صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

put a period to the being of them. In order whereunto, I

thought it my duty, as a minister of the gospel of peace,

and a servant to our great Lord, whose work it was to "heal

and recover" (Luke iv. 18) humbly to set before you, the

author and the object; and on the Monday following, be-

fore the Right Honourable the House of Peers, the means

and method of God's healing a sick nation; and thereupon

to beseech you, so to imitate the example of Christ, who is

"the Lord that healeth us," so to promote the fear of his

name and the great work of humiliation, supplication, and

reformation amongst us, as that you might comfortably

plead his promise, to "hear, forgive, and heal the land:"

for the Lord will be with you, while you are with him; and

if you seek him, he will be found of you.

And for this work of setting up the fear of God, and real

conversion unto him, though godliness have as many ene-

mies as there be devils in hell, or wicked men in the world ;

yet profaneness is in itself so shameful, and holiness so

amiable, that endeavours in this most weighty work will, I

am confident, meet with no prevalent opposition or ob-

struction among you. All sober men of every persuasion,

however otherwise divided, acknowledge the necessity, and

professing their desires, that the name of the Lord may, in

purity of doctrine, and in holiness of life, be magnified

amongst us.

You have made a happy entrance unto this healing work:

(for certainly the great sufferings of our princes have had a
strong causality upon our distractions; it can never be well
with the body, while it is ill with the head :) and you have
hereby blasted the projects and attempts of any, whose am-
bition might animate them to awaken old, or kindle new,
flames amongst us. If, together with this noble act of jus-
tice and of loyalty, you proceed to secure the interest of
Jesus Christ, by establishing the true reformed religion, and
orthodox, learned, and painful ministry, pure worship, and
the omer of godliness, suppressing and putting to shame all
profane practices, whereby the wrath of the Lord may be
kindled against us; you shall thereby greatly blast the de-
sires of evil and licentious men; and comfort the hearts,
and give evidence of the answer of God to the prayers of

May 5, 1660.


SERMON XXI. (page 295.)


Ye are

not your own; for ye are bought with a price: therefore, glorify, &c.

The text implies three particulars.

To the Reverend my dearly beloved Brethren, the Dean, Pre-
bendaries, and the rest of the Clergy, of the Cathedral
Church and City of Norwich.


EVER Since the preaching of this plain sermon, I have

been importuned quotidiano convicio' (if I may use the

orator's expression) to make it publick. I have, at last,

suffered myself to be overcome by the persuasions of my

[ocr errors]

friends. My chief end therein hath been, that I might

provoke my younger brethren to make it the main design of

their ministry, to render the Lord Jesus, his divine person,

his sacred offices, his heavenly doctrine, his blessed ex-

ample, his spiritual graces, the fellowship of his sufferings,

(Philip. iii. 8, 10) the power of his resurrection, the ex-

cellency of his knowledge, the unsearchable riches of his

love, (Eph. iii. 8, 18, 19.) and all the mysteries of his

kingdom, amiable in the eyes of their hearers; as it was

foretold of him, that he should be the Desire of all nations,

(Hag. ii. 7.) the Chiefest of ten thousand and altogether

lovely: (Cant. v. 10, 16.) That, in preaching the Law, they

may lead men to Christ for mercy to pardon the transgres-

sions, and for grace to obey the commands of it-That,

in preaching the Gospel, they may direct men unto Christ

for faith, to believe the promises of the covenant; for he is

the author of our faith; (Hebr. xii. 2) for hope, to wait for

the fulfilling of them; for he is unto us the Hope of glory;

(Col. i. 27.) and for love to inflame that purity and holiness,

which they are intended to kindle in us; for "the love of

Christ constraineth us." (2 Cor. v. 14.) That by the awe

and dread of the name of Christ, in whose stead they speak

(2 Cor. v. 20); and unto whom, as the "chief Shepherd"

of the sheep (1 Pet. v. 4) they must give an account, (Heb.

xiii. 17), they may be deterred from all those ways of pas-

sion, ostentation, and vanity, whereby men are sometimes

transported to preach themselves rather than Christ, and the

conceptions of their own heart rather than his counsel (Jer.

xxiii. 16, 22, 26); and thereby provoke the people (1 Sam.

ii. 17) to abhor the offering of the Lord. I have taken the

liberty of dedicating it unto you, that I might thereby tes-

tify the love and honour I owe your persons, the value I set

upon your learned and pious labours, and the real thanks

which I return unto you, for the great love which you have

expressed towards my person, and assistance which you

have afforded me in mine attendance on the service of that

diocess. And, I hope, it will not be grievous unto you, or

offensive unto any, if, after the example of the ancient

bishops in the primitive and purer ages of the Church, who

were wont to sit with their clergy, and preside in an eccle-

« السابقةمتابعة »