Owen - Houston-Packer Collection BT768 .O9 1654

you nowenjoy. What may juflly be the Expe&ationof God fromyou,under,this lgnal di1- penfatioh""ofhis goodnefs,what..is thehope,prayer,& expatiation of verymany thatfea re him, concerningyou,in thisnation;what are the defignes,defires,aimes,and endeavours ofall forts of them, who beare ill wig atwhatfoever is comely, or praifeworthy amopgft us,you are not ignorant. Whatever confiderationat any timeor feafon may feem to have had anef- ficacy upon theminds and wills ofmen,under the like Sacrament,and defignement to the fee- vice of truthwith your felves , to incite and provoke them to a fingularly induftrious and faithful difchargeof their duty,is eminently prefling upon you alfo;and you aremade afpec- tacle to men ved eAngells, as to the acquitmentofyour (elves. Thewhole ofyour imploy- ment , Iconfefs , both in the General intendment of it , for the promoting and diffuling of Iight.knowledge,andTruth in every kind whatever, and in the more fpccial defigne thereof, for the defence, furtherance, and propagation ofthe Antient,inviolable,unchangeable truth of the Gofpel ofGod, is in thedayes wherein we live, eapofed toa Contention with as much oppofrtion, contempt, fcorne, hatred, and reproach, as ever any filchundertaking was,in any place in the world whereinmen pretended to love light, more then darkneft. It isan hellifh darknefs which the light of theSun cannotexpel. There is no ignorance fo full ofPride, folly and ftubbornefs,as that whichmaintains it felfe,in the midi ofplenti- ful meanesof light and knowledge. He that is in the darke , when the light of theSun is as feven dayes,hath darknefs inhis eye,and howgreat is that darkne/r? Such is the Ignoranceyou have to contend withal; ftubborne, affe&ed, prejudicate beyond exprefïion; maintaining it's darknefs at noon-day,exprelly refuting to attend to the Reafonofthings,as being that alone, in the thoughts ofthole men , ( if theymay be fo called ) who are pcfl'effed with ir, where- with the world is difturbed. From thofe who being under the power ofthis enthtalment,do Item to repine at God, thatthey arenot beaus, and clamoroully traduce the more noble part ofthat kind & offspring,whereof themfelvesare,which attempts do heighten,&improve the difference between Creatures of anintelle&ual Race , and them , to whom theirperifhing Companion gives the utmoft Advancement ; whole eternal feeds , and principles , are laid by the hand of God in their refpedtive beings , youwill not I am fare think it much if you . meet withOppofrtions. ThofeWho are in any meafureacquainted with the fecret , trium. thing exaltations ofwifdome and knowledge , againft folly and ignorance; with the princi- ples and conditions wherewith they advancethemfelves intheir gloryings even then, when theprecedencyof ( that which isbefial in thisworld ) force-and violence outwardlybeard them downwith infultation and contempt, will rather envie , then pity you in any conceit that on this foot ofaccount, you can be engaged in. You are not the fire, that havefought with men,afterthe manner ofBeaf ,;norwill be the laf, who fhall need to pray to be delivered fromabfurdandunreafanable men,fetingall men have not faith. Menofprophane & Atheiflical fpirits,who areready to fay ;who is the Lord,What is theAl- mighty that welhouldfeare hia?or hie truth that We fhoold regardit? whole Generation is of late Multiplied on theface of theearth, crying a Confederacywith them, who profeffing better things are yet filled with grievous indignations at the facrifice that bath been made oftheir Abominations before their eyes by that Reformation of this place , wherein you have been infirumental , area continual goad on the other fide , and would quicklybe a fword in your verybowels werenot He , that is higher then the higheft, your dwelling place , and refuge in your Generation. Theft are they upon whomGod having poured contempt-,and!hind their glory,who inuead ofaccepting ofhis difpenfations,are filledwith wrath,and labour to make others drinkof thecup, which hathbeen offered to themfelves. With their reproaches Ileigh- tings undervaluations ,flanders,do your worth, diligence, integrity, labours,contend,from oneendof thisearth to the other. He that hathdelivered,doth deliver,andinhimwe craft,that hewill deliver. What other oppofrtionyou do meet, or in your progrets , may meet withal, I wall not `mention : but Waiewithpatience on him , who gives men Repentance , and changofHeart to theAcknowledgment ofthe things , that areofhim. This in the midi ofall bath hi- therto beena'caufeòfgreat rejoycing , that God harp gratioufly kept offravenous wolves, fróm entring intoyour fiocks,where are fo many tender lambes,and bath not fuffered men to arife fromamongu your felvesfpeaking perverfethings, &drawingaway difciplesafter them; but ashe bath givenyou, to obeyfromyour heart that forme of which bath beendelivered -untoyou,fo Hebath preferv'd thatfaithamongft you,whichwas once delivered to theSaints. Your peculiar delignation to the ferviceóf the Gófpel , anddefence of the Truth thereof, your Abilities for that worke , your abidingin it, notwithttranding theoppofition you meet +wethall, Mawmid'fiof aerobked-arte1prverfegeneration , areas I fayd before, my Incourage- ments