A SERMON PREACHED To the Right Honourable the House of LORDS at the Monethly Fast, March 26. 1645.
PSALM. 102. 16, 17.
I Have chosen a Text (Right Honou∣rable * and Beloved) which is neither difficult in it self, nor (which is the lot of many plain Texts) made to seem obscure by the variety of glosses and interpretations put upon it: There is a generall agreement concerning the scope and meaning of the Spirit of God in this Psalm; some little difference is found a∣mongst Page 2 Interpreters concerning the time, and the Pen∣man of it: Some conceiving it was about the time when the Jews were stopt and interrupted in the works of buil∣ding the Temple by their ill neighbours; but most doe agree that the time was about the end of the seventy years captivity, when God had raised up the spirits of the Prophets to encourage the people to expect this mercy, according to that of Esay 40. Comfort yee, comfort ye my*people, saith the Lord, speak ye comfortably to Hierusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished: and also stirred up the spirits of the people to pray to the Lord, to accomplish his good word for their returne, according to that of Jer. 29. Then shall yee call upon mee, and I will*hearken unto you. And as for the Penman of it, who ever it was, (for that is altogether unknown) most certain it is, that hee neither penn'd nor spake these things in his own name, or of his own condition, but in the name of the whole Church of God, like another Jeremy writing a book of Lamentations, for the desolations of Zion; bemoaning them before the Lord, and most earnestly begging mercy and deliverance. In the 11 first Verses you may behold the afflicted Church of God sitting alone like a desolate widow, with her tears on her cheeks, her belly cleaving to the dust, her heart smitten and withered like grasse, eat∣ing ashes for bread, mingling her drink with weeping; as a Pelican in the wildernesse, as an Owl in the desart; her enemies many and raging against her, shee looking round about, and all her Lovers and friends departed from her; enquiring after succour and comfort, and it is farre remo∣ved: Behold to what a sad condition the sinnes of Gods own people doe oft times bring them! and that is the first part of the Psalme. But in this dark and tempestuous night of calamity and desolation, this afflicted soul, with Jonah in Page 3 the whales belly with weeds-wrapped about his head, looks up to God, begins to remember those everlasting mercies that may bee found in the Lord Jehovah; and presently there darts in a beam (as from a new created Statre) of light and comfort in the 12, and 13 Verse, which shines into the soule, and inables this poore deso∣late creature to conclude very comfortably, that that God who had broken her would yet again heal her, that his wrath should not alwayes continue, but he would return and revive, and quicken them, after all the days wherin he * had afflicted them, and so suddenly begins to renew its strength, and mount up with wings of comfort, as an Eagle: And from the 12 Verse to the end of the Psalme, after all this sad lamentation, there is a comfortable pro∣pheticall story of all the good that God did mean to doe fot this afflicted Church, which now lay in the dust and rubble: wherein there are three remarkable things,
The first is, A strong confident propheticall conclusion, that the deliverance of Gods Church was nigh at hand, in these words, Thou shalt arise and have mercy upon Zion, for the time to deliver her; yea, the set time is come: that's her conclusion, that it must of necessity be, the Lord was re∣solved speedily to raise them out of their low condition.
Secondly, you have the Argument which satisfied this afflicted desolate soul, that the time of Zions deliverance was at hand; because all Gods servants took pleasure in the dust of it, and pityed the very stones, and the rubbish of it; their hearts were deeply humbled for Zions miseries; they had set themselves earnestly to pray to the Lord; to give him no rest night nor day till hee had set it up; and this spirit of prayer powred out upon the Church, was to her as sure a token of approaching deliverance, as the day star is a token of an approaching morning: That is the second.
Page 4 The third part of this prophecy is, the use or fruit, which he doth foretell should be made of this great work of Gods raising and building up of Zion, which is very excellent; partly the use that the rest of the Nations of the world should make of it, all the heathen should stand and wonder at it, and praise Gods name for it; yea, their Kings, even all the Kings should behold the glory of the Lord, and come in and worship, and honour him who had wrought such a great work, as the raising Zion out of the dust: and then for the Church, the people that are created on purpose to bee for Gods glory, it should bee written for them from generation to generation, that they and all their posterities should perpetually love and serve the Lord, who did thus remember his people in their low condition. Now lest some body might wonder why the Prophet should make such a stupendious businesse of it, and demand a reason why all the world must thus take such notice of the building of Zion: what is Zion? and what is the work? as he said of Abana and Parphar, were they not better rivers then all the rivers of Samaria? Are there not other Empires and States, more pompous, and powerfull, and glorious, and excellent then Zion? what is Zion to Nineveh or Babylon, that all must so stand ama∣zed at the reparation of it? To satisfie all the world a∣bout it, that the work of building up of Zion, is indeed admirable and wonderfull, and deserves all the praises that the hearts and tongues of men can utter, the Pro∣phet in the 2 Verses which I have read, doth setdown two remarkable Circumstances which perpetually accompany this work, which if they but interpreted, and right∣ly understood, will satisfie all the World, that * this alone is the work deserving admiration, and these they are.
Page 5 The first is, It is such a work, that when ever the Lord goes about it, Hee doth appeare in his glory; when the Lord shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory.
The second is, when the Lord doth build up Zion, He doth then return an answer to all the prayers of his afflicted people: Whatsoever they had been begging from year to year, from generation to generation, now was the Jubi∣lee, now comes the return of all into their bosomes, full measure, thrust together, shaken, and running over: When the Lord doth build up Zion, he doth then regard the prayer of the afflicted, and however before hee might seem to despise ehem, now he doth no longer despise their cry: The first of these is that, which by the Lords assis∣tance I shall this day clear unto you; this remarkable cir∣cumstance which accompanies the building and reparati∣on of Zion: When the Lord shall build up Zion hee shall appear in his glory; and in it observe & handle these two lessons.
That the building of Zion is the Lords work, and the Lords onely.*
When the Lord shall build up Zion; the second and main (the which I shall insist upon) is:
That when ever the Lord goes about this work, hee doth ap∣pear * in his glory.
The first I shall onely touch, and that but to make way for the second.
That the building of Zion is the Lords own work; There is nothing difficult, Zion you know is in the Scripture ta∣ken ** sometimes in a literall, but ordinarily in a mysticall and a spirituall sense: Zion in a literall sense was that strong Page 6 part of the City of Jerusalem, which David did take from the Jebusites, & fortified it, and beautified it with excellent buildings, and called it the City of David, the most beau∣tifull part of Jerusalem; this is Zion literall: And this Zion may besaid to be built, when it is furnished with stately houses, with strong walls, and replenished with people, accomplished with Magistrates, and good Civil laws: But this Zion I have nothing at the present to doe with; the Zion which my text means is spirituall Zion, mysticall Zion, the Zion, whereof this City of David* was a type (as David himself was a type of Christ) and that is, the Church of God, which in a hundred places at least in the Old and New Testament is called by the name of Zion, he reason why Zion this part of Ierusalem, was such * a celebrated type, is, because all Davids time, and untill So∣lomons Temple was built upon mount Moriah, the Ark of God was placed in Zion, where hee is therefore said to dwell: this is the Zion that we are to speak of; and this Zion, this Church of God is then built, when the doctrine of Jesus Christ is made known, the new and living way to life by him is opened; when Ministers and Ordinances are gi∣ven, the elect called in, Churches gathered, and established, the worship and government of Christ set up, for the per∣fecting of the Saints, for the work of the Ministery, for the * edifying of the body of Christ, till all the Saints come in the unity of the Faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the sta∣ture of the fulnesse of Christ: when the Curtains of the Church are thus enlarged, and the Tents of it made firm; when God doth thus prosper and blesse the Church of Christ, then doth hee build up Zion: This I say is, first, Gods own work: and secondly, a work which when ever hee * goes about, hee doth appear in his glory.
Page 7 That the building up of the Church is a work peculiar to*God onely, I might easily prove out of many Scriptures: *aedificabo Ecclesiam, I will build my Church, is a speech to be uttered by none, but by Jehovah himself; and I know you will grant the truth of it, by that time I have cleared unto you these two things.
First, that the building of Zion is such a peace of * work as no other workmen have any skill to do.
And, secondly, as they have no skill, so they have no will to doe it; and if no other have either power nor heart, neither skill nor will, it must needs bee done by God, if ever it be done at all.
First, I say, no other workmen have any skill to build * Zion but God alone; there is not one piece of Tim∣ber ** belongs unto it, not one Cord, not one pin, not one nail, not any one thing from the foundation to the Cap∣stone, but it is beyond the understanding, the value, skill or artifice of any created Nature; that what God said in the 49. Psalme concerning the keeping of a man from death, is most true of this work: great men can build houses, and purchase Lands, but there is not one of them can redeem his brothers soul from death, no, he must let that alone for ever, that is too hard a task for him, to keep a man that hee should not goe down to the grave: Men may build Houses, make Kingdoms, erect Common-wealths, Corporations, &c. But as for the building of the Church of God, all mortall men must let that alone for ever. In this work our help is onely from*the Lord which made Heaven and Earth. I looked, said, Christ but there was no help, there was none to uphold; therefore my own arm brought salvation, neither could they, were all their perfections joynd into one, when man is dead in sins and trespasses, sticks fast in the miry clay of ignorance and Page 6〈1 page duplicate〉Page 7〈1 page duplicate〉Page 8 iniquity, not able to think a good thought, or speak a good word, a voluntary bondslave of Satan, under the power of Hell, and the curse of God; what men, what Angels have any gifts or strength, to help him out of this conditi∣on? It is true indeed, that in the building of it, God doth make use of mortall men, and other creatures, visible and invisible, hee calls Ministers, Apostles, Prophets, Pastors, and Teachers, to bee the Guides, the Leaders, the Instru∣ctors, * and the Shepheards of his people, and hee calls Kings and Princes, and Nobles, to be nursing Fathers and nursing Mothers to it; he gives Paul to plant & Apollo to water, but its neither for his need, nor their aptnesse for this employment; no, no, when all is done, hee that plants*is nothing, and hee that waters is nothing; Clay and spittle did as much to the opening of the blind mans eyes, Peters shadow did as much to the healing of Diseases, Abana and Parphar, did as much to the curing and cleansing of the Leper, as all instruments whatsoever are able to doe to∣wards the building of the Church of God; all their very being, and motions, and operations, and the successe of their whole endeavours depend wholly upon the Lord a∣lone.
Secondly, As all other builders have no skill, so neither have any of them any will to the building of Zion, if Zion * once lie in the dust, the common vote of them all is, This is*an outcast, this is Zion whom no man cares for, there it lies, and there let it lie, Aha, aha! our eye hath seen it, so would we have it: This stone how pretious soever is refused of all builders: Indeed their will is so farre from building it, that it's ever bent to the utmost to ruine it; the gates of hell doe al∣wayes oppose it, and all the Princes and great men of the earth set themselves against it, with all their strength and * cunning; There is an everlasting enmity in them all a∣gainst Page 9 it, not onely, because their principles, laws and manners differ one from the other, but also because Zions rearing is their spoyling, their glory and beauty is blasted and withered before the beauty of this; yea, this stone cut out of the mountain without hands, must one day (and Satan *who rules in them all knows it well enough) break in pieces and consume them all, and make them like the chaffe of the Sum∣mer threshing floores, and the wind shall cary them away, that no place shall bee found for them; they will therefore * doe all they can, with the Samaritans, to hinder the build∣ing of this City so prejudiciall to them; if ever they shew themselves forward, it is but with such a minde as they had, when they offer'd to build with them purposely to betray and hinder them: So then because none else have any power, or will to doe it, whenever this work is to be done, it must bee the work of God alone; Paul expresses * it excellently to the Hebrews, when he speaks of the buil∣ding of the Church, other houses are built by men, eve∣ry house must have a Carpenter, but he that builds the Church, is he that built all things, no other hand can do it, but onely he who laid the Foundation of the Heavens and the Earth, that is, Almighty God alone.
For Application of this, It may serve for singular con∣solation * unto all those who wish well unto Zion, and may fortifie their Faith against that which to our carnall heart is the greatest stumbling-block, and greatest discourage∣ment that ever we meet with, and that is when outward helps and means do fail, for the carrying on of this work, when the enemies are strong and many, the Friends few and weak, the instruments imployed in it fail, some by death, some possibly prove treacherous, turning against it, seeking to betray it, then presently are wee ready to con∣clude, all will come to nothing, the work will faile, it Page 10 will never be carried on: but (Beloved) remember this one Rule, in all other things that are done in the world, you may lawfully make such kinde of Prognostications, as to foretell by the Instruments that are imployed, and by the Preparations which are made, what the fruit and the event of the worke is like to be. If you see a poore man gather together a few Willow-sticks, and set a bungerly * Carpenter out of them to reare up a house, you may con∣clude it must be nothing but a poore shed or cottage: If you see poore men enterprize a warfare without counsell, without any money, against a wise Prince that is too migh∣ty for them, you may conclude, that they must either be overthrowne, or make shamefull conditions of peace; and you judge aright when you judge so, because in all these things God seldome puts out his power, otherwise then according to the virtue and power which he hath given to second causes, and according to them he works, (though somtime to shew his soveraignty he disappoints them, and causeth the race not to be alwayes to the swift, nor the battell to the strong:) Sow a bad piece of ground, God doth not use to give a strong crop there; but it's quite otherwise in the building of the Church, whatsoever the tooles or instruments are, it skills not one whit: Great in∣struments doe not further it, weak instruments cannot re∣tard it: If he will fight, it's indifferent whether his weapon be a sword, or the jaw-bone of an Asse: If he meane to * take a City, it's all one whether the battering engines be great Guns, or Trumpets made of Rams-horns; any thing will serve the turne in the hand of this Work-man; if he intend to thrash mountaines small, and beat the hills to dusty chaffe, a worme will serve to doe it, as well as a * great sharp threshing instrument having teeth: And there∣fore because God hath begun this work of Reformation, Page 11 and manifested that he intends to bring out a new Edition of his Church, and to set it out in a fairer Letter then ever it hath yet been seen among us, and declared by wonder∣full signes and tokens, that his heart is set upon this work, resolve you upon it, that this work must proceed: and when you heare any of our enemies despise it, because it is a day of small things, remember it's God who works all * for us, and answer their scoffes as he did them, who won∣dred that Saul the son of Kish should be found among the * Prophets; it seemes they had knowne him to have been a young Roister, and when they saw him prophesie, they cryed out, it may be not without a scoffe, What is befallen to the Son of Kish? Is Saul amongst the Prophets? But saith one, Who is the Father of the Prophets? remember but who undertakes to be the Master and Father of the Prophets, and you need not wonder who is the Scholar; so you may all conclude of this work, never be afraid of the carrying on this worke, feare not the instruments how weake so∣ever; resolve, whatsoever God meanes to doe, he will ne∣ver want tooles or instruments, who with the speaking of a word can lay the foundations of a new heaven and earth; who needs no more, then to say to Zion, Be thou inhabi∣ted; * to Hierusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the Temple, Thy foundation shall be laid, and it's done; who with one word speaking can create his Church a rejoicing, and her people a joy.
But all this will be more cleare in the second Doctrine, * to which I now proceed, and to which this is onely a * Porch or Preface: That when the Lord doth build up Zion, he doth appeare in glory. They are the words of the Text, and therefore need no other proofe: In handling whereof I shall endevour these two things; First, to make a full and cleare demonstration of the truth of it, that God doth Page 12 appeare in his glory when he comes to build his Church. Secondly, I shall make application of it. And for the clea∣ring the truth of it there are foure things to be opened.
First, what it is to appeare in glory. *
Secondly, To prove the truth of it out of the Scrip∣ture. *
Thirdly, and which is that that I most aime at, How God * doth appeare in his glory when he comes to build up Zion.
And fourthly, why he is pleased thus to appeare in his * glory, when he undertakes this work. For the first.
First, what it is to appeare in Glory. Glory and Excel∣lency * doe thus differ one from another: Excellency is the intrinsecall worth or value of any thing; Glory is the ma∣nifestation of this Excellency: Glory is nothing but the ir∣radiation or shining out of Excellency. Take a true Dia∣mond stone when it is first found, and lookes but like a common stone, there is even then all the excellency of a Diamond in it; but when it is filed, and the curious Artist hath done his part to set it off in its lustre, then appeares the glory of the Diamond: or amongst men, it may be a man hath admirable abilities of wisedome, learning, power, strength, activity, or whatsoever else might argue him to be eminent, so long as all these are hidden, this man is really an excellent man, but when by some worke wor∣thy of all these inward excellencies the world comes to know him to be such a one as indeed he is, then doth the man appeare in his glory: So that to appeare in glory, is nothing but to appeare to be as excellent as indeed one is. Therefore for God to appeare in glory, is his manifesting himselfe to be such a God as he is, when all those emi∣nent, excellent attributes and perfections which are in him, come to irradiate, shine forth, that others must necessarily Page 13 acknowledge God to be that which he is; when he appears like himself, then doth God appeare in his glory.
Now secondly, it's cleare in the Scripture that God doth so, that he doth manifest himselfe to be such a God as he ** is, when he undertakes the work of building his Church; many glorious things are spoken of this City of God, and of God in his building of this City, it's ordinarily called his glory, his throne of glory, his glorious work, his glo∣rious rest: Consider seriously these few Texts. The whole 93 Psalme; it's a short Psalme, yet a large proofe and full interpretation of my Text: Interpretors doe ge∣nerally agree, that it is a Prophesie of Christs kingdome, his ruling and building up the Church; and marke how the expressions run, The Lord reignes, he is cloathed with Ma∣jesty, the Lord is cloathed with strength, he hath girded him∣selfe, his throne is established, the Lord is mightier then the mighty waves of the sea: all these glorious expressions set forth the Lords manifestation of himself in his edifying and building his Church, as may appeare in the last verse, Holinesse becommeth thine house O Lord for ever: this holy house of God, is that Throne which is thus established, upon which he sits in this glory and majesty, where he * girds himselfe, as being ever in a readinesse to goe on with his worke; and this is such glory or manifestation of his excellency, that it causeth not onely his Church and Peo∣ple to acknowledge it, but you shall finde verse 3, that the flouds, the flouds lift up their voice, the flouds lift up their waves: What is that? Sometimes flouds and waves sig∣nifie the tumultuous people, that make a noise of sedition, mutiny, trouble, and violence; but here, the flouds which signifie People and Nations, lift up their voice of wonder∣ment and acknowledgment of that which was set downe before, viz. that God was cloathed with Majesty and Page 14 glory, when hee comes to establish his Throne, and a∣dorne his house with holinesse; there is one evidence.
Another you shall see in the 68. Psalme; The whole Psalme is a most stately straine of divine Rhetorique, the * beginning of it is very high and lofty: Let God arise, let him shew himselfe, let his enemies be scattered, them that hate him, fly before him; as smoake is driven away, as wax melteth before the fire, so must wicked men perish at this presence of God: and every where throughout the Psalme, you may observe such a glorious presence of God, as made the earth shake, the heavens drop, the hills leap, the mountains moved, the Saints rejoyce and sing, Ar∣mies to bee routed, Kings and Princes to flee: all this is nothing but a description of Gods manner of appearing, when he builds up Zion, when hee redeems his Church out of bondage, and subdues people unto him by the Sce∣pter of Christ, the Preaching of the word, which is the rod of his power, as is most manifest by one place in the * midst of the Psalme, which is as a key to open all. Thou hast ascended up on high, thou hast led captivity captive, thou hast received gifts for men, even for the rebellious also, that the Lord God might dwell among them. This is meant of Christs ascending to the right hand of God, to take possession of the rule and government of the Church; when he thus ascended up on high, hee led captivity cap∣tive, led all the enemies of the Church, as captives at his Chariot wheeles, and gave gifts to men, such gifts as should build his Church; which Paul interprets in the fourth of the Ephesians, to be the offices and gifts which the Lord Christ gave, when he ascended up to heaven, for the gathering, and building up of the Church; hee then gave some Apostles, and some Evangelists, some Prophets, some Pastors and Teachers, for the perfect∣ing Page 15 of the Saints, for the work of the Ministery, for the edifying of the body of Christ.
Another notable passage is in the 63 of Isaiah, Marke how rhetorically and elegantly the Spirit of God sets it * down; The Prophet stands amazed at the sight of one that drew nigh unto him; Who is this (saith hee) that comes from Edom, with dyed Garments from Bozrah? that is thus glorious in his apparell: travelling in the great∣nesse of his strength? who is this? what is hee that ap∣peares in thus much glory? the answer is made, in the name and person of Christ, It is I the Lord, mighty to save. And what was the work that hee did there? what was the glory? why truely, Jesus Christ then came to rescue his Church from thraldome, from Egypt, Babylon, from *Idumea and other evill Neighbours, in the type, and li∣terall sense, but especially from Satan, death, and Hell, in the spirituall sense, to pardon them, call them in, and build them upon himselfe, the rock against which the gates of hell should never prevaile; This was the work which occasioned him thus to put on his glorious apparell. Ma∣ny other Scriptures speak the same; Exodus 15. 1. When God did deliver his Church out of Egypt, hee triumphed gloriously. But I forbeare, because the third branch will cleare it all more fully, and that is,
Thirdly, to discover How, and wherein the Lord doth appeare in glory, when hee builds up his Church: and ** for this I shall lay down this one conclusion, and indevour to make it good to you in the following Discourse; That although all the workes of God are great and glorious, and worthy to bee sought into by all his people, there is not the least atome, the least Ant, but proves this, quaelibet herba, every little herbe, but shews it to bee Gods workmanship, Psalm. 19. 12. The heavens declare his glo∣ry,Page 16and the firmament shewes his handy work.
Yet this work of gathering and building of the Church * of Christ, is a work, which is carryed in a quite differing straine, and way, from all other workes, which ever the Lord puts his own hand to. Look upon all his other workes, and you shall seldome finde that the work goes beyond what the matter and the instruments may pro∣mise, and within the compasse and fadome of second cau∣ses, may you finde the summe of all that doth appeare in any other work of Gods hands; so that although every thing that is done, may truely bee said to bee the Lords, and to bee wrought (if I may speak with reverence) in his shop; yet because God carries them on by a concate∣nation and subordination of second causes, every one working according to their nature, (though secretly car∣ryed by his own hand) these workes of God may true∣ly bee said, to bee wrought by Gods servants, by his ap∣prentises and inferiour servants; but the whole carriage of the businesse of the Church of God is reserved for Gods owne hand, as his Master peece; carryed in such a way as none may lay any claime to have any thing to do in it, unlesse he can challenge to have the perfections of Jehovah in him; and this I am certaine you'l acknow∣ledge, if you please to lend me your reverent attention, while I cleare these foure things unto you:
First, the Materials out of which the Lord uses to build his Church.
Secondly, the Instruments by which hee uses to build it.
Thirdly, the Time when hee doth it.
1. For the Materialls, out of which this stately peece Page 17 is to bee erected; you know that in all other buildings, if the work bee to bee a glorious work, the materials are the excellentest that can be found; and Mercury must not be made of common wood: When Solomon meanes to build a Temple, it must be with Cedar Trees over-layed with Gold: If Noah be to build an Arke, it shall be of Gophir wood, firme and strong substantiall Timber: No man would imagine that a stately fabrick should be erected out of rotten Willowes, and broken stickes, and refuse chips &c. But now the materials out of which God builds the Church, are the very refuse, out of as arrant refuse stuff as is in all the world, is this goodly building erected: Satans kingdome, the damned in Hell, that cursed state of dark∣nesse, is not built out of worser stuffe then the Kingdome of Christ is, take the materials as they are when he first findes them. When God tooke the Nation of the Jewes to be his people, some people say, they were the ill-favou∣redst people in all the world, a loathsome people to looke upon; but it is certaine, they were as crosse and perverse in * their spirits as any living; the Lord told them often, that they were the unworthiest of all Nations when he chose them, bids them never thinke that they were chose out to be his before the rest of the world, for any thing that was in them, for he protested there was nothing to allure him: And for the Church which Christ now ownes and builds, the same things are manifest. In the 11 of Isaiah, you have * a Prophesie of Christs Church, what they are by nature, till his grace change them; Lions, and Tigers, and Bears, and Wolves, and Cockatrices, and Aspes, and such kinde of Vermine, are the creatures out of which Christ Jesus chooses and makes up his Flock of Sheep: Read Pauls Epi∣stles, and you will finde that all the Saints (the excellen∣test of the earth, whom Christ thought not himselfe and Page 18 all his glory too good for) were Mancipia Satanae, Bond-flaves, and Hell-hounds, going on in their wicked wayes: A description you have in the 16 of Ezekiel that fits every one of them, where the Lord tells the Church, what kinde * of people they were when he fell in love with them; their Navell not cut, cast out in the day of their birth, lying in their mothers bloud, no eye to pitty her, nor no hand to doe her any friendly office; and when he past by her in that pickle, then did he fall in love with her, and spread the skirt of his garment over her: And if you take another place of Scripture, to see what kinde of Spouse he * had; Aholah and Aholibah, two Whores, were the Spouses that he did chuse; plainly shewing to us, that this glorious work, that which all eternity shall give honour to him for, that the materials out of which it is built, are as bad as any are who goe to Hell and destruction. And this is one great part of a demonstration, to let you see, that when God doth such a work as this is, he doth appeare in his glory: It must needs be an excellent Work-man, who can raise so glorious a peece out of such base stuffe.
Secondly, and by what Instruments doe you thinke the * Lord doth build it? and what are their Tooles? who are his Work-men? you'll wonder by that time I have told you a little about them. God hath sometimes strong Ci∣ties of his enemies to overthrow, from which he meanes to rescue his people, and then the Armies which he brings * to doe it, are Rams hornes, Wormes, and Lice, and Mice, and Frogs, and Locusts, and Caterpillars, &c. by such as these doth the Lord sometimes overthrow whole Kingdomes; when he pleaseth to breake all their Iron barres asunder, to fetch his poore captived people from amongst them; and when in a spirituall way he sends his Instruments to subdue people unto him, he goes not to the Schooles, to Page 19 finde out the learned and excellent parted men, but a few Fisher-men (poore despicable men, brought up in no Arts or Learning) shall be the Champions, who shall goe and subdue the great, and the wise men of the world, unto the Throne of Christ: and ordinarily, the men whom he doth chuse to work the greatest matters by, are men of a meane presence, of weake parts, and contemptible gifts, (though God will have some that are eminent, to let you see, that his grace can make use of any, but yet) the greatest servi∣ces that have beene done in the Church of Christ, have been most-what done by instruments from whom mans wisdome would promise very little: so that in them is usu∣ally fulfilled that of the Prophet, A woman doth compasse a*man, the weake prevaile over the strong, and the simple over the wise: and that of the Apostle Paul, God hath cho∣sen*the foolish things of the world to confound the wise, weake things •o confound the things which are mighty, and things which are not to bring to nought things that are: And that al∣so of the 8 Psalme, Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings*hast thou ordained strength, to quell the enemy and the avenger. And truely their Tooles wherewith they work are no more promising then the Work-men; The great Engine whereby Satan must be fetched from his strong hold, and made to fall like lightning downe from heaven, whereby captived souls shall be delivered from his power and snares, where∣by the dead in sinne shall be raised, the prison doores ope∣ned, the blind made to see, the deafe to heare, the food whereby the Saints shall be nourished, the Rod whereby they shall be guided and ordered; what are all these? even the Foolishnesse of preaching shall doe all this, and washing with water, in name of the Father, Sonne, and holy Ghost; Eating of Bread and drinking Wine in a Sacrament; Praying to God: such kind of Tooles as these are, are the instru∣ments Page 20 wherewith these unlikely Work-men are furnished; far more ludibrious things in reference to this work, then a Shepheards boy with his sling and his bag were to the Philistian Giant.
Thirdly, take likewise the Time, for that is as remarka∣ble * as any of the rest: The time when the Lord useth to * build his Church, heare in this 102 Psalme, it was when the Church professed her bones were burnt up like a hearth, her belly cleaved to the dust, she was like an Owle, like a Peli∣can, like a Swallow, fed on ashes; and my Text in the next words saith, God would regard the prayer of this poore de∣stitute Church: The Hebrew word here translated destitute, signifies either the shrub of a broken Tree, or the Heath that growes in the barren Wildernesse; such were Gods peo∣ple at this time: Now here is the time which God chuses, when the enemies of the Church have them in the greatest bondage, when his Church and people are in most utter in∣capacity of doing any thing towards their deliverance, or expecting any thing to be done for them; that time he ordi∣narily chuses for the rescuing of his people. When hee fetched them first out of Egypt, when they were worne out there with making brickes, and the tale of their brickes was do•bled, then did God send a Shepheard to fetch them out: When in the 70 yeares captivity they complai∣ned * that their bones lay scattered, as one should hew chips on the face of the earth; and in another place compared to dry bones; that was the time he chose to raise them up a glorious Army, and to bring them out for himselfe: And so it is observed by Historians, that when the Lord came to deliver his Church from the terrible persecutions under Nero and the rest of the persecuting Romane Emperours; and now lately from Antichrist, when Cardinall Cajetan said, that the Germans were so devoted to the Pope, that Page 21 they were ready to eat grasse and hay, more pecudum, like brute beasts, at the Popes command, for the redemption of their soules; and all the rest of the Christian world stood in the same condition, the Kings having given their Crownes to the Whore, and laid their heads in her lap, * and their glory at her feet, and all the people Vassals and Slaves wondering after that inchanted Beast; then by a few Monks and Shavelings did the Lord break the power of this great enemy in pieces, and began the rearing up of that great work, which he is carrying on at this day: And such like times doth he chuse in planting grace, and buil∣ding of his kingdome in the conversion of particular men, plucking them out of Satans clawes, when they are most desperately wicked: when Manasseh wallowes in bloud of * Innocents; when Mary Magdalene is prostituting her selfe; when Paul is mad against the Church; when Matthew sits at the receipt of Custome, every one of them wallowing in their bloud, carried headlongly to destruction, fulfilling the lusts of the flesh with greedinesse, loving their bon∣dage, not suspecting or understanding their danger, not so much as desiring a better condition: this is the time the Lord chuses. Now to doe it by such instruments, out of such stuffe, at such a time, this addes much to his glory. I remember it is spoke of one of Davids Worthies, in the 2 of Samuel 23. it was Benajah the sonne of Jehojada, that among all his valiant acts this was one, that he slew a Li∣on;* but that which magnifies it is, the Time when he slew it, it was a Lion that was got into a pit, in the time of a great snow: a Lion in a pit is most desperate, most rampant, be∣cause there is no flying away, especially in a snow, the cold of the weather making all the heat of the beast gather about his heart, and so encreases his courage and strength; and in the time of a snow, when a man hath hardly any Page 22 footing to stand where he must fight; this magnified, the time when Benajah slew the Lion: So for the Lord to doe it by such instruments, and out of such stuffe, and at such a time, if I had no other thing to say, I know you would by this acknowledge that the Lord appeares in his glory. But the fourth is the maine proofe of all, and that is
The manner how the Lord doth it, which my Text most aimes at; it is in such a manner as shews him abundantly to ** be that which he is: those excellent and eminent perfections of All-sufficiency, which are in God, do marvellously irra∣diate and shine out, when God builds the Church. Among many others, which may be observed, permit me to speak a little of these 5 excellent Attributes, which do in their emi∣nency shine out, when he undertakes the building of the Church: First, his unsearchable wisdome. Secondly, his al∣mighty power. Thirdly, his excellent holinesse. Fourthly, his his infinite grace and bounty. And fifthly, his admirable justice. These five Attributes doth the Lord ordinarily magnifie in the highest degree, when he is pleased to arise to build up Zion.
First, I say, his unsearchable Wisdome: The Prophet speaks aright of all Gods works, O Lord how manifola are**thy works! in wisdome hast thou made them all; the whole world is full of Gods wisdome, but never doth the wis∣dome of God so shine out, as in the admirable contrivan∣ces that he hath for the building up, for the repairing and restoring of his Church. It is said, that the spirit of wis∣dome * doth rest upon Christ, when he is given to be the Ruler of his Church, carrying it in a way beyond all hu∣mane comprehension his way being in the sea, his path in the great waters, and his footsteps not knowne, when yet he leads * his people as a flock: Conceive a little of it by this. The Lord doth so contrive it, that all the crosse and excentri∣call Page 23 motions of all creatures doe all concurre to further this work, though they work according to their severall principles, and for their owne severall ends, most of them intending mischiefe and ruine to the Church, yet he orders them all to be as directly subservient, to carry on the work of building the Church, as if they all studied it, and intended it with their whole might: The plots of the ene∣mies, * their strength, their cunning, their cruelty, persecu∣tions, and the weaknesses, faults, corruptions, and even divisions of his servants, all contribute toward the buil∣ding up of the Church, though they seem all contrary to it: God seemes to me to lay a taxe not onely upon Heaven, but upon Hell it selfe, and all the powers of darknesse, and all their servants, that every one of them should bring in their utmost power to carry on this work. You have an excellent instance in the 60 chapter of Esay, where God * orders it, that the Islands and Kingdomes, the Princes and Nobles, the Beasts and Birds, the Forests and Rivers, the Gold, Silver, Brasse, and Iron, all kind of creatures and things, shall contribute their uttermost to raise up and beautifie this building; yea, though they intend it not, * though they intend the contrary, to ruine and spoile it, as is clearly expressed. Many Nations gathered together against Zion, that say, let her be defiled, and let our eye looke upon Zion, when in the meane time the wisdome of God hath contrived it, that they come but to be threshed out, and to be made a crop for Zion to feed upon. Never doth the Lord so magnifie his wisdome, as in his excellent contrivances about the Churches welfare, suiting all pro∣vidences and occurrences of things, and endevours of all people, though they have a thousand severall ends, yet every one to contribute their best, as if one soule dwelt in them all: which made Paul, when he considered of this Page 24 point, to be even swallowed up with admiration, O the*depth of the riches, both of the wisdome and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his wayes past finding out! who hath knowne the minde of the Lord, or who hath beene his Counsellour?
Another is, his almighty power, which is so eminently * seen in this work, that it is Gods ordinary expression, to * call it the creating of a new heaven and a new earth; Be∣hold, I create a new heaven and a new earth; he creates it: And in the 59 of Isaiah, where God speaks of the Church, *I create the fruit of the lips, peace, peace: the fruit of the lips, is the preaching of the Word, but it is done in a way of creation; he creates Ministers, creates Ordinances, cre∣ates * meanes and helps, creates deliverances, creates gra∣ces, comforts, all done in an almighty way of creation. Now creation, you know, first, fit irresistibiliter, there is no power able to stand against a Creation: So it is here, when God pleases to build the Church, the Mountaines * flow downe; thus you have it Esay 64. 1, 2, 3. Oh that thou*wouldest rent the heavens, that thou wouldest come downe, that the mountaines might flew downe at thy presence, as when the melting fire burneth, to cause the waters to boile, when thou didst terrible things, which we looked not for. And the like hath the Prophet Zachary, What art thou, O great mountain? before my servant Zerubbabel, thou shalt become a plaine: that * is, all oppositions, all Kingdomes, all Empires, all the gates of Hell, and whosoever stand against it, they are all broke in peeces, when once God is pleased to undertake the building of the Church; Ile build my Church, and the*gates of Hell shall not prevaile against it: What are these gates of hell? Christ speaks according to the manner of those Countries, the gates of a City were the place where there was both the wisdome and the strength of a City: Page 25 In their gates sate their noble and wise Consellours; there were their Courts kept, in their gates lay their Ammuni∣tion, out of their gates went all their Commanders: All the wisdome and power of Hell, that is, of Satans king∣dome, must all be broken, if God please to build his Church: he speakes the word and it is done, done irre∣sistibly.
Secondly, Creation sit ex nihilo, it rises out of nothing; though there be no preparative, though you cannot ima∣gine ** what shall be the materia ex qua, the thing out of which the work should arise, yet if Creation comes, it doth it out of nothing: Thus the Lord brings in the Church at one time, wondering at her owne encrease, * when she had sate long as a desolate widow, a captive without children, forsaken of her husband, and an innu∣merable multitude of children suddenly saying in her eares, The place is too narrow for us, where shall we have room to dwell? Who hath hegotten me these? who hath brought up these? these, where have they been? Unthought of means and mercies usually appear in this work, to magnifie the power of God.
Thirdly, Creatio fit in instanti; as it is done out of no∣thing, * so it is done in a trice, in the twinckling of an eye: Who hath heard such a thing as this? who hath seen such*things? (saith the Prophet in the 66 of Isaiah:) What is that? of a Nation that was borne in a day: Shall the earth be made to bring forth in a day? must there not be a space between seed-time and harvest? or shall a child be begotten and born in a day? yet Zion doth so, brings forth before she travailes, delivered of a man-child in an instant, yea of a Nation, and that before her paine came: and elsewhere the sudden encrease of the Church is com∣pared to whole flights of Doves, and to the clouds flying Page 26 swiftly and in abundance through the aire; Who are these*that flye like the clouds, and as Doves to their windowes? But most fully this is promised in the 110 Psalme, where the * Churches encrease is compared to the dew which in innu∣merable drops comes suddenly out of the womb of the morning: there's another glorious Attribute of God shining out, his almighty power. Then thirdly,
His Holinesse: Never doth the Lord appeare so holy * a God, as he doth in this work of building the Church. * Holinesse is not onely a glorious Attribute, but in truth it is glory it selfe, it is the very face of God; and therefore holy men are said to beare the image of God, because they are like his very face, when, Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of Hosts, may be sung unto him, the whole earth is full*of his glory, with that work which causeth his holinesse to appeare, then like the Sun he shewes his glorious face, when he appears in his holinesse. Now this excellent At∣tribute is celebrated to the height in the Churches buil∣ding: * This is cleare in that solemne and glorious represen∣tation of Christ, ruling in, and beautifying of his Church Revel. 4. the foure Beasts representing the Catholike Church in the foure quarters of the world, when night and day they give glory to Christ, the head and King, the Builder and Ruler of his Church; their Song is onely this, Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty: and that triumphant Song of the Church, recorded Revel. 15. for the victory * obtained over the Beast, wherein they celebrate his great∣nesse, truth, and justice, the Church sets this as the rise of all, For thou onely art holy: and in truth, the usuall name he takes to himselfe, and by which his people call him in re∣ference to this work, is, The Holy One of Israel; and it is fit it should be so, for then he shewes how little he can en∣dure iniquity, then he purges away the sin of his people, Page 27 then he makes them a peculiar people, zealous of good workes, then he separates their drosse and their rubbish from them, then he makes them like unto himselfe: never doth God beautifie his holinesse so, as he doth when he builds the Church. That is the third.
Fourthly, and that which is one of the sweetest, the Lord never magnifies nor glorifies his free grace and his love so ** as he doth in this work of building the Church; all the treasures of love and favour, which before lay hid in his breast, do gloriously shine out; then he marries her, or keeps his Wedding-feast, and makes all the world to know how deare she is unto him; there and then, and no where else, doth he bestow his choice favours. When he gives Kingdomes and Empires, he gives nothing but a peece of clay, what he cares not for; but when he builds the Church, there he layes out his Treasure. The time would faile me to number the gifts which he then gives: Great Princes ordinarily have their Almoners with them wheresoever they goe, and they give this or that peece of silver or gold to ordinary Petitioners; but when they will appeare in their glory, and give such gifts as shall magnifie them, then it may be they create Earles, and Lords, and great Officers of State, which are peculiar and discrimina∣ting pledges of their love: So doth God, when he builds up other Nations with outward mercies, with fruitfull sea∣sons, health, wealth, and pompe, &c. he esteemes them as nothing, he cares not a shoo-latchet for these common gifts, they are his common almes; but when he builds his Church, then he gives his Ordinances, then he gives his Ministers, then he gives them the Graces of his Spirit, these are his Chrysolites, his Emeralds, his Pearles, and Diamonds, then he makes all the world stand amazed, (as my Text saith) and all the Kings to wonder, at the love Page 28 and beauty which he shewes to his people in the day he builds up Zion: then they who despised her shall wonder at her, Who is this that comes out of the wildernesse leaning up∣on*her beloved? and bow downe at her feet and confesse, that she is now to be called Heph-zibab and Beulah, be∣cause her God delighteth in her. And lastly,
The Lord useth more then at any other time, to glori∣fie * that excellent Attribute of his Justice, because then he * takes vengeance upon his Churches enemies: You shall finde in the Scripture, that these two things ever goe to∣gether, the Lambes marrying, and the Whores burning; Zions building, and Babels ruine; his Servants exalting, his enemies falling; his People raised up, his adversaries spoi∣led; then doth the Lord call them to account, and pay them, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, breach for breach: the day of Zions deliverance, and redemption, and fury and recompence to her adversaries, ever goe together: Behold* (saith the Lord) in that day I will undoe all that afflict thee, and will save and gather thee: in one and the same day the spoiled Church shall be rescued, and they who oppressed her shall be fed with their own flesh, and made drunk with their own bloud: The Church militant and malignant are as a pair of ballances, or Buckets at a Well, when the one go∣eth up the other still goeth down. And by this time I hope you see how the Lord appeares in his glory when he builds up Zion; I have but the fourth question to answer, and this will be fit for Application; and that is,
Why the Lord appeares thus glorious in this work, ra∣ther * then in any other? There are these two reasons of it: * First, because it is a worke that infinitely pleaseth him: Men chuse to appeare in their cloaths and behaviour suita∣ble to the work that they are to be employed in: the wo∣man ** of Tekoah must feigne her selfe to be a mourner, when Page 29 she goes on a mournfull message; and David, when he goes on a dolefull journey, covers his face, and puts on mourning apparell; but when Solomon is to be crowned, he goes in all his royalty; and a Bride adorns her self glori∣ously when she is to be married: Verily so doth the Lord: when he goes about a worke he takes no pleasure in, he puts on his mourning apparell, he covers himself with a cloud, and the heavens with blacknesse; when he is to doe his strange work of judgment, then he mournes, How shall I give thee up Ephraim? how shall I make thee as Sodom? my bowels rowled within me, my compassions are turned: but the * building of Zion doth infinitely please him, because Zion is as the apple of his eye to him; he bought Zion at a dear rate, with his owne bloud; he layes Zion in his bosome, he is ravished with Zion, Zion is his Love, his Dove, his faire one; he hath chosen Zion, and loves the gates of it, better then all the Palaces of Jacob; and being so pleasing to him, no mar∣vell if he put on all his glorious apparell, when he is to a∣dorn and build up Zion. And se•ondly, it is
Because all the glory that he looks for to eternity, must * arise out of this one work of building Zion; this one work * shall be the onely monument of his glory to eternity: this goodly world, this heaven and earth, that you see and en∣joy the use of, is set up onely as a shop, as a Work-shop to stand onely for a week, for six or 7000 years, (a thousand yeeres is with the Lord but as a day) and when his worke is done he will throw this peece of clay downe againe; and out of this he looks for no other glory then from a Cabul, a land of dirt, or a shepheards cottage, or a goard which springs up in a night and withers in a day: but this peece * he sets up for a higher end, to be the eternall mansion of his holinesse and honour; this is his Metropolis, his Tem∣ple, his house where his fire and furnace is, his Court, his Page 30 glorious high Throne, and therefore his glory is much concerned in this work: when Nebuchadnezzar would have a City for the honour of his kingdome, and the glory of * his Majesty, he will make it a stately peece; Solomon made * all his Kingdome very rich and glorious, but he made his Court, and especially his Throne, another manner of thing, so stately, that the like was not to be seen in any other kingdome: and therefore no wonder though he appeare in his glory in building up of that, which we may boldly say must one day be made as glorious as his wisdome can contrive, and his power bring to passe.
Having thus plainly opened and proved this excellent Doctrine, give me leave in the Application to present you * with some matter, first, of Joy and consolation; secondly, of Reproof and Terrour; thirdly, of Exhortation and Duty.
Here is a further excellent encouragement and streng∣thening of our comfort, in that which I touched before, *viz. an assurance that this work must goe on; doe all the world what they can, they can never hinder the building up of Gods Church, because God hath so set his heart up∣on it, that for the doing thereof he hath cloathed himselfe with his glory, and girded himselfe with strength; and will he be hindred in it, though all the Nations of the world should rise up against him to hinder it? It is true, the gates of Hell doe alwayes appeare with all their wisdome and strength against it, but what of that? it is his glory to build it, and can we imagine that any shall be able to spoil him of his glory, that any can pull downe what he will build, or root up his pleasant plant; when he hath called it his house of glory, which he will glorifie, that poore * wormes shall be able to defile or deface it? No, no, this work must be carried on, feare it not. He hath evidently begun it among our selves, and we are often discouraged Page 31 in it; there is yet much to be done, much rubbish still re∣maines to be carried out, and we are very low, our estates wasted, the builders discouraged, their hands weakned: but not by might, or an Army, but by my Spirit (saith the Lord) must this work proceed, and then what art thou, O great mountain, thou great mountain of Popery, Prelacy, superstition, oppression, division, heresie, schism? what art thou before my servants the builders? thou shalt flow down, thou shalt be made a plaine: Be strong therefore, ye No∣bles and servants of God, whose hearts are set upon this work, you shall notwithstanding all opposition see the cap-stone set upon the head of it, and cry Grace, Grace, unto it. The Lord useth an excellent similitude in Esay 31. 4. when he came downe to rescue his people, and they * were discouraged (just as we are now) with a multitude of oppositions, he compares himselfe to a Lion, or a young Lion, that hath caught his prey, when the multitude of shepheards are called out against him, he scornes to mend his pace, or be afraid of their voice; So will the Lord of Hosts doe in building of Zion, let all the world rise up a∣gainst this work, and he scornes to draw back from them, or be afraid of the shepheards or their dogges, he can wor∣ry them and all their dogs to peeces: And therefore I be∣seech you, who are engaged in this great worke of God, when any discouragements fall out before you, remember the errand that God bids Hezekiah send to Senacharib, who came with some two or 300000 fighting men, and sent him a very proud, scornfull, and threatning message; tell him (said God) the daughter of Zion sits and laughes at him, shakes her head, and scornes him, bids him doe his worst, and well she might, for these proud mountaines soone flowed downe, for in in one night one of God ser∣vants * killed 180000, e•en all his Captaines and great Page 32 men were all killed; so say thou, when great difficulties rise up, and thou beginnest to think, Lord, by whom shall Jacob arise? for he is small, our money failes us, our Trade is gone, yea, in many places Ordinances faile us, mens hearts are discouraged; what shall we doe? say, the Lord hath put on his glorious apparell, and he must and will car∣ry on this work, he will never undergoe that reproach, This man began to build, and was not able to make an end.*
But why doth he then so delay it? alas, it is worse with * us then it was two or three yeares agoe, the summer is past▪ the harvest is come, and yet we are not delivered; much bloud is shed, the enemy is yet strong and potent, our hearts faile, our instruments decay, and yet the worke hangs; if God did appeare in his glory, why would it come on thus heavily?
I answere, the Lord is a God of judgment, he is a wise * God, he knowes the fittest time: That he doth delay is neither because he is weary of the work, or because he is not able to doe it, or because the enemy is strong; No, no, the Holy One of Israel never fainted, neither is he weary, but it is onely because his best time is not yet come; he * will (it may be) more fit the enemies for destruction, and us for deliverance; it may be he will hunt us yet more from all our self-confidence, and lay us low; but in the fittest and best time of all, this work must proceed, no weapon can prosper that is forged against it, the Lord will carry it on and finish it: whether we live to see it, it's no matter, if we dye and goe to heaven we are well enough, let us serve God in our generation, in this work which himselfe will owne in all generations.
Is it the Lords glory to build up Zion, then miserable, and wretched, and cursed are all they that are the enemies * of Zion, who would pull Zion downe; who with the chil∣dren Page 33 of Edom, who cry, Downe with it, downe with it, even to the very foundation; who with Sanballat and Tobiah, doe strive all they can to keep it low, to hinder the Work-men that they may not carry it on; what doe you think will become of these? Ile tell you how you shall guesse; you shall finde in the sixth of Ezra, when a great Emperour of *Persia came to understand a decree of Cyrus, wherein it ap∣peared he was stirred up of God to build his house at Hie∣rusalem, he wrote a Letter to Tatnai and Shethar-boznai, and many others who were enemies to the Jewes, and had writ to the Emperour to know, whether they should hin∣der these men from the work, the Emperour writes back to this purpose; You Tatnai and Shethar-boznai keep far from them, meddle not with them, I make a decree, that who∣soever he be that offers to hinder this work, his house be pulled downe, and timber be taken downe and set up for a gallowes, and himself hanged thereon; and the Goa that hath caused his name to dwell there, root out from the face of the earth all Kings and Princes that offer to alter this work, or destroy this house. Here was a brave speech of a Heathen, of a Pagan Emperour: the like must be said to these men, whoever offers to hin∣der the building of Gods house, the reformation of the Church, the decree of the great King will reach them, it is ratified in heaven, the God that hath caused his name to dwell in the Church, will cut off all Kings and Princes, Lords and Ladies, rich and poore, and whosoever dare offer to hinder the building of it.
But who is he, or where is he, that in his heart dare think * such a thing?
I tell you, their number is numberlesse; God grant there * be none such present: Ile name some of them, not onely the Antichristian, Prelaticall, Malignant party, who are in armes against us, and endevour with all their power and Page 34 cunning to destroy us, and so cause this work to cease, but even all who secretly affect and assist them, or stand as Neuters, and hang off, when this work of God is in hand, * and like the Nobles of Tekoah refuse to put their shoulders to the work, are all enemies to it, and doe dash against this rock: and all whose wicked lives are contrary to it, all whose ill examples discourage, and lye like stumbling-blocks in the way, who refuse to be hewen, and framed, and laid like living stones into the building of God, who are unwilling to beare Christs yoke; who by counsels, by power, or otherwise, hinder the spreading of the Gospel, (which is the rod of his power, and the great engine whereby he reares the Church, and subdues his enemies) or that have ill will to the preaching of it; all that spread corrupt Doctrines, licentious opinions, who seek to rend and divide the people of God, all you and your works are enemies to it, whatsoever you think of your selves, and whosoever you are, whether great or small, you all kick against pricks; and beleeve it, you must all come under the curse of it: you are all wretched and miserable creatures, to oppose that work which must prosper, and to stumble at that stone, which will fall upon you, and grind you to powder: you must all perish who have ill will at Zion; not onely your weapons must be unprosperous, which are forged against it, but this is the plague wherewith the Lord will smite you, your flesh must consume away, your eyes*rot in their holes, your tongues consume away in your mouths, and to conclude your misery, you must all be slaine before his face, and cast into a Lake burning with fire and brim∣stone: Repent therefore of this not onely your folly, but madnesse, which now is your shame, and is like to prove your confusion.
Page 35 Doth the Lord appeare in his glory when he builds up *Zion? then I beseech you all give God the glory of his worke: you can never grieve a man more, then to neglect him in that which he makes his glory; to sleight or throw ** aside a Work-mans master-peece, as if it were a toy, is ta∣ken very heinously among men; now I tell you, that al∣though every work of God is excellent, and his praise may be found in it, the works of the Lord are all great, and worthy to be had in remembrance, yet this work of buil∣ding the Church is his Master-peece, every pin, every stone, from the foundation to the cap-stone, is so ena∣meld, and checkerd, with Rubies, Saphires, Emeralds, Chrysolites, Carbuncles, with all manner of precious stones, such admirable, curious workman-ship, that Ahabs Ivory Palace, and Solomons Cedar house, the Pyramids of Egypt, all humane Artifices, yea all the rarities and secrets of nature, have no glory, when compared with the glory of this one work, of Christs gathering, building, prote∣cting, and beautifying of Zion; this you would soon ac∣knowledge, if you could look upon it with spirituall dis∣cerning eyes: get therefore your Bibles, and the Stories of the Church, and read them, and in reading labour to the utmost to understand this peece of Gods work; consider, how ever since he hath had a Church upon earth, what a strange way he hath took to governe it, from what small beginnings he hath multiplied it, from what dead low ebbes he hath brought it, by what unlikely instruments he hath built it, what potent enemies he hath subdued before it, with what rare priviledges he hath enriched it, by what unthought of wayes and providences he hath done good it; ponder these things, and you can hardly read one Para∣graph of the Story of Gods Church, but you must with admiration cry out, This is the Lords doing, and it is wonder∣fullPage 36in my eyes; O that there were in us such a heart, that could be thus raised up, thus inlightned, as to see nothing excellent, but onely Gods going in the Sanctuary! they have seen the goings of my God and King in the Sanctua∣ry: * such an heart would be according to Gods own heart, a spirit which the Lord would delight in: more especially stu∣dy and behold the glory of this last peece of his work, this new edition of the Church which he is now about to set forth, wherein I hope he will vouchsafe to make his Chur∣ches, even amongst us, a praise in the earth. O read over the admirable dealings of God towards us, in these foure or five last yeares, I am assured it will be the wonderment of succeeding generations, God will have it written by one hand or other, and when these things shall be told they will be wondred at indeed: when it shall be written what a low ebbe we were at, how we were tantum non swallowed with Popery, Prelacy, Superstition, Arminia∣nisme, Tyranny, Oppression all things concurring to un∣doe us, and then the Lord broke those Iron yokes, and hath called this Parliament, which after he hath sitted, and tried, and humbled, he hath put upon the repairing of his Church, and building the walls of his City, in a trou∣blesome time, when they build with the Trowell in one hand, and the Sword in another, when huge potent Ene∣mies are risen up to destroy them, and yet he carries on this work, exercising and manifesting such rare wisdome in the midst of our folly, such admirable power in the midst of our weaknesse, such holinesse in the midst of our corruptions, such love in the midst of our unworthinesse, such justice to our enemies in the midst of their pride, car∣ries it on after such a manner, that they who read these things must stand amazed, and cry out, O how wonderfull are thy doings O Lord toward thy poore unworthy flock Page 37 in the kingdome of England! Now could we get our hearts raised thus to give God the glory due to his name, it would please him better then a bullock that hath hornes and hoofes; never could we live to better purpose, it were an excellent work to have these wayes and goings of our God and King written for the generations to come, that the people who shall be created may praise the Lord: I have often begged of him, to put it into the heart of some wise observer of his dealings, to collect and digest them, and I hope it will be done; in the meane time let us that live forget none of his doings, but keep them all in thank∣full mind and memory, and praise the Lord on the Harp, and sing praise to him every day, for the wonders that he hath wrought, since he arose to build up our Zion. This is the first Exhortation, to praise God for his glorious worke: another followes, with which I will end, and that is
To you (right Honourable) for whose sakes this meet∣ing is in this place; that seeing it is the Lords glory to * build up the Church, you would make it your glory, that you would be like unto God, that you would esteem your selves never so truely in your glory, as when you come out with all that you have, or are, to help forward this work: I humbly pray you look upon our desolations, look upon the enemies of the Church, how infinitely industrious they are to ruine it, how few of them drive any private de∣signe, but joyne in this common work and designe, to ruine the work of Reformation; how they lay out all their wit, power, and interest, which they have in Court, in Countrey, in City, by Letters, by Travels, by Bloud, by any thing, that they might (with Sanballat and Tobiah) cause this work of God to cease; you know this. Con∣sider also how poore desolate Zion doth even stretch out Page 38 her hands unto you, and pray you, that in this sad time of her calamity, if there be any love in your hearts and bo∣somes toward her, you would come out, and give her some help, to reare her out of the dust and the rubble: I beseech your Lordships set this work to heart, and up and be do∣ing, do your best to carry this work on. To this end there are two things I shall humbly offer unto you: First, to tell you what you may doe, and what God expects you should doe: Secondly, to give you some quickening Motives to warme and enflame your hearts, with a purpose and reso∣lution to doe what God would have you doe.
First, you may possibly demand, what may or can we * doe, or what can any creature doe, seeing you were taught that the building of Zion is Gods work alone?
I answer, it is very true, the work is Gods, and Gods * alone, and you may truely say of Zion, when ever it is * built, it is not by might, nor by an Army, but by Christ and his Spirit; yet were not great men, Princes, and Nobles, to be very great instruments in this work, God would ne∣ver have promised it, as one of the great priviledges of the Church, that Kings and Princes should be her nursing Fa∣thers, and that she should suck the breasts of Kings: And tru∣ly * it is much you may doe by your examples, and by cau∣sing your great families to serve the Lord; I and my Family (said Joshua) will serve the Lord: and all the great men we * read of in the Scripture to have been converted, presently their families were converted with them: The Ruler of the Synagogue and his family, the Centurion and his fa∣mily, Onesiphorus and his family, Crispus and his family, Lydia and her family, and many others: Thus in a spiritu∣all and morall way you may help to build the Church; but that's not all, your authority and power may doe very much in this work: It is very true, that your power (who Page 39 are Nobles, Magistrates, & Rulers of States) in the Com∣mon-wealth, in the building of a Civill State, and the buil∣ding of the Church, doe extremely differ one from ano∣ther: In building the Civill State, you doe it ad modum imperii, by way of rule and command; therein you have authority; Meum and Tuum, the things of this life, are by the Lord committed into the hands of a State, and the light of Nature and humane Prudence are sufficient to di∣rect you in them, and in these things you have power and authority, according to your owne reason and will, to make Lawes about them; you may erect new Lawes, and new Offices, and new Officers, and you may impose new burdens, and people may lawfully submit to your discre∣tion, without seeking any further for a particular warrant out of the Word, in the things that concerne this present life: but (my Lords) it is not so in the building of Zion, matters of Religion are spirituall and heavenly things, * which pertaine onely to God, the soules and consciences of men, and the communion of Saints, their end is Gods glory, mens conversion, edification, and eternall salvati∣on; these are things which cannot be carried along by na∣turall reason, or civill prudence, but onely by the light of that spirituall and heavenly Rule, the Word of God; and therefore in these things you have no Lordly rule; Unum*Dominum habemus qui animas nostras gubernat; all your power in these things must be ad modum ministerii, not im∣perii; you must carry your selves, not as the Churches Ma∣sters, but as Christs servants, yea and as servants to the Church for Christs sake, not as Lords, to dispose of the affaires of it at your owne pleasure, but at the direction of his Word onely: This then must you set down for a Rule, That you are limited to the Word, and men under your aurhority must, before they obey your Orders, examine Page 40 them by the Word, and find them to be both lawfull in their nature, and expedient in their use, for edification, peace, order, &c. But (my Lords) though you have not such an imperium here, as in humane things, yet the power and authority that Gods Word hath given you for the carrying on of this work, is exceeding great, and it may be reduced to these two heads: First, the Lord would have you his instruments for the purgation and reformation; se∣condly, for the preservation of the Church, when you have brought it into a state of reformation.
First, for the purgation and reformation of it; all the * rubbish, all the drosse, the Antichristian pelfe and garbidge * that the house of God is defiled with, you are to throw it all out, with Josiah, into the brook Kidron; to sweep it all out, and to bring back the people, who have been misled into Arminianisme, to Popery, to Superstition, to any of these abominable wayes, you are to remove all these stum∣bling-blocks, and to bring them back againe unto the knowledge of the Lord their God: this God requires at the hands of Princes; thus did Jehoshaphat, thus did He∣zekiah, thus did Josiah, thus did Ezra and Nehemiah, all * the good Kings of old, they all made it their care to com∣mand the people, to make them enter into an Oath, and a Curse; and none might live under their priviledge and protection, who would not returne to the God of their Fathers: I confesse, I think it is not in the power of Magi∣strates to compell a people (unto whom God can lay no claime by Covenant) to alter from a heathenish Religion to be the Lords people, yet they should be carefull to send Ministers to preach unto them, and try if by any meanes they may be brought to receive the truth in love; yea and to punish them severely, if they blaspheme, or seek to draw away Gods people to Idolatry, &c. When the Page 41 Jewes, David, or Solomon, or any of their Kings, conque∣red the Nations round about them, they never compelled any of them to forsake their false Gods, and to turne Pro∣selytes, because those people never had chosen God to be their God; but a people who once had in Covenant made themselves the Lords, and so the Lord by virtue of the Covenant could lay claim to them and their posterity, his Princes and servants have ever (according to his will) com∣pelled these to stand to their Covenant, or else they should not enjoy their protection; and therefore Josiah, and those good Kings put them all to death who followed Baal, and returned not unto the Lord their God. For our selves, our Plantations ought never to endevour to convert Infi∣dels by violence, Christs people must be a willing people, we leave such conversions to the Spaniards, who worried the Indians to death with dogges, and drove them into the river like cattell, and compelled them to be baptized: but * for a people who have received Christianity, and have been seduced to Anti-christianity, to whom still the Lord continues his claime, by the same right that Jehu destroy∣ed Baal, and other good Kings Jeroboams Calves, and the rest of their Idols, and compelled them to stand to the Lords Covenant and Oath, by the same warrant and rule may you root out Popery and Heresie, and proceed against incorrigible Papists, Hereticks, Blasphemers, and such as have apostatized from the Lord, and refuse to returne: This power the Lord hath given you for the purgation of Religion, to remove and cast out the things that are abo∣minable. You have power also, and it is your duty, to set up all Gods Ordinances; Ordinances for Worship, Ordi∣nances for Government; thus did all the good Kings you shall read of: You are also to finde out fit Ministers for the house of God, to see that they be regularly called, Page 42 tried, and ordained, and sent forth, in the way of the Go∣spel; all this the Lord hath put into your hands. This for the Reformation; and when you have set the house of God in a good state, the Lord calls you further to take care for the preservation of it, by providing Seminaries of learning and piety, that the Sons of the Prophets may be bred, that there may never want a seed to furnish the house of God; with able, faithfull, and skilfull Work-men, and to provide and continue sufficient maintenance to them: And so likewise to convocate Synods, Assemblies, and to encourage Ministers, with putting them upon their duties, quickning them up to it, &c. providing that the mouth of the Oxe be not muzled, that treads out the Corne; that the Levites be not compelled to leave their Cities: All these things for the preservation of Religion hath the * Lord put into your hands, and these things God requires at your hands: yea (I say further) the Lord would have you look to it, that as none shall rob Gods people of the liberties Christ hath given them, nor take away any of their priviledges from them; yea, and that the weak, both in knowledge, faith, and practice, be born with, so far as the Apostles Canons doe require: so on the other side to provide that Hereticks and false Teachers, who would * withdraw the people from their God, who would steale them away from the knowledge, and worship, and service of God, to licenciousnesse, to profanesse, to ungodlinesse, to idolatry, to blasphemy, and to such things as overthrow Religion; the Lord requires it at your hands, not to per∣mit such Wolves to live amongst them; surely such are * no more to be born with, who thus murther soules, then they who murther mens bodies. Now (my Lords) these are admirable duties and dignities, these are such things to be employed in, that there is not an Angel in heaven, not Page 43 an Apostle now with God, nor a Minister on earth, but would as willingly be employed in this work, as to be in the glory of heaven it selfe; and seeing God himselfe ap∣pears in his glory when he builds up Zion, my humble suit is, that your Lordships would count it your glory, and think with David you never are so gallant and glorious, as when you are dancing before the Ark of God.
And to stirre you up to it, I shall use two sorts of Mo∣tives; * one taken from your selves, from your owne present standing and condition: the other, from the consequence and benefit of the work it self.
First, your owne standing and condition affords you ma∣ny notable arguments, such as might even compell you to * make it your glory to help forward this great building of the Church of God.
You are great men, lifted up above your Brethren: God * hath done that for you, which he hath denied to millions * in the Kingdome; you know your states, bloud, birth, dig∣nities, priviledges, so well, that I need not reckon them: Now God having made you greater then others, he ex∣pects, and certainly it would be a very comely thing, that you should be the forwardest of all to help forward this work, that God is so well pleased with.
And secondly, God hath also put into your hands more talents and abilities, and opportunities to doe this work, ** then into the hands of others: many willing men, who would lay downe all, would doe all, and give all they have to further it, yet are not able to doe so much as one Vote of yours may doe; one I, or one No, given by you, may more forward the building of this work, then the lives and states of many thousands: Now when such an opportunity is in your hands, when you are so furnished Page 44 and enabled to doe it, how sad a thing would it prove if you should not improve it?
Nay thirdly, (my Lords) you are Noble-men, and therefore you cannot out of true Nobility but desire to ** have your hands in noble and honourable imploiments; sure I am, since you were borne, or since this genera∣tion begun, never was it in the hand or opportunity of men, to be laid out more honourably, then you may in cordially helping forward this great work: never can you be so glorious in the eyes of God and his Angels, no such glorie or Nobilitie as to be emploied in this work; had * you all Acts of Parliament, to entaile all your Lands, Ho∣nours, Names and Fortunes, all that you are, and all else that you wish for, would never make you so honourable, as to be numbred amongst these that built up the Church of God; that when the Lord shall reckon up the people, who were by him emploied in the work, as he saith once * of Zion, This and that man was borne there; so for God to say, for the Registers of his acts and worthy deeds to say, Such a Noble-man, such an Earle, such a Lord, stood out in my cause and worke, when the Nobles of Tekoah* would not put their hands to it: When some of the No∣bles of Judah kept intelligence with Sanballat and Tobiah, when some others discouraged the well-affected; such a man, like another Nehemiah, wrought for me night and * day, and never put off his cloaths except it were to wash them; never could such an honour be put upon you; look not while you live in this world, though you might live an hundred yeares, ever to have the like opportunitie. O that it might sink deep into your hearts! that you did un∣derstand what an honour it is to be a helper of God, in laying the foundation of a new heaven and earth! Page 45 Nay (my Lords) consider in the fourth place,
God hath called you to it, as expresly as he did call Be∣zaleel* and Aholiab, as he called Hiram, when Solomon sent for him, to help him build the Temple: he could have cast your lot to be meane men, or in his providence have left you among them who have deserted him and his cause, (who shall therfore one day be cloathed in confusion) but he hath kept you here, while these great matters of Reli∣gion * are in hand, things which I hope will prove the foun∣dations of many gnerations: This work he hath called * you unto, and hath said to you, as once he said to Cyrus, Build my house; and when God calls, you may be bold to follow him, rely upon him for wisdome, counsell, strength, successe, &c. according to that promise Esa. 45. 2. I will go*before thee, I will break in peeces gates of brasse, and barres of iron, I am the Lord who calls thee, and will blesse thee.
Yea, fifthly, the Lord hath already blessed you in it: * Remember (I beseech you) at what a miserable low ebbe * we were, when your Lordships, and the Honourable House of Commons, entred into an Oath and Covenant with God Almighty, and sware unto him with your hands lifted up to heaven, that you would endevour the reforma∣tion of Religion; what our state was then, and how this work was derided and scorned, yet ever since, though you have been building in a very troublesome time, and have for our sinnes met with many a stop, many a Perez-Vzzah in bringing-in the Ark of God, a blessed alteration hath God made in our affaires; since we have owned his cause, how hath he owned us? what deep conspiracies hath he detected? what victories hath he bestowed? how many waies hath he blessed us, and carried the work on, not∣withstanding our weaknesses, our follies, our not taking Page 46 advantage of the opportunities, yet the Lord hath carried it on, because he doth owne it.
Nay, give me leave to adde, your forwardnesse and hearty affection to it, may make the work easie to all * others; if you as so many Gedeons goe before them, and say to the people, Doe what you see us doe, Look on us and doe likewise; in this cause of God you are like the first sheet of an Impression, when that is printed, it is a patterne for thousands to be wrought off afterwards with ease.
Nay lastly, know it for certaine, that in this point of the * purgation and reformation of Religion, all the well-affe∣cted of England will live and die with you: what David said to Solomon, My Son, up and build, all the Nobles, and Princes, and the courses of the Priests, will be at thy command, I may boldly apply to you, Go on in this work, and you shall find England will never desert you, the State of Eng∣land, the well-affected, the Gentry, the People, the Mini∣sters will live and die with you, while you will live and die cordiall to Gods cause. It is an old observation, when Princes and great men leave God, they lose their Names, Friends, Glorie: while Joash was for Religion, they all stuck to him; when he listened to the Princes who drew him off from God, he lost his life and glorie all at once: even famous Solomon himselfe, who built the Temple, when he forsook God, he lost ten of his twelve Tribes: and it's as true here at home, among them whose hearts remaine faithfull to God and his cause, either in the house of Lords or Commons, although some clouds doe sometimes rise over them, some jealousies and surmises, (which soon blow over againe) few of them are forsaken; but let any tacke about, and forsake God, and they are blasted presently, they are irrecoverably lost. My Lords, consider of these Page 47 things seriously, and let these arguments, taken from your owne condition and standing, provoke you to goe on reso∣lutely in this glorious work. There is one Motive more, and that is taken from
The fruit and the gaine that will come of this great work * of your building up the Church of God: Take it in two branches, in two things, both which (I am assured) are very deare to you; the one concernes your selves, the other the State.
For your selves, your Honours, and Families, and Po∣sterities, * are certainly very deare to you; men of great * bloud, and birth, and estate, make the preservation and establishing of their Familie, ordinarily next to the salva∣tion of their soules: Now (my Lords) you may take this for a certaine Rule, Build you Gods house, God will build yours; Jehu, though not sound at heart, entailed the Crowne of Israel to the fourth generation upon his poste∣ritie, * for sticking to God in the cause of Baal, in rooting Baal out of Israel; and God promised concerning Solomon,*he shall build my house, and I will establish his Throne; mark it, those two go together, he shall build my house, and I will esta∣blish his Throne; and God said to David in the same chap∣ter, because he had but a purpose to build a house for the Lord, because it was in thy heart to doe it, I will build thy house for ever; and even the very Midwives in Egypt, who loved * Gods people, God built them houses. So that if ever you would eternize your names, and bring Gods blessing upon your families, know certainly this is the onely way, other projects will not doe it, he can cut off families and houses in their greatest glory: Shebna thought by pride, and pomp, and state, to carry it out, but shalt thou reigne (saith God) because thou hast built thee a brave house? Ile kick thee like a ball in strange countries: It is no thinking to con∣tinue Page 48 greatnesse in despight of God, who at his pleasure puls down and raiseth up. But in this work you have him ingaged, build you Gods house, and hee will build yours, give his blessing to your posterity, or in case they faile, give you a name that is better then of Sons and Daugh∣ters. * But I'l tell you that which is better for you, better to your soules, when you have served him herein this glo∣rious work, when the day of account and reward comes, they who faithfully work most in this building, shall have the best wages, they shall sit upon thrones there, and shine even as the Sun in the firmament, for ever.
Secondly, The benefit of this work for the publique * State.
The publique State (my Lords) is that, that you have sweat and toyl'd for hitherto, and you would rejoyce to see it well setled, to see poore England, buoide out of these quick-sands, into which it is falne: What a blessed man would he be, that could but put us into the way, how to pacify Gods wrath kindled against the Nation, and se∣cure it for the time to come; Now (my Lords) this will doe both, this will pacify the wrath of God. No such way under Heaven, to remove it, as to goe on faithfully in Reforming the House of God, in setling Religion ac∣cording to the Word: That Heathen King Artaxerxes, sent a letter by Ezra, to all the Governours, and bids them, that they should let Ezra have all that he would * desire for the House of God, so much Gold and Silver, and Wheat, and Oyle, and Salt, as much as he would, and bids him goe on, and set all in order; and what was the great Motive? For (saith he) Why should there be wrath upon the Realme of the King, and his Sons? marke it, if all * was not done that was requisite for the House of God, there would be wrath; and let it be done, and there would Page 49 be no wrath; so I say to you, that God who hath cast us into these combustions, can easily quiet them: how of∣ten when we have been ready to strike saile in the harbour, hath some Euroclydon cast us out into the sea againe? and on the other side, when ready to sinke, how unexpectedly hath he raised our hopes? Our work lies with him, and with him only, pacify God and all is done; this black storm will bee blown over, if hee but speak all will bee quiet: you may see this clearly in the prophecy of Haggai, God was very much displeased with them, and blasted and * cursed every thing they took in hand, but as soon as they cordially set upon this work, his spirit was pacifyed to∣wards them. And then for time to come, (with which I end) The doing of this work wil be the readiest way to se∣cure England against the like danger; I am perswaded, you all think that the seeds of deadly and continuall feuds are now rooted between Family and Family, Neighbour and Neighbour, such are the plunders and havocks made out of cruell spight, and God knowes whether the childe but new born will ever live to see an end of them; these I think are your feares, but carry you on this work, and this will secure the peace of the State for the time to come, I say againe, the doing of this shall secure all, so that no Enemy shall bee able to hurt you. It's said of the Trojans Palladium, and the Romans Ancile, that they were the pro∣tection of those Cities, that while they were safe, no E∣nemy could hurt them; when they were stolne and gone, the City was lost; Certainely the establishing of this, will bee the Palladium and Ancile of England; you have a promise in the fourth of Isaiah, the latter end of it, The * Lord would create upon every dwelling of Mount Zion, a pillar of a cloud, and a pillar of fire, for Upon all the glory there shall bee a defence, mark, a defence upon all the glory; Keligion is the glory, the ordering of Gods House, is his Page 34 glory, and that is a defence even a wall of fire; And you have had good experience of the fruit of Religion, in this huge conflict wee have had these three or foure yeeres together for our Religion, and Liberty; mark, who are they that have left you, and who adheard unto you, whether the Counties that have forsaken you, have not generally been the dark places, the Cities, and corners of the Land, where nothing but superstition, Prelacy, Ignorance, and profane∣nesse have dwelt, and whether the City of London, and the Counties which have had the Gospel, where Christ hath been soundly preached, have not been the men, who to the exhausting of all, have adheared to you in your righteous defence; and it's hard to name one Town that hath been a∣gainst you, where the people are subdued to the Gospel of Christ, and you find the generality of godly men tho∣row-out the Kingdom resolved to sink or swim with you, because Jesus Christ hath put it into your hearts, to reform and build up Zion. I will conclude with that promise, in the 58 of Isaiah, the latter end, where the Lord exhorts his peo∣ple to build the old waste places, and repaire the Cities for the generations, &c. The great incouragement which the Lord there gives them is, The glory of the Lord shall bee their*Rereward; not their reward onely, but their rereward, their reserve; that that shall back them; the glory of the Lord is Religion, the Ark and Ordinances: Set up Religion, beau∣tifie * the place of his Sanctuary, make the place of his feet glorious, that will keep God among you, and keep the peo∣ple faithfull to God and your selves, and establish you so, that the Enemy shall not bee able to rise up, or if he do, and come one way, he shall fly seven waies; And this is the first Circumstance from which the Prophet so magnifies this work of building up Zion, because when the Lord doth build up Zion, hee appears in his glory: Consider what I have said, and the Lord give you understanding in althings.