Imatges de pÓgina
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And howsoever the proud despise humility, as too bafe a vertue for heroick and generous fpirits, St. Peter commendeth it for a speciall ornament.

Deck your felves inwardly in lowlineffe of mind. That feare which is in the reprobate, doth drive them quite away from God, but the fear of the elect brings them to his hand, and cafteth them at his feet, the Publican full of fear, yet it had not power to keep him from the Temple, nor from prayer,rather because he feared, he came to Church to pray.

2 Fear breedeth in us a defire to approve our felves to God, and keepeth us in awe, fetting both our fins always in our own fight, and our felves in the fight of God, which fheweth,what need we have to fly to him.

3 Fear doth serve for a fpur, to put us on, and to mend our pace, that we may loader, run the way of Gods Comandements; For men run for fear.

With this fear is joyned faith, which layeth hold on the comfortable promises of God, and fo filleth us with the love. of him, that we refolve under the shadow of his wings, we fhall be safe.

This alfo doth break forth into prayer, as the Prophet faith, I believed, therefore did 1 fpeake.

Fear directed by Faith, will foon finde the face of God. For fear humbleth us, faith directeth this humiliation to the mighty hand of God..

Fear makes us ful of defire,faith directeth our defire to God. Fear makes us runne, faith fheweth us the face of God, and biddeth us runne thither; and thus the contemplation of Gods juftice and mercy doth fill the heart with zeale, and the fpirit of fupplications, as in this prefent example.

The Church feeth God remiffe in forbearing them, it feeleth God fharp in punishing them, it discerneth him just in avenging them, and it is promifed mercy and favour in delivering them, therefore the Prophet teacheth them to pray.

We are taught to think on these things, which may move us to feek the face of our God, and that is a work for the foul,

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when it keepeth a Sabbath of reft unto the fervice of God, as appeareth in the Pfalme, for the day wherein the Church doth Pfal.92. confider the juftice and mercie of God.

Our idle and wandring thoughts runne all the world over in vain imaginations, we could not beftow them better then in fweet contemplation of the works of God here in the government of the World.

We are taught alfo when we behold these things to pray to God, for prayer being a conference with God, we cannot offend him in any thing that we fhall fay out of fear and faith. This duty is by God commanded, he hath directed it, he hath promised his Spirit to helpe us in it, hee hath made many promifes to them that use it aright, and it is here prefcribed as a fovereign remedy against affliction to use it, for it is fitted for the ufe of the Church in captivity in Babylon.

This prayer being made for the ufe of the Church, as we 2 Doct. have faid, we are taught.

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That the afflictions of this life cannot feparate the fociety of the faithful, but that even in exile, they will affemble together, to do fervice to their God, and therein alfo to comfort one another.

1 The reafon is in refpect of themselves, the faithfull are one body, and the ligaments and bonds of their communion are love and peace, therefore much water cannot put out this fire of charity, neither can the flouds drown it; fo afflictions are in Scripture resembled in flouds and waters.

2 In regard of the fervice, they know it to be a debt from them, an honour to God, and though each of them in severall may do it, yet when a Congregation meeteth together, their conjoyned zeal is like a bonefire, for every ones zeal enflameth another.

What needed the faithful elfe to feek out corners and private places to affemble in,in the times of perfecution for their devotion, if fingle and feverall perfons, had been either fo fervent in it felf, or fo acceptable with God: fo that before perfecution cealed, they began to build Oratories for their meetings.

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Therefore

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3 Doct.

Numb.6. 23.&c.

2 Chron. 29.30.

2 Chron. 20.21.

Therefore, though fome do feparate from our fociety, others tarry with us to difturbe our peace, fome cry out against the use of our Churches, let us thank God, that we have liberty of Religion, and places to meet in, to ferve our God: and let us not neglect the fociety of the Church. Ecce quam bonum, &quàm jucundum: Behold, how good, and pleasant a thing it is to fee one holy congregation fet upon God by prayer. This prayer made for the ufe of the Church, doth teach, that fet prayers are both lawfull and neceffary to be ufed by the faithfull; both in their private and publique meetings.

And this is proved by these examples in holy Scripture.

God himselfe prescribed to the Priefts a fet form of bleffing the people, which they constantly used, for God faid to

them.

Thus fhall ye bleffe the children of Ifrael, and fay unto them.
The Lord bleffe thee and keep thee.

The Lord make his face shine upon thee,and be mercifull unto thee.
The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and I give thee peace.
The 92. Pfal. is called a Pfalm for the Sabbath.

The 102. Pfal. is a prayer for the afflicted when he is overwhelmed, and poureth out his complaint before the Lord.

Hezekiah the King and the Princes commanded the Levites to praife the Lord with the words of David, and of Afaph the Seer; which is the 136. Pfal.

This was also used by fehoshapht.

And in the Gospel the Disciples came to Chrift and told him, that John had taught his Difciples to pray, and defired him to teach them, and he taught them the Lords Prayer, which doth imply, in the judgment of the beft learned, that John had taught his Difciples a fet form.

The reafons are firft for hlep of the inrmities of fuch as have good affections in them but cannot fo well exprefs them that they may be directed, left they should utter any thing rafhly of themselves.

For thus the spirit helpeth their infirmities, by thofe who

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can direct them, and in themselves using these set formes.

This much advanceth the fervice of God, when men before hand have their petitions drawn, and fhall need nothing but zeal and faith in the delivering thereof to God.

Herein we are like to poore petitioners that come to the King, who not trufting themselves with their own fuites, do get fome wifer than themfelves to fet down their mindes, and then they have nothing to do but to importune the Soverreign Majesty of the King to hear them, and to grant their ⚫ requests.

This ferveth for the maintenance of Unanimity, the Congregation knowing before they meet, what they fhall aske at the hands of God; it refteth that they bring affections fit to joyn one with another in fupplications.

This maintaineth outward Uniformity, when the whole Congregation joyn together in an outward worship, and fervice of God.

This admonisheth us.

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1 To take it for a great bleffing of God that he hath vided these helps for our weakneffe.

2 It fheweth us that God for our good doth fo labour to fit us to his fervice, as that he is pleafed that one of us be helpfull to another therein.

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The reafon is, because they are the moft fit to speak to God for us, and to teach us how to fpeak to him, who are fet apart to fpeak to us for God,and to inftruct us from him.

Thefe are the Phifitians of our fouls, and fhould beft know

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3 It reproveth thofe who out of a prefumption and overweening of the graces of God in themfelves, do not onely defpife thofe helps themselves, but difgrace them in others: in which number we may reckon all the depravers of our Church prayers. SAIN

4 Here the prayer of the Prophet is used.

This teacheth that the fitteft perfons to be used for directi- 4 Doct. on of devotion are the Prophets, and Apostles, and Ministers of the word.

Vfe.

3 Doct.

Numb.6. 23.&c.

2 Chron. 29.30.

2 Chron.

20.21.

Therefore, though fome do feparate from our fociety, others tarry with us to difturbe our peace, fome cry out against the use of our Churches, let us thank God, that we have liberty of Religion, and places to meet in, to ferve our God: and let us not neglect the fociety of the Church. Ecce quàm bonum, &quam jucundum: Behold, how good, and pleasant a thing it is to fee one holy congregation fet upon God by prayer.

This prayer made for the ufe of the Church, doth teach, that fet prayers are both lawfull and neceffary to be ufed by the faithfull; both in their private and publique meetings.

And this is proved by thefe examples in holy Scripture.

God himselfe prescribed to the Priefts a fet form of bleffing the people, which they conftantly ufed, for God faid to

them.

Thus fhall ye bleffe the children of Ifrael, and fay unto them.
The Lord bleffe thee and keep thee.

The Lord make his face shine upon thee,and be mercifull unto thee.
The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.
The 92. Pfal. is called a Pfalm for the Sabbath.

The 102. Pfal. is a prayer for the afflicted when he is overwhelmed, and poureth out his complaint before the Lord.

Hezekiah the King and the Princes commanded the Levites to praife the Lord with the words of David, and of Afaph the Seer; which is the 136. Pfal.

This was also used by Zehoshapht.

And in the Gospel the Difciples came to Chrift and told him, that John had taught his Difciples to pray, and desired him to teach them, and he taught them the Lords Prayer, which doth imply, in the judgment of the beft learned, that John had taught his Difciples a fet form.

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The reafons are firft for hlep of the inrmities of fuch as have good affections in them but cannot fo well exprefs them that they may be directed, left they should utter any thing rafhly of themselves.

For thus the spirit helpeth their infirmities, by thofe who

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