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 Third Lecture.


HOSEA part of the third verse and verse 4.

And make her as a wildernesse, and set her like a dry land, and slay her with thirst.

And I will not have mercy upon her children, for they be the children of whoredomes.

IN the first part of this second Chapter, wee have already shewed part of Gods threatning, even to strip his people na∣ked as in the day wherein they were borne, to bring them into as low and mean a condition as ever they were in.

Now that which was more generally exprest the last day, we have in the latter end of this third Verse more particu∣larly set forth unto us. And make her as a wildernesse, and set as a dry land.

God would bring this people that dwelt in the land of Canaan flowing with milke and honey; that were in regard of the beauty that God had put upon them, excellent for beauty, now to be as a wildernesse.

In the former Chapter you heard that the state of the Ten Tribes vvas set out by Hoseas wife, her name was Gomer, ad this Gomer was the daughter of Diblaim. Gomer signifieth perfection, and what Diblaim signifieth I told you then.

Page  189 But now there is another signification of this Diblaim,* that we are to re∣fer unto this expression of the Lord in this place, that he will make her as a wildernesse, for you shall finde Ezek. 6. 14. that there is mention made of a desolate countrey and a wildernesse that was towards Diblath, to which this that the Prophet speaks of the mother of Gomer may seem to have reference.

Diblath then, it appeareth, was a place where there was a very desolate, waste wildernesse, and Gomer was the daughter of this Diblath, from whence Diblaim, that is, Though the ten Tribes were as Gomer in regard of their beauty, perfect, for so they were; yet she was the doughter of Dib∣lath, or Diblaim, that is, she came forth out of a low and meane conditi∣on, and was even brought out of a wildernesse, now shee shall be brought again into the same estate wherein shee was, for I will set her as a wilder∣nesse.

As a wildernesse.

The Church of God is in it selfe Gods garden, a garden inclosed, and so it is called Cant. 4. 12. As a garden inclosed is my sister, my Spouse. It is the place of Gods delight, not a place for beasts to come into, but inclosed, they are to be kept out of it; a place where very precious fruits doe grow, that are very pleasing to God,* a place that hath the dew, the showers of Gods blessing, the dew of Hermon, the dew that descendeth upon the moun∣tains of Zion, there God commandeth his blessing, even life for evermore. But now she must come to be a wildernesse.

For first, the hedge, the pale, the wall of Gods protection shall be taken a∣way from her, and she shall be laid open, lyable for all wilde beasts to come in and to devoure her. They loved liberty, and were loth to be inclosed, though it were in Gods garden, though it was with the pale & wall of Gods protection; Well, seeing you will have liverty, you shall have liberty, and this pale and wall of my garden shall be taken away, and your condition shall be like the condition of the beasts in the wildernesse.*

Againe, you shall be as a wildernesse. There shall no good grow among you. There was no good grew amongst you, that was your sin; and there shall no good grow among you, that shall be your plague and punishment.

The blessing of God shall be taken away from you, you shall not have those showers of blessing as formerly you were wont to have, but you shall be as a wildernesse, Jer. 17. 5. 6. Cursed be that man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arme, and departeth from the Lord: Why? For he shall be as the heath in the desart, and shall not see when good commeth, and he shall inherite the parched places of the wildernesse in a salt land.

Vatablus interprets this judgement upon the hearts of Idolaters; they are dry, unsavory; they are destitute of all spirituall good.

And I will set her as a dry land.] So the Septuagint read it, I will order you so. Your sinnes bring you out of order, but Gods plagues order that which sin doth disdorder. At a dry land. This is contrary to the blessing of a godly man, for he is said to be as the tree planted by the river of water.

Page  190 The graces and comforts of Gods Spirit are compared to waters in the Scripture, Psal. 87. 7. All my springs are in thee, All my comforts, all the gifts that I have, all the graces that I have are in thee. But now God will set them as a dry land, he will take away his gifts, and take away their com∣forts from them, and so leave them wast and desolate.

The Observation then from hence is,* That sinne is of a wasting nature: sinne layeth wast Countreyes and places that people live in. VVee have a most remarkable place of Scripture for that, Zach. 7. 14. They laid the pleasant land desolate, They, who are they? you shall finde it ver. 12. Those that made their hearts as an Adamant stone,*lest they should heare the law, and the words which the Lord of Hosts had sent in his spirit by the former Prophets, They made the pleasant land desolae.

VVe cry out of those that make stripe and waste, and there are actions commenced against them. O let not us lay waste this pleasant land, this good laud of ours, this garden of the Lord. It is indeed as an Eden, as a Pa∣radise, our fore-fathers have left us this our land as Gods garden; let not us through our sinnes leave it to our posterities as a wildernesse and a dry land, Psal. 107. 34. there is a threatning that God will make a fruitfull land bar∣ren for the wickednesse of them that dwell therein. Sinne hath heretofore laid wast as pleasant and fruitfull Countreys as ours. Those that travell in Germanie, their hearts even bleed within them sometime to see where fa∣mous Towns have stood, now the places are overgrowne with nettles, they are laid wast as a wildernesse. Aud in this God threatneth after the man∣ner of great Kings who when their Subjects obey them not, threaten to lay their Countreys wast and to destroy their Cities, as Ecclesiasticall Stories tell us of Theodosius, that had layed great taxes upon the City of Antioch at which they were much grieved, and imagining it seemes that the Queen had a speciall hand in it, they pulled down the brazen statue of the Queene that was in the Citie in a kinde of anger upon this, Theodosius threatneth to lay the Citie and Countrey wast as a fruite of his displeasure. It is a fruite of the anger of a Kings according to their power, to manifest it that way, not onely upon particular men, bnt to lay whole Countreyes wast.

God is the great King, and he threatneth this against his people for their sinnes, that he will lay them wast as awildernesse. God had rather that the wilde beasts should eate up the good of the land, then that wicked stubborn sinners should enjoy it: God had rather have a land under his curse, to have nothing but thornes and bryars brought forth of it, then that wicked wretches should partake of the sweetness and fruit of it, for sin doth not on∣ly pollute the sinner, but the land, and putteth both the sinner and the land under a curse.

And say them with thirst.

In the 36. Psal. ver. 8. VVe have a full expression of the plentifull provi∣sion of Cods people that dwell in the house of the Lord.he Text saith,

Page  191They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fulnesse of thy house, and thou shalt make them to drinke of the river of thy pleasures, O what a sweet promise is here to those that dwell in Gods house, and walke with God as beseemeth those that are in his house! they shall have fatnesse, and drinke of the river of his pleasures: but here is threatned slaying with thirst, that God will not onely take away those rivers, but even drops of water, they shall not have a drop to coole their tongues, but shall be slaine with thirst.

There was a time wherein God had such pittie upon his people, that hee would cause water to gush out of the rock, rather then their thirst should not he satisfied: But now God threatneth that hee will make the heavens as brasse, and the earth as iron, and though a little water might save their lives, they should not have it, He will slay them with thirst. Oh what an alterati∣on doth sin make in Gods administrations of his wayes towards us!

It is a great judgement thus to be slayn with thirst. I knew my self a man once that lying in a burning feaver, professed that if he had all the world at his dispose, he would give it all for one draught of beer. At so low a rate is the world at such a time as that is. If the want of a little beer or water to sa∣tisfie thirst for a little while be so great a judgement, Oh what is it then for all good to be eternally with drawn from all the faculties!* I have read of Da∣rius, that when he fled from his enemies, and being in great thirst (though those Kings had a delicate drinke that was peculiar to them which they called Coapsis, and others 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉) he met with a dirty puddle of water with carry on lying in it, and he sucked in that and dranke very heartily of it, and profest, that it was the sweetest draught that ever he dranke in his life.

This meditation may be very usefull upon this evil of thirst, that if a little puddle water can afford so much comfort when the faculties are in such a disposition as they are fit to draw out that comfort that is in this puddle wa∣ter, Oh then what comfort and goodnesse is there in an infinite God when he shall communicate to his creature all that good that is communicable, and when all the faculties of soul and body shall be in a full disposition, to receive all the good that is communicated, and not put into a disposion by reason of want, but by reason of the excellency of the faculty raised to such a height, and inlarged to receive what good God himselfe hath to communi∣cate to his creature?

But further, it is observable. Though God did bring them into a wilder∣nesse, and set them in a dry land, yet if they might have some drinke, though but water to refresh them in this wildernesse, and in this dry land, it were not so much.* Though they were in a scorching Countrey, in the wilderness, parched with heat, might they have but some refreshment there, the judge∣ment were not so great: but they shall be in a wildernesse, in a dry land, and there they shall be scorched with heat, and then God shall deny them all suc∣cour, all helpe. He will slay them with thirst.

God useth thus to deale with wicked men, to bring them into extremity, and there to leave them destitute of all succour, of all helpe,

Page  192 VVe have an excellent Scripture for this, Ezek. 22. 20. I will gather you in mie anger, and in my fury, and what then? I will leave you there and melt you, saith God. This may be a Comment upon this Text. I will bring into the widernesse and set them in a dry land and slay them with thirst.

The Saints may be brought into great extremity, but God leaveth them not there. God makes their extremity his opportunity for mercy, he bring∣eth refreshing to them then, they never have more sweet refreshings from God, then when they are in the greatest extremities in regard of trouble and affliction. God promiseth, Esay, 4. 6. that he will be a shadow for them in the day time from the heat, and a covert from storme and from raine.

This is Gods peculiar mercy to the Saints; perhaps they have no shelter now, but when the storme commeth they have a shelter then, and they have a shadow when the heat commeth; in their extremity they have comfort.

But it is otherwise with the wicked, the wicked perhaps may have many shelters before the storme commeth; but when the storme commeth, then they are destitute, they may have many shady places before the heat cometh, but when the heat commeth, then they are left fuccourless, then they are slain with thirst. When wicked men are in prosperity, then there may come one blessing after another (I meane that which is in it self a blessing) heaped upon them, but when they come into adversity, when they have most need of comfort, then they are left destitute.

This slaying with thirst is applyed by some spiritually; I will bring a spi∣rituall famine upon them. When they shall be in a wildernesse, in a dry land, when they shall have most need of comfort for their soules, they shall be deprived of it. Many men in the time of their health and prosperity have many sweet promises of the Gospel revealed unto them, many blessed mani∣festations of Gods free grace and goodnesse in his Christ made known un∣to them, but they slight and disregard them: But when God shall bring them into the wildernesse, when God shall cause them to be under the tor∣ment of a scorching conscience, when conscience shall be burning, and scal∣ding, then perhaps they may long, Oh that I had one drop of water, one promise out of the Word to comfort me! Oh that I might have but never so little refreshing! Oh that I might heare againe those things I have here∣tofore heard and neglected! But then God may deny one drop of water to coole their scorching consciences and stay them with thirst, slay their soules with thirst at that time: And thus many poore creatures are slain with thirst, that did so little regard those rivers of consolation, that in the time of their prosperity they might have had.

Ver. 4. And I will not have mercy upon her children, for they be the children of whoredoms.

I confesse at the first view, looking upon this verse I thought I might quickly passe it over, the rather because we had some such expressions in the former Chapter, where God threatned that he would have no more mercyPage  193 upon them: But the Scripture is a vast depth, and there are many excellent treasures in it, there is alwayes aliquid revisentibus, something for those that come to see again and looke again, and this something will appeare to be much, that we shall see out of these expressions further then before hath been observed.

And I will not have mercy] This Particle [And] hath much in it, it is a most terrible And. This conjunction many times in Scripture is as a ple∣onasme, and doth not serve for much use, but here in this place it is of great use, and it is filled with terrour as full as it is possible for such a little particle to hold.

I know there may be many curiosities sometimes in observatious of par∣ticles, of conjunctions: but we shall not meddle with any curiosity, but speake of that which is plain, and the intention of the Holy Ghost here. I say this And is a most dreadfull And; marke the conjunction, you had foure Ands before, saith God, I will strip her naked, [And] set her as in the day wherein she was borne, And] make her as a wildernesse, [And] set her as a dry Land, [And] slay her with thirst. Is not here enough? Oh no, there cometh a fifth And, and that is more terrible then all the former foure [And] I will have uo more mercy upon her children.

This addeth terrour to all the rest. Suppose that all the other foure had beene, and if this had not come, there had not beene such a grievous threat∣ning, If God had said, I will strip her naked & set her as in the day where∣in she was borne, and I will make her as a wildernesse, and set her as a dry land, and slay her with thirst, yet if there might be mercy in all this, their condition had not beene so miserable, but (saith God) I will doe all these, And I will have no more mercy upon them. Oh this hath that terrour in it, that it is impossible for the heart of a man that apprehends it to stand under it.

And for the opening of this I shall shew you how that all the former foure not only may stand with Gods mercy, but they have stood with Gods mer∣cy; that God had heretofore shewed mercy to them when they were in such a low condition in which they were borne, when they were in the wildernesse, when they were in a dry Land, yea when he did slay them, he shewed mer∣cy unto them. But now he saith, he will do thus and thus, and shew no mer∣cy unto them. So that then though this And be conjunctive in Grammar, yet here in Divnity it is a disjunctive, and a most dreadfull disjunctive to part them and mercy a sunder, yea and to part many of them and mercie e∣ternally asunder.

To shew you therefore the soure former, that though they were in such a condition heretofore, yet God did shew them mercie; now what a conditi∣on is that God will shew them no mercie. As

First, In the day wherein they were borne, that (as you may remember) I shewed you out of the 16. Ezek. what a low and pittifull condition the people of Israel were in, they were cast out in the field, & they were in theirPage  194 blood, and not washed, and the like: But mark in the 8. ver. I passed by thee and looked upon thee, behold the time was a time of love, and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakednesse, yea, I sware unto thee, and en∣tered into covenant with thee, and thou becamest mine. Here are the high∣est and the fullest expressions of Gods grace that could be. First, I looked upon her, and then the time was a time of love, and then, I spread my skirt over thee, and I entered into covenant with thee, and thou becamist mine: Here are all these expressions of mercy, even at that time when they were cast out as forlorne in the open field, and no eye pitted them: but now they are threatned to be cast out into the open field againe, and no eye to pittie them in heaven or in earth, no, nor the eye of God to pittie them: now God threatneth to cast them off for ever, so as he will see them in their blood, but it shall be no more a time of love, but a time of wrath, and he will no more enter into covenant with them, neither shall they be his.

2. When God brought them into the wildernesse, God there shewed them mercy, for that you have a marvellousfull Text, Deut. 32. 10. Hee found them in a desart land, and in the wast howling wildernesse; but mark, he led them about, he instructed them, he kept them as the apple of his eye. Though they were in a wast howling wildernesse, yet they were as deare to God as the apple of his eye. Yea further, ver. 11. As an eagie stirreeth up her nost, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings, so the Lord alone did lead them. It is the note of Paulus Fagius, citing for it Rabbi Solomon upon this, as the Eagle carries her young ones, not as other birds, for other birds it is observed carry their young ones in their claws, the Eagle bears hers up∣on her wings, and this is the reason that is observed, because the Eagle is more tender of her young ones then other birds are, why? for other birds carrying their young ones in their claws, if any shoot at them, they hit the young ones, and kill them first, but may misse the old one; but the Eagle carries hers upon her back, upon her wings, that whosoever shoots at her young ones, they must shoot through her first: So saith God, I carried you in the wildernesse as the Eagle carries her young ones upon her wings, that if any shoot at you to hurt you, they must shoote through me first be∣fore they can come at you. This was Gods mercy to them when they were in the wast howling wildernesse, here is not such an And, they were in a wil∣dernesse, yet God had much mercy upon them.

[ 3] Thirdly, milestone God brought them into a dry Land, in this wildernesse they wanted water, yet (though they were ready to murmure) he made them sucke honey out of the rocke, and oile out of the flinty rocke, Deut. 32. 13. You will say, when did God make them suck honey out of the rock? wee read indeed that water gushed out of the rocke in a dry land, but here the Scripture speaks, that he made them suck honey & oile out of the flinty rock. It is a note of Chrysostome speaking upon this very thing, of Gods making them sucke honey and oile out of the rocke: Not, saith he, that there was Page  195 indeed honey or oyle came out of the rock, but because they being in the wildernesse, and in such great want, the water that came out of the rock was to them as sweet and delightfull, as if it had beene honey or oyle.

Thence he gathered that note, that want and necessity will make every thing very sweet and comfortable, water will be as honey and oile to them that want. When you are at your full tables, This wine pleaseth you not, and that beere pleaseth you not; but if you were in necessitie, water would be as wine, it would be as honey and oile to you.

Yea but what say you to the fourth And, He will slay them with thirst? [ 4] Can you shew us any place wherein God did slay his people, yet shew mer∣cie to them? Yes, I can. There is a place where it is said, God slew his people, yet for all that at that very time he shewed abundance of mercie to his peo∣ple; when God did come with his sword in his hand, yet with abundance of compassion in his heart. The Scripture is in Psal. 78. 34. Marke what the Text saith there, When he slew them, then they sought him, and they return∣ed and enquired early after God, and they remembred that God was their Rocke. Well, they sought him, and they remembred this, that God was their Redeemer, but did God redeeme them at that time? Yes, verse 38. He being full of compassion for gave their iniquity, and destroyed them not, yea many a time he turned his anger away, and did not stir up all his wrath, Or as the old Translation hath it, He called backe his anger, which here he will not doe: He was full of compassion, and forgave their iniquity, and called back his anger, though he did slay them at that time.

He denieth to doe it here, he letteth out his anger here to the full, and will not call it back, I will have no mercy upon them: And it is observable in this Scripture that yet the Text saith before that, they did but flatter God with their mouth: though they did but flatter God with their mouth, yet such was Gods mercie toward them, that he calleth back his anger.

My brethren, God hath a high esteeme of his worship in a Nation; though it should be but externall (but we must not rest in that) yet many times ex∣ternall humilliation and worshipping of God in a Nation hath beene ef∣fectuall to deliver them from externall judgements.

Therefore we have much cause to be incouraged, in that God doth stirre up our Nation at this day, yea and those particularly that are going in that expedition and service for the Kingdome, that God doth stirre them up to goe forth worshipping of him.

Our adversaries come against them with Oathes and curses, and they goe against them with fasting and prayer, not externally onely, but we hope internally many of them, and thousands that joine with them in our Nati∣on. And if God will shew so much mercy to them when they did but flat∣ter him with their mouth, surely then when as there are so many true wor∣shippers of him, yea those that are the instruments of the work; we have much cause to think that God will shew mercy to us, and that if anger were come out against us, yet God will call it backe.

Page  196 Thus then we see that so long as Gods people be Gods people, though they may be brought to great troubles (we cannot be secured from troubles) yet still there is mercie for them; so long as they are his people, so long as the knot is between God and them, and they are in Covenant, there is mercie for them. But now when they are cast off, now there commeth an and, I will doe thus and thus, bring them into these extremities, and I will shew no mercy to them, there shall be judgement without mercie. The observation then from hence is,* when God commeth upon the wicked with wrath, hee cometh with pure wrath. Wrath without mixture of mercie, and this is in∣tolerable. We have a remarkable place for this Isa. 7. 5. An evil (saith the Text) an onely evil,*behold it is comming. Marke, there may come an evil to the people of God, that which materially is evill, but it can never be said of Gods people that an evill, an only evill is comming: If an evil come, there cometh a great good together with that evil: but now it is upon the wicked, an evil, & an onely evil is coming. God threatneth Psal. 75. 8. that he hath a cup in his hand, full of mixture, the mixture of that is an aggrava∣tion of the wrath that is in it: but here there is a cup in Gods hand without mixture, and the want of mixture is the aggravation of the evil of this cup.

VVhen wrath is pure, then it is grown beyond anger, and grown to ha∣tred: [ 1] so long as it is but meere anger, it admitteth of mixture of love, but when once it is (as we may speak) grown to that height of sowerness that all the mixture of love is gone, then it is turned to hatred. There was a time when Israel spake in a murmuring way that God brought them into the wil∣dernesse because he hated them. Deut. 1. 27. But now God threatneth to bring them into the wildernesse and to hate them indeed, according to that Hosea 9. 15. All their wickednesse is in Gilgal, for there I hated them. David prayeth Psal. 6. 1. that God would not rebuke him in his wrath, neither chasten him in his hot displeasure; but what then? Have mercy u∣pon me O Lord: So long as God sheweth mercie he doth not chasten in his sore displeasure: but when God commeth with afflictions & denyeth mer∣cie, then he commeth in sore displeasure indeed, it is hatred.

[ 2] Secondly, When God commeth without mercie he commeth upon the wicked in the most unseasonable time for them that can be. That is the difference betwixt the evills that come upon the godly and the wicked.

There may be evills (that materially are so) upon the godly, but yet they shall come upon them when it shall be seasonable for them: but when they come upon the wicked it shal be when they are most unseasonable for them: As a husband-man if he would cut his Tree so as onely to lop it that it may grow and flourish again, he will be sure to do it in due time, as in January or February,* but if he would cut it that so it may dye, hee will lop it when it flourisheth most, at Midsummer. God indeed letteth wicked men grow up and flourish to the height of their prosperity, and then he commeth and loppeth them because then hee knowes they must die and perish. It were better to be lopped in January, in winter time before you flourish, then you Page  197 may live for your good; but if you stay till the summer, you die for it. You have an excellent Scripture, Zeph. 2. 4. They shall drive out Ashdod at noon day. In those Countries that were exceeding hot and scorching, she pheards and others that had their businesse abroad, used to keep their houses at noon day, or get into some shady places and sleepe. Now when God threatneth a judgement in wrath, and denyeth mercie, saith hee, they shall drive out Ashdod at noone day, in the worst time that possibly Ashdod can be driven out, in the middest of scorching. Because God intended to destroy them, he drives them out at noone day.

Again thirdly, When God commeth upon the wicked and denyeth mer∣cie, he regardeth not the proportion of any affliction or any evill, whether it be enough or not enough for them, what is that to him? When hee cometh upon his own people he weigheth out his wrath. Never did any skilfull Phy∣sitian or Apothecary more carefully weigh out to every dram what the po∣tion should be that is to be given to a child,* then God doth weigh out every affliction that he sendeth upon his children. The difference is just as if you should goe to the Apothecaries to take ratsbane to poyson or kill vermine, you doe not weigh out how much you should take, but give them it at ad∣venture, and let them take as much as they will, and let them burst: but if you take any thing for your child, if it have any strong vertue in i, or with∣out composition, it may be poison, you will take heed, you will not take a dram, a graine too much, but will be sure to weigh it out exactly.

Thus though when God commeth to his children hee weigheth out their afflictions, yet when he cometh with judgements upon the wicked, he cares not how much, how many or great they be, whether sutable to their condi∣tions or no, whether they can beare them or no, whether their backes breake or no, he cometh with judgements upon them to destroy them.

Fourthly,* When afflictions commeth without mercie upon the wicked, [ 4] God stoppeth his ears at all their cryes. If they cry when God cometh with judgements against them, he calleth their cryings howling. Hee tells them though they cry aloud, yea cry with teares he will not heare them,

Fifthly, God commandeth all creatures that they should deny help to [ 5] them. They may stand and be amazed, but help them they cannot. They all say how can we help, seeing God helpes not.

Sixthly, There is the curse of God mixed with every judgement to drive [ 6] them further from God, and to harden them more in their sinnes.

Lastly, One judgement is but the making way for another, yea all judg∣ments [ 7] in this world are but the fore-runners, and makers-way for eternall judgements. This is the portion of the cup of the wicked when God saith he will shew them no mercie. The afflictions of the Saints may seeme to be more grievous outwardly, but thus God never afflicteth them, there is mercie alwayes for them.

VVherefore all yee Saints of God who are under any affliction at any time, be patient and quiet, be contented under it, for though your afflictions Page  198 before and grievous,* yet God delivereth you from such afflictions as these wherein he saith he will shew no mercie.

But further. I will not have mercy upon her children.

Her children.] The judgement of God in punishing the sin of the fathers upon the children we spake somewhat of in the Chapter before, wee will wholly let that passe now: and onely consider children in another way then we did before, in a politicall consideration, for certainly that is the mean∣ing of the Text, I will not have mercy upon her children; that is, I will not have mercie upon the particular people that belong to Iezreel. Private and particular people are called the daughters of Jerusalem, the daughters of such a Country. So that the whole community together with the officers & Governours they are as the Mother, and the private and particular people they are as the children. So that when God saith he will have no mercy up∣on her children, hee doth not onely threaten the State and the Church, the Governours and the whole Community thus, but he threatneth every par∣ticular person of them, though you that are in the multitude perhaps thinke you may escape in the crowde; No saith God, I will looke to every one of you of the multitude of the private and particular persons of Israel, and my wrath shal not onely come out against those that are in higher places, but it shall come out against you also, I will slay her children.

It is true indeed, the heads and governours of places are usually most in∣velved in the guilt of the sins of nations, and their judgements are usually most dreadfull when God commeth with nationall judgements. As Num. 35. 3. 4. The Text saith there that Israel joyned themselves to Baal▪ Peor, and the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and the Lord said unto Moses, take all the heads of the people, and hang them up before the sunne. The Lords anger was kindled against the people, but he bade Mo∣ses especially look to the heads, and take them and hang them up be••re the Lord, that the fierce anger of the Lord might be turned away from Israel.

Certainly execution of wrath upon great ones, upon such as have beene heads in evill, is a Sacrifice exceeding well pleasing to God. But though God ay••e at them especially in nationall judgements, yet the multitude and private people must not thinke to escape, and that upon these grounds.

First, Because many times it is for their sins that God suffereth their Governours to doe so much evill as they doe,* As, Israel had sinned, and God was wrath with Israel, therefore David did what he did in numbring the people. When you see your Governours doe that which is naught, la∣ment for your own sins; doe not spend your time onely in crying out a∣gainst them, but look to yourselves, it is for your sinnes that God hath left [ 1] them to do as they have done.*

[ 2] Secondly, It may be the reason why Governours do not reforme, is, in the perversenesse of people, that they are not in a preparation to receive that good which otherwise our Governours had in their hands & hearts to bring to passe. As 2 Chron. 20. 33. it is cleere there, Howbeit the high places Page  199 were not taken away, why? For as yet the people had not prepared their hearts to seeke the God of their Fathers. Why? should they have pulled down the high places? no, but they should have beene in a preparation for the pulling of them downe. Certainly this is the great cause why our high places are not pulled downe, why Reformation hath gone on no better then it hath, and why we have so much evil remaining amongst us, because the people have not prepared their hearts, they are not in a disposition to receive the mercie that our governours have hearts to bring unto us.

They have hearts to work for us, but when we speake to them of what is fit to be done, their answer is, but is England in a fit disposition to receive such a thing as that is? so that the truth is, although you are ready to cry out of your Governours, you say, they have power in their hands, why doe they not reforme things? yet the guilt in great part devolves upon the people, they are not in a fit dsposition to receive such reformation: therefore God threat∣neth the childen, the peole here.

Again further, It may be it is from you that the Governours that are evil are so much incouraged and abetted in that which is evill: though you doe it not, yet you so much incourage them as the guilt redounds upon you.

Yea lastly, If you do but obey them in any thing that is evill, in doing of that, the guilt devolveth upon you, for you should not do it, but rather obey God then man.

Many thinke to make this their plea, they are commanded to doe thus and thus, and Governours would have them doe it, and it is Law and the like, and they thinke upon this plea they may do any thing in the world. This will not secure you, God may come with judgement without mercie upon the children as well as upon the Mother. And if Gods wrath should come in nationall judgements against England, let the people know that they are like to smart most dreadfully, for never was their a time in our dayes, nor in our fore-fathers dayes, that so much depended upon the people as at this day; never were they called to that help as now they are called to at this day.

So that the people now may have reformation,* they may have blessings, if it be not through their own default. As Cant. 7. 1. The Church is there described in her beauty, and it beginneth at her feete, How beautifull are thy feete? And Cant. 5. There Christ is described in his beauty, and it be∣ginneth at the head, His head is as the most faire gold.

God sometimes makes use of the people to be great meanes, and perhaps the beginning of means to bring beauty to the Church, though they cannot perfect it. Heretofore private persons could doe little: Alas though they were under grievous oppressions, they knew not now to help themselves.

Many men that had purses, and strength, and heads, and hearts and all, yet they knew not what to doe, but to make their moane one to another, and to heaven; but now it is otherwise, now you may do somewhat else besides making your moane one to another, yea besides making your moae to heaven: for you that have purses now you may see waies to employ them Page  100 for the publique good, for Religion, for liberty, you that have strength of body may know what to doe, you that have head-pieces, I mean parts, you are called to help, you may joyne together for God and the good of your Country, you may do much more then heretofore could be done.

Wherefore now if you should desert the Cause of God, and desert those that you have trusted, you must expect the most dreadfull wrath of God, and that without mercie, even upon the people that ever was upon any nati∣on since the beginning of the world, for never any nation that we know of, had more depending upon the people then there is at this day upon the peo∣ple of England, O consider of it, and oh that all the people of the land did but know what God would have them to do in such a time as this?

Again,*I will not have mercy upon her children: upon particular pri∣vate persons in the society. One note more upon that, It is a dangeraus thing for men in any societie to do as the most doe: If they be in a civill societie to give their votes and to do as the greater part doth; if you be in a Church societie, to do as the greater part doth without any examination of it, this dangerous. For though the greater part, the communitie may doe that which is evil, you shall not be excused by that, for you to say, why what could I help it, whn the most doth it? God commeth upon private and particular men, upon the children, even every one of them: And why?

For they are the children of whoredomes.

That is either passively or actively, passively, because they were begot∣ten of whoredomes and brought up, their education hath been in whore∣dome, they have had it from their parents, Or else they are the children of whoredomes actively, they live in the same whoredomes their Mother did.

From hence,

First,* There is little hope of children brought up in wicked education, who have wicked parents also. If the dye have beene in the wooll it is hard to get out of the cloth. If wickedness, if evill principles have beene dropped into children, there is little hope of them for good, especially of those chil∣dren that have been brought up in wayes of superstition and Idolatry,* their hearts being so soyled, and defiled, and hardned in superstitious and idola∣trous wayes, they seldome come to any good. Therefore that which hath been mentioned is very good, namely of wayes to take the children of Pa∣pists to bring them up in the education and knowledge of the truth.

Yet Secondly,* This shall not excuse children, though they be the children of whoredomes. It is no excuse for them to say they had it from their Pa∣rents, and they did as their Parents have done, and as they bade them, and according as they brought them up. No it excuseth not at all, for the wrath of God commeth upon them that are the children of whoredomes.

Then what a mercie is it for us to be brought up in the truth; to have Pa∣rents that doe professe the truth, and for our education to bee in the way of truth? It is a mercy that we do not consider of to give God the glory of it: How dangerous is it to have superstitious Idolatrous Parents, and to have Page  201 such kind of education! there is not one of ten thousand that altereth his reli∣gion: If they have Turks, or Jewes, or Papists to their parents, and such e∣ducation, it is not one of tenne thousand I say that altereth his religion. Therefore it is like our condition would have been the same if God had not cast it that our parents should be such as professe the truth, and our educa∣tion according to the truth. Blesse God for this. And you that are parents doe you look to your children, and bring them up in the truth. Children who have gracious principles dropped into them, and those watred by pray∣ers and tears, there is hope of them▪ and not of them alone, but of the nation where they live.

Lastly (which is the observation which mainely wee are to consider of) When Gods judgements come abroad in the world,* let the children of whoredomes look to it, God threatneth he will have no mercy upon them, or they are the children of whoredomes. The children of whoredomes are the butt of Gods wrath when his judgements come abroad in the world.

Isa. 27. 4 Furie is not in me, saith the Text, that is, it is not in mee to∣ward my Saints;* though I come out in a kind of fury, yet it is not in me to∣ward them, what then? Who would set the briers and thorns against mee in battle? I would goe thorough them, I would burn them together. When my wrath commeth against the briars and thornes, I will go through them, and burne them together; but for my children, fury is not in me toward them: When Gods wrath is abroad in the world, let not the children of the bride-chamber feare, but let the children of whoredomes feare and quake, let briars and thornes feare, but not the fruitfull trees in Gods garden: God∣judgements know how to make a difference between men, they are dis stinguishing things when they come abroad: God sendeth not his judge∣ments hand over head, but putteth into them a distinguishing quality. God hath a chamber of rest and safety for his people, wherein he will hide them till his indignation be over-past; but for the children of whoredomes, superstitious, Idolatrous, wicked and ungodly people, they are the peo∣ple of Gods indignation, they are like Idumea, the people of Gods curse, as you have it, Isa. 34. 5.

There are a people this day amongst us who are certainely the people of Gods curse, and let them look to it as well as they will. Rev. 14. 8. Babylon is fallen, is fallen (saith an Angell there) and mark what followeth. ver. 9. And another Angel followed, saying with a loud voyce, If any man wor∣ship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead or in his hand, the same shal drinke of the wine of the wrath of God which is powred out without mixture into the cup of his indignation. It is according to that in the Text here, God will have no mercy, they shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God without mixture, without mixture of any mercy at all. And further, He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy Angels, & in the presence of the Lambe, and the smoake of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever, And they have no rest day nor night that worship the beast and his image.

Page  202 Here is a dreadfull threat against the children of whoredomes, against such as follow the wayes of the great whore of Babylon. Blessed are they that in these times have testimony in their own consciences, that it hath been their care above all things to draw themselves out from the guilt of all su∣perstitious and Idolatrous vanities, and to keep themselves (according to that light that God hath discovered to them) pure from the pollutions of that man of sin. Blessed I say are these, they need not feare this day; but for those that have involved themselves in the guilt of those pollutions, they have need to humble their souls before God, and to cry mightily, for wrath is going out against the children of whoredomes. This Text here spoken of, is not meant only of hell hereafter, but it is meant of judgement even in this world: And above all times that ever yet have been since Antichrist began, it is a most desperate thing to be a Papist in these dayes, because now is the time for God to make these children of whoredomes the very Butt of his wrath and indignation.

We heare of wars, and rumors of wars, and a great deale of stir there is a∣broad: My brethren, keep your hearts chast to God, and fear not, for God hath another manner of people to deal withall then you; you shall be sealed first, before the wrath come out. Though I cannot excuse you altogether from suffering some afflictions, these children of whoredomes may bring some trouble upon the Saints for the present; yea perhaps some of you may have your blood spilt, but God hath mercy to bestow upon you, but for them there is wrath, and wrath without mixture, God saith he will have no mercy upon the children of whoredoms.

Let such as are going forth then in this Service, for Religion and Liberty, go forth with courage and undauntednesse of spirit, why? for they fight a∣gainst none but those that God fighteth against. Who are they but the chil∣dren of whoredomes that they go to fight against, those who have shewed themselves to be open fighters against God and his truth, such as are most abominable swearers, cursers, and blasphemers, such as make no other use of the light of the Gospel that they have, but only to scorn and contemn it, such as are open despisers of God and his truth, and of his people? Cer∣tainly if there be a cursed generation upon the face of the earth, these are the people, whose mouths are full of curses, and certainely Gods curse is upon them who are so full of cursings themselves. If there be any of you here that are now, or hereafter may go forth in this service, your spirits should even rise with indignation against such monsters upon earth, and goe against them as David against Goliah, What shall this uncircumcised Philistine defie the hoast of the living God? Thus your hearts should rise if you have any love to God and his truth; Shall a company of cursed monsters that do nothing but blaspheme, and curse, and sweare, and defie God and his ser∣vants, and his Tabernacle, and worship; shall these uncircumcised Philistins go on thus defying God and his truth? If you have the hearts of men with∣in you, especially of Christians, me thinks you should not be able to beare it, Page  203 but goe forth against them with fulnesse of spirit and resolution, certainely God will make them a prey to you, they are not only such as not only have put off Christianity, and are become Atheists, but they have put off all kind of humanity, and are rather turned monstrous beasts, or devils. Fear them not, though their hearts be full of pride and rage, and though they beast ne∣ver so much what they are, or what they have done, or what they will doe; I say feare them not, for this is part of the curse of God that is upon them that though God fighteth against them, they will not see it, they shall not see it, because God intendeth to destroy them; though judgments are out a∣gainst them,* yet they will not repent. You shall finde it divers times in the book of the Revelation, that those that followed Antichrist, though they were tormented, all the judgments of God were against them, yet they re∣pented not. This I say is the curse of God upon such, God will not give them repentance unto life, for they are the children of whoredoms, whom God intendeth to have no mercy upon: therefore the higher their rage ri∣seth, the higher your hearts should rise against them.

But we must go on to the 5. verse.

For their mother hath played the harlot.

Their mother, that is, the State and the Church, for they were both in∣volved in one, hath played the harlot. This [For] hath reference two ways; either it may have reference to those words, I will not have mercy upon them, for not only they are, but their mother is defiled with whoredomes, she hath played the harlot: or secondly, it hath reference onely to the latter part, they are the children of whoredomes, for their mother hath played the harlot: either it referreth to the reason why God will not have mercy upon them, because their mother hath played the harlot: or secondly to the rea∣son why they are the children of whoredomes, for their mother hath play∣ed the harlot. And from both these references we have very usefull obser∣vations for us.

The first,* God cannot endure a succession in wickednesse, I will not have mercy upon them, their mother hath played the harlot, they are children of whoredoms themselves, and their mother hath plaid the harlot, there is a succession of wickednesse among them, and that I cannot beare. The ground is, because those that keep up a succession of wickednesse from the mother to the children, and so goe on downeward, they are guilty of all the wickednesses that went before them in that line; Else how can that be understood where Christ saith he will require all the blood from Abel to Zacharias upon that generation;* but because they continuing in that way of sin, kept up the succession of that sin, and so that generation was guilty of all the sins of that kind that went before even unto Abel. So the father is a whore-master, and the child he proveth to be one too, and so goeth on, the child is not only guilty of that sinne of his owne, but of his fa∣thers, and of his grandfathers, and hee is guilty of all that kind of sinne that is gone before, even up to the beginning of the world; why? because hee Page  204 keepeth up the succession of that sinne in the world. This is a most terrible thing to consider of, enough to wound the strongest heart in the world, es∣pecially of those that know they have had wicked Parents.

Again, For their mother hath plaid the harlot, consider this word For, as having reference to the reason why they are children of whoredomes, for their mother hath plaid the harlot. The observation is,

Children usually goe according to their parents, which way their parents goe, commonly the children goe. It is a usuall thing where there are prophane parents to have prophane children, if the parents sweare to have swearing children, if the parents be superstitious to have superstitious chil∣dren; if parents be scorners of Religion, to have children scorners too: we find it true in experience, in that new nick-name that is brought up on the godly in roome of the former, it is as frequent in the mouths of children as in others, because children go according to what their fathers formerly did: I will give you one notable Text of Scripture for this, it is 2 King. 2. 23. When Elisha the Prophet was going up to Bethel, there came forth little children out of the City and said unto him, Goe up thou bald-head, goe up thou bald-head. The thing that I note it for is this, that not only the children did it, and so were destroyed, (for two she-beares came out of the wildernesse and tare 42. of them) but what children were they that did this? If you observe the Text, you shall finde that they were the children of Bethel; and what place was that? That was one of the places where the calves were set up, and it was a place of much super∣stition, and the children were as superstitious as their parents: A place that had the name, the house of God, but a place exceedingly abused, and no place did more degenerate from the name then it, it was a Bethaven, a house of vanity and wickednesse. It was the place that was most superstitious, and those were the children that scorned at the Prophet: But we need no o∣ther proof but only experience, yet there is one notable Scripture further for it, Jer. 7. 18. The children (saith the Text) gather wood, their fa∣thers kindle the fire, and their mothers kneaded the dough: the children joyned you see: Pelagius thought that there was no sinne came into the world but only by imitation, children imitating their parents. Certainly imitation is of great power and force to prevaile with the hearts of children. You that are wicked parents, had need to looke to it what you doe before your children. He that sinneth before a child, specially a parent, sinneth doubly,* for a child will be ready to imitate it. What, will you not only sin against God, and be enemies unto him, but will you leave a succession, that when you are dead and gone, some must out of your loynes, and from your bowels, blaspheme God after you are rotten in your graves? Suppose you that are parents had a plague sore upon you, would you goe among your children, and breath upon them? this cruelty is much worse, will you goe into your families, and breath infection into your children, and so make them like you, and guilty of your sins, and of the plagues of God together Page  205 with you? oh cruell parents!

On the otherside, as therefore children of whoredomes, because their mother hath plaid the harlot, why then should not children be gracious and godly, who have gracious and godly parents? Why should it not be said, This childe is a godly childe, for his mother was a gracious woman, and his father a godly man? You that have godly parents, let this be your Encomium, You are godly and gracious children, and you had godly and gracious parents, this will be your honour before the Saints. But how vile is it, when it may be said, Here is a wicked wretch, yet he had a godly father, and a godly mother; here is an uncleane and filthy liver, yet hee had gracious parents? It is no wonder to say thus, This man is filthy, for his fa∣ther was filthy, and his mother was a harlot; but to look upon one, and say, Here is a whoremaster, yet his father was a godly gracious man; Here is a harlot, yet her mother was a holy woman; O how vile is that! I remem∣ber a speech of that reverend Master Bolton, who died not long since; It is re∣poted, that upon his death-bed he had his children come to him, & he speaks thus unto them, I doe believe, saith he, there is never a one of you will dare to meet me at the tribunall of Christ in an unregenerate condition. So let me say to you that are evill children of Godly parents, let me in their names speak to you, How dare you, with what face doe you think you shall dare to meet with your godly father and gracious mother before the judgement seat of Jesus Christ? at that day if your godly father stand at the right hand of Christ, how dare you appeare before that face in the guilt of those horri∣ble wickednesses that you now live in? Certainly the thought of this hath power to daunt your hearts.

She hath done shamefully.

The word in the Hebrew (it is in Hyphil, and so it may be translated transitively) signifieth,*She hath made ashamed, as well as done shamefully; and so I find it according to some thus rendered, Shee hath made ashamed her husband, she hath made ashamed her children, shee hath made asha∣med her self, and all these three may be meant. Yea I conceive the intent of the holy Ghost is to expresse them all.

Her husband first, the Church is the Spouse of Jesus Christ, Christ is the husband of the Church, and you know the Scripture saith that the wo∣man is the glory of the man. I remember I gave the meaning of that heretofore; So the Church being the Spouse of Christ, should be the glory of Christ: the woman should be the glory of the man, but yet being wick∣ed and filthy, she makes her husband many times ashamed. The evil of the wife is a shame to the husband, so the evill of the Church is a shame to Iesus Christ. The Church in Scripture is called the glory of Christ, 2 Cor. 8. 23. If our brethren be enquired after, they are the messengers of the Churches, and the glory of Christ. Isa. 4. 5. Vpon all the glory shall be a defence.

Page  206 It should be so, but when it commeth to be defiled, it shameth Christ, their wickednesse reflects upon Christ. Christ is said to walke in the mid∣dest of the golden Candlesticks, Rev. 2. 1. Every Church is a Candle-stick, and it should be a golden Candle-sticke, but if it come to be a filthy rustie Candle-stick,* it is a dishonour unto Christ who walketh amongst them.

Wicked men doe not shame Christ, but godly doe. My brethren let us take heed of that, It is an evill thing to bring shame to our selves, and one to another, but to bring shame upon JESUS CHRIST is the greatest e∣vil. Many of you perhaps are ashamed of Christ, take heed you be not a shame to Christ. They are ashamed of Christ that are ashamed to appeare in the cause of Christ; but as for you that are so, Christ hath more cause to be ashamed of you, for you are a shame to him.

It is true, I cannot deny it but many Churches of God, and that of late have brought some shame to Jesus Christ by their dissentions and fracti∣ons, and they must take shame to themselves, and they have taken shame to themselves, they have acknowledged it to the glory of Christ, and in that regard in some measure have washed off that shame that they have brought to Christ.

Againe further, a shame they are to their children. Wicked Parents are a shame to their children; when a child appeareth forward, towardly, and hopefull, and it be said, Would you not wonder to see him so forward? the father of him is a beastly drnkard, a filthy whore-monger, of a vile and malignant spirit;* now the child is ashamed to heare of the evil of his father, and of the evil of his mother. As foolish children are a shame to their Pa∣rents, so wicked Parents are a shame to their children. You that have gra∣cious children take heed you be not a shame to them, and so a shame to your selves.

And then a shame to her selfe, she hath plaid the harlot, she hath done shamefully. Wherein had she done shamefully? I will onely mention one particular. Certainly that shame of hers was especially in subjecting Re∣ligion to carnall policie. For what did she doe? what was the great sinne of the ten Tribes? It was this, because they were afraid that if they did go up to Jerusalem to worship, the people would then depart from the house of Jero∣boam, to the house of David, therefore out of politicall regards they would have the worship set up at Dan and Bethel, there they would have Calves, they must not goe up to Jerusalem the place which God had appointed to worship in, but at Dan and Bethel. This was a meere politique fetch, for they could not but acknowledg that God did require that they should wor∣ship at Jerusalem where the Temple was, and there was no other reason why they would worship at Dan and Bethel, but meerely out of State poli∣cie that they might prevent the people from going backe to the house of Da∣vid, and indeed they did professe so much themselves. Here then they did shamfully.

The Observation then from hence is, that for governours or any to sub∣ject Page  207 Religion to policie is a shamefull thing. It is shamefull to make Reli∣gion an underling, and to make policie the head. Perhaps they call this wisedome, a prudentiall way, wee must be carefull and wise to foresee in∣conveniences that may follow. But what if God give it another name? God may give it a name of base temporizing, a name of folly and wicked∣nesse: to subject Religion to policie it is shamefull, because it abaseth that which is the great honour of any Country, it makes it an underling: what is the excellency of man but Religion? what is the excellency of a Country but Religion? and what hath England been glorious for more then for Re∣ligion? Now to put the excellency of a thing under any inferiour, this is shamefull, to put the Crown that is for the head under ones foot is a dishon∣our to it: although a thing hath in it self but little excellencie, if it be brought beneath it selfe under other things that have not so great an excellency in them, it makes it vile.

And shamefull also it is because it holdeth forth this, that we dare not trust [ 1] God for our civill estate and for our peace, therefore Religion must come under.

Shamefull it is again because it is grosse folly, for there is no such way to [ 2] breede disturbance in a politicke state, no such way to undoe a State, as to make Religion an underling to policie. Was it not so here? That very way that they tooke to uphold their policie was the way to destroy their State, & did destroy it at last, even their corrupting of Gods worship.

What cause had they then to be ashamed of this, that God should take that which they thought to helpe themselves by, and make that the very thing that should cause their ruine? And certainly it will be so, they that are of the deepest and politikest ferches and reaches, if they thinke to secure themselves and preserve their peace, out of that principle, so as Religion must come un∣der, and must be serviceable, it will appeare at last they doe shamefully, God will make them ashamed of it one way or other, it will be the onely way to undoe themselves and us. I confesse in matters of Religion there are some commands that are affirmitive precepts: These though they doe liga∣re semper, yet not ad semper, there is not a necessity that at every time and instant they should be urged, so that it may be that a people may be in such a frame that men cannot but by degrees bring in a reformation to the height of it, and then it is not carnall policie to bring in such wayes of God gradu∣ally, as are commanded by affirmitive precepts; but negative precepts binde semper and adsemper, and the State must looke to that, that they do nothing against Christ out of policie that they doe not hinder by any positive Law the way of Christ, for though Christ may be willing to forbeare some Or∣dinances for a time, and he doth it out of mercy to a people, he saith he will have mercy and not sacrifice, but Christ will never beare that there should be any thing done against him in that time. If they should out of any State policie to preserve peace, or to gratifie an evill party, sacrifice any part of Religion, or any godly person, this will prove a shamefull thing, Christ ac∣counts Page  208 it so, and whosoever doth so will be ashamed of it at the last.

Now my brethren, why should not God be trusted? let us looke at Re∣ligion in the first place, and so pray wee that those who are our reformers who have power in their hands may never prove to be guilty of this shame∣full way of putting Religion under policie. I will give you a notable exam∣ple in Scripture about it. It is Josh. 5. When Joshua had brought the peo∣ple of Israel over Jordan (that you know was the very beginning of their entrance into Canaan) now as soone as they were brought unto the borders of the Land, they were to encounter with all their enemies, and you may i∣magine that when Joshua had passed the river the, people might thinke that all the Country would be about their eares, one would thinke then that po∣licy would have taught them to lay aside all thoughts of Religion, and to look to their enemies that were at hand, if ever they were outragious they would be then, and therefore now let us minde nothing but arming our selves a∣gainst them: But mark now God goeth another way to worke, as soone as they were gone over Jordan, and were upon the borders of the Land of Canaan, they must goe and circumcise themselves, and you know when they were circumcised they were sore that they could not fight. Simeon and Levi destroyed a whole City when they were circumcised, they were not then in a posture of fighting or defending themselves, but lay at the mercie of their enemies. But this was Gods wisedome. Nay further, they must go and keepe the passeover too, they must mind and tend Religion: And mark you shall finde in the latter end of the Chapter, that after they had been cir∣cumcised & kept the Passeover, then appeareth one to Ioshua with a drawn sword, and saith he, I am the Captain of the Lords Hosts. Then the Cap∣tain of the Lords Host appeareth to fight for them when they had once obey¦ed; whereas had they neglected Circumcision and the Passeover, & thought of fighting onely, they, might have missed of the Captaine of the Lords Hosts to have fought for them, and what would have become of them then? So you see God would have us minde Religion in the most dangerous times, and though we thinke we must mind our peace and safety, and lay our hands upon our swords or our defence, yet let us be carefull of our Religion, and then we shall have a Captain of the Lords host come and fight for us.

Marke 8. 15. we are charged to take heed of two sorts of leaven, The leaven of the Scribes and Pharises, and the leaven of Herod. The leaven of the Scribes and Pharises is corruption in Church affairs, the leaven of Herod is corruption in Religion too, but in order of the Common-wealth, in bring∣ing under things of God to the affairs of the State, for in this Herod was like Jeroboam, he was affraid of his kingdome as Ieroboam was, hee had many wayes and plots to keepe himselfe in that kingdom as Ieroboam had, and many did cleave to Herod in his plots, as Israel clave to Ieroboam in his, therefore saith Christ, take heed not onely of the leaven of the Scribes and Pharises but of the leaven of Herod. And it may be the Lord saw us to prone of sinfull compliances, even ready to have sacrificed much of his Page  209 worship and many of his Saints for the obtaining peace in the State,* and so to have fallen off from that reformation that both God and his people ex∣pected, hence hee hath taken the worke into his owne hands, hee will bring about his owne worke, though it may cost us deare, who knowes how much blood?