Imatges de pàgina

, X

chaften them in the first fe&tion of this chapter.

Now that God hath answered him in the second, with declaration of his purpose to punish the iniquities of the Jews by the Chaldæans, whom God would stirre up to fight against them, and to prevail : Now in this third seation, the Prophet is as much troubled and grieved ar their punishment, as he was before, at their fin.

Now he chides as fast, and disputes as hotly against the re. misseneffe and patience of God toward the Chaldæan, as he did before toward the Jew.

Before he pleaded the cause of the glory of Gods Iuftice, in punishing the iniquicy of the lews; now he pleads the glory of Gods mercy in sparing them.

The first part was imprecation, this deprecation. And herein the Prophet doch declare his next affection to the Jews; for our of his hatred to their fins he desired their correction; but now out of his love to their perfons, he prayech against their punishmenc, fo farre that it may be moderate, as in Jeremies Prayer.

Corre&t us @ Lord, yet in thy judgement, not in tby furg loft we be conformed and brangbt so norhing. Which

teachech us that Religion hach the bowels of compassion, Truly they have no Dottr. true religion that have no mercy,

This is given us in precepe with a ficut : Beyee merciful as your Reason.s. heavenly father is merciful: there is nothing wherein che image Luk. 6.36 of our God doth more shine in man, then his mercy, because chat is the heavenly nature; the wisedome of God is coo high for us, the power of God too great for us, che justice of God too ftri& for us; all these vertues of the Godhead be out of the reacha of our imitation,

The furthest that our Saviour gocth in the patterne and pre- Wisedom, fident of wifedome, is eftote prudentes ut ferpentes, Be yee wise as ferpents. In innocency, Innocentes ut colambe. be ye innocent as doves, it is not eftote prudentes ut pater vester, Be yee wise as your heavenly father.' ::

Concerning fortitude. The mother of Samuel faith, Non est Fortitude. fortis ficut deus. Sicut teo, Salomon hath it : ficut quercus, A: masbach ic. Concerning Iustice, let us take the righteous men at their best, Justice.

Reason 2

& then Iustus fulgebunt ut sol,che righteous shal shine as the Sun; but to misericordes ut pater vester. We must strive to imicate him in mercy, that is, the divine nature, because it is super omnia opera dei above all the works of God, and that is the humane nature also, because it is called Humanity, and therefore wel-becomech the man of God.

2. There is nothing that every one of us doth more stand in need of then mercy, without which all the frame of nature would shake and dislolve;it is anima mundi the foul of the world, it is the jun&ture of every limb thereof: ic is the garment that hidech our nakednesse ; it is the grave, the sea, that buriech,that swalloweth all our reputed finnes; it is the taylour to our backs, the cater to our bellies, the soule that quickneth us, the strength that supporreth us, the grace that saveth us, the power that rai. feth us, the glory that crowneth us.

And they that shew no mercy,shall have none. Reas. 3.

3. The consideration of our own infirmities doth plead for our mercy to our delinquent brother, not to make the most of their

faults, and scrue their punishment to the uttermoft; rather to G2.6. 1. save our brethren, and to pull them out of the fire least we also

be tempted: for we have many suits to God for pardon of our own finnes; and therefore by che law of Justice let us do as we would be done to, that is, sollicite the favour of God for our breebren ; and although the zeale of Gods glory do put us to ie to pray for their correction, that they may be amended, yet conlidering how bitcer the medicine is that healeth finne, let us en. treat the Physician to look but on the corrupt humours in the body of the Church to purge them, to take no more blood from the body thereof then may stand with the health of the

body Real.4. 4. It is a more easie suit to obtain the mercy of God, then to

stirre up his anger; for as he is slow to wrath, and long-suffering, and when he doch begin to chide, he will not keep his anger continually : so he is rich in mercy, abundant in goodnesle, oleum supernat at vino, the oyle swims above the wine. Christ his sonne the character of his fatheis glory, of his mercy, the true coppie of that ficut Pater vefter qui eft in cælis, as our father which is in hcaven;

[ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]


Of whom Saint Augustine sweetly commenting upon his pa. ter ignosce cis, father forgive them, saith, he left them noc quo. De utiler: jufque ejus jam sanguinem poffent bibere credentes quem fuderant pænd, s, faviontes, they know how to drink believing, the blood which they shed raging, which is called in the Psalmist Multitudo dulcedinis.

Saint Hilary upon the Parable of the parable in the vineyard faith,

Ad spem omne tempus eft liberum,o- mercedema non operis sed mi. In PS, 129 fericordia undecime bore opérarli consequuntar. - God loves to be follicited for mercy.

4. Because in the contrary Ionah had a chiding from God him. felfe, that he stood more upon the credit of his office, then he did upon the honour of his God that sent him, being fo angry at Gods sparing of Niniveh.

Wherein God himself pleaded the cause of his own mercy, and justified his suspense of the threatned judgement against Ionah, &c.

David had good cause to choose to fall into the hands of God, rather then into the hands of men, for with God there is mercy. And had Niniveh been in the hand of fonah, their fasting with sackcloth and repenting, should not have cleared nor calmed the storme threatned.

God said, in Ninivel there were more then fix score thousand Persons that knew not the right hand from the left : there were a great many more in the nation of the Jews,many also that served God with a true heart, many that was not yet com to the height of finning, of whom there was hope:many that had drunk deep

already of the Cup of affliction by the sins of others who had thereby provoked God. i:

Therefore Habakkuk could do no lefse chen stand in the gap now, and keep out some of this wrath.

To make use of this do&rine, and of the holy example of Ulei this Prophet, let me use the words of the Apostle to you.

Put on therfore (as the Elett of God, holy and beloved ) bowels of Col. 3.12 mercies, kindseffe, humblenesle of mind, meeknesse, long-suffering.

Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man 13: have a quarrell againft any mar, even as Chrift forgave yon, so also doge.

[ocr errors]

14. And above all things put on charity with the bond of perfe&t. neffe.

As it is a welcome suit to God, when out of a zcal to his glory you do call upon him for his judgments, to chastea the overgrown finnes of the time in whichyelive: so it is a pleasing in, tercession which sollicitech for mercy in Justice for the pure justice of God will endure an allay of mercy, and we shall have the better interest in his favour, by how much the more we de fire more sharers, in is.

There be good Authours of opinion, that the Prayer of Stephen, Father forgive theme was no weak means of the Conyers sion of Sanl, who was one of his Perfecutors,

The point is moderation, that neither we should fo favour bigh-grown sinners as not to complain to God of them, nor yec so delight in their punishment, as not to pray against the whole and full displeasure of God; that neither the zeal of Gods glory do extinguish Christian compassion, nor the tendernes of picy quench the zeal of

Gods glory, but that at once we do (hew our 0bedience to the whole law,that he cbat loyech God may love his neighbour allo.

God himself directed Abimilech to Abraham to pray for him, and the friends of job to use Jobs interceflion, because he loves to be entreated to shew mercy.

And che rich man in hell wonld not have his brethren come to that place of torment.

Complain then, that is holy paffion; but begge casie punishment, that is charitable compassion: the children of God have as many tears to shed for the punishment of their brethren, as for their finnes.

2. The Parts are two,
1, The Prophets resolucion concerning the Church and

Commonwealth of the Jews.
2. The Prophets dispute with God.

The first containech an argument.
s. The Antecedent: Thou art from everlasting O Lord, my

God, my holy Onz.
The Conclusion; Therefore we shall wat die @ Lard: thos
haft ordained them for

judgement, o mighty God, when bal ftablished them for correction,


[merged small][ocr errors]


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

The Proposition : That God is eternal and haly, needs no proof to such as know God; both are clearly maintaincd through the whole body of Scripture.

1. The Eternity of God. And Abrabam planted a grove in Beer-fheba, and called there. Gen. 23. on the name of the Lord, ebe everlasting Godo

Mofes, Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou Pl. 90. zo. badft formed ihe earth and the world: even

from everlafting toever. lafting thou art our God...

Saint Paul, speaking of the mystery of the Gospel long kept Rom. 16, fecret ; but now is made manifest, and by the Scriptures of the 26. Prophets, according to the Commandment of the averlafting God made known to all nations.

Haji thou not known ? haft thou not heard that the everlasting 1f1.40.28 God the Lord, the Creator of the end of the earth, faisteth *** C.

Plato defined God to be eterna mens fibi ad omnem. felicitatém fufficiens, furime bona, et omnis boni efficiens in natura.

Neither can we rest in the search of cautės, till we come to one sopreme eternal cause of all things the Alpha and Omega of o. ther things, of himself without Alpha or Omega.

2. The Conciation from hence issuing, is : Therefore We Dall not die, faith Habakkuksi

For as God is eternal in himself, fo is he to his Church, and from the eternity of God doth the eternity of Angels and men deriyeit self, for eternity cannot flow from any thing chat is not it felfe eternal; and we know that the nacure of Angels and men is eternal, both of them being by the eternal God created to abide for ever : the eleet Angels and men in eternal glory, the reprobate Angels and men in eternal shame and pain.

Yer isthe judgement of the reprobate in Scripture called by the names of Death, Destruction, Perifhing, because these be tigles of the greatest horrour and dismay, that the heart of man can conceive.

Now we have two hopes built upon this foundation of Gods eternity, non moriemur.

1s Temporal, that God will still reserve a rempant of the Jews to return again to the possession of their fathers, and to build again the City and the temple, and co renew the face of a


[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinua »