« AnteriorContinua »
to observe how things are carried; but it God declare it to them, and cause them to behold it, and if the workers of this wicked neffe be so bold and open that they care not who fee it chis doch prove the finne deeply rooted and high-grown is amongst them.
2. It proves their boldnesfe in finning,char they durft commit chose crying fins before the Prophet che messenger of God sent of purpose to reprove them, and coming from Almighty God to difl
wade them from it. Sirine at first is balhfull and modeft, and doth fear the light of any good man. Senecos the learned Preacher thought it a good thing to keep in unruly dclices, and any incemperancy in young men.
Prodejt fine dubio caftodem fibi impofuiffe es habere quem reo fpicias : And to live
Tanquam sub alicujus boni viri semper presentis oculis.
But when men grow to that height of finning, that they darc commit their iniquities in the light of God, and men; in the fighe of the Minifter that carrieth the sword of Gods Spirit, the word: of God to reprove it and threaten it, or in the sight of the Maas gistrace that carrieth the fword of God to punish it, then to ufe: the Apostles word, Sin is out of measure fonfull.
Such are they that swear and blafpheme chc Dame of God, that talk fcurriloufly and leudly,that deprave their brechren' ma. Jiciously,char drink drunk even before us the Mioifters of Gods word, as if God had sent us to bid them fin on, and as if we had no commission to find fault out of the Pulpit.
They fave cheir own stakes by confining us to the Pulpit, and Thutting up our power there; far there they know we may not? rax personally, and they chink themselys free enough if we smite at Cin only in generall terms; for fuch reproofos, bave no edge but whac parricular application doth give chem, and therco1 in chey are wife cnough to favour chemselves. 7a
It is not nothing that the Prophet doch fay that this sporling and violence was done before him; for his words of reproof will prove them guilty of wilfull transgression and contempt of the divine Majelty, as it presently followecho ng And he will be both a fearfull imprecator against them as
he proveth in this Chapter, to call down Gods judgments upon them; and he will be a full witnesse to testifie against them before God,
And there are that raise up Arife and contention.
This is contrarie to the Apostles precept.
There be some of chat froward nature, and wrangling dispofition that cannot contain themselves within the bounds of peace, bat they must be ever searching where they may finde fæult, thinking it beft fishing in troubled waters.
You see that God caketh notice of such unquiet perfons, and detectech them to his Prophets that they may chide them for it as the Apostle faich,
Now I beseech you brethren marke them which cause divisions' Rom. 16. and offences. You see God markech them , for it is one of the 17. fix things which God abhorres, him that soweth difcord among brethren.
Pro 6.19 There is great cause why God should abhorre such as stirre
1. Because God is called the God of peace , and his Gospel called the Gospel of peace, and his naturall Sonne became Pare noftra, our peace; and his adopted Sonncs be children
Therefore chose fonnes of thunder, those boystrous and tumultuous batures must needs be abominable to him whole waýes be via pacis, the wayes of peace; for contraries do expelli one the other
Contention doth derive it self from two very offensive corkuptions in men which are abominable to God, as Solomon thewech,,,!!!
1. Only by pride rommeth contention; and indeed chey that Pro.13.12 think themselves wiser then their brethren, and overween the graces of God in themselves, and think themselves worthy to E
fit at the helme and co direct all, if they cannoc have their own wils in every thing, then they quarrell, and contend with all that oppose them.
The proud man God refifteth, for he encrochech upon his foveraingty; therefore David layeth 'that God abhorreth him.
2. Hatred ftirreçh up strife; that is another corruption in man which God.cannot dispense with, because he is charity; and only he which dwellech in charity, dwelleth in God, and God in him.
There be many diftastes and dislikes that do grow even da mongst friends, because we either want the wiledom to know, or the pacience to consider when cime is, that there can be no peace between us, except we can bear with one another, and forgive one another some infirmicies, which the Apostle calleth bearing one anothers burthens.
It is not that linse of infirmity in our nature that is here com plained of, but when men be lo perverse and unquiet chat they will stirre up strife and contention, as David complainech, They stirre up strife all the day long.
And when there is not only contention, as in those that fecretly work one againft another, but there is Jurgium a chiding and scolding too, and that they go so farre in it, that when the Prophet speakech to them of peace, they prepare them, felves to battail;this is hostility to peace;
Here all those that disquiet the peace of their brethren, by secret whispers and by open detractions; and all those that moleft one another in needieffe fuits of law, all talebearers that carry fire about them to enflame a brother against a brocher, do see who takes nocice of them; evço God himlelf; and they make the Prophets and Ministers of God like Joseple to carry their evil report to their father; and to complain of them as es DCmies unto peace;
All those that when a contention is layd alleep, doawake it with new suggeftions, and stirre it up a fresh, and put fçwelco.id to inflame it, all which proceeds from an evil root of bitteraeffe in us, and witnessech against us that surely the fear of God and the love of brecheen is not in that place.
The Apostle telleth us , That if we be led by the Spirit of God, We are the connes of God. But it is clear that contention and ftrife and debate are fruits af the flesh, and declare us to be carnall; and Alesh and bloud cannot inherit the Kingdom of heaven.
Thote contentions do make us unfit for the service of God, and to performe all Christian offices to one another; and God feeing it for the good of his people, he decectech it to his Pro. phets of purpose, that they may leek Reformation thereof. But thefe did ftrive even with the Prophets.
How farre chis unquietnesse did stretch in this people,the next words declare;
I berefore the Law is packed.
By the Law here he meanech the Law of God that labefaétataeft, is weakned; or as others read it, lacerata est, is corne in pieces; others, diffolvitur , is diffolved , that is the Law of peace and charity; for the whole lumme of the Law is love;that is broken, and no man maketh conscience thereof, or careth co be ruled by it; bere observe
1. This goeth near che heart of Gods Propher, when he leo eth char God is no more fer by, and his Law no betrer regarded; fo doth the Prophet complain, I beheld the tranfgreffours, and Plaig.158 Wes grieved because they kept not thy trord; this complaint then was no humane perturbation , buc a tad compaint for che injury done to Almighty God in his Law.
And herein we fhew our zeal of Gods glory when we are moved and troubled at the contempt of his Law; for commonly we are full of heat and provocation in personall injuries when our felves arc couched: but we are too cold in the quarrell of God,
The holy Psalmist cryes out, Away from me all ye that work ini qpitiy, for I will keep the Commandments of my God. This is to be angry without fin, when we are provoked against them that violace the holy Law of God.''!
2. Noce how licentiousneffe was overgrown in this people, and to what an height their fin was come up; when the Law of God which was by God given to them de posited with them, given with luch a charge of keeping it, with such terrible threat
Aings of all declining from it, given with such promises annexed to the keeping of it, was now neglected; the lanthorn and light to their fect put out of purpofe because they love darknelle more then light.
Thele two things mutno je generant, do mutually beget each other. For from the contempt of the Law of God doch arise licenciousneffe and custome of linning, and from that licencious, neffe doth grow a further contempt of the Law.
When men live out of the aw of Gods Commandments, and will not be kept within the bounds and limits which the Law of God doch secihem, there can be no hope of their conversion, their estate is desperate the Prophet must repaire to God,chis is Dignus vindice nodw.
It is time for the Lord to put to thine hand, for they have destroyed thy Lawes.
Judgmeri doth never go forth. ]
1. Some underftand this of the impurity of those wicked. men, that God doth see their violence, and how his Law is bro. ken, and yet he keepeth in his judgment, and doth not punila the transgreffours, which makech them to sin boldly; for because fentence is not speedily executed against the wicked, the heart of the children of men is wholly set in them to do evil.
In which sepse the Prophet doch chaleng God of remifsneffe in execution of his judgment; and quickpech him by this complaint.
2. Others do understand these words of the corrupution of all judicial auchority amongst them for where the Law God of faileth, and is not regarded, there can be no seat of Justice; no man can expect that judgment should come from thence : expe&avi judicium eu excce clamor, there is the stool of wickede nefe.
And that sense doth best agree with this place and the cobea rence of the Text: For where
Religion is despised, the courts of Justice must needs be corrupt. Juftice is either turned int wormwood if the Judg beincensed and carrie a spleen; for if the Judg be servile and live in fearof some great powershe must take his directions from them,&he most decree as he is commanded;
Orit ke bo COVEOUS, justiçe is a prize, chen winne, it and care it.