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against nation; kingdom against kingdom; many offended;
many hating one another, many false teachers, many se-
duced people, and above all, an abundance of iniquity. And
indeed, it may be justly feared, that where there are so
many divisions, prejudices, animosities, differences both of
judgement and interest, to say nothing of the luxury, de-
licacy, vanity and excess in private expenses, there cannot
but consequently be a very great obstruction in the current.
of good works.
My hearty desire and prayer is, that as this Sermon re-
ceived favourable audience from you, and is now by your
own direction exposed to a more general view, so some
signal blessing may follow the publication thereof, that
thereby the hearts of many rich men may be enlarged to
honour the Lord with their substance, and to let their mer-
chandise, and their treasures have inscribed upon them,
"Holiness to the Lord."
1 Tim. vi. 17-19. Charge them that are rich in this world, &c.
These words have four parts.
1. Timothy's duty: charge. The rich must be charged, not flattered,
74; as being in more need, 77, and more danger than other peo-
II. Subject of the charge, 78: charge the rich. The apostle does not
forbid to be rich, or to acquire riches by lawful means, 79.
III. Limitation of the subject of the charge: rich in this world, 80. We
must labour for durable riches, 81.
IV. Matter of the charge. A rich man should not be high-minded, since
riches confer no real value, 84. Rich men are but stewards, 85,
and walk among more temptations, 85. The higher the rich are
exalted by God, the lower they should be in their own esteem, 85:
they have the more work to do, 86: and never can have just reason
to despise the poor, 86.
The rich must not trust in riches, which are not commensurate to the
affections, 88; and are uncertain in their abode, 88, and in pro-
mises, 89. Various motives for trusting in the living God, 89–92.
Rich men must be rich in good works, 92. The objects of the good works
are the worship of God, and the necessities of men, 95. The manner
of good works: they must be done richly, 95; readily, 96; dif-
SERMON XIII. (page 106.)
GOD'S FIDELITY THE CHURCH'S SAFETY.
Amplissimis, præstantissimis, consultissimis Viris,
D. JOHANNI IRETON,
Honoratissimo Domino Præfecto,
O Lord God of Israel, thou art righteous, &c.
Context explained, 106-109. The text comprises four particulars.
1. Acknowledgment of sins, on the part of God's people, which are the more
aggravated, because committed against light and conviction, 111;
against more tender love, the spirit of grace, peace of God, spiritual
wisdom, 112; against hope of salvation, 113; against honour of re-
ligion, and souls of the brethren, 114; and souls of the wicked, 115.
II. Acknowledgment of God's righteousness in the evils which they suf-
fered, 115, 116.
Ill. Acknowledgment of God's fidelity in the mercies which they enjoyed,
116. The covenant of divine mercy is free and absolute, 117; im
mutable, 118: efficacious, 119; invincible, 120; founded on Christ's
blood and intercession, 121; seconded by God's love, 121, and holy
IV. A demonstration of divine mercy, 122. This particular applied to
II. The perfection of a Christian standeth in thinking of Christ, and of
himself, as St. Paul did, 143; by being humble-minded; by re-
joicing in Christ's righteousness, and by having a conformity to
Christ, and by being touched with a sense of our imperfections, 144.
III. Differences of judgement will exist in the best ages of the Church,
IV. Mutual charity should be exercised, except where the differences
contradict faith and holiness, 148-152.
V. Rules for reconciling differences in the Church, 152; studying the
scriptures, 152; a selection of fundamental doctrines in which all
agree, 155; unity in love, holiness, and designs, 157.
Application of the text, to the Parliament.
BROTHERLY AGREEMENT. Philipp. ii. 1, 2. If, therefore, there
any consolation in Christ, &c.
I. Matter of the duties proposed; viz. 1. Consent in the same doctrines as
Christians, 164; the necessity and advantages of this consent, 165—
169; and how it may be effected, 169-176. 2. Unity of affections
as citizens, 177.
II. Manner of pressing the duties, by way of insinuation and argumen-
III. Means of procuring the duties, 182.
Zechar. iii. 1, 2. And he showed me Joshua the High Priest, &c.
The special mercy to Joshua is set forth in the manner of a juridical
I. Joshua stood, 1. tanquam servus, 190, to minister before the Lord;
and 2, tanquam reus, 191, to answer for himself and others, 191.
11. Satan stood to resist Joshua, as a tempter and accuser, 192-194.
III. Christ is the advocate of the Church, 194-196.
IV. Victory over Satan, who is rebuked by Christ.
V. Foundation of this victory: 1. God's gracious election; 2. and
former mercies, 199-200.
More immediate application of the Sermon, 201.
WHEN I was by you called to bear a part in that sea-
sonable and necessary service of your late solemn humilia-
tion, I considered the sad condition whereunto these nations
were reduced; the many and great provocations which we
have been guilty of; the miserable commotions and earth-
quakes, which have not only shaken, but even dissolved our
foundations, and made them all out of course. I seriously
looked back on the dark and gloomy providences of God
amongst us, the untimely death of princes, the dimidiating
and dissolving of Parliaments, the frequent expirations and
vicissitudes of Governments, the horrid apostasy, atheism,
scepticism, indifferency, prodigies of phrenetick and per-
nicious opinions, whereby multitudes have played the wan-
tons with as glorious a light of orthodox religion, as any
nation under Heaven enjoyed; the defaming of ministry,
decrying of ordinances, encroaching of many Romish doc-
trines under a disguise, and other like distempers, whereby
we are become a hissing and astonishment to the nations.
round about us. In a word, it seemed unto me, that the
scene of the ten tribes was translated into these nations,
and that we were making haste to be a Jezreel, a Lo-Ru-
once did. And therefore,
though my habitual disposition usually led me to arguments,
which have more of mildness and gentleness in them, as re-
membering the counsel of the Apostle, to instruct in meek-
ness those that oppose themselves;' yet I thought it a duty
little less than absolutely necessary, in such a day of trouble
and rebuke, to set the trumpet unto my mouth, and to re-
present unto you the doleful condition of a deserted people,
and, withal, the sad misgiving fears (whereunto the symp-
toms of these sick and sinful nations did lead me), lest the
Lord were now departing from such a people, who, after a
hundred years' possession of the Gospel, did still so wan-
tonly abuse it, and walk so unworthy of it.
Yet, if any man shall
say unto me, that it shall not be so;
that the Lord will still own us, and continue his presence
with us; I shall answer, as once the prophet Jeremiah did,
"Amen, the Lord do so;" the Lord forbid that I should
desire the woful day; or, with Jonah, be displeased with
the patience and goodness of God. Far may this Sermon
be from a prophecy or prediction; let it be only an instruc-
tion, and a warning unto us. But certainly the maturity of
our sins, and the face of our distempers, do so far threaten
us, as that we ought thereby to be awakened to cry might-
ily unto God, and to hold him fast; lest he be weary of
repenting, and, after so many despised mercies, take at last
the plumb-line into his hand, and refuse again to pass by us
If hereunto this weak service of mine may be any way
useful, either to city or country; to magistrates, ministers,
or people; I shall have abundant cause to bless the Lord;
to whose gracious presence and protection, in these dan-
gerous times, I desire, in my daily prayers, to commend
these three nations, and this great city, and so to be
From my study,
Dec. 19, 1659.
Your most humble and faithful servant
in the work of the Lord,