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that begins to set up to gather disciples and proselytes SERM. abroad in the world, that chair of the scorner, that disclaims religion as a pusillanimous thing, a ridiculous pedantic quality, that hath in their opinion dispirited and emasculated the world: or else, 2. By particular oppositions to His commands in the retail, sinning over all the precepts on either mount, taking part with the law of the members, against all the empires of the law of the mind, and under a Christian profession doing as much despite unto Christ as he that hath shut Him out of his mouth, and brain also; and in relation to these hostilities it is, that we ministers are posted from heaven like so many heralds at the news of a battery, or approach of the enemy, to demand a parley, before men proceed any further in their giantly Geopaxia, or fighting against God, and our embassy is very submiss, as though God did beseech you by us, as Lot doth the Sodomites on their assault of the angels, “We pray you brethren, do not so wickedly,” (Gen. xix. we pray you in Christ's stead that you will not proceed in [2 Cor. v. your course, that you will be pacified and reconciled unto 20.] God; and sure these are formidable slaughtering weapons, very bloody threatening enemies, that make God think fit to send out embassies for treaty, and not venture His heaven to be stormed by them.

A second sort of hostilities possibly here meant are these against ourselves, the fatalest and bloodiest in the world, the piercing and wounding, and butchering our own poor souls, deforming and enfeebling them with our wasting habits of sin, exhausting the very principles of civil ingenuous nature, leaving never a vital spark or seed of humanity behind, but violating and grieving and quenching all, a direct felonia de se, murdering and assassinating these divine creatures which God had prepared to people heaven, and casting them out to the noisomest dunghills, employing them to the meanest offices in the world. Nay hostilities to the flesh itself; those sins that undertake to serve the grosser part of us, to have special fidelities and kindnesses to the flesh in all their warrings against the soul, are not yet so faithful in their performances, work oft the greatest malices to that very flesh, cast it sometimes into the fire, sometimes into the water, ! Mark ix.

22.] despoil it of all the honour, beauty, spirits, joys, and life

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(Jas. iii.

SERM. itself, leave it the piteousest, disfigured, rifled, wasted

flesh imaginable, and so have their malices and treacheries against that also. But the truth is, these are but the mpoπύγμαι, Or σκιαμαχίαι, the prelusory lighter brandishings of these swords: the uncharitablenesses here especially designed are in the third place, those that (as our material swords and spears) are ordinarily employed against our brethren, or fellow Christians, either upon their lives, or their reputations, or their souls.

1. On their lives, when either our ambitions, or revenges, or which is the worst of all, and the bloodiest assassinate (when it is set on it, when it is gotten into the Jesuit

chamber of meditation) our πικρός ζήλος, bitter envying or 14.)

zeal, when that I say, like the blood of the mulberries to the elephant, shall inflame us to a brutality, a thirst of our

brethren's blood, turning the Christian into a Nimrod, a (Ger. x. mighty hunter before the Lord; giving the Church that new 9.)

notion of militant in shedding as much of other men's blood (and triumphing in that effusion) as in the primitive times it poured out of its own veins, when the heathen persecutors called for it; when Christians shall design God sacrifices,

bloody cannibal oblations, and, in that other stern sense of [Rom. xii. the Apostle's words, loyer's Ovolas, “ rational human sacri1.]

fices,” whole herds and hecatombs at once, and think to avert judgments, to work expiations, to perform supererogating services to God by that means.

2. On their reputations, whether in the language of the {Ps. lvii.

slanderer and reviler, “whose words are spears and arrows, 4.)

and his tongue a sharp sword,” in the Psalmist's dialect, the preparative to that former practising on the life, putting men into wild beasts' skins, that they may be worried, and torn to pieces in their disguises; or whether yet in the higher strain of the censorious anathematizer, that breathes out woes and damnations, passes that bloody sentence upon all that walk not in his path toward Canaan ; this spiritual assassinacy, this deepest dye of blood being most satanically designed on souls, and (because they cannot get those into their power) practising it in effigy, slaughtering them here in this the other Calvary, the place for the crucifying of reputations, turning men (upon any, upon no occasion) out of

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the communion of their charity, when they cannot out of SERM. bliss, and no doubt rejecting many whom the angels entertain more hospitably.

Lastly, on men's souls, whether by terrors or by invitations, by the sharp or by the soft weapon, working ruin and destruction on them : by the sharp, forcing to violate their consciences in hope to get their bodies or estates off from the torture,-as the Englishman is observed through impatience of any present pressure, to venture the vastest future danger that will pretend to ease or rescue him at the instant, and therefore they say the use of the rack was superseded in this nation, -and they that can be instruments in this savage enterprise, that can thus operate under the great Abaddon, in this profession of assaulting and wounding of souls, for which Christ was content to die, are sure some of the Oppo 'a "the sons of bloods,” in the plural, as the Hebrews call them; and so he also that is so skilled at the soft weapon, that by the fair insinuating carriage, by the help of the winning address, the siren mode or mien can inspire poison, whisper in destruction to the soul,-as the poetic present that had secret chains in it, fettering and enslaving of him that was pleased with it, ήσθη τα δώρα και εδέθη, και ο λύσων ουκ ήν, in the orator, the delight brought shackles, the beauty bands along with it, but no man to loose him that was presently ensnared by them,-he that can tole on the tame, well-natured, easily seducible into all the luxury, and the hell, the sin and the damnation imaginable, he is one of the fair-spoken swordmen, that David speaks of, “whose words are softer than (Ps. Iv.

21.] butter, and yet are they very swords.” You have had a view of the artillery in the text, the interpretation of the hostile weapons, “the swords and spears,” the furniture of the heathen's armoury before Christ's coming, (good God, that in · their travel round about the world, they were not at length all transported hither, and like the teeth of old, sowed and sprung up a whole harvest of swords and spears, of animosities, and uncharitablenesses in this our land !) I hasten to the more innocent tools, the weapons of the husbandman's

a [Johnson says of this word that it seems to be some barbarous provincial word meaning to train, to draw hy de

grees. It is used by Locke and Fletcher and others. ]

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SERM. warfare against his enemies, barrenness and unprofitableness,

the "plough-shares and the pruning-hooks” on the other side, my second particular. The signification of these emblems or hieroglyphics you will soon discern, when you but consider them, first, in the general notion, wherein both of them agree, instruments of husbandry; and then in their several particular proprieties. In the first, they both accord to express unto us the spiritual industry and skill, the office and the craft of dressing and cultivating of souls: we are God's husbandry, His beloved plantation, entrusted ministerially under Him to our own, to our brethren’s diligence.

1. Every man to take the care of his own field, his own soul, to help it to all the dressing and improving, to water it with his tears, when it is a dry soil, drain it with action and business, yea, and mix it with new mould, affiance and comfort in Christ when it is too moist, (the dissolving or weeping earth,) and when it is too beggarly and lean, to enrich it with all the whole mine of fatness that lies treasured to that pur. pose in the Word of God, to ply it through each season from

the seed-time of repentance (that sowing in tears), to the (Ps. cxxvi. harvest in joy and cheerfulness, the bringing our sheaves 6.]

with us, these worthy meet-fruits of that repentance; this earth of ours, I say, is thus to practise upon itself, or when it can do nothing else (the driest parched unregenerate soul) yet still, with that, to cleave, and open, and gasp toward heaven, to be ready to receive and suck in those showers, those influences which that is ready to afford us, and after

all the planting and watering, to acknowledge all to be God's [1 Cor. iii. kaptopopía, His fructifying or giving of increase. And not 6.]

only thus every man to be his own husbandman under God, but,

2. Every man again to help in his brother's field, to make his art and trade of husbandry as communicative and gainful as he can, not as the manner is of the covetous worldling, to enclose his skills for fear any man else should be as prosperous as he, but to diffuse our charity, and not only, as the ancients did, write books of husbandry (our spiritual georgics and geoponics), but go bodily and labour in the vineyards by our aid, and by our example encourage all the neighbourhood into this trade of thriving, set to that glo

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37, 38;

rious work of civilizing deserts, banishing briers and thorns SERM. (to which the lapsed Adam was condemned) quite out of the country, weed out all the ferity and barbarity out of men's minds, bring the whole region from the neglected waste to the trim fruitful inclosure, from the wilderness to the garden, and as far as it is possible towards some degree of return towards Eden, towards paradise again, I mean towards the innocence and fertility of that: and if ever there was a time when the province was large (I would I could say the harvest great) and need to pray to the Lord God of the harvest (Matt. ix. to send a whole army of labourers, not with their military, but

Luke x. 2.) their husbandly instruments for the έργα φιλανθρωπίας, ου otpatnylas, the grand charitable act, which Cyrus in Xenophon preferred before the military, to dress a wild people, and plant some seeds (of Christianity shall I say? nay) of honest civil nature amongst Christians, to make men ingenuous heathens, one pitch above savage or cannibal, to give a little Europe breed instead of a whole Afric of wilder creatures, and so in some measure to take away Christ's reproach, which the most unchristian lives of the generality of Christians have cast upon Him, this certainly were a season for such prayers in Christendom, and all the plough-shares and pruning-hooks in a country would be little enough for that purpose.

But then somewhat is here noted by the particular proprieties of the plough-shares and the pruning-hooks: the (Jer. iv. 3 ; plough-shares, they are for the breaking up our fallow

12.) grounds, wounding and tearing asunder our firm fast hardened habits of sins, that quarry of earth and stone, with the fair

green even surface over it, fetching up the root of the weeds and thorns, our corrupt customs of atheism and profaneness, that grew so voluntarily and so fast, nay, the very green sward, as we call it, the more innocent, blameless face of unregenerate morality, which though it have no great hurt in it, yet must give place to this seed of Christ, furrowing and turning it up all, that there may be the bare earth, as it were, the solum subactum, the broken humble contrite heart ready for this new sower, for the infusions of grace, which will never thrive if there be any thing left to

• Sen. Cyr. viii. 4. 7.]

Hos. x.

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