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pursued Chrift to the Croffe; all the godly fare the better for the good which was effected by it.
Ifrael is here punished by the Chaldæans, and God maketh use of these bryars and thorns to prick and goare his People; he fuffereth them to be carried into captivity.
All the force of Satan and his inftruments,prevail no farther a gainst the Church,then for correction and burning out the droffe, God doth ftill do all things for the best
The consideration whereof ferveth,
1. To pacifie us against evils, and to lay that ftorme which Use. either humane piffion or inordinate zeal may stirre up against finne and finners; though that all punish nent in its nature be evil, yet God may work good of it; and the Son of God faith, Refist not evill, let it have its course, and expect Gods end in it.
You see how much Habakkuk was troubled at the fins of the fews, how he did even chide with God for his patience and remiffeneffe toward them; you fee from thence it is a burthen to man to beare the impieties of their brethren, and to behold their uncharitableneffe: and therefore it is lawful to complain to God of fuch, and to awake his justice against them.
And here in Gods anfwer, you fee that God can make use of men of evil natures and ungodly lips to execute his will.
Obferve the faults of thefe Chaldæans,
1. Idolatrous; therefore Religion, and the whole worship of God, and the house of his worthip, and the Priests and the Minifters of it were like to pay for it..
Woful is that state that giveth any way to idolatry to enter into it; for Amaziah cannot endure Amos to prophecy near the King.
2. Fierce and cruel, and therefore no mercy to be expected where they may use the sword.
3. Proud and imperious; fo that to serve them was the bafeft vaffalage that might be. Such a nation as this will always make a good fharp rod, to fcourge the Church when it rebelleth a-gainst God.
And let that Land into which fuch a nation doth come, either ina ftorme by force, or in a calme by treaty to have power therein, perfwade it self, that God ows it a whipping, and will not be long in debt..
But in all fears, and smart, let the comfort of this doctrine feafon our hearts, that God doth use the evils that be in men well, and all things fhall come to the best to them that feare God.
Let us remember our leffon, let us live in the learning and practice of it, feare God and keep his Commandements, and let Satan do his worst, and let the Catholick Bishop and the Chaldæans, his idolatrous, cruel and proud fonnes, ufe either their wit or strength against us; fi Deus pro nobis, if God be for us, all is well.
19. Thefethorns fhall bear us grapes, and these thistles figs; We had need to confider that in all machinations and actions of mifchief against the Church, there is alfo the right hand of the most high,dextera excelft: let us take heed that we do not finne too boldly with that. Rather let us await the good iffue that his boly will fhall produce; for all things do work together for our Ufe 2. good, if we do fear and ferve him.
2. This ferveth to soften that hard Doctrine of our Saviours, which goeth fo much against the heart of flesh and bloud, to bleffe those that curfe and perfecute us, and to pray for those that hate su, to love our enemies; for feeing all their actions be governed and difpofed by the providence of God, who loveth us fo well, that he fpared not his own Son but gave him unto death for us, we may promise our felves good out of all evils that they imagine to execute against us.
There be two things which must be confidered in our enemies, to quickea this charity.
1. The perion of our enemy which heareth (though much defaced) the image of God, and is the fame nature with us; fleth of our flesh, and bone of our bone, which we must not hate nor with ill to.
2. The imployment of God in his actions which do offend us; for we fee that God ftirreth him and fetteth him awork,and manageth the whole operation to his own purpose;
Therefore think not our Saviours Precept an hard faying, who commandech charity even to an enemie, and love to fuch as hate us.
For even in the injuries they do to their brethren, they do fervice to God.
Yet is not God author of the evil done, but of the good extracted out of that evil, and applyed to the benefit of his Church.
2. Their preparation to accomplish this Will of God;
1. In ther own per fons.
2. In their military forces.
1. Their horfes
2. Their riders.
1. For their own perfons, no doubt but they fhould bring with them all the appearance of danger and horrour that might be,that God might caft the fear of them upon the Jews; that is number, choice of fouldiers, ftrength of armes.
2. For the forces here named, horfes trained up to the field, flefht in bloud with horfemen to manage that feirceneffe to the deftruction of the Jew;
This is their preparation, wherein we are taught that When God undertaketh to do a work, he accommodareth all Doctr fit means for a full execution, πάντα συνεργεῖ all things work together; for when he beginneth he will alfo make an end.
You all know that God hath no need of means to execute his Will, his Will is a law to his creature; Yet he chooseth in his great wifedom by vifible and fenfible means to chaften the rebellion of the Jews, that his ways may be knownupon earth,even the wayes of his judgments, that the earth may stand in awe of him.
God would have his Church know, that if he once take displeasure against them; he hath the command of armies to fight against them; for he is LORD of Hoasts.
Men partners with them of the fame nature, fhall be fearfull and terrible to them, they fhall lay afide all humanity, and fhall arme themfelves with malice and cruelty to destroy them; they shall fee that God can put mettal into them, and into their horfes, and make all their military provifions mortal to defroy them for who is fo great a God as our God?
Edom had made peace as you heard out of Obadiah, with his neighbour nations, yet the men of his confederacie put a wound under him.
Let us not truft our peace with all the world, especially with them whose religion is a warrant to them to break with us when they fee an advantage.
Let us make and keep peace with our God, and put our fins to filence which cry out for judgments against us; for if he be on our fide,we need not feare the arme of fefh: the horfe and the rider too will fall,& fail,as in the example of Ifrael,he hath a red fea, a judgment of vengeance to follow them: one fhall chafe a thousand.
A thousand shall fall on thy fide, and ten thousand at thy right hand, but shall not come near thee. Pfal.91.7. There is, there can be no danger to them that have the
God of facob for their refuge.
When armies fight his battels, they are terrible and dreadful; when he is on our fide, there are more with us then againft us.
The name of the Chaldæ ans, their fierceneffe, their hafty violence, their number, their horses, their riders, their whole Preparation for warre, do all borrow terrour from ego excitabo ̧ will ftir up; it is God that fetteth them a work, which putteth
this mettal into them.
Let me learn of the Apoftle Saint Paul to apply this terrour, to the common use of all those that are defpifers of the threatnings of God."
Beware therefore least that come upon you which is spoken of by Aas 13 the Prophets.
And there he citeth these words, ver. 5. I will do a work in your days, which yee will not believe, &c. whereby he fheweth,
1. That the Provocation which moveth God to this fevere judgment is contempt; therefore Saint Paul faith, Heare yee defpifers, for it was spoken at first to such as did flack the law of God, and badno ate or reverence of his threatnings and judg
2. That this was no fingular judgment proper to that nation of the lews, but common to his People all the world over;for God
feeing Religion contemned, and Justice corrupted, that neither a Chriftian, nor a moral converfation is regarded, he will find Chaldæans more fierce and hasty and violent nations, to overrun and destroy fucha People,pat
Our fins are the edge and point of their weapons, 3. The intention of the Chaldeans.
God worketh as he profeffeth,in this invasion, and his end is, to punish the over-growing fins of the Jews, the Chaldæans they work, their end is spoil and enlargement of their dominion.
God for his own end giveth way to them and suffereth, that is not all, he worketh with them and accomplish their defire. The Papist and the Anabaptift do both charge the Protes → ftant Church that we maintain God to be the Author of fin.
Campian faith, for us, Volens, Suggerens, Efficiens, Jubens, Operans, & in hoc impiorum fcelerata confilium gubernans. And this is one of our paradoxes.
Cardinal Bellarmine doth maintain, that all evils are done on earth only permittente deo by Gods permiffion. Our answer is, That in all finful actions, two things are to be confidered, as Aquinas well teacheth.
1.Ipfa actio, the action.
2. Vitium actionis, the fault of the action.
We confefle that God is wilens, fuggerens, efficiens, jubens, operan, and gubernans in actione, for omnis actio quatenus actio eft bona for deus omnia operatur. In him we live and move, and without his power no action can be performed.
It is blafphemie to fay or think that any thing is, or can be done against the will, or without the power of God, or that God doth lend his power to any against himselfe, and his Will, for that deftroyeth the Omnipotent Providence of God.
But for the evil that is in a wicked action, that deriveth it felf from the corrupt root of mans finful nature, an
Saint Augustine handling this point doth,thus exemplifie it. Qum pater tradiderit fitum, & dominus corpus fuum, & fu- Ep1.48 ad das dominum cur in hac traditione deus juftus eft,& homo reus,nifi vincent. quia in re una quam fecerunt cansa non una eft ob quam fecerunt?
In the example in my text God himself hach cleared this troth For here are the Chaldæans..