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The Wise-man fearech and departeth from evill.
· Pro.184.16 Sometimes we find fear mingled with joy; as for example;
When the Lord brought again the captivity of Sion, we were like Pf.: 126.1. them that dream. They were overcome with joy for their deliverance and restitution, and yet they felt withall a fear, that it was too good to be true, aud doubted that it was but a dream.
We do not receive any good newes but before the hearing of it we fear;che Angel that appeared co Zecharie the Preist found Luk. 1.13., him afraid.
The Angel that came to the Virgin Mary found her afraid fo did he that brought the newes of the birth of Christ to the Ihepheards : for all men know that we have no cause to expert any newes from heaven
are so evill and finfull.
And although the comforts of God do remove that fear for a time, yet God would not have it quite extinguished in us : for the Prophet biddeth us, Serve the Lord with fear , andrejoyce Plah 2.11. with trembling. And the Apostle doch bid us too, workout our salvation with fear and tembling.
Sometimes greif is mingled with faith, as in the poor man in the Gospel of whom Christ said, Doeft thou beleeve? he answered first with his tears, then with his words saying; Lord, 1 beleeve, help thou my unbeleefe.
So in the Publicane beating his breast, and saying; Lord, be mercifull to me a finner.
Sometimes indignation is mingled with faith, as in all the imprecations of the Prophet, which as tbey are Prophecies and to proceed from the Spirit of God: fo are they passions in these holy men, and are vented with that indignation, of which the Prophet saith, Be angry and fin not: and which the same Prophec justifiech, Shall not i hate them O Lord which hate thee?
And chis holy indignation you see in the very separate foules.
with a loud voice, how long Lord, dost then not judg, Rev.6.10. and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the curth? Tantæn animis cæleftibus iræ! To come now to the point in question, H
This zeal of the Prophet is not a dislike of, or an opposition to the will of God, by way of contradition, but a dislike of the thing done according to the expresie will of God, wherein the Prophet doth not offend.
The example of our Saviour Christ is full, and giveth teftimony to this truch: for coming of purpose to lay down his life for his Church, and knowing it to be his Fathers will chache should fodo; yet in the garden he chiee times prayed, that if it were possible that cup might pejse from him; he did not refilt the Wilf of God, for to that he submitced himself; but he difiiked.cbat which he was to suffer according to that Willa
The reason is, because it was evil and a punishment , and he who caught us to pray, libera nos a malo , Deliver us from evil; did so himself,
So though he knew the Will of God to be peremptorie for the deftruction of ferufalem and the rejection of the Jewes, he forrowed and wept for the fame : which shewed his dislike of the thing decreed, though he approved the decree ic self and refifted it not.
Sorrow is a griefe taken by a naturall dislike of that for which we greive.
When our parents, wives, children,.or freinds die, we greive; che Apoftie doch not forbid chat affe&ion, he limitech and regulacethit ; he would not bave us sorrow as men without hope.
And when he took on him our naturall infirmities and afte tions, he did not fo undertake them to remove them from us, or so excinguish them in us, but to correct and temper them. As $.Cyrill laith; wi fic narura noftra reformaretur ad melius, that to our nature mig ho be bercered..
In this very example in my Text of the Prophets dislike that God should shew him this iniquity and violence of the Jews, which was a greif and a burthen to him to fee; remember whac
is said of Lot by St. Peter.. 2.Per, 2.,8 For that righteous man dwelling among tbem, vexed his righteous
foul from day to day with their unlawfall deeds.
Here was not only an holy greif for, but an holy indignation against the light of these things which God (hewed him and that: in the righteous foul of a righteous man..
I conclude this point as before with Davids words, I deny not that this was the Prophets infirmitie; I deny it to be his iniquity, it was no sin in him. And I again urge my former point of Do&rine, it is lawfull for the holy servants of God to expoftulate and contest with God in their prayers.
1. Reaf. 1. Because hereby we declare our dislike of those things against which we contest, as here the Prophet (heweth that it is to him very bateful and offensive to behold the sins of the people, which both corrupt and end anger the state of the Commonwealth,
So when the Prophet complaineth ofren of Gods long.fuffering toward the wicked, he shewech it to be an offence to the children of God, that the enemies of God should be so long forborne.
And when he awaketh God,up Lord why feepest thous, and Aireth him to revenge of his own cause,cherein he declareth bis zeal of the glory of God, of which he most be careful especially,
2. This publique expostularion used in this case to awake the 2. Reas. justice of God against the wicked, doth seem to terrifie che ungodly from their wicked wayes; for when they see that they that fear God, and walk before him, and with him, are up in armes against them, and bandie their imprecacions against them, they cannot but see their estates in great danger,
3. This expoftulation of the just doch declare that their 3. Real. yeilding to the will of God in chole things which they do wichout offence to Gods dislike, is not out of naturall principles and reasons incident to humanity, but from a supernaturall dedision and yeelding of themselves to the transcendent Will of God, whereby they do approve even whac they do diflike, because they find the Wil of God that way.
The profit which we may make of this point is,
1. To teach uś zeal in the cause of God; for there is no life in the service that we performe to God without zoal; there is not only the Spirit of God required in us, buc fervency of the Spirit by the Apostle; and that the same Apostle callech the Spirit dwelling in as plentifully, and in another place: I be Spirit fandifying us throughout.
This giving our bow the full bent, that it may have the full
ftrength, and this to be drawn home, when we fend our prayers
Zeal only used in matters of forme and ceremonie, and in
· These par it to an if : Si filius dei es, if thou be the Son of
For having caught the doctrine of the Sacrament of the Lords
he directed them in the prayers of piety; he reserveth the lates the
1. Of want of zeal where it most should be.
2. Ofinordinate zeal in other things.
We tie also great corruptions in manners which holy zeal, might soon eat out, and without which Religion may bring us to Church, and to the Font, and co the Lords Table, and may rank us with ourward profeffors : buc till we grow to such an hatred of fin, as the very patience and forbearance of God coward those that do abominably, and will not be reformed, doch disquiet and greive us, and make us complain, we fail and come thort of duty to God.
2. Another complaint of the Church, is of inordinate zeal. Which is
1. Eicher in Persons without a lawful calling, seeking to reform things amisse.
27 Orin respect of the things ; when men carryed with the ftrong current of opinion, find fault where no faule is, or make the faule greater then it is.
3. Or in respect of times, when men prevent the time, and exasperate the judgments of God, and provoke his justice de gainst cheir brethren, before chey have done all chat can be done by the spirit of meeknelle.
4. Or in respect of time when they expresse their zeale. First, against those chings that may with least hurt to the Church be.. forborn, cill more concerning affsirs of the Church be advitedly chought upon.
5. Orin respect of the measure of zeal, if ic be more or leffa theo ch: cause of God requireth. 6. In respect of the mixture of iç, if it be commeded with
any of our own corrupt and furious perturbations.
2.Seeing therefore we may make foboldwith God as the Pro. phet here doth; we are to be caught that God is so slow in the execution of his judgments, even upon them that do ill, that till he find that his patience is a barthen to his Church, and cill be be even chidden
to it by his faithful ones, he cannot strike. Wherefore we must both stirre up our felves and our brethren co a lerioas consideration of this goodnesse of God, and that which the Apoftic doch call The riches of his patience, that we despise it not, that we spend not fuch riches unthriftily, buc behow ic upon our repentance, and making our peace with God.
3. Seeing we may chus call God to account, as the Prophet bere doch, and chide bis remissenesse, let us not take it ill at the hands of God if he chide us for our fins, which do well deserve it, and he contest with us. for our neglect of our duties, either to him or our brethren.
4.Secing we have so good warrant for it, when we fee any unremedied evils which do threaten ruine to our Church or Com. mon-wealth, which perchance the Minister may be forbidden to reprove or co dillwadeluch as these in my text. Violence and op preffion, corruption of Religion, and corruption of Courts of Jultice, which che Minister in gencral cerms may reprove; but he