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 Second Lecture.

HOSEA 3. 4. 5.

For the children of Israel shal abide many dayes without a King, and with∣out a Prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and with∣out an Ephod, and without a Teraphim.

Afterward shall the children of Israel returne, and seek the Lord their God.

HEre is much privation, six withouts, 1. without a King, 2. without a Prince, 3. without a sacrifice, 4. without an i∣mage, 5. without an Ephod. 6. without a Teraphim, but the last verse makes all up, They shall return and seeke the Lord their God, and David their King. These withouts shew the wofull confused estate that Israel was to be in for many dayes, many years, both in regard of their Civill, and of their Church state.

Page  [unnumbered] The Civill State, without a King, without a Prince. Their Church, in the four that follow after. Though once they were the happiest people upon the face of the earth both in regard of their Civil and Church estate, yet now they shall be most miserable. This they had brought upon themselves, they had set up their Idols in Dan and Bethel, Dan is the place of judgement, Be∣thel the house of God, so the words signifie; there was abundance of corrup∣tion both in places of judgement, and in the house of God, and now there comes upon them abundance of confusion both in their Civill and in their Church state. They received their order for both from God himself, from heaven, and their Laws as well for Cvill as for Church Government, which no other people yet ever did in the state manner; but they leave Gods insti∣tuions, and so they are brought into all confusion.

They shall be without a King.

How without a King? When they were in captivity, yet they were un∣der a King, the King of Babylon and the Assyrian, and now they are scatter∣ed under the Government of Kings and Princes still where ever they are.

They have Kings over them,* but they have none of their own Nation to be their King, and that is the judgement; Neither are they governed by their own (or rather) by Gods Laws, and for them to be in slavery under Kings, was to them as ill (yea worse) then to have no King at all.

It is a sad condition for a people to be so without a King, to protect them, without a King to maintaine their Laws, their Priviledges and Liberties.

When men reject God from ruling over them, it is just with God to put them under the rule of Tyrants, of Oppressors, of publike enemies unto their state, of destroyers. The blessing of government is very great, if it be right, and therefore the Persians were wont after their Governor dyed to let all the people for five dayes be without any governour at all, that seeing the incon∣venience and mischiefe of being without it, they might the more willingly yeeld themselves under Government, and be obedient to it when they came under it. It is a question among Polititions, whether Tyrannie or Anarchy be the better, Tyrannicall Government, or no Government at all. Though Tyrannie (except it come to a great extremity) may be better then Anar∣chie, yet certainly it is not better then to bring power to be regulated, though it be with some trouble, That power that at first raiseth power, that designes such persons and families to have the power, that limiteth that power, surely cannot want power to regulate that power that it should not be to its owne destruction.

But here it is not onely to be without a King,* but without a Prince too. The word that is here translated Prince, signifieth a Ruler, Judge, or Go∣vernour, and so I finde it often used in Scripture. 1 Chron. 27. 31. All these were rulers of the substance, Princes, the same word that is here used; and Nehem. 3. 9. The ruler of the halfe part of Jerusalem, the Prince. So that by Prince here is meant Judges or any kind of Rulers, they shall be without Prince, without any Judges or Rulers.

Page  [unnumbered] Though they had no Kings,* yet if the government had been in the hand of eminent men, of Judges over them, their condition had not beene so sad. Time was (not long before) that their happinesse did not consist in being un∣der the government of Kings, they were in a happy condition before ever these were over them, and the first time that ever they came under their go∣vernment, it was upon their own choice: and so as God professeth they had rejected him, and God sent them their first King in his wrath. Therefore their misery certainly did not depend wholly upon being without a King.

If God restraine not Kings, they often desire to encroach upon the Liber∣ties that the Laws of the Land, the light of Nature, and God himselfe gives Subjects. Plutarch tells us a story of Pyrrhus, who comming to Athens, the Athenians to shew their respect, and to give honour to King Pyrrhus, let him come into their Castle, to sacrifice there, to Minerva, which was a place they were not wont to let strangers into. VVhen he came out of the Castle, he told them that he was much engaged to them for that great fa∣vour; in requitall of which,* hee told them he would give them this good counsell, Take heed, saith he, that you never let King come more into this place; Immitating how easily they may be perswaded to internch upon the liberties of those who come under their power.

And this should abide for many dayes. It did abide for 700. yeares and upward before Christs time in regard of the ten Tribes, for from the sixt of Hezekiab to Christ it was so long, the tenne Tribes never came under any Governour of their owne in all that time: And since Christs time neither Judah nor Israel have had either King or Prince of their own. Oh what a blindness is there upon this people! how dreadfull is that darkness they are now in! That notwithstanding the Prophesie was so cleare, that the scepter should not depart from Judah untill Shiloh came; and yet now they have been without Prince these 1600. yeares, and yet they will not believe that Shiloh is come. Thus when God giveth over to blindness and hardnesse, things that are never so cleare will not be believed.

But their confusion in their Church state is more grievous then the other, They shall be without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an Ephod, and without a Teraphim. Two of these foure, expresse their being deprived of Gods own Ordinances, and the other two their being deprived of their false worship. They made a mixture in worship, they would have their sacrifice & their Ephod, but together with them their image and their Teraphim.* This is mans perversness to make mixtures in Gods worship, they will keep something of that which is Gods, but they will bring in some∣thing of their own too, and that spoiles all. I have read of an Emperour of Rome, that in one Temple he would have Christ and Orpheus worshipped both together. And those who were sent into Samaria by the King of Ba∣bylon, of vvhom we reade, 2 Kings 17. 33. They feared the Lord, and ser∣ved their own gods: but verse 34. it is said, they feared not God, that is, though they would acknowledge the true God, yet they would mix the wor∣ship Page  [unnumbered] of Idols with the true God, and so God rejected all, they did not feare 〈◊〉 God at all; It is no feare of God except we feare him onely; it is no worship of God that is accepted, unless we worship him onely. It is true, the Hea∣thens are content with mixture in their worship; you may worship one God, and have the worship of another God mixed with it, because there is not any one of them who challengeth to himselfe to be the universall good, but God being the universall good, he must be worshipped alone without mixture.

There are two things wherein we must take heed of mingling;* The one is in Divine worship, the other is in that great point of Justification. It is as much as our lives are worth to mingle in either of these, we must keep to the Rule very close and strict in these two, rather then in any thing.

These people had both, and God threatens they should be without both; seeing they would not keep themselves fully to his institutions, they should have none at all, they should have neither Gods institutions nor their own.

VVe are this day much like to Israel. In regard of our Civill state, much confusion there is in that, though not altogether so much as was in theirs. And in our Church state wee are very like them; we have neither the right way of worship, nor the false, in regard of the Government of the Church; The false is cast away and profest against, yet we have not the true; Onely here is the mercy of God that we are inquiring after the true, & seeking the Lord, and David our King. The Lord give us hearts to inquire to purpose.

Those who understand the Septuagint, shal finde that they translate these foure here,*Sacrifice, Image, Ephod, and Teraphim, by words that onely signifie the true worship, and therefore for Image they put 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 an Al∣tar, and for the Teraphim〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 Priesthood, and for the Ephod,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉manifestation; a word used for the Vrim and Thummim. But the Hebrew is other wayes, Scrafice, Image, Ephod, and Teraphim, as in your bookes.

First then to enquire after that which was right, the true worship, Sacri∣fice and Ephod, what that was, and then the other, Image and Teraphim.

Sacrifice. They should have no sacrifice at all, for since their Temple was destroyed they could never have any. That is the reason that they pray with that mighty fervency of spirit that God would build the Temple again, (as I remember I formerly shewed you out of Buxtorfius.) Aedifica, aedifi∣ca, aedifica; cito, cito, cito, Lord build, build, build thy Temple, in our dayes, &c. Because they knew they could have no sacrifice so long as their Temple was downe; And this was a sad condition they were in; this is their lamentable estate to this day, they have not the legall sacrifices, nor that which was typed out by them. There were these three things in their sacrifices.

1. Their tendring up of themselves to God, the shewing their respect to him in that way he required, that was in their Burnt-Offering.

2. Seeking the expiation of sinne, that was in their Sinne-Offer∣ing.

Page  [unnumbered] 3. Seeking for mercy and thanksgiving, that was in their Peace-offering.

Now to have no sacrifice in either of these three kinds, that is, to have no∣thing to tender up to the high and blessed God to shew our respect to him; to have no means to expiate our sins when we have offended him; to have no way to seeke to God for mercy when we need, nor to returne praise, this must needs be a sad thing. This the Jews have not for the present, we have Christ who is to us all these, the tendring up of him. to God, is the tendring the greatest respect to God that possibly can be, the tendring of him is the expiation for our sins, it is the seeking of whatsoever mercy we would have, and it is our Eucharisticall sacrifice too for all our mercies.* But those who are without Christ, are to this day without sacrifice, they have nothing to tender up to God. If thou wilt tender up thy estate, thy body, or thy liberty, or thy name, this is no sacrifice acceptable unto God, except thou hast Christ to tender up to him, and canst tender up all in him and through him, then indeed God accepts of these. When thou hast sinned what sacrifice wilt thou offer to God to explate thy sin? all thy prayers, thy teares are nothing, ex∣cept they come with this sacrifice, Jesus Christ; in him indeed a contrite heart is a sacrifice very acceptable to God. But so long as thou art without Christ, the judgement of the Iews is upon thee, thou art without a sacrifice.

And without an Ephod.]

By this he meaneth, first, that they should be without the Priesthood. They should not have any Church Officers, And secondly, they should have no meanes to know the mind of God. That is the scope, which appeares thus.

First, That by the Ephod is meant the Priests, is cleare by that expression 1 Sam. 22. 18. where it is said that Doeg slew four-score & five persons that did we are a limen Ephod, that is, four-score and five Priests.

Secondly, Without the meanes of knowing Gods minde, for the Vrim and the Thummim, was upon the pectorall, upon the breast-plate thas was fastned upon the Ephod; So that when they were without the Ephod, they must needs be without their breast-plate, for the breast-plate was annexed to the Ephod, and could not be used for the knowing the minde of God but onely by applying it to the Ephod, 1 Sam. 30. 7. David said to the Priest, Bring me hither the Ephod, and David inquired at the Lord, saying, shall I pursue after this troope? It was by the presence of the Ephod, that he did enquire vvhat the minde of God was what he should do in this businesse that he was now about, whether he should follow the troope, yea or no. And the Text is very observable in the sixt verse, you may see at what time it was that David was so carefull to make use of the Ephod, to know the minde of God what he should doe, he was in an exceeding distressed condition, for Ziglag his owne City that he had the charge of was burnt, and the men of the City were all in a fretting mood, and talked of stoning him, because the Amalekites had come in his absence & taken away their goods, their wives and children, and burnt the Towne.

Page  [unnumbered] This is the condition of men in publique places, if any thing fall out unsucces∣fully, the people are ready in rage to fall upon them; this makes men in pub∣licke places to be in a hard condition, very dangerous and troublesome. We had need pray much for them, we are ready to envy those that are above us, & employed in publique services; but considering what danger they are in, & how every thing that falleth out amisse, otherwise then we desire, the blame is presently laid upon them, their condition is not so happy as we imagine. This was Davids condition, nay the Text saith, that being in this condition, he and the men that were with him wept, so as they had no more power to weep their hearts were so broken, yet in this sad and grievous condition, he encourageth himself in the Lord his God,* and he calleth for the Ephod to en∣quire, and know the mind of God what he should do in it. You shall ob∣serve that this is the first time we read that David in his VVars and Battells called for the Ephod, when he went to Achish, then he did not enquire, when he invaded the Geshurites, and Amalekites before, he did not enquire, but now when he was brought into straits, when his heart was broken, when he was in a weeping condition, now he calleth for the Ephod: VVhen God brings men into straits, and humbles them, then they will enquire of God to purpose. VVe are now about to enquire of God, to know his mind but we are not humbled enough, our straits have not broken our hearts, and perhaps we shall not so readily know Gods mind, God may yet humble us more, and then when we come to enquire Gods mind, it may be to further pur∣pose.

But to open this garment a little.* The word Ephod is that Hebrew word, which signifies to close in, and to compasse about, to gird about, because of the fitting garment to the Priests, and the girding of it about them. There were divers sorts of these Ephods, one peculiar to the high Priest, that you have Exod. 28. 6. Others that the ordinary Priests had, that you have in the former places I named about the fourscore and five Priests slain by Doeg;* A third was common for the ordinary Levites, thus Samuel, 1 Sam. 2. 18. ministred before the Lord girded with a linnen Ephod. And there was a fourth that other people did we are in their holy actions, especially before Kings, David danced before the Lord, girded with a linnen Ephod, 2 Sam. 6. 14. And to this day the Jewes have a kind of linnen garment, but not of the fashion of our Ephod, but some little kind of resemblance to it, they wear it upon their heads, and so downward. VVhen Alexander came to Jerusalem, I addus the high Priest came with all his Priestly garments to meet him, which caused him to fall down, prostrating himselfe before him, out of reverence to him; Iosephus tels us in that story, that the people came with white garments, garments that had some kind of resemblance to this E∣phod: Iosephus saith that this Ephod was a garment but of a cubite long, on∣ly covering the shoulders and the breast, open above and on either side, and girt about the breasts; others make it a longrobe, reaching down to the very feet, But there was a robe beside the Ephod, the Ephod was over another robePage  [unnumbered] so Christ appeared unto John, Rev. 1. 13. Cloathed with a garment downe to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle, like the Priests, for so they were wont to be arrayed; And Revel. 15. 6. the Ministers of the Churches called by the name of Angels, are described, cloathed in white lin∣nen, having their breasts girded with golden girdles; not girt about their loynes, but about their breasts, near their hearts. That which makes Mini∣sters of the Gospel ready prepared for the work, is the girdle of truth, and this must be about their hearts; if their owne plottings and self-ends shall gird them, that is, put them on to a readiness to do what may serve for those ends; this girdle is not the golden girdle, but like that rotten girdle of Jeremiahs, Chap. 31. 7. that was profitable for nothing.

This garment of the Ephod was a holy garment then, and others must take heed of medling with such garments, or of seeking to imitate to make the like garments. We read of Gideon, Judges 8. when God had given him a great victory over the Midianites, he would imitate this Ephod, of the spoil he had gotten of the Midianites, he made a rich and glorious Ephod, but the Text observeth that thing proved to be the destruction of Gideons house, for the people went a whoring after it; he made it with a good intention to testi∣fie his thankfulnesse to God for his victory, not thinking that ever it should be worshipped. It is a dangerous thing for governours to imitate Gods or∣dinances in garments or the like, and to preserve them amongst people, though it be with never so good an intention, their good intention will not excuse them; Gideons presumption in making an Ephod, in imitation of the Ephod appointed by God proved to be the destruction of his house, yet this was Gideon who a little before had destroyed the altar of Baal, though he was so much against Idolatry before, yet now he doth that which furthereth Ido∣latry: so many Governours, if they take not heed, they may pull down one kind of false worship, and set up another.

The Iewes have many mysteries about this garment, it would weary you to hear them. I shall only observe that which is most usefull for you, wee must not read the books of the old Testament, as if they concerned us not. First, upon the shoulders of the Ephod there were set ranks of precious stones, upon them were in graven the names of the twelve Tribes according to their generations:* And in the middle of the Ephod upon the breast-plate, which was to be four-sqare, there were four rowes of precious stones, upon those likewise were ingraven all the names of the Tribes of Israel, & he bore them upon his heart. There is much to be observed in this.

First, Let the Tribes be what they will be in themselves, though never so mean, yet upon the Ephod they were precious stones. The Priest wearing the Ephod was a type of Christ; let those who are godly, be never so meane in themselves, yet in Christ God looks upon them as precious stones.

Secondly,* These precious stones that were upon the shoulders of the Ephod are called a memoriall, Exod. 28. 12. that was to signifie Christ, bearing the names of all the Saints before his Father for a memorial, those 12, tribesPage  [unnumbered] presenting all the Churches that should be unto the end of the world. When God remembers his Church, it is thorow Christ; God never remembers his Church, but it is by Christ carrying it before him, that is the comfort of the Saints; therefore he can never remember them to revenge himself upon them, for he never thinketh of them but only as Christ presenteth them unto him.

And further, A memoriall (say the Jewes) not onely because the Priests were to beare the names of the twelve Tribes ingraven in those stones for a memoriall before the Lord, but to signifie that the Priests themselves were to remember to pray for the Tribes.

And thirdly, A memoriall to signifie that both the Priests and all the peo∣ple were to remember their godly Ancestors and Predecessors, and to fol∣low their vertues, and not to be any dishonour unto them.

But the first is the chiefe, these precious stones with the names of the tribes were first upon the shoulder, and then upon the heart: upon the shoulder, this notes that Christ carryes his Church upon his shoulder, hee beares the burthen of his Church, all their weight, all their afflictions upon his shoul∣der, the shoulder of Christ standeth under the Churcher, certainly therefore they shall never sinke.

But may they not be so burthensome to Christ as that he may shake off his burthen? No, therefore he hath them upon his breast-plate too as well as upon his shoulder, there was upon the breast-plate in the middest of the E∣phod the names of the twelve Tribes, Christ carryes the memoriall of his Churches at his heart as well as upon his shoulders, & that makes Christ put his shoulders to the good of the Churches because they are so neare his heart. An infinite comfort it is in the spirituall meaning of this Ephod that belongs to all the godly, Christ night and day hath thee upon his shoulder, and upon his heart as a precious stone before God the Father. This one thing further is observable about it, you shall finde if you reade that place in Exodus, that the names of the twelve Tribes were to be ingraven upon these stones in or∣der according to their birth, now in Revel. 21. the twelve Apostles who in regard of their Doctrine are made the twelve precious stones of the founda∣tion of the new Jerusalem, you shal reade that they are all the very same pre∣cious stones by name excepting four, and those foure I finde that Interpre∣ters think to be the same that the other were, only with different names, for precious stones either in regard of the places where they are found, or in re∣gard of their quality or colour carry divers names, so that it is very probable that those precious stones in Rev. were the same with these in Exo. but there we do not finde that they are set according unto any dignity of one Apostle before another, as they were in the setting of the names of the Tribes, for the first precious stone that was to be set of the foundation of the new Ierusalem, of the glorious Church that should be, it is the stone of Benjamin who was the youngest; And if there might be any mystery in it, we may think it signifies thus much, at least we may make use of it by way of allusion, that the Lord wil Page  [unnumbered] use of the young ones of this generation, who shal make way for the new Je∣rusalem before any of the other tribes; God will cull out them to the first stone of the foundation of that glorious Church. In that we find there was not such order set of the Apostles as was of the Tribes, we are taught that Christ would not have us look upon the Apostles as one above another; therefore you shall find the Apostles are never named in one and the same order; in one Evangelist they are set down in one order, and in another, in another, as Mat. 10. Mar. 3. Luc. 9. so Act. 1. In all these they are named in a different order, noting thereby that there is no superiority nor inferiority in the Ministers of the Gospel.

Upon the Ephod there was likewise the Vrim and Thummim. It is very hard to tell you what this Vrim and Thummim was, it costs a great deal of time to find out what men think it was, and if I should tell you the variety of the guesses of men about this, it would be tiresome unto you and me. Aust∣in in his 117. question upon Exod. In venire quid sint deficile, what this V∣rim and Thummim was, it is hard to find, and Cajetan saith, none ever yet explained what it was, and they tell us that even the Rabbins themselves say, the Jewes were very ignorant of this.* But most probable one of these two, especially the latter. Some think that they were some stones set in the breast∣plate, which by their brightness or darknesse did give an answer to what they demanded of God, that is thus; when the high Priest went to demand of God what was to be done in any great and publique affairs, hee presented this breast-plate with these stones before the Lord, and if God would give an affirmative answer, the stones gave a more then ordinary brightness and lustre; but if he would give a negative answer, then the stones were darker then they were before; but we are not certain of this, we may rather conclude upon the other, viz. that the Vrim and Thummim, (though we know not what matter they were made of, no more then we know what Manna was made of) it was somwhat that God gave Moses to put into the breast-plate, which by him was appointed as an ordinance which was to be presented be∣fore the Lord by the Priest when they would know the mind of God, & when this was presented before the Lord, God did then usually give an answer to the Priest, either by an audible voyce, or by secret inspiration, yet not always tying himself to give it thus; for we find in Scripture, somtimes God did not give an answer when he was sought by Vrim and Thummim, as when Saul enquired of God by Vrim & Thumim there was no answer from God; and it is like Josiah would not have sent onely to Huldah the prophetesse if hee could have had answer by Vrim and Thumim; but when God pleased he would give an answer this way.

The word Vrim & Thummim signifies light and perfection, some would make it to signifie the knowledg and integrity of life that is to be in Ministers, but I rather think the meaning is, that they were bright precious stones which were of a great perfection, and fit to doe that which God did appoint them for. The Septuagint calls this 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, the Oracle. Hence 1 Pet. 4. 11 Let 〈◊〉 speak 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, as the Oracles of God.

Page  [unnumbered] Now this must be upon the breast-plate of the Priest, which the Priest making use of, thereby the people came to know the minde of God. This was to signifie that we must look for the mind of God by Christ.* It is Christ who is come from the Father to reveale his counsels to us; if we look to have the mind of God any other way but through him, we are mistaken. And further, this Vrim and Thummim, this breast-plate of judgment, was to be upon the heart of the high Priest, and that when he went in before the Lord, as Exod. 28, 30. There are two notable morall observations to be observed from thence.

First,* The answer that any Minister of God in the name of Christ should give his people, should be such an answer as should lie at his very heart, hee must speak nothing but his very heart unto them; when he would answer any case of conscience, or make known any thing of the mind of God, his an∣swer must lie at his heart.

Secondly,* It must be as in the presence of the Lord, it must be as before God, he must consider in whose place he standeth to answer as from God, from the great Prophet of the Church.

It is a great judgment threatned to be without Vrim and Thummim, see∣ing it was of so great use to them. And this should be for many dayes. Jo∣sephus saith, that they were without this two hundred years before he wrote his Antiquities, that was an hundred and five years before Christ; but it ap∣pears that they had no Vrim and Thummim long before that time, for at their return from captivity, Ezra 2. 63. the Tirshatha, that is, the Ruler, said unto them, that they should not eate of the most holy things till there stood up a Priest with Vrim and Thummim, therefore they had not then a Priest with Urim and Thummim, they expected to have one, but whether e∣ver they had one after it is not know. This was the reason of that complaint of Asaph, Psa. 74. 9. We see not our signes, there is no more any Prophet, nei∣ther is there any among us that knoweth how long; that is a grievous com∣plaint. Now it is like that Psalme was made about the very time of their re∣turn from captivity; for Ezra 2. 41. Asaph is named among those that came to Jerusalem from the captivity, The singers, the children of Asaph, an hundred twenty and eight. But let it be then or after, by this Psalme wee may finde that it was a very lamentable complaint to be without Urim and Thummim.

The result of all is,* that it is a grievous thing to the Saints, that in the time of their strait they dono know Gods mind. At any time when God brings his people into straits, yet if they can know the mind of their God, they are refreshed and encouraged; but when they shall seeke to know Gods minde, and the Lord resuseth to discover it to them, this is a sad condition indeed.

I find one note more of Jeroms about their being without an Ephod. We may observe, saith he, the hardness of the hearts of the Jews, that they should be so many hundred years without sacrifice and without Ephod, without the true worship of God among them, and ways to know Gods mind, and 〈1 page duplicate〉Page  [unnumbered]〈1 page duplicate〉Page  [unnumbered]〈1 page duplicate〉Page  [unnumbered]〈1 page duplicate〉Page  [unnumbered]Page  [unnumbered] yet they are not guilty of any greater sin then the sin of Idolatry, except it be of the killing of JESUS CHRIST, that they should not reason thus,* what sin is it that thus provokes God against us more then ever he was provoked? Surely there is some greater sinne then ever yet we have committed; but saith he, they can never finde any other offence, beside the killing of Christ, to be a greater offence then Idolatry, and yet they have a greater judgement upon them then ever they had, though they are not guil∣ty of that sinne as they were formerly; surely were they not extreamly hard∣ned, they would be convinced that all this is because of our rejecting & cru∣cifying Christ the Son of God.

As they had the Ordinances of God, so they had wayes of false worship of their owne, Images and Teraphim. I must shew you what those were, and then how it is a threatning that they should be without those.

Image,* That seemeth to refer to the two calves they had set up in Dan & Bethel, which they so much gloryed and rejoyced in, they should be taken away.

Teraephim, that likewise should be taken away. Now if you aske what this Teraphim was? in the general, Taraph is a divining image;* as the Ephod was Gods Ordinance to know the minde of God by, so the Teraphim was a way of the Devil, an idolatrous way to know things that were to come. It was an Image made after this fashion, so I finde those that write of it tell us, The Teraphim was the image of the head of a man wrung off his body, salted and bespiced with precious spices,* and then upon this head there was a plate of gold with the name of that spirit they would divine by, (or, as some) the name of the uncleane spirit was to be put un der the tongue of this head, and this being set upon a wall, there were burning candles and incense offered to it, and that under the constellation of some star, and so enquiring to know something that was to come, by it the devill was used to answer, and to tell them of such things as were to come; it was an oracle of the devil that told them what successe they should have in this or the other businesse; sometimes it hit right. See the superstition of the Jewes; they desired much to know the minde of God, now because they were afraid they should not know all by the Ephod, which was the ordinance of God, they would joyne with the Ephod, the Teraphim. From hence there is this profitable note. It is a very great and fearfull evil for men in search∣ing to know any thing of Gods mind, not to keep themselves to Gods ways of knowledg, to Gods own Ordinances.

Page  517 It concerneth us much now at this day. We are about enquiring the mind of God, that wee may know it about matters concerning the Common∣wealth, but more especially about Religion, I suppose there is none of us but will acknowledge that way that God hath appointed for the revealing of his will in the Scripture; that we must look into the Scripture, and seek to know Gods minde there; that is good, but let us not joyne Teraphim with it; then do we joyne Teraphim, when we rest not upon Scripture alone, but search after rules of mans devising, and what will stand with our own carnal ends. The Lord may justly meet with us in wrath, if we presume to joyne our Te∣raphim with his Ephod. Pray that at this day where there is so much search∣ing after Gods mind, that those who are employed in it, may keepe them∣selves to the Ephod, to the Scriptures, to that which is Gods Ordinance for the revealing his minde, that they may not joyne the Teraphim, their own fancies and inventions of men with the Scriptures; so long as we keepe to that rule, we may hope to do well enough; but if the Teraphim be joyned with the Ephod, if any thing be joyned with the Scriptures, though it may seeme to be never so rationall, we have cause to feare God will leave us.

We finde this word Teraphim used sometime in Scripture for the image of any man: as 1 Sam. 19. 13. when Michael took an image, and laid it in the bed instead of David, the word in the Hebrew is Teraphim: so when Rachel stole away her fathers images, the word is, she stole away her fathers Teraphim, and some thinke they were her fathers Divining Images, & that she did rather steale those then any others, because she would not have her father Divine which way they were gone. Zachar. 10. 2. it is said the Idols have spoken vanity; the word is the Teraphim. By which we may see they were wont to aske of their Idols about their successes. And sometime wee find in Scripture that Idolatry is called by this name, as 1. Sam. 15. 23. stub∣bornnesse is as Idolatry, the word is, is as Teraphim.

But here comes in the question,* God threatneth to take away the Sacri∣fice and the Ephod, that plainly is a threatning, but how is this a part of the threatning to take away the Image & the Teraphim? You may understand it as a threatning by this similitude; It is as if God would threaten to bring Israel into such a desolate condition as a strumpet is brought into, not only when all her friends leave her which were her kindred, her true friends, but when all her lovers leave her too, even those who were filthy with her, those who pretended the most love to her, in whom she took abundance of com∣fort, and from whom she expected protection; yet now she is brought into such a condition, as she sitteth desolate, for lorne and helplesse: So shall ye be, saith God, your Sacrifice and your Ephod, yea and Teraphim shall leave you.

Or rather thus, Howsoever it is a mercy for God to take away false wor∣ship from a people, Images and Teraphim, yet in this regard it comes in a way of threatning, because it would crosse and vex them to bee de∣prived of these Images and Teraphim, it would bee a Judgement in Page  514 their apprehension: As for instance, what a deal of stir have we with people, when they conceive that any false worship shall be taken away from them, they think they are undone in it; when the inventions of men in Gods wor∣ship are but questioned, what a do is there! men think their gods are taken a∣way; as Judges 18. when the children of Dan came to the house of Micah, and took away his Ephod and his Teraphim, he cryed out after them, Yee have taken away the gods that I have made, and what have I more? what worse thing could you have done more? I had rather you should have taken away all I had, and yet you say unto me, What aileth thee? Is it not so at this day? What is it that now breedeth such disturbance in England at this time, but that people thinke their Teraphim shall bee taken from them? whereas they have heretofore worshipped God in a false way, after the in∣ventions of men, and now God is pleased to discover light, and thereis an enquiring after the government of the Church in the right way, and the true manner of worshipping God, they are even mad upon this, and would ra∣ther lose their lives and their estates, then their Teraphim should be taken a∣way; let that be taken away, and how shall they be able to pray? what, will you take away their Religion?* This is the language of men in many igno∣rant places in this Kingdome, yea, the very language of many even amongst us here, they are verily perswaded that the Parliament are intended to take away all Religion in the Kingdome, and such principles the adversaries go a∣bout to infuse into men, that the Parliament are a company of Brownists, meerly because they goe about to enquire after the true way of worshipping God, and would have the Land purged of all superstitious vanities; Thus people cry out for their Teraphim, Great is Diana of the Ephesians. You may read the like in the history of the life of king Edward the sixth, when he had but banished the Masse, there was an Army rose in Devonshire, and they sent severall Articles unto the King about their grievances, as causes of their rising;

First, they said that their children were denyed to be baptized, as now they cry out that none but a company of Anabaptists doe all this; the Popish Priests did then infuse into the people that were in those remote Countryes, that they were to have no more children baptized, thinking this would exas∣perate the people then against King and Parliament: And then they com∣plained that their Service was taken from them (meaning the Masse) King Edward was fain to write to them, to tell them that they were exceedingly abused, that they should still enjoy what was according to the word of God, that their children should be baptized; and for the Masse, saith he, the Com∣mon-prayer Book is that Masse the same that it was before, only whereas it was in Latin before, now it is turned into English, and so he quieted the peo∣ple of that Countrey. Thus it comes to be a threatning, that God will take a∣way their Image and Teraphim, because the hearts of people are so vexed when their superstitious ways are taken away. Now upon this confusion, when they are without King, Prince, Sacrifice, Ephod, Image and Tera∣phim,Page  [unnumbered] when all is come to this confusion, then comes the time that they shal return and seeke tho Lord their God, and David their King.

When Gods time is come to raise the most glorious Church that ever was in the world,* a little before that there is like to be the greatest confusion that ever was in the world: Lactantius (I have made use of before in speaking of the first Chap. Great shall be the day of Jezreel) tels us, that just before the glorious Church (he speaks of it at large, in lib. 7. c. 15. 24. & 28.) all right shall be confounded, Laws shall perish, men shall possesse all things by force, good men shall be scorned & contemned: and though these times, saith he, wherein we live be naught, so that one would thinke that wickednesse were grown up to the height, yet in comparison of those evill dayes that shall be a little before this glorious time, these days may be called the golden age. God will bring all into a Chaos first, as he did in the first Creation, & then bring a glorious building out of that Chaos. We know the raising of that glorious Church that is so much prophesied of, is called a creation, a creating a new heaven and a new earth; and it is probable enough, that as the heavens and the earth were first made out of a Chaos, so those new heavens and new earth that God is about to make, will be raised out of a Chaos, out of that which seemeth to us to be but confusion. VVhat do people cry out of at this day but of confusion? all things they say are brought into confusion: It is true, confusion is an evill thing, and we are to grieve for it, and to seek to pre∣vent it, yet let us not be too much troubled, for you see when the greatest con∣fusion comes upon the people of the Jewes, then follows the greatest mercy, then they shall return and seeke the Lord their God, never return before that time. Indeed till men be taken off from all, they will not return to God, if they have any thing to go unto, they will never return to God. VVhen Saul had but a witch to go to, he would rather go to her, then seek the face of God in way of repentance. Let not this be our way, because God seems to leave us for the present, and letteth us be in a confusion, and we know not what to do, let not our hearts fiet and vex, let us not go to unlawful means; For mark, it was just a little before Sanl was to be destroyed that he was growne to that height of evill. There was a time that Saul did enquire after Gods mind, and God refused to answer him, but yet hee would not take such an unlawfull course then, but he searched to see whatsin was amongst the people that cau∣sed God to refuse to give him an answer, so you have it in the case of Jona∣than, 1 Sam. 14. 33. when he took the honey, he enquired of God, and God answered not, and Saul said, draw neere and see wherein this sin hath beene this day. But afterward he grew to a greate height of evill, when he was in a strait, and God answered him not, presently he goeth to the witch, but it was when he was near destruction.

The note from thence is,* VVicked men neare destruction (as Saul was) finding things in a confusion, and God not shewing them what is to be done, presently are in a rage against God, then they frer, and seeke after unlawfull means to help them. The Lord forbid that this should b our condition. Let Page  520 not us say, things are now in such a confusion that we know not how to find out the mind of God, we consult with Ministers and they know not what to say, they have cast out such a government, and they know not what to bring in, and therefore it were better we were as before. If this should be our tea∣soning, it is a signe we are like Saul nigh to destruction. Let us be content to wayte, they shall be many dayes without a King, &c. and then they shal re∣turn; this shall be the fruite of being without a King, and Prince▪ & Ephod, and Sacrifice, not vexing and raging, but returning to God and repenting. It things be worse, & we be brought into greater straits then ever we thought of, let us not murmur, but let us repent. Every one is complaining, but who is repenting? If there were as much repenting as there is murmuring, then we should soone know the minde of God.

Then they shall returne.

Here is the use of sanctified affliction, it is to cause returning to God. Jerome expresses the life of an impenitent sinner by a line stretched out,* he goes saith he from the center in a right line, and so goes in infinitum from it, but a penitent sinner is like a line bent, and turning back to the center, though by sin he goes from it, yet by repentance he turnes to it again, they are gone from me a great way saith God, but I will give them a turne, they shal bend back again and return to me. They shall returne.

Repentance is set out by this vvord,* to note the folly of sinne. In sin thou goest out of the way, and the truth is though you thinke you choose a good way for your self, yet you must either come back again or perish. It is just like a man travelling in a rode, and he sees a dirty lane before him, which he is told is the way, he must goe there, but on the other side of the hedg he seeth a green and pleasant vvay, and he gets over into that way, and so perhaps rides on a mile or two, at length he is compast about with ditches and rivers so that he must either return back or else lie there & starve, he returnes back, with shame, and if any one that before told him of the other way see him, he tells him now of his folly, I told you that the other was the way, and that if you went over the hedge you must come back again: So it is with sinners, there are wayes of God that go directly to heaven, but because those wayes are rugged, and they meet with trouble and persecution in them, & they see by-ways that leade to hell that are more plaine & smooth, they get over, they will transgresse, (for that is the word for sinne) they are got over, now they are merry & sriske up and down for a while in this fine way; but friend you must come backe again, and if ever you mean to be saved, you must goe in the way that you have refused.* Further, they shal return and seeke the Lord their God. Here is an encouragement for old sinners. The Jews have been above 1600. years in this wofull condition, for saking God, but in their latter dayes they shall returne and seeke the Lord, and God shall be mercifull to them. Hast thou been forty, fifty, sixty years going from God? there is hope for thy soul, Oh returne, return you old sinners,

But further,*〈◊〉 shall return to Jehovah, and seeke him, Jer. 4. 1.

Page  521If thou wilt returne O Israel, saith the Lord, return unto me. They shal not return from one false way of worship to another, but from the false way to the true, they shall return to God. It is that we had now need look unto. We must not think it enough to cast one false way of government out of the Church, and turn to another, though not so ill yet not Gods, if out of any po∣liticke pretence we reject the way of God it will prove a sore evil unto us, it is one thing not to be able to bring in the way of Christ, and another to re∣ject it,

They shall seek Jehovah, not their Idols, but God himself. The word signifies conatu ac studio quaerere, to seek with endeavouring, with study ra∣ther then meerly to ask and enquire, they shall be studious in asking after God. They shall seek the Lord, that is,

First, They shall seeke his face and favour for the pardon of all their evill wayes, they shall come and acknowledge their false wayes and their doings which have not been good, and seek mercy for pardon.

Secondly, They shall seek the Lord, that is, they shall seeke the true wor∣ship of the Lord. Calvin in a Sermon upon that place Seeke ye my face, in∣terprets it to be seeking the Ordinances of God, the true worship of God, so Psal. 105. 4. Seeke the Lord & his strength, what is meant by the strength of God there? It is the Arke, for that Psalme was made at the bringing in of the Arke into the place that David had prepared, as you may see by com∣paring that Psalme with the 1 Chron, 16. the Arke of God is called the strength of God, Psal. 78. 61. He gave his strength into captivity. Surely if the true worship of God be the strength of God, it is our strength too, a people are then strong when they entertaine the Arke of God, the true wor∣ship of God, and then indeed we seeke God aright when we seeke to know the way of his worship.

Lastly,*They shal seek the Lord, that is, they shall seeke to know his will in all their wayes, and to do it. It is not enough for them to be content to do just that which shall be put upon them, but they shall seek to know what his minde & his worship is. Some yeeld thus far to God, if any come to them and convince them that this is to be done, then they will do it, they dare not then but yeeld to it; but when the heart is in a true repenting frame, it is then in a seeking frame, it is laborious and industrious to know the mind of God. Whereas the heart of a sinner heretofore lay dead & dull, never stirred after God, now it is in a stirting, in an inquiring, in a seeking way, this is a signe of much good: though thou hast not what thou seekest for, yet be comfor∣ted in this that thou art in a seeking way, Their hearts shal reoyce that seeke the Lord. If thou beest seeking God in his ways, though thou complainest, I have beene seeking a long time, but I know not the minde of God, I can∣not apprehend the love of God, the pardon of my sins, yea, but the hearts of those shall rejoyce that seek the Lord, if thou beest in a seeking way thou art in a saving way, there is cause thou shouldst rejoyce in this, that God hath brought thee into such a way.

Page  522They shall seeke the Lord, and that not saintly but to purpose, auxiously, Jer. 50. 4. 5. They (the children of Israel, and the children of Judah, when they shall be both together) shall goe weeping, and seeke the Lord their God, and they shall aske the way to Zion with their faces thitherward. Many of you come to aske questions, but your hearts are not right, your faces & the strength of your spirits are not set to yeeld to the will of God when it is re∣vealed to you. And mark how it appeares that their faces are thitherward, Come (say they) let us joyne our selves to the Lord in a perpetual Covenant that shall not be forgotten. This is to seeke God, it is not meerly to goe to a Minister and aske him a question, but it is to goe with our faces, with the strength of our spirits set to know the minde of God above any thing in the world, and so to resolve to obey what shall be revealed to be Gods mind, as to be willing to enter into a perpetual Covenant, to binde our selves to yeeld to whatsoever God shal reveale. When you come to a Sermon, you must not come to get a little notional knowledge, but come with your faces to∣wards Christ and his truth, before you come you should get alone (if you be a true seeker) and enter into Covenant with God, that whatsoever God re∣vealeth to be his minde you will yeeld to it & obey it, though you have here∣tofore gone against many truths revealed to be the minde of God, but Lord no more now, here I am ready and willing to enter into an everlasting cove∣nant to be under the command of every truth. Here is the right seeking of God. They shall seeke the Lord their God; [their God] this hath two references, either to what is past, or to what is to come. To what is past, their God, that is, the God who was once the God of the Jews, the God of their forefathers, the God of Abraham. of Isaac, and of Jacob. And se∣condly, their God, that is, that God that is yet ready and willing to be re∣conciled to them, not withstanding all their sinnes. Thus they shal seek the Lord their God. These two references afford two excellent Observations.

First,* This prevailes much with the heart of an Apostate, when he can but think what God was once unto him before he did Apostatize, and what he was unto his godly parents and predecessors. There was a time that I en∣joyed God sweetly, when I went to prayer I had blessed communion with him, it is otherwise with me now, I have apostatized. Let this considerati∣on catch hld upon thy heart and turn it this day; Oh turne, turn thou apo∣state soul. God who was once thy God in a gracious manner is that God that thou hast vilely forsaken, yea thy fathers God also. Thou hast a godly fa∣ther, a godly grand-father, remember what a blessed God he was unto them, and return.

Secondly,*Their God, that God that yet they may have hope to enjoy, notvvithstanding all their departings from him. Hence the note is this, The apprehension o a possibilty to obtaine mercie from the Lord, is a strong means to draw the heart to returne to him; when they look upon God as a God in covenant with them yet, and there is nothing to the contrary but he may be their God. Let this be an argument to catch hold upon the spirits Page  523 of all sinners who are departed from God, thou hast departed from God in a soule and vile manner, but Men and Angels know nothing to the contra∣ry but that he may be thy God for all this. Let me speake to the vilest sinner that is in this place before the Lord this day, thou hast indeed most despe∣rately and wickedly sinned against God, the Jews have done so; Hast thou crucified Christ? they have done so; hast thou denied the truth and follow∣ed false waies? they have done so; Notwithstanding all thy wicked and e∣vil waies, seeing thou art yet alive, I doe this day yet once more pronounce thee in the name of the great God, that there is nothing to the contrary that either Angels or Men can possibly know, but that God may be thy God, and that this day God may enter into covenant with thee, & thou with him, this night he may come in and sup with thee, and thou with him, there may be a blessed reconciliation between God and thee, return, return thou sinful soul.