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dom of sin and Satan; no man is excepted, kings, princes, nobles, as base slaves this way as any other, although walking in gold chains. Next, that we acknowledge Christ to be King and Lord of his people, putting our confidence in him, as having all sufficiency for life, liberty, salvation, and every good thing, yea, endeavouring to feel the kingdom of God within us, and his sceptre set up in our souls formerly tyrannised over by strange lords. And thirdly, that we make a resignation of ourselves in all humility and obedience to do his will: for it is the quality of his subjects to be a willing people, or a people of willingness, (Psal. cx. 3). If every one of us had many wills, we ought to sacrifice them all, and turn each one of them into a willingness to serve him. According to this is it, that his people are called "Ammi-nadib," or my willing people, (Cant. vi. 12). The word used to express willingness, signifieth generosity or nobleness, opposed to churlishness, (Isa. xxxii. 5). "The vile person shall be no more called liberal, nor the churlish said to be bountiful," Nabal shall not be called Nadib. The true subjects of Christ, were they never so meanly born, although like the wretched infant described Ezek. xvi., yet being born again, they deal nobly with him; but others, whatsoever be their extraction, and were they never so nobly descended, they deal but churlishly with Christ. A nobleman that giveth not himself willingly and cordially to the Son of God, and accounteth it not his chiefest honour to be a subject of his kingdom, in scripture language is not a nobleman, but a Nabal, a churl; and surely to deal churlishly with Christ, who hath been so benign and bountiful unto us, and is so worthy to be served, is the most base churlishness, and the greatest churlishness in the world. If we would consider what we are without him, what we may be through him, and that there is a necessity either to be the slaves of sin, or to become the subjects of Christ; yea, either to be his free subjects or his bound slaves and captives, we would willingly offer ourselves in this day of his power.
The third duty is, when we are acquainted with the nature and secrets of the kingdom of Christ, and are now become his willing subjects, then to be zealous in using all good means, each one according to his place, for advancing and establishing the kingdom of Christ. A point very necessary to be considered, because as Herod and all Jerusalem with him, were troubled when they heard that the king of the Jews was born; so are great ones that are in authority, and the multitude of the people, much troubled when they hear of the kingdom of Christ; kings and great ones, because they conceive the advancing of Christ's kingdom to be a diminution of their greatness and power, wherein they bewray both their ignorance and ingratitude : ignorance of the nature of his kingdom, which is spiritual, not only in the internal but external part of it. He that would establish a spiritual kingdom, doth not take away, but on the contrary doth both confirm and sanctify the temporal kingdom wherein it is established. The Son of God never imposed such a hard condition to kings and nobles that were to become Christians, as to forsake their crowns and dignities, except in their affection, and in comparison of the excellency of the kingdom of Christ. Ingratitude, not only because by him kings reign, but Jesus Christ having proclaimed a jubilee, a great liberty to kings and kingdoms from the tyranny, the servitude, the usurpations and impositions of the Pope, this is all the thanks that they return, that they either put away the gospel from themselves and their kingdoms, or will receive but so much of it as they think meet; which is rather to reign over Christ, than that Christ by his sceptre reign over them. As for the multitude of the people, they have no desire to hear of the setting up of the kingdom of Christ, because they are afraid of poverty, and other such miseries as may be brought upon them by innovations, measuring all by their worldly gain and ease, and considering no other ways of changes but as they import some earthly benefit to their own private. So was Jerusalem troubled when Christ was born,
and so were the Gadarenes when he came into their country. It cannot be denied but the Lord hath done a great work in this land, yet there be many of all ranks that wish it had never been begun, by reason of the troubles and losses they have sustained; not considering nor knowing that a little of God and of Christ, and of his Spirit, and of the Word, and of the ordinances, is much more than the greatest things of the world; and that it is better to suffer with the people of God and for God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. When things are equally balanced, the worst things of Christ, that is, his cross and sufferings, are better than the best things of the world. Upon the contrary, therefore, I shall desire these seven things about the kingdom of Christ, and the matter of religion may be diligently taken heed
1. Take heed of self-respects: these are of two sorts, one is private, when men look so much to themselves, that they forget the public; or if they look to the public, and seem to be zealous about it, it is always with reflection upon their own private: were the circumference never so wide, themselves are the centre, and all the lines of their actions have their concentration there. Private spirits are evil spirits, whether they be in Church or Parliament; and I may add, that they are foolish spirits, seem they never so wise; for being once embarked, how shall they hope to escape if the public shall perish? Another sort of selfrespect is public, which may seem a paradox, and yet it is a certain truth, when men would draw all to the Parliament, not only negotia Regis et Regni, the matters of the king and kingdom, but negotia Jehova et Ecclesia, the matters of God and the Church. Many things indeed may, yea must be done pro tempore, and in this corrupt state of the church; but it is the worst kind of sacrilege to take the power which Christ hath given to the church, and put it in the hands of the state.
2. Beware of lukewarmness and indifferency in matters of religion, that we be not like Gallio, "that cared for none
of these things;" or like Pilate in this place, who spoke so coldly of the truth, "What is truth?" He declared by his question that it was a thing he cared not for; or like Saul (1 Sam.), who when he had commanded to advise with the oracle of God what he should do, yet before he received an answer, led forth the army into battle. It is a rare thing in great men to take religion to heart, and to be solicitous about it. There may be here a twofold indifferency; one is, when matters of religion come in debate, we care not what way they go, nor to what side they be determined. The other is, that having past an ordinance, we care not what become of it; whether it be put in execution or not, or whether it be spoken or written against or not; which is nothing else but a vilifying of the ordinance of God, and the prostituting of that authority which God hath put upon men unto contempt and reproach.
3. Take heed of division, the most destructive thing both to yourselves and the cause that can be. There be many causes of division from Satan, who is a factious and schismatical spirit; from the world, which delighteth to run in divers channels; and from ourselves, every man having a seed of division in his own heart. It is true, that all men by nature love unity as well as being; for unity preserveth, but all men through the corruption of nature, incline to division and destruction. Yet there be some spirits whose predominant it is to be heretical, schismatical, and factious; and it is as natural to such to delight in divisions, as it is for others to wallow in uncleanness or excess. If we will have the kingdom of Christ settled, these are to be noted, and either avoided or kept in order; otherwise there will be no end of division in the state, and of schism in the church. And take heed of division from the kingdom of Scotland, with whom ye are so nearly united, both by nature and covenant. Were I there, I would say no less unto them in relation to this kingdom. There be some pernicious instruments, who busy themselves in fishing of faults, and use the damnable art of Tiberius. He was earnest to
have a virgin strangled, some mention particularly the daughter of Sejanus; others, as Suetonius, more indefinitely speak it of virgins; but because it was not lawful amongst the Romans to strangle a virgin, he will have them first defiled by the executioner, and thereafter strangled: immaturæ puellæ, quia more tradito nefas esset virgines strangulari, vitiatæ prius a carnifice, dein strangulatæ. I leave it to your own application. It is known amongst the people, that he that would kill his dog can easily find a staff; and it is not unknown to the state, that they who would be rid of a good subject or servant, can easily lay treason to his charge. But so long as that nation abideth constant to the cause of God, and honest in their endeavours towards you, ought they to be so talked of as they are by many? If in saving themselves and serving you, they should be disabled from saving themselves and serving you, ought ye to add affliction to the afflicted? When the truth, which is the daughter of time shall appear, I hope men will be ashamed of their speeches and eat up their own words, and therefore I will speak no more of this sad subject.
4. Beware of delays and procrastinations in settling of Christ's kingdom. The setting up of the discipline and government of the church, had been a more easy work long ago than it is now, and is more easy now than it will be afterward. For the longer we go down by the river side, we shall find it grow the deeper and broader and parting itself in more divided channels. Had the discipline and government of the church been set up at first, it would have proved very serviceable to the parliament, and saved them much labour in the doing of their work. The ordinances of Christ have much power and strength in them, and they are accompanied with many blessings. The spiritual and secular arm, like the two arms of the body, when both are stretched out and exercised, are very effectual for the public good,
5. Beware of discouragements from the power of the world, the kingdoms of the world, or any other kinds of op