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ORDER AND MATTER OF THE SERMONS.
IV. I exhort therefore before all things that requests, supplications, &c. 1 Tim. ii. 1.
Ho, every one that thirsteth, come to the waters; &c.
Be like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, &c. Phil. ii. 2. VI. Teach me thy way, O Lord, and I will walk in thy truth. Psal. LXXXVi. 11.
VII. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.
Esay Lv. 1.
Be this sin against the Lord far from me, that I should cease to pray, &c. 1 Sam. xii. 23.
Jac. iv. 8.
VIII. Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near. Esay LV. 6.
Take us the little foxes which destroy the vines: for our vine hath flourished. Cant. ii. 15.
All the days of this my warfare do I wait, till my changing come. Job xiv. 14.
That being delivered out of the hands of our enemies we may serve him, &c. Luke i. 74.
Owe nothing to any man, but this, to love one another: for he that loveth, &c. Rom. xiii. 8.
He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what the
XIII. And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought, &c. Matt. xxi. 12.
XIV. Then Peter opened his mouth and said, Of a truth I perceive that God, &c. Acts x. 34.
XV. We therefore as helpers beseech you that ye receive not the grace of God in vain, &c. 2 Cor. vi. 2.
XVI. Marriage is honourable in all. Heb. xiii. 4.
XVII. After these things Jesus went his way over the sea of Galilee, &c. Joh. vi. 1.
XVIII. Then there shall be signs in the sun and in the moon, &c. Luke xxi. 25. XIX. And when he was entered into the ship, his disciples followed him, &c. Matt. viii. 23.
XX. The end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, &c. 1 Pet. iv. 7.
XXI. Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, &c. Psal. iv. 5. XXII. For the rest, brethren, fare ye well, be perfect, be of good comfort, &c. 2 Cor. xiii. 11.
THE FIRST SERMON.
MADE IN PAUL'S, ON THE DAY OF CHRIST'S NATIVITY.
1. Ho, every one that thirsteth, come to the waters; and ye that have no silver, come, buy, and eat: Come, I say, buy wine and milk without silver, and without money.
2. Wherefore do ye lay out silver, and not for bread; and your labour, without being satisfied? Hearken diligently unto me, and eat that which is good, and let your soul delight in fatness.
3. Incline your ears, and come unto me; hear, and your souls shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.
which he should do
OUR evangelical prophet Esaias, through the spirit of Christ, and revelation, hath in the former part of this his prophecy, eight hundred years before the birth of Christ (even as and suffer, if the thing had already been performed, such is the cer- Esaias. tainty of his prophecy) most lively described and set forth the nativity, the preaching, the persecution, the apprehension, the death, the resurrection, the ascension, yea, and the latter coming of our Saviour Christ to judge the quick and the dead; in such wise, that, for the substance thereof, no evangelist hath more perfectly or plainly set forth this great mystery of our salvation. He foretelleth that Christ shall be born of a Virgin; that his name shall be Immanuel; that his office shall be to preach the glad tidings of salvation to the poor in spirit; that he shall be led as a sheep to the shambles to be slain; that he shall be stricken for our sakes, and bear the burden of all our sins upon his back.
2. His birth, foreshewed so long ago by this heavenly His birth prophet, was in fulness of time accomplished, as this day, to that in Bethlem, a city of David, according to the testimony spoken beof that angel sent from heaven to proclaim the birth of prophet. the Son of God at the same time, saying: "Behold, I Luke ii. [10,
fore by the
[Matt. iii. 16, 17.]
bring you tidings of great joy, that shall be unto all the people; because this day is born unto you a Saviour, which is Christ our Lord, in the city of David." This is that Seed of the woman which breaketh the Serpent's head, that meek Abel murdered by his brethren for our sin, that true Isaac whom his father hath offered up to be a sacrifice of pacification and atonement between him and us. This is that Melchisedec, both a king and a priest, that liveth for ever, without father or mother, beginning or ending. This is Joseph that was sold for thirty pieces of money. This is that Samson full of strength and courage, who, to save his people and destroy his enemies, hath willingly brought death upon his own head. This is that Lord and Son of David, to whom the Lord said, Psal. cx.  Sit thou on my right hand." This is that Bridegroom in the Canticle, whose heart is so inflamed with heavenly love towards his dear spouse, which is his church. This is he, whom holy Simeon embracing prophesied that he [Luke ii. 32.] should be "a light to the Gentiles, and a glory to his people Israel;" he upon whom the Holy Ghost descended, and of whom the Father testified from heaven, "This is my well-beloved Son." This is that Lamb of God, pointed [John i. 29.] at by John, and sent to "take away the sins of the world;" to redeem us from thraldom, not with gold, nor silver, but with the inestimable price of his precious blood; to be made our wisdom, justification, sanctification, and Isai. ix. [6.] redemption. This is the Child that is born for us, the Son that is given for our cause, the King whose rule is upon his shoulders, whose name is Marvellous, the Giver of Counsel, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace; the same Messias which was shadowed in the ceremonies and sacrifices of old, which was prefigured in the law, and is presented in the gospel, and hath been approved to the world by signs and wonders, by so clear evidence as cannot be either dissembled or denied. Let us therefore embrace this babe with joy, let us kiss the Son, let us, with the angels of heaven, praise the Lord; let us sing their psalm to the honour of Luke ii.[14.] his name, "Glory be to God on high, and on earth peace." 3. The prophet Esaias having in spirit espied Christ, Christ. and seen the day, though far off, wherein the Saviour of
All men invited unto
the world should be born, calleth all the nations of the earth together, and exhorteth them to come, to behold, to believe, to embrace, to taste of the mercies of Christ Jesus, which are as water to refresh their thirsty spirits, and as milk to nourish and comfort their hearts. "All
you that thirst, come to the waters," &c. In which exhortation the prophet observeth this order: first, he exhorteth the people to come: secondly, he telleth whither and to whom they should come: thirdly, he teacheth after what sort they must come: fourthly, what commodity such as come shall receive.
is 1. Who are
4. "Come all that are thirsty." God's mercy great and general; he hath no partial respect unto any called: geperson: no country, no kindred, no age, no condition, no but specisex is excluded. He calleth Jew and Gentile, young and thirsty. aged, rich and needy, bond and free, man and woman. He commanded his gospel to be preached to all; "Go Mark xvi. your ways, preach the gospel to every creature." In the parable all are invited to that magnificent marriage and kingly supper. Christ himself crieth, in general words, "Come to me all that labour." If all be called and ex- Matt. xi. [28.] horted to come, what cause can any man allege sufficient to excuse his not coming? The buying of farms, or the trying of oxen, or the marrying of wives? They have base minds, that are withheld by these means. But, if any have a fearful and a trembling heart, who being called stand still afar off, not because they will not, but because they dare not approach near; them God pitieth, yea unto them especially, or rather only unto them, he saith, "Come you." Be thy sins never so great, fear not to come; for he that calleth thee hath stretched out his arms of mercy at length; they are wide open to embrace thee: mercy is ready to all that will receive it; and to them that need it most, most ready. A comfortable lesson to all sinners. 5. Come all that are "thirsty." He calleth not them which are full, and need neither meat nor drink, but such as be hungry and thirsty, them he calleth. The proud Pharisee, that was full of his own righteousness, hungered not after remission of sins; and they, who are over-filled with works of supererogation, and have store to serve themselves and others, never thirst to drink of the cup