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Which St. Auguftine doth understand either figuratively, in medio duorum Teftamentorum, or literally, in medio Mofis & Elia, with whom he fpake in the mountaine when he was transfigured: or, in medio duorum latronum, between whom he was hanged, when he was crucified.
Others of late following the tradition that lay in the manger between an Oxe and an Affe, that were feeding there, understand these two living creatures, in the midst of whom the Wifemen that came from the Eaft, found Chrift.
Yet Eufebius and Theophilact read not (or, with an acute accent in the first fyllable, which fignifieth living creatures, but with a circumflexe in the laft (way, which doth fignifie lives, in medio duarum vitarum quia venit in mundum,habens duas vitas,alteram mortalem & humanam, alteram immortalem & divinam.
I onely make this use of these expofitions to fhew you how of this old place hath paffed for a teftimonie of the Prophets fore-fight and prophecying of Christ.
But reading as we do in medio annorum, here alfo fundry interpretations are given: for fome do referre this to that time which St. Paul fpeaketh of.
But when the fulnesse of time came, God fent his Sonne. So the Prophets prayer is, that God would remember to perform his promife of the Meffiah, in medio annorum, that is, in the fulneffe of time; for it is certain, that from Chrift to the end of the world, the world is in a state of declination.
Lyranus faith, that thefe years here meant,are from the deftruction of the temple at ferufalem, to the rebuilding thereof finifhed, for he faith,there were 52 years from the destruction of the temple to the first year of the reigne of Cyrus, from thence to the fixt year of the reigne of Darius, vvere 46 years, for fo long it is faid the temple vvas in building.
In the midft, not in medio Geometrico, but Arithmetico, the Prophet prayeth God to revive his vvork of restoring the peo“ ple to their liberty and poffeffions gigant
But I chufe to follovv the Expofition of the 70 Interpre
ἐν τῷ παρεινα τὸν καιρὸν,cum temporis opportunitas fuerit, vvhen there fhall be a fit time, vvhich leaveth it at large to God to take his ovvn time, and that feemeth to have been the judgment of Tremelius and funius, vvho render it inrerea temporis, as vve in English, in the mean time. So Beza.
Mafter Calvin doth goe vvith the former expofition of the fulness of time, for he faith,the Church vvas but grøvving and coming on till Iefus Chrift came in the flesh; but then it grevv up to a ripeness, so that the coming of Chrift was the grovving up of the Church, ad atatem virilem, to the age of a
3 Vivifica, revive, the margent readeth, preferve thy vwork,that is,maintain thy Church,and keep it from the povver of her enemies, till thou fendeft a Redeemer to recover it from the injuries of time, and the violence of the ungodly; for the time of the Church under perfecution, is the vvinter of it, in vvhich it feemeth dead, and prayeth God to quicken and revive it by the fending of his Son.
In the midst of the years make knovvn, he re-inforceth his former petition, novv defiring that God vvould reveale his gracious purpofe of fuccouring his Church, and triumphing over the enemies thereof.
In the mean time, vvhile thy Church is groaning under the burthen of their exile, make thy vvill knovvn to them.
This favour of God vvii fvveeten the adverfity of their banishment, vuhen they fhall knovv the loving purpose of God tovvard them.
In wrath remember mercy.
They confeffe, that they have given God caufe of difpleafure, and have provoked him to vvrath, they feel the smart thereof in a ftrange land, and they have no plea but mercy, they dare not make fo bold vvith him, as to entreat him to turn avvay all his vvrath from them, because they are fo guilty to themselves, that they have provoked him, and deserved his indignation.
Onely they defire that in the midft of his vvrath, he vvould remember mercy.
By vvrath in this place is not meant any fuch affection in God, vvhereof his unchangeable and conftant nature is not capable, for God is femper idem, ever the same, vvhom hee loveth, he loveth vvith an everlafting love, and he cannot at any time be angry vvith them. But vvhom he loveth,upon occafion, he rebuketh, and chafteneth every fon, vvhom he receiveth, and this love fometimes bringing forth the effects of that vvhich in man is called vvrath, vve speak after the manner of men, and avouch it of God.
Thus then the text is literally to be understood, O Lord, I have heard vvhat thou haft spoken in the defence of thy upright justice, I have heard vvhat thou purposest in the punishing,and in the avenging of thy Church, in the mean time preferve it, and make it knovv thy love tovvar ds it, and vvhilft thou art punishing of it, remember mercy.
The parts of this are tvvo. SI The preparation to prayer. 22 The prayer it self.
I In the preparation, I obferve
2 In the prayer, I observe
Motum the motive.
2 Petitiones the petitions.
The petitions are three.
I O Lord, revive thy Work in the middle of the
Firft, of the preparation, 1 of the Motus.
The Word of God is vvell beftovved on them that vvill hear it vvith reverence, and receive it vvith humility, here vvas a maze, the Prophet and the Faithfull of the land had loft themfelves,they knevv not vvhat to think, till they had put the matter to God himself.Cap.1.and God having made a ful ansvver, novv the Prophet faith in his ovvn name, and in the name for
whom he confulted God, I have heard thy Speech. All the Scripture is full of examples, of the children of God, hearkening to his word of precepts, and-admonitions to us to hearken: of promises to them that do hearken...
The reafon is, because it is a speciall note of Gods children to heare his Word, even as our saviour himself faith.
He that is of God, heareth Gods Word: ye therefore hear them not, Joh.8.47. because ye are not of God.
And now feeing God hath given over fpeaking by miracles extraordinarily to his Church. St. John faith: We are of God, 1 Joh. 4. be that knoweth God, heareth us, he that is not of God, heareth not us. hereby we know the Spirit of Truth, and the fpirit of errour.
The Spirit of truth is left in the Church by our Saviour, and he fpeaketh in fuch; who by the Ordinance of Chrift, are the Priefts of the new Teftament, of whom Chrift faith. Qui vos recipit, me recipit: & qui recipit me, recipit eum qui mifit me: he that receiveth you, receiveth me, and he that receiveth me, receiveth him that fent me: we must hear him, before he hear us, for St. Paul telleth us true, we know not what we should pray for as we ought. The art of prayer, is not fo quickly learned as fome forward proofeffours make themselves believe. John befides his continuall preaching to his Difciples, taught them alfo to pray.
And never had any Difciples a better Master, then the Dif ciples of Jefus Chrift, yet they living in the eare of his Doctrine, and in the eye of his holy example, were glad to come to him to be taught to pray,& he taught them theLords prayer privately, which after he taught the whole multitude in a Sermon openly.
My obfervation is that his Word muft minifter matter to Doct. our prayers, and all our petitions must be grounded thereupon.
The reafon is, because God heareth not finners, and David John 9.31. faith: If I regard wickednesse in my heart, the Lord will not hear me. But the prayer of a righteous man prevaileth much, if it be fer- Jam. 5.16.
Against fin we have no fuch remedy as the word. So David,
Pfal.1rg. Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not fin against thee. Our Leffons from hence are;
I We must take it for a great favour of God to us, that he giveth us his word, for that is a lanthorne to our feet, that is, our counfalor, as David calleth it.
This word is given us to profit withall, and it is deposited. I In the Books of the Canonical Scripture, which we have not, as the Church of Rome fhut up in an unknown language, but trauflated faithfully into our own tongue, that all of us may be partakers of it."
2 As in the time of the law, the Priests lips did preferve knowledge, and men were to require the law at their lips, fo in the time of the Gofpel, St. Paul faith, of the Apoftles, and of all the Ministers, that should fucceed them in their office I Cor.5. in the Church, God hath committed to us the word of reconciliation, he hath fo committed it to his Son firft, as he gave him power to transmit it in the Priesthood of the New Teftament; to all ages of the Church till his fecond coming.
The fpirit which Chrift left to comfort and inftruct his Church, was not given at large to all men, but in perticular ordinance to them whom he fent, to teach all Nations, as the 2 Cor.3.6. Apostle faith,Our fufficiency is of God, who hath made us able Minifters of the New Testament, not of the Letter, but of the Spirit ; for the Letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life.
So we are the Minifters of the word that giveth life, and there is no life to be had but by our Miniftry. This gives us intereft in your affections, in your understandings, in your goods, in your prayers.
2 Now we know where we may hear God, we are taught alfo not to neglect him speaking to us, for as the Author to the Hebrews faith, See that ye refufe not him that fpeaketh: for if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven.
And the Minifters of the Gofpel do fpeak even asif Chrift himself spake in us, we fpeak in Chrifts ftead.
But as in the time of the Law God fent his Prophets fome
2 Cor.s. 20.