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unlesse we be as willing to come, as Christ is to receive, all is nothing,
Marthely the twenty ihird chaper and thirty seventh verfe, Quotie's volui, & noluistis? How often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a Hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would *pt? Therefore we must beware of removing this willingneffe from cur felves. Tothis end we must continually pray, that Christ will work in us this willingnesse ; that the Father will draw us by his spirit and say with Peter, Matthew the fourteenth chapter and the twenty cight verse, Domine, mitte me ad te venire ; let me be in numero pufillorum, non timentium; one of those little ones that willingly will come as often as they may, and not like those that fwell with pride, and lay another time will serve as well as now, as Davids servants said to Nam ball, in the first book of Samuelthe twenty fift chapter, We come now in a good time, for thou makest a feast, and are in case to relieve us, another time peradventure chou wilt not be so preparedSo meo ought to take the opportunity, and to say in their selves, Now is the time of the celebration of Gods mercy and loving kindncffe Now we receive Christ; and therefore there is great hope, that if we come, he will receive us : Now we celebrate the memory of his death, when he was content to receive the chief that came unto him; and therefore it is most likely that he will receive us, if we come to him. Bu: if we coine not now, happily we Ihall not be received when we would. Ic is Christs will, That they which are given him of the Father, be with him where he is, and may behold his glory, John the seventeenth chapter and the twenty fourth verse. Therefore it stands us upon to come to Christ, that he may receive us to be one with him in the life of grace, and partakers with him in his Kingdom of glory.
...:: Qui verò hæc audierunt compuncti sunt corde, dixerunt adt, 2. 37.
ad Petrum ac reliquos Apostolos, Quid faciemus viri
Top P EUR Saviour Christ promised Peter Atts the fife April. 12;
chapter, to make him a fisher of men, and Matthew 1800. lagi the thirteenth chapter, That the word of the King I
had dom of Heaven is like a draw net caft into the sea,
which catcheth fish of all förts, both good and bad. S P The first calling forth of this oor, and the first
draught that Peter had, is by St. Lúké set down in thele verses, And the draught which he made was of three thousand fouls, verse the fourty firft. If we ask, of what souls. They were the souls of them that killed the Sonne of God, and wrought despite to the spirit of God, wliom they blasphemed ; ascribing the gitt of the holy Ghost to drunkenneffe, verle the thirrteenth, saying of the ApoAlcs, These men are full of new wine.
Which when we advisedly consider, it cannot bür be matter, First; of great comfort, Teaching us, that albeit we be great finners as the laws that put the fonnc ot God to death , yet there is a quid faciemus? what to doc, thar is, a hope of remiffion of finnes. 'Se. condly, of instruction touching the means, That if we repent and bic pricked in heart with the confideration of our lianes as they were, we ihall attain this mercic which they received. First, St. Luke sets down the Sermon of Peter. Secondly, The fruit and effect of it. As the Sermon it felt propounds the death and Resurrection of Christ : so in the effect that followed of it, we see the means how we are made partakers of his death and Resurrection, and that is fet down in these two verses; which contain a question and an answer. In the question is to be observed, First, the cause of it, that is, the compunction of their hearts : Secondly, the cause of that compunction, and that was the hearipg of Peters Sermon. · Touching this effect, which Peters Seimon wrought in the hearts of his hearers, it is compuncti sunt corde. Wherein note two things; First, the work it self. Secondly, the part wherein (of the work it lell) it is said, they were pricked."
Wherein first we are to oblerve, That the first work of the spirit and operation of the word, is compunction of heart ; howbeit the word being the word of glad tidings and comfort, it is strange it should have any such operation, but that Christ hath foretold ihe fame, Johor the fixteenth chapter, when the comforter comes, he ball reprove thic porld of finne. Now reproof is a thing that enters into the heart; as Proverbs the twelfth chapter and the cightecnth verfe, There is that jpesketh words like the prickings of a sword; and as Chrift gave warning before hand; to now when the holy Ghost was given, we see that Peters hearers are reproved and pricked in their consciences; that they dealt so cruelly with Christ. As this befalleth the Elect of God; to there is another spiric called by the fame name of pricking, prveüus ne trop losRomans the eleventh chapter and the eighth verle, that is, the fpirit of flamber; which thews ir velf upon those that shall not be saved. .
Touching the manner of this operation, we lee it is not a tickling or itching, but a pricking, and that no light one, but luch as pearced deeply into their hearts, and caused them to cry : Whereby we fee it is not the fpeaking of fair words, saying with the false Prophers, Joremiah the twcoty third chapter, The Lord hath faid ye fhall have peace; it is not that gensanozice og drogica, Romans the fixteenth chapter and the eighteenth veric, that makes this cffed, but this fpeaking. The past wherein this work was wrought, was the heart, as Lake the twenty fourth chapter, they burned in ibeir hearis; and Hofra the second chapa ter and the fourtcenth verse, I will peak to their hearts. So it was so i'ching of the cares ,, in the second epille to Timoshie the fourche chapter,or of the brain that they fele, but a pricking of the very heart; and so should we be affcated at the hearing of the word. As'te chat is pricked in the Aesh, is disquicted, cill he have remedy; [o fhould
the consideration of our finnes disquiet us, and make us seek for cure. This is our duty from their example, and ic is a good signe of diftin. ction, to show us whether we be of the number of those that shall be laved, whether of the good fith that shall be gathered together, or the bad filh that shall be cast out, Matthew the thirteenth chapter and the fourty eighth verse : Soit we pertain to God, we shall feel this pricking at our hearts, after we have heard the word.. ii.
The cause of this compun&iun is his auditis, that is, they had heard a focech of St. Peter, which did di quiet them, till they asked countel of Peter and the rest. The word of God of its own nature, hath no fuch operation, for the Patriarch Job faith, Job the twenty third chapter, It was agreeable to him as his appointed food : And David, Pfalm the nineteenth, faith, The Commanaements of the Lordrejoyceth the heart, and is (weeter than the honey and the honey-combe : Buc yet ic hath this effect in regard that it meetech with thac which is an enemy to our Salvation, that is sinne, the deputy of Saran as the word is Gods fubftiture. Without the Law fione is dead; but when the Comman dement came fionc revived, Romans the seventh chapter and the cighth verse ; for finne is a fting, the first epistle to the Corinthians the fifa reench chapter, which lyeth dead so long as it is not reproved : But when it is reproved by the commandement of God, then it reviveth and stings the heart; it makes men bave a conscience of fione, Hebrews the tenth chapter, and when finne is disquicted, the heart also wherein it resterh is disquicted; For the words of the wife are as goads and pricks, Ecclesiastes the twelfth chapters and Matthew the fifc chapter, as falt and mustard seed; Matthew the thirteeath chapter, as wine ; To a putrified fore, Luke the tenth chapter. So that whes ther we respect the old or new Testament, we see the words have this effect to disquiet fiane, especially such words as Peter (pake to his Auditors out of the Prophet Joel ; where he seweth, thai as Chrift hath a day of relurrection, which is paft; whereby he gave his ApoAtles those gifts of the spirit; lo he hath another day, which is the fearfull and great day of Judgement , when the word of the Rulers fhall not be enough, for them that have killed the Lord of life, (though they promised to serve them harmlesse, Matthew the twenty eighth chapter :) For here they shall give an account of their cruelty to Chrifti
And thirdly whereas he moveth them to repentance, Firit, In this consideration of the day of Judgement : Secondly, of the finne they committed, that they slue and crucified Christ : Thirdly, of the gries vouloeffe of their linne, that he was the songs of God whom they dealt Thus wich; and every finne hath a sting, but especially myrther: For the remembrance of it stings the conscience lo as it cannot be quict. Now in thac chey not only committed murther, but murthered such a one as was borh a holy and just one, Aits the third chapter, and the blessed funnse of God, this could not bur disquiet their hearts as we see the remembrance of the day of Judgement is such a thing as made Félix tremble, Ads the twenty fourth chapter. And
when we hear of the Judgement to come, it should bring our ot us thele questions, Jeremiah the eighth chap:er and the fixt verfe, Quid feci ? and Ifaiah the fifty seventh chapter and the fourth verse, Cui facilli upon whom have you gaped. To consider not only the fione we have committed, but the person against whom, that it is God of all Majestie and power : And Matthew the twenty first chapter, Quid faciam? that is, he considers of the Judgments of God which belong to us : For thesc fo gricvous signes, ihele are means to prick our hearts at the hearing of the word. But yet we say, though the word of God hath this narure, yet excep: the work of the spirit doe concur with the word, the conscience is seated, the first cpiftle to Timothy, and the fourth chapter, and cannot be touched with any thing: The soul is possessed with the garigrene, that is, without life and feeling, so that it hath no fense, be it pricked never lo decply, the lecond cpistle to Timothie the first chapter ; but he that feels himselt pricked in heart for his fiones may affure himself his conscience is not feared, but hath a heart of felh easily to be touched with forrow for finne; and that his foul is not dead in finnc, but livcth spiritu: ally.
In the Question we have to observe, First, that this compunction made him speak; for, as the Wise-man faith, Qui pungit cor educit sermonem. So here when they were pricked, they said Mon and Brethrex ; as if the holy Ghost Ihould say, if a man lay nothing atter he is pricked, it is no true compunction : For if when men are moved inwardly with a feeling of their fiones, for allthat, they say norbing, nor seek direction of them that are skilfall, they doc fmother aod de. tein the truth, Romans the first chapter.
Secondly, We must observe what they said, and that was Quid faciemus ? what shall we doe? As first the People, then the Souldiers, and after the Publicans, said to s.John the Baprift, Luke the third chapter; which is the second thing to be noted ; that as true compunction is not dumb, so not idle, but would be doing somthing : they say not What shall we lay but what shall we doe? Quid faciemus ? as ifche same spirit which pricked their hearts had also taught them, that something must be donc. The like question did St.Paul make, being prickcd, Domine, quid vis me facere? Acts the ninth chapter and the fixt verse; So the Angel said to Cornelius, Goe to Foppa, and Simon shall tell thee what thou oughtest to doe, Acts the tenth chapter ; So laid the Jayler to the Apostles, Acts the fixteenth chapter, What shall I doe that I may be saved, I and my boufhold, and that I may be rid of the pricking of my conscience ? For as compunction must not be Gleat; lo aci. ther must it be idle or unfruitfull in the knowledg of the Lord, the second epistle of Peter the first chapter.
Thirdly, Observe after what manner they said, what shall we doe? and that was not as Cain and Judas laid, Genefis the fourth chapter, and Marthew the twenty seventh chapter, Their what to doe, Quid faciemus ? was a note of desparation : Nor as the Pharisees said desparately in their fury and rage, what hall we doe: John the eleventh
chapter. If fuch have their finnes laid before them, their hearts will not be pricked, but cleave alunder, as they to whom St. Stephen Ipake Afts the eighth chapter. The heart may be cast down with too much grict, so as a man fhall say with Cain, My linne is greater than can be forgiven; or else moved with malice and be pricked, so as they will prick again : as they that being pricked with the reproof of the Propher, lay, Let us fting him with our tongues, as he hath ftung our hearts; Jeremiahihe eighteenth chapter and the eighteenth verse; for this is the effect which the word of God hath in many that are wicked. But. that which Peters Auditors say, is spoken in heavincffe, and a desire, to bave finne that doth dilquiet them, (that which the Apostlc calleth the sin that doth fo easily be set us, di nagisator inapriai, Hebrew's thetwelfth and the first verse) taken from them: This their heavinesse makes them conformable to Christ, and therefore is commendable in them : For. it is Gods will, that luch as Ahall be faved, be made conformable to the Image of his fonne, Romans the eighth chapter and the (weney'ninch verle; for Christ was pierced not only with a bodily spear in his side; but with grief of soul į And as he luffered of compassion over us ; so we must suffer in compassion with him. : · Out of that which the ancient Fathers observe in Sorrow, we have five things to note : First, That something may be done as a remedy against finne. For albeit we have finned never fo grievously, yet there is hope, tamen adhuc pes eff, Efdras the tenth chapter and the second verse; rere is hope ot some means to be used; which if it be done, as Ezechiel che eighteenth chapter, privata veftra non erit vobis Domime fcandalum. Secondly, By that which they say is to be gathered, that as something may be done, so it ought to be done, that the terror of minde being removed, we may be affured of the favour and grace of God. Thirdly, They show they are ready to doc ir, not like those of whom the Prophet faith, I know when I have shewed you what you should doe, you will not doe it, Jeremiah the fourty third. But these are ready to doe whatsoever shall be appointed as a remedy for them. Fourthly, Asthey are ready, lo withall they confesse their ignorance, that of themselves they know not how to rid themselves from finne : As the Eunuch said, Aets the cigch chapter, How can I understand without an Interpreter Fiftly, They seek to Peter and the other Apostles, becaule God had lately enlightned them with the grace of his fpirit, and consequently were skilfull, and could tell them what to doe; and therefore they are boundio commit themselves to them, as to their Physician, to doe whatsocver they shall prescribe for the curc of their Souls. So that if there be any, that being in state of finne, doe for all that either think that nothing can, or that nothing ought to be donc, but shall say desparately, Jeremiah the eighteenth chapter : or, as if ir were not needfull to be done, shall refuse to doe it; or think they know well enough what to doe without direction, contrary to the Apoftles opinion, in the first epiftle to the Corinthians thetwelfth chapter, Are all Apostles? For though first we say mecrely, We know wwe all have knowledge, the first cpistle to the Corinthians the eighth