An exposition of the prophesie of Hosea begun in divers lectures vpon the first three chapters, at Michaels Cornhill, London
Burroughs, Jeremiah, 1599-1646.

The Fift Lecture

HOSEA.* I. the middle part of the 10. verse. and so on.

And it shall come to passe, that in the place where it was said unto them, Yea are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Yee are the sonnes of the living God.

Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gather∣ed together, &c.

ACcording to the division of the Chapter that Luther makes in his Comment upon this Prophet, we are al∣ready in the second Chapter; for he makes the second to begin at this tenth verse. From that to the end, we have the promise of mercy to Israel that was to come, and both to Israel and Judah together. Some part of Gods promise of mercy to Israel we finished the last day; now wee are to proceed.

And it shall còme to passe in that place, &c. In that place.]

This according to some hath reference to the very land of Canaan it selfe, that God will have a very glorious Church there, specially in Jerusalem be∣fore the end of the world come, and many Prophesies seeme to encline that way, as Zach. 12. 6. Jerusalem shall be inhabited againe, even in Jerusa∣lem. This cannot be meant onely of their returne out of Captivity that was in Cyrus his time, for the Text saith, In that day thee feeble among them shall be as David, and the house of David shall be as the Angel of God, & God will poure upon them the spirit of grace & supplication, and they shall looke upon him whom they have pierced, and the like. It shall be in that day when Jerusalem shall be inhabited, even in Jerusalem. The return of their Captivity at first was not so glorious, there was not such a glorious spirit put Page  85 upon them then; for if you read the story of it,* you shal find that even all that while they were in a contemptible condition before the nations about them. But God speaks here and in other places of a glorious returne of their cap∣tivity, & coming into their own Land. The Jewes have a tradition, (Bux∣torfius hath it in his Synagoga Iudaica) That there is a time that all the Iews where ever they dye, shall come through Meatus terrae, and rise againe at Jerusalem; and therefore some of them when they think they have not long time to live, they will sell all their possesions, and goe and live neere Jerusa∣lem, at least to prevent the trouble of coming through those Meatus terra that they speake of. Thus they are deluded in their conceits.

But yet more generally, In that place.

Whereas the place of my people was confined into a little and narrow roome, hereafter it shall be inlarged, and even among the Gentiles that shal be made spiritual Israel, where I was not known, among the Heathen, even there shall I come to be known, and I shall have a people there, and not on∣ly people, but sons, the sons of the living God, and that so apparently, that it shall be said unto them. Yee are the sonnes of the living God.

Thus Saint Peter seems to interpret this place, in the 1 Pet. 2. 10. speak∣ing of the Gentiles whom God would have a people among them, saith the Apostle, Which in times past were not a people, but are now the people of God. Generally Interpreters doe conclude that the Apostle had reference to this very place in Hosea: And so we may build then upon this interpretation howsoever, that it is the intention of the Spirit of God, that God would call home the Gentiles to himself, & so they that were no people should become his people, his sons: It should be said in that place where before it was said that they knew him not, that now they are his sons. Yea the Heathen shal be brought in, so as they shall be convinced of the vanity of their Idolatry. We worshipped dead stocks; our gods were dead stones & stocks that we were vassals unto; but now we see a people that is come in to the profession of this Christian Religion, they worship the living God, their God is the true God, certainely here are the sons of the living God.* This is the scope of the holy Ghost. For observation. 1. It is a comfortable thing to consider that in those places where God hath not been known & worshipped, that afterward in those places, God should be known & worshipped. That such nations, such Countreys and Towns that have lived in darkness & Idolatry, should now have the knowledge of the true God, that the true God should come to be worshipped amongst them, this is a blessed thing. England was once one of the most barbarons nations in the world, and in that place where it was said you are not my people, where there was nothing but a company of savage barbarous creatures that worshipped the Devill; how in this place, in En∣gland is it said, even by the nations round about us, surely they are the sonnes of the living God! And so many times in dark corners in the Coun∣trey where they never had the knowledge of Jesus Christ, but were nuzled up in Popery and in all kinde of supesticious vanity, God is pleased to send Page  87 some faithful Minister to carry the light of the knowledge of Christ unto them, and efficaciously to work faith in their hearts, and now, oh what an alteration is there in that towne! the like of a family. It may be said of ma∣ny a house and family,* in which nothing but blasphemy, and atheisme, and scorne of Religion, and uncleannesse, and all manner of wickednesse hath been, now it is a family filled with the servants and sonnes of the living God. As it is a grievous thing to think of a place wherein God hath been truely worshipped, that afterward the Devil should come to be served there, so it is a comfortable thing to think of other places wherein the Devil hath beene served, that God is truly worshipped there. Some stories report that the Turkes having possession of the Temple at Jerusalem, there where was the Arke, and the Cherubins, and the Seraphims, there now are Tygres, and Beares, and savage creatures; But on the other side to consider that in pla∣ces where there have been none but Tygres, and Bears and savage creatures, they should now be filled with Cherubins, and Seraphims; this is a comfor∣table thing. Secondly. It shall be said they are the sonnes of the living God.

It shall be said so.* God hath a time to convince the world of the excel∣lency of his Saints. They shall not onely be the sonnes of the living God, but it shall come to passe that it shall be said they are the sonnes of the liv∣ing God: all about them shall see such a lustre of the glory of God shining upon them, that they shall all say, Verily whatsoever other people have said hertofore, whatsoever the thoughts of men have beene, these are not onely the servants, but the sonnes of the living God. We have an excellent prophe∣fie of this in Zachar. 12. 5. The governours of Iudah shal say in their heart The inhabitants of Jerusalem shall be my strength in the Lord of hosts their God. Not onely the people shall be convinced of this, but the Gover∣nours of Judah, they shall say in their hearts, our strength is in the inhabi∣tants of Jerusalem, in the Lord of Hosts their God. Howsoever they were heretofore scandalized, as seditious, and factious, and as enemies of the State, yet now the Governours of Judah shall acknowledge that their strength is in them, and in the Lord their God, that this Lord of Hosts is their God. That time will be a blessed time when the Governours of Judah shall come to be convinced of this; when God shall so manifest the excellencies of his Saints, as that both great and smal shall confesse them to be the sonnes of the living God.* It is promised to the Church of Philadelphia, Revel. 3. 9. that the Lord would make them that said they were Jews, and were not, & said they were the Church and were not, but were of the Synagogue of Satan, to come and how before their feete, and to know (saith he) that I have loved them. There is a time that ungodly men shall be forced to know that God doth love his people. And one thing amongst the rest that will much convince the men of the world of the excellency of the Saints, will be the beauty of Gods ordinances that shall be set up amongst them, that shall even dazel the eyes of the beholders. For this you have an excellent promise, Ezek. 37. 28. The heathen shall know that I the Lord do sanctifie Israel. How shall they Page  86 know it? when my sanctuary shall be in the middest of them for evermore, then they shall know that I the Lord do sanctifie Israel, when the beauty of my ordinances shall appeare in them, then they shall know it.

And if God be not onely satisfied in doing good to his people, but hee will have the world know it, and be convinced of it; Let the people of God then not be satisfied onely in having their hearts upon God, but let the world know that they love God too. You must do that that may make it appeare to all the world, that you are the children of the living God. Let your light so shine before men, that they seeing your good works may glorifie your Fa∣ther which is in heaven. It is one thing to do a thing that may be seene, and another thing to do a thing that it may be seen. And yet Gods people may do both, not do good onely that may be seen, but (if they keepe still the glory of God above in their eye, as the highest ayme) they may desire and be wil∣ling too that it may be seene to the praise of God. But this I confesse requi∣reth some strength of grace to do it, and yet to keep the heart upright. The excellency of grace doth consist not in casting off the outward comforts of the world, but to know how to enjoy them, and to over-rule them unto God: so the strength of grace doth consist, not in forbearing of such actions as are taken notice of by men, or not to dare to ayme at the publishing of those things that have excellency in them; but the strength of grace consists in this, in having the heart enabled to do this, and yet to keepe it under too, and to keep God above in his right place.

Thirdly, It shall be said they are sonnes, &c.

It is a great blessing unto Gods children that they shall be accounted so before others.* Not onely that they shall be so; but that they shall be ac∣counted so.*Blessed are the peace-makers for they shall be called the children of God, This is a blessing not onely to be Gods children, but to be called Gods children. We must account it so, and therefore we must walk so as may convince all with whom we do converse that we are the children of God; and not thinke this sufficient, well, let me approve my heart to God; and then what need I care what all the World thinks of me. God doth pro∣mise it as a blessing to have his people called the children of God, then this must not be slighted. You shall find it often in the Gospel that Christ made a great businesse of this to make it manifest to the world that he was sent of God, he would have them to know that his Father sent him, and that hee came from him: So the people of God should count it a blessing, and walk so as they may obtaine such a blessing that the world may know that they are of God.

Further. In the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sonnes of the living God.

Marke, It is not said thus, that in the place where it was said they are not my people, it shall be said to them they are my people. No, but further, it shall be said they are sonnes, and sonnes of the living God: this goeth be∣yond being his people. Hence then the observation is, That

Page  88 The grace of God under the Gospell, it is morefull, and large, and glori∣ous, then the grace of God under the Law.

For this is spoke of the estate of the Church under the Gospell, They were Gods people indeed under the Law, but the sonnes of the living God, this is reserved for the times under the Gospel. Sometime they under the Law are called by the name of sonnes;* but it appeareth by this Text that in com∣parison of that glorious son-ship that they shall have under the times of the Gospell, that they in former times were rather servants then sonnes. There is very little of our adoption in Christ revealed in the Old Testament, No, that was reserved for the Sonne of God to reveale, for him that came out of the bosome of the Father, and brought the treasures of his Fathers councel to the world, the revelation of these things were reserved to the time of his com∣ming, both adoption and eternal life was very little made knowne in the time of the Law, therefore Saint Paul saith, that life and immortality were brought to light through the Gospel. 2 Tim. 1. 10.

2. Sonnes,* Because in the time of the Gospell, the spirits of the Saints are of son-like dispositions, they are ingenuous, not mercenarie. In the time of the Law God carried on his people in offering rewards, especially in out∣ward things: but in the time of the Gospell we have no such rewards in out∣wards, but the Scripture speakes of afflictions most, there is not spoken so much of afflictions in the time of the Law, but much outward prosperity there was then: but in the time of the Gospel more affliction, because the dispositions of the hearts of people should not be so mercenary as they were before, they should be an ingenuous, a willing people in the day of Christs power.

3. Sonnes, Because of the son-like affection to be much for God their Father out of a naturall 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, that they should have more then in the times of the Law. I suppose some of you have heard of the story of Craesus his sonne, though he was dumb all his dayes, when he perceived a souldier strik∣ing his father, his affection brake the barres of his speech, and he cryed out to the Souldier to spare his rather. This is the affection of a sonne, and these affections doth God looke for from his children, especially in the time of the Gospel, that they should heare no wrong done to him, but though they could never speake in their own cause, yet their should be sure to speake in their Fathers cause.

4. Sonnes, Because they have not such a spirit of servility upon them as they had in the time of the Law. Christ is come to redeem us that we might serve the Lord in holinesse and righteousnesse before him without feare all the dayes of our life,* to take away the spirit of feare: Hence the Apostle saith, We have not received the spirit of feare but of love, and of a sound minde.* And Heb. 2. 15. Christ is come to redeem those who through feare of death were all their life time subject to bondage. The spirit of a sonne is not be spirit of feare, We have not received the spirit of bondage to feare again, but the spirit of adoption whereby we cry Abba Father. It is unbe∣seeming Page  89 the children of God, especially in the time of the Gospel, to be of such servile spirits as to feare every little danger, to be distracted with fear, and presently to be amazed. Hath not God revealed himselfe to us as a Father to his children that we must not feare? He would not have us feare himselfe,* not with a servile sear as men do, and therefore surely not to fear men be they what they will be. We are sons.

Again, Not only sons, for so we might find in Scripture, where the peo∣ple of God under the Law, perhaps are sometimes called so, but elder sons, sons come to yeares. It is true, they were before us, and so in that respect we are not elder; bnt sons that are come to our inheritance, that is it I mean that we are such sons; Not children under tutorage, not under School-ma∣sters and governours, as they were in the time under the Law. You know what comparison the Scripture makes of the difference betweene the Church in the time of the Gospell, and that in the time of the Law. In the time of the Law it is true indeed they were children, but how? they were children that were under tuttors and Governours, they were not as yet come to years, they were but as young children that were put out to school. But now as the Apostle saith, Gal. 4. 15. Chrst hath redeemed us from be∣ing under the Law, that we might receive the adoption of sonnes: marke, that we might receive it, so that now the state of the Church is like unto a child that cometh to be of age, and so is freed from his Tutors and Gover∣nors, and cometh to his inheritance, sui juris, as it were, so is the state of the Church now.

Therefore the Saints now are not to be dealt withal, as if stil they were in their childish condition. Now how were the Jewes dealt withall, because∣they were in their childish condition? Thus, they had outward externall ethings to gain them to serve God, they worshipped God much in externall things: As we deale with children, we give them apples and fine things to get them to doe what we would have them do, so God dealt with them: And as children when they begin to learne, they must have a great many gayes in their book; so God taught the Jewes with outward ceremonies, which afterward the Scripture calls but beggarly rudiments, poor things. Children you know are pleased much with gay things, and they that would bring in Jewish ceremonies, or ceremonies of their own invention in the Church, they make account the Church is in her childish condition still, as if gay things would please them, therefore they must have pictures, and I∣mages, and such things to please people, this makes the people of God be∣neath themselves as if they were yet children, and were to be pleased with such things as these. No, now in the state of the Gospel they are come to the adoption of sons. And so children you know are pleased as with fsghts, so with hearing of musick, and pipes, and such things, so men would bring such things still into the Church in the time of the Gospel. I remember Iust. Martyr in the 107. quest. ad orthodoxos, in answer to that about musicall instruments, he saith that they are fit for children and fooles, as Page  90 Organs and the like, and therefore hee sayes, they were not in use in the Church.* One of the most ancient Writers we have after the Apostles time gives this for a commendation of them. And indeed for the childish state of the Church those things are fit, but now when they are come to the a∣doption of sons, other services that are more spirituall, are more sutable and honourable, as a man that is grown to be a man, would think himselfe wronged much to be taught as a childe, to be put off with gay things; so should the people of God under the gospell think it a great wrong that hath been done to them, when men have sought to teach them with gayes and poor things, we are not still children, but so grown up to the adoption of sons as to receive our inheritance, and therefore are to have the priviledg of such.

Againe. In that place where it was said, yee are not my people, it shall be said, &c.

Israel that was cast off from God, now shall be brought in more fully then ever he was before. Thence the observation is,

When God is pleased to be reconciled to a people,* he is as fully theirs as ever, yea sometimes more fully. He comes rather with more full grace then ever formerly he did.

People before, but sons now. O what an incouragement is this to all a∣postatizing soules that have fallen off from God! Come in, come in, and be reconciled to God, and thou shalt not only find God as good as ever thou didst, but thou shalt find him much better and much sweeter then e∣ver thou didst in all thy life. It is seldome we are so. When men fall out one with another, though possibly they may be reconciled, yet it is seldome that they are so fully reconciled, so fully one as they were before; they are but as a broken vessell sodered together, that is very weake in the sodering place; or as garments that have been rent, and are mended, soon torn and quickly ready to fall in pieces in the place where they were mended; It is not so between God and a penitent soule.

Again, sons, not onely of God, but of the living God. There is much in this, that the people of God under the gospell should be called the sons of the living God: The life of God is the glory of God: he sweareth by his life: by this he is distinguished from the heathen gods, that hee is the living God. Life is the most excellent thing in the world; Augustine therefore saith, that the life of a very fly is more excellent then the Sun in the Firmament: and certainly it is the glory of God, that he is the living God. And as God is the living God, so he is the object of our faith, and so he is the happinesse of his people. Trust in the living God; my soule pants and thirsts after the li∣ving God, O when shall I come and appear before God.

But why is God called the living God in reference to his Church here? *〈…〉 thing we must enquire after.

This is a treasure of comfort to his people that he is called the living God in reference to his Church. God would hereby declare to them that all Page  91 that is in him shall be active for the good of his Church for ever, hee will shew himselfe not only to be a God, but a living God, hee will shew all his attributes to be living attributes for the good of his people. Did God shew himselfe active for his people in former times? much more may his Church in the time of the gospell expect the Lord to manifest himself to be active amongst them. Therefore we make use o what we read of Gods a∣ctiveness for the good of his Church in former times, to plead with God to shew himself as much active now. You shall see how the Church made use of the former activeness of God, Isa. 51. 9. Awake, Awake, put on strength, O arme of the Lord, awake as in the ancient dayes, in the gene∣rations of olde. Art not thou it that hath out Rahab and wounded the Dragon? Art thou not it which hath dried the sea, the waters of the great deep? &c. Thou hast been active heretofore for thy people, oh be so sti. If they might make use of former times, much more in our times of the gospell may we make use of former times, and plead with God, O Lord hast thou not shewn thy selfe glorious in defence of thy people, in helping thy fervants in their great straits, and in destroying thine enemies? wilt not thou be so still? In the times of the gospel, we may expect more activenes of God then ever he manifested since the world begun. Therefore when God would set out the state of the Church of the gospel, mark how he takes that title to himselfe. Revel. 4. 9. The 4. living creatures (mentioned in the verses before, by which is meant the state of the Church under the gos∣pel) they give glory, and honour, & thanks to him that sate on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever: and ver. 10. The 24. Elders fell downe be∣fore Him that sate on the Throne, and worshipped Him that liveth for e∣ver and ever, and Chap. 5. 14. both joyne together, The 4. living crea∣tures and the 24. Elders fell downe and worshipped him that liveth for e∣ver and ever. And Chap. 10. 5, 6. The Angell which stood upon the sea, and upon the earth, lifted up his hand and sware by him that liveth for e∣ver and ever. Thus the attribute of Gods life is made use of for the state of the Church in the gospell, to shew how active God will be for them. Thence Heb. 12. 22. the Church is called The Cities of the living God.

Now then if we expect that God should be a living God unto us, it be∣comes not us to have dead hearts in his service. If God be active for our good, let us be active for his honour. A living and a lively Christian is beautifull in the eyes of God and man. Let us labour not onely to be liviing, but to be lively for God and his cause. Abundance of service, and good, may living and lively Christians do in the places where they live, specially in these times. But oh what a few are there who are active and stirring, and are carryed on by the spirit of wisdome and zeale, for God and his cause! Away now with out cold and dead wishes, and luskish desires, let us up, and be doing,* and the Lord will be with us. The adversaries are lively, so saith the Psalmift, mine tnemies are lively, and they are strong, Psal. 38. 19. We may well make use of that expression too, our enemies they are Page  92 lively and strong; shall they be more lively and active for the Devill, and for their lusts, then we for the living God? As God is the object of our hap∣pinesse as he is the living God, so wee are the objects of Gods delight as we are living too. God is not the God of the dead, but he is the God of the living.

We should be lively and active, for we live upon the bread of life, and drink the water of life, we have lively Oracles, lively ordinances, therefore life and activity is required of us. Rom. 12. 11. Be fervent in spirit serving the Lord,* be burning, boyling up in your spirits, for you are serving the Lord, the living God, be boyling up in your spirits; dead spirits become not the services of the living God.

Grace is called the Divine nature, and God (wee know) is a pure act, and it is called the very life of God.* It is impossible then but a Christian must needs be active, seeing his grace is the very life of God in him.

By being lively and active, we shall prevent abundance of temptations, that otherwise will befallus: a dead luskish spirit is lyable to a thousand temptations: as when the honey is scalding hot and boyling, the flies will not come to it; when it is set in the window and grows cold, then the flies come to it: so when the spirits of men are boyling hot for God, Belzebub the god of flies with his temptations, comes not then upon them, but when their spirits begin to cool, and grow dull and heavy, then comes Belzebub, then comes all manner of temptation upon the soule. The breath that comes from life, we know it is warme breath, but artificiall breath that is cold; the breath that comes from the body of a man, that's hot, but the breath that cometh from a paire of Bellows, that is cold, because it is arti∣ficiall breath: so when men are cold in the services of God, it is to be fea∣red that their breath in praying and other duties, it is but artificiall breath, it is not the breath of life, if it were living, it would be warm. That was the reason why God would not have an asse offered him in the Law in sa∣crifice, but his neck must be broken, because the asse is a dull creature, God loves not dull creatures in his service.

I remember I have heard of a people that worshipped the sunne for their god, they sacrificed to the sun a flying horse; the reason was this, because they would offer to the sun somewhat sutable to it; they honoured the sun for the swiftness of his motion, and a horse you know is a swift creature, and therefore somewhat sutable, especially having that emble me upon him, with wings. They that would honour the sun as a god for swiftnes would not offer a snayle, but a flying horse; so if wee do honour God for a living God, an active God, let us not offer snayles to him, dull, heavy, sluggish services, but quick and lively services.

That which the Courtiers of Nebuchadnezzar flatteringly said to him, that in the name of God say I to you, Live for ever, Joh. 6. 57. saith Christ there, As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father, so he that eateth me even he shall live by me. Christ was active, exceeding Page  93 active in his way, in the work he was sent about; Why? because the living Father sent him; so letus consider, that in all our services and employ∣ments, it is a living God that sets us about them, and we shall be active as Christ was.

I am willing a little to inlarge this because of the necessity of it in regard of our present times, and give me leave to do it by telling you what this ac∣tiveness is that I would put you upon in these three things.*

First, stay not for company in any good cause. An active spirit will not stay till he see others to accompany him, but if he must go, rather then the cause should fall he will goe alone. Mark that saying, Isa. 51. 2. I called Abraham alone and blessed him:* Be not discouraged, if God give thee an active spirit and others will not appear, God calls thee alone, and he will blesset hee.

Secondly, when you have company do not lag behind, but he willing to be formost rather then any cause of God should suffer by your lagging;* do not stay to have others go before you. Hence in Pro. 30. 31. amongst the comely goings of many things there, the going of the he-goat is said to be very comely, why? because the he-goat useth to go before the flock. Those that out of love to the cause of God are willing (if they be called to it) to goe before the flock, they goe comely in the eyes of God.

Thirdly, do not forbear the work till all difficulties about it be first over. That is a sluggish spirit that wil not set about the work till they can see how all the difficulties about the worke are or may be removed. You must up and be doing, be doing presently, fall to the worke, and then when you are working, wisely to prevent and avoid the difficulties that come in it; As those active spirits did that we read of in Nehem. 4. 17. when they were at work, with one of their hands they wrought, and with the other hand they held a weapon; they did not stay the building of the wall of Jerusalem till all their adversaries were quashed; but prefently they fell to it, and with one hand they wrought in the work, and with the other held a weapon. This is an active spirit.

Further, we must not be active in a sudden mood, & upon a meer flash, and so gone,* but in a constant solid way; Active, yet solid. Many indeed are stirring and active for the present, but as the flame of a wispe of straw that makes a noise, and a great stir for the present, but soone after there re∣mains nothing but black dead ashes. But we must be considerately active; Therefore observe, the Scripture saith (speaking of the Saints specially in the time of the Gospel) that they are lively stones (you know the place of Peter) What a stone, and yet lively? A stone of all things is the most dead thing,* and so it is used to set out a dead spirit in that story of Nabal, when Abigail came to tell him of the business of David, the Text saith, that his heart dyed within him, and became as a stone. What is this but to shew, that though we must be lively and active, 〈…〉 must be solid, firme, and substantiall in our activeness; and again, that when we are solid, firm, and Page  94 substantiall, yet we must be active. There are many that know not how to be active solidly, and therefore grow slight and vain in their activity: and many others striving to be solid and substantiall, they quicly grow dull: many through a kind of affected gravity, they would forsooth be accoun∣ted solid and wise, and so become at last dull, and heavy, and of very little use in the Church of God. Take heed of either, and labour to compose both together, that is acceptable to God, to be living stones before him.

Ver. 11. Then shall the children of Judah, and the children of Israel be gathered together, &c.

Here you have a promise both to Israel and Judah together. Great was the enmity between Judah and Israel heretofore. They worshipped the same God, but in divers manners. One worshipped God according to his owne institution, Judah did. And Israel worshipped the same God, but after their own ways, according to their own inventions, so as might best sute with their politique ends. There was a great deale of bitternesse and vexation between these two people, though worshipping the same God; and God here makes it a great matter to bring these two together, that they should be gathered together in one. For that here wee have the pro∣mise: First, that there shall be an union: Secondly, that there shall be an union under one head.

First, that there shall be an union. Hence then the first observation is this:

The enmity of such as seem not much different in matters of Religion, and yet do differ, is sometime exceeding great and bitter.

There shall be an union between Judah and Israel saith God. Here is a mercy,* here is a wonderful worke of the Lord. In that God doth I say make this so great a matter, this observation doth spring forth of the Text clearly, that many times between such as professe the same Religion, and seem not to differ much, and yet do differ, their oppositions are most bit∣ter and ineconcileable, and requires a mighty worke of God to bring them in and reconcile them.

It appears it was so between Judah and Israel. I will give you but one Text for it, 2 Chr. 28. 9. The Prophet Obed tells the children of Israel, when he came to reprove them after the slaughter committed by them up∣on the children of Judah, saith he, Ye have slain them in a rage that reach∣eth up to heaven. What a rage was this this? and yet thus the people of Is∣rael were inraged against the people of Iudah, their opposition was very bitter, yea, more bitter were they many times one against another, then they were against the Heathen, the Philistims, and Assyrians, and Egypti∣ans that were round about them, they were nothing so bitter against them, as they were one against another.

Thus it hath been, and (untill that blessed time come that here is spoken of in the Text) thus it will be. You know the Calvinists and Lut he rans, though they agree together against Papists in the main fundamental things, yet h the bitternesse of their spirits one against another! A Lutheran is Page  95 scarce so bitter against a Papist as he is against a Calvinist. Luther himself complaineth,* Not only open wicked men are our enemies, but even our frends, and those that at first received the doctrine of the Gospel from us; even they persecute us most bitterly. And he complaineth in particular of Zuinglius; Zuing. (saith he) accuseth me of my wickedness, of any cruelty, so that the Papists doe not teare me so much as these my friends.* Again, speaking of Corolost adi∣us,* He is more deadly a∣gainst mee, more set a∣gainst me then ever any of my enemies were. Even hee that God did ufe together with Luther for great ends and purposes for the furtherance of the Gospell, yet such bitterness was between them.

And hath it not been so amongst us? Those that are Protestants and such as are nick-named Puritans, though they do agree in all the fundamentall points against popery, yet because there is some difference in matter of discipline and ceremonies, Oh what bitternesse of spirit is there? and it is so much the more sinfull in those who say themselves that discipline and ce∣remonies are but in different things, they themselves are specially to be blamed for bitterneesse on their side, because the conscience of the other is bound up and cannot yeeld, yea, not only such as doe contend against po∣pish discipline, but such as doe goe a further degree in reformation of dis∣cipline it selfe, yet because they are differing in some few particulars, oh the bitterness of spirit that is many times even among them!

These are times that call all the people of God to see what they can a∣gree in, and in that to joyne against the common adversary, and not to tear one another by dissentions. God may justly give us over to our adversaries, if we agree not among our selves, and they may chaine us together: Per∣haps a Prison may make us agree, as it was said of Ridley and Hooper; though Ridley stood much against Hooper in point of ceremonies, and they could not agree, yet when they came to Prison they did well enough there.* The Lord deliver us from that medicine of our dissentions, that wee be not made so to agree; Yea that we be not sodered together by our own blood.

Secondly,* God hath a time to gather Judah and Israel both together, that is, to bring peace to his Church: God hath a time to gather all his Churches together in a way of peace, that there shall be an universall peace amongst his Churches.

For thought it is true it be meant here of Judah and Israel literally, yet Israel and Judah is to set out to us all the Churches of God that shall bee afterwards among the Gentiles: and as God will fulfill this Scripture lite∣rally, Page  96 so he will fulfill it in the spirituall sense, to bring Judah and Israel, that is, all the Churches of God to be under one head. Isa. 11. 13. E∣phraim shall not envy Iudah, and Iudah shall not envy Ephraim. E∣phraim envyed Judah, because Judah challenged to himselfe the true wor∣ship of God, and Judah on the other side envyed Ephraim, because hee was the greatest, there was vexing spirits one against another: this shall not alvvays be, saith God, but the envy of Ephraim shall depart, I will take a∣way this envious, this vexatious spirit. Those two staves the holy Ghost speaks of in Zach. 11. 10, 11. 14. the staffe of beauty, and the staffe of bands, they were both broken, but God hath a time to unite together a∣gain, and for that mark that excellent prophecie in Ezek. 37. 16, 17. 22. 24. There you shall find fully set out Gods bringing Judah and Israel to∣gether, and joyning those sticks together again. Son of man (saith the Text there) take thee one sticke and write upon it, for Iudah and for the chil∣dren of Israel his companions, & then take another sticke, & write upon it, for Ioseph the sticke of Ephraim, & for all the house of Israel his com∣panions; and joyne them one to another into one sticke, & they shall become one in thy hand. And then ver. 19. this is interpreted of the union of them, Behold I will take the stick of Ioseph which is in the hand of Ephraim, & will put them with the stick of Iudah, & make them one sticke, & they shal be one in mine hand: And vers. 22. I will make them one Nation in the land upon he mountains of Israel, & one King shall be King to them all: And in the 24. ver. that King is said to be David which we shall afterward shew more fully, when we shall come to shew this head that they shall be under. Now this God hath never yet fulfilled, that the ten Tribes, and Ju∣dah and Benjamine should come together, and be set in one stick, he hath never set together the staffe of bonds that was broken, and yet this must be done, and it is the great blessing of God upon his Churches, the bringing about of this union one with another. Mark that Text for this purpose, Ier. 33. God having promised having promised there in the 10. ver. that in the latter dayes he would bring Judah & Israel together, and build them up at first: then in the 14. vers. Behold the dayes come, saith the Lord, that I will perform the good thing which I have promised unto the children of Israel, & to the house of Judah. What is that good thing that God had promised to the houses of Israel and Iudah? That good thing (my brethren) is the building them up together as they were at first; that is the good thing. Behold how good & pleasant a thing it is for brethren to live together in unity: It is like the precious ointment upon the head that ran downe upon the beard, even Aarons beard, that went down to the skirts of his garments, as the dew of Hermon, & as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion, for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even〈…〉 the Churches of God where there is this 〈…〉 here is God commanding blessing,* that 〈…〉 powerfully; commeth efficaciously, and blessing of Page  97 life, and life for evermore. O who would not then love union and peace in the Churches! Zach. 14. 9. The Lord shal be King over all the earth, in that day shall there be one Lord, & his name one. The Churches now, they have one Lord, they all acknowledg God & Christ to be their Lord, yea but this Lord hath not one name, though they all pretend to Christ, & that they will honour Christ, and set up Christ, yet this one Lord hath ma∣ny names. But here it is prophefied that there shall be but one Lord, and his name shall be but one neither. And Zeph. 3. 9. Then will I turne to a people of a pure languag that they may all cal upon the name of the Lord & serve him with one consent.* The word in the Originall is, one shoulder; all the people of God shall have but one shoulder that they shall set to the ser∣vice of God. O blessed time when they shall come so to be united as to have but one shoulder! And the greater will this blessing be of Iudahs and Israels gathering together, if you consider these two things (I beseech you observe them) and I goe no further then this very Scripture I am now o∣pening to you.

First, that they shall have this perfect union together even then when Is∣rael shall be as the sand of the sea:* when there shall be such multitudes comming in and flocking to the Church, yet then they shall be united into one, and then there shall be peace in the Churches. It is not a hard matter when there are but very few of a Church, perhaps halfe a dozen or halfe a score, for them then to be of one mind, and to agree in one lovingly toge∣ther, and to have no divisions nor dissentions among themselves; but when a Church grows to be a multitude, and a great many, then there lies the dif∣ficulty. When did ever any Church though never so well constituted at first, but increase in divisions and dissentions, as they increased in number and multitude?

You see you find it very hard when you have any meeting in any society, when any business concerns a great many, you finde it I say a very hard thing so to agree together as to be of one and the same mind.* An instru∣ment, as a watch or any thing that hath many wheels, is sooner out of frame then that which hath but a wheele or two. So when a great many come to∣gether about any businesse, it is mighty hard to bring them to be united in one. There are few families that have many persons in it, but quickly dissentions and brablings grow among them: perhaps where there are two or three in a family they keep well enough together: but where there are many, where there are but seven in a family, they cannot so well agree, nor so long a time together as the seven Devills did in Mary Magdalen, they agreed better and longer then many a seven in a family: But God hath made this promise to the Church, that though it shall increase as the sand on the sea shore, and that multitudes shall come flocking to the Church, yet they shall be all gathered together into 〈◊〉 under one head, and they shall have peace, for certainly that is the••〈◊〉 of the holy Ghost here.

Secondly,* They shall agree in one, not only when they are multitude, Page  98 but when they shall come to enjoy their full priviledges, and the full liberty that Christ hath purchased for them, even then there shal be a blessed agree∣ment. For it is spoken here of those times when they shall come under one head, and Christ alone shall rule them, and not mens inventious; Christ will grant his Church those priviledges that he hath purchased for them, & rule them according to those, and then there shall be a blessed agreement among them all. Men now think it impossible that the Church should have those li∣berties Christ hath purchased without dissentions, oh say they, grant them but such and such things, let them have but such liberty as they speak of, and we shall have nothing but brabling and divisions; what shall every man be left to do what he list? why then we shall have nothing but breaches in the Church, and heart-burning one against another. No, Christ hath never pur∣chased so much liberty for every man to do what he list in things apparently unlawfull against the common principles of Religion, In those there may be compulsion. But that liberty that Christ hath purchased, is the lawful use of the things of indifferency, and the lawfull use of his ordinances. And though now men think that even in such things that are in themselves indifferent, if men be left at their liberty, there will be such heart-burning, & such dissen∣tions, and no peace at all in the Church; they are much mistaken in this, for the onely way to have true peace in the Church, is to leave things as Christ hath left them, & to force nothing upon mens consciences that Christ would not have forced, this is the way of peace; and the special way of dissention (we have had experience of it) hath been and ever will be, the urging upon mens consciences those things Christ would not have urged, this is it that makes the greatest rent & division in the Church.* The urging of uniformity in all indifferent things as necessary to unity is a most false principle, you wil finde it so. It is a principle that many have been led by, but it is an extream, false, and corrupt principle, and is and will be found to bee the cause of the greatest distractions. VVhen this time comes that is here prophesied of, there shall not be any such neede of any Antichristian chaine, to chaine the servants of God together, but they shall be one without any such doings. It is true, Papists and Prelaticall men, they cry out of others; there are such di∣visions among them say they, none of them can agree, there is more unifor∣mity and unity with us than there is with them, every one there among them runs up and downe and doth what he pleaseth.

Marke these two Answers to that.

First, They have little cause to brag of their unity if we consider all; for in the meane time though many thousands of Christians, and hundreds of faith∣ful, painful, and conscionable Ministers of God that did more service to God and his Church then ever they wilo, though they be banished out of their countrey, and put 〈…〉••remities, and endure sore afflictions for 〈…〉••ch of unity with them at all, though 〈…〉 things they have caused many 〈◊〉〈…〉. This is no breach of unity with them.

Page  99 But suppose by their power they could have brought all to an uniformity, in their own inventions and innovations as they desired. What then? they have little cause to brag of that unity neither. Certainly there the remedy would have been worse then the disease, and work a greater mischief. Their bragging then of unity would have been no other but thus, as if a couple of prisoners chained to a block, and kept close all day, should see others goe a∣broad in the streets at a distance, and they should cry out to them, Why doe you not take example by us? you keep at a distance one from another, doe you not see that we keepe close together from morning to night? pray take example by us, and do not go so distant one from another. Would not such an argument be most ridiculous? What is the reason of their union but their choine? Certainly there is the same argument in these mens pleading for that uniformity that they force men to by such a kinde of Antichristian chaine.

What breach of unity is it if in a broad street one goes a little distant from another? and so what breach is it if in matters of indifferency one take one way and another another? It is the corrupt and perverse spirits of men that thinke they cannot have unity, and yet have things as Christ have left them. Christ needs no such things to cause unity in his Church, the spirit of his peo∣ple that shal love truth & peace is enough to cause that unity he would have. And O that this time that this gathering together were come, of all Chur∣ches to be made one, & be under one head! for abundance of mischief is done now among the Churches, and in the world by the spirit of division and dis∣sension. The Devil delights (especially that devil that is the spirit of division) to live in the region of the Church. There are some devils especially that are spirits of pride, (as the dumb devil) and some of dissention, and some of one kinde and some of another; and I remember Cajetan hath a note upon that place of the Gospel, where our Saviour Christ cast the devils out of the pos∣sessed man,* they besought him that he would let them enter into the swine, & that he would not send them out of that Region, because (saith he) they have several Regions where they most haunt, and they that are in such a Region, they are loath to be put out of it, but would faine keep their place. Whether that be so or no we will not say, but this we say, that if their be any Religion in the world that the unclean spirit of division loveth to be in, and is loath to be cast out; it is the Region of the Church, for their he doth the greatest mis∣chiefe. But Christ hath a time to cast this unelean spirit out of the Region of the Church, and that so, as hee never shall returne any more.

This point in regard we meet with it so fitly, and is so fully agreeable to the necessity of our times, I cannot tell (though I go a little beyond the or∣dinary way of exposition) how to get off from it.

This union of the Churches is that which will be the stability of it. You have an admirable place of this, Isa. 33. ••. Thine eyes sball see Jerusalem a quiet ation habit. O that our eyes migh〈◊〉 blessed 〈◊〉 behold Jerusalem a quiet habitation, then we should be will 〈…〉 hold Simeon to say, Lord now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, for mine eyes have seen thy sal∣vation.

Page  100 Marke then what followes, a quiet habitation, a tabernacle that shall not be taken down, nor one of the stakes thereof shall ever be removed, neither shall any of the cords thereof be broken, but there the glory of God will be un¦to us a place of broad rivers and streames, wherein shal no galley with oare, neither shal gallant Ship passe thereby. The kingdoms of the world though they seem to be built upon mountaines, yet God will tosse them up and down, and they shall come to nothing: but the Church when it is made a quiet habitation (observe it) though it be but a tabernacle & set upon stakes, yet this tabernacle shall not be taken downe,* nor one of the stakes thereof shall ever be removed, though it be tyed by lines, yet not a cord thereof shal be broken. Yea in this the glory of the Church doth consist, for so saith the Text there, when it is a quiet habitation, the glory of God shall be there, God shall dwell among them as a glorious God.

No Church more honourable then the Church of Philadelphia, for that is the Church the Adversaries must come and bow before. Rev. 3. 9. and that Church carryeth Brotherly love in the very name of it, for so it signifies.

Cant. 6. 9. My dove, my undefiled is but one, the onely one of her mother. What followeth? The daughters saw her and blessed her, yea the Queens and the Concubines, and they praised her. When Christs dove and undefi∣led comes once to be but one, the daughters shall see her and blesse her.

Esay, 11. 7. 8. &c. There you have a promise of Judah and of Ephraims joyning together. Mark what followes, Chap. 12. 1. In that day thou shalt say, O Lord, I will praise thee. (Observe, In that day.) And again, ver. 4. In that day shall you say, Praise the Lord, proclaime his Name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted, Sing un∣to the Lord, for he hath done excellent things; cry out and shout thou inha∣bitant of Zion. Then indeed God doth excellent things, when he makes E∣phraim and Judah come to be but one. Therefore saith the Apostle, 1 Cor. 12. 31. Yet shew I unto you a more excellent way, What is that way? In the Chapter following he falls upon the commendation of Love, where you have the highest commendation of it that is in all the book of God; that is the more excellent way. Cant. 3. 9. There the Church is compared to the Charet of Solomon: The pillars of it (saith the Text) were all of silver, the bortome thereof gold, the covering of it of purple, and the middest thereof be∣ing paved with love. Then indeed doth the Church ride in triumph in her Charet, when there is much love and peace in the midst of it.

It is true (my brethren) considering the weakenesse and peevishnesse of mens spirits (yea of good men as well as evil) we may wonder how ever this shall come to passe; Is it possible that this shall ever be so? Indeed it must be a mighty work of God to do it. We must not think to effect it by strug∣ling one with another, and to say 〈◊〉 will make them be at peace and unity, or they shall sma••〈…〉 pull them together by Law. This will not do it, 〈…〉 for the accomplishing of this great thing. Ier. 33. 3. Thus 〈…〉, Call unto me and I will answer Page  101 thee, and shew thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not. What are those great and mighty things that we must call to God for? Amongst others this is one principal one, ver. 7. I will cause the captivity of Judah and the captivity of Israel to returne, and will build them as at the first, and so make them bochone. And then ver. 9. It shall be to me a name of joy, a praise & an honour before all the Nations of the earth, when they shall heare of all the good that I doe unto them. Marke, joy, praise, honour, yea a name of joy, praise, honour, followes upon this blessed union, and that be∣fore all the Nations of the earth. For the accomplishment of this. Come Lord Jesus, come quickely! Yet let us further observe the difference between the scattering of the wicked, and the scattering of the Saints. Judah & Israel they were scattered, but, now they shall be gathered together.

There is a great deale of difference between the scattering of the Saints,* and the scattering of the wicked: When God scatters the Saints, he scatters them that they may be gathered; when he scatters the wicked, hee scatters them that he may destroy them, Psal. 68. 1. Let God arise, and let his enemies be scattered: How scattered? As smoake is driven away; so drive them away. Smoake you know is driven away and scattered, so as it comes to nothing. Psal. 144. 6. Cast forth lightning and scatter them, shoote out thine Ar∣rowes and destroy them. This is the scattering of the wicked: but as for the Saints, they may be scattered, but it is to spread abroad the gospell by them in the world. Acts 8. 4. The Text saith, They that were scattered abroad by reason of the persecution of Saul, went every where preaching the word: but within a while our God shall come and all his Saints with him, and hee will gather together the out-casts of Israel, with abundance of mercy: so Micah. 46. In that day saith the Lord, I will gather her that is driven out & her that I have afflicted; and Esay, 54. 7. For a time, for a small moment have I forsaken thee, but with great mercies I will gather thee. God will ga∣ther his people with great mercyes. God hath (my brethren) fulfilled this in a great part, in our eyes even this day. Many of those that were driven out of their places and Countryes, those that were afflicted, and those the land could not beare, God hath gathered together these out-casts of Israel.

Let every one take heed how he hinders this worke of the Lord, and how he addeth affliction to those that have been afflicted.

Again further. They shall be gathered together in that day, That is, in the time of the Gospel, when that shall prevail then Judah and Israel shall be ga∣thered together. Then, The more the Gospel prevailes, the more peace there shall be.* The Gospel is not the cause of divisions then, of seditions, of factions; No, It is a gospell of peace; the Prince of it is a Prince of peace, the Ambassage of it is an Ambassage of peace. It is next unto blasphemy, if not blasphemy it selfe, to say that since the preaching and profession of the Gospel, we had no peace, but it causes act 〈…〉 and divisions among the peo∣ple. It is true, people that are in the darke 〈…〉 and quiet together, as it is said of the Egyptians, when they were in the darke for those three dayes toge¦ther, Page  102 they stirred not from their stooles, there was no noise among them; shall the light be blamed because afterward when it came, every one stirred, and went, one, one way and another, another? so when we were in grosse darknesse, we saw nothing, we knew nothing; Now light begins to breake forth, and here one searcheth after one truth, and another after another, and yet we cannot attaine to perfection; shall we accuse the light for this?

Yea but we see too apparently that those that seem the strictest of all, that would worship God (as they say) in the purest manner in his Ordinances; yet there are woefull divisions and distractions even amongst them. How then is the Gospel a Gospel of peace? But a word in answer to this; To satisfie your consciences, that the Gospel may not be blamed, for indeed where the Gospel comes, there is promised peace. Consider this one reason that may be given for it. Because so long as we are here we are partly flesh and partly spirit. Yet those that have the Gospel prevaile with their consci∣ences, they come to be of this temper, that they cannot move any further then they can see light for, and their consciences will give them leave.

But now other men they have more liberty, they indeed quarrel not one with another, why? because they have wide, checker, lyther consciences, & having ends of their owne they will yeeld to any thing for the attaining of those ends;* so that here they have this advantage, that if they see that the con∣tention will bring them more trouble then they conceive the thing is worth, they will condescend though it be against light of conscience. But other men upon whom the light of the Gospel hath prevailed have that bond upon con∣science, that though all the world should differ from them, they must be con∣tent to lye down and suffer, they cannot yeeld, though you would give them all the world they cannot go against that light. But indeed they may search, and it may trouble them that their apprehensions of things should be differ∣ent from the apprehensions of their brethren, and that they cannot yeeld to that which their brethren yeeld too. It is true, they should be humbled, and suspect their hearts, and look to themselves, and fall down before God and pray, and use all means for advice and counsell, and consider of things again and again. Well, but suppose they have done all this, and yet the Lord doth not reveale to them any further light, though it be a sad affliction to them yet they must lye down under it, for they cannot yeeld, one known truth is more then all the world, therefore unlesse others will beare with them in their in∣firmity, they must suffer whatsoever men will lay upon them.

True indeed, the world calls this stoutness, and stifnesse, and being wedded to their own opinion. But they know it is otherwise, they can appeal to God and say, Lord thou knowest what a sad affliction it is unto me that I cannot see what my brother sees, and that I cannot yeeld to what my brother yeelds to, thou hast hid it from me: I 〈◊〉 wait upon thee till thou shalt reveal it, & in the 〈…〉 and not make disturbances in the places vvhere I come, but pray, 〈…〉 for light, and that thou wouldst incline the 〈◊〉 of my brethren unto me, 〈◊〉 they may not have hard thoughts of

Page  103 Do but thus, thou shalt have peace with God, and in thine own heart how∣soever. But again marke, Judah and Israel they shal be gathered together.

So soone as any are converted to the faith,* they are of a gathering dispo∣sition. They desire to gather to the Saints presently. Every childe of God that is converted is a gatherer,* as Solomon is called Ecclesiastes, so in the Greeke, but the Hebrew word is interpreted by some a soule gathered, be∣cause it is in the faeminine genger. None in the world love good fellowship so much as the Saints of God. They fly as doves to their windows, & doves you know use to fly in great flocks, thousands together. The more spirituall any one is, of the more joyning & uniting nature he is. Thousands of beames of the Sun will meet together in one better then the beams of a candle will doe. The Saints of God in the Apostles times when they were converted, it is said, they were added to the Church, they gathered presently. So in Esay. 66. (it is an observable place) ver. 20. the Text saith, They shall bring their brethren as an offering to the Lord out of all Nations, upon horses, and in chariots, &. in litters. How comes this? There shall be many that dwell a great way off. they shall not make that their excuse for their not joyning to the people of God, because they are afar off, It is a great journey; No, but there be horses to be got: But it may be some cannot ride? Then get Charets: But some per∣haps are so weake that they can neither ride on horses nor in Chariots, then they will get litters, and litters you know are to carry weake & sick persons. This shews the intention of spirit that is in the people of God to be gathered to the Church, either to be carryed on horses, or in Chariots, or in litters, one way or other they will come and joyn themselves to the people of God. For there is the presence of Christ, and the protection of Christ, and the comuni∣cation of Christ in their union and communion, and where the carcasse is, there will the Eagles resort. O they love alife to be going towards Sion, ga∣thering one to another, as in Psal. 84. 7. They walk from strength to strength, and at last they all appear before God in Zion. From strength to strength, that is thus: From one place of the Country perhaps there comes halfe a score, or twenty, to go toward Zion, and perhaps before they come to such a town or turning, they meet with halfe a score more, & so they grow stronger; when they are a mile or two further, perhaps they meet with another town com∣ing, and they joyn presently & are stronger, and so they go from strength to strength comfortably together till they come before God in Zion

They shall appoint themselves one Head.

Although they be multitudes, & be as the sand of the sea, yet this is no great matter, unless they come under one Head, & a right Head too. It is not mul∣titudes that is a sufficient argument of truth. A multitude coming under one Head, under Christ as one Head, they are the true Church. The Papists they give this Note of the Church, Universality, that there are so many Papists in the world. We must not regard people how 〈…〉 they are, but under what Head they are: They shall be gathered undermine Head, looke to the Head they follow; for so S. Paul tells us that there shall be an Apostasie before the revelation of that man of sin, 2 Thes. 2. 3. And Rev. 1. 3. 3.

Page  104All the world wandred after the beast: and ver. 2. The dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority: and Rev. 17. 1. The whore sit∣teth upon many waters; & ver. 15. these many waters are interpreted to be peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues. The whore doth sit upon them, that is, doth use them vilely, and basely, sits upon the very consciences of them in a base manner, as if a whore should sit upon you and keep you un∣der. And who doth she sit upon? upon peoples and multitudes. It is not an argument then of a true Church though they are multitudes, though they be as the sand of the sea, though they be gathered together, for they must be ga∣thered under one Head, under Christ. Secondly, Neither is Unity a suffici∣ent argument of the verity of the Church. They shall be gathered together. they shall be joyned together in one way, with one consent; yea but if it be not under one Head, it is like Simeon & Levi, brethren in iniquity. It is not enough that we be one, unless we be one in Christ; and that is a blessed uni∣on: For a great deale of unity there shall be under Antichrist, Revel. 17. 13. These have one minde (saith the Text) and they shall give their strength & power to the beast. And Chap. 18. 5. Her sins reach unto heaven. Their sins cleave together, and so get up to heaven. A union of persons, and a union of sins there is amongst them. The Turks have as little dissention in their Re∣ligion as any;* they are allunited in one. But well may that garment have no seame, that hath no shape. And a notable place we have in Ps. 83. 3. 4. 5. &c. They have consulted together with one consent, they are confederate against thee. There are two or three things exceeding observable in this Scripture about the union of the wicked: First you have ten Countreys joyn together against the Church; there is the Edomites, the Moabites. &c. And it was not by accident that they joyned, but in a deliberate way, They consulted to∣gether, and not onely consulted together, but consulted together with one consent, or heartily, for that which is translated there with one consent, the word in the Hebrew is,*with heart together, their very heart was in the con∣sultation; but mark, it was against thy hidden ones, so ver. 3. Let them con∣sult together, let ten of them consult together, and consult with their hearts, yet the Saints are Gods hidden ones. Esay 54. 15. They shall surely gather to∣gether, but not my me; whosoever shall gather together against thee shal fall forthy sake. My brethren, Peace, though we should all desire it, yet so as not to have it too chargeable: Peace is then too chargeable when it costs us the losse of any truth. Take heed of any such costly Peace: There may hand joyn in hand together in wickednes, yet they shal not be unpunished, Pro. 16. 5. And Nah. 1. 10. While they are folded together as thorns, they shal be de∣voured as stubble fully dry. Wicked men they are as thorns to prick the peo∣ple of God, yea they are thorns ••lded together, there is a peace amongst them: yet though th•• be folded ••gether, they shall bedevoured, they shal be 〈…〉 division that comes by truth, is beter then the union that comes by 〈…〉 a noble speech of Luther, Rather then any thing should fall of the Kingdome of Christ and his glory, let not onely peace 〈◊〉, but let heaven and earth goe too: so wee should love peace,