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For the light affliction which is but for a moment, trouble them, and he speaketh of them rather as they appear to others then as they do feel themselves, or of them rather in some crazy fits of distraction, then in the constant uniformity of their true health.
And I deny not, but the dearest of Gods Saints, here on earth, have their fudden qualms, and their agonizing pangs, and convulsions, even such as do sometimes shake their very faitly; as you have seen in this Church of the Jews, that make their bellies and bowels without them to tremble, and their lips to quiver, and themselves to fear within themselves, but when they remember Jesus Christ, the authour and finisher of their faith, sayirig to them. Ecce egosum vobiscum ad finen saculi, behold, I am with you to the end: this reneweti the face of the earth, and puts new life into them and quickenech them; for how can they want any thing, habent enim omnia, qui habent habftitem'omnia: for they have all, who have him that hath all : fe? Pre that gave us his son, how could
he not together with lan give us
all things. 5.1 heart'st. Ambrose thus comforted upon his death bed; Norita vixi inter vos at me pudeat vivere, nec mori timeo, quia bonum Dominum habemus: for it is a true rule, pænitens de peccatis delet, de dolore gaudet.
Another note to distinguish this joy in the Lord, from all o- 2 Signe. ther joys is the fulnesse and exuberancy of it, for it is more joy then if corn and wine and oile encreased, else what needed the Apostle having said, Rejoyce in the Lord, always to adde? And again, I say Rejoyce: what can be more then always? but stilf adding to the fulnesfe of our joy, till our cup do overflow.
This is that measure, which the Apostle doch so comfortably speak of, which is both full and pressed down, and heaped, and running over, for it is still growing and encreasing like the wáters in Ezekiels vision, from the ancles to the loins, to the chin over head and ears, for waders, for swimmers, for saylers.
Upon working days rejoyce in the Lord, who givech thee strength to labour, and feedeth thee with the labour of thy
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hands: on holy days, rejoyce in the Lord, who feasteth thee
In plenty, rejoyce again and again, because the Lord giveth,
This poor distressed Church, being in deportation and feeling the heavy burthen of affliction, yet it found comfort in the Lord.
Jerusalem remembred in the days of her affli&ion, and of her
And this joy was quickened with hope of the favour of
extasie, as David expresseth it. when the Lord turned again the Pfal.126,1 captivity of Sion, then werè we like them that dream. Then was our
mouth filled with laughter, and our tongne with finging.
Therefore, is the joy of the ungodly compared to a candle, Job 18.5. which spends it self to the snuffe, and gocth out in a stench,
and evill favour, for the very name of the wicked shall 705 ;,BE-80. Ifai.58.8. the just, faith God: Thy light shall break forth as the morninga
this begins in obscurity, and groweth more and more till the Sun riling, and yet groweth till the noon day, that is also pro
mised the just. Verse 10.
Thy light shall rise in obscurity, and thy darkreflè shall be as the
noon day: he expoundeth himself. Verse il. Thou shalt be as a watered garden, and like a spring of water,
omhose waters fail not.
Therefore, it is said of the just,' that, they shall bring forth fruit in old age, they shall be fat and flourishing: and this is,
To hew that the Lord is upright, that he is our rock; and that there is no unrighteousnesse in him.
For his word is gone out, his promise is past to his Church, he will neither deny it, nor reverse it, to comfort them with all spirituall confolation, for he is the God of all consolation, not of some onely
2. The ground of this joy: wherein consider,
The Lord is ber strength. 3 The Lord will perform two great mercies to her. S'1 He will make her feet like bindes feet.
2 He will make ber walk upon her high places. ì Under the title of Salvation, I comprehend not unely corporall, and spirituall, but eternall salvation also.
2 Under the name of strength, I understand the whole mercy of supportation, by which God doth preserve them in their deportation and return.
3 Under the title of Hindes feer, I contein the mercy of expedition, whereby they are delivered from their captivity in Babylon.
Under the title of walking upon high places, the mercy of restitution to their own land, and of conftitution, and eftablishing of them in their land.
The just live, and are supported by faith, apprehending these full mercies.
I Of Salvation. The Church of God hath need of salvation; and therefore: great cause to rejoyce in it.
1 In respect of her spirituall enemies, for your adversary the Devill goeth about like a roaring lyon seeking to devour: faith the Apostle.
These spirituall enemies do assault the Church. 1 Out of their own malignity and envy to man, and to this purpose, the powers and principalities of darknesse do go always armed both with temptations to corrupt them, and with fiery darts of provocations to destroy thcm, for this it is, that Saran goeth and cometh to survey the earth, and to pry. and search where he may fasten any hold, where he may gripe: lo St. Bernárd faith. Hoftes indefissi nos assidue oppugnant, modò apertè, modò frandulentèr: he gives this reason Invidet hun mano generi, quia pravidet horum Deum futurum.
2 By way of commission, for God doch employ Devils iaz the Church amongst his holy ones, both for probation of their faith, for exercise of their patience, for preservation of them.
in humility, for punishment of their sin, for sweetning to them the hopes, and quickening their desires of a better life, and for the polishing and burnishing of their example, that others that be lookers.on, may know before hand, that this life to a just manis militis a warfa -e, and they that will joyn with the Church, mu know before they put their hand to the plough, what hazards they must run , lest they look back, and make their sin more then it was by apostasie, departing away from the living God.
It is cleer in fobs example, that Saran had commiflion from God himself to try the faith, and love, and patience, and humility of fob, and to make him an example.
And as clearit is, which the Psalmist faith of Ifratt, when Plal.78.21 they started afide from God, that a fire was kindted in facob, and anger came up against Israel
: and in these executions, God doth uphold the miniftery and service of evill angels, as he did
against his enemies the Egyptians, of whom it is fo faid. Verse 49. He caft upon them the fiercenesle of his wrath, anger, and indigna
tion and trouble, by sending evill angels amongst them.
St. Paul confesleth that least he should be too much exal2 Cor.12.7 ted with that Metaphyficall raptare above measure. There was
given me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, left I should be exalted above measure.
Thus in refpect of spirituall enemies without us, we have need of a salvation, the rather because our own corruptions within us are falfe tous, and ready to joyn with Saran against
2. In respect of humane oppofition, for the regiment and Kingdom of Christ is thus alligned to him; Be thou ruter in
the midst of thine enemies. David doth well exprefTe this. Psal.83.5. For they have consulted together with one confent', they are confe
derate against thee.
The tabernacles of Edom, and the Ihmaelites, of Moab, and the Hagarenes
Gebal, and Anmon, and Amalek, the Philistines, with the inhabitants of Tyre
Ashur also is joyned with olim , they have helpen the children of Lot.
Here is no mention of this sweeping broom of Babylon, that comes in the Reer of this march, and carrieth them clean away.
Christendom hath for many years suffered from the Turke, whose invasions encroach upon the bounds thereof, and gain ground of it daily.
And even within onr selves, the Pope and all the friends of his Hierarchie, do hate and persecute so much of the true Protestant Church, as they either can or dare attempt, and the earth hath nothing to hew more bloudy and cruell then the Spanish Inquisition : nothing more cunning and dangerously plotting then the society of Jesuits : so, that in refpe& of humane opposition, there is great need of a falvation
3 In respect of the punishments deserved for fin, for what Nation hach so kept in their sins to themselves, that we have not found means to impart them even into the Church. Solomon could not take a wife out of Egypt, but his wisdom proved too weak a fence against the temptation to Idolatry. Nehemiah presseth this example.
Did noe Solomon King of Israel fin by these things : yet among many Nations, was there not a King like him, who was beloved of his God, and God made him King over all Ifrael; nevertheless, even him did out-landish women
caufe to sin. The children of Ifrael could not eat of the fat and fruits of the land of Goben, to relieve their famine, but they were mingled with the Egyptians, and learned their works:and worshipped their gods. Therefore, in regard of their many and great sins, they needed falvation
These fins endangered their heavenly hopes, for the wages thereof is death.
This Dodrine may turn to great profit to us.
I If wee apply our felves to the means, by which wee may apprehend this fálvation : For this generall apprehension of Gods mercy in Christ, which the most part of common profef