The way of God with his people in these nations opened in a thanksgiving sermon, preached on the 5th of November, 1656, before the Right Honorable the High Court of Parliament
Sterry, Peter, 1613-1672.

Arg. 1.

The First Argument is taken from Christ. The way of God with his Church, and with the World, in order to the Church, is in Christ. I intreat you for the fuller understanding of this, Page  8 and how it makes to the Point in hand, to lay three Scrip∣tures together. Ephes. 3. 8, 9, 10. Matth. 28. 8. Ephes. 1. 20.

Ephes. 3. 8. You read in the latter end of the verse, of the unsearchable Riches of Christ. Two things go to make up Riches: Preciousness, and Plenty. The things of Christ are Rarities, Precious things; such, as are no where to be found in the Creature. They are the Things of God, the Righteousness of God, the Wisdom of God, the Power, the Peace, the Grace, the Glory of God. Now Jesus Christ hath Plenty of these Precious things, and this makes him Rich. But the Holy Ghost thinks not that word of Riches enough to express the Excellency, and Fulness of Christ. Therefore he adds to Riches, Vnsearchableness, and calls them the Vnsearchable Riches of Christ. Vnsearchableness, respects the Nature, or Number of things. The Excellen∣cies of Christ are both waies Vnsearchable. Every thing of Christ is Vnvaluable: and those Vnvaluable things in Him, are Innumerable. They are past our Understanding. We cannot comprehend the Excellency, nor count the Number of them. They swallow us up, and lose us in Admira∣tion.

At Verse 9. St. Paul goes on to shew, That the Mystery of these Riches, in which al Saints, and Holy Spirits have an immortal Fellowship one with another, as in a retired Paradice, is that secret Wheel, hidden in God, on which the whol Creation is turned from the beginning to the End: And to make al men see, what is the fellowship of the my∣stery, which from the beginning of the world is hidden in God, who created al things by Jesus Christ.

Verse, 10 We are taught, that the intent of God in the Riches of Christ is, that the Angels themselvs, who rule the whol world, as the Heads of al Created Beings, Page  9 Power, and Operations, even the highest of them, and that in the midst of their Heavenly Glories, should have new Discoveries of the Wisdom of God, in the variety of its Wayes, and Contrivances by the workings of God, according to Christ in the Church, and from the Church upon the World: To the intent, That now unto the Princi∣palities, and Powers in Heavenly places may be known by the Church the manifold wisdom of God: Verse 11. According to the Eternal purpose, which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord. The only Rule and Line, by which God walks and works, is the eternal Draught or Platform in the Person of Christ.

Let us now lay to this Scripture, that of Matt. 28. 18. All Power is given unto me in Heaven and Earth. They are the words of our Savior, being risen from the dead. The word Power, as it is in the Greek, signifieth Eminency, Au∣thority, Magistracy, Rule. Heaven and Earth have Four Senses, which are all intended here. First, These Heavens and Earth, which we see with our Eyes. Secondly, Things Visible and Invisible. Thirdly, Grace, and Nature; or the things of God, and of the Creature. Fourthly, The Church and Common-wealth; Civil, and Religious Affairs, if this be a distinct Sense from that before it. You see by this Scripture, what use Jesus Christ hath for those Vnsear∣chable Riches mentioned in the former Scripture, and to what imployment he puts them; even to rule All in Hea∣ven, and in Earth; among Spirits, Angels, and Men; in Grace, and Nature; in Church, and Common-wealth.

I intreat you now to make a stand for a little while, and to look back upon the joynt sense of these two Scriptures; the Riches, and the Rule of Christ; that we may see how they make for our present purpose, for the opening, and proving of our Point; that God ••lights to go new waies Page  10 with his Church, and with the World; as also that we may be affected with them in our own hearts. The Lord saith in the Gospel, That a good man out of the good Treasury of his heart, bringeth forth good things. We know, that if a man speak, who is full, and hath much to say, he speaks quick, passeth with a freshness from one thing to ano∣ther, and is still saying new things. What Rarities then, what great, what new things may we expect every day in the Affairs of the world for the Interest of the Church, when as the Person who hath the Government of All, is Hee, who hath in himself Vnsearchable Riches? What Comforts is this to afflicted ones? what allurement to sinners? what ground of Hope, and rejoycing to Belee∣vers? what Light, and Direction to States-men? what Humiliation in themselves, what Exaltation in Christ, unto all? It is Jesus Christ, who hath all Power in Hea∣ven and Earth; in Spiritual, Civil, and Natural things; who rules them all according to the Vnsearchable Riches, which he hath in himself, of Mercy, Righteousness, Holiness, Life, Joy, Glory, Wisdom, and Power. Let every one now, that is weary, and heavy laden with any burden of sin, guilt, wrath, sickness, or sorrow, cry out; O the Preciousness of the Love, and Vertue of Christ! how unvaluable are they! O the Plentifulness of those Precious Loves, and Vertues! how are they more for number, than the Sand on the Sea-shore, or the Stars in Heaven! I will no more look down upon the Darkness of mine own condition, nor round about for Help or Happiness from the Crea∣ture. I will wait upon him for visits every morning, for influences every moment, upon my Soul, Body, Relati∣ons, Affairs; and those Great above my Understanding, or Expectation, New without Number, or End.

Page  11There is a third Scripture, which concurrs so fully with these Two mentioned before, which so comprehends the sence of them both, which gives so much light, and strength to our present buisness, that I may not omit it. Ephes. 1. verse, 20, 21, 22. Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in heavenly places, Farr above al principality, and power, and every name, that is named, not only in this world, but in that, which is to come, And hath put al things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over al things to the Church.

Pray observe some few short Particulars, which lye faire in the very outside of the words. First, The Lord Jesus stands not now in any Root of Nature, but upon a supernatural Root in the Resurrection from the dead by the Almighty power of the Father. Secondly, He is not in the Capacity of his Humane, but of his divine Nature. He is at the Right Hand of God, that is, in the Love, strength, Joy, Glory of the God-head. As the Left Hand of God is his wrath, his strange work, his Dis∣guise: so his Right Hand is Love, his naked Face, his proper form, where he is seen, as he is, as the Saints shal behold him. Thirdly, He is not rank't in any order of the Creatures. He is set above al ranks, and orders of Created things, both men, and Angels with their sever∣al dignitys, and degrees: Farr above principalitys and powers. Fourthly, He is cloath'd with an Image, a form, which hath no Proportion, Similitude, or Agreement with any thing of the Creature. He hath a Name above every Name, that is Named in this world, and that, which is to come. The Name of Christ, which is the Image of his Nature, is not only above Sun, Moon, and Starres with al the powers of these Visible Heavens, and Living men upon the Earth: but also above the Angelical world in its freshest Page  12 glory, as it is that world, which is next to be unvailed, and come forth upon the stage before the Eyes of men, when the Saints shal be, as the Angels of God. Fifthly, Jesus Christ; as his Person is thus stated, and in this Ca∣pacity; is made the Head over al things, to contrive, com∣mand, work al every where, as the Head doth in the bo∣dy, which is the seat of the understanding, the fountaine of sence, and Motion. Sixthly, Al this is in order to the Church, for the Churches sake He is given to be head over all to the Church; that the Propriety, the pleasure, the Profite in his Person, Power, and Rule might be the Churches.

A Miracle is defined to be that, which is Supra ordinem totius naturae creatae, Above the order of al Created Nature. What new, what strange things, what Miracles may we look for now in the government of the world, especially, when the Church is concerned: seeing that our Lord Jesus in this Capacity, as he is at the Right hand of God, set above al Rankes, and orders of the whol Creation, is made Head over al things for the Church? Jesus Christ could work no Miracles in one place, because of the un∣beleefe of the Inhabitants. Our unbeliefe, in that we see not the Lord Jesus, as Esaiah saw him by a Spirit of Prophesie, fitting upon this Throne of the divine Na∣ture, high and lifted up, above every Principality, and Power, is the Reason, why we have no more Miracles, no more of his new, and extraordinary Works in the midst of us. It is our unbeleefe, that we do not see, and acknowledg, those wonders, which he hath wrought, and is stil working, while he fils the whol earth with his glory from his Throne.

John, 6. 57. Jesus saith. He, that eats me shal Live by me, even, as I live by the Father. Revel. 10. 9. 11. The Angel Page  13 give St. John a Book to Eate, and then tells him, that he must prophesie before many peoples, and Nations, and Tongues, and Kings. If we did eate this spiritual, and Heavenly Person of Christ, which is the Book of Life, that Word com∣ming forth from the mouth of God, on which alone man Lives; If we did by faith, in the vnity of the spirit, take in, concoct, digest, turn into Nature, and Nourishment these Evangelical truths concerning the Person of Christ above al, given to his Church; the Headship of Christ over al, for his Church: how certainly then, and how spee∣dily should we be fed with Honey from the Rock? we should live in our own Persons, in our private, publike Capacitys upon a constant, dayly Stream of Miracles com∣ming down from the Father; we should draw down, and carry forth waters of life from the depth of the God∣head, before the Kings of the Earth, and into the midst of the Nations. Thus much for the First Argument taken from Jesus Christ.