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4) as dead thorns are a fence about a garden. He doth sometimes not only restrain the wrath of evil men, as he did Laban and Esau's from hurting Jacob; but doth make them helpful and beneficial unto them, as the dissension between the Pharisees and Sadducees was to Paul: (Acts xxiii. 6, 7) as the Egyptians lent their jewels unto Israel, to hasten them away. (Exod. xii. 35, 36) 3. By casualties, ordering contingent events, and various incoherent emergencies to the protection of his people; as the noise in the mulberry trees; (2 Sam. v. 24) the shining of the sun on the waters; (2 Kings iii. 22) the sudden incursion of the Philistines; (1 Sam. xxiii. 27, 285 the chain of fortuitous events, which we may observe in the history of Joseph, and in the book of Esther.

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4. In a way of grace, the Lord planting such beauties and rays of spiritual majesty upon his servants, as causeth their very adversaries to reverence them, and fear to annoy them; as Herod did John; and Felix, Paul; for wisdom maketh a man's face to shine.' (Eccles. viii. 1) There are flowers which they call wall-flowers; and there are graces, which I may call wall-graces, which have a special protecting virtue in them: Innocency, whereby we put to silence the frowardness of foolish men: (1 Pet. ii. 15) Wisdom, which God hath given for a defence. (Eccles. vii. 12) By this, Abigail diverted the ruin intended against Nabal and his family. Meekness and humility: for the lowest things are safest. A tempest breaks an oak, but not the ears of corn which yield unto it. A cannon-bullet battereth a lofty tower of marble, which is deaded by a raw mud-wall. A soft spirit turneth away wrath.' (Prov. xv. 1) Holy fortitude, which is a fence against terror. (Prov. xxviii. 1) Spiritual peace and joy,' which is a garrison to the heart. (Phil. iv. 7) The joy of the Lord is the strength of his servants. (Nehem. viii. 10) The invincible power of faith, which is a shield against Satan, and our victory over the world. (Eph. vi. 16. 1 John v. 4) Hope, the anchor of the soul, the whetstone of Christian. courage: the more we expect for the future, the securer we are for the present against the fear of evil. Lastly, The spirit of supplication, which flies to the name of the Lord as a strong tower; which wrestles and prevails with God; 'Vincit invincibilem, ligat omnipotentem;' and therefore is a principal part of the Christian panoply. (Eph. vi. 18) And

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thus is the Lord a wall of protection to his church; in a way of promise; in a way of power; in a way of Providence; ordering creatures, enemies, casualties to the defence of his people; and in a way of grace.

And his protection is like that of a wall, in these two respects: 1. He is a near, present, ready defence. Evil may be at hand, when help is too far off to come seasonably in. But the wall joins, and is near unto the city: such a defence the Lord is; a present help in trouble. (Psalm xlvi. 1) A God near at hand, not in a journey, or a sleep, or out of the way, when he should help us. (Jer. xxiii. 23) Nigh unto his people, in all that they call upon him for. (Deut. iv. 7. Psalm 1xxxv. 9)

2. An adequate and proportionable defence. A wall defends a city on every side. As the enemies compass the church about with danger, (Psalm xxii. 12, 16, and cxviii. 10, 12) so doth the Lord compass it with mercy. (Psalm xxxii. 10)

But the strongest walls, though of iron or brass, (for such we read of, Ezek. iv. 3. Jer. xv. 20) may, by military engines, be scaled, battered, or demolished. Therefore the Lord, to shew that he is an impregnable protection, saith, that he will be "a wall of fire," which cannot be scaled nor broken down ; which consumes all engines that attempt any thing against it; as the flaming sword kept the way of the tree of life P; the pillar of fire secured Israel; fire in the bush kept any from coming near to cut off the boughs, and yet did not itself consume them. He is a fire in the enemy's wall, to overturn it; (Jer. xlix. 27) but to Jerusalem, he is a wall of fire to defend it. He once defended the church with a wall of water; (Exod. xiv. 22) and still defends it as a wall of a fire, by himself, who is a consuming fire; (Heb. xii. 29) by his angels, who are a flaming fire. (Psalm civ. 4) Therefore Solomon carved cherubims on the walls of the temple, (2 Chron. 3, 7) to signify, that angels are the walls of the church. The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, to deliver them. Psalm xxxiv. 7)

P Gen. iii. 24.

• Exempla divinæ custodiæ in præsentissimis periculis.-Vide in Philippi Camerarii Horis Subsecivis,' part. 2. cap. 7. q Exod. Deous word wupivous vocat Plato. Diog. Laert. in Platone.

xiv. 19, 20.

Vid. Raynold. Lect. Apocryp. Lect. 47.

And his protection is like fire in these four respects.

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1. It is terrible and conspicuous, which, in a wonderful manner, doth strike fear into his enemies; as he promised to go before his people as a consuming fire.' (Deut. ix, 3) The prophet describes the terrible majesty of the Lord by a 'throne of fires:' (Ezek. i. 26, 27) and the glorious coming of Christ by flames of fire.' (2 Thess. i. 8, 9) We are bid to 'praise him in the fires,' (Isa. xxiv. 15) for those conspicuous mercies, whereby he hath shewed himself a consuming fire' in behalf of his people. He answereth his people by terrible things; (Psalm lxv, 5) things which they looked not for; (Isa. Ixiv. 3) to make his name known unto his adversaries.

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2. It is an impregnable and invincible defence. Other walls, though high, though broad, by battering rams have been demolished, and by mounts scaled. The walls of Babylon were two hundred feet high, and fifty feet broad, as Diodorus Siculus, Pliny, and Herodotus report'; yet even these were broken down. (Jer. li. 58) But no man dare climb, no engines can be applied against, a wall of fire; it will devour the batteries, that are made against it.

3. It is a constant and perpetual defence: for this is not a wasting, but a fixed fire; like that in the bush, which did not consume it, but dwelt in it. (Deut. xxxiii. 16) He is a sun and a shield; his protection is an enduring thing, as the fire of the sun. (Psalm lxxxiv. 11, and lxxxix. 36) The defence which is over his glory, upon the assemblies of Sion, viz. the pillar of the cloud, and of fire, is never taken away.' (Isa. iv. 5. Exod. xiii. 22)

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4. It is an active, an offensive, an efficacious defence. Other walls are defensive only, to prohibit and hinder assaults: but a wall of fire doth fight for those whom it doth defend. It is not only a wall, but a magazine; not only a fence, but a weapon; not only a muniment, but an army. As Israel's wall of water did drown Pharaoh; so the three children's wall of fire, did devour those that threw them into it. The protection of God about his church, is a most operative and a most efficacious protection.

We have taken a view of the wall: let us consider the city

Job xxxvii. 22.

Diod. Sicul. lib. 1. cap. 4.-Plin. Hist. Nat. lib. 6.

cap. 26-Herodot. lib. 1. p. 74. Edit. Græco-Lat.

thus walled, the subject of this defence. I will be unto her, unto Jerusalem, the city of the great God. Where his dwelling is, there is his defence; as men used to mound the places of their habitation. The more a people have of God's presence, the more they have of his protection. His covering is upon his glory. (Isa. iv. 5) His angels guard us in viis, non in præcipitiis.' (Psalm xci. 11) When we go to appear before the Lord, the enemy shall not desire our land; (Exod. xxxiv. 24) but if we have our back upon Jerusalem ", we are out of his protection: as he that went from Jerusalem to Jericho. (Luke x. 30)

Consider, in the church, property, and preciousness; they are God's own. * Judea was called Emmanuel's land; Zion, his rest. (Psalm cxxxii. 14) They are in special manner his people. (Isa. Ixiii. 19, and Ixiv. 9. Ezek. xvi. 8) And they are his precious and peculiar treasure, his jewels.' (Mal. iii. 17) And property in precious things, will certainly procure protection. Consider, in the Lord, his love and his promise; his grace and his fidelity. His eyes and his heart. are perpetually upon his church. (1 Kings ix. 3) She is graven on the palms of his hands. (Isa. xlix. 16) They that touch her, touch the apple of his eye.' (Zech. ii. 8) He will never suffer his beloved to be unprotected; especially having engaged his promise, that the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.' (Mat. xvi. 18)

And that they may not prevail against it, the protection must be complete; a wall must be round about it; the defence must be answerable to the assault. The church in the wilderness marched in a four-square body, with the tabernacle of the congregation in the midst of them, and their standards on every side, as we find Numb, ii. The standards were as a wall of fire, Jehovah-Nissi,' and the tabernacle the glory in the midst of them. The enemies of the church are on every side. Impius in circuitu,' (Psalm xii. 8) Satan in circuitu;' (Job i. 7. I Pet. v. 8) to devour the church and therefore, here, Ignis in circuitu, et Deus in circuitu,' (Psalm cxxv. 2) to defend the church. Angels in circuitu.' (Zech. i. 11) The eyes of the Lord run to and

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u Aug. Quæst. Evang. lib. 2. qu. 19. pognostic, lib. 3. c. 8.

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y Psalm cxxxv. 4.

* Enarrat. in Psalm 60. HyExod. xvii. 15.

fro, in every place, to behold the evil and good. (2 Chron. xvi. 9. Prov. xv. 3) When there are four horns on the four sides of the church to scatter it, there are four carpenters in a like proportion on every side, to fray them away and to rescue it. (Zech. i. 18, 21) Our protection is ever suitable to our danger: the stronger the assault, the greater the assistance. With every temptation, the Lord opens an escape, that we may be able to bear it. (1 Cor. x. 13)

We see all is well about the church, a wall of fire round about it. If all be well within it too, it must needs be a happy body and so certainly it is, for he who is Murus in circuitu,' is likewise gloria in medio;' I will be the glory in the midst of it.

Glory, passively. In nothing, is God glorified so much as in building, restoring, protecting his church; glorified in all his creatures, but admired in his saints.' (2 Thess. i. 10) No where is his name so great as in Israel. (Psalm 1xxvi. 1) "When he buildeth up Sion, then it is that he appears in his glory." (Psalm cii. 16)

Glory, actively; by making his church honourable and glorious;' as he saith, he will do, Isa. xi. 10, and xliii. 4, and lx. 13.

Every nation hath some one or other good thing, which rendereth them considerable in the eyes of others, and is esteemed their glory. Some famous for gold and silver, as Ophir; some for spices and precious fruits of the earth, as India; some for corn, as Egypt; some for balsams, as Palestine; some for valour and justice, as the Romans; some for arts and learning, as the Grecians; but the superlative glory of Jerusalem is, that "their God is their glory." (Isa. Ix. 19. Jer. ii. 11)

It is true, worldly glory is in much more abundance. amongst other men. The great monarchies of the world have been amongst Assyrians, Chaldeans, Persians, Grecians, Romans; and therefore Symmachus, a heathen, useth this as an argument, why we should adhere to the old Roman heathen religion, because that flourished, but Christianity was persecuted.

But this external glory, though it dazzle the eye, and tickle the fancy, hath no solid and permanent goodness, or proportioned to immortal souls. It cannot remove the guilt of one

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