Calamy, Horton, Manton - BX9327 .F28 1663

66 Mr. enkin' s afternoon Sermon, fee the reafon, why wicked men {tumble fo much at the outfide of Gods Worihip, -becaure there is no outward braverie and beautie to allure them to the true worfhip. 2. The Church is compared to a Bufh, in regard of its weakners and bitternefs. Note, That it is not compared to a ftrong fturdie Oake, but to a weak brittle Bulb. God loves to bring his Church into a low eftate and weak condition ; as it is here compared to a Bulb, Co other-where to a Vine, a Dove, a Lamb, and a Sheep, all weak creatures. Sometimes the Church is 'laid to be fatherlels and deftitute; and as our Lord jefus Chrift, the head of the Church, was laid to be weak, a worm, and no man; and as the Apoille laid, Suffered through weakners. And this makes them to truft in God, and puts them to reit on his ftrength; When we are weak,thenwe are flrong; outward weakne&,will make us look the more to Chrift for fpiritual ftrength : -the weakners.of our {late cloth thew the fpiritual ftrength God gives to his people for the upholding of them. And this weak- nets of his Church, doth exceedinglie confound his enemies, when fo weak a company (hall be delivered, not onlie againft, but by the ftrength ofmen : and hereby God doth gain to himlelf the greater glory in their deliverance, for remembring them in their weak e- fiate. Hereby the people of God are made the more thankful, both for their prefervation in, and deliverance from their powerful ad- verlaries. You lee here is a large field opened unto me, for the dilcourfing upon die Churches weaknels, which, whether it be more (bitable to the Text, or to the Times, I leave you to judge. But 2. Confider the cruelty of their oppofition that is is fet forth and reprefented by the fire that burned in the bufh. Afiliaions and es, fpecially perfecuting ones, are in Scripture frequently fet out by fire as, The fiery trial; the fire ofaifiiaion. This cloth not onely dircover the rage and cruelty of men, but alto the benefit and utility that comes to the Church by affliEtion : forthe affliEtions of the Church are not as confuming but trying fire : as` the fire in a Furnace is to Gold, it only takes away the drofs : not like the fire of Hell, which bath heat without light, but the School of perfecution bath light as as well as beat : the School ofaffiktion, is the School of teaching, God teacheth his Saints excellent Lelfons by the light of that fire. Bit I paCs by that. I might now inlift upon the third thing. ----- 3,. Confider the eminence of their prefervation, It war not confu- med: the Church of God was hot, but not altogether and wholly confmMed: -let the fire be never lo hot and {treading, the Church of shall have a being : if the Churchr be lets in one place, it will be getter in another < what it loTes iii one place, it gels in ann.- there