Imatges de pàgina
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strils, for wherein is he to be trusted ? The Prophet Micale

faith; Micah.7.2 The good man is perished out of the earth, there is none wpright

among men, they all lie in wait for blond: they hurt every man his
brother with a net. That they may do evill with both hands earnestly.

The Prince askerk om
man uttereth the mischief of his soul, fo they wrap

great

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

And from this consideration of the generall falfhood that is in friendship, his cautionis;

Trust ye nut in a friend, put no confidence in a guide: keep the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosome.

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

What shall we do then? Verfc 7.

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

Christ our Saviour doth apply this text to his own comming Mat 5.34. into the world, he professeth it, that he came not to bring peace

into tbe world, but the (word.

In which words he: rather expresseth the events and effects, then the intention and purpose of bis comming: for where the light of the gospel doth shine, Father, Mother, Brother, Sister, are but nuda nomina, bare names, where Chrifiin Religion is not, for the true Gospeller will fall out with all, and forsake them all for Jesus Christ.

The rest of the Church is God in Christ, let us seek peace with men, if ic be poflible, as much as in our power, let us have peace with all men, but let us trust no humane or temporall supportation.

Seeing it is here set down as a great judgment of God upon Midian, that they were beaten with their own staves, 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

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bonds of peace, and Christian charity, byting and beating one
another, libelling, and defaming, woorrying one another with
suits of molestation, schismatically forsaking the fellowship
one of another, and changing publique Congregacions into
private Conventicles, and fortaking the setled Priesthood of
the Church, for such as do labour most to break the pace of
the Church, for what is this but the angel of Satan, beating
of us with our own staves. Doth not this home-contention in
our Church,

open an easie way to the enemie of both to enter
in and spoil all.

And this I have observed, that two sides have gained by our Church contentions.

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

The Papists have recovered many, who have gone so 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 correspondence of our Sovereign and his fubjects, and we shall have hope, that our arms shall be strengthened against our enemies, and our own staves shall do us no hurt.

2 Their sin, it was a trespasse against the Church of God,
devouring of the poor and that by open violence, comming
like a whirlwind in sudden fury against them, and by fecret
pradises to hurt and annoy them: teaching us that,

It is a grievous and provoking sin, openly or secretly to di- Do£t.
There be two words of strong signification here used.

Scattering, which fignifieth their expulsion out of their
places, where they dwelt, to go as the Levite did, to gec them
a place where they can finde one, which suiteth well with the
humour of the covetous rich man, who desires 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 vassals to those that strip them.

This

stresse the poor.

112.537

Reaf. 1. This is a grievous sin, and well deserves the punishment

above inentioned

i Because God bath declared himself the patron and protector of the poor , and therefore the Psalmist faith. The pcora committeth kimself unto him, for he is the father of the fatherlesse

: so that to distresse those, is to clip the wings of the hen, that

gathereth-in her chickens, it is : Real 2. 2 Decause the poor are our own flesh, so they are called by

the Prophet, and it is used as an argument to perswade com-
paflion.
To deal ily bread to the hungry, to bring the four

that are caft 01.t to thy house, when thou seeft the naked to cover him, and that thou hide wit thy self from thine own flesh.

The poor and rich both digged out of the same pit, both

cast in the same inould. Reaf.3. 3 Because, Natura paucis contenta : nature is content with

a little, and we have enough amongst us to minister that. For if we have food, he meaneth not Manna and Quails, but necessary food and raiment, he meaneth not costly, but necessary 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 scatter them

that we may have elbow-room enough, and more then needs for our selves, that we may have so much the more to look upon, and lie by us, this is Midianitish and heathenish.

Vos autem non fic: donot you fó. Real-4.

Because God hath.conımitted together with riches, the care and custody of the poor to the rich, and as they hold their wealth not as rightfull owners, but as mercifull stewards and dispensers thereof, fo in the dispensation, they are accomptants to God for the overpius, and he wil call for the inventory, and judg their administration of those things.Understand therfore, that God doth not at any time relinquith his interest that he

hath in the gifts which he bestoweth on men: but still he faith, Hag.3.9. The filver is mine, and the gold is mine, - Saith the Lord of boasts.

When

· When David gave up all the provisions that he had made for the building of Gods temple, to Solomon his Son, he bleffed the Lord, and he confest, saying.

O Lord, our God, all this stere that we have prepared to build thee i Ceror. an house, for thy holy name commeth of thine hand, and is all thine 2916. own : so before, all things come of thee, and of thine own hand have we given thee. The use then that we must make of this point is.

Use. 1 For the rich, let them know their duty to the poor, love is a debt that they owe to them, not an arbitrary courtesie: they may not,

i Either encroach upon them by robbing or spoiling them of that which they have, as here those Midianites did, co spoil their corn, to take awży any thing of theirs.

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

3 Neither may they withbold their hands in their bosomes in their wants, but stretch them forth to relieve their neceflicies.

The wise son of Fakeh faith; There is a generation, whose teeth Pro.30.14 are as swords, and there jaw teeth as knives to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from among men.

And Solomor saith: The Soul of the wicked deforeth 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 oppression of the poor, but with suppreslion of the relief, which he should have given to Lazırns.

And in that overture of the last grand sessions in the golpel, it is only charged upon them that are adjudged to hell fire, Efurivi, a non paviftis me, &c. I was hungry and you fed me not. Suppreslion is oppression,

That cold charity which St fames speaketh of, will be warmed in hell. If a brother or a fifter be naked, and deftitute of daily food.

Jam.2.15. And one of you say unto them, depart in peace,

be you warmed, Verle 16.

and

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2

3

and filled, not withstanding you give them not those things which be

needfull for the body, what dwth it profit? vse 2.

2 Let the poor know that their God doch take care of them to visite their sins with rods, who spoil them, seeing they have forgotten that we are members one of another, and have invaded the goods of their brethren, God will arm them against themselves, and beat them with their own staves, either their own compalling and over-reaching wits that consume their store, or their unthrifty posterity shall put wings upon their riches to make them fly, or God Thall not give them the blessing to take use of their wealth, but they shal leave to such as shall be mercifull co-the poor.',

Therefore tet them follow the Wisemans counsell. Curse Ecclef.10. not the ricb; no not in thy bed chamber, fet no railing and unchri

20. stian bitternesse wrong a good cause, let it be comfort enough

to them, that God is both their supporter and avenger, is it
nor sufficient to lay all the storms of discontent against their
oppreffours, that God sees their amfiction, and commeth
down to deliver and to avenge them.

3 Rather fer this move them to commit their caufe to the
Lord, for as Tertullian faith:
Si apud Deum deposueris morbuma

, medicus eft, fi damnum- refti-
tutor eft; fi injuriam ultor eft , fi mortem refufcitator eft.

Let not the fair weather of oppressours grieve them that live in the tempest of their injuries, David will tell them, that he saith, ungodly flourish like a green bay tree, and anon hee sought them, and their place was not found

Here is the exaltation of Christian charioy, to blesse and pray for such, and this will heap coals of fire upon their head, either to warm their charity which hath caken cold, or to confume or devour them.

There was a time, when he that denied Lazarus a crum, begged of him a drop: equi negavit dare micam, non accepit guttam, and he thac denied a crum, had not a drop.

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