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in the original it is only, Tu refugium, Thou my hiding place, there is no fuisti, nor es, nor eris, that he was, or is, or will be so, but it is an expressing of a perpetual and everlasting mercy, for his mercy endureth for ever,

First then, this is an acknowledgment of the church, contemplating herself in her low estate; for the word sether implies, Tu absconsio, Though I were in the dark, it was thou that didst overshadow me, though I were in danger, it was thou that didst hide me from them. This the church hath had occasion to say more than once; once in the primitive plantation thereof, and again in her reformation : at both times God showed mercy to her that way, in hiding her,

First then God hid the primitive church from the eye of envy, by keeping her poor; and from the eye of jealousy and suspicion, by keeping her in an humble devotion towards him. But yet even her poverty, and her humility hid her not so, but that persecution found her out, and raged so against her, as that those emperors which raised the ten persecutions against the church, seem to have laboured to have gone beyond God in the ten plagues of Egypt, and to have done more at Rome than he did there. All the power of the Roman world was bent against Christians; more home-Christians slain than foreign enemies. All the criminal justice of the world bent upon them; all other men's crimes, even Nero's burning of Rome, imputed to the Christians. All the wit of the world bent against them; all their epigrammatists, and satirists, having their wits exalted, with rage, with wine, with rewards, to multiply libels, and calumnies, and defamations upon the Christians. All the mechanics of that world bent against them; all the engineers employed to invent racks and tortures for the Christians. Truly, if I were to work upon heathen men, Western Americans, or Eastern Chinese, for their conversion to Christ, I should scarce adventure to propose to them the histories of the martyrs of the primitive church, because to men that had no taste of religion before, they would rather seem fables than truths; and I should as soon be believed, that a virgin had a son, or in any main article of our religion, as that man could inflict, or that man could bear such things, as we are sure the martyrs in the primitive church

see the church under the clouds, in her low estate, in her obscurity, in her inglorious state of contempt and persecution, and yet then supported by an assurance that God overshadowed her, Tu absconsio, tu latibulum, Thou art my hiding place; and in that first part we shall consider the state of a timorous soul, a soul that for fear of temptations dares scarce look into the world, or embrace a profession. Secondly, we shall see the church emancipated, enfranchised, unfettered, unmanacled, delivered from her obscure and inglorious state, and brought to splendour, and beauty, and peace, and blessing God in that acknowledgment, Thou shalt preserve me from trouble. And in that part, we shall consider the state of that soul exalted to a 'holy confidence and assurance, that though she come into the world, and partake of the dangers thereof, in opening herself to such temptations, as do necessarily and inseparably accompany every calling, yet the Lord will preserve her from trouble. And thirdly and lastly, we shall see a kind of triumphant state in the church in this world, a holy exultation, God shall compass her with songs of deliverance. In which part, we shall also see the blessed state of that soul which is come, not to a presumptuous security, but to modest certainty of continuing in the same state still. And these will be our three parts in these words, as they receive a public accommodation to the church, and a more particular application to ourselves.

We enter into these considerations, with this observation, that as God himself is eternal and cannot be considered in the distinction of times, so hath that language in which God hath spoken in his written word, the Hebrew, the least consideration of time of any other language. Evermore in expressing the mercies of God to man, it is an indifferent thing to the Holy Ghost whether he speak in the present, or in the future, or in the time that is past : what mercies soever he hath given us, he will give us over again ; and whatsoever he hath done, and will do, he is always ready to do at the present. This verse is especially an exultation for mercies past, and yet the two last clauses are delivered in the future, Thou shalt preserve me, Thou shalt compass me, and the first is delivered without any limitation at all; the present word, Thou art, is but inserted by our translators;

in the original it is only, Tu refugium, Thou my hiding place, there is no fuisti, nor es, nor eris, that he was, or is, or will be so, but it is an expressing of a perpetual and everlasting mercy, for his mercy endureth for ever,

First then, this is an acknowledgment of the church, contemplating herself in her low estate ; for the word sether implies, Tu absconsio, Though I were in the dark, it was thou that didst overshadow me, though I were in danger, it was thou that didst hide me from them. This the church hath had occasion to say more than once; once in the primitive plantation thereof, and again in her reformation : at both times God showed mercy to her that way, in hiding her,

First then God hid the primitive church from the eye of envy, , by keeping her poor; and from the eye of jealousy and suspicion, by keeping her in an humble devotion towards him. But yet even her poverty, and her humility hid her not so, but that persecution found her out, and raged so against her, as that those emperors which raised the ten persecutions against the church, seem to have laboured to have gone beyond God in the ten plagues of Egypt, and to have done more at Rome than he did there. All the power of the Roman world was bent against Christians; more home-Christians slain than foreign enemies. All the criminal justice of the world bent upon them; all other men's crimes, even Nero's burning of Rome, imputed to the Christians. All the wit of the world bent against them; all their epigrammatists, and satirists, having their wits exalted, with rage, with wine, with rewards, to multiply libels, and calumnies, and defamations upon the Christians. All the mechanics of that world bent against them; all the engineers employed to invent racks and tortures for the Christians. Truly, if I were to work upon heathen men, Western Americans, or Eastern Chinese, for their conversion to Christ, I should scarce adventure to propose to them the histories of the martyrs of the primitive church, because to men that had no taste of religion before, they would rather seem fables than truths; and I should as soon be believed, that a virgin had a son, or in any main article of our religion, as that man could inflict, or that man could bear such things, as we are sure the martyrs in the primitive church

one ;

did. Then God hid the church; he hid her, in a great part in the wilderness, in hermitages, and such retirings, singly one by

and after in penurious and obscure monasteries, many of these single hermits gathering themselves together into one house ; when those monasteries were both schools of learning, and shops of manufactures; they taught and wrought in them; Nemo cuiquam onerosus', No man was a burden to any others, no man fed upon another's labours, nor drunk the sweat of another's brow: but, Operabantur manibus ea, quibus et corpus pasci possit, et à Deo mens impediri non possit, They laboured in such manufactures, as might sustain their bodies, and not withdraw their minds from the service of God. So God hid the church, not that the persecution did not find and lop off many a great, and top bough, but he hid the root, and prevented the extirpation of that tree, which his own right hand had planted.

Tu absconsio, Thou art my hiding place, says the primitive church, and so may the reformed church say too. For when the Roman church had made this latibulum, this hiding place, this refuge from persecution, hermitages and monasteries, to be the most conspicuous, the most glorious, the most eminent, the richest and most abundant places of the world; when they had drawn these, at first remote corners in the wilderness, first into the skirts, and suburbs, then into the body and heart of every great city; when for revenue and possession, they will confess, that some one monastery of the Benedictine had ten thousand of our pounds of yearly rent; when they were come for their huge opulency to that height, that they were formidable to those states that harboured them, and for their numbers, (other orders holding proportion with that one) to reckon out of one order, fifty-two popes, two hundred cardinals, seven thousand archbishops and bishops, and almost three hundred emperors and kings, and their children, and fifty thousand declared and approved saints; when they were come to that over-valuation of their religious orders, as to say, that a monk, a friar merited more in his very sleep, or meals, than any secular man, (though a churchman too) did in his best works, that to enter into any order of religion was a second baptism, and wrought as much as the first; their revenue,

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their number, their dignity being come to this, and then their viciousness, their sensuality, their bestiality, to as great a height and exaltation, as that; yet in the midst of all these, Tu atsconsio mea, may the reformed church say, the Lord was their hiding place, that mourned for this, when they could not help, and at all times, and by all means that God atřorded them, endea voured to advance a reformation. And though God exposed them as a wood to be felled, to a slaughter of twenty, of forty, of sisty thousand in a day, yet Ille absconsio, He hath been our hiding place, he hath kept the root alive all the way; and though it hath been with a cloud, yet he hath covered us.

God came unto Moses, though he came In caligine Yuhis, In a thick cloud; when the glory of the Lord is said to have filled the tabernacle, even that glory was a cloud'; and so it was in the second place of his worship too, in Solomon's temple, that was filled with a cloud'St. Chrysostom' when he considered that Christ ascended in a cloud, and that he shall return again in a cloudb, Paternum currum deligere voluit, The Son would make use of his Father's chariot, and show mercy, nay show glory in a cloud, as his Father had done often. The primitive church, the reformed church, must not complain of having been kept under clouds; for Ille absconsio, God hath made those clouds their hiding place, and wrapped up the seed, and the root safe in that cloud. Though the church were trodden upon like a worm of the earth, yet still she might hear God in that cloud, Noli timere termis Jacob, Be not afraid thou worm of Jacob, for I will keep thee, saith the Lord thy Redet mer, the Holy One of Israel. God hid her then, and hath manifested now, that there was never any time, when he had not some of his to oppose her tyranny and her idolatry. They can name no time, when we cannot name some such ; and it would be much harder for them, to name men in every age, that have professed all the doctrines of the present Roman church, than for us to find men that have opposed those points that we oppose. Will they say, that these were too few, to constitute or establish, or give name to a church? They

. Exod. xix. 9.

Chrysostom.

Exod. XL. 34. * 2 Chron. v. 13.
* Acts i.

Matt. xxiv,
• Isaiah xli. 14.

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