Oliver Bowles: commending parliament’s zeal in calling the Westminster Assembly

Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
... The Grace I chose as most meet to treat of, was that of Zeal, as conversant about God’s House; first, for that it doth directly oppose Lukewarmness, the most dangerous and yet the Epidemical disease of our time; secondly, for that no one grace doth more promote the work of Reformation, (as will appear in the subsequent discourse; thirdly, for that among all other ornaments, there is none that doth more beautify a Reformer in the eyes of God and man. There are many creatures, said the wise man, that are comely in there going; but none so comely as a Zealous Reformer. Accordingly then (you Parliamentary Worthies) go on and prosper, cease not to carry on your Work, which is God’s work, with Zeal and Courage. It is Perseverance alone that will both crown you, and perfect your endeavours.

What encouragement have you had, in that the Lord, amidst your greatest dangers, hath been mightily seen in the protection of your persons! No weapons of war that have been formed against you, have prospered; the tongues of men that have risen up in judgment against you, hath he condemned. Hath not the same God assisted you to do many glorious works, whereby his name hath been honoured, his people unspeakably benefitted? How hath the Lord kept you together until this day! notwithstanding the endeavours of all the Devils in hell, and wicked men on earth, to scatter you, to divide you! What a foundation hath the Lord laid of your continuance together till your work be done! ...

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