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perfons, or any other without fpeciall leave. Thus much I
1. Rationall and Intellectuall, which apprehendeth the true
2. Spirituall and Metaphyficall, which is, faving knowledge,
Therefore I must indite many of the learned of the Church of Rome offlander, who have given out in print, that we do hold the whole body of Scripture fo eafie, both in the whole, and in every part thereof, that any unlearned men & women may read, and understand, all as they go, and that they need no interpreter. This no fober man will affirm; but that the difficulty is not fuch as fhould deter us from the study thereof, rather that it is fuch as inviteth us thereto, that we affirme.
This ferveth us for caution;
1 Though the Scripture be full of figures, let us not make figures where there are none, and ftrein plain and evident Texts from their genuine and proper fenfe, to forreign and far-fetcht myfteries, as the Papift doth often.
For when Peter faith, Ecce hic duo gladii, they underftand the
He made two great lights, the greater to rule the day, the lefs to rule
that is to say,the Church: and the Emperour to rule the night, that is,the lay peoql.
Where note, that as the Moon borroweth all the light it hath of the Sun, So muft the Emperour borrow all his glory of the Pope..
Some of our own brethren have trode awry in this way, an Article of Faith lyes bleeding in the unrefolved judgements of many, by this fault of making a figure where none
The words of Chrift, Thou wilt not leave my foul in hell, are plain enough:
For we know that Chrift had a foul, we know that there is an hell, and we hear Chrift fay; that God would not leave itthere.
But Mr. Calvine turns this into a figure, and his words be all oracles with fome that take their faith upon truft, his figure is that, defcendit ad inferos diros in anima cruciatus dam nati, ac perditi hominis pertulet: he defcended into hell, that is, he bare in his foul all the torments of the damned.
Maft. Perkins refufeth this as the meaning of the article,for he faith, all this is conteined in the former: he fuffered, was crucified dead.
And he findeth another figure in these words, by foul, he meaneth the body; and by hell,he meaneth the grave; for he thus rendreth it.
He defcended into bell, that is, he was held captive in the grave, and lay in bondage under death for three daies.
Which need not, for the Article that faith, he was buri ed contemneth that: for then God did not suffer his holy one to fee corruption.
This turning of Articles of faith into figures, doth destroy faith, therefore without figure the fafeft way is to understand the word of the Prophets in their own proper fenfe & natural fignification: by foul,to understand the living foul of Christ, which by death was separated for a time from his body. By hell, to understand the place of the damned, in which
Christ triumphed victoriously over the Devil and his angels, and brought away the keys thereof, that he might open it to the reprobate, and fhut it again: the elect to whom the promife is made, that, The gates of hell fhall not prevail against
2 Let us alfo take heed, that where there is a plain figure, we do not understand that literally, to corrupt the Text: which was the errour of the Difciplies, to whom when Chrift had spoken of restoring the Kingdom to Ifrael, they underftood it literally, of the temporall Kingdom of the Jews,which was meant of the fpirituall Kingdom of Chrift.
So the woman of Samaria thought Chrift had spoken of an Elementary water, and the Capernaites miftook Christ, speaking of the bread of life.
Therefore, let common judgements take good counfel,how they expound Scriptures, left they pervert them to their own damnation, for as Aug. Hinc nate funt omnes hærefes,quia fcriptura bona intelleguntur non bene, hence all herefies grow, &c.
Ver. 7. Ifaw the Tents of Cufhan in affliction, and the curtains of the Land of Midian did tremble.
"Ere followeth further inftance of the Majeftie and
1 In the power of his fear,which was upon the Nations,
2 In the wonders that he fhewed in the work.
I faw the tents of Cufhan in affliction.
Who faw this? not the Prophet onely, but the Church of
The vifion was, that God did caft the fear of his people upon the Nations: he nameth Cuban, or the people of Ethiopia
bordering upon Egypt and Midian, which took name of MiGen.25.2. dian the fon of Abraham by Keturah.
The terrour of God fell upon many Nations, when God put Ifrael into the way to the promised Land, and long after; and these two Nations are hereby a figure Poetically and Rhethorically named, for many Nations,
Gen. 10.6. The reafon whereof I conceive to be this;
Cuban or Ethiopia took name from Cub the eldest fon of Cham them youngest fon of Noah, to fhew, that though Canaan the fon of Cham be onely named in Noahs curfe, yet the fmart thereof fhould alfo light upon Cub alfo, and he should tafte alfo of affliction.
Again, herein the extent of this terrrour is well expreffed, that Cuban or Ethiopia fhould be made to tremble, which was remote from Canaan, for the whole land of Egypt lay be
Midian lay neer to that land, fo that I understand the Text thus: That God caft his fear upon people remote, and near hand, and shook them with trembling at his mighty power, when he brought his Ifrael into the promised Land; and this was fo palpable and manifeft, that the Church of God could not but take notice of it.
By tents and curtains, he expreffed this people difmayed not in their Cities and Towns, and places of habitation, but in the fields, and amidst their military preparations, when their tents were pitcht,as it were in readineffe to give battail: which is a Rhethoricall amplification of the greatneffe of their ter
My obfervation from this place is this;
The power of God fhewed in the terror of the wicked, doth prove that there is a God, and therefore no people on earth can be altogether ignorant of the God-head.
Why fhould the tents of Cuban be in affliction? Why fhould the curtains of Midian tremble? but that the fear of the Lord is upon them, God daunteth and difmayeth them.
It was one of Gods promifes to his people; Te are to pass
through the coafts of your brethren the children of Efau, which dwell in Seir, and they shall be afraid of you.
This deliverance of Ifrael from Egypt was a moft memorable act of Gods power, and made his name great in all the earth; it followeth,
Rahab that entertained the Spies whom Joshua, fent to view the Land of Canaan, faved them from the dangerous purfuite of the meffengers of the King of Jericho and the faid to them:
He, (i.e.) Efan) knoweth thy walkings through the great wil- Vr. 7. dernefs thefe forty years, the Lord thy God hath been with thee, tho haft lacked nothing.
I know the Lord hath given you the Land, and that your terror is fallen upon us,and that all the Inhabitants of the Land melt because of it.
For we heard how the Lord dried up the waters of the Red Sea for you, when he came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two Kings of the Amorites on the other fide Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye destroyed utterly.
And affoon as we heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man because of you, for the Lord your God, he is God above in Heaven, and in Earth beneath.
And this is the right way to make God known to the wicked and ungodly of the earth.
From thence came that prayer of David, Put them in fear, Pla.9.20. O Lord, that they may know, themselves to be but men. The fear of God vvill fmite them vvith fuch terrour, that they fhall not have heart to stirre against him.
So it is faid that God is known by executing his judgments. Reafon. For as the Apostle faith, the very naturall man hath the work Rom.2.5. of the law written in his heart.
The lavv vvriten in the heart of every man is a generall principle both of truth in the understanding,vvhich affirmeth, a divine nature, and of avve in the affections to make him feared. And this lavv is not idle, but it vvorketh, for there LII