* This sermon was preached, at a private Fast, to the Commons assembled in Parliament,

[blocks in formation]


i my publishing at which was also

ug, namely, your sied therewith, I er grounds of satisvasion of prevailing one so far oftentimes

satisfaction will not *** That which exempts

is trame and temper of se entertainment of disexing of that injunction

eving the word of God : ate will hear, or whether zu therefore any plea, or

vi most to need it in this fized account of the rise and was in the providence of God in

Only I shall crave leave Sage for a little leisure to re

out of my own short notes and preach one sermon, and print we considerations that fell in edience I had purposed. The more public, at this time and

in simplicity of spirit to

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

: Christ in these nations, and therein to : interest of these nations themselves,

naked design openly managed and purplainness of speech (as the small portion tted to this exercise would allow), was the

Solicitations of some particular friends · warmth unto that consideration. I must sonfess, that I was a little moved by some misLat were delivered into the hands of report, to ..inged to the discountenance of the honest and truth contended for, especially when I found them rut due consideration exposed in print unto public

That is the manner of these days wherein we

I know full well, that there is not any thing from Lie beginning to the ending of this short discourse, wat doth really interfere with any form of civil government in the world, administered according to righteousness and equity; as there is not in the gospel of Christ, or in any of the concernments of it. And I am assured also that the truth proposed in it, inwraps the whole ground of any just expectation of the continuance of the presence of God amongst us, and his acceptation of our endeavours about the allotment and just disposal of our civil affairs. Let others lay what weight they will or please, upon the lesser differences that are amongst us on any account whatever; if this shield be safe, this principle maintained and established that is here laid down, and the just rights of the nation laid in a way of administration suited unto its preservation and furtherance, I shall not easily be cast down from my hopes, that amongst us poor, unprofitable, unthankful creatures as we are, we may yet see the fruit of righteousness to be peace, and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance for evermore. For those then who shall cast their eye on this paper, I would beg of them to lay aside all those prejudices against persons or things, which their various contexture in our public affairs may possibly have raised in them. I know how vain, for the most part, expectations of prevailing in such a desire, by naked requests are.



But sick men must be groaning, though they look for no relief thereby. Wherefore committing it into that hand, wherein lie also your hearts and mine, I shall commend it for your use unto the sovereign grace of him, who is able to work all your present works for you, and which is more, to give you an inheritance among them that are sanctified. So prays,

Your servant in the work of
Our Lord Jesus Christ, and his gospel,

John OWEN.


[ocr errors]

Upon all the glory shall be a defence.- Isa. iv. 5. The design of this chapter is to give in relief against outward perplexing extremities from gospel promises, and the presence of Christ with his people in those extremities. The next intendment of the words in the type, seems to relate . to the deliverance of the people of the Jews from the Babylonish captivity, and the presence of God amongst them upon their return; God frequently taking occasion from thence, to mind them of the covenant of grace, with the full ratification and publication of it by Christ, as is evident from Jer. xxxi. and xxxii. and sundry other places.

As to our purpose, we have considerable in the chapter: The persons to whom these promises are given; the condition wherein they were; and the promises themselves that are made to them for their supportment and consolation.

First, The persons intended are the remnant, the escaping, the 'evasion of Israel,'as the word signifies, ver. 2. they that are left, that remain, ver. 3. who escape the great desolation that was to come on the body of the people, the furnace they were to pass through. Only in the close of that verse, they have a farther description added of them, from the purpose of God concerning their grace and glory; they are written among the living, or rather written unto life; 'every one that is written,' that is, designed unto life in Jerusalem.

As to the persons in themselves considered, the application is easy unto this assembly: Are you not the remnant, the escaping of England ? Is not this a brand plucked out of the fire ? Are you not they that are left, they that remain from great trials and desolations? The 'Lord grant that the application may hold out, and abide to the end of the prophecy.

Secondly, The condition that this remnant, or escaping had been in, is laid down in some figurative expressions concerning the smallness of this remnant, or the paucity of them that should escape, and the greatness of the extremities they should be exercised withal. I cannot insist on parti

« VorigeDoorgaan »