former bles∣sings, which is our duety. The vse is to teach vs, that affliction is necessary for vs, which we must striue to take patiently and to learne to profit by it.
Doctrine. [none did, &c.] God often maketh all men ad∣uersaries to his children. The reason is, that they may learne * to rest on God alone; and not in the helpe of any man. The vse is to teach vs, so to vse the meanes that may be found lawfull to further vs, as yet we seeke to God alone for his blessing vpon them, and to rest vpon him though they be against vs.
Doctrine. [sawe her and did mocke her] The enemies of re∣ligion * doe enquire into the decay of Gods Church, and re∣ioyce Page 18 at it. The reason is; because, they hate the trueth and desire the destruction of the professors of it. The vse is, to teach vs to mourne whensoeuer it falleth so out, seeing our sinnes doe procure the same.
Doctrine. [did mocke] It is a certaine note of an enemie to religion, to mocke and deride the exercises of the same: the * reason is, because, their inward disposition is manifested by their outward behauiour. The vse is, to teach vs, first, to mea∣sure our loue to the trueth, by our reuerence that we yeeld to the exercises thereof: secondly, to knowe them for ene∣mies to the trueth, that scorne the same, and to shun them: thirdly, to learne to mourne when we see the mouth of the e∣nemy opened to reproach the trueth and professors thereof. Nehem. 1. 2. &c.
[Ierusalem] i. the people dwelling in Ierusalem [hath grieuously sinned] i. multiplied their sinnes in greatnes and * number [therefore she is driuen away] hebr. in commotion. i. remooued from certaine to vncertaine condition [all that honored her] i. did reuerently esteeme of her, when her waies pleased the Lord [despise her] i. doe contemne and disdaine her [because they haue seene her filthinesse] i. her nakednesse, being spoyled of her ornaments, and made filthy by her sinnes [yea she sigheth] i. vttereth the griefe of her heart by sighing [and is turned backward] i. driuen from her priuiled∣ges, and so from the signes of being neere vnto God.
Doctrine. [hath sinned] their sinnes the cause of their af∣flictions, being againe mentioned vnto them, teacheth this * doctrine. It is necessary whensoeuer we are afflicted to re∣count often, our sinnes to haue procured the same to fall vp∣on vs: the reason is, because, first, we are naturally vnwilling to blame our selues for any thing, and ready to impute the cause of any euill to others. Examples, Adam and He∣uah, Gen. 3. 12. 13. &c. Secondly, if we rightlie charge our selues and our sinnes, we shall be the better prepared there∣by to true repentance, and right humiliation. The vse, first, to reprooue them that being afflicted are hardened, or rage a∣gainst the instrumentes that God vseth to correct them: se∣condly, Page 19 to teach vs to vse all good meanes to drawe vs to be rightly humbled when we feele any of Gods rods vpon vs.
Doctrine. [therefore] it is peculiar to the godlie to impute the cause of all their miseries vnto their owne sinnes; whereas * the wicked doe either lay the cause vpon other things, or ex∣tenuate their fault, blaming God of rigour; or else breake out into raging impatience or blasphemie. The reason is, be∣cause, the godlie haue Gods spirit to teach them to iudge rightlie of themselues; the wicked are led by Sathans directi∣on, and iudge according to their owne sensuall and brutish conceites. The vse is, to teach vs, earnestly to pray vnto the Lord alwaies to guide vs by the light of his spirit, else shall we be sure to mistake euerie thing to our owne destruction.
Doctrine. [driuen away] it is our sinne that depriueth vs of * anie good thing that we haue heretofore enioyed. The rea∣son is, because, first, God created vs (as al other his creatures) exceeding good, and placed vs in a certen and happie estate in all things; which we first lost by sinne and so doe continu∣allie: secondlie, anie kind of griefe is the peculiar fruite of sin. The vse is, to teach vs, to acknowledg this in euerie particu∣lar; as when we are depriued of inward comfort, outward peace, health, wealth, libertie, or any other good thing apper∣taining either to the soule or the bodie.
Doctrine. [honored her] when we truelie feare and serue the Lord, he honoreth vs in the sight of men. 1. Sa. 2. 30. Ex∣amples, *Abraham, Ioseph, Dauid &c. we see the same also in often experience. The reason, first, that it may appeare, that godlinesse is not without her reward euen in this life: second∣ly, to giue a tast vnto the godly heere, of that honor which they shall once enioy without measure or end. The vse is, to teach vs, to praise GOD highlie when such a blessing is be∣stowed vpon our selues or anie of our brethren, and not to be proud of it, as the wicked are of those good things that they doe enioy.
Doctrine. [despise her] it is our sinne that maketh vs odi∣ous and contemptible amongst men. Examples, Israell often, *Iudges. 2. 13. 14. 15. Manass. 2. Chron. 33. 11. &c. The vse is, Page 20 to teach vs, to be so carefull to leaue our sinnes and walke in the waies of the Lord, as we are desirous of estimation, and to auoid contempt among men.
Doctrine. [honored her, despise her] the estimation that * the godlie haue among wordlings, is onely whilest they are in outward prosperitie. The reason is, because they doo not esteeme them for those spirituall graces that are in them, (which they haue no tast of) but that outward applause that goeth withthem, which being gone, the cause why they liked them is gone also. The vse is to teach vs, not to make any ac∣compt of the fauour or friendship of earthlie minded men, seeing there is no certeintie in it.
Doctrine. [they haue seene &c.] the wicked that haue no * knowledge or conscience of their own faultes, can see the of∣fences of the godlie, and vpbraid them with them. The reason is, because, Sathan blindeth them in their owne estate, lest they should see it and repent: and imployeth their mindes wholie in prying into, and carping at the faultes of others. The vse is, first, to teach vs, that it is not possible to hide our sinnes from the Lord, seeing that not onelie our owne con∣sciences, but Sathan and wicked men can find them out, and accuse vs of them. Secondly, to make vs verie warie how we walke in the sight of the vngodlie, seeing they are so cun∣ning in finding out our faultes, and so wide-mouthed in bla∣zing of them to the dishonor of our holy profession.
Drctrine. [filthinesse] heb: nakednesse. There is nothing that maketh man so filthilie naked as sinne. The reason, be∣cause, * first, it depriueth him of all those graces that did a∣dorne him in the sight of God and men: secondly, it maketh him as if he wallowed in the most stinking and filthie mire that may be found out. The vse is to teach vs, to hate it in all men, but especiallie in our selues with a perfect hatred, euen more then the Deuill of hell himselfe.
Doctrine. [sigheth] the godly doo take to hart with earn∣est affection the crosses that the Lord laieth vpon them. The * reason is, because, first, they esteeme them to come from the Lords hand, and therefore may not regard them lightlie. Se∣condly, Page 21 they iudge their sinnes to haue angred his maiestie and procured him to smite them, which must needes greatlie grieue them. The vse is, first, to reprooue them that in the hardnesse of their hartes, passe ouer their afflictions lighlie. Secondly, to teach vs, to labour to be seriouslie affected with our afflictions, els shall we neuer profite by them.
Doctrine. [backward] the godlie are sometimes brought * into so hard estate, as that they are in mans iudgment vtterly depriued of all the signes of Gods fauour. The reason is, be∣cause, first of their sinnes against the Lord that haue deser∣ued the same: secondly, that they may learne to know their misery, if they be left to themselues: thirdly, to trie their faith, constancy, and patience, &c. The vse is; to teach vs, first, to looke for many great and grieuous extremities, and not to wonder at them as vnwoonted things, seeing the godly haue felt them before vs: secondly, not to dispaire, though in reason al hope of recouery be past, seeing God vseth to bring light out of darkenesse, and to helpe his when they seeme to be vtterly forlorne.
[Her filthinesse] i. her vncleannesse by her sinnes [is in*her skirtes] i. manifestly to bee seene [she remembred not her last end] i. went on carelesly not considering that shee must be called to account [therefore she came downe wonderfullie] i. therefore she growing worse and worse was punished with plagues euery one more grieuous then other, and that in a sodaine and strange manner [shee had no comfor∣ter] i. not so much as one of her former friendes did any way assist her [O Lord beholde mine affliction] I beseech thee looke fauourably vpon my most grieuous estate [for the enemie aduanceth himselfe] i. those that persecute and doe insolentlie boast, because they preuayle agaynst me.
Doctrine. [her filthinesse, &c.] In that a confession of sinnes is set before petition of fauour, we learne this doctrine; * whensoeuer wee beg release from sinne or the punishments thereof at the hands of God, it is necessary to begin with con∣fession of our sinnes. So did the godly vsually, Psalme 32. 5. Page 22Nehem. 1. 7. Dan. 9. 5. &c. The reason is; first, that by recoun∣ting our sinnes, our hearts may be the better stirred vp to pray feruently. Secondly, that our owne confession may iu∣stifie the Lord in punishing vs: Thirdly, that it may appeare that we are rightly humbled and truely penitent; which if we be not, we will be more ashamed to confesse our sinnes then to commit them. The vse is; first, to reprooue them, that either Pharisaically stand vpon their owne righteous∣nesse, or hide their sinnes, thinking the confession thereof needlesse: secondly, it sheweth that those that be ignorant of Gods worde (which onely teacheth the right confession of sinnes) cannot pray aright. Thirdly, it teacheth vs alwaies before we pray (if we looke to be heard) to enter into a seri∣ous consideration of our sinnes, that wee may the more thoughly acknowledge them.
Doctrine. [skirtes] this being their estate, and yet they re∣maining * the true visible Church of God, teacheth vs this doctrine: foule spots and grosse sinnes may be in the face of a true visible Church. The reason is, because, first, the foun∣dation may remaine though much corruption, both in doc∣trine and life be builded thereupon; as was in the Churches of the Iewes, Corinth, and Gallatia: and secondly, because the life and being of a Church is the faith in the couenant of grace through Christ Iesus, which may remaine entire though there be many wants and corruptions; euen as a man may, and ought to be esteemed a man so long as he hath life in him, though he be both lame, deformed, and want a leg or an arme, &c. The vse is, first, to confute their opinion which be called Brownists, who iudge the Churches of England no churches of God, because they wāt some things they should haue, and haue diuers corruptions still retayned in them. Secondly, to teach vs, that it is not sufficient to be of the visible Church, except we labour to be partakers of the gra∣ces of God bestowed therupon, lest we be found such rotten members as (when the day of tryall commeth) shall be cut off and cast into the fire.
Doctrine. [filthinesse. She remembred not &c.] In that they *Page 23 were thus wicked, & yet were a true visible Church and had the dayly vse of the outward exercises of religion; we learne this doctrine: To be within the visible Church of God, and to be partakers of all the outward exercises of religion, is not surficient to lead vs to a godly dispositiō, without the inward grace of gods spirit, nor to proue vs true Christians without fayth and sanctification. The reason is, because, first, these outward meanes are but the instruments which God bles∣seth to whome he will; else are they of no force, 1. Cor. 3. 5. &c. Secondly, many are in the Church as chaffe in the barne floore, and Cockle in the field, that are not of the Church: and therefore shall be gathered out, bound in a bundle, and throwne into the fire. The vse is, to teach vs that it is a vaine thing for vs to say, I am a professor, wee haue a famous Church, &c. and in the meane while liue a prophane and wicked life. Secondly, to make vs carefull to heare, learne and professe the trueth with an earnest care, and hearty pray∣er to God that wee may beleeue it and liue according to it.
Doctrine. [in her skirts] They that beleeue not Gods ministers, exhorting them to repentance (which was the * case of these Iewes, 2. Chron. 36.) grow into the most shame∣lesnesse of sinne of all others. The reason is; because, first, the word is either the sauour of life to amend, or of death to make worse all that heare it, 2. Corinth. 2. 15. &c. Second∣ly, God in his righteous iudgement giueth ouer those that regarde not the trueth into a reprobate minde, and to com∣mit all wickednesse with greedinesse, Rom. 1. 28. 2. Thessalo. 2. 10. The vse is, first, to shew vnto vs that the horrible pro∣phanenesse that is in many that professe the trueth, is not be∣cause of the profession (as wicked ones doe blaspheme) but because they neglect the profession, sauing to make it a cloake for their wickednesse. Secondly, to teach vs with trembling and feare to labour to walke worthy our calling, else shall it be easier for Sodome and Gomorrha in the day of account, then for vs.
Doctrine, [remembred not her last end] They that be har∣dened in sinne by despising instruction, doe grow to forget *Page 24 those things which continuall experience, and the light of reason doe dayly call to remembrance. The reason is, be∣cause, first, the dayly custome of things without grace to e∣steeme them aright, breedeth contempt of them in our cor∣rupt nature. Secondly, Sathan blindeth the children of dis∣obedience, lest they should rightly regard good things and profite by them. The vse is, to teach vs, first, in what fear∣full estate they be, that growe full with, and are wearie of good things, such as are the hearing of the word of GOD, prayer to God, dayly meditation in the law of the Lord &c. Secondly, to labour with our selues to haue these and all o∣ther Gods ordinances and worke, euery day in more high reuerence then other, and not to neglect the due considera∣tion of them if they be ordinarie.
Doctrine. [remembred not] The forgetfulnesse of the re∣ward of sinne throweth men headlong into iniquitie, but * the remembrance of it stayeth vs from many euils, Amos 6. 3. Psalm. 16. 8. The reason is, because, the affections haue no whoe, when nothing is respected but the satisfying of them, whereas the waying of the desire by the euent of it, maketh vpright iudgement the ruler of the action. The vse is, to teach vs in al things that we purpose to take in hand, euer to remember that we must be called to account for it, before that most righteous Iudge, which will iudge of vs by the rules of his most holy word.
Doctrine. [therefore she came downe] It is our sinne that * procureth all those euils to fall vpon vs, which we can anie way bee partakers of: for the reasons and vses of this, see vers. 5. Doctr. 7.
Doctrine. [wonderfully] according to the maner and mea∣sure * of sinne, so is the punishment from the Lord for the same, when he visiteth the committers thereof for it. The reason is, that Gods anger against sinne, and his Iustice in punishing it, might the better appeare. The vse is, to teach vs to looke for Gods heauie hand vpon vs (except we re∣pent) whensoeuer we giue our selues to delight in sinne, or to waxe colde in goodnesse.
Page 25Doctrine. [none to comfort her] see verse 2. doct. 3. and verse 8. doct. 7.
Doctrine. [O Lord behold mine affliction] the only refuge in * distresse, is to flie to the Lord by faythfull & feruent prayer: the reason is, because, first, he it is that smiteth, and none else can heale. Iob 5. 18. &c. Secondly, he hath promised to heare and deliuer vs, calling vpon him in the day of our troubles, Psal. 50. 15. The vse is, first, to reprooue them that repyne a∣gainst God, waxe impatient, or vse vnlawfull meanes to winde themselues out of their troubles. Secondly, to teache vs, in all our distresses to labour our owne hearts, that we may pray vnto the Lord for his grace to deliuer vs, and in the meane while for strength to support vs.
Doctrine. This prayer being made by the Prophet in the * name of the people, teacheth vs this doctrine. It is a great blessing of God to that people that hath a minister, who is both able and willing, not onely to teach them the truth, but also to be their mouth in praier to direct them. The reason is, because, first, very few of the people (though otherwise well affected) are able to conceiue prayer, and vtter the same rightly: secondly, the ministerie is Gods ordinance, not onely to teach his will to vs, but also to offer our supplications vn∣to him; which he hath promised to regarde in speciall maner. The vse is, first, to reprooue them that make no account of the ministerie, or in the pride of their heart, thinke them∣selues as able to these duties as the minister is. Secondly, to teach vs to praise God for it, as for an exceeding treasure, if we haue such a minister set ouer vs; if he be remooued to vse all good meanes to haue him restored, or if that cannot be, to seeke out such another, by whose labours wee may bee builded vp in those good things that the former hath begun in vs.
Doctrine. [beholde mine affliction] God so pittieth his peo∣ple, that the view of their miseries moueth him to help them, * euen when all men are against them; the reason is, because, first, he loueth them with an euerlasting loue: secondly, he will not suffer them to be troden downe of their enemies for Page 26 euer. The vse is to teach vs, first, to magnifie the great and vn∣speakeable mercies of the Lord our God. Secondly, neuer to dispayre though our estate be most miserable, but alwaies to be assured that his mercy shal preuaile against al our afflicti∣ons, to ad an end vnto them, & to giue vs euerlasting peace.
Doctrine. [enemie is proude] Prosperitie causeth the wic∣ked to forget God, and to insult against his people, the rea∣son * is; because, first, they iudge onely by the things present; and therefore thinke that themselues shall neuer be moued, nor the estate of the godly bettered. Secondly, Sathan ma∣keth them to abuse all Gods blessings to their greater dam∣nation. The vse is to teach vs, first, to be carefull if riches in∣crease, not to set our hearts vpon them, Psal. 62. 11. Second∣ly, to be contented with aduersity, if God lay it vpon vs, see∣ing (thorough our corruption) there is lesse danger in it, then in prosperity.
Doctrine. [the enemie is proude] the enemies pride allea∣ged * as a reason to moue the Lord to heare his people in di∣stresse, teacheth this doctrine; The pride of the wicked, is a forcible reason to moue the Lord to cast them downe, and to deliuer the oppressed out of their hands, Isay 10. 12. The reason is; because, first, the Lord vseth the wicked as a rodde to scourge his people, and not as a tormenter to tyrannize o∣uer them. Secondly, God doth euer resist the proude, 1. Peter 5. 5. Luke 1. 51. Psalm. 18. 27. The vse is to teach vs, first, in all our prayers against the enemies of the trueth, to alleage their pride vnto the Lord, as a reason to moue him to heare vs; for so did the godly euer vse to doe. Isay 37. 17. &c. Se∣condly, to assure our selues, that when the enemy groweth to the height of pride his fall cannot be farre off. Prouerbs 16. 15. and therefore with patience to waite vpon the Lord.
[The enemie] i. those that hate the trueth & the professors thereof [hath stretched out his hand] i. expressed his greatest * force and violence [vpon all her pleasant things] i. those bles∣sings of God which she tooke moste pleasure in, that were consecrated vnto the seruice of God in the temple [for shee hath seene the heathen] i. with her eies, she beheld the vncir∣cumcised Page 27 nations [enter into her Sanctuarie] i. violently breake into the temple that thou hadst dedicated to thy holy seruice in the midst of her [whom thou didst command] i. con∣cerning whom thou didst giue commandement vnto thy people [that they should not enter into thy Church] i. should not be receiued into reckoning among thy people.
Doctrine. [stretched out] the wicked are vsuallie merci∣lesse * towards the godly, spoyling them and theirs in most cruell maner, if the Lord restreine them not. Psal. 53. 4. and 137. 7. The reason is, because of their vnmeasurable malice against them, and their exceeding desire to extinguish their memorie from being a people, Psal. 83. 4. The vse is to teach vs, first, not to trust the wicked, nor be familiar with them though they speake neuer so kindlie to vs. Secondly, to bee carefull to walke warily before them, left the get aduantage against vs: thirdly, to pray dailie and earnestly to the Lord to deliuer vs from them.
Doctrine. [vpon all her &c.] the outward things of this world are vncertaine and made subject to the violence of the wicked (yea euen appearing members of the Church, Mich. 2. 8. 9.) the reason is, because, first, earthly things are giuen by the Lord indifferently to the godly and the wicked; which maketh them vncertaine vnto any Secondly, outward things are not within the compasse of those blessings that God hath assured his people to enioy. Thirdly, God hath giuē to Sathan great power in this world; who setteth his seruants on worke, to spoyle all that are not of his Kingdome. The vse is, first, not to desire the things of this lise too much. So did Christ teach vs, Matth. 6. 33. 34. Luke. 12. 33. &c. Secondly, to learne when God giueth them vnto vs, to employ them aright, so shall we haue comfort with them and without them.
Doctrine. [p̄leasant things] the outward things and means of Gods seruice are often made a pray to the enemie; especi∣ally * vpon our abusing of them. Ier. 7. 13. Luk. 19. 44. The rea∣son is, because, first, God will shew himselfe the punisher of man euen in the things that he abuseth: secondly, that it may appeare that God regardeth more the punishment of euill, Page 28 then the preseruation of his word, blessings, and ordinances. The vse is, to teach vs, first, that holinesse standeth not in any outward thing that man can take away, for true godlinesse cannot be shaken by men nor angels. Secondly, that GOD can saue his people without meanes when it pleaseth him to deny them the meanes.
Doctrine. [she hath seene] the iniuries that the wicked do * vnto the godlie in their sight, are more grieuous vnto them then those that they do only heare of. The reason is, because, that which the sight (being the quickest of the sences) bring∣eth to the minde, hath deepest impressiō therein of al others. The vse is, to teach vs (seeing it was the case of this people) to take patientlie whatsoeuer outward extremitie, the Lord giueth the wicked power to lay vpon vs; yea though it bee death it selfe.
Doctrine. [enter &c.] the wicked make hauocke of, and * doe scorne all the exercises of religion. Psal. 79. 1. &c. 1. Cor. 1. 18. &c. hence it is, that silencing and imprisoning of prea∣chers, yea vtter ouerthrow of the profession of religion, is made a matter of nothing. The reason is; because, first, they are set on worke by Sathan, that with greatest violence seek∣eth the ouerthrow of all good things: secondly, they be car∣nallie minded and cannot fauour any spirituall things. 1. Cor. 2. 14. The vse is, to teach vs, first, to discerne in those that take such courses, the wickednes of mans nature and the horrible prophanation that Sathan bringeth the children of disobedi∣ence into. Secondly, to learne to esteeme and handle all holy things most reuerently; else shall we not differ from these wicked ones.
Doctrine. [her Sanctuarie] the outward ordinances of God are of reuerent account to them that feare his name, *Psal. 27. 4. and 84. 1. &c. Nehem. 1. 4. The reason is, because, first, they proceed from him whose actions in all things they esteeme most holie: secondly, they are the meanes that the Lord vouchsafeth to make most comfortable to his seruants. The vse is, to teach vs, first, to know them to be of no religion, that do not holilie vse these meanes. Secondly, to trie our Page 29 selues what measure of Gods feare and his true religion is in vs, by examining our selues what measure of loue and obedi∣ence we yeeld to his ordinances appointed to that vse.
Doctrine. [whom thou &c.] those that bee open wicked * ones are not (without their open repentance) to be admitted to the holy exercises of religion: but if they be without the Church they are so to remaine; and if they be in the Church, they are to be cast out. The reason, because, first, it is Gods ordinance so to doe, Math. 7. 6. and 1. Cor. 5. 3. &c. 11. 13. &c. Secondly, it maketh much for the preseruation of the Church in sound doctrine and innocencie of conuersation; both which will decay if this be neglected. The vse is, first, to reproue them that thinke there should be no separation, but that all indifferentlie should be receiued into the communi∣on of the faithfull. Secondly, to declare vnto vs how farre the professed wicked ones are from hauing (without repentance) any portion of that heauenlie Ierusalem that may not be re∣tained within the Church in earth, wherein yet manie re∣maine that shall neuer be saued Math. 20. 16. &c. Thirdly, to teach vs, so carefull as we are, to haue Gods Church in gene∣ral, and the members thereof in particular preserued in good estate, to be so diligent (yet keeping within the compasse of our callings) to labour the amendment, or the casting out of all heretiques and irreligious persons.
[All her people] i. the people of Iudah and Ierusalem of all * estates and degrees [sigh and seeke their bread] i. are heauie harted, and seeke here and there for necessarie sustenance. [they haue giuen their pleasant things for meat to refresh their soule] i. willingly parted with that which was dearest vnto them, to get food to preserue their liues [heare O Lord and consider] i. O Lord hearken to my petitions, and regarde my miserable estate [for I am become vile] i. I am esteemed the basest and most contemptible of all Nations that liue vnder heauen.
Doctrine. [sigh and seeke, &c.] It is lawfull for the godly to be grieued with, and to take to heart their worldly losses. * The reason is, because, first, the things of this life are Gods Page 30 blessings: secondly, they are necessary to support vs heere, and (being well vsed) to make vs the fitter to serue him. The vse is, first, to reproue the Stoicklike opinion of them, that thinke we should not be moued with the losse of outward things. Secondly, to teach vs, as in the aboundance of earthly things, to acknowledge Gods large mercies, so in the losse or want of them to confesse our sinnes and Gods displeasure vpon vs for the same, and therefore to lament.
Doctrine. [giuen her pleasant things] for the preseruation * of the life, we must be willing to forgoe the dearest of these outward blessings. The reason is, because, first, it is the most precious of all earthly things, they being giuen for the vse of it, and not it for them. Secondly, God hath giuen greater charge to preserue it then them. The vse is to teach vs, to vse all lawfull meanes for the preseruation of our life, that wee may imploy it to Gods glory and the good of his Church.
Doctrine. [see O Lord and, &c.] Their example teacheth * vs, that in all our miseries we must seeke reliefe only at Gods hands. The reason is, because, first, he hath so commaunded, Psal 50. 15. &c. Secondly, all power to helpe is in his hands alone. 2. Chron. 20. 6. without whose blessing all meanes doe vtterly fayle. The vse is, first, to reproue them that seeke to be relieued by Saints, Angels, or any other in Heauen then God alone. Also them that seeming to seeke onely to the true God, doe vse vnlawfull meanes to haue his help, as by Con∣iurers, Witches, or such like. Secondly, to teach vs in all our distresses to seeke onely to the Lord, and that alone by such lawfull meanes, as he hath warranted in his word.
Doctrine. [see for, &c,] they were in miserable estate, yet * pray they to God; whose example teacheth vs this doctrine. No extremity can driue the godly from trusting in God, Iob. 13. 15. and praying vnto him, Psalm. 44. 17. The reason is, because, first, that faith which they haue in him, is that which ouercommeth the world, 1. Iohn 5. 4. &c. Secondly, they are assured that there can be no help but in him. The vse is, first, to shew, that those who fall from God because of afflictions, had neuer any sound foundation in him, Matth. 13. 20. 21. Page 31Iohn 13. 1. &c. Secondly, to teach vs not onely to trust vnto the Lorde, and flie vnto him in time of peace; but especially when wee are in greatest trouble, for then haue wee most neede of helpe.
Doctrine. [I am become vile] the contempt that the peo∣ple * of God be of in the eyes of the wicked, being alleaged in prayer vnto the Lorde, is a forcible reason to moue him to heare and relieue them. The reason is, because, first, the Lord pittieth the miseries of his seruants. Secondly, the wicked re∣proach them commonly for their professions sake, which the Lord wil haue to be preserued from ignominie & contempt. The vse is to teach vs, first, to alleage it in our prayers when we desire to be freed from such miseries: Secondly, with pa∣tience to waite the Lords leasure, being assured that he will rescue his seruants in his good time, from all the wrongs that they suffer at the hands of wicked men for well dooing.
[Not vnto you] (for so is the hebrew, word for word) [O all yee that passe by the way] i. it was not by the power of any * of you that I am in this misery, seeing you are but as passers by, that neither had power to hurt mee, nor compassion to mone my case, but onely were the roddes of Gods wrath to scourge me [beholde and see] i. Looke well vpon it and con∣sider [if there be any sorrowe like vnto my sorrowe] i. whether any man or all men be able to inflict so grieuous paines vpon any [which is done vnto me] i. which I doe sustaine [where∣with the Lord hath afflicted me] i. which hath come in won∣derfull and terrible maner from the hand of the highest [in the day of his fierce wrath] i. when he was so highly displea∣sed with me for my sinnes that he declared his anger by pu∣nishing me.
Doctrine. The godly in all their afflictions must looke vn∣to * the Lord the striker, and not respect the rodde wherewith he smiteth. The reasons, and vses hereof, are set downe, verse 5. Doct. 5.
Doctrine. [beholde and see] corrections laide vpon others * ought not to be neglected, but duely considered of, as the rest of Gods workes. The reason is, because, first, God often Page 32 smiteth some to instruct others thereby: secondly, we being of one moulde should take to heart the condition one of an∣other. The vse is, first, that we may learne to knowe and con∣sider of Gods exceeding iustice and mercy in generall: se∣condly, to be induced thereby to feare and loue him the more, who maketh vs onely the beholders of his punish∣ments laide vpon others, which our sinnes deserued to haue been laide vpon our selues.
Doctrine. [not vnto you] Man is not to be proude though * God doe many things by him, and for him, that seeme both strange and commendable. The reason is; because he is but the instrument, or matter wrought vpon, and God onely the worker, Isay 10. 15. Rom. 11. 18. &c. 1. Cor. 47. Iob. 31. 27. The vse is to teach vs, first, to giue all glory to God for all things done in this world, whosoeuer be the instruments. Secondly, the more that God doth by vs, to labour to bee the more humble, least we proue the instruments of his glory to our owne destruction.
Doctrine. [not vnto you] The wicked haue no cause to reioyce when they preuaile against the godly, though they * doe it vsually. The reason is, because, they are but the Lords rods, who (without repentance) shall be cast into the fire, Isay. 10. 5. and 14. 25. &c. Secondly, they doe not as they imagine, ouerthrow the godly & establish themselues, but cleane contrarie. The vse is, to teach vs, first, to acknow∣ledge our sinnes alwayes to be the cause that they at any time preuaile against vs. Secondly, to call to God for grace to repent, that so their power may be weakned. Thirdly, to beare with patience those rods that God layeth vpon vs by the wicked, being assured that God in his good time will re∣lease vs and punish them.
Doctrine. [if there be any sorrow like, &c.] The godly endure more trouble in this world, both inwardly and out∣wardly, * then any other: Examples hereof, Iob, Dauid, Ioseph, Ieremie, Christ, his Apostles, &c. it is also manifest in dayly experience. The reason is, because, first, God loueth vs, and would weane vs from delighting in this world, to long after Page 33 heauen and heauenly things: secondly, our nature is so per∣uerse as it will not be framed to any spirituall things, with∣out many and grieuous corrections. Thirdly, Sathan and the worlde doe hate vs, and labour continually to seeke our de∣struction. The vse is to teach vs, first, not to be offended at the great afflictions that we heare of, or see to befall such as feare God: secondly, neuer to promise our selues worldlie peace and prosperity, but to prepare our selues to looke for one rodde to succeed another whilest we liue here.
Doctrine. [any sorrow like, &c.] It is a vsuall thing with vs, * to thinke our owne troubles more heauie and intolerable then any others doe suffer. The reason is, because, first, wee feele all the smart of our owne, and doe onely a farre off be∣hold that which others doe beare. Secondly, we are more discontented with our owne crosses then we should, which maketh vs beare them the more impatiently, and thinke them the more intolerable. The vse is to teach vs, first, by the due suruey of our manifold sinnes, to acknowledge wee haue deserued the most grieuous punishments that can be. Secondly, in the consideration of our afflictions, to call to mind rather how many and grieuous rods we are freed of, that wee might by Gods iust iudgement susteine, then to thinke of the grieuousnesse of that we beare, which others feele not.
Doctrine. [sorrow] The afflictions that God layeth vpon * his seruants, are, and ought to be grieuous vnto them for the present time, Heb. 12. 11. The reason is, because, first, wee iustly haue deserued them through our sinnes. Secondly, we must be lead by them to repentance, or we abuse them. The vse is, first, to reproue the stoicall blockishnesse of those that are not affected with afflictions. Secondly, it teacheth vs to sorrow when we are afflicted, but so as we be not swallowed vp in it.
Doctrine. [the Lord hath, &c.] Though our sinnes doe al∣wayes deserue it and our foes doe dailie desire, yet can no * punishment befall the godly till God see it meete to lay it vpon them Iob. 1. 12. &c. for the reasons hereof see vers. 5. Page 38Doctr. 5. The vse is, first, to teach vs to take all corrections patiently, seeing we cannot shun them, and seeing God lay∣eth them vpon vs in loue for our good. Secondly, to learne to seeke vnto the Lord especially, for release from our trou∣bles, and not to be wholly employed about worldly means, as they doe that be worldly minded.
Doctrine. [wrath] The anger of God is hot against sin, * euen in his dearest seruants. The reason is, because, first, he is most righteous, and cannot beare with any euill. Second∣ly, it tendeth to his great dishonour. The vse is to teach vs, first, if he cannot beare it in those whome he loueth, howe much lesse will he suffer it vnpunished in the wicked? Se∣condly, to make vs abhorre sinne in all men, but especially in our selues, euen as much as we desire to haue the Lord to loue vs and be pleased with vs.
Doctrine. [day] God doth not alwaies afflict his seruants, * but at such special times as he seeth it meetest for them, Psal. 103. 9. The reason is, first, that by punishing sometimes he might declare his displeasure against sinne. Secondly, by sparing them often, he might shew his great loue vnto them. The vse is to teach vs, first, to acknowledge his wisedome, iustice, and mercie in dealing so with vs. Secondly, to take afflictions patiently when he layeth them vpon vs, seeing we haue them not alwayes, but many good things in stead of them: this vse did Iob make of this doctrine, 2. 10.
[From aboue] i. from heauen [hath hee sent fire into my*bones] i. the Lord hath sent most painfull and destroying griefe (for that is meant by fire) into my inward and strong∣est parts, this is meant by bones, Psal. 6. 3. 4. Isai. 38. 13. [which he ruleth] thus are the hebrew words to be transla∣ted, the meaning is; which the Lord, and not any power of man directeth, that it may torment and ouerthrow me, as it seemeth good to him [he hath spread a net for my feet] i. hath so taken me in his snare, that I cannot escape from him [and turned me backe] i. quite ouerthrowne me and all my purpo∣ses [he hath made me desolate] i. he hath depriued me of all helpe and meanes of rescue [and daily in heauinesse] i. my Page 39 griefe is continuall without intermission, because Gods hand is vpon me without ceasing.
Doctrine. [from aboue hath he sent] this often mentioning * of Gods hand, teacheth this doctrine. When God punisheth vs by the hands of the wicked, we are hardly brought to a∣scribe it to him alone; and they from thinking that their own haed and power hath done it. The reason is, because, first, our vnderstanding taketh deeper impression of that which we see with our eyes, then that which our spirituall knowledge teacheth. Secondly, the wicked can see no further then their owne hand reacheth. The vse is to teach vs, first, not to mar∣uell though the vngodly offend in that which we are hardly reformed in: Secondly, in all our afflictions to looke vnto the Lord whose hand hath done it; and not be like the dog, that snarleth at the stone which is throwne at him, neuer regar∣ding him that did cast it: see vers. 5. Doct. 5.
Doctrine. [bones] when God layeth afflictions vpon vs, * they ransack the most secret partes that are in vs The reason is, because, God hath ordained afflictions to be the meanes to trie vs. The vse is to teach vs, first, that afflictions are necessa∣ry for vs, seeing we should else thinke stil better of our selues then (in deed) we are: secondly, not to bee amazed though the soule and body bee fraught with miseries, seeing it hath been euer the meanes that God hath put in practize, to hum∣ble his seruants withall vnder his hands.
Doctrine. [fire into my bones] God often bringeth his ser∣uants * to the greatest misery that can be sustained by man, see verse 12. Doctr. 5.
Doctrine. [which he ruleth] God dooth gouerne, and that * in speciall maner, the particular course of all those afflictions which he layeth vpon his people. This appeareth, not only in the wonderfull beginnings, processe, & ending of the afflcti∣ons of Ioseph, Dauid, Iob, Christ &c. but also in the daily ex∣perience of the godly, that liue vnder the crosse. The reason is, first, that the Lord might in special maner declare himselfe to prouide for his seruants in al extremities, as the euent doth alwaies make manifest: secondly, that Sathan and the world Page 36 might daily see, how they cannot goe beyond their tedder that God hath measured vnto them. The vse is, first, to con∣fute them that thinke all things to be guided by fortune, or at the least, that God ruleth not the particulars but onely the generall course of the world: secondly, to teach vs to obserue Gods wonderfull power, and mercifull prouidence, in all our seuerall troubles, whereby we cannot but be constrained at the length to say, it is good for me that I haue bin in trouble, Psal. 1 19. 71. Seeing it hath fallen out for the best, Rom. 8. 28.
Doctrine. [weake] we can no more winde our selues out * of those afflictions that God laieth vpon vs, then the entang∣led foule can escape the net that compasseth him. The rea∣son is, because, first, wee haue no strength against him that dealeth with vs: secondly, all our deuises (in such a case) make against vs, euē as the fluttering of the snared byrde hol∣deth her faster than before. The vse is to teach vs, first, to take patiently whatsoeuer the Lord doth lay vpon vs: secondly, to seeke vnto him alone for release, who onely can deliuer vs.
Doctrine. [turned me backe] Nothing can goe forward or * come to any good issue, but that onely which the Lord fur∣thereth. The reason is, because, all power is in his hand, so as whatsoeuer man purposeth, yet it is he alone that disposeth. The vse is, first, to reproue them that take any thing in hand as grounded vpon their owne strength: secondly, to teach vs neuer to attempt any vnlawfull things, seeing Gods hand can neuer help vs in them, except it be in his anger to punish vs: thirdly, to teach vs in all things that we take in hand ac∣cording to Gods will, to seeke his assistance and help, by har∣ty and faithfull prayer.
Doctrine. [desolate] It is God that giueth friends, wealth, * &c. and taketh all away at his pleasure, Iob. 1. 21. The reason is, because, all things moe or lesse, are disposed by his proui∣dence. The vse is, first, to reproue them that say mine owne hand and power hath done this or that: secondly, in generall to acknowledge all things to bee done of the Lord, in parti∣cular for our sinnes if hee afflict vs, by taking our wealth, friends, liberty, or any good thing else from vs, and from his Page 37 mere mercy, if any of these, or any such be continued, or re∣stored vnto vs.
Doctrine. [daily in heauinesse] according to the measure * and continuance of Gods afflicting hand vpon vs, so must the measure and continuance of our sorrowes be. The reason is, because, first, heauie and long troubles are a signe of Gods heauie and sore displeasure against vs: secondly, the conti∣nuance of afflictions argue that we are not sufficiently hum∣bled, doe not vnfainedly repent for our sinnes, nor call vpon the Lord so effectually as we should. The vse is, first, to re∣proue them that by continuance vnder the crosse doe growe hard harted, which condition is a fearefull signe of Gods re∣iecting of them. Secondly, to teach vs the heauier and lon∣ger that troubles are vpon vs, the more earnestly to labour with our selues to growe in repentance, zeale, and feruencie of prayer.
Doctrine. These parcicular calamities comming one in * the necke of another doe teach vs this doctrine. When God meaneth to punish his seruantes, he will encrease the meanes that may further the same, and vtterly disappoint al contrarie endeuours. The reason is; because, first, nothing can stand a∣gainst him to hinder the execution of his will. Secondly, all things in heauen and in earth are at his appointment, to ac∣complish his pleasure. The vse is to teach vs, first, that there is no counsel or strength against the Lord: secondly, to take pa∣tiently whatsoeuer it shall please his maiestie to lay vpon vs.
[The yoke of my transgressions] i. the heauie burthen of my * manifold sinns, [is bound vpon his hand] i. the Lord carieth them in his continuall remembrance [they are wrapped] i. all knitt vp in one bundell [and come vp vpon my necke] i. laid all vpon mee at once [he hath made my strength to fall] i. he hath caused my power to stumble (for so the word signifieth) and to fal without recouery [the Lord hath deliuered me into their handes] i. God hath giuen me to be subiect to the power and will of the enemies [neither am I able to rise] i. all power and hope (in the iudgment of flesh and blood) is vtterly taken from mee.
Page 42Doctrine. [yoke] the sinnes of Gods people are the heaui∣est * burthen that they can possiblie beare in this life. The rea∣son is; because, first, they (without his great mercie) make a separation betweene God and them. Secondly, they giue Sa∣than matter to tirannize ouer them. Thirdly, they (being tho∣rowlie taken to hart) doe after a sort, possesse the soule with the verie torments of hell. The vse is to teach vs, first, to suf∣fer any torments in this life, rather then be drawne to com∣mit sinne against God: secondly, to labour aboue all things to be reconciled vnto God, through Christ, and so endeuou∣ring the keeping of a good conscience, no trouble or tor∣ment of bodie shall be grieuous, but verie tolerable, yea ioy∣full vnto vs.
Doctrine. [vpon his hand] when God meaneth to punish * vs for our sinnes, he calleth them all to remembrance. The reason is, first, that his iustice might find iust matter why to smite vs. Secondly, that he may lay his corrections vpon vs according as he shall see meet, by viewing the qualitie of our sinnes, and obstinacie therein, or pronenesse to repentance. The vse is to teach vs, first, not to commit any thing that is e∣uill, and so thinke that it shall be forgotten in time; for God seeth all things past, as though they were present: secondly, not to continew in sinne or put off repentance from day to day, for in so doing we multiply and heape vp matter against our selues for the day of our punishment.
Doctrine. [wrapped and come vp] when God meaneth to * correct, he will so doo it as it cannot be escaped. The reasons, and vse here of are set downe vers. 13. doct. 5.
Doctrine. [he hath made my strength to fall] God giueth strength and courage to men, and taketh it away at his plea∣sure. *Deut. 28. 7. 25. The reason is; because, all power is his owne; and is to be bestowed as shall seeme good vnto him. The vse is; first, to reproue their vanitie that ascribe strength or courage to one Nation more then another: secondly, to teach vs, not to stand vpon any power that is in our selues, but to seeke to bee reconciled to GOD, and rest vppon his strength alone.
Doctrine. [into their hands] God often deliuereth his ser∣uantes * into the hands of the vngodly. Examples, Iob, Sampson, Ieremie. The reason is, first, to exercise them, and bring them to repentance; or to perfect his power in their weaknes. Se∣condly, to giue the wicked occasion to shew forth their cruel disposition. The vse is, first, to reproue them that iustifie or condemne a man according to his preuailing or being ouer∣come in this world: secondly, to teach vs, to take it patient∣lie when it falleth to our share; seeing it is the lot of the godly in this life.
Doctrine [neither am I able to rise vp] God sometimes af∣flicteth * his people so grieuously, that their state seemeth des∣perate and irrecouerable in the iudgment of flesh and bloud: Examples, Ioseph, Dauid, Iob, yea Christ himselfe. The reason is, first, that he might shew his mightie power in restoring them. Secondly, that all meanes being taken away, they might learne to looke vp to heauen and rest vpon him onely. The vse is, first, to reproue them that iudge the case of Gods people desperate when all worldlie meanes be against them. Secondly, to teach vs, neuer to despaire whatsoeuer extremi∣tie doe befall vs in this life.
[The Lord hath troden vnder foot all my valiant men] i. he hath brought downe to the greatest contempt those that * were strongest, in whome I put my greatest confidence [in the middest of me] i. not so much in the face of the enemie as euen in the streets of Ierusalem [he hath called an assemblie against me to destroy my yong men] i. he hath stirred vp ma∣ny enemies to ouerthrow the floure of my people [the Lord hath troden the wine presse] i. he hath crushed and broken in pieces as the grapes are in the presse [vpon the virgin the daughter of Iudah] i. those tender and daintie ones that see∣med vnfit to beare any affliction.
Doctrine. [valiant men] when God meaneth to afflict vs, * he will spoile vs of all our helpes, wherein we may haue any Page 40 confidence. Isay. 3. 1. 2. &c. The reason is; because, he would haue vs see how little helpe we can haue of any thing without him. The vse is to teach vs, whensoeuer he dealeth so with vs, to humble our selues vnder his hand, and flie to him alone for succor and helpe.
Doctrine. [midst] GOD can as easilie destroy in a fensed Citie, as in a battell. The reason is, because, first, his power is * present euerie where. Secondly, there is no Counsell nor strength against the Lord. The vse is to teach vs, neuer to re∣pose our affiance, or thinke our selues safe in any thing what∣soeuer, but onely in dwelling vnder the protection of the al∣mighty, Plalme. 91. 1.
Doctrine. [he hath called an assemblie] it is God that ruleth * euen the wicked, and setteth them on worke against his ser∣uantes; else can they neuer preuaile against them. The reason is, because, all power to doe any thing is from him alone. The vse is to teach vs, in all our distresses to rest vpon God, and seeke to him aboue for helpe and deliuerance.
Doctrine. [troden] man can no more escape Gods hand * in punishing them, then the grapes can flie from the treader of the wine presse. The reason is, because, there is no place to flie from his presence, Psal. 139. 7. The vse is to teach vs, first, to take patiently whatsoeuer hee laieth vpon vs: Se∣condly, to labour aboue all things to obtaine his fauour and to abide in it, so shall we be safe from the feare of euill.
Doctrine. [virgins] the nicenesse of those that haue liued * daintely, is no reason to free them, but rather a prouocation to bring afflictions vpon them. The reason is, because, first, the pampering of our selues is none of the ends, for which God bestoweth his blessings vpon vs. Secondly, such coy nicenesse as many be of, is seldome without speciall sinnes that are incident to that condition; which God will not let passe vnpunished. The vse is to teach vs, first, to take heede that we bestow not Gods blessings giuen vs (to further vs in his seruice) to make vs the vnfitter to beare his roddes. Secondly, neuer to promise our selues freedome from pu∣nishment, what priuiledges soeuer we can alleage, especially Page 41 if we walke not most vrightly, and bestowe not his blessings most faithfully.
Doctrine. [daughter of Iudah] except the children for sake * their sinnes, they shall not be spared for the godlinesse of their parents. The reason is, because, first, God dealeth with euery one according to that which is in himselfe: Secondly, the promise [I will be thy God and the God of thy seede] is on∣ly profitable to such children, as walke in the faithfull steps of their godly parents. The vse is, first, to reprooue them that rest vpon their forefathers faithfulnesse, they themselues be∣ing vnfaithful: secondly, to teach vs to seeke that in our selues and not in others, which may be an argument to proue vs in the fauour of the Lord.
[For these things I weepe] i. I mourne and lament, because * of these my grieuous sinnes that I haue brought vpon me, so many, and so heauie punishments [from mine eye (euen) from mine eye, descendeth water] i. the teares doe come out of mine eyes, in such aboundance, as they flowe downe my cheekes [because the comforter that should refresh my soule is farre from mee] i. I am depriued not onely of the helpe of friends that should relieue my misery, but euen the Lord hath withdrawne the brightnes of his countenance from me [my children are desolate] i. all my people are in a forelorne case [because the enemy preuailed] i. because all things are at the disposition of those that hate me.
Doctrine. [for these things] note (besides the same with vers. 2. Doctr. 1.) this doctrine. It is not onely lawful, but also * necessary for the godly to be so greatly grieued when God punisheth them for their sinnes, as may drawe them into ex∣treame weeping. The reason is, because, first, Gods heauie hand is as the roaring of a lyon, whereat all the beasts of the forrest doe tremble, Amos 3. 8. &. 2. Sinne against God, and the punishment thereof, ought to grieue vs aboue all things that can be fall vs in this world. The vse is, first, to reprooue them that thinke it a fault to be passionate in such cases: Se∣condly, to teach vs to labour our hard hearts, that wee may be most liuely affected with sorrowe, and mourne in excee∣ding Page 42 maner when the Lord doth lay his grieuous crosses vp∣on vs.
Doctrine. [mine eye descendeth] no aduersity hath warrant * to grieue vs so much as the punishment of God vpon vs for our sinnes, Luke 23. 28. &c. The reason is, because, first, they declare vnto vs that God is displeased, whose anger who can endure? Secondly, nothing must be more odious vnto vs, then sinne, which (we hauing committed) must cause vs to lament exceedingly. The vse is, first, to reprooue them, as be∣ing farre out of frame, that can easily weepe at the losse of goods, friends, children, &c. being taken from them by the ordinary hand of God; but can hardly be mooued with those spirituall losses that do more neerely concerne the saluation or damnation of the soule and body eternally: secondly, to teach vs aboue all things to be humbled with the considera∣tion of our sinnes, and Gods displeasure for them, and not so much for the losse whatsoeuer it be.
Doctrine. [descendeth water] they were naturally a hard harted people as the scripture testifieth often; yet are they * now constrained to weepe, whereby we learne this doctrine; There is none so stoute, or hard harted, but afflictions will bring him down. The reason is, because, first, God is stronger then any, and will preuaile in all that which he purposeth: se∣condly, God will constraine man at one time or other, to giue glory vnto him, by acknowledging his power. The vse is to teach vs, that we neuer set our selues against Gods hand in punishing vs, but willingly submit our selues vnto him in all things.
Doctrine. [comfort] It is a grieuous plague to be depriued of comforters in afflictions, the contrary whereof is an excee∣ding * blessing: for the reasons and vse hereof see verse 2. Doctrine 3.
Doctrine. [should refresh] It is the duety of euery one, to comfort and relieue others that be in distresse. The reason is, * because, first, God hath so commanded, Galat. 6. 2. &c. Se∣condly, we are members one of another, 1. Cor. 12. 27. &c. Thirdly, we may haue the like need our selues another time. Page 43 The vse is, first, to reprooue them, as being no feeling mem∣bers, that regarde no further then their owne good, not ca∣ring to relieue those that neede with such blessings as they haue: secondly, to teach vs to labour more and more with our selues, that we may be affected with the condition of o∣thers, mourning with them that are afflicted, and helping them to the vttermost of our power.
Doctrine. [my children] the church, as also the common∣wealth, * is to declare her selfe a kinde mother vnto euery one that is trained vp therein; and to haue compassion of their miseries, helping them to the vttermost. This duety is e∣specially to be performed by the ministers in the one, and the magistrates in the other. The reason is, because, first, they are especially honoured by the whole body, that euery member might receiue especiall good by them: secondly, they are, or should be, of greatest knowledge and conscience, and there∣fore should declare the same by the most excellent fruites, whereof this is not the least. The vse is, first, to declare vnto vs in what miserable case that Church or common wealth is, whose ministers or magistrates be persecutors and tormen∣tors of the best members thereof: secondly, to teach vs to praise God when our gouernours are good, and to pray for their preseruation and continuance, or if they be euill to pray for their amendment, and in the meane while mourne for the miseries that are vpon vs by their vngodly demeanors.
Doctrine. [are desolate because the enemy &c.] It is the pro∣perty * of carnall friends, to be friendly onely whilest prospe∣ritie is vpon vs; but if our aduersaries preuayle against vs, and bring vs to aduersity, they are gone. The reason and vse here∣of is the same with that in vers. 8. Doctr. 6.
[Sion stretcheth out her hands, and there is none to comfort her] i. Ierusalem earnestly desireth and laboreth for help, but * none yeeldeth her any reliefe [the Lord hath commanded the enemies of Iaacob round about him] i. God hath giuen power vnto them that hate the Israelites, to compasse them in on e∣uery side [Ierusalem is as a menstruous woman in the middest of them] i. she is reiected of all her aduersaries, and esteemed Page 44 most vile and filthy, not worthy to bee approached vnto by any.
Doctrine. [stretoheth] It is a necessary duety in Gods * people, to seeke out all good meanes of their release from troubles. The reason is, because, first, they know that God or∣dinarily worketh euery thing by meanes: secondly, they know not by what meanes, nor when God will deliuer them, therefore must they vse al, and continue therein, committing the successe vnto the Lord. The vse is, first, to reprooue them that are slothfull in vsing the meanes, wickedly saying, God will bring to passe his owne purpose and no more, though wee doe nothing: secondly, to teach vs alwaies to put all good meanes in practize, and yet neuer to rest vpon them, but to depend vpon the Lord alone, in whose hands the is∣sues of all things are.
Doctrine. [there is none] God often frustrateth the law∣full endeuours of his Children of that good issue which is ex∣pected, * and yet liketh well that they should vse meanes to bring the same to passe: examples here of is, Abrahams pray∣ing for Sodome, Gen. 18. The reason is, because hee would haue vs follow the meanes that be before our eyes, and yet is not himselfe tyed thereunto, but prospereth them as he will, and when he will. The vse is to teach vs, first, not to despayre, though the meanes that we haue vsed preuaile not: second∣ly, to continue still in vsing good meanes, though they haue not that successe which wee looke for, seeing we knowe not when God hath appointed to blesse our meanes.
Doctrine. [commaunded] the wicked haue no power a∣gainst Gods people, but that which is giuen them from the * Lord, Iohn 19. 1. The reasons and vse hereof are set downe vers. 5. Doct. 5. and vers. 13. Doct. 1.
Doctrine. [as a menstruous] Gods people are more grie∣uously afflicted, and reproached in the world, then any else, * and the godliest the most of all. The reason is, because Sa∣than and the wicked haue greatest malice against them. The vse is to teach vs, not to promise our selues the applause of men in this life, but to knowe that to bee euill intreated Page 45 and esteemed most vile, is our share, if we will liue godly in Christ Iesus.
[The Lord is righteous] i. in all these things GOD hath * dealt most iustlie with me [for I haue rebelled against his com∣mandementes] i. I haue most heynously sinned and wilfullie transgressed the wordes that came out of the Lords owne mouth by the ministerie of his Prophets [heare, I pray you all people and behold my sorrow] i. I desire that all men would marke Gods fearefull iudgments vpon me. Obiection how a∣greeth this with that 2. Sam. 1. 20. Tell it not in Gathe. An∣swere. The meaning of Dauids speech there is, that it should not be reported as the hand of the Philistines but of GOD. [my virgins and my yong men] i. the most tender of all my peo∣ple and hope of the age that is to come [are gone into captiui∣tie] i. are caried out of this land, the signe of his fauour, and of heauen it selfe.
Doctrine. [is righteous] Gods people doe acknowledge * his iustice in all his workes, yea euen in his punishments laid vpon them. Examples hereof are, Iob, Dauid, Daniel, &c. The reason is; because, first, his word and spirit hath reformed their iudgmentes, teaching them how to thinke of his holie maiestie in all thinges. Secondly, the conscience of their owne sinnes causeth them to iustifie the Lorde, and to ac∣cuse themselues. The vse is, first, to reprooue in our selues, or others, all repyning against God, and accusing of him, as things farre differing from the disposition of the godly, right∣lie reformed. Secondlie, to teach vs to grow in the feare, and worship of GOD, praying alwaies for his grace to assist vs, who is so righteous in all his workes. Thirdly, to teach vs pa∣tience to beare, and contentednes to vndergoe, what condi∣tion soeuer the Lord, that is so righteous, doth lay vpon vs.
Doctrine. [for I &c.] it is the duetie of Gods children to seeke the cause of all their euils in themselues. The reason is, * because, first, GOD is righteous, and layeth nothing vpon them but that which they iustly deserue. Secondly, they know their owne manifold sinnes, and their exceeding weaknesse in weldoing, which they cannot so see in any others. This Page 46 doctrine is hardly learned, because of our naturall blind selfe∣loue, & pronenesse to accuse others. The vse is, first, to iustifie God, when he is iudged. Secondly, to teach vs, to betruelie humbled vnder the Lords hand, when he layeth his roddes vpon vs. Thirdly, to giue vs direction how to seeke the right way of release from those crosses that are vpon vs.
Doctrine. [rebelled] though God punish vs often for other * causes, yet the matter that he worketh vpon is our sinnes. The reason is, because the righteous GOD cannot punish without desert. The vse is to teach vs, to labour to find out and forsake our sinnes so often as we are punished.
Doctrine. [rebellion] being an high degree of transgression teacheth vs this doctrine. We must not lessen our sinnes, but * account them most heynous in our owne eies. The reason is, because, first, they are so in the sight of God. Secondly, they keepe so many good things from vs, and bring so many mi∣series vpon vs. Thirdly, it is a special note of a reformed hart; and the lessening or hyding of our sinnes, is a marke of the contrarie. The vse is, first, to teach vs thereby the better to be prepared vnto true repentance: secondly, to comfort vs with assurance that we are out of loue with our sinnes.
Doctrine. [his commandement] [heb. his mouth] it is our duetie (especiallie in religion) neither to goe further, nor to * come shorter, then Gods reuealed will; but to attend vnto it, as the seruantes eye doth vnto his maisters hand: Psal 123. 2. The reason is, because, first, we are so commanded, Deut. 4. 2. & 12. 32. Prouerbs. 30. 6. Reuel. 22. 18. &c. Secondly, we can doe nothing well▪ but by the direction thereof, seeing we are naturallie blind in iudgment, and corrupt in affection. The vse is, first, to reproue thē that think it vnperfect, & ther∣fore ad traditions vnto it, as the Papists. Secondly, to teach vs, that the written word of God is the persect rule of all righte∣ousnesse. Thirdly, we must carefully learne to know this rule, or else how can we be directed by it.
Doctrine. [rebelled] it is rebellion against the Lord him∣selfe, * to be disobedient vnto the voice of his ministers, teach∣ing his trueth. Luke. 10. 16. The reason is, because first, they Page 47 speake nothing in their owne names, but from the Lord. Se∣condly, the disobedience is not to the minister, but to that he vttereth which is the Lords. The vse is, first, to reprooue their error that thinke they may hate the instructions of the mini∣ster and yet loue God. Secondly, to teach all ministers to take heed what they teach in the name of the Lord, lest they prophane his blessed maiestie, abuse his holie ordinance of the ministerie, and seduce his people.
Doctrine. [his commandement] now their acknowledging * that to be Gods mouth, which in their prosperitie they con∣temned, teacheth vs this doctrine. We are constrained in our aduersitie to acknowledg Gods hand in those things, which in our prosperitie we neglected. The reason, because, first, ad∣uersitie reformeth the iudgment, and causeth a more serious consideration of matters then before. Secondly, GOD will haue his iudgments iustified by those whome he punisheth; this is verified euen in the wicked, as in Pharaoh Exod 9. 27. Nabuchadnezzar Dan. 4 31. Achab. 1. Kin. 21. 27. & c The vse is to teach vs, to acknowledg the voice and hand of God in all things, when the first occasion is offered vs: so shall we haue profit and comfort by it, els shall we be constrained to acknowledge it in the end, to the doubling of our sorrow.
Doctrine. [heare &c. all people] when Gods people are pu∣nished, * they are not ashamed, but willing to tell all men of it, and to declare their sinnes to be the cause of it. The reason is, because, first, aboue all things they desire to haue the Lord iustified in all mens iudgmentes. Secondly, they desire that their owne example might teach others to scrue God better. The vse is, first, to reproue them, as being farre from a godlie disposition, who either accuse God when they are punished; or labour to hide from the eies of all men the affliction that is vpon them: secondly, to teach vs, that it is a right signe of vn∣fained repentance, to be free in consessing our sinnes, and Gods iust hand on vs for them, and that without shame or blushing sauing for the sinnes onelie.
Doctrine. [all people] the manifesting of our punishments * vnto the world as from Gods hand because of our sinnes, can Page 48 neither dishonor the Lord, nor harden others in their wic∣kednesse, but is a iust occasiō of the cōtrarie. The reason is, be∣cause, first, it is matter of great honor to God, to let no sinnes escape without punishment, when he offendeth: secondly, it giueth others iust cause to thinke, that except they repent, they shall all likewise bee punished. The vse is, first, to re∣prooue them that would not haue it knowne to the world how seuerely the Lord afflicteth his seruants in this life: se∣condly, to teach vs to desire to let others know how little the Lorde liketh of sinne, seeing hee punisheth it in his dearest children.
Doctrine. [my virgins, &c.] in that they were in such wo∣full condition euery way, we learne this doctrine. It may fall * out to be the lot of the Church of God, to be depriued for a time of all worldly comfort, and of the ministerie of the word and sacraments also. The reason is, because it was the condition of this people, who yet were the only true visible Church, that was then vnder the sunne. The vse is, first, to re∣prooue the vanity of the Papists, who esteem the Church to be alwaies a famous visible Monarchie, and of worldlings, who thinke it should be free from all molestations and trou∣bles: secondly, to teach vs not to be dismaied nor to forsake the trueth, notwithstanding the innumerable troubles that doe befall the Church that professeth the same.
[I called for my louers] i. I desired to be relieued by those * that loued me dearely [but they deceiued me] i. mine expecta∣tion was vtterly frustrated in them. [my Priests and mine El∣ders] i. the gouernours of the Church and of the common wealth [perished] i. were so farre from helping me, that they were in misery themselues [in the Citie] i. they dyed within the walles of the Citie, without the sworde of the enemies, [while they sought their meate] i. euen in their carefull tra∣uaile to finde out some foode [to refresh their soules] i. to cheare their liues and strengthen their hearts withall.
Doctrine. [I called vnto, &c.] It is an increase of sorrowe, to * be disappointed of their help, by whome we looked to be de∣liuered out of our troubles. The reason is, because the hope Page 49 of help by those meanes doth often promise speedie deliue∣rance, and in the meane while administreth patience; which being frustrated, the heart is sodainely fraught with many griefes that it looked not for. The vse is, first, to reproue them as guilty of a great sinne, who giue the distressed any hope of succour, and yet disappoynte them when they might haue helped them. Secondly, to teach vs, especially to rest vpon God in our troubles, and not to relie vppon the outward meanes, least they deceiue vs, and so our sorrow be increased thereby.
Doctrine. [louers deceiued] God often maketh our friends * that loue vs vnfeinedly, vtterly vnable to doe vs any good in our distresse. The reason is, to shew vs that it is a vaine thing to trust in man. The vse is to teach vs, to put our whole affi∣ance in the Lord alone.
Doctrine. [my Priests and mine Elders perished] the misery of that people must needes be great, whose rulers can neither * help themselues nor others. The reason is, because, the go∣uernours are the staffe of the peoples strength, which being broken, there is no help left. The vse is, first, to shew vs in what excellent steed our rulers doe stand vs, and therefore to teach vs to obey them, honour them, and pray for them: se∣condly, to teach vs not to despayre, though they be made vt∣terly vnable to help vs, seeing it was so with this people, and yet God found out a meanes to deliuer them.
Doctrine. [perished] Gods plagues doe often ouertake the great ones, aswell as others. The reason is, because, first, they * vsually sinne as greatly as others, if not aboue the measure of others: secondly, be they neuer so great amongst men, yet are they nothing when God taketh them in hand. The vse is to teach vs, not to sinne by vertue of any priuiledge that we haue in this life, seeing it cannot free vs from those punish∣ments which our sinnes doe deserue.
Doctrine. [while they sought] Gods people may come to * the extreamest beggery that can be in this life (though it fal∣leth out very seldome.) The reason is, because, first, outward things are no part of their felicitie, which is purchased for Page 50 them by Christ Iesus: secondly, God will now and then, shew himselfe the preseruer of his people, when all meanes doe faile. The vse is, to teach vs, not to rest vpon any thing in this life, for that were to build vpon the sand which will fayle in the tempest. Matth. 7. 26. 27.
[Behold O Lord, for trouble is vpon me] i. O Lord regarde * me with thy mercies, for I am in great straightnesse, and ex∣tremities doe presse me, and oppresse me, [my bowels are be∣mudded] i. all my intrals are disordered and mingled toge∣ther as the troubled water is with the mudde (for the hebrew worde is borrowed from the waters that are in such a case after or in a tempest) [mine heart turneth it selfe within me] i. for very griefe and anguish, my heart doth (as it were) re∣moue and roule within me [because I haue greatly rebelled] i. the cause of all this misery is, my grieuous transgressions a∣gainst the Lord my God [the sword spoyleth abroad] i. where∣soeuer my people are employed in warres for my defence, there the enemies sword doth kill and destroy them [as death at home] i. The famine is so great at home, that nothing but death appeareth in euery streete and house, where our pro∣fite and our pleasure hath been vnto vs in great measure.
Doctrine. [behold O Lord] in that they prayed vers. 9. and vers 11. and in this place, and often after, we learne this do∣ctrine. * We must not giue ouer, but cōtinue in prayer, though we be not heard in that we intreate for. The reason is, God hath commaunded to pray without ceasing, and set no time when we shall be heard. The vse is, to teach vs, that God by deferring to heare vs, first trieth our faith and patience: se∣condly, sheweth his exceeding anger against our sinnes: thirdly, giueth vs occasion to increase in repentance and fer∣uencie of praier: Examples hereof are the Israelites in Egypt, and in the Captiuitie. Iob, Dauid, &c.
Doctrine. [behold, &c.] God seeth all things: but their ex∣ample in laying open their miseries before the Lord, teach∣eth * this doctrine. We must with lamentation, lay open our miseries before the Lord, if wee looke to bee relieued. The reason is, because, first, mercie is denyed to them that hide Page 51 their sinnes, Prouerbs 28. 13. secondly, forgiuenes is granted vpon a free confession, Psal▪ 32. 5. The vse is, first, to reproue them, as hauing no sparke of right repentance, that coldly, or not at all, doe acknowledge their particular sinnes vnto the Lord: secondly, to teach vs to ransack our owne waies, that in the daies of our repentance wee may bee able throughly to lay open our transgressions vnto the Lord.
Doctrine [for trouble is vpon me] we then pray most ear∣nestly, * when we feele most sensiblie the burthen of that wee would be rid of, and the want of that we would haue. The reason is, because, first, els we are continually secure: second∣ly, we earnestly desire the contentment of our owne hearts: which cannot bee whilest wee haue that we would not, and want that we would haue. The vse is, to teach vs, first, the necessitie of affliction, seeing it is euident we are then (only) touched effectually: secondly, to striue that we be not cold, but more and more affected with the sense of our sinnes, to loath them, and with a longing after righteousnesse, to walk therein.
Doctrine. [be mudded: heart turned] There is no rest nor * quietnesse within vs, when God presseth vs with the weight of our owne sinnes. The reason is, because, first, they are so many and so grieuous. Secondly, he can, and doth vrge them more forciblie, then that we can sustaine his heauie hand. The vse is, to teach vs, first, to pitie those that are afflicted in conscience for sinne, aboue all others that are any waies di∣stressed. Secondly, to esteeme of, and bee thankfull for the peace of conscience, as the greatest treasure that we can en∣ioy in this life. Thirdly, to auoyd sinne alwaies, as that which will procure vs the greatest hurt both in this life, and in the life to come.
Doctrine. [greatly rebelled] The godly doe alwaies in the * due consideration of their sinnes, aggrauate them against themselues in greatest measure. The reason is, because, first, they see best into their owne offences. Secondly, they mea∣sure them by the heauie anger of God deserued by the same, as did the Publican, Luk. 18. 13. The vse is, to teach vs, first, to Page 52 trie our selues how we stand affected this way, seeing it is a speciall note of true repentance, and the contrarietie of im∣penitencie. Secondly, to labour more and more to aggrauate our sinnes in our owne eyes, that wee may bee humbled the more effectually thereby.
Doctrine. [〈◊〉, death, &c.] The things that are ordai∣ned * for our greatest good in this life, do turne to our greatest harme when our sinnes prouoke Gods anger to breake forth against vs. The reason is, because, first, all creatures are at his commandement to execute his will. Secondly, they are no further vnto vs as blessings, then so farre as he giueth them in his loue and fauour. The vse is, to teach vs, first, in the re∣bellion of any of Gods creatures against vs to acknowledge our sinnes against God to be the cause. Secondly, to labour first of all to bee reconciled to GOD in Christ Iesus, and to walke in obedience vnto his lawes: so shall all his creatures serue to our good, els doe they encrease our condemnation.
[They haue heard] i. it hath come to the eares and know∣ledge * of the enemies [that I doe mourne] i. that I am in great heauinesse and lamentation [and there is none to comfort me] i. neither one nor other shewed any pitie vpon me [all mine enemies haue heard of my trouble] i. the knowledge of my miserie is come to the eares of mine enemies of all estates and conditions [and are glad that thou hast done it] i. they reioyce that thou hast laid so heauie things vpon me [those hast brought the day that thou hast pronounced] i. the destru∣ction which thou hast prophecied by the mouth of the Pro∣phets against the Nations will as surely come vpon them, as if it were alreadie come to passe: for the hebrew verbe, being in the time past, is ment of that which is to come, according to the manner of the speeches of the Prophets, for the more assurance of the accomplishment thereof [and they shall be like vnto me] i. their miserie in this world shall be as grieuous to see to, as mine is now: for otherwise their estate shall be most contrarie, when all teares are wiped from the eyes of the godly, and all calamities powred vpon the heads of the wicked.
Doctrine. [none to comfort me &c.] it is the duetie of all * men to comfort the afflicted, & not to add to their miseries, Math. 25. 40. Iames. 1. 27. 1. Cor. 12. 26. Heb. 13. 3. The rea∣son is, because, first, we owe this dutie (among others) one to another. Secondly, no miserie can befall another, but when God will, it may light vpon our selues, seeing wee daily de∣serue the same. The vse is, first, to reproue them that doe not take any mans miserie to heart but their owne. Secondly, to teach vs, to labour our harts to be like affected with others; euen to mourne with them that weepe &c. seeing it is a signe of a liuely member: as the want therof argueth, either that we are cut off, or were neuer ingrafted into that bodie whereof Christ Iesus is the head.
Doctrine. [are glad] it is the propertie of the wicked to re∣ioyce * at the miseries of the godly, with whome they should mourne. Psal. 69. 12. and 137. 3. Iudges. 16. 25. The reason is, because, first, they are affected as their father the Deuill, who reioyceth in nothing but the calamitie of mankind. Second∣ly, their hatred that they beare to the righteous, maketh them be glad when any euill lighteth on them. The vse is, to teach vs, first, to be farre from that wicked disposition, but rather to mourne when our enemies are in distresse. Psal. 35. 13. 14. &c. Secondly not to be dismaied though the world triumph ouer vs in our miseries, seeing it hath been the condition of Gods people in all ages.
Doctrine [thou hast done it] in that they could not in pros∣peritie * rightly vnderstand the word of God which concer∣ned themselues but now can both applie it rightlie to them∣selues, and others also; wee learne this doctrine. Wee are the fitte schollers to learne Gods worde, and make right vse of it, when afflictions are vppon vs. The reason is, be∣cause, first, in prosperitie we forget God and our selues also. Secondly; we are in our corrupt nature, as naughty children, that will not learne except they be well whipt. Thirdly, in af∣flictions we can more easilie consider of our estate both pre∣sent, past, and to come. The vse is, to teach vs, how necessary Page 54 afflictions are, to frame vs to be of a right disposition: second∣ly, to humble vs, seeing we are of so vntoward a disposition. Thirdly, to prouoke vs as at all times, so especiallie in afflicti∣ons, to pray that we may be directed by Gods spirit to lead our liues according to his will, seeing wee are of nature so peruerse.
Doctrine. [bring &c. that thou hast pronounced] euerie ti∣tle * of Gods word shall be accomplished in due season. Mat. 5. 18. The reason is, because, it came from him that is truth it selfe, and cannotlye. The vse is, to teach vs, first, of what sin∣gular excellencie Gods word is, seeing there is no fault or vn∣trueth at all in it. Secondly, to renounce our owne reason, and to relie vpon the word, assuring our selues that it shall be performed, though it be against the iudgment of flesh and bloud. Thirdly, to raise vs from all securitie of sinning, seeing all his iudgmentes denounced against our offences shall (without our true repentance) assuredly fall vpon vs.
Doctrine. [shall be like] though the troubles of the righte∣ous * be many; yet are not the elect to be discerned from the reprobate by affliction. The reason is, because, they are both partakers thereof in this life, and that often in most heauie maner. The vse is, to teach vs, not to measure the loue or dis∣pleasure of God vnto any by their outward estate in this life, seeing no man can know his own estate thereby. Eccle. 3. 21.
Doctrine. [thou wilt &c.] it greatly easeth the godly in their afflictions, to consider that their foes shall be destroied. *Reuel. 18. 20. The reason is, because, that alwaies the ouer∣throw of the wicked, is the deliuerance of the godlie. The vse is, to teach vs, with patience to beare the afflictions that are laid vpon vs by the handes of the vngodlie; seeing we shall not bee alwaies vnder their handes, but they shall one day beare a farre more grieuous punishment.
Doctrine. [they shall be &c.] the punishmentes that Gods people sustaine in this life, are sure tokens that the wicked * shall be plagued, howsoeuer they escape for a time. The rea∣son is, because. God in iustice cannot spare the wicked, see∣ing his iudgments begin at his owne house. 1. Peter. 4. 17. &c.Page 55Rom. 11. 21. The vse is to teach vs, by our owne afflictions to gather assurance that God will one day more thoroughlie visit the sinnes of those that continue in their wickednesse.
[Let all their wickednesse come before thee] i. call thou to * thy remembrance all their sinnes, that their iudgment may be accordinglie [doe vnto them as thou hast done vnto me for all my transgressions] i. be thou (O Lord) a tighteous Iudge, and let not them escape vnpunished, seeing thou hast plagu∣ed me for my sinnes, [for my sighes are many and my heart is heauie] I am exeedingly affected with griefe, and wonder∣fullie cast downe, and humbled.
Doctrine. [let all their &c.] it is lawfull for the godly to * pray for the ouerthrow of the wicked. Psal. 83. 9, &c. The reason is, because, by their destruction God is glorified, and the Church preserued. Obiection. we are commanded to loue our enemies. Answ. it is true, when their enimitie concerneth our selues in priuate; but when it is against the trueth and professors thereof, the loue of Gods glorie, and his trueth compelleth vs to pray for their ouerthrow. The vse is, to teach vs, that the glorie of God, and preseruation of his Church, ought to be dearer vnto vs, then our nearest friends, Mat. 10. 37. yea then our owne liues.
Doctrine. [for my sighes] the sufficient humiliation and deepe mourning of Gods children are forcible meanes to * moue the Lord to pitie them, and to relieue them, Isay. 66. 2. and 2. Cor. 7. 10. The reason is, because, first, God is full of compassion, and is much moued with the miseries of his ser∣uantes. Secondly, he smiteth vs, that we may be humbled thereby: which being wrought in vs, hee will withdraw his hand. The vse is, to teach vs, first, to be humbled by our afflic∣tions which we beare from time to time. Secōdly, to alleadge it vnto the Lord as a reason to heare vs, which he will not reiect but much regard if we be humbled aright.
The second Chapter.
HOw, &c.] i. in what wonderful ma∣ner and by what strange meanes, [hath the Lord darkned] i. couered with blacknesse of all calamities, [the daughter of Sion] i. his people whom he had established as mount Sion [in his wrath] i. in his anger a∣gainst them, for their sinnes [and hath cast downe from heauen] i. o∣uerthrowne from the highest degree of excellencie [vnto the earth] i. to the basest estate of misery [the beautie of Israel] i. the glorious estate wherein he had planted his people Israel [and remembred not] i. had no regarde nor respect [vnto his footestoole] i. his temple and the exercises of religion therein, which his owne hand had appointed: the same phrase is vsed to the same purpose, Psal. 99. 5. and Psal. 132. 7.
Doctrine. [How] it is our duties to striue with our selues * to be affected with the miseries of Gods people; for the rea∣sons and vse hereof, see Chap. 1. verse. 1. doct. 2.
Doctrine. [how] the question sheweth, that the chastise∣mentes and corrections that God laieth vpon his Church, are * most wonderfull, the causes whereof are past finding out of his wisest children: this made the Prophet Dauid to iudge a∣misse hereof, Psalm. 73. 13. 14. and Habacuc to reason with the Lord Chap. 1. 13. The reason is, because, first, the Lorde will in his owne seruants, declare his anger against sinne: se∣condly, he seeth afflictions the best meanes to frame them to his obedience: thirdly, his waies are beyond the reach of flesh and bloud. The vse is, first, to teach vs to learne by the con∣sideration Page 57 hereof (as Dauid did Psal. 73. 16. 17) to reforme our iudgements, and not to iustifie and condemne any by that befalleth them in this life: Secondly, in greatest plagues to acknowledge the righteousnes of God, by reason of our sinnes deseruing the same: Thirdly, not to set our affections vpon this life, fraught with so many miseries, but to long for a better, and to reioyce in afflictions which doe frame vs thereunto.
Doctrine. [darkned the daughter of Sion, &c. and cast*downe, &c.] God spareth not to sinite his deerest children, when they sinne against him: the whole storie of Israel in generall and Dauid in particular giueth example hereof. The reason is, first, that the Lord might declare himselfe an aduersary to sinne in all men without partialitie: Secondly, that he might reduce his seruants from running on headlong to hell with the wicked. The vse is to teach vs, first, to magni∣fie the righteousnesse of God, as in all his workes generally, so in the afflictions of his Church particularly: secondly, not to perswade our selues to looke for any earthly peace (see∣ing the promises of this life are conditionall) though we be the children of Abraham by faith, but to prepare our selues for continuall calamities one in the necke of another.
Doctrine. [from heauen vnto the earth] the higher that * God aduaunceth any, the greater is their punishment in the day of their visitation for their sinnes, Deut. 28. thoroughout. The reason is, because, first, to whome much is giuen of them must much be required: secondly, according to the priuiled∣ges abused, so is the sinnes of those that haue them greater and moe in number. The vse is to teach vs, not to thinke our selues to haue any freedome to sinne, because we be greater then others, but that our punishments shall be the more in∣tollerable, if our obedience answer not to our prerogatiues that we haue aboue others.
Doctrine. [footestoole] the most beautifull thing in this worlde is base in respect of the Maiestie and glorie of the * Lord. The reason is, because, he is infinitely glorious, and all things here are most subiect to corruption, and basenesse. Page 58 The vse is to teach vs, not to rest on any thing that here we can enioy; but to vse them (according to Gods commaun∣dement) as meanes to encrease vs in the feare, and direct vs in the true worship of his glorious maiestie.
Doctrine. [footestoole] Gods anger against sinne, moueth * him to destroy the things that he commaunded (for his own seruice) when they are abused by men. The reason is, because, he cannot indure the dishonour of his name thereby. The vse is, to teach vs, first, that sinne (especially of such as pro∣fesse Gods name) is most odious and ougly in his sight: se∣condly, to take heede that wee vse the outward meanes of Gods seruice with all reuerence, and profit rightly by them to the increase of all godlinesse in vs, else shall they be taken from vs.
[The Lord hath destroyed] i with his mighty hand from heauen he hath ouerthrowne [and hath not spared] i. shewed * no fauour or mercy in it [all the habitations of Iaacob] i. all those goodly dwellings that he had seated them in [he hath throwne downe in his wrath] i. in his anger for sinne hee hath laide euen with the ground [all the strong holdes of the daugh∣ter of Iudah] i. all those towers, bulwarkes and castles that the people of the Iewes had prepared for their defence [hee hath cast them downe to the ground] i. not shaken them a lit∣tle and so left them standing, but vtterly defaced and wasted them [he hath polluted the kingdome and the princes thereof] i. he hath taken al priuiledges from them, and giuen the whole people of all degrees into the hands of the wicked Nations to be prophanely vsed at their pleasure.
Doctrine. [the Lord hath, &c.] It is the hand of God that taketh away the flourishing estate of a kingdome, Dan. 4. 29 * The reason is, because, the power to doe so great a thing is in his hands alone. The cause that moueth the Lord thereunto is, the sinne of the Princes and people thereof. Examples, E∣gypt, Achabs house, Iehu his race, whole Israel and Iudah; so is it in the flourishing of particular persons. The vse is, first, to declare vnto vs the omnipotent power of God, that we may tremble at it, so did Daniel teach Nabuchadnezzar, Dan. 4. Page 59 22. &c. Secondly, to teach vs the righteousnesse of God, that dealeth not like a tyrant but vprightly, that we may honour him in all things; so did Iob: 1. 21. &c. Thirdly, to let vs see the odiousnesse of sinne, that causeth God to ouerturne the most glorious things in the world, and therefore that we must de∣test it, and warre against it all the dayes of our life.
Doctrine. [not spared] as God is full of mercy in his long * suffering, so is his anger vnappeaseable when it breaketh out against the sonnes of men for their sinnes, Ierem. 4. 4. Exam∣ples hereof, the olde world, Sodome and Gomorrah, Israel, and the seuen Churches mentioned in the Reuelation. The rea∣son is, because he vseth not to execute his iudgements till no meanes of his mercy will preuaile. The vse is to teach vs, that we despise not his iudgements, nor abuse his mercies, but tremble at the one, and be drawne to well dooing by the other.
Doctrine. [habitations] God depriueth vs of a great bles∣sing, * when he taketh from vs our dwelling places. The rea∣son is, because of the great commodities and contentment that come vnto vs thereby, when we enioy them peaceably; as euery mans experience can teach him in particular. The vse is to teach vs, first, to be humbled when God taketh such a blessing from vs: Secondly, whilest wee peaceably enioye the same, to vse it to the furtherance of Gods glory, and to prayse God daily for the comfortable vse thereof.
Doctrine. [not spared] there is no assurance of worldly pos∣sessions * and peace, but in the fauour of God. The reason is, because, first, he ruleth and disposeth al things at his pleasure: secondly, in his anger hee vseth to ouerthrow these things. The vse is, first, to reproue the vaine and godlesse opinion of them that thinke the greatest worldly safetie to be, in being furthest from zeale in religion: secondly, to teach vs, first, to seeke the kingdome of God and his righteousnesse, so shall all other things goe well with vs, Matth. 6. 33.
Doctrine. [strong holds] God ouerthroweth the greatest strength that man can erect, euen at his pleasure. The reason * is, because there is no strength but of him and from him. The Page 60 vse is to teach vs, neuer to trust in our owne valour, but so to vse all good meanes of our defence, as still we relye vpon the Lord for strength and successe thereby.
Doctrine. [in his wrath] it is a marke of Gods wrath to be depriued of strength, courage, or any other necessarie gifte, * when we stand in need of them. The reason is, because, it is a signe that his hand is not with vs to giue vs that blessing by them, which we looked for, or heretofore haue had in them. The vse is, to teach vs, in all things that wee take in hand to beg of God, both the thing it selfe, and also the meanes of ac∣complishing the same.
Doctrine. [of the daughter of Iudah] It is the sinne of the Church, that causeth the Lord to spoyle the same of any * blessing that she hath heretofore enioyed. The reason is, be∣cause, in her obedience he hath promised to blesse her, Deut. 28. 2. and in her disobedience, to take his blessings from her, Deut. 28. 15. The vse is to teach vs, when we are depriued of any blessing, not to fret against the wicked (Gods roddes) that are the instruments thereof: but to acknowledge our owne sinnes, that caused the Lord to set them on worke to spoyle vs, and by repentance to seeke reconciliation with him, so shall we enioy his blessings againe, or otherwise con∣tentment.
Doctrine. [strong holdes] these being taken away in Gods anger teacheth vs this doctrine. It is the good blessing of * God, to haue a kingdome to haue strong holdes, munitions, &c. for a defence against their enemies. The reason is, because they be the meanes that vsually he blesseth to procure out∣ward safetie. The vse is, to teach vs, carefully to prepare them against the time of trouble, yet neuer to rest in them, but to depend vpon Gods blessing alone.
Doctrine. [polluted] the more that God honoureth vs * with his blessings, the greater shall be our dishonour, if we a∣buse them, when he entreth into iudgement with vs for the same: for the reasons, and vse hereof, see vers, 1. Doctr. 4.
[He hath cut off in his fierce wrath] i. he hath vtterly taken * away in his exceeding displeasure [all the horne of Israel]Page 61i. all the strength and beautie of his people [he hath drawne backe his right hand] i. he hath withdrawne his power and assistance [from before the enemie] i. from standing by vs (as in former times) against our aduersaries [and he burneth in Iaacob like a flame of fire] i. he doth declare his displeasure among his people, as clearely as a flame of fire that is easily discerned [he deuoureth rounde about] i. in all places and cor∣ners his consuming hand appeareth.
Doctrine. [horne] Strength and honour are in the Lords * disposition, to be giuen, continued or taken away at his plea∣sure. The reason is, because he is the author of all things. The vse is, to teach vs, whilest wee enioye any part thereof, to ac∣knowledge it to come from him, to honour him therewithal, and to take patiently the remoouing thereof from vs when it shall please him.
Doctrine. [drawne backe] when Gods fauour is towards vs, it is our shield against our enemies; but when he meaneth * to punish vs, he leaueth vs vnto our selues: so dealt hee often with Israel, Iudges 2. 14. The reason is, because, none can hurt vs, whilest hee that is the strongest is on our sides; but when hee is against vs, we are of nostrength. The vse is, to teach vs, aboue all things to pray continually, that aboue all other crosses, he would neuer take his louing countenance from vs.
Doctrine. [flame of fier, &c. round about] though Gods iustice be seuere against sinne in all men, yet is it most mani∣fest * in his Church, hauing sinned against him. The reason is, because, first, all mens eyes are most vppon Gods Church. Secondly, God dooth declare himselfe more in, and for his Church then all the world besides.
[He hath bent his bowe like an enemie] i. he hath prepared * his armour as enemies doe, that meane to destroy [hee is ap∣pointed with his right hand as an enemie] i. he is ready with his power and strength as one that professeth enimity [and hath slaine all that was pleasant to the eye] i. hee hath destroyed the young men, and all the flower of the people [in the taberna∣cle of the daughter of Sion] i. in the middest of his people [hePage 62hath powred out his wrath like fire] i. he hath abundantly and most vehemently declared his heauie displeasure.
Doctrine. [he hath &c.] Where God is angrie, there is no∣thing * to be looked for but destruction, and ill successe in all things. The reason is, because, first, his power is no way to be matched. Secondly, his will is made hote by the sinne of the parties that anger him. The vse is, to teach vs, first, al∣waies to walke in reuerent obedience vnto him, least wee procure his displeasure against vs. Secondly, when any part of his anger breaketh foorth against vs, to seeke to appease him by true repentance.
Doctrine. [his bowe like] God punisheth sinne in his chil∣dren in this world as seuerely as if they were reprobates: * Examples hereof, Iob, Dauid, yea and whole Israel. The rea∣son is, first, to declare that he is not partiall, but hateth sinne in those whom he most of all loueth. Secondly, that it may appeare what great wrath remaineth for the vngodly, 1. Pet. 4. 17. The vse is, to teach vs, first, to admire and praise Gods righteousnesse. Secondly, to accept willingly his punish∣ments laid vpon vs, knowing it to be the lot of Gods people at all times.
Doctrine. [like an enemie] yet not one indeed. Doctrine. Though God shew al outward signes of enimitie against his * Church, yet is his loue euerlasting thereunto. The reason is, because he is no chaungeling, but loueth vnto the end, Iohn 13. 1. The vse is, first, to declare vnto vs Gods exceeding loue to his Church. Secondly, to giue vs comfort in our distresses; which is attained vnto by recounting Gods former fauours shewed vnto vs.
Doctrine. [and shew] Gods anger is neuerin vaine, but ef∣fecteth punishment vpon them with whom he is angrie. * The reason is, because all things serue to accomplish his wil, and nothing can resist it. The vse is, to teach vs, to take heed that we doe not offend him, seeing we cannot escape his pu∣nishing hand.
Doctrine. [pleasant] God regardeth not the most pretious things that are amongst the sonnes of men, in respect of de∣claring *Page 63 his iustice against sinne. The reason is, because all things serue to his glorie, and to the clearing of his equitie a∣mong his creatures. The vse is, to teach vs, to regard well do∣ing, and to shun the transgression of his lawes aboue al earth∣ly things.
[The Lord was as an enemie] i. in all respects he declared * himselfe to deale extreamely as enemies doe [he hath deuou∣red Israel] i. he hath vtterly made hauocke of the Nation of his people [he hath deuoured all his palaces] i. he hath thrown downe all those goodly buildings and dwelling places that were throughout al Iudea [he hath destroyed his strong holds] i. he hath rased downe al those bulwarkes and fortresses that he had builded for defence [and hath increased in the daugh∣ter of Iudah sorrow and heauinesse] i. he hath giuen his people iust cause to increase in all kinde of griefes, euen adding sor∣row vnto sorrowe: for both the Hebrew words come from one roote, and signifie one thing.
Doctrine. This often repeating of one thing in diuers * termes, teacheth vs this doctrine: It is a hard thing to per∣swade Gods people rightly to iudge of, and be affected with the afflictions that are vpon them. The reason is, because, first, the waies of God are high beyond the reach of the sons of men. Secondly, we are naturally of a blind and dull dispo∣sition, with much adoe brought vnto any good thing. The vse is, to teach vs, to labour against our owne peruersenesse, vsing all the meanes that God hath appoynted to make vs rightly affected with his plagues vpon vs, or vpon others our brethren.
Doctrine. [deuoured Israel] God hath no neede of any * people, but all haue neede of him. The reason is, because, all are his, Psal. 50. 12. and he is able of stones to raise vp chil∣dren vnto Abraham, Math. 3. 9. The vse is, to teach vs, neuer to flatter our selues as the Iewes did, with, the Law shall not depart from the Priest: for it is a vaine confidence, and can doe vs no good, but much harme.
Doctrine. [increased] God will increase his plagues vpon * his children, where sinne without repentance is increased.
Page 64 The reason is, because, he punisheth to the end to bring thē to repentance, whereunto if more easie stripes bring them not, he will lay on his stripes the more heauilie. The vse is, to teach vs, neuer to think our selues safe from afflictions (when God beginneth to correct vs) vntill we be soundly conuer∣ted from our sinfull waies.
Doctrine. [sorrow] God giueth many causes of sorrowe when he punisheth his people. The reason is because, first, * he giueth a token that he is displeased, which is cause of greatest griefe vnto Gods children. Secondly, his punish∣ments doe vsually crosse our affections in the things that they are most set vpon. The vse is, to teach vs, first, to labour with our selues, that wee may bee affected with the crosses that are vpon vs. Secondly, to seeke to him alone for succour in the time of our sorrowe.
[For he hath taken away the hedge thereof, as of a garden] i. he hath layd it open vnto the spoyle, by remouing his prote∣ction * from it, so as it cannot but be spoyled as a garden that hath no hedge [he hath destroyed the place of his assemblie] i. he hath throwne downe those places, where his people were wont to meete for the exercises of religion, the Temple and the Synagogues [The Lord vtterly forgetteth the feasts and Sabbaths in Sion] i. he seemeth to think vpon no such thing, as to cause his people to celebrate the appoynted times de∣dicated to his seruice [and hath despised in the indignation of his wrath] i in his heauie displeasure he hath declared him∣selfe not to regard [the King and the Priest] i. the gouernours of the Common wealth and teachers of the Church, which were not onely a signe of his fauour, but also the meanes of bodilie and spirituall comfort vnto all the people.
Doctrine. [hedge thereof] It is the Lord alone that giueth safety vnto his church, or layeth his people open to spoylers, *Isay. 5. 5, 6. Psal. 80. 12, 13. The reason is, because, all power is in his hands, to saue or destroy at his pleasure, Dan. 5. 18, 19 The vse is, to teach vs, to depend wholly vpon him, seeking alwaies when he shaketh his rod ouer vs, reconciliation with him, by true and vnfained repentance.
Page 65Doctrine. [place of his assemblies] The Temple being the * most holie place in the world and yet destroyed, teacheth this doctrine; No place on earth hath any holinesse in it, or promise of continuance, farther then it is holily vsed. The rea∣son is, because God regardeth no place further then to serue to that holy vse, whereunto he hath appointed it. The vse is, to teach vs, first, that the place maketh not men holy or pro∣phane, but men the place: this confuteth Iudaisme in tying holinesse to the temple, and poperie thinking great holinesse to be in this and that place. Secondly that when we come to the places of Gods worship, there is nothing that can profite vs without the right vse of them.
Doctrine. [place of, &c.] God is angry with his owne or∣dinances, * and laieth a cursse vpon them for the sinnes of those that abuse them, Psalm. 74. 5. 6. 7. and 78. 95. 60. 61. Isay 1. 13. and 6. 10. The reason is, because God ordeined these things to bring vs to holinesse, which if they doe not, they increase our wickednesse, 2. Cor. 2. 15. 16. The vse is, to teach vs, first, how monstrous sinne is, that peruerteth so ho∣ly things from their proper vse: Secondly, to be carefull a∣boue all things to vse the exercises of religion aright, and to take them in hand with trembling and feare.
Doctrine. [destroyed the place, &c. feasts and Sabbaoths]* The Church of God on earth, is not alwaies visible and ap∣parant to the eyes of men, Reuel. 12. 14. The reason is, be∣cause the exercises of Religion and places thereof (which are the visible notes of a Church) are often ouerthrowne, and the Church dispersed. The vse is, to teach vs, first, that the Papists erre in making perpetuall visibilitie a note of Gods true Church: secondly, not to renounce the trueth, though the Church bee ouerthrowne; for God will in his good time re∣store her againe, as euer he hath done.
Doctrine. [despised] when God will afflict a people, hee * will spoyle them of the meanes of their peace and comfort, Isay•. 1. to the 5. The reason is, because, vsually wee rest too much in the outward meanes. The vse is, to teach vs, first, not to trust to any outward meanes but in God alone, who Page 66 blesseth them to those that vse them aright: Secondly, to be assured that when he depriueth vs of them, his decree is gone out against vs to punish vs: thirdly, to labour by repentance to preuent the plagues threatned to come vpon vs.
Doctrine. [King] It is a grieuous plague of God for a peo∣ple * to be spoyled of their rulers (especially being good ones) Iudges 2. 7. 11. and 19. 1. 2. and to enioy them is a great bles∣sing, Isay 49. 23. The reason is, because, all desolation com∣meth with the losse of them, Isay 3. 5. The vse is, to teach vs, first, to praise God for his blessings that wee haue enioyed that way. Secondly, to pray daily for our Prince and rulers, that vnder them we may leade a religious and peaceable life, 1. Tim. 2. 2.
Doctrine. [Priest] It is the heauiest iudgement that Gods Church can haue falling vpon her in this life, to be depriued * of that holy ministery which should build her in true religi∣on, Psal. 74. 9. Mich. 2. 6. The reason is, because, the enioy∣ing thereof bringeth such comfort, as maketh all other af∣flictions easie to be borne, Psalm. 84. 10. The vse is, to teach vs, first, when we enioy it, to reioyce therein especially, and praise God for it. Secondly, if we want it, to seeke it where it is to be had, 2. Chron. 11. 16. &c. Thirdly, where we haue it in corruption, to seeke the reformation thereof, euery man in his place, keeping within the boundes of his calling.
[The Lord hath for saken his altar] hee hath reiected the * place of their daily sacrifices [he hath abhorred his sanctuary] i. he cannot endure the place where heretofore he was espe∣cially worshipped [he hath giuen the walles and her palaces into the hands of the enemie] i. he hath giuen both the strong and the delightfull places ouer to them that hate his people, [they haue made a noyse] i. with great triumph they haue showted and cried [in the house of God] i in the place that was consecrated to Gods seruice, and appoynted only for Gods people to come into [as in the day of solemnitie] i. euen as in the solemne feasts when the people sounded out Gods prayses.
Doctrine. [the Lord hath] This often repetition teacheth *Page 67 this doctrine. It is the duety of Gods people to labour their affections, that they may be rightly touched with the losse of the cutward exercises of religion. The reason is, because, first, naturally we are not moued with it, thinking it a small matter. Secondly, it should be our greatest desire to enioy the same, Psal. 27. 4. and 84. 10. and 132. 5. The vse is, to teach vs, first, the corruption of our nature that maketh so smal account of so incomparable a blessing. Secondly, to trie our selues what measure of religion we haue in vs, by the measure of desire we haue to enioy, and sorrowe when wee lose the exercises of religion.
Doctrine. [abhorred his] When GOD is angrie with his people, he wil take from them the outward signes of his fa∣uour. * The reason is, because he would vse all meanes to humble them, and bring them to repentance. The vse is, to teach vs, to acknowledge his hand against vs for our sinnes, whensoeuer he taketh any of his blessings from vs, and to learne thereby more true and sound repentance.
Doctrine. [he hath giuen] When Gods people growe ob∣stinate * in their sinnes, he spoyleth them of all those things wherein they trust. The reason is, because he would take a∣way all meanes of impenitencie. The vs is, to teach vs, the moe blessings that God taketh from vs, to assure our selues, that we are the further from that we should be, and therefore to increase in true repentance.
Doctrine. [sanctuary, &c. walles] When the Church is * spoyled, the Common-wealth cannot goe free. The reason is, because the members of the Church are alwayes part of the Common-wealth. Secondly, the Common-wealth hath no promise from GOD to bee wel, but by the promise made to the Church. The vse is, to teach vs, so carefull as we are to haue the Common wealth flourish, to be as diligent to seeke the prosperitie of the Church.
Doctrine. [he hath giuen] The wicked could neuer pre∣uaile * against the godly but that God giueth them into their hands; for the reasons and vse hereof, see chap. 1. verse 5. doctr. 4.
Page 68Doctrine. [make a noyse] God giueth the wicked (for the * sinnes of his people) occasion to blaspheme his name, and to deride his holy ordinances. The reason is, that he may ther∣by prouoke his seruants vnto a detestation of their owne sins, which gaue occasion thereof. The vse is, to teach vs, to bee humbled and grieued, when we see or heare the rage of the wicked, not onely for that Gods name is dishououred, and his lawes violated: but also for that our disobedience hath been a cause of their sinnes.
[The Lord hath determined] i. decreed and appointed [to destroy the wall of the daughter of Sion] i. to ouerthrow the * defence of Ierusalem [he stretched out a line] i. laid out in par∣ticular the maner and certaintie of her ouerthrow: so 2. Kin. 21. 13. Isay. 24. 11. [he hath not withdrawne his hand from destroying] i. he continueth vntil hee haue made a final de∣struction [he causeth the rampart and the wall to mourne] i. giueth cause of mourning to the sencelesie creatures: a figu∣ratiue speech [they were destroyed together] i. by a sodain ve∣hement destruction.
Doctrine. [generally] In that Ierusalem is destroyed as well as other places, we learne this doctrine: No priuiledge * can free the impenitent sinners from the plagues that God meaneth to bring vpon them, though they perswade them∣selues otherwise, Ierem. 7. 4. The reason is, because hee is righteous, and iudgeth without respect of persons, Rom. 2. 9. 11. 12. The vse is, to teach vs, neuer to stand vpon our birth, friends, riches, multitude, strength, or any other priuiledge whatsoeuer, to excuse or defend vs in our sinnes withall; for none of them shall shielde vs against Gods mightie hand.
Doctrine. [determined] The ruines of kingdomes and strong cities come to pasle only by the immutable decree of * God; and not by fortune, mans power, pollicie, or any o∣ther thing, Dan. 4. 22. 1. Sam. 15. 26. 28. The reason is, be∣cause, there is no power in any of his creatures, but so farre as he giueth it thereunto. The vse is, to teach vs, first, not to thinke our selues able to doe any thing, but to craue the Page 69 Lords assistance, whether wee be employed in the defence of our countrey, or in a lawfull quarrell against any forreine nation.
Doctrine [His Line] the Lorde dooth both decree his iudgements, and also determine the measure of them, Dan. 4 29. * The reason is, because he dealeth iustly in all things. The vse is, to teach vs, patiently to endure those afflictions that God shall lay vpon vs at any time, being assured of this, that he in wisdome disposeth them, and will not suffer them to growe in greatnes or continuance beyond that which he seeth meete.
Doctrine. [wall to mourne] the dumbe and sencelesse crea∣tures doe mourne according to their kinde, when we are pu∣nished * in them for our sinnes, Rom. 8. 22. The reason is, be∣cause, they suffer things contrary to their kinde, by reason of our sinnes. The vse is, to teach vs, that if wee mourne not when wee feele Gods hand vpon vs for our sinnes, wee are more blockish then the sencelesse creatures.
Doctrine. [rampart, &c.] the sinne of men bringeth stron∣gest * things to nothing, when God calleth them to an ac∣count. Example hereof Babel, Isay 13. 19. 20. The reason is, because nothing can withstand Gods iustice, which is set on worke by sinne, to destroy vs. The vse is, to teach vs, first, how horrible a thing sinne is, that bringeth such confusion into the world: Secondly, not to trust in any outward things be they neuer so strong.
Doctrine. [together] Gods hand preuaileth as easily a∣gainst * the strongest and most, as the weakest and fewest. The reason is, because, all humaine strength is nothing to him. The vse is, to teach vs, to tremble at his mighty power, and to magnifie him in the consideration thereof.
[Her gates are sunke to the ground] those strong gates that * should haue kept out the enemie, are fallen downe, or sunke into the bowels of the earth, and thereby free passage into the Citie is giuen vnto the aduersaries [he hath destroyed and broken her barres] i. hee hath taken all strength from the gates, that should haue fortified them being shaken [herPage 70Kings and her Princes are among the gentiles] i. the chiefe of her people are constrained to liue among the heathen that are enemies to religion [the lawe is no more] they haue no or∣dinary exercises of religion among them [neither do her Pro∣phets receiue any vision from the Lord] they haue no more ex∣traordinary reuclations, to tell them the will of God.
Doctrine. [gates barres] when God punisheth his people, he wil especially destroy those things wherein they put most * confidence. The reason is, because, such confidence doth v∣sually keepe vs from true humiliation and repentance. The vse is, to teach vs, to take heede of growing secure, by trust∣ing too much vnto outward things: for if we do, God will vt∣terly depriue vs of them.
Doctrine. [Kings] when God meaneth thorowly to afflict a people, he will spoyle them of the meanes of their peace * and comfort: for the reasons and vse hereof, see verse 6. Doctrine 5.
Doctrine. [are among the gentiles] when God by punish∣ments sheweth his anger against a people, hee specially pla∣gueth * their Princes and Rulers. The reason is, because, vsual∣ly their hands are deepest in the sinne; either in not ruling them aright, or neglecting to see them well instructed; or else in giuing them ill example. The vse is, to teach vs, that God is righteous in his iudgements, and spareth not any in respect of their persons.
Doctrine. [among the Gentiles] It is a grieuous punish∣ment * vnto the godly to liue with, or to serue them that are wicked, Psal. 120. 4. 5. The reason is, because they shall see and heare many things that be iust cause of griefe vnto them. Secondly, they may not freely speake to the praise of God without rebukes or skornes. The vse is, to teach vs, be∣ing free from this plague, to praise God for it, or being afflic∣ted with it, to crie to God for the amendment of it.
Doctrine. [Law no more] It is a fearefull iudgement to haue the ministerie of the word that heretofore we enioyed, * taken away from vs, Psalm. 74. 9. Mark▪ 6. 10. 11. The reason is, because, it is the greatest meanes of comfort, and the want Page 71 of it, the readiest way to the decay of all religion in vs. The vse is, to teach vs, aboue all things in this life, to labour that we may haue the continuall benefit of it, whatsoeuer else we haue with it.
[The Elders of the daughter of Sion] i. the wisest and * grauest of the people [sit vpon the ground and keepe silence] i. are throwne downe to grow in sorrow thereby and vtter∣ly destitute of all counsell [they haue cast vp dust vpon their heads] i. they shew the greatest signes of amazednesse and sorrow that can be deuised [they haue girded themselues with sackecloth] i. they shew by their attyre how they are con∣founded and ashamed [the virgins of Ierusalem] i. the dain∣tiest and nicest of all the people, the maidens [hang downe their heads to the ground] i. they which vsually looke vp and doe make much of their beautie, doe now looke downe as though they were ashamed of themselues.
Doctrine. [the Elders] the wisest of Gods seruants are at their wittes end, or fall into despaire if they be depriued of * their hope, in the promise of Gods assistance, Psal. 119. 92. The reason is, because, first, mans wisdome is not able to sup∣port vs in troubles: Secondly, if God be not with vs in our distresses to comfort vs, he is against vs to punish vs, and then he being the strongest, must preuaile. The vse is, to teach vs, first, what an exceeding blessing it is, to haue the Lords com∣fortable presence with vs in our troubles: Secondly, to shew vs our owne weakenesse, if he leaue vs to ourselues, that by the consideration thereof, we may be humbled.
Doctrine. [sit on the ground] bodily exercises doe profit * to further lamentations in the day of heauinesse, but are no part of Gods seruice in themselues. The reason is, first, be∣cause God is a spirit, and his worship must be spirituall, Iohn 4. 24. &c. Secondly, God by his spirite affirmeth such things not to profit in that kinde, 1. Tim. 4. 8. The vse is, to teach vs, by all outward actions to be led on to spirituall worship, else we abuse them.
Doctrine. [keepe silence] the extremitie of Gods iudge∣ments * doe for the time ouer-whelme Gods dearest children, Page 72 in the greatest measure of griefe that can be in this life, Psal. 6. •. and 22. 1. The reason is, because, first, they are vsed to feele great comfort. Secondly, they cannot beare the waight of Gods heauie hand, because of their weaknesse. The vse is, to teach vs, first, not to condemne them that seeme to be in a desperate case. Secondly, neuer to despaire, though we our selues fall into the heauiest condition that may be.
Doctrine. [Virgins] The most daintie ones are made to * stoop when Gods hand is heauie vpon them for their sinnes. The reason is, because their daintinesse cannot shield them from the crosse, but rather maketh them the more vnable to beare it, when it commeth. The vse is, to teach vs, not to de∣light too much in the profits or pleasures of this world when wee enioy them, seeing they cannot helpe vs in the day of trouble.
[Mine eyes doe faile with teares] i. I weepe in such abun∣dance, that mine eyes are consumed therewith [my bowels*are bemudded] i. see Chap. 1. vers. 20. [my liuer is powred vpon the earth] i. mine inward parts are molten and fall from me, [for the destruction of the daughter of my people] i. at the con∣sideration of those miseries, of breakings in pieces (for so the Hebrew word signifieth) which the Church of God (my bre∣thren) doe suffer [because the infants and the sucklings] i. all degrees euen to the tender babes [are ouerwhelmed in the streetes] i. are couered with calamities in the sight of all men.
Doctrine. [mine eyes] The true Ministers of God doe take * the miseries of the Church to heart, in the greatest measure: Examples hereof are, Moses, the Prophets, Christ, and his A∣postles. The reason is, because, first, God hath giuen them charge ouer them, and made them shepherds to see to them. Secondly, they know, or should know, best Gods anger for sinne, and the transgressions of the Church. Thirdly, they must giue accompt for them that are committed to their charge. Fourthly, they know how deare the Church is vnto God. The vse is, to teach vs, first, that good Ministers are an exceeding blessing vnto the Church, and ill ones the greatest Page 73 curse that can be. Secondly, the Ministers should haue great knowledge in the Scriptures. Thirdly, they should be most godly and religious aboue all others. Fourthly, the miserie of our age is great, which hath so many in the places of Mi∣nisters, that either know not their duetie to their flockes, or regard nothing but the fleese to feed their owne bellies.
Doctrine. [faile with teares] in the Prophesie 9. 1. he was * amazed to foresee this, but could not weepe, because the plague was not then come: which teacheth vs this doctrine, The iudgements of God doe neuer thoroughly affect vs, till we feele them. The reason is, because, till it come, we hope it may bee altogether kept away. The vse is, to teach vs, first, how hard our hearts be, that we may labour the more with them. Secondly, that sharpe afflictions are necessarie for vs, to make vs the more pliable to Gods will.
Doctrine. [faile] with continuall lamentation, because * the plague was continuall, teaching vs this doctrine. Our sorrowe, humiliation, earnest prayer, and all other meanes of extraordinarie calling vpon God, must increase in vs, so long as Gods heauie hand is vpon vs. The reason is, because God doth it, first, to humble vs thoroughly. Secondly, to trie our patience and hope in him. The vse is, first, to reproue them that thinke once or a little calling vpon God sufficient. Se∣condly, to teach vs not to be wearie of such exercises, (which fault by Sathans subtiltie and our owne corruption doth ea∣silie creepe in vpon vs in such cases) but to continue calling vpon him, howsoeuer it goe with vs, Iob. 13. 15. Luk. 18. 1. &c.
Doctrine. [bowels bemudded] hartie sorrowe for spirituall * miseries distempereth the whole bodie: so was it with Da∣uid, Iob, and Christ himselfe. The reason is, because the bodie is (or should be) seruant to the soule. The vse is, to teach vs, that in our sorrowes in affliction for sinne, we are farre short from that we should be, vntill we come to this measure.
Doctrine. [liuer powred out] The sorrowes of the soule (if * they be extreame) will easilie consume the bodie. The reason is, because the bodie receiueth his cheerefulnesse or heaui∣nesse Page 74 from the disposition of the soule. The vse is, to teach vs, so to labour against the hardnesse of heart, as we be not ouer∣come with the contrary, for Sathan will vse all his sleightes, to haue vs in the one extremitie or the other.
Doctrine. [for the destruction] a liuely member is grieued * with the hurt of the body, or any member thereof. The rea∣son is, because of that fellow-feeling which the spirit of God vniteth his people one to another withall. The vse is, first, to reproue them that regard no more so that they and theirs be safe, as being farre from liuely members: Secondly, to teach vs, to enquire after the estate of others, and mourne with them that are in misery, so did that good Courtier Ne∣hemiah. 1. 2. 4.
Doctrine. [daughter of my] the ministers of God should haue a tender affection to the members of the Church, as a * man hath to his daughter. The reason is, because they are (or should be) their spirituall fathers, begetting them (or at the least) nourishing them with the word of truth in Christ Ie∣sus, 1. Cor. 4. 15. 1. Pet. 1. 3. 4. The vse is, first, to reproue them (as being farre from ministers fitted to that worke) who in a proud maner doe disdaine to vse kindely the sheep of Christ Iesus. Secondly, to teach all that be ministers to labour more and more with themselues to bee thus louingly affected, which will appeare by their diligence in publique teaching, and priuate perswasion vnto knowledge and obedience.
Doctrine. [infants, &c. ouerwhelmed] there is no outward thing so much cause of sorrowe, as the miseries laide vpon * our children in our sight. The reason is, because naturally we pittie young children more then others. The vse is, to teach vs, first, whensoeuer any such afflictions are vpon vs, to con∣sider how detestable a thing sinne is, which causeth the Lord to punish it in our tender young infants: Secondly, so desi∣rous as we are to seeke the good of our Children in this life, to be so carefull to shunne sinne, and to walke in the obedi∣ence to Gods commaundements, Ier. 32. 39.
Doctrine. [in the streets] the punishments that God lay∣eth vpon his children are vsually in the sight of others. The *Page 75 reason is, because hee will shew his glory in all his workes, Iohn 9. 3. Luke 13. 3. 1. Cor. 10. 11. The vse is to teach vs, first, to profit by all the punishments that we reade of here, or see to bee laide vpon others. Secondly, to perswade o∣thers to make profit of those afflictions which we our selues doe feele.
[They haue said] i. the young children asked [to their mo∣ther] i. of their mothers that should feed them [where is wheat*and wine] i. our necessarie foode to refresh vs [when they were ouerwhelmed] i. throwne downe with miseries [as the slaine in the Citie] i. euen as those that by the sword haue their life taken from them [while their soule powred out it selfe] i. whilest their breath went out of their bodies, that the cause of their death might be the more manifest [into their mothers bosome] i. as it were giuing them their liues againe, seeing they yeeld them no foode to preserue them aliue.
Doctrine. [where is] It is the greatest griefe that can be, * to haue them whome we would gladly pleasure, seeke that at our hands which we cannot help them vnto. The reason is, because it crosseth both our affections, and theirs, who are deare vnto vs. The vse is, to humble vs, when it is our share; because God sheweth vs, that he is angrie with vs, in deny∣ing vs power to doe that good which we would gladly doe.
Doctrine. [when they were] when GOD would haue vs * profit by any work of his, he will let vs see the true cause of it. The reason is, because, else we are so dull and blinde, that we cannot discerne it rightly. The vse is, first, to mourne when we perceiue our selues vnable or vn willing to search out the workes of the Lord: secondly, to ascribe all punishments to his iustice for sinne, and all blessings to his mere mercy; so shall we be sure to iudge rightly in the generall.
Doctrine. [mothers bosome] the griefe that is seene with * the eye, is the heauiest vnto vs of all other things that fall vp∣on our friends. The reason is, because, the sight is the shar∣pest of the senses, and carieth things with deepest impression into the heart. The vse is, to teach vs, when we beholde the miseries of others, to be especially grieued therewithall.
Page 76Doctrine. When God meaneth to humble vs, he will vse most effectuall meanes to bring it to passe. The reason is, be∣cause * he knoweth that our dulnesse and hardnesse of heart is not else mollified. The vse is, to declare vnto vs his excee∣ding loue to vs, that vseth all the meanes that he may, to doe vs good.
[What thing shall I take to witnesse for thee] i. what ex∣ample * may I set before thine eyes [what thing shall I compare to thee] i. where unto shall I liken thee in this thy miserie [O virgin daughter Sion] i. O people of God most deare vnto mee, whose case I highly tender [that I may comfort thee] i. that I may doe thee good [for thy breach is great as the sea] i. thy miseries are large, deep, and violent, for so is the breach, that the sea maketh into the bankes thereof [who can heale thee] i. what meanes in the world can doe thee good? As if he should say, in all likelihood thou art in a desperate case, past alhelp, being such a mirrour of Gods heauy iudgement, as neuer was before thee.
Doctrine. [what thing] It is the greatest griefe that can * be, to fall into a trouble that hath not been laide vpon others before. The reason is, because it easeth griefe, to thinke that others haue been in the like case, whereas by the contrarie it is aggrauated. The vse is, to teach vs, first, in all our troubles to search out whether the godly haue felt the like, and to be comforted by it; this is vsuall in the scriptures: Secondly, though we cannot finde an example like ours; yet is it no cause of despayre, seeing it was the case of Gods people in this place.
Doctrine. [shall I] Gods ministers must be studious in the word, to finde out euery thing that may fit the Churches * present condition, Isay. 504. Mat. 13. 52. The reason is, be∣cause the neede of the Church in generall, and of each mem∣ber in particular, is such, now for doctrine, then for reprofe, otherwhile for instruction, and after that for comfort, as (of∣tentimes) if the ministers lips doe not preserue knowledge presently to fit that turne, the opertunitie passeth, and great harme commeth thereby. The vse is, to teach vs, first, that all Page 77 ministers must be learned, wise, & godly, else they cannot do this duety in any tollerable measure: secondly, it is a duety of great waight and care to bee a minister: and therefore they that make insufficient ones, and those that accept of the cal∣ling being not qualified thereunto, doe commit a great sinne against God, and against his Church, and against their owne soules.
Doctrine. [that I may comfort thee] and yet it was as hea∣uie * a speech as could be vttered: whereby we learne two doc∣trines. First, hardest speeches from the mouth of the mini∣ster, be often most profitable, yea euen to the afflicted, if they be not sufficiently humbled. The reason is, because, our sinnes are like a festred sore, that needeth sharp corrosiues, or like a disease sticking fast in the partes of the body, that nee∣deth a strong purgation. The vse is, to teach vs, that it is a ne∣cessary part of a ministers office, to rake in the consciences and launch the depth of the heartes of his hearers.
Doctrine. [that I may comfort thee] the second doctrine. * That minister loueth vs best, that dealeth most plainely with vs. The reason is, because plaine reproof doth vs more good, (if we haue grace to take it aright) then smooth speeches can doe. The vse is, to teach vs, to be contented with such a ministerie, yea to desire it, if we would be sound Christians.
Doctrine. [as the seoe] the visible estate of the Church of * God may come to bee of a desperate condition, euery way vexed more and more. The reason is, because God vseth to shew his mighty power in deliuering it from such a straight. The vse is, to teach vs, not to be dismaied when it doth come to such an exigencie, but to learne to be humbled by it.
Doctrine. [who can heale thee] as if he should say, there is * no help for thee, but from God alone: doctrine, God often af∣flicteth his people, vntill they be brought to see euidently that there is no help for them, but in him alone. The reason is, because else we ascribe some part of our deliuerance to the second causes. The vse is to teach vs, in any extremitie, neuer to rest vpon men (howsoeuer we may vse them as instru∣ments) but vpon God alone.
Page 78Doctrine. [O virgine, &c.] In all our reprofes we must la∣bour * to let it appeare, that they proceede from a loue in vs, and a care of their good, whome we doe reproue. The rea∣son is, because else shal we haue no comfort in it, if they hate vs for it, nor they profit by it, though they take it well, seeing they will iudge it to come from malice. The vse is, to teach vs, before we reprooue, to examine our hearts, and to finde them vpright, or else to lay our hands vpon our mouthes.
[Thy Prophets] i. those that professe to be thy guides and * instructours, vpon whome thou hast relyed [haue looked out vaine and vnsauorie things for thee] i. things that haue nei∣ther substance nor taste of goodnesse in them: as for exam∣ple, peace, and plentie, when God threatned them the con∣trarie, Ierem. 28. 2. [and they haue not discouered thine iniqui∣tie] i. they haue not plainely told thee of thy sinnes, and con∣uinced thee of them [to turne away thy captiuitie] i. to bring thee to repentance, that thou mightest haue preuented Gods iudgements [but haue looked out for thee] i. haue solemnelie (as in the name of the Lord) taught thee [heauie prophecies of vaine things] i. matters hard for thee to beare, and yet such as shall doe thee no good; such was their perswasion to warre against the Chaldeans to the vttermost [and causes of banish∣ment] i. the obedience whereunto was the readiest way to bring you out of your land, and from all the blessings which you did there enioy.
Doctrine. [Prophets] False teachers are as grieuous a plague, as can be laide vpon a people. The reason is, because * they bring with them ineuitable destruction, Matth. 15. 14. in which respect God commaunded that they should dye the death, Deut. 13. 5. and 18. 20. they are discerned by tea∣ching things contrarie to the reuealed will of God, Matth. 24. 11. 24. and 2. Pet. 2. 1. The vse is, to teach vs, first, that that people is in a fearefull case, which haue such thrust vpon them, and true Pastors taken from them. Secondly, to trie the spirits, 1. Iohn 4. 1. which we cannot doe, except we be skilfull in the worde of God, which is the touchstone of this triall. Thirdly, it is not sufficient that our teacher be a lear∣ned Page 79 man, for he may also be a false Prophet.
Doctrine. [thy] they that refuse to receiue the true mi∣nisters, * God will giue them ouer to be seduced by false tea∣chers and to beleeue lies, 2. Chron. 36. 15. Pro. 1. 24. &c. 2. Thess. 2. 10. 11. 12. The reason is, because, it is Gods righ∣teous iudgement to punish disobedience, with that which is embraced instead of his commaundement, Rom. 1. 28. The vse is, to teach vs, first, that the great contempt of Gods word and true ministers in this land (without exceeding repen∣tance) must needes be punished with all kinde of illusions, as Poperie, &c. which iudgement we see to haue gotten a great hand already: Secondly, if wee looke to bee freed from his iudgement, that we yeeld to the whole trueth (so farre as it is reuealed vnto vs) both in iudgement and practise. Thirdly, that true teachers of Gods word being disgraced, are not to be dismayed, though hyrelings and time-seruers be receiued in their steades, seeing it was the lot of the Prophets, Christ, and his Apostles.
Doctrine. [vaine and vnsauorie] It is a certaine note of a false Prophet, to speake such things in the name of the Lord, * as are vntrue, or misalleadged to please the carnall desires of the people, Iere. 14. 13. 14. 15. 23. throughout. The reason is, because whom God sendeth, them he furnisheth with the word of truth: but Sathan putteth a lying spirit in the mouth of them that he stirreth vp to be seducers. The vse is, to teach vs, to take heede we be not seduced by such: they are discer∣ned by these and such like speeches. All is well, we are the most reformed Church that was since the Apostles times; many are too precise; mē may take liberty of pastimes on the Lords Sabbaoth; it is a small fault or none to sweare by faith, &c. all men that will professe in name to be Christians, are to be receiued vnto the Sacraments, and such like.
Doctrine. [not discouered] It is not sufficient for a true mi∣nister, not to flatter, &c. but he must also discouer the peo∣ples * sinnes vnto them, by particular ripping vp of sinne, and applying it to the consciences of his hearers, so did the true teachers euer, Ezech. 13. 4. and 1. Kings 18. 18. Matth. 3. 7. Page 80Luke 3. 8. &c. Matth. 14. 4. The reason is, because, if the doctrine be onely generall, men will misapplie it, and alwaies turne it vpon others, saying, he touched such a man, and such a man to day, &c. The vse is, first, to reprooue those teachers that doe not deale sharpely, either for feare of displeasure, or because themselues are some way infamously guiltie. Se∣condly, to reproue those hearers, as men not led by the spirit of God, that cannot endure particular reproofe, but will set themselues against the reproouers, vexing them by all meanes.
Doctrine. [to turne away] the onely way to auoyde Gods * plagues, is gladly to suffer our selues bitterly to be reproued by Gods ministers. The reason is, because it is the meanes that God hath appointed to bring vs to the sight of our sinnes, and so to true repentance. The vse is, to teach vs, first, that they who cannot endure this course, can looke for no∣thing but Gods heauie hand, to be euery way stretched out against them: Secondly, if we looke for Gods fauour, to vse all meanes that we may haue such teachers.
Doctrine. [causes of banishment] the falsehood that is * taught by false Prophets, and beleeued by a seduced people, is the cause of all Gods punishments that light vpon them. The reason is, because the teaching and beleeuing of error, is the fountaine of all those sinnes, for which God vsually pu∣nisheth the sonnes of men. The vse is, first, to reprooue the false opinion of the wicked, that charge true ministers and their doctrine to be cause hereof, 1. King. 18. 17. &c. Second∣ly, to teach vs, so desirous as we are to escape Gods iudge∣ments, to be so carefull to teach, beleeue, and liue according to the truth of God.
[All that passe by the way] i. all sortes of infidels and ene∣mies *[clap their hands at thee] i. make a wonderment to be∣hold thee [they hisse and wagge the head vpon the daughter of Ierusalem] i. they scorne and deride the people of God, 1. Kings 9. 8. and 2. Kings 19. 21. [saying, is this the Citie that men call the perfection of beautie] i. is this, whose walles are broken downe, whose houses are burned, whose people are Page 81 slaine and famished, that Citie that was said to want nothing that might increase her renown [& the ioy of the whole earth] i. where nothing was wanting that might delight any man.
Doctrine. [all that passe by] God is woont to whippe his * children for their sinnes, by the multitude of vnbeleeuers that hate the trueth, I say 10. 5. 6. Iere. 25. 9. Exod. 1. 13. 14. Examples hereof are many in al ages. The reason is, because, first, they will not doe that worke of God negligently, and so shall we be the more affected with it, and the better hum∣bled: Secondly, God will thereby keepe his people from fa∣miliaritie with the wicked: Thirdly, that his loue to vs may appeare, in burning the rodde vpon our repentance. The vse is, to teach vs, first, that it is the lot of the godly to be puni∣shed by the wicked: so was Christ, so were the Prophets, and Apostles, thē let vs'look for it, & not murmur at it, nor shrinke from the trueth for it: secondly, that sin is a most ougly thing in Gods sight, that causeth him to deale so seuerely with his deerest childrē: thirdly, that we take heed of being in league with the wicked, for they are our enemies & must scourge vs.
Doctrine. [clappe their hands] it is a propertie of a wicked heart, to insult ouer the distressed, whome we should pittie * and relieuc, Psal. 35. 15. &c. and 79. 4. so did Nabal, 1. Sam. 25. 10. 11. so did Shemi 2. Sam 16. 7. 8. so dealt they with Christ, Matth. 27. 39. &c. The reason is, because they doe not thinke that euer the like can fall vpon themselues. The vse is, to teach vs, first, the vilenesse of our nature, that hath no more remorse in it towards them in miserie: Secondly, to looke for no better from the hands of prophane persons: thirdly, to praise God that giueth a pittifull heart vnto his seruants, euen towards their enemies, Psal. 35. 13. 14.
Doctrine. [they hisse and wagge, &c. saying] the wicked see∣ing * the godly afflicted, take occasion thereby to blaspheme God and his trueth, Psalm. 74. 10. 18. and 2. Kings 18. 30. 35. and 19. 1. 2. &c. The reason is, because they thinke, first, that they shall neuer flourish againe: secondly, that they are the greatest sinners, because they are most punished. The vse is, to teach vs, first, not to condemne men, or Page 82 their religion, because of their afflictions. Secondly, that see∣ing the wicked doe vsuallie reuile the Lord and his trueth, when they abuse vs, therefore let vs patiently beare it, know∣ing that he, whose cause it is, will reuenge it.
Doctrine. [perfection of beautie and ioy] there only is true ioy and excellencie, where Gods trueth is rightly preached, * and his name called vpon, Psalm. 50. 2. Isay. 23. Ezech. 47. 8. 9. 12. The reason is, because they are the vsuall signes of Gods fauourable presence. The vse is, to teach vs, first, to take heed that we be not drawne from the vse of these things for loue of peace, riches, libertie, or life it selfe; seeing they be the chiefe, and all other nothing without them. Secondly, to be∣waile the losse thereof whensoeuer we be depriued of them, aboue the losse of any other thing in this life.
[All thine enemies] i. all sortes of people that hate thee, [doe open their mouth against thee] i. speake largely and free∣ly * to thy dishonhur [they hisse and gnash their teeth] i. they mock and disdaine thee [saying, wee haue deuoured it] i. we haue now made the Iewes past euer being a Nation againe, [certainely, this is the day we looked for] i. wee haue long ho∣ped and laboured to see this day [we haue found and seene it] i. we haue now at the length attained vnto it.
Doctrine. [all thine enemies] the wicked will ioyne toge∣ther * to vexe the godly, though otherwise they be enemies one to another, Psal. 2. 2. Examples hereof Luk. 23. 12. The reason is, because they hate nothing, neither any persons so much, as the truth and the professors thereof. The vse is, to teach vs, first, that the greatest part of men shall alwaies be against the godly, and therefore let vs not be carried with the multitude: Secondly, not to trust the friendship of the wicked.
Doctrine. [opened their mouth] it is a speciall property of the wicked, to rayle at the godly, Matth. 5. 11. 12. * The reason is alleadged by our Sauiour Christ, Matth. 12. 34. The vse is, to teach vs, how to discerne of a wicked man, and to take his reuilings patiently: Secondly, to take heede that wee bee not tainted with so vile a faulte, as Page 83 God hath made a marke of a wicked man.
Doctrine. [we haue deuoured, &c.] the wicked bee often * so inflamed with malice against the godly, as nothing will satisfie them but their blood, Pro. 1. 11. 16. &c. Psal. 79. 2. 3. The reason is, because they think to haue rest when they are dead, which they cannot haue whilest they see them liue, Esth. 3. 5. &c. The vse is, to teach vs, first, that bloodie cruelty being the property of the wicked, we must labour to be farre from that disposition: Secondly, to looke for all mischiefe from the wicked that they can accomplish against vs.
Doctrine. [this is the day] in that once they did beare * great shew of friendship to them, and now so cruelly deale with them, we learne this doctrine. Though the wicked doe alwaies hate the godly, yet they will often dissemble friend∣ship, and shew forth their malice onely, when they haue op∣portunitie thereunto, Psalm. 5. 9. Amos. 1. 9. The reason is, because they are wise in their owne generation, and can wait their best aduantage. The vse is, to teach vs, first, neuer to trust the faire shew of a prophane man, but so to behaue our selues, as we be still aware of him: Secondly, that it is ne∣cessary the godly should now and then fall into troubles, that their dissembling friends may be discouered.
[The Lord hath done that which hee had purposed] i. the * Lord hath brought to passe all that hee had decreed to doe vnto thee [hee hath fulfilled his worde] i. accomplished his threatnings [that he had commaunded of olde time] i. which he had commaunded his Prophets to teach, and his whole Church to make vse of, as namely, Leuit. 26. 24. [hee hath throwne downe and not spared] i. euery where ouerthrowne and shewed no fauour in it [he hath caused thine enemy to re∣ioyce ouer thee] i. satisfied their desire vpon thee to the full, [and set vp the horne of thine aduersaries] i. giuen them that hate thee great strength and might.
Doctrine. [the Lord hath done] i. It is the hand of GOD * that worketh all the afflictions which fall vpon his Church. This doctrine wee had often before, the bookes of Ioshua, Iudges and Kings are full of examples of it. The reason is, Page 84 because, first, he is almightie, and doth all things. Secondly, he loueth his people, and letteth nothing betide them, but that which seemeth good vnto him. Thirdly, hee hath the commandement of all creatures. The vse is, to teach vs, first, to learne to feare, and obey him especially, in whose fauour nothing can hurt vs. Secondly, that in all afflictions we looke vnto him that striketh, and examine our selues what cause wee haue giuen him. Thirdly, to seeke reconciliation with him by true repentance, so shall the meanes that are against vs, be imployed for vs.
Doctrine. [that he purposed] Euery thing that the Lord * determineth shall stand, and come to passe, whosoeuer be a∣gainst it. The reason is, because he is so powerfull and con∣stant, that nothing can alter him, or disswade him. Obiection: How is he then sayd so often to repent? Answere, that is not in his purposes, but in the performance of his promises, and his threatnings, which are alwaies vttered with condition. The vse is, to teach vs, first, that his promises and his fauou∣rable assistance (wee beleeuing therein) shall alwaies stand by vs, to assist vs in all distresses. Secondly, that the iudge∣ments threatned in the word against the impenitent, shall certainly light vpon them.
Doctrine. [fulfilled his word] i. Gods purposes (so farre as they are for vs to knowe) are reuealed in the word, and no * where els to bee sought. The reason is, because it is called his will, according whereunto if any man speake not, it is be∣cause there is no trueth in him. The vse is, first, to reproue them that say, who can tell Gods will? Secondly, to teach vs, with all diligence to search the Scriptures, and to rest on∣ly thereupon, seeing it is the certaine will of God.
Doctrine. [his word] So much of Gods purposes as men may take knowledge of, or enquire after, is reuealed in the * written worde of GOD. The reason is, because the secret things belong vnto the Lord (as the saith by Moses, Deut.) and those that be reuealed to vs and our children. The vse is, first, to reproue the Anabaptists that looke for reuelations besides the word. Secondly, to teach vs, that we neuer pur∣pose Page 85 well, but when we haue our warrant from the word.
Doctrine. [commaunded] God setteth nothing downe in * his word, but that he will haue taught by his Ministers, and learned by his people. The reason is, because, whatsoeuer is written, is written for our learning, Rom. 15. 4. The vse is, to teach vs, that no part of the Scripture is needlesse to bee knowne, or a storie onely and no more to bee made of it, but of necessarie and profitable vse to euery particular Chri∣stian.
Doctrine. [of oldtime] GOD often deferreth the perfor∣mance * of his promises, and threatnings, till they seeme ei∣ther to be forgotten, or in reason neuer like to come to passe, and yet they are accomplished in their time. The reason is, because, first, he will thereby trie the cōstancie and patience of his children. Secondly, that he might suffer with long pa∣tience the vessels ordained to destruction, Rom. 9. 22. The vse is, to teach vs, neither to despaire of the promises, nor thinke the threatnings shall neuer be accomplished, but to make as certaine accompt of them, as if they were present, seeing nothing thereof shall fall to the ground.
Doctrine. [throwne downe and not spared] as God is full of * mercie in his long suffering: so is his anger vnappeaseable, when it breaketh out against the sonnes of men for their sinnes: for the reasons and vse hereof, see vers. 2. Doct. 2.
Doctrine. [he hath caused the enemie] The aduersaries of * Gods children can doe nothing against them, till God arme them thereunto: for the reasons and vse hereof, see Chap. 1. vers. 5. Doct. 4.
Doctrine. [reioyce] It is the propertie of the wicked, to * triumph exceedingly, when they haue any hand against the godly: for the reasons and vse hereof, see vers. 15. Doct. 2.
Doctrine. [set vp] GOD often suppresseth the godlie in * this life, and aduaunceth the wicked: for the reasons and vse hereof, see Chap. 1. verse 5. doct. 2.
[Their heart crieth against the Lorde] i. they set their * whole power to deuise blasphemie against God; for so it must be translated, and interpreted, referring it to the aduer∣saries, Page 86 and making it a reason to cause the Church to pray, in hope to be heard: see the Anyticall table [O wall] i. O all people within the wall; a figuratiue speech [of the daughter of Sion] i. the Children of Gods Church [Let teares runne downe like ariuer day and night] i. weep continually, in great aboundance [take thee no rest] i. giue not ouer [neither let the apple of thine eye cease] i. Let thine eyes neuer stay from sen∣ding out teares.
Doctrine. [against the Lord] whatsoeuer the wicked doe * against the godly, it is done indeed against the Lord him∣selfe, Matth. 25. 40. Acts 9. 4. The reason is, because, first, God esteemeth them as the apple of his eye, Zacha. 2. 8. be∣ing one with him in Christ, Iohn 17. 20. Secondly, the wic∣ked doe all of hatred to our religion, and not for our sinnes. Thirdly, they are set on worke in desire to satisfie their owne affections, to the exceeding breach of Gods lawes. The vse is, to teach vs, first, that they shall be sure not to prosper: so it was said and done in the like case, 2. Kings 19. 32. well it may be that they shall preuaile, till our sinnes bee throughly punished, but no longer: Secondly, to pray feruently for pa∣tience, and to hope for deliuerance in Gods good time.
Doctrine. [O wall] in speaking to the wall when he mea∣neth to speake to them, we learne this doctrine. The sense∣lesse * creatures are often more moued, when God sheweth his anger, then we are. The reason is, because, first, there is no corruption in them, but by our sinnes: secondly, wee are made by sinne more blockish then any creature besides. The vse is, to teach vs, first, to be ashamed, and humbled, that are so vntoward: secondly, to assure our selues that no excuse will serue, seeing the dumbe and senselesse creatures shall beare witnesse against vs, Isay 1. 2. Deut. 32. 1. Mich. 6. 1. 2. &c. Thirdly, to take great paines with our selues, to labour our affections to goodnesse; otherwise wee shall profit but a little.
Doctrine. [wall] when the aduersaries impugne the truth, all the members of the Church ought to crie vnto God ear∣nestly. * The reason is, because, Gods glory ought to be deare Page 87 vnto all: Secondly, it concerneth all that looke for any por∣tion in the trueth: Thirdly, the Spirit that giueth sympathie to euery member of the bodie, and to all betweene them and the head, perswadeth and directeth thereunto. The vse is, to teach vs, to take to hart the case of the whole Church more, then our owne, and Gods glory most of all, so did Moses Exod. 32. 32. and Paule Rom. 9. 3. &c.
Doctrine. [let teares] grieuous affliction ought to bring * vs to exceeding sorrow for sinne. The reason is, because grie∣uous punishments doe argue the heynousnes of our offences. The vse is, to teach vs, the more wee are punished, the more earnestly to labour with our owne hearts to increase lamen∣tation in them.
Doctrine. [no rest] wee must not bee weary of vsing the * meanes of continuall repentance. The reason is, because we doe sinne continually. The vse is, to teach vs, that true repen∣tance standeth not in a fit of sorrow or prayer, and so an end: but in a continuall performance of those dueties, euery day in better maner then other.
Doctrine. [neither let] he that will doe his duetie in Gods * seruice aright, must not giue place to his owne affections. The reason is, because they must be subdued in spirituall ex∣ercises, else they either taint, or wholie defile all that is taken in hand. The vse is, to teach vs, to trie our selues how much we haue profited in godlinesse, by examining what rule wee haue ouer our affections.
[Arise, crie in the night] i. when others sleepe, declare and * shew forth thy lamentations [in the beginning of the watches] i. in the quiet of the night, when men are in a deepe sleepe, that so thou maist haue the lesse disturbance [power out thine heart like water before the face of the Lord] i. vtter vnto the Lord thine whole heart in greatest aboundance [lift vp thine hands towards him] i. declare by all signes thy desire to bee heard [for the life of thy young children] i. to see if hee will spare thy tender babes [that are ouerwhelmed with hunger in the corners of all thy streetes] i. that are starued and so dye in euery place of the Citie.
Page 88Doctrine. [night &c. watches] we must vse all the meanes we may, to fit vs to prayer, and to helpe vs to continue in it * without disturbance. The reason is, because els we performe it very vntowardly, such is the difficultie of it, & our corrup∣tion. The vse is, to teach vs, not to enter rashlie vpon so high an action, but with all circumspection and watchfulnesse o∣uer our owne corruptions, and Sathans sleights.
Doctrine. [heart] Our prayers must be feruent, or they will not be regarded. The reason is, because, God is of such * maiestie, as he looketh for all earnestnesse in our petitions. The vse is, first, to reproue the common manner of praying with lip labour onely, as a matter highly offensiue in the sight of the Lord. Secondly, it teacheth vs neuer to vnder∣take that great action, but with all carefull preparation and diligent attention vnto it.
Doctrine. [young children] in that one of the miseries, * which is most patheticall, is named, we learne this doctrine. Gods Ministers must vse the most forcible reasons that can be deuised, to perswade vnto godlinesse. The reason is, be∣cause all the meanes that can bee vsed, are scarce sufficient to perswade vs, such is our dulnesse. The vse is, to teach vs, that Ministers ought to be men of great skill, and dexteritie in perswading, els they shall doe little good.
[Behold O Lord and consider to whom thou hast done this]*i. O Lord regard thoroughly our great miseries, and weigh with thy selfe that thou hast not done thus to the heathen that know not thy name, but to thine owne people [shall the women] i. shall the most compassionate, and the most quezie stomached [eate their fruite] i. feede vpon their owne chil∣dren [children of a span long] i. being most tender and little, [shall the Priest and the Prophet] i. the ordinarie Ministers, and those that are extraordinarilie raised vp by thine owne hand [be slaine in the Sanctuary of the Lord] i. be killed in that place dedicated to holie vses, where they doe dispense thine owne ordinances?
Doctrine. [O Lord] they were in a desperate case, and yet pray for helpe, whereby wee learne this doctrine. The onely *Page 89 way of remedie in our greatest miseries, is to call vpon GOD in feruent praier. The reason is, because, first, it declareth that we are humbled, and our pride broken, in confessing no po∣wer to bee in our selues, and seeking helpe else where. Se∣condly, he is of greatest power, and none els can helpe vs. Thirdly, he will haue all the glorie of our deliuerance, Psal. 50. 15. The vse is, first, to reproue many sorts of offenders, as Atheists, that doe not acknowledge Gods hand in their mi∣series; Idolaters, that seeke helpe of others, then God him∣selfe; Infidels, that seeke to Sorcerers or Witches; those that relie so much vpon men, & those that pray coldly or careles∣lie. Secondly, that we must not giue ouer prayer, though our caseseemeth most desperate, but be the more earnest therin.
Doctrine. [behold and consider] by this vehement kinde of speech wee learne this doctrine: In right prayer vnto God, * the frame of our words must be according to our affection. The reason is, because, the heart chiefly doth pray, and sen∣deth out words according to the abundance of it, els is there hypocrisie. The vse is, to teach vs, first, that vehement words in ordinary prayer is vaine, and not in due time. Secondly, that dulnesse of affection in ordinarie prayer or lip labour at any time, is a great fault, seeing the words must be according to the heart. Thirdly, to labour our affections before we be∣gin, and in the action of prayer, that the mouth may speake from the abundance of the heart, and therefore to take heed of vsing a set prayer too much, lest it growe to a meere lip∣labour.
Doctrine. [to whom] The chiefest reason to moue the Lord * to pitie vs, is the remembrance of his couenant of mercie in Christ Iesus. The reason is, because it is the ground of our faith, without the benefite whereof we are enemies to God, and he to vs. The vse is, to teach vs, to labour to approue our selues the children of God, (by professing Christ aright, be∣leeuing stedfastlie in him, and liuing as becommeth the members of his bodie) els are our prayers abominable in his sight.
Doctrine. [shall the women eate] Gods wrath ouerturneth *Page 90 the course of nature in thē against whom it is bent. The rea∣son is, because it bringeth his curse which ouerturneth all, as it did man, woman, earth, serpent, &c. Gen. 3. The vse is, to teach vs, first, the horror of sinne, and fearefulnesse of Gods wrath vpon it: Secondly, to pray to God neuer to giue vs o∣uer to our heartes lusts, which is the heauiest iudgement that can befall vs.
Doctrine. [children] there is sufficient cause and matter * in all the infants of Gods people, why God should in his iu∣stice destroy them. The reason is, because they are conceiued and borne in sinne, Psal 51. 5. The vse is, to teach vs, first, what cause we haue to be humbled, that are infinitely more sinfull then infants: Secondly, to magnifie Gods exceeding mercie that (notwithstanding our manifolde sinnes) doth not destroy vs.
Doctrine. [shall the Priest, &c.] Crueltie exercised by the * hands of the wicked vpon children and ministers, is a speci∣all meanes to moue God to heare vs, when we pray for them. The reason is, because he hath promised speciall protection vnto them, and threatned seuerely to reuenge their wrongs. The vse is, to teach vs, especially to take heed that we doe them no harme, but doe them what good we can.
Doctrine. [in the sanctuarie] there is no Priuiledge of place * that can free vs from punishment, when we sinne against the Lord. The reason is, because, no place hath freedome to sinne in it: Secondly, no place had euer any priuiledges pro∣mised to it, but vpon condition of obedience. The vse is, first, to reproue the Papists, that thinke Gods promises tyed vnto Rome, notwithstanding the disobedience and rebellion of them that dwell therein: secondly, to teach vs, neuer to co∣uer our sinnes vnder the pretence of any priuiledge; for it will not serue to keepe vs from Gods hand, in the day of his anger.
[The young and the olde lay on the ground in the streetes] i.* all, of all conditions, lay slaine in the open places [my virgins and my young men are falne by the sworde] i. those that men are most loath to kill, and those that are strongest to defend Page 91 themselues, are cruellie killed [thou hast slaine in the day of thy wrath] i. thou hast set thy selfe to destroy, in exceeding measure when thou wast angrie [thou hast killed and not spa∣red] i. thou hast made hauocke of thy people, and shewed no maner of pitie.
Doctrine. [young and olde] when God punisherh a peo∣ple * for sinne, he spareth neither age nor sex. The reason is, because, first, vsually they are first incorrigible, as was this people the Iewes, 2. Chron. 36. 16. 17. &c. Secondly, God respecteth no persons, Rom. 2. 11. 12. Iob. 34. 19. The vse is, to teach vs, that seeing no excuse, either of ignorance, youth, age, birth, or any such priuiledge will serue our turne, there∣fore we should seriously and without delay turne vnto the Lord.
Doctrine. [in the streetes] it is a signe of Gods anger vp∣on * a people, when they want decent buriall, Psal. 79. 3. The reason is, because it is a good blessing of God to haue it, and the godly haue carefully sought it. Gen 23. 4. and 49. 29. Obiection. How is it a blessing, seeing the godly often want it, as Reuel. 11. 8. 9 &c. Answere. It is a temporall blessing, which God in his anger for sinne denying to his people, counteruaileth with a spirituall blessing of greater value.
Doctrine. [my virgins] the wicked will doe most barba∣rous * things, when God bridleth them not. The reason is, be∣cause Sathan doth often bring them to be past natural affec∣tion, Rom. 1. 30. The vse is, to teach vs, if we desire not to bee annoyed by the vngodly, to pray vnto the Lord that hee would restraine their rage.
Doctrine. [not spared] as God is full of mercy in his long * suffering, so is his anger vnappeasable when it breaketh out against the sonnes of men: for the reason, and vse hereof, see vers. 2. Doct. 2.
[Thou hast called as in a solemne feast] i. Thou hast from * all places, in great aboundance (as people are called to some great assemblie) called together at once against me [my ter∣rors round about me] i. my griefes and feares are on euery side [so that in the day of the Lords wrath none escaped nor remai∣ned]Page 92i. when God shewed his anger vpon me, all were de∣stroyed [those that I haue nourished and brought vp] i. my tender children that I haue cared for, from the wombe [hath mine enemie consumed] i. are cruellie destroyed by such as hate me, and therefore shewed no pittie vpon them.
Doctrine. [thou hast called] God raiseth vp the wickedest, and imployeth them to punish his own seruants, when they * sinne, Isay 5. 26. 8. 7. The reason is, because they are the roddes that God▪ vsually correcteth his children withall. Obiection. Doth God then raise vp their malice? Answere. not as it is wicked, but as it is an earnest affection, which is good as it is from God, but most euill in them. The vse is, to teach vs, to feare the Lord, and walke carefully in his waies, least he raise the wicked against vs to consume vs.
Doctrine. [none escaped] none can escape Gods punish∣ments, * whome he meaneth to punish. The reason is, because his power and mighty hand is eueiy where, Psalm. 139. 7. &c. The vse is, to teach vs, with all reuerence and feare to walke humblie before him, that we may haue his fauourable pro∣tection to shield vs.
Doctrine. [those that haue, &c.] the children of impeni∣tent sinners, are often taken away, and prosper not to their * comfort. The reason is, because in Gods displeasure all things are accursed vnto vs, Deut. 28. 15. &c. The vse is, to teach vs, in all things that we take in hand, and wherein wee desire to haue comfort, to praye alwaies vnto the Lord to blesse them vnto vs.
The third Chapter.
I Am the man] i. I the Church of GOD being one bodie, am like vnto a man; for heere the * Prophet changeth, from the person of a woman (as before) to the person of a man; and spea∣keth not of himselfe alone, but of the whole Church vnder the person of one mā [that hath seen affliction]Page 93i. that hath had experience of all sortes of troubles [in the rod of his indignation] i. whilest he (to wit the Lord) corrected me with his rodde, that his exceeding anger against me for my sinnes, caused him to lay vpon me.
Doctrine. [the man] the Church and children of God, are * the most subiect vnto affliction of all other people. Exam∣ples hereof are the Israelites in generall, Iaacob, Moses, Iob, Dauid: Christ himselfe in particular. The reason is, because, first, God will not haue them in loue with this world: Se∣condly, Sathan and the wicked beare an vnappeaseable ma∣lice against them: Thirdly, they are thereby made fittest to serue God and obey his lawes, Psal. 119. 67. The vse is, to teach vs, first, not to looke for any other condition, if we de∣sire soundly to continue in the seruice of God, Luke 14. 27. else afflictions when they come, prooue either intollerable vnto vs, or cause vs to fall away: Secondly, to esteeme afflic∣tions not a note of infamie, but rather a speciall mark of Gods fauour in his Children.
Doctrine. [I haue seene, &c.] the whole people speaking as one man, teacheth vs this doctrine. Euery member of the * Church of God, hath his portion in afflictions, one way or other, 2. Tim. 3. 12. for either he shall be crossed in his wife, children, kinred, or outward estate; or else in his minde, by grieuous temptations; experience of all estates and ages doth shew it to be so. The reason is, because, first, euery one hath need thereof: Secondly, it maketh them conformable vnto their head Christ Iesus, Phil. 3. 4. 5. The vse is, first, to confute their opinion that perswade themselues, though o∣thers suffer, yet they may escape. Secondly, to teach vs, that we can no way escape afflictions, except we renounce the true profession of religion.
Doctrine. [in the rodde of his] the godly (when their * iudgement is vpright) doe alwaies acknowleege Gods hand the principall agent in their punishment. The reason is, be∣cause they know him to haue all power in his hand. The vse is, to teach vs, first, in all things to glorifie the Lord, so did Iob. 1. 21. &c. Secondly, to take our troubles patiently, Page 94 seeing they proceede from him that is Almightie, and lo∣ueth vs.
Doctrine. [indignation] God dooth not vse to afflict his people, but when their sinnes giue iust matter for his anger * to worke vpon. The reason is, because he is iust and puni∣sheth none vniustly. The vse is, to teach vs, first, in all our af∣flictions, to acknowledge our sinnes to be the cause thereof. Secondly, to labour the reformation of our sinnes, if we looke to be rid of our troubles.
[He hath let me] i. he hath by his power drawne me [and*caused me to goe] i. inforced me to enter [into darkenesse] in∣to great and grieuous troubles, which is a condition subiect to errour, if God support vs not especially [and not into light] i. not into prosperity or flourishing estate which heretofore I haue enioyed.
Doctrine. [Led and caused me, &c.] Afflictions are against the naturall desires of the godlie. The reason is, because they * are bitter to flesh and blood; whereas naturally wee desire the things that delight flesh and blood. The vse is, to teach vs, first, the cause why afflictions are so grieuous vnto vs, be∣cause they crosse our affections: Secondly, God doth it, least we should be too much in loue with the world.
Doctrine. [darkenesse] afflictions are both grieuous and * dangerous vnto the godly, except the Lord doe specially as∣sist them. The reason is, because, first, they remoue worldly delightes from vs: Secondly, they bring many sorrowes vp∣on vs: Thirdly, we are quickly very weary therewith: Fourth∣ly, we are most weake in them, and vtterly vnable to stand vnder them. The vse is, to teach vs, first, that we are not to be stoicall, or vnaffected with troubles when they are vpon vs: Secondly, to be most carefull to seeke to God, and vse all good meanes that we may be able to stand firme in the day of triall.
Doctrine. [not into light] the consideration of those bles∣sings * which we haue lost, is a speciall meane to affect vs with the crosse, when it is vpon vs. The reason is, because we e∣steeme more highly of them when they are gone, and we Page 95 feele the contrarie, then when we had them. The vse is, to teach vs, first, to be the more sorie for our sinnes that caused such an alteration: Secondly, to be the more earnest to de∣sire and to pray to be restored into our former good estate againe.
[Onely he is turned against me] i. he setteth all his power * against me, and none else [he turneth his hand all the day] i. he setteth his stroakes to light vpon me continually.
Doctrine. [Onely] God punisheth (in comparison) none * in this life, saue his seruants onely. The reason is, because, first, he loueth them, and wil not let them goe on in sinne: Second∣ly, eternall punishments are prepared for the wicked, there∣fore are they the lesse punished here. The vse is, to teach vs, first, in the multitude and the greatnesse of afflictions, to ac∣knowledge Gods great mercy, and to labour to take them patiently, and contentedly: Secondly, to esteeme their case fearefull that are without afflictions, seeing it is a signe that they are bastards and not children, Hebr. 12. 8.
Doctrine. [turned] as God declareth all his mercie to vs in his fauour, so are all his arrowes against vs in his displea∣sure; * the Israelites are a manifest example hereof. The reason is, because, first, their sinnes bee greatest that haue had the most meanes to keepe them in obedience: Secondly, Gods iustice must punish according to the qualitie of the offence. The vse is, first, to shew vs the cause why God punisheth his seruants more then others in this world: Secondly, to teach vs, the greater blessings wee haue receiued to bee the more carefull that wee prooue not thanklesse, least we receiue the greater iudgements.
Doctrine. [against mee] God is neuer indeed against his, * but it seemed so in their present feeling, this is the doctrine. Gods people seeme often in their own perswasion to be cast off of God, and pursued as his enemies: Iob and Dauid are notable examples hereof. The reason is, because we iudge according to our present feeling, which is a greatfaulte. The vse is, first, to shew how it is in our nature to be in extremes; either too secure or too much cast downe: Secondly, to teach Page 96 vs to be staide in a patient expectation of his mercie, and not to despaire though our estate seeme neuer so miserable.
Doctrine. [all the day] as God is long or hee punish, so is he long or hee cease punishing of his children. The reason * is, first, that in his iustice, correction might insome mea∣sure recompence the abuse of his patience: secondly, that hee might frame vs aright, which is hard to doe, and long first, because of our vntowardnesse. The vse is to teach vs, first, not to looke for present riddance from any crosse: secondly, not to despayre though we haue suffered long, and prayed long, and yet are not relieued, but to abide it patiently and pray more earnestlie.
[My flesh & my skin hath he caused to wax old] i. the markes * of his heauie hand against me for my sinne, appeareth in the wearing away of my flesh, and withering of my skinne [hee hath broken my bones] i. taken away all my strength, as Psal. 6. 3. 4, Isay 38. 13. see chap. 1. vers. 13. and that with grea∣test torments, for such is the breaking of the bones.
Doctrine. [caused to waxe olde] Gods punishments for * sinne doe often appeare euen in the bodie of man. The rea∣son is, because, first, sinne is committed in the bodie: second∣ly, the body being the more sensible part, might affect vs the more when we feele Gods punishments in it: thirdly, that o∣thers may haue the more cleare example in beholding our bodies punished. The vse is, to teach vs, when we are puni∣shed in our bodies, first, to acknowledge Gods iustice in it for our sinne, which worldlings will not doe, but doe account thereof onely as an ordinarie thing: secondly, to ascribe it to his mercy that correcteth vs in this life, to learne amend∣ment by it.
Doctrine. [my flesh and my skin] the wasting and withe∣ring of the body is to be acknowledged a punishment from * God; and the flourishing of the same to be a speciall bles∣sing. The reason is, because we were created in a flourishing condition: the contrarie comming vpon vs for sinne. The vse is, to teach vs, to praise God for the health and flourish∣ing of the bodie, more then we doe (for that it is ordinarie) Page 96 and to confesse our sinnes the causes of the other.
Doctrine. [broken my bones] there is no torment so grie∣uous, * but the godly feele it, when Gods hand is vppon them for their sinnes. The reason is, because first, his anger is most grieuous and intollerable: secondly, hee would haue vs thoroughlie affected and humbled. The vse is, to teach vs, patientlie to endure any extremity that the Lord laieth vpon vs, and not despayre vnder the waight of it.
[He hath builded against me] i. he hath euery way enclo∣sed * me with bulwarkes and ramparts, that I cannot escape nor withstand his hand [he hath compassed me about with gall and wearisomnesse] i. hee hath filled me with bitternesse and most tedious wearisomenesse.
Doctrine. [builded] the punishments that God laieth vp∣on vs, are inuincible, and no way to be escaped. The reason is, * because, first, of his greatnesse and the infinitenesse of his displeasure when it sheweth foorth it selfe: secondly, our weakenesse which then especially we feele. The vse is, to teach vs, first, to take heede that we doe not by our disobedi∣ence incurre his heauie displeasure: secondly, to humble our selues vnder his mighty hand when he smiteth.
Doctrine. [Gall] the afflictions of the godly are often∣times the most grieuous things that can bee felt: Examples, * Israel in Egypt, Iob in his agony, and many others. The rea∣son is, because God would haue them feele a taste of his an∣ger, and of the desart of their owne sinnes. The vse is, first, to teach vs, how iust cause we haue to be humbled: secondly, to let vs see the great mercie of God to vs, that might punish vs most extreamely and eternally in the torments of hell.
Doctrine. [weariesomenesse] the godly are often brought in this life to feele nothing but griefe and sorrow. The reason * is, because, God would thereby bring them to a thorough hatred of this world, and longing after heauen. The vse is, to teach vs, first, how hardly wee are sufficiently humbled, that neede to bee so sharpely dealt withall: Secondly, that grieuous and continuall afflictions are mostnecessarie for vs.
[He hath set me in darke places] i. he hath brought me in∣to *Page 97 great and grieuous troubles, &c. see vers. 2. [as they that be dead long agone] i. like to them that are long since dead, and both past remembrance, and hope of reuiuing into their former worldly estate.
Doctrine. [darke place] afflictions are both grieuous and * dangerous vnto the godly, except the Lorde doe specially as∣sist them therein. For the reason and vse hereof, see verse. 2. Doctr. 2.
Doctrine. [dead long agone] God often bringeth his peo∣ple * to bee of a desperate estate in their outward condition: examples hereof are, the Israelites at the red sea, Iob, Da∣uid, and many others. The reason is, because, first, God will declare his power the more euidently in their deliuerance: Secondly, that it may appeare that there is no helpe in man. The vse is, to teach vs, first, not to thinke it strange when God dealeth so with vs: secondly, neuer to despayre though wee fall into such extremities; but still to rest vpon the Lord, and to hope for his outstretched arme to deliuer vs.
[He hath hedged mee about] i. hee hath compassed mee * round about with troubles as an hedge [that I cannot get out] i. that by no meanes I can escape and be deliuered [hee hath made my chaines heauie] i. he hath made my calamities that I am hedged in withall, most heauie and burthenous vnto me.
Doctrine. [he hath hedged &c.] As the afflictions of the godly are many, so are they not able to be escaped by the * strength of flesh and bloud, Psalm. 22. 12. 16. & 44. 22. The reason is, as in the verse. 5. Doct. 1. The vse is, to teach vs, first, to feare God aboue all, seeing wee cannot auoyd his stroake. Secondly, to bee humbled by our seuerall troubles, seeing wee cannot by stoutnesse or impatiencie bee deliue∣red.
Doctrine. [chaines heauie] Our afflictions in Gods anger are often made most heauie, yea intollerable vnto vs. The rea∣son * is, because, first, of the greatnes of his anger. Secondly, of the obstinacie of our nature not els subdued, Psal. 38. 3. &c. 69. 1. &c. 107. 10. and 105. 18. &c. The vse is, to teach vs, to Page 98 take heed of striuing or murmuring against God, seeing he is strongest and must preuaile.
[Also when I crie and shoute] i. When I pray, and for ear∣nestnesse * doe lift vp my voyce aloude [he shutteth out my prayer] i. he graunteth not any requests, but seemeth vtterly to reiect them.
Doctrine. [when I crye] Afflictions doe make the dullest * and most froward of Gods children to crye for helpe, Leuit. 26. 41. Psal. 107. 6. 19. 28. The reason is, because, troubles do first breake the vntamed heart of man: secondly, take away blind pride, and make vs see our selues. The vse is, to teach vs, first, to see the corruption of our nature, that needeth such meanes, or els will not rightly be framed. Secondly, that affli∣ctions are no signes of reprobation, seeing the godly feele them, & waxe the better by them. Thirdly, to giue our selues (especially in affliction) to fasting and praier, seeing the god∣ly haue done so, and got much comfort thereby.
Doctrine. [also] The heauiest plague that man can en∣dure * in this life, is to haue God to refuse to heare his prayer when he calleth vpon him in distresse, Prouer 1. 28. lere. 14. 11, 12. The reason is, because, wee can looke for no helpe in our miseries but from him. The vse is, first, to shewe the ex∣ceeding follie of the presumptuous, that doe deferre to re∣pent, thinking to be heard at any time. Secondly, to teach vs not to put off amendment from day to day, seeing God refu∣seth to heare, when his anger is gone out against sinne.
Doctrine. [shutteth out my prayer] God often deferreth to heare the prayer of his children, when yet he purposeth in * due time to graunt their requests, Psal. 22. 1. &c. 77. 8. &c. Obiection, why then are they commanded to pray alwaies? Answere, because he hath promised to heare their prayers, though he hath limited no time thereunto. The reason why he doth so, is first, to trie their patience, & exercise their faith: secondly, to moue them to continue and to grow in feruen∣cie. The vse is, to teach vs, that (howsoeuer our naturall affe∣ction perswadeth otherwise) it is for our good to be deferred now and then, in the obtaining of those petitions, which we Page 99 aske of God according to his will.
[He hath stopped vp my waies] i. vtterly depriued me of a∣ny * meanes to escape [with hewen stone] i. most strongly and closely [he hath turned away my paths] i. disappoynted me of all my deuises, that I haue taken in hand for my libertie. This verse is in effect the same with the 5. and 7. verses.
Doctrine. [he hath stopped] This being in effect the same that often hath hetherunto been sayd, teacheth vs this doc∣trine. * The often repetition of the greatnesse of our afflictions is profitable for vs. The reason is, because, it worketh vs the better to true sorrowe for it, which is the end of it. The vse is, to teach vs, first, that we are very dull and hard to learne how greatly God is offended with vs. Secondly, that we must bee truely humbled before we can thoroughly repent.
Doctrine. [stopped] when God mindeth to continue our * afflictions, he will frustrate all the meanes vsed to bring vs out of them. The reason is, because, no meanes can preuaile contrarie to his purpose. The vse is, to teach vs, whensoeuer we are crossed in our deuises, not to fret at the instruments thereof, but to acknowledge it to be the worke of God.
Doctrine. [my waies] No counsels of mē cā preuaile except God do blesse thē, Psal. 127. 1. &c. The reason is, because all * power to performe any thing is from him alone. The vse is to teach vs, first, to be sure to haue warrant in the word for all our enterprises. Secondly, to pray alwayes to God for his assistance in euery thing that we take in hand.
Doctrine. [turned away my pathes] God scattereth all the deuises of his people, so long as he is angry with them, Isay. 29. 15. 16. * The reason is, because that he would thereby let them see that it is he that doth all things. The vse is to teach vs, aboue all other things to seeke reconciliation with the Lord, so shall our waies be prospered with his hand.
[He was vnto me a Beare lying in wayte] i. his heauy hand was to me as a Beare which teareth and commeth on the * sodaine, hauing wayted secretly for opportunitie to annoy me [a lyon in secret places] i. he was most strong and yet hid his power till he came vpon me vnawares.
Page 100Doctrine. [a Beare &c.] God often laieth vpon his peo∣ple such roddes, as bee not onely sharpe and seuere, but also * violent and inuincible, so as those that feele them can no waies auoide them, Hos. 13. 7, 8. Psal 50. 22. The reason is, because, first, his anger is heauie of it selfe, seeing he is infi∣nite. Secondly, our sinnes are great and grieuous, deseruing seuere punishment. Thirdly, our strength is most weake whē we haue to doe with the Lord. The vse is, to teach vs, first, to reuerence and feare him aboue all, that can cast both bodie and soule into hell fire, and to take heed of sinne that maketh him angrie with vs; but wee often doe cleane contrarie: for we feare men so much, as to auoyd their displeasure, wee let not to sinne against the Lord. Secondly, to be humbled vn∣der Gods mightie hand, whensoeuer he laieth any afflictions vpon vs.
Doctrine. [a Lyon lying in secret] Gods dearest children * are not able to stand vnder the waight of Gods plagues, whē he visiteth them according to their sinnes, Psal. 2. 12. & 38. 3, 4. Iob. 3. 11. &c. The same appeareth by Christs agonie, when he did feele Gods anger against our sinnes, which hee did beare, Luk. 23. 30. Math. 26. 38. & 27. 46. The reason is, because his anger is heauie, our sinnes are grieuous, and wee weake: as in the last Doctrine. The vse is, first, to confute the errour of satisfaction, seeing we cannot answere to God one for a thousand, Iob. 9. 2, 3, &c. Secondly, to teach vs, how hard∣ly our great corruption is done away. Thirdly, that we may see how needfull it is for vs now and then to feele Gods an∣ger against vs, that wee may thereby learne to knowe our selues, and haue our stubborne hearts broken.
[He hath ouerturned my waies] i. he hath turned my ac∣tions * cleane to another end then I ment them [and pulled me in pieces] i. he hath scattered and dispersed both Church and Common wealth [he hath made me desolate] i. he hath de∣priued me of friends, wealth, and all other meanes to doe me good.
Doctrine. [ouerturned] GOD often turneth the waies of∣men to another end then they aymed at, in going about the *Page 101 same: Examples hereof, Iosephs brethren selling him into Egypt; The Iewes putting Christ to death, &c. The reason is, because man purposeth many things peruerslie, which God disposeth to his glorie, Prouer. 16. 1. 33. The vse is, to teach vs, first, to magnifie the mightie power and wisedome of God in all things. Secondly, to acknowledge (as the trueth is, and often appeareth to vs by experience) that when he al∣tereth our purposes and actions to another end, it is the onlie wisest and best way for vs that could be.
Doctrine. [pulled in pieces] God often bringeth a people, * yea and one man, vnto a most desperate condition, that see∣meth vnrecouerable in the iudgement of flesh and bloud. The reason is, because he will shewe his mightie power in bringing to the gates of hell, and restoring thence againe. The vse is, to teach vs, neuer to despayre, but still to trust in the Lord whatsoeuer extremities we fall into.
Doctrine. [desolate] God often leaueth his people desti∣tute * of all outward helpe and comfort: for the reason and vse hereof, see Chap. 1. vers. 2. Doct. 5.
[He hath bent his bowe] i. he hath prepared his power, and shewed his purpose to deale seuerely with me [and made*me a marke for the arrowes] i. he hath performed that his pur∣pose in directing all his stroakes, so as they light onelie vpon me.
Doctrine.] God striketh not his seruants so suddenly, but he giueth them warning afore hand, though they doe not al∣waies * take knowledge of it, Amos 3. 7, 8. Examples hereof, 2. Chron. 36. 15. The reason is, because, he is slowe to anger, and desireth rather our repentance, Psal. 81. 13. The vse is, to teach vs, first, to acknowledge Gods great mercie towards vs, in that he giueth vs warning by the preaching of his word. Secondly, to take heed that wee neglect not his mercie offe∣red vs by his word, lest in steed thereof wee feele his heauie iudgement.
Doctrine. [a marke for his arrowes] The afflictions of the godlie in this life be aboue the afflictions of al other people: * for the reason and vse hereof, see Chap. 1. vers. 12. Doct. 5.
Page 102[He caused the arrowes of his quiuer] i. hee hath made the * strokes that he hath laid vpon me [to enter into my reynes] i. to pearse my most inward and secret partes, to wit both of body and soule.
Doctrine. The plagues that God layeth vpon his people * doe not onely touch their bodies, but also they enter in most grieuous manner into their hearts and soules, Psal. 14. 2. 3. The reason is, because, first, else were they not afflicted as Christ their head was, Heb. 5. 7. &c. Secondly, the soule first and chiefly sinneth. The vse is to teach vs, first, not to de∣spayre though we be afflicted both in soule and body. Se∣condly, to labour the more in the word and prayer, accor∣ding as our afflictions are greater & more grieuous vpon vs.
[I was a derision] i. I seemed as a iust matter of mockerie [to all my people] i. to all those that had been friends to mee, * and familiar with me; especially my brethren that are fallen away in these troubles [their song all the day long] i. they made themselues sporte to recount in reprochfull manner my miserie.
Doctrine. [derision] The godly are vsually more sub∣iect to reproches, then any other people. Examples here∣of * bee in all ages, as, Habel, Isaac, Israel often, Dauid, the Prophets, Christ, and his Apostles. The reason is, first, be∣cause godlinesse seemeth meere foolishnes to them that are naturally minded. Secondly, they shew (as they thinke) their owne wisdome in disdainful contemning of the godly. The vse is to teach vs, first, that reproches and scoffes are notes of the godly. Secondly, to prepare our selues to bee subiect vnto the same condition, if wee looke to be of the number of those that walke in true godlinesse.
Doctrine. This following vpon the mentioning of their * afflictions, teacheth this doctrine. Then are the godly most derided by the wicked, when the hand of God is heauiest vp∣onthem, to afflict them. Examples hereof are, Dauid, Iob, Ieremy, Christ, &c. The reason is, because, first, man iudgeth after the outward apparance: Secondly, the godly seeme then to be in a desperate condition. The vse is, to teach vs, Page 104 first, to knowe the disposition of the wicked, who (whatsoe∣uer they seeme to be to vs in our prosperity) will shew their malice against vs in our afflictions: Secondly, to looke for reproach in euery time of trouble, for else it is nothing.
Doctrine. [to all] all sortes of people (though diuers one * from another) doe deride the godly in their aduersitie. This is verified in the Examples of all ages. The reason is, because, whatsoeuer a wicked man loueth, he will be sure to hate the trueth, and consequently the professors thereof. The vse is to teach vs, not to expect the aduancement of the trueth from worldlings; for wisdome is iustified of her owne chil∣dren, Mat. 11. 19.
Doctrine. [my people] Those that are neerest vnto the * godly, and not fearing God, will be crosses vnto them in the time of trouble: Examples, Iobs wife, 2. 9. and his friends, 4. 6. &c. & many others. The reason is, because the bond of their loue is earthly, and can administer no help to the inner man. The vse is, to teach vs, not to be dismaied when Parents, kins∣folke, &c. forsake vs: for so it hath been often with the god∣ly. Secondly, That religion is not to be professed, neither is it supported by any worldly reasons, or meanes; but by the spirite, and for the hope of life by it.
Doctrine. [their song] the wicked doe greatly delight * themselues in mocking the godly. This appeareth by the ex∣ample of the foes of Isaac, Iob, Dauid, Christ, and others. The reason is, because, first, thereby they thinke to suppresse and disgrace the trueth for euer. Secondly, they think their own follie by that meanes well iustified and aduanced. The vse is, to declare vnto vs what enmitie the vngodly doe beare to the trueth. Secondly, to teach vs to walke wisely least wee giue them matter of triumphing.
Doctrine. [all the day] The wicked are neuer satisfied, but doe still continue their hatred against the godly. The reason * is, first, because they doe greatly delight therein. Second∣ly, they are afraid that they haue neuer done enough to de∣fame them. The vse is, to teach vs, to looke for continuance in afflictions, when we are in them, & to vse all good meanes Page 105 to enable vs to beare it patiently.
[Hee hath filled mee] i. hee hath euery way, and in e∣uery * parte of my soule and body fraught mee [with grea∣test bitternesse] i. with the greatest number and measure of anguish and sorrowe; for the hebrue worde is the plu∣rall number, and importeth so much [hee hath made mee drunken with wormewood] i. he hath with the aboundance of sorrowes, euen taken my sences away from me, and made me as one bereaued of vnderstanding.
Doctrine. [he hath] This sorrow did arise especially from the derision they were in by their aduersaries, and yet it be∣ing * ascribed vnto the Lord, teacheth vs this doctrine. In all our afflictions we must looke vnto the Lord that siniteth, and not vnto the instruments thereof. For the reason and vse hereof, see chap. 1. vers. 5 doct. 5.
Doctrine. [filled me] This great griefe spoken of vpon the * derision that they were in, teacheth this doctrine. There is no outward trouble more grieuous to the godly, then to be reproched by their aduersaries in the time of their affliction. The reason is, because, first, we are much comforted in the hope that our sufferings shall aduance the truth, which pro∣fessed derision hindereth. Secondly, such reproches are ac∣companyed with much blasphemie and wickednes. Thirdly, such dealing carrieth many weake professors from the affe∣cting of our cause and sufferings. The vse is, to teach vs; to take to heart the reproches that we suffer for the trueth, euen more then our other afflictions. Secondly, not to be dismaied as though God were not with vs, albeit these things seeme heauy vnto vs.
Doctr. [bitternesse] The godly haue often vpon them al & the greatest griefes that can be deuised. The reason is, first, * that which is the reason of the first doct. of the first ver. of this chap. Secondly, that God might shew his detestation of sin euē in punishing his own so seuerely. Thirdly, that they may be truely humbled, and sufficiently, which the stoninesse of our nature will hardly yeeld vnto. The vse is, to teach vs, first, to looke for such extremities, and not to promise our selues Page 106 securitie in worldly peace. Secondly, to esteeme those heauy crosses good for vs, howsoeuer they be heauy vnto the out∣ward man.
Doctrine. [he hath filled] It is the Lord aboue that fra∣meth our hearts to be affected with our afflictions, else they * remaine stonie and astonished. The reason is, because, first, we are naturally hard harted. Secondly, none can deale with the heart but God alone. The vse is to teach vs, first, to ac∣knowledge the exceeding hardnesse of our hearts naturally: which euery one that rightly discerneth of his owne estate hath experience of. Secondly, to pray earnestly vnto the Lord to mollifie our hard hearts, and to make them supple and pliable to his holy will.
Doctrine. The godly may not be as Stoickes, but must be * most passionate in their afflictions. The reason is, because, first, their sinnes procure them their troubles, which ought to grieue them most of all, that God is offended with them. Se∣condly, God afflicteth that we shuld repent, which we cānot doe without great remorse. The vse is, to teach vs, in our afflictions to labour our affections hereunto; which is done, first, by meditation of our estate, how corrupt by nature and how miserable by sinne it is. Secondly, by earnest and con∣tinuall prayer to God to frame vs vnto his liking. Thirdly, by watching ouer our owne wayes and shunning the oc∣casions of sinne.
Doctr. [drunken] The godly are often so loaden with mise∣ries, * that they are exceedingly distracted ther withal, both in body and minde. The reason is, because they furmount their reach and natural strength. The vse is to teach vs, not to despayre, though we neither seeme able to beare the bur∣then God layeth vpon vs, nor see any issue or meanes to bee rid out of it.
[He hath broken my teeth with a stone] i: hee hath made * my paine most sensible and intollerable, for such is the brea∣king of teeth [he hath throwne me downe vnder the ashes] i. he hath brought me to the lowest estate, and made mee the most abiect of all others.
Page 107Doctrine. [he hath broken] The expressing of the same thing in so many tearmes and sentences, teacheth vs this * doctrine. We must labour in our meditations to exemplifie, and enlarge vnto our owne vnderstanding the miseries that we doe suffer in the time of our afflictions. The rea∣son is, because, first, else we vse to passe them ouer with a sigh. Secondly, we shall the more equally iudge of them. The vse is, to teach vs thereby, to make our hearts the fitter to powre out our suplications vnto the Lord, for the feruen∣cie of our prayer is according to the seriousnes of our medi∣tations. Secondly, that the Lord may see the carefulnesse of our spirits to ponder rightly our wayes, which is a notable motiue to cause him to heare vs.
Doctrine. [with a stone] The Lord may bring his children * for their sinnes, into the greatest worldly paine, and yet loue them; Examples hereof, are many in the scriptures, and in experience: for the reason, and vse hereof, see chap. 1. ver. 12. doct. 5.
Doctrine. [vnder the ashes] It is not for the godly to stand * vpon any worldly credite to cleere their cause withall, but onely vpon the testimonie of a good conscience, and the vp∣rightnesse of their wayes. The reason is, because God often taketh all outward blessings from his seruants. The vse is, to teach vs, to contemne (in comparison of a good conscience) al that flesh and blood admireth, seeing it is so transitorie, & labor aboue all to be sound in the feare and seruice of God.
[Thus thou remouest my soule from peace] i. by this means * thou vtterly takest all quietnesse from my heart and soule [I forgate prosperity] i. I haue been so long inured vnto troubles, that prosperitie is vnto me, as if I had neuer known it.
Doctrine. [my soule] The outward troubles of the body * doe often procure affliction to the soule. The reason is, be∣cause, first of the sympathie betwixt the one and the other. Secondly, the soule is caried in the body, and must consider the accidents thereof. Thirdly, the soule is chiefe in the sin that procureth affliction vnto the bodie. The vse is, to teach Page 108 vs to labour the soule vnto repentance whensoeuer the bo∣dy hath any trouble.
Doctrine. [my soule farre from peace] It is the heauiest of * all crosses that we can feele in this life, to want the peace of the soule. The reason is, because, first, it is the chiefe and most sensible part of man. Secondly, it respecteth God and his mercie or iustice: but the body hath regard vnto things that are belowe. The vse is to teach vs, first, to pittie them that are afflicted in minde especially, and to praye for them most earnestly. Secondly, to pray to God in our outward affliction to keepe vs in the peace of the soule, so shall al out∣ward troubles be light vnto vs.
Doctrine. [I forgate] God often bringeth his children so farre from prosperitie that they are out of vse with it, and * thinke not of it. The reason is, because, first, they are so much accustomed there withall. Secondly, they see so little hope of peace and worldly successe. The vse is to teach vs, first, that afflictions are ordinary and continuall exercises for the god∣ly. Secondly, God giueth great patience and contentment to those that make right vse of their troubles.
[And I said] i. vpon the consideration hereof I thought this in mine heart, and vttered it with my mouth [my stength*and my hope] i. my abilitie to beare these miseries, and hope to be freed of them; which graces I once had a liuely feeling of [is perished from the Lord] i. the Lord hath vtterly brought them to nought, as if they had neuer been.
Doctrine. This verse generally teacheth this doctrine: The godly are often brought to such extremitie, as they find * no way out of it. This appeareth verified in many examples in the scriptures, and by daylie experience. The reason of it is, because, first, God will shew thereby our want of power to help our selues. Secondly, it maketh the foes more inso∣lent, to hasten thereby their ouerthrow. Thirdly, Gods po∣wer is made more manifest in our deliuerance. The vse is to teach vs, first, not to esteeme it a condition which the godly are not subiect vnto, to be so low brought. Secondly, when it is our case to learne therby, first, reuerence of Gods migh∣tie Page 109 power and wisdome: secondly, humility: thirdly, patience: fourthly, feruencie in prayer, fiftly, longing after the fruition of the ioyes of heauen, where all miseries haue an end.
Doctrine. [strength and hope] according to our strength, * generally of knowledge and particularly of feeling, so doe we hope. The reason is, because hope is grounded vpon faith, and faith vpon knowledge, without which there is no hope at all, Heb. 11. 1. The vse is, first, to confute their vani∣tie, that say they haue hope when they neither haue any knowledge or care to haue it: Secondly, to teach vs to be as carefull to growe in knowledge, as we are to haue an assured hope.
Doctrine. [my strength and my hope] the godly in their af∣flictions * doe recount what blessings they haue lost. So did Dauid. The reason is, because, first, of the loue and delight that they had therein, which is most remembred when it is lost: Secondly, that their hearts may be made the more af∣fected with griefe for the losse thereof, and with desire to be restored thereunto againe. The vse is, to teach vs, first, to take the same course when we are depriued of any blessing, if we desire to be thoroughly affected there withall. Secondly, to applie it to our selues, as a remedie against despayre: for the consideration of Gods former mercie, giueth hope that he will be fauourable againe; seeing hee is no changeling; & whom he loueth once, to the end he loueth them, Ioh. 13. 1.
Doctrine. [is perished] the godly doe not alwaies feele the comfort of Gods fauour in the like measure; this is verified, * not only in the examples of Iob, Dauid, Ieremie, &c. but also in the continuall experience of Gods most excellent ser∣uants. The reason is, because, first, God will make it the more delightfull vnto them by intermission: Secondly, that they may see what they are, if God should leaue them vnto them∣selues: Thirdly, that they may be the more carefull to vse all good meanes to keepe it whilest they haue it. The vse is, to teach vs, first, not to be dismaied though now and then God hide the fauour of his countenance from vs, seeing he vseth to doe so with his dearest children: Secondly, to make the Page 110 best of our comforts whilest we doe enioy them, that the re∣counting thereof may support vs in the time of distresse.
Doctrine. [perished] the godly are often so grieuously af∣flicted, * as they growe to a great measure of desperation: Ex∣amples hereof, are Iob, Dauid, Ieremy, and many other in all ages. The reason is, because, first, of their great weakenesse when God that is strong, trieth them. Secondly, they iudge according to their present feeling. Thirdly, of the conscience of their desertes for sinne. Fourthly, the aboundance of natu∣rall infidelitie, which alwaies being in vs, doth then appeare to haue the greatest power. The vse is, to teach vs, first, when distrust groweth strongest in vs, not to thinke any other, but that God both may, and will raise vs vp againe: so must wee also iudge of others in the like case. Secondly, neuer to yeeld our hearts to be ruled by despayre (howsoeuer it doe long and mightily assaile vs) but to vse all good meanes to stay vs: as, first, reading and hearing the word: Secondly, daylie and earnest prayer: Thirdly, the meditation of our former com∣forts: Fourthly, the consideration of fauour restored to other in the like case: Fiftly, and last of all, to bee resolued, as Iob was, Chap. 13. 15. to trust still in the Lord, though he should kill vs.
[Remembring mine affliction and my weeping] i. when I call to minde my grieuous miseries, and the sorrowe wrought in * me thereby [the wormewood and the gall] i. the bitternesse that was in it.
Doctrine. [Remembring] the deepe waying of Gods pu∣nishments for sinne felt in times past, doth (often) most ef∣fectually * moue the heart vnto great lamentation. The rea∣son is, because, first, it calleth to minde Gods anger for sinne, which is more heauie to the godly to thinke vpon, then any thing in the world. Secondly, it doth bring againe (as it were) the feeling of paines endured, which recalleth the same (or greater) feare. Thirdly, it administreth doubt whether Gods anger be appeased or no. The vse is, to teach vs, that it is ne∣cessarie for vs to be afflicted, because it maketh vs more rightly to consider of our estate. Secondly, when wee desire Page 111 to be humbled, and increase in feeling, we must meditate of our sinnes, and the punishments for them, which heretofore we haue felt.
Doctrine. [affliction, and weeping] though griefe and sor∣rowe * be naturally the effects of affliction, yet in the godly it must be, because of the sinne committed, and not for the pe∣nalty sustained. The reason is, because, first, it is sinne that causeth affliction. Secondly, God afflicteth vs to bring vs to repentance. The vse is, to teach vs, first, in euery affliction to search out our sinnes the cause thereof. Secondly, to labour our hearts to true repentance, which is the cause why wee must be humbled.
Doctrine. [the wormewood and the gall] i. in recounting a∣ny * former thing, we must take onely so much thereof as may serue our turne. The reason is, because, first, it may affect vs the more. Secondly, that our mindes be not imployed about any other matter. The vse is, to teach vs, carefully to vse meanes to keepe our affections to the thing in hand, and to shunne the meanes of the contrary: that is especially to bee put in practise, when we goe about the exercise of the word or prayer, for Sathan will labour to steale our mindes from them.
[My soule throughly remembreth them] i. I doe often and * effectually thinke of them: for the dubbling of the Hebrew verbe must be so expounded [and museth within me] i. doth throughly ponder and consider of them.
Doctrine. [throughly remembreth] There is no meditation that is auaileable to further in godlinesse, but that which is * earnest and effectuall. The reason is, because, first, els it mo∣ueth not the heart. Secondly, nothing els preuaileth with the affections. The vse is, to teach vs, to vse all good meanes to make our reading, hearing, praying, &c. most effectuall vnto vs.
Doctrine. [my soule] The heart must be throughly touch∣ed, * before wee can profite by any action of religion that we take in hand. The reason is, because, first, euery poynt of re∣ligion concerneth principally the heart. Secondly, God ac∣cepteth Page 112 nothing, but that which proceedeth from the heart. The vse is, to teach vs, not to content our selues with any outward action, but to labour that it may proceede from the sincere affection of our soules.
Doctrine. [museth in me] When we are throughly affected with any part of Gods word, or his workes, then doe wee * much consider of it, and cannot easilie forget it. The reason is, because, first, it hath taken roote in the heart, which is the fountaine of all serious meditations. Secondly, it setteth the affections on work, to digest it, vnto the end whereunto the heart desireth to bring it. The vse is, to teach vs, to labour that all such serious cogitations may leade vs to growe in true godlinesse: for els they are daungerous, and draw vnto destruction, or some other euill extremitie.
[I consider this in mine heart] i. I doe and will labour (for the verbe is the future tense) to lay these things vnto mine * heart [therefore will I hope] i. by these things well wayed, I will gather vnto my selfe matter whereupon I may ground my perswasion that God will be good vnto me.
Doctrine. [I consider] It is a speciall stay to the troubled * heart, to consider how it hath striuen to be at peace. The rea∣son is, because, first, it calleth to minde the strife betwixt the flesh and the spirite, which argueth that God hath a portion there. Secondly, it sheweth our desire of weldoing, which must needs be the worke of grace. Thirdly, it daunteth Satan our aduersary, depriuing him of hope to preuaile. Fourthly, it administreth vs hope that wee shall stand euen in the stron∣gest temptations. The vse is, to teach vs, first, that in all affli∣ctions we examine our hearts for the time past, how vpright and carefull of weldoing they haue been, so shall we bee the stronger in the day of triall. Thirdly, to beare with patience the present crosse with hope of comfortable issue, though all meanes in mans iudgement be cleane taken away.
Doctrine. [this &c. therefore] The right and thorough me∣ditation * of Gods punishments vpon vs for sinne, and our stri∣uing to profite thereby, hath alwaies hope for the issue. The reason is, because, first, it taketh away all those refuges which Page 113 naturally wee flee vnto, as, friends, wit, riches, strength, &c. and forceth vs to flye vnto God. Secondly, the Lord respec∣teth, and is readie to helpe the broken and contrite hearted, Isay. 66. 2. The vse is, to teach vs, first, to lay to heart whatsoe∣uer wee haue done or left vndone, wherewith God is often∣ded. Secondly, that we be not dismaied, though griefe for it doe seeme to swallow vs vp: for God will make the end ioy∣full, as he did to Iob.
Doctrine. [haue hope] Al our care in peace and in affliction * must bee how to gather to our selues a certaine hope that God will bee mercifull vnto vs. The reason is, because, first, we haue more neede of it then of all things els. Secondly, Sa∣tan will labour more to depriue vs of it, then of any thing els. The meanes to attaine vnto it, be, first, to search in Gods worde the way to attaine vnto it. Secondly, to learne the markes of those that haue it, as they be there expressed; and to trie our selues whether wee haue them or no. Thirdly, to pray vnto God earnestly to giue vs not onely to haue those markes in vs, but also to bee assured of them, and comforted daylie by them. The vse is, to teach vs, that if we haue the in∣ward peace of the heart, and comfort of the soule in Christ Iesus, euery thing is full of ioy vnto vs, though our life seeme most bitter, els are all the ioyes of the world meere miserie vnto vs.
Doctrine. [will I hope] It is our duetie to hope for Gods * fauourable hand to rid vs out of any trouble that we are in, though it continue and increase vpon vs, and no meanes of redresse doe appeare. The reason is, because, first, God afflic∣teth vs not to cast vs off, but to amend vs, and trie vs. Second∣ly, he vseth so to deliuer his seruants. The vse is, to teach vs, contentedly to take, and patiently to endure the afflictions layd vpon vs.
Doctrine. [therefore will I hope] i. The consideration of Gods heauie rods vpon vs in this life, giueth vs hope to finde * fauour for the life to come. The reason is, because, first, God chastiseth those whom he receiueth, Heb. 12. 6. &c. Second∣ly, it is a token of bastardie to be without correction. Third∣ly, Page 114 the whole life of the godly hath been continual affliction: Examples hereof, are Iaacob, Ioseph, Dauid, Ieremy, Israel, &c. The vse is, to teach vs, first, neuer to promise our selues world∣ly peace, if we looke to be in Gods fauour, seeing it is our lot not onely to beleeue in Christ, but also to suffer for his name, Phil. 1. 29. &c. Secondly, to labour to suffer willingly, seeing it is a note of the godly, and administreth hope. Thirdly, (which is the vse of affliction, Heb. 12. 12.) to grow more re∣solute in good things, and more obedient to the trueth thereby.
[It is the Lords mercie] i. it ariseth from the abundance of * his fauour [that wee are not consumed] i. that we are not vt∣terly wasted out of this life, and thrown into the bottomlesse pit [because his compassions faile not] i. because his great mer∣cies are infinite, for measure, and continuance: As if the Pro∣phet in the name of the whole people of GOD should haue sayd; such is the greatnesse of our sinnes, and the bitternesse of our punishment, as if he should deale rigorouslie with vs, we miserable wretches had been ten thousand times vtterly vndone; but wee are saued from our sinnes, and preserued in the middest of our distresses. Therefore it is not by our owne power and strength, but by Gods infinite mercie, that wee are preserued, Isay 1. 9.
Doctrine. [the Lords mercies] The godly neither can, nei∣ther looke to escape destruction by any other meanes, then * onely by the mercies of the Lord, in pardoning their sinnes. The reason is, because, first, in many things we offend all; the least whereof deserueth euerlasting hell fire. Secondly, sinne prouoketh Gods anger which is infinite as himselfe, and can not bee satisfied by any that is no more then a creature. Thirdly. The Scripture maketh Gods mercie the first part of our righteousnesse, Psalm. 32. 1. The vse is, first, to confute them, that thinke they haue it in their owne free will to bee saued; and them that looke to obtaine heauen by their me∣rites. Secondly, to teach vs to feare and tremble, that wee fall not into Gods vengeance, and to seeke especially for his mercie, esteeming it aboue our liues, or any earthly thing Page 115 that we can desire. Thirdly, to acknowledge it to bee of his meere mercie that wee liue, &c. and to praise him daylie for it.
Doctrine. [Gods mercie that &c.] The mercies of the Lord * are sufficient to redeeme all his people from all their sinnes, and to deliuer them from all the punishments that they can fall into. The reason is, because, first, they are infinite as his maiestie is. Secondly, els none should be saued, seeing there is none other meanes of saluation. The vse is, first, to confute Poperie, that resteth vpon workes for deliuerance (at least) from the punishment of sinne: which must needs be a grosse error, seeing the punishment deserued is as infinite, as he that is offended Secondly, to confirme vs against despaire, seeing the Lords mercie is an anchor hold, so sure and stedfast.
Doctrine. [that wee are not consumed] The chiefest of the * godly when they are at the best, doe deserue Gods displea∣sure and vengeance. The reason is, because, first, in manie things wee sinne all, Iames 3. 2. and he that faileth in one is guiltie in all, Iames 2. 10. Secondly, our regeneration is but in part, as experience teacheth. Thirdly, the righteousnesse of the best is mingled with sinne. The vse is, first, to confute the Cathari, the Family of loue, and the Papists, that thinke themselues able in this life to fulfil the law of God. Second∣ly, it teacheth vs to abandon all pride and securitie from vs, ascribing it vnto God alone that we haue any power to doe well. Thirdly, to acknowledge Gods iustice in all our grea∣test plagues that euer he hath layd, or doth lay vpon any, see∣ing their sinnes doe deserue the same.
Doctrine. [compassions fayle not] Not one of Gods elect * can finally fall, or possibly perish for euer. The reason is, be∣cause, first, Gods guifts are without repentance. Secondly, his mercies, whereby they stand, faile not. The vse is, first, to confute Poperie, that teacheth saluation or damnation to be in our owne power. Secondly, to teach vs, that if once we haue a sure signe of Gods loue toward vs, we are to be assu∣red of it to stand by vs for euer, in all temptations and try∣als.
Page 116[They are renewed euery morning] i. euery day; and in * due time we haue new experiments of thy louing kindnesse towards vs [great is thy faythfulnesse] i. most certaine and manifest is thy trueth, in performing largely all thy promi∣ses.
Doctrine. [euery morning] God neuer suffereth his peo∣ple to be tempted aboue their strength, though hee punish * them now and then for their sinnes. The reason is, because, first, he knoweth their weaknesse, and respecteth it in fauour. Secondly, else should none be saued. The vse is to teach vs, first, to magnifie Gods great mercie and loue to vs. Second∣ly, to be comforted in afflictions, and armed against all ex∣tremities that can befall vs.
Doctrine. [great is thy faythfulnesse] There is no parte of Gods promises but it shall surely bee accomplished in due * time. The reason is, because God is trueth, and all his pro∣mises are yea and amen: so that if ought seeme to fayle, it is either for that we doe not vnderstand it, or else because we beleeue it not, as those doe that either despayre, or are se∣cure. The vse is to teach vs, first by the loue of these his pro∣mises to search them out, and to beleeue them. Secondly, to hope therein without wauering, whatsoeuer extremities doe befall vs.
[The Lord is my portion] i. he is the maintenance of my * spiritual and earthly estate, euen absolutely sufficient for me▪ [saith my soule] i. as my heart is fully perswaded and cau∣seth my tongue to speake [therefore will I hope in him] i. vp∣on which ground I doe rest perswaded to receiue all good things from him, and shall want nothing.
Doctrine. [the Lord is my portion] Euery one of Gods people hath the Lord for his portion, and enioyeth him for * his neede, so farre as is best for his comfort here, and his e∣ternall saluation hereafter: as, for their ignorance they haue his knowledge: for their infidelitie, his faithfulnes: for their foolishnes, his wisdome: for their sinfulnes, his holines, &c. The reason is, because, first, GOD in his eternall decree did chuse all his to be vessels of honor. Secondly, else could none Page 117 be saued because of our naturall miserie. Thirdly, hee hath giuen his sonne Christ Iesus to euery one of his seruants, and so with him all things, Rom. 8. 32. The vse is, first, to confute the opinion of workes foreseene, seeing we could haue no∣thing foreseene in vs but that which he had appointed to giue vs. Secondly, to ouerthrow their pride that swel in that they haue: for what haue they that they haue not receiued? 1. Cor. 4. 6. 7. &c. Thirdly, to teach vs to be humbled with the view of our owne nakednesse and pouertie. Fourthly, to make it our whole care to haue the Lord for our portiō, & to account al things but doung in respect of him. Fiftly, to giue all glorie to God for all things, vsing them wisely to his ho∣nour. Sixtly, to giue vs matter of comfort in all temptations and troubles; seeing he that is strongest, is ours: so that whatsoeuer we haue lost, or shall loose, it is nothing, seeing he is all in all.
Doctrine. [sayth my soule] The open profession of the * truth is vaine, except the heart in feeling apprehend the same within. The reason is, because, first, diuers reprobat can pro∣fesse Godlinesse, Mat. 15. 7. 8. Isay 1. 13. Mich. 6. 6. 7. &c. Secondly, God giueth the soule as a principall part of man, and will especiallie be serued with it. Thirdly, God is a spi∣rite, and will be serued in spirite, Iohn 4. 22. and 4. 6. fayth (without which it is impossible to please God, Heb. 11. 6.) is in the heart or not at all, Rom. 10. 9. 10. The vse is, to teach vs, first, not to trust in the outward seruice of God prescribed in his word, seeing it is abhominable before God, without the pure affection of the heart. Secondly, not to esteeme o∣thers by their outward profession onely, except we see such fruits as must needes come from the heart. Thirdly, that all shewes of religious deuotion, without warrant of the word, be sinne. This confuteth all the deuises of Poperie, that men haue inuented and do make so much of.
Doctrine. [therefore will I hope in him] It is the duety of * Gods children so to relie vpon the Lord for all good things, as that they may satisfie themselues with the certain perswa∣sion thereof. The reason is, because, first, God is all sufficient, Page 118Gen. 17. 1. &c. Secondly, God wil haue none of his glorie giuen to any other. Thirdly, none can doe any thing for vs, or against vs, without his power assisting them. The vse is to teach vs, first, that none can perseuere vnto the end, with pa∣tience in hope of saluation, vnlesse he rest in God alone: and therefore neither Infidels that beleeue not Gods word, nor Papists that relie so much vpon Saints, nor ignorant ones that are without knowledge, and so without fayth, nor im∣patient persons that tarie not Gods leysure, but vse vnlawful meanes, can by any meanes haue part of this perseuerance. Secondly, to vse with prayer and careful diligence al lawful meanes to confirme vs herein, and to shun the contrarie.
[The Lord is good vnto them that trust in him] i. God shew∣eth himselfe most bountifull and fauourable to all them that * in a true sayth rest vpon him, and haue their affiance in him hoping for his fauour [to the soule that seeketh him] i to him that from his heart laboureth in the meanes that God hath appoynted to come vnto the knowledge and fayth in him,
Doctrine. [the Lord is good] Gods goodnesse sheweth it * selfe dayly and bountifully to his people. This is verified in the examples of the whole scriptures, and in daylie experi∣ence, to their bodies and their soules in matters peculiar to them, and common with the wicked: for this life, to prouide for the body and comfort the soule: for the life to come, to deliuer from hel and bring to heauen. The onely reason hereof, is, because his good pleasure is such. The efficient cause, is his loue: the materiall cause is, the obedience of his sonne: the end is, his glory, and our saluation. The means whereby he conueigheth it vnto vs, is, his word and his spi∣rite. This hath been manifested in all ages, as the booke of God and dayly experience doth witnesse. The vse is, first, to teach vs to magnifie his exceeding loue vnto his children, whom he might haue created the vilest of his creatures, and after haue cast them into hel fire with the diuel and his an∣gels. Secondly, to allure vs to serue him in al feare and obe∣dience; or else to leaue vs the more cleerly without excuse, at the day of account.
Page 119Doctrine. [trust in him] i. The godly doe rest vpon Gods * promises by fayth, and patiently wayte for the performance of them by hope. The reason is, because, first, they beleeue them to be vndoubtedly true. Secondly, they are assured in their hearts to be partakers thereof, because they finde the notes of the godly in themselues. Thirdly, they are assured of his loue to them, his power to doe what he list, and wise∣dome to bestow and performe when he seeth meete, that which may tend to his glorie and their good. The vse is to teach vs, first, to trie our selues; if we can finde our selues so affected, to reioyce and goe on: if not, to repent of it and a∣mend. Secondly, to strengthen our patience in euery tryall, which is the exercise of our faith.
Doctrine. [to the soule that seeketh him] The greatest care * that Gods seruants should haue in this life, is to seeke the Lord (how he may be knowne and feared aright) by those meanes that he hath appoynted thereunto. The reason is, because, they can finde no peace in any other thing with∣out the same; if they doe, their case is fearefull. Secondly, they know that the treasure of all good things must needes be in the true knowledge and worship of him that made and gouerneth the whole world, and all that is therein. Thirdly, they haue heretofore found much comfort therein, which encouraged them thereunto euery daye more and more. The vse is, to trie our selues how carefull we are herein; in∣wardly by the excusing or accusing of our hearts: and out∣wardly by our care and diligence in hearing, reading, me∣ditation and prayer. Secondly, to reprooue them, as giuing fearefull tokens of being without God in this world, who make no care to seeke him according to his word.
[It is good, both to him that trusteth] i. it is a happy thing * for him that is grounded vpon the Lord, as his rocke [and to him that wayteth for the saluation of the Lord] i. to him that is silent at (for so the hebrue word signifieth) the saluation of the Lord, as resting satisfied therewith, and waiting for the performance of it.
Doctrine. [It is good, both, &c.] The trusting in God, and *Page 120 patient waiting for his saluation, is full of comfort, and quiet∣nesse euen in this life. The reason is, because, first, it setteth the heart at rest, which maketh all outward troubles easie to be borne. Secondly, it sharpeneth the affections in all spirituall exercises, especially in the longing for heauen. The vse is to teach vs, to vse all good meanes to attaine vnto it, and to account all things vile in respect of it.
Doctrine. [to trust] we must trust in the Lord, though the things that we desire appeare not. The reason is, because, * first, God often hideth his countenance from his seruants, to trie them. Secondly, we knowe God will be as good as his promise, being neuer yet iustly charged to be short of his word. Thirdly, it is the nature of faith to trust to obtaine that which appeareth not, Rom. S. 24. 25. Heb. 11. thoroughout. The vse is, to teach vs, first, that we may not alwaies looke to haue the present enioying of that comfort, which God hath promised, and we desire; seeing it shall sometimes be ec∣clipsed vnto vs. Secondly, to hope certainely for whatsoeuer God hath promised, though we feele it not, and not be dis∣couraged.
Doctrine. [waiteth for, &c.] They that doe truely trust in God, are satisfied therewith, and doe waite with patience for * the perfourmance of the hoped saluation. The reason is, be∣cause, first, they knowe that fulnesse of ioye is prepared for them. Secondly, it swalloweth vp all troubles, as being no∣thing in comparison thereof. The vse is, to teach vs, first, to labour aboue all things to attaine vnto this confidence, see∣ing it hath such excellent contentment in it. Secondly, to trie our hope by our patience, and to increase our patience by the due meditation of our hope.
[It is good for that man] i. it is an happie thing for him that is to be framed to those qualities mentioned in the for∣mer * verses [that he hath borne the yoke] i. that he hath suffe∣red afflictions, which tame and keepe vnder our corrupt na∣ture [in his youth] i. in the beginning of his time, before sinne growe strong and headie in him.
Doctrine. [It is good, &c.] the crosse is a most necessarie *Page 121 meanes to bring a man vnto true godlinesse. The reason is, because, first, our nature is otherwise vntameable, & will not receiue instruction, Psal 119. 67. &c. Secondly, it bringeth vs to the consideration of our selues, and (if God blesse it) hin∣dreth many sinnes that in prosperitie we runne into. The vse is, to teach vs, first, to esteeme afflictions most necessary for vs. Secondly, to knowe that when God afflicteth vs, it is to frame vs to his will, and to learne to profit thereby.
Doctrine. [yoke] afflictions are heauie and vnsauorie to * flesh and blood. The reason is, because, first, they crosse the naturall desires thereof. Secondly, they drawe vs to that, which naturally we haue no will vnto. The vse is, first, to shew vs the peruersenesse of our nature, that doth so greatly mislike that which is so good for vs. Secondly, not to be cast downe, though we feele the waight of afflictions very heauy vnto vs: but to beare them willingly and patiently, seeing we haue benefit by them.
Doctrine. [in his youth] The sooner that we be exerci∣sed * with afflictions, the better it is for vs. The reason is, be∣cause, first, younger yeares are more plyable to any instructi∣on: as we see in the learning of humaine artes or tongues; yea in the taming of any wilde beast. Secondly, longer cu∣stome thereunto, maketh it more easie and more profitable vnto vs. The vse is to teach vs, first, the cause why the godly haue (almost) with the profession of religion, entred into per∣secutions. Secondly, that though our afflictions begin and end with our life; yet are we not to be cast downe or grieued but to reioyce in it, seeing it is good for vs.
[He sitteth alone and is silent] i. in quiet maner he vnder∣taketh * the affliction, and meditateth secretly of it [because he hath layd it vpon him] i. seeing the Lord Almighty, that lo∣ueth him, hath laid his rod vpon him.
Doctrine. [sitteth alone, &c.] Afflictions do frame Gods * people to patience, and humilitie. The reason is, because, first, their vnbrideled stomacke is broken thereby. Second∣ly, their sinnes and desert thereof be layde before their eyes by them. Thirdly, Gods ineuitable hand is seene in them.
Page 122 Fourthly, they obtaine much profite in godlinesse by them. The vse is, first, to teach vs, that they are necessary for vs. Se∣condly, to trie our selues by our increase in patience and hu∣militie, how much we haue profited by such afflictions as we haue suffered.
Doctrine. [alone and is silent] Afflictions doe giue vs iust occasion of meditation for the examination of our selues, * what is amisse in vs. The reason is, because, first, God (be∣ing iust) wil not punish vs without our desert thereof. Se∣condly, he wil not withdraw his rod to our comfort, without our amendment. Thirdly, we cannot throughly amend with∣out serious meditation. Fourthly, the heart is much eased with a thorough examination of ourselues, and calling vpon God for the amendment of that is amisse. The vse is, to teach vs, that when we be afflicted, we must enter into such an account with our selues, if we looke for any profite by the same.
Doctrine. [he hath laid it] The godly are contented to * beare whatsoeuer the Lord laieth vpon them. The reason is, because, they haue deserued much more at his hands. The vse is to teach vs, first, to trie our selues whether wee be so affe∣cted, or no. Secondly, to labour more and more to be con∣tented with whatsoeuer condition it shall please the Lord to lay vpon vs.
[He giueth his mouth to the dust] i. he humbly throweth downe himselfe before GOD, acknowledging al to be iust * that is vpon him, and saith in his heart [it may bee there is hope] i. though I see no reason of remedie, al meanes failing mee, and Gods hand being so heauy vpon mee; yet will I waite, for peraduenture he will shew mercie vnto me: with this kinde of speech the scripture teacheth how diffidence & distrust is driuen away, as Iohn 14. 12.
Doctrine. [he putteth] The godly, hauing rightly profi∣ted by their afflictions, doe reuerence Gods power in pu∣nishing them, and doe humble themselues vnder his hand. The reason is, because, first, they are assured of his power, wisdome, and loue. Secondly, they wil not be driuen from Page 123 him by any extremity, knowing that out of his fauour there is nothing but horror. The vse is to teach vs, first, not to iudge of the crosse according to our owne carnall reason, but according to Gods iustice and righteousnesse. Secondly, to striue to accept patiently whatsoeuer he layeth vpon vs, bee it neuer so extreame and grieuous.
Doctrine. [it may be there is hope] we must trust in God, * and waite for the performance of his promises, though there be no hope in the iudgement of flesh and blood. The reason is, because, first, he is both able and willing to bee as good as his worde, though hee haue reserued the time when, in his owne power. Secondly, he hath alwaies in greatest extre∣mities deliuered his people. Thirdly, hee bringeth vs into straights to trie vs. Fourthly, it is the nature of fayth not to be quailed, 1. Iohn 8. 4. The vse is to teach vs, first, that faith is a thing that reason or mans strength cannot attaine vnto: and therfore we must beg it of God, and vse the meanes that hee hath appoynted in his worde to attaine vnto it, and to grow in it. Secondly, to trie our selues how strong in fayth wee bee, by our resolution and perswasion of a ioyful issue, though we be in the greatest straights that any of Gods chil∣dren haue fallen in to.
[He giueth his cheeke to him that smiteth him] i. he taketh * willingly and patiently the stripes that men doe iniuriously lay vpon him [he is filled with reproach] i. hee sustayneth all kindes of vexations from the handes of al kindes of vngod∣ly ones.
Doctrine. [he giueth, &c.] The Godly doe patiently beare the iniuries that men doe lay vpon them. The reason is, be∣cause, * first, they know it cannot be done by them without the Lord. Secondly, they are assured that it is for their good. The vse is, first, to reproue the impatiencie and reuenge that naturally we are addicted vnto. Secondly, to teach vs to trie our selues how much wee haue profited by affliction, by the measure of patience (being iniuried) that we haue attayned vnto.
Doctrine. [filled, &c.] The godly are subiect to all kind of *Page 124 vexation by the hands of all sortes of men. The reason is, because, first, whatsoeuer the wicked do loue, they are haters of the trueth, and the professours thereof. Secondly, the godly are not of this world, but chosen out of it, Ioh. 15. 19. &c. Thirdly, they doe not runne to the same excesse of riot with the wicked, 1 Pet. 4. 4. The vse is to teach vs, first, to looke for many and diuers molestations from the wicked in this world. Secondly, to learne to take them patiently, and so profit in godlinesse by them.
[For the Lord wil not reiect for euer] i. howsoeuer it please the Lord for a time to hide his louing countenance from his * seruants, yet doth not he put them farre from him (for the he∣brue word signifieth) without restoring them to the feeling of his fauour againe.
Doctrine. [for] An assured hope of deliuerance groun∣ded vpon Gods promises, is the onely cause of the patience * and humilitie of Gods children in their troubles. The reason is, because, first, the corruption of mans nature being of it selfe wayward, cannot take afflictions patiently, without su∣pernaturall helpe: therefore we say without hope the heart would breake. Secondly, where there is no hope, there is no fayth: where there is no faith, there is no comfort to giue pa∣tience. Thirdly, else the damned might haue patience which they haue not, as appeareth by their gnashing of teeth. The vse is, to teach vs to be carefull to vse the means of obtayning hope, and growing in it, praysing GOD for such meanes as we haue, and mourning for that we want.
Doctrine. [forsake] The godly in the extremities of their afflictions, do somtime imagine that GOD hath forsaken * them. The reason is, because, first, their guilty conscience acknowledgeth al damnation due vnto them. Secondly, the waight of Gods anger that darkeneth their faith for the time. Thirdly, God doth thereby make them knowe what they are without him, & causeth them to make more preci∣ous account of his fauour, when it is renued vnto them. The vse is to teach vs, first, not to cast off all hope either of our selues, or others, though we be brought to the pit of despai∣ration Page 125 in our owne iudgements. Secondly, to distrust our owne strength and know the weaknesse thereof, that we may grow more and more in knowledge and in the fruits of the same.
Doctrine. [for euer] It is impossible that God should for∣sake * for euer, any one of his children. The reason is, because, first, whome once he loueth, to the ende hee loueth them, Iohn 13. 1. seeing his giftes are without repentance, Rom. 11. 29 &c. else none could haue hope in their troubles but all must needes despayre. The vse is to teach vs, first, how to vnderstand the speech in the scripture that saith, God repen∣ted. Secondly, that it is spoken according to mans capacitie, for that it seemeth so to vs when hee stayeth his threatned iudgements. Thirdly, vpon what ground to condemne their doctrine that think any of the elect cā perish, or any of the re∣probates be saued. Fourthly, to be cōforted in our temptati∣ons, seeing we once felt comfort, and God is no changeling.
[But if he afflict] i. Notwithstanding he doth vsually lay many and heauy afflictions vpon his people [yet hee hath*compassion] i. yet he doth in pittie, and euen in his wrath, re∣member mercie, Habac. 3. 2. [according to the multitude of his mercies] i. euen because hee is infinite in mercie, and hath alwaies vsed to shew fauour.
Doctrine. [if he afflict] God doth necessarily afflict one * waie or other, euery one of his children. The reason is, because, first, euery one angreth him by those sinnes which he dayly committeth. Secondly, correction is a seale of Gods loue towards them, Heb. 12. 4. &c. Thirdly, it is pro∣fitable for them, if it be rightly taken, and vse made of it. The vse is, first, to reproue their iudgements as most foolish, that thinke them the greatest sinners, that haue the most grieuous punishments in this life. Secondly, to teach vs not to pray for a freedome from afflictions in this life, for that were against faith and Gods loue to vs. Thirdly, to reioice in troubles, enduring them patiently though they be most bitter to our nature, and to praise God for them, seeing we haue (or may haue) so many benefites with them.
Page 192Doctrine. [yet he hath compassion] God suffereth none of his children in afflictions to be tempted aboue their strēgth; * but alwaies maketh his loue knowne vnto them by deliue∣ring them in due time. The reason is, because, first, else none could stand, seeing the weaknesse of mans nature would yeeld vnto the least temptation. Secondly, it is an insepa∣rable propertie of God to shewe mercie, whensoeuer it is expedient for any of his seruants, Isay 54. 7, 8. Psal. 89. 33. 34 Hab. 3. 2. The vse is, to teach vs, first, not to repine or accuse God in the greatest of our afflictions. Secondly, to be com∣forted in all our troubles, waiting with patience and prayer for the manifestation of Gods compassions and mercies to vs.
Doctrine. [according to the &c.] The loue and mercie of God is the onely fountaine, & cause of all the fauour shewed * to his people. The reason is, because, first, all men are sinners, deseruing Gods curse, which cannot bee remooued by any Saints or Angels. Secondly, man is not able of himselfe to thinke a good thought, 2. Cor. 3. 5. al his righteousnesse being as a filthie cloute, Isay 64. 6. The vse is, to teach vs, first, to be humbled in the consideration of our owne miserable estate without Gods mercie. Secondly, to seeke onely to God for all good things, vsing the meanes approued by his word for the obtaining of the same, and auoyding all other. Thirdly, to praise God onely for all the good things that wee doe or shall enioy, and not the meanes, but as second causes and in∣struments of the same.
Doctrine. [multitude of his mercies] No sinnes in any of Gods children can be vnto death, be they neuer so many and * grieuous. The reason is, because, first, Gods mercie is ouer all his workes, and reioyceth against iudgement. Secondly, his mercie is infinite as his maiestie, and cannot be ouercome of sinne. The vse is, first, to confute the Popish distinction of veniall and mortall sinnes: for the greatest are veniall if God forgiue them, and the least mortall if he shewe not mercie. Secondly, to teach vs, to admire Gods great mercies towards vs, and not to take libertie to sinne thereby, but to vse the Page 127 same as a notable prouocation to feare, loue and obey him, seeing he is so mercifull vnto vs.
[For he doth not punish from his heart] i. it ariseth not from * Gods voluntarie desire, but from the sinne of man that God punisheth [and maketh sorrowfull the children of men] i. gi∣ueth them cause by afflicting them to bee vexed and grie∣ued.
Doctrine. [for &c.] sinne constraineth the Lord to afflict * his dearest children: for the reasons hereof, see vers. 27. Doct. 1 The vse is, to teach vs, first, to abhorre sinne aboue all things whatsoeuer. Secondly, to accuse our selues alone, as the cause of all our afflictions.
Doctrine. [not punish from his heart] GOD taketh no de∣light in afflicting his children, Psal. 81. 13. Isay 1. 24. The vse * is, to teach vs, first, to abhorre their prophanesse that say, God sporteth himselfe himselfe in punishing man. Secondly, by his example, to censure others with all remorse and pitie, not delighting to disgrace them.
Doctrine. [maketh sorrowfull] The godly may not bee as * Stoykes, but must be most passionate in their afflictions: for the reason and vse hereof, see vers. 15. Doct. 5.
[To stampe vnder foote] i. to spoyle without regard [all the*prisoners of the earth] i. all those that are in miserie and cast in bonds in this world by the power of men.
[To wrest the right of a man] i. by false witnesse and cor∣rupt * meanes, to take from the iust that which is his owne [be∣fore the face of the Superiour] i. in solemne iudgement vnder colour of law, and that in the sight and presence of those in authoritie.
[To ouerbeare a man in his cause] i. by strength, authori∣tie, * or cunning, to cause a man to haue sentence against him [the Lord seeth not] i. God doth not approue any such thing, as Deut. 12. 13. for seeing is here to be vnderstood as know∣ing is, Psal. 1. 6. Matth. 7. 33. it being manifest that God see∣eth and knoweth all things, though he approue and allowe onely that which is good.
Doctrine. (generally out of these three verses) Though *Page 128 the wicked be raysed vp by Gods hand to afflict his people for their sinnes, yet shall they not thereby be excused, but (without repentance) condemned for it. The reason is, be∣cause, first, it is here sayd that GOD alloweth of no such thing. Secondly, to condemne the innocent and iustifie the vngodly, are both an abomination vnto the Lord, Pro. 17. 15. &c. Thirdly, though God worke their action, yet is he farre from the euil of their affection therein: for hee hath one purpose in it, which is most holy, and they another which is 'most wicked, I say 10. 5. 12 &c. Fourthly, they shall not be held excused, seeing Gods purpose therein is not onely to feare his children from offending, but also to make the dam∣nation of the wicked the more iust, Matth. 23. 33. &c. Fift∣ly, God hath such loue to his children, that he hath giuen speciall charge for their defense, Psalm. 105. 15. and threat∣ned seuere punishments to fall vpon their oppressors, Gen. 15. 14. The vse is, to teach vs, first, what cause the wicked haue to be afrayd of, shewing violence to any of Gods chil∣dren. Secondly, to doe no wrong vnto others by any pre∣tence, nor any way lay the blame vpon God for any thing, seeing that were to aggruate our owne offences. Thirdly, to learne patience, and to bee staied from reuenging our selues vppon our aduersaries, seeing God vseth them for our good, and will seuerely punish the iniuries done vnto vs.
Doctrine. [to stampe, &c] It is the lot of the godly to bee * oppressed and abused by the wicked in this world. The rea∣son is, because, first, they think it a speciall meanes to make them fall from the trueth, and terrifie others from belieuing it, seeing them so numbred among the wicked, and seeing bondage crosseth our natural affection Secondly, God seeth afflictions profitable to his people, to bridle their natural de∣sires, and to make them haue the pleasures of this life in lesse account. The vse is, first, to reproue the corrupt iudgement of them that account all that are in affliction as most wicked and miserable, seeing it was euer the condition of the best: Examples hereof, Iaacob, Ioseph, Ieremie, Dauid, Christ, &c. Page 129 Secondly, to teach vs to take afflictions patiently, seeing we haue therein a portion with the righteous: and seeing wee shall haue the greater crowne of glory, if we continue vnto the end. Thirdly, not to yeeld vnto vnlawfull conditions to be freed from the troubles we fall into.
Doctrine. [all the prisoners] Though magistrates haue * power from God ouer the subiects bodies, yet will hee pu∣nish al wrongs, and want of protection, that they vexe them withall. The reason is, because, first, their power is not ab∣solute, but limited to the rule of Gods word. Secondly, there is no respect of persons with God, Psalm. 82. 7. Acts 10. 34. The vse is, first, to teach all superiors to take heede, lest they goe beyond the power that GOD hath giuen them, seeing the mischiefes are infinite that flowe from misgouernment. Secondly, to teach vs rather to suffer then to bee a meanes of euil, though the magistrate should iudge vs to it.
Doctrine. [to wrest, &c.] It is the lot of Gods children to be oppressed before magistrates by false accusers and lying * witnesses: Examples hereof, are Naboth, Christ, Steuen, &c. The reason is, because, first, the tongue is most easily abu∣sed. Secondly, the trueth is thereby most disgraced, seeing it carieth a shew of being done iustly. Thirdly, we are there∣by made the more like to Christ our head. The vse is, first, to teach vs, not to be too much dismaied with such dealings a∣gainst vs, seeing it is the lot of the righteous. Secondly, to teach magistrates to search out such false accusers, and wit∣nesses, and to punish them with that they sought to lay vp∣on the innocent: for so should it be by the law of God: the want of practise whereof maketh both Church and common weale to flow with false accusers.
Doctrine. [to ouer-beare, &c.] It is the lot of the godly to be ouer-borne by the wicked in euery controuersie. The rea∣son * is, because, the wicked will, first, flatter rulers: second∣ly, lie and suborne all vnlawful meanes that may be deuised. The vse is, to teach vs, first, to auoyd all occasions of hauing controuersie with the wicked, as much as may be. Second∣ly, not therefore onely to esteeme a man faultie because he is Page 130 condemned before the magistrates: for hee may bee ouer∣borne in his righteous cause.
Doctrine. [the Lord seeth it not] The Lord doth not like of, but will be sure to be reuenged of all the iniuries done to the * innocent, whether it be by magistrates, accusers, witnesses, or any others. The reason is, because, God is not only iust in all his owne wayes, but also a seuere reuenger of the vnrighte∣ousnes of men. The vse is, to teach vs, of what condition soeuer wee bee, to take heede that wee doe not wrong any man, either couertly or openly, seeing GOD will call all men to accompt, and iudge of euery one according to his deedes.
[Who is he then] i. what man, or what creature in heauen * or earth is there? [that saith it commeth to passe] i. that is able to say such a thing shall be, and to cause it to be indeed [and the Lord commaunded it not] i. except the Lord giue his consent that it shall bee, and his power to bring it to passe?
Doctrine. [who is he then] No man can bring any thing to passe, except the Lord giue power thereunto, Isay 43. 13 *Dan. 3. 16. Mat. 10. 29. Prouer. 20. 24. The reason is, be∣cause, God is Almightie; that is, all might and power com∣ming onely from him: therefore is he said to make the earth swallow vp his foes, Exod. 15. 12. Numb. 16. 31. to remoue mountaines, Iob 9. 5. to measure the windes and waters, Iob 28. 25. to turne mans heart, and send plagues, Psal. 104. 25. &c. to say to the North, giue, Isay 43. 6. and to the deeps, be drie, Isay 44. 27. to deuide the roaring sea, Isay 51. 15. and to be are rule ouer the kingdomes of the earth, Dan. 4. 29. The vse is to teach vs, first, howe bruitish they bee that thinke to doe any thing as of themselues, or (as it were) not regarding, or, in despite of the Lord: to such he giueth no∣table foyles euen in this world; as, to Pharaoh, Exod 5. 2. Senacherib, Isay 38. &c. Secondly, to acknowledge his mighty power, and in all things that we take in hand, to bee sure we haue the warrnt of his word, crauing his strength to assist vs therein.
Page 131Doctrine. [commaunded it] Nothing is done in the world, * but the Lord is the principall doer of it, Prou. 16. 33. The reason is, because (as in the former doctrine) all power is of God: so as, man hath no power but from him, and yet is he not the author of sinne, seeing hee doth all things to an ho∣ly end, and with a most pure affection: whereas man doing the selfe same action, hath a sinister purpose in it, and doth it with a sinful affection, which maketh it a sinfull action in him: this is euident in the selling of Ioseph into Egypt: in the spoyling of Iob: and crucifying of Christ: all which ac∣tions he did to an holy ende, with a most pure affection: but man did them to an euil intent, with a corrupt affecti∣on. The vse is, to reproue them that thinke the Lord doth onely suffer many things to be done, and yet the scripture tearmeth him a doer (and not onely a sufferer) of such kind of actions, Exod. 7. 3. he hardened Pharohs heart, Exod. 21. 13. God hath offered, &c. Gen. 45. 8. God sent mee hither, Acts. 4. 28. to doe what thy counsell and hand, &c. Iames 4. 15. if the Lord will, &c.
[Out of the mouth of the highest] i. From the decree and * secret appoyntment of GOD [commeth not euery euill and good thing] i. proceedeth both prosperitie and aduersitie, and all actions that tend to either of them.
Doctrine. Both prosperitie and affliction that doe befall any in this life, come from the decree and hand of the Lord, Amos 3. 6. Isay 45. 7. Iob 2. 10. The reason is, because (as in the former doctrine) he is the principall doer of all things. The vse is, first, to confute the vaine opinion of Fortune, whereunto the Philosophers and carnall ignorant people vse to ascribe the thing whereof they see not an apparant cause. Secondly, to teach vs to acknowledge him the author of our good, and praise him for it: and not to stay vpon the meanes as naturally we do: and to take patiētly afflictions as from him, not fretting at the instruments, which could doe nothing without him, but finding the cause in our own sins: as the next verse teacheth.
[Why should liuing man turmoyle himselfe] i. what follie is *Page 132 it that any man should vexe his soule in misiudging of his e∣state, and seeking by-pathes to winde himselfe out [man for his sinnes] i. man I say that suffereth iustly the punishment of his sinnes: for the hebrue word is vsed both for sinne, the sacrifice for sinne, and the punishment of sinne.
Doctrine. [Wherefore, &c.] It is the propertie of a natu∣ral man to be most impatient and wayward in his afflictions. * The reason is, because, first they crosse his affections which he desireth to satisfie. Secondly, hee wanteth Gods spirite which is the worker of patience, and comfort in distresses. The vse is, first, to declare vnto vs in what miserable condi∣tion we are by nature, if God should leaue vs therein. Se∣condly, to teach vs to trie our selues in all afflictions, what measure of godlinesse we haue by the power that patience hath in vs to rule our naturall affections.
Doctrine. [turmoyle himselfe] Man is naturally diligent * to winde out of afflictions, and inuenteth many meanes, but neuer findeth out the right; Examples hereof are, Pharaoh and Saul. The reason is, because, first, afflictions doe natu∣rally discontent vs. Secondly, we haue a naturall inclination to labour for our owne good. Thirdly, our nature is so cor∣rupted, that of it selfe it can doe no good thing. Fourthly, Sathan laboureth to keepe vs in error. Fiftly, God onely di∣recteth to weldoing, which naturally we are farre from. The vse is, to teach vs, not to trust in any thing that wee can in∣uent of our selues, but to bee sure to haue a warrant out of Gods word for all things that we take in hand, and to pray him to blesse our indeuours therein.
Doctrine. [man for his sinnes] Whatsoeuer man suffereth, he is to esteeme it iustly deserued by his sinnes, that he hath * committed. The reason is, because, first, GOD is iust, and cannot doe any wrong. Secondly, all men commit many sinnes, the least whereof deserue all that can be layd vpon vs. The vse is to teach vs, first, in al our afflictions to acknow∣ledge our sinnes to be the cause therof, and to learne to pro∣fite thereby to amendment. Secondly, to learne to iustifie God (which is the drift of this place) and patiently to beare Page 133 it, seeking to amend, as followeth.
[Let vs search] i. Let vs take a suruey of [and trie] i. and * proue by the touch stone of Gods worde [our waies] i. the thoughts, words, and deedes that we haue conceiued, spoken and done; and what they haue deserued, if God deale in iu∣stice with vs [and turne againe vnto the Lord] i. be heartily sorrowfull for that which is amisse, craue pardon for it, with certaine beleefe to obtayne it, and frame the rest of our liues according to his will.
Doctrine. [let vs▪ &c.] Those that will soundly turne vn∣to God, must diligently examine their former life. The rea∣son * is, because, first, none can repent him of that which hee doth not seriously thinke of. Secondly, repentance is not sound if any knowne sinne bee not particularly repented of. Thirdly, it will lay the multitude of his sinnes before him at once, which wil grieue him and humble him the more. The vse is to teach vs, first, that they are farre from repentance, which goe on sleepily in a carnall course, not recounting what they haue been. Secondly, that if we will prooue to our selues that we doe truely repent, wee must heedfully be∣gin with this searching of our selues.
Doctrine. [trie] In examining our selues (which is the * beginning of true conuersion) we must trie our former beha∣uiour, how agreeable it hath been to Gods will. The reason is, because, else we cannot loath and leaue that is amisse, and goe on in that which is well. The vse is to teach vs, first, that they are farre from conuersion that are ignorant of Gods word, the touch stone in this triall. Secondly, that we must be carefull to obtaine the knowledge of Gods will, and to exa∣mine our selues continually by it.
Doctrine. [turne] It is nothing that we looke to our waies and see what is amisse therein, except wee repent of it, aske * God forgiuenes, beleeuing to obtaine remission, and leade a new life. The reason is, because, first, the knowledge of our sinnes (if wee goe no further) shall doe vs no good, but make our condemnation more iust, euen in our owne iudgement. Secondly, we arh to trie, and search our waies, Page 134 to the end that wee may turne vnto the Lord. The vse is, to teach vs, first, that they are neuer the neerer to God, that can talke much of their owne sinnes, and Gods mercies, if they haue no reformation in their liues. Secondly, to bee carefull (if we will proue our selues rightly to feare God) that we re∣forme our selues, in whatsoeuer Gods word condemneth, and walke in that which is prescribed by it.
[Let vs lift vp our hearts] i. by heartie prayer send vp our * petitions [with our hands] i. and lift vp our hands; that by that outward gesture, our affections may bee more stirred vp vnto prayer [vnto God] i. vnto the creator and gouernor of the whole world, that onely is able and willing to forgiue vs our sinnes [in the heauens] i. aboue all earthly things: and therefore our faith must looke vpward.
Doctrine. [let vs lift vp &c.] True repentance worketh in vs most earnest and heartie prayer. The reason is, because, * first, in it, we see our miserie in our selues, and what need we haue to seeke to God for helpe. Secondly, it assureth vs of Gods loue to vs, and readinesse to heare vs. Thirdly, it encou∣rageth vs to call vpon the Lord, who in our conuersion hath giuen vs experience of his vnspeakable mercies. The vse is, to teach vs, first, to be as diligent in performing this prayer aright, as wee are desirous to proue to our owne hearts that our repentance is vnfained.
Doctrine. [our hearts] Prayer to GOD consisteth not in words, but in the feruent and faithfull lifting vp of the heart. * The reason is, because, first, God is a spirit, Iohn 4. 24. and re∣specteth not the outward action in his worship. Secondly, diuers haue prayed aright, that haue vttered no words, Gen. 24. 63. Exod. 14. 15. The vse is, first, to reprooue them that thinke prayer standeth in saying ouer certaine sentences; which is the disposition of all men naturally; but the Papists exceed in it; of whom the saying of the Prophet is verified, Isay 29. 23. &c. Secondly, to teach vs, to take heede that in prayer our hearts be set vpon that we pray for, and neither be carried away with any other by-thoughts, nor contented with an ordinarie affection therein.
Page 135Doctrine. [our hands] Wee may vse all outward meanes * (that haue warrant in the word) to stirre vp our affections, to be more seruent in prayer. The reason is, because, first, we are naturally dull in it. Secondly, our hearts are often moued with the things that our out ward sences doe appre∣hend. The vse is to teach vs, first, to what ende kneeling, lif∣ting vp of the eyes, and hands, &c. are commended vnto vs, in the holy scriptures; to wit, not as partes of Gods seruice, but as meanes to further vs in it. Secondly, to take heede that we rest not in any of these outward things, but be pro∣uoked to the in ward duety by them.
Doctrine. [vnto God] All our prayers are to be made vnto * God alone, Psal. 50. 15. Rom. 10. 14. The reason is, because, first, it is he only that can grant our requests. Secondly, we are not commanded in the scriptures to call vpon any other: and therefore if we doe, it is not of faith; and consequently it is sinne. The vse is, first, to reproue the dotage of the hea∣then, that prayed to the sunne, moone, and starres: and of the Papists, that pray to Angels, and Saints. Secondly, to teach vs to make all our prayers vnto the Lord alone, in the name of his sonne Christ, for such things as he hath promised in his word, and in such maner as he hath prescribed.
Doctrine. [in the heauens] The prayer of the faithfull * must neuer rest vpon anything in this world, but looke vnto the mighty God, the author of all things. The reason is, be∣cause faith reacheth aboue reason, or things that are seene. The vse is to teach vs, not to measure our hope when wee pray, by our owne worthinesse or vnderstanding, but by the promise of God, grounded vpon his power and trueth.
[We haue sinned] The hebrue word signifieth, a failing, or comming short of our duetie: the meaning is, wee haue * left vndone that which we should haue done [and haue re∣belled] i. done that which we are forbidden [thou hast not spared] i. thou hast layde thy iudgements largely vpon vs.
The three first doctrines are gathered generally out of this large confession following.
Page 136Doctrine. The time of affliction requireth a speciall kinde * of shewing our repentence, both more feruent, and with longer continuance then ordinarie. The reason is, because, first, God therefore afflicteth vs, that we might be brought to a more thorough repentance, Luke 5. 35. &c. Secondly, Gods anger against vs for our sinnes, is manifested vnto vs by afflictions: which must be turned away by our vnfained repentance, or we shall be consumed. Thirdly, God hath v∣sually brought his people to such speciall declaration of re∣pentance, and blessed them therein, 1. Sam. 7. 5. 6. Nehem. 1. 2. & c. Hester. 4. 16. The vse is, first, to reproue the Papists, that haue set times offasting euery yeare, whether they haue cause to mourne or to reioyce. Secondly, to reproue earn all professors that thinke fasting, &c. to pertaine to the olde Church onely, and not to vs; seeing Christ said, it should be also somtimes vnder the Gospell, Luk. 5. 35. &c. Thirdly, it techeth vs, that we must performe especial dueties, both pri∣uate & publique, whē the punishing hand of God is vpon vs in particular, or the Church in general. Fourthly, it sheweth that afflictiō is most profitable for vs, seeing it increaseth our repētance, & whetteth the feruencie of ouraffectiō in prayer.
Doctrine, It is necessary for Gods people to begin their prayers to God with a free confession of their sinnes, Psalm. 32. 5. *Daniel. 9. 5. Nehem. 1. 6. The reason is, because, first, els wee obtaine no forgiueuesie. Secondly, else wee haue no assurance that we haue repented, seeing confession doth alwaies accompanie repentance. Thirdly, otherwise we can∣not rightly and thoroughly condemne our selues, and cleere the Lord for punishing vs. Fourthly, by the confession of our sinnes, we are the more humbled, and pepared the better to prayer. The vse is, first, to reprooue all them that iusti∣fie themselues like the proud Pharisie, and offer vp their owne workes for satisfaction vnto God, as the Papistes doe. Secondly to reproue them that will not gladly beare sharp reproofe for their sinnes, nor be contented to be censured by those meanes that God hath prescribed in his worde for the same purpose. Thirdly, it teacheth vs for to loue them that Page 137 admonish vs often, and reproue vs sharpely, when we haue offended, esteeming them our deerest friends, and auoyding such as flatter, as Leuitic. 19. 17. Math. 18. 18. seeing it is the meanes to bring vs to this confession, which is so ne∣cessarie.
Doctrine. It furthereth to thorow repentance that Gods * people doe in their prayers adioyne to their confession of sinnes, a recitall of the iudgements that are vpon them for the same. The reason is, because, first, they may thereby (if they will learne them by no other meanes) know and think vpon the multitude, and heynousnes of their offences. Se∣condly, thereby they are made to feele what neede they stand in of Gods mercie, that they may the more earnestly seeke to him in feare and trembling. Thirdly, Gods mercie is readiest for them that most freely acknowledge his iustice in punishing them. Fourthly, to teach vs to recount Gods iudgements vpon our selues, and others, generally or parti∣cularly, that we may be the better humbled and fitted there∣by to prayer.
Doctrine. [sinned: heb. failed] Euery childe of GOD is * iustly punished that fayleth in any duety whatsoeuer it bee, that God hath commanded him in his word. The reason is, because, first, all are his creatures, and are to bee obedient wholly to his commaundements. Secondly, hee made vs able in our creation to fulfill his whole law. Thirdly, the least failing in our duety, is sinne that prouoketh Gods anger, and bringeth a curse, seeme it neuer so trifling a matter in our corrupt iudgement, The vse is, first, to reproue the Papists, that turne many of Gods commandements into counsels, aud so make them not enioyned vnder paine of Gods curse: also accounting many sinnes veniall in themselues. Second∣ly, to reproue them that thinke themselues wronged, if they be punished, & haue not fallen into notorious grosse sinnes; neuer remembring that dueties must be done, as well as vices auoyded. Thirdly, to teach vs, to acknowledge God to be ho∣lie, iust and righteous, whatsoeuer he lay vpon vs here: also uot to content our selues with a ciuill life, seeing we are en∣ioyned Page 138 to doe whatsoeuer God hath commaunded.
Doctrine. [rebelled] It is rebellion against the Lord, to de∣spise * any of his lawes, though all humaine lawes should ap∣proue vs therein. The reason is, because, first, God is king of kings, and will be serued without exception. Secondly, else God should yeeld vnto men. Thirdly, wee are to obey men (onely) in the Lord, and no further. The vse is, first, to reproue rulers that require obedience of their subiects to all their owne decrees, not regarding whether God bee disobeyed thereby or no. Secondly, to reproue them that pretend mans lawe to defend themselues in their sinnes; as in the breach of the Sabboth, contentednesse with the dumbe Ministerie, putting of money to vsurie, &c. Secondly, it teacheth vs al∣waies to hold this both in iudgement and practize, It is bet∣ter to obey God then men, Acts 5. 29.
Doctrine [not spared] No excuse nor priuiledge can shield * any man from Gods plagues for sinne. The reason is, because, first, God cannot hold the wicked innocent. Secondly, God must necessarily in loue correct his children, that they may know their sinnes, and the desert thereof, and be reformed thereby. The vse is, to teach vs, first, to gather the heinous∣nesse of our sinnes by the grieuousnes of our punishments. Secondly, to shun all excuses by priuiledge of birth, wealth, authoritie, &c. (for no excuse will serue) but to acknowledge Gods iustice and mercie in punishing vs. Thirdly, so often as we are any way afflicted, to labour to amend our liues, if we looke to be cased.
[Thou hast couered vs with wrath] i. Thou hast ouerwhel∣med vs with the multitude of thy iudgements, that flowe * from thine anger against vs for our sinnes [and persecuted vs] i. followed vs with all kinds of thy iudgements, to euery place that we haue fled vnto, and met with euery excuse that wee could pretend [thou hast slaine] i. destroyed vs in great a∣boundance [and not spared] i. shewed no compassion to any age or sexe.
Doctrine. [persecuted] There is neither place to hide our * selues in, nor excuse that will defend vs, when God purpo∣seth to punish vs for our sinnes: for the reason, and vse here∣of, see vers. 5. doctr. 1.
Doctrine. [thou hast] and yet it was the enemies that did * it, teaching vs this doctrine. In our afflictions we must not looke to the instruments, but to the Lord that smiteth: for the reason, and vse hereof, see chapt. 1. vers. 5. doctr. 5.
Doctrine. [slaiue and not spared] As God is full of mercy * in his long suffering, so is his anger vnappeasable, when it breaketh out against the sonnes of men: for the reason, and vse hereof, see chap. 2. vers. 2. doct. 2.
Doctrine. [not spared] Men feele not Gods hand suffici∣ently * to be humbled thereby, except the Lord smite them most seuerely. The reason is, because, first, of our natu∣rall blindnesse and blockishnesse to follow that which is righteous in Gods sight. Secondly, such is our hypocrisie, that else we would seeke shifts. Thirdly, our course in sin∣ning is naturally so strong, that it wil not otherwise be stayed. The vse is to teach vs, first, what monsters we are by nature. Secondly, to renounce our selues and all that we can doe, ac∣knowledging Gods iustice howsoeuer hee punish vs, and a∣scribing it to his meere mercy, that there is any good thing in vs.
[Thou hast couered thy selfe with a cloud] i. thou doest (as * it were) hide thy selfe and set a barre betwixt thee and vs [that prayers should not passe thorough] i. to the end that our supplications should not come vp in thy sight.
Doctrine. [couered thy selfe, &c.] The sinnes of Gods people doe often separate betwixt God and them, that his * mercies might be kept from them, Isay 59. 2. Ieremie 5. 25. The reason is, because, first, our sinnes prouoke his wrath till it be appeased. Secondly, els we would not much feare Gods anger: such is our corruption. The vse is, first, to reproue them that blame God or his word, ministers or Gods means Page 140 that he vseth when any plague is vpon them. Secondly▪ to teach vs to blame our sinnes for euery iudgement that is vp∣on vs. Thirdly, to labour our hearts carefully to repen∣tance and to obey the Lord, seeing it is the nature of euery sinne, to separate betwixt God and vs, chusing death (if the will of God be such) rather then life by sinfull meanes.
Doctrine. [prayer should not] God often deferreth to heare * the prayer of his children when yet hee purposeth in due time to graunt their requests: for the reason, and vse here∣of, see vers. 8. doctr. 3.
[Thou hast appoynted] i. By thy hande that disposeth all * things, thou hast giuen vs the conditiō of [the sweepings and refuse] i such as are abhorred and loathed [in the midst] i. by the greatest in number and accoumpt [of the people] i. those nations that haue occasion to thinke of vs.
Doctrine. [the sweepings] When God meaneth thorough∣ly to humble his people, he maketh them odious in the eies * of all men, 1. Cor. 4. 13. The reason is, because, first, hee would take all matter of worldly ostentation from them, which whilest they haue, they are hardly pulled downe. Se∣condly, that the enemies in the error of their iudgement might haue a perswasion of wel-doing in molesting them. Thirdly, that they may know by experience, the vncertain∣tie and vanitie of worldly confidence: and so (being out of loue therewith) long for heauen, and delight in heauenly things. The vse is to teach vs, first, the peruersenesse of our disposition, that needeth so sharpe meanes to doe vs good. Secondly, whensoeuer we fall into disgrace with the world, to better our wayes, by leauing our sinnes and being more zealous in godlines.
Doctrine. [thou hast. &c.] It is the Lord that layeth dis∣grace * vpon his people in this life, or else it could not fall vp∣on them. The reason is, because he is Almightie, and doth all things, as vers. 37. doct. 1. The vse is, first, to reproue them that ascribe such things to fortune, and them that re∣spect chiefly the instruments of their disgrace. Secondly, to teach vs whensoeuer any such thing befalleth vs, to acknow∣ledge Page 141 it to be the hand of God vpon vs for our sinnes, and to learne amendment by it.
Doctrine. [in the middest] That which tendeth to the dis∣grace of the godly, is more generally receiued, then any o∣ther * tidings whatsoeuer. The reason is, because, first, God will haue it a matter to humble them, and a stumbling blocke to the wicked. Secondly, it is the longing desire of the wicked to fasten any thing vpon the godly that may dis∣grace them. The vse is to teach vs, first, not to iudge of any by the reporte of the world. Secondly, not to be amazed when it is our case, but to profite by it to amendment.
[All our enemies] i. all that are against vs, of all nations, * and degrees [haue opened their mouth] i. haue freely and largely spoken [against vs] i. whatsoeuer might defame vs.
Doctrine. In that this followeth vpon Gods giuing them ouer into reproach, we learne this doctrine. God must giue * his people ouer into reproach before that the wicked can re∣uile them. The reason is, for that the tongues aswell as the actions, of all men are directed by the Lord, and stopped at his pleasure. The vse is, to teach vs, to bee humbled by it when wee fall into the reproach of men, acknowledging it the hand of GOD: so did Dauid, 2. Samuel 16. 10. &c.
Doctrine. [all our enemies haue opened, &c] It is a special * propertie of the wicked to rayle at the godly, and reuile them: for the reason, and vse hereof, see chapt. 2. verse 16. doctr. 2.
[Feare and the pit] i. great terror, and no way to escape, * but being as they that sticke fast in a ditch, when their ene∣mies pursue them [is come vpon vs] i. is our present condi∣tion, by reason of the insolencie of the enemie [desolation] i. vtter ouerthrow [and destruction] i. an irrecouerable renting of vs in sunder.
Doctrine. [Feare, &c.] when the wicked insult against the * godly, then are they in greater vexation then vnder any o∣ther crosse that can befall them. The reason is, because, Page 142 first, religion it selfe is therby disgraced, which ought to be dearer vnto them then their liues. Secondly, they haue cause to feare that GOD will wholly deliuer them and their reli∣gion to be troden vnder foote of spoylers. The vse is to teach vs, first, to trie our selues how zealous we are of Gods glory, by the measure of our griefe, when the enemies doe blaspheme. Secondly, to striue to take to heart more and more the dishonour of the trueth by the reuilings of men.
Doctrine. [the pitte] Gods people are sometimes brought * to such extremities, as they cannot possiblie see any way to escape. The reason is, because, first, God will let them see that their help is not in themselues, but in him. Second∣ly, thereby wee know what grieuous things our sinnes doe deserue to bring vs into. Thirdly, God sheweth vs thereby the hatred of the enemie, that wee may learne to shunne him. The vse is to teach vs, first, not to iudge of our selues or others by the outward estate of his life. Secondly, to looke for such a condition, and to prepare our selues to beare it.
Doctrine. [desolation] when the wicked doe preuaile * most, then is the miserie of the godly greatest. The reason is, because, they cannot both flourish together. The vse is, to teach vs, to pray heartily vnto GOD for the suppression of the vngodly, and protection of his people from the fury of the wicked.
Doctrine. [destruction] whē God bringeth his people into * straights, it is an easie thing for the wicked to make hauocke of thē. The reason is, because, first, the Lords strēgth that was for them, is then turned against thē. Secondly, the godly hold it lawfull to vse good meanes onely, whereas the wicked de∣uise any, whether good or euill to serue their turne. The vse is, to teach vs, not to wonder at the sodaine grouth of the wicked, but to acknowledge our sinnes that doe giue God such cause to stirre them against vs.
Doctrine. [destruction] In the desolation of the Church of God, there doe fall out great distraction, and rents among *Page 143 the members thereof. The reason is, because, first, Gods presence, the bond of their vnitie, is remoued from them. Secondly, they follow their owne deuises, which are all di∣uers one from another. Thirdly, they are ready (in the cor∣ruption of their nature) each to lay the blame vpon others, and none vpon themselues. The vse is to teach vs, first, to trie thereby who doe feare God soundly, 1. Corinth. 11. 19. &c. Secondly, to take heede that wee bee no occa∣sion of schisme among brethren whatsoeuer extremitie be∣fall vs.
[Mine eye] i. mine eyes: the singular number for the * plurall [descendeth] i falleth (as it were) wholly away [in riuers of water] i. such aboundance of teares come from them, as though they were wholly dissolued into water [for the destuction] i. for the ruine and ouerthrow [of the daugh∣ter of my people] i. my brethren, so tender and deare vnto me.
Doctrine. [mine eye, &c.] The godly ought more by out∣ward * signes to declare their sorrow for the ouerthrowe of the Church of God, then for anie other calamitie that they can haue share of in this life. The reason is, because, first, Gods glory is thereby defaced. This caused Moses, Exod. 32. 32. and Paul Rom. 9. 3. to be so earnest, as to neglect their owne felicitie in respect thereof. Secondly, the faith of euery one in particular is much shaken thereby, the meanes of su∣staining it being ouerthrowne. Thirdly, those that are lin∣ked with vs in the nearest bond, are in dāger of falling away. Fourthly, the aduersaries mouth is opened to blaspheme, The vse is, to teach vs, when we heare or see this desolation, to labour with our selues that we may be affected with it, and not passe it ouer carelesly, though it goe well with vs in particular: thus did Nehemiah, 2. 3.
Doctrine. [riuers of water] When teares are shed for the * ouerthrow of religion, they are vndoubted signes of the true feare of GOD. The reason is, because, first, they de∣clare that Gods spirite dwelleth in that heart, whereby reli∣gion (which naturally wee regarde not) is made deare Page 144 vnto it. Secondly, it argueth a fellow-feeling betwixt the bodie hurt, and the partie weeping; and consequently an vn∣feined in grafting into Christ Iesus. The vse is, to teach vs, to trie our selues, what measure of this sorrowe is in vs, for the desolations that the Church of God hath euery where.
[Mine eye droppeth] i. floweth from mee in teares [and*staieth not] i. continueth without ceasing [because of no in∣termission] i. because there is no staye, or breathing time of the miserie that is vpon the daughter of my people.
Doctrine. [and staieth not] when God smiteth his peo∣ple without intermission, then ought they to mourne with∣out * ceasing. The reason is, because, he smiteth to bring them to thorowe repentance; wherunto when they attaine, he wil stay his hand. The vse is, first, to reprooue them that take not their afflictions to heart for amendment, and those that thinke mourning for a day sufficient, Isay 58. 5. &c. Second∣ly, to teach vs, to labour our selues, and increase in mourning so long as the Lordes hand continueth heauie vpon his Church in generall, or our selues in particular.
[Till the Lord looke downe] i. till God declare by his fauo∣rable * hand, that he looketh vpon vs; for he alwaies looketh vpon all things [and beholde from heauen] i. send vs the light of his fauourable countenance, by a mightie deliuerance.
Doctrine. [till, &c.] When the Lords correcting hand is * vpon his people, hee seemeth to neglect them, and not to looke vpon them. The reason is, because, first, he withdraw∣eth the feeling of his louing fauour in many respects. Se∣condly, they iudge (especially in their agonie) according to their present feeling. The vse is, to teach vs to vse all good meanes to continue the Lords louing countenance; and if he frowne, not to thinke our selues forsaken.
Doctrine. [till the Lord, &c.] The godly in affliction doe neuer giue ouer mourning and humbling themselues be∣fore * God, till the rodde be remoued. The reason is, because, first, it is the nature of faith, not to be ouercome in affliction. Secondly, they knowe they must be afflicted till they be suf∣ficiently humbled, and therefore they labour to growe in it. Page 145 The reason is, first, to reproue them that cast off the profes∣sion of godlinesse, because afflictions goe with it, and em∣brace this present world with Demas. Secondly, to teach vs, not to be so much wearie of the rod, as of our sins that con∣tinue it vpon vs, because they are not repented of.
[Mine eye] i. the miserie that I see with mine eye [grie∣ueth*mine heart] i. giueth great cause of lamentation vnto my heart [aboue all the daughters of my citie] i. more then the most passionate women vse to bee vexed, with that which doth most neerely touch them.
Doctrine. [mine eye] The eye in seeing the outward mi∣series that God laieth vpon vs, is a speciall meane to make vs * the more sorrowfull in heart for it. The reason is, because, first, the sight is the quickest of the senses. Secondly, things seene are most surely and amply knowne and vnderstood, seeing a report may deceiue vs, but not the sight; for that it vieweth all the circumstances, as Deut. 28. 31. &c. Ier. 52. 10 The vse is, first, to administer comfort vnto those that want their sight, seeing they cannot behold the things that are la∣mentable, as those that haue it. Secondly, to teach vs to vse our eyes to the beholding of lawfull things onely, lest GOD cause vs to see that which shall make a most deepe impres∣sion of griefe into our hearts.
Doctrine. [aboue all] Naturall affection of the most pas∣sionate * woman can bring no such griefe of heart, as the mi∣serie of the Church of God doth often worke in the godly. The reason is, because, first, they mourne for things tempo∣rall, these for spirituall. Secondly, they haue nothing but na∣turall affection to set them on worke; these haue Gods spi∣rit also that helpeth them herein, and worketh a greater af∣fection to Gods trueth, then any affection of nature can worke in a mother to the child of her wombe. The vse is, to reprooue them that would haue men become voyd of pas∣sions, as the Stoikes; and those that call this sorrow melan∣cholie, and fantasticall motions; deriding those that do thus mourne. Secondly, to teach vs to learne by the affection of naturall women, how to lament for the decay of religion, Page 146 and the afflictions of Gods people.
[Mine enemies] i. those strangers, and vnkind folkes that * set themselues against me [chased me] i. pursued after me to destroy me [sore] i. in most eger and extreame manner [as a bird] i. as a fowler pursueth the bird, with desire to take it [without cause] i. I hauing giuen them no occasion hereof by any harme that I haue intended or done against them.
Doctrine. [mine enemies] The true Church and faithfull people of God doe neuer want enemies whilest they liue * here, who doe most egerly pursue them, by all meanes seek∣ing to ouerthrow them. The reason is, because, first, many walke in the broad way, who being of contrarie qualitie to the godly, doe therefore hate them, 2. Cor. 6. 14, 15. &c. Psal. 124. 6, 7. and 129. 1. 3. and 56. 1 &c. Secondly, Gods proui∣dence hath disposed that it should bee so, for the more iust condemnation of the wicked, and the greater good of his seruants. The vse is, first, to reproue the Papists, that make multitude, & a visible Monarchie a note of the true Church. Secondly, to teach vs, to take heede of familiaritie with the wicked, lest we be either smitten by them, or drawn to ioyne with them in smiting the innocent. Thirdly, to looke alwaies for such hatred, if wee desire to walke soundly in the waies of the Lord.
Doctrine. [as a bird] The godly of themselues are so simple * and weake, that they can neither preuent, nor withstand the pollicies or strength of their aduersaries. The reason is, be∣cause, first, GOD vsually chooseth those that bee naturally simple, 1. Cor. 1. 27. &c. therefore are they termed doues, Psal. 74. 19. Cantic. 2. 14. sheepe, Iohn 10. 27. Matth. 10. 16. &c. Secondly, the godly are but fewe, weake, and making conscience to tye themselues onely to lawfull meanes. The vse is, first, to reproue the Popish error of commending men for their pompous worldly wisedome: also the Iewes, car∣nall men, and politiques, that condemne the meane estate of Christs people and looke onely to the worldly meanes that mē do admire. Secondly, to teach vs to look for both subtile, craftie, & open violent enemies, if we will serue God aright.
Page 147Doctrine. [without cause] The wicked are moued by the * malice of their owne hearts, to persecute the godly, not ha∣uing any cause giuen by them, to moue them thereunto, Pro. 1. 11. 17. The reason is, because, first, the godly are fewer, weaker, simpler, and withdraw themselues from them. Se∣condly, nothing can be iust cause to make one bitter against another but sinne, which the wicked hate not. Thirdly, God in his prouidence hath appoynted it to be so, to shewe his righteousnes in deliuering his, and ouerthrowing the other. The vse is to teach vs, to take patiently the wrongs offered vs by the wicked, seeing they hate vs not for our sinnes, but for the best things in vs, assuring our selues that the righte∣ous God will take our cause into his owne hand.
[They] i. the enemies mentioned in the former verse *[haue shut vp my life in the dungeon] i. haue not onely impri∣soned me but also vsed cruel meanes to take my life from me [and cast a stone vpon me] i. set an hinderance against me to depriue me of all meanes of recouerie: this was especially true in Ieremie his owne person, Ierem. 37. 16.
Doctrine. [shut vp my life] The wicked be often so enfla∣med with malice against the godly, as nothing will satisfie * them but their blood, for the reason and vse hereof, see Chap. 2. vers. 16. doctr. 3.
Doctrine. [and cast a stone vpon me] The wicked doe not content themselues with ordinarie meanes to seeke the life * of the godly, but also practise often more then naturally see∣meth needfull, Mat. 27. 66. The reason is, because, first, they beare a deadly hatred to the trueth and professors thereof, Rom. 3. 13. &c. Secondly, the sting of their euill conscience, that maketh them alwayes feare they shall not preuaile, Dan. 6. 16. 17. The vse is, to teach vs, first, that they that bend themselues against the Church of GOD, shall be madde as Woolues, and foolish in their practises, whose hope GOD will bring to confusion. Secondly, that wee may not de∣spayre, though all meanes be against vs. Thirdly, to giue all praise for the Churches deliuerance vnto God alone, seeing he doth so miraculously worke for it.
Page 148[Waters haue slowed ouer mine head] i. many and great * miseries, and troubles haue ouerwhelmed and oppressed me both in soule and body [I sayd I am destroyed] i. I perswaded my selfe, and vttered it with my wordes, that I was vtterly ouerthrowne, seeing no meanes to the contrarie, and all oc∣casions that might be, to make me thinke so.
Doctrine. [waters, &c.] many, grieuous, and ineuitable * are the troubles and miseries which Gods faithful people suf∣fer in this life, Acts 14. 22. Psalm. 34. 19. and 69. 1. 2. 15. 16. &c. 2. Tim. 3. 12. The reason is, because, first, Sathan and the wicked doe continually pursue them with deadly hatred, seeking to destroy them. Secondly, God scourgeth euery sonne that he receiueth, Heb. 12. 6. to bring them to repen∣tance, to conforme them to Christ their head, to make them out of loue with this life, and to inflame their thirst after that which is to come. The vse is, to reproue all prophane and fearefull men that mislike them that suffer, or dare not suffer for the trueth, thinking them best that suffer least. Se∣condly, to teach vs to prepare ourselues to suffer extremities whilest we be here, seeing our lot is to suffer for Christ, if we rightly beleeue in his name.
Doctrine. [I sayd] The godly oppressed with miseries, are often brought both to doubt & to despaire for the time, *Iob 3. 1. Psal. 22. 1. and 77. 1. to the 11. Ierem. 15. 18. and 20. 14. &c. The reason is, because, first, they iudge according to their present feeling. Secondly, mans infirmitie is natu∣rally prone to infidelitie. Thirdly, God in his wisdome with∣draweth the feeling of his grace for a time, to let them see themselues, and to make them seeke to him the more ear∣nestly. Fourthly, to make them more thankfull for his grace when they feele it, and more carefull to continue in it. The vse is to teach vs, first, that we are most miserable by nature, if God leaue vs to our selues. Secondly, to looke for heauy temptations in the time of afflictions. Thirdly, not to cast off all hope of recouering, though we seeme to be in a most de∣sperate condition, but carefullie to vse the meanes thereof, as first, the meditation of our former feeling: secondly, prayer: Page 149 thirdly, the vse of the exercises of religion: fourthly, company and conference with the godly only.
[I called vpon thy name] i. I prayed heartely vnto thee [O Lord] i. O thou that rulest the whole world [out of the lowe*dungeon] i. from the place and condition of greatest extremi∣tie, when no meanes of deliuerance appeared.
Doctrine. [I called] The godly do pray vnto the Lord for * his grace and fauour, euen when they are in such great ex∣tremitie that al hope, in reason, is past: Examples hereof, Moses at the red sea, Israel often, Ionah in the whales bellie, &c. The reason is, because, first, their faith can neuer bee quayled, seeing it is that which ouercommeth the world, 1. Ioh. 5. 4. &c. Secondly, they rest vpon Gods trueth, that fay∣leth not, and power that ruleth all things. The vse is to teach vs, first, to striue against that temptation which perswadeth to surcease praying when our case seemeth desperate. Se∣condly, that their profession was but temporarie when trou∣bles doe quaile. Thirdly, to call still vpon God in the day of our troubles, yea, to increase in feruencie, according to the increase of danger and continuance therein.
Doctrine. [lowe dungeon] There is no condition so mi∣serable * in this life, but the godly may and doe fall into it: Examples, Abraham for vncertaine dwelling, Dauid for many enemies, Iob for inward and outward miseries of all sortes. The reason is, because, first, GOD will shewe his anger against sinne in this life, euen vpon his owne seruants. Secondly, that by afflictions they might bee weaned from the delight in this worlde, and made in loue with heauen. The vse is, to teach vs, first, to reprooue them that iudge according to the outward estate of anie, what fauour they are in with the Lord. Secondly, to teach vs, not to promise our selues any worldly successe, but to looke alwayes for the contrarie.
[Thou hast heard my voyce] i. heretofore when I haue prayed thou hast graunted my petitions [stop not thine eare*from my sigh and my crye] i. do not now refuse to regard mine earnest and heartie prayer: for the hebrue word that is trans∣lated Page 150 sigh, signifieth the enlarging or lifting vp of the spirit, which must needes arise from the touch of the heart: & the last word expresseth the feruencie of the heart, which enfor∣ceth the voyce vnto vehemencie.
Doctrine. [thou hast &c.] The experience of Gods former fauour, is a notable prouocation to cause vs still to trust in * him againe in our necessities, Psal. 4. 1. The reason is, because, first, it argueth that wee are ingrafted into Christ, and there∣fore shall be loued vnto the end, seeing God chaungeth not. Secondly, GOD is alwaies readie to shewe mercie, and to forgiue; and therefore he will doe it one time, as well as ano∣ther. The vse is, to teach vs, first, to vse this as a speciall com∣fort to the afflicted heart, being voyd of present comfort, and to beate backe that temptation which saith, God hath cast thee off. Secondly, to recount Gods former mercies, taking comfort therein, and stirring vp our selues thereby vnto prayer, with assurance to be heard.
Doctrine. [sigh and crye] The prayer of the godly ought to come from the heart, and to be with greatest feruency that * may be. The reason is, because, first, God will not be dallied withall, but looketh to the inward affection. Secondly, wee must groane vnder the burthen of that we would bee rid of, and long for that we desire, before God will heare vs. The vse is, first, to reproue the lip-labour of the Papists, and of the ig∣norant prophane people that thinke, prayer standeth in an ordinarie saying of certen words. Secondly, to teach vs to take heede, that in our prayer we bee not carried away into by-thoughts. Thirdly, to labour a forehand by the medita∣tion of the things we pray for, to affect our hearts therwithal.
[Thou drewest neere] i. by taking away my miseries, and bestowing thy graces vpon me, thou that didst seeme to bee * farre off, shewedst thy selfe to bee at hand [in the day that I called vpon thee] i. euen when I did pray vnto thee [thou sai∣dest] i. thou didst as clearely manifest this vnto me, as if I had heard thy voyce speake vnto me [feare not] i. cast thy care vpon me, and be not afraid what man can do vnto thee; for I am with thee, and will preserue thee.
Page 151Doctrine [thou drewest] when the godly doe rightly pray * vnto the Lord, they haue most notable experience of his fa∣uour towards them. The reason is, because, first, God perfor∣meth his promise vnto them, Call vpon me &c. Psal 50. 15. Come vnto me &c. Matth. 11. 28 &c. Secondly, their affec∣tions are carried into heauen, where is the fulnesse of ioye, from earthly things that are full of vexation. The vse is, first, to reprooue them that either accompt feruent prayer need∣les, or are negligent in it. Secondly, to teach vs, that we there∣fore are not heard when we pray, because we call not aright. Thirdly, to teach vs to labour with our selues, that wee may encrease in feruent and often prayer.
Doctrine. [saidest feare not] The Lord doth giue most no∣table * encouragements and comforts, vnto those that rightly worship him: Examples hereof, are many in the Scriptures, and in daylie experience. The reason is, because, first, the Lord doth thereby manifest his loue vnto his seruants. Se∣condly, he will daunt the enemies by their wonderfull pa∣tience, constancie, comfort, and courage. Thirdly, others may be allured by their example to trust in him. The vse is, first, to reproue them that account the patience of the godly, sot∣tishnesse; their courage, desperatnesse; and their constan∣cie, obstinacie. Secondly, to teach vs, that in walking vp∣rightly, and calling vpon God for his assistance, we shall bee assured that he will be with vs, and deliuer vs, howsoeuer he seeme for a time to neglect vs.
[O Lord thou hast maintained the cause of my soule] i. thou Lord hast defended mee whensoeuer my life hath been in * question [thou hast redeemed my life] i. thou hast deliuered me from the hands of those that sought to destroy me.
Doctrine [thou hast &c.] The Lord defendeth the cause of his seruants, whensoeuer any iniurie is offered them by * the sonnes of men, Matth. 28. 20. Deut. 28 7 &c. The rea∣son is, because, first, he accounteth the wrongs that they su∣staine, to bee done vnto himselfe, Acts 9. 4. seeing they are molested for his truth Secondly, he is the righteous iudge of the world, that hath promised to relieue the oppressed, Psal.Page 152 146. 7. &c. The vse is, to teach vs, first, in what fearefull case all persecutors are, seeing they haue the Lord against them. Secondly, to be encouraged in weldoing, seeing God is with vs, and in our righteous cause will neuer leaue vs.
Doctrine. [soule, life] It is the soule of the godly, that the wicked doe alwaies hunt after, howsoeuer they doe not al∣waies * professe so to doe: for the reason and vse hereof, see vers. 53. doct. 1. of this Chapter.
Doctrine. [redeemed] Whatsoeuer extremities the godly doe endure in this life, yet are they in the ende deliuered by * the hand of the Lord from al their troubles: Examples here∣of, are Iob, Dauid, Israel, &c. The reason is, because, first, he fighteth for them, that is the strongest. Secondly, the ene∣mies of the righteous must needes be ouerthrowne. The vse is, to teach vs, with patience to beare whatsoeuer the Lord shall lay vpon vs, knowing that the issue thereof shall surely be ioyfull, Psal. 126. 5. &c.
[O Lord thou hast seene all my wrongs] i. thou hast looked vpon, and considered the manifold wrongs that they haue * done vnto me [iudge thou my cause] i. take thou my cause O Lord into thine hands, and iudge me according to mine vp∣rightnesse (not towards thee but) towards them.
Doctrine. [thou hast seene &c.] It is a notable encourage∣ment to pray to God for helpe against our enemies, whē our * conscience assureth vs our cause is righteous. The reason is, because, first, the righteous God will assuredly defend euery man in his righteous cause. Secondly, our conscience being cleere, giueth peace to our hearts, strength to our faith, and feruencie to our prayers. The vse is, to teach vs, first, the cause why in bad matters men seeke to any other for helpe, rather then to God, and in good causes rest on God onely, euen for that the conscience accuseth in the euill, and excuseth in the good. Secondly, that in all our controuersies with men, we labour to be vpright both in matter and manner, so shall we haue comfort in the strife.
Doctrine. [iudge thou &c.] The cōscience of a good cause, maketh vs desirous to come to triall before God or men. The *Page 153 reason is, because, first, wee looke for such an end as we iudge our cause to be Secondly, we know that all iudgemēts are, or should bee equall. The vse is, to teach vs, first, the cause why many men refuse to come to triall in their controuersies; euen for that they knowe it is naught and will not iustifie it selfe. Secondly, neuer to stand in the defence of any cause, but such as we are willing to be iudged in, both by God and all indifferent men.
[Thou hast seene] i. thou hast beholden and considered *[all their vengeance] i. all their extreame and spitefull re∣uenges and cruelties [and all their thoughts against me] i. all their mischiefes that their hearts conceiued to vexe me with all.
Doctrine. [vengeance] It is a propertie of the wicked to shewe all hard and cruell behauiour towards the godly. The * reason is, because, first, they are led by the malice of Satan, which ruleth the children of disobedience. Secondly, the course of the godly tendeth to the pulling downe of sinne, which the wicked do most delight in. The vse is, to teach vs, first, to take heed of dealing cruelly with any, lest we shewe our selues branded with the marke of the vngodly. Second∣ly, to looke for all extremities at the hands of the wicked, and to learne to take it patiently, seeing it is the lot of the righ∣teous.
Doctrine. [thoughts] The thoughts and imaginations of * man, are cleerely knowne vnto the Lord. The reason is, be∣cause, he made the heart, as well as other parts, and knoweth the depth of the bottome thereof, Psalm. 94. 11. Acts 1. 24. The vse is, first, to reproue their blindnesse that thinke them∣selues safe, if men see not their actions; and them that thinke their thoughts to be free. Secondly, to teach vs, if we desire to please God indeed, to be as carefull that our thoughts bee vpright, as that our waies be vnreproueable.
[Thou hast heard their reproach] i. their spitefull speeches and taunting tearmes haue come vnto thine eares [O Lord]*i. O thou that gouernest all things [all their thoughts against me] i. their manifold deuises how to doe me harme.
Doctrine. [thoughts] as in the same worde of the last * verse.
[The lips of those that rise against me] i. the words of such * as set themselues to bee mine enemies [and their whispering against me continually] i. their meditations which their heart deuiseth, and their tongue vttereth in secret one to another, and that not once, or now and then, but euery day without ceasing.
Doctrine. [lips &c.] It is a token of an enemie and not of a friend, to vse to speake against the godly. The reason is, be∣cause, * first, out of the aboundance of the heart the mouth speaketh, Matth. 12. 34. &c. Secondly, loue rather coue∣reth the faults of bretheren, then blazeth them, 1. Pet. 4. 8. for he that is with vs, saith Christ, can hardly speake euill of vs. The vse is, first, to reproue them that delight in reporting things to the disgrace of others. Secondly, to teach vs, so carefull as we are to approue our selues louers of the trueth, to be so diligent in stopping our mouthes, that they doe not blaze the faults of the professors of the trueth.
Doctrine. [all the day] The wicked are neuer satisfied, but doe still continue their hatred and deuises against the god∣ly: * for the reason and vse hereof, see vers. 14. Doct. 16. of this Chapter.
[Behold their sitting downe and their rising vp] i. thou that knowest all things (for that is the meaning of sitting and ri∣sing, * as Psal. 139. 2.) looke vpon their doings, and call them to account for the same [I am their song] i. they make them∣selues merrie with my miseries.
Doctrine. [sitting &c.] The Lord seeth, and will call to a straight reckoning, all the thoughts, words, and deeds of the * sonnes of men. The reason is, because, first, he made althings, and therefore must needes know them. Secondly, he is the Iudge of the whole world, and therfore he must needs iudge righteously, Gen. 18. 25. The vse is, to teach vs, first, with pa∣tience Page 155 to beare the iniuries offered vs by the wicked, seeing they shall be called to account for them. Secondly, to walke in feare and trembling, seeing God beholdeth, and wil iudge all things.
Doctrine. [their song] The wicked doe greatly delight * themselues in mocking the godly; for the reason and vse hereof, see vers. 14. Doct. 8 of this Chapter.
[Giue them a recompence O Lord] i. O Lord do thou call them to account, and requite them [according to the worke of*their hands] i. euen as they haue deserued, and shewe no fa∣uour vnto them: so Psal. 28. 4. &c. Obiection. How agreeth this with that; pray for them that persecute you? Answere, That is vnderstood of the affection that should bee in vs to the good of our enemies; and this is vnderstood of them that bee malitiously wicked, and hath rather reference to Gods iustice and glorie, then the persons of the aduersaries.
Doctrine. [Giue them &c.] It is lawfull for the godly (so * that it be without affection of reuenge, and of a pure zeale to Gods glory) to pray for the confusion and speedy ouerthrow of the enemies to the trueth. The reason is, because, first, they haue warrant in the Scriptures so to doe. Secondly, they must pray for the aduancement of euery braunch of Gods glorie, one whereof is the destruction of the wicked. The vse is, first, to reproue them that thinke this place and such like to be peculiar examples, in no sort to be imitated. Secondly, to teach vs, that Gods glory must be dearer to vs, then the good of those that nature bindeth vs neerest vnto: yea, then the saluation of our owne soules, Exod. 32. 32. Rom. 9. 3.
Doctrine. [according to the works &c.] We cannot wish a * greater euill to light vpon our selues, or others, then to bee dealt with at Gods hands according to our workes. The rea∣son is, because, by the workes of the lawe none can be iusti∣fied, Rom. 3. 20. seeing no flesh is righteous in his sight, and he that offendeth in one is guiltie of all, Iames 2. 10. Obie∣ction. How then doth the Scripture say, God will reward e∣uery one according to his workes? Answere. It is truely said, Page 156 for all men shall either receiue the reward of their owne workes, which is damnation: or of the perfect obedience of Christ, beleeuing in him, which are theirs by imputation. The vse is, first, to confute the Papists, and all others, that say they looke to be saued by their workes, vnderstanding thereby their owne deeds. Secondly, to teach vs to renounce (in respect of looking to bee saued by them) all our owne works, esteeming them (as they are) as a filthy cloute in the sight of God, Isay 64. 6. and to relie vpon the obedience of Iesus Christ alone, for our saluation, hoping to bee iustified freely by fayth, without the workes of the lawe, Roman. 3. 28.
[Giue them faintnesse of heart] i. Doe thou make their hart to be full of weaknesse, so as they shall doe vs no harme; or * giue them the couering of the heart; that is, such a mist and dulnesse as shall depriue them of all strength and courage [thy curse vnto them] i. let thine anger shew it selfe euery way against them.
Doctrine. [faintnesse] God giueth strength or weaknesse vnto the heart of man, according to that hee will haue them * able to doe, or vnable to performe. The reason is, because, he hath appoynted the hearte to bee the fonntaine, from whence both the willingnesse, and power to performe eue∣rie action should flow and proceede. The vse is, to teach vs, when we would haue anie good thing done, to pray to God to prepare and stirre vp the hearts of those thereunto that are to doe it: and when we would haue euil stayed, to desire the Lord to abate the strength and courage of their hearts, that are inclined vnto mischiefe.
Doctrine. [thy curse] It is the curse of GOD that scatte∣reth all the practises that the wicked imagine against the * godly. The reason is, because nothing can prosper which God setteth himselfe against. The vse is, to teach vs, first, to be carefull that all our actions be taken in hand and conti∣nued according to his will; so shall we be assured that Gods blessing, and not his curse shal be with vs in them. Second∣ly, Page 157 that the practises of vn godlinesse must needes haue an e∣uill ende, seeing they (not being warranted by Gods word) are the deedes that God will curse.
[Persecute in thine anger] i. let thine anger proceede a∣gainst * them without ceasing [and destroy them from vnder the heauens of the Lord] i. bring them to confusion where∣soeuer they shield themselues, seeing they are vnder the hea∣vens, where the Lords seat is, and in the compasse and cir∣cumference whereof hee raigneth, and ruleth all.
Doctrine. [thine anger, and destroy] Those against whom * the Lord sheweth forth his anger, must needes be destroyed and come to confusion. The reason is, because, first, hee is the greatest and must needes preuaile in whatsoeuer hee ta∣keth in hand. Secondly, hee cannot bee angrie with anie of his creatures, but for their disobedience, which is the iust desert of al confusion and desolation. The vse is, to teach vs, first, that the wicked must needes bee destroyed, seeing they doe still bend themselues to prouoke his anger: and therefore we should take their preuailing against vs (which is but for a short time) most patiently. Secondly, so carefull as we are not to haue Gods anger persecute vs to our destru∣ction, to be so diligent to walke in the feare of his name, and obedience to his lawes.
Doctrine. [from vnder, &c.] There is no place in the * world to keepe man from destruction, when Gods anger persecuteth him. The reason is, because his power preuay∣leth euery where. The vse is, to teach vs, that there is no suer∣tie for vs, neither in this life, nor in the time to come, but on∣ly in the fauour and loue of GOD, which wee must labour to attaine vnto aboue all things.
The fourth Chapter.
HOw] i. in what wonderful manner, and by what strange meanes [is the golde*darkened] i. that glorious Temple, that shined with golde, wherewith it was a∣dorned, is now made most base in ap∣parance [the most fine golde is changed] i. that parte of the Temple which was most beautifull, being couered with the finest gold, is cleane altered informe, and seemeth most abiect to looke vnto [the stones of holinesse] the stones dedicated to holie vses [are scat∣tered] are here and there dispersed [in the head of euery street] i. in the corners and by-places as things of no value.
Doctrine. [golde darkened] There is nothing so glorious * in this life, but it will be made vile when Gods angrie coun∣tenance is vpon it, for the sinnes of men. The reason is, be∣cause, nothing hath excellencie in it, but at his appoyntment and pleasure. The vse is, first, to reproue them that thinke they may flourish, though they neuer meddle with religion, which teacheth the way to attain the fauour of God. Second∣ly, to teach vs, so carefull as we are to enioy the things of this life in their kind, to our comfort, to be so diligent to growe in the feare of God, & auoyding of sin, which displeaseth him.
Doctrine. [stones of holinesse are scattered] When GOD giueth power into the handes of the wicked ouer his people, * they make hauocke of those things that bee most pretious. The reason is, because, first, the power of GOD, which none can resist, is then with them to the same purpose. Secondly, the hatred of the wicked against the godly, reacheth euen to all those things that they haue any vse of. The vse is, to teach vs, to be humbled, whensoeuer it falleth out so with vs, seeing it cannot be but vpon Gods displeasure for our sins.
Doctrine. [scattered] Those things that are most pretious in the eyes of the godly, are reiected as worth nothing by *Page 159 the wicked. The reason is, because, first, they are of a contrary disposition; the one louing goodnesse, and the meanes to at∣taine vnto it; and the other hating whatsoeuer is not euill, or tending thereunto. Secondly, all matters of religion are meere foolishnesse to a naturall man, because they are spiri∣tually discerned, 1. Cor. 2. 14. The vse is, to teach vs, to learne to discerne of men whether they bee religiously disposed or no, by their loue or dislike of the meanes that tend to the right worship and seruice of God.
[The noble sonnes of Sion] i. the great men and renowmed [which were comparable to the most fine gold] i. which were * euery way most worthie to be honoured [how are they estee∣med as earthen pitchers] i. what a merueilous chaunge are they come vnto? being no more regarded then the earthen vessels [the worke of the hands of the Potter] i. which the pot∣ter breaketh as things of none account, and altereth them at his pleasure, Ieremy 18. 2. or maketh them good for nothing, Ieremy 19. 11.
Doctrine. Generally out of the whole verse. The greatest * reputation that man can attaine vnto in this life, is an vn∣certaine estate, and easily taken away, Psal. 49. 12. The rea∣son is, because, first, there is no certaintie in any thing vnder the Sunne, Ecclesiast. 1. 2. &c. Secondly, God setteth vp, and putteth downe at his pleasure, Dan. 4. 29. &c. Thirdly, he that vseth his prosperous estate best, deserueth continually to haue it taken from him. The vse is, to teach vs, not to admire the glorious estate of man that is in honour, seeing it is most fickle, nor to set our hearts vpon any thing we enioy in this world, but to vse the things thereof, as if wee vsed them not, 1. Cor. 7. 31.
Doctrine. [noble] The hebrew word signifieth pretious, * or of especiall estimation; teaching this doctrine. Those whō God hath aduaunced in authoritie aboue others, are to bee reuerenced and honoured aboue others. The reason is, be∣cause, first, they doe represent the person of God himselfe; for which cause they are called Gods, Psal. 82. 1. &c. Second∣ly, they haue that power and authoritie, which should worke Page 160 a reuerent feare and awe of them in the hearts of others, Rom. 13. 1. &c. The vse is, first, to reproue them that do contemne those that are in authoritie, because of their meane priuate e∣state, or faults as they be men, seeing they are to be regarded according to the person they sustaine, and not their owne e∣state. Secondly, to teach vs, for conscience sake to giue ho∣nour and obedience vnto our gouernours, as vnto the Lord himselfe, whose person they doe represent vnto vs.
Doctrine. [comparable] It is a worthie thing in great men, to be adorned with good qualities, so farre exceeding others * as their calling is aboue them. The reason is, because, first, they shall bee the more able to carrie themselues aright in their place. Secondly, they shall procure the greater reue∣rence vnto their place thereby. The vse is, to teach those that haue it in their power to choose Magistrates, to looke that they make choyse of those that are best qualified; according to the counsell of Iethro, Exod. 18. 21. &c. Secondly, to teach all those that either looke for authoritie, or are in it, to labour to bee adorned with those qualities that may best sit them, and make them able to discharge the same.
Doctrine. [how are they &c.] It is merueilous in the iudge∣ment of flesh and bloud, to see a man of highest estimation, * come to be of the basest accompt. The reason is, because, we still dreame of a greater certaintie to be in the things of this life, then indeed is: so thought the Prophet Dauid in his pro∣speritie. The vse is, to teach vs, neuer to put our confidence in the greatest of the sonnes of men, seeing they are of∣ten made so vnable to helpe vs, as they cannot helpe them∣selues.
Doctrine. [earthen pitchers] When God giueth his people into the hand of the destroyers, the pretious and the vile are * all of one reckoning with them. The reason is, because, first, God setteth them on worke, who regardeth not the outward appearance of men, 1. Sam. 16. 7. &c. Secondly, they seeke to satisfie their reuenging minde, especially vpon the greatest. The vse is, to teach vs, neuer to promise our selues freedome from Gods rods, for any outward priuiledge; but onely for Page 161 the mercie of God in Christ Iesus, which we must especiallie labour to haue our affiance in.
[Euen the Seales] i. The verie Sea-dogges: for albeit the * hebrew word doe signifie generally al monsters, whether on land or water; yet here it must needes be vnderstood of this kind of beast, seeing no kinde of earthly creature that cree∣peth hath any paps [giue the breast, they giue their yong one: sucke] i. they haue a willingnesse and a place conuenient to feede their young [the daughter of my people is like the owle in the desert] i. but the mothers are so depriued of place to feede their infants, & the children so persecuted of all hands, that the whole people is howled at as the owle is among the other birds in the wildernesse [for the cruell] i. by reason of the bloudie enemie that persecuteth them.
Doctrine. generally out of the whole verse. Gods people are now and then depriued of those outward meanes of their * comfort, which none other of his creatures doe want. The reason is, because, first, the Lord doth thereby declare his de∣testation of sinne, that punisheth it so seuerely in his owne deare children. Secondly, they may more cleerely see that they are vnworthie the least of his blessings, and so may the more thoroughly bee humbled. The vse is, not to thinke the outward miseries that may befall vs, signes of Gods casting vs off; but meanes that he seeth meete to drawe vs neerer vnto him and therefore to profite by them.
Doctrine. [like the owle] The godly are often made a ga∣zing * stock, & a wonderment vnto men, as the owle is to the other birds, 1. Cor. 4. 9. The reason is, because, the course of godlinesse is most strange and foolish in their eyes. The vse is, to teach vs, not to forsake any duetie of godlinesse, for the wonderment of men, lest wee proue our selues to bee of the number of those that refuse the crosse of Christ, and so are not worthie of him, Matth. 10. 38.
Doctrine [the desert] As all birds, though hating one ano∣ther, * doe wonder at the owle; so all the wicked, being ene∣mies amongst themselues, doe set their seuerall powers a∣gainst Page 162 the godly: for the reason and vse hereof, see Chapt. 2. vers. 16. Doct. 1.
Doctrine. [by the cruell] It is the crueltie of the wicked that causeth the godly to fall into many grieuous distresses. * The reason is, because, first, they are the rods and instrumēts of Gods anger. Secondly, they beare an vnappeaseable ha∣tred against the godly. Thirdly, they are of greatest power and strength in this life, seeing they are directed by the God of this world. The vse is, to teach vs, so to see and confesse Gods hand to be the chiefe in all our troubles, as wee looke diligently into the crueltie of the instruments, that wee may learne to take heed of them.
[The tongue of the suckling cleaueth to the roofe of his*mouth by thirst] i. The young infants are so drie, wanting sucke, that there is no moysture in their mouthes, but thirst causeth the roofe of their mouth and their tongue to cleaue together [the little ones aske bread &c.] i. they being hun∣grie, doe call for food [none diuideth it vnto them] i. The fa∣mine is so great, that there is none that can vndertake to giue to each one that is meete for it.
Doctrine. [suckling] When God meaneth to punish his people thoroughly for their sinnes, they shall see a braunch * of his rod reach vnto all that belong vnto them, yea to the ve∣ry infants, the fruite of their bodie. The reason is, because, the disobedience, which causeth that punishment, doth ofter shewe it selfe in the abuse thereof. The vse is, to teach vs, so carefull as we are to see our children prosper and doe well, to be so diligent to take heed that we doe no way set our affec∣tions vpon them, nor any other way make wantons of them; but in all things to acknowledge them Gods good blessings bestowed vpon vs, which we must imploy to his glorie.
Doctrine. [cleaueth &c] There is sufficient cause & mat∣ter in all the infants of Gods people, why he should in his iu∣stice * destroy them: for the reason and vse hereof, see Chap. 2. vers. 20. Doct. 5.
Doctrine. [aske bread, none &c.] Gods people may come * to this case in this life, to begge necessary food, and yet haue none to giue it them, Luke 16. 21. & 15. 16. 17 The reason is, because, neither life, health, nor any thing that belongeth thereunto are the markes of Gods fauour, seeing he bestow∣eth them vpon the iust and the vniust. The vse is, to teach vs, first, not to promise our selues any worldly blessings euer the more, because we feare the Lord. Secondly, not to account pouertie, in it selfe, a note of vnhappinesse, seeing they whom God hath loued most dearely haue fallen into it.
[They that did feede delicately] i. such as haue been most daintie toothed, and fared deliciously [are desolated] i. are left * destitute of friends, and succour [in the streetes] i. in the pub∣like view, where all might see them [they that were nourished in scarlet] i. those that were vsed to be wrapped in the finest garments, and cloathed in the most costly attyre [doe em∣brace the dunghils] i. are glad to stretch their bodies vpon the filthiest places, to seeke rest and case.
Doctrine. generally out of the whole verse. It is often the * lot of Gods people, to spend the former part of their life in much worldly pleasure, and the latter in great miserie. The reason is, because, first, many haue their share in the world, till they be called to the knowledge of Christ, which is often at the ninth or last houre. Secondly, God seeth it meet to let many of his children haue experience of good and euill, Ec∣cles 2. 1. &c. Thirdly, it is the nature of our corruptions to leade vs to abuse prosperitie, which God will punish in his children in this life. The vse is, to teach vs to take heede that wee abuse not the one, nor despaire in the other; but in all things to seeke to glorifie the Lord; so did Iob. 1. 21, 22.
Doctrine. [feede delicately, are desolated] Many are most delicately brought vp, that afterward come to great want * and extremitie. The reason is, because, first, their parents make fondlings of them, and doe not vse them to any lawfull trauaile in their youth, and so they proue vnfit for any in Page 164 their age. Secondly, God will punish both the folly of the parents, and the vanitie of the children, for the example of o∣thers. Thirdly, disordered education increaseth the number and height of sinne, which must needes pull in the punish∣ments for sinne after it. The vse is, first, to reproue that fond and irreligious affection in parēts, that are so daintie of their children, as they may neither be broken from their owne de∣sires, nor set to do any thing more then pleaseth themselues. Secondly, to teach vs, of what wealth soeuer we bee, to bring vp our children vnto hardnesse, and in some good calling; not knowing what may befall them when we are gone.
Doctrine. [feede &c.] In a generall calamitie, they are most subiect to ruine that in time of prosperitie are freest * from it by their aboundance of worldly things. The reason is, because, first, they are likest to haue committed the grea∣test sinnes in the abuse of Gods blessings. Secondly, they haue least exercised themselues in the wayes to escape dan∣ger; perswading themselues to escape if any doe. Thirdly, the riches of the wealthiest are the things that spoylers set their eyes most vpon: for which they will be most extreame with the owners thereof. The vse is, to teach vs, neuer to pro∣mise our selues freedome for any worldly priuiledge; but truly to feare and worship the Lord, which is the only shield in all dangers, and stay in all distresses.
[And the punishment of the daughter of my people] i. the plagues which for their sinne are layd vpon my brethren & * countrimen: for the word here translated punishment, pro∣perly signifieth sinne, but is also vsed for the punishment which sinne deserueth, & so is the next word often: as name∣ly, Chapt. 3. 39. [is greater] i. euery way more heauie [then the punishment of Sodome] i. then that which GOD did lay vpon the filthie citie Sodome, Gen. 19. [which being ouer∣throwne, as in a moment the armies remained not in her] i. for it was quickly begun to be punished, & quickly destroyed; so as there was no cause for any power to continue the fur∣ther vexing of it.
Doctrine. generally out of the whole verse. The godly do *Page 165 vsually sustaine more grieuous punishments in this life, then any other people whatsoeuer: for the reason and vse hereof, see Chap. 1. vers 12. Doct. 5.
Doctrine. [punishment] Man neuer sustaineth any punish∣ment * in this life, but such as he iustly deserueth by his owne sinnes. The reason is, because, first, sinne is the cause of all punishments. Secondly, the righteous Iudge of the world cannot but doe all things righteously, Gen. 18. 29. The vse is, first, to reprooue them that impute the cause of one mans plagues to another mans offences, Ezech 18. 20. &c. Se∣condly, to teach vs, in all those afflictions that are vpon vs, to acknowledge our owne sinnes to deserue the same, and to learne thereby to amend them.
Doctrine. [which being &c.] That is the greatest punish∣ment * which man can suffer in this life, which is of longest continuance, though it bee not the seuerest in it selfe. The reason is, because, first, a short punishment, though heauier, doth not kill the heart so much as that which is of longer continuance, though lighter. Secondly, Sathan can worke many things in time, which of the sudden he cannot. Thirdly, the consideration of the length of time, giueth matter of strong temptations to despaire or reuolt from the trueth. The vse is, first, to knowe the malice and skill of those e∣nemies to bee great, that vexe Gods people with easier and lingering torments. Secondly, to teach vs, when we fall into such a kinde of affliction, to pray earnestly, and watch care∣fully ouer our selues: for it is harder to stand constant in such times, then in the daies of hottest persecutions.
[Her Nazarites] i. those of her people that had separa∣ted * themselues to a more strickt and pure course of seruing God then the rest, Numb. 6. &c. [were purer then the snow] i. of a cleere complexion without mixture [they were whiter then milke] i. they were faire, and without spots [they were redder in body then the Carbuncle] i. they were so pure and white, as yet a most comely ruddinesse appeared in them [their polishing was as the Saphire] i. The whole constitution and disposition of their bodies, was most decent, and ami∣able Page 166 to behold: for all these seuerall allegories are hyperbo∣licall comparisons, expressing the good blessing of God that appeared in their bodies, as did in the face of the three chil∣dren, Dan. 1 15. notwithstanding their abstinence and spare diet, when Gods fauour shewed it selfe among his people, whereof they were the most strickt.
Doctrine. generally out of the whole verse. When a mans waies please the Lord, very meane things doe maintaine him * in this life, in as good case, as can be desired. The reason is, because, it is not the quantitie, nor qualitie of any thing in this world, that sustaineth mans life, but the blessing of God vpon that wee enioy; which is especially vpon those that rightly feare him. The vse is, to teach vs, not to repose our affiance in the multitude of riches, nor to think our strength to stand in the large measure of food (though these be Gods good blessings to be receiued with thanks giuing) but onely in the grace and blessing of the Almightie, that giueth pro∣fite vnto man by these things, or denieth it at his pleasure.
Doctrine. [purer then] It is lawfull to expresse the extre∣mitie of anything with hyperbolicall speeches, Iohn 21. 25. * The reason is, because, first, the holy Ghost vseth so to doe. Secondly, our dulnesse is not els sufficiently affected, or our knowledge informed aright. The vse is, to teach vs, first, that it is necessarie for euery teacher to excell in this kind of per∣swasion. Secondly, to vnderstand those things in the Scrip∣tures that seeme to import things beyond sense, to bee vsed by the holy Ghost to affect vs the more thoroughly, & there∣fore to acknowledge our owne dulnesse that needeth such meanes to stirre vs vp.
Doctrine. [their polishing] When God manifesteth his fa∣uour * to his people, there appeareth a speciall grace, euen in all their iesture, words and deedes. The reason is, because, first, he guideth them by wisedome and vnerstanding to all conuenient courses. Secondly, he will haue his foes, now and then, admire his people, to leaue them the more without ex∣cuse. The vse is, to teach vs, whensoeuer any good thing is done by vs, or appeareth to others to bee in vs, to acknow∣ledge Page 167 the special grace and hand of God vpon vs, and to glo∣rifie him the more therein.
[Their visage is more darkned then blacknesse] i. their coun∣tenance is now as blacke as may bee [they are not knowne in*the streetes] i. they are so chaunged, that in the open streetes if you meete them, you cannot knowe them to bee the men they were before [their skin cleaueth to their bones] i. all the fatnes and flesh of their bodies is gone [it is withered] i. all moysture is gone out of it, and it is dried vp [it is like to wood] i. it is become as hard as if it were a piece of wood.
Doctrine. Generally out of the whole verse. The greater * that Gods blessings are vnto a people, the heauier is his pu∣nishing hand vpon them, when they fall away from him, Math. 11. 23. The reason is, because, first, to whome much is giuen, of him must much be required. Secondly, he is iud∣ged accordingly. The vse is, to teach vs, the more that wee enioy of Gods blessings, to bee the more carefull to serue him aright therewithall, lest we receiue the greater condem∣nation.
[They that be slaine with the sworde, are better then they that are killed with hunger] i. they that die with the sworde, * do suffer lesse payne in dying, then they that die with hunger [for these fade away] i. they feele their torments a long time dying by little and little [being striken thorough] i. wounded at the heart [for the fruites of the earth] i. for want of such foode as the earth ordinarily doth yeelde vnto the sonnes of men.
Doctrine. [are better, &c.] hee dyeth the most paynfull * death whose deadly wounds do longest (though not so vio∣lently) pinch them: for the reasons, and vse hereof, see verse 6. doctr. 3. of this chapter.
Doctrine. [striken thorough] Hunger pearceth the heart of man with as sensible payne, as doth a sharpe sworde. The * reason is, because, it doth directly fight against the life of man. The vse is to teach vs, first, whensoeuer God pincheth vs therewithall, to acknowledge that hee threatneth the ta∣king of our liues from vs. Secondly, to confesse Gods great Page 168 mercie to vs, when he giueth vs plentie of food, and to praise him for it.
Doctrine. [fruits of the earth] Man can haue no increase * of the earth, nor benefit by it, without the Lord see it meete, and giue a blessing thereunto. The reason is, because, the earth is the Lords, and the fulnesse thereof, Psal. 24. 1. who maketh it barren or fruitfull at his pleasure. The vse is, first, to reproue them that thinke their owne industrie sufficient to make them rich, and procure them foode, not conside∣ring that without the Lordes assistance all our early rising is in vaine; Psalm. 127. 2, &c. Secondly, to teach vs, still to vse all good meanes, and yet therein to beg of Gods hand, our dayly bread.
[The hands of the pitifull women] i. The hands of those wo∣men * which were naturally full of tender compassion [haue boyled their owne children] i. haue been employed in dressing and seething the fruit of their owne bodies [they were meat vnto them] i. those same children were the foode that those compassionate mothers did eate [in the destruction of the daughter of my people] i. in that time when Ierusalem was destroyed.
Doctrine. Generally out of the whole verse, The good nature that is in mankinde, is not able to direct the same vn∣to * any good course, if the Lord doe giue it ouer vnto it selfe. The reason is, because, first, nature is so corrupt, that it can doe no good thing of it selfe. Secondly, GOD is the onely dooer of all good things, and he alone enableth what instru∣ments he will to performe the same, 2. Cor. 3. 5. The vse is, first, to reproue them that thinke GOD can be serued in acceptable manner by our meere naturall things, as they vse to speake. Secondly, to teach vs not to rest vpon any thing that is in our selues, be it neuer so glorious, but to seeke to God alone for grace to doe whatsoeuer we desire should be accepted in his sight.
Doctrine. [they were meate] There is nothing so deare vnto man but (if GOD stay him not) he will destroy it, for * the preseruation of his life. This did Sathan know and al∣leadge, Page 169Iob 2. 4. The reason is, because, naturally life is the dearest vnto vs, to the preseruation and good whereof all things are vsed by mankinde. The vse is, first, to reprooue them, as being farre from the course of nature, that for some griefe conceiued doe goe about to kill them selues, and so to take away that life, which in nature should be deare vnto them. Secondly, to teach vs, so to make all things serue for the maintenance of this life, as that wee still craue the dire∣ction of the Lord therein, else shall we make an Idol of life, and commit many sinnes to preserue it.
[The Lord hath accomplished his indignation] i. he hath left nothing vndone that might adde vnto the declaration of his * anger: for the hebrew word signifieth to make perfect, so as nothing be wanting he hath powred out the fiercenesse of his anger] i. he hath aboundantly declared the extremitie of his displeasure [he hath kindled a fire in Sion which hath deuou∣red the foundations thereof] i. he hath sent a consuming flame into Ierusalem, which doth not onely burne the tops of hou∣ses, but euen vtterly wasteth the foundations, leauing no markes of it, nor any hope of restoring it.
Doctrine. Generally out of the whole verse. Wherein the * expressing of the same thing by so many kindes of seuerall speeches, teacheth vs this doctrine. Though Gods punishing hand be heauie vpon vs, yet are we hardly brought to a tho∣rough acknowledgment of our sinnes that deserue the same. The reason is, because, first, wee are most blind to discerne our owne corruptions. Secondly, we are naturally addicted to blame others rather then our selues, Gen. 3. 12. &c. The vse is, to teach vs, whensoeuer we are in any affliction, to la∣bour our owne hearts to confesse the cause thereof to be our owne sinnes, and to learne to amend them.
Doctrine. [accomplished] The Church of God endureth more trouble in this life, then any other people: for the rea∣son * and vse hereof, see Chap. 1 vers. 12. Doct. 5.
Doctrine. [accomplished &c. fiercenesse &c.] When Gods * punishing hand is vpon vs, wee thinke our selues to sufter so great paine as God can lay vpon any. The reason is, because, Page 170 first, we measure Gods infinite displeasure by our owne fee∣ling and capacitie. Secondly, we are so intentiue vpon that we feele, as we regard not with due consideration any other torment. The vse is, first, to let vs see our naturall corruption, that teacheth vs to iudge of all things by our present feeling. Secondly, to teach vs, if we will with patience beare our pre∣sent trouble, to consider duely of that which wee might yet suffer aboue this, if God should deale with vs after our owne deseruings.
Doctrine. [foundations] God often bringeth his Church * into such outward miserie, as it seemeth to be in a desperate estate, not possibly able to bee recouered: Examples hereof are, the Israelites at the red Sea; and in the booke of Iudges often, &c. The reason is, because, first, he would not haue his people to rest vpon any worldly or outward strength. Se∣condly, that he might more cleerly be seene to be the deli∣uerer of his seruants. The vse is, first, to reproue them, as not being rooted in the trueth, who fall away in the time of trouble. Secondly, to teach vs neuer to despaire whatsoeuer calamitie wee fall into, seeing GOD bringeth his people as low as may be, and yet restoreth them againe.
[The Kings of the earth, and all the inhabitants of the habi∣table world would not haue beleeued] i. no naturall man, whe∣ther * King or other would euer haue beleeued if it had been told him aforehand [that the aduersarie and enemie] i. that those that were against the Iewes, and hated them [should haue entred into the gates of Ierusalem] i. could euer haue been able to haue preuailed against that famous citie, which was not onely in it selfe so strong, but also had been so won∣derfully protected from aboue, that all the world admired it.
Doctrine. [could not] God doth now and then so humble his people, as their very aduersaries could not imagine it * should euer haue been so. The reason is, because, first, they iudge onely according to naturall reason. Secondly, he will shewe his wonderfull power in all things, especially in the guiding of his Church. The vse is, to teach vs, not to regard Page 171 the iudgement of naturall men, but to looke vnto the Lord, and to magnifie his wisedome in his wonderfull waies.
Doctrine. [should haue entred] There is no place so strong, * but the enemie thereof shall preuaile against it, when God seeth it meet. The reason is, because, first, one people cannot fortifie themselues so strongly, but they may be assailed by others as strong as they. Secondly, they are alwaies strongest whom the Lord doth assist. The vse is, to teach vs, neuer to thinke our selues safe, be our walles so strong as may bee, ex∣cept the Lord bee with vs: and therefore to seeke especially to be protected vnder his wings; so shal no aduersaries pre∣uaile against vs.
[For the sinnes of her Prophets, and iniquities of her Priests] i. The cause that moued the Lord to deale thus with Ierusa∣lem* was, the height of sinne in the whole people, yea euen in the teachers, that should haue guided them to all good things: for he doth not exempt the other people, but con∣uinceth the sinnes of all, by the instance of the Prophets and Priests [that haue shed the bloud of the iust, in the midst of her] i. that haue growne to such an height of sinne, as to shed the bloud of such as walking more vprightly then they did, re∣proued their disobedience.
Doctrine. Generally out of the whole verse. When the * teachers of the people are wicked, it is a signe that the gene∣rall number of the whole people is growne farre from the right way. The reason is, because, first, very shame keepeth teachers from many sinnes, vntill they bee growne into cu∣stome among the people. Secondly, such teachers are vsual∣ly sent of God among a people, as a speciall punishment for their grieuous sinnes against the Lord: see Chapt. 2. vers. 14. Doct. 2. The vse is, to teach vs, to mourne exceedingly for the estate of that people which hath such teachers, and for our selues if it fall to our lot.
Doctrine. [Prophets, Priests, &c.] These were of that cal∣ling * and Church to whom God gaue greatest priuiledges, and yet proue ring-leaders to all euill; teaching vs this do∣ctrine. The promise of Gods presence, was neuer tyed to a∣ny Page 172 Church or order of Ministerie, further then as they wal∣ked in his obedience. The reason is, because, first, it was none otherwise tyed vnto Ierusalem. Secondly, els should God be bound to retaine often a denne of theeues in his fauour. The vse is, first, to reproue the dotage of the Papists, that imagine grace to be tyed to Rome, and the successors of Peter there, (who yet shall neuer proue that euer he was there) though they can neither cōuince it by the likelihood of doctrine that Peter taught, nor life that Peter led; but are euidently most contrary to him in both. Secondly, to teach vs, not to rest vpon the bare title of the Church, or ministerie of the Gos∣pell: for euen the builders thereof may proue the captaines to the greatest mischiefe, Psal. 118. 22.
Doctrine. [iniquitie of &c.] Foule spots and grosse sinnes * may be in the face and principall members of a true visible Church; for the reason and vse hereof, see Chap. 1. vers. 9. doct. 2.
Doctrine. [shed the bloud] When the corruptions of a * Church doe grow so farre, that the maintainers thereof pro∣ceed to shed the bloud of them that withstād the same, there can nothing be looked for, but desolation and ruine. The rea∣son is, because, first, that is the highest of sinne which God v∣seth alwaies to punish. Secondly, God did still deale so with the Israelites, who were a patterne of the visible Church for euer. The vse is, to teach vs, first, that it is a hainous sinne to goe about the shedding of the bloud of brethren. Secondly, that that Church is in a daungerous case, whose gouernours persecute those that reproue and stand against their corrup∣tions.
[They haue wandred as blind men in the streetes] i. They * haue walked vp and downe as though they sawe nothing [they were polluted in bloud] i. and they regarded not the vn∣cleannesse which they should haue shunned [because they could not but touch their garments] i. the pollution was so ge∣nerall that they could not auoyd it: the sense, in short is, that the Iewes were so blind in knowledge, that euery example of sinne led them to euill: which for want of grace they Page 173 could not refraine from.
Doctrine. [wandred blind] Those that are not rightly in∣structed in the true knowledge of God, are as blind in mat∣ters * of religion, as the blind man in seeing what is before him in the way. The reason is, because, first, the naturall man perceiueth not the things of the spirit of God, such as reli∣gion is, 1. Cor. 2. 14. &c. Secondly, they doe erre that knowe not the Scriptures, Matth. 24. 29. The vse is, to teach vs, first, that we are naturally farre (be we neuer so wittie) from reli∣gion, seeing we are blind therein. Secondly, so carefull as we are to discerne of the right way to heauen, to be so diligent to grow in the knowledge of the word of God.
Doctrine. In that this followeth vpon the wickednesse of * the Prophets and Priests, wee learne this doctrine. An vn∣conscionable Ministerie begetteth ignorance, and all vngod∣linesse in the people. The reason is, because, first, such are v∣sually sent in Gods iudgement to leade them to beleeue lyes, 2 Thess. 2. 10. &c. Secondly, the people are naturally in∣clined easily to follow that teacher which leadeth vnto euill. The vse is, first, to reproue them that thinke an ignorant, or a prophane Ministerie any way tollerable in Gods Church. Secondly, to teach vs to pray to God, & vse all good meanes that we may haue such a Ministerie, as may both teach vs the waies of godlinesse, and goe before vs in the practise of the same.
Doctrine. [were polluted] In that this followeth vpon their blind ignorance, wee learne this doctrine. The ignorance of * the true knowledge of God, is the readie way to all iniqui∣tie. The reason is, because, first, wee cannot knowe what is sinne, but by the knowledge of the lawe of God, Rom. 7. 7. Secondly, where there is no knowledge, there is no consci∣ence of sinne; for conscience is nothing els, but the vnder∣standing of Gods will, whereunto the heart doth consent. The vse is, first, to reproue the Papists that make ignorance the mother of deuotion; and carnall people that make no care to attaine to the knowledge of God. Secondly, to teach vs, so carefull as wee are to approue our selues truely to feare Page 174 the Lord, to be so diligent not only in vsing all good meanes our selues to growe in the knowledge of Gods will, but also to draw others vnto the same.
Doctrine. [could not &c.] They that are ignorant of Gods * word, and liue among an vngodly people, cannot but be de∣filed with their sinnes. The reason is, because, first, the godly that haue the greatest knowledge and most grace, can hard∣ly auoyd the infection of euill example. Secondly, we are na∣turally proane to followe the ill presidents one of another. The vse is, to teach vs, first, the cause why people generally be so prophane; euen because they easily learne euill one of another. Secondly, to auoyd to the vttermost of our power the familiaritie with the vngodly; seeing hee that treadeth vpon coales must needes be burned, Prouer. 6. 28.
[Depart ye (euery one that is) polluted] i. get you gone you wicked and sinfull people [doe they crye vnto them] i. the * enemies in a mockerie do say thus aloude vnto them [depart ye, depart ye] i. be gone in all the haste [touch not] i. meddle not with any thing of ours [for they did flee and wandered] i. they made haste, and knew not which way to goe [they said among the heathen] i. they vsually hauing no ground for it, spake thus to the people, when they came [they shall not adde to remaine as strangers] i. The Iewes shall abide no longer a∣mongst the Nations.
Doctrine. [polluted] The professors of the trueth, when God giueth them ouer vnto themselues, doe become so o∣diously * sinfull, as their enemies shall crye out of them for it. The reason is, because, first, they haue no power to refraine from euill, but onely from the Lord. Secondly, God giueth the wicked to see and exclaime against the sinnes of profes∣sors, though they be blind in their owne. The vse is, to teach vs, carefully to walke according to our profession, lest we be∣come odious both to God and men.
Doctrine. [wandered] When wee regarde not to walke in the trueth, God wil giue vs ouer to do we know not what, * and wander we cannot tell whither. The reason is, because, first, it is a branch of his iudgement threatned to fall vpon Page 175 men in that case, Rom. 1. 28. &c. Secondly, hee will let them see in their owne experience, what a miserable way they walk in, that haue not him for their guide. The vse is, to teach vs, not only to labour to increase in the knowledge of Gods will, but also in a sincere practise of the same, seeing he only shall enter into the kingdome of heauen, that doth the will of the father which is in heauen, Mat. 7. 21.
Doctrine. [shall not adde, &c.] Wee are easily brought to * flatter our selues, and to promise our selues much felicitie. The reason is, because, first, wee doe not rightly weygh the waight of Gods anger, and the desert of our sinnes. Se∣condly, our affections labour to bee perswaded of that they desire to enioy. The vse is, to teach vs, first, to reproue such vanitie both in our selues and others. Secondly, to looke rather for more and more heauy things: so shall our present miseries be patiently borne, and greater, if they come, daunt vs the lesse.
Doctrine. [they sayd] It is a great fault for him that pro∣fesseth to make conscience of his word, to report that which * he hath no ground for. The reason is, because, first, it is a marke of a busie bodie, to imploy himselfe where there is no neede. Secondly, it argueth the heart to be most light and vaine, that setteth the tongue on worke with such vncertain things. Thirdly, it is cause that many vntrueths bee repor∣ted, and consequently of many sinnes. The vse is, to teach vs, as in all things to be slow in speaking, so especially in vn∣certaine reportes, lest wee make our selues, and so our pro∣fession for our sakes, subiect to the mocke and reproch of men.
[The angrie countenance of the Lord hath scattered them]*i. and yet the Lord hath made hauocke of them and disper∣sed them into all Nations [and will not adde to regard them] i. hee will haue no more respect vnto them as hee had in for∣mer times [they haue not accepted the face of the priests] i. their enemies haue not regarded the teachers of the lawe a∣mong them [they haue not shewed fauour vnto the ancients] i. they had no respect to pitie the olde people, that for their Page 176 age should haue been reuerenced. The meaning is, the Iewes haue little reason to flatter themselues, seeing they are so greatly dispersed, and their foes be so cruell vnto them, as that they neither forbeare age nor sexe.
Doctrine. Generally out of the whole verse, being a rea∣son to shew their vanitie expressed in the former. Man often * flattereth himselfe, and is secure when hee hath no reason thereunto, but cleane contrarie. The reason is, because, first, the corruption of our nature is prone thereunto. Secondly, GOD often giueth vs ouer into that disposition, as a iust recompence and punishment of some former sinne. The vse is, to teach vs, diligently to looke into our selues, and the ma∣ner of Gods dealing with vs, that wee may learne to walke warilie, and not carelesly as many doe.
Doctrine. [scattered them] It is an argument of Gods an∣ger * against his people for their sinnes, when hee scattereth them so, as they cannot assemble to prayse and worship him as in former time. The reason is, because, first, the contrary is called his presence, and his face, in the scriptures, Psal 42. 2, &c. Secondly, it is the meanes to drawe vs to all euil, as the contrarie is to all good things. The vse is, first, to reproue them as most sencelesse of their owne estate, who being in this case make no reckoning of it. Secondly, to teach vs, when it falleth out to bee our lot, not onely to acknowledge our sinnes to haue caused it, and therefore to learne amend∣ment thereby, but also to thirst after the recouerie of the exercises of religion againe, with the greatest longing that may be, Psal. 42. 1, &c. 84. 2, &c.
Doctrine. [not accepted] It is a signe that Gods anger is * hot against his people, when the aduersaries haue no pitie vpon any sorte of them. The reason is, because according to the measnre of his anger, is the furie of the foes. The vse is, to teach vs, to bee humbled when wee see our aduersaries strong and malicious, seeing it argueth Gods anger to be exceedingly prouoked against vs for our sinnes.
[Yet wee, our eyes are consumed for our vaine ayde] i not∣withstanding all these miseries, we doe exceedingly gaze af∣ter *Page 177 such helpe as is neuer able to succour vs [in our looking we looked to a nation that could not saue vs] i. we thoroughly set our eyes vpon a people that had no power to deliuer vs, mea∣ning the Egyptians.
Doctrine. Generally out of the whole verse. It is a grie∣uous * sinne (when we are smitten with Gods hand for our sinnes) to seeke after mans helpe, and not especially vnto the Lord. The reason is, because, first, it spoyleth GOD of his right (in sauing the oppressed) as much as is in them. Se∣condly, it argueth an exceeding measure of Infidelitie that is not driuen away by such sharpe corrections. Thirdly, it stan∣deth against Gods purpose who in smiting seeketh to haue vs looke vnto him for helpe. The vse is, to teach vs, in all our afflictions to seeke vnto the Lord that smiteth, and not to rest vpon the instruments, who can doe nothing but accor∣ding to his appointment.
Doctrine. [vaine helpe] It is a vaine thing for a man in his * distresse, to seeke vnto worldly helpe, except hee principally seeke vnto the Lord. The reason is, because, man can doe vs no further good, then God enableth him vnto, which shal be nothing (to our cōfort) if by seeking to them we neglect him. The vse is, first, to reproue the vanitie of man that thinketh himselfe safe if great and strong outward meanes be for him, and so goeth no further. Secondly, to teach vs, whēsoeuerwe look to haue these worldly means blessed vn∣to vs, to seeke first vnto the Lord for his ayde, in whose fauour they shall doe vs good; els not.
Doctrine. [are consumed] Man is farre more attentiue * and diligent in an vnlawfull course, then in that way which is good. The reason is, because, his whole naturall force assi∣steth him in that which is euill, but is against him in that which is good. Hence it is that false Prophets, and Idolaters haue shewed more vehemencie in their falshoode, then Gods seruants in the trueth. The vse is, to teach vs, to bee prouoked to all forwardnesse in wel-doing by the vehe∣mencie that wee see in them that walke in euill wayes.
[They hunt our steps, that we cannot goe in our streetes] i.*Page 178 we are so farre from hauing the freedome of our countrey, that beeing besieged wee dare not goe in the streetes of the citie, such is the diligence of the enemie to doe vs harme [our end approacheth] i. These extremities are an apparant signe that we shal shortly be consumed [our dayes are fulfilled, for our end is come] i. we haue continued our time appoynted, for now we are ouerthrowne for euer.
Doctrine. [they hunt] The aduersaries of the trueth are * most diligent and skilfull in seeking the harme of Gods Church. The reason is, because, first, Sathan their schoole∣master is of great malice and experience. Secondly, they thē∣selues do set their minds wholy therunto. The vse is, to teach vs, first, neuer to be secure, seeing the aduersarie still seeketh our harme. Secondly, to beware of him euen then when he pretendeth greatest friendship vnto vs.
Doctrine. [our end, &c.] When God giueth the aduer∣saries * power euery way to vexe vs, it is a signe that desolati∣on is at hand. The reason is, because, Gods fauour or anger is discerned by the ouerthrow or strengthening of our ene∣mies. The vse is, to teach vs, whensoeuer wee fall into the enemies hands that deale cruelly with vs, to assure our selues that either we must by vnfayned repentance preuent it, or our vtter desolation approcheth.
[Our persecutors are lighter then the Eagles of the heauens] i. those that pursue vs, are swifter then the Egles that flie in * the ayre [they pursued vs vpon the mountaines] i. they follow∣ed and ouertooke vs in the mountaines [and layd waite for vs in the desarts] i. they did secretly lay ambushes in the wil∣dernesse. The meaning is, that whether they fled to the mountaines, or hide themselues in the woods, the enemies had still meanes to ouertake them and to finde them out.
Doctrine. [lighter] When GOD setteth the wicked on worke to afflict his seruants, they doe it with great dexterity * and readinesse. The reason is, because, first, hee that is the author of all power and skill, assisteth them. Secondly, they haue power giuen them to doe that which naturally they do thirst after. The vse is, to teach vs, when it falleth out so Page 179 with vs, to looke vnto God who giueth them abilitie to vexe vs, and not vnto them, who can doe nothing without him.
Doctrine. [the pursued vs &c.] When the hand of God is * against vs, it is in vaine for vs to seeke vnto, or rest vpon any outward helpes or meanes of refuge. The reason is, because, first, all places and meanes are within his reach. Secondly, all second causes serue to performe his pleasure. The vse is, to teach vs, to seeke first to haue his fauour and assistance, so shall the outward meanes be profitable vnto vs.
[The breath of our nostrils] i. the meanes vnder which we * breathed, and liued [the anoynted of the Lord] i▪ the King ap∣poynted of God to be a figure of the Messiah: for so were all the Kings of the Iewes, especially the posteritie of Dauid, Psal. 84. 10. and 1. Sam. 2. 10. [is taken in their pits] i is ap∣prehended in the grinnes of the aduersaries, Ierem. 52. 8, 9. [of whom we sayd] i. by whom wee promised our selues thus much good [in his shadow] i. being refreshed with his ayre, as with a shadowe in the heate of our extremities [we shall liue among the Gentiles] i. we shall not be vtterly destroyed, though we be scattered into diuers Nations.
Doctrine. [the breath &c.] The office of the King, and so of euery Magistrate is, to protect and preserue the people in * safetie and peace, euen as the breath that wee drawe in at our nostrils, giueth life and health vnto the bodie. The reason is, because, first, God hath giuen them power for the good, and not the harme of the subiects. Secondly, they are Gods Lieu∣tenants, who is the preseruation and safetie of all his crea∣tures; in which respect they are called Gods, Psal. 82. 1. &c. Thirdly, els are the people subiecto to fall into all euils, Iudges 17. 6. Prouer. 29. 12. The vse is, to teach all Kings and Magi∣strates to know, that God hath not giuen them their autho∣ritie to tyrannize, or wrong the people; neither to maintaine them in idlenesse and vanitie; but to doe iustice to all, pro∣tecting euery one from wrong, els shall their account bee heauie. Secondly, to teach vs that bee subiects, not onely to bee obedient for conscience sake, vnto all the lawfull ordi∣nances of Princes, seeing they are appoynted og God ouer Page 180 vs for our good; but also to pray for them, that vnder them we may liue a quiet and peaceable life, in all godlinesse and honestie, 1. Tim. 2. 2.
Doctrine. [taken &c.] Kings and Princes when they sinne against the Lord, are subiect to his punishing hand as well as * meaner people. The reason is, because, first, God is no accep∣ter of persons. Secondly, they haue no more priuiledge pro∣mised them then others; but destruction is threatned to thē being disobedient with others, 1. Sam. 12. 25. The vse is, first, to reproue them that, to flatter Princes, doe perswade them that they are persons exempted from punishments; and therefore doe denye those meanes which God hath appoin∣ted for the good of all his seruants in generall, to belong vnto them. Which kind of people giuing libertie vnto Prin∣ces to doe what they list, are the greatest enemies that Prin∣ces can haue. Secondly, to teach Princes to looke for Gods hand against them, whensoeuer they walke in euill waies: for so was it with all the posteritie of Dauid, that followed not the lawes of the Lord, but did euill in his sight.
Doctrine. [of whom we said] It is the nature of man to pro∣mise * himselfe al assurance, when the outward meanes seeme strong for him. The reason is, because, first, carnall reason doth regard nothing but the outward meanes. Secondly, Sa∣tan laboureth to make vs secure thereupon, and not to looke any further. The vse is, to teach vs, neuer to thinke any out∣ward meanes so sure, but GOD can (and in his displeasure will) defeate them: and therefore to seeke principallie to him.
Doctrine. [sayd we shall liue] When Gods people set their * hearts too much vpon outward things, hee vseth vtterly to take them away from them. The reason is, because, first, els they will forget to relie vpon him, as they should. Secondly, he loueth them, and will enforce them from all affiance, sa∣uing himselfe: this is the cause that he often taketh from his children their strength, health, dearest friends, infants that they loue most, &c. The vse is, to teach vs, so to loue and de∣light in these things, as we put our principall affiance in the Page 181 Lord, and not be drawne from any duetie of godlinesse, but rather prouoked thereunto by them; els (if the Lord loue vs) he will either take them from vs, or make them grieuous crosses vnto vs.
[Reioyce and be glad] i. take your pleasure vpon vs while * God giueth you power ouer vs [O daughter Edom, that dwel∣lest in the land of Vz] i. O all ye our enemies, and especially you Edomites that doe dwell so neere vs, and haue been so cruell against vs, Psal. 137. 7. [the cup also shall passe through vnto thee] i. the rod of Gods afflicting hand (for that is meant by cup) shall not bee all powred out for me, but thou shalt haue thy share in it [thou shalt be drunken] i. such abundance of Gods punishments shall light on thee, as shall vtterly o∣uerthrow thee [and shalt shew thy nakednesse] i. thy filthinesse shall appeare vnto all men.
Doctrine. [Reioyce] The godly must take it patiently that the wicked doe triumph and reioyce ouer them, when God * doth humble them by afflictions. The reason is, because, first, they know it to bee the Lords doing. Secondly, they knowe that the wicked doe but according to their nature. Thirdly, they are assured that God will looke vpon it in his due time, to deliuer them, and punish their enemies. The vse is, to teach vs, with patience to beare the reproaches of the wicked, praying to the Lord to looke vpon it, and redresse it.
Doctrine. [Edom that dwellest &c.] Of all the aduersaries that Gods people haue, those are the cruellest, that in out∣ward * respects are the neerest vnto them. The reason is, be∣cause, first, they knowe best their corruptions for which they are afflicted, and the waies to doe them most harme. Second∣ly, that God might make the rod the heauier, that they may the more earnestly seeke vnto him. The vse is, to teach vs, if we truely feare God, to looke for enemies euen of those that are of our owne houshold, Matth. 10. 36. for by them shall we learne the greatest measure of patience, seeing they will exercise vs most often.
Doctrine. [the cup also &c.] Whatsoeuer afflictions the Lord laieth vpon his people in this life, the wicked shall bee *Page 182 punished therewith, in their time. The reason is, because, first, Gods iustice cannot let them escape vnpunished, seeing they continue therein without repentance. Secondly, iudge∣ment doth begin at the house of God, 1. Pet. 4. 17. therefore it must end with the vngodly. The vse is, to teach vs, pati∣ently to be are afflictions, seeing God will shortly cause the cup to passe from vs to our aduersaries.
Doctrine. [drunken] Though the Lord spare his enemies * til he haue corrected his seruants, yet wil he ouerthrow them with a large measure of his iudgements in his due time. The reason, and vse hereof is, the same with the last do∣ctrine.
Doctrine. [shew thy nakednesse] The wicked when God * layeth his punishing hand vpon them, doe most notorious∣ly manifest the heynousnesse of their sinnes. The reason is, because, first, they haue no grace to take it patiently, but doe rage at it. Secondly, Gods hand is neuer vpon them for their comfort, but to crush and confound them. The vse is, to teach vs, if we will shew our selues to be vnlike the wic∣ked to take afflictions patiently, which they cannot doe.
[Thy punishment is accomplished] i. the punishment of thy * sinnes (as vers. 6. for the word properly signifieth sin) shal as certainly haue an end, as if it were finished already [ô daugh∣ter Sion] i. O people tender & deare vnto me [he will not adde to cause thee to goe into captiuitie] i. he will not still continue & increase thy punishment [hee hath visited thine iniquitie O daughter Edom] i. he will as certainly powre out his ven∣geance vpon thee, as if it were done already (for the Pro∣phets vse the time past when they foretell things to come, to declare the certainty thereof) O Edom most choyce and dayntie at this present [hee hath carryed thee away for thy sinnes] i. he will surely driue thee out of thine owne land for thy great wickednesse.
Doctrine. [accomplished] Though the punishments that God layeth vpon his people be neuer so many and heauie, * yet shall they come to an ende in due time. The reason is, because, first, God cannot be angrie with his people for euer. Page 183 Secondly, they suffer onely in this life, which is but shorte. The vse is, to teach vs, first, with patience to beare whatsoe∣uer he layeth vpon vs, seeing it shall continue but for a time. Secondly, not to despayre vnder the waight of afflictions, seeing GOD will one day wipe all teares from our eyes.
Doctrine. [he hath visited thine, &c.] Whatsoeuer affli∣ctions * the Lord layeth vpon his children in this life, the wicked shall bee punished therewithall in their time, for the reason, and vse hereof, see verse 21. doctr. 3. of this chapter.
The fifth Chapter.
REmember O Lord what is come vpon vs] i. O thou that rulest al things, cal to mind * what grieuous things wee do suffer [be∣holde and looke vpon our reproach] i. see with consideration, how wee, whome thou hast chosen for thy peculiar peo∣ple to haue thy own name called vpon by vs, are become the scorne of all men.
Doctrine. Generally out of the whole verse. The princi∣pall desire of the godly is, that the Lord would weigh their estate. The reason is, because, first, they know him to bee a righteous Iudge, euer dealing fauourably with his people. Secondly, their consciences doe tell them, that notwithstan∣ding they are grieuous sinners agaynst the Lord, yet the e∣nemies abuse them for the trueth sake. The vse is, to teach vs, in all our distresses to repent vnfaynedly for our sinnes a∣gainst the Lord, so may wee with good consciences come vnto him with our complaints in our miseries.
Out of this verse may also bee gathered the 3. 4. and 5. doctrines of chap. 1. vers. 11.
[Our possession is turned vnto strangers] i. Our landes are *Page 184 taken from vs, and giuen to others [our houses vnto forren∣ners] i. our habitations are enioyed by those that haue no manner of right vnto them.
Doctrine. Generally out of the whole verse. God some∣times bringeth his people to so low an ebbe in the things of this life, as he neither leaueth them possessions, nor houses wherein to shroud themselues. The reason is, because, first, the things of this life are no part of that promise which he hath made peculiarly to them. Secondly, he will let them see that they haue no cause to put confidence in worldly things. The vse is, to teach vs, first, neuer to promise our selues any assurance of the things of this life. Secondly, to learne when∣soeuer the Lord taketh them from vs, to make lesse account of them, and to repose our affiance more wholly in him.
[We are orphanes, and haue no fathers] i. our fathers are * either killed with the sword, or dead with the pestilence; and so many of vs are left without succour or protection [our mothers are as widowes] i. not onely wee are fatherlesse, but also our mothers are as desolate widdowes, depriued of their husbands, the stay and comfort of their life.
Doctrine. Generally out of the whole verse. It is a grie∣uous punishment of God, and much to be lamented, when God maketh many children fatherlesse, & wiues widdowes in any Nation. The reason is, because, first, a speciall strength of the whole common wealth is taken away, when houshol∣ders are cut off. Secondly, it is a meane to fill the Church with all disorders, when fathers of families that should rule euery one his houshold, be taken away. The vse is, to teach vs, whensoeuer we see God to deale so with our countrie or our selues in particular, to acknowledge it his heauie hand vpon vs for our sinnes, and to learne amendment by it.
[We drinke our waters for money] i. euen water, that is v∣sually * common, we are constrained to giue money for, yea, though it were of that which was our owne [our wood com∣meth to vs by a price] i. we are glad to buy againe that wood, which they haue taken by violence from vs.
Doctrine. Generally out of the whole verse. Gods people Page 185 are often constrained to buy the benefite and vse of that which is their owne. The reason is, because, first, God will make hereby the world more hard vnto them, that they may learne to looke vnto him the more carefully. Secondly, that the wicked, when God giueth them power ouer the godly, may shewe the crueltie of their disposition more manifestly. The vse is, to teach vs, to take it patiently, as the lot that God hath appoynted vs, when such extremities doe fall vpon vs.
[Those vpon our neckes, persecute vs] i. those that sit ouer * vs and presse vs downe, doe follow all extremities against vs [we are wearted and it is not suffered vs to rest] i. we are great∣ly toyled with miseries on euery side, and yet haue wee no time of breathing or refreshing.
Doctrine. [vpon our neckes] In that they were stiffe-nec∣ked and refused to beare the Lords yoke, and thereupon are * giuen ouer to beare this heauie condition, we learne this do∣ctrine. When Gods people doe begin to refuse his yoke which is light and easie, he will lay a more grieuous burthen vpon them. The reason is, because, first, he will let them see by experience, that to serue him is the sweetest life. Second∣ly he loueth them, and therefore doth correct them with the rods of men. The vse is, to teach vs, in all our afflictions to ac∣knowledge the heauie hand of God to be most iustly prouo∣ked against vs by our owne sinnes.
Doctrine. [not suffered vs to rest] The wicked are neuer sa∣tisfied, but doe still continue their hatred against the godly: * for the reason and vse hereof, see Chap. 3. vers. 14 doct. 6.
We haue giuen our hand to Egypt] i. we haue stretched out our begging hand to the people of Egypt [to Ashur to bee sa∣tisfied*with bread] i. yea to the Aslyrians, our greatest ene∣mies, haue wee sought for necessarie reliefe; such is our mi∣serie.
Doctrine. [we haue giuen] It is lawfull for our necessarie helpe in the things of this life, to vse the assistance of those * that be our enemies. The reason is, because, first, the matters of this life are giuen of God to the iust and vniust, to be vsed Page 186 of all the sonnes of Adam, for the reliefe of euery particular. Secondly, the godly are the proper owners of all things in the world, & to seeke them when they need them, of whom∣soeuer God maketh the treasurers thereof. The vse is, first, to reproue them that thinke it not lawfull to buy and sell with, or to bee any way beholden vnto the wicked. Secondly, to teach vs, to vse them when other meanes are denied vs, lest we tempt God in despising the meanes.
Doctrine. [to bee satisfied with &c.] Gods people may * come to that want in this life, as to begge their bodily food: for the reason and vse hereof, see Chap. 4. vers. 4. doct. 4.
[Our faethers haue sinned, and are not] i. our ancestors did * transgresse Gods commandements, and yet they are out of the miseries of this life [we beare their sinnes] i. we being the sinfull seede of that sinfull generation, doe beare the punish∣ment of their sinnes, and of our owne, according to that Exodus 20. 5. Iere. 32. 18. not that the sonnes are punished for their fathers sinnes: for this is alwaies true, the soule that sinneth shall dye, Ezech. 18. 20. neither shall the father dye for the sinne of the sonne, nor the sonne for the sinne of the fa∣ther: but the meaning is, that forafmuch as they are not only guiltie of their owne sinnes, but also of their fathers, in that they did succeed them in their iniquities: therefore had their fathers lesse punishment, and the heauier burthen lieth vpon them.
Doctrine. Generally out of the whole verse. When diuers generations continue in one sinne, the Lord vseth to punish the latter more seuerely then the former. The reason is, be∣cause, first, the sonne should feare to doe the like, when hee seeth his fathers sinne, Ezech. 18. 14. els is his sinne more heynous. Secondly, the longer Gods patience is abused, the greater heape of vengeance is deserued. The vse is, to teach vs, not to stand vpon this; we will doe as our forefathers haue done: for if we sinne as they did, we must be punished more seuerely then they were.
[Seruants doe rule ouer vs] i. wee are not onely vassals to the Princes, and great men that are our enemies; but euen *Page 187 euery abiect, and base fellow vseth vs at his pleasure [none rescueth vs from their hands] i. though euery man doe vs wrong, and vile fellowes abuse vs, yet no body hath any care to helpe vs, or to doe vs any iustice.
Doctrine [seruants, &c.] When the wicked that are in * authoritie doe set themselues to vexe the godly, euery ser∣uant and vile fellow will be ready to adde to their miseries. The reason is, because, first, all the wicked are of one dispo∣sition, whether they bee high or lowe. Secondly, vngodly ones will flatter the rulers, and bee ready to doe that which will like them, especially if they be euill. The vse is, first, to teach magistrates to take heede what they doe, seeing the people be ready to follow them in all euill, for which (as well as their owne) they shall answere at the day of account. Se∣condly, to teach vs, when rulers set themselues against vs for wel-doing, to looke for the enmitie of their seruants, and of the multitude also.
Doctrine. [none rescueth] God often layeth great miseries vpon his people, and denieth them al meanes of deliuerance: * for the reason and, vse hereof, see chapt. 1. vers. 7. doctr. 3.
[In our liues] i. with the toule of our soules, or with the * danger of our liues [we haue brought our bread] i. wee haue procured vnto our selues foode [before the drynesse of the wildernesse] i. by reason of the barren, and dangerous pla∣ces, where we were constrayned to liue.
Doctrine. Generally out of the whole verse. The godly do often get ncessarie foode, with the greatest danger and diffi∣cultie that can be. The reason is, because, first, the worlde, and all the fauourers thereof are against them. Secondly, God would make them thoroughly wearie of this worlde. The vse is, to teach vs, not to wonder, or be amazed, when euery worldly thing goeth against vs, but to looke for it, as our share allotted vs in this life.
[Our skinne was blacke as an ouen] i. Our bodies waxed * blacke, euen as doth an ouen, being continually beaten vp∣on with the flame of the fire, that is within it [with the storms of famine] i. with that exceeding sharpe and continual hun∣ger Page 188 that maketh vs, as it were weather-beaten with continu∣all stormes.
Doctrine. Generallie out of the whole verse. The afflicti∣ons of Gods people doe often worke a great alteration in their bodies. The reason is, because, first, they are exceeding vehement. Secondly, God will often haue them seene (as it were) in their countenance, for the example of others. The vse is, to teach vs, to looke for afflictions from the Lord, both vpon our bodies and soules; and when we see them vpon o∣thers, to profite by them, as the good childe doth, when he seeth his brother beaten.
[The women were defiled in Sion] i. The honest and sober * matrons did the enemy force and abuse to satisfie their filthy lust, euen in the holy place, dedicated to Gods especiall seruice [the virgins in the cities of Iudah] i. yea and the may∣dens also in euery place where they came, and in the cities that they did ouercome.
Doctr. Generally out of the whole verse. There is no acte so filthy, or odious, which the wicked will not do, to accom∣plish their owne desires. The reason is, because, first, God giueth them ouer to worke al wickednesse with greedinesse. Secondly, Sathan ruleth them, who is shamelesse himselfe, and so maketh he all those that are wholly guided by him. The vse is, to shew vs, vnto what horrible condition man commeth, when God leaueth him vnto himselfe. Secondly, to teach vs, not to trust such as we see giuen ouer vnto sinne, no not in those things that shame and ciuil honesty forbid∣deth them to abuse themselues in.
[The princes are hanged vp by their hands] i. they make no more reckoning of the honorable men among vs, but doe e∣uen * hang them vp like dogs [the faces of the aged are not ho∣nored] i. the reuerend olde men and ancient matrons haue no kinde of duetie done them, but are vtterly defpised, as the rest of the people.
Doctrine. Generally out of the whole verse. When God stirreth vp the wicked to bee his scourge to punish his people, they haue no respect to fauour one degree or sexe Page 189 more then another. The reason is, because, first, hee that is no accepter of persons doth set them on worke. Secondly, they are generally sinful in great measure before such a rod commeth vpon them. Thirdly, the wicked seeke to satis∣fie their desires vpon all, ouer whom God giueth them pow∣er. The vse is, first, to reproue their vanitie that flatter them∣selues in their sinnes, thinking they shall not be punished a∣mong other sinners, because they are great ones, rich, or a∣ged. Secondly, to teach vs, of what condition soeuer wee be, to preuent the Lords punishing hand by repentance, or els we shall be sure to feele it extreamely, when our sinnes are at their height.
[They tooke the young men to grinde] i. they made our goodly and strong young men to grind in the mill, a worke * that Asses were vsually put vnto, being most painful, & most abiect worke [the boyes fell vnder the wood] i. they caused the young youths to beare such burthens of wood, as the very weight thereof crushed them downe, because they were not able to stand vnder it.
Doctrine. Generally out of the whole verse. When the wicked doe tyrannize ouer the godly, they seeke to serue their owne turnes with them, with greater crueltie then they doe with the bruit beasts. The reason is, because, they beare a hatred vnto them; so as, euen their mercies are cruell. The vse is, to teach vs, to pray vnto God, that hee would neuer giue vs ouer into their handes, or if hee doe, to giue vs e∣speciall strength and patience, seeing they vse to deale so cruelly.
[The olde men haue ceased from the gate] i. the graue and ancient men doe no more sit in the gate, according to the * ancient manner, Gen. 34. 20. to iudge betweene partie and partie, and to execute iustice to all men [the young men from their song] i. and the youth also of the people haue no ioy, neither doe they vse any of their honest recreations, which they were wont to vse.
Doctr. [ceased from, &c.[ It is a grieuous plague vnto a peo∣ple, when the seat of iustice is ouerthrown from among thē. *Page 190 The reason is, because, first, it bringeth in all confusion and disorder. Secondly, no man can enioy any thing as his own. Thirdly, euery one lyeth open to the violence of spoylers, & hath no succour nor redresse, being wronged. The vse is, to teach vs, first, that it is better to haue tyrants gouerne vs, then to bee voyd of all gouernement. Secondly, to pray vnto GOD for the gouernement vnder which we liue, that in the prosperitie thereof we may haue peace. Thirdly, to ac∣knowledge all lawful magistrates to be the special ordinan∣ces of God, appoynted for our good, and therefore to yeeld obedience, and reuerence thereunto for conscience sake.
Doctrine. [young men from] The ouerthrow of magistra∣cie * among a people, taketh all occasions of reioycing from all sortes of people. The reason is, because, first, many great blessings are lost, and many greeuances come vpon them which wil make the heart heauy. Secondly, they haue no safetie, but haue cause euery one to feare another, & to stand vpon his owne guard, as though he were in the midst of his enemies. The vse is, to teach vs, to pray vnto GOD that hee would neuer leaue vs without those heads, and gouernours that may take care to protect vs in peace; for if he doe, our life will be more bitter then death it selfe.
Doctrine. [their song] Honest recreations and delightes are to be esteemed among the good blessings that God gi∣ueth * his people in this life. The reason is, because, first, it is here accounted by the holy Ghost a grieuous thing that they are depriued of them. Secondly, neither bodie nor mind can continue able and apt to their dueties without some inter∣mission, but it is neuer lawful to be idle. The vse is, first, to reproue thē that are so Stoical, as they think no recreatiō to be allowed by the word of God. Secondly, to teachvs, that it is lawful for vs to vse those exercises that may recreate either our bodie wearied with trauaile, or our mindes oppressed with studies, meditations, cares of this life, or troubles: so that these cautions be alwayes obeserued, first, no parte of Gods worship may be abused in it, and therefore swearing, lottes, &c. must not be there. Secondly, the hinderance of our neigh∣bors Page 191 profite may not be sought in it, and therefore wee may neither desire their companie that should bee about their worldly businesse; nor seeke to profite, or gaine by the losse of any Thirdly, it must be vsed to make vs fitter for the more waightie dueties of our calling; and therefore wee may not spend whole daies, or halfe daies therein: for els wee make not a recreation but an occupation of it.
[The ioy of our hearts doth cease] i. wee haue no matter of * reioycing left vs at all [our daunce is turned into mourning] i. whereas we haue had much cause to be merrie, we haue now nothing but matter of mourning.
Doctrine. Generally out of the whole verse. Gods people are sometimes in such case, as they haue no cause of glad∣nesse, being on euery side beset with crosses and calamities. The reason is, because, first, God will let them see the desert of their sinues. Secondly, the Lord will bring them to a tho∣rough mislike of this world, and a longing after heauen. The vse is, to teach vs, first, not to condemne any, or to thinke our selues to bee forsaken of God, because of the multitude and greatnesse of afflictions. Secondly, to learne by afflictions to set our affections more feruently vpon heauen and heauenly things.
[Our crowne is fallen from our head] i. all our glorie both of Church and common wealth, yea and whatsoeuer thing * any priuate man had where with he was honoured or any way graced [woe is now to vs, because we haue sinned] i. cause of great sorrowe and lamentation is vpon vs, for that wee haue transgressed the righteous lawes of the iust God, and not yeelded obedience vnto him.
Doctrine. Generally out of the whole verse. It is the sinne of the godly that causeth all their afflictions which they doe suffer; which also in their greatest agonies they doe con∣fesse: see Chapt. 1. vers. 5. doct. 7. & vers. 8. doct. 2. & vers. 12. doct. 1. & 2.
[For this our heart is faint] i. this grieuous estate of our * sinnes doth touch vs with the greatest griefe [because of these things] i. for these great miseries which our sinnes haue pro∣cured Page 192 vs [our eyes are darkned] i. our senses are made dull, as vsually they are with griefe and sorrowe.
Doctrine. [for this &c.] The godly when they are tho∣roughly touched are more grieued for their sinnes, then for * all the plagues that the Lord laieth vpon them in this life. The reason is, because, first, sinne in it selfe separateth betwixt God and man, which no kind of afflictions can doe. Second∣ly, sinne is the cause of afflictions, without which no sorrowe could come vnto vs. The vse is, to teach vs, to labour with our selues alwaies to be more displeased with our selues for our offences, then for those punishments which they bring vpon vs in this life.
Doctrine. [because of these things] The sirength of mans * bodie is more wasted with sorrow and griefe then with any toyle that can befall it in this life. The reason is, because, griefe riseth from the heart, the fountaine of strength, and sprea∣deth into euery part of the bodie. The vse is, to shewe the cause why many are ouerwhelmed in some troubles, which (and greater also) some are not moued withal; euen because the one laieth them, as grieuous things, to the heart; the o∣ther casteth them, as trifles behind his heeles. Secondly, to teach vs, so to sorrowe when afflictions are vpon vs, as yet we neuer exceed the meane, lest wee make our selues vnable to performe the dueties of our callings, and so increase our sins by that meanes.
[Because of mount Sion, which is desolate] i. This especially grieueth my heart, that the place where Gods seruice was * wont to bevsed with great glorie to his name, and ioy to his people, should be made as a forsaken wildernesse [foxes run in it] i. such as, with craft and bloudie affection doe spoyle the flocke, doe raunge therein at their pleasure.
Doctrine. [because of mount Sion] The desolation of the Church of God, is the greatest griefe that can be fall Gods * people in this life. The reason is, because, first, it bringeth dishonour to God, which is more to be grieued at then the losse of life it selfe, Exod. 32. 32. Rom. 9. 3. &c. Secondly, they delight more in the prosperitie thereof, then in their other Page 193 greatest ioye, Psalm. 137. 6. The vse is, to teach vs, to labour with our selues that we neuer think we haue attained to any tolerable measure of religion, vntill Gods glorie be the dea∣rest thing vnto vs of all other.
Doctrine. [foxes] The troubles of Gods Church be at the * height of her afflictions, when they that hate her, and spoyle her, haue power ouer her. The reason is, because, first, no part of Gods honour can be aduaunced for them. Secondly, euery true member of the Church is vexed by them. The vse is, to teach vs (as this people did) when such a condition befal∣leth the Church of God, to mourne for it, bearing patiently our shares in the miseries of it, and praying heartily to God for the amendment of it.
[Thou O Lord remainest for euer] i. howsoeuer there is of∣tentimes a chaunge and alteration in this world, and that in * thy Church; yet thou abidest the same for euer [thy seate to generation and generation] i. the throne, on which thou sit∣test (for hee speaketh after the manner of men) to rule all things is firme, so as thy Church depending vpon the assu∣rance of thy power and promise, cannot but continue, how∣soeuer seuerall generations be punished and cut off for their sinnes.
Doctrine. Generally out of the whole verse. The Lord hath from the beginning, and will to the ende, and after all generations, rule the world, and all that dwell therein. The reason is, because, all power is of him, and is to bee referred vnto him. The vse is, to teach vs, that howsoeuer wee for our sinnes doe vanish away, yet Gods Church shall remaine, though flouds of afflictions seeme to drowne euery mem∣ber thereof; seeing it is founded vpon his promise that can∣not lie, and his power which is able to do all things. This do∣ctrine, and the same vse thereof, is expressed, Psal. 102. 24. to the end.
[Why hast thou forgotten vs for euer] i. O Lord seeing we * are thy people, and thou our God, why is thy heauie hand so vpon vs, as though thou hadst no care of vs, & did forget vs? Page 194[why hast thou left vs to the length of daies] i. why doest thou so carie thy selfe towards vs, as if thou hadst forsaken vs for euer.
Doctrine. [why &c.] When the godly are most pinched with afflictions, then are their prayers most feruent vnto the Lord. The reason is, because, first, afflictions driue away drowsinesse and securitie. Secondly, the present vexation that troubles doe bring, doth make vs pray as earnestly a∣gainst them, as we are desirous to be rid of them. The vse is, to teach vs, to knowe that howsoeuer no affliction is for the time ioyous, but grieuous; yet they are profitable to all that are rightly exercised in them, Heb. 12. 11.
[Restore vs O Lord to thee, that wee may be returned] i. O * Lord, it is thou alone that must bring vs into our former e∣state of peace and felicitie, if euer we shall be brought vnto it: for he speaketh not here of the worke of repentance, but of their outward flourishing estate, such as they had vnder Dauid and Salomon [renew our daies as of old] i. let it please thee to alter our estate from this miserie wherein it is, to that happinesse that it hath been in, in former times.
Doctrine. Generally out of the whole verse. It is in the * hand of God alone to alter and dispose of the outward estate of all men in this life. The reason is, because all power ouer al things is in his hand alone. The vse is, first, to reproue them that ascribe any thing (when they prosper) vnto their owne power or wisedome. Secondly, to teach vs to seeke vnto God alone for successe vnto our trauailes, whether wee labour for the good of the bodie, or the soule, and to acknowledge his hand that giueth both prosperitie and aduersitie therein.
Doctrine. [as of old] The experience of Gods former fa∣uour, * is a notable prouocation to cause vs still to trust in him, and to call vpon him in all our necessities: for the reason and vse hereof, see Chap. 3. vers. 56. doct. 1.
[For shouldest thou altogether contemne vs] i. Lord how * can it agree with thy promise and former mercies, now to make no reckoning of vs [shouldest thou be exceedingly angryPage 195with vs] i. canst thou shewe thy wrath against vs aboue the strength thou hast giuen vs to beare it, and so consume vs which are thine inheritance?
Doctrine. Generally out of the whole verse. The consi∣deration of Gods loue to his people, and mercifull disposi∣tion to doe them good, is an assurance vnto the godly in their afflictions, that the end shall be ioyful. The reason is, because, first, they know he hath euer shewed pitie to his people, and deliuered them out of all their distresses. Secondly, they be∣leeue that God will doe so with them; seeing, neither his arme is shortned, nor his kindnesse any way abated, there being no chaunge in him. The vse is, to teach vs, in all our troubles not to measure the euent of them by our owne sinnes, or our power to escape them (for then shall wee bee confounded in our selues) but by the due meditation of Gods power and mercie, which he hath promised to imploy for euer to the good of his Church, Matth. 28. 20. who will be true of his word, though all men be lyars, Rom. 3. 4.