« AnteriorContinuar »
Lord will not delay, but it shall then be fulfilled, and the Lord will clearely manifest: to all Nations the great grace which he hath to show to the sons of men, and this is long agoc foretold, Efaj l$. 6, J, 8. In this mountain shall the Lord of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the Lees, of sat things full of marrow, of wines on the Lees well refined: And he will destroy in chis mountain die face of the covering cast over ail people, and that is ch • pouting out of this Vial upon the ayre, for the sace of the covering, is the ayre in my Text, 'I hen will the Lord make a feast of fat things, then will he swallow up death in victory, and wipe away tcarcs trom oft*all saces,; nd the rebuke of his people (hail be taken away from off all the e.-.rth : this is also prophesied of, Efi.y. 11. 6, 7, 8,9. They shall not hu t n >r destroy in all mine holy mountame, and the reason is: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge ofthe Lord, -s the waters cover the Sea: and then, Tt is done : The mystery of iniquity is abolished, there is no nrredarkneffe, nor destruHi m, and the calling of the Gentiles, which was a mvstery to the Tcwes, shall be then fully accomplished, and tie calling of the J ewes, which the Ap stle calleth a mystery to us Genriles, Rom. 11.25. shall be then fulsilled, and so the mvstery of God is finished.
Three Reasons doth the Text give us hereof. 1. First, from the manner of the entrance of this heavenly gl ^ry into the hearts of men, whether it come into private persons, or publique States; Ic com.nechte r.blv with lightnings and chundcrmgs.the which comming from God, doe so terriEg the hearts of men, and the sta:e of the world, that they shall see plainely how they have beene deluded with desperaiefollyes, cmd when men are put unto such an earthquake in their spirits ; this will be the point they come unto: Men w\ brethren v. hat shall we doe t , be saved? as did the J aylor when he had been soundly shaken with the earthquake, Atls 16.26.30.and so ic will be with Kingdomcs,\vhen God hath in like fort shaken them, they will contend for true Religion, and will not then be baffled out and deluded with vanities, as now they be: when the spirits of men are terrified, and they feeleno salvation in their Religion, thev know not what shall become of their pr-.cious soulcs, this will set all the world on worke to looke about them: for upon this ground you mail fee Indians, and Jews, and Pagans gaping after salvation, when they see by these terrible stormes, and thunc'ers, that al! their Re'igior.s arc but Co many refuges of lies, thenis there worke in hand indeed, which when God hath begun hee will also finish it unto the day or Christ,?nd it will be such an earthquake, as was never heard of in the world : Heretofore so long as this worke was found amonjr poore Christians, the great Lords of the world persecuted them, and dt vised all manner of cruell torments forthem: but when they fe!c ihn the wrath of God was kindled against them, then t!;.?ir hears fell, and they were ali in a combustion for the state os their soulcs belove the Lord : now they were glad to renounce their fupiters, and jHr*o->st and to embrace Christianity, and to hearken to abetter Ccv nant, this is the effect of thundcrings and lightnings, md vovees it fjone biasteth Idolatry', and forceth man to feefce aster a cleaver passage to heaven.
1 he second Reason is taken from the power of the swing know- ■ ledge of Christ to dispell this Popish ignorance, and to carry an end the heart of a man with such power, that lie can no longer lie at quiet in his naturall estate • but it worketh in men these foure effects.
1. It subdueth and tameth the hearts of men that now they will joyn themselves unto the people of God, Efa, i \ .6.y, 8.the VVolfe shall lie with the Lambe, the Leopard shall lie downe with the Kid,&c. So great is their change in their hearts, that mens Ravenous tvrannies are taken away, and there is wrought in them, a kindly sweete unshaken frame, that will so bre.-.ke lorth against Gods people as formerly; thus doth the earthquake.shake out drosse, and corruptions, and establish the heart in a sweete gracious frame of Spirit.
2. Secondly, The knowledge of Christ will breed division, as well as conjunction ; Think? you (saith Christ) that Iam come to snidp 'ace, I t*llyon nay, but the sword: To set men at variance araong themselves, the sather against the sonne, and the fonne a^ainst the father, nd t!:e mother against the daughter,&c. And this division is made in Cities, anA in Kingdomes, Aii.\^.$. The city was divided, and part held with the Apostles, and part held with the J ewes: so it is in the Text, the arxeat city was divided into three parts, some arc hardened in their ignorance, and some are drawneout of it, and a third pare will stand Neuters betweene
Bbb 3 both both to see, which way the ballance will turne, and these are also hardened in their blindnefle.
3 .Thirdly the faving knowledge of Christ hath in it this power to cause men to rise up in armes against all the enemies of the G jspell of Christ in a lawfull way of God: There is a power in true Religion, thr.t makcth the hearts of the timerous to be stirfe.and strong, that where as men were before atr.-.id of the power of the house of Austria, and of the Kin? of Spaine, and of the rest of the Catholike Princes, there isa power in the Spirit of Christ, that will dispel; all these, had but men the zeale of G od in their hearts, it would make all these scares to be like Scar crowes, and makes men bold to bid battell unto all those that stand out ag:.inst Re!ig;on, solarre as the Lawes of a State may beare them out.
4. A fourih power of this knowledge, is to blow up all the inventions of men in the worship of God,whcrby men have deluded themselves and others ; when once mens hearts are lifted up in the waves of the Lord, as it is faid of Joho/hœpbœt that his heart was, 2 Chro.iJ.6. and then he tooke away the High phccs.and groves out of ffteUb: So when the zeale of Godlifteth up the hearts of his people, then will they not endure a consecrated place in all the world where they come And when this Viall is poured out, the earth (hall be full of this knowledge of God,and then all the Chappels of Ease,and Churches of state, and Temples of glery,whereby the world hath taene deluded, they will not leave them J iconc upon a stone uat (h-.il not oe thrownc downe: This is the second Reason, taken from rhe power of faving knowledge, which subdueth mens wilde nature:, worketh holy division, ?iveth courage, and the power of zeale ac-nst all superstitions, and inventions of men, though now in some places vou may not passe through with a burden.nor looke upon the wall thereof. The zeale of the Lord of hoaPt will blow them up/thole places will be laid open to the rest of the streetes, and become but common soyle, they will not then be regarded but trampled upon. Reels. 3. 1 he Third Reason is .Vom the just judgement of God upon all that are not efTestually wrought upon bv this favin? knowledge of God.ismcn come not in on-some measure to a perfect accomplishment of Gods worke in their hearts,therc will fall such a plague of haile upon them, as will teare away their vaile, and rend away their
hypocrihypocritical! shifts,and goodly pretences, and wash down their untempered dawbings, t herewith they have dawbcd the wslls of their standing in the Church of God : He will so rend them to pieces, that if they will not come in, he will leave them tc such openblisphemies, that you ihall clearely fee there is no more hope or ihcir conversion, not salvation.
The Use of this point in the lirst place, may serve to teach -r^Æ-j _ you a just reproofe of the Popish conceit, That ignorance is the mother of Devotion, unlelTe they me^ne it of their owne devotion; True, it is the mother of their devotion indeed: so long as their people are hood-winked with it, they will thinke they doe God good service, if they be in the Charch, though they understand nothing there, and if when they die, theybeburyed in a Church-yard, they thinke they are the better, and yet better if they be buryed in a Church, and yec better, if it be in a Chancell,.and better then so, if it be under the Altar, and better ihen. that, if a Fryars Cowle be wrapped about them. This is indeed the mother of whippings, and fcourgings of auricular confessions, and of all Popish superstitions; for in truth, take away this ignorance, and all Popish devotion doth of it seise sall to the ground, if once this vaile be removed from the sace of all Nations.
Secondly, Learne from hence to fee what great need, wee 2' have all of us to grow upln saving knowledge, and in prayer, for the increase thereof, that we may propagate the same daily more and more; you see what wonders it will doe, Gods people of old prayed for us; Psul. 6j. 1. God be mercifuil to us, ami bleflse us, and cause his sace to shine upon us: And for what end i That thy way may be known upon earth, and thy saving truth among all Nations. And when once the light cf the Gospell is dispersed, it will bring in all Nations, it will thunder upon them, and never leave irrull it have changed them. If this Via ':dge of God come amongst an army of men, they will i .. touch any thing that is their brethrens, not meddle, nc r,ake with any to doe them harme, no mans purse shall be taken from him, no mans goods taken away without due recompence, only they will not be deluded with fhaddowes, nor suffer mountaines to overtop them, neither
will they be encompassed with hands : they will raise such an earthquake sirst, in Church, and Common-wealth, as you will at length wonder at, for though it begin in a corner of the world, it will not cease till it have shaken all Christendome, for when men once begin clearely to see winch is thfetrue Church of Gcd, that it is not Cathedrall, nor Provincials nor Diocesan, but congtcgationall only, the officers whereofare godly Pastors, and T eachers, and ruling Elders, and Deacons. And when they fee that the Saints which they have embraced, and esteemed, are not the true Saints of God, nor these the Churches, nor those the officers of Christ wherewith they have been gulled : but they fee now who are the Saints of the most high ; and can put a difference now between precious and vile : In this way men will goc on to raise such an earthquake (and that not besides the Law neither) that if any City rife up against them, fall it must, and stoop unto them, and at length Rome it seise shall sall, and all the Cities of the Nations that cleave unto her, and every mountaine shall bee rocted up, and all their consecrated places shall lie levell with the common soile, this will the Lord bring to passe, and will not leave till he hath wrought his great work in the world, this* is his revealed will, and it will not saileuntill every jot and tittle of it be fulfilled. Let us therefore pray both night and day, in season, and out of season for our brethren in our native countrey, for whom God hath wrought all these great things, and for whom greater things vet remain to be done, for whom our work is to wrastle with God, that they may not perish for lack of knowledge, nor nistake a salse Church for a true, (and salse it is, if it be either Cathedrals Provinciall, National!, or Diocesan) Bu: pray we, that they may see the Moone, which God hath set in :hc Firmament, even the true forme of a Church of the new Testament. And also that Christ may bee better known in ali the parts cf his Kingly ossice, and government in his Church, that they may fee who are Papists, and who are the true Saints of God, and who are counterfeit, that they discerne between clcane and uncleane : for if the saving knowledge of God grow up unto any ripenesse among them, it will not bcare many things that arc there remaining, many