Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

and shall eat her flesh,and shall burn her with fire. For God hath put. in their hearts to fulfill his will, and to agree, and to give their Kingdom to the beast, untill the words of God ball be fulfilled.

From whence we gather, that that agreement which is mongst wicked men, againft Chrift, and againft his Church, is ftrengthened by the will and providence of God for a time, till that time, the confederacies of the ungodly do hold, but when he pleafeth to diffolve them, they end in felf-woundings. and inteftine combuftions.

This ferveth to fettle our judgments, concerning the com- Ufe 1. binations of the wicked against the Church, they are of God, and he hath his fecret and juft ends therein, either to chaften the errours and tranfgreffions of his people, or to bring their patience and piety to the teft, to try whether any thing will make them forfake their hold,and relinquish their truft in him.

Or to bring the greater condemnation upon thofe, whom he useth as inftruments in this tryall of his chofen fervants. Therefore,now,that we both hear the news,and fe: the effects of this new bloudy league to deftroy the Church, and to root out the Proteftant Religion, whereby much Chriftian 'bloud of Innocents is already fhed, more is feared: let it establish our hearts, and fettle our judgments upon this reft. The Lord will have it. A Domino factum eft hoc. Tu Domine fecifti: thou, Lord, haft done it.

Surely, there is much droffe in our gold, which must be purged, we have not fpared one another with fchifmaticall mouthes and pens to break the peace of the Church, and God in his juft judgment fuffereth the wicked to prevail aga nit us." ́ This comforteth the Church against thefe tempefts of fu- Use 2. ry, that her enemies do raife against her.

For though they weaken us thereby, and exalt their own horn on high, yet when the waves of the fea do rage horribly; God that is on high is more mighty then they, and he will fmite them with their own ftaves that fupported them, and wound thein with their own fwords, that defended them.

3 This admonifheth us not to fettle any confidence or fe 3. truft in the friendship of man, whofe breath is in his no

Vvv 3

ftrils

Mical.7.2

Verse 3.

Verse 4.

Verses.

Ve: fe 6.

Veife 7.

ftrils, for wherein is he to be trufted? The Prophet Mical faith;

The good man is perished out of the earth, there is none upright among men, they all lie in wait for blond: they hunt every man his brother with a net. That they may do evill with both hands earnestly. The Prince asketk, the fudge asketh for a reward, and the great man uttereth the mischief of his foul, fo they wrap it up

The beft of them is a bryar, the most upright of them is sharper then a thorn hedge.

And from this confideration of the generall falfhood that is in friendship, his caution is;

Trust ye not in a friend, put no confidence in a guide: keep the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bofome.

For the Son dishonoureth the Father, the Daughter riseth up against her Mother, the Daughter in law against her Mother in law, and a mans enemies are the men of his own house.

What fhall we do then?

Therefore, I will look upon the Lord, I will wait for the God of my falvation: my God will hear me.

Chrift our Saviour doth apply this text to his own comming Mar 1.34. into the world, he profeffeth it, that he came not to bring peace into the world, but the fword.

[ocr errors]

In which words he: rather expreffeth the events and effects, then the intention and purpose of his comming: for where the light of the gospel doth fhine, Father, Mother, Brother, Sifter, are but nuda nomina, bare names, where Chrifin Religion is not, for the true Gofpeller will fall out with all, and forfake them all for Jefus Christ.

The reft of the Church is God in Chrift, let us feek peace with men, if it be poflible, as much as in our power, let us have peace with all men, but let us truft no humane or temporall fupportation.

Seeing it is here fet down as a great judgment of God upon Midian, that they were beaten with their own ftaves, and wounded with their own weapons.

Let us take notice of this judgment, and take it for a great figne of Gods indignation against us, when we break the

bonds

bonds of peace, and Chriftian charity, byting and beating one another, libelling, and defaming, woorrying one another with fuits of moleftation, fchifmatically forfaking the fellowship one of another, and changing publique Congregations into private Conventicles, and fortaking the fetled Priesthood of the Church,for fuch as do labour moft to break the peace of the Church, for what is this but the angel of Satan, beating of us with our own ftaves. Doth not this home-contention in our Church, open an eafie way to the enemie of both to enter in and spoil all.

And this I have obferved, that two fides have gained by our Church contentions.

The Anabaptifts have recovered fome from us, who standing fo violently against Popery, have questioned all that they received.

The Papifts have recovered many, who have gone fo far in the defence of the mean, that themselves have ftaggered into the extream.

God te mercifull to our land, and continue the peace of the State, even the sweet correfpondence of our Sovereign and his fubjects, and we fhall have hope, that our arms fhall be ftrengthened against our enemies, and our own ftaves fhall do us no hurt.

2 Their fin, it was a trefpaffe against the Church of God, devouring of the poor: and that by open violence, comming like a whirlwind in fudden fury against them, and by fecret practises to hurt and annoy them: teaching us that,

It is a grievous and provoking fin, openly or fecretly to diftreffe the poor.

There be two words of ftrong fignification here ufed. I Scattering, which fignifieth their expulfion out of their places, where they dwelt, to go as the Levite did, to get them a place where they can finde one, which fuiteth well with the humour of the covetous rich man, who defires to dwell alone upon the earth.

2 Devouring, which fignifieth, taking away from them all that they have, to put it to their own heap, whereby they become vaffals to those that strip them.

This

Doct.

Reaf 1.

Reaf.2.

Ifa.58 7

Reaf.3.

Reaf.4.

This is a grievous fin, and well deferves the punishment above mentioned.

1 Becaufe God bath declared himself the patron and protector of the poor, and therefore the Pfalmift faith. The poor committeth himself unto him, for he is the father of the fatherlesse: fo that to diftreffe thofe, is to clip the wings of the hen, that gathereth in her chickens, it is :

2 Because the poor are our own flefh, fo they are called by the Prophet, and it is ufed as an argument to perfwade compaflion.

To deal thy bread to the hungry, to bring the poor that are caft out to thy houfe, when thou feeft the naked to cover him, and that thou hide at thy felf from thine own flesh.

The poor and rich both digged out of the fame pit, both caft in the fame mould.

3 Because, Natura paucis contenta: nature is content with a little, and we have enough amongst us to minifter that. For if we have food, he meaneth not Manna and Quails, but neceffary food and raiment, he meaneth not coftly, but neceffary raiment, we must be therewith content.

To ftrip the poor naked, to multiply our changes of raiment, or to take away a whole garment from them, to put one lace more upon ours, this is inhumane irreligious.

To fcatter them,that we may have elbow-room enough, and 'more then needs for our felves, that we may have fo much the more to look upon, and lie by us, this is Midianitish and heathenifh.

Vos autem non fic: donot you fo.

Because God hath committed together with riches, the care and cuftody of the poor to the rich, and as they hold their wealth not as rightfull owners, but as mercifull ftewards and difpenfers thereof, fo in the difpenfation,they are accomptants to God for the overplus, and he wil call for the inventory, and judg their adminiftration of thofe things.Underftand therfore, that God doth not at any time relinquifh his intereft that he hath in the gifts which he beftoweth on men; but ftill he faith, Hag.1.9. The filver is mine, and the gold is mine, faith the Lord of boafts.

When

When David gave up all the provifions that he had made for the building of Gods temple, to Solomon his Son, he bleffed the Lord, and he confeft, faying.

O Lord, our God, all this ftere that we have prepared to build thee 1 Ceron. an houfe, for thy holy name commeth of thine hand, and is all thine 29 16. own: fo before, all things come of thee, and of thine own hand have we given thee.

The ufe then that we must make of this point is.

I For the rich, let them know their duty to the poor, love is a debt that they owe to them, not an arbitrary courtefie: they may not,

1 Either encroach upon them by robbing or (poiling them of that which they have, as here thofe Midianites did, to fpoil their corn, to take away any thing of theirs.

2 Neither may they come upon them as a whirlwind to encompafs and gird them in by their devices of power, or wit, or authority, to make prizes of their labours, whilft they eat the, bread of adverfity, and drink the waters of Marah.

3 Neither may they withhold their hands in their bofomes in their wants, but stretch them forth to relieve their neceffities.

[ocr errors]

The wife fon of fakeh faith; There is a generation, whofe teeth Pro.30.14 are as fwords, and there jaw teeth as knives to devour the poor from

off the earth, and the needy from among men.

And Solomon faith: The fout of the wicked defireth evill, his. Pro 21.10 neighbour findeth no favour in his eyes.

Let them remember, that the rich man in the gospel is not charged with any oppreffion of the poor, but with fuppreflion of the relief, which he fhould have given to Lazarus.

And in that overture of the laft grand feffions in the gofpel, it is only charged upon them that are adjudged to hell fire, Efurivi, & non pavist is me, &c. I was hungry and you fed me not. Suppreffion is oppreffion.

That cold charity which St James fpeaketh of, will be warmed in hell.

If a brother or a fifter be naked, and deftitute of daily food.
And one of you fay unto them, depart in peace,

XXX

be

Jam.2.15.

you warmed, Verle 16. and

« AnteriorContinua »