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nued a Church in Adam, in Abel, in Seth, which separated from Caix and his issue: in Noah and Sem, and in faphet, perswaded to the tents of Shem in the calling of cheGentiles, so that all that have the election of grace, do come to be members of the Church by vertue of an effectuall calling: election designeth chem, vocation declarech them to be the members of
the Church, and both these are the work of God. L vic, 20.
Will you take it from Gods own mouth? who faith, Te shall be holy unto me, for I the Lord am holy, and have severed you from other people that you should be mine.
The Church is called the work of God, in respect of his perpetuall presence with it, and preservation of it, both by his own speciall providence, which is the priviledge of the Church,& also bythe subordinate ministery of his holy Angels.
1 For his own providence, he hath declared it in a promise, Joh.lis. I will not fail thee,nor forsake thee in which promise,whai intereit
the Church hach, and every member thereof, the Authour to
the Hebrews shevveth. Heb.13.5.
Let your conversation be without covetousnesle, and be content with such things as you have, for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
For which gracious protection, St. Peter willeth us to com mit our souls to him in wel-doing, as to a faithfull Creatour, so calded, faith Lyranus, quia fecurè conservat, & gloriosè coronat, non relinquit opus.
He not onely buildech, but Itandeth to reparations.
2. For the ministry and fubvention of Angels, the Pfalmist saith; He hath given his Angel's charge over thee, to keep thee in all'.
thy wayes: They shall bear thee up in their hands. H.B.1.14
Are they not ill ministring Spirits? sent forth to minister for them, who shall be heirs of Salvation ?
The Church of God is called the Work of God, to honour 3
God, for God is not so glorious in any thing that he hath "vrought, as in his Church, for therein mercy and truth met
together, righteousnesse and peace kissed each other, our eleětion adoption is to the praise of the glory of his grace. You Ephes.1.6 heard himself say of his Church. The work of my hands, that I 11.60.21. may be glorified. For God is more glorified in those things, which he hath wrought by Jesus Christ in our Aesh, and in those 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 shall fail, and come to dissolution, or to a worse condition, that is, an eternall being in wo.
For example, the heavens and the each shall all perish, and new shall be made in their place, a nevv heaven, and a nevy earth, vvherein God vvill plant righteousnesse.
The Angels that fell, and the reprobate, shall suffer eternall flames.
What remains now but Angels and just men, the elect Angels and the holy Church of God; the one sort elected in Christ, efiablished in bliffe by Christ: the other redeemed by Christ, these are reserved to glory, the juft shall be as the Angels of God in heaven.
In this Church then God is most glorified. The Cljurch is called the Work of Cod, to give honour to it here on earth, for Cod would have the World knovy, that he owns his Church, and that they are a peculiar people, a chosen generation, a royall Priesthood, that he delighteth in in them. And again, the faithfull delight in nothing, but what he hath vvrought in them and from them. So Augustine bringeth in the Church, faying;
Opas tuum in me Domine, vide, non meum nam merem 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 iame maker, that have any being, but the Church hath the honour of curious and costly vvork, all the rest of the vvorks of God are not vvorth the cost that he bestovved in the vvhite vvashing of this vvork. To turn this point into profit
1 Seeing vve are the vvork of God in regard of election of grace, of creation and protection, this teachech us to live godlily, righteously and loberly, in this present vvorld, and to
keep our felves unspotted of the world. Ephef.1.4.
i For election, He hath chosen us that we should be boly, and
without blame before him in love, Ephe.2.10 2 For creation, we are his workmanship created in Chrift fe
sus unto good works, that we should walk in them.
3 For all his other favours, as that we are a royall priesthood, an holy nation, a purchased people
, it is, that we.sould shew forth the Per. 2.9.
praises of him,who hath called us out of darknesse into his marvellons
Survey thy soul, peruse thy vvhole conversation vvithout, search thy heart vvithin, suffer not the Work of the Lord in thee to be defaced, and defouled vvith the uncleannesse of grosse and foul sins. If Satan have been too strong for thee, that he holdeth thec captive, and bindeth chee, and maketh thee
vvhere thou wouldest not, and do vvhat thou ab-
Do thy Maker so much right, to preserve and keep his
for so it is used as an effe&uall argument,
So Solomon enforceth his fuit to God for Israel, for thou didf
feperate them from all the people of the earth to be thine inheritance. 1 Reg.8. Therefore, he prayeth, that the eyes of God would be open to their
Supplications, and that he would hearken to them in all that they pray
2. In ché pecition that God vvould revive and quicken his
That á fiAions and the withdrawing of the light of Gods 2 Do£t. countenance from his Church for a time, is such a deading of it, that except it be quickened with some beams of grace and light, and have some 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 assault, he putteth his whole ítrength to it, as in the sifting of Peter, ind in the buffeting of Paul, and in the affiding of Job. If Peter, had not he had Christs ego-crevi pro té,
I have prayed for thee, and Paul had not heard his sufficit tibi E gratia mea, thy grace is sufficient for me, and fo6 had not had the preserver of men to friend, how had it gone with them?
And great reason there is for this, why the Church should faint under the crosse, if it were not strongly supported by 1 grace.
For there is no lesson so hard for a child of God, to take out as to take up the crosse of Christ, and to follow him, to suffer the smart of affliction with patience and thanksgiving.
For in the very regenerate man, the flesh is both strong and unruly, and nothing to 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 i made.
So the Psalmist saith, The rod of the wicked Mall not reft upon Pfal.125.3 the lot of the rightecus, left the righteous put forth their hand unto iniquity.
And for this St. Paul faith, God is faithfull, who will not suffer iCor.16 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 Thac though Satan have no stay of his fury and malice in our temptations, yet God will not suffer us to be rempred further, than he thinks fit. For there is good use to be made of some temptations, as St. James faith, My brethren; const it Ja../... all joy, when you fall into divers temptatioss, he meanech temp
cations of tryall, by which we do approve our faith and our
patience, St. Peter laith. Pet.17.
That the triall of your faith being much more precious than gold that perisheth (though it be tried with fire) might be found unto praise
, and honour, and glory, at the appearing of our Lord Jesus Chrift.
2 We see that all the elect children of God have a measure of strength to bear temptation, and he that gave them their measure, and knoweth what it contains, will not fuffer them to be tempted further then they are able.
Herein many mistake themselves, and think their ability to bear affliction, lesse then it is, for indeed till God put us to it, we do not know how much we are able to suffer, and many great exacoples in Church story we finde of those Christians, young men and aged, tender Virgines that have feared their own weaknesse much, who have filled the catalogue of Gods confessours and martyrs with invincible constancy.
3 We see that when God openeth a way out of tribulation that the faithfull see an issue, though for the time the temptation be more then our strength, yet the issue in-light, doth put mettle into us to bear it.
Howsoever, the flesh will be more then a fooker on in this conflict, because no chastning for the time fcemeth to be joyous but grievous.
For many fears arife in the hearts of the aflided, and Satan is still suggesting, that God hach forsaken him that is amitted.
Especially such a great amidion as this that was now threatned to the Church, the sword of the Chaldeans, depopufation of their Cities and Towns, destruction of the temple, deportation into the land of their enemies, and seventy years captivity: this shaketh their faith in the promise of God made to his Church, and maketh them to doubt that God hath forgotten to be gratious, and will shew no more mercy.
Let us learne of the Prophet what use we must make of afAictions in this kind, even prayer : O Lord, revive thy work, let us comfort our selves in all tribulations that we are the