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waited for it. “I said,” saith he,“ in my haste, that all men were liars:” and now he is humbled for it. Is this to be thankful, to forget our provoking thoughts of unbelief when the mercy is enjoyed? The Lord set it home upon your spirits, and give it to receive its due manifestation!
(1.) If there be any counsels, designs, contrivances, on foot amongst us, that are bottomed on our staggering at the promise under which we are, oh, let them be instantly cast down to the ground. Let not any be so foolish as to suppose
that unbelief will be a foundation for quiet habitations. You are careful to avoid all ways that might dishonour you as the rulers of so great a nation; oh, be much more careful about such things as will dishonour you as believers! That is your greatest title,—that is your chiefest privilege. Search your own thoughts; and if any contrivance, any compliance, be found springing up, whose seed was sown by staggering at the promise, root them
and cast them out before it be too late. (2.) Engage your hearts against all such ways for the future. Say unto God, How faithful art thou in all thy ways! how able to perform all thy promises! how hast thou established thy word in heaven and earth! Who would not put their trust in thee? We desire to be ashamed that ever we should admit in our hearts the least staggering at the stability of thy word.
(3.) Act as men bottomed upon unshaken things, that are not at all moved by the greatest appearing oppositions.
“ He that believeth will not make haste:” be not hasty in your resolves in any distress; wait for the accomplishment of the vision, for it will come. So long as you are in the way of God, and do the work of God, let not so much as your desires be too hasty after appearing strengthenings and assistance. Whence is it that there is amongst us such bleating after the compliance of this or that party of the sons of men,-perhaps priding themselves in our actings upon unbelief, as though we proclaimed, that, without such and such, we cannot be protected in the things of God? Let us, I beseech you, live above those things that are unworthy of the great name that is called upon us.
Oh, that by these and the like ways we might manifest our selfcondemnation and abhorrency for all that distrust and staggering at the word of God, which arising from unbelief, hath had such deplorable issues upon all our counsels and undertakings!
SHAKING AND TRANSLATING OF HEAVEN AND EARTII:
A SERMON PREACHED TO THE HONOURABLE HOUSE OF COMMONS
IN PARLIAMENT ASSEMBLED, APRIL 19, 1649,
A DAY SET APART FOR EXTRAORDINARY HUXILIATIOX.
This sermon, from Heb. xii. 27, was preached before Parliament on a day set apart for extraordinary humiliation. It was in connection with this sermon that Owen for the first time was introduced to Oliver Cromwell; who, with other officers, listened to it, and afterwards made acquaintance with the preacher, under the circumstances mentioned in the “Life,” etc., vol. i. p. 42. Cromwell was preparing to go to Ireland, and procured the appointment of Owen to accompany him, in order that the affairs of Trinity College, Dublin, might be adjusted and placed on a proper footing.-ED.
Die Veneris, April 20, 1649. ORDERED, by the Commons assembled in Parliament, That Sir William Masham do give hearty thanks from this House to Mr Owen for his great pains in his sermon preached before the House yesterday, at Margaret's, Westminster; and that he be desired to print his sermon at large, as he intended to have delivered it if time had not prevented him; wherein he is to have the like liberty of printing thereof as others in like kind usually have had.
Hen. SCOBELL, Clerc. Parl.
TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE,
THE COMMONS OF ENGLAND,
IN PARLIAMENT ASSEMBLED,
SIRS, All that I shall preface to the ensuing discourse is, that seeing the nation's welfare and your own actings are therein concerned (the welfare of the nation and your own prosperity in your present actings being so nearly related, as they are, to the things of the ensuing discourse), I should be bold to press you to a serious consideration of them as now presented unto you, were I not assured—by your ready attention unto, and favourable acceptation of their delivery—that, being now published by your command, such a request would be altogether needless. The subject-matter of this sermon being of so great weight and importance as it is, it had been very desirable that it had fallen on an abler hand; as also that more space and leisure had been allotted to the preparing of it—first, for so great, judicious, and honourable an audience; and, secondly, for public view—than possibly I could beg from my daily troubles, pressures, and temptations, in the midst of a poor, numerous, provoking people. As the Lord hath brought it forth, that it may be useful to your Honourable Assembly, and the residue of men that wait for the appearance of the Lord Jesus, shall be the sincere endeavour at the throne of grace of
Your most unworthy Servant
In the work of the Lord,
COGGESHALL, May 1, 1649.