by Robert Bruce
Sermons: on the Lord's Supper: Hezekiah's Sickness: and other select Scriptures
The Contents and substance of the Sermons are as follows:.
SERMON I. Out of 1. Cor. 11.28. Intreating of preparation to the Lord's Supper:
Showeth that a man must make this trial in his conscience. The Definition of conscience: the causes why conscience was by God left in us: The way how to keep a good conscience. In what things we must chiefly examine our consciences: how to try our peace with God and love with our neighbors: of man's first misery and recovery, and so how faith is wrought in the heart, how it is nourished in us.
SERM. II. Out of 1. Cor. 11.28. Intreating of Preparation to the Lord's Supper:
Showeth how a sincere faith is known: that he who for Christ can renounce himself, cannot be disappointed of his expectation. That faith is the free gift of God: Certain effects whereby we may know if we have faith: That because it is joined with doubting, it must be nourished. That faith and doubting may lodge in one soul. That a faith mingled and mastered with much doubting, is yet a true faith. That faith smothered, yet is not extinguished. A sure rest in the most dangerous temptations. The definition of love, what our love unto God and our neighbor is.
SERM. III. Out of 1. Cor. 11.23. Intreating of the Sacraments in general:
Showeth the definition and diverse acceptions of the word Sacrament, what the signs in the Sacrament are, why they are called signs, what the thing signified in the Sacrament is. The necessity of the application thereof. How the sign and the thing signified are joined together. The Illustration of this Conjunction: what considerations are needful, when the Sign and the thing signified are given and received. The other part of a Sacrament, which is the word. To what uses the Sacrament serveth us more than the word. Faults which pervert the Sacrament, &c.
SERM. IV. Out of 1. Cor. 11.23. Intreating of the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper:
Showeth the diverse Names both in the Scriptures and by the Ancients given unto this Sacrament of the Lord's Supper. The ends why this Sacrament was instituted. The things both outward and inward contained in this Sacrament. That the things signified in both Sacraments are one, but the signs are not one: why in Baptism there is but one sign, and in the Lord's Supper two? What power and perpetuity the bread hath to be a sign. How the Signs & the thing signified are conjoined in the Sacrament? How the Sign and the thing signified is received. What inconveniences are cast in by the Papists against this spiritual receiving of Christ in the Sacrament. How the soul is said to eat the body and drink the blood of Christ. Faith is that which coupleth us to Christ. A similitude explaining the same.
SERM. V. Out of the 1. Cor. 11.23. Intreating of the Sacrament of the Lord Supper:
Showeth our union with Christ by virtue of communion of the same Spirit. The definition of the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper. Why this Sacrament is called a seal: Why a holy seal. Why the seal is said to be annexed to the Covenant. Why the Sacrament should be administered publicly. Why this seal must be ministered according to Christ's institution. That the word and element must concur in the institution of a Sacrament. What we mean by the word, in a Sacrament: what the Papists understand by the word, in this action, and our differences from them. How the outward Elements are sanctified. How the Papists sanctify these Elements. The refutation of Transubstantiation by diverse arguments. The reasons why the Papists cannot think Christ's body present in the Sacrament unless it be really and substantially present. The Divers opinions concerning the presence of Christ's body in the Sacrament. How a thing is said to be absent and present. How the body of Christ is present. Our difference with the Papists, to whom the words ought to be directed, &c.
SERM. VI. Out of Isaiah 38. Intreating of Hezechiahs Sickness, v. 1.2.3:
Showeth that the greatest are not exempt from great and sore trials. That Hezechiahs disease was (though not in the greatest extremity) that which we by an emphasis call the Sickness. Why God thus visiteth his children. The time when the King fell into this disease. What is our duty in the like case of distress, from the Prophets plain dealing with the King. That the Prophet (as appeareth) was not too rigorous in his denunciation, in adding affliction upon affliction to the King. The Kings excellent behavior in this Sickness: His gesture in the same expressing the signs of a good conscience. His recourse (in extremity) to the same great power which now did smite him & seem to be his enemy: our lesson from thence.
SERM. VII. On Isa. 220.127.116.11. Intreating of Hezechiahs Sickness, showeth
The speedy issue and hearing of the Kings prayer: our lessons from thence: It is a mercy to be visited at home, as this King was. The author of the Kings comfort was God, using the means of his minister and word. Why mention is made of David in this comfort the King received. Why David is called the Kings Father. Our lessons from this preface. That the Lord is near the prayers of his children. That as this King received more than he asked from God: so for the most part do all the Saints.
SERM. VIII. On Isaiah 18.104.22.168.10.11. Intreating of Hezechiahs sickness,
Showeth why the King sought a sign, how some refuse signs. How the sign was shown. Why the Sign was wrought in the Dial. Why in the body of the Sun. What profit is to be gathered of signs. By whose power this sign was wrought. The force of prayer. The Kings thankfulness for the benefit received. A short sum of the Kings life. Our lesson from thence. The Kings song, showing first when he was troubled. The diversity of the fear of death in the godly and wicked. The way to eschew the fear of death. The reasons why death seems now so grievous to the King. A censure of these his reasons.
SERM. IX. Out of Isaiah 22.214.171.124. Intreating of Hezechiahs sickness.
Showeth the similitudes whereby the King amplified his present lamentation. Why the Patriarchs conversed in tents. Our uses thence. The extremity of the Kings disease. Why God suffereth his children to fall into such extremities. Our lessons thence. By what means the King in this extremity seeketh unto God. Why the King sought the prorogation of his days. In what respect it is lawful to seek the prolonging of our days. That faith and doubting may remain in one soul. If Christ in his agony had contrary voices, no marvel this King had also. How this King teacheth us to pray in extremity.
SERM. X. On Isaiah 38.15.16. Intreating of Hezechiahs sickness,
Showeth the Kings thankfulness in three things. That a good conscience giveth thanks for everything received. How the King expresseth the greatness of the mercy received. What effects this mercy did breed in him. How the sweetness of this mercy did make him burst forth in praise of the word. How a man shall know if the Spirit of life be begun in him. How the Spirit is said to be nourished in us, and how banished, &c.
SERM. XI. On Isaiah 38.16. to the end of the chapter, Intreating of Hezekiah sickness,
Showeth, how from the other effects of the word, the King continueth to extol the same. The time when this King did thus fall sick. The manner of the Kings delivery. That sin is the only thing punished in the wicked, and purged in the godly. That remission of sins cureth all diseases. That when God forgiveth sins, he also forgetteth them. That God only forgiveth sins. The cause and reasons, why God did forgive this King his sins. Doctrine from thence, why the Lord worketh by means and secondary causes.
SERM. XII. Out of Psalm 76, From 1. to the 8. ver. Intreating of the great delivery in 88. from the Spanish tyranny:
Showeth the purpose of the Prophet in this Psalm: what is meant by the name of God. That the true knowledge and praises of God accompany each other. The profit which cometh to us by thanksgiving. That it is a mercy to have God near us, and to dwell with us. The place of this overthrow. What that is, which driveth God from any place. How this victory was obtained. How the Lord is said to rebuke. God's former dealing with his Church. To what end the Lord appointeth enemies unto his Church. How of God's great mercies followeth admiration.
SERM. XIII. On Psalm 126.96.36.199.11.12. Intreating of the former subject,
Showeth, that God only did this great work. The effects that this great work brought forth. One lesson from thence. The time of this great judgment. The times of God's sitting and rising to what end God commonly riseth. An objection of the Church prevented. Exhortation to thankfulness. That we should upon extraordinary mercies chiefly stir up ourselves to the same.
SERM. XIV. On Psalm 40. preached in a public fast enjoined by authority.
The parts of this Psalm. In the 1. part, from David's experience diverse observations. How Hope differeth from Faith. The life of hope. Hope and mourning may stand together. How to obtain patience in trouble. How to know when God heareth our prayer, though he grant not instantly our suit. How constant mourning in trouble unto God, argueth certain deliverance. Why the Lord delayeth to help his servants. The end why our prayers are heard. Two sorts of abusing the grace of God.
SERM. XV. Out of 2. Tim. 2.22. preached at the public Repentance of the Earl Bothwell, in the Church of Edinburgh.
Showeth the sum and meaning of the words: what these things be, which all young men should fly. What is meant by the lusts of youth. Whence the restraint of sin doth come. By what means the Lord restraineth sin in us. What things young men should seek after. The definition and sorts of Repentance. In what respects worldly sorrow is called a blind terror. What godly sorrow is. A caution to be observed in Repentance. What the greatest sin a man can commit is. The effects of godly sorrow. The manner of Repentance: Why some parts of Repentance, have the name of Mortification and Vivification. That in the work of Repentance, the devil stayeth nothing more than our sincere confession of Sins. A caution to beware of Presumption. That there be two sorts of Repentance, &c.
SERM. XVI. Out of 2. Tim. 2.13. In way of an Exhortation to a Provincial Assembly,
Showeth at whose hands the Pastor ought chiefly to seek approbation. How to obtain true approbation. The weight of ministerial function. The groundwork of the ministry. Whereupon it consisteth. What it is to rule in the Lord. &c.