DAVIDS ZEALE FOR ZION: A SERMON, Preached at WESTMINSTER, Aprill 4. 1641.
PSAL. LXIX. IX.
THis Booke of Praises and spirituall Songs was penned by diverse men: This is evident by the various argu∣ments in it; It is the breviary of the Bible, the anatomie of conscience, the art of prayer.
Page 2This Psalme, inspired of God, was writ by Da∣vids royall pen, who was both the father and fi∣gure of Christ.* It is not purely proper to either Christ or David, but common both to David and Christ, with his Church. To David typically, to Christ truly, to the Church prophetically.
- The Psalme containeth
- A Petition.
- A Reason.
- I. A Petition, most humbly requesting God,
- 1 By supplication, to be delivered from mani∣fold troubles, called waters: Save mee O God, Vers. 1.
- 2. By imprecation, with purenesse of spirit, a∣gainst persecutors, Let their table become a snare, &c. Verse 22.
II. A reason of his request, mentioned in many verses. One ground of it was, the nature of his cause; his cause was good, he suffered for his love to God. For, The Zeale of thy house hath eaten me up, Verse 9.
The zeale.* Zeale comes 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, to be fervent, as hot as fire: it is not any single affection, but the earnestnesse and increase of all the affections, liking or disliking, as love and hatred, griefe and joy, desires, delights, feares, and anger, boyled to the highest degree, and to the hottest temper and in∣tention.
- 1 It is set against evill, as sin and sinners, with all that which opposeth Gods will and glory, with kindled anger and indignation.
- Page 32 It is carried towards goods, as Gods Word and Glory, Name and Worship (and not our owne ends) with all eagernesse.*
Of thy house. Gods house, not his owne house, or his own name and honour: he was moved not so much with his owne injuries and contumelies, more private; as with that which was more pub∣like.
- 1 He had indignation for the Church corrup∣ted, the worship of God polluted, his law viola∣ted, and the things of God unworthily handled.
- 2 He had a studious care and ardent love to have the true religion taught and professed, the right worship of God established and preserved holy and pure from superstition, errour and corruption in worship and worshippers, that they may be Saints, and not profane.
Me, may be meant properly and simply both of David and Christ.
Eaten up.* Consumed or devoured, as the fire fully burnt up the fat of some sacrifices (as their peace-offerings) it was wholly the Lords: so the zeale of Gods house burnt up David, he was fully for it.
The words shew a pious mans study: He is zea∣lous,
- 1 In the object, and matter of it,Gods house.
- 2 In the effect, and nature of it, it eats him up.
*Zealous in removing, (according as God hath called and enabled every man) in purging out and opposing with depth of detestation, what is corrupt, and contrary to Gods will, and pre∣judiciall to his glory, revenging his dishonour: Thus Iesus found in the temple those that sold ox∣en, and sheepe, and doves, and the changers of mo∣ney sitting, and when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheepe, and the oxen, and powred out the chan∣gers money, and overthrew the tables, and said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence, make not my fathers house an house of merchandise, Iohn 2. 14, 15, 16. A most heroicall act of Christ; beholding the Temple most corrupt, Verse 14. Hee swept the house, Verse 15. mo∣ved with the great care and zeale of his fathers house, Verse 16.
*Persons to bee removed, as enemies to Christ, men of false callings, not warranted of God, pretending divine right, which cannot bee de∣monstrated out of his Word: Men to be dealt withall as polluted priests; these sought their register among those that were reckoned by genealogie, but they were not found, therfore were they as polluted, put from the priesthood, Ez∣ra 2. 62. Let them bee dealt withall as God would have it, For the wickednesse of their doings, Page 5 I will drive them out of my house, Hosea 9. 15. Idolatrous priests were no more to minister in the Priests office. Men that once prosessed them∣selves for God, who fell to idols, and by their example and counsell caused others to fall to sinne, should beare their shame, their sinne, but never come neare God in their office any more, as it is recorded in the Prophet, because they (the Levites gone away farre from God) mi∣nistred unto them, before their idols, and (as stumbling-blockes) caused the house of Israel to fall into iniquity, therefore have I lift up my hand against them, saith the Lord God, and they shall beare their iniquity, and they shall not come neare unto mee, to doe the office of a Priest unto me, nor come neere unto any of my holy things in the most holy place: but they shall beare their shame and their abominations which they have committed, Ezekiel 44. 12, 13. After this manner did renowned Nehemiah, cleansed the chambers, and chased out the wicked corrup∣ters, who relates it thus: I understood of the evill that Eliashib did for Tobiah, in preparing him a chamber in the Courts of the house of God, Nehemiah 13. 7. And it grieved me sore, therefore I cast forth all the houshold-stuffe of To∣biah out of the chamber, Verse 8. Then I comman∣ded, and they cleansed the chambers, Verse 9. And one of the sonnes of Iojada, the sonne of Eliashib the High Priest, was sonne in law to Sanballat the Horonite, therefore I chased him from mee, Verse 28.
Page 6It is to be provided, that holy things may be kept from profanation; Give not that which is holy unto dogs, neither cast ye your pearles before swine, lest they trample them under feet, and turne againe and rent you, Matth. 7. 6. Aime at conformity with that new Ierusalem, on earth, into which there shall in no wise enter any thing that defileth, neither whatsoe∣ver worketh abomination, or maketh a lie, Revel. 21. 27. Men are to be without, that be not fit for a con∣gregation of the Lords people, but the blemish of our Church. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie, Vers. 22.
*Doctrines to be opposed, unsound and corrupt doctrines be hatefull and to be hated. This was good in languishing Ephesus, she hated poysonfull doctrines: Christ saith, This thou hast, thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate, Re∣vel. 2. 6. Thou hast tried them which say they are A∣postles, and are not, and hast found them liers, in re∣gard of their errors and false doctrine, Vers. 2. Do∣ctrines that oppose Gods free grace, as if it were no grace, Rom. 11. 6. which exalt mans free-will, as if God did not worke the will, Phil. 2. 13. which teach the apostasie of Saints, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation, 1 Pet. 1. 5. and others like vented and printed, are not to be permitted: Thyatira was checked for such a per∣mission. Christ will have no such toleration. I (saith hee) have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Iezabel, which calleth her selfe a prophetesse, to teach and to seduce my servants, Page 7 to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed to idols, Revel. 2. 20.* Christians are to avoid what is contrary to, or besides the doctrine of Christ, as very offensive, and the cause of divisions and offences. The Doctor of the Gentiles told the Romans, how to marke them which cause divisions and offences, con∣trary to the doctrine which you have learned, and a∣void them, Rom. 16. 17.
*Worship to be purged out: What is false, su∣perstitious, idolatrous, spirituall adulteries, ado∣ration of creatures, Altars, worshipping wood, images, and names, the images of things, invoca∣tion of Saints, praying about and for the dead, and all other appearances and practices of evill. Gods jealousie is against image-making, or any likenesse to adore, bow to, or serve. Thou shalt not make un∣to thee any graven image, or any likenesse of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; thou shalt not bow downe thy selfe to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the ini∣quity of the fathers upon the children, unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me, Exod. 20. 45.* Where is forbid,* To make an image for religious worship:* To worship it. In all ido∣latry the divell is worshipped. The things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to divels, and not to God, 1 Cor. 10. 20. Should not all fellowship with divels be detested and renounced? I would not that ye should have fellowship with divels. To worship be∣fore a thing with reference to a thing, is to worship that thing.* To worship before me, Luk. 4. 7. is to worship Page 8 me, Matth. 4. 9. The children are to plead with their mother, to put away her idolatries; and it is no more than duty to do it. Plead with your mo∣ther, plead, she onely is faulty, for she is not my wife, neither am I her husband: Let her therefore put away her whoredomes out of her sight, and her adulteries from betweene her brests, Hos. 2. 2.
*In the substance of worship, it is false and cor∣rupt, by mingling mens traditions and inventions, with Christs commands and institutions, which is a vaine worship: In vaine do they worship me, teaching for doctrine the commandements of men, Matth. 15. 9. To frustrate Gods law, and put it by, by this meanes. For laying aside the commandement of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups, and many other such like things ye do, Mat. 7. 8. Full well ye reject the commandement of God, that yee may keepe your owne tradition, Verse 9.
It is thus when men by constitutions make their inventions as thresholds, without which you cannot en∣ter into a house, into the Church, to any office or ordinance, or as posts which uphold a house, with∣out which the Church will fall and go down. They have defiled my holy name, saith the Lord, in their set∣ting of their thresholds by my thresholds, and their posts by my posts, Ezek. 43. 8.
* In the externall forme and circumstance, ma∣ny superstitions be to be cast out, injunctions not of God, not good, after the doctrines and comman∣dements of men, Col. 2. 22. to which a Christian redeemed by Christ hath no reason to be subject, Page 9 if ye bee 〈◊〉 with Christ from the rudiments of the world, Why as though living in the world are yee subject to ordinances? Coloss. 2. vers. 20. Many additions, gestures, now standing, now kneeling, are not necessary, but cumbersome, not to be tolerated any more than diminutions, or mutations, and alterations in Gods worship, Whatsoever I command you, observe to do it, thou shalt not adde thereto, nor diminish from it, Deu∣teronom. Chap. 12. Vers. 32. Gods Word is per∣fect, to teach us what to know, and what to doe, and lackes not a jot, nor a tittle, Matth. Chap. 5. Vers. 18. The least commands to an iota, or a tittle, are to be religiously observed, and the least additions by the same reason are to be rejected, Mat. Chap. 5. Vers. 19. Away with all imagery, which provokes God to be gone from his San∣ctuary. Let every image of jealousie be scene as an abomination. and cast out as a provocation, Ezek. Chap. 8. Vers. 5, 6. That as wee justly abhorre the Romish harlet, let us not weare her favour, but deface and detest all her trumpery, as the Lords Prophet told the people of the Lord, Ye shall defile the covering of thy graven images of silver, and the ornaments of thy molten ima∣ges of gold; thou shalt cast them away as a men∣struous cloth, thou shalt say unto it, Get thee hence, Isa. Chap. 30. Vers. 22. Thus the tho∣rowly religious is to be truly zealous in Gods Church, to remove, purge out, and oppose vicious persons, erroneous doctrines, superstiti∣ous worship.
Page 102*Zealous in promoting Gods glory with intension of affection, and fervency in all good services for the house of the Lord, to establish all in it aright: This was in an eminent manner and measure in Ne∣hemiah, whom the zeale of Gods house did eat upon. Remember me O my God concerning this, and wipe not out my good deeds or kindnesses that I have done for the house of my God, and for the offices thereof, Nehem. 13. 14.
*In persons who are to be in the house of God.
*Ministers to be countenanced and continued to labour in word and doctrine, to stand and mini∣ster before the Lord. When good Hezekiah be∣held how the fathers before him had shut up the doores of the porch, he opened the doores of the house of the Lord: they had put out the lamps, he brought in the Priests, that religion might be re∣stored, heare him telling his purpose of heart, Now it is in my heart to make a covenant with the Lord God of Israel, that his fierce wrath may turne away from us, 2 Chron. 29. 10. He anima∣teth the Priests, my sonnes, be not now negligent, for the Lord hath chosen you to stand before him, to serve him, and that you should minister unto him and burne incense, Verse 10. These must be sent, have a good call: How shall they preach except they be sent? Rom. 10. 15. Well qualified persons, apt to teach the Word of God with prudence and utte∣rance, 1 Tim. 3. 2. Able, well furnished with ne∣cessary abilities to instruct others, 2 Tim. 2. 2. Ver∣tuous in conversation, shewing themselves pat∣ternes of good workes, Titus 2. 7. Lovers of Page 11 good men, sober, just, holy, temperate, 1. 8.
*Members, to be men sanctisied to performe duties, and to partake of what is holy: Men should be sanctified, and that sufficiently; for they could not keep the Passeover, because they had not sanctified themselves sufficiently, 2 Chron. 30. 3. Men upon whom is writ, Holinesse to the Lord, Zechar. 14. 20. But the Ganaanite is to be no more in the house of the Lord, Verse 21. Without shall bee the uncircumcised and the uncleane. God is in the as∣sembly of his Saints, Psal. 89. 7. God promiseth to dwell in Zion, his holy mountaine, then shall Ierusalem be holy, and there shall no stranger passe through her any more, Ioel 3. 17. It is sure, men that are to be members, are to professe holinesse: and it is as true, they should be as they professe, Saints be calling, 1 Cor. 1. 2. Gods way is called a way of holinesse, the uncleane shall not passe over it, Isay 35. 8.
*In doctrines, zeale contends for truth, and strives for the faith of the Gospell, Iude v. 3. It was needfull to exhort you, that you should ear∣nestly contend for the faith which was once deli∣vered unto the Saints. Pauls care was, that the truth of the Gospell might abide with the Church, Gal. 2. 5. and would not give place to them (the false bre∣thron, Verse 4.) no not for an houre.* It is truth is the ornament of mans speech and profession. Truth beautifieth mens dealings; and is not truth the glo∣ry of religion? It is a girdle, Ephes. 6. 14.
In worship.* The zeale of Elias is as needfull as not able, who was jealous for the Lord of hosts, Page 12 to behold what was done in Israel, 1 King. 19. 10. 〈◊◊◊〉 was in the worship, nor peace to the worshippers of God.
I. In the substance* and inward forme, that all Gods worship be in spirituall meanes and true manner, with all purity; They that worship God, must worship him in spirit and truth, Iohn 4. 24.
- 1 Preaching the Word of life and salvation. It is the way of Gods good pleasure to save men, albeit wittals call it foolishnesse, 1 Corinth. 1. 21. It is Christs institution, established by his com∣mission, Goe ye into all the world, and preach the Gospell to every creature, Marke Chap. 16. Verse 15.
- 2 Reading the Scriptures, not omitting them for Apocryphals. Is not that order with some dis∣grace to Gods Spirit, which excepts certaine Bookes and Chapters which bee least edifying, and might best be spared, and therefore be left unread? It was not so of old, when Moses had in eve∣ry city them that preach him, being read in the Synagogues every Sabbath day, Acts 15. Vers. 21.
- 3 Prayer in the Holy Ghost, as the Church is charged to pray, Iude Vers. 20. customary formes of prayer removed, would cause an unworthy, unable and dumbe Ministerie to fall to the earth; and continued, bring most of men to rest in the iniquity of the last and perillous times, a pow∣erlesse forme of godlinesse to be shunned, 2 Tim. 3.1, 5. Christ who commends prayer according Page 13 to the will of God, condemneth vaine repeti∣tion in prayer, Matth. 6. 7. Gods house is a house of prayer, but not for chopping and changing, Mat. 21. 12, 13. Men for the Ministerie should be as studious in praying as preaching, and give them∣selves to prayer, and to the Ministery of the Word, they had not the heart of them who rest in a prayer given to them, Acts Chap. 6. Vers. 4.
II. In the circumstance* and externall form: Let all things be done decently and in order, not in∣tending the inventing of any new thing, but the performing of what Christ instituted, in a manner come by, and consentaneous to the dignity of holy ordinances of the Lord, 1 Corinth. 14. 40. And that is in that generall rule, that all be done for time, place and persons, as is most to edi∣fication, Verse 26. Thus the man thorowly re∣ligious will bee truly zealous for the Church of God, in promoting in it persons, materials for it, Ministers qualified, members sanctified, doctrines true and wholesome, worshippe pure and spirituall, which beleeved as truth, will helpe us both by Information, and Exhor∣tation.
I Zeale in and for true religion is a praise-worthy thing.** Was David zealous? it may then become a royall spirit. Was Christ our Saviour zealous? it may become an heroicall spirit. Albeit zeale is out of grace with most men, who sit still, and love to be at quiet rest; yet it is no disgrace to any generous spirit that is regenerate, to have the Page 14 zeale of Gods house to eat him up. It is a slander to call it folly: Was not zealous David wiser than his teachers, than his enemies, than the aged? Luke-warme men call it fury; Gods Spirit names it a live-coale, that hath a most vehement flame. Why beares zeale the imputation of indiscretion, rashnesse, puritanisme or headinesse? Was it Da∣vids rashnesse? It was fervency in religion. Was Christ indiscreet? The wisedome of his Father. Festus called Paul mad, with a lowd voice, Acts 26. 24. when he spake but words of truth and sober∣nesse, verse 25. Christs kinsmen thought he was beside himselfe, Mar. 3. 21. Was the judgement of such solid men any disparagement to our Saviours zeal? Nay, it is a commendation to root out evill from, and to establish good in the house of God, is a good thing, Gal. 4. 18.
*All a mans care, who is religious indeed, is not to be for civill affaires, immunities and societies, (things in their order and measure to be minded) David was zealous for Gods house; for Zion, as well as Ierusalem; for religion, as well as righte∣ousnesse. Mens spirits must be more stirred in them for the Church of Chirst, his house, than their owne houses. As many mens industry and activenesse is for great buildings, great matches, great house∣keeping, and their owne famous names, their in∣ward thought is that their houses shall continue for ever, and their dwelling places to all generations, Psal. 49. 11. but while they run every man to his owne house, the house of God lieth wast, Hag. 1. 9. A pious mans greatest care is, that (whatever become Page 15 of him and his liberty, credit, or creature-comforts) vile persons that speake villany, may have their mouthes stopped, the vaine and prophane persons that pollute the ordinances may be censured, the doctrines of divels may be condemned, the wor∣ship idolatrous and corrupt, may be no more in the house of the Lord, but be removed and cast out, that Pastors after Gods owne heart may be esta∣blished to feed the Lords flock, that they that feare the Lord, may dwell in his house, that the truth of doctrine may be continued and confirmed a∣mong us, that the purity of discipline (a sacred way of promoting the Gospell, without which all Christs Kingdome and Gospell is not received) very necessary to the condition of the Church,* may be introduced, that the instituted worship of God may be conti∣nued in his Church, in a holy and spirituall man∣ner, without worthlesse and witlesse innovations, and wicked inventions of men of corrupt mindes, destitute of the truth, that a man may say as Da∣vid, The zeale of thy house hath eaten me up: thus those victorious martyrs were willing to lay down, as not loving their lives, for the word, the truth which they held and beleeved, Rev. 12. 11.
3 Men thorowly religious, being truly zealous, we learne, It is irreligious* to be luke-warme, neuters, time-servers, indifferent men, for all companies and religions, middle-men betweene truth and er∣rour, betweene Christ and Antichrist, between ho∣linesse and profanenesse, untrue in religion, without love or zeale to God, as was the luke-warme An∣gell of Laodicea. Mixt worship is under a commi∣nation, 〈1 page duplicate〉Page 14〈1 page duplicate〉Page 15Page 16 God will stretch out his hand upon them that sweare by the Lord, and that sweare by Malcham, Zeph. 1. 5. God abhorres mixtures now as much as then. It is a defilement to sow a vineyard with divers seeds, doctrines of Christ, and traditions of men. Saints and beleevers not mixt with scandalous infidels and idolaters, Deut. 22. 9. But the pure worship kept from superstiti∣ons: Men may not be linsey-woolsey professors, not plow with an Oxe and an Asse; those in the Lords plow must not be mixed of the clean and unclean, labourers and loyterers, of the servants of Christ and Antichrist, Verse 10, 11. Men may not be key∣cold Gallioes in religion, a deputy that would not meddle in such matters, and cared for none of those things, Acts 18. 12, 17.
This indifferency brings great judgements, if men repent not, it unchurches a people, a Church by it may prove no Church, it removes the can∣dlestick, and sets Mahomet where the candlestick stood, Rev. 2. 5. Yea God abhorres lukewarme∣nesse as most loathsome, he will spue them out of his mouth, as Laodicea, as the Historians testifie, was swallowed up in an earth-quake, we were near going in 88. neare a blow by the Powder-treason: and how nigh was our trouble these two last yeares?* and Gods hand lift up, as if there were with us but a sport, as once Abners men and Ioabs, to play Scots and English. Ely his remisnesse in dea∣ling with his sonnes (an impure paire of Priests) ruined his house, 1 Sam. 2. Vers. 23, 29, 31. God is not pleased with neuters, neither shall the Page 17 luke-warme dwell in his presence.
* In that a man thorowly religious is truly zealous for Gods Church, Learne the vicious∣nesse of mens spirits, and the naughtinesse of di∣verse sorts.
1 Who blame zeale in good and for good,* as a thing disgracefull and sinfull. The divell and his imps never wanted names, to discover and deliver their spite and spirit against zeale, alas what hath zeale done!
- 1 It is sedition, an enemy to government, as inconsistent with royall lawes, cries Haman, a fit accuser (whose word is no slander) but an unjust judge in this point. Haman said unto King Ahashuerus, There is a certaine people scatte∣red abroad, and dispersed among the people, in all the provinces of thy kingdome, and their lawes are diverse from all people, neither keepe they the Kings lawes: Therefore it is not for the Kings profit to suffer them, Esther Chap. 3. Verse 8. Zeale in piety is said to trouble the countrey, whereas iniquity and luke-warmnesse ruines all; as Ahab sinned, and Elias is bla∣med: Well did Elias retort it to him, Not I, but thou hast troubled Israel, 1 King. Chap. 18. Vers. 17, 18.
- 2 It is singularity and odnesse: but till a man seeme odde to the world, he is never right in religion and righteousnesse, in piety and since∣rity: A man must doe more than others,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉Mat. 5. 47. It was well for Noah, that he was a singular man in a sober and sincere singularity, when the Page 18 flood swept away the world of the ungodly: and is it now proved bad to excell in following holi∣nesse, and approving things that are excellent? Or is it onely the safe way to doe as most do, and pe∣rish in the broad way, and not rather to goe in the narrow way to life, which few finde? Matth. 7. 13, 14.
- 3 It is heresie, to receive and follow the truth of Gods fiery Law and everlasting Gospell, in the dayes of Paul they called it heresie; to preach the faith, to defend the faith, to keep the truth, is by men of an antichristian spirit called heresie; and men that keepe the commands of God, and the faith of Je∣sus, condemned as hereticall, Acts 24. 14.
- 4 It is schisme to depart from the unhallowed, croo∣ked, cursed wayes of unblest men. If men for peace of conscience, and desire to please, and not offend God, would make Gods law, and not mens lusts, their rule, and so to walke humbly with God, walke not in the wayes of men, and save them∣selves from the untoward generation, they are pre∣sently accused of pestilent schisme, the devils scar∣crow to keep men from zeale in religion, and forward∣nesse in godlinesse, Acts 28. 22.
*Who are zealous against the zealous, and the house of God, as men set on fire of hell: It was once Pauls sinne and misery, concerning zeal, persecuting the Church, Phil. 3. 6. As the serpents mouth hath a flood (aspersions, reproaches, accusations, edicts, and orders) to cast after the woman (the Church of Christ) Rev. 12. 15. Satan hath still instruments full of fire and fury against the house of the Lord.
- 1 Quenching all Zeale in preaching Christ,* as the High-priest and his complices, filled with zeale and indignation, put the blessed Apostles in the com∣mon goale for preaching, Acts 5. 17, 18. being as fraid of it as they are of fire, one sparke they thinke would set all in a flame, Vers. 24. There be men who put preaching of Christ, and teaching of the people among their grievances: They were grieved that they taught the people, Acts 4. 2. crying out of such as unsufferable, as they to Paul, Away with such a fellow from the earth, it is not fit (most able judges) that he should live, Acts 22. 22. For∣bidding men to preach in Christs name, and Christs words, as the very enemies of mens sal∣vation, 1 Thes. 2. 16. they would have us blinde, and muzzle our mouthes: except they may be soothed and smoothed, men must be turned out of their places, as hindrances in their way, Ministers must turne out of the path, Gods way cast up, and our way to walke in, and may not preach sincere sanctification and mortification, but Constitutions and Canons. Thus they did to the Prophets before us, They say to the Seers see not, and to the Prophets, prophesie not unto us right things; speake unto us smooth things, prophesie deceits, get you out of the way, turne aside out of the path, Cause the holy one of Israel to cease from before us, Isa. 30. 10, 11. How many have been made to forsake their allegeance and fealty to Christ our King, and break their vowes of obedience to him, they gave the Nazarites wine to drinke, and commanded the Prophets, saying, Prophesie not, Amos 2. 12.
- Page 202 Censuring hearing of Gods Word, as the great transgression in people, who are to heare it as they would be saved, as it is read, The next Sabbath day came almost all the city together to heare the Word of God, but when the Iewes saw the multi∣tude, they were filled with envy, Acts 13. 44, 45. Men are eaten up with envy at hearers of Sermons, who wait on the Word of the Lord, albeit men that re∣ject his commands be vexed by God, yet they who heare his commands be vexed by men, as if they were no ordinary malefactors.
- 3 Crying downe all prayer, unlesse given to men, and prescribed by a powerlesse, prayerlesse Canon and Order, which a gracious heart finds empty and heartlesse; as once that decree, Whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man, for thirty dayes, save of thee O King, he shall be cast into the den of Lions, Dan. 6. 7. O men greatly in love with pray∣er! An order a godly man had rather lose his life (as well as liberty) than follow: Daniel he kneeled up∣on his knees three times a day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he did afore time, Dan. 6. 10. Men of Atheisticall spirits have twitted conceived prayer as extemporary, and scornfully called it prayer by the spirit.
- 4 Throwing downe the things of God, as in elder time was complained of by Elias, They have throwne downe thine altars, 1 King. 19. 10.
- 1 Rejecting Christs doctrine, men cannot away with it, the second commandement is cast out by vaine superstitions, and the fourth commandement is violated by profane sports, of whom it is true the Page 21 Prophet speaks, They have rejected the Word of the Lord, Ier. 8. 9.
- 2 Despising Christs discipline, whereby scandals might be prevented or removed, that men might set up their own dominion, that they may be Lords in the Church over Gods heritage, whereas his go∣vernment is not by any man or men at their plea∣sure to be taken away, diminished or changed; they refuse his government, saying, We will not have this man to raigne over us, Luke 19. 14.
- 5 Disdaining Gods glory, by small ones judged silly ones, they (the chief Priests) saw the children crying, Hosanna to the sonne of David, they were sore displeased, though it was according to Scrip∣ture, and for Gods praise, by babes, Mat. 21. 15, 16. The multitude, which then was no multitude, acknow∣ledged Christ whom they dishonoured, Mat. 21. 9. How many have a flouting spirit, when young ones or mean ones have Christs Word dwell richly in them: as many worthies of the Lord wandred in sheep skins and goat skins, men here afflicted and destitute.
- 6 Conspiring to hinder reformation of the house of the Lord. If any good be undertaken for religion, for holinesse, pure worship, or Christs government in his house, with what opposition is it contraried? Men are, as of old, full of wrath, indignation, and mockery, as Sanballat and others conspired against Ierusalem, to hinder the building of the wall, and the stopping of the breaches, Nehem. 4. v. 1, 2, 3, 7, 8. These men are zealously affected, but not well, as Gal. 4. 17. And shall be ashamed for their envy at the people, Isay 26.11.
Page 22*Who are not ashamed of zeale for traditions, ceremonies, superstitions, unnecessary, burden∣some, which have proved of no use to edifie the Church, but as nets, snares, and bands, to intangle and cumber the children of God in their fathers house and service. Paul was once zealous excee∣dingly for the traditions of his fathers, Gal. 1. 14. How many have placed the beauty of holinesse, and the glory of religion, in things devised by men, which can be no meane to sanctifie the worship∣pers? How forward have many beene to contri∣bute their best assistance unto forbidden vanity? as they to idolatry: The children gather wood, the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the Queene of heaven, and to powre out drink-offerings unto other gods, Ier. 7. 18. Encouraging their fellowes in and to idolatry, as those of old animated one another, They helped every one his neighbour, and every one said to his brother, Be of good courage: so the Carpenter encouraged the Gold-smith, and he that smootheth with the hammer him that smote with the anvill. Thus superstitions have beene set up, Isay 41. 67. Some with their tongues, loud in Pul∣pits; some with their pens, allowed in Presses; o∣thers with their commands, forcible in their Courts; and not a few forward and obsequious, have set to their hand, and all for superstitious vanities: Few places be so happy, as to be without some zealots in these things, under well-liked names of decen∣cy and order, to win credit to vile inventions; Whereas in religion we must inquire, who, how good Page 23 and great he is that requireth it, and appoints it: not as the divell turnes it, into what, and of what quali∣ty, and how great and decent the thing injoyned is, that we may know what to say, when God exa∣mines our service, Who required this at your hand? Isa. 1. 12.
Receive the words of exhortation,* all that be thorowly religious, to be truly zealous; Rest not in knowledge, and good principles, but be heated with good affection, as well as taught; With good light have good fire, have grace with your knowledge, and zeale with religion; witty heads, and zealous hearts, as we are commanded, Be zealous, Re∣vel. 3. 19.
- 1 The persons to be zealous.
- 2 The properties of this zeale.
- 3 The meanes for this zeale.
- 4 The motives to this zeale.
1 The persons to be zealous, the word is spo∣ken to a mixt assembly, and is fit for all: I would have none here sent away without fire.
|1 People||must be zealous.|
1 The people are to feed zeale:* Zeale is good a∣mong them; It is good to be zealously affected, Gal. 4. 18.
- 1 In taking the kingdome of heaven by violence, as Israel tooke Canaan, by a holy violence offered to the dulnesse of heart, and by withstanding spiri∣tuall sloth, removing all impediments in the way, crowding in as in a great concourse, pressing in and Page 24 unto meanes of grace in their day, as a matter of life, The kingdome of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force: Duty requires it, neces∣sity urgeth it, it is for a kingdome, neglect it not, Matth. 11. 12.
- 2 In serving the Lord, doing his work with fer∣vency, that the hearts of men should burne within them, not be cold or luke-warme, but fervent in spi∣rit, in spirit serving the Lord, having a holy fire kindled on the hearth, in the heart, Rom. 12. 11.
- 3 In loving the house of God, minding meanes of grace, and performing holy duties with spirituall affection, delighted in God, and united to God, in whose house we finde such satisfaction and con∣tentment, as Davids zeale was, Lord I have loved the habitation of thy house, and the place where thine honour dwelleth; his longings were after it, to dwell in it, Psal. 26. 8.
- 4 In exciting others with all earnestnesse and im∣portunity to seek the Lord, Call on your friends, kinsmen, neighbours, call thy husband, thy child, thy servant, be enlarged in desire after men to seeke and serve the Lord, be not unnaturall, uncivill, to minde goodnesse alone, but be spirituall, have bowels of compassion to thy brother, to thy friend that thou lovest as thy owne soule, that they may have communion with God, and comfort in the Lord, and accesse to the Lord, as well as thy selfe, as it is in the Prophet, The inhabitants of one city shall go to another saying, Let us go spee∣dily to pray before the Lord, and to seek the Lord of hosts, I will go also, Zechar. 8. 21.
- Page 255 In grieving for mens neglect of Gods Law, and the dishonour that is done to God by disobedience. I beheld the transgressors and was grieved, be∣cause they keep not thy word, Psal. 119. 158. Ri∣vers of waters run downe mine eyes, because they keep not thy lawes: My zeale hath even consumed me, because mine enemies have forgotten thy words, saith the Psalmist, Psal. 119. ver. 139. Thus Lot a just and an honest man was vexed passively by sin∣ners; and actively, voluntarily for sinners. Just Let was vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: for that righteous man dwelling among them (of Sodome and Gomorrha) in seeing and hea∣ring, vexed his righteous soule from day to day, with their unlawfull deeds, 2 Pet. 2. 7, 8.
- 6 In distributing cheerfully to it, for the mainte∣nance of the service of God, that God may be ho∣noured with mens substance, as they for the taber∣nacle, they came every one whose heart stirred him up, and every one whom his spirit made willing, and they brought the Lords offering to the work of the tabernacle of the congregation, and for all his ser∣vice, Exod. 35. 21. they were so forward in erect∣ing it, till an order was made for their restraint; so the people by Moses command were restrained, for the stuffe they had was sufficient, and too much for it, Exod. 36. 6, 7. Ministring too, to the necessities of the Saints, as Christs mem∣bers, in which the Corinthians were forward, and of exemplary zeale, 2 Corinth. 9. 1, 2. the Apostle commended their zeale, which provo∣ked very many.
Page 26*Preachers be to be zealous, not luke-warme, not cold, but as men touched with a live coale from the altar, that the word of life die not in their mouthes, albeit Zeale and the power of the Ministe∣ry is not in words, nor a loud voice. Thus was Isaiah touched by the Seraphim, Isay 6. 6, 7. Thus Ieremy found the Word of the Lord as a fire, not to be kept in, Ier. 20. 9.
- 1 In preaching the word of God, constantly with∣out looking backe, and diligently without weari∣nesse and sloth, out of love to the Church, to be as bellowes to stirre up the fire in others, to promote grace in them, to warme a cold, and thaw a frozen people. This is Apollos his praise, who being fer∣vent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, Act. 18. 25.*
- 2 In praying for the Church, for Gods blessing on their people, that they may be setled in the truth, and confirmed in the will of God. Preachers are to lift up a prayer for the Church by the helpe of Gods spirit. King Hezekiah sent to the Prophet Isaiah, Not to read out a prayer, but to lift up a prayer for the remnant that is left, 2 King. 19. 4. This zeale in praying is not in being (as a boy) bound up in a booke, nor as a child tied to a forme: Paul gives record to the Minister of Colosse, that he had a great zeale, labouring or striving fervently for the Colossians in prayer, this zeale in prayer is Epaphras his praise, Col. 4. 12, 13.
- 3 In hating evill with indignation, a blessed pas∣sion against corruption.
- 1 In doctrine, to abhorre lies, falsities, vanities, Page 27 this was in the Ephesian Angel, who could not beare with them which are evill, which upon triall were found not Apostles, but Apostates, deceivers, liers, Rev. 2. 2.
- 2 In Worship, our spirit should rise against all i∣dolatries, superstitions, vaine inventions, that no man may defile the temple of God. Thus Paul his spirit was stirred within him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry, Acts 17. 16.
- 3 In practice, draw out the sword of Gods spi∣rit against all iniquity; discover how God doth dislike all lewdnesse, in any of their hearers. Al∣beit men be great and bold sinners, tell them what is not lawfull for them, by a divine law: Learne of the Baptist, who would venture the liberty of his person, rather than neglect the freedome of his Mini∣stery, and the delivering of the law of liberty, free∣ly and indifferently removing sin in all estates; He would rather lose his head than hold his tongue before hypocriticall Herod, Mat. 14. 4.
- 4 In suffering for the Church, to confirme it in the truth. Herein was Pauls zeale, who saith, If I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy and rejoyce with you all, Phil. 2. 17. Preachers are to let liberties and lives goe for the good of the Church. I am ready (saith the Apo∣stle) not to be bound onely, but also to die for the name of the Lord Jesus, Acts 21. 13. Yea wee should not onely undergoe the crosse, abide the pri∣son, but sometimes desire the deferring of our glory for the furtherance of the Church in grace, as it is e∣vident in that great strait Paul was in, to depart and Page 28 be with Christ was better for him, to live and abide in the flesh, was better for them, Phil. 1. 23, 24.
*Magistrates Gods Ministers, the Ministers of State, be ye zealous, Feed you this holy fire: as Davids zeal eat him up, so let zeal of Gods house begin to eat upon you, The helpfull friends of afflicted Zion.
- 1 In casting out the filth in Gods house, take away the wicked, that it may not be a den of theeves, stir up your spirits against them that are as the Cretians were, alway liers, evil beasts, slow bellies. Let Priests be held as pestilent, let Iesuites be as Iebusites, reckon false Apostles as withered Apostates. Mind ye with all heedfulnesse that of our Saviour, Every plant which my heavenly father hath not planted, shall be roo∣ted up, Mat. 15. 13.* Christ intends not topping or lop∣ping of such trees, he dislikes the root: It is not any cutting or cropping wilbe the cure, it is the plucking up he intends: when your wisdome discovers to you out of Gods Word by divine light, What God your father, and the father of our Lord Jesus Christ planted not, up with that as ill weeds by the root, should you shave them with a razor, they would grow a∣gaine. O think it not enough to clip their wings, when Christ is against the being of such a body. Let your zeale be kindled in your brests against them who have lift up their face against Gods law, and by this made themselves contemptible and base be∣fore all the people; against idolaters, that by their fals have caused many to stumble. Gird on your sword against cursed swearers, prophane Sabbath∣breakers, the impure persons, and those belly-gods, drunkards, and other of that infamous nature, that Page 29〈1 page duplicate〉Page 26〈1 page duplicate〉Page 27〈1 page duplicate〉Page 28〈1 page duplicate〉Page 29 are a sin and a shame among us. Let David be your patterne in your work for the Church, I will early destroy all the wicked of the land, that I may cut off all wicked doers from the city of the Lord, Psal. 101. 8. where he intended diligence, constancy, and impartiality. Let your hearts be incouraged, as that princely spirit of Iehoshaphat, His heart was lift up in the ways of the Lord, and he took away the high places and groves out of Iudah, 2 Chro. 17. 6. Be ye baptized with our Saviours spirit, when you meet with doctrines not after godlinesse, and worship not after God, Say by authority, take these things hence, 10. 2. 16.
- 2 In building God a house, that the Lord God may dwell among us, in zeal prepare him an habitation, Exo. 15. 2. Baruch the sonne of Zabbai is renowned, who repaired the wall of Ierusalem, earnestly he was set on fire, yea he fired himselfe, burst out into heat, as angry with himselfe and others, so sloth∣full in the Lords work, Nehem. 3. 20.*Be ye of an high spirit, bold in promoting the things of Gods house, that all your best abilities and deepest projects may be with all stirring of heart, subservient to Gods Church, and subordinate to his glory. Let the love of Christ be so warme in your hearts, that whatsoe∣ver you perceive is wanting in the ministery, in our as∣semblies, in doctrine, in discipline, or any part of the worship of your God, it may be repaired according to the law of the Lord, and the counsell of the most High, who will save Zion, and hath his instruments, his sanctified ones, that ye may be called the repairers of the breach, the restorers of the paths to dwell in, Isa. 58. 12.
- Page 303 In defending the innocent, countenancing well∣doers, you are for the praise of them that do well; disgrace your flatterers and their slanderers, plead ye the cause of Ieremy, charged with revolt; the cause of Paul, accused of great and grievous things which cannot bee proved; remember ye Christs case, when he in his is called seditious. Men run under your protection who had no comforter, You are the shields of the earth, let the cause of the poore come before you, and let the needy that hath no helper dwell safe by you. You are governours for the protection of well-doers, 1 Pet. 2. 14. Let it be free for men whose heart is to their work, the work of the Lord, in preaching, praying, and in all the offi∣ces of the house of the Lord, to serve the Lord in the li∣berty of Christ, without feare or snare. Say of all such as Cyrus, The God of heaven be with them, Ezra 1. 3. that they may without hindrance pray for the life of the King and his sonnes, and those be cut off that trouble them, as was Darius his decree, that they may offer sacrifices of sweet savours unto the God of heaven, and pray for the life of the King and his sonnes; Also I make a decree, that whosoever shall alter this word, let timber be pulled downe from his house, and being set up, let him be hanged there∣on, and let his house be made a dunghill for this, and the God that hath caused his name to dwell there, destroy all kings and people that shall put to their hand to alter and to destroy this house of God which is at Ierusalem, Ezra 6. 10, 11, 12.
The properties* of this zeale, shewing in part the manner and nature of it.
- 1 It is personall, David saith, My zeale hath ea∣ten up me, a man should be himself a good instance for zeal, not thinking it enough others to work and he be idle, others to study, stand up and speake, and he to sleepe, sit still and say nothing for the house of God. Let a man be exemplary in himselfe, in his family, his children, his servants, his followers, that as they say of love, they may say of zeale, your zeale begins at home. Let there be admonition and instruction in the words of the Lord, let there be discipline and orderly walking: This was Davids zeale, heare him; I will set no wicked thing be∣fore mine eyes. I hate the work of them that turn aside, it shall not cleave to me, a froward heart shall depart from me, I will not know a wicked person, Psal. 101. 3. 4. Let every man be a burnt offering unto the Lord, let zeale eat up all corrupt affecti∣ons in us, consume our sinnes, and inflame our hearts toward him, Rom. 12. 1.
- 2 It is celestiall, it is fire from heaven, it is not from the earth; it is divine, from Gods Spirit, not from angered nature, or hellish metall set on fire of hell: but it is a supernaturall work to have such rai∣sed affection and fervent mind for the house of the Lord, it is the Holy Ghost baptizeth with this fire, Mat. 3. 11. Mens persons and actions will not relish till they be salted with the fire of heavenly doctrine, Every one shall be salted with fire, Mar. 9. 49.
- 3 It is regular, guided by rule, zeale is bold, but not blind, it is not rash or indiscreet, but wisely dis∣cerning things that differ. There is great odds, be∣tweene sinnes and sinnes, sinners and sinners, one Page 32 errour and another, one time and another, Zeale graceth knowledge, aud knowledge guideth zeale, men fervent in spirit had need be prudent and wise in heart: It is Gods Word is zeales rule, according unto that, cast out every evill in the temple, and by that make every pin for thetabernacle. Thus Moses was admonished, Heb. 8. 5. This Iudah missed, Rom. 10. 2.
- 4 It is impartiall, a zeale that layeth aside all partiall affection, or respect of persons, great or small, King or people, kinsman or countrey-man, it will doe right to all, without doing a friend a pleasure, or a foe a spite: Asa did a little to his mother, but very lamely; he removed her from being Queene, be∣cause she had made an idoll in a grove, 2 Chron. 15. 16. He did not as was covenanted, that whosoever would not seek the Lord God of Israel, should be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman, v. 13. Minde how Levi, impartiall in zeale, recovered his honour, is renowned, and hath a blessing on him, who said unto his father, and to his mother, I have not seene him, neither did he acknowledge his brethren, nor knew his own chil∣dren; for they have observed thy word, and kept thy covenant, Deut. 33. 9.
- 5 It is superlative in power, it overcomes great discouragements, as Calebs spirit, not afraid of Gy∣ants the children of Anak, he fully followed the Lord, laboured to still the tumultuous, and stay the faint-hearted people; for he had another spirit with him, Num. 14. 24. Moses was a man whose mind was elevated in the Church-cause above honour, he re∣fused Page 33 it, Heb. 11. 24. above pleasure, which he chose not, v. 25. above riches and treasures, which he estee∣med not, v. 26. above favours or feares of mortall man, he saw the invisible God, v. 27. It is resolute in holy undertakings, walks in wayes of good con∣science with lion-like courage, it spares no Agag, as Saul did, but hewes him in peeces, as Samuel did, 1 Sam. 15. 33. It will not be over-powered with wealth, worship, learning or greatnesse; jealousie is cruell as the grave, the coales thereof are coales of fire, which hath a most vehement flame, many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drowne it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned; nei∣ther waters of adversity and feare of punishment, nor favours of the world, and hopes of preferment can stop zeales mouth, it cannot be quenched, it will not be bribed, Cant. 8. 6, 7.
- 6 It is constant, zeal is a fire should never go out, but from a sparke increaseth to a most vehement flame, it forgetteth those things which are behind, and reacheth forth unto those things which are be∣fore, it presseth forward, is not declining, You that began well, spake well, wrought well, draw not back, grow not weary, decay not in zeale: as it is good to be righteous still and holy still, so it is good to be al∣wayes zealous, till the sons of Levi be purified, and the ungodly be no more, till errors be abandoned or buri∣ed, and superstitions abolished, till truth be establish∣ed, Christs government erected, til all the work about the house of the Lord be finished, in every speech, in every project, in every dayes work let zeale be in you, Gal. 4. 18.
*Avoid as quench-coales,
- 1 Vanity of speculation, shun vaine janglings and contentions, which edifie not in faith and obe∣dience; Paul would have men charged before the Lord, that they strive not about words to no pro∣fit, but to the subverting of the hearers, 2 Tim. 2. 14. and to avoid foolish and unlearned questions, v. 23. It is ill spent time and zeale that is spent this way. These evaporations hinder the inward zeale and warmth of heart in the truth after godlinesse.
- 2 Vaine companions, to be familiar with cold or luke-warm men, chils men. Vaine society decayed the love of Manna; it was the mixt multitude in Is∣rael, which was not of Israel, who fell a lusting, that brought Israel to lament after the Egyptians flesh, Cucumbers, Melons, Leeks, Onions, and Garlicke, but Manna was looked on as course fare, Numb. 11. 4, 5, 6. Who can be zealous for truth and familiar with the erroneous; for pure worship, and yet go hand in hand with the superstitious? What got Peter in the high Priests hall? More inward cold and coward∣linesse, than outward warmth by the fire, because where iniquity doth abound, love of many will waxe cold, Mat. 24. 12.
- 3 Spirituall satiety, when men have fulnesse, all is well with them, poore preaching, seldome prea∣ching, no preaching contents them. Superstitions and inventions of men go downe with them, as comely and decent things, that when some cry for Page 35 the Word of God, and the wayes and lawes of Christ (unknown to them) they wonder what they lacke, what they would have, what they meane, darknesse and error be not distinct, with them, from light and truth; this conceipt of all being well, brought Laodicea to be luke-warm; Thou sayest, I have need of nothing, and knowest not that thou art poore, Rev. 3. 17.
- 4 Carnall policy, feares carnall, and sinfull sloth in men, hinders their activenesse, when men have it in their hands to cast out all evill in the house of the Lord, and remove wickednesse from the city of our God, that the Canaanite shall no more dwell there, then policy overcomes piety, and sloth decayes mens might, as in Israel it came to passe, when Israel was strong, that they put the Canaanites to tribute, and did not utterly drive them out, Iud. 1. v. 28. which brought them under the oppressions of Ia∣bin King of Canaan twenty yeeres, Iudg. 4. 2, 3. Wherefore whosoever desires to be truly zealous, shun vaine speculations and vaine companions, be∣ware of spirituall satiety, and carnall policy, the e∣nemies of zeale.
II. Provide and minde what zeale needs to keep in this holy fire, in the coldest times, provide for your firing.
- 1 Gods Spirit works this warmth of affection in the heart: By this Spirit Christ comes to be refi∣ners fire, where he makes any zealous, he gives them his Spirit, which baptizeth with fire of pi∣ous affection; nature doth not bring it forth, it is from above, by the Holy Ghost is this fire, Mat. 3. 11.
- Page 362 The Word of God lively taught is a fire to heat mens hearts, Ier. 23. 29. Is not my word a fire? It is fire in the mouth of Gods messengers. Men that need heat, must mind this, to preserve and increase zeale: Great care must be had to enjoy Preachers, whose lips are touched with a coale taken from Gods Altar, Isa. 6. 67. They who preach the Word of God remissely and coldly, as they be cold, they leave their hearers cold; cold preaching makes cold people. Men under such luke-warmnesse in Preachers, are daily more cold, and come to be hardened by a spirituall frost, and zeale perisheth, and where vision faileth, the people are made naked, cold, lame, and benum∣med, Pro. 29. 18.
- 3 Zealous company is a live coale to set others on fire, one will warme another. I onely take in the Preachers phrase, If two lie together, then they have heat, but how can one be warme alone? Eccl. 4. 11. When some want fire, they fetch then a coale at their neighbours: Godly men provoke on ano∣ther to love and good works, Heb. 10. 24. and doe sharpen one another.* Iron sharpeneth iron, so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend, Pro. 27. 17.
- 4 Prayer to God whose Spirit is fire, powre out your hearts to the God of heaven for this zeale, as Iabez, 1 Chro. 4. 10. O that thou wouldest blesse me indeed, and inlarge my coast:—and God granted him his request, Put up one petition for zeale, for this fire to be kindled on thy haith, in thee, that the bredth of thy spirit may not be straitned, by any coldnes or freezing, the duty is, quench not the spi∣rit, 1 Thes. 5. 19. the mean is, pray without ceasing, vers. 17.
*In regard of God,
- 1 God commands it, he requires it, we may not de∣ny it, he will have it, under paine of disobedience to the highest Majesty, we may not neglect it, his command is the argument of conscience, Be zea∣lous, Rev. 3. 19. should ye not obey him? will ye reject his Word? It is God, it is God cals on you for zeal for his house, it is he saith, the mind accor∣ding to my mind must be as I command, zealous.
- 2 God is zealous, a jealous God against spirituall fornication, 1 in generall, all sin a going a whoring from him; 2 in speciall, idolatry, superstition, this is hatefull to him, Exod. 20. 5. I am a jealous God, he will not spare in the day of vengeance, when the time of recompence is come: he regards not broken wedlock; Which my covenant they continued not in, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord, Heb. 8. 9. Your Zeal in taking away & defacing every who∣rish thing, every provocation, may prevent Gods jea∣lousie, that it burn not like fire, that none can quench it: weigh it in your hearts, and the Lord stirre your spirits within you, that we may find such a fruit of your zeale, that we feel not his fury.
- 3 God ardently loves Zion, his Church, and the welfare of it: Thus saith the Lord of hosts, I was jealous for Zion with great jealousie, and I was jea∣lous for her with great fury, Zech. 8. 2. When you heare God is zealous, may not you be zealous? Will not you be zealous? God is with you in this work of Zion, he is ingaged for his sons throne, and will establish it, he hath set the government upon his shoulder, Page 38 he hath promised all shalbe ordered with justice and judgement, and his zeale will performe it, Isay 9, 67. are you to minde and mend the Ministery? he is with you. Are you zealous for the truth of the Gospell? so is he. Are you fervent that God may be worshipped according to his own heart? he is more abundant. May it not embolden any man when it may be truly said to him, in his way, in his work for Zion, The Lord is with thee thou valiant man, Go on in your might, that you may save our Israel, and build up Zion.
- 4 God promiseth most familiar communion with the zealous, which should perswade to this zeale, he who stomacks the luke-warme, loves the zea∣lous, and saith, he will come in to him, and sup with him, and he with Christ. Christ suppes with us, in cheering and delighting himselfe with his owne graces, and gifts of his Spirit bestowed on us, as one that eats sweet and pleasant meat. We sup with Christ, when we communicate in all the cates and spirituall delicates of Christ, as they that sup toge∣ther, partake in bodily food. Would you meet with Christ in his ordinances, or be welcomed by him in his house? Be zealous, lose not such a pre∣sence by our luke-warmnesse, and such communi∣on for lack of zeale, Rev. 3. 20.
- 1 The wall of the vineyard is downe, the hedge is full of gaps, any beast or Boare may get in, it is ea∣ten up, it is troden downe, it is laid wast in many places, over-spread with woods, it wants rain hath clouds without raine, the hedge, corporall helpe, Page 39 without good Lawes, good Magistrates; the wall, a spirituall defence, inward, as godly Ministers, true discipline, clouds without raine over it, Ministers which make a faire shew, and yet are wels without water, only barren, without goodnesse in their Mi∣nistery, no refreshing to the vineyard, Isa. 5. 56. doth it not pertain to you, Men sought out among men to make up the hedge, and to stand in the gap? it is fallen into the hands of ill husbandmen, they have made it desolate; the Churches strength is small, it is brought very low, to it which is afflicted pitie should be shewed from its friends, that Zion may be raised off the ground, out of dust.
- 2 It is very corrupt in many things, in persons viti∣ous, the wicked walk on every side, and the vilest men are exalted, promoted. In doctrines, how many speake strange things, perverse things, contrary to the doctrine of Christ! In discipline how many eat the sinnes of the people, and grow fat by the vertues of the people, that Gods house is for such merchandise in corrupt courts made a den of theeves, Matth. 21. 12, 13. In the worship of God, men in most places have set up calves, as once in Moses absence Israel did, Exod. 32. 4. and all, while men slept, and wanted zeale, while you see these things, Let your anger with Moses waxe hot, vers. 19. downe with all calves, burne them in the fire, grinde them to powder, to be utterly abolished, vers. 20.
- 3 It is the house of God, David saith, thy house. It is the spouse of Christ maried to Christ for ever. Whose bowels yern not to see Christs spouse in the dust! O for Zion sake (the Zion of the holy one of Israel) hold Page 40 not your peace. David tels us his love to Ierusalem, because of the house of the Lord our God, Psa. 122. 9. what you do for his house, you do for him, to him. It is storied as a worthy act of a religious heart, in Terentius, a captaine under the Emperour Va∣lens, who having done some speciall service, for which the Emperour thought him worthy of a recompence, and being thereupon willed by him, to demand what he would, presented this petition, That the true Christians might have the liberty of a Church by themselves, wherein to worship God apart from the Arrians, whose heresie had then spread it self exceedingly. The Emperor reading his suppli∣cation, was much displeased, tare it in peeces, and threw it away. Terentius modestly gathered up the pieces again, professing to him, that if he could not be heard in Gods cause, he would make no suit for his own profit. Show you your sincere and faith∣full respect to the good and prosperous estate of Gods Church, above all personall concernments: be not put off with worldly profits, peace, and civill rights and liberties, you have more transcendent matters, the good of soules, the liberty of conscien∣ces, the meanes of grace, the worship of God, the kingdome of Christ, the house of the Lord, about this let your zeale have a most vehement flame.
*In regard of men, many things may kindle zeal.
*Good mens examples, they be all zealous of good works, Tit. 2. 14. and may you be cold? pious men all pray for it, as if it were a time of mercy for Zi∣on, they take pleasure in her stones, and favour the dust thereof, Psal. 102. 13, 14. and shall it not come into your mindes? the martyrs of renowned zeale Page 41 loved not their lives for the truth of Gods word which they did so affect, Revel. 12. 11. and may not mens hearts now be fired for it? Moses was a meeke man in his owne case, but no Sheep in Gods cause, he was angry and very hot against wicked doers, Exod. 32. 19. shall men now bee pleased with the wicked? Nehemiah was sad for it, Nehem. 2. 3. Why should not my countenance be sad? he fasted, wept, prayed, 1. 4. shall men now not lay it to heart? Phineas was zealous for God for his good in the matter of Zimri and Cozbi, Numb. 25. 11. and is it a time to be lukewarme when there be many Zimries and Cozbies? Paul was jealous for the Church, 2 Cor. 11. 2. Shall these be the dayes to bring forth carelesse ones? Godly men to remember Zion, wept for its sad conditi∣on, Psal. 137. 1. wee should as they never be com∣forted, but with its comforts and welfare; If I forget thee ô Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning, if I doe not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roofe of my mouth, if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chiefe joy, verse 5, 6.
* Bad men are great Zelots.
- 1. To make many Proselytes, to promote Anti∣christs power, how doe they consult, plot, pra∣ctise, yea compasse sea and land to make one Pro∣selyte? Mat. 23. 15. Can they thus imploy their hearts, heads and hands for that kingdome, a kingdome of darknesse? and who shall not, will not be quickned for Christs Kingdome, and his house?
- Page 422. To bring downe the house of God, perver∣ting the Scriptures, corrupting the worship of God, suspending the servants of Christ, ensnaring the Saints of God, Who say of the name of Christ, Down to it, downe to it even to the ground, but of the Church of Christ, Down with it, downe with it even to the ground; old Edoms race Psal. 137. 7. Shall the lewd be thus against it, and shall not any man that hath any spirit within him be moved for Zion? is their worke better? is their lord better? is their wages better? your worke, your cause, your con∣science may more hearten you.
*Mens conditions minded would quicken zeale.
*The present condition of many under mens burdens, impositions, oppressions, feares, shares on every side, as Moses went out to his brethren and looked on their burdens, and spied an Egyp∣tian smiting an Hebrew, his zeale was kindled to endevor his brethrens liberty, Exod. 2. 11, 12. You have heard our cryes, seene our burdens, know our sorrowes, you need not goe out to know this, the other day you were interest in this; the City cryes to you, the Country complaines, the Prea∣chers be pleading before you, the people praying to you as a way of mercy, help, help, help us; our consciences, our peoples consciences be heavied, be endangered, ô passe not by us, ô let it not be as nothing to you, that the blessing of them that are ready to perish may come upon you, deliver the poore that crieth, and him that hath none to help, that you may make our sad hearts sing for joy.
Page 43*Vnder Satans power many are, you would bee clad with zeale to consider (as it deserves your deepest thoughts) how poore people, who for their outward being live under a gracious Prince, are for their soules in spirituall vassalage under the Prince of darknesse, Ephes. 6. 12. the ruler of the darknesse of this world: how many perish in dark∣nesse as a blinde people served by a blinking guide, where the people perish for lack of know∣ledge? Hosea 4. 6. O how many places and people in this famous Island are yet in the shadow of death! who are not under the joyfull sound of Gods word, who yet feele no want of the Word of life, feare no misery; ô their security! unlesse God by his providence send it to them, they com∣plaine not to you, ô doe not (I beseech you) ex∣spect that of them, it is out of their blindnesse, deadnesse, and (as it is in all such men) a naturall carelesnesse in them; ô that I might in all humi∣lity commend their Petition to you this day, ô let this come into your minde, put on zeale and they shall be relieved, It is a death to have the glory depart where it hath beene, 1 Sam. 4. 22. With what thoughts can ye take up their case where the glory never was?
*The future condition of our posterity should at this kindle zeale in men; ô let us not leave chil∣dren after us to inherit our follies, lies and vani∣ties, let your zeale in reforming the house of God according to the word of God, prevent their re∣penting of our corruptiōs: wil it be a credit to this present age to have the next generation come to Page 44 God with grieved hearts, and to cleare themselves of our abominations say, surely, Our Fathers in∣herited lies, vanities, and things wherein there is no profit? Jer. 16. 19. Surely Reformation will be, for the present should be, put it not off for after times to doe it, doe your utmost that no Canaanite may be left, no leaven uncast out or cursed, no super∣stitions be left to posterity, but the word of God as an heritage for ever.
*In regard of particular choice men who feare the Lord and heare his word this day, to inflame your zeale, minde:
*Your place and calling speakes to you; Is it not of God that you are sent hither? Is it not for Zion that you are imployed here? Had you not your Countries, Counties hearts, voices, hands to doe worthily in Zion? minde what Mordecai said to Queene Esther 4. 14. Who knows, whether thou art come to the kingdome for such a time as this? May not I with little change say, Who knows whether ye be come to the Parliament, for such a time as this? We hope for such a time as this (when was there such a time) for such a thing as this, when was there such a cause, such a call, calleth for zeale.
*Your peace and prosperity is in the welfare of Gods house, you have a share in that ship, in the peace thereof shall you have peace; it is said of Jerusalem, they shall prosper that love it, Psal. 122. 6. will not the beauty of the assemblies, a godly Ministery, a pure Discipline, a spirituall worship bring in unto you much peace, and com∣fort, Page 45 but if truth be suppressed, godlinesse oppres∣sed, the Ministery corrupt, the worship of God polluted, what will become of yourselves, your soules, your families? No peace if you stir not this day, you and yours may perish for it, Esther 4. 14.
*Your honour is in marching valiantly on for Gods house; Barucks slownesse made the journey that he tooke, not to be for his honour, Iudg. 4. 8, 9. what honour will this comming to Parlia∣ment be to a man that spake nothing, or did no∣thing for those poore people, the children of God, who gave their voices in hope of help in the Church, in Religion? how can yee looke upon them in your returne into your Countries, when you have made their eyes to faile, their hearts to bleed, their condition in spirituall things as heavy &helpless? but what love wil be to you & honor put upon you, when you behave your selves wor∣thily as saviours come up on Mount Zion?
*Your happinesse shall bee great in pleading thoroughly for Zion, and against Babylon, as it is prophesied, O daughter of Babylon who art to be destroyed, happy shall he be that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us, Psal. 137. 8. happy in your selves, happy in your families, happy in your credit, happy in your Country, happy in your soules, happy in your bodies. Wherefore (that I may not be farther tedious to anies patience) let Zion come into our minds, and as Ioab animated Abishai, 2 Sam. 10. 12. be of good courage and let us play the men for our people, and for the City of our God, and the Lord doe that which seemeth him good; so strengthen your hands for this good Page 46 work, Nehem. 2. 18. take heed what ye doe, for it is for the house of the Lord, 2 Chron. 19. 6. Let the feare of the Lord be upon you, v. 7. Deale coura∣giously, and the Lord shall be with the good, v. 11.