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Many say of my soul, There is no my sin, O Lord: they run and prehelp for him in his God. Selah.- pare themselves without my fault, Ps. iii. 2. &c.-Ps. lix. 3, 4. 7. cxix. 86. 161.
The wicked in his pride doth persecute the poor, &c.-Ps. x. 2. 8, 9. The wicked bend their bow, &c. that they may privily shoot at the upright in heart.-Ps. xi. 2.
All they that see me, laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, He trusted on the Lord that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing (or if) he delighted in him.--Ps. xxii. 7, 8. They devise deceitful matters against them that are quiet in the land, &c. They have said, Aha, aha, our eye hath seen, &c. so would we have it.-Ps. xxxv. 20, 21. 25.
The wicked plotteth (or practiseth) against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth, &c. The wicked have drawn out their sword, &c. to cast down the poor and needy, to slay such as be of upright conversation.-Ps. xxxvii. 12. 14.
They also that seek after my life lay snares for me: and they that seek my hurt speak mischievous things, and imagine deceit all the day long, &c. when my foot slippeth, they magnify themselves against me, &c. They also that render evil for good are my adversaries, because I follow the thing that good is.-Ps. Xxxviii. 12. 16. 19, 20. cix. 4, 5.
For thy sake are we killed all the day long: we are counted as sheep for the slaughter.-Ps. xliv. 22.
Have the workers of iniquity no knowledge, who eat up my people as they eat bread?-Ps. liii. 4. xxv. 19. Being angry, with intestine hatred they persecute me.-Ps. lv. 3.
The workers of iniquity, who whet their tongue like a sword, &c. bitter words; that they may shoot in secret at the perfect, &c.—Ps. lxiv. 2—5.
They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head. -Ps. Ixix. 4. cix. 2-4.
They that hate thee have lifted up the head; they have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones: they have said, Come, and let us cut them off, &c.- Ps. lxxxiii. 2—5. xxxi. 13.
How long shall the wicked triumph? shall they utter and speak hard things? &c. they break in pieces thy people, O Lord, and afflict thine heritage? &c. Which frame mischief by a law; they gather themselves together against the soul of the righteous, and condemn the innocent blood.—Ps. xciv. 3-5. 20, 21.
The proud have forged a lie against me.-Ps. cxix. 69. 86.
We are exceedingly filled with contempt: our soul is exceedingly filled with the scorning of those that are at ease, and with the contempt of the proud.-Ps. cxxiii. 3, 4.
The enemy hath persecuted, &c. my spirit is overwhelmed within me, my heart is desolate, &c. my spirit faileth, &c. Ps.-cxliii. 3, 4. 7.
All that pass by clap their hands at thee: they hiss and wag their head at the daughter of Jerusalem, saying, Is this the city? &c. We have swallowed her up: certainly this is the way that we looked for; we have found, &c.—Lam. ii. 15, 16.
There are certain Jews whom thou Man would swallow me up: he, hast set over the affairs of the profighting daily, oppresseth me: mine vince, &c. These men, O king, have enemies would daily swallow me up, not regarded thee; they serve not for they be many that fight against thy gods, nor worship the golden me, &c. every day they wrest my image, &c. and they cast them into words: all their thoughts are against the fiery furnace.-Dan. iii. 9. 12. me for evil.-Ps. lvi. 1, 2. 5.
The mighty are gathered against The wicked devoureth the man that me, not for my transgression, nor for is more righteous than he.-Hab. i. 13.
The philosophers, &c. encountered Paul, saying, What will this babbler (or base fellow) say?-Acts xvii. 18.
There arose no small stir about that way: for a certain man, &c. which made silver shrines for Diana, &c. complained against Paul, made a great uproar, and laid of hold of Paul's
The presidents and princes sought into prison.Acts xvi. 19-25. to find occasion against Daniel con- xix. 9. cerning the kingdom; but they could find none, &c. Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God, &c. They procure a law, that none should ask a petition of any god or man, but of the king, &c. watch Daniel, accuse him, and cast him companions.-Acts xix. 23-30. into the lions' den.-Dan. vi. 4-17. They afflict the just; therefore the prudent shall keep silence in that time, for it is an evil time.-Amos v. 12, 13.
We would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia.-2 Cor. i. 8.
I suffer trouble even unto bonds.2 Tim. ii. 9.
Herod had laid hold on John, and Ye endured a great fight of afflicbound him, and put him in prison tions: partly whilst ye were made a for Herodias' sake, &c. for John gazing-stock, both by reproaches and said unto him, It is not lawful for afflictions, &c. Ye took joyfully the thee to have her, &c. and he sent spoiling of your goods, &c.-Heb. x. and beheaded John in the prison.- 32-34. Matt. xiv. 3, 4. 9, 10.
Herod and Pilate, who before were at enmity, persecute Christ, and were made friends.-Luke xxiii. 11, 12.
Because ye are not of the world, &c. therefore the world hateth you.John xv. 19.
Others were tortured, &c. Others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings: yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment, &c. of whom the world was not worthy.-Heb. xi. 35-38.
Do not rich men oppress you by They disputed with Stephen: and tyranny, and draw you before the they were not able to resist the wis- judgment-seats?-James ii. 6. dom and spirit by which he spake; then they suborned men, and stirred up the people, &c. and came upon him, and caught him, and brought him to the council, and set up false witnesses.-Acts vi. 9-13.
Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church, and he killed James the brother of John with the sword: and because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to take Peter, and put him in prison, &c.-Acts xii. 1-4.
They caught Paul and Silas, and drew them into the market-place unto the rulers, and brought them to the magistrates, saying, These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble
Ye have condemned and killed the just and he doth not resist you.James v. 6.
They speak evil of you, as of evil doers, &c.-1 Pet. iii. 16. iv. 4.
The world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.1 John iii. 1. 12, 13. iii. 30.
I, John, &c. was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. -Rev. i. 9.
SECONDLY. From hypocritical Professors of the true God, Jews, Men zealous of the Law and Traditions. The Lord had respect unto Abel, our city, and teach customs which and to his offering; but unto Cain are not lawful for us to receive, and his offering he had not respect, neither to observe, being Romans, &c. Cain rose up against Abel &c. they beat them and cast them his brother, and slew him.-Gen
Esau came forth against Jacob with four hundred men.-Gen. xxxii. 6, &c.
Joseph's brethren hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him, &c. they conspired against him to slay him, &c. they cast him into a pit, &c. they sell him to the Ishmaelites, &c.-Gen. xxxvii. 4. 10,11. 18. 20. 24. 27, 28. xlv. 4, 5.
Joshua envied Eldad and Medad for prophesying, and would have Moses forbid them, but Moses rebukes him.-Numb. xi. 27-29.
Saul eyed David from that day forward, &c. He said, I will smite David, &c. he became his enemy continually; and often attempted to take away his life.-1 Sam. xviii. 8, 9. 11. 17. 29. xix. 1. 9-11. xxii. xxiv. xxvi.
Absalom conspired against his father David.-2 Sam. xv.
Shimei cursed David when he fled from Absalom.--2 Sam. xvi. 5-8. 13. Ahab pursued Elijah in every nation, &c. he said to Elijah, when he saw him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel?-1 Kings xviii. 10. 17. xxi. 20. Jezebel threatens to take away Elijah's life.-1 Kings xix. 1, 2.
Hear the word of the Lord, ye that tremble at his word; your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name's sake, &c. the Lord he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.-Isa. Ixvi. 5.
Jeremiah saith, O Lord, &c. revenge me of my persecutors, &c. for thy sake I have suffered rebuke.-Jer. xv. 15. Matt. v. 12. Jer. xx. 1, 2. 7. 10. xxvi. 11. xxxvii. 14-16. xxxviii. 4.6.
They hate him that rebuketh in the gate and they abhor him that speaketh uprightly, &c. they afflict the just.-Amos v. 10. 12. 1 Kings xxii. 8.
John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil: the Son of man came eating and
drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous. Matt. xi. 18, 19.
Behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes, and some of them ye shall kill and crucify, and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city.-Matt. xxiii. 34.
Some said Christ was a good man : others said, Nay, but he deceiveth the people. Howbeit no man spake openly of him, for fear of the Jews.John vii. 12, 13. Luke xxiii. 2.
The Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue, &c. They reviled the man who owned Christ to them; they say, Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us? and they cast him out (or excommunicated him).-John ix. 22. 28. 33, 34.
The chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death, because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus.-John xii. 10, 11. 19.
The chief priests, &c. cried out against Christ (when Pilate had said he found no fault in him), saying, Crucify him, crucify him, &c. by our law he ought to die. They said to Pilate, If thou let this man go, thou art not Cæsar's friend; crying out, Away with him, away with him! crucify him, &c.-John xix. 6,7. 12. 15.
When Peter and John had spoken unto the people, the priests and the captain of the temple came upon them, being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection, &c. And they laid hands on them, and put them in hold, &c. That it spread no further among the people, let us straitly threaten them, &c. So when they had further threatened them, &c.— Acts iv. 1-3. 17.21.
The high priest rose up, and all they that were with him, &c. and were filled with indignation (or envy), and laid their hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison,
&c. when the apostles had spoken to them, they were cut to the heart, and they took counsel to slay them.Acts v. 16-18. 33. Mark xv. 10. They suborned witnesses against Stephen, and said, We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses, and against God, &c. That Jesus shall destroy this place, and change the customs which Moses delivered us.-Acts vi. 10-14. So against Christ.-Matt. xxvi. 59-61. So against Naboth. 1 Kings vii. 8-13. Ps. cxix. 69.
They ran upon Stephen with one accord, and cast him out of the city, and stoned him.-Acts vii. 57, 58.
and so spake, &c. but the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles, and made their minds evil affected against the brethren, &c. and they fled unto Lystra, &c. And there came thither, certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead. -Acts xiv. 1, 2. 6. 19.
When Paul had reasoned with them of Thessalonica, &c. that Christ had suffered, &c. the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city in an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, &c. They drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down, are come hither also,
There was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem, and they were all scattered abroad, &c. Saul made havoc of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women com- whom Jason hath received: and these mitted them to prison.-Acts viii. 1. 3. xxvi. 10, 11.
Saul breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord: went unto the high priest, and desired of him letters, &c. that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem, &c. When he was converted, the Jews took counsel to kill him, &c. and they watched the gates day and night to kill him.-Acts ix. 1, 2. 22-24. Gal. i. 13, 14. 1 Tim. i. 13.
Herod killed James, and, because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded.-Acts xii. 2, 3.
all do contrary to the decrees of Cæsar, saying, That there is another King, one Jesus, &c. When the Jews of Thessalonica had knowledge that the word of God was preached of Paul at Berea, they came thither also, and stirred up the people.-Acts xvii. 1-7. 13.
After Paul had preached at Corinth, &c. the Jews made insurrection with one accord against Paul, and brought him to the judgment seat, saying, This fellow persuadeth men to worship God contrary to the law.-Acts xviii. 11-13.
The Jews, when they saw Paul in the temple, stirred up all the people, When the Jews saw the multitudes, and laid hands on him, crying out, they were filled with envy, and spake Men of Israel, help: this is the man against those things which were that teacheth all men every where spoken by Paul, contradicting and against the people, and the law, and blaspheming, &c. But the Jews this place, &c. and hath polluted this stirred up the devout and honourable women, and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts.- Acts xiii. 45. 50.
In Iconium, they went both to gether into the synagogue of the Jews,
holy place, &c. They took Paul, and drew him out of the temple, &c. and went about to kill him.-Acts xxi. 27-31.
They cried out against Paul, and said, Away with such a fellow from the earth, for it is not fit he should live, &c. Afterwards, they bind
themselves under a curse to kill him. -Acts xxii. 22, 23. xxiii. 12.
The Lord thy God led thee these forty years, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments or no.Deut. viii. 2. 16.
The high priest and elders, with Tertullus the orator, said of Paul before the governor, We have found this man a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition among all the Jews I also will not henceforth drive out throughout the world, and a ring- any from before thee, of the nations leader of the sect of the Nazarenes, which Joshua left when he died; that who also hath gone about to profane through them I may prove Israel, the temple, &c. Paul said, Neither whether they will keep the way of can they prove the things whereof the Lord, &c. or not.-Judges ii. they accuse me: but this I confess, 21-23. iii. 4. After the way which they call heresy, so worship I, &c.-Acts xxiv. 1, 2. 5, 6. 13, 14.
The high priest, and chief of the Jews, informed Festus against Paul, and besought him, &c. that he would send for him to Jerusalem, laying wait in the way to kill him, &c. They laid many and grievous complaints against him, which they could not prove. Acts xxv. 2, 3. 7.
As concerning this sect, we know that every where it is spoken against. -Acts xxviii. 22.
Paul confesseth that when he profited in the Jews' religion, he persecuted the church.-Gal. i. 13, 14.
Ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews, who both killed the Lord Jesus and their own prophets, and have persecuted us, &c. forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles. 1 Thess. ii. 14-16.
Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil, &c. of whom be thou aware also: for he hath greatly withstood our words.-2 Tim. iv. 14, 15. The dragon persecuted the woman. -Rev. xii. 13. 15—17.
SECT. II. For what ends doth God chastise his Children, and suffer them to be persecuted?
I. To exercise and try their Faith and Obedience.
GOD did tempt Abraham, when he put him upon offering his son Isaac. -Gen. xxii. 1, &c.
In the business of the ambassadors, God left Hezekiah to try him, that he might know all that was in his heart. -2 Chron. xxxii. 31.
And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job? &c. still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him to destroy him without cause.-Job ii. 3.
What is man,&c. that thou shouldest visit him every morning, and try him every moment?—Job vii. 17, 18.
He knoweth the way that I take : when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.-Job xxiii. 10.
Thou, O Lord, hast proved us: thou hast tried us as silver is tried : thou broughtest us into the net: thou laidest affliction upon our loins. -Ps. lxvi. 10-12.
Some of them of understanding shall fall to try them, &c.-Dan.
I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried.--Zech. xiii. 9.
Others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, &c.- Heb. xi. 36, 37.
Count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations: knowing that the trying of your faith worketh patience, &c. Blessed is the man that endureth temptation; for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, &c.James i. 2, 3. 12.
Though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness: that the trial of your faith being much more