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from the hand of God, as it were, annihilated, and made utterly to disappear.
By the same divine impression, are the hearts of the people of the land in all places strangely excited as one man, to call for the restoring of the secluded patriots, by them to make way for a free parliament, and by them to bring back from exile, in the chariots of Aminadab, a willing people, and upon the wings of love, our dear and dread Sovereign, not only to the throne of his father, but to the hearts of his people. They who had long known what it was to fear where they did not love, were now ambitious to love, where they
need not so to fear.
And now that the Lord hath brought these kingdoms upon the basis of their ancient and fundamental constitution, and hath restored into your bosoms, a prince of the greatest suavity and meekness of spirit (one of the best tempers in the world for government), that ever swayed these sceptres; whom he hath trained up, like David, in a school of affliction, to sit upon a throne, and fitted, by a crown of thorns, to wear a royal diadem; and, by the bitter cup of his own sufferings, to provide against the sufferings, and to heal the wounds, of his poor exhausted people;
What remaineth but these two things?
1. To fill our hearts and mouths with the praises of God for these divinely contrived mercies, without the effusion of one drop of blood, beyond the view of human counsel to have effected; to ascribe all to the spirit and grace of God; "Not unto us, not unto us, but unto thy name give the glory" to bless him for this first fundamental step to settlement, without which we should ever have been in danger of flames and blood: to bless the Lord for inclining the heart of his Majesty to dedicate his government with so religious a public testimony against profaneness, than which there is nothing which doth more loudly call upon you to second the zeal of his Majesty in: to bless the Lord for that Christian meekness of his Majesty, in anticipating and preventing the very petitions of his people for pardon, and hastening the means of their security therein: to bless the Lord for his Majesty's firmness in, and zealous care of, the Protestant religion, and withstanding all temptations which would have drawn him from it: to bless the Lord for his tender indul
gence towards men of sober, peaceable, and pious affections, who cannot in every thing come up to the judgement or practice of other of their brethren: to bless the Lord for his Christian prudence, and healing moderation, in endeavouring such a fraternal condescension amongst brethren, as may bury all past animosities, prevent all further distempers, and reduce things unto an equal and amicable temperament.
2. To consider how to use these mercies unto the glory of God that gave them, and to the good of the whole body, and not the particular divided interest of any one party alone. It is a distinct virtue, as the historian tells us, to get victories, and to use them :-and so likewise it is to receive mercies, and to improve them.
Consider, I beseech you, what it is which the Lord calls for at your hands, in such a time as this. Whether, after such earthquakes and concussions, such afflictions and temptations, such little less than miraculous vicissitudes of Divine Providence which we have seen; after the effusion of so many thousand men's blood, after the expense of so many millions. of treasure; whether he doth not justly expect, that now you should be more zealous for his glory, more tender of his church, and the souls of men therein; more severe against all impiety and profaneness; more careful of the power of godliness, and the powerful preachers and preaching thereof, and purity of divine ordinances; more active and solicitous to close up breaches, to remove offences; and by the most satisfactory provisions that may be, to prevent the danger of any further distempers, than ever any parliaments have done before you. That it may be recorded amongst the memorials of this nation, as once of Josiah,-Like unto this king and this parliament (who have been so obliged with such a series of mercies and of wonders), that there was no king nor parliament before them, that "turned to the Lord with all their heart, and with all their soul, and with all their might, according to all the law of God.-This shall be written for the generation to come; and the people that shall be created, shall praise the Lord."
PREACHING OF CHRIST:
Opened in a SERMON, preached at St. Peter's Church in the City of Norwich, at an Ordination, September 22, 1661.
2 COR. iv. 5.
For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.
A GREAT part of this epistle is apologetical, wherein the apostle laboureth to assert and vindicate his apostolical of fice and dignity from the prejudices, which either the sufferings which attended him in the dispensation thereof, or the suggestions of false apostles and deceitful workers, might have raised up against him. With these men, he putteth himself in the balance; and as in many other respects he preferreth himself before them, so particularly in the point of fidelity and sincerity in the work of the ministry which having mentioned, chap. i. 12, and ii. 17, and iii. 6., and thereupon having set forth the excellence and glory of the evangelical ministry, chap. iii. 7-18, he further demonstrateth his uncorrupt and sincere administration thereof in this present chapter, and in divers consequent parts of this epistle : professing his diligence therein, as in the discharge of a service whereunto he was in special mercy called, ver. 1; his endeavour in godly simplicity as in the sight of God to manifest the truth thereof unto the consciences of men; ver. for it was not his prevarication, but men's own blindness, and satanical delusion, which hid the gospel from those who received it not, ver. 3, 4. And this his fidelity he further proveth by the substance and tenor of the doctrine which he taught, which was to set forth not himself, but Christ Jesus the Lord' and by the excellence of the divine power concurring with his ministry, to give unto men, the light of the
knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ; ver. 5, 6, 7.
The words contain, the mention of a duty, xnpúσooμer, ‘We preach,' and the subject or matter of that duty, set forth, 1. Negatively,' Not ourselves.'
2. Positively, But Christ,' as the Lord of the church, whereof the apostle was but a servant in order to their good, and his master's glory; of which particulars we shall speak with all brevity and perspicuity.
And 1. Of the duty, xnpúrooμer, we preach,' implying an allusion to those xpuxes and Caduceatores,' who were wont, with an open and loud voice, to promulge and publish the edicts of magistrates; of whom we read so often in Homer and others. In which respect, the prophet is commanded to lift up his voice like a trumpet;' (Isa. lviii. 1) alluding unto those trumpets which the priests were commanded to sound, in the calling of solemn assemblies. (Numb. x. 1)
I shall not here insist on the dignity and excellence of this office, which not only the holy prophets and apostles did attend upon, (Isa. vi. 8. Mat. iii. 1. Mat. x. 7) but the blessed angels, evafyexigoμai, (Luke ii. 10) Yea, he who is the Lord of men and angels,' was solemnly anointed unto this function, to preach the gospel to the poor, to preach deliverance to the captives, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord; (Luke iv. 18, 19, 43, 44) and though he were the Lord of life and glory, unto whom every knee must bow, (Phil. ii. 10) whom all the angels are commanded to worship; (Heb. i. 6) yet he did not disdain to be a minister, (Rom. xv. 8) and to go about, preaching of the gospel of the kingdom. (Mat. iv. 23)
And therefore how mean and ignoble soever this function may be esteemed by men, who value not their own souls, and therefore are not to be so much wondered at, as pitied, if they undervalue the means of making them happy; yet we learn from hence, with the apostle, 'to magnify our office,' (Rom. xi, 13) and to esteem it a singular gift of divine grace bestowed upon us, that we should preach the unsearchable riches of Christ;' (Eph. iii. 7, 8) and accordingly to adorn our ministry by such lives and learning as becomes it; and not to dishonour, by sordid, earthly, sensual, or brutish conversations, so sacred and divine an office.
Neither shall I at all mention the difficulty of it, which made the prophet cry out, I am a child,' (Jer. i. 6) and the apostle, Who is sufficient for these things?' (2 Cor. ii. 16) thereby teaching us, by unwearied diligence in our studies, and assiduity in our prayers, to wait upon God for supplies of his Spirit and grace, who alone maketh able ministers of the New Testament. (2 Cor. iii. 6)
But I shall speak a very little of the necessity of this weighty work, to awaken and provoke those who are called unto it, with the more fear and trembling, with the more fidelity and assiduity to attend upon it.
A thing is necessary two ways, either Necessitate præcepti,' because it is commanded; or Necessitate medii,' because it is instituted as a special means unto some great and weighty end, which is to be thereby attained. The preaching of the gospel is necessary both these ways.
1. Necessitate præcepti,' as in special manner appointed by Christ, who is the King and Lawgiver' in his church; as his Father sent him,' and gave him a commission, and a command to discharge the service which was entrusted in his hand; which he, with all willingness and obedience, set about, though it were not only to preaching but to dying, that so the pleasure of the Lord might prosper in his hand.' Even so did he send forth his disciples, (John xxi. 21) with a strict commission and command (as having all power in heaven and earth given to him) to preach the gospel. (Mat. xxviii. 18, 19, 20) And in order to the perpetual discharge of that service, he appointed not only apostles, prophets, and evangelists, which were temporary officers, but pastors and teachers to attend the same to the world's end, for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the building up of the body of Christ. (Eph. iv. 8-13) And accordingly, the apostles took special care to commit the same service unto faithful men, who might be able to teach others, and appointed elders to be ordained in every city for carrying on this necessary work. (Acts xiv. 23. 2 Tim. ii. 2. Tit. i. 5) And as our Saviour, by the argument drawn from his power over them, and their love to him, presseth the exercise of this duty upon his disciples; (Matth. xxviii. 18, 19. John xxi. 15-17) so do the apostles afterward, by the author of their superintendence, the Holy Spirit, by the property of