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are robbers of the juft to whom the earth is given, and with whom only the Covenant of God is made.
The Pfalmift fayeth: Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who Pfal.119.1 walk in the way of the Lord! The idle fpeculations of fecular wife men, and the corrupt affections of carnall men, have fought felicity in other wayes, but have not found it. The way of Religion, and keeping the Law of God, never failed any man; for though the faithfull man be not juftified by his obedience and keeping of the Law, yet the faith of the man is fo juftified, as St. James faith, he me thy faith by thy works.
The way of temporal fülneffe bath mit led many,and corrupted the very Jews, of Gods people; for why did they oppreffe and fpoyle, and greive, and contend with their brethren, but to mend their own heap? and riches are not but for ufe.
By riches they might have their hearts defire in any thing here below, they might buy it out.
Every one obferveth the way of his time; if he fee that there bee no way of rifing or thriving in the world, but by fuch a mediation, the whole addreffe is that way, and that means is wholly ftudied.
If a man fee that there is nothing to be had without mony, for mony any thing, then mony is his whole ftudy: quærenda pecunia primum.
And fure if men did fee that nothing but vertue and Religion and the fear of God did preferre men, and fufficient worth for the place that they seek, men would study vertue and honesty, and all those parts which might make them worthy of what they feek.
But it is no matter, let the men of this world fhare amongst them things temporall, and let them break and flack the Law of God to humour the prefent times,as thofe Jewes at this time did of whom the Prophet doth complain, I will give them fauce to their meat: For three things well confidered will call us a way from these temporall defires, and make us defpife the world.
I. Though one man had all that this world affordeth delightful, yet all this could not fatisfie his unbounded defire, he could not take use of it all, he fhould have but the beholding of
fome of it with his eye, andthat the leaft part of the whole.
2, All these things could not give reft and peace to the confcience, or heal the diseased foul, or comfort at the dying hour: they cannot ftand in the gap to turn away the judgement of God, they cannot fo much as cure the head-ach, or the toothach, or any disease of the body.
When our fins be ripe and ready for the gathering, all the wealth of the world cannot keep out the fickle of venge
3. None of all this fublunary happineffe can extend it felfe to eternity; we brought it not with us, and we must leave it be hind us, and as Zophar said,
Job 20.15 He that hath swallowed down riches shall vomit them up again;God
fball caft them out of his belly.
Neither do all men tarry till they die to lay down these things; we have heard with our ears, and seen in our owne times, how some have outlived great honours, and feen them conferred upon others: we have seen great esteemed rich men break, and their Poverty come upon them like an armed.
On the contrary, the man that keepeth the Law of God with his whole heart, and doth his beft to walk confcionably before God and man, that man hath three benefits, which would encourage any man to embrace the law of God with obedience, and they are the three things in this life, moft of all 1. Safety from evils.
to be defired Comfort within himselfe.
The greatest danger that the juft man feareth in this life is the wrath of God; for all other evils be the exercise of his vertue; that evil of Gods difpleasure is the wound of the foul, for there is no peace where God is angry, but only the terrour of the Lord. From this, he that keepeth the law of God is fafe; for he knoweth that whom God loveth once, he lovech for ever, and the grace of Election cannot be loft.
He may chaften such with the rods of men, but his mercy he cannot utterly take away; for the foundation of the Lord is feal
ed with this seale, the Lord knoweth who are his.
whom he knoweth he electeth, he predeftinates, be calleth, he justifieth, he fanctifieth, be glorifieth. They cannot finne unto death.
He will cover them under his wings, and they shall be safe under his feathers.
2. Comfort within himfelfe.
This cometh from a pure fountain of grace, the Spirit of God witnessing to our Spirit that we are the Sons of God, and then the answer of a good confcience to that Spirit, which hath this effect, that the more we do fee and feele the failing of all our temporal comforts, the more we cleave to God, and feek our comfort in him.
3. Eftimation abroad.
1. They are deare to God, who loveth them, and declareth them heyres of his promises.
2. They are deare to the Sorine of God, he bought them with a price, and he thought it well beftowed on them, he gave them his word in the Holy Ghoft to abide with them for ever, and he is gone to prepare a place for them.
3. They are deare to the Angels of God, they pitch their tents about them living, and minifter unto them and when they dy they carry their fouls into Abrahams bolome.
44 They are doare to their mother the Church of God, who faith to them as Solomons mother, what my fonne ? What the Jonne of my wombe? What the fonne of my vows? And he is ready to tender her children to God, laying, Loe bere am I and the children which thon haft given me,
5. They that live in the obedience of the law of God have the teftimony of the wicked, for they cannot complain of them: if they do them wrong, they fuffer it without feeking revenge: if they need the help of the godly, they give it them without respect of Perfons; if they be fick, the faithful if they be fick, the faithful pray for them; if they do evill, they reprove them friendly; And when they die, they will rather caft the care of their eftates and chil dren upon fuch as fear God, then upon other men whom they have loved more for their militude of manners. 19191
And note this, they that walk feverely in the obedience of
Gods law, are at the moft taxed but for hypocrifie, which fhew-
To all this we may adde as the full comfort of all, that, Godli-
1. Of this life, we hold that which we poffefle in a good
Here In our good name.
2. Hereafter,in glory,fulnesse of joy.
I do not doubt but God hath wrought that fad effect, by the plentiful Ministry of his Word in our Church, that he hath many holy foules here amongst us, which hold the Commandments of God more dear then all that they poffeffe, or that the world hath to give them, and for their fakes God is merciful colour land,and gives us that peace & plenty which many of our neigh bour Churches do want. In qu
In our Pofterity a fure houfe.
And if God fhould that up thefe in the chambers of death, the candle of the wicked would be soon put out. Blago duti But we cannot but fee that Papifts do grow both more and more bold then they have been, whence they have their encou ragement, God beft knoweth
We fee that Schifmaticks and Separatists are increased, and much of the knowledge that is gotten turneth into swelling and pride, and contention.
We fee that the Sabbath of God is moft neglected, even of thofe that owe God moft fervice, for the abundance of things temporal; we fee that profit,and pleasure,and company; and custome of finning, hath brought the law of God into con tempt, with fuch as are prophane.
Let fuch fee and confider how God dealt with his own People in fuch a cafe, as the next part of this chapter fheweth, and let them feare; imo 20
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For us, let us know that in keeping of the Law of God there is great reward, and let us learne to love this law, and put our
whole ftrength to the keeping of it,that we may live. And this
In zeal and fervency of spirit,his word in our hearts must be as a burning fire, against cold and perfunctorious Profession, which is the general difeale of Profeffors.
3. With perfeverance to the end without any intermiffion or ceffation against Apoftafie & back-fliding; even as our greatexample did, who was obedient to the death,even he bowed down his head and gave up the Ghoft. This, and nothing elfe doth make this life peace, and the next life glory: This is the old and good way, walk in it, and you shall find reft for your fouls.
3. The corruption of Justice is another of the Prophets complaints. #stu!
Doftr. Corruption of Justice is a dangerous figne of a droop ing Common-wealth.
The Magiftrate fitteth in the place of God, and he is the com- I. Real. mon father of the People, and God hath put his own fword into his hand, and commanded him to judge juftly between man and man.
If either there be no Magistrate, as when there was no King in Ifrael, the People did what feemed good in their own eyes. Then every man is his owne judge, and the stronger prevaileagainst the weaker.
Or if the Magistrate be corrupt there goeth forth wrong judg ment, & good caufes have unequal hearings, and right taketh no place. Solon in the Athenian, and Lycurgus in the Lacedemoni Clio. an Common-wealth, got them honour in the books of time for their Juftice, and Herodotus reportech, that amongst the vis Medes, when they yet had no King, Deioces being but a private man, by com promifing contentions betwix man and man justly and equally, got that reputation amongst the People, that in hort time all the causes of the countrey were referred to his hearing, which got him fuch a name of doing justice, that when they found it neceflary to put themselves under the Government of a King; they found no man fo fit to invest in that bonour as Deioges, and they with one cenfent chofe him to be their King,