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2. Duration of time is another teftimony of zealous importunity, when our prayer is not a paffion, but a deliberate and conftant earnestneffe,holding out as the Apoftle faith, Pray continually; not as the Euchites, to do nothing elfe: but to entertain. all occafions to conferre with God, and to proftrate our fuites before him.
Christ spent a whole night together often in prayer; David Dan. 10. day and night. Daniel 21, dayes together during the time that he ate no pleasant bread, and was in heavineffe.
Jonah three dayes and three nights in the belly of the Whale, made it his Oratory and Chappel from whence he prayed to the Lord.
If our foare runne,fo long we can pray whileft we smart; or if our neceffities do preffe us to importunity, we can hold out long for our selves.
But in my Text the caufe is Gods; zeal and Gods glory cannot contain it self in the cause of God,che Lords people do break 3. Doctr. his Law and will not be reformed; the Prophet of the Lord can not stand and look on as in the next verfe he doth, and fee the glory of God thus luffer, but he must awake in the caufe of God to bring him to correction.
So David. Rife Lord, and let thine enemies be scattered, let them that hate thee flie before thee.
And thus for Gods glory fake we may with reservation of those that do belong to the election of grace, pray to God carneftly for the confufion of all Sions enemies, and of all that would faine fee Jerufalem the true Church of God in the dust,
Shall our fervencie and heat be only for our felves? if it be the grant of our requests doth quench it, and putteth us to filence: but if the glory of God be that we feek and aime at, the more God heareth our prayers, and granteth our requests the more he enflameth our zeal, and even as it were transformes us into prayer. 34
And what better motive can we give of Chrifts fo frequent fo durant prayers then this: I know that thou hearest mee
Now because long and frequent prayers are a wearyneffe to the flesh, the flesh is no good friend to this exercife; and we
do find our felves in no exercife of Religion more tempted then
Doctr. God fometimes fufpendeth the fucceffe of the prayers
There is a cafe wherein God will not hear at all,though Mofes,
In fome cafes God will hear,but not yet; for he that keepeth
And that was the cafe of this prayer. God did r. give them yet more time to repent and feek his face that he might preserve them, and fent his Prophets to them to reclaime them.
2. He did expect if not the converfion of them by fair means, then that after the full taste of the fruits of his patience, they might by the rod be brought to him, when he should change his righthand. Mutatio dextera.
3. Or he did expect the filling up of the measure of their fins, that they might have no plea to excufe their ungracioufneffe,
4. He forbore to ftirre up the Prophet fo much the more to this importunity, that it might be feen that not only their fins, but the Prophets prayers had awaked vengeance..
5. To declare how acceptable a facrifice prayer is, he will delay us that we may pray, for with fuch facrifices God is pleafed, but if we withdraw our felves, Gods foul will have no plea fure in us.
Let no man think the worfe of this holy fervice of God, be-cause he presently feeleth not the fuccefle thereof: but as the Math. 15 woman of Canaan would not be put off by the Difciples or by
Chrift himself; fo that both her request was granted, and her
If we remember our Saviours limitation, all will be well.
.. What thou wilt: 2. In what measure: 3. When thou
Verf. 3. why dost thou flew me iniquity, and canfe mee to behold grievance? for fpoiling, and violence are before me: and there are that raife up ftrife and contentioning to 4. Therefore the Law is flacked, and judgement doth never go forth for the wicked doth compaffe about the righteous: therefore wrong judgment proceedeth..
E contefteth with God for fhewing to him the fins of the people. verf.3, 4.
For the opening of that Text
why dost thou shew me iniquity?] The Prophet doth hereby declare,
1. That it is not his own curious fearch to look into his bre-thren; I do not fay fo fcrutinously as the Hypocrite in the Gospel, who with a beam in his own eye could yet difcerne a moat in his brothers eye: no not to behold their groffe iniquity. He did not look upon his brethren like an informer to see what fault he could finde in them to complain of: he had fomething elfe to do; he faith that God fhewed him the iniquity of his brethren. So he freeth himself of suspicion of malice and evil affection to his brethren.
For there may bee malice in looking into the vices of bre thren, though it pretend defire of Reformation.
2. This cleareth the Prophet that he is not as one of them, no partner with them in their iniquity, seeing they that live in the fociety, of evil practise, and do not communicate with the evil in evil, cannot behold the evil, the object is too near them or gone out of fight.
3. It fheweth that God doth not only himself take notice of the evils that men do, but be acquaintech his Prophets and Mi-nisters therewith, which he doth to that end that he may prove their fidelity to him, whether they will discharge their duty tohim, and their people to whom they are fent, in telling the houfe of facob their fins, and in labouring to bring them to the knowledge thereof that they may repent.
It followeth !: Thou doft caufe me to behold grievance. Where- Pfal
in he refurmeth what he hath spoken before, and thethorically amplifieth it for it is one thing to fhew, another to caufe him to behold. This is an effectuall demonftration, as the Prophet David doth pray, Make me to hear joy and gladnesse.
God hath fent his Gofpel which is the voyce of joy in the tabernacles of the righteous all the world over; have they not heard?
Their found is gone out into all the world, and their word to the ends of the earths yaie
But that is not enough,except God do caufe us to hear the fame.
We preach this Golpel of peace, and we fhew unto men their righteoufneffe, that is Viam luftitia, how they may be juftified in the fight of God: We declare unto men their fins, and fhew them how the Law of God is broken; but if God do not caufe our hearts to behold this, if God do not turne their eyes into themselves and into their own wayes to fee them we spend our strength in vaine; the fcorner goeth away from Church, and -wipeth his mouth as the harlot in the Proverbs, and faith, this is nothing to me, because God doth not make his heart imite him forit. God doth not caufe him to behold. God doth not open our eyes to see our fins for our selves only that we may declare them, but for you that we may give you warning of the anger to come. 22. nelfelle live And what did God fhew him?emdom sp 1. Iniquity, that is the unjust dealing of the people one with another, as it after followethaf ongede di molo ed i
24 Greivance, either the Greivance which that unrighteoulnelle doth bring upon their brethren, or the greivance wherewith the righteous foul of the Prophet is vexed day by day,in fee. ing and hearing the evil converfation of them to whom he is fent. For (poiling and violence are before me a dad workst
1. Here is Spoyling, that is robbing one another, invading one anothers goods and lands, and that done in the commonwealth of the Jewes; where God himself was fo carefull to eftablish the right of propriety in feveral,that he divided the land himfelf, to every Tribe their part,and by a judicial Law fet every man his bounds,& taught every man to be content with his own. The common-wealth cannot long laft in profperity where
this fpoiling is in practife, whether it be by corruption of the Magiftrate topping the course of justice, or by the covetoufneffe of the private man taking advantages to make his brother aprey. This is commonly the worme of peace; for when externall warres do ceafe, then internall digladiations do commonly fucceed; then wit and policie and power do put themselves to it to see what they can get, and this is a fin which God taketh notice of, and which he declareth to bis Prophets that they may reprove it.
2. Here is Violence alto added; for where by fraud, and circumvention, and fecret conveyance this fpoiling cannot be wrought, there like the Priests fervant that came for flesh for the Prieft, they will t ke by ftrong hand and by violence that which they would have.) diy makofpyn o'de bu qe
This is commonly the war between the fuperiour and inferiour, between the ftrong and the weak; for the weakest here. go to the wall. Thefe be fignes of a drooping and decaying common-wealth, when cruelty and violence is its own carver, and the poor have their faces ground between the tearing milftones of oppreffion when the poor flock pines and ftarves with hunger, When, Alienas oves cuftos bis mulget in hora. 16 Arom For they be called filii alieni,strange children that do oppreffe their brethren. When things are not carried by the Law of Justice, but by the power of violence. Svedi
And the common-wealth of the Jewes were even fick to the death of this disease, at this time when Habakkuk prophecied;} for fhortly after followed their deportation, and the destruction of ferufalem, and defolation of the Templewog nog
Let all the Kingdomes of the world take warning by this. fearfull example, and let not private perfons tranfgreffing in this kinde, forget what the Lord did to this people.99k 3. The Prophet addeth Before me wherein he declareth a double boldneffe of thefe Ginners.osted goidon on eit
1. That they profeffed their oppofition, and cared not who faw it; for the holy men of God fearch not fo deep into the manners of men to feek out their faults; neither do they profeffe them felves ftudents in the affaires of the common-wealth as