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ly remember him still; my bowels are troubled for him; I will surely have mercy upon him, saith the Lord." It is not murmuring and repining in our afflictions, biting the stone which hath hurt us, breaking out into complaints and revengeful animosities against one another, fretting ourselves, 'cursing our king and our God,' as the prophet speaks; (Isai. viii. 21) gnawing our tongues,' and refusing to repent; (Rev. xvi. 9, 11) that is the way to healing:-To be humbled, "to accept of the punishment of our sins', to bear the indignation of the Lord ";" to seek his face, to fear his name, to convert unto him; this only is the way to healing. (Isai. vi. 10)

VI. We should here proceed to consider the effects and consequences of this healing, which I must only name, and

no more.

1. Going forth,' leaping, exulting, prepared with joy and vigour, with courage and enlargement of heart, unto duty and service; as John, Christ's forerunner, is said to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. (Luke i. 17) It noteth that spiritual joy and peace, which is the strength of God's servants in duty, when he shines with light and healing upon them. Healing and holiness is a foundation of joy, (Psalm xxxiii. 1. 2 Cor. i. 12) and joy back again a principle and preparation unto holiness. "The joy of the Lord is our strength." (Nehem. viii. 13) The servants of the Lord, the trees of righteousness, are ever so much the fuller of fruit, as they are of comfort; the more the Sun of righteousness, with his light and influence, doth shine upon them, the more they abound in duty and service.

2. Growing up' in light, in stature, in strength, in knowledge, in grace, to more and more perfection; the most healthy are the most thriving Christians. As many times when persons are recovered out of a fit of sickness, they visibly shoot up, and grow more in a few months, than in some years before; so it is with God's servants, when they have been delivered from any sore temptation like Antæus, they gain by their falls. When they are no more children, when they cease to be weak, then they grow. (Eph.iv. 14, 15) 3. Victory and security' against their proudest enemies,

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whom the God of peace will tread down under the feet of his servants, as Joshua made his captains to tread on the necks of the kings of Canaan. (Luke x. 19. Rom. xvi. 20. Jos. x. 24) "Even for the bruised reed, and for the smoking flax, will the Lord bring forth judgement unto victory." (Matth. xii. 20)

Now from these many metaphors setting forth Christ unto us, by whose light our blindness is cured, by whose righteousness our guilt is covered, by whose wings our corruptions are healed, and we enabled to go forth with joy, to grow up in duty, to tread down our enemies, we learn,

(1) The freeness of his grace. Nothing on earth can deserve the shining of the sun; nothing in us can deserve the grace of Christ; it shines most freely, without preceding merit, without consequent retribution: "Who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed to him again ?” (Rom. xi. 35) (2) The fulness of his grace: he is a sun. If we want wisdom, there are treasures in him. (Gal. ii. 3) If spirit, it is without measure in him. (John iii. 24) If any spiritual grace, or gift, there is unsearchable riches, an inexhausted fountain in him. (Eph. iii. 8. Col. i. 19. Zech. xiii. 1) And he hath it all as a magazine and officer, for the supply of his


(3) The communion and dependence of the church upon this his fulness. Our light, our righteousness, our grace, our comfort, come from the influence, and depend upon the presence, of Christ with us. The house doth not receive a stock of light to stay in it, though the sun were gone; but hath it by immediate dependence on the light of the sun: so every measure of grace in us dependeth in esse et operari' upon the influence, concourse, and presence of Christ by his spirit with us. Every good work of ours hath its beginning, continuance, and consummation in him. "Non mihi sufficit quod semel donavit, nisi semper donaverit," saith Jerome. He that begins, perfects; (Phil. i. 6) gives will and work; (Phil. ii. 13) heart and way; (Jer. xxxii. 39) is the author and the finisher; (Heb. xii. 2) without him we can do nothing; in all things we must grow up in him. (John xv. 5. Eph. iv. 15) "From him is all our fruit found." (Hos. xiv. 8) We must pray with David, "Take not away thine holy spirit from me." (Psalm li. 11) We must take heed, lest, by our

quenching or grieving of him, we provoke him to withdraw himself.

4. The conjunction between the righteousness of Christ and his healing; where he receives into grace, he takes away iniquity, and healeth backsliding. (Hos. xiv. 2, 4) He came not only to pardon sin, but to destroy it. (1 John iii. 8) His mercy is never without his grace; his offices go together; his sacrifice and his sceptre cannot be divided. This is one of the greatest comforts that a believer hath, that, at length, his lusts shall be consumed. Even heaven itself would not be a place of glory, if a man were to carry his sin along with him thither.

I have thus done with the general and theological tractation of the words: I now proceed very briefly unto such an application of them, as may come closer, and be more seasonable and suitable to this honourable solemnity.

That this great council and college of physicians hath a dangerously sick patient to look after, three nations,—and the church of God in them, like the man between Jerusalem and Jericho, wounded and half dead,-we have had these many years the best, or rather worst assurance that may be, by feeling the sickness; so that there need be no further proof of it. We have seen and felt, with sorrow and amazement, the honour of the parliament of England shamefully assaulted, princes bleeding out their souls, sojourning in Mesech, and in the tents of Kedar"; peers and patriots secluded from their honourable and rightful trust; the great council of the nation sequidimiated; a learned and faithful ministry reproached, ready to be sacrificed, brought to the brow of the precipice; ordinances decried, errors and heresies cumulated; the public worship of God interrupted; the assemblies of his people, on his own day, profanely affronted by mechanics working their ordinary works in our churches and pulpits. We have seen and felt our laws and foundations threatened, our ships broken, our trade obstructed, our treasures exhausted, our merchants discouraged, our religion crumbled, our church congregations shamed and defiled with the impure and obscene intrusion of naked persons, clothed with nothing but dung and impudence. We have heard of

Psalm cxx. 5.

families raised upon the ruins of others, and of families ruined by perjurious criminations. Indeed, we have seen and heard of more evils and confusions, than the hour of a sermon, or the length of a history can well enumerate. If sins, if sorrows, if shame, if fear, if dangers, if frenzies, if quakings, if convulsions, if breach upon breach, if change upon change, if divided minds, if disjointed hearts, if inconsistent interests, if incoherent designs, if vicissitudes of government as mutable as the courses of the moon, if altar against altar, doctrine against doctrine, worship against worship, post by post, threshold by threshold o, be symptoms of a sick body; -certainly this great college of physicians hath a very sick patient to look after.

Nay, which is much to be bewailed, even they who fear the name of the Lord on every hand, on every persuasion, if they will impartially review their own ways, will find that their mutual jealousies, breaches, disaffections, distances, animosities, affectations of pre-eminence and domination, pursuance of interests, preserving of stations and new raised estates, and many other the like miscarriages, have contributed a great share to the sicknesses and sorrows of the common body; and caused the name of God, and the honour of religion to be evil spoken of.

Your proper work, right honourable patriots, is to be healers (so rulers are called, Isa. iii. 7) healers to these three nations. "We have looked long for peace, and there came no good; and for the time of healing, and behold trouble."P If the Lord have reserved you for such a time, for such a work as this, "to be eyes to the blind, feet to the lame, fathers to the poor, as one that comforteth the mourners," as Job speaks, the ear that hears you shall bless you, the eye that sees you, shall bear witness to you. "It shall be written for the generation to come; and the people which shall be created, shall praise the Lord for you." The Lord shall make you the head, and not the tail; you shall be above only, and not beneath. (Deut. xxviii. 13) It is a weighty enterprise; the cure difficult, the disease complicate; great skill and wisdom, great love and caution, great patience and

Ezek. xliii. 8. Psalm cii. 18.

P Jer. xiv. 19.

Job xxix. 15, 16, 25.

tenderness is required unto it. There may be danger of miscarriage by clashing of counsels, by partiality of interests, by misjudging of cases, by the acrimony of purgatives, by the height of cordials, by inequality and disproportionate applications, by minding the parts asunder, as divided from the whole.

O come with none but healing resolutions, with none but closing and uniting affections; let one heart, one soul, one end, one spirit, animate your whole body. If this precious ointment of unity and peace be first upon you, it will fall down to the skirts of the nation. The patients will not fall out, if the physicians be agreed.

Think with yourselves, that you hear the life and being, the ancient honour and renown of these nations, call aloud unto you for healing: England, sometimes a terror to her proudest enemies, a balance to all the interests of Christendom, now a supplicant to her own children to keep her alive.

Think that you hear the concurrent cry of the protestant churches, which are greatly concerned in our weal, or woe (the protestant religion being the interest of England, as the Duke of Roan hath gravely observed) calling upon you to heal us, that they may be whole.

Think that you hear the importunities of all the people of the land, and all orders therein, call unto you for healing. Princes and peers long dethroned and eclipsed in their honour and splendor. Citizens long decayed in their trade and commerce. Countrymen long exhausted with heavy expenses upon narrow estates. Ministers long discouraged by swarms of dangerous and corrupt opinions, by that abundance of atheism, scepticism, neutrality, indifferency, profaneness, contempt of ordinances, which the looseness of these times, like an opened sluice, or a breach in a bank, hath let in as a deluge upon the church of God amongst us.

Think that you hear your own families, your wives, your children," et natos natorum, et qui nascuntur ab illis," the generations yet unborn, calling unto you to lay up healing for them; and, like the man of Macedonia to the apostle, saying, Come and help us.'s

And if

you will give me leave to tell you where you must

s Acts xvi. 9.

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