To the Right Honorable Christopher Pack, Lord Major of the City of Lon∣don, and the Honorable Court of Aldermen there.
IN Conformity to your desires sig∣nified by your Order unto me, I here humbly present you a second time with that plain, but wholsome Do∣ctrine, which you were lately pleased to receive with all ready attention. And in∣deed the argument is such, as the Apostle Page [unnumbered] thought need ful to inculcate once and a∣gain. And therefore if the Tongue and the Pen, the Pulpit and the Press, do a first and a second time invite you unto the same duty, the Apostles example will both commend your zeal in desiring it, and excuse my obedience in conforming to so just a desire.
Self-sufficiency is Gods peculiar honor, one of those Regalia which belong unto him alone. All creatures must go out of themselves, both for the continuance of that Being, which they have, and for the Acqui∣sition of such further good as they stand in need of. And since they are all thus de∣fective in them selves, they must needs be unable to complete the perfections of one another, much less of man, who is one of the principal and most excellent of them. That good therefore, the want whereof doth kindle desire, & the fruition where∣of doth produce delight, must be sought above the world, in him, who as he is suf∣ficient to himself, so is he alone All-suffi∣cient unto his Creatures.
Page [unnumbered] And because there is no approach for sinful men unto God without a Mediator, the Father hath set up his eternal son, as that middle person, in whom we may have communion with him, and access unto him. Justly therefore was the Lord Christ before his coming, stiled The Desire of all Nations; & as justly is he, after his coming, their everlasting Delight, since in and by him alone, the Lord is pleased to be at peace with us, and out of his fulness to communicate all good unto us. To set forth this Preciousness of Christ unto his people, and to quicken their joy in him, was the end of this Sermon, and is indeed the end of all other.
We live in changeable and uncomposed times; we see distempers at home, we hear of distresses abroad; the Lord is shaking heaven and earth, Churches and States; our eyes and our experience tell us, how mutable are the wills, how inconstant the Judgements, how fickle the favors, how sudden the frowns of men, how vain the hopes, how unstable the delights which Page [unnumbered] are drawn out of broken Cisterns; how full of dross and dregs the most refined contents of the world are. God alone is true and every man a lyar, either by falseness deluding, or by weakness disappointing those that depended on them.
Since therefore the life of man doth hardly deserve the name of life, without some solid comfort to support it; and nei∣ther men nor Angels, much less honors or pleasures, plenty or abundance, can sup∣ply us with that Comfort; what remains, but that we betake our selves unto that Fountain of living water, whence alone it is to be had? that we secure our interest in the Lord Christ, who is faithful, and cannot fail; powerful, and will not forsake, nor expose those that come unto God by him? that so being upon the Rock which is higher then our selves, we may be able amidst all the tempests and shakings, the delusions and disappointments below, to Rejoyce in him with a fixed and inconcus∣sible delight, who can bring joy out of sorrow, light out of darkness, and turn Page [unnumbered] all confusions into order and beauty. This that you, and all Gods people in City and Countrey may every where do, is the prayer of
Your Honors most humble servant in the work of the Lord. Edward Reynolds.
From my study, Iune 2. 1655.