Imatges de pÓgina
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1 Pet.1.7.

tations of tryall, by which we do approve our faith and our patience, St. Peter faith.

That the triall of your faith being much more precious than gold that perisheth (though it be tried with fire) might be found unto praife, and honour, and glory, at the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 We fee 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, leffe then it is, for indeed till God put us to it, we do not know how much we are able to fuffer, and many great examples in Church story we finde of thofe Chriftians, young men and aged, tender Virgines that have feared their own weakneffe much, who have filled the catalogue of Gods confeffours and martyrs with invincible conftancy.

3 We fee that when God openeth a way out of tribulation that the faithfull fee an iffue, though for the time the temptation be more then our ftrength, yet the iffue in-fight, doth put mettle into us to bear it.

Howfoever, the flesh will be more then a fooker on in this Hel 12.11 conflict, because no chaftning for the time feemeth to be joyous grievous.

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For many fears arife in the hearts of the afflicted, and Satan is ftill fuggefting, that God hath forfaken him that is afflicted.

Efpecially fuch a great affliction as this that was now threatned to the Church, the fword of the Chaldeans,depopu lation of their Cities and Towns, deftruction of the temple, deportation into the land of their enemies, and feventy years captivity: this fhaketh their faith in the promife of God made to his Church, and maketh them to doubt that God hath forgotten to be gratious, and will fhew no more mercy.

Let us learne of the Prophet what ufe we must make of affictions in this kind, even prayer: O Lord, revive thy work, let us comfort our felves in all tribulations that we are the

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work of Gods hand, and let us commend our felves to his fatherly love.

Prayer is fidelis nuncius, a faithfull meffenger, we may dif patch away this meffenger from Babylon, from the Lions den, from the belly of the whale, from the fiery furnace of heaven, and it will do our errand to God faithfully and effectually.

It is St. Auguftines comfort. Cum videris non à te amotum In Plal 65. deprecationem tuam fecurus efto,quia non eft am:ta misrecordia ejus. 2 Petition. In the midst of the years make known. That is in the mean time,whilft thy Church is in captivity,reveal to the thy gratious purpose of reftoring & avenging them.

The true comfort in afflictions groweth out of a right un- Doctr. derstanding of the will and purpose of God therein, that is, that he beareth a conftant love to his Church,however he pu nish them.

I. This maketh them able to bear affliction, when we fee Reaf.1. that God maketh a way to escape, as you heard from St. Paul.

I Cor.10.

And this is very cleer in this people, for God made known 13. to them his purpofe concerning their bondage in Egypt, his vvill vyas thus revealed to Abraham. Know that thy Jeed of a Gen.15.13 furety fhall be a Stranger in a Land that is not theirs, and shall ferve them, and they shall afflict them four hundred Years. And alfo that nation whom they shall ferve, will I judg: and after- Verf.14. ward shall they come out with great fubftance..

This, as St. Auguftine vvell understandeth, doth include all the time that paffed between the birth of Ifaac, and the entring of the people of Ifrael into the land of promife, duriug which time, they had no land of their ovvn,and in a dif-junct reading, they vvere either ftrangers, as during their first abode in Ca. aan, and after in Egypt, or they ferved, as after Jofephs death, and vvere afflicted.

Four hundred years are a long time, yet they vv an end of their travails, and afflictions, and they knevv that their pofterity fhould have reft at laft, and they kaevv that God vwould judg their oppreffours, this made them able to bear the affliction.

Here is a picture dravvn to the life of a chriftian mans life
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drawing neer to God, för finners without Chrift, then God came and fought out Adam, he arraigned the offenders, and finding the Serpent guilty of the temptation, he curfed him; and there he promised Chrift...

When mercy was revealed to man, then he called the man first, and then the woman. And ever fince, that mercy was made known to the Church, the true Church hath had no other plea but mercy.

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There is mifericordia condonans, a pardoning mercy, he forgiveth all our iniquities, an article of faith, remiffio peccatorum, remiffion of fins, there is mifericordia denans, a giving mercy, he giveth medicine to heal all our infirmities.

The Church knoweth that they have given God cause to be angry, they know that if his wrath be kindled but a little, he is a confuming fire, and it is a fearfull thing to fall into his hands, they know that in his favour is life, and at his fight hand there are pleasures for evermore.g

We have nothing to keep us from the anger to come but Lam.3.22. mercy. It is of the Lords mercies, that we are not all confuPfal. 51.1. med, for his compaffions fail not. Have mercy upon me, O Lord, according to thy loving kindneffe, &c. de modi daw 210 21

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2 Reaf.

Pfal.5.7. 3 Reaf.

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We have nothing to bring us again in favour with God, whom we provoke every day, but his mercy. But as for mel will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercies.

The Church knoweth that God is more glorious in his mercy, then in all his other attributes, for his mercy is above all his works the juftice of God is against us, because we are unrighteous: the wifedom of God is against us, because we have walked as fools, and not as wife men.

The holiness of God is against us, because we are unclean, conceived in fin,and born in iniquity.

The truth of God is against us; for omnis homo mendax, every man is a lyer; The power of God is against us, because we have forfaken him the fountain of living water, &

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The Patience of God is against us,because he is a God that loveth not iniquity, neither fhall evil dwell vvith him; he hateth all thofe that work wickedness.

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most 1600 years that hath lafted long, and the time of their reftitution is not perticularly revealed, this maketh them hang the head, God in juftice for the cruelty which they did execute upon his Son, would not let them know the time of their deliverance, as in their former, afflictions he did, which, no doubt, is a great figne of Gods heavy indignation.

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Seeing then that the knowledge of the will of God and his purpose revealed in his Word, is fo great a comfort in afflictions, we are taught to study and search the Book of Gods Will,and therein to exercise our felves, for he is the fame God that he was, and his wil is the fame,the just have the fame promifes that they had, the unjuft fhall have the fame judgments, hear read the Book of God, and apply it as thou goeft, for there thou fhalt have thy portion.

Labour for newneffe of life, and that shall bring thee to the proof and tryal, to the difcerning and experience of the will of God, as the Apoftle faith, And be not conformed to the world, but be you transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, that acceptable, and perfect will of God. For God will not reveale himself to the ungodly, but the fecrets of the Lord are with them that fear him, and he will fhew them his Covenant.sharkskant

We must reft in this wil of God, with a fiat voluntas tua, thy will be done, we must not refift it, we must not murmure at it, we must not make hafte, but we must live by faith, and tarry the Lords leafure, and in the mean time, gather ftrength from his promife, to establish our hearts that they faint, not, and fail us in our tribulations.

Petition. In wrath remember mercy.

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The plea of the true Church in afflictions is mercy, God taught us this himself, for when our first Parents had finned, I Reaf. they were afraid and afhamed, and hid themfelves from God, there was no mercy yet revealed.

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Hovv vvould they folicite God, Jefus Chrift vvas not yet known to them, therefore they fled from God, for there is no

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drawing

2 Reaf.

drawing neer to God, för finners without Chrift, then God came and fought out Adam, he arraigned the offenders, and finding the Serpent guilty of the temptation, he curfed him; and there he promised Chrift.

When mercy was revealed to man, then he called the man first, and then the woman. And ever fince, that mercy was made known to the Church, the true Church hath had no other plea but mercy.

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There is mifericordia condonans, a pardoning mercy, he forgiveth all our iniquities, an article of faith, remiffio peccatorum, remiffion of fins, there is mifericordia denans, a giving mercy, he giveth medicine to heal all our infirmities.

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The Church knoweth that they have given God cause to angry, they know that if his wrath be kindled but a little, he is a confuming fire, and it is a fearfull thing to fall into his hands, they know that in his favour is life, and at his hight hand there are pleasures for evermore.

We have nothing to keep us from the anger to come but Lam.3.22. mercy. It is of the Lords mercies, that we are not all confuPfal. 51.1. med, for his compaffions fail not. Have mercy upon me, O Lord, acJodi darw 21

cording to thy loving kindneffe, &c.

We have nothing to bring us again in favour with God, whom we provoke every day, but his mercy. But as for Pfal.5.7. mel will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercies. 3 Reaf.

The Church knoweth that God is more glorious in his mercy, then in all his other attributes, for his mercy is above all his works; the juftice of God is against us, because we are unrighteous the wifedom of God is against us, because we have walked as fools, and not as wife men.

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The holiness of God is against us, because we are unclean, conceived in fin,and born in iniquity.

The truth of God is against us; for omnis homo mendax, every man is a lyer; The power of God is against us, because we have forfaken him the fountain of living water, &c.

The Patience of God is against us,because he is a God that loveth not iniquity, neither fhall evil dwell vvith him; he hateth all thofe that work wickedness. One

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