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beads; and seek shelter in Zoar, and the mountains. Some of them are overtaken by the pursuer, and drop down in the way, and lie there as woeful spectacles of mortality, till necessity, and not charity, could find them a grave. Others pass on; and, for friends, find strangers. Danger made men wisely and unwillingly unhospital. The cousin, the brother forgets his own blood; and the father looks shily upon his own child, and welcomes him with frowns, if not with repulses. There were, that repaid their grudged harbour with infection. And those, that speed best, what with care for their abandoned houses and estate, what with grief for the misery of their forsaken neighbours, what with the rage of those epidemical diseases which they found abroad, (as it is well observed by one, that in a contagious time all sicknesses have some tincture of pestilence,) wore out their days in the deepest sorrow and heaviness. There, leave we them; and return to the miserable metropolis of this kingdom which they left. Who can express the doleful condition of that time and place? The Arms of London are the Red Cross and the Sword: what house almost wanted these? Here was the Red Cross upon the door, the Sword of God's judgment within doors; and the Motto was, Lord, have mercy upon us.
What could we hear, but alarms of death? what could we see, but trophies of death? Here was nothing but grvaning, and crying, and dying, and burying. Carts were the biers; wide pits were the graves; men's clothes were their coffins; and the very exequies of friends were murderous. The carcases of the dead might say, with the sons of the prophets, Behold the place where we lie is too strait for us. New dormitories are bought for the dead, and furnished. Neither might the corpses be allowed to lie single in their earthen beds, but are piled up like faggots in a stack, for the society of their future resurrection. No man survived, but he might say with th Psalmist, that thousands fell at his side, and ten thousands at his hand. And, if we take all together, the mother and the dar, surely the number was not much short of David's, thoug! i cime were shorter.
It is not without reason, that from the Hebrew word 727 which signifies “ The Plague,” is derived 7272 which signifies “ A Desert:" certainly, the Plague turns the most populous city into a desert. Oh the woeful desolation of this place! It was almost come to Herba tegit Trojam. And, if some infrequent passenger crossed our streets, it was not without his medicated posy at his nose, and his Zedoary or Angelica in his mouth. Every room seemed a pest-house; every scent mortal. Here should he meet one pale ghost muffled up under the throat; another dragging his legs after him, for the tumor of his groin; another bespotted with the Tokens of instant death. Here, might he hear one shrieking out in a frantic distraction; there, another breathing out his soul in his last groans. What should I say more? This glorious chamber of the kingdom seemed no other than a dreadful dungeon to her own; a very Golgotha to all beholders; and this proud queen of our British cities sat in the dust of her compassion, howling in the
rags of her sackcloth; not mourning more than mourned for; pitied, no less than forsaken; when the God of our Salvation looked down upon her deep afflictions, and miraculously proved unto us, that unto him belong the issues from death.
It was he, that put it into the heart of his gracious servant to command a Nineveh-like Humiliation. What pithy, what passionate Prayers were enjoined to his disconsolate Church! With what holy eagerness, did we devour those Fasts! How well were we pleased, with the austerity of that pious Penitence! What loud cries did beat on all sides at the gates of heaven! and with what inesspectable, unconceivable mercy were they answered! How suddenly were those many thousands brought down to one poor unity, not a number! Other evils were wont to come on horseback; to go away on foot: this mortality did not post, but fly away. Methought, like unto the great ice, it sunk at once. Only so many are stricken, as may hold us awful; and so few, as may leave us thankful.
Oh, how soon is our fasting and mourning turned into laughter and joy! How boldly do we now throng into this house of God, and fearlessly mix our breaths in a common devotion! This is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes. Othou, that hearest the prayer, to thee shall all flesh come. And let all flesh come to thee, with the voice of praise and thanksgiving.
It might have been just with thee, O God, to have swept us away in the common destruction: what are we better than our brethren? Thou hast let us live, that we may praise thee. It might have been just with thee, to have enlarged the commission of thy killing angel, and to have rooted out this sinful people from under heaven: but in the midst of judgment thou hast remembered mercy. Our sins have not made thee forget to be gracious, nor have shut up thy loving kindness in displeasure. Thou hast wounded us, and thou hast healed us again; thou hast delivered us, and been merciful to our sins for thy Name's sake.
Oh, that we could duly praise thy Name in the great Congregation! Oh, that our tongues, our hearts, our lives might bless and glorify thee! that so thou mayest take pleasure to perfect this great work of our full deliverance, and to make this nation a dear example of thy mercy, of peace, victory, prosperity, to all the world.
In the mean time, let us call all our fellow-creatures to help us bear a part in the praise of our God. Let the heavens, the stars, the winds, the waters, the dews, the frosts, the nights, the days; let the earth and sea, the mountains, wells, trees, fishes, fowls, beasts; let men, let saints, let angels bless the Lord, praise him, and magnify him for ever. Blessed, blessed for ever be the Lord, who loadeth us daily with benefits; even the God of our Salvation, to whom belong the issues from death. Oh blessed be the Lord God of Israel, who only, doth wonderous things; and blessed be his glorious Name for ever and cer: and let all the earth be filled with his glory. Amen. Amen.
THE DEFEAT OF CRUELTY:
SOLEMN FAST, AT WHITEHALL.
PSALM Ixviii. 30. Rebuke the company of spear-men, the multitude of the bulls, with the
calves of the people, till every one submit himself with pieces of silver: scatter thou the people that delight in war.
The same Psalm, that lately yielded us a Song of Thanksgiving, now affords us a Prayer for Victory: such variety of spiritual Howers grows in every bed of this divine garden. Our occasions cannot change so oft, as God can fit us with change of notes.
The last verse before my text was a prediction of kings bringing presents to God: this is a prayer for dissipation of enemies. I tis not for nothing, that the Psalmist interrupts his prophecy wit a petition. Hostility blocks up the way to devotion. Even the laws of God are silent in the clashing of arms. That kings may bring presents to God, God must give a happy cessation of arms to them.
It is not long since we saw the Lord's Anointed approach to this altar of God, with presents of thanksgiving, for our late deliverance from the raging pestilence: now we come to sue, and expect that God would crown his royal head with garlands of victory, and rebuke the company of spear-men, the multitude of bulls, with the calves' of the people; and scatter the people that delight in war.
May it please you, first, to see the ENEMIES; then, the DEFEAT, The Enemy is described by a threefold title: 1. Fera arundinis, the company of the spear-men, or, beasts of the reeds: 2. The multitude of bulbs, with the calves of the people : 3. The people that delight in war. The Defeat is double: Increpa, and Dissipa; Rebuke, and Scatter: Rebuke, is for the two first; yet not absolutely, but with limitation, Till they submit themselves with pieces of silver: Dissipation is for the last; Scatter the people that delight in war. Those, - that will be unjustly warring, are worthy of Rebuke; but those, that delight in war, are fit for nothing but Confusion.
1. To begin with the ENEMIES.
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1. Why doth the same Hebrew word signify A Beast, and A company? Is it, because the multitude is bellua multorum capitum, "a beast of many heads?” Or is it, because of the sociable nature even of brute creatures, which still affect to herd and flock together? For, lest any man stumble at the word, that, which is here translated fera, is, by the same hand, turned pecus, verse u.
Both the senses do well; A BEAST, or A COMPANY: the one implies the qualities of the Church's enemies, that they are of a fierce and beastial disposition; the other, their number and combination.
For the former: Who can express the savage cruelty of the enemies of the Gospel ? Look into the ancient story of the infancy of Christianity, ye shall see how men set their wits on the rack to de. vise torments. To shew you that, in a painted table, which poor Christians felt, would be a spectacle of too much horror. What should I lay before you their gibbets, wheels, stakes, caldrons, fur.. naces, and all their fearful pomps of death? What should I tell you of men dressed every way, that meats were for the palate? Here was flaying, frying, boiling, broiling, roasting, baking, hashing, and all possible kinds of hideous forms of Murder. To forget all old immanities, what should I shew you the flames of our late Marian times? What should I bring you into the holy inquisition, and shew you there all the bloody engines of torture; a hell upon earth? What should I present you with the whips, halters and knives of Eighty Eight? or raise up your hair with the report of those Spanish cruelties, which were exercised upon our men in the Indies, during the late war? Death was but a sport, in respect of the torments in dying. Lo here, a Beast; yea, not Bestia, but Fera, a Savage Beast; yea, worse than either. Did ever man do thus to beast? Ifa Baptista Porta have devised a way to roast a fowl quick; or some Italian executioner of gluttony have beaten a swine dead with gentle blows, to make a Cardinal's morsel; every ingenuous man is ready to cry out of this barbarous tyranny; yea, the very Turks would punish it with no less than death: yea, if a Syracusan boy shall but pick out a crow's eyes, those pagans could mulct him with banishment. Nay, what beast did ever thus to man? nay, did ever one beast do thus to another? If they gore and grasp one another in their fury, or feed on each other in the rage of their hunger, that is all: they do not take pleasure, in saucing each other's death, with varieties or delays of pain. None but man doth thus to man; and in none lightly but the quarrel of religion. False zeal takes pleasure in surfeits of blood, and can enjoy others' torment. Hence are bloody massacres, treacherous assassinations, hellish powder-plots, and whatever stratagem of mischief can be devised by that ancient man-slayer; from whose malicious and secret machinations, Good Lord, deliver us!
As the enemies of the Church are Fera, A Beast; so they are CETUS, A COMPANY; yea, a Multitude. Well may they say, with the Devil in the possessed man, My name is Legion, for we are
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many; a legion of many thousands : yea, Gad, for a host cometh; a host of many legions: yea, a combination of many hosts: Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek, the Philistines, with thein that dwell at Tyre; dshur also is joined to them. Here is èuvaysia TovugeuquéYWN, “The Church of the malignant:” a Church? yea, a World; mundus in maligno. Divide the world, with our learned Brerewood, into thirty parts, nineteen of them are Pagans; and they are enemies. Of those eleven that remain, six are Mahometans; and they are enemies. Of those other five that remain, there is an Antichristian faction, that challenges universality; and they are enemies. Stand now with me upon the hill, and take a survey of the enemies: see them lie scattered like grasshoppers in the valley; and tell me, whether the Church have not reason to say, Lord, how many are they that rise up against me! Yet, when all is done, that no man may be discouraged, if we have but our eyes opened with Elisha's servant, to see the host of heaven glittering about us, we shall boldly say, There are more with us than against us.
Yet, if these, that are against us, were many, and not united, it were nothing. A large shower loseth itself, while the drops are scattered in the sands; but many drops met make a torrent, yea, an ocean. Here is Cætus: their heads, their hearts, their hands are laid together. And why do not we learn wit and will of those that hate us? Why are we several, while they are conjoined ? Why should partial factions and private fancies distract us, when the main cause of God is on foot? Beleague yourselves, ye Christian Princes and Potentates; combine yourselves, ye true-hearted Christians, and be gathered by the voice of God's angel to a blessed and yictorious Armageddon.
But why fera ARUNDINIS, the beast OF THE REEDS? I do not tell you of St. Jerome's descant upon bestia calami, “the beast of the quill;" that is, writers for falsehood: though these, these are the great Incendiaries of the world, and well worthy of the deepest increpation. Here, doubtless, either the beasts of the reeds are the beasts that lie among the reeds; as Cassiodorus hath given us a hint, Leones domestica canneta reliquerunt, “ The lions have left the reedy thickets:” or else, the reed is here the spear, or dart. We know some regions yield groves of reeds : ye would think them so many saplings or samplars, at the least : arborescere solent calami, as Calvin. These were of use in war, for darts or spears. The van-guard therefore of David's enemies are spear-men, or darters: for they were wont to dart their spears, as you see in Saul, 1 Sam. xx. 33. And why this ? in a sword-fight, we come to close hand-blows; such as a quick eye and nimble hand may perhaps avoid: but the spear, and dart, strikes afar off; pierces where it strikes; smites unseen, unevitably. For the remoteness, violence, irresistibleness of the blow, are the enemies of the Church described by the spear and dart. Where they cannot come, they send dangerous emissaries; headed on purpose to wound the best State to death: felt, ere they can be seen; and, so soon as they are felt, killing. What do these