A sermon preached before the Honourable House of Commons at their late solemne fast Wednesday, March 27, 1644 by George Gillespie.
Gillespie, George, 1613-1648.
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DIvine providence hath made it my •…ot, and a Calling hath induced me (who am lesse then the least of all the servants of Christ) to ap∣peare among others in this Cloud of publike Witnesses. The scope of the Sermon is, to endevour the removall of the obstructions both of Humiliation and Reformation; two things which ought to lye very much in our thoughts at this time: Concerning both I shall preface but little. Reformation hath many unfriends, some upon the right hand, and some upon the left: While others cry up that detestable indifferencie or neutrality, abjured in our solemne Covenant, in so much that aGamaliel and bGallio, men who regarded alike the Iewish and the Christian Religion, c are highly com∣mended, as examples for all Christians, and as men walking by the rules not onely of Policy, but of Reason and Religion. Now let all those that are either against us, or not with us, doe what they can, the right hand of the most High, shall perfect the glorious begun Reformation: Can all the world keep downe the Sunne of Righteousnesse from rising or being risen? can they spread a vaile over it? And though they digge deep to hide their counsels; is not this a time of Gods over-reaching and befoolling all plot∣ting wits? they have conceived iniquity, and they shall b•…ing forth vanity: dthey have sowne the wind, and they shall reap the whirlewind: Wherefore wee ewill wait upon the Lord that hides his face from the house of Iacob, and will look for him: And fthough he slay us, yet will we trust in him.g The Lord hath commanded to proclaime, and to say to the daughter of Zi∣on, Behold thy salvation commeth: h Rejoyce with Ierusalem all yee that mourn for her; For ibehold now is the accepted*time; behold now is the day of salvation: But I have more to say: Mourn, O mourne with•…erusalem all yee that rejoyce for her;kThis day is a day of trouble, and of rebuke and of blasphemy; for the children are come to the birth, and there is not strength to bring forth: It is an interwoven time, warped with Page  [unnumbered] mercies, and woofted with judgements; Say not thou in thine heart, the dayes of my mourning are at an end: Oh wee are to this day an unhumbled and an unprepared people; and there are among us, both many cursed Achans, and many sleeping Jonahs, but few wrestling Jacobs,l even the wise Virgins are slumbring with the foolish: Surely unlesse wee bee timely awaked, and more deeply humbled, m God will punish us yet seven times more for our sinnes: and if he have chastised us with whips, he will chastise us with Scorpions: and he will yet give a further charge to the Sword, nto avenge the quarrell of his Covenant. In such a case I cannot say according to the now Oxford Divinity, That Preces & Lachrymae Prayers and Teares, must be our only one shelter and fortresse, and that wee must cast away defensive armes as unlawfull in any case whatsoever, against the supreame Magistrate; (that is, by interpretation, they would have us doe no more then Pray, to the end themselves may do no lesse then Prey:) Wherein they are contradicted not only by Pareus, and by others that are eager for a Presbytery, (as a o Prelate of chiefe note hath lately taken, I should say mistaken, his marke) but even by p those that are eager Royalists: (Pardon me that I give them not their right name; I am sure when all is well reckoned we are better friends to royall authority then themselves.) Yet herein I doe agree with them, that Prayers and Tears will prove our strongest weapons, and the onely tela divina, the weapons that fight for us from above. q O then fear the Lord ye his Saints; O r stirre up your selves to lay hold on him; sKeep no silence and give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth. O that we could all tmake Wells in our dry and desert∣like hearts, that we may u draw out water, even buckets full, to quench the wrath of a sin-revenging God, the fire which still burn∣eth against the Lords inheritance. God grant that this Sermon be not as water spilt on the ground but may xdrop as the raine, and distill as the dew of heaven upon thy soule.