« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
cency, and our peace, and have more honoured our profeffion, by fhewing the world Chriftianity exemplified, in its proper genuine nature and effects.
3. Confider, it is not oppreffion, perfecution, or hard ufage that will exempt us from the obligation of the fifth Commandment, which requireth us to honour our fuperiours,(our Natural, and Civil, and Ecclefiaftical Fathers.) It is the evil and froward, and not only the good & the gentle that we must honour and obey. And the reason is plain from their Original and end. It is not as our Trustees, or agents, or friends only, that our rulers must be honoured: but as the Officers of the God of heaven nor is it only as they do good to us but as they preferve order and justice in the world, and are the pillars of the Commonwealth. If Magiftrates fhould
deal neyer fo hardly with you and me, yet ftill their office is of neceffity to the common good: And if their office be neceffary, their bonour is neceffary: For when they are dif bonoured and defpifed, they are difabled. And therefore for the common good we must be careful to keep up the honour of our Governours, even when we fuffer by them our felves, Princes were none of the best when the Apoftles commanded the Churches to honour them, and obey them, and this not only for fear of their penalties, but for confcience fake, Rom, 13.5. Of old it was they that malkt after the flesh, in the luft of uncleanness, that were prefumptu ous and felf-willed, and defpifed Government, and were not afraid to Speak evil of dignities: whereas the Angels that are greater in pomer and might, bring not railing accu fations against them before the Lord
Lord] 2 Peter 2. 10, 11. Jude
4. Confider, that reviling is a tongue-revenge and revenge is Gods, and he is engaged to repay, and hath commanded us not to avenge our felves. As we must not step into the Judges tribunal when ever we think he is negligent in his adminiftrations fo much lefs must we accufe God of negligence or injuftice, by stepping into his throne. And though the Railers of thefe times, excufe their fin with the name of fuftice, they muft shew their Commiffions for the executing of that Justice, be-fore it will pafs in heaven for an
excufe. Is not God fevere enough? will not his judgement be terrible enough? would you with men to fuffer more then he will inflict on the impenitent? what! more then hell? and will it not befoon enough? are you fo hafty for fo dreadful
dreadful a revenge, can you not ftay when the Judge is at the door? Mark both the fage and remedy of believers, in fam. 5.5, 6,7,8. To the rich and great ones of the world he faith Te have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton, ye have nourished your hearts as in a day of slaughter: Te have condemned and killed the juft, and he doth not refift you.] There's your ufage. Be patient therefore brethren unto the coming of the Lord] There's the remedy. But muft we stay fo long? he thus repeateth his advice. [Be ye alfo patient: ftablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.]. Let your moderation be known to all men: the Lord is at hand] Phil.4.5. [Shall not God avenge his own elect, that cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you, that he will avenge them Speedily Luke 18.7,8. There's
no contradiction between crying long and avenging Speedily.
5. Confider, what compaffion, rather then reproach, you owe to thofe by whom you fuffer. They do themselves much more hurt then they do you. Are they great? they have the more to answer for, and their fall will be the greater, Jam. 5. 1, 2, 3. If you are your felves believers, go into the SanЯuary,and ask the Scriptures what will be their end? and then deny. them compaffion if you can. Alas, confider, they are at the worft, but fuch as you were formerly. your felves, as to the main. Paul makes a fad confeffion of his own perfecution of the Church, when he was before Agrippa, and doch not complain that he was himself fo hardly used. [Iverily thought, faith he, with my felf, that I ought to do many things contrary to the Name of felus. Many of the