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By ROBERT HARRIS, Batchelor of Divinity and Paſtor of Hanwell. OXON.

Publiſhed by Order of that Houſe.

PSAL. 10.

14. Thou haſt ſeene: for thou beholdeſt miſchiefe, and ſpite to re­quite it with thy hand. The poore leaveth himſelfe to thee. Thou art the help of the fatherleſſe.

17. Lord, thou haſt heard the deſire of the humble: Thou wilt prepare their heart: thou wilt cauſe thy eare to heare, &c.

LONDON, Printed by M. F. for Iohn Bartlet, and are to be ſold at the gilt Cup, neere S. Auſtins gate in Pauls Church­yard, M. DC. XLII.

TO THE HONORABLE HOVSE OF COMMONS, now aſſembled in Parliament.

I Now tender what you are pleaſed to owne: ſooner I could not, becauſe want­ing time and health, I had onely broken notes. I am now come as neere my ſelfe, as my notes will help mee. It was my reſolution from the firſt, to hold me to the worke in hand, the worke of the day, the worke of my calling; accor­dingly I made, and purſued my choice, waving all diſputes Sacred, or Civill. Things ever move beſt in their owne Spheare: And O that all things might ever runne in their right channell! My worke was to Mourne, to Preach; not to Parliament-it: and I never brought a ſadder heart to a buſineſse. Nay, The diviſions of Reuben ſtill ſtick, and have left thoſe impreſsions, which will not off. Judg. 5.15.I bleed ſtill in the breaches of Dying Ireland, and in our Home-Jealouſies. Alas! That Brethren, who promiſe and purpoſe ſo well, worke and ſweat ſo hard, ſhould ſo hardly underſtand each other. There is, I feare, a Divine diſpleaſure in it. Where Unity is,Pſal. 133: 3. the bleſsing is. The ſpirit of Iealouſy and diviſion is a Meſſenger of wrath. Judg. 9. &c.And then moſt, when All complaine of it, and No One will owne it. For this My Soule ſhall weep in ſecret; and in Rebeccahs caſe, I will take up her complaint; Why is it thus! As for you, Noble gentlemen, What can I ſay now? It is wiſdome (you know) to know ones owne Compaſſe, and you are far above me. Your Place is high, your Task great; and yet your ſtrength not infinit. By Place, you are Gods:Pſal. 82. and yet Men; you muſt Fall, (and may ſail) like others. Quideſt Eccle­ſia? Viri. & mulieres. Chry. in Eph. 5.Gods own Synod (the Church) is made up of men: and men be Men, in the Greateſt Councels. Compare them to the High­eſt God, their greateſt agitations are but as the buſie ſweatings of ſo many Ants in a Molehill. Your work is alſo great. As your Place, ſo your Work is Gods. Your buſineſſe lies about Laws, and Orders. Order is a Sacred thing. Law, the work of a God No man can ſee, or ſay All in his Law; Sin will evade; witneſſe our good Laws touching The Lords day, Swearing, and Drinking. Now (forſooth) you muſt tell us, what Prophaneneſſe is, what Swearing you meane, and when a man is Drunken. Nay, when a Law is with ſome difficulty conceived, and with more brought forth, it is not an eaſie thing, to teach it to Speak plainly: nor are men ſo happy in their expreſsions as was S. Paul, who wrote, nor more,2 Cor. 1. nor leſſe, then we Read. I ſpeak not this in a Diſ­couraging way. Noble Spirits know not what that meanes. Onely they know from the Poet,Et neſeit remea­ve Lon. Claud. 〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉&c. Eurip. That it makes a man, leſſe then nothing. Laws therefore muſt be; elſe all goes to loſſe. Leave men to them­ſelves; each mans luſt will be a Law; each mans Opinion, a Bible. My ſpeech onely tends to this, to provoke you, and my ſelf to prayer, and depen­dence. He that will undertake the work of God, with the wit, and ſtrength of a man, will but ſhame the work, and break himſelf. My hope is, That you will begin, and end with God: that you will doe all in his ſtrength, and do his beſt work, firſt. Mens Conſciences are miſerably perplexed between Command, and Command. Our Congregations are as much divided, betweene Tea­cher, and Teacher. The concluſion in time will be, Wee are of Chriſt,1 Cor. 1.1 We will believe none of them all. Let me aſſure you, The caſe betwixt Paſtor, and Flock will be very ſad, if there bee not a timely ſettlement. But things of this nature I had rather ſpeak in Private, then in Preſſe, or Pulpit. And there rather to God, then to Man. I therefore reine in and betake my ſelfe with aged Jerome to my Tuguriolum, and there bleſſe God, that I dare ſleep, and can ſay, that ought is my owne, and there deplore my barren miniſtery for almoſt twice twenty yeares, and implore the bleſsing of heaven upon my Deare Soveraigne, and his Great Councell. Eſay 9. 2 Tim. 2.Now the Great Counſellor give you a right underſtanding, in all things:2 Theſ. 3.16. And the God of Peace himſelf (he alone can do it) give you peace, in all things, by all meanes. So will pray

The unworthieſt of thoſe that ſerve you in the faith ROBERT HARRIS.

IT is this day Ordered by the Commons now aſſembled in Parliament, that M. Harris, and M. Obadiah Sedgwick, who this day being the day of the publike Faſt at the intreaty of the ſaid Commons preached at S. Margarets Weſtminſter, ſhall have thanks re­turned them, for the great and worthy paines they have taken, and that they bee deſired to print their Sermons, and that no man preſume to print them, but ſuch as they ſhall appoint, till the Houſe ſhall take further Order.

H. Elſyng Cler. Parl. D. Com.

I appoint Iohn Bartlet, to print my Ser­mon.

Robert Harris.

A SERMON PREACHED TO THE Honorable Houſe of COMMONS Aſſembled in PARLIAMENT, At a publike FAST, May 25. 1642.

LUKE 18.6, 7, 8.

6. And the Lord ſaid; Heare what the unjuſt Iudge ſaith.

7. And ſhall not God avenge his owne Elect, which cry day and night unto him; though he beare long with them?

8. I tell you, that he will avenge them ſpeedily: ne­vertheleſſe, when the Son of man cometh, ſhall he finde faith on the earth?

WEE are in a Parable. A Parable delivers ſome excellent truth under a compariſon. That truth is now Prefixed, now Affixed; It is here prefixed, and it is this. In prayer wee muſt not faint, nor flagge. This the Point. And this is preſſed from the ſucceſſe, and that is argued2 ab Impari, thus. If conſtant and faithfull prayer cary it with the worſt, much more with the beſt: If with a bad man, then with our gracious God. This is the Summe.

The parts of the Parable are ordinary,

  • 1. A Propoſition,
  • 2. A Reddition

In both we have,

  • 1. Perſons repreſented,
  • 2. The ſucceſſe mentioned.

In the firſt part, the Perſons on the one ſide are,

  • 1. Praying; a poore, ſhiſtleſſe, friendleſſe wi­dow who had no advocate but miſery and im­portunity.
  • 2. Prayed to; a ſowre, ſullen, froward peece, a man without ſenſe of Pietie, or Humanity, one who preſents as ill as may'be, whether Place or Perſon be conſidered. Yet ſee, this woman pre­vailes with this man.

In the ſecond part you have, for one woman, many men; for one ſtranger, many children: for occaſionall petitions, unceſſant ſuits: and for a bad Iudge, a good Father, who can no more deny his owne, then himſelfe. If then ſhe, a woman ſo weake, overcame a man ſo harſh: what may not children ſo many, do with a Father ſo good?

You have the Parable. Our worke lies in the Reddition, where

  • 1. Our bleſſed Saviour prefaces and premiſes, (Heare what the unrighteous Iudge ſaith) Heare it to your comfort; He ſpeaks ſome comfort, and (in him) God ſpeaks more.
  • 2. He aſſumes, and that moſt ſtrongly, as the3 queſtion ſhews; Shall not God avenge, &c. as if he had ſaid, It is out of queſtion, he will.
  • 3. He concludes. God will heare, will certainly heare, nay, will ſeaſonably heare, with a non obſtan­te; notwithſtanding he is ſeemingly ſlow in his anſwers, and we certainly weak in our faith and dependance. I will ſay no more, as yet, to the words.

Something I have to ſay to you, from them; and I hold it my happineſſe, that I, who have no breath to ſpare, ſhall ſpeake to thoſe, who will conceive faſter, and ſee farther, then I can ſpeak.

For my Errands; the firſt and maine reſults from the whole, and this it is.

Doct. 1In point of Prayer, we muſt gather all arguments of incouragement, and never yeeld,Col. 4 12. Rom. 15.30. till we have the day. Prayer is a maſtery, and that maſtery is a wraſt­ling and wraſtle we muſt, whiles we can ſtand. When we are once drawne forth upon this ſer­vice, where we pitch, there wee muſt make good our ground, without flight, or fainting;〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉Militaria ver­ba, ut vult Euſtat. aliique. as one word, in the firſt verſe here, and another in the laſt verſe, Heb. 10. is conceived to imply. This the Leſſon our Maſter is now teaching, and he char­ges it upon us as a duty in the firſt verſe. And for farther proof and incouragement, I preſent you onely with three Arguments.

1. The firſt is drawne from God; where he gives, we may, we muſt take all incouragements. Here God gives all, as

  • Pſal. 65.2. Can. 2.14.
    1. He offers himſelfe to us as a Father; as a Father hearing prayer, as a Father begging prayer,4 as a Father loving prayer,
    Pſal. 1 41.2. Epheſ. 3.20.
    as a Father able to ex­ceed all prayers, needs, thoughts.
  • 2. He binds himſelfe as much by promiſe, as us by precept. Thoſe promiſes of his are full, are free;
    Rom. 10.12. Deut. 4.7. Luke 11.10
    He is rich to all that call upon him: Every one that ſeeketh, findeth, and ſuch like: And thoſe promiſes are made to Chriſt, founded on Chriſt, ſealed in blood, backt with an Oath.
  • Iam 1.6. Heb. 4.16. & 10.22. Epheſ. 3.12. Luke 11.
    3. He commands us to beg, and that without wavering; nay with all boldneſſe, with all con­fidence of boldneſſe, and fulneſſe of aſſurance.
  • 4. He armes us with Parables, experiments, and all arguments of comfort; Indeed ſuch To­picks, as that it is impoſſible for God to recede, if we ſtand our ground. And thus from God.

2. Next to God, I preſent you with a cloud of Petitioners, who have ſtirred up themſelves, to take hold of God, and it hath taken well.

I begin with Moſes. If a man would have been diſcouraged,Exod. 32.10. Moſes had beene the man.

  • 1. The people were ſtark naught, and paſſing froward.
  • 2. God ſeems to take him off, and to give him a diſcharge, Let me alone, ſaith he.
  • 3. He ſeems to take off all objections. I will make of thee (ſaith he) in ſtead of them, a great people.
  • 4. He ſuſpends his anſwer, day after day, as if hee were unwilling to condeſcend. Yet Moſes ſtands to it. God cannot get him gone; away he will not, without his errand, his errand hee hath.

To him I adde Iacob our Father, who concludes Vs, as Hoſea ſaith. In him God ſpake with us. Hoſ. 12.4. Gen. 32 24.This Iacob knowes not what diſcouragement means. God ſeemed to give him his anſwer, in Eſau's ex­pedition againſt him; but hee will not take it: God was willing to put him off; but hee will not admit of any Put-offs: hee ſeems to take his leave; but Iacob, by his leave, will not part ſo: he ſeems angry, and willing to ſhake him off; but Iacob holds his hold: nay, hee ſeems to cruſh him, to maime him, to begin E­ſau's quarrell againſt him; but hee, like him in ſtory, when hee was maim'd on one hand,Cy•…girus in Iuſtin. holds the ſhip with the other, and when hee was hand­leſſe, held with his teeth, whileſt breath held: So our Champion: Froun God, ſmite hee, wound hee; Iacob is at a point. A Bleſsing hee came for, and a Bleſsing hee will have. I will not let thee goe, (ſaith hee) unleſſe thou bleſſe mee. His limbs, his life might goe: but there is no going for Chriſt, without a pawn, without a bleſſing. This is the man. Now what is his ſpeed? The Lord admires him, and honors him to all generations. What is thy name (ſaith hee) q. d. I never met with ſuch a fellow. Titles of honour are not worthy of thee. Thou ſhalt bee called, not Iacob, a ſhepherd with men: but Iacob, a Prince with God. Nay not Iacob, a wraſt­ler with man: but Iſrael, a prevailer with God.

To theſe men, I adde one Woman, Matth. 15. who, like another Gorgonia, threatens heaven,Nazinz. and is (as her brother ſaid of her) modeſtly impudent, and invincible. Nothing can diſcourage her. 6Not her Sexe, not her Nation, not her Miſery, not her Delayes: but ſhee gathers ſtrength by her wounds, and comfort out of diſcouragements. Will Chriſt give no anſwer? Good, thinks ſhee: this is no denyall yet. Gives hee a diſcouraging anſwer? That's well, ſaith ſhee: I have obtained words, I expect deeds too: hee that opens his mouth, will open his hand alſo. Cals hee her dogge? all the better. Dogs ſome way belong to the family, ſome intereſt and right they have to ſome crumbs, to ſome ſcraps; and ſomething ſhe makes of it. You heare the Concluſion. O wo­man! Great is thy faith. Bee it unto thee, as thou wilt. I never met with ſuch a woman: have it ſhee will, and have it ſhe ſhall, and that inſtantly, (this very houre;) and that fully, ſhee's her own carver. And this is our ſecond Argument.

A third this parable furniſhes me withall. Courage in prayer drawes on importunity. Both cary it with man; much more with God. Marke the Widow. Shee ſtood in no relation to the Judge: Shee had no promiſe from him; his place and perſon promiſed little: There was little ho­neſty in him, and as little hope: either from or for her: yet ſhee ſcrues him up, and makes him weary of denials. What! a Woman in theſe cicum­ſtances Maſculine! and We Womaniſh! Conſider, I beſeech you, how much is wonne, or loſt, by holding up, or letting fall our ſpirits in prayer.

Are wee confident? Then conſider, that Prayer is the ſtrength of the Creature, (for it in­gages Gods ſtrength) & confidence is the ſtrength7 of our prayer, and of our ſelves: It doubles our ſtrength; It contributes to the Publike: It ſets God in the throne, nay us in a ſort: for ſo (with Iacob) we reigne with God. That made Iacob, Iſrael. Other wayes, and things might make him Iacob: but Prayer denominates him Iſrael. By this, hee, and wee, reigne over heaven, and earth, and ca­ry the world in our hand;Plut. As the Boy at Athens ſometimes ſaid (I bring it onely for illuſtration) Hee could command all Athens. His reaſon: Hee could doe any thing with his Mother; his Mother with his Father; his Father with that State: So here, Faith can doe any thing with Prayer; Prayer with Chriſt; Chriſt with his Father; his Father with All.

But now, on the other ſide, Faintheartednes in prayer,

  • 1. Hurts us.
  • 2. Robs the Publike.
  • 3. Wrongs God.
  • 1. For God. It is a true Maxime, True defects in the Creature come from falſly-conceited defects in the Creator. Thence our faith failes, becauſe we have ſo low, ſo narrow, and ſo poore conceits of Al­mighty God, whoſe glory is ſo much eclipſed, as wee 'bate any thing of his Al-ſufficiency, and prayers Omnipotency.
  • 2. For our ſelves. Diſcouragement robs us of our ſtrength. A diſcouraged man is but halfe a man. Hee lies open to every temptation; is ſoon beaten down, and from halting ſoon turnes aſide. Either hee prayes not at all: or not conſtantly:
    Heb. 12 13.
    at beſt, his prayers are fearfull, ſoon receive a check,8 and take their anſwer. And, as it makes God but halfe a God, and Mans ſelfe but halfe a Man, ſo
  • 3. For others. It is not onely wanting to the Publick: but it hath an ill influence upon all. The truth is,
    Quiii•…è ro­gt, dce•…g­re. Sn: Deut. 20.8.
    (If I may ſpeake it all at once.) It teaches God to Deny: our fellow-ſouldiers to Fly: (as the fearefull did in Iſrael: and our ſelves onely to Object, and to make difficulties, and in the end to Die for feare of Dying, Nabal-like.

Ʋſe. 11. Before I Exhort, I cannot but bluſh at this baſeneſſe of ſpirit, in my ſelfe, in our nature. You are as willing as I to take ſhame to your ſelves this day, and to ſit before God (as Ezra did) confoun­ded. Tell mee (I beſeech you) for the furthering of our humiliation, Tell mee. Is not Cowardiſe bluſhfull? Will not men rather Die, then heare-Cowards? and what is that but Feare and Boldneſſe miſplaced? And what is this but our Temper? who are Daring, where wee ſhould Feare; and there onely Feare, where wee ſhould bee Valiant. I in­ſtance in the preſent work. Wee have Gods Paſſe, and Patent for Prayer, and dare not plead it: and yet elſewhere preſume without Licence. For I de­mand. Have not wee as good warrant to Pray, as to Curſe? to Bleſſe, as to Blaſpheme? yet here wee feare not, wee doubt not: there wee doe nothing els. I bring the caſe neerer to our purpoſe. What thinke you? Have not wee as good warrant to beg of God, as Rogues and Vagrants of us? They are ſtrangers; They have no promiſe from us; none the leaſt invitation: Nay, they trouble us, they charge us, they are in a diſobedience, there9 is Law againſt them Asking, and us Giving: yet ſay, doe, what you pleaſe, they will not off. Send to them; they will ſooner make your child or ſervant their ſpokeſman, then make away. Threaten them with Stocks, or Officer, or what you pleaſe; it is all one. And ſhall theſe put forth in ſuch a tempeſt, in a contrary wind, when all makes againſt them? And wee ſit ſtill, when wind, and tyde, and all is for us? when we have Law on our ſides, and Goſpell on our ſides, and all the world on our ſides? For Prayer ingroſſes all the World, Heaven, Earth, All. I put it yet a little farther.

Have not wee as many incouragements from Heaven, as from Earth? Is not God as rich as Man? as able, as willing, as Free? yet ſee our practiſe. Wee have ſuites; theſe to God, thoſe to Men What's our deportment? With Men it is our work to Strengthen the heart; our labour to gather in­couragements. Is it a man wee Never troubled? That is made an argument of incouragement. I never troubled him yet, and for Once hee'll never deny mee. Have wee tried him Often? That is an argument of incouragement. Such an one is my Old friend, my tried friend; hee Never failed me; and therefore I'll to him. Is hee a Kinſman? That incourages. For ſhame hee will not deny his Owne fleſh and bone. Is hee a Stranger? why then hee'll take it well, that I conceive better of him, then of my owne kindred. Is he Poore? Hee'll the better feele mee, and the ſooner pi­ty mee. Is hee Rich? Hee may the better ſpare10 it.Thus with men, wee have ſtill ſomewhat to ſay, for the ſupport of hope, though they bee poore, hard, ſtrangers, men no way ingaged by Covenant, or the like.

But now when wee deale with God (How can wee ſpeake of it without bluſhing!) wee can doe little els then Feare, Object, Deſpaire. Sure, hee doth not love mee; Hee will doe nothing for me; well may I goe, and try; but it will bee to no pur­poſe. I ſhall get no pardon, no power, no comfort, no acceptation!

O curſed Vnbeliefe! Can wee conceive hope, without promiſes? None with them? Can wee find Plea's for Men? None for God? Can Poverty help us, and not Wealth? Weakneſſe, and not Strength? Will Cruelty pity us, and not Mercy? not Grace? Bee abaſhed thus to ſet earth above heaven; men above God.

Yet I have not done. I cannot without horror and trembling. Put the caſe as the caſe is. What thinke you? Have wee not reaſon to believe the God of Truth rather then the Father of Lyes? Let the Devill promiſe ſafety, ſecrecy, any profit, or content in a ſinfull way; wee reſt in his Word, wee make no doubt of the ſucceſſe: All the threats and curſes in the booke of God cannot diſmay us. On the other ſide: Suppoſe God promiſes, and the Devill in the meane time threaten us: which is beleeved? All the Promiſes, Sacraments, Oaths, Performances of God cannot eſtabliſh us. There is nothing but Preſuming, when Satan promiſes: no­thing but Objecting, when God promiſes. O blaſ­phemous11 Unbeliefe! How doth this ſinne de­baſe God! bely God! as the word ſaith; provoke God beyond all provocations! How angry was his Majeſtie with Iſrael, for this ſinne? How an­gry with Moſes? How angry with Zachary? for this in one particular; and in a lower degree. O, how low muſt wee caſt our ſelves before our God this day, for this capitall ſinne! which is ſo much the worſe, by how much the more Spirituall it is, and Anti-Evangelicall. Seemes it a ſmall thing to us, to make God worſe then man? but we muſt make him worſe, then the worſt in Hell? What! Shall our unbelieving hearts not onely impute Lying to him, but put Perjury upon him alſo? Tertul.Hath not he ſworne, that Wee ſhall not ſecke him in vaine? And ſhall we beginne and conclude in unbeliefe? Is it not enough before prayer to ſay Hee will not heare: but after prayer, when he ha's heard, to ſay Ha's not heard? as Iobs words ſound, to ſome mens ſenſe. Iob. 9.16. But here let us ſit downe in our confuſion a while. And then let us Advance, and thinke it long, before wee have wip'd off this diſ­grace, and approv'd our valour.

Ʋſe 22. And here, what ſhall I entreat, but the per­uſall of the Text? You heare the Leſſon. We muſt hold out in prayer. You heare,

The Teacher, the onely Maſter upon earth. I looke upon you, as upon S. Lukes Theophilus, as men grounded in the truth; and therefore wil­lingly decline the Common Place of prayer, and wave old errors happily buried,Aug. haereſ. 57. & epiſt. 121. &c. with the unhappy diſputes of this age. How, and in what forme the12 widow petitioned I diſpute not. Written, or not written, a petition is a petition ſtill. The thing I am to preſſe, is a reſolute perſeverance in prayer. And this will need ſome preſſing. For,

  • 1. We have a dull, baſe, feeble ſpirit, ready to receive all impreſſions of diſcouragement.
  • 2. Next, from without we ſhall not want diſ­couragements, if we will liſten to them.

Firſt, our owne guilty and unworthy hearts, (as before I intimated) will caſt a thouſand perils.

Vid. Ezr. & Nehem.Secondly, prophane ſpirits will entertaine us, as the enemies did the Church, with a thouſand ſcornes.

Thirdly, Friends (carnall and ſpirituall) will tell us, that it is all in vaine, too late, and impoſſible to prevaile.

Fourthly, Satan will roare upon us. Thou pray, O Hypocrite! Thy perſon is unwelcome, thy prayers abominable, thy heart, mouth, and hands loathſome; the pure eyes of the moſt ho­ly God cannot but loath thee, his glorious Maje­ſtly will confound thee.

Laſtly, The Lord himſelfe will ſometimes ſeeme an adverſary: he will hide himſelfe, when thou ſeekeſt him: run from thee as faſt as thou runneſt after him: now he will chide, now frown, now delay, now ſeeme to reject thee, and to ſcorne thy ſervices: in a word, quite to ſhake thee off, as Naomi ſeemed to beat off Ruth, when yet he de­ſires thy company, as ſhe Ruths. In this caſe thou muſt not ſhew thy ſelfe a daſtard, but gather ſpi­rit from the oppoſition.


Next the Times call upon us. The children are come to the birth,Ier. 30 7. and there is no ſtrength to bring forth. It is the time of Iacobs trouble,Gen. 42. and therefore we muſt not, with Iacobs-children, ſit as men a­mazed, but make out, as the old man adviſed them; the rather becauſe there are ſo few, that either will, or dare, or can lift up one faithfull prayer.

In the third place conſider the thing it ſelfe, I meane Prayer. It is our life, our ſtrength. All the world is a dead body, till God act it: and all (within and without us) lies dead till we act God by prayer: all the comfort in the creature ſleeps, till we extract it with this Limbeck:Dor•…it ſides, d•…it Cirſius. &c. Aug i•…Pſal. 25. all our gra­ces, nay all the perfections of God, till we awaken him and them. You finde it, wee feele it: you have tried what Wit can doe, what Eloquence, what Policy, what Reſolution and Endeavor; yet we ſtick. Now try another way; Set Heaven on work, till that move, the earth ſtirs not. Set God on work, till he act, nothing is done: and when you have won him, you have won all. Whileſt there is but crea­ture to creature; wit to wit; created ſtrength to ſtrength created, the war is doubtfull, the iſſue uncertaine: But, when by prayer the great God is made, and ſo there is the Creator to the creature, and ſtrength to weakneſſe; then the victory is in ſight. My meaning is not to take you off from other meanes; onely this I ſay, that a good En­gineere is not the worſt Souldier; nor a good prayer the worſt Parliament-man. Faith can doe more then wit:Numa apud Plut. This brings men into the Field; but that God; and he onely ſecures the heart. 〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉14ſaid the Heathen, in his greateſt extremity; and there is our beſt Anchor-hold.

Go on in this your ſtrength, and your ſpiritu­all enemies ſhall melt before you, as once the Canaanites before Iſrael, and the Gauls before the Germans face. Nec•…ultum, nec•…ulorum aciemf•…re, &c. Chryſ. de orā­do Deum. l. 1. What more ſhall I ſay to you, in a way of perſwaſion? Shall I minde you of Chry­ſoſtoms argument? It is your honour, your hap­pineſſe, that you may thus dwell in Gods pre­ſence, and expreſſe your deſires. Do but thinke what it is to deale with great Perſonages, in way of petition. I. There is time ſpent in going to them: Then more in waiting on them: After ſundry dayes waiting, we may haply receive that proud Prelats anſwer,Hildebr. to Henry 4. Wee are not yet at leaſure: When we have acceſſe, we muſt be briefe, we may offend: The anſwer is doubtfull; ſometimes in­ſtead of Bread, men either give, or ſpeak Stones; however, no man can give all, to all Petitioners. But now when we deale with the high God, wee need not travell far, every place is a Sanctuary; nor need we abridge our ſelves, come when wee will, in the day, in the night: ſpeake whileſt we will, ſo long as we ſpeak his language, he will heare us at large, yea hee will help us out, and make Engliſh of that, which to our ſeeming wants ſenſe. And ſhould not this incourage us? Were they bleſſed that ſtood continually before Solo­mon? And is it not our happineſſe that wee may have Gods eare, Gods heart, hand, face, help, all? Or, ſhall I tell you, that Prayer is to us, what the wa­ter is to the Fiſh,Chryſ. lib. 2. de Orat. the onely Element of ſafety,15 and our utmoſt refuge.

Truly the Lord hath reſerved divers things to this ordinance of prayer; ſome devils will not out, ſome temptations will not off, ſome obſtru­ctions will not be removed, ſome difficulties will not be conquered, ſome mercies will not be ob­tained, but by prayer. What other key will un­locke the clouds in this drought? or turn about the hearts of men, in this diſtraction, but onely prayer? And who knows but that therefore God hath futured other hopes, and fruſtrated other meanes, to the intent, that he might honor this ordinance?

For Motives I will ſay no more. Onely give leave to tell you in few, how you ſhall hold up the heart, from fainting in the work. The way is this.

  • 1. Come well appointed into the field. Aſſure the the maine point. That your perſons are accepted, and that you are Gods owne, as it is in the Parable; for, till this be reſolved, that God is yours, and you his, all particular doubts will reſolve them­ſelves into this. It is true (will your heart ſay) God is good to his: But am I his? His promiſes are gracious; but doe they belong to me? And therefore lay that as a foundation, I am thine; and
    Pſal. 119.94.
    and then it will follow, as David infers, therefore ſave mee.
  • 2. Aſſure your Prayers, that they be acceptable.
    • 1. For the Root; They muſt be iſſues of Grace; not of wit or nature.
    • 2. For the Rule; They muſt
    • 16
    • 1. For matter; beare the ſtamp of God, his pre­cept, or promiſe.
    • 2. For Order; they muſt bee tendred in the hand of a Mediator, the Lord Chriſt. And
    • 3. For end; The object of prayer Gods ſelf muſt. be the end thereof. And the more we ſecure both Perſon, and Prayer, the more courage we ſhall have in ſtanding it out.
  • 3. Come well appointed both for
    • 1. Weapons, and
    • 2. Company.

1. For company; The more the better; where­as in other fights and fields ſometimes multitude marres all. There is a ſpeciall promiſe upon joynt prayers, Mat. 18. And could we ſecond one another, as Bathſheba, and her friends did, in her addreſſe to the King, 1 King. 1. I ſhould not doubt of as good an iſſue our petitions, as ſhe found of hers.

O, That wee could meet! if not alwayes in the ſame place, at the ſame time: yet in the ſame requeſts. Text.If one widow can do ſo much alone; what might not an army of Children doe, if they would cloſe?

2. As for weapons; The Lords owne are moſt approved, and will be onely available. He is a mighty Prince, who will be ſerved onely with his owne. Looke how it was in the Law: All muſt be Gods owne: The Prieſt his, the Sacrifice his, the Altar his, the Place his, All his; to the very knife, and meaneſt tooles: ſo is it ſtill. The Perſon praying muſt be his owne, the Prayer his, the17 Mediator his, the Petitions his, the Reaſons his, All his. And when you preſſe him with his own, and ſay (as ſhe to Iudah) Whoſe are theſe?Gen. 38. he cannot de­ny himſelfe.

Being thus armed, and entred the liſts, play the men, and be victorious. There is but one thing more to be done. Set Faith on work, and that will be your victory.

If you ask me, How?

The Anſwer is, Pitch faith upon God. Conſider,

  • 1. What he is. Why, he is a God, ſaith Chriſt. That is all that can be ſaid. Not an Idol, that hath a dead eare, and a dry hand: Not a man, that hath but little, and can doe little, and will do leſſe: But he is
  • 1. A God; that is, Power it ſelfe, Wiſdome, Mercy, oodneſſe it ſelfe. View him well: for all in God makes for encouragement, when once we are his.
  • 2. He is not a God ſimply, but a God in Co­venant; and that Covenant is made with Chriſt; and by vertue of the ſame Covenant Chriſt, and wee are both heard.
  • 3. By vertue of this Covenant he is a Father; and what will not a Father doe, an heavenly Father for ſo many children? when all pray, and all in each child prayes: for wee make to him, as the child to the breaſt; all ſpeaks, and works at once, hands, feet, mouth, all, there and here.
  • 2. What his promiſes be. How free, how fit, how attempered to our exigencies, and needs. 1. They are made to the loweſt degree of grace, Matth. 5.
  • 18
  • 2. They are made to grace mingled with many wants and corruptions, to bruiſed Reeds.
  • 3. What he is in his deeds. 1. He gives us two Mediators; His Sonne, his Spirit. 2. Hee gives more then is asked, never leſſe. 3. He gives cheerefully. Before wee end, he begins. 4. Hee gives to many for our ſakes;
    Eſ. 65.24. Dan. 9.
    maintaines a world of men, and creatures, for our uſe. And ſo long as wee ſee one of them alive, wee cannot juſtly doubt of his faithfulneſſe to us.
  • 4. Laſtly, conſider what he is in his Parables. Here he ſhews us what Prayer can doe with a Iudge. Luke 11. He tels us what Prayer can doe with a Neighbour, what with a Father; and infers incou­ragement from all.

Is he a Iudge? A Iudge may be overcome with importunity.

Is he a Friend? A Friend may be raiſed out of his bed with intreaties.

Is he a Father? And are we Fathers? and do not we feele the force of that argument? If yee, that are but ſory Fathers, will give good things to a child: will not your heavenly Father much more?

Now having by an eye of Faith thus looked upon God, in his Perfections, Relations, Promiſes, Performances, Parables: Gather upon God, and hold him to it, as Iacob did. Didſt not thou command mee? Saidſt thou not thus unto mee? &c. Preſſe him with his Precept, with his Pro­miſe, with his Hand, with his Seale, with his Oath, till we do〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, as ſome Greek Fathers do bold­ly ſpeak: That is, (If I may ſpeak it reverently e­nough19 after them) Put the Lord out of countenance; Put him (as you would ſay) to the bluſh, unleſſe we be Maſters of our requeſts.

Obj. O, But is not this too great an impudence?

An. There is a lawfull impudence; as there is a hurtfull baſhfulneſſe; witneſſe our Saviour his phraſe, Luke 11.8. 〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉

Obj. O, But God is a great God.

An. Yea, But he will pity, and heare like a man, and in that reſpect compares himſelfe to man, in theſe Parables.

Obj. O, But hee is a Glorious Majeſty.

An. Yea, But hee is a Father. And a Kings ſon may go as freely to his Father, as a Beggers.

Ob. O. But it is too late.

An. Come in the Night, if the Day be loſt. At mid­night the neighbour heard his neighbour, Luk. 11.

Obj. O, But my prayers be ſimple.

An. And here is a ſimple ſuitor in the Parable. Art thou a Child? A Father accepts of ſmall, broken, imperfect ſpeeches from a child.

Obj. O, But I apprehend God as a Iudge.

An. The woman had to doe with a Iudge in the Text. Thou haſt a Mediator, and he is a Son, a Son that never ſinned, never diſpleaſed. Plead him, and then make ſupplication to thy Iudge, as Iob did.

Obj. O, But?

An. No more O Buts. Silence unbeliefe. Turne faith looſe. Our worke ſhould be to ſtrengthen, not to weaken our hearts: to greaten our Faith, not our Feares. And there is no temptation ſo20 ſtrong, but faith will conquer it: no affliction ſo great, but faith will ſupple it: no priſon ſo ſtrait, but faith will open it: no objection ſo forked, but faith will diſſolve it: no danger ſo imminent, but faith will out-face it. Help this, and Help all: Awaken this, and Awaken all. Re­member the Story of another Widow, 2 King. 4. She had little: She needed much. Borrow (ſaith the Prophet) of all thy neighbours: But ſhut the doores upon thee. It was time to ſhut the doores, when many greater veſſels muſt bee ſupplied from one little one. I ſay the like to you. Shut the Doores: Shut out ſenſe, ſhut out all diſcou­ragements, which would put faith out of coun­tenance: And, if God fill not every veſſell, challenge him upon that his word,Pſal. 31.10. Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it. And take this with you. The Cruſe never ceaſed running, till there was no more room. As elſewhere God never ceaſed bating, till Abraham left begging.

I have ſpoken to the Point. Now the Lord in­large you in private. I am ſenſible of your occaſi­ons. I am unwilling to abridge my Worthy Brother. And therefore I will ſay as much as I can at Once, to the particular following, and contract my ſelf.

The ludge in the Protheſis we paſſe. The Com­pariſon E Medio imitates a mercy, in Having Iud­ges. I adde onely the Orators qualification,Ci•…p•…o Milo•…e. Madò audeant que ſentiunt.

The Aſſumption comes on with great ſtrength, and holds out this to us.

Doct. 2The Lord will certainly avenge his owne.


For the Termes this may ſuffice. His own by Ele­ction, as it is added.

Election is either to Glory, or Election is either to Office. Wee exclude nei­ther: wee prefer the former. God hath a Peculiar (not a Puccian) choice. The Number, whether Ma­terially, or Formally conſidered, is to him Certaine. The Perſons knowne. And them hee'll Avenge. (Avenge,) that is, 1. Vindicate them, and 2. Re­taliate their enemies.

For proofe thus.

  • 1. Gods title is, The Avenger. Pſal. 94. 1. As elſewhere, The Protector, The Second,
    So the vulgar and the 70, often in the Pſalmes read〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Protector, &c.
    or Champion of his people.
  • 2. 'Tis his Place, as Iudge. Gen. 15. 14.
  • 3. 'Tis his Prerogative, as Supreme. A Regali­ty inveſted in the Deity. Vengeance is mine. Un­leſſe God iſſue out a Commiſsion, and give power, none muſt revenge.
  • 4. 'Tis his Glory. Hee's knowne by it. Pſal. 9. 16 He ſhines in it, and is lifted up into the throne. Pſal. 94. 1. Here all his Perfections, Wiſdome, Power Iuſtice, Truth are Concentrate. That's from Gods ſelfe.

Next, From his People. God is moſt concern'd in all their ſufferings.

  • 1. The Cauſe is his: and hee's ſtruck at in it. The thing purſued in a Saint, is, not ſinne, nor the Mans ſelfe: But God in his Truth and Graces. Hereupon the Church intitles him to her quar­rels, Pſal. 74. 22.
  • 2. Next, The Perſons bee his: his Children. 22And the Father feeles what the Child ſuffers: and whither els ſhould Children fly, but to their Fa­ther? Nay, in a ſort, by Acceptation, and Inter­pretation, they are God himſelfe. Hee, that touch­eth them, toucheth him in his tendreſt part. Zach. 2. 8.
  • 3. Thirdly, From their Enemies. They have no aime in their hand. They ſtrike at All, with Haman. Yea they triumph over God himſelfe, when they trample upon his: as a King is ſaid to bee conquer'd, when his ſubjects bee ſubdued. Hence in Scripture,
    Vid. learned Mede in 1 Tim. 4. 1.
    A Nation, and their God ſtand and fall together. 2 King. 28. 33. Ier. 48. 7. and 50. 2.

This Point (applied) is

  • 1. Of Private concernment, and
  • 2. Of Publike uſe.

In Private, it hath a Threefold proſpect.

1. It lookes backward, and bids us reflect up­on our ſelves. And in caſe wee have been wrong­full to the Name, Perſon, State of any of Gods; ſet all to Rights this day. 'Tis the worke of this day. 'Tis The Faſt. Iſay. 51. There God ſhewes What is, What is not a Faſt to him.

To hang the head for ſome houres, that's not The Faſt.

The Faſt is. To looſe the bands of wickednes, to un­doe the heavy burdens, and to let the oppreſſed goe free, & that yee breake every yoke. Is it not & c? ver. 6.7. Let's come home therefore to out buſineſſe. Is a­ny ſervant defeated? Any Tenant by us oppreſſed? 23Any Creditor defrauded? Any poore Chriſtian any way wronged? Let my counſell bee accepted. Break off your ſinnes by righteouſneſſe, and your ini­quities by ſhewing mercy to the poore, &c. Dan. 4. Pay for the cure; Make ſatisfaction for the wrong; Compound with the Plaintiffs; Let them ſtay the ſuite, become mediators for you. This is Gods way, in the Caſe of Abraham with Abime­lech, Gen. 20. of Iob with his Friends, Iob ult.

Give (ſaith God) the man his wife: hee is a Pro­phet, my Prophet: Hee ſhall pray for thee: ſo thou ſhalt live: elſe thou art a dead man. And for Iob; Hee is my Servant (ſaith God) you have done him wrong: Right him againe: And Let him ſa­crifice: Him will I accept: you without him I accept not.

You ſee the courſe. If you tread it, your Faſt takes, your Prayers paſſe: If not, The Iudge is on the bench; hee will Have Eye for Eye: Tooth for Tooth. My meaning is, Hee will returne you your owne Coine; and the more ſilent the Patient is, the more ſhrill the Wrong will bee; as in the caſe of Moſes, Numb. 12. 2. whileſt hee is dumb, God ſpeaks, whileſt he is deafe, God heares, and ſtirres. And ſurely Faſt wee muſt from all Vnjuſtice, or Faſt from nothing. Better eat bread, then drinke blood, and devoure mans fleſh. I referre you, in this haſte, to Iob 31. 21. to Exod. 23. v. 23.24. & 27. I muſt away.

2. This reſpects the time preſent. Will God avenge? Hold yee your hands. 1 Sam 24.13.Let wickedneſſe pro­ceed from the wicked. Let not your hand bee upon24 him. Yea hold your Tongues, your Hearts, and bee not ſo impotent, as to returne wrath for wrath: much leſſe to band jeſts, and girds. 'Tis for chil­dren to ſpit at one another. Bee yee ſo Manlike, ſo Kinglike,Regiumeſt, &c. as to doe Beſt, when yee heare Worſt: ſo Chriſt-like, as to overcome all evill with all good­neſſe. And in caſe you bee at any time either plai'd upon, with David, or trod upon with that Great Prince,Barbaroſſa, Non tibi, ſed Petro. V. 10. V•…ſin. ſay, Non tibi, ſed Chriſto: ſay, 'Tis before the Lord. And, if no law will relieve you, know that you ſhall doe your ſelves no diſſervice, in making God your Chancellor.

3. For the future; This muſt fixe us on our duty, what ever the caſe bee. The matter is not what the Worke: but what our Warrant is. 'Tis certain, we ſhall meet with oppſition in the pur­ſuance, and performance of our Callings: Eſpe­cially You, that are more publike perſons, and have more earneſt conteſtation with open delin­quents. Lugge but one ſwine, and there will bee a great outcry. But here's the Point. Are yee Gods in the Cauſe? Is the worke his? The de­ſigne his? your weapons his? your method his? Have you to ſhew a warrant, and Commiſsion from him? Feare no Colours: Though every bricke were a Devill: Goe on with Luther. Your names, lives, poſterity are in his hands. Hee ſpeaks to you, as Abſolom to his, Feare not: have not I com­manded you? 2 Sam. 13. 28. And, when you can juſtify your proceedings to him, reply upon your owne feares, in Nehemiah's words; Should ſuch a man as I flee? I! who pretend to God! I! a Pub­like25 perſon! Should I fly with a whole Corporati­on, nay Countie on my back! Hath my Countrey intruſted mee, given mee her ſelfe? Et Turnum fu­gientem haec terra videbit! Farre bee this from Noble Spirits. Aſſure the Cauſe, Calling, Con­ſcience: and that done, Fix your viſible eye upon the inviſible God, as Moſes,Heb. 11.27: 1 Reg 22.19. and Michaiah did be­fore you: and all the Glory and Majeſtie in the world will ſeeme no more to you, then it did to them; or then a poore Candle is to the brighteſt Sunne. So the firſt Uſe.

The ſecond is more Publike, and it is Dou­ble.

You of Publike ranke muſt

  • 1. Concurre with God the Avenger,
  • 2. Confide in him.

For the firſt. The Lord hath taken you into Commiſſion with himſelfe; put his Name, his Power upon you. What it is I cannot determine, nor doe I meddle with your priviledges. What ever 'tis, 'tis Gods; 'tis of him and for him, and muſt bee managed accordingly. It ſhall bee your ſafety to frequent your commiſſion. 'Tis Derived, 'Tis Limited, yea and 'Tis Publike too; and muſt bee managed with a Publike ſpirit. Private revenge is not within your Commiſſion. That leaves a ſtaine upon a man ſome wayes innocent; witneſſe Iehu: And puts an innocency upon the greateſt offender; witneſſe Abner.

Here then all ſelfiſh affections, and private re­ſpects muſt be 1. ſtrained out, and Iuſtice Iuſtice, as Moſes ſpeaks, that is, Pure Iuſtice without mudde,26 muſt run down. Deut. 16.20. And 2. reſtrained in all others. And bee aſſured that you have done, and ſhall doe your ſelves greateſt right, in Diſa­dopting, and Diſavowing all illegall, tumultuary, ſelfe-revenging, and libellous wayes. Gods cauſe needs not mans ly, mans froth, ſplene, malice. And it ſhall bee your happineſſe to put a wide di­ſtance betweene Iuſtum and Iuſtè: betweene the courage of the Sonne, and the diſorder of the Souldier,Manlius. Plus eſt in imperio, quam in victo­ria. Florus l. 1. c. 14. with that Old Generall. Your revenge muſt bee publike, then yea all publike in it. Per­ſon, Cauſe, Rule, End, All; and then it will bee a Sanctuary to the innocent, a Sacrifice to the Lord.

What Iehoſhaphat once ſaid to his Iudges, I ſay to you, Let the feare of God fall upon you. Take heed; The Iudgement is Gods, not mans. 2 Chron. 19.

Nothing of man muſt bee ſeene, heard, felt in this. All muſt bee Gods. God muſt bee read in your Lawes, heard in your Threats, felt and ſeene in your Executions: And then things come upon the Conſcience with power, when onely God is repreſented.

Upthen, Yee viſible Gods, and remember that God avenges by you. 1. In Civill cauſes. Say, what God would ſay; doe, what hee would doe: you are his mouth, his hand. Avenge the Widow, Re­lieve the Oppreſſed. And if your leiſure will not admit of Iobs ſearch: yet doe you admit of Iethro's counſell. Iob 29.16. Exod. 18.Diſmiſſe them timely, when you cannot preſently diſpatch, leſt you tire them, and waſt your ſelves.

272. In matters of higher Alloy: Avenge God, as hee ſhall avenge you. Make lawes to fence his lawes. Plead his right. Vindicate his truths, his name, his day. And that done, in a conformity to God, then in the next place, 2. Confide in him. Beleeve your Saviour. God will certainly avenge his owne; his owne ſervants, his owne delegates, and ſubſtitutes. Hee will vindicate their name, their cauſe, their truth. Hee will bee jealous over them, when they are truly zealous for him. Reſt in this. Nay further know, God will avenge, not Members onely, but Whole Churches, and Societies, that are his: His owne, all his owne, whether Private, or Publike, hee will defend. And, if it ſhall pleaſe him to make us yet more his owne, and to draw us neerer to himſelfe in a cloſer Covenant, ſo that wee bee his Ieſurun, hee will bee to us, as once to Ia­cob, The ſhield of our defence, the ſword of our excel­lency: Hee will beare us in his everlaſting armes; as it is Deut. 33. more at large.

Yea hee will looke upon all the Blaſphemies, Inſolencies, Outrages, and Conſpiracies againſt this our Church, and State, and at once retaliate our Adverſaries, and juſtify our cauſe.

The Concluſion is that of the Kings. Deale cou­ragiouſly: the Lord ſhall bee with the good. When the Cauſe is good, and the Heart good, and War­rant good; God will bee with you, in his Counſell to Direct, in his Power to Protect, in his Goodnes to Avenge. So ſaith The Amen, and faithfull wit­neſſe.

283. Nay yet farther. As this muſt comfort us for our owne particular, in this our Little Moat: So for the publike, and the Church in genetall. The cauſe of Religion is, you know, Gods cauſe. The cry of Blood belongs to his Recognizance. Hee makes inquiſition for blood. Pſal. 9.The blood of his cryes loud, and hath cryed long againſt That Man of Sinne, and Man of blood. Under the Fifth Seale the blood of the Then Saints cryed apace, How long! &c. That cry open'd a Sixt Seale; and then the Bloody Dragon cry'd as faſt, O yee hills, and Mountaines cover us! &c. Since that, ther's an In­undation of blood, that cryes from all Coaſts, and cryes more then ever. Even thy blood O Germa­ny, and thine, O France, and thine, O Ireland. God hath ſaid, that Hee that kils ſhall bee killed, and that blood ſhall anſwer blood, Revel. 13.10. The time drawes on, and Cry on yee bleeding Churches: Cry on yee Prophets, and Apoſtles, in your Sack­cloth, in your blood. And thou, O England, with thy Cranmers, Ridlies, Bradfords. Cry on, and give the Lord no reſt, O yee his Saints, whoſe blood is ſhed, till he That's holy and true avenge your Blood. And

Yee, O NOBLES, and much honoured GENTLEMEN:•…tus lib. 2. •…. 15. doe yee ſet your hands to this Carthage, that buſles moſt; and this Blondy-Beaſt, which bites worſt, in her laſt conflict. And, when yee have done all, Stand by the Glaſſy Sea, with your harpes ready, till the Lord ſhall be pleas'd to empty the Fifth Viall upon the throne of the Beaſt, and caſt the great mil-ſtone into that Sea of blood. 29Amen. Even ſo come LORD IESUS; Take to thy ſelfe thy great power, and let the blood-ſheds of the Great Whore come in remembrance before thee. Amen.

Followes the Third, which delivers the man­ner how God delivers his.

  • 1. H•…e's long ere hee begins;
  • 2. Hee goes through-ſtitch, when hee ſets in.

For words; I am loth to entertaine time with Criticiſm's; wee have a greater work in hand. If wee follow Chryſoſtom's ſenſe with the Vulgars, and her Sworn-men, and read the words Queſtion-wiſe, Will hee ſuffer long? we ſhall

  • 1. Impute to S. Luke worſe language then he ſpeaks, who of the Evangeliſts is moſt Attick: And
  • So Homer uſes〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉in Vul­cans ſpeech to I•…o. Iliad. •…&c & alibi paſſim.
    2. Croſſe the maine ſcope, which drives at perſeverance upon delaies. If wee follow his fol­lower Theophylact, and moderne writers, and ren­der〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, by〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, ſampling it with the Hebrew, wee have our warrant. Yet [here's a difficulty. For, How ſorts this Slowneſſe, with thao [Speedily] following?

But this is no hard knot. 1. God may ſeeme to us: but is not in himſelfe Slow. For to be Slow, is to bee too late; and God is never ſo: 2. Againe, hee beares at firſt, yet ſmites home at laſt.

I take no pride in varying from adviſed tranſla­tions, and therefore pitch there.

God gives proofe of his patience, before hee proceeds to execution. He ſuffers long, before the Creature ſuffers. This is generally true. But I30 muſt draw down the point to the preſent inſtance. He ſuffers long, (With Them.) With Whom? With Adverſaries, as the woman phraſed it; or With them, whom vengeance abides; as the Hebrews often couch the Object in the Action. Our Point then muſt run thus.

God beares long with adverſaries; with worſt men. He diſpenſeth not his favors equally to all: yet to all ſome. All taſte of his goodneſſe, but with a dif­ference. Though he beare not Ever, yet he beares Long with his enemies. His Everlaſting Name is〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉oppoſed to〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, 〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉ſay the LXX.Prov. 14.29. that is, He is not Soone, but Slowly provoked. The Apoſtle ſpeaks it roundly, Rom. 9. He ſuffers with much Long-ſuffering the veſſels of wrath.

The truth of this we finde in Perſons, Cities, Kingdomes, and thoſe none of the beſt. But wee touch onely upon theſe particulars.

  • 1. Looke upon the Perſons in their diſtance, 1. The Provokers are his Owne Creatures, who live upon him. 2. The Provoked, the Higheſt Majeſty. This were enough to tempt created patience, as hee ſaid;
    2 Sam. 16.9.
    Shall this dead dog raile upon my Lord the King! What! A Dog upon a King! This re­quires infinite patience.
  • 2. Looke upon their Actions, in their difference. And there it is hard to ſay whether bee greater, Patience or Provocation.
  • 1. The wicked hate His, for His ſake, with a Satanicall hatred, (as Davids word is, Pſal. 38.20. ) and would deſtroy Soule and Body all at once, as that Villain in Bodin attempted upon a­nother.
  • 31
  • 2. They cannot be ſatisfied with One Mordecai's fleſh: They wiſh all but One head, that they might diſpatch all at one ſtroke.
  • 3. No time is long enough; no help great e­nough. They call in help; they beg & borrow Curſes and Blaſpemies, to their laſt breath,
    Mr. Boltons Sermon on 1 Cor. 1.26.
    as I reade of one.
  • 4. They never relent, but write all to their me­rits, and wiſh they could doe more. Thus they provoke.

Now what is Gods Patience? Though his ſoul abhor ſin infinitely; Though he cannot go out of hearing, and ſhut his eyes, as we may, but muſt ſee and heare all; Though his name, Law and Chil­dren be more to him then all the world; Though heaven and earth ſweat under theſe provocations, and Gods owne (ſtruck downe at his foot) cry for help: Yet God Beares, and Beares long;Rom 2. there's〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 Nay doth them Poſitive good; Treats with them; Fees them to be quiet, and his owne to be patient; and, when he muſt needs ſmite, gives them ſpace, takes time himſelfe, is Long in bending his bow, and drawing forth his weapons. And after all this, if then an Ahab will ſubmit, he is ready to reprieve. But this is a Fathomleſſe-depth. Were I in another place, I ſhould hold it needfull to ſay ſomething, by way of explication. But here it's ſufficient to mind you, That Gods Patience is no way Paſ­ſive; Nay his Longeſt-ſuffering is his Greateſt-Acting, or enjoying of himſelfe, in all Serenity. and Perfection, and is onely grounded upon his moſt perfect nature.

  • 32
  • 1. God is Power it ſelf, and therefore can beare long.
  • 2. God is Wiſdome it ſelfe; and therefore for­bearant.
  • 3. Goodneſſe it ſelfe; and therefore ſo long­ſuffering.

And the longer he ſuffers, the more he exerci­ſeth and evidenceth theſe his perfections. That is the maine ground of the Point; whereto you may adde, if you pleaſe, theſe enſuing Parti­culars.

1. The Wicked, Gods adverſaries are ſome way his owne; and that Owneneſſe works Patience. The Lord is a peece of a Father to them alſo. For hee is A Common-Father, by Office to all; A Speciall-Father, by Adoption to Saints; A Singular-Father, by Nature to Chriſt. A Prince, beſides his particular relation to his Children, is Pater-Patriae, Pater-familias, and is Good to All; though with a difference: So here.

2. Though Chriſt hath purchaſed a peculiar people to himſelfe, to the purpoſe of ſalvation: yet others taſt of this his goodneſſe. The world, you know, was loſt in merit, and ipſo facto forfei­ted, with all its comforts, and appurtenances. The Lord Chriſt hath reſtored it, and doth keep it ſtan­ding; and in the Interim, the worſt enjoy it in common with the beſt, and ſo far, fare the better for Chriſt.

3. God in his moſt wiſe diſpenſation, ſees uſe of patience towards ſuch: So, he works out his33 own praiſe, and deſigne upon his Church.

In ſhort. At preſent there may be ſome uſe of them; and ſo he reprieves them, as we doe ſome notorious Felon: and hereafter there may be ſome fruit come from them; and the Ill Mother is a while forborne for her Fruit, and Venter ſake. This is all I can ſtay to ſpeak to the point.

Now were I my ſelfe, I would commend this to Two ſorts.

1. The worſt muſt take heed of Two Extremities.

  • 1. Not to Vy with Children, and beare them­ſelves too high upon Gods love, becauſe hee beares himſelfe ſo patiently, and graciouſly to­wards them. No, there is a difference.
    Gen. 25 5, 6.
    Iſaac is the Son of the Promiſe, though all the Abrahamites have ſomething.
    2 Chron 21.3.
    Onely Iehoram the firſtborne muſt have the Crowne, and Kingdome: Smaller matters muſt content the reſt. All Ioſephs brethren taſte of his bounties; but none to Benjamin. As in the things there is a wide difference: (not now to be inlarged) ſo ſpecially in the Iſſue, and event. The wickeds happineſſe will take end, his leaſe will run out, Eccl. 8.13. That End when it comes, comes Swiftly; as Ezekiel in his 7. chap. tels them upon another occaſion. The End (ſaith he) is Come, is Come, is Come; and ſo ſome ten or twelve time minds them of this. And when that Time is Come, The Lord ſets on, How Long, and How Of­ten he hath forborne.
    Pſal. 95.
    Fortie yeares long I have borne with this generation. And Theſe ten times have they provoked me. Numb. 14.22.
  • 2. Not to charge God to bee an hard Maſter:34 But to give him the glory, not onely of his Iu­ſtice, but of his Patience, and Goodneſſe: For even in his Executions he is ſtill beneath their deme­rit, beyond their deſert; and that one day they will know, though now they will not acknow­ledge it. But the maine is to the Saint.

2. If the worſt muſt ſay, God is patient; muſt not the Saint? If Sodom, If Babel, If India muſt ac­knowledge his Long-ſuffering: muſt not Eng­land? muſt not This? muſt not every Towne and Citie? O ſurvey your lives, compare Gods pati­ence with your frowardneſſe; Gods forbearance with your ſtubbornneſſe. Call to mind your fol­lies, paſſions, infirmities, preſumptions. What anſwers you have returned upon reproofe; how many cals you have ſlighted; how many meanes you have ſcorned. In few; how many, how great, how laſting your provocations have beene. And, If Cain, and Iudas muſt yeeld God patient: Doe you ſay, Who is a God like unto thee, that pardo­neth iniquity, and paſſeth by the tranſgreſsion of the remnant of his beritage? He retaineth not his anger for ever, becauſe hee delighteth in mercy, Mica. 7.18. And, if the devils themſelves thinke it worthy a ſuit, that their torment may bee deferred: muſt not we think it thankworthy, that we are thus long forborne? O, let every Towne yee looke upon, every Church yee come into, every field you walk in, every Creature you ſee living, draw from you thanks. Let the houſe of Aaron ſay, His mercy endureth for ever; Elſe had wee no Church. Let the houſe of Iſrael ſay, His mercy endureth for53 ever, Elſe had we no State. let every man brea­thing ſay, His mercy endureth for ever; Elſe our Atheiſmes, Oaths, Curſes, Idols, Murders, Whoredomes, and other Abominations had long ſince ſunk us, and ſwallowed us up.

But what are Words, if but Words? Let the Me­ditation of this point be improved unto Humiliation; Repentance; Conſolation.

1. For the firſt. Is God ſo forbearant? 1. What are we, that we ſhould be ſo haſty? What? Is he wounded in his Name, in his Law, and in his Sons? And muſt not we be touched in our Dogge? Who are we, that we cannot beare (As God, (ſhall I ſay? nay) With God himſelfe! Hee muſt ſmite, when we would have him; elſe wee queſtion, ſometimes his Truth, moſt times his Care.

Nay farther. Is God ſo forbearant? What have we done? Or what did wee meane, to pro­voke ſo Patient a Father? How great is the provo­cation of his ſons, and daughters! It is not, It is not (beleeve it) a Small thing that will Anger this Fa­ther. It is not a little Cloud, that will hide this Sun. In his anger therefore reade our ſins, and in his expreſſions his wrath. His Face, his Words, his Actions, ſpeak him angry. And Patience will not bee angry for Trifles. What? David hide himſelfe from his Abſolom? doth not ſo great a wrath argue greateſt provocation?

And is not Our Father, think you, Angrie, when he ſends a Spirit of diviſion amongſt us? when he36 Daſhes Child againſt Child? make a Rod, of a Sword? drawes Blood, and bathes his Sword there­in? Turnes his Children a begging, and outs them of all? Is not here wrath? And is it not time now,Num. 12. to fall before him, with Miriam, whileſt he thus ſpits in our face? Num. 16.46.To Run with Aaron, when the fire is begun? 1 Chron. 21.To cry with David, when the Sword is drawne? O Lord, ſpare Ieruſalem, ſpare our Cities, our People: And to lament after our Fa­ther; as the Child doth after his loſt Mother. My Father, my Father is loſt, What ſhall I doe!

2. In the next place, Let this quicken our re­pentance: Kindneſſe will melt a Saul. Should it not a Son? The proper iſſue of patience and kindneſſe ſhould be repentance: of long patience ſpeedy repentance.

You are Noble. I report my ſelfe to your Iudge­ments. What think you? Are not a thouſand of Oathes, and millions of Lies (to omit other pro­vocations) enow? Is not 40. yeares provocation? nay 60? nay 80. ſufficient? Hath not God wai­ted long, and long enough? Is it fit, think you, to make him wait longer? Is there any hope, that ought elſe will work, if Patience work not? Or is there any thing left, after Patience abuſed? Will not Nineveh riſe up in Iudgement againſt us, and ſay, We had but 40. dayes patience afforded us: And ſhall theſe abuſe Twice 40. yeares? Will not the damned in hell ariſe and ſay, We were born withall, ſome but 30. ſome but 20. yeares, and theſe have abuſed a far longer patience? Nay, will not the Devils themſelves come in and ſay,37We had not the patience of one houre afforded us; and ſhall theſe Ever bee ſpared? I beſeech you by All the mercies of God; by An age of Patience; by A world of bleſsings; by that your Candor, and In­genuitie; and by all the Endearements, that ever paſt betwixt Chriſt, and your ſoules; pitie your ſelves; pitie your Countrey; pitie your poſterity; and bee content to bee happy. Fall downe in pri­vate before the Lord, and ſay; O Lord, I am aſha­med of my Vnmannerlineſſe. Thou haſt long knock­ed, and I have made thee ſtand out of doores. I can ſtand out no longer. It is infinit patience, if as yet I may live. O Turne mee, and I will now turne. I Come, I Come with all the ſtrength I have. O draw mee! Melt mee! receive mee!

3. Laſtly, Let this give us an hopefull expe­ctation of further grace. True it is, Our ſinnes are hideous. God was never more put to it by a Nation. Notwithſtanding, could wee put our ſelves into a Poſture for mercy, There were yet hope in Iſrael. For I demand. Is God patient toward Enemies? toward Rebels? when there's no faſt­ing, no praying, no reforming thought upon? And will hee Not meet us in the way of his judge­ments? Vid. Mic. 6.3.What?Hoſ. 6.14. & 11.8. is hee ſo long-ſuffering toward ſinfull Ephraim? ſo loath to thinke of a divorce? How ſhall I give thee up Ephraim! How ſhall I entreat thee! And ſo ready to receive Ephraim, upon ſub­miſſion? Is Ephraim my deare ſonne? &c.Ier. 31.20. And will hee not bee gracious to this Our Ephraim, in caſe wee come in? What! will hee plead for Iſ­rael, for Nineveh againſt his Prophets? and of a38 Iudge become an Advocate? As wee ſee in the caſe of Elijah, and Ionah. Why Elijath (ſaith hee) Thou art not alone: There bee Thouſands with thee, and for mee: Why Ionah, doſt thou well to be ſo haſty? would'ſt thou have mee ſlay the Child upon the Mother? ſo young, ſo many? Will God, I ſay, thus plead for a people, when his Prophets cry a­gainſt them? And will hee not bee intreated for us, when of all Ranks ſome, and the Prophets chief­ly importune him? Beare up, Brethren, and know with whom yee have to doe. You deale with a Father, The Father, and The God of Patience. 'Tis true. Eſa. 54.7.Hee can bee angry. That's his Iuſtice: That's his Goodneſſe to you: But hee cannot bee long angry with his owne. 'Tis but for a Moment. It redounds not to the Perſon. 'Tis not Penall, but Medicinall. Sinke not under it. Onely prize pa­tience, and abuſe it not. Hold this Patient God a­mongſt you, as Moſes did. Chaine him up with your prayers and teares,Ex. 33.16. & 34.9. and ſay, If wee have found grace in thy ſight, Goe not from us: Abide with us. And then know, There is patience enough in God for a Thouſand Englands. And, if wee doe miſca­ry, it is not from want of Goodneſſe in God, but from want of Grace in us, who have a price in our hands and doe not know it. But I muſt away. The laſt thing followes.

God is ſwift in his helpe as well as ſure. When his bee once ready for help, help is at hand. So Na­hum pleads, cap. 1.2.3. God ſuffers; and God is ſwift. I am in haſt, and cannot open the words. S. Peter ſaith the ſame, 2 Pet. 3.9. where two things are ſpoken.

  • 39
  • 1. What God is in our conceit; Slack.
  • 2. What God is indeed; Seaſonable, when wee are fitted.

Obj. But is not God ſlow?

An. It is not ſlowneſſe, or ſluckneſſe: For that is to Omit an opportunity. Hee is ever Opportune, and frames his pace, as there is cauſe. When wee bee ripe, hee is ready, hee is ſpeedy.

Speedy, 1. In oppoſition to the Iudge here; who is too late; and to mens opinions, who being too ſhort, thinke God too long.

Speedy, 2. In reference to our fitneſſe, and fit­neſſe of time. Hee is neither too early, nor too late; but obſerves the very height, ſtrength, joint, article of time. Wee know not how to expreſſe Moſes his〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉of time. Ex. 12.41. & alibi in Gen.But at preſent wee are up­on his ſpeedy help. For this; doe but obſerve how hee repreſents himſelfe.

  • 1. In his gestures, and poſtures. Hee's ſaid, when hee is upon his peoples deliverance, to ſtand up or ariſe, to runne,,
    Vid. Hab. 3. & paſſim apud Prophetas.
    to fly.
  • 2. In his Expreſsions. Hee that Comes, will Come, and will make haſte, without tarriance. In the Canti­cles, he comes leaping, &c.Hebr. 10.37.
  • 3. In his Performances. Ever at,
    Eſ. 31.5. flying, &c.
    or before his day, never one houre too late.

The Reaſon whereof is manifold.

1. If we reſpect Gods ſelfe. 1. He cannot miſtake time: For hee is Wiſdome it ſelfe, and the juſt meaſure of time. That is Eſay's reaſon,Eſa. 30. Hee is a God of Iudgement. 2. Hee cannot faile of his aime, and end. For hee is power it ſelfe. There is nothing40 in his way, Hee is in heaven (ſaith David) and doth whatſoever hee will. Others muſt worke what, and when they can: God works when it pleaſeth him, and can doe a great deale in a little ſpace. Hee can cauſe to Conceive, and to bring forth the ſame day, Eſay 66.8.3. Hee is goodneſſe it ſelfe. Good­neſſe is his nature: and nature delights in its owne operations: it is it's life. The Sunne runnes ra­ther then ſtand ſtill; delights more in ſhining, then in being overſhadowed. 4. Hee is Truth, and it is his Word, Hee will bee found in Due time; and his time is the Due time, with reſpect to our Fit­neſſe. Read Pſal. 46.1.5.

2. Adde in the ſecond place, Gods Relation. Hee is a Father. Relations, you know, are very active. Saul would riſe early to help his ſubjects. 1 Sam. 11. Fathers be rather too haſtie, then too ſlow. They are ready before their Sonnes. The child indeed thinks himſelfe fit for Horſmanſhip, for the Vn verſitie, Marriage, or the like: and conceives his Father too ſlow. But the truth is, The Father ſtayes upon his Child, and is ready before hee is ready; Eſpecially in caſes of danger. A Father runnes without legs, when the Child is hazar­ded: Nor is there any Beaſt, which will not fly upon death, when his young is indangered. Now the Lord hath not put this inclination into Crea­tures, and deprived himſelfe thereof, the while. His bee His, and Hee will bee Theirs, if it bee not long of them. Let the prodigall creep, and the Father will run. Luke 15.

3. His Children will mind him of the time41 how it paſſes. Their Cry is ſtill, How long! Make haſte. Their Remembrancers joyne with them. Eſay 62. and Chriſt with them. Zach. 1. How long, O Lord of Hoſtes, wilt thou not have mercy up­on Ieruſalem? &c 12. Theſe, All theſe ſue God up­on his Band, and preſſe the fitneſſe of the time. Dan. 9.2. Pſal. 102.13. To make end.

If meere ſelfe-love will force this Iudge out of his pace: will not love of Iuſtice, Mercy, Truth? Love of Chriſtians, of Chriſt, of Gods­ſelfe quicken him? Doth not he know how ſoone their ſpirits will faint? How ſoone they will ſtep forth of the way? and after halting, turne aſide, upon too long delayes?

Obj. Yea, but wee ſee Gods people long defer'd.

An. It ſeemes long, becauſe wee are ſhort. A ſhort walke is a long journey to feeble knees. Times are above our reach. The knots, and periods of them are in the hands of the God of Iudgement. When help is ſeaſonable, his fingers itch, as the Mothers breaſt akes, when it is time the child had ſuck.

There is no more now to bee done,Ʋſes. but to make this point uſefull to us, and then I have done.

1. Bluſh we at our boldneſſe, who take upon us

  • 1. To Controll.
  • 2. To Confine the All-wiſe God.

1. For the firſt. Who are we, that wee ſhould ſit upon our Maker? and ſay, in effect, Here God is out. Here hee miſtakes his time? What is this but to Charge God fooliſhly, as Iob did not. What is this, but to Set the Sunne by our Dyall? Iob. 2.4 & 7.6. & 11.39.40.This Caeſar termes ſancineſſe in his Souldiers. This our Saviour42 diſliked in his deareſt friends. This the Phyſici­an blames in his Patient: Parents in their Chil­dren: you in Vs: if ſo bee that wee, (at ſo great a diſtance, who know ſo little of your obſtructions) ſhall charge you, here with too much haſte, there with too much ſlowneſſe.

2. As great a ſaucineſſe it is To Confine the Al­mighty. Now he muſt help, or never. This way, or no way. By this Parliament, or by No Parlia­ment. Stop, for ſhame. And, if you will wiſely enquire into a reaſon of Gods proceedings, reflect upon your ſelves, and charge the ſlowneſſe upon your owne ſoules. It is a truth, God will bee ever himſelfe: and hath many ends, in One Worke. But, in paſſages twixt him and us; the fault is ours, not his, if wee bee not ſeaſonably holpen.

Thence that in Iſay 30.18. God waits, that hee may have mercy. Gods Heart, Gods hands are full of mercy: hee waits, being A God of Iudgement. (i) one, that diſpences mercy in Iudgement.

Thence his plea. Iſay 58.1. &c. The people wondred they heard not from God. Why (ſay they) have wee faſted? &c. And God wonders, that hee heares not from them. And more fully (Iſa. 59.1. ) hee reſolves the Caſe. Gods hand is not ſhortned: His eare is not deafned. Hee is able, hee is willing to doe them help. Where is the hin­drance then? Hee tells them, Your ſinnes keepe good things from you.

Thence alſo it is, That God ſo expoſtulates with Ioſhua. cap. 7.10. Vp, (ſaith hee) Why lieſt thou thus, and cryect to mee? As if it were long of43 mee, that the warre ſucceeds not. Goe, deale with thy people. There is an accurſed thing in Iſrael.

Thus God points us to our dutie, and wee muſt Act accordingly. Iudges 20. when the warres of the Church miſcaried, the Church inquires of God, with Prayers, and Teares, and Faſtings. In the like caſe we muſt doe the ſame thing. We are here upon Gods worke. Things ſticke. Comfort comes on ſlowly. Let us Caſt Lots with Ioſhua, and find out The Achan. Let every man lay his hand upon his heart, and ſay, Can God certainly helpe? Will hee ſpeedily heare? What is then the reaſon of this delay?

This is a fit queſtion for publike, for private, for All Perſons.

In Publike. Your affections (Honoured and Be­loved) we queſtion not. Sure your endeavours are good, your labours great. Yet muſt wee ſay with the Prophet, The harveſt is paſt, Summer is ended, and wee are not ſaved. Ier. 8.20. Where is the Let? Let's put it to the Lot.

1. Lot upon your ſelves, & let each Parliament man ſay. Am I ready? Am I fit for mercy? for honor? I pretend to humiliation. I repreſent ſuch a peo­ple, ſuch a place (in their ſins) this day. Doe I humble my ſelfe? Doe I gage my heart, pray, weep, mourne alone? I pretend to Reforma­tion. Am I my ſelfe reformed? Doe not I, who ſay others muſt not ſweare, ſweare my ſelfe? Doe not I give Libertie to my ſelfe, where I make Lawes for other? If ſo, God will ne­ver accept of a good motion from a bad mouth:44 as that State in Story would not.

2. Lot upon your families. I come hither to re­forme others: But what are my Owne Children? my Owne Servants? What ſhould Philip doe a­broad, till he hath compoſed diſorders at home?

3. Lot upon your Companie, and Aſſociates. Say, Is there never an Eſau amongſt us? Never an A­chan in our Tent? Never a Ionah in our Ship; who troubles all?

4. Lot upon your Courſes. Aske. Whoſe work am I upon? Gods? or my Owne? Aske farther. (If the worke bee Gods, and the Publike:) In what Or­der doe I proceed? Vzzah may diſturbe the whole buſineſſe, for want of Order. Aske farther. In what Manner doe I goe on? If I preſume upon the goodneſſe of the Cauſe, or greatneſſe of my ſtrength; I may bee croſt, as Iſrael was, in that 20. of Iudges.

You are now before the Lord. Weepe with Iſrael upon theſe delayes, and ſtrike the right Veine. Say. The Lord is not ſlow to help: but wee are ſlow to ſearch, ſlow to reforme, ſlow to put our ſelves in a hopefull way of mercy.

This is a fit Queſtion for us alſo in Private. We (my Brethren) runne out upon God. He forgets. He will not bee entreated. Wee fly upon men. They make no Haſte. They Spinne out Time, with long orations. Were Wee in place, Ireland ſhould not bee thus deſerted; Execution thus futur'd. But who is in fault? What diſorder! What diſorder! ſaith Nabuchadnezzar, when the Diſorder was from him: So wee. What delayes! What delayes! No help45 Comes! O, but what ſaith God? Vp Ioſhua. Iſrael hath ſinned. There is an Accurſed thing among you. There is curſed Pride, Unbeliefe, Covetouſneſſe, Coldneſſe, Neutrality, in the Camp: What can be done, till this be removed? There are Vnbleſt Diviſions, prepoſterous courſes Wee Rangle our owne worke, and are much wanting to the publike, in our prayers, and amendments. And this is that, that ſcoat's the buſineſſe in publike. Nay, ſhall I tell you? There is that, that hinders all in publike and in private: and in ſhort it is this. Wee bee not to this day Humbled for Our-Own, and Our-Other-mens ſinnes; wee bee not broken; we be not ripe for mercy. And can wee thinke that God will lay Cordials upon Full, and Foule ſtomachs? That hee will skarfe our bones, before they bee ſet? And lappe up our ſores, before they bee ſearcht? O it is in vaine, (as I hope my Brother will anon tell you, now my ſtrength is ſpent.) It is in vaine, I ſay, for us to dreame of Comfort, till wee are better emptied and broken. Let us, I beſeech you, when wee have done in Publike, goe to it in Private, and labour to. ſee The Plague in our owne heart. Wee ſpeake much of A malignant Party. But ſhall I tell you? Our ſinnes bee the Ma­lignant Party: Yours, and Mine, and thoſe whom wee repreſent this day. Theſe tye the hands of God, and man. Theſe ſtop the eares of God, and the King againſt us. Cloare the Lord, and ſhame your ſelves, ſaying, I have miſtaken my ſelfe all this while. I have accuſed God: I have accuſed men. I now accuſe my ſelfe: my backwardneſſe46 to turne to God is it that foreſlows my comfort. This done,

Be we next entreated to Coaſt upon a Cure. You are tyred with Working, We with Waiting. Come we briefly to the Point. Eſay 21.12. If you will en­quire, enquire ye; Returne, Come. The Prophet ſpeaks as if he were in haſte: and two things are preſently expected.

1. We muſt be humbled. That's once. Pride ſtands in Gods way. And, if we will make Davids pray­er, we muſt make his plea. We are poore and needy: make no tarriance. Pſal. 40. ult. And this work of ſelf-humbling is a greater work, then I can quickly deliver. But I preſume you have beene already preſſed, or will be anon, to this work.

2. We muſt be Reformed. Sinne hangs in our light. That puts back things, that are comming on. Let Aaron, and Moſes be never ſo willing. Let Iſrael be never ſo neare the Promiſed land: Sinne (comming betweene) will turne them round, and put them back. That hinders good from comming on. Let Iehoſhaphat be never ſo forward in a Re­formation: The High-places will not downe, if the Peoples hearts be not prepared, 2 Chron. 20.33. I have Cut you out your Work. Now upon it.

Pſal 25.1. Look Backward, and ſay with David, O Lord pardon my ſin: it is very great. Pardon my houſe, It is I and my houſe, that have ſinned. Pardon my people, the Towne and Countie, from whom I come,As Luke 4.23 to cure his Country is to cure himſelf. for whom I appeare this day, and which is my Second-ſelf. Weepe over them as David over Ieruſalem. Yea over the many many ſis, that47 ſwarm in this Land; and there ſtand betwixt wrath and the people: and then

2. Look forward, with reſpect to all your rela­tions. As Men, Reſolve with Naaman; I will wor­ſhip none but the God of Iſrael. As Maſters, with Io­ſhua; I, and my houſe will ſerve the Lord. As Publike Perſons, with David; Betimes I will cut off the evill doers. At leaſt plead with Ioſhua 22.20. Did not Achan thus, and God was angry with all Iſrael? For the Lords ſake, Forme your ſelves into a happy body and order; and having ſo done, Doe but what you can to put us all into a Poſture of mercy and ſafety. Let me tell you, that the Publike pulſe beats very ill. Though many particulars give much encouragement: yet the generality is bad enough. I will not meddle with any thing this day, but what ſhall make for the worke of the day. I leave your buſineſſes to another day and place. Give me leave to ſay thus much;

Credenda.1. In point of Religion. If wee ſpeak of faith: How many be there, who have (as that Father ſaid) Fidem menſtruam? I may adde,Hilary. Neutram, Nullam? 2. If we ſpeak of particulars:Oculis in utram•…artem ſluat j dicarinon poteſt, probably Sone. Caeſ. de Bello Gall. l. 1. Moſt men move like the river Arar: backward or forward, who can tell?

3. In point of ſubjection, in this Iubile, & Interval, (as the Vulgar reckon it) no Magiſtrate, no Mini­ſter, no Officer, no Age is reſpected. It is with us in the Country, as it was in his Army. Alcibiades.All are Lea­ders, none Souldiers. All Teachers, none Scholars.

4. And for Laws. Whilſt you make New, wee break the Old: and whilſt you are in the Mount,48 we are Dancing about a May-Pole, or Calfe. I may not dwell longer.

Give mee leave to deliver my owne and the Common ſuit of the honeſt minded, to you: and I will deliver it to you in his words, Marke 9.22. Maſter, if thou canſt doe any thing (ſaith hee) have compaſsion on us, and help us.

My Lord, and Maſters, If you can do any thing, Help us with your power (we will Help you with our prayers.) Help us with your counſell. Help us what you can (and what you can by Law, that you Can.) Help us to honeſt Miniſters: Help them to Bread, and Books too. Help them againſt the Migh­ty, that they be not forced to Feaſt at that Dread­full-table,,Chryſ. 〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉&c. hinc &〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉apud Veteres. as it was once called, they know not whom themſelves. O! If wee could be once for­med into a good people by a happy concurrence of Our Gracious Soveraigne, and both your Houſes, we could not be long in duſt and aſhes. The Lord would ſoone (as hee ſaith) ſubdue our enemies under us,Pſ. 81.14. Mal. 42. and come flying with healing under his wings. Onely, if we look for ſpeedy help, we muſt ſpeed our Bepentance, and Reformation; and ſo meet him, who hath promiſed to meet us. Now let the Pa­tience of God move you, the diſtreſſes of our Brethren (who have nothing left, Prater agri ſo­lum; if ſo much) move you. Let the ſad diſtracti­ons and Iealouſies at home move you. And, ſith God is ready, why ſhould wee deferre? Yet wee live: Yet hee offers himſelfe as a Father to us. Here he is this day: O let us not loſe this day: but to day, whilſt it is to day, before the other halfe49 of it be ſpent, Come in, accept of mercy. And, for your encouragement, let mee conclude with a word of Comfort.

What? Doth God wait, to doe us a kindneſſe. Meanes he good to us at laſt? though (for ends) he forbeares a while? Bee not diſcouraged upon theſe delaies (If they be delaies.) Say with the Church, Micah 7. I will beare the wrath of the Lord, I will wait, &c.

Obj. O, But what hope's left?

An. There is hope. There is hope. Were there not: yet order it, that there may be hope, Lam. 3. And then Hearken what God will ſpeak:Pſal 85.8. for his heart and mouth will ſpeak peace to his Broken people. Provi­ded ever that you leave him to his owne both Times, and Meanes.

Obj. O, But is not the time paſt?

An. Why then hath he called us hither? Put it in­to the hearts of his Majeſty, and this Repreſenta­tive-Kingdome, to appoint this meeting? Would he have accepted an offering at our hands, and ſent us a word of encouragement, if he had purpoſed our deſtruction?

Obj. O, But (for the meanes;) Things are worſe and worſe.

An. No matter, if we be better and better.
Obj. O, But we are very weak! low! poore!

An. I wiſh we were worſe, in our owne ſenſe; wee are, I feare, too good, too ſtrong, too many. God is ſometimes troubled with too much help, but never with too little. We are ſometimes too ſoone, but he is never too late.


Ob. O, but we are put off ſtill, from day to day.

An. You are deceived. Wee are not put off: wee put off God. It ſticks there. Nay, God is already Come; we are holpen, and do live; and ſhould live more, if we could live apace to him; and live his life, the life of faith. Now is Faiths turne and time. Now let The Iuſt live by his faith. Now with Daniel, let us Caſt up times, and meet the Sun­riſing; at leaſt before the day ſhut in. Grow to his earneſtneſſe: O Lord heare; O Lord forgive; O Lord deferre not. And then expect ſome flying meſſenger, or other, with a meſſage of comfort. Onely remember how it ſtands betwixt mother and child. Whiles the child doth but whimper in the cradle, the mother ſtirs not: But, when he takes up a note, and cryes every whit of him; hands, feet, face, all cry: then the mother flings by all; then ſhe flies and outruns her ſelf; I come, I come, I come, my child. I can ſay no more. My drift in all is, To beat you off (not from the Vſe of Gods meanes, but) from Truſting in them. We have too long Idolized Parliaments, Creatures, and created abilities: And the Lord hath purpoſely blockt us up, becauſe our eyes ſhould be onely to him. And in him Alone you have encouragement enough. He hath holpen already: He waits ſtill: He is more then a Iudge; He is a Father: Hee can help, Hee will help. His word is for us, precept, promiſe, parable: His ſervants are for us: His Son is for us, He is One-of-us, which is beyond all the encouragements yet mentioned: He is termed, in the words following, The Son of man, a man of51Cum Patre dator, inter nos petitor. Aug. Prayes, a man of Grace, the high Favourite, a man amids us, who Gives with the Father, who Prayes with the Suiter. And ſhall we yet faint! what I cannot now doe in publike, doe ye ſupply in pri­vate. Chriſt is freſh, his Blood freſh. Put your pe­titions into his hand, and this day beg your Lives, your Land, your King, with your Omnipotent Prayers. If you cannot Speake; Weep. Fletu agitur,Auguſt. non affatu. Teares pray. If you cannot weep, Sigh. God heares Sighs. If you cannot Sigh, Breath. God feeles Breath. Lam. 3.56. At leaſt, let your Actions pray, your Preſence pray, your Submiſſion pray, your Afflictions pray. God heares Afflictions. Gen. 16.11. Hee heares our ſtretched out hands. Do not we ſo? Doe not wee give to many a one, that ſaith nothing; but onely holds out a hand to receive? O thinke as ill as you will of your ſelves: but thinke well of God. Pray as you Can Pray: and he is a Father, who will make Engliſh of broken prayers. Pray, I ſay. I ſay againe Pray. And who knowes, but Prayer will lengthen our day, as once it did Ioſhuahs? I can now ſay but little in publike. The Lord enlarge us, (You, and mee) in private, and my Learned Brother in publike. Had God vouchſafed me more leiſure, health, enlargements, I had dealt better with and for you, but at preſent, this is all that I can doe, I ſhall be ſhort in prayer, and will not abridge my ſucceſſor.


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TextA sermon preached to the honorable House of Commons assembled in Parliament, at a publike fast, May, 25. 1642. By Robert Harris, Batchelor of Divinity and Pastor of Hanwell. Oxon. Published by order of that House.
AuthorHarris, Robert, 1581-1658..
Extent Approx. 104 KB of XML-encoded text transcribed from 30 1-bit group-IV TIFF page images.
SeriesEarly English books online.
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Bibliographic informationA sermon preached to the honorable House of Commons assembled in Parliament, at a publike fast, May, 25. 1642. By Robert Harris, Batchelor of Divinity and Pastor of Hanwell. Oxon. Published by order of that House. Harris, Robert, 1581-1658., England and Wales. Parliament. House of Commons.. [8], 51, [1] p. Printed by M. F. for Iohn Bartlet, and are to be sold at the gilt Cup, neere S. Austins gate in Pauls Church-yard,London :M. DC. XLII. [1642]. (Running title reads: A sermon preached at a late fast before the Honorable House of Commons.) (Reproduction of the original in the British Library.)
  • Bible. -- N.T. -- Luke XVIII, 6-8 -- Sermons -- Early works to 1800.
  • Fast-day sermons -- 17th century.
  • Great Britain -- History -- Civil War, 1642-1649 -- Sermons -- Early works to 1800.

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