THE WALL and GLORY OF JERUSALEM, In a SERMON Preached in Pauls Church London.
Zach. 2. 5. For I, saith the Lord, will be unto her a Wall of Fire round about, and will be the Glory in the midst of her.
TWo gracious Visions the Lord giveth our Prophet in the for∣mer Chapter: One of a man riding amongst the Mirtile-trees in the bottom; Christ in his despised Church at Babylon: The other of Four Carpenters, sent to fray and Page 2 cast out the Horns which had scattered the Church, by both giving an assurance, that he would disappoint the Enemies of his afflicted people.
We have here in this Chapter another Vi∣sion, of a man with a measuring Line in his hand, to shew that the Lord was now in a rea∣diness to build and restore the City & Tem∣ple, the former we find accordingly done by the care of Nehemiah, cap. 3, & cap. 6. 15. the latter by Joshua and Zerubbabel. Ezra. 6: 14, 15.
Now whereas it is here said, ver. 4. That Jerusalem should be inhabited as Towns with∣out Walls, which may seem first to cross the History, Neh. 6. 15. where we find that the Wall was finished. 2. To discourage the peo∣ple, who having such potent and malicious Adversaries, round about as they had, should by that means be exposed to all the assaults and impressions which they should make upon them: The meaning is, that though the city within the Walls were very spacious, yet the people should return in so great abundance (as Josephus reports they did) that multitudes should be constrained to lie without the Walls,* unto whom the Lord promiseth to be himself a Wall and Defence.*
*They were now called to build the city and Temple: two great discouragements they 〈1 line〉Page 3Scorn, Nehem. 4. 8. 1. 3. 7, 8, 9. Nehem. 6. 1. 10. Ezra. 4. 4, 5. The Lord here by a graci∣ous promise fortifieth them against the fear of both; against the fear of Danger, by promi∣sing to be their Protection, and against the fear of Scorn, by promising to be their Glory. When they are without Walls, I will be their Wall; when they are without Gates, I will be their Gate, my Salvation shall be a Bulwark unto them, they shall call their Walls Salvation, and their Gates praise. Isai. 26, 1. 60. 18.
The Words set forth the Lord opposing all the Enemies, removing all the fears of his people, by a double promise, of Protection, a∣gainst all powerfull oppositions, of Honor a∣gainst all reproachfull Insultations.
In both is considerable; First, The Author and Substance of it, I, saith the Lord. 2. The Subject of it, Jerusalem, I will be unto her. 3. The Description of it. 1. Of the Protecti∣on, by the Metaphors of a Wall and of Fire, and the place of that, in Circuitu, round about. 2. of the Honor, and the place of that, I will be for Glory, or the Glory in the midst of her.
A weak people met together about an ha∣ted and invidious Enterprize, opposed by strong, subtle, vigilant, active, malicious Ad∣versaries, had need have a help to defend them I saith the Lord will be an Help, a Wall unto them.
Page 4 But potent Enemies can batter Walls and scale them: Ezek. 21. 22. Prov. 21. 22. nay saith the Lord, I will prevent that fear, I will be a Wall of Fire, which the Enemy shall not dare come near or touch.
But a Wall may have gaps and breaches in it, the Gates may be pulled down and consu∣med, as we find they were, Nehem. 1. 3. 6. 1. and then whatever the Wall be, the breaches will let in the Enemy; the poor Church is ne∣ver without some Breaches or other, called the Breaches of the City of David, Isai. 22. 9. Some Gates pull'd down, to lay them open to danger. But every work of God is perfect. Deut. 32. 4. Where he is a Wall, he will be a Wall, in Circuitu, round about, no Breach, no Gap, no Gate or Portcullis pull'd down, by which danger may enter in.
But if the Wall be Fire, what will become of the Houses of the City? I will, saith the Lord, be a Wall unto her, not a Wall against her. It is Dativus Commodi, a beneficial fire to the City, a consuming fire to the Enemy that assaults her.* A fire for the three Children to walk in;* A fire for their Enemies to perish by; A fire in the bush to Moses;* A fire in Brim∣stone to Sodom;* A destroying fire to the Cap∣tains of Ahaziah,* and a Triumphal fire, a Chariot of fire to the Lords Prophet.
But a Wall may shut men and their misery in Page 5 together, the Wall of a Prison or Dungeon is no great Comfort to those that are shut within it. It may be sad enough in medio, though there be a Wall in Circuitu.
We have a relief against that too; As the Lord is a Wall of Fire round about to keep out the Enemie, so he is The Glory in the midst of Jerusalem, to comfort his people. Provi∣dence is expressed by a Circumference with an Eye in the Center. God is here both in the Cir∣cumference, and in the Center of Jerusalem; a severe Providence in circuitu to keep off the Enemie, a Gracious providence in medio, to Honor and Revive his people. Ignis & exitium hostibus, Gloria & subsidium Ec∣clesiae.
The poor Church was miserably opposed & oppressed by the potency of their Enemies on every side. But against them All they have a God to put into the other part of the Bal∣lance: God alone is eminently unto his people, whatever good thing else they want. In Widowhood he is an Husband; Thy Ma∣ker is thine Husband, Isai. 54. 5. In Orphan∣ship he is a Father; A Father of the Father∣less is God in his holy Habitation, Psal. 88. 5. In darkness a Sun, in danger a Shield, Psal. 84. 11. A Refuge in trouble, a River in drought: Psal. 46. 1: 4. A safety where there is no Wall, a praise where there is no Gate, a Light where Page 6 there is no Sun, Isai. 60. 18, 19. A God of Salvation in whom his Servants can triumph where all other Comforts in the World are wanting. Habak. 3. 17, 18.
Let us hold fast our God, and we need not fear our Enemie. If God be for us, who can be against us? Rom. 8. 31. If he justifie, who can condemn? If he love, who can seperate? Many will be against us to hate us, but none can be against us, to hurt us. Many will girde and girde again, many will take Counsel, and make a decree, many will raunt it with Pharaoh, I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil, my Lust shall be satisfied, I will draw my Sword, mine hand shall destroy. Exod. 15. 9. agam, ruam, rapiam, tundam, prosternam, as the proud Confident in the Comoedian: But if he be Immanuel, God with us, they shall be bro∣ken, their Counsels shall not stand, their De∣crees shall come to naught, he will strengthen, he will help, he will uphold with the right hand of his Righteousness, Isai. 8. 9, 10. Isai. 41. 10. Let the name of your City be Jehovah Shammah, the Lord is there, be zealous for his truth and worship, for his name and Glory, let him be in medio, in the midst of your Hearts to fear him, of your Counsels to follow him, of your Houses, your Trades, your Conversa∣tion to walk with him, provoke him not by your Impieties against him, by your unrighte∣ousness Page 21 against men, and then, if there be any Help or Comfort against Danger in Hea∣ven or Earth he can command it, if there be none he can create it,* whatever is wanting he can supply and make it good out of himself,*I will be a Wall.
1. A Wall of Partition to separate the Church from the World, as the Land of Cana∣an was divided by the Mediterranean Sea West ward, by the Inland Seas, and the River Jor∣dan Eastward, and at each end North and South with Mountains: So the Church of God is severed and shut up from the rest of the World.*Israel dwelt alone, and was reckon∣ed amongst the Nations. Num. 23: 9. they are chosen out of the World, John 15: 19. A Garden inclosed, a Spring shut up, a Fountain Sealed. Cant. 4: 12. their Laws diverse from all peo∣ple, Ester 3. 8. They are not to conform to the World, Rom. 12: 2. nor to walk 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. Eph. 2. 2. the World knows them not. 1 Joh. 3. but looks on them as prodigies and men to be wondered at, Zach. 3: 8.
2. A Wall of Conjunction, uniting the parts together in one Common Interest, as the Brain is walled in by the skull, the vital parts by the Ribs and the Breast, to keep them firm and close together, that they may not be sca∣tered nor divided, though the Members of the Church are called out from the World, and Page 8 are to separate from that: Yet they are to be compacted and united within themselves. Psal. 122. 3. to be of one Heart, and of one Soul, Act. 4. 32. To hold the unity of the Spirit, in the bond of Peace: to have a coagmentation and joining together, Eph. 4. 16. Factions and Divisions in the Church, are usually the Fruits of the Flesh; when one is of Paul, another of Apollo, are ye not Carnal? 1 Cor. 3. 4. The Apostle warns us to take heed of such as cause Divisions and Offences, contrary to the Doctrine received, as those that serve not the Lord Jesus, but their own Bellies: 1 Cor. 3. 3. Rom. 16. 17, 18. We have seen by very sad experience, when there hath been no wall nor inclosure to bound and keep within some prin∣ciples of unity, the wilde and exhorbitant spi∣rits of men, who either acted by Interest, or driving on Designs, or possessed with preju∣dice against received Doctrines, have depart∣ed from sound Truth and brotherly Love: what Flames and Confusions have overspread these Nations, once famous for Unity in ortho∣dox Truth; what forsaking of Ordinances, what magnifying of deceitful Lights, what rage against Ministry, what violations of Ma∣gistracy, what bleeding of Princes, what break∣ings of Parliaments, what Phrenetick and fu∣rious Extravagances and Disorders have stain∣ed the Glory of the Reformed Religion a∣mongst Page 9 us. The evidence of these doleful effects should now at last awaken the Spirits of all wise, godly and sober persons, to close in some healing and uniting Counsels, not to foment animosities, nor cherish jealousies one against another, but studying every man his own failings, to be the more remiss in censu∣ring, and the more inclinable unto closing with their Christian Brethren; why should we shut any out of our love here, whom we dare not exclude from the Common Salvation hereafter? And indeed when the Lord is pleas∣ed to send a Spirit of Unity and Agreement amongst a people, to make them tender of each others safety, and to look on the welfare of the parts, as the common Interest of the whole, they are hereby a Wall unto one ano∣ther, as Nabals Servants said of David and his men, 1 Sam. 25. 16. Every thing is best preserved when most united. It is easie to break the sticks of a Fagot when the bond is loosed, and they sever'd each from other, but while they are bound together, they mu∣tually preserve each other. Love is a Bond, Col. 3. 14. The Integrity of the Body is pre∣served by the Love of the Members unto one another; therefore Nature hath taught weak Cattle to keep together in Flocks, and Fishes in sholes, and Birds in flights, where∣as Beasts of Prey live commonly alone, as Page 10 Lyons, Whales, Eagles, Kites. A Kingdom divided within it self cannot stand: Therefore as Christ is not divided, 1 Cor. 1. 13. would not have his bones broken, nor his garment parted, so neither should his Church. She is never so terrible, as when she is an Army with Banners, united & compacted into one Body.
3. A Wall of Protection and Defence.* As the Lord promiseth to encamp about his House and to defend them, Zach. 9: 8. 15. He is a Rock, a Tower; a Shield, a Chamber, a Sanctuary, and here a Wall to preserve and protect his people. Great hath ever been the care of States, to keep the Walls and Gates of Cities inviolable; in the Roman Law they are called Res Sanctae & divini Juris, sacred things and in no case to be injured, and it was a capital crime, to climb over them. We read in Diod: Sic. what care Themistocles took to build a Wall about Athens, Bec. Walls are a great defence and protection to the Cities to which they belong.
The Lord doth thus as a Wall protect his Church. 1. In a way of Promise, I saith the Lord; his saying it, is doing it. His Word is Opera∣tive & Efficacious, Gods Promises are the Walls about his Church. Every thing is preserved by the same word whereby it is created. He upholdeth all things by the word of his power Heb. 1. 3. His Servants count themselves safe un∣der Page 11 his promise, they trust in his Word. Psal. 119. 81.
2. In a way of Power, making bare his Arm in their Cause, then when all second Helps fail and are at a stand, such a defence he was to Israel at the Red Sea, when Death was before and behind, and on every side of them, so that they were able to do nothing, but only to stand still, and see the Salvation of God.
3. In a way of Providence. 1. By Creatures, with whom he maketh a Covenant in behalf of his people, that they shall not but in all his holy Mountain. Of this League we read, Job 5: 23. Hos. 2: 18. Ezek. 34. 25. 2. By Ene∣mies, making Moab a Covert from his Out-casts. Isai. 16: 4. as dead Thorns are a fence about a Garden. He doth sometimes not only re∣straine the wrath of Evil men, as he did La∣bans and Esaus from hurting Jacob, but doth make them helpful and beneficial unto them, as the dissention between the Pharisees and Sa∣duces was to Paul, Act. 23. 6, 7. As the E∣gyptians lent their Jewels unto Israel to hasten them away, Exod. 12: 35, 36. 3. By Casual∣ties, ordering contingent Events, and vari∣ous incoherent Emergencies to the protecti∣on of his people, as the noise in the Mulber∣ry Trees, 2 Sam. 5: 24. The shining of the Sun on the Waters, 2 Reg. 3. 22. The sud∣dain incursion of the Philistines, 1 Sam. 23:Page 12 27, 28: The Chaine of fortuitous Events, which we may observe in the History of Joseph, and in the book of Esther.
4. In a way of Grace, the Lord plant∣ing such beauties and rayes of spiritual Ma∣jesty upon his Servants, as causeth their very Adversaries to reverence them, and fear to annoy them, as Herod did John, and Felix Paul, for wisdom maketh a mans face to shine. Eccles. 8: 1. There are Flowers which they call Wall-Flowers, and there are Graces, which I may call Wall-Graces, which have a special protecting vertue in them. Innocency, whereby we put to silence the frowardness of foolish men. 1. Pet: 2: 15. Wisdom, which God hath given for a Defence. Eccles. 7. 12. by this Abigal diverted the ruine intended a∣gainst Nabal and his Family. Meekness and Humiliiy; for the lowest things are safest. A Tempest breaks an Oake, but not the Ears of Corn which yield unto it. A Canon Bul∣let battereth a lofty Tower of Marble, which is deaded by a raw mud wall. A soft Spirit turneth away Wrath, Prov. 15: 1. Holy forti∣tude, which is a fence against Terror. Pro. 28. 1: Spiritual peace and joy which is a Garison to the Heart, Phil. 4. 7. The Joy of the Lord is the strength of his Servants, Nehem. 8: 10. The invincible power of Faith, which is a Shield against Satan, and our Victory over Page 13 the World, Ephes. 6. 16. 1. Joh. 5: 4. Hope, the Anchor of the Soul, the Whet∣stone of Christian courage, the more we ex∣pect for the future, the securer we are for the present against the fear of evil. Lastly the Spirit of supplication, which flies to the name of the Lord as a strong Tower, which wrestles and prevailes with God, vincit invincibilem, ligat omnipotentem, and therefore is a prin∣cipal part of the Christian panoply. Eph. 6. 18. And thus is the Lord a Wall of protection to his Church. In a way of promise, in a way of power, in a way of providence, ordering Crea∣tures, Enemies, Casualties to the defence of his people, and in a way of Grace.
And his protection is like that of a Wall in these two respects. 1. He is a near, present, Ready Defence.* Evil may be at hand, when Help is too for off to come seasonably in. But the Wall joyns, and is near unto the City: Such a Defence the Lord is, a present help in trouble, Psal. 46. 1. A God near at hand, not in a journey, or a sleep, or out of the way, when he should help us, Jer. 23. 23. Nigh unto his people in all that they call upon him for, Deut. 4: 7. Psal. 85: 9.
2. an Adequate and proportionable defence. A Wall defends a City on every side. As the Enemies compass the Church about with Danger, Psal. 22: 12. 16. Psal. 118: 10. 12.Page 14 So doth the Lord compass it with mercy, Psal. 32. 10.
But the strongest Walls, though of Iron or Brass (for such we read of, Ezek. 4. 3. Jer. 15. 20.) may by Military Engines be scaled, battered or demolished. Therefore the Lord, to shew that he is an impregnable protection, saith, that he will be a Wall of Fire, which cannot be scaled nor broken down, which consumes all Engines that attempt any thing against it, as the Flaming Sword kept the way of the Tree of Life.* The Pillar of Fire secured Israel.* Fire in the Bush kept any from coming near to cut off the boughs, and yet did not it self consume them. He is a fire in the Enemies Wall to overturn it, Jer. 49. 27. but to Jerusalem, he is a Wall of Fire to defend it. He once defended the Church with a Wall of water, Exod. 14. 22. And still defends it as a Wall of Fire. By himself, who is a consuming Fire.*Heb. 12. 29. By his Angels, who are a flaming fire, Psal. 104. 4. There∣fore Solomon carved Cherubims on the Walls of the Temple, 2 Chron. 3. 7. to signifie that Angels are the Walls of the Church; the Angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him to deliver them. Psal. 34. 7.
And his protection is like Fire in these four respects.
1. It is Terrible and conspicuous, which in Page 15 a wonderful manner doth strike fear into his Enemies, as he promised to go before his people as a consuming fire, Deut. 9. 3. The Prophet describes the terrible majesty of the Lord by a Throne of Fire,*Ezek. 1. 26, 27. And the glorious coming of Christ, by flames of fire, 2 Thes. 1. 8, 9. We are bid to praise him in the fires, Isai. 24. 15. For those con∣spicuous mercies whereby he hath shewed himself a consuming fire in behalf of his people. He answereth his people by terrible things, Psal. 65. 5. things which they look∣ed not for, Isai. 64. 3. To make his name known unto his adversaries.
2. It is an impregnable and invincible de∣fence. Other Walls, though high, though broad, by battering Rams have been demo∣lished, and by Mounts scaled. The Walls of Babylon were two hundred foot high, and fifty foot broad,* as Diodorus Siculus, Pliny, and Herodotus report,* yet even these were broken down, Jere. 51. 58. but no man dare climb,* no Engines can be applied against a Wall of Fire, it will devour the batteries that are made against it.
3. It is a constant and perpetual defence, for this is not a wasting, but a sixed fire, like that in the Bush, which did not consume it, but dwelt in it, Deut. 33. 16. He is a Sun and a shield, his protection is an enduring thing, Page 16 as the fire of the Sun, Psal. 84. 11. 89. 36. the defence which is over his Glory, upon the Assemblies of Sion, viz. The Pillar of the Cloud, and of fire is never taken away. Isai. 4. 5. Exod. 13. 22.
4. It is an Active, an Offensive, an Effi∣cacious defence. Other Walls are defensive only, to prohibit and hinder Assaults, but a Wall of Fire doth fight for those whom it doth defend; it is not only a Wall, but a Magazine; not only a fence, but a Weapon; not only a muniment, but an Army. As Israels wall of water did drown Pharoah, so the three Chil∣drens Wall of Fire, did devour those that threw them into it. The protection of God about his Church, is a most operative, and a most efficacious protection.
We have taken a view of the Wall, Let us consider the City thus walled, the Subject of this Defence; I will be unto Her, unto Jerusalem, the City of the great God, where his dwelling is, there is his defence, as men use to mound the places of their Habitation. The more a people have of Gods presence, the more they have of his protection. His Co∣vering is upon his Glory. Isai. 4. 5. His An∣gels guard us in viis, non in praecipitiis. Psal. 91. 11.* When we go to appear before the Lord, the Enemie shall not desire our Land, Exod. 34. 24. but if we have our back upon Je∣rusalemPage 17 we are out of his protection, as he that went from Jerusalem to Jerico. Luke 10. 30.
Consider in the Church property and preci∣ousness,* they are Gods own.*Judea was cal∣led Immanuels land, Zion his rest, Psal. 132: 14. They are in special manner his people, Isai. 63: 19. 64: 9. Ezek. 16: 8. And they are his precious and peculiar Treasure,*his Jew∣els, Mal. 3: 17. And property in precious things, will certainly procure protection. Consider in the Lord his Love, and his Pro∣mise, his Grace, and his Fidelity. His Eyes and his Heart are perpetually upon his Church, 1 Reg. 9: 3. She is graven on the Palmes of his hands, Isai. 49: 16. They that touch her, touch the apple of his Eye, Zach. 2. 8. He will ne∣ver suffer his beloved to be unprotected, espe∣cially having engaged his promise, that the gates of hell shall not prevaile against it. Mat. 16: 18.
And that they may not prevail against it, the Protection must be complete, a Wall must be round about it, the Defence must be answerable to the Assault. The Church in the Wilderness marched in a four square body with the Tabernacle of the Congregation in the midst of them,* and their Standards one very side, as we find Num. 2. The Standards were as a Wall of Fire, Jehovah Nissi, and the Tabernacle the Glory in the midst of them. The Page 18 Enemies of the Church are on every side. Impius in Circuitu, Psal. 12: 8. Satan in Circu∣itu, Job. 1: 7. 1 Pet. 5: 8. To devour the Church, and therefore here ignis in circuitu, & Deus in circuitu, Psal. 125: 2. To defend the Church Angels in circuitu, Zach. 1: 11. The Eyes of the Lord run to and fro, in every place, to behold the Evil and the Good. 2 Chron. 16: 9. Prov. 15: 3. When there are four Horns on the four sides of the Church to scatter it, there are four Carpenters in a like proportion on every side, to fray them away and to rescue it, Zach. 1: 18-21. Our protection is ever suitable to our danger, the stronger the assault, the greater the assistance. With every temptation the Lord opens an escape, that we may be able to bear it, 1 Cor. 10: 13.
We see all is well about the Church, a Wall of Fire round about it. If all be well within it too, it must needs be an happy body, and so certainly it is, for he who is murus in circuitu, is likewise Gloria in medio. I will be the Glory in the midst of it.
Glory passively, in nothing is God glorified so much as in building, restoring, protecting his Church, glorified in all his Creatures, but admired in his Saints, 2 Thes. 1. 10. No where is his name so great as in Israel, Psal. 76: 1. When he buildeth up Sion, then it is, that Page 19 he appears in his Glory. Psal. 102: 16.
Glory Actively, by making his Church Honorable and Glorious, as he saith he will do. Isai. 11: 10. 43: 4. 60: 13.
Every Nation hath some one or other good thing which rendereth them considera∣ble in the Eyes of others, and is esteemed their Glory. Some famous for Gold and Silver, as Ophir; some for Spices and precious Fruits of the earth, as India; some for Corn, as Egypt; some for Balsomes, as Palestine; some for Valor and Justice as the Romans; some for Arts and Learning as the Graecians; but the superlative Glory of Jerusalem is, that their God is their Glory. Isai. 60: 19. Jer. 2: 11.
It is true, worldly Glory is in much more abundance amongst other men. The great Monarchies of the World have been amongst Assyrians, Chaldeans, Persians, Graecians, Ro∣mans; and therefore Symmachus an Heathen, useth this as an Argument, why we should adhere to the Old Roman Heathen Religion, because that flourished, but Christianity was persecuted.
But this External Glory, though it dazle the Eye, and tickle the Fancy, hath no solid and permanent Goodness, or proportion to immortal Souls. It cannot remove the guilt of one sin, it cannot give one grain of quiet to a troubled Conscience, much less replenish Page 20 the Soul in the Latitude of its desires. God alone brings fulness with him, Eph. 3. 19.
All other people of the World, have the Glory of his Works, and so he is not far from any of them, Act. 17: 27.
And yet they are said to be without God in the World, Eph. 2: 12. But the Lord is in the midst of his Church. 1. By his Spiritual Residence, and gracious presence with them. Moses Prayers, I beseech thee shew me thy Glory, Exod. 33: 18. and God answers, I will make all my goodness to pass before thee, he shews his Glory when he proclaimes his Goodness. In Israel is the perfection of Glory, Psal. 50: 2. to Israel pertains the Adoption, and therefore the Glory, Rom. 9: 4. Of the Church only are glorious things spoken, Psal. 87: 3. The Church is his Throne, the World but his Footstoole, Jer. 17: 12. In the Church is the splendor of his Royal Majesty principally seen: Eviden∣ces whereof in the Tabernacle and Temple, were, the Cloud which filled the House, 1 Reg. 8: 11. and the voice which spake from off the mercy seat, Num. 7: 89.
2. He is the Glory in the midst of his Church by his Holy Ordinances, the means of Life and Salvation. The Apostle calleth it a Page 21Glorious Gospel. 1 Tim. 1: 11. And fre∣quently maketh mention of the Riches of the Glory thereof, Rom. 9: 23. Eph. 3: 8. Col. 1: 27. to take off the scandal and contempt which ignorant men might be apt to cast up∣on it. Therein all Divine Excellencies are more radiant and resplendent, then in all his other works, he hath magnified his word above all his name, Psal. 138. 2. There∣in is conspicuous his manifold Wisdom, in contriving a way to punish the sin, and yet to save the sinner, to reconcile the seeming Cross demands both of Justice and Mercy, that the one may be satisfied, and the other magnified, Eph. 3:10. His free and glorious Grace, so superabounding above all the abun∣dance of our sins, Eph. 1: 6. Rom. 5: 20, 21. His mighty power in rescuing us out of the Kingdom of darkness, in changing our Wills, subduing our Lusts, captivating our Thoughts, cleansing our Consciences, pulling down Strong∣holds and imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth it self against the Knowledge of God. 2. Cor. 10: 4, 5. Eph. 1: 19, 20. His glo∣rious Holiness, transforming us into the Image of his dear Son, 2 Cor. 3: 18. Luke 1: 74, 75. His Eternal Blessedness, who in the Gospel is set forth, as the Hope and Treasure, the Life and Salvation of those that trust in him. Col. 1. 27. 3: 3, 4. For Glory arising from a manifestati∣on Page 22 of Excellencies, all the Divine Vertues and Excellencies of God, are more conspicu∣ous in the Gospel of Grace, then in all other his works or dispensations. The saving Light of supernatural Mysteries, the heavenly beauties of spiritual worship, the shining Lustre of Evangelical Obedience, all set forth the Glo∣ry of those Ordinances wherein they are dis∣covered and prescribed.
3. As by his gracious presence, and his Divine Ordinances, so by the most Happy State whereinto we are translated, is the Lord the Glory in the midst of his Church. That State standeth in glorious Relations, glorious Habits, and glorious Priviledges.
There are two Glorious Relations belonging to this Happy State. 1. A Relation of Righ∣teousness the Guilt of sin being removed, and the sinner by the Gift of the Righteousness of Christ reconciled unto God, and so ena∣bled to Glory, though not in himself, yet in the Lord, 1 Cor. 1: 31. 2. A Relation of Son∣ship, whereby we are estated by gracious A∣doption, in an heavenly Nobility, and have right to a glorious Inheritance, 1 John 3: 1. are a kind of first fruits of the Creatures, Jam. 1: 18, Fellow Heirs with Christ, Rom. 8. 17. Princes of the people, Psal. 47: 9. Nobles of men, Act. 17. 11. All the World is not able to heap so much Honor upon a man, as this Page 23 one 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 or dignity, of being the Sons of God. 2. In Glorious Habits; whereby we are transformed into the Image of Christ, who is the glory of God, for God doth most no∣tably express his Glory in any Creature by fashioning that Creature to the likeness of his Son. This Image standeth in these three things.
1. In Holiness, Eph. 4: 24. Holiness sets forth Gods own Glory, he is Glorious in Ho∣liness. Exod. 15. 11. The Angels are hono∣red with the Title of Saints, Deut. 33. 2. and our primitive condition wherein we were cre∣ated after the Image of God, is called a State of Honor, Psal. 49: 20. 149: 9.
2. In Peace and spiritual Joy, for faith in the promises of Salvation, giving a kind of Pre-existence unto the Glory to come, and causing a Beleever to waite with quiet assu∣rance in the hope thereof, doth thereupon fill the Soul with the Peace of God, which pas∣seth understanding, and causeth it to rejoyce with joy unspeakable and full of Glory, 1 Pet. 1: 8.
3. In Glorious Priviledges and Immunities belonging to the Citizens of Jerusalem. Li∣bertyPage 24 from the Tyranny of Satan, and powers of darkness. Communion in the Love and pray∣ers of all Saints, 1. John 1: 7. Boldness to come unto the Throne of Grace, Eph. 3: 12. Heb. 4: 16. Victory over Enemies and Temptations, nothing being able to separate us from the Love of God, the Spirit of Glory resting up∣on us even in our sufferings, & enabling us to glory in them. Rom. 5: 3. Act. 5: 41. As the Cloud in the Temple is called the Glory of the Lord, 1 Reg. 8: 10, 11. So the Lord is the Glory of his people, even when they are fil∣led with Clouds of affliction. It is a great Glory to suffer Honorably as well as to do so, & facere & pati fortia Romanum est. The Lil∣lie is as beautiful in the midst of Thorns, as in a bed of Spices.
We have seen how the Lord is a Defence and protection to his people, a Wall of se∣paration from the World, of conjunction within themselves, of protection from dan∣ger by his Promise, by his power, by his Providence, by his Grace, a present Defence, a proportionable Defence. A Wall of Fire, by a Terrible and conspicuous, an impregnable, and invincible, a constant and perpetual, an active and efficacious Defence. A Wall of Fire to Jerusalem, his most proper and most precious resting place, unto which he is by choicest Love and Fidelity engaged. A Wall Page 25round about to prevent Enemies which are round about: The protection suitable to the danger.
The Glory in the midst of it, by his gracious presence, by his Holy Ordinances, by the hap∣py State of the Church, in the glorious Re∣lations of Justification and Adoption, in the glorious Habits of Holiness, Peace, and Bles∣sedness. In glorious Priviledges, of Christi∣an Liberty, communion of Saints, Boldness in prayer, Victory over Temptations and Afflictions, with many other the like. I shall add but a short word of Application and sud∣denly have done.
1. We Learn hence what a folly as well as wickedness it is for Samaritans to oppose the building of Jerusalem or the Temple, for any Enemies to set themselves against the Church of God, as great a madness as for Briars to contend with Flames, for stubble to wage War with fire, for a Sheafe (as the Pro∣phet makes the instance, Zach. 12: 6.) to en∣ter into battail with a flaming Torch. Isai. 27: 4, 5. The Whale may swallow Jonah, but it shall not digest him, The Grave may devour Christ,* but he will kill Death in its own do∣minion, * as Benaiah did the Lyon in his own Pit.* A man may drink down a Cup of Poyson, but it will suddenly be revenged on him.* It is madness to provoke the Lord, being weak∣er Page 26 then he, 1 Cor. 10. 12. Wo unto him that striveth with his Maker, Isai. 45. 9.
2. We need not make use of carnal Wis∣dom and sinful means for protection against Danger, for God can be alone a Wall of Fire unto his people. Use not oppression or vio∣lence to help your selves, for Power and Mercy belong unto God, Psal. 62. 10. 12. David was advised by those about him once and a∣gain, to kill Saul when he was in his power, and so to secure himself; but he answered, God forbid that I should touch the Lords annoint∣ed, he trusted in God, and would not use Carnal Wisdom for his own safety, 1 Sam. 24. 47. 26. 8. 11. This Wall of Fire can better protect us, then all the broad or high Walls of Jerico or Babylon: It is good keeping in Jerusalem, in Gods presence, in his way, so long we are within a Wall of Fire.
3. This is great Comfort unto Holy men, That the very Terrors of God are their pro∣tection. The Terrors of God at Sinai and in the Wilderness, were for the Salvation of Gods people. Habak. 3: 13. As the mercy of God will not save those that despise it, so the fury of God will be a defence unto those that tremble at it. No attribute of God, but faith can suck comfort from it.
4. Envie not the Glory of the World, nor the Pomps and Pleasures thereof, to those Page 27 whose Portion is in this Life, but rest abun∣dantly satisfied with the Glory of Gods presence shining in the face of Christ, and those un∣matchable Riches wherewith he endoweth the Church, in comparison whereof, all the glories of the World, are but dross and dung. If God would have the Honor of his Church to stand in outward things, The Silver is his, and the Gold is his, Hag. 2: 8. The Cattel on a Thousand Mountains his, Psal. 50: 10. But as Abraham gave portions to his other Children, but the Inheritance to Isaac, even all that he had, Gen. 25: 5. As Princes at their Corona∣tion give Wine and Monie to the Multitude, but Honors to their Favorites: So the Lord giveth Earthly things many times more li∣berally to the men of the World, but bestow∣eth himself for a Portion and exceeding great reward unto his own people, and they esteem him precious, 1 Pet. 2: 7. And his Promises precious, 2 Pet. 1: 4. and his Redemption pre∣cious, Psal. 49: 8. And the very Afflictions which they suffer for his sake precious, 1 Pet. 1: 7.
5. Above all things, hold fast God and his presence. A City is never without Walls or Gates, without glory and splendor, till they are without God. Your glory departs when his Ordinauces are removed: You may confidently promife your self his protection,Page 28 while you make his Habitation in the midst of you your greatest Glory. And therefore, as he hath a long time been a Wall of Fire about you; in all the confusions of a bloody War, no alarm hath startled or stormed you, though there were angry men, who shooke their Arm against London, as the Assyrian against Jeru∣salem, Isai. 10: 32. That said it would never be well with England till London were in a flame, yet you have had no flame about you but a Wall of Fire, and Chariots of Fire, as the Prophet had, 2 Reg. 6: 17. As therefore the Lord hath protected you, and been the Glory in the midst of London, (for I am per∣swaded it is a sober Truth, that no City in the Christian World hath had a more glori∣ous presence of God by the Light of his Word, and the purity of his Worship and Ordinances then London hath had:) So make it your business in an answerable proportion to bring Glory to God, by zeal for the Truth, by Love to the Ordinances, by comforting the Ministers, and encourageing them in the work of the Lord, by executeing Justice and Judgment, reforming all abuses, setting up the Name of God in your Families, preser∣ving those that belong unto you from the Contagion of dangerous and dividing Doctrines God will be with you while you are with him, he never breaks with a people first, Page 29 do you give Glory to him, and he will be Glory to you.
Lastly, If God be thus your Glory, let your glorying be in him alone, Glory not in your Strength or Wisdom or Wealth, or Splendor in your Ships or Trade, or in the Harvest of the River, glory only in your Wall of Fire, and in this that the Lord hath been hitherto so nigh unto you. And truly you have great Reason to bless the Lord, and to make your boast of him all the day long, as for Remoter mercies which you must not for∣get, though I cannot now recount them, so for those signal Mercies for the celebration whereof you are met together at this time.
What a deluge of Confusion these poor Nations were running into, how deep the discontents of the people, how ready the Tin∣der of unsatisfied Spirits in all parts of the Nation to take Fire and break out into a Flame, in what danger the Function of a Learned and Orthodox Ministry and the maintenance thereof was to be devoured, How desperately the Ordiances were despised, the Truths of Religion rejected; what dange∣rous divulsions daily more and more made from the Unity of the Church of God a∣mongst us, How near we were brought unto the brow of the precipice, it is now our Comfort that we can with thankfulness, Page 30 recount, as surviving so great dangers, as well as with sorrow bewaile our exposedness unto them.
How should our Hearts be enlarged, and our Mouths filled, and our Lives acted with the Praises of the Lord, what Memorials, and Monuments, and Eben-Ezers, should we every where erect of those wonders, and terrible things which we looked not for, which the Lord hath wrought for us in a kind of Pararel and proportion to those which he wrought for Israel at the Red Sea?
That then when force after force, and breach after breach, had been made upon the solemn Conventions of the Nations, and the Ancient Honor of the English Parlia∣ments had been ravished and prostitated to the Will and Passions of their own Servants; when the Licentiousness of the times, made way for men of corrupt Principles and da∣ring Confidence tantùm non, to spit in the Face of Magistracy and Ministry, and all so∣briety of Judgment amongst us; then for the Lord to stir up the Spirits of all the people of the Land as one man, solemnly to own their Native Liberties, and with united Affections to implore the Vindication of them; then for the Lord to awaken an Honorable Instru∣ment to assert the Priviledges and Dignities of conculcated Parliaments, and to restore Page 31 the many grave and Eminent Members there of to their long interrupted right, and to the administration of their Trust again; To stand by this Famous City who had chear∣fully with their Treasures, their Swords, their Lives, their Counsels aided and asserted the publick Engagements; That then when your Hearts were ready to sink at the demolishing of your City Gates, immediately they should be revived with the opening of your Parlia∣ment gates, that those worthy Patriots, Lo∣vers of Truth and Righteousness, might enter in; as we ought with great Love and Ho∣nor to respect the Instruments, so ought we to ascribe the whole glory unto God alone, who only doth wondrous things,* at whose presence the Mountains have flowed down and become a plain.* Who,* if we follow on to know the Lord, if we provoke him not by murmuring against Instruments or by deifying of them, but se∣cond their Endeavors with our prayers, and Gods Mercies with our Praises, will perfect what he hath begun; And as he hath laid the Foundation, will so consummate the whole structure of our Settlement,* that we shall at last bring forth the Head-Stone thereof, with Shouting and Acclamations, Crying, Grace, Grace unto it!