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rags of her sackcloth; not mourning more than mourned for; pitied, no less than forsaken; when the God of our Salvation looked down upon her deep afflictions, and miraculously proved unto us, that unto him belong the issues from death.
It was he, that put it into the heart of his gracious servant to commnand a Nineveh-like Humiliation. What pithy, what passionate Prayers were enjoined to his disconsolate Church! With what holy eagerness, did we devour those Fasts! How well were we pleased, with the austerity of that pious Penitence! Whát loud cries did beat on all sides at the gates of heaven! and with what inexspectable, unconceivable mercy were they answered! How suddenly were those many thousands brought down to one poor unity, not a number! Other evils were wont to come on horseback; to go away on foot: this mortality did not post, but fly away. Methouglit, like unto the great ice, it sunk at once. Only so many are stricken, as may hold us awful; and so few, as may leave us thankful
. Oh, how soon is our fasting and mourning turned into laughter and joy! How boldly do we now throng into this house of God, and fearlessly mix our breaths in a common devotion! This is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes. O thou, that hearest the prayer, to thee shall all flesh come.
And let all flesh come to thee, with the voice of praise and thanksgiving.
It might have been just with thee, O God, to have swept us away in the common destruction: what are we better than our brethren? Thou hast let us live, that we may praise thee. It might have been just with thee, to have enlarged the commission of thy killing angel, and to have rooted out this sinful people from under heaven: but in the midst of judgment thou hast remembered mercy. Our sins have not made thee forget to be gracious, nor have shut up thy loving kindness in displeasure. Thou hast wounded us, and thou hast healed us again; thou hast delivered us, and been merciful to our sins for thy Name's sake.
Oh, that we could duly praise thy Name in the great Congregation! Oh, that our tongues, our hearts, our lives might bless and glorify thee! that so thou mayest take pleasure to perfect this great work of our full deliverance, and to make this nation a dear example of thy mercy, of peace, victory, prosperity, to all the world.
In the mean time, let us call all our fellow-creatures to help us bear a part in the praise of our God. Let the heavens, the stars, the winds, the waters, the dews, the frosts, the nights, the days; let the earth and sea, the mountains, wells, trees, fishes, fowls, beasts; let men, let saints, let angels bless the Lord, praise him, and magnify him for ever. Blessed, blessed for ever be the Lord, who loadeth us daily with benefits; even the God of our Salvation, to whom belong the issues from death. Oh blessed be the Lord God of Israel, who only doth wonderous things; and blessed be his glorious Name for ever and ever: and let all the earth be filled with his glory. Amen.
THE DEFEAT OF CRUELTY:
PRAYED FOR, AND LAID FORTH IN A SERMON PREACHED, AT A
SOLEMN FAST, AT WHITEHALL.
PSALM Ixviii. 30. Rebuke the company of spear-men, the multitude of the bulls, with the
calves of the people, till every one submit himself with pieces of silver': scatter thou the people that delight in war.
The same Psalm, that lately yielded us a Song of Thanksgiving, now affords us a Prayer for Victory: such variety of spiritual Howers grows in every bed of this divine garden. Our occasions cannot change so oft, as God can fit us with change of notes.
The last verse before my text was a prediction of kings bringing presents to God: this is a prayer for dissipation of etiemies. It is not for nothing, that the Psalmist interrupts his prophecy with a petition. Hostility blocks up the way to devotion. Even the laws of God are silent in the clashing of arms. That kings may bring presents to God, God must give a happy cessation of arms to them.
It is not long since we saw the Lord's Anointed approach to this altar of God, with presents of thanksgiving, for our late deliverance from the raging pestilence: now we come to sue, and expect that God would crown his royal head with garlands of victory; and rebuke the company of spear-men, the multitude of bulls, with the calves of the people; and scatter the people that delight in war.
May it please you, first, to see the ENEMIES; then, the DEFEAT. The Enemy is described by a threefold title: 1. Fera arundinis, the company of the spear-men, or, beasts of the reeds: 2. The multitude of bulls, with the calves of the people : 3. The people that delight
The Defeat is double: Increpa, and Dissipa ; Rebuke, and Scatter: Rebuke, is for the two first; yet not absolutely, but with limitation, Till they submit themselves with pieces of silver : Disa sipation is for the last; Scatter the people that delight in war. Those, that will be unjustly warring, are worthy of Rebuke; but those, that delight in war, are fit for nothing but Čonfusion.
1. To begin with the ENEMIES.
1. Why doth the same Hebrew word signify 4 Beast, and À com pány? Is it, because the multitude is bellua multorum capitum, "a beast of many heads ?” Or is it, because of the sociable nature even of brute creatures, which still affect to herd and flock together? For, lest any man stumble at the word, that, which is here translated fera, is, by the same hand, turned pecus, verse 11.
Both the senses do well; A BEAST, or A COMPANY: the one implies the qualities of the Church's enemies, that they are of a fierce and beastial disposition; the other, their number and combination.
For the former: Who can express the savage cruelty of the enemies of the Gospel? Look into the ancient story of the infancy of Christianity, ye shall see how men set their wits on the rack to de vise torments. To shew you that, in a painted table, which poor Christians felt, would be a spectacle of too much horror. What should I lay before you their gibbets, wheels, stakes, caldrons, furnaces, and all their fearful pomps of death? What should I tell you of men dressed every way, that meats were for the palate? Here was Aaying, frying, boiling, broiling, roasting, baking, hashing, and all possible kinds of hideous forms of Murder. To forget all old immanities, what should I shew you the flames of our late Marian times? What should I bring you into the holy inquisition, and shew you there all the bloody engines of torture; a hell upon earth? What should I present you with the whips, halters and knives of Eighty Eight? or raise up your hair with the report of those Spanish cruelties, which were exercised upon our men in the Indies, during the late war? Death was but a sport, in respect of the torments in dying. Lo here, a Beast; yea, not Bestia, but Fera, a Savage Beast; yea, worse than either. Did ever man do thus to beast? Ifa Baptista Porta have devised a way to roast a fowl quick; or some Italian executioner of gluttony have beaten a swine dead with gentle blows, to make a Cardinal's morsel; every ingenuous man is ready to cry out of this barbarous tyranny; yea,
very Turks would punish it with no less than death: yea, if a Syracusan boy shall but pick out a crow's eyes, those pagans could mulct him with banishment. Nay, what beast did ever thus to man? nay, did ever one beast do thus to another? If they gore and another in their fury, or feed on each other in the rage of their hunger, that is all: they do not take pleasure, in saucing each other's death, with varieties or delays of pain. None but man doth thus to man; and in none lightly but the quarrel of religion. False zeal takes pleasure in surfeits of blood, and can enjoy others' torment. Hence are bloody massacres, treacherous assassinations, hellish powder-plots, and whatever stratagem of mischief can be devised by that ancient man-slayer; from whose malicious and secret machinations, Good Lord, deliver us!
As the enemies of the Church are Fera, A Beast; so they are CETUS, A COMPANY; yea, a Multitude. Well may they say, with the Devil in the possessed man, My namie is Legion, for we are
grasp one many; a legion of many thousands : yea, Gad, for a host cometh ; a host of many legions: yea, a combination of many hosts: Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek, the Philistines, with thein that duell at Tyre; Ashur also is joined to them. Here is ennycie noumpevouévwv, "The Church of the malignant:" a Church? yea, a Worid; mundus in maligno. Divide the world, with our learned Brerewood, into thirty parts, nineteen of them are Pagans; and they are enemies. Of those eleven that remain, six are Mahometans; and they are enemies. Of those other five that remain, there is an Antichristian faction, that challenges universality; and they are enemies. Stand now with me upon the hill, and take a survey
of the enemies: see them lie scattered like grasshoppers in the valley; and tell me, whether the Church have not reason to say, Lord, how many are they that rise up against me! Yet, when all is done, that no man may be discouraged, if we have but our eyes opened with Elisha's servant, to see the host of heaven glittering about us, we shall boldly say, There are more with us than against us.
Yet, if these, that are against us, were many, and not united, it were nothing. A large shower loseth itself, while the drops are scattered in the sands; but many drops met make a torrent, yea, an ocean. Here is Cætus: their heads, their hearts, their hands are laid together. And why do not we learn wit and will of those that hate us? Why are we several, while they are conjoined? Why should partial factions and private fancies distract us, when the main cause of God is on foot ? Beleague yourselves, ye Christian Princes and Potentates; combine yourselves, ye true-hearted Christians, and be gathered by the voice of God's angel to a blessed and victorious Armageddon. . But why fera ARUNDINIS, the beast OF THE REEDS? I do not tell you of St. Jerome's descant upon bestia calami, “ the beast of the quill;" that is, writers for falsehood: though these, these are the great Incendiaries of the world, and well worthy of the deepest increpation. Here, doubtless, either the beasts of the reeds are the beasts that lie among the reeds; as Cassiodorus hath given us a hint, Leones domestica canneta reliquerunt, “ The lions have left the reedy thickets:” or else, the reed is here the spear, or dart. We know some regions yield groves of reeds : ye would think them so many saplings or samplars, at the least: arborescere solent calami, as Calvin. These were of use in war, for darts or spears. The van-guard therefore of David's enemies are spear-mnen, or darters: for they were wont to dart their spears, as you see in Saul, 1 Sam. xx. 33. And why this? in a sword-fight, we come to close hand-blows; such as a quick eye and nimble hand may perhaps avoid: but the spear, and dart, strikes afar off; pierces where it strikes; smites unseen, unevitably. For the remoteness, violence, irresistibleness of the blow, are the enemies of the Church described by the spear and dart. Where they cannot come, they send dangerous emissaries; headed on purpose to wound the best State to death: felt, ere they can be seen; and, so soon as they are felt, killing. What do these
but follow their General, whose spiritual weapons are fiery darts? Eph. vi. 16. Much and lamentable experience hath this State (if ever any) had of these mischievous engines of commotion, that have been hurled hither from beyond the Alps and Pyrenees. What is the remedy, but the same which is against the Devil, The shield of prevention? Stir up your vigilant care, o ye Great Leaders of Israel, by the strict execution of wholesome laws, to avoid the dint of these murderous subornations. And, when ye have done your best, it must be the Lord of Hosts, the great Protector of Israel, that must break the bow, and knap the spear in sunder; Psalm xlvi. 9.
2. Their second title is BULLS; for their ferocity, for their strength. The Lion is a more lordly beast; but the bull is stronger; and, when he is enraged, more impetuous.
Such are the Enemies of the Church. How furiously do they bellow out threats, and scrape up the earth, and advance their crest, and brandish their horns, and send out sparkles from their eyes, and snuff out fames from their nostrils, and think to bear down all before them! What should I tell you of the fierce assaults of the braving enemies of the Church, whose pride hath scorned all opposition, and thinks to push down all contrary powers, not of men only, but of God himself? Let us break their bonds, and cast their cords from us. Who is the Lord, that I should let Isracl go? Where is the god of Hamath, and of Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivah? Have they delivered Samaria out of my hand? Il'ho are they among the gods of the countries, that have delivered their country out of my hand, that the Lord should deliver Jerusalem out of my hand? saith proud Rabshakeh; 2 Kings xviij. 34, 35.
Hark how this Assyrian Bull roars out blasphemy against the Lord of Hosts; and all the rest of that wild herd have no less
grass on their horns: stay but a while, and ye shall see him withed, and haltered, and staked, and baited to death. Here only is the comfort of the poor menaced Church, that the Mighty God of Israel, who says to the raging sea, Here shalt thou slay ihy proud wares, can tame at pleasure these violent beasts, or break their necks with their own fury. So let thine enemies perish, O Lord.
These bulls are seconded with their own brood, THE CALVES OF THE PEOPLE.
Who are they, but those, which follow, and make up the herd? the credulous seduced multitude; which, not out of choice, but example, join in opposition to God. Silly calves, they go whither their dams lead them, to the field or to the slaughter-house! Blind obedience is their best guide. Are they bidden to adore a God, which they know the baker made? they fall down upon their knees, and thump their breasts; as beating the heart, that will not enough believe in that pastry-deity. Are they bidden to go on pilgrimage to a chapel, that is a greater pilgrim than themselves; that hath four several times removed itself, and changed stations, as Turselline confidently? they must go, and adore those wandering walls. · Are they bidden to forswear their allegiance, and to take arms