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This was Sauls hard heart broken in pieces firft, and he that before did carry the croffe of Chrift to torment others, now rejoyced in nothing but the croffe of Chrift himself, whereby the world was crucified to him, and he to the world.
Thus vvhen the lavv hath humbled the prophane under the mighty hand of God, he turneth all into tears full of the fear of God, and vovveth vvith himfeife as he did in the Poet, In fontem frontem, atque in flumina lumina vertam, then is he fit to pray, and to call upon the name of the Lord, faying, Sana animam meam, quia peccavi contrate, heal my foul, O Lord, for I have finned against thee.
2 Wee have to doe yvith that, generation, vvho are vvife in their ovvn eyes, thefe have a good opinion of themselves that they knovv more then others, and they are not in converfation like to the Publican, and therefore they look God in the face, they dravy neer to him, they ftand and pray, thefe are fo ful of the fpirit,that theyneed no help in their prayers, they can pen their ovvn petitions, their hearts endite good matters, their tongues are the pens of ready vvriters, they can talk vvith God Almighty ex tempore. Dabitur illa hora..!
Self-opinion is a kind of fpirituall drunkeneffe, and therein of like effect, it maketh men daring and fool-hardy, the prophane care not for God, there is no fear of God before their eyes, these make tvvo bold vvith him, they also muft take a little phyfick to purge the exuberancy of their prefumption, vve must give them a doze of fear, and teach them to drink of the cup of trembling next their hearts, there is no fuch antidote against tumor, as timor: fwelling, as fear.
It is the Wife mans counfell.
Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thy heart be hafty to utter any thing before the Lord, for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth, therefore let thy words be few.
He addeth, a fools voice is known by multitude of words, that is further urged. Prov.10. In the multitude of words there wanteth not fin.
For this Chrift teaching us to pray, beginneth at Our Father
which art in heaven, that we upon earth, might confider that he to whom we pray, is in Heaven: that we might compofe our felves with fear and reverence to come before him, and to prefent him with our prayers.
And again, he comprehendeth all that we may aske of God in a very fhort prayer, to teach us that our words must be few.
And to that purpose, in his Sermon he taught; But when ye Mat.6 7. pray, ufe not vain repititions, as the heathen do, for they think they Shall be heard for their much speaking.
They that come in prefence of great perfons, fpeak their words by number and by weight, the very prefence doth ftamp in them an impreffion of reverence and fear: now feeing God to whom we pray is invifible, our faith must behold him before us in glorious majesty, as hee faith, Ihave fet God always before mee, and like Abraham, the neerer we come, to his prefence, and the more that we folicite him, the more fhall vve bfhaken vvith this holy fear; confidering him vvho dwelleth in the light, that ro man can attein unto, and confidering our felves that we are but duft and afhes: the heathen could teach, deos cafte adeunto, let men go reverently, and inwardly cleave before their gods.
3 There are yet another fort of them vvhom their fins do opprefs as a burthen too heavie for them to bear, vvhole hearts do fimite them, and vvhofe confciences do accufe them, that though the zeal of Gods houfe do bring them to Church, yet the fear of their unvvorthinefs doth make them ftand a far off, beating their breafts, and not daring to lift up their eyes to heaven.
Thefe had need of comfort, we must labour to put metall into fuch, by telling them that he whofe face they feek is, God the Father of our Lord Jefus Chrift, the Father of mercies, and 2 Cor.1.3. the God of all comfort.
Dar id, is a full example of a diftreffed man, fearing and yet Pfal.11. praying, for he confeffeth, I am very fore afflicted, yet he pray- 17. eth God to quicken him, he faith, My foul is continually in my
band, he was even ready to yield it up, yet the comfort that he had in God eftablished his heart.
And herein God is moft gratious, for when our fins come in our fight, and we are horribly afraid of Gods judgments, even then God fendeth his Spirit to us, not to take away our infirmities quite, but to help them, not to turne our forrow into joy,but to fanctifie our forrow,and to fupply it with fighs and groanes, and this addition of fear and grief doth also mend devotion.
To fuch we must say, that tho gh he to whom we pray be in Heaven, yet he is our Father, and though great and glori ous be his Majefty, yet he is the preferver of men.
David calleth him our Sun and Shield, the brightneffe of this Sun may dazle our weak fight, but the protection of this fhield will fave us from danger.
Be ftrong then, and God fhall eftablish your hearts, he fhall anoint you with the oile of gladneffe, and he fhall fay to your foul, I am thy Salvation.
2 Subjectum, Vide divif. fupr. Pag. 29.
This prayer is for the Church, that is,for all thofe that then were the visible fociety of fuch as worshiped the onely true God.
It is the duty of every child of God, and member of the Church to pray to God for the whole body of the Church.
The Church at this time was within a pale, and confined to the houfe of Abraham, not in his whole bloud, for Ishmach was excluded, in Ifaac was the promife,not in his whole bloud; for Efay was excluded, Jacob was Ifrael, and prevailed with God,of him came the Fathers, and in his feed was the Church continued.
This Church was now threatned with deportation,and fundry great judgments, the Prophet teacheth them how to pray
one for another.
To this there are great motives.
1 The direction of Christ in the Lords Prayer, which calJeth God, our Father, and in the proceffe of it, theweth that
the Church of God, is ftill included, Give us, forgive us, lead
2 The content that we give to God, in thefe generall prayers, which the Apostle doth well expreffe.
Iexhort that first of all prayers, &c. be made for all men: For this is good and acceptable in the fight of God our Saviour, who will have all men to be faved.
All are or may be members of the Church of God, for ought
3 The benefit that we reap hereby is great,for thus we come to have our portion in the charitable prayers of others.
Ambrofe, Si prote rogas tantum, prote folus rogabis, fi autem pro omnibus rogas, omnes pro te rogabunt.
4It is a true rule, that extra Ecclefiam non eft falus, without the Church there is no falvation: it is faid that God added to A&ts 2.47. the Church daily fuch as should be faved: the reafon hereof is, bedaufe Chrift is no where to be found as a Saviour but in his Church, and the meanes of falvation, Preaching, Prayer, and Sacraments, they are only found in the Church.
Without are dogs, enchanters, &c.
Chrift is the good Shepheard, and he hath his fold, all the 15. sheep that are without, must be brought to that fold, as himfelf faith, alias oves habeo, que non funt de ovili hoc, illas oportet. adducere. I have other fheep, &c. they fhall hear my voice, and Joh.10.16 there fhall be one fold, and one shepheard.
Therefore there is no fafety in fingularity, they that forfake the Church, forfake the fold, the unity of fpirit, not the fingularity, is the bond of peace.
We are members one of another the common fafety of the body communicateth perticular fafety to all the members of the body.£ 00 ad
In the temporall ftate, the peace of perticular perfons is included in the peace of the whole kingdome,therefore feremiah faith to the Church then in deportation
Seek the peace of the City, whether I have caused you to be car- Je:19 7. ried away captives, and pray unto the Lord for it, for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace.
Much more fhall we have peace in the peace of the Church, feeing Chrift bequeathed his legacy of peace, not to fome parts and members of his Church, but to the whole body Joh.14.27. thereof. Pacem meam do vobis, I give unto you my peace. It must be so understood, for as he left his Spirit the Comforter, fo he left his peace the comfort, not to his Difciples onely, but to all the Church, therefore pray all that it may be well with thee, in communi bono, in the common good.
This teacheth us to incorporate our felvs in the communion of Saints, per communionem pietatis et charitatis, by the communion of piety and charity, to be one anothers Orators, but efpecially to ftudy and pray for the peace and welfare of the Church, let us confider it is the Spouse of Chrift, it is a Lilly among thorns, it is a flower in the field, not only open to all weathers, but to the tooth and foot of the beafts of the field, Satan going about feeking to devoure it.
Let our prayers to God refift Satan, and fight the Lords battail against him.
We heare of the troubles of the Church in other countreys, we heare of the tyranny of Popery, and the oppreffions of faithfull profeffours, if we give them no other help,yet let our prayers give God no reft, till he have mercy on them, and give them deliverance,
This teacheth us to maintain truth and peace amongst our felves, let not the wounds and foars of a Church, that is he refie, and fchifme, and feparation, be fo much as named amongst us, as it becommeth the Saints of God, let not the common enemy of our Religion hope to build upon our ruines, and to raise up himself by our fall, to ftrengthen his peace by our contentions, to be night our clear and glorious Sun-fhine of the Gofpel, fo many happy years crowned with peace, and the fruits of peace propagation, with his Egyptian and Cymmerian darkneffe..!
Let us be of good comfort, their darkneffe dare not come fo near our light, for our light will difcover it, their errour dare not come fo neer our truth, our truth will confute it; and the God of Truth wil not fuffer his truth to fail.