FIVE SERMONS PREACHED Vpon sundry especiall Occasions. Viz.

  • 1 The Sinners mourning habit: In Whitehall, March 29. being the first Tuesday after the depar­ture of King IAMES into Blessednesse.
  • 2 A Visitation Sermon: In Christs Church, at the Trienniall Visitation of the right Reuerend Father in God the Lord Bishop of London.
  • 3 The holy Choice: In the Chappell by Guildhall, at the Solemne Election of the Right Hono­rable the Lord Maior of London.
  • 4 The barren Tree: At Pauls-Crosse, Octob. 26.
  • 5 The Temple: At Pauls-Crosse. August. 5.


Sine merito, non sine commodo.

LONDON, Printed for IOHN GRISMAND 1626.


BY your Honours fa­uour, I had a place in the sad Court of Whitehall this last Lent: and it was so disposed by our blessed Maker, that I know not whether, my Text was a Comment vpon the Occasion, or the Occasion vpon my Text: they met together with such vnhappy happi­nesse. As this Sermon tooke Birth in the highest Sphere of our King­dome, so there learning to presume on the helpe of your Noble wing, it [Page] hath aduentured to flie abroad. And whither, iustly, should it take the first flight, but to your Honours Protection, from whom it receiued Breath and Motion? I haue beene bold also to send a paire of Seruants to wayt vpon it, which were produ­ced by other solemne occasions. I humbly beseech your Lordsh. to giue them all your Passe: and then I feare not, but that for your Noble Names sake, (not their owne me­rite) wheresoeuer they light, they shall find kind entertainment; and doe yet some more good to the Church of God. Which successe, together with your Honours happinesse, is still prayed for, by

Your Lordships humbly deuoted and ready to bee commanded, THO: ADAMS.


IOB. CHAP. 42. VER. 6.

Wherefore I abhorre my selfe, and repent in dust and ashes.

THis is in many deare re­gards a mourning and pe­nitentiall season, therefore I thought best to accom­modate it with a peniten­tiall Sermon. I abhorre my selfe, &c.

Affliction is a winged Chariot, that mounts vp the soule toward hea­uen: nor doe wee euer so rightly vnderstand Gods Maiestie, as when wee are not able to stand vnder our owne miserie. It was Naamans [Page 2] leprosie that brought him to the knowledge of the Prophet, and the Prophet brought him to the sauing knowledge of the true God: had he not beene a leper, hee had still beene a sinner. Schola crucis, Zepper. schola lucis: there is no such Schoole instructing, as the crosse afflicting. If Paul had not beene buffeted by Satan, hee might haue gone nigh to buffet God, through danger of being puffed vp with his reuelations.

The Lord hath many messengers, by whom he solicites man: He sends one health, to make him a strongman: another wealth, to make him a rich man: another sicknesse, to make him a weake man: another loss [...]s, to make him a poore man: another age, to make him an old man: another death, to make him no man. But among them all, none dispatcheth the busines surer or sooner then affliction: if that faile of bringing a man home, nothing can doe it. He is stil impor­tunate for an answere; yea, hee speakes, and strikes. Doe wee complaine of his incessant blowes? alas, hee doth but his office, he waites for our Repentance; let vs giue the messenger his errand, and hee will be gone. Let him take the proud man in hand, he will humble him: he can make the Drunkard sober; the Lascinious chast: the Angry patient; the Couetous cha­ritable; fetch the Vnthrift Sonne backe againe to his Father,Luke 15.17. whom a full purse had put into an itch of trauelling: the only breaker of those wild Colts. Ier. 5. the waters of that Deluge, which (though they put men in feare of their [Page 3] liues) beare them vp in the Arke of Repentance higher toward heauen. It brought the brethren to the acquaintance of Ioseph, and makes ma­ny a poore sinner familiar with the Lord Iesus.

Iob was not ignorant of God before, while he sate in the Sun-shine of peace; but resting his head on the bosome of plenty, hee could lye at his ease, and contemplate the goodnesse of his Maker. But as when the Sunne shines forth in his most glorious brightnesse, we are then least able to looke vpon him: wee may solace our selues in his diffused rayes and comfortable light, but wee cannot fixe our eyes vpon that burning Carbuncle. These outward things do so engrosse vs, take vp our consideration, and drowne our contemplatiue facultie in our sense; that so long, wee onely obserue the effects of Gods goodnesse, rather then the goodnesse of God it selfe. Necessitie teacheth vs the worth of a friend; as Absynthium, wormewood rub­bed vpon the eyes, makes them smart a little, but they see the clearer. Therefore Iob confes­ed, that in his prosperity hee had onely (as it were) heard of God; but now in his tryall hee had seene him.Vers. 5. I heard of thee by the hearing of the eare, but now mine eye seeth thee: that is, he had obtained a more cleare and perspicuous vision of him; the eye being more apprehensiue of the obiect then the eare. Segniiùs irritant animos di­missa per aures. When wee heare a man descri­bed, our Imagination conceiues an Idea or forme of him but darkely: if wee see him, and in [Page 4] tentiuely looke vpon him, there is an impression of him in our minds: wee know his stature, his gesture, his complection, his proportion. Sic o­culos, sic ille manus, sic or a ferebat. Such a more full and perfect apprehension of God did cala­mity work in this holy man; and from that spe­culation proceedes this humiliation; Wherefore I abhorre my selfe, and repent in dust and ashes.

Where wee may consider three degrees of mortification; the Sicknesse, the Death, and the Buriall of Sinne. I abhorre my selfe, there sinne is sicke and wounded: I repent, there it is wounded and dead: In dust and ashes, there it is dead and buried. To denie ones selfe, maimes concupi­scence, that it cannot thriue: to repent, kills it, that it cannot liue: in dust and ashes, buries it, that it cannot rise vp againe. I throw it into the Graue, I couer it with mould, I rake it vp in dust and ashes.

But I will not pull the Text in peeces; on­ly I follow the manuduction of the words: for there is not a superfluous word in the verse, as the Psalmist said of the Army of Israel, There was not one feeble person among them. It beginnes as high as the glory of Heauen, and ends as low as the basest of Earth. The first word [Therefore] respects an infinite God: the last words [Dust and ashes] declare an humbled man. The meditation of the former is the cause of the latter, and the condition of the latter is the way to the former. To study God, is the way to make an humble man: and an humble [Page 5] man is in the way to come vnto God. Such a consideration will cast vs down to dust and ashes: such a prostration will lift vs vp to glory and blessednesse. Here then is a Iacobs Ladder, but of foure rounds. Diuinitie is the Highest, I haue se [...]ne th [...]e, Therefore. Mortalitie is the lowest, Dust and ashes. Betweene both these, sit two o­thers, Shame and Sorrow; no man can abhorre himselfe, without Shame; nor Repent, without Sorrow. Let your honourable patience admit Iob descending these foure staires; euen so low as he went; and may all your soules rise as high as he is.


This referrs vs to the motiue that humbled him; and that appeares by the context, to be a double meditation; one of Gods maiestie, ano­ther of his mercie. 1. Of his maiestie; which being so infinite, and beyond the comprehensi­on of man, hee considered by way of compari­son, or relation to the creatures; the great Be­h [...]moth of the Land, the greater Leuiathan of the Sea; vpon which hee hath spent the precedent Chapters. Mathematicians wonder at the Sun, that it being so much bigger then the Earth, it doth not set it on fire, and burne it to ashes: but here is the wonder; that God being so infinitely great, and wee so infinitely euill, we are not con­sumed. VVhatsoe [...]r the Lord would doe, Psalm. 135.6. that did he, in heauen, in earth, in the Sea, and in all deepe places. If mans power could doe according to his will, or Gods will would doe according to [Page 6] his power,Genes. 6.7. who could stand? I will destroy man from the face of the earth, saith the Lord. The ori­ginall word is, I will steepe him, as a man steepes a piece of earth in water, till it tu [...]ne to dirt: for man is but clay, and forgets his maker, and his matter. None but God can reduce man to his first principles, and the originall graines where­of he was made: and there is no dust so high, but this great God is able to giue him stee­ping.

2. Or this was a meditation of his mercy, then which nothing more humbles a heart of flesh.Psalm. 130.4 VVith thee, O Lord, is forgiuenesse, that thou mightest bee feared. One would thinke, that pu­nishment should procure feare, and forgiuenesse loue: but nemo magis diligit, quàm qui maximè veretur offendere: no man more truely loues God, then hee that is most fearefull to offend him. Thy mercie reacheth to the heauens, and thy faithfulnesse to the cloudes; that is, aboue all sub­limities. God is glorious in all his workes, but most glorious in his workes of mercie: and this may bee one reason, why Saint Paul calls the Gospell of Christ,1 Tim. 1.11. a Glorious Gospell. Salomon tels vs, It is the glory of a man to passe by an offence: herein is God most Glorious, in that he pasleth by all the offences of his children. Lord, who can know thee, and not loue thee; know thee, and not feare thee? feare thee for thy Iustice, and loue thee for thy mercie: yea feare thee for thy mercie, and loue thee for thy Iustice, for thou art infinitely good in both.

[Page 7]Put both these together, and here is matter of humiliation, euen to dust and ashes. So Abra­ham interceding for Sodome;Gen. 18 27. Behold, I haue ta­ken vpon mee to speake vnto the Lord, which am but dust and ashes. Gr [...]g. mo [...]. [...]8. Quanto magis Sancti Diuinitatis interna conspîciunt, tanto magis se nihil esse cog­noscu [...]t. It is a certaine conclusion; no proud man knowes God. Non sum dignus, I am not wor­thy, is the voice of the Saints: they know God, and God knowes them.Exod. 33.17. Moses was the meekest man vpon earth, and therefore God is said to know him by name. Gen. 32.10. I am lesse then the least of thy mercies, saith [...]acob; loe, hee was honoured to bee Father of the 12. Tribes, and Heire of the Blessing. Quis ego sum Domine, sayes Dauid, who am I, O Lord? Hee was aduanced from that lowly conceite to bee King of Israel. Mat. 3.11. I am not worthy to loose the latchet of Christs shooe, saith Iohn Baptist. Loe, hee was esteemed worthy to lay his hand on Christs head.Mat. [...].8. I am not worthy that thou shouldest come vnder my roofe, sayes the Centurion: therefore Christ commended him, I haue not found so great faith, no not in Israel. I am the least of the Apostles, 1 Cor. 15.9. saith Paul, not worthy to be called an Apostle: therefore hee is honoured with the title of The Apostle. Behold the hand­maid of the Lord, saith the holy Virgin: there­fore shee was honoured to be the Mother of the Lord, and to haue all generations call her Bles­sed. This Non sum dignus, the humble annihila­tion of themselues, hath gotten them the honor of Saints. In spirituall graces, let vs study to be [Page 8] great, and not to know it: as the fixed Starres are (euery one) bigger then the earth, yet ap­peare to vs lesse then torches. In alto non altum sapere; not to bee high-minded in high deserts, is the way to blessed preferment. Humilitie is not onely a vertue it selfe, but a vessell to con­taine other vertues: like embers, which keepe the fire aliue that is hidden vnder it. It emptieth it selfe, by a modest estimation of the owne worth, that Christ may fill it. It wrastleth with God, like Iacob; and winnes by yeelding: and the lower it stoopes to the ground, the more aduan­tage it gets to obtaine the blessing. All our pride, O Lord, is from the want of knowing Thee: O thou infinite Maker, Reueale thy selfe yet more vnto vs; so shall wee abhorre our selues, and repent in dust and ashes.

I abhorre my selfe.

It is a deepe degree of mortification, for a man to abhorre himselfe. To abhorre others is easie: to deny others, more easie: to despise others, most easie. But it is hard to despise a mans selfe: to deny himselfe, harder: hardest of all, to abhor himselfe. Euery one is apt to thinke well, speake well, doe well to himselfe. Not only Charity, a spirituall vertue, but also Lust, a carnall vice, be­gins at home. There is no direct Commande­ment in the Bible, for a man to loue himselfe; be­cause we are all so naturally prone to it. Indeed, we are bound to loue our selues; so much is im­plied in the Precept; Love thy neighbour as thy selfe;August. therefore loue Thy selfe, But Modus praecipi­endus, [Page 9] vt tibiprosis; so loue thy selfe, as to doe thy selfe good. But for a man, vpon good termes, to abhorre himselfe; this is the wonder! He is more then a meere Sonne of Eue, that does not ouer­value himselfe. Qui se non admiratur, mirabilis est: hee that doth not admire himselfe, is a man to be admired.

Nor is this disease of proud flesh, peculiar onely to those persons, whose imperious com­mands, surly salutations, insolent controule­ments, witnesse to the world how little they ab­horre themselues. But it haunts euen the baser condition, and fomes out at the common iawes. A proud beggar was the Wisemans monster; but pride is the daughter of Riches. It is against reason, indeed, that metalls should make diffe­rence of men: against religion, that it should make such a difference of Christian men. Yet commonly, Reputation is measured by the acre; and the altitude of Countenance is taken by the Pole of Aduancement. And as the seruant va­lues himselfe higher or lower, according as his master is: so the master esteemes himselfe grea­ter or lesse, according as his master, that is, as his Money or Estate is. His heart is proportio­nably enlarged with his house: his good, and his blood riseth together:Dan. 4.30. Is not this the great Baby­lon, which I haue built for the honour of my Maie­stie? But you know, hee was turned into a beast that said so. Gold and siluer are heauy metalls, and sinke downe in the ballance: yet by a prepo­sterous inuersion, they lift the heart of man vp­wards: [Page 10] as the plummet of a clocke, which, while it selfe poyseth downewards, lifts vp the striking hammer. As Saul vpon his annointing, so many a one vpon his aduancing, is turned quite into another man.Luke 18.11. God I thanke thee, sayes the Pha­risee, that I am not as other men are, nor as this Publican: not as other men, and for this hee thankes God: as if because hee thought better of himselfe, God must needs thinke better of him too. Now hee must no more take it as hee hath done; a new port, for a new report. He ab­horres all men, but admires himselfe. Yet after these blustring insolencies, and windie ostenta­tions, all this thing is but a man, and that (God knowes) a very foolish one.

But the children of grace haue learned ano­the [...] lesson, to thinke well of other men, and to abhor themselues. And indeed, if we consider what Master we haue serued, & what wages de­serued, we haue iust cause to abhorre our selues. What part of vs hath not sinned, that it should not merit to be despised? Run all ouer this little Ile of man, & find me one mēber of the body, or faculty of the soule, that can say with Iobs mes­senger, Ego solus aufugi;Iob. 1.15. I alone haue escaped. What one action can wee iustifie? Produce ex tot mil­libus, vnum. Where is that Innocencie, which de­sires not to stand onely in the sight of Mercie? There is in our worst workes wickednesse, in our best weaknesse, errour in all. What time, what place, are not witnesses against vs? The very Sabbath, the day of Rest, hath not rested from [Page 11] our euills. The very Temple, that holy place, hath beene defiled with our obliquities. Our chambers, our beds, our boords, the ground we tread, the ayre wee breath, can tell our follies. There is no occasion, which, if it doe not testifie what euill we haue done, yet can say, what good we should, and haue not done.

If all this do not humble vs, looke we vp (with Iob heere) to the Maiestie which we haue offen­d [...]d. To spoile the Armes of a common Subiect, or to counterfeit his Seale, is no such hay­nous or capitall crime. But to deface the Armes of the King, to counterfeit his Broad Seale, or priuy Signet, is no lesse then Treason: be­cause the disgrace redounds vpon the person of the King. Euery sinne dishonors God, & offers to sticke ignominy vpon that infinite Maiestie; therefore deserues an infinite penaltie.Psal. 51.4. Against thee, O Lord, against thee haue I sinned. I, thy crea­ture; against Thee, my Maker: heere is a trans­cendencie, which when a man considers, hee is worthie to bee abhorred of all men, that does not abhorre himselfe.

Yet when God, and our owne selues, stand in competition, which do we most respect? Temp­tation is on our left hand, in a beautifull resem­blance, to seduce vs. The will, the glory, the Iudgement of God, is on our right hand, to di­rect vs: doe we now abhorre our selues? Com­moditie sets off inquitie, & wooes vs to be rich, though sinners: Christ bids vs first s [...]ek thee king­dome of Heauen, and tells vs that other things [Page 12] shall come without seeking, they shall bee added vnto vs: Doe we now abhorre our selues? Such a sinne is pleasing to my lust and concupiscence, but it is displeasing to God and my Conscience: Doe I now abhorre my selfe? That wee loue God farre better then our selues, is soone said; but to prooue it, is not so easily done. Hee must Deny himselfe, Mark. 8.34. that will bee Christs ser­uant. Many haue denied their Masters, many haue denied their Friends, many haue denyed their Kinred, not a few haue denied their Bro­thers, some haue denied their owne Parents, but to denie themselues, durus hic sermo, this is a hard taske. Negare suos, sua, se; to denie their profits, to deny their pleasures, to denie their lustes, to denie their reasons, to denie themselues? no, to doe all this they vtterly denie.

Yet hee that repents truely, abhorres himselfe; Non se vt conditum, sed se vt perditum; not the creature that God made, but the creature that himselfe made. Repentance loues Animam, non malitiam, carnem, non carnalitatem; the Soule, not the venime of the soule; the flesh, not the fl [...]shli­nesse of it. So farre as hee hath corrupted him­selfe, so farre he abhorres hims [...]lfe; and could ra­ther wish non esse, not to be at all, then malum [...]sse, to be displeasing to his Maker.

Thus, if wee despise our selues, God will ho­nour vs: if we abhorre our selues, God will ac­cept vs: if wee denie our selues, God will acknow­ledge vs: if wee hate our selues, God will loue vs: if wee condemne our selues, God will acquite vs: [Page 13] if we punish our selues, God will spare vs: yea, thus if we seeme lost to our selues, wee shall bee found in the day of Iesus Christ.

I repent.

Repentance hath much acquaintance in the world, and few friends: it is better knowen then practised; and yet not more knowen, then tru­sted. My scope, now, shall not bee the definiti­on of it, but a perswasion to it. It is euery mans medicine; an vniuersall Antidote, that makes many a Mithridates venture on poyson. They make bolde to sinne, as if they were sure to re­pent. But the medicine was made for the wound, not the wound for the medicine. Wee haue read, if not seene, the Battell betwixt those two venimous creatures, the Toad and the Spider: where the greater, being ouer-match'd with the poyson of the lesse, hath recourse to a certaine hearbe, some thinke the Plantane; with which shee expells the infection, and renewes the fight: but at last, the hearbe being wasted, the Toad bursts and dies. Wee sucke in sinne, the poyson of that old Serpent, and presume to driue it out againe with Repentance: but how if this Hearbe of grace bee not found in our Gardens? As Tra­ian was marching foorth with his armie, a poore woman sollicited him to doe her iustice vpon the murderers of her onely sonne. I will doe thee Iustice, woman, sayes the Emperour, when I returne. The woman presently replyed; But what if my Lord neuer returne? How farre soe­uer we haue runne out, we hope to make all rec­konings [Page 14] euen, when Repentance comes: but what if Repentance neuer comes?

It is not many yeares, more incitations, and abundance of meanes, that can worke it: but Re­pentance is the faire gift of God. One would thinke it a short Lesson; yet Israel was fortie yeares a learning it; and they not sooner got it, but presently forgot it.Reu. 16.11. Reu. 16. We reade of men plagued with heat, and paines, and sores; yet they repented not. Iudas could haue a broken necke, not a broken heart. There is no such induce­ment to sinne, as the presumption of ready Re­pentance: as if God had no speciall riches of his owne; but euery sinner might command them at his pleasure. The King hath Earth of his owne, he lets his subiects walke vpon it: he hath a Sea, lets them saile on it: his Land yeelds fruit, let them eate it: his fountaines water, let them drinke it. But the moneys in his Exche­quer, the garments in his Wardrope, the Iewels in his Iewel-house, none may meddle with, but they to whom hee disposeth them. Gods com­mon blessings are not denied:Math. 5.45. his Sunne shines, his raine falls, on the righteous and vnrighteous. But the treasures of heauen, the robes of glory, the Iewels of Grace and Repentance; these hee keepes in his owne hands; and giues, not where he may, but where he will. Mans heart is like a doore with a Spring locke: pull the doore af­ter you, it lockes of it selfe; but you cannot open it againe without a key. Mans heart doth natu­rally locke our grace;Reuel. 3.7. none but hee that hath the [Page 15] Key of the house of Dauid, can open the doore, and put it in. God hath made a promise To Re­pentance, not Of Repentance: wee may trust to that promise, but there is no trusting to our selues. Nature flatters it selfe with that singular instance of mercy; one malefactor on the crosse repenting at his last houre. But such hath beene Satans policie, to draw euill out of good, that the calling and sauing of that one soule, hath bin the occasion of the losse of many thousands.

Wheresoeuer Repentance is, shee doth not de­liberate, tarries not to aske questions, and exa­mine circumstances; but bestirres her ioynts, cals her wits & senses together: summons her tongue to praying, her feet to walking, her hands to wor­king, her eyes to weeping, her heart to groaning. There is no need to bid her goe, for shee runnes: she runnes to the word for direction, to her own heart for remorse and compunction, to God for grace and pardon: and wheresoeuer shee find­eth Christ,2 Kings 4.30. shee layeth faster hold on him, then the Shunnamite did on the feet of Elisha; As the Lord liueth, and as thy soule liueth, I will not let thee goe: no Gehesi can beate her off. She resolues that her knees shall grow to the pauement, till mercy hath answered her from heauen. As if she had felt an earth quake in her soule, not vnlike that Iaylor, when he felt the foundations of his prison shaken;Acts 16.29. shee calls for a light the Gospell of truth, and springs in trembling; and the fi [...]st voice of her lips is, O what shall I doe to be saued? Shee lowes with mourning, like the Kine that carried [Page 16] the Arke; and neuer rests till shee comes to Beth­shemesh, the fieldes of mercie. The good Starre that guides her, is the promise of God: this giues her light through all the darke clouds of her sorrow. Confidence is her life, and soule: she drawes no other breath then the perswasion of mercie;1 King. 20.31. that the King of Israel is a mercifull King. Faith is the heart-blood of Repentance. The matter, composition, constitution, sub­stance of it, is amendment of life: there be many counterfets that walke in her habite, as King A­hab had his shadowes; but that's her substance. Her countenance is spare and thinne; shee hath not eyes standing out with fatnesse. Her diet is abstinence; her garment and liuery, Sackcloth and ashes: the Paper in her hand, is a Petition; her dialect is Miser [...]re; and lest her owne lusts should bee bane within her, she sweats them out with confession and teares.

Wee know, there is no other fortification a­gainst the Iudgements of God, but Repentance. His forccs be inuisible, inuincible; not repelled with sword and target: neither portcullice, nor fortresse can keepe them out: there is nothing in the world that can encounter them but Repen­tance. They had long since laid our honour in the dust, rotted our carkases in the pit, sunke our soules into hell, but for Repentance. Which of those Saints, that are now saued in heauen, haue not sinned vpon earth? What could saue them but Repentance? Their infirmities are recorded, not onely for the instruction of those that stand, [Page 17] but also for the consolation of them that are fal­len. Instruunt Patriarchae, non solùm docentes, sed & errantes. They doe not onely teach vs by their Doctrines, but euen by their very errours. Noah was ouercome with a little wine, that esca­ped drowning with the world in that Deluge of water. Lot was scorched with the flame of vn­naturall lust, that escaped burning in the fire of Sodome, Sampson, the strongest; Salomon, the wi­sest, fell by a woman. One Balme recouered them all, blessed Repentance. Let our soules, from these premises, and vpon the assurance of Gods promises, conclude; that if we repent, our sinnes are not greater, Gods mercies cannot bee lesse. Thus was Niniueh ouerthrowen, that she might not be ouerthrowen. Quae peccatis perit, fletibus stetit. Euery man must either bee a Niniuite, or a Sodomite: a Niniuite sorrowing for sinne, or a Sodomite suffering for sinne. Doleat peccata reus, vt deleat peccata Deus. If wee grieue, God will forgiue.

Nor yet must wee thinke, with this one short word (I repent) to answere for the multitude of our offences; as if we that had sinned in parcels, should be forgiuen in grosse. It were a rare fa­uour, if we paying but one particular of a whole Booke of debts, should be granted a generall ac­quittance for them all. No, let vs reckon vp our sinnes to God in confession, that our hearts may find a plenary absolution. Nor is it enough to recount them, but wee must recant them. Doe we thinke, that because wee doe not remember [Page 18] them, that God hath forgotten them? Are not debts of many yeares standing, to be called for? Mans Iustice doth not forbeare olde offenders: no tract of time can eate out the Characters of blood.Iob 13.26. Thou writest bitter things against me, when thou makest mee to possesse the sinnes of my youth. These things hast thou done,Psal. 50.21. saith God, and I held my peace: therefore thou thoughtest mee altogether such a one as thy selfe: but I will re­prooue thee, and set them in order before thine eyes. Therefore let vs number all the sinnes wee can, and then God will forgiue vs all the sinnes that wee haue.

If wee could truely weigh our iniquities, we must needs find a necessitie, either of repenting, or of perishing. Shall wee make God to frowne vpon vs in heauen, arme all his creatures against vs on earth? shall w [...]e force his curses vpon vs and ours? Take his rod, and teach it to scourge vs with all temporall plagues; and not repent? Shall wee wound our owne consciences with sinnes, that they may wound vs with eternall torments; make a hell in our bosomes heere, and open the gates of that lower hell to deuoure vs hereafter; and not repent? Doe wee, by sinne, giue Satan a right in vs, a power ouer vs, an ad­uantage against vs; and not labour to crosse his mischiefes by repentance? Doe wee cast Brim­stone into that infernall fire, as if it could not bee hote enough, or wee should faile of tor­tures except wee make our selues our owne tormentors; and not rather seeke to quench [Page 19] those flames with our penitent teares?

If we could see the farewell of sin, we would abhorre it, and our selues for it; Could Dauid haue conceiued the griefe of his broken bones, before-hand; he had escaped those aspersions of lust and blood. Had Achan foreseene the stones about his eares, before he filch'd those accursed things, hee would neuer haue fingerd them. But it may be said of vs, as it was of our first parents; when they had once sinned and fallen;Genes. 3.7. Tunc a­perti sunt oculi eorum, Then their eyes were opened; Then, not before. In this place comes in Repen­tance; as a rectifier of disorders, a recaller of a­berrations, a repairer of all decayes and brea­ches. So it pleaseth Gods mercy, that the daugh­ter should be the death of the mother.Aug. Peccatum tristitiam peperit, tristitia peccatum conteret. Sin bred sorrow, sorrow shall kill sinne: as the oyle of Scorpions healeth the sting of Scorpions.

If I should giue you the picture of Repentance, I would tell you, that shee is a Virgine faire and louely: and those teares which seeme to doe violence to her beautie, rather indeed grace it. Her Brest is sore with the strokes of her owne penitent hands; which are alwayes, either in Moses his posture in the Mount, lifted vp towards heauen; or the Publicans in the Temple, smiting her bosome. Her knees are hardened with con­stant praying, her voyce is hoarce with calling to heauen; and when shee cannot speake, she de­liuers her mind in groanes. There is not a teare falles from her, but an Angell holds a bottell to [Page 20] catch it. Shee thinkes euery mans sinnes lesse then her owne, euery mans good deeds more. Her compunctions are vnspeakeable; know­en onely to God, and her selfe. Shee could wish, not onely men; but euen beasts, and trees, and stones, to mourne with her. Shee thinks, no Sunne should shine, because shee takes no plea­sure in it; that the Lilies should bee cloathed in black, because she is so apparelled. Mercy comes downe, like a glorious Cherub, and lights on her bosome, with this message from God; I haue heard thy prayers, and seene thy teares: so with a handkerchiefe of comfort, dries her cheeks, and telles her that she is accepted in Iesus Christ.

In dust and ashes.

I haue but one staire more, downe from both Text and Pulpit; and it is a very low one; Dust and ashes.

An adorned body is not the vehicle of an humbled soule. Iob, before his affliction was not poore. Doubtlesse, hee had his Wardrobe, his change and choise of garments. Yet now, how doth his humbled soule contemne them! as if hee threw away his vesture, saying; I haue worne thee for pompe, giuen countenance to a silken case; I quite mistooke thy nature, get thee from mee, I am weary of thy seruice, thou hast made mee honourable with men, thou canst get mee no estimation before the Lord. Repentance giues a farewell, not onely to wonted delights, but e­uen to naturall refreshings. Iob lies not on a bed of Roses and Violets, as did the Sybarites; nor [Page 21] on a couch beautified with the Tapestrie of E­gypt; but on a bed of Ashes. Sackcloth is his ap­parell; dust and ashes the lace and embroyderie of it.Ion. 3.6. Thus Niniu [...]hs King, vpon that fearefull sentence, rose from his throne, layd his robe from him, couered himselfe with sackcloth, and sate in a­shes. O what an alteration can repentance make? From a King of the earth, to a worme of the earth: from a foot-cloth, to sackcloth: from a Throne, to a dunghill: from sitting in State, to lying in ashes! Whom all the reuerence of the world attended on, to whom the head was vn­couered, the knee bowed, the body prostrated; who had as many salutations, as the firmament starres, God saue the King: Hee throwes away Crowne, scepter, Maiestie, and all, and sits in a­shes. How many doth the golden Cup of Ho­nour make drunke, and driuen from all sense of mortalitie! Riches and hearts ease, are such v­suall intoxications to the soules of men; that it is rare to finde any of them so low as Dust and Ashes.

Dust, as the remembrance of his originall: Ashes, as the representation of his end: Dust, that was the mother: Ashes, that shall bee the daugther of our Bodies.

Dust, the matter of our substance, the house of our soules, the originall graines whereof wee were made, the top of all our kinred. The glory of the strongest man, the beautie of the fairest woman; all is but dust. Dust; the onely compounder of differences, the absoluer of all [Page 22] distinctions: who can say, which was the Cli­ent, which the Lawyer: which the borrower, which the lender: which the captiue, which the Conqueror; when they all lie together in blen­ded dust?

Dust; not Marble, nor Porphyrie, Gold nor precious stone, was the matter of our bodies; but earth, and the fractions of the earth, dust. Dust, the sport of the winde, the very slaue of the beesome. This is the pit from whence wee are digged; and this is the pit, to which we shall bee resolued.Genes. 3.1 [...] Dust thou art, and to dust thou shalt returne againe. They that sit in the dust, and feele their owne materials about them, may well renounce the ornaments of pride, the gulfe of auarice, the foolish lustes of concupiscence. Let the couetous thinke, what doe I scrape for? a little golden dust: the ambitious, what doe I aspire for? a little honourable dust: the libidi­nous, what doe I languish for? a little animated dust, blowen away with the breath of Gods dis­pleasure.

O how goodly this building of man appeares, when it is clothed with beautie and honour! A face full of maiestie, the throne of comelinesse; wherein the whitenesse of the Lilie contends with the sanguine of the Rose: an actiue hand, an erected countenance, an eye sparkling out lu­stre, a smoothe complexion, arising from an ex­cellent temperature and composition: where­as other creatures, by reason of their cold and grosse humours, are growne ouer, beasts with [Page 23] haire, foules with feathers, fishes with scales. O what a workman was this, that could raise such a Fabricke out of the earth, and lay such orient colours vpon Dust! yet all is but Dust, walking, talking, breathing dust: all this beautie but the effect of a well concocted food, and life it selfe but a walk from dust to dust. Yea, and this man, or that woman, is neuer so beautifull, as when they sit weeping for their sinnes in the dust: as Mary Magdalen was then fairest, when she knee­led in the dust, bathing the feet of Christ with her teares, and wiping them with her haires: like heauen, faire sight-ward, to vs that are with­out; but more faire to them that are within.

The Dust is come of the same house that wee are: and when she sees vs proud, and forgetfull of our selues, shee thinkes with her selfe, Why should not shee, that is descended as well as we, beare vp her plumes as high as ours. Therefore she so often borrowes wings of the winde, to mount aloft into the ayre, and in the streets and high wayes, dasheth herselfe into our eyes: as if shee would say, Are you my kinred, and will not know me? will you take no notice of your owne mother? To taxe the folly of our ambi­tion, the dust in the street takes pleasure to bee ambitious.

The Iewes in their mourning, vsed to rend their garments; as if they would bee reuenged on them, for encreasing their pride, and keeping them from the sight of their nakednesse. Then they put on sackcloth, and that sackcloth they [Page 24] sprinkled ouer with dust, and ouerstrawed with ashes: to put God in minde, that if hee should arme his displeasure against them, he should but contend with dust and ashes; and what glory could that bee for him?Psal 30.9. Shall the dust praise thee, O God; or, art thou glorified in the pit? Nay, ra­ther, how often doth the Lord spare vs,Psal. 103.14. because hee remembers wee are but dust? To shew that they had lifted vp themselues aboue their crea­tion, and forgot of what they are made; now by by Repentance returning to their first Image, in all prostrate humility they lay in the dust; confes­sing, that the wind doth not more easily disperse the dust, then the breath of God was able to bring them to nothing.

Thus, Dust is not onely Materia nostra, or Ma­ter, our Mother,Iob. 4.19. or matter wherof we are made; for our foundation is in the dust. Esai. 26.19. But Patria nostra, our Countrey where we shall dwell; Awake yee that dwell in the dust. We are no better then the dust wee shake off from our feete, or brush off from our clothes. O, therefore let vs turne to God in dust, before hee turne vs into dust. Yea, Saint Augustine goes further, and sayes, that not onely the bodies of all men, but euen the soules of some men, are no better then dust. They are so set vpon earth, and earthly things, that they are transformed into earth and dust: and so be­come the food of that old Serpent, whose punish­ment was to eate the dust.

For Ashes, they are the Embleme or repre­sentation of greater misery: Dust onely shewes [Page 25] vs, that wee haue deserued the dissolution of our bodies; Ashes put vs in mind that wee haue merited also the destruction of our Soules. A­shes are the leauings of the fire, the offalls of consumed substances. When God shall giue vp the largest buildings of Nature to the rage of that Element, it shall reduce them to a nar­rowe roome, the remnants shall bee but ashes. This was all the Monument of those famous ci­ties, Sodome, 2 Pet. 2.6. Gomorra, and the rest; heapes of ashes. Ecce vix totam Hercules impleuit vrnam, sayes the Poet; that great Gyant scarce makes a pit­cher of ashes.

For this cause, the Ancients vsed to repent in Ashes; remonstrating to themselues, that they deserued burning in endlesse fire, more then those Ashes wherein they wallowed. Yea, if Abraham compared himselfe to dust and ashes, I may compare my soule to a sparke hid in the Ashes: which, when sickenesse and death shall stirre vp; like fire, shee takes her flight vpwards, and leaues the heauy fruitlesse ashes of my bodie behind her.

In both, wee haue a L [...]sson of our owne mortalitie. The finger of GOD hath writ­ten the Epitaph of man; the condition of his bodie, like Characters printed in the Dust. Mans body, so well as the yce, expounds that Riddle; the gignit filia matrem: the daugh­ter begets the mother; Dust begot a bodie, and a bodie begets Dust. Our bodies were a [...] first strong Cities; but then wee made them [Page 26] the Forts of Rebels: our offended Liege sent his Serieant Death to arrest vs of high Trea­son. And though for his mercies sake in Christ, hee pardoned our sinnes, yet hee suffers vs no more to haue such strong houses; but lets vs dwell in paper Cottages, mudde walles, mor­tall bodies. Methusalem liued nine hundred sixtie nine yeares; yet hee was the sonne of Enoch, who was the sonne of Iared, who was the sonne of Malaleel, who was the sonne of Cainan, who was the sonne of Enos, who was the sonne of Seth, who was the sonne of A­dam, who was the sonne of Dust. Aske the woman that hath conceiued a childe in her wombe; Will it bee a Sonne? Peraduenture so: Will it bee well formed and featured? Peraduenture so: Will it be wise? Peraduenture so: Will it be rich? Peraduenture so: Will it be long-liued? Peraduenture so: Will it be mor­tall? Yes, this is without peraduenture; it will die. Euen a Heathen, when hee heard that his son was dead, could say without changing coun­tenance, Scio me genuisse mortalem; I know that I begot a mortall man.

An olde man is said to giue Alexander a little Iewell; and tolde him, that it had this vertue; so long as hee kept it bright, it would out-value the most fine golde or precious stone in the world; but if it once tooke dust, it would not bee worth a feather. What meant the Sage, but to giue the Monarch an Embleme of his owne body; which being animated with [Page 27] a Soule,Eccl. 9.4. commanded the world; but once fallen to dust, it would be worth nothing: for a liuing dog is better then a dead Lyon.

I conclude, I call you not to casting Dust on your heads, or sitting in Ashes ▪ but to that sorrow and compunction of Soule, whereof the other was but an externall Symbole or testimo­nie.Esai. 58.5. Let vs rend our hearts, and spare our gar­ments; humble our soules, without afflicting our bodies. It is not a corps wrapp'd in Dust and A­shes, but a contrite heart, Psalm. 51.17. which the Lord will not despise. Let vs repent our sinnes, and amend our liues: so God will pardon vs by the merites, saue vs by the mercies, and crowne vs with the glories of Iesus Christ.


A SERMON PREACHED AT THE TRIENNIALL Visitation of the Right Reue­rend Father in God, the Lord Bishop of LONDON, in Christ-Church.


LONDON, Printed by Aug. Matthewes, and Iohn Norton. 1625.


ACTES 15.36.

And some dayes after, Paul said vnto Barnabas, Let vs goe againe and visite our Brethren, in e­uery Citie where wee haue preached the Word of the Lord, and see how they doe.

THere bee certaine royall Lawes, which Christ and his Apostles made for eter­nal vse: to the obseruation whereof all Christian Na­tions and persons are vn­changeably bound. And there be some ritual things, which were at the first conuenient, but variable according to the difference of times and places. Strictly to impose all these circumstances on vs, were to make vs, not the sonnes, but the slaues of the Apostles. That is a fond scrupulositie, which would presse vs in all fashions with a conformitie [Page 30] to the Primitiue times: as if the Spouse of Christ might not weare a lace or a border, for which shee could not plead prescription. Diuersitas ri­tuum commendat vnitatem fidei, saith our Anselme. Let vs keepe the substance; for the shadow, God hath left vs at libertie. But yet when wee looke backe vpon those first patternes, & find a rule of discipline fit for the present times; in vaine wee should study a new, that are so wel accommoda­ted with the old. The businesse of the Text, and Day, is a Visitation: a practice, which at the first view of the words, can plead Antiquitie; and by a reuiew, shall plead the great vtilitie. I know there be diuers kinds of Visitations: but whether they be National, Prouinciall, Paroeciall, or Ca­pitular; they all haue Authoritatem vberrimam, being grounded vpon a practise Apostolicall: and vsum saluberrimum, (to vse the words of Saint Augustine) being of a physicall nature, to preuent or cure distemperatures in the Church of God.

Generally, the forme of the words is a Moti­on; the matter, a Visitation.

1. The motion was Pauls, the forwardest soul­dier in all the army of Christ: that winged Hus­bandman, who plowed vp the fallow hearts of the Gentiles that with a holy zeale, greater then the ambition of Alexander, would sooner haue wanted ground; then desire to trauell in the busi­nes of his Master. Terra citius d [...]fecisset, quàm stu­dium praedicandi ▪ Indeed, he had found an vnusu­all mercy,1 Tim. 1.14. as himselfe deliuers it. The grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant toward me: vsing an [Page 31] extraordinary phrase, to expresse an extraordi­nary grace: a word neuer the like vsed, for a mer­cy neuer the like exhibited. There is 'Oyle in the widdowes cruse to sustaine;1 King. 17.16. Aarons was far more, it ran down to the skirts of his clothing. Psal. 133.2. Such a super­abundant grace was in Paul. For Sanctification; many Saints are commended for some speciall vertues; Abraham for Faith, Moses for Meeknesse, Dauid for Thankfulnesse, Iob for Patience; Paul is praised for them all. For subduing of vices; men most sanctified haue had some tangs; as Dauid of anger for Nabals churlish answere; Hezekiah had a smacke of pride; setting aside concupiscence, Paul had no spot. For knowledge; he was rapt vp into heauen, there learned his Diuinitie among the Angels; his Schoole being Paradise, his Vni­uersitie the third Heauen, and God his Tutor. For power; his very clothes wrought myracles. God so trusted Paul, that he cōmitted his whole Church vnto him. Thus was he honoured: the other Apostles were sent a Christo mortali, Paul a Christo immortali. And with the like superabun­dant grace did he answer his charge; that though he were Nouissimus in ordine, he was primus in me­rito. Yea, hee is well called Gods Arrow, woun­ding euery soule that heard him, with the loue of Christ. This was his motion, one act of his A­postolicall care.

2. The matter is a Visitation; to visite is a word of great latitude, and signifies the performance of all Pastorall duties: to instruct the ignorant, to comfort: the weake, to correct the stubborne, to [Page 32] confirme the religious. Strictly, it imports a Su­periours scrutiny or examination of things vn­der his charge: as [...] Steward in a Family ouer­lookes the vnder-seruants; praising the forward, prouoking the sluggard, & rectifying disorders, which are ready to creepe in through the least conniuence. This we shall the better apprehend, if we let the Text fall into parts; of which we shall finde seuen.

1. The Visiters, Paul and Barnabas; for this Office was at first Apostolicall, and hath euer since been Episcopall.

2. The visired, Their Brethren; whether the people vnder the Pastors, or the Pastors set ouer the people: for as they ought to visite their owne particular charges, so the Bishops to visite them: yea, and euen those Visiters may be visi­ted, by such Delegates as the Prince appoynts, who is the chiefe Visiter vnder Christ.

3. The exercise, or frequent vse of this office, Let vs go againe. For the rarenesse of performing this dutie may breed much inconuenience.

4. The moderation, or seasonablenesse of it; After certaine dayes. There must bee some inter­mission, or else the assiduitie may make it a bur­den, or bring it into contempt.

5. The latitude or extent of it; In euery citie; not calling all the world to one place; as the Bi­shop of Rome did in his glory, summoning all Nations to his Consistorie. They visite euery Citie, they compell not euery citie to visit them. Nor doe they balke the greatest for feare, nor [Page 33] neglect the meanest in contempt; but euery Citie.

6. The limitation, restraint, or confining of this Exercise; Where we haue preached the Word of God. Pagans are out of their walke; they meddle not with vnbeleeuers: but with those grounds wher­in they haue sowen the seeds of the Gospell.

7. Lastly, the intent and scope of all, To see how they doe; Quomodo se habeant; whether they faile, or thriue in their spirituall growth. These be the passages; whereof with what breuitie I can, and with what fidelitie I ought.

The Visiters,

Paul and Barnabas. There is difference, I know, betwixt the Apostles and Bishops. For besides their immediate calling, and extraordinary en­dowments; the Apostles function was an vnlimited circuite, Ite in vniuersum orbem, the Bishops is a fixed or positiue residence in one Citie. All those acts, which proceeded from supernaturall priuiledge, ceased with their cause; as the gift of tongues, of miracles,& the like. Those tooles that serue for the foundation, are not the fittest for the roofe. The great Master-Builder made choise of such for the first stones, whi [...]h he [...] meant not to imploy in the walles. But this is the first thing I would here note;

The first foundation of the Church was laid in an Inequalitie;Obseruat and hath euer since so continu­ed. Paritie in gouernment is the mother of con­fusion and disorder,Arist. Polit. & disorder doth ill become the Church of God. Where all the strings or voyces be vnisons or of one tenour, there can be [Page 34] no harmony. There bee [...], Seers: which signifies the dutie of each Pastor ouer his flock. And there bee [...], Ouerseers, such as must visite and ouerlooke both flocke and Seers. In the old Testament, together with the paritie of Priesthood, there was an imparitie of gouern­ment: one Leuite aboue another, Priests aboue them, the High Priest aboue them all. Christ himselfe is said to bee a Priest after the Order of Melchisadech: he was of some order then: but wee haue those that would be Priests without a­ny order at all; that refuse to be ordered.

Take away difference, and what will follow, but an Anabaptisticall ataxie or confusion? It was the saying of Bishop Iewell, or the Iewell of Bishops; All Priests haue Idem Ministerium, sed diuersam potestatem. A Bishop and an Archbishop differ not in Potestate Ordinis, sed in potestate Re­giminis. Nor doth a Bishop differ from a Pastor, quoad virtutem Sacerdotij, sed quo [...]d potentiam Iu­risdictionis. There is one indeleble character of Priesthood to them both.Reuel. 3.7. That great Clauiger of heauen, who opens and no man shuts, shuts and no man opens, hath left two Keyes for the gouernment of the Church: the one Clauem Sci­entiae, the preaching of the Gospell, which is the more essentiall part of our function: for a necessi­tie is laid vpon vs, and woe vnto vs if we preach not the Gospell, if we turne not that Key. The other Clauem Potentiae, the Key of Iurisdiction or Dis­cipline; which makes the Church Aciem ordina­tam, an Army well marshalled. The former im­poseth [Page 35] a Dutie, and Haec oportet facere: the latter importeth a Decencie, and Haec decet fieri. Thus did the great Shepheard of Israel gouerne his flocke;Zach. 11.7. with Two Staues. One the Staffe of Bands, sound Doctrine: the other the Staffe of Beautie, orderly Discipline.Col. 2.5. Saint Paul ioynes them both together; the stedfastnesse of their faith, and the comelinesse of their Order, and makes them the matter of his Ioy in the Collossians. Without or­der, Faith it selfe would bee at a losse. Euen the Starres doe not fight from heauen, Iudg. 5.20. but in their or­der. Therefore is our Ministery called Orders, to shew that wee are bound to Order aboue other Professions. This orderly distinction of Ecclesi­asticall persons is set downe by the Holy Ghost, 1. Cor. 12. placing some as the head, other as the eyes, other as the feet: all members of one Body, with mutuall concord, equall amity, but vnequal dignitie. To be a Bishop then, is not a Numerall, but a Munerall function; a priority in order, a su­perioritie in degree.Math. 24.45. Who is a faithfull and wise seruant, whom his Lord hath made ruler ouer his houshold; Quem Dominus constituit super familiā? All Ministers of Christ haue their due honour, some are worthy of double honour. Farre be it from vs sinners, to grudge them that honour, whereof God himselfe hath pronounced them worthy. This first. Againe,

Paul and Barnabas.Obseruat.Paul was a man of ardent zeale, Barnabas is interpreted the son of cōsolation. Paul would haue Barnabas along with him; that the lenitie of the one might somewhat mittigate [Page 36] and qualifie the feruour of the other. Thus Moses was with Elias, whē they both met with Christ transfigured on the Mount. Elias was a fiery spi­rited Prophet, inflamed with holy zeale: Moses a Prophet of a meeke and mild spirit: these two together are fit seruants to wait vpon the Son of God. I doe not say, that either Paul wanted compassion, or Barnabas feruency: but this I say, that both these tempers are a happy compositi­on in a Visiter: and make his Brest like the sacred Arke, Hebr. 9.4. wherein lay both Aarons Rod, and the Gol­den pot of Manna: the Rod of correction, the Man­na of consolation: the one a corrosiue, the other a cordiall. Spirituall Fathers should be like natu­rall mothers, that haue both vbera, and verbera: or like Bees, hauing much honey, but not with­out a sting. Onely, let the sting bee the least in their desire or intention, and the last in executi­on: like God himselfe, Qui habet in Potestate vindictam, sed mauult in vsu misericordiam.

There haue been some, who did put lime and galle into the milke; yea ministred pro lacte ven [...] ­num: Bone [...]s and Gardiners, that gaue too sharpe physicke for the disposition of their patients. That (as the Antiochians said of Iulian, Socrat. lib. 7. cap. 22. taking occasion by the Bull which hee stamped on his coyne) haue goared the world to death. That, as if they had Sauls Commission to vexe the Church of Christ, haue concluded their Visitations in blood. But mercy, no lesse then holinesse, be­comes the brestplate of Aaron. I deny not the necessitie of Iurisdiction, both correctiue & co­actiue: [Page 37] the one restraining where is too much forwardnesse, the other inforcing where is slack­nesse. There is a Rod, 1 Cor. 4.21. and there is a Sword. Veniam ad vos in virga? Galat. 5.12. that's the Rod. Vtinam abs [...]in­dantur qui perturbant vos; that's the Sword. If we obserue Gods proceeding in the Church, we shall finde how hee hath fitted men to the times and occasions. In the low and afflicted estate of Israel, they had Moses; a man of meeke spirit, and mighty in wonders. Meeke, because hee had to doe with a teatchy and froward people: mighty in wonders, because he had to doe with a Pha­raoh. When they were setled in a quiet consi­stence, they had a graue & holy Samuel. In their corrupted declination, they had a hote-spirited Eliah; who came in a tempest, as he went out in a whirlewind. These times of ours be of a sinfull and depraued condition; therefore haue need to be visited with spirits more stirring then those of the common mould.Aug. Imo, veni Paule cum virga; come Paul with thy Rod. Rather let vs smart with correction, then run on to confusion.

The Visited.

Their Brethren. Such was that great Apostles humilitie, that he calls all beleeuers Brethren: to shew that he had but the priuiledge of a Brother; and did no otherwise then all the rest, beare the armes of the Elder. Yea, why should not an A­postle accept of that title, when the eternall Son of God is not ashamed to call vs brethren? Hebr. 2.11. The weakest Christian is a Brother to the holyest Saint, therefore not to be contemned. It is most [Page 38] vnnaturall for a man to despise his brother, the sonne of his owne father. It is a brand set vpon that tongue, which must burne with quenchlesse flames;Psal. [...]0.20. That it spake against his brother, and slan­dered his owne mothers sonne. Bishops are in the chiefest respect Brethren to the Ministers, in a meaner regard they are Fathers. They are our Fathers, but in that respect whereby they gouerne vs: but in that respect which doth saue vs, they are our Brethren. Fratres in salute, Pa­tres in ordine ad salutem. Euen Princes should not scorne the Brotherhood of their subiects: for howsoeuer on earth there is a necessitie of these ceremoniall differences; yet in the graue for our bodies, in heauen for our soules, there is no such distinction. If there be any disparitie after this life, it shall be Secundum opera, not secundum offi­cia: proportioned to the works they haue done, not to the honours they haue borne. Saint Paul calls Timothie, in one place his Sonne, in another place his Brother.

Bishops are brethren to Ministers in a three-fold relation. 1. By nature, so are all men. 2. By grace, so are all Christians. 3. By office, so are all Pastors. He that Mat. 24.45. was called Rector su­per familiam, Ruler ouer the houshold: the same is also termed, ver. 49. [...], a fellow seruant with the rest of the meany. All seruants vnder one Lord, though some superior in office to the rest. As in the ciuill State, within that honourable ranke, both Earles and Lords are called Barons, yet their dignities are not equall: euery Earle [Page 39] being a Baron, but not euery Baron an Earle. So in the State Ecclesiasticall, in respect of the ge­nerall seruice of Christ, the dispensation of his Word and Mysteries, Bishops and Priests are all Brethren, and fellow-Presbyters: yet though the Stiles be communicable, the termes are not con­vertible: for euery Bishop is a Priest, but euery Priest is not a Bishop. As this therefore no way diminisheth their authoritie,Ad. Tr [...]. for Episcopus est sa­cerdotum Princeps, saith Ignatius: so it commen­deth their humilitie, to call vs Brethren. If wee offend, Paterna agant, let them correct vs as their children: while wee doe well, Fraterna teneant, let them encourage vs as their Brethren. God is not tyed to meanes: for illumination of the mind, hee often lights a great Lampe of the San­ctuary at a little wax Taper, as he did Paul by A­nanias. And for mouing of affections, often with a puffe of winde hee stirres vp the waues of the great Ocean. Deus non est parvus in paru [...]; not straitned according to the smalnesse of the Or­gan. On the one side loue and grauitie, on the o­ther side obedience and sinceritie, on all sides holinesse and humilitie, becomes the Ministers of Iesus Christ.

The Exercise, or due practise of this office.

Let vs goe againe. Let vs goe, that is, goe per­sonally. Let vs goe againe, that is, goe frequently.

1. Let vs goe; not send our Deputie, but go our selues. He that sends, sees by anothers eyes, and takes the state of things vpon trust. If wee goe, wee see by our owne, and our owne eyes [Page 40] be our best informers. How is he Episcopus, that neuer ouerlooks. So Saint Ierome in his Epistle to Nepotian, nitatur esse quod dicitur. Hee is an ill Shepheard, that does not know Vultum pecoris. Know the state of thy flockes, Prou. 27.23. and the face of thy herds. Desire to see them, quomodo Moses voluit videre Deum, [...], face to face. In the Prouerb, Domini oculus pascit equū, & vestigia eius pingue­faciunt agrum. The Masters eye feeds the horse; the presence of the Bishop, like the Northwind, dispels infection. It was Pauls continuall feare; some preuarication in his absence.2 Cor. 12.20. I feare I shall not find you such as I would, and that I shall be found to you such as you would not. Saint Peters Shadow wrought miracles, but now the Bishops shadow will work no miracles. This is one speciall thing to be visited and examined, the residence of Pa­stors in their Charges. It is an vnhappy thing for a man to be a stranger at home.Ep. 4. ad Episc. Damasus com­pares such to wanton women; which no sooner beare children, but presently put them forth to nurse, that with lesse trouble they may returne to their old pleasure [...] Peraldus, Lorin. in lo [...]. a Popish writer, is so bitter against those that feed their flocks by Deputies, that hee sayes, It is as if a man should marry a wife, and suffer another to get children by her. [...]ludque Clictovaei, magis salsum quam fal­sum; Vicariam quidem salutem, personalem verò perniciem, talisbusmanere.

I know, there is a Residence Persona [...]l, and Pa­storall: and hee that is a stranger to the Pulpit, though he straggle not out of the bounds of his [Page 41] Parish, is the greatest Non-resident. And I grant, that in some cases a dispensation is requisite; Ce­dat minus maiori; yet it is no hurt to pray, God perswade them all to dwell in their owne Tents. But it is not well, for a Preacher to bee like a doore, when it is once oyled, then to leaue creaking. It was a Friers conceit vpon Gen. 6. when the Cler­gie,Gen. 6.2.4. those sonnes of God, began to doat vpon the daughters of men, to be enamoured on temporall preferments; then by such mariages, monsters were begot in the Church, and the Sanctuary of God was filled with Gyants, far from the shape of Christians. It is pitie, but the Bishop should forbid the Bannes; and if any such Marriage be, it is more then time to make it a nullitie; by di­uorcing them from Idlenesse, couetousnesse, and ambition.Luke 12.42. The faithfull Steward is hee that giues the houshold their portion of meate in due season. 1. Hee must giue them all meat, young and olde, rich and poore, weake and strong. 2. In due sea­son, that is, when their appetites call for it; nay, hee must not alwayes stay till they desire it. 3. Proprijs manibus, he must do it with his owne hands: hee is but a deputie, and therefore is not euermore allowed a deputy. Let vs go our selues.

2. Let vs goe againe. The building of the Church goes slowly forward: though there bee many labourers, there be more hinderers: God neuer had so many friends, as enemies. If the O­uerseers looke not well to the businesse, too ma­ny will make Church-worke of it; for such loy­tering is now fallen into a Prouerbe. Men are [Page 42] fickle, as were the Galatians, and Churches of Asia: if they be not often visited, they will soone be corrupted. Luther said in Wittenberge, that a few fanaticall fellowes had pulled downe more in a short space, then all they could build vp a­gaine in twentie yeares. The deuill is alwayes busie; and it is no small labour to earth that Fox. The plant which we would haue thriue, must be often watered. The Apostles did visite to con­firme, and comfort, because that was a time of persecution. Our mischiefe is intestine; Pax a pa­ganis, pax ab haereticis, nulla pax a falsis filijs. Let but Moses turne his back, and ascend the mount, to bee Israels Lieger with God, the people pre­sently speake of making a Calfe. Hee went but on their Ambassage to their Maker: yet as if they had seene him take his heeles, and run into the wildernesse; he is no sooner vanished out of their sight, then out of their mind, and they fall to Idolatry. Our Churches are not like Irish timber: if they bee not continually swept, there will bee spiders and cobwebs. If the seruants sleepe,Math. 13.25. the Masters field is not priuiledged from Tares. Therefore to preuent dangers, and to heale diseases, frequent visitation is necessary for the Church of Christ.

The Moderation, or seasonablenes of it.

After certaine dayes. Ex assiduitate vilitas; that which is too common, b [...]comes cheape, and lo­seth credit. Due respirations are requisite in the holiest actes. God is so fauourable to his crea­tures, that he requires them not to bee ouertoy­led [Page 43] in the workes of his owne seruice. When the Temple was a preparing,1 Kings 5.14. the thirtie thousand workmen wrought not continuedly, but with intermission. One moneth they were in Lebanon, and two at home: so their labour was more ge­nerous, & lesse burthensome. Euer, ten thousand did work, while twentie thousand breathed. The mind that is ouerlaid with businesse, growes dull and heauy: ouer lauish expence of spirits leaues it heart-lesse. The best horse will tire soonest, if the reines lye loose on his necke. Perfection comes by leasure, and no excellent thing is done at once. The Gourd, which came vp in a night, withered in a day: but the plants that liue long, rise slowly. It is the rising and setting of many Sunnes, that ripens the businesse both of nature and arte. Who would not rather chuse many competent meales, then buy the gluttony of one day, with the fast of a whole weeke? Therefore the reuerend Fathers of the Church obserue their due times of Visiting; and particular Pa­stors haue their set dayes of feeding. Hee is an ill Fisher, that neuer mends his net; a bad Mower that neuer whets his Sythe.

There bee some so mad of hearing, that as if their Preacher had ribbs of yron, and a spirit of Angelicall nature, they will not suffer him to breath. But are as impatient of such a pause, as Saul was of Dauids sicknes;1 Sam. 19.15. Bring him to me in the bed, that I may slay him. Such, & no more is their pitie to their Minister: Bring him though he lye sicke in his bed; spare him not, though his heate [Page 44] and heart be spent. And if wee satisfie not their vnseasonable, vnreasonable desires, they ex­claime and breake out into bitter inuectiues a­gainst vs: not vnlike the Chinois, that whip their gods, when they doe not answere them. Such misgouern'd feeders should bee stinted to their measure, as the Israelites were to an Omer. God will neuer thanke vs for killing our selues, to hu­mour our hearers.

The Extent, or latitude of it.

In euery Citie. First, such was their fauour and indulgence, they went to euery city, not summo­ned euery citie to appeare before them. Our graue Diocesans doe follow the blessed Apo­stles in this step: they visite vs in our seuerall Deanries and Diuisions, without compelling the remote dwellers to trauell vnto their Consisto­ries.

Againe, In euery Citie: such was their impar­tiall Iustice, and most equall loue to all: the grea­test were not exempted from their Iurisdiction, nor the least neglected of their compassion. The holiest Congregations may bee blemished with some malefactors. Rome, and Corinth, and Ephe­sus, though they were all famous cities, had no lesse need of Apostles for their Visitants, then they had for their Founders. Three traytors kin­dle a fire, two hundred and fifty Captains bring sticks to it,Numb. 16. and all Israel is ready to warme them­selues at it. It was happy for Israel when they had but one Achan, Iosh. 7. and yet that one Achan was e­nough to make them vnhappy. The innocence [Page 45] of so many thousands was not so forcible to ex­cuse his one sinne, as his one sinne was to taynt all the people. One euill man may kindle that fire, which the whole world cannot quench. Shall Ieroboam be an Idolater alone? No, he can no sooner set vp his Calues, but his subiects, like beast, are presently downe on their knees.

Where stands that Eutopia, that citie, which is in so good case, that it need not bee visited? Sin doth multiply so fast, that the poore Preacher cannot out-preach it: yea, it is well if the Bishop himselfe with all his authoritie can suppresse it. Wee cannot say alwayes whence these euills come, but we are sure they are. You haue perad­uenture heard or seene a Motion, a Puppet-play; how the little Idoles leape, and mooue, and run strangely vp and downe. Wee know it is not of themselues; but there is a fellow, behind, which we see not, it is he that doth the feat. We see in our Parishes strange motions; a drunken compa­nion bearding his Minister, a contentious Incen­diary vexing him with actions and slanders: an obstinate Papist carries away his Recusancie, scornes the Preacher, seduceth the people: this is a strange kinde of Puppet play: but God knowes who it is behind the curtaine, that giues them their motion: onely we are sure, they can­not thus moue themselues. There are many mee­tings, and much adoe, as if sinne should be punished: a Iury is impannell'd, a sore charge is gi­uen: the drunkard shall bee made an example, Good-ale shall be talk'd with, whoredome shall [Page 46] be whipt, and all shall be well: we looke for pre­sent reformation. But it commonly proues like the Iugglers feast in Suidas; a Table furnished with all manner of dainties in shew, wherof when they came to taste, they found nothing but aire. But I passe from the Extent, to

The Limitation, or restraint of it.

Where wee haue preached the Word of the Lord. Not euery citie, but euery citie and place that hath receiued the word of Instruction. No visi­ting a Garden, but where some seeds haue beene planted: that which is all weeds, is left to an higher visitation;1 Cor. 3.13. God shall iudge them that are without. One would think that the word of God were so preuailing, that it should beat downe e­normities faster then Satan can raise them. But wee finde by miserable experience, that euen in those cities where the Gospell hath abounded, sinne hath superabounded; and that this glorious Sun hath not dispelled and ouercome all those fogges and mists that haue surg'd from hell. But if the Sunne cause a stench, it is a signe there is some dunghill nigh: let it reflect vpon a bed of Roses, there is all sweetnesse.

Shall wee lay the blame vpon the Preachers? that were vniust in our owne consciences. What Citie in the world is so rich in her spirituall pro­uision, as this? Some whole countreyes within the Christian pale, haue not so many learned and painefull Pastors, as bee within these walles and liberties. It lookes light the firmament in a cleare night, bespangled with refulgent starres, [Page 47] of different magnitude, but all yeelding com­fortable light, to guide our feet in the way of peace. The Church in Constantinople, wherein Nazian­zen preached, was called [...] the Resurrection Church; in respect of the great concourse and as­sembly of people. Most Churches in this Citie may well beare that name. Where is the fault then? I could happily tel you of some causes: the great profanation of Gods Sabbath, the perfun­ctory hearing of his sacred word, the cages of vncleane birds, Brothels and drinking Schooles, the negligence of the secular Magistrate, the ex­emplary corruption of Rulers, the sinfull indul­gence of parents and matters in their families, when the mouths of their children and seruants bee filled with vncorrected oathes and blasphe­mies. O that wee might see an end of these things, before wee see an end of all things. The last poynt is,

The Intent, or end of all

To see how they doe. First, to see how the Pa­stors doe, whom they had set ouer particular Congregations. The Apostles had been carefull in their first election; and good reason; Lay hands suddenly vpon no man, saith Saint Paul. There is a Story in the Legend, how a Bishop deuoted to the seruice of our Lady, in the agony of death, prayed her to bee his Mediator, as hee had been her Chaplaine. To whom she answered, that for his other sinnes she had obtained pardon, but his rash imposition of hands, was a case which her Sonne would reserue to hims [...]lfe. But some that [Page 48] were fit in the choise, may prooue vnworthy in the progresse; therefore must be visited, to see how they doe. For if the Physician be sicke, what shall become of his patients? Certainly, a Ministers life is full of honour heere and hereafter too, so it is full of danger heere and heereafter too. O what an honour is it to labour in Gods har­uest, to bee an Ambassador from Christ, to re­mit and retaine sinnes, to dresse and leade the Bride, to sit on thrones, and iudge the nations? Againe, what a danger is it to answere for soules lost by our silence, to bee guilty of blood, by ei­ther teaching, or liuing amisse? For howsoeuer the doctrine it selfe bee the Light, yet the Prea­chers life is the Lanthorne that carries it, and keepes it from blowing out: and it is an easier defect to want Latine or learning, then to want honestie and discretion. God hath giuen vs the Keyes; but if they rust vpon our hands, whether through foule carriage, or want of vse, they will but serue to lock our selues out of doores. Ther­fore we must submit to a Visitation.

How they doe. What must it be examined, what store of soules they haue conuerted? No, it is the measure, not the successe, that God looks to. Saint Paul himselfe doth not say, Plus profui om­nibus, I did more good then the rest:1 Cor. 1 [...].10. but Plus la­borani omnibus, I tooke more paines then the rest. [...] laboured more abundantly then they all. Our re­ward shal be according to our works, not according to the fruit of our workes. And our labour, how euer fruitlesse among men,Verse. [...]8. shall not bee in vaine in [Page 49] the Lord. It was the complaint of a great Pro­phet, I haue laboured in vaine, Esai. 49.4. & spent my strength for nought, yet my reward is with the Lord. Though we cannot saue you, yet our desire and endeuour to do it, shall saue our selues. We giue God what we haue, he askes vs no more: this is enough to honour him, and reward vs.

How they doe. What, how they thriue in their temporals, what riches or preferments be giuen them? no, as this is none of our ambition, so it is none of our lucke or portion. Men sucke our milke, like Mules, and then kicke vs with their heeles. Cominaeus sayes, he that would be a Fauo­rite, must not haue a hard name, that so he might bee easily remembred, when promotions are a dealing. It seemes that Preachers haue hard names, for none remember them in the poynt of benefit. The world regards them, as poore folks doe their children; they would bee loth to haue any more of them, because they are troubled to maintaine them they haue. In Ier [...]boams time the lowest of the people were made Priests, & now Priests are made the lowest of the people. A lay­man, like a Mathematicall line, runs on ad infini­tum: onely the Preacher is bound to his compe­tencie, yea, and defrauded of that. But let all preferments goe, so long as wee can find prefer­ment in your consciences, and bee the instru­ments of your saluation, we are content.

How they doe. Not onely the Pastors, but euen all the Brethren; their errors must also be looked into. S. Paul mentions the house of Cloê, 1 Cor. 1. [Page 50] It hath been declared to me,1 Cor. them which are of the house of Cloê, that there are contentions and faults among you; from thence hee had information of their disorders. Answerable to which, we haue Church-wardens, they are the house of Cloê, bound by oath to present misdemeanors, that sins may haue their iust censure. Let them on the one side, take heed of splene, that they do nothing maliciously. So their accusation may be iust, and their affection vniust: & in doing that they shall sin, which they had sinned in not doing. Ill [...] d [...]t poenam, tu amisisti laudem. On the other side: of conniuence and partialitie; for there is an Omnia benè that swallowes all vanities. Drunkennes, vn­cleannes, swearing, profanation of the Sabbath, goe abroad all the yeare; and when the Visitati­on comes, they are lock'd vp with an Omnia bene. This is not that Charitie that couereth sinne, but a miserable indulgence that cherisheth sinne.

In the Creation there was an Omnia bene; God reviewed all his workes, and they were exceeding good. In our Redemption there was an Omnia be­ne; He hath done all things well, hee hath made the Blinde to see, and the Lame to goe; a iust confes­sion & applause. Here was an Omnia bene indeed, but there neuer was an Omnia bene since.

Let there bee therefore a Visitation with the Rod, lest God come to visite with f [...]re. God hath a fourefold Visitation. 1. A Visitation of Grace and Mercie:Luke 1.68. Visitauit & redemit, He hath visited and redeemed his people. He came not onely to see vs, but to saue vs: not only to liue among vs, but [Page 51] to die for vs. So Paul applies that of the Psalme, What is [...]an that thou art mindfull of him, Hebr. 2.6. and the Son of man that thou visitest him? The time wher­in Ierusalem heard the oracles, and saw the mira­cles of our blessed Sauiour, is called The day of her visitation. 2. A visitation of pit [...]e and com­passion so when God relleued S [...]ra's barrennes,Gene. 21.1. he is said to visite her. Thus he did visit Iob in his sicknesse, Thy visitation hath preserued my Spirit. This dutie hee commends to vs for true religion indeed.Iam. 1.27. Pure religion and vndefiled before God, is to visite the fatherlesse & widowes in their affliction. To these works hee promiseth the kingdome of heauen;Math. 25.43. You haue visited me when I was sicke, or in prison; Therefore come ye blessed. 3. A visitation of seuerity and co [...]rection;Iob 7.18. so Iob cals his tryall a vis [...]tation: and we call the Pestilence, Gods visi­tation. This he threatned euen to the offenders of the house of Dauid, Psal. 89.32. I will visite their transgression with the rod, and their iniquitie with stripes. This visitation is not without mercy; yea; it is an argu­ment of mercy; for when God refuseth to visit, that is the sorest visitation of all. Therefore wee pray,Psal. 80.14. Looke downe from heauen, O Lord behold, and visit thy Vi [...]. 4. Lastly, a visitation of wrath and fury;Iere. [...].29. Shall I not visite for these things, saith the Lord? Shall not my soule bee auenged [...]n su [...]h a Na­tion as this? So he visited Egypt, when hee slew their first borne; the old world, when he drow­ned it, Sodome, when he burned it; I will go downe and see. Thus shall he one day visite the wicked, with fire and brimstone, and a horrible tempest: [Page 52] this shall bee the portion of their cup.

Gods visitation cannot be eluded or auoyded; there will be no appealing to a higher Court, no reuoking by Prohibitions, no hiding from the censure, no corrupting the Iudge, no answering the matter by Proxie, no commuting the penal­tie; no preuenting, but either by liuing innocent, or dying penitent.

Therefore let vs all visite our selues, that wee may saue God the labour. This is a dutie to which wee are all naturally backward: like Ele­phants, that chuse troubled waters, and refuse to drinke in cleare springs, for feare of seeing their owne deformities. Or vnthrifts, that are run so farre in arrerages, they are loth to heare of a rec­koning. Or, it may bee, we haue chiding consci­ences; and then, like those that are troubled with curst and scolding wiues at home, loue to be ram­bling abroad. But it is better to haue our wounds searched while they are greene, then to haue our limbes cut off for being festered. Descend wee then, into the depth and corners of our owne hearts; let vs begin our visitation there; mortify­ing all our rebellious lusts, and subduing our affe­ctions to the will of our Maker. So onely shall wee passe cleare and vncondemned by the great Bishop of our Soules, Iesus Christ.

I haue done; Deo gloria, vobis gratia, mihi venia. Amen.


THE HOLY CHOICE. A SERMON PREACHED in the Chappell by GVILDHALL, at the Solemnitie of the Election of the Right Honourable the Lord Maior of London.


LONDON, Printed by Aug. Matthewes, and Iohn Norton. 1625.


ACTES. 1.24.

And they prayed; and said, Thou Lord, which know­est the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen.

THe businesse of the day is an Election; an election into one of the most No­ble Offices of the Kingdome; the go­uernment of this Honourable Citie, which (let not enuie heare it) hath no parallel vnder the Sunne. The businesse of my Text is an Election too; an election into the highest office in the Church, to be an Apostle and Witnesse of Iesus Christ. If you please to spare the paterne in foure circumstances; as, 1. This office is spiritual, yours temporall. 2. This place was voyd by A­postasie or decession, yours is supplied by succes­sion. 3. This election is by Lots, yours is by Suf­frages. 4. This choice was but one of two, it may be your number exceeds: the rest will sute well enough, and the same God that was in the one, be also present in the other, by the assistance of his holy spirit.

The argument of the Text is a prayer to God for his direction in their choice: yea indeed, that hee would chuse a man for them: including a strong reason of such a request, because he doth know the hearts of all men.

They begin with prayer; this was the vsuall ma­ner in the Church of God. So Moses prayed for the choice of his Successor.Num. 27.16. Let the Lord, the God of the spirits of all flesh set a man ouer the Congrega­tion. Christ sent not his Apostles to that holy work,Iohn 17.27. without a prayer▪ Sanctifie them through thy truth. Actes 6.6. In the chusing of those seuen Deacons, they first prayed, and then laid their hands vpon them. Thus were Kings Inaugurated, with Sacri­fice and Prayer. It is not fit, he that is chosen for God, should bee chosen without God. But for this, Samuel himselfe may be mistaken, and chuse seuen wrong, before hee hit vpon the right. In this; I cannot but commend your religious care; that businesses of so great a consequence be al­wayes sanctified with a blessing. Those which in a due proportion, must represent God to the world, ought to be consecrated to that Maiestie which they resemble, by publike deuotions. E­uery important action requires Prayer, much more that which concernes a whole citie. When Samuel came to Bethlehem to annoynt Dauid, he calls the whole Citie to the Sacrifice. Indeed the Family of Iesse was sanctified in a more spe­ciall manner: this businesse was most theirs, and all Israels in them. The feare of God should take full possession of all our hearts, that are this day [Page 57] assembled: but those with whom God hath more to doe then with the rest, should bee more holy then the rest.

The choice of your Wardens and Masters in your seuerall Companies hath a solemne forme; and it is the honour of your greatest Feasts, that the first dish is a Sermon. Charitie forbid, that any should think, you admit such a Custome, ra­ther for conuenience then deuotion▪ as if Prea­ching were but a necessary complement to a So­lemnitie, as Wine and Musicke. I am perswaded better things of you: but if there should be any such peruerse spirits, that like the Gouernor of a people called Aequi, when the Romans came to him, Iussit c [...]s ad quercum dicere, bade them speak to the Oake, for he had other businesse: but they replied, Et h [...]c sacrataquercus andiat f [...]dus a v [...]bis violatum; let this Oake beare witnesse, that you haue broke the league which you haue couenan­ted. So when we come to preach to your soules, if you should secretly bid vs speake to the walls; loe euen the very walls will be witnesses against you at the last day. Though Saul be King ouer Samuel, yet Samuel must teach Saul how to bee King. Wee may instruct; though wee may not rule; yea, wee must instruct them that shall rule. Therefore as wee obey your call in comming to speake, so doe you obey Gods command in vouchsafing to heare. Let vs apply our selues to him with deuotion, and then hee will bee graci­ously present at our Election.

[Page 58]This Prayer respects two

  • things, Quem, the person whom they intreat.
  • things, Quid, the matter for which they intreat

The Person is described by

  • His Omnipotence; Lord.
  • His Omniscience, That knowest the hearts of men.

Omnipotence; Lord. Wee acknowledge thy right, thou art fit to bee thine owne chuser. Lord, there bee many on earth called Lords; but those are Lords of earth, and those Lords are earth, & those Lords must returne to earth. This Lord is Almightie; raising out of the dust to the hon [...]ur of Princes, and laying the honour of Prin­ces in the dust. Lord, of what? nay, not qualifi­ed; not Lord of such a Countie, Barony, Seigni­orie; nor Lord by vertue of Office and Deputa­tion: but in abstracto, most absolute: His Lord­ship is vniuersall: Lord of heauen, the owner of those glorious mansions: Lord of earth, disposer of all Kingdomes and Principalities: Lord of hell, to locke vp the old Dragon and his crew in the bottomlesse pit: Lord of Death, to vnlocke the graues: hee keepes the Key, that shall let all bodies out of their earthy prisons. A potent Lord; whither shall we goe to get out of his Do­minion? To heauen?Psal. 139.7. &c there wee cannot misse him: To hell? there wee cannot bee without him: In ayre, earth, or sea; in light or darknesse, wee are sure to finde him. Whither then, except to Purgatory? That Terra incognita is not men­tioned in his Lordship: the Pope may keepe the [Page 59] key of that himselfe. But for the rest, hee is too sawcie; exalting his vniuersal Lordship, and hed­ging in the whole Christian world for his Dio­cesse. Stretching his arme to heauen, in rubric­king what Saints he lift: to hell, in freeing what prisoners hee lift: on earth, in setting vp, or pul­ling downe what Kings hee list: but that some haue cut short his busie fingers.

To the Lord of all they commend the choyce of his owne seruants. Euery mortall Lord hath this power in his owne Family: how much more that Lord, which makes Lords? who is so fit to chuse, as he that can chuse the fit? Who so fit to chuse, as hee that can make those fit whom he doth chuse? It is He alone that can giue po­wer and grace to the elected, therefore not to be left out in the election. How can the Apostle preach, or the Magistrate gouerne, without him; when none of vs all can mooue but in him? It is happy, when wee doe remit all doubts to his decision, and resigne our selues to his dispositi­on. Wee must not be our owne Caruers, but let Gods choyce be ours. When we know his plea­sure, let vs shew our obedience. And for you, vpon whom this Election falls, remember how you are bound to honour that Lord of heauen, that hath ordained such honour for you vpon earth: that so in all things wee may glorifie his blessed Name.

Omniscience: it is Gods peculiar, to bee the searcher of the heart. The heart of man is deceit­full aboue all things, and desperately wicked; who [Page 60] can know it? Iere. 17.9.10. Who? Eg [...] Domi [...]s, I the Lord search the heart. Hee hath made no window in­to it, for man or Angel, to looke in: onely it hath a doore, and he keepes the key himselfe.

But why the Heart? Here was an Apostle to bee chosen: now wisdome, learning, eloquence, memorie, might seeme to bee more necessary qualities, then the Heart. No, they are all no­thing to an honest Heart. I denie not, but Lear­ning to diuide the Word, Elocution to pro­nounce it, Wisdome to discerne the truth, Bold­nesse to deliuer it, bee all parts requireable in a Preacher. But as if all these were scarse worth mention in respect of the Heart; they say not, Thou that knowest which of them hath the sub­tiler wit, or abler memory; but which hath the truer heart: not which is the greater Scholer, but which is the better man; Thou that knowest the Heart.

Samuel being sent to annoynt a sonne of Iesse, when Eliab, the eldest came foorth, a man of a goodly presence, fit for his person to succeed Saul; he thinkes with himselfe, This choyce is soone made, sure this is the head vpon which I must spend my holy Oyle. The priuiledge of Nature and of Stature, his primogeniture and proportion giues it him; This is hee. But euen the holyest Prophet, when hee speakes without God, runnes into errour. Signes and apparances are the guides of our eyes; and these are seldome without a true falshood, or an vncertaine truth. Saul had a goodly person, but a bad heart: hee [Page 61] was higher then all, many were better then hee. It is not hard for the best Iudgement to erre in the shape. Philox [...]menes, a magnanimous and valiant Souldier, being inuited to Magyas his house to dinner, came in due season, but found not his Host at home. A seruant seeing one so plaine in clothes, and somewhat defor­med in bodie, thought him some sorry fellow, and set him to cleaue wood. Whereat Magyas (being returned) wondering, he receiued from him this answere; Expendo poenas deformitatis meae; I pay for my vnhandsomnesse. All is not valour, that lookes bigge, and goes braue. Hee that iudgeth by the inside, checked Samuel for his misconceit;1 Sam. 16.7. Looke not on his Countenance or Stature, for I haue refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth. Dauids countenance was inge­nuous and beautifull, but had it promised so much as Eliabs or Abinadabs, hee had not been left in the field, while his Brethren sate at the table. Iesse could find nothing in Dauid worthy the competition of honour with his brethren: God could finde something to preferre him be­fore them all. His father thought him fit to keepe sheepe, thought his Brethren fit to rule men. God thinkes him fit to rule, and his Bre­thren to serue; and by his owne immediate choyce destines him to the Throne. Here was all the difference; Samuel and Iesse went by the outside, God by the inside: they saw the com­position of the body, hee the disposition of the mind. Israel desires a King of God, and that [Page 62] King was chosen by the Head: God will chuse a King for Israel, and that King is chosen by the Heart. If in our choyce for God, or for our selues, wee altogether follow the eye, and suffer our thoughts to be guided by outward respects, we shall be deceiued.

1 Why doe they not say, Thou that knowest the estates of men, who is rich, and fit to support a high place; and who so poore that the place must support him? I heare some call Wealth, Substance; but certainly at b [...]st, it is but a meere circumstance. It is like the Planet Mercury; if it bee ioyned with a good Heart, it is vsefull; if with a bad and corrupt one, dangerous. But howsoeuer at the Beame of the Sanctuary, mo­ney makes not the man, yet it often addes some mettall to the man; makes his Iustice the bol­der, and in lesse hazard of being vitiated. But pauperis sapientia plus valet quam diuitis abun­dantia. If the poore man haue Wisdome to deli­uer the Citie, Iccles. 9.1 [...]. hee is worthy to gouerne the Citie. I yeeld, that something is due to the State of Authoritie; Ad populum Phaleras: So Agrippa came to the Tribunall with great pompe and at­tendance. This is requisite to keepe awe in the people, that the Magistracie bee not exposed to contempt. B [...]t Magistratus, non vestitus, in­dicat virum: Wise gouernment, not rich gar­ment, shewes an able man. It was not riches, that they regarded.

2 Why doe they not say, Thou that knowest the Birth or Blood of men? I know, it is a reuerend [Page 63] thing to see an ancient Castle or Palace not in decay; or a faire Tree, sound and perfect tim­ber. But as foule Birds build their nests in an olde forsaken house, and doated trees are good for nothing but the fire; so the decay of Vertue is the ruine of Nobilitie. To speake morally, Actiue worth is better then Passiue; this last we haue from our Ancestors, the first from our selues. Let mee rather see one vertue in a man aliue, then all the rest in his pedigree dead. Na­ture is regular in the bruite Creatures; Eagles doe not produce crauens; and it was a monstrous fable, that Ni [...]ippus his Ewe should yeane a Ly­on. But in man shee failes, and may bring forth the like proportion, not the like disposition. Children doe often resemble their Parents in face and features, not in heart and qualities. It is the earthly part that followes the seed; wise­dome, valour, vertue, are of another begin­ning. Honour sits best vpon the backe of merit: I had rather bee good without Honour, then Honourable without goodnesse. Cottages haue yeelded this as well as Palaces. Agathocles was the sonne of a Potter, Bion of an infamous Cur­tisan. In holy Writ; Gideon was a poore Thra­sher, Dauid a Shepheard; yet both mightie men of valour, both chosen to rule, both speciall Sauiours of their Countrey. Farre bee it from vs to condemne all honour of the first head, when noble deseruings haue raised it; though before it could shewe nothing but a White Shield. Indeed, it is not the Birth, but the [Page 64] new Birth, that makes men truely Noble.

3 Why doe they not say, Thou that knowest the wisedome and policie of men? Certainly, this is requisite to a man of place; without which hee is a blinde P [...]lyphemus, a strong arme without an eye. But a man may bee wise for him­selfe, not for God, not for the publike good. An Ante is a wise creature for it selfe, but a shrewed thing in a Garden. Magistrates, that are great louers of themselues, are seldome true louers of their Countrey. All their actions bee motions, that haue recourse to one Center, that is, themselues. A cunning head without an ho­nest heart, is but like him that can packe the Cards, yet when hee hath done, cannot play the Game, or like a house with many conuenient Staires, Entries, and other passages, but neuer a faire roome; all the inwards bee sluttish and of­fensiue. It is not then, Thou that knowest the Wealth, or the Birth, or the Head, but the Heart; as if in an Election, that were the maine; it is all if the rest be admitted on the By.

Heere then wee haue three remarkeable ob­seruations, 1. What kind of Hearts God will not chuse, and we may guesse at them. 2. What Hearts hee will chuse, and himselfe describes them. 3. Why hee will chuse men especially by the Heart.

First what kind of Hearts hee will not chuse; and of these (among many) I will mention but three.

1. C [...]r di [...]isum, a distracted Heart; part wher­of [Page 65] is dedicated to the Lord, and part to the world. But hee that made all, will not bee contented with a piece. Aut Caesar, aut nihil. The seruice of two Masters, in the obedience of their contrary, commands, is incompetible, sensu com­posito. Indeed Zacheus did first serue the world, and not Christ; afterward Christ, and not the world; but neuer the world and Christ toge­ther. Many diuisions followed sinne. 1. It di­uided the heart from God;Esai. 59.2. Your sinnes haue se­perated betweene you and your God. 2. It diuided heart from heart. God by Marriage made one of two, sinne doth often by preuarication make two of one. It diuided the tongue from the heart. So Cain answered God, when hee que­stioned him about Abel, Am I my Brothers kee­per? As if hee would say, Goe looke. 4. It di­uided tongue from tongue, at the building of Babell; that when one called for Bricke, his fel­low brings him morter: and when hee spake of comming downe, the other falles a remoouing the ladder. 5. It diuided the heart from it selfe; They spake with a double heart. Psal. 12.2. The originall is, A heart and a heart: one for the Church, ano­ther for the Change: one for Sundayes, ano­ther for working dayes: one for the King, another for the Pope. A man without a heart, is a wonder: but a man with two hearts, is a mon­ster. It is said of Iudas, There were many hearts in one man: and wee read of the Saints, There was one heart in many men.Act [...] 4.32. Dabo illis cor vnum, a speciall blessing.

[Page 66]Now this diuision of heart is intolerable in a Magistrate; when hee plyes his owne cause vnder the pretence of anothers; and cares not who lose, so hee bee a gayner. Saint Ierome calles this C [...]r malè locatum; for many haue hearts, but not in their right places. C [...]r habet in ventre gulosus, l [...]sciuus in libidine, cupidus in lucris. Naturally, if the heart bee remooued from the proper seate, it instantly dyes. The eye vnnested from the head, cannot see: the foote sundered from the body, cannot goe: so spiritually, let the heart bee vncentred from Christ, it is dead. Thus the Coward is sayd to haue his heart at his heele, the timorous hath his heart at his mouth, the enuious hath his heart in his eyes, the Prodigall hath his heart in his hand, the foole hath his heart in his tongue, the couetous locks it vp in his chest. He that knowes the hearts of all men, will not chuse a diuided or misplaced heart.

2. C [...]r lapideum, a hard or stony heart. This is Ingratum ad beneficia, infidum ad co [...]silia, in­verecundum ad turpia, inhumanum ad bona, te­merarium ad omnia. A Rocke, which all the Floods of that infinite Sea of Gods mercies and Iudgements cannot soften. A Stitthy, that is still the harder for beating. It hath all the pro­perties of a stone: it is as cold as a stone, as hea­uie as a stone, as hard as a stone, as senselesse as a stone. No perswasions can heate it, no pro­hibitions can stay it, no instructions can teach it, no compassions can mollifie it. Were it of [Page 67] yron, it might bee wrought: were it of lead, it might bee molten, and cast into some better forme: were it of earth, it might bee tempe­red to another fashion: but being stone, nothing remaines but that it bee broken. What was Pharaohs greatest plague▪ was it the murraine of Beastes? was it the plague of Boyles? was it the destruction of the Fruits? was it the turning of their Riuers into Blood? was it the striking of their First borne with death? No, though all these plagues were grieuous, yet one was more grieuous then all; Cor durum, his hard heart. Hee that knowes all hearts, knowes how ill this would be in a Magistrate: a heart, which no cryes of Orphans, no teares of Widowes, no mourning of the oppressed, can melt into pitie. From such a Heart good Lord deliuer vs.

3. Cor cupidum, a couetous heart; the de­sires whereof are neuer filled. A handfull of corne put to the whole heape, encreaseth it; yea, adde water to the Sea, it hath so much the more: but hee that loueth Siluer, Eccles. [...].10. shall neuer bee satisfied with Siluer. One desire may bee filled, but ano­ther comes. Crescit amor nummi, quantùm ipsa pecu [...]ia creseit. Naturall desires are finite, as thirst is satisfied with drinke, and hunger with meate. But vnnatuall desires bee infinite; as it fares with the body in burning Feuers; Quò plus sunt potae, plus sitiuntur aquae: So it is in the couetous heart, Vt cùm possideat plurima, plu­ra petat. Grace can neuer fill the purse, nor wealth the heart.

[Page 68]This vice is in all men iniquitie, but in a Ma­gistrate Blasphemie: the roote of all euill in e­uery man, the rot of all goodnesse in a great Man. It leaues them, like those Idoles in the Psalme; neither eyes to see, nor eares to heare; but onely hands to handle, Such m [...]n will trans­gresse for handfulls of barley, and morsells of bread; and a very dramme of profite put in­to the Scole of Iustice, turnes i [...] to the wrong side. There is not among all the charmes of Hell, a more damnable spell to inchant a Magi­strate, then the loue of Money. This turnes Iudgement into Worm [...]wood, or at least into vine­ger: for if Iniustice doe not make it bitter as Wormewood, yet shifts and delayes will make it sowre as vineger. O how sor did and execra­ble should bribes bee to them, and stinke worse in their nostrils then Vespasians tribute of vrine! Let them not onely binde their owne hands, and the hands of their seruants, that may take; but euen binde the hands of them that would offer. Hee that vseth Integritie, doeth the former: but hee that constantly professeth Integritie, doth the latter. It is not enough to auoyde the fault, but euen the suspition: It is some discre­dit to the Iudge, when a Clyent with his bribe comes to bee denyed: for if his vsuall carriage had giuen him no hope of speeding, hee would not offer. A Seruant, that is a fauourite or in­ward, giues suspition of corruption, and is com­monly thought but a by-way; some post [...]rne or back-dore for a gift to come in, when the broad [Page 69] fore-gates are shut against it. This makes many aspire to Offices and great places, not to doe good, but to get goods; as some loue to bee stir­ring the fire, if it bee but to warme their owne fingers. Whatsoeuer affaires passe through their hands, they crooke them all to their owne endes; and care not what becomes of the pub­like good, so they may aduance their owne pri­uate: and would [...]et their neighbours house on fire, and it were but to rost their owne egges. Let them banish Couetousnesse, with as great a hatred as Amnon did Thamar; first thrust it out of their hearts, then shut and locke the dore after it: for the couetous heart is none of them that God chuseth.

Next let vs see what kinde of hearts of God will chuse; and they be furnished with these vertues fit for a Magistrate.

1. There is Cor sapiens, a wise heart; and this was Salomons suite;1 Kings 3.9. An vnderstanding heart. Hee saw, hee had power enough, but not wise­dome enough; and that Royaltie without wise­dome, was no better then an eminent disho­nour; a very Calfe made of golden Eare-rings. There is no Trade of life, but a peculiar wise­dome belongs to it; without which all is tedi­ous and vnprofitable: how much more to the highest and busiest vocation, the gouernment of men? An ignorant ruler is like a blind Pilot; who shall saue the vessell from ruine?

2. Cor patiens; a meeke heart: what is it to discerne the cause, and not to bee patient of the [Page 70] proceedings? The first Gouernour that God set ouer his Israel, was Moses; a man of the meekest spirit vpon earth. How is hee fit to gouerne o­thers, that hath not learn'd to gouerne himselfe? He that cannot rule a Boat on the riuer, is not to bee trusted with steering a Vessell on the Ocean. Nor yet must this patience degenerate into co­wardlinesse: Moses that was so meeke in his owne cause, in Gods cause was as resolute. So there is also

3. Cor magnanimum, a heart of fortitude and courage. The rulers and squares that regulate others, are not made of lead or soft wood, such as will bend or bow. The principall Columnes of a house, had need be heart of Oke. A timo­rous and flexible Magistrate is not fit for these corrupt times. If either threatnings can terri­fie him, or fauour melt him, or perswasions swerue him from Iustice, hee shall not want temptations. The Braine that must dispell the fumes, ascending from a corrupt liuer, stomach, or spleene, had need bee of a strong constitu­tion. The couragious spirit that resolues to doe the will of heauen, what malignant powers soe­uer would crosse it on earth, is the heart God chuseth.

4. Lastly, there is Cor. honestum, an honest heart. Without this, courage will prooue but legall Iniustice, policie but meere subtiltie, and abilitie but the Deuills Anuile to forge mis­chiefes. Priuate men haue many curbes; but men in authoritie, if they feare not God, haue [Page 71] nothing else to feare. If hee bee a simple Da­stard, hee feares all men: if a head-strong com­mander, he feares no man; like that vniust Iudge, that feared neither God nor Man. Luke 18.2. This is the ground of all fidelitie to King and Countrey, Religion. Such was Constantines Maxime; Hee cannot bee faithfull to mee, that is vnfaithfull to God. As this honourable place of the Kings Lieutenāt-ship hath a Sword-bearer, so the Ma­gistrate himselfe is the Lords Sword-bearer, Rom. 13.4. saith Saint Paul. And as hee may neuer drawe this Sword in his priuate quarrell, so hee must not let if bee sheathed when Gods cause calls for it. It is lenitie and conniuence that hath inuited con­tempt to great places. Did Iustice carrie a se­uerer hand, they durst not traduce their Rulers in Songs and Saty [...]s, the burden whereof will bee their owne shame. Magistrates are our ci­uill Fathers: and what deserue they but the curse of Cham, that lay open the nakednesse of their Fathers? When Alexander had conque­red Darius, and casually found his slaine bodie lying naked, hee threw his owne coat ouer him, saying, I will couer the destinie of a King. It is God alone that casteth contempt vpon Princes; which that hee may not doe, let them preserue Cor mundum, a cleane heart, not conscious of ill demerits.

Such a one sits on the Iudgement-Seat, as one that neuer forgets that hee must appeare before the Iudgement-Seate of Christ. So hee execu­teth Iustice, as neuer losing the sense of Mercy: [Page 72] so hee sheweth Mercie, as not offering violence to Iustice, Hee can at once, punish the offence, and pitie the offender, Hee remembers his oath, and feares to violate it: to an enemie hee is not cruell, to a friend hee will not bee partiall. And if euer hee haue but once cut the skirt of Iustice, as Dauid the lappe of Sauls garment, his Heart smites him for it. Hee minds no other clocke on the Bench, but that of his owne Conscience. Hee will not offend the Iust, nor affoord a good looke to varlets: nor yet doth hee so d [...]sregard their persons, as to wrong their causes. Hee will maintaine Pietie, but not neglect Equitie. In Court, hee lookes not before him on the per­son, nor about him on the beholders, nor behind him for bribes; nay, hee will not touch them in his Cloffer or Chamber, lest the timber and stones in the wall should-witnesse against him. So hee helpes the Church, that the Common-wealth bee no loser: so hee lookes to the Com­mon-wealth, that the Church may not bee wronged. The lewd feare him, the good praise him, the poore blesse him; hee hath been a Fa­ther to Orphans, a Husband to distressed Wi­dowes. Many prayers are layde vp for him in Heauen; and when hee dies, they with the as­sist [...]nce of Angels, shall beare him vp to bles­sednesse.

Lastly, let vs see why God will chuse men by the heart. I denie not, but wisedome and cou­rage, moderation and [...]atience, are all requisite concur [...]ences: but the Heart is the Primum [Page 73] Mobile, that sets all the wheeles a going, and im­prooues them to the right end. When God be­gins to make a man good, he begins at the heart: as Nature in forming, so God in reforming, be­gins there. As the eye is the first that begins to die, and the last that begins to liue: so the heart is the first that liues, and the last that dies. It is said of the Spider, that in the morning, before shee seekes out for her prey, shee mends her bro­ken webbe; and in doing that, she alwayes begins in the midst. Before wee pursue the profits and baits of this world, let vs first amend our life; and when wee vndertake this, let vs bee sure to begin at the heart. The Heart is the Fort or Ci­tadell in this little Ile of man; let vs fortifie that, or all will bee lost. And as naturally, the heart is first in being, so here the Will (which is meant by the Heart) is chiefe in commanding. The Centurions seruants did not more carefully o­bey him,Math 8.9. when hee sayd to one Goe, and he goeth, to another Come, and hee commeth, to a third, Doe this, and hee doth it: then all the members ob­serue the Heart; if it say to the eye, See, it seeth: to the eare, Heare, it hearkeneth: to the tongue, Speake, it speaketh: to the foot, Walke, it wal­keth: to the hand, Worke, it worketh. If the Heart lead the way to God, not a member of the body, no [...] a facultie os the soule, will stay be­hinde. As when the Sunne ariseth in the mor­ning, Birds rise from their nestes, Beastes from their dennes, and Men from their beds. They all say to the Heart, as the Israelites did to Io­shuah; [Page 74] All that thou commandest vs, Iosh. 1.16. wee will doe: and whither so [...]uer thou sendest vs, wee will goe: onely the Lord bee with thee. Therefore the peni­tent Publican smote his heart, Luk. 18.13. as if hee would call vp that, to call vp all the rest. It cannot command and goe without.

No part of man can sinne without the heart, the heart can sin without all the rest. The Wolfe goes to the flocke, purposing to deuoure a Lambe, and is preuented by the vigilancie of the Shepheard; yet Lupus exit, Lupus regreditur; hee went foorth a Wolfe, and comes home a Wolfe. The heart intends a sinne, which is ne­uer brought into action; yet it sinnes in that ve­ry intention. The hand cannot offend without the heart, the heart can offend without the hand. The heart is like a Mill: if the winde or water bee violent, the Mill will goe whether the Miller will or not; yet hee may chuse what kind of graine it shall grind, wheat or darnell. If the affections bee strong and passionate, the heart will bee working: yet the Christian by grace, may keepe out lustes, and supply it with good thoughts.

The Heart is Gods peculiar; the thing hee e­specially cares for: My sonne, giue mee thy heart: and good reason, for I gaue my owne Sonnes heart to death for it. Non minus tuum, quia me­um; It is not lesse thine, for being mine: yea, it cannot be thine comfortably, vnlesse it bee mine perfectly. God requires it principally, but not onely: giue him that, and all the rest will fol­low. [Page 75] He that giues me fire, needs not bee reque­sted for light and heat; for they are inseparable. Non corticis, Ambr. sed cordis Deus. God doth not re­gard the rinde of the lipps, but the root of the heart. It was the Oracles answere, to him that would bee instructed which was the best Sacri­fice; Da medium Lunae, Solem simul, & canis iram: which three characters make Cor, the Heart. Mans Affection is Gods Hall: mans Memorie, his Library: mans Intellect, his Priuie Chamber; but his Closset, Sacrary, or Chappell, is the Heart. So Saint Augustine glosseth the Pater no­ster; Qui es in coelis, which art in heauen, that is, in a heauenly Heart.

All outward workes an hypocrite may doe, onely hee failes in the Heart: and because hee failes there, he is lost euery where. Let the flesh looke neuer so faire, the good Cater will not buy it, if the liuer bee spak'd. Who will put that timber into the building of his house, which is rotten at the heart? Man iudgeth the heart by the workes, God iudgeth the workes by the heart: All other powers of man may be suspen­ded from doing their offices, but onely the Will, that is the Heart. Therefore God will excuse all necessary defects, but onely of the Heart. The blinde man cannot serue God with his eyes, hee is excused: the deafe cannot serue God with his eares, hee is excused: the dumbe cannot serue God with his tongue, hee is excused: the creeple cannot serue God with his feete, hee is excused. But no man is excused for not seruing [Page 76] God with his Heart. Deus non respicit quantum homo valet, sed quantum velit. Saint Chryso­stome seemed to bee angrie with the Apostle, for saying,Math. 19.27. Behold, w [...]e haue left all, and fol­lowed thee. What haue you left? an angle, a couple of broken ne [...]tes, and a weather beaten Fish-boat; a faire deale to speak of. But at last hee corrects himselfe, I crie you mercie, Saint Peter ▪ you haue forsaken all indeed: for he t [...]u­ly leaues all, that leaues Quod vel capit mundus, vel cupit: that takes his Heart from the world, and giues it to Christ.

All other faculties of man apprehend their obiects, when they are brought home to them, onely the Will, the Heart goes home to the ob­iect. Colour must come to the eye, before it can see it: sound to the eare, before it can heare it: the obiect to bee apprehended is brought home to the vnderstanding, and past things are recollected to the memory; before either can doe her office. But the heart goes home to the obiect. Vbi the saurus, ibi cor. Not where the heart is, there will be the treasure: but where the trea­sure is, there will be the heart.

Math. 5.8. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Of all, the pure heart is beholding to God, and shall one day behold God. Therefore Da­did prayes,Psal. 51.10. Cor mundum crea in me, Deus: Cre­ate in mee a cleane heart, O God. The Lord rested from the workes of his Creation the seuenth day; but so dearely hee loues cleane hearts, that hee restes from creating them no day. As [Page 77] Iehu said to [...]e [...]nadab, 2 King. 10.15 Est t [...]bi cor r [...]ctum, Is thy heart righ [...]? Then giue mee thy hand,come vp into my charriot. So this is Gods question, Is thy heart vpright? Then giue mee thy hand, as­cend my triumphant Charriot, the euerlasting glory of heauen.

To conclude; because there is such difference of hearts, and such need of a good one; they put it to Him that knowes them all, and knowes which is best of all. For howsoeuer Nature knowes no difference; nor is there any Quorum praecordia Titan De meliore luto finxit: yet in re­gard of grace, the sanctified heart is of purer metall then common ones. A little liuing stone in Gods building, is worth a whole Quarrey of the world. One honest heart is better then a thousand other▪ the richest Mine, and the cour­sest mould, haue not such a disproportion of va­lue. Man often failes in his Election, God can­not erre. The choise heere was extraordinary, by lots: yours is ordinary by Suffrages; Gods hand is in both.

Great is the benefit of good Magistrates: that wee may sit vnder our owne Vines, goe in and out in peace, eate our bread in saftie, and (which is aboue all) leade our liues in honest libertie: for all this wee are beholding, vnder God to the Magistrate, first the Supreme, then the subordi­nate. They are Trees, vnder whose branches the people build and sing, and bring vp their young ones in religious nourture. That Silence in hea­uen about halfe an houre, Reue [...]. 3. when the golden vialls [Page 78] were filled with sweet odours, and the prayers of the Saints ascended as pillars of smoke and In­cense, is referred by some, to the peace of the Church vnder Constantine. It is the King of Mexico's Oath, when hee takes his Crowne; Iustitiam se administraturum, effecturum vt Sol cursum teneat, Nubes pluant, Rivi currant, terra producat fructus; that hee will minister Iustice, hee will make the Sunne holde his course, the Cloudes to raine, the Riuers to runne, and the Earth to fructifie. The meaning is, that the vpright and diligent administration of Iustice, will bring all these blessings of God vpon a Countrey.

If wee compare this Citie with many in for­raine parts, how ioyfully may wee admire our owne happines! Those murders and massacres, rapes and constuprations, and other mischiefes, that bee there as common as nights, be rare with vs. I will not say that all our people are better then theirs, I dare say, our Gouernment is bet­ter then theirs. Merchants make higher vse, and are more glad of calme Seas, then common pas­sengers. So should Christians more reioyce in peace, then can the heathen: because they know how to improoue it to richer ends, the glory of God, and saluation of their owner soules. Pro­ceed yee graue and honourable Senatours, in your former approoued courses, to the suppres­sing of vice and disorders, and to the mainte­nance of Truth and Peace among vs. It is none of the least renownes of this famous Citie, the [Page 79] Wisedome and Equitie of the Gouernours. To repeat the worthy acts done by the Lords Maiors of London, were fitter for a Chronicle; they are too large for a Sermon.

But it is high time to blesse you with a Dis­mission, and to dismisse you with a Blessing. That Almightie God, that knowes the hearts of all, sanctifie your hearts to gouerne, and ours to obey; that wee all seeking to doe good one to another, He may doe good vnto vs all. To this blessed and eternall God, the Father, the Sonne, and the Holy Ghost, bee all glory and praise for euer. Amen.


The BARREN TREE. A Sermon Preached at Pauls Crosse October 26. 1623.


LONDON, Printed by AVG: MATHEVVES for IOHN GRISMAND, and are to be sold at his Shop in Pauls Alley, at the signe of the Gunne. 1623.

TO THE REVE­rend and learned, Doctor DONNE, Deane of St. Pauls, toge­ther with the Prebend-Residentiaries of the same Church, my very good Patrons.


NOt out of any o­pinion of this Sermons worth, to which I dare not inuite your Iudicious eyes. Nor, any am­bition to merit of my Patrons, whom I read stiled, Petty cre­ators. But in humble acknow­ledgement [Page] of your fauours, I present this small Rent of Thankefulnesse; the poore fruit of that tree, which growes on your owne ground, and hath not from the world any other sustenance. Vouchsafe, I beseech you, your Patronage to the child, who haue made the Father of it,

Your VVors. deuoted Homager THO: ADAMS.

To the Reader.

I Neither affect those Rheumaticke Pennes, that are still dropping vpon the Presse: nor those Phlegmaticke spirits, that will scarse bee coniur'd into the orbe of employment. But if modest forwardnesse be a fault, I cannot excuse my selfe.

It pleased God Almighty, to make a fearefull Comment on this his owne Text, the very same day it was preached by his vnworthiest seruant. The argument was but audible in the morning, before night it was visible. His holy Pen had long since written it with inke, now his hand of Iustice expounded it in the Characters of bloud, There, was onely a conditionall menace, So it shall be: here a terrible remonstrance, So it is. Sure! He did not meane it for a nine daies won­der. Their sudden departure out of the World, must not so suddenly depart from the memorie of the World. Woe to that soule that shall take so slight a notice of so extraordinary a Iudge­ment. We doe not say, They perished: Chari­tie forbid it. But this wee say, It is a signe of Gods fauour, when hee giues a man Law. Wee [Page] passe no sentence vpon them, yet let vs take war­ning by them. The Remarkablenesse would not be neglected▪ for the Time, the Place, the Per­sons, the Number, the Maner. Yet still wee conclude not, This was for the transgression of the dead: but this we are sure of, It is meant for the admonition of the liuing.

Such is our Blessed Sauiours conclusion, vpon a paralel instance: Except ye repent, YE shal all LIKEWISE perish. There is no place safe. e [...]ough for offenders: but when the Lord is once vp in armes, happy man that can make his owne peace! otherwise, in vaine we hope to runne from the Plague, while we carry the Sinne along with vs. Yet will not our wilfull and bewitched Recu­sants, from these legible Characters, spell Gods plaine meaning. No impression can bee made in those hearts, that are ordained to perish. For their malicious, causelesse, and vnchristian censures of vs, God forgiue them: our requitall be onely pitie and prayers for them. Howsoeuer they giue out, (and I will not here examine) that their piety is more then ours: Impudence it selfe cannot de­nie, but our Charitie is greater then theirs. Now the holy feare of God keepe vs in the wayes of Faith and Obedience; that the properation of Death may neuer preuent our preparation to die. And yet still, after our best endeauor; From sudden death good Lord deliuer vs all. Amen.

T. A.


LVKE. Cap. 13. Vers. 7.

Then said hee to the Dresser of his Vine­yard; Behold, these three yeares I come seeking fruit on this Fig-tree, and find none: cut it downe, why cumbreth it the ground?

NEwes is brought to Christ, of a certaine Iudgement, which was not more Pilates, then Gods, vpon some Gali­leans; who, while they were sacrificing, were sacrificed; their blood being mingled with the blood of the beasts, [Page 2] on the same altar. Lest this should be whol­ly attributed to Pilates crueltie, without due respect had of the omnipotent Iustice, hee samples it with another; of eighteene men miscarrying by the fall of a Tower. No Pi­late threw downe this, here was no humane Executioner: the matter of their death was morter and stones, these had no purpose to kill them. This therefore, must bee an inui­sible hand, working by an insensible creature: the Instrument may bee diuers, the Iudge is the same.

Now, Poena paucorum, terror omnium: as an exhalation drawne from the earth, fired and sent backe againe to the earth, smites onely one place, but terrifieth the whole countrey. So their ruines should be our ter­rours, let them teach vs, that they may not touch vs. They are hitherto but like Moses his Rodde turned into a Serpent: not into a Beare or Lyon, lest it should haue deuoured Pharaoh: but into a Serpent, that hee might be more afraid then hurt. It is Gods speciall fauour to vs, that others bee made examples for vs, and not wee made examples for o­thers. Nothing could teach them, let them teach vs.

Of these fearefull Instances our Sauiour makes this vse; setting downe a peremptory couclusion: Vel poenitendum, vel pereundum: Except yee repent, yee shall all likewise perish. [Page 3] Such venge [...]nce is no way to bee auoyded, but by repentance. But here the Iewes might flatter themselues; If wee be greater sinners then they, how comes it to passe that wee speed better then they? To this silent obie­ction, Christ makes an Apologicall answere, verse 6. You are not spared because you are more righteous, but because God to you is more gracious. You deserue such or sorer Iudgements; and the reason of this impu­nitie is not to bee looked for in your inno­cence, but in the Lordes patience: not be­cause you are not worse to him, but be­cause hee is better to you: who offers you space and grace to amend, if (at least) at last you will bring foorth the fruites of Repen­tance.

There be some termes in the Text; (as that the Vineyard is the Church, euery Christian a Fig-tree, God the Owner, euery Pastor a Dresser:) wherein your vnderstandings may well preuent my discour [...]e: these known and familiar things I take as granted of all hands.

It is a Parable, therefore not to bee forced euery way, nor made to warrant a conclusion which the Author neuer meant. This were, when it offers vs the company a myle, to compell it to goe with vs twaine: or to make Christes Messenger speake our errand. Such is the trade of Rome; what their owne policie hath made necessarie, they will teach God [Page 4] to make good: this is to picke darknesse out of the Su [...]e. No, Verificatur in sensu suo. like a good creature, it does onely that it was made for. A Parable is not like a Looking-glasse, to represent all formes and faces: but a well drawne Picture, to remonstrate that person whereof it is a counterfeit. It is like a knife, with the haft it cutts not, with the backe it cuts not, it cuts with the edge. A Candle is made to light vs, not to heate vs: a Stoue is made to heate vs, not to [...]ight vs: if this Parable, like the Sunne, may giue both light and heate; the more profitable, the more acceptable.

The Distribution. Then sayd hee to the Dresser, &c. That part of it, to which I limit my present Dis­course, deliuers it selfe to vs in these foure passages.

  • A Consultation; Then sayd hee to the Dress [...]r of his Vineyard.
  • A Complaint. Behold, these three yeeres I come seeking fruit on this Fig-tree, and find none.
  • A Sentence; Cut it downe.
  • A Reason; Why cumbers it the ground?

The Consultation. Then said be vnto, &c.

1 Dixit, non percussit: hee spake, hee stroke not: hee might haue spared words, and be­gunne [Page 5] with wounds. The Tree had rather deserued the Axe and Fire, then a Consulta­tion of recouery. How easily would man haue reiected his hopelesse brother▪ as when a piece of clay will not worke to his minde, the Potter throwes it away: or wee cast foule ragges to the dung-hill, little thinking that they may become white paper. But with God, Verba antecedunt verbera; hee will bee heard before hee bee felt. Our first Parents, when they had sinned, Vocem andiuerunt, Heard the voyce of God: Genes. 3. [...] Hee reasoned with them, before he condemned them. If the fa­thers word can correct the child, hee will let the rod alone. Wicked men vse the sudden Arguments of steele and yron; as Ioab dis­coursed with Amasa, 2 Sam. 20.10. in the fift ribbe, they speake Daggers poynts.1 Kings 22.24. So Zedekiah dispu­ted with the Prophet, a word and a blow▪ yea, a blow without a word: he strucke him first, and spoke to him afterwards. God deales otherwise;Reuel. 3.20. Behold, I stand at the doore, and knocke: hee knockes at the doore, does not presently breake it open. Hee giues vs warning of his Iudgements, that gaue him no warning of our sinnes. Why doeth hee thus? That wee might see our miserable e­state, and fall to timely deprecation: that so punishing our selues, wee might saue him a labour.

Dixit, non destinauit: as if the Lord would 2 [Page 6] double and repeat his thoughts, before hee decreed it to irreuocable ruine. A diuine president of moderation! If he that cannot transgresse in his wrath, nor exceed in his Iu­stice, will yet Consulere amicum, aduise with his friend: how ought fraile man to suspend his furious purposes to m [...]ture deliberation? It is too common with vs, to attempt dange­rous and desperate actions, without further counsell then our owne greene thoughts. So Anger is made a Solicitor, Passion a Iudge, and Rashnesse an Executioner. The wise man first considers, then speakes or does: the mad man first speakes or does, and then consi­ders. Which driues him on necessitie to pl [...]y the after-game; with shame and sor [...]ow to recouer his former estate, or giue it lost for euer. O holy deliberation, whither art thou fled? Dauids H [...]rpe did cast the euill spirit out, this would keepe him from euer com­ming in. It is a Porter at the Gate of Gods spirituall Temple, Man; that would be as sure to keepe out his enemies, as Dauid would haue bin ready to let in his friends. How ma­ny desperate precipices of sin would be pre­uented, were this Rule remembred; Consule Cultorem? For matter of estate, we are counselled by the Lawyer: for health of body, aduised by the Physician: we trust the Pilot to steere our course by Sea, the Suruey or to mete out our Land: but for the soule let it be [Page 7] as barren as this Fig-tree, we take no counsell of the Gardiner. Doe worldlings consult the Preacher, concerning their vsurious trade before they vndertake it? Doe Gallants ad­uise with him, before they meet in Aceldama, the field of blood? O that they would admit an answere from such a friend, before they giue an answere to such an enemy.

Dixit Vinitori. Such is the honour God 3 do [...]h his Ministers, to acquaint them with his owne purposes.Amos 3.7. Surely, the Lord will do no­thing, but he first reuealeth it to his seruants, the Prophets. Nothing, which may conduce to the office of their Ministery, and the good of his Church.Luke 8.10. To you it is giuen to know the [...]y­steries of the kingdome of Heauen. To you, not to the world, they haue no such reuelation. It is giuen, it's none of your inheritance you were not borne to it. To knowe Mysteries, Sapere alta not common things. Of the king­dome (not secular; such mysteries are for the knowledge of Statizing Iesuites; but) of hea­uen. Shall I hide from Abraham the thing that I mean to do? Gen. 18.17. The matter concerned Sodome, not Abraham: yet was it reuealed to Abra­ham, not to Sodome. But doth God need any mans counsell? Rom. 11.34. Who hath at any time beene his Counseller? Will the Potter take aduice of his pots? No; when Christ asked Philip where supply of bread might bee had for the multitude;Iohn 6.6 This be [...] said to prooue him: for he [Page 8] himselfe knew what he would doe. His questions are not his, but our satisfactions. Thus doth hee credit his owne Ordinance, teaching the world how to esteeme of them whom him­selfe so singularly honors. How poore a place soeuer they finde in mens thoughts, the King of heauen and earth cals them to his counsel. Priest, Numb. 17. was a title whereof the Princes of Is­rael were ambitious: they would not, euery man haue written his name on his rod, but in hope that this Dignitie might fall to his lot. Now, is the Ministery of the Gospell inferi­our to that of the Lawe? Was the seruice of death more glorious then the seruice of life, and saluation? lf the Euangelicall Couenant bee better, is the Ministration worse? The Sonnes of the great thinke scorne of such an imployment: what they held an honor, these count a disparagement: In one and the same subiect meets their ambition and our scorne. It is ill when the Figge-tree shall despise the Dresser, but it would bee farre worse if the Dresser should despise the Fig-tree.

4 To the Dresser. This is the whole Con­gregation of his Ministers, to whom he hath committed the culture of his Vineyard: all which, by an Enallage numeri, are summ'd vp in one Dresser. Actes 4.32. 1. Quia Cor vnum, be­cause they haue all one heart.Ephes. 4.12. 2. Quia offi­cium vnum; all their labours meet in that one common terme; the [...]dification of the Body of [Page 9] Christ. 3. It is vsuall to name one proceteris, for all the rest. Peter sayes, Though I should die with thee▪ I will not denie thee. Did Peter onely promise this?Math. 26.35. No, but So sayd likewise the rest of the Disciples. Had not this been a Parable, I neuer found a place of more probable co­lour for the high Priest of Rome to chalenge his vniuersall Supremacy by. But surely, he will neuer dresse Christes Vineyard, as it ought, vnlesse in a Parable. Nay, would his Instruments forbeare to sowe it with bram­bles, to manure it with blood, and to cast Nabaoth out of his own vineyard, it were some­what. But let them passe! When the Spirit wrote to a whole Church, he inscribes his E­pistle vnder one particular name, Angelo Eccle­siae, Reuel. 2. & 3. to the Angell of the Church.

To the Dresser. Dressing implies labour and 5 heedfulneesse. I might here touch vpon the Ministers diligence, that Christs Vineyard neuer lie rude and vnpolishd through his de­fault. But this age will looke to that well e­nough: neuer did the Egyptians call so fast vpon the Israelites for making of Brickes, as the people call on vs for making of Sermons: & our allowance of materials is much alike. They think it recompense bountifull enough to praise our paines; as if wee could liue like Camelions, vpon the subtill ayre of Com­mendations. So they serue vs as Carriers do their Horses; lay heauy burdens vpon their [Page 10] backes, and then hang belles at their eares to make them musicke. But be our reward little or much, God forbid we should slacke dressing the Vineyard of Iesus Christ.

6 To the Dresser. Why to him? Vt interce­deret that he might pleade for the Tree. So vnwilling is God to destroy, that hee woul [...] haue vs manacle his hands with our prayers: he would bee intreated to forbeare.Exod. [...]2.7. Goe thy wayes downe, for the people which thou broughtest out of Egypt, haue corrupted them­selues. Why this to Moses? That hee might pray for them. He that meant to spare them in mercy, meant withall that Moses should bee beholden to him for that mercie. And Moses indeed chargeth the Lord, sets vpon him with so holy a violence, that as if his prayers could vincere inuincibilem, he heares, Let me alone. O that euery Vine-dresser were full of this graciou [...] [...]ffection to the trees vn­der his charge: yea, who feares God, and in some measure hath it not? The people forgot Moses, Moses remembers the people: they could be merry and happy without him, he would not be happy without them. Me [...] robbe vs of our meanes, lode vs with repro­ches: all our reuenge is to solicite heauen for them by our supplications: they sue vs, wee sue for them: they impouerish our tem­porall condition, wee pray for their eternall saluation. Wee could neuer hope for goo [...] [Page 11] to our selues, if wee should not returne them this good for their euill.

Corah had drawne a multitude to rebell against Moses and Aaron, Numb. 16.22. Moses and Aaron pray for their rebels. They were worthy of death, and they had it; yet would these mer­cifull Leaders hau [...] preuented it: refusing to buy their owne peace with the losse of such enemies. Yea, they are so farre from caruing their owne iust reuenge, that they would not haue the Lord to reuenge for them. Let vs fill our hearts with this great Example: the people rise vp against their Pastors, the Pa­stors fall on their faces for the people. Cer­tainly, if God had not meant to heare vs, he would neuer inuite vs to pray. But as it plea­seth Him to make vs His mouth to you; so also, your mouth to Him: both to tell you, what He doth say, and to returne Him what you should say; to preach against your sinns; to pray for your soules. Doe you heare vs pleade for Christ, for Christ heares vs plead for you. Indeed, wee are men of polluted lippes and liues: but as Gods power is not straitned through our weakness, so, nor is his mercy lessened through our vnworthi­nesse. Therefore as Paul had his, Vae mihi si non praedicauero; Woe vnto mee, if I Preach not: So Moses, in effect, had his Vae mihi, si non intercessero, woe vnto me, if I pray not: God forbid I should cease praying for you. But as all [Page 12] our Preaching can work no good vpon you, but through the holy Ghost: so all our Pray­ing can bring no good to you, but through Iesus Christ. Wee pray for you, forget not you to pray for vs. Indeed, weake ones pray with vs, malicious ones pray against vs, co­uetous ones prey vpon vs▪ fewe pray for vs. We intreat for you, do you intreat for vs; and that onely Mediator betwixt God and man plead for vs all.

The Complaint. Behold I come, &c.

This hath in it two passages.

  • His Accesse. Behold, these three yeares, &c.
  • His Successe. I find none.

First, the Accesse.

1 Behold. Ecce is here a note of complaint. Hee that can thunder downe sinne with ven­geance, raines on it showres of complaint.Be­hold the Tree; he might in a moment haue put it past beholding, by throwing it into the in­fernall furnace. Why doth he complain, that can compell? Habet in manu potentiam, in cor­de patientiam: there is power in his hand, but patience in his heart. To do Iustice, we (after a sort) constraine him: but his delight is to be mercifull.

He complaines. All complain of lost labors: the Shepheard after all his vigilance, com­plaines of stragling Lambes: the Gardiner after all his diligence, of withering Plants: the Husbandman after all his toyle, of leane [Page 13] Fields, and thin Haruests: Merchants after many aduentures, of Wrackes and Pyracies: Tradesmen of bad debtors, and scarcitie of monies: Lawyers complaine of few Clients, and Diuines of fewer Conuerts. Thus wee complaine one of another: but God hath iust cause to complaine of vs all.

Well, if the Lord complaine of Sinne, let not vs make our selues merry with it. Like Sampson, it may make vs sport for a while, but will at last pull downe the house vpon our heads.Cant. 2.12. The voyce of the Turtle is (not) heard in our Land. Vox Turturis, vox gem [...] ­tis. True penitents bee more rare then Tur­tles. The voyce of the Sparrow wee heare, chirping lust: of the Night-bird, buzzing ig­norance: the voyce of the Scriech-owle, croaking blasphemy: of the Popiniay, gaw­dy pride: the voyce of the Kite and Cormo­rant, couetousnesse and oppression: these, and other Birdes of that wing bee common. But, Non audita est vox Turturis: who mournes for the sinne of the time, and longs to bee freed from the time of sinne? It was an vnhappy spectacle in Israel, to see at once, Lachrymantem Dominum, and ridentem popu­lum: a weeping Sauiour, and deriding sin­ners. We complaine of our crosses and losses, wee complaine of our maladies, of our iniu­ries, enemies, miseries: the Lord open our eyes, and soften our hearts, to see and feele [Page 14] the cause of all, and to complaine of our sinnes.

I come. The Lord had often sent before, now he came himselfe; euen by his personall presence, accepting our nature. The Sonne of God that made vs the Sonnes of men, be­came the Sonne of man, to make vs the Sons of God. Hee came voluntarily: we come in­to the world, not by our owne wills, but by the will of our parents; Christ came by his owne will. Hee came not for his owne benefit, but ours. What profit doth the Sunne re­ceiue by our looking on him? Wee are the better for his light, not hee for our sight. A shower of raine that waters the earth, gets nothing to it selfe; the earth fares the bet­ter for it. He came for our fruites: these can­not enrich him: Psalm. 16. Lord, our well-doing exten­deth not to thee.

Neuer came such an Inhabitant to our Countrey, as Iesus. Had God graunted men the libertie to beg of him what they would, and haue it; they durst not haue beene so bold as to aske his onely Sonne. When the King giues a free concession to his subiect, to make choise of his owne sute, without deni­all; he will not bee so impudent as to beg the Prince. Let vs entertaine him well, wee fare the better for him: the profit of our redemp­tion bles [...]eth all the rest vnto vs. Farre bee it from vs to welcome him with scandals, with [Page 15] blasphemies, and neglect. Hee may then re­ply, as Absolon to Hushai, 2 Sam. 16.17 Is this thy kindnes to thy friend? No, you say, we make much of him, hold him in the highest regard, trust him with our whole saluation. But knowe, Christ fares not the better for thy Faith, but for thy Charity. Faith is a beggerly receiuer, Charitie is a rich giu [...]r. Thy Faith is a hand that takes something from him, to enrich thy selfe: thy Charitie is a hand that giues some thing to him, in his distressed members. In­deed Christ is the subiect of all tongus, but he is not the obiect of all hearts. The Schoole disputes of him, the Pulpit preaches of him, Profession talks of him, Profane men sweare by him, few loue him, few [...]erue him. He is come, let him bee made welcome, by setting our best cheere, and choycest fruites before him. Whom should we entertaine, if not our Sauiour?

Seeking. But, did not Hee know before?3 What need hee seeke, that hath found? Hee that vnderstands our thoughts long before they are borne, cannot be nescious of our workes when they are done. My answere shall bee short: the Lords Quaerit, is a Requirit: hee doth not seeke a thing that is hid from him, but requi [...]es a debt that is due vnto him.

Seeking. This is no rare, but a continued 4 act. It is not Veni, I came: Hee came vnto his owne, Iohn 1.11. &c Nor a Venturus sum; Yet a little [Page 16] while,Reuel. 22. and I will come. But [...]: as Re­uel. 3.20. Sto pulsans, I stand knocking: so here, Venio querens, l come seeking. Hee seekes conti­nually: will you heare how long?

5 These three yeares. Much time hath beene spent about the Interpretation of this time; how it is appliable to the Iewish Synagogue, to whom, it was immediatly referred. I find no great difference among Expositors, sauing onely in their tearmes. Some by the first yeare vnderstand the time before the Cap­tiuitie; by the second, their returne to Iury; by the last, the comming of Christ. Some by the first yeare, conceiue the Lawe giuen by Moses: By the second, the Propheticall at­testations: by the third, the grace of our Lord Iesus. Some resolue it thus; the first yeare was the time of Circumcision, from A­braham to Moses: the next, the Leuitical Law from Moses to Christ: the last is the yeare of Saluation by the Messias. Others vnder­stand the first yeare to bee of the Patriarchs, the middle yeare of the Iudges, the third of the Kings. After all this hee was intreated to forbeare it a fourth yeare, till it was instru­cted by the Apostles: and then being found fruitlesse, it was cut downe by the Romanes. But I rather take a definite number to be put for an indefinite: three yeares is time long e­nough to wait for the proofe of a tree: such a proportionable expectation had the Lord [Page 17] for that Church, If literally you would haue it, I take this to bee the probablest ex­position. These three yeares were the very three yeares of his Preaching, healing dis­eases, casting out Deuils, working Miracles before their faces. The other yeare which he added, was the time while the Apostles offer'd them the Gospel of saluation. Where­of the refusers were cut downe, the accepters were saued.

He hath likewise waited for the Church 6 of Christianity three yeares; that is, three re­uolutions of Ages, thrice fiue hundred yeres. Or he hath tarried the leasure of the whole world three yeares: the first yeare, vnder na­ture: the second, vnder the Law: the third, vnder Grace: the fourth is now a passing, and who knowes how farre it is spent?

Or to apply it to our selues, these three 7 yeares of our visitation, hath beene so many scores of yeares. Conceiue the formost to be in the dayes of King Edward 6. who pur­ged the gold from the rust and drosse of Su­perstition, Ignorance, and Cussenage, which it had contracted. The Sunne beganne to shine out in his bright lustre: the Lord came seeking our fruits; but not finding them an­swerable to his expectation, nor worthy of the glorious Gospell: hee drewe another cloud ouer our Sunne: teaching vs better to value that heauenly Manna, wherewith [Page 18] we were so suddenly growne wanton. The second yeare, vnder Queene Elizabeth, of so blessed memory: that Royall nurse, vpon whose Bosome the Church of God leaned to take her rest. Shee did againe vindicate this Vineyard, which had so long lyen a­mong Fryars and Monkes, that it had all­most quite forgotten the language of Cana­an: Shee taught it a new to speake the Dia­lect of the Holy Ghost. When that Graci­ous Queene was taken from a Crowne of gold to a Diadem of glory, then began our third yeare; wherein our present Soueraigne was sent; Dignissimus Regno, si non natus ad Regnum: vnder whom we know not, whe­ther our Truth or Peace bee more. Onely let vs blesse him, and blesse God for him, that we may all be blessed in him. Thus farre we may say of our Land, as Syluius did of Rhodes, Semper in Sole sita est: the bright reflection of the Gospell compasseth vs round about. Now he comes this third yeare seeking our fruites: which when we consider, wee can say no more but Miserere Deus; Lord bee mercifull to vs: for neuer were such bles­sings requited with such vnthankefulnesse. We condemne the Iewes for abusing Christs patience: God grant they rise not vp at the last day to condemne vs.

8 He comes to a particular man three yeeres. 1. In Youth. I haue planted thee in my [Page 19] Vineyard, giuen thee the influence of my mercies; where is thy fruitfulnesse? Alas, the young man sends him away, with a Non­dum tempus ficorum: it is too earely for me to fall to Mortification; would you put me to pennance, before I haue had the leasure and pleasure to offend? He is ready to send Christ away in the Language of that foule Spirit;Math. 8.29. Art thou come to torment mee be­fore my time? But whose charge is it to Remember thy Creator, Diebus Iuuentutis? Then the conquest is most glorious, because then it is most difficult. You say, It is neuer too late; but I am sure, It is neuer too soone, to be gracious and holy. The Deuill is a false Sexton, and sets backe the clocke of Time in prosperitie: in the day of trouble, hee will make it run fast enough. 2. In middle age; and now the buying of Farmes, and trying of Beasts; the pleasures of Matrimony, the cares for posteritie. take vp all the roomes of the soule. Men rather busie themselues to ga­ther the fruites of earth, then to yeeld the fruites of heauen. Heere is strength of na­ture, and fulnesse of stature; but still a defect of grace. Perhaps, Christ hath now some faire promises, of fruits heereafter:Luke. 9.61. Let mee first go bury my Father, then. But (a thousand to one) he finds something in Domo, left by his father, that keepes him, a Domino, from following his Master. To preuent this, it is [Page 20] his caution to the entertained seruant;For­get thine owne people, Psal. 45.10. and thy fathers house: ra­ther forgoe and forget thy fathers house, then thy Makers seruice. 3. In old age now the decay of body should argue a decay of sinne. The taste finds no relish in ryot, the eares cannot distinguish Musicke, the eies are dimme to pleasing obiects, very Desire failes. now all things promise mortification. Hee that cannot stirre abroad in the world, what should he doe but recollect himselfe, and set­tle his thoughts on the world to come? Now fruites, or neuer. Not yet: Morositie, Pride, and Auarice, are the three diseases of olde age: men couet most, when they haue time to spend least: as cheating Tradesmen then get vp most commodities into their hands, when they meane to breake. Still hee comes seeking fruite, and is returned with a Non inuentus.

9 If yet it weare but as the Prophets signe to Hezekiah; This yeare yee shall eate such as grow­eth of it selfe: and the second yeare such spring­eth of the same: and in the third yeare yee shall sowe and reape, &c. the third yeare might af­ford him somewhat. But doth hee forbeare all trees thus long? No, some are snatch' [...] away in the flower and pride of their life: yea, they bee not fewe, that will not allow themselues to liue; but with ryot and intem­perance hasten their owne endes, before they [Page 21] haue well begun or learned what life is: like bad Schollers, that slubber out their bookes before they haue learned their lessons. That instead of, Non est fructus, wee may say, Non est ficus, the tree it selfe is gone. And that goodly person, which like a faire ship hath bene long a building: and was but yesterday put to sea, is to day sunke in the Maine. We doe not eate, drinke, and sleepe, and take such refections of nature, vt non moriamur, that wee might not die; that is impossible: but that wee should not dye barren, but beare some fruits vp with vs to him that made the Tree.

Seeking. It is fit wee should offer our fruits 10 to God, and not put him to seeke for his owne.Nath 3.12. We should be like those ripe-figs, that fall into the mouth of the eater. The best li­quours are they that drop from their cells, of their owne accord, without pressing. The most acceptable of all oblations, be the Free­will-offerings. Howsoeuer, let vs bee sure not to disappoynt the Lord when he seekes.

On this Fig-tree. It is fit, that hee that 11 plants a Vineyard, should taste of the Wine: good reason,Prou. 27.18. his owne tree should yeeld him some fruite, considering what hee hath done for it he may well challenge it.

1 He hath planted vs: wee spring not vp naturally; as the Oake growes from an A­corne, the Peach from a stone: but a gracious [Page 22] hand hath set vs. We are not borne of flesh, nor of the will of blood, Iohn 1.1 [...]. or of man, but of God.

2. Hee hath planted vs in his Vineyard within the enclosed Garden of the Church. Had he left vs to the vnregarded wildernes, without any Dresser to looke to vs, there might haue been some excuse of our barren­nesse. The ground that is left to it selfe, is (in a manner) blamelesse, though it be fruit­lesse. But in Vineasua, which he hath fenced in with his prouidence, blessed with his sa­uing influence, husbanded with his Dressers diligence, forwarded with the beames of mercy, and showres more precious then the deawes of Hermon that fell vpon the hill of Sion. Where wee participate the fatnesse of the ground, are fed with vnperishing Manna, compassed about with Songs of deliuerance, and haue seene our desires vpon (his and) our enemies. Where Righteousnesse is our walls, and Peace our bulwarkes, and the wayes bee milke where we set our feet.

3 Wee are Figtrees: not brambles, no man expects Grapes from thornes. Math. 7.16. Not Okes or Cedars, to be a dwelling for the Storkes: But Figtrees, apt for fruit, for pleasant fruit. If the rest be fruitlesse, they serue for other purposes: but what shall become of the bar­ren Figtree?

4. Hee is our Lord, and Querit suum, he seekes but his owne. If our owne Kin [...] giue [Page 23] vs no milke, our owne sheepe afford vs no wooll, our owne land returne vs no encrease, we are displeased: whereas these be reason­lesse creatures; but we haue sense aboue com­mon nature, reason aboue sense, grace aboue reason: We are but tennants of these, Christ is Lord of vs: our sinnes bring the curse of barrennesse vpon them, but there is no fault in God, if we be vnfruitfull.

5: He comes seeking: not threatning, ra­ging, wounding, not felling downe the tree, nor stocking it vp by the rootes; but seeking. Dignatur expectare fructus, cuilicet eradicare Infructuosos. Man is a loser by the barrenesse of his garden tree: were there not a tree left, God is neuer the poorer.

Now lay all these together: a Lord that owes vs, wee are his trees: to come into his Vineyard, where he may be confident; wee liue on his ground: to looke vpon a Figtree, made of an apt disposition to good fruit; such a one as himselfe hath planted, not ca­sually grown vp: a tree not neglected, but whereon hee hath bestowed great care and cost; wayting, not destroying: what can we plead for it, if it be fruitlesse? God is our Lord and Proprietary, England is his Vineyard, euery one of vs his Fig-tree, thus planted, watered, blessed by his gracious mercy: Hee comes to vs with patience, that should run to him with penitence: seeking [Page 24] our fruites, that should make tender of them vnsought; waiting, that might command: now, feare, obedience, and thankefulnesse, keepe vs from sending him backe with a Non inuenio, I finde none.

12 Fruit. This is that inseparable effect that God expects from euery Tree planted in his Garden.Rom. 7.4. We are married to Christ: to what ende? That we should bring forth fruits vn­to God. Hee seekes not for leaues, buds, or blossomes, but fruites. Could leaues content him, wee would not leaue him vnsatisfied: he should haue an Arbour large enough to reach to the Worlds ende. Psalm. 19.4 Our tongues runne apace, not seldome faster then our wittes. Wee are Gods debters, and if hee will take our words, so: that's all hee is like to haue. Might buds please him, or blossomes: wee haue intentions to good, certaine offers and shewes of obedience: which we weare like a cloake, or some loose garment, that when Lust calls, wee may quickly slip off. But when he seekes for workes, all our Conso­nants be turned into Mutes, we are speach­lesse. O would he aske vs for any thing but fruites:Matth. 22.12 but what should be expected from the Figtree, but Figges?

Of euery soule here hee seekes for fruites. Of the Magistrate, that he bring foorth the fruites of Iustice; determining causes with sinceritie of decision, and conuenience of [Page 25] expedition: being so far as equitie permits, a husband to the widdow, and a father to the fatherlesse. Of the Minister, that hee bring forth the fruits of knowledge. Aarons Rod was his Pastorall staffe: in one and the same night it bought forth buds, and blossomes, and fruit. Fruitfulnesse is the best argument that God hath called vs: there is not a plant of his setting, but the very branches there­of shall flourish. I doe not say, our paynes shall alwayes conuert many Soules; that is Gods fruite, not ours: Hee chargeth vs to bee industrious in Preaching, let Himselfe a­lone with the worke of sauing. Of the pri­uate man, he expects the fruit of his calling: to bee idle, is to bee barren of good; and to bee barren of good, is to bee pregnant of all euill. Bella gerant alij, Protesilaus edit. but let vs that are called to worke, worke in our cal­ling; otherwise at last, wee shall make but a sorry answere to that Question, Vbi fructus? Let vs all produce the fruits of Charity: rich men doe good turnes to themselues; as they play at Tennisse, tossing the Ball to him that will tosse it to them againe: seldome to the poore, for they are not able to bandy it backe. Pride cuts, and Ryot shuffles, but betwixt them both, they deale the poore but a bad game. The fruite of Christianitie is Mercie; when the rich, like full eares of Corne, humble themselues to the poore [Page 26] earth in Charitie. Feed him, that feeds you: giue him part of your Temporalls, from whom you expect Eternalls: you cloathe Christ with your blackes on earth, hee will clothe you with his glorious whites in hea­uen. Our mercie to others, is the Fruite of Gods mercy to vs.

13 Fruite. Nothing is created for it selfe, but so placed by the most wise prouidence, that it may conferre something to the publique good; though it be but as the Widowes two Mites to the Treasurie. The poorest crea­ture yeelds some Fruit, wherein it doth imi­tate the goodnesse of the Maker. We know not readily, what good Serpents and Ver­mine may doe; yet certainly, they haue their fruit; both in sucking vp that poyson of the earth, which would be contagious to man; in setting off the beautie of the better pieces of creation:Aug. (for though the same hand made both the Angels in heauen, and the wormes on earth; yet the Angels appeare the more glorious being so compared) besides their hidden vertues abstracted from our know­ledge. Of stones they make yron, rubbish serues to raise Bulwarks, the small pebble for the sling, wormes and flyes are bayts for Fi­shes: euery th [...]ng is enabled with some gift for the vnniuersall benefit, and to produce those fruits is their naturall worke.

The Sunne comes foorth of his Chamber [Page 27] like a Bridegrome, fresh and liuely; and re­ioyceth as a Gyant, to runne his diurnall course, to lighten vs with his refulgent beames, to generate, cheere, and mature things with his parentall heate: this is his fruite. In his absence the Moone and Starres adorne the Canopie of Heauen, reflecting their operatiue influence to quicken the lo­wer world: this is their fruites. The curled cloudes, those bottles of raine, thinne as the liquour they containe, flye vp and downe on the wings of the winde, deliuering their moyst burdens vpon the earth, teats where­on the hungry fields and pastures doe sucke; yet they expect no haruest from vs: this is their fruites. The subtill winds come puffing out of their cauernes, to make artificiall mo­tions, wholesome ayres, and nauigable seas; yet neither earth, ayre, nor sea returne them recompence: this is their fruits. The earth, in a thankefull imitation of the Heauens, lockes not vp her treasures within her owne Coffers; but without respect of her priuate benefit, is liberall of her allowance, yeelding her fatnesse and riches to innumerable crea­tures, that hang on her breasts, and depend vpon her as their common mother for main­tenance: Of the beasts that feed vpon her, Kine giue vs their milke, Sheepe their wooll: euery one payes a tribute to man, their vsu­fructuary Lord: this is their fruites. Fruit-bearing [Page 28] Trees spend not all their sappe and moisture vpon themselues, or the increase of their owne magnitudes: but the principall and purer part of it is concocted into some pleasant Fruites; whereof they nor their young Springs euer come to taste; but they proffer it vs, and when it is ripe, they vo­luntarily let it fall at their Masters feete. Neuer did the Oliue annoynt it selfe with the owne Oyle, nor the Vine make it selfe drunke with the owne Grapes, nor the Tree in my Text, deuoure the owne Figges: yet they all striue to abound with Fruites.

Let me raise your Meditations from earth to heauen: the holy Angels there are called Ministring Spirits: those royall Armies fight for vs against our enemies: like Nurses, they beare vs vp in their armes, and (though vn­seene) doe glorious Offices for vs: this is part of their fruit. Iohn 5.17. The blessed Trinitie is alwayes working: Hitherto my Father wor­keth, and I worke. The Father by his pro­uidence and protection, the Sonne by his mercy and mediation, the Holy Ghost by his grace and sanctification: all diuiding the streames of their goodnesse, for the best be­hoofe of the world. The more any thing furthers the common good, the more noble is the Nature, and more resembling the Creator.

[Page 29]The Earth is fruitfull, the Sea, the Ayre, the Heauens are fruitfull; and shall not man bring foorth fruites, for whom all these are fruitfull? While all the Armies of Heauen and Earth are busied in fructifying; shall Man, of more singular graces and faculties, be idle, a burden to the world and himselfe? Both the Church of God for the propaga­tion of pietie, and the world it selfe for the vpholding of his estate, requires our Fruites. If Happinesse consisted in doing nothing, God that meant Adam so happy, would ne­uer haue set him about businesse: but as Pa­radise was his Store-house, so also his work­house: his pleasure was his taske. There is no state of man that can priuiledge a folded hand: Our life is, Vita pulueris, non puluina­ris. Landes, Meanes, and Moneyes, men make the protections of Idlenesse: where­as Adam commaunded the whole earth, yet worke expected him. In Paradise all things did labour for man, now man must labour for all things. Adam did worke because he was happy, wee his children must worke, that wee may bee happy. Heauen is for ioyes, Hell for paines, Earth for labour. God hath three houses; this is his Worke-house, that aboue is his Ware-house. O then let vs bee fruitfull; that others benefit may bee ours, our benefit theirs; and the glory of all, the Lords. If Magistrates yeeld not the Fruits [Page 30] of Iustice, Ministers the fruits of knowledge, priuate men the fruits of Charitie and Obe­dien [...]e; it is as vnnaturall, as if the Sunne should forget to shine, or the earth to fructi­fie. God made all these for man, hee made man for himselfe: of vs he lookes for Fruit, of vs let him finde it, from vs accept it, in vs increase it, and to vs reward it, through Him, in whome alone wee expect mercie, Iesus Christ.

The successe followes. Non inuenio.

We haue brought the Lord into his Vine­yard, heard him calling for the Dresser, shew­ing him a Tree, telling him of a three yeares expectation: now, if after all this we inquire for the euent; himselfe certifies vs, [...], I finde none.

None? Peraduenture he came before the season; Nondum tempus erat Ficorum. When should a Tree bring forth fruits, but Tempore suo? This is the praise of the good Tree, that it brings foorth the fruit in due season. Psalm. 1.3. If the Figge-tree could haue obiected to the Owner,2 Kings 5.26 as Elisha to his seruant; Hoccine tem­pus; Is this a time to plant Vineyards, or gather fruit? Or as the man replyed to his neigh­bour, that came to borrowe loaues at mid­night; Is this a time to lend Bread, when my selfe and family are in bed? The Spring is the season of fructifying, the Autumne of [Page 31] gathering.Cant. 2.12. When the time of the singing of Birds is come, Iob 38.38. Then the Figtree puts foorth her greene Figges. But Cum fermento perfundatur puluis, when the dust is leauened with myre, and the bands of Orion haue lock'd vp the in­fluence of Heauen. Who seeks fruit in Win­ter; hee must be content with Winter fruit. There is the Winter of an afflicted Consci­ence; no maruell then if neither ripe Figges, nor so much as greene leaues appeare: when all the Sappe is retyred to the Roote, as in extreame cold the bloud runnes to the heart to succour it. When the Babylonians re­quired of their captiue Israelites some He­brewe Songs, they could soone answere; How shall wee sing the Lordes Song in a strange Land? Psal. 137.4. Is this a time or place to be merry? But did the Lord come out of season? No, hee required it not the first day, or moneth, but wayted the full time, expecting fruit in the Autumne or Vintage season. Non anté tempus querit, qui per triennium venit. Hee came not with a Trienniall Visitation, as Episcopall Fathers vse to visite, once in three yeeres; but euery yeare, euery moneth in the yeare, weeke of the moneth, day of the weeke. Of another Figge-tree it is said, that The time of Figges was not yet, yet hee cursed it: Heere the time was three yeares past without fruit, yet he cursed it not. But looke to it; If thou wilt not fructifie Tempo [...]e tuo, [Page 32] thou shalt be cut down tempore non tuo, Eccles. [...]. 17. perish before thy time. There is not a day in the yeare, wherein hee forbeares seeking our fruit; yet Venio, non inuenio; I find none.

2 None? Nunquid quia male quasiuit Domi­nus? Was there any errour in his search? Men often seeke Bona, good things, non bene, not in a good manner. Either they faile in their Quando, as Ioseph sought Christ after a dayes iourney; whereas hee is too precious to bee missed one houre:Psal. 32.6. They shall seeke thee Tempore inveniendi, when thou mayest be found. Or in the right Vbi: as Mary sought her Son in Cognatione Carnis, among her kinred; who was in Domo Patris,Iohn the Temple. So the Papists seeke now him in Pictures, who pro­mised to bee found in the Scriptures. Or in their Quomodo, as they that seeke aliud pro il­lo, aliud prae illo, another insted of him, an­other besides him, another with him, ano­ther before him, which they doe not seeke for him. All these seeke and misse, because they seeke amisse. The world is commonly mistaken in their search: Quaerunt bona locis non suis, they seeke for things out of their proper orbes. Men seeke Honour in Pride, whereas Honour is to bee found in Humi­litie. They seeke reputation in bloodie re­uenge; alas, that is to bee found in Patience: It is the glory of a man to passe by an offence. They seeke content in Riches, which is as if [Page 33] one should seeke for fresh water in the midst of the Sea. But in none of these circumstan­ces did this Seeker faile: not in the Vbi, for he sought in the Vineyard: not in the Quan­do, for he came in the Vintage; not in the Quomodo, for he sought fruit on that Figtree, about which hee had bene at so great char­ges; yet I finde none.

None? Haply not so thicke with fruites 3 as the Vines of Engedi: euery Land is not a Caanan, to flowe with Milke and Honey. But yet some competent measure, enough to pay the Land-lord rent for the ground it stands on; no, None. If there bee none to spare, whereof the owner may make mo­ney; yet, Sufficiat ad vsum suum, ad esum suum, that hee may eate the labours of his owne hands; no, None. If the number bee not as the Sand, Rom. 9.27. Esay 6.13 yet let there bee a Remnant. If there cannot bee a whole haruest, yet let there bee a Tenth. If not a Tenth, yet let there bee some gleanings;Mich 7.1 and that is a woefull scarcitie: if the gleanings bee not allowed, yet let there bee heere and there a Figge,Esay 17.6. a Grape, a Berry, on the outmost branches; that the Planter may haue a taste: It is too defectiue,Hab. 3.17. when Non florebit ficus, the Tree doth not flourish: but Quando non erit Vua in vitibus,I [...]rem. 8.13non ficus in ficulneis: when there shall not bee a Grape on the Vine, nor a Figge on the Tree; this is a [Page 34] miserable sterilitie. Some thing hath some sauour, but None is good for nothing. In­deede all Trees are not equally loaden: there is the measure of a hundred, of [...]ixtie, of thirtie; an Omer, and an Ephah: but the Sacred deawes of Heauen, the graces of the Gospell, blesse vs from hauing None. I find [...] none.

4 None? Peraduenture none such as hee lookes for, no Fruites delicate enough for the Almighties taste. Indeed, our best fruits are neuer perfect and kindly ripened; still they rellish sowre and earthly, and sauour of the Stocke from which they were taken. They are heauenly Plants, but growe in a foraigne and colde Climate, not well con­cocted, nor worthy the charges and care bestowed vpon vs. Set Orenge or Figge­trees in this our cold Countrey, the fruit will not quit the cost of the planting and maintaining. But the complaint is not here of the imperfection or paucitie of fruites, but of the nullitie; None. Some reading that Text with idle eyes; that after all our fruites,Luke 17.10. wee are still vnprofitable Trees: be­cause they can finde no validitie of merite in their workes, throwe the Plough in the hedge, and make holyday. But shall not the Seruant doe his Masters businesse; be­cause hee cannot earne his Masters Inheri­tance? Shall the Mason say, I will share [Page 35] with my Soueraigne in his Kingdome, or I will not lay a stone in his building? Yet good fruits haue their reward; though not by the merit of the doer, yet by the mercy of the accepter. Sowre they bee of them­selues, but in Christ they haue their sweet­ning: and the meanest fruite, which that great Angell of the Couenant shall present to his Father,R [...]el. 8.4. with the addition of his owne precious Incense, are both receiued and rewar­ded. In their owne nature they may bee cor­rupt; but being dyed in the bloud of Christ, they are made pleasing to God. Yea, also profitable to the Church, and vsefull to men, seeme they neuer so poore. Euen a troubled Spring doth often quench a distressed Soul­di [...]rs thirst: a smal Candle doth good, where the greater Lights bee absent: and the mea­nest fruite of holy Charity, euen a cuppe (though it be not of the iuyce of the grapes out of the Vineyard,Math. 10.48. but) of cold water out of the tankard, in the name of Christ, shall haue the recompence. But heere the com­plaint is not of the meannes, or fewnesse, but of the Barennesse; None at all.

None? Euery Tree is knowne by the fruits, it 5 is Christs euerlasting rule. Howsoeuer the tree liues by the sappe, and not by the fruits: yet it is knowne to liue by the fruits, and not by the sappe; for this is hidden. The iust man liues by his faith, not by his workes: but he is [Page 36] knowne to liue by his works, not by his inui­sible faith. Neither doth the fruit make good the tree, but the tree makes good the fruit. Opera bona non faciunt iust [...]m, Iustus facit bona opera. Good works make not a man righte­ous, but the righteous man doth good works. Our persons are iustified before our actions; as of necessitie the tree must be good, before it can beare good fruit. But how shall that tree be discerned, that hath no fruit? I finde none.

6 None? Why this to vs? Why such a Text in such a time? Wee abound with fruites: which way can you looke, and not haue your eye full of our workes? They before, in such places, haue successiuely commended our fruits. Bee it so: yet Euripides being question'd why he alwaies made women bad in his Playes, whereas Sophocles euer made them good, in his: answered, Sophocles makes them such as they ought to bee, but I make them such as indeed they are. Their former commendation haue told vs what we should be; but this Embleme, I feare, tels vs truely what wee are. Not all of vs; God forbid: here is but one Fig-tree in a whole Vineyard thus taxed, and farre be it from vs to taxe a whole Vineyard for one barren Fig-tree.

7 None? Yes, enough of some fruites, but the Prophet calls them Ficos valde malos, so bad that they cannot be eaten. Ie [...]. 24.8. As the fruite o [Page 37] the Vine is commended for Quicknesse, the fruit of the Oliue for Fatnesse, so the fruit of the Fig-tree for Sweetnesse; in Iothams Para­ble.Ephes. 5.11. But if it beare not Fructum natiuitatis suae, the fruit of the owne kinde, but bitter figges; here had better be none at all. What an vncomfortable sight is this to Him, whose heart is set on his Orchard; after the cost of so deare bloud to purchase it, after such in­dulgent care to cheerish it, and the charges of so many workemen to dresse it; yea, af­ter so much patience to expect it (say the Fig-tree does not beare so soone as it is plan­ted; in our infancie we can doe nothing, in our minoritie we will doe little; in Gods ser­uice: but now it is growne fructifiable) I am non gustare fructus, not to haue so much as a taste? Yea, were this all; did barrennesse onely vsurpe it: but there is worse then a meere orbitie or absence of goodnesse; a po­sition of bitter fruits:Esay [...].3 Quaesiui Vuas, inve [...]io Labrascas: I find wild Grapes, luxurient fruits. Instead of the hearty effects, which Wine produceth, l am answered with the melan­choly preuarications of malice.

Behold the wonder and spectacle of vn­thankefulnesse; among all Gods Creatures, Man; and among men the barren Christian. Though Israel play the Harlot, Hosea 4.15. yet let not Iudah transgresse. What may be expected from the wild Forrest of Paganisme, when the Gar­den [Page 38] of Eden yeelds such fruites? The sweet fruit of the Spirituall Fig-tree is mercie: our God is the God of Loue, our Sauiour is the Prince of Loue, the Church is knit together in Loue: our Roote is Loue, our Sappe is Loue, our Ligaments Loue: now if we shall sucke the bloud one of another, violate the relations of peace, concoct all our moysture into malice; here is worse then, Invenio fru­ctum nullum, I finde none: for Invenio fru­ctum malum, I finde cursed fruits. Wee are growne vnnaturall; the hand scratcheth the eye, the mouth biteth the hand: thornes and bryers entwine and embrace one ano­ther, while (against all nature) Fig-trees de­noure one another.Math. 13.27. Lord, thou didst sow good seed in thy field, whence then hath it Tares? Here is more fruit then God would haue; but for that he expects, I finde none.

When wee are filled with his blessings, Christ lookes for our prayses; when wee haue eaten and are fat, Psal. 22.29. that wee should wor­ship him. 1 Cor. 10.7 What fruit finds he? We sit downe to eat and drinke, and rise vp to play: for pray­ing, playing. When wee are scourged, hee looks for our humiliation and penance; Sure, in their affliction they will seeke me. [...] 26. [...]6. What fruit finds hee? Lord, thou hast smitten them, but they have not sorrowed; an insensible desperat­nesse. In this case let vs pray; Lord, lesse of the fruits wee haue, and more of them wee [Page 39] should haue.Esay. 5.7. Instead of righteousnesse, a crye: a cry indeed; a roaring cry of the oppressors, and a mourning cry of the oppressed. Haec non sunt placido suscipienda sinu.

Our Bells ring, our Chimneis smoake, our Fields reioyce, our Children dance, our selus sing and play; Iouis omnia plena. But when Righteousnesse, hath sowne, and comes to reape; here is no haruest; [...], I finde none. And as there was neuer lesse wisdome in Greece, then in time of the Seuen Wise men: so neuer lesse pietie among vs, then now, when vpon good cause most is expe­cted. When the Sunne is brightest the Stars be darkest: so the cleerer our light, the more gloomy our life with the deeds of darkenes. The Cimerians, that liue in a perpetuall mist, though they deny a Sunne, are not condem­ned of impietie, but of ignorance: but Ana­xogoras, that saw the Sunne, and yet denied it, is not condemned of ignorance, but of impi­etie. Former times were like Leah, bleare­eyed, but fruitfull: the present, like Rachel faire but barren. We giue such acclamation to the Gospell, that we quite forget to ob­serue the Law. As vpon some solemne Festi­uall, the Bells are rung in all steeples, but then the Clockes are tyed vp: there is a great vntun'd confusion and clangor, but no man knowes how the time passeth, So in this vni­uersall allowance of libertie by the Gospell, [Page 40] which indeed reioyceth our hearts, had we the grace of sober vsage) the Clocks that tel vs how the time passes; Truth and Consci­ence, that shew the bounded vse, and decent forme of things, are tyed vp, and cannot be heard. Still Fructum non inuenio, I finde no fruits. I am sorry to passe the Figtree in this plight: but as I finde it, so I must leaue it, till the Lord mend it. So I come to

The Sentence. Cut it downe.

1 A heauy doome! Alas, will nothing else expiate the fault? May not the lopping off some superfluities recouer it? Take from the Sinner, the obiect of his vicious error: deface the Harlots beautie, that bewitcheth the Lasciuious: pull the cuppe from the mouth of the Drunkard: Nauseate the stomach of the Ryotous: strip the Popin­iay of her pyed Feathers: rust the Gold, va­nish the riches of the Couetous: take away Macah's gods, perhaps he will make him no more. If this will not doe, cut off some of the armes & branches: weaken his strength, sicken his body, lay him groaning and blee­ding on the bed of sufferance: griue his heart-strings with the sense and sorrow of his sinnes: any thing rather then Cut it down: alas no fruit can grow on it then, but sad de­spaire. A mans house is foule, or a little de­cayed; wil he pul it down or rather repaire it? [Page 41] There is hope of a Tree though the roote waxe olde in the earth, Iob 14.8. and the stock die in the ground; yet the springs of water may put new life into it: but once cut downe, all hope is cut down with it. When a man hath taken delight in a Tree, conueniently planted in his garden; what varietie of experiments will he vse, be­fore he cuts it downe? Alas, thus poore silly men, we reason: we measure things that be vnmeasurable, by things that be measurable, by things that be miserable. What wee in a foolish pitty would doe, we thinke God in his mercifull wisdome should doe. Yet which of vs wold endure a dead Tree three yeeres together in his Orchard? We would say, If it will not beare fruit, to cheere vs; it shall make a fire to warme vs. But the Lord hath bene fixe and thirtie Moones gracious in his forbearance, giue him now leaue to bee iust in his vengeance. If so much indulgence cannot recouer it, there is little hope of it: Cut it downe.

Cut it downe. Who must doe this? The 2 dresser. An vnpleasing office to him, that hath bestowed so much labour vpon it, esteemed it so precious, hoped for some reward at his Masters hand for his diligence about it; now to giue the fatall blow, to Cut it downe? And if it must fall, let it be Manu aliena, non sua, let anothers hand doe it. Hagar will not be­hold her dying Sonne; dye he must, she was [Page 42] perswaded;Genes 21. Modo non videam, Let me not see the death of the Childe. But hee must obey; Arbor non est Cul [...]oris, Cris. sed Patris familias: th [...] Tree is not the Dressers, but the Lords; and his owne is at his owne disposing: Cut it downe.

3 Cut it downe. But how? How can the Mi­nister be said to cut downe a barren soule? Some may conceiue here a reference to Ex­communication: Whether the Greater, which depriues a man of all benefit by the Churches publike Prayers, and the Societie of Christians.1 Cor. [...]. Which St. Paul calls, Tradere Satanae, to deliuer vnto Satan: so himselfe Ex­communicated Hymeneus and Alexander, 1. Tim. 1.20. de­liuering them vnto Satan: a mi [...]erable condi­tion, to be subiected to a slaue, to a dogge, a drudge; but then especially fearefull, when God grants vnto Satan a Writ or facultie, Pro excommunicato capiendo. The ignominy of ignominy; besides the perill: For as Christ protecteth all the Trees in his Vine­yard; so if any be transplanted to the wilde desart, they are vnder the god of this world. Or the Lesse; which is indeed, no other pro­perly, then an Act of the Churches Disci­pline, whereby she corrects her vnruly chil­dren: that smarting with the absence of wonted comforts, they may be humbled by repentance, and so recouer their pristine state. This censure may bee either too cruell, [Page 43] or to triuial.Approued by the counc. of Trent. Sess 26. The Church of Rome grants Excommunications for things lost: a man hath lost his horse, he may haue an Excom­munication against him that detaines him: so the Father may hap to Excommunicate his owne Sonne, and for the body of a Iade, hazard the soule of his Child. Yea, which is worse, they publish Excommunications for sinnes not yet committed: The Lord of a Mannor hath set a rowe of young Elmes, he may haue an Excommunication against all those that shall do them any harme. This is to hang a man, before he hath done the fact that deserues it. These ir-rite, forcelesse, bug­beare Excommunications, the ridiculous af­fordments of a mercenary Power, are not vn­like those old night spels, which blind people had from mungrel Witches, to set about their Orchards and Houses, antidotes and charmes against theeuing; wherein distrusting the prouidence of God, they made themselues beholding to the Diuell for safetie, Credi­tors, that would bee paid in their moneys, may procure an Excommunication against their Debtors, if they pay not by such a day. This were an excellent proiect for you Citi­zens, a rounder course then arrests and tedi­ous trialls at Law. But it is to bee doubted, that your Debtors would feare the Popes Parchment lesse then the Scriueners, and an [Page 44] Excommunication farre lesse then an Out­lary. Ther's but foure things exempted from the power of their Excommunication, as Nauarrus notes: a Locust, an Infidel, the Deuill, and the Pope: so he hath matched them, so let them goe together. For the Ex­communicate must be a man, a Christian, mortall, and an Inferiour: now the Locust is not a man, the Infidell is not a Christian, the Deuill is not mortall, and [...]he Pope hath no Superior. But too much of that; this is a Parable, and heere is no foundation for such a building.

4 Cut it downe. How? with an Axe of martiall yron? This were an exposition fit for Doway, or the Gunpowder-Enginers: that by Cutting it downe, vnderstood, Blow it vp: turning their Axe to a Petarre. Had God said to them, Cut it downe; the axe had bin instantly heaued vp: yea, they did it, when God said no such thing. Rather then faile of cutting it downe, they would haue stockd it vp, roote and all: this is their mercie. But the Spirituall Axe is to cut downe, Cul­pas, non Animas: when we reade of cutting downe, remember it is meant of mens sinnes, not of their soules. Preachers indeed doe wound, but it is Gladio oris, not ore gladij. with the Sword of the Spirit, not a Rouillac's Knife. If God had ment such a cutting downe, [Page 45] Nero had bene a fitter instrument then Paul. Psal. 19 We read, that their sound went through the World: but that their Sword went through the World, we neuer read,

Cut it downe. How then? Succide, that is,5 Succidendam minare, threaten that I will cut it downe.Iere. 15.1. Cast them out of my sight; Eijce, that is, Eijciendos pronuncia; say that I will reiect them.Zach. 11.9. Quod moritur, moriatur: Quod succi­dendum est, succidatur, That which dyeth, let it die. God sometimes sends such farewels and defiances to sinners that will not repent. Ephraim is ioyned to Idols, Reuel. 22.11. let him alone. If they will not be perswaded to returne, let them go on to their ruine, let them alone. If any man will be vniust, let him be vniust: He that will be filthy, l [...]t him be filthy still; let them perish. Abeat, pereat, profundat, perdat.

Cut it downe. This was, Sententia oris, the 6 sentence of the mouth: but it may be this was not Consilium cordis, the purpose of his heart. Saepe Deo minante quod peccans meretur, peccanti non fit quod Deus minatur. Nor can this taxe God of leuitie: for he that speakes with condition of repentance, may change his word without suspition of lightnesse. Tu muto sententiam tuam, Deus mutabit suam. Thus was Niniueh cut downe: Aug. euersa [...]stim ma­lo, vt aedificaretur in bono: the subuersion was menaced, the conuersion was intended. The Father shuts his rebellions Sonne out of [Page 46] doores, will not allow him a lodging, not so much as among his seruants: yet hee does not meane to let him perish with hunger and cold in the streetes: but when he hath well smarted for his disobedience, vpon his hum­ble submission he is re-entertained. The ve­ry mercies of the wicked are cruell, but the ve­ry iudgements of God are sweet. This Cut­ting downe, is Medicinale, not mortale: Disci­plinans, non eradicans: for restitution, not de­stitution; for remidie not for ruine. In­deed, if all this denuntiation and threatning cannot perswade them to returne, then comes their finall predition: when they haue cut off themselues impenitently, God will cut them off impartially. But if we turne to deprecation and repentance, he will turne to commiseration and forgiuenesse. The Tree is barren, and the Lord saies. Cut it downe: the Tree fructifies, and he will say Let it stand. O then let vs humble our selues, and with seasonable repentance Cut downe our sinnes, that this terrible Sentence may n [...]uer Cut downe our soules.

The Reason. Why cumbreth it the ground?

1 God is an vndependant Lord, and needes not giue a reason of his doings: for who can call him to account,Rom. 9.20. Cur ita facis? His Iudgements are not alwaies manifest, they [Page 47] are alwaies iust: nor doth he things because they are good, but they are therefore good because hee doth them. Should hee make short worke on the earth, and dispatch all barren Trees in a moment: yet thou continu­est holy, O thou worship of Israel. If he strickes vs, we are not wronged; it is our desert, and his Iustice. If he spares vs, we haue not merited; It is his mercie. Huic fit misere­cordi [...], tibi non fit iniuria: that man receiues mercie, thou hast no iniurie. Yet that hee might bee iustified, and the mouth of all wickednesse stopped, he is content to giue a reason of this sentence. Thinke not I deale hardly with this Fg-tree, let vs conferre to­gether, and heare one another with pati­ence. I will shew thee sufficient reason of cutting it downe: doe thou shew me some cause why it should stand. My reason is, It cumbers the ground. Terram reddit otiosam, in­util [...]m. It is not onely barren Formaliter, but Effectiue. In a word. 1. It does no good. 2. It doth much harme.

First, It does no good, therefore it is vn­worthy 2 of the nourishment. Terra bona, and Gens mala; are an ill match: an opulent Land,Aug. and a pestilent People. Peccator non est dignus pane quo vescitur. The wicked man is not worthy of the bread hee eates, of the water he drinkes, of the ayre he breathes, of the ground hee goes on. The rich thinkes [Page 48] himselfe worthy of delicate viands, costly garments: dutifull attendance, Quia Diues, because he is rich: yet he may not be worthy of a crumme, a rag, a respect, Quia malus, be­cause he is euill. It will one day grieue such fruitles Nabals, when they must receiue a mul­tiplicitie of torments, according to the num­ber of their abused benefits, and they wil wish that they had not fared so well vpon earth, that they might fare lesse ill in Hell. They liue in the Vineyard, eate the fat, and drinke the sweet; turning all this iuyce, not into fruitfull clusters, for the behoofe of Gods seruants; but into their owne armes and bran­ches: raysing their Houses out of the ruines of Gods House. What good doe they? Cut them downe, Why cumber they the ground? It is fit,Eccles 2.26. that the Riches of the sinner should bee laid vp for the righteous: dentur dig [...]ioribus.

3 But if God should at once cut down all the barren Trees among vs, there neuer was such a cry in Egypt, as there would be about Lon­don. What innumerable swarmes of nothing does beleaguer this Citie? men and women, whose whole imployment is, to goe from their beds to the Tap-house, then to the Play-house, where they make a match for the Brothel-house, and from thence to bed againe. To omit those ambulatory Christi­ans, that weare out the Pauement of this great Temple with their feet, but scarse euer [Page 49] touch stone of it with their knees; that are neuer further from God, then when they are neerest the Church. To omit that rabble of begging and pilfring vagabonds, that like beasts, kn [...]w no other end of their creation, but recreation; but to eate, and drinke, and sleepe. What an armie of these might bee mustred out of our Suburbs? But that Idle­nesse hath disabled them to any seruice: they are neither fit for God nor man. Did they yet but like wormes and insects, spend vp the corruption of the Land, and leaue vs the lesse, it were somewhat. But they are worse, euen diseases and vnwholsome ayres, to breed infection among vs. Let Authority looke to their castigation, or answere for their mis­chiefes: so farre as they deserue, let them not be spared; Cut them downe, Why com­ber they the Ground?

The barren Tree doth no good you see; 4 but that is not all: It doth much hurt, and that in two respects.

1 It occupies the roome where a better Tree might grow. The Kingdome of God shall be taken from you,Math. 21.43 and giuen to a Nation that will bring forth the Fruites thereof. A fruit­full Nation would bee content with such a dwelling. Christ foretels this mutation, Paul shewes it accomplished.Rom. 11.19 They are broken off, that we (in their places) might be graffed on. Friend, Math. 22.12. how cammest thou in hither, hauing [Page 50] on a wedding garment? Why dost thou vsurp the seate, where a worthy guest might sit? Thus Dauid vsed to purge his Court;Psal. 101.8. admit­ting the righteous into the offices of the vn­righteous. As in case of calamitie [...] [...]he godly are deliuered out of trouble, and the wicked comes in his roome: so in case of felicitie, the vngodly shall bee turned out of their happi­nesse, and the reighteous shall come in their stead.

A Iudge is corrupt; he is girded with Iu­stice, but the girdle saggs to that side where the purse hangeth; God will cut him down; here is roome for a good man, that will doe equitie: A Magistrate is partiall, and drawes the Sword of Iustice in his owne quarrell; which he puts vp in the cause of Christ: he must be cut downe, here is roome for one that [...]ill loue and adhere to the truth. An office is ab [...]sed by him that holds it; hee bought deare and hee cannot sell cheape: it is time he were cut downe; this place will main­taine a man, that will maintaine the place, with vprightnesse. A Minister is barren, hath no milke in his breasts: Ministerium eius accipiat alter;Acts 1.20. Let another take his office; here is roome for one that will feed the peo­ple. A prophane Patron will let none into the Lords Vineyard, but at the Non-licet-Gate; by which good men will neuer enter: his Clarke shall be Simon, himselfe will bee [Page 51] Magus: vengeance shall cut him downe; heere is roome for one that will freely put faithfull Labourers into the Vineyard. There growes an Oppressor, sculking in a corner; the nedy cannot finde him, or if they doe, they find no fruit from him; Cut him down, here is roome for one that will pitie the poore. The Lord will roote out such bastard Plants, and replenish his Garden with fruit­full Trees.

2 It drawes away nourishment from bet­ter 6 Plants, that would beare vs fruits. For this Christ denounced a woe to those Iewish Clarkes, that keeping the Keies of heauen would neither enter themselues, Matth. 23.13. nor suffer o­thers. What should become of them, that wil neither do good, nor suffer good to be done, but cutting downe? A great Oake pines all the vnderwood neere it, yea spoiles the grasse that should feed the cattell. A great Oppres­sor engrosseth all round about him, till there bee no place left for a fertile Tree. Meane while, himselfe hath onely some leaues, to shaddow his Sychophants; but no fruit, vn­lesse Bramble-berries, and such as the Hogs will scarce eate.

All couet to be great Trees, fewe to bee 7 good. The Bryar would grow vp to the big­nesse of the Maple, the Maple would be as tall as the Cedar, the Cedar as strong as the Oake: and these so spread their rootes, till [Page 52] they starue the rest by an insensible soaking. When mother earth, the Church, would deriue her sap to some young hopefull Plant, these intercept it. There is maintenance due to the Minister, but the barren Impropriator stands in his way, & sucks it al from him: per­haps he leaues him some few drops, to cool [...] his temples, but not enough to preserue life.

8 But the famished tree cries against him that drawes the life from it, & yeelds no fruit; and God will heare it, Abscinde, cut it downe. How charitable would Lazarus haue bene had he bene owner of Diues his estate? How would Mordecai haue promoted the good of Israel, had he bene as great a fauorite as Haman was? How freely would the conscionable man giue spiritual preferments, were he a Pa­tron? He that feares God, would iustly ren­der the Church her dues, did he driue such trades, and dwell in such houses, as you do. But that God, who disposeth all as it plea­seth him, mend all when it pleaseth him, euen for his owne mercies sake.

Thus from a plaine Text I haue deriued you familiar perswasions: for I came not hi­ther to satisfie the curious head, but the ho­nest heart. Admit but two considerations more, and I haue done.

9 First the Lord hath shewed vs the way to be fruitful, by his owne example. He owes vs nothing: if he withold good things, we can­not [Page 53] chalenge him: if he sends vs good things, we are bound to thanke him. The last yeare, how generall was the complaint all ouer this Kingdome? The Mower could not fill his sythe, nor the binder vp of sheues his bo­some. The beasts perished for want of fodder, yea, children dyed in the street with hunger: the poore Father not being able with all his weekes labour to buy them (onely) bread. The fields were thin, and the barnes thinner: little in many places there was to gather, and the vnseasonable weather preuented the ga­thering of that little. The emptines of their bowels did iustly fill our bowels with com­passion: Famine is a sore plague. Wee then cryed vnto the Lord for fruits, and he heard vs: Loe in how plentifull a haruest hee hath answered our desires, to his owne praise, and our comfort! Yea, he concluded all with songs and triumphs, a ioyfull haruest-home; the best sheafe of our Wheat, the best grape of the Vintage, the best flower of our gar­land, the best fruit of that royall Tree, the safe returne of our gracious Prince. These be the fruits of his mercie to vs, where be the fruits of our thankefulnesse to him?

Secondly, the barren Fig-tree is of all most 10 miserable, and so much the more, as it is bar­ren in the Vineyard.Ezech. 15.3. The Vine fruitlesse, is of all trees most vselesse. It is compared to [Page 54] man,Psal. 128.3. Iohn 15.1. Iudg. 9.13. Vxor tua sicut vitis: to the best man, I am the true vine: it cheeres the heart of God and man. But if barren it is good for nothing, not so much as to make a pinne to hang a hat on. Oakes and Cedars are good for building, Popplars for Pales, very bushes for hedging, doted wood for firing: but the fruitlesse Vine is good for nothing.Matth. 5.13. Salt keepes other things from putrefying, but if it selfe be putrefyed, what shall season it? A sweet Singer delights vs all; but Quis medebitur cantatori a Serpente percusso? If a Serpent hath stung him, who shall recouer his voice? If the eye be blind, what shall looke to the eye?

Ad nihilum valet, quod non valet ad finem suum. It is good for nothing, that is not good for the end it was made. If a knife bee not good to cut, we say it is good for nothing: yet may some other vse be inuented for it. If a Plough be not good to breake the ground, we say it is good for nothing; yet it may stop a gap. If a hound be not good to hunt, we say he is good for nothing, yet may he in the night giue warning of a theefe. But if a Fig-tree, a Professor be not good for fruit, he is indeed, good for nothing. The refuse of other things haue their vses: sowre Wine will make Vi­neger, olde Rags make Paper, Lees are for Dyers, Soile is good to fat the Land, Pot­sheards and broken tiles to mend high waies, all good for somewhat: yea, they offer to sel [Page 55] the combings of haires; Ladies and Gentle­women know whether they be good for any purpose or no. But the fruitlesse vine, the sa­uourlesse Salt, the lightlesse Lampe, the Fig­lesse Figge-tree, the gracelesse Christian, is good for nothing.

We all haue our Stations in the Vineyard, to bring foorth fruits, but what bee those fruits? It was a smart Inuention of him, that hauing placed the Emperour, and the Pope, reconciled, in their Maiestick Thrones, he brought the States of the world before them. First comes a Counseller of State, with this Motto, I Aduise you two: then a Courtier I Flatter you three: then a Hus­bandman, I Feed you foure, then a Mer­chant, I Coussen you fiue: then a Lawyer, I Robbe you sixe: then a Souldier, I Fight for you seuen: then a Physician, I Kill you eight: Lastly a Priest, I absolue you all nine: This was his Satyre. But in the feare of God, as our Soueraigne doth gouerne vs in Truth and Peace; So let the Counseller ad­uise, the Iudge censure, the Husbandman la­bour, Merchant trafficke, the Lawyer plead, the Souldier beare armes, the Diuine preach; all bring forth the fruites of righteousnesse: that this Kingdome may flourish, and bee an exemplary encouragement to our neigh­bours: that our Children may bee blessed after vs, our Enemies conuinced, Aliens [Page 56] conuerted, Satan confounded, the Gospell honoured, the Lord glorified, and our owne soules eternally saued. Which grace, the happy fruit of the Gospell; and glory, the happie fruit of Grace; God the Father grant vs all for his mercies sake, God the Sonne for his merits sake, God the Holy Ghost for his Names sake: to whom three Persons, and one most glorious God he rendred all honour and obedience, now and for euer. Amen.



A Sermon Preached at PAVLS Crosse the fifth of August. 1624.


LONDON, Printed by A. Mathewes for Iohn Grismand, and are to bee sold at his Shop in Pauls Alley at the Signe of the Gunne. 1624.



AMong the many absurdities, which giue vs iust cause to abhorre the Religion of the present Roman Church, this seemeth to me none of the least; that they haue filled all the Temples vnder the commaund of their politike Hierarchy, with Idols: and changed the glory of the Inuisible God, into the worship of visible Images. They inuocate the Saints by them, yea they dare not serue the Lord without them. As if God had repea­led his vnchageable Law; and in stead of condem­ning all worship by an Image, would now receiue no worship without an Image. I haue obserued this one, among the other famous markes of that Synagogue; that they striue to condemne that which God hath iustified, and to iustifie what he hath condemned. For the former; He hath precisely directed our Iustifica­tion only by faith in the merits of Christ: this they vehem [...]ntly dispute against. For the other; He hath (not without mention of his Ie [...]ousie) for bidden all worship that hath the least tang of Idolatry: this they eagerly maintaine. What large Volumes haue they written against the Second Commaunde­ment! as if they were not content to expunge it out [Page] of their Catechismes, vnlesse they did also Dogma­tice [...] it to the whole world. They first set the people vpon a plaine rebellion, & then make shew to fetch them off again with a neat distinction. Thus doe they pumpe their wits to legitimate that by a di­stinction, which God hath pronounced a Bastard by his definitiue sentence: as if the Papall Decrees were that law, wherby the world should bee iudged at the last day. But who will regard a house of magnificent structure, of honourable & ancient memory, when the plague hath infected it; or theeues possesse it? And who, in their right senses, will ioyne themselues to that Temple, which after pretence of long standing, stately building, and of many such prerogatiues and royalties, is foūd to be be smeared with superstitions, and profaned with innumerable Idols? Why should wee delight to dwell there, where God hath refused to dwell with vs.

I publish this argument as no new thing to your Lordship: but, wherein your well experienced know­ledge is able to informe mee. Onely I haue beene bold, through your thrice honoured Name, to trans­mit this small Discourse to the world: emboldened by the long proofe I haue had of your constant loue to the Truth, and the gracious Pietie of your most noble Mother, the best encouragement of my poore labours on earth. The best blessings of God bee still multiplied vpon her, your selfe, your religious La­dy, and your honorable Family: which is continu­ally implored by.

Your Lordships humble Seruant. THO. ADAMS.


2. COR. 6.16.

What agreement hath the Tem­ple of God with Idols?

IT is not fit, they should bee too familiar o [...] neare together in this world, whose portions shall be so farre asun­der in the world to come. The Sheepe and Goates are indeed now blended promiscuou [...]ly, and none can di­stinguish them here, but hee that shall sepa­rate them hereafter: the right and left hand of the last Tribunall shall declare them. But they that be alien or opposite to vs in Faith and Profession, are manifest, and we haue a [Page 2] frequent charge De non commiscendo. Now the neerer this ill match'd coniunction, the more intolerable; the same boord, ill; the same bed, worse; worst of all, the same Temple. So the Apostle begins his dehor­tation, Bee not vnequally yoked with vnbelee­uers: so he ends it, What agreement hath the Temple of God with Idoles! Diuers seeds of graine in one ground, diuers kinds of beasts in one yoke,Deuter. 22. diuers sorts of cloth in one gar­ment, were expressely forbidden vnder the Law: and shall seuerall Religions bee al­lowed in one Church vnder the Gospell?

The absurdnes of such a mixture is here illustrated by many oppositions; the sound of all which is Interrogatiue, the sense Ne­gatiue. Righteousnesse and Vnrighteousnesse, Light and Darknesse, Christ and Beliall, the Beleeuer and the Infidel; these can haue no societie, communion, no concord, no con­iunction; and What agreement hath the Tem­ple of God with Idols?

I need not by Art diuide these words, for they are diuided by nature. Now as Quae Deus coniunxit, nemo separet, Those things that God hath ioyned together, let no man put asunder: so Quae Deus separauit, nemo coniungat, Those things that God hath put asunder, let no man ioyne together. The scope of the Text, and the matter of my Discourse, is to separate Idols from the [Page 3] Temple of God; the holy Ghost hath diui­ded them to my hands: they cannot agree in his sentence, let them neuer agree in our practise; cursed is hee that goes about to compound this controuersie. The Temple is holy, Idols prophane, it is not lawfull to mixe Sacra profanis. The Temple is for God, Idols for the Deuill: God and the De­uill admit no reconciliation. Therefore as two hostile nations, after some treatie of peace, neither liking the proposed conditi­ons, breake off in a rage, In hoc vterque con­sentimus, quòd consentire nolumus, in this we both consent, that we wil not consent at all; so be it heere agreed, that no agreement can bee made. In composing differences be­twixt man and man, betwixt family and fa­mily, betwixt kingdome and kingdome, Beati Pacifici, Blessed are the Peace-makers. But in reconciling Christ and Belial, the Temple of God and Idols, Maledicti pacifici, Cursed are the peace-makers. Heere Bella geri place at magnos habitura triumphos. God himselfe in Paradise did first put the quar­rell, his Apostle hath heere giuen the A­larme, and hee deserues a malediction that sounds a retreat.

But as no battell can be well fought with­out order, and martial array, so no discourse can bee made profitable without some me­thod. The Temple therefore wee will sup­pose [Page 4] to be Gods Castle, and Idolatry the In­uasion of it. This Castle is but one, Idols are many. The Champions that God hath set to defend his Castle, are especially or principally Princes and Pastors, the Magi­stracy and the Ministery; the aduersary for­ces that fight against it bee the Deuils mer­cenary Souldiers. The Munition on the one side is the Diuine Scripture, the sacred Word of God: the Engines, Ordnance, and Instruments of assault on the other side, are Idols. Traditions, and those carnall in­uentions, wherewith the corrupt heart of man seekes to batter it. This Siege is con­tinuall, this feud implacable, the difference irreconcileable. Yet at last the warre shall end, with the ruine of those enemies, in the triumph of the righteous, and to the euer­lasting glory of God?

Now though this warre bee euery way spirituall, it is diuers wayes considerable. There is a materiall, and there is a mysticall Temple: there are externall, and internall Idols: there bee ordinary, and extraordi­nary Souldiers. Euery Christian, as hee is a Temple of God, so not without the assault of Idols: there is a ciuill warre, a Rebellion within him, wherewith hee is continually exercised. In this militant estate of the Church none are free: onely he that giues full allowance to his owne corruptions, is [Page 5] not a Temple of God, but a Synagogue of Satan; a sinke of vncleannesse, rather then a Sanctuary of holinesse. Thus from one ge­nerall arise many particulars; and you will say,Gene. 30.11. Behold a company; as Leah said of her sonne Gad, a Troupe commeth. Yet all these branches haue but one root: they are but like the wheeles of a Clocke, taken a little in sunder to view, then to bee put together againe. Let not their number discourage your attention. When a wealthy fouourite of the world sent his seruant to be speake lodging for him, he told the Host, Here will come to night the Lord of such a Mannor, the Land-lord of such a Town, the Keeper of such a Forrest, the Master of such an Of­fice, the Lay-parson of such a Parish, a Knight, a Iustice of Peace, a Gentleman, an Vsurer, and my Master; Alas, answeres the Host, I haue not lodging for halfe so many: Bee content, replies the seruant, for all these are but one man. So if you distrust your memories for roome to entertaine so many obseruations, yet be comforted, for all haue but this one Summe, There is no agreement betwixt the Temple of God and Idols.

The Temple.

That which was built by Salomon, was iustly called the Wonder of the world: a white and glorious Monument, set on the [Page 6] hill of Sion, inuiting passengers to see it, and amazing their eyes when they beheld it. It was of white Marble without, of Cedar and Gold within, all of the best, all beautifull, precious, durable. So magnificent was that holy Structure, that al nations haue admired it,Psalm. 4 [...], 2. all times celebrated it. Beautifull for situa­tion, the ioy of the whole earth is Mount Sion. While the fauour of heauen was set vpon Ierusalem, the ioy of the whole earth was mount Sion. It is fit, hee that made the world a house for Man, should haue a house in this world made for himselfe: neither could it be too costly, [...]eeing all the materi­alls that went to it were his owne. Euery rotten Cottage is too good for Satan, no Fabricke could be too sumptuous for God. While his people dwelt in Tents, Himselfe was content to dwell in a Tabernacle: in the flitting condition of Israel, hee would haue his owne house a moueable, that they might neuer remoue without him. But when their residence was setled in the pro­mised Land, he would haue his Tabernacle turned into a Temple; that they dwelling where he appoynted them, Hee might also dwell among them. The former was for motion, the latter for rest: the one for pro­gresse, the other his standing house. All this while God had but one House at once: first the Tabernacle, then that gaue place to [Page 7] the Temple, and Salomons Temple being defaced, was supplied by Zorobabels. Now he hath many houses, euen so many as there bee nations, as there bee congregations, as there bee persons professing Christ. Wee haue houses of our owne, why should not God haue his? A Prince hath more hou­ses then one, why should the King of Hea­uen be abridg'd? A King in his owne per­son can dwell but in one house at once; let God haue neuer so many, hee can at once fill them all. Hee hath a house of flesh, so euery Beleeuer is his Temple: a house of stone, so this materiall one is his Temple: a house neither of flesh nor stone, but imma­teriall, immortall in the heauens. And as Christ sayes,Iohn 14. that in his Fathers House there are many Mansions; so in his Fathers militant Church there are many houses.

It were vaine to aske what God should doe with a house, when wee consider what we do with our owne: what, but dwell in it? But how God doth dwell in it, seemes to be a question: seeing the Apostle saith, that hee dwells not in Temples made with hands: Actes 17.24. Indeed he dwels not in them, as wee dwell in ours. Our house defends vs, God defends his house: our house comprehends vs, God comprehends his house. Wee are onely within our houses, and they are without vs: God is so within his house, that hee is also [Page 8] without it, elsewhere, euery where, yea his house is within him. When we are abroad, we cannot keepe our houses; yea when wee are in them asleepe, they serue to keepe vs. God can neuer be absent from his, nor doth the keeper of this Temple euer sleepe. Now euery materiall Temple, wherein the Saints are assembled, the truth of the Gospell is preached and professed, the Holy Sacra­ments duely administred, and the Lords Name is inuocated and worshipped, is the Temple of God.

Why is it called His Temple, but for the testification of his presence? When Cain stood excommunicated for murdering his brother, and might not come to the place appointed for Gods seruice, he is said to be cast out from the presence of the Lord. Genes. 4.16. Some haue interpreted the like of Ionahs flying from his presence;Ionah 1.3. that he fled from the place where the Prophets vsed to stand ready to be sent of God.Leuit. 10.2. Nadab and Abihu dyed be­fore the Lord; that is, before the Altar of the Arke or Altar, in the Tabernacle or Tem­ple, was said to be done coram D [...]mino. And yet too many come to the Temple with so little reuerence, as if they thought God were not at home, or did not dwell in his owne house. But the Lord is present in his Temple: in vaine shall wee hope to finde [Page 9] him elsewhere, if we do not seek him here I will bee in the midst of you, Math 18.20. gathered together in my Name: not any where, not euery where, but here. Indeed, no place excludes him, but this place is sure of him: hee fills all places with his presence, hee fills this with his gracious presence. Heere hee both heares vs, and is heard of vs:Bern. Audit orantes, docet audientes; hee heares our pray­ers, and teacheth vs our lessons. No place sends vp faithfull prayers in vaine, no place hath such a promise of hearing as the Tem­ple. It is the Lords Court of Audience, his Highnesse Court of Requests. There humble soules open their grieuances, from thence they returne loaden with graces. Why are many so voyd of goodnesse, but because they are negligent of the publike deuotions? They seek not the Lord where hee may bee found, therefore deserue to misse him where they pretend to seek him. Why should they thinke to finde God in their Closets, while they care not to seeke him in his Temples? When wee need the helpe of our friend, do we tarry till we meet him by chance, or till hee come to vs, or shall wee not rather go home to his house? Peter and Iohn went vp into the Temple at the houre of Prayer: Actes 3.1. they thought it no suffi­cient to pray in their priuate chambers, but ioyne themselues with the Congregation, [Page 10] as a Nauy Royall to transport their holy Merchandise to heauen.Psalm. 134.2. Lift vp your hands in the Sanctuary, and blesse the Lord. Pure hands are accepted in euery place; but espe­cially in the Sanctuary. What followes? The Lord that made heauen and earth, blesse thee out of Sion. Hee sayes not, the Lord that made heauen, blesse thee vpon earth: nor, the Lord that made earth, blesse thee out of heauen: but the Lord that made heauen and earth, blesse thee out of Sion. Bles­sings come originally from heauen, medi­ately through Sion. In the Temple let vs seeke, in the Temple wee shall finde those precious treasures and comforts of Iesus Christ.

This Temple is not without some ene­mies. Besides those prophane Polititians, that thinke with one Eustathius, that there is no vse of Temples: or those Massilians, who (as Damascen reports) did adde to o­ther Heresies Templorum contemptum: or those Pseudo-Apostoli, that laughed at a Temple full of Suppliants, as a house full of fooles. Or those that bee of Ieroboams mind. who to settle himselfe in the king­dome of Israel, diuerts the people from Gods house at Ierusalem. In stead of that snowy & glittering Temple, they shall haue two golden representations. Sion is too farre off, these shall bee neere home: that [Page 11] is a tedious way of deuotion, these both compendious and plausible. [...]ntiqu. lib. 8. cap. 3. As Iosephus brings him in perswading them; My good people and friends, you cannot but know that no place is without God, and that no place doth containe God; wheresoeuer we pray, he can heare vs; wheresoeuer we wor­ship, hee can see vs: therefore the Temple is superfluous, the iourney needlesse; God is better able to come to you, then you are to goe to him. Beside these, the Temple of God hath two kinds of foes.

1. The Anabaptists tell vs; that the old su­perstition hath made those houses fitter for Stables then for Churches; that they ought no more to be called Templa Dei, but Tem­pla Idolorum; as they pretend, the Passeouer was called in those corrupt times,Iohn 2.13. not Pas­cha Dei, but Pascha Iudaeorum. By the same reason they would haue remoued all Prin­ces, because some haue abused their go­uernments. But we say, though euill men abuse good things yet if a kingdome were not a lawfull State, Dauid and Iosias would neuer haue been Kings; for good men doe not vse euill things. The Temple in Christs time was become a denne of theeues, yet euen then and there did hee send vp deuout and holy Prayers. It is a grosse ignorance that cannot distinguish betwixt a fault that proceeds ex natura facti, Th. 1. qu. 41. art. 6. and that [Page 12] which proceeds ex abusu boni: the former is malum simpliciter, the other is but malum per accidens. No man pulles downe his house, because vncleanesse hath been com­mitted in one of the chambers. Let offen­ders be remoued from the Temple, not the Temple demolished because of offences. The Kingdome of God shall be taken from you, Math. 21.43. saith Christ; not quite taken away, but one­ly taken from the Iewes. When GOD threatned the like to Saul, 1 Sam. 15.28. he did not meane to haue no more Kings, or to reduce it to the former state of Iudges: no, onely the kingdome shall lose Saul, but Israel shall not lose the kingdome. It is a Maxime in nature, Things dedicated to God, are not to bee transferred to the vses of men: a prin­ciple in Philosophy,Plato. Quae rectè data sunt, eri­pi non licet: and a prouerbe among our chil­dren, To giue a thing, and take a thing, is fit for the Deuils darling.

2. The Sacrilegious, to whom God is be­holding, if they let his Temple stand; but for the maintenance of it, they will bee so bold with him, as either to share halfe, or leaue him none. There bee many that pray in the Temple, who yet also prey on the Temple: as if a thiefe should doe homage to that house in the day, which hee meanes to robbe in the night. But alas, why should I touch that sore which is all dead flesh▪ [Page 13] or speake against Sacriledge In orbe sacrile­go, among them that delight in it? Where Lawyers are feeed, hired, bribed to main­taine Sacriledge, God and his poore Minis­ters may euen hold their peace. Some­thing would be spoken for Sions sake, but I take this place and time for neither the right Vbi nor Quando. We know, Abigail would not tell Nabal of his drunkenesse, till hee was awoke from his wine. When­soeuer it shall please God to awake you from this intoxication, we may then find a season to speake to you. But God keepe you from Nabals destiny;1 Sam. 25.37. that when this sinne shall bee obiected to your Consciences on your death-beds, your hearts doe not then die in you like a stone. One thing let me beg of you in the Name of him, whom you thus wrong: Howsoeuer you persist to robbe the Temple of the due Salary, yet doe not stand to iustifie it. By imploring mer­cy perhaps you may bee saued, but by iusti­fying the Iniury, you cannot but be lost. As the French King, Francis the first said to a woman kneeling and crying to him for Iu­stice; Stand vp woman, for Iustice I owe thee; if thou beg'st any thing, beg mercy. So if you request any thing of God, let it bee mercy, for he owes you Iustice: and in this poynt, God be mercifull to you all.

It was Dauids earnest prayer, One thing [Page 14] haue I desired of the Lord, Psalm. 27.7. and that will I seeke after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the dayes of my life, to behold the beautie of the Lord, and to enquire in his Temple. There are many that pray Dauids words, but not with Dauids heart. Vnum petij, one thing I haue desired, De praeterito, for the time past: & hoc requiram, this I will still seeke after, de futuro, for the time to come: I haue re­quired it long, and this suite I will vrge till I haue obtained it. What? to dwell in some of the houses of God all the dayes of my life, and to leaue them to my children after me: not to serue him there with de­uotion, but to make the place mine owne possession. These loue the House of God too well, they loue it to Haue, and to Hold: but because the Conueyance is made by the Lawyer, and not by the Minister, their Title will bee found naught in the end: and if there bee not a Nifi prius to preuent them, yet at the great day of vniuersall Audite, the Iudge of all the world shal condemne them. By this way, the neerer to the Church, the further from God. The Lords Temple is or­dained to gaine vs to him, not for vs to gaine it from him. If we loue the Lord, we will loue the habitation of his House, and the place where his Honour dwelleth: that so by being humble frequenters of his Temple below, we may be made noble Saints of his House [Page 15] aboue, the glorious kingdome of Iesus Christ.

These bee the enemies to the Temple, whereof the first would separate Dominum à Templo, the other templum à Domino: they would take God from the Temple, these would take the Temple from God. Let mee conclude this poynt with two watch-words.

1. The first concernes vs of the Ministe­ry, the wayters of the Temple. It hath been an old saying, De Templo omne bonum, de Templo omne malum: all good or euill comes from the Temple.Chrys. Where the Pastor is good, and the people good, hee may say to them,1 Cor. 9.1. as Paul to his Corinthians, Nonne opus meum vos estis in Domino, Are not ye my work in the Lord? Where the Pastor is bad, and the people no better, they may say to him, 10 Nonne destructis nostra tu es in seculo, art not thou our destruction in the world? It is no wonder, if an abused Temple make a disor­dered people. A wicked Priest is the worst creature vpon Gods earth: no sinne is so blacke, as that shall appeare from vnder a white Surplesse. Euery mans iniquitie is so much the hainouser, as his place is holyer. The sinne of the Clergy is like a Rheume, which rising from the stomach into the head, drops downe vpon the lungs, fretting the most noble and vitall parts, till all the [Page 16] members languish into corruption. The lewd sonnes of Eli were so much the lesse tolerable, by sinning in the Tabernacle. Their sacrifices might doe away the sinnes of others; no sacrifice could doe away their owne. Many a soule was the cleaner for the blood of those beasts they shed; their owne soules were the fouler by it. By one and the same seruice, they did expiate the peoples offences, and multiply their owne. Our Clergie is no Charter for heauen. Such men are like the conueyances of Land, Eui­dences and Instruments to settle others in the kingdome of heauen, while themselues haue no part of that they conuey. It is no vnpossible thing, for men at once to shew the way to Heauen with their tongue, and lead the way to Hell with their foot. It was not a Iewish Ephod, it is not a Romish Cowle, that can priuiledge an euill doer from punishment. Therefore it was Gods charge to the executioners of his Iudge­ments,Ezek. 9.6. 1 Pet. 4.17. Iohn 2.15. Begin at my owne Sanctuary: and the Apostle tells vs, that Iudgement shall begin at the house of God: and Christ entring into his Propheticall Office, began reformation at his Fathers house. Let our deuout and holy behauiour preuent this; and by our reuerent carriage in the Temple of God, let vs ho­nour the God of the Temple. It should be our endeuour to raise vp seed vnto our elder [Page 17] Brother, Aug. to winne soules vnto Christ. Nun­quam cessate lucrari Christo, qui lucrati estis à Christo. If Christ, while hee was vpon the Crosse, saith Bernard, had giuen mee some drops of his owne blood in a Violl, how carefully would I haue kept them, how dearely esteemed them, how laid them next my heart? But now he did not thinke it fit to trust me with those drops, But hee hath intrusted to me a flocke of his lambes, those soules for whom hee shed his blood, like whom his owne blood was not so deare vn­to him: vpon these let mee spend my care, my loue, my labour, that I may present them holy Saints to my deare Lord Iesus.

2. The other concernes all Christians; that they beware, lest for the abuses of men, they despise the Temple of God. For as the Altar cannot sanctifie the Priest, so nor can the vnholinesse of the Priest dishallow the Altar. His sin is his owne, and cannot make you guiltie: the vertue and comfort is from God, and this is still able to make you holy. When wee read,1 Sam. 2.17. that the sinne of the Priests was great before the Lord, for men abhorred the offering of the Lord: this we all confesse, was ill done of the Priests; and I hope no man thinks, it was well done of the people. Say their sinnes, yea their very persons were worthy to be abhorred, shall men therefore scorne the Sanctuary, & cast that contempt [Page 18] on the Seruice of God, which belongs to the vices of man? This were to adde our owne euill to the euill of others, and to of­fend God because he was offended. Cannot the faults of men displease vs, but wee must needs fall out with God? Doe we not pro­uoke him iustly to abhorre our soules, when we so vniustly contemne his seruice? Know, that he is able to sanctifie thy heart, euen by the ministery of that man whose heart hee hath not yet sanctified. The vertue consists not in the humane action, but in the diuine Institution. Wee say of the Sacraments themselues, much more of the Ministers; Isti non tribuunt, quod per istos tribuitur: these doe not giue vs, what God doth giue vs by them.

But this age is ficke of such a wanton le­vitie, that wee make choyce of the Temple, according to our fancy of the Preacher: and so tye vp the free Spirit of God from blowing where he pleaseth, that he shall be beholding to the grace of the Speaker, for giuing grace to the hearer. So whereas Paul ties Faith to hearing, they will tie hearing to Faith; and as they beleeue the holinesse of the man, so they expect fruit of the Sermon. This is to make Paul something, and Apollos something; wheras Paul himselfe sayes they are both nothing. God onely giues the en­crease, and who shall appoint him by whom [Page 19] he shall giue it? Let the feed bee good, and the ground good, and the Lord will send fruit whosoeuer bee the Sower. But while you make hearing a matter of sport, Prea­ching is too often become an exercise of wit. Words are but the Images of matter, and (you shall heare anon) it is not lawfull to worship Images. It dangerously mis becomes the Temple, when any thing shall bee intended there, but the glory of God, and gaining of soules to Iesus Christ.

Thus much concerning the Temple; the next poynt I must fall vpon is


Idol in Greeke signifies a resemblance or representation, and differs not from Image in Latine: both at first taken in a good sense: but the corruption of times hath bred a cor­ruption of words; and Idol is now only ta­ken for the Image of a false god. Euery Idol is an Image, but euery Image is not an Idol: but euery Image made and vsed for religi­ous purposes, is an Idol. The Images of God are Idols; wherwith Popery abounds. An old man, sitting in a chaire, with a triple Crowne on his head, and Pontificall robes on his backe, a Doue hanging at his beard, and a Crucifixe in his armes; is their Image of the Trinitie. This Picture sometime serues them for a god in their Churches, [Page 20] and somtime for a signe at th ir tap-houses: so that it is a common saying in many of their Cities, Such a Gentleman lyes at the Trinity, and his seruants at Gods head. This they seeme to doe, as if they would in some sort requite their Maker: because God made man according to his Image, therfore they, by way of recompence, will make God ac­cording to mans Image. But this certainly they durst not doe, without putting the second Commandement out of their Ca­techismes, and the whole Decalogue out of their Consciences.

I intend no polemicall discourse of this poynt, by examining their Arguments: that businesse is fitter for the Schoole, then the Pulpit. And, O God, that either Schoole or Pulpit in Christendome should be troubled about it! that any man should dare to make that a question, which the Lord hath so plainely and punctually forbidden! Beside the Iniquity, how grieuous is the absurdity? How is a body without a spirit, like to a spi­rit without a body? A visible picture, like an inuisible nature? How would the King take it in scorne, to haue his picture made like a Wesell or a Hedgehog? And yet the difference betwixt the greatest Monarch, and the least Emmet, is nothing to the di­stance betwixt a finite & an infinite. If they alledge with the Anthropomorphites, that [Page 21] the Scripture attributes to God hands, and feet, and eyes: why therefore may they not represent him in the same formes? But we say, the Scripture also speaks of his couering vs with the Shadow of his wings; why ther­fore do they not paint him like a Bird with feathers? If they say, that he appeared to Daniel in this forme, because hee is there called the Ancient of dayes: wee answere, that Gods Commandements, and not his apparitions, be rules to vs: by the former we shall be iudged and not by the latter. It is mad Religion, to neglect what he bids vs doe, and to imitate what he hath done: as if we should despise his Lawes, and goe about to counterfeit his thunder. God is too infi­nite for the comprehension of our soules, why should we then labour to bring him in­to the narrow compasse of bords & stones? Certenly, that should not be Imaged, which cannot be Imagined. But Christ was a man, why may not his Image be made? Some answer, that no man can make an Image of Christ, without leauing out the chiefe part of him, which is his Diuinitie. It was the Godhead vnited to the manhood, that makes him Christ: sure this cannot be pain­ted. But why should wee make Christs I­mage without Christs warrant? The Lord hath forbidden the making of any Image, whether of things in heauen, where Christ [Page 22] is; or of things on earth, where Christ was; to worship them. Now till God reuoke that precept, what can authorise this practice?

Their Images of the Saints, employed to such religious purposes, make them no lesse then Idolaters. It is a silly shift to say, the honor done to the Images, reflects vpon the represented Saints. When they cloath an Image, is the Saint ere the gayer or warmer? when they offer to an Image, is the Saint ere the richer? When they kneele to an Image. the Saint esteemes himselfe no more wor­shipped, then the King holds himselfe ho­ [...]oured, when a man speaks to his picture be fore his face. Therefore some of them ar [...] driuen to confesse plainly, that the Image is worshipped for it selfe. But could the Saints in heauen be heard speak vpon earth, they would disclaime that honour, which is [...]reiudiciall to their Maker. As Caluin is not afraid to say of the blessed Virgin, that shee would hold it lesse despite done to her, if they should pull her by the haire of the head, or trample her in the dirt, then to set [...]er in riuality with her Sonne and God and Sauiour. But they tell vs, that they worship not the Images of false Gods, as did the Pagans; but onely the Images of Gods [...]wne seruants, and choise friends. But will [...]he iealous God endure this, that his hono [...] [...]e taken from him, vpon condition it be no [...] [Page 23] bestowed vpon his enemies, but on his friends? Idolatry is called Adultery in the Scriptures: and shall a woman quit her selfe from offence, because though she doe com­mit adultery, yet it is with none but her hus­bands friends? Is this done in a good mea­ning, or in loue to Christ? It is but a bad excuse of a wife, to say that shee exceeding­ly loues her husband, therefore must haue some other man to kisse and embrace in his absence, and all this in loue to her husband.

Wee are all by nature prone to Idolatrie: when we were little children, we loued ba­bies: and being growne men, we are apt to loue Images. And as Babies be childrens I­dols. so Idols & Images be mens Babies. It seemes that Idols are fittest for Babes, there­fore so the Apostle [...]its his caution,1 John. 5.21. Babes keepe your selues from Idols. As all our know­ledge comes by sense, so we naturally desire a sensible obiect of deuotion: finding it ea­sier to see Pictures, then to comprehend Doctrines, and to forme prayers to the Ima­ges of men, then to forme man to the I­mage of God.

Nor can they excuse themselues from I­dolatry, by saying they put their confidence in God, not in the Images of God. For when the Israelites had made their golden Calfe, and danced about, one calfe about another; they were not such beasts, as to [Page 24] thinke that beast their God. But so can Su­perstition besot the mind, that it makes vs not men, before it can wake vs Idolaters. What doe they say?Exod. 32.1. Make vs gods that shall go before us. Euery word is wicked, ab­surd, sensles. 1. They had seene the power of God in many miraculous deliuerances be­fore their eyes; the voice of God had scarce yet done thundering in their eares: he had said, I am Iehouah, thou shalt haue no other gods; and this they trembling heard him speake out of the midst of the flames: and yet they dare speake of another god. 2. The singular number would not serue them, make vs gods. How many gods would they haue? Is there any more then one? 3. Make vs gods; and were not they strange gods that could bee made? In stead of acknow­ledging God their Maker, they command the making of gods. 4. This charge they put vpon Aaron, as if he were able to make a god? Aaron might helpe to spoyle a man, either himselfe or them, but hee could not make a man, not one haire of a man, much lesse a god: and yet they say to him, Make vs gods. 5. And what should these gods doe? Goe before vs? Alas, how should they goe, that were not able to stand? how goe before others, that could not moue themselues? Oh the blockishnes of men, that make blocks to worship! Otherwise, how [Page 25] could they that are the Images of God, fall downe before the Images of creatures.Wisd. 13.18. For health, they call vpon that which is weake: for life, they pray to that which is dead: and a pro­sperous iourney they beg of that which cannot set a foot forward.

Yet as their sinne was bad enough, let not our vncharitablenesse make it worse. Let vs not thinke them so vnreasonable, as to thinke that Calfe a God; or that the Idoll which they made to day, did bring them out of Egipt three moneths before. It was the true God they meant to worship in the Calfe, and yet (at the best) euen that Idolatry was damnable. So charitie bids vs hope of the Papists, that they doe not take that bord or stone for their God, yet withall wee find that God doth take them for Idolaters. They tell vs (with a new distinction ) that they forbid the people, to giue Diuine wor­ship to Images: but we say, they had better forbid the people to haue Images. A blocke lies in the high way, and a watchman is set by it to warne the Passengers; Take heed, heere is a blocke. But how if the watchman fall a sleepe? Whether is the safer course, quite to remoue the blocke out of the way, or to trust the passengers safetie vpon the watchmans vigilancie? As for their watch­men, commonly they are as very Images as the Images themselues: and how should [Page 26] one blocke remoue another? When Iero­boam had set vp his two Idols in Israel, hee I rakes vp his Priests out of the common kennell; the basest of the people were good enough for such a bastard deuotion: wood­den priests were fit enough to wayt vpon golden Deities. So when Micah had made him a costly Idol, he hires him a beggerly Leuite. No ortherwise did the Painter ex­cuse himselfe, for drawing the Images of Peter and Paul too ruddy and high coloured in the face; that howsoeuer they were while they liued, pale with fasting and preaching, yet now they must needs become red with blushing at the errors and ignorance of their successors; for such with a lowd noyse they giue themselues out to be.

To conclude, if it were as easie to con­uince Idolaters, as it is to confound & tread downe their Idols, this labour of Confuta­tion had bin well spared, or were soone en­ded. But if nothing can reclaime them from this superstitious practice, let them reade th [...]ir fearefull sentence. Their place shall be without,Reuel. 22.18.among the dogs, those desperate sinners vncapable of forgiuenes.Esa. 1.31. The strong, the Idol which they made their strength, shall bee as towe, and the maker or worshipper thereof as a sparke, and they shall both burne to­gether in euerlasting fire, and none shal quench them. Now the Lord open their eyes to see, [Page 27] and sanctifie their hearts to yeeld, that there is no agreement betwixt the Temple of God and Idols: which is the next point, whereof I shall speake with what breuitie I can, and with what fidelitie I ought.

No agreement.

There bee some points which the wrang­ling passions of men haue left further asun­der, then they found them; about which there needed not haue bin such a noyse. But things that are in their owne natures contra­ry, and opposed by the ordinance of God, can neuer be reconciled. An enemy may be made a friend, but enmity can neuer bee made friendship. The ayre that is now light, may become darke: but light can neuer be­come darknesse. Contraries in the abstract are out of all composition. The sicke body be recouered to health, but health can neuer be sicknes. The sinner may be made righte­ous, but sinne can neuer become righteous­nes. Fire and water, peace and warre, loue and hatred, truth and falshood, faith and in­fidelity, Religion and Idolatry, can neuer be made friends: there can bee no agreement be­twixt the Temple of God and Idols.

God is Ens entium, All in all: an Idol is nothing in the world, saith the Apostle: now All and Nothing are most contrary. Idolatry quite takes away Faith, a fundamentall part [Page 28] of Christian religion: for an Idol is a thing visible,Heb. 11.1. but Faith is of things inuisible. The I­dol is a false euidence of things seene, Faith is a true euidence of things not seen. Besides, God can defend himselfe, saue his friends, plague his enemies:Hieron. but Idols nec hostes ab­sc [...]ndere possunt quasi dij, nec se abscondere quasi homines; they can neither reuenge themselus on prouokers, like gods; nor hide them­selues from iniurers, like men.

The foolish Philistims thought that the same house could hold both the Arke & Da­gon;1. Sam. 5.3. as if an insensible Statue were a fit com­panion for the liuing God. In the morning they come to thanke Dagon for the victory, and to fall downe before him, before whom they thought the God of Israel was fallen: and loe, now they find the keeper flat on his face before the prisoner. Had they formerly of their own accord, with awfull reuerence, laid him in this posture of an humble pro­stration; yet God would not haue brooked the indignity of such an entertainment. But seeing they durst set vp their Idol cheeke by cheeke with their Maker, let them goe read their folly in the Temple floore, & confesse that hee which did cast their god so low, could cast them lower. Such a shame doth the Lord owe all them, which wil be making matches betwixt him and Belial. Yet they consider not, how should this God raise vs, [Page 29] who is not able to stand, or rise himselfe? Strange they must confesse it, that whereas Dagon was wont to stand, and themselues to fall down, now Dagon was fallen down, and themselues stood; & must help vp with their owne god. Yea, their god seemes to worship them on his face, and to craue that succour from them, which he was neuer able to giue them. Yet in his place they set him againe; and now lift vp those hands to him, which helped to lift him vp; and prostrate those fa­ces to him, before whom he lay prostrate. So can Idolatry turne men into the stockes and stones which they worship? They that make them, are like vnto them. But will the Lord put it vp thus? No, the next fall shall burst it to pieces; that they may sensibly per­ceiue, how God scornes a Competitor, and that there is no agreement betwixt Him and Idols. Now what is the difference betwixt the Philistims and Papists? The Philistims would set God in the Temple of Idols, the Papists would set Idols in the Temple of God. Both agree in this, that they would make God and Idols agree together. But Manasseh found to his cost,2 Chr [...]n. 33.7 than an Idol might not be indured in the house of God.

How vaine then, are the endeuours to re­concile our church with that of Rome; when God hath interposed this barre, there is No agreement betwixt him and Idols? Either [Page 30] they must receiue the Temple without I­dols, or we must admit Idols with the Tem­ple, or this composition cannot be. There is a contention betwixt Spaine & the Nether­landers, concerning the right of that Coun­try: but should not the Inhabitants well for­tifie the coasts, the raging sea would soone determine the controuersie, and by force of her waues take it from them both. There is a contestation betwixt vs and the Pontifici­ans, which is the true Church: but should not wee in meane time carefully defend the Faith of Christ against Idols, Superstition would quickly decide the busines, and take the possession of truth from vs both. A proud & peruerse stomach keeps them from yeelding to vs: God and his holy word for­bids our yeelding to them: they will haue Idols or no Temple, we wil haue the Temple and no Idols: now till the agreement bee made betwixt the Temple and Idols, no a­tonement can be hoped betwixt vs & them.

Gal. 5. [...]. I Paul say vnto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. He that would not endure a little leauen in the lumpe, what would hee haue said of a little poyson? If Moses ioyned with Christ, the ceremoniall Law with the Gospell, were so offensiue to him; how would hee haue brooked Christ and Belial, light and darknes, righteousnes [...]nd vnrighteousnes, the cup of the Lord and [Page 31] the cup of deuils, the Table of the Lord, and the table of deuils, the Temple of God and Idols? In the tuning of an Instrument, those strings that be right we meddle not with, but set the rest higher or lower, so as they make a proportion & harmony with the former. The same God who of his gracious mercy, hath put vs in the right & vniarring harmo­ny of truth, bring them home in true con­sent to vs, but neuer suffer vs to fall back vn­to them. Hitherto the contention between vs hath not been for circumstance, but sub­stance; not for the bounds, but for the whole Inheritance: whether God or man, grace or nature, the bloud of Christ or the milke of Mary, the written Canon or vnwritten Tradition, Gods ordinance in establishing Kings, or the Popes vsurpation in deposing them, shall take place in our consciences, and be the rule of our faiths and liues.

We haue but one Foundation, he infalli­ble word of God: they haue a new founda­tion, the voice of their Church, which they equalize in presumption of certaintie with the other. Wee haue but one Head, that is Christ, they haue gotten a new head, & dare not but beleeue him, whatsoeuer Christ saies. Sponsus Ecclesiae nostrae Christus, Christ is our husband: they haue a new husband. While Rome was a holy Church, she had a holy husband: but now as Christ said to the [Page 32] woman of Samaria, He whom thou now hast, is not thine husband: so he whom the Roma­nists haue now got, is an adulterer, he is no husband. So that here is Foundation against foundation, Head against head, Husband a­gainst adulterer, Doctrine against doctrine, Faith against vnbeliefe, Religion against su­perstition, the Temple of God against Idols; and all these so diametrally opposed, that the two Poles shall sooner meet, then these be reconciled. Michael and the Dragon can­not agree in one Heauen, nor the Arke and Dagon in one house, nor Iacob and Esau in one wombe, nor Ioha and Cerinthus in one Bath, nor the cleane and the leprous in one c [...]mp, nor truth and falshood in one mouth, nor the Lord and Mammon in one heart, nor religion & superstition in one kingdom, nor God and Idols in one Temple. The silly old Hermite was sory, that God and the Deuill should be at such odds, and he would vnder­take to make them friends: but the Deuill bad him euen spare his labour, for they two were euerlastingly fallen out. No lesse vaine a busines doth that man attempt, that would worke an agreement betwixt the Temple of God and Idols.

I take leaue of this point with a caution. Flie the places of infection, come not with­in the smoke of Idols, lest it smother the zeale of Gods Temple in your hearts. Re­uolting [Page 33] Israel cals for gods; but why should this god of theirs be fashioned like a Calfe? What may bee the reason of this shape? Whence had they the originall of such an Idol? Most likely in Egypt: they had seen a blacke Calfe with white spots worshipped there. This Image stil ran in their minds, and stole their hearts, & now they long to haue it set vp before their eyes. Egypt wil not out of their fancies: when they wanted meat, they thought of the Egyptian flesh-pots: now they want Moses, they thinke of the E­gyptian Idols. They brought gold out of E­gypt; that very gold was contagious; the ve­ry Eare-rings and Iewels of Egypt are fit to make Idols. The Egyptian burdens made them run to the true God, the Egyptian ex­amples led them to a false god. What meane our wanderers by running to Rome & such superstitious places; vnlesse they were weary of the Church of God, & would fetch home Idols? If it were granted, that there is some little truth among them, yet who is so sim­ple, as to seeke his corne among a great heap of chaffe, and that far off; who may haue it at home, winnowed and clensed to his hand?

The very sight of euill is dangerous, and they bee rare eyes that doe not conuey this poison to our hearts. I haue heard of some, that euen by laboring in the Spanish galleys, haue come home the slaues of their supersti­tions. [Page 34] Egypt was alwayes an vnlucky place for Israel, as Rome is for England. The peo­ple soiourned there, and they brought home one Calfe: Ieroboam soiourned there, and he brought home Two calues: Iudg. 17. an old woman (in all likelihood) had soiourned there, and shee brought home a great many. The Romish Idols haue not the shape of calues, they haue the sense and meaning of those calues: and to fill the Temple full of Calues, what is it but to make Religion guilty of Non-sence. Bulls?

Consider it well, ye that make no scruple of superstitious assemblies; it will bee hard for you to dwell in a Temple of Idols vn­tainted. Not to sinne the sins of the place we liue in, is as strange, as for pure liquor tunn'd vp in a musty vessel, not to smel of the caske. Egypt will teach euen a Ioseph to sweare: a Peter will learne to curse in the high Priests Hall. If we be not scorch'd with the fire of bad company, we shall be sure to be black'd with the smoke. The soundest body that is, may be infected with a contagious ayre. In­deed a man may trauel through Ethiopia vn­changed, but he cannot dwell there without a complexion discoloured. How hath the common practise of others brought men to the deuillish fashion of swearing, or to the bruitish habit of drinking, by their owne confessions? Superstition, if it haue once got a secret liking of the heart, like the [Page 35] plague will hang in the very clothes; and af­ter long concealement, breake forth in an vnlook'd for infection. The Israelites, after all their ayring in the wildernesse, will still smell of Egypt.Math. 2.15. We read God saying, Out of Egypt haue I called my Sonne. That God did call his Sonne out of Egypt, it is no wonder: the wonder is that hee did call him into E­gypt. It is true, that Egypt could not hurt Christ: the King doth not follow the Court, the Court waits vpon the King: wheresoe­uer Christ was, there was the Church. But be our Israelites so sure of their sonnes, when they send them into Egypt, or any superstitious places? It was their presumption to send them in, let it bee their repentance to call them out.

The familiar societie of orthodox Chri­stians with mis [...]beleeuers, hath by God euer been most strictly forbidden: and the neerer this coniunction, the more dangerous, and displeasing to the forbidder. No man can chuse a worse friend, then one whom God holds his enemy. When Religion and Su­perstition meet in one bed, they commonly produce a mungrell generation.2 Sam. 3.3. If Dauid marry Maachah, their issue proues an Abso­lon. If Salomon loue idolatrous women, here is enough to ouerthrow him with all his wisdome. Other strange women only tempt to lust, these to mis-religion; and by ioyning [Page 36] his heart to theirs, hee shall di [...]ioyne it from God. One Religion matching with ano­ther, not seldome breed an Atheist, one of no religion at all. I doe not say, this is a suf­ficient cause of diuorce after it is done, but of restraint before it is done. They may be one flesh, though they be not one spirit. The difference of religion or vertue makes no diuorce here, the great Iudges sentence shall doe that heereafter. And the beleeuing hus­band is neuer the further from heauen, though hee cannot bring his vnbeleeuing wife along with him. The better shall not carry vp the worse to heauen, nor the worse pull downe the be [...]ter to hell. Quod fieri non debuit, factum valet. But now, is there no tree in the Garden, but the forbidden? none for me to loue, but one that hates the truth? Yes, l [...]t vs say to them in pl [...]ine fidelitie, as the sonn [...]s of Iacob did to the Shichemites in dissembling policie;Gene. 34.14. Wee cannot giue our sister to a man that is vncircumcised: either con­sent you to vs in the truth of our Religion, or wee will not consent to you in the league of our Communion.

Saint Chrysostome calls this a plaine deni­all of Christ. H [...]e that eateth of the meate offered to Idols, Gustu negauit Christum, hath denied Christ with his tasting. If hee but handle those things with delight, Tactu negauit Christum, hee hath denied Christ with [Page 37] his touching. Though hee touch not, taste not, yet if he stand to looke vpon the Idola­try with patience, Visu negauit Christum, hee hath denied Christ with his eyes. If he listen to those execrable charmes, Auditu negauit Christum, hath denyed Christ with his eares. Omitting all these, if he doe but smell to the Incense with pleasure, Odoratu nega­uit Christum, hee hath denied Christ with his smelling It is said of the Israelites, Commisti sunt inter gentes, Psalm. 106.35 They were mingled among the Heathen. What followed? Presently, they learned their works. The reason why the Ra­uen returned not to Noahs Arke, is giuen by some, because it met with a dead carkase by the way. Why doe we pray, Deliuer vs from evill; but that wee imply, (besides all other mischiefes) there is an infectious power in it to make vs euill? Let vs doe that wee pray, and pray that wee may doe it. Yea Lord, free vs from Egypt, estrange vs from Rome, separate vs from Idols, de­liuer vs from euill, For thine is the king­dome, the power, and the glorie, for euer and euer. Amen.

Thus farre we haue taken a literall suruey of the Text; concerning the materiall Tem­ple, externall or obiectuall Idols, and the impossibilitie of their agreement. Now to come neerer home to our selues in a morall Exposition: here first

The Temple of God

Is the Church of Christ, and they are so like, that we often interchange the tearmes, calling a Temple the Church, & the Church a Temple of God. The materiall Temple vnder the Law was a figure of the spirituall vnder the Gospell. The former was distin­guished into three roomes; the Porch, the holy place, and the Sanctum Sanctorum, or Holy of holies. The Porch prefigured Bap­tisme, which is the doore whereby we enter into the Church of Christ. The Holy place, the communion of the militant church vp­ly earth, separated from the world. The Ho­on of holies, whereinto the high Priest only entred, & that once a yeare, presignified the glorious kingdome of heauen, wherinto the Lord Iesus entred once for all. There was one Court of the Temple common, whither accesse was denied to none: though they were vn [...]leane or vncircumcised, thus farre they might be admitted. There was another Court within that, allowed to none but the Israelites, & of them to none but the cleane. There was a third, proper only to the Priests and Leuites, whither the Laitie might not come: thus farre they might bring their of­ferings, but further they might not offer to goe. In the Temple it selfe there was one roome, into which the Leuites might not [Page 39] enter, the Priests might. Another, whither the Priests might not come; but onely the high Priest, and euen hee but once yearely. Some passages of the Christian Church are common to all, euen to the vncleane hypo­crites, and foule-hearted sinners. They haue accesse to Gods holy ordinances, and tread in his Courts; as the Pharisee came into the congregation, and Iudas receiued the Com­munion. Other are secret and reserued, wherein the faithfull onely conuerse with God, and solace themselues in the sweet fruition of his gracious presence.

The materiall Temple in three diuisions, seemed to be a cleare representation of the Church in three degrees. The first signified the externall and visible face of the Church, from which no professor of Christ is debar­red. The second, the communion of the in­uisible Church vpon earth. The last, the highest heauen of Gods glorified Saints. Neither did those roomes more exceed one another then do these parts of the spirituall house of Christ. What are the most polished corners of the Temple, to the spirituall & li­uing stones of the Church? What be pebles to Saphirs, or marbles to Diamonds? How­soeuer some are more transported with in­sensible monuments, then with liuing Saints. As it was a complaint long since, Fulget Ec­clesia in parietibus, luget in pauperibus. Yet [Page 40] Temples are built for men, not men for Temples: and what is a glorious edifice, when the whole world is not worth one soule? Dead walls bee of small value, to the liuing Temples of the holy Ghost: yea, the temple of our body, to the temple of Christs Body, his Church: yea the Temple of Gods Church militant on earth, to that which is triumphant in heauen. What is siluer and gold, Cedar and Marble, to those diuine gra­ces, faith, truth, pietie, holinesse? Salomons Temple did last but some 430. yeares, the Church is for eternitie. The Temple took vp but a little space of ground, at most the Hill Sion, the Church is vniuersally spread: in all parts of the world God hath his chosen.

Did our intellectuall eyes truely behold the beauty of this Temple, wee would with that good Emperor, esteeme it better to be a member of the Church, then head of the kingdome. We would set this one thing a­gainst all worldly glories. As when Henry 4. that late Great king of France, was told of the king of Spaines ample dominions: as first he is king of Castile, and I (quoth Henry) am king of France: he is king of Nauarre, and I am king of France: he is king of Portugall, and I am king of France: he is king of Na­ples, and I am king of France: he is king of the Si [...]ilies, and I am king of France: hee is king of Noua Hispania ▪ the West Indies, and I [Page 41] am king of France; he thought the kingdome of France equiualent to all these. So let thy soule, O Christian, solace it selfe against all the wants of thy mortall pilgrimage, in this, that thou art a member of the church. Another hath more wit or learning, yet I am a Christian: an­other hath more honour and preferment on earth, yet I am a Christian: another hath more siluer and gold and riches, yet I am a Christian: another hath large possessions, yet I haue an In­heritance in heauen, I am a Christian. Dauid thought it not so happy to bee a King in his owne house, as to bee a doore-keeper in Gods house. Were our hearts throughly sanctified, we would vnder-value all honours to this, that we are parts of this spirituall Temple, the mem­bers of Iesus Christ.


Euery deuice of man in the seruice of God is a meere Idol. Whatsoeuer we inuent out of Gods Schoole, or substitute in Gods roome, is to vs an Idol. Howsoeuer we flatter our selues, with reflecting all the honour on God, yet hee will reflect the vengeance on vs.Iob 13.7 Shall a man speake deceitfully for God, or tell a lye for his glory? Hee is not so penurious of meanes to honour himselfe, as to be beholding to vs for a lye. The doctrine of vniuersall grace seemes to make much for Gods glory, but himselfe sayes it is [...]lye; for he w [...]ll haue mercie on whom h [...] will haue [Page 42] mercy, and whom hee will hee hardneth. To say that Christ in the wombe wrought many mira­cles, hath a faire shew of honouring him; but who can say it is not a lye? Sure, wee reade no such matter. To distribute among the Saints departed seuerall Offices; as one to haue the charge of women in child-bed, another to bee the Patron of such a Citie or Countrey; (to o­mit their protection of beasts, one for hogs, an­other for horses) seemes to honour God in thus honouring them: but it is a lye, and a plaine derogation to his vniuersall prouidence: yea as absurd, as if the flies should take vpon them to giue the charges and offices of this kingdome. To say, the Saints in heauen know the occur­rents of this nether world, and the condition of their ancient friends or children below, reading them in the Deitie, as by the reflection of a glasse; this is a fiction that carries a shew of ho­nouring God: but it doth indeed dishonor him, by making creatures as omniscient as their Ma­ker. Besides, how absurd is it to say, that Iohn in Patmos seeing Christ, did see all that Christ saw. If I standing on the ground, see a man on the top of a high Turret, doe I see all that hee seeth. If the sight of him that looketh, bee to be measured by the sight of him on whom hee looketh; it will follow that hee which looketh on a blinde man, should see no [...]hing at all. And who seeth not the blindness of this consequēce?

To say that all the worship done to the Virgin [Page 43] mother, redounds to the honour of her Sonne and God, is a grosse falshood. The Idolatrous Iewes might as well haue pretended the honor of God, when they worshipped the Queene of heauen.Specul Ex­empl. That fanaticall vision of theirs, concer­ning the two ladders that reached vp to hea­uen, while Christ was preparing to iudge the world: the one Red, at the top whereof Christ sate: the other white, at the top whereof the Virgin sate: and when the Friers could not get vp the red ladder of Christ, but euermore tum­bled downe backward, St. Francis called them vp the white ladder of our Lady, and there they were receiued. Did this make for the honour of Christ, when the red blood of our Sauiour is not so able to bring men to heauen, as the white milke of his mother? which must needs be the morall or meaning of it.Barrhad in Con [...] Euang. Or the obseruation of Barrhadius the Iesuite, who made bold to aske Christ, why in his ascension to heauen he did not take his mother along with him; and makes himselfe this answer: It may be, Lord, for feare lest thy heauenly Court should bee in doubt, which of the two they should goe first to meet, An tibi Domino suo, an ipsi Dominae suae, whether thee their Lord, or her their Lady: as if it had been well aduised of Christ to leaue his mother behind him, lest she should share part of his glo­ry. Did this make for the honour of Christ? To choke vp the knowledge of God, by preaching that Ignorance is the mother of Deuotion, hath [Page 44] small colour of honouring God. The ascribing of false miracles to the liuing or departed Saints, seemes to honour God, but sure he will neuer thanke them for it. Saint Augustine being sick, a blind man came to him, expecting that he could miracu [...]ously restore his sight: but that good Father sent him away with a check, Doest thou think that if I could cure thee by miracle, that I would not by miracle cure my selfe?

It is a foolish thought, that God will bee glorified by a lie. Our iudiciall Astrologers, that tye mens destinies to the Starres and Pla­nets, pretend Gods honour, who hath giuen such vertue and influence to his creatures; but indeed make thē no better then Idols. Though the Sunne and Moone bee good and necessary, yet to adore the Sunne and Moone is flat Idola­try. It was not Mercury that made the theefe, nor Venus that made the strumpet: as when the husband cudgeld his adulterous wife, and shee complained that he was vnnaturall to strike his owne flesh; alledging that it was not shee that playd the harlot, but Venus in her: to whom he replied, that neither was it shee that he did beat, but Venus in her, or rather Venus out of her.

To make this vsefull to ourselues; let vs take heed of fancying an other seruice of God, then hee hath prescribed vs. Euery Master in his owne family, appoints the manner how he will be serued. He that requires our seruice, requires it his owne way; or else he holds vs to serue our [Page 45] selues, not him. Shall we make ourselues wiser then our Maker, as if he did not best know what would best please him? Shall heauen giue a blessing to that, which was deuised against the will of heauen? Doth not God threaten them with the addition of plagues, that shall adde to his precepts? If such deuices be good and ne­cessary, why did not God command them? Did he want wisdome? If they bee not neces­sary, why doe wee vse them? Is it not our pre­sumptuous folly? The Lords Ielousie is stirred vp by the rivalitie, not onely of a false God, but of a false worship. Nothing is more dangerous, then to mint his seruices in our owne braines. In vaine doe they worship mee, Math. 15.9. teaching for doctrines, the commandements of men. Is it not gricuous for men to lose all their labour, and that in the maine busines of their life? That so many hun­dred oblations, so many thousand prayers, so much cost of their purses, so much affliction to their bodies, so much anguish of their soules, should be all forceles, fruitles? Like a dog that hunts counter, and takes great paines to no pur­pose.

Euill deeds may haue sometimes good mea­nings; but those good meanings are answered with euill recompences. Many bestow their la­bors, their goods, their bloo [...]s, and yet receiue torments in stead of thanks. When the Apostle bids vs mortifie our earthly members, Colos [...]. 3.5. hee does not intend violence to our selues, but to our sinnes. [Page 46] There is one mortification, to cast our selues out of the world: there is another mortification, to cast the world out of vs. A body macerated with scourges, disabled with fastings, wearied with pilgrimages; was none of S. Pauls mortifica­tion. Who hath required this at your hands? Where is no commaund imposed, no reward proposed; no promise made, if you doe; no punishment threatned, if you doe not; what fruit can be ex­pected but shame? Must wee needs either doe nothing, or that which is worse then nothing? Shall we offer so much, suffer so much, and all in vaine? Quis haec à vobis? Let him pay you your wages, that did set you on worke. Neuer plead your owne reason, where God hath set a plaine interdiction. He that suffers his faith to be ouer­ruled by his reason, may haue a fat reason, but a leane faith. That man is not worthy to bee a follower of Christ, who hath not denied him­selfe; therefore denied his Reason; for his reason is no small piece of himselfe. If Reason get the head in this diuine businesse, it presently pre­uailes with will, and will commands the affecti­ons: so this new Triumvirate shall gouerne the Christian,Sabo [...] par. 1. not Faith. But as when three Ambas­sadors were sent from Rome, to appease the dis­cord betweene Nicomedes and Prusias; whereof one was troubled with a Megrim in his head, another had the Gowt in his toes, and the third was a foole; Cato said merrily, that Ambassage had neither Head, nor Foot, nor Heart. So that [Page 47] man shall neither haue a head to conceiue the truth, nor a foot to walke in the wayes of obe­dience, nor a heart to receiue the comforts of saluation; that suffers his reason, will, and affe­ctions, to vsurpe vpon his faith.

Hence it comes to passe, that the most horrid sinnes are turned into Idols; by setting our owne reasons against the manifest will of God. Thus lies shall bee father'd vpon the Father of truth, and truth vpon the Father of lies. Thus breach of faith, and periurie, shall be held Orthodoxe o­pinions. Yea, that execrable monster, whereof this day remembers vs, Treason it selfe, shall be held good Doctrine. Rude cacodaemon, that stig­maticke Idol, that grosse deuill shall be worship­ed. Si fas caedendo coelestia scandere, If this be the way to the kingdome of heauen, if thus men may merit to be starres in the Firmament, by embruing their hands in the bloud-Royall of Princes; what Iesuite will not be a Star? When such bee their principles, such must needes bee their practices. What though God condemne Treason to hell, when the Pope will aduance it to heauen? What though the Diuinne Scripture doth ranke traitors among dogs & deuils, when the Pope will number them among Saints? It was wont to be said, Ex quolibet ligno non fit Mer­curius, euery block is not fit to make an Image. Yet now, the most monstrous sinne that euer the deuill shaped in his Infernall forge, is not onely by the practice, but euen by the Doctrine of [Page 48] Rome, turned into an Idol. What is that we shal call sin, when murther & Treason is held religi­on? Alas for our age, to beare the date of these impieties! That our posterity should euer reade in our Chronicles: In such a yeare in such a day Traitors conspired against their lawfull & Gra­cious Soueraigne: and that in those dayes there was a sect of men liuing, that did labour in volu­minous writings, to iustifie those horrible facts▪ But oh, may those pestiferous monuments be as fast deuoured by obliuion, as the authors and a­bettors themselues are swallowed vp by confu­sion. And the same God deliuer vs his people from their conspiracies, that hath deliuered this his Church from their Idolatries.

Thus wee haue looked abroad, but now haue we no Idols at home? O how happy was it, if they were as farre from the Temple, as they are, from agreement with the Temple? I will not a­bound in this discouery; there be three maine Idols among vs; Vaine P [...]easure, vaine Honor, and Riches: & it is to be feared, that these three vanities haue more clients then the Trinity that made vs. The [...]irst is an Idol of the water, the next an Idol of the ayre, the last an Idol of the earth.

1. Vaine Pleasure; and oh what a world of foolish worshippers flocke to this merry God­desse! Shee hath a Temple in euery corner: E­brietie sits in Tauernes, burning smoky Incense, and sacrificing drink-offrings to her. So that if a [Page 49] man should prophesie of wine and strong drinke, Mich. 2.11. he were a Prophet fit for this age: but to preach sobrietie, is held but a dry doctrine. We com­mend wine for the excellency of it; but if it could speak, as it can take away speech, it would complaine, that by our abuse, both the excellen­cies are lost: for the excellent man doth so spoile the excellent wine, vntill the excellent wine hath spoiled the excellent man. O that a man should take pleasure in that which makes him no man: that he should let a thiefe in at his mouth, to steale away his wit: that for a little throat-indulgence, he should kil in himselfe not onely the first Adam, his reason; but euen the se­cond Adam his regeneration; & so commit two murders at once! In euery Brothell this Idol hath her temple; where the bed of vncleannes, is the Altar, the Priest a strumpet, and the sacri­fice, a burning flesh offred to Moloch. It is no rare thing for a man to make an Idol of his Mistres, and to spend more time in her courtings, then he doth at his prayers▪ more cost on her body, thē vpon his own soule. Images were but dead Idols, but painted Popiniayes be liuing Idols. Pleasure hath a larger extent, then I can now stand to suruey: this may be called an Idol of the Water; fluid and vnsatisfying.

2. Vaine Honour is the Idol of fooles: no wise man euer sought felicity in shadows. His Tem­ple is Pride, his Altar Ambition, his Seruice Flattery, his Sacrifice Petulancy. Silly Senna­cherib, [Page 50] to make an Idol of a Chariot: Esa. 37.24. and no wiser Prince of Tyre, Ezek 28.4. to make an Idol of his own brain! Men mistake the way to bee great, while they neglect the way to be good. All the while a man hunts after his shadow, hee mis-spends his time and paines: for the Sun is vpon his back, behind him, and his shadow is still vn-ouertaken before him: but let him turne his face to the Sun, & fol­low that, his shadow shall follow him. Invaine doth that man pursue honor, his shadow, while he turnes his face from vertue and goodnes; he shall misse what hee so labors to catch: but let him set his face toward Christ, the Sun of righ­teousnes, and run to the high prize of eternitie, this shadow shall wayt vpon him; for those that honour me, I will honour, saith the Lord.

God resisteth the proud; and good reason, for the proud resisteth God. Other sins diuert a man from God, only Pride brings him against God, & brings God against him. There is nothing in this world worth our pride, but that mosse will grow to a stone. Pride is euer dangerous, but thē most when it puffes vs vp with a presumption of merit. Thus the Romists presume to do more good works, and those more perfect then God requires: so that he is become a debter to them, & bound to make them satisfaction. But doubt­les, God wil more easily beare with those sinnes wherof we repent, then with that righteousnes whereof we presume.Luk. 18. I am not as other men are, said the Pharisee; & the clock of his tongue went truer then the dyall of his heart; he was not like [Page 51] other men indeed, sure he was like none of them that should be saued. Humility is so hard a les­son to get into the heart, that Christ was faine to come downe from heauen, in his owne person to teach it.

Pride is euen conuersant about good workes and graces; this Saul loues to be among the pro­phets. So that if a man haue some good measure of sanctification, and of assurance of eternall life; it will be hard not to be proud of that. Pride hath hurt many, Humility neuer yet did harme. A man goes in at a dore, and he stoops: the dore is high enough, yet he stoops: you will say, he needs not stoope;Ber [...]s yea, but saith Bernard, there is no hurt in his stooping: otherwise he may catch a knocke, this way he is safe. A man may beare himselfe too high vpon the fauor of God, there is no danger in his stooping, no harme in humi­litie. Let me rather be the lowest of Gods ser­uants, then the noblest among his enemies. The honour of this world is at best but a golden dreame, from which men commonly awake in contempt. This is an Idol of the Ayre.

3. Wealth is the couetous mans Idol; Iob shewes the form of his Canonization: He m [...]kes gold his hope,Iob. 31.24.and sayes to the wedge, Thou art my confidence. As treason sets vp a new king, for Da­uid, Absolon: so couetousnes sets vp a new god, for Iehouah, Mamon. But, O miserable god, saith Luther, that cannot defend it selfe from rusting or robbing. And, O more miserable man, that [Page 52] trusts himselfe vpon the keeping of that god, which himselfe is faine to keepe.Iudg. 17. Micah did not worship his siluer, till it was cast into the forme of an Idol: these spare the labour of forming, and worship the very metall. The Superstitious adore Aurum in Idolo, gold in the Idol: the co­uetous find Idolum in Auro, an Idol in the very gold. Metalla seemes to sound quasi [...], Post alia necessaria: when they had manured the ground, sowen seeds, gathered fruits, and found out other things to sustaine life, then Itum est in viscer a terra, they digged into the bowels of the earth. O that man should lay that next his heart, which God hath placed vnder his feet! that the thing which might bee best spared, should bee most admired! Mammon hath his Temple, the world: God hath his Temple, the Church: but there be many that balke Gods Temple to goe to Mammons: and they offer faire, that make some reuerence to God, as they passe by him to the world. Hence it is, that so many get riches, and so few godlines. The Poets faine Pluto to be the god of Hell, & the god of Riches; (as if Ri­ches and Hell had both one Master.) Sometime they set him forth lame and slow-paced, some­time nimble as fire. When Iupiter sends him to a Souldier or a Scholer, he goes limping: when hee sends him to on of his Pandars, he flies like lightning. The morall is, the wealth that comes in Gods name, comes slowly, and with diligent labour: but that which is haled in with an euill [Page 53] conscience, is both hasty & abundant in the col­lection. This is the worldlings maine god, all the rest be subordinate to him. Si modo Iupiter mihi propitius sit, minores deòs flocci sacio: So long as Mammon fauours them, or their Great Diana multiplies their gaines; they scorne the other petty gods, making account with a little money to buy them all. This is an Idol of the Earth.

No agreement.

Ye cannot serue God and Mammon; you may dis­pute for it, you shall neuer compound it. Gehezi cannot run after the forbidden talents, but hee must leaue his master. Some indeed here, haue so finely distinguished of the busines, that though they serue God, they wil serue him more thrif­tily, and please him as good cheape as they can. They haue resolued not to do euill, though they may gaine by it: yet for gaine, they will venture as neere euill, as possibly they can and misse it. But when it comes to push, it wil be found, that for onescruple of gold, they will make no s [...]ru­ple of conscience. But as those Inhabitants of Iudea, that serued both God & Idols, did indeed neither serue God nor Idols: so these higlers, while they would haue two masters, [...] in­deed neuer a one. For in the euill day, their ma­ster the world will renounce them, & then their master Christ will not receiue them: so highly doth hee scorne such a competition. Man was made to serue God, and the world to serue man: so the world at best is but Gods seruants seruant. Now if we plead our selues Gods seruāts, what an indign & preposterous thing is it, to take our [Page 54] owne seruant, and make him competitor with our Master? God sayes, lend, giue, clothe, feed, harbor: Mammon sayes, Take, gather, extort, oppresse, spoile: whether of these is our God? Euen he that is most obeyed. No lesse might be said for pleasures and honors, or whatsoeuer is delectable to flesh and blood. The loue of this world is enmity to God; and the East & West shall sooner vnite their forces, thé these be recōciled.

lt is the Deuils especiall ayme, to bring these Idols neere the Temple: he finds no such plea­sure to dominere in his owne hell; but he hath a mind to Paradise. One wittily obserueth, that Christ chose poore Fishermen, as the fittest to receiue his Oracles, & to plant his Church; be­cause Satan scorned to looke so low, as to tempt them. He studied to preuent Christ among the Kings of the earth, and great Doctors, neuer su­specting silly fishers. But when he found himself deceiued, he will then make their whole profes­sion to fare the worse for it; he beares the whole succession of their Tribe an old grudge. Before, he passed by them, and tempted the great Ma­sters; now he wil sooner tempt them then Kings and Emperors.1. Cor. 5.12 The Church doth not iudge them that are without, but them within: and Satan had rather foile one within, then a hundred with­out. Hee hath a desire to all, but especially he loues a religious soule: he would eat that with more greedines, then Rachel did her Mandrakes. The fall of one Christian better pleaseth him, then of many vnbeleeuers. No King makes war against his owne loyall subiects, but against re­bels [Page 55] & enemies. The deuill is to subtill, to spend his malice vpō them that do him ready seruice He cares not so much to multiply Idols in Baby­lon, as to get one into Sion. To maintaine priests of Baal in the land of Israel, at the table of Iesa­bel, as it were vnder Gods nose: or to set vp Calues at Bethel, in scorne of the Temple; this is his ambition. The Fox seldome preyes neere home, nor doth Satan meddle with his owne; they are as sure as temptation can make them. What Iailor laies more chaines vpon the shack­led malefactor, that loues his prison, and would not change? The Pirate spends not a shot vpon a cole-ship; but he lets flie at the rich Merchant. Cantabit vacuus, the empty traueller may passe vnmolested: it is the full barne that inuites the thiefe. If we were not belonging to the Temple, we should not be assaulted with so many Idols; if not Christians, fewer tentations.

Now the more potent and malicious our ad­uersaries, the more resolute and strong bee our resistance. The more extreame the cold is with­out, the more doth the naturall heat fortifie it selfe within, & guard the heart. It is the note of the vngodly,Esay 66.3. that they blesse Idols: if we would not bee such, let vs blesse our selues from Idols. And as wee haue banished the materiall Idols out of our Temples, so let vs driue these spiri­tuall ones out of our hearts Let vs say with E­phraim, we haue heard God,Ho [...]. 14.8. & seene him; What haue we to doe any more with Idols? The vices of the religious are the shame of religion: the sight of this hath made the stoutest Champions of [Page 56] Christ melt into teares.Psal. 189.136. Riuers of waters run down mine eyes, because they keep not thy Law. Dauid was one of those great Worthies of the world, not matchable in his times; yet he weepes. Did hee teare in pieces a beare like a kid? rescue a lambe with the death of a lyon? foile a mighty gyant, that had dared the whole army of God? Did he like a whirlewind, beare and beat down his ene­mies before him; and now does he, like a childe or a woman, fall a weeping? Yes, he had heard the name of God blasphemed, seene his holy rites prophaned, his statutes vilipended, and vio­lence offered to the pure and intemerate Cha­stity of that holy virgin,Phil. [...].1 [...]. Religion: this resol­ued that valiant heart into teares; Riuers of wa­ters run down mine eyes. So Paul, I tell you of them weeping, that are enemies to the Crosse of Christ. Had he with so magnanimous a courage, endu­red stripes and persecutions, run through perils of all sorts and sizes, fought with beasts at Ephe­sus, been rapt vp to heauen, and learn'd his Diui­nitie among the Angels; & does he now weep? Yes, he had seene Idols in the Temple, Impiety in the Church of God: this made that great spi­rit melt into teares. If we see these Idols in o­thers, or feele them in our selues, and complaine not; we giue God and the Church iust cause to complaine of vs. Now the Lord deliuer his Temples from these Idols.

But all this while wee haue walked in gene­rals; and you will say, Quod omnibus dicitur, ne­mini dicitur: let mee now therefore come to particulars.

The Temple of God

Is euery Christian as the Church is his great Temple, so his little temple is euery man. We are not onely through his grace, liuing stones in his Temple, but liuing temples in his Sion: each one bearing about him a little shrine of that in­finite Maiestie. Wheresoeuer God dwels, there is his Temple: therefore the beleeuing heart is his Temple, for there he dwels. As wee poore creatures of the earth haue our being in him, so he the God of heauen hath his dwelling in vs. It is true, that the heauen of heauens is not able to containe him; yet the narrow lodgings of our renewed soules are takē vp for him. What were a house made with hands vnto the God of spi­rits; vnlesse there bee a spirit for him to dwell in made without hands? Here if the Body be the Temple, the Soule is Priest: if that be not the offerer, the Sacrifice will not be accepted.

In this Spirituall Temple, first there is the Porch; which we may conceiue to be the Mouth. Therefore Dauid prayes to haue a Watch set at the doore of his lips; to ward the gate of Gods Temple. This may seeme to be one reason of sa­luting in former times by a kisse; they did kisse the gate of Gods Temple. Here the Feare of God is the Porter; who is both ready to let in his friends, and resolute to keepe out his enemies. Let him specially watch for two sorts of foes, the one, a traitor that goes out, euill speaking: the other, a thiefe that steales in, too much drinking.

The Holy place is the sanctified mind, that which S.Paul cals the Inner man. Here be those [Page 58] riches and ornaments, the diuine graces. Here not onely Iustice, and Faith, and Temperance, sing their parts, but the whole Quire of heauen­ly vertues make vp the harmony.

The Holy of holies is the purified Conscience, wher [...]in stand the Cherubins, Faith & Loue; and the Mercy-feat, shaded with the wings of those glorious Angels: frō which Propitiatory God giues the gracious testimonies of his good Spi­rit,Rom. 8.16. witnessing with our spirits that we are his chil­dren. In this Sacrary doth the Lord conuerse with the soule takes her hūble confession, giues her sweet absolution. It is a place whither nor man nor Angell can enter; only the high Priest Iesus comes, not once a yeare, but daily; and communicates such inestimable fauours and comforts, as no tongue can expresse.

Here we find the Arke, wherein the Royall law, and Pot of heauenly Manna are preserued. the one restraining vs from sinne to come by a happy preuention, the other assuring vs pardon of sinne past with a blessed consolation. Let vs looke further vpon the golden Candlesticks, our illumined vnderstandings; wherby we perceiue the will of our Maker, and discerne the way of our eternall peace. Then vpon the Tables of Shew-bread, which be our holy memories, that keepe the bread of life continually ready with­in vs. Yea, Memory is the treasury of this Tem­ple, which so lockes vp those celestiall riches, that wee can draw them forth for vse at all op­portunities. Here is also the Vaile, and those sil­ken curtaines, and costly hangings; the Righte­ousnes [Page 59] of Christ, which makes vs acceptable to God; both hiding our own infirmities, and dec­king vs with his vertues. Here is the Altar for sacrifice, the contrite heart: the beast to be slain is not found among our heards, but among our affections; we must sacrifice our lusts: the knife to kill them, which would else kill vs, is the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God: the fire to consume them is holy zeale, kindled in our brests by the inspiration of God.

There be other sacrifices also for vs to offer in this Temple, on this Altar. Besides our praises and prayers;Psal. 141.2. the setting forth of our prayer as In­cense, and the lifting vp our hands as an euening sa­crifice: there is mercy, & charitable deeds. What is deuotion without compassion? What, sacri­fice without mercy?Math. 5.23 If thy brother hath ought a­gainst thee, yea, if thou haue ought that should haue bin thy brothers; thy oblation will stink in Gods nostrils. It was an old complaint of the Church, that her stones were clothed, and her childrē naked, that the curious found matter to delight them, but the distressed found not bread to sustaine them.Aug. in Psa. 41. Therefore saith S. Augustine, Si habes taurum pinguem, occide pauperibus: If thou haue a fat Bull, sacrifice it to the poore. Though they cannot drink the blood of goats, they can eat the flesh of bulls.Psal. 50.1 [...]. And he that saith, If I were hungry, I would not tell thee; yet wil acknowledge at the last day,Math. 25. I was hungry and thou didst feed mee; Come thou blessed. The poore haue Gods commendatory letters to vs, and our prayers be our commendatory letters to God: if we will [Page 60] not hearken to him, how should he gratifie vs▪ Thus, O Christian, art thou a mouing Temple of the liuing God.

Let this teach vs all to adorne these Temples with decent graces. Superstition cares not what it bestowes on materiall Fanes: mountainous Columnes, Marble Pillars, gorgeous Monu­ments, which yet are not sensible of their owne ornaments; spangled Crucifixes, Images clad in Silkes and Tissues, with embroydered Cano­pies, and Tables beset with Pearles and Dia­monds. Thus bountifull is she to her superflui­ties; Oh that our Religion would doe some­thing for these ancient and ruinous walls. But how much more precious bee these spirituall Temples of our selues? How much more no­ble ought to be their furnitures?

First then, if we be the Temples of God, let vs bee holy: for holinesse, 0 Lord, becommeth thy House for euer.

2. It is Domus orationis; they must haue the continuall exercises of Prayer. In Templo vis o­rare? In te ora. Wouldst thou pray in Gods Temple? Pray in thy selfe.

3. The sound of the high praises of God must bee heard in these Temples: There euery man speaks of his honour. It pleaseth the Lord to inha­bite the praises of Israel. Psal. 38.9. And Psal. 48.Wee haue thought of thy louing kindnes, 0 God, in the midst of thy Temple: that is, euen in the midst of our selues, in our owne hearts. There let vs think vp­on his mercies, there eccho forth his praises.

4. The Inhabitant disposeth all the roomes [Page 61] of his house: if God dwell in vs, let him rule vs. Submit thy will to his word, thy affections to his Spirit. It is fit that euery man should beare rule in his owne house.

5. Let vs bee glad when hee is in vs, and giue him no disturbance. Let not the foulenes of any roome make him dislike his habitation. Cleanse all the sluttish corners of sinne, and perfume the whole house with Myrrhe & Cassia. Still be get­ting neerer to thy Land-lord: other Inhabitants come home to their houses; but here the house must striue to come home to the Inhabitant. Whensoeuer God comes toward thee, meet him by the way, and bid him welcome to his owne.

6. Lastly, if we be the Lords houses, then no bodies else. The materiall Temples are not to bee diuerted to common offices: much more should the spirituall be vsed only for Gods ser­uice. Let vs not alienate his rights: thus hee will say, This is my house, heere will I dwell, for I haue a delight therein. O may we so adorne these Temples with graces, that God may take de­light to dwell in vs.


These be the Temples: the Idols that haunt them, wee better know, then know how to ex­pell: they bee our lustes, and inordinate affe­ctions; the rebellions of our corrupt nature, which fight against the Soule, defile the bodie, and disgrace the Temples of Gods Spirit. So I passe from them, to the last poynt; that be­twixt these libidinous Idols, and those spiritu­all Temples, there can be

No agreement.

God wil dwel with no Inmates: if vncleannes be there,Reuel. [...]1.27 will the fountain of all purity abide it? Will Christ dwell with an adulterer? He that will suffer no vncleane thing to enter his citie a­boue, will he himselfe dwell in an vncleane citie below? O think how execrable that sin is, which doth not onely take the members of Christ, and makes them the limbs of an harlot; but euen tur­neth Christs Temples into stinking Brothels. Our hearts bee the Altars to send vp the sweet Incense of deuout prayers and cherefull thanks­giuings; if the smoke of malicious thoughts bee found there, will God accept our oblations? Is it possible, that man should please his Father, that will not be reconciled to his brother? The Lamps of knowledge and sobrietie are burning within vs; will not the deluge of drink put them out? Will the Lord dwell in a drunken body? Must we not cease to be his Temples, when we become Bacchus his Tuns and tunnels? There is Manna, the bread of life within vs; will not Epi­curisme & throat-indulgence corrupt it? There is peace in vs, will not pride and contention af­fright it? There is the loue of heauen in vs, wil not the loue of the world banish it? Shall the graces of God cohabitate with the vices of Sa­tan? Wil the Temple of God indure Idols? No▪ these Eagles plumes wil not brook the blending with cōmon fethers: this heauenly gold scornes the mixture of base and sophisticate metalls.

Let vs search our hearts & ransake them nar­rowly: if we doe not cast out these Idols, God [Page 63] will not own vs for his Temples.Math [...]1.13 My House shall bee called the house of prayer: this was Gods Ap­propriation: But you haue made it a den of theeues: this is mans Impropriation. Let vs take heed of impropriating Gods house; remembring how he hath reuēged such a profanation with scourges. Wee are bought with a price, 1 Cor. 6.20 therefore let vs glo­rifie God both in body & spirit, for they are his: His purchase, his Temple, his inheritance, his habi­tation: do not lose so gracious an owner, by the most vngracious sacriledge. You see many rui­ned houses, which haue bin once kings palaces: learne by those dead spectacles to keepe your selues frō the like fortunes: left God say of you, Hoc Templum meum fuit, this was my house; but now because it took in Idols, I haue forsaken it.

Or what if wee doe not set vp Idols in these Temples, when we make the Temples themselus Idols? or say not with Israel, Make vs gods, while we make gods of our selues? while we dresse al­tars, and erect shrines to our own braines, & kisse our own hands for the good they haue done vs? If we attribute something to our selues, how is Christ al in all with vs? Do we iustly blame them that worship the Beast of Rome, and yet find out a new Idolatry at home? Shal we refuse to adore the Saints & Angels, and yet giue diuine worship to our selues, dust and ashes? If victory crowne our battels, if plenty fill our garners, or successe answere our endeuours; must the glory of all re­flect vpon our own atchieuements? This is a ri­vality that God will not endure, to make so ma­ny Temples nothing but Idols. But as the Lan­cashire [Page 64] Iustice said of the ill-shap'd Rood, thogh it be not well fauoured enough for a god, it will serue to make an excellent deuill. So proud dust and ashes, that arrogates the honor of God, and impropriates it to himselfe; though he be too foule for a Temple, yet he is fit enough for an Idol. When David prayes, Libera me ab homine malo, Deliuer me from the euill man, O Lord. Saint Augustine, after much study and scrutiny to find out this euill man, at last lights vpon him; ab ho­mine malo, that is, à me ipso: Deliuer me from the euill man, deliuer me from my selfe; Deliuer Au­gustine from Augustine; I am that euill man. So, of all Idolatries, God deliuer vs from a supersti­tious worship of our selues. Some haue Idolized their Princes, some their Mistresses, some their Manufactures; but they are innumerable that haue Idolized themselues. He is a rare man that hath no Idol, no little god in a boxe, no espe­ciall sinne in his heart, to which he giues vxori­ous and affectionate Indulgence.

The only way to mend all, is for euery man to begin with himself. In vain shall we blame those faults abroad, which we tolerate at home. That man makes himself ridiculous, who leauing his own house on fire, runs to quench his neigbors Let but euery man pull a brand from this fire, the flame will go out alone: if euery soule clense his owne Temple, all shall be quit of Idols, and God wil accept of all. A multitude is but a heap of vnities; the more we take away, the fewer we leaue behind. When a field is ouer growne with weeds, the best course to haue a good generall [Page 65] haruest, is for euery man to weed his owneground. When we would haue the street cleansed let euery man sweep his owne doore, and it is quickly done. But while euery man censures, & none amends, we do but talk against Idols, with still vnclensed Tēples.

Let vs pray for vniuersall repentance, like a good Iosias, to purge the houses of God. till lust and pro­fanenesse, pride and couetousnesse, fraud and wan­tonnesse, malice and drunkennes, be no more found among vs: till euery thing be cast out, and nothing let in, that is vncleane. So shall the Lord dwell in vs with content, and we shall dwell in him with com­fort. Here we shall be a Temple for Him, hereafter he shall be a temple for vs. So we find that glorious Citie describe, I saw no Temple therein, Reu. 21.22 but the Lord God Almightie, and the Lambe was the Temple of it. Wee are Gods Temple on earth, God shall bee our Temple in heauen. To this purpose, the Spirit of God sanctifie vs, and bee for euer sanctified in vs. Amen.

Some may haply (long ere this) haue preuidica­ted in their censures; How is this O pus diet in die sou? What is all this to the businesse of the day? I might haue preuented the obiection, by comparing Idola­trie with Treason: the one being a breach of Alle­giance to the Lord, the other a breach of allegiance to the Lords Annointed. Idolatry is a Treason a­gainst God, and Treason is kind of Idolatry against the King. From both which the diuine grace, and our holy obedience deliuer vs all. I conclude with application to the Time.

This is one of those blessed dayes celebrated for the deliuerance of our gracious Soueraigne: and [Page 66] well may the deliuerance of a King, of such a King, deserue a day of gratulation. When God deliuers a priuate man, he doth, as it were, repeat his Creati­on: but the deliuerance of a King, is alwayes a choyce piece in the Lords Chronicle. The Story, how he was endangered, and how preserued, this place hath diuers times witnessed; and that in a more punctuall manner, then I haue either strength, or art, or time to match. A hard time it seemed to be, when a King was imprisoned, when he had no guard with him but his Innocency, no subiect but a Traytor. But there was a stronger with him, then all they could be against him. A good Prince hath more guards then one: he hath, 1. a subsidiary guard, con­sisting of morrall men. 2. An inward guard, the in­tegritie of his owne Conscience: 3. A spirituall guard, the prayers of his faithfull subiects. 4. A ce­lestial guard, the protection of diligent & powerfull Angels. 5. A diuine guard, his Makers prouidence that fenceth him in with a wall of fire, which shall at once both preserue him, and consume his enemies.

But my purpose is not to bring your thoughts back to the view of his perill, but to stir your hearts vp to thankfulnesse for his preseruation. He is iustly styled, The Defender of the Faith: he hath euer de­fended the Faith, and the Faith hath euer defended him. Hee hath preserued the Temple of God from Idols, and therefore God hath preserued him from all his enemies. Surely that Prouidence, which de­liuered him from those early Conspiracies, where­with he hath been assaulted from his cradle, meant him for some extraordinary benefit, and matchlesse good to the Christian world. Hee that gaue him [Page 67] both life and Crowne(almost)together, hath still miraculously preserued them both, from all the ra­ging violences of Rome and Hell. Now when the Lord deliuered him, what did he else but euen deli­uer vs all? That we might reioyce in his safety, as the Romans did in the recouery of Germanicus; when they ran with lampes and sacrifices to the Capitoll, and there sung with shouts and acclamations; Salua Roma, salua Patria, saluus Germanicus: the Citie is safe, the Country is safe, and all in the safetie of Ger­manicus. While we consider the blessings which we enioy by his gracious Gouernment; that the estates we haue gotten with honest industry, may be safely conueyed to our posterity: that we sit vnder the sha­dow of peace, and may teach our children to know the Lord: that the good man may build vp Tem­ples and Hospitals, without trembling to thinke of sauage and barbarous violences to pull them down: that our Deuotions be not molested with vproares, nor men called from their callings by mutinies: that our Temples be not profaned with Idols, nor the Seruice of God blended with superstitious deuices: that our temporall estate is preserued in liberity, our spirituall estate may bee improued in pietie, and our eternall estate assured vs in glory: that our liues be protected, and in quiet our soules may be saued: for such a King of men, blesse we the God of Kings; and sing for his deliuerāce, as they did for their Germani­cus; as priuatly euery day, so this day in our publike Assemblies; Salua Britannia, Salua Ecclesia, saluus IACOBVS: Our Kingdome is safe, the Church of God is safe, our whole Estate is safe, wee are all safe and happie, in the safetie and happinesse of King [Page 68] IAMES. O that as we haue good cause to emulate, so also we would truly imitate the gratulation of Israel; we for our King that hath preserued the Temple,2 Chron. 5.12.13. as they for their King that built the Temple; while the Leuites and singers stood with Harps and Cymbals and Viols, and the Priests blowing with Trumpets; as if they had all been one man, and made one sweet harmony to the praise of God.

For these publike & extraordinary blessings, God requires publike and extraordinary praises: that this great Assembly with prepared hearts, and religious affections, should magnifie his glorious Name: & if it were possible, by some vnusuall strain of our vnited thāks, pierce the very skies, & giue an Eccho to those celestiall Quires, singing, Honor, & praise, and glory, bee to our gracious God, for all his mercifull deliue­rances both of Prince and people. Yea, O Lord, still preserue thine own Annointed ▪ conuert or confound all his enemies; but vpon his dead let his Crown flo­rish. Long, long liue that royal keeper of Gods holy Temple, & the Defender of that Faith which he hath of old giuen to his Saints: and let all true-hearted Is­raelites say, Amen: yea, let Amen, the faithfull witnes in heauen, the Word & Truth of God, say Amen to it. For our selues, let vs heartily repent of our former sins, religiously amend our future liues, abandon all our intestine Idols, serue the Lord with pure hearts; and still, and still, God shall deliuer both Him and vs from all our enemies. This God grant for his mer­cies sake, Iesus Christ for his merits sake, the HolyGhost for his Names sake; to whom, three persons, and one eternall God, be all praise and glory, ob [...]di­ence and thanksgiuing, world without end.


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