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But, forasmuch as these mischiefs are first hatched within, and notice cannot be taken of them till they have got a dangerous head, since no man keeps the key of a man's own heart but himself; the true way of a perfect prevention, is, for men to work upon their own souls in secret, to suppress the first rising of male-contented and mutinous thoughts in their own breasts, to settle in themselves a true valuation of

peace and a just sense of the mischiefs of contentions.

How have we seen Churches and States, like a dry unliquored coach, set themselves on fire with their own motion! How have we seen good timber rotted, with but the droppings of a small chink! Yea, how have we seen goodly ships sinking, with but a leak!

It was a wise observation of Erasmus; Sunt que neglecta non dunt; exagitata graves suscitant tragedias; “There are things which do no hurt to be let alone, but when they are urged breed no small stirs."

It was an absurd and ridiculous mistake of the Vulgate Translation of Luke xv. 8. as Salmeron himself observes in his Prolegomena: Mulier perdidit drachmum, accendit lucernam et evertit domum, instead of everrit; The woman lost her groat, lighted a candle, and overthrew the house, instead of sweeping. See how one letter may mar a sense. But, truly, so it is. Many a one, in but the seeking of a sorry groat, lights the candle, and sets the house on fire. Would to God, we had not too much experience of this mischief!

No less mistaken, but to better purpose, is that of Psalm cvii. 40: where they read Effusa est contentio super principes; whereas the true word is effusa est contemptio; He poureth contempt upon princes: &Twbyv, as Apollinaris; or, as the Septuagint, EddÉVWCIV. The moral may be too good. Where there are quarrels and contentions, there will soon be contempt, shame, annihilation. It was our Saviour's word, A house divided cannot stand. If this then be a fearful judgment, which is here specified, That there is a division of the land, let our hearts abhor to be guilty of bringing it upon ourselves. Woe be to those, by whom the offence cometh! England had wonato be Anglia; quasi. év aréos: as Capgrave derives it; intus gloriosa. So we found it in the blessed times of our long peace, and so let us leave it to the succeeding generations. Far be from us that, which Bernard speaks of his time, Omnes suum stomachum sequuntur ; that every man should follow his own stomach and his own brain. Away with all peevish humours of contention, if we love ourselves, our Land, our Church. Let us, as the Apostle charges, study to be quiet. Thus much for the Active breaches.

2. The PASSIVE BREACHES, which follow upon those earthquakes of judgment, are those grievous vastations, which have followed upon the public calamities of any nation for these are called breaches too, as Perez Uzzah; and the hand upon the wall wrote Balthazar's Upharsin.

If the earth could quiver only for a time, and cease again without any sensible breach, it were no great matter: but, as there is no thunder in the cloud without an eruption of lightning, so there


is no earthquake lightly without some fearful rupture. The judgments of God never return empty handed: they still bring what they were sent for.

Those three great executioners of God, sword, famine, pestilence, what woeful hayock have they made in the world! I could shew you very wide breaches, that these have made, wheresoever. they have come. I could tell you, out of Josephus, of so many Jews slaughtered at Jerusalem and the bordering parts, as you would wonder the world should yield so many men.

I could tell


of eighteen hundred thousand, in one year swept away, as it is said, in one city, Cairo, with the pestilence. What need I travel so far off, when we have so many and miserable instances nearer home. Here, in England, as our Florilegus or Matthew of Westminster tells

in the year 665, there was so great a mortality, that men run up by troops to the rocks, and cast themselves into the sea. Do but look back, and recollect those bills of death, which, in our two last heavy visitations, astonished the press. Do but look about at both Germanys and their bordering neighbourhood, and see what gaps the sword hath made in those yet bleeding territories. Oh, the woeful breaches, that have followed these late earthquakes of Christendom! the very examples whereof, one would think, should be enough to teach us both fear and thankfulness.

When the Israelites round about saw Korah and his company devoured of the earth, they ran away at the cry of them; and said, lest the carth swallow us up also. I cannot blame them: they had reason. The same jaws of the earth might have yawned wider, and taken them in too.

So let us do, Honourable and Beloved: yea, why should not the care of our own safety prevail so far with us, as to force us; since we see the lamentable breaches that are made in our neighbour nations, to run away trembling from this gulf of God's deserved judgments? And shall I tell you how we may run away to purpose? Run away, before-hand, from those sins, which have drawn down these judgments on them; and will, otherwise, do the like

upon us : so shall we be sure to escape the avenging hand of God; who alone it is, that moves the earth, and makes these breaches : which is the third head of our discourse; Thou hast made the earth to tremble, thou hast divided, or broken it.

III. Who or whatever be the means, he is the AUTHOR of these movings, of these breaches.

As, in nature, the immediate causes of an earthquake are those subterraneous heats which we mentioned; yet it is God, the prime cause, that sets them on work, in causing both them and their agency: so it is in these analogical motions. Men may be the immediate actors in them; but he, that actuates the actors, over-rules these means, is God. To him must be ascribed these stirrings, these breakings: whether by a just, but efficacious permission, as sins; or by a just immission, as punishments.

This is God's claim; the prerogative of the King of Heaven: Is there any evil in the city, and I have not done it? Surely none; except we will detract from his Omnipotence: none, against him; none, without him; none, but by him. His infinite power, justice, wisdom, mercy, knows when and how to scourge one; to chastise a second; to warn a third; to humble a fourth; to obdure a fifth; to destroy a sixth; shortly, to break some, and move all.

O the infinite varieties and inevitable certainties of God's rengeance upon sinful nations! Doth Israel walk with God? they are the miraculous precedent of favours to all ages and people. Do they Ay off in mutinies and idolatries? God hath plagues, fiery serpents, mighty enemies, to execute his wrath upon them. Doth Solomon hold right with his God? never kingdom so flourished, in plenty and peace. Is his heart turned from the Lord God of Israel? i Kings xi. 9. straightways the Lord stirred up an adversary to Solomon, Hadad the Edomite; verse 14: and, after him, the wicked son of Nebat, the Ephrathite; verse 26. And, which is worthy of singular observation, when that rebel Jeroboam had drawn away the Ten Tribes of Israel from their allegiance to the son of Solomon, and Rehoboam had gathered together a hundred and four score thousand men of Judah and Benjamin, to fight against the revolted Israelites; the word of God came to Shemaiah the man of God, Speak to Rehoboam and say; le shall not go up nor fight against your brethren; for this thing is from me.

Lo, who it is, that moves the earth, and divides it. We may look, as human wisdom teacheth us to do, at the secondary causes, and find them guilty of the public evils: this man's illimitable ambition, that man's insatiable covetousness; the cruel oppressions of these great ones, the mutinous dispositions of those inferiors; violence in one, in another faction: But, if we look not at the First Mover of all these lower wheels, we are but púwmes “not seeing things afar off;" we do but, as the dog, snarl at the stones, neglect the hand: we are like some fond spectators, that, when they see the puppets acting upon the ledge, think they move alone; not knowing that there is a hand behind the curtain, that stirs all their wires.

Upon the sight, we do well and wisely, by all politic provisions to meet with or prevent all those peccant humours, which may occasion a public distemper; to curb the lawless insolence of some, the seditious machinations of others; the extortious cruelties of some, the corrupt wrestling of justice in others; the giddiness of some, others' quarrelsomeness: but, when all is done, if we do not make our peace with God we do nothing; it is but a reckoning without our host, a remedy without ease.

Oh, then, in all, either our sense or fear of evils, let us have our recourse to that Almighty Hand, which ordereth all the events of heaven and earth; and work him, by our true repentance, to a gracious cessation of vengeance: else, what do we with all our endeavours, but as that fond man, who wearies himself lading out the channel with a shallow dish, while the spring runs full and unchecked? Vain Man! can he possibly hope, to scoppet it out so fast as it fills? let him take order with the well-head from whence it issues: if that be filled up, the channel dries alone.

When the Paralytic was, with much labour, let down through

the roof to our Saviour's cure, what said he? Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. Alas! the poor man came not for pardon; he came for cure: but that Great Unfailing Physician knew that he must begin here. If the sins were gone, he knew the palsy could not stay behind them. If ever we think to be rid of judgments, we must begin whence they begin. He it is, that can both strike and ease, wound and heal again: which is the next, and must be, for fear of your over-tiring, the last subject of our discourse; Heal thou the sores or breaches thereof.

IV. That great and ineffable name of God, consisting of four letters, which we now call JEHOVAH, no man knows what it was or how pronounced; but, being abridged to Jah, the Grecians have been wont to express it by i An, which signifies to heal: the sense whereof is answered by that name, which the Heathens gave him, Jupiter, as Juvans Pater.

This HEALING, then, is a proper, kindly, and natural act of God; whereas the other, as dividing, striking, wounding, commoving, are, as it were, forced upon him by men. Surely else, he, that is essential unity, would not divide; he, that is stability itself, would not move; he, that is salus ipsa, would not wound; he, that is all mercy, would not strike: we do, as it were, put this upon him; and, therefore, he cries out, Why will ye die, 0 house of Israel? but, when we shall return to ourselves and him, and be once capable of mercy and cure, how doth he hasten to our redress! The Sun of Righteousness shall arise, with healing in his wings; Mal. iv. 2. Lo, here is healing for his act, and wings for his haste.

Those breaches, which are made in the earth by the shaking of it, are as so many wounds, gashes, or sores in a vast body: and both of these resemble those, either Divisions or Calamities, which fall out in the bodies of Churches or States: the hand, that made them, must, can, will only heal them: Heal thou the breaches.

1. And how doth he heal them, IN MATTER OF CALAMITY? By removing the grounds of it. Surely, the great and true sores of the land are the sins of the land, which till it please him to heal, by working us to a serious repentance, in vajn shall we complain of our breaches which follow them. These are έλκος κακών και πονηρόν, α noisome sore and grievous ; Rev. xvi. 2: not only in the knees and legs; but in the very bowels and vitalest parts, as Jehoram's was; 2 Chron. xxi. 19. Woe is me, how full we are of these sores;. Longe pacis mala! What an ulcerous body are we grown; like to that great pattern of misery, that was totus ulcus, “ all but one botch!” I would not be querulous, but I must say so. What shall I say of our blasphemies, profanenesses, uncleannesses, drunkennesses, oppressions, sacrileges, lawless disobediences, contempt of God's messengers, and all that rabble of hellish enormities enough to shame heaven and confound earth ? These are sures, with a witness. Alas! these, like to David's, run, and cease not. They are, besides their noisomeness, OD'IONI Dibro, “sure and old sores."

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But yet stay, my Brethren: we are not come to that pass, that Jehoram was, that the wound is incurable; or to the state of the Sareptan's son, that there was no breath left in him: but, like Eutychus rather; bruised, but yet breathing. And still, still there is balm in Gilead: let our wounds be never so deep, repentance may, can, will recure them. Let not us think onwards to heal God's people with good words: this is the way to fester them within. No; Iet us, who are God's chirurgeons, make use of the probe of wise, austere judgment: let us gauge the sore to the bottom; and tent it home, with the applications of the Law: let us take off the proud flesh, with the corrosiving denunciations of vengeance to the impenitent sinners; and then, when it is thoroughly drawn, let us lay on the sovereign emplaisters of the most precious and meritorious mercy of our Blessed Redeemer.

Thus, thus must all our spiritual sores be healed: and oh, that we could obtain of our own hearts to address ourselves to a saving use of these sure remedies: how happy were it both for our souls and for our land, whose sores yet lie dangerously open! how soon would our justly provoked God take off his heavy judgments! Is it an Enemy, that would afflict us? He can put a hook into the nostrils, and a bridle into the lips of the proudest Assyrian, at pleasure. Is it a Pestilence? He can call in the destroying angel, and bid him smile no more.

Is it a Famine? He can restore to us the years, that the locust hath eaten, the canker-worm, and the caterpiller: The floors shall be full of wheat, and the fats overflow with wine and oil.

2. IN MATTER OF DIVISION, the way to his cure must be, by composing all unkind differences, and uniting the hearts of men one to another. The hearts even of kings, much more of subjects, are in his hand, as the rivers of waters; and he turns them which way soever he pleases: sometimes, dreadfully forward, to a right down opposition; sometimes, sideways, to a fair accommodation; sometimes, circularly, bringing them about to a full condescent and accord

But, as we commonly say the chirurgeon heals the wound, and yet that the plaister heals it too; the chirurgeon, by the plaister: so may we justly here. It is God, that heals; and the means heal: God, by the means; and the means, by and under God. And, surely, when we pray or expect that Ğod should heal either of these breaches, we do not mean to sue to him to work miracles: this were, as St, Austin said truly in the like case, to tempt God: but we beseech God to give and bless those means, whereby those breaches may be made up. As for the calamitous breaches, those we wish may be healed, so far as the arm of flesh can reach, by the vigilance and power of sovereignty ; by the prudence of wise states men; by the sage Council of the State and Kingdom; by wholesome provisions of good laws; by careful and just executions. As for quarrellous and discontented breaches, there are other remedies to heal them: the Remedies must be, as the causes of them, from within.


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