Page images
PDF
EPUB

chapter and the first verse ; yer after he faith, every one hath not knowledge, and therefore mult ask counsellof those that can give its orelle håll refuse to be directed by such as doe know, therefore are not like to be eafed of the sting of conscience, but thall for ever have the worm of conscience gnawing them, and ever be disquieted.

The Apostles answer to this question is, in the fifty eighth verse, Refipifcite, & corbat is, there is something to be dons, which is an argumeni of the great Mercy of God, and the virtue and power of the Sacrifice of Christ, notwithstanding the greatnesle of their linnes. Here are two things fec down, Firft, By way of precept, Repent and be baptized. Secondly, Things by Christs promises, Tee shall have gour finnes for. given, and receive the gift of the Holy Ghoft. ?.. i First, Peter prescribes them what to doc, ard lo shewes that their finnes are remitted, which is a signe of Gods great inercy, though their finnes were grievous : For he that shall offend his better, a man of some credit, can hardly hope for pardon ; much lesse if he offend the Prince or some noble Person ; But these offend the MajeAty of God himself, which doch farre exceed the Majesty of earthly Princes : For of Christ the elect Sonne of God they said, in the twenty-sixth chapter of Matthew, Hu blood be upon is z and they wrongbt despight to she Spirit of Grace, Hebrews the tenth chapter ; when they blafpheme the Holy Ghoft, accusing them of drunkennelle, which were inspired with the Holy Spirit, Aits the second chapter and the thirteenth verse : Yet the Apostle telleth these grieyous finners, there is hope of forgivenesse, that to them which are yet scarce cold from the slaughter of the Sonne of God, there is a remedy to help them. Wherein the Apostle followeth the rule which Chrif had before given the Apostles, in the twenty fourth chapter of Luke, To preacbrepentance and remißion of finnes to mankinde, beginning at Ferufalem: If the doctrine of remiflion of finnes be first to be preached to them, amung whom Christ was crucified, much more to the ends of the world: and that likes us weli :

But fecondly,He tells us what we muft doe; he faith not, you shall live to doc nothing, but repent and be baptized. It is not enough to be pricked in the heart for sinne past, but we must doe something. And he speaks first by way of precept, Repent, and that is, reft not in that passive part, but know that when you are pricked in your hearts, repentance must be shewed in your life : Wherewithall he sheweth, that compunction is not repentance; for here to these that were al Icady pricked, he faith, Repent ; and Feremie the tbirty first chapter, After I converted, I repented; so in the third chapter of the sets of the Apostles, Repent and turn, that your finnes may be done away : fo it was given in charge to St. Paul, Acts the twenty fixth chapter, Repent and Turne, and doe workes worthy of eternal life: Sothese men shewed forth these wokes; for, as followeth.they were devout and liberall, diftriburing to all as they had need ; the principal actions, either removing of the ill, that is, sinne, which did disquier their consciences, or the positive benefit, that is, the gift of the Holy Ghost, which should work in them the fruits of the spirit, meeknesse, patenct, Galatians $. and be unto them and earnest wnd.pledge of their Redemption and Salaam tion, ið the second epistle to the Corinthians, the firft chapter, and the fifth verse, Ephesians the firft chapter and the thirteench verse.

work

Tum alter ad alterum dixerant, Nonne cor nostrům ardebat in no- Luke 14. gs.

bis, dum loqueretur nobis in via, c dum adaperiret nobis
Scripturas

rem a HICH is another, or second passion that com. April. 20. G V K meth unto men at the preaching of the word , for 1600,

as dits the second chapter and the thirty seventh
verse, there were some that suffered a pricking at
the heart upon the hearing of the word; fo here
are others that fuffet an inftaining or burning in

the heart : For if we look in verse the twenty
firft, these two difciples with whom Chrift cravelled, were dead in
spirit and cold in faith before the word was fpoken for they cons
feffed nos autem parabaraus, But after our Saviour Chrif had fpoken '.
with them and opened the Scriptures, their hope revived, and their
hearts waxed warme : Which, as it is a fruit and effea of the word
in the hearts of the heaters , fó is it a certain signe and argument of
the efficacy and operation of Chrift, which he steweth in the ministry
of the word, as the Apoftle speakes, in the tecondepifle to the Corina
thians, and the thirteenth chapter, Quaritis experimentum quod in me los
qwitár Chrifti , fo when we feel this burning in our hearts, it is a great
comfors to us, and a figne that Chris fpeakes in us and we muft in
such a case pray to God, ihan he will oftablis in no the good shings that
he bath begun, Pfalm the fixty eighth ; it it work no fich effect in
us, we muft fufped our felves, and pray that we may have a feelicg
of the word when wec hear it, that whereas Sc.Peters hearers, in
the second chapter of the A&s of the Apostles, bad a pricking of their
hearis, and thofe of Chrift felt a burning; we may be in the number
of those hearers, and not of those, of whom the Prophet ecfti-
fieth, in the fixth chapter of Ifaiah, and the ninth verfe; Thar bare
eyes, but fee not, cares, but such as are heavi and bear war, and a bardned
heart, so as though they bear, jer they understand 10, becanfe she hould
nor convert and be forced : Which is a gricycus curse and judgement
pronounced and executed upon the unworthy hetic is of Gods word,
as Christ theweth, in the thirteenth chascer of Matches, and tho
eighth chaprer of Euke : And therefore borkour Saviour Chrift, in
the twelfth chapter of Fohn, and St. Paul, in the twenty eighth chapa
ter of the Alls of the Apofiles, to conclude their preaching, showeth .
this as a realon why their preaching was not recoived, bocause Goud

had

[ocr errors]

had blinded their eyes and hardocd cheir hearts, Left they should fee witbibeir eyes, and understand with their hearts, and convert and be bere Led..

The other effect of the word was said to be a pricking; this is a begioning : For as the Preacher ascribes a prick or poine to the word wheo he saich, The words of the wife are tanquam acuta d ftimuli, Eco clesiastes the twelfth chapier.' So here we ice there are certain sparks

ot'fire in the word, which will loon kindle a fire in the hearts of the :::hearers. The pricking is referred to fear, as Pfalm the hundred and

nineteenth, Confringe cor meum timore two : the warming is an effect of hope and love, as Canticles the eighth chaprer and the fixe verse, where love is compared to fire, that hath ardent couis, that burno, as

mach water cannot quench them; that is, As there are fome Scriptures c: .. that intrear of the wrath of God, that lay. m ns finnes before their .. ..cyes, and tells them of che terrible and great day of the Lord, when

they shall be rewarded all according to their works; and so breeds a fear in the hearts of the hearers, as Aits the fift chapter and the eleventh verle; and prick them, verse the chirty. fc vcnth, unlesse their heartsbe stopie and their flesha dead felh: So on the other side some Scrip:ures set forth the goodnesle of God and hisgracious promiscs, as when Christ telleth the two D sciples, Ought not Christ to suffer these things, and to enter into glory. verse the twenty lisen; which shews the love of God the Father, in giving his ionne to suffer for us ; and the love of the fonne, in being given for us ; for no man hath greas ter love than this to die for bis friend, John the fifteenth chapter, and the great reward: hat God hath for his children, wbich is the hope of glory, assuring them that as Christ is eatred into glory, so we shall be with him. And luch Scriprure will stirre up in che hea: crs both affe. ction of love and hópez wherewith, as with coals or fparks of fire, their hearts are wounded. And those several parts of Scripture are tempered according to the nature of the hearers or auditors; for there are some that scoffe and deride and blafpheme the holy fpirit of God, Acts the second chapter and the thirteenth verse : And to such the threarnings and judgements of God must be laid before them, as Peter doch. But here we have Audicors of such nacure, that is, such as did not mock and fit in the Chair of Scorners, but were dej aéd in spia rit and were of a faint heart; which contesse, we were in hope that this was he that should have delivered Israel, but now our hope is faine and we quakes and to such the opening of Gods love and ot his great aod preticus promises, is cxpedicot.

icot..... i In this verso we have to consider, First, The manner of utrering of these words; for they say nor, Our hearts cia buro, buo ask the question, Did not our hearts? Secondly, The substance of the verre, which consists of three parts, First, the part wherein this effect was wrought, Cor nostrum. Secondly, A passion or work, a burning. Thirdly, The time, when he talked with us

First, For the manner, Did not our hearts burne? Ofwhich kinde of negative speaking, there are two examples in Scriptures First, it is a moic vchement affirmation, than if a man should only affirma truch as where Chrift faith before, Ought not Christ tofuffer thefethings, and to enter into glory? as if he should lay, he ought without doabe : for when the master is questionable, we use to speak affirmatiyely, but in a plain case that is cvidcot and out of doubt, then we ask a question negaively, as, Doth, not the Sunne Thinc ? , as if one should say, Ic is clecre, Welce it doth. So here they knew well before Chriát spake to them, their hearts were cold, and their hope was faint and dead, but now remembring that while Christ (pakę iothem, they felt their hearts warm within them; they ask, Did not our hearts burn? as if they fhonld say, doubtlesse we felt a heat and burning withinus.:.

more

Another use of this negative question is asked out of Chriss deed, Løke the seventeenth chapter,Were there not ten cleansed: he marvelled what was become of the other nine. This admiration serves to tax and to reprehend the unthankfulnesse of those nine whịch returoed not to praise God: And seeing the Disciples ask the Question, Did not our bearts burn? as if they should say, Iccing we felt our hearts burn with. in us, why did we not know that it was Christ the Sonne of God, that spoke to us. Surely it is not the work of a man to touch the heari, buc God only; and leeing cur hearts were touched thus, doubleflc it was Christ that spake to us : Which shewes that at the present time that Chrift fpake to them, they felt him not ; but when Christ was gonc out of their sight, then they remembred that their hearts felt this heat within them; for by Jacob's experience we learn that God may be in a place and we not know ofit; for so he confesseth,in hetwenty eighth chapter of Genesis, and the sixth versc, God was here, and I was not die ware, and in the ninth chapter of Job, and the eleventh verse, He will * be by me, and I shall not see him; and in the thirteenth chapter of John,

Quid ego faciam tu nefcis nunc, Scies autem pofthac ; that is, hereafter yce (hall feel your hearts moved : Sothe attention of these two Disciplcs was so great, and they were in such an extasic, that they obferved no such thing, for the prelent, while he spake ; they perceived it not till Christ had made an end, and was taken from them. For, as there are things that appear and are not, as visards and miskes which make a thew ofthat which is nctz forbere are things that appear not and yet (arc, as the spirits and louls of men, which are invisible. There was one that boasted of that he had not, that was the false Propher that faid to Michaiah, in the first book of Kings the twenty second chapter, It is imposible shat the spirit of the Lord fauld goe from me to thec : Andin the first epistle to the Corinthians, the seventh chapter, there is one that with more modesty and coldnesle faith, I think i have the pia rit of God, and he had it indeed : The wisest that ever was of men faith, There is not in me the understanding of a man, Proverbs the thirtieth chapter and the second verse : And Caiaphas that understood as little as any, asifhe only understood all, said, vos planè nihil intelligitis, John the eleventh chapter, and the fourty ninth verse. .

Touching the substance of the question, and the first part : Firfte The part whereiñ that which Chrift fpake did work, is the heart, Hhhh

which

which is the commander of inan ; for as the word comes out of the heart, bonus homo ex bono shefauro cordis fui, Luke the fix:h chapier, fo if ic have ics right couste, it gocth to the heart; for there bc three wards and locks to be opened, inat the found of Gods word may onter ; that is, the earé, Pfalm the fourtieth, Mine care haft thou opened, which is ché gate of wilddome. Secondly, the understanding to con ceive what is heard; of which it is said hcre, Their Cyes were opened, Lake the twenty fourth chapier and the thiriy first verle, that is, ocula mentis, Ephesians the firit chapter and the eighteenth veric. Thirdly, the heart, as Lydia's beart was opened by the Lord, Els the fixocenen chapter : Many are present, but hear noe attentively what is said others hear, but understand not; and some have both these degrees, and yet have not their hearts opened, and so it is to no purpofe that is fpoken : Though we hear and understand, yet if the heart be not touched with it, it is but verbum aerium, it is mans word, and not Gods; for the property of Gods word is, to pierce to the heart and marrow, And to the dividing of the foul, Hebrews the fourth chapter and the twelfth verse : Therefore by the eare man may examine his own heart; for unless he teel himself touched inwardly with the word, his hearing is in vain : And this is the service wich God rejects, Isaiah che twenty ninth chapter and the thirteenth verss, Matshew the fifteench chapeer and the eighth verse, popules labiis me honoa rat; so if either we bring our eares alone, or both eares and eyes, both hearken and conceive; yet so long as this is true of us, that our heart is departed from God If the heart be not affected with the preaching of the word, it is in vain For the profitable hearer is he that with an honest and good heart receiveth the word of God, which is the immortall feed, that bringeth forth much fruit, Lukerhe eighth chapier. - jie • Secondly, the work wrought in the heart is a burning or kindling: as we the wed. There is a double compunction; First, when a man be ing pricked in heart, falls into a rage, as they that heard Stephen, Att's the seventh chapter: Secondly, when being prickt they seek for eale and comfort, as in the second chapter of the acts, and the thirty fa venth verse : So there is a double fire : For as there is a fire from the Altar which couched the propheus mouth, Elay the fixe chapter, fo fire from Topheth, Isaiah the thirtieth chapter, there are firie tongues, that tell upon the Apostes; But they came from heaven, Acts the roa cond chapter, but there are firie congues, waar drie fer on fire of hell, James the third chapter 3 it is the fire from the Altar, and the firie tongues from heaven, that causeth the burping in the heart of such as hear aright, and not the fire of Tophèth. For as the Devil with his hot Iron doth cauterise and fear the consciences of fome fotte fire of Gods (pirit doth warm the hearts of others, so as they hearethe word of God with profit. As there are wicked, whoserongues and words are like pricks and swords, Proverbs the twelfth chapter; fo there are others, whose tongues are like het Juniper coals, Pfalm the one hundred and twentieth, which landers otheis ? For ctie Devil,

that

« PreviousContinue »