"*/'

SOME BRIEF

HIN & HELPS,

TO

Faith, Meditation, Prayer, Comfort and Holinefs.

Communicated at Chrffthurch.TjVKLlN

f7Go(icTIASf ARRIS' ' Mini^tle

'Enlarged with S-PIRIXUAL PI

in above XXX Cafes, By Mr. John Hunter Mimfter of the Gofpel at Ayre.

RKE ^Printed, By m

(

T 0 HI S

EXCELLENCY;

The Lord Henry Crom- wel, Lord Deputy of Ireland.

May it pleafe Your Excellency,

THE reafon why Ifuffer this Dif- courfe to go abroad, and not fome others^ ( though urged by Friends, yea commanded there- unto by Your Excellency and the Coun- cil, ) is partly to beg Pardon for that Dif- bbedience, partly to evidence, that it was ho defett in my Will, but in my Notes and wanner ofwr'tting, that hindred mefrem ' faying that Obfervance, -which now I j yield-, But effect ally y becaufe the Spirit of God, ( for mine own, or a worfe,w«- ther. could, or would ever have done any i fucb good office for we $ / . .fay therefore i undoubtedly the Spirit of God ) by tbefe , A 2 and

16.

&he

Epiftle Dedicatory.

and th* like Inje&ions ^^Intimations, hehing me to plead and pre fs thent, and to hold them -up before ' the : Lord, and to fpread them before Kim, as Hezekiah did the Letter/£<**Z> -many^a time, fuft- ainect 4fl$LckpqjecL mineL^wn featt,~4n4 Jo renewed tfye face of that wrtk after much Winter weather, after many Tnh, Troubles ,^and Tremblings : far when Godfpeafa, where are the Xips, that wiU ftab. \. nr)* quiver at His voice ? bits who fe bawi will not rot tennefi enter ?-andhapj>y they, and they only, who n\w nimble in themfelves, that they may reft in the day of trouble.

This, (not to mention-any other ground) gives ^ne. fome Jmall glimmering of hffe, that^ the Ja/ne Powerful Spirits, majffe p!ta.Jed;alfo, further to. mamtge and im- prove, the Ja>ne Medium , to the relief and advantage of others : J nd ( I can Jay: it .) it is ufefullnefs and fer vice. that I have aimed at in this enterprise,

\Amongft.ali /ia? Helps io~D*votion that Jhauefeeh, ( ' 1 mean Books fo intitled, coh/monly. containing fome Fdrmsof Pray- 4tib) I .remember not any} thing, at all ofkin t'dahh •Undettakeifig, which tends tQ\teIptlw\&\£t, not'^djtint the Spirit of VjAfCtyimd i only I Ayes a few flicks together , Ipaittiiup-W the- Wood where

mere

Tfre- Epiftle Dedicate ry.

ntoje may b* had) which by His own breath, He may. be pkafed-ta kindle,

Whatever ftrangers, either in place or affeBim may imagine, I know Your Ex- cellency' to be a Pleader, and ( I hope ) a Prevailer with God daily.

I therefore offer- this poor "Enkynpto You, notfo much by way ^/Ailiftarrce, as of 'Ac- knowledgment that under God Ton have been, and are the Inftrumental xaufe of my enjoying afttllnefs of Opportunities, of do- ing-fonre fetvice in- my Generation^ the value whereof I defire daily to renew upon my Heart, above all the things that this World, can afford, or brittle Mortality enjoy, / __

As it hath been "four Lordfhips mer- cy, that hitherto you have had help from on High, to know and Love the Lord, His Name and Image where ever you difcern it, and to walk acceptably with Tour God, and ufe fully to his People, for which you ha**.)e your Record on High, your Witnefs amongtt men, and in your own Bofom : fo it is now become your Obligation, and only Inter eft, ft ill to be found in the fame wayes of Righteoufnefs ; wherein that you may per f ever e unto the End : and that your Path may be, as the mining Light, which lhiaeihjovf|- more and more unto tlse~- perfect ^ay I That Ton, your mo ft

precious

The Epiftle Dedicatory. % r

precious Confort and hopeful Children j titay prove an ineftimate Bleffing in this World, *nd eternally Bleffed in that to come, is> andfkall be the daily prayer of?

( My Lord )

Your Excellencies wortblefs but rnofi wihing Servant.

Tho. Harrifon.

Lemmata

^

4^ $£& ^P^f^t^fyf*

^

&>

Lemmata Cafuum. Arguments in Cafe of

1. I Nacquaintedneft with the Lord* KX Page 25

2. iSW* of more than ordinary unxorthi- nefl ever to be Acquainted Javingly nith GOD. P. 19

3. Jealoufie as to the hove of Qhrifl. P. 36 ^ Jealoufie concerning God the Father.

P. 4Q

5. JW of Unbelief P. 56

'6. Fear of Hypocrifie. P. £1

7. Fear of being afted only by a flavifb

.Spirit of Fear. S. Sevfe of fearful Bachflidings

9. Senfe of (Iron? Corruptions.

10. Fear of great Afflitlinns.

1 1 . Senfe of. extremity of pain.

1 2. Defertion felt, or feared.

1 3. Exercife in Ft lends. Relations, Name •r Eftate. P. 90

14. Sudaip

P. P. P. P. P. P.

66

7l

76 8o 85

The Contents.

14. Suddain difq&etmenf from CloU<(y Projxdences. P. £4

j $.. Dread of f pin tual Judgments, bard- nefs of hearty unprofitablencfs, Under means of Grace. P. $r8

J 6. Tear that Prayer is not beard. P. 106

1 7. . Fear that God can -never taSce any Special Delight in fuch a Polluted Piece. P. 3

18. Year tffEjeftmentyDrUnfervkehkle-

vefe. P: ti8t

19. Fear of being cafl of at lajf.. £. 1 24

20. InteSceffion for others : with Qflh- plaints concerning many things that are amifs in our times. Where theTft- vine .Right ofty tha is poven.V.i 2 9

E R RATA.

■TN the former part of this ®6okr dd$eW [ Mr. H'irrifdn, there are a fe^ literal E- lcapes,in fome copies>4udh the Candid Jkeia- €t may eafily amend, a^fdllo^s ; J'age k|;¥« ,6. read f&$. and line 14.x. -pkniirtg. j>. fcj. 1. ^8 > r. flfcff. -p.- 1\: 1 . 19. r. cMaifity, and & £$. r. Arguments, p. 55-1- 2.8. 1. cxt^a. p..6o. k 1^. for ^.,-jead Vy. p. 61. 1. 1. r. Goorf. p. 6$. f ijK *:>/;?! */;e. p. 67. J. 10. t.- bitter, p. 75- 1. 12. & Cfoi/L p. 77/I. *}. r. ffe.p/^. 1. t. r. %e'u%& trouhle:^. Toi* 1. T7. for 4, tear! the. p* U<>; J. .12. forftate or ftation, read ftate ana Action. y. 172. 1.2j.readP/^wi/5.p. 148. iiaeiilt. i.

4>9MiM±

Topica Sacra ;

Spiritual LogicL

- j __.

Job 23/3, 4.

0 That I knew where I might find hhn ] that I wight come even to his feat !

1 would order my canfe before him, and' fill my month with Arguments.

HOly Job , poor now , even to a Proverb, and miferable to a Prodigy, perceiving his friends Difcoarfes were fuller of Reproaches than Confolations , ne- glects to anfwer them, and refolvee to get him to God , the only Support and Refuge of the miferable. . And thus M entertains himfelf in the I fecond verfe, even to day, after all that j hath been faid , Exajperatio efl querela Drufo & wea the bitterneft of my complaint is ra- toiwl 1 B flic*

Spiritual Pleading*,

ther increafed than allayed *, wherefore

no wonder my mouth is alwife open to

breath out "complaints', and the more I

complain, the more I fuller from you,

,gr.-iw^7x(fo feme J or rather from 'God himfelri

TTohU Whofe handl acknowledge in all thefe

ncight trj.'ftroalcs \ and let me complain as long as

fvlo. I will my tongue is not fo eloquent in

Grotius complaining as his hand is heavy that

m loc. ftnfces me^.my ftroak is heavier than

my groaning.

And yet for all this, verfe 7. he flghsf after a Treaty, after a nearer accefs and approach unto him that ' Trait es him v he quites his feeming friends to make after his feeming Enemy, and is willing to make this enemy his Judge, and to refer all to him.

And then, verfe 4. He thinks with himfc.lf how he would manage his mat- ters, how he would beftir himfelf, and not lofe his caufe for want of pleading, could he but get a day of hearing v 1 would order my caufe before him , and fill my mouth with Arguments.

Some think he wifhes for a Guide, a Friend to. help him to fuch an op- 1 portunity. jghtis det noffem ( faith Dm- fiu* ) quis mibi tribuat ut cognofcam ( fkith the Vulgar ) quis dabit fcirem ( faith Montanus ) quis eft qui pofsitfa-

cerc

1 . ' ..i - . . i -| I ii 1 i 111 I ■■

and Ex f oft ul at ions. 3

cere ut valeam accedere (faith the Syri- ae ) he would fain find an Angel to con- duit him to the Throne of God ( faith Renault ) or rather the Angel of the Co- xnTiis pa- venant to afford him that ^p#5&>«>Taphfafe that Manuduftion which the ApoftleuPolC^| fpeaks of, as the known privilege ofallpia;-e; Believers, who through him have an ac cefs by one Spirit unto the Father, Efh* 2. 18.

But not to darken the words in ftead of explaining them, by giving the vari- ous readings and opinions of Interpre- ters, I will draw out fome obfervations, and haften to that I defire to infill: on.

Objerv. 1. The for eft ftroaks cm\- Ob few at. not drive away good fouls from God, but rather draw them nearer to him. My ftroak is heavier then my groaning- yet O that I knew where I might find him !

2. God himfelf, even for his owa fake, 19 the great Objett of a Saints feekings. O that I knew where I might find him! not this or that to be g:ttea by him.

3. Precious fouls- that have a large Inter eft in God, are fome time's at a 1 ft, as to his fweet and fenfible Prejenler^ The great God hath his unknown Re-

\iteuu^ whether, fajs beft friends- can not B 2 folbvV

Spiritual Pleadings,

follow him. So verfe 8, 9. heboid, I forward, but he is not there \ and back-' ward but I cannot per ci eve him \ on th& left hand, where he doth work, but lean- not behold him ; he hideth himfelfon the right hand that I cannot fee him. So holy David, Vfal 6l. I. 0 God, thou art my God, early will I feeh thee. You fee his Intereft is clear •, he can fay- thou art my God, and yet he had but little en* j oy me nt of him: his foul thirfteth, Jong- ethy followeth 3iard after him, ' ver. 8* Such another figh ye have, Vfal 101. 2. O when mlt thou come unto me} Do not conclude ye have no intereft, be- caufe ye have little en joyment^ no U- tiion, becaufe ye want Vifion.

4. A gracious heart feldom or never thinks it felf near enough unto God, its Sun and Shield, and Center: 0 that I fcneiv where I might find himf that I might come even to his feat !

5, Gods Judgement-feat* where he fits to hear and determine caufes, is not terrible or unapproachable to a Belie- ver, who knows it to be a Throne of Mercy, as Job here did *, for, fays he , verfe 6. how would he ufe me, if he Had me there? would he overwhelm [ me with his greatnefs > will he plead againft me with his abfblute Power > 1

and Expoftulations.

No, but he would put itrengtii in me : Happy are ail that can lay io, tor we piuit all appear there, 2. Cor, 5. 10, ir. and it will be terrible to all thofe that do not or ten relbrt thither afore-hand. .6. A poor afflicted creature often thinks he hath a great deal to fay un- to God, if he could but get an hearing *, he thinks how he would order and ar* gue out the matter; what a ftory he would tell him, if he could but get his ear, gain accefs and audience from him.

7. It's good to have our hearts and jnouths nTd with Arguments when we come to plead and Expoftulate, and reafon out our great concernments with our God.

This is the point I pitch on, toespell that fpirit of {lumber, which hath fo much weakned the fpirit of Prayer in our days, that comparatively they are but little enriched by it, who trade to Heaven with it, where God hath all good things lying ready by him, and waiting only for Prayer to come and fetch them away.

When Clirift himfelf would give us 2 perfect Pattern of Prayer, both for mat^ ter and manner, he winds and wraps up all with a conclusion, Mat. 6. 13, con-? fifting of certain reafons to perfwade B 3 Go4

Spiritual Pleadings,

God to hear our prayers, or at leaft to perfwade and allure our felves, that he doth and will hear them: the reaibns have an influence into all and every- one of the Petitions , Thine is the King* dom ; and therefore we expert that as a good King thou fhou Idfr receive and an- K-J. 72. fwer our Petitions: it is thy concern- 12,1 5,14, rnent as a King to have thine honour l$r advanced, therefore hallow thine own

name, glorifie it in the Church, let thy Kingdom come to it, advance thy Will in it, fuftain us thy Subjedts, pardon our fins, keep and defend us from Evils. So Thine is the Vower^ which Kings 1. Ki:ie.0^ten tiraes want} but thou art able to 6.16) 27. exalt thine own name, to extend thy Kingdom over all, to fit us to do thy will, to minifter to our neceilities, to pardon our fins, to preferve us from all Evils.

And thine is the Glory •, The hallow- ing of thy Name is the chief part of thy glory 5, thy Kingdom the prime place cf thy glory 5 herein art thou glorified , when we obey thy Will, when thou provider!: for thy people, forgiveft their fins, preferveft and deli vereft them from their Enemies-, therefore do thou all thefe things for us^ therefore do we truft and hope that thou wilt do all. thefe ihines for us. Thus

and Ex f ovulations.

Thus our blefled Saviour doth direSi tis, and thus the blefted Saints hzveprac-' tifed m all Ages.

When the people of Ifmel had made the molten Calf, and committed Ido- latry with it, and God was about to deftroy them for it, fee how Mofss in his prayer for them lays hold on the avenging hand of God, and frays it by reasoning and arguing , from the difho- nour that would redound unto God if he lhould deftroy them*, and from the Covenant that he had made with their fathers, Exod. 32. 11, 12, 13, &c. And Mofes befought the Lord his God, and faid, Lord , why doth thy wrath war hot againft thy people which thou haft brought forth out of the Land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty -hand ? ( thou art now greatly engaged in thebufinefs) the Egyptians will {lan- der thy gracious Intentions, and fay it was for mifchief with a purpofe to flay and confume them. Remember Abra- ham, Ifaac and Ifrael thy fervants, to whom thou fwareft by thine own felf that thou wouldft deal otherwise with their Pofterity .* and fee how he prevails verfe 14, Tne Lord repented of the e- vil which he thought to do unto his people. So when he would have de-

ftroyed

Spiritual Pleadings

ftroy ed them for murmuring, Mofes in" terpofeth again ior a pardon, and fills his mouth with Arguments, Numb, 14* 13, &c. The Egyptians will hear it, and they'l tell ftories of thee to the In- habitants of this Land, and they "1 /lan- der thy Tower, and fay, becaufe thou wert not able to carry them any further, thou didft rid thy hands of them in the Wildernefs ^ Now therefore I befeech thee, lhew what thou canft do, put forth the greatnefs of thy power in pardon- ing , as thou haft fpoken , of thy felf, ;and as thou haft practifed hitherto in forgiving this people from Egypt even nntill now. And fee how he carries it at again, verfe 20. The Lord J aid I have fardoned according to thy word.

So Abraham, before him, Gen. 18. 2?, 54, 2 %. Wilt thou alfo dejlroy the Righ- teous with the wicked? thdt be far -from thee to do -y after this manner to flay ( pell mell) the righteous with the wick- ed, and that the righteous fhouldbeas the wicked-, that be far from thee-, fhall not the Judge of all the earth do light ? And you know how he fhrunk up and narrowed the number, till he thought he had got within the verge of Lot's Family, and expected that (hould afford fa many righteous perion*

and Expofiulations.

as he named $ but he was out in his charitable conjeSiure ; otherwife he had not faiFd in what he pleaded for. He gained ground at every* advance , and God yielded till Abraham thought he had Enough, and fo prcfled him no fur- ther.

Thus Jolhua when the people were fmittenat At , Jojb. 7. 7, 8, 9. Alas, 0 Lord God, fays he, wherefore hafl thox at all brought us over Jordan > or was it our Ambition and Covetoufnefs that brought us over} would to God we had been content and dwelt on the other fide Jordan. O Lord God, what fhall I fay- when Ifrael that ( uscd to be vidto- riow ; turneth their backs before their enemies ! and now theyl all hear of it and environ us round, and cut off our name from the earth $ and if that were the worft, it were no great rnalter -5 but what wilt thou do unto thy great 'Name ? that will hardly fwim if ours fink, they are fo twirled together, fo imbarqued in the fame bottom 5 and 'though Ours be Vile, That's Precious j though ours deferre to rot, what hath that deferved? and think what thou art about to do to thy great Name. Thus Hezekiah in his ficknefs, Ifa. 38. 27 3, Remember new 0 Lord , I hefeech

thee

: J

IO Spirit nail Pleadings.

how I have walked before thee in truth ; J have had an Honeji heart towards thee, thou knoweff it ; and mufl I now be. cut off untimely ? when all things are fb Unfetled now or never is the time for thee to give Teftimony to my fincerity ^ and you know he had a Reprive pre-* fently brought him.

Thus he Argues in his diftrefs becaufe of Senacherib, 2. Kings I 9. 1 ?, Sec. They have indeed made work with the gods of the Nations, and caff them into the fire, becaufe they were no Gods-, but now that they come to meddle with thee and thy pec fie, let them find it too hot for them, and let all the Kingdoms of the earth know that thou art the Lord God9 even thou only.

Thus Afa, 2. Chron. 14. 11. 0 Tori our God, we reft on thee, .thou art our God, let not man prevail againft thee.

Thus Jehofaphat, 2. Chr. 20. 6, &c.

Thus Daniel, Chap. 9. to the 20. ver. &c. Thus Amos Chap. 7. ver. 2, 3, 5, 6.

Thus the Apo'ftles, Aft. 4. ver. 24. to 3 1.

Not. that God {lands in need of our informing him concerning our necefTities, which Ke; knows better then we ^ but becau e hereby we give fome proof that .we .are not altogether ftrangers at home ( as many carelefs ones are ) but knop

fomething

and Expoflulations. n

fomething of our fe Ives, and our own cafes, and of him Him a.nd his dealings' towards us : But I will give no other grounds for the point, then thofe oijobs refolution for this practice ^ and they are thefe.

i. Upon earoeft arguing God will undoubtedly anfwer fome way or other ; that's implyed, verf. 5. I would know the words that he would anfwer ?ne, and tsnderftand what he would fay unto me. An anfwer I may be fure of when I fill my mouth with arguments $ he will not fit frill and fay nothing •, .he will not fit like an Image, like a dumb Idol, as the Abominations of the Heathens, their D'ii Stercorei, their dunghil-Gods ( as Tremeh they are called, Deitt. 29. 77.) muft of neceifity do* 3 they can do no other wife, though men/// their mouthes with Argu- ments, and empty their veins of their blood before them, t. Kings 18* 28.

No fays Job^he will undoubtedly an- fwer could I but have my fill of plead- ing-, and I might guefs at his defigns by his anfwers ( which are now too wonderfull for me) \ might understand what meaneth the heat of this great Burning and wherefore he contendeth with me, and what he Means and in-* j?nds towards his poor creature.

# Arguments

1 2 Spiritual Pleadings,

Arguments then in prayer are not lit? \y to go unanfwered, and praying Souls hnd it fo.

Sometimes he anfwers glorioufly from his fecret place of Thunder, yet not in Thunder but in Lightning, in fome glo- rious irradiation, in fome precious melt- ing Promife born in upon the heart with a ftrong hand, and there Engraven in indelible Characters by an irrefiftible power, whereof gracious fouls in our days have had abundant experience.

Sometimes he anfwers in fomt fecret fnpport only, - as Hannah after her ar- guing and pouring forth her forrowful foul into his Bofom, when {he had left her petition in his hand, or but laid it- down at his feet •, though fhe had no o- ther Fiat then what was written on her heart by an invifible finger, yet {he went her way well apaid , and fell t to her meat, and her countenance was no more fad, i. Sam. i. 18.

And furely one or the other of thefe made David clofe up fo many Pfalms with Praifes & Rejoycings, which he had fregun with tears and mourning-, an ob- vious obfervation, 8c clear evidence that ■-. even whilfl: he was on his knees before the Lord, the wind came about and blew upon him out of a warm corner, and made all his fyicesfow. Som *

' ! I

and ExpoftitUtions. 1 3

Sometimes God anfwers in fome pro* tidential difpenjations, which both gratis fie us for the prefent, and might inftruB us for the future -, for many, very many Providences are Prophetical,and do foie- {hew tilings to come} but the language of Prophecies is for the niofl: part ohfcure^ and we feldom underftand it, till God interpret it in /the accomplifhment j an Inftance whereof we have in A8s, 7. 25. Mofes his defending the Ifrae- lite, and avenging him that was oppref- fed, and fmiting the Egyptian, had a further reach , drift and fcope in it, than barely that prefent vindication: for he fuppofed his Brethren would have underflood how that God by his hand would deliver them, but they underflood not: no more do we many times the full Extent and Import of a difpenfation which ecchoes to Prayer ; yet for the moft part we pick fomething out of it to flay the ftomack, and to afford Sup- fort, if not fatisfaBion.

Plead then, and fill your Mouths with Arguments -, for when ever you do fo, beyond all peradventure God will anfwer.

Secondly, There's no feat that he will interpret this fawcinefs and pre- emption in thee, and fo anfwer the©

witla

14 Spiritual Pleadings

with his Fifts about thine cars, or with his foot to kick thee out oi his prcfence* there is no fear that he will imother thee under the weight oi his GreatneiV or dazle the with his beams, or burn the with his flames, or drive the from the Judgment feat ( as Gallio did the Jews, Acl. 18. 16. ) No he never beats his people lower then their knees, and thence fuffers them, yea helps them to rife again ^ nay he will lay his hand upon thy head, yea under thy feet to do thee good ^ He will firoke rather than jlrike a pleadinfi Soul \ He will jhengtb- en Thee, and put Mettal into Thee ^ this is Job's confkleration in the fix th verfe, Will he plead againft me with his great and abfolute Power, by which he may do what he pleafeth with his poor Creatures? Will he ferve me fo> v Ko, but he would put flrength in me :

Thus he dealt with Daniel, Chap. 10.19. Thirdly, There the Righteous may fie ad and difpute with him even at the i Bar of Equity and Juftice, yea and the Judge cannot but pronounce and pafs . fentence in their favour ^ that's his en- couragement, verfe 7. there the Righ- fetkts'mxy plead with hfm, and fo fhall I be delivered for ever from my Judge, never more dread him as a Judge, but . ,

and Expostulations, 1$

fo as withali to love him, and live with him as a Father.

There righteous Jeremy pleads with him, Jer. 12. 1, &'o, Righteous art tbott .0 Lord^when Iplea&fith thee :( there's •no queftion to be made of that, that admits of no difpute ) yet let me talk with the of thy Judgements.

There he invites his people to come and plead freely, If a. 43. 26. Put me in remembrance, let us plead together , declare thou that thou may eft bejufti/ied. If thou haft any thing to fay for thy felt* fay on.

Nay even Idolaters {hall have this fair play, permi-lion to plead for them- f elves, and for their dumb Idols too, if they have any thing to fay Tor them, If a. 41. 21. Produce your Caufe faith the Lord, bring forth your flrong Reafonsy faith the King of Jacob. Have Idolaters this Liberty, and not the true Wor- Ihippers that v/or(hip in Spirit and Truth > The Wicked fhall they have it, and not the RighteoHS ? Yes dobutlefs, EP&- t* this is that wt?y»w*,( tranflated boldnefs "',*£ offpeech, 2. Cor. 7 . 4. ) mentioned as JcaMm the great privilege of the Saints, efpe- museum daily now under the New Teftament, %«"»'*

Heb. 10. !%&c. l%mt tZ*, flfefrWav ei; "/^f

tUu «W«r, having therefore boldnefs to numgra-

enter mt Bee.

1 6 Spiritual Pleadings,

enter into the holieft by the blood of Jefus, ( a Right and Freedom to enter in our perfons hereafter, and now by our prayers ) let ^is draw near with a true heart, in fptaflurance of Faith.

*• But may fometfay, There the righter bus indeed may p4ead with him^ and not be caft in their: fuit ; But where are thofe righteous Ones ? And who are they > for it is not fo with me : God be mercifull to me a grievous fim tier •, I dare not be fo bold wfth him 5 Iniquity muftfiop htr mouth.

I anfwer, Every one that hath a fhare in, yea a fincere defire after the Right eoufnefs of Chrift, is righteous be- fore him, and may in that Righteouf* nefs Plead and Prevail, and as a Prince have Power with God:, For this is his own Righteoufnefs, of his own Contri- vance and Appointment : The Right eouf nefs which is of God by Faith, Phil. 1* 8, 9. A Righteoufnefs Spun and Woven out of his own bowels, and the obedi- ence of his dear Son •, a better than ever came upon the back of Angels, for which the perfonal and legal Righ- teoufnefs of a Paul, of an Angel, is to be abandoned*, Evangelical being far better than Angelical Righteoufnef*.

^Tiefaid, when ViUt appeared in Chrifti

Garment;

and Expostulations;

Garment which he had got from thfr Soldiers^ C&far coilld never be angry with him * 'tis certain then canft not mifs a Bleifmg in his Garments, who is not aihamed to be called thine Lld*r Brother, who came to change cloatbs 8c places with thee, and to take all upon himfelf, that thou mighterr. efcape* The Father cannot but be well plcafed with the fmell of his Son's raiment $ Be he fits too upon a feat of Judgment, St muft do thee Right-, and Juftice itfelf ( which will not be twice pay'd ) is as much for thee, as much thy friend as Mercy, Rom. 2. 26. He is Jtift, and yet ( nay therefore ) a JuStifier of him that beheveth on Jefus. So that if thou art not utterly ihut up in unbelief, if their be but the leaft fpark of true Faith a* live in thy heart, thou mayeit plead and prefper.

But I have nothing to fay for mf Qyprt felf -, my heart is dryed up .like a Pot- * ' fheard, and withered like grafs. I have find away all arguments, and muft ne- ver open my Mouth any more before hint?

1 True, not to Boast, but to Plead 'jnfir, thou mayefb

2 Aud^haft thou nothing to offer > not a figh? not the groanings of thy Soul ? ihWV&s Job ?s preface, ret, 2, Mjftrofe

1 8 Spiritual Pleadings.

is heavier then my groning. 0 that I ]cnew where I might, find him ! where the heart is lull as Jobs was (you may perceive it by his iighang ) the Month will not be empty, a tali heart will Mil the mouth feme w.iy or other ^ it the h. .rt be full oi ajjeition, the mouth will be mil oi arguments. They deceive their own fouls who fay their Hearts are as Good as the heft ( they thank God ) though they make no (hew, when nei- ther God nor men can hear ought that's good come from them. Pfal. 37. 20. The 7nouth of the Righteous fpeaketh Wifdom ; andhis'Tongus taiketh of Judge- ment. Why fo ? Ver. 31. The haw of his God is in his heart ; that fets his tongue; a going the right way -, and on the con- trary, fame mens WmYmgbreath bewrays their inward parts to be very rottennefs^ they have not fo much fweet breath as to -make a figh of ^ if the want oi words were all, it wrre a fmall matter ^ that inarticulate Language of fighs and groans is powerful Rhetorique : Let the fghing of the prifoners come before thee ( faith 2) avid, Pjal. 79. 11.) according to the Qreatnefs of thy power pre ferve thou thofe that are appointed to die : And for the appreffion of the Poor, and for the fighing of the needy, now will I ar'ife, ( faith the

Lord

and Expqfhtfations. j y

Lord himfelf, Pfal. 12. 5.) I wiU fet him in fafety from him that puffeth at him. We own help from the Spirit, when We are enlarged. P^iti faith, he helps us, even when we are firaimed y like- wife the Spirit alfo helpeth our infirmi- ties •, for we know not what we mould pray for as we ought •, ( no not Pmt and theApoftlcs) but the Spirit itfelfmnk- eth Intercejfion for us with groanings which cannot be uttered, Rom. 8. 26. fttfyiifit <*K*hfato< with unutterable/iW/- nings; our Enlargements may be but the ftowings of the Gifts of the Spirit $ but our inward pinchings and coarElati- ons may be the Intercejfion of the Spirit it Jeffs, the more immediate operations of the Spirit. And we forget that there is fiich a Prompter behind the hangings •, fuch an Interpreter (as his Title figni- fies,as well as Comforter-, yea therefore J0-1- T4» a Comforter, becaufe an Interpreter ; to }^freet make known the mind of God to uc,Wi4 on* and ours to him •, and as he betrc^s the^.' Vid„ feasts' of God to the Saints, fb He ripscJ>^o. up their hearts before God ( without \9*f*U doing my wrong, either in the one or^J?j^_ other /and 'tis he who fills their ,

not only with windy words, but weidi- iy Arguments.

9 Haft thou nothing to complain of

C tlrr

7a Spiritual Pleadings,

thy Judge > no Shi, no Devil, no Dia- bolical Temptations, no Superdiaboli- cal corruptions, no fpiritual Plunderers, no Egyptian Tafk-m afters, no cruel Bondage that make6 thy life bitter to thee ? no Enemy coming in as a flood to opprefs and do thee wrong ? no Iron yoik that galls thy ihoulders? no Vio- lence and Spoil to cry out and complain of? Sure thou haft not ft tidied thine own cafe \ thou haft not ordered thy caufe a right, it this fountain fail thee. But will this be admitted > may the poor foul fay •, all Complaints arc trouble- Tome, men cannot endure them. I An- fwer, God will. Out of the abundance of my Complaint and Grief have I fpoken hitherto, fays Hannah, i. Sam. I. 1 6. and you know how fhe fped.

Nay the word rendered Arguments,

Cvrepu- I find by the La tine Interpreters ren-

#m: us. jrec^ Jiedargutimibus , Increpationibus.

LiteySyr.J0^ m f°me cafe is Defendant, as to the

Charges drawn up againft him by his

friends ^ But here he is Plaintiffe alfo ^

could I come near the Bar, (fayes he)

I would make my moan : the whole

Court of Heaven fhould Ring out

and be made fenfible of my fufferings.

But we are well enough with our

Engliih tranflation of the word, and it

k

and Ex f ovulations . 21

vie ar-

is warranted by the beft Criticks^ the S: word fignifying all proceedings, all ar-gumenJtl gwnents, and Keaions uied in a caule5^ pro. by either party, and contains all that/m/W* can be alledged or urged by a poor crQ3,-Tari^ns ture any way in his own defence, or m llte?ro

r -I- J i J^ cau[ a fun i

for his advantage. nirCfin

4. There are fome Arguments yet Druiius. in Arcbivis, in the Rolls and Records of heaven which were never yet imbez- led 5 they ly in the Ark of the Co- venant, hid with Chrift in God, ( un- der double lock and key, ) where nei- ther Moth nor Rutt can come to corrupty mr Thief break through to fleal $ yea, they ly ( many of them ) in the very heart and bofome, and Being of God himfelf. I hope we (ball meet with fome of them anon, and that they may meet with the very cafe of thy foul, and that thy foul may meet with God in the making life of them.

But what will Arguments work upon M-fa . God ? that King Eternal is not fway- ed but by Eternal confederations •, He knows no motives but his own bowels, and the Merits and Mediation of his Son and Spirit.

1 3Tis true, and well for thee and me ^yv; that 'tis fo ^ other wife Time-accidents end Time-exacerbations, had long eVe C 2 this

' 'Spiritual Plea dings y

this hurried us into a woful Eternity .' pait all relief, by way of Argumentati- on 5 hell, not Heaven, had been filled with our complainings /

2. Hath he not given thee thofe two great friends of his for thine Advpcats > the one at his own right hand in Hea- ven moving and negotiating, and al- wayes appearing for thee y the other feated in thy breaft, ( though once a Cage for every unclean and hateful! Bird ) the Dove alights and abides up- on that dunghil, and will not be iray- ed away: and the voyce of that Turtle is heard in onr Land ^ yea the Fathers oven heart is lull of love, brim-full and running over upon thee •, and this con- tinually pleads for thee, and makes all thine arrows which fly upwards, inevi- table, not one is (hot in vain.

3. Good Arguments in Prayer do fhew the neceffity of Prayer, and great eqnhy for obtaining the * things prayed for 5 and fo do very much confirm our Faith, and fire our affedtions, and en- able, a man to break through many Difcouragements, which Satan or has own heart may caft in to hinder Pray- er : and ceratinly though their be no need of Argments to work upon God, their is to work upon us j though not to

move

and Expostulations. 22

yiove his love, yet to remove our unbe- lief v though not to prevail upon him to gave, yet to prepare our felves to receive Mercy.

The only Ufe I fliall make of the USE. Point, (hall be to prefs all to make ufe of it, to put it in Practice daily it * will pleaie your Heavenly Father very well 5 He loves to hear his Children Reafon it out with him, and he doth of fet purpofe delay to grant their Re- queues fometimes, becaufe he loves to hear often from them, to hear their Cant, z, Yokes, and fee their Faces-, He loves x4« to hear what they can fay for themfel- ves. So he dealt with the Woman of Canaan-, He firft feemed not to hear her, then did deny her fuit, and then gav©,a- very {harp and cutting Reafon of his Denial, Becaufe fne was but a Dog, ?n? was none of the Israelites who were his Children * But when Chrift hears her wife Anfwer to his Objecti- on : Truth Lord, but the Dogs eat the Crumbs that fall from their Mafeis table, ( which was a fcrong Piece of Logick, ) {he received an high commendation of her. Faith, and a Grant that would be fur e to pleafe her, Her will -, Q wo- man great is thy Faith, be it tmtojhee even as thou wilt, Mat. 15. 21, 22, ~&c. C 4 She

?4 Spiritual Pleadings,

She Retorts his own weapon upon him, and he yields and gives her whats dan- gerous, if not good, her own Will.

My purpoie is, ( leaving all other t£fayes of Application or Enlargement ) to (peak to fome principal CASES of greater!: concernment and molt frequent Qccurrency in our liyes : and I Jhall on- ly break the Ice in each cafe,- ( for f id- le eft invent is a elder e) to let your Wits a work, which men, which Chriftians make lead ufe of in their greateft occa- sions $ we triffle in feriou.s things, and are ferious only in Triffles, or rather to rouse up your Graces in the holy A- . Tim, poftle's phrafe, **a?«xi*$«v, To ftir up *• the Fire which lyes; raked up <Sc buried tinder the afhes of (loth and lupine ofci- tancy, or rather indeed to Jog the Spirit of Prayer which lies dormant in many bofoms, and doth them little fervice, T would but fet that Plough a going which too many caft in the hedge as almoft ufeltfs : which yet if well ma- naged, would (ill your Garners with all manner of (tore : And to which whofoever puts his Hand without ( too often ) looking back, mail' be fit for the Jitngclw of Q QD.

€£$E

and Exp emulations, 2$

CASE I.

XJnacqnainiedyiefi with the Lord.

FIRST then, Is UnaccmaintedneftV***!*** with GOD thy Mifery, the mat- ^^ *er of thy moan and mourning? is this thy Complaint f as 'tis of the molt knowing J that fo little a Portion is he- ard of Him > that neither the Thunder of his Power, nor the Charms -of his JLOVE art1 fufficiently Underftocd by thee ^ We rather are known of him, than that we can fay, we know him, Gal. 4. 9. 8c where, or who is he hath no need to plead in this particular ? Some malce^^v this to be Job's cafe, in this very text 9 For thus they render it, Utinam nojfem Deum et invenirem eum ; O that I knew. God, then I mould find him. He that knows God, hath found him 5 and he fhall never find him who -never knows kim. His Friend that fpake laft had advifed him, Chap. 12. v. .21, Acquaint now thy f elf with him, and be at peace^ Sec. and it may be 'tis thereunto that lie anfwers : 0 that I knew him, O that I knew where I might find him, to; be better acquainted with him-, is this thy Cafe> Go order thy caufe before Him, and fill thy month with Arguments. Firfl;, Afk him ( v/ith an humble ancU^wwrir

holjp

26 Spiritual Plea 'din gs.

holy