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a PP. 80.8.

Chap.i. What meant by Vines.

27 cessive, when it brake forth into fuch extremity, and therefore they rather to be reproved, then the Church disdained.

They made me the keeper of the Vines.]
First, Godl.

fi Chron. Secondly, all the tribesc.

28. 4.-6.

2 Sam. s. of the Vines.] That is, of all the Churches u.

But mine owne Vineyard have I not kept.] Ila.s.b. That is , nor the Churches of Judah and

Mat.23.33 Jerusalem, Idolatry and Superstition creeping in.

No not the Vines of mine own house, my wives * from falling to Idolatry, and *P1.138.3 seducing my felfe to toleration of it.

Tell me, ob thou, 6.]This verfe con- Verse 7. taineth,

First,a Prayer of the faithfull dispersed throughout the ten tribes, and commanded by Jeroboam to goe no more to worChip at Jerusalem, but to goe to Dan and Bethel, desiring to know whither to refort to find Christ feeding his fheep a that a John 10.

37928, Secondly, a Reason to prevent her turning aside to superstitious worship, by following fuch Teachers as will not be subordinate to Christ, depending upon

beare his voyce.

12, 28,31.

28 Lawfull Priests are Shepheards. Chap.i.

his direction, but companions with him,

usurping to prescribe with like authority b : King. as himselfe in his worship 6. Versç 8.

If you know not. ] This verse containeth Christs answer: where observe,

First, a Compellation, oh thou fairejt amongst women.

Secondly,a Suppofition,if thou knoweft not : as if he should say, it is much thou shouldelt not know.

Thirdly, a Dirc&ion to follow in this case,

First, the footsteps of the true sheep of c i Chro. Christ, who went up all to Jerusalem c. 11.13,14, Secondly,the tents of the Shepheards,

the lawfull' Priests, who were there also: d 2 Chie... There they feed the kids and young 13•10, 11. ones, who else might in time grow ram

mish and rank with superstitious and bad Ministers.

I have compared thee.] Here the civill estate of the Church of Judah is defcribed, for after that the recourse of the

faithfullPriests and Levites had strength*, Chro. ned the hand of Rehoboam, * he fell away,

and most of Israel with him : wherefore > Chro. 12 God fent Pharaoh Shilhak (for all the 2,8,9.ver. Kings of Egypt were called Pharaohs) to

subdue

16.

Verse 9.

11.17. & 12.1, 2.

Chap.i. The Church compared to horses. 29 subdue them to his service. So then the Church of Judah is here set forth,

First, by her service to Pharaoh, as if, like horfes, they drew in Pharaohs triumphant chariot d. Fosephus faith, this shi

do Chro. shak was Sefoftris of whom Herodotus 19.8. speakes : yea, of him faith Diodorus Sichlus,that he caused Kings as horses to draw in his chariots.

Secondly, by her acceptance to God in this service - I have compared thee to the company of my horses : and so in the Hebrew, because they had submitted themselves under Gods just hand c. If Solomon e 2 Chro. had spoken of any of his wives or concu

12,6,120 bines, it had been a monstrous and absurd comparison to liken them to coach-horfes. Also because this is a marriage-song, he setrech downe exprefly no dismali thing to interrupt bride-chamber joy,but vaileth che fervice under this magnificent comparison darkly.

This shewes us what it is that makes use 3: the Church blacke, wherein the deformity of it stands in the fall and fins of the people, and of the Princes,in declining to Idolatry in their folly,schismes,and rents from their mother; profanenesse, apo

stafie,

30

use 2:

Idolatry makes the Church black. Chap.I. stafie, and rebellion in the Church and Common-wealth. These doe darken the fairest Churches.

If Solomon shall set up other Gods, God will set up forain Princes in his kingdome. If he and his people will serve other gods, God will cause his Princes to draw in forain Princes chariocs : if we be at unity with other gods, God will be åt enmity with us.

Secondly,this doch shew us there may be a true comely Church in the middelt of such deformities, yet the true Church of God in the greatest darkness is alwaies comely. It is not the sins of Princes and people that can take away the Churches comelineffe ; they may bring blackneffe upon her, like to the tents of Kedar : but draw these curtaines aside, and you shall finde that Gods Church is comely,like to the curtains of Selonona Run we not therefore from the Church because of her blacknesse, but run to her, and embrace her in her most fad defections.

Thirdly, to teach the children of the Church not to separate from the Church for corruption fake ; not to looke onely ac her.corruptions, but to fec hercomeli:

neffe

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Chap.1. The church true though black. 31 nesse also; and not adde affliction to the afflicted: much lesse are we to think they in Bohemia, and in the Palatinate, are no Churches, for that they are now sunneburnt. The sun, even God, hath looked upon them; and it is not their mothers children, but the bastards of the Roman Harlot have been angry with her. Let us not then look at them with a vultures eye, as though we would behold nothing but corruption and carrion:nor with a scorching eye,make them more black: but with a child-like eye, to piry them for their calamity and blacknefte which is befallen them.

Fourthly, observe that the calamities usc 4. of the Church spring not out of the dust, but it is God that causeth darknesse upon the Church: yea, to speake reverently, it is he that lookes at her with a scorching eye ; he searcheth her finnes, and, finding them out, doth blast her that she is tann'd and sun-burnt. If then it be Gods hand, let us pity the Church so much the more, and strive with God to renew the light of his countenance upon her.

Fifthly, it was a fin in them to be an- uce s. gry with the Church, as some of the Se

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