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Yet if our unthankfulness to God for his light fo long fhining in our Church: if our evil lives fo unanfwerable to our outward profeffion : if our contentions fo difpleafing to the God of peace our want of zeal and devotion in prayer, do turn away the face of God from us, we may thank our felves: and his juftice may fay, Perditio tua ex te, Thy deftruction is of thy felf.
2 The Petitions; these are three, vide p. 29.
Revive thy work in the middeft of the years; that is,as we have expounded it literally, in the mean time, preferve thy Church. In which Petition we are taught:
That the Church of God is the work of God;ye have heard 1 Doct. itfo acknowledged by God himself.
Ask me concerning my fons, and concerning the work of my hands, command ye me.
Wherein God confeffeth his Church to be his own work and therefore fo comprehended in his care, that they may challenge his protection.
Again, He calleth his Church thus: The Branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified.
And David upon this prayeth, Forfake not the works of thy own hands.
The reafons why the Church is thus called.
Because the Church is not an Affembly that doth gather themfelves together as we fay, That Birds of a feather do fly together: but it is innanoia, it is a congregation of such as the free election of grace hath called out of the world by the miniftery of the Word of God, and the Sacraments.
The first Church of God, in whom God was glorified, confifted of Angels, intellectual fpirits, whereof many kept not their firfteftate,but were excómunicated never to be redeemed.
The firft Church of God on earth, were our firft, Parents, whom God created in his image.
The Creation mifcarried by the fall of our Parents, who might have stood if they would.
The election of grace remained unchangeable and conti-
Levit, 20. 26.
Will you take it from Gods own mouth? who faith, Ye shall be holy unto me, for I the Lord am holy, and have fevered you from other people that you should be mine.
The Church is called the work of God, in refpect of his perpetuall prefence with it, and preservation of it, both by his own speciall providence, which is the priviledge of the Church,& alfo bythe subordinate miniftery of his holy Angels.
I For his own providence, he hath declared it in a promise, Joh..s. I will not fail thee,nor forfake thee,in which promife,what interest the Church hath, and every member thereof, the Authour to the Hebrews fhevveth.
Let your converfation be without covetousneffe, and be content with fuch things as you have, for he hath faid, I will never leave thee, nor forfake thee.
So that we may boldly fay, The Lord is my helper, I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
For which gratious protection, St. Peter willeth us to commit our fouls to him in wel-doing, as to a faithfull Creatour, so called, faith Lyranus, quia fecurè confervat, & gloriose coronat, non relinquit opus.
He not onely buildeth, but ttandeth to reparations." 2 For the miniftry and fubvention of Angels, the Pfalmift Pfal 91.11 faith; He hath given his Angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy wayes: They shall bear thee up in their hands.
Are they not all miniftring Spirits? fent forth to minifter for them, who shall be heirs of Salvation?
nued a Church in Adam, in Abel, in Seth, which feparated from Cair and his iffue: in Noah and Sem, and in Japhet, perfwaded to the tents of Shem,in the calling of theGentiles,lo that all that have the election of grace, do come to be members of the Church by vertue of an effectuall calling: election defigneth them, vocation declareth them to be the members of the Church, and both these are the work of God.
The Church of God is called the Work of God, to honour God, for God is not fo glorious in any thing that he hath vrought, as in his Church, for therein mercy and truth met
together, righteoufneffe and peace kiffed each other, our election adoption is to the praife of the glory of his grace. You Ephef.1.6 heard himself fay of his Church. The work of my hands, that I V.6c.21. may be glorified. For God is more glorified in those things, which he hath wrought by Jefus Chrift in our flesh, and in thofe things which he doth for his fake, then in all the other works of his hands.
This will one day appear, it is revealed, already in part to us, for whatsoever God did work fine verbo incarnate, without the word incarnate, it all fhall fail, and come to diffolution, or to a worse condition, that is, an eternall being in wo.
For example, the heavens and the eath fhall all perish, and new fhall be made in their place, a nevv heaven, and a nevv earth, vvherein God vvill plant righteousneffe.
The Angels that fell, and the reprobate, fhall fuffer eternall flames. :
What remains now but Angels and juft men, the elect Angels and the holy Church of God; the one fort elected in Chrift, eftablished in bliffe by Chrift: the other redeemed by Chrift, thefe are referved to glory, the juft fhall be as the Angels of God in heaven.
In this Church then God is moft glorified.
The Church is called the Work of God, to give honour to it here on earth, for God would have the World knovy, that he owns his Church, and that they are a peculiar people, a chofen generation, a royall Priefthood, that he delighteth in in them. And again, the faithfull delight in nothing, but what he hath vvrought in them and from them. So Auguftine bringeth in the Church, faying;
Opus tuum in me Domine, vide, non meum nam meum fi videris damnum,tuum fi videris Coronas. Behold, thy work in mee, &c.
It is Davids glory, I am thine,
All things elle have the fame maker, that have any being, but the Church hath the honour of curious and coftly vvork, all the rest of the vvorks of God are not vvorth the coft that he beftovved in the vvhite vvafhing of this vvork.
To turn this point into profit,
I Seeing vve are the vvork of God in regard of election of grace, of creation and protection, this teacheth us to live godlily, righteously and foberly, in this present vvorld, and to keep our felves unfpotted of the vvorld.
1 For election, He hath chofen us that we should be holy, and without blame before him in love,
2 For creation, we are his workmanship created in Chrift feSus unto good works, that we should walk in them.
I Reg.8. 52,53.
3 For all his other favours, as that we are a royall priesthood, an holy nation, a purchafed people, it is, that we should shew forth the praises of him,who hath called us out of darknesse into his marvellous light.
Survey thy foul, perufe thy vvhole converfation vvithout, fearch thy heart vvithin, fuffer not the Work of the Lord in thee to be defaced, and defouled vvith the uncleanneffe of groffe and foul fins. If Satan have been too ftrong for thee, that he holdeth thec captive, and bindeth thee, and maketh thee go vvhere thou wouldest not, and do vvhat thou abhorrest, yet declare it by thy refifting of him that he hath ufurped, thou haft not yielded him poffeffion, let not fin fet up a ftool of vvickedneffe vvithin thee, let it not reign in thy mortall body.
Do thy Maker fo much right, to preserve and keep his vvork,as clean as thou canst from the defiling of the vvorld.
2 Gather boldneffe from this confideration, to folicite God in prayers, for fo it is used as an effectuall argument, Vivifica opus tuum, revive thy Work, as David, I am thine, O Save.
So Solomon enforceth his fuit to God for Ifrael, for thou didst feperate them from all the people of the earth to be thine inheritance. Therefore, he prayeth,that the eyes of God would be open to their fupplications, and that he would hearken to them in all that they pray for.
2 In the petition that God would revive and quicken his Church, in the mean time, that is, during the affliction and vexation of it we are taught.
$ > That
That afflictions and the withdrawing of the light of Gods 2 Doct. countenance from his Church for a time, is fuch a deading of it, that except it be quickened with fome beams of grace and light, and have fome lucida intervalla, it is a burthen more then they can bear.
Satan is a cunning Serpent, a roaring Lion, when he can get leave to affault, he putteth his whole strength to it, as in the fifting of Peter, nd in the buffeting of Paul, and in the afflicting of fob. If Peter, had not he had Chrifts ego-oravi pro té, I have prayed for thee, and Paul had not heard his fufficit tibi gratia mea, thy grace is fufficient for me, and 76 had not had the preferver of men to friend,how had it gone with them?
And great reafon there is for this, why the Church fhould faint under the croffe, if it were not ftrongly fupported by
For there is no leffon fo hard for a child of God, to take out as to take up the croffe of Chrift, and to follow him, to fuffer the smart of affliction with patience and thanksgiving.
For in the very regenerate man, the flesh is both ftrong and unruly, and nothing fo contrary to the flesh, as affliction and tribulation is.
Therefore doth God measure to his Children their portion and draught of this cup, because he knowes whereof we be made.
So the Pfalmift faith, The rod of the wicked shall not rest upon Pfal.125.3 the lot of the righteous, left the righteous put forth their hand unto
And for this St. Paul faith, God is faithfull, who will not suffer Cor.10. you to be tempted above that you are able,but will with the temptati- 13. on also make away to escape that ye may be able to bear it.
Wherein note for comfort in tribulation.
I That though Satan have no ftay of his fury and malice in our temptations, yet God will not fuffer us to be tempted further, than he thinks fit. For there is good ufe to be made of fome temptations, as St. James faith, My brethren, count it all joy, when you fall into divers temptations, he meaneth tempFff