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.
Page  1

A SERMON PREACHED before the Right Honorable the House of LORDS at their Monethly Fast, June 25. 1645. in the Abbey Church at Westminster.

Luke 8. 22.

Now it came to passe on a certaine day, that he went into a ship with his Disciples, and he said unto them, let us goe over into the other side of the Lake, and they lanced forth.

23. But as they sailed, he fel asleep: & there came down a storme of wind on the lake, and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardie.

24. And they came to him and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish: then he arose and rebuked the wind, and the raging of the wa∣ter, and they ceased, and there was a calme.

25. And he said unto them, where is your faith? and they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this? for he commandeth even the windes and the water, and they obey him.

Marke 4. 38.

And hee was in the hinder part of the ship asleepe on a pillow, and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that wee pe∣rish?

39. And hee arose and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, bee still: and the wind ceased, and there was a great calme.

40. And hee said unto them, Why are yee so feare∣full? how is it that yee have no faith?

Matth. 8. 26.

And he saith unto them, Why are yee fearefull, O yee of lit∣tle faith? then he arose and re∣buked the winds and the Sea, and there was a great calme.

THere is so much of Gd, and of omnipotency in these words (which I desire by Gods assi∣stance and your patience to goe through shortly, at least in such heads of doctrine as may bee most sutable to the present condition of the Church) as may prove that God being sought by prayer is a present helpe in trouble.

Page  2 The words containe six particulars.

1. There is here Christs Sea journey with the convoy; second∣ly, time; thirdly, and place. Christ and his members have not a way of onely dry land to heaven, there is much Sea-way before Christ and his followers, ere they come to shoare.

2. We have in the Text, the condition of the ship and the Say∣lers and passengers that are carried in the vessell with Christ,* in six particulars, expressing the greatnesse of the danger by rea∣son of a mighty storme.* First, there is a behold〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, set before it; first to hold forth the greatnesse of the storme, Matth. 8. 24. And behold, there arose a great tempest. Secondly, to note that creatures as winds and stormes are daring and bold against Christ, and his Church, God permitting them; wee imagine when Christ goes to Sea, hee must have faire weather, and a calme Sea, for how dare the winds blow upon the faire face of him who created Sea and winds? But Christ sayling must have a mightie gale, if the Prince of the ayre Satan can in his owne spheare and parish command the winds. The second circumstance, Mark saith a great storme 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 came downe; it is contrary to nature that winds descend, they rather ascend; this saith it was not an ordinary wind, but thirdly, a whirle∣wind, Mark〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, such a wind, as Aristotle saith, is most dangerous, by rolling in a circle with violence, so as it doth in Italy and other parts swallow up townes. Matthew saith it was 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉a great tempest, a Sea-quake, that had as great force and strength as an Earth-quake, that can remove Castles and Towers out of their places. Fourthly, from the effect, the greatnesse of it is amplified, the ship was filled with water; Chem∣nitius observeth as the waterpots, Iohn 2. are filled with water to the brim: for it is the same word. Fiftly, they were in such feare, that the Disciples being some of them Fishermen, and so experienced with Sea stormes, cry that they perish, and are gone; when the Shipmasters art faileth him, and the grayhai∣red Seamen goe to their prayers, the passengers have cause to bee afraid. But sixtly, that is not much, there is a good Sea∣man in the Ship, the great Lord Admirall not of the Seas onely, but also of the winds, is here; Lord Admiralls on earth cannot make winds and faire weather, all shall bee well, the Creator Page  3 of Sea and winds is here; yea but hee is so here, as if he were not here to them, hee is fast asleepe; God save us from a Sea-storme, when Christ is either farre away from us, or sleeping.

3. What course take the Disciples in their danger? first, they awake Christ with their prayer; secondly, they double their words, Luke saith, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, master, mster, tutor, such as are heads of Colledges, or take care of Orphanes, are so called. Christ tutors stormes, and winds, and Church and Court, and all: Matthew saith 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Lord, which signifieth Christs dominion: Marke〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Master, for (if he can, and what can hee not?) hee'l helpe his Disciples, so they put an argument of helpe home upon Christ from his office. Third∣ly, they complaine, Carest thou not for us? What a master art thou, who sleepest when wee are in danger to be drowned? so dreame we Christ careth not for us, if he deliver not presently. Fourth∣ly, they lay the danger before him, wee perish.

4. Wee have Christs present helping of them, Matthew keep∣eth the naturall method; Why are yee fearefull, O yee of little faith? hee first rebuketh the Disciples unbeleefe, before hee re∣buke the Sea and winds. Secondly, hee spake angry words to the Sea and winds, or laid a strict charge on the Sea and winds, as the word is, Luke 3. 12. Luke 9. 21. or it is to rebuke with threatning and authoritie, 2 Tim. 4. 2. not because Sea and winds can stirre without speciall commission from God, as the Poets fancied that their Aeolus could boast and chide the winds and cast them in fetters, but this is to expresse the ab∣solute and invincible dominion of Christ over Sea and winds, they being his Apparitors and Pursevants, so that thirdly, Christ (as Marke saith) uttered angry words of authoritie and commanded the Sea, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 bee quiet, peace, and be still,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉bee muzled, it is borrowed from wild beasts or dogs that are muzled up that they cannot devoure, so is the word, 1 Cor. 9. 9. Thou shalt not muzle the Oxe that treadeth out the corne; it is a hard trope, and holds forth to us the Sea as a devou∣ring beast, that would swallow up ships; so Matth. 22. 34. Iesus stopped the mouths of the Sadduces.

5. The effect of Christs rebuking is here set downe, there was without more adoe a great calme; when Christ Page  4 glowmeth upon the Sea it dare but smile and bee still.

6. The fruit of the miracle is here, the Seamen, not the Disciples were stricken with wonder and astonishment.

Now it came to passe on a certaine day.*

Touching the three particulars in the first part, a word first of the place, this was not properly a Sea, but a lake, not Lacus Gadarenus, of which Strabo saith beasts could not goe through it, without the losse of haire and hoofes, the waters being so pestilent, but it was the lake of Genesareth, through which Christ and his Disciples sayled to the Gadarens, called by a Hebraisme the Sea of Tiberias.

Secondly Christs convoy in this Sea-journey were his Di∣sciples. Seldome was Christ his alone, onely when he went to a mountaine to pray, as Ioh. 6. 15. and in the garden when his Di∣sciples would not watch with him one houre. But ordinarily his Di∣sciples, and others were witnesses of his doctrine and miracles. First, because the Disciples were to bee eye-witnesses of him, to preach by sense as well as by faith, 1 Iohn 1. 1. 2 Pet. 1. 18. And this voyce which came from heaven we heard (saith Peter) when wee were with him in the holy mount.* Sense of Christs sweetnesse in Preachers is not so good as faith, but it is more excellent then hearesay; there is a sense of faith in such as have beene in the Mount with Christ; I beleeved, therefore I spake, 2 Cor. 4. 13. Sense of Christ is an excellent Preacher of Christ, Now beleeve wee (say the Samaritans, Ioh. 4. 42.) not because of thy saying, for wee have heard him our selves; every faithfull pastor is not one∣ly a messenger to speake tydings, but a witnesse who saw and heard the visions of God. Secondly, Crosse-bearing is not easily learned, Christ had the perfect art of it, Heb. 5. 8. the Disciples must see how straight Christs shoulders are in walking under the Crosse; to learne to doe is no difficill thing, in compari∣son of learning to suffer. Thirdly, wee know our owne weak∣nesse best in conversing with Christ. Christs beautie and faire∣nesse casteth a shade and a light on our blacknesse; wee are all faire enough while wee see Christs fairenesse, Esay 6. 5. Fourth∣ly, the more you converse with Christ, the more you partake of heaven; to bee with your selfe is to bee in ill company, to be with the world rubbeth rust on you, to be with Christ Page  5 leaveth a smell of heaven, and a die and colour of another world on you that you shall never rub off; to touch perfume and sweet oyntments leaveth a witnesse behind it; none can preach nor suffer, but such as have beene with Christ to see and heare; you may bee called to a bloody death for Christ. I pray you aske when was you last with Christ, and how oft was you with him, or was you ever with him?

Thirdly,* the time of his sayling, Marke saith, in that same day when the evening was come, chap. 4. 35. that is, in the day that hee preached the parables, you have Matth. 13. it is like hee went to Sea in the evening, when hee had preached all the day. Luke saith indefinitely on a certaine day;* how ever there is no waste of words, here two Evangelists, as their manner is, doe write a Diurnall of Christs life and actions,* they chronicle Christs time carefully. Whence see wee how well Christ husbanded his time upon earth, Act. 10. 38. he went about doing good: So in his message to Herod, Luke 13. 32, 33. Goe tell Herod, Behold, I cast out devils, and doe cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall bee perfected. First, he spent whole nights in prayer to God, Luke 6. 12. wrought miracles in the night, at the fourth watch, Matth. 14. 25. yea now while hee is sleeping hee is making way for a miracle. Secondly, Early in the morning hee taught in the Temple, Iohn 8. 2. and while hee was eating hee losed not time, but preached in time of dinner. Luke 7. 38, 39. Luke 10. 39, 40. and made it his meate and drinke, when hee should have eaten, to gaine soules, Ioh. 4. 34. Thirdly, hee began early, being twelve yeares of age, to dispute with the Doctors in the Tem∣ple, and died preaching and praying on the Crosse, Luke 23. 43. 44. 46.

Then first, such are rebuked, as know not well their time, Ier. 8. 7. Yea the Storke of the heaven knoweth her appointed times, and the Turtle, and the Crane, and the Swallow observe the time of her comming, but my people know not the judgement of the Lord. Who is wise to know when God is watering the Land with blood?* to know that the yeare 1645. is that yeare of vengeance that hath beene in the Lords heart against England and Scotland? This must bee a part of prophecy, which the people knowes not while God reveale it, Ezek. 7. 12. The time is come, the day Page  6 draweth neare, vers. 2. Also thou sonne of man, thus saith the Lord God, unto the Lord of Israel, an end, the end is come upon the foure corners of the Land.

Secondly, it were a right timing of actions if the honora∣ble Parliament would begin not at the establishing of their owne Liberties, Lawes, houses, but at the building of the house of God; the Lord hath given opportunitie for many yeares of a sitting Parliament, and there is not yet a face of a Church in the Land, and scarcely is there one stone layd in the house of the Lord; men say, it is not yet time to build the house of the Lord.

Thirdly, wee have not knowne in this our day of the Gos∣pel, these things that belong to our peace: had Tyrus and Si∣don, Sodom and Gomorrah seen the dayes of the Son of man, which England and Scotland have seene, they should have repen∣ted long agoe; and had wee improved the gratious opportuni∣ties of mercy, our peace had beene as a River, and our righteous∣nesse as the waves of the Sea; but now wee are like broken men, unable so much as to cast up our accounts, far lesse to pay the rent of the Vineyard, when our Vine is as the Vine of Sodom, and our Grapes are Grapes of Gall; there is much underhand dea∣ling against the cause and covenant of God; wee did sweare the extirpation of Prelacie, Popery and Schisme, now wee preach, professe and print that libertie is to bee given for con∣sciences of men, and how can this bee denied to Papists and Prelates? not onely every City, but every family almost hath a new Religion, the former unreprented wil-worship in the breasts of men, against the power of godlinesse, vanitie in apparell, whoring, extortion, unjustice to widowes and Or∣phans whose husbands and parents were killed in the warres, drunkennesse, excesse, lying and cousening, unjust and false slanders and calumnies, trusting in the arme of men and mul∣titudes, halting betweene God and Baal, postponing of Christs matters to the end of the day, as if Religion and the house of God were of lesse concernment to us then liberties and civill Lawes, and as if both kingdomes miraculously defended by the right arme of God, against mercilesse and blood-thirsty Babylon, were not more obliged to the Lord of Hosts, who Page  7 hath saved us, then that wee should now bee debtors to our owne carnall ends, divisions, rentings, emulations, sides and factions; Ephraim against Manasseh, and Manasseh against Ephraim, though the children of one father: all these and many other sinnes tesifie to our faces that the time of the Gospel hath not beene fruitfully improved by the two king∣domes.

Fourthly,* all of us generally faile in the bad husbanding of time, wee are a dying ere wee know for what end wee live; imagine a master send his servant to a great Citie with a writ∣ten paper containing businesses of great concernment, having allotted to him the space of ten sandglasses to dispatch them all, should hee for the space of the first nine houres fall a drink∣ing with his drunken companions, and goe up and downe to behold all the novelties of the Citie, hee should break trust; Alas! is not this world like a great Exchange? our Paper con∣taineth the businesse of a great kingdome up above, the ho∣nour and glory of our Lord, our redemption through Christ, a treaty for everlasting peace; the time of infancy and child∣hood slippeth over, and wee know not the end of our crea∣tion; youth-head and mans age like a proud meadow, greene, faire, delightfull to day, and to morrow hay, casteth blos∣somes and flowers, and with one little stride skippeth over our span-length of time, and wee goe through the Exchange to buy frothy honour, rotten pleasure, and when the last houre is come, wee scarce read our masters paper, we barter one nothing-creature with another; alas! it is but a poore reckoning that a naturall man can make, who can say no more at his death, but I have eaten, drunken, sleeped, waked, dreamed and sinned, for the space of sixtie or seventie yeares, and that is all. Time like a long swift sliding River runneth through the Citie from the creation, when God first set the horologe a going, to the day of Christs second comming, this River slideth through our fingers, wee eate, drinke, sleepe, sport, laugh, buy, sell, speake, breathe, die in a moment, every gaspe of ayre is a fluxe of our minuts time sliding into eternitie; within a few generations there shall bee a Parliament of other faces, a new generation of other men in the Cities, Houses, Assemblies wee Page  8 are now in, and wee a company of night-visions shall flie away, and our places shall know us no more: and though this should not bee, the world is not eternall, being a great body made up of corruptible peeces, of little dying creatures, standing upon nothing, if God take the legges from them; at length God shall remove the passes of the watch, and time shall bee no more, the wheeles of time shall bee at a stand. What poore thoughts shall wee have of this poore fading ball of clay the earth, when the wormes shall creepe in through face & cheeks, and eate our tongue, and seise upon Liver and heart? or imagine that our spirits once entred within the line of eter∣nitie could but stay up beside the Moone, and looke downe and behold us children sweating and running for our belo∣ved shadowes of Lands, Fields, Flocks, Castles, Towers, Crownes, Scepters, Gold, Money, hee should wonder that reason is so bleare-eyed as to hunt dreames and toyes. Judge righteously, give faire justice to Christ, doe good while it is to day, consider the afternoone of a declining Sunne, within few houres wee are plunged in the bosome and wombe of eter∣nitie, and cannot returne backe againe. Lord teach us to num∣ber our dayes.

23. But as they sayled bee fell a sleepe,*and there came downe a storme of wind, Matth. 8. 24. a great tempest. I keepe the order laid downe before; this is not an ordinary storme. But is not the most skilled Seaman in heaven and earth here? dare the wind blow so proudly on his face, who is white and ruddy, and the chiefe amongst ten thousand worlds? do not the Seas know their Creator? and dare they wet his face, who made the Sea and the dry Land? Yet from the greatnesse of this storme (as was cleared before from the Text) wee observe that Christ his Ship, his Church, and passengers have in their sayling more then ordinary stormes. Lamen. 1. 12. Is it nothing to all you that passe by? (alas! Christ in his sufferings hath too many pas∣sers by) Behold and see if there bee any sorrow like unto my sorrow,*wherewith the Lord hath afflicted mee, in the day of his fierce anger! Chap. 2. 13. the Prophet cannot find a comparison to equall the Churches sorrow. Thy breach is great like the Sea, who can beale thee? The Sea is a vast body, and a great Sea of trou∣bles Page  9 was like to drowne the Church, Chap. 1. 9. Jerusalem came downe wonderfully〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 is admirably,* the word is from a root which signifieth to bee separated, and hidden as things above sense or reason, as Gen. 18. 14. Is there any thing hid, or too hard or admirable to the Lord, which hee cannot doe? there is some great and admirable thing in the Sword of the Lord, upon the three kingdomes above all that Irish Rebells, or bloodly ma∣lignants can doe; the curse and vengeance in afflictions from men comes from a higher hand then men, men kill with the Sword, but they cannot stampe upon killing with the Sword judgement and vengeance, this onely God doth. Lam. 2. 2. The Lord hath swallowed up all the inhabitants of Jacob, and hath not pitied. 4. He hath bent his bow like an enemie; O terrible, any enemy but God, is tolerable; the Lord stood with his right hand as an adversarie, and slew all that was pleasant to the eye, (the sucking children are pleasant to the eye) in the Tabernacle of the daughter of Zion bee poured out his fury like fire, v. 20. Behold, O Lord, and consider to whom thou hast done this: shall the women eate their fruite and children of a span long? shall the Priests and the Prophets bee slaine in the Sanctuary? Psal. 44. 19. Thou hast sore broken us, or bruised us, as in the place of Dragons, and covered us (as with a vaile or covering, or garment, Psal. 32. 1.) with the shadow of death. Death is a cold, sad and fearefull garment cast over the Church, and that when shee is bruised to dust and pouder: how sore and heavy a storme was upon poore Job? Chap. 16. 13. His archers compasse mee round about, (Gods terrors shot not at the rovers, that God should misse the marke) hee cleaveth my reines asunder, and doth not spare, hee poureth out my Gall upon the ground. 14. Hee breaketh me with breach upon breach, and runneth on mee as a Giant. What is safe in the living man, when the reines, that are as inward as the mans heart, are cloven asun∣der? and when Gall and Liver are taken out of the living man, and powred upon the earth? See how the Lord dealeth with his owne people, Hos. 13. 8. I will meet them as a Beare bereaved of her Whelpes, and will rent the cawle of their heart. It cannot bee an ordinary paine, when the webbe of fate that compasseth about the heart, is torne asunder. There is a sad and a blacke booke presented unto Ezekiel, Chap. 3. 10. a roll Page  10of a booke written within and without (page and margin) lamen∣tation, and mourning and woe, how doth the afflicted Church complaine, Psal. 102. 3? My dayes are consumed as smoake (when yesterdayes sad life is burnt to ashes, what is it?) and my bones are burnt as an bearth, 4. My heart is smitten and withered like grasse, so that I forget to eate my bread. 5. By reason of the voyce of my groaning my bones cleave to my skinne. These and the like bor∣rowed expressions, hold forth that the storme of afflictions was terrible and loud, as if it would cleave Mountaines and Rocks, and there must bee such a pressure of paine here, as if you would take a living mans bones, and make fewell for fire, and use them as we do Faggots; and not that onely, but they indured as much heat of fire as the hearth-stone that is dai∣ly under the extremitie of the fire: so the Apostle speaketh of himselfe, 1 Cor. 4. 8. For I thinke God hath set forth us,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, the last Apostls, as it were appointed to death, for we are made a spe∣ctacle to the world, and to men and Angels. The Apostles in regard of their great sufferings, were so exposed to violent death, as in the Roman Playes, Bulls, Dogs, Lions, were set forth to fight one another to death; they were made worlds wonders, and gazing-stacks to heaven and earth, to men and Angels for their great sufferings. Behold how strong the tempest was, that invaded that barke, that carried the witnesses of Jesus to heaven, Heb. 11. 35. they were tortured, stoned, sawen asunder, tempted, slaine with the Sword.

The reason of the Lords so dealing is.* 1. God declareth himselfe more impatient of sinne in his owne children, then in the wicked; I meane of Gods impatience Evangelick, in re∣gard that it is a sinne of higher ingratitude to sinne against the Gospel. 2. Illumination. 3. And the mercy of regene∣ration, then to sinne against the Law, and common favours and gifts; though Gods legall impatience in regard of re∣venging justice bee farre more against the sinnes of the wicked, then against the sinnes of beleevers,* it being an act of ven∣geance which God cannot exercise towards beleevers; and if Antinomians would acknowledge an Evangelick displeasure and anger of God against the sinnes of beleevers, as the Scripture doth, 1 Cor. 10. 21, 22. 1 Cor. 11. 30, 31. 2 Sam. 11. 27. they Page  11 should not so stumble at the Gospel as they doe; I say, God is more displeased with the sinnes of his owne children, then with the sinnes of the wicked; even as the husbandman is more offended that Thristles and Thorns grow in his Garden, then in his out-field, Esay 1. 2. Heare O heaven, hearken O earth; why? it is more then an ordinary defection that moveth the Lord to this. I have nourished and brought up children, and they rebell against me. God taketh it also harder, that violence and unjustice should bee in Parliaments and Assemblies, then in Prelates Courts and High Commissions. The Lord expecteth nothing else but sowre grapes from his enemies. 2. The hell of the godly, and the heart of their hell should ordinarily bee heavier then the borders and margin of the hell of the wicked: the sufferings of the Saints in this life is their whole hell: wic∣ked men have here a heaven, and but fore-tastings of hell, which I grant, in regard they want the presence and comforts of God in this life, and also that their curses are in themselves hea∣vier then the afflictions of the godly, but not so in their ap∣prehension. 3. Gods deepe counsells worke under-board; providence is a great mystery: why these three kingdomes ha∣ving a good cause, and contending for Christ, yet should bee put to a more bloody condition, and have more of floods of blood for a while, then bloody men who defend a cursed cause, is wondred at by us, as ignorance is the cause of admi∣ration; hee that never saw husbandry, thinketh sowing, lo∣sing and casting away of good Corne; the end, cujus gratia, which seasoneth Gods workes with wisedome and grace, is unseene: hony is sweet, but tasting onely discerneth it; neither eye can see it, nor eare can heare it; our senses cannot reach the reason of his Counsell, who will have the godly plagued every morning.

If it bee so,* that the godly, the greene tree suffer such a fire, it must bee more then fire that is abiding the ene∣mies; O enemies of the Gospel, O Malignants and haters of the Lord and his Saints, have you Castles and strong holds to runne to in the day of wrath? or are your Castles judge∣ment-proofe? Cannot death and hell scale your walls? and though you shut your doores, climbe in at your windowes? Page  12 are your bulworkes and walls salvation?* have you strength to bide the proofe and shot of the vengeance of the Lord, and the vengeance of his Temple? hath not the second death long and sharpe tuskes? will you indure the siege and batteries of ever∣lasting wrath? vengeance will have nothing under your pre∣tious soules; take your pleasure, kill and destroy the moun∣taine of the Lord, the feast is good, ever, till the reckoning come: Job 28. 8. Can you drinke a Sea of vengeance? and floods of gall and wormewood? there is a Sword before the throne forbished that will lap and swallow up blood and never bee quenched: wrath, wrath creepeth on the sinners in Zion by theft, without a cry or noyse of feet, you heare not the rat∣ling of your sunnes wheeles, when it is setting, and the night falleth on you; the day of wrath is secret and uncertaine, you sleep & you see not hell at your heels; what will you do, when you shall make your prayers to the hills, to cover you quick?

This serveth to condemne our softnesse,* who love a wanton, and a smooth providence,* and Golden and silken sayling to bee carried away quickly to land without wind or storme, wee desire to goe to Paradise through no other way but Paradise, and a way strowed with Roses; nay but wee must indure hard∣nesse, and resolve the way cannot bee changed to flatter our softnesse, it is as God hath carved it out, there bee not two wayes to heaven; one way strowed with blood, and brimstone, and deaths, to Christ, and another to us white, faire, easie; heaven was not so feazable to Christ, but it was to him sweat∣ing; if Christ had taken the faire way and a street to hea∣ven like Paradise, and left the rough way to us, wee had the more reason to complaine. But it should silence us that Christ saith; you have no harder usage then the Captaine of your salvation had, Joh. 15. 18. when wee see wee must suffer, wee would bee at a chosen Crosse, and afflictions carved by our owne wit, or flowred and perfumed with Diamonds and Rubies; so our heart saith any judgement but warre, and any warre but civill warre; the hatred of the world is not much, but ha∣tred from our brethren, the sonnes of our Mother, O that is hard! yet it is not to bee expected but the flesh will warre in the Saints against both the Spirit and the flesh in other Saints; no lesse then the flesh warreth against the Spirit in one and the Page  13 same Saint, wee are to kisse and adore providence, wee can no more change the foule and dirtie way to faire heaven, then wee can remove heaven it selfe out of its place; God hath drawn and moulded the topographie to heaven, and set all our Guests before; hee is a bad Souldier who followeth such a Captaine of salvation as Christ, weeping and murmuring.

But what doth this ship lead us to? certaine it is, that it holdeth forth to us the condition of the Church of God, tos∣sed with wind and wave, and the world it selfe, the earth is a Sea of glasse before the Throne, Revel. 4. 6. and that mingled with fire,*Revel. 15. 2. Of which a word, 1. of the ship, 2. of the Ele∣ment it sayleth in, 3. of the Pilot, 4. of the Anchor and appurte∣nances, 5. of the wares, 6. of the passengers carried in the ship, 7. of the winds and stormes, 8. of the Port and Haven. The ship is, of its nature, a tumbling and a moving creature, and by its constitution and nature ordained for motion. The Church triumphing is landed, and above motion, but the militant Church is a rolling and a tumbling thing; and that first,* in a naturall; secondly, in a civill; thirdly, in a spirituall relation. As the Church consisteth of men in a naturall consi∣deration, all are but changes and meere motions; for mans condition in the wood of creatures, he is borne amongst is moveable, hee himselfe is a proud inch of short-living clay. God hath given wheeles to time, so that it playeth upon gene∣rations, Eccles. 1. 4. One generation passeth away and another com∣meth, vers. 5. The sunne also riseth, and the sunne goeth downe; the Moone looketh not on us, two dayes, with one face; elements, winds, floods, seas, time, as yeares, dayes, houres, living creatures, trees, hearbs, flowers, summer, harvest, spring, hea∣vens, starres are all tottering and reeling; and if the earth and the workes that are therein, must bee burnt with fire, 2 Pet. 3. 12. all must bee on their journey toward change and cor∣ruption; the best of them for elegancy of matter not excep∣ted. The heavens shall wax old as a garment, Psal. 102. 26. 2 The Church in a civill relation is a rolling thing, and that first, as it is in Common-wealths and States. Kingdomes and Monar∣chies are up and downe, greene, flowrishing, and withering in their cadency like May flowers. God doth roll Kings and Page  14 Kingdomes like Bowles in an Alley; pride, tyranny, unjustice putteth a Byas on the Bowle that it tumbleth over the mount, and God with a put of his foot turneth the Bowle out of its place; the glory and absolutenesse of men is a weight that cannot beare it selfe. Secondly, man the best of the creatures is a vaine thing, Psal. 39. Every man at his best state is altogether vanitie▪* if the Hebrew expresse it better (as I humbly conceive it doth) it runs thus, ver. 6. surely, all men are all vanitie, even standing on their feet, or every man is every vanitie, though he stand on his tiptoes, or stand straight up, as a Champion or an army of Souldiers that stand fast and keepe their ground, for so the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 signifieth as the learned observe, vanitie is a light, a moving and rolling thing, like a Cart wheele or a feather in the ayr. Thirdly, the Church for one good day of ease hath ten, twentie troublesome dayes of warre, persecution, divisi∣ons, heresies, plots. Reade the History of the Judges, and of the persecuting, yea and Christian Emperours, and you shall see the ups and downes of the Church, they had ease, yea and court and favour with godly Emperours, but a very short time. Thirdly, in their spirituall relation, the Church is a moving thing: in that, 1. change is a part of sufferings, and suffering and the Crosse is the patrimony of the Church; whereas David saith of the wicked, Psal. 55. 19. Because they have not changes, therefore they feare not God; Meab is not moved from vessell to vessell,*and hath not gone to captivitie, therefore his tast re∣mained in him, and his sent is not changed, Jer. 48. 11. Secondly, the Song of Salomon sheweth the inward and spirituall ups and downes, and changes of the Church; as sometime Chap. 2. it is full noone-day with the Church; shee being taken into the ban∣queting house, and Vers. 4. his banner over her was love; and shee is in great Court, Vers. 16. My well beloved is mine, and I am his, hee feedeth among the Lillies, 17. till the day breake, and the shad∣dowes flee away; but there is a change of Court, and a great revolution, Chap. 3. 1. By night, on my bed I sought him whom my soule loveth, I sought him, but I found him not. Againe, Chap. 4. there is a revolution, Christ breaketh out in a high com∣mendation and praise of his Church, Chap. 4: Vers. 16. there is a prayer of hers in sense of love and heate of faith for an Page  15 union; Let my beloved come into his garden, and eate his pleasant fruits; here the ship hath faire weather, and sailes faire before the wind, for Christ answereth, Ch. 5. 1. I am come unto my gar∣den, my sister, my spouse, I have gathered my myrrhe, with my spice, I have eaten my honey-combe with my honey, I have drunken my wine with my milke, eate O friends, yea drinke abundantly, O beloved; this is a joyfull feast betweene Christ and his Church. But this world lasteth not alway; shee falleth asleepe and holdeth Christ at the doore, and there is mightie storme that tosseth the ship, and a sad discourting of her; for it is farre otherwayes, Vers. 6. I sought him, but I could not finde him, I called him, but hee gave mee no answer. Grace, as it is in God, is God gracious, and is most stable and unchangeable, but it is various, as it is received in us, who are made of changes, and a difference there must bee betweene a communion of grace and a communion of glory, and 2. betweene this life and that life; as for the for∣mer, glory is grace in everlasting action, and therefore there is no desertions in heaven, no hiding of Gods face, no cloud, no night, no change, nothing but a sunne in its full strength; al∣wayes day without night, a full Sunshine without a cloud or a shadow. Grace in us is a habit, and not alwayes in action, and our stabilitie here (as touching the other) is Heb. 13. Vers. 14. that wee have no continuing Citie here, but wee seeke one to come, this is a tottering life.

Secondly,* the ship sayleth in an element called a Sea of glasse, all things here are fraile, slippery, brickle like glasse, it cannot beare the ship above, no more then a board of glasse can sustaine the weight of an huge ship, but it should breake in a thousand peeces; certainly the Church subsisteth by no worldly strength, Christ sayleth with his owne wind, then it it is a Sea of glasse mingled with fire, Rev. 15. 2. There bee cum∣bustions, warres, tumults, motions, and mightie winds in this Sea, that that may bee fulfilled which Christ saith to the pas∣sengers, John 16. 33. in the world you shall have tribulation.

Thirdly, all the safetie of the ship is in a good pilot, now Christ who can sayle with every wind, and bringeth many broken ships to land, he sitteth at the helme and setteth the half∣drowned ship-broken passengers on dry land to sing on the Page  16 shoare, Revel. 7. 14. These are they (the ship broken men who swimmed to land on Plankes and broken boards) that have come out of great tribulation (out of the Sea of glasse mingled with 〈◊〉) and have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lambe. The Ship is sayling in Britaine now in a Sea of blood, Christ must bring her safe to land.

Fourthly,* there bee three excellent vertues of the anchor of hope, Heb. 6. 19, 20. first, which hope wee have as an anchor of the soule〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, out of danger and sure. Secondly, it is tothed in good ground, it is up within the vaile in heaven; hee must shake heaven, who loseth the Anchor. Thirdly, Christ the forerunner, who leapt first ashoare, and as the first begotten of the dead, first hanselled heaven with our fresh, hath the farre end of the Anchor in his hand. Christ strengthneth the Tack∣ling and the cords of the ship; the Church a ventruous Pin∣nage, that through the strength of Christ ventures thorough, 2 Cor. 6. 5. Stripes, imprisonments, tumults, labours, watchings, fastings, by honour and dishonour, through evill report and good report, and landeth safe, John 14. 3. I will come againe and receive you to my selfe, that where I am, there you may bee also.

Fiftly,* the pretious pearle of the Gospel is carried in this ship, yea Christ who holdeth the seven starres, and walketh in the midst of the golden Candlesticks, is in the ship. Bee not afraid (said the Em∣perour to the waterman) thu carriest Caesar: So here Christ saith to the shipmen, Bee not afraid, you carry the King of Kings in this poore Barke of the Church; indeed there bee more pretious wares in the ship, then if shee carried from India millions of Navies of Gold, and shipfulls of Diamonds and Ru∣bies.

Sixtly,* there be many passengers of divers qualities, of which I speake with reference to the times; as first, some greene pro∣fessors beleeved (as children doe) it was but a play to bee inga∣ged for the good cause. But when the King left his Parliament and made warre with his good Subjects of both kingdomes, they then became to bee Sea-ficke, and to vomit out their pro∣testations and covenant; men should seriously put downe in paper aforehand what it will cost them, if they indent with Christ to follow him, Luke 14. 28. Secondly, some ingaged Page  17 to the cause and embarked upon life and death did cast them∣selves in the Sea, thinking to swim to the nearest shoare, they stole away from Christ, and cast Cause, Gospell, Lawes and Li∣berties over board to save themselves, but hee that will save his life, shall lose it. Thirdly, some still remaine in the ship, but as Judas did with Christ, waiting an opportunitie either to play a game for Malignants, or to foster divisions betweene the king∣domes, and divisions in the Church, to raise a mutinie a∣mongst the passengers of Christ, that the one halfe may throw the other over board in the Sea. Fourthly, Some are like Jonab, downe in the sides of the ship sleeping; these are in∣different passers by, Lament. 1. 12. they'l neither sweat at the Pumpe, nor lay one finger on a rope, nor move an Oare, but (say they in their heart) Christ is a good enough Seaman, if he will not guide his owne ship to shoare, let him see to it. Fift∣ly, some passengers are merchant men; their Sea voyage in the ship is to gaine, to buy and sell Religion, and live on the win∣ning, these that would draw in to themselves gaine from the publike now, would crucifie Christ for his coate. Sixthly, some trusting in multitude and strength thinke by hard row∣ing and sweating at the Oares to bring the ship to land; but a horse is a vaine helpe. Seventhly, sincere professors are willing to stay, and take faire or foule weather with Christ, to sinke or swimme with the Gospell, and not onely to stay, but to row and pray. Wee cannot but see winds and stormes, loud and mightie tossing the poore ship in Britaine; Pirates and robbers have made stops in the ship by plots, much underwater is come in. Eighthly, though the winds be strong and the Sea tempestuous, yet the port is sure, for this is the promise of the Lord who sits at the helme, Esay 54. 11. O thou afflicted and tossed with tempests, behold I will lay thy stones with faire colours, and lay thy foundations with Saphires. Christ can saile with contrary winds, yea the harbour is neare; Behold I come quickly, (saith the Lord); in the greatest storme that ever was, the Church can see the shoare and dry land, Mic. 7. 9. and faith in warre seeth peace, and in shipwrack is assured of the land, and in saddest times, when God is farthest off, the children of God feele the smell of the flowers of the higher gar∣den Page  18Romans 5. 3. Wee rejoyce, or wee leape for joy, in tribu∣lation.

[And hee was fast asleepe.] Wee are here to consider farther of the condition that they were it;* it is a storme, but Christ sleepeth. First, a word of Christs sleeping. Secondly, of his sleeping at this time. If wee compare the Text with it selfe wee shall finde, hee was sleeping, who can neither slumber nor sleepe, and that hee is waking while hee is sleeping, for hee who is the mightie God, the Prince of peace, and rebuked the Sea and the winds, and there was a calme, does not sleepe. How then? can God sleepe? hee that is in one person God-man can sleepe. First, because in this rare peece of our redemption, Christ-God took all our infirmities on him, except sinne, as hee tooke our na∣ture, so hee tooke our condition and place, to expresse the depth of the love of God to mankind; the lower and the ba∣ser our glorious redeemer was, it hath the greater impression of love.*Love, love answereth all our questions of wonder. O way of life, why wast thou wearied? O bread of life, why wast thou hungry? O well of life, why wast thou thirsty? Hast thou not made all the fountaines and all the Vines in Ju∣dea, and in all the earth? O ancient of dayes, why becamest thou young, and a weeping infant? blessed Jesus would be∣come a workhouse of sufferings and infirmities for us; and love, free love answereth all these questions; for us, for us sinners hee came thus low. Secondly, here is a wonder, if there be a won∣der in the world, Christ God and man in one person is more then a miracle. The mightie God giving infinite subsistence to a fi∣nite nature, Isa. 9. 6. Thirdly, here is an able and sufficient Saviour furnished to us, one who is more then a man; why? there was not onely need of infinite worth and merit to the person, but of infinite strength under the sufferings; man as man is but a creature, and all the Angels in heaven and a world of worlds of new created Angels could not indure the infinite wrath of God, and therefore God must bee in this play, un∣lesse all had beene marred. Qu. But the Godhead could not suffer nor be a passive subject of suffering, God therefore though bee had not made one person with the manhead, might have added actively strength to a man to endure and suffer all that Christ suffered. Answ.Page  19 It is true, the Godhead was no formall passive subject of either infirmities or sufferings in Christ, and God might have added to one who is only man possibly strength to suffer the terrours of the second death without despairing: but then it could not bee said, that in that case these sufferings should have beene the sufferings and blood of God, and so of infinite worth and merit. But here all strength, and which is more, all worth and merit of suffering came from the Godhead,* which may bee illustrate from two comparisons. First, suppose there were a faire rose in the southest part of the earth, nearest the Sunne, growing in great beautie, but in danger to bee burnt up with the extreame heate of the Sunne, yet if wee should imagine there were at the root of this same rose a cold refresh∣ing Fountaine and Spring of water, sending up an oily and lively sope of life to the rose, so that how much the parch∣ing heate of the Sunne consumed and wasted of the life and greenenesse of the Rose, the fountaine eternally furnished as much of new vigour and life to it, wee may thinke if the foun∣taine were eternall so to act upon the Rose, the Rose must bee eternally greene and never wither: So the flower of Issai, Jesus Christ the faire Rose of Sharon, that Lilly of the field never planted with hands, that blessed man who was a sonne with∣out a father, though the parching Sunne of the infinite wrath of God, for our sinnes did burne him, and looke upon him to consume him, as hee complained, Psal. 22. 15. My strength is dried up like a Potsheard. 17. I may tell all my bones; yet the blessed Godhead, in a personall union, was like an oily foun∣taine at his root, that contributed the active influence of life, courage, vigour and strength, so as this rose could not but grow in death, and the excellency of his person makes the sufferings of infinite worth. And even as the Scarlet and purple Curtaines in the Tabernacle cast a glaunce and lustre on the golden Mercy-seate, when the Arke was within the Ta∣bernacle: so the purple wounds and blood of Jesus Christ and all his infirmities received an excellent sweet lustre, worth and beautie from the glorious and more then golden Godhead of our true and living Arke the Sonne of God. It may also bee thus cleared, the Iron wedges of Noahs Arke separated Page  20 from the Arke, and cast into the waters should sinke to the bottome, but being fastned in the Arke they fleet above the water: the manhead separated from the Godhead should sinke under the wrath that Christ did sustaine, but being wedged and united to the Godhead, in a personall union, could not but ride out against all the stormes: O blessed bee our sure Ark. Now though suffering could not touch the Godhead passive∣ly, yet could the Godhead actively contribute to the strength∣ning of the Manhood for suffering.

Hence wee are to conceive if Christ the Redeemer,* Christ personall, was a Standard-bearer that could not faint under all his sufferings and infirmities, Christ my∣sticall is more then men, I meane the Church of Christ must have also strength against all the persecutions of men; there is a bone in the head of the Church, that is, strength in Christ that cannot bee broken, malignants shall fight against Mount Zion, but shall not prevaile, there was ne∣ver any victory that the seed of the Serpent or Satan could ob∣taine against Christ, but the bruising of his heele, that is a poore victory, a wound in the heele, or a bleeding heele is farre from the heart; Malignants are but drawing blood of Christs heele, in these bloody warres. But they doe but thresh the waters, Christ hath indured more then the wrath of the King of Britaine, and beleeve it, hee shall bee victorious and shall prevaile.

If Christ be such a wonderfull one that is God no lesse then man,* it is neither pietie nor good policy to take any thing from him that is his due; if Caesar had stepped in and usur∣ped a headship over the Assembly convened in the name of Christ,*Act. 15. and had said it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us the Roman Emperour and Senate of Rome, to injoyne such Lawes to the Churches of Christ; and should put the name of the Emperours and Parliaments decrees on these which are cal∣led the decrees of the Apostles and Elders at Jerusalem, as they are called, Act. 16. 4. I conceive the Apostles would have called it a wronging of Christ the King of the Church, in his prerogative Royall, and an abridging of the freedome of his Court; nor was it ever in our heart to teach that the Christian Magistrate is Page  21 with blind obedience to execute the decrees of the Church; for this poore argument, if it have any nerves, as it would cast upon us the doctrine of Papists and Jesuits to make the wayes of Christ odious, it hath as great strength against the preaching of the Gospel; for if Paul or any faithfull Pastor preach to the Magistrates of Berea that Christ, whom the Jewes crucified, is the onely Redeemer and Saviour of the world, and that therefore they are as nurse-fathers to give libertie to the Ser∣vants of God, to preach this doctrine, and to hinder any to persecute such as shall preach this doctrine, yet by their civill authoritie, and ex officio, they are not for that, with blind obedience to receive it, and not to search the Scriptures to try whether that which is preached bee agreeable to the Scriptures, nor to take it upon the bare authoritie of the Preacher, but they are to search the Scriptures, and obliged to beleeve the preached Gospell. But not as Magistrates either to preach themselves, or to judge authoritatively by vertue of their of∣fice, whether the Preachers doctrine bee the Gospel of Christ, or no: so if a Synod, by the holy Ghost, and the light of Scrip∣tures determine any thing for discipline or censure, the Ma∣gistrate as hee may as a Christian try the word preached, so may hee the same way try the decrees and determinations of the Church, and not take them upon blind trust, and accor∣dingly punish the contraveners as a magistrate, and as hee is the Minister of God that beareth his sword; but yet hee can no more as a Magistrate, and by his office prescribe such eccle∣siastick Lawes, (as wee have Acts 15. v. 28, Act. 16. 4.) unto the Churches of God, or as a Magistrate and by his office judge them unlawfull, and forbid them, then hee can preach the word, or say, it seemed good to the holy Ghost, and to me who beares the Sword, to command that the Churches observe such and such Lawes. But wee shall hardly beleeve that the honorable Hou∣ses will take on them supreme authoritie above the Assemblies and courts of the Lord Jesus, or that they will give occasion to all the Protestant Churches in the world who prayeth for them, to write against their proceedings.

[And he was fast asleepe] What? should Christ sleepe now, as Lonab did, when God seemeth to bee angry with all in the Page  23 ship?* Nay but Christ holdeth forth to us by his sleeping, that innocency and a good conscience can sleepe securely amidst the greatest calamities and stormes, and not bee afraid. This is made good by these grounds of Scripture; as first, God hath a chamber and a pavilion to save his owne people in, so are they spoken to Esay 26. 20. Come my people, enter into thy Chambers, and shut thy doores about thee, hide thy selfe for a little moment, un∣till the indignation bee overpast. Secondly, God not onely saveth his owne from trouble, but also from the feare of trouble, Psal. 3. 5. I laid mee downe and slept. 6. I will not bee afraid of ten thousand of the people, that have set themselves against mee round about, Psal. 23. 4. Yea though I walke through the valley of the shadow of death, I will feare no evill. Thirdly, there is yet a higher degree to which a good conscience can ascend, for Eliphaz saith, Iob 5. 22. At destruction and famine thou shalt laugh, faith is so above death, that it maketh a holy sporting at death, 1 Cor. 15. 55. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? It is much to looke death on the face and to laugh; beleeve and triumph. It is true, the Godly are fittest to bee souldiers, and faith hath more true courage for the warre then thousands of men, yet are not meanes to bee de∣spised. God will not have us to worke miracles on the war∣rant of our owne private spirit, though God worke miracles himselfe; David saith, Psal. 141. 7. that the Lord covered his head in the day of battell; yet hee putteth on a helmet on his head himselfe in the day of battell, and was a man of warre. 2 Sam▪ 17. 10. There is reason why the Saints are secure in God, in the greatest calamitie, because peace with God maketh peace with bullets, and swords and speares, and these goe well together, Psal. 149. 6. Let the high prayses of God be in their mouth, and a two edged sword in their hand: and faith knoweth nothing of base feare; when there are stormes without, to the belee∣ver, there is faire weather within, faith is a grace above time, as there is neither raine nor winds above the second region of the ayre, therefore the Campe should bee purged of Achans. Secondly, unbeleefe hath a wide apprehension, and is full of jealosies and feares, and beleeveth every bush to bee an armed man, Prov. 28. 1. The wicked feeleth when none pursueth, but the Page  22 righteous〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉is confident as a Lion, or as a young Lion, cou∣rage and animositie is vigorous and greene in the young Lion, for when the beleever hath closed a covenant with death, not such a one as is Esay 28. 15. but such a covenant as taketh in Christ as a party with the beleever, in which hee is in Cove∣nant with the wild beasts of the field, Hos. 2. 18. and with the stones of the fields, then is hee secure, for if death bee the Saints servant, 1 Cor. 3. 22. why but wee should have Law-suretie in Christ, with our servant, that death shall not hurt us? 1 Cor. 15. 55. and if the grave bee our bed of rest, why should not the sick man bee at peace with his owne Couch, and with his owne post that conveyeth him over the water to heaven? the beleevers death is a sleepe, 1 Cor. 15. 6. 51. 1 Cor. 4. 14. then it must bee a sweet and sound sleepe, as is the sleep of the godly, whereas such as sleepe wrapped in such a win∣ding-sheet as the sinnes of their youth, Job 20. 11. cannot have a sound sleepe, but as an ill conscience prophecyeth vengeance, as wee see in Hamans wife, Esth. 8. 13. and in Cain, Gen. 4. 14. so the bones of a reprobate in the grave must in a manner prophecie hell and wrath to him.

[Hee was fast asleepe] Christ-man did but sleepe,* for other∣wayes, Psal. 121. 4. Behold hee that keepeth Israel shall neither slum∣ber nor sleepe. Yet in our trouble God is said to sleepe, not that spirits, farre lesse the Creator of spirits, doth sleepe, onely hee seemeth to sleepe. i. when wee dreame that God letteth things goe at six and seven, and when hee seemeth to cocke the wheeles of his providence, and worketh not for us, his arme seemeth to sleepe, Esay 51. 9. Awake, awake, put on strength O arme of the Lord, awake as in the ancient dayes, in the generati∣ons of old; now the sleeping of his arme is the sleeping of his power, and hee saith, Vers. 5. My righteousnesse is neare, my sal∣vation is gone forth, and mine armes shall judge the people; his arme is his power to judge betweene his Church and his ene∣mies, Psal. 44. 23. Awake, why sleepest thou, O Lord? Psal. 7. 6. A∣wake O Lord, for the judgement that thou hast commanded.

But why should Christ sleepe when his cause requireth hee should wake?

Ans. Beside that this was a proofe of his humane nature Page  24 united personally with his Godhead, that a sleeping man was God who could command the Sea, and the winds, it was ex∣pedient that this storme should rise when Christ was sleeping, for it might seeme to arise against his will, if hee had beene waking: or rather God of purpose will have extreame dan∣gers to come on his Church, and hee will seeme to sleepe and to bee farre off, to waken up our sleeping faith. Hence the do∣ctrine is,*God will have his Church and cause to bee brought within a haire breadth of losing, except the Lord arise and bee onely be a pre∣sent helpe in trouble. Consider that Christ-man (if wee lay aside the decree of God) was capable of drowning, stoning or any death as well as crucifying, and in this ship was carried Christ the hope of heaven, and all the ends of the earth, and the eleven Disciples were in the same danger, they had a word of pro∣mise that they should bee his witnesses to carry the Chariot of the Gospel to all the world, and to subdue the nations to Christ by the preaching of the word, and were to be brought before Kings and rulers for a testimony to all nations, and to bee scourged, killed, persecuted of all men for Christs sake; here be both a promise, and prophecies, and all seemes to bee losed as fallen in the bottome of the Sea; Christ and Apostles and the ship are within lesse then two or three fingers breadth of death. The Church was at a low ebbe in Aegypt, the male chil∣dren must bee drowned in the River, the life of the aged is toyled and worne out of them. Omnipotency with nine heavy plagues cannot get the people of God freed out of the hands of a Tyrant. God must step in with immediate omnipotence in the tenth plague to pull out his people with a stretched out arme. Moses his word of deliverance and Gods decree of bringing out the people is upon the extreame banke and mar∣gin of perishing: Israel hath an hoast of cruell enemies behind them, and the raging Sea before them, and mountaines on every side, here bee many deaths in a circle round about the Church, this is like to God sleeping and the wheeles of pro∣vidence at a stand, there is no place for helpe from a creature except immediate omnipotency break a gap in the circle, and divide the red Sea; the Church of God is a field of dry and dead bones, so as it is said, Ezek. 37. 2. Behold the bones Page  25 were〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉very or exceeding dry, and they say, Vers. 11. our hope is losed, and wee are cut off; yet wee know God made his owne word good, Vers. 12. Behold O my people, I will open your graves, and bring you to the land of Israel, Deut. 32. 36. The Lord shall judge his people, and repent himselfe for his servants. But when shall that be?*Omnipotency is good at a dead lift; when hee seeth their strength is gone, Heb. that their hand is gone, and there is none shut up and left, when the Saints have neither hands nor feet, the Lord ariseth: for Christ can saile with halfe wind, and play about and fetch a compasse, yea hee can sayle a∣gainst tide and wind, and with no wind, hee never sincks his bark, nor breaks his helme, nor loses a passenger, nor mis∣seth his harbour, so how hopelesse was the condition of the Church, when loving Jesus Christ is couched under a cold stone in the grave? the onely hope of Davids throane, he who was to restore the kingdome to Israel is gone; and what shall the people of God now do? utter desolation is so neare that God is put to it, and the poore Churches coale so cold, that they are at Lord either now or never, either within three dayes restore the head of the Church or never. Then the Lord, Act. 5. 31. exalted buried Christ, with his right hand to bee a Prince, and a Saviour to give repentance to Israel and forgivenesse of sinnes.

1. Reason.*Omnipotencie can walke in the extreame and out most margin and most pendulous banke hanging over hell, and not fall; Christ can drive his Chariot over mountaines and rocks and not breake one pin or wedge of it, poore nothing to omnipotency is as good as Speare and Shield.

2. Reas. This declares the depth of the wisedome of Gods unsearchable dispensation, he suffereth malignants to ride over his people, that hee may perfume the worke of hell in the ene∣mies, who are, as it were, skullions to purge the vessells of mer∣cy and to humble them, and may instampe their Acts with supernaturall events of faith and patience; malignants plow the Church, and sow blood in the three kingdomes, the fa∣ther of Christ the good husband man comes in to breake the clods and the fallow ground, and reape the crop of the quiet fruits of righteousnesse; and it is depth of wisdome to con∣sider how God maketh use of mens sinfull ingagements ha∣ving Page  26 chainzed men to his cause, and carries his owne holy and cleane worke of reformation through many foule hands and durtie intentions: so when men thwart and crosse Gods will of precept, they serve Gods will of providence; a passenger walkes on the hatches of the ship toward the west, Sea, and tide and winde doe carry both him, his motion and ship to the east, the wisedome of God the Pilot of his Church overpowereth mens intentions which are set on gaine, honour, factions, their owne by-ends, ease and pleasure.

It is not unlike that when this worke now under the Lords wheeles in Britaine is come to a height of extreame desolati∣on, that wee are at this, Lord, either now or never, and the Sea is come in at the broad side of the ship, that the Lord will de∣liver by some immediate way; and wee see feavours come to a height, and then decrease and coole: and when doth the Sea turne to an ebbing? not while it flow to the utmost score of the coast, and then be fullest; seldome doth ever the Lord deli∣ver his Church while their hope be gone, and what if it bee so here, that Parliaments, Assemblies, armies of and in both kingdomes, na∣vies, shippings, treaties, victories can doe no more? and then the Lord arise, and by some immediate omnipotency wee never dreamed of, calme our Sea, and bring his owne ship to land. First, you never saw creatures doe any great worke, but some∣thing was left to omnipotency and to God onely to bee done. Moses led the people out of Aegypt, but hee could not divide the red Sea, and that was their way. Secondly, in Gods grea∣test workes immediate providence hath had hand. The victo∣ry over Midian had more of Gods immediate worke, then of Gideons Sword in it: this truely to me is one continued mira∣cle that these 1600. yeares, God hath carried his ship and kept the passengers alive, when persecuting Emperours, when bloody Babylon, when Hereticks, Kings the hornes of the beast that rose out of the Sea, fire, faggots, sword, torments have torne the sailes of Christs Ship, broken the Mast, drowned the passengers, yet wee live. Joseph is blessed, but when hee is separated from his brethren, then blessings come upon the head of Joseph.

He was fast asleepe.

This is the saddest circumstance in their suffering. What is death and the drowning of them all, so they have Christ Page  27 with them?* But Oh! Christ to their sense is as good as absent; for hee is fast alseepe; and as they complaine, hee careth not for them; Christ walking and working for a soule in the sad∣dest affliction of the world is a blessed visitation. To bee in heaven, if Christ sleepe and bee not with you, is a hell, and to bee in hell and want his presence, is two hells; to bee sicke, and the onely Physitian Christ will not come at mee, is two hells. Gods watching presence, first, bringeth the courage of faith: To bee in the midst of devils, the beleever having God with him walketh without feare; even cold death that king of ter∣rours walking with him at his right side, hee hath a passe-port that will take him safe through the grave, as these places prove, Psal. 16. 8, 9, 10. Psal. 23. 4. Psal. 46. 2. 3. Mic. 7. 8. Secondly, God is not present with his owne in trouble as the picture of a friend, who hath much love in his heart while hee stands at your bed side seeing you goe to a great hell through a little hell of sicknesse and paine, and cannot take off you one graine weight of sorrow and paine. But God is in a farre other man∣ner present, Psal. 91. 15. I will bee with him in trouble, but this is not all, I will deliver him, Esay 43. 2. when thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee, and through the Rivers, they shall not overflow thee, when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burnt; nor is Christ in trouble like our Summer-friends who in a great drough dry up.

But may not God be with his own, though they be both burnt & drowned? then this is no consequent at all, feare not that the fire shall burn thee, or the waters shall drowne thee, for I am with thee; yea it is most strong, this presence of God with his owne in trou∣ble maketh God and them so one, by Gods union of love, (for Gods love to us is infinitely more active to save us, then either our faith and love to him) that the fire that burneth Jacob must also seise upon God, according to that, Zach. 2. 8. Hee that toucheth you, toucheth the apple of his eye. Thirdly, when Christ waketh and sleepeth not in heavy afflictions, his love is so in action, even while hee striketh, that the rod falleth out of his hand, that hee 1. giveth them not so hot a fire, as silver, and 2. hee acteth love and mercy on them in their sad∣dest time of suffering, and marieth them at their lowest con∣dition; both which are excellently expressed, Esay 48. 10. Be∣hold, Page  28 I have refined thee, but not as silver, I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction. Fourthly, wee may adde another benefit of the presence of God in afflictions, that the very breath of Christ is sweet, though hee should not deliver for the present, yet the smoake of hell and the paine of the furnace is so per∣fumed and over-gilded with the breathings of the love of Christ, that the paine of the furnace is allayed; this is wit∣nessed by the Martyrs singing at the stake; If in these bloody sufferings wee want Gods presence, how miserable are wee? and therefore this is one of the proper markes of the children of God, if wee can misse Gods comfortable presence in this fiery tryall that is now in the three kingdomes: So Lament. 1. 16. for these things I weepe, mine eye, mine eye runneth downe with water, yea but these sufferings are but the materiall ob∣ject of weeping, there is a higher cause of weeping then that, and set downe in the Hebrew as a cause with an 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉because the comforter that should bring backe my soule is farre away:*Christ esteemed this the salt of his sufferings; My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? there is a great Emphesis in 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 and therefore the word is doubled: as if hee would say, any forsaking of friends is nothing, but Gods forsaking is sad: and Heman, Psal. 88. 6. Thou hast laid mee in the lowest pit, in darknesse, in the depths. 7. Thy wrath lieth hard upon mee, thou afflictest mee with all thy waves; but this is the heaviest of all, 14. Lord why castest thou off my soule? why hidest thou thy face from mee? positive wrath is not so heavy as the meere negative absence of God. Mary her want of the man Christ is sad, but shee wants him under an higher reduplication, John 20. 13. The Angels say unto Mary Magdalen, Woman why weepest thou? shee answereth with a because, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Because they have taken away my Lord; Sword and pestilence, yea the civill sword are heavie plagues on a land, but this is heavier, God hath left us, O terrible! the Lord is not with us.

Luke 8. 24.* And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Ma∣ster, master, we perish.*

The third part of the text containeth the course they take in their trouble. It is good that in their trouble they agree in these foure. First, that there is a great danger, even present drowning. Secondly, they looke spiritually on it in this, Page  29 that the face of death is so much the more awefull that Christ their deliverer sleepeth. Thirdly, they agree in judgement that Christ onely can helpe them. Fourthly, they agree in practise, all joyne in prayer to awake Christ, and by faith to awake him, and set him on worke to helpe and save them. It is excellent when one heart and one mind is amongst all the passengers of Christs ship, especially in a troublesome Sea storme. Gen. 13. Abraham and Lots herdmen strive. But it is so much the worse that it is said, Vers. 7. and the Canaanite and the Perizite dwelt then in the land, they had common enemies,* and therefore striving was unsea∣sonable; holy Joseph (when his brethren was in great distresse, falling out was unseasonable) therefore saith to them, Gen. 45. 24. See that yee fall not out by the way: Alas! wee are in great trou∣ble, and yet wee fall out by the way: it was a sad time with the Disciples neare to the time when the shepheard was smitten and they scattered sheepe, when Christ said, John 13. 35. By this shall all men know that yee are my Disciples, if yee love one another.

Doe but heare how Paul is most copious in arguments for this in one Verse, Philip. 2. 1. If there bee therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, 2. Fulfill my joy, that yee may bee like minded, having the same love, being of one accord, and of one mind Psal. 133. 1. to bee of one mind in love, is the fulfilling of the joy of the Saints; biting and devouring is a hole, a gap, a great blanke to the joy of the holy Ghost; love neighboureth with the sweet con∣solations of Christ, it is the birth, a fruit, an Apple growing on the spirit of Jesus, Gal. 5. 22. in the wombe and bowels of love lodgeth bowels of tender mercies; pardoned sinners cannot so hate pardoned sinners as to jeere them out of the hearts of the Saints, & end them to the lake of Brimstone. Ps. 133. Behold how good, and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unitie. Many things are good, as workes of divine justice, and de∣stroying the enemies of God, yet they are not pleasant; and many things are pleasant that are not good, as the plea∣sures of sinne for a season must bee pleasant; but because unlawfull, they are not good; but unitie amongst brethren is both good and pleasant; now because striving and bitter divisions in this land and Church are so sad, and a lovely and peaceable union so necessary, give me leave to presse Page  30 this a little; the motion of a loving union were desirable.

First, because our Father the Lord appeared to Elias, not in the thunder, but in the calme voyce. Love is not onely from God, but 1 John 4. 8. God is love, and that in all the foure causes of love: See how much of God is in any, as much of love and meek∣nesse is in them; love is the breathings of heaven, love is the aire and element wee live in, in the highest new Jerusalem, 1 Cor. 13. 8. 13. The redeemeds breath smells of love, and love hath the smell of another world; it is a flower of Christs plan∣ting, the blessings and prayers of the good husbandman Christs Father came on the flower, Psal. 133. 3. The dew of God lieth all the night upon the leaves of the flower, it is al∣wayes greene. The Church is a house that is builded up in love, that raiseth the wall up to heaven, Ephes. 4. 16.

Secondly, Christ our redeemer, whose wee are, being bought with a price, is a masse of love, hee hath a heart very hospi∣tall to lodge all our infirmities; when hee saw his people, as touching the condition of their soule, like sheepe without a shepheard, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, hee was bowelled with compas∣sion toward them: Esay 40. when the Prophet speaketh of his power and his ruling arme, hee also prophecyeth of his meek∣nesse and bowels of compassion to weake ones; there bee three sorts of persons in the Church that hee shall handle tenderly. 1. The simple but gratious, and for these, Vers. 11. hee shall feede his flcke like a shepheard; hee hath the heart of a shepheard who tendereth and careth for the flocke. 2. There bee young ones, babes in Christ, and of these it is said, hee shall gather the Lambes with his arme, and carry them in his bosome, two excellent sweet expressions, hee shall not throw his club at the Lambs, nor bee froward and cruell to them, but in lieu of a club, hee shall gather them with his arme. 3. And as for the young and weake that have not legges, he shall carry these in his bosome; the bosome of Christ is a seat of love and tendernesse of bowels. 4. There bee some in the Church that want not their infirmities and sinnes, and have legges, and a little strength, yet the tendernesse of the bowels of compassion must yeeld them, some Christian condescension and accommodati∣on, and they must not bee forced and driven roughly, Christs Spirit is a spirit of accommodation, Sir Ile make you in despight Page  31 of your teeth, is not for these, and therefore it is said, hee shall gently lead those that are with young, so Esay 42. 2. Jesus Christ shall not cry nor lift up, nor cause his voyce to bee heard in the streets, Christ hath not the art of rayling, shouting and thundering against the meeke of the flock. Yea Christ rideth and triumpheth in meeknesse, Zach. 9. 9. his horse hee rideth on, is meeknesse, Psal. 45. 4. it is spoken to him, Ride prosperously upon truth and meeknesse, and Psal. 147. 6. This Lord lifeth up the meeke, and Psal. 76. 9. bee will save all the meeke of the earth: Christs heart is King Solomons Chariot, the pillars of it is, (Cant. 3. 10.) Sil∣ver, the bottome thereof Gold, the covering of it of purple, the midst thereof beeing paved with love, for the daughters of Jerusalem. And Christ chooseth to dwell in a heart paved with love and meek∣nesse.

Thirdly, the Spirit of the Lord is a Dove, the spirit of grace is a gaul-lesse and gentle spirit. Grace, grace is the inno∣centest thing of the world, there is no wild fire of sinfull wrath in grace. Bitternesse, rayling, jeering, persecution with the tongue, outcries against Assemblies, Presbyteries, are not the tooles of the spirit of grace; yea calumnies, salt writings on either side are not from that spirit of Christ which hath a hand to wipe teares off the faces of the mourners in Zion; To all raylings, all bitter mockings against Presbyteries and As∣semblies, wee say, wee are desirous not to bee driven off the roade way to heaven, but to goe on, Through honour and disho∣nour by evill report and good report, as deceivers, and yet true. One inch of a good conscience is rather to bee chosen, then a thou∣sand yards of windie credit. Meeke Jesus Christ and his Apo∣stles used not such a stile of language, nor is such Grammar from heaven, nor smelleth it of the holy Ghosts pen.

Fourthly, if wee bee the children of one father, it might breed strange thoughts in our minds, when the sonnes of one father Independents and Presbyterians (spare mee, necessitie, not love of factions forceth mee to these tearmes) shall sing one song up before the throne, to him that liveth and reigneth for ever, that wee cannot gather heate and warmnesse of love in one arke, and in one Church here in the earth, pens and tongues salted and steeped in the gall of bitternesse are not the Page  32 fruits of the Spirit. Shall wee kill and devoure one another all the day, and lodge together in one heaven at night, and can wee say one to another in heaven, hast thou sound me, O mine enemy? shall there bee any factions, any sides, either reli∣gious, of Presbyterian and independent in heaven, or nationall of England and Scotland (which yet differ not essentially (I am sure) but onely in the poore accidents of North and South) and yet on earth wee must bee at daggers, at rentings, divisions; are there two Christs, because two nations?

Fiftly, truth is never victorious by persecution; now the Scripture speaketh of a persecution with the tongue, Jer. 18. 18. Come (say they) let us smite Jeremiah with the tongue. Job thus complayneth of his friends who never put violent hands in him, Chap. 19. 22. Why doe you persecute me as God, and are not satisfied with my flesh? then tongue persecution is an eating of the flesh.

Sixtly, the Gospel which wee professe is a Gospel of peace, wee preach warre betweene the flesh and the spirit, and warre betweene the womans Seed and the Serpent. But oh! should wee preach warre betweene the Saints? wee have choyser gol∣den chaines to tie us together, Ephes. 4. 4. There is one body, and one spirit, even as yee are called in one hope of your calling. 5. One Lord, one faith, one Baptisme. 6. One God, and Father of all. Have wee need of Prelats and a high Commission Court, and pur∣sevants sent out to hunt us for praying together, that they may reconcile us and unite us together, as wee were all one within these few yeares?

Seventhly, the more grace and mercy wee have from God our Father, and from our Lord Iesus, the more peace amongst our selves, and the more grace the more compassion toward the weaknesse of Brethren. Christ is an uniting and a congrega∣ting Saviour, his blood and his spirit soweth and needleth together the hearts of the lambe and the Leopard, of the Calfe and of the young Lion, Esay 11. 6.

Eighthly, the Saints of the most High are stiled the meeke of the earth, Esay 11. 4. there bee no meeke creatures on earth but the regenerate. Buls and Lions fight together, Lions and Woolves pursue Lambes. But wee have not heard of warre be∣tweene Page  33Lambes and Lambes; Why should wee strive, for wee are brethren? how unseemly that one redeemed one should hate, persecute and chase another redeemed one, even into the gates of heaven?

Ninthly, are wee not debtors one to another? and the sum wee owe is love. O what a spirit of accommodation was in that chosen vessel Paul! who said, 1 Cor. 9. 22. I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save same. This is Pauls charge, Gal. 6. 1, 2. who will have love to put in joynt an overtaken sinner, in the spirit of meeknesse, and so it is, love doth not onely beare it selfe, but also the burdens of our brethren▪ and so fulfilleth the Law of Christ; love planted by Christ is the Law of Christ, and why doe wee by ruptures and divisions labour to frustrate the end of Christs prayer, which is, John 17. 2. I pray (saith Christ) that they may all bee one, as thou Father art in mee, and I in thee? if wee bee one in uno tertio, in the heart of Christ, and of Christs Father, why but wee should bee one amongst our selves? yea love is burnt in tender feeling and compassion with the very smoake of a bro∣thers house that is on fire, 1 Cor. 13. 15. Love is not easily provoked; it is a pardoning grace, and hath strong shoulders to beare the madnesse and infirmities of a fellow heire of hea∣ven. Love thinketh not evill, love must abound in love and cha∣ritable thoughts towards others, as every element aboundeth in its owne spheare, it thinketh not that the Saints doe hunt for a dominion over Saints. 6. Love rejoyceth not in iniquitie. Cursed bee that love that exulteth when malignants prevaile, and rejoyceth not when the cause of the Lord and his people are victorious. Love rejoyceth in the truth; then love is woun∣ded and sicke when heresies and sects prevaile; and sigheth to see Altars multiplied, and that many false Christs and false tea∣chers arise. Wee cannot deny but God hath put his seale to the ministery of the servants of Christ that went from this to New England, and in the wisdome of God they saw and doe see, that libertie of conscience is no remedie, but physick worse then the disease; against false religions; It is now off my way to dispute. But I know certainly a negative argument from the practise of Christ and the Apostles, because they stir∣red Page  34 not up heathen Magistrates and Wolves, not fathers, to punish false teachers, is not good divinitie to infer libertie of conscience; for in their practise they stirred not up the sword of the Magistrate against extortions and rapines in pub∣licans, nor against the persecuting and killing of the Lord of Glory, nor against sedition, incests, tyranny over the Apo∣stles and Christians, bribing and unjustice used against Paul by Felix and others who were subject to higher Magistrates, and many other scandalous sinnes against the second table; any might inferre libertie of conversation in matters of the second table, no lesse then libertie of conscience in matters of the first table, if this argument hold good. But the doctrine of Christ and his Apostles giveth to the Magistrate the Sword against evill doers, Rom. 13. 4. but teachers of false doctrine though in the matter of ceremonies, are evill doers, Phil. 3. 2. and they pervert soules, Act. 15. and kill soules, and subvert whole houses, and make their followers twofold more the Children of hell, then they themselves, Matth. 23. 15. nor did wee ever dreame that the bloody sword was a mean of conversion of soules, the Gospel is so the onely power of God to salvation, but that hindereth not but the Magistrate is to restraine by a coercive power the man that teacheth that Jesus Christ is not true God consubstantiall with the Father, because the Sword ought to curbe the spreading of false doctrine, it followeth not that it is a meane of propagating true doctrine. But of this more possibly in another place. Nor doe I intend the bloody sword should bee drawne against every different opinion holden by the truely godly, though in the government of the Church all see not with the same light.

Luke 8. 24. Master, master, wee perish.

Marke 3. 38. Master carest thou not that wee perish?

It is too ordinary for us,*because of the greatnesse of the stroake, and no present deliverance to put unkindnesse upon Christ,* as here they complaine that Christ is carelesse of them, because hee sleepeth and they perish; few of the Saints have ever beene in extremi∣tie of heavie afflictions, but they have uttered hard thoughts of Christ, Psal. 77. as the Prophet in name of the Church, when hee was troubled and his sore ran in the night, Vers. 7. saith, will the Lord cast off for ever? will hee bee favourable no more? 8. Is Page  35 his mercy cleane gone?*is his word or oracle rotten? 9. Hath hee for∣gotten to be gratious? hath hee in anger shut up his tender mercies? It is a strange word, Vers. 7. will hee bee favorable no more? will hee never put forth in action one act of good will againe? for the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 is 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉; it were a prodigious thing as the Prophet calleth it, his infirmitie, Vers. 10. that all acts of recon∣ciliation toward the elect should dry up.*Jeremiah when hee cryed out in his great trouble, Chap. 15. Vers. 10. Woe is me, my mother,*that thou hast borne mee a man of strife, and a man of contenti∣on to the whole earth;* complayneth Vers. 18. Wilt thou bee alto∣gether to me as a lier?*as waters that are unfaithfull? that is, I hoped thou shouldest have helped mee, as the thirsty traveller trusteth in a dry pit, seeing it afarre off, and beleeving it to bee a refreshing fountaine, but thou hast beguiled mee and my hope; to this you may adde the cursing of the day that hee was borne in, Chap. 20. David, Psal. 31. when Vers. 12. hee was forgotten as a dead man, and laid aside by all the world, as an uselesse, and a broken vessell, complaineth, Vers. 22. For I said in mine hast, I am cut off from before thine eyes; and wee know the sufferings of Job, who beside his other agues uttereth these words, Chap. 13. Vers. 14. Wherefore hidest thou thy face, and holdest mee for thine enemy? The Reasons are:

First, extreame afflictions, as Physicke, stirre up both the good and the bad humours, they make legible both the good and the ill in the man, and which of them is the predominant; when the fire boileth extremely, if there bee a scum in the liquor, it is that which is first seene, yea and it is not onely the vertue and strength of the fire, but also of the gold that the drosse goeth to its owne place, if it were all gold there should bee no separation at all; the Disciples here put a false Character upon Christ, that hee hath neither love to them, nor care of them, they double the word, Master, master, and that is a check, being added to the other, carest thou not for us? it saith 1. that hee is worse then other masters, better serve any master then Christ, a master will care for his ser∣vants, so hee can helpe them, no earthly master will sleepe, when hee knoweth his servants are drowning. 2. They object his sluggishnesse, carest thou not for us? hee bath neither love nor Page  36 respect to us, though wee have forsaken all and followed him.

Secondly, apprehension putteth a bastard glowme upon Christ, and causeth us to take a false measure of Christ; Fancy hath strong operations, especially when it commeth in the roome and place of faith. What could they imagine now but that the Sea will drowne Christ? hee had said to them, hee must bee delivered to the hands of sinners and bee crucified, or then, hee could walke upon the Sea and escape death, and would let them goe to the mercie of the raging Seas, and perish in the waters? now this was a belying of the promises of God; Christ had both decreed and said that they behooved to bee his witnesses, and to carry his name to the Gentiles, and carry the chariot of the Gospel thorough all the world, and be deli∣vered up to Synagogues and councels, and bee beaten and scourged, and hated of all men for his names sake, now all these are dreams, they must bee drowned in the waters, through no other cause but the negligence and cold affection that their master Christ beareth to them, though they had preferred him and his ser∣vice to all the world. Wee are beasts under great temptations, and phantasie is all the wit that leadeth beasts, so the Prophet saith of himselfe, Psal. 72. 22. so foolish was I and ignorant, I was a beast before thee; and why a beast? hee had said in his heart, Vers. 11. how doth God know? that was a strong dreame: hee that teacheth man knowledge, shall bee not know? Psal. 94. 10. and Vers. 13. Verely I have cleansed my heart in vaine,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 is an emptie thing, and our word smoake or reeke seemeth to come from it, then said the Prophets imagination, it is as empty a thing as smoake to serve God.

Thirdly, sense is strong as fancy, drowning and death was come over board, and therefore they complaine of a chan∣ged and sleeping Christ; now old and gray haired judgements move us not, as the drowning of the old world, the destruction of Sodom with fire and brimstone, these are gone many hun∣dreth yeares, therefore they affect not us, and the day of judgement is farre off, and where is the promise of his com∣ming? say the scoffers, 2 Pet. 3. and so did the people, Ezek. 12. 27. Sonne of man behold they of the house of Israel say, The vision that hee seeth is for many dayes to come, and hee prophecieth of times Page  37 that are afarre off. But when death is at thy right side, and sit∣teth upon the ball of thy cheek, that acteth and worketh on us. When the Sword is two hundreth miles from us, wee take no care of it; but if the enemy were comming in at the ports of the Citie, and wee saw them burning houses, and killing hus∣bands and children, and heard the crying of women and chil∣dren; wee should then bee on the other extremitie, and cry, Christ is changed and cares not for us; keepe good and heavenly thoughts of Christ in the saddest times, Psal. 22. 2. O my God I cry by day and thou hearest not, in the night season I am not silent; What then? doth hee fall a chiding with God? doth hee say, Oh, God is changed, hee careth not for us? no: yea the contrary hee saith, Vers. 3. But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel. 4. Our fathers trusted in thee and were delivered; say in the mouth of hell, I will beleeve, as Job 13. 15. Though the Lord should kill mee, I will trust in him; faith liveth and breath∣eth in the grave, in the throat of hell. How sweet is it to heare, There is the grave of a buried beleever; these bee the ashes of a dead man, that went into the grave in faith and hope as Christ did, Psal. 16. 10. Beware of false imaginations of God in time of trouble. Fancy can spin out and forge a God weake of memo∣ry, who hath forgotten his promises, Esay 49. 14, 15. wee cast behind us the promises in the day of trouble; yea which is fearefull, often when wee conceive wee are praying, wee are but chiding with God, and not farre from blaspheming; grace in the day of trouble layeth silence on the thoughts, wee have need of an high Priest to wash our sacrifices, and when we have prayed, there is so much sinne in our prayers that Christ must pray them over againe, as it were, for hee maketh prayers and requests for us, Heb. 8. 25.

They awoke him saying, Master, master.

Prayer awaketh a seeming sleeping God, and puts him to it, wee cannot take a better course in trouble then to runne to Christ by prayer, Psal. 130. 1. Out of the deeps have I cryed unto thee, Psal. 18. 6. In my distresse I called upon the Lord: that is a sweet story, Psal. 34. 6. This poore man cryed unto the Lord, and the Lord heard and saved him out of all his troubles.*David used this weapon of prayer against his owne sonne Absolom, Psal. 3. Faith Page  38 is not partiall, prayer is not selfie, David prayed and pro∣phesied his sonnes destruction. 7. Arise O Lord, save mee; and hee answers himselfe, Thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly: A praying Army must be a victorious Army. If this storme had not risen they should not have prayed: alas! wee put Christ often in the reere; or wee keepe Christ to a reserve or a recrute; when we have tryed Physitians for twelve yeares, and spent all, then wee come to Christ, when wee can doe no bet∣ter. There is much deceit in bed-prayers, for the principium motus, the first spring is extrinsecall, it comes from the rod on us; it is true, naturall consciences deaded and benummed with rubbing doe gather warme blood, and are stirred up to devo∣tion and fasting, and praying in the spirit, and the spirit of prayer may bee wakened by judgement,* but judgement is not the cause of praying in the godly, but the occasion. Hee that raiseth up a sleeping man is not the cause of his motion and walking, the cause was in him, when hee was fast asleepe, his life and the Locomotive power is the cause of walking, and this is not put in the sleeping man by him who raiseth him: when the hypocrite and ungodly man fasteth and prayeth, the hand of an angry God is both occasion and cause of his praying; wee would try what moveth us to fasting and pray∣ing.

First,* whether sinne or afflictions, this is a good signe, if we can pray with as great intention of spirit to bee delivered from the dominion of sinne, as for the pardon of the guilt; we may be afraid that God heare us when wee pray for deliverance from the dominion of Idol-sinnes, experience teacheth this. But wee are never afraid to bee heard, but afraid with the feare of unbeleefe, for the most part, that wee bee not heard, when wee pray for pardon and deliverance from the guilt of sinne; the reason is, men may hate the guilt of sinne, and yet love the sinne.

Secondly, if affliction put us to a humiliation for sinne, as sinne and the depth of griefe for sinne putteth us to condemne our selves without flattery and lying, the contrary of which is when in trouble wee give God good words, and have with∣in us lying hearts and thinke not so, as the people, Psal. 78. 34. Page  39 who sought God when hee slew them, Vers. 36. Neverthelesse they did flatter him with their mouth, and they lyed to him with their tongues. 37. for their heart was not right within them; men doe then flat∣ter themselves, when they flatter God.

Thirdly, when we are more anxious in our fasting for Zion, and the taking of the Arke of God, then for our selves, our Lawes, goods, houses, lives and liberties; when David made the 25. Psalme the troubles of his heart were inlarged, but this was one of his great suits when hee had cause to mind himselfe, 22. Re∣deeme Israel, O God, out of all his troubles.

Fourthly, when the circumcised heart is humbled, and the people shall not faint and expire through want of faith, by which the just liveth. 2. When they shall not so murmure and wrestle against the rod as a wilde Bull taken and lying in a net, which having lost strength and feet, and being overcome, yet kicketh against the hunter. 3. When they shall not bee surfeited with affliction, so as to loathe and despise the rod, as the tender stomack loatheth physicke, because they are full and surfeited with the fury of the Lord. These three are excellent∣ly expressed, Esay 51. 20. Thy sonnes have fainted, they lie at the head of all the streets (for in the meetings of wayes the wild bull is catched in the net) as a wild bull in a net; they are full of the fury of the Lord, and the rebuke of thy God: it is a bad token to faint; 2. to wrestle, 3. to bee so drunke with Gods judge∣ments and rebukes, as against reason, to cry out against God and his Prophets in trouble, as these who are drunken and af∣flicted, but not with wine, Vers. 21. but with the rod and rebukes; and cry, it was better with us in Aegypt, undr the Prelates, and their brick and clay and toyling, under ceremonies, Officiall Courts, tyranny of conscience, and now wee are wastd and destroyed and kil∣led; and 4. when the people shall as it were, with pleasure and good will (for so the word Levit. 26. 41. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 signifieth) accept of the punishment of their iniquitie, a kindly and willing satisfaction of heart in the rod of God in so farre, as it cal∣meth and pacifieth (in a manner) Evangelick justice, so that the Lord is eased and comforted toward his people, when he hath punished them, and they are eased and comforted in the declaration of the glory of his justice, and with good will Page  40 doe justifie God in his afflicting them, as Lament. 3. 41, 42. Micah. 7. 9. Esa. 39. 8. this willing accepting of the rod, (I say) is a speaking signe that the rod of God is sanctified.

Marke 4. 39. Then hee arose, and as Matth. 8. 26. hee saith to them, Why are yee fearefull, O yee of little faith? Matthew keep∣eth the most naturall order; for Christ first rebuked the Disci∣ples unbeleefe, before hee rebuked the Sea and the winds, we have reason so to conceive of Christs method, for hee requi∣reth faith before hee worke miracles, at least often hee doth so, though hee confirme and strengthen that faith by miracles.* It is fit that Christ rebuke us ere hee deliver us from drowning. Hee first rebuketh the noble man and all his nation for unbe∣leefe, and then healeth his sonne, John 4. 48, 49, 50. Hee first chideth Martha out of her unbeleefe, and then raiseth her brother Lazarus from death, John 11. 40. 43, 44. and Matth. 17. 17. Hee rebuketh the father of the lunaticke child, and the faithlesnesse of the perverse generation, before hee cast out the devill; it is fit wee bee both convinced and humbled, before hee turne away his angry hand. First, the crosse is a mystery to us and a dumbe teacher, wee understand not the language and the grammar of the rod, the man of wisedome knowes it, Mic. 6. 9. Vengeance is written on the wall before Belshazzer; but it is in unknowne language, hee doth not understand it. Secondly, greene and raw deliverances are plagues of God, not mercies; the plague is nine times removed, but Pharaohs heart is neither softned nor humbled, the scum abideth in the bloody Citie, as the Lord complayneth, Ezek. 24. 6. Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Woe to the bloody Citie, to the pot whose scum is therein, and whose scum is not gone out; the Prophet in Chal∣dea heard that Jerusalem had beene boyled with the sword of the Lord, but the scumme of their Idolatry and blood remai∣ned in them; whilst the wicked of these kingdomes, malig∣nants, bloody Irish, rotten hearted men, such backsliders and perjured Apostates, as are in Scotland, delivered to Satan and excommunicated, while these taste of the Gall and worm∣wood of the wrath of God in this warre, the hand of God cannot bee removed, and therefore that must bee taken notice of, Jer. 6. 29. The bellowes are burnt, the lead is consumed of the Page  41 fire, the founder melteth in vaine: for the wicked are not plucked away; O that our Lord would boyle out on the fire the scumme of both kingdomes. The whoredomes of Popish Aegypt, and the ceremonies, the inventions of men are not mourned for by the pastors of the Lord, sure, I am, not by most of the Ministers in Scotland: What can wee say for our confidence in our Armies, our multitude, Parliaments, Navies, our extortion, oppression, unjustice, hollow-heartednesse in the cause of God, our lying, cousening, budding and bribing, our breach of our Covenant, denying of justice to the oppressed, to the widow, strangers, and Orphans, to the poore and needy, the abominable and daring opinions of God, his Sonne Christ, his Church, his Sacraments and free grace and sanctification and holinesse in this land? Thirdly, judgements on a land or a person are the cup of the Lords fury: now often it is the grounds and thick of the cup, which is the substance and vertue of the cup, and must worke the cure. And possibly to sip at the brim will not doe it, it is a judgement that some get not leave to heate in the furnace, but are dipped in in the flood, and are never at leasure to commune with their owne heart, nor hath the Lord time to allure them in the wildernesse, Hos. 2. 14. as Ephraim was in the Oven as a Cake unturned: poore Germany hath not beene slenderly dipped in, and presently out againe, they have now beene in the floods, and under the water these 26. yeares, these kingdomes are yet greene, not ripened, for the mercy of deliverance, ourscumme remaineth in us; divisions amongst us say, it is not yet time for our triumph, The fields are not while already to harvest; when all godlinesse is to dispute out new wayes to heaven, and not seeke after the power of godlinesse; it is good wee see the farre end of the judgement, and that wee bee heart-humbled and tamed, and made wea∣ned children, that wee put our mouth in the dust, and sit alone on the ground, and keepe silence, and bee filled with reproach, and beare the yoake, Lament. 3. 28, 29, 30. and resolve to beare the indignation of the Lord, because we have sinned, Mic. 7. 9. and it is good we be threshed while we be so broken as we may remember, and bee con∣founded, and never open our mouth any more, because of our shame, when the Lord is pacified toward us, for all that we have done, Ezek. 16. 63.

Page  42 Marke 4. 40. Why are you so fearefull? Luke 8. 25. Where is your faith?

The ground of their doubting and unbeleefe is excessive and immoderate feare, not simply feare, therefore Marke saith, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, why are you so fearefull? hee saith not; why feare you? hence the Text will leade us to inquire in the bad pro∣perties of this feare; which that wee may doe, a little of the affections in generall; 2. of this bad feare condemned by our Lord in these following propositions.

1 Proposition.* Grace removeth not affections; Christ con∣demneth not their feare, but onely their fearfulnesse〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 so high bended. Grace maketh not men Stoicks, nor does it root out Nature: Nature of it self, as it commeth out of the work∣house of the Creator, is an innocent thing. Whatever de∣crees the high former, and Potter have concerning all things, in the exercise of his absolute, but most pure and holy Sove∣raignty over lame Vessels, yet all that hee made is good; hee is the author of no sinfulnesse in the Creature. But hee doth not extirpate the nature, and harmlesse being of naturall affe∣ctions: A Chirurgion taketh not away life and sense, but one∣ly rottennesse and corrupt humors, that are enemies to life and sense. Grace embroidereth sinlesse nature, but does not turne it out at doores: Give your lust to Christ who maketh all things new; and hee shall restore it againe to you in renewed love: Put your fainting in his hand, and hee'll make it holy feare: Christs furnace melteth but out the refuse and drosse of our affections. What fire was in Peter a Fisher is but made holy zeale in Peter the Apostle; no man is the worse that hee come through the new Physitians hands; hee maketh brasse Gold: I should wish no better, but that Christ would barter an old heart with a new; for Christ has skill to over-gold na∣ture with Grace. Grace turned not Job in a lumpe of iron, that hee could not weepe or sorrow; for it was not destructive of Grace which hee saith, Job 16. 16. My face is foule with weeping: The Man Christ that chosen flower, and the rarest pearle of sinlesse nature both wept, Job. 11. 35. Luke 19. 42. and was feared, Luke 22. 44. Heb. 5. 7.

2 Propos. Grace but removeth the scumme, and exorbitan∣ces Page  43 of our affections: As first, Grace is a regular thing, and moves as the Starres doe, in a motion, contrary to the motion of the whole World; it moveth not as nature doth, to seeke its own being and life, but with subordination to God. Bee angry, but sinne not, holdeth in all; Feare, but sinne not; Love the Creature, but sinne not; Trust holy men, but sinne not; Sorrow at calamities, but sinne not. Grace is a straight line that measureth both it selfe, and all crooked lines. And therefore the Grace of God, the Gospel is a teaching guide, Tit. 2. 11. The grace of God, 12. teacheth us to deny ungodlinesse.

Secondly, grace is an excellent skreene between the soule and the burning heat of affections, it is a strong banke to keepe off over-swelling tides of lusts in the soule; when affecti∣ons start up without leave of the grace of God, then a man according to Gods heart David will but utterly destroy Nabal and all hee hath, the Disciples, because they cannot have a nights lodiging, will doe no lesse then burne Cities and Townes, & have Samaria destroyed as Sodome, as if Christ were come in the world to raise fire and sword against men, women and sucking infants, but when affections looke toward the creatures, the grace of God sets them on to move on leasurely and upon slow wheeles, and loppeth off from our affections all the wanton and luxuriant branches, that is a sweet fruite of the grace of God, 1 Cor. 7. 29. But this I say, Brethren, the time is short, it remaineth that both they that have wives, bee as though they had none. 30. And they that weepe, as though they wept not, and they that rejoyce as though they rejoyced not, and they that buy as though they possessed not; and mortification laugheth at mirth and laughter, as Solomon in his repenting dayes doth, Eccles. 2. 2. I said of laughter, it is mad, and of mirth, what doth it?

3. Proposition. There bee diverse diseases in the feare of the Disciples; as first, their feare is more then enough, they speake as if the Sea could drowne Christ and them both,* ere the man Christ awake. Hence their precipitations, Master, master, and their complaint, carest thou not for us? our affections in great dangers runne with the head formost, not onely before the light of faith, but before that reason command them to rise; according to the measure of unmortified lusts so is the Page  44 swelling of our affections; grace keeping them within banks, else they are as some great Seas that have great tides. Second∣ly, there is much unbeleefe in this feare; and therefore as Matthew relates the story, Christ said to them, why are yee fear∣full O yee of little faith? and as Marke saith, 4. 40. How is it that you have no faith? and Luke saith, where is your faith? that is, they had little or no great strength of faith, with this fear, it being mixed with much doubting; hence as Christ denyeth not simply that they had no faith, so hee condemneth their unbeleefe, unbeleefe doth not a little dull our apprehension, so that death and afflictions looke on us with a more ugly and awsome countenance, the more of the sunne bee covered in an eclipse, the greater is the darknesse: unbeleefe is a darke black webbecast over our eyes, that wee see not what omnipotency can doe, and how it secondeth the faithfulnesse of God, to make good his owne promises, our corrupt affections arising in their strength are great enemies to righteous judging. Hence thirdly, this feare doth make them to misfather their afflicti∣on, they lay the blame of their danger on Christs sleeping, and his forgetfulnesse and carelesnesse of them, as their complaint sheweth: Carest thou nor for us? wee perish, and thou sleepest; in this, if in any thing, it is true; happy is hee who knoweth the causes of things, wee are often smitten of God in the darke. To apply these to our selves. It is much to know the causes of this pre∣sent warre in the rwo kingdomes, some say it is because liber∣tie is not given to every man to live in what Religion hee plea∣seth, but this is a sin that every man doe,*What seemeth good in his owne eyes, because there is not a judge to put any to shame, Judg. 18. Chap. 19. 1, 2. the contrary then cannot bee the cause of the so great judgement. Others say rebellion against the King is the cause, but rather the not timous rising to helpe the Lord, and his oppressed people against the mightie is the cause. The defection of both kingdomes to altar worship, imagerie, idolatry, Popish and Arminian Doctrine, the articles of Perth Assembly followed and practised in our owne kingdome with∣out repentance, the ignorance of God, people perishing for want of knowledge, both under prelacy, and now the not building of the house of God in this land, the backsliding of Page  45 many after the Covenant of God is sworne, are the true causes, and it is to bee feared that if Presbyteriall government bee erected in this land (as wee hope it shall) if this bee not taken heed to, it shall continue a judgement on the Land, and it is this, many both preachers and professors shall conforme to the Govern∣ment (as they would doe to either the prelaticall, or congre∣gationall way as many time-servers doe) and shall hate and persecute the power of godlinesse under the pretence of Secta∣ries, Brownists, Separatists, independents, and the like, and re∣taining an Antichristian and rotten heart shall doe what in them lies, under that colour to vex, oppresse and banish many godly men out of the land. But this is to bee considered, if it were not needfull there were a Fast through both king∣domes to deale with God to find out the true causes of our fa∣stings, and these heavy judgements in which in the three king∣domes many hundreth thousands are killed. I doubt if under any Prince or Emperour there bee a history can parallel the blood shed within these few yeares; Job when God visited him desired to know wherefore God contended with him: it is a sad thing to lye drowned under unknown and fatherlesse plagues, wee being ignorant of the causes of Gods judgement; so wee suffer blind crosses like the Oxe that beares the yoake and knoweth nothing of the art of husbandry, or the horse killed in the battell, and yet is ignorant of State-affaires, and of the causes of warre, and of disorders in Lawes, Liberties, Religi∣on in State and Church, wee are like one smitten in the dark night by a spirit or a ghost, but hee seeth not who striketh. Oh it were good wee would inquire, as the Prophet doth, Esa. 42. 24. who gave Jacob for a spoyle; and Israel to robbery? and wherefore is all this come on us? why doth the Lord contend with us? O make us know our iniquities.

Often the rod maketh a lying report of God,* and accuseth Christ in our desertions. O! Christ is unkind, hee is changed, hee hath forsaken me; wee can sooner spy a fault in Christ under desertion then in our selves, and wee often reason from that which is no cause for the cause. Christ seemeth changed to us, and unmercifull and sleepey and carelesse. First, when the judgement is extreame and wee apprehend it as a Page  46 fruite of the anger and vengeance of God.* Apprehension gives life to afflictions and casteth in many ounce weights of wrath in our cup, which was never there, because our con∣science giveth in against us lying libells and unjust complaints, such as this, (thou art not in Christ) nor a convert, nor a pardoned and justified sinner;) and wee first retort the lying libell upon Christ▪ O! Christ hath forgotten to bee mercifull, wee see Christ in the false glasse, in our extreame suffering, our sinne and ap∣prehension joyning together. Secondly, Christ may sleepe and hide himselfe in a great tryall, and when hee is gone, and grace hath no actuall influence on our soules, then wee languish and die; the passes of the Clock being laid by, there is no mo∣tion at all, and the wheeles gather rust. Should wee suppose that the Creator of nature did suspend his influence, all natu∣rall operations should cease, there should bee no motion in the Sunne, it should neither rise nor goe downe, the raine should not fall, the wind should not blow, living things could not move, Beasts could not walke, Fowels could not fly, Fishes could not swimme, Roses, Flowers, and Hearbs could not grow, &c. because hee causeth all these to bee, and his im∣mediate influence addeth oyle to all wheeles, and rowleth and moveth them, else they could not stirre; so Christ in the spheare of grace being the first mover, if his influence stand still, all our wheeles as wanting oyle and motion gather rust and stand still; Paul cannot call Jesus Lord, the Spouse run∣neth not, for the bridegroome will not draw, Can. 1. David dieth and withereth a hundreth deaths; for God hides his face. Hezekiah fainteth, for God glowmeth, Haman is downe amongst the dead, in the grave, Christ his life worketh not, so here in trouble Christ standeth behind the mount, and the poore Disci∣ples faint and die, and dreame, and are all afraid in a storme, because God seemeth to sleepe, as if God were dead: Oxthodoxe and sound apprhensions of Christ in us are not habits, but acts, and are in us as lightnings are in the ayre, when nature actually cooperateth, or as fire is in the flint, not but when it is beaten out with force. Thirdly, distempers and feavers on faith take away the taste and the honey out of Christ, the fa∣ther is not a father to the child in a fit of an ague.

Page  47 Thirdly, when extreame danger is neare and the Army foyled, and the enemy entering in at the ports, our courage is as farre to seeke as ever was the courage of the Apostles. Oh then wee are gone, this is our death, the cause is now losed, Christ is buried, hee cannot rise againe, Esay 7. 2. It was told the house of David, saying, Syria is confederat with Ephraim, and his heart was moved, as the trees of the field: the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 is to bee moved from place to place, and is ascribed to Cain the va∣gabond, Gen. 4. 12. wee feare the creature too much, because hee can kill the body, and wee feare the Lord of heaven and earth to little, though hee have dominion over both soule and body, remember what a forgetting of God it is to feare the creature in Gods cause, Esay 51. 12. I, even I am hee that comforteth you, who art thou that shalt bee afraid of a man that shall die, and of the Sonne of man that shall bee made as grasse? is it so great a sinne to feare man? ay, the next words beare no lesse. 13. and forgettest the Lord thy maker that stretched out the heaven, and laid the foundation of the earth; an unbeleeving people hath a feare of their owne, which the people of God are not to follow, Esay 8. 12. Feare yee not the feare of this people, nei∣ther bee afraid. 13. Sanctifie the Lord of hosts, let him bee your feare.

Matth. 8. 26. Then hee saith unto them, why are yee fearefull, O yee of little faith? Luke 8. 25. where is your fatth?

That which Christ first seeketh, and first misseth in any is their faith. Where is your faith? by comparing the Evan∣gelists together a little faith is faith, and it is no faith, that is, not so great a faith as is required in a great storme. Hence these conclusions concerning a little faith.

1. Conclus.* A little faith in regard of the nature of faith is faith; as Christ, Matth. 8. saith not, they have no faith; but hee childeth them for their little faith; as the least of fire is fire, as well as a fire of all the timber and fewell of the earth is fire, and the fourth part of a drop of dew is water, no lesse then the whole element of water is water; the least measure of sa∣ving faith is saving faith; and there bee other three acts of free grace that are of the same nature. As first, Gods free love of election to glory can neither bee halfe nor divided; the Page  48 meanest of the elect is no lesse a chosen Senator inrolled in the booke of life then Abraham, or great Moses. Secondly, all the Saints are equally ransomed and equally married on Christ, there was no greater ransome of Christs blood given for Job, David, the Apostles then for thee, O thou the least of Saints. Thirdly, all are equally saved and crowned Kings; of the degrees of grace and glory, I doe not now speake.

2. Conclus. Faith and fainting may consist together at one and the same time, as night and day are one in the twylight, so the poore man said,*Marke 9. 24. I beleeve, that is faith, Lord helpe my unbeleefe, that is fainting; and David, Psal. 31. 22. I I said in my hast, I am cut off from before mine eyes; here is much fainting. Neverthelesse thou heardest the voyce of my supplication; here must bee much faith, when his prayers hath beene heard: So Jonah Chap. 4. Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight, this was base fainting; yet I will looke toward thy holy Temple, this is faith, and Jeremiah, ch. 20. 7. O Lord thou hast deceived me, and I was deceived, thou art stronger then I, and hast prevailed, I am in derisi∣on daily, and every one mocketh mee. Hee fainted not a little, when hee spake so of God to God; but Vers. 11. hee getteth up the mount againe; But the Lord is with mee as a mightie terrible one, therefore my persecutors shall stumble, they shall not prevaile. A wrestling faith opposing doubtings and faintings is an argu∣ment of a vigorous life of Christ, and weaknesse here is an argument of strength and deadnesse doth argue life, and fain∣ting beleeving; wee have a bad opinion of our owne state when there is no cause, and the reason is, that it is a reflect act to know our owne acts of faith;* and first, reflect acts are more rare and difficill, because more spirituall then direct acts. Secondly, the light of saving grace must concurre in all our reflect acts, but it seemeth to mee to bee easier, because more naturall to reflect upon our doubting and unbeleefe, then upon our beleeving, especially where there is any tendernesse of conscience, as a sleeping man knoweth not that hee is in health, nor can hee have any sense of his health while hee sleepeth, and yet a sleeping man may know and feele the paine of sicknesse, and of an aking bone, and thereby bee wakened to feele it more sensibly, though I know there bee a necessitie Page  49 of the influence of saving grace, either to know our fainting, or our faith in a spirituall manner, yet there bee degrees of grace here.

3 Conclus. Those who have a great faith in habit, many have a little faith in act, and the Disciples who had forsaken all and followed Christ, must have a great measure of faith of fiduciall adherence; it is a great faith to renounce all our bosome-lovers for Christ: Though 2. their faith of light, or in regard of knowledge was weak; they not knowing Christs death and re∣surrection, which are principal Articles of faith, Matth. 16. 21, 22, 23. Joh. 20 9. Yet in this present act their faith was weake. The grounds of a weake faith in regard of the act, and some speciall exigents of a prevailing temptation: are first, because faith is one thing,* and the use of faith another thing: The habit of faith is not the compleate and onely cause of belee∣ving. 1. Because then the regenerate from the first moment of their regeneration to their dying day, should alwayes beleeve, which is repugnant to Scripture and all experience; for the habit of faith, and the seed of God alwayes remaineth in them, even when they sin, they lose not that, Joh. 3. 9. 1 Ioh. 2. 27, 28, 29. Ioh. 4. 14. Ier. 32. 40, 41. Esay 59. 21. 2. We are not Lords, having by free-will a dominion over the habit of faith, to stirre it up into acts when wee please; for then, these that have the habit need not to pray for the actuall influence of the grace of God, to worke in them to will and to doe, a∣gainst many Scriptures, as Cant. 1. 4. Psal. 25. 5. Psal. 86. 11. Psal. 119. 18, 36, 37. 66. 68. 80. 3. Our free-will, at its best, is but Graces armour-bearer, and servant. Grace whether habitu∣all or actuall, is Gods Prerogative Royall, and one of the su∣preme and absolute flowers of his Crowne. And therefore wee are Masters of our owne sins; wee can bee willingly wic∣ked, and fall when wee will, we are not masters of our owne rising againe; wee can faint when wee will, but wee beleeve when Christ will, and when his saving grace breathes on us, and neither sooner nor later, neither more strongly, nor more remissely, then the free-grace of God, inableth us: for if wee could beleeve ere grace blow on us; First, wee could pre∣vene grace, and then should wee carry it all before us; and it Page  50 should bee after this, not prevening grace, but prevening nature, prevening free will. Secondly, if the intention of the degrees of actuall beleeving were in our power, Paul did not well to ascribe his labouring more abundantly to the grace of God, and not to himselfe, 1 Cor. 15. 10. But I laboured more a∣bundantly then they all; yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.* Secondly, our faith is often led by the sense of ap∣pearance and second causes, and that is a very bad rule. Faith and sense may thus bee compared: Faith is like the just horo∣loge or watch which sheweth to us justly the houres at mid∣night, when there bee neither Sun, Moone, nor Stars to give notice what time of night it is; so rotten boylie Job, chap. 19. 25, 26. when hee had not so much as Star-light of appearance to lead him, but death and rotten boyles, could in faith point the houre, and say, I know that my Redee∣mer liveth, and that I shall see him for my selfe, and my eyes shall behold, and not another, though my reines bee consumed within mee: But sense is not like the night horologe, but like the Sun-diall, that cannot point the houres in the night, nay, nor yet in day-light if the same bee under cloud, sense must have daylight, and a shining Sun; and can doe nothing for Christ upon trust: and this is a great unthankfulnesse in our sense; for it is faith and not sense that layeth hold on relations, and such a relation as is betweene husband and wife, so the Lord speaketh, Esa. 54. 4. Feare not, that is, beleeve; upon what ground? Upon the ground of marriage-faith. Ver. 5. for thy maker is thy husband. so is faith expressed by a marriage word, Wee are freed from the Law, Rom. 7. 4. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉that yee should bee for a∣nother husband, that yee should bee maried on another lover.

4 Conclus. Sometimes wee beleeve on Christ as morall a∣gents, and then wee may both know Christ and our own state, if the light of the Spirit concurre to make the promises visible to our spirituall senses: not onely as true, but also as good and sweet, for wee see colours, and apprehend them both as colours, and as pleasant and delectable: so a man may see a great heape of Gold which belongeth to another man, hee sees it as of such a colour, and as it offereth it self to the eye; but because it is not his owne, nor hath hee any hope it can bee Page  51 his owne; hee seeth it possibly with griefe: but if it were of∣fered and given to him, hee should then see it as good and ac∣ceptable: now the grounds of a weak faith, is a weake evi∣dence of our interest in Christ; small and weak evidence pro∣duceth weak acts of beleeving: it is true there is sometime lit∣tle evidence of knowledge, where there is strong adherence, and strong faith, as many unlettered Martyrs of no great know∣ledge in the Scriptures, have dyed with great adherence and strength of faith: but there is a twofold evidence, one literall, another spirituall, it is unpossible there can bee a strong faith, but there must bee a strong spirituall evidence proportionable thereunto to convey it, for faith walketh not without eyes, and therefore the weakenesse of spirituall evidence of our in∣terest in Christ (as here the Apostles see not but Christ hath forgotten them, and cares not that they perish) must produce a weake faith. Againe faith commeth not onely from dis∣course, and the morall perswasion of the holy Ghost making use of sanctified reason,* but also sometime from a meere spi∣rituall instinct, as where there is no discourse, especially when wee first beleeve, and have nothing but a meere command, and knowes not whether the promise and the Saviour belongeth to us or not, even as the infant that can make no use of dis∣course relieth and trusteth to the mother or nurse for milke, by meere instinct, having neither promise nor experience for it, and the young Chickens confide in the covering of the Hens wings, and the Lambes for food from the damme meer∣ly by naturall instinct: so when wee are new borne againe, the first act of fiduciall adherence seemeth to bee from the new nature and instinct of grace, as the child in a suddaine danger without discourse or promise that his father will helpe him, runnes to his father, and the Conies in danger to their holes of the rock, and so a weake instinct of grace may produce weake acts, and by the way the promise may bee forgotten and out of mind, and the assurance that Christ loved mee before the world was, none at all, and a beleever yet may rely and confide in Christ through instinct, and know no ground, as through some secret sympathy of nature one may love ano∣ther and they know not the reason, and proportionally may Page  52 trust in another also, for love produceth some confidence, so some are kind and their heart warmed with Christ; and they doe not well know Christ, as the Disciples going to Emmaus have hearts burning with the love of God, but they knew not it was Christ who was there, the third man con∣ferring with them.

5. Conclus.* The chiefe cause, as of all sinnes of infirmitie, so of a weake and infirme faith, is not so much from want of will as want of power, and rather from want of grace and a larger measure of the spirit of faith, then from malice and wickednesse. I deny not but the corruption of a wicked na∣ture hath influence in sinnes of infirmitie, and in a weake faith, as it hath in all sinnes (as some of the mothers seed must alwayes bee in the child;) but I speake comparatively, and in regard of that which is the nature of sinne; therefore sinnes of infirmitie and a weake faith, though they bee not veniall sinnes, as Papists vainely teach, yet they bee sinnes of a lower size; for there bee lesse activenesse and more passivenesse in these sinnes, and so lesse will and more renitency and reluctan∣cy then in raigning sinnes, and all sinnes of infirmitie have but the halfe of the will, sometime nothing but a virtuall con∣sent, as in the first motions of concupiscence and some sinfull errors and bad opinions contrary to the truth which the chil∣dren of God have, and the renewed part doth protest on the contrary against the flesh and side with Christ; and if the will joyne in sinnes of infirmitie, it is but the one halfe of the will trayling the other halfe after it, like the motion of a worme in which the former part having more life and vigor draweth after it the hinder part. But I come to prove the nature of a weak or little faith, and of other sinnes of infirmitie: Paul, Rom. 7. 14. saith of him selfe, I am carnall sold under sinne, hee useth the passive Verbe 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, that which is put to the market to bee made away for money, were it man or woman, is a patient, But Ahab had another marke, Elias said to him, 1 King. 20. 0.〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉thou hast sold thy selfe to worke wic∣kednesse in the sight of the Lord, hee that is sold is not sui juris, not his owne man, the flesh in that act prevaileth over him, the Page  53 renewed will saying the contrary. The acting of •…d un∣beleefe in a Saint is like a businesse in a court hardly 〈◊〉 hotly debated, and the matter is carried by one voyce onely, or as in weighing of things in a ballance one scruple may cast the seale, and where there is but one graine of saving grace, the worke may bee swayed by it, if the flesh act by prevalency, it goes wrong, but in the wicked, where there is no prevalency of saving grace, nor any such principle, the sinne is not a sinne of infirmitie. Christ hath not one voyce in the court, if reason speake against some crying sinnes, that is something of God the Creator, but nothing of Christ, it is not from a saving principle, or the right end the honour of God, and so it is not a voyce in the court for Christ, but for nature and carnall ends. Paul hath another word, Rom. 7. 23. I finde ano∣ther Law in my mind,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, leading mee captive to the Law of sinne; the word signifieth one taken with the point of a Speare, or Sword, or with a bloody weapon, so is the word,*Luke 21. 24. They shall fall by the edge of the Sword,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, and shall bee led captive unto all nations, Rom. 16. 17. Salute Andronicus and Junia my kinsmen,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉and fellow prisoners. Now in a taken captive there bee two things expressing the nature of infirmities, and so of a weake faith in the Saints. First, ere the captive bee taken in warre he resisteth, and sheddeth blood, and therefore by paction they promise him quarters. Secondly, it is major vis, a greater power that doth it, so it is against his will that hee is taken, and onely for want of strength and power to fight hee is ta∣ken; so hee that falls of infirmitie or sinnes of weaknesse, if hee had more strength of grace, hee would not yeeld, and therefore hee resisteth and accepteth not of quarters from the flesh without stroake of Sword, and the spirit doth not con∣sent to the ill hee doth, as it is, Rom. 7. 15. For that which I doe, I allow not, for what I would, that I doe not: but what I hate that I doe: So the beleever is like a sicke man walking up a mount, his will and desire is quicker in climbing up to bee at the top of the mount, then his legges are. The last practicall inditement of conscience that leadeth on in these sinnes of in∣firmitie is broken, shaken, divided, it is not a kindly consent Page  54 the captive giveth to obey his keepers, and therefore there is complaynings under these sinnes, as Paul doth, Rom. 7. 24. O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver mee from the body of this death? Hence the poore man is so gravelled with a body of sinne, that his confined desires take strength from the strong walls of the prison, that hee would gladly bee in hea∣ven, where hee shall sinne no more, as the Bird would wish the Cage of clay broken that it might flee up and sing; Esay useth another word,* Ch. 22. Christ shall not breake a Reed that groweth in a lake, or an Oate Reed that is already bruised, the word is halfe-breaking, as Gen. 25. 22. The Twinns struggle or shalter one another in the wombe, but they killed not one another; and the smoaking flax is a dying out candle in the socket, except more oyle bee added to it, it is gone, the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 sig∣nifies the dimme eyes of old men, Gen. 27. 4. Job 17. 7. so the weake beleever and the fainting faith may from this easily be knowne.

Then if Christ misse faith in a professor;* first, labour to be∣leeve, especially in a storme; now the Sea rages, the storme is tempestuous, God hath not as yet awaked in the three King∣domes for our deliverance, beleeve, faith cannot strike saile to hell or death, Rom. 8. 37. faith can make a passage between hell and heaven; for out of the belly of Hell Jonah cryed; this should put our enemies to flight, it did so of old, Heb. 11. 34. and grace is not weake, and old, and gray haired now; there are bones and strength in faith now to subdue malig∣nants, as of old; these that seeke for crooked wayes of an unjust peace without truth, doe not trust God in these stormes; wee are in publick calamities so farre from faith that wee think God hath forgotten us, as the people in their calamitie said, Ezek. 33. 10. If our transgressions and our sinnes bee upon us, and wee pine away in them, how should wee then live? we looke to the waters that floweth over the soule and cannot see the bottome, and our hope sinketh, but faith would outface all our stormes, and carry ship-broken men to laud. It was unbeleefe rather then Sea and winds that was like to drowne the Church, for it puts weaknesse and sleepinesse upon Christ, and robs him of the glory of his truth. Glory is the prime flower of the Page  55 Crowne and Royall Prerogative of Christ, and it changeth Christ in a sleeping man, there must bee then more high trea∣son here against the Royall honour of Christ then in all sins, it is from unbeleefe that that complaint is made, Jer. 14. 8. Why shouldest thou bee as a stranger in the land, and as a wayfaring man that turneth aside to tarry for a night? 9. Why shouldest thou bee as a man astonished, as a mighty man that cannot save? the Church had as good said, why should you bee turned in no God, for hee that cannot save is no God; so unbeleefe usurpeth the Crowne and dethroaneth God.

Secondly,* so long as wee are not humbled for sinne, and turne not from our evill wayes, Christ justly misseth faith in us, and saith, hee can see no faith in the land, and God will change his dispensation toward his Church, and doe what hee hath not done before, if hee deliver us, ere wee turne to him. But God cannot take his vessell out of the fire till hee have purged away the tinne and the drosse: Will hee cast the rod in the fire till hee have done his worke in mount Zion? God prin∣cipally aymeth that this shall bee the end of his fire in Zion, and his furnace in Jerusalem, which hee saith, Ezek. 7. 16. But they that escape of them shall escape, or, shall bee saved, and they shall bee upon the mountaines as Doves in the valleyes, all of them mourning every one for his iniquity: could wee returne, and build the house of the Lord, our enemies in the three kingdomes should fall and our peace should bee as a river, and our righteous∣nesse as the waves of the Sea, Esay 48. 18. wee may have peace without turning to God, but it should not bee peace like a mightie river, but like a dryed up brook, but so scarce that it should dry up as the dew.

Thirdly,* challenge not Christ of unkindnesse through un∣beleefe in sad times, faith thinketh no evill of Christ; blame thy selfe and thy unbeleefe, if Christ hide his face; faith hath eyes to see Christ in the night as in day-light, faiths eyes pierce through Christs marke, and the vaile or cloud that co∣vers his face, there is mercy and love in the bottome of af∣flictions.

Fourthly,* weake ones are neither to under-value Christ in themselves, nor should others under-value them; faith maketh Page  56 not heart-separation from faith, the estrangement of affection from any in whom there is any thing of Christ is from the flesh, contrary to faith,

Marke 4. 39. And hee arose and rebuked the wind, and said un∣to the Sea, Peace, peace, be still.

The Sea is not capable of rebukes such as are given to reaso∣nable creatures,* but there is a rebuking of omnipotency, that is not verball but real; 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 is with words hardly to rebuke; in conjugation kal cum〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 it is to destroy, Mal. 2. 3. Behold I will destroy your seed, Esay 54. 9. I have sworne I will not bee angry with thee, neither rebuke thee. 2. It is to hinder the enemies in their ill courses, Zach. 3. 2. The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan, Mal. 3. 11. I will rebuke the devourer for your sake, Psal. 68. 30. Lord rebuke the company of the Spearemen: and when it is applyed to creatures voyd of reason, it is by omnipotency to hinder them to hurt us, and to stay their actions, Psal. 106. 9. Hee rebuked the red Sea also, Luke 4. 39. Jesus rebuked the sea∣ver; it holdeth forth the acts of omnipotency in Christ, such as is his act of creating of an immediate faire sweet calme out of a contrary, out of a boysterous and stormy Sea. God hath some peeces in which is stamped so much of a legible and evident omnipotency, as the worke fathereth it selfe upon God onely without a teacher,* so Job 26. 7. hee stretcheth out the North over the emptie place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing; the earth is the weightiest of any visible creature God hath made, it needeth some solid resting place; but the omnipo∣tencie of the Creator doth hang it upon nothing, except onely the aire round about it, now the aire being so weake, so yeelding an Element, it were unpossible that the heavy and ponderous earth should have beene seated on the emptie and fluid aire to rest in it these five thousand yeares, except omni∣potency had done it, for the aire of it selfe is very nothing to hold up the globe of the earth, Job 38. 5. Who hath layd the measures of the earth, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? 6. Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastned? or who layd the corner stone thereof? there bee three great questions here, that few can answer but God. First, to take the compasse of the circumference of the globe of the earth exactly, and to Page  57 lay a measuring line over the Diameter and the whole body of it, is a great work. Secondly, to know how to fasten the cor∣ner stone of the world. Thirdly, and how the whole weight is sustained, is more then wee can tell, and it is no lesse wonder, Psal. 104. 2. who stretcheth out the heaven as a curtaine. What a power must it bee, to spread over all nations of the earth, the elements and creatures in Sea and land, such a large white molten webbe of Crystall glasse, that hath beene spread over our head, from the east end of the world to the west, and north and south, and there is not an hole in the webbe, these five thousand yeares. (2) The Sea is a fluid huge great body, where can there bee a bottle to containe it? 2. When it swel∣leth and rageth with mightie winds, how is it kept from drowning the world? God doth remedy these two. 1. Job 38. 8. Who shut up the Sea with doores, when it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the wombe? Vers. 11. The Lord said, Hitherto shalt thou come, and no farther, and here shall thy proud waves bee stayed. God hath put an Iron doore upon the Sea, and put it under an Act and Law of omnipotency, that it shall not devoure and overwhelme the earth, Jer. 5. 22. he hath placed the sand for the bound of the Sea, by a perpetuall decree. For the second, when, Psal. 107. 27. the Sea is all in fire, and the passengers in a mightie storme reele to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits end, 29. hee maketh the storme a calme, so that the waves thereof are still. Esay 50. 2. Behold, at my rebuke, I dry up the Sea. Psal. 65. 7. hee stilleth the noyse of the Seas. (3.) The Seas, as all the rest of the creatures, are by the first sinne of man, broken out of the covenant of peace, betweene us and them in the state of innocency, and warre is denounced betweene us and them, the fire should burne us, the water hath Law to drowne us, the aire to suffocate us, the earth a Commission to swallow us up quick, if Christ had not made a cessation of armes, and if the Gospell were not a concluded treatie of peace, and if the Lord should not rebuke the fury of the crea∣ture, (for some sparkes of Gods wrath yet resideth in the crea∣ture) they have yet an inclination to revenge the quarrell of the treason that wee committed against their King, and wee doe receive the creatures as fugitive souldiers from Gods Campe of justice, and doe imploy them in warre against God, as the Page  58 Glutton and Drunkard imployeth meat and drinke against God, the vaine persons their vaine apparell, their patched fa∣ces, bare breasts and shoulders, as an exchange to sell the bo∣dy to lust; if the Lord should not rebuke our servants the creatures, water, fire, sword and the like, they would de∣stroy us.

If wee looke spiritually now upon Gods dealing to these kingdomes,* the sword hath a charge from God to come against these lands, Ezek. 21. 14. Therefore, Sonne of man, prophecy and smite thine hands together, and let the Sword bee doubled the third time, the sword of the slaine, it is the sword of the great men that are slaine,*which entreth into their privie Chambers: when God giveth the sword a commission to destroy, it cannot rest, Jeremiah Chap. 47. Vers. 6. O thou sword of the Lord, how long will it bee ere thou bee quiet? put up thy selfe into thy scabbard, rest and be still. 7. How can it bee quiet seeing the Lord hath given it a charge against. Askelon and the Sea shore? there hath bee appointed it: it is then a commanded and a sent sword that now rageth in these kingdomes. 2. Not onely is the Sword and the pestilence sent of God by speciall commission, Jer. 24. 10. but it is his sword, it is not the sword of Papists and malignants, but the sword of the Lord, Jer. 47. 6. The Lord saith, Ezek. 14. 21. that the Sword, famine, noysome beasts and pestilence are his foure sore judgements: wee may goe thorough these souldiers, wee have the Lords passe-port, Esay 43. 2. for the sword is our Fathers sword. The Seas wee are in, are our Fathers Seas, and so cannot drowne us. 3. Omnipotency ta∣keth this as peculiar to himselfe, hee onely can create peace, Psal. 46. 9. Hee maketh warres to cease from the ends of the earth, Esay 45. 6. I am the Lord, and there is none else. 7. I forme the light and create darknesse, I make peace and create evill: then by what title hee is God and Creator by the same,* hee maketh peace, Psal. 65. 7. He stilleth the noise of the Seas, the noyse of their waves and the tumult of people; these bee two troublesome creatures, the raging Sea, and the people up in warres; The will of furi∣ous men is an unruly and wild thing, there is a strong tide and mightie and loftie winds stirring in mens hearts, when they are in a feaver and heat of warre; it is Omnipotencies proper worke to calme the winds, and put the wheeles to a Page  59 stand, that peace may bee in our borders. 4. Hee hath pro∣mised as hee is Creator deliverance, Esay 65. 18. But bee you glad, and rejoyce for ever, in that which I create, for behold I create Jerusalem a rejoycing, and her people a joy, it is the word used Gen. 1. 1. when it is said, God created the heaven and the earth, 5. Hee hath said hee will rebuke Kings for his Churches sake, Psal. 105. 14. and Esay 50. 9. of Christs enemies. They all shall wax old as a garment, the moth shall eate them up, Esay 49. 26. And I will feede them that oppresse thee with their owne flesh, and they shall hee drunken with their owne blood, as with sweet wine; Are wee then to doubt but the Lord will arise and rebuke these windes? Christ is in the ship called the Church of God, there∣fore the tacklings shall not bee loosed, but the mast shall bee strengthned and the sailes spread out, though there breake up a leake in the ship: and there was a loud noyse of loftie stormes in this poore ship, such as fining, confining, impri∣soning, banishing, silencing of the Pastors of Jesus Christ, cut∣ting off eares, ripping of noses; yet Christ arose and rebuked these winds: and though there were cries of reconciliation with Rome, strong tides and winds of false doctrine, of altar-worship, imagery, vaine Idols to represent the Father and the Sonne Christ, massing, a new reall sacrifice, the body of Popery taught in Universities, preached in Pulpits, printed in books, Christ arose and rebuked these winds; and when the three kingdomes have been swimming in blood, to hold up arbitra∣ry power in the State, and the Tyranny of Antichristian pre∣lates in the Church, the Lord of Hoasts hath also rebuked these winds, and will calme the Sea. There bee also great stormes of sad and lamentable divisions, and rents, alter against alter, so as the one halfe of the passengers are like to cast the other over board in the Sea, these are more dangerous and judge∣ment-like winds, Oh that wee could awake the Lord, that hee may arise and rebuke the Sea and the winds! There hath been, and still is a cry of many provocations in both kingdomes, so that the Lord cannot have rest in heaven, for the sinnes of the land that are come up before him. The breach of the Covenant of God, all sort of sinnes against both Tables, no knowledge of God in the land, no mercy, no truth, but by swearing, lying, killing and stealing and committing adultery wee break out, and blood toucheth Page  60 blood; yet the Lord Jesus is a Saviour not onely of persons, but also a nationall redeemer, hee sprinkleth many nations, Esay 52. 15. with his blood, he sprinkles cleane water upon nations the house of Israel, and cleanseth them from all their filthinesse and idols, for his names sake, Ezek. 36. 22. 25. it is the omnipotency of free grace that Christ arise and rebuke these winds and Seas also.

Mark 4. 39. And there was a great calme.*

There be two Characters of God in this miracle;* One in the manner of the doing, anger goes not away from either a man, or the Sea in an instant; when the aire is calmed, and the wind removed, yet in the bowels of the Sea, there re∣maines a wind, and so a raging and working in the Sea. But here without delay, there is a calme. Secondly, in the mi∣racle there is a Character of God, there was a great calme.

In the former wee see God worketh irresistibly, and with efficacy. For when hee saveth, wee must bee saved: When God saith that which Isaac said, I have blessed him; the other must follow, And hee shall bee blessed. Some Creatures worke necessarily without any dominion over their actions; the Sun must cast out heat, the fire cannot but burne, the Sea cannot but flow;* but because God has truly an absolute Prerogative Royall, hee has a Negative voice in all the actions of the world, and what is to the creature necessary, and a must bee, to the Lord it is free, though not contingent, and it hath a may bee to God, and not a must bee, except he will: To the creature the sea must ebbe and flow, the Sun must give light, the fire must consume, the Lyon must devoure the prey; but in all these to God, there is a must not bee, except hee adde his af∣firmative voice; and therefore God commandeth the Sea nei∣ther to ebbe nor flow, but to stand up as two stiffe walls of glasse, hee covereth the Sunne with a webbe of darknesse at the crucifying of the Lord of glory; hee dischargeth the fire to burn the three children, and the Lyon to eat Daniel, and all these must bee, because God has said they shall bee. Againe, as God putteth his may not bee upon things necessary to the crea∣ture; so hee putteth a law of necessity upon all the contingent actions of the creature: an arrow shot at a venture may kill A∣chab, and not kill Achab, but some other man neare by; yet there is here to the Lord no contingency, no such thing as Page  61maybee, and may not bee. But the arrow of the Lords venge∣ance must bee so timed, so placed, as it has no motion against any but Achab onely, and against no part of him, but be∣tweene the joints of his harnesse, that hee may fall and die, according to the word of the Lord.

The way and manner that Christ hath a calme Sea,* wee have a calme Sea, and the way that Christ commeth to land, and at that very time,* the Disciples come to land; our sto∣macks rise much, wee say, What is God doing? is there not a necessitie in regard of divine justice, that vengeance fall upon Malignants, Papists, Prelates in these Kingdomes, and bloody Irish cut-throats and murtherers? But wee would consider these two. First, these sixteene hundreth yeares, Christ hath beene under wrongs, and vengeance to the full, hath not reached his enemies, as yet, for 1. the enemies of Christ are not fully subdued; 2. and many of them rotten in the dust, are not in their bodies tormented as yet; Christ suffereth injuries, and you cannot, you will not have patience to indure the cru∣eltie of bloody men. Secondly, Christ as wee see here, de∣videth faire weather and foule weather with his Disciples, it is enough to us, that if wee bee laid low, wee are low with Christ▪ it is time enough that wee have faire weather and come safe to shoare to dry our garments at that Sunne that shineth to the glorified in heaven, when Christ commeth to shoare; let us weepe when Christ weepeth, and bee buried when Christ is buried; when Christ rejoyceth and riseth againe, wee cannot lie rotting in the grave.

[A great Calme,] Matthew 8. 26. so calleth it〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. This is the other Character of God in this miracle, that it is a great calme.* There is nothing in God, not any judgement or worke of God but greatnesse is printed on it; for the effect smelleth of the cause, Job 36. 26. God is great, Christ is great, as the Churches danger in this Sea-voyage is great, so is the calme great; great buildings have great foundations, great ships great sailes, great Sea-ebbings have great flowings, 2 Cor. 1. 10. God delivered us from so great a death, some death is but an infant death and weake, there is another death called by Bildad, Job. 18. 13. The first borne of death. The Lord sheweth his people (Psal. 71. 20.) great and sore troubles, and Page  62 gives them teares to drinke in great measure, Psal. 80. 5. and the people is in great distresse, Nehem. 9. 37. and for that the Lord doth great things for them, Psal. 126. 2. and worketh a great salvation for his people, 1 Sam. 14. 45. and giveth great delive∣rances to David, Psal. 18. 80. and to Davids seed, the Israel of God. Secondly, there is greatnesse written upon all the workes of God, Psal. 92. 5. O Lord how great are thy workes? Psal. 111. Vers. 2. The works of the Lord are great, sought out of all those that have pleasure therein. Thirdly, there is greatnesse writ∣ten on his judgements against his enemies, for Zach. 7. 12. there is a great wrath from the Lord of hosts on those that pull away the shoulders, and makes their heart as an Adamant stone; hee fighteth against the rebellious, Ier. 21. 5. in anger, and in fury, and in great wrath; and the great day of his wrath shall come upon his enemies, so that they shall not bee able to stand. Fourth∣ly, and there is a great reward for the righteous, Psal. 19. 11. a great reward in heaven for them, Matth. 5. Vers. 12. A farre more exceeding and eternall weight of glory, 2 Cor. 4. 17.

Then great vengeance is appointed for the enemies of God,*Ezek. 25. 17. and great desolation on Pharoah the great Dragon that lieth in the midst of his Rivers, Ezek. 29. 3. and when these kingdomes have committed great whoredomes, what wonder that great judgements bee on us, and many more hundreth thousands bee slaine in the three kingdomes then histories can in our ages parallel but if Babylon bee a great whore, great must bee her fall, all the Kings of the earth, and her Mer∣chants shall wonder, and weepe and waile at her desolation. Our King saith, hee will repeale Lawes made against Papists in England; But it is a worke above his strength to hold up the cursed throane of the beast, which God hath said hee will crush; if all the Kings of the earth should make their bones pillars to hold up that throne, there is such a weight of vengeance lying on that throne, that their bones shall bee bruised in powder.

Reformation is a worke of God also,*Zach. 13. 23. and then it is a great worke, and though there bee great moun∣taines in the way, God doth rebuke and remove such moun∣taines, Zach. 4. 7. faint not then, bee strong in the Lord.

Page  63 No marvell wee are to sell all and buy Christ that pearle of great price,*Matth. 13. 46. for none hath so neare a relation to God as hee; wee seeke great things, seeke great Christ.

Luke 8. 25.* And they being afraid wondered, saying one to ano∣ther, What manner of man is this? for hee commandeth even the winds and waters, and they obey him.

This is all the fruit wee read this miracle produced in the Seamen, they fall a wondring, being astonished to see a man command Sea and winds. First, the miracles of Christ and all the workes of God are so farre inferiour to his word, that they can teach us nothing of the Trinitie,* nor of two natures in the one person and of our mediator Iesus Christ. Secondly, O how little of God doe wee see, especially being voyd of his owne light? even Iob saith, though God bee at our elbow, wee know not it is hee, Chap. 23. 8. Behold I goe forward, and hee is not there, and backward, but I cannot perceive him. But is this because God was neither behind Iob, nor before him? no, God goeth round about us, every man may as it were, put forth his hand, and grope the Almightie, Act. 17. 27. therefore Iob addeth Vers. 9. (he is) on the left hand where hee doth worke, but I cannot behold him, hee hideth himselfe on the right hand that I can∣not see him; wee cannot trace the footsteps of his unsearcha¦ble wayes, alas wee but sport our selves to behold the super∣fice, the outside, and as it were, the brim of divine providence men or Angels cannot dive to the bottome of the wayes of our Lord; Esay 55. hee saith himselfe, Vers. 9. for as the hea∣vens are higher then the earth, so are my wayes higher then your wayes, and my thoughts then your thoughts. Thirdly, wee come but that neare Christ, that wee goe at the farthest three or foure steppes to him; some are convinced and wonder, they say this must bee God, as Luke 4. 22. when Christ preaches as Christ, and like him∣selfe, they all beare him witnesse and wonder at the gratious words that proceed out of his mouth; yet they are not a step nearer to him, they despise him, and say, Is not this Josephs sonne? Some know a Prophet hath beene amongst them, Ezek. 3. 5. but they are Scorpions and briars and thornes, and will not heare. Secondly, some ate inlightned and beleeve for an houre, Matth. 13. 21. a faith that liveth for an houre is a sickly, dying faith. Thirdly, some are a step nearer, they have joy in Christ, Matth.Page  64 13. 20. and the word of the Prophet is, Ezek. 33. 32. to them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voyce, and can play well on an Instrument; the Gospel is sweet to many, but they come not nearer, they will not heare, nor obey. Fourthly, some tast of the good Word of God, and of the powers,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, the manifold powers of the life to come, Heb. 6. 5. yet come never nearer to Christ, but fall off, as if they were afraid to bee con∣verted, they goe not a fift step farther on to give themselves up wholly to Jesus Christ.

It is not the Seamens way onely;* but 1. Malignants, and Prelats and Papists see God in this worke,* they wonder, and yet they resist, Esay 26. 11. Lord thy hand is exalted, they see not, they shall see and bee ashamed for their envy at the people: in this worke that the Lord is working in the three kingdomes, there bee sundry notes of divinitie and footsteps of God, and Malig∣nants doe but wonder; as 1. when Prelats and Malignants were on the top of their wheeles, God, from despised and con∣temned beginnings, raised the worke to a great height; 2. our adversaries were agents, and would not rest, but did coope∣rate to their owne destruction: They would move the King to change Religion in Scotland against all Lawes. 2. They would stirre him up to raise Armies by Sea and Land against Scotland. 3. They moved the King to break the articles of peace, and the word of a Prince to his Subjects, after an ac∣commodation, and set him on bloody warres againe. 4. Af∣ter his Army was defeated and a Parliament granted in Eng∣land they moved him first to come and yeeld to all that is just and right in a Parliament of Scotland, but against their mind, with no purpose to keepe their faith, and then to raise Tragicall and bloody warres in England, and in all these they were coagents and workers with a judiciall and secret providence, to their owne destruction. 3. They have beene searching to find out, that our intentions were not to establish Religion in power and puritie, and to bee freed of the bondage of arbitrary and tyrannicall domination over Church and State, but to change monarchy, and set up ano∣ther government; this they could never yet find. 4. They see God against them, prophanitie and wickednesse on their side, and with them Papists, Idolaters, Irish murtherers, the cru∣ellest Page  65 of men, the scumme and refuse of the Churchmen, yet they will not see God in this. 5. They find and see their treachery, popery, tyranny discovered by many plots come to light, by letters under the Kings hand, their intenti∣ons to bring in a forraigne nation, ere popery and arbi∣trary government bee not established; and that all Treaties have beene intended, not for a just peace, but for this end that a peace being once patched and sowed up, all things shall returne to their ancient Channels, as the King speakes in his in∣structions to his Commissioners at Ʋxbridge, yet they will not see God in all these passages of his deepe provi∣dence.

If naturall men wonder at the power and excellency of Christ,* in that hee with a word commands Sea and winds,* and they obey him; should not Christ bee to us a worlds wonder? should hee not bee to us altogether lovely? were it possible to lay in the counter-scale of the ballance to Christ a world of Angels, put in yet millions of worlds of An∣gels, adde to them a world of Solomons with tripled wise∣dome, put in all the delights of the sonnes of men, put in yet the flowre and Rose of ten thousand possible worlds perfections, they should bee under-weight to him, the ballance should never downe. Oh! wee glory in good ar∣mies, wee rejoyce in victories and successe, in a good Parli∣liament, in godly Commanders, in a good reformation, all is excellent to us, that hath any lustre or glimpse of crea∣ted goodnesse, but why doe wee not rather wonder, admire and extoll excellent Jesus Christ? who setteth him on high above the skies? who lifts up his throne and his glory? Consider but what is said of him, Col. 1. 15. Who is the image of the invisible God, the first borne of every creature, Vers. 16. For by him were all things created, &c. 17. And hee is before all things, and in him all things consist. 18. And hee is the head of the body the Church, who is the beginning, the first borne from the dead, that in all things hee might have the preheminence; see what wonders are there in Christ, as first, hee is Gods equall, every way as high as God, being the substantiall Image of God, begotten of the Father, and without all beginning. Second∣ly, as man the eldest of the creation of God, and as God the Page  66 Creator of the new world. Thirdly, no lesse the Creator of all then the Father; wee have a head who can make and unmake all the glorious Angels in heaven, the royallest of the house of heaven, these principalities and powers, these little Gods, the eldest and supreme Courtiers, the higher house of the Peeres of heaven, are but peeces of dependent shadowes that fell from the fingers of our highest King, when hee framed this great all, and the rich Palace-Royall of this greatest body of heaven and earth and all the furniture within the bosome of the great world. Fourthly, the Lord Jesus hath all the created world so in the hollow of his hand, as a man that holdeth a bowle of glasse in his hand in the aire, should hee take his arme from under it, it should fall to the earth and breake in a hundred peeces, and doe no more good, if Christ in whom all things consist (some say) as the notes of an excellent musick in a song, draw in his armes of con∣serving providence, the world should go all out of tune, and the Globe of Crystall glasse should fall to a thousand meere no∣things; and as a man betweene his fingers may crush an Egge, so hath Christ the huge created Lump of the whole creation in his hand, if hee but thrust his two fingers together with a lit∣tle crush, all the world is dissolved like a broken Egge. Fiftly, hee is the head of the Church, and such a head as is deaths el∣dest sonne and heire, hee lay in deaths wombe, and as the doubly blessed first-borne, had the key of death with him in the inner side, and opened the wombe and tooke away the ports and gates of death on his backe, that now all the youn∣ger brethren might come out at the same passage also; yea hee came a bridegroome from heaven to suite in marriage a bride his Church, was sicke, and died of love for a Princes daughter his lovely Church, & rose the third day from death, and marri∣ed her. Sixtly, he hath so the absolute preheminence in all things that the highest of the Angels are but his vassals and servants, & is now in such incomparable eminency of Glory, above all crea∣tures, that when the beloved-disciple John who came that neare to him in the dayes of his flesh, that hee leaned on his bosome, saw him in his glory, hee fell downe at his feet dead, Revel. 1. 17. yea there was more of heaven in Christ then his eyes of flesh could behold.

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