Gods eye on His Israel, or, A passage of Balaam, out of Numb. 23, 21 containing matter very seasonable and suitable to the times : expounded and cleared from antinomian abuse, with application to the present estate of things with us / by Tho. Gataker ...

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Title
Gods eye on His Israel, or, A passage of Balaam, out of Numb. 23, 21 containing matter very seasonable and suitable to the times : expounded and cleared from antinomian abuse, with application to the present estate of things with us / by Tho. Gataker ...
Author
Gataker, Thomas, 1574-1654.
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London :: Printed by E. G. for Foulke Clifton ...,
1645.
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Subject terms
Balaam -- (Biblical figure)
Antinomianism -- Early works to 1800.
Church and state -- England.
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http://name.umdl.umich.edu/A70158.0001.001
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"Gods eye on His Israel, or, A passage of Balaam, out of Numb. 23, 21 containing matter very seasonable and suitable to the times : expounded and cleared from antinomian abuse, with application to the present estate of things with us / by Tho. Gataker ..." In the digital collection Early English Books Online. https://name.umdl.umich.edu/A70158.0001.001. University of Michigan Library Digital Collections. Accessed July 19, 2024.

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GODS EYE ON HIS ISRAEL. An Explication and Application of Balaams words recorded Numbers 23.21.

THat which had wont to be said of Africke, that it was a 1.1 ever producing some new monster or o∣ther; is too true of the age, I would I might not say of the land, wherein we live. But the thing it selfe is so notorious, that lamented it may be, concealed it cannot be. We have many strange and uncouth, some even mon∣strous and prodigious opinions, daily started up amongst us: which men of corrupt, either judgement, or affection, or both, taking liberty to themselves, from the present distractions of the state, and disturbances of the times, stick not to broach and disperse, as well in publique as in private: whereby multitudes of people, of the weaker sort and sex especially, are seduced and misled;

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grievous rents and schisms are made both in Church and State; the doctrine of the Gospell is much wronged and abused; and a wide gap is laid open unto all manner of licentiousnesse and loosnesse of life.

Among these none to me seemeth more pestiferous and per∣nicious, then that of those, who from one of the first Authours thereof are commonly called Eatonists, from their opposition to the mandatory and obligatory power of the Law morall, or the Decalog, Antinomians or Antinomists; and such as have further built on the grounds by them laid; whereby they maintain, a∣mong other erroneous conceits, that b 1.2 God seeth no sinne at all in his justified children: one covering c 1.3 the hour-glasse, that he preacheth by in publik, an other d 1.4 the Bible that he collateth by in private; and affirming withall, that God no more seeth any sin in any justified persons, then the auditory then present saw, either the Glass the one, or the Book the other; and consequent∣ly, that he taketh not notice of it, nor is at all displeased with them, fall they never so foully, or live they never so loosly, for ought that such doe: nor doth he inflict ought on them, or on any other, as the Land or State they live in, and are limmes of, either by way of punishment, or in way of chastisement, for any sinne by them committed. Yea that therefore, they neither need to crave pardon for any sinne or excesse, nor to afflict and humble themselves for the same: one of them affirming, that e 1.5 what f 1.6 David did in this kind, after his grievous excesses in the matter of Vriah, proceeded in him from weaknesse: as also, that g 1.7 what h 1.8 Peter did in the like kind, after his foul fact of de∣niall, issued from the weaknesse of his faith. On which their prin∣ciples others raising further super structures, have so farre pro∣ceeded as to affirm, that i 1.9 neither faith, nor repentance, nor humilia∣tion, nor selfe deniall, nor use of Ordinances, nor doing as one would be done to, are duties required of Christians, or such things as they must exercise themselves in, or they can have no part in Christ. Al∣beit the k 1.10 Scriptures be so pregnant, and so expresse to the contrary.

One principall pillar or shore, that hath by these men been erected and applied to the bearing up of that their first main assertion before-mentioned, is hewn out of, and taken from

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l 1.11 a passage of Balaam, delivered in a speech of his to Balak, thus commonly read, m 1.12 He seeth none iniquity in Jacob; nor seeth no transgression in Israel.

Or somewhat neerer to the originall, thus, n 1.13 He hath not be∣held iniquity in Iacob; neither hath he seen perversnes in Israel.

Which place, because it is not onely grossely misexpounded and mis-applyed by them, but is also, as I conceive, commonly mis∣translated and mistaken by the most; I have thought good to impart such thoughts as long since I have had concerning the same to the publik; thereby endeavouring to give some fur∣ther light, if it may be, to the Text; to cleare it, at least, from that wicked and wretched abuse and wrong, which from these men it doth sustain.

In prosecution hereof I shall use this method:* 1.14

  • 1. Deal with the sense that these men fasten on it.
  • 2. Deliver and debate the versions and expositions rendred by others.
  • 3. Discusse the severall branches and tearms of the Text.
  • 4. Draw forth and pursue that Doctrine that the place under∣stood aright affords.

To begin with the first of these; against the sense that these men would fasten upon it, to wit,* 1.15 that God saw no sinne at all in Iacob, nor transgression in Israel,* 1.16 I shall use a fourfold prescription or plea.

First, that this can not be the meaning of the place,* 1.17 because it evidently crosseth the main tenor of the story, and the truth of Gods Word. For how could God but see those sinnes in that people, which so oft he grievously o 1.18 complaineth of, professeth to take p 1.19 notice of, and to be highly displeased with, threatneth to a∣venge, yea not threatned alone so to do, but severely, and that frequently also,q 1.20 s 1.21 punished by plagues and judgements of sun∣dry sorts; yea for which he destroyed in the wildernesse the main body of that people which he brought out of Egypt,r 1.22 reserving onely their issue, to enter upon, and enjoy the Land promised them, in their stead? Or what reasonable creature can be indu∣ced to beleive, that all this should by God be done, when he had so hoodwinked and blindfolded himself, that he neither did nor could see that, for which he did all this?t 1.23

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* 1.24Secondly, that Balaam, who uttered these words unto Balak, did not so understand them, nor was of any such mind. That which appeares by the advise that he gave unto Balak. For as the Nobles of Babylon, being well assured that a 1.25 they should never be able to get any advantage against Daniel, whereby to ensnare him, and bring him into danger, save in something that might concern him in his duty to his God, b 1.26 solicited Darius to enact and publish such an edict as might straiten him that way: c 1.27 so Balaam well wotting, that no advantage could be gotten against that people, whereby the enemy might be enabled to have the better of them, but by making a breach between them and their God; c 1.28 advised Balak therefore by the enticements of the daughters of his people to endeavour to enduce them to forni∣cation and superstition, to adultery and idolatry, (two sinnes that are d 1.29 wont to goe hand in hand together) that so the wrath of God being incensed against them, and his protection withdrawn from them, they might either ly e 1.30 open to the enemy, or be f 1.31 delivered up by God unto them, to be scourged and punished for their sinne. But in vain had it been for Balaam to give such counsell to Balak, or for Balak to have practised what Balaam suggested, had God been so affected towards this people, that he could not, or would not see, or take notice of what was done amisse, either in that, or in any other kind, by them, nor would be dis∣pleased at all with them for it.

* 1.32Thirdly, that this sense of the words will not stand with other their own principles, but directly crosseth that which themselves otherwhiles averre. For when we object unto them, against this their position, the examples of holy men recorded in Scripture; as of Moses, of whom it is said, that God was g 1.33 angry, yea very angry with him,h 1.34 for his flinching and hanging back, when he was to go on Gods errand to Pharaoh; had like to have slain him in his Inne by the way for the neglect of his childs circumci∣sion; was i 1.35 displeased with him and Aaron for their incredulity and failings in some unadvised carriages; k 1.36 with Aaron also for having an hand in the calf; and punished them both with l 1.37 exclu∣sion from possession and enjoyment of the promised Land: of David, concerning whom it is affirmed, that the thing he did in his folly with Bathsheba, and in the murther of Vriah, was m 1.38 e∣vill

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in Gods eys; himself also confessing, that those his sinnes were committed n 1.39 in Gods sight, as also that his other sinnes, such as he had (for some he was o 1.40 falsly charged with) were p 1.41 not hidden from him; and that God by Nathan sharply q 1.42 reproved him for the same; threatning withall to r 1.43 repay his sinne in either kind by the like; which s 1.44 accordingly also he did: and again that upon the numbring of his people, which t 1.45 Satan and his own cor∣rupt heart had put him upon, u 1.46 his conscience smote him, as having done that, which he knew God would take notice of, and take to heart, as the event sheweth that he did; for God not onely signified so much to him by x 1.47 Gad, but made him y 1.48 smart for it in his people: of Iehoshaphat, whom for his assistance of Ahab, God a 1.49 by Iehu s messenger summoned to answer it, and gave him notice of his wrath incensed against him for it; Of Ezekiah, with whom for a vain b 1.50 ostentation of his wealth and state to the Babylonian Ambassadors, he was not a little dis∣pleased, and in displeasure, to his no small grief (no doubt) made known unto him, c 1.51 what in after times should become, not of all his treasures onely, but of his posterity. When, I say, we object unto them these and the like examples of Gods people, recorded in Gods Book, whose excesses and oversights God beheld, and that also with an angry and wrathfull eye; they use to tell us, that these persons were under the cloud, d 1.52 they lived in the times of the Old Testament: that it is not now as it was then; God saw that in them then, which he seeth not in us now: It is true, that in those times God saw sinne, and took notice of it, and punished it, even in his own justified ones; but he doth not so now adaies. For, not to insist on that, which in way of reply might be returned hereunto, to wit, that the Apostle Paul acknow∣ledgeth no other kind or manner of justification, then that, whereby e 1.53 Abraham, and f 1.54 David were justified; from whose examples he draweth an argument to prove, men to be in these times g 1.55 justified freely by faith, as they also in their times were: as also that the Apostle Peter affirmeth▪ that those that lived in those times were h 1.56 saved by the grace, yea the free grace (for

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(i) 1.57 unlesse free, it is no (k) 1.58 Grace) of God in Christ Iesus, as well as we that live in these dayes. Not to insist, I say, and stay hereupon; but to turn them over to their own tenents; these men herein deale with us in this argument, as the Papists doe in some others. For as they to make good, that Preists under the Gospel have a power to heare confessions and remit sinnes, produce some places out of the Old Testament to prove it; whereas yet they them∣selves confesse that (l) 1.59 the Preists in those times had no such pow∣er: and to confirme invocation and intercession of Saints deceased, they produce likewise some passages (m) 1.60 out of those Scriptures; when as yet being pressed with the practise of the holy men that then lived, who used no such invokements of any deceased, they are wont to answer, that (n) 1.61 the Saints in those times deceased could not heare prayers, or be prayed to, because they remained shut up in limbo, and were not gotten yet into heaven. In like manner doe these men, To prove that God seeth no sinne now in his justified ones, (o) 1.62 they alledge these words of Balaam, spoken of the Israel that then was, as affirming that God saw no sinne in them; and other places likewise, where he is said upon their repentance to have (p) 1.63 hidden all their sinnes; (as also to the same purpose they (q) 1.64 produce those passages, where God is said, to have (r) 1.65 removed their sinnes as farre from them, as the East is fom the West; & to have (s) 1.66 taken them, and cast them into the bottome of the sea:) whereas yet they are enforced by evidence of truth to confesse, that (t) 1.67 in those times God might and did see, take notice of, and punish sinne, even in the best that then were; and this cannot therefore be Balaams meaning in this place, if what themselves hold be true: nor can they alledge this place for the proofe of what they herein maintaine, without crossing and contradicting that which otherwhiles they acknow∣ledge.

* 1.68Fourthly, that this (t) 1.69 burden lies upon them, who undertake to ground such a point as this upon this place, to prove, that this,

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not onely in probability may be, but of necessity must be, the true sense of the words, which they give; for if the words will bear any other sense as well as that which they assigne, then cannot the Doctrine, which thence they endeavour to deduce, be raised necessarily from the place.

But that the words of the Text may well admit and bear some other orthodox sense, then this which they strive and contend (all they can) to fasten upon it; and that very aptly al∣so agreeing with the drift and course of the context; shall by Gods assistance be shewed in the ensuing discourse.

Which yet before I come to make manifest in that,* 1.70 which is herein principally intended; I shall crave leave to spend some time in considering and discussing the divers versions and expositions, that I find given of the same by others.

And here my purpose is not to make any long stay upon such of them, as depart much, either from the Originall,* 1.71 or from the Tran∣slations with us commonly received, which alone may seem to in∣timate some such thing as these men, whom at present we deale with, would have them to hold out: Those of this sort may well be referred to two principal heads.* 1.72 The former is of the Chaldie Paraphrast, who rendreth th Text thus, He beholdeth no (a) wor∣shippers of Idols in Jacob, nor seeth any (b) workers of falshood in Israel, and the Vulgar Latine, that giveth it much to the same purpose, (c) 1.73 There is no Idol in Jacob, nor Jmage seene in Israel; of which we shall, God willing, say somewhat more hereafter: for as for that of (d) 1.74 a learned writer, (who would look also that way,) (e) 1.75 Vanity shall not decline unto Iacob, nor workmanship be seene in Israel; it runs so far wide from the Originals, that it is scarce worth the taking notice of.

The latter head is of the Greek Interpreters, who thus yeeld them, (f) 1.76 No toilsome travell shall be in Iacob, nor paine, or painfull labour seene in Israel. Which version both the (g) 1.77 Greek Interpre∣ters, and the (h) 1.78 Latine also divers, as well ancient, as moderne, either in whole or in part, following; expound

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(i) 1.79 some of Gods providence over the people of Jsrael in keeping them from being over-toiled and tired out in their tedious passage through the wildernesse; or his (k) 1.80 powerfull assistance in enabling them with ease, to subdue their enemies and surprise their Cities: others (l) 1.81 of the state and condition of Gods elect in the life to come, wherein there shall be no pain, nor travell; the glorified Saints then (m) 1.82 being freed from all grievance, and (n) 1.83 resting wholly from their labours. And true it is that the words here used signifie affliction and vexation, as we shall hereafter at large shew. But neither doe the versions come exactly home to the Originall, nor doe the interpretations of them suit well with Balaams intendements; Nor shal we need to be over-solicitous a∣bout them; because tho admitted, they would not afford the least colour, for the maintenance of that erroneous conceit, that these men would thence assert. They may serve onely to shew, that the words have not anciently, or generally been taken, either in such a sense, the latter, or in such a latitude of sense, the for∣mer, as is now usually given them.

* 1.84Passe we on therefore to consider of the severall interpreta∣tions of the words so read as we have them in our English tran∣slations, and as before we have in part related.

(o) 1.85 He beheld no vanity in Jacob, nor saw transgression in Israel.

Or, (p) 1.86 He seeth none iniquity in Jacob, nor seeth no transgressi∣on in Israel.

Or, (q) 1.87 He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seene perversnesse in Israel.

In the exposition hereof Interpreters (none that I have seene, taking them simply, as they may seeme at first reading to sound) distinguish, some of the object or thing seene; some of the act, the sight, or manner of seeing here mentioned.

Of the Object, or thing seene, they distinguish two wayes.

* 1.88First, some more strictly taking iniquity and transgression, not for sinne in generall, but for one species or particular kind of it only, to wit, idolatry. So, (as you heard before) both the (r) 1.89Chal∣dee

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Paraphrast understandeth it, and the (s) 1.90 old Latine translator, whom (t) 1.91 the Popish commenters most follow; nor doe (u) 1.92 some of our Protestant writers herein depart from them. This sense some build on the word used in the former branch, some on that in the latter; some on the word (a) 1.93 Aven in the for∣mer branch, translated iniquity. (b) 1.94 He saw, saith a learned Writer of ours, no iniquity in Jacob: that is, no idlatry. The reason whereof he thus rendreth. God, as he is, ens entium, is be∣num, goodnesse: (c) 1.95 (none good but God onely, having his goodnesse of himselfe) but Idols by way of appropriation are called sinne; So Jeremy, (d) 1.96 My people have committed a sinne; that is, idolatry, and,(e) 1.97 This people is prone to sinne, that is, to idolatry; and in this sense is that of Siracides to be understood, (f) 1.98 All the Kings of Israel were sinners, except David, Iosias, and Ezekias, that is, they were idolaters. Thus he. wherein some things seeme not so sound, not of so clear truth at least. For first, no one of the places produced, doe prove that for which they are alleadged; to wit, that an Idol is in Scripture termed sinne. for no man will expound either those words of Ieremy, (g) 1.99 My people have com∣mitted an Idol, or those of Aaron to Moses, (h) 1.100 This people is prone to an Idol; nor doth this Author himselfe so expound them: it is true indeed, (which had beene a a fitter allegation then any of these are) that Moses speaking of the golden Calfe saith, (i) 1.101 I took your sinne, meaning the Calfe they had made; but sinne is there put by (k) 1.102 a metonymie for the object of their sinne,* 1.103 that wherein they had sinned.

Secondly, there is no necessity by sinne in those places to un∣derstand idolatry; since that the people there spoken of, both had committed many hideous and horrible sinnes besides their ido∣latries, and were prone to many other sinnes as well as to the worships of their Idols: but, (l) 1.104 They have sind sin, saith Ie∣remy, that is, (m) 1.105 they have greatly and grievously sinned; as David (n) 1.106 of himselfe, tho his sinne were not such: nor doe Aa∣rons (o) 1.107 words imply any more, but that they were a people (p) 1.108 bent unto evill, as the word there is; or sat upon mischeife, as our English hath it: nor need the sonne of Sirach (q) 1.109 words be taken so strictly, but that the Kings of Israel (thereby meaning, not those of the ten Tribes, so most commonly

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(r) 1.110 styled, by a denomination from the greater part; but of I∣dah, to whom (s) 1.111 Benjamin still stuck fast, as appeareth by the Kings he mentioneth; sometime also (t) 1.112 so tearmed, by a de∣nomination from the better part) were all greivous offendors in some one kind or other; those three onely excepted: for to say that the rest of them were all idolaters, were not agreeable to truth▪ since that neither (a) 1.113 Iehoshaphat was an idolater, tho he wanted not (b) 1.114 his wants and weaknesses; nor (c) 1.115 Asa, tho he had (d) 1.116 his failings and faultings: and that therefore which is said of him, that (e) 1.117 tho the high places in his dayes were not ut∣terly abandoned, yet his heart was upright with God all his life long; is by good Interpreters understood of his constancy in retaining and maintaining (f) 1.118 Gods true service and worship (not withstan∣ding his other over-sights and excesses) to the last.

* 1.119Thirdly, In this passage of Balaam, there is neither of the words specified in these two other places neither evil, nor sin: and albeit therefore those other places were so to be understood as this Author would have; yet would they hardly come home to give any great strength to the like exposition of the word here used.

* 1.120Fourthly, it is yet true indeed, that the word (g) 1.121 Aven here used is sometime given to an Idol. (h) 1.122 He that burneth incense, saith Esay, as if he blessed (i) 1.123 Aven, an Idol. And the word is joy∣ned with (k) 1.124 Teraphim, which signifieth (l) 1.125 Images, (m) 1.126 elsewhere▪ but it seemes to be attributed unto them, not so much in regard of the evill and sinfulnesse, as in regard of the (n) 1.127 vanity and nothingnesse of them; which the word also sometime import∣eth, and some (o) 1.128 here render it. In which regard likewise is the word (p) 1.129 shakar given to Idols, which signifieth falshood or a lye; (Is there not a lye in my right hand?) As they are opposite to the Deity, (q) 1.130 non qà bonum, sed qà verum, not as God is good, but as he is true. (r) 1.131 The Lord is the (s) 1.132 true God: saith Ieremy, but (t) 1.133 the image (whether graven or molten) is (u) 1.134 a lye: and

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they (x) 1.135 turned the truth of God. (that is, the true God) into (y) 1.136 a lye. As for the same cause are Idols also tearmed (a) 1.137 Eli∣lim, as a thing of (b) 1.138 nought: and are by the Apostle said to be (c) 1.139 nothing in the world. And hence it is, (which sheweth how this tearm is applyed unto Idols) that that place which had beene formerly called Bethel, that is, the house of God, in re∣gard of (d) 1.140 Gods appearing there to Iacob, and (e) 1.141 Iacobs solemn worshipping of God afterwards there; when in processe of time it became infamous for idol-worship by (f) 1.142 the golden Calfe ••••at Ieroboam had there erected; it was in stead of Bethel stiled (g) 1.143 Bethaven, that is, the house of falshood and vanity; as both the ChaldeeParaphrast, and (h) 1.144 the Jewish Doctors interpret it: and God by Amos threatning the ruine of it, saith, (i) 1.145 Bethel shall be brought to Aven, that is, as the Chal∣dee well, it shall be brought (k) 1.146 to nothing, it shall have no being.

Thus then we have shewed and seene, how farre forth this sense either may, or may not; receive footing from the former word here used.

Others assay to infer and inforce it upon the latter word, the word (l) 1.147 Amal used in the other clause. This word indeed the Old Latine rendreth (m) 1.148 an image, and our (n) 1.149 Old English, idola∣try. And those that here would have it understood of idols, go upon two divers grounds.

For whereas the word (o) 1.150 Amal hath a twofold significati∣on, it is sometime taken for labour or work. (p) 1.151 I beheld, saith Solomon, all (q) 1.152 the labour, wherein I had laboured, and, (r) 1.153 All a mans (s) 1.154 labour is for his mouth, and yet the appetite is not filled; or, Tho all a mans labour (s) 1.155 fall out to his owne mind, as himselfe would have it; yet his soule, or his desire, is not satis∣fied. Sometime for paine and griefe or trouble. (t) 1.156 I have been made to possesse (u) 1.157 nights of paine, saith Iob: and (x) 1.158 Woe be to those, saith Esay; that enact griefe; that is, decrees of griefe, grievous decrees; Some would have this tearm here given unto Idols, (a) 1.159 in the former notion, because they are no∣thing but (b) 1.160 Workmanship, (c) 1.161 the work of mens hands; o∣thers (d) 1.162 in the latter, because (e) 1.163 they bring nothing but pain and grief in the end to their worshippers and followers;(y) 1.164

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whereof they have * 1.165 another name commonly given them in holy Writ. And of that other name indeed it cannot be denied; for it is almost as frequently found in g 1.166 the one sense, as in h 1.167 the other. But for the word here used, no place is, nor (I suppose) can be produced, where it may be fitly so under∣stood.

* 1.168Howbeit, tho it were granted that this latter were some∣time used for an idol, as that the former is, hath been shewed; yet could not that be the sense of the words in this place: since that it cannot be said that this people kept free from 〈◊〉〈◊〉 and idolatry, while they abode in the wildernesse. For, besides that the story of i 1.169 the golden calf evidently evinceth the contrary; and k 1.170 Aarons words taken with the above-mentioned Autors glosse on them, would further enforce it; God both by Moses and Amos expresly upbraides them therewith; the one taxing them for l 1.171 sacrificing to devils, the other m 1.172 to idols. (which yet comes all to one; for n 1.173 what was offered to idols, was in them offered to devils) not unto God. Whereby it appeares, not onely that they were faulty therein, but that God also so saw it as to take notice of it. That which the sequell of the present history more fully confirmeth; where we shall o 1.174 find four and twenty thousand of them at once taken away, for this very sinne of idolatry; partly by an immediate stroke of Gods hand, and partly by execution of justice done at Gods command up∣on them. And thus much for the exposition of those, that re∣strain to idolatry the sin or iniquity presumed here to be menti∣oned.

* 1.175Others so distinguish of the sinnes which they suppose here meant, in regard of the nature and qlity of them; as if it were meant, not that no sinne at all were to be seen in them, but p 1.176 no such hainous and grievous sinnes, as did reign among other peo∣ple; they being q 1.177 an holy people, as whom God had sanctified and set apart to himself; and r 1.178 branches in reputation at least holy, as springing up from an holy root.

* 1.179And true it is indeed, that such they were by externall voca∣tion, and by profession; as also by inward disposition of heart, and in holy life and conversation, they s 1.180 ought to have been. But that they came farre short of what they should have been; yea,

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were t 1.181 utterly crosse, (for a great, if not the greater part of them) and tooke courses cleane contrary unto what they pro∣fessed, and were called to; the freqent exprobrations and ma∣nifold complaints of Moses, and God by Moses and other his Prophets, twitting them with, and taxing them for, their conti∣nuall u 1.182 stubbornnesse, x 1.183 rebelliousnesse, y 1.184 stiffneckednesse, z 1.185 per∣versnesse, crookednesse, a 1.186 tempting God, b 1.187 provoking him, c 1.188 spur∣ning against him, d 1.189 shaking off his yoake, e 1.190 vexing and grieving his holy Spirit; that their Vines were Vines of Sodom, and their slips slips of Gomorrah, their Grapes, that is, their fruits and works, gall and bitternesse, and the Wine that came of them, the issue and effect of them, as the poison of Adders, and the cruell ve∣nome of Aspes; these, I say, and the like opprobrious tearms by the Spirit of God justly and deservedly given them, doe too evidently evince. Besides, that this their externall condition and profession was so farre from lesning and extenuating the guilt of their sinnes, or concealing them from Gods sight, that it served rather to aggravate them, as being found in those, among whom the contrary vertues and duties ought to have reigned;f 1.191 and g 1.192 who having been better taught, and professing better things, might justly therefore be deemed worse then other, tho they were no worse, yea or not so bad; because they ought to have been, and might have been, much better. For which cause also God threatens, the rather h 1.193 to punish them for their sinnes before and above other people, whom he had not known and owned, as he had done them, that is, i 1.194 whom he had not afforded the like favour unto, nor taken into speciall covenant with him.

Nor doth this sense therefore satisfie: and that as little,* 1.195 that k 1.196 they were not a people given to injurious and vexatious courses: because l 1.197 such kind of sins the words here used impy: (and indeed they so doe, as shall hereafter appeare) for that they were not free from such sinnes also as these, yea rather that

Page 14

such abuses also abounded among them,* 1.198 some of the m 1.199 passages above-recited do as clearly prove, as the like n 1.200 expressions 〈◊〉〈◊〉, used by the Prophet Esay, concerning those of his times.

* 1.201That which o 1.202 one of the Iewish teachers hath, were more pro∣bable, if the Text would admit it; who knitting this passage with the foregoing p 1.203 proposition, maketh this to be the meaning of Balaams words here, that God would not repent him of prote∣cting them and going along with them, so long as he saw them not break out into some outragious evil. Which, if he should see them do, he would not be with them, as formerly he had been. And referreth us for the proof hereof to that passage in Ieremy, where God telleth the Prophet, that as q 1.204 upon a peoples repentance he would repent him of the evill that he had threatned to inflict on them, when they sinned; so on the other side r 1.205 upon a peoples revolt or relapse, he would repent himself of the good that he had promi∣sed to do them, while they continued in a godly course. With∣all s 1.206 adding, that this very speech of Balaam gave Balak an hint to attempt what t 1.207 afterwards he did, to draw the children of Israel to fornication and idolatry. And it is true indeed, that albeit the people were never without sinne, (for u 1.208 who ever is?) nor without much sinne the most of them, (for x 1.209 the greater part, even every where is generally the worse) yet God did not usually proceed in any severe course of exemplary execution upon them, but upon some very hainous and notorious excesse. But the Rabbines analysis of the Text here, as oft elsewhere, seems not so naturall; nor will the sense he gives be made up out of the words without some unnecessary supplies.

Hitherto then we have considered the expositions of those who distinguish of the object or the thing seen.

Others distinguish of the act, of the sight, or manner of seeing.

Page 15

God, say some, seth not, that is,* 1.210 a 1.211 doth not so see any sinne in them, as b 1.212 to destroy them for it, or to give way to any that should endevour so to do. That which was Balaks intent in hi∣ring Balaam to curse them; and was Gods purpose concerning those people whom he cast out before them.

And indeed true it is, that c 1.213 God, tho they provoked him full oft thereunto, and gave him just occasion so to do, yet did not deal with them according to their due desert, nor destroy them utterly, as he justly might have done, and sometime d 1.214 threatned to do; but in much mercy forbare them, upon e 1.215 Moses his in∣tercession, and their own, (tho many times f 1.216 not sincere, but self-seeking onely) humiliation.

But this seems not to be the thing by Balaam,* 1.217 or Gods Spirit speaking by Balaams tongue here, intended. For, besides that God did see and take notice of their excesses, g 1.218 to take vengeance on them for the same; by h 1.219 destroying whole multitudes of them: it neither sorteth well with the words, as they are above rendred, that imply no sight, or taking notice at all of any sinne in that people; nor with the scope of Balaam, which seems to be i 1.220the setting out of the goodly, glorious, potent, and impregna∣ble condition of that people, as having God himself residing as their Soveraigne in the middest of them, and as with great state and pompe, as Commander in chief, conducting them and march∣ing along with them; so protecting them against all the might and malice of their adversaries enabling them to prevail against them, and rendring them succesfull and victorious in all their undertakings. Now what commendation were it of a people, or how sutable hereunto, to say, that tho they be never so bad or debauched, yet God doth not so see, or take notice of their loose and loud courses, as to destroy them utterly for the same?

The like exception lieth against that other exposition of some others, that God is said not to see or behold their sinnes,* 1.221 k 1.222 be∣cause he doth not impute them unto them but l 1.223 doth hide them, remit them, and wash them away in, and for Christ. Understan∣ding

Page 16

them of the better sort of the people, the godly and faithfull among them, the m 1.224 true Israel, the n 1.225 Israel of God, onely.

And true it is indeed, that in ordinary speech we use to say, that a man will not know or see that, o 1.226 which he refuseth to take notice, or will not be acknown of. Nor is it lesse true, that when God upon mans repentance hath remitted sinne, he doth no more regard it, so as to alienate his fatherly affection from the party now repentant, or to cast him off and condemne him for the same, then p 1.227 as if he had never seen it, or taken notice of it, or been incensed against him, or displeased with him for it. In which sense also he is said, where he forgives sinne, to q 1.228 forget it; that is, no more to regard, in the respects before-mentioned, what hath been done amisse by his people upon their repentance, then as if he had forgotten it, yea then as if it r 1.229 never had been either done by them, or known to him. To which purpose is that speech of s 1.230 one of the ancients, writing on those words of the Psal∣mist, t 1.231 Blessed is the man whose iniquity is remitted, or u 1.232removed, and whose sinne is covered; (to which may be adjoyned that pa∣rallel place, x 1.233 Thou hadst remitted the iniquity of thy people, thou hadst covered all their sinne.) y 1.234 What is covered, is not seen: what is not seen, is not imputed: what is not imputed, shall not be punished. As also of x 1.235 another to the like effect on the same place, * 1.236 What God is willing to hide, he is unwilling to see: what e is unwilling to see, he is unwilling to mind: what he is unwilling to mind, he is unwilling to censure. He is not willing to take notice; more willing to wink at, to passe by, and pardon. All which is most true, and may from those passages of Scripture be averred, as well of the faithfull that lived before Christs comming in the flesh,v 1.237 as of those that live in these daies: and no way therefore furthereth or favoureth the Antinomian conceipt.

* 1.238But yet, besides that so to expound the word here, considering the maine drift and scope of the wisards speech, would, as Calvi observes well upon the place, afford but a 1.239 a flashy sense: the par∣ties here spoken of under the names of Jacob and Israel, are not

Page 17

the better sort alone, or the faithfull ones onely, tho more espe∣cially indeed, and most principally they; but b 1.240 the main body of the people that came out of Egypt, and were now on their march towards the promised Land; and whom Balak was affraid of, and hired Balaam to curse.

However therefore some of these expositions of this Scripture, (to say nothing of the rest) are much more probable then that, which these corrupt teachers would fasten upon it, and were con∣sequently enough to stop their mouths: (for if but as probable an exposition, as theirs is, can be produced, it is enough to shew, that it is not of necessity so to be taken as they require) yet be∣cause some just exception may be taken unto each of them, as hath already in part been shewed; I shal in the next place proceed to lay down what I conceive to be the true and genuin sense of the words;* 1.241 and then further endeavour by collation of other Scrip∣tures, both to cleer, and to confirm the same.

The Text soundeth word for word thus from the Originall,

He hath not beheld wrong against Jacob; nor hath he seen grievance against Israel.

And may more fully and familiarly to an English eare be thus rendred,

He hath not beheld, or, he doth not, or will not behold wrong offe∣red to Iacob; nor hath he seen, or nor doth he, or will he see, grievance done to Israel.

For the further opening and strengthening hereof, we shall consider these four things:

  • 1. What the words c 1.242 Aven, and d 1.243 Amal here used do signifie.
  • 2. Who the Iacob and Israel here spoken of, are.
  • 3. How the particle beth prefixed and affixed to those two pro∣per names, may be here taken.
  • 4. What manner of sight it is, that is here intimated.

For the first of these, the words Aven and Amal here used,* 1.244 do neither of them, either properly or generally signifie sinne, but the former of them doth properly signifie affliction, and iniquity (as it is usually translated) or e 1.245 wrong rather, (for there is f 1.246 an∣other word that more properly answereth to inquity) as it is a means of affliction to the wronged, as that which causeth them

Page 18

by putting them to pain) g 1.247 to mourn and lament. The latter signi∣fieth labour, travell, trouble, grievance, vexation▪ nor is ever found taken simply for sin.

The common use of the words to be such as is said, may by these places appear.

1. For the proper and native sense of them. h 1.248 Affliction, i 1.249 saith Eliphaz, commeth not forth of the dust: neither doth trouble, k 1.250 or grievance spring out of the ground; but man is born l 1.251 to trouble. not to labour; (tho that also be m 1.252true; and the word sometime also n 1.253 so signifie) but o 1.254 to trouble; by Asaph called therefore the trouble of man in his present calamitous condition, where he saith of the wicked that seemed exempt from it, p 1.255 They are not in q 1.256 the trouble of Enosh nor are they plagued with Adam. That is, they have not their share in those troubles that mortall men are subject to, nor in those plagues that men ordinarily endure. And, r 1.257 the daies of our yeers, saith Moses, are threescore and ten yeers; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore yeers, yet is their strength labour and sorrow. Or, as the words may well be transla∣ted, the daies of our yeers make up, or consist of, threescore and ten yeers; or with the strongest of fourscore: but the very t 1.258 pride (or prime) of them, (when they are at the best) is but labour and sorrow; or trouble and travell. Hence those complaints of Iob and Ieremy in some fits of impatience; the one wishing that he had never been born, or had perished in the birth, that u 1.259 sorrow ot grievance might have been hidden from his eyes; that he might never have come to see it: The other bemoaning himself that ever he was born, x 1.260 to see labour and sorrow; or vexation and affliction. So Salomon, a 1.261 There shall no evill, or, no b 1.262 affliction rather, (for it is not the evill of sinne that is there spoken of)

Page 19

befall the just: but the wicked shall be filled with c 1.263 evill, or mis∣chief. They shall have their fill of that, which the other shall be freed from. Yea so may we well translate that of Esay, d 1.264 Your calling of solemn meetings I cannot endure; it is e 1.265 affliction and vexation to m. And David, f 1.266 Behold mine affliction and my pain, or my grievance.

2. For the figurative and metaphorical acception of them.g 1.267 The ploughers of iniquity, or wrong, saith Eliphaz, (those that plough it, or plough for it) and h 1.268 the sowers of trouble, (wickednesse, saith our English) they that sow it for others, reap the same. Those that deal wrongfully, and thereby procure trouble to others are paid in their own coin; that through Gods judgement is repaid to them, that they have been autors of to others. As Salomon, i 1.269 He that sowethk 1.270wickednesse, shall reapl 1.271affliction. Affliction, or vexation, I say, with good autors, rather then vanity: and so it may well be translated in that of Eliphaz also. And again, n 1.272 They conceiveo 1.273mischiefe, (so our English) or grievance,m 1.274 and bring forthp 1.275wrong, or iniquity; (our English, vanity) and their belly prepares deceit. He compareth wicked men to a teeming woman, that is alwaies breeding, never without a great belly. They are continually, saith Eliphaz, contriving of some mischievous plot, and producing of some wrongfull designe, and going great with some fraudulent device or other: no sooner delivered of one, but projecting another. Where why I rather translate Aven wrong, or iniquity, then vanity, besides the course of the context, and the use so frequent in that common phrase of q 1.276 workers of ini∣quity, or wrong-doers, (for it is nothing else) parallel places speak for it. For so the Prophet Esay pursuing the same metaphore, and retaining the same words, (r) They conceive s 1.277 mischief, or grievance; and bring forth t 1.278 iniquity, or wrong. And the Psal∣mist, u 1.279 Behold, he travelleth with x 1.280iniquity, or wrong; and hath conceived y 1.281 mischief, or grievance; and brought forth z 1.282 falshood. he is delivered of some false and fraudulent businesse; as the word is a 1.283 elsewhere used. some deceit, as Eliphaz b 1.284 before. or, but he shall bring forth falshood, or aly. c 1.285 He shall faile of his purpose, his expectation shall be frustrate. Again, of the like

Page 20

〈◊〉〈◊〉 person, d 1.286 His mouth is full of cursing, and deceit, and fraud: 〈◊〉〈◊〉 his tongue is e 1.287 mischief, or grievance; and vanity; or, ini∣quity and wrong rather, the very words here used. And again, where the latter of them, f 1.288 the words of his mouth areg 1.289mischief and fraud. And yet again, speaking of a wicked State given to oppression, h 1.290 J have seen violence and strife in the City; i 1.291 mis∣chief also and sorrow are in the midst of it. Where the former word is translated mischief, as the latter was before. As alsok 1.292in the same Psalm, where we have it thus rendred, they l 1.293 cast m 1.294 iniquity upon me. as if the meaning were, that n 1.295 they wrongfully charged him with some crime. which Calvin justly censureth as o 1.296 a nicety, not well agreeing with the context. others rather translate it, p 1.297 they throw down affliction upon me. q 1.298 by injurious, vexatious and pernicious courses, seeking to work mine overthrow. as r 1.299 alluding to a siege, wherein the besieged are wont to throw down on the besiegers, stones, and dirt, and logs▪ and fire-brands, and whatsoever else may destroy, or annoy them.

Lastly, to heap up no more places, tho many more might be; that of Esay shall close up all; where he denounceth a k 1.300 wo a∣gainst those rulers that l 1.301 enact decrees of wrong, that is, unjust and wrongfull; or, of affliction, that is, afflicting and vexing, decrees; and that write m 1.302 grief, or grievance, decrees of grie∣vance, grievous ones, such as are made of purpose to vex and molest poor people. By these paces then it doth evidently ap∣pear, what the usuall and constant signification is of the two tearms here used. Which Calvin also doth accordingly observe to signifie n 1.303 such kinds of iniquity or evill doing as do tend to the wronging and hurting, or molesting and vexing of others.

The second thing to be considered, is who they be that are here styled Iacob and Israel.

Where first, that by Jacob and Israel is not meant the Pa∣triark himself who was at first o 1.304 named Iacob, because at his comming into the world, like a cunning runner or wrestler, as he followed his brother, who had got the start of him, close at the heels, so he caught him and held him fast by the heel, as

Page 21

intending to supplant him, and recover ground of him: which in processe of time also accordingly he did, as (p) 1.305 the Pro∣phet intimates, and (q) 1.306 his brother supplanted by him com∣paineth: and was afterward, upon his wrestling with the An∣gel, and by a godly and (r) 1.307 gratefull kind of violence, prevailing over him, (s) 1.308 new named, and in stead of Iacob styled Is∣rael, by the Angel, (t) 1.309 whom he had so strived and struggled with, at their parting: that not the Patriark himself, I say, who bare both those names, and is indifferently called by either, is here meant; but his issue and posterity, called sometime, (u) 1.310 the sonnes, and (v) 1.311 the seed of Jacob, sometime (x) 1.312 the sonnes, and (y) 1.313 the seed of Israel, and sometime (i) 1.314 Jacob and Israel simply, as in this place, so elsewhere, there is no doubt made, nor is it denied by any.

But secondly whether the whole body of that people, then abiding in the wildernesse, or some speciall part of them onely, be here understood, may be and is by some questioned. And that the rather, because the Apostle, when he saith, that (a) 1.315 they are not all Israel that are of Israel; as also elsewhere, by way of eminencie, tearming some (b) 1.316 the Jsrael of God; doth thereby seem to imply, that there is a twofold Israel; (c) 1.317 a true and ge∣nuine, and (d) 1.318 a counterfeit and bastardly Israel: an Israel accor∣ding to man, and an Israel according to God; an (e) 1.319 Israel after the flesh, and an (f) 1.320 Israel after the spirit. Now some re∣strain to the former onely, what is here spoken, and make it to be either a priviledge of such alone as were holy and upright in that people, or a prophecie of the faithfull that should live in these times.

But this, as in part we have formerly shewed, is groundlesse; yea, is directly against, both the course of the story, and the cur∣rent of the context.

For first, the Israel here spoken of is said to be (g) 1.321 the Israel, that God brought out of Egypt. But it was the main body of the people, that was thence brought forth, consisting as well of unfaithfull as faithfull, as well of those (h) 1.322 whose carcasses for their disobedience and rebellions fell in the Wildernesse, as of those, who (i) 1.323 continuing stedfast in covenant with God,

Page 22

either (k) 1.324 deceased by the way, or (l) 1.325 entred into the land of promise.

2. They are those whom Balak hired Balaam to curse. But those that he hired him to curse, was the main body of that peo∣ple, (m) 1.326 which he feared, by their multitude would lick up and wast the wealth of his land, as a drove of Oxen licketh up grasse, and depastureth a ground.

3. They are those that(n) 1.327 Balaam beheld when he uttred these words▪ but Balaam beheld them under no other notion but as a numerous and powerfull people, encamping and marching under Gods conduct and safegard; not distinguishing between them in regard of any inward disposition, which his eye was not able to discry.

4. The Israel here mentioned, is that Israel, (o) 1.328 against which Balaam by no sorcery or inchantment was able to prevaile. But it was the mixt body consisting of both sorts, which by no sorcery or such like evill art he was able any way to impeach.

Of the main body therefore of the Israelites, which came out of Egypt, were at present encamped on the confines of Mo∣ab, whom Balak being afraid of, hired Balaam to curse, and whom Balaam beheld, but durst not curse, nor by any of his di∣velish arts was able to doe ought against, it is apparent that Ba∣laam under the names of Iacob and Israel here speaketh.

* 1.329The third question is concerning the signification of the par∣ticle beth before the names of Iacob and Israel prefixed, and af∣fixed thereunto.

It is usually indeed taken subjectivè, as denoting the subject of some attribute. As when it is said by the Psalmist; (p) 1.330 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me. And, (q) 1.331 O Lord my God, if I have done this; if there be iniquity in my hands. And, (r) 1.332 I have seene, saith God by Ieremy, folly in the Prophets of Samaria. and, (s) 1.333 I have seen also an horrible thing in the Prophets of Ierusalem, and so the most Interpreters here understand it.

But it is taken also sometime objectivè; as denoting the ob∣ject, or matter, whereabout something is employed; as (a) 1.334 Io∣seph was the object of his brethrens envie; (b) 1.335 David the object of Sauls cruell persecution; (c) 1.336 Iob the object of the Devils malice,

Page 23

and the like. Thus is this particle also frequently used: as where it is said, (d) 1.337 God fights against (e) 1.338 Egypt for Israel; that is, against the Egyptians▪ for the Israelites. And, (f) 1.339 Thou shalt not bear fals-witnesse (g) 1.340 against thy neighbour. And,(h) 1.341 Miriam and Aaron spake (i) 1.342 against Moses. And (k) 1.343 The burden upon Arabia. or, A burdensome prophecie (l) 1.344 against Arabia. And in the Psalm, (m) 1.345 Direct my steps in thy word; and let not any ini∣quity have dominion over me. or, (n) 1.346 Confirme, and strengthen, my steppings according to thy word; (that is, (o) 1.347 thy promise) and (p) 1.348 let no iniquity prevaile (q) 1.349 against me; or, (r) 1.350 that no iniquity pre∣vaile against me. no iniquity, that is, no injurious course of a∣ny mine enemies and opposites. or no iniquity or wrongful dea∣ling, for, no injurious and wrongfull dealers, as pride, for proud men, in those words of the Psalmist, (s) 1.351 Let not the foot of pride reach me; nor the hand of the wicked stirre me. And as in those words of the Apostle, (t) 1.352 Ye have not yet resisted unto bloud stri∣ving against sinne. (u) 1.353 against sinne, that is, (as (x) 1.354 Interpreters of good note) either against the wickenesse of the enemies of the Gospel, who by cruell and bloudy courses strive to force men from the faith: or against sinne, that is▪ against (y) 1.355 sinners; such wicked ones, as he had spoken of in the verse next beforegoing. and that the Psalmists words are so to be taken, and understood; not of his owne, but of other mens iniquitie, the very next words evidently shew, where he saith, (z) 1.356 Deliver me from the oppressions of men. As also that of the Apostle may well be under∣stood, (a) 1.357 The Lord will deliver me from every evill work. not that might be committed by him, but that by wicked men might be plotted, or attempted against him. The like may be said of those words of the Psalmist, where he saith, (b) 1.358 Why should I feare in the day of evill, (or, why should I be afraid in the time of (c) 1.359 adversity) when the iniquity of my heeles shall compasse me about? that is, (as the most judicious (d) 1.360 Interpreters understand it) when wicked men (e) 1.361 that trace me, pursuing me close at the heels, or(f) 1.362 observing my heels that is, my steppings▪ and seek to supplant me, do on every side beset me. So do also the Greek Interpreters, and the Latine, that fol∣low them, understand (g) 1.363 that place in the Psalm where we read,

Page 24

(h) 1.364 iniquities prevaile, or (i) 1.365 have prevailed, against me. Taking iniquities, or wickednesses, for (k) 1.366 unjust, or wicked men. The words are, word for word, (l) 1.367 words of iniquities. But words seem there, as oft (m) 1.368 elsewhere, to be put for things. Nor is it needfull indeed that iniquities there be taken for unrighteous men. Howbeit the iniquities there spoken of seem, not Davids own, but his adversaries, not committed by him, but (n) 1.369practised by his enemies against him; whose unjust courses, albeit they had some∣time prevailed to the molestation and vexation of himselfe and of Gods people, (o) 1.370 in whose person he there speaketh; yet God upon their serious seeking to him, (p) 1.371 had been propitious to them, in remitting their sinnes, which had given their adversaries such power against them, & vouchsafing them deliverance from them. And I shall make bold to propound it onely and so leave it, to be weighed and deemed by better judgements, whether in that passage of the Psalmist if it be applied unto Christ, (g) 1.372 E∣vils without number (h) 1.373 assail me on every side; they have so fastened upon me, that I am not able (i) 1.374 to look up, (they (k) 1.375 presse me down in that manner;) or, that I cannot (l) 1.376 see, (mine (m) 1.377 eye-sight through griefe, and faintnesse failing me;) or, cannot (n) 1.378 look out, look about me, for means of escape or reliefe; (being as one at his (o) 1.379 wits end;) they are (p) 1.380 more in number then the haires of mine head: (q) 1.381 in so much that my heart faileth me. Whe∣ther, I say, in this passage, those words, mine iniquities, or my wrongs▪ may not thus also be understood; not of inquities, or wrongs committed by him, but of (r) 1.382 iniquities, or wrongs done unto him. I am not ignorant, that there is no necessity of ex∣pounding them of Christ, albeit some passages in that Psalm be applied unto him: since that (s) 1.383 it is not necessary that every

Page 25

particular be understood of him in those Psalms, wherein some typicall prophecies of him and his sufferings are found; and I know that other sound and probable t 1.384 expositions are given of them, by others, who understand them as spoken in the person of Christ. One thing I am sure of, that those grossely abuse them, who taking their rise from Luthers u 1.385 application of them, with some harsh expressions, unto Christ, strain them so far, as to disswade Christian people from troubling themselves about confession of their sins, as being x 1.386 enough for them to be∣leeve, that Christ here hath confessed them for them already. But not to insist on this▪ being not so clear, or certain, as those o∣thers are before alleadged: As in those places the iniquity men∣tioned, is not subjectively, but objectively theirs that complain of it, and desire either protection against it, or deliverance from it: so the wrong and grievance of Jacob and Israel by Balaam here spo∣ken of, seems to be, not that which they had, or did exercise on o∣thers, but that which by others was, or might be exercised on them. such y 1.387 grievance, or grievous misery, or vexation of Is∣rael, asz 1.388 God is said to have been grieved for, when the Phi∣listines and the Ammonites sometime sorely oppressed them.

Thus then I suppose the particle beth here to be used: as also without it, in a kind of defective speech, words either the same, or the like to these here used, appear oft-times to be of necessity understood. As where Sara being despised by her hand-maid Hagar, saith to Abraham her husband, a 1.389 My wrong (not done by me, but done to me, by my servant) be upon thee. Where Gods people of the Babylonians, by whose cru∣ell oppression they had endured much misery, b 1.390 My violence (that is, as our English well) The violence done to me, be upon Ba∣bel. Let the guilt of it lie heavy on them, and from God be a∣venged with them. And where Rebekkah to her sonne Jacob, when he was fearfull of incurring his fathers curse, c 1.391 Vpon me be thy curse. Not the curse wherewith he should or might curse any, but the curse wherewith he feared his father might curse him, for attempting to beguile him; let the curse, if any shall be by the father darted at thee, light upon me, let me bear the burden of it. But here the particle is expressed, which in these latter formes is concealed; and which I am the rather induced

Page 26

thus to take here, because I find it within a verse or two by Bala∣am himself so used: where howsoever the Greek and the Vulgate Latine, (which the d 1.392 Popish writers, and some of e 1.393 ours also have formerly followed) taking this particle in the former sense, read the words thus, There is no sorcery in Jacob; nor soothsaying in Israel. Yet the f 1.394 later and sounder writers, upon more sedulous and exact consideration, (and as the g 1.395 latter thoughts are usually the more advised; so the h 1.396 later Interpreters are generally the quicker-sighted) take the particle (as I here also doe) in the latter sense, thus rendring the text, i 1.397 There is no inchantment against Jacob, neither is there any divination against Is∣rael. and in like manner here, no iniquity or wrong done to Iacob, nor grievance, molestation, or vexation offered to Israel; either pro∣jected and plotted, or attempted and practised against him, that God can endure to s.* 1.398

And this leadeth me on to the fourth question, to wit, what sight, or manner of seeing it is, that Balaam here speaks of.

There is therefore k 1.399 a twofold sight, as with man, so with God: to speak of him l 1.400 as humane capacity is able to conceive the things of God, and to utter them in such language as our infirmity will affoard.

There is first, m 1.401 a vision or sight of simple contemplation or consideration; whereby God vieweth and taketh notice of all things in the world, and among the rest, of all men, and of all mens actions, good and bad. For, n 1.402 tho God dwell on high; yet he stoopeth so low, as to behold and take notice of the things that are and are done, not in heaven onely, but on earth also. o 1.403 He be∣holds the ends of the earth, p 1.404 and seeth all that is under any part of heaven. And there is q 1.405 an eye of God in every place, behold∣ing both the good and the bad. For r 1.406 the Lord looks down from hea∣ven, and beholds all the sonnes of men: from his dwelling place he viewes all that dwell on the earth: and as he framed s 1.407 alike the souls of each of them, (as well of one as of another) so he conside∣reth all their works. t 1.408 His eyes are upon all the wayes of men; and he vieweth all their goings: he seeth every step they take: and there is no darknesse, nor deadly shade, wherein wrong-doers can be sheltered

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and concealed from his sight. Of such a sight therefore the words of seeing and beholding here cannot be understood. For thus u 1.409 he seeth wickednesse, or wrong, and considereth it too, saith E∣liphaz: and, x 1.410 he beholdeth mischief▪ or grievance, and spite, saith the Psalmist. And that then especially, when it is done to those that are more peculiarly his:y 1.411 I have seeing seen, I have cer∣tainly, considerately, wistfully seen, the affliction of my people; saith God to Moses, when they suffered so much in Egypt. and as he seeth it, so he taketh notice of it, and taketh it to heart.a 1.412 If thou seest, saith Salomon, oppression of the poore, and violent perverting of judge∣ment and justice in a Province; marvell not at the matter, (be not troubled so much about it, as if there were no redresse for it) for he that is b 1.413 higher then the highest of observeth it, (to wit, God; by Job styled the c 1.414 observer of men) and there d 1.415 be higher then they: who therefore both can and will call them to account.

2. There is e 1.416 a vision of comprobation and complacency, wherewith God is said so to see things, that withall he approveth and liketh well of them. Thus saith God to Noah, e 1.417 Thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation. when looking upon the whole world besides,f 1.418 he saw it all corrupt, and full of wickednesse. and g 1.419 I have seen thy tears; saith God to Eze∣kiah: I have beheld them with acceptation. and, h 1.420 I will look unto him, that is poor, or lowly, and of a contrite spirit, and that trembleth at my word. to approve his person▪ and accept his service. So on the other side in the Lamentations of Ieremy, i 1.421 For one to crush prisoners under his feet; to turn aside, or, k 1.422 overthrow a mans right before the face of the most high; and to subvert a man in his cause, the Lord l 1.423 seeth it not; that is, the Lord m 1.424 ap∣proves not of it. tho some reading the words by way of interro∣gation, understand it rather as spoken in the former fense, and of the former sight, n 1.425 Doth not God see it? But so, without all question, in a place parallel to this: where the Prophet, as he complaineth to God, that o 1.426 he had made him to see wrong, and (as the words are almost generally p 1.427 rendred) caused him to be∣hold

Page 28

grievance; (the very tearms by Balaam here used) in the former sense: So he affirmeth of God, that q 1.428 he is of purer eyes r 1.429 then to see evill: and that s 1.430 he cannot behold, or look on, vexation, or grievance. that is, he is one, that cannot endure to see or behold it, but with detestation and dislike. and by way of expostulation therefore, he demandeth of him, t 1.431 why he himself u 1.432 beholdeth grievance: for so indeed the words would be read▪ and some render them aright: and x 1.433 doest thou, or wilt thou, behold grievance? or, y 1.434 while thou thy self beholdest the grievances, z 1.435 that the godly sustain at the hands of the wicked: as they elsewhere, a 1.436 we have been afflicted so and so, in thy sight. and again; as Ester sometime to Assuerus, b 1.437 How can I endure to see the evill of my people, and the destruction of my kindred? so c 1.438 how he can endure to look on, (as if he d 1.439 liked well enough of it, or did not greatly mislike it) and be silent, as if he were e 1.440 deafe; hold his peace, and say nothing, while the wicked devoureth him, that is more righteous then himself: f 1.441 and make, or g 1.442 suffer men to be as the fish of the sea; that are without ruler; and h 1.443 live i 1.444 without rule: where the greater prey∣eth upon, and swalloweth down the lesser. as the most i 1.445 Inter∣preters expound that place. or, as some other; and make men to be as the fish of the Sea, k 1.446 whom who will may catch without

Page 29

controle; and as the creeping things, as worms that crawl on the ground, l 1.447 which men kill at pleasure; because they have no governour, either m 1.448 to order them, or n 1.449 to protect them against the violence of others, not fish, or creeping things of their own kind, so much, as either o 1.450 men in generall the one, or p 1.451 fisher∣men more especially, the other, who daw up whatsoever com∣meth to hand, with the hooke, and sweep all away hand over head, with their net. as q 1.452 in the next words, (whereto such, tyrans and oppressors of Gods people, are compared) the Prophet explaining himself, doth complain.

Now as in that passage of the Prophet, it is said of God, that r 1.453 he cannot endure to see evill, and behold grievance; so in the wisards speech here, the like is said of him, concerning wrong and grievance done to his people. and the words may be rendred, either in the time past, he hath not seen wrong, nor beheld grievance done to his people by any adversary hitherto, but hath righted and revenged it. witnesse his judgements executed on s 1.454 Pharao and the Egyptians for their cruell oppression, hard usage and ma∣licious pursuit of them; and that sad, severe, and irrevoka∣ble sentence passed upon the t 1.455 Amalekites, for their molesting of them in their passage. Or in the time to come; (for the u 1.456 tenses in the originall are oft promiscuously used) he will not see any wrong done to Iacob, or grievance done to Israel. as we use to say, I will not see such an one wronged: when our meaning is, that we will not endure it; but will either protect and secure them against it, or be revenged on those that shall either attempt it, or doe it. Or in the time present, but as in a potentiall form; (which in x 1.457 either tense is not unusuall) He cannot endure to behold wrong offered to Iacob; nor to see grievance done to Israel. Or, put∣ting all together, as all closely implyed, and joyntly both inten∣ded and included, He hath not seen, or beheld, will not see, cannot endure to see, or behold any wrong or grievance, that hath been, shall be, is or may be, by any offered unto, or attempted against, his Iacob, his Israel. And this I conceive to be, as the true and genuine, so the full and entire sense of the place. and it is indeed in effect the same with that which Calvin not without some good approba∣tion relateth, as the exposition of some before him; to wit, that God is said not to see wrong or molestation in, or against Israel, a 1.458be∣cause

Page 30

he will not suffer them to be wrongfully vexed and grieved, nor endure to see the same: and b 1.459 if any therefore shall attempt to harm them, he will not admit any violence or wrong against them, but will oppose himself thereunto. whereunto also he addeth, that be∣ing so understood, it may be c 1.460 indefinitely and passively thus ren∣dred, (as of d 1.461 many other places the like may be shewed) No wrong e 1.462 shal be seen done to Jacob, nor molestation beheld done to Israel. and f 1.463 so, saith he, the context will run more clearly. the g 1.464 reason thereof being rendred in the words next ensuing; because h 1.465 God is present with them, ready at hand, to protect them, and to oppose any that shall attempt to wrong or to molest them.

Thus then it appeares, that an other sense may be given of these words, then that which these corrupters of Scripture would fasten upon them; and that such, as well agreeth, both with the truth of story, and the analogy of faith; (whereas theirs agreeth with neither) and receiveth further cofirmation, from the ordi∣nary and most usuall signification of the words, from the connexi∣on of them with the residue of the context, and from the collation of other Scriptures.

And the result of all that hath hither to been said, is this, that that which these men would make them to speak, doth directly crosse the tenor of the story, and the truth of Gods word; doth con∣tradict their own tenents, and is inconsistent with them; could not be the mind and meaning of him by whom they were utte∣red, nor can duly and justly be by them pressed as a ground for such a point of doctrine as they would build thereupon, since that they may well bear another sense.

Let us in the next place proceed, now we have the true sense, to consider, what the proper doctrine is of the place.

The Text then thus cleared, the point of instruction that of it self it naturally yeeldeth and affordeth us, is this, that

* 1.466God cannot endure to see any wrong or grievance done or offered unto his.

This he manifested and made known to the world, from the very first beginning of his sequestration of persons and people to himself. When, i 1.467 albeit they were but k 1.468 few in number, yea very few, and those strangers in the lands wherein they lived;

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what time they wandred from Nation to Nation, out of one Kingdom to another: when the paucity of them, together with their present estate and condition, as not l 1.469strangers onely, but m 1.470 travellers, might in all likelyhood expose them to contempt and despight, and consequently to much wrong and abuse; yet it is said, that even then n 1.471 he suffered no man to do them wrong, but sharply reproved, yea and severely punished Kings themselves, and that not one alone, (as o 1.472 the sacred stories shew) for their sake; for attempting to wrong them. And when they were grown now to a greater multitude, to be a numerous people, tho p 1.473he suffe∣red them for a while to be oppressed in Egypt, yet as he had q 1.474long before threatned, r 1.475 on the King and people that so oppressed them, he executed judgement, and that in such manner as made all the world ring of it, and the fame of it being spread abroad farre and neer, s 1.476 made other Nations also to stand in aw of them. Too long and tedious it would be, to trace this point, as might easily be done, through the whole body of the holy story: to relate thence the heavy doom, first t 1.477 past, and after u 1.478 exe∣cuted, on Amalek, for molesting them in their passage: the over∣throws and slaughters, x 1.479 of Sihon and Og with their forces, that denied them passage through their Land, & opposed them in their way; and of those numberlesse multitudes of thea 1.480 Cushites, b 1.481 Syrians,c 1.482 Assyrians, and others, that invaded them in their own Countrey under Asa, Iehoshaphat, and Ezekiah; together with thed 1.483 shameful flight of Senacherib, & the execution done on him by the hands of his owne sonnes: and of thee 1.484 exemplary judge∣ment shewed on Haman and his whole house; who by plotting and attempting the ruin of that people, ruined himself, and all his. Suffice it may in generall to have observed, that no peo∣ple or person are in Gods booke read of, ever to have either wronged Gods people, or attempted so to do, but that first or last they have paid full dear for it.

The reasons hereof may be drawn, either from those relations that such have unto God; or from Gods own nature and disposition, as in generall, so more especially, toward those who in more spe∣ciall manner are his.

First, I say, the relations that such have unto God: and these are manifold and various, but all herein concurring,* 1.485 that they ne∣cessarily

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imply, that affection in God toward them, and care of them, that is intimated in my Text.

For they are his anointed ones, his adopted ones, his first-born, his first-fruits, his deer ones, his darlings, his spouse, his turtle, his people.

1. They are Gods anointed ones. f 1.486 Touch not, saith he, mine anointed.* 1.487 take heed how you but g 1.488 touch them, how you offer the least wrong to them, how you make the lightest or sleightest attempt against them. they are mine anointed; whom I will not have once touched. Kings are justly deemed h 1.489 sacred; because they are i 1.490 the Lords anointed. and, k 1.491 who can be guilt∣lesse, saith David, that shall stretch forth his hand against the Lords anointed? and God himself of David, l 1.492 With mine holy Oyle have I anointed him: and the enemy therefore shall not exact upon him; norm 1.493 the sons of any wrong-doers afflict him; I will beat down his foes before his face; and plague them that hate him.

They are n 1.494 not indeed such anointed ones, of whom God there speaks, and in whose behalf, he claimeth this prerogative and priviledge, and proclaimeth such immunity and indemnity as you have heard. they are Kings, whom he speaks to, and whom he is said to have rebuked, for their sakes, of whom he there speaks. But the anointed he there speaks of, and for whom Kings are said to have been reproved, were o 1.495 Abraham, Isaak and Jacob, with their issue and retinue; so tearmed in re∣gard of that spirituall ointment, that being powred p 1.496 without measure q 1.497 on Christ their head, doth r 1.498 from him descend and is derived, s 1.499 in its due measure, unto t 1.500 every member of that body whereof he is head; by vertue whereof they are enabled to become u 1.501 Kings and Priests unto God. and so x 1.502 all sound interpreters generally, as well ancient as modern, expound that

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place. Howbeit, if the materiall anointing make those other in∣violable, no marvell, if this spirituall anointing have with God the same effect in regard of those that partake of it, that he will not endure to see them in the least degree wronged, whom he holdeth as his anointed.

2. They are Gods adopted ones;* 1.503 adopted to be a 1.504 his children and b 1.505 coheires with his Christ. c 1.506 I will receive you; I will d 1.507 take you to me, take you into my family: and will be a father unto you; and ye shal be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Al∣mighty. And, f 1.508 understand and consider in thine heart. saith Moses to this people, that as a father chastiseth his children, so the Lord chastiseth thee. And doth he carry himself towards them as a fa∣ther, in g 1.509 chastising of them onely; and not in taking care of them also, in matter h 1.510of provision, in case of protection? yes undoubtedly, as well in the one kind as in the other. For is it not so with earthly, meer naturall parents? yea even with the dumb creatures, with brute beasts? How chary are affectionate parents wont to be of the safety and welfare of their children? more chary of theirs ordinarily then of their own.i 1.511 it is an usuall speech with parents, when their children are ill used, Do to me what you will, but meddle not with my children. yea nature hath taught, and by a secret instinct doth incite, notl 1.512 the stronger and stouter onely, but even m 1.513 the weakest, the most timerous and cowardly, of the creatures, to expose themselves and their lives to hazard, for the safety and indemnity of their young. And is not Gods affection as great and as tender to his, as the affection of any parent can be to his child, or any creature to its issue?k 1.514 "Yes undoubtedly, and infinitely much more, it being he that hath

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put this affection into them. Hence, n 1.515 when Sion complaineth that the Lord had forsaken her, her God had forgotten her; can a woman, saith God, so forget her sucking child, (that is ever in her eye, never out of her lap or arms almost, ever and anon at her brest) that she should not have compassion on the fruit of her own womb? th some should proove so unnaturall as so to do, yet o 1.516 cannot I forget thee. I have engraven thee p 1.517 upon the palms of my hands; (that I may no sooner open my hands, but I may be put in mind of thee) and thy wals (which lying desolate q 1.518 as a rufull specta∣cle, can not but r 1.519 move to compassion) are continually in mine ey. And, when he heareth Ephraim bemoaning himself with hearty remorse and regret for his forepassed unruly and rebellious car∣riages, s 1.520 Is this Ephraim, saith God, my deare son? is it t 1.521 the child I delight in? (for so the words would there be read) to wit, that bemoaneth himself in this manner: Surely even since I spake against him, I do still u 1.522 seriously, or constantly, remember him. Notwithstanding my sharp reproofs, and severe menaces, I have him in mind still, tho I may seem not to regard him, yet I cannot but remember him. mine affection continueth in∣tire and tender still towards him. my bowels within me are trou∣bled, they yearn, or x 1.523 sound for him. they work and yearn to∣wards him, as a y 1.524 tender mothers are wont to do towards her child, when it lieth in pain, or when it is in danger and distresse. I will z 1.525 surely have mercy upon him, saith the Lord. In a word, imagine we, how ill an affectionate * 1.526 father or mother, Princes and great ones especially, that thinke theirs priviledged above others, can endure to see their children, whom they are so ten∣der of, ill intreated: and thence may we well gather, how ill God can brooke any ill-usage of his.

3. They are Gods first born. not his children onely, but his first born. God, when he will most pregnantly expresse his tender affection to David, and his singular respect of him, a 1.527 J will make him, saith he, my first born. And men can have but one such; but Gods children are all such with him. b 1.528 the assembly of the first born, saith the Apostle. in allusion to the Law; wherein c 1.529 all the first born were consecrated to God, were peculiarly his. The affe∣ction of parents to their children, where many are, is in some sort entire to each. and there is somewhat usuall in each, out of

Page 35

which, tho it be but some weaknesse, yet a tender-hearted parent can pick matter enough, whereon to ground his affection. if there be nothing else, that is enough, d 1.530 that they are hi. But if the affection be in any considerable degree carried more to some one than to the rest, it resteth cōmonly in the greatest eminency (unlesse e 1.531 some other by-consideration abate it) upon the first born. he is f 1.532 the prime of his strength▪ and the head of the house. and as the care therefore of provision for the first born, is the greatest: so the grief for the losse of the first born is the most grievous. g 1.533 They shall mourn, saith he, as one mourneth for his onely child, and grieve bitterly, as one grieveth for his first born. If then the d 1.534 af∣fection of parents to their first born be such; no marvell if Gods affection be no other to his first born: and such are his all to him. It is the argument he useth by Moses to Pharao; h 1.535 Israel is my son, even my first born. and I say unto thee, (take it from me;) Let my son goe to serve me. Or, if thou refuse to let him goe, I will slay thy son, even thy first born. and God made his word good. for so upon his refusall, after many other sad judgements, at last i 1.536 ac∣cordingly he did.

4. They are his first fruits. as his first born,* 1.537 so his first-fruits too. k 1.538 Of his own will he begat us, saith the Apostle, by the word of truth, that we might be the first fruits of his creatures. As the first born, so l 1.539 the first fruits were holy to God, and were therefore m 1.540 reserved and preserved for his use. and for any to detain them, or to imbecil them, was sacriledge. nor is it any lesse, or lower a degree of n 1.541sacriledge, to abuse or wrong any of these Gods spirituall first fruits. It is the plea that God by the Prophet useth in the behalf of his people; o 1.542 Israel is holinesse to the Lord. he is consecrated to him, as the first fruits were. he is the first fruits of his increase. and what followeth? all therefore that devour him shall contract guilt by so doing. some evill or other shal befall them: as it fared usually with those, that p 1.543 devoured any holy thing.

5. They are Gods darlings, his deer ones.q 1.544 Save my soul from the sword, saith David; my darling from the hand,* 1.545 or p 1.546 power of the Dog. my darling, saith he. and, thy darling, he might as wel have said.r 1.547 for David was indeed one of Gods darlings. and so are all the faith∣full, his darlings, his der ones, hiss 1.548deerly beloved ones: as deere

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and pretious to him, yea t 1.549 more deere and pretious to him, I may safely say, then to themselves. u 1.550 The sonnes of Sion, are pretious one. and, x 1.551 Because thou wast pretious in my sight; saith God to his Iacob, to his Israel. If it be demanded, how preti∣ous, how deere. even as pretious and deere as to any of us is the ball or apple of our eye. y 1.552 Lord, keep me, saith David as the apple of thine eye. There is no part of the body more tender then the eye. The least moat of dust, that getteth into it, is very trou∣blesome to it. It is wel observed, that the Ministers of the Word, being as a 1.553 the eyes of the Church, are inhibited all b 1.554 in∣tanglement with worldly affaires and employments, because tho the hands and the feet may without any great inconvenience be deaiing with the dust, and paddling in the durt, yet the c 1.555eye can∣not▪ without damage or danger admit ought of either. Now, as there is no part of the body more tender then the eye: so there is no part, whereof we are more tender then of it. d 1.556 as deer unto us, we use to say, as our eyes. and to expresse our entire af∣fection to some, e 1.557 we could be content to bestow our eyes on them. So deere to each one is his eye; and that part of it more especially, wherein the sight consists, and in regard whereof f 1.558 the eye is esteemed so pretious a piece, because that failing, the creature together with the sight losing all use of light, is as one adjudged to a perpetuall night, condemned to live thence∣forth all his life long in a dark dungeon. Neither indeed is there any part almost of the body, that nature, or the God of Nature rather, hath so carefully garded and curiously fenced against all manner of emergent dangers. For besides g 1.559 the severall filmes, as so many inward fences, with the humours as waters enclosed between them; there is without as a strong wall of hard bone round about it, to secure it against the violence of any more forcible matter; and over that the eye-lids as curtains ready to be drawn over it upon occasion of ought making to∣wards it, that may impeach or molest it; and those fringed

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also with a double set of short hair, that may neither hinder its prospect, and yet may help to shrowd and shelter it, by keeping off such slighter and lighter occurrents, as might casually annoy it. Now like to this pretious part of man, the eye: and to that more pretious part of that part, the ball, or apple of the eye, that is so curiously garded, doth David desire to be with God, in re∣gard of his tender care over him, his constant providence and continuall protection of him. And such doth God himself professe his to be unto him; and his care therefore of them and affection to them consequently to be such,m 1.560 as ours is wont to be of that part which we so pretiously esteem. Such it had been towards this people from the first. For so Moses in his song penned, h 1.561 by Gods own appointment, to mind them of his mercies and favours shewed them; i 1.562 He led them, and kept them, as the apple of his eye. And such he promiseth it should be k 1.563 to the last towards them. l 1.564 I will, saith he, be unto Jerusa∣lem, as a wall of fire round about her. he saith not, a wall n 1.565 of stone, or o 1.566 of steel, as one well observeth; tho that might seem to imply safety and security sufficient: but a wall p 1.567 of fir; such as may not onely secure her, but anno them that as∣sault her, may both q 1.568 fright them afar off, and destroy them at hand. And yet further, because intestine evils may spring up; and those many times prove more dangerous then any from without: r 1.569 My glory, saith God, that is, my glorious presence shall be in the middest of her. and if s 1.570 God be in the middest of her, she cannot be moved. she cannot but be safe; she cannot miscarry by any evill whatsoever, either from within or from without. And what is the reason why God is so carefull and chary of the safety of his people? t 1.571 For he that toucheth you, saith he, toucheth the apple of mine eye. u 1.572 He makes choise of the tenderest part of mans body, and that which men are most ten∣der of, thereby to shew and assure that he is as much agreeved and offended with the least grievance that is offered to any of his, as the least touch of the eye, or eye-sight is offensive unto us. and he sendeth his messengr therefore to the Nations round about them, to warn them to take heed how they attempt ought against her, lest they bring mischief thereby upon themselves.

6. They are his Spouse, whom he hath contracted himself unto,

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to be unto them as their husband, as their head, a 1.573 I will espouse thee unto me, saith the Lord by Hosea, in judgement, in justice, in faithfulnesse, in loving kindnesse, and in much mercy. and, b 1.574 He that made thee, c 1.575 thy Creator, saith Esay, will marry thee. Now the husband, saith the Apostle, is the head of the wife, as Christ is of the Church. and his office is to protect her, as Christ doth it, be∣ing the Saviour of his body. What kind husband can endure to see his wife wronged? or can without grief and discontent behold that done, that shall vex and grieve her? no, her grief is his; yea it is more his. then if it were personally his own. Nor is God therefore lesse chary and tender of his Church, and the welfare thereof; then any the kindest husband of his dearest wife, and of her comfort and contentment. d 1.576 In all their afflictions, saith the Prophet, he was afflicted. it was an affliction to him to see them afflicted. and e 1.577 his soul was grieved, saith the story, he was grieved at the very heart, to see the grievance, or the misery of Israel; to see what a calamitous estate they were in at present, through the cruelty of the enemy, f 1.578 into whose hands they had been sold for their sinnes.

7 They are his Turtle. for that also would not be omitted. g 1.579 O deliver not, saith the Psalmist, or, h 1.580 give not up the soul of thy Turtle, (that is, the i 1.581 life of it, or thy Turtle simply: for it is oft times no more then so; as where it is said, k 1.582 How many be they, that say to my soul? that is as much as, to me: save that it makes the speech the more l 1.583 emphaticall by such an m 1.584 affe∣ctionate expression) unto the troop; (to wit, of her adversaries that are ready to seize on her, or that have seized on her alrea∣dy, n 1.585 in whose hands she now is) or p 1.586 unto the wild beast, the beasts of the q 1.587 feild: unto such ravenous beasts as are wont to prey upon such feeble fowl as is the Turtle and the like; unto which fierce and fell creatures the Churches enemies are here, and a 1.588 elsewhere oft, compared. The Prophet Nathan, to bring David about by a sleight to a sight of the grievousnesse of hiso 1.589

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sinne, in b 1.590 taking Vriahs wife away from him; telleth him a tale of c 1.591 a poore man, that had a Cade-lamb, brought up by hand, which he was so taken with, that he used to feed it at his tabl, and lay it d 1.592 in his lap; and of a rich man, that took this poore mans lamb, and killed it, to entertain his guest there∣with: thereby implying, what a wrong men would take it to be, to see any sorry creature wronged, or to have it taken from them, wherein they take such delight. And I might well appeal, to those, either rich, or poore, but the former especially, that keep for pleasure, Turtles, or Finches, or Linnets, or Nightingales, and the like, be they for singing or sight desired; how chary they are wont to be of them, how carefull to cage them, and keep them in places of security, out of the reach of such ravenous creatures, as Cats, or the like, that would otherwise be dealing with them; and how they are wont to take it, when through the malice of any ill-affected to them, or the neglect of those that have charge of them, any mischief befalleth them. e 1.593 such a matter as that hath sometime cost a man no lesse then his life. And so is it here. Gods Church is his Turtle, f 1.594 his Dove, much more deer to him, then any such toys (for so in comparison I may well tearm them) are or can be with those, that doe most affect them, and set the highest rate on them: and is consequent∣ly as chary, yea more chary of his, then any man or woman is, or can be of any such creature, which they are most taken with, and wherein they most delight.

Lastly, they are g 1.595 his people: the people,* 1.596 with whom he hath entred into h 1.597 covenant, whom he hath taken into his protection. i 1.598 they are his servants, and he their liege Lord; they are his subjects, and he their Soveraign. Now it is the ho∣nour of a King to protect his people: the office of a Soveraign to secure his subjects from violence and wrong. Yea a good King accounteth k 1.599 himself wronged in the wrong of his people, nor can he with patience endure to see that done wherby any, even the meanest of them, is unjustly molested and injured. l 1.600He shall judge, saith the Psalmist, that is, m 1.601 judge for, right and avenge, the wronged poore of the people: n 1.602 he shall deliver the

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needy, and him that hath no helper: he shall save their souls, that is, their o 1.603 lives; and redeem, or p 1.604 rescue, q 1.605 them from fraud and violence: he shall protect them against all damage and dan∣ger, that by any injurious course, either of circumvention or oppression, in regard of their poverty and inabiity, they may at any time be exposed unto:r 1.606 and pretious shall their bloud be be in his sight. no drop of their bloud, but he shall set an high rate on it, and make those therefore pay full deerly for it, that shall, either draw, or even attempt to draw it. And surely if earthly Princes, who are but s 1.607 Gods vicegerents and t 1.608 mini∣sters, either are, or ought to be so affected towards those, who being indeed u 1.609 Gods people, are by him x 1.610 committed to their care and charge: how much more is God himself thus affected to his people, y 1.611 of whose safety and welfare he requireth them to be so cautious? that which is there spoken being in deed and truth but a type of that, the truth whereof is most eminently found and fulfilled in him. a 1.612 He it is indeed, that helpeth those to right that suffer wrong; and hat then also when those that should here doe it, b 1.613 refuse to right them, or in steed of righting them, doe themselves wrong them. that executeth judgement in the behalf of his oppressed ones. and of whom it is avowed, that c 1.614 the death, and the bloud, consequently, of his Saints is pretious in his sight. And surely if the teares of Gods people, that by such courses are wrung from them, are so pretious in his esteem, that he is said to reserve them by him, as in a bottle: no marvell if their bloud be pretious in his sight, if he set an high rate on eve∣ry drop of it. d 1.615 Thou countest my wandrings, or flittings, saith David; put my teares into thy bottle: are they not entred in thy book? yes, (e) this I know. I am assured that so it is. as if he had said, there is never a step that I take, when through the wrong∣full and violent persecution of mine adversaries, I am enforced to (f) fly and flit from place to place, but thou takest notice of, and keepest a due account of it. and if thou keepest so exact an account of my steps, then sure thou canst not but take as exact a tale of my teares. thou hast a bottle for the one, and a a book for both. there is never a tear that I shed, that falleth besides the one; never a step that I take in these my flittings to and fro, but that together with each tear that I shed, stands registred, as upon record, in the other.

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Thus then have we seen the point confirmed unto us,* 1.616 by rea∣sons drawn from those relations that such persons have to God: we passe on to such Arguments as may be taken from Gods At∣tributes; from the nature of God, and his disposition, as towards all in generall, so more specially toward those, whom in a more speciall and peculiar manner he hath taken to be his.

First then, God is a just and a righteous God.* 1.617 g 1.618 To shew that God is just; and there is no unrighteousnesse with him. And as he is a just and a righteous God; so he loveth righteousnesse. h 1.619 The righteous Lord, saith the Psalmist, loveth righteousnesse. and indeed he were not righteous, if he loved not righteousnesse. i 1.620 he that loveth not righteousnesse, is not truly righteous, tho he may deale righteously. Again, as he loveth righteousnesse, so he hateth unrighteousnesse, k 1.621 Thou lovest righteousnesse; and hatest wic∣kednesse. the one followeth necessarily upon the other. and, l 1.622 Thou art a God, that delightest not in wickednesse: but hatest all wrong-doers; and abhorrest all bloudy and deceitfull persons. and m 1.623 The Lord trieth, that is, n 1.624 upon triall approves of, the righteous: but the wicked and such as love and delight in iniquity, his soul hateth; he abhorreth them from his heart. And as o 1.625 his countenance therefore doth behold the upright, to wit, p 1.626 with ap∣probation and delight: so he is q 1.627 of purer eyes then to behold evill, or to look upon iniquity, but r 1.628 with detestation and dislike s 1.629 His eyes behold the sonnes of men; of all sorts, t 1.630 as well bad as good; and u 1.631 his eye-lids try them; with their wayes and courses. but x 1.632 the one to approve them and preserve them, the other to testifie his dislike of their practises, by the destruction of their persons.

2. He is a jealous God. as a just and righteous,* 1.633 so a a 1.634 jealous God; jealous of his own b 1.635 glory, his reputtaion, his credit, his honour. Now it is no small dishonour and disgrace to a Prince, if he shall see and suffer his subjects to be wronged, and c 1.636 doe not right them, whether it be, because he cannot, or tho he can, because he will not, much more: there is a note of impotency lying upon him in the one; a blot, which is farre worse, of iniquity in the other. Nor doth Gods honour seeme to be lesse engaged, and to lie at the stake, when his own people are in his own sight and presence oppressed. d 1.637 We have been, say they, so and so in

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thy sight. e 1.638 My people, saith he, are oppressed: and my name is blasphemed. and, f 1.639 My holy name was prophaned by the Nations, among whom my people was dispersed, in that they g 1.640 said of them, These are Gods people; and yet are gone out of his land.

And indeed in sundry respects doth the honour of God suffer in such cases.

1. In regard of his power, as if he were not able to protect or deliver his. h 1.641 I had said (saith God, of this people, when ha∣ving brought them out of Egypt, they proved disobedient and rebellious) that I would poure out my fury upon them for their re∣bellious courses, and destroy them utterly in the wildernesse; and I had so done, but that I had respect to my Name, that it might not be pol∣luted before the Heathen, in whose sight I brought them out. And i 1.642 when the hoast of Israel had received a repulse before Ai, k 1.643 Oh Lord, (saith Joshua in his complaint of it to God) what shall I say, when Israel turneth the l 1.644 back before his enemies? For when the Canaanites, and all the inhabitants of the land shall hear of it, they will beset us on every side, and cut us clean off; and what. wilt thou doe to thy great name? what will become of thine ho∣nour? how much will it be impaired thereby? and how will it be again repaired? And if it be demanded in what regard Gods. name would have been so polluted, and his honour so blemished, ei∣ther in the one case, or in the other; Moses will enform us, where pleading with God in the behalf of his people, m 1.645 when he threatned to destroy them, n 1.646 They will say, saith he, that therefore thou slewest them in the wildernesse, because thou wast▪ not able to bring them into that land, which thou hadst sworn to bestow upon them. and the like would they have said, had he suffered them to be destroyed by the inhabitants of the land. To which effect also was that taunting speech of those other Nations, a∣mong whom in the time of their captivity they were scattered, wherein God himself professeth that his name was prophaned, o 1.647 These are his people; and yet gone out of his land, as if God had not been able to keep them in it, albeit he had given them posses∣sion of it, because he suffered them to be dispossest of it again. And you know well, who it was that said to those the Lords three stout champions, p 1.648 What God q 1.649 is able to deliver you out of my hand? as being prone to presume, that it must needs be for want

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of power on Gods part, if they were not delivered, who had hazarded their lives in this cause.

2. Gods name suffreth in such ease, in regard of his purity and holinesse. as if he were a God, that liked well enough of ini∣quity, at least misliked not such wicked courses. r 1.650 These things, saith he, thou diddest; and because I held my peace, and held my hand; (for Gods silence there, s 1.651 as elsewhere, is no other then his forbearing, either to stay their hand, and restrain their rage and riot, or by his revenging hand to make them know how he stands affected therewith) t 1.652 thou thoughtest, that I was like unto thee; thou supposedst me to be such another as thy selfe. Yea they stick not to say, when they scape scotfree, and thrive with their sinfull courses, that u 1.653 any one that doth evill, is x 1.654 good in Gods eyes, is accepted with God; and that he delighteth in such, he liketh well enough of them. or where is the God of judgement? he would else execute judgement upon them, and thereby mani∣fest himself to be otherwise minded.

3. In regard of his providence, as if he did not see, or regard, and take notice, what is done here on earth, a 1.655 They break thy people in pieces, O Lord; and make havock of thine heritage: they slay the widow and the stranger, and murder the fatherlesse: such as b 1.656 God hath more specially taken into his protection, and are as c 1.657 sanctuary persons. and when they so doe, because they are suffe∣red to doe so, d 1.658 they say, The Lord seeth it not; the God of Jacob regards it not. e 1.659 God is aloft in the heavens, that are far higher then the stars; and much more then above the clouds. and how can he then discry and discern through the f 1.660 dark passage that lieth between us and him, what is done by men here below? g 1.661 the thick clouds so hide him, that h 1.662 he cannot see them, while he walkes his round in heaven.

4. In regard of his justice, as if he would never call them to any account, for that which he did not reckon with them for at the present. i 1.663 While thou, Lord, saith the Psalmist, standest a∣loof of; and doest not shew forth, but hidest thy self in these troublesome times▪ the wicked doth with insolencie eagerly pursue the oppressed; and k 1.664 what by privy plotting, what by open vio∣lence,

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makes a prey and a spoil of them. and * 1.665 he saith in his heart; he m 1.666 thinks the whiles with himself, that God hath for∣gotten: he thinketh not on the poor, whom he so oppresseth: he hideth his face from them; as n 1.667 they complain that he doth: he will never see, or look after them; much lesse call him to ac∣count, for ought that he doth to them. For so it followeth in the Psalm; o 1.668 Arise, O Lord; to relieve the oppressed: lift up thine hand; to smite their oppressors: forget not the afflicted; tho men suppose thou so doest. For why should the wicked man reproach God, while he saith in his heart, that thou wilt not require it?

Thus doth p 1.669 God suffer in his name by his suffrance of such▪ at whose hands his people suffer. and how can it be then, that, be∣ing so jealous of his honour as he is, he should endure to see that, but with much detestation and dislike, whereby his honour is so much, and so many wayes either impached or impaired?

* 1.6703. God is a faithfull God. faithfull and true, in his promises to his; faithfull and firm, in his affection towards them.

q 1.671 I have loved you; saith the Lord to his people tho they un∣gratiously and ungratefully, yea shamefully, or shamelesly ra∣ther, demand of him, r 1.672 wherein he had loved them; that is, shewed any love to them. when as yet in truth he had s 1.673 so be∣set them with the fruits of his love, so environed them on every side with the effects of it, that which way soever they should turn themselves, they could no sooner draw their eye-lids asun∣der, but great variety of such objects would offer themselves to their eye-sight, as might be evident arguments of his love to them more then ordinary. And this love of God to his, is no fickle, but a constant love. whom he loves once, he loves ever. t 1.674 His, that he loved, saith the Evangelist, he loved to the last. and, u 1.675 I have loved thee, saith God by the Prophet to his peo∣ple, with a love ever-lasting. Now those that love entirely, cannot endure to see the least wrong done to those, whom so entirely they affect. and much lesse God 〈◊〉〈◊〉 those whom so entirely, so con∣stantly he loveth. How was x 1.676 he displeased with Aaron and 〈◊〉〈◊〉 but for murmuring and 〈◊〉〈◊〉 somwhat against Moses, and manifested his displeasure y 1.677 as by checking them both, so by smiting the one tho in regard of his place of high-priesthood 〈◊〉〈◊〉 spared the other, with that foule disease of leprosie, that

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z 1.678 excluded from all society, as well civill as sacred. * 1.679 Nor could she be restored, but upon Moses his intreaty; and not then neither instantly. she must be taught by the delay of her reco∣very to learn, what it was to murmur or mutter ought against Moses. And a 1.680 Gods wrath, it is said, was incensed against Iobs three friends, (tho otherwise, for ought that appears in the story of them, good men) for the wrong they had done him in their over-harsh censures past on him. nor would God be pacified and reconciled again to them. untill they had reconciled themselves to him; untill they had satisfied him, and he made sute for them. b 1.681 Let my servant Iob, saith he, pray for you; and then I will accept you.

Again, as he loves his entirely and constantly, so he hath, out of this this love to them by promise engaged himself, to be ever procuring of their good. It is one branch of his covenant with them▪ (and as his love, so his c 1.682 covenant, it is everlasting; nor is there d 1.683 any God herein like him, that keepeth word and covenant so as he doth with his) that e 1.684 he will never cease from doing them good. yea thatf 1.685he will rejoyce over them, to doe them good. it shall be his greatest joy, the joy of his heart, to see them do well, and to be doing them good. As elsewhere also he is said g 1.686 to delight and take pleasure, in the prosperity of his people. And surely he that rejoyceth in doing them good, cannot but be grieved, to see evill done them whom it is his joy to do good unto. He that delights and takes pleasure in their prosperity and welfare, cannot but be grieved in and at their afflictions and adversity, and incensed against those by whom any such evill befalleth them.

4. God is a mercifull God. a God h 1.687 abundant,* 1.688 and i 1.689 rich in mercy. One that loves mercy, that likes it, that delights in it. k 1.690 What God is there saith the Prophet, like unto thee▪ pardoning iniquity, and passing by the transgressions of the remnant of thy people? he doth not retain his anger for ever▪ because he delights in mercy. And, m 1.691 I am the Lord, saith he. that exercise, mercy, justice,l 1.692 and judgement: for in these things I delight. I delight both to do them, and to see them done. Now this is the peculiar nature and pro∣perty of mercy, that it makes men sensible of other mens suffe∣rings; makes them to be affected with the afflictions of others,

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even as if they were their own. Yea thence mercy hath its name, and is so called, because by it n 1.693 men take to heort the miseries of others, and do in some sort o 1.694 even partake with them therein. And as to cruell and mercilesse persons it is p 1.695 a pleasure to be∣hold the pains of men in torture: so to mercifull men it is a pain to see men in pain▪ they feel what they behold in others; they suffer what they see. q 1.696 You have endured, saith the Apostle to the faithfull Hebrews, r 1.697a great conflict of sufferings; partly being s 1.698 made a gazing stocke (as being brought your selves on the stage) by reproaches and pressures; and partly by being partakers with others that were in like manner used; and by t 1.699 suffering toge∣ther with me in my bonds. and u 1.700 Remember those, saith the same A∣postle, that are in bonds, x 1.701 as if your selves were in bonds with them; and those that are ill intreated, hardly used, as being your selves also in the body; and lyable therefore to the like. Yea, I may well say as being in the same body, as well with the one, as in the same bonds with the other. For men of tender bowels, piti∣full persons, do many times by compassion endure as much, sometime more, then those do, that do personally suffer; and are more affected and afflicted with the pains and sufferings of o∣thers▪ then are they themselves that suffer them. What I endure, (saith y 1.702 a Noble Lady to her husband under Claudius con∣demned to die, and by her own voluntary act dying with him) z 1.703 paineth me not; that paineth me that thou endurest. Nor is it unlikely, but that he might well have quitted her with the like language, had his courage been equall. Certainly for a 1.704 Zede∣kiah to have his sonnes slain in his sight, might well be more bitter to him, then it was unto them; who might rather have wished to have been slain before them, then to have survived to see that cruell execution done on them. Is it thus then with men? and is it not so with God? Sure of Christ it is said, that he is such b 1.705an

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High-priest, as hath c 1.706 a fellow-feeling of our infirmities. being, tho freed now from feeling, yet d 1.707 not free from fellow-feeling; and tho now above all passion, yet not voyd of compassion. For tho he suffer not now in himself, yet he suffereth in his. e 1.708 Saul, Saul, saith he, why dost thou persecute me? and, f 1.709 J was hungry, and ye gave not me to eat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me not to drink: I was naked, and ye clad me not; sick & ye prison, & in visited me not. He is affected with what they feel, as if he suffered it in them, g 1.710 who professeth himself to suffer hunger, and thirst, and nakednesse, and sicknesse, and impri∣sonment in them: and who to Saul complaines of the persecution of his Saints, as the persecution of himself. h 1.711 I am Jesus, saith he, whom thou persecutest. Yea of God himself it is affirmed, as before we shewed, that i 1.712 in the afflictions of his people he himself was afflicted. or, because that place admitteth k 1.713 a double rea∣ding, and to some therefore may seem doubtfull; take that other place out of the holy History above also mentioned where when the Philistins and Ammonites grievously oppressed Gods people, it is said thatl 1.714 his soul was grieved for the grievance of Israel. It grieved him to the very heart to see them so grieved; their grie∣vance went to the very heart with him. I am not ignorant that these and the like are figurative and metaphoricall expressions, m 1.715 taken from mans weaknesse, and used for the help of mans weaknesse, thereby to decipher to us such a disposition in God, that is yet wholly free and far from all taint and tang of such weaknesse, as they intimate in us. Howbeit, sure it is, that that God, who thus expresseth himself to be affected with the wrongs and sufferings of his Saints, cannot but with exceeding much dislike and displicence see and behold ought, wherewith he professeth himself so to be affected. A mercifull God cannot endure any mercilesse cariage in man to man; and much lesse towards those, whom among men he most affecteth, n 1.716 Ye shall not afflict any widow, or any fatherlesse child: if any wise ye do, and they cry unto me, J will surely heare their cry, and my wrath shall be incensed: and I will slay you with the Sword; and your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherlesse. And why will God be so fierce and fiery a∣gainst such as so do? the reason followeth a little after; tho in∣ferred on a lesse matter, the oppressing of the poor by retaining his pledge. o 1.717 When he crieth to me I will heare, for I am mercifull.

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and as I love mercy, therefore; so I abhor cruelty; and will execute judgement without mercy on mercilesse men. p 1.718 There shall be judgement without mercy, saith the Apostle, unto those that shew no mercy to others.

Adde hereunto, that, albeit it be q 1.719no injustice to pay cruell men in their own coin, (it is r 1.720 no cruelty, saith one, if such be crully dealt with, as have dealt cruelly with others.) Yea it is not unjustly deemed sometime, a kind, not of s 1.721 injustice onely, but of t 1.722 cruelty, to spare such, and not to proceed with severity a∣gainst them: Yet are mercifull men wont to be moved with compassin even towards those that so suffer; tho they suff•••• no∣thing, but what others have before suffred from them, and what themselves by such their doings have well deserved. Even the pains that malefactors suffer by the hand of justice are no pleasing object to a mercifull mans eye. Teares have been seen to fall from the Judge when he was to sentence such, in commiseration of the delinquent, tho in consideration of his offence he were constrained to passe on him an heavy doom. Nor is it otherwise with God. when the whole world was so deeply defiled with sinne, that it could not be cleansed but by a generall deluge, as y 1.723 it repented God, that he had made man; so z 1.724 it grieved him at the heart, to consider with himself, that he must now destroy man again, whom he had so made. And when, by execution of justice, he commeth to a 1.725 ase himself of his adversaries, and to b 1.726 take away as drosse the c 1.727 scummy part of his people, that the residue may be the purer, he goeth about it as with grief. And when he had d 1.728 sold his people into the hands of their enemies, tho they suffered justly for their sinnes; e 1.729 neverthelesse, saith the Psalmist, be considered, he tooke to heart, their affliction, when he heard their cry,u 1.730 x 1.731 and re∣membring

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his covenant, according to the multitude of his mercies, he repented him of the evill, that he had inflicted on them for their sinne.

In a word, f 1.732 God delighteth in doing good: g 1.733 thou art good, saith he, and dost good:) that is most agreeable to his nature. and he is therefore called h 1.734 the father of mercies; tho the i 1.735 God also of vengeance; as if that flowed most naturally from him, k 1.736he hath it at home, as I may so say, from himself. but he delights not in punishing: that is forced as it were from him, and he forced upon it; the occasion, and first motive to it ariseth l 1.737 from without, it commeth from the creature. m 1.738 He punisheth not n 1.739 from the heart; or, with the heart. he goeth o 1.740 not about it with a good will. it is p 1.741 a grief to him, to be greivous to us: it is a pain to him to be punishing of us. q 1.742 He delighteth not, (himself r 1.743 sweares it) in the death of the sinner; whom he would s 1.744 rather have to repent and return, than to go on and suffer for his sinne. And if it vex and grieve him, even to see wicked ones perish; or if to see his own t 1.745 suffer, tho deservedly, for their sinnes; how much more tenderly is he affected with those afflictions that his people wrongfully endure from the hatred and malice of wick∣ed men?

All which laid together, whether we shall consider the sundry relations and tials that Gods people have unto God, or the af∣fection and disposition that he beareth unto them; we cannot but conclude, that he cannot endure, without much dislike and displea∣sure, to behold any wrong or greivance done unto them.

The Doctrine it selfe then being thus grounded and made good, an Objection or two would be answered, ere we passe to the use of it.

For first, may some say, these relations that you here mention,* 1.746

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and the dispositions that you speak of, are such as concern onely the faithfull; nor can any other then such lay any just claim thereunto: whereas the passage of Scripture you treat of, is by your self affirmed to extend it self unto the whole body of that people of whom it was uttered, consisting of both sorts, as well unfaithfull as faithfull, as well bad as good.

To this I answer, first, that even those wicked and unfaithfull ones,* 1.747 being members of the body politick of that people, which at that time was Gods Church, yea his onely visible Church, for ought we know; were as the a 1.748drosse that is mixt with the good metall, while it remaineth yet unrefined; as the b 1.749 chaffe that lieth blended with the grain, while it abideth in the floor; as thec 1.750 weeds, that grow untill harvest time, among the bread-corn in the field. And as the metalist keeps carefully the whole lump together, consisting of drosse and good metall, untill it be tried, not for the drosse sake, but for the good oare, with which it lieth in one lump; and the husbandman diligently fenceth the field, wherein d 1.751 corn and weeds grow together, not for the weeds, but for the corn, among which they grow; and hath a care of the whole heap, tho containing, it may be, more chaffe, then pure grain, untill the fan or screen have severed the one from the other, not for the chaffe sake, but for the grain, wherewith it lieth mingled in one heap: so doth Gods care and compassion extend it self to the whole body of his people, tho consisting of mixt mul∣titudes; (not unlike the e 1.752 fild that hath f 1.753 weeds in it as well as good corn; and the (g) dag-net, that draweth along with it as well trash as good fish;) not so much in regard of those un∣sound ones among them, as in respect to the better sort among whom they abide. He that (l) blessed Labans house, tho an ido∣later, for Iacob; and i 1.754 Potiphers▪ tho an uncircumcised Egyp∣tian, for Iaseph; doth preserve and protect such wicked ones as live mixt among his in one body with them,h 1.755 out of his tender

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respect unto those among whom they live.k 1.756 Pray for, and seeke, saith he, the peace of the place ye abide in. for by the peace of it shall ye have peace. If God afford continued peace unto Babel, for his own peoples peace, that lived, tho as captives and exiles, among them, that they might be the quieter: no marvell, if he afford safeguard unto those bad ones, that are as imbarked in the same ship with his Saints; (the Lord, saith the Angell to Paul,l 1.757 hath given thee the lives of all that sail with thee.) whereas good and bad so m 1.758 embarked, are like to endure the same storms, to enjoy the same calms, and to be either wrecked or saved, either with other. n 1.759 Evil, saith the Psalmist, shall hunt the violent dealer to destruction. The whole heard, ye know, is oft hunted, till the game be singled. and as Gods wrath may pursue o 1.760 a whole State for one Abimelech; p 1.761 a whole Army for one Achan; q 1.762 a whole Fleet for one Ionah. so on the other side, r 1.763 a whole City may be saved fot one Lot, s 1.764 a whole State of bad for some ten good, yea t 1.765 for but one or two righteous. u 1.766 God remembred Noah, and the cattell, and every living thing that was with him in the Arke. x 1.767 God for our sakes takes care even of y 1.768 our cattell, and of our chattels. yea not the Israelites cattell onely, but even the z 1.769 wild beasts themselves also fared the better, for the people of God, while they passed through the wildernesse; making use of, and receiving benefit by, those springs and streams of water, that for Gods people were broke up and sent abroad to re∣lieve and refresh them in their passage. * 1.770 Many benefits doe the wicked share in with the good, that were principally intended for the good, while they remain and abide as in one body with them.

Secondly, I answer, that even those evill and unsound ones,* 1.771 tho no covenant-keepers, yet are in a 1.772 covenant with God; and in regard of outward profession, of the number of Gods people.

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b 1.773 My people, saith God, have forgotten me, daies without number, time out of mind. and c 1.774 My people have exchanged their glory for a thing of no use. or, d 1.775 that cannot profit, that can do them no good, can stand them in no steed. his people he calleth them still, tho they had forgotten him, tho they had exchanged him for e 1.776 an idol. And albeit such by their sinfull courses do make forfei∣ture of their right to and interest in those priviledges, that ap∣pertain to Gods faithful people; yet God doth not alwaies instantly take advantage of that their forfeiture, but continueth his mercy and goodnesse even to such, notwithstanding their ill de∣sert. Tho f 1.777 Joas the sonne of Iehoabaz did that that was evill in Gods sight, and departed not from the sinnes of Jeroboam, that made Israel to sinne, but went on obstinately therein; yet when Hazael the Aramite oppressed Israel, God was gracious to them, and had respect unto them, for his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Iacob; and would not destroy them, nor cast them out of his pre∣sence and protection as yet. And albeit g 1.778 Ierboam the second his sonne, tooke the same courses, and brought on himself the like judgements; yet when God saw the affliction of Israel, that it was very bitter; and that there was h 1.779 not any shut up or left; scarce any left either in hold, or abroad; either under restraint, or left at large; nor any helper to Israel; as no power from within, so no ayd from without; and he had not resolved yet to blot out the name of Israel from under Heaven, to make an utter riddance of them: he saved them by the hand of Jeroboam; by k 1.780 the ministery of an ungodly King he delivered an ungodly people.

Now thus dealeth God also oft times in regard of his own ho∣nour, that seemes neerly to be touched, when those that are dee∣med his, and are esteemed to have relation unto him, are left and given up to the wicked, who acknowledge not him, unto whom they professe, and are deemed to belong. l 1.781 My name, saith God, is blasphemed, while my people is oppressed. and, m 1.782 These, say they in derision, tho captived for their sinne, are Gods peo∣ple, that are gone out of his Land. When the Syrian King came with a very puissant army against Ahab (tho n 1.783 an idolater, and one

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that had o 1.784 sold himself to sinne, yet) being King then of Israel, still accounted Gods people; p 1.785 Doest thou see, saith God by his messenger to him, this great multitude? I will deliver them all this day into thine hand. that it may be known, that I am the Lord. and so q 1.786 accordingly he did. And again, when r 1.787 the Syrians told their Lord, that the God of Israel is God of the, hils▪ (for so we may well read the words s 1.788 by good warrant from God himself) but not of the plain: and that this was the reason why they prevailed against them when the battle was fought on the hils; but they should be sure to have the better of them, if they fought with them on the plain; God sends Ahab a second mes∣sage, t 1.789 because the Syrians say, The Lord is God of the hils, but not God of the valleys; therefore will I deliver this great multitude into thine hands: and it shall be known that I am the Lord. God would save them, tho wicked ones, and unworthy of ought and give them victory against their blasphemous enemies; to save, his own credit, and maintain his own honour.

Hereunto may be added, that even for their profession, men, tho not inwardly sound, yet may outwardly suffer. Men may persecute piety even where it is not, in an hypocrite: and wrong Christ even in those, who in truth are none of his, nor have part in him: and dishonour God in those, whom u 1.790 he doth not own, or ac∣knowledge, because false-hearted, or loose-lived. A man may suffer for wearing a Noble mans livery, tho but bought at the brokers, if he fall into the hands of some adverse party: and a servant or retainer in like case fare the worse for having his Ma∣sters cloth or cognizance about him; tho he have been for his misdemeanors discharged of his service; and much more, if tho being in no grace or favour at all with him, he doe yet retain, or professe himself to retain still uno him. In like manner may a man suffer, yea many so doe, as well inwardly rotten-hearted, as outwardly debauched, for x 1.791 the profession they make of piety, and for pretending to that interest in God, which yet in truth they have not. whom God may therefore, and doth oft afford protection unto, in regard not onely that they suffer wrongfully, being out of malice oppugned, but that himself suffereth in them, being therefore maligned, because they are esteemed to have some speciall relation to him.

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In these respects therefore it may truly be said, that God can∣not, but with a wrathfull eye, endure to see wrongs and reproaches offred unto the main body of his people, tho there be many a∣mong them, that have no such speciall interest in him, as the better sort of them have, whom he principally respecteth, but either professe, or are deemed onely, in truth to be his.

* 1.792But again it may be objected, that God is oft read to have a 1.793 delivered up his people into the hands of their enemies; yea to have b 1.794 left his, even the best of them, such as have been high∣est in his favour and deepest in his books unto the malice and cruelty of their inhumane adversaries. hence those grievous com∣plaints of Gods people, that c 1.795 God had sold them for nought, made them a reproach and scorn to their neighbours round about them, that for his sake they were daily, or d 1.796 incessantly slaughtred; and that all this they had endured, while he stood by and e 1.797 looked on, as if he regarded not, either them, or the cruelty exercised on them. and how then, may some say, is it affirmed, that God cannot endure to see any wrong done to his?

* 1.798To this, in way of answer thereunto, we return; first, that God oft times suffreth such things to befall his servants for their sinnes; and f 1.799 makes use of wicked men, as of scourges, to cha∣stise his children with for their excesses. In which his dealing he hath an eye, not to them alone, whom he doth so chastise, nor to those alone, g 1.800 whose good also in such his chastisements he inten∣deth,h 1.801 while he maketh those whom he so chastiseth, examples of more cautious and circumspect cariage to others; but he hath an eye also to himself, and to his own credit. For howsoever it is true indeed, as hath been said, that wicked men take occasion to question his power and his providence over his, when they see them so to suffer: yet it would redound much more i 1.802 to his dishonour another way, if he should suffer those, that are esteemed his people, his servants, his children, to go unpunished, or uncha∣stised, when they sinne. for should he so doe, he would be dee∣med to be a patron of impiety, of impurity, of iniquity; a maintainer of his in the practise of such things. And surely, as

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Gods name is oft dishonoured by the suffrings of his servants; so much more also by their sinnes. k 1.803 Because, saith Nathan to Da∣vid, thou hast set light by Gods word, in taking the wife of Uriah,m 1.804 and slaying him by the sword of the children of Ammon; therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; and I will raise up one out of thine own bowels, that shall abuse thy wives in the sight of all Israel. and again, l 1.805 because thou hast hereby given the enemies of God occasion to blaspheme, the child that was born in adultery shall surely die. Neither could David with all his fasting and prayer, and more then ordinary humiliation, get that heavy doome revoked.

Howbeit, tho for such and other the like causes, God gave the wicked sometime power over his; yet the cruelty that in such cases they exercise on his people, is not in regard thereof a∣ny whit the lesse odious and offensive in Gods sight; as himself also expressely avoweth. n 1.806 O Assur, saith he▪ or, o 1.807 Wo to Assur, the rod of my wrath; the rod, wherewith in my wrath I have chastised my people▪ p 1.808 tho the staf of mine indignation be in their hand, albeit I make use of him at present as an instrument, for mine own ends and purposes, in the execution of my wrath, yet wo be to him for all that. q 1.809 I shall send him indeed aganst a r 1.810 prophane Nation, a people whom I am displased with; furni∣shed with a commission to take the spoil and the prey; and to trea them down, r 1.811 like mire in the street. s 1.812 but he meaneth not so; he minds nothing lesse; but it is in his heart to destroy, and to cut off Nations not a few. his entendement is onely to advance him∣self, and to enlarge his dominions, by the ruines of other people. he little dreameth of doing God any service herein. and t 1.813 when God therefore hath by him wrought his own work upon Sion, he will then punish him also for his proud and stout heart, and his high looks. when he hath done chastising his children by him, he will u 1.814 throw the rod, wherewith he chastised them, into the fire. And of Babel; x 1.815 I was wroth with my people; and gave them into thine hands: and thou y 1.816 shewedst them no mercy; but even z 1.817 upon the aged, not regarding their age, didst thou lay an heavy yoke▪ Thus a 1.818 Israel became as a scattered sheep: the Lions chased him: first Assur wasted him; and after that the King of Babel b 1.819 brake his very bones. But what followeth? c 1.820 Therefore th••••

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saith the Lord f hoasts, the God of Israel; even he that delivered them into the hands of either, Behold, as I punished the King of Assur; so will I punish the King of Babel. and d 1.821 Wo then to him that spoiled, when himself was not spoiled: for when he shall cease to spoil others, others shall spoil him. and e 1.822 as Babel hath served her self on other nations, and Gods people among the rest, so may nations shall serve themselves on Babel. when as God hath used them f 1.823 for executioners of his wrath and indignation upon others: so will he use others as instruments of his just judge∣ment upon them, g 1.824 even for those things that by his just judgement, tho to them unknown, they have done. nor could God with approbation see that done by them, for which he will in due time execute just judgement upon them.

* 1.825Secondly, God leaveth his sometime to the malice and cruel∣ty of the enemy, for the triall and exercise of his grace in them. For sundry graces of Gods children, as their faith, their patience, their courage, their confidence, are as the stars, that h 1.826 lie hid in the day, but shine forth in the night. appear not, to speak of, in times of prosperity; but have their cheif luster in times of adversity and trouble, doe most appear, when they are most opposed. The light of fire is least seen by day: and the pillar therefore that conducted the Israelites in their march, appeared i 1.827 as a cloud by day, as fire by night. and the fire burneth dimmest, when the sunne shineth most upon it. k 1.828 Nor is the Physitians skill known in time of health; l 1.829 nor the Mariners skill seen in a calm; (m) 1.830 nor the Souldiers valour and worth, in times of peace, when he is out of action; nor any mans patience unlesse he be crossed; o 1.831 nor his courage, untill he meet with some strong opposition, n 1.832

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untill he be put to some straight. p 1.833 Ye have heard of Jobs pati∣ence; saith the Apostle. but we had never heard of it, had Job alwayes continued in the same constant tenour of a quiet and comfortable estate, had he never been laid so low, & so q 1.834 afflicted as he was, by the malice of Satan, and the unkind cariage of his friends. But on the other side, the darker the room is, the clea∣rer the candle burneth, and the brighter the fire: the more dange∣rous and desperate the disease is, the more is the Physitians art manifested in the cure of it: the more violent and impetuous the storm is, the more is the Mariners skill shewed, in carrying his ship through it with safety: the hotter the fight or service is, the more will the valour of the souldier appear, in his standing constantly and undauntedly to it, whatsoever the issue be: the heavier the crosse, and the greater the danger, the more is the r 1.835 patience and courage of that man seen, that shall quietly bear and undergo the one, and that shall cheerfully and confidently carry himself in the other. the greater Jobs suffrings and distres∣ses were, the more evidently, and eminently did the excel∣lency of his heroik spirit shine and shew it self forth in them.

Again, as the spirits of men are not seen so much as in such cases; so nor are they tried so thoroughly as by occasions of this kind. There is no triall of a souldier, whether he be couragious or a coward, but in the field, and in fight. the veriest dastard can at court, and in company word it and brave it, as well as the stoutest and valiantest champion that is. but bring them to s 1.836 action; and that will soon distinguish them, and determine, if any be, the doubt. Nor is the sincerity of mens hearts to Godward, so thoroughly by ought tried, as by constant standing in times of opposition and persecution, to his cause. The t 1.837 blade on the stony ground, makes as fair a shew, tho it have no deep rooting, as that that is well rooted in the good ground, untill the height of sommer come; but then the beat of the sunne shi∣ning forth in his strength, parcheth up the one, when it impaireth not, but cherisheth the other. The u 1.838 chaffe stayeth together with the grain in the floar, untill the winowing time come; but then x 1.839 the wind of the fan or sheet carrieth the light chaffe away; and it flies before it out of the floor, when as the grain

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* 1.840 having weight staieth and abideth still by it. y 1.841 Earthen pots guilt over, when they stand on the cup-board z 1.842 among massie plate, may not be discerned the one from the other by the eye: but when they come to the scouring, being rubbed to the purpose, the one, its surface failing, will shew what it is, when as the other will be sure to appear still the same that before it made shew of. drossie and base stuffe oft makes as fair and goodly a shew as rich oar; and counterfait slips, as currant coyn; untill they come a 1.843 to the test the one, to the touch-stone the other. When the Devill accused Job to God for a counterfeit; How will that, saith God, appear? why? b 1.844 It is not for nothing that he feareth thee, saith Satan. he serveth thee now, but to serve his turn upon thee. thou hast enriched him; and heapest still more and more upon him: and thou hast hedged him in; set such a strong fence about him and his estate, that nothing can break in upon him to disturb or annoy him. and no marvell then, if he be willing to serve so bountifull a master, to live in obedience to so carefull and powerfull a protector. he knowes not how, or where to mend himself. but shouldest thou but once offer to stay thine hand, or to stretch it out c 1.845 on ought that thou hast bestowed on him, to d 1.846 touch him never. so lit∣tle in any part of his estate; as he is now but an hireling, so he would then prove a changeling; thou shouldest then soon see a strange change and alteration in him; he would curse thee as fast, as he blsseth thee now; he would even curse thee to thy face. Well; God, as Jobs advocate is content to joyn issue with the Devill herein: Let that, saith he, be the triall. e 1.847 his estate and f 1.848 his person are both in thine hand. doe the worst thou canst to him; not bereaving him of his life. And what saith Iob himself of all this? g 1.849 God, saith he, knowes me, and tries me: and when I have been tried h 1.850 in the fornace of affliction, I shall come out of all my tribulations, as gold, as pretious metall (and indeed so he did) out of the furnace, out of the fire. And, i 1.851 Thou, Lord, hast tried us, saith the, Psalmist, 〈◊〉〈◊〉 silver is tried. and how had he tried them? Thou broughtest us into a net: thou laiedst k 1.852 a streight, or wringing girt upon our loyns: thou suffredst us to be girt as beasts are wont to be, that bear burdens, to be used as pack-horses or the like: thou hast caused men to ride

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l 1.853 over our heads▪ caused us to be used m 1.854 as hackney-horses, over whose head his rider sits reaching out himself to manage him; or n 1.855 as Camels, on whose neck they are said sometime to sit, that rule and direct them: we have gone through fire and water. Thou hast tried us with all manner of tribulation; and upon triall found us sound and sincere. For, o 1.856 tho all this have befallen us, (as elsewhere they professe) th thou u 1.857 hast cast us off, and puttest us to shame; and goest not forth with our hasts; but makest us turn our back upon our enemies, and sufferest those that hate us to plunder and spoil us; hast given us as sheep for meat, and dispersed us among the heathen; hast sold us for nought, and exposed us to shame and scorn: q 1.858 hast broken us,p 1.859 r 1.860 and cast us down into the deep, where the s 1.861 Whales abide, there to be in all likelihood either drownd, or by them devoured; and covered us with a deadly shade; with darknesse so thick, or a shadow so dark, that the very t 1.862 horror and dread wherewith it possesseth men, is enough to damp their spirits, and to strike them stone-dead: yea tho u 1.863 for thy sake we are dayly, or continually, slaughtered; no other reckoning being made of us, thn as of sheep, not kept for their milk and fleece, but set apart for the shambles: yet x 1.864 for all this doe we not forget thee, albeit thou seemest to have forgotten us; nor doe we deale disloyally in breaking our covenant with thee: we make bold y 1.865 to mind thee of thy covenant with us: our heart is not for all this turned away from thee; nor are our step∣pings turned aside out of thy way. we continue still constant with thee: and for their constancy and sincerity, they dare, as a 1.866 Iob also, appeal b 1.867 to God himself. And, c 1.868 Blessed is the man, saith Iames, that thus endureth temptation, that so undergoeth tri∣all. for, when he hath been thus tried; and upon his triall approved, (for so the word must be taken there, as it is also d 1.869 elsewhere) he shall receive the crown of life; which God hath promised to those that love him; by such triall now appearing to be of the number of those that sincerely so doe.

Besides as in such triall the metall oft passing the fire and a∣biding the same; is thereby not approved onely to be good, but is much e 1.870 improved also in its purity and worth, the drossie and earthy matter, that was before mixt with it▪ being severed from it by the fire: so by afflictions and suffrings are the gifts and gra∣ces

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of Gods people, not tried onely and exercised, and approved as sincere, but much improved also and furthered in the growth of them, while through the gratious and powerfull operation of the spirit, joyning with them, and working by them the remain∣ders of their spirituall drosse and dregs are wrought out of them, and their endowments raised up to an higher degree of holinesse, which that baser mould much impeached and impaired before. f 1.871 I will melt them, and try them; saith God. for what should I doe else for the daughter of my people? and, g 1.872 I will turn mine hand on thee; and burn thy drosse out of thee; as the wicked ones from among thee; so the remainders of corruption out of the residue. And again, h 1.873 I will refine thee; but not as silver is fined. not so exactly and exquisitely, as silver or gold is wont to be fined, which the finer keeps in the fire, untill the drosse be wholly wrought out of it: (but should God doe so with us, we should never be out of the furnace, while we live here.) howbe∣it I will i 1.874 choose thee, or make a choise one of thee, make thee a vessel fit for my use, and for an honourable service; having purified thee in some good measure, by the furnace of affliction. And▪ k 1.875 I will bring a third part of them through the fire, and will refine them, as silver is refined, and try them as gold is tried; and then they shall call upon me▪ and I will hear them. having made them by their afflictions fit for my service. And, l 1.876 Many of those, saith Daniel, that have understanding, shall fall, by fire and sword, and by plundering and thraldome. but to what end? or with what effect? to try them, and to purifie them, and to whiten them. and m 1.877 many accordingly shall be purified, and whitened, and tried, And, n 1.878 The Lord, saith Malachie, when he cometh in judgement, shall be as the finers fire, and as the fullers soap: and he shall sit down, as a finer, or trier of silver, to refine the sonnes of Levi, and to purifie them as gold or silver. that the offrings they offer, may be righteous offrings, and wel-pleasing to the Lord.

Hereunto might be added, that as no trials are usually sharp∣er or fiercer, then those that Gods people sustain at the hands of their malitious and mercilesse adversaries, and their reproach∣full and despitefull usages: the rather because o 1.879 therein they seem to insult, not so much over them, as over God himself in them. so in no trials doth the courage and confidence of Gods

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people more manifest it self, then by their undaunted, con∣stant, and unmoveable carriage in such cases. Nor is God him∣self in ought more glorified; nor the might of his grace in his by any means more magnified, then when Gods people, tho they seem left to the will of their cruell enemies, yet notwithstand∣ing all their might and malice, all their rage, and excesse of out∣rage and cruelty, they p 1.880 cannot have their own will on them, are q 1.881 not able to work them to what they would, but that r 1.882 they conquer them then, when they seem to be conquered by them, they prevaile against those that seem to prevaile a∣gainst them. s 1.883 When thou wast yong, saith our Saviour to Pe∣ter, thou didst gird thy self, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch out thine hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. and withall it is added, that this he spake, signifying, by what death he should glorifie God. and, t 1.884 There was power given to the beast, to make war upon the Saints, and to overcome them. and yet did they prevail a∣gainst him, and overcame him, (as they had done u 1.885 the Dragon before him) by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testi∣mony; (or, x 1.886 by their word of testimony, their free and undaun∣ted witnesse-bearing to Gods truth; or, by the y 1.887 matter of their martyrdome, whereby they gave a reall testimony there∣unto:) and by z 1.888 not loving their lives unto death: by being wil∣ling to lay down their lives in Gods cause, and to seal both the truth of it and their love to it, with their blood. for thus had they a 1.889 the victory over the beast, and over his mark, and his image, and the number of his name; even then, when he seemed most victo∣rious against them; to wit, when b 1.890 refusing to worship the beast, or his image, or to beare his name on their forehead, or hand, they were beheaded, or suffered otherwise for their refusall. And; c 1.891 in all these things, saith the Apostle, we are not conquerours onely, but d 1.892 more thn conquerours, even triumphers, (as he e 1.893 elsewhere

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expresseth it) through him, that hath loved us. f 1.894 When I shall be g 1.895 advanced, saith our Saviour, thereby intimating what death he should die: as if the h 1.896 lifting of him up on the crosse, had been the lifting of him to some chair of estate, or some seat of ho∣nour, some royall throne, or some triumphant Charet. that which the Apostle also seems to intimate, where he saith, that i 1.897 on it, he triumphed over principalities and powers; and k 1.898 led them in triumph, as captives, Captains and great commanders especially, taken in war, had anciently in solemn manner wont to be, as to their greater ignominy, so for the greater honour of him, by whom they had been subdued. And as l 1.899 the crosse was as Christs triumphant charet: so are the constant sufferings of Gods servants their conquest's, their triumph: since that thereby they overcome, and even * 1.900 triumph over the might and malice of the adverse party; thereby acquiring abundance of glory to God▪ and atchieving a large measure of true honour to themselves, in the eyes and minds both of God and man.

The consideration whereof also maketh Gods children, tho not willing, if no need were, (and so take we that a 1.901 before spo∣ken by our Saviour of Peter) to undergo such sad and heavy things as these usually are: yet (in regard that their sufferings bring so much glory to God, and as from them, are a service very acceptable unto him) to be not onely not unwilling, but most ready and forward, with much alacrity and cheerfulnesse, to offer themselves unto them, or rather to offer themselves up to God in them: esteeming it as no dishonour, but an honour, to be disho∣noured for Christ, and for his cause; so no pain, but a pleasure, to endure, be it what it will, or can be, that they suffer for Christ, or for the good of those that are his. b 1.902 They went from the consistory, saith the story of Peter and Iohn, when they had been rated and beaten, rejoycing that they were c 1.903 vouchsafed the ho∣nour to be dishonourably used for Christ; that they had been so much graced as to be disgraced for him. And, d 1.904 Now I rejoyce in my sufferings, saith the Apostle Paul to the Colossian, for you; while I help for my part to fill up, or fulfill in 〈◊〉〈◊〉 flesh, wh••••i yet behind, or remaineth to be made up, of the sufferings of Christ, (besides what he personally endured, by Gods appointment for other ends, such are above-mentioned, and the like, to be su∣stained

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by the severall members of his body, each of them his por∣tion assigned him in his turn and time) for his body, which is the Church. And to the Ephesian at Miletus, on the way in his journey to Ierusalem, e 1.905 Behold I go to Jerusalem, bound in the spirit, f 1.906 by a solemn, tho secret, instinct of the Spirit led thither, not knowing what things will there befall me: whether I shall there end my daies or no: save that the holy Ghost, by persons there∣with inspired, some or other, in each City, where I come, assu∣reth m, that bands and imprisonment there abide me: but none of these things at all move me, nor is my life deare unto me, so I may con∣summate my course with joy, and the ministery which I have received from the Lord Jesus, to testifie the Gospell of the grace of God. and after that, when some of the Disciples at Tyrus, g 1.907 speaking by the Spirit, said to him, that he should not goe to Ierusalem. that is, h 1.908 by divine inspiration foretold him what would there befall him, and withall out of their kind, but corrupt, affection, gave him carnall counsell, such as i 1.909 Peter did before-time in the like case to our Saviour, that he would forbeare to go thither: and k 1.910 Agabus a Prophet at Caesarea, with Pauls girdle binding himself, shewed by ocular demonstration, how he should be bound hand and foot at Ierusalem: and the brethren l 1.911 there pre∣sent, thereupon likewise were earnest upon him, with teares be∣seeching him that he would not go thither; m 1.912 What mean ye, saith he, thus by weeping to break my heart? I am ready not to be bound onely, but to die at Ierusalm for the name of the Lord Iesus. And when he had been n 1.913 bound at Ierusalem, and being sent from thence to Rome, he was o 1.914 a prisoner now there, writing to the Philippians; p 1.915 Mine earnest expectation and hope, saith he, is, that I shall no way be abashed; but that with all freedome, as well of speech, as of spirit, as at all times formerly, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, be it by life or by death. and what is the reason why he sets so light by his life, that it is all one to him whether he live or die, so long as Christ may be magnified by either? he resolveth you in the next words himself, if they be rightly understood. not. as q 1.916 our former translation fol∣lowing r 1.917 Beza and some others, had it, For Christ is to me both in life and in death advantage. that is, whether I live or die, I shall be a gainer; I shall gain Christ, or gain by Christ, in either.

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that is true indeed; but that respects himself, rather then Christ, not Christs glory, but his own good; tho these two are in∣separable. nor as our later edition, and some others s 1.918 inter∣preters of good note, because they t 1.919 mislike the connexion, returning to u 1.920 the old Latine, For to me to live in Christ, and to die is gan. or, in handsomer English, x 1.921 Christ is my life; and death is my gain. which yet as little agreeth with the Apostles drift as the former. but, as a y 1.922 reverend Divine of ours, (if I mistooke him not, for it is long since I read him.) which I con∣ceive to be the genuine sense of the place; z 1.923 F•••• gain to m, or, my gain, both in life and death, is Christ. that is all the gain that I seek and aime at, either in my pains taking while I live, or in my suffe∣rings, if I die, is Christ; is to magnifie him, to bring glory to him, to do service to him, and for him to his. That which else∣where he saith of all true Christians with himself, a 1.924 None of us lives to himself; nor dies any of us to himself. for whether we live, we live to the Lord; or whether we die, we die to the Lord. that is, to Christ. our aime both in life and death is to serve him; not to receive ought from him, (that is true, that b 1.925 we shall so do; yet not here intended) but to do him service. To which purpose also he further telleth the Philippians, that c 1.926 concer∣ning his stay here, he was in some doubt what to choose, or what might be deemedd 1.927 most be••••ofefull: ande 1.928 that he was f 1.929 in a great straight, what to pitch upon. for when he considered him∣self and his own good, he had a strong inclination to a desire of g 1.930 departure, that he might be with Christ, whom he was h 1.931 absent from, tho imployed in his service, while he abode here in the body; which was indeed i 1.932 by far much the better for himself: but when he looked upon the Philippians and other of Gods people, to whom his abode in the flesh might be more usefull, he was well content to stay longer here, tho with delay of his own greatest good, his personall enjoyment of Christs glorious presence. Yea, he addeth afterward in his ensuing discourse, that if his death might conduce any way to their spirituall improvement, and it might be thought more advantagious to them,k 1.933 for him to die

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for them, then to live with them, he was right ready▪ not wil∣lingly alone, but even cheerfully to condescend thereunto. l 1.934 Yea if I be offered up, saith he, or m 1.935 poured out, n 1.936 upon the sacrifice and service of your faith; if my blood, as a drink-ffering, (which o 1.937 was wont to be poured out upon the body of the beast sacri∣ficed, to consummate the sacrifice) by being shed in Christs cause, may help further to strengthen your faith; I shall there∣in joy and rejoyce with you; I shall for your sakes be exceeding glad of it. You see what the gain was, that he aimed at, as well in life, as in death; not his own, but Christs, and the gaining of others unto Christ.

It is not therefore without great cause, and good ground, that God thus gives way to the sufferings of his servants, so much conducing to his own glory, and their honour and good; nor are they, as his p 1.938 souldiers, and q 1.939 champions unwilling so to be im∣ployed in his service, to be r 1.940 spent in his cause.

Howbeit this hindreth not, but that God disliketh and ab∣horreth the rage and cruelty, that such wretches, s 1.941 his enemies, as well as his people, do for him and his sake thus exercise on them; no more then his t 1.942 purpose▪ concerning the death of our Saviour for the salvation of his elect, did any way extenuate, much lesse excuse, or make lesse odious in Gods eye, the wicked∣nesse of those, that had any way (either by u 1.943 malicious contri∣vance, as the Priests, or v 1.944treacherous imployment, as Iudas, or x 1.945 importunate clamour, as the people, or y 1.946 judiciary sentence▪ as Pilate, or z 1.947 despightfull usage, and acts of violence, as the Souldiers and other Officers) an hand in the procuring and exe∣cuing of it. And nothing therefore can thence be concluded, to hinder but that God neither doth, nor can, without much indignati∣on and detestation, endure to behold, whatsoever wrong or violence is offered unto his people▪ either in this kind, or in any other.

Now for the use and application of the point thus made good:

First, the consideration hereof may serve, as by the hand to lead us▪ where to find the cause of Gods so oft chastising his chil∣dren. a 1.948 I have been smitten, saith Asaph, every day, day after day; and hastised b 1.949 every morning. as if no day had past over his head without some stroke from Gods hand; and God had usually made it his first mornings work to be dealing out somewhat in

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this kind to him; his constant wont were to make him break his fast with the rod. and lest we should think that this was his lot alone, he telleth us in the words ensuing, that this his dealing was not unusuall with c 1.950 the whole race of his children. And in∣deed, d 1.951 There is no sonne, saith the Apostle, whom God doth not chastise; e 1.952 love he him never so well. f 1.953 he scourgeth every one whom he takes into family, to be a sonne, or a servant. For is God so affectionate unto those that are his, that he cannot en∣dure to see any the least harm done to them? how commeth it to passe then, that he deals so harshly oft with them himself? surely this leads us to seeke the cause hereof somewhere else; not in him, but in our selves. If we shall see and observe one, whom we know to be a very chary and tender parent, one that cannot abide to see the least wrong done, in word or deed, either by servant or stranger, unto any of his children, yet to be oft chiding with them, & chastising of them himself, so that neighbours take notice, how the rod walketh in his house, and his children, some or other of them, come daily under the lash; we will easily con∣clude, that there is sure somewhat amisse in them, that he would have reformed, their carriage is some way or other such as it should not be; & the cause therefore of his so dealing with them, contrary to his own disposition otherwise, is not from ought in himself, being of himself averse thereunto, but from somewhat in them, that induceth, or even constraineth him so to do. In like manner, when we shall see and observe how God, who is so chary of the good and welfare of his children, and so tender over them that he cannot endure to see them sustain the least injury at the hand of any other; yet to be so frequently correcting thē himself, and dealing with them so severely, as oft-times he doth; we may well thence conclude, that there is not somewhat onely, but very g 1.954 much amisse with them,h 1.955 many things out of order, that he would have reformed and amended in them; that it is i 1.956 from

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them and their corruption, not from himself, or his own disposition, that he deals in such wise with them. It is that which the Prophet thence inferres, in that dispute of his, wherein he debates and discusseth the ground & causes of those afflictions, that his people then in captivity sustained.k 1.957The Lord, saith he, doth not from his heart afflict, or grieve the sonnes of men. and yet he doth it. that is acknowledged. For, l 1.958 Who is he that can, or dare say, that * 1.959 ought comes to passe, and the Lord hath not commanded it? It is he that m 1.960 creates evill as well as good; as well darknesse as light, as well war as peace. and n 1.961 there is no evill in City, Country, or family, no evill whatsoever that befalleth persons or people, which he hath not done: he hath ever a hand, tho a pure and a just one, in it. and, o 1.962 as well evill as good comes out of his mouth: either comes p 1.963 by his appointment. But, if he do what is done, and yet that which is done goeth against the heart with him; surely there must be somewhat without him, that incites him to do what he doth. yea, that is true, saith our Prophet, the cause of the evils we su∣stain is in our selves, not in him. q 1.964 Why doth the living man complaine? what is the first and principall procuring cause of his grief? man suffereth for his sinne. it is his own sinne that is the procuring cause of his sufferings. it is mans sinne, that kindleth wrath in God. r 1.965 Thou art incensed, s 1.966 because we have sinned. it is sinne, that t 1.967 wrings and wrests it as by force and violence from God. u 1.968 Zedekiah did evill in the sight of the Lord his God; and would not humble himself before Jeremiah the Prophet at the commandement of the Lord: but stiffened his neck, and hardened his heart, that he might not returne to the Lord God of Israel: all the chief of the Priests also, & the people transgressed exceedingly, according to all

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the abominations of the Gentiles▪ and polluted the Lords house, which in Ierusalem he had halowed. Yet the God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising early and sending; because he had com∣passion on his people, and on his place of abode among them, and was loath to destroy either. But they mocked his messengers, and sligh∣ted their message, and misused his Prophets, untill his wrath was in∣censed, that there was now no remedy. he bare with them so long, x 1.969 that he could no longer forbeare: till he were even y 1.970 wearied and tired out with repenting and revoking of his former doomes of destruction. Hence so frequent in the holy story, the book of Iudges especially, z 1.971 The children of Israel sinned against God; and God thereupon sold them into the hand of this or that oppres∣sing enemy.

* 1.972And because it may be said, that the sinnes there mentioned are mostly the sins of idolatry, and the sins of the worse, tho the greater part of that people.

* 1.973To omit what might be replied hereunto, that tho such sinnes, are most commonly named as the chief, yet * 1.974 other sinnes, no doubt, were rise also among them: and for other sinnes also, as well as these, are Gods judgements threatned by Gods Prophets. as also, that both sorts as well b 1.975 good as bad had their share, and suffered either with other, in the common calamities of the times. It is apparent by the confession of Gods own choise people, that they also had their c 1.976 failings not a few; and that the hand of God for those defaults of theirs was oft heavy also upon them. k 1.977 Thine arrowes, saith David, stick fast in me: and thine hand presseth me sore. there is no soundnsse in my flesh by reason of thy wrath; nor rest in my bones, because of my sinne. and, l 1.978 while I kept silence, concealing my sinne, my very bones wasted; so that I rored for pan and grief all the day long. For night and day inces∣santly thy hand was so heavy pon me, that the moisture of my body was all clean dried up, it was turned into a sommers drought.

* 1.979And because it may again be objected, that m 1.980 thus it was before Christs coming in the flesh, in the time of the Old Testa∣ment, but it is not so with the faithful now, since the death of Christ, under the New.

* 1.981Not to insist on that, which yet well we might, that n 1.982 God is no changeling: and that his affection to his children hath been

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ever the same. The Apostle even in the New Testament telleth us, that o 1.983 for their sinne in irreverent and unworthy repair to Gods board, and unseemly carriage of themselves there, some of them at Corinth were from God smitten with weaknesse, some with sicknsse, and by sicknesse some of them unto death. Nor will it serve to say▪ that these were of the infidels at Corinth; for they had p 1.984 accesse to the Lords Table: or that it might be spo∣ken of some profane and unsound ones among them; such as q 1.985 many in that Church might be. for to omit, that he saith no r 1.986 the unworthy receiver, but s 1.987 he that unworthily receives: he that tho in regard of his personall estate is not unfit to be a guest at Gods board yet comes not so fitted and prepared as he ought, or demeanes not himself as is meet, when he is there, is not so cautious, as he should and might be, in the manner of his addresse, or of his approaches thereunto. To let this passe, which yet is of some moment; it is added presently after by the A∣postle, putting himself also in among the rest, that t 1.988 if we would judge, or sift, our selves, to wit, so as to repent of and redresse, what upon search we find amisse in our selves, God would not judge us, by inflicting such sad and heavie things upon us. and that, u 1.989 when God doth so judge us, we are chastened by him in the world, that we may not with x 1.990 the wicked world be condemned hereafter. In which words the blessed Apostle plainly implyeth, that those he spake of, were such as God chastised for their a∣mendment here▪ that they might not perish hereafter. and with∣all also, that God doth usually meet in y 1.991 judgement with his, for not keeping a stricter course in the due z 1.992 examination and care∣full sifting of themselves. And it was no small presumption there∣fore for that chief ringleader of the Antinomian faction among us, so confidently and peremptorily,e 1.993 in the publique hearing of so many hundreds, to avow, that he did not beleeve, that any sinne of his, or of any beleever, had any hand in the procuring of the present judgements of God, that lie so heavy upon our land.

Nor doth it any way derogate, either from the free grace of God, or from the merit of Christs death, to affirm, that God cha∣stiseth his children, as well now, as formerly, for their sins: a 1.994 be∣cause it is said by the Prophet, (in a passage of Scripture by these men much abused) that b 1.995 the chastisemēt of our peace was upon him

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as if God could not chastise in these times for sinne, because he chastised him before for us, and so chastised us in him. and it is not consonant, either to equity, or to Gods free grace, to cha∣stise us for that, which Christ our surety hath been chastised for already.

For first, (that which we touched also in part before) as well they that lived before Christs coming were b 1.996 saved by the grace, yea the free grace of God in Christ Iesus, (as Iames a∣voweth it) as well as we now are: and had as deep a share in the death of Christ, and in the merit of his sacrifice; (which to that purpose was as c 1.997 effectuall, even before it was effected) as any have that now live. d 1.998 Jesus Christ in regard of the be∣nefit of his passion, being yesterday, and to day, and for ever the same.

2. Nor again was it the end of Christs suffring for us, to free us from Gods chastising hand; (that we might thenceforth sinne the more freely without fear of check or controll, of curb to re∣strain, or scourge to reclaim) no more then to free us from temporall death; but e 1.999 to take away the sting both of the one and the other, that neither of them might impeach us in our spi∣rituall estate. Christ was indeed, as the Apostle tearmeth him, a f 1.1000 surety intervening between God and us, of Gods gratious covenant made with us. Gods surety to us, for the performance of his promises. g 1.1001 For in him are all the promises of God yea and amen. and our surety to God, for the discharge of our debt. For, as the Prophet saith, h 1.1002 when i 1.1003 it was exacted. k 1.1004 he answered; he undertook it, and discharged it. and, l 1.1005 God made the iniqui∣ty of us all to m 1.1006 meet in him, and light on him▪ In regard where∣of it is truly said, that n 1.1007 the chastisement of our peace was up∣on him, because the guilt of our sinne, whereby we were o 1.1008 se∣vered from God, and stood liable to his eternall p 1.1009 wrath and q 1.1010 curse, being wholly abolished by his suffrings, called some∣time a r 1.1011 sinne-sacrifice, or trespasse-offring, and sometime a s 1.1012 chastisement, both in reference to our sinnes, for which he suffred, the t 1.1013 enmity between God and us is removed, and we are now u 1.1014 reconciled to him, and x 1.1015 at peace with him, with whom we stood a 1.1016 at a distance, and were b 1.1017 at e••••ity before. Thus then by Christs suffrings there being full satisfaction made

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to Gods justice for our sinnes, we are freed indeed from c 1.1018 the condemning power of sinne, and of the Law for sinne, and from Gods revenging wrath; but yet not from Gods d 1.1019 paternall indig∣nation, or the fruits and effects of it, which are exercised on us e 1.1020 for our good.

Howsoever therefore it is true, as hath formely also been ac∣knowledged and avowed, that God for other ends and purposes, hath and doth at sundry times chastise those that be his, reconci∣led unto him in his Christ; yet it is no lesse true, as hath also been evidently shewed, that ordinarily and usually he doth it for sinne: and that therefore considering his tender affection and affectionate disposition, we should thereby be led, when his hand is upon us, to f 1.1021 seek the procuring cause of it in our selves, e∣very one of us in his own bosome, in his brest; endevour, as Sa∣lomon speaks, to take notice of the cause of g 1.1022 the stroke in his heart, and so take to heart the stroke it self. It is the Prophets own inference in the place above mentioned; where, having laid down these two grounds, that r 1.1023 God punisheth not from his heart; and, that s 1.1024 men procure eils to themselves by their sinnes; he subjoyneth, t 1.1025 Let us search and enquire into our wayes. let us make a privy search each one of us, into his own heart, and his life, ransack every corner of either; that whatsoever evill lieth lurking, either in the one or in the other, being discovered and brought to light, it may by sincere repentance and serious re∣formation be removed. so u 1.1026 the fewell being withdrawn, that at first x 1.1027 kindled, and still y 1.1028 feedeth, the fire of Gods wrath, we may well hope, that it will speedily go out of it self.

And this leadeth us to a second use,* 1.1029 and that is for encourage∣ment; to encourage Gods people, when they lie under such pressures, exposed to the rage and cruelty of their malicious op∣posites, to repair unto their God, with hope of relief and redresse; he having professed his affection and disposition towards his, to be such as hath been shewed. It is a shrewd discouragement to a poor suppliant in case of danger or distresse, if he know or hear that the party, whom he is to make suit to, is one a 1.1030 void of bowels, an hard-hearted man. for to seek and sue for favour and mercy to such, is as if b 1.1031 the ship should in a stor•••• repair for

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safety to the rock. a man many times doth but c 1.1032 the more enrage them, and either aggravate his own misery, or hasten his ruine, by addressing himself, tho in the humblest manner that may be, to such. But it is not so here. we go not to a God, in whom ought is found, that gives in this regard any ground or occasion of discouragement unto any; to any especially of his own, toward whom he is so tenderly affected, that he cannot endure to see any evill befal them, but it goeth to the very heart with him. It was that that encouraged Benhadad to seek unto Ahab, notwith∣standing▪ that he had but a little before d 1.1033 so insolently insulted over him, and most despitefully abused him, by his imperious and tyrannicall demands, which he had also twice attempted to put in execution, and had as oft been repulsed, and compelled by shamefull flight to save himself; with hope yet to prevail for a renewed reconceilement, and a buriall of his former contumelious carriages towards him in oblivion; e 1.1034 We have heard that the Kings of Israel are mercifull Kings. But much better encourage∣ment have we to repair and have recourse unto our God in the like case, then Aram had to seek to Ahab; with hope, that al∣tho we have carried our selves wickedly and wretchedly, un∣gratiously and unworthily toward our good God, far otherwise then was meet either for us to do, or for him to endure; yet he will upon our sincere repentance and serious humiliation be paci∣fied towad us▪e 1.1035 and reconciled again unto us. We have heard, say they, that the Kings of Israel are mercifull Kings. but we know that the God of Israel is a mercifull God. they built upon the bare hearsays concerning the Kings of Israel, of such as might easi∣ly be mistaken in them; upon f 1.1036 reports, which being many times raised from, or taken up rather, upon meer shewes and semblances of what in truth is not, do consequently fail and fall short, when it cometh to the triall, and so frustrate the ex∣pectation of those that rely on them. Whereas we have g 1.1037 a surer ground whereon to build our hopes, even the word of that God, who is h 1.1038 truth it self, and therefore i 1.1039 cannot lie; concer∣ning himself▪ whom none knowes so well as himself, yea k 1.1040 none knowes indeed perfectly but himself, none in any part but from himself; and who therefore cannot be mistaken in himself, as men l 1.1041 even in themselves, and m 1.1042 in others much more oft∣times

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are. He hath published and proclaimed himself,* 1.1043 to be a God n 1.1044 mercifull and gratious, of long sufferance, and abounding in goodnesse, or kindnesse, and truth. He hath assured us, o 1.1045 and with an oath confirmed it, that he delighteth not in the death and de∣struction of sinners, his own people especially; but would ra∣ther have them repent and return, then to die in, and so perish by, their sinnes. he hath professed and protested it, that p 1.1046 tho a man will not receive a wife again, that hath gone from him, and joyned her self to another, q 1.1047 nor did his own law allow any man so to do. yet notwithstanding our reolt from him and disloy∣all dealings with him, he will dispense with his own law, he will upon our r 1.1048 taking notice of, and s 1.1049 acknowledgement of our sins, revoke his t 1.1050 wrath; u 1.1051 because he is mercifull; and upon our x 1.1052 hearty retun to him, y 1.1053 return unto us, and z 1.1054 receive us into grace and favour again. And as upon this ground Moses assu∣reth his people, that a 1.1055 tho God for their sinnes should at any time dispossesse them of their land, wherein he had seated them, and disperse them into forain parts; yet b 1.1056 if out of those pla∣ces whereunto they were dispersed, they should seek sincerely to him, and c 1.1057 return to obey him, God would d 1.1058 not so leave them, nor destroy them, but would e 1.1059 turn their captivity, or reduce their captives, and have compassion upon them, and g 1.1060 gather them out of those nations, whither they were scattered, and h 1.1061 bring them home to their own land again. i 1.1062 for the Lord thy God,f 1.1063 saith he, is a mercifull God. So the people of God themselves, when they were so k 1.1064 dispossest of their land, and removed in∣to forain parts, do upon the very same grounds conceive and nourish hopes, that howsoever l 1.1065 they had trespassed and rebelled, and God had not spared them; but m 1.1066 had overspred them with his wrath, and the dismall effects of it; had pursued them, and slain them, and that (as might seem) without pity; the enemy into whose hands he had given them, n 1.1067 shewing no pity or compassi∣on at all on them; yea tho he seemed to have o 1.1068 wrapped him∣self in a thick cloud, that their prayers might not pierce, or find passage, to have accesse to him, and appear in his presence; yet that p 1.1069 he would not utterly cast them off, q 1.1070 nor retain r 1.1071 his wrath for ever. but that he would s 1.1072 return and t 1.1073 repent, and have u 1.1074 compassion again upon them, according to the multitude of his

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mercies: considering that x 1.1075 he did not punish with his heart; it y 1.1076 was against his own disposition to deal with them, as he did; and would not so have done, had not they z 1.1077 by their sins provoked and enforced him thereunto. It was inducement suf∣ficient to the King of Nineveh, notwithstanding that perempto∣ry c 1.1078 sentence past upon him and his people, yet to conceive some good hope, that upon their seeking to God, the doom might be reversed; d 1.1079 Who can tell, but that God may return and repent, or, e 1.1080 repent him again, and turn from his fierce wrath, that we perish not? But there was more in it then so, that made Ion•••• so jealous of the issue of his prophecie. f 1.1081 I knew, saith he, that thou art a gratious, and mercifull God, slow to anger, and of great good∣nesse, and one that repentest thee of the evils, that thou denouncest against persons and people. g 1.1082 upon the repentance of those, a∣gainst whom they are denounced. he had certain knowledge of that by God, whereof they had onely some uncertain surmises. and the same grounds that Jonas had to build on, are not wanting to us. they are h 1.1083 left upon record, for our comfort and encou∣ragement. Onely let us remember to take the same course, that the people of God before-mentioned propound, and that the Ninevites before them practised. let us, i 1.1084 search out our sinnes first, and turn from them; and then let us lift up our hearts k 1.1085 with our hands unto God, and l 1.1086 cry mightily to him for mercy. for, m 1.1087 when God saw that they turned from their evill wayes, then it is said, that God repented of the evill, that he had said he would do, and did it not. This is it that God n 1.1088 listeneth after; this is that that he o 1.1089 waits for; that he would hear of from us, and see with us, that he may shew mercy on us; which he even travelleth of and is in pain with, untill he be delivered of it, in such a sea∣son, and in such a manner, as may make most for our good. But till this be, let us assure our selves, that we may p 1.1090 cry long enough, and loud enough; but in vain and to no purpose; like the p 1.1091 Patient, that calls upon the Physitian for the cure of his dis∣ease, but will not admit the means, that should remove the cause of it; or cries to the Surgion for ease of his pain, but will not suffer q 1.1092 the splinter or sing to be drawn out of his flesh, which sticking there procures the pain.

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A third use may be for caution.* 1.1093 Is the Lord so affectionate a God to his people; so tender of them, that he cannot endure to see ought done to them, that may vex and grieve them? this should be a very forcible motive unto them, that they be exceeding careful to shun and eschew the doing of ought, that may vex and grieve him; that they be tender of wronging him in ought, who is so tender of see∣ing wrong done unto them. r 1.1094 Gods goodnesse and patience, saith the Apostle, should lead men to repentāce. the consideration of it should cause men to be s 1.1095 grieved for this, that by their sinfull courses they have grieved him, who hath been so gratious and good to them. Nor should the consideration of this tender affection in God towards us, prevail lesse with us for a preventing care of such cariage, that it be not committed, then for the working of us to repentance, after it hath been committed. Yea the rather should it prevail with us for prevention, not in regard of God onely, but in regard also of our selves; that we may be freed from that after-grief, which our grieving of God will necessarily enforce on us, if we belong unto him, or there be any due re∣spect and sincere love of him in us. t 1.1096 preventing justice, we use to say, is the best justice; and preventing physick the best phy∣sick: so is u 1.1097 forecast more behovefull then x 1.1098 afterwit; and y 1.1099 fore-care much better then z 1.1100 after-grief. His masters be∣neficence to him, and kind usage of him, was a very forcible ar∣gument with Ioseph to keep him from wronging him, who had been so good and kind unto him. much more forcible should the consideration of Gods affectionate disposition be with us, to make us fearfull of doing ought, whereby we should wrong him, and tho not alter his disposition toward us, yet convince us of failing in the like disposition toward him.

To which purpose let us yet withall further consider, * 1.1101 that our God, as he is a gratious and mercifull, so he is a wise and discreet God. It is not with him, as it is with some earthly parents, who where they are very affectionate, are withall oft indiscreet: a 1.1102 mo∣thers indeed mostly, but fathers also as well as mothers, as if they were mothers rather then fathers, faulty sometime and much fai∣ling herein. who, as they cannot endure to see any servant or

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stranger, upon any occasion, so much as once to touch their children,; so they have no regard, tho they do amisse, to rebuke, much lesse to chastise them, themselves; being therein (if we beleeve Salomon, and experience too well seales up the truth of what he saith) their b 1.1103 foes, rather then their friends. Of Ado∣niah, you know it is said, that c 1.1104 his father David would not at any time upon any occasion displease him: that which encouraged him to be d 1.1105 over-bold with his father, in attempting to take the crown from his head, while he yet lived. nor is old e 1.1106 Elies in∣dulgence to his children unknown: that which in the issue pro∣ved the ruine both of him and them. But it is otherwise with God. He hath as the heathen man himself could observe, f 1.1107 as well a g 1.1108 fatherly discretion, as a motherly affection. as he is tender over them; so withall he tendreth their good. as h 1.1109 he will not have others to wrong them; so i 1.1110 he will not suffer them to wrong him. as he will not permit others to deal unduly with them; so he will not endure them to cary themselves undutifully toward him. if they do, they shall be sure to hear of it, it may be smart for it too, from him. It was that that k 1.1111 David expect∣ed, so soon as his heart misgave him, and began to check him, for his numbring of the people. he looked ere long to hear of it, to his grief; and notwithstanding all the means he could use to prevent it, he so did. God would lesson him, l 1.1112 by lessening his people, in whose multitude he prided himself, to be more wary another time; and by chastising of him, warn others, what to look for, tho never so near or dear to him, if they offend in like sort. Let us therefore be admonished not to presume on Gods lenity and his tender disposition: but remember, that discreet parents, even out of a tender care of their childrens good, are wont to keep m 1.1113 a stricter hand over a sonne, then over a ser∣vant; and will endure some things in a servant, which they will not in a sonne; and tho they will not suffer others to wrong their children in ought; yet will not forbear to correct misde∣meanors in them themselves; and that sometime also so severely, when the quality of the offence requireth it, and the childs abi∣lity will bear it, that neighbours, who know how chary they are of them in regard of others, do wonder, how they can be so sharp and severe to them themselves. That God that cannot

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endure to see any wrong done to his Iacob, or molestation to his Israel; yet is said, to have m 1.1114 given his Iacob to the spoil, and his Israel for a prey; when rhey trespassed against him, and refused to walk in his way, and to listen to his law: and that therefore he powred out on them the fiercenesse of his wrath, and the fury of war, and kindled such a fire in the mist of them, as burnt them up on every side. And the like may we expect from our God, if we carry our selves in like manner toward him: yea rather in the like manner hath God in part already dealt with us, be∣cause we have been exceeding faulty in such like carriage toward him.

Howbeit, let the fourth use be for admonition; to warn the enemies of Gods people, that they take heed,* 1.1115 how they touch them, of whom God is so tender. Discreet parents, albeit they correct their children themselves, and that sharply also some∣time▪ when they have cause so to do; yet can they not abide to see others use them otherwise then well; they will not endure to see them wronged by any, but will be sure to right them, if it lie in their power. And God, tho n 1.1116 he lov his children too well, to winke at evill in them▪ and be oft chastising them therefore for their good: yet can he not, nor will he, endure, to see wicked wretches, reproaching them, oppressing them, trampling on them, insulting over them, yea or vexing and grieving them in the least degree. o 1.1117 Touch not mine anointed; saith he. and even p 1.1118 to anointed ones, to Kings themselves, he speaks it. he giveth warning before-hand of it; and that even unto the greatest. And he extendeth elswhere the warning he there gives, for the persons in whose behalfe it is given, unto the very least and lowest of those that are his. q 1.1119 Take heed, saith he, how ye offend any one of thse little ones. let not the meannesse of any of them encourage thee to wrong them in ought. but remember and con∣sider, that even r 1.1120 the hewer of wood and drawer of water, (the most s 1.1121 servile offices that were in those times) entred into covenant with God, as well as the heads of houses, and the rulers of people; he s 1.1122 that grinds at the mill, may be one of Gods adopted ones as well as he that t 1.1123 sits on the Throne; thy u 1.1124 servant, thy slave, the sorriest drudge that thou keepest, may for all that be Gods sonne and heire. But why should we be so cautious of offen∣ding

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such? x 1.1125 For, I say unto you, saith our Saviour, take it on my word, as little as they are, or as mean in your account, their Angels in Heaven do continually see the face of my Father in Heaven. so deer are they to God, and so chary is he of them, that even those glorious creatures, that are of Gods celestiall gard, and whose office it is to y 1.1126 stand in the neerest place of attendance about him, are by him imployed to take speciall care of them. z 1.1127 Lazarus, tho a poor begger, had his soul conveyed hence to Heaven by a Troop of them, when he died: nor were they, you may be sure, wanting in their attendance about him, while he lived, that were so ready at hand to perform that honourable office about him, at his death. a 1.1128 He hath given his Angels, saith the Psalmist, charge b 1.1129 of thee; to keep thee in all thy waies. that is, c 1.1130 whither soever thou goest, and wheresoever thou art: and they shall bear thee in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone. they are as servants set to attend little children, to be ever neer at hand about them, being they are subject soon to take harm, if they be not constantly attended; and to carry them in their arms, or lift them up from the ground, where they may be in danger of stumbling, or tripping, by a stone, or the like, that lies in their way. And is God so carefull of them to secure them against such casualties, as may befall them from the sense∣lesse creatures? and is he not as carefull, think we to shelter and protect them against such evils as may befall them from the hands of malicious men? yes undoubtedly. The same Angels of his are said d 1.1131 to encamp about those that fear him; (whence Jacob also e 1.1132 gave the name to the place, where he met with a Troop of them, assigned by God to gard him, in his return from Laban, against the forces and fury of his brother Esau) to safegard them, and procure deliverance for them. Yea, as to deliver them; as they did f 1.1133 Elisha, from the Syrian Troops by Benhadad sent to attach him: so to destroy all those that assail them, or attempt ought a∣gainst them; as they did the g 1.1134 Assyrian host, sent by Senacherib to besiege Jerusalem, and surprise Ezekiah. and all those their ad∣versaries therefore may read their doom in those words delive∣red by the Prophet from God, for the comfort and encouragement of his people. h 1.1135 Fear not, thou wrm Iacob; thou that to these men seemest so i 1.1136 contemptible a creature; and ye men of Israel:

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k 1.1137 for I will help thee; I wil be with thee; I wil stand by thee; I wil uphold thee. all they that are enraged against thee; shal be ashamed and confounded: all l 1.1138 that strive with thee, shal perish: they that contend with thee shall have no being: all that wage war against thee, shall come to nought, they shal be as nothing, and as a thing of nought. m 1.1139 Behold I wil make thee, as a new threshing n 1.1140 cart, with wheels full of sharp spokes, or teeth; that thou maiest o 1.1141 thresh the p 1.1142 moun∣tains, even the mightiest of thine adversaries, untill thou q 1.1143 beat them to dust; and r 1.1144 fan them like chaffe, untill they be carried away with the wind, and dispersed with the whirl-wind. but thou shalt rejoyce in the Lord, and glory in the holy One of Israel. To which we may adde those pithy and pregnant expressions, out of Zachary, ten∣ding to the same purpose. s 1.1145 Behold, I will make Jerusalem a t 1.1146 cup of trembling, (of such strong and strange liquor, as maketh those that drink of it, to shake and quake every limme and joynt of them) to all those that are in siege against her. u 1.1147 I wil make her as a weighty stone, (such as men are wont to try their strength with, by assaying to lift it) that shall bruise and break to pieces all that attempt to take it up; tho all the people in the world should joyn toge∣ther in the attempt. z 1.1148 I wil make her rulers, as an hearth of y 1.1149 fire among sar wood, and as a torch lighted among sheaves; and they shall devour all the people that are in hostility against her, on the right hand, and on the left. This is, and will be z 1.1150 the lot of all those that op∣pug Gods Church; the portion of all those that oppresse Gods people. they do but with * 1.1151 Haman contrive their own mischief, work their own ruine and downfall, while they plot and practise, as they intend and imagine, against them. a 1.1152 The wicked, saith the Psalmist, plotteth against the righteous, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth: but the Lord, the whiles overlooking him, b 1.1153 laugh∣eth at him; because he seeth that his day (the day of his own destru∣ction) is comming. The wicked have drawn out the Sword, and bent their Bow, to destroy and slay, (either by open might, or by privy sleight) the upright poor. but their Sword shal pierce their own heart; and their Bow shal be broken.c 1.1154 their plots and contrivances shal all be frustrate; and their designs and attempts end in their own destruction.d 1.1155

Yea we may further hence learn how to e 1.1156 suck honey out of the rock, and fetch oyl out of the flint:* 1.1157 how to draw matter of com∣fort

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for Gods people, (and let that be a fift use) even from that that doth usually most daunt and dismay them, and may in the eyes of flesh and blood seem to give just cause so to do; to wit, when they shall see the enemy, having gotten head, to proceed most outragiously, in the exercise of all manner of cruety upon Gods people, e 1.1158 murthering and butchering them, as beasts, with∣out mercy. For if God be so tender hearted, and tender-eyed, in regard of his people, that he cannot endure to see them ill-used: then sure the more furious and outragious their enemies are in the prosecution of their bloody and barbarous designes against them, the more they provoke God to hasten, both his peoples relief, and their ruin. So that they work for Gods people▪ and a∣gainst themselves, when the work for themselves as they think, and against them. For the more extremity and cruelty men use against them, the more they vx and f 1.1159 grieve the gracious eyes of Gods majesty; and the more his eyes are vexed and grie∣ved by them the more is he provoked to execute judgement on those, that so vex and grieve the same. Yea it may well be said, that the enemies rag and cruelty is no lesse prevalent with God to dispeed their destruction, and his people deliverance, then the prayers and upplications of his people themselves are. g 1.1160 A∣rise, O Lord, saith the Psalmist, maintain thine own cause. forget not the cry of thine enemies: the tumultuous rag of them that rise up against thee, goeth up daily more and more. He saith not, forget not the cry of thy people; but, forget not the cry of thie enemies. the enemies cruelty hath a cry, and that a loud one; as loud, if not louder, then the cry of those that are oppressed by them. h 1.1161 Aels bloed, tho himself silent, cried aloud to God for vengeance, yea so loud a cry sometime hath the enemies cruelty, that it i 1.1162 out-cries and drowns the cry of the sins of Gods people, it moveth God sometime to mercy, when their sins plead for the contrary. Do we behold then, or heare, that the enemy grows more cruell and outragious every day then other, and that they strive in cruelty and outrage to outgo one another; let it not daunt and dismay us, but put us in hope rather, that their fury and rage is drawing neer to a conclusion, that they are not farre from the utmost end of their tedder. As k 1.1163 the devill rage•••• most fiercely,

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when he knoweth his time to be short: so when he rageth most fiercely, it is a sign, that his time is short, that his fury being at its height, will not hold or last long. when l 1.1164 the wickednesse of the Amorite was come to the height, he was then * 1.1165 ripe, and ready for destruction: and when the fury of Iacobs adversaries is come to the height, it is then m 1.1166 high time indeed, for God to strike in, and to take down it and them at once. And tho God may seem to linger and delay reliefe, while his people are in some n 1.1167 lingring pains; yet when their throws come thick, and their pains grow extream, and o 1.1168 the birth is come to the p 1.1169 breach, but there is no power to bring it forth, the Lord is then wont to hasten delivery, that his people may not perish under the hands of those, that put them unto such extremity.

Again, hath God such a tender eye on those, and over those,* 1.1170 that are his? the consideration hereof may in the next place serve for encouragement; to encourage them to go on constantly in Gods cause; and not to flinch back, or give over, for feare of any evill, that thereby may accrew unto them, or of miscarrying and pe∣rishing in the pursuit of it. For how can he see or suffer any q 1.1171 e∣vill to befall them, whose wrongs and sufferings he is so affected with? or how can he permit any of them to perish, whom he cannot endure to see undergo any hard measure at the hand of those that hate them? r 1.1172 The Lord rescueth the souls of his servants, saith the Psalmist: and none that trust in him, shall perish. and, s 1.1173 The eye of the Lord is upon the righteous; and, t 1.1174 upon those that feare him, and trust in his mercy. God hath a continuall eye to them, and on them. because u 1.1175 his delight is in them. But to what end is his ey so alwaies on them, to deliver their souls, that is, x 1.1176 their lives, or y 1.1177 themselves, their persons, from death. and how can they perish, whom Gods eye is never off; whom he hath alwaies an eye unto? z 1.1178 My sheep, saith our Saviour, heare my voyce, and I know them; I take speciall notice of them: and they fllow me: and I give them life eternall: and they shal not perish. My father that gave me them is greater then all: and none can take them out of his hand. they that are ever in Gods eye, the eye of his perpetuall provi∣dence, that are ever in Gods hand, the hand of his most power∣full protection, how can they but be safe? how can they possibly perish?

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* 1.1179But how is this made good, may some say, when we see, that they do oft perish; and ae so far from being protected or delivered▪ that they dy in the qarrell?

* 1.1180I answer, 1. they a 1.1181 perish not, when they seem to perish. b 1.1182 The righteous perish, saith the Prophet. that is, they c 1.1183 depart, they decease; (for such onely is their death) and to the eye of flesh and blood they seem indeed to have perished; and men lay it not to heart; and good, or godly men ae gathered: and men do not consider; that the righteous are d 1.1184 gathered from the evill to come; that they e 1.1185 go in peace, and depart this world, f 1.1186 before trou∣bles come, while outward peace yet continueth, and with in∣ward peace of mind, quietly; or, go unto peace, passe hence unto peace, h 1.1187 the soul to a place of joy and blisse, i 1.1188 the body to lie down and sleep, till the resurrection, in the grave, provided as a bed, or l 1.1189 room of rest for it. God doth with them, as men are wont to do with their corn, when it is catching weather, they are carefull to get it in before the rain fall; or as with their fruit, when they see the clouds gather▪ make haste to pluck and house it, before the storm come. So he took away m 1.1190 Ieroboams sonne before the fall of his fathers house; n 1.1191 Iosias, before the dis∣mall destruction of his people.g 1.1192

k 1.1193

* 1.1194Secondly, o 1.1195no evill doth or can befall them, by ought that in this kind doth betide them.p 1.1196 Hated they may be, but q 1.1197 harmed they cannot be: r 1.1198 hunted and hurried to and fro▪ yea and s 1.1199 mur∣thered and massacred they may be; and yet t 1.1200 hurt they cannot be. as he said sometime of his adversaries, so may a Christian much better say in the like case of his; u 1.1201 Kill me they may; but

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hurt me they cannot. And as the Cynik sometime answered, when one told him that some mocked him; Mock they may, but x 1.1202 I am not mocked; and the Apostle, of God, that howsoever men, therein worse the divels, dare mock at him, at his word, at his works, at his ministers and messengers, yet z 1.1203 God is not mocked:y 1.1204 so here, wrong men may do them; and yet are they not wronged. a 1.1205 wrong, I say, men may do them: because they intend, desire, and endevour so to do; and b 1.1206 their very intent and desire is suf∣ficient to make them wrong-doers. and yet are c 1.1207 not they wron∣ged: because d 1.1208 no damage can accrew unto them, by any wrong that is done them. as every e 1.1209 malicious person is a mur∣therer; albeit the party maliced by him, be not murthered. and f 1.1210 every one that looketh on a woman, d 1.1211 so as, or, untill he lust after her, is h 1.1212 an adulterer; altho the woman so looked on, and lusted after, be i 1.1213 free from any adulterous either act, or thought. Amnon was k 1.1214 an incestuous violatr of his sister: and yet was not she, either l 1.1215 incestuous, or at m 1.1216 all violated. n 1.1217 in

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the party forced, saith God himself, there is no fault. and o 1.1218 sa∣crilegious persons, are guilty of p 1.1219 wrong done to God, albeit q 1.1220 no wrong can possibly reach unto him: no more then those shafts, that are r 1.1221 shot against the sunne, can come any thing neer it, much lesse lessen its light. Men may set up the godly man s 1.1222 as a mark, whereat to levell all their t 1.1223 envenomed arrowes: but they can u 1.1224 u 1.1225no more fasten on him to hurt him, then as if they met with a rock, where they cannot enter so much, (tho they may be x 1.1226 shattred themselves,) as to make the y 1.1227 least dint, or to leave the least print behind them. For con∣sider a while with me, what men can do to thee, if thou beest one of Gods peculiar ones, or wherin they can endamage thee. They may take thy goods from thee, but a 1.1228 can they take away thy b 1.1229 grace? that is thy c 1.1230 true treasure. and while thou retainest that, thou maist say more truly then the d 1.1231 Philosopher, when the City, he dwelt in, was sacked, that thou hast lost▪ nothing. Yea sup∣pose a man be plundered, as Job was, of al that ever he hath: to let passe what one of the ancients saith of him; that tho Iob, when he was stript of all that he had been formerly possessed of, might seem to be in a very miserable condition, yet was he even then

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in a most happy and blessed estate. in what respect, or how so? you will say. why? because, saith he, albeit e 1.1232 he had lost all that God gave him; yet he had that God still that gave him all: and he had all, yea f 1.1233 more then that all by much, in him. g 1.1234 the Devill had taken from him his goods; but he could not take a∣way his God, nor his goodnesse neither. But not to insist, I say, upon that; I demand what lesse or damage doth a man sustain, suppose never so much be taken away from him, if reparation be made him with advantage; if all be restored him, not two∣fold, as h 1.1235 with Job, but an hundred fold, in one kind or other. and this is that which our Saviour i 1.1236 promiseth unto all those, that shall lose ought in his cause, that shall forego ought for his sake. and no marvell therefore if the faithfull even k 1.1237 with joy sustain the spoil of their goods: since that it is no losse or damage to them; but good and great gain. they know well enough, which way they shall be repaired, and repaid largely, for what∣soever they so part with.

Yea but men may take away, not my living only, but my life to.* 1.1238

Thy life? what life? thy bodily life, thy transitory life. that is the worst they can do. l 1.1239 They may kill the body, saith our Saviour; but they can go no further. and not that neither, unlesse God give them leave. If they cannot kill m 1.1240 a Sparrow, one of the soriest birds that is, against Gods will; much lesse any man, or any of those, whom God takes more speciall care of, then of any other creature. n 1.1241 Yea the very hairs of your head, saith our Saviour to his▪ are numbred. and sure if the hairs of their head are numbred, then the o 1.1242 dayes, yea minutes and moments, of their life, much more. p 1.1243 they were solicitous

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for their lives, and Christ giveth them security, saith one, even for their hairs. which yet is not so to be understood, as if God kept a tale, or strict account of their hair, q 1.1244 how many each of them had growing on his head, and how that number diminish∣ed, as daily in likelihood it did; but that thereby he would in∣timate, that without his permission not so much as an hair could be pluckt from their head, there could not the losse of so much as one hair befall them, and much lesse could they be a∣bridged of any one minute or moment of their live; it was not in the power of any creature to hasten their end a minute or moment sooner then God should please to permit.

But suppose God do permit any to take thy life from thee: what hurt do they do to thee?* 1.1245 They may q 1.1246 slay thy body▪ but they cannot come at thy soul: (r) what they cannot see, saith he, they cannot slay. they may hack and hew thy body to peeces: but a 1.1247 no hurt or damage can thereby accrew to thy soul. and thy soul it is, that is the b 1.1248 principall part of thee. that is the jewell, thy body is but the case; that is the sword, the body is but the d 1.1249 sheath. e 1.1250 Every mans soul, could the heathen man say, is every ones self▪ all is well, where the soul is safe. be carefull to keep that in its due posture, and nothing that befalleth the out∣ward man, shall annoy thee. Observe we the words of our Sa∣viur. f 1.1251 Ye shall be hated of all men for my sake: and some of you shall be slain. but there shall not a hair of your head perish. onely in patience possesse your souls. May it not well seem strange, that our Saviour should tell them, that they should some of them lose their heads, and yet they should not lose an hair? that tho their heads were shorn from their shoulders, yet not an hair should be pluckt from their heads? But Christs purpose is, by a g 1.1252 proverbiall form of speech,c 1.1253 to give them assurance of the

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greatest indemnity, that may be imagined, even to an hair.* 1.1254 and the meaning is, that not so much as an hairs harm should befall them, so much as the losse of an hair might be deemed; that h 1.1255 not so much damage or detriment, as the value of an hair might amount unto, should accrew unto them, by ought that they were to endure. In regard whereof even an Heathen man could say, that i 1.1256 a good man might not smile onely, but even laugh outright, to see wicked men, what a coil they keep, when with all their might and malice they set on him, as if they would do him a world of mischief, whereas they cannot do him the least evill that is. But the use of the phrase elsewhere will further help to clear this, as in the next passage shall appear.

Thirdly therefore we say, that the godly in these cases,* 1.1257 as they perish not, when they seem to perish; so they are delivered even then, when they seem not to be delvered; yea to be never better delivered then at such times they are. If you aske me, how? I answer you briefly; as the passengers were saved, that sailed with Paul. An Angel of God appears to Paul, and tels him, that k 1.1258 God had given him all that sailed with him. that is, that for his sake God had bestowed their lives on them. This as the Angel assured him, so he as confidently assuring them; l 1.1259 Not an hair, saith he, shall fall from the head of any of you. But what means he by this? m 1.1260 There shall be no losse of any mans life, saith he, but of the ship onely. Your lives shall not be in the least degree impaired: all the losse that shall befall you, shall be of the ship. and so accordingly it was. for n 1.1261 the ship striking on ground, and there sticking fast, was broken to pee∣ces; but o 1.1262 the passengers all escaped, and p 1.1263 came safe to the shore. and just so is it here. the brittle bark of this frail body being battered and broken, q 1.1264 the soul swimmeth away out of it, as out of a l••••king vessl that can no longer hold out, and

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arriveth instantly, without let or stay, at the haven of eternall rest and blisse. Nor are Gods servants ever better delivered, then when delivered in this manner. for at other times they are delivered, it may be, out of some one trouble, and fall shortly af∣ter, as it oft fals out, into some other; and after that, if they escape it, meet, it may be, with a third. and indeed it is so very usually with them; that r 1.1265 the coming out of one is but the stepping into another. in this case they are delivered, not out of one trouble, but s 1.1266 out of all; not from some by times, but from all at once. whereas formerly they were so delivered, that they stood still in need of some renewed deliverance, they are then t 1.1267 so delivered, as they need no deliverance again. yea in this regard doth the deliverance of Gods servants surpasse the deliverance of Pauls associates, which we resembled it by before: for that there, there was an utter losse of the ship, being cast away without re∣covery. whereas there is no losse of ought at all here. for the bark of the body, tho it be wreck, and by violence beaten all to pieces, yet shall it rise, and be repaired and restored again, with all her tackle and furniture, in more u 1.1268 ample and excellent manner then ever. No cause is there therefore for any man to fear any evill of damage or detriment by his constancie in Gods cause. by deserting it he may x 1.1269 undo himself; but by standing constantly to it he may save himself. For y 1.1270 he that will save his life, shall lose it; saith our Saviour: but he that for my sake will lose it, shall find it to life eternall. shall by losing it in some sort here, gain it and enjoy it everlastingly hereafter.

* 1.1271Again, is it Iacob and Israel, Gods people, that God hath such an eye to? this may serve as a motive to perswade persons of all sorts and degrees; if they desire safety, and to be under such an eye of God; to adjoyn, to associate themselves unto such. a 1.1272 The b 1.1273 Princes, or, the c 1.1274 volunteers, of the people, or d 1.1275 peo∣ples rather, of other people, more then one, have joyned themselves

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to the people of the God of Abraham. and why to them? because the e 1.1276 shields of the earth belong unto him; unto the God, whom they serve. And it is to them, and among them, that he is f 1.1277 a Sunne and a shield. nor is there any surety of g 1.1278 safegard, but under his wing, of h 1.1279 protection, but within his courts. Not i 1.1280 the Taberna∣cle, or k 1.1281 the Temple alone, or the l 1.1282 City, but the whole m 1.1283 land, the whole teritory, is termed a Sanctuary: and as a San∣ctuary it was as well n 1.1284 to the stranger that fled thither, as to the natives themselves, that were bred and born there. The Egyp∣tians that dwelt among the Israelites o 1.1285 in Goshen, escaped some at least of the plagues, that all Egypt besides felt. and those that were not of Iacobs posterity, yet by being and abiding in the same body with them, partaked, as in some other p 1.1286 priviledges with them, so in that protection, that God was pleased to afford them. And so maist thou by being embodied with Gods people, tho thou beest not yet one of them. tho thou beest not yet a thorough convert, there, and there alone▪ are the means to be had, where∣by thou maist in Gods time be throughly converted. Onely take heed, that thou beest not among them, as q 1.1287 a scoffing Ismael, as r 1.1288 a treacherous Iudas, as s 1.1289 a murmuring, and a mutinous Corah, Dathan, or Abiram against Moses and Aaron. the Kings court is an ill shelter, either for a known traitor, or a seditious party nor can God worse endure any, then such, as under pretence of joy∣ning themselves to his people, are either openly autors of sediti∣on among them, or under-hand plotters of mischief against them. t 1.1290 Let them go down quick into the grave, saith the Psal∣mist of the one: and u 1.1291 they went down quick into the grave; saith the story of the other.

But chiefly, and above all things, endevour by all means, to be, not among them onely, but a 1.1292 of them, one of the b 1.1293 true Israel, of the c 1.1294 Israel of God; not a partaker onely in this protection with others, but one of those for whose sake God af∣fords it unto others. for the d 1.1295 priviledge indeed is theirs, tho others may share in it sometime with them. they of right may claim it, and assure themselves of it; others no further then God is pleased, with them, and for them, to impart it. Besides, what will it in the end avail a man, to enjoy Gods protection here with his people for a short time, and after that short tearm ex∣pired,

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to go out of it for ever? to enjoy some common fruits of Gods favour a while here, and to lie under his displeasure everlastingly hereafter. e 1.1296 Remember me, O Lord, saith the Psamist, with the favour of thy people. with that speciall fa∣vour, which thou bearest unto them, who are yet, in a more pe∣culiar manner then ordinary, thy people. O visit me with thy salva∣tion. as well spirituall, as corporall; not temporall onely, but eter∣nall. f 1.1297 that I may see, g 1.1298 that is, enjoy, the goodnesse of thy chosen. that goodnesse of thine, which thou shewest to thine elect: and that I may rejoyce with the joy of thy nation. with such h 1.1299 joy, as thou by thy Spirit art wont to fill the hearts of thy faithfull ones with: and glory with thine inheritance. i 1.1300 glory with them, that are k 1.1301 heyres of salvation, in hope of that glory, which with them I look hereafter to inherit. and this favour of God is that indeed, which the faithfull onely have their share in; and l 1.1302 wherin no stranger is, or can be intercommoner with them. as for the other, of externall protection and preservation, that even the worse sort of men also usually patake in, either by m 1.1303 the abode of Gods people among them, or by n 1.1304 their abode among Gods people.

Nor do worldly men therefore understand, how injurius they are to themselves, when they malign and oppugn, seek to mischief and make away those, by whose means, and for whose sake, they enjoy that peace and safety, that otherwise would be soon removed. The o 1.1305 wicked world wished Noah once in his Ark they liked not his p 1.1306 preaching of repentance and righteousnesse. but q 1.1307 no sooner was Noah once safely stowed in the Ark, but the deluge began, that drowned the whole world. The r 1.1308 Sodomites could not brook Lot. they would set him go∣ing ere long. as s 1.1309 their lewd life was an eye-sore, yea an heart-sore to him: so was his holy life no lesse offensive to them, as gi∣ving t 1.1310 a severe, tho silent, check to theirs; and his admoniti∣ons much more. but u 1.1311 in the very same day that Lot set foot out of Sodome, came that storm of fire and brimstone, that destroy∣ed the whole City. It is for that sory handfull of sincere profes∣sors, so much maligned and traduced with us, that our Land and State hath been hitherto preserved from utter confusion. x 1.1312 As the y 1.1313 support z 1.1314 at Shallecheth is in the elms and the oaks; so is the holy seed, saith Esay, the support of the State. that is, as the

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trees, that grow on either side of the a 1.1315 causey or terrace, that reacheth from the Kings Palace to the Temple, at the b 1.1316 gate of Shallecheth, supporteth it, and c 1.1317 by keeping up the earth, that would otherwise be crumbling away, keeps the causey from decay: so the holy seed, the small residue of religious and well-affected people in the land, are they that d 1.1318 support and bear up the State; which but for them might be soon utterly o∣verthrown and destroyed. The e 1.1319 making much therefore of such is a means to secure a State: the maligning of them, and making away, or chasing away of them, (that which hath been formerly too much practised among us) is the next way to over∣throw it. It bodes no good to a State, when God sweeps, or picks such away. It was a sign that Sampson meant to pull down the house on the Philistines heads, when he attempted f 1.1320 to stirre the pillars. and g 1.1321 when God takes away the pillars and sup∣porters of a state, it is a shrewd signe that God intendeth it no good. But when a people shall themselves expell such from a∣mong them, they doe therein but imitate Salomons foolish wo∣man, that h 1.1322 pulleth down the house with her own hands.

But, to proceed to a further use, hath God such an eye as we have heard, on his? then should they also have an eye on him, and to him.

We should have constantly an eye on him, and his conduct;* 1.1323 as he hath an eye on us. And indeed we cannot expect, that he should have such an eye constantly on us; unlesse we have our eye constantly also on him. i 1.1324 I have k 1.1325 observed, saith Da∣vid the wayes of the Lord; and have not wickedly gone aside from my God. for all his l 1.1326 commandements were before me: nor did I put any of his statutes away from me. He seems to allude to the Israelites journeying through the wildernesse. where they were to

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follow the conduct m 1.1327 of the Ark and of the cloud; to ob∣serve which way God led them by either of those, and that way to go, tho it seemed never so farre about, in regard of the land that they were bound to. so did David. and so must we do, in our passage through the wildernesse of this world, if we desire to passe in safety under Gods protection. our eye must be on Gods conduct; observe which way he directs us, by the pillar of his word, by the light of his law; tho he seem to carry us far about, in regard of those ends and aims that we propound to our selves; and desire to attaine ento. For as it was with them; they were safe, while they followed the cloud and the Ark; but when n 1.1328 they left either of them, going out of Gods protection, they fell foul on the Amorites and were beaten down by them: so must we expect, that it will fare likewise with us. So long as we fol∣low the directions of Gods word, that should be the cynosura and load-star of all our designes, we are sure to tread safely, we may be o 1.1329 confident of successe. But if we shall offer to step aside out of the p 1.1330 rode way, that it leadeth us in, and betake our selves to other by-paths, by indirect courses seeking to compasse our ends, and to bring things about; we shall misse of our aim, fail of obtaining our ends; and while we go out of Gods protection, by declining his conduct, expose to peril of miscarrying, both our selves, and the affairs, whereabout we are employed.

Again, we must have an eye, as on God, so unto God: as to him and his conduct, so q 1.1331 to him, for his safe-conduct, his safe∣gard, if we desire that he should have such an eye unto us. r 1.1332 Mine eyes are continually upon the Lord; saith David. And s 1.1333 unto thee, say Gods people, do we lift up our eyes, O thou, that dwellest in the heavens. as the eyes of a servant are to the hands of his master, and the eyes of an hand-maid to the hands of her mistresse: so are our eyes unto the Lord, till he have mercy on us. we must have our eye constantly fift up unto him, if we will have his eye con∣stanly cast down upon us. For tho he professe & promise to have such a tender eye over his, yet doth he look to be sued and sought unto for the same by us. t 1.1334 Yet for all these things, saith he, which I have promised to do for them, will I be u 1.1335 sought to by the house of Israel▪ where tho the main scope of the place be to intimate, that there should be a constant repairing of Gods peo∣ple

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again to Gods Temple, there to preferre their petitions unto him, as in former times before the captivity they had done; yet withall it is implied, that God expected from time to time to be x 1.1336 petitioned for the performance of his promises. God must therefore be sought to, yea and constantly sought to, if we desire to have his eye constantly on us, in that manner as he is▪ here said to have had on that people. The case of them in their conflict with Amaleck, will shew it. Tho God could not but with dislike, yea with deep detestation, behold y 1.1337 Amaleks base and injurious attempt against them, and by a solemn oath engaged himself to be avenged on him for it: yet z 1.1338 no longer then Moses held up his hands in prayer, did Israel in sight prevail against Amalek. When our eyes grow weary of looking up unto God, no marvell if Gods eye grow heavy in looking after us. Our slumbring in this kind, may make him also to slumber; who tho he can a 1.1339 neither slumber nor sleep, yet upon our neglect of him b 1.1340 seems many times to sleep; and tho he be sometime awaked with the very noise and outrage of the adversary, yet he would rather be c 1.1341 awaked with the cries and clamor of his people.

Give me leave to adde an use of application hereof to our selves. What Balaam a voweth here of Jacob and Israel that then was, hath been abundantly verified of Gods Israel among us. God hath not endured to see wrong done us, nor grievance at∣tempted against us; but hath from time to time in much mercy protected us, and executed judgement on those that have but attempted to wrong us. How many plots and practises of the popish faction, in Queen Elizabeths reigne, in King Iames his time, in our Soveraigns daies that now is, have been discovered, de∣feated, and d 1.1342 returned on the heads of those, that were either plotters of them, or imployed in them? And whereunto can we ascribe these so many and manifold defeats of them, and delive∣ries of our selves, but to that good eye of our gracious God, that was upon us for our good; that pitifull eye of his, that could not endure to see that spoil made of his people with us, that must needs have ensued, had those plots and practises taken effect? What was it else (to omit all other deliverances of a lower alloy) that dispersed that invincible Armado, as they tearmed and esteemed it, whereby they made full account to have made an

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utter riddance of us, and gave them up to the mercy of the winds and waves, that in mercilesse manner intended to have preyed upon us; wrecked them that would have wrecked their rage and cruelty upon us; and swallowing them up quick, buried them in the bowels of the deep,f 1.1343 that were fully bent in their impla∣cable fury to have swallowed up the whole body of Gods people with us. Well may we sing, and say with Israel of old, e 1.1344 If the Lord had not been with us, and stood by us, when these men rose up against us; then had they in the fiercenesse of their wrath against us swallowed us up, or, down, quick; then had g 1.1345 the waters over∣flown us, and the stream overwhelmed our souls; the h 1.1346 swelling waters had overwhelmed our souls; had utterly drowned us and destroyed us. but blessed be God, who gave us not as a prey unto their teeth. Or what else was it, that brought to light, and by disco∣very frustrated that devilish design of the Powder plot, so cunning∣ly contrived, and so covertly carried, that it was by the authors of it, and agents in it, deemed a thing impossible, that it should by any means miscarry, or fail of its intended effect? as wel here might we say with that other Psalmist, i 1.1347 Vnlesse the Lord had kept the City, the watcman (yea or watchmen, had they been never so many, or so mighty) had waked but in vain. For surely, had not the k 1.1348 all seeing eye of l 1.1349 Israels keeper, who never slumbreth nor sleepeth, watched over us then for our good; tho we had denied m 1.1350 sleep to our eyes, and slumber to our ey-lids; yet in vain had we watched, being altogether ignorant of any danger we were in, nor being aware, where the evil lay lurking, against which we should have watched. Had many thousands, or ten thousands; yea never so many millions of men been up in arms, for the safe∣gard of our Soveraign, his Royall consort, his Princely issue, our Peeres, our Prelates, the main body of our Nobility, the prime flowers of our Gentry, and Communalty; all could not have secured them, from being blown up at one blast, and dispersed into the ayr, to find what sepulture, if any at all, they could, where their disjected limmes, or their battered bodies should light. And what further mischief would have followed through∣out the whole Land, had that hellish designe taken effect, it is not easie to imagine. Onely this we may upon good grounds conceive, that hose that should have survived to see the ensuing

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miseries, would have n 1.1351 deemed them thrice happy that had pe∣rished in that hideous execution at first, and have wished that they had born them company therein. And what can we say let∣ted, that it tooke not effect, when it was so neere upon the point of execution; but that Gods tender eye over us could not endure to see that hellish cruelty acted upon his people, which those monsters of men would have o 1.1352 beheld with delight? Nor can we justly ascribe the discovery of so many severall plots and conspiracies, as have been since the beginning of our present trou∣bles, set on foot by the adverse party; but having been brought to light before they could be hatched and seeing the light before their intended time, have by that means miscarried; unto any other cause, save the watchfull eye of our good God over us, and his tender care of his people among us, and of those that are en∣trusted by them in the publique affairs of Church and State for their good.

And let this in the last place, mind us, of our duty to God,* 1.1353 for such his mercy to us. Is it so then, that God is so chary of the wel∣fare and good of his people, that he cannot endure the sight of ought that tendeth to their evil or annoyance? Then undoub∣tedly it is the duty of Gods people, to be in like manner affe∣cted towards him. it standeth them upon, to be as chary of his glory as he is of their good; and no more to endure ought that may impaire his glory, then hee ought that may impeach their good. it is but right and equall, that it should so be. yea it is more then equall, that what God freely doth for us, we should endevour at least, in way of requitall, to do deservedly for him. And such indeed hath been the disposition and practise, in a very eminent manner, of some prime ones among Gods people. Moses one of p 1.1354 the meekest and mildest men upon earth, by the testi∣mony of truth it self: yet in Gods cause, how zealous? how fer∣vent? how fierce? how furious? (as might seem to some of ano∣ther temper, of another spirit; so transported was he with passi∣on) when he saw God dishonoured by divine worship done to an idol? q 1.1355 he throws out of his hand the tables of the Law, Gods own work∣manship; not considering what might, and indeed did there∣by befall them. he stamps the idol to powder, casts the powder into the water, compels them to drink that, which erst while they had

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adored: causeth some three thousand of the people to be slain; when as r 1.1356 for the saving of the residue he made offer to have his name raced out of Gods booke. David likewise, tho in his own concernments exceeding patient, even to wonderment. s 1.1357 I was, saith he, as a deaf man, that heareth not; as a dumb man, that cannot open his mouth: I was as one that could not heare; or that were not able to returne a reproachfull answer. And so it was indeed with him, (as the story shews) when Shimei t 1.1358 railed on him, u 1.1359 cursed him with a grievous curse, threw stones at him and his train, and carried himself most contumeliously and despightful∣ly toward him. x 1.1360 he went on his way as quietly as if he had not either heard ought that he spake, or seen ought that he did. But whē ought came in his way that tended to Gods dishonour, then a 1.1361 the zeal of thine house, saith he, hath even b 1.1362 wasted me. (the indignation that he conceived at the consideration of such things done, as seemed to tend to the disparagement of Gods honour, in the abuse of his house, did cast him into a consumption, did even waste him to skin and bone) and the reproaches of them that reproach thee, are fallen upon me. such reproachfull speeches as prophane persons did cast out against God, he tooke to himself; he reckoned him∣self reproached in them, and in him: and c 1.1363 by reproving them for their reproachings of God, brought reproofe and reproach upon himself. And again, d 1.1364 My zeal, saith he, doth even consume me, or, eate me up, because mine enemies forget thy words. as if he had said; It is not so much the wrong that mine enemies do me, in their cruel pursuing of me and plotting against me, that trou∣bleth and vexeth me, as their forgetting of God, and failing in their duty to him, and the dishonour that in pursuit of their mali∣cious practises against me, they do to him. nor could he therefore without much e 1.1365 grief, and whole f 1.1366 rivers of tears, behold how regardlesse wicked men were of God and his Law. their sinnes and ex∣cesses, were not an ey-sore onely, but even a heart-sore to him, as g 1.1367 the like in the Sodomites, among whom he lived▪ was before-time to Lot. And well were it with us, could we be in the like manner affected; could we worke our spirits to such a temper; not so much to regard in the present troubles, what our selves, as what the cause of God, suffers; nor so much in our endevours, courses, and counsels to eye and aym at, our own private emolu∣ments,

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the reparation of our own losses, or improvement of our own estates, as the publique interest of Gods Church, the repa∣ration of the dishonour that hath been, and is still daily done to his Name, his Word, his Service, his Worship, his Sabbaths, his Sacra∣ments; and the advancement of his glory, in the purity of his Ordinances and the power of piety wrought into the hearts and ex∣prest in the lives of those, that professe themselves to be his people: but to be well content to dispense with the one for the promoting of the other; thinking nothing too dear, not our lives themselves, much lesse our outward estates, to be h 1.1368 expended and laid out, tho but for laying a foundation of that, that future ages may en∣joy. This tender care and respect had we unto Gods cause, in way of thankfulnesse to him for that tender care that he hath from time to time had of us: and did we make it appeare in our cour∣ses, and carriages, that men might thereby see, that it were this indeed that did most affect us and sway with us; it would win the hearts hoth of God, and of good men, as wel at home as abroad, very much unto us & to our cause. and we should have the better grounds to conceive the stronger hopes, that God would be pleased to continue his watchfull eye still over us, for our further and future preservation. Whereas on the other side, if we shall regard Gods honour no further, then as it stands with our own in∣terest; nor respect piety, but as it may be subservient to policy; if we shall give way to, or connive at Antinomian teachers, and other the like Sectaries, that with their pernicious opinions poi∣son the souls of Gods people; by blindfolding God rom all sight of sin in them, and so encouraging them to make no conscience of any sinne in regard of Gods sight; by discharging them of their duty to God and his Law; removing one of the strongest curbs to restrain them from sinne, and disswading them from all sorrow for sin, after they have sinned; i 1.1369 pleading for toleration of all sorts of religions and opinions, tho never so blasphemous and abo∣minable, so long as they disturb not the publique peace, nor hin∣der civill obedience; if we shall, I say, give way to, or wink at,

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such as these and the like, out of feare of losing a strong party, and so being by the malignant party overpowerd; it may be just with God to withdraw his protection from us & to deliver us up deservedly to be destroyed by the one, while we vainly feare to be deserted by the other. The Lord in mercy grant us grace, so to depend upon him, that no such false feares may force us out of his way, or make us forgetfull of our duty to him; lest thereby k 1.1370 we become like the timorous deer, which while out of fear, they seek to shun l 1.1371 a few feathers or papers, set on pur∣pose to affright them, forsaking their covert, where they might have been safe, runne full upon the Bows that stand ready bent to shoot them, or into the toil ready pight to receive them, and to surprise them to their fall. Remember we, what the n 1.1372 Latine proverb saith▪ He that is afraid of the frost, shall be over∣whelmed with the snow. And take o 1.1373 Gregories interpretation there∣of with it; He that p 1.1374 feareth mans displeasure, which as lying here below, might without perill be overpast; shall be surprised with Gods wrath, which q 1.1375 comming down from above, can by no means be avoyded. And let the feare of God, and our due respect to him, so prevail with us, as to incite and enable us, to conemn and trample upon all such base and groundlesse fears: the rather con∣sidering, how even with those cowardly creatures, yet r 1.1376 urgent necessity of procuring their own safety, upon the hunters eager

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pursuit of them with his hounds at their heeles, doth so prevail, as to make them rush on, or 〈◊〉〈◊〉 over those vain feather, or paper-works, which they were so shy and fearfull of before; as also their s 1.1377 tender affection to their young ones, running along by their sides emboldneth them▪ to turn upon, make head against, and trample on those beagles,t 1.1378 (I have seen a Doe do it in defence of her Fawn) whose least opening, tho a loose off, at other times they durst not endure.

To conclude let it be our principal care to have our practise in this kind correspondent to our prayers. That as we are taught by our Saviour, to pray in the first place, that Gods name may be san∣ctified, so in our practise we preferre the seeking and procuring thereof before all other things, even our own outward safety it self. God beholding us to have such a regardfull eye to him, and to his glory, wil (no doubt) have no lesse regardfull an eye unto us and to our good; and may the rather be enduced to afford that safety unto us▪ which we are willingly and readily content rather to hazzard, then to fail in our duty to him.

FINIS.

Notes