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that I have suffered in my house, the thousands of oaths that are sworn in my family; for my part I will never have Ireland's blood lie at my door, therefore, servants, children, friends, I charge you, no more lying, no more swearing, no more Sabbath-breaking; for the Lord's sake, and for our poor brethren's sake in Ireland, let us put away the evil of our doings. You that have been drunkards, swearers, or adulterers, put away the evil of your doings; it may be this will bring God back again.
But though there be this, yet unless the troubles of England, the Achans be brought forth to punishment and thrown overboard, the sea cannot be appeased, the storm will not down. For, says the Lord, I am the same God that I was when wrath brake out upon Israel ; then stood up Phinehas, and slew Zimri and Cosbi, and my wrath was stayed. When wrath broke out in Joshua's time, Achan was brought forth and punished, and so my wrath was stayed. Do you think that I will take less at your hands? Therefore let us pray that the Achans may be brought forth, and when they are brought forth, justify the worthies of the Lord, own them, guard them, and stand by them. And when the work is done, rejoice with fear and trembling, wash your feet in the blood of the wicked, and give glory to God, and say, Blessed be the Lord, who only doth great things; marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty ; who would not fear thee?
He made an holy resignation of himself to be at God's disposing, so we may see Araunah did, i Chron. xxi. 23 : “ Then Ornan said to David, Take it to thee," &c. He gave up his threshing-floor, and his oxen, and his threshing instruments; those things that were his livelihood. So should we offer up our shops, our trades, yea ourselves and all we have to God.
Thus you have heard, when God is in a way of mercy, sin does make a stoppage in his proceedings. You acknowledge there is a stoppage made in our mercy; you have heard that those sins are as thieves in our candle, that do smear out our comforts; you have heard what a hard thing it is to bring God back to mercy again ; you have heard the work must be done ; and you have heard what to do: wherefore let every man, as in the sight of God, go home and think, and say, and resolve with himself, I have not been much affected with Ire
land's condition, I confess it, the Lord forgive me, but I will look more into it than ever I have done; I have not been much humbled for my own sin, and the sins of the time, but the Lord pardon it, and I will be more humbled; I have not cried unto the Lord, but from this day following I will cry mightily unto the Lord my God, it may be he will return. And I will put away the evil of my doings: I have been an unclean person, I have been a Sabbath-breaker, and have been proud of this coat, and that gold lace; I will be proud no more, farewell all bad company; and I will pray that justice may be done upon all Achans and troublers of Israel, and when it is done I will rejoice with trembling. And thus I have done the first doctrine : when God is in a way of mercy towards his people, there sin makes a stoppage in his proceedings.
CONTAINING SOME COMFORTABLE DIRECTIONS FOR SUCH AS HAVE BEEN, OR MAY BE DRIVEN FROM THEIR
HOUSES, GOODS, OR COUNTRY.
PREACA ED IN 1642.
“Our inheritance is turned to strangers, our houses to aliens.”. Lam. v. 2:
When I consider the estate of this kingdom, this country, and this town ; I cannot but fear, notwithstanding the speech of accommodation, that evil is now approaching. Our brethren in other parts of this land and in Ireland, are thrust out of their habitations; and what are we better than they in other places ? We are as sinful as others, as secure as others; and therefore why we should not fear their miseries I know not. That therefore you may not be unprovided in the evil day, I have made choice of these words, that in some measure we may be prepared for that condition.
The words are part of the church's lamentations, penned by Jeremiah, in which there are two things that are most considerable.
First, The matter of their lamentation.
Secondly, That those their goods were given, and “ turned unto strangers."
The goods lost are their inheritance, and their houses, their lands, and their habitations. Their lands were not such as they had purchased with their monies, but such as did descend upon them from their forefathers by promise. “Our inheritance is turned to strangers,” &c.* It is a great loss to lose one's lands, it is yet more to lose one's inheritance, it is yet more to lose one's house and habitation, it is yet more that they should be given to strangers. This was their con
* Contingit enim ali juando ut quis amittat prædium suam, agros et vites, taa.en domus ejus maneat intacta.-Calvin in locum.
dition, whereupon they said in verse 1, “Remember, O Lord, what is come upon us; consider and behold our reproach.” Whence I take up this observation :
That it is a matter of great lamentation for God's people to be driven from their houses and inheritances, and for strangers and aliens to be brought into them. When the Jews were in Babylon, and remembered their former estate and condition, they sat down and wept by the waters of Babylon. Saith the psalmist,“ We sat down and wept when we remembered thee, O Zion," Psalm cxxxvii. 1. This is matter of tears and weeping; a condition in itself exceeding sad and very lamentable. Which truth, that I may more fully open to you, and apply to ourselves according to our occasion, I shall deliver myself these four ways:
First, Shew that it is a sore and heavy affliction for a man to be driven from his habitation, and aliens to be brought into it.
Secondly, That it is such an affliction, as God suffers his own servants to fall under.
Thirdly, Why God suffers his own people thus to be driven from their houses and habitations.
Fourthly, How a man should prepare for the evil of that condition, and carry the matter so as he may have comfort and supportance in that estate.
First, I say, that it is a sore affliction, and matter of great lamentation, for a man to be driven from his house and habitation.
His house and habitation is the meeting place of all his outward comforts; the seat and centre and receptacle of all those outward blessings that he doth enjoy in this world. If he hath riches, they do meet him there; if friends, they do meet him there, if rest, quiet, peace, sleep, they do meet him there. There are all his pleasant things laid up. If he hath any money, choice gold or silver, left by his father, which he will not part with, but keep for a remembrance of the dead, there it is laid up. If he hath any choice linen or household stuff that was left by his mother, which he will not sell for any money; where are they laid up, but in his house? And therefore the church, in Lam. i., complains, that when the enemy came to rifle and plunder their houses, the adversary had spread out his hand upon all her pleasant
things. Now whence is grief, but from the losing that which a man counts pleasant ? And for this cause, some say, the valley of Megiddo was so mournful a place, because it was the valley of Hadadremmon;* that is, say they, the valley of the cutting of their pleasant things. Zech. xii. 11. So that when a man's house is spoiled, and he is outed, it is as it were a little valley of Hadadremmon, a man's house, &c. As a man's house is the nest where all these eggs are laid, and therefore when a man is driven from thence, the meeting place of all his outward comforts, surely it must be an exceeding sad thing and very lamentable.
To say nothing of the reproach that doth come thereby, or of the violence that doth come therewith; it is the judgment threatened, threatened against the wicked, and those that are most ungodly. The contrary is often promised unto God's people: “ They shall build houses and inhabit them, and they shall plant vineyards and eat the fruit of them : they shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat; for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands : they shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble,” Isa. Ixv. 21, 22, 23. On the contrary, when God threatens evil to a place and people, this is the evil that he denounceth; that he will drive them from their houses and habitations, and that others shall be brought into them : “ But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all his commandments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee : thou shalt betroth a wife, and another man shall lie with her; thou shalt build an house, and thou shalt not dwell therein ; thou shalt plant a vineyard, and shalt not gather the grapes thereof,” &c. Deut. xv. 28, 29, 30. Now is it nothing for a man to go up and down under the wounds of a threatening ? Saith Paul, “ I bear about in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.” But such an one may say, I bear in mine estate and name and body, the marks of the threatening ; oh,
* LXX. Legunt Hadadremmon, sicut planetus mali granati quod in campo succiditur ; quia fortasse quo tempore occisus fuit Josias mala punica occisa sunt, quæ Judæis erant in deliciis. Theodor, similitudinem sumi putat ab eo, strepitu qui a lignatoribus editur cum mala punica succiduntur.