« AnteriorContinua »
are robbers of the just to whom the earth is given, and with
who Pfal.119.1 walk in the way of the Lord. The idle speculations of secular wile men, and the corrape affections of carnall men, have fought felicicy 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 justified by his obedience and keeping of the Law, yet the faith of the man is to justified, as Sa fames faich, seld me thy faith by thy works.
The way of cemporal fülneffe trach mit led many,and corrupted the very Jews, of Gods people ; for. why did they oppreffe and spoyle, and greive, and contend with their brethren, but to mend their own heap? and riches are not but for ute.
By riches they might have cheir hearts delire in any thing here below, they might buy it out.
Every one observeth the way of his time; if he recthat there bee no way of rising or thriving in the world, but by fuch a mediacion, the whole addresse is that way, and that means is wholly studied.
If a man see that there is nothing to be had without mony, formony any thing, then mony is his whole study : querenda pecunia primum.
And fure if men did see that nothing but vertue and Religion and the fear of God did preferre men, and sufficient 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.
Bur ic is no matter, let the men of this world share amongst them things temporall, and let them break and Ilack the Law. of God to humour the present times,as chofe Jewes at this time did of whom the Prophet doth complain; I will give them fauce to their meat : For three things well considered will call us a-way from these temporall desires, and make us despise the world.
1. Though one man had all that this world affordeth delightful, yet all this could not satisfie his unbounded delire,, he. could not cake use of it all, he should have but the beholding of.
some of it with his eye, andthat the least part of the whole.
2. All chese things could not give rest and peace to the confcience, or heal the diseased foul, or comfort at the dying hour : they cannot stand in the gap to turn away the judgeinent of God, they cannot so much as cure the head-ach, or the toothach, or any disease of the body.
When our sins be ripe and ready for the gathering, all the wealth of the world cannot keep out the sickle of venge
3. None of all this sublunary happinesse can extend it selfe to eternity; we brought it not with us, and we must leave it be.
hind us, and as Zophar said, Iob 20.15 He that hathswallowed down riches shall vomit them up again;God.
Shall 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 cimes, how some bave outlived great honours, and feen them conferred upon others: we have seen great esteemed rich men break, and cheir Poverty come upon them like an armed
On the contrary, the man that keepeth the Law of God with his whole heart, and doch his best to walk conscionably 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, most of all to be desired S. Safety from evils.
2. Comfort within himselfe.
The greatest danger that the juft man feareth in this life is the
chaften such with the rods of men, but his mercy he
ed with this seale, the Lord knoweth who are his.
whom he knoweth he' eleð, he predestinates, be calleth, he justifieth, the fan&tifieth, be glorifieth. They cannot sinne unco deach.
He will cover them under his wings, and they shall be safe un. der his feathers.
2. Comfort within himselfe.
This comech from a pure fountain of grace, the Spirit of God
.2. They are deace to the Sorine of God, he bought them wich
3. They are deåre to the Angels of God, they pitch cheir
4. They are doare to their mother the Church of God, who saith to them as Solomons mother, what my conne, what the Fonne of my bombe? What the finne of my vows ? And she is ready to conder her children to God, laying, Loe bere am I and the children which thou hast given me,
5. They thac 'live in the obedience of the law of God have the testimony of the wicked, , for they cannot coinplain of them: if they do them wrong, they suffer it without seeking revenge: if they need the help of the godly, they give it them without respect of Persons ; if they be sick, the faithful pray for them; ifchey do evill, they reprove them friendly; And when they die, they will rather cast the care of their estates and children
upon such as fear God, then upon other men whom chey have loved more for their fimilicude of manners. ! 11 2. Aad note this, they that walk severely in the obedience of
Gods law, are at the most raxed but for hypocrisie, which sheweth that even the world cannot blame them, if they be fincere, and truly and really answerable to their outward Profession.
To all this we may adde as the full comfort of all, that Godlj helle hath the promises of this life and the life to come. ;)
1. Of this life, we hold that which we poffefte in a good right, by our obedience to the law of God, and we have Gods word and promise for it, thar noching shall be taken froma of that we do enjoy here but forour greater goodos 2. Of che life to come, that is double. Sı.
good . 1. Here,
. 2. Hereafter,in glory,fulnesse of joy. I do not doubt but God hath wrought that fad effe&, by the plentiful Ministry of his Word in our Church, chat he hath many holy foules here among us, which hold the Commandments of God more dear then all thac they pofleffe, or that the world hath to give them, and for their fakes God is merciful.co
our land, and gives us chat peace & pleaty which many of our neigho bour Churches do want. T...,
And if God should shut up these in the chambers of deatby, the candle of the wicked would be soon put out. üni
But we cannot buc fee that Papifts do grow both more and more bold then they have been, whence they have their encouragement, God best knowetha mi
a. luci.) We see that Schii maricks and separatists are increased, and much of the knowledge that is gotten turnethinto swelling and. pride, and contention.
We fee that the Sabbath of God is most neglected; even of those that owe God moft service, for the abundance of things temporal; 'we see that profit,and pleasure, and company and custome of linning, hath brought the law of God into contempt, with such as are prophane.
Let fach fee and consider how God dealt with bis own People in such a case, as the next part of this chapter fewech, and let them feare:
For us, let us know that in keeping of the Law of God there is great reward, and let us learne to love this daw, and put ok
whole strength to the keeping of it that we may live. And this
1, In sincerity, not with eye-service to be seen of men against hypocrisie.
2. In zeal and fervency of spirit, his word in our hearts must be as a burning fire, against cold and perfunctorious Profeffion, ler.20.9. wbich is the general diseale of Professors.
3. With perseverance to the end without any intermission or celíation against Apoftalic & back-sliding; even as our greatexample did, who was obedientto the death, even he bowed down his head and gave up the Ghoft. This, and noching else doth make this life peace, and the next life glory: This is the old and good way, walk in it, and you shall
find rest for your sous. The corruption of Justice is another of the Prophets coma plaines.
Doctr. Corruption of Justice is a dangerous signe of a droop ing Common-wealth.
The Magistrate litteth in the place of God, and he is the com- 1. Real. mon father of the People, and God hath put his own fword into his hand, and commanded him to judge juftly between man
33, 74,519.de If either there be no Magistrate, as when there was no King in Israrl, the People did what seemed good in their own eyes. Then every man is his owne judge, and the stronger prevaile gainst the weaker.
Or if the Magistrate be corrupt there goeth forth wrong judga mene, & good causes have unequal hearings, and right taketh no place. Solon in the Athenian, and Lycurgus in the Lacedemont: Clio. an Common-wealth, got them honour in the books of cime for their Justice, i and Herodows reportech, that amongst the 147 Medes, when they yet bad no King, Dejoçes being but a private man, by com promising contentions betwix man and man juftly and equally, got that repuc.cion amongft the People, that in Ahort time all
the causes of the countrey were referred to his hearing, which got him tuch a name of doing justice, that when they found it neceflary to put themselves under the Government of a King; they found no man lotio to invest in that bonour as Desodes, and they with onc centenc chote him to be their King G 2