Page images

Zech.12. 8.

196 The Feroes called shall march in armies.Ch.6.

This is spoken;, either because the Jewes shall, prefently upon their converfion, marshall and ranke themselves into Armies against Gog and Magog, ver, 10. where she is said to arise terrible as an Army with Banners. Or else taking the word properly; the holy Ghost compareth the

Jewes to an hoste of Angels, which Facob Gen.32.1.

saw at Mahanaim : as indeed the feeble at that day shall be as valiant as the Angels of God. This Interpretation seemeth to me to be the more likely, because her warlike provision was before mentioned, ver. 10. Or, otherwise, the holy Ghost may allude to the hoste of Israel and Judah, which went to bring up David from Mahanaim to Ferusalem after the Israe

lires were brought to see their errours in 2 casting him off for Absolom : So shall 9,10,14, the Jewes at their conversion assemble

for the establishment of the Kingdome and Throne of Christ among them, after they shall be brought to see their foule errours in casting off Christ so unworthily so long a time.

The first Use of this is for discerning a different estate of all Christian Churches and Congregations, and triall of our


[ocr errors]



How to know a true Church.


owne Parishes. In one of these rankes every Congregation is found, either a Queene, a Concubine, or a Damosell, or a Dove : If we have freely consenred to the entertainment of a faithfull Ministery, 'coming to us in the Name of Christ ;- if we bring with us to him a fufficient dowry for his maintenance: If the Word of God shall be powerfully dispensed amongst us, and the opening and shutting of the Kingdome of Heaven, and withall the Key of Discipline be not neglected: If our Congregations bring forth many chitdren to God, partakers of the Heavenly Inheritance, then are our Congregations as chiefe Wives, as Queenes to? Jesus Christ. But if our Ministers finde noe conjugall and free acceptance from us ; if we be not willing to proviąe for them”icomfortable and honourable maintenance : If the Word be not so difpensed that the people may finde themselves in good or evill estátes : If our Congregations bring not fòrth regenerate Christians to partake of the heavenly Inheritance, then are they but as Concubines in the sight of God:


198 How to know a true Church, Ch.6. 2 Cor.s. (If wee have yet no Ministers that wone

us, and beseech us to be reconciled to Christ; or if they doc, yet we coily put them off with delayes , or refuses, then are wec Damosels, but neither Queenes nor Concubines. But if wee finde all the properties of Queenes belonging unto us, and withall, finde a love and care to keep our felves chaste to Christ, and innocent to man, and undefiled, and unspotted, both of the World and of Rome, then are we Doves to Christ Jesus, choicest children of the true Catholick Church.

A second Use is for a discerning of a different estate of all Christian souls, and triall of our owne estates before God our


have neyer yet been called and knocked at by the lively Word of Gods Ordinances, or if wee

have coily put off pur Repentance to this day, or refuse to hearken to Christ, then are we Dampsels. If we bring forth feed of Righteousnesse ro Christ, by reason we are under the government of such who will require it, and well may command iç of us, wee are but as Concubines. But if we free


use a.

[ocr errors]


Ch.6, How to try whether we be Spowses. 199 ly condefcend to receive and embrace Christ into our hearts with entire conjugall affection, and give up our selves to him to bring forth the fruits of his Spirit, and are enabled to governe our felves and families after his will, then are wee Royall Spoufes unto Christ Jefus, and keep our felves to Christ chaste, innocent, and undefiled, and endeavour to cleanse our felves from all . Cor.7.1 filaktinefse of flefle and fpitit , then are wee as Doyes unito Jesus Chrift.

A third, use to direct and instruct use 3. Minifters and people how to approve themselves and their Congregations in beft fort unco Christ. : Let not Minifters thruft themfelves upon their people against their consents, but let chcir people frcely accepe them, and comfortably maintaine them?: Let the Minifters be faithfull in dispensing Gods Ordinances, and the people obedient, to give up themfelves to Chrift and his trueth, will both grow up to heavenly and holy purity of worship and life; so shall our Congregations be as Qurenes and Doves to Jesus Christ. A fourth Ufe may be to encourage use



N 4


ure 5.

use 6.

Innocency not disgracefull.! Ch.6. men to waies of fpotlesse Innocency'; they are not disgracefull; but blesfed of the Faithfull, and praised, even of them that are without. I

Fifthly, to reprove the children of the Separation, who reproach the Church in stead of blessing or praising them."

Sixthly, this may teach us to expect à powerfull and glorious calling of the Jewes in all the particulars before defcribed : say, They be now, as Gideons

Fleece, dry; when the Gentiles are moi{ s'is Itened with heavenly dew, they shall a

gain be moistened when we shall seem dry
in comparison of therh... Though Leah
step firft into Facob's Bed, and so the leffe
comely Church of the Gentiles into the
fellowship with Christ; yet the Church
of the Jewessias beautifull as Rachel, hall
in the end finde fellowship with Chrift.
2 Thęglory, of cheir calling appedres in
the iText,becaụse the holy Ghost' de-
fcribes hár by comparisons, not fetched
from earthly Aowers, or metals, or
jewels;. but from heavenly lights, the
Morning Moon, Sun. iion il

It appeareth furtherin their unexpe&ted and free readinefle to embrace Christ.


« PreviousContinue »