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The wife-man feareth and departeth from evill.
Sometimes we find fear mingled with joy; as for example; When the Lord brought again the captivity of Sion, we were like Pf.116.1. them that dream.
They were overcome with joy for their deliverance and restitution, and yet they felt withall a fear, that it was too good to be true, aud doubted that it was but a dream.
We do not receive any good newes but before the hearing of it we fear, the Angel that appeared to Zecharie the Preist found Luk. 1.13., him afraid.
The Angel that came to the Virgin Mary found her afraid; fo did he that brought the newes of the birth of Chrift to the The pheards for all men know that we have no cause to expect any newes from heaven wee are fo evill and finfull.
And although the comforts of God do remove that fear for a time, yet God would not have it quite extinguished in us for the Prophet biddeth us, Serve the Lord with fear, andrejoyce Pfal. 2.11. with trembling. And the Apoftle doth bid us too, workout our falvation with fear and tembling.
Sometimes greif is mingled with faith, as in the poor man in the Gospel of whom Chrift faid, Doeft thou beleeve? he answered first with his tears, then with his words faying; Lord, I beleeve, help thou my unbeleefe.
So in the Publicane beating his breast, and saying; Lord, be mercifull to me a finner.
Sometimes indignation is mingled with faich, as in all the imprecations of the Prophet, which as they are Prophecies and fo proceed from the Spirit of God: fo are they paffions in these holy men, and are vented with that indignation, of which the Prophet faith, Be angry and fin not: and which the fame Prophet jaftifieth, Shall not I hate them O Lord which hate thee?
And this holy indignation you fee in the very feparate foules.
They cry with a loud voice, how long Lord doft thou not judg. Rev.6.10 and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? Tantæn animis cæleftibus iræ!
To come now to the point in question.
This zeal of the Prophet is not a diflike of, or an oppofition to the will of God,by way of contradiction; but a diflike of the thing done according to the exprefle will of God, wherein the Prophet doth not offend.
The example of our Saviour Chrift is full,and giveth teftimo. ny to this truth for coming of purpose to lay down his life for his Church, and knowing it to be his Fathers will that he should fo do; yet in the garden he three times prayed, that if it were poffible that cup might paffe from him; he did not refift the Will of God, for to that he fubmitted himself; but he difiiked that which he was to fuffer according to that Will.
The reason is, because it was evil and a punishment, and he who taught us to pray, libera nos a malo, Deliver us from evil, did fo himself.
So though he knew the Will of God to be peremptorie for the deftruction of ferusalem and the rejection of the Jewes, he forrowed and wept for the fame: which thewed his diflike of the thing decreed, though he approved the decree it felf and refifted it not.
Sorrow is a griefe taken by a naturall diflike of that for which we greive.
When our parents, wives, children, or freinds die, we greive; the Apostle doth not forbid that affection, he limiteth and regu lateth it; he would not have us forrow as men without hope.
And when he took on him our naturall infirmities and affections, he did not fo undertake them to remove them from us, or to extinguish them in us, but to correct and temper them. As S. Cyrill faith; ut fic natura noftra reformaretur ad melius, that fo our nature might be bettered..
In this very example in my Text of the Prophets diflike that God fhould fhew him this iniquity and violence of the Jews, which was a greif and a burthen to him to fee; remember what is faid of Lot by St Peter..
2: Pet. 2.8 For that righteous man dwelling among them,vexed his righteous
foul from day to day with their unlawfall deeds.
Here was not only an holy greif for, but an holy indignation against the fight of thefe things which God fhewed him, and that: in the righteous foul of a righteous man....
I conclude this point as before with Davids words, I deny not that this was the Prophets infirmitie; I deny it to be his. iniquity, it was no fin in him. And I again urge my former point of Doctrine, it is lawfull for the holy fervants of God to expoftulate and conteft with God in their prayers. Of 1. Because hereby we declare our diflike of thofe things a1. Reaf. gainst which we conteft, as here the Prophet fheweth that it is to him very hateful and offenfive to behold the fins of the people, which both corrupt and end anger the ftate of the Commonwealth.
So when the Prophet complaineth often of Gods long-fuffering toward the wicked, he fheweth it to be an offence to the children of God, that the enemies of God fhould be fo long forborne.
And when he awaketh God,up Lord why fleepest thou,and ftireth him to revenge of his own caufe,therein he declareth his zeal of the glory of God, of which he must be careful especially.
2. This publique expoftulation used in this cafe to awake the 2. Reaf. juftice of God againft the wicked, doth feem to terrifie the ungodly from their wicked wayes; for when they fee that they that fear God, and walk before him, and with him, are up in armes against them, and bandie their imprecations against them, they cannot but fee their eftates in great danger.
3. This expoftulation of the juft doth declare that their 3. Reaf. yeilding to the Will of God in thefe things which they do without offence to Gods diflike, is not out of naturall principles and reafons incident to humanity, but from a fupernaturall dedition and yeelding of themfelves to the tranfcendent Will of God, whereby they do approve even what they do diflike,because they find the Will of God that way.
The profit which we may make of this point is,
1. To teach us zeal in the cause of God for there is no life in
This giving our bow the full bent, that it may have the full
ftrength,and this to be drawn home, when we fend our prayers
Zeal only used in matters of forme and ceremonie, and in
Thefe put it to an if: Si filius dei es, if thou be the Son of
For having taught the doctrine of the Sacrament of the Lords
And the reft will I fet in order when I come, Siaraoua. First
The want of zeal in many Profeffours of Religion, is fuch as that both Poperie, and Anabaptiftrie,and other fchifmaticall and fectarious profeffors are fuffered to grow up together with the profeffion of the Gofpel, which could not be if we had zeal proportionable to our knowledge: fuch as was in Da vid, All falfe wayes I utterly abhorre.
We fee alfo great corruptions in manners which holy zeal
2. Another complaint of the Church, is of inordinate zeal. Which is,
1.Either in Perfons without a lawful calling, feeking to reform" things amiffe.
2. Orin respect of the things; when men carryed with the ftrong current of opinion, find fault where no fault is, or make the fault greater then it is.
3. Or in refpect of times, when men prevent the time, and exasperate the judgments of God, and provoke his justice against their brethren, before they have done all that can be done by the spirit of meekneffe.
4. Or in respect of time when they expreffe their zeale. First, against those things that may with leaft hurt to the Church be. forborn, till more concerning affairs of the Church be advitedly thought upon.
5.Or in respect of the measure of zeal, if it be more or leffe then the cause of God requireth.
6. In refpect of the mixture of it if it be commeded with any of our own corrupt and furious perturbations.
2.Seeing therefore we may make fo boldwith God as the Prophet here doth; we are to be taught that God is fo flow in the execution of his judgments, even upon them that do ill, that till he find that his patience is a burthen to his Church, and till he be even chidden to it by his faithful ones, he cannot ftrike.
Wherefore we must both ftirre up our felves and our brethren to a ferious confideration of this goodneffe of God, and that which the Apostle doth call The riches of his patience,that we defpife it not, that we spend not fuch riches unthriftily, but beflow it upon our repentance, and making our peace with God.
3. Seeing we may thus call God to account, as the Prophet here doth, and chide his remiffeneffe, let us not take it ill at the hands of God if he chide us for our fins, which do well deferve it, and he contest with us for our neglect of our duties, either to him or our brethren.
4.Seeing we have fo good warrant for it, when we see any unremedied evils which do threaten ruine to our Church or Common-wealth, which perchance the Minister may be forbidden to reprove or to diffwadef,uch as these in my text. Violence and op preffion, corruption of Religion, and corruption of Courts of Jultice, which the Minifter in general terms may reprove, but he must