An exposition of the prophesie of Hosea begun in divers lectures vpon the first three chapters, at Michaels Cornhill, London
Burroughs, Jeremiah, 1599-1646.
Page  122

The Seventh Lecture


HOSEA 1. 11. the latter part of the verse

And appoint themselves one Head,* and they shall come up out of the Land for great shall be the day of Jezreel.

They shall [appoint] themselves one Head.

EPhes. 1. 11. It is said, God gave Christ to be Head over all things to the Chnrch. How then it is said here that they shall [appoint] to themselves one Head?

It is true, God the Father hath advanced his Son, and ex∣tolled him above all things, and hath given him to be Head over all: but yet when the Church, when the Saints shall choose this Christ to be their Head, when they shall come in freely, and wil∣lingly submit themselves unto Christ, lifting him up above all, honoring his ordinances, laws, institutions, depending upon him for light; They are said to appoint Christ to be their Head.

As, though Gods eternal Decree hath made himself to be the God of his Saints, yet when the Saints do choose God to be their God, God doth ac∣count himselfe to be made their God by them: they make God to be their God in choosing of him. So though Christ by the Father be appointed to be the Head over all, yet the act of the Church in choosing Christ, and com∣ming to him freely, and submitting unto him as to the Head, is accounted even an appointing of Christ to be Head.

This is that happy work which the Saints have been doing, and which we are to doe, and they will doe to the end of the world, appointing Christ a Head. Though there be some speciall time that this Text hath reference un∣to (of which by and by) yet in all Ages of the Church, when the Saints doe choose Christ to be their Head, they are said to appoint him.

Let us joyne in this blessed work, an honourable work for creatures to ap∣point the Lord JESUS to be Head over them. Let us say as Hushai did in another case, 2 Sam. 19. 18. Him whom the Lord, and this people, & all men of Israel choose for King, his will I be, and with him will I abide.

So, He whom God the Father shall give to be Head over all things, him whom the Saints have in all times chosen for their Head, it is he that shall be our Head and our King, his will we be, and with him will we abide.

Let us give Christ the preheminence above all, prizing his govern∣ment, his ordinances above all the comforts we have in this world, Psa. 137 6.*If I prefer not Jerusalem above my chiefe joy, The words are in the O∣••nal, If I make not Jerusa•••〈◊〉end above the head of my joy;

Page  123 Whatsoever is high in our thoughts, as a head, let Christ be above it;

Christ in his ordinances must be above the head of our joy. For otherwise he is not a Head unto us. If you invite a man of quality to your table, though you provide never such chear for him, yet if you should set any people of meane quality above him, he would not regard all your courtesies. When you tender up any thing unto Christ, when you seeme to entertaine him with the greatest respect, yet if there be any thing you set above him, especially if a vile lust be set above him, he cares not for all your entertainment.

We read in that Col. 2. 19. (the place we made use of in opening the for∣mer point) that there were some blamed for not holding of the Head; What is that? because they gave more honour to Angels then was due unto them.

It is spoken about the worshipping of Angels, though never such glorious creatures, yet by over-prizing they come, not to hold of the Head. What, is the giving undue honour to Angels enough to take us off from Christ the Head? Certainly then the prostrating our selves before our vile and base lusts, doth much more take us off from holding Christ to be the Head.

Let us look at all the offices and ordinances of Christ, as holding upon him the Head (as you heard before) that so we may have a more reverent esteem of them. Let us depend upon him for influence of life, and not depend up∣on means. Let us manifest in our conversation the spirit and life that wee have received from such a Head as Christ is, that we may not be a dishon∣our to this our head.

I remember Chrysostome in his Comment upon that first of the Ephesi∣ans,* sayes, in this regard wee must be better then Angels, yea greater then Arch-angels, and he hath three most excellent expressions about this, that Christians should take heed of dishonouring Christ their Head.

First, saith he, suppose a man had a precious Diadem upon his head, or a crown of gold, that would be some argument unto him to make him take heed of doing things unworthy of that ornament that is upon his head: and we (saith he) have not a Diadem, wee have not a crowne of gold upon our heads, we have Christ himself to be our Head, therefore let us doe nothing unworthy of this our head.

Secondly, he hath this expression. O the honour (saith he) that God af∣fordeth unto us in this! the thought of this were enough to terrifie us from sin, more then the setting of hell it self before our eyes. And indeed so it is.

The right understanding of Christ to be our Head, and we having so neer an union with him, is of power to terrifie us from sin more then the sight of hell, if it were before us.

Thirdly, he goes on further. Saith he, What, is Christ your head? doe you know next unto whom this your head doth sit in heaven? Is he not pla∣ced at the right hand of the Father above all principalities and powers? And shal the members of this head be trampled upon by the Devil? God forbid.

And yet so honour the head as to give the honor likewise to all that are un∣to him, to those that he hath placed for the administration of any ordinance of his unto us.

Page  124 We must not under pretence of giving Christ all the honour, dishonour those that are set over us by Christ. We have a notable expression of the A∣postle Paul, 1 Cor. 1. 12. where reproving the dissentions of the Church of Corinth: There are some (saith he) that say we are of Paul, and others wee are of Apollo, and others said, we are of Cephas, & others we are of Christ. Why, are these all blamed? how could those that said that they held of Christ be blarned? It is apparent that the Apostle blames them all, as well those that said they did hold of Christ, as those that said they did hold of Paul, or Apollo, or Cephas. How is that?

Thus. Among the Corinths there were some that made divisions, some were for some officer, others for others; we are for Paul said some, we for Apollo said others, and we for Cephas, and for our parts (said others) wee are for none of them all, we are neither for Paul, nor for Apollo, nor for Ce∣phas, but we are for Christ, what are men? what are officers? what are Or∣dinances? what are all those to us? Christ is all in all unto us, he is our head, and we are compleat in him, and we hold upon him, we are for neither of all the other. These are blamed as well as the other. We must so hold upon Christ, as yet to give all due honour to the Ordinances, to the Institutions, to the Officers and Offices of Christ. Yet I confesse when any that are in Christs stead to dispence his ordinances unto us, if they prove to be wicked, of all people in the world they are the most contemptible, and a just judge∣ment of God t is upon them. Esay, 9. 15. The ancient and honourable, he is the head, and the Prophet that teacher•• lyes, he is the taile,

Mark, The Prophet there speakes against those that were in place and power, though they were naught, yet still they retained the name of ancient and honourable, but the Prophet that teacheth lyes, a contemptiblename is put upon him, he is the taile, no generation in the world more contemptible then those when once they degenerate.

But you will say, though they should be vile in their lives, yet the wicked∣nesse of them that are in office doth not hinder the virtue and efficacy of the Ordinances, it depends not upon them. True, the efficacy of no Ordinance depends upon men, and it is not either because the Minister is vile, or Com∣municants are vile that communicate with you that can hinder the vertue of an Ordinance. If the Church contract no guilt upon themselves by retain∣ing such in place, and by not casting out such as doe come into communion with them. Take but that for granted that there is no guilt contracted.

It is not the wickednesse then of the Minister or of the people that hinders the efficacy of any Ordinance at all. But if it prove that there be guilt con∣tracted upon the Church through the negligence of their duty this way, then the case is the same with those of Corinth, 1 Cor. 5. 6. A little leaven lea∣veneth the whole lump, what is that whole lump but their Communion?

But was not Christ the Head before because now it is said,*They shall ap∣point themselves one Head? It is spoken of a glorious time when the Jews shall he called again, and 〈◊〉 and Judah shall joyne together.

Page  125 Now they shall appoint themselves one Head, Christ to be their Head.

Christ was the head to the Fathers under the Law, how now is he appoin∣ted their head?* Christ indeed was a head to the fore-fathers, but now in the times of the Gospel, especially at these times that are spoken of here, at the calling of the Jewes, and that glorious time that shall be then, Christ will appeare to be a Head in another manner, to governe in another way, farre more gloriously then now he doth, and far more influence of grace & light will come from him unto his members then now. Though Christ hath al∣wayes been a head to his Church, yet there is a time comming when the se∣venth Trumpet shall be sounded (spoken of Revel. 11. 15.) when that voyce shall be heard that yet was never heard, The Kingdomes of the earth are the Lords, and his Christs, and he shall reigne for evermore. A time comming wherein Christ shall say unto his people;*To him that overcom∣eth will I grant to sit with me in my Throne, even as I also overcame and am set downe with my Father in his Throne. The Throne that Christ sits u∣pon now, is his Fathers Throne; hee doth not call it his, and at the day of judgement the Scripture tells us that he shall give up the Kingdom unto his Father. There is a time therefore for the Throne of Christ to be here fur∣ther then it hath beene,* which Christ hath promised to those that doe over∣come. A time comming when there shall be heard the neise, not onely of many waters, but as a mighty thunder, saying, Allelujah, for the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth. He shall be a head another way.

Now if it bee true that Christ himself is appointed by the Church to be head, then the officers and Ministers of the Church should not think much to be appointed in their places by the Church too. It is true, their offices hold on Christ the head, but the designation of persons it must be from some Church worke or other. Who of the Church, should do it, we do not now list to enter into any such controversie, but that there must be more then a civill act to make any man that was not before in the place of a Pa∣stor or teacher of a Church, now to be so, somewhat to make my consci∣ence to yeeld and submit unto him as an officer that JESUS CHRIST hath placed over me, some Church-work certainly there must be in this: Christ himself would be appointed a head by his people, that they might submit to him the more chearfully, and give glory to him with the more freedome of spirit. And as for all such as shall thrust themselves upon a people, no mar∣vaile though they complain of want of respect from them, or of their going away from them.* They never did any thing towards the appointing them officers over them. They sholl appoint themselves a head.

Not force Christ upon others by fire and sword. Heritiques are to be burnt with fire (saith Luther) but with what fire? the fire of charity.

They shall appoint to themselves. Let others do what they will, let others choose what head they please, yet the Saints will appoint to themselves the Lord Christ to be their head, they will blesse themselves in Christ, he shall be a head unto us, whatsoever he be unto others.

Page  126 Others it may be will choose unto themselves other heads, but the Saints say as they in Micah. 4. 5. All people will walke every one in th name of his God, and we will walke in the name of our God for ever & ever

Other people they will walke in their wayes, and choose to themselves such as they may have most liberty under, they perhaps thinke the government of Christ to be too strick for them, but for us we will blesse our selves in our Christ, we will never prostitute our consciences so to men, to lusts and hu∣mors as we have done, it is Christ shall be our head and we will submit un∣to him, it is he that is our Law-giver. Secret a mea mecum (it is an Hebrew proverb) my secret is with my selfe, what good we finde in Christ it is to our selves; Let Christ be a stumbling-block and a rock of offence to others, to us he is precious,* he is one of ten thousand, he is altogether lovely.

They shall appoint to themselves one Head. But one; The Church is not a Monster or divers heads, It hath but one head.

There cannot be a ministeriall head of the Church, Christ is alwayes pre∣sent, and hath left his laws with his people. If we consider the difference be∣tween Ecclesiasticall power and Civill power, wee shall see it cleare that there cannot be a ministeriall head of the Church (indeed there is a contra∣diction in the very mention of it:* a ministeriall head? it is absurd to speake it) It is true in the civill power, it is not against any institution of Christ that there should be one head over all the world, nor against any law: But for to have one head over the Church, yea to have any general officers over all the Churches (to challengde a head-ship) it cannot be. The reason is, because there can be no delegation of power that belongs to the Church. There may be a delegation of a civill power, one man may be King over many Coun∣treys, and he may appoint substitutes under him, and delegate them that they shall officate under him. There is no such matter in the Church, there is no delegation of power from one to another. Grant but once delegation of the teaching power here you stablish Non-residency; grant but delegation of the ruling power and you presently establish a Papacy. There is no such thing therefore.

Again, the civill power is by way of coaction, a Magistrate is not al∣wayes bound to give a reason of his injunctions, he may by way of com∣pulsion require obedience, But Church power is to deale with conscience; and therefore every one that hath any power must officiat himself, and deale with the consciences of men to perswade and to instruct.

These two things being granted it is impossible that there can be a head o∣ver all the Churches, yea or over many. But one; We must joyne nothing with JESUS CHRIST, in the way of his head-ship. As Alexander said to Darius, when he sent unto him that he would be willing to divide the Kingdom; No, saith Alexander, there is but one Sun in the firmament, and there can be but one King in a Kingdom. So saith Christ, but one head He head alone or no head at all; nothing must be joyned with him as head;

Indeed the heathen gods 〈…〉 to divide their honours, and to. Page  127 have but some, and other to have some other: and hence the Senate of Rome rejected Christ from taking in him to be a God, after they consulted about it, for said they, if Christ come to be acknowledged a God he will not share with the rest, he will have all himself, and so upon this reason they refused him, Thus do many reject Christ for a head, and for a God, because Christ will not share with others; he must be but one. And a speciall help is here to our faith in looking up to Christ for help and protection when all meanes faile (I beseech you observe it) What, doth Christ require of us that wee should make him head alone and joyne nothing with him as head? Then we may well expect from him in all our wants, a protection, and that he alone should help us; or otherwise, the condition of a Christian were the worst condition in the world, were worse then the condition of a heathen: For the gods of a heathen would be content to have but part of the honour of the heart and life because they could help but in part. If a heathen god should require the whole soulto be lifted up above all, and he alone to be honoured and worshipped as a God, and yet when it comes to a matter of helpe and protection, he could doe nothing without some other joyned with him, a heathen might well reason the ease with him as doing him wrong, certainly Christ will never wrong his people, so as to challenge from them, that they should lift up him alone, and joyne no other with him, and yet when it comes to their help and succour that there should be need to call in others besides himselfe to their help. Therefore as Christ doth challenge it from us to make him our head alone, so we may challenge it from Christ to helpe us alone when there is no other helpe for us.

Thus we have finished both the head-ship of Christ, and the Churches appointing him to be that head. Now followes the next mercy, the next blessing, and that but in a word, and then we come to the conclusion of this Chapter. They shall come up out of the land.

Aterrenis affectibus, So Jerome, he makes it a comming up from their earthly senses, earthly affections. A vita miserabili, so Luther upon the place, makes it a comming up from their miserable life and condition.

But rather thus, Come up out of the land, that is, out of their captivity.

Judah and Israel they shall joyne together in comming to Jerusalem, and so joyne in the same kinde of worship, as they were wont to come out of all parts of the countrey to worship at Jerusalem, and there were united in one kinde of worship, so they shall now come from all parts of the world where they are scattered, and joyne in the same way of worship, yea and it is very probable in their own land. There was a time when the people of God did sing songs of praise in the wildernesse, Exod, 15. But the time shall come when they shall do it in their own land; and this shall be a blessing of God upon them. Isa. 26. 1. In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah, VVe have a strong City, salvation will God appoint for walls and bulworkes. It shall be sung in the land of Judah,

Ezek. 20. 40. In the mountaines of the height of Israel, saith the Lord Page  128 God, there shall all the house of Israel, all of them in the land serve me, there will I accept them, and there will I require your offerings, and the first fruites of your oblations, with all your holy things.

Ezekiel. 37. 21. I will take the children of Israel from among the hea∣then whether they begone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land. This blessing hath God granted unto many of his servants this day; who never thought to have seen their owne land, their own good land: but God hath bin pleased to gather them up that they are come not onely into their own land, but they finde the armes and hearts of the Saints open to imbrace them, and call them to publicke imployments.

It was not long since that the land could not beare them; we hope that the time may come ere long that the Lord Christ may so rule and that in our land, that it will as hardly beare wicked and ungodly men as it hath borne the Saints, though it were hard to say that there should be so much violence used even to keep them from some sins, as hath been used here against the Saints to keep them from their God, yet time may come ere long that wic∣ked men may be glad to flye (though not forced unto it) out of their owne choyce, into another land, because they cannot have the enjoyment of their lusts so freely here: As the Saints have been forced to flye out of their land that they might serve the Lord and keep their consciences cleare.

But we let this passe, and come now to the close of the Chapter to the Epi∣phonema of it all. For great shall be the day of Jezreel.

They shall appoint themselves one head, and come up out of the land, for great, Licet, so Tremelius turnes it, although the day of Jezreel be great: & indeed the Hebrew particle 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 signifieth quamvis as well as quia,* It may be translated [although] as well as [for] And he translating it so, although the day of Iezreel be great, he takes it in this sense, that is, although the peo∣ple of Israel shall be brought into great affliction, yet God will be so merci∣full then when his time comes, as they shall be gathered together again, and appoint themselves one head, and come up out of the land. And from such an interpretation of the words there might be an excellent meditation raised, and that is this. That the greatnesse of the misery of the Church is no hin∣derance to the course of the freenesse and abundance of Gods mercy to it.

Although the day of Iezreel, their day be never so calamitous, never so afflictive, never so grievous, yet they shall come up out of the land and ap∣point themselves one head. The greatnesse of the Churches misery is no hin∣derance unto the Churches delivery: Why? because their deliverance de∣pendeth upon a God who doth delight not onely to manifest some power, but the excellency, and the glory, and the choyce of his power in their deli∣verance. For that take this Scripture, Isa. 62. 8. Where speaking of these very times that we shall heare of afterward, of Gods being mercifull unto his people, he saith, The Lord hath sworne by his right hand: and we have not onely mention thereof Gods right hand and swearing by it, but the arme of God too; Marke that, The arme of God and the arme of his strength:

Page  129 There is Gods hand, Gods arme,* the arme of his strength, & God sweareth by it.* Surely when God delighteth to put forth such power for the deliver∣ance of his Church, it is no great matter whether the afflicted estate be great or small. It makes no great matter for the hinderance of the Churches deli∣very, no more then if you should see two bubbles of water rise up, & one hath a little thicker skin then the other. Now there is as much difference in the difficulty that the thick skin bubble makes when a mighty Cannon or peece of Ordnance shal be shot off with a mighty Bullet to resist it, from the thin∣ner skin bubble, as the greatest and forest affliction that the people of God were ever under in this world makes a difference in the difficulty of their de∣liverance (when they have to deale with an infinite God) from the least af∣fliction that ever the Church was in. The difference is no more. If a childe indeed should see the thicker skin bubble, he might thinke tis harder to be broke then the thinner skin, but if a Cannon should be shot off, nay if it be but a Fillip, it makes no difference. Now the afflictions of Gods people they are to this right hand of Gods power, and the arme of his strength, but as a bubble of water before a mighty Cannon. Yea if there be not help at all to deliver Gods people in time of affliction yet God can create helpe, He will create Jerusalem a rejoycing, and their people a joy. Yea suppose their con∣dition be such as yet never was the like since the beginning of the world, yet Isa, 64. 4. Since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor percei∣ved by the care, either hath the eye seene what God hath prepared for them that waite for him. And as the greatnesse of the Churches deliverance is no hinderance of Gods power in delivering them, so it should be no hinderance to the work of our faith. Common prudence and reason will go a great way to uphold us under some affliction, but when the affliction comes to be sore, and grievous, and long; prudence & reason then sinketh under the burthen; but then should faith lift up it selfe, and cast an eye upon this right hand of Gods power, this arme of his strength that he hath sworne by, and exercise it self in the glorious acts of it. For certainly faith is appointed for such a time as this, when the Church is under grievous extremities. The ordinary afflic∣tions of the Church do not call for such a work of faith, but when they come to extraordinary that requires such a power of God for their deliverance, then there is called for a worke of faith proportionable, as Alexander when he was in great danger, Now (saith he) there is a danger fit for the spirit of Alexander to incounter withall.* So when the Church comes to be in any great danger, all the members of it should say, here is a danger, here is a trouble fit for the spirit of Christians, fit for the spirits of those that are able to exercise the most noble and glorious acts of faith.

This glorious exercise of faith, I may even say we are scarce yet for the present put to it, for reason and sense sees much help, they see that the cause of God at this day hath the better of the adversary; reason I say and pru∣dence may see far this way. Let us not look upon every difficulty as a thing that calleth for such a mighty glorious worke of faith, whereas men by rea∣son Page  130 and prudence, and may carry themselves under such difficulties much better then most of us doe. But we do not know but the Lord may call us unto such difficulties and dangers as requires such a faith as hath such a kinde of work as I have spoken of. Let us therefore lay up this Instruction for the time to come. Again, for great shall be the day of Jezreel,

If the words be read thus (as they are in your Bibles) and yet have refer∣ence to the calamitous time, and grievous extremities of the day of Jezreel, then there will be these two excellent meditations from thence. The first is,

That Gods bowels of compassion do work toward his Church because of the greatnesse of their affliction.* When their afflictions shall be very great, and the greater they are, the more do Gods bowels of compassion work to∣ward them. We know the misery of Gods people in Exo. 3. was a marvail∣ous quickning argument to the compassion of God (as I may so speake) I have seene, I have seene (saith he) the affliction of my people, and their sor∣rowes, and therefore am come down to deliver them.

If the greatness of the affliction of the Church move the bowels of Gods compassion, then let not the greatnesse of affliction hinder our faith. Let not the greatnesse of trouble reason down our faith, but rather let it reason up our faith, for so indeed it should; and so the Saints of God heretofore have done, by the greatness of the trouble we must reason up our faith as thus: It is ••me for thee O Lord to work, for men have almost destroyed thy law; yea the high time is come for thee to have mercy upon Zion,*for thy people begin to favour the dust thereof. What, was this a good argument, Have mercy u∣pon me, and pardon my sin for it is very great, to move God withall? Sure∣ly then this is a good argument, Deliver us in our afflictions, for they are ve∣ry great: for sin makes a great deale more distance betweene God and us then afflictions: yet if the greatness of sin shall come to be put as an argu∣ment for Gods mercy and compassion to work, much more the greatness of afflictions. Yet this is the grace of God in the second Covenant that even the sins that before made the creature the object of hatred, those sins come now to make it an object of compassion. So afflictions that before were part of the curse, they come now to be arguments for the moving of the bowels of Gods tender compassion toward his people. Another note (if you read it so, for great is their affliction) is this, the promise is the only sup∣port of the soul,* and that which carrieth it thorow the greatest affliction.

Afflictions are as leade to the net, the promise is as the corke, the promise keepes above water when the lead pulls down. But I leave these medita∣tions, though I finde many interpreters run this way. And I rather take it as a further expression of Gods wonderfull mercy unto his Church.

For great shall be the day of Jezreel, That is, God hath a great day of mercy for Jezreel. That is the meaning, they shall appoint themselves one head, they shall be gathered together and be made one, they shall come up out of the land, why? for God hath yet to come a great day of mercy to his pepole, A gr••• day of Jezreel.

Page  131 And herein therefore God makes use of the name of Jezreel in a good sense. They that carry it the other way would carry the signification of the name thus, for great is the day of scattering, of the scattered people, so Iez∣reel signifieth (as you heard in the beginning of the Chapter) But Jezreel signifieth likewise the seed of God. Before God made use of their name in the worse sense, that he would scatter them according to their name; now he makes use of their name in the best sense, they are the seed of God, and there is great mercy from God for them.

When God is reconciled unto a people,* he takes all in the best sense and makes the best acception of every thing, as he doth here of the name Jezreel.

We have onely these two things to consider of in this expression.

1. That the Saints of God, and the Church, they are Gods Jezreel. That is, they are the seed of God.

2. That there is for this seed of God a great day.

1. They are the seed of God. The seed of the blessed, and there is a bles∣sing in them. They are the precious seed that God preserves in the world, & hath done ever since the beginning of the world. They are that seed that pre∣serveth the glory of God in the world. Were it not for a few gracious, holy people in the world, where would the glory of God be? What would be∣come of it? Those that are godly, however contemptible in the world, they are the precious seed that God reserves in the world for great and glorious ends. They are the seed to preserve the continuation of the Doctrine of the Gospell, and the blessed truths of God; as Isa. 6. 13. The holy seed shall be the substance thereof. Though they shall be under great afflictions, yet there shall be a holy seed that shall be the substance thereof, and there shall be his blessing.*Psal. 72. 17. His name shall endure from generation to generati∣on: the words are read by Montanus, His name shall be childed, that is, so continued as families are continued, one generation after another, one beget∣teth another: and so shall the name of Christ continue in the world, and so it hath done. And though seed be but a handfull in comparison of the har∣vest, so the Saints of God then were, and yet are but as a handfull in compa∣rison of the glorious harvest that shall be, yet they are very precious before God, and God will make the world hereafter know that they are the preci∣ous ones of God, Isa. 61. 9. All that see them shall acknowledge them that they are the seed which the Lord hath blessed.

Seed (you know) a man will be carefull of that what ever becomes of his other corne. In the time of dearth the husbandman wil rather pinch his own belly, then have his seed-corne to be spent. So in times of common calami∣ty, of common dearth, yet Gods care is over his seed; the Saints are (as I may say) Gods seed-corne to preserve his name in the world, to other gene∣rations that are to come, he will not therefore have them destroyed.

Seed is the most precious of the corne, which is most winnowed and made cleane, and so are the Saints, the cleane ones and the most precious ones.

God perhaps doth winnow them and fanne them more than he doth others Page  132 by the fannes and winnows of afflictions, why? because they are his seed.

Perhaps other corne that hath drosse in it, the husband-man will give the fowles and the cattell that, he bestoweth not much winnowing upon it, but the corne that is for seed he winnows that, he would not willingly have a der∣nell amongst it. It may be thou complainest thou art more winnowed, more fanned then other men, perhaps thou art more precious in Gods eyes, thou art to be reserved as seed, as the seed of the blessed.

The wicked indeed they are seed too, but a corrupt seed, a seede of evill deers, Esay, 1. the grand-father was an enemy unto God, yea the great grand-father, and the father, and the children after him continue enemies to God. And God in mercy unto his Church doth many times cut downe the wicked before they do seed too much. As you that have gardens, if they have weeds in them, and you see the weeds come up and grow to seed, you think then that it is time to pull them up, you will not suffer them to seed. God lookes upon many families and sees wretched and sinfull men as a seed of e∣vil doers, and sees they are ready to seed, and if they be not cut down sudden∣ly there will be a wretched brood of wicked ones in such a family.* This is the reason of Gods suddain cutting down of many wicked families.

But to come to the point that is chiefly intended, that is, That this seed of the Lord shall have a great day. Great shall be the day of Jezreel.

The men of the world they have their day in which they ruffle it out, and they have all the doings. Saint Paul seemes to speake of this in 1 Cor. 4. 3. he saith there that he did not passe for mans judgement, the word is, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, for mans day. Now men have the day, they have all the bra∣very in the world, well saith Saint Paul, I doe not passe formans day, I ex∣pect another day, besides mans day. I know not how it commeth to passe to be otherwise translated, you translate it judgement in your books, but in the Originall it is day, Man hath a day.

As men have a day, so shall Gods Saints have a day too. Wee use to say many times when we see the Malignant party jocund and merry, surely they hope to have a day. My brethren be joyfull in the Lord, God hath a day for you, and a great day too, Great shall be the day of Jezreel. The beginning of Gods mercy to his people is called a day of small things, Zach. 4. 10. and that must not be despised, Let no man despise the day of small things. It was the beginning of the reformation and deliverance of the people of Judah from their captivity.* But God hath a day of great things, and certainly that day shall be honorable. A day first in which the glory of God shall excee∣dingly appear, wherein God shal be (as I may so speak with holy reverence) as it were in his robes: As we know Princes upon great dayes put on their robes, so the King of glory shall have a day for his people, wherein even he himself will put on his robes, Ps. 102. 16. When the Lord shall build up Zi∣on he shall appear in his glory. It seemeth while the Church is in affliction, while the witnesses prophesie in sack-cloath, God is as it were cloathed in sack-cloath, In all their afflictions he is afflicted, but because God hath a Page  133 day, a great day to his Churches, he will reserve his robes till then, and when that day commeth he will put on his robes, for when he shall build up Zion (saith the Text) then the Lord shall appeare in his glory. A great day it shall be for Jezreel, for the seed of the Lord.

Secondly,* It shall be a great day, for this day shall be the riches of the world. Marke that place in Rom. 11. 12, speaking of the Jews, If their fall (saith he) be the riches of the world, and their diminishing the riches of the Gentiles, how much more their fulness? It was a rich mercy to the Gentiles when they were brought out of darknesse, and called into the knowledge of Jesus Christ, here was riches to the world of the Gentiles: But God hath a greater day then that, for it is spoken here of a day that is to come, that is, their fall was the riches of the Gentiles, much more their calling in again.

So then there is such a day of calling home the people of God, as shall be the riches of the Gentiles, the riches of all the world.

Yea Thirdly,* Great shall be this day, for it shall be as a day of resurrecti∣on from death to life: so Dan. 12. 2. Many of them that sleepe in the dust shall awake, &c. It is not spoken of the great resurrection at the last day of judgement, for First, It is spoken but of some that shall arise:

Secondly, The greatest glory that is here put upon the just, is but to shine as the stars in the firmament, but at the last day the Saints shall shine as the sunne in the firmament, more and above the starres. Yea,

Thirdly, This that is here revealed to Daniel must be sealed up as a great secret till the appointed time come; but for the Resurrection at the last day that is no great secret, that they knew well enough, it is not as a secret to be shut up and sealed from men till the time appointed come. But this Resur∣rection here spoken of, it is to be sealed up as a great secret that was not knowne in the world, nor should be much knowne till the appointed time should come. And then Lastly, It was promised to Daniel in the 13. ver. that he should stand up in his lot, as a peculiar and speciall favour that God stould bestow upon him. Now it is not such a peculiar and special favour for a Saint to stand up at the great day, at the last day, this was a favour to Da∣niel as an eminent Saint, that he should stand up thus in his lot. Therefore this Resurrection is the same with this great day of Jezreel, wherein there shall be such a glorious work of God in calling Israel and Judah together & the fulness of the Gentiles, that it shall be as the Resurrection from death to life; so the Apostle calls it likewise in that Rom. 11. 15. What shall the re∣ceiving of them be but life from the dead?

4. Great shall be the day of Iezreel, for this shall bring refreshing to all the Saints, this is the time of the refreshing, Act. 3. 19. There shall be such things then as will refresh and revive the spirits of all the Saints. Yea,

5. It shall be the day of restitution of all things. Acts 3. 21. Vntill the times of rest it 〈◊〉 of all things come, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his Prop•• since the world began. I know it is ordinary carryed by many another way, concerning the last day; but that it cannot be so, it ap∣pears, Page  134 because that then there shall not be the restitution of all things, but the annihilation of many things. Further, this speakes of a restitution of all things, that was spoken of by the mouth of all the holy Prophets. Now the holy Prophets spake but very little concerning the day of Judgment, of ano∣ther life to come, we reade but little of it in the Prophets; and therefore the Apostle in 2 Tim. 1. 10. saith, that life and immortality was brought to light through the Gospel. Not but that it was known somewhat before, but it was very darkly known, there was very little spoken of life and immortali∣ty in the Prophets; But this speaks of a time that all the holy Prophets spake of as an argument that was the general theame of them all. And indeed there is no argument whatsoever that is more general among the Prophets, then this great argument of this great day of Jezreel.

Again, 6. A great day, for it shall be a new creation; a new heaven and a new earth shall be made when this great day of Iezreel shall come.*Esay, 66. 17. Behold I create new heavens and a new earth: And in ver. 18. if you observe it, you shall see what this new heaven and this new earth is: But be glad and rejoyce for ever in that which I create, for behold I create Ie∣rusalem are joycing, and her people a joy. Those are the new heavens & the new earth that are to be created: and this is meant of the Church plainly, for the Text, ver. 21. speakes of building houses, and inhabiting them, and of planting vineyards, and eating the fruit of them, upon these new heavens & this new earths creation. And 2 Pet. 3. 13. Neverthelesse according to this promise, we looke for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righ∣teousnesse. Now where is this promise? This is usually taken for the King∣dom of heaven hereafter. But where is this promise? We do not finde it a∣ny where but in that place I named before, Esay, 65. Now it is apparent that promise doth speak of an estate of the Church here in this world; and there is spoken of a new earth, as well as of a new heaven; if it were onely spoken of new heavens, it had bin another matter, but it speaks of a new earth like∣wise, therefore meant of an estate in this world, a new creation of a new heaven and earth, that is, there shall be such glorious things done by God, as shall manifest a creating power, as if God did now make new heavens and a new earth.* 7. Great shal be the day of Iezreel, for it shall be as another world, when this day cometh. Heb. 2. 5. 6. 7. 8. Vnto the Angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak. But one in a cer∣tain place testified, (this certain place is in Psa. 104.) saying: What is man that thou art mindful of him, or the son of man that thou visitest him? Thou hast made him little lower then the Angels, thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands, thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. This is clearly interpreted of Christ, (as vers. 9. and so on) that all things must be subjected to hi•• man, What is man that thou shouldst regard him? That is, that thou 〈◊〉 advance the nature of man so far as to unite it even to thy Son, and pi•• things in sub∣jection under his feet. This the Apostle interpreteth of Christ.

Page  135 But saith he, wee see not yet all things put under him, that time is yet to come, for, saith he, We speak of things that concerne the world to come.

Therefore (mark my brethren) there must be such a time wherein all things, all creatures must be put under subjection to Christ, and this is in the world to come. Not in that world to come where the Saints shall raign glo∣riously in heaven, it cannot be meant of that, for the heavens must depart as a scroll, and many things shall then rather be annihilated, and the Kingdome must then be given up by Christ to God the Father, so the Apostle saith, 1 Cor 15. that is, when the Saints shall reigne gloriously with Christ in heaven.

But here this place speaks of a time when all creatures must come under subjection to Christ, and it is called the world to come, why? because of the great change there shall be of things, it shall be (as it were) a new world. As we call this world from Noahs time a new world, and when we speak of the other world we call it the old world; so the Scripture calls it, 2 Pet. 2. 5. God spared not the old world: And Chap. 3. 6. The world that then was being overflowed with water, perished. So this world that we live in is as the old world, and there is this day of Jezreel, in which there shall be such a glori∣ous change, all things being put in subjection under Christ, that it shall be as it were a new world, God hath made an excellent world in which there is much beauty and glory, and yet his enemies have the rule here; what then will that world be that God intends for his Saints?

8. Great shall be the day of Jezreel.*It shall be such a great day that all former things shall be even forgotten because of the lustre and glory of that great day. As Isa. 65. 17. The former heavens and the former earth shall not be remembred nor come into mind; And so Jer. 3. 16. In those dayes saith the Lord, they shall say no more the Arke of the Covenant of the Lord, nei∣ther shall it come to minde, neither shal they remember it; at that time they shal call Jerusalem the Throne of the Lord, and all the nations shal be ga∣thered unto it, to the name of the Lord, to Jerusalem, neither shal they walk any more after the imagination of their evil hearts (mark my brethren) In those dayes the house of Judah shall walke together, ver. 18. It is apparent that it is spoken of this great day of Iezreel; for now God saith he will ga∣ther Iudah and Israel together, and here he saith that they shall walke toge∣ther, and that then former things shall be forgotten; they shall call Jerusa∣lem the Throne of the Lord; heretofore even the Temple it self the glory of Jerusalem was but as the place of Gods feet, and the Arke of God was but Gods footstool. 1 Chron. 28. 2. It was in mine heart (saith David) to build a house of rest for the Arke of the Covenant of the Lord, and for the foot∣stoole of our God; and Isa. 60. 13. I will make Zion the place of my feet glo∣rious. But now in this great day, Jerusalem that was but Gods foot stool, the place of his feet, shall be Gods Throue; a great day certainly this shall be when all things shall be thus forgotten.

In the last place, a great day, because it shall be a day after which there shal be no night. And that you will say will be a great day indeed, after which Page  136 the Saints shall be raised to such a state of prosperity and happiness that shall never fall again, that shall never come to be darkened any more. The Chur∣ches here many times have had some little release, they have had their dayes of peace for a while, but it hath soone grown to be night, and a dismall night of darkness. But when this great day shall come it shall be a day that shall never have night, for so God promiseth here to his Jezreel, to make it to be an eternal excellency, and to make Jerusalem an everlasting joy, and Dan. 2. 44. God shall in the dayes of those Kings set up a Kingdom that shall ne∣ver be destroyed, that is, the great day of Jezreel.

The first thing that shall be done in this great day of Iezreel, shall be the deliverance of the Churches from wofull affliction which they shal be found to be in a little before. For so the Scripture tells us, Dan. 12. 1. that before this day there shall be a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time, and at that time thy people shall be deliver∣ed. I might tell you much how some of the Ancients have spoken of this, that though it be a point that seemes to be somewhat strange to us,* yet it was one of the most ordinariest things that was known in the primitive times. It was then so generally acknowledged, that I remember Just in Martyr (who was but 30. years after Saint John) hath such an expression as this, There is no man (saith he) that is of the Orthodox faith in all things, but he doth ac∣knowledge it. And Lactantius in his 7. book, cap. 15. 24. 28. and divers o∣ther chapters he spends in shewing the glory of this great day of Iezreel, but withall he shewes that a little before there shall be most grievous times that shal fall out, such times saith he, as that all right shall be confounded,* the law shall perish, no body shall know what is his own, the wicked they shal have the preheminence, & the Saints they shall be persecuted, so that (saith he) though in this our time wicked∣nesse is grown to such a height, that a man would think it could increase no higher, yet in comparison of the time a little before that great day, these times may be called Golden ages.

These expressions he hath, So that great times of affliction will be before that great day; and it is therefore called a great day, because God appear∣ing so gloriously in the deliverance of his Church at that day. The Scripture speakes of wonderfull thing that God will do, and shew himself marvaylous as he did in the people of Israels comming out of Eg••t. Who knowes but that God now sendeth abroad so much of the light of his Gospel, and is so working in the hearts of men, and giveth us such a time of reviving, and cal∣leth home so many young ones as he doth purposely because this great day is at hand, and because before this day wee may have a day of dismall darke∣nesse? and by this he will prepare people for those times, God will have a Page  137 great seed that he intends to be in the world, therefore so many young peo∣ple are converted and are so forward, because I say God meanes to prepare them by this light that we now have, for this seed, for this great day. And you that are young may expect to go thorow some difficulties & hardship before this great day comes, but be of good comfort, you may hope to live to see all the glory of this great day, and God gives you now time that you may lay up, and be fit seed for such a glorious day as this, that you may not when sufferings come, be found among the number of the fearfull ones, spoken of in Rev. 21. 8. that shal have their part in the lake which burneth with fire & brimstone; Those that through base cowardliness and complyance shall yeeld to base vile superstitious vanities shall be cast out amongst dogs when that great day comes. God now gives you a day that you may see the evil of superstitious vanities, that you may have truths revealed to you with more freedom then formerly, I say who knowes but this may be to prepare you for that darknesse that may come a little before this great day of Jezreel.

Secondly,* a great day in subduing the adversaries of the Church. Though they shall come to have a great deale of power a little before; yet when that great day of Iezreel shall come, they shal be certinly all subdued & brought under. Rev. 19. 13. Christ when he shall come in this great day he shal have his garments dipt in blood, in destroying the wicked and ungodly, and Rev, 15. the Saints when they see the wicked destroyed as the Egyptians were in the sea, the Text saith that they sung the song of Moses. What was this song of Moses, but the praysing of God for the destruction of their adversaries in the Sea? God hath another Sea to destroy the wicked, and God hath a day for his Saints to sing over the song of Moses again, and especially for the de∣struction of Popery. My brethren be not troubled to see Papists make a concourse and flock together,* be not troubled at it, for when this day shall come, God will so order things that his adversaries shall come and flock to∣gether, but it shall be that they may be destroyed, for God hath a great feast and a great Sacrifice, and he will sacrifice them especially. And therefore Lactantius that I spoke of before, and is one that lived 1300. yeares since, saith he (speaking then of this day) I have a thing to say, but I even tremble to speake it, but I must speake it, and what was it? Romanum nomen (saith he) de terra tolletur; those are his words, the Roman name shall be taken off from the earth. He in those primitive times prophsied of the destruction of Rome. Perhaps though he did not see it so clearly, yet God might so order it, as though hee understood it not, God might intend it for these times. God will destroy the enemies of his Churches then. Yea. Ezek. 28. 24. there is a promise to the Saints that there shall beno more a pricking bryar, nor any grieving thorne of any that are round about them that despise them, & in a∣nother place God saith that he will take away the Canaanite out of the Land.

Further,* the third thing that shall be done in this great day, is the glorious presence of Christ among the Saints, let it be personall or what it will, wee determine not, but thus far we may confidently affirme that there shall be a Page  138 more glorious presence of Jesus Christ among his people,* then ever yet was since the beginning of the world. Rev. 21. 22. The Lord God Almighty, and the Lamb, shall be the Temple of it: and Chap. 22. 3. 4. The Throne of God and of the Lamb shal be in it, and his servants shall serve him, & they shall see his face, and Ezek. 48. the last words of the Chapter, The name of [ 4] that place shall be Jehovah-shammah, that is, the Lord is there.

Fourthly, the glory that shall be put upon the Saints at that day, shewes it to be a great day. Glory shall be put upon them, first in regard of their ad∣mirable gifts & graces they shall be heightned and inlarged, the weake shall be as David, and they that are as David shall be as the Angel of God at that day. The bowing down of their adversaries before them, The high esteeme that they shall have, even in the thoughts and judgments of many great ones of the world, they shall be called up to heaven, that is, those that are in high∣est place and dignity, shall call them up and honour them in that day, yea the Text saith, The Kings of the earth in that day shall came in, and bring their glory to the Church. Therefore it is apparent, that place Rev. 21. 24. cannot be understood of heaven, for it is said, the Kings of the earth shal bring their glory, they shall not bring their glory to the Church, when the Church shall [ 5] be in heaven. And fiftly, a great day it shall be in regard of the wonderfull change of all creatures,* glorious, fruit∣full times, so I remember Lactantius speaks of that time, that the rocks them selves should issue forth honey and pre∣cious things; but that we cannot say, yet that there shall bee a wonderfull change of all things, and all creatures brought to a further happiness (even the sensitive creatures as well as others) then they had before, the Scriptures are cleare euough in it. And literally we are to understand many Scriptures that tend this way concerning the fruit∣fulnesse of the earth, and the outward external glory that there shall be in the creatures. As upon a great marriage feast or Coronation day, all the servants of the Prince are in their best array; so when Christ his Bridegroome shall come and meet with his wife, with his Spouse, all creatures shall be put into [ 6] a new cresse, shall have further glory. And lastly, that which we have here in the Text, the multitudes of all nations and people that shall flock to the Church,* that they shall be as the sand of the sea. But this I have spoken of be∣fore at large. Now put all these things together, and Great shall be the day of Jezreel.

Yea, but shall these things be so? shall they be so?

Though flesh and blood may reason against these things, yet I may apply that place, Zach. 2. 13. Be silent, O all flesh, before the Lord, for he is raised up out of his holy ha•••tion. Flesh may say, How can these things be?

Page  139 But let all flesh be silent, for God hath made known in his Word, the great things that he intends to bring to passe. And Zach. 8. 6. Thus saith the Lord of Hosts, if it be marvaylous in the eyes of the remnant of this people in these dayes, should it also be marvaylous in mine eyes? saith the Lord of Hosts.

It may be applyed to this as well as the other. These things may seeme marveilous to your eyes, especially because we have been but little acquain∣ted with them, but they are not marveilons in the eyes of God. Yea we find it out of the Word that these things were to be kept hidden till the appointed time should come, till we draw neerer to that great day; we are not to won∣der why these things have not been opened unto us, for God tells us Dan. 12 that they were to be sealed up even to the time appointed, and Rev. 10. 11. God telleth Iohn that he must prophe sie again before the Kings of the earth, that is, before the time of the fulfilling of all things, that booke of the Revela∣tion shall be made out as cleere as if Iohn were come to prophesie again be∣fore men. And we hope it is comming, because God beginneth to let in light that way, and the morning star seemeth to begin to arise.

In Zach. 14. 6. you have mention of a day, that we may apply to the pre∣sent day that we have now. And it shall come to passe (saith the Text there) that the light shall not be cleere nor darke, but it shall be one day which shall be known to the Lord, not day nor night, but it shall come to passe that at e∣vening time it shall be light. Mark what shall be in that day, ver. 8. And it shall be in that day that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; & ver. 9, In that day shall there be but one Lord, and his name one; and then ver. 20. In that day shal there be upon the bels of the horses holiness to the Lord; and ver. 21. In that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the Lord of Hosts. Certainly my brethren these Scriptures speakes of a glorious day that is a comming, but yet in the beginning of it is just like such a day as we have now for the present, wherein the light is neither cleere nor darke: It is true, not long since it was darke, now this darkenesse begin∣neth to be a little dispelled, but it is not cleere yet, many things for the present darken the light, and there is opposition and many dampes upon the hearts of Gods people, and things go not o••s we desire; but blessed be God it is not night with us, though it be not 〈◊〉 day it is not darke as it was, though it be not as cleere as we desire; therfore this is now a day which is neither cleer nor darke, but even as it were twilight. Well but it shall be one day that is one special day, and indeed it is our day now, it is the greatest day that ever yet England had. It shall be one day which shall be knowne to the Lord, a day wherein the Lord hath great thoughts and purposes to do great things, and certainly this our day is known to the Lord, great things God is about to do for his Churches, & laying a foundation of glorious things for the good of his people. And then mark, though it be neither day nor night, yet at the evening time it shall be light. What a strange expression is here? It shall be a duskie cloudy day all day, and then a man would thinke that at evening it should be quite dark, what to be cloudy at noone and to be darkish at three Page  140 or foure of the clock in the afternoone, what then will it be in the evening? surely then it must needes be more darke: No, though it be not cleere now, though it be a cloudy day and part of it darke,* yet at the evening time it shall be light: When it shall be least expected to have light, and when we shall most feare darknesse, when wee shall be ready to conclude, O our day is gone, once indeed God did bring a day to England, a comfortable day though it was a little darke, yet there was a glorious light in comparison of what we had before, but now it is grown towards evening, the evening be∣gins to shut upon us, we looked for light but behold darknesse. Perhaps ma∣ny will be complaining, if they see things go on with any difficulty and op∣position they will be ready to have their hearts sink within them, and to cry out, now our day is gone and the evening is comming, & we must look for darkness, yea and feare a dismall darknesse. Now my brethren, be of good comfort, for at evening time it shall be light; when we think it shall be e∣vening, when it is most unlikely to be light, then shall the light of the Lord breake forth most gloriously: For whensoever this day of Iezreel com∣meth, there must be such a glorious work of God as may magnify his name before the eyes of all men, and therefore at evening it shall be light.

And in that day living waters shall go out from Jerusalem: We have had some drops of living waters in this our day, but there is a day a com∣ming wherein living waters shall even flow out of Jerusalem.

Now to winde up all. There is a day for the Saints, a rest for the people of God, a day wherein God will deliver them from all afflictions. I have met with one, that speaking of the Sabbath, that the Jewes might kindle no fire upon their Sabbath, because that rest was to signifie the rest of the Saints, he applyeth it thus: That was (saith he) a type that there is such a time of rest for the Saints, that they shall be delivered from all fiery tryals, all their afflic∣tions shall be gone and taken away: Great shall be the day of Iezreel.

The consideration of this (me thinks) might be a strong argument to draw in all people to the wayes,* to the love of godlinesse and Religion; to come and joyne with the Churches in appointing Christ head over them.

All you wicked ones that hath forsaken the Lord hitherto, come in & joyn now, and submit unto Jesus Christ as your Head, for great shall be the day of Iezreel. There is a great day for the Church of God, a day of glory, a day of abundance of wonderfull mercy of God to the Churches. They shall have their day; come you in and embrace Religion, that you may partake of their glory. Certainly the Saints of God shall have the better of it: shall have the day of all the world, let the world strive against them what they can. Every man desires to follow the stronger party and to cleave to that: would you cleave to the stronger part? Cleave to the Saints of God, to the Church, for certainly it is the stronger part; It is a going up, it is rising, and will rise more and more till it be risen unto the heighth. Though there be some oppo∣sition, yet it is such as shall make the glory of the day so much the more.

Those men that 〈◊〉 shall stand to pleade for Antichrist, and to oppose the Page  141 work that God is about, certainly they are men borne out of time, borne in an ill hour. Your Papists and superstitious people that heretofore stood for that way, they prospered in their way, because the day of God was not so neare, but the day of his patience in permitting Antichrist to continue, was then. But doest thou come now? what superstitious now? what opposing the work of God now? when God is comming out to fight against Popery and superstition, when God is about to do such great things for his Churches as he certainly is, Thou fightest against God, and God will fight against thee, and thou shalt be throwen upon thy backe, Thou art borne in the worst time that possibly could be, worse then all the adversaries of the truth in for∣mer times. And if there be such a day, let us be willing to suffer for a while, [ 2] let us be willing to mourne for the Churches a while in that way of mourn∣ing that God calls us unto, for there is a recompence comming, glory e∣nough comming even in this world. There is a time of triumphing, let us be content with our warfare here for a while.

Thirdly, Let us study these things. These things are usefull for people in [ 3] these times to look into, to search into these truths of God, that so they may be the better prepared to meet Christ their Bride-groom when he cometh.

Marke that place, Ezek. 40. 4. It is spoken of the glorious times of the Gospel, especially of these times I am speaking of; where God saith to the Prophet, Behold with thine eyes, and heare with thine eares, and set thine heart upon all that I shal shew thee. And what did God shew him? hee shewed him the measure of the Temple and all the glorious things that there should be in the Church in future times. So I say to you my brethren con∣cerning that I have spoken of the great day of Jezreel; behold with your eyes, look into Gods book and see what is said there (for I have named but little) and heare with your eares, and set your hearts upon what hath been set before you. So in Isa. 41. 20. You have a place somewhat like this, speak∣ing of the mercies of God to his Church in latter times, saith the Text, That they may see, & know, and consider, and understand together, that the hand of the Lord hath done this, and the Holy One of Israel hath created it.

Mark how one word is heaped upon another, that they may see, & know, and consider, & understand what God would do for his people. And when God came to reveale the glorious things he intended for his Churches in fu∣ture times in the book of the Revelation (which is the special book that de∣clareth this unto us.) Mark how the Lord beginneth; It is said that God gave this first to Christ; secondly Christ to the Angel, thirdly the Angel to Iohn, and then there is pronounced a blessing to him that reads and hears the words of this prophesie and understands it. What a solemne way of blessing is here! There is not such an expression in all the book of God: where have you a blessing so solemnly proclaimed to the reading and hearing of any of the bookes of God as to that book? Therefore though they are things that seeme to be above us, yet certainly God would have us to inquire into these things. It is the fruit of the purchase of the blood of Christ to open these seales.

Page  142Rev. 5. 9. we reade that there was no man in heaven nor in earth that was able to open the book and to loose the seales thereof, only the Lambe that was slaine and that hath redeemed us unto God by his blood, he was onely worthy to open the seales. It is a fruit I say of the slaughter of Christ & of his blood, and therefore cry to him for the opening these things to thee. And though thou beest very weake in regard of parts, and thinkest with thy self, How can I understand such things as these? know that it is Christ that through his blood comes to open these seales, and seeing it is a fruite of his blood, it is no matter whether thou art weake or strong if he come to open them to thee: as Ier. 13. 2. saith God to the Prophet. Call unto me and I will shew thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not; so I say to you, be a pray∣ing people, call upon God and he will cause you to understand great and ex∣cellent things that you have not known.

[ 4] And (my brethren) seeing these things shall be thus, O what manner of persons ought wee to be? how heavenly? our hearts should rise up from the earth, seeing God intendeth to do such great things for his people. As it is Isa. 60. Arise, arise, shake off thy dust, for the light is come and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee, So I may say to the Churches now, Arise arise shake of the dust of your earthly affections, for the light of God is now rea∣dy to arise upon you; Now sur sum corda, now lift up your hearts above the things of the world.

VVee reade in Rev. 4. of the foure living creatures that appeared unto John, the first was like a Lyon, and the second like an Oxe, and the third had a face as a Man, and the fourth was like a flying Eagle. They are (accord∣ing to the interpretaion that reverend Brightman gives) to set out unto us the foure states & conditions of the Church. The Primitive times were Ly∣on-like for their valour: the second age like an Oxe to beare the burthens of Antichrist, the third had a face as a man, that stood for their liberties and would not be under such slavery, and they are but times: and then the fourth as an Eagle that sored aloft: In the state of the Church hereafter they shall be like an Eagle, have heavenly hearts, no such drossy, base, earthly hearts as we have now. Labour we even now to be so that we may be fit for that day.

[ 5] And let us all prepare for the Bride groome against his comming. How shall we prepare? The cloathing that then shall be, shall be white linnen, which is the righteousnesse of the Saints. That great Doctrine of our justi∣fication by the righteousnesse of Christ shall be the great businesse of that day, in which the glory of the Saints shall much consist, and they shall be clothed with that, it shall be clearly understood of all men, they shall be a∣shamed to rest upon duties and ordinances as now they do. Let us study the Doctrine of the righteousnesse of Christ afore-hand, for that is like to be our clothing at that day, that is the white linnen of the Saints which shall be their glory. Let us prepare our Lamps and keepe them all burning and shining, the oyle not onely of ju•••cation, but sanctification, active, stirring in our hearts, that so we may 〈◊〉 to entertaine the Bride-groom whensoever 〈◊〉〈…〉.

Page  143 And all of you labour now to instruct your children in the knowledge of God and of Christ, bring them up in the feare of the Lord that they may be seed for that day. Acquaint them with these things, for though perhaps you may be dead and gone before this great day, yet they may live to see it; therefore catechize them, and instruct them, and drop into them those Prin∣ciples that may fit them for the meeting of JESUS CHRIST their Bride∣groome,

To conclude all. Let us be all praying Christians. It is that which is charged upon us in Isa. 62. 6. All you that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence and give him no rest, till he establish, till he make Jerusa∣lem apraise in the earth. God hath a day to set up Jerusalem as the praise of the whole earth, Oh be praying, praying Christians every one of you, and give God no rest till he effect this. And remember God of all his pro∣mises, search the Prophets, search the book of God, and urge God with his promises to the Church in this way. And you that are the weakest, be not discouraged in your prayers, and you may be a meanes to further and hasten this great day of Jezreel. Psal. 102. 17. The Psalmist had spoken be∣fore of Gods building up Zion, and certainly that Psalme is a Prophesie of the glorious times of the Church that shall be, marke what the Text saith, The Lord shall regard the prayer of the destitute, and shall not despise their prayer; speaking of those that shall live in those times a little before this day of Iezreel shall be, The Lord shall regard the prayer of the destitute: the word that is translated destitute,* it signifieth in the Hebrew, a poor shrub in the wildernesse, a poor shrub that the foot of every beast is ready to tread downe, and that poore shrub that perhaps is despicable in the eyes of the world, and despicable in his own eyes, yet saith the Text, the Lord shal re∣gard the prayer of that poor shrub. Is there ever a poor shrub though ne∣ver so destitute, so despicable in the eyes of the world or in thine owne eyes? yet be thou a praying Christian, a praying soul, praying for those things, and God will regard thy prayer, he will not despise thy prayer. Perhaps thou art ready to despise thy prayers thy self, but God will not despise them, let all our hearts be lifted up, and let us all cry with the Church, Come Lord Jesus, Come quickly. O let this day come, for great shall be the day of Jezreel.