« PrécédentContinuer »
their own families, they disturb the place and kingdom where they live. If a meek person shall be hid in the day of God's anger, oh, where will you appear that are of a froward temper? I say, where will you appear in the evil day? Bear the word of exhortation. It is only to get a sweet and loving disposition. Oh, that our love might flourish at last and abound towards one another and to all the saints.
Hereby, even your meekness, ye walk as becometh the gospel, ye inherit the earth, are made like unto Jesus Christ, have a great power and credit in heaven for yourselves and others, and shall be hidden in the evil day.
And therefore, if any are here that are of a froward and perverse disposition, go to God and say, Lord, give me meekness; and wherein I have been froward, either in my family or elsewhere, forgive me this frowardness, and let not the kingdom fare the worse by it.
It may be you will say, Oh, but he, or he, or he hath much provoked me, and I cannot bear it.
But suppose that you have a ball of gold in your hand, and another throw dirt in your face, will you throw away that golden ball at him, because of the dirt that he doth throw on you? This meekness, sweet disposition, is your ball of gold; and what though he throw dirt in your face? you must wash the dirt off his feet. Christ did so, washed his disciples' feet. And for our example, Luther calls upon magistrates, ministers, and all people, to tuck up their sleeves, and to fall a washing of the disciples' feet, by a loving and sweet submitting of our excellencies unto their infirmities.
But, Lord, how contrary are we unto Christ? He washed his disciples' feet; we throw dirt in disciples' faces. Oh that this guilt may not cleave to our souls in our dying day! If this day we could but stand up and forgive one another, and learn meekness and sweetness towards one another, it would prevail more with God than all our fasting and prayer; and without it, all our fasting and prayer is of no avail
. But my exhortation is unto you, especially, that are the meek of the earth. Ye hear what interest, power and credit ye have in heaven : seeing ye have so great an interest, away, away to your Father's knee, and for poor England's sake improve your interest, and for Ireland's, Scotland's sake hold not your peace : your dear and tender Father will bid your
prayers welcome. Take a prospect of our sad condition : do ye not hear how Ireland cries, Help, help, O living England, help poor, dying Ireland! Do ye not hear how our afflicted, plundered and spoiled brethren in other parts of this kingdom cry, Have pity, have pity upon us, oh, all our friends, for the hand of the Lord hath touched us! How the poor, ignorant cry out of the countries, Oh, help to deliver us from the wrath to come! How this whole staggering nation cries, If ever you help, help now; if you have an interest in heaven, use it now!
Now, therefore, according to all your engagements here and your interest in heaven, go pray, cry, and cease not; you may do much, you shall do much: for if any man in the earth can do any good, it is the “ meek of the earth.” Wherefore, oh, all you that are the meek of the earth, I beseech you improve your interest, seek ye the Lord : and not only this day, but all your days, seek righteousness, seek meekness : it may be you, and others by you, shall be hidden in the day of the Lord's anger."
в в 2
ENGLAND SAVED WITH A NOTWITHSTANDING.
REPRESENTED TO THE HONOURABLE HOUSE OF COMMONS, Nov. 5, 1647, THE DAY OF THANKSGIVING FOR DELIVERANCE FROM THE
TO THE HONOURABLE HOUSE OF COMMONS ASSEMBLED IN PARLIAMENT.
In what frosts and snows your hand hath cleaved to your plough, is not onknown to this kingdom ; untharkfulness may say you have done little for us, but the truth cannot. Magistratus labor major rusticano," Luther. “ Gubernatio est divina quædam vertus, ideoque vocat Deus magistratus omnes, Deos, non propter creationem, sed propter administrationem, quæ solius Dei est, qui igitur in regimine est, est quasi Deus incarnatus," Luther in Gen. The Lord bath said ye are gods. Still therefore be pleased to act unweariedly and unchangeably. God doth save us with a notwithstanding our reluctancy, so should the magistrate. God is a Father of the fatherless, and an help to the oppressed ; gathereth the outcasts, careth for those whom none careth for, and doth sometimes carve for them first who do sit lowest. So should magistrates be and do ; and therefore the Lord, having said concerning magistrates that they are gods, Ps. lxxxii. I, he addeth in ver. 3, 4, “ Deliver ye
and needy,” &c. The magistrate should not always stay until the crying complaints of the poor be brought to him, but should sometimes seek and inquire after them. The cry of the afflicted belongs to the magistrate, though they cry not to bim. Musculus therefore observes well, that the psalmist doth not say of the magistrate, “ He shall deliver the poor and needy " when he crieth unto him, but, “ when he crieth," Ps. lxxii. 12. “ Clamor afflictorum pertinet ad eos, qui in magistratu sunt etiam si ad ipsos non clametur ; nam non dicit, liberabit egenum ad se clamantem, sed clamentem et afflictum cui non est adjutor, hoc est, cui nihil est in rebus afflictis patrocinii,” Musculus in Psal. God is a God of love, mercy and grace; he is called love itself, not justice, though he be so, but God is love : so should the magistrate be, full of love, bowels, and tender compassions unto the people; therefore he is called, father, tender father, and Nasi, not only because he is lifted up above the people, but because he doth lift up, or ease their burthen, and doth potare populum in gremio suo. “ bene suis aut benevolus dictus, 773N Gen. xli., aliqui ducunt a 373 benedixit, genua flexit, clamabant enim autem cum, genua flecte: sic Aben Ezra : alii dividunt verbum in IN et 97 R. Solomon quod 97 in lingua Aramæa est rex nam Joseph fuit pater regis : sed vox Ebraica 57 significat tener, mollis, quia princeps tener et mollis pater est, Mayer. philolog. Saer. par. prima p. 116. x'wa KWI levavit, clevavit, sublevavit, portavit.” Now, most worthy patriots, ye have conquered this kingdom with your sword, conquer us once more with your love, in providing for the poor, desolate, and in healing our sad divisions with a fatherly hand, and you are complete saviours and fathers to this bleeding kingdom. “ Pacem nos poscimus,” but not such a peace, as Augustine speaks, " ut inimici
velle quasi volens אבה ab אב *
submittant, sed ut amici jungant.” I had thought to have been, date veniam verbo, disobedient to your command of printing this sermon, but being persuaded that it may in some measure conduce unto love both towards God and man, I chose rather to disobey mine own inclinations than your order. Now the Lord bimself make you the repairers of our breaches, and the restorers of paths to dwell in : which is and must be the prayer of Your servant in the gospel of Christ,
“ Nevertheless, he saved them for his name's sake : that he might make his mighty power to be known.”—Psalm cvi. 8.
Tuis psalm is a psalm of thanksgiving, as the first and last verses declare. Now because a man is most fit to praise God, when he is most sensible of his own sin and unworthiness; the psalmist doth throughout this psalm, lay Israel's sin and God's mercy together. Ver. 7, “ Our fathers (says he) understood not the wonders in Egypt.”
They saw them with their eyes, but they did not understand them with their heart; they did not apprehend the design and scope and end of God in those wonders : and therefore, “they remembered not (says the text) thy mercies;" for a man remembers no more than he understands.
But it may be these mercies were very few, and so their sin in forgetfulness the less ?
Nay, not so, for verse 7, “ They remembered not the multitude of thy mercies."
But it may be this was their infirmity or weakness, and so they were the rather to be borne withal ?
Not so, “but they rebelled against him ;" so Montanus reads it better.* But it
may be this sin was committed whilst they were in Egypt, among the Egyptians, being put on by them?
Not so neither, but when they were come out of Egypt, and only had to deal with God, and saw his glorious power at the Red Sea, then they rebelled against him, “At the sea, even at the Red Sea.”
What then, did not the Lord destroy them?
1901 sed rebellaverunt a nyo: non dicit, et obedientes, vel bæsitantes aut tergiversantes, sed rebelles fuerunt; rebellio est qua per contumaciam et contumeliam adversatur subditus majori sur; sic Israelitæ non simpliciter detrectabant obsequi, sed addebant murmura, obloquia, contumelias adversus Deum et Moysen.-Musculus in Psal.
No, says the text, “ Notwithstanding ” all their ignorance, unthankfulness, and their rebellion," he saved them for his name's sake.
“ He saved them;" that is, with an outward salvation.
“ For his name's sake;" the name of God is that whereby he is made known unto us. God's working for his name's sake, is still set in opposition to our deservings.
God doth sometimes work for his name's sake, that it may not be defiled and polluted by men. Sometimes, that the glory and honour of his name may shine out the more.
In both these respects the words are to be understood, but especially they are meant in the latter; and so they are explained in Isa. lxiii. 12. And to this purpose the following words, “ That he might make his mighty power known.” The word in the Hebrew is, To make known his mighty power.*
Much of God's power is to be read and known in all his creatures; but in this their deliverance at the Red Sea, there were the special prints of his fingers, the characters and marks of his infinite power and deity, whereby he might be plainly and clearly known. And that this name and power of his might be thus known, he did save them with a notwithstanding all their former sins. Whence observe two things :
First, Though the sin of a people be exceeding great, and very heinous, yet God will and doth sometimes save them for his own name's sake. He doth sometimes save his people with a notwithstanding: notwithstanding all their sin and guilt.
Secondly, When God doth thus save his people with a notwithstanding, he doth then leave such marks and characters of his mighty power upon their salvation, that he may be clearly and fully known and manifested to the sons of men.
First, God doth sometimes save his people, with a notwithstanding all their sin and all their unworthiness.
For God is gracious to a people, as well as to a person. The blood of Jesus Christ is sprinkled on nations, as well as particular persons. Now for a particular person; ye read in 1 Tim. i. 15, how the Lord dealt with Paul: saith Paul himself, “I was a blasphemer, injurious, persecutor ; never
* pous ad notificandum fortitundinem suam.-Ar. Montanus.