A sermon preached before the Right Honorable House of Lords, in the Abbey Church at Westminster, Wednesday the 25. day of Iune, 1645. Being the day appointed for a solemne and publique humiliation.
Rutherford, Samuel, 1600?-1661.
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To the godly and ingenuous READER.

AS the Text of the booke of divine providence (worthy Reader) is the Church and Spouse of Jesus Christ, for e∣very line, word, and letter thereof hath a necessary rela∣tion to that body whereof Christ Jesus is head, so the draughts and passages of providence towards all creatures, yea to devils and the haters of Zion, seeme to bee but Annotations in the Margin of this great volume. There bee many wonders and depths in the book, and the Lord doth even before our eyes in this old age of the world create new things and miracles in Britaine. 1. It is most con∣gruous to divine wisedome to time fitly the laughing and the weeping of the children of men; the triumphing of the wicked, and their prosperitie; The Sackcloth and teares of the prisoners of hope seeme darke and mysterious Page  [unnumbered] Chapters of the booke, especially because wee trade by the senses, and colour of things, for wee see not how God hath set his enemies in slippery places, and that the throne that mysticall Babylon sitteth on, is made of Crystall glasse, and the pillars thereof nothing but Saffes of ever-guilded earth, the Sonnes of God would not ex∣change their teares with the joy of the wic∣ked. O that wee had grace to read to a full period, and with the sense of a godhead, eve∣ry section of the treatisc of providence; wee doe halfe both the word and the workes of God, wrong reading of God in his wayes doth spoyle the true sense and scope of God in his acting. The light of faith maketh legible to us, that The vision at the end shall speak, and not lie, and that light is sowen to the righteous; then the harvest must be hoped for, and wee erre not a little, if wee comment any otherwise on the short triumphing of the wicked,*and the joy of the hypocrite for a moment, even when his excel∣lency mounteth up to heaven, and his head reacheth unto the clouds; then that his golden heaven is not onely lined with silken troubles, and woes, but also that hee goeth downe to the grave, and the Chambers of hell, in a moment.Page  [unnumbered] 2. This seemeth darke to us, that all the heires of one inheritance do not mind and speak the same thing; yet in the Apostolick Church there hath been some discord, 1 Cor. 1. 10. Phil. 1. 2. Rom. 15. 5. Gal. 5. 10. more love, lesse pride of opinion and judgement, must either bee in these kingdomes, or then wee are to feare that God must worke us to an union, by the sword of the common enemy, wee might have union at an easier rate. 3. It is a mystery, but it is also from the Lord who is won∣derfull in counsell, that truth must bee trai∣led through floods of blood. 4. That a Church is greene and flowring and smelling out beautie, glory and life, in the flaming fire, that the crueltie, policie, wisedome, counsels of nations round about Britaine, and so many bloody men within our bowels in the three kingdomes,*doe kill us, and behold wee live,*troubleand us, wee are not distressed, perplex us, and wee despaire not, persecute us, and we are not forsaken, cast us downe, and wee are not destroyed. What a living death? what a breathing and triumphing grave is this? what a shining darkenesse? what a rejoycing sorrow is here? 5. Wee wonder that our warres are not at an end? But Gods thoughts are not like our Page  [unnumbered] thoughts, when God hath by the sword taken away his Jewels and his pretious ones out of these Kingdomes, it is rather like the conti∣nued burning of the house, then any appa∣rent end of our miseries. 6. Yet after the Lord hath made the glory of Jacob thinne, and the fatnesse of his flesh to wax leane, are wee not in silence and hope to beleeve that a remnant must bee saved?* and that yet gleaning Grapes shall bee left in the kingdomes, as the shaking of an Olive tree, two or three berries in the top of the up∣permost bough, foure or five in the outmost fruitfull branches thereof, saith the Lord God of Israel? Lord, hasten his worke, and ripen us by hu∣miliation and turning to him who hath smit∣ten us, for the day that the Lord is bringing forth out of the wombe of his decree of peace,*when the light of the Moone shall bee as the light of the Snnne, and the light of the Sunne shall bee seven fold as the light of seven dayes; Farewell.