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tion, I shall never break through such a pressure.—And both these come from want of faith, touching the power of God to subdue all enemies under Christ's feet. If men would but consider how easily God can break down all their cobwebs, and sweep away their refuge of lies, how easily he can spoil them of all the provisions of their lusts, and leave them like a lamb in a large place; they would be more fearful of him, and less dote upon things which will not profit; they would take heed how they abuse their youth, strength, time, abilities, as if they had a spring of them all within themselves, and consider that their good is not in their own hand; that the scythe can get as well through the green grass as the dry stubble; that consuming fire can as well melt the hardest metal as the softest wax. What is the reason, why men, in sore extremities, make strong resolu tions, and vow much repentance and amendment of life,and yet, as soon as they are off from the rack, return again to their vomit, and wallow in their wonted lusts,-but because their sense made them feel that then, which, if they had faith, they might still perceive, and so still continue in the same good resolutions,-namely, that God's hand was near unto them? But what? "is not God a God afar off, as well as near at hand ?" doth not he say of wicked men, that in "the fulness of their sufficiency, they shall be in straits"?" cannot he blast the corn in the blade, in the harvest P, in the barn, in the very mouth of the wicked "? Did he not cut off Belshazzar in his cups, and Herod in his robes, and Babylon and Tyrus in their pride, and Haman in his favour, and Jezebel in her paint? Have but faith enough to say, I am a man, and therefore no human events should be strange unto me;-and even that one consideration may keep a man from outrage of sinning. It may be, I have abundance of earthly things, yet am I still but a gilded potsherd: it may be, I have excellent endowments, but I have them all in an earthen vessel. And shall the potsherd strive with the potter, and provoke him that made it? This would teach us to fear and tremble at God's power. Though we look upon death and judgement as afar off, yet God can make them near when he will: for he hath said, that the
P Hosea ii. 9.
Hag. i. 9. Hos. ix. 2.
a Job xx. 22. • Amos iv. 7. r Psalm lxxviii. 30, 31.
damnation of wicked men is swift, and that they are near unto cursing. His judgements are like lightning, and have wings" suddenly to overtake a sinner. He requires but a month, nay, but a morning, nay, but a moment to consume his enemies, and bring desolation upon those who said they should sit as a lady for ever, and did never remember the latter end. "Though a sinner do evil a hundred times, and his days be prolonged," namely, by the patience and permission of God, in whose hands his days are," yet it shall go well at last only with those that fear God." The wicked are not able to prolong their own days.
Again, For afflictions and temptations, it is a great fruit of the infidelity of men's hearts, and a foolish charging and chiding of our Maker, to account ourselves swallowed up of any present pressure. If we did but consider that it is as easy with God to subdue our enemies, and to rebuke our afflictions, as it is with us to put a stool under our feet, -we would then learn to wait on him in all our distresses; and when we cannot answer difficulties, nor extricate ourselves out of our own doubts or fears,-to conclude, that his thoughts are above our thoughts, and his ways above our ways, and so to cast ourselves wholly upon his power. It is an argument which the Lord everywhere useth to establish his church withal: "Fear not the fear of men, nor be afraid, but sanctify the Lord of hosts himself, and let him be your fear. Who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass; and forgettest the Lord thy maker, and hast feared every day because of the fury of the oppressor? And where is the fury of the oppressor? If it be marvellous in the eyes of the remnant of this people, should it be marvellous in mine eyes, saith the Lord of hosts? Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh; is there any thing too hard for me?f Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. He shall be as a tree planted by the waters, which shall not be careful in the year of drought. When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and
2 Pet. ii. 1. * Hos. v. 7. d Isai. lv. 8, 9. viii. 6, 7.
e Isai. viii. 12, 13.
f Jer. xxxii. 27. Gen. xviii. 14.
u Hosea viii. 1. Zech. v. 1.
a Eccles. viii. 12, 13. e Zech.
d Isai. li. 12, 13.
g Jer. xvii. 7, 8.
their tongue faileth for thirst, I the Lord will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them." Though the figtree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines, the labour of the olive shall fail, and the field shall yield no meat, the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation." He is able to do above all that we can ask or think. God would never so frequently carry man to the dependence upon his power, if they were not apt, in extremities, to judge of God by themselves, and to suspect his power.
Secondly, As this putting of Christ's enemies like a stoo! under his feet, noteth easiness, so also it noteth order or beauty too. When Christ's enemies shall be under his foot, then there shall be a right order in things; then it shall indeed appear, that God is a God of order: and therefore the day wherein that shall be done, is called "the time of the restitution of all things." The putting of Christ's enemies under his feet, is an act of justice; and of all other, justice' is the most orderly virtue, that which keepeth beauty upon the face of a people, as consisting itself in a symmetry and proportion. Again; Every thing out of its own place, is out of order; but when things are all in their proper places and due proportions, then there results a beauty and comeliness from them. In a great house, there are many vessels, -some, of wood and brass,-others, of gold and silver; some, for honourable,-others, for base and sordid uses. Now if all these were confusedly together in one room, a man would conclude that things were out of order; but when the plate is in one place, the brass and wood in another, we acknowledge a decency and cleanliness in such a house. Let a body be of never so exact temperature and delicate complexion, yet if any member therein be misplaced, the eye in the room of the ear, or the cheek of the forehead, there can be no beauty in such a body: so in the church, till God set every one in his right place, the order thereof is but imperfect. Therefore when Judas was put under Christ's feet, he is said to have gone sis dov TÓTOV, "unto his own place."m
h Isai. xli. 17, 18.
i Heb. iii. 17, 19.
k Acts iii. 21.
I Ethic. lib. 5. cap. 1. Τὸ δίκαιον νόμιμον καὶ ἴσον· τὸ δὲ ἄδικον παράνομον καὶ ἄνισον.
m Acts i. 25.
Why then should any man murmur at the prosperity of wicked men, or conceive of God's proceedings, as if they were irregular and unequal" ?—as if there were no profit for those who walk mournfully, but the proud, and wicked workers were set up. This is to revile the workman, while he is yet in the fitting of his work. The pieces are not yet put together in their proper joints; and therefore no marvel, if the evenness and beauty of God's works be not so plainly discovered. For every thing is 'beautiful in its time.' What though the corn in the field hang down the head, and the weeds seem to flourish and overtop it; stay but till the harvest; and it will then appear which was for the garner, and which for the fire. Go into the sanctuary of the Lord, and by faith look unto the day of the revelation of God's righteous judgements; and it will appear "that the ways of the Lord are right, though the transgressors stumble in them "," or be offended at them.
Secondly, From hence every man may learn how to bring beauty and order into himself, namely, by subduing those enemies of Christ, those lusts and evil affections which dwell within him. Laws, we know, are the ligaments and sinews of a state; the strings, as it were, which, being touched and animated by skilful governors, do yield that excellent harmony, which is to be seen in well-constituted commonwealths the more they prevail, so much the more unity is preserved, and faction abated, and community cherished in the minds of men. Even so, where the sceptre of Christ, the law of the mind, the royal law of liberty and grace, do more prevail over the lusts of the heart,-by so much the more excellent is the harmony and complexion of such a soul.
Now the last thing in this verse is, "Scabellum pedibus tuis," a stool under thy feet. Things are under Christ's feet two manner of ways: either by way of subjection, as servants unto him; and so he hath dominion over all the works of God's hands, and hath all things put under his feet. So the apostle saith', that God hath set him at his own right hand in heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come; "and hath put all things under his feet," and gave
Mal. iii. 14. 15.
P Hosea xiv. 9.
n Ezek. xviii. 25. viii. 6. Eph. i. 21, 22.
him to be the head over all things to the church.-Which St. Peter' expresseth in a like manner: he is gone into Heaven, and is on the right hand of God, "angels and authorities and powers being made subject to him." Or, secondly, by way of victory and insultation; and so all Christ's enemies are put under his feet, which is the most proper way. For the members of Christ are indeed under the head; so we find, that the sheep of Christ are in his hands; "no man shall pluck them out of my hand." And the lambs of Christ are in his arms and bosom:" He shall gather the lambs with his arms, and carry them in his bosom. But the enemies of Christ are under his feet to be trampled upon, till their blood be squeezed out, and his garments stained with it. All the multiplied multitudes of the wicked in the world. shall be but as so many clusters of ripe grapes to be cast into the great wine-press of the wrath of God, and to be trodden by him who went forth on a white horse conquering, and to conquer, till the blood come out of the wine-press even unto the horse-bridles. And this is a usual expression of a total victory in holy Scripture, the laying of an adversary even with the ground, that he may be crushed and trampled upon. This was the curse of the serpent, that he should crawl with his belly upon the dust of the earth, and that the seed of the woman should bruise his head. And it is the curse of God's enemies, that they should lick the dust, and that the feet of the church, and the tongue of her dogs, should be dipped in the blood of her enemies. Thus Davidd put the people of Rabbah under harrows; and Jehu trod Jezebel under his horses' feet. And therefore the church chooseth that phrase to express the greatness of her calamity by, "The Lord hath trodden under feet all my mighty men in the midst of me; he hath called an assembly against me to crush my young men. The Lord hath trodden the virgin, the daughter of Judah, as in a wine-press."
Now this putting of Christ's enemies as a stool under his feet, notes unto us, in regard of Christ, two things: first, his rest, and secondly, his triumph. To stand in the Scrip
s 1 Pet. iii. 22. y Joel iii. 13, 14. b Gen. iii. 14.
f Lam. i. 15.
t John x. 28.
e Psal. lxviii. 23.
u Isai. xl. 11. x Isai. Ixiii. 1, 3. a Luke x. 19. Rom. xvi. 20. d 2 Sam. xii. 31. • 2 Kings ix. 33.