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ness of the clergy, an indifference in religion, without warmth and holy fires of zeal, and diligent pursuance of all its just and holy interests. Now in these, and all parallel cases, when God, by punishments, hath probably marked and distinguished the crime, it concerns public persons to be the more forward and importunate in consideration of public irregularities and, for the private also, not to neglect their own particulars; for, by that means, although not certainly, yet probably, they may secure themselves from falling in the public calamity. It is not infallibly sure, that holy persons shall not be smitten by the destroying angel; for God, in such deaths, hath many ends of mercy, and some of providence, to serve: but such private and personal emendations and devotions, are the greatest securities of the men against the judgment, or the evil of it, preserving them in this life, or wafting them over to a better. Thus many of the Lord's champions did fall in battle, and the armies of the Benjamites did twice prevail upon the juster people of all Israel; and the Greek empire hath declined and shrunk, under the fortune and power of the Ottoman family; and the Holy Land, which was twice possessed by Christian princes, is now in the dominion of unchristened Saracens ; and, in the production of these alterations, many a gallant and pious person suffered the evils of war, and the change of an untimely death.
13. But the way for the whole nation to proceed, in cases of epidemical diseases, wars, great judgments, and popular calamities, is to do, in the public proportion, the same that every man is to do for his private; by public acts of justice, repentance, fastings, pious laws, and execution of just and religious edicts, making peace, quitting of unjust interests, declaring publicly against a crime, protesting in behalf of the contrary virtue or religion: and to this also, every man, as he is a member of the body politic, must co-operate; that, by a repentance in diffusion, help may come, as well as by a sin of universal dissemination, the plague was hastened and invited the rather. But in these
• Diis te minorem quòd geris, imperas.
Dii multa neglecti dederunt
Hesperia mala luctuosæ. - Hor, lib. iii. Od. 6.
cases, all the work of discerning and pronouncing, concerning the cause of the judgment, as it must be without asperity, and only for designs of correction and emendation, so it must be done by kings and prophets, and the assistance of other public persons, to whom the public is committed. Joshua cast lots upon Achan, and discovered the public trouble in a private instance; and of old, the prophets had it in commission to reprove the popular iniquity of nations, and the confederate sins of kingdoms: and, in this, Christianity altered nothing. And when this is done modestly, prudently, humbly, and penitently, oftentimes the tables turn immediately, but always in due time; and a great alteration in a kingdom becomes the greatest blessing in the world, and fastens the church, or the crown, or the public peace, in bands of great continuance and security; and it may be, the next age shall feel the benefits of our sufferance and repentance. And, therefore, as we must endeavour to secure it, so we must not be too decretory in the case of others, or disconsolate or diffident in our own, when it may so happen, that all succeeding generations shall see, that God pardoned us, and loved us, even when he smote us. Let us all learn to fear, and walk humbly. The churches of Laodicea and the Colossians suffered a great calamity, within a little while after the Spirit of God had sent them two epistles, by the ministry of St. Paul; their cities were buried in an earthquake and yet, we have reason to think, they were churches beloved of God, and congregations of holy people.
O eternal and powerful God! thou just and righteous governor of the world! who callest all orders of men by precepts, promises, and threatenings, by mercies and by judgments, teach us to admire and adore all the wisdom, the effects, and infinite varieties of thy providence; and make us to dispose ourselves so, by obedience, by repentance, by all the manners of holy living, that we may never provoke thee to jealousy, much less to wrath and indignation against us. Keep far from us the sword of the destroying angel, and let us never perish in the public expresses of thy wrath, in diseases epidemical, with the
furies of war, with calamitous, sudden, and horrid accidents, with unusual diseases; unless that our so strange fall be more for thy glory, and our eternal benefit, and then thy will be done: we beg thy grace, that we may cheerfully conform to thy holy will and pleasure. Lord, open our understandings, that we may know the meaning of thy voice, and the signification of thy language, when thou speakest from heaven in signs and judgments; and let a holy fear so soften our spirits, and an intense love so inflame and sanctify our desires, that we may apprehend every intimation of thy pleasure at its first, and remotest, and most obscure representment, that so we may, with repentance, go out to meet thee, and prevent the expresses of thine anger. Let thy restraining grace, and the observation of the issues of thy justice, so allay our spirits, that we be not severe and forward in condemning others, nor backward in passing sentence upon ourselves. Make us to obey thy voice, described in holy Scripture, to tremble at thy voice, expressed in wonders and great effects of providence, to condemn none but ourselves, nor to enter into the recesses of tny sanctuary, and search the forbidden records of predestination; but that we may read our duty in the pages of revelation, not in the labels of accidental effects; that thy judgments may confirm thy word, and thy word teach us our duty, and we, by such excellent instruments, may enter in, and grow up in the ways of godliness, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Of the Accidents happening from the Death of Lazarus, until the Death and Burial of Jesus.
1. WHILE Jesus was in Galilee, messengers came to him from Martha and her sister Mary, that he would hasten into Judea, to Bethany, to relieve the sickness and imminent dangers of their brother Lazarus. But he deferred his going till Lazarus was dead; purposing to give a great probation of his divinity, power, and mission, by a glorious miracle;
and to give God glory, and to receive reflections of the glory upon himself. For after he had staid two days, he called his disciples to go with him into Judæa, telling them, that Lazarus was dead, but he would raise him out of that sleep of death. But by that time Jesus was arrived at Bethany, "he found that Lazarus had been dead four days," and now near to putrefaction. But when Martha and Mary met him, weeping their pious tears for their dead brother, Jesus suffered the passions of piety and humanity, and wept, distilling that precious liquor into the grave of Lazarus; watering the dead plant, that it might spring into a new life, and raise his head above the ground.
2. When Jesus had, by his words of comfort and institution, strengthened the faith of the two mourning sisters, and commanded" the stone to be removed" from the grave, he made an address of adoration and eucharist to his Father, confessing his perpetual propensity to hear him, and then cried out, Lazarus, come forth! And he that was dead, came forth" from his bed of darkness, with his night-clothes on him; whom when the apostles had unloosed, at the command of Jesus, he went to Bethany: and many that were present," believed on him;" but others, wondering and malicious, went and told the Pharisees the story of the miracle, who, upon that advice, called their great council, whose great and solemn cognizance was of the greater causes of prophets, of kings, and of the holy law. At this great assembly it was, that Caiaphas, the high-priest, prophesied, that it was " expedient, one should die for the people. And thence they determined the death of Jesus." But he, knowing they had passed a decretory sentence against him," retired to the city Ephraim," in the tribe of Judah, near the desert, where he staid a few days, till the approximation of the feast of Easter.
3. Against which feast, when Jesus, with his disciples, was going to Jerusalem, he told them the event of the journey would be, that the Jews "should deliver him to the Gentiles;" that they "should scourge him, and mock him, and crucify him, and the third day he should rise again." After which discourse, the mother of Zebedee's children begged of Jesus, for her two sons, that "one of them might sit at his right hand, the other at the left, in his kingdom." For no discourses of his passion, or intimations of the mysteriousness of
his kingdom, could yet put them into right understandings of their condition. But Jesus, whose heart and thoughts were full of fancy, and apprehensions of the neighbour passion, gave them answer, in proportion to his present conceptions and their future condition. For if they desired the honours of his kingdom, such as they were, they should have them, unless themselves did decline them; they " should drink of his cup," and dip in his lavatory, and be "washed with his baptism," and "sit in his kingdom," if the heavenly "Father had prepared it for" them; but the donation of that immediately, was an issue of Divine election and predestination, and was only competent to them, who, by holy living and patient suffering, put themselves into a disposition of becoming vessels of election.
4. But as Jesus, in this journey, "came near Jericho," he cures "a blind man, who sat begging by the way-side;" and "espying Zaccheus, the chief of the publicans, upon a tree, (that he, being "low of stature," might, upon that advantage of station, see Jesus passing by,) he invited himself to his house; who " received him with gladness," and repentance of his crimes, purging his conscience, and filling his heart and house with joy and sanctity; for, immediately upon the arrival of the Master at his house, he offered restitution to all persons whom he had injured, and satisfaction; and half of his remanent estate he " gave to the poor," and so gave the fairest entertainment to Jesus, who brought along with him" salvation to his house." There it was that he spake the parable of the king, who concredited divers talents to his servants, and having at his return exacted an account, rewarded them who had improved their bank, and been faithful in their trust, with rewards proportionable to their capacity and improvement; but the negligent servant, who had not meliorated his stock, was punished with ablegation, and confinement to outer darkness. And from hence sprang up that dogmatical proposition, which is mysterious and determined in Christianity: "To him that hath, shall be given and from him that hath not, shall be taken away even what he hath." After this, going forth of Jericho, he cured two blind men upon the way.
5. Six days before Easter, "Jesus came to Bethany," where he was feasted by Martha and Mary, and accompanied