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Chap.2. Gods right and left hand what. 59 left hand are riches and glory, * and of | * Pro 3.16 his right hand length of dayes,or immortality. Riches and honours God conveyeth to us by the hand of the Magistrate, immortality by the hand of Ministers,

The Church therefore delireth God in her captivity, (which thing also God granted) that,

First, Princes should be the lifters up of her head,her nursing fathers and mothers.

Secondly, Prophets and Priests might deliver to her the swect testimonies of Christs embracing love; this was donet\t 2 King. by Evil-merodach to Jehojachin,and by the 25.37, 3o. ministery of Daniel and Ezekiel.

The Princes allowed them great liber- | * Jer.29.

* the Prophets dispensed heavenly 5.6. and comfortable doctrine.

I charge you , Oyee daughters of Ferusa- Verse 7. lem,by the Roes,and by the Hindes of the field, that geeftirre not


love till he please. ] Heb. I adjure you, that is, I cause you to sweare by the Roes, and by the Hindes of the field, not by them as the persons thou art to sweare by, but by thole for whose fake , and by whole meanes they are to take themselves bound as by a solemne oath (not to stirre




up, nor awake

60 Preposterous deliverance not desireable. Chap.2. up or awake my love) that is, not to

provoke Christ to exercise his Church by any change of their estate, till it fhalt please himselfe.

These Roes and Hindes are wilde, and fearfull creatures , easily and swiftly running away, yet otherwise willing to feed with the sheep: such were then the Gentiles , willing to converse with the Jewes, and to come towards Religion: yer if the estate of the Church should have proved more troublesome by any indiscreet or offensive carriage of the Jewes, they would soone have started backe from fellowship with them ; for their fakes therefore the Church chargeth her daughters, as by an oath, not to disturb the peace of Babel, not to secke preposterously deliverance from thence, before the time that Christ had appoinced, left it turned to the disturbance of her peace; and to the * carrying away fuch Gentiles as were coming on to be Profelytes.

This may first let us see, that notwithstanding the reformation of Religion, Christ may be pleased rather to live abroad in the fields, then at home, where


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Jer. 29.

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Chap.2. Chrift not bound to any place. 61 the people would willingly assemble. The house of God was now repaired, and the bed greene * : and the Church invites Christ to come in unto her, in it, 16,17. yet hec difposeth himselfe fo, as more willing to call her abroad. So wee may see, that notwithstanding the purity and simplicity of Christs worship, yet Chrift is not bound to any place, if things were never so reformed, yet he might leave us, and goe into the wilde field. Rome hath long doted on Peters Chaire, and Jerusalem might as well have bragged of her Priviledges as any other place, but Christ leaves them: never reft wee then in

any outward estate, for Christ may leave us. The Palacinace hath been as reformed as any Church for Doctrine, and though they might say, their bed was greene, and their beames were of cedar, and their rafters of firre, yet God hath left them :for doe we thinke that if God had bcene there, these things had befallen them that now are?

Secondly, this lets us see, that though use 20 Magistrates and Ministers should both negle&their duties in ordering and dressing the Church, so that the wicked were


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62 God hath roses among thornes. Chap.3.

tolerated to grow up with them; yet God keepes the spirits of his children sweet and pure, as roses and lillies in the midst of bryars and thornes : be not deceived then, for there may

be roses and lillies growing, where is nothing but bryars and thornes to scratch them : It is not straight no Church, when it is there , for Christ can see his Church though she be there.

Thirdly, we may here observe against the Separatist, that it is not straight no Church, that is commingled ( as they fpcake) with notorious wicked ones: the Church


be Christs love, yea, and a fragrant and pure flower in his fight and noftrils, and yet live amongst bryars and thornes.

Fourthly, observe, the state of the Church is fometimes expofed to opportunicy of treading under-foot, no wall nor hedge to fence them : It may lie open,

First, to scratching and rending of thornes.

Secondly, to treading under-foot of the *Plal.8o. I wild beafts *. Fifthly, this ferves to direct inferiour





Chap.2. Magistrates are to be apple trees. 63 Magistrates, how to carry themselves towards the Church, to be as Apple-trees in a wood, wherein the Church travailing may finde,

First, shadow of protection.

Secondly, sweete fruit of loving. mercy.

Sixthly, we may here fee the wonder- usc 6. full power of God, and goodneffe to his Church, in turning their house of bondage into a house of wine, in spreading also his banner oflove over them in their greatest diftresses and dangers : What more dolefull times of his Church then captivity: when men would thinke God carries his Church into a dungeon, then he carries her into a Wine cellar. This may be a ground of folid comfort to us in our worst takings, for though wec be in the greatest extremity, yea, in the deepeft dungeon of darknesse, God can sustaine and uphold us here, and refresh us with many comforts.

Seventhly, this ought to stirre us up use 7. to more ardent and longing affections after Christ, so that as wec be ready to faint and fwoone ehrough earnest af fections after more full and familiar fel


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