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tion of the soul by the heart, which is the seat of the affections. The fourth is, the testification of this affection in our whole life, by the actions of the will. Amongst which, for they be many, these two in the text are to be numbered; adoration and confession, which were the thanksgiving of the disciples at this time, and now upon our deliverance are required of us. And who is it that beholding the power of Christ in the greatness of the deliverance; the wisdom of Christ in the seasonableness of the deliverance; the jealousy of Christ, who will not give his glory to another, in the sensibleness of his hand in working it; the truth of Christ in hearing prayer according to his promise, and the mercy of Christ in passing by so many sins, and so much doubting, wouldnot adore this mighty, wise, jealous, true, and merciful Lord? When the children of Israel had heard that the Lord had visited them, and that he had looked upon their affliction, "Then they bowed their heads and worshipped," (Exod. iv. 31). After that the Lord had spoken to Moses of the religion of the passover, and the smiting of the first-born of Egypt, "The people bowed the head and worshipped," (Exod. xii. 27). When Jehoshaphat upon his fast and prayer heard from the Spirit of the Lord, which came upon Jehaziel, that the Lord was to fight for Judah, and that they were only to stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, he bowed his head with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell before the Lord worshipping the Lord, (2 Chron. xx. 18). At the restoring of religion and cleansing of the house of God, the king and all that were present with him, bowed themselves and worshipped, (2 Chron. xxix. 29). And shall not we when the Lord hath visited us, when he hath fought for us, and slain the strength and first-born of our enemies; when he is about the restoring of religion, and the cleansing and building of his temple, shall not we, in all fear and reverence, fall down and adore before him, acknowledging his sovereignty and our own baseness and unworthiness? Let the whole church, militant and triumphant, the twenty-four
elders, and the four living creatures, men and angels, fall down and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, saying "Blessing, honour, glory, and power, be unto him that sits upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever."
The other part of their thanksgiving is their confession of Christ. They give him this testimony, "of a truth thou art the son of God." This they all confess, and were ready to confess before all the world, which they also did afterward. Of this testimony John saith, "Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God," (1 John iv. 15); which is not so to be understood, as if no other truth were to be confessed of him, but because that main and fundamental truth was then contraverted and denied by seducers and antichrists. The Lord requireth of each one of us according to our place and calling, that we confess and give our testimony unto such truths as are most called in question. At this time it is required of the honourable Houses of Parliament, that they give unto Jesus this testimony, which is a necessary consequent of the testimony of the apostles, That Jesus Christ is the King of his Church, and that it must be ruled by his sceptre that the government is upon his shoulder, without which all our adoration and hallelujah, is but like the mocking of him by his enemies, when they clothed him, sometimes in purple, and sometimes in white, and did put a crown of thorns on his head, and in his hand a reed for a sceptre.
No duty better beseemeth the honourable Houses of Parliament than thankfulness; for in thankfulness there be three very eminent virtues suitable to their place and eminence. 1. Truth, when we acknowledge and profess who it is from whom we have received the benefit. 2. Justice, in rendering mutual duties as receiving is joined with giving, so is rendering with receiving, which natural men have considered when they spoke of the three graces. 3. Wisdom, because gratitude procureth the continuance of favour, as ingratitude, not seeing and discerning favours
near unto us, moveth the Lord to remove them, that we may behold them afar off. So that gratitude hath truth, justice, and prudence in it; but ingratitude is an untruth, injustice, and foolishness. Of all men in the world, ungrateful men unto God are the most false, most unjust, and most foolish men. Far must this be, far I hope this shall be, from the honourable Houses and from both kingdoms.
USE 2. The second duty which I recommend is, obedience to the commands of Christ against all difficulties and temptations in the way. When the Lord commanded the disciples to enter into the ship they obeyed, although he went not with them, and the darkness of the night was approaching; and when they met with a stormy and contrary wind, it never so much as entered into their hearts to turn back again. When our Lord commanded Peter to come unto him upon the water, he gave absolute obedience. Obedience is a principal part of self-denial: by other virtues and graces we deny things of the world, and the natural delights of the flesh which concern the body; but this maketh us to deny our own will, and our natural reason, and to do the will of God. As a wild stock, when a sprig of good fruit is grafted in it, bringeth forth fruit according to the nature of the tree from which the graft was taken, and not such as the stock would have borne if it had not been grafted; so doth the wild stock of our old Adam, when the will and commandment of God, by the hand of the Spirit, is grafted on it, bring forth fruit after the will of God, and not after our own natural will. The occasional and particular commands of Christ, for such a time and upon such occasions, must be obeyed, no less than universal and perpetual commands, and the transgression of such commands is no less dangerous in the sad effects which it produceth. The examples of Abraham, (Gen. xxii.); of Moses, (Num. xx. 8); of Saul, (1 Sam. vx.); of Ahab, (1 Kings xx.); of the two men, whereof the one did wound, the other refused to wound the prophet, (1 Kings xx.); of Jehu, (2 Kings x.); of Amaziah, (2 Chron. xxv.); and of many others, are evi
dences of this truth. My humble desire therefore, and earnest exhortation is, that in your great wisdom, ye may consider what the Lord requireth of you at this time; and in your zeal set yourselves to the performance thereof, without discouragement or delay, against all difficulties. Although you should be tossed with waves and contrary winds at the command of Christ, yet in the fourth watch he shall come to you and comfort you, and in the end shall bring you safe to the shore. Do not that which seemeth good in your own eyes, but obey his voice. Add not to the law nor detract from it, but do all that is written, turning neither to the right hand nor to the left. And because nothing doth the Lord at this time more require, than the reformation of religion, which is long and earnestly expected at your hands by all the godly; go about it speedily, and put it not off upon carnal reason or worldly respects. We do distinguish betwixt open hostility and secret treachery; but we are also to distinguish betwixt profane policy and pious prudence. As the work of God is opposed by open hostility, and which is more dangerous, by secret treachery; so is it hindered by carnal reason and worldly policy. Men may apprehend, that if they should settle religion presently, many would fall off, and your affairs would not succeed so prosperously. But I believe the contrary to be true, that the policy which Jeroboam, and the Jews used in the time of Christ (John xi.), a case not unlike unto ours, brought this same very evil upon them, which they feared, and did endeavour to avoid by their policy. Luther used to say that three things would prove mighty hindrances to Christian religion. 1. Forgetfulness of the work of God. 2. Security, which he found prevailing already in his time, and 3. Policy and worldly wisdom, which would bring all things in order, and cure the public stirs with the counsel of man: to determine the present controversy by human reason, was in his judgment to go mad with reason. Hezekiah was not guided by policy in his reformation, but removed the high places, and brake the
images, and cut down the groves, and broke in pieces the brazen serpent that Moses had made; for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it, and he called it Nehushtan, (2 Kings xviii. 4). This he did in the first year of his reign, in the first month, and suddenly, (2 Chron. xxix. 3, 36). He cared neither for the Philistines, nor the king of Assyria, both of them rising against him, nor for the idolaters in the land, but, which was all his policy, he trusted in the Lord God of Israel, (2 Kings xviii. 5).
Some conceive that because I am a stranger, I may speak more freely than others; but for this very cause that I am a stranger, I am the more sparing in my expressions; yet this much I may say, that there be three things which seem very strange to me. 1. That any should be found to speak against all the Reformed Churches, and to draw disciples after them, unless they had great evidence of scripture, or convincing reasons for the innovations which they would introduce. 2. Although some such arise, yet it is a wonder that so intelligent a people should be carried away with every wind, and scattered into so many sects and divisions, which is a great scandal to religion, a great sin and shame to such a people, a spiritual judgment in itself, and the cause of many other judgments, spiritual and temporal, and an argument that this miserable war is not yet drawing to an end. 3. That reformation is suspended, because the people are distracted; reformation being the only means to reduce them to unity.
USE 3. The third duty which I recommend, is confidence in Christ against doubting. This was the apostle Peter's weakness, both at this time and afterward, that he doubted, and was afraid, which made him begin to sink; and there can be no full and thorough obedience without faith and confidence. Two things are necessary for this: 1. Selfdenial, and renouncing all confidence in yourselves, or your own wisdom, courage, strength, or multitudes, all which are but the arm of flesh, (Psalm xliv. 3-8). Wisdom will have us to use all good means, but faith will not