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Full text of "The complete works of Thomas Brooks"

V 





LIBRARY 

^j^^ TORONTO. 

STACKS* n i/AV 

Rkgister No.. . -^.f/-..../ 

.N-. I ^5 



NICHOL'S SERIES OF STANDARD DIVINES. 

PURITAN PERIOD. 



BY JOHN C. MILLER, D.D., 

LINCOLN college; HONORARY C.VNON OF WORCESTER; VIOVR OF GREENWICH. 



THE 



WORKS OF THOMAS BROOKS 

VOL. VI. 



COUNCIL OF PUBLICATION. 



W. LINDSAY ALEXANDER, D.D., Professor of Thcolog}% Congregational 
Union, Edinburgh. 

J.AMES BEG a, D.D., Minister of Newington Free Church, Edinburgh. 

THOMAS J. CRAWFORD, D.D., S.T.P., Professor of Divinity, University, 
Edinburgh. 

D. T. K. DRUMMOND, M.A., Minister of St Thomas's Episcopal Church, 
Edinburgh. 

WILLIAM H. GOOLD, D.D., Professor of Biblical Literature and Church 
History, Reformed Presbyterian Church, Edinburgh. 

ANDREW THOMSON, D.D., Minister of Broughton Place United Presby- 
terian Church, Edinburgh. 

liBenprat <tSi)itor. 
iCEV, THOMAS SMITH, D.D., EplNBUEaH. 



THE COMPLETE WORKS 



THOMAS BROOKS. 



BY THE REV. ALEXANDER BALLOCH GROSART, 



LIVERPOOL. 



VOL. VI. 

containing: 

London's lamentations on the late fiery dispensation — the glorious 

DAY OF the saints' APPEARANCE GOD'S DELIGHT IN THE PROGRESS OP 

THE UPRIGHT — HYPOCRITES DETECTED — A BELIEVER's LAST DAY IS HIS 
BEST DAY — A HEAVENLY CORDIAL — THE LEGACY OF A DVI^G "MOTHEB 
AND MRS bell's EXPERIENCES INDICES, ^TQ. i \ S ' 

c> y 

EDINBURGH : JAMES NICHOL. 

LONDON : JMIES NISBET AND CO. DUBLIN : G. HERBERT. 



M.DCCC.LXVn. 



^5'o?o^ 5<:^^ yj 



EDITORIiL POSTSCRIPT. 



FOLLOWING the last of his larger treatises — * London's Lamenta- 
tions ' — there will be found in the present concluding volume 
certain minor writings of Brooks, of some of which the Editor had 
despaired securing copies — having searched in vain foj most of them 
in all our great Libraries, and applied with similar result to innumer- 
able book-lovers and booksellers. He has not anywhere chanced upon 
another copy besides his own of either the ' Heavenly Cordial ' or of 
' The Legacy of a Dying Mother ;' while years since the learned editor 
of the ' Depositions from the Castle of York, relating to Offences com- 
mitted in the Northern Counties in the Seventeenth Century,' for the 
Surtees Society— James Kaine, Esq., — with reference to the Funeral 
Sermon of Colonel Eainsborough, designated it ' a very rare tract,' 
and congratulated himself that by the kindness of a local Bibliopole 
he was ' able to give a copy of the title.' ^ Apart from the intrinsic 
worth of these excessively scarce, if not unique tractates, it is exceed- 
ingly satisfactory to the Editor that he has been enabled by lucky 
chances to present the entire writings of Brooks in this — like Sibbes' 
— jQrst collective edition. As simple matter of fact, the Works given 
n these six volumes could not be purchased in the market in the 
original and early editions for as many pounds as the shillings they cost 
in this form : and it is ventured to indulge a hope that the accuracy 
of our reprint from a genuine and unmutilated text, the careful verifi- 
cation of the numerous Bible quotations and references, the annotation 
of names, &c., and the Glossary and marking of Shakesperean words 
— these sometimes explaining obscurities — will be accepted as addi- 
tions to their value. The Editor may be permitted to notice the 
copious Indices. Ordinarily it is to be feared that labour spent on 
such work is ill appreciated, too many, as rare Thomas Fuller com- 
plained, regarding an index as ' the bag and baggage of a book, of 

* Publications of the Surtees Society, vol. xl. p. 17. 



vi EDITORIAL POSTSCRIPT. 

more use than honour, even to such'who, seemingly slighting, secretly 
use it, if not for need, for speed of what they desire to find.'i But he 
has so constructed these— incoii)orating the full 'Tables' of Brooks 
himself wherever prepared by him— as to render any preliminary essay 
here unnecessary, inasmuch as, well used, they will guide readily the 
reader of our Worthy to his wealth of fine thought, of priceless 
insight into the ' mind of the Spirit ' and human nature, as well 
unrenewed as gracious, of definite doctrinal statement, of rich spiritual- 
mindedness, of tender and yet pungent appeal, of happy allusion, of 
brilliant, rapid wit, of racily-put, telling anecdote and asides, of recon- 
dite reading and multifarious lore unexpectedly turned to account, 
. with many a pat, almost sly foot-note, ' You know how to make the 
application ' — in a way hitherto impossible. 

With such a ' Cabinet of Jewels'— to appropriate one of his own 
titles 2 — as these Works present, one can read with a smile the depre- 
ciatory estimate of Brooks as of Bun3^an, formed by High Church 
contemporaries, and later. One of these is so characteristic, and serves 
as so excellent an illustration of the apothegm, that the eye sees what 
it brings with it, that it must find a place here, especially as it has not 
before been published : it was come upon by us in an examination 
of the MSS. of Walker, of the ' SoflPerings,' folio, preserved in the 
Bodleian. This ' character' of Brooks occurs in a letter from Luke 
Milbourne. It is literally as follows— the name, to start with, being 
misspelled — ' Mr Tho. Brook was another of those ' pleasant preachers' 
whose sermons would require a man of a very staunch temper to 
preach them over again without smiling. Abundance of ' fine meta- 
phors' and ' charming similitudes' a man may meet with in his Works, 
fit only to debase Divinity, or to dress it up in a ffool's Coat ; and I'm 
afraid such jingling Preachers turn'd men from Truth to ff'ables 
[rather] than from sin to righteousness. Souls are no more to be 
taken with chaff than old Birds are. His stile is neither prophetical 
nor Apostolical, nor were any of ye antient fathers guilty of such 
Trifling ; and indeed it would be ivell if all such Preachers loere 
silenced. A sound Christian, though he be no Critic, loves plain 
Truth delivered in good words, but always hates jesting in a serious 
matter.' 3 The italicised sentence reveals the animus of these small 
sarcasms and smaller comparisons with * antient fathers,' — of whom the 
writer was evidently as ignorant as he was of the preacher and author 

^ Pisgah-sight of Palestine in ' Necessary Directions for use of the Index ' at end. 

' Works, vol. iii. 

8 From Miscellaneous Papers in Quarto. From these Walker MSS.— which lie unread 
and uncared, for apparently — we hope to use efFectively elsewhere not a few letters, 
anecdotes, &c., &c. of the Puritan 'Worthies.' 



EDITORIAL POSTSCRIPT. Vll 

he misjudges. Yet is it almost wholly from such witnesses that too 
many even now express their opinions on the Wiitings of the Puritans 
and Nonconformists ; and perchance it must be admitted that the 
anti-Puritans and High Churchmen have been too much read at 
second-hand and controversially. In the present instance, it is ludi- 
crous to find one so inane and sand-barren as Milbourne sitting in 
judgment upon a nature so rich and so much larger than his own ; but 
it is a typical and hence valuable example of how an over-dainty cul- 
ture may be offended by superficial faults, so as to be stone-blind to 
the preciousness of the substance of the works which these blemish ; 
it being granted that occasionally Brooks is homely to excess, in 
common with the greatest divines of his age. 

Calamy's summary of the ' character' of Brooks — inadequate though 
it be — may fitly accompany the preceding :— ' He was a very affecting 
preacher, and useful to many ; and tho' he us'd many homely phrases 
and sometimes too familiar resemblances, which to nice criticks 
appear ridiculous ; yet he did more good to souls than many of tho 
e^aotest composers ; and let the wits of the age pass what censures 
they please, ' he that winneth souls is wise.' i 

In characterising Sibbcs generally, we selected the epithet unit'cr- 
sally applied to him, ' heavenly ;' and in like manner, the word ' usejuV 
is the one Avord Avhich accurately expresses the position of Brooke 
among his contemporaries. His slightest ' Epistle ' is ' Bread of Life :' 
his most fugitive ' Sermon' a full cup of ' Living Water ;' the very 
foliage of his exuberant fancies ' Leaves ' of the Tree of Lile : his one 
dominating aim to make dead hearts warm with the Life of the Gospel 
of Him who is Life ; his supreme purpose to ' bring near ' the very 
Truth of God. Hence his directness, his urgency, his yearning, his 
fervour, his fulness of Bible citation, his wistfulness, his intensity, his 
emotion, and that fine passion of enthusiasm sprung of compassion, 
and his iteration and forgetfulness,^ and Pauline accident of choice 
words or melody of sentence. His desire to be * useful ' to souls, to 
achieve the holy success of serving Christ, to win a sparkling crown 
to lay at His feet, breathes and burns from first to last. Everything 
is subordinated to ^usefulness ;' and while he gathered around him 
the cultured and the titled — who all but worshipped the ' good old 
man'— it was his chief rejoicing that, like his Master, ' the common 
people' heard and read him 'gladly.' In loving association with 
Sibbes and Sheffield, Baxter and Bunyan, Brinsley and Samuel 

^ Account, vol. ii. p. 27. 

2 This forgctfulness reveals itself in the repeated recurrence of the same anecdotes and 
sayings and names. Perhaps nothing more shews Brooks' one thought to have been 
present 'usefulness,' not at all literary fame. 



Vlll EDITORIAL POSTSCRIPT. 

Kichardson, his books were well thumbed in the hamlets of his own 
England, and, in quaint 'Glasgow' editions, among the godly peasantry 
of Scotland, and gained wide and long-sustained welcome in Germany 
and Holland, as Brooks gratefully acknowledges repeatedly. i But 
more cannot be needed : and so — in the words of the loving biographer 
of good Bishop Lake — " I will detain thee no longer, gentle Reader, 
at this time, from the reading of so useful and precious works — only 
thus much I will promise thee for thine encouragement before thou 
begin, that if thou take the pains to go through with attention these 
.... firsts Thou shalt gain thereby an exact knowledge of the mean- 
ing of the text he handles, and of every particular word and phrase 
in it ; secondly, Thou shalt meet with a great variety of choice obser- 
vations, both theological and moral, aptly deduced, and methodically 
laid down, as thou art like to find anywhere in so few leaves again ; 
lastly^ If thou be endued, as I hope thou art, with the same spirit of 
grace and regeneration that the author was, thou shalt find thine 
affections kindled and stirred up thereby to a real practice of piety 
and good works, more than by a great many more flourishing dis- 
courses than these at first sight seem to be." 2 

May this complete edition of these inestimable Works be used at 
this ' later day' to cause him, ' being dead, yet to speak' for that dear 
Lord Jesus he loved and served so well ! 

Alexander B. Grosart. 



Liverpool. 



' Among our Brooksiana is a Dutch translation of the 'Apples of Gold/ of which the 
following is the title-page, ' Gouden' Appelen Voor longh Mans ende longe-Dochters, 
Als ook eene Kroone der Heerlykheyt Voor Oude-Mannen ende Oude-Vrowen. Ofte De 
Geluksaligheyt van by tijts goet te ziyn, ende de Eere van een oudt Discipel te wesen. 
Klaarlijk en ten vollen outdekt, ende beknooptelijk, ende getrouwelijk tocgepast. 
Midddgaders Der longen Tegenworpingen beautwoordt Ende der Ouden Twijssclingen 
opgelost. Door Thomas Brooks, Prediker des Euangelium tot Margarets New Fish- 
street hill binnen London : Uyt het Engelsch Verduytst Door D. Montanus, Dienaar des 
Goddelijcken Woordts tot Sluys in Vlanderen. Tot Uytrecht. By Johannes Ribbiu?. 
1667. 12mo.' Ribbius dedicates it in highly appreciatory words to a great lady, ' Anna 
Elisabeth van Reede, van Nederhorst,' &c. Appended are two religious poems in Dutch. 

' Prefixed to his ' Sermons and Divine Meditations.' 1629. Folio. 



{ 



CONTENTS. 



London's Lamentations. 

Epistle Dedicatory, ..... 3-13 

The text explained and divided, .... 14-17 

Fire, as a symbol in Scripture, .... 17-22 

Ends of God in inflicting judgments, . . . 22-35 

Ends of God in inflicting judgments on his own people, . 35-50 
Seven sins among the professing people in London, that 
ought to work them to justify the Lord though he 
burned them up, ..... 51—58 

The several sins that bring the fiery judgment upon cities 

and countries, ..... 59-127 

Various specialities concerning the judgment of fire on 

London, ...... 130-153 

Considerations to work to lamentation, . . . 154-166 

Thirteen supports to bear up their hearts who have either 
lost all, or much, or most of what they had in this 
world, ...... 166-197 

Of the fire of hell, ..... 198-199 

Four arguments to prove that it is very probable that there 

is material fire in hell, and objections met, . 199-216 

Sixteen duties incumbent upon those who have been 

burned up, ..... 216-306 

Eight duties incumbent upon those whose habitations are 

still standing, . . . . .306-312 



IL The Glorious Day of the Saints' Appearance. 
Epistle Dedicatory, . . . , 

Sermon, . . . . , 



315-317 
318-334 



III. God's Delight in the Progress of the Upright. 
Epistle Dedicatory, . . . . 

Sermon, . . . . . 



337-338 
339-363 



IV. Hypocrites Detected. 
Epistle Dedicatory, 
Sermon, 



367-370 
371-386 
b 



CONTENTS. 



V. A Believer's Last Day his Best Day. 

Epistle Dedicatory, ..... 839-393 

Sermon, ...... 394-408 



VI. A Heavenly Cordial. 

Note, . 409 

The ' Cordial,' ...... 410-434 

VII. The Legacy of a Dying Mother. 

Epistle Dedicatory, . . . . .437-452 

Mrs Bell's Experiences, . . . 453-458 

Indices, &c., ...... 459-502 



LONDON'S LAMENTATIONS 



VOL. VI. 



NOTE. 

' London's Lamentations/ as it is the largest, so it is perhaps the most remarkable 
contemporary memorial of the ' Great Fire.' It seems singular that Defoe does not appear 
to have known it, else his well known compilation might have been enriched by its vivid 
and powerful incidental notices of public opinion and feeling during and subsequent to 
the direful calamity. Eeeve's ' Plea for Nineveh' — by Nineveh, London being intended 
— may be compared with the present work. Eoyalist and Puritan alike give terrible 
pictures of the licentiousness and general wickedness of the ' great city.' The title-page 
will be found below.* 

* LONDON'S 
LAMENTATIOJi^S : 

OR, 

A serious Discourse concerning that late fiery 
Dispensation that turned our (once renown- 
ed) City into a ruinous Heap. Also the several 
Lessons that are incumbent upon those "whose 
Houses have escaped the consuming Flames. 

By THOMAS BROOKS, late Preacher of the Word at 
S. Margarets New-Fish-street, where that Fatal Fire first be- 
gan that turned London into a ruinous Heap. 

Una dies interest inter magnam Civitatem & nullam. 
There is but the distance of one day between a great City and none, 
said Seneca when a great City was burnt to Ashes. 

Come, behold the WorTcs of the Lord, what Desolations he hath 
made in the Earth. Psal. 46. 8. 

LONDON, 

Printed for John Hancock and Nathaniel Ponder, and are to be sold at the 

first Shop in Popes-Head A lley in Cornhil, at the Sign of the Three 

Bibles, or at his Shop in Bishopsgate-street, and at the Sign of 

the Peacock in Chancery-lane. 1670. 

[4to.-G.] 



THE EPISTLE DEDICATORY. 



To the Eight Honourable Sir William Turner, Knight, Lord Mayor 
of the City of London, i 

Eight Honourable, — It is not my -design to blazon your worth, or 
write a panegyric of your praises. Your brighter name stands not in 
need of such a shadow as men's applause to make it more renowned in 
the world. Native worth is more respected than adventitious glory, 
' Your own works praise you in the gates,' Prov. xxxi. 31. It is 
London's honour and happiness, tranquillity and prosperity, to have 
such a magistrate, that ' bears not the sword of justice in vain,' Eom. 
xiii. 4, and that hath not brandished the sword of justice in the defence 
of the friends of Baal, Balaam, or Bacchus. My Lord, had your sword 
of justice been a sword of protection to desperate swearers, or to cruel 
oppressors, or to deceitful dealers, or to roaring drunkards, or to cursing 
monsters, or to gospel despisers, or to Christ contemners, &c., might 
not London have lain in her ashes to this very day ? yea, might not 
God have rained hell out of heaven upon those parts of the city that 
were standing monuments of God's mercy, as once he did upon Sodom 
and Gomorrah ? Gen. xix. Woe to that sword that is a devouring sword 
to the righteous, to the meek, to the upright, and to the peaceable in 
the land, Ps. xxxv. 19, 20. happy sword ! under which all sorts 
and ranks of men have worshipped God in peace, and lived in peace, 
and rested in peace, and traded in peace, and built their habitations in 
peace, and have grown up in peace. Sir, every man hath sat, under 
your sword, as under his own vine and fig-tree, in peace. Words are 
too weak to express how great a mercy this hath been to London, yea, 
I may say, to England. The ancients set forth all their gods with harps 
in their hands, the hieroglyphic of peace. The Grecians had the statue 
of Peace, with Pluto, the god of riches, in her arms. Some of the 
ancients were wont to paint peace in the form of a woman with a horn 
of plenty in her hands, viz., all blessings. The orator hit it when he 
said, Dulce nomen pacis^ The very name of peace is sweet. No city 
so happy as that wherein the chief magistrate has been as ' eyes to the 

^ Of the Guild of Merchant Tailors : son of John Turner of Kirk-Leedhain in Cleve- 
land, Yorkshire. See Herbert's History of the Companies, ii. 426. This admirable 
magistrate won the praise of Richard Baxter : Reliquiee Baxterianee, s. n.—G. 



4 THE EPISTLE DEDICATORY. 

blind, legs to the lame, ears to the deaf, a father to the fatherless, a 
husband to the widow, a tower to the righteous, and a terror to the 
wicked,' Job xxxi. 

Certainly rulers have no better friends than such as make conscience 
of their ways ; for none can be truly loyal but such as are truly reli- 
gious. Witness Moses, Joseph, Daniel, and the three children.i 
Sincere Christians are as lambs amongst lions, as sheep amongst wolves, 
as lilies amongst thorns. They are exposed more to the rage, wrath, 
and malice of wicked men, by reason of their holy profession, their 
gracious principles and practices, than any other men in all the world. 
Now did not God raise up magistrates, and spirit magistrates, to own 
them, to stand by them, and to defend them in all honest and just w^ays, 
how soon would they be devoured and destroyed ! Certainly the sword 
of the magistrate is to be drawn forth for the natural good, and civil 
good, and moral good, and spiritual good, of all that live soberly and 
quietly under it. Stol3aeus2 tells us of a Persian law, that after the 
death of their king every man had five days' liberty to do what he 
pleased, that by beholding the wickedness and disorder of those few 
days, they might prize government the better all their days after. 
Certainly had some hot-headed, and little- witted, and fierce-spirited 
men had but two or three days' liberty to have done what they pleased 
in this great city during your lordship's mayoralty, they would have 
made sad work in the midst of us. When a righteous government 
fails, then (1.) Order fails; (2.) Eeligion fails; (3.) Trade fails; 
(4.) Justice fails; (5.) Prosperity fails; (6.) Strength and power fails; 
(7.) Fame and honour fails ; (8.) Wealth and riches fails; (9.) Peace 
and quiet fails ; (10.) All human converse and society fails. To take 
a righteous government out of the world, is to take the sun out of the 
firmament, and leave it no more a Koafib^, a beautiful structure, but a 
;^ao9, a confused heap. In such towns, cities, and kingdoms where 
righteous government fails, there every man's hand will be quickly 
engaged against his brother. Gen. xxvi. 12. Oh the sins, the sorrows, 
the desolations, and destructions that will unavoidably break in like a 
flood upon such a people ! 

Public persons should have public spirits ; their gifts and goodness 
should diffuse themselves for the good of the whole. It is a base and 
ignoble spirit to pity Cataline more than to pity Eome, to pity any 
particular sort of men more than to pity the whole. It is cruelty to 
the good to justify the bad ; it is wrong to the sheep to animate the 
wolves ; it is danger, if not death, to the lambs not to restrain or chain 
up the lions ; but. Sir, from this ignoble spirit God has delivered you. 
The ancients were wont to place the statues of their princes by their 
fountains, intimating that they were, or at least should be, fountains 
of the public good. Sir, had not you been such a fountain, men 
would never have been so warm for your continuance. My Lord, the 
great God hath made you a kolvov cv^aQov^ a public good, a public 
blessing ; and this hath made your name precious, and your govern- 

^ The three things which God minds most, and loves best below heaven, are his truth, 
his worship, and his people. 

* Stobaeus, serm. xlii. p. 294. [i.e., his S'lorilegilim or Sermones, otherwise kvQo- 
XSyiov. — G.] 



THE EPISTLE DEDICATORY. 5 

ment desirable, and your person honourable in tbe thoughts, hearts, 
and eyes of all people. i Many — may I not say most? — of the rulers of 
this world are, as Pliny speaks of the Roman emperors, Nomine dii, 
vnturd diaholi, Monsters, not men ; murderers, not magistrates. Such 
a monster was Saul, who hunted David as a partridge, slew the inno- 
cent priests of the Lord, ran to a witch, and who was a man of so 
narrow a soul that he knew not how to look or live above himself, 
his own interests and concernments. The great care of ev^ery magis- 
trate should be to promote the public interest more than their own, as 
you may see by comparing the scriptures in the margin together.^ 
It was Caesar's high commendation, that he never had himself after 
the world had him for a governor' ; his mind was so set on the public, 
that he forgot his own private affairs. The stars have their bright- 
ness, not for themselves, but for the use of others. The applicajtiou 
is easy. 

My Lord, several philosophers have made excellent and elegant 
orations in the praise of justice. They say that all virtues are com- 
prehended in the distribution of justice, 3 Justice, saith Aristotle, is a 
synopsis and epitome of all virtues. All I shall say is this, the world 
is a ring, and justice is the diamond in that ring; the world is a body, 
and justice is the soul of that body. It is well known that the con- 
stitution of a man's body is best known by his pulse : if it stir not at 
all, then we know he is dead ; if it stir violently, then we know him 
to be in a fever ; if it keep an equal stroke, then we know he is. sound, 
well, and whole. So the estate and constitution of a city, kingdom, ox 
commonweal is best known by the manner of executing justice therein; 
for justice is the pulse of a city, kingdom, or commonweal. If justice 
be violent, then the city, kingdom, or commonweal is in a fever, in a 
very bad estate ; if it stir not at all, then the city, kingdom, or com- 
monwealth is dead ; but if it hath an equal stroke, if it be justly and 
duly administered, then the city, kingdom, or commonweal is in a good, 
a safe, and a sound condition. When Vespasian asked Apollonius 
what was the cause of Nero's ruin, he answered, that Nero could tune 
the harp well, but in government he did always wind up the strings 
too high or let them down too low. Extremes in govern^ieixt are the 
ready way to ruin all. The Romans had their rods for lesser faults, 
and their axe for capital crimes. Extreme right often proves extreme 
wrong. He that will always go to the utmost of what the law allows, 
will too too often do more than the law requires. A rigid severity 
often mars all. Equity is still to be preferred before extremity, To 
inflict great penalties and heavy censures for light offences, this 

^ There is a great truth in that old maxim, Magistratus virum indicat In my epistle 
to my treatise called ' A Cabinet of Choice Jewels,' the ingenious reader may find six 
arguments to encourage magistrates to be men of public spirits. [Vol. iii. pp. 235, sea. 
-G.] 

' Exod. xxxii. 10, 11, 32; Neh. v. 6-19; Ps. cxxxvii. 5, 6; Acts xiii. 36. 

' Carneades, Aristotle, Socrates, &c. The Roman orator hath long since observed, 
that the force of justice is such, and so great, that even thieves and robbers, both by sea 
and land, who live upon injustice and rapine, yet cannot live upon their trade without 
some practice of it among themselves. Cleobulus, one of the seven sages, was wont to 
say that mediocrity was without compare. The very heathen could set so much divine 
glory in the face of a magistrate, that he styled him ^fx\pvxos eUwv deov, The living image 
of the ever-living God. [Cf. Plato : Tim. 92 C— G.] 



6 THE EPISTLE DEDICATORY. 

is to kill a fly upon a man's forehead witli a beetle. "^ The great 
God hath put his own name upon magistrates : Ps. Ixxxii. 6, ' I said 
that ye are gods.' Yet it must be granted that you are gods in a 
smaller letter : mortal gods— gods that must die like men. All the 
sons of Ish are sons of Adam. Magistrates must do justice im- 
partially ; for as they are called gods, so in this they must be like 
to God, who is no accepter of persons, Deut. i. 17; Lev. xix. 15. 
He accepts not of the rich man because of his robes, neither doth he 
reject the poor man because of his rags. The magistrates eyes are 
to be always upon causes, and not upon persons. Both the statues of 
the Theban judges and the statues of the Egyptian judges were made 
without hands and without eyes, to intimate to us that, as judges 
should have no hands to receive bribes, so they should have no eyes 
to see a friend from a foe, or a brother from a stranger, in judgment.2 
And it was the oath of the heathen judges, as the orator relates, 
Audiam accusatorem ei reum sine affeciibus, et personarum respec- 
Hione : I will hear the plaintiff and the defendant with an equal mind, 
without affection and respect of persons. In the twelfth Novel of Jus- 
tinian you may read of an oath imposed upon judges and justices 
against inclining or addicting themselves to either party ; yea, they 
put themselves under a deep and bitter execration and curse in case 
of partiality, imploring God in such language as this : ' Let me have 
my part with Judas, and let the leprosy of Gehazi cleave to me, and 
the trembling of Cain come upon me, and whatsoever else may astonish 
and dismay a man, if I am partial in the administration of justice.' 
The poet in the Greek epigram taught the silver axe of justice that 
was carried before Ijje Eoman magistrates to proclaim, ' If thou be an 
offender J let not the silver flatter thee ; if an innocent, let not the axe 
affright thee,' The Athenian judges judged in the night, when the 
faces of men could not be seen, that so they might be impartial in 
judgment. My Lord, your impartiality in the administration of justice 
in that high orb wherein divine providence hath placed you, is one of 
those great things that hath made you high and honourable in the eyes 
and hearts of all that are true lovers of impartial justice. Some writers 
say, that some waters in Macedonia, being drunk by black sheep, 
change their fleece into white. Nothing but the pure and impartial 
administration of justice and judgment can transform black-mouthed, 
black-handed, and black-hearted men into white. There is nothing 
that sweetens, satisfies, and silences all sorts of men like the adminis- 
tration of impartial justice. The want of this brought desolation upon 
Jerusalem and the whole land of Jewry, Isa. i. 23, 24, and upon 
many other flourishing kingdoms and countries, as all know that 
have but read anything of Scripture or history. St Austin plainly 
denies that ever the Koman polity could be called properly a common- 
wealth, upon this ground, that Ubi non est justitia, non est republica. 

J Peter Lombard. Cf. Sibbes, vol. i. 101.— G. 

' Magistrates are, as j^azianzen expresses it, pictures drawn of God. Every magis- 
trate, though in never so low a place, bears the image of God. A penny bears the image 
of the prince as well as a shilling. Magistrates are not immortal deities, neither have they 
everlasting godheads. Those gods, as they had a beginning, so they must have an end. 
Quicquid oritur, moritur. There is a ' Mene, mene ' on them ; their days are numbered ; 
their time is computed. Hercules his pillar stands in their way. Non datur tdtra. 



THE EPISTLE DEDICATOKY. 7 

He calls"" commonwealths without justice but magna latrocinia ; or iu 
Lipsius his language, congeries, confusio, turha. i It is but an abuse of 
the word respuhlica — commonwealth — where the public good is not 
consulted by an impartial justice and equity ; it is but a confused heap, 
a rout of men ; or if we will call it so at present, it will not be so long 
without impartial justice, partly because injustice and oppression makes 
the multitude tumultuous, and fills the people's heads with, dangerous 
designs, as you may see by comparing the scriptures in the margin 
together ; ^ and partly because it lays a nation open and obnoxious to 
the wrath and vengeance of God, as might easily be made good b^ 
scores of scriptures. Impartial justice is the best establishment of 
kingdoms and commonwealths. ' The king by judgment establisheth 
the land,' Prov. xxix. 4 : see Num. xxv, H ; 2 Sam. xxi. 14. It is 
the best security against desolating judgments. ' Eun ye through 
the streets of Jerusalem, and seek in the broad places thereof, if ye 
can find a man, if there be any that executeth judgment, and I will 
pardon it/ Jer. v. 1. 

My Lord, as it is the honour of a magistrate to do justice impar^ 
tially, so it is the honour and glory of a magistrate to do justice 
speedily : Jer. xxviii, 12, ' house of David, thus saith the Lord, 
Execute judgment in the morning, and deliver him that is spoiled out 
of the hand of the oppressor, lest my fury go out like fire, and burn 
that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings.' ^ After 
examination, execution is to be done with expedition. When men cry 
out for Justice, Justice, magistrates must not cry out, Cro^, Oras — 
to-morrow, to-morrow. Magistrates must do justice in the morning. 
Neither noon-justice, nor afternoon-justice, nor evening-justice, nor 
night-justice is so acceptable to God, or so honourable to magistrates, 
or so advantageous to the people, as morning-justice is. To delay 
justice is worse sometimes than to deny justice. It is a very dangerous 
thing for magistrates to be as long a-bringing forth their verdicts as 
the elephant her young. Delay of justice makes many more irrecon- 
cilable ; it makes many men go up and down this world with heavy 
hearts, empty purses, and threadbare coats. I have read of a famous 
passage of Theodoric, king of the Romans, who, when a widow came 
to him with a sad complaint, that she had a suit depending in the 
court three years, which might have been ended in a few days; the 
king demands of her the judges' names: she tells him; he sends a 
special command to them to give all the speedy despatch that was pos- 
sible to the widow's cause, which they did ; and in two days determined 
it to the widow's liking. This being done, the king calls for the 
judges, and they, supposing that they should have both applause and 
reward for their expedition, hastened to him full of joy ; but after the 
king had propounded several things to them about their former delays, 
he commanded both their heads to be struck off, because they had spun 
out that cause to a three years' length, which two days would have 
ended. Here was royal justice, and speedy justice indeed. Ps. ci. 8, 

1 August, de Civitate Dei, lib. x. cap. 21, &c. ; lib. iv. cap. 4. Lipsius de Constan., lib. 
ii. cap. 13. =* 1 Kings xii. ; 1 Sam. viii. 3. 

3 God is very speedy and swift in the execution of justice, Joel iii. 4 ; Gen. xix.; Num. 
xvi. ; Ezra vii. 20. In this as in other things it becomes magistrates to be like to God. 



8 THE EPISTLE DEDICATOKY. 

* I will early destroy all the wicked of the land ;' summo mone, I will 
do morning-justice. Festinanter, so Genebrad, ' I will hastily do it.' ^ 
Justice should be on the wing; delays are very dangerous and in- 
jurious : Prov. xiii. 12, ' Hope deferred maketh the heart sick/ The 
Hebrew word Memushshacah, that is here rendered ' deferred/ is from 
Mashach, that signifies ' to draw out at length/ Men are short- 
breathed and short-spirited, and hope's hours are full of eternity, and 
when their hopes are drawn out at length, this makes their hearts sick ; 
and, ah ! what a world of such sick souls lies languishing at hope's 
hospital all the world over. Hope in the text is put for the good 
things hoped for. Now when the good things men hope for, be it 
justice or a quick despatch, &c., are deferred and delayed, this makes 
the poor client sick at heart. A lingering hope always breeds in the 
heart a lingering consumption ; the harder travail hope hath, and the 
more strongly it labours to bring forth, and yet is deferred and delayed, 
the more deadly sick the client grows. 2 The speedy execution of 
justice is the very life and soul of justice : Amos v. 24, ' But let judg- 
ment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream." 
The Hebrew word Veiiggal, that is here rendered ' run down,' is from 
Galal, that signifies to ' roll down freely, plentifully, vigorously, con- 
stantly, speedily,' as the great billows of the sea, or as waves roll 
speedily over the rocks. Judgment and righteousness, like a mighty 
stream, should bear down all before it. Fiat jiistitia, mat orbis — Let 
justice be done, whatever come of it : Deut. xvi. 20, ' That which is 
altogether just shalt thou follow,' or rather, as the Hebrew hath it, p"T2{ 
pi:i, Tsedek, Tsedek, Justice, justice shalt thou follow — that is, all 
manner of justice thou sh-alt follow, and nothing but justice shalt thou 
follow, and thou shalt follow justice sincerely, out of love to justice; and 
thou shalt follow justice exactly, without turning to the right hand or 
the left; and thou shalt follow justice resolutely, in spite of the world, 
the flesh, and the devil; and thou shalt follow justice speedily, without 
delays or excuses. A magistrate that has the sword of justice in his 
hand must never plead, ' There is a lion in the way/ My Lord, this 
will be your honour while you live, and your comfort when you come 
to die, that whilst the sword was in your hand, you did justice speedily 
as well as impartially. You did justice in the morning, and justice at 
noon, and justice in the afternoon, and justice at night. What has 
been your whole mayoralty but one continued day of justice ? Who 
can sum up the many thousand causes that you have heard and de- 
termined, and the many thousand differences that you have sweetly 
and friendly composed and ended ? If the lawyers please but to speak 
out, they must ingenuously confess that your Lordship has eased them 
of a great deal of work. 

My Lord, as it is the honour and glory of a magistrate to do 
justice speedily, so it is the honour and glory of a magistrate to 
do justice resolutely, courageously, valiantly. It is observable that 

^ More accurately Gilbert Genebrardus, whose Commentary on the Psalms (1577) has 
passed through numerous editions. — G. 

'Julius Csesar's quick despatch is noted in three words : Veni, vidi, vici-l came I 
saw, I overcame. ' 



THE EPISTLE DEDICATORY. 9 

as soon as ever Joshua came into the office of magistracy, God 
charges him no less than three times, in a breath as it were, to be 
very courageous, Josh. i. 6, 7, 9. A magistrate that is timorous will 
quickly be treacherous. A magistrate that is fearful can never be 
faithful. Solomon's throne was supported with lions, to shew that 
magistrates should be men of mettle and courage. The Athenian 
judges sat in Mars' street, Acts xvii. 22, to shew that they had mar- 
tial hearts, and that they were men of courage and mettle. The 
Grecians placed justice betwixt Leo and Libra, to signify that as there 
must be indifferency in determining, so there ought to be courage in 
executing. Where there is courage without knowledge, there the eye 
of justice is blind; and where there is knowledge without courage, 
there the sword of justice is blunt, A magistrate's heart, a judge's 
heart and his robes must be both dyed in grain, else the colour of 
the one and the courage of the other will quickly fade. Why should 
not the standard be of steel, and the chief posts of the house be heart 
of oak ? It hath been long since said of Cato, Fabricius, and Aris- 
tides, that it was as easy to remove the sun out of the firmament as 
to remove them from justice and equity; they were men of such 
courageous and magnanimous spirits for justice and righteousness. 
No scarlet robe doth so well become a magistrate as holy courage and 
stoutness doth. As bodily physicians, so state physicians should have 
an eagle's eye, a lady's hand, and a lion's heart. Cowardly and 
timorous magistrates will never set up monuments of their victories 
over sin and profaneness. It is very sad when we may say of our 
magistrates, as the heathen did of magistrates in his time, they were 
very good, si audeant quae sentiunt, if they durst but do what they ought 
to do.i My Lord, had not the Lord of lords put a great spirit of 
courage, boldness, and resolution upon you, you had never been able 
to have managed your government as you have done, counting the 
various winds that have blown upon you, and the several difficulties 
and discouragements that have risen up before you, Kev. i. 5, 6, and 
xvii. 14. 

My Lord, once mor« give me leave to say, that in a magistrate 
justice and mercy, justice and clemency ought to go hand in hand : 
Prov. XX. 28, ' Mercy and truth preserve the king, and his throne is 
upholden by mercy. '2 All justice will not preserve the king, nor 
all mercy will not preserve the king ; there must be a mixture both 
of justice and mercy to preserve the king, and to uphold his throne ; 
and to shew that mercy is more requisite than justice, the word mercy 
is doubled in the text. Justice without mercy turns into rigour, and 
so becomes hateful. Mercy without justice turns into fond pity, 
and so becomes contemptible. 3 Look, as the rod of Aaron and the 
pot of manna were by God's own command laid up in the same ark ; 
so must mercy and justice be preserved entire in the bosom of the 
same magistrate. Mercy and justice, mildness and righteousness, 

^ Cic. de Mil. ' Truth in Scripture is frequently put for justice. 

3 King John thought to strengthen himself by gathering a great deal of money to- 
gether; but neglecting the exercise of mercy and justice, clemency and lenity, he lost 
his people's affections, and So, after many endless turmoils, he came to an unhappy end. 



10 THE EPISTLE DEDICATORY. 

lenity and fidelity are a safer and a stronger guard to princes and 
people than rich mines, munitions of rocks, mighty armies, powerful 
navies, or any warlike preparations. It is very observable that Christ 
is called but once the ' Lion of the tribe of Judah ' in the book of the 
Eevelation, and that is in chap. v. 5 ; but he is called a Lamb no 
less than nine-and-twenty times in that book. And what is this but 
to shew us the transcendent mercy, clemency, lenity, mildness, and 
sweetness that is in Jesus Christ, and to shew that he is infinitely 
more inclined to the exercise of mercy than he is to the exercise of 
justice. It is true, magistrates should be lions in the execution of 
justice, and it is as true that they should be lambs in the exercise 
of mercy and clemency, mildness and sweetness ; and the more 
ready and inclinable they are to the exercise of mercy, where mercy 
is to be shewed, the more like to Christ the Lamb they are. God 
is slow to anger, he abounds in pity, though he be great in power, 
Ps. Ixviii. 18, and ciii. 13, 14; Hosea xi. 8. Seneca hath long 
since observed, that the custom of anointing kings was to shew 
that kings, above all other men, should be men of the greatest 
sweetness and mildness, their anointing being a sign of that kingly 
sweetness and mildness that should be in them. Tkeodosius the 
emperor, by his loveliness and clemency, gained many kingdoms. i 
The Goths, after the death of their own king, beholding his temperance, 
patience, and justice mixed with mercy and clemency, gave them- 
selves up to his government. When Cicero would claw Csesar, he 
tells him that his valour and victories were common with the rest of 
his soldiers, but his clemency and goodness were wholly his own. 
Nero's speech hath great praise, who in the beginning of his reign, 
when he was to subscribe to the death of any condemned person, 
would say, TJtinam nescirem literas, 1 wish I did not know how -to 
write. I know there are a thousand thousand cases wherein severity 
is to be used ; but yet I must say that it is much safer to account for 
mercy than for cruelty ; it is best that the sword of justice should be 
always furbished with the oil of mercy. My Lord, in the manage- 
ment of your government you have been so assisted and helped from 
on high, that stoutness and mildness, justice and mercy, justice and 
clemency, hath like a silver thread run through all your mayoralty, 
and by this means you have very signally served the interest of the 
crown, the interest of the city, the interest of the nation, and that 
which is more than all the rest, the interest of your own soul. Eigour 
breeds rebellion. Kehoboam by his severity, by his cruelty, lost ten 
tribes in one day, 1 Kings xii. 16. 

My Lord, your prudence, justice, and moderation, your burning 
zeal against the horrid, hideous, heady vices of this day ; your punish- 
ing of oaths, drunkenness, and the false balance ; your singular 
sobriety and temperance in the midst of all your high entertainments ; 
your fidelity and activity, your eminent self-denial in respect of 
your perquisites; your unwearied endeavours to see London raised 
out of its ruins, and to see the top-stone laid ; your great readiness 
and willingness to spend and be spent for the public good : these are 
the things that have made your name as a jfrecious ointment, and 

^ Vide Aug. de civit. Dei, lib. v. cap. 26. Orosius, lib. vii. cap. 34. 



THE EPISTLE DEDICATORY. H 

that have erected for you a noble living monument in the breasts and 
hearts of all sober, serious Christians : these are the things that have 
made you the darling of the people, i Let all succeeding lord mayors 
but manage their own persons, families, and government as you have 
done, by divine assistance, and without a peradventure they will have a 
proportionable interest in the hearts and affections of the people. For, 
my Lord, it is not barely the having of a sword of justice, a sword of 
power, but the well management of that sword, that makes most for 
the interest both of prince and people, and that gives the magistrate 
a standing interest in the hearts and affections of the people. My 
Lord, the generality of people never concern themselves about the 
particular persuasions of this or that magistrate in the matters of 
religion, their eyes are upon their examples, and upon the manage- 
ment of their trust and power for public good; and they that do 
them most good shall be sure to have most of their hearts and 
voices, let their private opinions in the matters of religion be what 
they will. 

My Lord, I have not so learned Christ as to give flattering titles to 
men, Job xxxii. 22. The little that I have written I have written in 
the plainness and singleness of my heart, and for your lordship's com- 
fort and encouragement in all well-doing, and to provoke all others 
that shall succeed in your chair to write after that fair copy that you 
have set them, which will be their honour, London's happiness, and 
England's interest. Plutarch said of Demosthenes, that he was ex- 
cellent at praising the worthy acts of his ancestors, but not so* at 
imitating them. The Lord grant that this may never be made good 
of any that shall succeed your lordship ! Carus the emperor s motto 
was, Bonus dux, bonus comes, A good leader makes a good follower. 
The complaint is ancient in Seneca, that commonly men live not ad 
rationem, but ad similitvdinem} Prcecepta docent, exempla movent, 
Precepts may instruct, but examples do persuade. Stories speak of 
some that could not sleep when they thought of the trophies of other 
worthies that went before them. The highest examples are very 
quickening and provoking. Oh that by all that shall succeed your 
lordship in the chair, we may yet behold our city rising more and more 
out of its ashes in greater splendour and glory than ever yet our eyes 
have seen it, that all sober citizens may have eminent cause to call 
them the repairers of the breaches and restorers of our city to dwell 
in ! 3 Concerning Jerusalem burned and laid waste by the Assyrians, 
Daniel foretold that the streets and the walls thereof should be re- 
builded, even in troublesome times, Dan. ix. 25. Though the Assyr- 
ians have laid our Jerusalem waste, yet even to a wonder how have 
the buildings been carried on this last year ! 

My Lord, the following treatise, which I humbly dedicate to your 
lordship, has been drawn up some years. The reasons why it has 
been buried so long in oblivion are not here to be inserted. The dis- 
course is sober, and of great importance to all that have been burnt 

* A self-seeking magistrate is one of the worst of plagues and judgments that can 
befall a people ; he is a gangrene in the head, which brings both a more speedy and a 
more certain ruin than if it were in some inferior and less noble part of the body. 

2 Seneca de vita beata, cap. 1. 

^ Isa. Iviii. 12, and Ixi. 4 j Amos ix. 14 ; Ezek. xxxvi. 33-36, 38. 



12 THE EPISTLE DEDICATORY. 

up, and to all whose houses have escaped the furious flames. Whilst 
the remembrance of London's flames are kept alive in the thoughts 
and hearts of men, this treatise will be of use in the world. My Lord, 
I do not dedicate this tractate to your lordship as if it stood in need 
of your honour's patronage ; I judge it to be of age both to plead for 
itself and to defend itself against all gainsayers. Veritas vincit, 
Veritas stat in aperto campoA Zeno, Socrates, Anaxarchus, &c., 
sealed the lean and barren truths of philosophy with the expense of 
their dearest blood, as you may see in the heathen martyrology. Oh, 
how much more should we be ready to seal all divine truths with our 
dearest blood, when God shall call us forth to such a service ! My 
Lord, I humbly lay this treatise at your lordship's foot, to testify that 
love and honour that I have in my heart for you, both upon the 
account of that intrinsecal worth that is in you, and upon the account of 
the many good things and great things that have been done by you, and 
publicly to testify my acknowledgment of your lordship's undeserved 
favours towards me. My Lord, of right this treatise should have been 
in your hands several months since, and in that it was not it is wholly 
from others and not from me. If your lordship please but to favour 
the author so far as to read it once over for his sake, he doubts not 
but that your lordship will oftener read it over for your own soul's 
sake, and for eternity's sake, and for London's sake also. My Lord, by 
reason of my being remote from the city several weeks, I have had the 
advantage but of reading and correcting two or three sheets, and 
therefore must beg your lordship's pardon as to all the neglects and 
escapes of the press. A second impression may set all right and 
straight. 

My Lord, that to your dying day you may be famous in your gene- 
ration, and that your precious and immortal soul may be richly 
adorned with all saving gifts and graces, and that you may daily enjoy 
a clear, close, high, and standing communion with God, and that you 
may be filled with all the fruits of righteousness and holiness, and 
that your soul may be bound up in the bundle of life, and crowned 
with the highest glory in the other world, in the free, full, constant, 
and uninterrupted enjoyment of that God who is the heaven of heaven 
and the glory of glory, is, and by divine assistance shall be, the earnest 
prayers of him who is your honour's in all humble and due observance, 

Thomas Brooks. 



^ My Lord, some sacrifice their labours to great Maecenases, that they may be atoned 
to shield them from potent antagonists ; but these sermons, which here I present to 
your honour's perusal, being only the blessed truths of God, I hope they need no arm but 
his to defend them. 



i 



THE EPISTLE DEDICATORY. 13 



THE FIERY JESUIT'S TEMPER AND BEHAVIOUR. 

I fain would be informed by you what ails 
These foxes to wear firebrands in their tails. 
What ! did you teach these cubs the world to burn. 
Or to embottle London in its urn ? 
Are Huguenots as rank Philistines grown 
With you, as dwelt in Gath or Askelon ? 
Bold wretches ! must your fire thus antedate 
The general doom, and give the world its fate ? 
Must hell's edict to blend this globe with fire 
Be done at your grave nods when you require ? 



LONDON'S LAMENTATIONS ON THE LATE 
FIERY DISPENSATION. 



Who gave Jacob to the spoil, and Israel to the rohhers ? did not I the 
Lord? he against lohom we have sinned; for they woidd not 
walk in his ways, neither loere they obedient to his laiv. 

There/ore he hath poured upon him the fury of his anger, and the 
strength of battle: and it hath set him on fire round about, yet he 
kneiu not; and it burned him, yet he laid it not to heart. — IsA. 
XLII. 24, 25. 

The Lord in this chapter, by the prophet Isaiah, doth foretell heavy- 
things against the people, and, by the way, marks the Lord's dealings. 
He ever gives warnings before he sends any plagues. He lightens 
before he thunders, that the people might not say, they did not hear 
of it, and that the wicked might be the more inexcusable, and that 
the godly might make an ark to save themselves in. These words 
contain in them five several things. (1.) The author of this destruc- 
tion or judgment. (2.) The causes of it. (3.) The judgment itself. 
(4.) Who they were on whom this judgment was inflicted. (5.) The 
effects of it. Now by divine permission I will open these words in 
order to you. 

1. For the first, The author of it. Now this is laid down by 
question and answer : ' Who gave Jacob to the spoil, and Israel to 
the robbers ?' There is the question. ' Did not I the Lord ?' There 
is the answer. God is the author of all the plagues and judgments 
that befall a nation. 

2. Secondly, The causes iiohy the Lord did this to a people that he 
had chosen to be a special people unto himself; to a people upon 
whom he had set his love ; to a people that he had owned for his 
portion, and that he had formerly kept as the apple of his eye, and 
carried as upon eagles' wings, Deut. vii. 5, 8, and xxxii. 10-12. Now 
the causes are set down, first, more generally, in these words, ' Because 
they have sinned against the Lord;' secondly, more particularly, in 
these words, ' For they would not walk in his ways, neither were they 
obedient to his law.' 



IsA. XLII. 24, 25.] London's lamentations, etc. 15 

3. The third thing observable in the words is, the dreadful judg- 
ments themselves that God inflicted upon his sinful people, his sinning 
people ; and these you have in ver. 25. 

'Therefore he hath poured upon him the fury of his anger : ' not 
only his anger, but the fury of his anger, to shew the greatness of it, 
the extremity of it. Mark, he doth not say that God did drop down 
his anger, but he poured down his anger and indignation. This 
phrase, ' he poured out,' is an allusion to the clouds pouring down of 
water violently all at once, in an instant, as they do many times in the 
Levant seas, in Egypt, at the Indies, and in several other parts of the 
world ; as they did in the deluge, when the windows of heaven were 
broke open, Gen. vi. 11. Now, by this similitude, the Lord shews 
the dreadfulness, the grievousness, the suddenness, and the vehemency 
of the judgments that were fallen upon them. 

* And the strength of battle.' The Lord appears in arms against 
them in the greatness and fierceness of his wrath ; he sent in a very 
powerful enemy upon them, that with fire and sword overran them 
and their country, and destroyed them on every side, as you may see 
by comparing 2 Kings xxiii. 33, seg., with the 24th and 25th chapters 
following. 

' And hath set him on fire round about.' That is, say some, all 
the countries, cities, and towns round about Jerusalem were set on 
fire. 

' Yet he knew not.' Though God had burnt them up on every 
hand, yet they took no notice of it, they regarded it not, they were 
not at all affected with the fiery dispensations of God.^ Oh the 
dulness, the insensibleness, the sottishness of the Jews under the most 
awakening and amazing judgments of God ! ' And it burned him.' 
This some apply to the city of Jerusalem itself. God did not only 
fire the cities and towns round about Jerusalem, but he also set Jeru- 
salem itself into a flame. Jerusalem, which was ' beautiful for situ- 
ation, the joy of the whole earth,' the paradise and wonder of the 
world, is turned into ashes. 'Yet he laid it not to heart,' or upon his 
heart, as the original runs. Oh the monstrous stupidity, insensible- 
ness, and blockishness of this people ! Though God had brought 
them low, though their crown was fallen from their head, though their 
glorious city was turned into ashes, and though they were almost 
destroyed by many smarting miseries and dreadful calamities, yet 
they were not affected with the stupendous judgments of God, they 
were not awakened by all the flames that God had kindled about 
their ears, they did not lay the judgments of God to heart, nor they 
would not lay the judgments of God upon their hearts. 

4. The fourth thing observable in the words is, the persons, the 
people that were spoiled , destroyed, and consumed hy fire; and they 
were Jacob and Israel. ' Who gave Jacob forv a spoil, and Israel to 
the robbers?' They were a praying people, a professing people, a 
fasting people, a peculiar people, a privileged people ; and yet for their 

^ Diodorus Siculus writes, that in Ethiopia there is such a sottish insensible people, 
that if you cut them with a drawn sword, or slay their wives and children before their 
faces, they are not at all affected with it, nor moved at it. Such brutes were these 
Jews. 



16 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

sins they became a destroyed people, a consumed people, a ruined 
people, Isa. Iviii. 2 ; Zecb. vii. 5 ; Exod. xix. 5. 

5. The fifth thing observable in the words is, the little effect the 
judgments of God had upon them. Now they were under such mon- 
strous stupidity that they were not [at] all awakened nor affected with 
the judgments of God ; they regarded them not, they laid them not 
to heart. And as stupid and senseless were they when Titus Ves- 
pasian had laid their city desolate by fire and sword,i and sold thirty 
of them for one piece of silver, as Josephus and other historians tell 
us. sirs, since their crucifying of the Lord of glory, they have 
never laid their finger upon the right sore ; to this very day they 
won't acknowledge their sin in crucifying of the Lord of glory. They 
confess they have sinned more than ever, and therefore it is that God 
hath more sorely afilicted them than ever ; but their cruelty to Christ, 
their crucifying of Christ, which ushered in the total ruin of their city 
and country, they cannot be brought to acknowledge to this very day, 
though the luord hath burnt them up on every hand, and hath scat- 
tered them as dung all over the earth to this very day. A learned 
writer tells us that they call Christ Bar-chozab, the Son of a Lie, a 
Bastard, and his Gospel Aven Gilaion, the Volume of Lies, or the 
Volume of Iniquity, and us Christians Goiim, that is, Gentiles, Edom- 
ites. When they salute a Christian, they call him Shed, that is, 
Devil.2 They hate all Christians, but none so much as those that are 
converted from Judaism to Christianity, and all this after so great a 
burning and desolation that the Lord has made in the midst of them. 
It is tru3 the length of those heavy judgments under which they 
groan to this very day hath often puzzled the intellectuals of their 
Kabbis, and hath many times put them to a stand, and sometimes to 
break out into a kind of confession, that surely their judgments 
could not last so long, but for crucifying of one that was more than a 
man. There was one Kabbi Samuel, who, six hundred years since, 
wrote a tract in form of an epistle to Kabbi Isaac, master of the 
synagogue of the Jews, wherein he doth excellently discuss the cause 
of their long captivity and extreme misery. And after that he had 
proved it was inflicted for some grievous sin, he sheweth that sin to 
be the same which Amos speaks of, Amos ii. 6, ' For three transgres- 
sions of Israel, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment 
thereof, because they sold the righteous for silver.' The selling of 
Joseph he makes the first sin; the worshipping of the calf in Horeb, 
the second sin ; the abusing and killing of God's prophets, the third 
sin ; and the selling of Jesus Christy the fourth sin. For the first 
they served four hundred years in Egypt, for the second they wan- 
dered forty years in the wilderness, for the third they were captives 
seventy years in Babylon, and for the fourth they are held in pitiful 
captivity even till this day. It is certain that the body of that people 
are under woeful blindness and hardness to this very day. And thus 
much for the opening of the words. 

1 By Titus Vespasian their land became a stage of blood and of all kind of barbarisms, 
and now their so renowned city, their temple and sanctum sanctorum, so famed all the 
world over, was turned into ashes and laid level to the ground. 

' Buxtorf. Synag. Judaica, cap. 5 and cap 36, 



IsA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 17 

The 25th verse is the scripture that I do intend to speak something 
to, as the Lord shall assist. Now the proposition which I only intend 
to insist upon is this, viz: — 

That God is the author or efficient cause of all the great calamities 
and dreadful judgments that are inflicted wpon cities aiul countrieSy 
and in particidar, of that of fire. 

Now, that God is the author or efficient cause of all the great 
calamities and dreadful judgments that are inflicted upon cities and 
countries, will evidently appear to every man's understanding, that 
will but take the pains to read over the 26th chapter of Leviticus, and 
the 28th chapter of Deuteronomy, with that 14th of Ezekiel, from 
ver. 13 to ver. 22. 

That God is the author or efficient cause of this dreadful judgment 
of fire that is at any time inflicted upon cities and countries, will 
sufficiently appear in these following scriptures : Amos iii. 6, ' Shall a 
trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid ? shall 
there be evil in the city, and the Lord hath not done it ?' This is to be 
understood of the evil of punishment^ and not of the evil of sin. Amos 
iv. 11, 'I have overthrown some of you, as God overthrew Sodom and 
Gomorrah, and ye were as a firebrand plucked out of the burnings : 
yet have ye not returned unto me^ saith the Lord.' Here ' I ' is 
emphatical and exclusive, as if he should say, * I, and I alone.' Amos 
i. 14, ' But I will kindle a fire in the wall of Rabbah,' — that is, in the 
metropolis or chief city of the Ammonites, — ' and it shall devour the 
palaces thereof Kabbah, their head city, was a cruel, bloody, 
covetous, and ambitious city, ver. 13 ; and therefore, rather than 
it should escape divine vengeance, G od will kindle a fire in the wall of 
it, and burn it with his own hands. Ezek. xx. 47, ' And say to 
the forest of the south,' — that is, to Jerusalem, that did lie southwards 
from Chald^ea — ' Hear the word of the Lord ; Thus saith the Lord 
God, Behold, I will kindle a fire in thee, and it shall devour every 
green tree in thee, and every dry tree : the flaming flames shall not be 
quenched, and all fuel from the south to the north shall be burnt 
therein:' ver. 48,1 'And all flesh shall see that I the Lord have 
kindled it : it shall not be quenched.' Men shall see that it was 
God that kindled the fire, and not man, and therefore it was beyond 
man's skill or power to quench it, or to overmaster it. Jer. vii. 20, 
' Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, mine anger and my fury 
shall be poured out upon this place, upon man, and upon beast, and 
upon the trees oi the field, and upon the fruit of the ground ; and 
it shall burn, and shall not be quenched.' The point being thus 
proved ; for the further opening of it, premise with me these things : — 

(1.) First, That great afflictions, dreaxJlful judgments, are likened 
unto fire in the blessed Scriptures : Ps. Ixvi. 12, * We went through 
fire and water : ' Jer. iv. 4, ' Circumcise yourselves to the Lord, and 
take away the foreskins of your heart, ye men of Judah and inhabi- 
tants of Jerusalem ; lest my fury come forth like fire, and burn that 
none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings :' Jer. xxi. 12, 
' house of David, thus saith the Lord, Execute judgment in the 
morning, and deliver him that is spoiled out of the hand of the 

^ You will find this scripture fully opened in the following discourse. 
VOL. VI. B 



18 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

oppressor, lest my fury go out like fire, and burn that none can quench 
it, because of the evil of your doings : ' Lam. ii. 3, 4, ' He hath cut off 
in his anger all the horn of Israel: he hath drawn back his right 
hand froni before the enemy, and burned against Jacob like a flaming 
fire, which devoureth round about: he hath bent his bow like an 
enemy : he stood with his right hand as an adversary, and slew all 
that was pleasant to the eye in the tabernacle of the daughter of Zion : 
he poured out his fury like fire : ' Ezek. xv. 7, ' And I will set my face 
against them ; they shall go out from one fire, and another fire shall 
devour them : and ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I set my 
face against them:' Ezek. xxii. 20-22, 'As they gather silver, and 
brass, and iron, and lead, and tin, into the midst of the furnace, 
to blow the fire upon it, to melt it; so will I gather you in mine 
anger and in my fury, and I will leave you there, and melt you : yea, 
I will gather you, and blow upon you in the fire of my wrath, and ye 
shall be melted in the midst thereof : as silver is melted in the midst 
of the furnace, so shall ye be melted in the midst thereof; and 
ye shall know that I the Lord have poured out my fury upon you/ 
Thus you see that great afflictions, great judgments, are likened unto 
fire. 

Quest. But in what respects are great afilictions, great judgments, 
like unto fire ? 

Arts. In these eight respects they are like unto fire : — 

[1.] First, Fire is very dreadful and terrible to mens thoughts, 
spirits, and apprehensions. How dreadful was the fire of Sodom, and 
the fire of London, to all that were near it, or spectators of it ! It is 
observable that some are set out in the blessed Scriptures as monu- 
ments of most terrible and dreadful vengeance, whom the kings of 
Babylon roasted in the fire ; of them, it is said, shall be taken up 
a curse, Jer. xxix. 21, 22. When any imprecated sore vengeance 
from the Lord upon any one, it is said, ' The Lord make thee like 
Ahab and Zedekiah, whom the kings of Babylon roasted in the fire.' 
It is very dreadful and terrible for a man to have the least member of 
his body frying in the fire ; but how terrible and dreadful must it be 
for a man's whole body to be roasted in the fire ! so are the judgments 
of the Lord very terrible and dreadful to the children of men. ' My 
flesh trembleth for fear of thee ; and I am afraid of thy judgments,' 
Ps. cxix. 120. Hab. iii. 16, ' When I heard, my belly trembled ; my 
lips quivered at the voice: rottenness entered into my bones, and 
I trembled in myself, that I might rest in the day of trouble.' 
But, 

[2.] Secondly, Fire is very painful and tormenting —m which 
respects hell-torments are compared to fire — so are great afflictions 
and judgments ; they are very painful and tormenting, they put a 
land into sore travail. Next to the pangs of conscience, and the pangs 
of hell, there are none to those pangs that are bred and fed by terrible 
judgments, Isa. xxvi. 17, 18. But, 

[3.] Thirdlj, Fire is of a discovering 7iature ; it enlightens men's 
eyes to see those things that they did not see before ; so do the 
terrible judgments of God enlighten men's minds and understandings 
sometimes to know the Lord, Kev. xv. 4 ; Ezek. xxi. 3-7. Hence it 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25 ] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 19 

is that, after judgments threatened, God doth so often tell them that 
they shall know the Lord. Sometimes God, by his judgments, 
enlightens men's minds to see such an evil in sin that they never saw 
before, and to see such a vanity, mutability, impotency, and uncer- 
tainty in the creature that they never saw before ; and to see such a 
need of free-grace, of rich mercy, and of infinite favour and goodness, 
that they never saw before ; and to see such majesty and terribleness 
in God that they never saw before, Ps. Ixvi. 3, 5. Job xxxvii. 22, 
' With God is terrible majesty.' But, 

[4.] Fourthly, Fire is probatory and refining, and so are the judg- 
ments of God ; they will try what metal men are made of ; they will 
try whether men are sound and sincere, or hypocritical and hollow ; 
whether men are real Christians or nominal Christians ; whether they 
are throughout Christians or almost Christians ; whether their graces 
are true or counterfeit, and whether they have much, or but a little, 
grace, Isa. i. 25 ; MaL iii. 1-3 ; Acts xxvi. 28, 29. Isa. xxxi. 9, ' The 
Lord's fire is in Zion, and his furnace in Jerusalem :' Zech. xiii. 9, 
' And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will retine them 
as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried :' 1 Pet. iv. 12, 
' Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is 
to try you.' Stars shine brightest in the darkest night. Torches are 
the better for beating. Grapes come not to the proof till they come 
to the press. Spices smell sweetest when pounded. Young trees 
root the faster for shaking. Vines are the better for bleeding. Gold 
looks the brighter for scouring ; and juniper smells sweetest in the 
fire. The application is easy. But, 

[5.] Fifthly, Fire is of a consuming and devouring nature, as we 
have lately found by woeful experience : Ps. xviii. 8, ' There went out 
a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured :' Jer. 
XV. 14, ' A fire is kindled in my anger, which shall burn upon you :' 
Ezek. xxii. 31, ' Therefore have I poured out my indignation upon 
them ; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath ;' Isa. Ixvi. 
15, 16 ; Ps. xxi. 9 ; Jer. xvii. 4 ; Ezek. xxxviii. 19, 20. Natural 
fire is a great devourer, but mystical fire, the fire of divine wrath, 
is infinitely a greater devourer. Men may stand before a natural fire, 
but no man has ever been able to stand before the devouring fire 
of divine wrath. The anger and wrath of God against wicked men is 
exceeding hot; it is a burning, fier}^ flaming wrath, against which 
they are never able to stand : Isa. xxvii. 4, * Who would set the briers 
and thorns against me in battle ? I would go through them, I would 
burn them together.' Briers and thorns are as well able to stand 
before a devouring fire, as wicked men are able to stand before the 
smoking wrath of that God which is ' a consuming fire,' Heb. xii. 29. 
[6.] SijXhly, Fire breaks out suddenly and unexpectedly ; in an hour, 
in a moment, when no man thinks of it, when no man looks for it ; as 
you see by that late dreadful fire, that in a few days turned a glorious 
city into a ruinous heap. So the judgments of God, they come sud- 
denly and unexpectedly upon the sons of men. Witness the judgments 
of God that came upon the old world, Sodom and Gomorrah, Nadab 
and Abihu, Korah, Dathan, and Abiram : 1 Thes. v. 3, ' For when 
they shall say, peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon 



20 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

them, as travail upon a woman with child, and they shall not escape/ 
Security is a certain forerunner of desolation and destruction. The 
apostle, by the similitude he uses, shews that the destruction of the 
wicked is — (1.) certain, (2.) sudden, (3.) inevitable. Mat. xxiv. 37-39; 
Gen. xix. But, 

[7.] Seventhly, Fire is imioartial ; it makes no difference between 
rich and poor, high and low, honourable and base, bond and free, male 
and female, &c. So the judgments of God are impartial, they reach 
all sorts and ranks of persons. But, 

[8.] Eighthly and lastly, Fire is violent and irresistible. We have 
had as dreadful a proof of this in the late dreadful conflagration of 
London as ever any people have had since the Lord Jesus was on earth. 
So are the judgments of God violent and irresistible. Witness the 
raging pestilence and the bloody sword that, in 1665 and 1666, has 
sent many score thousands to their long homes. And thus you see 
how that metaphorically or typically great and sore judgments do re- 
semble fire. But, 

(2.) Secondly, Premise this with me: i^tVe is sometimes attributed 
unto God : Heb. xii. 29, ' Our God is a consuming fire.' Sometimes 
fire is attributed to Christ : Mai. iii. 2, ' But who may abide the day 
of his coming ? and who shall stand when he appeareth ? for he is like 
a refiner's fire, and like fuller's soap/ And sometimes fire is attri- 
buted to the Holy Ghost : Mat. iii. 11, ' 1 indeed baptize you with 
water unto repentance, but he that cometh after me is mightier than 
I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear ; he shall baptize you with the 
Holy Ghost and with fire' — that is, with that fiery Holy Ghost, that 
spirit of judgment and of burning wherewith the filth of the daughter 
of Zion is washed away, Isa. iv. 4. But, 

(3.) Thirdly, Premise this with me : The loordfire in Scripture is 
sometimes used by the Holy GJiost to set forth sin by : Isa. ix. 18, 
' For wickedness burneth as the fire, it shall devour the briers and 
thorns, and shall kindle in the thickets of the forest, and they shall 
mount up like the lifting up of smoke.' So the burning lust of unclean- 
ness : Kom. i. 27, ' They burned in lust one towards another.' So 1 
Cor. vii. 9, 'It is better to marry than to burn.' And so Sodom was 
first in a flame of burning lusts, before it was burned with fire from 
heaven. But this is not the fire that is here meant in the proposition 
that we are upon. But, 

(4.) Fourthly, Premise this with me: Fire is sometimes taken for 
the blessed angels : Ps. civ. 4, ' Who maketh his angels spirits, his 
ministers a flaming fire,' Heb. i. 7. Hence it is that the angels are 
called seraphims, which signifies burning or flaming ones, and they 
are set forth by this name to note their irresistible power, Isa. vi. 2 ; 
for as there is no withstanding of the furious flames, so there is no 
withstanding of these burning or flaming ones. Jerome, Musculus, 
and several others, are of opinion that the angel that destroyed of Sen- 
nacherib's host a hundred and fourscore and five thousand in one night, 
that he did it by fire, burning their bodies, their garments being un- 
touched, 2 Kings xix. 35. But the fire in the proposition cannot be 
imderstood of the blessed angels, for several reasons not here to be 
alleged. But, 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 21 

(5.) Fifthly, Premise this with me : Fire in Scripture is sometimes 
taken for wars: 'The fire of thine enemies' — that is, the wars that 
shall be amongst the nations — ' shall devour them.' ' Thou shalt be 
visited of the Lord with a flame of devouring fire ; but the nations 
that fight against the altar shall be a dream,' Isa, xxvi. 11, 12, &c., 
and xxix. 6, 7. Now fire in this sense is not to be excluded out of 
the proposition. But, 

(6.) Sixthly, Premise this with me : Fii^e sometimes notes the special 
presence of God in a ivay of special love and favour to his people. In 
Exod. iii. 2 you read how ' the Lord appeared unto Moses in a flame 
of fire out of the midst of a bush ; and he looked, and behold the bush 
burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.' Here was a re- 
presentation of the church's affliction, that was then in Egypt, a house 
of bondage, in the midst of a fiery furnace, Deut. iv. 20. But now 
the Lord was in the bush, while the bush — the dry bush, or the bramble- 
bush, as the Hebrew word signifies— was in a flaming fire. In that 
Deut. xxxiil. 16 you read of ' the good-will of him that dwelt in the 
bush.' Grod was there in a way of merciful protection and preserva- 
tion. They were in the fire, but the Lord was with them in the fiire ; 
in all their fiery trials God did bear them company. But, 

(7.) Seventhly, Premise this with me: In the blessed Scriptures we 
read of supernal fire, of fire that came down from above, and that first 
as a sign of God's anger. So fire came down from heaven on Sodom 
and Gomorrah, Gen. xix. 24. Also fire came down from heaven on 
them that offered incense in the conspiracy of Korah, Num. xvi. 35. 
And so fire came down from heaven on the two captains and their 
fifties, 2 Kings i. 10-12. Secondly, we read of fire that came down 
from heaven as a sign and token of God's favour.* And so fire came 
down from heaven on the sacrifice of Solomon, and on the sacrifice of 
Elijah, 2 Chron. vii. 1 ; 2 Kings xviii. 38. God in those times did 
delight to shew his special love and favour to his precious servants by 
fire from heaven. But in the proposition we are to understand not 
supernal, but material fire. But, 

(8.) Eighthly and lastly. Premise this with me : Fire is sometimes 
taken literally for that material fire that consumes houses, toivns, cities, 
and the most stately structures. Jer. xxi. ] 0, ' For I have set my face 
against this city for evil, and not for good, saith the Lord ; it shall be 
given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with 
fire ;' 2 Chron. xxxv. 13. ' And they roasted the passover with fire ;' 
Neh. i. 3, ' And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the 
captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach ; the 
wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burnt 
with fire ;' chap. ii. 2, 3, ' Wherefore the king said unto me, Why is 
thy countenance sad, seeing thou art not sick ? this is nothing but 
sorrow of heart. Then I was very sore afraid, and said unto the king, 
Let the king live for ever : why should not my countenance be sad, 
when the city, the place of my fathers' sepulchres, lieth waste, and the 
gates thereof are consumed with fire?' See 2 Chron. xxxvi. 19 ; 2 
Kings xix. 18, and xxi. 6; Ps. Ixxiv. 7 ; Deut. xiii. 16. Now this ma- 
terial fire is the fire that is meant in the proposition. sirs 1 God 
is as much the author or efficient cause of this judgment of fire, as he 



22 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

is the author or efficient cause of sword, famine, and pestilence. This 
I have in part proved already ; but shall more abundantly make it good 
in that which follows. 

But you will say. Sir, we know very well that God is the author or 
efficient cause of this dreadful judgment of tire, as well as he is the 
author or efficient cause of any other judgment that we have either 
felt or feared ; but we earnestly desire to know what the ends of God 
should be in inflicting this sore and heavy judgment of fire upon his 
poor people, and in turning their glorious city into ashes ? This we 
are sure of, that whoever kindled the fire, God did blow the coal, and 
therefore we shall not now consider what there was of man's treachery 
concurring with God's severity in that dreadful calamity by fire ; but 
rather inquire after the grounds, reasons, or ends that God aims at by 
that fiery dispensation that has lately passed upon us. 

Now here give me leave to say, that so far as the late fire was a 
heavy judgment of God upon the city, yea, upon the whole nation, the 
ends of God in inflicting that judgment are doubtless such as respect 
both sinners and saints, the righteous and the wicked, the profane and 
the holy, the good and the bad. Now such as respect the wicked and 
ungodly I take to be these that follow : — 

[1.] First, That he may evidence his sovereignty, and that they may 
Jcnoio that there is a God. The profane atheist saith in his heart, ' There 
is no God ; ' but God by his terrible judgments startles and awakens 
the atheist, and makes him unsay what he had said in his heart.i 
When God appears in flames of fire, devouring and destroying all be- 
fore him, then the proudest and the stoutest atheists in the world will 
confess that there is a God — yea, then they will bow and tremble 
under a sense of the sovereignty of God. The sovereignty of God is 
that golden sceptre in his hand which he will make all bow to, either 
by his word or by his works, by his mercies or by his judgments. 
This sceptre must be kissed and submitted to, or else fire and sword, 
desolation and destruction, will certainly follow. Jer. xviii. 2-4, 6, 
• Arise, and go down to the potter's house ; and there will I cause thee 
to hear my word. Then I went down to the potter's house ; and, be- 
hold, he wrought a work on the wheels. And the vessel that he made 
of clay was marred in the hand of the potter : so he made it again 
another vessel, that seemed good to the potter to make it. house of 
Israel, cannot I do with you as the potter? saith the Lord. Behold, 
as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are ye in my hand, house 
of Israel.' The Jews were so stupid and sottish that verbal teaching 
without signs would not work upon them, and therefore the Lord sent 
Jeremiah to the potter's house, that he might see, by what the potter 
did, that though he had made them a people, a nation, a church, a 
state, yet he could as easily unmake them and mar them, as the potter 
marred the vessel that he had made. God would have this people to 
know that he had as much power over them and all they had as the 
potter had power over the clay that he works upon, and that he had 
as much both might and right also to dispose of them at his plea- 
sure as the potter had over his clay to dispose of it as he judged 

1 Ps. xiv. 1, X. 4, 5, and 1. 21; Eccles. viii. 11; Ps. xxiv. 1; Dan. vi. 25-27; Isa. xlv.9 ; 
Ps. ii. 9-12 ; Hosea ii. 8, 9. 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 23 

meet.i Nay, beloved, the potter has not such an absolute power over 
his pots and clay as the Lord has over the sons of men, to make them 
and break them at liis pleasure ; and that partly because that the clay 
is none of his creature, and partly because without God give him 
strength he has no power to make or break one vessel. God by the 
prophet would have the Jaws to know that it was merely by his good 
pleasure and grace that they came to be so glorious and flourishing a 
nation as they were at this time ; yea, and further to know that they 
were not so great, and rich, and flourishing, and settled, and built, but 
that he could as easily break them and mar them as the potter could 
the vessel that was under his hand, Isa. Ixiv. 8. Ah sirs ! God by 
that dreadful fire that has destroyed our houses, and burnt up our 
substance, and banished us from our habitations, and levelled our 
stately monuments of antiquity and glory even with the ground, has 
given us a very high evidence of his sovereignty both over our persons 
and all our concernments in this world. Ah London ! London ! were 
there none within nor without thy walls that did deny the sovereignty 
of God, that did belie the sovereignty of God, that did slight the sove- 
reignty of God, that did make head against the sovereignty of God ? 
Were there none within nor without thy walls that did say, ' We are 
lords, and we will come no more unto thee ' ? that did say, ' Is not 
this great Babylon, is not this great London that we have built ? ' 
that did say, ' The kings of the earth, and all the inhabitants of the 
world would not have believed that the adversary and the enemy, the 
flaming and consuming fire, should have entered into the gates of 
Jerusalem, into the gates of London ' ? that did say, ' Who is the 
Lord, that we should obey his voice ? ' that did advance a worldly 
sovereignty above and against the sovereignty of God and Christ? 
Jer. ii. 31 ; Dan. iv. 30 ; Lam. iv. 12 ; Exod. v. 2. Ah London ! 
London ! if there were any such within or without thy walls, then 
never wonder that God has in a flaming and consuming fire pro- 
claimed his sovereignty over thee, and that he hath given such 
atheists to know from woeful experience that both themselves and all 
their concernments are in the hands of the Lord as the clay is in the 
hands of the potter, and that the sorest judgments that any city can 
fall under are but the demonstrations of his sovereign prerogative, Isa, 
V. 16. Ps. ix. 16, ' The Lord is known by the judgments which he 
executeth; the power, justice, and sovereignty of God shines most 
gloriously in the execution of his judgments upon the world.' 

[2.] Secondly, God inflicts great and sore judgments upon the sons 
of men, that the world may stand in aive ofhim^ and that they may 
leai'n to fear and tremble before him.'^ When he appears as a con- 
suming fire, he expects that the nation should tremble, and that the 
inhabitants should fear before him : 1 Sam. xvi. 4, ' And Samuel did 
that which the Lord spake, and came to Bethlehem : and the elders 
of the town trembled at his coming, and said, Comest thou peace- 
ably ? ' Shall the elders of Bethlehem tremble for fear that Samuel 
came to denounce some grievous judgment against them ; and shall not 
we tremble when God has executed his terrible judgments upon us ? 

^ God hathyit* ad omnia, jv^ in omnibus, a right to all things, a right in all things. 
* Consult these scriptures, Exod. xv. 14-16; Josh. ii. 10, 11 ; Rev. xv. 4. 



24 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

Shall Ahab tremble and humble himself, and fast and lie in sackcloth 
when judgments are but threatened ; and shall not we tremble and 
fear before the great God, who has actually inflicted upon us his three 
great judgments, pestilence, sword, and fire? Shall the Ninevites, 
both princes, nobles, and people, tremble and humble themselves in 
sackcloth and ashes when God doth but threaten to overthrow their 
great, their rich, their populous city ; and shall not we tremble and 
lie low before the Lord when we see great London, rich and populous 
London, laid in ashes before our eyes ? 1 Kings xxi. 20-24, 27-29 ; 
Jonah iii. 3-10. When the hand of the Lord was stretched out 
against the Egyptians, ' the dukes of Edom were amazed, and the 
mighty men of Moab trembled,' Exod. xv. 15, 16 ; 2 Kings vi. 30, 
and vii. 6, 7, 15 ; Jer. iv. 7-9. Ah, how severely has the hand of the 
Lord been stretched out against London and all her inhabitants ! and 
therefore what cause have we to be amazed and to tremble before that 
God who has appeared in flames of fire against us ! Lam. ii. 3, 4, 
' He hath cut off in his fierce anger all the horn of Israel : he hath 
drawn back his right hand before the enemy, and he burned against 
Jacob like a flaming fire, which devoureth round about. He bent his 
bow like an enemy : and poured out his fury like fire.' God burnt 
down their city, their temple, their gates, their princely habitations, 
their glorious structures, in the fierceness of his anger and in the 
greatness of his wrath. sirs ! when God falls upon burning work, 
when he pours out his fury like fire, when like a flaming fire he de- 
vours all our pleasant things, and lays all our glory in dust and ashes, 
we may safely conclude that his anger is fierce and that his wrath is 
great against us ; and therefore what eminent cause have we to fear 
and tremble before him ! God is a great and dreadful God : Dan ix. 
4, ' A mighty God and terrible ; ' Deut. vii. 21, ' A great and terrible 
God,' Neh. i. 5. He is so in himself, and he has been so in his fiery 
dispensations towards us, that the world by such remarkable severities 
may be kept in awe of him. Generally fear doth more in the world 
than love.i As there is little sincerity, so there is but little ingenuity 2 
in the world ; and that is the reason why many very rarely think of 
God but when they are afraid of him. Many times judgments work 
where mercies do not win. That famous Thomas 3 Waldo of Lyons, 
the father of the Waldenses, seeing, among many met together to be 
merry, one suddenly fall down dead in the street, it struck so to his 
heart that he went home a penitent,— it wrought to a severe and pious 
reformation of his life, and he lived and died a precious man. Though 
Pharaoh was not a pin the better for all the heavy judgments that 
God inflicted ^ upon him, yet Jethro, taking notice of those dreadful 
plagues and judgments that fell upon Pharaoh and upon his people, 
and likewise upon the Amalekites, was thereby converted and became 
a proselyte j as Kabbi Solomon noteth upon that 19th of Pro v. 25 : 
The world is so untractable, that frowns will do more with them than 
smiles. That God may keep wicked men in awe and in subjection to 
liim, he sees it very needful to bring common, and general, and over- 

^ We are worthy, saith Chrysostom, of hell, if for no other cause, yet for fearing hell 
and the evil of punishment more than Christ. — Chrys. Horn. 5, in Epist. ad Rom. 
^'Ingenuousness.' — G. 3 Qn. 'Peter'?— Ed. 



IsA. XLTI. 24, 25.] the late fiery dispensation. 25 

spreading judgments upon them : Eev. xv. 4, ' Who shall not fear 
thee, Lord, and glorify thy name ? for thou only art holy : for all 
nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are 
made manifest.' sirs ! when the judgments of the Lord come to be 
made manifest, then it highly concerns all ranks and sorts of men to 
fear the Lord and to glorify his name. How manifest, how visible 
has the raging pestilence, and the bloody sword, and the devouring 
flames of London been in the midst of us I and oh that our fear, and 
dread, and awe of God were as manifest and as visible as his judg- 
ments have been and still are ; for his hand to this v-ery hour is 
stretched out against us ! Isa. ix. 12. But, 

[3.] Thirdly, God inflicts great and sore judgments upon the sons 
of men, and upon cities and countries, to express and make known his 
power, justice, anger, severity, and indignation against sinners and 
their sinful courses, by ivhidi he has heen p7'ovoked :^ Deut. xxxii, 19, 
'■And when the Lord saw it, he abhorred them, because of the pro- 
voking of his sons and of his daughters.' Ver. 21, ' They have pro- 
voked me to anger with their vanities ; and I will provoke them to 
anger with a foolish nation.' Ver. 22, ' For a fire is kindled in my 
anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the 
earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the moun- 
tains.' Ver. 24, ' They shall be burnt with hunger, and devoured 
with burning heat, or with burning coals, and with bitter destruc- 
tion.' There is a knowledge of God by his works as well as by his 
word, and by his judgment as well as by his mercies. In his 
dreadful judgments every one may run and read his power, his 
justice, his anger, his severity, and his indignation against sin and 
sinners. It is irrevocable sins that bring irrevocable judgments 
upon sinners. Whilst men hold on in committing great iniquities, 
God will hold on in inflicting answerable severities. When God 
cannot prevail with men to desist from sinning, men shall not pre- 
vail with God to desist from destroying of them, their habitations, 
and all their pleasant things : Jer. ii. 15, ' The young lions roared 
upon him, and yelled, and they made his land waste : his cities are 
burnt without inhabitant.' Ver. 17, ' Hast thou not procured this 
unto thyself, in that thou hast forsaken the Lord thy God, when 
he led thee by the way?' When Nicephorus Phocas had built a 
mighty strong wall about his palace for his own security, in the 
night-time he heard a voice crying unto him, w ^aaiXtv vylrloi^ 
TO, reixv, &c., emperor, though thou buildest the wall as high as 
the clouds; yet if sin be within, it will overthrow all.2 Sin, like 
those traitors in the Trojan horse, will do cities and countries more 
hurt in one night tlian ten thousand open enemies could do in ten 
years. Cities and countries might flourish, and continue as the days 
of heaven, and be as the sun before the Almighty, if his wrath be not 
provoked by their profaneness and wickedness ; so that it is not any 
divine 3 aspect of the heavens, nor any malignant conjunction of the 
stars and planets, but the loose manners, the ungracious lives, and 

J See Jer. xiv. 15, 16 ; Lam. iv. 11 ; Jer. iv. 15-19. 

^ Brooks's allusion is to the strong 'tower' built by Nicephorus II. (Phocas) in his 
palace. Cf. Gibbon, xlviii. s. n.—G. ^ Qu. 'malign' ?— Ed. 



26 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

the enormous sins of men, that lay cities and countries desolate : 
Jer xiii. 22, ' And if thou say in thine heart, Wherefore come these 
things upon me ? wherefore hath the Lord sent plague, sword, famine, 
and fire to devour and destroy, and to lay all in ashes ?' The answer 
is, ' For the greatness of thine iniquity/ God will in flames of fire 
discover his anger and indignation against sin and sinners. The 
heathen historian [HerodotusJ observes in the ruin of Troy, that the 
sparkles and ashes of burnt Troy served for a lasting monument of 
God's great anger and displeasure against great sinners. The burn- 
ing of Troy served to teach men that God punisheth great sinners 
with great plagues ; and certainly London's being laid in ashes is a 
high evidence that God knows how to be angry with sinners, and 
how to punish sin with the sorest of judgments. The gods of the 
Gentiles were senseless stocks and stones, not able to apprehend, 
much Jess to revenge, any injury done unto them. Well therefore 
might the philosopher be bold with Hercules to put him to his thir- 
teenth labour in seething of his dinner ; and Martial with Priapus, 
in threatening him to throw him into the fire if he looked not well to 
his trees. 1 A child may play at the hole of a dead asp, and a silly 
woman may strike a dead lion ; but who dare play with a living ser- 
pent ? who dare take a roaring lion by the beard ? Oh that Chris- 
tians then would take heed how they provoke the living God, for he 
is ' a consuming fire,' and with a word of his mouth, yea, with the 
breath of his mouth, he is able to throw down, and to burn up the 
whole frame of nature, and to destroy all creatures from the face of 
the earth. Some heathen philosophers thought anger an unseemly 
attribute to ascribe to God, and some heretics conceived the God of 
the New Testament void of all anger. They imagined two Gods : 
the God of the Old Testament was, in their account, Deus Justus, a 
Deity severe and revengeful : but the God of the New Testament was 
Deus bonus, the good God, a God made up all of mercy ; they would 
have no anger in him. But Christians do know that God proclaims 
this attribute among his titles of honour : Neh. i. 2, ' God is jealous, 
and the Lord revengeth, and is furious ; he reserveth wrath for his 
enemies.' It is the highway to atheism and profaneness, to fancy to 
'ourselves a God made up all of mercy, to think that God cannot tell 
how to be angry and wroth with the sons of men. Surely they that 
have seen London in flames, or believe that it is now laid in ashes, 
they will believe that God knows how to be angry, and how to fix 
the tokens of his wrath upon us. But, 

[4.] Fourthly, God inflicts great and sore judgments upon the 
sons of men, and upon cities and countries, that they may cease from 
sin, receive instruction, and reform and return to the most High; as 
you may evidently see by comparing the scriptures in the margin 
together.2 God's corrections should be our instructions, his lashes 
should be our lessons, his scourges should be our schoolmasters, his 
chastisements should be our advertisements: and to note this the 

' Epig., lib. viii. ; Ep. xl.— G. 

' Isa. xxvi. 9; Ps. xciv. 12; Prov. iiu 12, 13, and vi. 23; Job xxxvi. 8-10, and 
xxxiii. 19, 20; Levit, xxvi. ; Deut. xxviii.; 2 Chron. vii. 13, 14; Amos iv, 6-12; Isa. 
ix. 13 ; Jer. v. 3, and vi. 29, 30; Ezek. xxiii. 25-27. 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 27 

Hebrews and the Greeks both express chastising and teaching by one 
and the same word ["IDID, 31asar, TraiBeia], because the latter is the 
true end of the former, according to that in the proverb, ' Smart 
makes wit, and vexation gives understanding/ Whence Luther 
fitly calls affliction, Theologiam Christianorum, The Christian man's 
divinity: Jer. vi. 8, ' Be thou instructed, Jerusalem, lest my soul 
depart from thee ; lest 1 make thee desolate, a land not inhabited.' 
Zeph. iii. 6, 7, ' I have cut off the nations : their towers are desolate ; 

1 made their streets waste, that none passed by : their cities are 
destroyed, so that there is no man, that there is no inhabitant. I 
said. Surely thou wilt fear me ; thou wilt receive instruction : so 
their dwellings should not be cut off, however I punished them : but 
they rose early, and corrupted all their doings.' By all the desolations 
that God had made before their eyes he designed their instruction 
and reformation. From those words, Judges iii. 20, 'I have a message 
from God unto thee, king,' said Ehud. Lo, his poniard was God's 
message: from whence one well observes. That not only the vocal 
admonitions, but the real judgments of God are his errands and in- 
structions to the world. God delights to win men to himself by 
favours and mercies ; but it is rare that God this way makes a con- 
quest upon them: Jer. xxii. 21, ' I spake unto thee in thy prosperity,' 
saith God ; ' but thou saidst, I will not hear : ' and therefore it is that 
he delivers them over into the hands of severe judgments, as into the 
hands of so many curst schoolmasters, as Basil speaks, that so they 
may learn obedience by the things they suffer, as the apostle speaks, 
Deut. xxxii. 14-17; Jer. v. 7-10; Ps. Ixxiii. 1-10. It is said of 
Gideon, he took briers and thorns, and with them he taught the men 
of Succoth, Judges viii. 16. Ah, poor London ! how has God taught 
thee with briers and thorns, with sword, pestilence, and fire ! and all 
because thou wouldst not be taught by prosperity and mercy ' to do 
justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God,' Micah vi. 8 ; 
Lam. iii. 32, 33 ; Isa. xxviii. 21. God delights in the reformation of 
a nation ; but he doth not delight in the desolation of any nation. 
God's greatest severity is to prevent utter ruin and misery, Schola 
cruets, schola lucis. If God will but make London's destruction Eng- 
land's instruction, it may save the land from a total desolation. Ah, 
London ! London ! I would willingly hope that this fiery rod that has 
been upon thy back has been only to awaken thee, and to instruct 
thee, and to refine thee, and to reform thee, that after this sore desola- 
tion God may delight to build thee, and beautify thee, and make thee 
an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations, Isa. Ix. 15. But, 

[5.] Fifthly, God inflicts sore and great judgments upon the sons of 
men, that he may try them, and make a more full discovery of them- 
selves to themselves. Wicked men will never believe that their lusts 
are so strong, and that their hearts are so base, as indeed they are : 

2 Kings viii. 12, 13, ' And Hazael said, Why weepeth my lord? and 
he answered. Because I know the evil that thou wilt do unto the chil- 
dren of Israel ; their strongholds wilt thou set on fire, and their young 
men wilt thou slay with the sword, and wilt dash their children, and 
rip up their women with child. And Hazael said. But what, is thy 
servant a dog that he should do this great thing ? And Elisha an- 



28 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

swered, The Lord hath shewed me that thou shalt be king over Syria/ 
Hazael could not imagine that he should be as fierce, cruel, murderous, 
and merciless as a dog, that will tear all in pieces that he can come at. 
It could never enter into his thoughts that ever he should do such cruel, 
barbarous, horrid, and inhuman acts as the prophet spoke of ; but he 
did not know the depth of his own corruption, nor the desperateness, 
nor deceitfulness of his own heart, Jer. xvii. 9 : Isa. viii. 21, ' And 
they shall pass through it hardly bestead and hungry ; and it shall 
come to pass, that when they shall be hungry they shall fret them- 
selves, and curse their king, and their God, and look upward.' When 
judgments are upon them, then their wickedness appears rampant. 
They shall curse their own king for not defending, protecting, or 
relieving of them ; they shall look upon him as the cause of all their 
wants, sorrows, and sufferings ; and as men overwhelmed with misery, 
and full of indignation, they shall fall a-cursing of him. And they 
shall curse their God as well as their king ; that is, say some, the true 
God, who deservedly brought these plagues upon them. Their God ; 
that is, say others, their Melchom, to whom they had sacrificed, and 
in whom they see now that they vainly trusted. So those desperate 
wretches under the beast : Kev. xvL 8, 9, ' And the fourth angel poured 
out his vial upon the sun, and power was given unto him to scorch 
men with fire. And the men were scorched with great heat, and blas- 
phemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues ; and 
they repented not, to give him glory ; ' ver. 10, ' And the fifth angel 
poured out his vial upon the scent i of the beast ; and his kingdom was 
full of darkness, and they gnawed their tongues for pain, and blas- 
phemed the God of heaven, because of their pains and their sores, and 
repented not of their deeds.' 2 The top of the judgment that is and 
shall be upon the wicked is this, that under the sorest and heaviest 
judgments that shall come upon them, they shall not repent, nor give 
glory to God. They shall blaspheme the name of God, and they shall 
blaspheme the God of heaven ; and they shall be scorched with great 
heat, and they shall gnaw their tongues for pain, but they shall not 
repent of their deeds, nor give glory to that hand that smites them.^ 
The fierce and fiery dispensations of God u{X)n the followers and wor- 
shippers of the beast shall draw out their sins ; but they shall never 
reform their lives, nor better their souls. God kept the Jews forty 
years in the wilderness, and exercised them with many sore and smart 
afflictions, that he might prove them, and make a more full discovery 
of themselves to themselves. And did not the heavy trials that they 
met with in their wilderness condition make a very great discovery of 
that pride, that unbelief, that hypocrisy, that impatience, that dis- 
content, that self-love, that murmuring, &c., that was wrapt up close 
in all their souls ? sirs ! since God has turned our renowned city 
into ashes, what discoveries has he made of that pride, that unbelief, 
that worldliness, that earthliness, that self-love, that inordinate affec- 

1 Qu. ' seat ' ?— Ed, 

2 Plutarch observes, that it is the quality of tigers to grow mad, and tear themselves 
in pieces, if they hear but drums or tabors to sound about them.— Zift. de Super- 
stitione. 

3 This will be the case of all the worshippers of the beast one dav, Deut. viii. 
2, 15, 16. 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIEKY DISPENSATION. 29 

tion to relations and to the good things of the world, that discontent, 
that disquietn ess, thatfaint-heartedness, that has been closely wrapped 
up in the spirits of many thousands whose habitations are now laid in 
ashes ! We try metals by fire and by knocking, and God has tried 
many thousands this day by his fiery dispensations and knocking 
judgments that have been in the midst of us. I believe there are 
many thousands who have been deep sufferers by the late dreadful 
fire, who never did think that there had been so much sin and so little 
grace, so much of the creature and so little of God, so much earth and 
so little of heaven in their hearts, as they now find by woeful experience. 
And how many wretched sinners are there who have more blasphemed 
God, and dishonoured Christ, and provoked divine justice, and abused 
their best mercies, and debased and be-beasted themselves since the 
late fire, than they have done in many years before ! But, 

[6.] Sixthly, God inflicts great and sore judgments upon persons, 
cities, and countries, that others may he warned hy his severities to 
break off their sins, and to return to the most High. God's judg- 
ments upon one city, should be advertisements to all other cities to 
look about them, and to tremble before him who is ' a consuming fire,' 
Heb. xii. 29. The flaming rod of correction that is laid upon one 
city, should be a rod of instruction to all other cities. Jer. xxii. 6-9, 
' I will make thee a wilderness, and cities which are not inhabited. 
And many nations shall pass by this city, and they shall say every 
man to his neighbour. Wherefore hath the Lord done this unto this 
great city ? Then shall they answer. Because they have forsaken the 
covenant of the Lord their God, and worshipped other gods, and 
served them.' God punisheth one city, that all other cities may take 
warning. There is no judgment of God, be it sword, pestilence, 
famine, or fire, upon any people, city, nation, or country, but what is 
speaking and teaching to all others, had they but eyes to see, ears to 
hear, and hearts to understand, Micah vi. 9. Thus Tyrus shall be 
devoured with fire, saith the prophet ; Ashkelon shall see it and fear ; 
Gaza and Ekron shall be very sorrowful, Zech. ix. 4, 5. When 
Ashkelon, Gaza, and Ekron shall see the destruction of Tyre by fire, 
it shall make them afraid of the like judgment. They shall be a little 
more concerned than some were at the siege of Khodes, and than 
others were at the ruin and desolation of Troy by fire. London's suf- 
ferings should warn others to take heed of London's sins. London's 
conflagration should warn others to take heed of London's abomina- 
tions. It should warn others to stand and wonder at the patience, 
long-suffering, gentleness, and goodness of God towards them who 
have deserved as hard things from the hand of God, as London have 
felt in 1665 and 1666, Kom. ii. 4, 5. It should warn others to search 
their hearts, and try their ways, and break off their sins, and turn to 
the Lord, lest his anger should break forth in flames of fire against 
them, and none should be able to deliver them. Lam. iii. 40. It 
should warn others to fear and tremble before that power, justice, 
severity, and sovereignty that shines in God's fiery dispensations to- 
wards us. Ezek. XXX. 7-9, ' And they shall be desolate in the midst of 
the countries that are desolate, and her cities' — meaning Egypt — 'shall 
be in the midst of the cities that are wasted. And thej^ shall know 



30 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

that I am the Lord, when I have set a fire in Egypt. In that day 
shall messengers go forth from me in ships, to make the careless 
Ethiopians afraid, and great pain shall come upon them, as in the day 
of Egypt; for, lo, he cometh,' Exod. xv. 14-16 ; Isa. xiii. 6-8. God 
by his secret instinct and providence would so order the matter, as 
that the news of the Chaldeans' inroad into Egypt, laying all their 
cities and towns waste by fire and sword, should be carried over into 
Ethiopia ; and hereupon the secure Ethiopians should fear and tremble, 
and be in pain as a Avoman is that is in travail ; or as the Egyptians 
were, when they vjere destroyed at the Ked Sea ; or as they were, when 
the Lord smote their firstborn throughout the land of Egypt. Now 
shall the Ethiopians, the poor, blind heathens, fear and tremble, and 
be in pain, when they hear that Egypt is laid waste by fire and sword ; 
and shall not Christians all the world over fear and tremble, and be 
in pain, when they shall hear that Ijondon is laid waste, that London 
is destroyed by fire ? What though papists and atheists have warmed 
themselves at the flames of London, saying, Aha I so would we have it; 
yet let all that have the name of God upon them fear and tremble, 
and take warning, and learn righteousness by his righteous judgments 
upon desolate London. London's murdering-piece should be England's 
warning-piece to awaken them, and to work them to bethink them- 
selves, and to turn to him who is able by a flaming fire quickly to 
turn them out of all, Isa. xxvi. 8, 9. The Jews have a saying, 
that if war be begun in another country, yet they should fast and 
mourn because the war is begun, and because they do not know how 
soon God may bring it to their doors. sirs I London is burnt, and 
it highly concerns you to fast, and mourn, and pray, and to take the 
alarm ; for you do not know how soon a fire may be kindled in your 
own habitations. Now God has made the once famous city of London 
a flaming beacon before your eyes, he expects and looks that you 
should all fear before him. Secure your interest in him, walk humbly 
with him, and no more provoke the eyes of his jealousy and glory. 
The design of Heaven by this late dreadful fire, is not to be confined 
to those particular persons upon whom it hath fallen heaviest ; but it 
is to awaken all, and warn all. When a beacon is fired, it gives 
warning as much to the whole country as to him who sets it on fire ; 
or as it does to him on whose ground the beacon stands. We can 
neither upon the foot of reason or religion, conclude them to be the 
greatest sinners who have been the greatest sufferers ; for many times 
we find that the greatest saints have been the greatest sufferers, both 
from God and men. Job was a non-such in his day for holiness, 
uprightness, and the fear of the Lord, and yet by the wind and fire 
from heaven on the one hand, and by the Sabeans and Chaldeans on 
the other hand, he is stript of all his children and of a fair estate in 
one day : so that in the morning it might have been said, Who so 
rich as Job ? and in the evening. Who so poor as Job ? Job was poor 
even to a proverb, Job i. 1-4. Look, as wicked men are very incompetent 
judges of divine favours and mercies, so they are very incompetent 
judges of divine trials and severities ; and whatever they may think or 
say, I dare conclude that they who have drank deepest of this cup of 
sorrows, of this cup of desolation and fire in London, are not greater 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 31 

sinners than all others in England, who yet have not tasted of this 
bitter cup. But more of this when I come to the application of the 
point. sirs ! I beg upon the knee of my soul, that you will not 
slight this dreadful warning of God that he has given to the whole 
nation, in turning London into ashes. To that purpose seriously con- 
sider, First, Divine warnings slighted and neglected will certainly 
bring down the greater wrath and vengeance upon you, as you may 
clearly see by comparing the scriptures in the margin together. i 
Secondly, Slighting of judgments is the greatest judgment that can 
befall a people ; it speaks out much pride, atheism, hardness, blind- 
ness, and desperate security, and contempt of the great God. To 
be given up to slight divine warnings, is a spiritual judgment, and 
therefore must of all judgments be the greatest judgment. To be 
given up to sword, famine, fire, pestilence, burning agues, and fevers, 
is nothing so great a judgment as to be given up to slight divine 
warnings ; for in the one you are but passive, but in the other you are 
active. Thirdly, Heathens have trembled, and mended, and reformed, 
at divine warnings, Jonah iii. ; and therefore for you to slight them 
is to act below the heathens, yea, it is to do worse than the heathens, 
who will certainly one day rise up in judgment against all such 
who have been slighters of the dreadful warnings of heaven. Fourthly, 
Slighting of divine warnings lays men open to such anger and wrath, 
as all the angels in heaven are not able to express, nor all the men 
on earth able to conceive, Prov. i. 24-32. Fifthly, Slighting and 
'neglecting of divine warnings speaks out the greatest disingenuity, 
stoutness, and stubbornness that is imaginable. The ingenuous child 
easily takes warning, and to an ingenuous Christian every divine 
warning is as the handwriting upon the wall, Dan. v. 5. Sixthly, 
Slighting of divine warnings provokes God many times to give up 
men to be their own executioners, their own destroyers. Saul had 
many warnings, but he slighted and neglected them all ; and at last 
God leaves him to fall on his own sword, 1 Sam. xxxi. 4. Christ cast 
hell-fire often into Judas his face, ' Thou hast a devil ;' and ' Woe to 
that man by whom the Son of man shall be betrayed ; it had been 
good for that man that he had never been born.' But Judas slights 
all these warnings, and betrays his Lord and Master, and then goes 
forth and hangs himself, John vi. 70, 71 ; Mat. xxvi. 21-25, and 
xxvii. 5. It was a strange conceit of the Cerinthians 2 that honoured 
Judas, the traitor, as some divine and superhuman power, and called 
his treason a blessed piece of service, and that he, knowing how much 
the death of Christ would profit mankind, did therefore betray him to 
death to save the race of mankind, and to do a thing pleasing to God. 
Judas withstood all divine warnings from within and without, and you 
know how the tragedy ended ; he died a miserable death, he perished 
by his own hands, which were the most infamous hands in all the 
world; 'he went and hanged himself 3 And as Luke hath it, 
' he fell headlong and burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels 

1 Lev. xxvi. 16-18, 21, 23, 24, 27, 28 : Amos iv. 7-11 ; Jer. xxv. 4-12 ; Isa. xxii. 12-14. 
' Irenseus, &c., Aug. dc Hseresi. 

^ Some report of Judas, that he slew his father, married his mother, and betrayed his 
Master. 



32 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLIL 24, 25. 

gushed out.' In every passage of his death we may take notice of 
divine justice, and accordingly take heed of sh'ghting divine warnings. 
It was but just that he should hang in the air, who, for his sin, was 
hated both of heaven and earth, and that he should fall down headlong, 
who was fallen from such a height of honour as he was fallen from ; 
and that the halter should strangle that throat through which the 
voice of treason had sounded ; and that his bowels should be lost who 
had lost the bowels of all pity, piety, and compassion ; and that 
his ghost should have liis passage out of his midst : ' he burst asunder 
in the midst,' saith the text, and not out of his lips, because with 
a kiss of his lips he had betrayed our Lord Jesus. But Seventhly, By 
slighting divine warnings you will arm both visible and invisible 
creatures against you. Pharaoh slights divine warnings, and God 
arms the winds against him to his destruction. Sisera slights divine 
warnings, and the stars in their course fought against Sisera. Senna- 
cherib slights divine warnings, and an angel of the Lord destroyed a 
hundred fourscore and five thousand of his army in one night, 2 Kings 
vi. 8-11, 16, 17 ; Exod. xiv. ; Judges v. 19, 20 ; Isa. xxxvii. 7-9, 36. 
Eighthly, By slighting of divine warnings you will tempt Satan 
to tempt your souls. He that dares slight divine warnings will stick 
at nothing that Satan shall tempt him to ; yea, he does to the utmost 
what lies in him to provoke Satan to follow him with the blackest and 
sorest temptations. Ninthly, He that slights divine warnings dams up 
all the springs of mercy, and turns the streams of loving-kindness and 
favour another way. Tenthly and lastly. Slighting of divine warnings 
will be the sword that will wound yoUj and the serpent that will sting 
you, and the worm that will be still gnawing upon you ; especially 
(1.) When your consciences are awakening ; (2.) When you shall lie 
upon a dying bed ; (3.) When you shall stand before a judgment- 
seat ; (4.) and lastly, When you shall awake with everlasting flames 
about your ears, Ps. Ixxxi. 11 to the end; Jer. vii. 23-29, 34; Isa. 
xiii. 14-16. Upon all these considerations, take heed of slighting the 
warnings of God that you are under this day. But, 

[7.] Seventhly and lastly, God inflicts great and sore judgments 
upon persons, cities, and countries, to put the ivorld in mind of the 
general judgment. Who can think upon the conflagration of our late 
glorious city, and not call to mind tlie great and terrible day of 
the Lord ? Ps. 1. 3, ' Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence : 
a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round 
about him.' As God gave his law in fire, so when he comes to judg- 
ment, in fire he will require it, to shew himself a judge and revenger 
of it, and to bring the world to a strict account for their breaking 
of it, Eccles. xii. 13, 14. In the promulgation of the law a flaming 
fire was only on mount Sinai, Exod. xx. 18 ; but when Christ 
shall come to execute vengeance on the transgressors of it, all the 
world shall become a bonfire, Heb. xii. 18-21. In the promulgation 
of the law there was fire, smoke, thunder, and an earthquake ; but 
when Christ shall come in flaming fire to revenge the breaches of it, 
' the heavens shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with 
fervent heat,' so that not only a few cities and kingdoms, but all this 
lower world shall be of a flame ; and therefore if any of the wicked 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 33 

should be so weak as to think to secure themselves by creeping behind 
the Lord, they will but deceive themselves ; for the fire shall not only 
devour before him, but it shall also devour round about him. When 
an unquenchable fire shall be kindled above the sinner, and below the 
sinnei', and round about the sinner, how is it possible that he should 
escape, though he should cry out to the rocks and the mountains 
to fall upon him, and to cover him from the wrath of the Lamb ? 
Kev. vi. 15-17 ; Jer. v. 14. Isa. Ixvi.^ 15, 16, ' For, behold, the Lord 
will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render 
his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire, 
and by his sword, will the Lord plead with all flesh : and the slain of 
the Lord shall be many.' There is nothing more fearful or for- 
midable either to man or beast than fire. Now when God comes 
to execute his judgments, and to take vengeance on the wicked in 
this life, as some carry the words, or in the other life, as others 
carry the words, he will come in the most terrible and dread- 
ful manner imaginable, he will come with fire, and he will render 
his rebuke with flames of fire, or with fiery flames, as some 
say, or with flaming fire, as others say: 2 Thes. i. 7, 8, 'And 
to you who are troubled, rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be 
revealed from heaven, with his mighty angels, in flaming fire, taking 
vengeance on them that know not Grod, and that obey not the gospel 
of our Lord Jesus Christ.' Beloved, that Christ will come to judg- 
ment in flaming fire is no politic invention found out to fright men 
from their pleasures ; nor no engine of state devised to keep men tame 
and quiet under the civil powers ; nor no plot of the minister to make 
men melancholy, or to hurry them into a blind obedience ; but it is 
the constant voice of God in the blessed Scriptures : 2 Pet. iii. 10-12, 
' But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in the 
which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements 
shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are 
therein shall be burnt up. Looking for and hasting unto the coming 
of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire, shall be dis- 
solved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat.' Parens is of 
opinion i that that fire that shall set all the world in a flame at last will 
be kindled and cherished by lightning from heaven. The earth being 
smitten with lightning from heaven, shall be shaken and torn into ten 
thousand pieces, and by fire utterly consumed ; now the earth shall 
quake, the sea roar, the air ring, and the world burn. Now you shall 
look no way but you shall see fire ; you shall see fire above you, and 
fire below you, and fire round about you. Christ's first coming was 
attended with a general peace, and with carols of angels : he came as 
rain upon the mown grass, silently, sweetly into the world, Luke ii. 8-15 ; 
Ps. Ixxi. G. Then a babe cried in the manger, but now Judah's lion will 
roar and thunder in the heavens. Then he came riding on an ass's colt, 
but now on the clouds. Then he was attended with twelve poor despised 
apostles, but now he shall be waited on with many score millions of 
angels. At his first coming he freely offered grace, and mercy, and 
pardon to sinners ; but now he will come in flames of fire to execute 
wrath and vengeance upon sinners, 2 Thes. i. 7 ; and it will be no small. 

^ Pareus in Kev. xvi. 18. 
VOL. VI. C 



34 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

honour to Christ, nor no small comfort to the saints, nor no small tor- 
ment to the wicked, for Christ to come in flames of fire when he comes 
to judgment. Saul was astonished when he heard Jesus of Nazareth 
but calling unto him out of heaven, Acts xxii. 8. Herod was af- 
frighted when he thought that John Baptist was risen again. Mat. vi. 
16. The Philistines were afraid when they saw David's sword, 1 Sam. 
xxi. 9. The Israelites were startled when they saw Aaron's rod, Num. 
vii. 10. And Judah was ashamed when he saw Thamar's signet and 
staff ; and Belshazzar was amazed when he saw the handwriting upon 
the wall, Dan. v. 5. The Carthaginians were troubled when they saw 
Scipio's sepulchre ; and the Saxons were terrified when they saw Cad- 
wallon's image. 1 Oh, how terrified, amazed, and confounded will 
wicked men be when they shall see that Christ, whom they have 
rejected, betrayed, crucified, scorned, opposed, and persecuted, come in 
flames of fire to pass an eternal doom upon them ! I have read a 
story of two soldiers,-2 that coming to the valley of Jehoshaphat in 
Judea, and one saying to the other. Here in this place shall be the 
general judgment, wherefore I will now take up my place where I will 
then sit ; and so lifting up a stone, he sat down upon it, as taking 
possession beforehand : but being seated, and looking up to heaven, 
such a quaking and trembling fell upon him, that falling to the earth, 
he remembered the day of judgment with horror and amazement ever 
after. The case of this soldier will be the case of every wicked man 
when Christ shall appear in flames of fire to pass an eternal sentence 
of condemnation upon all the goats that shall be found on the left 
hand. Mat. xxv. 41-46. It is strange in this so serious a business 
of the day of judgment, and of Christ's appearing in flaming fire, 
which so nearly concerns the sons of men, how men's wits will busy 
themselves in many nice inquiries. Ye may meet with many such 
questions in the schoolmen as — (1.) How long is it to the day of 
judgment ? (2.) In what place of the world shall the judgment-day be 
held ? (3.) What kind of fire shall then be burning ? (4.) Whether 
Christ shall come with a cross carried before him ? As if malefactors 
in the jail should fall a-reasoning and debating what weather it would 
be at the day of assizes, or of the judge's habit and retinue, and never 
bethink themselves how to answer their indictment, that they may 
escape condemnation. London's flames should put us in mind of 
Christ's coming in flames of fire ; and the burning of London should 
put us in mind of the burning of the world, when Christ shall come 
to judge the sons of men according to their works ; and the terror and 
dread of that fire, and men's endeavours to escape it, should put us 
upon all those holy ways and means whereb}^ we may escape the fury 
of those dreadful flames that shall never be quenched ; and the houses 
and estates that were consumed by the devouring fire in London 
streets should put us upon securing ' a house not made with hands,' 
but one ' eternal in the heavens,' and upon securing ' durable riches,' 
and ' an inheritance that fadeth not away,' and upon ' laying up for 
ourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust, nor thieves,' 
and let me add, nor flames, ' can break through, corrupt, or steal, or 
burn,' 2 Cor. v. 1, 2; Prov. viii. 18; 1 Pet. i. 4; Mat. vi. 19-21. 
' Holinshed's Chronicle. ^ Holcot. in lib. Sap. [H83, folio.— G.] 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25. J THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 35 

The more general any judgment is, the more it should put us in mind 
of the general day of judgment. Now the burning of London was a 
general judgment, a judgment that reaches from one end of the land 
to another, as I shall more fully evidence before I close up this dis- 
course ; and therefore it should remind us of , the universal conflagra- 
tion of the whole world and the works thereof. And thus you see the 
ends that God has in respect of the wicked in inflicting great and 
sore judgments upon persons, cities, and countries. 

Quest. But pray, sir, what are those high and holy ends, in respect 
of the people of God, that God aims at by his inflicting of great and 
sore judgments upon persons, cities, and countries ? I suppose they 
are such as follow: 

Ans. (1.) First, To hring about those special favours and mercies 
that God intends tliem. By the dreadful judgments that God inflicted 
upon Pharaoh, and upon his people, and upon his country, God 
brought about the freedom and liberty of his people to worship him 
according to his own prescriptions. The great difference and contest 
between God and Pharaoh was, who should have their wills. God 
would have his people to worship him according to his own mind ; 
but Pharaoh was resolved to venture his all before they should have 
their freedom and liberty to serve their God. Upon this God follows 
him with plague upon plague, and never leaves spending of his plagues 
upon him till he had overthrown him, and through his ruin brought 
about the freedom and liberty of his poor peopla^ The Babylonians 
were cruel enemies to God's poor Israel, and kept them in bondage, 
yea, in a fiery furnace, seventy years. At last God stirs up the spirit of 
Cyrus, for his church's sake, and he, by fire,' and sword, lays Babylon 
waste, and takes them captive who had held his people in a long 
captivity, Jer. xi. 4, and Dan, ix. 12. Now he, by breaking the 
Babylonians in pieces like a potter's vessel, brought about, as an 
instrument in the hand of God, the freedom and liberty of God's poor 
people, as you may see by comparing that xlvth of Isa. 1-6, with that 
1st chapter of Ezra. God stirs up the spirit of Cyrus to put forth a 
proclamation for liberty for the Jews to go to their own land, and to 
build the house of the Lord God of Israel ; and then he graciously 
stirs up the spirits of the people wisely and soberly to improve the 
liberty he had proclaimed.2 Jer. xlix. 1, ' Concerning the Ammonites, 
thus saith the Lord, Hath Israel no sons ? hath he no heir? why then 
doth their king inherit Gad, and his people dwell in his cities?' 
When the ten tribes were carried away captive, the Ammonites who 
dwelt near the tribe of Gad intruded into it and the cities of it ; but 
mark what God saith in ver. 2, ' Therefore, behold, the days come, 
saith the Lord, that I will cause an alarm of war to be heard in 
Kabbah of the Ammonites [that was their chief city] ; and it shall be 
a desolate heap, and her daughters [that is, lesser towns] shall be 
burnt with fire : then shall Israel be heir unto them that were his 
heirs, saith the Lord.' ^ God, by fire and sword, would lay desolate 
the chief city of the Ammonites, and her towns and villages that did 

^ Exod. V. 1, 2, vii. 16, viii. 8, 20, 25, 27, 29, ix. 1, 13, x. 3, 7, 8, 11, 24, xii. 31. 
^ Turn to Obadiah, and read from ver. 11 to the end of the chapter. 
^ Here was Lex talionis observed ; they that invaded the inheritance of others had 
their own invaded by them. 



36 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 21, 25. 

belong to her : and by these dreadful dispensations he would make 
way for his people, not only to possess their own land, but the Am- 
monites' also ; and I will leave the prudent reader to make the appli- 
cation. We have been under greater and dreadfuUer judgments than 
ever this poor nation hath groaned under in former times ; and who 
can tell but that the Lord by these amazing judgments may bring 
about greater and better mercies and blessings than any yet we do 
enjoy? The Eabbins say of civil liberty, that if the heavens were 
parchment, the sea ink, and every pile of grass a pen, the praises of it 
could not be comprised nor expressed. May we not say more of a holy 
liberty ? Liberty to serve and worship the Lord according to his own 
prescriptions and directions laid down in his blessed word, by which 
all worship and worshippers must be tried at last, is a pearl of price 
that none can sufficiently value. Justinus the second emperor's motto 
was, Libertas res incestimabilis, Liberty is un valuable. The Lord give 
his people holy, wise, prudent, sober, humble, and understanding hearts, 
that they may know both how to prize and how to improve those 
liberties and mercies that he has handed to them through terrible 
dispensations ! But, 

(2.) Secondly, God inflicts great trials and sore judgments upon per- 
sons and places, tJiat he may awaken his own people out of that deep 
seciLrity that oftentimes seizeth upon them : Ps. xxx. 5-9 ; Mat. xxv. 5 ; 
2 Sam. ii. 7, 15, and xxiv. 15-17 ; 2 Kings xiv, 25 ; Mat. xii. 40 ; 
Jonah i. 1-3. What deep security had seized upon David, so that 
God was forced to make use of the bloody sword and of the sweeping 
pestilence to awaken him ! Jonah was a prophet, he was a servant of 
the Lord, he was a type of Christ, he was a good man. His name 
Jonah signifies a dove, though he had but little of the dove in him, 
being as passionate a man of an honest man as you have lightly! heard 
of, saith Luther. Now Jonah having contracted guilt upon his con- 
science by acting quite contrary to God's royal call, what a desperate, 
senseless stupidity and security had seized upon him ! what a spiritual 
lethargy was poor Jonah in ! not much unlike that of the smith's dog, 
whom neither the hammers above him, nor the sparks of fire falling 
round about him, can awake. Jonah was not in a slumber, but in a 
sound, heavy, deep, and dead sleep ; and what a wonder, what a pro- 
digy was here, that in all this stir and tumult and danger, the winds 
whistling and roaring, the sea working, raging, swelling, frothing, 
foaming, and boiling like a pot, the waves mounting up to heaven and 
sinking down again to hell, as the psalmist speaks, the ship tumbling 
and tossing like a tennis-ball, the mariners, as stout fellows as they 
were, surprised with fear, and running up and down like men at their 
wits' end, like men that could not look pale death in the face with 
blood in their cheeks, that yet Jonah should sleep, and be as secure in 
that dreadful danger as if he had been in his own house sleeping on a 
bed of down ! Oh the desperate security that may seize upon the best 
of saints ! But this security God will cure in his Jonahs by some 
smart trial, or by some heavy judgment or other. The lethargy is best 
cured by a burning ague. Absalom sends once or twice to Joab to 
J That is, ' likely.'— G. 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 37 

come and speak with him ; but when he saw that Joab would not come, 
he commands his corn-fields to be set on fire, and this awakens him, 
and fetches him with a witness, 2 Sam. xiv. 30. So Grod, by fiery afflic- 
tions, and by burning up our comforts round about us, awakens us, 
and brings us to himself with a witness. When iron grows rusty, we 
put it into the fire to purify it ; and so when the people of God grow 
rusty and secure, then the Lord brings them under fiery trials to awaken 
them, and to purify them. If Nero was so angry with Vespasian 
because he slept at his music, how much more may the Lord be angry 
with all such as sleep and are secure under the most amazing and 
awakening judgments ? But my hope and prayer is, that the Lord 
has, and will more and more graciously and effectually awaken all the 
wise slumbering \drgins upon whom this fiery dispensation has passed. 
And therefore, 

(3.) Thirdly, In respect of his people's sins, God has several special 
ends that he aims at by all the fiery trials and smart providences that 
he exercises them and others with. As, 

[1.] First, God by these means designs a further and a fuller dis- 
covery of their sins. In standing watei-s you cannot see the mud that 
lies at the bottom of the pool or pond ; but when once the water is 
drawn away, then it appears, Deut. viii. 2. In times of prosperity 
there is a great deal of mud, a great deal af atheism, unbelief, dis- 
content, murmuring, impatience, passion, pride, &c., that lies at the bot- 
tom of men s hearts undiscovered. Oh, but when God shall once empty 
them of their estates, and burn up all their outward comforts, and set 
them with Job upon the dunghill, then the mud appears, then a whole 
army of lusts discover themselves, as we see in many this day, whom 
you shall rarely find without tears in their eyes, sighs in their hearts, 
and complaints in their mouths. Severe providences are pills made 
purposely to clear the eyesight : 1 Kings xvii. 18, ' And she said unto 
Elijah, What have I to do with thee, thou man of God ? art thou 
come unto me to call my sin to remembrance, and to slay my son ?' 
If God had not taken away her son, her sin had not been brought to 
remembrance. sirs ! if God by this late dreadful fire had not taken 
away your houses, your goods, your estates, your trades, many of your 
sins had not been brought to your remembrance, though now you have 
lost most or all. You may say with the psalmist, ' My sins are ever 
before me,' Ps. li. 3. My pride is ever before me, my unbelief is ever 
before me, my frowardness is ever before me, my murmuring is ever 
before me, my discontent is ever before me, and my impatience is 
ever before me, &c.^ Good men never come to know how bad they are, 
till they come to be exercised with severe providences and smart trials. 
It was the speech of a holy man in a great sickness. In this disease I 
have learned how great God is, and what the evil of sin is ; I never 
knew to purpose what God was before, nor what sin was before. 
Afflictions are a Christian's glass, in which they may run and read the 
greatness of God and the vileness of sin. But, 

[2.] Secondly, By severe providences and fiery trials God designs 
the preventing of sin. Paul was one of the holiest men on earth, 

1 Turn to the scriptures, Gen. xlii. 21 ; Jonah iv. 8, 9 ; Jer. ix. 7, seq. 



38 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

called by some an earthly angel, and yet he needed a thorn in the 
flesh to prevent pride : 2 Cor. xii. 7, ' And lest I should be exalted 
above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was 
given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buff'et me, 
lest I should be exalted above measure.' Paul was in very great 
danger of being exalted above measure. Witness the doubling of 
those words in one verse, ' Lest I should be exalted, lest I should be 
exalted.' Prudent physicians sometimes give physic to prevent 
diseases ; and so does the Physician of souls, as you may see by 
comparing the scriptures in the margin together.! The burnt child 
dreads the fire. Sin is but a bitter sweet, it is an evil worse than 
hell itself. Salt brine preserves from putrefaction, and salt marshes 
keep the sheep from rotting ; and so sharp trials, severe providences 
preserve the saints from spiritual putrefying, and from spiritual 
rotting. The Rabbins, to keep their scholars from sin, were wont to 
tell them that sin made God's head ache ; and saints under fiery trials 
do find by experience that sin makes not only their heads, but also 
their hearts ache ; and by this means Grod i3reserves his people 
from many sins which otherwise they would certainly fall into. Be- 
loved, God by his fiery dispensations has destroyed many or most of 
your outward comforts ; but little do you know the horrible sins that 
by this means the Lord has preserved you from. A full estate lays 
men most open to the greatest sins, the worst of snares, and the 
deadliest temptations. The best of men have fallen foulest under 
their highest worldly enjoyments. Witness David, Solomon, Heze- 
kiah, &c. Under your outward fulness, how low was your communion 
with God ! how languishing were your graces ! how lean were your 
souls ! and how was your spring of inward comforts dried up ! How 
little had God of your thoughts, your hearts, your time, your 
strength! sirs! how bad would you have been by this time if 
God had not removed those things that were but fuel to your lusts, 
and quench-coals to your grace ! Well, often think of this : it is a 
greater mercy to be preserved from sin, yea, from the least sin, than 
it is to enjoy the whole world. But, 

[3.] Thirdly, By severe providences and by fiery trials God designs 
the imbittering of sin to his peoph. When God shall come and burn 
up men's comforts round about them, then they will cry out. Ah ! 
what a bitter thing is sin ! That puts God upon burning work ! 
Then they will speak that language to their own souls that the 
prophet once spake to the Jews : Jer. ii. 15, ' They made his land 
waste : his cities are burnt with fire.' Ver. 17, ' Hast thou not pro- 
cured these things to thyself?' Ver. 19, ' Thine own wickedness 
shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee : know 
therefore and see, that it is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast 
forsaken the Lord thy God, and that my fear is not in thee, saith the 
Lord God of hosts.' So chap. iv. 18, ' Thy way and thy doings have 
procured these things unto thee : this is thy wickedness, because it is 
bitter, because it.reacheth unto thy heart.' Yea, now they will say that 
sin is bitterness in the abstract, and in the plural number also, accord- 
ing to that of the prophet Hosea, chap. xii. 14, ' Ephraim provoked 

1 Job xxxiii. 19, 17, xxxiv. 31, 32, and xl. 4, 5 ; Hosea ii. 6, 7. 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 39 

liim to anger most bitterly,' or ' with bitternesses,' as the Hebrew has 
it. Kelations and friends may tell us that sin is a bitter thing, and 
conscience may tell us that sin is a bitter thing, and good books may 
tell us that sin is a bitter thing, and men under terrors and horrors of 
spirit may tell us that sin is a bitter thing, and the sore and heavy 
judgments of God upon others may tell us that sin is a bitter thing, 
and the Spirit by his secret whispers may tell us that sin is a bitter 
thing, and ministers may tell us that sin is a bitter thing ; they may 
tell you that it is bitter to God, it being the only thing in all the 
world that he has revealed his wrath from heaven against, and that, is 
contrary to the nature of God, the law of God, the being of God, the 
glory of God, and the grand designs of God. They may tell you that 
it is bitter to Christ. Witness his crying out in the bitterness of his 
soul, * My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me ?' and witness 
the sorrows and heaviness of his soul, and his sweating clods i of blood. 
When he hung upon the cross they -gave him gall and vinegar to 
drink ; but no gall was so bitter to him as your sins. They may tell 
you that sin is bitter to the Spirit of God ; for nothing grieves him 
and provokes him and vexes jiim but sin,. Gen. vi. 3,^ and Eph. iv. 29. 
They may tell you that sin is bitter to the good angels. Every sin 
that you commit is as a dagger at their hearts : there is nothing in 
all the world so bitter to them as to see their Lord and Master daily, 
yea, hourly, crucified by sinners' sins. They may • tell you that sin 
is bitter to the evil angels, it being the only thing for which they 
were banished the court of heaven ^ and turned down to the lowest 
hell, where they are kept in chains of darkness to the judgment of the 
great day, Jude 6. They may tell you that sin is bitter to the worst 
of men ; witness Adam's hiding of himself, and Judas his hanging of 
himself, and Cain's crying out, ' My burden is greater than I am able 
to bear,' Gen. iii. 10 ; Mat. xxvii. ; Gen. iv. 13. They may tell you 
that it is bitter to the creatures who ' groan under their burdens, and 
who long to be delivered from that bondage that the sin of man hath 
subjected them to,' Kom. viii. 20-22 ; and yet for all this we will not" 
feelingly, affectionately, experimentally say that sin is bitter, till God 
comes and burns us up : Lam. iv. 11, ' And gives us gall and worm- 
wood to drink.' Chap. iii. 19, 20, ' Remembering mine affliction and 
my misery, the wormwood and the gall. My soul hath them still in 
remembrance, and is humbled in me.' sirs^ how bitter should sin 
be to you, who have seen London all in flames I Certainly God, by 
burning up your sweet, pleasant, and delightful things, would teach 
you to taste a greater bitterness in sin than ever. O happy fire, that 
shall render God and Christ, and heaven, and promises, and ordinances 
more sweet, and sin more bitter to poor sinners' souls ! Doubtless, one 
of God's great designs by this late judgment of fire is to imbitter sin 
to all sorts of men. When judgments imbitter our sins to us, then 
they work kindly, powerfully, effectually, and then we may conclude 
that there was a hand of love in those judgments, and then we shall 
justify the Lord, and say with the church. Lam. i. 18, ' The Lord is 
righteous ; for I have rebelled against him : ' or as the Hebrew runs, 
' because I have imbittered him,' he is righteous in all the sore judg- 

1 Query, 'clots'?— G. 



40 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

ments that he hath inflicted upon me; for I have imbittered him 
against me by my most bitter sins. But, 

[4.] Fourthly, By severe providences and fiery trials, God designs 
the mortifying and purging aivay of his people s sins : Isa. i. 25, ' And 
I will turn my hand upon thee,' [to wit, to correct or chastise thee,] 
' and purely purge away thy dross,' [or drosses,] ' and take away all thy 
tin,' or tins in the plural number. Some by dross understand gross 
iniquity ; and by tin, glittering hypocrisy. For as tin is very like unto 
silver, so is hypocrisy very like unto piety. Others by dross under- 
stand persons that are openly profane ; and by tin, such as are inwardly 
unsound. The words are a metaphor taken from them that try metals 
in the fire, purging from precious silver all dross and tin, Isa. xxxi. 9.1 
The Jews, who were once silver, were now turned into dross and tin ; 
but God by fiery trials would burn up their dross and tin, their enor- 
mities and wickednesses, and make them as shining Christians in 
grace and holiness as ever they were. So Isa. xxvii. 9, ' By this there- 
fore shall the iniquity of Jacob be purged ; and this is all the fruit, 
to take away his sin.' God by the Babylonish captivity would as by 
' fii'e purge away the iniquity of Jacob ; and to shew the certainty of it, 
he instanceth in their darling sin — viz., 'idolatry. When he maketh 
all the stones of the altar as chalk-stones that are beaten in sunder, the 
groves and the images shall not stand up. Idolatry was the great sin 
for which God sent them into captivity. Now how they were purged 
from this sin after their return out of captivity, appears by their his- 
tory. Take one instance for all : Pilate being [appointed] by Tiberius 
to be governor over the Jews, caused in the night-time the statue of 
Caesar to be brought into Jerusalem covered, which thing within three 
days after caused a great tumult among the Jews ; for they who be- 
held it were astonished and moved as though now the law of their 
country were profaned, for they hold it not lawful for any picture or 
image to be brought into the city. At their lamentation who were in 
the city, there was gathered together a great multitude out of the fields 
■ adjoining, and they went presently to Pilate, then at Csesarea, beseech- 
ing him earnestly that the images might be taken away out of Jeru- 
salem, and that the laws of their country might remain in violated. 2 
When Pilate denied their suit, they prostrated themselves before his 
house, and there remained lying upon their faces for five days and 
nights, never moving. Afterwards Pilate, sitting in his tribunal-seat, 
was very careful to call all the Jews together before him, as though 
there he would have given them an answer, when upon the sudden a 
company of armed soldiers, for so it was provided, compassed the Jews 
about with a triple rank. The Jews were hereat amazed, seeing that 
which they expected not. Then Pilate told them, that except they 
would receive the images of Cfesar, he would kill them all, and to 
that end made a sign to the soldiers to draw their swords. The Jews, as 
though they had agreed thereto, fell all down at once, and offered their 
necks to the stroke of the sword, crying out that they would rather 
lose their lives than suffer their religion to be profaned. Then Pilate, 

^ Dan. xi. 35; Mai, iii. 1-3. God's fire is in Zion, and his furnace in Jerusalem. 
' Josephus, p. 617. The Jews hated and feared idolatry as much as the burnt child 
dreads the fire. [Josephus, sub voce. — G.] 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 41 

admiring the constancy of the people in their religion, presently com- 
manded the statues to be taken out of. the city of Jerusalem. All the 
hurt the fire did the three children, ol* rather champions, was to burn 
off their cords, Dan. iii. 23, 24. Our lusts are cords of vanity, but by 
fiery trials God will burn them up : Zech. xiii. 9, ' And I will bring 
the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is re- 
fined, and will try them as gold is tried.' The best of men are but 
men at the best ; they have much corruption and dross in them, and 
they need refining ; and therefore God by fiery trials will refine them, 
but not as dross or chaff which are burnt up in the fire, but as silver 
and gold which are purified in the fire. He will so refine them as 
that they shall leave their dregs and dross behind them. Look, what 
the fire is to the gold, the file to the iron, the fan to the wheaf, the 
soap to the clothes, the salt to the flesh, that shall fiery trials be to 
the saints. But what shall be the fruit of their refining? Ans. 
' They shall call on my name, and I will hear them. I will say, It is 
my people, and they shall say. The Lord is my God.' By fiery trials 
God will purge out our dross and make virtue shine. All the fiery 
trials that befall the saints shall be as a potion to carry away ill 
humours, and as cold frosts to destroy the vermin, and as a tempestu- 
ous sea to purge the wine from its lees, and as the north wind that 
drieth up the vapours, that purges the blood, and that quickens the 
spirits, and as a sharp corrosive to eat out the dead flesh. The great 
thing that should be most in every burnt citizen s eye and heart 
and prayers and desires is, that the fire of London may be so sanctified 
as to issue in the burning up of their lusts, and in the purging away 
of the filth of the daughter of Zion, Tsa. iv. 4. Jerome reports of 
Plato, how he left that famous city of Athens, and chose to live in a 
little ancient village almost overturned with tempests and earthquakes, 
that, being often minded therein of his approaching desolation,^ he 
might get more power over his strong lusts, and learn to live a more 
virtuous life than ever he had lived before.2 sirs ! if God by this 
fiery dispensation shall make you more victorious over your strong 
lusts, and help you to live more virtuous lives, you will have 
cause to bless him all your days, though he has turned you out of 
house and home, and burnt up all your comforts round about you. 
But, 

(4.) Fourthly, By severe providences and fiery trials, God designs 
these four things, in respect of his children's graces : 

[1.] First, He designs the reviving, quickening, and recovering of 
their decayed graces. By fiery trials he will inflame that love that 
Was even key-cold, and raise that faith that was fallen asleep, and 
quicken up those hopes that were languishing, and put life and spirits 
into those joys and comforts that were withering and dying, Kev. ii. 4 ; 
James i. 2-12 ; 2 Cor. xii. 10. God, under fiery trials, lets his poor 
children see how that by their spiritual decays he has been dishonoured, 
his Spirit grieved, religion shamed, the mouths of the wicked opened, 
weak saints staggered, strong saints troubled, conscience wounded, 
and their souls and graces impaired ; and by these discoveries he 
engages them to the use of all those holy and heavenly helps, whereby 

^ Query, ' dissolution'?- Ed. ^ Hieronym. contra Jovinian, lib. ii. 



42 LONDON'S LAMENTATIONS ON fiSA. XLII. 24, 25. 

their decayed graces may be revived and recovered. Many creatures 
that have been frozen, and even dead with cold, have been revived 
and recovered by being brought to the fire. God by fiery trials will 
unfreeze the frozen graces of his people, and put new life and spirits 
into them. As the air is sometimes clear, and sometimes cloudy ; 
and as the sea is sometimes ebbing, and sometimes flowing ; and as 
the trees of the field are sometimes flowering, green, and growing, and 
sometimes naked, withered, and as it were even dead : so it is some- 
times with the graces of the saints ; but the Lord by one fiery trial or 
another will revive, and recover, and raise their graces again. Epi- 
phanius makes mention of those that travel by the deserts of Syria, 
where are nothing but miserable marshes and sands, destitute of all 
commodities, nothing to be had for love or money. Now if it so 
happen that their fire go out by the way, then they light it again at 
the heat of the sun, by the means of a burning-glass ^ : and thus if the 
fire of zeal, if the sparks of divine grace, by the pre valency of some 
strong corruption, or by the violence of some dreadful temptation, 
should be put out, or die as to its lively operations, by a burning-glass, 
or by one fiery dispensation or another, God will inflame the zeal, and 
enliven the dying graces of his poor people. I know the saving graces 
of the Spirit— viz., such as faith ^ love, hope, &c. — cannot be finally 
and totally extinguished in the souls, when they are once wrought 
there by the Spirit; yet their lustre, their radiancy, their activity, 
their shine and flame may be clouded and covered, whilst the season 
of temptation lasteth ; as living coals may be so covered with ashes, 
that neither lights nor smoke, nor heat may appear, and yet when the 
embers, the ashes, are stirred to the bottom, then live coals appear, 
and by a little blowing a flame breaks forth. 2 There are several 
cases wherein grace in a Christian s breast may seem to be hid, cold, 
dead, and covered over •, as sap in the winter is hid in the roots of 
trees, or as flowers and fruits are hid in the seeds, or roots in the 
earth, or as sparks of fire are hid in the ashes, or as bits of gold are 
hid in a dust heap, or as pearls may be hid in the mire. Ay, but 
God by one severe providence or another, by one fiery trial or another, 
will blow that heavenly grace, that divine fire, into a perfect flame : 
he will cause their hid graces to revive as the corn, and grow as the 
vine, and blossom as the lily, and smell as the wine of Lebanon, 
Hosea xiv. 5-7. sirs I how many Christians were there amongst us, 
who were much decayed and withered in their graces, in their duties, 
in their converses, in their comforts, in their spiritual enjoyments, in 
their communions with God, and with one another ; and yet were not 
sensible of their decays, nor humbled under their decays, nor indus- 
trious to recover themselves out of their withering and dying condition ! 
and therefore no wonder if the Lord, to recover them and raise them, 
hath brought fiery trials upon them. 3 But, 

[2.] Secondly, God, by severe providences and by fiery trials, designs 
a further exercise of his children's graces. Sleepy habits bring him 
no glory, nor do us no good. All the honour he has, and all the 

1 Lib. de Anchorat. ^ j j^jj^ iii, 9, n ; Heb. viii ; 1 Pet. i. 5 ; John x. 28-31. 

2 As a man may take infection, or get some inward bruise, or spring a vein, and yet 
not know of it. 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 43 

advantage we have in this world, is from the active part of grace. 
Consult the scriptures in the margin, i There is little difference — as 
to the comfort and sweet of grace — between grace out of exercise, and 
no grace at all. A man that has millions, but has no heart to use 
what he has, wherein is he better, as to the comfort and sweetness of 
his life, than a man that hath but a few mites in the world ? Eccles. 
vi. 1-4. ' How is it that you have no faith ? ' saith Christ to his dis- 
ciples, when they were in a dreadful storm, and in danger of drown- 
ing, and so stood in most need of their faith, yet they had then their 
faith to seek. They had faith in the habit but not in the exercise, and 
therefore Clirist looks upon their faith as no faith, Mark iv. 40. How 
is it that you have no faith ? what is the sheath without the knife ? 
the scabbard without the sword ? the musket without the match ? the 
cannon without the bullet ? the granado without powder ? no more are 
all your graces when not in exercise. The strongest creature, the 
lion, and the subtlest creature, the serpent, if they are dormant, are 
as easily surprised and destroyed as the weakest worm ; so the 
strongest saints, if grace be not in exercise, are as easily surprised and 
captivated by sin, Satan, and the world, as the weakest saints are. 
sirs ! if Christians will not stir up the grace of God that is in them, 
if they will not look to the daily exercise of grace, God, by some severe 
providence or other, by some fiery dispensation or other, will stir 
up their graces for them, Jonah i. 6. Ah sluggish, slumbering Chris- 
tians, who are careless as to the exercise of your graces, how sadly, 
how sorely do you provoke the Lord to let Satan loose to tempt you, 
and corruptions grow strong to weary you, and the world grow cross 
to vex you, and friends turn enemies to plague you, and the Spirit 
withdraw to discomfit you, Lam. i. 16, and fiery trials to break in 
to awaken you ! And all this to bring you to live in a daily exercise 
of grace. God was fain to be a moth, a worm, a lion, yea, a young 
lion to Ephraim and Judah, before he could bring them up to an exer- 
cise of grace, Hosea v. 12-14 ; but when he was all this to them, then 
they fall roundly upon a lively exercise of grace. Hosea vi. 1-3, 
' Come, let us return unto the Lord : for he hath torn, and he will 
heal us ; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days he 
will revive us : in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live 
in his sight. Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord : 
his going forth is prepared as the morning ; and he shall come unto 
us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.' Here 
you see their faith, their repentance, their love, their hope, all in exer- 
cise. When a soldier s courage, mettle, and gallantry, lies as it were 
hid, his captain will put him upon such hardships, hazards, and 
dangers, as shall rouse up his courage, mettle, and gallantry ; if a 
scholar has excellent acquired parts and abilities, and will not use 
them nor improve them, his master will put him upon such tasks 
as shall draw out all his parts and abilities to the height : so when the 
Lord has laid into the souls of his people a stock of grace, and they 
grow idle and careless, and will not improve that stock for his glory 
and their own good, he will then exercise them with such severe pro- 

^ Job XV. 3 ; 2 Chron. xx. 12, 13 ; James i. 4, and v. 11 ; Hab. ii. 3, 4 ; Micali vii. 
7-9 ; Rev. xiii. 10 compared with chap. xiv. 12. 



44 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

vidences and fiery trials, as shall put them to a full improvement 
of that blessed stock of grace that he has intrusted them with. The 
fire that came from heaven was to be kept continually burning that it 
might never go out, Lev. vi. 13. God loves to see the graces of his 
children in continual exercise. Neglect of our graces is the ground of 
their decrease and decay. Wells are the sweeter for drawing, and 
grace is the stronger for acting ; we get nothing by dead and useless 
habits. Talents hid in a napkin gather rust ; the noblest faculties 
are imbased when not improved in exercise : 2 Tim. i. 6, ' Stir up 
the gift of God which is in thee.' It is an allusion to the fire in the 
temple, which was always to be kept burning. All the praise that God 
has from us in this life is from the actings of grace. It was Abraham's 
acting of faith that set the crown of glory upon the Lord's head. 
sirs ! look narrowly to it, that you fail not in the activity and 
lively vigour of your graces. Look to it that your graces be still 
acted, exercised, and blown up, that so they may be still flaming and 
shining. The more you exercise grace, the more you strengthen it, 
the more you increase it. Kepeated acts strengthen habits ; it is 
so in sin, and it is so in grace also. The more the little child goes, the 
more strong it grows by going. The more a man plays upon an 
instrument, the more dexterous he grows. Money is not increased 
by lying in a chest, but by trading. Mat. xxv. 27. The more any 
member is used, the stronger it is. As the right hand is most used, so 
it is commonly strongest. ' The diligent hand makes rich,' Prov. 
X. 4. A little stock well husbanded will daily increase, when a greater 
stock neglected shall decay and come to nothing. The exercise of 
grace will best testify both the truth and the life of your graces. Grace 
is never more evident than when it is in exercise. When I see a man 
rise, and walk, and work, and exercise his arms, I know he is a real 
man, a living man. The more the fire is blown up the sooner it 
is seen to be fire. There are many precious Christians, who are full of 
fears and doubts that they have no love to God, no faith in God, 
no hope of glory, &c., but the best way under heaven to put an end to 
these fears and doubts is to be fervent in exerting acts of love, of faith, 
of hope, &c. The non-exercise of grace cast Adam out of paradise ; 
it shut Moses and Aaron out of Canaan, Num. xx. 12 ; it brought 
Jacob into fourteen years' hard service and bondage ; for had he exer- 
cised faith, hope, patience, &c., as he should have done, he would 
never have got the blessing by indirect means as he did ; it provoked 
the Lord to strike Zacharias dumb, Luke i. 18-20 ; it shut thousands 
of the Jews out of the land of Canaan, Heb. iii. 17, 18. I dare 
not be so harsh, so rash, and so uncharitable, as to think that none of 
those that died in the wilderness had the habits of faith, the seeds 
of grace in their souls ; but it was their non-acting of faith that kept 
them out of the Holy Land, as it did Moses and Aaron, according 
to what I hinted but now. Beloved, by these instances, among many 
others that might be produced, you see that God hath dealt very 
smartly and severely with his choicest servants for their not exercising 
of their graces as they ought to have done. And though I dare 
not, upon many accounts, say that for the saints' not exercising and 
improving their graces, God has turned London into a heap of ashes ; 



IsA. XLIL 24, 25.] th£: late fiery dispensation. 45^ 

yet I dare say that this neglect of theirs may be one thing that added 
fuel to that fire.i Well, sirs, you had not long since many outward 
comforts to live upon, but the Lord has now burnt them up, that 
so he might lead you forth to live in a daily exercise of grace upoa 
himself, upon his power, upon his all-sufficiency, his goodness, his 
faithfulness, his fulness, his graciousness, his unchangeableness, his 
promises. And if this fiery dispensation shall be so sanctified to us 
as to work us to a further activity of grace, and to a further growth 
and increase of grace, we shall be happy citizens though we are burnt 
citizens. But, 

[3.] Thirdly, By severe providences and by fiery trials God designs 
the growth of his people in grace. Usually the graces of the saints 
thrive best when they are under a smarting rod, Grace usually is in 
the greatest flourish when the saints are under the sorest trials, Kom. 
V. 3, 4 ; 2 Cor. i. 3-6. The snuffling of the candle makes it burn 
the brighter. God beats and bruises his links 2 to make them burn 
the brighter ; he bruises his spices . to make them send forth the 
greater aromatical savour. Fiery trials are like the tazel, which, 
though it be sharp and scratching, it is to make the cloth more pure 
and fine. God would not rub so hard, were it not to fetch out the 
dirt and spots that be in his people. The Jews were always best 
when they were in their lowest condition. Well-waters arising from 
deep springs are hotter in the winter than they are in the summer. 
Stars shine brightest in the darkest nights ; and so do the graces of 
the saints shine brightest in the darkest nights of afiliction and tribu- 
lation. God will sometimes more carry on the growth of grace by a 
cross than by an ordinance ; yea, the Lord will, first or last, more or 
less, turn all fiery trials into ordinances for the helping on the growth 
of grace in his people's souls, Heb. xiL 10; James i. 3, 4; 1 Pet. i. 6, 7. 
Look, as in the lopping of a tree, there seems to be a kind of diminution 
and destruction ; yet the end and issue of it is better growth : and as 
the weakening of the body by physic seems to tend to death, yet it 
produceth better health and more strength : and as the ball by falling 
downward riseth upward, and as water in pipes descends that it may 
ascend : so the saints' spiritual growth in grace is carried on by such 
divine methods and in such ways as might seem to deaden grace, and 
weaken it, rather than anywise to augment and increase it. We 
know that winter is as necessary to bring on harvest as the spring ; 
and so fiery trials are as necessary to bring on the harvest of grace as 
the spring of mercy is. Though fiery trials are grievous, yet they 
shall make us more gracious. Though for the present we cannot see 
but that such and such severe providences and fiery trials as the loss 
of house, estate, trade, friends, will redound much to our prejudice 
and damage, yet in the issue we shall find that God will turn them to 
the internal and eternal advantage of our precious souls, Heb. xii. 11. 
We may in a pang of passion say, as Jacob, ' Joseph is not, and Simeon 
is not !' Gen. xlii. 36.^ 'All these are against me' — children are not. 

^ Austin writ upon that day wherein he shewed no acts of grace, Diem perdidi, I have 
lost a day. Oh how many days have we lost then for which God might justly visit us ! 

2 ' Torches.'— G. 

^ But yet as old as Jacob was, he lived to see all those things work for his good, Avhich 
he concluded were against him. 



46 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

honours are not, riches are not, habitations are not, credit is not. All 
these are against us ; but in the close we shall find that promise made 
good in power upon us, Kom. viii. 28, ' We know that all things 
shall work together for good to them that love God, to them that are 
called according to his purpose.' sirs ! all the power of heaven 
stands engaged to make good this promise to you ; and if you would 
but live in the daily actings of faith upon this blessed promise, you 
would then be able to bear up bravely under all the troubles and trials, 
crosses and losses that you meet with in this world ; and you would 
then experience the truth of Samson's riddle — ' Out of the eater came 
meat, and out of the strong sweetness,' Judges xiv. 14. What Paul 
said of his fiery trials, viz., ' I know that this shall turn to my salva- 
tion,' Phil i. 19, that may you safely say of all your fiery trials : We 
know that they shall work for our good, we know that they shall turn 
to our salvation. Though wicked instruments might design our de- 
struction, yet the wise God that sits at the helm will turn all into our 
salvation. Those severe providences which for the present may seem 
very prejudicial, in the issue shall prove very beneficial. Joseph's 
brethren threw him into a pit, afterwards they sell him, then he is 
falsely accused, and as unjustly cast into prison and laid in cold iron, 
Ps. cv. 17, 18 : yet all this issued in his good; his abasement made 
way for his advancement; for his thirteen years' imprisonment he 
reigned fourscore years like a king. Gen. 1. 20, and xli. 40. David, you 
know, had seven years' banishment, yet it ended in a glorious reign of 
forty years' continuance. Job lost all that ever he had in one day ; 
he was a man under great calamity, he was a spectacle of the highest 
misery, he abounded only in boils, and sores, and rags ; but all this 
issued in the trial of his grace, in the discovery of his grace, and in 
the improvement of his grace, and in the close God did compensate 
his very great losses by giving him twice as much as ever he had 
before. Job xlii. 10. Dear friends, that by all severe providences and 
fiery trials God will turn your spark of grace into a flame, your mites 
into millions, and your drops into seas, is, and shall be the hearty 
desire of my soul. sirs ! if Christ be even ravished with one of his 
spouse's eyes, and with one chain of her neck, Cant. iv. 9, with the 
least grains and drachms of true grace, how will he be taken with 
abundance of grace ! how will he be ravished with the flourishing 
estate of your souls in grace ! Well, remember this, the more under 
all your fiery trials grace is increased, the more God is honoured, 
religion adorned, the mouths of the wicked stopped, the hands and 
hearts of weak saints strengthened and encouraged, the smarting rod 
sweetened, and threatened judgments prevented. Oh that those two 
prophecies might be made good in power upon all the burnt citizens 
of London ! That Isa. xxxii. 15, ' Until the Spirit be poured upon us 
from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field : ' and that Isa. 
XXXV. 1,2,' The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for 
them ; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. It shall 
blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing : the glory 
of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and 
Sharon; they shall see the glory of the Lord, and the excellency 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 47 

of our God.' ^ Thrice happy will the burnt citizens of London be, if 
under all their crosses and losses they grow into a more deep acquaint- 
ance with God, the world, and their own hearts ; with God and 
his holiness, with the world and its vanity, mutability, impotency, and 
uncertainty ; and with their own hearts, and the deceitfulness, vile- 
ness, baseness, and wretchedness of them. If under fiery dispensations 
we grow more holy than ever, and more humble than ever, and more 
heavenly than ever, and more meek and lowly than ever, and more 
tender and compassionate than ever, and more faithful and fruitful 
than ever, and more patient and contented than ev^er, then we may be 
confident that the grand design of God in bringing all that evil that 
he has brought upon us was his glory and our own internal and 
eternal good, and accordingly we may rejoice in the Lord, though we 
have nothing else to rejoice in, Hab. iii. 17, 18. But, 

[4.] Fourthly and lastly. By severe providences and by fiery trials, 
God doth design the trial of Ids people s graces, and the discovery of 
their sincerity and integrity to the luorld, 1 Pet. i. 6, 7 ; Rev. iii. 18. 
Deut. viii. 2, ' And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord 
thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, 
and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou 
wouldest keep his commandments, or no.' God knew them well 
enough before, without any experimental trial of them ; but that he 
might the better make a discovery of themselves to themselves and to 
others, he led them up and down in the wilderness forty years : Ps. 
Ixvi. 10-12, ' For thou, God, hast proved us : thou hast tried us, as 
silver is tried. Thou hast brought us into the net ; thou hast laid 
affliction upon our loins. Thou hast caused men to ride over our 
heads : we went through fire and through water.' God proves his 
people, not thereby to better his own knowledge of them, but to bring 
them to a better knowledge both of their own vices and graces. It is 
not known what corn will yield till it come to the flail, nor what 
grapes will yield till they come to the press. Grace is hid in nature 
as sweet water in rose leaves ; but fiery trials will fetch it out. Fire 
and water are merciless elements, and they note variety of sharpest 
trials. Now through these God led" his people, that so he might dis- 
cover to them and others both the strength of their graces, and the 
strength of their sins. God many times exercises his dearest children 
with fiery trials, that he may discover the sincerity and integrity of 
his people to the world. The profane atheistical world are apt very 
boldly and confidently to conclude that the people of God are a pack 
of hypocrites and dissemblers, and that they serve God for a livery, 
for loaves, and not for love, John vi. 26 ; and that they are mercenary 
in all they do, having more in their eye the hedge that he has made 
about them, and the gold and silver that he has bestowed upon them, 
than the honour and glory of the great God ; just as the devil objected 
against Job, chap. i. 9. Now God, to convince these men, these mon- 
sters, of the integrity and sincerity of his people, he breaks down the 
hedge that he had made about them, and turns the wheel upon them, 

' Pliny speaks of a golden -vine which never withereth, but is always flourishing. Oh 
that this might be the mercy of all those Christians who have been burnt up ! 



48 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25.' 

and breaks them with breach upon breach ; he strips them of all, and 
turns them out of house and home, as he did Job, chap. xx. 21 ; and 
yet this people, with Job, will still worship the Lord, and bless a tak- 
ing God, as well as a giving God. They will still keep close to the 
Lord and his ways, whatever God doth with them or against them. 
Ps. xliv. 17-19, ' All this is come upon us,' [it is a terrible ' all,' as 
you may see from the 9th to the ITtli verse ;] 'yet have we not forgotten 
thee, neither have we dealt falsely in thy covenant. Our heart is not 
turned back, neither have our ste2:)S declined from thy way; though 
thou hast sore broken us in the place of dragons, and covered us with 
the shadow of death.' In spite of all the wrath and rage of Antiochus 
Epiphanes, that cruel and bloody persecutor of the saints, these servants 
of the Lord shew their sincerity by their constancy in keeping close to 
the Lord and his ways in the face of the greatest opposition and hottest 
persecution that they met withal. When the emperor sent to Basil i 
to subscribe to the Arian heresy, the messenger at first gave him good 
language, and promised him great preferment, if he would turn Arian; 
to which Basil replied, Alas, these speeches are fit to catch little chil- 
dren withal that look after such things ; but we that are nourished and 
taught by the Holy Scriptures, are readier to suffer a thousand deaths 
than to suffer one syllable or tittle of the Scripture to be altered. The 
same Basil affirms that many of the heathens, seeing the heroic zeal, 
courage, and constancy of the primitive Christians in the face of all 
oppositions and persecutions, turned Christians. Justin Martyr con- 
fesseth that the constancy of the Christians in their sufferings was the 
chief motive that converted him to Christianity ; for I myself, saith 
he, was once a Platonist, and did gladly hear the Christians reviled ; 
but when I saw they feared not death, nor any of those miseries which 
most frighten all other men, I began to consider with myself that it 
was impossible for such men to be lovers of pleasure more than lovers 
of piety, and that made me first think of turning Christian.^ Now by 
these means and methods God convinceth the blind world of the integ- 
rity and sincerity of his people. When they see those whom they 
have severely judged for hypocrites shall own the Lord and his ways, 
and cleave to the Lord and his ways, and continue to follow the Lord 
and his ways, and hold on in a high honouring of the Lord and his 
ways, when their hedge is broken down, and God has stripped them 
as naked as in the day wherein they were born, oh now they begin to 
change their note, and to conclude, surely these are the servants of the 
Most High God, Dan. iii. 26, and Acts xvi. 17; these are no hypocrites 
nor dissemblers, but true Nathanaels in whom there is no guile, John 
i. 47. How have the people of God in London been judged hypocrites, 
dissemblers, deceivers, factious, and what not ! Now God, by burning 
up their substance, and by turning them out of house and home, and 
destroying all their pleasant things, doth certainly design to give those 
that have so deeply censured them a proof of their integrity and sin- 
cerity, by letting them see that all the changes that have passed upon 
them can never work them to change their Master Christ, nor to change 
his ways for the ways of sin, nor to change his worship for the worship 
of the world, nor to change their religion for the religion of Eome. 

^ Hist. Tripart., lib. vii. cap. 36. ^ As before. — G. 



Is A. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 49 

Cei-tainly those that love the Lord, that delight in the Lord, and that 
highly prize the Lord for those infinite perfections, beauties, glories, 
and excellencies that are in him, they will own him, and cleave to him, 
and follow after him when they have little as when they had much, 
yea, when they have nothing of the world as when they had all the 
world ; and by so doing, they put a padlock upon the lying lips of 
such, they button up the mouths of such who asperse and calumniate 
them as a generation that only serve God upon the account of a worldly 
interest.^ There is nothing that doth more amuse,^ amaze, and astonish 
wicked men, than to see the people of God keep close to him and his 
ways when they are in a sufiering estate, yea, when they have lost all 
but their God and their integrity. The fire tries the gold as well as 
the touchstone, and diseases try the skill of the physician, and tem- 
pests try the skill of the pilot ; and so do fiery trials try both the truth 
and the strength of a Christian's graces. Paulinus Nolanus, when his 
city was taken by the barbarians, prayed thus to God : Lord, let me 
not be troubled at the loss of my gold, silver, honour, city, &c.; for 
thou art all, and much more than all these to me. Here was a 
heroic spirit, here was grace in strength, yea, in triumph. The spirits 
of the men of the world usually sink under their losses. Menippus of 
Phenicia, having lost his goods, strangled himself ^ Dinarcus Phiton,^ 
at a certain loss, cut his own throat to save the charge of a halter. 
Another, being turned out of his estate, ran out of his wits. And an- 
other, for the death of his son, threw himself headlong into the sea. 
Augustus Caesar, in whose time Christ was born, was so troubled and 
astonished at the relation of a foil and overthrow from Varus, that for 
certain months together he let the hair of his beard and head grow 
still, and wore it long ; yea, and otherwhiles he would run his head 
against the doors, crying out, Quintilius Varus, deliver up my legions 
again ; Quintilius Varus, deliver up my legions again.^ Henry the 
Second, who was none of the best of princes, hearing that his city 
Mentz was taken, used this blasphemous speech : I shall never, saith he, 
love God any more, that sufiered a city so dear to me to be taken from 
me. Now by all these instances you may clearly and plainly see the dif- 
ferent temper and carriage of wicked men under their losses, crosses, 
trials, and sufferings, from the people of God. When they are under 
fiery trials, what an evil spirit, what a desperate spirit, what a sullen 
spirit, what a proud spirit, what a satanical spirit, what a hellish 
spirit, do they discover ! They tell all the world that they are under 
the power and dominion of the god of this world ; Phil. ii. 2 and 
2 Tim. ii. 26. But when the people of God are under fiery trials, 
they make conscience of carrying of it so as that they may convince 
the world that God is in them of a truth, and that they are sincere 
and upright before the Lord, however they are judged and censured 
as hypocrites, deceivers, dissemblers, and what not. Oh that all that 
are suiferers by this fiery dispensation would make it their business, 
their work, their heaven, so to carry it under their present trials, as to 

^ Joshua xiiv. 15 ; Mat. xix. 27 ; Rev. xiv. 4, 5 ; 1 Peter iii. 16, and ii. 12, 15. (pifiovp 
properly signifies to muzzle, or halter, or tie up, or to button up their mouths, as we say. 
^ = Cause to 'muse/ consider.— G. ' Diog. Laertius, ii. 99, 100. — G. 

^ Qu, ' Phyton of Rhegium ' ? if so, above is a myth.— G. ' Suetonius. 

VOL. VI. D 



50 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

convince all gainsayers of the sincerity, integrity, and uprightness of 
their hearts, both towards the Lord, his people, his ways, his ordinances, 
his interest, and all his concernments in this world ! And thus much 
for the gracious ends that God aims at in all those severe providences 
and fiery trials that of late he has exercised his people with. 

The next thing we have to inquire after is those sins for which the 
Lord inflicts so heavy a judgment as this of fire upon the sons of 
men. Now for the opening of this, give me leave to propose this 
question — viz.. 

Quest. What are those sins that bring the fiery dispensation, that 
bring the judgment of fire upon cities, nations, and countries ? Now, 
that I may give a full and fair answer to this necessary and important 
question, will you please to premise with me these four things : — 

[1.] First, We need not question but that some of all sorts, ranks, 
and degrees of men in and about that once great and glorious city 
did eminently contribute to the bringing down of that dreadful judg- 
ment of fire, that has turned that renowned city, into ashes. Doubt- 
less superiors and inferiors, ministers and people, husbands and wives, 
parents and children, masters and servants, rich and poor, honourable 
and base, bond and free, have all had a hand in the bringing down 
that judgment of fire that has turned London into a ruinous heap. 
But, 

[2.] Secondly, Premise this with me — viz.. That it is a greater 
argument of humility, integrity, and holy ingenuity to fear ourselves, 
and to be jealous of ourselves rather than others, as the disciples of 
Christ did: Mat. xxvi. 21, 22, ' And as they did eat, he said. Verily 
I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me. And they were 
exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto him, 
Lord, is it I?' It is better for every man to do his best to ransack 
and search his own soul, Lam. iii. 40, and to find out the Achan, 
Josh. vii. , the accursed thing in his own bosom that has brought that 
dreadful judgment of fire upon us, than for men, without any Scrip- 
ture warrant, to fix it upon this party and that, this sort of men and 
that. There is no Christian to him that smites upon his own heart, 
his own breast, his own thigh, saying, What have I done ? The 
neglect of this duty the prophet long since has complained of : * No 
man repents himself of his wickedness, saying. What have I done?' 
Jer. viii. 6 — that is, none comparatively. So how rare is it to find a 
burnt citizen repenting himself of his wickedness, and saying, What 
have I done ? Most men are ready to blame others more than them- 
selves, and to judge others rather than themselves to be the persons 
that have brought down this judgment of fire upon, us, Mat. vii. 1-4. 
It was a good saying of one of the ancients, [Augustine,] Amat 
Deus seipsos judicantes non judicare, God loves to judge them that 
judge others rashly, but not those that judge themselves religiously. 
But, 

[3.] Thirdly, Premise this with me. In times of common judg- 
ments, common calamities, and miseries, other of the saints and ser- 
vants of God have looked upon their own sins as the procuring causes 
of the common calamity. Thus David did in that 2 Sam. xxiv. 15, 
* So the Lord sent a pestilence upon Israel, from the morning even to 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPE]SISATION. 51 

the time appointed : and there died of the people, from Dan even to 
Beer-sheba, seventy thousand men/ But mark the 17th verse, ' And 
David spake unto the Lord, when he saw the angel that smote the 
people, and said, Lo, I have sinned, and I have done wickedly : but 
these sheep, what have they done ? Let thy hand, I pray thee, be 
against me, and against my father's house.' And thus did good 
Nehemiah, chap. i. 3, 6, 7, ' And they said unto me. The remnant 
that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great afflic- 
tion and reproach : the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the 
gates thereof burnt with fire. Both I and my father's house have 
sinned. We have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have not 
kept thy commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments which 
thou commandedst thy servant Moses.' Now certainly it is as much 
our glory as our duty to write after these blessed copies that these 
worthies have set before us. Alexander had somewhat a wry neck, 
and his soldiers thought it an honour to be like him. How much more 
should we count it an honour to be like to David and Nehemiah in 
such a practice as is honourable to the Lord, and advantageous to 
ourselves ! But what Plutarch said of Demosthenes, that he was 
excellent at praising the worthy acts of his ancestors, but not so at 
imitating them, is applicable to the present case, and to many who 
have been burnt up in our day. But, 

[4.] Fourthly and lastly. Premise this with me. There were many 
sins amongst them that did profess to fear God in that great city, 
which may and ought to work them to justify the Lord, and to say 
that he is righteous in his fiery dispensations. I may well say to the 
burnt citizens of London what the prophet Oded to them in that 
2 Chron. xxviii. 10, ' But are there not with you, even with you, sins 
against the Lord your God?' 

But you will say, What sins were there among the professing people 
in London that may and ought to work them to justify the Lord, and 
to say that he is just and righteous, and that he has done them no 
wrong, though he has burnt them up, and turned them out of all ? 

Ans. I answer, That there were these seven sins, among others, to 
be found amongst many of them, I say not amongst all of them, all 
which call aloud upon them to lie low at the foot of God, and to sub- 
scribe to the righteousness of God, though he has turned them out of 
house and home, and burnt up their substance on every hand. 

[1.] First, There was among many professors of the gospel in London 
too great a conformity to the fashions of the world. How many pro- 
fessing men in that great city were dressed up like fantastical antics, 
and women like Bartholomew-babies,^ to the dishonour of God, the 
shame of religion, the hardening of the wicked, the grieving of the 
weak, and the provoking of divine justice ! When Darius changed 
the fashion of his scabbard from the Persian manner into the mode of 
the Greeks, the Chaldean astrologers prognosticated that the Persian 
monarchy should be translated to them whose fashion he counterfeited. 
Certainly that nation may fear a scourge from that nation or nations 
whose fashion they follow : Zeph. i. 8, 'And it shall come to pass in 
the day of the Lord's sacrifice, that I will punish the princes, and the 
^ ' Dolls' sold at Bartholomew Fair. Cf. Morley's * History.' — G. 



52 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

king s cliildren, and all such as are clothed with strange apparel.' 
This is a stinging and a flaming check against all fashion-mongers, 
against all such as seem to have consulted with French, Italian, Per- 
sian, and all outlandish monsters, to advise them of all their several 
modes and fashions of vice, and that are so dexterous at following of 
them, that they are more complete in them than their pattern. Cer- 
tainly, if ever such wantons be saved, it will be by fire. Strange 
apparel is part of the old man, that must be put off, if ever men or 
women intend to go to heaven. What dreadful things are thundered 
out against those proud, curious dames of Jerusalem, by the prophet 
Isaiah, who being himself a courtier, inveighs as punctually against 
the noble vanity of apparel, as if he had even then viewed the ladies' 
wardrobes, Isa. xxxviii. 16, seq. And those vanities of theirs brought 
desolating and destroying judgments upon them: Isa. iii. 24-26, 
' And it shall come to pass, that instead of sweet smell there shall be 
a stink ; and instead of a girdle a rent ; and instead of well-set hair 
baldness; and instead of a stomacher a girding of sackcloth; and 
burning instead of beauty. Thy men shall fall by the sword, and thy 
mighty in the war. And her gates shall lament and mourn ; and she, 
being desolate, shall sit upon the ground.' As light and slight as 
many make of vain apparel, yet Cyrian^ and Augustine draw up this 
conclusion : that superfluous apparel is worse than whoredom, because 
whoredom only corrupts chastity, but this corrupts nature. Seneca 
complained, that many in his time were more solicitous of their attire 
than of their good behaviour, and that they had rather that the com- 
monwealth should be troubled than their locks and set looks. I have 
read of the Grecians, that when they wished a curse upon their enemies, 
it was this — that they should please themselves in bad customs. There 
are many who lift their heads high, who seem to be under this curse 
this day. Why doth the apostle say, saith one of the ancients, [Austin,] 
' Above all things swear not ' ? Is it worse to swear than to steal ? 
worse to swear than to commit adultery ? worse to swear than to kill 
a man ? No ; but the apostle would fortify us as much as he could 
against a pestilent custom, to punish the pestilent customs and fashions 
that were amongst us, James v. 12. God sent the pestilence in 1665, 
and the fiery judgment in 1666. And the Lord grant that the bloody 
sword, in the hands of cruel cut-throats, that are brutish and skilful to 
' destroy, be not sent amongst us some other year to punish the same 
iniquity, Ezek. xxi. 31. sirs! what was more common among 
many professors in London than to be clothed in strange apparel, a la 
mode de France? Mark, those that affected the Babylonian habit 
were sent captives to Babylon, Ezek. xxiii. 15. They that borrowed 
the fashions of the Egyptians may get their boils and blotches. Cer- 
tainly such as fear the Lord should go in no apparel, but,^rs^, such 
as they are willing to die in ; secondly^ to appear before the Ancient 
of days in, when his judgments are abroad in the earth, Isa. xxvi. 8-10 ; 
thirdly, to stand before a judgment-seat. But, 

[2.] Secondly, There was among many professors of the gospel in 
London much lukeiDarmness and coldness in the things of God. The 
city was full of lukewarm Laodiceans, Kev. iii. 16, 17. The love of 

1 Qu. 'Cyprian'?— G. 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 53 

many to God, to his people, to his ways, and to his instituted worship, 
was cold, very cold, stark cold. Mat. xxiv. 12. God destroyed the 
old world by water for the heat of their lusts, and God has destroyed 
the city of London by fire for the coldness of their love that dwelt 
therein. I have read of Anastasius the emperor, how God shot him 
to death with a thunderbolt, because of his lukewarmness and for- 
mality. But, 

[3.] Thirdly, There was a great deal of worldliness and earthly- 
mindedness, and covetousness among the prof essing people of London. 

sirs ! the world is all shadow and vanity ; it is filia noctts, like 
Jonah's gourd. A man may sit under its shadow for a time, but it 
soon decays and dies. The main reason why many professors dote 
upon the world is, because they are not acquainted with a greater 
glory. Men ate acorns till they were acquainted with the use of 
wheat. The loadstone cannot draw the iron when the diamond is in 
presence ; and shall earthly vanities draw the soul, when Christ, the 
pearl of price, is in presence ? Many of the professors of London were 
great worshippers of the golden calf, and therefore God is just in turn- 
ing their golden calf into ashes. The world may well be resembled 
to the fruit that undid us all, which was fair to the sight, smooth in 
handling, sweet in taste, but deadly in effect and operation. The 
world in all its bravery is no better than the cities which Solomon 
gave to Hiram, which he called Cabul, that is, displeasing or dirty, 

1 Kings ix. 13. The whole world is circular, the heart of man trian- 
gular, and we know a circle cannot fill a triangle. If the heart of 
man be not filled with the three persons in Trinity, it will be filled 
with the world, the flesh, and the devil, 1 John v. 7. Kiches, like 
bad servants, never stay long with one master. What certainty is 
there in that which one storm at sea, one treacherous friend, one false 
oath, one ball of fire, yea, one spark of fire may strip us of ? sirs ! 
if you can gather grapes off thorns, and figs off thistles, then go on, and 
dote upon the world still. All the things of this world are vain things 
— they are vanity of vanities, Eccles. i. 2. All in heaven count them 
vain, and all in hell count them vain : a Jacobus piece is but as a chip 
to them ; pearls are but as pebbles in their eyes. Lazarus was a 
preacher, as some conceive, and Dives a lawyer: sure I am, that 
Lazarus in heaven is now rich enough, and happy enough, and Dives 
in hell is now poor enough, and miserable enough. He who makes 
his world his god while he is in the world, what will he do for a god 
when he goes out of this world ? Well, sirs, remember this inordinate 
love to the world will expose a man to seven great losses — viz., 

First, To the loss of many precious opportunities of grace. Kich 
Felix had no leisure to hear poor Paul ; and Martha, busied about 
many things, had no time to hear Christ preach, though never man 
preached as he preached, Acts xxiv., Luke x., John vii. Men inordi- 
nately in love with the world have so much to do on earth, that they 
have no time to look up to heaven. 

Secondly, To the loss of all heavenly benefit and profit by the ministry 
of the tvord, Ezek. xxxiii. 31-33; Mat. xiii. 22. Nothing will grow 
where gold grows. Where the love of the world prevails, there the 
ministry of the word will not prevail. If the love of the world be too 



64 London's lame>.^tations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

hard for our hearts, then the ministry of the word will work but little 
upon our hearts. 

Thirdly, To the loss of the face and favour of God. God doth not 
love to smile upon those who are still smiling upon the world, and still 
running after the world, Ps. xxx. 6, and Isa. Ivii. 17. The face and 
favour of God are pearls of price that God bestows upon none but 
such whose conversation is in heaven, Phil. iii. 20, and who have the 
moon — viz., all things that are changeable as the moon — under their 
feet, Eev. xii. 1, 2. God never loves to lift up the light of his coun- 
tenance upon a dunghill-spirited man. God hides his face from none 
so much and so long as from those who are still longing after more 
and more of the world. 

Fourthly, To the loss of religion, and the true worship and service 
of God; as you may see by comparing of the scriptures in the margin 
together.i Many worldlings deal with religion as masons deal with 
their ladders when they have work to do, and to climb, &c. Oh then 
how they hug and embrace the ladder, and carry it on their arms and 
on their shoulders! but then, when they have done climbing, they 
hang the ladder on the wall, or throw it into a corner. sirs, there 
is no loss to the loss of religion. A man were better lose his name, 
his estate, his limbs, his liberty, his life, his all, than lose his religion. 

Fifthly, To the loss of communion with God, and acquaintance 
with God, Deut. viii. 10, 11; Jer. ii. 31, and xxii. 21; Ps. cxliv. 15. 
A man whose soul is conversant with God shall find more pleasure, 
delight, and content in a desert, in a den, in a dungeon, and in death, 
than in the palace of a prince. Man s summum bonum stands in his 
communion with God, as Scripture and experience evidences — nay, 
God and I are good company, said famous Doctor Sibbes. Mace- 
donius the hermit, retiring into the wilderness that he might with 
more freedom enjoy God and have his conversation in heaven, upon 
a time there came a young gentleman into the wilderness to hunt wild 
beasts, and seeing the hermit, he rode to him, asking him why he 
came into that solitary place ? he desired he might have leave to ask 
him the same question, why he came thither? I came hither to 
hunt, said the young gallant : and so do I, saith the hermit, Deum 
venor meum, I hunt after my God ; — they hunt best who hunt most 
after communion with God. Urbanus Eegius, having one day's con- 
verse with Luther, said, it was one of the sweetest days that ever he 
had in all his life.^ But what was one day's, yea, one year's converse 
with Luther, to one hour's converse with God ? Now an inordinate 
love of the world will eat out all a man's communion with God. A 
man cannot look up to heaven and look down upon the earth at the 
same time. But, 

Sixthly, To the loss oihis precious and immortal sold. Shimei, 
by seeking his servant, lost his life,^ and many by an eager seeking 
after this world. Mat. xvi. 26, and 1 Tim. vi. 9, lose their precious 
and immortal souls. Many have so much to do on earth, that they 
have no time to look up to heaven, to honour their God, to secure 
their interest in Christ, or to make sure work for their souls. But, 

^ 2 Tim. iv. 10 ; 1 Tim. vi. 10 ; Jer. v. 7; Deut. xxxii. 15 ; Hosea iv, 7, and xiii. 6. 
2 Adam in vit. Regii, p. 78. ^ See 1 Kings ii. 39, seq.—G. 



IsA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 55 

Seventhli/, To the loss of the tvorld; for by their inordinate love of 
the world they highly provoke God to strip them of the world. Ah, 
how rich might many a man have been had he minded heaven more, 
and the world less 1 When men set their hearts so greedily upon the 
world, it is just with God to blast, and curse, and burn up all their 
worldly comforts round about them. 

[4.] Fourthly, Many in London were fallen under spiritual decays^ 
zvitherings, and languishings, in their graces, in their comforts, in 
their communions, and in their spi^^itual strength. They are fallen 
from their first love. Rev. ii. 4.i The flame of divine love being 
blown out, God sends a flaming fire in the midst of them. Many 
Londoners were fallen into a spiritual consumption, and to recover 
them out of it, God sent a fire amongst them. Many in London were 
withered in their very profession. Where was that visible forwardness, 
that zeal, that diligence in waiting upon the Lord in his ordinances, 
that once was to be found amongst the citizens of London? And 
many citizens were withered in their conversations and converse one 
with another. There was not that graciousness, that holiness, 
that spiritualness, that heavenliness, that fruitfulness, that exem- 
plariness, that seriousness, and that profitableness sparkling and 
shining in their conversations and converse one with another, 
as once was to be found amongst them. And many were withered 
in their affections. Ah, what a flame of love, what a flame of 
joy, what a flame of desires, what a flame of delight, what a flame 
of zeal as to the best things, was once to be found amongst the 
citizens of London ! but how were those mighty flames of affection 
reduced to a few coals and cinders ! and therefore no wonder if God 
sent a flaming fire in the midst of them, and many were withered in 
their very duties and services. How slight, how formal, how cold, 
how careless, how remiss, how neglective were many in their families, 
in their closets, and in their church-communions, who heretofore were 
mighty in praying and wrestling with God, and mighty in lamenting 
and mourning over sin, and mighty in their groanings and longings 
after the Lord, and who of old would have taken the kingdom of 
heaven by violence ! Mat. xi. 12. There were many in that great city 
that had lost their spiritual taste ; they could not taste that sweetness 
in promises, in ordinances, in Sabbaths, and in the communion of 
saints, that once they had tasted and found, 2 Sam. xix. 35. In 
spiritual things, many citizens could taste no more sweetness than in 
the white of an eg^. Job vi. 6. Many in that great city had lost their 
spiritual appetite, they had lost their stomachs, they did not hunger 
and thirst after God and Christ, and the Spirit and grace, and the 
light of God's countenance, and pure ordinances, and the fellowship of 
the people of God, as once they did. Now is there anything more con- 
trary to the nature of God, the works of God, the word of God, the 
glory of God, than spiritual decays ? Oh the prayers and the praises 
that God loses by decayed Christians ! Ah, how do decayed Chris- 

^ The nutmeg-tree makes barren all the ground about it; so doth the spice of worldly- 
love make the heart barren of grace. Ursinus observes that the sins and barrenness 
under the gospel in the Protestants in King Edward's days brouglit in the persecution 
in Queen Mary's days. 



56 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

tians grieve fhe strong, and stumble the weak, and strengthen the 
hands' of the wicked, and lay themselves open to divine displeasure ! 
Many in London did like Mandrobulus in Lucian, who offered to his 
god the first year gold, the second year silver, and the third year 
nothing ; and therefore no wonder if God sent a fire amongst them. 
But, 

[5.] Fifthly, Their non-improvement of the mercies and 'privileges 
that they luere surrounded tvith, and their non-improvement of lesser 
and greater judgments that God had formerly inflicted on them, and 
their non-improvement of their estates to that height they should have 
done for the supply of them whose wants, bonds, necessities, and 
miseries did call aloud for supplies. Many did something, a few did 
much, but all should have done more. 

[6.] Sixthly, Those unnatural heats, fiery contests, violent passions, 
and sore divisions that have been amongst them, may well work them 
to justify the Lord in his fiery dispensations towards them ; for a wolf 
to worry a lamb is usual, but for one lamb to worry another is un- 
natural ; for Christ's lilies to be among thorns is common. Cant. ii. 
16, but for these lilies to become thorns, and to tear and rend, and 
fetch blood of one another, is monstrous and strange. The contest 
that was between the birds about the rose that was found in the 
way, was fatal to many of them, and issued in the loss of the rose 
at last. 

[7.] Seventhly and lastly. There loere many in London ivho were 
so very secure, and so excessively taken up with their worldly com- 
forts, contentments, and enjoyments, that they did not lay the afflictions 
of Joseph (1.) so kindly, (2.) so seriously, (3.) so affectionately, (4.) 
so readily, (5.) so frequently, (6.) so lamentingly, and (7.) so con- 
stantly to heart as they ought to have done, Amos vi. 6. Upon all 
these accounts, how well does it become the citizens of London to cry 
out, The Lord is righteous, the Lord is righteous in all his fiery dis- 
pensations towards us ! 

But to prevent mistakes, and that I may lay no heavier a load upon 
the people of God that truly feared him, and that had and have a 
saving interest in him, than is meet, and that I may give no advan- 
tage to profane persons to father the burning of the city of London 
wholly, mainly, or only upon the sins of the people of God, give me 
leave therefore to propound these four queries : — 

First, Whether all these seven sins last cited, or most of them, can 
be justly charged upon the body of those sincere Christians who lived 
then in London, and whose habitations are now burnt up ? 

Secondly, Whether those of the people of God, upon whom any of 
the forementioned sins are chargeable, have not, before the city was 
burnt, daily lamented, bewailed, and mourned over those sins that 
might have been charged upon them either by their own consciences 
or others ? 

Thirdly, Where and how it doth appear by the blessed Scriptures 
that ever God sent so great a judgment of fire as was poured out upon 
London upon the account of the sins of those that truly feared him, 
be it those seven that have been already specified, or any others that 
can be now clearly and justly proved against them ? 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 57 

Fourthly, Whether there are not some other men's sins upon whom 
in the clear evidence of Scripture light this heavy judgment of fire 
^tfjs^inay be more clearly, safely, and faiiiy fixed, than upon the sins of 
those who had set up God as the great object of their fear? 
Now, in answer to this last query, give me leave to say, 
[1.] First, That sin in the general brings the dreadful judgment of 
fire upon a people. Mark, personal affiictions and trials may come 
upon the people of God for trial, and to shew the sovereignty of God, 
as in the case of Job, whose afflictions were for trial, and not for sin. 
Job i. The same may be said of the man that was born blind, John 
ix. But general judgments, such as this fiery dispensation was, never 
comes upon a people but upon the account of sin. This is evident in 
my text, Isa. xlii. 24, 25 ; God set Jacob and Israel on fire, and 
burnt them round about ; but it was because they would not walk in 
his ways, neither were they obedient unto his law. Jer. iv. 4, ' Cir- 
cumcise yourselves to the Lord, and take away the foreskin of your 
heart, ye men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem ; lest my fury 
come forth like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the 
evil of your doings.' So Ps. cvii. 33, 34, ' He turneth rivers into a 
wilderness, and the water-springs into dry ground; a fruitful land 
into barrenness, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein.' The 
very country of Jewry, as travellers report, which flowed once with 
milk and honey, is now for fifteen miles about Jerusalem like a 
desert, without grass, tree, or shrub. Ah, what ruins doth sin bring 
upon the most renowned countries and cities that have been in the 
world ! Such is the destructive nature of sin, that it will first or last 
level the richest, the strongest, and the most glorious cities in the 
world. So the prophet Amos tells us that it is sin that brings God's 
sorest punishments upon his people : Amos i. 3, ' For three trans- 
gressions of Damascus,' (by which we are to understand the greatness 
of their iniquities,) ' and for four,' (by which we are to understand the 
multitude of their transgressions,) ' I will not turn away the punish- 
ment thereof The same is said of Gaza, ver. 6, and of Tyrus, ver. 9, 
and of Edom, ver. 11, and of Amnion, ver. 13, and of Moab, chap, 
ii. 1, and of Judah, ver. 4, and of Israel, ver. 6. Now it is very 
observable of every one of these, that when God threatens to punish 
them for the greatness of their iniquities, and for the multitude of 
their transgressions, he doth particularly threaten to send a fire among 
them to consume the houses and the palaces of their cities ; so he 
doth to Damascus : Amos i. 4, ' But I will send a fire into the house 
of Hazael, which shall devour the palaces of Ben-hadad.' So he doth 
to Gaza, ver. 7, ' But I will send a fire on the wall of Gaza, which 
shall devour the palaces thereof.' So he doth to Tyrus, ver. 10, ' But 
I will send a fire on the wall of Tyrus, which shall devour the palaces 
thereof/ So he doth to Edom, ver. 12, ' But I will send a fire upon 
Teman, which shall devour the palaces of Bozrah.' So he doth to 
Ammon, ver. 14, ' But I will kindle a fire in the wall of Kabbah, and 
it shall devour the palaces thereof, with shouting in the day of battle, 
with a tempest in the day of the whirlwind. So he doth to Moab, 
chap. ii. ver. 2, ' But I will send a fire upon Moab, and it shall devour 
the palaces of Kirioth ; and Moab shall die with tumult, with shout- 



58 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

ing, and with the sound of a trumpet/ So he doth to Judah, ver. 5, 
' But I will send a fire upon Judah, and it shall devour the palaces of 
Jerusalem/ By all these remarkable instances it is evident that God, 
by his fiery dispensations, tells all the world that the sins of that 
people are great and many, upon whom the dreadful judgment of fire 
is inflicted in its fury, and therefore it is high folly and madness in . 
many men that makes them impute this heavy judgment of fire to 
anything rather than to their sins. sirs, it is sin that burns up our 
habitations, and that turns flames of love into a consuming fire. And 
this the Parliament, in their Act for the Eebuilding of the City of 
London, well observes. The clause of the Act is this : ' And that the 
said citizens, and their successors for all the time to come, may retain 
the memorial of so sad a desolation, and reflect seriously upon their 
manifold iniquities, which are the unhappy causes of such judgments : 
Be it further enacted, That the second of September (unless the sanae 
happen to be Sunday ; and if so, then the next day following) be 
yearly for ever hereafter observed as a day of public fasting and humi- 
liation within the said city and liberties thereof, to implore the 
mercies of Almighty God upon the said city, to make devout pra3^ers 
and supplications unto him to divert the like calamity for the time to 
come.' So Sir Edward^ Turner, knight, in his speech to the king upon 
the prorogation of the Parliament : ' We must,' saith he, ' for ever with 
humility acknowledge the justice of God in punishing this whole 
nation by the late dreadful conflagration of London. We know they 
were not the greatest sinners on whom the tower of Siloam fell,' Luke 
xiii. 4, ' and doubtless all our sins did contribute to the filling up 
that measure, which being full, drew down the wrath of God upon 
that city.' So much the king, in his proclamation for a general fast 
on the 10th of October, observes. The words of the proclamation are 
these: ' His majesty therefore, out of a deep and pious sense of what 
himself and all his people now suffer, and with a religious care to pre- 
vent what may yet be feared, unless it shall please Almighty God to 
turn away his anger from us, doth hereby publish and declare his 
royal will and pleasure, that Wednesday, being the tenth of October 
next ensuing, shall be set apart, and kept, and observed by all his 
majesty's subjects of England and Wales, and the town of Berwick- 
upon-Tweed, as a day of solemn fasting and humiliation, to implore 
the mercies of God, that it would please him to pardon the crying sins 
of this nation, those especially which have drawn down this last and 
heavy judgment upon us, and to remove from us all other his judg- 
ments which our sins have deserved, and which we now either feel or 
fear.' Thus you see that not only the blessed Scriptures, but also king 
and Parliament, do roundly conclude that it was for our sins, our mani- 
fold iniquities, our crying sins, that God has sent this heavy judgment 
upon us. His majesty also well observes, that there are some special 
crying sins that bring down the fiery judgment upon us. Now this 
royal hint leads me by the hand to say : — 

[2.] Secondly, That though sin in the general lays people under the 
fiery dispensations of God, yet if we ivill but diligently search into the 
blessed book of God, lohich never spoke treason nor sedition, loe shall 

^ Qu. ' William'? See Epistle Dedicatory and foot-note in loco. — G. 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25. J THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 59 

find that there are several sins that brings the heavy judgment of fire 
upon cities and countries. As, 

First, Gross atheism, practical atheism, is a sin that brings desolat- 
ing and destroying judgments upon a people : Zepli. i. 12, * And it 
shall come to pass at that time, that I will search Jerusalem with 
candles, and punish the men that are settled upon their lees, that say- 
in their heart, The Lord will not do good, neither will he do evil.' i 
"What horrid blasphemy, what gross atheism is here ! How do these 
atheists ungod the great God ! How do they deny his omnipotency 
and omnisciency ! What a god of clouts, what an idol-god do they 
make the great God to be, when they make him to be such a God as 
will neither do good nor hurt ! Epicurus denied not God's essence, 
but only his providence ; for he granted that there was a God, though 
he thought him to be such a one as did neither good nor evil ; but 
certainly God sits not idle in heaven, but has a sharp and serious eye 
upon all that is done on the earth : and this both saints and sinners 
shall find by experience, when in the great day he shall distribute 
both his rewards and punishments according to what they have done 
in the flesh. Atheism is the main disease of the soul, not only pes- 
tilent to the person in whom it is harboured, but also to the whole 
land where it is practised and permitted. Atheism is worse than 
idolatry ; for idolatry only robs God of his worship, but atheism robs 
God both of his attributes and being; and therefore mark what 
follows : ver. 13, ' Therefore their goods shall become a booty, and their 
houses a desolation; they shall also build houses, but not inhabit 
them ; and they shall plant vineyards, but not drink the wine thereof.' 
So Ezek. XX. 47-49, ' And say to the forest of the south. Hear the 
word of the Lord ; thus saith the Lord God, Behold I will kindle a fire 
in thee, and it shall devour every green tree in thee, and every dry 
tree ; the flaming flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from the 
south to the north shall be burnt therein. And all flesh shall see that 
I the Lord have kindled it ; it shall not be quenched. Then said I, 
Ah, Lord God, they say of me. Doth he not speak parables ? ' Here 
was a pack of atheists, that did mock and scofi" at the prophet and his 
parables ; they told him that he talked like a madman, and that he 
spoke of such things that neither himself nor others understood ; for 
he talked of the south, and of the forests of the south, and of fire, and 
of fiaming fire, and of green and dry trees, and that all these things 
were dark and obscure to them : they put ofl" all the prophet spoke 
as allegorical, as mystical, and as enigmatical, and as dark visions, and 
as dreams, and imaginations, and divinations of his own brain, and 
therefore they needed not much mind what he said. Now mark these 
atheists, what do they do ? They provoke the Lord to kindle a fire, 
a universal fire, an unquenchable fire, an inextinguishable fire in the 
midst of Jerusalem, which is here termed a forest, by reason of its 
barrenness and unfruitfulness, and the multitudes that were in it ; 
and because it was fit for nothing but the axe and the fire. Atheism 
is a sin that has brought the greatest woes, miseries, destructions, and 

^ Atheism denieth God either (1.) In opinion, saying there is no God; or (2.) In 
affection, wishing there were no God ; or (3.) In conversation, living as if there were no 
God, Rev. xxii. 12. 



60 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

desolations imaginable upon the most flourishing kingdoms and most 
glorious cities in the world. Holy Mr Greenham was wont to say 
that he feared rather atheism than Popery would be England's ruin. 
sirs ! were there none within the walls of London that said in their 
hearts with David's atheistical fool, ' There is no God' ? Ps. xiv. 1. 
Caligula the emperor was such a one ; and Claudius thought himself 
a god till the loud thunder affrighted him, and then he hid himself 
and cried, Claudius non est deus — Claudius is not a god. Leo X., 
Hildebrand the magician, and Alexander VI., and Julius II. were all 
most wretched atheists, and thought that whatever was said of Christ, 
of heaven, of hell, of the day of judgment, and of the immortality of 
the soul, were but dreams, impostures, toys, and old wives' fables. 
Pope Paul III., at the time of his death, said he should now be re- 
solved of three questions that he had doubted of all his life. (1.) 
Whether the soul was immortal or no ; (2.) Whether there were a hell 
or no ; (3.) Whether there were a God or no. And another grand 
atheist said, I know what I have here, but I know not what I shall 
have hereafter. Now were there no such atheists within the walls of 
London before it was turned into ashes ? The atheist in Ps. x. 11 says, 
' He will never see ;' and in Ps. xciv. 7, they rise higher ; they say, 
' The Lord shall not see, neither shall the God of Jacob regard it.' 
They labour to lay a law of restraint upon God, and to cast a mist 
before the eye of his providence. And in Isa. xxix. 15, they say, 
'Who seeth us? who knoweth us?' And in Ezek. ix. 9, they say, 
' The Lord hath forsaken the earth, and the Lord seeth not.' These 
atheists shut up God in heaven as a blind and ignorant God, not 
Imowing, or not regarding, what is done on the earth ; they imagine 
him to be a forgetful God, or a God that seeth not. Ps. Ixxiii, 11, 
they say, ' How doth God know ? and is there knowledge in the 
most High ? ' Thus they deny God's omnisciency and God's omni- 
presency, which to do is to ungod the great God, as much as in 
them lies. 

Now were there no such atheists within the walls of London before 
it was destroyed by fire ? Oh how did practical atheism abound in 
London ! How many within thy walls, London ! did profess they 
knew God, but in their works did deny him, being abominable and 
disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate ! Titus i. 16. 
sirs ! some there are that live loosely under the gospel, that run into 
all excess of riot, and that in the face of all promises and threatenings, 
mercies and judgments, yea, in the very face of life and death, of 
heaven and hell ; and others there are that sin freely in secret, that can 
be drunk and filthy in the dark, when the eye of man is not upon 
them. Certainly those men's hearts are very atheistical, that dare 
do that in the sight of God which they tremble to do before the eyes 
of men. How many are there that put the evil day far from them, 
that flatter themselves in their sins, that with Agag conclude, surely 
the bitterness of death is past, and that hell and wrath is past, and 
that they are in a fair way for heaven, when every step they take is 
towards the bottomless pit, and divine vengeance hangs over their 
heads, ready every moment to fall upon them ! Are there not many 
that seldom pray, and when they do, how cold, how careless, how dull, 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 61 

how dead, how heartless, how irreverent, are they in all their addresses 
to the great God ? Are there not many such atheists that use no 
prayer, nor Bible, but make Lucian their Old Testament, and 
Machiavel their New ? Are there not many that grant there is a 
God, but then it is such a God as is made up all of mercy, and there- 
upon they think, and speak, and do as wickedly as they please ? And 
are there not some that look upon God as a sin-revenging God, and 
thereupon wish that there were no God, or else that they were above 
him, as Spira did ? And are there not others that have very odd and 
foolish conceptions of God, as if he were an old man, sitting in heaven 
with royal robes upon his back, a glorious crown upon his head, and a 
kingly sceptre in his hand, and as if he had all the parts and propor- 
tion of a man, as the papists are pleased to picture him ? Some there 
are that are so drowned in sensual pleasures, that they scarce remem- 
ber that they have a God to honour, a hell to escape, a heaven to 
secure, souls to save, and an account to give up. And others there 
are who, when they find conscience begin to accuse and terrify them, 
then, with Cain, they go to their buildings, or with Saul to their music, 
or with the drunkards to their cups, or with the gamesters to their 
sports. Gen. iv. ; 1 Sam. xviii. 6, 10 ; Job xxxi. 24 ; Phil. iii. 19. 
Some there are that make their gold their god, as the covetous ; others 
make their bellies their god, as the drunkard and the glutton. Some 
make honours their god, as the ambitious ; and others make plea- 
sures their god, as the voluptuous. Some make religious duties their 
god, as the carnal gospellers ; and others make their moral virtues 
their god, as the civil honest man, Amos vi. ; Mat. xxiii. Now what 
abundance of such atheists were there within and without the walls of 
London before the fiery judgment passed upon it ! The Scripture 
attributes the ruin of the old world to atheism and profaneness, 
Gen. vi. ; and why may not I attribute the ruin and desolation of 
London to the same ? Practical atheists are enough to overthrow the 
most flourishing nations, and the most flourishing cities that are in 
all the world. 

But to prevent all mistakes in a business of so great a concernment, 
give me leave to say, that if we speak of atheists in a strict and 
proper sense, as meaning such as have simply and constantly denied 
all deity, then I must say that there was never any such creature 
in the world as simply and constantly to deny that there is a God. It 
is an inviolable principle, and indelibly stamped upon man s nature, 
that there is a God. They that shall deny that there is a God, must 
extinguish the very light of nature, by which the very heathen in all 
the ages of the world have acknowledged a supreme divine Being. 
Bion of Boristenesa i was a very great atheist all his lifetime ; he 
denied the gods, despised their temples, and derided their worship ; 
yet when death came, he would rather have endured the greatest 
torment than to have died, and that not so much for fear of a natural 
death, but for fear of what followed after, lest God, whom he had 
denied, should give him up into the hand of the devil whom he had 
served ; and therefore at the time of his death he put forth his hand, 
crying. Salve, Pluto, salve,Welcome, devil, welcome — foolishly thinking 
^ Eather Borysthenes : Laert. iv. 46 ,&c.— G. 



62 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

to pacify the devil by this flattering salutation.^ And Tally observes 
of Epicurus, that though no man seemed more to contemn both God 
and death, yet no man feared more both the one and the other. The 
philosophers did, with one consent, affirm that there is a God, and 
they called him. Nomine Deum, natiird Sinritum, ordine Motorem 
primum, but knew him not. He that shall deny there is a God, sins 
with a very high hand against the light of nature ; for every creature, 
yea, the least gnat and fly, and the meanest worm that crawls upon 
the ground, will confute and confound that man that disputes whether 
there be a God or no. The name of God is written in such full, fair, 
and shining characters upon the whole creation, that all men may run 
and read that there is a God. The notion of a deity is so strongly and 
deeply impressed upon the tables of all men's hearts, that to deny 
a God is to quench the very principles of common nature ; yea, it 
is formally deicidium, a killing of God, as much as in the creature lies. 
There are none of these atheists in hell ; for the devils believe and 
tremble, James ii. 19. The Greek word ^piaaovai, that is here used, 
signifies properly the roaring of the sea ; it implies such an extreme 
fear, as causeth not only trembling, but also a roaring and screech- 
ing out, Mark vi. 49 ; Acts xvi. 29. The devils believe and acknow- 
ledge four articles of our faith. Mat. viii. 29, (1.) They acknowledge 
God ; (2.) Christ ; (3.) The day of judgment ; (4.) That they shall 
be tormented then ; so that he that doth not believe that there is 
a God, is more vile than a devil. To deny there is a God, is a sort of 
atheism that is not to be found in hell. 

* On earth are atheists many, 
In hell there is not any,' 

Augustine, speaking of atheists, saith. That albeit there be some 
who think, or would persuade themselves, that there is no God ; yet 
the most vile and desperate wretch that ever lived would not say, 
there was no God. Seneca hath a remarkable speech, Mentiu7itur 
qui dicunt se noil sentire Deum esse : nam etsi tibi affirmant interdiu, 
noctu tamen dubitant, They lie, saith he, who say they perceive not 
there is a God ; for although they affirm it to thee in the daytime, yet 
by night they doubt of it. Further, saith the same author, I have 
heard of some that have denied that there was a God ; yet never knew 
the man but, when he was sick, he would seek unto God for help ; 
therefore they do but lie that say there is no God ; they sin against the 
light of their own consciences ; they who most studiously go about to 
deny God, yet cannot do it, but some check of conscience will fly in 
their faces. Tully would say that there was never any nation under 
heaven so barbarous as to deny that there was a God. I have seen a 
city without walls, but never any city but acknowledged a God. Quic- 
quid vides, et quicquid non vides, Deus est, Whatsoever thou seest, and 
whatsoever thou seest not, is God ; that is, all things visible and in- 
visible do express unto thee a deity, and lead thee as by the hand to 
contemplate heavenly, spiritual, and eternal things. God is known by 
his effects, though not by his essence. The creation of the world is a 

^ The stoutest atheists that ever lived cannot resolutely and constantly believe there is 
no God ; hence heathens have condemned some to death that denied there was a God. 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 63 

glass, wherein, saitli Paul, we may behold his eternal power and God- 
head, Eom. i., which that divine poet hath well observed, 

' The world's a school, where in a general story 
God always reads dumb lectures of his glory.'— [Du Bartas.] 

Austin [Soliloquiis] having gone round all the creatures, and seeing 
in them the characters of the Godhead imprinted, and seriously in- 
quiring of them for God, not one or two, but all made him this answer, 
with an audible voice, Non sum ego, sed per ipsum sum ego quern quceris 
in me, I am not he, but by him I am whom thou seekest in me. * I 
have heard,' saith my author,^ ' of some learned atheists met together 
to discourse of the power of nature, to prove there was no God : a poor 
shepherd present asked how the rain came then? they bid him look 
upon a still, and he might know that vapours were drawn up by the 
sun and let fall again, as moisture in a still ; he replied, I never yet 
could see a still work unless some man put fire to it.' This so wrought 
on one in the company, that he gave glory to God, and forsook his 
companions. I think Zeno hit the mark when he said. To hear and see 
an atheist die, will more demonstrate that there is a God, than all the 
learned can do by all their arguments. That epitaph which was 
written upon Sennacherib's tomb, [Herodotus,] may well be written 
upon every atheist. He that looks upon us, let him believe there is a 
God, and learn to fear him. In all the ages of the world, God has 
given a most severe testimony against atheists. That Assyrian that 
bragged at a feast that he did never offer sacrifice to a god, was 
eaten up of lice. And Lucian, a great atheist, going to supper abroad, 
left his hounds fast when he went, and as he returned home, having 
railed against God and his word, his dogs fell mad, met him, and 
tore him in pieces. I have read of some heathens who, being at sea 
in a very dangerous storm, where they were like to be cast away, 
they began every one apart to examine themselves what should be 
the reason of so dreadful a storm, and after that they had all cast 
up their accounts by querying with themselves, What have I done, 
said one, and What have I done, said another, that has occasioned this 
storm? At last it issued thus, they remembered that they had 
Diagoras the atheist on board ; and rather than they would all perish 
for that atheist's sake, they took him by the heels and hurled him over- 
board, and then the storm ceased, and the sea was quiet. It will be 
hard to name an atheist either in the Holy Scripture, or in ecclesiastical 
histories, or in heathen writings, which came not to some fearful end ; 
and therefore no wonder if Austin would not be an atheist for half an 
hour for the gain of a million of worlds, because he knew not but God 
might in that time make an end of him. I have been the longer upon 
this head, because atheist and atheism did never so abound in this 
land as it hath done these last years, and that you may the clearer see 
who they are that have brought that sad judgment of fire upon that 
once glorious city of London. Ah London, London ! it was the gross 
atheism and the practical atheist that was within and without thy walls, 
that has turned thee into a ruinous heap. 

Mark, I readily gi-ant that there is the seeds, relics, stirring, and 
moving of atheism in the best and holiest of the sons of men ; but then 
^ Mr Francis Taylor on Pro v. vi, 7. [On the first nine chapters. 1657, 4to. — G.] 



64 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

(1.) They disallow of it, and discountenance it ; (2.) It is lamented 
and bewailed by them ; (3.) They oppose it, and conflict with it ; 
(4.) They use all holy and conscientious means and endeavours to be 
rid of it ; (5.) By degrees they get ground against it, and therefore 
God never did, nor never will, turn cities or kingdoms into flames 
for those seeds and remains of atheism that are to be found in the best 
of saints. 

It is that atheism that is rampant, that reigns in the hearts and 
lives of sinners, as a prince reigns upon his throne, that brings desolat- 
ing and destroying judgments upon the most flourishing kingdoms 
and the most glorious cities that are in the world. But, 

2. Secondly, Luxury and intemperance bring desolating and de- 
stroying judgments upon places and persons : Joel i. 5, ' Awake, ye 
drunkards, and weep ; and howl, all ye drinkers of wine, because of 
the new wine ; for it is cut off from your mouth ; ' ver. 19, ' Lord, 
to thee will I cry, for the fire hath devoured the pastures of the wil- 
derness, and the flames have burnt all the trees of the field ; ' ver. 20, 
' The beasts of the field cry unto thee ; for the rivers of the water are 
dried up, and the fire hath devoured the pastures of the wilderness.' i 
Luxury is a sin that brings both famine and fire upon a people ; it 
brought the Chaldeans upon the Jews, who by fire and sword laid all 
waste. The horses of the Chaldeans destroyed their pastures, vines, 
fig-trees, pomegranates, &c. , which grew in many places of the land, 
and their soldiers set their houses on fire, and so brought all to ruin. 
Amos vi. 1, ' Woe to them that are at ease in Zion ; ' ver. 3, ' That 
put far away the evil day ; ' ver. 4, ' That lie upon beds of ivory, and 
stretch themselves upon their couches, and eat the lambs out of the 
flock, and the calves out of the midst of the stall ; ' ver. 5, * That 
chant to the sound of the viol, and invent to themselves instruments 
of music, like David ; ' ver. 6, ' That drink wine in bowls, and anoint 
themselves with the chief ointments : but they are not grieved for the 
afiiiction of Joseph ; ' ver. 7, ' Therefore now shall they go captive 
with the first that go captive, and the banquet of them that stretched 
themselves shall be removed ; ' ver. 8, ' The Lord God hath sworn by 
himself, saith the Lord God of hosts, I abhor the excellency of Jacob, 
and hate his palaces : therefore will I deliver up the city, with all that 
is therein ; ' ver. 11, ' For, behold, the Lord commandeth, and he will 
smite the great house with breaches, and the little house with clefts.' 
Luxury is a sin that forfeits all a man's enjoyments, that turns him 
out of house and home. Samaria was a very glorious city, and a very 
strong city, and a very rich city, and a very populous city, and a very 
ancient city, &c., and yet luxury and intemperance turned it into 
ashes, — it brought desolating and destroying judgments upon it. The 
rich citizens of Samaria were given up to mirth and music, to luxuries 
and excesses, to riotousness and drunkenness, to feasting and carous- 
ing, and by these vanities and debaucheries they provoked the Lord 
to command the Chaldeans to fall on and to spoil them of their riches, 
and to lay their glorious city in ashes. So it was luxury and intem- 

^ In ecclesiastical history you may read of one drunkard, who, being touched with his 
gin, wept himself blind ; but the drunkards of our days are more apt to drink themselves 
blind than to weep themselves blind. 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 65 

perance that provoked the Lord to rain hell out of heaven upon 
Sodom and Gomorrah, Gen. xviii.; luxury turned those rich and 
populous cities into ruinous heaps. Ah London ! London ! the 
luxuries and excesses, the riotousness and drunkenness, the mad feast- 
ing and carousing that have been within and without thy walls, that 
have been within thy great halls, taverns, and other great houses, 
hath turned thee into ashes, and laid thy glory in the dust. you 
burnt citizens of London ! what shameful spewing hath been in some 
of your feasts, as if Sardanapalus, Apicius, and Heliogabalus were still 
alive ! How often have many of you poured into your bodies such, 
intoxicating drinks as hath many times laid you asleep, stripped you 
of your reason, took away your hearts, robbed you of yourselves, and laid 
a Ijeast in your room ! Drunkenness is so base, so vile a sin, that it 
transforms the soul, deforms the body, bereaves the brain, betrays the 
strength, defiles the affections, and metamorphoseth the whole man ; 
yea, it unmans the man. Cyrus the Persian monarch being de- 
manded of his grandfather Astyages why he would drink no wine, 
answered. For fear lest they give me poison ; for, saith he, yestej-day, 
when you celebrated your nativity, I judged that somebody had poisoned 
all the wine they drank, because at the taking away of the cloth not 
one of all those that were present at the feast arose in his right mind. 
[Xenophon.] Hath it not been thus with many of you ? If it hath, 
lay your hands upon your mouths, and say, The Lord is righteous, 
though he hath laid your houses in ashes. Anacharsis used to say 
that the first cup of wine was for thirst, the second for nourishment, 
the third for mirth, and the fourth for madness ; but what would he 
have said had he lived within or without the walls of London these 
last six years ? Isa. v. 22 ; Hab. ii. 17. Ah London ! London ! were 
there none within nor without thy walls that were strong to drink, 
and that gave their neighbour drink, and that put the bottle to them 
to make them drunk, that they might look on their nakedness? 
Were there none within nor without thy walls, that with Marcus 
Antoninus, Darius, Alexander the Great, &c., did boast, and glory, 
and pride themselves in their great abilities to drink down any that 
should come into their company ? Were there none within nor with- 
out thy walls, London ! that cried out. If you take away our liquor, 
you take away our lives? Austin brings in the drunkard, saying, 
Malle se vitam qudm vinum eripi, He had rather lose his life than his 
wine. And Ambrose speaks of one Theotimus, who being told by his 
physicians that much quaffing would make him blind, answered then, 
Vale lumen amictcm, Farewell sweet light, farewell sweet eyes ; if ye 
will not bear wine, ye are no eyes for me. Were there none within 
nor without thy walls, London ! that did abuse the good creatures 
of God so profusely, so prodigally, so prodigiously, as if they had been 
sent into the world for no other end but thus to abuse themselves, re- 
proach their Maker, and destroy those choice blessings which God had 
given for more noble ends, than to be spewed against the walls, for these 
last six years ? A drunken health, like the conclusion in a syllogism, 
must not upon any terms be denied, especially in the company of such 
grandees whose age, whose place, whose office should have taught 
them better things ; yea, the custom of high drinking hath been these 

VOL. VI. E 



QQ London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

last six years so great within and without thy walls, London ! 
that it is no wonder if the Lord for that alone has laid thy glory in 
the dust ; yea, and that shameful spewing is upon all thy glory, Hab. 
ii. 16, considering what shameful spewing have been in thy streets, 
taverns, halls, alehouses, and other great men's houses, where temper- 
ance, righteousness, justice, and holiness should have dwelt in glory 
and triumph ! Ah London ! how many within and without thy walls 
have been drinking wine in bowls, when they should have been mourn- 
ing over their sins, and grieving for the afflictions of Joseph, and 
sighing over those distressed Christians whose drink was nothing but 
sorrow and blood and tears ! These are the men that have kindled 
a burning upon all thy glory. 

sirs! that you would for ever remember that intemperance, 
luxury, is a sin, an enemy that, 

[1.] First, Bobs God of Ms glory. It denies him all service and 
obedience. Intemperate persons are neither fit for praying to God, 
nor praising of God, nor receiving from God. Intemperance turns 
the temple of the Holy Ghost into a sepulchre, a kitchen, a hog-stye ; 
and what glory then can God have from an intemperate person ? 1 Cor. 
vi. 19. But, 

[2.] Secondly, It robs both God and man of much precious time. 
Time is a precious jewel, more worth than all the world. ^ One called 
his friends thieves, because they stole time from him ; and certainly 
there are no worse thieves than intemperance ; for that robs men of 
their hearing-times, and their praying-times, and their reading-times. 
There is so much precious time spent in the tavern and in the tippling- 
house, that the intemperate person cannot be at leisure to spend any 
time in his family or in his closet, &c., to save his own or others' 
souls. But there will come a time, either in this or the other world, 
wherein all intemperate persons will wish that they had spent that 
precious time in serving of God, and in saving their own and others' 
souls, which they have spent in luxury and excess, carousing and 
drinking ; but all too late, all too late. Time is not only the fruit of 
God's indulgence, but also the fruit of Christ's purchase. That doom 
passed upon Adam, ' In the day thou eatest thereof, thou shalt die the 
death,' or dying, thou shalt die, had been put in execution imme- 
diately, had not Christ interposed immediately between man's sin and 
God's wrath. What can there be of more weight and moment than 
eternity ? It is the heaven of heaven, and the very hell of hell, with- 
out which neither would heaven be so desirable, nor hell «o for- 
midable. Now this depends upon time. Time is the prologue to 
eternity ; the great weight of eternity hangs upon the small wire of 
time : our time, whether it be longer or shorter, is given us by God 
to provide ior our everlasting condition, 2 Cor. vi. 2 ; Isa. xlix. 8. 
We have souls to save, a hell to escape, a heaven to make sure, 
our pardon to sue out, our interest in Christ to make good ; and all 
this must be quickly done, or . we undone, and that for ever. Man's 
eternal weal or woe depends upon his well or ill improvement of 
that inch of time that is allotted to him. Now what a dreadful 

^ When Ignatius heard a clock strike, he would say, I have one hour more to answer 
for : so precious a jewel was time in his eye. 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 67 

account will such give up at last, who have wasted away their pre- 
cious time in luxury and excess. I3ut, 

[3.] Thirdly, Luxury, intemperance, it robs men of tlieir names. 
Bonosus, a beastly drunken emperor, was called a tankard,! and 
Tiberius was surnamed Biberius for his tippling, and Erasmus called 
Eccius Jeccius for the same cause, and Diotimus of Athens was called 
a tun-dish, and young Cicero a hog's-head. But, 

[4.] Fourthly, Luxury, intemperance, it robs men of tlieir health; 
for how many are there, that by drinking other men's healths have 
destroyed their own ! Many more perish by intemperance than by 
violence. Intemperance is the source and nurse of all diseases. More 
perish by surfeiting than by suffering. Every intemperate person digs 
his own grave with his own mouth and teeth, and is certainly a self- 
tormentor, a self- destroyer, a self-murderer. I have read of a monk 
at Prague, 2 who having heard at shrift the confessions of many 
drunkards, wondered at it, and for an experiment he would needs try 
his brain with this sin, so accordingly he stole himself drunk. Now after 
the vexation of three days' sickness, to all that confessed that sin he en- 
joined no other penance but this, Go and be drunk again ; intimating 
thereby that there was no punishment, no torment that could be 
inflicted upon a drunkard so great as that, Go and be drunk again. 
Besides all other plagues that attend this sin, drunkenness is a woe to 
itself. Temperance is the best and noblest physic, and they that use 
it commonly are most long-lived. But, 

[5.] Fifthly, Intemperance robs men of their estates. It robs the 
wife many times of her dowry, and the children of their portion, and 
the husband of his inheritance, his trade, his all. The very word 
acrwria, luxury, properly signifies the not preventing or keeping of the 
good which at the present we enjoy. Solomon hit the mark when he 
said, ' The drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty,' Prov. 
xxiii. 21. The full cup makes an empty purse, and a fat dish makes 
a lean bag. He that draws thee wine out of the pipe, puts thy money 
into his own pocket ; and this Diogenes the philosopher well under- 
stood when he asked of the frugal citizen but a penny, but begged of 
the prodigal a talent ; and being asked the reason of his practice, he 
answered. Because of the one he thought he might beg often, but of 
the other who spent so fast, he was like to receive but once. Mr 
Livius, (?) when he had spent a great estate in luxurious living, jest- 
ing at his own. folly, he said that he had left nothing for his heir 
more than air and mire. Philip king of Macedon, making war 
upon the Persians, understood that they were a luxurious people ; 
he presently withdrew his army, saying it was needless to make 
war upon them, who by their luxury would shortly overthrow them- 
selves. But, 

[6.] Sixthly, Intemperance robs men of everlasting happiness and 
blessedness, Gal. v. 19-21. It shuts them out from all the glory of 
that upper world, and tumbles them down to the lowest hell, as you 

' Not ?n emperor, but servant of one — viz., of Aurelian. He was famous or infamous 
for the faculty which he possessed of being able to drink to excess without being intoxi- 
cated or losing his self-command. — Vopiscus : Vit. Bonos. — G. 

' Ivadulph. Foruerius, select., lib. iii. 



08 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

may see in that great instance of luxurious Dives, Luke xvi. 19-26. 
The intemperate man's table proves a snare to his soul ; fulness breeds 
forgetfulness, wantonness, blockishness, and stupidity; and therefore 
no wonder if God shuts the gates of glory against intemperate persons. 
Look, as no leper might be in the camp of Israel, Num. v. ; and as 
no Gileadite might pass over Jordan, Judges xii. ; and as no fearful 
man might enter into the wars of Midian, chap. vii. ; and as no bastard 
might enter into the sanctuary, Deut. xxxiii. ; so no luxurious person 
shall enter into heaven. Of all sorts of sinners, the luxurious sinner 
is most rarely reformed. The adulterer may become chaste, the thief 
may become an honest man, the swearer may obtain a sanctified tongue ; 
but how rare is it to see a luxurious person repent, break off his sins, 
close with Christ, and walk to heaven ! Luxurious persons eat and 
drink away their Christ ; yea, they eat and drink away their souls, 
nay, they eat and drink away their own salvation. Mat. xxi. 31, 32; 
Luke xxiii. 43. They that serve their own bellies, serve not the Lord 
Jesus Christ, and therefore they shall never reign with him in the 
other world. Certainly that man that makes his belly his god, shall 
be for ever separated from God, Phil. iii. 19. All belly-gods shall at 
last be found in the belly of hell. The intemperate person hath his 
heaven here ; his hell is to come. Now he has his sweet cups, his 
merry cups, his pleasant cups : oh, but there is a cup of shame and 
sorrow, ' and this shall be their portion for ever and ever,' Ps. xi. 6. 
The intemperate person hath been a gulf to devour many mercies, 
and therefore he shall at last be cast into a gulf of endless miseries. 
In a word, intemperance is a mother sin, a breeding sin ; it is a sin 
that is an inlet to all other sins ; we may call it ' Gad, for behold, a 
troop Cometh,' Deut. xxxii. 17, 24. Oh the pride, the oppression, the 
cruelty, the security, the uncleanness, the filthiness, the profaneness 
that comes trooping after intemperance, Jer. v. 7-9. And therefore 
Aristotle concludes, that double punishments are due to drunkards ; 
first for their drunkenness, and then for other sins committed in and 
by their drunkenness. Now seeing that intemperance and luxury is 
so great a sin, is it any wonder to see divine justice turn the most 
glorious cities in the world into a ruinous heap, when this sin of in- 
temperance is rampant in the midst of them ? Ah, London ! London ! 
the intemperance and luxury that has been within and without thy 
walls, has brought the desolating judgment of fire upon thee, that has 
laid all thy glory in ashes and rubbish. How many great houses 
were there once within and without thy walls, that should have been 
public schools of piety and virtue, but were turned into mere nurseries 
of luxury and debauchery ! How have the rules of the Persian civility 
been forgotten in the midst of thee ! Est. i. 6, 7. How many within 
and without thy walls did make their belly their god, their kitchen 
their religion, their dresser their altar, and their cook their minister, 
whose whole felicity did lie in eating and drinking, whose bodies were 
as sponges, and whose throats were as open sepulchres to take in all 
precious liquors, and whose bellies were as graves to bury all God's 
creatures in ! And how have many men been forced to unman them- 
selves, either to please some, or to avoid the anger or wrath of others, 
or else to gain the honourable character of being a high boy, or of 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 69 

one that was strong to drink among others, or to drink down others ! 
Oh the drunken matches that have been within and without thy walls, 
London ! — the Lord has seen them, and been provoked by them to 
kindle a fire in the midst of thee. Luxury is a sin that never goes 
alone ; it hath many other great sins attending and waiting on it ; it 
is as the nave in the wheel, which turning about, all the spokes turn 
with it. Idleness, fighting, quarrelling, jewling,i whoring, cheating, 
stealing, robbing, are the handmaids that wait on luxury, JProv. xxiii. 
29-33 ; and therefore no wonder if God has appeared in flames of fire 
against it. I have been the longer upon this head, because luxury, 
intemperance, is one of the great darling sins of our age and day ; it 
is grown to epidemical, not only in the city, but in the countries 2 also, 
and it is a very God-dishonouring, and a God-provoking, and a soul- 
damning, and a land-destroying sin : and oh that what I have writ 
might be so blessed as to put some effectual stop to those notorious 
public excesses and luxuries that have been and still are rampant in 
most parts of the land. 

But now, beloved, this sin of luxury and intemperance I cannot 
charge with clear and full evidence upon the people of the Lord, that 
did truly fear him and sincerely serve him, whose habitations were 
once within or without the walls of London ; nay, this I know, that 
for this very sin among othei%, their souls did often mourn before the 
Lord in secret. And truly of such Christians that live and wallow in 
luxury and intemperance, if we compare their lives and Christ's laws 
together, I think we may confidently conclude, Aut hcec non est lex 
Christi, autnos non sumus Gliristiani: Either this is not Christianity, 
or we are not Christians. And thus Tertullian, Cyprian, Justin Martyr, 
and others concluded against the luxurious and intemperate Christians 
of their times. Salvian ^ relates how the heathen did reproach such 
luxurious Christians, who by their lewd lives made the gospel of 
Christ to be a reproach : Where, said the heathen, is that good law 
which they do believe ? Where are those rules of godliness which 
they do learn ? They read the holy Gospel, and yet are unclean ; they 
hear the apostles' writings, and yet are drunk ; they follow Christ, and 
yet disobey Christ ; they profess a holy law, and yet do lead impure 
lives. And Panormitan having read the 5th, 6th, and 7th chapters of 
Matthew, and comparing the loose and luxurious lives of Christians 
with those rules of Christ, concluded that either that was no gospel, 
or the people no Christians. The loose and luxurious lives of many 
Christians was, as Lactantius declares, made by the heathen the re- 
proach of Christ himself: Quomodo bonus magister cwus tarn pravos 
videmus discipulos ? — How can we think the master to be good whose 
disciples we see to be so bad ? Epiphanius saith that in his days 
many shunned the society of the Christians because of the looseness 
and luxuriousness of their lives. And Augustine confessed ^ that in 
his time the loose and luxurious lives of many who professed the 
Christian religion gave a great advantage to the Manichees to reproach 

1 Rather 'jowling,' from jowl the jaw = pressing with the fists, without blows, e.g., 
from Wright—' Did you give him a good drubbing ? No ; but I gin him a good tidy 
jowling.' Suffolk.— G. * Qu. ' country'? or 'counties'?— G.' 

3 Salvianus de Gratia Dei, lib. iv. * August, de moribus Ecclesise, cap. 34. 



70 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLIL 24, 25. 

the whole church of God and the ways of God. The Manichees were 
a sort of people who affirmed that there were two principles or begin- 
nings of things — viz. a summum honum and a summum malum — a 
summum honum, from whence sprang all good, and a summum malum, 
from whence issued forth all evil. Now the loose and luxurious lives 
of such as had a profession upon them hardened these in their errors, 
and caused them with open mouth greatly to reproach and deeply to 
censure the sincerest saints. And Chrysostom preferred brute beasts 
before luxurious persons ; for they go from belly to labour, when the 
luxurious person goes from belly to bed, or from belly to cards or dice, 
if not to something that is worse. And Augustine well observes that 
God hath not given to man talons and claws to rend and tear in pieces, 
as to bears and leopards ; nor horns to push, as to bulls and unicorns ; 
nor a sting to prick, as to wasps, and bees, and serpents ; nor a bill to 
strike, as to eagles and ostriches ; nor a wide mouth to devour, as to 
dogs and lions ; but a little mouth, to shew that man should be very 
temperate both in his eating and drinking. How applicable these 
things are to the luxurious persons that lived within and without the 
walls of London before it was turned into ashes, I shall leave the wise 
in heart to judge. But, 

3. Thirdly, Those great and horrid sins that were to he found in many 
men's callings— viz., excessive worldliness, extortion, deceit, hrihery, &c. 
— these hrought the sore judgment of fire upon us, Prov. xxviii. 20, 22, 
and see Josh. vii. 15, 21, 24, 25. When men are so greedy and mad 
upon the world that they make haste to be rich by all sinful devices and 
cursed practices, no wonder if God burns up their substance, and turns 
their persons out of house and home. The coal the eagle got from the 
altar — the sacrifice — and carried it to her nest, set all on fire ; so that 
estate that men get by sinful ways and unwarrantable courses first or 
last will set all they have on fire. He that resolves to be evil, may 
soon be rich, when the spring of conscience is screwed up to the 
highest pin, that it is ready to crack, when religion is locked up in an 
out-room, and forbidden upon pain of death to look into the shop or 
warehouse. No wonder such men thrive and grow great in the world ; 
but all the riches such men store up, is but fuel for the fire : Hab. ii. 
9, ' Woe to him that coveteth an evil covetousness to his house, that 
he may set his nest on high, that he may be delivered from the power 
of evil !' ver. 11, ' For the stone shall cry out of the wall, the beam 
out of the timber shall answer it:' ver. 13, ' Behold, is it not of the 
Lord of hosts that the people shall labour in the very fire, and the 
people shall weary themselves for very vanity ?'i They had got great 
estates by an evil covetousness, and God was resolved that he would 
make a bonfire of all their ill-gotten goods ; and though they should 
venture their lives to save their goods and quench the flames, yet 
all should be but labour in vain, according to that word, Jer. 
li. 58, ' Thus saith the Lord of hosts, The broad walls of Babylon 
shall be utterly broken, and her high gates shall be burnt with 
fire, and the people shall labour in vain, and the folk in the fire, 

1 He, saith Chrysostom, that locks up ill-gotten riches in his counting-house, locks up a 
a thief in his countenance, which will carryall away, and if he look not the better to it, his 
precious soul also. [Qu. 'countenance/ a misprint for 'counting-house' repeated ?— G.] 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 71 

and they shall be weary/ Though Babylon was a city of great 
fame and state and riches, and deservedly accounted one of the 
world's nine wonders ; though the compass of the walls was three 
hundred and sixty-five furlongs, or forty-six miles, according to the 
number of the days in the year, and the height fifty cubits, and of 
so great a breadth that carts and carriages might meet on the top of 
them ; yea, though it was so great and vast a city, that Aristotle 
saith that it ought rather to be called a country than a city, adding 
withal, that when the city was taken, it was three days before the 
furthest part of the city could take notice of it ; yet at last, accord- 
ing to the word of the Lord, it was set on fire ; and though the 
inhabitants did weary and tire out themselves to quench the flames, 
and to save their stately houses and ill-gotten riches, yet all w^as 
labour in vain, and to no purpose. In the days of Pliny it was 
an utter desolation, and in the time of Jerome it was turned into 
a park, in which the king of Persia did use to hunt. So Ezek. xxviii. 
18, ' Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine 
iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffic ; therefore will I bring forth a 
fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee ; and I will bring thee 
to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee : * 
ver. 19, ' All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished 
at thee : thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.' 
Tyrus, among the sea-bordering cities, was most famous and renowned 
for merchandise and trade ; for thither resorted the merchants of 
all countries for traffic of Palestina, Syria, Egypt, Persia, and Assyria. 
They of Tarshish brought thither iron, lead, brass, and silver. The 
Syrians brought thither carbuncles, purple, broidered work, fine 
linen, coral, and pearl. The elews brought thither their honey, oil, 
treacle, cassia, and calamus. The Arabians brought thither lambs, 
muttons, and goats. The Sabeans brought thither their exquisite 
spices and apothecary stuff, with gold and precious stones. Now 
by fraud and deceit they grew exceeding rich and wealthy, which 
in the close issued in their total ruin, according to that of the prophet : 
Zech. ix. 3, 4, ' And Tyrus did build herself a stronghold, and heaped 
up silver as the dust, and fine gold as the mire of the streets. Behold, 
the Lord will cast her out, and he will smite her power in the sea ; 
and she shall be devoured with fire.' The Tyrians did hold themselves 
invincible, because of their situation being round about environed by 
the sea ; but yet the prophet tells them, that though they were com- 
passed about with deep waters, yet they should be destroyed by fire, 
which was executed by Alexander the Great, as historians testify. ^ It 
is not the strength, nor riches, nor situation, nor trade, nor honour, nor 
fame, nor antiquity of a city, that can preserve it, when God before- 
hand has by fire determined the destruction of it. Tyrus was a city 
of the greatest merchandising, it was a city of mighty trade, they 
were set upon heaping up of riches by hook or by crook ; so riches 
came in, though it were at the door of oppression, violence, or 
injustice, all was well, Ezek. xxvii. ; Isa. xxiii. 5-9. The traffic of 
Tyrus was great, and the sins that attended that traffic were very 
great, and for these God sent a devouring fire amongst them, which 

^ Curtius, lib. iv., and Diod. Siculus, lib. xvii. 



72 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

destroyed their palaces and treasuries, and reduced their glorious city 
to ashes. By the iniquity of their traffic they had built palaces and 
stately houses, and filled their shops and warehouses and cellars with 
rich and choice commodities ; but when God brought Nebuchadnezzar 
upon them, what the Chaldeans could not destroy by the sword they 
consumed by fire, -turning all their glorious palaces, and stately build- 
ings, and costly shops, and warehouses, into ashes, as historians testify. 
So Nineveh, for greatness, riches, and antiquity, was one of the noblest 
cities in the world, it was the capital and chief city of the Assyrian 
empire ; and though God, upon their repentance and humiliation, did 
spare them for a time, Jonah iii., yet afterwards, she returning to her 
old trade of robberies, covetousness, extortions, fraud, deceitful deal- 
ings, &c., God delivered her up as a prey into the hands of many of 
her enemies, who wonderfully spoiled and pillaged her ; and at last 
God gave her. into the hands of the Medes, who brought her to a final 
and irrecoverable desolation, according to the prophecy of the prophet 
Nahum, chap. ii. 10, ' She is empty, and void, and waste ; and the 
heart melteth, and the knees smite together, and much pain is in all 
loins, and the faces of them all gather blackness,' — that is, such black- 
ness as is on the sides of a pot. Ver. 13, ' Behold, I am against thee, 
saith the Lord of hosts, and I will burn her chariots in the smoke ; ' 
see also chap. iii. 12-15. The like judgment fell upon Sidon, [Sabel:] 
and upon that rich and renowned city of Corinth, which, through the 
commodiousness of the haven, was the most frequented place in the 
world for the intercourse of merchants out of Asia and Europe, and great 
and many were their sins about their trade and traffic ; and for these 
she was finally destroyed, and turned into cinders and ashes by the 
Eomans, [Thucyd.] 

So bribery is a sin that brings desolating and destroying judgments 
both upon persons and places : Amos v. 11, 12, ' Forasmuch therefore 
as your treading is upon the poor, and ye take from him burdens of 
wheat : ye have built houses of hewn stones, but ye shall not dwell in 
them ; ye have planted pleasant vineyards, but ye shall not drink wine 
of them. For I know your manifold transgressions and your mighty 
sins : they afflict the just, they take a bribe, and they turn aside the 
poor in the gate from their right.' Bribery is one of those mighty 
sins, or one of those bony or big-boned sins, as the Hebrew hath it, 
for which God threatens to turn them out of house and home. 
Bribery is a bony sin, a huge sin, a heinous sin, a monstrous sin, a 
sin that is capable of all manner of aggravations, and therefore the 
Lord punisheth it with desolating judgments: Job xv. 34, 'And fire 
shall consume the tabernacles of bribery,' or the receivers of gifts, as 
both the Hebrew and the Septuagint may be read. When wicked 
men build their houses, their tabernacles, by pilling and polling, by 
bribery, cheating, defrauding, or overreaching others, it is a righteous 
thing with God to set their houses on fire about their ears. Thus 
Dioclesian had his house wholly consumed by lightning and a flame 
of fire that fell from heaven upon it, as Eusebius tells us.i Upon 
such a generation of men as build their houses by bribery, or oppres- 

^ De vita Constant., lib. v. 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 73 

sion, or deceit, &c., God many times makes good that word. Job 
xviii. 15, 'Brimstone shall be scattered upon his habitation;' and 
that word, Micah iii. 11, 12, ' The heads thereof judge for reward, and 
the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for 
money. Therefore shall Zion for your sake be ploughed as a field, 
and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as 
the high places of the forest.' Bribery and covetousness had overrun 
all sorts of such as were in power and authority, whether civil or 
ecclesiastical, and for this Zion must be ploughed as a field, and 
Jerusalem become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high 
places of the forest. By these exquisite terms the total and dismal 
desolation and destruction of Zion, Jerusalem, and the temple, that 
famous house that was once worthily reckoned one of the seven won- 
ders of the world, is set forth unto us, Jer. vii. 4, 5. That Jerusalem, 
that God's house and temple wherein they so much trusted and gloried, 
should become as a mountainous forest and wilderness, was incredible 
to them as the jumbling of heaven and earth together, or the dethron- 
ing of God by taking the crown from his head and thrusting of him 
from his chair of state ; and yet all this was made good according 
to that dreadful prophecy of Christ, * There shall not be left one 
stone upon another/ Luke xix. 43, 44. These are the sad effects of 
bribery, covetousness, &c. So Prov. xxix, 4, * The king by judg- 
ment establisheth the land; but he that receiveth gifts, or bribes, 
overthrows it.' 

Ah London ! London ! were there none within nor without thy 
walls that did take a gift out of the bosom to pervert the ways of 
judgment ? Prov. xvii. 23 ; were there none whose right hands were 
full of bribes ? Ps. xxvi. 10 ; were there none like Samuel's sons, who 
turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment in 
the midst of thee ? 1 Sam. viii. 3 ; were there no rulers nor others 
within nor without thy walls that did love to say with shame, Give 
ye ? Hosea iv. 18 ; or that asked for a reward ? Micah vii. 3 ; or that 
with Gehazi run after rewards ? or that were not ready to transgress 
for a piece of bread ? Prov. xxviii. 21 ; or that were not like the 
horse-leech's daughter, still crying out. Give, give? Prov. xxx. 15. 
Themistocles caused a brand of infamy to be set upon Athmius his 
children, and all his posterity after him, because he brought gold from 
the king of Persia to corrupt, bribe, and win the Grecians. ^ If all 
that were within and without the walls of London that received bribes, 
and run after rewards, had a brand of infamy set upon them, I am apt 
to think many of them would be ashamed to walk the streets, who 
have once carried it with a very high hand. 

Ah London ! London ! were there none within nor without thy 
walls that had the balance of deceit in their hands, and that loved to 
oppress, falsifying the balances by deceit, and that had in their bags 
divers weights, that did sell by one measure and buy by another, that 
had wicked balances, and the bag of deceitful weights in their hands, 
their houses, their shops, their warehouses ? Hosea xii. 7 ; Amos viii. 
5; Deut. xxv. 13; Micah vi. 11. Well, suppose there were many 

2 Rather Arthmius, 'Ap^/itoy.— Plutarch, * Themistocles/ c. vi. — Q. 



74 London's lamentations on [Isa. XL II. 24, 25. 

such witliin and without the walls of London, what of that? why 
then, I would say, 

[1.] Fh'st, Such run counter-cross to divine commands: Lev. xix. 
35, 36, 'Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment, in meteyard, 
in weight, or in measure. Just balances, just weights, a just ephah, 
and a just hin, shall ye have.' Ezek. xlv. 10, ' Ye shall have just 
balances, and a just ephah, and a just bath.' Deut. xxv. 13-15, ' Thou 
shalt not have in thy bag divers weights, a great and a small. But 
thou shalt have a perfect and just weight, a perfect and just measure 
shalt thou have : that thy days may be lengthened in the land which 
the Lord thy God giveth thee;' Lev. xix. 13; Mark x. 19 ; 1 Cor. 
vii. 5. We have a common saying, Weight and measure is heaven's 
treasure. But, 

[2.] Secondly, Such persons and such practices are an abomina- 
tion to the Lord: Deut. xxv. 16, 'For all that do such things, and 
all that do unrighteousness, are an abomination unto the Lord 
thy God.' Prov. xi. 1, 'A false balance is abomination to the 
Lord;' chap. xx. 10, ' Divers weights, and divers measures, both of 
them are alike abomination to the Lord, and a false balance is 
not good.' Now mark, the very weights and measures are an 
abomination to the Lord ; how much more the men that make use of 
them ! But, 

[3.] Thirdly, Such act counter-cross to God's delight: Trov. xi. 1, 
* A just weight is his delight;' chap. xvi. 11, 'A just weight and 
balance are the Lord's.' They are commanded by the Lord, and 
commended by the Lord, and they are the delight of the Lord. But, 

[4.] Fourthly, Such act counter-cross ^o his nature, which is holy, 
just, and righteous, and to all his administrations, which are full of 
righteousness, justice, and equity, Ezek. xviii., and xxxiii. 17, 20, 29. 
But, 

[5.] Fifthly, Such act counter-cross to the very light and laiv of 
nature, by not dealing by others as they would have others deal by 
them. Mat. vii. 12. They are the very botches of the land, and 
enemies to all civil society. But, 

[6.] Sixthly, Such stir up the anger and indignation of God against 
themselves: Ezek. xxii. 13, ' Behold, therefore I have smitten mine 
hand at thy dishonest gain which thou hast made,' or ' at thy covetous- 
ness,' as some render the Hebrew word, or ' at thy money gotten by 
fraud and force, and overreaching and cheating of others,' as others 
render it. God is here said to smite his hands at their dishonest gain, 
to note the greatness of his anger, wrath, and indignation against them ; 
and his readiness and resolvedness to take vengeance on them, by 
animating, instigating, encouraging, and stirring up the Chaldeans to 
destroy their persons by the sword, and to consume their riches and 
houses by fire, chap. xxi. 17. God has no hand to smite ; but this is 
spoken after the manner of men, who oftentimes express the greatness 
of their wrath and rage by smiting their hands one against another. 
God, to shew the greatness of his spleen and rage, in a holy sense, 
against them for their dishonest gain, expresses it by the smiting of 
his hands : 1 Thes. iv. 6, ' That no man go beyond or defraud his 
brother in any matter : because that the Lord is the avenger of all 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 75 

such.' First or last vengeance will reach them who make it their 
business, their trade, to overreach others. But, 

[7.] Seventhly, Such act counter-cross to the examples of the most 
eminent saints. To the example of Moses : Num. xvi. 15, 'I have 
not taken an ass from them, neither have I hurt one of them.' Of 
Samuel, 1 Sam. xii. 3-5 ; of Zacharias and Elizabeth, Luke i. 5, 6 ; 
of Paul, Acts xxiv. 16 ; yea, to the examples of all the apostles, 
Judas excepted : 2 Cor. i. 12, and vii. 2, ' Eeceive us ; we have 
wronged no man, we have corrupted no man, we have defrauded no 
man. But, 

[8.] Eighthly and lastly. Such act counter-cross to their oion ever- 
lasting happiness and blessedness: 1 Cor. vi. 8, 9, ' Nay, you do wrong, 
and defraud, and that your brethren. Know ye not that the unright- 
eous shall not inherit the kingdom of heaven ? ' Unrighteous persons 
may hear much of heaven, and talk much of heaven, and set their 
faces towards heaven ; but they shall never inherit the kingdom of 
heaven. God himself has locked fast the gate of blessedness against 
the unrighteous ; and therefore all the world shall never be able to 
open it. Heaven would be no heaven, but a hell, if the unrighteous 
should inhabit there. To sum up all : If such persons run counter- 
cross to God's commands, if their persons and practices are an abomina- 
tion to the Lord, if they act counter-cross to God's delight and to his 
nature, yea, to the very light and law of nature, to the best examples, 
and to their own happiness and blessedness, is it any wonder then to 
see divine justice set such mens houses on fire about their ears, and 
to see the flames consume such estates as were got either by fraud or 
force, by craft or cruelty, &c, ? 

Now the gaining of the things of this world by hook or by crook, 
or by such wicked courses and cursed practices that we have been dis- 
coursing on, I cannot charge upon the people of God, that did truly 
fear him, whose habitations were once within or without the walls of 
London, because such practices would neither stand with grace, nor 
with the honour of God, nor with the credit of religion, nor with the 
law of God, nor with the law of nature, nor with the peace of a saint's 
soul. Besides, it is very observable to me, that those that have the 
balances of deceit in their hand, are called Canaanites in that 12th of 
Hosea 7th verse, ' He is a merchant ; the balances of deceit are in his 
hand ; he loveth to oppress ' — Heb. , he is Canaan, that is, a mere 
natural man, that hath no common honesty in him, a money-merchant, 
one that cares not how he comes by it, so he may have it ; one that 
counts all good fish that comes to his net, though it be through cun- 
ning contrivances or violent practices. But, 

4. Fourthly, Desperate incorrigihleness and tmreformedness under 
wasting and destroying judgme7its, brings the desolating judgment of 
fire upon a people^ Lev. xxvi. ; Deut. xxviii. ; turn to that Jer. xxx. 
23, 24. Isa. xlii. 24, 25, ' Who gave Jacob for a spoil, and Israel to 
the robbers ? did not the Lord, he against whom we have sinned ? for 
they would not walk in his ways, neither were they obedient unto his 
law. Therefore he hath poured upon him the fury of his anger, and 
the strength of battle : and it hath set him on fire round about, yet 
he knew not ; and it burned him, yet he laid it not to heart.' Lev. 



76 LONDON'S LAMENTATIONS ON [ISA. XLII. 24, 25. 

xxvi. 27, 28, 31-33, ' And if ye will not for all this hearken unto me, 
but walk contrary unto me ; then will I walk contrary unto you also 
in fury ; and I, even 1, will chastise you seven times for your sins. 
And I will make your cities waste, and bring your sanctuaries unto 
desolation. And I will bring the land into desolation ; and your 
enemies which dwell therein shall be astonished at it. And I will 
scatter you among the heathen, and will draw oat a sword after you ; 
and your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste.' Isa. i. 5, 7, 8, 
* Why should you be stricken any more ? ye will revolt more and 
more. The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. Your 
country is desolate, your cities are burnt with fire : your land, strangers 
devour it in your presence, and it is desolate, as overthrown by 
strangers. And the daughter of Zion is left as a cottage in a 
vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city.' 
Amos iv. 7-11, ' And I also have given you cleanness of teeth in 
all your cities, and want of bread in all your places : yet have ye not 
returned unto me, saith the Lord. And also I have withholden the 
rain from you, when there were yet three months to the harvest: 
and I caused it to rain upon one city, and caused it not to rain 
iipon another city : one piece was rained upon, and the piece where- 
upon it rained not withered. So two or three cities wandered unto 
one city to drink water ; but they were not satisfied : yet have ye not 
returned unto me, saith the Lord. I have smitten you with blast- 
ing and mildew : when your gardens, and your vineyards, and your 
fig-trees, and your olive-trees increased, the palmer-worm devoured 
them : yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the Lord. I have sent 
among you the pestilence, after the manner of Egypt; your young 
men have I slain with the sword, and have taken away your horses, 
and I have made the stink of your camps to come up unto your nos- 
trils : yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the Lord. I have over- 
thrown some of you, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and ye 
were as a firebrand plucked out of the burning : yet have ye not re- 
turned unto me, saith the Lord.' By all these scriptures it is most 
evident that desperate incorrigibleness and unreformedness under 
wasting and destroying judgments brings the fiery dispensations of 
God upon a people. Ah London, London ! how long has the Lord 
been striving with thee by his Spirit, by his word, by his messengers, 
by his mercies, and by lesser judgments, and yet thou hast been in- 
corrigible, incurable, and irrecoverable under all ! God looked that 
the agues, fevers, small-pox, strange sicknesses, want of trade, and 
poverty that was coming on like an armed man upon thee, with all the 
lesser fires that have been kindled in the midst of thee, should have 
awakened thee to repentance ; and yet under all, how proud, how 
stout, how hard, how obdurate hast thou been ! God looked that the 
bloody sword that the nations round hath drawn against thee should 
have humbled thee, and brought thee to his foot : and yet thou hast 
rejected the remedy of thy recovery. God looked that the raging, 
devouring pestilence that in 1 665 destroyed so many ten thousands of 
thy inhabitants should have astonished thee, and have been as a prodigy 
unto thee, to have affrighted thee out of thy sins, and to have turned 
thee to the Most High : but yet after so stupendous and amazing 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 77 

judgments, thou wast hardened in thy sins, and refusedst to return. 
By all these divers kinds of judgments, how little did God prevail with 
thy magistracy, ministry, or commonalty to break off their sins, to 
repent, and to abhor themselves in dust and ashes ! Hath not God 
spent all his rods in vain upon thee ? Were not all sorts of men 
generally seven times worse after those wasting judgments than they 
were before ? Jer. xxiv. 2, 3. And therefore thou hast cause to fear 
that this is that which hath kindled such a devouring fire in the midst 
of thee, and that hath turned thy glory into shame, thy riches, palaces, 
and stately houses into ashes. When after the raging pestilence men 
returned to the city, and to their estates and trades, &c., they returned 
also to their old sins ; and as many followed the world more greedily 
than ever, so many followed their lusts, their sinful courses, more 
violently than ever ; and this has ushered in thy desolation, London ! 
The physician, when he findeth that the potion which he hath given 
his patient will not work, he seconds it with one more violent ; and 
thus doth the chirurgeon too. If a gentle plaster will not serve, then 
he applies that which is more corroding ; and to prevent a gangrene, 
he makes use of his cauterising knife, and takes off the joint or member 
that is so ill affected. So doth the great God ; when men are not 
bettered by lesser judgments, he sends greater judgments upon them. 
God was first as a moth to Ephraim, which consumed him by little 
and little ; but when that would not better him, and reform him, then 
the Lord comes as a lion upon him, and tore him all to pieces, Hosea 
v. 12, 14. If the dross of men's sins will not come off, he will throw 
them into the melting-pot again and again, he will crush them harder 
and harder in the press of his judgments, and lay on such irons as shall 
enter more deep into their souls. If he strikes, and they grieve not ; 
if he strikes again, and they tremble not ; if he wounds, and they return 
not ; then it is a righteous thing with God to turn men out of house 
and home, and to burn up their comforts round about them. Now 
this has been thy case, London ! and therefore God has laid thee 
desolate in the eyes of the nations. 

Now this desperate incorrigibleness and unreformedness under wast- 
ing and destroying judgments I cannot groundedly fix upon those who 
did truly fear the Lord within and without the walls of London, because 
they made it their business, according to the different measures of grace 
they had received, to mourn under wasting judgments, and to lament 
after the Lord under wasting judgments, and to be bettered and re- 
formed under wasting judgments, and not only to understand, but also 
to obey the voice of the rod. Their earnest prayers, strong cries, bitter 
tears, sad sighs, and heavy groans under wasting judgments, may 
sufficiently evidence that they were not incorrigible under wasting 
judgments. But, 

5. Fifthly, Insolent and cruel oppressing of the poor is a sin that 
brings desolating and destroying judgments upon a people. God sent 
ten wasting judgments one after another upon Pharaoh, his people, and 
land, to revenge the cruel oppression of his poor people, Exod. iii. 
9. Prov. xxii. 22, 23, ' Rob not the poor, because he is poor ; neither 
oppress the afiiicted in the gate : for the Lord will plead their cause.' 
To rob and oppress the rich is a great sin ; but to rob and oppress the 



78 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

poor is a greater ; but to rob and oppress the poor, because he is 
poor, and wants money to buy justice, is the top of all inhumanity and 
impiety. To oppress any one is a sin ; but to oppress the oppressed is 
the height of sin. Poverty and want and misery should be motives 
to pity ; but oppressors make them the whetstones of their cruelty and 
severity, and therefore the Lord will plead the cause of his poor 
oppressed people against their oppressors without fee or fear ; yea, he 
will plead their cause with pestilence, blood, and fire. Gog was a 
great oppressor of the poor, Ezek. xxxviii. 8-14, and God pleads 
against him with pestilence, blood, and fire : ver, 22, ' And I will 
plead against him with pestilence and with blood ; and I will rain 
upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are 
with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brim- 
stone/ Such as oppress a man and his house, even a man and his 
heritage, they take the surest and the readiest way to bring ruin upon 
their own houses, Micah ii. 1, 2. Isa. v. 8, ' Woe unto them that join 
house to house, and field to field, till there be no place, that they may 
be placed alone in the midst of the earth !' But mark what follows : 
ver. 9, ' In mine ears said the Lord of hosts. Of a truth many houses 
shall be desolate, even great and fair, without inhabitants ; of a truth 
many houses shall be desolate.' This is an emphatical form of swear- 
ing ; it is as if the Lord had said, * Let me not live, or let me never be 
owned or accounted a God, or let me never be looked upon as a God of 
truth, a God of my word ; let me never be believed nor trusted more 
for a God, if I do not lay desolate the houses of oppressors, the great 
houses of oppressors, the fair houses of oppressors ; . yea, the multitude 
and variety of the houses of oppressors.' So Amos iii. 9-11, ' Publish 
in the palaces at Ashdod, and in the palaces in the land of Egypt, and 
say, Assemble yourselves upon the mountains of Samaria, and behold 
the great tumults in the midst thereof, and the oppressed,' or oppres- 
sions, ' in the midst thereof For they know not to do right, saith the 
Lord, who store up violence and robbery in their palaces. Therefore 
thus saith the Lord God, An adversary there shall be even round about 
the land ; and he shall bring down thy strength from thee, and thy 
palaces shall be spoiled.' Sow mark the 15th verse, 'And I will 
smite the winter-house with the summer-house ; and the houses of 
ivory shall perish, and the great houses shall have an end, saith the 
Lord.' In their palaces, and in their winter and summer houses, they 
stored up all the riches, preys, and spoils that they had got by 
oppression. But God tells them that their palaces should be spoiled, 
and that he would smite the winter-house upon the summer-house — so 
the Hebrew runs. God was resolved that he would dash one house 
against the other, and lay them all on heaps. Though their palaces 
and houses were never so rich, and strong, and stately, and pompous, 
and glorious, and decked, and adorned, and enamelled, and checkered, 
yet they should all down together. So Zech. vii. 10, 11, 14, ' Oppress 
not the widow, nor the fatherless, the stranger, nor the poor ; and let 
none of you imagine evil against his brother in your heart. But they 
refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their 
ears, that they should not hear.' Well now, mark what follows : ver. 
14, ' But I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations whom 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. - 79 

they knew not. Thus the land was desolate after them, that no man 
passed through nor returned: for they laid the pleasant land' (or as 
the Hebrew has it, the second land of desire) ' desolate.' Palestine 
was a very pleasant land — a land which flowed with milk and honey, a 
land which was the glory of all lands ; God had made it as his 
paradise, and enriched it with all plenty and pleasure, and, above all, 
with his presence and residence in his city and temple ; but they by 
oppressing the poor, the widow, and the fatherless, laid all desolate : 
Jer. xii. 12, ' house of David, thus saith the Lord, Execute judg- 
ment in the morning, and deliver him that is spoiled out of the hand 
of the oppressor, lest my fury go out like fire, and burn that none can 
quench it.' Oppression lays a people open to God's fury, it provokes 
the Lord to turn their all into unquenchable flames : Ps. xii. 5, * For 
the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will 
I arise, saith the Lord ; I will set him in safety from him that puffeth 
at him.' Upon these words Chrysostom saith, Timete quicunque 
pauperem injuria afficitis ; Jiabetis vos potentiam et opes, et judicum 
henevolentiam ; sed habent illi arma omnium validissima, luctus 
et ejulatus, quce a ccelis auxilium attraliunt. Hcec arma domus 
effodiunt, fundamenta evertunt, hcec integras nationes suhmergunt : 
Fear ye, whosoever ye be, that do wrong the poor, you have power and 
wealth, and the favour of the judges ; but they have the strongest 
weapons of all, sighings and groanings, which fetch help from heaven 
for them. These weapons dig down houses, throw up foundations, 
overthrow whole nations.! Thus you see by all these clear scriptures 
that oppression is a sin that brings wasting and destroying judgments 
upon a people. 

Ah, London ! London ! was there no oppression and cruelty to be 
found within and without thy walls ? Eccles. iv. 1, ' So I returned, 
and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun : and 
behold the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; 
and on the side of their oppressors there was power ; but they had 
no comforter.' And behold the tears of such as were oppressed. The 
original word signifies lachrymam, non lachrymas, a tear, not tears ; 
as if the oppressed had wept so long, and wept so much, that they 
could weep no longer, nor weep no more, having but only one tear 
left them. Were there not, London ! many of thy poor oppressed 
inhabitants that wept so long, that they could weep no longer ; and 
that wept so much, that they had but one tear left ? Oh, the cries 
and tears of the oppressed within and without thy walls did so pierce 
God's ears, and so work upon his heart, that at last he comes down in 
flames of fire to revenge the oppressed. Were there no rich citizens 
that did rack their tenants, and grind the faces of the poor, that took 
an advantage from their necessities to beat down the price of their 
commodities, that so they might raise themselves on the poor's ruin ? 
Were there no false weights, false wares, false lights, false measures to 
be found within and without thy walls by which the poor has been 
cheated, cozened, and oppressed ? 2 Oh how did the rich work upon 

^ Chrys. in Psalm xii. 

' Were there none within nor without thy walls, London, that used his neighbour 
without wages, and gave him no reward for his work ? that kept back the hire of the 



80 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

the necessities of the poor, bringing them to such under-prices as hath 
undone both them and their malcing good that word, Amos viii. 4, 
' They swallow up the needy, and make the poor of the land to fail !' 
Oh the heavy burdens that have been laid upon the poor by their 
Egyptian taskmasters ! what overreaching of the poor, and what over- 
rating of the i^oor have been within and without thy walls, London ! 
Thy poor, London, did rise early and go to bed late ; they did fare 
hard, and lie hard, and work hard ; and yet by reason of the cruelty, 
oppression, and unmercifulness of many of thy wealthy citizens, they 
were hardly able to make any convenient supplies for themselves and 
their families. Oppression turns princes into roaring lions, and 
judges into evening wolves : it is an unnatural sin, it is a sin against 
the light of nature. No creatures do oppress them of their own kind. 
Look upon the birds of prey, as upon eagles, vultures, hawks, and you 
shall never find them preying upon their own kind. Look upon the 
wild beasts of the forest, as upon the lion, the tiger, the wolf, the 
bear, &c., and you shall find them favourable to them of their own 
kind ; and yet men unnaturally prey upon one another — like the fish 
in the sea, the great swallowing up the small. It is a sin against that 
great and common rule of equity, Mat. vii. 12, ' All things whatsoever 
ye would that men should do unto you, do ye even so to them.' Now 
no man in his wits would have another to wrong and oppress him in 
his estate, name, or conscience : and therefore he should not wrong or 
oppress others in their estates, names, or consciences : and therefore 
no wonder if God punishes this sin with flames of fire. It is thy 
oppressors, London, that has turned thy glory into ashes. 

Now this insolent oppressing of the poor is a sin that I cannot 
make good against the people of God that did truly fear him in that 
great city. It is a sin they have often bewailed and lamented before 
the Lord in their solemn addresses to God. Where this sin is ram- 
pant, where it rules as a prince upon the throne, it is a clear evidence 
that the fear of the Lord is not in such men's hearts : Lev. xxv. 17, 
' Ye shall not oppress one another, but thou shalt fear thy God.' Now 
this lies fair in the words, — viz., that such as do oppress others, they do 
not fear God : and such as do fear God, they will not oppress others. 
Amalek was a great oppressor of the poor people of God, and the 
Holy Ghost hath set this black brand of infamy upon him, that he 
feared not God, Deut. xxv. 18.^ Had Amalek feared the Lord, he 
would have been so far from oppressing the poor people of God, that 
he would have comforted them, and succoured them, and relieved 
them in the midst of their necessities, miseries, and distresses. The 
Jews oppressing one another is attributed to their not fearing of God, 
Neh. V. 9. Oppression is so crying a sin against the law of God, the 
law of grace, the law of nature, and the law of nations, that certainly 
it cannot be justly charged upon such as have set up God in their 
hearts as the great object of their fear. The word for oppression in 

labourer, and that were the poor labourer's purse-bearers and cofferers, whether they 
would or no? that fleeced the poor to feather their own nests? Deut. xxiv. 14, 15; 
Exod. xxii. 22, 23; Zeph. iii. 3. 

^ Oppressors are persons destitute of the fear of God ; and the want of the fear of the 
Lord is the spring and fountain of the worst of sins, and that against which the Lord 
will conne near in judgment, Mai. iii. 5. 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 81 

the Hebrew is mispacJi, which signifies a scab, a wound, a leprosy. 
Now oppression is such a scab, a wound, a leprosy as is not to be 
found upon those that have fellowship with the Father and the Son. 
Oppressors may boast of their profession, and call themselves saints, 
or the people of God, but Grod accounts them worse than Scythians. 
Witness those dreadful woes that God has denounced against them 
in the blessed Scriptures : Zeph. iii. 1, ' Woe to the oppressing city ! ' 
Jer. xxii. 13, ' Woe unto him that buildeth his house by unrighteous- 
ness, and his chambers by wrong : that useth his neighbour s service 
without wages, and giveth him not for his work ! ' Isa. x. 1-3, ' Woe 
unto them that decree unrighteous decrees. To turn aside the needy 
from judgment, and to take away the right from the poor of my 
people, that widows may be their prey, and that they may rob the 
fatherless ! And what will ye do in the day of visitation, and in the 
desolation which shall come from far ? to whom will ye flee for help ? 
and where will ye leave your glory?' Micah ii. 1, 2, ' Woe to them 
that devise iniquity, and work evil upon their beds ! when the morn- 
ing is light they practise it, because it is in the power of their hand. 
And they covet fields, and take them by violence ; and houses, and 
take them away : so they oppress a man and his house, even a man 
and his heritage.' Now by all these dreadful woes it is further evi- 
dent that this horrid sin of insolent oppression cannot be charged 
upon the called and chosen of God ; for where do you find in all the 
Scriptures the vessels of glory under those woes that are denounced 
against the ungodly ? But, 

6. Sixthly, Rejecting the gospel^ contemning the gospel, and slight- 
ing the free and gracious offers of Christ in the gospel, brings the fiery 
dispensation upon a people, and causes the Lord to lay their cities 
desolate : Mat. xxii. 2-7, ' The kingdom of heaven is like unto a 
certain king which made a marriage for his son. And he sent forth 
his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding : and they 
would not come. Again he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell 
them which are bidden. Behold, I have prepared my dinner : my oxen 
and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready; come unto the 
marriage. But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his 
farm, another to his merchandise : and the remnant took his servants, 
and entreated them spitefully, and slew them. But when the king 
heard thereof, he was wroth : and sent forth his armies, and destroyed 
those murderers, and burnt up their city.' In this parable the voca- 
tion of the Gentiles and the rejection of the Jews is set forth. i The 
Jews have the honour to be first called to the marriage-feast — they 
are invited by the prophets, and afterwards by the apostles to partake 
of Christ, and of all his royal benefits and favours which are dis- 
played in the gospel, Isa. xxv. 8, 9 ; Prov. ix. 1-6 ; Isa. Iv. 1-3. 
God the Father was very willing and desirous to make up a match 
between Christ and the Jews, and between Christ and the Gentiles ; 
and he is here called a King, to declare his divine majesty, and to set 
forth the stateliness and magnificence of the feast. Marriage -feasts 
that are usually made by kings are full of joy, and full of state, full 
of splendour and glory. Who can sum up the variety of dishes and 

^ Calvin, Chrysostom. 
VOL. VI. V 



82 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

dainties that then the guests are feasted with ? The variety of the 
glorious excellencies, favours, and mercies of Christ that are discovered 
and tendered by God in gospel-oifers, in gospel-ordinances, is the wed- 
ding-feast to which all sorts of sinners are invited. But here you see 
they slight, and scorn, and contemn both the master of the feast and the 
matter of the feast, and all those servants that were sent to invite them 
to the feast; and hereupon the king was wroth, and sent forth his 
armies — the Komans, as most interpreters do agree — and destroyed 
those murderers, and burnt up their city. About forty years after the 
death of Christ, the Lord, to revenge the blood of his Son, the blood of 
his servants, and the contempt of his gospel upon the Jews, brought 
his armies, the Komans, against Jerusalem, who by fire demolished 
their temple and city, and by sword and famine destroyed eleven mil- 
lions of men, women, and children ; and those that escaped fire, sword, 
and famine, were sold for slaves, and scattered among all the nations.l 
Christ and the way of salvation by him is the subject-matter of the 
gospel. The word 'Eva/yyeXLov, that is rendered ' gospel,' signifies glad 
tidings, good news ; and certainly salvation by Christ is the best news, 
it is the greatest and the gladdest tidings that ever was brought to sin- 
ners' ears. What the psalmist had long before said of the city of God, 
* Glorious things are spoken of thee,' Ps. Ixxxvii. 3, that I may truly 
say of the blessed gospel, ' Glorious things are spoken of thee, thou 
gospel of God.' The gospel is called ' the glorious gospel of the 
blessed God,' 1 Tim. i. 11. The gospel is a glorious gospel in respect 
of the Author of it, and in respect of the penmen of it, and in respect 
of the glorious discoveries that it makes of God, of Christ, of the 
Spirit, of heaven, and in respect of its glorious effects, in turning of 
poor sinners ' from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan 
unto God,^ Acts xxvi. 18, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and 
inheritance among them which are sanctified. Certainly Solomon's 
natural history, in which he treated of all trees, ' from the cedar to the 
hyssop, of all beasts, fowls, and creeping things,' 1 Kings iv. 33, was a very 
rare and incomparable piece in its kind ; yet one leaf, yea, one line of the 
gospel is infinitely more worth, and of greater importance to us, than 
all that large volume would have been. 2 For what is the knowledge 
of trees, and birds, and beasts, and worms, and fishes, to the knowledge 
of God in Christ, to the knowledge of the great things of eternity, to 
the knowledge of a man's sinful estate by nature, or to the knowledge 
of his happy estate by grace ? Doubtless to a soul that hath tasted 
that the Lord is gracious, there is no book to this of the Bible. Acts 
xix. 19 : When the Lord had made it the day of his glorious power 
to their conviction, conversion, and salvation, they burnt their costly 
books of curious arts. And no wonder ; for they had found the power 
and the sweet of a better book, even of God's book, upon their hearts. 
Luther, speaking of the gospel, saith, ' that the shortest line, and the 
least letter thereof, is more worth than all heaven and earth.' He 
tasted so much of the sweetness of the gospel, and saw so much of the 

^ Josephus de Bell Judaic, lib. vii. 

^ Some are of opinion that it was burnt by the Chaldees, together with the temple; 
others think that it was abolished by Hezekiah, because the people idolised it, as they 
did the brazen serpent. 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 83 

glory and excellency of the gospel, that he would often say to his 
triends, that he would not take all the world for one leaf of the Bible. 
Rab. Chiia, in the Jerusalem Talmud, saith, that in his account all 
the world is not of equal value with one word out of the law. Israel 
had three crowns, as the Talmud observes, (1.) of the king, (2.) of the 
priest, (3.) of the law; but the crown of the law was counted by them 
the chiefest of the three. Then what is the crown of the gospel to all 
those upon whom the gospel is come in power ? 1 Thes. i. 5-7. How 
divinely did that poet speak, who said he could read God in every 
leaf on the tree, and that he found his name written on every green 
herb ; and shall not we read God, and Christ, and grace, and mercy 
in every leaf, yea, in every line of the gospel? The Bible, saith 
Luther, is the only book ; all the books in the world are but waste 
paper to it,i so highly did he prize it, and so dearly did he 
love it. Contempt of the gospel is a great indignity cast upon 
the great God, and a great indignity cast upon Jesus Christ; for 
though the law was delivered by Moses, yet the gospel was deli- 
vered by Jesus Christ. And if they escaped not who despised 
him that spake from earth, of how much sorer punishment are they 
worthy that contemn him that speaks from heaven ? Heb. ii. 3, and 
X. 28, 29. If the book of the law happen to fall upon the ground, 
the Jews' custom is presently to proclaim a fast. sirs ! what cause 
then have we to fast and mourn, when we see the glorious gospel of 
God fallen to the ground, scorned, despised, contemned, and trampled 
upon by all sorts of sinners ! ^ Contempt of the gospel is a sin of the 
greatest ingratitude. In the gospel God offers himself, his Son, his 
Spirit, his grace, his kingdom, and all the glory of another world. 
Now for men to despise and contemn these offers, is the highest in- 
gratitude and unthankfulness imaginable ; and therefore no wonder 
if God burn such men up, and turn them out of house and home. 
Such justly deserve the worst of judgments, who despise the best of 
mercies. The strongest and the sweetest wine always makes the 
sharpest vinegar; the freest, the richest, and the choicest offers of 
mercy, if slighted and contemned, turn into the greatest fury and 
severity. Divine wrath smokes and burns against none so fiercely, as 
it doth against those who are despisers of gospel mercies. When gold 
is offered, men care not how great or how base he is that offers it : 
neither is it material by whom the gospel is brought unto us, whether 
it be brought unto us by Isaiah, as some think, a prophet of the blood- 
royal, or by Amos from amongst the herdmen of Tekoa. Let the 
hand be more noble or more mean that brings it, if it be slighted and 
contemned, provoked justice will revenge it. Such as slight the 
gospel, and contemn the gospel, they sin with a high hand against 
the remedy, against the means of their recovery. ' This is the con- 
demnation,' John iii. 19, this is that desperate sin that hastens 
judgments upon cities and countries, as Jewry, Asia, Bohemia, 
and other parts of the world have sadly experienced. He that hath 

^ Luther, Com. in Gen., cap. 19, 

' Jerome reports of Uzzah, that his shoulder was shrunk up and withered ; lie carted 
the ark when lie should have carried it on hiss shoulder : therefore that part was branded 
for it. 



84 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

eat poison, and shall despise the means of his recovery, must certainly 
die for it. He who, when he hath committed treason against his 
prince, shall not only refuse, but scorn and slight his prince's favour 
and pardon, and fling it from him with disdain, is assuredly past all 
help and hope. Sins against the gospel are sins of a greater size, of 
a louder cry, and of a deeper dye, than sins against the law are, and 
accordingly God suits his judgments. Where the gospel shines in 
power, it will either mend a people or mar a people : it will either 
better them or worsen them ; it will either fit them for the greatest 
good, or it will bring upon them the greatest evils : where it doth not 
reform, there it will destroy. And this London hath found by woeful 
experience. Slighting and contemning of the ofi'ers of grace in the 
gospel, is a sin that is not chargeable upon the greatest part of the 
world, who ' lieth in wickedness,' and who ' sit in darkness, and in 
the region and shadow of death,' 1 John v. 19 ; Mat. iv. 16 ; yea, it 
is a sin that is not chargeable upon the devils themselves, and there- 
fore the more severely will Gocl deal with those that are guilty of it. 
The gospel hath for above this hundred years shined forth out of the 
dark and thick clouds of popery and antichristianism which had over- 
spread the nation. And in no part of the land hath the gospel been 
preached with more clearness, spiritualness, life, power, and purity 
than in London. And oh that I had not cause to say that there was 
no part of the nation where the gospel was more undervalued, slighted, 
and contemned by many than in London ! For, 

[1.] First, Where the faithful and gainful ministers of the gospel 
are slighted and contemned as ministers of the gospel, there the gospel 
is slighted and contemned, Mat. xxiii. 37, and Luke x. 16. Now 
were there none within nor without thy walls, London ! that did 
slight, scorn, reproach, and contemn the ambassadors of Christ, who 
were faithful to their light, their Lord, their consciences, and the souls 
of their hearers ? But, 

[2.] Secondly, Where the ministrations of the gospel, lohere the 
ordinances of the gospel are slighted and contemned, there the gospel 
is slighted and contemned; yea, where any one ordinance of the 
gospel is slighted and contemned, there the gospel is slighted and 
contemned : where baptism is slighted and contemned, there the 
gospel is slighted and contemned ; w^here the Lord's supper is 
slighted and contemned, there the gospel is slighted and contemned ; 
where the offers of the gospel are slighted and contemned, there the 
gospel is slighted and contemned ; where the commands of the gospel 
are slighted and contemned, there the gospel is slighted and con- 
temned ; where the threatenings of the gospel are slighted and con- 
temned, there the gospel is slighted and contemned ; where the pro- 
mises of the gospel are slighted and contemned, there the gosjjel is 
slighted and contemned ; and where the comforts of the gospel are 
slighted and contemned, there the gospel is slighted and contemned.^ 
Now were there none within nor without thy walls, London ! that 
did slight and contemn the ministrations of the gospel, ' the ordinances 

^ a man upon whom the gospel hath wrought savingly, he will, (1.) Prize all the 
ordinances ; (2.) Practise all the ordinances ; (3.) Praise the Lord for all the or- 
dinances. 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 85 

of the gospel'? Luke i. 5, 6. When old Barzillai had lost his taste 
and hearing, he cared not for David's feasts and music, 2 Sam. xix. 
35. There were many within and without the walls of London that 
had lost their spiritual taste and hearing, and so cared not for gospel 
ministrations, for gospel ordinances. There were many who, under a 
pretence of living above ordinances, lived below ordinances, and made 
light of ordinances; yea, who scorned, vilified, and contemned the 
precious ordinances of Christ. ' Thou art to them as a lovely song,' 
saith the prophet, Ezek. xxxiii. 31, 32. In the Hebrew it runs thus, 
' Thou art to them as one that breaks jests,' The solemnity and 
majesty of the word was but as a dry jest unto them. Ordinances 
were but as dry jests to many within and wdthout the walls of London ; 
and therefore no wonder if God hath been in such good earnest with 
them who have made but a jest of those precious ordinances, that are 
more worth than heaven and earth. Many came to the ordinances 
too much like the Egyptian dog, which laps a little as he runs by the 
side of Nilus, but stays not to drink. But, 

[3.] Thirdly, Such as are weary of the gospel^ such slight the 
gospel, such contemn the gospel. Never were the Israelites more weary 
of manna, than many within and without the walls of London were 
weary of the plain and powerful preaching of the gospel. Num. xi. 6 ; 
Amos viii. 5. We were better have a biting gospel than a toothless 
mass, said blessed Bradford. But were there not some that had 
rather have a toothless mass than a biting gospel ? Were there not 
many that were willing to let God go, and gospel go, and ordinances 
go, and all go, so they might be eased of their burdens and taxes, and 
greaten their relations, and have peace with all nations, and enjoy a 
sweeping trade, and every one sit under his vine and under his fig- 
tree, eating the fat, and drinking the sweet, and enjoy liberty to dis- 
honour the Lord, to gratify their lusts, to damn their own souls, and 
to bring others under their feet, so weary were they of the blessed 
gospel ? 

[4.] Fourthly, Such as have but a low and mean opinion of the 
gospel, such are slighters and contemners of the gospel. Such as 
prefer every toy, and trifle, and fashion, and sinful custom, and base 
lust above the light of the gospel, the power of the gospel, the purity 
and simplicity of the gospel, the holiness and sweetness of the gospel, 
such are slighters and contemners of the gospel, 1 Cor. i. 23. Though 
it be better to present truth in her native plainness than to hang her 
ears with counterfeit pearls, yet there were many that set a greater 
price upon the arts, the parts, the gifts, the studied notions and 
seraphical expressions of their ministers, than they did upon the gospel 
itself; and what was this but to prefer the handmaid before the 
mistress, the servant before his lord, the flowers about the dish before 
the meat that was in the dish, the chafl" before the wheat, and pebbles 
before the richest pearls ? The gospel is the field, and Christ is the 
treasure that is hid in that field ; the gospel is a ring of gold, and 
Christ is the pearl in that ring of gold ; and yet how many were there 
within and without the walls of London that put no considerable price 
or value upon the gospel ! But, 

[5.] Fifthly, Such as wilfully disobey the gospel, and live and walk 



86 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

in ways quite cross and contrary to the gospel, such are slighters and 
contemners of the gospel, and accordingly the Lord ivill deal with 
them. Take one text for all, 2 Thes. i. 7-9, ' And to you who are 
troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from 
heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire, taking vengeance on 
them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord 
Jesus : who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the 
presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.' This is a 
more terrible text against all such as are either ignorant of the gospel 
or that disobey the gospel, than any is to be found in all the Old 
Testament. In the last day Christ will take vengeance in flaming 
fire on them that disobey his gospel, and that walk contrary to the 
rules of his gospel ; and therefore no wonder if before that day he lays 
their habitations desolate by a flaming fire, whose lives give the lie to 
his glorious gospel. These men above all others expose the gospel to 
the derision and contempt of the basest and vilest men. When some 
of the heathens have looked upon the loose lives of professors, they 
have said, Aut hoc non est evangelium, aut hi non sunt Christiani, 
Either this is not the gospel, in which there is so much goodness, or 
these are not Christians, in whom there is none at all. Did you never 
hear nor read of one who, eyeing the loose conversations of professors, 
cried out, 8it anima mea cum philosophis, Let my soul be rather with 
the honest philosophers — who were heathen — than with these wicked 
lewd men that are called Christians ? Now were there none within 
nor without the walls of London that did wilfully disobey the gospel, 
and that walked in ways quite cross and contrary to the gospel? 
Surely there were ; and therefore at their doors we may safely lay the 
burning of London. But, 

[6.] Sixthly and lastly, Such as slighted, scorned, and contemned 
the faithful, sincere, serious, gracious, and conscientious professors of 
the gospel, such slighted, scorned, and contemned the gospel itself. 
When the Jews were in prosperity, it was the manner of the Samari- 
tans to repute themselves their nearest cousins. When the Jews were 
in a thriving and flourishing condition, then the Samaritans could de- 
rive their pedigree from Ephraim and Manasseh, the sons of Joseph ; 
but when the Jews were in any great afiliction, or under persecution, 
then they would deny all acquaintance with them and all relation to 
them.i When profession was in fashion and religion was in credit, 
how many were there within and without the walls of London that 
did pretend to be kin, to be cousins to the serious, conscientious, and 
sincere professors of the gospel, who since the day of their afiliction 
have_ not only denied all acquaintance with them, and renounced all 
relation to them, but also are turned slighters, scorners, and con- 
temners of them ! If these may not be reckoned among the slighters, 
scorners, and contemners of the gospel, I do not know who may. To 
sum up all, I have shewed you that slighting, scorning, and contemn- 
ing of the gospel, is a sin of that high nature that it provokes the Lord 
to lay cities desolate. I have shewed you the greatness of that sin, 
and the persons that are guilty of it ; so that now you may point with 
a finger to those persons that have laid London in ashes. 

^ Joseph. Antiq., lib. xi. cap. 8. 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 87 

But before I close up this particular, give me leave to say, that 
this sin of slighting, scorning, and contemning of the gospel, I dare 
not charge upon those that truly fear the Lord, and that have found 
the gospel to be a gospel of power upon their own souls, turning them 
from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to Jesus Christ, 
1 Thes. i. 5-7; Acts xxvi. 18. And I shall freely give you my 
reasons, that you may be the better satisfied that it was not so much 
their sins as your own that has brought down that heavy judgment of 
fire upon the city, wherein once you and they had your respective 
habitations. My reasons are these : — 

[1.] First, Those that did truly fear the Lord, and that had experi- 
enced the power of the gospel in a saving way upon their own souls, 
they did frequently before the Lord heivail and mourn over — both 
together and apart — that heinous sin of slighting, scortiing, and con- 
temning of the gospel, which many ivere guilty of tvhose habitations 
tvere then some within, and others ivithout the loalls of London, Ezek. 
ix. 4, 6. The Jews have a law which enjoins them to take up any paper 
which they see lying on the ground, and the reason is, lest haply the 
name of God be written in the paper, and ignorantly trodden under foot. 
Though Christians ought to be free from such superstitious curiosities, 
yet they ought to be very careful that the least tittle of the gospel, 
the least command of the gospel, be not trod under foot. Now the 
saints who once lived within and without the walls of London, who 
through grace have experienced the saving power of the gospel upon 
their own souls, how have they mourned and lamented to see that 
glorious gospel of Christ trod under foot, which they have laid so 
near their hearts ! and therefore I cannot fairly charge this sin upon 
them. But, 

[2.] Secondly, Slighting, scorning, and contemning of the gospel, 
is a great step towards the sin against the Holy Ghost, and a sin of so 
great a cry, and so deep a dye, that I cannot at present find ivhere it is 
in Scripture charged upon such as truly fear the Lord, and that have 
really experienced the poiver of the gospel in a saving way upon their 
oivn souls, Heb. ii. 3, and x. 28, 29 ; and therefore I cannot fairly 
charge this sin upon them. 

[3.] Thirdly, Next to God, the gospel is the most sweet and delight- 
ful thing in all the tvorld to gracious souls, who have experienced the 
saving power of it upon themselves A Luther found so much sweet- 
ness in it, that it made him say, that he would not live in paradise if 
he might without the word, at cum verba etiam in inferno facile est 
vivere — but with the word he could live in hell itself. Dolphins, 
they say, love music, and so do gracious souls love the music of the 
gospel. The gospel is like the stone garamantides, that hath drops 
of gold within itself, entiching all that will embrace it and conform 
to it : and this the saints have found by experience, and therefore they 
cannot but delight in it, and draw sweetness from it. Aglutuidas 2 
never relished any dish better than what was distasted by others : so 

^ Ps. xix. 10, 11, and cxix. 72, 103, 127 ; Job xxiii. 12. Austin cries, Away with our 
writings, that room may be made for the book of God. 

^ Query, Aglaus of Psophis, so renowned for his contentedness ? Val. Max, vii. 1, 
§ 2 : Pliny H. N. vii. 47.— G. 



88 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

do the saints relisli that gospel best that others distaste most ; and 
therefore I cannot charge this sin fairly upon them. But, 

[4.] Foui'thly, There are none that do so highly prize the gospel ^ 
and that set so high a value upon the gospel, as those do loho have 
experienced the saving power of the gospel upon their own souls, Rev. 
xii. 11, and ii. 12, 13 ; Heb. xi. 33, 38. Such prefer the gospel before 
all their nearest and dearest concernments and enjoyments that they 
have in this world ; as might be made evident from their practice in 
the primitive times, and in the Marian days, and in those late years 
that are now passed over our heads, i The tabernacle was covered 
over with red, and the purple feathers 2 tell us, they take that habit 
for the same intent, to note that w^e must defend the truth of the 
gospel, even to the effusion of blood : and this they have made good 
in all the ages of the world, who have found the saving power of the 
gospel upon their own souls. Tertullian concludes, that the gospel 
must needs be a precious thing, because Nero hated it ; and indeed 
it was so precious to the saints in his days, that they very willingly 
and cheerfully laid down their lives for the gospel's sake.^ Now 
the same spirit rests upon the saints in our days, and therefore 
upon this ground I cannot charge that horrid sin of slighting, scorn- 
ing, and contemning of the gospel upon them. Israel had three 
crowns, as the Talmud observes, (1.) of the king, (2.) of the priest, 
(3.) of the law ; but the crown of the law, that was the chief of the 
three. 

[5.] Fifthly, Who were so ready and free to countenance the gospel, 
and to maintain the gospel, and to encourage the faithful and painful 
preachers of the gospel, as those that had found the sweet of the gospel, 
and the saving power of the gospel, upon their oivn souls ? They like 
well of religion without expense in Basil, and a gospel without charge 
in Nazianzen ; but if it grow costly, it is no commodity for their 
money. Now this was the very frame and temper of many thousands 
in London, who never experienced the saving work of the gospel upon 
their poor souls : but they were of another frame and temper of spirit 
in London upon whom the gospel was fallen in power ; and therefore 
I may not charge upon them this odious sin of slighting, scorning, 
and contemning the gospel. But, 

[6.] Sixthly, Who ivere there within or ivithout the ivalls of London 
that ivere so much in a hearty and serious blessing, praising, and 
admiring of the Lord and his goodness for bringing them forth in gospel 
times, as those that had a savirig loork of the gospel upon their own 
souls? When Alexander was born, his father Philip blessed such 
gods as he had, not so much that he had a son, as that he had him in 
Aristotle's days ; he was thankful for natural and moral discoveries. 
The clearest, the choicest, the fullest, and the sweetest visions and dis- 
coveries that we have of God on this side eternity, we have in the 
gospel, and this they frequently experience who have found the gospel 
falling in power upon their souls ; and therefore they cannot but always 
have harps in their hands, and hallelujahs in their mouths, upon this 

^ Luther, speakirg of the gospel, saith, that the shortest line and the least letter thereof 
is more than all heaven and earth. 

^ That is, the Eomish priests. — G. ^ Tertul. Apol. cap. v. 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 89 

very account, that they have lived under the warm sunshine of the 
gospel, Eev. xiv. 1-4, and xix. 1-8. And therefore I shall not charge 
this vile sin of slighting, scorning, and contemning the gospel upon 
them who, above all other men, were most exercised in a serious and 
hearty blessing and praising of God for his glorious gospel. Some 
there were that blessed God for their yearly incomes, and others there 
were that blessed God for their prosperous relations and friends, and 
many there were that blessed God for their deliverance from various 
perils and dangers ; but those that had the gospel working in power 
upon them, they made it their business and work above all to bless the 
Lord for the gospel ; and therefore who dare charge upon them the 
contempt of the gospel ? But, 

[7.] Seventhly and lastly, There ivere none ivitliin nor witliout the 
icalls of London that have suffered so many things and such hard 
things, for the enjoyment of the gospel in its power and purity, as 
they have done who have found the poiverful and saving ivoo^Jc of the 
gospel upon their own souls. Such have been as signs and wonders in 
Israel, in London, Isa. viii. 18. Now what folly and vanity would it 
be to charge them with slighting, scorning, and contemning of the 
gospel, who have' been the only sufferers for the gospel's sake. And 
thus much for the twelfth i sin that brings the fiery dispensation upon 
cities and people. 

7. The sin that brings the fiery dispensation upon a people, and that 
provokes the Lord to lay their cities desolate, is a course, a trade of 
lying: Nahum iii. 1, 'Woe to the bloody city, it is full of lies;' 
ver. 7, ' And it shall come to pass, that all they that look upon thee 
shall flee from thee, and say, Nineveh is laid waste, who will bemoan 
her ? whence shall I seek comforters for thee ?' ver. 13, ' Behold, thy 
people in the midst of thee are women : the gates of thy land shall be 
set wide open to thine enemies : the fire shall devour thy bars,' that is, 
thy strongholds ; for so the word bars is frequently taken, as you may 
see by comparing the scriptures in the margin. 2 Nineveh was a great 
city, a rich city, a populous city, a trading city, it was a city that was 
wholly made up of fraud and falsehood ; it was all full of lies, or it was 
full of all sorts of lies ; there was no truth to be found either in her 
private contracts or in her public transactions and capitulations with 
other nations ; and therefore the Lord resolves to lay her desolate, and 
to consume her with fire. So Jer. ix. 3, ' And they bend their tongues 
like their bow for lies ;' ver. 5, ' And they will deceive every one his 
neighbour, and will not speak the truth : they have taught their tongue 
to speak lies, and weary themselves to commit iniquity ;' ver. 9, ' Shall 
I not visit for these things ? saith the Lord : shall not my soul be 
avenged on such a nation as this?' ver. 10, 'For the mountains will 
I take up a weeping and waiHng, and for the habitations of the wil- 
derness a lamentation, because they are burnt up ; so that none can 
pass through them, neither can men hear the voice of the cattle ; both 
the fowl of the heavens and the beasts are fled, they are gone;' ver. 11, 
* And I will make Jerusalem heaps,' (as London is this day,) ' and a 

1 Qu. ' sixth ? '—Ed. 

^ 1 Sam. xxiii. 7; 1 Kings iv. 13; 2 Ciiron. viii. 5, and xiv. 7 ; Jer. xlix. 31, and 
li. 30 ; Lam. ii, 9 ; Amos i. 5. 



90 LONDON'S LAMENTATIONS ON [ISA. XLII. 24, 25. 

den of dragons ; and I will make the cities of Judah desolate, without 
an inhabitant ;' ver. 12, ' Who is the wise man that may understand 
this ? and who is he to whom the mouth of the Lord hath spoken, that 
he may declare it, for what the land perisheth, and is burnt up like a 
wilderness that none passeth through ?' Jer. xiii. 23. The Jews had 
so inured and accustomed their tongues to speak lies, they had got 
such a haunt, a habit, and custom of lying, that they could not leave 
it ; and this was the procuring cause of that dreadful and utter devas- 
tation that befell their city and country : Hosea iv. 1-3, ' Hear the word 
of the Lord, ye children of Israel, for the Lord hath a controversy with 
the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor 
knowledge of God in the land. By swearing, and lying, and killing, 
and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out, and blood 
toucheth blood. Therefore shall the land mourn, and every one that 
dwelleth therein shall languish, with the beasts of the field, and with 
the fowls of heaven ; yea, the fishes of the sea also shall be taken 
away.' This people made it their common practice to lie ; they were 
given up to a course, a trade of lying, which God here threatens to 
punish with an extreme and universal desolation. A lie is a voluntary 
and wilful telling of an untruth, with a purpose to deceive ; so that 
three things are required to the nature of a lie : (1.) There must be 
an untruth and falseness in the thing; (2.) This untruth must be 
known to be so, he must be conscious to himself that it is false; 
(3.) He must have an intent and purpose to utter this falsehood with 
a desire or design to deceive another by it. Augustine makes eight 
sorts of lies, but the schoolmen reduce all to three : 1. Isjocosum, the 
sporting lie ; 2. Is qfficiosum, the helpful lie ; 3» Is perniciosum, the 
pernicious and hurtful lie. 

(1.) First, There is mendacium jocosum, the sporting lie; and this 
is when men will lie and tell untruths to make men sport, to make 
men merry. Of this sin the prophet Hosea complains, chap. vii. 3, 
* They make the king glad with their wickedness, and the princes with 
their lies/^ Courtiers frame fictions, and tell ridiculous stories to 
delight princes. Among many courtiers loud lies are esteemed orna- 
ments and elegancies of speech ; and none are accounted so sweet and 
pleasant in their discourse as those that can tell the most pleasing lies ; 
but such mirth-mongers and mirth-makers may do well to remember 
that such kind of mirth will bring bitterness in the end. If for ' every 
idle word that men shall speak, they must give an account in the day 
of judgment,' Mat. xii. 36, then surely much more for every lying 
word. And if foolish talking and jesting be condemned, then surely 
lying talking and jesting shall be much more condemned, if not here, 
yet in the great day, when all lying jesters shall hold up their hands 
at Christ's bar. Now were there none within nor without the walls of 
London that were guilty of merry lies, of sporting lies ? But, 

(2.) Secondly, There is. mendacium qfficiosum, the officious lie, the 
helpful lie ; and that is when a man lies to help himself or others at 
a pinch, at a dead lift. When men lie, either to prevent some danger 
they fear, or else to bring about some good they desire, then they tell 
an officious lie. Thus the Egyptian midwives lied, and thus Rahab 

* It is a received opinion in these days, that, Qui nescit diasimulare, nescit vivere. 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 91 

lied, and thus the old prophet lied, who, contrary to the command 
of God, persuaded the man of God to go back and eat bread with him 
under the pretence of a divine revelation, Exod. i. 15-20; Josh. ii. 
1-9 ; 1 Kings xiii. 14-27. And thus Jacob told his father an 
officious threefold lie, Gen. xxvii. 19, but he hardly ever had a merry 
day, a good day after it ; for God followed him with variety of troubles, 
and his sorrows, like Job's messengers, came posting in one after 
another, even to his dying day, that both himself and others might see 
what bitterness is wrapped up in officious lies. Solon, reproving 
Thespis the poet for lying, Thespis answered him. That it was not 
material, seeing it was but in sport ; then Solon, beating the ground 
with his staff, said. If we commend lying in sport, we shall find it 
afterwards in good earnest. In all our bargains and dealings let 
us make it our wisdom and our work to remember, ' That we must not 
do evil, that good may come,' Kom. iii. 8 ; yea, we must not tell a lie 
to save all the souls under heaven. The Priscillianists in Spain, a 
most pestilentious sect, taught in Augustine's time that it was lawful 
to lie lor the helping of a good cause, and for the propagating of the 
gospel, and for the advantage of religion. But Augustine confuted 
them, and stoutly asserts in two books that we are not to tell an 
officious lie, to tell a lie for no hurt but for good, though it were 
to save all the world. ' Will ye speak wickedly for God, and talk 
deceitfully for him ?' saith Job, chap. xiii. 7, to his friends. A man 
may as well commit fornication with the Moabites to draw them to our 
religion, or steal from the rich to give to the poor, as lie to do another 
man a good turn. Nepos reporteth of Epaminondas, a nobleman of 
Thebes, and a famous warrior, that he would never lie in jest nor in 
earnest, either for his own or another's gain. This refined heathen 
will one day rise in judgment against such kind of Christians who 
take a great pleasure in officious lies. Now were there none within 
or without the walls of London that delighted themselves in officious 
lies ? But, 

(3.) Thirdly, and to come closer to our work. There is mendacium 
pernicwsum, the pernicious and hurtful lie; and this of all lies is the 
worst. Gen. xxxix. 13-20, and 2 Kings v. 22, 23. When men will 
lie out of a design to hurt, to cheat, to defraud, or to make a prey of 
those they deal with, this is the sorest of all lies. Now, how rampant 
was this sort of lying among all sorts of citizens before London was in 
flames ! What a common trade of lying did many, I say not all, 
drive in their buying and selling ! The trade of lying was got into 
every trade, as if there had been no living but bylying. Many sellers 
had their lies to set off their commodities. It is good, it is very good, 
it is special good, it is the best of its kind, when it was naught, very 
naught, yea, stark naught : of this sort there are none so good in the 
city, when their consciences told them that they had much better in 
their own shops ; that their commodity cost them so much, and that 
they could not abate, nor would not abate anything of that price they 
hacl pitched, though it were to their own father or mother ; and yet, 
rather than they would lose a good customer, they presently agree at a 
lower price. And so when poor workmen came to their shops, and 
offered their commodities to sell, being forced thereunto for the relief 



92 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

of themselves and their miserable families, they slighted their com- 
modities, telling them that they had no need of them, and that they 
had much of those commodities upon their hands already, and that 
they had no way to vend them ; and all to beat down the price, and 
to make a prey of their pressing necessity ; and all this when they 
wanted those very commodities, and had more vend for them than 
they knew how to supply. Now, as the seller abounded with his lies, 
so the buyer had his lies too, and all to bring down the price : It is 
naught, it is naught, it is very naught, saith the buyer. I will not 
give you your price, and yet gives it before he goes out of the shop or 
warehouse. I have bought as good, yea, better for a lower price than 
what I offer you, saith the buyer, when yet he had never bought of 
that commodity before. Use me well, saith the buyer, and you shall 
have my custom another time, when in his heart he resolves never to 
come into the seller's shop more. Ah, London ! London ! it is these 
lies and liars that have made thee desolate, and that have laid thy 
glory in the dust. sirs ! a man were better be a loser than a 
liar ; a man were better, much better, to keep his commodity than to 
sell his conscience with his commodity. We hate the Turks for sell- 
ing of Christians for slaves ; and what shall we then think of those 
citizens, who by lying sell themselves and their precious souls for half 
a crown, yea, oftentimes for a penny ? I have read that there was a 
time when the Komans did wear jewels on their shoes ; but liars do 
worse, for they trample that matchless jewel, viz., their precious souls, 
under feet. Doubtless the lies that were told in London, and the liars 
that lived in London, did more than a little help on the ruin of Lon- 
don. Now, that you may the better read and understand the right- 
eousness of God in his highest acts of severity against lies and liars, 
premise with me briefly these four things : — 

[1.] First, That lying is a very great sin. It is a transgression not 
of one, but of many of the royal laws of heaven: Lev. xix. 11, * Ye 
shall not lie one to another ;' Zech. viii. 16, ' Speak ye every man the 
truth to his neighbour ; ' Eph. iv. 25, ' Wherefore putting away lying, 
speak every man truth with his neighbour, for we are members one of 
another.' In the body of man one member will not lie to another ; 
the hand will not lie, in telling what it toucheth ; the tongue will not 
lie, in telling what it tasteth ; the eye will not lie, in telling what it 
seeth ; but every member is a true witness to another, a true witness 
to his neighbour : and so it should be both in the politic body and in 
the mystical body of Christ, seeing we are members one of another. 
Every one should speak the truth with his neighbour. One member 
in the natural body will not mock another, nor make a fool of another; 
and why then should one Christian by lying mock another, or make a 
fool of another ? Tremellius translates it thus : Nefatuum agito, Do 
not play the fool with him. For certainly he is the veriest fool who 
by lying thinketh to make a fool of another : Col. iii. 9, ' Lie not one 
to another, seeing that ye have put ofi" the old man with his deeds.' 
God's commands are not like those that are easily reversed, but they 
are like those of the Medes, that cannot be changed, Dan. vi. To act 
or run cross to God's express command, though under pretence of 
revelation from God, is as much as a man's life is worth, as you may 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISrENSATIOX. 93 

see in that sad story, 1 Kings xiii. It is a dangerous thing for a man 
to neglect one of his commands, who by another is able to command 
him into nothing, or into hell. What God commands must be put in 
speedy execution, without denying, or delaying, or disputing the diffi- 
culties that attend it.^ The great God will not endure to be called to 
an account by the poor creature concerning his royal commands ; but 
expects that with all readiness and cheerfulness we should obey what 
he requires, even when the reason of our obedience is hid from our 
eyes ; for then grace shines most transparently and gloriously, Gen. 
xxii. I have read of one Johannes Abbas, who being commanded by 
his confessor to go some miles every day to water a dry stick, which 
he accordingly did out of a pure respect to the command of his supe- ' 
rior, without disputing the reason of it.^ Oh, how much more then 
should we readily obey divine commands, which are all holy, spiritual, 
just, and good, considering the authority, sovereignty, and majesty of 
the great God, without disputing the reasons of our obedience ; for 
let a man's reasons, though never so many and weighty, be put into 
one scale, and God's absolute command weighed against them in the 
other, the man may well write tekel, ' They are weighed in the 
balance, and found too light,' Dan. v. 27. sirs ! (Ps ciii. 20,) ' the 
angels that excel in strength do his commandments ; ' and shall the 
peasant scorn that work in which the prince himself is engaged? 
The commands of God, both in the Old and New Testament, lie fair 
and full against lying ; and therefore no wonder if God revenge the 
habitual breach of them in flames of fire. The Holy Ghost in the 
Hebrew tongue calleth a lie averij which also signifieth iniquity, 
implying that all lies are iniquity, .and that all iniquity is after a sort 
included in a lie, which doth sufficiently evidence that lying is no 
small sin. I might further argue thus, that which is contrary to 
God, who is the choicest and the chiefest good, yea, who is goodness 
and truth itself, that must needs be the greatest evil: but lying is 
contrary to the nature, essence, and being of God. Witness the 
description that he gives of himself, both in the Old and New Testa- 
ment : Exod. xxxiv. 6, ' And the Lord passed by before him, and 
proclaimed. The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long- 
suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth.' So Moses in his song, 
' He is a God of truth, and without iniquity, just and right is he.' 
Deut. xxxii. 4. So Isaiah, ' He who blesseth himself in^ the earth, 
shall bless himself in the God of truth ; and he that sweareth in the 
earth, shall swear by the God of truth,' Isa. Ixv. 16. So the psalmist, 
* Thou hast redeemed me, Lord God of truth,' Ps. xxxi. 5. Again, 
' Thou, Lord, are plenteous in mercy and truth,' Ps. Ixxxvi. 15. So 
in the New Testament, ' Let God be true, and every man a liar,' 
Kom. iii. 4. Again, ' They themselves shew how ye turned to God 
from idols, to serve the living and true God,' Acts xiv. 15. Though 
God can make a world with a word of his mouth, Gen. i., and mar a 
world with a word of his mouth, chap, vi., yet he can neither die nor 
lie : Tit. i. 2, ' In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, 
promised before the world began ; ' yea, it is impossible for God to 

^ Obedientia non discutit Dei mandata, sed i'SiCii.— Prosper. 
^ Cassianus, lib. iv. cap. 24. 



94 London's lamentations on [Is a. XLII. 24, 25. 

lie : Heb. vi. 18, ' That by two immutable things, in which it was 
impossible for God to lie.' Now by all these plain pregnant texts it is 
most evident that lying is most opposite and contrary to the very nature, 
essence, and being of God ; and therefore no wonder if the anger and 
wrath of God rises high against it. But, 

[2.] Secondly, Consider this. That pernicious^^ lies and lia^^s are 
very destructive to all Jiuman societies, kingdoms, and common- 
loealtJis. Lying destroys all society, all commerce and converse 
among the sons of men. Man, as the philosopher observeth, is ^Coov 
TToXiTLKov, a sociable creature. Speech is the means whereby men 
have society and commerce one with another. Now lying perverts 
that order which the God of truth hath appointed to be among the 
sons of men. It is the will and pleasure of God that the sons ot 
men, conversing together, should by their words and speeches and 
discourses impart and communicate their minds, designs, intentions, 
and meanings one to another, for the mutual good of one another, 
and for the profit and benefit of the whole. Now if there be nothing 
in men's words but lying, deceit, and fraud, instead of truth, what 
can follow but confusion and desolation? When the language of 
men'was confounded, so that one could not tell what another spake, 
then presently followed the dissolution of their combination ; for the 
Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the 
earth, and they left off to build the city, Gen. xi. 7, 8. When one 
asked brick, saith a Eabbin,i another brought clay, and then they fell 
together by the ears, and one dashed out the other's brains ; and by 
this means their communion was dissolved, and God brought on them 
the evil which they sought to prevent, ver. 4. But surely a lying 
tongue is a far worse enemy to society than an unknown tongue ; and 
much better it is for a man to have no society at all, than with such 
as he cannot believe what they say, or if he do, he shall be sure to be 
deceived by them. Concerning such we may well take up the words 
of Jacob : ' my soul, come not thou into their secret ; unto their 
assembly, mine honour, be not thou united,' Gen. xlix. 6. And pray 
with David : ' Deliver my soul, Lord, from lying lips, and from a 
deceitful tongue,' Ps. cxx. 2. Jeremiah did so loathe and abominate 
the society of liars, that he had rather live in a wilderness than live 
among th'em, or have anything to do with them, Jer. ix. 1-6. Liars 
destroy that communion and society that by the law of God, nature, 
and nations they ought to preserve and maintain. Lying dissolves 
that mutual trust that we should have with one another ; for hereby 
all contracts, covenants, and intercourse of dealings between man and 
man, which is, as it were, the life of the kingdom or commonwealth, 
are quite overthrown.^ When men make no conscience of lying, nor 
of keeping their word any further than either fear of loss or force of law 
compelleth them, all civil communion is at an end. There can be no 
trust where there is no truth, nor no commerce with those that cannot 
be trusted. The Scythians had a law, that if any man did, duo 
peccata contorquere, bind two sins together, a lie and an oath, he was 

^ R. Salomon. The Hebrew doctors say that at this dispersion there were seventy 
nations, with seventy sundry languages. 

^ Mendax hoc lucratur, ut cum vera dixerit. ei non credatur. 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 95 

to lose his head, because this was the way to take away all faith and 
truth among men. Had this law been put in execution in London, I 
have reason enough to fear that many citizens would have lost their 
heads long before they had lost their houses by the late dreadful fire. 
Now, seeing that pernicious lying, a course, a trade of lying, is so 
destructive to human society, why should we wonder to see the Lord 
appear in flaming fire against it ? But, 

[3.] Thirdly, Consider, That lying is a sin that is most odious and 
hateful to God ; yea^ a sin that makes men odious and hateful to him. 
Lying is repugnant unto God ; for God is a-x/reuS^?, one that cannot 
lie, Titus i..2. He is ]D^^ ^rhi^, the God of truth, Isa. Ixv. 16, and 
therefore lying cannot but be odious to him. God is said not only 
to forbid a lie, but to hate a lie. A lie, it is an abomination. 
Now we abominate that which is contrary to our natures. Amongst 
those things that are an abomination to the Lord, a lying tongue 
is reckoned : Prov. vi. 16, 17, ' These six things doth the Lord 
hate : yea, seven are an abomination to him : a proud look, a lying 
tongue,' or as the Hebrew runs, ' a tongue of lying,' that is, a tongue 
that hath learned the trade, and can do it artificially ; a tongue that 
is accustomed to lying, a tongue that is delighted in lying. So ver. 
19, ' A false witness that speaketh lies, and him that soweth discord 
among brethren.' Among these seven things abominated by God, 
lying is twice repeated, to note how great an abomination lying is in 
the eye and account of God : Prov. xii. 22, ' Lying lips are an abomi- 
nation to the Lord;' not only offensive or odious, but abominable. 
Liars pervert the end for which God created speech, which was to 
give light to the notions of the mind, and therefore the Lord loathes 
them, and plagues them in this life with great severity, as you may 
see in those sad instances of Gehazi, whose lie was punished with a 
perpetual leprosy upon himself and his posterity, 2 Kings v. 20 to 
the end ; and of Ananias and Sapphira, who for their lying were 
punished with present and sudden death, Acts v. 5-11 ; and of Haman, 
who slandering Mordecai and the Jews, and by his lies plotting their 
ruin, was taken in the same snare that he had laid for them, and 
both he and his sons hanged upon the same gallows which he had 
made for innocent Mordecai, Esther iii. 8-11. The same liar that 
was feasting with the king one day was made a feast for crows the 
next day, chap. vii. 9, and ix. 13, 14. Dreadful are the threatenings 
that the great God has given out against liars : Ps. v. 6, ' Thou shalt 
destroy them that speak leasing.' Such as lie in jest will, without 
repentance, go to hell in earnest : Ps. xii. 3, ' The Lord shall cut off 
all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things.' God, 
by one judgment or another, in one way or another, will cut off all 
flattering lying lips, as a rotten member is cut off from the body, or 
as a barren tree that is stocked up, that it may cumber the ground 
no more : Ps. cxx. 2-4, ' Deliver my soul, Lord, from lying lips, 
and from a deceitful tongue. What shall be given unto thee — or 
what shall be done unto thee, thou false tongue ? Sharp arrows of 
the mighty' — God will retaliate sharp for sharp — 'with coals of 
juniper.' The coals of juniper burn hot and last long, some say a 
month and more, and smell sweet. Now upon these coals will God 



96 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLIT. 24, 25. 

broil lying lips and a deceitful tongue, pleasing himself and others in 
the execution of his wrath upon a lying tongue : Pro v. xix 5, * A false 
witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall not 
escape/ Though men sometimes by lying may escape the displeasure of 
men, yet they shall never by lying escape the wrath and displeasure 
of God. Wrath is for that man, and that man is for wrath, who 
hath taught his tongue the trade of lying : Hosea xii. 1, ' Ephraim 
daily increaseth lies and desolation.' Desolation is the fruit and con- 
sequent of lying. Sin and punishment are inseparable companions. 
They who heap up lies hasten desolation, both upon themselves and the 
places where they live, Now, if lying be a sin so hateful and odious 
to God, no wonder if God appears in flaming fire against it. But, 

[4.] Fourthly and lastly. Lying is a sin against the light and law of 
nature. It is a sin against natural conscience, and therefore it is that 
a little child will blush many times when he tells a lie. It was ob- 
served of Pomponius Atticus, Cicero's great friend, that he never used 
lying, neither could he with patience lend his ear to a liar. Tennes, 
the son of Cycnus,i ^^\^Q -y^ras worshipped as a god, was so strict in 
judgment that he caused an axe to be held over the witnesses' head to 
execute them out of hand if they were taken with falsehood or a lie. 
Among the Scythians, when their priests foretold an untruth, they were 
carried along upon hurdles full of heath and dry wood, drawn by oxen, 
and manacled hand and foot, and burnt to death. Aristotle saith, by 
the light of natural reason, that a lie is evil in itself, and cannot be 
dispensed withal, it being contrary to the order of nature ; for, saith 
he, we have tongues given us to express our minds and meanings one 
to another by. Now, if our tongues tell more or less than our minds 
conceive, it is against nature. 2 It is said of Epaminondas, a heathen, 
that he abhorred mendacium jocosum^ a jesting lie. Plutarch calls 
lying a tinkerly sin, a sin that is both hateful and shameful. Euri- 
pides saith, that he is unhappy who rather useth lies, though seem- 
ingly good, than truths when he judgeth them evil. To think the 
truth, saith Plato, is honest ; but a filthy and dishonest thing to lie. 
I could, saith my author, both sigh and smile at the simplicity of some 
pagan people in America, who having told a lie, used to let their 
tongues bleed in expiation thereof, — a good cure for the squinancy,'^ 
but no satisfaction for lying. These heathens will one day rise in 
judgment against such amongst us as make no conscience of lying. 
To bring things close, those that lived within and without the walls of 
London, that were given up to a trade, a course of lying, those per- 
sons sinned with a high hand, not only against the light of nature, but 
also against as clear, as glorious a gospel-light as ever shined round a 
people since Christ was upon the earth ; and therefore no wonder if*' 
God hath laid their city in ashes. He that shall seriously dwell upon 
these four things — viz., (1.) That lying is a very great sin ; (2.) That 
lies and liars are very destructive to all human societies, kingdoms, 
and commonwealths ; (3.) That lying is a sin most hateful and odious 
to God ; (4.) That lying is a sin against the light and law of nature, — 
he will see cause enough to justify the Lord in that late dreadful fire 
that has thus been amongst us. 

^ Misprinted Cyrnus.— G. ^ Arist. Ethic, lib. iv. cap. 7. ' ' Quinsy.'— G. 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 97 

But before I close up this particular, give me leave to say, that this 
trade, this course of lying that brings that sore judgment of fire upon 
cities and countries, I cannot charge with any clear evidence upon those 
that did truly fear the Lord, whose habitations were once within or 
without the walls of London before it was turned into a ruinous heap ; 
and that upon these grounds : — 

[1.] First, Because a trade, a course of lying is not consistent with 
the truth or state of grace, Ps. cxxxix. 23, 24 ; 1 John iii. 6-10. 
A trade, a course of drunkenness, of whoring, of swearing, of curs- 
ing, is as inconsistent with a state of grace, as a trade, a course of 
lying is. I know Jacob lied, and David lied, and Peter lied, but none of 
these were ever given up to a trade of lying, to a course of lying. The 
best saints have had their extravagant motions, and have sadly mis- 
carried as to particular actions ; but he that shall judge of a Chris- 
tian's estate by particular acts, though notorious bad, will certainly 
condemn where God acquits : una actio non denominat. We must 
always distinguish between some single evil actions and a serious 
course of evil actions. It is not this or that particular evil action, but 
a continued course of evil actions, that denominates a man wicked, as 
it is not this or that particular good act, but a continued course of 
holy actions, that denominates a man holy. Every man is as his course 
is ; if his course be holy, the man is holy ; if his course be wicked, the 
man is wicked. There is a maxim in logic, viz.. That no general rule 
can be established upon a particular instance ; and there is another 
maxim in logic, viz., That no particular instance can overthrow a 
general rule. So here, look, as no man can safely and groundedly 
conclude from no better premises than from some few particular 
actions, though in themselves materially and substantially good, that 
this or that man's spiritual estate is good ; so, on the other hand, no 
man ought to conclude, because of some particular sinful actions and 
extravagant motions, that this or that man's spiritual estate is bad. A 
trade of lying can never stand with a trade of holiness ; a course of 
lying can never stand with a course of godliness. Though the needle 
of the seaman's compass may jog this way and that way, yet the bent 
of the needle will still be northward ; so though a Jacob, a David, a 
Peter may have their particular sinful joggings this way or that way, 
yet the bent of their hearts will still be God-wards, Christ-wards, 
heaven-wards, and holiness-wards. But, 

[2.] Secondly, Such as did truly fear the Lord within or without 
the walls of London, such did in their solemn addresses to the Lord, 
both together and apart, lament and heiuail that trade, that course of 
lying that ivas predominant among many that day ; and therefore I 
dare not charge the trade, the course of lying upon their scores. But, 

[3.] Thirdly, A lie draws its pedigree from the devil, and such as 
make a trade of lying, such are certainly Satan's children, 1 Kings 
xxii. 22 ; Acts v. 3-10 ; John viii. 44, * Ye are of your father the 
devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do : he was a murderer from 
the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in 
him.' ' When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own : for he is a 
liar, and the father of it,' Gen. iii. Satan is the father of all sins, as 
well as the father of lies ; but here he is said to be a liar and the father 

VOL. VI. G 



98 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

of it, because by lying he first brought sin into the world. Satan 
began his kingdom by a lie, and by lies he still labours to uphold it. 
He is the inventor and author of all the lies that be in the world. The 
devil's breasts, says Luther, are very fruitful with lies. Liars are the 
devil's children by imitation. There are none that resemble him so 
much to the life as liars do. They are as like him as if tliey were spit 
out of the very mouth of him. Lying is a part of the devil's image. 
Other sins make men like beasts ; but this of lying makes men like 
devils. Leo, speaking of lying, saith : Totam vim suam in mendacio 
diabolus coUocavit, omniaque deceptionum genera de hoc venenatissimo 
artis suce fonte produxit: The devil hath placed his whole strength in 
lying, and from this most poisoned fountain of his craft hath he 
brought forth all kinds of deceit.! Now upon this account also I 
dare not charge the trade of lying upon such who feared the Lord 
within or without the walls of London. Though many that make a 
profession of Christ are no more like Christ than Michal's image of 
goats'-hair was like David ; yet all such as are really united to Christ, 
they are like to Christ, they bear upon them the image of Christ, they 
resemble him to the life. Jesus Christ is such a fountain, in which 
whosoever bathes, and of which whosoever drinks, they shall be sure 
to be changed into the same likeness from glory to glory, that is, from 
a lower degree of grace to a higher degree, even as by the Spirit of 
the Lord, 2 Cor. iii. 18. Such as truly fear the Lord have an image 
of righteousness and holiness stamped upon them, and do more 
resemble Christ than Satan, Phil. iv. 23, 24 ; and therefore the trade 
of lying may not be charged upon them. But, 

[4.] Fourthly, Have they not chosen rather to suffer, than by lying 
either to free themselves from sufferings, or to secure themselves against 
sufferings ? Jerome writes of a brave woman, that being upon the 
rack, bade her persecutors do their worst ; for she was resolved rather 
to die than to lie. Has not much of this spirit been upon them ? 
and therefore I dare not charge the trade of lying upon them. 
But, 

[5.] Fifthly, Such as truly fear the Lord, they hate lying: Ps. cxix. 
163, 'I hate and abhor lying.' David hated lying as he hated hell 
itself. So Prov. xiii. 5, ' A righteous man hateth lying.' Lying is a 
noisome, stinking weed, and therefore a righteous man abhors to touch 
it, he hates to come near it, and can by no means endure the scent of 
it in others, least of all in himself. Justin Martyr, speaking of the 
persecuted Christians, hath this memorable saying: In nostra est 
potestate, ut quum inquirimur negemus ; sed vivere nolumus menda- 
citer quicquam loque^ites, It is in our power, when we are sought for 
and examined, to deny what we are, what we believe ; but we will not 
live speaking anything untruly. 2 These blessed souls so hated and 
abhorred lying, that they would rather die than lie. A lie, saith Plato, 
is odious not only to the gods, but also to every wise man. Cleobulus, 
another heathen, affirmeth that every wise prudent man hateth a lie. 
Erasmus had such an antipathy against lying, that from his youth he 
would usually tremble at the sight of a noted liar. Now upon this 

^ Leo de Eleemos., serm. 4. 

^ Justin Martyr, Apol. 2, pro Christianis. 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 99 

account also I dare not charge the trade of lying upon their score that 
truly fear the Lord. But, 

[6.] Sixthly, Lying is that sad character and black brand that the 
Lord hath only put upon ivicJced and ungodly men : Ps. iv. 2, ' ye 
sons of men,' — ye grandees who are potent at court, — ' how long will ye 
turn my glory into shame ? how long will ye love vanity and seek after 
leasing?' Ps. Iviii. 3, 'The wicked are estranged from the womb; 
they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies ; ' no sooner could 
they do anything, but they were doing evil, lisping out lies even as 
soon as they were born. Isa. xxx. 8, 9, ' Now go, write it before them 
in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come 
for ever and ever.' Why, what must he write ? mark ver. 9, ' That 
this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear 
the law of the Lord.' Now upon this account also I dare not charge 
the trade of lying upon them that feared the Lord in that great city 
before it was laid in ashes. But, 

[7.] Seventhly, A trade of lying is inconsistent with the relation of 
children : Isa. Ixiii. 8, ' Surely they are my people, children that will 
not lie : so he was their Saviour.' God makes this the ear-mark of his 
people, that they are children that will not lie. Col. iii. 9. When the 
heathen philosopher was asked in what things men were most like 
unto God, he answered. In their speaking of truth. Not lying is one 
of the choice characters by which the Lord doth difference and distin- 
guish his own peculiar people from other men : Zeph. iii. 1 3, ' The 
remnant of Israel shall do no iniquity, nor speak lies ; neither shall a 
deceitful tongue be found in their mouth.' In the primitive times this 
was a common saying, Christianus est, 7wn mentietur, He is a Christian, 
he will not lie: Kev. xiv. 5, 'And in their mouth was found no 
guile : for they are without fault before the throne of God.' Now 
upon this account also I dare not charge the trade of lying upon those 
gracious souls that feared the Lord within or without the walls of Lon- 
don, before it was turned into a ruinous heap. But, 

[8.] Eighthly and lastly. Liars are reckoned amongst the honest and 
the worst of sinners that you read of in all the hook of God : Lev. xix. 
11, 'Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another.' 
Prov. vi. 16-19, ' These six things doth the Lord hate ; yea, seven are 
an abomination to him : a proud look, a lying tongue, and hands 
that shed innocent blood, an heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, 
feet that be swift in running to mischief, a false witness that speaketh 
lies, and him that soweth discord among brethren.' So the apostle 
Paul, setting down a catalogue of the basest and worst of sinners, he 
ranks liars in the rear of them : 1 Tim. i. 9, 10, ' Knowing this, that 
the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and 
disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and pro- 
fane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for man- 
slayers, for whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with 
mankind, for men-stealers, for liars, for perjured persons.' So John 
numbers them amongst the damned crew that shall be sent to hell, 
and that must perish for ever : Eev. xxi. 8, ' But the fearful, and 
unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, 
and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the 



100 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

lake which burneth with fire and brimstone : which is the second 
death.' In this catalogue of the damned crew, the 'fearful' are placed 
in the front, and the 'liars' in the rear. See once more how the Holy 
Ghost couples liars: Kev. xxii. 15, 'For without are dogs, and sorcerers, 
and murderers, and whoremongers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth 
and maketh a lie.' Thus you see in all these scriptures that liars 
are numbered up among the rabble of the most desperate and deplor- 
able wretches that are in the world ; and therefore upon this account 
also I cannot charge the trade of lying upon them that feared the 
Lord, whose habitations were once within or without the walls of 
London. 

8. The eighth sin that brings the judgment of Jire, is men's giving 
themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh : Jude 7, 
' Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them, in like 
manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange 
flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal 
fire.' In these words there are these three things observable : — 

[1.] First, The places punished, and they are Sodom and Go- 
morrah, and the cities about them, which were Admah and Zeboiim, 
Deut. xxix. 23 ; Hosea xi. 8. Hegesippus and Stephanus say that 
ten cities were destroyed, and some say thirteen cities were destroyed 
when Sodom was destroyed ; but these things I shall not impose upon 
you as articles of faith. The overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah 
and the cities about them was total, both in respect of the inhabitants, 
and the places themselves. Their sin was universal, and their punish- 
ment was as universal. That pride, idleness, and fulness of bread 
that is charged upon them by the prophet Ezekiel, did usher in those 
abominable wickednesses that laid all waste and desolate, Ezek. xvi. 
49, 50. 

[2.] Secondly, The sins that brought these punishments — viz., 'The 
giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh.' 
The first is, ' Giving themselves over to fornication.' Now the word 
' fornication ' is not to be taken properly and strictly for that act ol 
uncleanness that is often committed between persons unmarried ; but 
it is here to be taken for all sorts of carnal uncleanness. The heathen 
thought fornication no vice, and therefore they made it a com- 
mon custom, and were wont to pray thus : ' The gods increase the 
number of the harlots.' The second sin that is charged upon them 
is, ' Their going after strange flesh : ' o-apKo^ erepa?, ' another flesh,' 
as the words in the original run. The apostle in this modest and 
covert expression, ' Going after strange flesh, or other flesh, or another 
flesh,' doth hint to us their monstrous and unlawful lusts, that were 
against the course, light, and law of nature. They gave themselves 
up to such filthiness as is scarce to be named among men ; they went 
after other flesh than what nature or the God of nature had appointed. 
The great God never appointed that male and male, but only that 
male and female should be one flesh ; it is impossible that man and 
man in that execrable act should make one flesh, as man and woman 
do: Gen. ii. 21, seq. The flesh of a male to a male must needs be 
another flesh. The apostle Paul expresseth their filthiness thus, ' For 
even their women did change the natural use into that which is against 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 101 

nature: and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the 
women, burned in their lust one toward another ; men with men 
working that which is unseemly,' Kom. i. 26, 27. Chrysostom well 
observes on these words, that ' whereas by God's ordinance in lawful 
copulation by marriage, two became one flesh, both sexes were joined 
together in one ; by Sodomitical uncleanness the same flesh is divided 
into two, men with men working uncleanness as with women, of one 
sex making as it were two.' The Gentiles had left the God of nature, 
and therefore the Lord in his just judgment left them to leave the 
order of nature, and so to cast scorn and contempt upon the whole 
human nature. 

Again, there is another sort of pollution by strange flesh, and that is 
a carnal joining of a man with a beast, which is prohibited : ' Neither 
shalt thou lie with any beast,' Lev. xviii. 23. Oh what a sink of sin 
is in the nature of man, the heart of man ! And as this pollution is 
prohibited, so it is punished with death : ' And if a man lie with a 
beast, he shall surely be put to death, and ye shall slay the beast,' 
chap. XX. 15. The Lord, to shew the horridness and the heinousness 
of this beastly sin, commands that even the poor, harmless, innocent 
beast, that is neither capable of sin, nor of provoking or enticing man 
to sin, must be put to death. Oh how great is that pollution that 
pollutes the very beasts, and that makes the unclean more unclean, 
and that doth debase the beast below a beast ! Now to this sort of 
pollution the beastly Sodomites had without doubt given up them- 
selves. 

[3.] The third thing observable in the words is, the severity of their 
punishment : * Suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.' We commonly 
say that fire and water have no mercy, and we have frequently experi- 
enced the truth of that saying. When God would give the world a 
proof of his greatest severity against notorious sinners and notorious 
sins, he doth it by inflicting the judgment of fire. When the Sodomites 
burned in their lusts one towards another, ' Then the Lord rained upon 
Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven.' 
' The Lord rained brimstone and fire from the Lord;' that is, by an 
elegant Hebraism, from himself, it being usual with the Hebrews to 
put the noun for the pronoun, as you may see by comparing the scrip- 
tures in the margin together, i Now this fiery vengeance came not from 
any inferior cause, but from the supreme cause, even'Gbd himself This 
brimstone and material fire that was rained by the Lord out of heaven, 
was not by any ordinary course of nature, but by the immediate 
almighty power of God. Doubtless it was the supernatn^ml and mirac- 
ulous work of the Lord, and not from £^ny \ri^turkl cause, that such 
showers, not of water, — as when the old world was drowned,— but of 
material fire and brimstone, should fall from heaven upon Sodom and 
Gomorrah — to which add Admah and Zeboiim, for all these four cities 
were burned together. God rained, not sprinkled, ^ea!, he rained not 
fire only, but fire and brimstone for the increase of their torment, and 
that they might have a hell above-ground, a hell on this side hell. 
They had hot fire for their burning lusts, and stinking brimstone for 
their stinking brutishness. They burned with vile and unnatural lusts, 

^ Gen. i. 27: 1 Sam. xv. 22 ; 2 Chron. vii. 2; 1 Kings viii. 1. 



102 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

and therefore against the course of nature fire falls down from heaven 
and devours them, and their stinking abominable filthiness is punished 
with the stench of brimstone mingled with fire. Thus God delights 
to suit men's punishments to tlieir sins ; yea, that temporal fire that 
God rained out of heaven upon Sodom and Gomorrah was but a fore- 
runner of their everlasting punishment in that lake which burns with 
fire and brimstone for evermore, Rev. xxi. 8. The temporal punish- 
ment of the impenitent Sodomites did but make way to their eternal 
punishments, as Jude tells us, ver. 7. I readily grant that the fire of 
hell was typified by that fire which fell from heaven upon Sodom and 
Gomorrah ; but I cannot conceive that the apostle Jude, in the place 
last cited, doth intend or design to prove that the Sodomites were 
destroyed by hell-fire ; for in the history of Genesis, to which the 
apostle alludes, there is no mention at all of hell-fire or of eternal fire. 
And doubtless the example that should warn sinners to repent of their 
sins, and to turn to the Most High, is to be taken from the history in 
Genesis. I cannot at present see how Sodom and Gomorrah can be set 
forth as an example to sinners by suffering the punishment of hell-fire, 
when the history is wholly silent as to any such fire. Some, to mollify 
the seeming austerity of that phrase which Jude uses, viz., 'eternal 
fire,' read the words thus, ' were made an example of eternal fire, suf- 
fering vengeance ;' by which construction they gather that the fire 
which hath irreparably destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah was a type 
and figure of that fire of hell, of that eternal fire that is reserved for 
wicked men, and by which sinners ought to be warned. Others by 
* eternal fire' understand the duration of the effects of the first temporal 
punishment, the soil thereabout wearing the marks of divine displea- 
sure to this very day. Several authors write, ^ that the air there is so 
infectious, that no creature can live there ; and though the apples and 
other fruit that grow there seem pleasant to the eye, yet if you do but 
touch them, they presently turn into cinders and ashes. The stinking 
lake of asphaltes near to Sodom is left as a perpetual monument of 
God's vengeance, killing all fish that swimmeth in it, and fowls that 
fly over it. Others by eternal fire understand an utter destruction, 
according to that 2 Peter ii. 6, * And turning the cities of Sodom and 
Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them with an overthrow,' that is, 
utterly destroyed them, ' making them an ensample unto those that 
after should live ungodly.' God hangs them up in gibbets, as it were, 
that others might hear and fear, and not dare to do wickedly as they 
had done. 

What though it be said that the fire wherewith these Sodomites 
were destroyed was eternal, yet there is no necessity to understand it 
of hell-fire ; for even that very fire which consumed those cities may 
be called eternal, because the punishment that was inflicted on Sodom 
and Gomorrah by fire was a punishment that should last as long as the 
world lasted. God resolved those cities should never be rebuilt, but 
remain perpetual desolations in all generations. Now, in this sense, 
the word ' eternal ' is often used in the Scripture. Again, the fire and 
brimstone that fell upon Sodom and Gomorrah was a tj^e and figure 
of that eternal fire, or those eternal torments that shall be inflicted 
^ Josephus, Tertullian, Augustine, &c. 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 103 

upon all impenitent sinners for ever and ever. The sum of all is this, 
that the Sodomites, by giving themselves over to fornication, and by 
going after strange flesh, did provoke the Lord to rain hell out of 
heaven upon them ; they did provoke the Lord to rain material fire 
and brimstone both upon their persons and their habitations. Now 
give me leave to say, that doubtless the body of the inhabitants of 
that famous city, which is now laid in ashes, were as free from giving 
themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, as any in 
any part of the nation ; yea, more free than many in some parts of the 
nation ; yea, give me leave to say, that I cannot see how these sins 
that are charged upon the Sodomites can be clearly or groundedly 
charged upon any of the precious servants of the Lord, that did truly 
fear him in that renowned city ; and my reasons are these : — 

[1.] First, Because in all their solenm and secret addresses to the 
Lord they have seriously lamented and mourned over these crying 
abominations. 

[2.] Secondly, Because men's giving themselves over to fornication, 
and going after strange flesh, are such high and horrid sins against 
the light and laiu of nature^ that God commonly preserves his chosen 
from them. He shall be an Apollo to me that can produce any one 
instance in the Old or New Testament of any one person that, after 
real and through conversion, did ever give himself over to fornication, 
and to go after strange flesh. Aristotle calls beastiality a surpassing 
wickedness. By the laws of those two emperors, Theodosius and 
Arcadius, Sodomites were adjudged to the fire. In the Council of 
Vienna the templars who were found guilty of this sin were decreed to 
be burnt. And among the Eomans, it was lawful for him who was 
attempted to that abuse to kill him who made the assault. Tertullian 
brings in Christianity triumphing over paganism, because this sin was 
peculiar to heathens, and that Christians never changed the sex^ nor 
accompanied with any but their own wives. This and such like, 
as Tertullian speaks, being not so much to be called offences as 
monsters, and not to be named without holy detestation by saints, 
though they be committed without shame by Sodomites. The Saxons, 
who of old inhabited this land, strangled the adulteress being taken, 
and then burnt her body with fire, and hanged the adulterer over 
a flaming fire, burning him by degrees till he died, [Boniface.] Opilius 
Macrinus, an emperor, caused the body of the adulterer and the whore 
to be joined together, and so burnt with fire, [Julius Capitolinus.] 
Aurelianus caused the adulterer's legs to be bound to the boughs of 
two trees bent together, and then violently being lifted up again, 
his body was torn asunder. And the Julian law, among the Komans, 
punished adultery with death, by cutting off the heads of those that 
were guilty of that fact. And the Turks stone adulterers to death. 
Zaleucus, king of the Locrians, ordained that adulterers should have 
their eyes put out ; and therefore, when his son was taken in adultery, 
that he might both keep the law and be compassionate to his son, he 
put forth one of his own eyes to redeem one of his son's, i I have read 
of some heathens that have punished this sin with a most shameful 
death, and the death was this : they would have the adulterer's or 

' Aelian V. H. xiii. 24 ; Val. Max. V. v. § 3.— G. 



104 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

adulteress's head to be put into the paunch of a beast, where lay all 
the filth and uncleanness of it, and there to be stifled to death. This 
was a fit punishment for so filthy a sin. In old time the Egyptians 
used to punish adultery on this sort : the man with a thousand jerks 
with a reed, and the woman with cutting oif her nose ; but he who 
forced a free woman to his lusts, had his privy members cut off, 
[Diodorus.] But, 

[3.] Thirdly, Such who give themselves over to fornication, over- 
throiv the state of mankind, lohile no man knoweth his own wife, nor 
no wife knoweth her own husband, and while no father knows his own 
children, nor no children know their own father. Affinities and con- 
sanguinities are the joints and sinews of the world; losei these and 
losei all. Now what affinities or consanguinities can there be when 
there is nothing but confusion of blood — the son knoweth not his 
father, nor the father the son ? But, 

[4.] Fourthly, These expressions of giving themselves over to forni- 
cation, and going after strange flesh, implies — 

First, Their making constant provisions for their base lusts, Kom. 
xiii. 14. Oh the time, the pains, the cost, the charge that such are at 
to make provision for their unsatiable lusts ! 

Secondly, It implies an excessive violent spending of their strength 
beyond all measure and bounds in all lasciviousness and Sodomitical 
uncleanness. Pliny tells of Cornelius Gallus and Q. Elerius (?) two 
Eoman knights, that died in the very action of filthiness.2 Theodebert, 
the eldest son of Glotharius, died amongst his whores ; so did Bertrane 
Terrier at Barcelona, in Spain ; Giachet Geneve of Saluces, (?) who 
had both wife and children of his own, being carnally joined with a 
young woman, was suddenly smitten with death ; his wife and children 
wondering why he stayed so long in his study, when it was time to go 
to bed called him, and knocked at his door very hard, but when no 
answer was made, they broke open the doors, that were locked on the 
inner side, and found him lying upon the woman stark dead, and her 
dead also. 3 Claudus of Asses, (?) counsellor of the parliament of 
Paris, a desperate persecutor of the Protestants, whilst he was 
in the very act of committing filthiness with one of his waiting- 
maids, was taken with an apoplexy, which immediately after made 
an end of him. Many other instances might be produced, but let 
these suffice. 

Thirdly, It implies their impudency and shamelessness in their 
filthiness and uncleanness. They had a whore's forehead ; they pro- 
claimed their lasciviousness before all the world ; they were not 
ashamed, neither could they blush : hence it is that the men of Sodom 
are said to be sinners before the Lord — that is, they sinned openly, 
publicly, and shamelessly, without any regard to the eye of God at all, 
Jer. iii. 3, and vi. 15 ; Isa. iii. 10 ; Gen. xiii. 13. ' Bring them out to 
us, that we may know them,' Gen. xix. 5. Oh faces hatcht* with im- 
pudency ! they shroud not their sins in a mantle of secrecy, but pro- 
claim their filthiness before all the world, they had out-sinned all 
shame : and therefore they gloried in their shame : they were so 

^ Query, * loose ?' — Ed. ' Pliny, lib. vii. 

'^ Pontanus. Fulgos, lib. vi, c. 12, *' Lined ' or marked.— G, 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 105 

arrogant and impudent in sinning, that they proclaimed their filthiness 
upon the house-top. But, 

Fourthly, It implies their resolvedness and obstinacy in sinning in 
the face of all the terrible warnings and alarms that God had formerly 
given them by a bloody war, and by the spoiling and plu7idering of 
their cities, and by taking away of their victuals — ^fulness ofbr^ad' 
was apart of their sin, and noio ^cleanness of teeth' is made a piece of 
their punishment in Gods just judgment — and by Lot's admonition 
and mild opposition. Gen. xiv. 10-12, and xix. 11. It is observable, 
that when they were smitten with blindness, they wearied themselves 
to find the door. God smote them with blindness, both of body and 
mind ; and yet they continued groping to find the door, being highly 
resolved upon buggery and bestiality, though they died for it. Oh the 
hideous wickedness and prodigious madness of these Sodomites, that 
when divine justice had struck them blind, their hearts should be so 
desperately set upon their lusts, as to weary themselves to find the 
door ! But what will not Satan's bond-slaves and firebrands of hell 
do ? Sottish and besotted sinners will never tremble when God strikes, 
Phil. ii. 12. But, 

Fifthly, These expressions of giving themselves over to fornication, 
and going after strange flesh, implies the delight, pleasure, content, and 
satisfaction that they took in those abominable practices : Kom. i. 32, 
* They have chosen their own ways, and their souls delight in their 
abominations.' ' They had pleasure in unrighteousness,' Isa. Ixvi. 3 ; 
2 Thes. ii. 12 ; 2 Pet. ii. 13. Luther tells us of a certain grandee in 
his country, that was so besotted with the sin of whoredom, that he 
was not ashamed to say, that if he might ever live here, and be carried 
from one whore-house to another, there to satisfy his lusts, he would 
never desire any other heaven. This filthy grandee did afterwards 
breathe out his wretched soul betwixt two notorious harlots. All the 
pleasure and heaven that these filthy Sodomites look after, was to 
satisfy their brutish lusts. Hark, scholar, said the harlot to Apuleius, 
it is but a bitter-sweet that you are so fond of ; and this the Sodomites 
found true at the long run, when God showered down fire and brim- 
stone upon them. But, 

Sixthly and lastly, These words of giving themselves over to forni- 
cation, and going after strange flesh, implies their great settled security 
in those brutish practices. The old world was not more secure when 
God swept them away with a flood. Gen. vi., than the Sodomites were 
secure when God rained fire and brimstone out of heaven upon them, 
Gen. xix. 14. Mercury could not kill Argus till he had cast him into 
a sleep, and with an enchanted rod closed his eyes. No more could 
the devil have hurt these Sodomites, if he had not first lulled them 
asleep in the bed of security. Carnal security opens the door for all 
impiety to enter into the soul. Pompey, when he had in vain assaulted 
a city, and could not take it by force, devised this stratagem in way 
of agreement ; he told them he would leave the siege, and make peace 
with them, upon condition that they would let in a few weak, sick, 
and wounded soldiers among them to be cured. They let in the 
soldiers, and when the city was secure, the soldiers let in Pompey 's 
army. A carnal settled security will let in a whole army of lusts into 



106 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

the soul ; and this was the Sodomites' case. To sum up all, those 
expressions in Jude, (ver. 7.) of giving themselves over to fornication, 
and going after strange flesh, do imply or take in these six things last 
mentioned, which things will not stand with the truth of grace or state 
of grace ; and therefore those sins that are specified by Jude cannot be 
charged with any clear, fair, or full evidence upon the people of God, 
who did truly fear him within or without the walls of London. But 
should this treatise fall into any of their hands who have given them- 
selves over to fornication, or to go after strange flesh, then I would say 
that it very highly concerns all such persons to lay their hands upon 
their loins, and to say, we are the very men, the sinners, the monsters 
that have turned a rich and populous city into a ruinous heap. But, 
9. The ninth sin that brings the sore judgment of fire upon a people^ 
is profanation of the Sabbath : Jer. xvii. 27, ' But if you will not 
hearken unto me to hallow the sabbath-day, and not bear a burden, 
even entering in at the gates of Jerusalem on the sabbath-day ; then 
will I kindle a fire in the gates thereof, and it shall devour the palaces 
of Jerusalem, and it shall not be quenched.' In this memorable 
scripture you may observe — (1.) A specification of the judgment that 
God will punish profaners of his Sabbath with, and that is fire ; (2.) 
The specification of the object that this fire shall fall upon, viz., a 
city, not a town, a village, or any other mean place, but a city, a stately 
city, a populous city, a trading city, a secure city ; (3.) Here is the 
specification of the city, viz., not every city neither, but Jerusalem, 
the city of cities, the best of cities, the beloved city, the joyous city, 
the glorious city, the renowned city, the crowned city, the metropolitan 
city, the city of God, the wonder of the world, the joy of the whole 
earth, Isa. lii. 1 ; Ps. xlviii. 1-8, and Ixxxvii. 3 ; Jer. xxii. 8 ; yet God 
threatens to destroy this Jerusalem with fire and flames for profaning 
of his Sabbath. But did God only threaten Jerusalem ? No, for he 
executed his threatenings upon it, as you may see in that 2 Kings 
XXV. 8-10 : 1 ' And in the fifth month, on the seventh day of the 
month, (which is the nineteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar king of 
Babylon,) came Nebuzar-adan, captain of the guard, a servant of the 
king of Babylon, to Jerusalem: and he burnt the house of the Lord, 
and the king's house, and all the houses of Jerusalem, and every great 
man's house burnt he with fire. And all the army of the Chaldees, 
that were with the captain of the guard, brake down the walls of 
Jerusalem round about.' The same you have Jer. lii. 12-14. The 
Jews were great profaners of the Sabbath : Neh. xiii. 15-18, ' In 
those days saw I in Judah some treading wine-presses on the sabbath, 
and bringing in sheaves, and lading asses ; as also wine, grapes, and 
figs, and all manner of burdens,';which they brought into Jerusalem on 
the sabbath-day : and I testified against them in the day wherein they 
sold victuals. There dwelt men of Tyre also therein, which brought 
fish, and all manner of ware, and sold on the sabbath unto the children 
of Judah, and in Jerusalem. Then I contended with the nobles of 
Judah, and said unto them, What evil thing is this that ye do, and 
profane the sabbath-day ? Did not your fathers thus, and did not 
our God bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city ? yet ye bring 

1 So 2 Chron. xxxvi. 17-19; Ps. Ixxiv. 4-8. 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 107 

more vn-ath upon Israel by profaning the sabbath.'^ Now this is 
observable, that as they had profaned the Sabbath, so Nebuzar-adan 
set their temple on fire, and their noblemen s houses on fire, and all 
the considerable men's houses in Jerusalem on fire on their Sabbath- 
day. I know Jeremiah saith it was on the tenth day, Jer. Hi. 13, 
which several of the learned thus reconcile — viz., That on the seventh 
day, which was their Sabbath, Nebuzar-adan kindled a fire in their 
habitations, and burnt them all quite down on the tenth. Now 
Calvin upon the text gives these reasons of God's severity against 
them for profaning his Sabbath :—(!.) Because it was an easy precept 
to cease from labour one day in seven, and therefore they that would 
not herein obey were worthy of all severity, as Adam for eating the 
forbidden fruit ; (2.) Because the Sabbath was a sign of God's people 
by him peculiarly chosen, and therefore not to rest now was a gross 
neglect of upholding the memorial of the greatest privilege that ever 
was bestowed upon mortal men, Exod. xxxi. 13, 17 ; (3.) Because the 
Lord would, by their keeping of a rest now from servile works, draw 
them to a rest from the servile works of sin, as he rested from the 
works of creation. To which others add a fourth — viz.. That it might 
always be remembered that the whole world was created by God, that 
we might acknowledge his infinite power and wisdom herein appearing. 
And others add a fifth — viz.. Because by keeping the Sabbath-day, it 
being the day wherein all religious duties were done, all the exercises 
of religion is meant, which if it had been purely upheld, both princes, 
nobles, priests, and people should have flourished for ever, and never 
have known what it was to have their houses set on fire about their 
ears. Now is not famous London the sad counterpane of desolate 
Jerusalem? a sore and unquenchable fire hath turned England's 
metropolis into ashes and rubbish. But, 

That the Lord may appear most just and righteous in inflicting this 
dreadful judgment of fire upon those that profaned his Sabbaths in 
London, consider seriously with me these twelve things : — 

(1.) First, Tliat God hath fenced this command more strongly about 
than he has any other ^ and all to prevent our transgression of it, and 
the more effectually to engage us to the keeping of it holy. Now here 
observe, 

[1.] First, It is marked with a memento above all other commands . 
Exod. XX. 8, * Kemember the sabbath-day to keep it holy,' and that 
partly because we are so desperately apt and prone to forget it ; and 
partly because none can keep it holy when it comes that do not re- 
member it before it comes ; and partly because this is one of the 
greatest, if not absolutely the greatest, of all the commandments. It 
is sometimes put for all the ten. It is the synopsis of them all. And 
partly because the observation of all the commandments depends 
chiefly upon the observation of this fourth. 2 None walk so much after 
the Spirit on other days, as they who are most in the Spirit on the 
Lord's day. There are none that walk so close with God all the six 

^ Those Chaldeans that set Jerusalem on fire came from literal Babylon, and whether 
those Chaldeans that first set London in flames come not from mystical Babylon, 1 shall 
not here inquire nor dispute. 

^ Philo .ludseus saith, that the fourth commandment is a famous precept, and profit- 
able to excite men to all kind of virtue and piety. 



108 ■ London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

days, as those that keep closest to God on the seventh day. In the 
due observation of this command, obedience to all the rest is com- 
prised. And partly because this command has least light of nature to 
direct us to the observation of it ; and partly because the forgetting of 
this duty, and profaning of this day, is one of the greatest sins that a 
people can be guilty of It is a violation of all the decalogue at once ; 
it is a sin against all the concernments and commandments of God at 
once. But, 

[2.] Secondly, It is delivered both negatively/ and affirmatively/, 
which no other command is, to shew how strongly it binds us to a 
holy observation of it. 

[3.] Thirdly, It hath more reasons to enforce it than any other 
precept — viz.j its equity, God's bounty, his own pattern, and the day's 
benediction. 

[4.] Fourthly, It is put in the close of the first, and beginning of the 
second table, to note that the observation of both tables depends much 
upon the sanctification of this day. 

[5.] Fifthly, It is very considerable also, that this command is more 
frequently repeated than others of the commands are: Exod. xx. 31, 
xiv. 34, and xxiv. 35 ; Lev. xix. 3, and xxviii. 30. God would have 
Israel know in these scriptures last cited, that their busiest times, as 
earing and harvest, yea, and the very building of the tabernacle, must 
give way to this precept. 

(2.) Secondly, Consider that God is highly pleased and delighted 
with the sanctification of his Sabbaths, Jer. xvii. 24, 25. Now in 
this promise he shews that the flourishing estate both of church and 
state depends greatly upon the sanctification of this day. Two things 
are observable in this promise. (1.) The duty unto which the promise 
is made, and that is in ver. 24. (2.) Observe the reward that is pro- 
mised, and that is twofold: [1.] The first concerns the commonwealth 
and civil state, ver. 25, as if he should say, I will maintain the 
honour and dignity, the wealth and strength, the peace and safety of 
this nation. [2.] The second blessing that is promised concerns the 
church, and state of religion, ver. 26. As if he should say. My solemn 
assemblies shall be duly frequented, and I will continue my own 
worship in the purity, liberty, and power of it. But, 

(3.) Thirdly, Consider that all public judgments and common ca- 
lamities that ever befell the people of God, are imputed by the Holy 
Ghost to no sin more than to the profanation of the Sabbath,'^ 2 Chron. 
xxxvi. 17-21, turn to it. So Neh. xiii. 15-18 ; Ezek. xxii. 26-31, 
'Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned my holy 
things : they have put no difference between the holy and profane, 
neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean, 
and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among 
them. Therefore have I poured out my indignation upon them ; I 
have consumed them with the fire of my wrath : their own way have 

^ Profaners of the Sabbath were to be put to death, they were to be cut off, Exod. 
xxxi. 14, 15. This scripture includes not only death inflicted by the magistrate, accord- 
ing to that Num. xxxv. 36, but also the immediate stroke of God when that was neglected. 
If you turn to that Ezek. xx. 13, 21, you shall find that God threatens Sabbath profana- 
tion with his consuming fire. Now what city, gates, palaces, stately structures, strong- 
holds, can stand before divine fury? 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIEKY DISPENSATION. 109 

I recompensed upon their own heads, saith the Lord God.' Lev. 
xxvi. 31-33, 'And I will make your cities waste, and bring your 
sanctuaries unto desolation, and will not smell the savour of your 
sweet odours. And I will bring the land into desolation ; and your 
enemies which dwell therein shall be astonished at it. And I will 
scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you ; 
and your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste.' Ay, but what 
is the reason why God brings those two terrible judgments of fire and 
sword upon them ? The resolution of this question you have in ver. 
34, 35, ' Then shall the land enjoy her sabbaths, as long as it lieth 
desolate, and ye be in your enemies' land ; even then shall the land 
rest, and enjoy her sabbaths. As long as it lieth desolate it shall rest ; 
because it did not rest in your sabbaths, when ye dwelt upon it.' The 
land did not rest in your sabbaths, saith the Lord, when ye dwelt upon 
it. But when it is eased from the wicked weight of such inhabitants, 
which brought upon it heavy curses, and toiled and tired it out with 
continual tillage, it shall then rest and be at quiet. According to the 
law of God, the land should have rested every seventh year. Lev. 
XXV. 4. But they got out the very heart of the land to spend on their 
lusts : but, saith God, I will ease the land of such inhabitants, and 
then it shall in a manner take its recreation, then it shall rest, and 
take its own pleasure, Lam. i. 7. Where there is not a resting from 
sin, there Sabbaths are not truly kept. Profaning the Sabbath brings 
most desolating and destroying judgments upon a professing people. 
The first blow given to the German churches was on the Sabbath- 
day ; for on that day Prague was lost. The Sabbaths were woefully 
profaned amongst them ; their nobility thought it was for their not 
trimming and beautifying of their churches; but better and wiser 
men concluded it was for their profaning of the Lord's day. Some 
are of opinion that the flood began on the Lord's day, from that Gen. 
vii. , they being grown notorious prof aners of the Sabbath. The Council 
of Matiscon, in France, attributed the irruption of the Goths and 
Vandals to their profanation of the Sabbath. But, 

(4.) Fourthly, Consider there are singular blessings ivhich the 
sanctifying of the Sabbath will croivn us with : Ezek. xx. 12, ' More- 
over also, I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and 
them, that they may know that I am the Lord that sanctify them.' 
The singular blessings that the right sanctifying of the Sabbath will 
bring upon us, are, (1.) Spiritual They that conscientiously sanctify 
the Sabbath, they shall see and know the work of God, the work of 
grace, upon their own souls. There are many precious Christians 
that have a work of God, a work of grace upon their own souls, who 
would give ten thousand worlds, were there so many in their hands 
to give, to see that work, to know that work. Oh ! but now they that 
sanctify the Sabbath, they shall both see and know the work of God 
upon their own souls ! And they shall find the Lord carrying on the 
work of grace and holiness in their souls ; they shall find the Lord 
destroying their sins, and filling their hearts with joy, and with a 
blessed assurance of his favour and love : Isa. Ivi. 6,7,' Also the sons 
of the stranger, that join themselves to the Lord, to serve him, and to 
love the name of the Lord, to be his servants, every one that keepeth 



110 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25* 

the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold on my covenant ; even 
them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my 
house of prayer: their burnt-offerings and their sacrifices shall be 
accepted upon my altar ; for mine house shall be called an house of 
prayer for all people.' So Isa. Iviii. 13, 14, 'If thou turn away thy 
foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day ; and 
call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable : and shalt 
honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, 
nor speaking thine own words : then shalt thou delight thyself in the 
Lord.' (2.) Now, in the second place, the other blessings that the 
right sanctifying of the Sabbath will invest us with, are temporal bless- 
ings ; for so they follow in the scripture last cited : ' And I will cause 
thee to ride upon the high places of the earth;' — here is honour, and 
esteem, and safety; — 'and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy 
father.' Now the land of Canaan was the inheritance which God 
promised to Jacob, Gen. xxviii. 13, and xlviii. 4. Hereby is noted 
that comfortable provision that God would make for them that sanc- 
tified his Sabbaths. Such as make the Sabbath their delight, they 
shall never want protection nor provision. God will be a wall of fire 
about them, and a Canaan to them. But, 

(5.) Fifthly, Consider that our Lord Jesus, loJio is the Lord of the 
Scibhath, and luhom the law itself commands us to hear, did alter it 
from the seventh day to the first day of the iveek, ivhich ive now keep, 
Mat. xii. 8 ; Deut. xviii. 18, 19. For the holy evangelists note that 
our Lord came into the midst of the assembly on the two first days of 
the two weeks immediately following his resurrection, and then blessed 
the church, breathing on them the Holy Ghost: John xx. 19-26, 
' Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when 
the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the 
Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace 
be unto you.' ' And after eight days, again his disciples were within, 
and Thomas with them, then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and 
stood in the midst, and said. Peace be unto you.' Look, as Christ was 
forty days instructing Moses in Sinai what he should teach, and how 
he should govern the church under the law : so he continued forty 
days teaching his disciples what they should preach, and how they 
should govern the church under the gospel : Acts i. 2, 3, ' Until the 
day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost 
had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen. To 
whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible 
proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things per- 
taining to the kingdom of God.' And it is not to be doubted, but 
that within those forty days he likewise ordained on what day they 
should likewise keep the Sabbath ; and it is observable that on this 
first day of the week he sent down from heaven the Holy Ghost upon 
his apostles : Acts ii. 1-4, ' And when the day of the Pentecost was 
fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And they 
were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other 
tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.' So that on that day they 
first began, and ever after continued, the public exercise of their 
ministry. Christ who was Lord of the Sabbath — Mark ii. 28— 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. Ill 

had a sovereign right to change and alter it to what day he pleased. 
But, 

(6.) Sixthly, Consider that according to the Lords mind and com- 
mandment, and the direction of the Holy Ghost, the apostles in all the 
Christian churches ordained that they should keep the holy Sabbath 
upon the first day of the week: 1 Cor. xvi. 1, 2, ' Now concerning the 
collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of 
Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week let every one 
of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be 
no gathering when I come.' In which words you may observe these 
five things. 

[1.] First, That the apostles ordained this day to be kept holy; 
therefore it is of a divine institution. 

[2.] Secondly, That the day is named the first day of the week ; 
therefore not the Jewish seventh, or any other. 

[3.] Thirdly, Every first day of the week, which sheweth its per- 
petuity. 

[4.] Fourthly, That it was ordained in the churches of Galatia, as 
well as of Corinth, and he settled one uniform in all the churches of 
the saints ; therefore it was universal: 1 Cor. xiv. 33, ' For God is not 
the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the 
saints.' 

[5.] Fifthly, That there should be collections for the poor on that 
day, after the other ordinances were ended. Now why should the 
apostles require collections to be made on the first day of the week, 
but because on that day of the week the saints assembled themselves 
together in the apostles' time ? And in the same epistle he protesteth 
that he delivered them no other ordinance or doctrine but what he had 
received from the Lord : 1 Cor. xi. 23, ' For I have received of the 
Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus, the 
same night in which he was betrayed, took bread : ' 1 Cor. xiv. 37, 
' If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him 
acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the command- 
ments of the Lord.' Now mark, he wrote to them, and ordained 
among them to keep their Sabbath on the first day of the week, there- 
fore to keep the Sabbath on that day is the very commandment of the 
Lord. But, 

(7.) Seventhly, Consider the apostles on that day ordinarily dis- 
pensed the holy ordinances, John xx. 19-26. Acts xx. 7, ' And upon 
the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break 
bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow, and 
continued his speech until midnight.' 1 Cor. xvi. 1, 2, and xi. 23. 
But, 

(8.) Eighthly, Consider such things as are named the Lord's in 
Scripture, are ever of the Lord's institution : as ' the word of the Lord,' 
1 Tim. vi. 3, ' the cup of the Lord,' 1 Cor. xi. 27 ; ' the supper of the 
Lord,' 1 Cor. xi. 20 ; and so 'the Lord's day' : Rev. i. 10, ' I was in 
the Spirit on the Lord's day.' Now why does John call it the Lord's 
day, but because it was a day known to be generally kept holy, to 
the honour of the Lord Jesus, who rose from death to life upon that 
day, throughout all the churches which the apostles had planted, which 



112 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

St John calls the Lord's day, that he might the better stir up Chris- 
tians to a thankful remembrance of their redemption by Christ's 
resurrection from the dead ? But, 

(9.) Ninthly, Consider that a right sanctifying of the Sabbath is 
one of the best signs in the Bible that God is our God, and that his 
sanctifying work is passed in potver upon us : Ezek. xx. 20, ' And 
hallow my sabbaths ; and they shall be a sign between me and you, 
that ye may know that I am the Lord your God.' So Exod. xxxi. 
13, ' Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my 
sabbaths shall ye keep : for it is a sign between me and you through- 
out your generations ; that ye may know that I am the Lord that 
doth sanctify you.' i Look, as circumcision and the passover were 
signs that the Jews were in covenant with God ; so likewise was the 
Sabbath, Ezek. xxxi. 13 ; and because it was a sign of the covenant 
between God and them. Ver. 16, ' Wherefore the children of Israel 
shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout the genera- 
tions for a perpetual covenant.' God tells them that they must observe 
it for a perpetual covenant ; and hence it was that when they violated 
the Sabbath, God accounted it the violation of the covenant between 
him and them. The sanctifying of the Sabbath in the primitive 
times was the main character by which sincere Christians were dif- 
ferenced from others; they judged of men's sanctity by their sanctifying 
of the Sabbath. And, indeed, as there cannot be a greater argument 
or evidence of a profane heart than the profaning the Sabbath, so 
there cannot be a greater argument or evidence of a gracious heart 
than a right sanctifying of the Sabbath. But, 

(10.) Tenthly, Consider a right sanctifying of the Sabbath will be 
a most sure and certain pledge, pawn, and earnest of our keeping of 
an everlasting Sabbath with God in heaven: Heb iv. 9, ' There 
remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God' — Qr. * A sabbatism, 
an eternal rest, a Sabbath that hath no evening.' Now mark, if this 
Sabbath be a sign and pledge of heaven, then we must keep it till we 
come there. For if we lose the pledge of a benefit, we lose the evi- 
dence of that benefit whereof it is a pledge. A man that is in the 
Spirit on the Lord's day, Kev. i. 10, he is in heaven on the Lord's 
day. There cannot be a more lively resemblance of heaven on this 
side heaven than the sanctifying of the Sabbath in a heavenly manner. 
What is heaven but an eternal Sabbath ? And what is a temporal 
Sabbath but a short heaven, a little heaven on this side heaven? 
Our delighting to sanctify God's Sabbath on earth gives full assur- 
ance to our faith, grounded upon God's infallible promise that we 
shall enter into God's eternal rest in heaven ; for so runs the promise : 
Isa. Iviii. 14, ' Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord ; and I will 
cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee 
with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord 
hath spoken it.' The former part of the verse relates lo earthly bless- 
ings ; but these words, ' I will feed thee with the heritage of Jacob 
thy father,' that is, with a heavenly inheritance; for what is the 

1 When the primitive Christians had this question put to them, Servasti Domini- 
cum f Hast thou kept the Lord's day ? they answered, Vhristianus sum, omittere non 
possum; I am a Christian, I cannot but keep it. 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 113 

heritage of Jacob, but Canaan in the type and heaven itself in the 
antitype ? But should I thus sanctify the Sabbath, should I be sure 
of going to heaven ? Yes ; for so it roundly follows in the next 
words, ' The mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.' But, 

(11.) Eleventhly, Consider, that of all days God liatli put the 
highest honour upon his Sabbaths, by appointing his precious or- 
dinances in a special manner to be used on those days. The Sabbath 
is a gold ring, and the ordinances are as so many costly sparkling 
diamonds in that ring. All the works of the new creation are com- 
monly wrought on this day. This is the joyful day wherein ordinarily 
God gives spiritual sight to the blind, and spiritual ears to the deaf, 
and spiritual tongues to the dumb, and spiritual feet to the lame. 
That Exod. xii. 42, is here applicable. It is a night to be much 
observed to the Lord, for bringing them out from the land of Egypt ; 
this is that night of the Lord to be observed of all the children of 
Israel in their generations. Those that are new born are commonly 
new born on this day ; and therefore it is a day to be much observed 
to the Lord. Those that are converted are ordinarily converted on 
this day ; and therefore it is that day of the Lord that ought to be 
observed by all the converted Israel of God. Those that are edified 
are commonly most edified on this day. Oh the sweet communion ! 
oh the choice converse ! oh the singular discoveries ! oh the blessed 
manifestations ! oh the excellent enjoyments that Christ vouchsafes to 
his people on this day ! Oh the discoveries of grace ! oh the exercise 
of grace ! oh the increase of grace, the progress in grace ! oh the 
comforts of grace that God vouchsafes to his chosen on this day ! 
Experience shews that the right sanctifying of the Sabbath is a 
powerful means under Christ to sanctify us, and to increase our faith, 
and raise our hope, and inflame our love, and to kindle our zeal, 
and to enlarge our desires, and to melt our hearts, and to weaken our 
sins. But, 

(12.) Twelfthly and lastly. Consider this, that a right sanctifying 
of the Sabbath will cross Satan's grand design, it loill spoil his plot, 
his masterpiece. Satan is a deadly enemy to the right sanctifying 
of the Sabbath. Witness the many temptations that many Chris- 
tians are more troubled with on this day than they are on any other 
day in the whole week ; and witness the many vain, wandering, and 
distracting thoughts that many precious Christians are more afflicted 
with on this day than they are on all the days of the week beside ; 
and witness that high and hot opposition that he in his instruments 
makes against the strictest observers of that day, Kev. ii. 10; and 
witness his constant prompting and spurring such on to the profana- 
tion of the Sabbath, whose examples are most dangerous and en- 
couraging to wicked men, as magistrates, ministers, parents, and 
masters, &c. ; and witness his strong endeavours, constant attempts, 
crafty devices, and deep policies that he has made use of in all the 
ages of the world, to keep people off from a religious observation of 
the Sabbath ; yea, and to make them more wicked on that day than 
on any other day of the week — may I not say than on all other days 
of the week ? I have been the longer upon this ninth particular, 
partly because of the weightiness of it, and partly to encourage the 

VOL. VI. H 



114 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

reader to a more close and strict observation of the Sabbath, and 
partly to justify those that are conscientious observers of it, and partly 
to justify the Lord in turning London into ashes for the horrible 
profanation of his day. 

The Sabbath-day is the queen of days, say the Jews. The Sabbath- 
day among the other days is as the Virgin Mary among women, saith 
Austin. 1 Look, what the phoenix is among the birds, the lion among 
the beasts, the whale among the fishes, the fire among the elements, 
the lily among the thorns, the sun among the stars, that is the 
Sabbath-day to all other days ; and therefore no wonder if God burn 
such out of their habitations who have been profaners of his day. Ah 
London ! London ! were there none within nor without thy walls that 
made light of this institution of God, and that did offer violence to the 
queen of days by their looseness and profaneness, by their sitting at 
their doors, by their walking in Moorfields,^ by their sportings and 
wrestlings there, and by their haunting of alehouses and whorehouses, 
their tossing of pots and pipes, when they should have been setting up 
God and Christ and religion in their families, and mourning in their 
closets for the sins of the times, and for the afflictions of poor Joseph? 
How did the wrath and rage of king Ahasuerus smoke against 
Haman, when he apprehended that he would have put a force upon 
the queen ! Esther vii. 8-10. And why then should we wonder to see 
the wrath of the Lord break forth in smoke and flames against such a 
generation, that put a force upon his day, that profaned his day, the 
queen of days ? Ah sirs ! you have greatly profaned and abused the 
day of the Lord ; and therefore why should any marvel that the Lord 
has greatly debased you, and laid your glory in dust and ashes ? In 
these late years how has profaneness, like a flood, broke in upon us on 
the Lord's-day ! and therefore it highly concerns all the profaners of 
the day of the Lord to lay their hands upon their hearts, and to say, 
The Lord is righteous, the Lord is righteous, though he has laid our 
habitations desolate. Who is so great a stranger in our English 
Israel as not to know that God was more dishonoured on the Sabbath- 
day, within and without the walls of London, than he was in all the 
other six days of the week ? and therefore let us not think it strange 
that such a fire was kindled on that day as has reduced all to ashes. 
"What antic habits did men and women put on, on this day ! what 
frothy, empty, airy discourses and intemperance was to be found at 
many men's tables this day ! how were alehouses, stews, and Moor- 
fields filled with debauched sinners this day ! No wonder then if 
London be laid desolate. Now this abominable sin of open profaning 
the Sabbaths of the Lord, I cannot with any clear evidence charge 
upon the people of God that did truly fear him within or without the 
walls of London. For, first, They did lament and mourn over the horrid 
profanation of that day. Secondly, I want eyes at present to see how 
it will stand, either with the truth of grace, or state of grace, for such 
as are real saints to live in the open profanation of God's Sabbaths. 
Thirdly, Because an ordinary profaning of the Lord's Sabbaths is 

^ The Sabbath-day differs as much from the rest of the days, as the wax doth, to which 
a king's great seal is put, from ordinary wax. 

^ Now the centre of the city of London : but still so named. — G. 



IsA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIEHY DISPENSATION. 115 

as great an argument of a profane heart as any that can be found 
in the whole book of God. Fourthly, Because Sabbath-days are the 
saints' market-days, the saints' harvest-days, the saints' summer-days, 
the saints' seed-days, and the saints' feasting-days, Prov. x. 5, and 
xvii. 16 ; Isa. xxv. 6 ; and therefore they will not be such fools as to 
sleep away those days, much less will they presume to profane those 
days, or to toy and trifle away those days of grace. Fifthly, What 
singular thing do they more than others, if they are not strict observers 
and conscientious sanctifiers of the Lord's-day ? Mat. v. 47. Sixthly 
and lastly. Of all the days that pass over a Christian's head in this 
world there are none that God will take such a strict and exact 
account of as of Sabbath-days ; and therefore it highly concerns 
all people to be strict observers and serious sanctifiers of that day. 
Now, upon all these accounts, I cannot charge such throughout saints 
as lived within or without the walls of London with that horrid pro- 
fanation of the Sabbath as brought the late fiery dispensation upon us, 
and that turned a glorious city into a ruinous heap. Whatever there 
was of the hand of man in that dreadful conflagration, I shall not now 
attempt to divine, but without a peradventure, it was Sabbath-guilt 
which threw the first ball that turned London into flames and ashes. 
When fire and smoking was on mount Sinai, God was there, Exod. 
xix. 18 ; but when London was in flames and smoke. Sabbath-guilt 
was there. Doubtless all the power of Kome and hell should never 
have put London into flames, had not London's guilt kindled the first 
coal. But, 

We come now to the use and application of this important 
point. 

10. Tenthly, The profaneness, lewdness, blindness, and wickedness 
of the clergy, of them in the ministry, brings the judgment of fire, and 
provokes the Lord to lay all ivaste before him : Zeph. iii. 4-6, * Her 
prophets are light and treacherous j)ersons : her priests have polluted 
the sanctuary, they have done violence to the law. I have cut off the 
nations : their towers are desolate ; I have made their streets waste, 
that none passeth by : their cities are destroyed, so that there is no 
man, that there is none inhabitant.' Their prophets and priests were 
rash, heady, and unstable persons, — they were Hght, faithless men, 
or men of faithlessness, as the Hebrew runs. They were neither faith- 
ful to God, nor faithful to their own souls, nor faithful to others' souls. 
They invented and feigned prophecies of their own, and then boldly 
maintained them, and imposed them upon their hearers ; they were 
profane and light in their carriages, they fitted their doctrines to 
all fancies, humours, parties, and times ; they betrayed their trust, 
they betrayed the lives of men into the hand of divine justice, and the 
souls of men into the hands of Satan ; they polluted the sanctuary, 
they polluted the holy things of God, by managing of his worship and 
service in a profane carnal way, and with a light, slight, perfidious 
spirit, and by perverting the true sense of the law in their ordinary 
teaching of the people. They did violence to the law, or they con- 
temned, removed, or cast away the law, as the original runs : the 
Hebrew word here used signifies also to ravish, Ps. 1. 17. Their pro- 
phets and priests did ravish the law of God by corrupting the law, and 



116 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

by putting false glosses upon it, and by turning of it into such shapes 
and senses as would best suit the times, and please the humours of 
the people. Now for these abominations of their prophets and priests, 
God denounces a dreadful woe against the city of Jerusalem in ver. 1, 
* Woe to her that is filthy and polluted, to the oppressing city :' Lam. 
iv. 11-13, ' The Lord hath accomplished his fury : he hath poured out 
his fierce anger, and hath kindled a fire in Zion, and it hath devoured 
the foundation thereof. For the sins of her prophets, and the iniquity 
of her priests, that have shed the blood of the just in the midst of her.' 
God sent a consuming flame into Jerusalem, which did not only burn 
the tops of their houses, but also the foundations themselves, leaving 
no mark whereby they might know where their houses stood, nor any 
hopes of building them up again. But why did God kindle such 
a devouring fire in Jerusalem, which was one of the world wonders, 
and a city that was not only strong in situation and building, and 
deemed impregnable, but a city that was God's own seat, the palace of 
his royal residence ; yea, a city that the Lord had for many years, to 
the admiration of all the world, powerfully and wonderfully protected 
against all those furious assaults that were made upon her by her most 
potent and mighty adversaries ? Ans. For the sins of her prophets, 
and the iniquiti-es of her priests, as God himself testifies, who can 
neither die nor lie. You may see this further confirmed, if you please 
but seriously to ponder upon these scriptures, Ezek. xxii. 25, 26, 31 ; 
Jer. xxiii. 11, 14, 15, 39, 40,1 Look, as the body natural, so the body 
politic cannot be long in a good constitution, whose more noble and 
essential parts are in a consumption. The enormities of ministers 
have the strongest influence upon the souls and lives of men, to make 
them miserable in both worlds. Their falls will be the fall and ruin 
of many ; for people are more prone to live by examples than by pre- 
cepts, and to mind more what the minister does than what he says : 
PrcEcepta docent, exempla moz;e7i^,JPrecepts may instruct, but examples 
do persuade. The complaint is ancient in Seneca, 2 that commonly 
men live, not ad rationem, but ad similitudinem. The people com- 
monly make the examples of their ministers the rules of their actions ; 
and their examples pass as current among them as their prince's coin. 
The common people are like tempered wax, easily receiving impressions 
from the seals of their ministers' vices. They make no bones of it to 
sin by prescription, and to damn themselves by following the lewd 
examples of their ministers. The vulgar unadvisedly take up crimes 
on trust, and perish by following of bad examples. I will leave the 
serious reader to make such application as in prudence and conscience 
he judges meet. But, 

11. Eleventhly, Sometimes the sins of princes and rulers bring the 
fiery dispensations of God upon persons and places :^ Jer. xxxviii. 17, 
18, 23, ' Then said Jeremiah unto Zedekiah, Thus saith the Lord, the 
God of hosts, the God of Israel, If thou wilt assuredly go forth unto 
the king of Babylon's princes, then thy soul shall live, and this city 

^ Micah ii, 11 ; Isa. xxx. 10, 11 ; Jer. v. 31 ; Hosea iv. 9 ; Isa. ix. 16 ; Lam. ii. 14 ; 
Ezek. iii. 18. ^ Seneca, de vita beata, cap. 1. 

* It is a strange saying in Lipsius, viz., that the names of all good princes may easily 
be engraven or written in a small ring. — Lipsius, de Constantia, lib. ii. cap. 25. 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 117 

shall not be burned with fire, and thou shalt live, and thine house. 
But if thou wilt not go forth to the king of Babylon's princes, then 
shall this city be given into the hands of the Chaldeans, and they shall 
burn it with fire, and thou shalt not escape out of their hand, but shalt 
be taken by the hand of the king of Babylon, and thou shalt cause this 
city to be burned with fire ;' or, as the Hebrew runs, ' thou shalt burn 
this city with fire ;' that is, thou, by thy obstinacy, wilt be the means 
to procure the burniug of this city, which by a rendition of thyself thou 
mightest have saved. So Jer. xxxiv. 2, 8-11, compared with chap, 
xxxvii. 5-22. Judges and magistrates are the physicians of the state, 
saith B[ishop] Lake in his sermon on Ezra/ and sins are the diseases 
of it. What skills it whether a gangrene begins at the head or the 
heel, seeing both ways it will kill, except this be the difference, that 
the head being nearer the heart, a gangrene in the head will kill 
sooner than that which is in the heel ; even so will the sins of great 
ones overthrow a state sooner than those of the meanest sort, 2 Sam. 
xxiv. 9-18. But, 

12. Twelfthly, The abusing, mocking, and despising of the messen- 
gers of the Lord is a sin that brings the fiery dispensation upon a 
people,^ 2 Chron. xxxvi. 15-19 ; Mat. xxiii. 34, 37, 38, ' Behold, your 
house is left unto you desolate.' 2 Here is used the present for the 
future, to note the certainty of the desolation of their city and temple, 
and their own utter ruins ; and about forty years after the Eomans 
came and burned their city and temple, and laid all waste before them. 
They had turned the prophets of the Lord out of all, and therefore the 
Lord resolves to turn them out of all. sirs ! will you please seriously 
to consider these six things: (1.) That all faithful, painful, conscien- 
tious ministers or messengers of the Lord, are great instruments in the 
hand of the Lord for stopping or stemming the tide of all profaneness 
and wickedness in a land, which bring all desolating and destroying 
judgments upon cities and countries, Isa. Iviii. 1. (2.) For converting 
souls to God, for turning poor sinners from darkness to light, and from 
the power of Satan to Jesus Christ, Acts xxvi. 15-18, and Dan. xii. 3. 
(3.) For promoting of religion, holiness, and godliness in men's hearts, 
houses, and lives, which is the only way under heaven to render cities, 
countries, and kingdoms safe, happy, and prosperous. (4.) For the 
weakening of the kingdom of Satan and antichrist, the weakening of 
whose kingdom is the glory, safety, and security of the land. (5.) For 
the turning away of wrath, either felt or feared. (6.) For the bring- 
ing down of the greatest, weightiest, and noblest of temporal favours 
and blessings upon cities and countries, as might be proved from scores 
of scripture, James v. 16-18. And therefore never marvel if God 
revenges the abuses done to them in flames of fire. It was on a Sab- 
bath that the public liberty of the painful, faithful ministers of London 
was terminated and came to an end, and it was on a Sabbath that 
London was burned.^ 

13. Thirteenthly, Shedding of the blood of the just is a crying sin, 

1 Viz., on Ezra vii. 26, in Sermons ; folio, 1629, pp. 273, seq., part iii. — G. 

2 Turn to these two pregnant texts, and ponder seriously upon them ; for they speak 
close in the case. 

=* The first on the 24th of August, and the otKer on the 2d of September, [The re- 
ference is to the ' Ejectment ' of the ' Two Thousand ' in 1662.— G.] 



118 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25 . 

tliat brings the judgment of fire, and lays all desolate ;i Ezek. xxxv. 
4, 5, 7, ' I will lay thy cities waste, and thou shalt be desolate, and 
thou shalt know that I am the Lord. Because thou hast had a per- 
petual hatred,' or hatred of old, ' and hast shed the blood of the chil- 
dren of Israel by the force of the sword in the time of their calamity, 
in the time that their iniquity had an end. Thus will I make mount 
Seir most desolate, and cut off from it him that passeth out, and him 
that returneth ; ' ver. 10, ' Because thou hast said, These two nations 
and these two countries shall be mine, and we will possess it, whereas 
the Lord was there ;' ver. 11, ' Therefore as I live, saith the Lord God, 
I will even do according to thine anger, and according to thine envy, 
which thou hast used out of thy hatred against them : and I will make 
myself known among them when I have judged thee :' ver. 12, ' And 
thou shalt know that I am the Lord, and that I have heard all thy 
blasphemies which thou hast spoken against the mountains of Israel, 
saying. They are laid desolate, they are given us to consume or devour :' 
ver. 13, ' Thus with your mouth you have boasted against me, and 
have multiplied your words against me : I have heard them :' ver. 14, 
' Thus saith the Lord God, When the whole earth rejoiceth I will 
make thee desolate :' ver. 15, ' As thou didst rejoice at the inheritance 
of the house of Israel, because it was desolate, so will I do unto thee : 
thou shalt be desolate, mount Seir, and all Idumea, even all of it : 
and they shall know that I am the Lord.' The Edomites were deadly 
enemies to the Israelites — their hatred was old and strong, and active 
against tliem ; and they took hold on all occasions wherein they might 
express their rage and cruelty against them, both in words and works. 
And therefore when the Babylonians took Jerusalem, they cried, Rase 
it, rase it, even to the foundation thereof, Ps. cxxxvii. 7. When the 
Babylonians entered Jerusalem, many of the Jews fled to the Edomites 
for succour, they being their brethren ; but instead of sheltering them, 
they cruelly destroyed them, and greatly insulted over them, and were 
glad of all opportunities wherein they might vent all their rage and 
malice against them, that so they might the better ingratiate them- 
selves with the Babylonians. Now for these cruel practices and bar- 
barous severities of theirs towards the poor, afflicted, and distressed 
Israel of God, God is resolved to bring utter desolation upon them : 
ver. 3, ' Thus saith the Lord God, Behold, mount Seir, I am against 
thee, and I will stretch out my hand against thee, and I will make 
thee most desolate : ' or as the Hebrew is, Shemamah Umeshammah, 
desolation and desolation. Now this doubling of the Hebrew word 
shews the certainty of their desolation, the speediness of their desola- 
tion, and the greatness and throughness of their desolation : Jer. xxvi. 
14, 15 ; see ver. 8, 9, 11, ' As for me, behold, I am in your hand, do 
with me as seemeth good and meet unto you. But know ye for cer- 
tain, that if you put me to death, ye shall surely bring innocent blood 
upon yourselves, and upon this city, and upon the inhabitants thereof 
That was good counsel which Tertullian gave Scapula, a pagan perse- 
cutor : God will surely make inquisition for our blood, therefore, saith 
he, if thou wilt not spare us, yet spare thyself ; if not thyself, yet spare 
thy country, which must be responsible when God comes to visit for 

^ See Ezek. xxi. 28, 31, 32, and xxv. 3-5. 



IsA. XLTI. 24, 25.] the late fiery dispensation. 119 

blood : so Lam. iv. 11-13, ' The Lord hath accomplished his fury ; he 
hath poured oat his fierce anger, and hath kindled a fire in Zion, and 
it hath devoured the foundations thereof. The kings of the earth, 
and all the inhabitants of the world, would not have believed that the 
adversary and the enemy should have entered into the gates of Jeru- 
salem. For the sins of her prophets, and the iniquities of her priests, 
that have shed the blood of the just in the midst of her.' The prophets 
and the priests enraged the people against them, and engaged the civil 
power against the just and the innocent, to the shedding of their blood. 
But this innocent blood could not be purged away but by fire. To 
shed the blood of the just is a most crying sin, and that for which God 
has turned the most glorious cities in the world into ashes. Jerome 
upon the text saith, that the prophets and priests shed the blood of the 
just in the midst of Jerusalem, by drawing them into error, which is 
to the destruction of the soul. But Calvin upon the text well observes 
this cannot stand, because just men are not so destroyed; but the 
wicked only, that take no heed to their false teaching. Therefore, 
saith he, the true prophets of God are meant by the just, for whom 
they had prisons, dungeons, and stocks to put them into ; and some- 
times stoning, or otherwise tumults, which they stirred up among the 
people, whereby their blood was shed. 

Eome has much of the blood of the saints upon her skirts, and for 
this very sin she shall be utterly burnt with fire, as you may see at 
large, if you will please to read the 18th chapter of the Revelation 
at your leisure. Rev. xvi. 6, xvii. 6, xix. 2, and xviii. 24. Though 
Rome was a cage of unclean birds, and iuU of all manner of abomina- 
tions, yet the sin that shall at last burn her to ashes, is the blood of 
the saints. Mark, though the people of God are in Babylon, and may 
partake of her plagues, and fall under the fiery dispensation with her, 
it is not the sins of the saints, but the sins of Babylon that bring the 
judgment of fire upon Babylon. Mark, the people of God may live in 
a city that may be burnt to ashes, and yet their sins may not be the 
procuring causes of that judgment. Lot lived in Sodom, and had his 
failings and infirmities as well as other saints, Gen. xix ; but it was not 
his sins that brought the judgment of fire upon that city, but the sins 
of the citizens, as the Scripture assures us. 

But you may say, Pray, sir, why is God so severe as to turn stately 
cities, rich and populous cities, great and glorious cities, into a ruinous 
heap, for shedding the blood of the just ? Ans. Because, next to the 
blood of Christ, the blood of the just is the most precious blood in all 
the world. Mark, There are these nine things that speak out the 
preciousness of the blood of the just : — 

[1.] First, Clear and plain scriptures speak out the blood of the 
saints to he precious : ' He shall redeem their soul from deceit and 
violence, and precious shall their blood be in his sight.' And so Ps. 
cxvi. 15, ' Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his 
saints;' Ps. Ixxiii. 32, 33, and Ixxii. 14. But,' 

[2.] Secondly, The cry of their blood reaches as high as heaven, 
and this speaks it out to be precious blood, Gen. iv. 10, 11. The blood 
of one Abel had so many tongues as drops, and every drop a voice to 
cry for vengeance, and the cry of his blood did strongly engage the 



120 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

justice of God to punish it : ^ Eev. xvi. 6, ' Give fhem blood to drink, 
for they are worthy.' But, 

[3.] Thirdly, God's cursing their blessings, who have shed the blood 
of his saints, speaks out their blood to be precious blood: Gen. iv. 10, 
ll, ' And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her 
mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand.' Now this is 
added by the way — 1. To aggravate the sin of Cain ; 2. To shew the 
fitness of the punishment : it is as if he had said the earth did, as it 
were, in compassion receive into her bosom that blood which thou 
didst cruelly and wickedly shed ; and therefore out of the earth, which 
hath sucked in by the pores thereof thy brother's blood, shall spring a 
curse that shall plague thee for shedding that blood. The earth, 
which was created for thy blessing and service, shall execute this 
curse against thee in vengeance, not yielding thee the fruits which 
otherwise it would have done. As is expressed in ver. 12, ' When 
thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her 
strength' — Heb., 'It shall not go on to give thee its ability.' This 
was a second curse, whereby the earth became worse for Cain's sin 
than it was for Adam's. Now if this curse were not general, yet 
doubtless it was a particular curse upon Cain's portion, so that where- 
soever or whensoever he should till the earth as a husbandman, the 
earth by its barrenness should upbraid him as a murderer. But, 

[4.] Fourthly, God's pouring out of the blood of the iviched as ivater 
is poured out upon the ground, to prevent the effusion of his children's 
blood, speaks out their blood to be precious blood, Isa. xliii. 4, 5. At 
the Eed Sea, God made way not only through the sea, but also 
through the blood of the Egyptians, to preserve the blood and lives of 
his poor people, Exod. xiv. God, to preserve the lives and blood of 
his people, destroys a hundred fourscore and five thousand of Sen- 
nacherib's army by the hand of his angel in one night, Isa. xxxvii. 36. 
And you know in Esther's time, Esth. ix., how God made way for the 
preservation of the lives and blood of his people through the blood of 
Haman, his sons, and the rest of their enemies that hated them. I 
might give you twenty other scriptures to the same purpose, but 
enough is as good as a feast. But, 

[5.] Fifthly, The strict inquisition that God has made after the 
blood of the just in all ages of the ivorld, argues the preciousness of 
their blood: Ps. ix. 12, ' When he maketh inquisition for blood, he re- 
membereth them, he forgetteth not the cry of the humble.' Did not 
Pharaoh, Ahab, Jezebel, Haman, Herod, Amalek, Moab, Ammon, Sen- 
nacherib, &c., find by woeful experience that God did make a strict 
inquisition after the blood of the just ? And so did those men of vio- 
lence who shed the blood of the just in the primitive times, &c. But, 

[6.] Sixthly, The speedy and dreadful vengeance of God upon such 
as have shed the blood of the just, speaks out their blood to be precious 
in his eyes : Ps. Iv. 23, ' But thou, God, shalt bring them down into 
thepit of destruction : bloody and deceitful men shall not live out half 
their days;' Ps. xciv. 21, 23, 'They gather themselves together' — 
Heb., 'run by troops, as thieves do' — 'against the soul of the right- 
eous, and condemn the innocent blood. He shall brin^ ux)on them 

^ Crying is ascribed to blood by a figurative speech. 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 121 

their own iniquity, and shall cut them off in their own wickedness : 
yea, the Lord our God shall cut them off.' Kichard III. and Queen 
Mary were cruel princes, and shed the blood of the just, and they had 
the shortest reign of any since the Conquest. 

Charles IX. was a great shedder of the blood of the just.i He had 
a deep hand in the massacre of the protestants in Paris, and in other 
parts of his kingdom he glutted himself with the blood of the just, 
and gloried greatly in their ruins. In his latter days he was sur- 
prised with a great debility and tormenting pains in his body ; after a 
great effusion of blood, which issued out by all the passages of his 
body, he breathed forth his wretched soul. 2 Oh the horrid butcheries 
that were committed and commanded by this bloody prince his reign, 
throughout his whole realm ! But at last divine vengeance overtook 
him, and he died wallowing in his own blood, &c. 

The Duke of Guise, next to the king,3 had the greatest hand in the 
massacre of the protestants. He was a most barbarous prince, and at 
last he falls by barbarous hands; for he being called by [Louis] Kevol, 
secretary to Henry III., to come to the king into his cabinet, as he 
lifted up the tapestry with one hand to enter, he was charged with 
swords, daggers, and partisans,^ and so died by the hands of mur- 
derers. He that had murdered many thousands of the protestants 
was at last murdered by men of his own religion.5 

Henry III., king of France, was a most cruel enemy to the pro- 
testants, and he was by James Clemmont, a monk, stabbed in the 
same chamber, and on the same day wherein he had helped to 
contrive the French massacre.^ Doubtless God will one day reckon 
with France for all that protestant blood that they have shed. 

Maximinus was a great persecutor of the people of God ; he set 
forth a proclamation, engraven in brass, for the utter abolishing of 
Christ and his religion ; he was at last eaten up of lice.7 The same 
judgment befell Philip king of Spain, who swore he had rather have 
no subjects than Lutheran subjects; and when he had narrowly 
escaped drowning in a shipwreck, he said he was delivered of God to 
rout off Lutheranism, which he presently began to do, but God soon 
cut him off. 

Thomas Blavar,8 one of the privy counsellors of the king of Scots, 
was a sore persecutor of the people of God in that land ; when he lay 
on his dying-bed he fell into despair, and cried out that he was 
damned, he was damned : and when the monks came about him to 
comfort him, he cried out upon them, saying, 'that their masses 
and other trash would do him no good ; for he never believed them, 
but all that he did was for love of money, and not of religion, not 
respecting or believing that there was either a God or a devil, a hell 
or a heaven ; and therefore he was damned, there was no remedy but 

1 History of France, pp. 791-798. ' Ihid., pp. 808, 809, 

* Ihid., pp. 793, 794. [The Duke of Guise here referred to was Louis de Lorraine, 
who was lieutenant-general of the kingdom under Charles IX. He was murdered at 
the door of the closet of Henry III. in 1588. Anquetil, Hist, de France, vii. 193.— G.] 

* ' Pikes.'— G, 6 History of France, p. 867. 
8 Ihid., pp. 879, 880. [Clement, not Clemmont. Aug. 1, 1689.— G.] 

^ History of the Council of Trent, p. 417. 
8 Query, ' Blair' ? Cf. Vol. I. p. 252.— G. 



122 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

he must go to hell, and in this case without a sign of repentance he 
died/i 

A popish magistrate having condemned a poor protestant to death, 
before his execution he caused his tongue to be cut out, because he 
should not confess the truth : but the Lord did retaliate it upon him ; 
for the next child he had was born without a tongue. 

Cardinal Crescentius [Anno 1552] was a most desperate persecutor 
of the people of God. He was the pope's ambassador to the Council 
of Trent, and being one night busy in writing to his master the pope, 
a huge black dog, with great flaming eyes, and long ears dangling 
down to the ground, appeared to him in his chamber, and went under 
the table where he sat. Upon which the cardinal was amazed ; but as 
soon as he had recovered himself, he called his servants to put out 
the black dog that was come into his chamber ; but they looked 
round about his chambers, and the next chambers, but could find no 
black dog : upon which the cardinal fell presently sick with a strong 
conceit, which never left him till his death, still crying out, Drive 
away the black dog, drive away the black dog, which seemed to him 
to be climbing up his bed ; and in that humour he died. 

After the martyrdom of Gregory, the bishop of Spoleta, Flaccus the 
governor, who was the author thereof, was struck with an angel, 2 and 
vomited up his entrails at his mouth, and died.3 

Mammea Agrippitus, when he was fifteen years old, because he 
would not sacrifice to their idols, was apprehended at Preneste, and 
whipped with scourges, and hanged up by the heels, and at last slain 
with the sword ; in the midst of whose torments the governor of the 
city fell down dead from the tribunal-seat.* 

Gensericus, king of the Vandals, an Arian, was a most cruel perse- 
cutor of the orthodox Christians ; he was possessed of the devil, and 
died a most miserable death in the year 477.^ 

Herod the Great, who caused the babes of Bethlehem to be slain, 
hoping thereby to have destroyed Christ, shortly after was plagued by 
God with an incurable disease, having a slow and slack fire continually 
tormenting of his inward parts ; he had a vehement and greedy desire 
to eat, and yet nothing would satisfy him ; his inward bowels rotted, 
his breath was short and stinking, some of his members rotted, and in 
all his members he had so violent a cramp, that nature was not able 
to bear it, and so, growing mad with pain, he died miserably.^ 

Herod Antipas, who beheaded John Baptist, not long after, falling 
into disgrace with the Eoman emperor, with his incestuous Herodias, 
the suggester of that murder, they were banished, and fell into such 
misery and penury that they ended their wretched lives with much 
shame and misery.7 

Herod Agrippa was a great persecutor of the saints, Acts xii. ; he 
was eaten up of worms in the third year of his reign, as Josephus 
observes. 8 He went to Csesarea to keep certain plays in the honour 
of Csesar ; the gown he was in, as the same author relates, was a gown 

1 Theatrum Historicum. ^ Query, 'ague'?— G. '^ Phil. Lonicer. 

4 Cent. iii. cap. 12. [Rather Agapetus: Clarke, as before, p. 36.— G.j 

5 Sigeb. in Chron. ^ Euseb. Hist. ^ Ibid. 
8 Joseph. Antiq., lib. xix. cap. 7. 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 123 

of silver wonderfully wrought, and the beams of the sun reflecting 
upon it, made it so glister, that it dazzled the eyes of the beholders ; 
and when he had made an end of his starched oration in this his 
bravery, his flatterers extolled him as a god, crying out, It is the 
voice of a god, and not of a man, Acts xii. 21-23 : whereupon he was 
presently smitten by the angel of the Lord, and so died with worms 
that ate up his entrails.^ The blow the angel gave him was an inward 
blow, and not so visible to others ; and his torments more and more 
increasing upon him, the people put on sackcloth, and made supplica- 
tion for him, but all in vain ; for his pains and torments growing 
stronger and stronger every day upon him, they separated his 
wretched soul from his loathsome body within the compass of five 
days.2 

Caiaphas the high priest, who gathered the council, and suborned 
false witness against the Lord Christ, was shortly after put out of his 
office, and one Jonathan substituted in his room, whereupon he killed 
himself. 3 

Not long after Pontius Pilate had condemned our Lord Christ, he 
lost his deputyship and Caesar s favour ; and being fallen into disgrace 
with the Eoman emperor, and banished by him, he fell into such 
misery that he hanged himself. 

Oh the dreadful judgments that were infiicted upon the chief actors 
in the ten persecutions! Shall I give you a brief account of what 
befell them? 

Nero, that monster of men, who raised the first bloody persecution, 
to pick a quarrel with the Christians, he set the city of Kome on fire, 
and then charged it upon them; under which pretence he exposes 
them to the fury of the people, who cruelly tormented them, as if they 
had been common burners and destroyers of cities, and the deadly 
enemies of mankind ; yea, Nero himself caused them to be apprehended 
and clad in wild beasts' skins, and torn in pieces with dogs ; others 
were crucified, some he made bonfires of to light him in his night- 
sports. To be short, such horrid cruelty he used towards them, as 
caused many of their enemies to pity them. But God found out this 
wretched persecutor at last; for being adjudged by the senate an 
enemy to mankind, he was condemned to be whipped to death, for the 
prevention whereof he cut his own throat. 

Domitian,the author of the second persecution against the Christians, 
having drawn a catalogue of such as he was to kill, in which was the 
name of his own wife and other friends ; upon which he was, by the 
consent of his wife, slain by his own household servants with daggers 
in his privy-chamber ; his body was buried without honour, his 
memory cursed to posterity, and his arms and ensigns were thrown 
down and defaced. 

Trajan raised the third persecution against the church ; he was 
continually vexed with seditions, and the vengeance of God followed 
him close. ^ For, first, he fell into a palsy, then lost the use of his 
senses ; afterwards he fell into a dropsy, and died in great anguish. 

^ Adrian being vexed with great and perpetual commotions in his life, 
died with much anxiety. 

^Joseph. Antiq., lib. xviii. cap. 13. » Euseb. Hist. ' Ibid., lib. ii. cap. 7. j 



124 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

Maxim inus being declared an enemy by the senate, was killed in his 
own tent. 

Decius, by the Goths, in their first invasion of the empire, with his 
whole army was cut off. 

Valerianus was overcome by the Persians, and made use of by Sapor 
as a stirrup for his foot when he went to take horse. 

Julian, in his height of contempt against Christ, was deadly wounded 
in battle against the Persians, and throwing his blood in the air, died 
with that desperate expression in his mouth, Vieisti tandem Galilcee.^ 

Yalentius, being a great favourer of the Arians, and a great per- 
secutor of the orthodox — the Asians exceeding the heathens in cruelty 
— was in battle against the Goths in Thracia wounded, and being 
carried to a house that was near, it was set on fire by the enemy, in 
which he miserably perished. 

Maxentius and his chief officers being put to flight on the other 
side of the river Tiber, by Constantine, was necessitated to return by 
a bridge, whereupon he had made devices in a secret way to have 
drowned Constantine, by which he and those that were with him were 
drowned in the river ;2 upon which occasion the Christians took occa- 
sion to sing that word, Ps. ix. 16, ' The Lord is known by the judg- 
ments which he executeth : the wicked is snared in the work of his 
own hand:' and that word, Ps. vii. 15, ' He made a pit and digged it, 
and he himself is fallen into it.' 

Dioclesian being sent for by Constantine, upon suspicion, chose 
rather to poison himself than to see him. 

Maximianus Herculeus, endeavouring again to recover his authority, 
was discovered in his design by his daughter, Constantine's wife: 
whereupon he was pursued and besieged by Constantine, and was 
either killed, or during the siege hanged himself, as is diversely 
reported by several writers. 

Maximinus Jovius, through intemperance, becoming corpulent, was 
smitten with boils in the secret parts, out of which issued abundance 
of vermin ; his physicians were either sufibcated by the odious smell 
of his loathsome disease, or else they were killed by him because they 
could not cure him. One of his physicians told him that it was God's 
judgment on him for persecuting the Christians, which no man could 
cure. At last he fell under such convictions, as forced him to confess 
that the wrongs and injuries that he had done to the people of God 
were the cause of that plague ; and therefore being struck with terror 
and horror, gave out edicts that the persecution should cease, and that 
churches should be builded, and that in their meetings prayers should 
be put up for him, as formerly used to be : which edict is to be found 
in Eusebius.3 The other tyrant in the east, to wit, Maximinus, who 
was called Caesar, had been industrious to invent cruel tortures for 
the Christians, especially to pull out their eyes ; but at last he was 
defeated, and in a base habit made to hide himself, and afterwards he 
was pursued by such a sickness which made both his eyes to drop out 
of his head, by which judgment he was necessitated to confess that 

^ As before. — G. 

^ Euseb. Hist., lib. ix. cap. 8. The Christians compared his destruction in the water 
to Pharaoh's drowning in the Eed Sea. ^ Euseb. Hist,, lib, viii, cap, 29. 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 125 

the God of the Christians was the only true God, and that he had been 
mistaken concerning the gods whom he chose to worship ; which words 
were uttered by him when he was even expiring, as Eusebius testifies, i 
By all these dreadful instances, you may run and read that heavy 
vengeance that has been inflicted upon those who have shed the blood 
of the just. 

Foelix, Earl of Wurtemburg, was a great persecutor of the saints, 
and did swear that ere he died he would ride up to the spurs in the 
blood of the Lutherans : but the very same night wherein he had thus 
sworn and vowed, he was choked with his own blood. 

The judgments of God were so famous and frequent upon those that 
did shed the blood of the saints in Bohemia, that it was used as a 
proverb among the adversaries themselves, That if any man be weary 
of his life, let him but attempt against the Picardines — so they called 
the Christians — and he should not live a year to an end. 

Sir Thomas More, once Lord Chancellor of England, was a sworn 
enemy to the gospel, and persecuted the saints with fire and faggot ; 
and among all his praises he reckons this as the chiefest — that he had 
been a persecutor of the Lutherans, t.e., the saints. But what became 
of him ? he was first accused of treason, and then condemned, and at 
last beheaded. 

Judge Morgan was a great persecutor of the people of God ; but 
shortly after he had passed the sentence of condemnation upon that 
virtuous lady, the Lady Jane Gjpey, he fell mad, and in his mad raving 
fits, he would continually cry out, ' Take away the Lady Jane, take 
away the Lady Jane from me ! ' and in that horror he ended his 
wretched life. 

Drahomiza, after the death of her husband, usurped the government 
of Bohemia, and was a cruel persecutor of the people of God ; but by 
a righteous hand of God it so fell out, that on that very place where 
the ministers' bones lay unburied, the earth opened of itself, and swal- 
lowed her up alive with her chariot, and those that were in it ; which 
place is now to be seen before the castle of Prague. There is no end 
of instances of a later date. But, 

[7. J Seventhly, The strange, miraculous, and loonderful preservation 
of the lives and blood of the just, speaks out their blood to be precious 
blood.2 Who can sum up the many miracles of divine love, power, 
wisdom, and care, &c., that God manifested in the preservation of 
Joseph in the prison, Jeremiah in the dungeon, Daniel in the den, and 
the three children in the fiery furnace, and not say, Surely the blood 
of the saints is very precious in the eyes of the Lord ? I have read of a 
certain witch that sent her spirits to kill Ambrose ; but they returned 
her this answer, that God had hedged him in, as he did Job, and there- 
fore they could not touch him, they could not hurt him. Another 
came with a drawn sword to his bedside to have killed him, but he 
could not stir his hand, till, repenting, he was by the prayer of Ambrose 
restored to the use of his hand again. For Luther, saith my author, 

^ Euseb. de vita Constantini, lib. ii. cap. 52. 

* Hesiod speaks of thirty thousand demi-gods that were keepers of men; but what 
are so many thousand gods to that one God, that neither slumbers nor sleeps, but day 
and night keeps his people as the apple of his eye, Zeph. v, 8 ; as his jewels, Mai. iii. 
17; that keeps them in his pavilion, as a prince his favourite ? Ps. xxxi. 20. 



126 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

a poor friar, to stand it out against the pope and all the power of Eome, 
was a great miracle ; and that he should prevail against all that power, 
was greater ; and that after all he should die in his bed, was the greatest 
of all. There are many thousand instances more of the like nature, 
but enough is as good as a feast. 

[8.] Eighthly, The spiritual judgments that God hath given such up 
to, loho have shed the blood of the Just, speaks out their blood to be 
precious blood. Oh the dreadful horrors and amazing terrors of con- 
science that such have been given up to ! Take a few instances among 
the many that might be given. The Vaivod that had betrayed 
Zegedine, a godly man, professed to Zegedine that he was so haunted 
with apparitions and the furies of his own conscience, that he could 
not rest day nor night. Dionysius, a cruel tyrant, a bitter enemy to 
all good men and good things, was so troubled with fear and horror 
of conscience, that, not daring to trust his best friends with a razor, he 
used to singe his beard with burning coals [Cicero.] A sleepy con- 
science, when awakened, is like a sleepy lion; when he awakes he 
roars and tears his prey. It is like Prometheus' vulture, it lies ever 
gnawing. 1 Sin brings a stain and a sting. Horror of conscience 
meets a man in the dark, and makes him leap in the night, and makes 
him quake in his sleep, and makes him start in every corner, and makes 
him think every bush is a man, every man a devil, and every devil a 
messenger to fetch him quick to hell. By this Theodoric saw the face 
of a man in the mouth of a fish ; Nes§us heard the noise of murder in 
the voice of birds; Saundes(?) ran distracted over the Irish mountains. 
This made Cain wander, Saul stab himseh, Judas hang himself, Arius 
empty his bowels at the stool, Latomus cry desperately, he was damned, 
he was damned, and Julian confess that he was conquered. It makes 
man, the lord of all, to be slave to all. Lord, what is man ? Cer- 
tainly it is better with Evagrius to lie secure on a bed of straw, than 
to have a turbulent conscience on a bed of down, having curtains em- 
bossed with gold and pearl. But, 

[9.] Ninthly and lastly. The shedding of the blood of the just is a 
sin of so high a cry, and so deep a dye, that for it God is resolved, 
except men repent, that he ivill shut them out of the highest heaven, 
and cast them down to the lowest hell; as you may see by comparing 
the scriptures in the margin together ; 2 and therefore certainly the 
blood of the just is most precious blood. Now, seeing that the blood 
of the just is such precious blood, who will wonder if God sets such 
cities and towns and countries into a flame about their ears, upon 
whose skirts the blood of the just is to be found ? Josephus, speaking 
of the desolation of Jerusalem, saith. Because they have sinned against 
the Lord God of their fathers, in shedding the blood of just men and 
innocents that were within thee, even in the temple of the Lord, 
therefore are our sorrowful sighings multiplied, and our weapons^ daily 
increased. It was the blood of the just, the blood of the innocents, 
that turned Jerusalem into ashes. 

^ Conscience is God's preacher in the bosom. Conscience is mille testes, a thousand 
witnesses for or against a man. Conscience hath a good memory. 
2 Gal. V. 21 ; Rev. xxi. 8, and xxii. 15 ; 1 John iii. 15 ; ]\Iat. xxii. 7. 
^ Query, 'weepings'? — Ed. 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 127 

I have read of one Kabbi Samuel, who six hundred years since writ 
a tract in form of an epistle to Kabbi Isaac, maste;^- of the synagogue 
of the Jews, wherein he doth excellently discuss the cause of their 
long captivity and extreme misery, and after that he had proved that 
it was inflicted for some grievous sin, he sheweth that sin to be the 
same which Amos speaks of : ' For three transgressions of Israel, and 
for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof, because they 
sold the righteous for silver, and the poor for a pair of shoes.' The 
selling of Joseph he makes the first sin ; the worshipping of the calf in 
Horeb, the second sin ; the abusing of God's prophets, the third sin ; 
and the selling of Jesus Christ, the fourth sin. For the first, they served 
four hundred years in Egypt ; for the second, they wandered forty 
years in the wilderness; for the third, they were captives seventy 
years in Babylon ; and for the fourth, they are held in pitiful cap- 
tivity even till this day. 

When Phocas, that bloody cut-throat, sought to secure himself by 
building high walls, he heard a voice from heaven telling him, that 
though he built his bulwarks never so high, yet sin within, blood 
within, would soon undermine all. Shedding the blood of the just is 
a sin that hath undermined the strongest bulwarks, and that hath 
blown up, and burnt up, the most glorious cities that have been in the 
world. And who can tell but that the blood of the just that was shed 
in the Marian days, might now come up into remembrance before the 
Lord ? 1 For in four years of her reign there were consumed in the 
heat of those flames two hundred and seventy-seven persons — viz., 
five bishops, one-and-twenty ministers, eight gentlemen, eighty-four 
artificers, one hundred husbandmen, servants, and labourers, six-and- 
twenty wives, twenty widows, nine virgins, two boys, and two infants. 
I say, who can tell but that the blood of these precious servants of 
the Lord hath cried aloud in the ears of the Lord for vengeance 
against that once glorious, but now desolate city? Men of brutish 
spirits, and that are skilful to destroy, make no more of shedding the 
blood of the just, than they do of shedding the blood of a swine ; but 
yet this hideous sin makes so great a noise in the ears of the Lord of 
hosts, that many times he tells the world by his fiery dispensations 
that it cannot be purged away but by fire. And thus much for the 
sins that bring the fiery judgment : our way now to the application 
is plain. 

^ Speed's Chronicle in Queen Mary. 



128 London's lamentations on [Isa XLII. 24, 25. 



THE FIEST PAET OF THE APPLICATION. 

1. To see the hand of the Lord in it. Ten consider^ations to ivork 
to this. 

2. To mourn under the sense of so great a judgment. 

We come now to the use and application of this important point. 
The explication of a doctrine is but the drawing of the bow: the 
application is the hitting of the mark, the white, &c. 

Is it so, that God is the author or efficient cause of all the great 
calamities and dreadful judgments that are inflicted upon cities and 
countries, and, in particular, of that of fire ? Then, 

Use 1. First, Let us see the hand of the Lord in this late dreadful 
fire that hath been upon us; for certainly God is the author, per- 
missively at least, he is the great agent in all those terrible judg- 
ments that befall persons, cities, and kingdoms, Kuth i. 13, 21 ; Ps. 
xxxix. 9 ; 1 Sam. iii. 18. Whosoever or whatsoever be the rod, 
it is his hand that gives the stroke. The power of bringing judg- 
ments upon cities God challengeth to himself : Amos iii. 6, ' Shall 
there be evil in a city, and the Lord hath not done it ? ' Whatever 
the judgment be that falls upon a city, God is the author of it; he 
acts in it and orders it according to his own good pleasure. There is 
no judgment that casually falls upon any person, city, or country. 
Every judgment is inflicted by a divine power and providence. The 
Chaldeans could never have burned Jerusalem, if the Lord had not 
granted them a commission. Hence saith the prophet, ' Evil came 
down from the Lord unto the gate of Jerusalem,' Micah i. 12. It 
was a sore evil that Jerusalem, which was one of the world's wonders, 
should be destroyed by fire ; but this evil was determined at the 
council-board in heaven, i Jerusalem was burned by a commission 
signed in heaven, both when the Chaldeans under Nebuchadnezzar, 
and when the Komans under Titus Vespasian, laid it in ashes. All 
sorts of judgments are more at the beck of God, and under the com- 
mand of God, than servants are under the commands of their masters, 
or soldiers under the commands of their general, or children under 
the command of their parents. Mat. viii. 5, 11. Whatever judg- 
ment God commands to destroy a person, a city, or country, that 
judgment shall certainly and effectually accomplish the command ot 
God, in spite of all that creatures can do.2 God, as he is our Creator, 
Preserver, and sovereign Lord, has an absolute power both over our 
persons, lives, estates, and habitations: and when we have trans- 
gressed his righteous laws, he may do with us, and all we have, as he 
pleases ; he may turn us out of house and home, and burn up all our 
comforts round about us, and yet do us no wrong. Those things 
which seem accidental and casual unto us are ordered by the wise 

^ The soldier's firebrand, by which was tired the famous temple of Jerusalem, was 
commission^ted by a divine command. 

■^ Whatever miscreants made the fire-balls, yet God did blow the fire, and so turned 
London into a ruinous heap. Certainly there was much of God's hand, whatever there 
was of men's heads, in this fatal fire. 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25 ] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 129 

counsel, power, and providence of God. Instruments can no more 
stir till God gives them a commission, than the axe or the knife can 
cp^ of itself, without a hand. Job eyed God in the fire that fell from 
heaven, and in all the fiery trials that befell him. And therefore, as 
one observes, [Austin,] he doth not say, the Lord gave, and the devil 
took away ; nor the Lord gave, and the Chaldeans and Sabeans took 
away ; but ' the Lord hath given, and the Lord hath taken ; and 
blessed be the name of the Lord,' Job i. 20, 21. Certainly without 
the cognisance and concurrence of a wise, omniscient, and omnipotent 
God, no creatures can move ; nor without his foresight and permission 
no event can befall any person, city, or country : Acts xvii. 28, ' For 
in him we live, move, and have our being.' No man can put forth a 
natural action without him. Whatever the means or instruments of 
our misery be, the hand is God's ; and this the saints in all the ages 
of the world have confessed. It becomes us, in every judgment, to see 
the hand of the Lord, and to look through visible means to an in- 
visible God, Lev. X. 1-4, and Heb. xi. 25, 26 ; for though the Lord 
may, and many times does, make use of !Satan and his instruments to 
scourge his dearest children, yet it is but one hand, and many instru- 
ments, that he smites us with. God makes use of what second causes 
he pleases for the execution of his pleasure. And many times he 
makes the worst of men the rod of his indignation to chastise his 
people with, Isa. x. 5-20. Witness Pharaoh, Ahab, Haman, Herod, 
and the Assyrian kings, with scores of other instances that the Scrip- 
ture affords. And all histories abound iu nothing more than iu 
instances of this nature, as all know that have read anything of 
history. The conclave of Rome, and the conclave of hell can do 
nothing without a commission from heaven. They cannot make a 
louse, nor burn a house, nor drown a pig, without a commission 
under the broad seal of heaven. A sparrow lights not upon the 
ground, nor a hair falls not from our heads, no, nor a bristle from a 
sow's back, saith Tertullian, but by a divine providence.^ All created 
creatures, both in that upper and in this lower world, depend upon 
God for their being, motion, and several activities. Now in that God 
did not exert his power, neither to prevent nor check those furious 
flames, which he knew, without his interposure, would lay all in 
ashes; it is evident that it was his divine pleasure that London 
should be turned into a ruinous heap. God's not hindering the desola- 
tion of London was a tacit commissioning of the flames to burn down 
all that stood in their way. That such are under a high mistake that 
ascribe the burning of London so to second causes as that they will 
allow no more judgment of God in it than that which accompanies 
common casualty, I shall sufficiently evidence before I have finished 
this first use. But I hope the prudent reader will make it his business 
to see the signal hand of God in this late fiery dispensation, and to 
remember that the scribe is more properly said to write than the pen ; 
and he that maketh and keepeth the clock is more properly said to 
make it go and strike than the wheels and poises that hang upon it ; 
and every workman to effect his work, rather than the tools which he 
useth as instruments. So the Lord of hosts, who is the chief agent and 

' Exod. viii. 18 ; Jer. xxi. 10; Mat. viii. 32, and x. 30 ; Luke xx'. 18. 
VOL. VI. I 



130 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLTI. 24, 25. 

mover in all things, and in all actions, may more fitly and properly be 
said to effect and' bring to pass all judgments, yea, all things that are 
done in the earth, than any inferior or subordinate causes— seeing they 
are but his tools and instruments, which he rules and guides according 
to his own will, power, and providence. At this some of the more 
civilised heathen hath long since hammered, viz., that the same 
power dispenseth both comforts and crosses, when they painted Fortune 
in two forms, with two faces of contrary colours, the foremost white, 
the hindermost black, to signify that both good and evil came from 
the goddess Fortune. When it was told prince Henry, that delicia 
generis humani, that darling of mankind, ' that the sins of the people 
caused that affliction that was upon him ;' 'Oh no,' said he, ' I have 
sins enough of mine own to cause that/ So should we all confess, 
that though God take occasion by another man's sin, or by another 
man's hand, to fire my house, yet the cause is just that it should be so, 
and that I myself have deserved it, whatsoever the occasion or the 
instrument be. God had matter enough against the seventy thousand 
that died of the plague ; though David's sin were the occasion, yet the 
meritorious cause was in them. Certainly there is no man that hath 
been a sufferer by this late dreadful fire, but upon an easy search into 
his own heart and life, he may find matter enough to silence himself, 
and to satisfy himself that, though God has turned him out of his 
habitation, and burnt up all his comforts round about him, yet he has 
done him no wrong. Surely in the burning of the city of London 
there was more of the extraordinary hand of God than there was 
of the hand of papist or atheist, Ezek. xxi. 31. God, if he had 
pleased, could have prevented brutish and skilful men to destroy 
and burn, by discovering of their hellish plots before they had taken 
effect, as he did Ahithophel's, 2 Sam. xvii. 10-24 ; and as he did 
Tobiah's and Sanballat's, Neh. iv. 7-16 ; and as he did the Jews' who 
took counsel to kill Paul, Acts ix. 23-25, and xxiii. 12-25 ; and as he 
did that of the Gunpowder treason. And God could have directed 
and spirited men to the use of the means, and then have given such a 
blessing to the means, as should have been effectual to the quenching 
of it when it was first kindled ; but he would not, which is a clear 
evidence that he had given from heaven a commission to the fire 
to burn with that force and violence as it did, till all was laid in 
ashes. 

Now that you may the better see and acknowledge the hand of the 
Lord in the late dreadful fire that has been amongst us, consider 
seriously with me these ten following particulars : — 

[1.] First, Consider the intempe7'ate heat, the drought of the season. 
Such a hot and dry summer as that was has not been known for many 
years ; how by this means every man's habitation was as stubble, fully 
dry, prepared and fitted for the burning flames, l Before God would 
strike fire he made our houses like tinder. When fuel is wet and 
green, what pufiing and blowing must there be to kindle a fire, and to 
make it burn ! but when fuel is light and dry, it is so conceptive 
of fire, that even the very smell of fire puts it into a flame. And this 

^ Nahum i. 10 ; Joel ii. 5. By this parching season every man's house was prepared 
for fuel. 



IsA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION". 131 

was poor London's case ; for every man's house had lain long a-sunning 
under the scorching beams of the sun and much brightness of weather, 
which made everything so dry and combustible that sparks and flakes 
of fire were sufficient to set men's houses all in a fiame about their 
ears. Now this finger of God we are neither to overlook nor yet 
deny ; it is our wisdom, as well as our work, to see not only the finger, 
but the hand of the Lord in every circumstance that relates to that 
sore judgment of fire that we are still sighing under, Exod. viii. 19. 
It is God that withholds seasonable showers, and that causeth it to 
rain upon one city and not upon another, Amos iv. 7. The earth 
cannot open her bowels, and yield seed to the sower, and bread to the 
eater, if not watered from above, 1 Kings xvii. 1, 2 ; nor the heaven 
cannot drop down fatness upon the earth if God close it up, and with- 
hold the seasonable showers. This the very heathens acknowledged 
in their fictions of Jupiter and Juno. God only can make the heavens 
as brass, and the earth as iron, and restrain the celestial influences. 
' Can man bind the sweet influences of Pleiades ? or loose the bonds 
of Orion ?' Job xxxviii. 31. . Can any but God forbid the clouds 
to drop fatness ? Surely no. Beloved, drought and scantness of water 
upon a land, a city, &c., is a judgment of God. It is no small misery 
to have the streams dried up, when the fire is at our doors : i Jer. 
L 38, ' A drought is upon her waters ; and they shall be dried up : for 
it is the land of graven images, and they are mad upon their idols :* 
Jer. li. 35, 36, ' The violence done to me and to my fiesh be upon 
Babylon, shall the inhabitant of Zion say ; and my blood upon the 
inhabitants of Chaldea, shall Jerusalem say. Therefore thus saith the 
Lord ; Behold, I will plead my cause, and take vengeance for thee ; 
and I will dry up her sea, and make her springs dry.' Now mark 
what follows : ver. 37, ' And Babylon shall become heaps, a dwelling- 
place for dragons, an astonishment, and an hissing, without an inhabi- 
tant.' When God comes to plead the cause of Zion against Babylon, 
not by words but by deeds, by blows, by terrible judgments — when 
he comes to burn up the inhabitants of Babylon, and to turn 
them out of house and home, he first dries up her sea, and makes 
her springs diy : Haggai i. 11, ' And I called for a drought upon 
the land, and upon the mountains, and upon the corn, and upon 
the new wine, and upon the oil, and upon that which the ground 
bringeth forth, and upon men, and upon cattle, and upon all the 
labour of the hands.' It is God that brings droughts and rain, 
and that opens and stops the clouds, the bottles of heaven, at his 
pleasure : Jer. xiv. 2-4, ' Judah mourneth, and the gates thereof 
languish ; they are black unto the ground ; and the cry of Jerusalem 
is gone up. And their nobles have sent their little ones to the waters : 
they came to the pits, and found no water ; they returned with their 
vessels empty : they were ashamed and confounded, they covered their 
heads' — they mufiled up their heads and faces as a token of great 

^ Doubtless there was much wrath in this, that the water-house which served much of 
the city with water should be burnt down in a few hours after the fire first began. To 
want a proper remedy when we are under a growing misery is no small calamity. It is 
gad with the people that have nothing to quench the furious flames but their own tears 
and blood. To be stripped of water when God strikes a people with that tremendous 
j udgment of fire is wrath to the utmost. 



132 • London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

grief and sorrow, as close mourners do with us. ' Because the ground 
is chapt, for there was no rain in the earth, the plowmen were ashamed, 
they covered their heads.' There are many calamities that are brought 
upon us by human means, that are also avoidable by human helps ; 
but drought and want of water, especially when a devouring fire is 
kindled in the midst of a people, is no small judgment of heaven upon 
that people. To want water when the house is all in flames, is a high 
evidence of divine displeasure. We had no rain a long time before 
the fire and the springs were low, and the waterworks at the Bridge- 
foot which carried water into that part of the city that was first in 
flarnes, were burnt down the first day of the fire. And was there not 
wrath ' from heaven in this ? Surely yes. Look, as it is a choice 
mercy to have God at hand, and the creatures at hand, when we most 
need them, so it is a sore judgment to have God at a distance, and the 
creatures remote, when they should be of most service and use unto us. 
Certainly God's arming of the elements of fire against us, and his 
denying at the same time water unto us, cannot but be a signal of his 
great indignation against us ; and therefore it highly concerns us to 
see the hand of the Lord in that late lamentable fire that has been 
amongst us. But, 

[2. J Secondly, Consider ^/le suddenness and imexpectedness of this 
judgment. Who among all the burnt citizens did ever expect to see 
London laid in ashes in four days' time ? God's judgments many 
times seize upon men's persons, houses, and estates, as the soldiers did 
Archimedes whilst he was busy in drawing lines in the dust. Isa. 
Ixiv. 3, ' When thou didst terrible things which we looked not for.' 
When the citizens saw London in flames, they might truly have said, 
This is a terrible thing, which we looked not for ; we were minding 
our business, our shops, our trades, our profits, our pleasures, our de- 
lights ; we were studying, and plotting, and contriving how to make 
ourselves and our children great and rich, and high and honourable in 
the earth, and it never entered into our thoughts that the destruction 
of London by fire was so near at hand as now we have found it to be. 
Isa. xlvii. 7-9, 11, 'Thou saidst, I shall be a lady for ever: so that 
thou didst not lay these things to thy heart,' (which things were the 
judgments of God that were threatened :) ' neither didst remember 
the latter end of it. Therefore hear now this, thou that art given to 
pleasures, that dwellest carelessly ; that sayest in thine heart, I am, 
and none else besides me ; I shall not sit as a widow, neither shall I 
know the loss of children : but these two things shall come to thee in 
a moment, in one day, the loss of children and widowhood : they shall 
come upon thee in their perfection. Evil shall come upon thee ; and 
thou shalt not know from whence it riseth : and mischief shall fall 
upon thee; thou shalt not be able to put it off: and desolation shall 
come upon thee suddenly, which thou shalt not know.' i Was not 
London the lady-city of our land ? Did the inhabitants of London 
lay those judgments of God to heart that they either felt or feared ? 
Did London remember her latter end ? Were not most of the inhabi- 
tants of London given to sinful pleasures and delights ? Did they not 

^ Babylon bore itself bold upon the seventy years' provision laid up beforehand to stand 
out a siege, and upon its strength and riches, but for all this it was taken by Cyrus. 



IsA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE late fiery dispensation. 133 

live carelessly and securely ? Were they ever so secure and inappre- 
hensive of their danger than at this very time when the flames broke 
forth in the midst of them ? They had newly escaped the most sweep- 
ing plague that ever was in the city and suburbs, but instead of tind- 
ing out the plague of their hearts, and mourning over the plague of 
their hearts, and repenting of the evil of their doings, and retui-ning 
to the Most High, 1 Kings viii. 37, 38; Isa. ix. 13-15; Jer. viii. 6, 
they returned to their sins and their trades together, from both 
which for a. time the plague had frighted them, concluding in them- 
Felves that surely the bitterness of death was past, 1 Sam. xv. 32. 
They thought that the worst was past, and that after so dreadful a 
storm they should have a blessed calm ; and dreamed of nothing but 
peace, and quiet, and safety, and trade, striving with all their might 
to make up those losses that they had sustained by the pestilence. 
They having escaped the grave when so many score thousands were 
carried to their long homes, were very secure ; they never thought that 
the city, which had been so lately infected by a contagious plague, was 
so near being buried in its own ruins ; they never imagined that the 
whole city should be put in flames to purge that air that their sins 
had infected. 1 And therefore no wonder if desolation came upon 
them suddenly, in a moment, in one day. No marvel that so great a 
fire was kindled in the very heart of the city, and they not see the 
hand that kindled it, nor have no hands nor hearts to quench it. 
Judgments are never so near as when men are most secure, 1 Thes. 
v. 3. The old world w^as very secure until the very day that Noah, 
entered into the ark : Luke xvii. 27, ' They did eat, they drank, they 
married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah 
entered into the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.' 
Luther observeth that it was in the spring that the flood came, when 
everything was in its prime and pride, and nothing less looked for 
than a flood. They neither believed nor regarded Noah's preaching, 
nor his preparations for his own and his children's security, but 
merrily passed without intermission from eating to drinking, and from 
drinking to marriage, till the very day that the flood came and swept 
them all away. Their destruction was foretold them to a day, but 
they were drowned in security, and would take no notice of Noah's 
predictions nor their own peril. They had made their guts their god ; 
they had buried their wits in their guts, and their brains in their 
bellies, and so were neither awakened nor bettered by anything that 
either Noah said or did ; and so they perished suddenly and unex- 
pectedly. So Sodom was very secure till the very day that fire and 
brimstone was rained from heaven about their ears, ver. 28, 29. 
' Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot, they did eat, they drank, 
they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded ; but the same 
day that Lot went out of Sodom, it rained fire and biimstone from 
heaven and destroyed them all,' Gen. xix. 23, 24. Lot was no 
sooner taken out of Sodom, but Sodom was as soon taken out of the 

^ In the month of September the plague was at the highest, and in the same month 
the flames of London were at highest. Doubtless there is some mystery in this sail 
providence. London was judgment-proof, plague-proof in September '65, and therefore 
God set London in flames iu September '66. 



134 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

world. Their fair sunshine morning had a foul dismal evening ; they 
had a handsel of hell on this side hell. They passed through fire and 
brimstone here to an eternal fire in hell, as Jude speaks, ver. 7. So 
the Jews were deadly secure before the first and latter destruction both 
of their city and country by sword and fire. All the world could not 
persuade them that theii* temple audacity should be laid in ashes, till 
the Chaldeans at one time, and the Romans at another, had set both 
their city and temple in a flame before their eyes. Compare these 
together: Amos vi. 3; Lam. iv. 11, 12; Ezek. xii. 22, 27, 28; Hab. 
i. 7 ; Luke ii. 19, 41-44. Now mark, sudden and unexpected judg- 
ments do always cany a great deal of the anger and severity of God 
in them : Deut. vii. 4, ' So will the anger of the Lord be kindled 
against you, and destroy thee suddenly.' God being greatly angry 
with Jerusalem, Isa. xxix. 1-4, he tells her that her judgment should 
be at an instant, suddenly, ver. 5. Ps. Ixiv. 7, ' But God shall shoot 
at them with an arrow; suddenly shall they be wounded ;' Hab. ii. 7, 
' Shall they not rise up suddenly that shall bite thee, and awake that 
shall vex thee, and thou shalt be for booties unto them?' Proy. vi. 
14, 15, ' Frowardness is in his heart ; he deviseth mischief continually, 
he soweth discord. Therefore shall his calamity come suddenly ; sud- 
denly shall he be broken without remedy.' Here is a dismal doom ; not 
bruised, but broken — ^yea, suddenly broken, when they least dream or 
dread the danger. And this without remedy ; there shall be no possi- 
bility of piecing them up again, or putting them into a better condition: 
chap. xxiv. 22, 'Their calamity shall rise suddenly.' When they 
think that they have made all cock-sure, then ruin and desolation lies 
at their door. Certainly there are no judgments so dreadful and 
amazing as those which come most suddenly and unexpectedly upon 
the sons of men ; for these cut off all hope, they hinder the exercise 
of reason, they cloud men's minds, they distress men's spirits, they mar 
men's counsels, and they weaken men's courage, and they daunt men's 
hearts so, that they can neither be serviceable to themselves, nor their 
friends, nor the public. All this was evidently seen upon the body of 
the citizens when London was in flames. The more eminent cause have 
we to take notice of the hand of the Lord in that late fiery dispensa- 
tion that has passed upon us. The year 1666, according to the com- 
putation of several sober, wise, learned men, should have been the 
Christian's jubilee. Many men's expectations were high that Rome 
that year should be laid in ashes ; but it never entered into any of our 
hearts or thoughts that this very year London should be laid in ashes. 
unexpected blow ! Berlin in Germany [Scultet. Annal.] who in the 
pulpit charged the apostle Paul with a lie, was suddenly smitten with 
an apoplexy, while the words were yet in his mouth, and fell down 
dead in the place. The parson of Chrondall (?) in Kent, having got a 
pardon from Cardinal Pole, as the pope's substitute in that work, the 
next Lord's day in his own parish presses all his people to do the like, 
with this argument, that he was now so free from all his sins, that he 
could die presently ; and God presently so struck him in his pulpit, 
that he died, and never spoke more. As Bibulus, a Roman general, 
was riding in triumph in all his glory, a tile fell from the house in the 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 135 

street, and knocked out his brains. Otho the emperor slew himself 
with his own hands, but slept so soundly the night before, that the 
grooms of his chamber heard him snort. And Plutarch reporteth the 
like of Cato. Lepidus and Aufidius stumbled at the very threshold 
of the senate and died ; the blow came in a cloud from heaven. 
Sophocles died suddenly by excessive joy, and Homer by immoderate 
grief. Mr Perkins speaks of one who, when it thundered, scoffingly 
said it was nothing but Tom Tumbril a-hooping his tubs, and pre- 
sently he was struck dead with a thunderbolt. Olympus, the Arian 
heretic, bathing himself, uttered sad words against the blessed Trinity, 
but suddenly a threefold thunderbolt struck him dead in the same 
place. 1 Attilus, king of the Huns, proudly gave out that the stars fell 
before him, and the earth trembled at his presence, and how he would 
be the scourge of all nations ; but soon after he died by a flux of blood 
breaking out of his mouth, which choked him on his wedding-day. 
King Henry the Second of France, upon the marriage of his sister 
with the king of Spain, was so puffed up, that he called himself by a 
new title, Tres lieureux roi, The thrice happy king ; but, to confute 
him, in solemnising that marriage, he was slain at tilt by the captain of 
his guard, though against his will, but not without Grod's determinate 
counsel, in the very beginning of his supposed happiness. Now every 
one that is a man either of reason or religion, will certainly say that in 
these sudden judgments that befell these persons there was the angry 
and displeased hand of Grod to be seen. Oh how much more, then, 
should we see the angry and displeased hand of the Lord in that sudden, 
dreadful fire, that has turned our once renowned city into a ruinous 
heap, Jer. viii. 15. In this year 1666 many thought that there had 
been many great and glorious things in the womb of providence that 
would have been now brought forth, but they were mistaken ; for un- 
expectedly London is laid in ashes. But, 

[3.] Thirdly, Consider the force, violence, vehemency, and irresist- 
ibleness of it, despising and triumphing over all those iveaJc endeavours 
that luere used.'^ This fire broke forth with that violence, and raged 
with that fury, and appeared in that dreadfulness, and spread itself 
with that dismalness, and continued for so long a time with that irre- 
sistibleness, that discouraged hearts and weak hands, with their buckets, 
engines, ladders, hooks, opening of pipes, and sweeping of channels, 
could give no check to it. This fire broke in upon the inhabitants like 
an arm of the sea, and roared and raged like a bear robbed of her 
whelps, until it had laid our glory in ashes. When the fire was here 
and there a little allayed or beaten down, or put to a stand, how soon 
did it recover its force and violence, and make the more furious onsets, 
burning down water-houses, engines, churches, and the more strong, 
pleasant, and stately houses, nothing being able to stand before its rage ! 
How soon did the flames mount up to the tops of the highest houses, 

^ Beard's Theatre of God's Judgments, lib. i. cap. 9, p. 64. 

^ Many authors speak much of the Greek fire, some of which burned the Saracen'a 
fleet, to be of such force, that the ancients accounted no other means would extinguish 
it but vinegar. And certainly several fires that have been enkindled by Romish Jesuits 
have not been less furious. Stone walls and brick walls, and those noble and strong 
pieces of architecture, were all but fuel to those furious flames. 



136 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

and as soon descend down to the bottom of the lowest vaults and cellars ! 
How did they march along, Jelm-like, on both sides of the streets, with 
such a roaring, dreadful, and astonishing noise, as never was heard in 
the city of London before ! London's sins were now so great, and 
God's wrath was now so hot, that there was no quenching of the furious 
flames. The decree for the burning of London was now gone forth, 
and none could reverse it. The time of London's fall was now come. 
The fire had now received its commission under the broad seal of 
heaven, to burn down the city and to turn it into a ruinous heap ; and 
therefore it defied and contemned all remedies, and scorned to be 
suppressed by human attempts. Whoever kindled this fire, God blew 
the coal ; and therefore no arts, counsels, or endeavours of men were 
able to quench it. If God commission the sword to walk abroad, and 
to glut itself with blood, who can command it into the scabbard 
again ? No art, power, or policy can cause that sword to lie still 
that God has drawn in the nations round us, until it hath accomplished 
the ends for which he has drawn it. As to our present case, when I 
weigh things in the balance of right reason, I cannot but be of opinion 
that, had magistrates and people vigorously and conscientiously dis- 
charged their duties, much of London, by the blessing of God upon 
their endeavours, that is now ruined, might happily have been pre- 
served. When in a storm, the ship and all the vast treasure that is 
in it, is in danger to be lost, it is sad to see every officer and mariner 
to mind more, and endeavour more the preservation of their chests, 
cabins, and particular interests, than the preservation of the ship, and 
the vast treasure that is in it. Now this was just our case. Cicero 
in his time laughed at the folly of those men, who conceited that their 
fish-ponds and places of pleasure should be safe when the common- 
wealth was lost.i And we may well mourn over the folly and vanity 
of those men who were so amazed, confounded, distracted, besotted 
and infatuated, if not worse, as not to improve all heads, hands, hearts, 
counsels, and off"ers that were made for the preservation of the city. 
This is, and this must be for a lamentation, that in the midst of public 
dangers, all ranks and sorts of men should take more care for the 
preservation of their trifling fardels — for so is any particular man's 
estate, though never so great, when compared with the riches of a 
rich, trading, populous city — than they do for the preservation of the 
public good. That there might have been rational and probable 
anticipations of those dreadful conflagrating progresses, I suppose all 
sober men will grant : that these were either hid from some men's 
eyes, and seen by others and not improved, was London's woe. When 
London was almost destroyed, then some began to blow up some 
heuses for the preservation of that little that was left, and God blessed 
their endeavours ; but had some had encouragement, who long before 
were ready for that work, and who off'ered themselves in the case, it is 
very probable that a great part of London might have been preserved. 
But what shall I say, divine justice does as eminently sparkle and 
shine in the shutting of men's eyes, and in the stopping of men's ears, 
and in the hardening men's hearts against the visible and probable 

^ Lib. i. Ep. 15, ad Atticum. 



IsA. XLIl. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 137 

means of their outward preservation, as in any one thing. This we 
must seriously consider, and then lay our hands upon our mouths, 
and be silent before the Lord. The force and violence of this fire was 
BO great, that many that removed their goods once, twice, thrice, 
yea, and some oftener, yet lost all at last. The fire followed them so 
close from place to place, that some saved but little, and others lost 
all. Now how well does it become us, in the rage and fury of the 
flames, to see the hand of the Lord, and to bow before him, as this 
fire being like time, which devours all before it.^ Jerusalem was the 
glory and beauty of the whole earth ; and the temple was one of the 
world's w^onders ; but when Titus Vespasian's soldiers had set it on 
fire, it burnt with that rage and fury that all the industry and skill 
that ever could be used, imagined, or thought on, could not quench 
it, though Titus would gladly have preserved it as a matchless monu- 
ment. They threw both the water and the blood of the slain into it, 
but it burnt with that violence that nothing could extinguish it. King 
Herod, for eight years together, before the ruin of it, had employed 
ten thousand men at work to beautify it ; but when once it was on 
fire, it burnt with that fierceness, that there was no preserving of it, 
the decree of heaven being gone out against it, &c. But, 

[4.] Fourthly, Consider the swiftness of it. It flew upon the wings 
of the wind, that it might the sooner come to its journey's end. It 
ran along like the fire and hail in Egypt, destroying and consuming 
all before it, Ps. xviii. 10; Exod. ix. 23, 24. The apostle James 
speaks of fierce winds, James iii. 6, 2. The wind was so boisterous, 
that it scattered and carried the fire, the flames, sometimes one way, 
sometimes another, in despite of all the restraints, resistances, and 
limits that the amazed citizens could have set to it. I shall not trouble 
you with the various notions of philosophers concerning the wind, 
partly because they will do no service in the present case, and partly 
because our work is to look higher than all natural causes.2 All that 
either is or can be said of the wind, I suppose, may be thus summed 
up : that it is a creature that may be (1.) Felt ; (2.) Heard ; and 
(3.) Little understood. Very w^onderful is the rise of the winds; 
when it is so calm and still upon the seas, that scarce a breath of air 
is perceivable, upon a sudden the wind is here and there, and every- 
where : Eccles. i. 6, * The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth 
about unto the north : it whirleth about continually ; and the wind 
returneth again according to his circuits.' Ps. cxxxv. 7, ' He bringeth 
the wind out of his treasuries.' But what those treasuries are, and 
where they are, no man on earth can certainly tell us. The wind is 
one of the great wonders of the Lord, in which, and by which the 
Lord's name is wonderfully magnified: Ps. cvii. 24, 25, ' They that go 
down to the sea, see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the 
deep.' What wonders ? ' He commandeth and raiseth the stormy 
wind.' Although something may be known of this creature in the 

^ Ungrammatical, but the meaning plain.— G. 

* Tlie winds are tlie fan of nature to cool and purge the air. But at this time God 
brought the winds out of his treasury, to scatter the flames of his indignation, that so 
London might become a desolation. 



138 London's lamentations on [Is a. XLII. 24, 25. 

natural causes of it ; yet it is a wonder above all that we can know of 
it, John iii. 8. What the wind is, and from whence it comes, and 
whither it goes, none can tell. 

God is the great generalissimo and sovereign commander of the 
winds, so that a blast of wind cannot pass without his leave, licence, 
and cognizance : Jonah i. 4, ' But the Lord sent a great wind into the 
sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea/ The winds are God's 
posts 1 — they are sometimes messengers of mercy, and sometimes mes- 
sengers of wrath: Ps. cxlvii. 18, 'He causeth his wind to blow/ 2 The 
w^inds are at God's command, to come and go, and go and come at his 
pleasure. When there is nothing but a sweet, smooth, and silver calm 
on the seas, if God does but give forth a word of command, how soon 
are they thrown into hills and mountains, and how dreadfully do the 
waves dash and clash one against another ! Ps. cxlviii. 8, ' Fire and 
hail, snow and vapours, stormy wind fulfilling his word.' Sometimes 
the word that God has to fulfil is a saving word, and sometimes it is 
a destroying word, a drowning word, a sinking word. Now according 
to the word that God has to fulfil, so do the winds always blow. The 
Lord hath the winds at command, to be his executioners and adminis- 
trators, either of destruction or preservation. What are stormy winds 
at sea or ashore but the utterings of God's voice in wrath and judg- 
ment ? Sometimes God is said to ' fly upon the wings of the wind,' 
Ps. xviii. 10; and sometimes he is said to ' ride upon the wings of the 
wind,' 2 Sam. xxii. 11 ; and sometimes he is said to ' walk upon the 
wings of the wind,' Ps. civ. 3. Now these things are spoken after the 
manner of men, to shew that the winds are continually acted and 
governed by a divine power. God flies upon the wings of the tem- 
pestuous winds, speedily to execute the vengeance written : and he 
rides and walks upon the wings of the more soft, easy, and gentle gales 
of the wind, that he may make good the mercies promised, Exod. xv. 
10, and xiv. 21. No creatures in heaven or on earth hath the winds 
at command but God solely and properly. Every wind that blows 
has a commission under the great seal of heaven to bear it out in all 
it does. If the winds should be examined, questioned, and required 
to give in a full and exact account of the many thousand mariners that 
they have drowned, and of the many thousand ships that they have 
spoiled and destroyed, and of the many ten thousand houses that they 
have blown down at some times, and of the many score thousand 
houses that, when the flre has been kindled, they have helped to con- 
sume and reduce to ashes at other times, they would shew you the 
hand and seal of heaven for all they have done. The sovereignty and 
greatness of God doth eminently shine and sparkle in this, that the 
winds are originally in his hand. ' He gathereth the wind in his flst,' 
Prov. XXX. 4. God keeps the royalty of all the creatures in his own 
hand. The winds are greater or lesser, of a longer or shorter con- 
tinuance, according to the will and pleasure of the great God, and not 
according to the workings of second causes. The more civilised 
heathens had this notion amongst them, ' that the winds were under 
the dominion of one supreme power,' and therefore, dividing the world 

* ' Runners.'— G. 

* Mat. viii. 27; Num. xi. 31; Isa. xxvii. 8; Gen. viii. ; Exod. i. 10, and xiii. 



IsA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 139 

among sundry gods, they gave the honour of the winds to ^olus, 
whom they ignorantly suppose had a power to lock them fast, or to let 
them loose at his pleasure. These poor besotted heathens thought 
that their feigned god jEoIus had power to govern and bridle the 
winds, and to turn them this way and that way, as a man governs the 
chariot in which he rideth. And many ignorant atheistical wretches, 
when the winds are boisterous and violent, they are ready to say, that 
there is conjuring abroad, and that the devil is at work ; but they 
must know that the devil has not power of himself to raise one blast 
of wind, no, nor so much wind as will stir a feather. I know that the 
devil is ' the prince of the power of the air,' Eph. ii. % and that when 
God will give him leave to play rex for ends best known to himself, he 
can then raise such storms and tempests, both at sea and ashore, as 
shall dash the stoutest ships in pieces, and remove mountains, and 
make the most glorious cities in the world a ruinous heap ; he can 
easily and quickly raze the foundations of the fairest, the richest, the 
strongest, and the renownest, and the oldest buildings in the world, if 
God will but permit him. Job i. 19. But without divine permission, 
no angel in heaven, no devil in hell, nor no witch on earth, can raise 
or continue the winds one moment. Satan's power over the wind is 
only a derivative power, a permissive power ; but the Lord's power 
over the wind is a supreme power, an absolute power, an independent 
power. Now, oh what eminent cause have we to see the hand of the 
Lord in that boisterous wind that continued four days and nights, and 
that carried the fire to all points of the compass, to all parts of the 
city, if I may so speak, till our glorious city was laid in ashes ! Oh 
how great were the sins of that people ! Oh how great was the anger 
of that God, who united two of the most dreadfullest elements, fire 
and wind, to destroy our city, and lay our glory in the dust ! When 
the Komans put fire to the walls of Jerusalem, at first the north wind 
blew it furiously upon the Eomans themselves, but suddenly the wind 
changing and blowing from the south, as it were by God's providence, 
saith my author, i it turned the fire again upon the wall, and so all 
was consumed and turned into ashes. And this Eleazar, in his 
oration to his companions, takes special notice of, where he saith, 
* Neither hath our castle, by nature inexpugnable, anything profited 
us to our preservation ; but we having store of victuals and armour, 
and all other necessaries, have lost all hope of safety, God himself 
openly taking it from us. For the fire that once was carried against 
our enemies, did not of itself ^ return against us, and unto the wall we 
built.' Suppose the Komans, or some set on by the conclave of Kome, 
did at first set our city on fire, by casting their firebrands, for by that 
means Jerusalem was set on fire, or fire-balls here and there ; yet how 
highly does it concern us, when we consider the furious wind that 
helped on the fury of the fire, to lay our hands upon our loins, and to 
say. The Lord is righteous ; and that our present ruin is but the pro- 
duct of incensed justice, &c. 

When the Lord hath any service for the wind to do, it is presently 
upon the march, to run and despatch his errands, whether of indigna- 
tion or of mercy. If the Lord-General of heaven and earth, the great, 

^ Joseph. Antiq., lib. vii. cap. 2S. ^ ' But by God's appointment.'— G. 



140 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

the supreme commander of the winds, will have them to destroy a 
people, and to help on the destruction of their houses, when the flames 
are kindled, or to break and dash in pieces their ships at sea, it shall 
soon be accomplished : 2 Chron. xx. 37, ' Because thou hast joined thy- 
self with Ahaziah, the Lord h;ith broken thy works. And the ships 
were broken, that they were not able to go to Tarshish.' Boisterous 
winds at sea or ashore are the arrows of God shot out of the bended 
bow of his displeasure ; they are one of the lower tier of his indignation 
that is fired upon the children of men : Nahum i. 3, ' The Lord hath 
his way in the \-vhirlwind and in the storm, and in the clouds are the 
dust of his feet/ The great Spanish Armada that came to invade our 
land in [15]88, were broken and scattered by the winds : so that their 
dice games were frustrated, and they sent into the bottom of the sea, 
if not into a worse bottom. And when Charles V. had besieged 
Alo'iers, that pen of thieves, both by sea and by land, and had almost 
taken it, by two terrible tempests the greatest part of his great fleet 
were destroyed, as they did lie in the harbour at anchor. ^ Ships, 
houses, trees, steeples, rocks, mountains, monuments cannot stand be- 
fore a tempestuous wind: 1 Kings xix. 11, 'A great strong wind rent 
the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks.' What more strong 
than rocks and mountains ? and yet they were too weak to stand before 
the strength of a tempestuous wind. Oh the terrible execution that 
God doth many times by the winds both at sea and ashore ! Ps. xviii. 
7, ' The earth shook and trembled ; the foundations of the hills moved 
and were shaken, because he was wroth ;' ver. 8, * There went up a 
smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured: coals 
were kindled by it ;' ver. 10, ' He rode upon a cherub, and did fly ; 
yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind ;' ver. 12, ' His thick clouds 
passed ; hailstones and coals of fire \ ver. 13, ' The Lord also 
thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave his voice ; hailstones 
and coals of fire,' &c. The fire in London carried the noise of a whirl- 
wind in it : and that made it so formidable and terrible to all that 
beheld it, especially those that looked upon it as a fruit of God's dis- 
pleasure. The wind was commissionated by God to join issue with 
the raging fire, to lay the city desolate. I think the like dreadful 
instance cannot be given in any age of the world. We cannot say of 
the wind that blew when London was in flames, that God was not in 
the wind, as it is said in that 1 Kings xix. 11. For assuredly, if 
ever God was in any wind, he was remarkably in this wind. Witness 
the dismal effects of it amongst us to this very day ! Had God been 
pleased to have hindered the conjunction of these two elements, much 
of London might have been standing which now lies buried in its own 
ruins. I grant that it is probable enough that those that did so long 
before prophesy and predict the burning of London, before it was laid 
in ashes, were the prime contrivers and furtherers of the firing of it : 
hut yet when they had kindled the fire, that God by the bellows of 
heaven should so blow upon it as to make it spread, and turn, like the 
flaming sword in paradise, every way. Gen. iii. 24, till by its force and 
fury it had destroyed above two third parts in the midst of the city, 
as the phrase is, Ezek. v. 2, * This is, and this must be for a sore 

* Val. Max. Christian,, p. 132. 



IsA. XLII. 24, 25] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 141 

lamentation.' God, who holds the winds in his fist, who is the true 
^olut^, could either have locked them up in his treasures, or have com- 
manded them to be still ; or else have turned them to have been a 
defence to the city, Ps. xiii. 5 ; Mark iv. 39. God, who holds the 
bottles of heaven in his hand, Gen. vii. 11, could easily have unstopped 
them ; he could with a word of his mouth have opened the windows of 
heaven, and have poured down such an abundance of rain upon the city, 
as would quickly have quenched the violence of the flames, and so have 
made the conquest of the fire more easy. But the Lord was angry, 
and the decree was gone out that London should be burnt ; and who 
could prevent it ? 

To close up this particular, consider much of the wisdom, power, 
and justice of God shines in the variety of the motions of the wind : 
Eccles. i. 6, * The windgoeth toward the south, and turneth about unto 
the north ; it whii'leth about continually, and the wind returneth again 
according to his circuits.' The wind hath its various circuits appointed 
by God. When the wind blows southward, northward, westward, or 
eastward, it blows according to the orders that are issued out from the 
court of heaven. Sometimes the wind begins to blow at one point of 
the compass, and in a short time whirls about to every point of the 
compass, till it comes again to the same point where it blew at the 
first ; yet in all this they observe their circuits, and run their compass, 
according to the divine appointment. As the sun, so the winds have 
their courses ordered out by the wise providence of God. Divine 
wisdom much sparkles and shines in the circuits of the winds ; which 
the Lord brings out of his treasure, and makes them serviceable, some- 
times to one part of the world, and at other times to other parts of the 
world. It is the great God that appoints where the winds shall blow, 
Exod. xiv. 24 ; Jonah i. 4, and iv. 8, and when the winds shall blow, 
and how long the winds shall blow, and with what force and violence 
the winds shall blow. The winds in some parts of the world have a 
very regular and uniform motion, in some months of the year blowing 
constantly out of one quarter, and in others out of another. In some 
places of the world where I have been, the motions of the wind are 
steady and constant, which mariners call their trade-wind. Now by 
these stated or settled winds, divine providence does very greatly 
serve the interest of the children of men. But now in other parts of 
the world, the winds are as changeable as men's minds. The laws 
that God lays upon the winds in most parts of the world are not like 
the laws of the Medes and Persians, ' which alter not,' Dan. vi. 8. 
One day God lays a law upon the winds to blow full east, the next day 
to blow full west, the third to blow full south, the fourth to blow full 
north ; yea, in several parts of the world I have known the winds to 
change their motions several times in a day. Now in all these various 
motions of the winds, the providence of God is at work for the good 
of mankind. That there is a dreadful storm in one place, and at the 
same time a sweet calm in another, — that a tempestuous storm should 
destroy and dash in pieces one fleet, and that at the same instant, and 
in one and the same sea, a prosperous gale should blow another fleet 
into a safe harbour, — that some at sea should have a stiff gale of wind, 
and others within sight of them should lie becalmed, — that some ships 



142 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLIL 24, 25. 

should come into harbour top and top-gallant-, and that others should 
sink down at the same harbour's mouth before they should be able to 
get in, is all from the decree of God, and that law that he has laid 
upon the winds. That terrible tempestuous wind that affrighted the 
disciples, and that put them not only to their wits' end, but also to their 
faith's end, was allayed by a word of Christ's mouth : Mat. viii. 26, 
' He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great 
calm.' sirs! when London was in flames, and when the winds 
were high and went their circuits, roaring and making a most hideous 
noise, how easy a thing had it been with Jesus by a word of his mouth 
to have allayed them ! but he was more angry with us than he was 
with his disciples who were in danger of drowning, or else he would 
as certainly have saved our city from burning by rebuking the winds 
and the flames, as he did his disciples from drowning by rebuking the 
winds and the seas. I have been the longer upon this fourth particu- 
lar, that you may the more easily run and read the anger of the Lord 
in those furious flames, and in that violent wind that has laid our city 
desolate. It is true astrologers ascribe the motions of the winds to 
special planets. The east wind they ascribe to the sun, the west wind 
to the moon, the south wind to Mars, and the north wind to Jupiter ; 
but those that are wise in heart, by what I have said concerning the 
winds, may safely and groundedly conclude that God alone hath the 
supreme power of the winds in his own hand, and that he alone orders, 
directs, and commands all the motions of the winds. And therefore 
let us look to that terrible hand of the Lord that was lifted up in that 
fierce wind, that did so exceedingly contribute to the turning of our 
city into a ruinous heap. But, 

[5.] Fifthly, Consider the extensiveness ofit^ How did this dread- 
ful fire spread itself, both with and against the wind, till it had gained 
so great a force as that it despised all men's attempts ! It quickly 
spread itself from the east to the west, to the destruction of houses of 
state, of trade, of pubhc magistracy, besides mines of charity. It 
spread itself with that violence that it soon crumbled into ashes our 
most stately habitations, halls, chapels, churches, and famous monu- 
ments. Those magnificent structures of the city that formerly had 
put stops and given checks to the furious flames, falls now like stubble 
before the violence of a spreading flre. This fire like an arm of the 
sea, or like a land-flood, broke in suddenly upon us, and soon spread 
itself all manner of ways amongst us. It ran from place to place like 
the fire and hail in Egypt, Exod. ix. 23 : now it was in this street, and 
anon in that ; now this steeple is on fire, and then that ; now this 
place of judicature is laid in ashes, and then that ; now this hall is in 
flames, and then that ; now this parish is burnt down to the ground, 
and then that ; now this ward is turned into a ruinous heap, and then 
that ; now this quarter of the city is level with the ground, and then 
that ; now this gate of the city is demolished and consumed, and then 
that. ' The adversary hath spread out his hand upon all her pleasant 
things,' saith the prophet lamentingly, Lam. i. 10 ; and we may say 
sighingly, the fire hath spread out its hand upon all our pleasant 

Within the walls of the city there were eighty-one parishes consumed. For every 
hour the fire lasted, there was a whole parish consumed. 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 143 

things, upon all our pleasant houses, shops, trades, gardens, walks, 
temples, &c. The plague, the year before, did so rage and spread, 
that it emptied many thousand houses of persons ; and now this dread- 
ful fire hath so spread itself that it has not left houses enough for 
many thousands of persons to dwell in, there being more than thirteen 
thousand houses destroyed by the furious flames. Sin is of a spreading 
nature, and accordingly it had spread itself over all parts of the city ; 
and therefore the Lord, who delights to suit his judgments to men's 
sins, sent a spreading fire in the midst of us. The merciless flames 
spreading themselves every way, in four days' time laid the main of 
our once glorious city in ashes : a judgment so remarkable and past 
precedent, that he that will not see the hand of the Lord in it, may 
well be reckoned amongst the worst of atheists. But, 

[6.] Sixthly, Consider the impartiality of if. It spared neither 
sinners nor saints, young nor old, rich nor poor, honourable nor base, 
bond nor free, male nor female, buyer nor seller, borrower nor lender. 
God making good that word, Isa. xxiv. 1,2,' Behold, the Lord maketh 
the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, 
and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof. And it shall be as 
with the people, so with the priest,' — or with the prince, for the 
Hebrew word signifies both; — ' as with the servant, so with his master ; 
as with the maid, so with the mistress ; as with the buyer, so with 
the seller ; as with the lender, so with the borrower ; as with the taker 
of usury, so with the giver of usury to him.' In the day of the Lord's 
wrath that was lately upon us, all orders, ranks, and degrees of men 
suffered alike, and were abased alike ; the furious flames made no 
difference, they put no distinction between the russet coat and the 
scarlet gown, the leathern jacket and the gold chain, the merchant 
and the tradesman, the landlord and the tenant, the giver and the 
receiver. 

* There is no difference : fire hath made 
Equal the sceptre aud the spade.' 

Ezek. XX. 47, * Behold, I wiU kindle a fire in thee, and it shall devour 
every green tree in thee, and every dry tree : the flaming flame shall 
not be quenched, and all faces from the south to the north shall 
be burnt therein.' I have, in the former part of this treatise, given 
some light into these words. The fire, the flames in the text, takes 
hold of all sorts of people, rich and poor, lord and lad, high and low, 
great and small, strong and weak, wise and foolish, learned and 
ignorant, commanders and soldiers, rulers and ruled. So did the late 
lamentable fire in London take hold of all sorts and degrees of men, 
as the citizens have found by sad experience. The fire, like the duke 
of Parma's sword, knew no difference betwixt robes and rags, betwixt 
prince and peasant, betwixt honourable and vile, betwixt the righteous 
and the wicked, the clean and the unclean, betwixt him that sacrificed 
and him that sacrificed not, betwixt him that sweareth and him that 
feareth an oath, Eccles. ix. 1, 2. The judgment was universal, the 
blow reached us all, the flames brake into every man's house ; such a 
dreadful, impartial, universal fire, eyes never saw before, nor ears never 
heard of before, nor tongues never discoursed of before, nor pens never 
writ of before. Beloved, you know that it is our duty to take serious 



144 London's lamentations on [Tsa. XLII. 24, 25. 

notice of the hand of the Lord in the least judgment, and in every 
particular judgment. Oh how much more then does it highly 
concern us to take serious notice of the hand of the Lord that has 
been lifted up against us, in that late dreadful, impartial, universal 
fire, that has burnt us all out of our habitations, and laid our city 
desolate! But, 

[7.] Seventhly, Consider the greatness ofit^ the destructiveness of it. 
Oh the many thousand families that were destroyed and impoverished 
in four days' time ! Of many it might have been said the day before 
the fire, who so rich as these ? and the very next day it might have 
been said of the same persons, who so poor as these ? as poor as Job ; 
yea, poor to a proverb: Jer. xxi. 13, 14, ' Behold, I am against thee, 
inhabitant of the valley, and rock of the plain, saith the Lord; 
which say. Who shall come down against us ? or who shall enter into 
our habitations? But I will punish you according to the fruit of 
your doings, saith the Lord : and I will kindle a fire in the forest 
thereof, and it shall devour all things round about it.'l Some by the 
forest understand the fair and sumptuous buildings in Jerusalem, 
that were built with wood that was hewn out of the forest of Lebanon, 
and stood as thick as trees in the forest. Others by the forest under- 
stand the whole city of Jerusalem with the country round about it, 
that was as full of people as a forest is full of trees. Others by forest 
understand the house of the Lord, and the king's house, and the 
houses of the great princes, which were built with excellent matter 
from the wood of Lebanon. Jerusalem was so strongly defended by 
nature that they thought themselves invincible, as once the Jebusites 
did, 2 Sam. v. 6 : they were so confident of the strength of their city, 
that they scorned the proudest and the strongest enemies about them. 
But sin had brought them low in the eye of God, so that he could see 
nothing eminent or excellent among them ; and therefore the Lord 
resolves by the Chaldeans to fire their magnificent buildings in which 
they gloried, and to turn their strong and stately city into a ruinous 
heap. Though Jerusalem stood in a vale, and was environed with 
mountains, yet the upper part of it stood high, as it were upon a rocky 
rising hill, Ps. cxxv. 2. Now the citizens of Jerusalem trusted very 
much in the situation of their city ; they did not fear their being 
besieged, straitened, conquered, or fired ; and therefore they say, ' Who 
shall come down against us ? Who shall enter into our habitation ? 
Where is the enemy that has courage or confidence enough to assault 
our city, or to enter into our liabitations ?' but God tells them that 
they were as barren of good fruit as the trees of the forest were barren 
of good fruit ; and therefore he was resolved by the hand of the Chal- 
deans to hew them down, and to fire their most stately structure, and 
to turn their glorious city, in which they greatly trusted and gloried, 
into a ruinous heap. All which accordingly was done, not long after, 
by Nebuzar-adan and his army ; as you may see in Jer. Hi. 12-15. 
How often hath the citizens of London been alarmed with the cry of 
fire; which hath been as often extinguished before they could well 

^ London was the lady-city where the riches of many nations were laid up. I would 
rather be bound to weep over London, than be bound to sum up the losses of London by 
this dreadful fire. 



IsA. XLII, 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 145 

know where it was, and how it began ! but all former fires were but 
small fires, but bonfires, to this dreadful fire that has been lately 
amongst us. 

In the twentieth year of the reign of William the First, "^ so great a 
fire happened in London, that from the West gate to the East gate it 
consumed houses and churches all the way. This was the most 
grievous fire that ever happened in that city, saith my author. And 
in the reign of King Henry the First, a long tract of buildings, from 
West Cheap in London to Aldgate, was consumed with fire. And in 
King Stephen's reign, there was a fire that began at London Stone, 
and consumed all unto Aldgate. These have been the most remark- 
able fires in London. But what were any of these, or all these, to that 
late dreadful fire that has been amongst us ? London in those former 
times was but a little city, and had but a few men in it, Eccles. ix. W, 
in comparison of what it was now. London was then but as a great 
banqueting-house, to what it was now. Cant. ii. 4. Nor the consump- 
tion of London by fire then was nothing proportionable to the con- 
sumption of it by fire now. For this late lamentable devouring fire 
hath laid waste the greatest part of the city of London within the 
walls by far, and some part of the suburbs also. More than fourscore 
parishes, and all the houses, churches, chapels, hospitals, and other 
the great and magnificent buildings of pious or public use, which were 
within that circuit, are now brought into ashes, and become one 
ruinous heap. This furious raging fire burnt many stately monuments 
to powder ; it melted the bells in the steeples, it much weakened and 
shattered the strongest vaults under ground. Oh, what age or nation 
hath ever seen or felt such a dreadful visitation as this hath been ! 
Nebuzar-adan, general to the king of Babylon, first sets the temple of 
Jerusalem on fire, and then the king's royal palace on fire, and then 
by fire he levels all the houses of the great men ; yea, and all the 
houses of Jerusalem are by fire turned into a ruinous heap, according 
to what the Lord had before foretold by his prophet Jeremiah,2 chap, 
lii. 12-14. Now this was a lamentable fire. Some hundred years after 
the Roman soldiers sacked the city^ and set it on fire, and laid it desolate, 
with their temple, and all their stately buildings and glorious monu- 
ments. 3 Three or four towers and the wall that was on the west side they 
left standing as monuments of the Romans' valour, who had surprised 
a city so strongly fortified. All the rest of the city they so plained, 
that they who had not seen it before, would not believe that it had 
ever been inhabited. ^ Thus was Jerusalem, one of the world's wonders, 
and a city famous amongst all nations, made desolate by fire, according 
to the prediction of Christ some years before, Luke xix. 41-44. There 
was a great fire in Rome in Nero's time ; it spread itself with that 
speed, and burnt with that violence, till of fourteen regions in Rome, 
there were but four left entire.^ I know there are some who would 
make the world believe that this fire began casually, — as many now 
would persuade us that the late fire in London did, — but I rather join 
issue with them who conclude that Nero set Rome on fire, and when 

^ Sir Richard Baker's Chronicle, pp. 31, 47. 

« Jos. Ant., p. 255, A. M. 335G. ^ Jos. Ant., p. 741, A. M. 4034. 

* Jos. Ant., p. 745. ^ Tacit. An. 15. 

VOL.. VI. K 



146 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

he had done, he laid it upon the Christians, and thereupon grounded 
his persecution— as all know that have read the history of those times, 
[anno 64.] Anno 80, Kome was set on fire by fire from heaven, say 
some : it burned three days and nights, and consumed the capitol, 
with many other stately buildings and glorious monuments ; it burnt 
with that irresistible fury, that the historian concludes that it was 
more than an ordinary fire. And in the time of Commodus the em- 
peror, there happened such a dreadful fire in Eome, as consumed the 
temple of Peace, and all the most stately houses, princely palaces, 
glorious structures, and rare monuments that were in the city. 

In the reign of Achmat, the eighth emperor of the Turks,i about the 
bea"inning of November, a great fire arose at Constantinople, wherein 
almost five hundred shops of wares, with many other fair buildings, 
were destroyed by fire ; so that the har^ tliat was then done by fire 
was esteemed to amount to abovo two millions of gold. But alas ! 
what was this fire and loss to the fire of London, and the loss of the 
citizens in our day ? ^ _ 

In Constantinople in a.d. 465, in the beginning of September, there 
brake forth such a fire by the water-side, as raged with that dread 
force, and fury, and violence, four days and nights together, that it 
burnt down the greatest part of the city, the strongest and the stateliest 
houses being but as dried stubble before it. It bid defiance to all 
means of resistance ; it went on triumphing and scorning all human 
helps, till it had turned that great and populous city, once counted by 
some the wonder of the world, into a ruinous heap. This of all fires 
comes nearest to the late fire of London : but what is the burning of 
a thousand Romes, and a thousand Constantinoples, or the burning of 
ten thousand barbarous cities, to the burning of one London, where 
God was as greatly known, and as dearly loved, and as highly prized, 
and as purely served, as he was in any one place under the whole 
heavens ? sirs, it is our duty and our high concernment to see 
the hand of the Lord, and to acknowledge the hand of the Lord in the 
least fires : how much more then does it become us to see the hand 
of the Lord lifted up in that late dreadful fire that has laid our city 
desolate ? But, 

[8.] Eighthly, Consider how all sorts, ranks, and degrees of men 
were terrified, amused, amazed, astonished, and dispirited in the late 
dreadful fire that loas kindled in the midst 6f us. When men should 
have been a-strengthening of one another's hands, and encouraging of 
one another's hearts, to pull down and blow up such houses as gave life 
and strength to the furious flames, how were their hearts in their heels, 
every one flying before the fire, as men fly before a victorious enemy ! 
What a palsy, what a great trembling had seized upon the heads, 
hands, and hearts of most citizens, as if they had been under Cain's 
curse ! Most men were unmanned and amazed ; and therefore no 
wonder if the furious flames received no check. In former fires, when 
magistrates and people had resolved hearts and active hands, how 
easily, how quickly were those fires quenched ! 2 But now our rulers' 

* Knolles' General History of the Turks, p. 1275. 

" Peut. xxviii. 65 ; 1 Sam. xiii. 7, 14, 15 ; Acts i. 12. Why stand ye gazing f Oh the 
feebleness, the frights, the tremblings, the distractions, that waa then in every house, in 



ISA. XLIl. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 147 

minds were darkened and confused, their judgments infatuated, their 
souls dispirited, and their ears stopped, so that their authority did only 
accent their misery : and this filled many citizens hearts with fear, 
terror, amazement, and discontent. These things being done, the city 
quickly was undone. Had the care and diligence both of magistrates 
and people been more for the securing of the public good than it was 
for securing their own private- interest, much of London, by a good 
hand of providence upon their endeavours, might have been standing, 
that is now turned into a ruinous heap. Troy was lost by the sloth 
and carelessness of her inhabitants ; and may I rtot say that much of 
London was lost by the sloth and carelessness of some, and by the fears, 
frights, and amazement of others, and by others endeavouring more 
to secure their own packs and patrimonies than the safety of the whole ? 
When London was in flames, men's courage did flag, and their spirits 
did fail, the strong helpers stood helpless. Some stood looking on, 
others stood weeping, and shaking their heads, and wringing their 
hands, and others walked up and down the streets like so many ghosts : 
Ps. Ixxvi. 5, ' The stout-hearted are spoiled,' — or as the Hebrew runs, 
'The stout-hearted have yielded themselves up for a prey;' which 
the Eabbins thus expound, ' They are spoiled of their understand- 
ings and infatuated,' — ' and none of the men of might have found their 
hands ;' or as some read the words, ' None of the men of riches,' that 
is, rich men, ' have found their hands ; ' or as others carry the words, 
' God took away their courage, and their wonted strength failed them.' 
So when London was in flames, how were high and low, rich and poor, 
honourable and base, spoiled of their understanding and infatuated I 
The Lord took away all wisdom, courage, counsel, and strength from 
them. So Judges xx. 40, ' But when the flames began to arise out of 
the city with a pillar of smoke, the Benjamites looked behind them, 
and, behold, the flame of their city ascended up to heaven. And when 
the men of Israel turned again, the men of Benjamin were amazed ; 
for they saw that evil was come upon them.' These Benjamites were 
the very picture of our citizens ; for when they saw the flame begin to 
arise out of the city with a pillar of smoke, when they saw the flame 
of the city ascend up to heaven, oh how amazed and confounded were 
they ! All wisdom, courage, and counsel was taken away, both from 
magistrate and people, and none of them could find either heads, hands, 
or hearts to prevent London's desolation, Job xxxiv. 19, 20, 24. In 
Ps. Ixxvi. 12, God is said 'to cut off the spirits of princes;' or as 
the Hebrew runs, ' He shall slip off the spirits of princes,' as men slip 
off a bunch of grapes, or a flower between their fingers, easily, 
suddenly, unexpectedly, as he did by Sennacherib's princes, 1 Kings 
xix. 36. Princes usually are men of the greatest spirits, and yet 
sometimes God does dispirit them ; he slips off their spirits, as men do 
a flower, which soon withereth in their hand. How soon did God slip 
off the spirit of that great, proud, debauched monarch Belshazzar, 
who, when he was in the midst of his cups, bravery, and jollity, with 
all his great princes, lords, ladies, and concubines about him, saw 
a hand writing upon the wall, which did so amaze him and terrify him 

every heart. When a ship is sinking, it is sad to see every man run to his cabin, when 
every one should be at the pumps, or a-stopping of leaks. 



148 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

that his ' countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled, and 
the joints of his loins loosed, and his knees dashed one against another,' 
Dan. V. 1-6. But you may say, What was the reason that so great a 
prince should be so greatly astonished ? A7is. The text tells you, ' he 
saw a hand.' What hand ? even the hand of a man. What ! could 
one hand of a man, saith one,i terrify and startle so great a monarch ? 
Had he seen the paws of a lion, or the paws of a bear, or the paws of 
a dragon, there had been some cause of terror. But what need such 
a puissant prince fear the hand of a man so much, at whose command 
and beck a hundred troops of armed horse would presently fly to 
his assistance ? What terrible weapons could that one hand wield or 
manage ? none but a pen, with which it wi'ote. But will any man, 
much less a king, be afraid of a writing pen ? Had he beheld the 
three darts of Joab, 2 Sam. xviii. 14, or the fiery flaming sword 
of the cherub. Gen. iii. 24, brandished directly against him, he 
had then had some argument of astonishment ; but one hand, one 
pen, one piece of writing which he understood not: this was that which 
daunted him. Many citizens were as much amazed, astonished, terri- 
fied, and startled when they saw London in flames, as Belshazzar was 
when he saw the hand writing upon the wall. Ahab trembled like a 
shaken leaf, and so did his grandson Manasseh, he that faced the heavens, 
and that dared God in the day of his prosperity ; when troubles came 
thick, and his fears rise high, he hides his head among the bushes, Isa. 
vii. 1, 2 ; 2 Chron. xxxiii. 11, 12. Such a fear and trembling was upon 
many citizens when London was in flames. Though Tullius Hostilius, 
the third king of the Eomans, had a great warlike spirit, as Lactan- 
tius notes, yet he carried in his bosom two new gods, Pavorem and 
Pallorem, fear and paleness, which he could not possibly shake off. 
Oh the fear that was in the citizens' hearts, and the paleness that 
was upon the citizens' cheeks, when London was in flames ! Now 
excessive fear fills the heart with all confusion; they strip a man of his 
reason and understanding, they weaken his hands, and they do so sud- 
denly and totally dispirit and unman a man, that he is not able to 
encounter with those visible dangers that threaten his utter ruin ; and 
this the poor citizens found by woeful experience when London 
was in flames.2 At the sight of this fire, how were the citizens' 
hearts melted, their hands feeble, their spirits faint, and their knees 
weak ! Oh the horror, the terror, the amazement, the confusion that 
had now seized upon the spirits of all sorts of citizens ! How were the 
thoughts of men now distracted, their countenances changed, and their 
hearts overwhelmed ! Oh the sad looks, the pale cheeks, the weeping 
eyes, the smiting of breasts, and the wringing of hands that were now 
to be seen in every street and in every corner ! What a universal 
consternation did my eyes behold upon the minds of all men in that day 
of the Lord's wrath ! There is no expressing of the sighs, the tears, 
the fears, the frights, and the amazement of the citizens, who were 
now compassed about with flames of fire ! Oh the cries, the tumults, 

^ Dreiellius's School of Patience, p. 150-152. 

^ Till London was laid in ashes, that effectual means of preservation, viz., the blowing 
up of houses, was either greatly hid or sadly gainsaid. When the disease had killed the 
patients, then the physicians agreed upon a remedy. When the ladder was turned, then 
the pardon came. 



IsA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 149 

the hurries, and the. hindrances of one another that was now in every 
street, every one striving, with his pack at his back, to secure what he 
could from the rage and fury of the flames ! Now one cries out, Five 
pound for a cart, another cries out, Ten pound for a dray ; in one 
street one cries out, Twenty pound for a cart, and another in the next 
street cries out. Thirty pound for a cart; here one cries out, Forty 
pound for a cart, and there another cries out. Fifty pound for a cart. 
Many rich men, that had time enough to have removed their goods, 
their wares, their commodities, flattered themselves that the fire would 
not reach their habitations. They thought they should be safe and 
secure ; but when the flames broke in upon them, oh then any money 
for a cart, a coach, a dray, to save some of their richest and choicest 
goods ! Oh what fear were many parents now in that their children 
would either be now trod down in the press, or lost in the crowd, or 
be destroyed by the flames ! And what fear were many husbands now 
in concerning their wives, who were either weak, or sick, or aged, or 
newly delivered ! Words are too weak to express that distraction that 
all men were under when the fire went on raging and devouring all 
before it. And this was an evident token to me that the hand of the 
Lord was eminent in the fire, and that the decree was gone forth that 
dear London must now fall. But, 

[9.] Ninthly, Consider the time that the fire began. It began on the 
Lord's day, being the second of September, about one or two of the 
clock in the morning. Our fears fell upon us on the Lord's day, Kev. 
i. 10 ; on that day that should have been a day of joy and delight unto 
us, Isa, Iviii. 13, 14. On this day our singing was turned into sigh- 
ing, our rejoicing into mourning, and all our praisings into tremblings. 
Oh the fears, the frights, the distresses that men were now under ! 
Oh the amazed spirits, the bedewed cheeks, the faint hearts, the feeble 
knees, the weak hands, and the dejected countenances that were now 
to be seen everywhere ! sirs ! the time when this fatal fire first began 
was very ominous, it being at a time when most citizens were but newly 
fallen into a dead sleep, being wearied out in their several employments, 
several days before, but especially on Saturday, or the last day of the 
week, that being with very many the most busiest day in all the week. 
And of all mornings, most citizens did usually lie longest in bed Sab- 
bath-day mornings. Such as used to rise early every morning in the 
week to gain the meat that perisheth, to make sure and to treasure up 
for themselves and theirs the things of this world, Ps. cxxvii. 1, 2, and 
John vi. 27; such commonly made most bold with the Lord's day, and 
would frequently be in their beds when they should have been either 
instructing of their families, or at prayers in their closets, or else a- 
waiting upon the Lord in his public ordinances. Fire in the night is 
terrible to all, but mostly to such whose spirits and bodies were tired 
out in the preceding day. Wasting and destroying judgments are 
sad any day, but saddest when they fall on the Lord's day. For how 
do they disturb, distress, and distract the thoughts, the minds, the 
hearts, and the spirits of men ! so that they can neither wait on God, 
nor wrestle with God, nor act for God, nor receive from God, in any 
of the duties or services of his day. And this the poor citizens found 
by sad experience, when London was in flames about their ears. Cer- 



150 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 



tainly the anger and wrath of God was very high and very hot when 
he made his day of rest to he a day of labour and disquiet— when his 
people should have been a-meeting, hearing, reading, praising, praying. 
For the Lord now to scatter theni, and to deliver them, their substance 
and habitations, as a prey to the devouring fire, what does this speak 
out but high displeasure ? That the fire of God's wrath should begin 
on the day of his rest and solemn worship, is and must be for a lamen- 
tation. In several of those churches where some might not preach, 
there God himself preached to the parishioners in flames of fire. And 
such who ' loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were 
evil,' John iii. 19, might now see their churches all in a flaming fire. 
What a terrifying and an amazing sermon did God preach to his 
people of old in mount Sinai, when the mount burned with fire ! ^ Exod. 
xix. 16-18. And so what terrifying and amazing sermons did God 
preach to the citizens on his own day, when their temples and their 
habitations were all in flames ! Instead of holy rest, what hurries were 
there in every street, yea, in the spirits of men ! Now instead of taking 
up of buckets, men in every street take up arms, fearing a worse thing 
than fire. The jealousies and rumours that fire-balls were thrown into 
several houses and churches, by such that had no English tongues but 
outlandish hands, to make the furious flames flame more furiously, were 
so great, that many were at a stand, and others even at their wits' end. 
Now relations, friends, and neighbours hastened one another out of 
their houses, as the angels hastened Lot out of Sodom, Gen. xix. 15-17. 
Such were the fears and frights and sad apprehensions that had gene- 
rally seized upon the citizens. Not many Sabbaths before, when men 
should have been instructing of their families, what bonfires, wdiat 
ringing of bells, and what joy and rejoicing was there in our streets, 
for burning the Dutch ships in their harbour, where many English 
and others were highly concerned as well as the Dutch ! Little did 
they think, who were pleasing and warming themselves at those lesser 
fires, that the great God would in so short a time after kindle so great 
a fire in the midst of their streets as should melt their bells, lay their 
habitations in ashes, and make their streets desolate, so that those that 
were so jolly before might well take up that sad lamentation of weep- 
ing Jeremiah, Lam. ii. 2, 3, ' The Lord hath swallowed up all the 
habitations of Jacob, and hath not pitied ; he hath thrown down in 
his wrath the strongholds of the daughter of Judah ; he hath brought 
them down to the ground. He burned against Jacob like a flaming 
fire, which devoureth round about.' May we not soberly guess that 
there were as many strict observers and sanctiflers of the Lord's day 
who did turn away their feet from doing their pleasure on God's holy 
day, and that did call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, and 
honourable, Isa. Iviii. 13, within the walls of London, as in a great part 
of the nation besides ? Now for the Lord of the Sabbath to kindle 
such a devouring fire in such a city, and that on his own day, oh what 
extraordinary wrath and displeasure does this speak out ! When God 
by his royal law had bound the hands of his people from doing their 
own works, for him now to fall upon his strange work, and by a flaming, 
consuming fire to turn a populous city, a pious city, an honourable city, 
and an ancient city into a ruinous heap, what indignation to this in- 



IsA. XLIT. 24, 25.] the late fiery dispensation. 151 

dignation ! sirs ! it highly concerns us to take notice of the judg- 
ments of the Lord that fall upon us on any day, but especially those 
that fall upon us on his own day, because they carry with them more 
than a tincture of God's deep displeasure. 

Iti the Council of Paris,i every one labouring to persuade unto a 
more religious keeping of the Sabbath-day, when they had justly 
complained that as many other things, so also the observation of the 
Sabbath was greatly decayed, through the abuse of Christian liberty, 
in that men too much followed the delights of the world, and their 
own worldly pleasures, both wicked and dangerous, they further 
add, ' For many of us have been eyewitnesses, many have intelligence 
of it by the relation of others, that some men upon this day being 
about their husbandry have been stricken with thunder, some have 
been maimed and made lame, some have had their bodies, even bones 
and all, burned in a moment with visible fire, and have consumed to 
ashes ; and many other judgments of God have been and are daily 
inflicted upon Sabbath-breakers.' 

Stratford-upon-Avon 2 was twice on the same day twelvemonth, 
being the Lord's day, almost consumed with fire, chiefly for profaning 
the Lord's day, and contemning his word in the mouth of his faithful 
minister. Feverton^ in Devonshire, whose remembrance makes my 
heart bleed, saith my author, was oftentimes admonished by her godly 
preachers, that God would , bring some heavy judgment on the town 
for their horrible profanation of the Lord's day, occasioned chiefly by 
their market on the day following. Not long after his death, on the 
third of April 1598, God, in less than half an hour, consumed with a 
sudden and fearful fire the whole town, except only the church, the 
court-house, and the alms-houses, or a few poor people's dwellings, 
where a man might have seen four hundred dwelling-houses all at 
once on fire, and above fifty persons consumed with the flames. And 
on the fifth of August 1612, fourteen years since the former fire, the 
whole town was again fired and consumed, except some thirty houses 
of poor people, with the school-house and alms-houses. Now cer- 
tainly they must be much left of God, hardened in sin, and blinded 
by Satan, who do not, nor will not see the dreadful hand of God that 
is lifted up in his fiery dispensations upon his own day. But, 

[10.] Tenthly and lastly. Consider that the burning of London is 
a national JudgmentA God, in smiting of London, has smitten Eng- 
land round : the stroke of God upon London was a universal stroke. 
The sore strokes of God, which have lately fallen upon the head city, 
London, are doubtless designed by heaven for the punishment of the 
whole body. In the sufferings of London the whole land suff'ers. For 
what city, county, or town in England was there that was not one way 
or other refreshed and advantaged, if not enriched, with the silver 

^ Concil. Paris, lib. i. cap. 50. 

' The Theatre of God's Judgments, pp. 419, 420. [Misprinted * Sluon.': — Q.] 

=* Query, ' Tiverton'?— G. 

* When one member in the natural body suffers, all the members of the body suffer: 
it is so in the politic body, &c. Look, as all rivers run into the sea, and all the lines of 
the circumference meet in the centre, so did the interests of the most eminent persona 
in the whole nation meet in London, &c. Now London is laid in ashes, we may write 
Ichabod upon poor England. By the flames that have been kindled in London God 
hath spit fire into the face of England. 



152 London's lAxMENTAtions on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

streams of London that overflowed the land, as the river Nilus doth 
the land of Egypt ? Doubtless there are but few in the land but are 
more or less concerned in the burning of London. There are many- 
thousands that are highly concerned in their own particulars ; there 
are many thousands concerned upon the account of their inward 
friends and acquaintance : and who can number up the many score 
thousands employed in the manufactures of the land, whose whole 
dependence, under God, was upon London? What lamentation, 
mourning, and woe is there in all places of the land for the burning 
of London, especially among poor tradesmen, innkeepers, and others, 
whose livelihoods depended upon the safety and prosperity of London ! 
Certainly he is no Englishman, but one who writes a Roman hand, 
and carries about him a Romish heart, who feels not, who trembles 
not under this universal blow ! Many years' labour will not make up 
the citizens' losses to them. Yea, what below the riches of the 
Indies will effectually make up every man's losses to him ? He shall 
be an Apollo to me, that can justly sum up the full value of all that 
have been destroyed by those furious flames, that has turned the best, 
if not the richest, city in the world into a ruinous heap. Now their 
loss is a loss to the whole nation ; and this the nation already feels, 
and may yet feel more and more, if God in mercy does not prevent 
the things that we have cause to fear. It is true, London is the back 
that is smitten ; but what corner is there in all the land that hath 
not more or less, one way or another, contributed to the burning of 
London. Not only those that lived in Jerusalem, but also those that 
came up to Jerusalem, and that traded with Jerusalem, they, even 
they did by their sins contribute to Jerusalem's ruin. They are 
under a high mistake that think it was only the sins of the city 
which brought this sore desolation upon her : doubtless, as far as the 
judgment extends and reaches, so far the sins extend and reach which 
have provoked the Lord to make poor London such an astonishing 
example of his justice. How are the effects of London's ruin already 
felt and sighed under all the nation over ! The blood and spirits 
which this whole nation hath already lost by this late lamentable fire 
will not be easily nor suddenly recovered. The burning of London is 
the herald of God to the whole nation, calling it to repentance and 
reformation ; for the very same sins that have laid London in ashes 
are rampant in all parts of the nation, as you may easily perceive, if 
you please but to compare that catalogue that in this book I put into 
your hands with those sins that are most reigning and raging in all 
places of the land ; by which you may also see that they were not 
the greatest sinners in England upon whom the fire of London fell, no 
more than they were the greatest sinners in Jerusalem upon whom 
the tower of Siloam fell, Luke xiii. 4, 5. That the burning of London 
is a national judgment, is evident enough to every man that has but 
half an eye. But if any should doubt of it, or dispute it, the king's 
proclamation for a general fast on that account puts it beyond all 
dispute. The words of the proclamation that are proper to my pur- 
pose are these, ' A visitation so dreadful,' speaking of the burning of 
London, * that scarce any age or nation hath ever seen or felt the 
like ; wherein although the afflicting hand of God fell more imme- 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 153 

diately upon the inhabitants of this city, and the parts adjacent, yet 
all men ought to look upon it as a judgment upon the whole nation, 
and to humble themselves accordingly.' sirs, you are to see and 
observe and acknowledge the hand of the Lord in every personal 
judgment, and in every domestical judgment. Oh how much more 
then in every national judgment that is inflicted upon us ! And thus 
I have done with those ten considerations, that should not only pro- 
voke us, but also prevail with us, to see and acknowledge the hand of 
the Lord in that late dreadful fire that has laid our city desolate. 

Use 2. The second use is a use of lamentation and mourning. Is 
London laid in ashes ? Then let us all lament and mourn that Lon- 
don is laid desolate. Shall Christ weep over Jerusalem, Luke xix. 
41-44, when it was standing in all its glory, knowing that it would 
not be long before it was laid even with the ground ; and shall not we 
weep over London, whose glory is now laid in the dust ? Who can 
look upon London as the ancient and noble metropolis of England, and 
not lament and mourn to see it laid in ashes ? It might have been 
said not long since, ' Walk about Sion,' Ps. xlviii. 12, 13, — walk about 
London, — ' and go round about her ; tell the towers thereof. Mark ye 
well her bulwarks, consider her palaces : ' look upon her stately houses, 
halls, and hospitals, take notice of her shops, and fair warehouses, and 
Koyal Exchange, &c., and lo, the glory of all these things is now 
buried in a common ruin ! i Oh the incredible change that a devour- 
ing fire hath made in four days' time within thy walls, London ! so 
that now we may [say] lamentingly, Alas, poor London ! * Is this 
the joyous city whose antiquity is of ancient days ? ' Isa. xxiii. 7, 8. 
Is this the crowning city, whose merchants were princes, and whose 
traffickers were the honourable of the earth ? Who can but weep to 
see how the Lord ' hath made a city an heap, and a ruin of a defenced 
city, and a palace to be no city ' ? Isa. xxv. 2. Who can look upon 
naked steeples, and useless chimneys, and pitiful fragments of ragged 
walls — who can behold stately structures, and noble halls, and fair 
houses, and see them all laid in ashes, or turned into a heap of rubbish, 
without paying some tears as due to the sadness of so dreadful a 
spectacle ? Who can with dry eyes hear London thus speaking out 
of its ruins : * Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by ? behold, and 
see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow, which is done unto 
me, wherewith the Lord hath afflicted me in the day of his fierce 
anger ' ? Lam. i. 12. Who can look upon the Lord as making London 
empty, as laying it waste, as turning it upside down, and as scattering 
abroad the inhabitants thereof, and not mourn? 2 Isa. xxiv. 1. Be- 
loved, under desolating judgments God does expect and look that his 
people should lament and mourn : Jer. iv. 7, 8, * The lion is come up 
from his thicket, and the destroyer of the Gentiles is on his way ; he 
is gone forth from his place to make thy land desolate ; and thy city 
shall be laid waste, without an inhabitant. For this gird you with 

1 London, the crown of England, hath lost its jewel of wealth and beauty. 

' Sir Edward Turner, in his speech to the king on Friday the 18th day of January, hath 
these words : — ' They find ' — meaning the parliament — 'your majesty engaged in a sharp 
and costly war, opposed by mighty princes and states that are in conjunction against us, 
they see with sorrow the greatest part of your metropolitan city buried in ashes.' 
[Query, Sir "William Turner ? See Epistle Dedicatory.— G.] 



154 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

sackclotli, lament and howl : for the fierce anger of the Lord is not 
turned back from us.' Under wasting judgments God expecteth not 
only inward, but also outward, expressions and demonstrations of sor- 
row and grief. Shall our enemies rejoice over the ruins of London, 
and shall not we mourn over the ruins of London ? Shall they that 
are afar off lament over London's desolation ; and shall not we lament 
over London's desolation, who are every day a-walking up and down 
in London's ruins and rubbish? sirs! as ever you would see 
London's breaches repaired, her trading recovered, her beauty re- 
stored, her riches augmented, her glory advanced, and her inhabitants 
rejoiced, make conscience of mourning over London's ruins. After 
Jerusalem was destroyed by the Komans, many of the Jews obtained 
leave of the Eoman emperors, once a year— viz., on the 10th of August, 
which was the day whereon their city was taken i — to enter into Jeru- 
salem, and bewail the destruction of their city, temple, and people, 
bargaining with the soldiers who waited on them to give so much for 
so long abiding there, and if they exceeded the time they conditioned 
for, they were to stretch their purses to a higher rate, which occasioned 
Jerome to say, ' that they who bought Christ's blood were then glad 
to buy their own tears.' sirs, what cause have we once a year, yea, 
often in a year, to bewail the desolation of London ! The statue of 
Apollo is said to shed tears for the afflictions of the Grecians, though 
he could not help them. Though we could not prevent the burning 
of London, yet let us weep over the ruins of London. The leprosy of 
the citizens' sins had so fretted into London's walls, that there was no 
cleansing of them but by the furious flames of a consuming fire, Lev. 
xiv. 35^6. In the law you know that when the old fretting plague of 
leprosy was so got into the house, and spread in the walls, that no 
scraping within or without could cleanse it away, then the house was 
to be pulled down. This seems to be London's case. God by former 
judgments laboured to scrape away the leprosy of sin out of London, 
"but that deadly leprosy was so got into men's hearts and houses that 
there was no getting of it out but by pulling them down. This is, 
and this must be for a lamentation. Now the better to work you to 
lament and mourn over the ruins of London, consider with me these 
ten following particulars : — 

[1.] First, Who can look upon the hmming of London, as ushered 
in by such sad prodigies and dreadful forerunners as it ivas, and not 
lament and mourn over its ruins ? By what a bloody sword, and by 
what a dreadful plague, was this late judgment of fire ushered in ! 
First, God sends his red horse amongst us, Kev. vi. 4, 8 — viz., a cruel, 
bloody war ; and then he sends his pale horse amongst us — viz. , a 
noisome, sweeping pestilence. Oh the garments that were rolled in 
blood ! Oh the scores of thousands that were by the hand of the 
destroying angel sent to their long homes, to their eternal homes ! 
Now in the rear of these judgments follows such a devouring fire, as 
hath not been known in any ages past. Not long before Vespasian 
came against Jerusalem ,2 there happened divers prodigies : (1.) There 
was a comet in form of a fiery sword, which for a year together did 
hang over the city. (2.) There was seen a star on the temple so 

^ Josephus. 2 Josephus, pp. 738, 739. * 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 155 

bright, as if a man had so many drawn swords in his hands. (3.) At 
the same time that this star appeared, which was the solemn passover, 
that whole night the temple was light and clear as mid-day, and con- 
tinued so seven days together. (4.) At the same time also they 
brought a heifer for a sacrifice, which when she was knocked down, 
she calved a lamb. (5.) The inner gate of the temple, on the cast 
side, being of massive brass, that was never opened nor shut but 
twenty men had enough to do about it, this gate was seen at the first 
hour of the night to open of its own accord, and they could not shut 
it till a great number joined their strength together. (6.) There was 
discerned on the sanctum sanctorum, a whole night long, the face of a 
man very terrible. (7.) At the same time, before the sunset, there 
were seen in the air iron chariots, all over the country, and an army 
in battle array, passing along the clouds, and begirting the city. (8.) 
Upon the feast day, called pentecost, at night the priests going into 
the inner temple, to offer their wonted sacrifice, at first they felt the 
place to move and tremble, and afterward they heard a man M^alking 
in the temple, and saying with a great and wonderful terrible voice, 
' Come let us go away out of this temple, let us depart hence.' But 
(9.) Ninthly and lastly, that which was most wonderful of all, was 
this, that there was one Jesus the son of Ananus, a countryman, of the 
common people, who four years before the wars began, when the city 
flourished in peace and riches, coming to the celebration of the feast to 
Jerusalem, which we call the feast of tabernacles, suddenly began 
to cry out thus, ' A voice from the east, a voice from the west, a voice 
from the four winds of the heavens, a voice against Jerusalem, a voice 
against the temple, a voice against the bridegroom, a voice against the 
bride, and a voice against the whole people : ' and thus crying day and 
night, he went about all the streets of the city. The nobility scourged 
him, yet still he cried, ' Woe, woe unto Jerusalem : ' he did never curse 
any one, though every day he was beaten by one or other: neither did 
he thank any one that offered him meat. All that he spake to any 
man, was this heavy prophecy, ' Woe, woe unto Jerusalem.' He never 
went to any citizens, neither was he seen to speak to any one, but still, 
as it were, studying of some speech, he cried ' Woe, woe unto Jeru- 
salem.' Thus for four years space, say some — for seven years and five 
months, saith Josephus — his voice never waxed hoarse nor weary, till 
in the time of the siege, beholding what he foretold them, as he was 
walking upon the walls, crying ' Woe to Jerusalem, woe to the temple, 
woe to all the people,' he added, ' and woe to myself ;' and as soon as the 
words were out of his mouth, a stone came out of an engine from the 
camp, that dashed out his brains. These prodigies were forerunners 
of Jerusalem's desolation. What comets, what blazing stars, what 
sheets of fire have been seen fly over London, and what flames of fire 
have been seen over the city, a little before it was laid in ashes, I shall 
not now insist upon. Certainly when a consuming fire shall be ushered 
in by other dreadful judgments and amazing prodigies, it highly con- 
cerns us to sit down and mourn. But, 

[2.] Secondly, Who can look upon London as an ancient city, as a 
city of great antiquity, and not mourn over the ruins of it ? Isa. xxiii. 
7; Jer. v. 15. Our chronologers affirm that the city hath stood two 



156 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 2i, 25. 

thousand seven hundred and seventy odd years. It is recorded by 
some, that the foundation of London was laid in the year of the world 
2862. London by some antiquaries is called Troynovant, as having 
been first founded by the Trojans. London is thought by some to be 
ancienter than Eome. That London was a very ancient city, might 
several ways be made good ; but what should I spend time to prove 
that which every one is ready to grant ? Josephus,^ speaking of Jeru- 
salem, saith, ' That David the king of the Jews having driven out the 
Cancans, gave it unto his people to be inhabited, and after four hundred 
threescore and four years and three months, it was destroyed by the 
Babylonians. And from King David, Avho was the first Jew that 
reigned there, until the time that Titus destroyed it, were a thousand 
one hundred seventy and nine years ; and from the time that it was first 
erected until it was by him destroyed, were two thousand one hundred 
and seventy-seven years ; yet neither the antiquity, nor riches, nor the 
fame thereof, now spread all over the world, nor the glory of religion, 
did anything profit or hinder it from being destroyed.' So it was 
neither the antiquity, nor the riches, nor the fame, nor the greatness, 
nor the beauty, nor the glory, nor the religion that was there professed, 
that could prevent London's being turned into a chaos in four days' 
time. London, that had been climbing up to its meridian of worldly 
greatness and glory above two thousand years, how is she made 
desolate in a few days, and of a glorious city become a ruinous heap ! 
Physicians make the threescore and third year of a man's life a dan- 
gerous climacterical year to the body natural ; and statists make the 
five hundredth year of a city or kingdom as dangerous to the body 
politic, ' beyond which,' say they, ' cities and kingdoms cannot stand.' 
But Jerusalem and London, and many other cities, have stood much 
longer, and yet in the end have been laid desolate ! Now what true 
Englishman can look upon London's antiquity, and not mourn to see 
so ancient a city turned into a ruinous heap ? But, 

[3.] Thirdly, What true Englishman did ever look upon London, 
as an honourable city, as a renoioned city, as a glorious city, that icill 
not now mourn to see London laid in ashes ? London was one of the 
wonders of the world ; London was the queen city, the crowning city 
of the land, a city as famous as most cities for worldly grandeur and 
glory, Isa. xxiii. 8 ; yea, a city more famous and glorious than any 
city under heaven for gospel light, and for the power of religion and 
real holiness : 2 Ps. Ixxvi. 1, 2, * In Judah is God known : his name is 
great in Israel. In Salem also is his tabernacle, and his dwelling- 
place in Zion.' In London was God known, his name was great in 
London; and in London also was his tabernacle and his dwelling- 
place. And as God was known in Judah, not only by his word, but 
also by his glorious works; so God was known in London, not only by 
his word, but also by his glorious works. And as God was known in 
Judah, first by the multitude of his mercies, but afterwards by the 
severity of his judgments ; so God was known in London, first by the 

' Joseph., p. 745. 

^ It is an Italian proverb, He who hath not seen A''enice will not believe, and he who 
hath not lived some time there doth not understand what a citj is. I shall leave the 
application to the prudent reader. 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 157 

multitude of his mercies, but afterwards by the severity of his judg- 
ments : witness the sweeping pestilence and the devouring fire that 
he sent amongst us ! And as God was known in Judah, first by lesser 
judgments and then by greater — for he first lashed them with rods, 
and then with scourges, and at last with scorpions ; so God was first 
known in London by lesser judgments : witness the violent agues, 
strange fevers, small-pox, and small fires that broke forth in several 
places of the city and suburbs ; but these having no kind, no effectual 
operation upon us, God at last made himself known in the midst of us 
by such a pestilence, and by such a fire, that the like was never known 
in that city before. We were once the objects of his noble favours, 
but we made ourselves at last the subjects of his fury. And as the 
philosopher tells us, corrwptio optimi^ est pessima ; or as we find that 
the sweetest wines become the tartest vinegar, so God's heavenly 
favours and indulgences being long abused, they at last turned into 
storms of wrath and vengeance. What Englishman did look upon 
London as the city of the great God, as a holy city, as that city wherein 
God was as gloriously made known, and wherein Christ was as much 
exalted, and religion was as highly prized, as in any part of the world 
beside, and not mourn over it, now it is laid desolate?^ It was long 
since said of Athens and Sparta, that they were the eyes of Greece. 
Was not London the eyes of England ?2 And who then can but weep 
to see those ej^es put out ? Great and populous cities are, as it were, 
the eyes of the earth ; and when these eyes are lost, who can but sit 
down and sigh and mourn ? London was the joyous city of our 
solemnities, it was the royal chamber of the King of kings, it was the 
mart of nations, it was the lofty city, it was the top-gallant of all our 
glory. Now, who can but shed tears to see this city laid even to the 
ground — to see this city sit like a desolate widow in the dust? Such 
a sight made Jeremiah to lament: Lam. i. 1, ' How doth the city sit 
solitary,' speaking of Jerusalem's ruin, ' that was full of people ! How 
is she become as a widow ! she that w^as great among the nations, 
and princess among the provinces, how is she become tributary ! ' 
Let profane, ignorant, superstitious, and popish defamers of London 
say what they please, yet doubtless God had more of his mourning 
ones, and of his marked ones in that city, than he had in a great part 
of the nation beside, Jer. ix. 1-3 ; Ezek. ix. 4, 6. There was a time 
when London was a faithful city, a city of righteousness, a city of 
renown, a city of praise, a city of joy ; yea, the paradise of the world, 
in respect of the power and purity of gospel ordinances, and that 
glorious light shined in the midst of her. Who can remember those 
days of old, and not mourn to see such a city buried in its own ruins ? 
Under the whole heavens there were not so many thousands to be 
found that truly feared the Lord, in so narrow a compass of ground, 
as was to be found in London ; and yet, lo, London is laid in the dust, 
and the nations round gaze and wonder at her desolation ! Who can 
but hang down his head and weep in secret for these things ? But, 
[4.] Fourthly, Who did look upon London as the bulwark^ as the 

^ Ps, ci. 8 ; Isa. Ix. 14; Ps. xlviii. 1, 8, &c. ; Neh. xi. 1 ; Isa. xviii. 52 ; Dan. i. 9, 24. 
* Look, what the face is to the body, that London was to England, the beauty and glory 
of it. 



158 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

stronghold of the nation, that cannot mourn to see their bulivarJc, their 
stronghold, turned iiito a ruinous heap f Ps. xlviii. 12, 13, ' Walk about 
Zion, and tell the towers thereof. Mark ye well her bulwarks, con- 
sider her palaces ; that ye may tell it to the generation following.' 
Zion had her bulwarks, her towers, her palaces ; but at last the Chal- 
deans at one time, and the Eomans at another, laid them all waste, 
Jer. lii. 12, 13 ; Luke xix. 41, 45. So London had her bulwarks, her 
towers, her palaces, but they are now laid desolate, and many fear, 
and others say, by malcontent villains and mischievous foreigners of 
a Komish faith. London was once terrible as an army with banners, 
Cant. vi. 10. How terrible were the Israelites, encamped and bannered 
in the wilderness, unto the Moabites, Canaanites, &c. ! Exod. xv. 14-16. 
So was London more than once terrible to all those Moabites, 
Canaanites, that have had thoughts to swallow her up, and to divide 
the prey among themselves. How terrible were the Hussites in 
Bohemia to the Germans, when all Germany were up in arms against 
them, and worsted by them ! London hath been as terrible to those 
that have been cousin-Germans to the Germans. London was once 
a battle-axe and battle-bow in the hand of the Almighty, which he 
has wielded against her proudest, strongest, and subtlest enemies, 
Jer. li. 20 ; Zech. ix. 10, and x. 4 ; Ezek. xxi. 31. Was not London 
the head city, the royal chamber, the glory of England, the magazine 
of trade and wealth, the city that had the strength and treasure of the 
nation in it ? Were there not many thousands in London that were 
men of fair estates, of exemplary piety, of tried valour, of great 
prudence, and of unspotted reputation ? and therefore why should it 
seem impossible that the fire in London should be the effect of 
desperate designs and complotments from abroad, seconded and 
encouraged by malcontents at home ? London was the great bulwark 
of the Reformed religion, against all the batteries of popery, atheism, 
and profaneness ; and therefore why should any Englishman wonder 
if these uncircumcised ones should have their heads and their hands 
and their hearts engaged in the burning of London ? ^ Such whose 
very principles leads them by the hand to blow up kings, princes, 
parliaments, and reformed religion, to make way for their own religion, 
or for the good old religion, as some are pleased to call it ; such will 
never scruple to turn such cities, such bulwarks, into a ruinous heap, 
that either stands in their w^ay, or that might probably hinder their 
game, Dan. xi. 24, 39. In all the ages of the world wicked men have 
designed the ruin and laying waste of Christians' bulwarks and strong- 
holds, in order to the rooting out of the very name of Christians, 
as all know that have read anything of Scripture or history ; and 
therefore why should any men think it strange if that spirit should 
still be at work ? Was ever England in such imminent danger of being 
made a prey to foreign power, or of being rid by men of a foreign 
religion, and whose principles in civil policy are very dangerous both 
to prince and people, as it hath been since the firing of London, 
or since that bulwark has been turned into a ruinous heap ? Had 
not the great God, who laid a law of restraint upon churlish Laban, 

^ The French were then drawn down to the sea-side, and great were the fears of many 
upon that account. Remember the Gunpowder plot. 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 159 

and upon bloody Esau and his four hundred bloody cut-throats, 
and upon proud, blasphemous Sennacherib, Gen. xxxi. 24, 29, and 
xxxiii. 1, 4 ; 2 Kings xix. 27, 28, 32, laid also a law of restraint upon 
ill-minded men, what mischief might they not then have done, when 
many were amazed and astonished, and many did hang down their 
heads, and fold their hands, crying, Alas ! alas ! London is fallen ! 
and when many had sorrow in their hearts, paleness upon their 
cheeks, and trembling in all their joints ! yea, when the flames of 
London were as terrible to most as the hand writing upon the wall 
was to Belshazzar 1 Dan. v. 5, 6. How mightily the burning of Lon- 
don would have retarded the supplies of men, money, and necessaries 
which would have been needful to have made opposition against an 
invading enemy, had we been put to it, I shall not here stand to dis- 
j^ute. Whilst London was standing, it could raise an army, and pay 
it when it had done. London was the sword and sinews of war ; but 
when London was laid in ashes, the citizens were like Samson when 
his hair was cut off, Judges xvi. 18-20, and like the Shechemites when 
they were sore. Gen. xxxiv. 25. Beloved, the people of God have 
formerly made the firing of their strongholds matter of bitter lamen- 
tation, as you may see in 2 Kings viii. 11, 12, ' And he settled his 
countenance steadfastly, until he was ashamed ; ' (till Hazael blushed 
to see the prophet look so earnestly upon him,) ' and the man of God 
wept. And Hazael said. Why weepeth my lord ? And he answered, 
Because I know the evil that thou wilt do unto the children of Israel : 
their strongholds wilt thou set on fire,' — [Well ! and what will he do 
when their strongholds are in flames or turned into a ruinous heap ? 
Why, this you may see in the following words,] — ' and their young men 
wilt thou slay with the sword, and wilt dash their children, and rip 
up their women with child.' Other kings of Syria had borne an im- 
mortal hatred against the children of Israel, and the prophet knew by 
revelation from heaven that he should be king over Syria, and that he 
had as cruel and as bloody a mind against God's Israel as any of the 
former kings of Syria had. Now to evidence this, the prophet in- 
stances in those particular excessive acts of cruelty that he should 
practise upon the children of Israel — ' their strongholds wilt thou set 
on fire.' Hazael would not think it enough to enter into their strong 
towns, and cities, and forts, and castles, and other strongholds, and 
spoil and plunder them of their treasure and goods, but he would burn 
all down to the ground, that so he might daunt them, and weaken 
them, and render them the more uncapable of making any resistance 
against him. But now mark what follows burning work — ' their 
young men wilt thou slay with the sword.' Such as make no con- 
science of burning Israel's strongholds, such will never scruple the 
slaying of Israel's young men with the sword. When their strong- 
holds were set on fire, Hazael would give them no quarter for their 
lives, — such as had escaped the furious flames should be sure to fall 
by the bloody sword. ' And wilt dash their children,' — their poor, 
innocent, harmless children, that never thought amiss nor never spoke 
amiss of Hazael, these must have their brains dashed out against the 
stones, Ps. cxxxvii. 9. Men that are set upon burning work are men of 
no bowels, of no compassion. ' And rip up their women with child.' He 



1 60 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLIL 24, 25. 

would destroy the very infants in the womb, that so he might cause to 
cease the very name of Israel. Such Hazaels as are resolute by fire 
to lay our cities and strong bulwarks desolate, ^ such will be ready 
enouo-h to practise the most barbarous cruelties imaginable upon our 
persons and relations when a fit opportunity shall present. When 
Israel was weary, and faint, and feeble, then Amalek fell upon them, 
Deut. XXV. 17-19. It was infinite mercy that the Amalekites of our 
day did not fall upon the amazed and astonished citizens when they 
were feeble, and faint, and weary, and tired out with hard labour and 
want of rest. sirs ! shall the prophet Elisha weep, foreseeing that 
Hazael would set Israel's strongholds on fire ; and shall not we weep 
to see London, our stronghold, our noblest bulwark, turned into a 
ruinous heap ? So Lam. ii. 2, 5, 'The Lord hath swallowed up all 
the habitation of Jacob, and hath not pitied : he hath thrown down in 
his wrath the strongholds of the daughter of Judah ; he hath brought 
them down to the ground. The Lord was an enemy : he hath swal- 
lowed up Israel, he hath swallowed up all her palaces ; he hath de- 
stroyed his strongholds, and hath increased in the daughter of Judah 
mournings and lamentation.' These two words, ' mourning and lam- 
entation,' are joined together to note the great and eminent lamenta- 
tion of the daughter of Judah upon the sight and sense of God's 
destroying, razing, and levelling to the ground, by the hand of the 
Chaldeans, &c., all the strongholds and fortresses that were built for 
the defence of the Israelites. Now shall the daughter of Judah 
greatly lament to see her strongholds laid desolate ; and shall not we 
at all lament to see London, to see our strongholds, turned into a 
ruinous heap ? But, 

[5.] Fifthly, Who did ever look upon London as a fountain, as a 
sanctuary, and as a city of refuge to the poor, afflicted, distressed, and 
impoverished people of God, that is not now free to weep to see such 
a city laid in ashes ? Who can number up the distressed strangers 
that have been there courteously entertained and civilly treated? 
Exod. xxii. 12; 2 Sam. xvi. 14. Who can number up the many 
thousand families that have been preserved, relieved, revived, and 
refreshed with the silver streams that has issued from that fountain 
London, and not mourn to see it laid desolate ? Ps. xlvi. 4, ' There is 
a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God ; ' Isa. 
viii. 6. It is an allusion to the river Siloah, which ran sweetly, softly, 
quietly, pleasantly, constantly, to the refreshing of all that were in need. 
London was a river, a fountain, whose silver streams ran sweetly, 
quietly, pleasantly, constantly, to the refreshing of many thousand 
needy ones in the land. Now who can but weep to see such a fountain, 
such a river, not only stopped, but dried up by a devouring fire? But, 
[6.] Sixthly, Who did ever look upon London as a city compact, a 
city advantageously situated for trade and commerce, yea, as the great 
mart town of the nation, that has not a heart to iveep over it, now it 
lies in ashes f Isa. xxiii. 3 ; Ezek. xxvii. 1 ; Kev. viii. 11. London 
was the mart of the nation's trade, and the magazine of the nation's 
wealth. London was that great storehouse, in which was laid up 
very much of the riches and glory of the land. London was the 
very heart of England; it was as useful every way to England's 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 161 

security and felicity, as the heart is useful in the natural body : and 
therefore no wonder if such as envy at England's greatness, grandeur, 
and glory, have made London, England's mart-town, to bear the 
marks of their displeasure. Who is so great a stranger in our 
English Israel, as not to know how rarely well London was situated 
as to trade, and as not to know how London was surrounded with 
plentiful store of all creature-comforts ? If London had not been so 
nobly situated and surrounded, its desolation had not been so great a 
judgment ; nor, it may be, the designs of men so deeply laid, as to its 
ruin. They that did look upon England as rich, could not but look 
on London as the exchequer of it. But, 

[7.] Seventhly, Who are they that have looked upon London as a 
city, that hath for many hundred, yea^ some thousands of years, been 
very strangely and wonderfully pi-eserved by the admirable wisdom, 
constant care, and almighty poioer of God — notivitlistanding all the 
wrath, rage, malice, plots, and designs ofioioked men to lay it icaste, 
and to turn it into a ruinous heap — and not have a heart to iveep 
over its desolation ? Isa. xxvii. 3, 4 ; Ps. cxxi. 4, 5. The great pre- 
servations, the singular salvations, that God hath wrought for London, 
many hundred years together, renders the desolation of London the 
more terrible. And accordingly it concerns all that are well affected 
to weep over its ashes. But, 

[8.] Eighthly, Who can look upon the ashes of London, as those 
ashes in lohich England's worst enemies, both abroad and at home, 
do daily triumph and rejoice, and not iveep over London's desolation f 
Obad. 10-16. Shall the vilest of men glory that England's glory is 
laid in the dust ; and shall not we lament, when our crown is fallen 
from our head ? Lam. v. 16. The more wicked men rejoice in our 
misery, the greater obligation lies upon us to lie low and mourn at the 
foot of God. London, like Job, lies on its dunghill, Job ii. 8. Lon- 
don, like the Jews, lies in its ashes, Esther iv. 3. And therefore it 
highly concerns all Londoners to put on sackcloth and ashes. But, 

[9.] Ninthly, Surely such as have looked upon London as the city 
of their solemnities — such cannot but weep to see the city of their 
solemnities laid desolate : Isa. xxxiii. 20, ' Look upon Zion the city 
of our solemnities,' or meetings. Zion is here called a city, because it 
stood in the midst of the city. The city of Jerusalem was very large, 
and Zion stood in the midst of it ; and it is called a * city of solemnities,' 
because the people flocked thither to hear the law, to renew their 
covenant with God, to call upon his name, and to offer sacrifices. 
sirs ! was not London the city of our solemnities ? the city where we 
solemnly met to wait upon the Lord, in the beauty of holiness? 1 Chron. 
xvi. 29 ; the city where we offered prayers and praises ? the city where 
we worshipped the Lord in spirit and in truth ? Ps. xxix. 2 ; the city 
wherein God, and Christ, and the great things of eternity, were revealed 
to us ? the city wherein many thousands were converted and edified ; 
walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comforts of the Holy 
Ghost ? Acts ix. 31 ; the city where we had the clearest, the choicest, 
and the highest enjoyments of God that ever we had in aU our days ? 
the city wherein we have sat down under Christ's ' shadow with great 
delight ; his fruit has been sweet unto our taste ' ? the city in which 

VOL. VI. L 



162 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

Christ has ' brought us to his banqueting-house, and his banner over us 
has been love'? the city in which Christ has ' staid us with flagons, 
and comforted us with apples'? the city in which Christ's ' left hand 
hath been under our heads, and his right hand hath embraced us ' ? 
Cant. ii. 3-6 ; the city wherein the Lord of hosts hath ' made unto 
his people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things 
full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined ' ? Isa. xxv. 6. London, 
the city of our solemnities, is now laid desolate : and therefore for this 
why should not we be disconsolate, and mourn in secret before the 
Lord ? This frame of spirit hath been upon the people of God of old : 
Zeph. iii. 18, ' I will gather them that are sorrowful for the solemn 
assembly, who are of thee, to whom the reproach of it was a burden.' 
By * solemn assemblies' are meant their several conventions, at those set 
times which God had appointed them, viz., on the weekly Sabbath, the 
new moons, the stated feasts and fasts, which they were bound to 
observe, Deut. xvi. Now for the want, the lack, the loss of those 
solemn assemblies, such as did truly fear the Lord were solemnly 
sorrowful. Of all losses, spiritual losses are most sadly resented by 
gracious souls. When they had lost their houses, their estates, their 
trades, their relations, their liberties, and were led captive to Babylon, 
which was an iron furnace, a second Egypt to them, then the loss of 
their solemn assemblies made deeper impressions upon their hearts 
than all their outward losses did. The Jews were famous artists. 
They stand upon record for their skill, especially in poetry, mathe- 
matics, and music : but when their city was burnt, and their land laid 
desolate, and their solemn assemblies broken in pieces, then they could 
sing none of the songs of Zion, Ps. cxxxvii. 1-5 ; then they were more 
for mourning than for music, for sighing than for singing, for lament- 
ing than for laughing. Nothing goes so near gracious hearts as the 
loss of their solemn assemblies, as the loss of holy ordinances. Health, 
and wealth, and friends, and trade, are but mere Ichabods to the saints' 
solemn assemblies, and to pure ordinances. When the ark was taken, 
Eli could live no longer : but whether his heart or his neck was first 
broken upon that sad tidings, is not easy to determine, 1 Sam. iv. 17, 
18. When Nehemiah understood that the walls of Jerusalem were 
broken down, and that the gates thereof were burnt with fire, and that 
the whole city was laid desolate by Nebuzar-adan and his Chaldean 
army, he sits down and weeps and mourns, and fasts and prays, 2 
Kings xxv. 8-10 ; he did so lay the burning of the city of their 
solemnities to heart, that all the smiles of King Artaxerxes could not 
raise him nor rejoice him, Neh. i. 3, 4, and ii. It was on the tenth 
day of the fifth month that Jerusalem was burnt with fire ; and upon 
that account the Jews fasted upon every tenth day of the fifth month, 
Jer. Iii. 12-14. Now shall the Jews solemnly fast and mourn on the 
tenth day of the fifth month during their captivity, Zech. vii. 3, 
because their city and temple and solemn assemblies were on that 
day buried in ashes, and turned into a ruinous heap ; and shall not 
we fast and mourn to see the city of our solemnities buried in its 
own ruins ? But, 

[10.] Tenthly and lastly, That incendiary, that mischievous villain 
Hubert, confessed the fact of firing the first house in Pudding Lane, 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 163 

thotLgh he ivould not confess lulio set Mm at luorJc, and accordingly loas 
executed at Tyhurn for it.^ Now who can look upon the dreadful 
consequences, the burning of a renowned city, that followed upon 
the firing of the first house, and not mourn over London's desolations ? 
Hubert did confess to several persons of note and repute that he was a 
Catholic ; and did further declare that he believed confession to a priest 
was necessary to his salvation. And being advised, by a chaplain to a 
person of honour, to call upon God, he repeated his Ave Mary, which 
he confessed was his usual prayer. Father Harvey confessed him, 
and instructed him, and we nee 1 not doubt but that he absolved him 
also, according to the custom c f the Romish Church. Hubert died in 
the profession of the Romish faith, stoutly asserting that he was no 
Hugonite.2 I know that men of the Romish religion, and such who 
are one in spirit with them, would make the world believe that 
this Hubert, who, by order of law, was *<fexecuted upon the account 
of his own public and private confessions, was mad, distracted, and 
what not. But what madmen do these make the judge and jury 
to be ? for who but madmen would condemn to such a shameful 
death a madman, for confessing himself guilty of such a heinous and 
horrid fact, which he had never committed ? Doubtless both judge 
and jury were men of more wisdom, justice, and conscience, than 
to hang a madman upon his own bare confession. The German 
histories tell us 3 what encouragement men of a Romish faith have 
had from Rome to make way for their religion throughout Germany, 
by fire and sword ; and when some of those incendiaries have been 
taken in setting houses on fire, they have confessed that there have 
been many more in combination with them, who, by all the ways they 
could, were to consume Silesia and other parts with firings. When 
the Spanish Armada came against this nation in 1588 with an invin- 
cible navy, as they counted it, they had two thousand eight hundred 
and forty-three great ordnance, twenty-eight thousand eight hundred 
and forty mariners, soldiers, and slaves, rowing in galleys, with 
innumerable fire-balls and granadoes, in order to the making of Eng- 
land desolate by fire and sword. ^ Did not F. Parsons, Doleman, and 
Holt the Jesuit draw other incendiaries into a combination to fire the 
royal navy with wildfire in Queen Elizabeth's reign, for which they 
were stretched at Tyburn, a.d. 1595 ?5 On that very day when King 
James was crowned, when the generality of the people were intent 
upon that noble spectacle, five were suborned by the Jesuits to set 
London on fire in several places, but were frustrated, as is evident 
upon record. 6 Mr Waddesworth did depose, both in writing and 
viva voce at the Lords' bar, that one Henry, alia^ Francis Smith, alias 
Lloyd, alias Rivers, alias Simons, before the beginning of the Scotch 
wars, did tell him in Norfolk, where he met him, ' That the popish 

^ There were some ministers, and several other sober prudent citizens, who did con- 
verse again and again with Hubert, and are ready to attest that he was far from being 
mad ; and that he was not only very rational, but also very cunning and subtle, and 
so the fitter instrument for the conclave of Rome, or some subtle Jesuit to make use of 
to bring about our common woe. It was never known that Rome or hell did ever make 
use of madmen or fools to bring about their devilish plots. 

» Query, 'Huguenot'?— G. » Luc. Hist., pp. &13, 519, 520. < Hisp. F. 184, 185. 

5 Speed's Hist., p. 1178 j Luc. Hist., pp. 298, 299. « Luc. Hist., pp. 509-511. 



164 LONDON'S LAMENTATIONS ON [ISA. XLII. 24, 25. 

religion was not to be brought in here by disputing, or books of 
controversy, but with an army, and with fire and sword.' i Pope 
Martin the Fifth sent Cardinal Julian, who was namesake and near of 
kin to Julian the apostate, with an army of fourscore thousand, to root 
out Hussites or protestants in Bohemia, where they burnt up their 
towns ; and at the same time Albertus, his assistant, burnt up five 
hundred of their villages. It was Philip the Second of Spain who 
said, [Thuanus,] ' That he had rather lose all his provinces than seem 
to grant or favour anything which might be prejudicial to the Catholic 
relio-ion/ It. was Cardinal Granveilanus 2 who was wont to say, 
[Gasper,] ' That he would reduce the Catholic religion in all places, 
though one hundred thousand men were to be burned in an hour.' It 
was the Spanish ministers of state who declared openly in the pacifica- 
of Colen,3 [Anno 1586,] ' That the Protestants would be very well 
served if they were stripped of all their goods, and forced to go seek 
new countries like Jews and Egjrptians, who wander up and down like 
rogues and vagabonds.' The Duke of Alba, a bloody papist,* sitting 
at his table, said, ' That he had taken diligent pains in rooting out 
the tares of heresies, having delivered eighteen thousand men in the 
space of six years only to the hands of the hangman.' From the 
beginning of the Jesuits to 1580, being the space of thirty years, there 
were almost nine hundred thousand protestants put to death in 
France, Spain, Italy, Germany, England, and other parts of Christen- 
dom.5 Men of that religion, that burnt the martyrs in Queen Mary's 
days, are men of such bloody, desperate principles, that they will 
stick at nothing that may be a means to advance the Komish religion. 
Some men, besides the Romans, have practised most prodigious 
things, and all to raise themselves a name in the world. Servetus,^ 
at Geneva, gave all his goods to the poor, and his body to be burnt, 
and all for a name, for a little glory among men. The temple 
of the great goddess Diana, which was one of the world's wonders, 
was set on fire when Alexander was born, by Erostratus, a base 
fellow; and this he did, 'that he might be talked of when he 
was dead.' So Judas and Sadoc, with their seditious sect, burnt down 
the temple of Jerusalem, and all the beautiful buildings in the city.7 
And at another time, when the Romans had set the temple on fire, 
Titus, by entreaties and threatenings, did all he could to persuade the 
soldiers to extinguish the fire, but could not prevail with them. They, 
seeing the gates of the inward temple to be gates of gold, thought 
that the temple was full of money, and that they might have a rich 
booty, and therefore regarded not their general's commands. Titus 
did all he could to quench the flames ; but a certain soldier fired the 
posts about the doors of the inward temple, and presently the flame 
appearing within, Titus and his captains departed ; and so every one 
stood looking upon it, and no man sought to extinguish it. Thus the 
temple was burnt by the hand of a single soldier, against Titus his 

1 Compl. Hist., pp. 443, 449; Roy. Favour., pp. 64, 55 ; Rom. Mr Pecce, 31. 

' Qu. ' Cardinal Anthony Perrenot Granvella ' ?— G. ^ Query, ' Cologne ' ?— G. 

* Meter. Hist, de reb. Belg., lib, xv. [Query, 'Alva' ?-G. 

' The fact of Faux was horrid and sanguinary ; and you know who set him on work 

« Anno 1555, Calrin. [Misprinted Serustus.— G.] 

' Josephus, Ant,, lib. iviii. cap. 1, p. 463. 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 1G5 

inind.i One man that is of a cruel spirit, and of cruel principles, may 
do a world of mischief. Take that instance of Nero, who maliciously 
raised the first persecution against the Christians, pretending that 
they were incendiaries, and authors of the burning of Kome ; whereas 
he himself had most wickedly done it. But this barbarous act of his 
was fathered upon the Christians ; and accordingly they suffered 
severely for it.^ Another author saith,3 Nero succeeded Caligula in 
the government, and in no less fierceness and cruelty, because he was 
a man in whom, if possible it might be, all the other cruelties were 
enclosed, and all else that could by men be imagined ; for, without 
any regard of sanctified things, or persons of like quality, private or 
public, he caused the city of Rome to be set on fire, with express pro- 
hibition not to quench it, or any man to make safety of his own goods: 
so the fire continued seven days and seven nights burning the city ; 
and he being on a high tower some small distance off, clapped his 
hands, and joyed to behold this dismal spectacle, so far exceeding all 
humanity. The wisest prince that ever swayed a sceptre hath told 
us, ' That one sinner destroy eth much good,' Eccles. ix. 18. Who 
can sum up the mischief that a few ill-minded men may do in a little 
time ? The same devil, the same lusts, the same wrath, the same 
rage, the same revenge, the same ends, the same motives that have 
put others upon burning work in former times, may probably have 
put some upon the same work in our time. Burning work is so odious 
and abominable, so destructive, hateful, and hurtful a thing in the 
eyes of all true Englishmen who have any sense of honour or con- 
science, that I shall never wonder to see such who have either had a 
head, or a hand, or a heart in it, of arts and crafts, to bury for ever 
the remembrance of it. Was not London the glory of England? 
Was not London England's treasury, and the protestants' sanctuary ? 
Was not London as terrible to her enemies abroad, as she was joyous 
to her friends at home ? Has not London been as di-eadful to her 
foreign foes, as the hand-writing upon the wall was to Belshazzar ? 
Dan. V. 5, 6. Was not London the great mountain that her enemies 
feared would be most prejudicial to their pernicious designs? Zech. iv. 7. 
Was not London that great rock against which many have dashed 
themselves in pieces?* Was not London as briers and thorns, as 
goads and gulfs and two-edged swords, to all her enemies, more remote 
and nearer home ? Had the French invaded us when London was in 
flames, as many feared they would, or had such risen up at that time, in 
the bowels of the nation, whose very principles lead them by fire and 
sword to make way for their religion, what doleful days had we seen, 
and to what a low ebb might the protestant interest have then been 
brought! What greater encouragement could be given to French, 
Dutch, Dane, and all of the old religion, as they call it, to make 
desperate attempts upon us, than the laying of the city desolate by 
fire ? But it is the glory of divine power to daunt and overrule all 
hearts and counsels, and to turn that to his people's greatest good 

^ Lib. vii. de Bello Jud. cap. 10, p. 737. ' Pareus on the Revelation, p. 110. 

' The Treasury of Ancient and Modern Times, pp. 321, 322. 

■* The French, the Dutch, the Dane, the Spaniard, &e., have at times experienced 
what London's treasure and force have been able to do, &.c. 



166 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

which their enemies design to be their utter ruin, Ps. Ixxvi. 5, 10 ; 
Gen. xxxi. 24, 29, and xxxiii. 3, 4. We know papists are no change- 
lings; their cruel, bloody, fiery spirits and principles are still the 
same.'i Both king and parliament have taken notice how vigilant 
and active they have been of late, by what hath been discovered, con- 
fessed proved, printed, &c. Is it not more than probable that some 
influenced from Borne have kindled and promoted that dreadful fire 
that hath laid our city desolate ? The statue of Apollo is said to 
shed tears for the afflictions of the Grecians, though he could not help 
them. Though none of us could prevent the desolation of London, 
yet let us all be so ingenuous as to weep over the ashes of London. 
Who can look upon London's glory, as now sacrificed to the flames, 
and made a burnt-ofi'ering to appease the wrath and fury, as many 
say, of a papist conclave, and not mourn ? 

Obj. Sir, we readily grant that it is our duty to lament and mourn 
over the ruins and desolations of London ; yea, some of us have so 
lamented and mourned over London's dust and ashes, that we have 
almost reduced ourselves to dust and ashes ; and therefore, what 
cordials, what comforts, what supports can you hand out to us that 
may help to cheer up our spirits, and to bear up our hearts, so as that 
we may not utterly faint and sink, neither under the sight of London's 
ruins, nor yet under a deep sense of our many great and sore losses ? 

Now that I may be a little serviceable and useful to you in the 
present case, give me leave to offer to your most serious consideration 
. these following particulars by way of support : — 

(1.) First, Consider, for your support and comfort. That the great 
God might have burned up all; he might not have left one house 
standing, nor one stone upon another. It is true the greatest part of 
the city is fallen ; but it is rich mercy that the whole is not con- 
sumed, Luke xix. 41, 44. Though most of the city within the walls 
be destroyed, yet it is grace upon the throne that the suburbs are 
standing. Had not God spared some houses in the city, and the 
main of the suburbs, where would thousands have had a livelihood ? 
How would any trade have been maintained? yea, how would the 
lives of many thousands have been preserved? It is true the fire 
was very dreadful, but God might have made it more dreadful ; he 
might have laid every house level ; he might have consumed all the 
goods and wealth that was there treasured up ; and he might have 
refused to have plucked one man ' as a brand out of the fire,' Zech. 
iii. 2. He might have suffered London to have been as totally de- 
stroyed as Jerusalem was: Mat. xxiv. 1, 2, 'And Jesus went out, 
and departed from the temple : and his disciples came to him to shew 
him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said unto them. See ye 
not all these things ? verily, I say unto you. There shall not be left 
here one stone upon another that shall not be thrown down.' In these 
words Christ doth foretell the utter destruction and devastation of 
Jerusalem, which came to pass by Titus and the Koman army ; 
wasting all with fire and sword, and evening with the ground that mag- 
nificent temple and city, which was the glory of the world. Though 

* The woeful desolationa that the popish party made by fire and sword amongst the 
protestants in Ireland is written with the pen of a diamond. 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 167 

Titus, by a strict edict at first storming of the city, forbade the de- 
facing of the temple, yet the soldiers burned it and the city. The 
temple was burned, say some, August 10th, when it had stood five 
hundred [and] eighty-nine years ; and the city was burned September 
8th, in the year of our Lord seventy- one. i 

Quest But why did Christ's disciples shew him the buildings of 
the temple, which they knew were not unknown unto him ? 

Ans. To move him to mercy, and to moderate the severity of that 
former sentence, of leaving their houses desolate unto them. Mat. 
xxiii. 38. Herod had been at a wonderful charge in building and 
beautifying the temple. Josephus tells us,^ that for eight whole 
years together he kept ten thousand men at work about it : and that 
for magnificence and stateliness it exceeded Solomon's temple. The 
disciples might very well wonder at these stately buildings, at these 
goodly, stately, fair stones, which were, as Josephus writeth, fifteen 
cubits long, twelve high, and eight broad. Now the disciples fondly 
thought that Christ, upon the full sight of these stately, glorious 
buildings, which to see laid waste was pity, might have been so 
worked upon as to reverse his former sentence of laying all desolate. 
But here they were mistaken ; for ' his thoughts were not as their 
thoughts." Others think that the disciples shewed Christ the stately 
buildings of the temple, that upon a serious consideration of the 
strength, pomp, stateliness, greatness, and magnificence of the build- 
ings, he might be the more careful to preserve them from destruction. 
Others think that the disciples shewed him these strong and stately 
buildings, to insinuate secretly thereby how diflicult, yea, impossible, 
it was for them to be destroyed, especially considering the strength of 
the city also. And hence our Saviour seems to answer, ' See ye not 
all these things ? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here 
one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down,' &c. 

Quest. But when was this prediction fulfilled, that not one stone 
should be left upon another, which should not be thrown down, &c. ? 

Ans. This was fulfilled forty years after Christ's ascension, by 
Vespasian the empei'or, and his son Titus, as Eusebius and Josephus 
do declare. Yea, this prophecy was not only accomplished in the 
destruction of the old temple, but then also, when in Julian the apos- 
tate's time, the Jews, to spite the Christians, were by him encouraged 
to build the temple at his charge ; and they attempting it accordingly, 
were hindered from heaven by a mighty earthquake, which cast down 
that in the night which was built in the day: and besides, a fire from 
heaven, that consumed the work and workmen's instruments ; which 
Cyrillus, bishop of Jerusalem, then seeing, applied unto that event 
this prediction of our Saviour, ' There shall not be left one stone upon 
another, that shall not be thrown down.' 3 Ah London, London ! this 
might have been thy doom, that there should not have been one house 
standing, neither within nor without thy walls ; yea, this might have 
been thy doom, that there should not have been ' one stone left upon 
another that should not have been thrown down.' In that it is other- 

^ See Joseph., lib. vii. cap. 9, 10, 18, de Bel. Jud. 
' Joseph., lib. xv., Antiq., cap. 14. 
' Sof-rut., lib. iii. cap. 17. 



168 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

wise with thee, thou hast cause, London, to cry, Grace, grace, to 
him that sits upon the throne, and is hlessed for ever, &c. 

Carthage was a noble city, mistress of Africa, and paragon to Rome. 
She made her part good against Rome for many years, but at length, 
by means of her own inward civil jars, she was utterly destroyed by 
them, [Oros. Eutrop.] For the inhabitants being not able to stand 
any longer in their own defence, were constrained to yield themselves 
to the mercy of their enemies— the women, to the number of five and 
twenty thousand, marching first forth, and after them the men, in 
number thirty thousand, following, all which poor captives were sold 
for bond-slaves, a few only of the principal excepted : and then fire 
was put to the city, which burnt seventeen days without ceasing, even 
till it was clean consumed. This might have been thy doom, Lon- 
don, but God in the midst of judgment hath remembered mercy. 

Athens was once the most famous flourishing city of Greece, for her 
fair buildings, large precincts, and multitude of inhabitants ; but espe- 
cially for her philosophy, by means whereof recourse was made from 
all parts to her, as the fountain and well-spring of arts, and the school 
and university of the whole world : whose policy and manner of 
government was so much esteemed by the Romans, that they drew 
from thence their laws : but now she lies dead and buried in the ashes 
of forgetfulness, not carrying any of her former proportion or appear- 
ance. If this had been thy doom, London, we must all have set to 
our seals that the Lord had been righteous ; but blessed be the Lord, 
London is not, and I hope never shall, let Rome and hell do their 
worst, be buried in the ashes of forgetfulness, &c. But, 

(2.) The second support to bear up the hearts and to cheer up the 
spirits of all that has smarted by the late fiery dispensation, is this, 
viz.. That God has given them their lives for a prey. sirs, what a 
mercy is it, that though the fire has reached your houses, your shops, 
your goods, your commodities, your warehouses, your treasure, that 
yet it has not reached your lives, nor the lives of your relations or 
friends ! though your habitations are consumed, and your losses have 
been great, yet that in the midst of so many deaths and dangers by 
the flames, and by the press of the people, and notwithstanding all the 
confusions that was in all parts of the city, you should have your 
lives for a prey, and be snatched as so many ' firebrands out of the 
burning' ! Oh how should this miraculous providence of God be owned 
and admired by you ! The devil hit the mark when he said, * Skin 
for skin ; yea, all that a man hath, will he give for his life,' Job ii. 4.^ 
Men's estates in those times did lie mostly in cattle. Now, saith Satan, 
Job is a very great life-lover, he is fond of life, and afraid of death ; 
and therefore he will give skin upon skin to save his life : he will give 
many skins, abundance of skins, yea, all his skins, to save his life : 
he will give his cattle's skins, and his servants' skins, and his sons' 
skins, to save himself in a whole skin.^ By this proverbial speech, 
* Skin for skin,' &c., Satan intimates that Job cared not for the loss 
of his cattle, nor for the loss of his servants, nor for the loss of his 

^ The philosopher saith that a fly is more excellent than the heavens ; because the 
fly has Hie, which the heavens have not. 

* Proxiinus qu sijue sibi : Every man is nearest to himself 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 1 G9 

children, so he might secure his own life. Job set a higher price upon 
his own life than he did upon all other lives : let others sink or swim, 
so he might escape, all was well. Natural life is a precious jewel ; a 
man will cast all overboard, when he is in danger of drowning, to save 
his life. A man will hold up his arms to save his head, or suffer the 
loss of a limb to save his life. Men will bleed, sweat, vomit, purge, 
part with an estate, yea, with some of their limbs, to preserve their 
lives. As he who cried out, ' Give me any deformity, any torment, 
any misery, so you spare my life.' ' Wherefore doth a living man 
complain,' or murmur, * a man for the punishment of his sin ? ' Lam. 
iii. 39. Oh what a simple, senseless, brutish, blockish thing is it for a 
man, a mortal man, a sinful man, a man on this side the grave, on 
this side hell, to complain or murmur against a holy and righteous 
God ! He that is alive on this side everlasting burnings, Isa. xxxiii. 
14, on this side a devouring fire, has no just cause to complain, what- 
ever his losses, crosses, or sufferings are. He that has deserved a 
hanging, if he escape with a whipping, has no cause to complain or 
murmur. Men that have deserved a damning, if they escape with the 
loss of house, goods, estates, &c., they have no cause to complain or 
murmur. Mark, at this time Jerusalem was burnt, city and temple 
was laid in ashes, the citizens were turned out of house and home, and 
stripped of all their comforts and contentments. ' They that did feed 
delicately, were desolate in the streets ; they that were brought up in 
scarlet, embraced dunghills.' * They were scattered among the hea- 
then, who did mock at their Sabbaths, and who trod their mighty men 
under foot ; yea, they sought their bread with the peril of their lives.' 
And yet, saith the prophet, ' Why doth the living man complain ? ' 
Lam. iv. 5, and v. 9. Though city, and temple, and goods, and estates 
were all consumed in the flames, yet some had their lives for a prey ; 
and upon that very account they ought not to complain. God might 
have turned them into ashes, as he had turned their houses into ashes, 
and it was mere grace that he did not ; which the church wisely and 
ingenuously observes, when she saith, ' It is of the Lord's mercy that 
we are not consumed,' chap, iii, 22. She doth not say, it is of the 
Lord's mercy that our houses are not consumed ; but it is of the Lord's 
mercy that we are not consumed : nor she does not say, it is of the 
Lord's mercy that our goods are not consumed ; but it is of the Lord's 
mercy that we are not consumed. The church saw mercy, much 
mercy, tender mercy, yea, bowels of mercy, as the word there imports, 
that a remnant had their lives given them, when their city and sub- 
stance was turned into ashes, sirs 1 others have lost their goods 
and their lives together, and it is miraculous mercy that you have not ; 
when men's wits were puzzled, their hearts discouraged, and their in- 
dustry tired out ; when the wind was at the highest, and the fire at 
the hottest, and the hopes of most at the lowest, that then you should 
be as brands plucked out of the fire, was glorious mercy, &c. 

In the reign of Achmat, the eighth emperor of the Turks, ^ a great 

fire arose in the city of Constantinople, wherein many, both men and 

women, perished, with above five hundred shops and warehouses full 

of rich merchandise, most of which belonged unto the Jews, of whom 

^ Knolles his General History of the Turks, p. 1244. 



170 , London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

almost two hundred were said to be burned. These lost their goods 
and their lives together, but so have not you ; the greater obligation 
lies upon you, both to think well of God, and to speak well of God, 
and to lay out your lives to the uttermost for God. 

Certain Tartars at Constantinople in their insolency set fire upon a 
certain Jew's house, whereof arose such a terrible fire, as burned not 
only many houses, but a great many of the Jews themselves, i Here 
lives and estates went together. Though outlandish hands have set 
our city, our houses on fire, yet God has preserved our lives in the 
midst of the flames ; and this is a mercy more worth than all we have 
lost, &c. 

There was a stately palace in Jerusalem that Solomon had built, 
which joined near to the temple. This palace the Jews abundantly 
anointed all over with brimstone and pitch, so that when the Komans 
pursued the Jews unto this palace, they entered the palace after the 
Jews, who went out again another way, and shut up the palace, and 
set fire on the gates, which they had before anointed with brimstone 
and pitch ; and straightway the side walls of the house, and the whole 
building, began to be on a-light fire, so that the Eomans had no way to 
escape, because the fire compassed the house on every side. The Jews 
also stood round about the palace, with their drawn swords, to cut off 
any that should attempt to escape the flames. Now there was two 
and twenty thousand of the Eomans destroyed in this fire. Titus, 
hearing the lamentable cry of the Komans that were compassed about 
in flames of fire, made speed with all his army to come and rescue 
them ; but the fire burned so vehemently that he could save none of 
them. Upon which Titus and his army wept bitterly, [Josephus.] 
O sirs ! when London was in flames, if men of a Komish faith had 
compassed the city round about with their drawn swords that none 
should have escaped the furious flames, how dreadful would such a 
day have been ! Whether such a thing was intended or designed, 
and by any strange providence prevented, we shall know in the fittest 
season. 

Numantium,2 a city in Spain, being besieged by the Komans, and 
after it had borne the brunt of war a long time, and made many des- 
perate sallies upon their enemies, and were almost consumed with 
famine, rather than they would bow their necks to the Roman yoke, 
they barred their gates, and set all on fire, and so burned themselves 
in the flames of their city, that so they might leave the enemy nothing 
but ashes for his prey and triumph. Here city and citizens are 
destroyed together ; and it is infinite mercy that this was not the fate, 
the doom of the citizens of London. They and their city might have 
fallen together ; ' but God was good, and a very present help in time 
of trouble,' Ps. xlvi. 1. sirs ! if not only your houses, your shops, 
your goods, your wares, but also your persons, had been enclosed with 
flames, and no possibility of escape, how dreadful would the fire have 
been then ! Oh, what tongue can express, or heart conceive, the sighs, 
the groans, the cries, the tears, the gashful^ looks, the horrible shrieks, 
the dreadful amazement, and the matchless astonishment that would 
have been upon all sorts and ranks of people, that had been compassed 

1 Knolles, p. 1266. " Numantia.— G. » ' Ghastly.'— G. 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 171 

round about with flames, and could see no door of deliverance open to 
them ! Oh what a mercy is it that we are yet alive, though we are 
stripped of many comforts and contentments which formerly we have 
enjoyed ! Now here give me leave to open myself a little in these fol- 
lowing particulars : — 

[1.] First, What a mercy was this to all unregenerate and uncon- 
verted persons, that they have had their lives for a prey ivhen London 
ivas in flames ! i Had God by the flames or any other accident put 
an end to their natural days, they might at this time have been a- 
rolling up and down in unquenchable flames. Sinners, sinners, the 
greatest weights hang upon the smallest wires. Eternity, eternity 
depends upon your improvement of that time, that life, and those 
seasons and opportunities of grace that yet you do enjoy. That Kabbi 
hit it who said, Nemo est cui non sit hora sua, Every man hath his 
hour. He who overslips that season, may never meet with the like 
again all his days. sirs ! to have a little more time to believe, to 
repent, to secure your interest in Christ, a changed nature, a sanctified 
frame of heart, a pardon in the bosom, is a mercy more worth than ten 
thousand worlds. To have a little more time to make your calling 
and election sure, and to get the new name and white stone that none 
knows but those that are the favourites of heaven ; to have time to 
make sure a city that hath foundations, a kingdom that shakes not, 
riches that corrupt not, an inheritance that fadeth not away, a house 
riot made with hands, but one eternal in the heavens ; to have time 
to make sure to yourselves a crown of righteousness, a crown of life, a 
crown of glory, a crown of immortality, are mercies beyond all the 
expressions, and above all the valuations of the sons of men. 2 The 
poets paint time with wings, to shew the volubility and swiftness of it. 
Sumptus pretiosissimus tempus, Time is of precious cost, saith Theo- 
phrastus. Know time, lose not a minute, saith Psittacus. ^lian 
gives this testimony of the Lacedaemonians, ' That they were hugely 
covetous of their time, spending it all about necessary things, and suf- 
fering no citizen either to be idle or play.' Titus Vespasian having 
spent a day without doing any man any good, as he sat at supper he 
uttered this memorable and praiseworthy apophthegm, Amici, diem 
perdidi. My friends, I have lost a day, [^etonius.] sirs ! will not 
these poor heathens rise in judgment against all those that trifle and 
fool and sin away their precious time ? Take heed of crying Cra^, 
eras, To-morrow, to-morrow. Oh play not the courtier with your 
precious souls ! The courtier doth all things late : he rises late, and 
dines late, and sups late, and goes to bed late, and repents late. 
Bemember that manna must be gathered in the morning. The orient 
pearl is generated of the morning dew. There is nothing puts a more 
serious frame into a man's spirit than to know the worth of his time. 
It is very dangerous putting ofi" that to another day which must be 
done to-day, or else undone to-morrow. Nunc aut nunquam, Now or 
never, was the saying of old. If not done now, it may never be done, 

* Austin saith that he would not be a wicked man one half hour for all the world, 
■because he might die in that half hour, and then he was undone for ever. 

* 2 Peter i. 10 ; Rev. ii. 17 ; Heb. xi. 10, and xii. 28 ; 1 Peter i. 4; 2 Cor. v. 1 ; 2 Tim. 
iv. 8 ; Rev. ii. 10 ; James i. 12 ; 1 Peter v. 4. 



172 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

and then undone for ever. Eternity depends on this moment of time. 
What would not many a man give for a day when it is a day too late ? i 
Whilst many blind Sodomites have been groping to find a door of 
hope, God has rained hell out of heaven upon them. The seasons of 
grace are not under your locks and keys. Many thousand poor sinners 
have lost their seasons and their souls together. Judas repented and 
Esau mourned, but neither timely nor truly; and therefore they 
perished to all eternity. The damned in hell may weep their eyes out 
of their heads, but they can never weep sin out of their souls, nor their 
souls out of hell, &c. 

Oh that the flames of London might be so sanctified to every poor 
sinner, who have had their lives for a prey, in that doleful day, that 
they may no longer neglect those precious seasons and opportunities 
of grace that yet are continued to them, lest God should swear in his 
wrath, * that they should never enter into his rest ! ' Heb. ii. 3, and iii. 18. 
sirs ! yet you have a world of gracious opportunities, and oh that 
God would give you that heavenly wisdom, that you may never neglect 
one gracious opportunity, though it were to gain a whole world ! God 
by giving you your lives in the midst of those furious and amazing 
flames, has given you time and opportunity to secure the internal and 
the eternal welfare of your precious and immortal souls, which is a 
mercy that can never be sufficiently prized or improved. But, 

[2.] Secondly, What a mercy was this to poor doubting, staggering 
Christians, that they have had their lives /or a prey when London was 
inflames! For by this means they have gained time to pray down 
their doubts, and to argue down their doubts, and to wrestle and weep 
down their doubts, &c. Christ ascended to heaven in a cloud, and 
the angel ascended to heaven in the flame of the altar. Acts i. 9, 10 ; 
Judges xiv. 20. It is ten to one but this had been the case of many 
doubting, trembling Christians, had they died when London was in 
flames. I know it is good getting to heaven any way, though it be in 
a whirlwind of afiliction, or in a fiery chariot of temptation, or in the 
flames of persecution, or in a cloud of fears, doubts, and darkness ; 
but yet that man is more happy that gets to heaven in a quiet calm 
of inward peace, and in the fair sunshine of joy and assurance.2 It is 
a good thing for a man to get into a safe harbour, though it be in a 
winter night, and thi'ough many storms and tempests, hazards, dan- 
gers, and deaths, with the loss of masts, cables, and anchors ; but yet 
he is more happy that gets into a safe harbour in a clear, calm, fair, 
sunshiny day, top and top-gallant, and with colours flying and trum- 
pets sounding. The prudent reader knows how to apply it. Oh that 
all poor doubting Christians would seriously lay this to heart, viz.. 
That for them to have time, to have their judgments and under- 
standings enlightened, their doubts resolved, their objections answered, 
their consciences settled, and their souls assured that all is well, and 
shall be for ever well between God and them, is a mercy more worth 
than all the world. But, 

^ Beroaldus speaks of a fool who cried out, repentance, repentance ! where art thou, 
where art thou, repentance ? 

2 The whole Scripture, saith Luther, doth principally aim at this thing, that we should 
not doubt, but that we should hope, that we should trust, and that we should believe, 
that God is a merciful, a bountiful, a gracious and patient God to his people. 



TsA. XLII. 24, 25.] the late fiery dispensation. 173 

[3.] Thirdly, What a mercy was this to poor languishing, declining, 
and decaying Christians, that they have had their lives for a prey 
ivhen London was in flames! There were a great many in London 
who were * fallen from their first love,' and whose sun was set in a cloud. 
There were many whose graces were languishing, whose comforts were 
declining, whose souls were withered, and whose communion with God 
was greatly impaired, Eev. ii. 4. Many within and without the walls 
of London had a worm gnawing at the root of their graces. They 
had lost their spiritual relish of God, of Christ, of ordinances, as dying 
men lose their relish. Dying men can relish nothing they sip, or eat, 
or drink. They had lost their spiritual strength, and they knew it 
not, as Samson had lost his natural strength and knew it not. Judges 
xvi. 20. Oh what an image of death was upon their highest profes- 
sions ! Now for these men to live, for these men to have time to get 
their graces repaired, their comforts revived, their spiritual strength 
restored, their souls fattened, and their communion with God raised, 
oh what a matchless, what an incomparable mercy is this ! But, 

[4.] Fourthly, What a mercy tvas this to poor clouded, deserted, 
and benighted Christians, that they have had their lives for a prey 
lohen London ivas inflames! Beloved, it is sad dying under a cloud; 
it is sad dying, when he who should comfort a man s soul stands afar off, 
Lam. i. 16. Some think that the face of God was clouded when 
David thus prayed, ' spare me, that I may recover strength, before 
I go hence, and be no more,' Ps. xxxix. 13. And some think Heze- 
kiah's sun was set in a cloud, and God had drawn a curtain between 
Hezekiah and himself, when, being under the sentence of death, Isa. 
xxxviii. 1-3, ' He turned his face toward the wall, and prayed unto 
the Lord, and said, Kemember now, Lord, I beseech thee, how I 
have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have 
done that which was good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore ;' or 
with great weeping, as the Hebrew runs.^ It is with clouded and 
deserted Christians as it was with Samson when his locks were cut 
off, 'his strength was gone ;' and therefore, though he thought to go 
out and do wonders, as he had formerly done, yet by sad experience 
he found himself to be but as another man. Judges xvi. 18-21. So 
when God does but withdraw, the best of saints have their locks cut ; 
their strength, which lieth not in their hair, but in their head Christ 
Jesus, Phil. i. 22, 23, is gone, and they are but Hke other men. 
They think, they speak, they act, they walk like other men. Chris- 
tians under real desertions commonly fall under sore temptations, 
great indispositions, barrenness, flatness, dulness, and deadness of 
spirit. And is this a fit season for such to die in ? Christians under 
a cloud usually have their joys eclipsed, their comforts damped, their 
evidences for heaven blotted, their communion with God impaired, 
and their title to heaven is by themselves, in such a day, much ques- 
tioned. And is this a case for them to die in? clouded and 
deserted Christians, who have had your lives for a prey in the midst 
of London's flames ! and ever since those flames, what a great, what a 
glorious obligation has the blessed God put upon you, to labour to 

^ See more of this in my ' Mute Christian under the Smarting Rod,' pp. 279-304. 
[Vol. i. pp. 385-397.— G.] 



174 " London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25, 

recover yourselves from under all clouds and desertions, and to spend 
your days in a serious and deep admiration of that free, that rich, that 
infinite, and that sovereign grace that spared you, and that was active 
for you, in that day when you were compassed about with flames of 
fire on every hand ! But, 

[5.1 Fifthly, What a mercy ivas this to poor solicited, tempted 
Christians, that they have had their lives for a prey ivhen London 
was in flames!'^ For by this means they have gained time to 
strengthen themselves against all Satan's temptations. The daily 
bills that were given in, to pray for poor tempted Christians, did suf- 
ficiently evidence how active Satan was to distress and perplex poor 
Christians with all sorts of hideous and blasphemous temptations. 
Were there not many tempted to distrust the power of God, the good- 
ness of God, the faithfulness of God ? Were there not many tempted 
to deny God, to blaspheme God, and to turn their backs upon God? 
Were there not many tempted to slight the Scriptures, to deny the 
Scriptures, and to prefer their own fancies, notions, and delusions 
above the Scriptures ? Were there not many tempted to have low 
thoughts of ordinances, and then to leave ordinances, and then to 
vilify ordinances, and all under a pretence of living above ordinances? 
Were there not many tempted to presume upon the mercies of God ; 
and others tempted to despair of the grace of God ? Were there not 
many tempted to destroy themselves, and others tempted to destroy 
their relations ? Were there not many tempted to draw others to sin, 
and to uphold others in sin, and to encourage others in sin, and to be 
partners with others in sin ? Were there not many tempted to have 
hard thoughts of Christ, and others to have low thoughts of Christ, 
and others to have no thoughts of Christ? Now for these poor 
tempted souls to have their lives for a prey, and to have precious sea- 
sons and opportunities to recover themselves out of the snares of the 
devil, and to arm themselves against all his fiery darts, is a compre- 
hensive mercy, a big-bellied mercy, a mercy that has many thousand 
mercies in the womb of it. But, 

[6.] Sixthly and lastly, What a mercy loas this to all slumbering, 
slothful, sluggish, lazy Christians, ivho Jmd blotted and blurred their 
evidences for heaven, and loho, instead of running their Christian 
race, Heb. xii. 1, were either at a stand, or else did but halt in the ivay 
to heaven, that they have had their lives for a prey ivhen London was 
in flames ; and that they have had time to clear up their evidences for 
heaven, and to quicken up their hearts, to run the ways of Gods com- 
mands I Ps. cxix. 32. Surely, had all the world been a lump of gold, 
and in their hands to have been disposed of, they would have given it 
for a little time to have brightened their evidences, to have got out of 
their sinful slumber, and to have set all reckonings even between God 
and their poor souls. And let thus much suffice for this second sup- 
port. 

(3.) The third support to bear up the hearts and to cheer up the 
spirits of all that have suffered by the late fiery dispensation, is this — 
viz.. That this has been the common lot, the common ca^e, both of saints 

^ See my ' Mute Christian,' pp. 260-279. [As before, Vol i. pp. 366-371.— G.] Our 
whole life is nothing but a temptation, saith Austin. 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 175 

and sinners. God has dealt no more severely with you than he has 
with many others. Have you lost much? so have many others. i- 
Have you lost half ? so have many others. Have you lost all ? so 
have many others. Have you lost your trade ? so have many others. 
Have you lost your goods ? so have many others. Have you lost your 
credits ? so have many others. Have you lost many friends, who be- 
fore the fire were very helpful to you and yours ? so have many others. 
Have you lost more than your all ? so have many others. This very 
cordial the apostle hands out to the suffering saints in his time: 1 Cor. 
X. 13, ' There hath no temptation taken you, but such as is common 
to man.' By temptation, he means affliction ; as the word is used, James 
i. 2 ; 1 Peter i. 6 — that is, there hath no affliction befallen you but 
that which is incident either to men as men, or to saints as saints : or 
thus, there hath no affliction befallen you but such as is common to 
man — that is, there is no affliction that hath befallen jo\x but such as 
men may very well bear without murmuring or buckling under it. So 
1 Peter v. 9, ' Knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished,' or 
finished, ' in your brethren, that are in the world': or in your brother- 
hood, that is, in the world. Afflictions are the common lot of the 
saints ; and who shrugs, repines, complains, murmurs, or faints under 
a common lot, it is at the sun because it scorches, &c., John xvi. 33 ; 
Acts xiv. 22. There are none of the brotherhood but, first or last, 
they shall know what the fiery trial, what the fiery furnace means. 
Jerome, writing to a sick friend, hath this expression, ' I account it a 
part of unhappiness not to know adversity. I judge you to be the 
more miserable, because you have not been miserable:' it being the 
common lot of the people of God to be exercised with adversity and 
misery. I think he hit it who said, [Bernard,] Impunitas securitatis 
mater, virtutum noverca, religionis virus, tinea sanctitatis: i.e., Free- 
dom from punishment is the mother of security, the stepmother of 
virtue, the poison of religion, the moth of holiness. Nihil est infeli- 
cius eo, cui nil unquam contigit adversi. There is nothing more un- 
happy than he who never felt adversity, said the refined heathen 
[Seneca] ; and shall not grace rise as high as nature ? The calamity 
has been common, therefore wipe your eyes, and do not say. There is 
no sorrow to my sorrow, no loss to my loss, no ruin to my ruin. Lam. 
i. 12. Under common calamities, men should neither groan nor 
grumble. Look, as no man may conclude, upon the account of com- 
mon mercies, that he is really beloved of God ; so no man may con- 
clude, upon the account of common calamities, that he is really hated 
of God, Eccles. ix. 1, 2. And therefore bear up sweetly, bear up cheer- 
fully, under your present trials. In the common calamity of the 
plague, the destroying angel, perceiving the blood of sprinkling upon 
the posts of your doors, and upon the doors of your hearts, passed you 
by, and said unto you, ' Live, Exod. xii. 7, 13. But by the common 
calamity of the fire, the Lord has turned you out of house and home, 
and burnt up your substance before your eyes. Now do but lay your 
hands seriously upon your hearts, and tell me whether you have not 
more cause to admire at the mercy of God towards you in '65, than 

^ The commonness of our sufferings doth somewhat mitigate the sharpness of our 
sufferings, &c. 



176 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

you have cause to complain of the severities of God towards you in 

'66. 

(4.) The fourth support to bear up the hearts and to cheer up the 
spirits of the people of God who have been sufferers, deep sufferers, 
under the late fiery dispensation, is this— viz., That though they have 
lost much as they are men, as they are citizens, merchants, trades- 
men ; yet they have lost nothing as they are Christians, as they are 
saints, as they are the called and chosen of God. Though they have 
lost their goods, yet they have not lost their God, Rev. xvii. 14. 
Though they have lost their shops and chests, yet they have not lost 
their Christ. Though they have lost their outward comforts, yet they 
have not lost the comforts of the Holy Ghost. Though they have 
lost their houses made with hands, yet they have not lost their * house 
not made with hands, eternal in the heavens,' John xiv. 16, 26 ; 
2 Cor. V. 1. Though they have lost their earthly inheritance, yet 
they have not lost their heavenly inheritance, 1 Pet. i. 4. Though 
they have lost their temporal portions, yet they have not lost their 
eternal portions, Ps. Ixxiii. 25. Though they have lost their open 
public trade, yet they have not lost their secret trade, their private trade 
to heaven. Mat. vi. 6. I readily grant that your stately houses and 
your well-furnished shops are turned into ashes, and that your credit is 
gone, and your trading gone, and your money gone, and you utterly 
undone as to this world; and yet in all this God has done you no hurt, 
he has done you no wrong. Gen. xviii. 25 : and though this at first 
sight may seem to be a great paradox, a very strange assertion, yet I 
shall thus evidence it to be an unquestionable truth. The happiness 
of man in this life consists, (1.) In his union with God; (2.) In his 
communion with God; (3.) In his conformity to God ; and (4.) fourthly 
and lastly, In his spiritual fruition and enjoyment of God. Now none 
of those losses, crosses, and afflictive dispensations that have passed 
upon you, have or can make any breach upon your happiness, or upon 
any one of those four things of which your happiness is made up. 
The top of man's happiness in heaven lies in his near union with God, 
and in the beatifical vision of God, and in his full communion with 
God, and in his exact and perfect conformity to God, and in his ever- 
lasting fruition and enjoyment of God. Now the more of these things 
any Christian enjoys in this world, the more of heaven he enjoys on 
this side heaven, the more happiness he has on this side happiness ; 
and therefore I would willingly know how it is possible for any out- 
ward troubles or trials to make a breach upon a Christian's happiness. 
Doubtless Job was as happy when he sat upon the dunghill, Job ii., 
without a rag on his back or a penny in his purse, as he was when he 
sat chief, and dwelt as a king in the army, chap. xxix. 25. If God 
be the most perfect being, then to enjoy him and resemble him is our 
greatest perfection. If God be the best of beings, then our com- 
munion with him and fruition of him must be our greatest glory and 
highest felicity, omne honum in summo bono. Let what will befall 
our outward man, as long as our union and communion with God 
holds good, as long as our precious and immortal souls are in a safe 
and flourishing condition, as long as the springs of grace, of holiness, 
of comfort, of assurance rises in our souls, we are happy, and no out- 



IsA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE late fiery dispensation. 177 

ward miseries can make us miserable. There is, saith one, [Augustine,] 
bona ilironi, and there is hoTia scabelli, There is goods of the throne, as 
God, Christ, the Spirit, grace, the favour of God, pardon of sin, peace 
of conscience, &c. ; and there is goods of the footstool, as food, raiment, 
house, honours, riches, trade, credit, and all bodily conveniences and 
accommodations. Now it was not in the power of the flames to burn 
up the goods of the throne ; they still remain safe and secure to you. 
All that the flames could reach to, was only the goods of the foot- 
stool, the lumber of this world. And therefore what cause have you 
to bear up cheerfully, quietly, sweetly, and contentedly under all your 
crosses and losses, trials and troubles ! ' They which adorn them- 
selves with gold,' saith one, [Clemens Alexandrinus,] ' and think 
themselves bettered thereby, are worse than gold, and no lords of it, 
as all should be.' ' He is poor,' saith another, [Gregory the Great,] 
' whose soul is void of grace, not whose coffers are empty of money.' 
By these short hints, you may clearly see that the people of God are 
never the worse for all their losses. They are as happy now they are 
houseless, moneyless, breadless, friendless, tradeless, as ever they were 
when they were most surrounded with all the comforts of this life. 
Woe, woe would be to the people of God, if their happiness should 
hang upon the comforts of this world, which like a ball are tossed from 
man to man. A ball of fire, a storm at sea, a false oath, a subtle 
enemy, a treacherous friend may easily deprive a man of all his 
earthly blessings at a clap. Now who so miserable as that man whose 
blessedness lies in earthly blessings ? But, 

(5.) The fifth support to bear up the hearts of the people of God 
under the late fiery dispensation, is this — viz.. That the Lord will cer- 
tainly, one way or another, make up all their losses to them. Some- 
times God makes up his people's outward losses by giving them more 
of himself, more of his Son, more of his Spirit, more of his favour, 
more of his grace, as he did by the disciples of Christ, John xvi. 
When God takes away your carnals and gives you more spirituals, 
your temporals, and gives you more eternals, your outward losses are 
made up to you. Now this was the very case of those believing 
Hebrews, who were turned out of house and home ; and who were 
driven to live in holes and caves and dens of the earth, and who had 
lost all their goods ; not having a bed to lie on, or a stool to sit on, 
nor a dish to drink in, and who had lost all their apparel, not having 
a rag to hang on their backs, and therefore clothed themselves in 
sheep-skins and goat-skins. ' They took joyfully the spoiling of their 
goods, knowing in themselves that they had in heaven a better and an 
enduring substance/ Heb. x. 34. When under outward losses, God 
shall seal to his people a bill of exchange of better and greater things 
than any they have lost ; their losses then are made up to them.i If 
a man should lose several bags of counters, and have a bill of 
exchange sealed to him for the receiving of so many bags of gold, 
would not his loss be abundantly made up to him ? When God takes 
away our earthly treasures, and seals up in our hearts a bill of exchange, 
to receive all again with interest upon interest in eternal treasures, 

' When God takes away a Christian's estates in this world, Manet altera Coelo, he 
looks for a better in heaven. 

VOL. VJ. M 



178 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLIT. 24, 25. 

then certainly our losses are abundantly made up to us. If men 
should take away your old clothes, and give you new ; your rags, and 
give you robes; your chaff, and give you wheat; your water, and 
give you wine ; your tin, and give you silver ; your brass, and give 
you gold ; your pebbles, and give you pearls ; your cottages, and give 
you royal palaces, certainly you would have no cause to complain, 
you would have no cause to cry out. Undone ! undone ! If God takes 
away your houses, your goods, your trades, your honours, and gives 
you more of himself, and more grace, and more assurance of glory, he 
does you no injury. It is an excellent change, to get eternals for 
temporals. If God takes away your earthly riches, and makes you 
more rich in grace, in spiritual comforts, in holy experiences, in divine 
employments, then you are no losers, but great gainers. What are 
all the necessary comforts of this life to union and communion with 
God, to interest in Christ, to pardon of sin, to peace of conscience, and 
to that loving-kindness that is better than life, or better, Chaiim, 
than lives, as the Hebrew runs ? Ps. Ixiii. 3. If you put many lives 
together, there is more excellency and glory in the least discovery of 
divine love than in them all. Many a man has been weary of his 
life, but never was any man yet weary of the love and favour of God. 
The least drop of grace, the least smile from heaven, the least cast of 
Christ's countenance, the least kiss of his mouth, the least embrace of 
his arm, the least hint of his favour, is more worth than ten thousand 
worlds. Cant. ii. 3-7. That Christian cannot be poor that is rich in 
grace ; nor that Christian cannot be miserable that has God for his 
portion. That Christian cannot be unhappy who hath a mansion pre- 
pared for him in heaven, though he hath not a cottage to hide his 
head in, in this world ; nor that Christian has no cause to complain of 
want of food for his body whose soul is feasted with manna, with the 
dainties of heaven, with those rarities that are better than angels' food.^ 
He that hath but rags to cover his nakedness, if his soul be clothed 
with the garments of salvation, and covered with the robe of Christ's 
righteousness, he has no reason to complain, Isa. Ixi. 10. When 
Stilpo the philosopher had his wife, and children, and country all 
burnt up before him, and was asked by Demetrius what loss he had 
sustained, answered, ' That he had lost nothing ; for he counted that 
only his own which none could take from him — to wit, his virtues. 
Shall blind nature do more than grace ? Shall the heathen put the 
Christian to a blush ? 

Again, sometimes God makes up his people's outward losses, by 
giving in greater outward mercies than those were that he took from 
them ; as you may see by comparing the first chapter of Job and the 
last chapter of Job together : Job had all doubled to him. I have 
read of Dionysius, [Plutarch,] how he took away from one of his 
nobles almost his whole estate, and seeing him as cheerful and con- 
tented as ever, he gave him all that he had taken from him again, 
and as much more. God many times takes away a little, that he may 
give more ; and sometimes he takes away all, to shew his sovereignty, 
and then he gives them all back again with interest upon interest, to 

^ Rev. ii. 8, 9; Lam. iii. 24 ; John xiv. 1-4 ; Heb. xi. 37, 38; Rev. ii. 17 ; John iv. 
30. 31. 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.1 THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 179 



shew his great liberality and noble bounty. That is a lovely loss, that 
is made up with so great gain. 

Quest. But, sir, how shall we know, or probably conjecture, whether 
in this world God will make up our worldly losses to us or not ? If 
you please to speak a little to this question, it may be many ways of 
use unto us. 

Now that I may give you a little light to the question, give me 
leave to put a few questions to such who have been suiFerers by the 
late fiery dispensation : — 

[1.] First, Did you make conscience of improving your estates to 
the glory of God, and the good o/oihe7^s, when you did enjoy them; or 
did you only tnake them subservient to your lusts ? If you have laid 
out your estates for God, and for his children's good, it is ten to one 
but that the Lord, even in this world, will make up your losses to 
you, Deut. xxxii. 15, 16; Hosea iv. 7; James iv. 3. But if you mis- 
improved your estates, and turned your mercies into encouragements 
to sin, then you have more cause to fear that the Lord may further 
blast you, than you have to hope that God will make up your losses 
to you. But, 

[2.] Secondly, Did you daily and seriously labour to enjoy much of 
God in all those ivorldly enjoyments lohich formerly you luere blest 
loithal? If so, it is very probable that the Lord may make up all 
your losses to you ; but if you made a god of your worldly enjoyments — 
if they had more of your thoughts, and hearts, and time, than God 
himself had, then you have more cause to fear a further curse, than 
to expect a future blessing, Prov. iii. 33 ; Mai. ii. 2. But, 

[3.] Thirdly, Did your hearts commonly, ordinarily, habitually lie 
loiu under your worldly enjoyments ? Abraham, under all his worldly 
enjoyments, was but ' dust and ashes ; ' and Jacob under his was ' less 
than the least of all mercies,' Gen. xviii. 27, and xxxii. 10 ; and so 
David, under all God's royal favours, his heart lies low : Ps. xxii. 6, 
' But I am a worm, and no man.' David in the Arabic tongue signifies 
a worm, to which he seems to allude. The word in the Hebrew for 
worm is tolagnath, which signifies such a very little woftn that a mali- 
can very hardly see it or perceive it. Though David was high in the 
world, yet he was little, yea, very little, in his own eyes. Was it com- 
monly, mostly thus with you when your comforts compassed you 
round about ? If so, then it is very probable that the Lord in this 
world will make up all your losses to you. But if your blood did 
commonly rise with your outward goods, and if your hearts did 
usually so swell under your worldly enjoyments as to say with Pharaoh, 
* Who is the Lord that I should obey his voice ? ' Exod. v. 2 ; or to 
say with Nebuchadnezzar, ' Who is that God that can deliver you out 
of my hands ? ' Dan. iii. 15 ; or to say with those proud atheists, ' Who 
is Lord over us?' Ps. xii. 4 ; or to say with those proud monsters, ' We 
are lords, we will come no more unto thee,' &c., Jer. ii. 31, then you have 
great cause to fear that God that hath yet some further controversy 
with you, and, ' except you repent,' will rather strip you of what you 
enjoy, than multiply further favours or blessings upon you. But, 

[4.] Fourthly, Since God has burnt up your luorldly goods, have 
you been fervent and freguent ivith God that he tvould burn up those 



180 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

Imfs that have burnt up ijour comforts before your eyes f Have you 
pleaded hard with God that a sphit of burning might rest upon you, 
even that spirit of burning which alone can burn up your sins, your 
dross ? Isa. ix. 2, and iv. 4. Since London hath been laid in ashes, 
have you made it your great business to treat and trade with God 
about the destruction of those sins that have laid all desolate ? If so, 
then you have cause to hope that God will turn your captivity, and 
make up all your losses to you. Job xlii. 10. But, 

[5.] Fifthly, Since God has turned you out of all ^ are you turned 
nearer and closer to himself? Though you have been prodigals, yet 
have you in the light of London's flames seen and found your way to 
your Father's house? Luke xv. Then God will make up all your 
losses to you. When judgments are so sanctified as to bring a people 
nearer to himself, then God will drop down mercies upon them, Hosea 
ii. 18, 20. But, 

[6.] Sixthly, Has the fire of London been as a pillar of fire to lead 
you Canaan-ivards, heaven-ivards f Exod. xiii. 21, 22. Has God, by 
burning up the good things of this world, caused you to set your 
hearts and affections more than ever upon the great things of another 
world ? If so. then it is a hundred to ten but that the Lord will 
make up all your losses to you. But, 

[7.] Seventhly, Are your hearts^ under this fiery dispensation, 
brought into such a quiet submission to the good will and pleasure of 
God, as that you can now he contented to be at God's finding, at Gods 
alloivance f Phil. iv. 12-14. Can you now be contented to be rich or 
poor, to have much or little, to be high or low, to be something or 
nothing, to have all again or to have nothing but necessaries again ? 
Are you now willing that God shall choose for you ? Can you sit 
down satisfied with God's allowance, though it be far short of what 
once you had ? Content is ' the deputy of outward felicity, and sup- 
plies the place where it is absent. A contented frame of heart, as to 
all outward occurrences, is like ballast to a ship, which will help it to 
sail boldly and safely in all waters. When a man's mind is conform- 
able to his means, all is well. One [Augustine upon Ps. xii.] brings 
in God rebuking a discontented Christian thus : ' What is thy faith ? 
Have I promised thee these things ? What ! wert thou made a Chris- 
tian that thou shouldst flourish here in this world ? ' It is an excel- 
lent expression that Bellarmine hath in his Catechism : ' Suppose,' 
saith he, ' a king, having many children of several ages, should apparel 
them in cloth of gold : now he that is sixteen years old hath more 
gold in his robe than the child that is but five or six years old, yet the 
child would rather have his own garment than his elder brother's, be- 
cause it is fitter for him.' Surely the fittest estate is the best estate 
for us. Look, as a great shoe fits not a little foot, nor a great sail a 
little ship, nor a great ring a little finger, so a great estate is not 
always the fittest for us. He that hath most, wants something ; and 
he that hath least, wants nothing, if he wants not a contented spirit. 
sirs ! let not heathens put you to a blush. 

* He that can be content to be at God's finding, as a guest at a 
table, that takes what is carved for him, and no more, he needs not 
fawn upon any man, much less violate his conscience for the great 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 181 

tilings of the world.' l When a man's heart is brought down to his 
condition, he is then temptation-proof. When one told the philosopher, 
that if he would but please Dionysius, he need not feed upon green 
herbs ; the philosopher replied, ' If thou wert but content to feed upon 
herbs, thou needest not flatter Dionysius.' A man that can be con- 
tented with a little, will keep his ground in an hour of temptation. 

Diogenes the cynic, housed in his tub, and making even with his 
victuals and the day together, being invited to a great feast, could 
say, ' I had rather lick salt at Athens, than feast with Craterus.' 
Diogenes had more content with his tub to shelter him from the in- 
juries of the weather, and with his wooden dish to eat and drink in, 
than Alexander had with the conquest of half the world, and the 
fruition of all the honours, pomps, treasures, and pleasures of Asia. 

' The way to true riches,' saith Plato, ' is not to increase our heaps, 
but to diminish the covetousness of our hearts.' 

And saith Seneca, Cui cum paupertate bene convenit, pauper non est, 
A contented man cannot be a poor man. 

I have read of another philosopher, who seeing a prince going by, 
with the greatest pomp and state imaginable, he said to some about 
him, ' See how many things I have no need of.' 

And saith another, ' It were well for the world if there were no 
gold in it.' But since it is the fountain whence all things flow, it is 
to be desired, but only as a pass, to travel to our journey's end without 
begging. 

When Croesus, king of Lydia, asked Solon, one of the seven wise 
men of Greece, who in the whole world was more happy than .he ? 
Solon answered, ' Tellus, who though he was a poor man, yet he was 
a good man, and content with that which he had.' 

So Cato could say, as Aulus Gellius reports of him, ' I have neither 
house, nor plate, nor garments of price, in my hands ; what I have, I 
can use : if not, I can want it. Some blame me because I want many 
things; and I blame them because they cannot want.' Now shall 
nature do more than grace ? Shall the poor blinded heathen outstrip 
the knowing Christian ? sirs, he that can lose his will in the will 
of God, as to the things of this world ; he that is willing to be at 
God's allowance ; he that has had much, but can now be satisfied 
with a little ; he that can be contented to be at God's finding — he is 
of all men the most likely man to have all his losses made up to him. 
But, 

[8.] Eighthly and lastly, Are your hearts more drawn out to have this 
fiery dispensation sanctified to you, than to have your losses made up 
to you ? Do you strive more with God to get good by this dreadful 
judgment, than to recover your lost goods, and your lost estates ? Is 
this the daily language of your souls. Lord, let this fiery calamity be 
so sanctified as that it may eminently issue in the mortifying of our 
sins, in the increase of our graces, in the mending of our hearts, in 
the reforming of our lives, and in the weaning of our souls from every- 
thing below thee ; and in the fixing of them upon the great things of 
eternity ! If it be thus with you, it is ten to one but God even in 
this world will make up your losses to you. But, 

' Epictetus Encliirid., cap. 21, 



182 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

(6.) The sixth support to bear up the hearts of the people of God 
under the late fiery dispensation, is this— viz., That hy fiery dispensa- 
tions, the Lord ivill make ivay for the new heavens and the new earth : 
he will make way for the glorious deliverance of his people, Isa. ix. 5, 
6; Ps. Ixvi. 12. Isa. Ixvi. 15, 16, 22, 'For, behold, the Lord will 
come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his 
anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. For ' by fire and 
by his sword,' or by his sword of fire, ' will the Lord plead with all 
flesh: and the slain of the Lord shall be many. For as the new 
heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain be- 
fore me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain.' 
The great and the glorious things that God will do for his people 
in the last days are set forth by new heavens and new earth ; and 
these God will bring in by fiery dispensations.! The glorious estate 
of the universal church of Jews and Gentiles on earth is no lower 
an estate than that of a new heaven and a new earth. Now 
this blessed church -state is ushered into the world by fiery judg- 
ments. By fiery dispensations God will put an end to the glory of 
this old world, and bring in the new. Look, as God by a watery 
deluge made way for one new world, so by a fiery deluge, in the 
last of the last days, he will make way for another new world, 
wherein ' shall dwell righteousness,' as Peter speaks, 2 Pet. iii. 10-13. 
All men in common speech call a new great change a new world. 2 
By fiery dispensations God will bring great changes upon the world, 
and make way for his Son's reign in a more glorious manner than 
ever he has yet reigned in the world, Kev. xviii., xix., xx., and xxi. 
The sum of that I have, in short, to ofier to your consideration out 
of these chapters is this: — 'Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen. 
How much she hath glorified herself, so much sorrow and torment 
shall be given her. Her plagues come in one day, death and 
mourning and famine, and she shall be utterly burnt with fire. Ee- 
joice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for 
God hath avenged you on her. And after these things, I heard a 
great voice of much people, &c., saying Alleluiah ; Salvation, and 
glory, and honour, and power unto the Tlord our God : for true and 
righteous are thy judgments ; for he hath judged the great whore 
that hath corrupted the earth, and hath avenged the blood of his 
saints. And again they said, Alleluiah. And the four and twenty 
elders said Amen ; Alleluiah. And I heard as it were the voice of a 
great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of 
mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluiah : for the Lord God omnipotent 
reigneth. And the beast and the false prophet were cast into the 
lake of fire. And the rest were slain with the sword. But the saints 
reigned with Christ a thousand years in the new heavens and new 
earth, to whom the kings of the earth and nations of the world bring 
their honour.' God, by his fiery dispensation upon Babylon, makes 
way for Christ's reign, and the saints' reign in the new heavens and 
new earth. But, 

1 Tsa. Ixv. 17 ; Joel ii. 1-5, 30-32; Zeph. iii. 8, 9. 

' Gen. ix. See our new * Annotationists ' [as before] on Isa. Ixv. and xvii. ; on chap. 
Ixvi. 15, 16, 22, and on Rev. xxi. 1. 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIEEY DISPENSATION. 183 

(7.) The seventh support to bear up the hearts of the people of 
God under the late fiery dispensation, is this — viz.. That hy fiery dis- 
pensations God will bring about the ruin and destruction of his and his 
peoples enemies, Ps. 1. 3. Ps. xcvii. 3, ' A fire goeth before him, and 
burneth up his enemies round about.' Hab. iii. 5, ' Before him went 
the pestilence, and burning coals went forth at his feet.' Ver. 7, ' I 
saw the tents of Cushan in afiliction ; and the curtains of the land of 
Midian did tremble.' Ver. 12, ' Thou didst march through the land 
in indignation, thou didst thresh the heathen in anger.' Ver. 13, 
' Thou wentest forth for the salvation of thy people, even for salvation 
with thine anointed ; thou woundedst the head out of the house of 
the wicked, by discovering the foundation even to the neck. Selah.' 
Jer. 1. 31, 32, ' Behold, I am against thee, thou most proud, saith 
the Lord God of hosts : for thy day is come, the time that I will visit 
thee. And the most proud shall stumble and fall, and none shall 
raise him up : and I wiU kindle a fire in his cities, and it shall 
devour all round about him.' There is nothing more fearful or for- 
midable, either to man or beast, than fire: and therefore by fiery 
dispensations God will take vengeance on the wicked. This will be 
the more evident, if you please but to consider to what the wicked are 
compared in Scripture. 

[1.] First, They are compared to stubble a7id chaff, which the fire 
doth easily consume : Isa. v. 24, ' Therefore as the fire devoureth the 
stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as 
rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust.' Nahum i. 10, 
' For while they be folden together as thorns, and while they are 
drunken as drunkards, they shall be devoured as stubble fully dry.' 
Mark that word ' fully dry,' and so as it were prepared and fitted for 
the flame. 

[2.] Secondly, The wicked are compared to thorns: and how easily 
doth the flaming fire consume them ! Isa. xxvii. 4, ' Fury is not in 
me : who would set the briers and thorns against me in battle ? I 
would go through them, I would burn them together.' Chap, xxxiii. 
12, 'And the people shall be as the burnings of lime: as thorns cut 
up shall they be burnt in the fire.' Mark, it is not said as thorns 
standing and rooted in the earth, and growing with their moisture 
about them ; but as thorns cut up, as dead and dry thorns, which are 
easily kindled and consumed, &c. 

[3.] Thirdly, The wicked are compared to the melting of wax before 
the fire, and to the parsing aiuay of smoke before the wind, Micah i. 4 ; 
Ps. viii. 2. 

[4.] Fourthly and lastly, The sudden and certain ruin of the wicked 
is set forth by the melting of the fat of lambs before the fire : Ps. xxxvii. 
20, ' But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the Lord shall 
be as the fat of lambs,' (which of all fat is the most easiest melted 
before the fire :) ' they shall consume ; into smoke shall they consume 
away.' The fat of lambs in the sacrifices was wholly to be burnt and 
consumed. Lev. iii. 15-17. Thus you see, by the several things to 
which wicked men are compared, that God by fiery calamities will 
bring ruin and destruction upon his and his people's enemies. Such 
as have burnt the people of God out of house and home, may in this 



184 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

world have burning for burning. God loves to retaliate upon liis 
people's enemies, Judges i. 6, 7. Such as have clapped their hands at 
the sight of London's flames, may one day lay their hands upon their 
loins, when they shall find divine justice appearing in flames of fire 
against them. But, 

(8.) The eighth support to bear up the hearts of the people of God 
under the late fiery^dispensation, is this — viz.. That all shall end ivell, 
all shall ivorkfor good.^ God, by this fiery dispensation, will do his 
people a great deal of good. God cast Judali into an iron furnace, 
into a fiery furnace, but it was for their good. Jer. xxiv. 5, ' Like 
these good figs, so will I acknowledge them that are carried away 
captive of Judah, whom I have sent out of this place into the land of 
the Chaldeans for their good.' Ps. cxix. 71, 'It is good for me that 
I have been afilicted.' Though afflictions are naturally evil, yet they 
are morally good ; for by the wise, sanctifying, overruling providence 
of God, they shall either cure the saints of their spiritual evils, or pre- 
serve them from spiritual evils. Though the elements are of contrary 
qualities, yet divine power and wisdom hath so tempered them, that 
they all work in a harmonious manner for the good of the universe. 
So, though sore afflictions, though fiery trials seem to work quite cross 
and contrary to the saints' prayers and desires, yet they shall be so 
ordered and tempered by a skilful and omnipotent hand, as that they 
shall all issue in the saints' good. At the long run, by all sorts of 
fiery trials, the saints shall have their sins more weakened, their graces 
more improved, and their experiences more multiplied, their evidences 
for heaven more cleared, their communion with God more raised, and 
their hearts and lives more amended. God, by fiery trials, will keep 
off from his people more trials. God loves by the cross to secure his 
people from the curse ; and certainly it is no bad exchange, to have a 
cross instead of a curse. God led the Israelites about and about in 
the wilderness forty years together, but it was to humble them, and 
prove them, and do them good in their latter end, Deut. viii. 2, 16. 
God led them through fire and water, Ps. Ixvi. 12 ; that is, through 
variety of sore and sharp afflictions, but all was in order to his bring- 
ing them forth into a wealthy place. God stripped Job to his shift, 
but it was in order to his clothing of him in scarlet : he brought him 
low, but it was in order to his raising him higher than ever : he set 
him upon a dunghill, that he might the better fit him to sit upon a 
throne.^ ' Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Ben- 
jamin away: all these things are against me,' saith old Jacob, Gen. 
xlii. 36 ; but yet as old as he was, he lived to see all working for his 
good, before he went to his long home. Under all fiery dispensations, 
God will make good that golden promise, Kom. viii. 28, ' And we 
know that all things work together for good to them that love God.' 
Mark, the apostle doth not say, we suppose, or we hope, or we con- 
jecture, but we know, I know, and you know, and all the saints know 
by daily experience, that all their sufferings and afflictions work to- 
gether for their good: the apostle doth not say defuturo, they shall 

^ Consult these scriptures, Isa. i. 25, and xxvii. 8-11; Zech. xiii. 9; Heb. xii. 10; 
Iloseaii. 6; Acts xiv. 22; John xvi. 33; Jer. xxix. 11. 
- Compare the first and last chapter of Job together. 



IsA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 185 

work, but deprcesenti, they do work. All second causes work together 
with the first cause for their good who love God, and who are called 
according to his purpose. The Greek word avvepyel, ' work together,' 
is a physical expression. Look, as several poisonful ingredients put 
together, being well tempered and mixed by the skill and care of the 
prudent apothecary, makes a sovereign medicine, and work together 
for the good of the patient ; so all the afEictions and sufi'erings that 
befall the saints, they shall be so wisely, so divinely tempered, ordered, 
and sanctified by a hand of heaven, as that they shall really and 
signally work for their good. Those dreadful providences which seem 
to be most prejudicial to us, shall in the issue prove most beneficial 
to us. Gen. 1. 20. Look, as vessels of gold are made by fire, so by 
fiery dispensations God will make his people vessels of gold, vessels 
of honour, 2 Tim. ii. 20, 21. Commonly the most afflicted Christians 
are the most golden Christians: Zech. xiii. 9, 'And 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 : they shall call on my name, and I will 
hear them : I will say. It is my people ; and they shall say. The Lord 
is my God.' The fire of London was rather physic than poison. 
There was more of a paternal chastisement, than there was of an 
extirpating vengeance in it ; and therefore certainly it shall work well, 
it shall issue well. 

(9.) The ninth support to bear up the hearts of the people of God 
under the late fiery dispensation, is this — viz.. That there ivas a great 
mixture of mercy in that dreadful judgment of fire that has turned 
London into a ruinous heap. At the final destruction of Jerusalem 
there was not one stone left upon another, Luke xix. 41, 45. This 
might have been thy case, London, had not mercy triumphed over 
justice, and over all the plots and designs of men. Though many 
thousand houses are destroyed, yet to the praise of free grace, many 
thousand houses in the city and suburbs have been preserved from the 
rage and violence of the fiames. What a mercy was that, that Zoar 
should be standing, when Sodom was laid in ashes ! Gen. xix. And 
what a mercy was this, that your houses should be standing, when so 
many thousand houses have been laid desolate ! Is more than a third 
part of the city destroyed by fire ? Why, the whole city might have 
been destroyed by fire, and all the suburbs round about it. But in 
the midst of wrath, God has remembered mercy, Ps. cxxxvi. 23 : in 
the midst of great severity, God has exercised great clemency. Had 
the fire come on with that rage, fury, and triumph, as to have laid 
both city and suburbs level, we must have said with the church, ' The 
Lord is righteous,' Lam. i. 18. Had the three children their songs in 
the midst of the fiery furnace ; and why should not they have their 
songs of praise, whose houses, by a miraculous providence, were pre- 
served in the midst of London's flames ? sirs, what a mixture of 
mercy was there in this fiery calamity, that all your lives should be 
spared, and that many of your houses should be preserved, and that 
much of your goods, your wares, your commodities, should be snatched 
as so many firebrands out of the fire ! If ever there were an obliga- 
tion put upon a people to cry, Grace, grace, grace ! the Lord has jiut 
one upon you, who have been sharers in that mixture of mercy that 



186 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

God has extended to the many thousand sufferers by London's flames. 
Had this judgment of fire been inflicted when the raging pestilence 
swept away some thousands every week, and when the city was even 
left naked as to her inhabitants, and when the whole nation was under 
a dreadful fear, trembling, and dismayedness of spirit, Josh. ii. 9-11, 
might there not have been far greater desolations, both of houses, 
goods, and lives, in the midst of us ? Had God contended with Lon- 
don by pestilence and fire at once, who would have lodged your per- 
sons in their beds, or your goods in their barns ? Had these two 
dreadful judgments met, Londoners would have met with but few 
friends in the world. Well, when I look upon London's sins and de- 
serts on the one hand, and upon the principles, old hatred, plots, de- 
signs, rage, and wrath of some malicious persons, on the other hand, 
Ezek. XXV. 15, instead of wondering that so much of the city and 
suburbs is destroyed, I rather wonder that any one house in the city 
or suburbs is preserved, i Whilst London was in flames, and all men 
under a high distraction, and all things in a sad confusion, a secret, 
subtle, designing, powerful enemy might have risen up in the midst 
of you, that might have spoiled your goods, ravished your wives, de- 
flowered your daughters, and after all this have sheathed their swords 
in all your bowels : and in that it fell not out thus, what cause have 
Londoners to bow for ever before preventing and restraining grace ! 
Since the creation of the world, God has never been so severe in the 
execution of his most dreadful judgments as not to remember mercy 
in the midst of wrath. When he drowned the old world, who before 
were drowned in lusts and pleasures, he extended mercy to Noah and 
his family. When he rained hell out of heaven upon Sodom and 
Gomorrah, turning those rich and pleasant cities into ruinous heaps, 
he gave Lot and his daughters their lives for a prey. And when by 
fire and sword he had made Jerusalem a dreadful spectacle of his 
wrath and vengeance, yet then a remnant did escape, Isa. vi. 11-13 ; 
Jer. V. 10, 18. This truth we citizens have experienced, or else we 
and our all before this day had been destroyed. Every citizen should 
have this motto written in characters of gold on his forehead, ' It is of 
the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed,' Lam. iii. 22. God 
might have made London like Sodom and Gomorrah ; but in the day 
of his anger some beams of his favour darted forth upon your London. 
By which means the hopes of some are so far revived as to expect that 
London yet may be rebuilt and blessed. That is a dreadful word, 
' When he begins he will make an end ; and the fire of his wrath shall 
burn, and none shall quench it,' 1 Sam. iii. 12 ; Jer. iv. 4, and xxi. 12. 
These eradicating judgments had certainly fallen upon London, had 
not the Lord in the midst of his fury remembered mercy. ' If the 
Lord had not been on our side/ Ps. cxxiv. 1-3, may London now say, 
' if the Lord had not been on our side when the fire rose up against us, 
then the fire had swallowed us up quick, when its rage was kindled 
against us.' Doubtless God never mingled a cup of wrath with more 
mercy than this. 

^ Tacitus, writing of Rome, saith, Sequitur eludes, omnibus quce urhi per violentiam 
ignium acciderant gravior atgue atrocior. — Annal., lib. xv. p. 791. It was rich mercy 
that it was not so with London. 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 187 

Though the fire of London was a very great and dreadful fire, yet 
it was not so great nor so dreadful a fire as that of Sodom and 
Gomorrah was : for that fire of Sodom and Gomorrah, 

[1.] First, It tvas a miraculous Jire — a fire that was, besides, beyond 
and against the course of nature. i Gen. xix. 24, ' Then the Lord 
rained upon Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord 
out of heaven.' Fire mingled with brimstone hath been found, (1.) 
Most obnoxious to the eyes; (2.) Most loathsome to the smell; and (3.) 
Most fierce in burning. He hit the mark who, speaking of fire and 
brimstone, said, Facillime incenditm^ pertinacissime fervet^ et diffi- 
cillime extingiiitur , It is easily kindled, violently swelled, and hardly 
extinguished. Brimstone and all that vast quantity of sulphureous 
fiery matter, by which those rich and populous cities were turned into 
ruinous heaps, were never produced by natural causes, nor after a 
natural manner, no culinary fire being so speedy in its consumptions, 
but immediately by God's own miraculous power and almighty arm. 
But the fire that has laid London in ashes was no such miraculous or 
extraordinary fire, but such a fire which divine providence permitted 
and suffered to be kindled and carried on, by such means, instruments, 
and concurring circumstances as hath buried our glory under heaps 
of ashes. But, 

[2.] Secondly, The fire that fell upon Sodom and Gomorrah con- 
sumed not only the greater part of those cities, hut the whole cities : 
yea, and not only Sodom and Gomorrah, but all the cities of the 
plain, except Zoar, which was to be a sanctuary to Lot. But the fire 
of London has not destroyed the whole city of London; many hundred 
— may I not say thousands ? — houses are yet standing, as monuments 
of divine power, wisdom, and goodness : and the greatest part of the 
suburbs are yet preserved ; and all the rest of the cities of England 
are yet compassed about with loving-kindness and mercy ; and I hope 
will be reserved, by a gracious providence, as shelters, as sanctuaries, 
and as hiding-places to poor England's distressed inhabitants. But, 

[3.] Thirdly, The fire that fell upon Sodom and Gomorrah did con- 
sume not otAj places hut persons, not only houses hut inhabitants. But 
in the midst of London's flames, God was a wall of fire about the citi- 
zens, Zech. ii. 5 ; in that day of his fiery indignation, he was very 
tender of the lives of his people. Though the lumber was burnt, yet 
God took care of his treasure, of his jewels — to wit, the lives of his 
people. But having spoken before more largely of this particular, let 
this touch now suffice. 

[4.] Fourthly, Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by fire sud- 
denly and unexpectedly — they ivere destroyed by fire in a moment : 
Lam. iv. 6, ' For the punishment of the iniquity of the daughter of 
my people is greater than the punishment of the sin of Sodom, that 
was overthrown as in a moment, and no hands stayed on her.' 2 Sodom 
and Gomorrah sustained no long siege from foreign forces, neither 
were they kept long in sorrows and sufferings, in pains and misery, 

^ They sinned against the light and course of nature ; and therefore they were 
destroyed against the course of nature by fire from heaven. 

2 The judgments of God upon the Jews were so great, that they exceeded all credit 
amoncrst their neighbour nations. 



188 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

but they were quickly and suddenly and instantly despatched out of 
this world into another world. Men had no hand in the destroying 
of Sodom ; no mortal instrument did co-operate in that work. God 
by his own immediate power overthrew them in a moment. Sodom 
was very strangely, suddenly, and unexpectedly turned upside down, 
as in a moment, by God's own hand, without the help of armed sol- 
diers : whereas the Chaldeans' armies continued for a long time in the 
land of Judah, and in Jerusalem, vexing and plaguing the poor people 
of God. Now in this respect, the punishment of the Jews was a 
greater punishment than the punishment of Sodom, that was over- 
thrown as in a moment. But that fire that has turned London into a 
heap of ashes, was such a fire that was carried on gradually, and that 
lasted four days, God giving the citizens time to mourn over their 
sins, to repent, to lay hold on everlasting strength, and to make peace 
with God. But, 

[5.] Fifthly and lastly, Sodom's and Gomorrah's judgment is termed 
eternal Jire, Jude 7, which expression, as it refers to the places 
themselves, do import that they were irrecoverably destroyed by fire ; 
so as that they shall lie eternally waste. Those monstrous sinners of 
Sodom had turned the glory of God into shame, and therefore God 
will turn them both into a hell here, and a hell hereafter. God will 
punish unusual sinners with unusual judgments. The punishment by 
this fire is lasting, yea, everlasting: it is a standing monument of 
God's high displeasure, Deut. xxix. 23. We never read that ever 
God repented himself of the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah. 
Those cities are under a perpetual destruction, and so shall continue 
to the end of the world, if we will give credit to authors of great credit 
and reputation. 1 Itnvell becomes the wisest and best of Christians 
seriously to consider how God setteth forth the destruction of his 
church's enemies: Isa. xxxiv. 8-11, ' For it is the day of the Lord's 
vengeance, and the year of recompenses for the controversy of Zion. 
And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust 
thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning 
pitch. It shall not be quenched night nor day ; the smoke thereof 
shall go up for ever : from generation to generation it shall lie waste ; 
none shall pass through it for ever and ever. But the cormorant and 
the bittern shall possess it ; the owl also and the raven shall dwell in 
it: and he shall stretch out upon it the line of confusion, and the 
stones of emptiness.' In these words you have a rhetorical description 
of that extreme devastation that God will bring upon the enemies of 
the church, in way of allusion to the destruction of Sodom and 
Gomorrah. But I hope London's doom is not such ; for God has 
given to thousands of her inhabitants a spirit of grace and supplica- 
tion, Zech. xii. 10; which is a clear evidence that at the long run they 
shall certainly carry the day with God. I have faith enough to believe 
that God will give London's mourners ' beauty for ashes, the oil of joy 
for mourning, and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness,' 
Isa. Ixi. 3. And that London may yet be called ' a city of righteous- 
ness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.' I hope that 
God will one day say to London, ' Arise, shine ; for thy light is come, 

^ Strabo, Solinus, Tacitus, Plinius, Josephus, &c. 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATIOX. 189 

and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. The Lord shall arise 
upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee,' Isa. Ix. 1,2. By 
what has been said, it is evident enough that there has been a great 
mixture of mercy in that fiery dispensation that has passed upon Lon- 
don. And therefore why should not this consideration bear up the 
hearts of the people of God from fainting and sinking under their 
present calamity and misery ? But, 

(10.) The tenth support to bear up the hearts of the people of God 
under the late fiery dispensation, is this — viz., That there are worse 
Judgments than the judgment of fire ivhich God might, but has not, 
inflicted upon you. Let me evidence the truth of this in these five 
particulars : — 

[1.] First, The bloody sword is a more dreadful Judgment than 
that of fire. Fire may consume a man's house and his estate, but the 
sword cuts off a man's life. Now at what a poor rate do men value 
the whole world, when it stands in competition with their lives. He 
very well knew that man was a very great life-lover, who said, * Skin 
for skin,' or skin upon skin, ' and all that a man hath will he give for 
his life,' Job ii. 4. God might have brought upon England, ay, and 
upon London too, the sword of a foreign enemy, as he did upon 
Jerusalem and the land of Judea. In that one only city of Jerusalem, 
during the time of the siege by Vespasian's armies, which were made 
up of Romans, Syrians, and Arabians, there died and were killed 
a thousand thousand.^ At this time there were slain in all Judea in 
several places to the number of twelve hundred and forty thousand 
Jews. The whole city of Jerusalem flowed with blood, insomuch that 
many parts of the city that were set on fire were quenched by the 
blood of them that were slain. In seventeen years' time the Car- 
thaginian war only in Italy, Spain, and Sicily, consumed and wasted 
fifteen hundred thousand men. The civil wars between Pompey and 
Caesar swallowed down three hundred thousand men. Caius Caesar 
did confess it, and gloried in it, that eleven hundred ninety and two 
thousand men were killed by him in wars. Pompey the Great writ 
upon Minerva's temple that he had scattered, chased, and killed 
twenty hundred eighty and three thousand men. Q. Fabius killed 
a hundred and ten thousand of the Gauls. C. Marius put to the 
sword two hundred thousand of the Cimbrians. -^tius, in that 
memorable battle of Catalonia, 2 slew a hundred sixty and two thou- 
sand Huns. Who can number up the many thousands that have 
fallen by the bloody sword in Europe, from the year 1620 to this 
year 1667 ? Ah London ! London ! thy streets might have flowed 
with the blood of the slain, as once the streets of Jerusalem, Paris, and 
others have done. Whilst the fire was a-devouring thy stately houses 
and palaces, a foreign sword might have been a-destroying thine 
inhabitants. Whilst the furious flames were a-consuming thy goods, 
thy wares, thy substance, thy riches, a close and secret enemy, 
spirited, counselled, and animated from Rome and hell, might have 
risen up in the midst of thee, that might have mingled together the 
blood of husbands and wives, and the blood of parents and children, 

^ Joscphus, de Bello Jud. 

^ Chalons : Greg. Turon. ii. 7 ; Jornandcs de Rebus Get. 36. — G. 



190 LONDON'S LAMENTATIONS ON [ISA. XLII. 24, 25. 

and the blood of masters and servants, and the blood of rich and poor, 
and the blood of the honourable with the blood of the vile. Now had 
this been thy doom, London ! which many feared, and others 
expected, what a dreadful day would that have been ! It is better to 
see our houses on fire than to see our streets running down with the 
blood of the slain. But, _ 

[2.] Secondly, God might have inflicted the Judgment of famine 
upon London, which is a more dreadful judgment than that of fire.^ 
How sad would that day have been, London ! if thou hadst been so 
sorely put to it, as to have taken up that sad lamentation of weeping 
Jeremiah: Lam. ii. 11, 12, 19, 20, iv. 4, 5, 7-10, and v. 4, 6, 9, 10, 
* Mine eyes do fjiil with tears, my bowels are troubled, my liver is 
poured upon the earth, for the destruction of the daughter of my 
people ; because the children and the sucklings swoon in the streets. 
They say to their mothers, Where is corn and wdne ? when they 
swooned as the wounded in the streets of the city, when their soul was 
poured into their mother's bosom. Arise, cry out in the night ; in 
the beginning of the watches pour out thine heart like water before 
the face of the Lord : lift up thy hands towards him for the life of thy 
young children, that faint for hunger in the top of every street. Shall 
the woman eat her fruit, and children of a span long ? The tongue 
of the suckling child cleaveth to the roof of his mouth for thirst : the 
young children ask bread, and no man breaketh it unto them. They 
that did feed delicately are desolate in the streets : they that were 
brought up in scarlet embrace dunghills. Her Nazarites were purer 
than snow, they were whiter than milk, they were more ruddy in the 
body than rubies, their polishing was of sapphire. Their visage is 
blacker than a coal ; they are not known in the streets : their skin 
cleaveth to their bones ; it is withered, it is become like a stick. They 
that be slain with the sword are better than they that be slain with 
hunger ; for these pine away, stricken through for want of the fruits 
of the field. The hands of the pitiful women have sodden their own 
children ; they were their meat in the destruction of the daughter 
of my people. We have drunken our water for money ; our wood is 
sold unto us. We have given the hand to the Egyptians and Assyrians, 
to be satisfied with bread. We gat our bread with the peril of our 
lives, because of the sword of the wilderness. Our skin was black like 
an oven, because of the terrible famine.' So great was the famine in 
Jerusalem,^ that a bushel of wheat was sold for a talent, which is six 
hundred crowns, and the dung and raking of the city sinks w^as held 
good commons ; and such pinching necessities were they under, that 
they acted against all piety, honesty, humanity, &c. Women did eat 
their children of a span long ; yea, the hands of pitiful women did 
boil their own children, and men eat one another ; yea, many did eat 
the flesh of their own arms, according to what the Lord had long 
before threatened : Isa. ix. 19, 20, ' Through the wrath of the Lord of 
hosts is the land darkened, and the people shall be as the fuel of the 
fire : no man shall spare his brother. And he shall snatch on the 
right hand, and be hungry ; and he shall eat on the left hand, and 

^ Gen. xlv. 46 ; Joel i. 2, and ii. 3 ; Jer. xxiv. 10 ; Ezek. vi. 11 ; 2 Sam. xxi. 1. 
' Josephus, lib. vi. cap. 16, de Bello Judaico. 



TsA. XLII. 24, 25.] the late fiery dispensation. 191 

they shall not be satisfied : they shall eat every man the flesh of his 
own arm/ In the reign of William the First i there was so great 
a dearth and famine, especially in Northumberland, that men were 
glad to eat horses, dogs, cats, and rats, and what else is most abhorrent 
to nature. In Honorius's reign there was such a scarcity of all 
manner of provision in Kome, that men were even afraid of one 
another ; and the common voice that was heard in the kirk was 
Po7ie pretium humance carni, Set a price on man's flesh. In Italy, 
when it was wasted by the Goths under Justinian, the famine was so 
great, that in Picene^ only, fifty thousand persons died with hunger, 
and not only man's flesh was made meat of, but the very excrements 
of men also. In the reign of Hubid, king of Spain, there was no rain 
for six and twenty years together, so that the drought was so great that 
all the fountains and rivers, except Iber and Betis, [Baetis,] were dried 
up ; so that the earth gaped in several places, that whole fields were 
parted, and that many who had thought to have fled into other parts 
were hindered, and could not get passage over these fearful openings 
of the earth. Hereby Spain, especially those places nearest the Medi- 
terranean Sea, being stripped naked of all herbs, and the glory of trees 
being dried up, except a few trees which were preserved upon the banks 
of the river Betis, men and beasts being consumed with thirst and 
famine, was turned by this judgment into a miserable solitude and 
wilderness. The royal line of the kings was by this means extinct ; 
and the poorer sort of men, whose means were short and provision 
small, went into other places as they could conveniently and with all 
speed, not being able to stand or stay out this six and twenty years' 
misery. 3 In the Peloponnesian war, at Potidaea, men ate one another, 
[Thucydides.] When Utica was besieged by Hamilcar, the father of 
Hannibal, men ate one another, the famine was so great amongst them, 
[Poly bins.] At Antioch in Syria many of the Christians, in the holy 
war, through famine devoured the dead bodies of the late slain enemies. ^ 
At the siege of Scodra, horses were dainty meat ; yea, they were glad 
to eat dogs, cats, rats, and the skins of beasts sod. A little mouse, 
and puddings made of dogs' guts, was sold at so great a price as 
exceeds all credit. When Hannibal besieged Casilinum, the famine 
was so great, that a mouse was sold for two hundred groats, that is, 
for three pounds eighteen shillings and eight pence.5 That was a 
sore famine in Samaria when an ass's head was sold for eighty pieces 
of silver — that is, say some, for four or five pound, 2 Kings vi. 25 ; 
others say ten, for a shekel of silver was with the Jews as much as 
two shillings and sixpence with us. By this account an ass's head 
was sold for ten pounds sterling. In Edward the Second's time, anno 
1316, there was so great a famine, that horses, dogs, yea, men and 
children, were stolen for food ; and the thieves newly brought into the 
jails were torn in pieces and eaten presently, half alive, by such as had 
been longer there. ^ In war, oppression, captivity, and many other 

^ Sir Richard Baker's Chronicle, p. 26. 

' Pisa of the Peloponnesus, or Pissse (spelled Pisanus) or Etruria ? — G. 

3 All these things do the histories of Spain report, 

4 [Knolles] Turk. Hist. fol. 18. 

5 Val. Max. lib. vii. cap. 6. Turk. Hist. [Livy, xxiii. 17, 19.— G.] 
« Purch. Pilgrim., p. 289. Speed, vi. 4. 



192 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLIL 24, 25. 

calamities, mucli of the hand of man is to be seen ; but famine is a deep, 
evident, and apparent judgment, which God himself brings upon the 
sons of men by his own high hand. Many or most of those calamities 
that are brought upon us by human means are avoidable by human 
helps ; but famine is that comprehensive judgment, that the highest 
power on earth cannot help against: 'If the Lord do not help thee, 
whence shall I help thee ? out of the barn-floor, or out of the wine- 
press?' said the king of Israel in the famine of Samaria, 2 Kings 
vi. 27. Ah London, London ! if the Lord had inflicted upon thy in- 
habitants this sore judgment of famine, making 'the heavens as iron, 
and the earth as brass ;' if the Lord had cut off" all thy delightful and 
necessary provisions, and thy citizens had been forced to eat one an- 
other, or every one to eat the flesh of his own arms, and the fruit of 
his own body, how dismal would thy condition have been ! Lev. xxvi. 
19 ; Hab. iii. 17 ) Deut. xxviii. 23. Certainly such as have been swept 
away by the raging pestilence ashore, and such as have been slain by 
the bloody sword at sea, might very well be counted happy, in com- 
parison of those who should live and die under that lingering judgment 
of a famine. Doubtless famine is a sorer judgment than either sword, 
fire, or pestilence. There be many deaths in a dearth. Famine is the 
top of all human calamities, as Basil termeth it. Extreme hunger 
hath made mothers murderers, and so turned the sanctuary of life into 
the shambles of death. 

[3.] Thirdly, God might have overturned London and her inhabitants 
in a moment by some great and dreadful earthquake^ as he hath done 
several great, rich, strong, and populous cities and towns in former 
times, Isa. xiii. 13, and Ps. xviii. 7. Under Tiberius the emperor 
thirteen cities of Asia fell down with an earthquake, and six under 
Trajan, and twelve under Constantine. In Campania, Ferrara in 
Italy, 1569,1 in the space of forty hours, by reason of an earthquake, 
many palaces, temples, and houses were overthrown, with the loss of 
many a man, the loss amounting to forty hundred thousand pounds. 
In the year 1171, there was such a mighty earthquake that the city 
Tripoli, and a great part of Damascus in Antiochia, and Hulcipre (?), 
the chief city in the kingdom of Loradin (?), and other cities of the 
Saracens, either perished utterly or were wonderfully defaced. In the 
year 1509, [Bodin,] in the month of September, there was so great an 
earthquake at Constantinople, that there were thirteen thousand men 
destroyed by it, and the city miserably shattered and ruined by it. In 
the reign of Henry the First,^ the earth moved with so great a violence, 
that many buildings were shaken down ; and Malmesbury saith, ' That 
the house wherein he sat was lifted up with a double remove, and at 
the third time settled again in the proper place.' Also in divers places 
it yielded forth a hideous noise, and cast forth flames. In Lombardy 
[Hoveden] there was an earthquake that continued forty days, and 
removed a town from the place where it stood a great way off". In 
the eleventh year of the reign of King Henry the Second, ^ on the six 
and twentieth day of January, was so great an earthquake in Ely, Nor- 
folk, and Suff'olk, that it overthrew them that stood upon their feet, 
and made the bells to ring in the steeples. In the four and twentieth 

^ Fardentius. ^ Sir Richard Baker's Chronicle, p 47. ^ Ibid. p. 65. 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 193 

year of his reign, in the territory of Darlington, in the bishopric of 
Durham, the earth lifted up herself in the manner of a high tower, and 
so remained unmovable from morning till evening, and then fell with so 
horrible a noise, that it frighted the inhabitants thereabouts, and the 
earth, swallowing it up, made there a deep pit, which is seen at this 
day; for a testimony whereof, Leland saith he saw the pits there, com- 
monly called hell-kettles. In the year 1666,^ the city of Kaguza was 
overthrown by a most dreadful earthquake, and all the inhabitants, 
which were many thousands, except a few hundred, were destroyed, 
and buried in the ruins of that city. At Berne, anno 1584,2 near unto 
which city a certain hill, carried violently beyond and over other hills, 
is reported by Polanus, who lived in those parts, to have covered a 
whole village, that had ninety families in it, one half house only 
excepted, wherein the master of the family, with his wife and children, 
were earnestly calling upon God. Oh the terror of the Lord ! and oh 
the power of fervent prayer ! At Pleures (?) in Khetia, anno 1618, Aug. 
25,^ the whole town was over-covered with a mountain, which with its 
most swift motion oppressed fifteen hundred. In the days of Uzziah 
king of Judah, there was such a terrible earthquake, that the people 
with fear and horror fled from it : Zech. xiv. 5, ' Yea, ye shall flee, 
like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king 
of Judah,' Amos i. 1. The Jewish doctors affirm that this amazing 
earthquake fell out just at that instant time when Uzziah offered 
incense, and was therefore smitten with a leprosy : but this is but their 
conjecture. However, this dreadful earthquake was a horrible sign 
and presage of God's wrath to that sinful people. Josephus tells us* 
that by it half a great hill was removed out of its place, and carried 
four furlongs another way, so that the highway was obstructed, and 
the king's gardens utterly marred. The same author further tells us,^ 
that at that time that Cassar and Anthony made trial of their titles in 
the Actian war, and in the seventh year of the reign of king Herod, 
there happened such an earthquake in the country of Judea, that 
never the like was seen in any other place ; so that divers beasts were 
slain thereby, and that ten thousand men were overwhelmed and 
destroyed in the ruins of their houses. The same author saith 6 that 
in the midst of the Actian war, about the beginning of the spring 
time, there happened so great an earthquake, as slew an infinite multi- 
tude of beasts, and thirty thousand people ; yet the army had no harm, 
for it lay in the open field. Upon the report of this dreadful earth- 
quake, and the efiects of it, the Arabians were so highly encouraged, 
that they entered into Judea, supposing that there were no men left 
alive to resist them, and that they should certainly conquer the country ; 
and before their coming, they slew the ambassadors of the Jews that 
were sent unto them. Ah London, London ! if the Lord had by some 
terrible earthquake utterly overthrown thee, and buried all thy in- 
habitants under thy ruins, as he hath dealt by many cities and citizens, 
both in former and in these latter times, how dreadful would thy case 
then have been over what now it is ! Certainly such earthquakes as 

^ See the relation in print. ' Polan. Syntag. 841, 

=* Alst. Chronol. * Antiq., lib. ix. cap. 11 

* Lib. XV. cap. 7. " Josephus, lib. i. cap. 14, de Bello Jiidaico. 
VOL. VI. N 



194 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

overwlielm both cities and citizens are far greater judgments than 
such a fire or fires, that only consumes men s houses, but never hurts 
their persons. God might have inflicted this sore judgment upon thee, 
O London, but he has not ; therefore it concerns thee to be still a-crying, 
Grace, grace ! But, 

[4.1 Fourthly, God might have inflicted that judgment, both upon 
city and citizens, that he did upon Korah, Bathan, and Abiram, and 
all that appertained to them : Num. xvi. 31-34, ' And it came to pass, 
as he had made an end of speaking all these words, that the ground 
clave asunder that was under them : and the earth opened her mouth, 
and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that apper- 
tained unto Korah, and all their goods. They, and all that appertained 
to them, went down alive into the pit, and the earth closed upon them : 
and they perished from among the congregation. And all Israel that 
were round about them fled at the cry of them : for they said. Lest the 
earth swallow us up also.'i Whilst Moses spake these words, saith 
Josephus,^ and intermixed them with tears, the earth trembled, and, 
shaking, began to remove, after such a manner as when, by the violence 
of the wind, a great billow of the sea floateth and is tossed hither and 
thither ; hereat all the people were amazed, but after that a horrible 
and shattering noise was made about their tents, and the earth opened 
and swallowed up both them and all that which they esteemed dear, 
which was after a manner so exterminate as nothing remained of 
theirs to be beheld. Whereupon in a moment the earth closed again, 
and the vast gaping was fast shut, so as there appeared not any sign of 
that which had happened. Thus perished they all, leaving behind 
them an example of God's power and judgments. And this accident 
was the more miserable, in that there were no one, no, not of their 
kinsfolks or allies, that had compassion of them ; so that all the people 
whatsoever, forgetting those things which were past, did allow God's 
justice with joyful acclamations, esteeming them unworthy to be be- 
moaned, but to be held as the plague and perverters of the people. Oh 
what a dreadful judgment was this, for persons to be buried alive ; for 
houses and inhabitants, and all their goods, to be swallowed up in a 
moment ! What tongue can express, or heart conceive, the terror and 
astonishment that fell upon Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, when the 
earth, which God had made firm, and established by a perpetual decree 
to stand fast under men's feet, was weary of bearing them, and there- 
fore opened her mouth and swallowed them and all their concernments 
up ! Ah London, London ! if the earth had opened her mouth and 
swallowed up all thy houses and inhabitants, with all thy goods and 
riches in a moment ; would not this have been ten thousand thousand 
times a greater judgment than that fiery dispensation that has passed 
upon thee ? But, 

[5.] Fifthly and lastly, God might have rained hell out of heaven 
upon you, as he did upon Sodom and Gomorrah, and this would have 
been a sorer judgment than what he has inflicted upon you, Gen. xix. 
If God, by raining fire and brimstone from heaven, had consumed your 
persons, houses, riches, and relations, would not this have been the 

* Such virgins that had been deflowered, the heathen buried alive, accounting that the 
Borest of all punishments. ^ Josephus, Antiq., lib. iv. cap. 3. 



Is A. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIEKY DISPENSATION. 195 

height of judgment, and infinitely more terrible and dreadful to you 
than that fiery dispensation that has consumed part of your estates, 
and turned your houses into ashes ? Now by these five things it is 
most evident that there are worse judgments than the judgment of 
fire, which God in justice might have inflicted upon you. But free 
mercy has so interposed, that God has not stirred up all his wrath ; 
and though he has severely punished you, yet it is less than your 
iniquities have deserved, Ezra ix. 13 ; and therefore let this considera- 
tion support and bear up your hearts under all your present sorrows 
and sufferings. But, 

(11.) Eleventhly, Though your houses are hurnt, and your hahita- 
tions laid desolate^ yet your outward condition is not worse than 
Christ's ivas when he ivas in the loorld. The estate and condition of 
Christ was low, yea, very low and mean in this world. Witness his 
own relation when he was upon the earth : ' The foxes have holes, and 
the birds of the air have nests,' Mat. viii. 20, — or resting-places where 
they go to rest, as under a tent, like as the Greek word properly im- 
ports, — ' but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.' He doth 
not say. Kings have palaces, but I have none ; nor he does not say 
that rich men have houses and lands and lordships to entertain their 
followers, but I have none ; but, ' The foxes have holes, and the birds 
of the air have nests, but the Son of man hath not where to lay his 
head.' Christ was willing to undeceive the scribe, and to shew him 
his mistake. Thou thinkest, scribe, by following of me to get 
riches, and honour, and preferment, and to be somebody in the world, 
but thou art highly mistaken ; for I have neither silver nor gold, 
lands nor lordships, no, not so much as a house to put my head in. 
"When I was born, I was born in a stable and laid in a manger, Luke 
ii. 17; and now I live upon others, and am maintained by others, 
Luke viii. 3. I am not rich enough to pay my tribute, and therefore 
do not deceive thyself, Mat. xvii. 27. The great Architect of the 
world had not a house to put his head in, but emptied himself of all, 
and became poor to make us rich, not in goods, but in grace, not in 
worldly wealth, but in the treasures of another world, Phil. ii. 7; 
2 Cor. viii. 9.1 He that was heir of both worlds had not a house of 
his own to put his head in. Christ lived poor and died poor. As he 
was born in another man's house, so he was buried in another man's 
tomb. Austin observes, when Christ died he made no will, he had no 
crown-lands, only his coat was left, and that the soldiers parted 
amongst themselves. Are you houseless, are you penniless, are you 
poor, and low, and mean in this world ? So was Christ. Keniember 
' the servant is not greater than his lord,' John xiii. 16. It is good 
seriously to ponder upon that saying of Christ, ' The disciple is not 
above his master, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the 
disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord,' Mat. x. 
24, 25. If Joab the lord-general be in tents, it is a shame for Uriah 
to take his ease at home in a soft bed. It is unseemly to see the head 
all begored with blood and crowned with thorns, and the members to 
be decked with roses and jewels, and to smell of rich odours, spices, 
and perfumes. Art thou [in a worse condition than Christ was in this 
^ Christi pauperta^ meum est patrimonium. — Ambrose. 



196 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

world ? Oh no, no ! Why then dost thou murmur and complain ? 
Why dost thou say there is no sorrow to thy sorrow, nor no suffering 
to thy suffering ? sirs ! it is honour enough for the disciples of 
Christ to fare as Christ fared in this world. Why should the servant 
be in a better condition than his lord ? Is not that servant happy 
enough that is equal with his lord ? Did the burnt citizens but seri- 
ously and frequently meditate and ponder upon the poverty and low 
estate of Christ whilst he was in this world, their hearts would be 
more calm and quiet under all their crosses and losses than now they 
are. But, 

(12.) Twelfthly, Though your houses are burnt, and your habita- 
tions laid desolate, and you have no certain dwelling-place, dec, yet 
your outward condition in this world is not worse than theirs ivas ' of 
whom this world was not worthy : ' Lam. v. 2, ' Our inheritance is 
turned to strangers, our houses to aliens ; ' Ps. cvii. 4, 5, ' They wan- 
dered in the wilderness in a solitary way ; they found no city to dwell 
in. Hungry and thirsty, their souls fainted in them ; ' 1 Cor. iv. 11, 
' Even unto this present hour we both hunger and thirst, and are 
naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwelling-place ; ' Heb. 
xi. 37, 38, ' They wandered about in sheep-skins and goat-skins, being 
destitute, afflicted, tormented. They wandered in deserts, and in 
mountains, and in dens, and in caves of the earth.' Some of the 
learned, by their wandering up and down in sheep-skins and goat- 
skins, do understand their disguising of themselves for their better 
security. One well observes from the words, [Chrysostom,] that they 
did not only wander and were removed from their own habitation, but 
that they were not quiet even in the woods, deserts, mountains, dens, 
and caves of the earth, but were hunted by their persecutors from 
desert to desert, and from mountain to mountain, and from den to 
den, and from one cave to another. 

But hereupon some might be ready to object and reply, 

Obj. These were the very worst of the worst of men. Surely these 
were very vile, base, and unworthy wretches, these were the greatest 
of sinners, &c. 

Ans. Oh no ; they were such, saith the Holy Ghost, ' of whom the 
world was not worthy.' The heathenish world, the poor, blind, 
ignorant, atheistical world, the profane, superstitious, idolatrous, 
oppressing, and persecuting world was not worthy of them — that is, 
they were not worthy, (1.) Of their presence and company. (2.) 
They were not worthy of their prayers and tears. (3.) They were 
not worthy of their counsel and advice. (4.) They were not worthy 
of their gracious lives and examples. In this scripture you may 
plainly see that their wandering up and down in deserts, and on the 
mountains, and in dens, and in the caves of the earth, is reckoned up 
amongst those great and dreadful things that the saints suffered in 
that woeful day. Those precious souls that dwelt in caves and dens, 
and wandered up and down in sheep-skins and goat-skins, might 
have rustled in their silks, satins, and velvets ; they might, Nebu- 
chadnezzar-like, have vaunted themselves on their stately turrets and 
palaces, if they would have wounded their consciences and have 
turned their backs upon Christ and religion. Now if the burnt-up 



IsA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 197 

citizens of London would but seriously lay to heart the sad dispensa- 
tions of God towards his choicest worthies, then their hearts would 
neither faint nor sink under their present losses, crosses, and suffer- 
ings. But, 

(13.) Thirteenthly and lastly. There is a luorsefire than that ivhich 
has turned London into a ruinous heap — viz.^ the fire of hell, lohich 
Christ has freed believers from. There is * unquenchable fire : ' Mat 
iii. 12, ' He will burn up tlie chaff with unquenchable fire.' There is 
* everlasting burnings : ' Isa. xxxiii. 14, * The sinners in Zion are 
afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us 
shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell 
with everlasting burnings ?i Luke iii. 17; Mat. xviii. 8. Wicked 
men, who are now the only burning jolly fellows of the time, shall 
one day go from burning to burning ; from burning in sin, to burning 
in hell ; from burning in flames of lusts, to burning in flames of 
torment, except there be found repentance on their sides, and pardon- 
ing grace on God's. sirs ! in this devouring fire, in these everlast- 
ing burnings, Cain shall find no cities to build, nor his posterity shall 
have no instruments of music to invent there ; none shall take up the 
timbrel or harp, or rejoice at the sound of the organ. There Bel- 
shazzar cannot drink wine in bowls, nor eat the lambs out of the 
flock, nor the calves out of the midst of the stall. In everlasting 
burnings there will be no merry company to pass time away ; nor no 
dice to cast care away ; nor no cellars of wine wherein to drown the 
sinner's grief, Gen. iv. 17 ; Amos vi. 5 ; Job xxi. 12 ; Dan. v. 23 
Amos vi. 4. There is everlasting fire : Mat. xxv. 41, * Then shall he 
say also unto them on the left hand. Depart from me, ye cursed, into 
everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.' This terrible 
sentence breathes out nothing but fire and brimstone, terror and 
horror, dread and woe. The last words that ever Christ will speak 
in this world will be the most tormenting and amazing, the most 
killing and damning, the most stinging and wounding, ' Depart from 
me.' There is rejection : pack, begone, get you out of my sight, let 
me never see your faces more ! It was a heavy doom that was passed 
upon Nebuchadnezzar, Dan. iv. 25, that he should be driven from the 
society of men, and, in an extremity of a sottish melancholy, spend 
his time among the beasts of the field ; but that was nothing to this 
soul-killing word, ' Depart from me.' It was nothing to men's being 
cast out of the presence of Christ for ever. The remembrance of 
which made one to pray thus, ' Lord, deliver me at the great day 
from that killing word depart. 2 And what saith another ? — 

* This word depart, the goats with horror hears ; 
But this word come, the sheep to joy appears.' ^ 

Basil saith, ' That an alienation and utter separation from God is 
more grievous than the pains of hell.'* Chrysostom saith,5 ' That 
the torments of a thousand hells, if there were so many, comes far 
short of this one— to wit, to be turned out of God's presence with a 

^ Some devout personages caused this scripture to be writ in letters of gold upon 
their chimney-pieces.— -P. of Betty in France, in his Draught of Eternity. [Camus, 
Bishop of Belly, not Betty.— G] ^ Bernard, in Ps. xci. 

» Sphynx. * Basil. Asc. Etic, cap. 2. * Chrysost. in Mat., hom. xxiv. 



198 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

Non novi vos, I know you not.' What a grief were it here to be 
banished from the king's court with Absalom, or to be turned out 
of doors with Hagar and Ishmael, or to be cast out of God's presence 
with cursed Cain ! But what is all this to a man's being excommuni- 
cated, and cast out of the presence of God, of Christ, of the angels, 
and out of the general assembly of the saints and congregation of the 
firstborn ? To be secluded from the presence of God is of all miseries 
the greatest, Heb. xii. 22, 23. The serious thoughts of this made 
one say, ' Many do abhor hell, but I esteem the fall from that glory 
to be a greater punishment than hell itself; it is better to endure 
ten thousand thunder-claps than be deprived of the beatifical vision.' 
Certainly the tears of hell are not sufficient to bewail the loss of 
heaven. If those precious souls wept because they should see Paul's 
face no more, Acts xx. 38, how deplorable is the eternal deprivation 
of the beatifical vision ! ' Depart from me,' is the first and worst of 
that dreadful sentence which Christ shall pass upon sinners at last. 
Every syllable sounds horror and terror, grief and sorrow, amazement 
and astonishment to all whom it doth concern. 

'Ye cursed:' there is the malediction. But Lord, if we must 
depart, let us depart blessed. ^ No, 'depart ye cursed:' you have 
cursed others, and now you shall be cursed yourselves ; you shall be 
cursed in your bodies, and cursed in your souls ; you shall be cursed 
of God, and cursed of Christ, and cursed of angels, and cursed of 
saints, and cursed of devils, and cursed of your companions. Yea, 
you shall now curse your very selves, your very souls, that ever you 
have despised the gospel, refused the offers of grace, scorned Christ, 
and neglected the means of your salvation. sinners, sinners, all 
your curses, all your maledictions shall at last recoil upon your own 
souls ! Now thou cursest every man and thing that stands in the 
way of thy lusts, and that crosses thy designs ; but at last all the 
curses of heaven and hell shall meet in their full power and force 
upon thee. Surely that man is cursed with a witness that is cursed 
by Christ himself ! 

But, Lord, if we must depart, and depart cursed, oh let us go into 
some good place! No, ' Depart ye into everlasting fire.' 2 There is 
the vengeance and continuance of it. You shall go into fire, into 
everlasting fire, that shall neither consume itself, nor consume you. 
Eternity of extremity is the hell of hell. The fire in hell is like that 
stone in Arcadia, which being once kindled, could never be quenched. 
If all the fires that ever were in the world were contracted into one 
fire, how terrible would it be ! Yet such a fire would be but as 
painted fire upon the wall to the fire of hell. If it be so sad a spec- 
tacle to behold a malefactor's flesh consumed by piecemeals in a 
lingering fire, ah, how sad, how dreadful, would it be to experience 
what it is to lie in unquenchable fire, not for a day, a month, or a 
year, or a hundred or a thousand years, but for ever and ever ! If it 
were, saith one, [Cyril,] but for a thousand years, I could bear it ; 
but seeing it is for eternity, this amazeth and affrighteth me ! I am 

^ Cursings now are wicked men's hymns; but in hell they shall be their woes, Rev. 
xvi. 9, 11,21. 

^ Of this fire you had need of some devil or accursed wretch to descant, saith one. 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 199 

afraid of hell, saith another, [Isidore,^] because the worm there never 
dies, and the fire never goes out. For to be tormented without end, 
tliis is that which goes beyond all the bounds of desperation. Grievous 
is the torment of the damned for the bitterness of the punishments, 
but it is more grievous for the diversity of the punishments, but most 
grievous for the eternity of the punishments.^ 

To lie in everlasting torments, to roar for ever for disquietness of 
heart, to rage for ever for madness of soul, to weep, and grieve, and 
gnash the teeth for ever, is a misery beyond all expression. Mat. xxv. 
46. Bellarmine out of Barocius^ tells of a learned man who, after his 
death, appeared to his friend complaining that he was adjudged to 
hell-torments, which, saith he, were they to last but a thousand 
thousand years, I should think it tolerable, but, alas, they are eternal! 
And it is called ' eternal fire,' Jude 7. I have read of a prison among 
the Persians which was deep, and wide, and dark, and out of which 
the prisoners could never get, and therefore it was called by them 
Lethe, Forgetfulness : this prison was a paradise to hell. Mark, every- 
thing that is conducible to the torments of the damned is eternal. 
(1.) God that damns them is eternal, Isa. xxxiii. 14; Eom. xvi. 26. 
(2.) The fire that torments them is eternal, Isa. xxx. 33, and Ixvi. 24; 
Jude 7.* (3.) The prison and chains that holds them are eternal, 
Jude 6, 7, 13 ; 2 Pet. ii. 17. (4.) The worm that gnaws them is 
eternal, Mark ix. 44. Melanchthon calls it a hellish fury. (5.) The 
sentence that shall be passed upon them shall be eternal. Mat. xxv. 
41, 42. The fire of hell is called a burning lake: Kev. xx. 15, 'Who- 
soever was not found written in the book of life, was cast into the lake 
of fire.' You shall 5 know that fire is the most tormenting element. 
Oh the most dreadful impressions that it makes upon the flesh! The 
schoolmen distinguish thus of fire — they say there is ignis ardoris, 
fcetoris, et terroris, fire of heat, of stench, and of terror : of heat, as in 
Mount Etna; of stench, as in Mount Heda;^ of terror and fear, as 
ignis fulguris, the fire of lightning in America r all these fires they 
say are in hell. But to let the schoolmen pass. It is disputed among 
many of the learned whether there be material fire in hell or no. 
That it is very probable that there is material fire in hell, or that 
which is full as terrible, or more terrible, may, I suppose, be thus 
evidenced : — 

[1.] First, The fire ofhell is frequently mentioned in the blessed Scrip- 
ture. ' Who shall say to his brother, Thou fool ! shall be in danger of 
hell-fire.' At the day of judgment the tares are burnt in the fire, Mat. 
xiii. 40. Into this fire offending members are cast. Mat. xviii. 18, 19. 
To this everlasting fire the goats are adjudged. Mat. xxv. 41. In 
this fire those that worship the beast are tormented. Rev. xiv. 10. 
And the Sodomites at this very day suffer the vengeance of eternal 
fire, Jude 7. Into this fire shall all barren and unfruitful Christians 
be cast : Mat. iii. 10, ' And now also the axe is laid unto the root of 
the trees, therefore eveiy tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is 

^ Cl. Orat. 12. ' Dionys. in 18 Apocalyps., fol. 301. ' De arte moriendi. 

* 1 Pet. iii. 19. Lucian saith that it was the common opinion among them that the 
wicked were held in chains by Pluto, (so they call the prince of devils,) in chains, which 
cannot be loosed. » Query, 'all'?— G. • Query, 'Hecla' ?— G.J 



200 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

hewn down, and cast into the fire.' Negative goodness will never 
secure a man either from the axe or from the fire. Yea, every man 
and woman under heaven that keeps off from Christ, and that lives 
and dies out of Christ, and that are never entered into a marriage 
union with Christ, they shall all be cast into this fire: John xv. 6, ' If 
a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch that is withered ; 
and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are 
burned.' Thus you see how the Scripture runs. Now you know that 
it is safest for us to adhere to the very letter of the Scripture, unless 
evident and necessary occasion draw us from a literal interpretation 
of it. But, 

[2.] Secondly, To this fire is ascribed sulphur, flames, wood : Isa. 
XXX. 33, ' For Tophet is ordained of old,' that is, hell ; those terrible 
allusions to Tophet, to the shrieks and yellings of those children that 
were sacrificed there, are but dark representations of the pain and 
miseries of the damned: ' yea, for the king it is prepared;' if princes 
be wicked, it is neither their power nor their policy, their dignity or 
worldly glory, that can secure them from Tophet. * He hath made it 
deep and large ; the pile thereof is fire and much wood ; the breath 
of the Lord, like a stream of brimstone, doth kindle it;' 2 Kings 
xxiii. 18. Now he shall be an Apollo to me that can shew me where 
the Lord in his word gives such properties to immaterial fire that are 
here given in the text. But yet remember this, that that God that 
makes the damned live without food, is able to maintain this fire 
without wood. But, 

[3.] Thirdly, Fire is the most furious of all elements, and therefore 
the bodies of men cannot be more exquisitely tormented than withfire.^ 
The bodies that sinned on earth shall be punished and tormented in 
hell. Now what can be more grievous and vexatious, more afflicting 
and tormenting to the bodies of men, than material fire ? Bilney the 
martyr could not endure to hold his finger in the flame of a candle 
for a little while, for a quarter of an hour, though he tried to do it 
before he burnt at the stake. Oh, then, how will the bodies of men 
endure to dwell in unquenchable fire, to dwell in everlasting burnings ! 
The brick-kilns of Egypt, the furnace of Babel, are but as the glow- 
ing sparkle, or as the blaze of a brush-faggot, to this tormenting 
Tophet, that has been prepared of old to punish the bodies of sinners 
with. But, 

[4.] Fourthly, Several of the fathers and schools generally agree 
that the fire which shall torment the ivicked in hell shall be material 
fire ; but yet they say that this material fire shall loonderfully exceed 
ours, both in degree of heat and fierceness of burning} Our elemen- 
tary or culinary fire is no more to be compared with the fire of hell, 
than fire painted upon the wall is to be compared with fire burning 
in our chimneys. Si igne damnabit reprobos, qiiare non in igne cru- 
ciabit damnatos, says one of the ancients, If he will judge the repro- 
bates in fire, why not condemn them to fire ? 

Obj. But if it be material fire, then it may be quenched ; besides, 
we see by common experience that material fire in a short time will 

' Water doth only kill, but fire doth vex, terrify, and torment in killing.— [Focre,] 
Act. and Mon. 2 2aach, Austin, Peter Lombard, Thos. Aquinas, Grogory, &o. 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 201 

consume and spend itself. Neither can we see how material fire can 
make impressions upon spirits, as the devils and souls of men are. 

^715. [1.] First, Do not we find that the hush burned and was not 
consumed f Exod. iii. 2, 3. Though all clothes by daily experience 
wax old, yet when the Israelites were in their wilderness-condition 
their clothes did not wax old: Deut. viii. 4, 'Thy raiment waxed not 
old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell these forty years': Neh. 
ix. 41, ' Yea, forty years didst thou sustain them in the wilderness, so 
that they lacked nothing; their clothes waxed not old, and their feet 
swelled not.' Their clothes were never the worse for wearing. God 
by his almighty power kept their clothes from waxing old ; and so 
God by his almighty power can keep the fire of hell unquenchable. 
But, 

[2.] Secondly, Such as thus object, draw things to the scantling of 
their own reason, which may be many ways of a dangerous consequence 
both to themselves and others. Certainly such as go about to make 
the fire of hell only spiritual fire, they go about to make it no fire at 
all ; for it passeth the natural fire to be spiritual. But, 

[3.] Thirdly, We see in this life that bodily tortures loork upon the 
spirits in the same bodies : and ivhy may it not be so in hell ? Do 
not men by their daily experience find that their souls are frequently 
afflicted in and under corporeal distempers, diseases, and weaknesses ? 
Doubtless God can by his almighty power infuse such power into 
material fire as to make it the instrument of his dreadful wrath and 
vengeance, to plague, punish, scorch, and burn the souls of damned 
sinners. Bodies and souls are co-partners in the same sins, and there- 
fore God may make them co-partners in the same punishments. 
Every creature is such as the great God will have it to be, and com- 
mands it to be ; and therefore if the Lord shall lay a command upon 
the fire of hell to reach and burn the souls of damned sinners, it shall 
certainly do it. God is the God of nature as well as the God of 
grace ; and therefore I cannot see how the fire of hell can be said now 
to act against its own nature, when it does but act according to the 
will and command of the God of nature. I readily grant that if you 
consider infernal fire in itself, or in its own nature, and so it cannot 
have any power on such a spiritual substance as the soul of man is ; 
but if you consider infernal fire as an instrument in an almighty hand, 
and so it can act upon such spiritual beings as devils and damned 
souls are, and make the same dreadful and painful impressions upon 
them as it would do upon corporeal beings, i Though spirits have 
nothing material in their nature which that infernal fire should work 
upon, yet such is the almighty power of God that he can make spirits 
most sensible of those fiery tortures and torments which he has de- 
clared and appointed for them to undergo. Let them tell us, saith 
one, [Dr Jackson,] how it is possible that the soul of man, which is an 
immortal substance, should be truly wedded to the body or material 
substance : and I shall as easily answer them, that it is as possible for 
the same soul to be as easily wrought upon by a material fire. It is 
much disputed and controverted among the schoolmen how the devils 
can be tormented with corporeal fire, seeing they are spirits; and, as I 

1 Vide August, lib. xxi. c. 10, de Civitate Dei. 



202 London's lamentations on [Tsa. XLII. 24, 25. 

suppose, it is well concluded of them thus— 1. First, That in hell there 
is corporeal fire, as appears thus: (1.) Because the Scripture affirms 
it, Mat. iii. 10, v. 22, and xxv. 41 : (2.) Because the bodies sinning 
against God are to be vexed and tormented with corporeal pains. 2. 
Secondly, They conclude that the devils are tormented in that fire 
because Christ saith so: Mat. xxv. 41, 'Depart from me, ye cursed, 
into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.' 3. 
Thirdly, It being demanded. How the devils are tormented in that 
fire ? they answer. They are tormented, not only. First, With the 
sight of it ; or Secondly, With an imaginary apprehension thereof ; 
but Thirdly, As an instrument ordained of God for that very end ; 
and Fourthly, Ut locus locatum continens et cogens.^ Hell is 
a fiery region, or a region of fire; and therefore the devils being 
contained and included therein, must needs be tormented there- 
by. Gum Dives ah igne patiatur, quis neget, aninias ignihus puniri. 
None must question this truth, saith my author, that souls and spirits 
are punished by fire, seeing our Saviour himself telleth us that Dives, 
who was in hell but in soul, was tormented in the flames, Luke 
xvi. 24.2 But, 

[4.] Fourthly, It is not safe to leave the plain letter of the Scripture 
to allegorise ; and whether the opinion of metaphorical fire in hell, 
hath not been an introduction to that opinion that many have taken 
up in these days — viz. , that there is no other hell but what is within us, 
I shall not now stand to determine. I know Calvin, and some others, 
are for the allegory ; and they give this for a reason, that there is 
mention made of wood, and of a worm, as well as fire. Now these 
are allegorical, and therefore the fire is allegorical also. But by their 
favour, we find in the Scripture that those things which are spoken 
together are not always taken in the same nature and manner. As, 
for example, Christ is called, ' tlie rock of our salvation,' Deut. xxxii. 
15, 18, 30, 31 ; 2 Sam. xxii. 47 ; 1 Cor. x. 4. Now the rock is alle- 
gorical ; is our salvation therefore allegorical ? So likewise Luke 
xxii. 30, ' Ye shall eat and drink,' saith our Saviour, ' at my table in 
my kingdom.' Eating and drinking is allegorical : is therefore the 
kingdom allegorical too ? Allegories are not to be admitted but where 
the Scripture itself doth warrant them ; and commonly where an 
allegory is propounded, there it is also expounded. As in Gal. iv. 24, 
'Which things are an allegory; for these are the two testaments.' 
Many men have been too wanton with allegories. Origen, Ambrose, 
Jerome, and several others of the ancients, have been blamed for it by 
learned men. But, 

[5.] Fifthly and lastly, I cannot tell but that the fire by which the 
damned shall be punished, may he partly material, and partly spiri- 
tual ; partly material, to work upon the hody, and partly spiritual, 
to torment the soul. Dr Gouge ^ puts this question, Is it a material fire 
wherewith the damned in hell are tormented ? and gives this answer — 
viz., This is too curious a point to resolve to the full; but yet this 
answer may safely be returned. It is no wasting or consuming fire, 
but a torturing ; and so far corporeal, as it tormenteth the body ; and 

^ Tho. [Aquinas,] Supplem. Ixx. cap, 3. = QxQg. Dial, iv., cap. 28, 29. 

2 Dr Gouge on Heb. x, 27, sec. 98. 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 203 

SO far incorporeal, as it tormenteth the soul. Socrates, speaking of 
hell, saith, I was never there myself, neither have I ever spoke with 
any that came from thence. Suppose, saith one, [Mr Bolton,] 
there be no fire in hell, yet I assure thee this, that thou shalt be 
scorched with fire ; the fire of God's wrath shall torment thee more 
than bodily fire can do, and therefore it will be your wisdom not so 
much to question this or that about hell-fire, as to make it your work, 
your business, not to come there. He gave good counsel who said, 
[Bernard,] Let us go down to hell while we are alive, that we may not 
go to hell when we are dead. And so did he who, speaking of hell, 
said, [Chrysostom,] Ne quceramus uhi sit, sed quomodo illamfugiamus, 
Let us not seek where it is, but how we shall avoid it. The same 
author gives this further counsel — viz., That at all banquets, feasts, 
and public meetings, men should talk of hellish pains and torments, 
that so their hearts may be overawed, and they provoked to avoid 
them and secure themselves against them. Doubtless, the serious 
thoughts of hellish pain while men live, is one blessed way to keep 
them from those torments when they come to die. Another gives 
this pious counsel. Let us earnestly importune the Lord, that this 
knowledge, whether the fire of hell be material or not, be never mani- 
fested to us by experience. It is infinitely better to endeavour the 
avoiding hell-fire, than curiously to dispute about it. Look, as there 
is nothing more grievous than hell, so there is nothing more profitable 
than the fear of it. 

Obj. But what difference is there between our common fire and 
hell-fire ? 

I answer, a mighty difference, a vast difference. Take it in these 
six particulars : — 

[1.] First, They differ in their heat. No heart can conceive, nor 
no tongue can express the exquisite heat of infernal fire. Were all 
the fires under heaven contracted into one fire ; yea, were all the 
coals, wood, oil, hemp, flax, pitch, tar, brimstone, and all other com- 
bustibles in the world contracted into one flame, into one fire, yet 
one spark of infernal fire would be more hot, violent, dreadful, amaz- 
ing, astonishing, raging, and tormenting, than all that fire that is 
supposedly made up of all the combustibles the earth affords. To 
man s sense, there is nothing more terrible and afflictive than fire ; 
and of all fires, there is none so scalding and tormenting as that of 
brimstone. Now in that lake which burns with fire and brimstone 
for ever and ever, shall the wicked of the earth be cast.i Infernal 
fire far exceeds ours — that are on our hearths and in our chimneys — in 
degree of heat and fierceness of burning. Our fire hath not that 
terrible power to scorch, burn, torment, as the fire of hell hath. Our 
fire, as Polycarpus and others say, compared to hell-fire, is but like 
painted fire upon the wall. Now you know a painted fire upon the 
wall will not hurt you, nor burn, nor affright you, nor torment you ; 
but the fire of hell will, beyond all your conception and expression, 
hurt, burn, affright, and torment you. The fire of hell, for degrees 

^ Kev. xiv. 10, and xxi. 8. The fire in a landscape is but ignis pictns, a painted fire, 
and the fire of purgatory is but ignis Jicttis, feigned fire. Now what are these to hell- 
fire? 



204 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

of heat, and fierceness of burning, must wonderfully surpass our most 
furious fires, because it is purposely created by God to torment 
the creature, whereas our ordinary fire was created by God only 
for the comfort of the creature. The greatest and the hottest fires 
that ever were on earth, are but ice in comparison of the fire of hell, 
[Alsted.] 

[2.1 Secondly, There are unexpressible torments in hell, as well as 
unspeakable joys in heaven. Some who write of purgatory, tell us that 
the pains thereof are more exquisite, though of shorter continuance, 
than the united torments that the earth can invent, though of longer 
duration. If the pope's kitchen be so warm, how hot is the devil's 
furnace ? i A poetical fiction is but a meiosis, when brought to shew 
the nature of these real torments: the lashes of furies are but petty 
scourgings, when compared to the stripes of a wounded conscience. 
Tytius his vulture,2 though feeding on his liver, is but a flea-biting to 
that worm which gnaweth their hearts and dieth not. Ixion his 
wheel is a place of rest, if compared with those billows of wrath, and 
that wheel of justice, which is in hell brought over the ungodly. The 
task of Danaus his daughter is but a sport, compared to the tortures 
of those whose souls are filled with bitterness, and within whom are 
the arrows of the Almighty, the poison whereof doth drink up their 
spirits. Hell is called a furnace of fire, which speaketh intolerable 
heat ; a place of torment, which speaketh a total privation of ease ; a 
prison, which speaketh restraint. Mat. xiii. 42 ; Luke xvi. 28 ; Mat. 
V. 22-25 : Gehenna, from the valley of Hinnom, where the unnatural 
parents did sacrifice the fruit of their bodies for the sin of their souls 
to their merciless idols, — the which word, by a neighbour nation, is 
retained to signify a rock, 3 — than the torture of which what more ex- 
quisite ? It is called a lake of fire and brimstone ; than the torment 
of the former, what more acute? than the smell of^the latter, what 
more noisome? But, 

[3.] Thirdly, Our fire is made hy the hand of man, and must be 
maintained by continual supplies of fuel. Take away the coals, the 
wood, the combustible matter, and the fire goes out ; but the infernal 
fire is created, and tempered, and blown by the hand of an angry, sin- 
revenging God : Isa. xxx. 33, ' For Tophet is ordained of old ; yea, 
for the king it is prepared ; he hath made it deep and large : the pile 
thereof is fire and much wood, and the breath of the Lord, like a 
stream of brimstone, doth kindle it;^ and therefore the breath of all 
the reprobates in hell shall never be able to blow it out.^ Our fire is 
blown by an airy breath, but the infernal fire is blown by the angry 
breath of the great God, which burns far hotter than ten thousand 
thousand rivers of brimstone. The breath of God's mouth shall be 
both bellows and fuel to the infernal fire ; and therefore, oh how 
terrible and torturing, how fierce and raging will that fire be ! If but 
three drops of brimstone should fall upon any part of the flesh of a 
man, it would fill him so full of torment, that he would not be able to 
forbear roaring out for pain and anguish. Oh how dreadful and 

^ Bellarm. de Purg., lib. ii. c. 14 ; Bellarm. de JEter. Fseli. Sanct., lib. i. c. 11. 
' Prometheus, as before.— G, a Query, 'rack ?'— Ed. 

* A river of brimstone is never consumed by burning. 



IsA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE late fiery dispensation. 205- 

painful will it be then for damned sinners to swim up and down in a 
lake or river of fire and brimstone for ever and ever ! There is no 
proportion between the heat of our breath and the fire that it blows. 
Oh then, what a dreadful, what an amazing, what an astonishing fire 
must that needs be which is blown by a breath dissolved into brim- 
stone ! God's wrath and indignation shall be an everlasting supply- 
to hell's conflagration. Ah sinners, how fearful, how formidable, how- 
unconceivable will this infernal fire prove ! Surely there is no misery, 
no torment to that of lying in a torrent of burning brimstone for ever 
and ever ! Mark, this infernal fire is a fire prepared by God himself, 
to punish and torment all impenitent persons and reprobate rebels, 
who scorned to submit to the sceptre of Christ. * Depart from me, ye 
cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels,' 
Mat. XXV. 41. The wisdom of God hath been much exercised in pre- 
paring and devising the most tormenting temper for that formidable 
fire, in which the devil and his angels shall be punished for ever and 
ever. Not as if it were not prepared also for wicked and ungodly 
men ; but it is said to be prepared for the devil and his angels, because 
it was firstly and chiefly prepared for them. All impenitent sinners 
shall have the devil and his angels for their constant companions ; and 
therefore they shall be sure to share with them in the extremity and 
inevitableness of their torments. But, 

[4.] Fourthly, Oilt fire ivhen it hurneih it shineth, it casts a light 
Our fire burns, and in burning shines ; fight is a natural property of 
our common fire. It is true, the elementary fire in its own sphere 
shineth not, because of its subtleness, and the infernal fire of hell 
shineth not, because of its grossness ; yet our ordinary fire, being of a 
mixed nature, hath light as well as heat in it, and that is our comfort. 
It hath light to shew itself to us, and to ourselves, and it hath light 
to shew others to us, and us to others, &c. Some men can work as 
well as talk by the light of the fire. Our fires have their beams and 
rays as well as the sun : but the fire of hell burns, but it does not 
shine, it gives no light at all. Infernal fire hath no light or bright- 
ness attending of it, and therefore Christ calls it ' utter darkness,' or 
outer darkness, that is, darkness beyond a darkness. Mat. xxv. 30, 
and viii. 12. I have read of a young man who was very loose and 
vain in his life, and was very fearful of being in the dark, who, after 
falling sick and could not sleep, cried out. Oh, if this darkness be so 
terrible, what is eternal darkness? Hell would not be so uncomfort- 
able a prison if it were not so dark a prison.^ Light is a blessing 
that shall never shine into that infernal prison. In Jude (ver. 6) you 
read of ' chains of darkness.' It would be a little ease, a little comfort, 
to the damned in hell, if they might have but light and liberty to 
w^alk up and down the infernal coasts ; but this is too high a favour 
for them to enjoy, and therefore they shall be chained and staked 
down in chains of darkness, and in blackness of darkness, that so they 
may fully undergo the scorchings and burnings of divine wrath and 
fury for ever and ever. In ver. 13 you thus read, 'To whom is 
reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.' The words are a 

* Drexelliiis. Basil speaking of hell-fire, saith, Vim comburendi retinef,illuviinandi 
amisit. It retains the property of burning : it hath lost the property of shining. 



206 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

Hebraism, and signify exceeding great darkness. Hell is a very 
dark and dismal region, and extreme are the miseries, horrors, and 
torments which are there. The poets described the darkness of hell 
by the Cimmerian darkness. There was a territory in Italy betwixt 
Baise and Cumse, where the Cimmerii inhabit, which was so environed 
with hills, and overshadowed with such hanging promontories, that 
the sun never comes at it. The darkness of Egypt was such a strong 
and horrid thick darkness, that it was palpable, it might be felt. 
' Even darkness which may be felt,' Exod. x. 21.^ The darkness that 
is here threatened is called ' darkness that may be felt,' either by way 
of a hyperbole, to signify what an exceeding great darkness it should 
be ; or else because the air should be so thickened with gross mists 
and thick foggy vapours, that it might be felt ; or else because this 
extraordinary darkness should be caused by a withdrawment of the 
light of the celestial bodies, or by drawing a thick curtain of very 
black clouds betwixt men's eyes and them. Yet this horrid darkness 
was nothing to the darkness of hell. The darkness of Egypt was but 
as an overcasting for three days : Exod. x. 22, 23, ' And there was a 
thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days : they saw not one 
another, neither rose any from his place three days.' For three 
days they were deprived not only of the natural lights and lamps of 
heaven, but of all artificial light also. It is possible that the vapours 
might be so thick and moist as to put out their candles, and all other 
lights that were kindled by them. It is probable that they had 
neither light from sun, moon, or stars above, nor yet from fire or 
candle below ; so that they were as blind men that could not see at all, 
and as lame men that could not move from their places ; and so they 
sate still as under the arrest of this darkness, because they could not 
see what to do, nor whither to go. God would teach them the worth 
of light, by the want of it. Some think that by that dreadful judg- 
ment of thick darkness, they were filled with that terror and horror, 
that they durst not so much as move from the places where they sate 
down. But after these three days of darkness were over, the Egyptians 
enjoyed the glorious light of the sun again. Oh, but sinners [when 
they] are in hell, when they are in chains of darkness, when they are 
in blackness of darkness, they shall never see light more I Hell is a 
house without light. Gregory, and all other authors that I have cast 
my eye upon, agree in this, that though our fire hath light as well as 
heat, yet the infernal fire hath only heat to burn sinners ; it has no 
light to refresh sinners ; and this will be no small addition to their 
torment. A philosopher being asked, whether it were not a pleasant 
thing to behold the sun ? answered, that that was a blind man's 
question. Surely life without light is but a lifeless life. But, 

[5.] Fifthly, Our fire hums and consumes only the body, it reaches 
not, it torments not the precious and immortal soul; but infernal fire 
hums and torme7its hoth hody and soul. Now the soul of pain is the 
pain of the soul : Mat. x. 28, ' And fear not them which kill the body, 
but are not able to kill the soul ; but rather fear him which is able to 
destroy both body and soul in hell.' If the glutton in the historical 
parable, who had but one half of himself in hell, viz., his soul, Luke 

^ The words are figurative, importing extraordinary black darkness. 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 207 

xvi. 24, cried out that he was horribly tormented in that flame ; what 
tongue can express or heart conceive how great the damned's torments 
shall be in hell, when their bodies and souls in the great day shall be 
reunited for torture? Beloved, it is a just and righteous thing with 
God, that such bodies and souls that have sinned impenitently together 
should be tormented everlastingly together. To this purpose, the 
Hebrew doctors have a very pretty parable, [Pet. Martyr,] — viz.. 
That a man planted an orchard, and, going from home, was careful to 
leave such watchmen as might both keep it from strangers and not 
deceive him themselves ; therefore he appointed one blind, but strong 
of his limbs, and the other seeing, but a cripple. These two in their 
master's absence conspired together, and the blind took the lame on 
his shoulders, and so gathered the fruit ; their master returning and 
finding out this subtlety, punished them both together. Now so shall 
it be with those two sinful companions, the soul and the body, in the 
great day of our Lord, 2 Cor. v. 10 ; 2 Thes. i. 7-10. With Simeon 
and Levi they have i3een brethren in iniquity, and so shall be in 
eternal misery. As body and soul have been one in sinning, so they 
shall be one in suffering ; only remember this, that as the soul has been 
chief in sin, so it shall be chief in suffering. But, sirs ! if a con- 
sumable body be not able to endure burning flames for a day, how 
will an unconsumable soul and body be able to endure the scorching 
flames of hell for ever ? But, 

[6.] Sixthly, Our fire ivasteth and consumeth ivhatsoever is cast into 
it It turns flesh into ashes, it turns all combustibles into ashes ; but 
the fire of hell is not of that nature. The fire of hell consumes no- 
thing that is cast into it ; it rages, but it does not waste either bodies 
or souls. Look, as the salamander liveth in the fire, so shall the 
wicked live in the fire of hell for ever. ' They shall seek for death, 
but they shall not find it,' Eev. ix. 6. They shall desire to die, and 
death shall fly from them. They shall cry to the mountains to fall 
upon them and to crush them to nothing, Kev. vi. 16, 17. They shall 
desire that the fire that burns them would consume them to nothing ; 
that the worm that feeds on them would gnaw them to nothing ; that 
the devils which torment them would tear them to nothing, Mark ix. 
44, 46, 48. They shall cry to God, who first made them out of no- 
thing, Gen. i. 26, to reduce them to that first nothing from whence 
they came ; ' but he that made them will not have mercy on them, he 
that formed them will not shew them so much favour,' Isa. xxvii. 11. 
Semper comburentur, nunquam consumentur, They shall always be 
burned, but never consumed. i Ah, how well would it be with the 
damned if in the fire of hell they might be consumed to ashes ! But 
this is their misery, they shall be ever dying, and yet never die ; their 
bodies shall be always a-burning, but never a-consuming. It is 
dreadful to be perpetual fuel to the flames of hell ! What misery to 
this ? for infernal fire to be still a-preying upon damned sinners, and 
yet never making an end of them ! The two hundred and fifty men 
that usurped the priest's office were consumed by the fire that came 
out armed from the Lord against them. Num. xvi. 35. And the fire 
that Elijah, by an extraordinary spirit of prayer, brought down from 
^ Augustine. This fire is/>a7ia inconsumpta.— Jerome. 



208 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

heaven upon the two captains and their fifties, consumed them, 
2 Kings i. 10, 12. The fierce and furious flames of hell shall burn, 
but never annihilate, the bodies of the damned. In hell there is no 
cessation of fire burning, nor of matter burned. i Neither flames nor 
smoke shall consume or choke the impenitent ; both the infernal fire, 
and the burning of the bodies of reprobates in that fire, shall be pre- 
served by the miraculous power and providence of God. The soul 
through pain and corruption will lose its heate vivere, its happy- 
being ; but it will not lose its essentialiter vivere, its essential Hfe or 
being. But, 

[7.] Seventhly and lastly, Our fire may he quenched and ex- 
tinguished. The hottest flames, the greatest conflagrations have been 
quenched and extinguished by water. Fires on our hearths and in 
our chimneys are sometimes put out by the sun's beams, and often 
they die and go out of themselves. Our fire is maintained with wood, 
and put out with water ; but the fire of hell never goes out, it can 
never be quenched. 2 It is an everlasting fire^ an eternal fire, an 
unquenchable fire. In Mark ix. from ver. 43 to ver. 49, this fire is 
no less than five times said to be unquenchable, as if the Lord could 
never speak enough of it. Beloved, the Holy Ghost is never guilty of 
idle repetitions; but by these frequent repetitions the Holy Ghost 
would teach men to look about them, and to look upon it as a real 
thing, and as a serious thing, and not sport themselves with unquench- 
able flames, nor go to hell in a dream. Certainly the fire into which 
the damned shall be cast shall be without all intermission of time or 
punishment. No tears, nor blood, nor time, can extinguish the fire 
of hell. Could every damned sinner weep a whole ocean, yet all those 
oceans together would never extinguish one spark of infernal fire. 
The damned are in everlasting chains of darkness ; they are under 
the ' vengeance of eternal fire,' Jude 7 ; they are ' in blackness of dark- 
ness for ever.' * The smoke of their torment ascendeth for ever and 
ever, and they shall have no rest day nor night,' Kev. xiv. 11.3 The 
damned in hell would fain die, but they cannot. Mors sine morte, 
they shall be always dying, yet never dead ; they shall be always a- 
consuming, yet never consumed. ' The smoke of their furnace ascends 
for ever and ever.' j^ternis punientur poenis, they shall be everlast- 
ingly punished, saith MoUerus on Ps. ix. 17. And Musculus on the 
same text saith, Animi impiorum cruciatibus debitis apud inferos 
punientur, The souls of the ungodly shall be punished in hell with 
deserved torments. Ubi per millia millia annorum cruciandi, nee in 
secula seculorum liberandi, Myriads of years shall not determine or put 
a period to their sufferings, saith Augustine. Plato could say that 
whoever are not expiated, but profane, shall go into hell to be tor- 
mented for their wickedness with the greatest, the most bitter, and 
terrible punishments for ever in that prison of hell. And Trismegistus 
could say. That souls going out of the body defiled were tossed to and 

^ Hell torments punish but not finish the bodies of men. — Prosper. 

' Jerome was out when he said, Jnfernum nihil esse, nisi conscientice liorrorem. And 
Tully was out, who held that there are no other hell furies than the stings of conscience. 

* Oh that word never, said a poor despairing creature on his deathbed, breaks my 
heart ! They are lying histories that tell us that Trajan was delivered out of hell by 
the prayers of Gregory, and Fulconcllu by the prayers of Teclacs. 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 209 

fro with eternal punishments. Yea, the very Turks, speaking of the 
house of perdition, do affirm,i That they who have turned God's grace 
into wantonness, shall abide eternally in the fire of hell, and there be 
eternally tormented. A certain religious man going to visit Olympius, 
who lived cloistered up in a monastery near Jordan, and finding him 
cloistered up in a dark cell, which he thought uninhabitable by reason 
of heat and swarms of gnats and flies, and asking him how he could 
endure to live in such a place, he answered, ' All this is but a light 
matter, that I may escape eternal torments. I can endure the sting- 
ing of gnats, that I might not endure the stinging of conscience and the 
gnawing of that worm that never dies. This heat thou thinkest 
grievous, I can easily endure when I think of the eternal fire of hell ; 
these sufferings are but short, but the sufferings of hell are eternal.' 
Certainly infernal fire is neither tolerable nor terminable. The ex- 
tremity and eternity of hellish torments is set forth by the worm that 
never dieth. Christ at the close of his sermon makes a threefold 
repetition of this worm : Mark ix. 44, ' Where their worm dieth not ;' 
and again, ver. 46, ' Where their worm dieth not ;' and again, ver. 48, 
' Where their worm dieth not, and their fire goeth not out.' Certainly 
those punishments are beyond all conception and expression which our 
Lord Jesus doth so often inculcate within so small a space. 

* In hell there 's nothing heard but yells and cries ; 
In hell the fire never slacks, nor worm never dies. 
But where this hell is placed, my muse, stop there. 
Lord, shew me what it is, but never where. 
To worm and fire, to torments there 
No term he gave; they cannot wear.'^ 

If after so many millions of years as there be drops in the ocean, 
there might be a deliverance out of hell, this would yield a little ease, 
a little comfort to the damned. Oh but this word eternity, eternity, 
eternity, this word everlasting, everlasting, everlasting, will even 
break the hearts of the damned in ten thousand pieces ! There is 
scarce any pain or torment here on earth but there is ever some hope 
of ease, mitigation, or intermission, there is some hope of relief or 
delivery ; but in hell the torments there are all easeless, remediless, 
and endless. Here if one fall into the fire, he may like a brand 
be pulled out of it and saved; but out of that fiery lake there is 
no redemption. That majesty that the sinner hath offended and pro- 
voked is an infinite majesty. Now there must be some proportion 
betwixt the sinner's sin, and his punishment and torment. Now the 
sinner being a finite creature, he is not capable of bearing the weight 
of that punishment or torment that is intensively infinite, because 
it would be his abolishing or annihilating ; and therefore he must bear 
the weight of that punishment or torment that is extensively infinite — 
namely, duratione infinita, infinite in the continuance and endurance. 
What is wanting in torment must be made up in time. Everlasting 
fire and everlasting punishment in the New Testament is directly 
opposed to eternal life, to that blessed state of the righteous which 
will never have an end ; ^ and therefore, according to the rules and 

' Alcoran. Mahom. cap. 14, p. 166, &c. ; cap. 20, p. 193. 
^ A pentelogia dolor inferni. — Prudentius the poet. 

'^ Mat. XXV. ; 2 Thes. i. 7-10, &c. Vide August., lib. xsi. cap. 23, 24, De CivitaU Dei. 
VOL. VI. O 



210 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25, 

maxims of riglit reason, doth necessarily import a punishment of the 
same duration that the reward is. Now the reward of the saints 
in that other world is granted on all hands to be everlasting, to be 
eternal ; and therefore the punishment of the damned cannot be but 
everlasting and eternal too. The rewards of the elect shall never 
be ended, therefore the punishment of the damned shall never be 
ended, because as the mercy of God is infinite towards the elect, so 
the justice of God is infinite towards the reprobate in hell. The 
reprobate shall have punishment without pity, misery without mercy, 
sorrow without succour, crying without compassion, mischief without 
measure, and torment without end, [Drexelius.] All men in misery 
comfort themselves with hope of an end. The prisoner with hope of a 
jail-delivery ; the mariner with the hope of his arrival in a safe 
harbour ; the soldier with hope of victory ; the prentice with hope of 
liberty ; the galley-slave with the hope of ransom : only the impenitent 
sinner hath no hope in hell. He shall have end without end, death 
without death, night without day, mourning without mirth, sorrow 
without solace, and bondage without liberty. The damned shall live 
as long in hell as God himself shall live in heaven. i Their imprison- 
ment in that land of darkness, in that bottomless pit, is not an 
imprisonment during the king's pleasure, but an imprisonment during 
the everlasting displeasure of the King of kings. Suppose, say some, 
that the whole world were turned to a mountain of sand, and that a 
little wren should come every thousandth year and carry away from 
that heap one grain of sand, what an infinite number of years, not to 
be numbered by all finite beings, would be spent and expired before 
this supposed mountain could be fetched away ! Now if a man should 
lie in everlasting burnings so long a time, and then have an end 
of his woe, it would administer some ease, refreshment, and comfort to 
him. But when that immortal bird shall have carried away this sup- 
posed mountain a thousand times over and over ; alas ! alas ! man 
shall be as far from the end of his anguish and torment as ever 
he was.2 He shall be no nearer coming out of hell than he was the 
very first moment that he entered into hell. Suppose, say others, that 
a man were to endure the torments of hell as many years, and no more, 
as there be sands on the sea-shore, drops of water in the sea, stars 
in heaven, leaves on the trees, piles of grass on the ground, hairs 
on his head, yea, upon the heads of all the sons of Adam that ever 
were, or are, or shall be in the world, from the beginning of it to the 
end of it ; yet he would comfort himself with this poor thought. Well, 
there will come a day when my misery and torment shall certainly 
have an end ! But woe and alas ! this word never^ never, never, will 
fill the hearts of the damned with the greatest horror and terror, 
wrath and rage, amazement and astonishment. Suppose, say others, 
that the torments of hell were to end after a little bird should have 
emptied the sea, and only carr}^ out her billful once in a thou- 
sand years ; — suppose, say others, that the whole w^orld, from the 

' There is not a Christian which doth not believe the fire of hell to be everlasting. —Z>?' 
Jackson on the Creed, lib. xi. cap. 23. 

" If the fire of hell were terminable, it might then be tolerable ; but being endless, it 
must needs be easeless and remediless. We may Avell say of it, as one doth, Oh killing 
life 1 oh immortal death l—Bellar. de Arte Moriendi, lib. ii. cap, 3, 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 211 

lowest earth to the highest heavens, were filled with grains of sand, 
and once in a thousand years an angel should come and fetch away 
one grain, and so continue till the whole heap were spent ;— suppose, 
say others, if one of the damned in hell should weep after this manner 
— viz., that he should only let fall one tear in a hundred years, and 
these should be kept together till such time as they should equal the 
drops of water in the sea: how many millions of ages would pass 
before they could make up one river, much more a whole ; and when 
that were done, should he weep again after the same manner till he had 
filled a second, a third, a fourth sea, if then there should be an end of 
their miseries, there would be some hope, some comfort that they 
would end at last : but that shall never, never, never end. This 
is that which sinks them mider the most tormenting terrors and 
horrors. 

Drexelius makes this observation from the words of our Saviour, 
John XV. 6, ' If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, 
and it is withered ; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, 
and they are burned,' where he observeth that the words do not run in 
the future tense, — he shall be cast forth, and shall be cast into the 
fire, and burned ; but all in the present tense — he is cast forth, is 
withered ; men cast them into the fire, and they are burned. This, 
saith he, is the state and condition of the damned ; they are burned — 
that is, they are always burning. When a thousand years are past, as 
it was at first, so it is still, they are burned ; after a thousand thousand 
years more, as it was before, so it is still, they are burned. If after 
millions of years the question was asked. What is now their state and 
condition ? what do they ? what sufi'er they ? how doth it fare with 
them ? there can be no other answer returned but they are burned, 
continually and eternally burning. Socinians say there will come a 
time when the fallen angels and the wickedest men shall be freed from 
infernal torments ; and Augustine speaks of some such merciful men 
in his time ; and Origen held and taught that not only impenitent 
Christians, but even pagans and devils, after the term of a thousand 
years, should be released out of hell, and become as bright angels in 
heaven as they were before, i But these dangerous fancies and un- 
grounded opinions fall flat before the clear evidence of those sad and 
serious truths that I have now tendered to your consideration. And 
thus I have shewed you the difference between our fire and hell-fire. 

Now, ye citizens of London who truly fear the Lord, and who are 
united to Christ by faith, know for your everlasting comfort and sup- 
port, that Christ hath secured you from infernal fire, from everlasting 
fire, from unquenchable fire, from eternal fire, and from the worm 
that never dieth, as you may see clearly and fully by comparing the 
scriptures in the margin together. 2 Christ by his blood hath quenched 
the violence of infernal flames, so that they shall never scorch you nor 
burn you, hurt you nor harm you. Nebuchadnezzar's fiery furnace 
was a type of hell, say some. Now look, as the three children, or 
rather champions, had not one hair of their heads singed in that fiery 

^ Aug. lib. xxi. cap. 17-22, De Civitaie Dei. 

2 John iii. 17, 18, 36 ; Luke i. 68-71, 74 ; Rom. vi. 23, and viii. 1, 31-35, 37 ; 1 Cor.^ 
iii. 21-23, and xv. 54-58 ;" 1 Thes. i. 10 ; Kev. xx. 5, 6. 



212 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

furnace, so hell-fire shall never singe one hair of your heads. Youi- 
interest in Christ is a noble and sufficient security to you against the 
flames of hell. Pliny saith, that nothing in the world will so soon 
quench fire as salt and blood ; and therefore in many countries where 
they can get plenty of blood, they will use salt and blood rather than 
water to quench the fire. If you cast water on the fire, the fire will 
quickly work it out ; but if you cast blood upon it, it will damp it in 
a moment. sirs, Christ's blood has so quenched the flames of hell, 
that they shall never be able to scorch or burn those souls that are in- 
terested in him. The efi'usion of Christ's blood is so rich and avail- 
able, saith my author,i that if the whole multitude of captive sinners 
would believe in their Eedeemer, not one should be detained in the 
tyrant's chains. All those spots that a Christian finds in his own 
heart, shall first or last be washed out in the Lamb : 1 John i. 7, ' The 
blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all our sins.' Now 
such as are washed and cleansed from their sins in the blood of Jesus, 
such shall never experimentally know what everlasting burnings or a 
devouring fire means. Such as are washed in Christ's blood needs no 
purifying by hell's flames. Pliny saith of joolium that it is a preserva- 
tive against serpents. Sure I am that the blood of Christ is an 
effectual preservative against all infernal serpents and infernal tor- 
ments.^ 

You believing citizens, who have set up God as the object of your 
fear, and whose hearts are inflamed with love to Christ, know, for 
your everlasting refreshment, that Christ has freed you, and secured 
you from everlasting fire, from unquenchable fire, from eternal fire ; 
and therefore bear up sweetly, bear up cheerfully under that fiery 
dispensation that has passed upon you. What is the burning of your 
houses and substance, to the burning of bodies and souls in hell ? 
What was the fire of London, to infernal fire ? What is a fire of four 
or five days' continuance, to that everlasting fire, to that unquenchable 
fire, to that eternal fire that you have deserved, and that free grace 
hath preserved you from ? A frequent and serious consideration of 
hell-fire, as I have opened it unto you, and of your happy deliverance 
from it, may very well bear and cheer up your hearts under all your 
greatest sufferings by that dreadful fire, that has turned beloved Lon- 
don into a ruinous heap. 

Sir, you have been a-discoursing about hellish torments ; but, for 
the further clearing up of the truth, we desire your serious answer to 
this sad question — viz., 

Obj. How will it stand with the unspotted holiness, justice, and 
righteousness of God, to punish a temporary offence with eternal 
punishments ? for the evil of punishment should be but commensurate 
to the evil of sin. Now what proportion is there betwixt finite and 
infinite ? Why should the sinner lie in hellish torments for ever and 
ever for sinning but a short time, a few years in this world ? 

Ans. I judge it very necessary to say something to this important 

^ Leo de Pas., Serm. xii. c. 4. 

* Nero had a shirt made of a salamander's skin, so tliat if he did walk through the 
fire in it, it would keep him from burning. sirs! Christ is the true salamander's 
skin that will certainly keep every gracious soul from burning in everlasting flames. 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 213 

question, before I come to discourse of those duties that are incumbent 
upon those citizens whose houses are turned into a ruinous heap ; and 
therefore take me thus : — 

[1.] First, God's will is the rule of righteousness, and therefore 
what he doth, or shall do, must needs be righteous. He is Lord of 
all ; he hath a sovereign right and an absolute supremacy over the 
creature. He is the only Potentate, King of kings, and Lord of lords ; 
he is the Judge of the whole world ; ' And shall not the Judge of all 
the earth do right ?' 1 Tim. i. 15 ; Gen. xviii. 25. But, 

[2.] Secondly, I answer, The7X is a principle in man to sin eter- 
nally; and therefore it is hut just xoith God if he punish him eternally. 
The duration of torment respects the disposition of the delinquent. 
Poerioi singulorum incequales intentione, poence omnium cequales dur- 
atione, [Aquinas.] If the sinner should live ever, he would dishonour 
God ever, and crucify the Lord of glory ever, and grieve the Spirit 
of grace ever, and transgress a righteous law ever ; and therefore it is 
just with God to punish such sinners for ever. Etsi peccator in ceteiv 
num viveret, in ceternum peccaret. If the sinner might live eternally, 
he would sin eternally ; if he might live still, he would sin still. 
Though the sinner loses his life, yet he does not lose his will to sin. 
Sinners sin as much as they can, and as long as they can, and did not 
the grave put a stop to their lusts, their hearts would never put a stop 
to their lusts. Feccare si velis tu in ceterno tuo, punire cequum est te 
Deum in ceterno suo, The sinner sins in his eternity, and God punishes 
in his eternity. The sinner never loses his will to sin. His will 
to sin is everlasting ; and therefore it is but just with God that his 
punishment should be everlasting. A will to sin is sin in God's 
account. God looks more at the will than at the deed ; and therefore 
that being lasting, the punishment must be so. The mind and inten- 
tion of the sinner is to sin everlastingly, eternally. If the sinner should 
live always, he would sin always ; and therefore as one saith, [Gregory,] 
Quia mens in hac vita nunquam voluit carere peccato,justum est ut 
nunquam caveat supplicio. Because the mind of man in this life would 
never be without sin, it is just that it should never be without punish- 
ment in the life to come. Many of the men of the old world lived 
eight or nine hundred years, and yet faith and repentance was hid 
from their eyes : that patience, forbearance, long-suffering, gentleness, 
and goodness, which should have led them to a speedy repentance, 
1 Pet. iii, 20, to a serious repentance, to a thorough repentance, to 
that repentance that was never to be repented of, was only made use 
of to patronise their lewdness and wickedness.^ This is certain: 
wicked men left to themselves will never be weary of their sins, nor 
never repent of their sins ; and therefore God will never be weary of 
plaguing them, nor never repent of punishing them. The sinner 
never leaves his sin till sin first leaves him: did not death put a 
stop to his sin, he would never cease from sin. This may be illus- 
trated by a similitude thus, A company of gamesters resolve to play 
all night, and accordingly they sit down to chess, tables, or some 
other game ; their candle accidentally or unexpectedly goes out, or is 

^ Peccant in seterno suo, ergo puniuntur in ajterno Dei. The sinner always sinned 
in his eternity, therefore he shall always be punished in God's eternity.— ^Ij/^/^s-^/we. 



214 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLIL 24, 25. 

put out, or burnt out ; their candle being out, they are forced to give 
over their game, and go to bed in the dark ; but had the candle lasted 
all night they would have played all night. This is every sinner's 
case in reo-ard of sin : did not death put out the candle of life the 
sinner would sin still. Should the sinner live for ever, he would sin 
for ever ; and therefore it is a righteous thing with God to punish 
him for ever in hellish torments. Every impenitent sinner would sin 
to the days of eternity, if he might but live to the days of eternity : 
Ps. Ixxiv. 10, * God, how long shall the adversary reproach? shall 
the enemy blaspheme thy name for ever ? ' For ever and evermore ; 
or for ever and yet — for so the Hebrew loves to exaggerate : as if the 
sinner, the blasphemer, would set a term of duration longer than 
eternity to sin in. The psalmist implicitly saith, Lord, if thou dost 
but let them alone for ever, they will certainly blaspheme thy name 
for ever and ever. I have read of the crocodile, that he knows no 
maximum quod sic, he is always growing bigger and bigger, and 
never comes to a certain pitch of monstrosity so long as he lives. 
Quamdiu vivit crescit. Every habituated sinner would, if he were 
let alone, be such a monster, perpetually growing worser and worser. 
But, 

[3.] Thirdly, I answer. That God against whom they have sinned is 
an infinite and eternal good. Now a finite creature cannot bear an 
infinite punishment intensively, and therefore he must bear it exten- 
sively. They have sinned impenitently against an infinite majesty, and 
accordingly their punishment must be infinite.! Now because it can- 
not be infinite, in regard of the degree, men being but finite creatures, 
and so not capable of infinite torments at one time ; therefore their 
punishment must be infinite in the length and continuance of it. What 
is wanting in torment must be made up in time. Every sin is of an 
infinite nature, because of the infinite dignity of the person against 
whom it is committed ; and therefore it deserveth an infinite punish- 
ment ; which because it cannot be infinite secundum intensionem, in 
the inattention 2 and greatness of it, it remaineth that it should be 
infinite secundum durationem, in respect of the duration and continu- 
ance of the same.3 Mark, all punishments ought to be levied according 
to the dignity of him against whom the offence is committed. Words 
against common persons bear but common actions ; words against 
noblemen are scandala magnatum, great scandals ; but words against 
princes are treason. So the dignity of the person against whom sin is 
committed, does exceedingly aggravate the sin. To strike an inferior 
man is matter of arrest, but to strike a king is matter of death. Now 
what an infinite distance and disproportion is there between the Lord 
of hosts and such poor crawling worms as we are ! he being holiness, 
and we sinfulness ; he fulness, and we emptiness ; he omnipotency, 
and we impotency ; he majesty, and we vanity ; he instar omnium, all 
in all, and we nothing at all. Now to sin against such an infinite 
glorious majesty, deserves infinite punishment. But, 

[4.] Fourthly, I answer. Though the act of sin he transient, yet it 
leaveth such a stain upon the soul as is permanent, and continueth in 

^ Sin is contra Deum infinitum, against an infinite majesty. 

2 Query, 'intension'? — Ed. ^ Vide August., lib. xxi. cap. 14,. Do Civitate Dei. 



IsA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 215 

it. evermore^ and evermore it disposeth the sinner unto sin, if it he not 
pardoned and purged out hy mercy and grace, and therefore it is hut 
just that this perpetual purpose of sinning should he punished luith 
perpetuity ofpain^ The guilt and stain of sin, of its own nature and 
unpardoned, endures eternally upon the soul ; and therefore what can 
follow but eternal torments? The lasting continuance of sin is remark- 
ably described by the prophet Jeremiah, chap. xvii. 1, ' The sin of Judah 
is written with a pen of iron, and with the point of a diamond : it is 
graven upon the table of their hearts :' not only written, but engraven, 
that no hand can deface it. Slight not the commission of any sin ; it 
perishes not with the acting. The least vanity hath a perpetuity, nay, 
an eternity of guilt upon it. Sin leaving a blot in the soul brings the 
matter of hell-fire, is eternally punished, because there is still matter 
for that everlasting fire to work upon. But, 

[5.] Fifthly, I answer, Though deathput an end to mens lives, yet not 
to sins. Hell is as full of sin as it is of punishment or torment. Though 
the schoolmen determine that after this life men are capable neither 
of merit nor demerit, and therefore by their sins do not incur a greater 
measure of punishment, yet they grant that they sin still. Though 
when the creature is actually under the sentence of condemnation, the 
law ceases to any further punishment, yet there is an obligation to the 
precepts of the law still. Though a man be bound only to the curse 
of the law, as he is a sinner, yet he is bound to the precept of the law, 
as he is a creature : so that though the demerit of sin ceaseth after 
death, yet the nature of sin remaineth : though by sinning they do not 
incur a higher and a greater degree of punishment, yet as they con- 
tinue sinning, so it is just with God there should be a continuation of 
the punishment already inflicted. But, 

[6.] Sixthly, I answer. It is no injustice in God to punish temporal 
offences with perpetual torments. God measureth the punishment by 
the greatness of the offence, and not by the time wherein the sin was 
acted. Murder, adultery, sacrilege, treason, and the like capital crimes, 
are doomed in the judicatories of men to death without mercy, and 
sometimes to perpetual imprisonment, or to perpetual banishment ; 
and yet these high offences were committed and done in a short time. 
Now this bears a proportion with eternal torments. sirs, if the 
offences committed against God be infinitely heinous, why may not 
the punishment be infinitely lasting ? Sinners' offences, as Austin well 
observes, 2 are not to be measured temporis longitudine, by the length 
of time wherein they were done : but iniquitatis magnifudine, by the 
foulness of the crime : and if so, then God is just in binding the sinner 
in everlasting chains. We must remember that God is a great and 
a glorious God, and that he is an omniscient and an omnipotent God, 
and that he is a mighty, yea, an almighty God, and that he is a holy 
and a just God, and that he is out of Christ an incomprehensible, in- 
communicable, and very terrible God, and that he is an infinite, eternal, 
and independent God, Heb. xii. 29, 30. And we must remember that 
man is a shadow, a bubble, a vapour, a dream, a base, vile, sinful, 
worthless worm. Now these things being considered, must we not 

^ As long as the guilt of sia remains, punishments and torments will remain. 
^ Aug. dc Civit. Dei., lib. i, cap. 11. 



216 London's lamentations on [Tsa. XLII. 24, 25. 

confess that eternity itself is too short a space for God to revenge him- 
self on sinners in ? But, 

[7.] Seventhly and lastly, I answer, Such sinners have hut what they 
chose. Whilst they lived under the means of grace, the God of grace 
set before them heaven and hell, glory and misery, eternal life and 
eternal death, so that if they eternally miscarry, they have none to 
blame but themselves, for" choosing hell rather than heaven, misery 
rather than glory, and eternal death rather than eternal life.^ Ah, 
how freely, how fully, how frequently, how graciously, how gloriously, 
hath Christ been offered in the gospel to poor sinners, and yet they 
would not choose him, they would not close with him, they would not 
embrace him, nor accept of him, nor enter into a marriage covenant 
with him, nor resign themselves up to him, nor part with their lusts 
to enjoy him : they would not come to Christ that they might have 
life ; they slighted infinite mercy, and despised the riches of grace, 
and trod under foot the blood of the everlasting covenant, and scorned 
the offers of eternal salvation ; and therefore it is but just that they 
should lie down in everlasting sorrows, John v. 40 ; Mat. xxii. 2-5 ; 
2 Cor. iv. 3, 4. How can that sinner be saved that [still refuses sal- 
vation ? How can mercy save him that will not be saved by mercy ? 
yea, how can Christ save such a man, that will not be saved by him ? 
All the world cannot save that man from going to hell, who is peremp- 
torily resolved that he will not go to heaven. Sinners have boldly 
and daily refused eternal life, eternal mercy, eternal glory, and there- 
fore it is but just that they should endure eternal misery. And let 
thus much suffice for answer to the objection. 

. Quest. But, sir, pray what are those duties that are incumbent upon 
those that have been burnt up, and whose habitations are now laid in 
its ashes ? 

I answer. They are these that follow: — • 

1. First, See the hand of the Lord in this late dreadful fire, acknoio- 
ledge the Lord to he the author of all judgments, and of this in par- 
ticular, Lev. xxvi. 41 , and Micah vii. 9. It is a high point of Chris- 
tian prudence and piety to acknowledge the Lord to be the author of 
all personal or national sufferings that befall us : Jer ix. 12, ' Who is 
the wise man, that may understand this ? for what the land perisheth, 
and is burnt up like a wilderness, that none passeth through.' It is 
very great wisdom to know from whom all our afflictions come, and 
for what all our afflictions come upon us. God looks that we should 
observe his hand in all our sufferings. ' Hear the rod, and who hath 
appointed it,' Micah vi. 9. God challenges all sorts of afflictions as 
his own special administration : Amos iii. 6, ' Is there any evil in the 
city, and the Lord hath not done it ? I form the light, and create 
darkness ; I make peace, and create evil, I the Lord do all these 
things,2 Isa. xlv. 7. God takes it very heinously, and looks upon it 
as a very great indignity that is put upon his power, providence, and 
justice, when men will neither see nor acknowledge his hand in those 

^ Deut. xi. 26, 27, and xxx. 15 ; Heb. ii. 2, 3, and x. 28, 29 ; John iii. 14-17, 36, and 
i. 11. 

* See this text fully opened in my first Epistle to my Treatise on ' Closet Prayer,' 
[Vol. I.— G.] 



IsA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 217 

sore afflictions and sad sufferings that he brings upon them. Of such 
the prophet Isaiah complains, chap. xxvi. 11, ' Lord, when thy hand 
is lifted up, they will not see.' The hand, the power of the Lord was 
so remarkable and conspicuous in the judgments that were inflicted 
upon them, as might very well wring an acknowledgment out of them 
that it was the Lord that had stirred his wrath and indignation against 
them ; and yet they wilfully and desperately shut their eyes against all 
the severities of God, and would not behold that dreadful hand of his 
that was stretched out against them. sirs, God looks upon himself 
as reproached and slandered by such who will not see his hand in the 
amazing judgments that he inflicts upon them : Jer. v. 12, ' They have 
belied the liord, and said, It is not he' — or, as the Hebrew runs, ' he is 
not.' Such was the atheism of the Jews, that they slighted divine 
warnings, and despised all those dreadful threatenings of the sword, 
famine, and fire, which should have led them to repentance, and so 
tacitly said, The Lord is not God. Such who either say, that God is 
not omniscient, or that he is not omnipotent, or that he is not so just 
as to execute the judgments that he has threatened; such belie the 
Lord, such deny him to be God. Many feel the rod, that cannot hear 
it ; and many experience the smart of the rod, that_do not see the hand 
that holds the rod ; and this is sad. How can the natural man, with- 
out faith's prospective, look so high as to see the hand of the Lord in 
wasting and destroying judgments? By common experience we find 
that natural men are mightily apt to father the evil of all their suf- 
ferings upon secondary causes. Sometimes they cry out. This is from 
a distemper in nature; and at other times they cry out, This is from a 
bad air. Sometimes they cry out of the malice, plots, envy, and rage 
of men ; and at other times they cry out of stars, chance, and fortune, 
and so fix upon anything rather than the hand of God. But now a 
gracious Christian under all his sufferings, he overlooks all secondary 
causes, and fixes his eye upon the hand of God. You know what 
Joseph said to his unnatural brethren, who sold him for a slave : Non 
vos, sed Deus : ' It was not you, but God that sent me into Egypt,' 
Gen. xlv. 7. Job met with many sore losses and sad crosses, but under 
them all he overlooked all instruments, all secondary causes ; he over- 
looks the Sabeans, and the Chaldeans, and Satan, and fixes his eye 
upon the hand of God : ' The Lord hath given, and the Lord hath 
taken away ; blessed be the name of the Lord,' Job i. 21. Judas, and 
Annas, and Caiaphas, and Pilate, and Herod, and the bloody soldiers, 
had all a deep hand in the sufierings of Christ, but yet he overlooks 
them all, and fixes his eye upon his Father's hand. * The cup which 
my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it,' John xviii. 11. This 
cup was the cup of his sufferings. Now in all his sad sufferings he 
had still an eye to his Father's hand. Let us in all our sufferings 
write after this copy that Christ has set before us. But of this I have 
spoken very largely already, and therefore let this touch suffice here. 

2. Secondly, Labour to justify the Lord in all that he has done; 
say, the Lord is righteous, though he hath laid your city desolate. 
When Jerusalem was laid desolate, and the wall thereof broken down, 
and the gates thereof were burned with fire, Nehemiah justifies the Lord : 
chap. ix. 33, ' Howbeit thou art just in all that is brought upon us ; 



218 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

for thou hast done right, but we have done wickedly.' i The same 
spirit was upon Jeremiah: Lam. i. 1, 4, 18, ' How doth the city sit 
sohtary that was full of people ! how is she become as a widow ! 
she that was great among the nations, and princess among the pro- 
vinces, how is she become tributary ! The ways of Zion do mourn, 
because none come to the solemn feasts : all her gates are desolate ; 
her priests sigh, her virgins are afflicted, and she is in bitterness. 
The Lord is righteous ; for I have rebelled against his commandment.' 
The same spirit was upon David : Ps. cxix. 75, ' I know, Lord, that 
thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted 
me.' So Ps. cxlv. 17, ' The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and 
holy in all his works.' This maxim we must live and die by, though 
we do not always see the reason of his proceedings. It is granted on 
all hands that voluntas Dei est summa, perfectissima, et infaUihilis 
regula divince justitice, et Deus sihi ipsi lex est, The will of God is the 
chief est, the most perfect and infallible rule of divine justice, and that 
God is a judged to himself: ' Shall not the Judge of all the earth do 
right ?' Gen. xviii. 25. In this negative question is emphatically im- 
plied an affirmative position, which is, that God, above all others, must 
and will do right ; because from his judgment there is no appeal. 
Abraham, considering the nature and justice of God, was confidently 
assured that God could not do otherwise but right. Hath God turned 
you out of house and home, and marred all your pleasant things, and 
stripped you naked as the day wherein you were born ? Yes. Why, 
if he hath, he hath done you no wrong ; he can do you no wrong ; he 
is a law to himself, and his righteous will is the rule of all justice. 
God can as soon cease to be as he can cease to do that which is just 
and right. So Ps. xcvii. 2, ' Clouds and darkness are round about 
him ; righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne.' 
Clouds and darkness notes the terribleness of God's administrations. 
Though God be very terrible in his administrations, yet righteousness 
and judgment are the habitation of his throne. It hath been a day 
of God's wrath in London, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wast- 
ing and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds 
and thick darkness, as it was once in Jerusalem, Zeph. i. 15 ; yet 
righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne ; or, as it 
may be translated, are ' the foundation of his throne.' God's seat of 
judgment is always founded in righteousness. So Dan. ix. 12, 'And he 
hath confirmed his words which he spake against us, and against our 
judges that judged us, by bringing upon us a great evil : for under the 
whole heaven hath not been done as hath been done upon Jerusalem;' 
ver. 14, ' The Lord our God is righteous in all his works which he 
doeth ; for we obeyed not his voice.' God is only righteous, he is per- 
fectly righteous, he is exemplarily righteous, he is everlastingly right- 
eous, he is infinitely righteous, and no unrighteousness dwells in him, 
Ps. xcii. 15 ; Job xxxvi. 23. There are four things that God cannot 
do: (1.) He cannot lie; (2.) He cannot die; (3.) He cannot deny 

^ Neh. i. 4. So Mauricius the emperor justified God when he saw his wife and chil- 
dren butchered before his eyes by the traitor Phocas, and knew that himself should soon 
after be stewed in his own broth, cried out, Just art thou, Lord, and just are all tii^ 
j udgments ! - Query, ' law ' ?— G. 



IsA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 219 

himself; nor (4.) He cannot look upon iniquity and not loathe it; he 
cannot behold iniquity and approve of it or delight in it. God has a 
sovereignty over all your persons and concernments in this world, and 
therefore he may do with you and all that is yours as he pleaseth. 
Upon this account you ought to say, The Lord is righteous, though he 
hath laid your habitations desolate, and burned up your houses before 
your eyes. It is true, God has dealt severely with London ; but he 
might have dealt more severely with it. Lam. iii. 22. He might have 
burnt up every house, and he might have consumed every inhabitant 
in London's flames. He might have made good that sad word upon 
them, ' They shall go from one fire, and another fire shall devour 
them,' Ezek. xv. 7. The citizens of London may say with good Ezra, 
God hath punished us less than our iniquities deserve ; and therefore 
it highly concerns them to say, ' The Lord is righteous.' All that 
God doth is good. You know what Hezekiah said : 2 Kings xx. 19, 
* Good is the word of the Lord.' This was a hard word, a sad word, 
that all his treasure should be carried into Babylon, and his sons also, 
and made servants there, and yet he saith, ' Good is the word of the 
Lord.' Whatever God doth is good. God, in that he is good, saith 
one — Luther in Psalm cxx. — can give nothing, do nothing, but that 
which is good ; others do frequently, he cannot possibly. Upon this 
account also it concerns us to say. The Lord is righteous, though our 
city be laid desolate. It is better to be under a fiery rod, than to be 
wallowing in the mire of sin.^ It is better that London should be laid 
desolate, than that God should say, England, farewell. That is a Chris- 
tian worth gold who can seriously, heartily, and habitually say, The 
Lord is righteous, though all our pleasant things are laid desolate. 

Objec. I would say, The Lord is righteous ; but by this fiery dis- 
pensation I am turned out of house and home. 

Now, in answer to this objection, give me leave to inquire : — 

[1.] First, Whether your hoitse loas dedicated to the Lord by fast- 
ing and prayer or not ? Deut. xx. 5. If it were only dedicated to the 
service of sin, Satan, or the world, no wonder if the Lord has turned 
it into a heap. But, 

[2.] Secondly, Give me leave to inquire. Whether you had set up 
Christ and holiness and holy orders in your house or no f See Ps. 
ci. Did you in good earnest resolve with Joshua, ' That you and your 
house would serve the Lord,' Joshua xxiv. 15. If not, no wonder if 
the Lord has laid your habitations desolate. But, 

[3.] Thirdly, Give me leave to inquire. Whether you did labour 
and endeavour to the utmost of what you ivere able, that Christ might 
have a church in your house or no ? Col. iv. 15, ' Salute the brethren 
which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which is in his 
house'; that is, saith Dr Hammond, which meets together in his 
house. 1 Cor. xvi. 19, * The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila 
and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in 
their house.' Phil. 2, ' And to our beloved Apphia, and Archippus 
our fellow-soldier, and to the church in thy house. '^ Philemon's 

^ See more of this in my ' Mute Christian.' [Vol. I, as before,— G.] 
^ See Dr Hammond on this scripture. Vide Bishop Dav[enant] Cotton, Beza, Scul- 
tetus, Ambrose, &c. 



220 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLIL 24, 25. 

house was a public meeting-house, where the faithful had their assem- 
blies ; and so continued for many years after, as Theodoret and others 
witnesseth. Some understand this last scripture of the church which 
kept their assemblies in Philemon's house. Others understand it of 
his household, which was as a little church in his house: Rom. xvi. 
5, ' Likewise greet the church that is in their house.' Chrysostom by 
the church in their house understands their Christian family, who, 
saith he, were so godly, as to make their whole house the church. 
Origen interpreteth it of the faithful and ready ministry of these 
servants of the Lord, in entertaining of the saints in their house. 
Theophylact thinketh it to be called the church in their house, because 
the faithful were entertained there. But beside this, it seemeth that 
their house was a place for the saints to assemble in ; there the con- 
gregation used to come together, [Martyr.] The last thing in their 
praise was, that they had a church in their house ; either for that 
their family, for their godly order observed in it, seemed to be a church, 
or else for the faithful gathered together in their house to celebrate 
their assemblies ; for they might not have in most places the free use 
of their Christian religion, through the malice of the Jews on the one 
hand, and the rage of the Gentiles on the other hand. Consult Acts 
xiii. and xiv., [Wilson.] In this great city of Rome there were 
divers assemblies of believers, which were held in some private men s 
houses, where they might meet safest — the state then, and some 
hundred years after, not permitting them any public temples or audi- 
tories to meet in, as our English Annotators observe upon the place. 
In each particular family last cited, there was a church of Christ. 
Now have you burnt citizens made it your business to erect a church 
of Christ in your particular families ? if so, well it is with you, though 
you have lost all. If not, do not wonder that Grod has laid your 
houses desolate. Adam had a church in his house, so had Abraham, 
and Jacob, and Joshua, and David, and Cornelius, Well governed 
families may in some sense be well reputed churches. The house of 
George, Prince of Anhalt, for the good orders therein observed, is said 
to have been, Ecclesia, academia, curia. Ah London, London! it may 
be there might have been more houses standing within thy walls 
than now there is, if every particular house had been as a particular 
church to Christ. As for such houses where there were no exercises 
of religion ; as for such houses where idleness, cheating, lying, cursing, 
swearing, slandering, gaming, drunkenness, uncleanness, and riotous- 
ness were rampant, they were rather the devil's chapel than Christ's 
church ; and therefore it was just with God to lay such habitations 
desolate. But, 

[4.] Fourthly, Give me leave to inquire. Whether you loere friends 
or enemies to God's house, 2 Tim. i. 20 ; Num. xii. 7 ; Joshua i. 2. 
Now God's house is his church, and his church is his house : Heb. iii. 
5,^,' And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant ; 
but Christ as a Son over his own house ; whose house are we ; ' 1 Pet. 
ii. 5, ' Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy 
priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus 
Christ ; ' so 1 Tim. iii. 15, ' That thou mayest know how thou oughtest 
to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 221 

living God, the pillar and ground of the truth ; ' Prov. ix. 1, ' Wisdom 
hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars.' Wis- 
dom — /TlDDn, chakmoth, the Hebrew word is plural, wisdoms: wisdoms 
hath built her a house. By wisdoms some understand the trinity of 
persons \ but most conclude that by wisdoms is meant our Lord Jesus 
Christ, in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, 
Col. ii. 3. The word is plural for honour's sake. As princes write, 
We command^ the Lord Jesus Christ is said to be wisdoms in the 
plural number, to note that he is the sovereign and supreme wisdom, 
and that he is instead of all wisdoms, and comprehends all wisdoms 
in himself, all the world being fools in comparison of him. Wisdoms 
hath built her a house — (1.) Some take this house to be the human 
nature of Christ, but that was not then built ; (2.) Others understand 
it of the work of grace in man's soul, but this the Spirit commonly 
works in this house by the ministry of the word, Gal. v. 22, 23 ; (3.) 
Others by this house understand heaven, that upper house, that house 
of state in which Christ saith there are many mansions, but this cannot 
[be it], because the house in the text is such a house to which wisdom 
doth immediately invite and call all her guests ; but (4.) and lastly, 
Others by house understand the church of Christ on earth, for the 
church militant is a house built up of many lively stones, 1 Pet. ii. 5 ; 
and with these I close. Now by these scriptures it is very plain that 
God's house is his church, and his church his house. Now if you 
were enemies to God's house, if you hated his house, and designed and 
endeavoured to pull down his house, no wonder that the Lord has laid 
your houses desolate. Mat. xxiii. 37, 38 ; Zech. xii. 2, 3, 6, 9. Such 
who cry out concerning his house, Kaze it, raze it even to the founda- 
tion thereof, Ps. cxxxvii. 7, may one day want a house to live in. 

It is observable that in private houses Christ his apostles, and par- 
ticular churches, and primitive Christians, frequently used to meet 
when the times were dangerous : John xx. 19, ' Then the same day at 
evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut 
where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus, 
and stood in the midst, and saith unto them. Peace be unto you ; ' 
ver. 26, ' And after eight days, again his disciples were within, and 
Thomas with them. Then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and 
stood in the midst, and said. Peace be unto you,' Luke xxiv. 33. 
This was the usual manner of salutation among the Jews, whereby 
they wished one another all happiness and prosperity. The doors of 
the room where they were together were shut for the more secrecy and 
security, to avoid danger from the Jews, saith Dr Hammond on the 
words : i Acts i. 13, 14, ' And when they were come in, they went up 
into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, 
and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James 
the son of Alpheus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of 
James. These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplica- 
tion, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his 
brethren : ' Acts xx. 7,2 ' And upon the first day of the week, when 
the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, 

' See the Dutch Annotations. 

2 See the Dutch Annotations and Diodati on Acts xx. 7-12. 



222 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

ready to depart on the morrow ; and continued his speech until mid- 
night ; ' ver. 8, ' And here were many lights ' {Gr. many lamps) ' in 
the upper chamber, whither they were gathered together ; ' ver. 9, 
' And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, 
being fallen into a deep sleep : and as Paul was long preaching, he 
sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was 
taken up dead ; ' ver. 10, ' And Paul went down, and fell on him, and, 
embracing him, said. Trouble not yourselves ; for his life is in him ;' 
ver. 11, ' When he therefore was come np again, and had broken 
bread, and eaten, and talked a long while, even till break of day, so 
he departed ; ' ver. 12, And they brought the young man alive, and 
were not a little comforted ; ' Acts v. 42, ' And daily in the temple, 
and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ ; ' 
Acts xii. 12,1 'And when he had considered the things, he came to 
the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; 
where many were gathered together praying' — or where many thronged 
to pray, as it runs in the original ; Acts xx. 20, ' And how I kept 
back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and 
have taught you publicly, and from house to house ; ' Acts xxviii. 30, 
31, ' And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and re- 
ceived all that came in unto him : preaching the kingdom of God, 
and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with 
all confidence, no man forbidding him;' Luke x. 38, 39, 'Now it 
came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village : and 
a certain woman, named Martha, received him into her house. And 
she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard 
his word.' Beloved, by these scriptures it is most evident and clear 
that our Lord Jesus Christ, and his disciples and apostles, and those 
Christians that lived in their times, did frequently meet in private 
houses, and there performed acts of public worship — viz. , such as preach- 
ing, hearing, praying, breaking of bread, &c. How the primitive 
Christians in those hot times of persecution met in the nights, and in 
woods, and houses, and obscure places, they best understand who have 
read the writings of Tertullian, Cyprian, Chrysostom, Theodoret, 
Austin, Eusebius, Justin Martyr, Pliny, &c. But this to some being 
an unpleasing theme, I shall not enlarge myself upon it. Only 
remember this, that there was never yet any town, city, or country, 
kingdom or commonwealth, that did ever fare the worse for a holy 
praying people. Frequent and fervent prayer, be it in public or in 
private, in a synagogue or in an upper room, never did, nor never will, 
bring misery or mischief upon those places where such exercises are 
kept up, James v. 17, 18. Such conventicles of good fellowship, as 
some call them, where there is nothing but swearing and cursing, and 
carousing and gaming, and all manner of filthiness and profaneness, 
are the only conventicles that bring desolating judgments upon princes, 
people, and nations, as is most evident throughout the scriptures. 2 

^ See Dr Hammond on the words and the English Annotations ; vide Dr Hammond 
of Acts xxviii. 30, 31. 

* Several hundred scriptures might be produced to make good the assertion. Remem- 
ber what one Achan did, and what one Manasseh did, 2 Kings xxi. 11, 12 ; Eccles. 
ix. 18. 'One sinner destroyeth much good.' Oh, then, what a world of good Avill a rabble 
of sinners destroy ! 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 223 

Take two texts for all : 1 Sam. i. 12, 25, ' But if ye shall still do 
wickedly, ye shall be consumed, both ye and your kings.' When 
princes and people continue to do wickedly together, then they shall 
be consumed together. Zeph. i. 12, ' I will search Jerusalem with 
candles, and punish the men that are settled on their lees : that say 
in their heart, The Lord will not do good, neither will he do evil;' 
ver. 13, ' Therefore their goods shall become a booty, and their houses 
a desolation ;' ver. 17, ' And I will bring distress upon men, that they 
shall walk like blind men, because they sinned against the Lord ; and 
their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung ;' 
ver. 18, * Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver 
them in the day of the Lord's wrath : but the whole land shall be 
devoured by the fire of his jealousy : for he shall make even a speedy 
riddance of all them that dwell in the land.' Now, if any of you 
whose houses are laid desolate, have had your spirits imbittered and 
engaged against the poor people of God, for practising as Christ and 
his apostles did, then lay your hands upon your mouths, and say. The 
Lord is righteous, though he has turned us out of house and home, 
and laid all our pleasant things desolate. Certainly all that legal and 
ceremonial holiness of places which we read of in the Old Testament 
did quite vanish and expire with the types, when Christ, who is the 
substance at which all those shadows pointed, came into the world. 
I have neither faith to believe, nor any reason to see that there is in 
any separated or consecrated places for divine worship, any such legal 
or ceremonial kind of holiness which renders duties performed there 
more acceptable unto God, than if performed by the same persons and 
in the like manner in any other places.! Doubtless Christ by his 
coming in the flesh hath removed all distinction of places through 
legal holiness. This is clear by the speech of our Saviour to the 
Samaritan woman, concerning the abolishing of all distinction of 
places for worship through a ceremonial holiness : John iv. 21, ' Jesus 
saith unto her. Woman, believe me, the hour cometh when ye shall 
neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.' 
The public worship of God was now to be restrained to no place, as 
formerly it was to the temple at Jerusalem — that is, to no place for 
its ceremonial holiness, which may render the parts of divine worship 
more acceptable to God than if performed elsewhere ; because those 
types which sanctioned the places formerly, were now to be taken 
away, when Christ the substance was come ; and the body of the cere- 
monial worship being now to expire, and the partition -wall taken 
down, that the Gentiles might be admitted to worship God in spirit 
and in truth. It could not possibly be, for these reasons, that the 
true worship of God should be tied and fixed to any one such temple 
as was at Jerusalem, anymore. The temple at Jerusalem was a mean 
of God's worship, and part of their ceremonial service, and a type of 
Christ ; but our temples, saith my author,'^ are not a part of the wor- 
ship of God, nor types of the body of Christ. Neither are we bound 
when we pray to set our faces towards them. They are called places 
of prayer only, because the saints meet there ; and if the saints' meet- 

1 Merc[eru8] in Had. t^^lp 

' Weemes. Vol. i., Christian Synagogue, p. 110. 



,22 i London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

ing were not in them, they were but like other common places. The 
temple of Jerusalem sanctified the meetings of the saints, but the 
meeting of the saints sanctifies our temples. Herod's temple at Jeru- 
salem was so set on fire by Titus his soldiers, that it could not be 
quenched by the industry of man ; and at the same time Apollo's 
temple at Delphi was utterly overthrown by earthquakes and thunder- 
bolts, and neither of them could ever since be repaired. The con- 
currence of which two miracles, saith mine author, ^ evidently sheweth 
that the time was then come when God would put an end both to 
Jewish ceremonies and heathenish idolatry, that the kingdom of his 
Son might be the better established. The time of Christ's death and 
passion was the very time that God, in his eternal counsel, had set for 
the abrogation of the ceremonial law, and all ceremonial holiness 
of places. As soon as ever Christ had said, ' It is finished, and had 
given up the ghost,' John xix. 30, immediately the vail of the temple 
was rent from the top to the bottom. Mat. xxvii. 51 ; and from that 
very hour there was no more holiness in the temple than in any other 
place. By the death of Christ all religious differences of places is 
taken away, so that no one place is holier than another. Before the 
coming of Christ the whole land of Canaan, because it was a type 
of the church of Christ, and of the kingdom of heaven, was esteemed 
by God's people a better and holier place than any other in the world. 
And upon that ground among others, Jacob and Joseph were so 
desirous to be buried there, Gen. xlvii. 29, 31, and xlix. 29. And in 
the land of Canaan some places are said to have been more holy than 
others — viz., such as wherein God did manifest himself in a special 
and sensible manner. So the place where Christ appeared to Moses 
in the fiery bush is called holy ground ; and so was that wherein he 
appeared to Joshua, Exod. iii. 5 ; Joshua v. 15. And the mount 
whereon Christ was transfigured is called by Peter the holy mount, 1 
Pet. i. 18. But these places were no longer accounted holy than during 
the time of this special presence of the Lord in them. So Jerusalem 
was called the holy city. Mat. iv. 5 ; yea, at the very moment of 
Christ's death, it is called the holy city, chap, xxvii. 53, because it was 
a city set apart by God for a holy use, a city where he was daily wor- 
shipped, a city that he had chosen to put his name upon. Though 
Jerusalem was a very wicked city, yea, the wickedest city in all the 
world, counting the means they enjoyed, yet it is called the holy 
city ; and so doubtless, in respect of separation and dedication, it was 
holier than any other city or place in the world besides. So the 
temple in Jerusalem is nine times called the holy temple, because 
it was a more holy place than any other place in Jerusalem. 2 Now 
mark, though all the parts of the temple were holy, yet some places in 
it were holier than other some. This may be made evident three 
ways. First, There was a place where the people stood separated 
from the priests, Luke i. 10. And this was so holy a place that 
Christ would not suffer any to carry any vessel through it, Mark xvi. 
11. And secondly. There was a place where the priests executed 
their ministry, which was holier than that that the people stood in, and 

' Godw. Antiq. Heb. 

* Pa. V. 7, xi. 4, Ixv. 4, Ixxix. 1, and cxxxviii. 2 ; Jonah ii. 4, 7 ; Micah i. 2 ; Hab. ii. 20. 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 225 

is therefore called the holy place, Lev. xvi. 30, seq. And thirdly, 
There was a place which the high-priest might only enter into, and 
that but once a year, and that is called the holy of holies, the holiest 
place of all, Heb. ix. 3. But now since the death of Christ, there is 
no place in the world that is holier than other. The prayer of faith 
is as powerful and as prevalent with God in one place as in another. 
Paul describes the faithful to be such as call upon God in every place, 
1 Cor. i. 2. ' And I will,' saith he, ' that men pray everywhere,' 1 
Tim. ii. 8. ' And where two or three,' saith Christ, ' are gathered 
together in my name, there am I in the midst of them,' Mat. xviii. 
20. That every place should be free for the people of God to worship 
the Lord in, was foretold by the prophets, as a singular privilege that 
should come to the church in the days of the gospel: Zeph. ii. 11, 
* And men shall worship him, every one from his place, even all 
the isles of the heathen ; ' that is, all countries, though not encom- 
passed with the sea, for the Jews called all lands islands whither they 
could not come but by water. Men should worship, not only at Jeru- 
salem, as once, but in all places ; they should lift up ' pure hands and 
hearts without wrath or doubting,' 1 Tim ii. 8, both in church and 
chamber. Any place whatsoever shall be a sufficient oratory, so 
that God be worshipped in spirit and in truth : Mai. i. 11, ' For from 
the rising of the sun, even to the going down of the same, my name 
shall be great among the Gentiles ; and in every place,' not in Judea 
only, ' incense shall be offered unto my name,' — here the prophet 
frames his words to the capacity of the people, and by the altar and 
sacrifices he meaneth the spiritual service of God, which should be 
under the gospel, when an end shall be put to all these legal ceremonies 
by Christ's only sacrifice — ' and a pure offering : for my name shall be 
great among the heathen, saith the Lord of hosts.' The poor blind 
besotted Jews thought that God was so tied to them, that if they did 
not worship him at Jerusalem, he would have no service nor worship 
in the world. But God tells them that they were under a very high 
mistake, for he would take care of his own name and glory. * For 
from the rising of the sun, even to the going down of the same, 
my name shall be great' — that is, the knowledge of it, and of the 
right worship of it — ' among the Gentiles,' [this is an excellent pro- 
phecy of the cutting off l the Gentiles ;] — ' and in every place incense 
shall be offered unto my name.' My worship, saith God, shall not be 
confined to Judea or Jerusalem, or the temple, but in every place 
1 will have a people that shall worship me, and that shall be still 
offering of prayers and praises and thanksgivings to me. 2 Christ, by 
his death, hath taken away all difference of places. And indeed it 
was but necessary that, when the body was come, the shadow should 
cease. Yea, since Christ's death, all difference of persons is taken 
away : ' For in every nation under heaven, such as fear God, and work 
righteousness, are accepted of him.' ' There is neither Jew nor Greek, 
there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female : for 
ye are all one in Christ Jesus,' Acts x. 34, 35 ; Gal. iii. 28. And 
therefore all difference of places must needs also be taken away, for 
this difference of places was as a partition- wall between the Jews and 

1 Query, ' calling of ' ?— G. ' See Isa. Ixvi. 19, 20, Ix. 8, and xix. 19. 

VOL. VI. P 



226 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

the Gentiles, Eph. ii. 14, 15. Now mark, since the destruction of the 
temple and city of Jerusalem, the Lord hath not sanctified any other 
place in the world, or consecrated it to a more holy use than the rest, 
and it is only God's institution and word that can make any thing or 
any place holy, 1 Tim. iv. 4, 5. Nothing can make any place or 
any thing else holy, but the ordinance and institution of God. It 
is Judaism, it is a denying of Christ to be come in the flesh, to hold or 
affirm that one place is holier than another. I know the papists put 
more holiness in some places than they do in others ; for they hold 
that it is more advantageous to the dead to be buried in the church- 
yard than out of it ; and in the church, more than in the churchyard ; 
and in chancel, more than in the church ; and near the high altar, 
more than in any other place of the chancel ; and all out of a super- 
stitious conceit, that these places are consecrated and hallowed, that 
they are holier than other places are. But Christians that live under 
a bright shining gospel understand the folly and vanity of these men's 
spirits, principles, and practices. Such as are wise in heart know 
that since Christ by his death hath taken away all religious difference 
of places, England is as holy as Canaan, and London as Jerusalem, 
and our houses as the temple. 

Under the law they were wont to dedicate their houses, and conse- 
crate them to God, before they dwelt in them : Deut. xx. 5, ' And the 
officers shall speak unto the people, saying, What man is there that 
hath built a new house, and hath not dedicated it ?' — by prayers, hymns, 
and other holy solemnities ; — ' let him go and return to his house, lest 
he die in the battle, and another man dedicate it.' Now though this 
were done in those times, with sundry ceremonies which are now 
abolished, yet the equity of the duty still remains. And doubtless the 
best way for a man to bring down a blessing upon himself and his 
house, is to dedicate himself and his house to God: 2 Sam. vi. 11, 
' And the ark of the Lord continued in the house of Obed-edom the 
Hittite three months : and the Lord blessed Obed-edom, and all his 
household:' ver. 12, ' And it was told king David, saying. The Lord 
hath blessed the house of Obed-edom, and all that pertaineth to 
him, because of the ark of God.'i i^ this scripture you see that when 
men do anything to the advancement of religion, or to the furtherance 
of God's worship and service, he takes it kindly at their hands. The 
meanest service that is done to Christ or his church hath a patent of 
eternity. Again, in this scripture you may run and read a real retri- 
bution and remuneration. God does not put off Obed-edom with a 
fine feather, or with empty favours, or court-compliments, but he 
really blesses him and all his household. Obed-edom had been at 
some cost and charge in giving entertainment to God's ark ; but God 
defrays all the charges, and pays him abundantly for his kind enter- 
tainment, with interest upon interest. No man ever gave the gospel a 
night's lodging, that hath been a loser by it. God will pay all such 
with use and principal, who do anything to the furtherance of his 

^ Neh. xii. 27, 28; Ps. xxx. Title, A Psalm and Song at the Dedication of the House 
of David. While the ark brought the plague, every one was glad to be rid of it; but 
when it brought a blessing to Obed-edom, they looked upon it as worthy of entertain- 
ment. Many will own a blessing ark, a prosperous truth ; but he is an Obed-edom in- 
deed that will own a persecuted, tossed, banished ark. 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 227 

worship and service. Hiram shall have corn and oil, for affording 
materials to the building of the temple. Cyrus shall prosper and be 
victorious, for breaking off the yokes that were about his people's necks, 
and restoring of them to their Christian liberty. Egypt fared the 
better for entertaining the patriarchs ; God stored that country with 
great plenty and variety of outward blessings, because his church was 
to sojourn there. God blessed Obed-edom's person and possession and 
family for the ark's sake. The blessings that was upon Obed-edom 
was like the precious ointment that was shed upon Aaron's head, and 
that ran down to the lowest skirts of his garments. Every servant in 
Obed-edom's family tasted of God's noble bounty, and fared the better 
for the ark's sake. Let men and devils do their worst, God will cer- 
tainly bless their dwellings who give entertainment to his ark, to his 
people that desire to worship him in spirit and in truth. 

sirs, this is and this must be for a lamentation, that there are so 
many ale-houses, and gaming-houses, and whore-houses, that are 
usually stuffed with vain persons, yea, with the very worst of the worst 
of men, both on the Lord's day, and on other days.i Certainly these 
houses are the very suburbs and seminaries of hell. Uhifuistif Where 
hast thou been ? apud inferos, in hell, said Erasmus merrily : com- 
paring tippling-houses to hell. Doubtless they are the nurseries of all 
sin, and the synagogue of devils incarnate. In the above-mentioned 
houses, how notoriously is the name of God blasphemed, and how 
shamefully are the precious fruits of the earth abused ! and how many 
hundred families are there impoverished ! and how many thousand 
children and servants are there impoisoned ! and how is all manner of 
wickedness and lewdness there encouraged and increased ! But when, 
oh when shall the sword of the magistrate be turned against these con- 
venticles of hell ? Certainly the horrid wickednesses that are daily 
committed in such houses, if not prevented by a faithful, zealous, and 
constant execution of the laws in force, will arm divine vengeance 
against the land. Magistrates should not bear the sword of justice 
in vain ; for they are ministers of God to revenge and execute wrath 
upon them that do evil. By their office they are bound to be a 
terror to evil-doers, and encouragers of them that do well ; and oh 
that all in power and authority would for ever resolve against being 
Satan's drudges : Kev. ii. 10, ' Fear none of these things which thou 
shalt suffer : behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that 
ye may be tried ; and ye shall have tribulation ten days : be thou 
faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.' 2 The devil 
by his imps and instruments whom he acts and agitates, the devil by 
engaging the civil and the military power of the world against the 
people of God, should so far prevail as to clap them up in prison. The 
prison in this text notes, by a synecdoche, the adjuncts and conse- 

^ Among all the Lacedsemonians you could not have seen one drunken man among 
them, unless it was their slaves. The Mahometans forbid any of their sect to drink 
wine, under pain of death ; their Mussulmans and Darnisels [sic] aflBrming that there 
lurks a devil under every grape. [Quer}', 'darvishcs'? — Ed.] 

" The devil in Dioclesian, say some; the devil in Trajan, say others: for he reigned next 
after this book was written, and was very cruel against the Christians, delivering them 
over to prisons and death, and all to drive them through fear from the profession of 
Christ. 



228 LONDON'S LAMENTATIONS ON [ISA. XLII. 24, 25. 

quei]ces— as namely, torments, punishments, and all sorts of martyr- 
dom. This one punishment, imprisonment, saith Brightman, doth 
contain prescribings,! confiscation of ^ goods, banishments, slaughters, 
fires rackino-s, or whatsoever exquisite torment beside, as the story 
teacheth. The heathen emperors, with those wicked governors, officers, 
and soldiers that were under them, were the great instruments in 
Satan's hand, to practise the greatest cruelties upon the saints in those 
days. Some they cast into prisons, some they banished, multitudes 
they slew with the sword ; some of the precious servants of Christ they 
beat with stripes to death, others they branded in their foreheads, 
others were tortured and racked. Yea, and many holy women in that 
day had their breasts cut off, and others of them had their breasts 
burnt with a hot iron, and sometimes with eggs roasted as hot as could 
be. These, with many other torments, the people of God were exer- 
cised with, as all know that have read the lamentable stories of those 
sad times. 

Ohj. But you may say, Why then is the imprisonment of the saints 
so ascribed to the devil, as if it were immediately acted by him ? 'Be- 
hold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison.' 

Ans. [1.] To shew what influence the devil hath in the acting of 
wicked men, so that in effect their deed is his deed, they are so sub- 
servient to him. 

[2.] It is to shew us that the author, original, and fountain from 
whence all the persecutions of the saints do flow, is the devil, who was 
a murderer and a liar from the beginning, John viii. 44. 

[3.] It is to aggravate the horribleness of this sin of persecution, as 
being a main piece of the deviFs business, whatever the instruments are. 

[4.] It is to comfort and encourage the people of God to patience 
and constancy in all their sufferings for Christ, seeing that it is the 
devil that is their grand enemy, and that makes, in his instruments, 
the highest opposition against them. A gracious man in the midst of 
all oppositions, as Chrysostom said of Peter, is as a man made all of 
fire walking in stubble, he overcomes and consumes all oppositions ; 
all difficulties are but whet-stones to his fortitude. When Christians 
meet with great opposers and great oppositions, they should say as 
that noble soldier, P^edarelus, in Erasmus, did to him that told him 
of a numerous and mighty army which was coming against him, Tanto 
plus glorice referemus quoniam eo plures superabimus : The number of 
opposers makes the Christian's conquest the more illustrious. It is 
very observable, that in Dioclesian's time, under whom was the last 
and worst of the ten persecutions, when Christian religion was more 
desperately opposed than ever, yet then it prospered and prevailed 
more than ever [Ruffinus.] So that Dioclesian himself observing that 
the more he sought to blot out the name of Christ, the more legible it 
became, and the more he laboured to block up the way of Christ, the 
more passable it became. 2 And whatever of Christ he thought to 
root out, it rooted the deeper and rose the higher : thereupon he re- 

' Query, ' proscribings ' ? — Ed. 

^ As they said once of the Grecians in the epigram, whom they thought invulnerable. 
We shoot at them, but they fall not down, we wound them, but do not kill them. [As 
before. —G.J See Exod. i. 10-13, and Acts viii. and xiv. 



IsA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 229 

solved to engage no further, but retired to a private life. All the 
oppositions that the devil and his instruments hath raised against the 
saints in all the ages of the world, hath not diminished, but increased 
their number. For the first three hundred years after Christ there 
was a most terrible persecution. Historians tell us that by seven and 
twenty several sorts of deaths they tormented the poor people of God. 
In these hot times of persecution many millions of Christians were 
destroyed. And yet this was so far from diminishing of their num- 
ber, that it increased their number ; for the more they were oppressed 
and persecuted, the more they were increased. And therefore some 
have well observed, that though Julian used all means imaginable to 
suppress them, yet he could never do it. He shut up all their schools, 
that they might not have learning, and yet never did learning more 
flourish than then. He devised all manner of cruel torments to terrify 
the Christians, and to draw them from their holy faith ; and yet he 
saw that they increased and multiplied so fast, that he thought it his 
best course at last to give over his persecuting of the saints, not out 
of love, but out of envy, because that through his persecution they 
increased. This was represented unto Daniel in a vision, Dan. 
ii. 34, 35. The kingdom of Christ is set forth there by a little stone 
cut out of the mountain without hands, without art or industry, with- 
out engines and human helps. The stone was a growing stone, and 
although in all the ages of the world there have been many hammers 
at work to break this stone in pieces, yet they have not nor shall not 
prevail ; but the little stone shall grow more and more, till it becomes 
a great mountain, and fills the whole earth. 

And let this suffice for answer to the first objection. 

Ohj. 2. I would justify the Lord, I would say he is righteous, 
though my house be burnt up : but I have lost my goods, I have lost 
my estate, yea, I have lost my all as to this world ; and how then can 
I say the Lord is righteous ? how can I justify that God which has 
even stripped me as naked as the day wherein I was born ? &c. 

To this I answer. 

[1.] First, Didst thou gain thy estate hy just or unjust ways and 
means ? If by unjust ways and means, then be silent before the Lord. 
If by just ways and means, then know that the Lord will lay in that 
of himself, and of his Son, and of his Spirit, and of his grace, and of 
heaven s glory, that shall make up all thy losses to thee. But, 

[2.] Secondly, Did you improve your estates for the glory of God, 
and the good of others, or did you not f If not, why do you com- 
plain ? If you did, the reward that shall attend you at the long run, 
may very well bear up your spirits under all your losses. Consult 
these scriptures : 1 Cor. i. 15 ; 2 Cor. ix. 6 ; Eccles. xi. 1 ; Gal. 
vi. 7, 8 ; Isa. xxxii. 20, and Iv. 10 ; Prov. xi. 18 ; Rev. xxii. 12. 
But, 

[3.] Thirdly, What trade did you drive Christ-wards, and heaven- 
ivards, and holiness-wards ?'^ If you did drive either no trade heaven- 
wards, or but a slender or inconstant trade heaven-wards, and holiness- 
wards, never wonder that God by a fiery dispensation has spoiled your 

' The stars which have least circuit are nearest the pole, and men that are least per- 
plexed with business are commonly nearest to God. 



230 LONDON'S LAMENTATIONS ON [ISA. XLII. 24, 25. 

civil trade. Doubtless there were many citizens who did drive a close, 
secret, sinful trade, who had their by-ways and back-doors — some to 
uncleanness, others to merry-meetings, and others to secret gaming. 
Now if thou wert one of them that didst drive a secret trade of sin, 
never murmur because thy house is burnt, and thy trade destroyed, but 
rather repent of thy secret trade of sin, and wonder that thy body is not 
in the grave, and that thy soul is not a-burning in everlasting flames. 
Many there were in London, who had so great a trade, so full a trade, 
go constant a trade, that they had no time to mind the everlasting 
concernments of their precious souls and the great things of eternity.^ 
They had so much to do on earth, that they had no time to look up 
to heaven, as once the Duke of Alva told the king of France. Sir 
Thomas More saith. There is a devil called negotium, business, that 
carrieth more souls to hell than all the devils in hell beside. Many 
citizens had so many irons in the fire, and were cumbered about with 
so many things, that they wholly neglectod the one thing necessary ; 
and therefore it was but just with God to visit them with a fiery rod. 
Look, as much earth puts out the fire, so much worldly business puts 
out the fire of heavenly affections. Look, as the earth swallowed up 
Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, so much worldly business swallows up 
so much precious time, that many men have no leisure to secure their 
interest in Christ, to make their calling and election sure, to lay up 
treasure in heaven, to provide for eternity ; and if this have been any 
of your cases who are now burnt up, it highly concerns you to justify 
the Lord, and to say he is righteous, though he has burnt up your 
habitations, and destroyed your trade. Num. xxii. 32, and 2 Pet. i. 10. 
It is sad when a crowd of worldly business shall crowd God and 
Christ and duty out of doors. Many citizens did drive so great a 
public trade in their shops, that their private trade to heaven was 
quite laid by. Such who were so busy about their farm and their 
merchandise, see Luke xiv. 16, 22, that they had no leisure to attend 
their souls' concernments, had their city set on fire about their ears : 
Mat. xxii. 5, ' But they made light of it' — that is, of all the free, rich, 
and noble offers of grace and mercy that God had made to them — ' and 
went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise.' Ver. 7, 
* But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth : and he sent forth 
his armies' — that is, the Romans — 'and destroyed those murderers, 
and burnt up their city.' It is observable that the Jews, who were 
commanded six days to labour, were also commanded to offer morning 
and evening sacrifice daily, Exod. xx. 9. Vide Exod. xxix. 38, 39 ; 
Num. xxviii. 3 ; Deut. vi. 6-8. They had their morning sacrifice 
when they entered upon their work, and they had their evening 
sacrifice when they ended their work. Their particular callings did 
not steal away their hearts from their general callings. The Jews 
divided the day into three parts, the first, ad Tephilla, orationem, to 
prayer ; the second, ad Torah, legem, for the reading of the law ; the 
third, ad Malacha, opus, for the works of their lawful callings.^ Although 

^ There were many who sacrificed their precious time either to Morpheus the minister 
of sleep, or to Bacchus the god of wine, or to Venus the goddess of beauty, as if all were 
due to the bed, the tavern, and the brothel-house. 

' Weemse, Mor. Law, p. 223. 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 231 

they were days appointed for work, yet they gave God his part, they 
gave God a share of them every day. God, who is the Lord of all 
time, hath reserved to himself a part of our time every day. And 
therefore men's particular callings ought to give way to their general 
calling. But alas ! before London was in flames, many men's — Oh that 
I could not say most men's ! — particular callings swallowed up their 
general calling. The noise is such in a mill as hinders all intercourse 
between man and man : so many of the burnt citizens had such a 
multitude of worldly businesses lying upon their hands, and that 
made such a noise, as that all intercourse between God and them was 
hindered. Seneca, one of the most refined heathens, could say, ' I do 
not give, but only lend myself to my business.' I am afraid this 
heathen will one day rise in judgment against those burnt citizens 
who have not lended themselves to their business, but wholly given 
up themselves to their business, as if they had no God to honour, no 
souls to save, no hell to escape, nor no heaven to make sure. But, 

[4.] Fourthly, Job lost all, and recovered all again: he lost a fair 
estate, and God doubles his estate to him} So David lost all, and 
recovered all again: 1 Sam. xxx. 18, 'And David recovered all that 
the Amalekites had carried away ; and David rescued his two wives.' 
Ver. 19, * And there was nothing lacking to them, neither small nor 
great, neither sons nor daughters, neither spoil, nor anything that 
they had taken to them.' David recovered all. Here the end was 
better than the beginning; but the contrary befell the Amalekites, 
who a little before had framed comedies out of poor Ziklag's tragedies. 
In the beginning of the chapter you may see that David had lost all 
that ever he had in the world, ver. 1-5. All the spoil that he had 
taken from others were gone — his corn gone, his cattle gone, his wives 
gone, and his city burnt with fire, and turned into a ruinous heap, so 
that he had not a house, a habitation in all the world to put his head 
in ; he had nothing left him but a poor, grieved, madded, and en- 
raged army. The people spake of stoning of him, ver. 6 : but what was 
the event now? Why, David recovers all again. sirs, when a 
Christian is in greatest distress, when he hath lost all, when he is not 
worth one penny in all the world, yet then he hath a God to go to at 
last. David encouraged himself in the Lord his God. A Christian's 
case is never so desperate but he hath still a God to go to.^ When a 
Christian has lost all, the best way to recover all again is to encourage 
himself in the Lord his God. God sometimes strips his people of out- 
ward mercies, and then restores to them again those very mercies that 
he had stripped them of. I have read a story of a poor man that God 
served 3 faithfully, and yet was oppressed cruelly, having all his goods 
taken from him by an exacting knight; whereupon, in a melancholy 
humour, he persuaded himself that God was dead, who had formerly 
been so faithful to him, and now, as he thought, had left him. It so fell 
out that an old man met him, and desired him to deliver a letter into 
the hands of his oppressor; upon the receipt and perusal of which, 
the knight was so convinced, that immediately he confessed his fault, 

^ Compare the first and last chapters of Job together. 

' Remember that of Zeno, who said he never sailed better than when he suffered 
shipwreck. '^ Query, ' served God;?— Ed. 



232 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

and restored the poor man his goods ; which made the poor man say, 
Now I see that God may seem to sleep, but can never die. If God 
has taken away all, yet remember that God has a thousand thousand 
ways to make up all thy losses to thee, which thou knowest not of ; 
therefore do not murmur, do not fret, do not faint, nor do not limit 
the Holy One of Israel. If thou madest no improvement of thy 
house, thy estate, thy trade, then it is thy wisdom and thy work 
rather to be displeased with thyself for thy non-improvement of 
mercies, than to be discontented at that hand of heaven that hath 
deprived thee of thy mercies. Eemember, ye burnt citizens of 
London, that you are not the first that have lost your all. Besides the 
instances already cited, you must remember what they sufi'ered in the 
tenth and eleventh chapters of the Hebrews ; and you must remem- 
ber that in the ten persecutions many thousands of the people of God 
were stripped of their all ; and so were very many also in the Marian 
days. Who shrugs or complains of a common lot ? It was grace 
upon the throne that thou enjoy edst thy house, thy estate, thy trade 
so long ; and therefore it concerns thee to be rather thankful that thy 
mercies were continued so long unto thee, than to murmur because 
thou art now stripped of all. But, 

[5.] Fifthly, When all is gone, yet mercy may be near, and thou not 
see it. When Hagar's bottle was empty, the well of water was near, 
though she saw it not. Gen. xxi. 19. Mercies many times are never 
nearer to us than when, with Hagar, we sit down and weep because 
our bottle is empty, because our streams of mercy are dried up. The 
well was there before, but she saw it not till her eyes were opened. 
Though mercy be near, though it be even at the door, yet till the 
great God shall irradiate both the organ and the object, we can 
neither see our mercies, nor suck the breasts of mercy. Christ, the 
spring of mercy, the fountain of mercy, was near the disciples, yea, he 
talked with the disciples, and yet they knew him not, Luke xxiv. 15. 
Look, as dangers are nearest to wicked men when they see them not, 
when they fear them not : — As Haman was nearest the gallows when he 
thought himself the only man that the king would honour, Esther vi. 
And so when Sisera dreamed of a kingdom, Jael was near with her 
hammer and her nail, ready to fasten him to the ground. Judges iv. 
And so when Agag said, ' Surely the bitterness of death is past, 
Samuel stood ready with his drawn sword to cut him in pieces in 
Gilgal before the Lord, 1 Sam. xv. 32, 33. So when Pharaoh said, 
' They are entangled in the land, the wilderness hath shut them in. I 
will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil ; my lust shall be 
satisfied upon them ; I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy 
them,' Exod. xiv. 3, and xv. 9, 10 ; but presently God blows with 
his wind, and the sea covered them, and they sank as lead in the 
mighty waters. Soon after Sennacherib had sent a blasphemous letter 
to king Hezekiah, ' the angel of the Lord went forth and smote in 
the camp of the Assyrians a hundred and fourscore and five thousand : 
and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead 
corpses,' Isa. xxxvii. : and within five and fifty days after, Sennacherib 
himself was butchered by his own sons, Tobit i. 21. No sooner had 
the people, as profane sycophants, applauded Herod, and given him 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 233 

the honour due to God, but he was smitten by the angel of the Lord, 
or eaten up of worms, or with vermin — with lice, as his grandfather 
Herod had been before him. Acts xii. 22, 23. Koffensis had a car- 
dinal's hat sent him ; but his head was cut off before it came : the 
axe was nearer his head than his hat. The heathen historian could 
not but observe, that as soon as Alexander the Great had summoned 
a parliament before him of the world, he was summoned himself by 
death to appear before God in the other world. — Now as you see by 
these instances that dangers are nearest the wicked when they see 
them not, when they fear them not ; so mercies are very near to the 
people of God when they see them not, when they expect them not. 
The Israelites found it so in Asa his time, and in Jehoshaphat's time, 
and in Pharaoh's time, and in Hezekiah's time, and in Esther's time, 
and in the time of the judges, as is evident throughout the book of 
Judges. 1 When there was but a handful of meal in the barrel, and a 
little oil in the cruse, supply was at hand. Her barrel and cruse had 
no bottom, who out of a little gave a little. In all the ages of the 
world God has made that word good : Isa. xli. 17, ' When the poor 
and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for 
thirst, I the Lord will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake 
them.' Ver. 18, ' I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in 
the midst of the valleys : I will make the wilderness a pool of water, 
and the dry land springs of water.' Chrysostom observes. That it is 
very delightful to the mother to have her breasts drawn. Oh how 
much more, then, is it delightful to God to have his breasts of mercy 
drawn ! sirs, look, as many times the mother's breasts are drawn, 
and near the child, though the child sees them not ; so God's breasts 
of mercy are many times drawn, and near his people, and yet they see 
them not. Geographers write that the city of Syracuse, in Sicily, is so 
curiously situated, that the sun is never out of sight. Certainly the 
mercies of God are never out of sight, though sometimes the people of 
God are so clouded and benighted that they cannot see their mercies, 
though they are near them, yea, though they stand before them. 
But, 

[6.] Sixthly, I answer. That God many times, hy taJcmg aioay some 
outward mercies, comforts, and contentments, does hut make way for 
greater and better mercies to come in the room of those he has taken 
away. He took from David an Absalom, and gave him a Solomon, 
Ps. Ixxi. 20, 21 ; he took from him a scoffing Michal, and gave him a 
a prudent Abigail, 1 Sam. xxv. ; he took away from Isaac his mother 
Sarah, and made up his loss by giving of him Eebekah to wife. Gen. 
xxiv. 67 ; he took away much from Job, but laid twice as much in 
the room of all the mercies that he had stripped him of. The Lord 
many times takes away small mercies to make room for greater 
mercies, and many times takes away great mercies to make room for 
greater mercies, yea, the greatest of mercies. But, 

[7.] Seventhly and lastly, Though thou hast lost all thy outward 
ccrmforts in this luorld, yet if thou art a believer, there are ten choice 
jewels that thou shall never, that thou canst never lose : — 

1 Ps. cxxvi. 2, 3 ; 2 Chron. xiv., and xx.; Exod. xv.; 2 Kings xix,; Esther vi. 8; 
1 Kings xvii. 12-10. 



234 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

[1.] That thou shalt never totally or finally lose thy God, Hosea ii. 
19, 20. 

[2.] Thou shalt never lose thy interest in Christ. Whatever thy 
outward losses are, yet thy interest in Christ still holds good, Rom. 
viii. 33, seq. 

[3.] Thou shalt never lose the Spirit of grace: John xiv. 16, ' And 
I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that 
he may abide with you for ever.' 

[4.] Thou shalt never lose the seed of grace, the habits of grace: 
1 John iii. 9, ' Whosoever is born of God, doth not commit sin' — 
that is, doth not give himself over to a voluntary serving of sin; he 
does not make a trade of sin ; he sins not totally, finally, maliciously, 
habitually, studiously, resolutely, wilfully, delightfully, deadly, afiap- 
rlav ov TToiel, he does not make it his work to sin, he cannot follow 
his lusts as a workman follows his trade, ' for his seed remaineth in 
him/ The seed of God, the seed of grace, is an abiding seed, 1 Cor 
i. 8 ; Luke xxii. 32. 

[.5.] Thou shalt never lose the forgiveness of thy sins, though thou 
mayest lose the sense and assurance of thy forgiveness : Jer. xxxi. 34, 
' For I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more ; ' 
Micah vii. 19. 

[6.J Thou shalt never lose thy interest in the covenant of grace, 
Ps. Ixxxix. 30, 35 ; Jer. xxxi. 31, 38 ; Isa. liv. 10. Once in covenant, 
and for ever in covenant. 

[7.] Thou shalt never lose thy union with Christ, John xv. 1, 6. 
In John xvii., Christ prayed that we ' might be one, as he and his 
Father are one ; ' not essentially, nor personally, but spiritually, so as 
no other creature is united to God. There can be no divorce between 
Christ and the believing soul. Christ hates putting away, Mai. ii. 16. 
Sin may for a time seemingly separate between Christ and the be- 
liever, but it can never finally separate between Christ and the be- 
liever. Look, as it is impossible for the leaven that is in the dough to 
be separated from the dough after it is once mixed ; for it turneth the 
nature of the dough into itself : so it is impossible for the saints ever 
to be separated from Christ ; for Christ is in the saints, as nearly and 
as really as the leaven is in the very dough, [Luther.] Christ and 
believers are so incorporated as if Christ and they were one lump. 
Our nature is now joined to God by the indissolvable tie of the hypo- 
statical union in the second person ; and we in our persons are joined 
to God by the mystical indissolvable bond of the Spirit, the third 
person. Our union with the Lord is so near and so glorious, that it 
makes us one spirit w^ith him. In this blessed union, the saints are 
not only joined to the graces and benefits which flow from Christ, but 
to the person of Christ, to Christ himself, who is first given for us and 
to us, and then with him we receive all other spiritual blessings and 
favours, 1 Cor. vi. 17 ; Rom. viii. 32 ; 1 Cor. iii. 21-23. 

[8.] Thou shalt never lose thy inward peace, either totally or 
finally. It is true, by sin, and Satan, and the world, and divine with- 
drawings, thy peace may be somewhat interrupted, but it shall never 
be finally lost. The greatest storms in this life that beats upon a 
believer will in time blow over, and the Sun of rio:hteousness, the 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 235 

Prince of peace,^ will shine as gloriously upon him as ever : John xiv. 
27, ' Peace I leave with you,' — it is bonum hcereditamentum, a good 
inheritance, — ' my peace I give unto you ; not as the world giveth, give 
I unto you.' ' My peace 1 give unto you ' — that is, that peace with 
God and peace with conscience that I have purchased with my blood 
I give unto you. Men may wish me peace, but it is only Christ that 
can give me peace. The peace that Christ gives is bottomed upon his 
blood, upon his imputed righteousness, upon his intercession, and upon 
a covenant of peace ; and therefore it must needs be a lasting peace, 
an abiding peace. When a tyrant thus threatened a Christian, I 
will take away thy house, the Christian replied. Thou canst not take 
away my peace. When the tyrant threatened to break up his school, 
the Christian answered, I shall still keep whole my peace. When the 
tyrant threatened to confiscate all his goods, the Christian answered, 
Yet there is no premunire against my peace. When the tyrant 
threatened to banish him out of his own country, the Christian re- 
plied. Yet I shall carry my peace with me. 

[9.] Thou shalt never lose thy title to heaven : Luke xii. 32, ' Fear 
not, little flock,' — fjuKpov Troifiuiov — here are two diminutives in the 
original ; the word translated flock signifieth a little flock ; but that 
the exceeding littleness of it might appear, Christ adds another word, so 
that the words in the fountain ^ run thus, ' Fear not, little little-flock.' 
And indeed in all the ages of the world the flock of Christ have been 
but little in their own eyes, and little in the world's eyes, and little in 
their enemies' eyes, and but little in comparison of that world of 
wolves that has still surrounded them,- — ' for it is your Father's 
good pleasure to give you the kingdom.' You need neither fear the 
loss of earthly things or the want of earthly things, for you have a 
kind, a tender, a loving Father, whose pleasure it is to give you the 
kingdom — that is, the heavenly kingdom that is prepared and re- 
served for you. 

[10. and lastly]. Thou shalt never lose thy crown of life, thy crown 
of glory, thy incorruptible crown, thy crown of righteousness, Kev. 
ii. 10 ; James i. 12 ; 1 Pet. v. 4 ; 1 Cor. ix. 25. 2 Tim. iv. 8, ' Hence- 
forth is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the 
righteous Judge, shall give me at that day ; and not to me only, but 
unto all them also that love his appearance.' A crown is the top of 
royalty. Here it notes that everlasting glory that is laid up for the 
saints. Now this crown is called a crown of righteousness : partly 
because it is purchased by the righteousness of Christ; and partly 
because he is righteous that hath promised it ; and partly because it is 
a just and righteous thing with God to crown them with glory at last, 
who have for his honour been crowned with shame and reproach in 
this world ; and partly because they come to this cro^vn in the use of 
righteous ways and means. And this crown is said to be laid up, 
to note our sure and certain enjoyment of it, as the Greek word 
uTTOKelTaL does import. And let thus much suffice for answer to this 
second objection. 

^ Ps. XXX. 5 ; Mai. iv. 2 ; Isa. ix. 6. W)7^, shalom ; under this word the Jews com- 
prehend all peace, prosperity, and happy success. 
8 ' Original.'— G. 



236 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

Ohj. 3. I would justify the Lord, I would say lie is righteous, 
though my house be burnt up, and I am turned out of all ; but this 
troubles me, I have not an estate to do that good that formerly I have 
done. I was once full, but the Lord hath made me empty : I was 
once Naomi, i.e., beautiful, but now God has made me Marah, *.e., 
bitter, Kuth i. 20, 21 ; the Lord hath testified against me, and the 
Almighty hath afflicted me, and consumed me on every hand. I have 
fed the poor, I have clothed the naked, I have received them that 
were in bonds: the blessing of him that was ready to perish came 
upon me. But now I can do little or nothing for others ; and this 
troubles me, Job xxix. 13. 

[1.] I answer, Thy condition is no lower than luas the condition oj 
Christ and his apostles in this world. ' Silver and gold have we none,' 
Acts iii. 6. Salvian saith that Christ is mendicorum maximus, the 
greatest beggar in the world, as one that shareth in all his saints' 
necessities. Both Christ and his followers, when they were in this 
world, they were maintained by others. They had no lands nor lord- 
ships, but lived upon others' costs. But of this before; therefore let 
this touch suffice here. But, 

[2.] Secondly, God many times in this life repairs his peoples 
charity with interest upon interest, Mat. xix. 27-30 ; 2 Cor. ix. 6-14 ; 
Heb. vi. 10. Their scattering is their increasing, their spending is 
their lending, their layings out are but layings up for themselves: 
Prov. xi. 24, ' There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth ;' verse 25, 
' The liberal soul shall be made fat : and he that watereth shall be 
watered also himself.' It is fabled of Midas, that whatever he touched 
he turned it into gold. This is most true of charity ; whatever the 
hand of charity toucheth it turneth it into gold, be it but a cup of cold 
water, Mat. x. 42- ; nay, into heaven itself. I have read of one who, 
having given somewhat to a poor man, and considering with himself 
whether he had not injured himself by giving beyond his ability, pre- 
sently corrected himself with those thoughts, that he had lent it to one 
that would pay well again; and within an hour after he had it 
restored above sevenfold, in a way which he never thought of. How- 
ever God may carry it towards his people in this world, yet he will be 
sure to repay their charity in that other world. It is storied of one 
Evagrius, in Cedrenus, a rich man, who, lying upon his deathbed, and 
being importuned by Synesius the bishop to give something to chari- 
table uses, he yielded at last to give three hundred pounds ; but first 
took bond of the bishop that it should be paid him in another world, 
according to the promise of our Saviour, with a hundredfold advantage, 
and the very next night after his departure he appeared to the bishop, 
delivering the bond cancelled and fully discharged, thereby acknow- 
ledging that what was promised was made good.^ It is probable that 
the relation is fabulous ; but this is certain, viz., that one day's being 
in heaven will make us a sufficient recompense for whatsoever we have 
given, or do give, or shall give in this world. But, 

[3.] Thirdly, If the constant frame and disposition of your hearts 
he to do as much good as ever you did, or more good than ever you 
did, then you may he confident that the Lord accepts of your will for 

' As before. — ^G. 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 237 

the deed: 2 Cor. viii. 12, ' For if there be first a willing mind, it is 
accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he 
hath not.' God prefers a willing mind before a worthy work. God 
measures all his people, not by their works, but by their wills. When 
the will is strongly inclined and biassed to works of charity, so that a 
man would fain be a-giving to the poor and a-supplying the wants and 
necessities of the needy, but cannot for want of an estate ; in this case 
God accepts of the will for the deed. David had a purpose and a will 
to build God a house, and God took it so kindly at his hands, that he 
despatches an ambassador to him to tell him how highly he resented 
his purpose and good-will to build him a house, 2 Chron. vi. 8. The 
widow's will was in her two mites which she cast into God's treasury, 
and therefore Christ sets a more honourable value upon them than he 
does upon all the vast sums that others cast in, Mark xii. 41-44. 
Many princes and queens, lords and ladies are forgotten, when this 
poor widow, who had a will to be nobly charitable, has her name 
written in letters of gold, and her charity put upon record for all 
eternity. The king of Persia did lovingly accept of the poor man's 
handful of water, because his good-will was in it, and put it into a 
golden vessel, and gave the poor man the vessel of gold. And do you 
think that the King of kings will be outdone by the king of Persia ? 
Surely no. But, 

[4.] Fourthly and lastly. As there are more ways to the wood than 
one, so there are more ways of doing good to others than one. If thou 
canst not do so much good to others as formerly thou hast done by thy 
purse, yet thou mayest do more good to others than ever yet thou hast 
done by thy pen, thy parts, thy prayers, thy gifts, thy graces, thy 
examples. Though thou art less serviceable to their bodies, yet if thou 
art more serviceable than ever to their souls, thou hast no reason to 
complain. There is no love, no compassion, no pity, no charity, no 
mercy to that which reaches immortal souls, and which will turn 
most to a man's account in the great day of our Lord Jesus. 

ObJ. 4. 1 would justify the Lord, I would say he is righteous, though 
my house be burned up, and I am turned out of all ; but God has 
punished the righteous with the wicked, if not more than the wicked. 
This fiery rod has fallen heavier upon many saints than upon many 
sinners, &c. How, then, can I justify God ? How, then, can I say that 
the Lord is righteous ? &c. 

Ans. [1.] In all ages of the luorld God's dearest children have been 
deep sharers with the wicked in all common calamities, Abraham and 
his family were by famine driven into Egypt as well as others, and 
Isaac and his family were by famine driven into the Philistines' country 
as well as others, and Jacob and his family by famine were driven into 
Egypt as well as others, and in David's time there was a famine for 
three years, and in Elijah's time there was a sore famine in Samaria, 
Gen. xxvi., and xlii. ; 2 Sam. xxi. 1 ; 1 Kings xviii. 2 ; Mat. v. 4, 5. 
The diff'erence that God puts between his own and others are not seen 
in the administration of these outward things: Eccles. ix. 2, 'All things 
come alike to all : there is one event to the righteous, and to the wicked ; 
to the good and to the clean, and to the unclean ; to him that sacra- 
ficeth, and to him that sacrificeth not : as is the good, so is the sinner; 



238 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

and he that sweareth, as he that feareth an oath.' The privileges of 
the saints lie [not] in temporals, but in spirituals and eternals, else 
religion would not be a matter of faith, but sense : and men would 
serve God not for himself, but for the gay and gallant things of this 
world. 1 But, 

[2.] Secondly, There are as many mysteries in providences as there are 
in prophecies ; and many texts of providence are as hard to understand 
as many texts of Scriptures are. God's ' way is in the sea, his paths 
are in the great waters, and his footsteps are not known ;' ' His judg- 
ments are unsearchable, and his ways are past finding out.' And yet 
when clouds and darkness are round about him, ' righteousness and 
judgment are the habitation of his throne,' Ps. Ixxvii. 19 ; Eom. xi. 33 ; 
Ps. xcvii. 2, and xxxvi. 6. When his judgments are a great deep, 
yet then his righteousness is like the great mountains. There are 
many mysteries in nature, and many mysteries of state which we are 
ignorant of; and why, then, should we wonder that there are many 
mysteries in providence that we do not understand ? Let a man but 
seriously consider how many possible deaths lurk in his own bowels, 
and the innumerable hosts of external dangers which beleaguers him 
on every side ; how many invisible arrows fly about his ears continu- 
ally, and yet how few have hit him, and that none hitherto have mor- 
tally wounded him ; and it will doubtless so far affect his heart, as to 
work him to conclude, that great, and many, and mysterious are the 
providences that daily attend upon him.^ Vives reports of a Jew, that 
having gone over a deep river on a narrow plank in a dark night, and 
coming the next day to see what danger he had escaped, fell down dead 
with astonishment. Should God many times but open to us the mys- 
teriousness of his providences, they would be matter of amazement and 
astonishment to us. I have read that Marcia, a Koman princess, 
being great with child, had the babe in her killed with lightning, she 
herself escaping the danger.^ What a mysterious providence was this ! 
God's providence towards his servants is as a wheel in the midst of a 
wheel, whose motion, and work, and end in working, is not discerned 
by a common eye, Ezek. i. 16. The actings of divine providence are 
many times so dark, intricate, and mysterious, that it will pose men 
of the most raised parts, and of the choicest experiences, and of the 
greatest graces, to be able to discern the ways of God in them. There 
are many mysteries in the works of God as well as in the word of God. 
But, 

[3.] Thirdly, Sometimes God's oiun people sin with others, and there- 
fore they smart with others. Thus Moses and Aaron sinned with others, 
and therefore they were shut out of Canaan, and their carcases fell in 
the wilderness as well as others, Num. xx. Ps. cvi. 35, ' They were 
mingled among the heathen, and learned their works ;' ver. 40, ' There- 
fore was the wrath of the Lord kindled against his people, insomuch 
that he abhorred his inheritance;' Jer. ix. 25, 26, 'Behold, the days 
come, saitli the Lord, that I will punish all them which are circum- 

^ Communia esse voluit, et commoda prophanis, et incomraoda suis. — Tertul. 

* I have read of a father and his son, who being shipwrecked at sea, the son sailed to 
shore upon the back of his dead father. What a sirange, mysterious providence was 
this ! =* Plin. Nat. Hist., lib. ii. cap. 51. 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 239 

cised with the uncircumcised ; Egypt, and Judah, and Edom, and the 
children of Ammon, and Moab, and all that are in the utmost corners, 
that dwell in the wilderness : for all these nations are uncircumcised, 
and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in their heart ;' vide Rom. 
ii. 28, 29. Such as were outwardly, but not inwardly, circumcised, 
should be sure to be punished in the day of God's wrath, with those 
who were neither inwardly nor outwardly circumcised. When the good 
and the bad join in common provocations, no wonder if they suffer 
in common desolations, Ezek. ix. 6 ; Rev. xviii. 4 ; 1 Peter, iv. 17. 
Though gross impieties, like pitch or gunpowder, enrages the fire, yet 
the sins, the infirmities of God's people add to the flame. Not only 
Manasseh his bloodshed, but also good Hezekiah's pride and vanity of 
spirit, boasting and glorying in his worldly riches, brought on the Baby- 
lonish captivity upon the Jews, 2 Chron. xxxii. But, 

[4.] Fourthly, The people of God many times suffer in common 
calamities, as they are parts and members of that politic hody that is 
punished, 2 Sam. xxiv. 10-18. The sins of a city, a society, a com- 
pany, or a nation, may involve all the members in the same judg- 
ment. Though Lot was not guilty of the sins of Sodom, yet Lot was 
carried away in the captivity of Sodom, as cohabiting with them. Gen. 
xiv. 12, 16.1 And so though many of the precious servants of the 
Lord in London were not guilty of those gross impieties that their 
neighbours were guilty of, yet, cohabiting either with them or near 
them, they were burnt up and destroyed with them. Achan's family 
were not guilty of Achan's sacrilege, and yet Achans family were 
destroyed for Achan's sacrilege. The burning of London was a 
national judgment, and this national judgment was a product of 
national sins, as I have formerly proved. Now mark, though the 
people of God may be personally innocent, yet because they are 
members of a nocent body, they are liable to undergo the temporal 
smart of national judgments. Doubtless a whole city may be laid 
desolate for the wickedness of one man, or of a few men, that dwelleth 
in it: Eccles. ix. 18, * One sinner destroyeth much good.' But, 

[5.] Fifthly, When good men who cannot he justly charged with 
'public sins, do yet fall with wicked^ men by public judgments, you must 
remember that God Jias several different ends in inflicting one and the 
same judgments, both upon the good and upon the bad. The metal 
and the dross go both into the fire together, but the dross is consumed, 
and the metal refined, Zech. xiii. 9 ; Eccles. viii. 12, 13. The stalk 
and the ear of corn fall upon the threshing-floor under one and the 
same flail ; but the one is shattered in pieces, the other is preserved. 
From one and the same olive, and from under one and the same 
press is crushed out both oil and dregs, but the one is tunned up for 
use, the other thrown out as unserviceable. The same judgments 
that befall the wicked may befall the righteous, but not upon the same 
account. The righteous are cast into the furnace for trial, but the 
wicked for their ruin. The righteous are signally sanctified by fiery 
dispensations, but the wicked are signally worsened by the same dis- 

^ Common calamities make no discrimination between persons and persona, or houses 
and houses. All common judgments work according to their commission and according 
to their nature, without distinguishing the righteous from the wicked. 



240 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25, 

pensations, Jer. xxiv. 1-3, 5. The very self-same judgment that is 
as a loadstone to draw the righteous towards heaven, will be as a mill- 
stone to sink the wicked down to hell. The pillar of fire that went 
before Israel had a light side and a dark side ; the light side was to- 
wards God's people, and the dark side was towards the Egyptians, 
Exod. xiv. 20. The flames of London will prove such a pillar both to 
the righteous and the wicked. That will certainly be made good upon 
the righteous and the wicked, whose habitations have been destroyed 
by London's flames, that the Greek epigram speaks of the silver axe, 
the ensign of justice : — 

* That sword that cuts the bad in twain, 
The good doth wound and heal again.' 

Those dreadful judgments that have been the axe of God's revenging 
justice, to wound and break the wicked in pieces, shall be righteous 
men's cures and their golden restoratives. But, 

[6.] Sixthly and lastly, God sometimes ivraps up Ms own people 
with the ivicked in desolating Judgments, that he may before all the 
world wipe off that reproach which atheists and loicked men are apt 
to cast upon him, as if he were partial, as if he ivere a respecter of 
persons, and as if his ways were not just and equal, Ezek. xviii. 25, 
29, and xxxiii. 20. God, to stop the mouth of iniquity, the mouth of 
blasphemy, hath made his own people as desolate as others by that 
fiery calamity that has passed upon them. Such men that have been 
eye-witnesses of God's impartial dealing with his own people in those 
days when London was in flames, must say that God is neither partial 
nor fond. And let thus much sufiice, by way of answer to this 
objection. 

3. The third duty that lies upon those that have been burnt up, is 
for them in patience to possess their own souls, and quietly to acquiesce 
in ivhat the Lord has done, Luke xxi. 19. sirs ! hold your peace, 
and bridle your passions, and quietly submit to the stroke of divine 
justice. When Aaron's sons were devoured by fire, Aaron held his 
peace. 1 And will not you hold your peace, now your houses are de- 
voured by fire ? What were your houses to Aaron's sons ? All the 
houses in the world are not so near and dear to a man as his children 
are. In this story concerning Aaron and his sons, there are many 
things remarkable. As, 

[1.] That he had lost two of his sons, yea, two of his eldest sons, 
together at a clap. 

[2.] These two were the most honourable of the sons of Aaron : as 
we may see, Exod. xxiv. 1, in that they only with their father and the 
seventy elders are appointed to come up to the Lord. 

[3.] They were cut off* by a sudden and unexpected death, when 

^ Lev. X. 2, 3. The Hebrew word damam signifies silence or stillness ; it signifies a 
staying of the heart, a quieting of the mind. Aaron's mind was quiet and still ; all his 
unruly affections and passions were stilled and allayed. Oleaster observes that Joshua, 
in speaking to the sun, * Stand still in Gibeon,' useth the same word, 01, that is here 
used, Joshua xii. 10. So that this phrase, * Aaron held his peace,' imports thus much, 
That Aaron stood still, or stayed from further vexing, or troubling, or disquieting of 
liimself ; though at first his heart was in a strange violent motion, yet he recovers him- 
self, and stands still before the Lord. 



\ 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 241 

neither themselves nor their father thought their ruin had been so 
near. What misery to that of beinc? suddenly surprised by a doleful 
death ? 

[4.]^ They were cut off by a way which might seem to testify God's 
hot displeasure against them; for they were devoured by fire from 
God. They sinned by fire, and they perished by fire. Look, as fire 
came from the Lord before in mercy, so now fire is sent from the Lord 
in judgment. Certainly the manner of their death pointed out the 
sin for which they were smitten. Now what father had not rather 
lose all his children at once, by an ordinary stroke of death, than to 
see one of them destroyed by God's immediate hand in such a terrible 
manner ? 

[5.] They were thus smitten by the Lord on the very first day of 
their entering upon that high honour of their priestly function, and 
when their hearts were doubtless full of joy. Now to be suddenly 
thunderstruck in such a sunshine day of mercy as this seemed to be, 
must needs add weight to their calamity and misery. 

[6.] They were cut off with such great severity for a very small 
offence, if reason may be permitted to sit as judge in the case. They 
were made monuments of divine vengeance, only for taking fire to burn 
the incense from one place, when they should have taken it from 
another. And this they did, say some, not purposely, but through 
mistake, and at such a time when they had much work lying upon 
their hands, and were but newly entered upon their new employment. 
Now notwithstanding all this, Aaron held his peace. It may be, at 
first, when he saw his sons devoured by fire, his heart began to 
wrangle, and his passions began to work ; but when he considered the 
righteousness of God on the one hand, and the glory that God would 
get to himself on the other hand, he presently checks himself, and 
lays his hand upon his mouth, and stands still and silent before the 
Lord. Though it be not easy in great afflictions, with Aaron, to hold 
our peace, yet it is very advantageous ; which the heathens seemed to 
intimate in placing the image of Angeronia, with the mouth bound, 
upon the altar of Yolupia, to shew that they [who] do prudently and 
patiently bear and conceal their troubles, sorrows, and anxieties, they 
shall attain to comfort at last. What the apostle saith of the dis- 
tressed Hebrews, after the spoiling of their goods,. ' Ye have need of 
patience,' Heb. x. 34, 36, the same I may say to you,, who have lost 
your houses, your shops, your trades, your all — You have need, yea, 
you have great need of patience. Though thy mercies are few, and 
thy miseries are many, though thy mercies are small, and thy miseries 
are great, yet look that thy spirit be quiet, and that thou dost sweetly 
acquiesce in the will of God. Now God hath laid his fiery rod upon 
your backs, it will be your greatest wisdom to lay your hands upon 
your mouths, and to say with David, ' I was dumb, I opened not my 
mouth, because thou didst it,' Ps. xxxix. 9. To be patient and silent 
under the sharpest providences and the sorest judgments, is as much 
a Christian's glory as it is his duty.i The patient Christian feels the 
want of nothing. Patience will give contentment in the midst of 

^ See my ' Mute Christian under the Smarting Rod,' where the excellency of patience 
and the evil of impatience is largely set forth. [Vol. 1.^ as before. — G.] 

VOL. VI. Q 



242 LONDON'S LAMENTATIONS ON [ISA. XLII. 24, 25. 

want. No loss, no cross, no affliction will sit heavy upon a patient 
soul. Dionysius saith that this benefit he had by the study of philo- 
sophy — viz., that he bore with patience all those alterations and 
changes that he met with in his outward condition. Now shall 
nature do more than grace ? shall the study of philosophy do more 
than the study of Christ, Scripture, and a man's own heart ? But, 

4. The fourth duty that lies upon those who have been burnt up, 
is to set up the Lord in a more eminent degree than ever, as the great 
object of their fear. Oh how should we fear and tremble before the 
great God, who is able to turn the most serviceable and useful crea- 
tures to us to be the means of destroying of us ! Heb. xii. 28, ' Let us 
have grace whereby we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and 
godly fear;' ver. 29, ' For our God is a consuming fire.' Here are two 
arguments to work the saints to set up God as the great object of their 
fear. The first is drawn from the terribleness of God's majesty, ' He 
is a consuming fire.' The second is drawn from the relation which is 
between God and his people, ' Our God.' What a strange title is this 
of the great God, that we meet with in this place ! and yet this is one 
of the titles of God, expressing his nature, and in which he glories, that 
he is called ' a consuming fire.' These words, ' God is a consuming 
fire,' are not to be taken properly, but metaphorically. Fire, we know, 
is a very terrible and dreadful creature ; and so may very well serve to 
set forth to us the terribleness and dreadfulness of God. Now God is 
liere said to be a consuming or devouring fire. The word in the 
original, KaTavaXiaKov, is doubly compounded, and so the signification 
is augmented and increased, to note to us the exceeding terribleness of 
the fire that is here meant. When God would set forth himself to be 
most terrible and dreadful to the sons of men, he does it by this re- 
semblance of fire, which of all things is most terrible and intolerable : 
Deut. iv. 24, ' For the Lord thy God is a consuming fire, even a jea- 
lous God.' The Hebrew word, rh^i^, that is here rendered consuming, 
doth properly signify devouring or eating ; it comes from b'2'i^, which 
signifies to devour and eat ; and by a metaphor, it signifieth to con- 
sume or destroy. God is a devouring fire, an eating fire ; and sinners, 
and all they have, is but bread and meat for divine wrath to feed upon: 
Deut. ix. 3, ' Understand therefore this day, that the Lord thy God is 
he which goeth before thee ; as a consuming fire he shall destroy 
them, and he shall bring them down before thy face: so shalt thou 
drive them out, and destroy them quickly, as the Lord hath said unto 
thee.' See Ps. 1. 3 ; Isa. xxxiii. 14 ; Deut. xxviii. 58. What more 
violent, what more irresistible, what more terrible than fire! Oh 
how much therefore does it concern us to set up that God as the great 
object of our fear, who hath armed and commanded this dreadful 
creature, the fire, to destroy us in many or in most of our outward 
concernments as to this world ! Jer. x. 11, 'At his wrath the earth 
shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indigna- 
tion:' Job xiii. 11, ' Shall not his excellency make you afraid, and 
his dread fall upon you?' Ps. cxix. 120, ' My flesh trembleth for fear 
of thee, and I am afraid of thy judgments : ' Hab. iii. 5, ' Before him 
went the pestilence, and burning coals went forth at his feet ; ' ver. 
16, ' When I heard, my belly trembled ; my lips quivered at the voice : 



► 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 243 

rottenness entered into my bones, and I trembled in myself, that I 
might rest in the day of trouble/ Ah London, London ! it highly 
concerns thee to tremble and quiver, and stand in awe of that great 
and glorious God who hath sent so many thousands to their long homes 
by a sweeping pestilence, and who hath by a dreadful fire turned thy 
ancient monuments and thy stately buildings into a ruinous heap. 
That Christian is more worth than the gold of Ophir, who fears more 
the hand that hath laid on the fiery rod than the rod itself. That 
prudent and faithful counsel which the prophet Isaiah gives, should 
always lie warm upon every burnt citizen's heart: Isa. viii. 13, 
' Sanctify the Lord of hosts himself, and let him be your fear, and 
let him be your dread.' But, 

5. The fifth duty that lies upon those who have been burnt up, is 
to be contented ivitli their present condition?- When a man's mind is 
brought down to his means, all is well. Contentation of mind under 
all the turns and changes of this life, makes a believer master both of 
the little and great world of unruly desires within himself, and of 
temptations in the world without. Contentment in a man's present 
condition, will yield him a little heaven in the midst of all the great 
hells that he meets with in this world. Contentation is a hidden 
treasure, that the believer will carry with him to the third heaven, 
where an exceeding weight of glory and contentation, with full satis- 
faction to his desires, will be added to that little stock of contentment 
that he has obtained in this world. Contentation in every condition, 
is no other but the house of God, and the gate of heaven, as Jacob 
once speaks of that gracious manifestation of God, Gen. xxviii. God 
dwells in a contented heart, and a contented heart dwells in God. 
Contentment is that porch wherein the believer waits for an entrance 
into a house not made with hands, but one eternal in the heaven, 
2 Cor. V. i. Oh labour much with God, that your hearts may be 
brought fully under the power of these divine commands: — 1 Tim. vi. 8, 
' Having food and raiment, let us be therewith content.' Heb. xiii. 5, 
' Let your conversation be without covetousness ' — or without the love 
of silver, as the Greek word signifies, — 'and be content with such things 
as you have.' Contenti prcesentibus : so Beza and others, 'Be content 
with things present.' The believing Hebrews had been plundered of 
all they had in this world, Heb. x. 34, when the apostle gave forth 
this royal command ; and yet the apostle requires them to be content. 
It is as much the duty of a Christian to be content when he has 
nothing, as when all the world smiles upon him. Christians are 
soldiers, strangers, travellers, pilgrims, and therefore it concerns them 
to make shift with little things, yea, with anything in this world. 
The Israelites had no gay clothes, nor no new clothes in their wilder- 
ness condition ; but God made their old clothes to be all clothes to 
them, and that was enough. Jacob did not indent with God for 
junkets 2 or ornaments, but for food and raiment: Gen. xxviii. 20, 
' If God will give me breadlo eat and raiment to put on, then shall the 
Lord be my God.' Nature is content with a little, grace with less ; 

1 The poets bring in the feigned gods, each one content with his own office and estate — 
Mars with war, Minerva with sciences, Mercury with eloquence, Cupid witli love, Jupiter 
with heaven, and Pluto with hell. ^ ' Dainties.'— G. 



244 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

though nothing will satisfy those men's hearts whose lusts are their 
lords. We shall never want a penny in our purses to bear our charges 
till we get to heaven ; and therefore let us be content with our present 
portion in this world. Phil. iv. 12, ' I have learned, in whatsoever 
estate I am, therewith to be content. I know how to be abased, and 
I know how to abound : everywhere, and in all things, I am instructed 
both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.' 
In these words you have first the vicissitude of Paul's outward con- 
dition : at one time he abounds, at another he is abased : at one time 
he is full, and at another time he suffers need. You have the sweet 
and gracious composure of his spirit, and this is expressed in two 
singular acts. The first is his contentation of mind in all conditions : 
' I have learned, in whatsoever estate I am, therewith to be content.' 
The second is his prudent and pertinent comportment with his present 
condition : ' I know both how to be abased, and how to abound.' You 
have the way how he attained this contentation of mind in all con- 
ditions: 'I have learned,' saith he, 'I am instructed;' this lesson of 
contentment he did not learn at the feet of Dr Gamaliel, but in the 
school of Jesus Christ. Contentment in every condition is too high 
a lesson for any effectually to teach, but Jesus Christ. sirs ! in the 
grave it is all one who hath [had] all, and who hath had none. What 
folly is it to lay up goods for many years, when we cannot lay up one 
day for the enjoyment of our goods ! Christ, who never miscalled any, 
calls him ' fool ' who had much of the world under his hands, but 
nothing of God or heaven in his heart. Zopirus the Persian was con- 
tented to sustain the cutting off his nose, and ears, and lips, to further 
the enterprise of his lord, Darius, against proud Babylon, i So Chris- 
tians should be contented to be anything, to do anything, or to suffer 
anything, to further or promote the glory of God in this world. All 
this whole world is not proportionable to the precious soul. All the 
riches of the Indies cannot pacify conscience, nor secure eternity, nor 
prevent death, nor bring you off in the day of judgment ; and there- 
fore be contented with a little. All the good things of this world are 
but cold comforts : they cannot stretch to eternity, they will not go 
with us into another world ; and therefore why shoukf the want of 
such things either trouble our thoughts, or break our hearts ? The 
whole world is but a paradise for fools ; it is a beautiful but deceitful 
harlot ; it is a dreamed sweetness, and a very ocean of gall. There is 
nothing to be found in it that has not mutability and uncertainty, 
vanity and vexation stamped upon it. And therefore he cannot be 
happy that enjoys it, nor he miserable that wants it. And wiiy then 
should not he be contented that has but a little of it ? The greatest 
outward happiness is but honeyed poison ; and therefore do not shrug 
nor faint because thou hast but little of the world. All thy crosses 
and losses shall be so tempered by a hand of heaven, as that they 
shall become wholesome medicines ; they shall be steps to thy future 
glory, they are thy only hell, thy heaven is to come. And therefore 
be contented in the midst of all thy sorrows and sufferings. Kemember 
that many times they who have most of the world in their hands, have 

^ Rather Zopyrus, M^hose extraordinary devotion to Darius is told by Herodotus, iii. 
153-160.— G. 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. ^ 245 

least of God, of Christ, of the Spirit, of grace, of heaven in their 
hearts.^ And remember, that a man were better to have much of 
God with a little of the world, than to have much of the world with 
a little of God. God alone is a thousand thousand felicities, and a 
world of happiness, the only life and light. Algerius the martyr, being 
swallowed up in a sweet fruition of God, found more light in his 
dungeon than was without in all the world. sirs ! if upon casting 
up of your accounts for another world, you find that heaven is your 
home, the world your footstool, the angels your attendants, your 
Creator your father, your Judge your brother, the Holy Spirit your 
comforter ; if you find that God is ever with you, ever before you, 
ever within you, ever round about you, and ever a-making of provision 
more or less for you, why should you not be contented with your 
present condition, with your present proportion, be it more or be it 
less ? But, 

6. The sixth duty that lies upon those who have been burnt up, is 
to mourn, to lie loiv, to keep humble under this di^eadful judgment of 
fire, under this mighty hand of God. When Ziklag was burnt by the 
Amalekites, ' David and the people lifted up their voices and wept, 
until they had no power to weep,' 1 Sam. xxx. 1-4. They wept their 
utmost ; they wept themselves even blind. They did not stoically 
slight that fiery rod, but prudently laid it to heart. Tears are called 
the blood of the soul. Now a shower of tears, a shower of blood, they 
poured out to quench those flames that the Amalekites had kindled. 
When they saw their city laid desolate by fire, their sorrow was so 
great that they were overburthened with the weight of it ; and there- 
fore they sought ease in venting their sorrow in a shower of tears. 
And so when Nehemiah understood that the wall of Jerusalem was 
broken down, and the gates thereof were burnt with fire, he sat down 
and wept, and mourned certain days, Neh. i. 3, 4. Some authors 
report [Nazianzen and Jerome, &c.] that the Jews to this day come 
yearly to the place where Jerusalem, the city of their fathers, stood, 
which was by Titus and Adrian destroyed by fire and sword, and 
upon the day of the destruction of it weep over it. Oh how 
well does it become all burnt citizens to stand and weep over the 
ashes of London, and greatly to abase themselves under that mighty • 
hand of God that has been lifted up against them! 2 1 Pet. v. 6, 
* Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may 
exalt you in due time.' Ah London, London ! how hath the mighty 
hand of the Lord been lifted up against thee ! how hath he by flames 
of fire laid all thy glory in the dust ! The Lord, by fire, sword, and 
pestilence, hath greatly humbled thee. And oh, when shall it once 
be that thou wilt be humble under the mighty hand of God ! It is 
one thing to be humbled by judgments ; it is another thing to be 

^ It is only an infinite good and infinite God that can fill and satisfy the soul of man. 
Plato could say, The mind is not satisfied nor quieted till it return thither from whence 
it came. 

2 Deut, viii. 16 ; Lev, xxvi. 40-42 ; Luke xiv. 11 ; Dan. v. 22. Augustine saith that 
the first, second, and third virtue of a Christian is humility. If I were asked, saith he, 
what is the readiest way to attain true happiness, I would answer, The first, the second, 
the third thing is, humilitj', humility, humility: as often as I was asked, I would say, 
Humility. Humility doth not only entitle to happiness, but to the highest degree of 
happiness, Mat. xviii. 4. 



24G London's lamentations on [Isa XLII. 24, 25. 

humbk under judgments. There have been many nations, cities, and 
particular persons who have been greatly humbled by amazing and 
astonishing judgments, who yet never had so much grace as to lie 
humble under those judgments. When God's hand is lifted up very 
high, he expects that our hearts should fall very low. To be poor and 
proud is to be doubly miserable. If men's spirits are high when their 
estates are low, the next blow will be more dreadful. God has laid 
our habitations in dust and ashes, and he expects that we should even 
humble ourselves in dust and ashes. The only way to avoid cannon- 
shot, is to fall down flat on the ground: the application is easy. 
Humility exalteth : he that is most humble shall be most honourable. 
Moses in his wilderness-condition was the meekest man on earth, and 
God made him the most honourablest, calling him up unto himself 
in the mount, and making of him the leader of his people Israel. 
Gideon was very little in his own eyes, ' the least in his father's house' 
in his own apprehension ; and God exalted him, making him the 
deliverer of his Israel. He that is little in his own account, is always 
high in God's esteem. When one asked the philosopher what God 
was a-doing ? he answered, that his whole work was to lift up the 
humble and cast down the proud. Those brave creatures, the lion 
and the eagle, were not offered in sacrifice unto God, but the poor 
lamb and dove was offered in sacrifice : to note to us, that God 
regards not your brave, high, lofty spirits, and that he is all for such 
that are of a dove-like and a lamb-like spirit. They say if dust be 
sprinkled upon the wings of bees, their noises, humming, and risings 
will quickly cease. The Lord, in the late fiery dispensation, has 
sprinkled dust and ashes upon us all. And oh that our proud noises, 
hummings, and risings of heart might cease from before the Lord, 
who is risen out of his holy place ! Ah London, London ! thou hast 
been proud of thy trade, and proud of thy strength, and proud of thy 
riches, and proud of thy stately buildings and edifices, but God has 
now laid all thy glory in dust and ashes ; and therefore it highly con- 
cerns thee to humble thyself under the mighty hand of God. God 
has abased thee, and therefore make it thy work to be base in thine 
own eyes. When Nehemiah understood that the Chaldeans, who were 
• a generation of idolaters, had made Jerusalem desolate by fire, he 
greatly humbled himself under the mighty hand of God.i He looked 
through aU active causes to the efficient cause, and accordingly he 
abased himself before the Lord : as you may see Neh. i. 3, 4, ' And 
they said unto me. The remnant that are left of the captivity there in 
the province are in great affliction and reproach : the wall of Jeru- 
salem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burnt with fire. 
And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and 
wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the 
God of heaven.' When Nehemiah heard that the wall of Jerusalem 
was broken down, and that the gates thereof were burnt with fire, his 
grief was so great that he could not stand under it, and therefore 
he sits down and weeps. Who is there that is a man, that is an 
Englishman, that is a Christian, that is a protestant, that can behold 

^ There is nothing more evident in history than this— viz., that those dreadful fires that 
have been kindled amongst the Christians have been still kindled by idolatrous hands. 



1 



IsA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 247 

the ruins of London, and not — at least the frame of his spirit — sit down 
and weep over those ruins ? The way of ways to be truly, yea, higlily 
exalted, is to be thoroughly humbled. The highest heavens and the 
lowest hearts do both alike please the most high God, Isa. Ivii. 15. 
God will certainly make it his work to exalt them who make it their 
great work to abase themselves. Such who are low in their own eyes, 
and can be content to be low in the eyes of others, such are most high 
and honourable in the eye of God, in the esteem and account of God. 
The lowly Christian is always the most lovely Christian. Now God 
hath laid your city low, your all low, he expects that your hearts 
should lie low under his mighty hand. All the world cannot long 
keep up those men who do not labour to keep down their hearts under 
judgments inflicted or judgments feared. Eemember the sad catas- 
trophe of Herod the Great, of Agrippa the Great, of Pompey the Great, 
and of Alexander the Great. If your spirits remain great under great 
judgments, it is an evident sign that more reigning i judgments lie 
at your doors. But, 

7. The seventh duty that lies upon those who have been burnt up, 
is to bless a taking God as luell as a givi7ig God ; it is to encourage 
themselves in the Lord their God, though he has stripped them of 
all their worldly goods. Thus did Job when he had lost his all : 'The 
Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away ; blessed be the name 
of the Lord,' Job i. 21. One^ brings in holy Job standing by the 
ruined house, under whose walls his ten children lay dead and buried, 
and lifting up his heart and hands towards heaven, saying, ' Naked 
came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither : 
the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away ; blessed be the name 
of the Lord.' jEJcce spectaculum, says he, dignum ad quod respiciat 
intentus operi suo Deus ! Behold a spectacle — a spectacle worthy of 
God himself, were he never so intent upon his work in heaven, yet 
worthy of his cognisance ! When Ziklag was burnt with fire, and 
David plundered by the Amalekites, and his wives carried captive, yet 
then he ' encouraged himself in the Lord his God,' 1 Sam. xxx. 1-3, 
6. ' His God ' notes [1.] His nearness and dearness to God, Saints are 
very near and dear to God. [2.1 ' His God ' notes his relation to God. 
God is the saint's Father. [3. J ' His God ' notes his rights to God. 
Whole God is the believer's. All he has, and all he can do, is the 
believer's, Ps. cxlviii. 14 ; Eph. ii. 13 ; 2 Cor. vi. 18. From these, and 
such other like considerations, David encouraged himself in the Lord 
his God when all was gone; and so should we. So the believing 
Hebrews ' took joyfully the spoiling of their goods ' — whether by fire, 
or plundering, or otherwise, is not said — ' knowing in themselves that 
they had in heaven a better and more enduring substance,' Heb. 
X. 34. And to this duty James exhorts : chap. i. 2, ' Count it all joy, 
my brethren, when you fall into divers temptations,' or tribulations, 
or afflictions. A Christian in his choicest deliberation ought to count 
it all joy when he falls into divers tribulations. The words are 
emphatical ; the apostle doth not say, be patient or quiet when you fall 
into divers temptations or afflictions, but ' be joyful.' Nor the apostle 

^ Spelled 'raigning': query, 'raging'? — G. 
' Drcxelius in his Gymnasium Patientioc. 



248 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLIL 24, 25. 

doth not say, be joyful with a little joy, but be 'joyful with exceeding 
great joy ;' the words are a Hebraism. All joy is full joy ; all joy 
is perfect joy. And this becomes the saints when they fall, or are 
begirt round, not with some, but with divers, that is, with any kind 
of affliction or tribulation. An omnipotent God will certainly turn 
his people's misery into felicity ; and therefore it concerns them to be 
divinely merry in the midst of their greatest misery. Oh that all 
burnt citizens would seriously consider of these three things : — 

[1.] That this fiery rod has been a rod in a father's hand. 

[2.] That this fiery rod shall sooner or later be like Aaron's rod, 
a blooming rod. Choice fruit will one day grow upon this burnt 
tree, London. No man can tell what good God may do England by 
that fiery rod that he has laid upon London. 

[3.] That this fiery rod that has been laid upon London has not 
been laid on, 1. According to the greatness of God's anger; nor 2. 
According to the greatness of his power ; nor 3. According to the 
strictness of his justice ; nor 4. According to the demerits of our sins ; 
nor 5. According to the expectations of men of a Komish faith ; who, 
it is to be feared, did hope to see every house laid desolate, and 
London made an Aceldama, a field of blood, Acts i. 19; nor 6. Ac- 
cording to the extensiveness of many of your fears ; for many of you 
have feared worse things than yet you feel. Now, upon all these 
considerations, how highly does it concern the people of God to be 
thankful and cheerful ; yea, and to encourage themselves in the Lord 
under that fiery dispensation that has lately passed upon them ! 

Quest. But what is there considerable in God to encourage the soul 
under heavy crosses, and great losses, and fiery trials ? 

Ans. [1.] First, There is his g7^acious, his special, and peculiar 
presence, Dan. iii. 24, 25. Ps. xxiii. 4, ' Though I walk through the 
valley of the shadow of death, 1 will fear no evil : for thou art with 
me ; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.' Ps. xci. 15, 'He 
shall call upon me, and I will answer him : I will be with him in 
trouble.' Oh, the precious presence of God with a man's spirit will 
sweeten every fiery dispensation, and take off much of the bitterness 
and terribleness of it. In the gracious presence of God with our 
spirits lies, (1.) Our greatest happiness. (2.) Our greatest honour. 
(3.) Our greatest profit and advantage. (4.) Our greatest joy and de- 
. light. (5.) Our greatest safety and security. The bush, which was 
a type of the church, consumed not all the while it burned with fire, 
because God was in the midst of it. The gracious presence of God 
with a man's spirit will make heavy afflictions light, and long 
afflictions short, and bitter afflictions sweet, 2 Cor. iv. 16-18. God's 
gracious presence makes every burden light, Ps. Iv. 22. He that has 
the presence of God with his spirit can bear a burden without a 
burden, Deut. xxxiii. 27, 29. What burden can sink that man that 
hath everlasting arms under him, and over him, and round about 
him ? But, 

[2.] Secondly, There is ivisdom in God to encourage them under 
all their trials, Jer. xxiv. 5 ; Eom. viii. 28. There is wisdom in 
God so to temper and order all judgments, afflictions, crosses, and 
losses, as to make them work kindly and sweetly for their good. 



IsA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 249 

Whilst God is near us, wisdom and counsel is at hand. God is that 
wise and skilful physician that can turn poison into cordials, diseases 
into remedies, crosses into crowns, and the greatest losses into the 
greatest gains. What can hurt us, whilst an infinite wise God stands 
by us? But, 

[3.] Thirdly, There is strength^ poioer, and omnipotency in God io 
encourage them^ Prov. xviii. 10; Ps. xlvi. 1, 2; Isa. xxvi. 4; Ps. iii. 

17, There is nothing too high for him, nor nothing too hard for 
him : he is able easily and speedily to bring to pass all contrivances. 
You read of many who have been mighty, but you read but of one 
Almighty : Kev. iv. 8, ' Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty.' 
Chap. xi. 17, ' We give thee thanks, Lord God Almighty.' Chap. xv. 
3, * Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty.' 
Chap. xvi. 7, ' And I heard another out of the altar say, <fec., even 
so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments.' 
Under all your fiery trials an almighty God can do mighty things 
for you. And therefore it concerns you to encourage yourselves in 
him, even when you are stripped of all. 

O Christians, it highly concerns you to bear all your losses cheer- 
fully and thankfully, ' In everything give thanks,' saitli the apostle ; 
* for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you,' 1 Thes. v. 

18. Chrysostom speaks excellently : i ' This,' saith he, * is the very will 
of God, to give thanks always ;' this argues a soul rightly instructed. 
Hast thou suff'ered any evil ? if thou wilt, it is no evil. Give thanks 
to God, and then thou hast turned the evil into good. Say thou as 
Job said when he had lost all, ' The Lord hath given, and the Lord 
hath taken away ; blessed be the name of the Lord.' What evil hast 
thou suffered ? What ! is it a disease ? This is no strange thing to 
us, seeing our bodies are mortal and naturally born to suffer. What ! 
dost thou want money ? this may be gotten here, and lost hei-e. What- 
soever evils or losses therefore do oppress thee, give thou thanks, and 
thou hast changed the nature of them. Job then did more deeply 
wound the devil, when, being stripped out of all, he gave thanks to God, 
than if he had distributed all to the poor and needy. For it is much 
more to be stripped of all, and yet to bear it patiently, generously, and 
thankfully, than for a rich man to give alms, as it here happened to 
righteous Job. But hath fire suddenly taken hold upon thy house, 
destroyed thy house, and consumed thy whole substance ? Kemember 
the sufferings of Job. Give thanks to God, who could, though he did 
not, have hindered that mischance ; and thou shalt be sure to receive 
as equal a reward, as if thou hadst put all into the bosom of the in- 
digent. This he repeateth over again, and saith thy reward, being 
thankful, is equal to his who gave all he had to the poor. To wind 
up your hearts to thankfulness and cheerfulness under this late deso- 
lating judgment, consider (1.) God might have taken away all. 2 It 
is good to bless him for what he has left. (2.) He has taken away 
more from others than he has taken away from you — ergo^ be thankful. 

^ Chrysost., torn. v. homil. 63. 

* When a gentleman in Athens had his plate taken away by Ahashuerus, [?] as he was 
at dinner, he smiled upon his friends, saying, I thank God that his highness hath loft 
me anything. [A curious misprint apparently, for Alcibiades. Cf, Vol. 1. 348.— G.] 



250 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

(3.) You are unworthy of the least mercy, you deserve to be stripped 
of every mercy ; and therefore be thankful for anything that is left. 
God has a sovereign right over all you have, and might have stripped 
you as naked as the day wherein you were born. (4.) God has left 
you better and greater mercies than any those were that he has stripped 
you of — viz., your lives, your limbs, your friends, your relations, yea, 
and the means of grace, which is better than all, and more than all 
other mercies — er^o, be thankful. (5.) The Lord has given those 
choice things to you, as shall never be taken from you — viz., himself, 
his Son, his Spirit, which shall abide with you for ever ; his grace, which 
is an abiding seed ; and his peace, which none can give to you nor take 
from you— er^o, be thankful, though God has laid all your pleasant 
things desolate, John xvi. ; 1 John iii. 9. (6.) Thankfulness under 
crosses and losses, speak out much integrity and ingenuity of spirit. 
Hypocrites and profane persons are more apt to blaspheme than to 
bless a taking God — ergo, be thankful. The ancients say, Ingratum 
dixeris, omnia dixeris, Say a man is unthankful, and say he is any- 
thing. Ingratitude is a monster in nature, say some, a solecism in 
manners, a paradox in grace, damming up the course of donations 
divine and human. If there be any sin in the world against the Holy 
Ghost, said Queen Elizabeth in a letter to Henry the Fourth of France, 
it is ingratitude. The laws of Persia, Macedonia, and Athens, con- 
demned the ungrateful to death ; and unthankfulness may well be 
styled the epitome of vices. Ingratitude was so hateful to the 
Egyptians, that they used to make eunuchs of ungrateful persons, 
that no posterity of theirs might remain. Well, sirs, remember this, 
the best way to get much, is to be thankful for a little. God loves to 
sow much where he reaps much. Thankfulness for one mercy makes 
way for another mercy, as many thousand Christians have experienced. 
The Lord's impost for all his blessings is our thankfulness ; if we 
neglect to pay this impost, the commodity is forfeit, and so will take 
it back. Our returns must be according to our receipts. Good men 
should be like the bells, that ring as pleasantly at a funeral as at a 
wedding. They should be as thankful when it goes ill with them, as 
when it goes well with them. Cicero complained of old that it was a 
hard thing to find a thankful man. Oh how hard a thing is it to 
find burnt citizens really, cordially, frequently, and practically thank- 
ful that they are alive, that they are out of the grave, out of hell, and 
that yet they have bread to eat, and clothes to wear, though their habi- 
tations are laid in ashes, and all their pleasant things destroyed ! But, 
8. The eighth duty that lies upon those who have been burnt up, 
is to keep in their hearts a constant rememhrance of the late dreadful 
conflagration. God expects that his children should commemorate 
his judgments as well as his mercies. The sore judgment that God 
inflicted upon Sodom is mentioned thirteen times in the blessed Scrip- 
ture, and all to work us to mind it, and to abhor those sins that laid 
that city desolate, Isa. xxvi. 8, 9 ; Ps. cxix. 30, 120. The Lord looks 
that his people should keep up fresh in their memories such judgments 
that have been long before executed : Jer. vii. 12, * Go to my place 
which was in Shiloh, where I set my name at the first, and see what 
I did to it for the wickedness of my people.' The ark of old stood at 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 251 

Shiloh, but after it was taken and carried away by the Philistines it 
was never brought back, and from that time Shiloh lay ever after 
desolate, 1 Sam. iv. 10, 11. And this the Lord would have engraven 
upon their memories, and upon their hearts. Though stony hearts are 
bad, yet iron memories are good : Luke xvii. 32, ' Kemember Lot's 
wife/ Consider her sin and her punishment ; that so fearing the one, 
you may learn to take heed of the other : 2 Pet. ii. 6, ' And turning 
the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes condemned them with 
an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should 
live ungodly.' There is much in those words, ' that after should live 
ungodly.' Why hath God turned those rich and populous cities into 
ashes, and set them up as burning beacons, but to warn all the world 
that they live not ungodly, and to work them to keep alive in their 
memories the desolating judgments of God ? The Eabbins say that the 
Jews at this day, when they are to build a house, they are to leave 
one part of it unfinished and lying rude, in remembrance that Jeru- 
salem and the temple are at present desolate. Oh let the remembrance 
of London's desolation by fire be for ever kept up in all your hearts. 
To this purpose consider, 

[1.] That the burning of London is a very great judgment, as I 
have formerly proved. Now great judgments, like great mercies, 
should be always kept up fresh in our memories. 

[2.] The burning of London is a national judgment, as I have for- 
merly proved. Now national judgments should be always fresh in our 
memories. 

[3.] It is a judgment that cari'ies much of the wrath and anger of 
the Lord in it : Amos iii. 6, ' Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, 
and the people not be afraid ? Shall there be evil in a city, and the 
Lord hath not done it ?' Ver. 8, ' The lion hath roared, who will not 
fear ? The Lord God hath spoken, who can but prophesy ?' Now 
the more anger and wrath we read in any judgment, the more highly 
it concerns us to remember that judgment. 

[4.] A serious commemoration of God's judgments is a thing that 
is highly pleasing to the Lord. God dehghts as much in the glory of 
his justice as he does in the glory of his mercy or grace. Now when 
we commemorate his judgments, we glorify his justice that has inflicted 
them. 

[5.] Severe judgments contribute much to the enlightening of men's 
understandings, and to the awakening of their consciences, and the 
reforming of their lives, and to work men to judge them, and justify 
the Lord. And therefore it highly concerns you to keep up the remem- 
brance of London's desolation by fire always fresh and flourishing in 
your souls, Hosea v. 14, 15, and vi. 1-3 ; Jer. xxiv. 1-6, and xxii. 
8,9. 

[6.] Smart judgments are teaching things. All God's rods have a 
voice. ' Hear ye the rod, and him that hath appointed it,' Micah vi. 9. 
Look, as Gideon taught the men of Succoth by thorns and briers, so 
God, by piercing judgments, teaches both sinners and saints to take 
heed of despising his patience and long-suffering, and to cease from 
doing evil and to learn to do well, Isa. i. 16, 17 ; and to fear and fly 
from all such sinful courses or practices that bring destructive judg- 



252 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

ments upon the most glorious cities in the world. And upon this 
account, how deeply does it concern us to have always the late fiery 
dispensation in our thoughts and upon our hearts ! 

[7.] All God's judgments are his messengers ; they are all at his 
command. The centurion had not such a sovereign power over his 
servants, as the great God hath over all sorts of judgments. If the 
Lord do but hiss for the fly of Egypt and the bee of Assyria, they 
shall come and do their office, Ezek. xiv. 13, 15, 17, 19 ; Mat. xxi. 8; 
Isa. vii. 18, 19. Now all God's messengers, as well as his mercies, 
should still be kept in our eye. But, 

[8.] and lastly. Consider a serious commemoration of the judgments 
of God will difference and distinguish you from all profane persons 
and unsound professors : Ps. x. 5, ' Thy judgments are far above out 
of his sight.' Thy judgments, that is, the plagues and punishments 
that thou layest upon the ungodly, are high above his sight ; that is, 
he fears them not, he thinks not of them, he minds them not, he does 
not seriously consider of them, he is not kindly or deeply affected 
with them, he regards them no more than a tale that is told, or than 
foreign wars wherein he is not concerned. Others carry the words 
thus : He casteth thy judgments out of his sight, he will not so much 
as once mind them ; they are too high for him to set them before 
him ; they are hidden before him ; they are above the reach of his 
understanding and apprehension. Both mercies and judgments have 
much of God in them. They speak, and speak aloud ; but wicked 
men can neither see, nor hear, nor understand the voice of God either 
in the one Or in the other. I have read of such a pestilential disease 
once at Athens, as took away the memories of those who were infected 
with it, so that they forgot even their own names. One pestilential 
disease or another usually so seize th upon wicked men, that they easily 
and usually forget the judgments of God. If God set in with these 
eight arguments, they will contribute more to the enabling of you to 
keep the late fiery dispensations of God fresh in your memories, than 
all the pillars of brass or stone in the world. Yet I am far from 
questioning the lawfulness of erecting a pillar of brass or stone to com- 
memorate the late dreadful fire, according to an act of parliament 
[p. 108] that is now before us. But, 

9. The ninth duty that lies upon those who have been burnt up, 
is to see the vanity, mutability, and uncertainty of all worldly com- 
forts a7id enjoyments, and accordingly to sit loose from them, and to 
get their affections iveaned from them, 1 Tim. vi. 17 ; 1 John ii. 17 ; 
Heb. xi. 25. Behold, in four days' time a glorious city is turned into 
a ruinous heap, and a little world of wealth is laid in ashes, and many 
hundreds of families almost reduced to beggary. And are not these 
loud sermons of the vanity, mutability, and uncertainty of all earthly 
things? That is good advice Solomon gives: Prov. xxiii. 4, 5, 
* Labour not to be rich. Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is 
not ? for riches certainly make themselves wings ; they fly away as an 
eagle towards heaven.'i All certainty that is in riches is that they 

^ He saith not, they take wing, but they make them; and not the wings of a hawk, 
to fly away and to come again to a man's fist, but the wings of an eagle, to fly quite 
away. 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 253 

are uncertain. Kiches, like bad servants, never stay long with one 
master. Did not the citizens of London see their riches flying away 
from them upon the wings of the fire and of the wind, when their own 
and their neighbours' habitations were all in flames? sirs, what cer- 
tainty can there be in those things which balls of fire, storms at sea, 
false oaths, or treacherous friends may in a few days, yea, in a day, 
an hour, deprive us of ? God can soon clap a pair of wings upon all 
a man has in this world. And therefore he acts safest and wisest who 
sits most loose from the things of the world. ' Riches are not for 
ever ; and the crown doth not endure to every generation,' Pro v. 
xxvii. 4. This Adoni-bezek, Belshazzar, and many other great princes 
have found by experience, as Scripture and histories do sufiiciently 
testify. In all the ages of the world the testimony of Solomon holds 
good : Eccles. i. 2, ' Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of 
vanities ; all is vanity.' The things of this world are not only vain, 
but vanity in the abstract. They are excessive vanity ; vanity of vani- 
ties ; yea, they are a heap of vanity; vanity of vanities. i And this 
the burnt citizens have found by sad experience. The world is all 
shadow and vanity : it is like Jonah's gourd, a man may sit under its 
shadow for a while, but it soon withers, decays, and dies. He that 
shall but weigh man's pains with his pay, his miseries with his mer- 
cies, his sorrows with his joys, his crosses with his comforts, his wants 
with his enjoyments, &c., may well cry out. Oh the vanity and uncer- 
tainty of all these earthly things ! Thus 2 the world in all its bravery 
is no better than the cities which Solomon gave to Hiram, which he 
called Cabul, that is, displeasing or dirty. All the great, the gay, the 
glorious things of the world may fitly be resembled to the fruit that 
undid us all, which was fair to the sight, smooth in handling, sweet in 
taste, but deadly in operation. A man may be happy that is not 
wealthy ; witness Lazarus, and those worthies of whom this world was 
not worthy, Heb. xi. But how hard a thing is it for a man to be 
happy that is wealthy: Mat. xix. 24, ' It is easier for a camel,' — or cable- 
rope, as some render it — ' to go through the eye of a needle, than for a 
rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.' There are several exposi- 
tions upon these words. 

[1.] First, Some say that there was a little gate in Jerusalem called 
the Needle's-eye, which was so low and little that it was impossible for a 
camel to enter in at it with his burden, and therefore when camels 
came that way they took off their loads, and the camels themselves 
were forced to stoop before they could pass through the gate. Some 
think that our Saviour alludes to this. But, 

[2.] Secondly, Others interpret it of a cable-rope or cord, and then 
thus they expound the words : A man cannot by any means possible 
put a cable through a needle's eye, but if he untwist it, he may by 
thread and thread put it through. 

[3.] Thirdly, Others say these words are a proverbial speech, for 
the Talmud had a proverb, ' Are ye of Pambeditha, who can cause an 

^ All in heaven write vanity of vanities upon all sublunaries ; and all in hell write vanity 
of vanities upon all sublunaries : and why should not all on earth write vanity of 
vanities upon all sublunaries? 1 Kings ix. 13 ; Gen, iii. 

■^ Misprinted ' though.' — G. 



254 London's lamentations on [Tsa. XLII. 24, 25. 

elephant to go through a needle's eye ? ' Those of Pambeditha were 
great braggers ; they would boast to others that they could do very 
great things and very strange things. Hence came that proverb 
amongst them, It is easier to cause an elephant to go through a 
needle's eye, than to do thus or thus. Now our Saviour useth the 
word camel because he was better known to them. It was usual, say 
others, with the Jews to say, when difficult matters were promised, 
Hast thou been' at Pambeditha, where camels go through the eyes of 
needles ? But, 

[4.] Fourthly and lastly, The plain and simple meaning of this 
proverbial speech is doubtless this — viz., that it is as impossible for 
such a rich man to be saved, that trusteth in his riches, and that sets 
a higher price upon his riches than upon Christ, and that will rather 
part with Christ than part with his riches, and that will rather go to 
hell rich than to heaven poor — as it is for a camel to go through the 
eye of a needle. The proverbial speech, say others, notes the difficulty 
of rich men's being saved: Hab. ii. 6, ' Woe to him that ladeth him- 
self with thick clay.' Thick clay will sooner break a man's back 
than satisfy his heart. And oh what a folly and madness is it for a 
man to be still a-loading of himself with the clay of this world ! In 
Gen. xiii. 2, it is said that Abraham was very rich in cattle, in silver, 
and in gold ; the word is "TilD) gravis fuit ; he was very heavy, to 
shew that riches, that gold and silver — which is the great god of the 
world, the paradise, the all in all, the great Diana that all the world 
magnifies and worships — are but heavy burdens, and rather a hin- 
drance than a help to heaven and happiness. Though the rich man in 
the Gospel fared and lived like a gentleman, a gallant, a knight, a 
lord ; yet when he died he went to hell, Luke xvi. Though mammon, 
as Aretius and many others observe, is a Syriac word, and signifies 
riches, yet Irenseus derives mammon of mum, that signifies a spot, 
and lion, that signifies riches ; to shew that riches have their spots : and 
yet, oh how in love are men with these spots ! how laborious, how in- 
dustrious are men to add spots to spots, bags to bags, houses to houses, 
and lands to lands, and lordships to lordships, as if there were no hell 
to escape, nor no heaven to make sure ! Isa. v. 8. 

sirs, the voice of God in that fiery dispensation that has lately 
passed upon us seems to be this, ye citizens of London, whose habi- 
tations and glory I have laid in dust and ashes, sit loose from this 
world, and set your affections upon things above ! Live in this world 
as pilgrims and strangers. Eemember this is not your resting-place ; 
never be inordinate in your love to the world, nor in your delight in 
the world, nor in your pursuit of the world any more. Col. iii. 1 ; Heb. 
xi. 13 ; Jer. i. 6 ; Micah ii. 10. Never spend so many thoughts upon the 
world, nor never send forth so many wishes after the world, nor never 
spend so much precious time to gain the world, as you have formerly 
done. Take off your thoughts, take off your hearts, take off your hands 
from all these uncertain things. Kemember it will not be long before you 
must all go to your long home, and a little of the world will serve to 
bear your charges till you get to heaven. Kemember I have burnt 
up your city, I have poured contempt upon your city, I have stained 
the pride and glory of your city ; that so seeing you have here no con- 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 255 

tinning city, you may seek one to come, Heb. xiii. 14. Remember I 
have destroyed your houses, that so you may make sure a house not 
made with hands, but one eternal in the heavens, 2 Cor. v. 1. I have 
taken away your uncertain riches, that so you may make sure more 
durable riches, Pro v. viii. 18. I have spoiled many of your brave full 
trades, that so you might drive a more brave full trade towards heaven, 
Phil. iii. 20. Oh that I had no just grounds to be jealous that many 
who have been great losers by the fire are now more mad upon the 
world, and more eagerly carried after the world, than ever they have 
been ! as if the great design of God in setting them on fire round about 
was only to enlarge their desires more after the world, and more 
effectually to engage them to moil and toil as in the fire, to lay up 
treasure for another fire to consume. Before I close up this particu- 
lar, let me offer a few things to your consideration : — 

[1.] First, Are there none of the burnt citizens who seek the world 
in the first place, and Christ and heaven in the last place ? that are 
first for earth, and then for heaven ? first for the world, and then for 
Christ ? Mat. vi. 33 ; John vi. 27 ; first for the meat that perisheth, 
and then for the meat which endureth unto everlasting life ? The old 
poet's note was, first for money and then for Christ. But, 

[2.] Secondly, Are there none of the burnt citizens whose love, and 
hearts, and affections are running more out after the world than they 
are after God, and Christ, and the great things of eternity ? 1 Tim. vi. 
9, and Jer. xvii. 11. Are there none of the burnt citizens that are 
peremptorily resolved to gain the world whatever it costs them ? The 
Gnostics were a sort of professors that made no use of their religion 
but to their secular advantages, and therefore when the world and 
their religion stood in competition, they made no scruple, no bones of 
renouncing their profession to enjoy the world. Oh the deadness, the 
barrenness, the listlessness, the heartlessness to anything that is divine 
and heavenly, that does always attend such Christians who are resolved 
to be rich, or great, or somebody in the world, whatever comes on it ! 
Oh the time, the thoughts, the strength, the spirits that these men 
spend upon the world, whilst their souls lie a-bleeding, and eternity 
is posting on upon them ! Men that are highly and fully resolved to 
be rich by hook or by crook, will certainly forget God, undervalue 
Christ, grieve the Spirit, despise Sabbaths, slight ordinances, and 
neglect such gracious opportunities as might make them happy for 
ever. Rich Felix had no leisure to hear poor Paul, though the hear- 
ing of a sermon might have saved his soul, Acts xxiv. 24, seq. But, 

[3.] Thirdly, Are there none of the burnt citizens who spend the 
first of their time, and the best of their time, and the most of their 
time about the things of the world, and who ordinarily put off Christ 
and their souls with the least, and last, and worst of their time ? i 
The world shall freely have many hours, when Christ can hardly get 
one. Are there none who will have their eating times, and their 
drinking times, and their sleeping times, and their buying times, and 
their selling times, and their feasting times, and their sporting times, 
yea, and their sinning times, who yet can spare no time to hear, or 

^ Pythagoras saith, that time is Anima cceli, the soul of heaven. And we may say, 
it is a pearl of price that cost Christ his blood. 



256 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII, 24, 25. 

read, or pray, or mourn, or repent, or reform, or to set up Christ in 
their families, or to wait upon him in their closets ? Are there not 
many who will have time for everything but to honour the Lord, 
and to secure their interest in Christ, and to make themselves happy 
for ever ? 

Look, as Pharaoh's lean kine ate up the fat, so many now are fallen 
into such a crowd of worldly business, as eats up all that precious 
time which should be spent in holy and heavenly exercises. 

[4.] Fourthly, Are there none of the burnt citizens who daily prefer 
the world before Christ ; yea, the worst of the world before the best 
of Christ ? The Gergesenes preferred their swine before a Saviour ; 
they had rather lose Christ than lose their hogs. Mat. viii. 28, seq. 
They had rather that the devil should still possess their souls, than 
that he should drown their pigs. They preferred their swine before 
their salvation, and presented a wretched petition for their own dam- 
nation. ' For they besought him ' — who had all love, and life, and 
light, and grace, and glory, and fulness in himself. Col. i. 19, and ii. 3 
— ' that he would depart out of their coasts.' Though there be no 
misery, no plague, no curse, no wrath, no hell to Christ's departure 
from a people, yet men that are mad upon the world will desire this.i 
Bernard had rather be in his chimney-corner with Christ, than in 
heaven without him, at so high a rate he valued Christ. There was 
a good man who once cried out, I had rather have one Christ than a 
thousand worlds. Another mourned because he could not prize Christ 
enough. But how few burnt citizens are of these men's minds ! It 
was a sweet prayer of one, ' Make thy Son dear, very dear, exceeding 
dear, only dear and precious to me, or not at all.' But do all burnt 
citizens lift up such a prayer ? I suppose you have either read or 
heard of that rich and wretched cardinal who professed that he would 
not leave his part in Paris for a part in paradise. 2 But, 

[5.] Fifthly, Are there no burnt citizens who follow the world so 
close, that they gain no good by the word ? like Ezekiel's hearers, and 
like the stony ground, Ezek. xxxiii. 31-33, and Mat. xiii. 22. Some 
writers say that nothing will grow where gold grows. Certainly, 
where an inordinate love of the world grows, there nothing will grow- 
that is good. A heart filled either with the love of the world, or 
with the profits of the world, or with the pleasures of the world, or 
with the honours of the world, or with the cares of the world, or with 
the business of the world, is a heart incapacitated to receive any 
divine counsel or comfort from the word. The poets tells us of 
Lycaon's being turned into a wolf \^ but when a worldling is wrought 
upon by the word, there is a wolf turned into a man ; yea, an incar- 
nate devil turned into a glorious saint. Therefore the Holy Ghost, 
speaking of Zaccheus, whose soul was set upon the world, brings him 
in with an Ecce, behold, Luke xix. 2, as if it were a wonder of wonders 
that ever such a worldling should be subdued by grace, and brought 
in to Christ. But, 

^ Hosea ix. 12. The Reubenites preferred the country that was commodious for the 
feeding of their cattle, though it were far from the temple, far from the means of grace, 
before their interest in the land of Canaan. 2 As before.— G. 

* Pausanias, viii. 2, § 1. Ovid, Met. i. 237.— G. 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 257 

[6.] Sixthly, Are there no burnt citizens that are very angry and 
impatient when they meet with opposition, disappointments, or pro- 
crastination in their earnest pursuing after the things of the world ? 
Balaam was so intent and mad upon the world, that he desperately 
puts on upon the drawn sword of the angel. Num. xxii. 21-35. Are 
there no burnt citizens who are so intent and mad upon the world, 
that they will put warmly on for the world, though the Lord draws, 
and conscience draws, and the Scriptures draw their swords upon 
them ? But, 

[7.] Seventhly, Are there no burnt citizens who are grown cold, 
very cold, yea, even stark cold, in their pursuit after God, and Christ, 
and heaven, and holiness, who once were for taking the kingdom of 
heaven by violence, who were so eagerly and earnestly set upon mak- 
ing a prey or a prize of the great things of that upper world, that 
they were highly and fully resolved to make sure of them, whatever 
pains or perils they run through ? i Aristotle observeSs that dogs cannot 
hunt where the smeli of sweet flowers is, because the sweet scent 
diverteth the smell. Ah, how has the scent of the sweet flowers of 
this world hindered many a forward professor from hunting after God 
and Christ and the great things of eternity ! The Arabic proverb 
saith, ' That the world is a carcase, and they that hunt after it are 
dogs.' Ah, how many are there who once set their faces towards 
heaven, who now hunt more after earth than heaven ; who hunt more 
after terrestrial than celestial things ; who hunt more after nothing- 
nesses and emptinesses, than they do after those fulnesses and sweet- 
nesses that be in God, in Christ, in the covenant, in heaven, and in 
those paths that lead to happiness ! When one desired to know what 
kind of man Basil was, there was presented to him in a dream, saith 
the history, a pillar of fire, with this motto, Talis est Basilius, Basil is 
such a one, all on a-light fire for God. Before London was in flames, 
there were some who for a time were all on a-light fire for God, who 
now are grown either cold, or lukewarm, like the lukewarm Laodiceans, 
Kev. iii. 14, 19. But, 

[8.] Eighthly, Are there no burnt citizens whose hearts are filled 
with solicitous cares, and who are inordinately troubled^ grieved, de- 
jected, and overwhelmed upon the account of their late losses ? And 
what does this speak out but an inordinate love of these earthly things? 
2 Cor. vii. 10. When Jonah's gourd withered, Jonah was much en- 
raged and dejected, Jonah iv. 6, seq. It is said of Adam that ho 
turned his face towards the garden of Eden, and from his heart 
lamented his fall. Ah, how many are there in this day who, turning 
their faces towards their late lost mercies, their lost shops, trades, 
houses, riches, do so bitterly and excessively lament and mourn, that 
with Kachel, they refuse to be comforted, Jer. xxxi. 15, and with 
Jacob, they will go down into the grave mourning ! Gen. xxxvii. 35.'^ 
Heraclitus the philosopher was always weeping ; but such a frame of 
spirit is no honour to God, nor no ornament to religion. (1.) There 

• Mat. xi. 12. As a castle or town is taken by storm. 

•■' One cries out, How shall I live, now I have lost my trade? another cries out, What 
shall I do when I am old? another cries out, What shall I and my six children do when 
you are dead ? another cries out, I have but a handful of meal in the barrel, and a little 
oil in the cruse, and when that is spent I must lie down and die, 1 Kings xvii. 12, &o. 

VOL. VI. ^ 



258 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

is a holy sadness, which arises from the sense of our sins and our 
Saviour's sufferings: this is commendable. ('2.) There is a natural 
sadness, which sometimes rises from sickness, weakness, and indisposi- 
tion of body : this is to be pitied and cured. (3.) There is a sinful 
sadness, which usually is very furious, and hath no ears, and is rather 
cured by mii-acle than precept. This usually flows from the loss of 
such near and dear comforts upon which men have inordinately set 
their hearts, and in the enjoyment of which they have promised them- 
selves no small felicity. Oh that such sad souls would seriously re- 
member that there is nothing beyond remedy, but the tears of the 
damned ! A man who may, notwithstanding all his losses and crosses, 
be found walking in the way to paradise, should never place himself 
in the condition of a little hell. And he that may or can hope for 
that great-all, ought not to be excessively sad for any losses or crosses 
that he meets with in this world. But, 

[9.] Ninthly, Are there no burnt citizens w^ho, to gain the world, 
do very easily and frequently fall down before the temptations of the 
world ? And what does this speak out, but their inordinate love to 
the world ? That man who is as soon conquered as tempted, vanquished 
as assaulted by the world, that man is doubtless in love with the world, 
yea, bewitched by the world, Num. xxii. 15-23; Josh. vii. 20-22; 
Jude 11. The champions could not WTing an apple out of Milo's hand 
by strong hand, but a fair maid by fair means got it presently. The 
easy conquests that the temptations of the w^orld make upon many 
men, is a fair and a full evidence that their hearts are greatly endeared 
to it. Luther was a man weaned from the world ; and therefore when 
honours, preferments, and riches were offered to him, he despised them. 
So when Basil was tempted with money and preferment, he answered, 
* The fashion of this world passeth away, as the waters of a river that 
runs by a city, or as a fair picture drawn upon the ice, that melts away 
with it' Pecuniam da quae jpermaneat, &c.. Give money, said he, 
that may last for ever, and glory that may eternally ilourish.i I have 
-read of a mortified Christian, who being tempted with offers of money 
to desert his religion, gave this excellent answer, * Let not any think 
that he will embrace other men's goods to forsake Christ, who hath 
forsaken his own proper goods to follow Christ.' It was an excellent 
answer of one of the martyrs, when he w^as offered riches and honours 
if he would recant, ' Do but offer me somewhat that is better than my 
Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall see what I will say to you.' Thus 
you see that men that are crucified to this world do not only resist, 
but also triumph over all the glittering temptations of a tempting and 
enticing world. And oh that such a spirit might rest upon all those 
whose habitations are laid desolate ! But, 

[10.] Tenthly and lastly. Are there no burnt citizens who go to the 
utmost of their line and liberty for the gaining of the things of this 
world ? Ah, how near the pit's brink, how near the borders of sin, 
how near the flames of vengeance, how near the infernal fire, do many 
venture to gain the things of this world ! And what does this speak 
out, but an inordinate love of this world ? sirs, what do all these 

' Basil in XL. Martyrs. In Qneen Mary's time, when some offered a certain martyr 
money, he refused it, saying, I am going to a country where money will bear no price. 



IsA. XLIL 24, 25.] the late fiery dispensation. 259 

things evidence, but this, that though God has fired many men out of 
their houses, yet the inordinate love of this world is not fired out of 
their hearts ! 

sirs, to moderate your affections to the things of this world, and 
to put a stop to your too eager pursuit after earthly things, seriously 
and frequently dwell upon these ten maxims: — 

[1.] First, That the shortest, surest, and safest way to he rich, is to 
he content luith your present portion, Eccles. v. 12. The philosopher 
could say, ' He that is content wants nothing ; and he that wants con- 
tent enjoys nothing.' 

' One migbt have riches, yet be very poor ; 
One might have little, yet have all and more,' 

[2.] Secondly, He ivho is [not] contented with a little, will never be 
satisfied with much. He who is not content with pounds, will never 
be satisfied with hundreds ; and he who is not content with a few 
hundreds, will never be satisfied with many thousands :i Eccles. v. 10, 
' He that loveth silver, shall not be satisfied with silver ; nor he that 
loveth abundance, with increase.' Money of itself cannot satisfy any 
desire of nature. If a man be hungry, it cannot feed him ; if naked, 
it cannot clothe him ; if cold, it cannot warm him ; if sick, it cannot 
recover him. A circle cannot fill a triangle ; no more can the whole 
world fill the heart of man. A man may as soon fill a chest with 
grace, as a heart with wealth. The soul of man may be busied about 
earthly things, but it can never be filled nor satisfied with earthly 
things. Air shall as soon fill the body, as money shall satisfy the 
mind. There is many a worldling who hath enough of the world to 
sink him, who will never have enough of the world to satisfy him. 
The more a hydropical man drinketh, the more he thirsteth. So 
the more money is increased, the more the love of money is increased ; 
and the more the love of money is increased, the more the soul is 
unsatisfied. It is only an infinite God, and an infinite good, that can 
fill and satisfy the precious and immortal soul of man. Gen. xv. 1. 
Look, as nothing fits the ear but sounds, and as nothing fits the 
smell but odours, so nothing fits the soul but God. Nothing below 
the great God can fit and fill an immortal soul. Nothing can con- 
tent the soul of man but the fruition of God. Nature hath taught 
all men to seek after a summum honum. God never rested till he 
made man ; and man can never rest till he enjoys his God. Every 
man has a soul within him of a vast capacity, and nothing can fill it 
to the brim but he that is fulness itself Should we knock at every 
creature s door for happiness, they would all answer us round, that it 
is not in them. The man in Plutarch that heard the philosophers 
wrangle about summum honum, one placing of it in this, and another 
in that, went to the market and bought up all that was good, hoping 
among all he should not miss of happiness ; and yet he missed of it. 
The soul of man is of so glorious a make, that nothing below him that 
made it can satisfy it. The sum of all that the creatures amount to, 
according to Solomon s reckoning, is vanity and vexation of spirit. 
Vanity and vexation is the very quintessence of the creature, and all 
^ Much treasure stoppeth not a miser's mouth, saith the proverb. 



260 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

that can possibly be extracted out of it. Now if vanity can satisfy, 
or if vexation can give content ; if you can gather grapes of thorns, 
or figs of thistles, then go on and dote upon the world still, and be 
always enamoured with a shadow of perishing beauty. Oramuzes i 
the enchanter boasted that in his egg all the happiness in the world 
was included ; but being broken, there was nothing in it but wind 
and emptiness. But, 

[3.] Thirdly, It is infinitely better to have much of God, of Christ, 
of the Spirit of holiness and of heaven in our hearts, with a little of 
the world in our hands, than to have much of the world in our hands, 
and bid a little of God and Christ in our hearts, 2 Cor. vi. 10. It is 
infinitely better to be rich towards God, and poor towards the world, 
than to be poor towards God, and to be rich towards the world. 
There are some very rich, who yet are very poor ; there are others 
who are very poor, and yet are very rich, Eccles. v. 12 ; Prov. xi. 24. 
It is infinitely better to be poor men and rich Christians, than to be 
rich men and poor Christians. But, 

[4.] Fourthly, The best and surest way under heaven to gain much 
of the world, is to mind the luorld less, and God, and Christ, and grace, 
and heave7i more: 1 Kings iii. 9, 'Give therefore thy servant an 
understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between 
good and bad : for who is able to judge this thy so great a people ?' 
Ver. 10, ' And the speech pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked 
this thing.' Ver. 11, 'And Gt)d said unto him. Because thou hast 
asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life ; neither hast 
asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies ; but 
hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment;' ver. 12, 
' behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a 
wise and an understanding heart ; so that there was none like thee 
before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee.' Ver. 13, 
'And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both 
riches and honours : so that thei-e shall not be any among the kings 
like unto thee all thy days.' This is more generally and fully ex- 
pressed in 2 Chron. i. 12, ' Wisdom and knowledge is granted unto 
thee: and I will give thee riches and wealth and honour, such as 
none of the kin^^^s have had before thee, neither shall there any after 
thee have the like.' Solomon desired wisdom of the Lord, and the 
Lord granted him his desire, and cast in riches, and wealth, and 
honour as an overplus, which he did not so much as once desire. God 
won't be wanting to them in temporals, who in their desires and 
prayers are most carried out after spirituals : 2 Mat. vi. 33, ' First 
seek the kingdom of God, and his righteousness ; and all these things 
shall be added to you,' or over-added. He who before all, and above 
all other things, seeks grace and glory, shall have the things of this 
world cast in as an overplus, as a handful to the sack of grain, or as 
[an] inch of measure to an ell of cloth, or as paper and packthread is 
given into the bargain : 1 Tim. iv. 8, ' Godliness is profitable unto all 
things, having the promise of the life that now is, and of that which 

^ Sic. — Query, ' Ormuzd of the system of Zoroaster' ? — G. 

' The shorter cut to riches is by their contempt : it is great riches not to desire 
riches, and he hath most that covets least, saith Socrates and Seueca. 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 261 

is to come.' There is earth as well as heaven; bread as well as 
grace ; and raiment as well as righteousness ; and the lower springs 
as well as the upper springs to be found in the precious promises, 
2 Pet. i. 4. Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and Joseph, and 
Job, and Nehemiah, and Mordecai, and David, and Hezekiah, and 
Josiah, and Jehoshaphat, and Daniel, and the three children, or ratiier 
champions, made it their business to be holy, to walk with God, to 
maintain communion with God, and to exalt and glorify God : and 
you know how the Lord heaped up the good things and the great 
things of this world upon them. I verily believe it men were more 
holy, they would be more outwardly happy ; if they did but more 
seriously and earnestly press after the great things of that upper 
world, the Lord would more abundantly cast in the things of this 
lower world upon them. But when men are immoderately carried 
out in seeking after the great things of this world, it is just with 
God to blast their endeavours, and to curse their mercies to them, 
Jer. xlv. 5 ; Mai. ii. 2. But, 

[5.] Fifthly, It is better to get a little of the ivorld, than to get 
much of the world ; it is better to get a little of the luorld jv^stly and 
honestly, than to get much of the loorld unjustly and dishonestly. A 
little of the world blessed, is better than much of the world cursed. 
Solomon's dinner of green herbs, Daniel's pulse, barley loaves, and a 
few fishes, and John's rough garment blessed, are better and greater 
mercies than Dives his riches, purple robes, and dainty fare cursed, 
Gen. xxii. ; Prov. iii. 33, and xv. 17; Dan. i. But, 

[6.] Sixthly, The greatest outioardgain cannot countervail the least 
spiritual loss, Ps. xxx. 6, 7 ; be it but a drachm of grace, or a cast 
of God's countenance, or an hour's communion with him, &c. Sup- 
pose a man could heap up silver as the dust, and gold as the streams 
of the brook, that he could gain as much as the devil promised 
Christ — viz., all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; 
yet all these could not make up the least spiritual loss. Job xxii. 24, 
and xxvii. 16 ; Mat. iv. 1-11. He that shall exchange the least 
spiritual favour for the greatest outward good, shall but, with Glaucus 
and Diomedes, exchange gold for copper ; he shall, with the cock in 
the fable, part with a pearl for a barley-corn. Chrysostom compareth 
such to workers in mines, who, for a little wages, do always hazard, 
and sometimes lose their lives. Menot, a French preacher, compareth 
them to a huntsman, that spoileth a horse worth many pounds, in 
pursuit of a hare not worth so many pence. Parens compares them 
to a man that with much ado winneth Venice, and as soon as it is 
won, is hanged up at the gates of the city. When such a one shall 
at last compute what he hath gained and what he hath lost, he 
will certainly conclude that he hath but a miserable bargain of it. 
But, 

[7.] The seventh maxim is this — viz., A little that a righteous man 
hath is better than the riches of many ivicked, Ps. xxxvii. 16. The 
righteous man's mite is better than the wicked man's millions. _' A little,' 
that is, a competent and mean portion, though yet but very little ; one 
little piece of gold is more worth than a bag of counters ; one little box 
of pearls is more worth than many loads of pebbles. And so a little 



262 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

that a righteous man hath is better than the abundance of the wicked — 
is better than the riches of many wicked. Hamon, which is the word 
here used, is from HamaJi, which signifies multitude of riches, or 
great plenty, or store of riches ; from this Hebrew word Hamon, 
riches are called mammon, Luke xvi. 9, 11, 13. The little that the 
righteous man hath is better than the multitude or store of riches that 
the wicked have. Out of these words you may observe these following 
particulars : — 

(1.) Here is the righteous man's portion, and the wicked mans 
portion, as to this world ; the righteous man hath but little, the wicked 
has much. 

(2.) The righteous man hath but little, but the wicked has riches. 

(3.) The righteous man s little is a better portion than the riches 
of the wicked. 

(4.) The righteous man's little is better than the multitude of riches 
that the wicked have. 

(5.) The righteous man's little is better than the multitude of 
riches that many wicked men enjoy. Now, for their sakes w^ho 
have been burnt up, and have but little of the world left them, I 
shall make good this blessed truth by an induction of these eleven 
particulars : — 

[1.] First, The righteous man hath a better tenure to his little than 
wicked men have to their multitude of riches. The righteous man 
holds his tenure by virtue of his marriage-union with Christ, who 
is the heir of all things, Heb. i. 2. We had an equal right in the 
first Adam to all the good things of this world ; but, in his fall, 
we lost our original right to the good things of this world. But now 
the righteous man, by the second Adam, has recovered his right to all 
he enjoys : Rom. viii. 32, ' How shall he not with him also freely 
give us all things ? ' 1 Cor. iii. 21 , ' All things are yours : ' ver. 22, 
' Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, 
or things present, or things to come ; all are yours.' But how come 
they to be interested in this large charter ? the apostle answers it in 
ver. 23, ' Ye are Christ's ; and Christ is God's.' All comes to us 
by Jesus Christ. All the corn in Egypt came through Joseph's hands, 
Gen. xli. So all we have, be it little or much, we have it through 
Christ's hands, upon the account of our marriage-union with Christ. 
We may say, as Hamor and Shechem said to their people, ' Shall not 
all their cattle, and substance, and every beast of the field, be ours ?' 
Gen. xxxiv. 23. So being married to Christ, and become one with 
him, all comes to be ours, through him who is the heir of all. By 
virtue of our marriage-union with Christ, our title to the creatures is 
not only restored, but strengthened. That little we have is entailed 
upon us by Christ, in a more firm and better way than ever. In the 
first Adam our tenure was lower, and meaner, and baser, and uncer- 
tainer than now it is ; for our title, our tenure by Christ, is more 
honourable, and stronger, and sweeter, and lastinger than ever it was 
before. For now we hold all we have m capite ; Christ is our head 
and husband, and by him we hold all we have. But now wicked men, 
by the fall of Adam, have lost their original patent and charter which 
once they had to shew for the things of this life. By Adam's fall they 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 263 

have forfeited God's primitive donation of all right in the creatures. 
Every wicked man in the world has forfeited his right to the creatures 
in Adam, and lies under that forfeiture. But to the glory of divine 
patience be it spoken, God has not sued out his forfeiture, God has not 
brought a writ of ejection against him ; and by this means he comes 
to be lawfully possessed of those earthly blessings he does enjoy ; as a 
felon, though he hath forfeited his life and estate to the king's justice, 
and is still subject to ejection at the king's pleasure, yet while the 
king forbears him, his possession is good and lawful, and no man may 
disturb him. Wicked men are lawful owners and possessors of the 
good things God hath given them : Num. xxii. 30, ' Am not I thine 
ass ?' whence you may observe : — 

(1.) That the silliest and simplest being wronged, may justly speak 
in their own defence. 

(2.) That they who have done many good offices and fail in one, 
are often not only unrewarded for former services, but punished for 
that one offence. 

(3.) That when the creatures formerly officious to serve us start 
from their former obedience, man ought to reflect upon his own sin as 
the sole cause thereof. 

(4.) That the worst men have good title to their own goods.i For 
though Balaam was a sorcerer, yet the ass confesseth twice that he 
was his ass. Luke xii. 33, 'sell' and 'give' are words of propriety. 
And God hath set the eighth commandment as a hedge, as a fence to 
every man's possession : Dan. iv. 17, ' This matter is by the decree of 
the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones, to the 
intent that the living may know that the Most High ruleth in the 
kingdoms of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up 
over it the basest of men.' He that gave Canaan to Jacob, gave mount 
Seir to Esau. And did not Jacob buy a burying-place of the sons of 
Heth ? and did he not buy corn of the Egyptians ? Gen. xxiii. 3-5, 9, 
and xlii. 3, 5. By all which they did acknowledge that those wicked 
men and idolaters had a lawful title to those temporal blessings that 
they did enjoy. Now mark, God, as he is the God of nature by com- 
mon providence, allots to wicked men their lawful possessions, and 
this is the best tenure they hold by. Oh, but now that little that a 
child of God has, he holds it by a more glorious tenure and honourable 
title, and therefore his mite is better than a wicked man's millions. 
But, 

[2 ] Secondly, That little a righteous man hath^ lie hath through the 
covenant and through precious promises, 2 Peter i. 4. Now a little 
mercy reached out to a man through the covenant, and as a fruit of 
the promise, is more worth than a world of blessings that flow in upon 
a man merely by a general providence. There are no mercies so sweet, 
so sure, so firm, so lasting, as those that flow in upon us through the 
covenant of grace. Oh, this sweetens every drop, and sip, and crust, 
and crumb of mercy that a godly man enjoys : ' All the paths of the 
Lord are mercy and truth to such as keep his covenant,' Ps. xxv. 10. 
This is a sweet promise, a precious promise, a soul-satisfying promise, 
a promise more worth than all the riches of the Indies. Mark, all 

^ Consult these scriptures : Deut, xxxii. 8; Acta xvii. 26; Luke iii. 14. 



264 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

the paths of the Lord to his people are not only mercy, bat they are 
mercy and truth ; that is, they are sure mercies that stream in upon 
them through the covenant. ^ Well, sirs, you must remember this, 
viz., that the least mercy, the least blessing flowing in upon us through 
the promise, is more worth than a thousand blessings that flow in upon 
us fr-om a general providence. The least blessing flowing in upon us 
through the covenant, is l)etter than ten tliousand talents that are the 
mei-e products of a general providence. For, 

First, Such as enjoy all they have only from a general providence, 
they enjoy their mercies from that common source or spring that feeds 
the birds of the air and the beasts of the field, Ps. cxlv. 15, 16. The 
same common bounty of God that feeds and clothes the wicked, feeds 
the birds and beasts that perish. But, 

Secondly, There is no certainty of the continuance of such mercies 
that are only the product of a common providence, Isa. xxxiii. 16 ; but 
now the mercies that flow in upon the saints through the covenant of 
grace, they shall be sure to us so long as the continuance of them may 
be for our good and God's glory, chap, Iv. 3. Now the least mercies 
held by covenant are infinitely better than the greatest riches in 
the world, that only drop upon us out of the hand of a common 
providence. 

Thirdly, The righteous man hath his little from the special love and 
favour of God. All his little flows in upon him from that very same 
love which moved the Lord to bestow Christ upon him, Ps. cxlvi. 8, 
and Prov. xv. 17. All the righteous man's little is from the good-will 
of him that dwelt in the bush, Deut. xxxiii. 16. His little comes from 
a reconciled God as well as a bountiful God ; from a tender Father as 
well as a merciful Creator. A dinner of green herbs, Daniel's pulse, 
barley loaves, a few fishes, yea, Lazarus his scraps, crusts, and rags, 
and John's garment of camel's hair, from reconciled love, is infinitely 
better than all the riches and dainties of the wicked, which are all 
mixed and mingled with crosses and curses. All the mercies and 
abundance that wicked men have, is in wrath and from wrath ; there 
is wrath in every cup they drink in, and in every dish they eat in, and 
in every bed they lie on, and in every stool they sit on, Prov. iii. 33 ; 
Mai. ii. 2 ; Ps. Ixxviii, 30, 31. But the little the righteous man hath 
flows from the sweetest springs of divine love ; so that they may well say 
as Gideon did, ' The gleanings of the grapes of Ephraim, is it not better 
than the vintage of Abi-ezer ?' Judges viii, 2. The very gleanings of 
the righteous are better than the greatest vintages of the wicked. The 
abundance of the wicked still flows in upon them from the bitter 
streams of divine wrath. A little water flowing from a sweet spring 
is much better than a great deal that flows from the salt sea. The 
loving-kindness of God does raise the least estate above the greatest 
estate in the world ; yea, it raiseth it above life itself — or lives, chajim 
— which is the best of all temporal blessings, Ps. Ixiii. 3. Ten pounds 
given by a king out of favour and respect, is a better gift than a thou- 
sand given in wrath and displeasure. But, 

Fourthly, The little that the righteous man hath is blessed and 
sanctified to him, as you may see by comparing the scriptures in the 

^ Consult these scriptures : Joshua xxiii, 14, 15, and 1 Tim. iv. 8. 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 265 

margin together.! A little blessed unto a man is better than all the 
world cursed. Now all the blessings and mercies that the wicked do 
enjoy, though they are materially blessings, yet they are formally 
curses ; as all the crosses that befalls a righteous man, though they 
are materially crosses, yet they are formally blessings. The habita- 
tions, relations, honours, riches, &c., of the wicked are all cursed unto 
them. There is poison in every cup the wicked man drinks, and 
snares in every dish he puts his fingers in, the plague in all the 
clothes he wears, and a curse upon the house in which he dwells : 
Zech. V. 3, 4, 'Then he said unto me, This is the curse that goeth 
forth over the face of the whole earth : for every one that stealeth 
shall be cut off as on this side, according to it ; and every one that 
sweareth shall be cut off as on that side, according to it. I will bring 
it forth, saith the Lord of hosts, and it shall enter into the house of 
the thief, and into the house of him that sweareth falsely by my name : 
and it shall remain in the midst of his house, and shall consume it, 
with the timber thereof, and the stones thereof.' So Job xxiv. 18, 
' Their portion is cursed in the earth.' A fat purse and a fat heart, a 
whole estate and a whole heart, a fat body and a lean soul : Ps cvi. 
15, ' He sent leanness into their souls.' All the blessings of the 
wicked have their hut, as the cup in Benjamin s sack, which proved a 
snare to him rather than a mercy. Oh the curses and vexations that 
attend all the blessings of the wicked ! It may be said of ' the little 
that a righteous man hath,' Prov. iii. 33, as it was once said of Jacob's 
garment, ' It is like a field which the Lord hath blessed. He blesseth 
the habitations of the just.' Esau had a fair estate left him, and 
Jacob a less ; yet Jacob's was a better estate than Esau's, because his 
little was blessed to him, when Esau's much was cursed to him. One 
little draught of clear water is better than a sea of brackish salt water. 
The application is easy. But, 

Fifthly, A little improved and well husbanded, is better than a 
great deal that is either not improved or but ill improved. Every 
estate is as it is improved. A little farm well improved, is much 
better than a great farm that is either not improved or ill improved. 
A little money, a little stock in a shop well improved, is better than a 
great deal of money, a great stock, that is either not improved or ill 
improved. Now here give me leave to shew you briefly how a godly 
man improves his little. Take me thus — - 

First, A godly man improves his little to the stirring up of his 
heart to thankfulness, and to be much in admiring and blessing of 
God for a little. Every drop the dove drinks he lifts up his head to 
heaven. Every bird in his kind, saith Ambrose, doth chirp forth 
thankfulness to his Maker. So the righteous man will bless God 
much for a little ; yea, he will bless God very much for a very little, 
Ps. ciii. 1-3, and cxvi. 12, 13. But, 

Secondly, A righteous man improves his little to the humbling and 
abasing of himself before the Lord, as one that is much below the 
least of mercies : Gen. xxxii. 10, ' I am not worthy of the least of all 
the mercies which thou hast shewed unto thy servant/ 2 Sam. vii. 18. 

1 Deut. xxviii. 8, 9 ; Ps. iii. 8 ; Gen. xxii. 17, and xxvi. 12; Prov. x. 22 ; Dent, xxviii. 
16-20; Prov. iii. 33; Mai. ii. 2. 



26() London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

A righteous man labours to have his heart lie low under the sense of 
the least sin, and under the smart of the least rod, and under the sight 
of the least mercy. But, 

Thirdly, A righteous man improves his little to the arming and 
fencing of himself against sinful temptations. Little mercies are 
many times great arguments to keep a gracious soul from sin, Gen. 
xxxix. 7-10. But, 

Fourthly, A righteous man improves his little to the relief and re- 
freshing of the bowels of others that are in want, and whose pinching 
necessities call for supplies, 2 Cor. viii. 1-4; Heb. vi. 10. A poor 
man begging at a Christian s door who was very poor, he spoke to his 
wife to give him something ; she answered that she had but three- 
pence in the house ; saith he, give him that, for if we never sow, we 
shall never reap. There was another Christian who having given a 
little of his little to a man, began to think whether he had injured 
himself ; but presently he corrected himself with these thoughts, that 
he had lent it one that would pay all again with advantage, with in- 
terest upon interest ; within an hour after he had it restored above 
sevenfold, in a way which he never thought of. The Italian form of 
begging is, Do good for yourselves. But, 

Fifthly, A righteous man improves his little to the stirring up and 
provoking of his own heart to look after better and greater mercies — 
viz., spiritual and eternal favours. Oh, saith the righteous man, if 
there be so much sweetness in a few drops, and sips, and small 
draughts, and crusts, and scraps, what is in those everlasting springs 
of pleasure and delight that be at God's right hand ! Ps. xvi. 11 ; 
John iv. 10, 11, 14, and vi. 4; Rev. xix. 8. If there be so much 
pleasantness in a piece of bread, and so much warmth in a coarse suit 
of clothes, what sweetness is there in the waters of life ! and what 
pleasantness is there in that bread of life that came down from 
heaven ! and what warmth is there in that fine linen that is the 
righteousness of the saints! &c. A righteous man looks upon his 
least temporals to be a strong engagement upon him to seek after 
eternals. But now wicked men are so far from improving their much, 
their riches, their great riches, that they either hide their talents, as 
that evil servant did his, Mat. xxv., or else they prove jailers to their 
mercies, and make them servants to their lusts, as pride, drunkenness, 
uncleanness, &c. Compare these scriptures together : Job xxi. 1-10 ; 
Amos vi. 1-7 ; Ps. Ixxiii. ; Hosea iv. 7 ; Jer. ii. 31, and v. 7-9 ; Deut. 
xxxii. 13-18 ; James v. 1-6. But, 

Sixthly, The few mercies, the least mercies that the righteous man 
hath, are pledges and pawns and an earnest of more mercies, of better 
mercies, and of greater mercies than any yet they do enjoy. Now a 
farthing given as an earnest of a thousand a year is better than many 
pounds given as a present reward. Wicked men have outward bless- 
ings as their portion, their heaven, their all : ' Son, remember that 
thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things,' Ps. xvii. 14 ; Luke 
xvi. 25. But now that little that a godly man hath, he has it as a 
pledge of heaven, and as an earnest of eternal favours and mercies. 
The little mercies the saints enjoy are doors of hope to let in greater 
and better mercies ; those mercies a righteous man has are but inlets 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 267 

to further mercies. When Kachel had a son, she called his name 
Joseph, saying, ' The Lord shall add to me another son,' Gen. xxx. 
24. Every mercy that a righteous man enjoys may well be called 
Joseph, because it is a certain pledge of some further and greater 
mercy that is to be added to those the righteous man already enjoys. 
But, 

Seventhly^ The righteous man enjoys his little with a great deal of 
comfort, peace, quiet, and contentment. The righteous man with his 
little, sits Noah-like, quiet and still in the midst of all the hurries, 
distractions, combustions, and confusions that be in the world, Phil, 
iv. 12, 13 ; Prov. x. 22, and xv. 16, 17. Though the righteous man 
has but from hand to mouth, yet seeing that God feeds him from 
heaven as it were with manna, he is quiet and cheerful : but now 
wicked men have abundance of vexation with their worldly abun- 
dance: as you see in Haman, Esth. v. 9, 11-13, ' Then went Haman 
forth that day joyfully and with a glad heart: but when Haman saw 
Mordecai in the king's gate, that he stood not up, nor moved for him, 
he was full of indignation against Mordecai. And Haman told them 
of the glory of his riches, and the multitude of his children, and all 
the things wherein the king had promoted him, and how he had ad- 
vanced him above the princes and servants of the king. Haman said 
moreover. Yea, Esther the queen did let no man come in with the 
king unto the banquet that she had prepared but myself; and to- 
morrow am I invited unto her also with the king. Yet all this 
availeth me nothing, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the 
king's gate.'i It is seldom seen that God allows unto the greatest 
darlings of the world a perfect contentment. Something they must 
have to complain of, that shall give an unsavoury verdure^ to their 
sweetest morsels, and make their felicity miserable. It was not simply 
Mordecai's sitting at the king's gate, but Mordecai's refusing to stand 
up, or to move either hat, head, or hand, or to bow any part of his 
body, that damped all Haman' s joy, and that filled him with rage 
and vexation of spirit. The want of little things — viz., a knee, a 
hat — will exceedingly vex and discompose an ambitious spirit. So 
Ahab, though a king, yet when he was sick for Naboth's vineyard, 
his heart did more afflict and vex itself with greedy longing for that 
bit of earth, than the vast and spacious compass of a kingdom could 
counter-comfort, 1 Kings xxi. 4. And so Alexander the Great, in the 
midst of all his glory, he was exceedingly vexed and discontented, 
because he could not make ivy to grow in his garden in Babylon. 
Contentment is a flower that does not grow in nature's garden. 
All the honours, riches, pleasures, profits, and preferments of this 
world cannot yield a man one day's contentment ; they are all sur- 
rounded with briers and thorns. 3 You look upon my crown and my 
purple robes, said that great king, Cyrus, but did you but know how 
they w^re lined with thorns, you would never stoop to take them up.* 

^ If I had an enemy, saith Latimer, to whom I might lawfully wish evil, I would 
chiefly wish him great 'store of riches; for then he should never enjoy quiet. 

2 ' Green mould.'— G, 

^ Pheraulas, a poor man, was wearied out with care in keeping those great riches 
which Cyrus had bestowed upon him. [Xenophon, Cyr. ii. 3, sees. 7, 8, viii. 3. — G.] 

* As before : and ascribed to Xerxes, Themistocles, and others.— G. 



268 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

Charles the Fifth, emperor of Germany, whom of all men the world 
judged most happy, cried out at last with grief and detestation to all 
his honours, pleasures, trophies, riches. Abite hinc, abite longe: Gret 
you hence ; let me hear no more of you ! Who can sum up the many 
grievances, fears, jealousies, disgraces, interruptions, temptations, and 
vexations that men meet with in their very pursuit after the things of 
this world ! Oh how sweet is it to want these bitter-sweets ! Riches 
are compared to thorns ; and indeed all the comforts the wicked enjoy, 
they have more or less of the thorn in them. And indeed riches may 
well be called thorns ; because they pierce both head and heart —the 
one with care of getting, and the other with grief in parting with 
them. The world and all the glory thereof is like a beautiful harlot : 
a paradise to the eye, but a purgatory to the soul. A wicked man 
under all liis enjoyments, 

(1.) Enjoys not the peace of his conscience upon any just or solid 
grounds. 

(2.) He enjoys not the peace of contentment upon any sober or 
righteous grounds. But now a righteous man, with his little, enjoys 
both peace of conscience and peace of contentment ; and this makes 
every bitter sweet, and every little sweet to be exceeding sweet. 
A dish of green herbs, with peace of conscience and peace of 
contentment, is a noble feast, a continual feast to a gracious soul. 
But, 

Eighthly, The righteous man sees God, and acknowledges God, 
and enjoys God in his little. Job i. 21 ; Gen. xxvii. 28, and xxxiii. 
10, 11. Look, as he that cannot see God in the least affliction, in 
the least judgment, will never be truly humbled ; so he that cannot see 
God in the least mercy will never be truly thankful nor cheerful. In 
every crust, crumb, drop, and sip of mercy that a righteous man enjoys, 
he sees much of the love of his God, and the care of his God, and the 
wisdom of his God, and the power of his God, and the faithfulness of 
his God, and the goodness of his God, in making the least provision 
for him. I have read of the Jews, how that when they read the little 
book of Esther they let fall the book on the ground, and they give 
this reason for that ceremony, 'because the name of God is not 
to be found in all that history.' So a righteous man is ready to 
let that mercy drop out of his hand, out of his mouth, wherein he 
cannot read his God, and see his God, and taste his God, and 
enjoy his God. But now wicked men may say, as Elisha did in 
another case, ' Here is the mantle of Elijah, but where is the God 
of Elijah ? Here is abundance of riches and honours and dignities, 
&c., but where is the God of all these comforts?' 2 Kings ii. 14. 

But alas ! they mind not God, they see not God, they acknowledge 
not God in all they have, in all they enjoy ; as you may see by com- 
paring the scriptures in the margin together, i Wicked men are like 
the horse and the mule that drinks of the brook, but never think of 
the spring. They are like to the swine that eats up the mast, but 
never looks to the tree from whence the mast falls. They are like 
such barren ground that swallows up the seed, but returns nothing to 

' Hosea ii. 5, 8, 9 ; Isa. i. 3, 4 ; Jer. ii. 6 ; Esther v. 10-12 ; Luke xii. 19. 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 269 

the sower. A dunghill-spirited fellow in our days, being by a neigh- 
bour excited to bless God for a rich crop of corn he had standing on 
his ground, atheistically replied, ' Thank God ! Nay, rather thank my 
dung-cart ! ' I have read of a great cardinal, who, writing down in his 
diary what such a lord did for him, and how far such a prince favoured 
him, and what encouragement he had from such a king, and how 
such a pope preferred him, but not one word of God in all : one reading 
of it, took his pen and wrote underneath, here God did nothing. But, 
Ninthly, The little the righteous man hath is enough; enough 
to satisfy him, enough to content him, enough to bear his charges 
till he gets to heaven, Ps. xxiii. 1, 2: Phil. iv. 12, 13; 1 Tim. vi. 
6: Gen. xxxiii. 11, 'I have enough,' saith Jacob to Esau: Gen. 
xlv. 28, ' And Israel said, it is enough ; Joseph my son is yet alive.' 
Though the righteous man hath but little, yet he hath enough for his 
place and calling in which God has placed him, and enough for his 
charge, whether it be great or small ; he has enough to satisfy nature, 
enough to preserve natural life, Pro v. xxx. 8.^ Agur is but for food 
convenient, convenient for his life, not for his lusts ; he prays for enough 
to satisfy necessity, convenience, not concupiscence ; he begs for bread, 
not for quails ; he begs that nature may be sustained, not pampered. 
Though it be true that nothing will satisfy a wicked man's lusts, 
yet it is as true tint a little will satisfy nature, and less will satisfy 
grace. Jacob vows that the Lord should be his God, if he would but 
give him bread to eat, and raiment to put on. This was the first holy 
vow that ever we read of ; hence Jacob is called the father of vows, 
Gen. xxviii. 20, 21. He begs not dainties to feed him, nor silks nor 
satins to clothe him ; but bread to feed him, though never so coarse, 
and clothes to cover him, though never so mean. Job is only for ne- 
cessary food,2 Jq13 xxiii. 12. A little will satisfy a temperate Christian. 
Luther made many a meal of bread and a red herring ; and Junius 
made many a meal of bread and an e^g. Nature laps only, like those 
three hundred soldiers. Judges vii. 6. When Christ fed the people 
graciously, miraculously, he fed them not with manchets^ and quails, 
or pheasants, &c., but with barley loaves and fishes, a frugal, temperate, 
sober diet. If the handful of meal in the barrel, and the oil in the 
cruse fail not, and if the brook and the running water fail not, Elijah 
can be well enough contented. But now wicked men never have 
enough, they are never satisfied. They are like those four things that 
Solomon speaks of, that are never satisfied — viz., the grave, the barren 
womb, the earth, and the fire. That is an observable passage of the 
psalmist, ' Thou fillest their bellies with thy hid treasures.' To a 
worldly wicked man all these outward things are but a bellyful ; and 
how soon is the belly emptied after it is once filled ! Though many 
rich men have riches enough to sink them, yet they have never enough 
to satisfy them. Like him that wished for a thousand sheep in his 
flock, and when he had them, he wished for other cattle without num- 

1 If thou live according to nature, thou wilt never be poor ; if according to opinion, 
thou wilt never be rich. 

' He is rich enough that lacketh not bread ; and high enough in dignity that is not 
forced to serve.— ./erowe. John vi. 9-15 ; 1 Kings xvii. 12, and iii. 4-C ; Prov. xxx. 15, 
16; Ps. xvii. 14. ' * Fine bread.'— G. 



270 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

ber. When Alexander had all the crowns and sceptres of the princes 
of the world piled up at his gates, he wishes for another world to con- 
quer : ' The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear with hearing/ 
' He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver ; nor he that 
loveth abundance with increase,' Eccles. i. 8, and v. 10. There is 
enough and enough in silver, in abundance of silver, to vex and fret 
the soul of man, but not to satisfy the soul of man. God himself is 
the only centre of centres, and as the soul can never rest till it return 
to him, as the dove to the ark, so it can never be filled, stilled, or satis- 
fied, but in the enjoyment of him.i All the beauty of the world is 
but deformity, all the brightness of the world is but blackness, all the 
light of the world is but bitterness ; and therefore it is impossible for 
all the bravery and glory of this world to give absolute satisfaction to 
the soul of man. Solomon, the wisest prince that ever sat upon a 
throne, after his most diligent, curious, critical, and impartial search 
into all the creatures, gives this as the summa totalis, and product of 
his inquiries, ' Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.' And how then can 
any of these things, yea, all these things heaped up together, satisfy 
the soul of man ! Hab. ii. 5, ' He enlargeth his desire as hell, and is 
as death, and cannot be satisfied, but gathereth unto him all nations, 
and heapeth unto him all people.' This is spoken of the king of 
Babylon, who though he had gathered to him all nations and people, 
yea, and all their vast treasures also — Isa. x. 13, 'I have robbed their 
treasures :' ver. 14, ' And my hand hath found as a nest, the riches 
of his people : and as one gathereth eggs that are left, have I gathered 
all the earth ; and there was none that moved the wing, or opened the 
mouth, or peeped' — and yet for all this was his desire enlarged as 
hell, and could not be satisfied. The desires of worldlings are bound- 
less and endless, and there is no satisfying of them. It is not all the 
gold of Ophir, or Peru, nor all the pearls or mines of India ; it is 
not Joseph's chains, nor David's crowns, nor Haman's honours, nor 
Daniel's dignities, nor Dives his riches, that can satisfy an immortal 
soul. 

TentJily, The little that the righteous man hath is more stable, dur- 
able, and lasting, than the riches of the wicked; and therefore his 
little is better than their much, his mite is better than their millions, 
Job V. 20-22. Ps. xxxiv. 9, 10, 'Oh fear the Lord, ye his saints : for 
there is no want to them that fear him. The young lions do lack, and 
suffer hunger : but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good 
thing.' Such as are separated from the world's lusts, can live with a 
little. Such as set up God as the object of their fear, have no cause 
to fear the want of anything. When David was a captive amongst 
the Philistines, he wanted nothing. Paul had nothing, and yet pos- 
sessed all things, 2 Cor. vi. 10. A godly man may want many good 
things that he thinks to be good for him, but he shall never want any 
good thing that the Lord knows to be good for him, Heb. xiii. 5, 6 ; 
Prov. X. 3. We do not esteem of tenure for life as we do of freehold, 
because life is a most uncertain thing. Ten pound a year for ever is 
better than a hundred in hand. All the promises are God's bonds, 

' The poor heathen could say, I desire neither more nor less than enough. For I may 
as well die of a surfeit as of hunger. 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 271 

and a Christian may put them in suit when he will, and hold God to 
his word ; and that not only for his spiritual and eternal life, but also 
for his natural life, his temporal life ; but so cannot the wicked. The 
temporal estate of the wicked is seldom long-lived, as you may see by 
comparing the scriptures in the. margin together.^ Alexander the 
Great, conqueror of the world, caused to be painted on a table a sword 
in the compass of a wheel, shewing thereby that what he had gotten 
by the sword was subject to be turned about the wheel of providence. 
There is no more hold to be had of riches, honours, or preferments, 
than Saul had of Samuel's lap. They do but like the rainbow shew 
themselves in all their dainty colours, and then vanish away. There 
are so many sins, and so many crosses, and so many curses that usually 
attend the riches of the wicked, that it is very rare to see their estates 
long-lived. Hence their great estates are compared to the chafP, which 
a puff of wind disperseth ; to the grass, which the scorching sun 
quickly withers ; to the tops of corn, which are soon cut off ; and to 
the unripe grape : Job xv. 33, ' He shall shake off his unripe grape as 
the vine, and shall cast off his flower as the olive.' Every day's ex- 
perience confirms us in this truth. But, 

Eleventhly and lastly. The little that the righteous man hath is 
better than the riches of the wicked, in respect of his last reckoning, 
in respect of his last accounts. God will never call his children in 
the great day, either to the book or to the bar, for the mercies that he 
has given them, be they few or be they many, be they'great or be they 
small. Though the mercer brings his customer to the book for what 
he has, and for what he wears, yet he never brings his child to the 
book for what he has and for what he wears. Though the vintner or 
innkeeper brings their guests to the bar for the provisions they have, 
yet they never iDring their children to the bar for the provisions they 
make for them. In the great day the Lord will take an exact account 
of all the good that his children have done for others. Mat. xxv., but 
he will never bring them to an account for what he has done for them. 
Christ in this great day will, 

(1.) Remember all the individual offices of love and friendship that 
hath been shewed to any of his members. 

(2.) He will mention many good things which his children did, 
which they themselves never minded, ver. 37. 

(3.) The least and lowest acts of love and pity that have been shewed 
to Christ's suffering servants, shall be interpreted as a special kindness 
shewed to himself, ver. 40. 

(4.) The recompense that Christ will give to his people in that day 
shall be exceeding great, ver. 44, 46. Here is no calling of them to 
the book or to the bar for the mercies that they were entrusted with. 
But oh the sad, the great accounts that the wicked have to give up 
for all their lands and lordships, for all their honours, offices, dignities, 
and riches ! ' To whom much is given, much shall be required,' 
Luke xii. 48. Christ in the great day will reckon with all the gran- 
dees of the world for every thousand, for eveiy hundred, for every 
pound, yea, for every penny that he has entrusted them with. All 
princes, nobles, and people that are not interested in the Lord Jesus, 

1 Prov. X. 3 ; ?&. xxxvii. 34-36 ; Jer. xvii, 11 ; Job xx. 20, scq. 



272 London's lamj^^tations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

shall be brought to the book, to the bar, in the great day, to give an 
account of all they have received and done in the flesh, Kev. vi. 15-17; 
Luke xvi. 2 ; Eccles. xii. 14 But Christ's darlings shall then be the 
only welcome guests : Mat. xxv. 34, ' Then shall the King say to them 
on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom 
prepared for you from the foundation of the world.' Before the world 
was founded the saints were crowned in God's eternal counsel. Here 
is no mention made of the book or the bar, but of a kingdom, a crown, 
a diadem. Now by these eleven arguments it is most evident that the 
little that the righteous man hath is better than the riches of the 
wicked. The righteous man's mite is better than the wicked man's 
millions.^ But, 

[8.] The eighth maxim that I shall lay down, to put a stop to your 
too eager pursuit after the things of this world, is this, viz., That the 
life of man consists not in the enjoyment of these earthly things, which 
he is so apt inordinately to affect: Luke xii. 15, ' And he said unto them, 
Take heed, and beware of covetousness. For a man's life consisteth 
not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.' Whether we 
consider man's life in the length and continuance of it, or in the com- 
fort of it, it consists not in riches ; for no man lives a day longer or 
merrier for his riches. Though possessions are useful to sustain life, 
yet no man is able to prolong his life, or to make it anything more 
happy or comfortable to him, by possessing more than he needs or 
uses. It is not the golden crown that can cure the headache, nor the 
velvet slipper that can ease a man of the gout, nor the purple robe that 
can fray away a burning fever. Mark, the life of man is so far fronl 
consisting in the enjoyment of these earthly things, that many times 
they hasten a man to his long home, Jer. xvii. 11. Many a man's 
coft'er has hastened him to his coffin ; and as many a man has lost his 
finger for his rings sake, so many a man has lost his life for his purse's 
sake. In all the ages of the world many a man has deeply suffered 
for his means. Naboth lost his life for his vineyard's sake, 1 Kings xxi. 
Quintus Aurelius, in the days of Sylla,2 lost his life by reason of his 
lands. Many a man's means has hanged him. Many a man has 
deeply suffered for his means' sake. The Komans ripped up the bellies 
and bowels of the Jews to search for gold. 3 The Americans had been 
more safe had they had less gold : they thought gold was the Spaniards' 
god. But how the Spaniards played the devil to get their gold, I shall 
not at this time take pleasure to relate. Now if our temporal life con- 
sists not in any of these earthly things, then certainly our spiritual 
life consists not in any of these earthly things. For what religious 
duty is there that a believer cannot do, though he has neither money 
in his bag nor dainties on his table. And as our spiritual life con- 
sists not in any of these earthly things, so our eternal life consists not 
in any of these earthly things : for as all the treasures of this world 

* Some of the more refined heathen have had some kind of dread and fear in their 
spirits upon the consideration of a day of account, as the writings of Plato and TuUy, 
&c., do sufficiently evidence. ^ Plutarch, in vita Syllct. 

=* Josephus. When Zelimus, [?] emperor of Constantinople, had taken Egypt, he 
found a great deal of treasure there ; and the soldiers asking of him what they should 
do with the citizens of Egypt, having found a great treasure among them ; Oh, saith 
the emperor, hang them all up, for they are too rich to be made slaves. 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 273 

cannot bring a soul to heaven, so they cannot keep a soul from drop- 
ping down to hell. 

' This world's wealth that men so much desire, 
May well be likened to a burning fire, 
Whereof a little can do little harm 
But profit much our bodies well to warm : 
But take too much, and surely thou shalt burn. 
So too much wealth to too much woe does turn.' 

But, 

[9.] The ninth maxim that I shall lay down to put a stop to your 
too eager pursuit after the things of this world, is this — viz.. That there 
is no rest to he found in any earthly enjoyments. Rest is the centre 
at which all intellectual natures, as well as natural bodies, aim at. A 
man that is inordinately in love with the world can never be at rest. 
The drunkard sometimes rests from his cups, and the unclean person 
from his filthiness, and the swearer from his oaths, and the idolater 
from his idols, but the worldling is never at rest ; his head and heart 
are still a-plodding and a-plotting how to get, and how to keep, the 
things of this world: Eccles. v. 12, ' The sleep of the labouring man 
is sweet, whether he eat little or much ; but the abundance of the 
rich will not suffer him to sleep.' i These three vultures — care of get- 
ting, fear of keeping, and grief of losing — feed day and night upon the 
heart of a rich and wretched worldling, so that his sleep departs from 
him. Sometimes his abundance lies like a lump of lead heavy upon 
his heart, so that he cannot rest. Sometimes his conscience does so 
lash, and lance, and gall him for what he has got by indirect ways 
and means, that he cannot sleep. Sometimes God himself will not 
suffer him to sleep. Sometimes God shews him the handwriting upon 
the wall, Dan. v. 5, 6 ; sometimes he terrifies him with dreams, and 
sometimes he throws handfuls of hell-fire in his face, as once he did 
into Judas's, Mat. xxvi. 24 ; and this hinders his rest. Sometimes by 
their excessive eating and drinking, their gluttony, their delicious fare, 
they overcharge nature, which causeth indigestion and malignant 
vapours, whereby sleep is wholly removed, or else much disturbed. 
Earthly riches are an evil master, a treacherous servant, fathers of 
flattery, sons of grief, a cause of fear to those that have them, and a 
cause of sorrow to those that want them ; and therefore what rest is 
there to be found in the enjoyment of them? [Augustine.] The prior 
in Melanchthon rolled his hands up and down in a basin full of angels, 
thinking to have charmed his gout, but this could give him no ease, 
no rest.'-^ Latimer, in a sermon before King Edward the Sixth, tells 
a story of a rich man, who, when he lay upon his sick-bed, one came 
to him and told him that he was a dead man, that he was no man for 
this world. As soon as ever the sick man heard these words, saith 
Latimer, he cried out, Must I die ? Send for a physician ! Wounds, 
side, heart — must I die ? Wounds, side, heart — must I die ? and thus 
he continued crying out. Wounds, side, heart — must I die ? Must I 
die and leave these riches behind me ? All the riches that he had 

^ He that is rich in conscience, saith Austin, sleeps more soundly than he that is 
richly clothed in purple, Luke xii. 20. 

^ Had a man as much honour and dignity, profit and pleasure, as himself could wish, 
or the world afford, yet within twenty-four hours he would be weary of all, and must go 
to sleep. 

VOL. VI. S 



274 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

heaped together could give him no rest nor quiet when the king of 
terrors knocked at his doors. All the good things of this world have 
more or less of the thorn in them ; and therefore what rest can they 
give ? Achan's golden wedge proved a wedge to cleave him, and his 
garment a garment to shroud him. In Spain they lived happily until 
fire made some mountains vomit gold ; but what miserable discords 
have followed ever since ! It is only heaven that is above all winds 
and storms and tempests, neither hath God cast man out of one para- 
dise for him to think to find out another paradise in this world. 
But, 

[10.] The tenth and last maxim that I shall lay down to put a stop 
to your too eager pursuit after the things of this world, is this — viz., 
That it is a very high point of Christian loisdom and prudence, always 
to look upon the good things and the great things of this world as a 
man loill certainly look upon them when he comes to die. Oh, with 
what a disdainful eye, with what a contemptible eye, with what a 
scornful eye, and with what a weaned heart and cold afi*ections do men 
look upon all the pomp, state, bravery, and glory of the world, when 
their soul sits upon their trembling lips, and there is but a short step 
between them and eternity ! He that looks upon the world whilst he 
has it under his hand, as he will assuredly look upon it when he is to 
take his leave of it, he will, 

(1.) Never sin to get the world. Nor, 

(2.) He will never grieve inordinately to part with the world. 
Nor, 

(3.) He will never envy those who enjoy much of the world. Nor, 

(4.) He will never dote upon the world, he will never b'e enamoured 
with the world. I have read of a man, who, lying in a burning fever, 
professed that if he had all the world at his dispose, he would give it 
all for one draught of beer; at so low a rate do men value the world at 
such a time as that is. King Lysimachus lost his kingdom for one 
draught of water to quench his thirst. i If men were but so wise to 
value the world at no higher a rate in health than they do in sickness, 
in the day of life than they do at the hour of death, they would never 
be fond of it, they would never be so deeply in love with it. Now, oh 
that these ten maxims may be so blest to the reader as to crucify the 
world to him, and him unto the world ! Gal. vi. 14. He gave good 
counsel who said, [Austin,] man, if thou be wise, let the world pass, 
lest thou pass away with the world. Fix thy heart on God, let him 
be thy portion ; fix thy afi'ections upon Christ, he is thy redemption ; 
on heaven, let tha.t be thy mansion. Oh take that counsel, ' Love not 
the world, nor the things of the world,' John ii. 15. Mark, he doth 
not say, have not the world, nor the things of the world, but ' love not 
the world, nor the things of the world:' nor he doth not say, use not 
the world, nor the things of the world, but ' love not the world, nor 
the things of the world:' nor he doth not say, take no moderate care 
for the world, nor the things of the world, but ' love not the world, nor 
the things of the world.' But to prevent all mistakes, give me leave 
to premise these three things : — 

[1.] First, It is lawful to desire earthly things, so far as they may 
^ As before. — G. 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 275 

he furtherances of us in our journey to heaven.^ As a passenger when 
he comes to a deep river desij-es a boat, but not for the boat's sake, but 
that he may pass over the river ; for could he pass over the river with- 
out a boat, he would never cry out, A boat, a boat ; or as the traveller 
desires his inn, not for the inn's sake, but as it is a help, a furtherance 
to him in his journey homewards ; or as the patient desires physic, not 
for physic's sake, but in order to his health : so a Christian may law- 
fully desire earthly things in order to his glorifying of God ; and as 
they may be a help to him in his Christian course, and a furtherance 
to him in his heavenly race, Heb. xii. 1. But, 

[2.] Secondly, We may desire earthly things in subordination to the 
will of God. Lord, if it be thy pleasui-e, give me this and that earthly 
comfort ; yet not my will, but thy will be done. Lord, thou art the 
wise physician of bodies, souls, and nations : if it may stand with thy 
glory, give thy sick patient life, health, and strength ; yet not my will, 
but thy will be done. But, 

[3.] Thirdly, We may desire such a measure of eartlily things^ and 
such a number of earthly things^ as may be suitable to the place, call- 
ing, relation, and condition ivherein the providence of God has set us, 
Prov. XXX. 8, 9, and 1 Tim. vi. 8 : as a master, magistrate, prince, 
lord, gentleman, &c. A little of these earthly things, and a few of 
these earthly things, may be sufficient to the order, place, calling, and 
condition of life wherein some men are placed, but not sufficient for a 
king, a lord, a magistrate, a general, &c. These must have their 
counsellors, their guards, variety of attendance, and variety of the 
creatures, &c. A little portion of these earthly things is sufficient for 
some, and a great and large portion of these earthly things is but suffi- 
cient for others. Less may serve the servant than the master, the child 
than the father, the peasant than the prince, &c. Th& too eager pur- 
suit of most men after the things of this world, to make up the losses 
that they sustained by the fire, hath been the true cause why I have 
insisted so largely upon this ninth duty that we are to learn by that 
fiery dispensation that hath pal^sed upon us. 

10. The tenth duty that lies upon those who have been burnt 
up, is to be very importunate luith God to take away those sins that 
have laid our city desolate, and to keep off from sin for the time to 
come, and to look narrowly to your spirits, that you do not charge the 
Lord foolishly , because he has brought you under his fiery rod, Mai. ii. 
15 ; Job i. 16, ' While he was yet speaking, there came also another, 
and said, The fire of God is fallen from heaven, and hath burnt up the 
sheep, and the servants, and consumed them, and I only am escaped 
alone to tell thee;' ver. 22, ' In all this Job sinned not, nor charged 
God foolishly.' The fire of God, that is, a great, fierce, and terrible 
fire that fell from heaven and consumed Job's sheep and servants, was 
a more terrible judgment than all the former judgments that befell 
them, because God seemed to fight against Job with his own bare 
hand by fire from heaven, as once he did against Sodom. ' In all 
this Job sinned not;' that is, in all this that Job suffered, acted, and 
uttered, there was not anything that was materially sinful. Satan he 

1 As Mr Tyndale the martyr said, I desire these earthly things so far as they may be 
helps to the keeping of thy commandments. 



276 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

said, that if God would but toucli all that he had, Job would curse him 
to his face ; but when it came to the proof, there was no such thing. 
For Job had a fair and full victory over him, and Satan was proved a 
loud liar. For Job sinned not in thought, word, or deed ; Job did 
neither speak nor do anything that was dishonourable to God, or a 
reproach to his religion, or a wound to his conscience. Under this 
fiery trial Job did not so much as entertain one hard thought concern- 
ing God, nor let fall one hard word concerning God. Under all the 
evils that befell Job, Job still thinks well of God, and speaks well of 
God, and carries it well towards God. Certainly Job had a great deal 
of God within him, which kept him from sinning under such great and 
grievous sufferings. sirs, it is a far greater mercy to be kept from 
sinnings under our sufferings, than it is to be delivered from the greatest 
sufferings. Job's heart was so well seasoned with grace, that he would 
admit of no insolent or unsavoury thoughts of God, or of his severest 
providences : ' In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly,' 
or with folly. Some refer the former part of this verse to the mind, 
and the latter to the mouth ; shewing that Job, though he had lost all, 
neither thought in his heart, nor uttered with his mouth, anything 
unmeet and unworthy of God. The meek, humble, patient, and 
gracious behaviour of Job under all his sore losses and crosses is here 
owned, renowned, crowned, and chronicled by God himself. sirs, 
sinning is worse than suffering ; it is better to see a people bleeding 
than blaspheming, burning than cursing; for by men's sins God is dis- 
honoured, but by their sufferings God is glorified. Oh that the Chris- 
tian reader would seriously consider of these twelve things : — i 

(1.) That there is nothing that the great God hates, but sin. 

(2.) That there is nothing that he has revealed his wrath from heaven 
against, but sin. 

(3.) That there is nothing that crucifies the Lord of glory afresh, but 
sin. 

(4.) That there is nothing that grieves the Spirit of grace, but sin. 

(5.) That there is nothing that wounds the conscience, but sin. 

(6.) That there is nothing that clouds the face of God, but sin. 

(7.) That there is nothing that hinders the return of prayer, but sin. 

(8.) That there is nothing that interrupts our communion with 
God, but sin. 

(9.) That there is nothing that imbitters our mercies, but sin. 

(10.) That there is nothing that puts a sting into all our troubles 
and trials, but sin. 

(11.) That there is nothing that renders us unserviceable in our 
places, stations, and conditions, but sin. 

(12.) That there is nothing that makes death the king of terrors, 
and the terror of kings, to be so formidable and terrible to the sons of 
men, as sin. And therefore under all your sorrows and sufferings, 
crosses and losses, make it your great business to arm yourselves 
against sin, and to pray against sin, and to watch against sin, and to 
turn from sin, and to cease from sin, and to get rid of sin, and to stand 
for ever in defiance of sin, 2 Chron. vii. 14 ; Isa. xvi. 17, and Iv. 7 ; 

• Prov. vi. 16, 17 ; Jer. xlii. 4 ; Rom. i. 18; Heb. vi. 6 ; Eph. iv. 30 ; Mat. xxvi. 15; 
Ps. XXX. 6, 7 ; Isa. xlix. 1, 2 ; Mai. ii. 2 ; Jer. iv. 18. 



IsA. XLTI. 24, 25.] the late fiery dispensation. 277 

Hosea xiv. 8 ; Isa. xxx. 22. Assuredly every gracious heart had 
rather be rid of his sins than of his sufferings: Job vii. 21, 'And 
why dost thou not take away mine iniquity?' — or lift up, as the Hebrew 
runs, to note that though Job had many loads, many burdens upon 
him, yet none lay so heavy upon him as his sin ; Hosea xiv. 2, ' Take 
away all iniquity, and receive us graciously.' It is not, take away 
our captivity, and receive us graciously, but take away our iniquity, 
and receive us graciously ; nor is it to take away this or that particular 
iniquity, and receive us graciously, but take away all iniquity, and 
receive us graciously ; take away stain and sting, crime and curse, 
power and punishment, that we may never hear more of it, nor never 
feel more of it, nor never be troubled any more with it. Though 
their bondage was great, very great, yea, greater than any people 
under heaven were exercised with, yet their sins were a more unsup- 
por table burden to their spirits than their bondage was, Dan. ix. 11-13. 
And therefore they cry out, ' Take away all iniquity, and receive us 
graciously.' And this was the usual method of David ; i when he was 
under sore troubles and trials, he was more importunate with God to 
be purged and pardoned, than he was to be eased under his troubles, 
or delivered from his troubles : Ps. li. 2, ' Wash me throughly from 
mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin;' ver. 7, 'Purge me with 
hyssop, and I shall be clean : wash me, and I shall be whiter than 
snow ;' ver. 9, ' Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine 
iniquities ;' ver. 14, ' Deliver me from blood-guiltiness, God.' When 
Pharaoh was under the hand of the Lord, he was all for removing of 
the plagues, the frogs, the locusts, &c., Exod. x. But when David 
was under the hand of the Lord, he was all for the removing of his 
sins, and for the cleansing, purging, and washing away of his sins. 
Oh that all the burnt citizens of London would be more earnest and 
importunate with God to pardon, and purge, and take away all those 
iniquities that have brought the fiery rod upon them, than they are 
studious and industrious to have their credits repaired, their houses 
rebuilded, their trades restored, and all their losses made up to them ! 
Oh that they might all be driven by what they have felt, seriously to 
consider what they have done ! ' No man saith, What have I done?' 
Jer. viii. 6 ; Hosea vi. 1-3 ; Isa. Ivi. 6 ; Ezek. xxxvi. 33, 37. Oh 
that they would all blame themselves more, and their sins more, and 
turn to him who has so sorely smitten them, and lay hold on his 
strength, and make peace with him, that so he may yet build up their 
waste places, and make up their breaches, and repair their losses, and 
never turn away from doing of them good ! Jer. xxxii. 41-44. But, 
11. The eleventh duty that they are to learn that have been burnt 
up, is to prepare and fit for greater troubles and trials. The anger 
of the Lord is not yet turned away, but his hand is stretched out still, 
Isa. ix. 12; Kev. xi. 18. The nations are angry, the face of the 
times seems sorely to threaten us with greater troubles than any yet 
we have encountered with. Ah London, London ! ah England, 
England ! the clouds that hang over thee seem every day to be blacker 
and blacker, and thicker and thicker : thou hast suffered much, and 
thou hast cause to fear that thou mayest suffer more ; thou hast been 
^ See Ps. Ixxix. 1, 5, 8, xxv. 7, xxxii. 4, 5, and xxxviii. 3, 4. 



278 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

brouglit low, yea, thou art this day brought very low in the eyes~of 
the nations round about thee, and yet thou mayest be brought lower 
before the day of thy exaltation comes. i When God intends to raise 
a person, a city, a nation high, very high, he then usually brings them 
low, very low ; and when they are at lowest, then the day of their 
exaltation is nearest. It is commonly darkest a little before break of 
day. The hand of the Lord has been lifted up high, yea, very high, 
over us and against us ; but who repents ? who reforms ? wlio returns 
to the Most High ? who smites upon his thigh ? who says, What have 
I done ? Jer. vui. 6 ; who finds out the plague of his own heart ? who 
ceaseth from doing evil ? who learns to do well ? who stirs up himself 
to take hold of God ? who stands in the gap ? who wrestles and weeps, 
and weeps and wrestles to turn away those judgments that this day 
threaten us? Isa. i. 16-18; Ps. cvi. ; Hosea xii. 4. So long as sin 
remains rampant, and men continue impenitent, there is reason to 
fear a worse scourge than any yet we have been under. Pharaoh's 
stubbornness did but increase his plagues, Exod. ix. 17 ; the more 
stout and unyielding we are under judgments, the more chains God 
will still put on, Eccles. v. 8. When his hand is lifted up, we nmst 
either bow or break. Such as have been under the smart rebukes of 
God, and will not take Christ's warning to go their way and sin no 
more, John v. 14, have reason to fear hi^ inference, that a worse thing 
will come upon them. The face of present providences looks dismal ; 
dreadful sufferings seem to be near, very near, even at our very doors. 
Yet to prevent fainting, we must remember that God never wants 
chambers to hide his people in till his indignation be overpast, Isa. 
xxvi. 20. God hath ways enough to preserve his wheat, even when 
the whirlwind carries away the chaff. God can find an ark for his 
Noahs, when a flood of wrath sweeps away sinners on every hand; and 
God can provide a Zoar for his Lots, when he rains fire and brimstone 
upon all round about them. Look, as God many times by lesser 
mercies fits his people for greater mercies ; so God many times by 
lesser judgments fits his people for greater judgments; and who can 
tell, but that the design of God by the late judgments of fire, sword, 
and pestilence, is to prepare and fit his people for greater judgments ? 
That God might have inflicted greater judgments than any yet he has 
inflicted upon us, I have already proved by an induction of particulars. 
That greater judgments may be prevented, and our present mercies 
continued and increased, it highly concerns us to repent, and to turn to 
the Most High. There are seven sorts of men who have high cause to 
fear worser judgments than any yet have been inflicted upon them: — 

(1.) Such who scorn and deride at the judgments of God, Isa. v. 
19 ; Jer. xvii. 15, and xx. 8 ; 2 Pet. iii. 3-5. 

(2.) Such who put off the judgments of God to others, who cry 
cut, Oh ! these judgments concern such and such, but not us. 

(3.) Such who are no ways bettered nor reclaimed by judgments. 

(4.) Such as grow worser and worser under all the warnings and 
judgments, as Pharaoh and Ahaz did, Isa. i. 5 ; Jer. v. 3 ; 2 Chron. 
xxviii. 22, 23. 

^ Deut. xxviii, 43; 2 Chron. xxviii. 18, 19 ; Deut. xxxii. 36; Ps. Ixxix. 8, cxxxvi. 23, 
and cxlii. 6 : Isa. xxvi. 10. 11. 



IsA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 279 

(5.) Such as make no preparations to meet God when he is in the 
way of his judgments, Amos iv. 12. 

(6.) Such who are careless Gallios, that do not so much as mind or 
regard the warnings of God, the judgments of God, Isa. v. 12, 13. 

(7.) Such as put the evil day far from them, as they did in Isa. xxii. 
12, 13, and as they did in Amos vi. 3, and as the inhabitants of 
Jerusalem did a little before their city was laid desolate. Some 
writers tell us, [Hegesippus, Josephus, &c.,] that though the Jews 
had a great many warnings, by prodigious signs and fearful appari- 
tions, before Jerusalem was besieged and the city destroyed, yet 
most of them expounded the meaning of them in a more favourable 
sense to themselves than ever God intended, till the dreadful ven- 
geance of God overtook them to the utmost. It is the greatest wisdom 
and prudence in the world to prepare and fit for the worst. The best 
way on earth to prevent judgments from falling upon us, or if they 
do fall, to sweeten them to us, is to prepare for them. But, 

12. The twelfth duty that lies upon those who have been burnt 
up, is to secure the everlasting welfare of their precious and im- 
mortal souls. sirs, London's ashes tell you to your faces that you 
cannot secure your houses, your shops, your estates, your trades ; but 
the eternal well-being of your souls may be secured. Every burnt 
citizen carries a jewel, a pearl of price, a rich treasure about him — 
viz., a divine soul, which is more worth than all the world, Mat. xvi. 
26. As Christ, who only went to the price of souls, has told us, 
there is much of the power, wisdom, majesty, and glory of God 
stamped upon the stately fabric of this world, Ps. xix. 1, 2; but 
there is more of the power, wisdom, majesty, and glory of God 
stamped upon an immortal soul. The soul is the glory of the crea- 
tion. What Job speaks of wisdom is very applicable to the precious 
soul of man, chap, xxviii. 13, 16, 17. 'Man knows not the price 
thereof : it cannot be valued with the gold of Ophir, with the precious 
onyx, or the sapphire. The gold and the crystal cannot equal it ; and 
the exchange of it shall not be for jewels of fine gold.' The soul is a 
beam of God, a heavenly spark, a celestial plant ; it is the beauty of 
man, the wonder of angels, the envy of devils, and the glory of God.i 
Oh how richly and gloriously hath God embroidered the soul. ' The 
king's daughter is all glorious within : her clothing is of wrought gold,' 
Ps. xlv. 13. The soul is divinely inlaid and enamelled by God's own 
hand. The soul is of an angelical nature, it is of a divine offspring ; 
it is a spiritual substance, capable of the knowledge of God, and of 
union with God, and of communion with God, and of an eternal 
fruition of God. The soul is an immortal substance, and that not 
only per gratiam, by the grace and favour of God, as the body of 
Adam was in the state of innocency, and as the bodies of saints shall 
be at the resurrection, but per naturam, by its own nature, having no 
internal principle of corruption, so as it cannot by anything from 
within itself cease to be ; neither can it be annihilated by anything 
from without. ' Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able 
to kdl the soul.' Mat. x. 28. Some [Gregory, &c.J have observed to 

^ Epictetus, and many others of the more refined heathens, have long since said that 
the bodv was but the organ, the soul was the man, the merchandise. 



280 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

my hand, that there are three sorts of created spirits : the first, of 
those whose dwellings is not with flesh, or in fleshly bodies ; they 
are the angels ; the second, of those which are wholly immersed in 
flesh, the souls of beasts, which rise out of the power of the flesh, and 
perish together with it ; the third is of those which inhabit bodies of 
flesh, but rise out of the power of the flesh, nor die when the body 
dieth ; and these are the souls of men, Eccles. xii. 7, ' When the body 
returneth to the earth as it was, the spirit shall return to God who 
gave it.' sirs, the soul being immortal, it must be immortally 
happy, or immortally miserable. Certainly there is no wisdom nor 
policy to that of securing the everlasting welfare of your souls. All 
the honours, riches, greatness, and glory of this world are but chips, 
feathers, trifles, pebbles, to your precious and immortal souls ; and 
therefore before all, and above all other things, make sure work for 
your souls. If they are safe, all is safe ; but if they are lost, all is 
lost, and you cast and undone in both worlds. Chrysostom observeth, 
that whereas God hath given many other things double, two eyes to 
see with, two ears to hear with, two hands to work with, and two feet 
to walk with, to the intent that the failing of the one might be 
supplied by the other, he hath given us but one soul ; if that be lost, 
hast thou another soul to give in recompense for it ? If you save your 
souls, though you should lose all you have in this world, your loss would 
be a gainful loss ; but if you lose your precious souls, though you should 
gain all the world, yet your very gains will undo you for ever. You 
have found, by the late dreadful fire, that there is no securing of the 
things of this world ; and therefore make it your business, your work, 
to get a Christ for your souls, grace for your souls, and a heaven for 
your souls, that so, though all go to wreck here, yet your souls may 
be saved in the day of Christ. What desperate madness and folly 
would it have been in any, w^hen London was in flames, to mind more 
and endeavour more to save their lumber than their jewels ; their 
goods in their shops, than their children in their cradles, or their 
wives in their beds ! But it is a thousand times greater madness and 
folly for men to mind more and endeavour more to secure their tem- 
poral estates, than they do to secure their eternal estates. But, 

13. The thirteenth duty that is incumbent upon those who have 
been burnt up, is to get a God for their portion, Ps. xvi. 5, and Ixiii. 
26. You have lost your earthly portion, your earthly possessions ; oh 
that you would now labour with all your might to get God for your 
portion ! Ps. cxix. 57 ; Jer. x. 16 ; Lam. iii. 24. If the loss of your 
earthly portions shall be so sanctified to you as to work you to make 
God your portion, then your unspeakable losses wdll prove inconceiv- 
able gain unto you. sirs, God is the most absolute, needful, and 
necessary portion. The want or the loss of earthly portions may 
afilict and trouble yon, but the want of God for your portion will cer- 
tainly damn you. It is not absolutely necessary that you should have 
a portion in gold, or silver, or jewels, or goods, or houses, or lands, or 
lordships ; but it is absolutely necessary that you should have God for 
your portion. Suppose that, with the apostles, you have no certain 
dwelling-place, nor no gold nor silver in your purses, 1 Cor. iv. 11; 
Acts iii. 6 ; suppose, with Lazarus, you have never a rag to hang on 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 281 

your backs, nor never a dry crust to put in your bellies, Luke xvi. 20, 
21 ; suppose, with Job, you should be stripped of all your worldly 
comforts in a day ; yet if God be your portion, you are happy, you are 
really happy, you are signally happy, you are greatly happy, you 
are unspeakably happy, you are eternally happy. However it may go 
with you in this world, yet you shall be sure to be glorious in that 
other world. To have God for thy portion, man, is the one thing 
necessary ; for without it thou art for ever and ever undone. If God 
be not thy portion, thou canst never enjoy communion with God in 
this world ; if God be not thy portion, thou canst never be saved 
by him in the other world. Will you consider a little what an excel- 
lent transcendent portion God is : — 

(1.) He is a present portion ; ^ he is a portion in hand, he is a por- 
tion in possession. 

(2.) God is an immense portion ; he is a vast large portion, he 
is the greatest portion of all portions. 
(3.) God is an all-sufficient portion. 

(4.) God is a pure and unmixed portion ; God is an unmixed good, 
he hath nothing in him but goodness. 

(5.) God is a glorious, a happy, and a blessed portion ; he is so 
in himself, and he makes them so too who enjoy him for their por- 
tion. 

(6.) God is a peculiar portion — sl portion peculiar to his people. 
(7.) God is a universal portion, he is a portion that includes all 
other portions. 

(8.) God is a safe portion, a secure portion, a portion that none can 
rob a believer of. 

(9.) God is a suitable portion ; no object is so suitable and adequate 
to the heart as he is. 

(10.) God is an incomprehensible portion. 

(11.) God is an inexhaustible portion ; a portion that can never be 
spent, a spring that can never be drawn dry. 

(12.) God is a soul-satisfying portion ; he is a portion that gives the 
soul full satisfaction and content. 

(13.) God is a permanent portion, an indeficient portion, a never- 
failing portion, a lasting, yea, an everlasting portion. 

(14 and lastly.) God is an incomparable portion, God is a portion 
more precious than all those things which are esteemed most precious. 
Nothing can make that man miserable that has God for his portion ; 
nor nothing can make that man happy that hath not God for his por- 
tion. sirs, why do you think that God, by his late fiery dispensa- 
tions, has stripped you of your earthly portions, but effectually to stir 
you up to make him your only portion ? &c. But, 

14. The fourteenth duty that is incumbent upon them that have 
been burnt up, is to make God their habitation, to make God their 
dwelling-place : Ps. xc. 1 , ' Lord, thou hast been our dwelling-place ' — 
or place of retreat — ' in all generations ' — or in generation and genera- 
tion, as the Hebrew runs. It is a Hebraism, setting forth God to be 
the dwelling-place of his people in all generations, before the flood and 

^ See my * Matchless Portion,' from p. 8 to 107, wliere all these particulars are fully 
proved. [Vol. II. pp. 1, ieq. : being ' An Ark for all God's Noahs.' — G.] 



282 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

after the flood.^ The Israel of God, in all their troubles and travels in 
their wilderness condition, were not houseless nor harbourless. God was 
both their hiding-place and their dwelling-place. He that dwelleth 
in God cannot be unhoused, because God is stronger than all. It is 
brave for a Christian to take up in God as in his mansion-house. It 
was a witty saying of that learned man, Picus Mirandola, viz., that 
God created the earth for beasts to inhabit, the sea for fishes, the air 
for fowls, the heavens for angels and stars ; and therefore man hath 
no place to dwell and abide in, but God alone. Now the great God 
has burnt up your dwelling-places, make him your dwelling-place, 
your habitation, your shelter, your place of retreat, your city of refuge. 
Certainly they dwell most safely, most securely, most nobly, most con- 
tentedly, most delightfully, and most happily, who dwell in God, who 
live under the wing of God, and whose constant abode is under the 
shadow of the Almighty. Let the loss of your habitations lead you by 
the hand to make choice of God for your habitation. There is no 
security against temporal, spiritual, and eternal judgments, but by 
making God your dwelling-place. How deplorable is the condition of 
that man that hath neither a house to dwell in, nor a God to dwell 
in ! that can neither say. This house is mine, nor. This God is mine ! 
that hath neither a house made w^ith hands, nor yet one eternal in the 
heavens ! It is a very great mercy for God to dwell with us, but it is 
a far greater mercy for God to dwell in us, and for we to dwell in God, 
2 Cor. V. 1, 2 ; 1 John iv. 13, and iii. 24. For God to dwell with us, 
argues much happiness, but for we to dwell in God, this argues more 
happiness, yea, the top of happiness. There is no study, no care, 
no wisdom, no prudence, no understanding, to that which works men 
to make God their habitation. No storms, no tempests, no afflictions, 
no sufferings, no judgments can reach that man, or hurt that man, who 
has made God his dwelling-place. He that hath God for his habita- 
tion can never be miserable ; and he that hath not God for his habi- 
tation can never be happy. That God that has once burnt you out 
of your habitations can again burn you out of your habitations ; and 
if he should, how sad would it be that God has once and again burnt 
you out of your habitations, and yet you have not made him your 
habitation ! &c. But, 

15. The fifteenth duty that is incumbent upon those who have been 
burnt up, is to make sure an abiding city, a city that hath founda- 
tions, ivhose builder and nfiaker is God .-2 Heb. xiii. 14, ' For here have 
we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.' These words are a 
reason of his former exhortation to the believing Hebrews to renounce 
the world, ver. 13, and to take up Christ's cross and follow him ; as is 
clear by this causal particle ' for,' ['yap.'] It is a probable conjec- 
tu.re made by some, as Estius observeth,^ that St Paul speaks pro- 
phetically of the destruction of the city of Jerusalem, which was 
then at hand, and that in a short time neither that city, nor the 
country about it, would be an abiding place for them ; but driven 
from thence they should be, and be forced to wander up and down ; 

^•Ponder seriously on these scriptures, Ps. xci. 2, 9, 10, Ixxi. 3, and Ivii. 1; 2 Cor. vi. 
8-10; Ezek. xi. 16. 
' See my Treatise on Assurance. [Vol. 11., as before. — G] ' Exposit. iv loco. 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 283 

and therefore they were to look for no other abiding place but heaven ; 
' Here we have no continuing city.' The adverb translated ' here,' 
[coSe,] is sometimes used for place, and this more strictly for the parti- 
•culay^ place where one is— as for that place where Peter was, when he 
said, ' It is good for us to be here,' Mat. xvii. 4,— or more largely for 
the whole earth, and so it is taken here, for it is opposed to heaven. 
For the present we have no abiding city, but there is an abiding city 
to come, and that is the city which we seek after. This earthly Jeru- 
salem is no abiding city for us ; this old world, the glory of which is 
wearing off, is no abiding city for us ; but Jerusalem that is above, the 
heavenly city, the city of the great King, the city of the King of kings, 
Eev. xxi. 2, and i. 5, 6. This world is a wilderness, and believers, as 
pilgrims and strangers, must pass through it to their heavenly Canaan. 
This world is no place for believers to continue in ; they must pass 
through it to an abiding city, to a continuing city, to a city that hath 
foundations: Heb xi. 10, ' For he looked for a city which hath 
foundations, whose builder and maker is God.' The plural number is 
here used, foundations, [OeixeXlov^,'] for emphasis sake ; this city is 
said to have foundations, to shew that it is a firm, stable, immovable, 
and enduring city, which the apostle opposeth to the tabernacles or 
tents wherein Abraham and the other patriarchs dwelt while iheywere , 
on earth, which had no foundations, but were movable, and carried 
from place to place, and easily pulled down, or overthrown, or burnt 
up ; but heaven is an immovable, firm, stable, and everlasting city. 
Heaven is a city that is built, 

(1.) Upon the foundation of God's eternal good-will and pleasure. 

(2.) That is built upon God's election to eternal glory. 

(3.) That is built upon the foundation of Christ's eternal merits and 
purchase. 

(4.) That is built upon the foundation of God's everlasting covenant 
of free, rich, infinite, sovereign, and glorious grace. 

(5.) That is built upon the immutable stability of God's promise 
and oath.i Heaven is built upon the foundation of great and precious 
promises, and upon his oath who is faithfulness itself and cannot lie. 
Now, oh what a strong city, what a glorious city, what a continuing 
city, what a lasting, yea, what an everlasting city must heaven needs 
be, that is founded upon such strong and immovable foundations as 
they are ! Heaven hath foundations, but the earth hath none : the 
earth hangs upon notliing, as Job speaks, chap. xxvi. 7 ; Nineveh, 
Babylon, Jerusalem, Athens, Corinth, Troy, and those famous cities of 
Asia, were strong and stately cities in their times ; but where are they 
now ? Both Scripture and history doth sufficiently evidence that in all 
the ages of the world there hath been no firm, stable, or continuing city 
to be found : and the divine wisdom and providence hath [soj ordered, 
and that partly to work the sons of men to put a difference betwixt the 
things of this world and the things of the world to come ; and partly 
to wean them from the world, and all the bravery and glory thereof ; 
and partly to awaken them and stir them up to make sure a kingdom 
that shakes not, riches that corrupt not, an inheritance that fadeth not 

1 Eph. i. 3-6; 2 Tim. ii. 10 -. 1 Pet. i. 2-5 ; Rom. ix. 11, and xi. 5, 7 ; 2 Pet. i. 4 ; 
Heb. vi. 17-20. 



284 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

away, a house not made with hands, but one eternal in the heavens ; 
and a city that hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God, 
Heb. ii. 5 ; Col. iii. 1 ; Heb. xii. 28 ; 1 Pet. i. 4 ; 2 Cor. v. 1, 2. 
Heaven is styled a city, to set out the excellency, glory, and benefits 
thereof. The resemblance betwixt heaven and a city holds in these 
respects among others : — 

[1.] First, A city is a place of safety and security ; so is heaven a 
place of the greatest safety and security, Neh. iii. 1 ; Jer. xxxv. 11. 
A soul in heaven is a soul out of gun-shot. No devil shall there tempt, 
no wicked men shall there assault, no fire-balls shall be there cast about 
to disturb the peace of the heavenly inhabitants. 

[2.] Secondly, A city is compact, it is made up of many habitations ; 
so in heaven there are many habitations, many mansions, John xiv. 2. 
In our common cities many times the inhabitants are much shut up 
and straitened for want of room ; but in heaven there is elbow-room 
enough, not only for God and Christ and the angels, those glistering 
and shining courtiers, but also for all believers, for all the elect of 
God. 

[3.] Thirdly, A city hath sundry degrees of persons appertaining 
unto it, as chief magistrates and other officers of sundry sorts, with a 
multitude of commoners ; so in heaven there is God the Father, God 
the Son, and God the Holy Ghost, and an innumerable company of 
angels and saints, Heb. xii. 22, 23. 

[4.] Fourthly, In a city you have all manner of provisions and use- 
ful commodities ; so in heaven there is nothing wanting that is needful 
or useful. 

[5.] Fifthly, A city hath laws, statutes, and orders for the better 
government thereof. It is so in heaven ; and indeed there is no 
government to the government that is in heaven. Certainly there is 
no government that is managed with that love, wisdom, prudence, 
holiness, and righteousness, &c., as the government of heaven is man- 
aged with. 

[6] Sixthly, Every city hath its peculiar privileges and immunities ; 
so it is in heaven. Heaven is a place of the greatest privileges and 
immunities, Kev. iii. 12. 

[7.] Seventhly, Cities are commonly very populous ; and so is heaven 
a very populous city, Dan. vii. 10 ; Eev. v. 11, and vii. 9. 

[8] Eighthly, None but freemen may trade, and keep open shop in 
a city ; so none shall have anything to do in heaven, but such whose 
name are written in the Lamb's book of life, Eev. xxi. 27. Believers 
are the only persons that are enrolled as freemen in the records of the 
heavenly city. 

[9] Ninthly, Cities are full of earthly riches ; and so is heaven of 
glorious riches : there are no riches to the riches of the heavenly 
Jerusalem, Isa. xxiii. 8 ; Rev. xxi. All the riches of the most famous 
cities in the world are but dross, brass, copper, tin, &c., to the riches 
of heaven. 

sirs, how should the consideration of these things work us all to 
look and long, and to prepare and fit for this heavenly city, this con- 
tinuing city, this city which hath foundations, whose builder and 
maker is God ! The Holy Ghost frequently calling behevers pilgrims, 



ISA. XLII. 2-i, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 285 

sojourners, strangers, doth sufficiently evidence that there is no abid- 
ing for them in this world, Heb. xi. 13 ; 1 Pet. ii. 11 ; Ps. cxix. 54. 
This world is not their country, their city, their home, their habita- 
tion ; and therefore they are not to place their hopes or hearts or affec- 
tions upon things below, Col. iii. 1, 2. Heaven is their chief city, 
their best country, their most desirable home, and their everlasting 
habitation; and therefore the hopes, desires, breathings, longings, 
and workings of their souls should still be heaven-ward, glory-ward, 
Luke xvi. 9 ; Kev. xxii. 17. Oh when shall grace be swallowed up in 
glory ? when shall we take possession of our eternal mansions ? John 
xiv. 2-4 ; when shall we be with Christ, which for us is best of all ? 
Phil. i. 23. The late fire hath turned all ranks and sorts of men out 
of the houses where they once dwelt, and it will not be long before 
death will turn the same persons out of their present habitations, and 
carry them to their long homes. Death will turn princes out of their 
most stately palaces, and great men out of their most sumptuous 
edifices, and rich men out of their most pleasant houses, and warlike 
men out of their strongest castles, and poor men out of their meanest 
cottages, Eccles. xii. 5. The prince's palace, the great man's edifice, 
the rich man's house, the warlike man's castle, and the poor man's 
cottage, are of no long continuance. Oh how should this awaken and 
alarm all sorts and ranks of men to seek after a city which hath foun- 
dations, to make sure their interest in the new Jerusalem which is 
above, in those heavenly mansions that no time can wear nor flames 
consume ! But, 

16. Sixteenthly and lastly. Was London in flames on the Lord's 
day ? and was the profanation of that day one of those great sins that 
brought that dreadful judgment of fire upon London, that hath turned 
that glorious city into a ruinous heap ? then oh that all that have been 
sufferers by that lamentable fire^ and all others also, would make it 
their business, their ivork, their heaven, to sanctify the Sabbath and to 
keep it holy all their days, that the Lord may be no more provoked to 
lay London more desolate than it is laid this day. Let it be enough 
that this day of the Lord hath been so greatly profaned by sinful 
omissions and by sinful commissions, by the immorality, debauchery, 
gluttony, drunkenness, wantonness, filthiness, uncleanness, rioting, 
revelling, and chambering that multitudes were given up to before the 
Lord appeared against them in that flaming fire that hath laid our 
renowned city in ashes. Let it be enough that the Lord has been 
more dishonoured and blasphemed, that Christ hath been more re- 
proached, despised, and refused, and that the Spirit hath been more 
grieved, vexed, provoked, and quenched on the Lord's day, than on all 
the other days of the week. Let it be enough that on this day of the 
Lord many have been a-playing, when they should have been a-pray- 
ing ; and that many have been a-sporting, when they should have been 
a-mourning for the afflictions of Joseph, Amos vi. 6 ; and that many 
have been a-courting of their mistresses, when they should have been 
a-waiting on the ordinances ; and that many have been sitting at their 
doors, when they should have been instructing of their families ; and 
that many have been walking in the fields, when they should have 
been a-sighing and expostulating with God in their closets ; and that 



286 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

many have made that a day of common labour, which God hath made 
to be a day of special rest from sin, from the world, and from their 
particular callings. Oh that all men who have paid so dear for pro- 
faning of Sabbaths would now bend all their force, strength, power, 
and might to sanctify those Sabbaths that yet they may enjoy on this 
side eternity ! &c. 

Quest. But you will reply upon me, How is the Sabbath to be 
sanctified ? 

Ans. I shall endeavour to give a clear, full, and satisfactory answer 
to this necessary and noble question. And therefore take me thus : — 

1. First, We are to sanctify the Sabbath by resting from all servile 
labour and loork on that day, Exod. xvi. 29, 30 ; Neh. xiii. 15-18. 
Exod. XX. 10, ' But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: 
in it thou shalt not do any work ; thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, 
thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger 
that is within thy gates.' Jer. xvii. 22, ' Neither carry forth a bur- 
den out of your houses on the sabbath day, neither do ye any work; 
but hallow ye the sabbath-day, as I commanded your fathers.' Isa. 
Iviii. 13, ' If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing 
thy pleasure on my holy day ; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy 
of the Lo/d, honourable ; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own 
ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking of thine own words.' 
Here are three things distinctly observable in the words: — 

(1.) Words. 

(2.) Works. 

(3.) Pleasure. 

Not doing thine own ways, that is works ; not speaking thine own 
words ; not finding thine own pleasure. Now mark, we have stronger 
reasons to engage us to a stricter observation and sanctification of the 
Lord's day than they had for their Sabbath ; which may be thus 
evinced: — 

(Not to speak of their double sacrifices, Num. xxviii. 9, 10, upon 
their Sabbath, which, as some think, might typify our double devotion 
on the Lord's day ; nor yet to speak of those six lambs whereby others 
conjecture was fore-prophesied the abundant services in the time of 
the gospel, Ezek. xlvi. 1-5.) 

(1.) First, Our 7notives are far greater, and more efficacious ; for, 

[1.] First, Our day hath many 'privileges above theirs. Witness 
the honourable titles given to it by holy and learned men — as the 
queen of days, princess, principal, primate, a royal day, higher than 
the highest, the first-fruits of the days ; yea, saith Jerome, the Lord's 
day is better than any other common day, than all festivals, new 
moons, and Sabbaths of Moses. By these titles it is evident that the 
ancients had the Ijord's day in very high esteem and veneration. Sirs, 
look, what gold is among inferior metals, and wheat among other grain, 
&c., the same is the Lord's day above all other days of the week. 

[2.] Secondly, Their Sabbath was celebrated for the memorial of the 
creation; ours for the great work of redemption. But, 

[3.] Thirdly, Theirs was celebrated for their deliverance out of 
Egypt; ours for our deliverance from hell. Now if the Jews were 
bound, and that for a whole day, not to do their own works, nor speak 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 287 

their own words, nor find their own pleasure ; how much more solemnity 
belongs to our Lord's day ! Oh, what a day is the Lord's-day ! and 
how solemnly and devoutly ought it to be observed and sanctified ! 
But, 

(2.) Secondly, We Imve greater means and helps for the sanctification 
of the Sabbath than the Jews had for a long time, or than the primitive 
Christians had for three hundred years. Mark, the holy observation 
of the Sabbath among them came in by degrees, long after the day was 
settled ; and the reason was this, because for a good while they had no 
word written to be read, nor no synagogues built to read it in. It was 
well-nigh a thousand years, or above a thousand years, after the giving 
of the law, before the reading of the law in synagogues came up. For 
a long time they had no books among them but the five books of Moses ; 
and those books neither were not well understood by the common 
people. And it is further observable that the children of Israel being 
in Egypt under sore pressures, afilictions, and cruel bondage, &c., 
neither did nor could keep the Sabbath in any solemn manner, not 
being permitted either to rest or enjoy any solemn assemblies. And 
when they were in their wilderness condition, they had many stations, 
diversi(5ns, and incursions of enemies, so that they could not keep the 
Sabbath in any solemn public manner, as afterwards they did when 
they were settled in peace and safety in the land of Canaan. And so 
the primitive Christians, for three hundred years, living under very 
great and violent persecutions, they neither did nor could keep the 
Lord's day with that solemnity that they should or would ; but as for 
place, they met not openly, but secretly in woods and deserts, and 
holes and caves, and dens of the earth ; and so for time, sometimes 
they met in the day, and often they met in the night. But as for us, 
who have lived and do live in these days of the Son of man, what rare 
means and helps, what abundance of means and helps, what choice and 
precious means and helps have we had, and still have, in spite of all 
oppositions from high or low, to enable us to sanctify the Sabbath ! 
And oh that all the means and helps that we yet enjoy may be signally 
blessed to that purpose ! But, 

(3.) Thirdly, The heathens, hy the very light of nature, held it hut 
reasonable that the days consecrated to their gods should totally he 
observed with rest and sanctity. The flamens, which were their 
priests, affirmed that the holy days were polluted if any work were done 
upon the solemn days ; besides, it was not lawful for the king of the 
sacrifices, and the flamens, their priests, to see a work done on the holy 
days ; and therefore by a crier it was proclaimed that no such things 
should be done ; and he that neglected the precept was fined ; and be- 
sides the fine, he which did aught unawares on such days was to ofter 
sacrifices for expiation. And ScaBvola, the high priest, afiirmed that 
the wilful off'ender could have no expiation. ^ Now shall heathens be 
so strict in the observation of their holy days, and shall not Christians 
be as strict in their observation of the Lord's day ? These heathens 
will one day rise in judgment against the slight observers and the gross 
profaners of the Lord's day. But, 

2. Secondly, We must sanctify the Sabbath by preparing ourselves 
^ Macrobiua, lib. i., cap, 16. 



288 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

heforeliand for that day, and all the duties of that day, Eccles. v. 1, 2. 
Hence it is that God hath fixed a memorandum upon this command, 
more than he hath upon any other command : Exod. xx. 8, ' Kemem- 
ber the sabbath-day, to keep it holy/ Sabbath-days are our market- 
days. Now men that are worldly wise, they consider beforehand what 
to buy and what to sell. The husbandman dungs, dresses, ploughs, 
harrows, and all to prepare it for seed. ' I will,' saith holy David, 
' wash my hands in innocency : so will I compass thine altar, Lord,' 
Ps. xxvi. 6 ; signifying that to holy performances there ought to be 
holy preparations. When the temple was to be built, the stones were 
hewn, and the timber squared and fitted, before they were brought to 
the place where the temple stood. The application is easy. 

[1.] First, The Jews had, their preparations : Mark xv. 42, ' And 
now when the even was come, because it was the preparation,' that is, 
the day before the Sabbath, &c. Their preparation began at three 
o'clock in the afternoon, which the Hebrews called the Sabbath eve. 
The Jews, as I have read, were so careful in their preparation for the 
Sabbath, that to further it, the best and wealthiest of them, even those 
that had many servants, and were masters of families, would chop 
herbs, sweep the house, cleave wood, and kindle the fire, and do such 
like things, &c. 

[2.] Secondly, The heathens did use to prepare themselves hy a strict 
kind of holiness, before they ivould offer sacrifices to several of their 
gods. They had, as authors write, their stone pots of water set at the 
doors of their temples, where they used to wash before they went to 
sacrifice. 

[3.] Thirdly, The ivorJcs of the day are great and glorious: and 
what excellent works are there in nature, but requires some previous 
preparation? &c. 

[4.] Fourthly, Consider the dignity, majesty, authority, and purity 
of that God with ivhom you have to do in all the duties of the day. 
When men are to converse and treat with earthly princes, or to give 
them entertainment, how do they prepare and make ready ! And will 
you carry it worse towards the King of kings and Lord of lords, than 
men do carry it towards mortal princes, whose breath is in their 
nostrils, and whose glory shall assuredly be laid in the dust ? &c., 
1 Tim. vi. 15, 16. 

[5.] Fifthly, Consider, if you do not prepare yourselves beforehand 
for that day of the Lord, and all the duties of that day, what difference 
will there be between you and the loorst of hypocrites, formalists, super- 
stitious, or profane persons, who rush upon holy duties as the horse 
rusheth into the battle f Dost thou dress up thy house, thy husband, 
thyself, thy children ? so do the worst of persons. If you do not pre- 
pare for the duties of the day, and to meet with God in those duties, 
what singular thing do ye ? Mat. v. 27. 

[6.] Sixthly, Consider ivhat blessed earnings you have made on 
those Sabbaths tvherein you have been prepared to meet with the Lord, 
and to manage the duties of those days. Oh the joy, the peace, the 
comfort, the communion, the satisfaction, the enlargements, that you 
have then met with ! And, on the other hand) consider what poor 
earnings you have made of it, when you have been careless and rash. 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 289 

and have not prepared yourselves for the duties of the day, and for the 
enjoyment of God in those duties. Oh how flat, how cold, how dull, 
how dead, how straitened, have you been on those Sabbaths wherein 
you have not prepared to meet with the Lord ! &c. 

Quest But you may say. Wherein doth our preparation for the Sab- 
bath consist ? 

Ans. In these three things : — 

[1.] First, In a holy care, so to order all our luorMly business and 
affairs on the day before, that they may not increase upon us on the 
Lord's day, to trouble us or distract us in the duties of that day. 

[2.] Secondly, In putting iniquity far from you, in ^laying aside all 
superfluity of naughtiness, that you may receive the engrafted word 
xoith meekness, ivhich is able to save your souls:' Job xi. 14, 15 ; James 
i. 21. When the vessel is unclean, it sours quickly the sweetest 
liquors that are poured into it. And so when the heart is filthy and 
unclean, it loses all the good it might otherwise gain by ordinances. 
If the stomach be foul, it must be purged before it be fed, or else the 
meat will never nourish and strengthen nature, but increase ill 
humours. So the souls of men must be purged from foul enormities 
and gross impieties, or else they will never gain any saving good by 
ordinances : 2 Tim. ii. 21, ' If a man therefore purge himself from 
these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified and meet for the 
Master's use, and prepared unto every good work,' &c. 

[3.] Thirdly, In acting your graces in all the duties of the day. 
Sleepy habits will do you no good, nor bring God no glory : all the 
honour he hath, and all the comfort and advantage you have, is from 
the active part of grace, Isa. 1. 10, and therefore you must still be 
a-stirring up the grace of God that is in you : 2 Tim. i. 6, ' Stir up 
the gift of God that is in thee.' I know the apostle speaks of the 
ministerial gift ; but it is as true of the work of grace : for the Greek 
word 'xapLo-fia signifies grace, as well as gift. ' Stir up the grace of 
God in thee.' Mark the phrase, it is a remarkable phrase ; for in the 
original it is to blow up thy grace, ^Ava^wirvpelv, just as a man blows 
up a fire that grows dull, or is hid under the ashes : blow up the grace 
of God in thee. Some think — Calvin and others — that it is a meta- 
phor taken from a spark kept in ashes, which by gentle blowing is 
stirred up till it take a flame. Others say it is an allusion to the 
fire in the temple, which was always to be kept burning. Look, as the 
fire is increased and preserved by blowing, so are our graces preserved 
and increased by our acting of them. We get nothing by dead and 
useless habits. Talents hid in a napkin gather rust. Look, as the 
noblest faculties are imbased when they are not improved, when they 
are not exercised ; so the noblest graces are imbased when they are not 
improved, when they are not exercised. Grace is bettered and made more 
perfect by acting. Neglect of our graces is the ground of their decrease 
and decay. Wells are the sweeter for drawing, and so are our graces for 
acting. We had need pray hard with the spouse. Cant. iv. 16, ' Awake, 
north wind ; and come, thou south ; blow upon my garden, that the 
spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, 
and eat his pleasant fruit.' Satan's grand design is not to keep men 
from going the round of duties, nor yet to keep men from attending 

VOL. VL T 



290 ' London's lamentations on [Isa XLII. 24, 25. 

on ordinances, but his grand design is to hinder the exercise of grace. 
All other exercises without the exercise of grace will do a Christian 
no good, as you may see by comparing the scriptures in the margin 
together.! The more grace is exercised, the more corruptions will be 
weakened and mortified. As one bucket in the well rises up, the other 
goes down ; so as grace rises higher and higher, corruptions fall lower 
and lower. There was two laurels at Eome, and when the one flour- 
ished, the other withered; so where grace flourishes, corruptions wither. 
As the house of David grew stronger and stronger, so the house of Saul 
grew weaker and weaker, 2 Sam. iii. 1. So as grace in its exercise 
grows stronger and stronger, so sin, like the house of Saul, will every 
day grow weaker and weaker. If you keep not grace in exercise, it 
may most fail you when it should stand you most in stead, Mark iv. 40. 
If a man uses a knife but now and then, he may have his knife to seek 
when he should use it. That sword grows rusty in the scabbard that 
is used but now and then. You know how to apply it. But, 

3. Thirdly, You must sanctify the Sabbath, hy looking upon the 
enjoyment of Sabbaths and ordinances as your great happiness, by 
looking upon every duty as your dignity, and by looking upon every 
work of that day as carrying a reiuard ivith it, Pro v. viii. 34, 35 ; 
Ps. xxvii. 4, xlii. 1-5, and Ixiii. 1-3. Ps. xix. 11, ' And in keeping of 
them there is great reward :' not only /or keeping, but also in keeping 
of God's commands there is great reward. A gracious soul would 
not exchange the joy, the peace, the comfort, the assurance, the com- 
munion, the delight, the satisfaction that it enjoys in the ways of 
obedience, before pay-day comes, before the crown be put on, before 
the full reward is given out, for all the crowns and kingdoms of this 
world. David was a king, a great and glorious king, yea, the best 
king in all the world, and yet he esteemed it as a very high honour to 
be the lowest officer, a door-keeper in God's house : Ps. Ixxxiv. 10, 
' A day in thy courts is better than a thousand ; I had rather be a 
door-keeper in the house of my God' — or I had rather sit at the 
threshold, as the Hebrew runs — ' than to dwell in the tents of wicked- 
ness.' 1 Kings x. 8, ' Happy are thy men, happy are these thy servants, 
which stand continually before thee, and that hear thy wisdom,' said 
the queen of Sheba concerning Solomon's servants. Oh, then, how 
many thousand times more happy are they who hear Christ in his 
ordinances, who see Christ in his ordinances, and who enjoy Christ in 
his ordinances on his own day ! Of all days the Sabbath-day is the 
day wherein Christ carries his people into his wine-cellar, wherein he 
brings them to his banqueting-house, and his banner over them is 
love. This is the day wherein he stays his people with flagons, and 
comforts them with apples, and wherein his left hand is under their 
head, and his right hand doth embrace them. Cant. ii. 4-6. Oh the 
sweet communion, the sweet discoveries, the sweet incomes, and that 
blessed presence, and those glorious answers and returns of prayer 
that the saints have had on Sabbath-days ! Christ in his ordinances 
on tlie Sabbath-day doth, as Mary, open a box of precious ointment, 
which diffuseth a spiritual savour among them that fear him. Though 
many slight ordinances, and many deny ordinances, and many oppose 

' Lukexxii. 31-33; 1 Tim. iv. S ; Isa. Iviii. 1-8; Neh. vii. 4-6. 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 291 

ordinances, and many fall off from ordinances, and many pretend to 
live above ordinances, and under that pretence vilify the ordinances as 
poor, low, weak things, yet the beauty and glory of God s ordinances 
will one day convince the world of the excellency of the saints : Ezek. 
xxxvii. 26-28, ' I will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for ever- 
more. My tabernacle also shall be with them ; yea, I will be their 
God, and they shall be my people. And the heathen shall know that 
I the Lord do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst 
of them for evermore.' i I doubt not but there are many thousands of 
the precious servants of the Lord who are able to tell this poor, blind, 
dark world, from their experience, that they have seen, and felt, and 
tasted, and enjoyed more of God in his ordinances on this day than 
ever they have enjoyed on any other day. But, 

4. Fourthly, You must sanctify the Sabbath, hy.rising as early in 
the morning as your age, strength, health, and ability, and bodily 
infirmities ivill permit, Ps. cxxxix 18 ; Gen. xxii. 3 ; Job i. 5. Abraham 
rose up early in the morning to offer up his only son ; and Job rose 
up early in the morning to offer up burnt-offerings. So David, ' My 
voice shalt thou hear in the morning. Lord, in the morning will I 
direct my prayer unto thee ' — or marshal my prayer, as the Hebrew 
runs — ' and will look up' — or will look out as a watchman looks out of 
his watch-tower to discover an approaching enemy. So Ps. cxxx. 6, 
' My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the 
morning : I say, more than they that watch for the morning.' Ps. 
Ixxxviii. 13, 'In the morning shall my prayer prevent thee.' That 
this may the more work, and the better stick, seriously consider of 
these hints, &c. : — 

[1.] First, God is the first being, and therefore of right deserveth 
to be served first, Dan. vii. 22, and ii. 20-22. If you can find any 
being before the being of that God, who is blessed for ever, let that 
being be served first: if not — as I am sure you cannot — then let the 
first hemg be first served. But, 

[2.] Secondly, As God is the first being, so he is the best being : he 
is the choicest and chiefest good ; and therefore ought to be first minded 
and served, Ps. iv. 6, Ixxiii. 25, and cxliv. 15. But, 

[3.] Thirdly, As God is the best being, so he is the greatest being : 
as he is the choicest and chiefest good, so he is the greatest good, the 
greatest majesty, the greatest authority ; and therefore he ought to be 
first served, Mai. i. 14. But, 

[4.] Fourthly, God gives the greatest rewards, and the fullest re- 
wards, and therefore he ought to be served first, Ps. xix. 11 ; Mat. 
V. 12 ; 2 John 8. He gives ' a crown of righteousness,' 2 Tim. iv. 8 ; 
'a crown of life,' Rev. ii. 10; 'a crown of glory,' James i. 12; 'a 
crown of immortality.' What have not men done, what won't men do, 
what don't men do for earthly crowns ? A crown is the top of royalty ; 
and how many princes have swam through the blood of thousands to 
their earthly crowns ! Oh how much more active for God should 
that glorious crown make us, which he has laid up for all that love 
him I But, 

1 Many in these days are like old Barzillai, that had lost his taste and hearing', and 
BO cared not for David's feasts and music, 2 Sam. xix. CS. 



292 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

[5.] Fifthly, Christ rose early in the morning before day, and luent 
into a solitary place to pray; and why should not we make it our busi- 
ness, our work, our heaven, to write after so noble a copy? Mark i. 35, 36. 
We cannot glorify Christ more than by our conformity to him, than by 
imitating of those blessed patterns that he hath set before us. But, 

[6.] Sixthly and lastly, The children of Israel rose up early in the 
morning on the Sabbath-day, to offer up burnt-offerings and peace- 
offerings to an idol, Exod. xxxii. 4-6. So papists, Turks, and 
heathens are early in the mornings at their devotions ; and the harlot 
rises early in the morning to trepan the lustful youth : Prov. vii. 15, 
* Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thee' — or, as 
it runs in the Hebrew, ' In the morning came I forth to meet thee.* 
Now how should this put Christians to a holy blush, to see the very 
basest and worst of people to take more pains to go to hell than them- 
selves do to go to heaven. Shall they rise early to serve their idols ; 
and shall not we rise early to serve our God, and save our souls ? 
sirs, did you but love Christ more, and Sabbaths more, and duties more, 
you would then be more early in your communion with God, as the 
spouse was, Cant. vii. 11, 12. Mary Magdalene loved Christ much : 
Luke vii. 47, and she came early to the sepulchre to seek him. She 
came to look after Christ as soon as it began to dawn. Mat. xxviii. 1 ; 
Mark xvi. 1, 2 ; Luke xxiv. 1 ; John xx. 1. Men that love the world 
can rise early to gain the world. Now shall nature do more than 
grace ? Shall ihe love of the world outdo the love of Christ ? The 
Lord forbid. And thus 1 have done with those considerations that 
should quicken you up to sanctify the Sabbath, by rising as early in 
the morning as your age, health, strength, ability, and bodily infirmi- 
ties will permit. But, 

5. Fifthly, You must sanctify the Sabbath, by a religious perform- 
ance of all the duties of the day. 

Quest. What are they ? 

Ans. (1.) Public. 

(2.) Private. 

Quest What are the public duties that are to be performed on that 
day? 

[1.] First, To assemble yourselves ivith the people of God to hear 
his word, Neh. viii. 1-9 ; Mat. xiii. 54 ; Joel i. 13, 14 ; Luke iv. 16, 
17 ; John xx. 19, 26 ; Acts ii. 1, 44, 46, and v. 12 ; 1 Cor. xi. 20. 

[2.] Secondly, Prayer, Ps. v. 7, xlii. 4, and cxviii. 24-26 ; Isa. Ivi. 
7 ; Mat. xxi. 13 ; Acts i. 13, 14, ii. 46, 47, and xvi. 13 ; Heb. 
xiii. 15. 

[3.] Thirdly, The administrations of the seals. Acts ii. 46, and xx. 
7 ; 1 Cor. xi. 20, 33. 

[4.] Fourthly, Singing of psalms, hymns, or spiritual songs, Ps. 
xcii. 1 ; Mat. xxvi. 30 ; 1 Cor. xiv. 15 ; James v. 13 ; Heb. ii. 12. 

[5.] Fifthly, Works of mercy and charity, Neh. viii. 9-12 ; 1 Cor. 
xvi. 1, 2. 

[6.] Sixthly and lastly, The censures of the Church, as casting out 
of communion the obstinate, and in receiving such into communion as 
the Lord hath received into communion and fellowship with himself, 
1 Tim. V. 20, 21 ; 1 Cor. v. 4; 2 Cor. ii. 6, 7 ; Kom. xiv. 1, and xv. 7, &c. 



ISA. XLII. 24, 25.] THE LATE FIERY DISPENSATION. 293 

Quest What are the private duties that are to be performed on that 
day? 

Ans. [1,] First, Prayer zVi our families and closets, Col. iii. 17; 
Luke xviii. 1, 2; 1 Thes. v. 18; Eph. vi. 18. See my treatise on 
Closet Prayer, &c.i 

[2.] Secondly, Beading of the word, Josh. i. 8 ; Deut. vi. 6, 8-10, 
xi. 19, and iv. 10 ; John v. 35 ; Col. iii. 16 ; Kev. i. 3. 

[3.] Thirdly, Meditation, Ps. i. 2, and cxix. 97 ; 1 Cor. xiv. 5 ; I 
Tim. ii. 11, 18. 

Quest But on what must we meditate ? 

An^. (1.) Upon the holiness, greatness, and graciousness of God. 

(2.) Upon the person, natures, offices, excellencies, beauties, glories, 
riches, fulness, and siveetness of Christ. 

(3.) Upon the blessed truths that ive either hear or read. 

(4.) Upon our own emptiness, nothingness, baseness, vileness, and 
unworthiness. 

(5.) Upon the works of creation and redemption. 

(6.) Upon our spiritual and internal wants. 

(7.) Upon that eternal rest that is reserved for the people of God, 
Heb. iv. 9. 

[4.] Fourthly, Instructing, examining, and preparing of your fami- 
lies, according to the measures of grace you have received, Deut. vi. 7, 
and xi. 18, 20 ; Gen. xviii. 19, 20 ; Josh. xxiv. 15. 

[5.] Fifthly, Singing of psalms, James v. 13 ; Col. iii. 16 ; Eph. v. 
19. 

[6] Sixthly, Holy conference upon the word, Luke xiv. 8-12, 15, 
16, and xxiv. 14, 17, 18 ; Col. iv. 6 ; Mai. iii. 16, 17, &c. 

[7.] Seventhly, Visiting and relieving the sick, the poor, the dis- 
tressed, afflicted, and imprisoned saints of God, Mat. xv. 34-40 ; James 
i. 27, &c. 

Now mark, when the public ordinances may be enjoyed in Christ's 
way, and in their liberty, purity, and glory, it will be your wisdom so to 
manage all your family duties and closet duties, as that you do not 
shut out more public worship. It is more observable that the Sab- 
baths and public service are joined together : Lev. xix. 30, 'Ye shall 
keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the Lord.' 
Now what God hath solemnly ' joined together, let no man put 
asunder.' Every Christian should make it his great care that private 
duties do not eat up public ordinances, and that public ordinances do 
not shut out private duties. More of this you may see in my discourse 
on Closet Prayer.2 But, 

6. Sixthly, You must sanctify the Sabbath, by managing all the duties 
of that day as under the eye of God.^ God's eye is very much upon 
his people whilst they are in religious duties and services. Therefore, 
in the tabernacle, the place of God's public worship, it was thus com- 
manded, Exod. XXV. 37, ' Thou shalt make seven lamps, and they shall 
light the lamps, that they may give light:' to teach us that nothing 
there escapes his sight ; for in his house there is always light : and so 

1 Vol. II.. as before.—G. » Vol. II., as before.— O. 

" God is totv oculus, all eye. As the eyes of a well-drawn picture are fastened on thee 
which way soever thou tumest, so are the eyes of the Lord. 



294 London's lamentations on [Isa. XLII. 24, 25. 

when the temple was built, ' Mine eyes,' saith God, ' shall be there 
perpetually,' 1 Kings ix. 3. It was an excellent sayiug of Ambrose,! 
' If thou canst not hide thyself from the sun, which is God's minister 
of light, how impossible will it be to hide thyself from him whose eyes 
are ten thousand times brighter than the sun !' Subjects will carry 
themselves sweetly and loyally when they are under their sovereign's 
eye ; and children will carry themselves dutifully when they are under 
their parents' eye ; and servants will carry themselves wisely and pru- 
dently when they are under their minister's'-^ eye. God's eye is the best 
tutor to keep the soul in a gracious frame. It is good to have a fixed 
eye on him whose e3^e is always fixed on thee, Job xxxi. 5, 6 ; Prov. 
XV. 9, and v. 21. The best way on earth to keep close to God's pre- 
cepts, is always to walk as in his presence. No man on earth, by day 
or night, can draw a curtain between God and him. There is a three- 
fold eye of God that is present in the assemblies of his people. As, 

[1.] First, There is the eye of observation and inspection. God 
seeth what uprightness and seriousness, what integrity, ingenuity, and 
fervency you have in his services. ' Mine eyes are upon all their 
w^ays,' Jer. xvi. 17. Ps. xvi. 8, ' I have set the Lord always before 
me.' Ps. cxix. 168, 'I have kept thy precepts and thy testimonies: 
for all my ways are before thee.' Job xxxi. 4, * Doth not he see all 
my w^ays, and count all my steps ?' sirs, whether you are praying, 
or hearing, or reading, or meditating, or singing, or receiving the 
Lord's supper, or conferring one with another, the eye of the Lord is 
still upon you, Mai. iii. 17. But, 

[2.] Secondly, There is an eye of favour and benediction: Amos 
ix. 4, 'I will set mine eyes upon them for good.' 2 Chron. vii. 16, 
' Mine eye and my heart shall be there ;' that is, in my house. God's 
eye is here to approve, and to bless, and to increase the graces, the 
comforts, the communions, and the enjoyments of his people. But, 

[3.] Thirdly, There is the eye of fury and indignation. God's 
looks can speak his anger, as well as his blows. His fury is visible 
by his frowns. ' Mine eyes shall be upon them for evil' God's sight 
can wound as deeply as his sword. ' He sharpeneth his eyes upon 
me,' saith Job, chap. xvi. 9. Wild beasts, when they fight, whet 
their eyes as well as their teeth. ' He sharpeneth his eyes upon me,' 
as if he would stab me to the heart with a glance of his eye. He 
that waits on God irreverently, or w^orships him carelessly, or that 
profaneth his day, either by corporal labour or spiritual idleness, may 
well expect an eye of fury to be fixed upon him, Jer. xvii. 27; Ezek. 
xxii. 26, 31. But, 

7. Seventhly, You must sanctify the Sabbath, by pressing after 
immediate communion luith God and Clwist in all the duties of the 
day,F8. xxvii. 4, xlii. 1, 2, xliii. 4, Ixiii. 1, 2, and Ixxxiv. 1, 2. Oh 
do not take up in duties, or ordinances, or privileges, or enlargements, 
or meltings, but press hard after intimat