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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.
III. 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
be 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.
SERMON XVI. (page 184.)
THE BRAND PLUCKED OUT OF THE FIRE.
D. THO. ALEyn,
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.
II. 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-
hamah, and a Lo-Ammi, as they 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,
in a way of propitiation, 212; of probation, 212; of punishment,
either personal or publick, 213, 214. God's departure from a people
denotes a subduction of peace, of presence in ordinances, of gifts
and graces, 215; of protection; a judiciary tradition, 216; cuts off
all relation and communion with God, 216; cuts off the glory of a
people, 217; seals up under wrath, &c. 217, 218.
Justice of God, in forsaking a nation, 218.
What sins provoke God's departing, 220.
What are the symptoms of his departure, 221, 222.
Particular application of the subject, 222-228.
THE WALL AND GLORY OF JERUSALEM. Zech. ii. 5. I will
be unto her a wall of fire, and the glory, &c.
I. God is a wall of fire. He is a wall of partition to separate the Church
from the world, 234; a wall of conjunction in uniting the parts in
one common interest, 234; a wall of protection, in a way of promise,
power, and providence, 236; in a way of grace, 237; and as a near
and adequate defence, 238.
His protection is like fire, by being terrible and conspicuous, impregnable,
perpetual, and active, 239.
II. God is the glory of his Church, by his spiritual presence, 242; by his
ordinances, 242; by Christians being translated into a relation of
righteousness and of sonship, 243, 244.
Let us, therefore, see the folly of persecuting the Church, 245; or of
using sinful means of protecting it, 245. Let us not envy the glory
of the world, 246; but, above all things, hold fast God, 246; and
place our glory not in our own powers, but in God alone, 247......
WHEN I was commanded, by the Council of State, to
preach before you on the day of the Parliament's assembling,
I could not but reflect on the woful and never enough to be
lamented confusions, under which these nations were ready
to sink and perish, till the Lord was pleased, as it were,
and μnxas, to raise up an honourable instrument, by his
wisdom and valour, to put a stop to the progress, and to
open a way, that you, by your counsel and authority, might