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parts, which were found (rara avis in terris), jointly in him. It was manifeft to all who were but a little acquaint with him that his modesty and humility was such, that in all his most eminent appearances for God, he studied to disappear, lest he should by ftanding yp,, guilty of intercepting any part of that glory, which belongs to him aIone, of whom are all things, and

for whom are all things: neither was he at any loss hereby; for thus he became great in the kingdom of God: his growing downward, in that high and gospel-adorning grace of humility, made him grow upward in favour with God and all good men and thus by denying himself, and seeking God alone, he both found what he fought, and got what he was not willing to take, nor would own as his due.

But, besides this true account I have given, why the world was deprived of fo useful and edifying a piece to this day; I think it should not pass without a remark, that God in his good providence, hath reserved the publication thereof, for such a time as this, wherein it seems to promi se a singular adyantage, beyond and above what was probably attainable at any other feason: first, as the suffering people of God, who while they are deprived of these things in public, for the most part, which comforted them over all their sorrows, and while the songs of the fanctuary (because the Philistines have stopped most of those wells, out of which they used to draw and drink with joy, that which was sweeter to the taste than honey to the mouth, or they have thrown that into them, which hath not only made them lose their former relish and fuyeetness, but hath rendered them so bitter, that they are now become gall and wormwood) are turned into howling and bitter lamentation; while it is thus, I say, with the people of God, that instead of being made glad in his house of prayer, as formerly, they are sighing for the Leasing of those folemn assemblies: they may in their fad houss commune with this fufferer, who not being willing to eat his morsel alone, fpeaks to them good words, and comfortably

he telleth you, beloved fufferers, what a heaven is to be had in Christ's company, even when ve are put to bear the cross, and to have shame and suffering for his fake, as your inseparable companion : neither is his discourse upon this fubject, an empty or idle speculation : nay, he speaks what he knoweth: the God for whose cause he suffered comforted him in the like tribulation, and so he is in case to comfort you by the comforts where with he himself was comforted of God. Next, as to those of the minifters of the gospel, who by the violence of their adversaries, are driven from their docks (which to a godly minister is the greatest of amictions) such, ! fay, may fee for strengthening of their hands, while they are put to contend with those that are too strong for them, how this noble witness, who suffered for the fame cause, carried, how he acquitted himself, and overcame : the archers shot fore at him, but his bow abode in its strength; the arms of his hands were made fo strong by the hand of the mighty God of Jacob, that he was too hard for all that entered the lists with him: and when they thought they had done fuf: icient, either to force him to a compliance, or to make him faint una der the effects of their fury, by depriving him of his ministry, which was dearer to him than his life, he was not by all this so much put to fuffering (to speak properly) as he was for a feafon, a little removed from the noise and distraction that is abroad in the world, to be alone with God. O blessed folitude ! Q sweet fociety! he was taken out of the clanour and confusion that is here below, up to the mount, where he was admitted to a near familiarity, and experienced the sweetness of that fellowship with God, which he had preached to others: tho he was not taken froin the earth, yer he was not only kept from the

evil that was then, and is now, in the world; but he enjoyed such heaven under his heavy pressures, that if he being about his matter's business, had not been prized by him, as preferable to his own confolation, he would have been in hazard of forgetting the troubles of Zion, and so saying, “ It is good for me to be here:” bat he was facha a fervant, as made it his meat and drink to do his Mafter's will; he had so learned Christ, as to prefer his concernments to his chief joy: and therefore, ye will find him often in these epiftles, feasting upon the consolations of God, with the tear in his eye; while he remembers Zion, and calls to mind the defolate condition of the flocks of Chrift, particularly his own, for whom nothing was prepared. He found in his folitude such a measure of presence, as could hardly have been expected, out of the chamber of presence, where there is fulnefs of joy and pleasure for evermore : he knew more in his happy retirement, of the exercife of them who are above (who being made kings unto God, have crowns upon their heads; and being made priests alfo, facrifice these to the giver) than he could have learned, by revolving all the volumes that are written in many ages, amidst the greatest outward calm and tranquillity: this is the summer fruit which grew out of the hard tree of the cross of Chrift that he was put to bear, which was fo sweet to his tafte, that it made him difdain the dainties of his adversaries, and difrelish these four and unfavoury delights of the fons of men, which however they may at firft feem to have

some petty fweer in them, yet they quickly fer the teeth of the eater on edge, and are found bitter in the belly, and of a bad digestion; thefe were the quiet fruits of righteousness that his fervant reaped by his sufferings for Chrift, and that in such plenty, that out of his abundance, he lends fome bafkers of these fweet fruits abroad amongst his friends, both to bring up a good report upon his liberal Lord and Master, who allows on his followers, while they are pinched with penary of other comforts, full measure, heaped ap, running over, and shaken together; and upon the cross of Christ also, to the end it might appear, that this burden is fo far from imbittering the life of a suffering faint, that by the contrary, as the fufferings of Christ abound in him, fo his consolation also aboundeth by Jesus Chrift. The publication then, I say, of these epiftles, seems in providence to be trysted on purpose, with the fufferings of his fervants at this time, that we may be encouraged by his example, to a zealous faithfulness, and a cheerful suffering, and and may wax bold by his bonds, under, and in which, he did experience much of the glorious liberty of the fons of God. How oft do we find him prefering his confinement to all the sublunary contentments of his perfecutors? Here did he feed upon these pure and unmixed delights, which put such gladness in the heart, as expels all the latent and lurking griefs that are there, and caufeth the fout, while surrounded with all outward trouble to fing, while they feed upon ashes, and fill their belly with the Eaft-wind, who feaft' upon the tears of the people of God, and seem to have nothing else to interrupt their tranquillity, but how they may trouble the children of peace. It was under this restraint, and in this house of his bondage, when being shut up from, and spoiled of all creature comforts, that he found the furpasing fweetness of the confolations of God, which taste best when they are most free of the mud, and mixture of other enjoyments; there it was where he found the truth of that saying of Augustin, Tanto est dulcedo celiftes gaudii, ut si una guttula defluerit in infornum, totam amaritudinem inferni abforberet : If one drop of heavenly joy thould fall into hell, it would fwallow up, or fweeten all the bitterness of that place of torment.' The love of God and the joy of the holy Ghost,

was fo abundantly shed abroad in his heart, while he was in the furnace, that his crofs was not only made thereby, light and easy, and his life pleasant, but ye. have him often saying (because he found by these foretaftes what inconceivable confolation must be in the immediate vision and full fruition of God), that if there were no other way to come at the poffeffion of that blessedness, he would not only chule to swim through a sea of outward troubles; but he would wade through the lake of fire and brimstone, to be poffeffed of God himself; and there is none who knew the gracious fobriety of this holy man, that will judge he complimented in faying fo; nay, there are none, who have found what a cool refreshing shade and abupdant confolation the foul îinds, in the company of the Son of man, while they walk with him amidst the flames of the most scorching fiery trials; but they would think strange, if he spake otherwise. Let us then be ashamed to fcar at the cross, or at Christ's company, because of it; since it bears the man who bears it; let us resolve to take joyfully the loss of all things, life itself not being excepted, in the service of such a master, who makes us gainers by our losses, and then in a special way makes up all our wants, according to his riches in glory, when we have forraken all to follow him. Let us ftudy to carry in the light of advero faries, as men who cannot be made miserable by affliction : for if we bę but indeed faithful to him, we are more happy at our worst, than we know; or rather we are only in so far miserable, as we know not how happy we are: he who is admitted to know that he hath a place in the heart of God, needs but care little what he meet with from the hand of man: this may wipe all tears from his eyes, even while he fighs out that fad word, 'I am poor and needy, that he knoweth, and is in cafe to add that other, yet-the Lord thinketh upon me, and doth earnestly remember me still. And by the way (though it is neither far oyt of my way nor thine, nor excentrick to my present purpose) let me say, that if the question were moved, How it cometh to pass, that he found so much, and other worthy sufferers also before him, that these things seem almost dreams, and incredible to us? Truely (without speaking any thing of the absolute Sovereignty of God, who may do with his own what he will, and dispense as he pleafeth, both as to meafure and time) the reason may seem to be very obvious: his, and their witness bearing for Jelus Christ, did every way, and in all respects exceed ours: they gavę to God as Kings (tho'it was of his own they served him) their testimonies, against the corruptions of their times, whether in king, or parliament, or church-men, had so much of ministerial faithfulness, so much of freedom, fo much of grave and gospel-becoming boldness in them, so much holy zeal, even for the least of the concernments of the kingdom of Christ, (upon which we are loth to state our sufferings, or for the keeping whereof we are unwilling to hazard the loss of any thing) that it was apparent, they loved him fo well, that they loved not their lives unto the death; and that Christ could require nothing of them, as a signification of their zeal for his interests, which they were not at a point to part with, and were not ready to give away: and he upon the other hand, to make it appear, that they could not serve the Lord for nothing, and to evidence his special complacency in such a zealous frame of spirit, did, not only extraordinarly support them under their trouble, so that they did not link, even when they seemed to others, to be pressed out of measure, and beyond strength; but did manifest himself in a most familiar manner unto them, so that when they were almost at this, That they had not whereupon to lay their Head, they had then free access, to lean it and lay it on his bosom: In

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a word, God did declare, that he thought nothing too great, nor too good for them, who gave themselves away so intirely to him ; fo that if the question were asked at God, whence is it, that there is so valt a difference betwixt his dealing with the former witnesses, and those who now give some kind of testimony to his name? He could quickly filence and put to shame the movers of that question, by fending us back, to see what a difference there is, betwixt what those worthies did and suffered for him; and what we have done, though under more obligations, at least subjective, under more oaths, covenants, engagements, protestations, and there often reiterate, than many of them were : he met them, as men who rejoiced and wrought righte. ousness, and could neither be flattered nor frowned out of their fidelity and freedom, and he hides himself from us, as it were ashamed of fúch witnesses, whose very testimony is so unworthy of such a Maiter, and so far short of what it ought to be, as if indeed we were ashamed of him and his truth, or thought the torn and the lame a fufficient facrifice for him. It was not the main question of these men in a suffering time, how much they might let go, and yet kecp the fubftantials of religion, or how long they should be filent, out of fear, left they endearoured to acquit themfelves faithfully, they should both be reputed rash and imprudent, and provoke the magistrate, by venting their needless jealoulies, to do what he intended not; they did not think it enough to give fome oblique intimation of their dislike, or half signification of their detestation of these courses, whereby they conceived their Maiter's interests wronged, his prerogative encroached upon, and the whole endangered; nay, nay, these men of God, who knew the times and what Ifrael had to do, thought such a carriage unworthy of the ambassadors of Christ, who are set for the defence of the gospel, and upon the matter, but as a couching of affes under the burden; they would sooner have parted with their lives, than with one hoof of what belonged to their Matter. They thought it more worthy of a watchman, to put all on their guard, upon the leaft appearance of the approach of an enemy, than suffer themselves to be shamefully furprised in their fecurity; and they thought it more like the good soldiers of Jesus Christ, to cover the ground where they stood with their dead bodies, than as afraid or terrified by their adversaries in any thing, to make a dishonourable retreat, he who would have put them from witselling a good confeflion, when the danger of the work of God called them to cry aloud, and not to spare, behoved, not only to have threatned them (for that 'vould not have done their business, they being men of fach metal, as could have looked death out of countenance in its most formidable shape, and carried in the face of all opposition, as those whom no affliction could make miserable, but to filence them perfeétly, be bchoved to have sent them into the other world, which could not be terrible to them, who had the certain expectation, that if so dismissed, they should take up their place amongst the fouls under the altar, slain for the word of God, and their testimony that they held; and I may fay particularly, to the commendation of the grace of God, in this his faithful fervant (who having served his generation according to the will of God, is now fallen alleep) that to the observation of all, he never was afraid of the face of man, in appearing for the interests of Christ, neither knew he what it was to be silent, when he faw these in hazard ; nay, he was such a son of Levi, as knew neither friend nor brother in the matters of God; which blessed disposition did accompany him to His grave; for though such was the indulgence of his Master to fo faithfula tervant, that he would have him to die in peace (though he denied

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him not the honour of a martyr, dying under a sentence of confinement to his own house) plucking him out of the jaws of a bloody death, wherewith he was threatened, and which was intended for him, by them whose indignation had almost come to that height, as to say upon the matter, Bring him hither upon the bed that we may kill him : for not being fatisfied with the testimony of the physicians, nor the magistrates, nor the ministers of the place, certifying that he was not able to travel to Edinburgh (as by the sequel was too fadly confirmed) he was confined in his own house, when he was not able to go abroad, and put to hame in that place, where he had deservedly gained the repute of one of the most learned and successfully laborious doctors, that ever had filled that chair, and one of the mof faithful and diligent ministers that ever watched over, or laboured amongst a people. Ah Scotland, Scotland, whither haft thou caused thy shame to go ? If it had been an enemy who had fought to deal thus with thy feers and faithful prophets, it had become thee better, to have hid thefe by fifties in caves, from the fury of their enemies; or if thou couldest not have preferved the lives of such worthies, either to have died with them, or to have made it appear, that thou only lived to lament the loss of a greater treasure, than if thoy hadít lost all the gold of India and Ophir ; but for thy own {word to devour thy own prophets, and that under the colour of law, what canst thou say for this that will satisfy? What apology.canst thou make to God, for misusing his prophets, and shedding the blood of the just in the midst of thee? What canst thou say for satisfying the nations, who have heard of the renown of these men, these precious fons of Zion, comparable to fine gold, who have been dashed in pieces in the midst of thee, and dealt with, as earthen pitchers, the work of the hands of the Potter? Wilt thou not be speechless, and not have wherewith to answer him that reproveth and reproacheth thee? Canst thou look forward, and not blush to think, what fucceeding generations will say of thee? What wilt thou say, when it shall be asked, by one whom thou muft anfwer, what manner of men were these whose blood thou didit Thed ? (however thou hast represented them now as malefactors, that thou mightest deal fo with themr; yet then thou must say) all of them were as the fons of kings. Ah Scotland! Scotland! the most folemnly engaged to God, and the most guilty and ungrate of all the nations under the heavens: dost thou not fear after all this, the cry of the souls under the altar? Saying with a loud voice, how lony, O Lord, holy and true dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? Thou was once made ufe of as a carpenter, to fray the horns of them who did push the inheritance of the Lord; but now the spirit of the horns hath entered into the carpenters : and doft thou think thyself fecure after all this ! It is true, there is no visible power or party upon earth, of whom thou haft much reafon to be afraid; but remember, that he who is higher than the highest regardeth, who will make inquisition for the blood of his faints, which thou haft shed, and his interests; if thou wilt fear nothing else, let me recommend the Scythian fear unto thee, of whom it is reported, that they fear nothing," but that the heavens should fall upon them;" alas! if thy enemy be above thee, how wilt thou guard thy head, or secure thy heart, when he gives the blow, and recompenses thy way upon thine own head? But if thou wilt still go on, and instead of smiting on thy thigh, and saying, What have done? harden thyself, and think to prosper ; I shall defire grace to have such a frame of foul as to weep for thee in secret. But to return to my purpose from which this fad meditation hath a little withdrawn me; though such, I say, was the tenderness of his Master to this servant, yet


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