Imatges de pÓgina

plaint of many, that our booksellers' shops are become heaps of dry sand, in which many a rich stone is lost. But it is known to all, that diamonds will be found out by their own lustre. And I make no great question but so this sermon will be. That it may be so, and may go much abroad, and do good wherever it comes, is the prayer of

Thy servant in Christ Jesus,

From my house in Bridges Street, in
Covent Garden, Aug. 7, 1690.


For Israel hath not been forsaken, nor Judah of his God, of the Lord of hosts, though their land was filled with sin against the Holy One of Israel.-Jer. li. 5.


THIS chapter, and the foregoing, are an eminent prophecy and prediction of the destruction of Babylon, and of the land of the Chaldeans, of the metropolitical city of the empire, and of the nation itself. There is a double occasion for the inserting of these words. The first is to declare the grounds and reasons, why God would bring that destruction upon Babylon, and upon the land of the Chaldeans. The words of ver. 4. are, The slain shall fall in the land of the Chaldeans, and they that are thrust through in her streets.' Why so? For, saith he, 'Israel hath not been forsaken.' The reason why God will destroy the empire of Babylon is, because he will remember Israel, and what they have done against him. This lies in store for another Babylon in God's appointed time. The second reason is, that it may be for the comfort, for the supportment of Israel and Judah, under that distress which was then befalling them, upon the entrance of this Babylon in the land of the Chaldeans. Notwithstanding all, saith he, yet 'Israel is not forsaken, nor Judah of his God.'

We are called this day to join our cries with the nation in the behalf of the land of our nativity. And though it hath been, as most of you know, my constant course on such solemn days as these are, to treat in particular about our own sins, our own decays, our own means of recovery; yet, upon this occasion I shall, as God shall help me, from these words, represent unto you the state of the nation wherein we live, and the only way and means for our deliverance from universal destruction. To declare our interest herein, some things must be observed concerning this Babylon, whose destruction is so solemnly prophesied of in this and the foregoing chapter; and I must observe three things concerning it.

1. That Babylon was the original of apostacy from the natural worship of God unto idolatry in the whole world.

There was great iniquity before the flood, but no mention of any idolatry. There was a natural worship of God throughout the world, that was not corrupted with idolatry. There is no mention of it until the building of Babel. There it began: the tower which they built, they turned into a temple of Belus, whom they had made a god, and laid his image in the top of it. There was the original. You shall see immediately how we are concerned. There was the original of apostacy from natural worship unto idolatry.

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2. Their idolatry. The idolatry that there began, consisted in image worship, in the worshipping of graven images, which was their idolatry, that they set up with respect unto men departed, whom they worshipped by them. Four times in this prophecy doth God say, he will take vengeance on their graven images.' And from Isa. xl. to the end of xlvi. you have a description of the idolatry of Babylon, that it all consisted in making carved idols, and graven images. The rest of the world, especially of the eastern nations, fell into the worshipping of the sun, which they called Baal, and Moloch, and Kemosh, all names of the sun; and the worship of the moon, which they called Ashtaroth, and the queen of heaven; but the idolatry of Babylon was by graven images and idols.

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3. They were, so far as appears upon record, the first state in the world, that ever persecuted for religion, that oppressed the true worshippers of God, as such, as being mad upon their idols,' as the prophet saith they were, they were inflamed upon them. They were the first that oppressed the church, because of its worshipping of God, and destroyed that worship among them. Hence the church prays in this chapter, The vengeance of the Lord, and of his temple be upon Babylon:' not only the vengeance of the Lord, for destroying of his people; but the vengeance of his temple, for destroying of his worship, be upon Babylon, shall Zion say. Others have afflicted me,' saith he in the same chapter, but this Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon hath broken my bones.' They were the great oppressors of the church.

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Upon these three accounts, which is that I would observe, the name of Babylon, and all that is spoken of it in the Old Testament, is transferred to the apostate church of

Rome in the New, and all applied unto it in the Book of the Revelation, and that upon this great analogy, which I shall now briefly shew.

Why doth God call the apostate state of the church under the New Testament, Babylon, Babylon, the Mystery?". For these three reasons:


(1.) As old Babylon was the rise and spring of apostacy from natural worship in the world unto idolatry, so this new Babylon was the rise and spring of apostacy from evange lical worship in the world unto idolatry. Mark the analogy. Hence she is called, the mother of harlots:' that is, she that had brought forth all the idolatrous churches and worship that were in the world. Did Babylon begin to apostatize into idolatry from natural worship? so Rome began to apostatize into idolatry from spiritual evangelical worship. Therefore the Holy Ghost calls her Babylon.

(2.) The peculiar idolatry of Babylon consisted in image worship, the worshipping of men departed under images made to their likeness. And the peculiar idolatry of Rome consists in image worship, the worshipping saints departed, which is a great part of their idolatry. And therein they are Babylon also.

(3.) As Babylon was the spring of air peresting against, and oppression of, the church of God, under the Old Testament; so Rome hath been the spring of all persecution, and oppression of the church of God since the apostacy, under the New Testament.

On these accounts hath the Holy Ghost in infinite wisdom transferred over the name, and state, and other things spoken of Babylon from the old unto the new.

I have mentioned this, that you may see the interest of England in this text of Scripture. So far as the truth of religion is owned in this nation, so far as there is a testimony given against idolatry, we are to God as Israel and Judah, though the land be filled with sin. At the time of this prophecy Israel and Judah were in danger of present destruction and desolation from the old Babylon; and if we do not mock God in all we do, we are under apprehensions that England and the church of God in England, is under danger of the same desolation and destruction from new Babylon,

upon the same account and principle. If we do not mock God, that is that we profess at this day. Wherefore the parallel runs thus far equal. Such as was Babylon of old, such is that at present: such as was the danger of Israel and Judah from them at that day, such is the danger of England from the new at this present. This is spoken in general.

For the opening of the words observe these three things: First, That there is in them a reduplication of the names or titles of God. He is in this verse called by the name of 'the Lord of hosts,' and by the name of 'the Holy One of Israel.' Where there are such reduplications of the name of God, or any of his titles, the Holy Ghost would have us take notice, that it is a matter of great importance wheroof he speaks.

Secondly, There is a distribution and application of these names of God unto distinct occasions suitable unto them.




1. There is in it mentioned an intimation of a surprisal with some protection or deliverance. Who shall it be done by? The Lord of hosts,' saith he, the Lord his God.' And he doth not in vain add immediately, 'The Lord of hosts,' that title of God. He who hath the host above, and the host below in his sovereign disposal. God's host above are all the holy angels, and all the heavenly bodies in their influences. The stars in their courses fought against Sisera; and he hath lately hung forth among us a flag or ensign of his host above, intimating that he is arising in his indignation, as the Lord of hosts,' and hath hung forth an ensign before his coming, full of dread and terror. And he is the Lord of hosts' here below, of all men, and of all creatures, disposing of them as seems good unto him. The prophet adds this name of God, because of the unspeakable great-, ness of the thing he mentions, namely, that Israel should not be forsaken, nor Judah, while the land was so filled with sin, and the whole interest of Babylon so coming upon them. 2. The other title of God is, The Holy One of Israel.' This is applied peculiarly unto their sin: The land is filled with sin against the Holy One of Israel.' It is the greatest, it is the highest aggravation of sin, that it is against the holiness of God, who is a God of purer eyes than to behold iniquity.' So hath the wisdom of the Holy Ghost applied



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