DEO & ECCLESIAE D. D.

THE ANATOMIE OF ANANIAS: OR, Gods Censure against Sacri­ ledge. WITH A BREIFE SCHOLIE VPON Psalm. 83. concerning the same subiect.

By ROGER GOSTVVYKE Batchelour of Diui­ nitie, and Minister of Sampford Courtnie in the Countie of Deuonsh.

¶ Negligere quid de se sua (que) causa [fiat] praesertim cum id eiusmodisit, vt in eo Dei maiestas violetur, hominum est dissolutorum & ad iniuriam diuini nominis securè atque impiè conniuentium.

Iuel. apol.

PRINTED BY CANTRELL LEGGE, Printer to the Vniuersitie of Cambridge.

1616.

❧ TO THE MOST Rev. Father in God, GEORGE, by Diuine prouidence Archbishop of CANTER­BVRIE; Primate and Metropolitan of all England: All sauing graces. ⁂

PLEASETH IT YOVR GRACE: There haue beene two arch-enemies that haue euer molested the Church in her periods of peace; the Heretique, and the Atheist. The first in matters of veri­tie, obducing a cloud, and spreading a curtaine of ignorance and error, before the eies of Gods people: the latter in things of pietie, withdrawing the cloud, and opening the vaile of maiesty and honour, to euery vulgar both hand and eie. Concerning the first, as requiring more of the head, I leaue to those learned pens and selected soldiers, whom God hath endowed with greater measure of vnderstanding to fight his battels. But for the second, that aske more of the heart, I presumed, with the poore widow in the Gospel, to cast my mite into the donaries of God, to the vse of the godly. A subiect I am well assured as necessarie, as distast­full for these times: For whether it be that gaine hath ob­turated mens eares, or guilt hath obdurated their hearts, I find abroad men much recalcitrant to this doctrine: yet how [Page] needfull it is to be touched, I report me to Christian hearts. But who am I, that I should irritare crabrones; whose im­pudencie notwithstanding, or ignorance, or importunitie, for so did such vermin signifie in hyeroglophicall learning, if they prooue obstreperous, I most humbly craue your Grace to protect me, if not from their buzzing, yet from their stinging. Whose height, beeing placed in the Zenith of this hemisphere, albeit they cannot reach with hands of iniurie; yet I feare me, they will not forbeare to barke at with hearts of enuie. To your Grace therefore, in the behalfe of all this Church, I offer this simple Treatise: for whose vigi­lancie and indefatigablenesse, as we thanke the Lord; so we pray him for your long continuance, and happy sitting.

Your Graces most humble seruiter,
R. G.

Ad Lectorem.

MIra legis quicun (que) legis portenta nefandi
Criminis, vt poenas sacrilega acta luant.
Vera legis quicunque legis tormenta nocentum:
Vt delinquentes ira superna premat.
Saepe fit vt sacrum cumuletur sanguine furtum
Saepe fit vt poenas culpa det illa nouas.
Quis non à domino proprium qui curat honorem
Cogitet haec fieri, nec repetendo tremat?
Discite mortales quid sit temerare sacrata
Discite raptrices hinc cohibere manus.

Ad Authorem.

AVse loqui commune nefas, furtum (que) Promothei,
Rapturas templis & prohibere manus.
Huic operi haud magnas ausim promittere laudes
Da veniam furtis, classicus author eris.
Tu tamen inuisum nè cesses prodere furem,
Qui & noceat scriptis sunt quia sacra tuis.
Laesa tamen nullos non sunt habitura legentes,
Si quis Sacrilegos oderit illa leget.
G. T.
ANte aras tutos prodit tua pagina fures
Prodit & ingenium, iudicium (que) tuum.
Illi crimen habent, multis (que) habuere per annos,
Accusato [...]em non habuere prius.
At quia non illis, quia non tibi parcere nosti,
Inuitus laudes accipe & inuidiam.
M. C.
QVàm facile & tutum est arras hinc fallere disces,
Non tamen hic artem sed scelus esse puta.
Hoc solum suadere pij mouere libelli
Noscere vt incipias non spoliare Deum.
Idem.
DVm loqueris quantum scelus est subducere sacris,
Quotque modis fieri praeda, quibus (que) solet.
Obstupui commune nefas, mirum (que) putaui,
Esse aliquid templis quod superesse solet.
At tu sancta Lauernatuos compesce clientes
Aut tu Iane tuas claude timore fores.
M. G.
ROdere Mome time, Dijs est sacer iste libellus,
Et Scriptor sacer est, rodere Mome time,
I. A.

The method and disposition.

 Expli­tation in theLogicall resolution.  Cap. 1.Part.
   sinne:gen. what: sacriledge and bla­sphemie.2. 
TheTheo­logicall tracta­ction of thepartic.repre­hensi­on of theman, or Compel­lation.3. 
matter, or Ennu­meration.4. 
 aggrauation. 5. 
censure, or curse of Excommunication.6. 
wholeClergie,Papists appropria­tions.Cap. 1.Part. 2▪
Puritans disclama­tions.2. 
Laierie,Great mens vsurpations.3. 
Appli­cationdestru­ctiue a­gainst sacri­ledge inTownes-mens exemptions.4. 
partParishioners compilations.5. 
Patrons stipulations.6. 
Instru­ctiue for the vses,Information of feare and care.Cap. 1.Part. 3.
Deploration of good men.2. 
Exhor­tation,generall, to all men.3. 
  speciall, to the Parliament.4. 
   Consolation to the Clergie.5. 
   Conclusion of the cause and cure.6. 

Deo & Ecclesiae. D. D. THE ANATOMIE OF Ananias and Sapphiraes Sacriledge.

ACTS. 5. 1.

Ver. 1. BVT there was a certaine man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, that sold a possession,

2 And kept backe part of the price, and brought a certaine [small] portion, and laid it downe at the A­postles feete, his wife also beeing priuie thereunto.

3 Then said Peter, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thy heart, that thou shouldest lie to the holy Ghost, and keepe backe part of the price of the possession?

4 While it remained, was it not in thy power, and when it was sold, was it not thine owne? why hast thou conceiued this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied vnto man, but to God.

5 When Ananias heard these words, hee fell downe and gaue vp the Ghost, and great feare came vpon all them that heard these things.

CHAP. I.
The explication, first in the Lo­gicall resolution.

THE white horse that went out at the opening of the first seale, Reuel. 6. 1.whose rider had a bow and a crowne, and made victorious Conquests, may seeme to bee that suadae medulla, the power of the Spirit in the lips of the A­postles, that so soone and suddenly wan such worlds of soules to the obedience of the Gospel; whose con­fluence and concourse was not more conspicuous for the companie, then prodigious for the Vnani­mitie: where Platoes idea of perfect communitie, was really performed; and his excellent modell of true Vnanimitie was actually established. For here indeede was Cor vnum & anima vna: for saith S. Luke, Cap. 4 38. The multitude of beleeuers were of one heart and minde, in so much as there was none that lacked: for such as were possessors of lands and houses sold them, and laid downe the prices at the Apostles feete, and distribution was made according as euery one did need. So did other: so did Ioses a Leuite, and for that cause was happily of the Apostles surnamed Barnabas, or the sonne of conso­lation, for comforting the hearts of the Church, who [Page 3] as yet were but barely prouided for, persecution be­ing feared without, and penurie felt within her doores. But as he and other did beautifie the religi­on with their deuotion, so there want not that ble­mish the same with their deep dissimulation. There­fore S. Luke to illustrate the fact of the one, oppo­seth ex diametro, the fault of the other, as Chrysostome obserueth; to the ende, the dissimulation of Ananias may giue a lustre to the sinceritie of Ioses, and shewe the world, that there is a consolation in Christ, Phil [...] a com­fort of loue, a fellowship of the Spirit, and bowels of mer­cie, though profane men neither praise it, nor pra­ctise it. This the occasion.

Now here is set downe a wicked combination of a man and his wife, in a matter of Dedication, by themselues done to God and his Church, how to delude and frustrate both: which counterfeit carri­age, the great and holy Apostle, doth both descrie and discouer, first to their conuiction, secondly to their confusion. Where first we may reade the sinne, and then the censure. The sinne is Sacriledge, that is, compilation or cousenage of things now conse­crated to God and holy vses. The censure is Ex­communication, or distriction of the spiritual sword, and that in the heauiest of all heauie curses. The sinne is set downe first barely by Luke, by way of hi­storicall narration; the censure inflicted by Peter, by Apostolicall iurisdiction; the historie is couched in the two first verses, and comprise the efficients, ma­teriall, and formall causes. Ananias and his wife sold a possession, and kept backe part of the price, and [Page 4] brought [...], a certaine quillet or quidditie, a thing of nothing in comparison of the maine, a nig­gardly share; whereas they had promised the whole, as Barnabas had done before, and they made shewe to imitate.

vers 3. The censure followes; first, in reprehension; se­condly, in castigation. The reproofe containes, 1. an accusation, v. 3. 2. a confutation. The accusati­on is in the appellation of the offender, Ananias; and enumeration of the parts of the offence, which are three; 1. The author by whose suggestion, Why hath Sathan filled thine heart? where is also touched part of the forme of the offence. 2. The obiect against whom the sinne was committed, including also the other part of the forme; That thou shouldst lie to the ho­ly Ghost. 3. The subiect wherein the matter of the sinne consisted, And keep backe part of the price of the possession.

vers. 4. The Confutation followes, and that is of three secret obiections, answerable to the heads of the ac­cusation, but inuerting the order, as the manner of Scripture is to doe: to the last first.

Obiect. 1. A man may doe with his owne what he will; but this was mine: ergo. To this the Apostle answereth by letting passe the maior, as beeing im­pertinent, and denying the minor, with distinguish­ing vpon the time: first for time of possession▪ gran­ting it, when it remained (vnsold) remained it not to thee? namely, the land: secondly, and for time of alienati­on yeelding it, and when it was sold, was it not in thine owne power? namely the price: thirdly, but for time [Page 5] of dedication, denying it strongly by interrogation, and passing it ouer by a crypsis of method, as if all law and logicke, all rule and reason, did disavow it: for thou hadst no more right to the monie now giuen, then to the land now sold.

Obiect. 2. As to the author, he might say, if it were an offence, yet was it not mine but Satans, as your selfe auouch. To this he answers with a non sequitur, though Sathans by temptation, yet yours also by ap­probation: he might haue as one noteth, suadendi a­stu [...]iam, not cogendi potentiam, he might suggest, hee could not enforce: he was the founder, the woer, the father; thy heart was the worker, the spouse, the mo­ther: why hast thou conceiued this thing in thy heart?

Obiect. 3. Well then, though a fault, and in some sort my fault also, yet no such great fault as needed so sharpe and publike reproofe; at the worst, being but to a few simple men, that could challenge nothing of a free donation, and might haue receiued other satisfaction. Answ. Yes, your sinne is not so much to men, who are but the Assignes to whom the be­nefit of your donation should haue acrued, as vnto God who is the donor; who by such fraud is frustra­ted, and by your dodging dishonoured: not onely the father that foundeth his Church in his Sonne, and the Sonne that collecteth it by his Spirit, but the holy Spirit that sequestreth it by his power, san­ctifieth it with his grace, beautifieth it with his gifts, combineth it with his loue, preserueth it by his pro­uidence, and honoureth it with his truth: Thou hast not lied vnto man, but vnto God: euen God the holy Ghost.

[Page 6] vers. 5. This is the reprehension, the Castigation follows: when Ananias found himselfe first thus deprehen­ded in the darkenesse of his owne deceit, like the fish Sepia, that misteth her selfe in her owne mud, and reprehended for the blacknesse of his sinne, by the wisedome of the Spirit, and peircing words of the Apostle: and lastly, confuted in the simple Laby­rinth of his owne Logicke, it remaines that hee is confounded by the inward remorse of his couetous conscience; and as at the hearing of his owne fune­rall sermon, falls downe dead in the place, by the fulmination of the fearfullest anathema, anathema maran-atha, a temporall consternation of the bodie, cut off from the grace of life, and eternall maledicti­on of the soule, depriued of the life of grace, an ex­emplarie vengeance to other, a fearfull iudgement to himselfe, by a sad, a sudden, and vnrepentant death: not so much in forme of words, as in the effect of deeds; When Ananias heard these words, he fell downe and gaue vp the ghost.

Lastly, the vse of this curse annexed, what effect it should and did produce to other: trepidation and feare, illustrated by the extent or quantitie, both of the affection, and the subiect, or auditors; Great feare came vpon all them that heard these things. And thus much for the Context and analysis, or logicall reso­lution.

CHAP. II.
The Theologicall tractation. First, of his sinne in generall, how great it was, and what.

COncerning his sinne, that it should be propor­tionate to his punishment, all do not agree; the most auouch that it was Sacriledge, none say it was lesse, but some say more, as namely that sinne vnto death, the sinne against the holy Ghost. I thinke it was both. First, that his sinne was Sacriledge, it is First, Sacri­ledge.too apparent to be gainesaid, as I am of opinion, al­though the learned Fulke vpon the Rhemish notes Fulke in locum.seemeth to denie it, as I take, in heate of dispute. For the detaining or detracting of any thing dedicated to holy vse, though dedicated but by mentall intention, hath beene defined to be sacri­ledge, by such as haue defined that sinne; and so the streame of auncient and moderne Diuines doth run generally that way: as thus, S. Augustine, De verbis Apost. Ideo cito mortuus est Ananias, vt paterit quam magnum peccatum esset, quod oblatum est iterum retrahere: Ananias died suddenly, to shew how hainous a sinne it is, to reuoke anything that is offered or dedicated to God. Chry­sostome, in locum. Vides quid hoc crimen imputatur, eo quòd pecu­nias suas accepit quas consecrârat: thou seest how he is charged with a crime for taking away his monies which he had consecrated or hallowed. And a lit­tle after, Sacrilegium enim valde graue & magno con­temptu plenum: for sacriledge is a very grieuous sinne, and full of great contempt. S. Ambrose, ser [...]. 9. Dum ex co [Page 8] quod promiserat partem su [...]trahit, sacrilegij simul accu­satur & fraudis: for defaulting a moitie of that which he had promised to God, he is charged with sacri­ledge and fraud. So the old. Calvin, in locum Sacrilega frau­datio quod partem eius subducit quod sacrum esse profite­batur: it was sacrilegious iugling to diminish that which he professed holy. Aretius, in locum. Furtum fuisset in re propria, fraude retinere quod simulat publicare: it had beene stealth or ordinary theft in his proper and pri­uate goods, fraudulently to hold backe what he made show to make common: Ergo, this was sacri­ledge. Beza, in annot. Cum totum pretium deo consecrasset, post per sacrilegium partem separabat: hauing vowed the whole, he subtracts a part to his owne vse. So the new.

Now to define Sacriledge, historians vse the word diuersly: for noting this siune to be both hainous and odious, therefore they call all hainous and hate­full sinnes by the name: as sorcerie, murder, violati­on of parents, trucidation of Princes, and what­soeuer engendreth publique detestation and slaun­der.

But indeed the word in proper signification hath respect to God, whether by derogation of his glory, or violation of his law, or opposition of his truth, or vsurpation of his titles, or prophanation of his Temples, or vilification of his seruice, or diminuti­on of his reuenewes and things dedicated to his ho­nour. The Etymologists of both Tongues, deriue it from stealing [...]om. [...]. [...]., as [...] and sacrilegus doe im­port.

[Page 9] Therefore, 1. the heathen defined it from rob­bing of the heathen temples: 2. the Christian Ciui­lians from Christian Churches: 3. our common lawyers, set out the force of the word, by the felloni­ous intent, rather then the subdolous manner, whe­ther of secret lurching, or open purloyning: 4. Di­uines both schoole and reformed, quicquid fit ad irre­verentiam sacrae rei: as 2. 2. q. 99. [...] [...]. Th. Aquinas: Zanchius, lib. 3. de ex [...]e [...] ­cult. Vi­olatio sacrorum: Vrsinus, Catech. ablatio rei sacrae: derogation of holinesse, abuse, or lurching things deputed to holy vses. Therefore Innocentius, more by way of allusion, then true notation, saies that sacrilegium is sacriledium, any such abuse whereby God or his reli­gion is preiudiced and depraued.

Whosoeuer therefore taketh away, or alienateth to other persons or vses, goods or things (chattels our Lawyers call them) of the Church, that haue been giuen to maintaine Gods Church and seruice, the Canonists say doth incurre ipso facto, crimen laesae Maiestatis, that is, sacriledge or treason to the highest Maiesty: and as high treason to the King is the high­est degree of a subiects enormitie, so in proportion is sacriledge to God: but in Ananias this is ioyned with a higher, whereby his sinne is out of measure sinfull.

Secondly, the sin against the holy Ghost. This seemes to me also to be very plaine: first, by the literall oneration of S. Peter in the third verse, lying to the holy Ghost: where the verie nomination of that person of the Trinitie, who guided and gouer­ned as present and president, this whole businesse, doth insinuate no lesse. For who doth work the mi­racles, [Page 10] but the holy Ghost? who doth reueale the Donors most intimate intentions, but the holy Ghost? who doth kill with the word of his mouth dthe incorrigible sinner, but the holy Ghost? who doth so powerfully congregate so many thousands by ethe mouth of ideot-fishers, but the holy Ghost? who doth segregate this goat from the blessed flocke, for infecting further, but the holy Ghost? therefore the holy Ghost particularly is, and peremptorily af­firmes himselfe to be aimed at in this businesse of ho­linesse: therefore the sinne against that person, is that sinne, the sinne of the holy Ghost. And hereunto the holy Fathers also accord: as Hesychius, lib. 1. c. 10. in Leuit.quoted by Doct. Fulke vpon the place, on the Rhemish Testa­ment: Dominus dicit omne pec [...]at [...]e hominibus dimit­titur, blasphemia au [...]em in spiritum sanctum non dimitte­tur: hoc Petrus ipso opere ostendit, quia Ananias & Sap­phyra spiritui sancto [...]ecutiti sunt, ait [...]d eos, quare, &c. The Lord saith, Euery sinne shall be forgiuen vnto men, but blasphemie against the holy Ghost shal not be forgiuen: this did Peter really declare, because Ananias and Sapphire lied to the holy Ghost, he saith vnto them, Why hath Sathan blinded or filled thine heart? and thus he. And Doct. Fulke himselfe [...]n them. test.is of the same opinion, as it were denying Ananias sinne to be sacriledge, because the Seminaries said it, and avouching it to be this sinne.

The same also doth Aretius affirme, alleadging another interpretation of those words, (why hast thou lied to the holy Ghost: mentiens spiritum sanctum; i. fin­gens se habere spiritum sanctum: belying the holy Ghost, [Page 11] that is, saying that he had the holy Ghost,) but reie­cting it, and cleauing to that construction, contra spi­ritum sanctum, against the holy Ghost, that it was the sinne of the holy Ghost. And that which puts it out of question, M. Calvin in locum., in saying Ananias sinne was sacriledge, prooues it thus that we now speake of: for as it hath been obserued by learnedst writers, That sinne is no one single sinne, but aggregativum Gers. par. 2. com­pend. theol. de 7. vit. cap. quid, a collection of many great sinnes: 1. an aduised sinfulnes: 2. a resolute wilfulnesse: 3. an obstinate maliciousnesse: 4. an vninersail wickednes, or gene­rall apostasie: all which, or the most with some addi­tion Calvin obserues in this sinne, and they are not hard to be found all have: for Thomas saith, there Aquin. de nature diuin. lib. 2. c. 7.are sixe species or spices of it: 2. against God, 1. in forbidding, 2. in remitting sinne against both which this sinner doth offend, 1. against his iustice forbid­ding, by presumption: 2. against his mercie pardo­ning, by desperation. 2. Against himselfe, 1. dolor de commisso: 2. propositum de noli committendo: griefe for that which is past, and purpose for that which is to come: against both these also is this sinne; 1. obsti­nate and malitious persisting in sinne, 2. finall impe­nitencie and purpose not to leaue sinne. 2. Also vnto other, 1. amor boni, 2. agnitio veri; the loue of all that is good, and the embracing of all that is true: in stead whereof this sinne hath, 1. impugnationem veritatis agnitae, 2. invidentiam gr [...]tiae supernae: 1. wilfull resi­sting of knowne truth, 2. enuious hindering the hea­uenly grace: all which are not obscure in Ananias. As for example, 1. He knewe that God did knowe [Page 12] his doubling, yet is not afraid saith Calvin to practise the same. 2. Whereas S. Peter did preach the hai­nousnes of his sinne vnto him, hee had a heart that could not repent, and therfore vnfaithfull to lay hold on the mercy of Christ. 3. He was so farre from re­penting, that he grew harder, purposing to die, and dying in his purpose of non repentance. 5. He loued his goods more then goodnesse or good men. 6. Re­solued that no man should bee saued by his helpe. These things in briefe may serue to shewe, that the sinne of Ananias was both Sacriledge, and more: which yet shall be more fully declared in an other Cap. 4.place, where wee shall more particularly vnfold the seuerall properties of his sinne. So much in generall of his sinne.

CHAP. III.
In particular. 1. Reprehension of the man by compellation or personall rowsing.

ALthough that these delinquents had seene and heard enough in the sermons of the Apostles, and exercises of the Congregation, to haue instru­cted them in the power and iustice of God, and haue called them away from halting betweene couetous­nesse and godlinesse; yet such is the foolishnesse of sinne, and blindnesse of sinners, till God commeth home close vnto them, that they will neuer beleeue that God either sees or dislikes them: and therefore the holy Spirit takes such a course in this place, as is [Page 13] fittest to rowze vp a sinner, sitting in his chaire, and sleeping his nappe vpon his couch or cushion of se­curitie, as his conscience may be soonest conuinced, and his state easiest recouered: and that is by singling him out particularly, by his name and nature, that hee cannot shift the notice that is taken of him. It is small question but hee knewe his owne name, which in him, as in all other in those times, was sig­nificant: 1. humbled, 2. afflicted, 3. answered by God; so saith Aretius doth Ananias import. 1. His ambitious desire of credit, beeing loath to be at the cost, was to be humbled. 2. His euill heart and worse eye, enuying the Apostles any maintenance, or the Conuerts any sustenance, was to be afflicted. 3. His corrupt and cankred manners was to receiue such an­swer from God as they most deserued. This because he himselfe would not remember, his loue to monie hauing raced his owne name, like an other Cervinus out of his minde, the holy Ghost doth rubbe his me­morie of, reducing all these notions vnto his remem­brance, by striking this string, and sounding that name to his vnderstanding. The officers of the Inqui­sition, when they suspect a party, and cannot proba­bly conuince his concealing, they will suddenly pro­nounce his surmised name, and obserue how hee is affected at that sound; by which stratageme they haue come to the cognizance of notable disguisers, which they might haue despaired any other way to haue wonne. Which course God seemeth oft-times to take with men, not that any can so halt before him, as to goe vnknowne, but because by so particular a [Page 14] course he would bring them both to knowe them­selues, and also to know that he doth knowe them▪ so did he to the protoplast, Gen. 3. 9. Adam, where art thou? and his eldest sonne Caine, Gen. 4. 9. where is thy brother Abel? and the mother of Ismael, Gen. 16. 8. Hagar Saraes maide what doest thou here?

The reason hereof Dauid seemeth to touch, Psalm. 10. 13. Sin­ners doe flatter themselues in their wickednes, till their ab­hominable sinne be found out: and euer since Adam was driuen to his shifts in paradise, he will finde some fig-leafe to couer his nakednesse, and with that siely, hide his head in a crowde, saying, in populo magno non agnoscar, the throng shall hide me: and is there know­ledge in the most highest? Therefore doth God go ve­ry particularly to worke, as in the lot of Ion. 1. [...]. Ionas, and Ionathan 1. Sam. 14. 86., to minde the offender: for example, There is Iosh. 7. [...]6.a sinne committed, for which the army is ouer­throwne, and no man will confesse the fact; it must be found that God may be reconciled, the campe freed, and the partie punished: the ordinary course as in those cases, must be by way of lot, where the hand of God is immediate index & iudex. The lots are cast into the lap, and the tribe of Iudah is taken; here A­chan, vnquiet before, begins to startle now, yet hope of impunitie hardens him so, as he will confesse no­thing: a second draught of the familie of Zarites, frees the rest of Iudah, as the lotterie of Iudah had secured the other tribes: now the man beginnes to change countenance, and purposes some-deale to saue all labour, and confesse of himselfe: but because he lingers, the third draught finds the house of Zab­di, [Page 15] then he falls to quake and tremble, so that all men that saw him, might reade his fault in his face: and while he is astonied between passion and purpose, he heares himselfe to bee named, when loe, hee falls downe and sinkes vnder his sorrow; and if it were to begin againe, he would stay the search, and yeeld himselfe prisoner. Why did he not that sooner? If we would iudge our selues, 1. Cor. 11. 32. we should not be iudged: nowe when we are iudged, we are chastised of the Lord, that wee should not be condemned with the world. And thus doth Peter in this place, not onely to point at, but to paint out a double dealer: who had he any sparke of grace, had preuented iudgement, and cut off by timely con­fession, so fearefull a condemnation. But nothing would serue to wring his vnhappy purchase out of his fingers; so hunger of bootie, and hope of impu­nitie, betray most men: who were we well assured, we should one day be called to personall account, we would neuer for so miserable pleasance, buy at so deere a rate so certen repentance. Sinnes are debts, and debts are as sonnes, who growe so well, that they will crie after vs, and owne vs by our name, if we stay them not within, or stoppe not their mouth with­out. As the staffe and the ring did challenge Gen. 38. 13.Iuda, so we shall be bewrayed by the same token, if in time we take not vp the matter, with a lambe or a kidde of the fold, by the hand of our friend the good Adul­lamite: and so much of the Apostrophe, or Com­pellation.

CHAP. IV.
Reprehension of the matter, or enumeration of the parts of the offence, which are 1. the author, 2. obiect, and 3. subiect.

ALthough in the 2. Chapter I laid downe his sinne in some generalitie, by way of explicati­on, yet now order leadeth vs by the hand of the text, to vnfold the branches somewhat more particularly, by way of demonstration, not as hunting out the hai­nousnesse thereof in any one arme or diuision there­of, but shewing the forme and materialls in the whole ioyntly together. The first part therefore is the author, and prime moouer, which is here by the Apostle said to be Satan.

1. The author, Satan. Now although the Prince of darkenesse doth worke in all the children of disobedience, and the deuill hath his hand in euery sinne, yet it is not vsuall to name or mention him, but in some very notorious and greatly outragious; as in that of Iudas Ioh. 13. 17., that the Deuill entred into him: and of Elymas Act. 13. 10., that he was the child of the Deuill: and of Antichrist 2. Thes. 2. 9., that his com­ming is with the effectuall working of the Deuill: and in the Ecclesiasticall historie, when the horrible here­tike Cerinthus Euseb.greeted Saint Iohn the Apostle and Euangelist, with non nosti nos? knowe you not mee? receiued this answer, noui te primogenitum diaboli, yes, I know you to be the deuills eldest sonne. So that as the Poets in inextricable exigencies, do bring down [Page 17] Iupiter vpon the stage, [...], by a deuise or en­gine: so doth God in matters that passe the ordinarie pitch, bring in Sathan to shew the transcendencie of the sault.

We are then to know, for the fountaine of sinne, that there are cogitationes immissae, Satans iaculations, and cogitationes ascendentes, humane ebullitions: this of Ananias is mixt of both, as appeares in the next words, where repeating the same matter he alters the phrase, saying, why hast thou conceiued this thing in thy heart? so that both Satan did fill his heart, and his heart conceiued it; Satan by inticing, moouing, per­swading; he by consenting, yeelding, obeying: Sa­tan by casting in his fierie darts of temptation, he by blowing these coales of destruction. By the enuy of the deuill (saith Syracides) W [...]s 2. 14. sinne entred into the world: yet out of the heart (saith our Sauiour) Mat. 15. 19. arise euill thoughts, murders, adulteries, thefts, &c.

Wherefore, as Satan entred into Iudas, August. non tam vt tentaret, quàm vt possideret, not so much to tempt him, as to possesse him: non vt alienum, sed vt propri­um, not as a stranger, but as his peculiar: nec tam vt possideret, quàm vt transformaret, not so much to pos­sesse him, as transforme him: whereupon our Saui­our Ioh. 6. 70.said, haue not I chosen you twelue, and one is a deuill? so he tempted, possessed, transformed Ananias, with an extraordinarie temptation, a souraigne domina­tion, an vniuersall transmutation: so that as Iudas was a traytor before he did betray, (as our Sauiour insi­nuates) quod Ioh. 23. 27. facis, (in the present tense) fac citò; for beeing so wholly set vpon it, with head, and heart, [Page 18] and hand, that had his heads beene as many as Cer­berus, or the whore of Babylon; and his hands as ma­ny as Briareus, or any King of whom it is said, An niscis multas regibus esse manus? he would haue set them all on worke; so full he was vp to the top, non [...]am facit peccatum, sed est peccatum August.: it was too small a pre­dication to say he did sinne; for he was conuerted in­to sinne, hee was nothing but sinne. And yet this was but one halfe of his sinne, that he left no place for God, no place for goodnesse, Satan had taken vp all the roomes in his heart, as interpreters do ob­serue. And all this is but his stampe of one side, whose man he was, and whom hee entertained. Come to the other side, whom he (I will not say) kept out, but draue out, his sinne against the holy Ghost; the se­cond part of the sinne.

[...]. Obiect, against whom. Although lying be sometime set for dissembling in the holy booke: as where Dauid saith, Psal. 18. 44. his e­nemies shall lie vnto him, speaking both of the type, himselfe or his sonne, and the Messias, to note the hy­pocrisie and false-heartednes of his vanquished sub­iects: and againe of the like, Psal. 81. 15. they should haue beene found liers vnto him, that is, they should humble them­selues with false obedience and forged submission: yet as we haue noted, Cap. 2. very learned Exposi­tors, besides the aduantage of the letter, haue taken it for that irremissible blafphemie, that is directed a­gainst the third person in Trinitie, not of ig­norance, or of infirmity, as to the sonne, and the Father; but of malice to the fountaine and author of holines; which as the schoolemen say, Thomas. Id [...]ò colo­rem [Page 19] non habet excusationis, quod quantum in se est, dire­ctè impugnativum est medici & remedij, per quod fit re­missio peccati: it hath no colour of excuse, because as much as in it is, it doth directly oppose both the Phy­sitian, and the Physicke, whereby remission is wrought. Bellarmine, de poen. l. 2. cap. 1. Directè resistit & repudiat gra­tiam Dei, it plainely resisteth and refuseth Gods mer­cy: such is the sinne.

Now if we looke when or wherein this sinne by him was committed, we finde nothing but this fact, for which he was tainted or touched; then this verie sinne, quatenus, he promised such goods to the author of holinesse, to be a helpe and meanes to propagate holinesse, as it concerned the person cui, was blasphe­mie, beeing frustrated and falsified in the effect: as it considered the thing in quo, the detension of that which was so deuoted, was sacriledge: which is the third branch of his sinne, now comming in order to be touched, or the circa quod.

3. Subiect wher­in. Wherein we must now no more set our eie vpon the partie, to whom the origination and procurati­on of holinesse doth pertaine (the last thing which we considered) but the materialls of holinesse, or the things sanctified and separate for holy seruice them­selues; of the fellonious diminishing whereof Anani­is here charged, as we saw before: and it is seuerally set downe in the next words, by a disiunctiue con­iunction, thus, and keep backe part of the price of the pos­session.

Wherein beside his impious legier-de-maine, that Ficta oblatione Deum & Ecclesiam fallere vouit, [Page 20] saith Calvin, by a false shew of a bountifull heart, hee went about to gull both God and his Church; we ob­serue his fowle prophanation of a faire constitution, for it was now a voluntarie graunt or a customarie practise, receiued for law in that litle commonwealth, that such as had should improoue their loue to the highest linke; when he like Ionas worme doth blast the honour of God, the vse of goods, his owne de­uotion, and others sustentation, with one cast of hy­pocrisie.

I will not mention his foolish ambition, that for a small aire of humane applause, he could be content to forfeit his reward in heauen: nor his Paganish in­credulitie, that thought God either would not in so many coufluences of Proselytes, or could not in so great incumbrances of opposites, maintaine his Church; and therefore thought to haue more hold of his hand, then he had of his tongue.

These be the parts of his sinne seuerally laid open in themselues, and yet in such reciprocall aspect and position one to another, that they touch and take es­sence and efficacie one from another: for the fulnesse of Satan argues, his totall and finall apostacie from God; and his sinne against the holy Ghost, confirmes his sacriledge to the holy Church; and lastly, his en­uying and spoyling the holy Church, prooueth his compleate deuillishnesse. Of which particulars be­fore we collect the totall summe, let vs gather such vses of these points as lie scattered in our way, that both our path may be the smoother, and our proui­sion for the rest of our passage the better.

[Page 21] First, then we here obserue the truth of those words of Salomon, Pro. 22. 15. Sinne is folly. That follie is bound vp in the heart of the child: that is, that we are all both naturally and habi­tually addicted to all kind of sinnes, as hauing Satan to our father, and an irreligious and corrupt fountain for our mother. And this folly is no other, but in which sense those two words are equipollent, beeing termini convertibiles: onely the difference is this; the one hath relation to the head, as principium laesum; the other to the hand, as organum corruptum; and therefore we are no lesse indangered by ill thoughts, then preiudiced by ill deeds. Men commonly thinke that thought is free, and so it is in some sence, in ci­uilitie, because the Magistrate takes no notice of them, vnlesse manifested with outward proofes; not in diuinitie to thinke what we list in regard of God: for he is scrutator Heb. 4. 13. cordium, a trier of the hearts and reines; and euill thoughts eat out the heart of religi­on: therefore Salomon Eccl. 10, 20.counsels, not to curse the King so much as in thought: and Peter Act. 8. 12.bids Simon Magus, pray that his thought might be forgiuen him: for the very thoughts Prou. 15. 26.of the wicked, are abomination to the Lord: the transgression of the euill angels was but in thought, and oftenne Lawes, there is one to reform the cogitations.

Secondly, Abyssus abyssum vocat, saith the Pro­phet, one depth calleth another; which is no lesse true of the inundation of sinne, then of the seas: for by custome of sinne, and delighting in a tenor of dis­guising, we bring our selues to that passe, that all the balme in Gilead will not cure vs: too much dallying [Page 22] Sozom. with sinne, brings to the deadly sinne. Iulian did ba­nish grace so long, donec omnino gratia spoliabitur when we beginne with impietie, and goe on with hypocri­sie, we commonly end with apostasie. Sampson played so long with Dalila mock-holiday, that in the end his locks were shauen in good earnest. The losse of grea­test Iustin.peices comes by the least breach vnespied, or vn­repaired. Ninus victories were not onely gainefull for the present, but vsefull for the future, sequentium etiam causae, the meanes of more; so is it in sinne, it hath not onely lapsum, but reatum; besides the illnesse of the fall, it leaues a pronenesse to fall further: ther­fore rightly and obseruantly called by the Apostle, deceitfulnesse of sinne: for besides the harme that is in view, there is more danger in that which is concea­led.

Sinnes are sores, first but vitious humours, then they growe to angrie tumours, and after they turne to burning vlcers, within a while to eating cankers, and last of all to incurable tortors, not onely morbus, but mors animae, as Bernard saith. Therefore let vs not Esay. 5. 18.drawe sinne with cords of vanitie, nor transgression with cart-ropes. Cables or cart-ropes were first threds, then cords, last cables: so is the twisting of sinne: 1. against knowledge: 2. against conscience: 3. against the strongest, not motions onely, but recla­mations also of Gods Spirit. Malice against any men is hainous, against holy men dangerous, against God and holines damnable. Let that alwaies be our prai­er, Psal. 19. vlt. Keepe vs, O Lord, from presumptuous sinnes, so shall we be innocent from much offence, from this offence. And [Page 23] so much of the enumeration of the seuerall braun­ches of his sinne.

CHAP. V.
The aggrauation of the sinne of Sa­criledge.

NOW then to summe vp all that hath been said: 1 for as much as Satan is here mentioned in this matter, and that as no idle spectator, but a busie actor, and so busie as not to send any small troopes, or lend little helpe, but to replenish with the fulnesse of his iniquitie the whole heart of this peccant partie; it is giuen vs to vnderstand, that Sacriledge is no small defection, or transgression, but an entire desertion of Gods spirit, and solide interest of Satan in the child of perdition: for as, de quo vis ligno non fit Mercurius, euery logge will not make a Mercuriall; so de quo vis luto non fit Sacrilegus, euery mould will not serue for Sacriledge. We may well set downe, that this is a foule, a fearefull, a fundamentall sinne, not razing the skin of Christs scalpe, like the Iewes crowne of thornes, but renting the sides of Christianitie, like the souldiers speare, as we reade in the Gospell. For which cause the Canonists were wont to allot Burchard.seauen yeares penance vnto it, as Ivo, Burchardus, Gra­tian, and the rest agree; where so many daies sufficed other sinnes.

2 Whereas this sinne is so gloriously attended, not onely with a deuill, but so great a deuill, as the sinne [Page 24] that is irremissible, the sinne vnto death, the blasphe­mie of the holy Ghost; wee haue a faire aime to de­scrie the sinfulnesse of Sacriledge by the old rule, that teacheth, noscitur exsocio qui non dignoscitur exse, Eccl. 9.a mans gate, his countenance, his companie, will soone shew what he is.

Now here hee goes hand in hand with a hea [...]ie sinne, and if they should contest for prioritie, hath here the precedence, as carrying the denomination: therefore of force we must confesse that it is very Rom. 1. 22.hainous. In Paul he marcheth in equipage with a high sinne, the sinne of idolatrie; and of Idolatry Drus.the Iewes haue a Prouerbe, Idololatra totam le­gem abnegat, the idolater disanuls the whole Lawe: the like then must Sacriledge, beeing of the same size and latitude, renounce the whole law: not onely Iam. 2. 20.as S. Iames saith, he that offends in one commaundement is guiltie of all, but because all the second table de­pends vpon the first, and all the commaundements vpon the foremost; and therefore resemble Hippo­crates twins, laugh and weepe, liue and die, stand and fall, with equall simpathie.

Blat. 10. de leg. For first the diuine Plato, in those excellent books concerning lawes, hauing in the former touched the violation of sacred persons, comming in the tenth to speake in excellent method of sacred things, auerreth expressely thus much of the sacrileger, that hee must needs perswade himselfe one of these three things, 1. that there is no God at all, 2. or if there be, yet that he is nothing so iust and terrible to his oppug­ners as the world is made beleeue, 3. or at the least, [Page 25] that hee is very facile and flexible to be reappeased, when by sacrilegers he is abused: euery of which do raze the foundation of all religion.

So that these men aime at no lower leuell then God himselfe, and are therefore those presumptuous gyants, that by antiquitie were said to mutinie a­gainst heauen; because as they know no goodnesse, so they would acknowledge no God: and beeing en­forced to that necessitie, enuie him all seruice and seruants. And therefore it is well obserued of an hea­then writer, Soli sacrilegi pugnant contra Deum, it is no Q. Cur. lib. 7.other then your sacrileger that wars with God, and make rampiers against his Maiestie. Thus then Pla­to hath soundly concluded all sacrilegers to be verie Atheists: for albeit they do not totidem verbis, in di­rect Psal. 14. 1termes, denie there is a God with Dauids foole, and those abiects of the forlorne hope; yet doe they the same indirectly, and by necessarie consequence, when they deifie a false, or idolize the true God: which is by denying his essentiall attributes, and di­uine properties. As, 1. of holinesse, with such as do thinke him like themselues; that is, a God that deligh­teth Psal. 50. 20. Psa. 5. 4. Deut. 28. 4. in wickednesse▪ 2. of iustice, saying, I shall haue peace, though I walke in the stubbornenesse of my owne heart. 3. of power, like the Aramites, that said he was a God of the 1. King. 20. 28. hills, and not of the vallies. 4. of prouidence, saying, he doth neither good nor euill.

Lib. 2. de vit. exter. cult. [...]. 3. But M. Zanchius saith, that sacriledge is species ir­religionis, a spice of atheisme; iumping with Aqui­nas, that saith it is oppositum religioni, crossing religi­on: and S. Augustine, that saith it is directè contra [Page 26] deum, opposite to God in point blanke; whose rea­sons are most reasonable, because it can proceed from nothing but open contempt of holinesse, and plaine impietie: for els why doe men lay theeuish fingers vpon things consecrated to religion, but because they care not for religion: or whereto tends the spoile of holy things, but to the ouerthrowe of holi­nesse? for men knowe this, God cannot be serued without men, nor men bee maintained without meanes: therefore the substracting such meanes, is the disappointing such seruice: therefore Zanchius re­duceth Sacriledge to the second commaundement, where Gods seruice is established and prouided.

Because it is here set out in his owne colours, it is not amisse to take a tast of the fulsomenesse of it. The donations of former times that were giuen to God, Luk. 21. 5.were called anathemata, either for their sequestration from profane vse, or suspension on the walls and pil­lars of holy Temples. Now what the Latines called anathemata, from the Greeke, the Hebrewes called cherem: 1. for their consecration: 2. for their execrati­on: the one in their vse and end; the other in their nature and effect: of all which the Lord to Moses gaue [...] [...]3. 1 [...].this caueat, Let none of the cursed thing cleaue to thine hand: because in that case, the spoyle in warre, or any such thing as the Lord reserued to himselfe, did al­waies [...].so prooue: as is expressed in Iosuah, Keepe your selues from the cursed thing, least it make you accursed and [...] trouble you: as fel out to Achan in the valley of Achor, or of trouble.

Therefore the censers of the rebellious Leuites, [Page 27] beeing once consecrated, when they perished, were Num. 1 [...]. 38▪commaunded to bee preserued, not for any, or pro­phane vses, but to make a couering of the Altar. But Prou. 20. 25.to deuoure such holy vtensils or donation, Salomon pronounceth to be a curse, or snare, or destruction, (as seuerall translations do read it) that is, to appropri­ate them to priuate vses.

I [...]r. 2 [...]. The like Metaphor doth Ieremie vse to shew their nature, Israel was as a hallowed thing vnto the Lord, all that touch him shall offend: euill shall come to them saith the Lord: nothing the vengeance on their enemies, to bee no lesse then Sacrilegers. Paul compared it as wee Rom. 2. [...]2.saw with idolatry, which destroyeth the whole lawe: and Samuel with idolatrie and witchcraft; as the 1▪ Sam. 15. 23.contrary obedience with the holiest sacrifice: God Mat. 3.himselfe, with other theft, where the circumstances of the person augment the gradation, Will any people robbe their idols, which are their gods? Salomon with the Prou. 2 [...]. 24.hainousest theft among men, He that stealeth from his father and mother, and saies it is no sinne, the same is a com­pinion of the destroyer.

Prou. 6. 3 [...] Wherefore to conclude; 1. if in ordinarie theft, he that steales to satisfie his soule when he is hungry, if he be taken shall restore seuen fold, or giue all the substance of his house. 2. if the flying booke of Gods Zac. 5. [...]vengeance shall enter into the house of the theefe, (which booke was 20 cubites long, and 10. broad,) that is, a terrible curse, though but to his substance. 3. if he that steals from his father, shall be destroyed. 4. if idolaters and witches must not liue. Or to ga­ther the argument more narrow, 5. if that man that [Page 28] [...]. [...]am. 2. 25. sinnes against another is to be iudged of the iudge, and make so large satisfaction: what rule of proportion will serue sufficiently for our computation, for a man that shal sinne against the Lord, who shallplead for him? what shall be done vnto him? We may bee sure that if Caine bee reuenged seuen times, and Lamec 77. how many millions, how many myriads of millions, shall he be reuenged that sinnes against God, that tooke vengeance of Caine and Lamec both? for fini­ti ad i [...]finitum nulla est proportio. And so much shall serue for the aggrauation of this sinne.

CHAP. VI.
The Censure, or Excommuni­cation.

HItherto we haue seene his sinne, which we may truely pronounce to haue been a sinne of sins: now followes his punishment, and that well propor­tionate, a curse of curses: anathema euen maranatha, the most high, the most heauie, the most horrible of all degrees of ecclesiasticall censure: for that it was an ecclesiasticall censure, the whole series or order of the causes doe euince. 1. the efficients both prin­cipall and instrumentall: 2. the forme of spirituall or ecclesiasticall iurisdiction: 3. the matter, execration or extirpation: 4. the ende, that other may feare.

Now then for our better vnderstanding both of his sinne, and of his suffering, the learned Drusius Drus. quest. [...] 1. qu. 9.doth teach vs, that among the Iewes where this fell [Page 29] out, there were three sorts or seuerall degrees of Church censure, apparant enough in both Testa­ments. 1. Called niddui of nadah, a word that signi­fies, expellere or elongare, to expell or driue far away: this we haue in Esay, Heare yee the word of the Lord, all yee that tremble at his word: your brethren that hated you, and cast you out for my names sake, said, Let the Lord bee glorified, (that was the forme as we see in Achans story) Ios. 7. 30. but he will appeare to your glorie, and they shall be ashamed. And this is that which in the newe Testament is cal­led, casting out of the Synagogue, as the Pharisies serued the blind man whom Christ had healed, ha­uing Ioh. 9. 35.made a Canon, that whosoeuer should confesse Ie­sus to be Christ, should be excommunicate, or cast out of the Church.

charam. 2. The second was Cherem, of the roote that signi­fies occidere or excidere, to kill or cut off: this we finde Deut. 7. 2.in Moses, where God speaking of the cursed nations, whom his people were to exterminate, and possesse their places, saies thus, as the vulgar translation doth well deliuer it, anathematizando anathematizabis eos; the English, if not so significantly, yet as effectually, thou shalt vtterly destroy, or roote them out. And this S. Paul had respect vnto, when he said, I would to God Gal. 5. 12. they were cut off that trouble you; and where bee would haue the incestuous Corinthian committed to Sa­than. 1. Cor. 5. 5.

3. The last was that which the Iewes call Samma­tha, or Sammatizatio of Shamam, that signifies desola­re, & ad stuporem vastare: & atta, tu, q. d. let such a curse fall vpon thee, as is vltima execratio or maledictio, [Page 30] the vttermost execration or accursednesse. Or as some thinke, of shem for hashem, which is the name of God, and atha, venit, or to come, to expresse the euerlasting curse [...]il the comming of the Lord: which Paul elswhere alludeth to. This word we finde in Ie­remie Lam. 5. 18.his lamentations, Sion is laid desolate. which la­mentable estate of the Church, in that booke is fully 1. Cor. 16. [...]2▪deplored, Ier. 12. 11. This S. Paul as I said before did expresse in that imprecation or denuntiation of a most zealous heart, Who so loues not (that is, hateth and persecuteth) the Lord Iesus, let him be anathema maran­atha, euerlastingly accursed, q. d. till the comming of the Lord to iudgement, and a day after. And these were the Church censures.

Now are we to examine, for as much as it is vn­deniable but this of Ananias is such, which of all these three it is, that is here inflicted. First, of a cer­taine not the first, for that was but a depriuation of the spirituall estate for a time, concerning the com­panie and comforts of the Church, with condition annexed of reconciliation and repentance: now this here was corporall, as well as spirituall and eternall; with a barre against repentance, therefore not that.

Secondly, nor the second, which as some thinke either was not corporall, such as the ciuill sword could inflict; but a permission or emancipation one­lie to the power and regiment of Satan, who hath his kingdom out of the Church, to whō such sinners were deliuered ouer, to the end that the flesh (that is, [...]. Cor. 5. 5.the old man) might be mortified, and the new renewed: or as Augustine speaketh, vt moriatur error, viuat ho­mo, [Page 31] that the sinne might be killed, and the sinner sa­ued. Or if a corporall also, as we must confesse of A­chan, the Cananites, and other, vpon whom that curse was corporally executed on earth vpon their bodies, which was pronounced and enacted in hea­uen; yet but corporall, hauing time and meanes of grace offered for repentance. Therefore it must be the last, partaking of both, but exceeding both so far as extreame doth goe beyond partiall, and eternall sutmounts temporall. 1. a temporall and extempo­rall cutting off the bodie from the grace of life, and a spirituall and eternall cutting off the soule from the life of grace: the sorest, seuerest, extreamest venge­ance, that can be afflicted on a man in this world; forsaking and forsaken of God. A sudden and vnre­pentant dissolution of bodie and soule; a present and immediate manumission from God and grace, to the place and torments of the damned, a iust guerdon for him that gaue himselfe ouer to the full sway of the Prince of death, to mocke that God of heauen, defeat his spouse on earth, & blaspheme the spirit of sanctification. I tremble to thinke; that any child of man, specially a child of the Church, an auditor of the Apostles, a professor of Christ, a benefactor of the Church, no apparant professed enemy or atheist, or persecutor, or apostata, should be liable to so ex­ecrable a sentence to be excommunicated, anathe­matized, sammatized for grudging a few pence or pownds to God and his Church. But leauing se­cret iudgements vnto God, wee must needs acknow­ledge, that God seeth not as man seeth, for that which [Page 32] mans eie could not perceiue, the eies of God that peirce the heart, did see in his carriage a mal [...]tio us, and obstinate, a presumptuous and desperate, hypo­criticall persecutor, and enuious Apostata: the essen­tiall marks of a certaine, reprobate, and forlorne sin­ner. If any yet beside the exigence of the fault, will needes require more reason for so great seueritie, for their further satisfaction may lift off their eies from looking vpon S. Peter, as if he either of his owne Act. 3.power, or his priuate humour had slaine the partie, and remember it was the holy spirit, that in defect of temporall magistracie, (not yet Christian) did moderate the whole matter: whose wisedome so far as we either may or can looke into, might commend these reasons: 1. the Church was to be kept in awe and feare of God: 2. as in a newe established polity or gouernement, as there must bee examples of re­ward for the righteous, so also of punishments for de­linquents: 3. that vnder the colour of religion and new conuersion, one should not defeat or defraud another: 4. it was requisite, that the authoritie of the Church should be wrought among them without, and they prepared by such exemplarie iustice to like, and loue her gouernement. These and such like, which Calvin and expositors doe alleadge, may serue to stoppe any curious mouth, that will haue God to giue account of his iudgements.

Here then are we taught first of all, of the won­derfull effect, and supereminent power of the word of God, in the mouth of his holy Apostles, and faith­full ministers, not onely and alwaies seruing in cases [Page 33] of edification, but sometimes also for destruction; al­beit 1 that very destruction also of his enemies, tends to the edification of his children. And these are those [...], works of power, mentioned by 1. Cor. 12. 10the Apostle; and [...], the sword of the Eph. 6. 20.spirit, to hack and hewe the vngodly in peices; and [...], weapons not carnall, but mightie in o­peration: and as Dauid cherev pipijoth, two mouthed Psal. 149.or edged sword: with this did Moses strike Corah and his complices: God himselfe Nadab and Abihu, Er and Onan, Iezabel and Athalia; Iosua Achan, and them of Canaan; Elizeus the 42. children; and this did Peter drawe out here against Ananias and Sap­phira. Whereby we see the Church censures are no bruta fulmina, little childrens pot-guns, beadles and boltles artilleries; but tearing and roaring Cannons; nor left to the swaying of Peter alone, much lesse to that man of Rome, to brandish not so much against sinnes as Soueraignes: but left in trust to all the true Ministers of the Gospel.

Neither is it without neede, that there should be such rods and swords in the Church of God, for such as are so audaciously insolent, bad by selfe impietie, but much worse by our impunitie. To the end ther­fore that the wicked may be corrected, the exorbi­tant [...]euoked, the timerous affrighted, the sound se­cured, and the iudgements of God that hang ouer our heads and the land auerted, let Moses and Aaron, the Cherubios of the Lord that are set to keepe the way to the forbidden tree, waue their fierie blade a­gainst all blasphemous disturbers, pertinacious resi­sters, [Page 34] impious atheists, perfidious heretikes, wayward schismatikes, erroneous idolaters, and incroaching sacrilegers.

It is true we haue a sword, and that doth not iust in the scabbard; but as Petrus de Aliaco did sometime complaine in the Council of Constance, it is subiect to much abuses, vulgaritie, partialitie, triuiali [...]ie, which make it almost a wooden dagger; Gladius (saith he) qui in primitiua ecclesia veneranda raritate erat for­midabilis, iam propter abusum contrarium contemptibilis factus est: the Ecclesiasticall sword which in the Pri­mitiue Church was seldome vsed and greatly reue­renced, is now become by daily distriction of small account, and little esteeme.

[...] 4▪ sect. dist 18. The like complaint doth Scotus make, so as wee may truely say with the Poet,

—at te genitor, cum fulminatorques
Nequicquam horremus, coeci (que) in nubibus ignes
Terrificant animos, & inania murmura miscent.

Now concerning the vsurped proprietie, which the Bishop of Rome doth claime to himselfe, as Pe­ters successor, that is, the sole temporall and spirituall monarch, whose yron must beare downe all swords, whose keies must open all locks, whose ledde must blunt all steele, and crosier put downe all scepters, (al­beit between these two propositions, Peter for sacri­ledge stroke Ananias dead, and the present Paulus 5. may excommunicate King Iames of great Brittaine for non conformitie, there be many gulfes to fill and casmaes to make vp) I leaue to be further confuted, by the learned pens that at this time fight the Lords [Page 35] battels, against that man of sinne. Sure I am of one thing; this is not Peters petra, rocke of saluation; but Neroes Tarpeius, the break-necke of destruction; nor eloquium Dei, but laqueus diaboli; nor ignis spiritus, but Iam. 3. 15. ignis fatuus.

I come to some other point more neere our mat­ter, 2 and obserue the wisedome and omniscience of the mightie Spirit, discerning the hearts, and peir­cing the reines of the most reserued hypocrites: for albeit here are many things of more then ordinarie practise, the immediate gubernation of the Church in generall at this time, and this action in particular, the immediate reuelation of this part in proper, and the immediate emancipation of the party to his place of perdition; yet this no way hinders the informati­on of our knowledge, concerning his nature and power, that all things are naked to his eyes, and that there Heb. 4. 1 [...] is no creature that is not manifest in his sight: and con­firmes those doctrines of the Prophets, I the Lord Ier. 17. 9. search the heart, and try the reines: and of the Apostles, Thou that knowest the hearts of all men, shewe whome thou Act▪ 1. 24. hast chosen. Such a God is it that we serue, that can discerne himselfe, and disclose to other the secretest malefactors: Ionas in the shrowds, Nathaniel vnder the figtree, Ieroboams wife vnder her maske, the Assyrians plotting in his priuie chamber, the iug­ling of Gehezi, the blanching of Iehoram, the bloo­dinesse of Hazael, the blending of Dauid, the idoli­zing of the Iewes. For which the heathen in their hieroglyphicks disciphered Iupiter by an eie and an eagle; to insinuate that such a nature beseemed the [Page 36] highest maiestie, as was not deceiueable by any ob­scuritie.

The consideration of which point may serue to disrobe vs of all Adams fig-leaues, and bereaue vs of all hope of impunitie, in our secretest villanies, and most inveloped treacheries. Erasmus brings in a paire of amorous pigeons, looking for some very re­tired roome where they might renew their lewd ac­quaintance, but neuer could so be couered in any cor­ner, that the eies of God should not descrie them. Therefore in that description of him in the vision, Reu. 1. 14.his eies are said to be as a flaming fire, that is, eies for obseruing, sire for reuenging: according to the Poet, Eurip. [...]. This one perswasion if well con­cocted, would strangle our wicked proiects, much better then those simple supposalls of the heathen, of Sen. epist. Cato or Scipioes ouer-seeing what we doe.

3 Lastly, obserue we in this censure, the exact retri­bution, and geometricall proportion, which God 3. Exact. iustic. Nyss.obserueth in his iudgements. Those (saith Gregorie Nyssene) are the purest stones and finest chrystals, that do most truely represent the faces of the inspectors; yeelding backe to merrie visages, merrie reflexions, but to sad and sowre lookes the like againe: such are Gods doings, which represent to vs our iust deser­uings: so that it is easie to reade our owne deeds, in his very doomes. As for example:

Gen [...]. The old world was plagued with inundations of waters, because of their great inundations of sinnes: Gen. 29.the fiue cities were consumed with sulphurous flames of fire against nature, because they boiled with sul­phurous [Page 37] flames of lust against nature. Pharaoh that Exod. 7.had been as a staffe of protection to the people of God; so soone as he turned serpent to hisse and sting his benefactors to death, is showne himselfe in a re­all embleme, by the staffe in the hand of Moses: and his vnnaturall subiects had their waters turned into blood, for defiling their riuers with the innocent blood of the Israelites children; and in the end were drowned in the red sea, for drowning others chil­dren in their Nilus.

1. Sam. 15. Saul no sooner reiected the word of the Lord, in the spoyle of the Amalakites, but he heard himselfe reiected from being King: and as the sword of that Agag whom he so spared had made many women child­lesse, so was his mother also by the hand of Samuel made childles herselfe among other women. Ado­nibesec that had cut off the thumbs and toes of 70. [...]0 [...]1.Kings, and set them to picke crumbs vnder his ta­ble, was by Ioshua serued with that same sawce, in the end himselfe.

This sea of examples hath no bottome. Dauids a­dulterie was repaied him by his sonne; Ioabs blood, Ahabs field, Diues almes, and a number more.

Heraclius the Emperour following incestuous lust, Paul. Diac.had such distension in that part of nature, that he could not let his vrine but in his owne face. Brune­childis a wicked Queen of France, that ioyed in no­thing but the discord of her children, was in the end taken, after she had made away 10. Princes, and infi­nite other, and was torne in peices with wilde hor­ses.

[Page 38] Cran. Boleslaus King of Cracow who put Staniflaus his Bi­shop to a cruell death, for his honest admonitions, and carued his flesh among his dogges: being driuen out of his Kingdom, and wandring in Hungarie, was torne in peices of his owne dogges. But to insist in Blo [...]d.this verie sinne: Leo Emperour of Constantinople, ta­king a rich Coronet out of a Church, set with dia­monds and other verie rich stones, and setting it on his own head, had instantly his head so pearled with boiles, and crowned with carbuncles, that for extre­mitie of torment he instantly died.

Magdebur. There was one Addo Archbishop of Mentz, that hauing a number of verie poore people in his coun­trie that craued his reliefe, he caused them all to be collected into a barn vnder a colour of almes, & so set it on fire; and when with their extreame yelling and howling they had with their noise peirced vnto him where he sate in his Pallace, he vsed this sarcasme while they were dying, that he heard the mice cry: for this bloodie Paganisme, God sent such armies of rats and mice vpon him, that he built a tower in the midst of the Rhine to saue himselfe from them, but all would not serue; for mightie shoals of them tooke the water, and destroied him most miserably, where he trusted for securitie.

So to say no more, Ananias meddles with the ex­ecrable thing, as Achan had done before, and is thereby himselfe made execrable: and this is that re­taliation Exod. 21. 24.which Moses mentioneth, an eie for an eie, and a tooth for a tooth. I end this point with a speach of Augustine, fitting both Ananias and vs: Dum alte­num [Page 39] rapis, à diabolo raperis; & dum alienum detines, à diabolo detineris; retines aurum, & perdis animam: in­iustum lucrum, sed iustum damnum; lucrum in arca, sed damnum in conscientia pereat ergo mund [...] lucrum, per quod fit animae tuae damnum: While thou preiest vpon another, the deuill preieth vpon thee; and while thou withholdest that which pertaineth to another, he l [...]ieth hold vpon thee; hee takes thy soule, while thou takest away thy neighbours siluer: thy lucre is vniust, but thy losse is most iust; the lucre is in thy cofer, but thy losse in thy conscience; defie therefore such gaine of this world, whereby thou loosest thy soule in the other.

And so I come more particularly to note the seue­ritie 4 of God against sacriledge: for in the extermina­tion The vengeance of God against Sacrilegers.of these two, we are plainely giuen to vnder­stand, what guerdon they are euer to expect, that vi­olate the sacred reuenues of God; a feareful expecta­tion of extreamest vengeance both of bodie and soule: a consideration able to strike vs through with horrour and amazement, if our hearts were not har­der then the neather mill-stone. If any shall doubt of that I say, and mocke at my words, as speaking for our owne particular, and pleading for our owne pro­fit; let him turne backe a few leaues, and consider the true reasons hereof; both in the second chapter, where in generall we did explicate his sin, and in the fourth chap. where in particular, we handled the members and branches of his sacriledge.

Wherefore I proceede and say, that there was ne­uer any rob-God, that imbarked themselues in this [Page 40] impietie, but he ran a course of endles infamie, and vtmost extreamitie.

Gen. 4. 14. To beginne with the verie beginning, Caine the Generall of this damned crewe, if his world of miserie was not solie for this, yet I dare a­vouch it was from this, that he liued a proiected runnagate, and died a reiected reprobate: of whom the fathers obserue this, that hee offended if not in the quantitie of his oblation, yet in the qua­litie thereof; declaring by the coursnesse of that hee offered, the abiectnes of his esteeme of him to whom he offered, the refuse of his crop, and li­nings of his corne. Which impietie of his vnto his Creator, was first punished with vnnaturall inhu­manitie to his brother; and that againe with obdu­rate impenitencie vnto God, till altogether they brewed him a loathsome extraction of a hate­full life, and a desperate procuration of a cursed death.

Ios. 7. 16▪ The fact of Achan is so obseruantly set downe, that I may well passe it in the Catalogue of these Catiues, and see some other.

[...]. Sam. 4. 12. The sinne of Hophni and Phineas, consisteth of triplicities; 1. it was sacriledge, 2. heynous sacriledge, 3. blasphemous sacriledge: 1. Sacriledge: for not contented with the priests portions, they vsurped also vpon the Lords part, which was to be burnt to him in sacrifice. 2. Heynous; for the sinne of the young men is said to haue bin great before the Lord. 3. Blasphemous; they were not onely rake-hellish extortioners, but abominable miscreants, causing [Page 41] the sacrifices of the Lord to be abhorred. Such was their sinne. Their punishment also had triplicities: 1. Fearfull comminations; there came a man of God to expostulate with Elie, and to denunciate his cruel iudgement. 2. Dismall exterminations; the Arke ta­ken of the vncircumcised, the sonnes slaine in battel in their priestly pontificals, the father breaks his necke at the news, the wife dies in abortiue deliue­rance, the Priesthood remooued to an other familie, and their issue depriued both of honour and honest meanes of life. 3. Odious commemorations in after ages, to deterre both Priests and people from their predecessors prophanenesse. God alludes to them, Goe to my place at Silo, and see what I did to it for the wic­kednesse Ier. 7 10. of my people Israel: and because you haue done the same workes, I will doe to this house as I did to Silo, and cast you out of my sight as I cast them. Note how extirpation Nota bene.still is the reward of Sacriledge. I passe ouer Saul, as 1. Sam. 15. 34.I did Achan; the same sinne, (the deuoted thing) the like cutting off, if not of life present, yet of Gods fa­uour which is true life, by vtter dereliction, and fi­nall extirpation of life and linage, when God sawe time.

D [...]n. 4. 30. Nebuchadnezar, because when the Lord was angry with his owne people, and had made him the rod of his wrath, he went beyond his commission, defiling himselfe with sacred compilations, was metamor­phosed for a time, as Sedulius hath described him; Sedul.

Nam quod ab humana vecors pietate recessit,
Agrestes pecorum consors fuit ille per herbas,
Aulica depasto mutans conuiuia faeno.
[Page 42] Pronus ab amne bibit, septena (que) tempora lustrans
Omnibus hirsutus syluis & montibus errans.

with which punishment God seemed contented for his time: but when God came againe in visitation, and found his grand-child carowzing and profaning those verie bowles and sacred vtensils, in the midst of his courtiers and concubines, and breaking iests vpon Cyrus and his army that then had surrounded his citie with a strait siege, in all securitie and confi­dence, and scoffing among, at the feeblenesse of the Iewes God, that could not keepe that much and mas­sie plate, he saw his fate pourtraied before his face vp­on the wall, how that he was numbred, ballanced, and reiected, which that instant was accomplished: his city surprised, his life bereaued, his Empire that had been aboue a thousand yeeres intailed to his auncestors, in a moment translated, not to another family onely, but to an other countrie.

Now let them that intaile their sacriledge vnto their posteritie, as they doe their substance, remark­ablely consider but this example, and see if such pre­scription may preuaile any more with God, then to hasten and accelerate their fathers iudgements on them and theirs for euer.

Ioh. 12. 6. I hasten to Iudas, who least hee should lack any damned sinne, was also a Sacrileger: for saith the Gospel, he was a theefe, and kept the bagge. which Saint Augustine doth thus illustrate: Iudas fur sacrilegus, non qualiscun (que) fur, sed fur loculorum, sed dominicorum, locu­lorum sed diuinorum: Iudas was a sacrilegious theefe, no common theefe I tell you, but a theefe that stole [Page 43] monie; nor common monie, but his masters monie, euen Gods monie. Well then, did he improoue it? he bought a halter to hang himselfe withall: now he Act. 1 1 [...].was accursed that hanged on a tree; for first in token of fearefull malediction, such an one seemed reiected of both elements, both resting places, both recepta­cles, heauen and earth: secondly, he burst in sun­der in the midst, as if his impure spirit was not deigh­ned to be let out at the doore that other mens do, be­cause hee had kissed with those lippes his Masters mouth. Lastly, hee went to his owne place; as if sacri­legious persons had a peculiar in hell, exempted from the common pit, where according to their transcendent impieties, they should receiue transcen­dent penalties. What Antiochus did and suffered 1. Mac. 5. [...]1▪in this kinde, presuming to rush into the holy Tem­ple of all the world, and taking away the holy vessels with polluted hands, plucking down the holy dona­tiues, that had been dedicated by other Kings, to the augmentation of the honour of that place, and cary­ing thence the sacred treasure, 1800. talents, we may read in the sacred volume: but God smote him with 9. 5.an incurable and invisible plague, convulsions in his bellie, imposthumations in his bowels, till hee con­cluded a hatefull life, with an abhorred death.

Theod. 4. [...]. The Ecclesiasticall storie mentioneth Iulian, Vn­cle and steward to the Apostata, with Felix his com­panion, like impurest spaniels pissing against the Communion Table, and giuing the bastinado to the Minister that did reprooue them, and scorning at Christ, that the sonne of Marie should be serued in [Page 44] siluer plate, and carrying the Church treasure into the Emperours Exchequer, with a number more of contemptuous prophanations, at the last were thus rewarded: the one had his mouth conuerted into a iakes, that way avoiding the superfluities of nature; the other the same way evaporating his soule toge­ther with all his blood.

I might here alleadge Cesar the Dictator, of whom the Poet thus in a true Epithite,

Lucan. lib. 3.Tristi spoliauit templaruina: and Marcus Crassus, who going to the Parthian warre, first at Rome rob­bed the sacred treasurie; and for that cause of his owne Tribunes, was omnibus diris deuotus, cursed with bell, booke, and candle, as the Papists call it. Then Ios▪ antiq. 14.taking Ierusalem in his way, tooke out of the holy Temple 10000. talents at one time, beside a great beame of gold, waighing 300. pound, which Eliaza­rus the treasurer, vpon Crassus oath to redeme the rest, deliuered vnto him. In that voyage he was occi­sione occisus, hee and his army slaine euery mothers sonne, and by that losse his country fell into most mi­serable slauery.

Magdeburg. Cent. Arnulfus successor to Carolus Crassus in the We­sterne Empire, at the beginning was verie fortunate; but once comming to enioy peace, and falling to rob and rifle the Churches, his former felicitie did vtterly abandon him, and God punished his greedie hunger, with the lowzy euill, of which in great de­spaire, within a short time he ended his life.

I might annex hereunto along bead-role of the heathen indignities both of the Grecians, as Eueme­rus, [Page 45] Messenius, Hippo, Diagoras, Sosius, Epicurus, and Dionysius: and Latines, as Q. Scipio, L. Crassus, Fulvius Flaccus, Plemmenius, Pyrrhus Bremus, and other, that dishallowed their owne dieties, and came to great miseries: for although they were but verie deuils, or meere idols, vsurping the honours of the true God, and therefore may be said to be but worthily serued, hauing neither merit to deserue, nor might to re­uenge those grosse indignities: yet I say not, it was they that inflicted those executions vpon their dis­honourers, but our God, as Lactantius hath noted; Lac. diu. iust. lib. 2. 4.not because they abused his corriuals, and those that were not Gods, (for illumined Princes haue vsed them farre worse:) but partly for contemning the things, which themselues in erroneous iudgement, did esteeme for Gods; and partly for profaning those well intended donations, which in intention of de­uourer minds, were meant to the true God: and so becomming first impious robbers, and then scurri­lous deriders, (which were not sufferable) of those gods which themselues professed, and the good things which other had hallowed. And this doth mightily confute the audacious pillages of our pro­phane people: for if they were so reuenged that wronged the false gods: how much sorer punish­ment doe we deserue, that worshipping the true, yet practise so high contempt, so contrarie to the princi­ples of our true religion.

Examples in this kinde are infinite, but I reserue the rest for another place, where we shall be occasio­ned [Page 46] to see further of this matter: these for the pre­sent shall suffice to set forth the horrour of this crime, and the heauinesse of the curses that God for the most part vseth to inflict vpon those people, that lay vnhallowed hands vpon his houses, or such chattels, as are sacred to holy seruice.

And so much for the first part of this Treatise, which stood in Explication of the sinne, and Cen­sure of Ananias. I hasten to the second in Appli­cation.

THE SECOND PART of this Treatise, which stands in Application: and is first Destructiue, in confu ­tation of sundry Sacrilegers.

CHAP. I.
Against Papall alienation of holy demeanes, al­lotted to holy Worship.

PLato and those vertuous Sages, the first foun­ders of all Philosophy, where euer they obser­ued either weakenes or wickednes in other men, were wont to call themselues home to priuate scrutinie, and say, Num & ego sum talis? am I such? Christians then, whose learning and Philosophie is much more high and happie, and requireth more heart then head, more doing then knowing, must much more call themselues to account, whether as their bookes are better, so their hearts are cleaner then other men.

2. Tim. 3. 16. Now for as much as all scripture beeing diuinely inspired, is profitable for doctrine and reproofe, for corre­ction and instruction in righteousnesse, it is necessa­rie, as we haue laid downe the doctrine, that we now proceede to the disclosing of errour, that we may en­counter such offenders as are eminently faultie that way. The first and cheise whereof are they of the [Page 48] Church of Rome, the verie heads whereof, the Popes themselues, haue done most harme to the Church of God: First by taking and making away much or most of that, which the deuotion of Christi­ans had bequeathed to God; then set on their cham­pions, I meane their Chaplaines, to mainetaine with reason, that which they had done without rea­son.

Thus haue the heires and successors of S. Peter, as they call themselues, made hauocke of the patri­monie of S. Peter, like young striplings newly come to their lands make good penniworths of that they neuer purchast; and then their Friers like hungrie pa­rasites, must reckon vp their discommodities of Tythes, as if it were the church-mens best husbandry to haue nothing. And this hath beene perpetrated manie waies; I will reckon but foure: 1. Lauish profu­sions: 2. Lewd incorporations: 3. Heathenish alie­nations: 4. Sacrilegious compilations. It would aske much time, and wast much paper, to prosecute all these points as they doe deserue: I will touch but the cheife heads, and make my assertion good.

1. Popish profu­sions. 1. For their sumptuous prodigalitie, and immo­dest and immoderate abuse of church goods, all sto­ries are full, and they that saw day at a little hole, haue said more then enough, which yet was nothing Hierom.to that which followed. S. Hierome in his 2. Epist. ad Nepotianum, saith thus, Nonnulli sunt ditiores monachi, quam fuerant saeculares, & clerici possident opes sub Chri­sto paupere, quas locuplete diabolo non habuerant; &c.

Bern. Bern. ad Cler. in Synod. Remmensi: How should not [Page 49] men follow the vanities and fooleries of this world, be proud and haughtie, idle and apish, when they see such pride and surquedry in the very Church-men? De patrimonio crucis Christi, non paratis codices in eccle­sijs, sedpascitis pellices in thalamis: with the patrimo­nie of the crosse of Christ, you doe not purchase books in the Church, but pamper baggages in your chambers. Hence is your brauerie of curtezans, ge­sture of stage plaiers, apparell like Princes, & plus ni­tent calcaria quàm altaria, your spurres shine brighter then your altars: hence are your tables so neat, your presses so full: so goes on, hoc non est ornare sponsam, sed spoliare; instituere, sedprostituere; pascere gregem, sed mactare: this is not to adorne the spouse, but to vndo her; to instruct her with holy, but infect her with whoorish conditions; nor to feed the flocke, but to kill it.

See Edgars o­ration to the Clergie. Fox. 220 pag. More did that good man speake to Eugenius him­selfe of their pompe and pride, to Gulielmus Abbas of their luxurious and lauish diet: and not onely he but other also,

Mant.
Sanctus ager scurris, venerabilis ara Cynedis
Seruit, honorate divum Ganymedibus aedes.

but I leaue this kennell.

2. Popish incor­porations. 2. To the ende the spring might neuer be drie that fed their prodigalitie, they deuised the gulfe of incorporations, and cesternes of additions, driuing away the oxen that laboured, and eating vp the while; their fodder, by keeping the fattest both tithes and glebe in their owne hands, and staruing vp the poore masse-priests, and impouerishing the Chur­ches [Page 50] to maintaine but fowre or fiue, where so many decads should be maintained. By which deuise the silly staruelings, to get some husks to stanch their hungry stomachs, taught obseruation of daies, pom­paticall funerals, costly commemorations, to build Churches, set vp chappels, erect altars, keep wakes, mumble masses, say collects, make offrings, heare confessions, purchase redemptions, and a number more of like superstitions: for liue they must, and meanes they had none left, but such as they could raise by making themselues necessarie.

3. Poplsh pillage. As for their compilations, where shall I begin, or where shall I make an ende? Boniface the 7. beeing driuen out of Rome for his symoniacall intrusion, robbed S. Peters of all the wealth and iewels it had, and went to Constantinople, where so soon as he could stampe his purchase, a mightie masse, he returnes to Rome, and bribes the cheife men, oppresses his op­posites, Platina.and puts out the eies of Iohn the Decan Card. and recouers his chaire againe. Behold, saith Platina, a high Priest, a holy father, a Vicar of Christ, robs the holy Church: and he that should haue pu­nished other sacrilegers, is himselfe the greatest.

Gregorie the 7. to appease the Romanes for setting vp Rodulfus against Henry the fourth, diuided among them 100000. pound in gold, which he had corra­ded out of diuerse Churches. Clemens the 6. resi­ding at Auinion, gaue leaue to them that kept Naples against the Duke of Aniou, to sell the Church plate to pay the souldiers. Vrbanus the 6. to assist Charles King of Hungarie, whom he had crowned King of [Page 51] Sicil, robbed all the Churches of Rome of their Chalices, images, and mettall, to turne into monie for the armie. For the expedition of Charles 5. a­gainst the Turke, it was graunted in the Conclaue at Rome, that all the Clergie should pay fiue tenths; whereby many religious houses were hardly driuen, many beneficed men forsooke their liuings, many Churches sold their plate, and many Colledges pawned their lands; yet went the L. Cardinals free, that had many fat benefices, as those that were to support the glorie of the sea of Rome.

Clemang [...]. What heapes, what masses of money haue gone to the Popes chamber by Annales, vacations, pre­uentions, commendations, dispensations for age, for order, for irregularitie, for deformitie? Expectatiue graces, deuolutions, future vacations, priuiledges, exemptions not to visit at all, or to visit by proxie, transactions, permutations, mandates, expeditions, creations, new foundations, immutations, permu­tations, reductions of religious into secular, reducti­ons of secular into religious, procurations, percep­tions of profits in absence, legittimations, non obstan­tes, indulgences, reuocations, restitutions, tollerati­ons for keeping concubines, persolutions for not keeping concubines, rescripts, and a thousand other Chimeraes of names without moment of nature, and all to be meere nets to catch money, deuised in the kitchin?

Not [...] be [...]. Which I would haue all those well to consider, which thinke all the geese of Rome to be swans, and whatsoeuer beares the Popes stamp to be perfit sil­uer, [Page 52] perswading vs backe againe to the Babylonian bondage, not knowing (God wot) what they desire; not a Saul, but a Sisera, with nine hundred chari­ots of iron, to bruise and crush both bodie and soule in sunder.

4. Popish ap­propriations. 4. Lastly, the appropriating the Tithes and church reuennews to vpstart orders of superstitious, or more truely sacrilegious hypocrites, vntill all was taken a­way from the true owners, and a miserable pittance left to such as performed diuine seruice, hardly able to hold life and soule together; as if all religion had beene wearie of the Church, and taken vp her lod­ging Doc. Ridlie.in a cloister: as my learned and worthie Master hath shewed, in his view of both lawes, most lear­nedly.

For at what time that learning was almost cleane extinguished, partly by the inundation of barbarous Colonies, who plucked downe churches faster then euer their fathers built them: partly by the distracti­on of vpstart heresies, amazing the eies of most men, with the flourish of formall hypocrisie; then came Friar Benedict, the founder of regulars, with his discontented deuotion, like a new Saint lately dropt out of heauen, enuying himselfe and his fol­lowers, not onely the delights of life, but the neces­saries of meate, drinke, apparell, proprietie of any thing; and flie-blow'd the world with the heards of hornets, Praemonstratensis, Cluniacenses, Templariās, Ho­spitallers, Cystertians, Ioannites, and the rest. So that all the world, especially Popes and Princes, were whol­ly rauished with the wonderment of their singulari­tie, [Page 53] and vied each with other, who should most de­merit their deuotions, some enriching them with lands, other enfranchizing them with priuiledges, all zealing them to the vttermost of their power.

Among many other ill aduised prerogatiues, there were two superlatiues, very pernicious to the Church of God. 1. The appropriation of presentatiue bene­fices. 2. The exemptions of Abbey lands from pay­ing tythes: I will but touch the first. When that hedge of appropriating was once by these wild boars broke downe, then all the beasts of the forrest ranne thorough, and made it wider. Then Charles Martell father to King Pepin of Fraunce, vnder colour to end the barbarous wars, wressed all the Tithes into his hands of that country, protesting to restore them a­gaine to the owners, at the end of those warres; but perfidiously brake his oath, and diuided that booty amongst his launce-knights, that had serued him in Balcu [...].war: whereupon there was deuised a tale, that Euche­rius sawe in a vision Martellus soule in hell; and his graue being opened, nothing was found but a mon­strous serpent in roome of his bodie: for he had de­priued Eucherius of his Bishoprick of Amiens before; and also this was but onely to the end, that Pepin should restore the tithes againe which his father had taken away. But Martellus learned that lesson of the Popes themselues; and they when themselues had done it de facto, made their Friers maintaine it de iu­re: as first Alexander of Hales, and Aquinas his schol­ler, the first that maintained that Tythes were de iure ecclesiastico, not diuino: which Popish conceit hath [Page 54] been by diuers learnedly confuted; as D. Ridlie, D. Carlton, D. Downham, &c.

Cran. 1. 2. Another reason of alienations (for then were mens wits set on worke to deuise colours) was the stiffenes of some vanquished countries; as Freeze­land by Carolus Mag. which could neuer be brought to pay the Conquerour any tribute, being free peo­ple: but as for Tithes, because other Christians paid them, they would not much refuse.

Another cause alleaged by the same author was this, that the Pope and Bishops mistrusting that Princes would not otherwise defend their rights and reuennews, were content to share with them the endowments of the Church vnder colour of a fee or pencion; choosing of the two, rather an incon­uenience, then a mischeife; who thereupon passed them away vnto their seruitours.

And that this is true, appeares by an oration of Fredericke 1. in an Emperiall diet, to this effect: Id. 6. 52. Sax.As to you my Lords of the Clergie, the Pope and you thinke much, that lay men should hold any Tithes, or any thing that hath bin giuen to the Church, not remembring that in your neede, you haue beene beholding to our armes: in regard of which pious seruices, we were requited againe with such things as these, you hauing enough beside: Thus the Emperour.

Aventine. 4. Others, as the Bishops of Bauaria, gaue all they had of Church liuing and vessel to the people of Hunga­rie to redeeme their liues and liberties: for necessitie had no law.

Among other in England, William the Conque­rour [Page 55] vpon his victorie ouer Harald, appropriated 3. parish Churches to the Abbey of Battaile, which he built in memorie of the same where he had fought: and William Rufus 20. parishes of the new forest, to the Church of Sarum: and many other, many like matters.

And all this we may thanke the Pope for; who in this countrie alone, as M. Cambden hath obserued, M. Cambden.of 9284. parishes, impropriated 3845. that is, almost the one halfe: so that they need not charge our reli­gion with that scurrilous prouerbe, that Pater noster built vp Churches, but Our father puld them downe againe. For 1. it was no Protestants that did alienate at all: 2. no Protestants that did procure the suppres­sion of religious houses in the time of Henry 8. but the proud Cardinall himselfe: 3. not Protestants on­ly that inhabite those houses at this day: lastly, not Protestants that haue defended this fact in their wri­tings to the world: and therfore we may retort their Latin with their owne learning, Pater noster, & Aue Marie, haue been the rankest theeues in Christen­dome.

From these comes that distinction to some of ours, de iure diuino, & humano, that tythes partake of all the three of Moses lawes; 1. Morall, for a compe­tencie: Ceremoniall, for a mysterie: Iudaical, for that pollicie: decepti & decip [...]entes, taking errour vp first vpon credit, and after retaling it out to their pet­ty chapmen.

Now then let vs a little consider this Popish argu­ment, whereupon they haue grounded all this fact [Page 56] Of Tythes. of Alienation, whether it will endure the Test or no.

Thus then both Hales and Aquinas haue reasoned; The Papists a [...]gum.the first as the Irrefragable, the second as the Angeli­call D. Whatsoeuer is not of diuine right, but posi­tiue by the Church, that is no sacriledge to alter or to alienate: but Tithes are not of diuine right, but meerely of the Church: ergo.

[...]ib 2. § 79. of Eccl. pol. 1. Concerning the Maior, our learned Hooker and manie other, haue answeared thus: The obligation wherewith the Church of Christ hath now bound herselfe, by vow and consecration, to pay tithes, hau­ing many ages since dedicated them vnto God as a free will offring, makes them so firme, that it is not in the power of anie now to retract them, or vnhal­low them againe; ergo, the Maior is mainly false.

That they are diui [...] [...]. 2. But to the Minor it hath bin shewed, that t [...]thes stand vpon the same ground that the Sabbath doth, being both in their number before the Law, and by Moses onely repeated, as many other things that were commaunded, before they were prescribed. The moralitie or naturalitie of which was this, that God out of all the fruits of the earth, and cattel fit for mans vse, should haue a tenth; first, as an acknow­ledgement of his Vniuersall gouernement: secondly, for the contentment of his seruitours and attendants. The Ceremonie or Leuiticallitie (fauelle verbo) to be annexed to the Priests and Ministers during the standing of the Tabernacle; but alterable and altered from the Iewish Synagogue to the Christian seruice. Ob. But what euidence out of the New Testament, what footing in the Apostolical writings? Ans. First, [Page 57] it needed no directer reestablishment, and expresser naming then the sabbath; therefore idle to aske it. Then if it did need, yeeld we so much reuerence vn­to Proued by th new testamentthe Fathers, that as they came neerer those prime and purest times, so they saw more in their illumi­ned learning, then wee of dimmer sight and abor­tiue births.

Mat. 22. 2 [...]. 1. Then S. Augustine hath grounded Tithes vp­on that of our Sauiour, Giue to Caesar that which is Cae­sars, and to God that which is Gods. Hom. 48. serm. qua­drag.

Mat. 23 23. 2. Origen vpon those words, These things ought ye to haue done, and left not the other vndone. Hom. 11. in Numb.

Act. 6 2. 3. Chrysost. there, as Zanch. hath deliuered, It is not fit, that we should leaue the word of God, and serue tables: therefore looke out men among your selues, namely for the collection of Tithes, &c. de redempt. praecept. 4.

4. Other, in Paul, If we haue sowen spirituall things to 1. Cor. 9. 9.you, is it much if we reape your carnall? as M. Sclater hath touched.

Gal. 6. 6. 5. Luther there, Let him that is instructed in the word, make his instructer partaker of all his goods.

Heb. 7. 8. 6. Some there on this, Here men that die receiue Tithes; but there he receiueth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liueth: as Bede, of which Carlton.

Which foundations for Tithes, if yet they shal seem not sufficient direct, I doubt whether such questio­nists will not yet doubt, whether snow be white. Reasons, why they [...]re not mentioned in Scripture.But it is oft required, why did not Christ or his A­postles name Tithes, and put the matter out of con­trouersie? [Page 58] let me first retort this argument, as he did, who when his aduersarie had said, Si satis est ne­gare, quis erit nocens? replied, Si satis est accusare, quis erit innocens? but I will shew why.

First, verie many matters, that touch the founda­tion passe vnmentioned, but not vnmeant; the con­substantialitie of the Sonne, which the Arrians did oppose; particular faith, which the Papists; pedobap­tisme, which the Anabaptists; and the Sabbath, which the Antisabbatarians do obiect, are not na­med, of which it is heresie to doubt or deny; therfore the reason is rotten, to say they are not named, ther­fore are not.

Secondly, the Synagogue was yet standing, wher­to by diuine prescriptions Tithes were tied; which though by the death of Christ, she receiued her deaths wound, yet then was not dead; & when dead, not presently buried, but with reuerence and ho­nour, as the Fathers say, to be put into the graue; so that till after her funerals, there was no paying of le­gacies.

Thirdly, the state of the new Church was such as yet had neither peace nor prince, so that this was no time to put in her claime, but to expect till God should stirre her vp some foster Fathers, to order her right.

Fourthly and lastly, for feare of scandall: for as Christ did forbeare a time to tell of his passion; and at his death, I haue many other things to say vnto [...] 1 [...]. 16.you, quae non potestis portare modò, which you are not able to beare as now: so did the Apostles somewhile [Page 59] conceale the point of the resurrection, till the world was better acquainted with their doctrine. The like reason was of this, least they might be thought as out of couetousnesse to prouide for themselues: which modestie as it was in them commendable, so it hath beene in vs preiudiciall; the world seruing their own turn vpon our ingenuitie; thinking we need nothing because we say nothing. And this may be sufficient for the silence of the new Scriptures.

What a cloud of witnesses, both of the Fathers, Councels, heathen, schoolemen, late writers, all writers, D. Carlton, and other haue collected, I omit to touch, least I should actum agere, or put my si­cle in others haruest.

I will adde a few reasons, that ioyned to their au­thorities, may make it plaine, after I haue named the writers that are direct in this point. 1. For Fa­thers:

  • 1. Fathers.
    1. Origen in Numb. 11.
  • 2. Cypr. Epist. 66.
  • 3. Chrys. hom. 4 [...]. in Mat.
  • 4. Ambr. serm. 40.
  • 5. Hierom. in Mat. 3. 8.
  • 6. August. hom. 48.
  • 2. Councels.
    1. Malisconens. cap. 5.
  • 2. Cabitonens. cap. 18.
  • 3. Mognatin. cap. 38.
  • 4. Rotomag. cap. 10.
  • 5. Triburtin. cap. 13.
  • 6. Anglican. cap. 17.
  • 3. Schoolemen.
    1. Hug. de san. vie. par. 12. c. 4.
  • 2. Aqu. 2. [...]. q. 87. ar. [...].
  • 3. Carthus. in Mat. 22.
  • 4. Rabanus in Mat. 23.
  • 5. Bed. in scintille.
  • 6. Pererius in Gen. 14.
  • 4. New Diuines.
    1. Brent. in Leuit. 27. 30.
  • 2. Iunius in parall. 3. 7.
  • 3. Gual. in Matth. 23. & Luc. hom. [...]8 [...].
  • [Page 60] 4. Nansea hom. 75. de temp.
  • 5. Zanch. de oper. re­demp. lib. 5. c. 18.
  • 6. Hospinian de orig. decimar.
  • 5. Heathen.
    1. Plutarch. in Lucul.
  • 2. Diodor. Si [...]ulus. 5. 2.
  • 3. Pausanias lib. 5.
  • 4. Herodotus in Clio.
  • 5. Plin. de Sabae. & Ethiop.
  • 6. Purchas of the Turks and Alarbes in Affrica: beside Zenophon, Festus, &c. And now to the reasons.

6. Reasons. 1. To the ende that neither the giuer may brag, nor the receiuer blush (saith one,) that is, the peo­ple should not vpbraid the Minister with their bountie, nor the Minister bee ashamed to take his dutie, therefore in old time, they were to doe both in the Temple; therefore where tithes are not paid in kind, the Minister must sooth his Masters, or hee shall be sure to sigh for his means. So▪ Philo and The­phylact.

2. The Apostle commands, and the world expe­cteth, that the Minister bee giuen to hospitalitie, al­though S. Pauls [...], differs much from that kee­ping good houses which men expect of their Mini­ster, which cannot be done by them that liue vpon a drie stipend: and therefore tithes in kind are the most conuenient for the Minister.

3. Tithes of all other kind of maintenance, (as our men are enforced to confesse, that thinke they are but of humane constitution) are the most naturall, conuenient, wise, safe, indifferent of all other: there­fore rightest way to maintaine the Minister: except we will say, that God hath not prouided so meete­ly for those that preach the Gospel, as might be done.

[Page 61] 4. The first intendments of appointing Tithes (in all the iudgements of reuerent antiquitie) by God to the old Priesthood, was to serue for an acknow­ledgement of his Vniuersall power and right of the creatures, graunted to their comfort. In which re­gard, the learned Calvin calls tythes, proprium Dei ius, & regium vectigal, his peculiar right, and regall tribute: now the equitie of this remaines in the Church, no lesse then in the Synagogue: Ergo.

5. The Ministers, as they are in their callings the meanes of Gods blessing subordinate to Christ, and types of his dealing to all the people; so it is equall they haue equal share, in the mercies and iudgments of God, that they may both wayes sympathize with their people, and serue their turne with their sensi­ble praiers: which is not done in a set stipend; nei­ther singing at the haruest, nor weeping in times of dearth; neither winning nor loosing, how euer the world goeth.

6. And lastly, for the parishioners owne particu­lar; he cannot haue so comfortable a fruition of the creatures of God; nor satisfie his conscience any way so soundly, as by sacrificing a portion of his corne and increase vnto his God, and communicating with his Minister in all his goods. These I take it may serue in this matter, to prooue that Tithes are due. I meddle not exprofesso, with that question, my pur­pose is onely to shew that these things beeing holy (whether by diuine ordination, or humane constitu­tion,) they should be inuiolable, [...], and should not haue been prostituted by the vnholy fa­thers, [Page 62] as they haue been. In which case I can say no Aelian.other, but that the deuill hath done like Anytus, one of the 30. tyrants, that vsurped vpon the State at A­thens; who finding Socrates to stand in his way, and hinder his conclusions, deuised this meanes to be rid of him: he hires the idle-headed Poet Aristophanes, to traduce the good man openly vpon the stage, both to worke him that way some open disgrace, and to sound the peoples liking of his worse intreating. The matter sorted so well to the tyrants minde, that the Poet for gaine, and the people for game, gaue way to the cup of hemlocke, and Socrates death.

The enemie of our saluation doth beare the like splene to the ministers of the Gospel, thorough whose sides he seekes to wound, and worke out true religion, as men that indeed do marre his markets. The Pope in the deuils pageant hath acted the Poet, to scandalize their profession, by withdrawing their sustentation; perswading the world, that high pouer­tie is the way to high perfection, and that a freeze gowne is habit enough for holy professors, (where­in I wonder so holy a father doth not goe before, or at least accompany vs in the way to holinesse) and to possesse nothing, the onely way to happinesse.

Therefore let them that haue any portion of Gods spirit, any sparke of grace, any conscience of wel-do­ing, any care of God-seruing, stop their eares at this Syren of sinne, the charmes of profit: remember but whose brat it is, out of what scullerie it came, and let them if they can, if they dare approoue it.

Mark but how he hath in all times wrought vpon [Page 63] this aduantage, see whether he be not indeed of that woluish kind that first gaue Rome sucke. Obserue what he hath done through Christendome, by that he hath done by a few countries.

Cleman. Clemangis saith, that hee had out of France from Cathedrall Churches and Abbies, not accounting Bishopricks, or other inferiour callings, 697. thou­sand 750. franks of yeerely reuenew. Whereunto if other did proportion themselues, his incomes were little lesse then 6. or 7. millions by the yeere.

Vespergen. Germanie paid him yeerely 300000. florens, and Charles Duke of Aniow for the Kingdome of Sicilie 40000. ducats.

Mat. Pa: To leaue other, Wallo, Otho, Steuen his legats here, conueyed out of England mightie masses, and banks of treasure; & when they had taxed all aboue ground, they extorted a good summe also for the corne vn­der ground. Peter Rubeus at one time carried more monie out of the land, then he left behind him: Mar­tin when there was no more monie to be had, tooke the verie horses out of the stables: and it was prooued in a Parliament, that in the space of 44. yeeres, that is, from the beginning of Hen. 7. to the time that Hen. 8. did cleane expell him, he receiued for Buls alone of Bishops, ten hundred and 60. thousand pounds.

No maruell then though he grew rich, and all the world poore: for he rightly resembled Gedeons fleece, who was wet and moist when all other were drie, and shall againe be drie, when all the world is wet. For Iohn 22. left behind him 25. thousand [Page 64] Antoninus. thousand crownes, or 250. tunnes of gold. Calixtus 3. 150000. florens, in a false bottom vnder his cham­ber. Sixtus 5. 5. millions of his owne corrading. Wel fare their hearts; all sacrilegers that euer were, were but bunglers to the Popes. For as a poor pirate some­time A [...]lian.answeared Alexander the great; I scoure the Ae­gean, but you the Ocean, I robbe a poore marchant or two, but you make purchase of all the world: so are other offenders in this kinde, to their holines: by which meanes, he hath been the most bloodie persecutor that euer infested the Church. For as it was said of Dioclesian, that he was no body to Iulian: for Dioclesian did but tollere presbyteros; but Iulian sustu­lit presbyterium: for the hand of the one was but a­gainst the professors, but the other aimed at the pro­fession, taking away their saleries, not medling with their safeties: so that it was hard for Christianity, when they had no meanes left to teach and instruct the commers on, which while it was had, sanguis martyrum was semen Christianorū, the blood of Mar­tyres caused more Christians. But of the Pope e­nough; and so much of the first sort of offenders in sacriledge.

CHAP. II.
Against Puritans Cauillations at the meanes and matters sacred to Gods seruice.

I Come next to encounter another enemie of this doctrine, cleane opposite to the Papists vpon the other hand: The Puritan or Separatist, who are ac­cording [Page 65] to their own definition, refined protestants, but to others, Gospellers out of their wits; men drunken with their owne wine, but with difference, some more soberly besotted, other more franticke­ly intoxicated.

These misliked the maintenance of Ministers by Tithes, as either Papall, or at least Iudaicall: but your stipends and contributions, vnder the nature of pure almes, that is iust for their tooth: and I wish them the cold reuersion of a cast almes-house for their labour. And no maruell, for I haue knowne some that haue thriued better, and haue been feathe­red warmer, vpon brethrens beneuolence, (being a­ble to purchase lands, let out monie to vse, by ray­ling at the State, & barking against Bishops, and ly­ing by the heeles in humour) then many of their betters could euer doe vpon ordinarie prouisi­ons, or extraordinarie promotions. No maruell then they mislike the maintenance: their way is better: and before they misliked the Church meanes, they fell out of loue with the Church it selfe, the edifices, ornaments, ceremonies, sacraments, and whatsoe­uer is not purum putum.

These men I say are sacrilegers: for first they haue defiled our holy sacraries, with their Bedlam Rhe­toricke, more fowly then euer they were with Baby­lonish reliques: tearming them Temples of Baal, sties of Antichrist, cages of vncleane birds, &c. Nay, some haue commenced to such a degree of holy frenzie, that they haue abhorred the very tongue wherein superstition hath talked, as the language of the beast, [Page] (then happily true, when themselues do speake it.) But I leaue the persons, and come to the point, one­ly adding thus much: as Sampsons foxes were sun­dred I [...]dg 17▪ 4.in the head, but combined by the taile; so the Puritan and Papist, though their deuises differ, their ends are one, to subuert religion; not professedly as doe the Turkes, yet by consequence and necessarie [...]. H▪ Spelman.inference, most subtily. For as a learned Gentleman hath lately written; Tithes haue been Gods ancient demeane, and nobler part of his inheritance, foun­ded primarily on the law of nature, as that principle which teacheth to honour God; (we beeing in iu­stice, bountie, and gratuitie, bound to acknowledge his bountie and Soueraigntie:) But glebe land, and houses (howsoeuer now vsed in the nature of moue­ables) are his fixed inheritance, and seates of his mansion, not so auncient, yet now as proper, giuen by deuout men, grounded on the warrant of the Le­uiticall cities, as it were a holy portion of lan [...] for his Ministers to dwell on.

For Vrbanus the sixt, Bishop of Rome, in anno 222. did first alter that Communion of the Primitiue Act. [...]. 34.Church, that we read of in the Acts: who thought it expedient in those purest times, for the perpetuall releife of the Church, not to sell the lands, as they did in the Apostles times (as this fact of Anantas sheweth) but to keep them themselues; because of the casualtie in pecuniarie contributions.

[...] Temp. And although Abbey lands were giuen to s [...]per­stitious vses, yet both Ciuilians & Canonists agree, that long custome may prescribe in this case, though [Page 67] the beginning had been erroneous. And as we shall see elsewhere, in donations to superstitious vses, their super may bee mended, but their stitious continued. As for Abbey lands, I wish King Henry 8. had not taken away the subiect of the question, there is an o­ther reason and question of them. But Bishops lands were giuen vpon the first planting of the Churches; and if such Temporalties of Bishops, and those which they called matrices Ecclesiae: much more tithes of Gods owne institution, or at the least giuen by the common consent of the Christian world. All which endowments, not we, but the auncient Fathers (as Hom▪ 18 in Act. Augustine, Cyprian, Chrysostom, and the rest,) call patri­monium Christi, dotem Sponsae, Christi sacram possessio­nem, and praedia sancta.

Therefore let vs not correct magnificat, and in pre­sumptuous noueltie, condemne and contemne all antiquitie. The word Church, or as our Northren Brittan calls it, Kyrck, is but the corruption of [...], to say, the Lords house: which so long as the world was enflamed with the sacred fire of deuotion, euery hand and heart desired to sanctifie it selfe, to adorne, and endow. But now since that was quenched, and the sacred fire of rapine and sacriledge hath bin kind­led; men leaue to be zealous, and learne to be sacri­legious, becomming execrable by touching exe­crables.

As for those lights of Gods Church, whose lear­ning we loue, and names reuerence; I speak of Calvin & the rest, whose authoritie is vrged against vs; who for the prophanation, fell out with the Consecrati­on [Page 68] of these things; like the Athenian that came to A­ristides, Arist. Pol.to haue him write Aristides name to banish him by the law of Ostracisme; yet it was not for any crime that either had committed, but that for want of meanes, and leisure from other imployments, they were no better acquainted with the parties: yet Calvin misliked of tythes, onely because they were obtruded sacerdo [...]ali iure, not if they had been main­tained ministeriali iure: being well assured that reue­rent man would be little pleased were hee liuing, to heare his name opposed against the Church, that spent all his time and meanes in the behalfe of the Church: no more then he was with his zealous Au­ditor, that so extolled his sermons, that if S. Paul and S. Calvin were to preach in one houre, hee would leaue S. Paul to heare S. Caluin.

For you, I wish you better aduised, least God ob­serue by whom he is impeached: your meaning may bee good, but hast of your way hath out-galloped your good intent; and precipitancie in iudging, hath forestalled your iudgement. For I beseech you look backe into your preposterous courses, and tell mee what manner of propositions these be: Tythes, Prela­cies, Churches, demeanes, & dignities are all Antichristi­an, the markes of the beast, the garments of the whoore, the sties of the deuill. Lentardus 600. yeeres since, made himselfe away in verie deepe desperation, hauing taught that these things were idle and superfluous: and many among you, hauing been drawne away from the mother Church, after your whistles and oaten pipes, finding hollownesse in your holinesse, [Page 69] haue done little better: whereby many of your Do­ctors haue been murderers of Gods people, and if not violatores, inuaders your selues of Gods inheri­tance, yet ye haue been traditores, betrayers of it to other, and traytors to your Master. For as in the trade of pursing, there are setters, and there are a­ctors; so it cannot be denied, that if you did not com­mit the robberies your selues, yet you plotted the matches, and were partakers of the purchase.

For who were they that egged on the Herodians to beg our reuenewes, and set on the souldiers to cast a chance for Christs coat againe? were they not some men in your coates, that put vp bills and petitions to the Parliament house, to plucke downe Churches, to erect Chappels, to ruine many to reare one? Who were they that would haue made the world beleeue, that Bishops were Antichristian callings, and elders were the worthy gouernours? that so not in euerie Diocesse, but in euery parish, for a Bishop you might erect a superintendent in name, a Pope in truth? Who was it that called the Vultures to the spoyle, & the beasts vnto the prey, with an Edomites voice, crying, Downe with them, downe with them euen to the ground; and a Moabites tongue, Vp Moab to the spoyle? by which meanes both the Canaanite is still in the land, and the Edomite hath deuoured all: and all the cost bestowed on Gods house is counted Poperie, and all the meanes that commeth not of Almes is held tyrannie: So that shortly we shall not be so ho­ly as horses; for they may be stabled in Churches: but wee shall not haue our ceremonies so well as in sta­bles; [Page 70] but either in houels, or vnder hedges, the Mini­sters hauing no more respect then grooms & ostlers; and the land no religion at all, or so many as there are Churches, by meanes of euery new fanglednes. 2. Pet. 2. 3.But what saith Peter? They who through couetousnesse make marchandize of the word of God, their iudgement lingreth not, and their damnation sleepeth not: and our Sauiour, Who so breakes the least of these commandements, and teach men so to doe, shal be called the least in the King­dome of heauen. And so much of the second sort.

CHAP. III.
Against Lay-mens vsurpations of holy demeanes, with answer to their cauils.

NOw come I to Lay-men, who haue inuested themselues with Tithes and Church possessi­ons, some vnder colour of pious offices, most with­out colour, making them or taking them for things of meere appropriation; like the frosen Serpent, so long harboured by the farmers fire, till it had reco­uered life, and then driuing his kind host out of his owne house. Many of whose court-rowls, if they were well suruaied, would bee found as womens ac­coustrements, which is mundus, indeed a world of trinkets; but in that world, the woman is minimapars sui: so if euery bird had her owne feather, and euery Church her true tythe, many of them would not haue the tythe of that they hold. Such is the age wherein wee liue, wherein nothing is accounted ill that can be gained: the names of sinnes for the most [Page 71] part (as this of Sacriledge) containing more horror then the sins themselues, as I could instance in many. The sinne of Vsurie, that was of old so odious to God and man, the vsuall theame of childrens declamati­ons, is now growne so well reconciled, that no trade is more compendious, warrantable, vniuersall; as if the venemous teeth were either fallen out with age, or the vicious qualitie were so well corrected, that all borrowers were inriched by it. But as one hath well said, if the teeth are rebated for biting, yet the gummes are hard in nipping: so that it may be true­ly said of this, as is spoken of the great Turke, The grasse wil neuer grow more where the Grand Seniors horse hath set his foote: sieldome hath any state recoue­red, that hath beene beholden vnto the Vsurer: Yet call a demure professor, by the name of vsurer, though Nouerint Vniuersi, all the world doth know it, he will haue an action against you. Now what is the reason of this, but that he cannot endure to heare, what he can be content to be? the word con­taines some kinde of malignitie, the monie hath none, but like the Tole-monie which the Emperour Vespasian raised of his subiects vrine, bonusest odor lucri ex re qualibet. I might in like manner goe through the whole Cyclopadie of sinne, theeuing, whoring, swearing, drinking, and stabbing: the same is the case of sacriledge, the word is harsh, the name infamous, but the thing of a better aspect, and the profit of good acceptance.

In which regard manie of our great Magnificos haue acted vs Hercules furens, who comming into Ve­nus [Page 72] Temple, and there finding a golden Adonis, put that in his pocket with this pretie quip, At tu nihil sacries: Your mastership is no deitie: so whatsoeuer these men could finger in Church or churchyard, so long as it is neither Saint nor shrine, they hold for good purchase, and haue been content to pocket ma­nie such wrongs.

Yet the King of Ammon shaued but halfe the beards of Dauids Embassadours (for they might be too long) and clipped but halfe their cloathes (they might be too heauie) but our shauers, because they would bee sure to leaue no superfluous excrement, haue taken away also the necessarie tegument; so that in some sense we may (though with our shame) be chalenged by the Papists, that Pater noster built vp Churches, but Our Father hath pluckt them downe againe.

Our deuout predecessors out of their ignorance, did but abuse the materials of holinesse; but our mo­derne demure professors, out of our much learning, haue quite taken them away. Many ioyned in the worke of the reformation, without true meaning to reformation, more studying for gold then ser­uing of God, and more thirsting for the goods of the Church, then any good to the Church: so that we may write of our reformators, as a French­man did of the last ciuil broiles of their pacificators,

Vulcanum aut folles, aut ars ignota fefellit
[...] dum vult cudere, cudit [...].

All sat not well with Vulcan sure, his hammer, or his head:
[Page 73] Reformers he did meane to make, but hath deformers bred.

For as S. August. said of some heretiques, to esta­blish their owne deuises, misinterpreting the Scrip­tures, de medicamentis sibi vulnera faciunt, make them­selues sores of the verie salues: we may truely say to haue falne out in this case, that the medicine hath prooued worse then was the maladie: the one fai­ling but in the manner, but we in the verie matter; as is touched elsewhere. Therefore as foolish and il­aduised Plut.people, flying the inuasion of theeues or wild beasts, fall into whirle-pooles, or break-neck places: so while these vndertakers had their eie another way, flying from superstition, haue ingulfed themselues in irreligion; either ouer-looking, or at least ouer-lea­ping true religion between them both. For where­as the first donors shewed humanity in the efficient, impelling, or moouing cause; our goodly correctors haue failed in the finall: for where men of more de­uotion then instruction tooke superstition for religi­on, which was the minor; these men of more greedi­nesse then godlinesse, haue taken destruction for edi­fication, which is the maior: and so the last errour hath been worse then the first. Wherein they seeme little to haue differed from the souldiers, that cast a chance for Christs coat: sauing that those suffered Christ to haue his life in it; these haue not only par­ted his garments among them while he is aliue, but so much as in them lies, pushed at his life, to possesse them securely, embezeling the maintenance that should propagate his Kingdome.

[Page 74] Abuse obiected. But it hath been much and oft obiected, that the Ecclesiasticall liuings were fowly abused in former times; and therefore it was thought good by the State they should be suppressed. I graunt the abuse: but what? is abuse become a warrant for abolish­ment? what Logick is this? or what law for poore Churchmen? The Philosopher would denie though wine is abused, that the vine should bee rooted out: the like would the scholler doe for books; the States­men for armes; the Law-makers for scepters; the Di­uines for Scriptures. All which things if they may haue leaue to stand, and to rectifie their abuse, shall the Church yet forfeit all, if her reuenewes shall bee abused?

But say that Abbeyes and Monasteries were abu­sed; and let it not be the fault so much of the men, as of the matters themselues; what haue our Cathedral and rurall Churches deserued? Admit that Babylon must goe downe; but why must Bethelem beare her company? May I not as truely complaine herein, as sometime Athanasius did; Esto, peccauerit Athanasi­us, at quid alij Episcopi fecerunt, aut quem Arsenium oc­ciderunt? Suppose that Athanasius indeede were guil­tie, yet what haue other Bishops done; haue other Bishops killed Arsenius also? So though Abbies had deserued their doome, what can be pretended a­gainst Bishopricks, Deanries, Dignities, Cathedrals, and Colledges, and poore countrie Parsonages? all are not tainted with the same imputations, yet all haue beene exposed to the same maledictions.

Which had they been spared, and Gods houses [Page 75] pell-mell not so inuaded, the wils of the dead had bin better fulfilled, the infanterie of learning otherwise prouided, the honour of God more carefully furthe­red, their dying consciences better comforted, and their owne successions and estates more firmely esta­blished. Now desolation is written vpon many of their doores, and extirpation hath seazed on their families, while Zim and Iim daunce in their parlors, Ochim and Ostraches scritch in their pallaces; the fa­thers for the most part dying either comfortlesse, or childlesse; the sonnes liuing either gracelesse, or land­lesse: the fathers sustaining the infamie of robbers, the sonnes induring the miserie of beggars: both fa­thers & sonnes like Ionas whale, sicke in their states and stomacks, vntill they had regorged the fat mor­sells which their hungry stomacks had too hastily swallowed. Nay, tell me if your selues haue not ob­serued, that many of such demeanes haue prooued like Seianus horse, that neuer had owner, but either he brake his necke, or blessed him with some other misfortune. Avery remarkeable iudgement of God, to infuse a malignitie into the verie lands, that no man should thriue that holds them, no man should escape some egregious mischiefe that hath them. I will say nothing of the Suppressors themselues, of whom a very great man of this Kingdome hath writ­ten, L. Cooke.that eadem temporis periodo, it hath been fatall to some mightie Monarchs at the same terme of time, to haue their successors exterminate that inuaded the holy possessions,

De malè quaesitis non gaudet tertius haeres.

[Page 76] There was a farre better president showne vnto the world some 300. yeers since, against such kind of Stat. Eduar. 2.Alienations, by a statute made by Edward 2. by di­sposing the goods of the Templars, (who for their great impietie of their disordered order, was then extinguished) to the hospitaller-Knights of S. Iohn in Ierusalem; with this prouiso, Ne in pios vsus eroga­ta, contra donatorum voluntatem in alios vsus distrah [...] ­rentur; to say, that the lands so giuen to pious vses, should not against the Donors intension, be distra­cted, and turned to other prophane purposes. Which equall dealing might also in this case haue been pra­ctised, if men had equally propounded to themselues their aime, the glorie of God, and not their owne gaine.

Other obiecti­ons. But there are many things slanderously deuised, and iniuriously enforced against vs, to legittimate their owne sacrilegious dealing, and iustifie our de­serued suffering: their high deserts, our great vnwor­thinesse; the disproportion of the things themselues, and the incongruity in other countries.

Of all which in generall I may say, as sometime Hierom. Hierome did, Ingemui fateor, minus nobis inesse volun­tatis ad propugnandam veritatem, quàm inest illis inui­dentiae ad inculcandum mendacium: it grieued me I confesse, to see that we haue lesse will to auerre our true propositions, then our enemies haue malice to enforce their false conclusions.

Great mens great deserts. 1. First, therefore as to their deserts; let me say as Alexander did, to silence Ephestion contending against Craterus: At quantae opes, aut quod tuum facinus, si quis [Page 77] tibi demat Alexandrum tuum? and I pray sir, what may your mightie meanes or merits be, if wee except your Soueraignes fauour? To be cloathed in scarlet, and fare deliciously euery day, is cause inough to ery, heu quanta patimur! oh our paines! oh our seruices! But supposing that the seruices were as bigge as their ambitions can faine them; and as many as their para­sites could straine them; yet not like the merits of Zopyrus to his Master, that to win him Babylon, did endure the ampulation of his eares, and mutilation of his members: But though they had wonne their King another Monarchie, yet must they stil fall short of the Clergie; and howsoeuer, yet not to be rewar­ded out of the Church, but the Exchequer.

But alas, that men cannot raise the walls of their owne worthinesse, but vpon the rubbish of others ruines. We enuie not their honours, nor seeke to supplant their fortunes: let them despise vs as superci­siously as they please, yet when they haue done, our calling shall be both honourable with God, and no­ble in it selfe, and meritorious to the world, howso­euer our persons shall bee esteemed; both for birth & breeding not inferiour to many of our maligners. But to omit these titles not ours, why should not Pal­las and Apollo haue as faire charters to invest their clients with earnests of honour, as any of the other dieties? Why should not the arts and learned stu­dies, priuiledge as much as the Hall or Burse? why should not the Queen of learning Diuinitie, raise her followers as high as an other pettie Lady about the towne? Therefore let no man, that hath nothing to [Page 78] alleadge but his fathers conueiances, vpbraid our cal­lings and degrees of schooles, with superannated ca­uillations: for euen our inferiour Graduates haue paid more, and deserued better for those their titles of approbation, then they that mocke them, and on­ly know thus much in themselues, that they know no­thing worth knowledge. Chrysostome as is wel known, writeth a tract of set purpose, beside many other places of his workes, to prooue that a Bishop is not onely equall, but superiour vnto a King: which if it be a straine too high, yet it is cleare, that the most eminent Princes that euer were, thought it their glorie, to annexe the illumination of Priests to the sublimations of their Soueraignties. And those grea­test Prophets, Esay and Daniel, that were of the blood royall, thought it no disparagement to serue the Church: Bartholmew among the Apostles, Ambrose, Chrysostome, Petronius, Metrophanes, Eusebius, Emisse­nus, Victorinus, Cassianus, and a number more of the famous Bishops, were very nobly descended. But what speake I of such, or of yesterday? are not the [...]. Sam. 8. 18.sons of Dauid the most noble Princes of the blood? 1. Ch [...]o. 18. 17.yet elsewhere tearmed sacerdotes, priests? not that they were so in proprietie of speech, but because that title deciphered the truest honour and best nobili­ty among the auncient Worthies. And what is that title and embleme, of not onely honour but also vse, of that calling, which not a Prophet of Israel to mag­nifie his owne calling, but a King of Israel styleth▪ E­lisha 2 King. 1 12.by, My father, my father, the Chariots of Israel, and horsemen of the same: a predication incompetent to [Page 79] the greatest Monarch.

But whether doe I digresse in my iust complaint, which I end with the Princely Prophet, Haue mercie Psa. 123. vlt.on vs O Lord, for we are vtterly contemned, our soule is euen filled in her selfe with the scornefull reproofe of the mighty, and with the deceitfulnesse of the proud.

To returne then to the point, men must not rob Peter to pay Paul, or more truely rob both Peter and Paul, to pay a Centurion, or gratifie a minion. The Church and common-wealth are two distinct bo­dies, hauing each their offices, their charges, their pensions: concerning which our Sauiour hath set downe, date Caesari quae sunt Caesaris, & Deo quae Dei sunt.

As to the validitie of Princes gift in this case, who am I to decide such questions? and yet learned men haue been of this minde, that howsoeuer in their owne indiuiduall persons, they may by their Vncti­on be inabled to possesse such lands; yet may they not transferre the same from themselues to any other, not in like sort qualified: as things that are alterius fori & eminentioris sceptri, matters belonging to a higher Court, and subiect to a greater cognisance. Therefore the learned Kickerman, is so bold as to Syst. Proli [...]. 1. 2 [...].binde the hands of Princes in this case, saying, they may not transferre things sacred and dedicate to ho­ly vses, no not in case they had been abused to super­stition and profanation. And therfore holy Bishops, as Ambrose, and Bernardus of Halbertade in Germanie, chose rather to die, then to part with their Chur­ches, and Church liuings. We read how stoutly that [Page 80] Madgebur. Father did contest with a mightie Emperour; We yeeld (saith he) vnto the Emperour all that is his due: is it his tribute that he doth demaund? his tribute we denie not: is it the Church he doth require? we may not betray the Church vnto him: Gods Church is none of Caesars charge, he may not haue to doe there­with, &c.

But God of heauen be blessed, we neede no such Apologie for the Kings person, who are most bound to God for his Maiesties most Roiall and religious heart, that hath been so farre from taking away, that he hath laboured earnestly and zealously to restore backe againe whatsoeuer is essentiall to the Church; but as for other we say no other, but those words of Act. 19. 15.a homely author: Paul we know, and Iesus we know, and Caesar we know; vos autem qui estis? but who are you, that so defraud Iesus, and Paul, and Caesar also? And so much to them that plead their deserts to Church­liuings.

The Clergies vnworthynes. 2. I come to a second, Church-mens vnworthines: Bishops do not preach, and dignified men do no good; conclude, therefore lay-men may, nay must haue In Cyropaed.their lands. Zenophon did whip young Cyrus for a bet­ter argument, because he gaue the greater coate to the greater boy; not because hee had right vnto it, but because it fitted him better: and the lesser coate to the lesser boy; the Prince therein offending in di­stributiue iustice, a point of Ethicks only. But were Zenophon now aliue to iudge of this fact, he would I feare me, hang vp them that should commit such so­lecismes against Ethicks, politicks, logicke, and di­uinitie: [Page 81] Bishops doe not preach; therefore Barons must haue their Bishopricks: why? do Barons preach? church men do no good, therfore churles must haue the Tithes: why? do church robbers so much good? Blush impietie: doth he care for preaching that plucks downe the Church? or he minde goodnes, that is enemie to godlines? what is this but to straine at a gnat, and swallowe a cammel? to deuoure the Church, and cough at the chaire? although I rest as­sured it is not the dew of heauen (preaching,) that you looke after; but the fat of the earth, the pottage and portion of Esau. Moses gaue a dispensation to quinquagenarians, to cease from the ordinarie serui­ces Leu. 4. 2.of the Temple, to commence to places of regi­ment: and will you tie the graie haires of age and re­uerence, to an euerlasting apprentiship of study and speech? like your mill-horse at home to his won­ted taske? shall your seruitour, and horse of ser­uice, and the verie mill-horse which I named, haue immunitie and cessation of yeeres and la­bour; and must your spirituall Pastor and Father, your Priest and Prophet, runne rownde in an euer­lasting circle, damned to this destinie by your ine­quall doome; and clime vp into the pulpit, till he can no longer come downe, but tumble downe with age and feeblenes, to be the miserable laughing stocke of the prophane frie? nay, are there not more and more honorable, and no lesse necessarie seruices for old men, then are of young? Oh teach not thy sonne, thy seruant so euill a lesson to curse thee in thy age. The youngest infant in the chimney corner, is often [Page 82] made the rod of Gods wrath, to reuenge the vnreue­rend carriage of a wicked Cham, to an aged Noah. But Bishops doe preach, witnes the most commen­dable and indefatigable paines of many of those pre­lats, that are most eminent in the land; whom nei­ther this my answer can honour, nor your imputati­on slander. I say no more, Non tali auxilio, nec defen­soribus istis Tempus eget.

The rest doe no good, you say, they keepe no houses▪ is all goodnes in house-keeping? then much of the nobiltie and gentrie of this land, doe verie little good: yet Church-men keep houses; not for you perhaps, that would liue at free cost, yet for their poore neigbours: howbeit perchance neither all, nor for all, nor alwaies: for quis ad haec sufficiens? but those that doe not what they may, aetatem habent, I leaue to their owne apologies. Wherefore this ea­uill of our vnworthines, I hold but the idle euapora­tion of godles braines, that hold other men, especi­ally our calling, worthy of nothing; themselues wor­thie of all: but they are not our iudges, neither is it reasonable, that our enemies should be both our ac­cusers, and witnesses, and iudges, and excutioners al­so. God did neuer licence any Lay-men so farre, when [...]sa. 56. 10.the Priests were at the verie worst, dumbe Dogges, i­dol Mat. 8. 16. Shepheards, drowsie watchmen, blinde guides, to with­hold their dues: and good Kings haue ordained, that no man vnder colour omitted by the Minister, Hen. 8.shall detaine his Tithes, &c. and so did the old Ca­nons, Nonnulli vitam clericorum quasi abominabilem Conc. Constan. detestantes, decimas subtrahere non verentur, &c. But as [Page 83] thou shalt answer for thy fraud so shall they for their faults. To conclude, their vnworthines is questiona­ble, but this is out of question that many worthie men are vnworthilie wronged, while enuie and aua­rice sit as iudges of their worth.

The nimi [...]ti [...] of Tithes. 3. An other obiection is, the muchnes or measure of such demeanes, the lands too great, the Tithes too large: and all that fall beside their mouth too much. But in the meane time, their apish vanities, epicure like superfluities, fuliginous fooleries, sacrilegious robberies, Fimbrian-like iniuries, Tarquinian like surquedries, Esauish profanities, and Iulianish apo­stasies are not too much. But to the point, which aimes at some reason, but lined with much malice. Some of the Popes clawbacks, to daube vp the faults of those holy Fathers, (as I haue shewed els­where) maintained, that Tithes were grounded vp­on all the 3. Lawes of Moses: morall for the equitie, ceremoniall for the affinitie, Iudiciall for the polli­cie; because the Iewes were 10. Tribes, whereunto 2. other were added to make amends for some mens bad payment: all vntrue. But if the Priests were then M. Robarts.the tenth part of the people, where was that pro­portion before that Law? But it hath been further prooued, that the Leuits were not the 10. nor 12. nor 20. part of that people, nor the 40. but at least the sixtieth: yet let vs obserue their portion and pro­portion. The learned D. Downeham hath collected, De Dig. min.that the Priests income, being brought home to them without labour or charge, with their 48. cities, was more to them (being as the honourable Sir [Page 84] Water Raleigh hath prooued not much bigger then Wales,) then all the Bishopricks, benefices, Col­ledge lands, and all other Ecclesiasticall endow­ments and profits in this land, though the Popes of Rome, nor any other had neuer alienated any, as now they haue done one halfe. And this was not on­ly among the Iewes, but from the first preaching of the Gospel: so soone as the scepter turned Chri­stian, Euseb.all Tithes were instantly restored, all lands and donations that vnder the persecutions had beene taken away, all Images, treasure, and furniture of heathen temples: yeerely summes amounting to a great quantitie out of the Exchequer it selfe: all the goods of such as died intestate, all new erections of wel disposed people: and to knit vp all in one word, the same to be hereditarie, as vnder Moses.

And thus stood the affaires of the Church, till An­tichrist confounded things sacred and prophane; and Cymmeriall darkenes dispossest the world, as of il­lumination, so of true deuotion; onely some small good meaning did sometimes vndoe themselues, to endow the Church, wherein it became so superla­tiuely prodigall, that it hath been hide-bound euer since. And now are we arriued at those times, where the children carrie it out much faster then euer their Fathers brought it in: where our insatiable church­hownds, do not as Cerberus did with Sybillas inchaun­ted sop,

—tria guttera pandens
Corripuit, rursus (que) immania terga resoluit
Fusus himi—

snatch it greedily, swallow it [Page 85] hungerly, and lay him downe againe to sleepe quiet­ly: but like Erisicthon, another whelp of the same litter, who for sacrilegious famine was fained to be inspired of hunger; as Hor. saies,—Ingluvies, tem­pestas, barathrum (que) (not macelli, but) sacelli.

—quod (que) nubibus esse
quod (que) satis poterat populo, non sufficit vni.

Like Salomons horseleach that euer cries, giue, giue: Pro. 30. 14.Omniscient in espying, omnipotent in consuming: whom God will one day repaie in like kinde, pu­nishing their sinne of greedines, with the greedines Ephe. 4. 18.of sinning.

Other coun­tries. 4. An other maine obiection is laid hold vpon, ei­ther by gentlemen that haue trauailed, or Ministers that relish a little too much of the Geneua fashion, that other Countries doe not mainetaine their Mi­nisters by Tithes, but contributions, poore salaries, such as the pollicie of men, or the iniquitie of times haue left vnto them. But wee are here to dispute, not de facto, but de iure; not what is, but what should be done: Viuendum legibus non exemplis: it is not the deedes of men, but the doctrine of God that should be our guide: for the same Countries allow of tolerations, shall I say? or commixtions rather of all kinde of religions.

But whatsoeuer other doe either vpon errour or necessitie, non fuit sic à principio, the syncerest times and primest Churches haue better presidents.

For many haue enthralled theit liuings and liber­ties together, to the importunities of their troubles, or abitrement of their Kings: as the French to Caro­lus [Page 86] Gaguin. lib. 6. Auen. 4. lib. Martellus, saith Gaguine; and the Churches of Sax­onie, saith Aventine, who to redeeme their liues, Cent. 10. 1.gaue all the Church—demeanes vnto the Turke, though they were redeemed by Arnulphus Duke of Bauoir.

And some haue thought, that what the Bishops in that case haue done, is good against themselues; but it is to childish to change the most naturall and wise order of the world, for an idol of a trauellers braine: seeing it can neither be bettered, nor paral­led with the like: some in inequalitie must be con­fessed, which might be redressed, which is acciden­tall, no deformitie that is substantiall. And so much of Lay mens vsurpations, which needed not so much proofe, as reproofe.

CHAP. IIII.
Against the exemptions that some Cities and great Townes doe clame in Church duties.

THere is an other sort of men, that albeit they lurch not the Church lands, nor count them Antichristian, yet enfranchise themselues with a false priuiledge; that they are as free from the com­mandement of God in this case, or any other ordi­nance of man concerning that matter, as from the rescripts of the Sheriffe of the out-shiere; to pay no­thing for the maintenance of the Minister, more then their owne mind shall voluntarie condescend vnto, or order taken vpon their agreement at the Hall, shall make them liable vnto. And therefore it [Page 87] seemes a thing most absurd, and verie vnreasonable, that Personall Tithes of Artificers, trades-men, and Merchants, should be demaunded. By which meanes they sad and dull the hearts of their Ministers, by a couetous and vnconscionable prescription, to allow him nothing, but his two-pennie offrings at Easter, and a verie small quillet not to be accounted of be­side. But they must vnderstand, that first at least a personall Tithe is due, which that poore portion no way doth counteruaile by a thousand part. Secondly, if not in act, yet in equitie, some proportionate summe vnto that which God, and man hath indif­ferently set downe. And of this assertion I haue these reasons, beside those I haue set downe in ge­nerall.

1. It is the dictate of nature, and positiue law of Why Cities and Townes should pay personall Tithes. Pro. 3. 9. Gen. 14. Gen. 2. Num 31.God, to honour God with our riches, and the good things of this life as is Gods ordinance, and as the holy men of God haue done, Abraham, Iacob, and all the holy nation, and all our countrie beside. What charter then or charitie, what custome or conscience can be pretended, to free vs from that which all the Christian world, nay all the Vniuersall world are bound vnto?

They may obiect, that one man may serue that turne for a whole Citie or Towne, and for one man their maintenance may be sufficient. First it is not credible or possible, that any one should feed more thousands with a morsell of bread, then euer Christ fedde with 7. loaues, and 2. fishes. Besides, what Stento [...]s voice, or Eolus lungs, or iron sides, may be [Page 88] sufficient to stretch to so many thousands? but that is as grosse as all the rest, that he that should take so much paines, should haue no more then that slender reward.

2. Will not God at his generall Audit obiect this vnto such; that labourers in the Countrie, and fisher­men in poore Townes of the coast, whom he neuer honoured with the tenth of their ease, the twen­tieth of their opportunity, the hundreth part of their happines, yet returne him by Tithe a couuenient portion of their labours, & his blessing: but these that ought to haue been manie miles before them in godlines, come short of them many leagues in grate­fullnesse. Matth. 25. 14.The parable of the talents is well knowne and remembred, but not euer practised: and there­fore God many times sends vs other remembran­cers: Pirats at sea, and prowlers at land, to consume our substance, bringing men ofttimes from the wealth and pride of the Cittie, to the want and drudgerie of the Countrie, for such forgetfullnesse and contempt.

3. The seruice vnder the law was a costly seruice, where men were to allocate the third part of their e­state to the ministration of the Tabernacle, what by sacrifices of all sorts, what by peculiar charges rising on some occasions: but vnder Poperie, this charge was doubled and trebled, where the third part of the land went to the blinde and the lame Clergie. From the first we are freed by Christ; from the se­cond by Christian Princes. What? to be exempt as by a Magna Charta, from all suit and seruice that be­longs [Page 89] to God? No: but wee are still tied to per­forme to God an honorable seruice, that his Gospel may be continued, his praier perpetuated, his mini­sters maintained, his houses repaired, his members comforted, his infanterie nursed, his seruants saued. What pittie is it then to see so many sheep without shepheards, so many shepheards without meanes, that of so many parishes as are many times found in such places, all the wages of single and double halls together, not able to amount to one sufficient sti­pend of a good Minister; that is to say, where the most housholders shal giue a matter of two shillings two pence to his Minister by the yeare, and the best but fowre shillings fowre pence, (I speake within compasse) vnder 5. shillings, and yet some of these men by their owne esteem, and other mens, worth many thousands; and as they are merchants, may gaine many hundreds of pounds that yeere. And where I may be challenged, that euen this in all the Towne and Citie through, may rise to more then a competent liuing for one man, though I spake of no more then the parish maintenance, I will put all the Lecturers wages in beside, it will not so bee more then enough or competent: when all can ac­crew hardly to 200. pounds by the yeare; and that to such a man as I speak of, and they should labour for, yet scarce competent: for why should we not value a godly, learned, well borne man and Minister, in equal ranke with the best merchant, when as in such an one the summe would be but beggerie, yea no way but in wealth qualified like the other.

[Page 90] 4. And because I haue mentioned the Ministers person, let that be another motiue, the loue we are to shew vnto them. Now what kindnes can this be, to defraud him of his true allowance, and to mince him out such mites, and micas (crumbs as common­ly men do, and count him highly beholding to them for that also? I will not say as Tullie doth in like case, that it is latr onis beneficium, who thinke the traueller is much bound vnto him for his life, which hee might haue taken as well as his purse: But this I say, I feare me those men that now in the libertie of the Gospel deny vs our owne; if any other colour of re­ligion should turne trumpe, wil hardly giue vs their owne.

5. Another cause why such places should pay personall tythes, or like liberall maintenance, is the securing of their owne estates: for this small tribute that we doe so returne our God, is sepes diuitiarum, the fence of our fortunes, and causeth the legittima­tion of our other goods. For men must imitate the [...] [...]7.Apostle, to cast superfluities ouer-boord, to secure the vessell, and willingly to part with some portion to saue the stake: whereas now men are growne like Vsurers, not to deale with God almightie him­selfe without sufficient sureties, and bond besides. The charge which they pretend daily to grow vpon them for impost, &c. are meere cauillations: for that they fetch vp againe vpon the poore countrie, and themselues grow rich the while.

6. Lastly, would they doe as the mother Citie, where they pay not by the hal, but by the rent of the [Page 91] house, the tenth of that, as is I thinke intended by the statute: they would procure both wealth and wis­dome, loue and learning, religion and renowne, to wreath them a chaplet, to make them happie, and all their daughters and neighbours by them: where bountifull meanes allures the best men, and kind v­sage of all that comes, drawes all the learning of the land vnto them: for vbi populus ibi questus, vbi cadauer ibi aquilae: whereas now the niggardize that is vsed in many places, breeds many vnkindnesses between the Ministers and people; and the small meanes the Minister hath to liue on, breeds him basenesse, base­nes contempt, contempt discouragement: and on both sides, all the dislike and vnfriendly words and wishes, that may be imagined. By these reasons I am induced to mislike the course that runnes common in great places, and to reuoke men to the right and prime institution.

Obiections. But guiltinesse is neuer without gain-saying, and mans nature is stubborne not to yeeld to the word. Some pretend pouertie, and in that case men are to be pitied, not burdened; therefore God requires, ac­cording 2. Cor. 8. 12. to that we haue, not according as we haue not, to vse liberalitie, much more gratuity to God and their Minister. Yet it is not equall, that men not hauing to their minds, should therefore pay nothing, but eate or spend Gods part as they doe their own. And who in these places is so poore, that hee doth not feast once or ofter, in the yeare, in such sort that the very reuersion of their riot, would not be a comfor­table refreshing to his minister, if he had it in mony.

[Page 92] But pouertie is not alwaies truely pretended: for compare the husbandman with the citizen, in diet, apparell, house, furniture, building expences; and then tell me which is the poorer? there I am sure the Townesman will haue all things excellent, whatso­euer it cost, so that he is rich at home, & poor at the August.Church: as one saies, Etsi in domibus sunt auro diui­tes, tamen in Ecclesia sunt mendici: for their own occa­sion they will find mony, but for Gods they cannot spare it.

2. They are subiect to many charges, and greater losses, then those of the Countrie: and is that any cause to denie God his tribute? that is, the Minister his due? I should thinke that binds them to be more thankefull for his fauour, mercie, and prouidence: as Numb. 31. 26.we see in the Israelites, beeing but a small band, yet vanquished fiue Kings of Madian: first parted with one halfe of the prey vnto their fellowes that went not into the field; and of the other moitie gaue a tri­bute to God, one of 500. and further for Gods vnex­pected deliuerance, hauing not missed one man, of­fered vnto him of their owne accord another obla­tion of the iewels and ornaments of the pillage, to the value of 16750. shekels of gold.

But we can be content to offer vnto God, as ma­ny good words as he will, but no mony; but then we August.verifie the speach of the Father, we do not offer vi­tulos labiorum, but labia vitulorum, not the calfs of the [...]lips, but the lips of calues. And as another, we will seeke Christ with the wise men, but we wil leaue our budgets at home, we will not open our treasures to [Page 93] him as they did. Dauid had a quid retribuam? what Psal, 116.shall I render to the Lord for all his benefits that he hath done to me? but we point where is none: quid? retribuam? what? shall I render vnto the Lord any thing? ill done.

3. He would so be too rich, and too well acquain­ted with our estates. 1. This is to bee wiser then God; for he made no such prouiso. 2. What hurt if thy Minister knew in generall, nay in particular the blessing or cursing of God vpon thee? were that a­ny harme to thy soule? thou shalt be sure of one com­fort, to haue one that will simpathize with thee, and one that will supplicat for thee.

Lastly, for I will not follow these foxes to any more holes: If ministers would not challenge it of debt, but take it as almes, or contribution, or bene­uolence, they should fare better. This is a burthen too heauy to be borne, especially where all commo­dities are so high rated as they are.

1. Why should any account that burthen ouer­heauy, which God hath laid vpon them? 2. which other beare cheerefully, that are farre more vnable? 3. that brings so great benefit and blessing with it, to haue the light of Goshen, when other sit in the dark­nesse of Egypt? 4. that is a thing so necessarie? 5. which our predecessours yeelded so willingly vnto, to bind themselues and their heires for euer to per­form? 6. Or what comfort is it to impropriate in this manner, that which God and all good men haue an­nexed? Is it dishonour to acknowledge a debt to our better, a duty to our Prince, a tribute to our God? is [Page 94] it dishonest for the Minister that in Gods behalfe doth require the same? why then should we be an­gry with him, that tells vs what is due, or to raile on them that refute our falshood? this snarling against the preacher, is but recalcitrating against the word. It is not the man, but the matter, to haue our coue­tousnes detected, our oppression checked, our vsury reprooued, our extortion ransanked: it is Mammon that stings vs, not the minister that offends vs: but beware what ye shall doe in this case; to bee pricked in heart for our fault is one thing, but to pricke his heart that discouers our sins; is not to stomacke him but his sender: to omit a truth or duty vpon igno­rance, is one thing; but to oppugne the truth out of malice is an other. Sacriledge may goe single, but if it be combined with obstinacie, and obstinacie at­tended with impenitencie, where before there was but one deuill, now there will bee seuen; and where there might haue been hope of reformation, there godly minds will feare, an ende in desperation. And so I leaue this point.

CHAP. V.
Against Parishioners Compilation of holy duties by fraud and sophistication.

HItherto we haue had to deale with them that play at sweep-stake, now I come to the pettie­lassons of the Church, if I may so call them; such as either by sacrilegious substractions, or iniurous ca­lumniations, or customarie compositions, or colou­red [Page 95] extortions, circumuent the Minister, and defalke of his duties.

For not to mooue the same question so oft, though Tithes were not of Gods owne institution, but of meere humane imposition, yet now beeing conse­crated to God, whosoeuer shall vnder any pretence diminish the same, let them look how they can wash their vnholy hands from Ananias fault.

The people in many places haue taken vp the trade of the vniust steward, in steed of 100. to set Luk. 1 [...]. 6.downe 50. and to write in their Ministers right, 8. for 80.

So many customes are extant and compositions, so many priuileges and prescriptions, so common supersedeas and prohibitions, that he that seemes best prouided in that kinde, hath his liuing pared to his hands, much after the manner of a Banburie cheese, whose very parings are more then all the meate. Let a Minister complain hereof, they answer with the Iewes, We haue a Law: but such lawes are a­gainst Ioh. 19. 7.their Lord, and such customes eat out the heart of all conscience. Such customes the auncient and moderne Pharisies did vse to obtrude: but we an­swer to both as S. Augustine to the Donatists: Veritate De vni [...]o bap. [...]. manifestata, cedat consuetudo veritati: and again, Nemo sit qui ausit preferre consuetudinem veritati: when the truth is once knowne, let old customes giue place vnto it, and let none be so bold as to prefer custome to truth.

Cypr. contr. A­quar. And S. Cyprian, Si consuetudini suffragatur veritas, nihil consuetudine debet esse firmius, sin consuetudinem [Page 96] stabiliat impietas, eadem facilitate reijcitur, quae affer­tur.

If custome doth relie vpon truth, it is reason no­thing should infringe it: but if your customes be built vpon trecherie, they may be as easily refused, as Len. [...]8 30.they are tendred. But God hath forbidden his peo­ple to doe after the fashions of the heathen: and our Sauiour (saith Chrysostome) did not alledge that he was custome, but truth.

There are two kinde of customes that are not good: 1. Consuetudo peccandi, quae tollit sensum (non re­atum) peccati: 2. Vetustas erroris, quae quo magis obtinet, magis grauet. There is a custome of sin, which takes away the custome, but not the guilt of sinning: and there is an antiquity of errour, the which the more it is in request, the more it offends.

Decretals. But to say all in a word, the Canonists haue well confined the valitidie of Customes: Consuetudo non derogat iuri naturali, seu diuino: therefore all such customes as are derogatorie to the Church, are to be reuersed.

Now what are the customes that are laid in our dish, for the most part, but impious, iniurious, vn­reasonable, absurd, vnconscionable, and vnnaturall?

1. Gods word doth legimate the minister in all Gal▪ 66.the goods of the Auditor. Now all and small, the whole and none, doe differ much: meere contradi­ctories cannot stand both together. 2. The law of na­ture 1. Cor. 9. 9.saies, thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the oxe that treadeth out the corne: custome of some places doth not onely muzzle the teachers mouth, but cut his [Page 97] throat, leauing him so small a portion, as if it were to diet him for surfeit, not to reward him for seruice. 3. The law of nations saith, the labourer is worthie of his hire, and Christendome hath determined this portion of wages; but custome saith, we haue con­trarie customes to all the world, late exemptions, o­ther dispensations: and thus in effect we sill vp the measure of those auncient hypocrits, transgressing Matth. 15. 3. the commaundement of God by our traditions.

But of this point I will speake no more, but re­ferre the reader to the writings of Ma. Eburne, that Eburne.in 2. or 3. treatises hath taken good paines in this point, and conclude;

If this plea will not be taken in Westminster-hal, that we had a custome in our parish not to come to seruice, nor to receiue the Sacraments, nor to keepe the Kings peace: how doe we thinke it will be taken at Gods tribunall seat at the dreadfull day of iustice, to plead the custome was such, where we had abode, to be impious, sacrilegious, prophane, vnconsciona­ble, and cruell to God, and man; to abridge the Mi­nister of his due, God of his seruice, our soules of their comfort? therefore be not deceiued, God is not Gal. 6. 7. mocked; for whatsoeuer a man soweth that shall he reap; if to the flesh corruption, if to the spirit life euerlasting.

But beside custome (which then when it tooke beginning, might haue some reason, though time hath now eat out those letters,) there is cosenage al­so, pretending custome, and it is not so; or detaining that which is most due, by palpable wrong, or co­loured forgerie: in all which cases the world is ve­rie [Page 98] prone to fauour themselues; and the best cauil­ler against the Parson, is reputed the best parishi­oner. Some plead that Tithes are not due, iure diuino, and therefore lawfull to catch what they can from him: but first as in a case of lesse consequence, when Plut.once it was strongly avouched the enemy would not giue battel on that side; it was replied, but if he do, are we not then vndone? so I say here, if they be of di­uine right, are we not then plaine robbers & resisters of God? therefore as he, Stultum est in id periculi rem­conijcere, vbi si in credendo erraueris, nulla dabitur corri­gendi copia: it is a mad venture to put the matter to such a push, where if our iudgment be miscaried, we are irrecouerably vndone. 2. Though that hath bin already proued▪ that Tithes, are due by diuine right, yet this cannot excuse them from sacriledge, that with a Si Spie, shall diminish the Ministers porti­on: for now they are dedicated to holy vse: therefore what God hath called holy, let no man dare to pro­fane, or lay theeuish fingers vpon them. 3. The least [...] accent that sounds to profit, we affix our marginall note vnto it, hoc facit pro nobis. The slightest reasons, the singlest pretences, the falsest syllogismes, the fow­lest elenchs; the simplest shews, are of force omni­potent to carry vs that way, fauores ampliandi: but the strongest proofes, the soundest arguments, the euidentest demonstrations, the authoritie of Scrip­tures, the iudgements of the Fathers, the decrees of Councils, the determination of lawes, the consent of times, the concurrence of opinions, the clamours of conscience, are vtterly voide of force, and quite [Page 99] [...]lumbous to draw vs to part with monie [...] odia restrin­genda.

Lac. 2. 8. There was at Rome one Clodia, not all of the best report, who when the ship that brought vp Berecyn­thia the mother of the gods was stroke on ground as it passed vp the riuer, so as no strength of hand, nor helpe of people could fetch her off, this honest Ve­stall vpon her knees besought the goddesse, that if shee were innocent of that imputation that was strong vpon her, she would be pleased to follow the guidance of her girdle; and so fitting the same vnto the pinnace, that which thousands of hands, nor all the strength of Rome could not effect, verie gently came off without more adoe: The like good lucke this cause in hand hath euer had; the deepest disputes of learned schooles, which no wit could vnwind, like an other Gordius nodus; the rustiest reason of a coun­try farmer, can as easily snap in sunder, as Samson did his withes, or hempen bands.

But let them learne to eat their owne bread, and not say with the strumpet, stolne bread is sweete, for Prou. 21. [...].the bread of deceit will turne to grauell; and the manna that is gathered contrarie to commaundement, will turne to wormes: and the gathering of treasures by a de­ceitfull tongue, is but vanitie tossed to and fro of them that seeke death.

Remember that protestation, little lesse then an execration, which the people were solemnly to take at the end of euerie haruest: When thou hast made an Deut. 26. 13.end of tithing all the tithes of thy encrease, and hast giuen it to the Leuite, &c. that they may eate within thy gates, [Page 100] and be filled: then thou shalt say before the Lord thy God, I haue brought the hallowed thing out of my house, and haue also giuen it to the Leuite, according to thy commaunde­ment, which thou hast commaunded me: I haue not trans­gressed thy commaundements, nor forgotten them; I haue not eaten thereof in my mourning, nor taken ought thereof for any common vse, nor giuen ought thereof for the dead: but haue hearkned vnto the voice of the Lord my God, and haue done according to all that thou hast commaunded me: looke downe out of thy holy habitation from heauen, and blesse thy people Israel (accordingly.) Now if I should demand what law pertained this vnto: if to the Ce­remoniall, it must prefigure something in or vnder Christ; if Morall, it stands in force; if meerely Iudi­ciall, yet the equitie doth binde perpetually: so euery way it bindeth still. And therefore as in triall of the suspected wife, if shee were innocent, the potion made her fruitfull; if nocent, painefull; so is this oath, to true dealers with God and his minister profitable, to vniust detainers▪ damnable. And so I ende with them.

CHAP. VI.
Against the stipulation of Simoniacall Patrons for Tithes or Church preferments.

THE last offenders that I will encounter, are such Magnificoes and Gentlemen of eminen­cie, whom God or gold hath made Patrons of those places where they haue their lands. Which right [Page 101] how it was purchased, I dispute not at this time: on­ly thus much, in the times of superstition those offi­ces or priuiledges, together with the lands were de­volued to the Abbies; and when the Abbies were suppressed, they became vulgare aucupium, very com­mon game; and when all those things were set to sale by the drumme, then nemo non fecit lignationem, they that had monie and appetite caught vp these commodities: and so haue the patronages of the Church been ingrossed into great mens hands, that oft times vse them neither as patronages, nor things of the Church: for those poore collations that should be bestowed vpon schollers, and were indeed deposita pietatis, the pledges of pietie; doctrinae praemia, the rewards of learning; laborantium stipendia, the wages of holy workemen; and sanctorum munera, the gifts of holy men, haue quite been put to other imployments, not giuen at all, or giuen to some old seruing men, or kept in the patrons owne hand, or sore curtaild in the putting off, or saued for pensions for yonger sonnes, or sold in a market to the best chapmen; that we may truely verifie that quip of S. Gregorie, boues arant, & asini pascuntur, laborious in Iob. 1.schollers take the paines, and idle drones eate vp the gaines.

For the common sort of Patrons haue vsed vs for all the world, as the Iesuites do their nouices, whom they promise faire, till they haue put themselus and their states into their hands, and then they euer af­ter vse them in the nature of younger brethren: so do these newe masters handle vs, who were once [Page 102] free-men, and had somewhat of our owne; but now are turned out of our gownes into a lighter habit, by annexing the Church maintenance to their owne inheritance, and then feeding vs with pittances, as sitting in the place of praier: or if they vse vs any better then words, it is after we haue sued our liuery, and fined for our match. But as Tully saies, Nullae sunt occultiores insidiae quàm quae latent in simulatione of­ficij, there is no snare to that which goes vnder the shew of seruice.

The first institution of patronage in the Church, as is commonly in other cases, (ex malis moribus, bo­nae leges) was excellent and necessarie: but as the faire streames of Iordan fall into the dead sea, so in the current of like Conueniences, through the fault or frailtie of mans nature, the verie best things dege­nerate: so fel it out here: for as it was said of the Cler­gie, Religio peperit diuitias, sed filia deuorauit matrem: so is it true of the laitie, the Church did first hatch them, but they haue eaten out the bellie of the dam.

Pa [...]. 2. cap. 14. Marsil. Patauinus in his defensor pacis, hath set down their originall in this manner: Antiquitùs viri sancti, & ministri Euangelici, Christum imitari volentes, contra nullum voluerunt contendere iudicio, &c. In old time the holy men and sincere ministers of the Gospel, desirous to imitate Christ, would not contest in law with any, &c. Therefore the proprietie of such tem­porals as were appointed for their maintenance, re­mained in the founder or donor of holy demeanes; who beeing so ordained for the maintenance and defence of the Churches lands, were called the [Page 103] Patrons thereof. For so soone as religion began to grow into some dimensions, and the Church to get some matters of inheritance, enuie and auarice be­gan to be too busie about her, so as shee had much adoe to hold her owne, or recouer her right: and so fast did the eagles follow her carrion, and the birds of pray stoope for bootie, that the decrees of almost 40. Synods and Councils, besides decrees of the first Hospin.Popes, and Statutes of Emperors, were all too lit­tle to curbe their couetousnes, or restraine the har­pies from deuouring all, while the holy and heauen­ly minded Clergie, were loth to intangle themselues with secular incumbrances, or giuing ouer their bookes, follow worldly profits. Whereupon to salue this sore, it was decreed in the Councill Melevita­num, that a petition should be drawn and presented to the Emperours Arcadius and Honorius, that they would be pleased to appoint the Church certen de­legates or Aduocates to defend their rights: the like was done at other times: who at the first did not be­stow the liuings, but onely defend their lands. And founders of new erections reserued no other power in themselues, but the bare Aduocation and present­ment to the place. It were too long and intricate to follow the mutations of the times, while sometime the Donors, sometime the Donees, sometime the Patrons, and lastly the Bishops did manage all the busines that way; till in the ende deuotion had sur­rendered all right into the hands of new erections, out of their zeale vnto the regular order of Friers: and so when the religious houses were put downe, [Page 104] these went also with the other lands into the fowlers net; and became euery mans purchase, as I said be­fore.

Now what affinitie haue the moderne with the former patrons? if these be our defenders, who shall defend vs from our verie defenders? the Abuse is e­uident, I need not open it; the Presentor and presentee haue changed offices; the scholler must present the patron with Church angels, or he shall not bee pre­sented Bern.to be an angel of the Church: qui primi debent esse ad subsidium, primi sunt ad sacrilegium: her prime succours, are become her principall suckers; and cheifest pillars, the cheifest powlers. Our song of Venite exultemus, is turned to super flumina Babylonis: Simon Magus hath succeeded Simon Peter: the buyers Ioh. 2.and sellers, whom Christ whipped out of the tem­ple, are let in againe at the posterne doore.

Which sinne, although in proprietie of speach it notes but the buyer, yet now the whole transacti­on of that market, is commonly so called; because Simon Magus profered monie; not for any infusion of grace vpon himselfe, but for the multiplication of his coine to the best improouement, as diuines haue noted.

And herein the Canonists haue obserued many enormities, as Atheisme, idolatrie, theft, and mur­der. 1. For making the Church, non domum oratio­onis, sed negotiationis, not a house of prayer, but a hole for prey. 2. For turning God into gold, and ma­king not godlines their gaine, but ganie their god­lines. 3. For robbing their parishes of the bread of [Page 105] life. 4. Staruing the incumbent with vnrecouerable penurie of bodie, and periurie of soule, and the whole Parrish with him, both of bodily releefe, and Ghostly life.

Clemang. So that we may renew the old rime, of such kind of Clearks, that was once of the Pope, in euerie mans mouth,

Tales regunt Petri nauem,& ligandi potentiam:
Tales gerunt Petri clauem,
Hi nos docent sed indocti,indicat scientiam:
Hi nos ducent & nox nocti,

Such men S. Peters shippe doe steare,and power to bind and lose.
Such men S. Peters keyes doe beare,
These teach vs, and them­selues lacke light,her knowledge doth disclose.
These lead vs, and so night to night,

And therfore as I said while ere, the Church is little beholden to such patrons: for these resemble the beu­tiful gate of the Temple, or faire porches of the poole of Bethesda, where lie a great number of Lazars, ex­pecting the waters next motion, the Churches next promotion: wherein they haue faire occasion to de­merite both of God and men: for God, who sees not how much he might be glorified, if that care were taken in the choise of a worthy preacher, that ought to be: and as for men, it is equally apparant, what [Page 106] profit would redound to the world for instruction and edification. But in my poore vnderstanding, in the neglect of this so pious seruice to God, and to his Church, as they are faultie and defectiue to both them, so no way more preiudicious then to themselues; not onelie in the account that they shall one day giue of that stewardship, but in depriuing themselues in the meane time, of a learned friend, a godly associate, and a ghostly aduocate: for who is so fit to conuerse familiarly with a gentle or noble man, then such a minister, who both for his honest birth, and liberall breeding, sweete learning, and wise counselling, may be both an adiuvant for his soules health, as an ornament to his worldly state. For if it be true, that scientia be vitae sol, and amicitia vitae sal, knowledge the light, and freindship the de­light of this life; how darke and vnsauorie must his life needes be, that depriues himselfe in the place where he doth or should liue, of a learned counsel­lour, and friendly comforter.

But how euer their owne occasions may be to be called to higher places in their owne persons, yet e­uery noble minded Moses should labour to remooue this stone, which the enuyous Madianites haue row­led vpon the wells mouth, that the Lords flockes may be seasonably watered; least that both for the present, the world be pestered with idol-shepheards, that haue eies and see not, eares and heare not, tongues and speake not, of which the Prophet spea­keth, Psal. 115. They that make them are like vnto them; and in the next age, the world be ouergrowne with barba­rousnes, [Page 107] rousnes, to the vtter preiudice both of Church and commonwealth.

All which, as me seemes, were not hard to be hel­ped, if either the oath of Simonie were equally tende­red to Patron and petitioner, or all presentations to Churches were in the hands of Colledges and Vni­uersities, where no such corruption, for the multi­tude of the suffrages were to be feared. Whereupon further conueniences would likewise accrew; both the making roome for younger schollers, and rid­ding the springs of old students, which lie there in great number, some 20, 30, 40. yeares, to their own greife, and the Churches losse, but to vpbraid the world of the times iniquitie, and learnings miserie. And so much concerning the abuses.

The second part of the Appli­ cation, which is Instructiue.

CHAP. I.
Of the seuerall vses of this doctrine.

AS they that haue been present, at some dole­full tragedie, or solemne exequie of some of their dearest friends, executed for causes cri­minall; especially, if they themselues haue been any way accessarie to the same, cannot but be much affe­cted, both sleeping affrighted with melancholie vi­sions, and waking astarted with dumpish passions, which leaue the impressions of verie sad remem­brance long time after in their minds: so we that here haue had not the dismall storie related, but the deadly spectacle of Ananias and Sapphiraes suf­fering, as if it were euen acted before our eies, neere friends of ours, I am assured, associats and copart­ners in wicked sacriledge; if we be not void of all hu­manitie, it must of force affect vs very deepely, and peirce our hearts to the very quicke, with a true prognosticate of our end and iudgement.

[...]. Sam. 2▪ 23. Therefore like Ioabs men that followed the chace vpon Abners host, when they came to the place where Asael lay wallowing in his blood, there made [Page 109] a stand, in wonder & pitie how so braue a man came to so bloodie a death: so let vs make a pause at Anani­as graue, and in wonder and horror somewhat chew vpon the matter, and frame the argument but in this manner to our selues.

1. If Ananias, that might otherwise be a good man, at lest one ciuilly righteous, and outwardly re­ligious enough, fauouring good men, and counte­nancing good matters:

2. If he that committed this sinne but once in all his life, and made no trade of it, nor liuing in it as in a knowne sinne, either yeeres or monthes, as we doe:

3. That did it not in so high a measure, nor so heinous manner, by the lumpe and the load as we doe, not mincing one manner onely, but mouthing many:

4. That had no example before his eies of the wrath of God against that sinne, no Ananias and Sapphira stroke dead before his face, to feare him from it, at lest so fully:

5. That had not the meanes of conuincing his conscience by Scriptures or arguments, by examples or euidences, of the fowlnesse of the fact, as we haue had so plainely:

6. That did not professe it in the sight of the sun, nor bolster it vp with open conrestations, nor blanch it off with fearefull execrations, as many of vs haue done:

7. If shee that came in but as accessarie onely, and vpon the by, for her husbands sake alone; which [Page 110] humane lawe would either approoue, or at least not punish:

8. Lastly, if they that faulted in a matter of their owne donation, wherunto no law did enforce them, no bond compell them, but their owne free mindes and voluntary promise: If they I say, had so heauie a doome, as not to die the common death of other men, nor to be visited after the visitation of other folke; but that God did shew a new worke vpon them, a strange example, a fearefull iudgement, to strike them dead, to kill them presently, to slay them suddenly, to denie them repentance, to curse them with an euerlasting curse, to sammatize them as hath been shewed: then let vs make a true commensurati­on of our owne demerits, and bethinke our selues, how we shall escape, that haue all things contrary, and opposite in direct angles, in comparison of them.

1. As in whom there is no goodnesse at all, not so much as demure carriage to extenuate our sinnes, or [...]lcuate our iudgement in the least respect with God or the world.

2. That doe no seruice all our life long, from the cradle to the graue; but many study how to wrong God and rifle his Church, sorrowing for nothing but that they sinne no more.

3. That offend not onely in tanto, but in toto, en­uying our Ministers halfe a liuing, but swallowing our selues many Churches, in act or in desire the meane while.

4. That sinne not of ignorance, as he might; but [Page 111] of malice: not of infirmitie, but of presumption; nor confessing it with repentance, but professing it with obstinance.

5. That haue not one Ananias before our eyes, but many; nor single men, but millions confounded with iudgements, and howling out of hell, Discite iustitiam moniti, & non tem [...]ere diuos.

6. That come not to our purpose with single im­pietie, but with fraud and oppression, with oaths and peierations, as if sacriledge were not sufficient with­out such milstones to sinke vs to hell.

7. That come not in as accessaries onely, for o­thers companie, but breaking the yce, and shewing example as prime and principall, onely sorrie we sin no more.

8. That doe no good our selues, non suffer other: but doing ill our selues, and teaching other: that in­uade the holy patrimonie our selues, and perswade other; that giue nothing our selues, but robbe o­thers.

These and many more the like considerations, which we may represent vnto our selues, should be so many arguments to disswade vs, so many thun­derbolts to feare vs, not ratling in our eares onely, but battering our conscience also, and tearing our soules with the fearefull expectance of deserued ven­geance.

If we should but thus enforce this argument, from their action to our instruction, it could not but startle and amaze a great number, that now lie and die in a maine peice of Athcisme, without all sense or re­morse; [Page 112] and so goe downe to hell, before they once know what they doe: qui tantum non audit fragorem, August. non dormit sed mortuus est: hee that heares not this peice of ordnance, is not asleepe, but starke dead; wants not so much sence, as soule; is not a man, but a verie monster.

S. Augustine doth teach vs this instruction, saying of the rich glutton, Si sterilitas in ignem mittitur, ra­pacitas quid meretur? & si qui sua non dedit, semper ar­debit; quid recipiet is qui aliena tulit? If vnfruitful men shall be cast into hell, what doe they that are iniuri­ous deserue? and if hee shall burne in euerlasting flames, that gaue nothing of his owne, how shall he be saued, that takes away that which is other mens? and if he be so fearefully punished that offends in a little, what hell of hels shall suffice for such as robbe and rifle all that is holy? bereauing almightie God of his worship and seruice, the Church of God of that which is sanctified to religion, the Saints of God of the instruments of saluation? for this sinne must be apparelled in his own circumstances, things consecrate by holy men, dedicated to almightie God, so peculiar vnto his seruice, sinning with so high a hand, impouerishing our soules soliciters, in famishing many hundreds of bodily & ghostly pro­uision, defrauding our selues of the bread of life, and many such like. Well then to come to the particu­lar vses.

[...] 1. The first is feare against securitie: this is taught vs out of the fearefull iudgement that fell vpon Ana­nias, and the prime vse that the congregation made [Page 113] of the same what effect it did worke, namely to affect and raise some passion in the heart in generall. Se­condly, what that was in particular, the affection of feare. Thirdly, the measure or extension, great feare. Fourthly, the subiect in whom, in those that heard it. And lastly, the vniuersalitie of the subiect, not one, or two, or a few, but all, so many as heard those things.

Exod. 14. 31. The like we find in other places: the like impressi­on vpon the like occasion when the Israelites saw the great worke of the Lord vpon the Egyptians; it is noted, that the people feared the Lord, and beleeued the Lord, & his seruant Moses: the same is obserued of Da­uid in the sudden breach of Vzza, Dauid was afraid of 2. Sam. 6. [...]. the Lord that day, so that he durst not bring home the Arke to his house: many like examples are extant in the holy Pages.

The reason is this, we neuer feare God so well, as when we are awaked with his thunders, and rou­sed with his iudgements; for euery affection must be raised by his proper obiect; loue by his mercies, hope by his promises, trust by his prouidence, and feare by his iudgements.

Now in his iudgements, God is set out vnto vs as a terrible God, a consuming fire: and therefore a feare­full Heb. 12. Heb. 10.thing to fall into his hands: therefore the Apostles admonish vs, Paul, to worke out our saluation with feare Phil. 2. 12.and trembling, and Peter, for as much as we call him Fa­ther, 1. Pet. 1. 17.that without respect of persons iudgeth according to euerie mans worke, to passe the time of our pilgrimage here in feare.

[Page 114] Psal. 90. 11. But as Moses complaineth, who regardeth the power of his wrath? answearing himselfe in his owne Esa. 58. 1.interrogation, as Esay, els where, who hath beleeued our report? surely none or very few: Luther thus resolues the question, who? none before affliction, either on himselfe or another: for men haue a double curtaine drawne betweene God and them. First, of proud knowledge, or presumption; a knowledge without the feeling, a bare speculation, without answearable affection, that which God doth so oft complaine of, Esa. [...]. Mat. 13. Act. 18. Ro [...] 11. eies without seeing, eares without hearing, hearts with­out vnderstanding, vnderstanding without practising: such a sense as is betweene sleeping and waking, such a luke-warmnes as is betweene cold and hot, such a consent as is betweene choosing and refusing.

The second is hardnes of heart, that when his iudgements be thundered we feare not, when his mercies are proclamed we reioyce not, when ex­hortations are vsed we mooue not, as the wise man E [...]cl. 8. 11.saith, Because sentence against euill works, is not present­ly executed, therefore the hearts of the children of men are set to doe euill: that which we heare doth little pro­fit vs, for still we thinke (as we heard out of Plato) that Gods words are vntrue, or his arme is but weake. For the first, he that hath verified all his prophecies and promises hitherto, why should we doubt of the effect of his threats to sinne? if all is not performed in our time, yet there is another place to consum­mate his word, and make good his promises.

For the second, he that put downe both all the Monarches and Magicians of the world, with the [Page 115] production of the lest vermine, the worke of his little finger; how should he be impotent or weake in a­uenging on vs, whatsoeuer we doe sinne? the bur­ning of the world is but the breath of his nostrils: and if all this be little, he can arme himselfe with deadly weapons, bows, swords, speeres, armies of creatures, chariots of fire, millions of angels: and if this also be yet but little, he is purtraied moreouer as a Gyant, and that armed cap a pe, as a Lion; nay all that is strong, a Iudge, a Generall, a Prince, a God.

Againe, if he be weake, who are we, or what is our strength? not such as hee needes to come against vs with all his power, with crowes of iron, or grea­test ordnance, but with grasses, strawes, haires, wormes; & if they should also be to seeke, but to commit vs together, & dash vs one against another; therefore we are to feare him in himselfe, much more when he ariseth to rage, when he speaketh, threatneth, striketh.

The prisoner that is attached for criminall cau­ses, feareth the comming of the iudge: the idolater, that is not in his religion secured feareth before his painted timber or stone: the deuill that is ascertained of his torment, feareth at the thought of his iudge and God: therefore he that feareth not God, ma­king his sword drunken with sinners blood, is more desperate then the ruffian, more doltish then the i­dolater, more damnable then the verie deuill: and this shall serue for the first vse.

Catal. test. 2. Care against impietie: it hath been obserued by [Page 116] wise men, that the word Conscientia hath in all times had very hard successe, so that it neuer could be full written together in all his syllables: for in the first nonage of the Church, the primer times, they had Con and Sci, but wanted entia: for as another saith, they had aureos sacerdotes, but lignea vasa, golden chaplaines, and wooden chalices, good conscience, and great learning, but small reuennewes. The mid­dle times had Con and entia, but wanted Sci; honestie and honour, but little or no learning. These last a­ges wherein we liue, haue aboundance of the Sci, but haue lost both Con and Entia, learning Gods plentie, but our good meaning and good meanes are gone one to seeke the other: In which regard our pietie is become very proportionable to our charitie, cold and comfortlesse, like the Doctors recipes, which De­mosthenes Demost.speaks of, neither so sufficient to keep aliue, nor so deficient to let vs die.

It is an error, I may say an heresie, to thinke that lost that goes to God. There began Iudas treason, at quorsum perditio haec? to what purpose is all this wast?

Philo Iud. Victus sacerdotum largior, argumentum est pietatis publicae: it is a signe religion is going, when we see Tertull.the ministers are well maintained. And another, Pi­etas est pro pietate sumptum facere: it is a part of reli­gion to spend our goods vpon religion. Whereup­on [...]n Lu [...]. 21. 4.S. Hierom, speaking of the poore widdow that in­creased donaria Dei, the holy treasure with her two mites, as many other holy men and women did, saith thus, Implantes illud quod scriptum est, redemptio [Page 117] animae viri diuitiae eius, they fulfilled the saying of the Prophet, a mans riches are the redemption of his soule.

ser. de eleem. And S. Cyprian, vt intelligamus haec omnia Deo dari, & cum quisquam haec facit Deum promereri, Christus il­la do [...] Dei appellat, &c. That we might learne that all these things are giuen to God, and when any doth thus, doth make God his debter, Christ tearmeth them Gods donaries: therfore so long as these stand good, our feare of God, our care of his seruice, our constancie in his religion stands vpright: but if we let them fall, or plucke them downe, our commerce doth cease with heauen, we renounce our right in heauen, our portion in the sonne of God of heauen. And so much briefely of the vses.

CHAP. II.
The complaints of sundrie learned and godly men for the wrongs to the Church of God.

NEither is this the complaint of one or two dis­contented men, as the world is made beleeue; but many more, both in former time, when things were not altogether so euill: as S. Bernard, serm. 6. on the Psalme, qui habitat: and serm. 33. in Cant. most e­legantly and excellently: Vae generationi huic à fer­mento Phariseorum, quodest hypocrisis, si tamen hypocri­sis dici debet, quae amplius latere prae impudentia non quae­ris, prae abundantia non valet: serpit hodie clades per om­ne [Page 118] corpus Ecclesiae, & quo latius eo desperatius, eo (que) peri­culosius quo interius. Si insurgeret apertus inimicus, mitteretur for as & aresceret: si violentus inimicus, ab­sconderet se ab co, nunc quem eij [...]et, aut àquo absconderet se? Omnes amici & omnes inimici, omnes necessarij & omnes aduersarij, omnes domestic [...] & nulli pacifici, omnes proximi & omnes quae sua sunt quaerunt: honorati ince­dunt de bonis domini, & domino honorem non deferunt Olim praedictum est, & nunc tempus impletionis aduenit, Ecce in pace amaritudo mea amarissima: amara prius in nece martyrum, amarior post in conflictu haereticorum, a­marissimanunc in moribus domesticorum: non fugere non fugare licet. Et pax est & non pax; pax à paganis, pax▪ ab haereticis, sed non profecto à filijs. Vox plangentis in tem­pore isto, filios enutriui & educaui, ipsi autem spreuerunt me, spreuerunt & maculauerunt me, à turpi vita, à turpi quaestu, à turpi commercio quid restat nisi vt reueletur il­le homo peccati, daemonium meridianum? To say thus much;

Wo be to this generation because of the leauen of the Pharisies, which is hypocrisie, at least if that may be called hypocrisie, which for the generalitie cannot, for the impudencie cares not any longer to be concealed. There is at this day a disease spread o­uer the whole bodie of the Church, and the further the more desperate, the more secret the more dan­gerous. If it were an open enemie that had risen vp against her, he might haue beene cast out, and haue withered: if a violent persecutor, she could haue hid her selfe from him: now whom should she cast out, or from whom be hid? all are friends, but all vnfriend­ly; [Page 119] all of kind, but all vnkind; all of a house, yet none at peace; all neere neighbours, but neerest to them­selues; they adorne themselues with the holy inheri­tance, yet honour not the holy of holies. It was long since prophecied, and now fulfilled: Behold, in my greatest peace, is my bitterest persecution: bitter it was in the death of my martyrs, more bitter in do­ing with heretickes, but most bitter in the manners of familiars. It is peace, and it is not peace: peace from the Ethnick, peace from the heretike, but not from the hypocrite. I may iustly take vs that com­plaint; I haue nourished and brought vp children, but they haue despised me; both despised and despi­ted me, with their faultie life, with their filthy lucre, with their fowle contracts, couetousnes, sacriledge, and symonie. What remaines more, but that that man of sinne, the day-light deuill should be reuea­led? Thus farre he. The like doth Venerable Bede in his scintillae, to which I referre you. So haue very many other: among whom I finde one Celsus de Ce [...]s. de Veron. Verona, his disswasiue to the state of Venice, wherein he doth demonstrate, that euer since they took cour­ses to enrich thēselues with the spoiles of the Chur­ches, (wherein they were fowly tainted, as Paulus Io­uius Iouius 12.doth set downe, in one warre against the Turks imposing fiue tenths vpon the Clergie, to pay say­lers wages: and Rentius their Generall, spoyled the Churches of their iurisdiction, as at Bergamo, to the very bels, which they cast for Canons and Culue­rins to serue in the wars: and what could the Turke haue done more) that euer since, I say, such their sa­crilegious [Page 120] dealing they neuer prospered, but lost to the Turke, lost to their neighbours, went downe­ward strangely both at home and abroad, and were neuer able to stand on their legs, as they had done before. But I descend to lower times: for as to the former I may well vse the by-word, Bernardus non vi­dit omnia: and as to the latter, Bede in comparison of vs, had no cause to betake him to his beads.

D. Luther of the places and times of reformation, In Gal. 6. 6.saies thus; I haue often wondered why the Apostle so oft and earnestly exhorteth the Churches to nou­rish their teachers: for in the time of Popery, I saw all men giue frankly to the building and the guilding of their gorgious temples, to the liberall maintai­ning of the idolatrous seruice; so that the Clergie e­uery where possessed the most and best lands of all countries; in so much that I thought it superfluous for God to giue any such commaundement, for as much as they abounded and super-abounded with plentie of all things. I thought it more needefull to perswade men to hold their hands, then to giue any more: for I obserued how by this excessiue liberality, the couetousnesse of the Clergie did but more en­crease, and the rest of the world grew very poore. But now I see the reason why they did abound in that measure, and wee on the contrary suffer so much want. In former time, when nothing else was taught but error and idolatrie, they grew so wealthy, that of Peters patrimonie (when himselfe had neither sil­uer nor gold) the Popes had aduanced themselues a­boue Emperours, Cardinals aboue Kings, Bishops [Page 121] aboue Princes: but since the time that the Gospell came in, preachers haue euer been as poore as euer Christ was. We finde then by lamentable experi­ence, how necessarie this precept of well maintai­ning the ministers, is in the world: which Paul both here and elsewhere so insists in, and beates vpon. Therefore when I read this exhortation of Paul, I both muse and blush, that so great an Apostle should vse so many words about this matter. I would bee loth to slaunder and defame this countrie, which is nothing in comparison of Corinth, which hee so much shamed by begging for the ministers and the Saints. But this I see is the lot of the Gospel, that not only no man is forward to giue to schollers and the Clergie, but euery man is ready to spoyle and take away that which they haue. In briefe, men seeme to degenerate to sauage and cruell beasts: for all the while that men did teach and preach vnto them the doctrine of deuills, they were open-handed euen to prodigalitie to those deceiuers; but to those that deale the word of God sincerely, they enuie that they haue, and thinke euery thing too much.

By which we perceiue how necessarie this exhor­tation is, euen to true professors: Sathan can abide nothing worse then the light of the Gospel; which when he sees to breake forth, hee labours tooth and nayle to hinder it, both by false spirits, and bloodie persecutions, and famishing vp the teachers. And because he could not here suppresse it by any of the former meanes, of false doctrine, or opposition, he attempteth it by the latter, by withdrawing the li­uing [Page 122] of Ecclesiasticall persons, to cause them by po­uertie and necessitie to forsake their standing; and so the people wanting instructors, to grow wild and wicked. This deuise the deuil sets forward by wicked magistrates in cities and townes, noblemen and gentlemen in the country, who take away the Chur­ches reuenewes, whereby the ministers should bee maintained, and conuert them to profanenes; as the Micah. 1. 7.Prophet Micah complaineth, from the hire of an har­lot it came, and to the hire of an harlot it shall returne a­gain. Some other he diuerteth from the Gospel with too much abundance: for when the word of God is plentifully taught, many fall a loathing and negle­cting of it; and fewe will set their sonnes to schoole, or to diuinitie, but apply them rather to more gain­full trades.

It is not then without need that Paul warnes all Auditors, to communicate with their Pastors in all their goods, it being sit and equal to requite spiritual things with temporall. But both Court and coun­try, towne and citie, doth abuse this doctrine at this day, vnder colour thereof to inrich themselues.

In Poperie great summes were giuen vnto the Priests for masses, dirges, trentals, and such trash: begging Friers had likewise their shares, besides that which pardons, indulgences, and other Antichristi­an merchandize carried away: from these and a num­ber more the like extortions, we are freed by the Go­spell: but we are so farre from thankefulnesse to God, that of prodigall giuers, we are become sacrilegious takers, and grow lame-handed for bestowing any [Page 123] thing vpon the religion and Saints of God; which is an infallible token, that men haue lost both the word, and saith, and all goodnesse together: for it is impos­sible for such as are religious indeede, to see their Pa­stors liue in want and necessitie. For as much then as they ioy to see their ministers bare and poore, kee­ping their liuings from them, or not paying them so sincerely as they should; it is more then manifest that they are worse then the very heathen. But they shall feele ere long, what will followe vpon this in grati­tude, by the losse both of temporall and spirituall blessings: for it is impossible but this sinne must bee both speedily and heauily auenged: and I am perswa­ded that the Churches of Galatia, Corinth, and the rest were so pestered with false Apostles, for no other cause but the small account they made of their true teachers: for it is a iust reward, that they that wil not giue a penie to God, the author of all blessings and goodnesse, should giue pounds to the deuill, the au­thor of all euill, and euerlasting miserie: and that hee that will not serue God with a little to his owne eter­nall renumeration, should serue the deuil with much to his vtter and ineuitable confusion.

Neuerthelesse it is not the Apostles meaning that men should giue away all that they haue, but onely such liberall maintenance, that their Ministers may liue in honest and decent fashion. And this he pro­secuteth further, adding a fearefull commination to his former reproofe and exhortation, saying, God is not mocked: where he toucheth to the quicke the per­uersenesse of men, who proudly and profanely de­spise [Page 124] their ministers, and make themselues sport with their miseries: as great men for the most part doe, that make their Pastors their very abiects and vassals; so that if we had not a godly Prince, we had long ere this been driuen out of the Country. For when the Pastors demaund their dues, or complaine of their wants, the fashion of men is to exclaime, that Priests are couetous, and would haue they know not what; no man is able to satisfie their asking: if they were true Gospellers indeede, they should possesse no­thing, but in great perfection follow their master Christ. Therefore the Apostle grieuously threat­neth such mockers and blasphemers, so despitefully and inhumanely scorning and insulting on their poore ministers; yet forsooth will seem great gospel­lers: as if hee should say, Beware you despisers, al­though God deferre his punishment for a season, yen in his good time he will finde you out, and punish▪ you for this profanenesse, and hate against his mi­nisters: you deceiue not him but your selues; and your wrong will not pertaine to him, but returne in­to your bosome.

And yet our proud Gentlemen, and Citizens, are little mooued with these dreadfull threats, who at their death shall well vnderstand, that they haue not mocked vs but themselues: in the mean time, howso­euer superciliously they laugh at our present admo­nitions, we will speake this to our owne comfort, knowing it is better to receiue, then to infer wrong: for patience is euer ioyned with innocence, and God will not suffer vs to want, but when the Lions [Page] shall lacke, we shall haue enough. Thus far that great and worthie man of God, D. Luther, whose pen and paines God did so powerfully vse and blesse in the worke of the restauration of the world. Vnto whom I will adioyne another great instrument of Gods glorie and the light of his Church, Iohn Caluin▪ whose name hath terror attending on it in the Kingdome of Poperie to this day. Where let me obserue one thing very remarkeable, that these great Saints, so mightie in▪word and deed, yet hauing done what was in men to doe, against false doctrine, yet could neuer put out this inbred irreligion: as if this sinne were in the Church, as it is written of the heart in the bodie, primum viuens & vltimum moriens: or like death, the first and last enemie we should encounter. But what saith M. Caluin, we must needs confesse in Act 4. 34.that our bowels are of iron, and our hearts of brasse, that are no more touched with the reading of this story, where the faithfull giue so bountifully that which they had: whereas we at this day cannot be content, to hold our owne hands from giuing any thing onely, but most iniuriously take away also that which is giuen by other: they did simply and hone­stly dedicate their owne; we deuise a thousand euill shifts to hooke and catch, that which other haue be­stowed: they laid downe theirs at the Apostles feete, we take from thence that which is giuen to God: there men sold their possessions to giue to godly v­ses, here wee buy and purchase all we can: then eue­rie one gaue somewhat to the Church and the poore, now men are so inhumane, that they enuie [Page 126] the poore, the commonest things of this life, the very Elements of nature: this must shame vs, and teach vs another lesson, &c. so M. Caluin.

Last of all that famous man of worthie memorie in Gal. 6. 6. M. William Perkins, whom I may terme in some sort the Father of the Prophets, or at lest, a learned man that finished that worke of his, (but out of his notes) as I take it, complaineth in this manner; We may hence collect (saith he) the great want of deuotion in the most men of these dayes: for as the c [...]ie of the poore in the streetes, is an argument of the lacke of mercie among vs; so the number of the needie and wandering Leuites, which offer themselues to serue for a morsell of bread, and a sute of apparell, is a pregnant proofe, there is no deuotion for the main­tenance of religion, especially in those that are so straight laced, in bestowing any thing for the good of Gods Ministers, and yet in keeping of hounds and hawks, and worse matters, players, and iesters, yea, fooles and flatterers, are lauish and profuse. This hath bin the practise of the world, and the condition of the Ministers in all times. 400 false prophets were well and plentifully prouided for at Iezabels table, when the true Prophets of God in the meane time were driuen to hide their heads, hauing scarce bread and water to liue vpon, and that also not without danger of their liues: her practise shall condemne a number of our professours: Nay, our forefathers zeale and forwardnes, notwithstanding their great blindnes, shal condemne our coldnes in this behalfe. The very stones and rubbish of the ruined Abbies, [Page 127] aud other religious houses shall rise vp against vs: for they maintained 30. or 40. idle bellies most of them, which did nothing but nuzzle them in idola­trie and ignorance, where now the same place will not mainetaine one competent Preacher to in­struct their soules vnto saluation: for we take from the Church faster then they gaue it.

In the old time the saying was, what shal we bring to the Seer or man of God? but now the wicked rob-gods say, come let vs take the houses of God for our possessions. The Iewes were euen prodigall in their contributions to the tabernacle, offring more then enough, so as they needed to be inhibited with the sound of the drumme and proclamation, (as our forefathers also were by the statute of Mortmaine:) this lauish giuing to the materiall temple, shall rise vp in iudgement against our little giuing to the spi­rituall ministrie, the liuing temple of God; nay our taking away from it, being far better then the Leui­ticall Priesthood: for looke by how much God hath diminished the cost of the altar, and the charge of the ceremonious worship of the old Testament, so much more liberally doth he looke to haue the mi­nisterie maintained, and the spirituall worship fur­thered in the new.

Lastly, if they that helpe not to vphold the mini­sterie shall be condemned, what shall become of them that rob the Church of her reuenewes, and deuoure the holy things? And thus much of that matter.

CHAP. III.
A disswasiue to all men not to meddle with things deuoted.

NOw here I desire all men to consider, how pre­iudiciall it is vnto the Gospel, how dishonou­rable to God, iniurious to his seruitours, ignomini­ous to our countrie, and dispendious to our owne saluation, to beggar and distresse those, that for their worke sake, should be had in high esteeme and worthy reputation. If a man should by couenant and oath binde himselfe vnto the deuill, to doe his v [...] ­most endeauour and faithfullest seruice, in oppug­ning and ruining the kingdome of Christ, he could neuer deuise to attempt it more directly, then by driuing & compelling the Ministers of God to such straights and difficulties; that wanting conuenient maintenance, they must be forced to giue ouer that function, or neuer vndertake it, flying ouer-sea to Rome, or Rhemes, or Amsterdam for more liberall allowance and meanes of maintenance: or if not so, betake himselfe to some base and illiberall trade for better supportation: or last of all, as bad as any, to persist in the calling without incouragement or comfort, exercising the same neither with profit to other, not with content to themselues: so that nei­ther themselues can doe any good in it, and other are kept off from it, as not being ouer-willing to buy miserie and contempt at so high a rate. Now what [Page 129] is this but a part of that persecution, which Iulian sometime raised against the Church, by depriuing the Clergie of their preferments, the ministers of their maintenance, and the Preachers of their sala­ries; by which meanes he did more hurt to Christi­anitie in one yeare, then many of his predecessours had done by seeking their blood; in many: for as one hath obserued, he did tollere presbyteriū, but they pres­byteros; so doe they that by any coloured forgerie, or professed impietie, doe wrest or detaine from the Clergie their iust inheritance: they plucke the sunne out of the firmament, bring idol-shepheards into the Church, depriue Gods people of instruction, themselues of saluation.

Therefore in this one peice of seruice, God seemes to haue placed life and death, blessing and cursing: that, in the kinde and conscionable vsage of the men and matters of God: this, in the wronging, and sadding of them.

Consider some passages of holy scripture to this effect: The Prophet repeating some iudgements of God to the people, speaketh thus; I will come neere to Mal. 3. 5.you to iudgement, and I will be a swift witnes against the soothsaier, the false swearer, the adulterer, and those that wrongfully keep backe the hirelings wages, and vexe the widow, the fatherles, and the stranger, and feare not me, saith the Lord of hosts: Now what this defrauding is, Iam. 5. 1. and who be those labourers is seene in that which followeth, v. 8. Will a man spoile his Gods? yet you haue spoiled me, and say, wherein haue we spoiled thee? in tithes and offrings: ye are cursed with a curse, for ye haue spoiled [Page 130] me, euen this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in my house, and prooue me now herewith saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windowes of heauen vnto you, and power you out a bles­sing without measure. And I will rebuke the deuourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruit of your ground, neither shall your vine be barren in the field, saith the Lord of hosts.

Pro 3. 9. The like hath Salomon, Honour the Lord with thy riches, and the first fruit of all thine encrease; so shall thy barnes be filled with abundance, and thy presses shall burst Eccle: 35 1.with new wine. And Salomons imitator, Who so kee­peth the law, bringeth offrings enough, and thou shalt not appeare emptie before the Lord: for all these things are done because of the commaundement: the offring of the righteous maketh the altar fat, and the smell thereof is sweet before the most high. v. 8. Giue the Lord his honour with a good and liberall eye, and diminish not the first fruit of thy hands: in all thy gifts shew a ioyfull countenance, and dedicate thy tithes with gladnes giue vnto the most high according as he hath inriched thee, and looke what thy hand is able, giue with a cheerfull eye: for the Lord recom­penceth and will giue thee seuen times as much. Now by the way to explicate this, the learned haue obser­ued, that the Iewes did first pay their first fruits: se­condly, thereuma or leuatio: and thirdly, a twofold tyth, the greater, & the lesse. Now the thereuma might not be lesse then the fourth, fift, or sixt part: and these they called of a good eie, an indifferent, an euil eie.

The tythe againe (S. Hierom writes) was of fowre sorts: the 1. to the Leuite, the 2. from the Leuite to [Page 131] the Priest, the 3. to the Lord at Hierusalem, the 4. to the poore euery third yeere: which beeing not perceiued of some reuerend men of late times, bred in them this errour, that tithes are Iudaicall, because they were to goe to the poore once in three yeares: which was but one kinde of Tithes, not the whole genus of them, as this father hath shewed. This for the good and euill eie, which Syracides so beateth vp­on.

Ser. de temp. 219. S. Augustine doth mightily inforce this matter: Deus qui totum dare dignatus est, decimam dignatus est accipere, non sibi sed nobis profuturam: he that vouchsa­feth to giue vs all we haue, is pleased yet to keep the tenth himselfe, not for his profit, but for ours: O ho­mines stulti, quid mali imperat Deus, vt non mercatur au­diri? foolish men, what hurt is there in his demand, that he should not be thought worthy to bee heard? thou doest not giue it, but shalt receiue it again with aduantage. Sith then by paying thy tithes, thou gai­nest both heauenly and earthly blessings, why doest thou s [...]and in thine owne light by thy niggarddize and follie? Heare you this, O you prophane world­lings; all that you haue is his, and will you not let him haue his owne? hee askes no gift at thy hand, but that which may bee for thy good; he begs no almes, but askes his honour: the tythes and first fruits are not thine but his, & yet thou holdest them from him. What wouldst thou doe if he should giue thee but one of tenne, and retaine the 9. to himselfe, as he doth by restraining the blessed showres, so that thy haruest is starued with drowt, or nipped with [Page 132] frost: Quidigitur auidè supputas, ideo tibi nouem par­tes detractae sunt, quia tu decimam dare noluisti: why doest thou cast thy reckoning on thy fingers ends? thou loosest 9. parts for denying the tenth: haec est e­nim Dei iustissima consuetudo, si tu decimam dare nolueris, tu ad decimam reuoceris: so God vseth to deale with them that denie him his tenth, to leaue him nothing but the tenth to liue on: Dabis impio militi quod non vis dare sacerdoti, thou shalt giue to the extortioner, which thou wilt not giue to thy Minister. This and much more S. Augustine in the same place.

Hom. 48. And againe in an other place, bringing in a man pleading his charge of children, he saith thus; quam curam agis filiorum, vt eos obruas lachrymis miserorum? nolo sic prouideas, vt magis inuideas: sic enim Salomon, qui congregat aliena, relinquit filio dolorem: what care is this thou takest for thy children, to ouerthrow them with the teares of poore men? I would not haue thee so prouide for them, that thou shouldst rather seeme to enuie them: for Salomon saies, He that ga­thereth other mens goods, leaues nothing but griefe vnto his child. It was said by Christ, Giue to Caesar that which is Caesars, & giue to God that which is Gods: for therfore our ancestors abounded in all wealth, because they paid their tithes to God, and their tributes to Caesar.

In all which regards the Iewes, who of all the world were both the most bountifull, and the most true tithers of all their goods, called that action di­uitiarum saepem, the fence of all their fortunes: and to that purpose haue to this day a prouerbe amongst them, decima vt diues fias, the onely way to thriue [Page 133] well, is to tythe well. For which cause the Canonists also make it a ruled case, that a man not thriuing vp­on his liuing, if he be such as, hath been noted back­ward in payment of Church duties, his Land-lord is not bound in equitie to abate his rent, because it is to be presumed, that his pouertie is from the hand of God to punish his ill dealing that way. Which opinion doth reside yet in the Iewes to this day, and some elder Christians, who are scrupulous or rather almost superstitious in this matter, who paying their duties iustly, and fearing to possesse any of the Chur­ches demeanes most conscionably, will rise vp in iudgement against many of vs, of righter religion and deeper learning: which part of Gods feare bee­ing raced out of many of our hearts, makes vs to de­file our hands with holy pillage, and secretly drawe downe the iudgements of God vpon our selues and our successors, without any knowledge, or ar least ac­knowledgement of the true cause, as Achan that troubled both his owne house and all Israel, by such vngratefull iniurie, and iniurious ingratitude to God and his Church.

I heard it once in some earnest lamented, that the goodly copes, & rich accoustrements of the Church haue been a long time sicke of a consumption, and kept their chamber, and as it were sometimes to take aire, would looke out at the windowes, like pri­soners at a grate, as bewailing their long and vnde­serued durance: whereunto one more merily then bitterly did strait reply, that it was no maruell: for fooles did first bring them in, and knaues had againe [Page 134] carried them out. I censure not the sarcasme, but I thinke they were not so foolish that endowed the Church with such as then seemed superfluous orna­ments; as they faultie, that (with them) haue bereft the Church of her necessarie habiliments.

Hier. Olim orbis ingemuit, videns se factum Arrianum, ho­die ingemiscit videns se factum Atheum: the time was once, that the world wailed to see her selfe so sud­denly turned Arrian, now shee hath cause to crie to see her selfe turned Atheist. That which our Sauiour said was onely necessarie, we hold the onely vnne­cessarie: But God forbid that these should bee the blossomes of our religion, to rob God of his honour, his Church of her reuenewes, our soules of selfe­comforts, and heauen of her inhabitants. Yet this is not the worst: for when we complaine vs of our greiuance, we are scoffed at with Iulians sarcasmes; who when the Christians craued redresse of their wrongs; would answer them, Your Master bad you vse patience, that when one tooke your cloake, you should giue him your coate also: so are we preached vnto. O blasphemie, to insult on our sufferings! O impiety, to trample on our miserie! must we be si­lent while you are sacrilegious? must we be patient while you are impudent? God graunt it be not said of this sinne as was of the like, that caused his sacrifi­ces 1. Sam. 3▪ 14.to be blasphemed, The Lord hath sworn to the house of Eli, that the sinne of the house of Eli shall not be purged with sacrifice nor oblation for euer.

The world at this day findes much fault with the non-residence of Ministers, & facile est inuenire ba [...]ulum [Page 135] ad caedendum canem: howbeit I wil not excuse it altoge­ther, yet this I speake of knowledge, that the cruell incroachments of many parrishioners, enforce some men to be non-resident against their wils, beeing so daily vexed with the abuses in this kind, that they are enforced to a hard choice, to liue among them with daily molestations, or to seeke any weake stay to liue from them, for their ease to giue way to their neigh­bours importunate compilations: singing to them­selues that comfortlesse carroll;

Sic ego nec sine te, nec tecum viuere possum.

I speake not this in hope to doe any good, (yet God knows) I feare the euil is cureles, the maladie remedi­les, not because there is no balme in Gilead, or physi­tian there; but for that, when they would haue healed Ba­bylon, she would not be healed: yet I must speake it, if not ad correctionem, yet at least ad conuictionem: we shall shortly bring things to that passe, as sometimes Tul­ly spake of the commonwealth, not to make it the question qualem ecclesiam sumus habituri, sed an habitu­ri sumus vllam; not what Church we shall haue, but whether we shall haue a Church or no: nec iam de ter­minis, sed de totapossessione erit contentio; the sute will not be about the land-marks, but the very lands. We are alreadie come to Fimbrias quarrell, to bite and whine, to stab and complaine that the dagger went in but halfe way: we are driuen to craue some small pittances of our owne possessions, and cannot bee heard; or if we be, we are braued with bountie, and vpbraided with benefits: they may indeed bee benefi­tia, but as Tullie calls them latronum, theeues bene­fits, [Page 136] to whom we are therfore beholden that they do not kill vs, when they rob vs. Most of the lands and mannors of old erection are beg'd for fooles, a fewe Prelacies remaine, though not vnpluckt, yet not wholly deuoured; some dignities and Ecclesiastical liuings haue escaped the common wracke, yet nar­rowly lookt into, and vigilantly viewed, to be scored vp for the next seazure: men beeing ouer-busie and officious to light candles and sweepe corners, as a reuerend Prelate not long since complained, not to finde and restore the lost 3. pence, but to search and seeke the left pennie.

But let them beware it prooue not too hotte for their handling, like the monie of Delphos, or the gold of Tholose, which so many as touched came to disaster destinies. Gods part hath euer been like Gods arke, which so long as it was in the hands of vncircumcised Philistims, neuer left plaguing them with sundrie vengeances, till the heifers brought it home againe to the true possessours: like Eagles fea­thers, that consume and canker all other among whom they are mingled; like the flesh of the altar, wherein a coale was couched which burnt the neast Chrysoft.of the bird that ceazt it: Pauca male parta, multa bene comparata perdiderunt, saith one, a few goods euill got, haue wasted a great deale that hath been honest­ly come by: Nolo quis habeat contra Deum, ne non ha­beat Bern.& Deum, saith another; some hauing, hath the deuill and all.

Before the Vniuersall deuastation of the holy cit­tie, an Angel was heard many daies together to vt [...]er [Page 137] these words, as Iosephus a Priest hath left recorded, Migremus hinc, migremus hinc, Let vs away, let vs a­way; as if God and all his holy Angels would take their leaue, when sacrilegers are suffered to harbour in the Temple. Strange hath bin the horror where­in such people haue been had among the heathen, and fearefull torments haue been deuised for them; as propination of Ophiusa, luxation of the bodie, precipitation from the rocke, inhumation of the corpse, intestation of the goods, detestation of the memorie; anathematization of the partie among vs, imprecation and execration against bodie and soule: as thus; If any shall take away from the holy Church of God her proper inheritance, or such hereditaments as by my will and Testament I here bequeath, (which I hope no man wileuer attempt to do) let his account be without mer­cie at the dreadfull day of iudgement, when he shall come to receiue his doome at the hands of the Iudge of heauen and earth, to whom I giue and dedicate the same. Whose heart doth not tremble to consider such praiers? wherefore let men be well assured, that the pulling downe of Ierusalem will cost deerer, then did the re­building of Iericho, whose foundation Hiel laid in the Ios. 6. 16. death of his elder sonne, and set vp the gates in the blood of his younger. Turno tempus erit cum magno optauerit Vir. A [...]n. 10. emptum Intactum Pallanta▪

Psal 6 [...]. 10 It had wont to be song, mons domini, mons pinguis, the mountaine of the Lord was fat and cruddie, but now her proud flesh hath been greatly taken downe, like Pharaos fat kine in the last leane yeeres, that it is not seen that euer she had bin so foggy: another saies, [Page 138] Psal. 78. 10. Mons Sion, mons sanctus, mount Sion is most sacred: the Church as it is most venerable, so it should be most inuiolable: and is now the plucking downe the seruice of God, the best seruice wee can doe to God?

Luk 7. 7. To loue the nation, and build a Synogogue, was once both thought and pleaded, as a point of high­est merit? and doth all desert now stand in demoli­shing the same? Our Fathers build not Synagogas, but Basilicas; no simple oratories but sumptuous pallaces, and indowed them with plentifull patrimonies, as depositapietatis, & domicilia diuinitatis, the earnests of their pietie, and houses of the diuinitie: and shall we so far degenerate from diuinity, pietie, and huma­nitie also, as to chalke vpon our Churh doore, quo vitius eò melius, a barne or a stable, a houell or hog­stie will serue the turne as well? Oh far be it from Christians to thinke it, from religious to doe it: the blindest Sauadge in the desolatest Islands that serues his Zemes the deuill for God, is not so impious.

Plut. The Athenians could not endure to heare Phide­as any further, when being asked what was the best matter to make Mineruaes statue, he said Iuo [...]ie, as being of longer continuance and lesser cost then any thing els.

Aelian. It sauoured but of Atheisme which Leonides Alex­anders master had wont to admonish him of, that he should not be so profuse in sacrificing frankincense vnto his gods: for it is noted he was euer so magni­ficent that way, that hee neuer burnt other wood in his temple, nor offered lesse sacrifices then whole [Page 139] hecatombies, oxen by the hundreds: therefore he would tell him, you shall do well, sir, to be more spa­ring of your hand, till you haue conquered those countries where those precious odours grow, Alex­ander was not well content with this lesson, but held his peace till he had indeede vanquished the East, and then he sent his master for a token many talents of those excellent perfumes, with this saluation; Be­cause thou shalt know that I haue conquered the Arabians, I haue sent thee some of the gummes for a token, and that the greater quantitie, because thou mayst leaue to be illibe­rall and a niggard to the gods.

Aelian. It hath bin obserued, by the verie heathen, that neuer any Barbarian, or of the commō sort of Natu­ralists did denie God or his power, or durst offer to their dieties any of those prodigions indignities that we read of; onely the fine witted fellowes the Grecians, whose learning indeed had made them mad, were the first if not the onely that did it: Eue­merus, Messenius, Hippo, Diagoras, Epicurus, Dionysi­us, who plaid his prizes with all his Gods one after another, shauing the golden berd away of God Aes­culapius, because forsooth his father Apollo wore no berd; dimasntling god Apollo of his robe of gold, and giuing him another of linsie-wolsie; because the gold was too heauie for summer, & too cold for win­ter; not onely robbing, but deriding whatsoeuer to them was holy. Though one doe much stomacke it, Tullie,that after all this he should ride at sea so calmly, raign at land so prosperously, and die in his bed so peace­ably: yet another doth assure vs, that all was not gold [Page 140] Val. Max. that glistered: Nam sacrilegorum poenas quas vivus ef­fugit, dedecore filij-mortuus exoluit, he had but sowre sawce to all his sacriledge: for when he was dead in his graue, he paid for all in the follies and misfor­tunes of his sonne, which all his life he had escaped.

But most memorable was the fact & fortune of Cy­rus, who brake vp in Babylon the tomb of Semiramis, inuited thereunto by an inscription vpon the same, in hope of much treasure; which sounded to this ef­fect: What King soeuer shall want mony, if he dig downe this graue shall find sufficient. Now this tombe had thus stood many yeeres inuiolate, till at last Cyrus comming hither, and reading the writing, he fell to spoile the sacred monument; but hauing spent much paines to little purpose, still frustrate of his hope, all last vpon a stone he encountered another writing to this purpose; Surely hadst thou not bin a very insatiable wretch, thou wouldst haue neuer violated the temples of the gods, nor ransacked the graues of the dead to fill thy greedy desire: but goe thy way, ere long thou shalt finde e­nough: and so indeed he did: for he was caught in the ambushes that Queene Tamaris had laid for him, be­headed, and cast into a but of blood, with that bitter exprobration, Satiate sanguine quem sitisti.

The like disaster had Xerxes for breaking vp the temple and sepulchre of Belus in hope of gold, where hee was disapointed of his hopes, but found some­thing which he would not, a viol halfe full of oyle, wherin were the ashes of that old King, and a scrow [...]e annexed, containing this scripture, Whosoeuer shall break vp this monument, and not fill vp this viol with oile, [Page 141] let him rest assured there remaines for him very heauy for­tunes: Whereupon he attempting to fill it, found it a thing impossible, the glasse either by magicke or miracle, neuer admitting repletion: whereupon in despaire he gaue it ouer, expecting the portended mischeifes so threatened vnto him: which fell out in fine accordingly, for warring against the Grecians he receiued an irrecouerable discomfiture, wherein he lost at the hands of a handfull of men, 50 myriads of followers, and running away most basely and dis­honourably, was put to death by the hands of his owne children.

Aelian. An other example most remarkeable in humane stories, is of one Macareus, a Priest at Mytelene, who first robbed, then killed a man in his vestry, that had entrusted him with some treasure: This Mystes short­ly after solemnizing the Trietericall rites of that re­gion and religion, as he was busie in the midst of his ceremonies surrounding the citie, new gone out of the temple, where hee had left the fire requisite for his sacrifices, his two young children who had ob­serued their fathers fashions, fell to imitate his sacri­fice, and one with the blade which was vsed in the seruice, playing the Priest, killed his brother in stead of a beast, as he had seene formerly performed: the mother in her house neere adioyning to the temple, at the noise of the cry came hastily in, and seeing what was done, in great rage snatching a brand that lay on the fire, stroke the suruiuer dead in the place: These sorrowfull accidents soone beeing spred all ouer the city, came to the cares of the father, who was still in [Page 142] his pageant and idolatrous pompe: but soon leauing his seruice, he ran to the place, and finding his wife bewailing her fact, with the torch he yet held in his hand, the vnhappy instrument of his holy deuotions, he killed her at his foot; for which himselfe was in­stantly apprehended, tortured, examined; where betweene the terrors of torment, and horrors of con­science, he confessed the whole matter from the be­ginning to the ende; for which he presently receiued condigne punishment, beeing put to death to make vp the tragedie.

But come we neerer home vnto our selues, for as much as farre fet examples haue but far off respects, and it seemes to concerne vs little, what was done so farre from home. I will looke no higher then the Conquest, where we shall finde Earle Godwin, Earle of Kent, father to Harold, whom the Norman ouer­threw: how treacherously, how impiously did he in­uest himselfe with holy possessions? First, by capti­ous sophystrie cosening the Archbishop of Canter­bury for his mannor of Boseham in Sussex, with this deuise putting a tricke vpon him: He had instructed his followers what he would doe, and bad them be readie to beare witnesse what the Archbishop an­swered to his subtile sophisme, and then he requests my Lord to let him haue his boseam; the good Bi­shop thinking he had asked his blessing, little min­ding his mannor, made answer, My Lord I giue you my boseam: and so he wrangled the good man out of his land, ouerbearing him with the testimonie of his treacherous attendants. Then by a worse peice [Page 143] of villanie hee possessed himselfe of a Nunnerie at Barkly in Glocestershire, by a kinsmans wicked wor­king, left sicke among them, who neuer left wor­king till hee had made the most of the virgins there pregnant, and then begd their house, and turned them out a begging. Many other like exploits did that man, but in the ende himselfe at the Kings table was choaked with a peice of bread, according to his imprecation: and we know what befell his sonne, and the whole land, not onely slaine with most part of the auncient nobilitie of this land, but the scepter translated to a forraine Prince. I say no more.

The next is the same forraine Prince himselfe, William the Norman, surnamed the Conquerour, who vsing his victorie verie hardly, beside other things, to make his new forrest dispeopled no small com­passe of ground, 36. parishes with their townes and Churches, of whom a Bishop of Winchester made those verses,

Templa adimit diuis, fora ciuibus, arua colonis, &c. But what befell him, to say nothing of his owne dis­comforts vpon his death bed; his sonne and succes­sor surnamed Rufus, in his hunting in the same for­rest, Rex cervum insequitur, regem-vindicta—saies the same Poet, as fast as he pursues his game, vengeance pursueth him, he was by chance shot through by Sir Walter Tyrrel. His next sonne Richard died of the plague: his eldest sonne Robert, after many mischiefs and miseries done and suffered, had his eies put out by his owne brother, and died most miserably in du­rance and prison: and Henry his nephew by Robert, [Page 144] in the same forrest also came to Absaloms ende, bee­ing hanged in a tree as he chased his deere. So Sa­criledge ends for the most part with extirpation, as hath been noted.

The last I will name, not the least in this cata­logue, shall be D. Voisie Bishop of this citie of Ex­cester, who from a pettie Canon in the Church, rose to the Bishops mytre; but there sell to that wicked resolution, that the wicked Nero somtime had done, [...], when I die, I care not though all the world die with me: for this high Priest forgetting that euer he had been clarke, or not caring whether there should be any after, like politicians newly risen, pluckt vp the ladder after him, that no more should ascend: for of 13. goodly mannors that belonged to the sea, he made so good riddance, that he scarce re­serued one for them that should follow: This Bishop at one time relating vnto Steuen Gardiner then Bi­shop of Winchester, what prouision hee had made in the Church for his graue, receiued this answer, My Lord, what talke you of a Church? a dunghill is fitter for your deserts then a Church, which haue so shamefully mangled that goodly sea: you haue plaied the beast and deserue no better place then a beast: & so (I haue heard) indeed was serued. But this I haue been verie credibly informed of, that with his holy pillage hee purchased many priuiledges to his natiue soile of Sutton Colfield in Warwickeshire, and inriched many of his kinred, which now they are but little the bet­ter for; many of them, or as they say the most, hauing bin weeded out by dishonourable ends.

[Page 145] These haue been the successes of sacriledgers for the most part, God hauing set a marke vpon them, as he did vpon Cain▪ that all the world may take notice of them: and as Dauid saith, that the righteous may re­ioyce Psal 5 [...]. [...]0.when he seeth the vengeance: he shall wash his feet in the blood of the vngodly, and men shall say, verily there is fruit for the (sacrilegious:) doubtles there is a God that iudgeth the earth.

I will end this chapter with an example of another kinde, that is of mercie for the rarenes of it, and that T [...]them.of Dagobertus a King of France, who newly comming to his Crowne, liued a most dissolute and deboshed life a long time; yet in the end by a great and graci­ous visitation sent from God, he had a faire com­ming off againe, as had euer any. This man first ma­ried two wiues at once, besides Mistresses sans [...]om­bre, some whereof he carried about with him wher­soeuer he went, other he maintained very sumptu­ously as queens in many places of the Kingdome; it is not possible to comprise the lest part of his lewd­nes in any mediocritie of words, which when his Bishop Amandus reprooued him for, he very vniust­ly sent him into banishment; whom hee had no soo­ner rid his hands of, but he fell to fowler matters, robbing of Churches, and pulling downe religious houses, and turning out the Ecclesiasticall persons into the open world to take aire. At length when God saw his good time, he sent a very heauie visita­tion vpon him, (I finde not what was the particu­lar) that thorough the good grace of God wrought so holy and wholesome contrition in him, that he [Page 146] vowed to God, if he did recouer, to make some a­mends: which he faithfully performed according to the deuotion of those times, erecting churches, buil­ding Colledges, founding monasteries, alwaies and openly confessing, that the iudgements of God had been sent vnto him, principally for his outrages commited that way.

Among other monuments of his repentance and humiliation, he founded the monasterie of Wissenburg in Germanie, where he left for a monu­ment of his true conuersion, a confession penned with his owne hand, to this effect;

In what manner almightie God hath plagued and restored me againe, I haue thought good to publish by these presents to all the world, to the end that all men may take notice of my fall and folly, and likewise of my restauration & restitution, but cheif­ly that so many as shall heare of my doings, may be afraid to make hauocke of Gods holy Temples, and learne to performe such reuerence thereto, as best beseemeth.

Be it therefore knowne, that after my Father Lo­tharius was dead, I tooke vpon me as next heire, the gouernement of the kingdome, but being transpor­ted with errors and lightnes of youth, I neglected the duty of a good Prince, discharging neither iustice nor conscience, but as I was carried by humour and fauour. Among many other my excesses, I became a ruiner of Gods inheritance, and a demolisher of his worship, which I ought to haue set vp and maintai­ned, till at last that God in mercie to chasten my re­bellion, [Page 147] did dash my pride, and cast me downe; and when he had brused me sufficiently, he receiued me againe to mercie: and this confession I leaue against my selfe here in record, that none may dare in like presumption to violate this holy place, at this pre­sent by me deuoted to God. Thus far Dagobert: which I haue set downe the more fully, because there are so few examples of reuersion in this kinde, as it is in the fable of the Fox, replying to the Lyon for not vi­siting him,

—quia me vestigia terrent,

Omnia te aduorsum spectantia, nulla retrorsum. And so much shall serue for disswasion.

CHAP. IV.
An humble Obtestation to the Hon. and Wor. Knights and Burgesses of the Parlia­ament when time may serue to re­medie this mischeife.

ANd now most worthie Patriots, let me ad­dresse my speech to you, that manage the grea­test affaires of this kingdome, and that not by way of oneration, but most lowly summission; May it please you seriously to consider this matter with me; and see wherein your seruice may be honourable to God▪ glorious to your selues, comfortable to the Church, and profitable to your countrie. It is no new thing for vs to complaine, or for you to heare of the mischeifes of church-wormes: for sacriledge [Page 148] doth deserue to heare of his doings, hauing been often delated, bound ouer, scourged, branded for in­corrigible, and condemned for felonie against God and man; but yet he findeth such friends among those of the bench, that he is still repriued, and ei­ther pardoned his fault, or kept vnexecuted; by which meanes he still breaks out againe, and I know not whether more efferated by former attatchings, or animated by his often dischargings, he euer ram­peth more feircely then before, and threatneth his accusers, to ruine all that is holy. To you therefore doth the poore mangled and menaced Church of this renowned Island, in suppliant manner hold vp her hands: from you she looketh, shee chalengeth, shee deserueth supportance. Among you shee is as­sured she hath very manie in whom she is more then ordinarily interessed, as who are risen by her fostering, growne great by her fauours, and euen slie with her feathers: therefore to you she sues, and if she could be vnderstood, she would thus complain, and thus intreat;

Alas my sonnes; and are these the rewards you render your mother, for her paines in bearing, and her patience in rearing so noble spirits, and worthie wits, both formerly not without sore trauell and in­terruption; and lastly, for 60. yeeres together with­out stop or intermission; to thinke you are not well sed with my milke, except you drawe my blood also? What meanes those old dismembrings, these newe detractings, enuyous pryings, odious beggings, sad disputings, sauage incroachings vpon me and my [Page 149] small indowments? What good will these small re­mainds of my dowry doe you? what pleasure will my vndoing breed you? if this little estate that is left, make you rich and me poore, you great and mee small, what will be the end of such gaines? Is hauing growne so toothsome to you, that you make no care from whence it commeth? is holy demeanes so wholesome a dish, that you will contend who shall do most harme? is temporall riches so necessary for you, that you feare not to make it vp with the spoile of spirituall? are your sonnes so deere vnto you, that they must be raised with the ruine of your fathers? Cannot you be indulgent parents, except you bee vnnaturall, impious, sacrilegious children? are you so smally beholden for meanes vnto your father, that you must breake in and rob your mother? or is it my conniuence at former wrongs, that makes you pre­sume to wrong me more? Grow you wearie now of your mothers blessing? do you enuie her beeing? de­sire her cursing? If it be so, my sonnes, that you wil either sell me at home, or send me abroad, yet giue me my dowry that I brought you with me, my peace I haue procured you, my plenty wherewith I haue crowned you, my treasures that I haue caused you, and the millions of good things wherewith I haue blessed you. Woe is me, that I am growne so vnfa­uourie to be hated, so vgly to be abhorred, so barren to be reiected, so decrepite to be scorned, and that of mine owne cradle. Is a step-mother become so louely, or an empty house so handsome, that I am driuen away for an other to haue my roome? Alas [Page 150] my sonnes, I will say what I see, the lickerish looke after my poore estate, shewes too great to your gree­die eies; the deceitfull lustre of a painted beautie be­witcheth your lasciuious eies, as you thinke to enioy, as I know to indure her glorious beautie in glorious tyrannie; who if she comes in, will not onely fetch backe all that was mine, but also fetch in all that is yours. Remember this, but whom you dishonour, and whom you please: did not the enemie triumph inough before, while you vnripped the seamlesse coat, but you must yeeld them more content by di­stressing me their hatefull opposite? What meane you to doe? remember but to whom you do it, and doe your will; to one that vpholdeth the scepter, maintaineth you, secureth all you haue: they are my seruitours that stead you, my Priests that blesse you, my ministers that profit you, who cause your God to be obeyed, your gouernours honoured, your people informed, your country renowmed, and your hap­pinesse continued. Who watch for your soules but they? who wake for your safetie but they? who avert your imminent iudgements but they? who procures your eminent blessings but they? Grieue nor, O grieue not their soules by grudging them their lines: if you once driue them from their station, or dis­courage them in their function, you shall be ingrate­full in grieuing them, impious in expelling them, miserable in missing them. If I haue not been bar­ren or abortiue in my breeding, nor defectiue in my fostering, nor illiberall in my louing you; be nor in­grate to them, vnkind to me, auerse from God. If I [Page 151] haue interest in your loues, or part in your liues, or portion in your hopes, by the father that begat you, by the wombe that bare you, by the breasts that suc­led you, by whatsoeuer of mine hath been deare vn­to you, I will and commaund you, I intreat and be­seech you, I binde and adiure you, not to suffer your mother any more to be dishonoured, not to let your fathers any more be impouerished, not to suffer your soules any more to be deceiued, nor your hands with holy pillage to be defiled, nor your hopes of euerla­sting blisse to be euacuated: so shall God euen your Father blesse you, the Sonne receiue you, the holy Spirit comfort you, the holy Angels obserue you, my armes imbrace you, and all the companie of hea­uenly Saints serue you: so shall the iudgements that hang ouer your head passe by you, the euills that are gone out escape you, the deuills that now smite not hurt you, and hell that now gapeth not deuoure you: so shall your pollitie stand vnconquered, your fami­lies bee continued, your candlesticke vnremooued, your God appeased, your soules saued, and all your holy wishes most happily accomplished.

If the Church the mother of vs all could be heard or vnderstood thus to speake, and thus to plead; what could ye answear, what Apologie would you make, or excuse pretend to her as affectionate as iust complaint? but now not onely shee, but I am well assured God himselfe in the greiuances of his Mini­sters doth say the same with a more audible voice, & more reall effect: that God I say, whose houses ye haue suffered not to be robbed onely, but ruined al­so, [Page 152] his reuenews diminished, his Churches demo­lished, his donations alienated, his holy things vsur­ped, his portions interuerted, and his worship dishal­lowed.

All the world till late daies, thought the Church the safest sanctuarie to repose their treasures in, their wealth, their good works; but now the poorest cot­tage is farre safer then the strongest Cathedrall. Then it was thought as great an immunity to the de­ponent, as honestie and honor to the recipient: now the Orphan is iniured, the widow wronged, the fa­ther discouraged, the Sanctuarie prophaned, and the [...]ot [...]en.Priest of all other auoided. I read what time the ci­tie of Ephesus was beleaguered with a long and dan­gerous seige, and the inhabitants with doubts of warre daunted, the gouernour gaue this aduise, to tie the walls and gates of the citie with ropes and cables to the Temple of their Goddesse; to the ende that when all they had were so peculiarly surrendred vnto their Deities patronage, it should not onely be impious, but sacrilegious to the enemie to attempt that which was now sacred. Oh, what is become of auncient holines, that haue now inuerted the me­thod of true security, when we do not annexe our chests to Churches, but incorporate the holiest of Churches to our priuate chests and patrimonies!

Sigeber. Iustinian the second, hauing a great desire to plucke downe a Church in the citie of Constantinople that stood in his light, fast ioyning to the Pallace, that in the roome thereof he might erect a Tarras for the people to see and receiue the Emperour, intreated [Page 153] Callimacus then Patriarke to perswade the people that it was neither displeasing to God, nor offensiue to any, to conuert Churches to other vses, as those had done that had ouerthrowne the heathen tem­ples, and disposed of them otherwise. To whom the holy Archbishop made this replie, Sir, God forbid, that euer I should vse my tongue in perswading men to pull downe Churches, who haue neede to incite them all I can to build more. True it is, this re­quest and this repulse prooued fatall to both: for the Emperour bearing splene to the Patriarke for this, the Patriark ioyned with Leontius to depose Iustini­an; and Iustinian after much hurly burly recouering the diademe, first blinded, then banished the Patri­ark. It is too wel known with what animositie S. Am­brose resisted Theodosius in like case, which elswhere remembring, he vseth these words: Meministis ipsi, Offic 2. 24. quoties aduersus regales impetus pro viduarum imò om­nium depositis certamen subierimus: You remember how often I haue been put to my plunges, in the be­halfe of the Churches, the common banke of the widowes and all the word, against the great assaults and impetitions of the Emperour. The like he recor­deth of another, whom he calleth Episcopus Vicinen­sis. Oh that there were the like spirit in our moderne Bishops, in your honorable Senators, that when any sacrilegious bill, or mercenarie tongue shal rise vp to perswade to like dishonourable courses, he may by your learned speaker, or religious members, be qua­shed, silenced, committed. Howeuer you shall please to humour any in like sute, may it please you out of [Page 154] the greatnes of your place, and seriousnes of your imployments to consider your priuate estates, your houses honour, your Empires glorie, your Sauiours worship, nequid Ecclesia detrimenti capiat: For further perswasion hereof vouchsafe to heare this whole­some aduise, which though for the author ye are to repudiate, yet because it is an Oracle, not to calum­niate.

M. A [...]el. What time Camillus was banished to Capua, and the French vnder Bremus were possessed of Rome, L. Clarius the Consull was sent by the Senate to A­pollo Delphicus, to demaund counsell what they might doe; where he remained 40. daies together in hum­ble supplication before the shrine, without once being heard or vouchsafed answeare: and so after 6. weekes expence of time, and losse of much treasure he returned as he came: Then the Senate, thought it good to send the Priests, out of euery Temple in Rome two, who ariuing there, were presently an­sweared in this manner; Maruell not yee Romanes, that I haue thus long refused to answeare: for foo­lish people vse neuer to seeke to God, till men doe saile them; but therefore doth God refuse to coun­sell such in their extremitie, because they neuer come at them but in extremitie. Take this of me, ne­uer leaue God to flie to men; for it more auaileth to hold league with God, then loue with all the men a­liue; be warie how you offend God, for he can da­mage you more then men can doe: God forgets not men, except he be much and oft forgot of them; and therefore suffereth he them to persecute one ano­ther, [Page 155] because they all ioyne to persecute him or his: if then if you will looke to haue him fauourable to you in time of warre, you must be sure to serue him in the time of peace: and know this, that extreame chastisements, are for extreame sinnes. These are the Mementoes I send to the Romans: and as to L. Clarius, I vouchsafed to make no answer to so euill a messenger: for take this from me, and if you find my counsell ill, then take no more: In forren ambassa­ges send alwaeis your most eloquent Orators, in Se­nate at home put alwaies the wisest men, your wars abroad commit alwaies to the most valiant Com­manders, and in the negotiations of god, put al­waies the most innocent Priests: for god will neuer appease his iust ire against vniust actions, but if your solicitours be most holy and righteous. As for the French, they cannot be driuen from Rome, till Ca­millus and all the guiltlesse citizens that are now in banishment are recalled home: these wars doe but warne you of your offences past; for looke what euil wicked men doe to the good in diuerse dayes, by o­ther as euill they shall be sure to bee repaid in one.

This was the answer which Apollo gaue the Fla­mines that were sent vnto him; an answer to say no more, that might haue befitted a farre better author; but it is not speaking, but doing that saues; wherein we haue the start of the wisest Atheist or Deuil in the world. Consider, I beseech you of the matter, and apply it if you please.

To conclude, as they recommended all their State to the wisedome and prouidence of their Senate, so [Page 156] doe wee the poore and despised Ministers of this Kingdome, in the behalfe of the Church, recom­mend the care of God and his Gospel to your wise­doms and deuotions our Consuls and Senators: not as finding defect in your diligence; but as he,

Qui monet vt facias quod iam facis, ipse monendo.
Laudat & hortatu, comprobat acta suo.

And so in all humble dutie recommending your consultations to the spirit of wisedome, and the great Counsellour, and your liues and spirits to the God of spirits and life, I ende.

CHAP. V.
Consolation to my Reuerend Fathers and Bre­thren of the Clergie, against the iniu­ries of the times.

MY Honoured Lords, Reuerend Brethen, and beloued fellow-labourers in the Gospel of God: Considering the daily and dangerous in iu­stice which the world doth practise vpō the Church, I need not tell you that the same doth concerne all you, that are the deputies of God in this case, as from God to men in matters of grace and internall bene­diction, so of men to God for temporall tribute, and thankefull retaliation. If then we finde our charges ingrate, our Superiours sinistrous, our neighbours iniurious, our auditors sacrilegious, not respecting our labours, nor requiting our cares; neither reue­rencing our persons, nor abstaining from our pensi­ons; [Page 157] what remaines for vs to be done, but to descend into our selues, and examine our consciences in the sight of God and his holy Angels, whether it be the guerdon of our sinnes, or the gaging of our graces, which he lookes should be reall and eminent in vs. And albeit we must truely agnize that such vsages are the portion of our cup, and the inheritance of our profession, which our Master hath left vnto vs; yet it cannot be denied, but we shall finde sufficient cause within our selues, to ascribe the same to our deserts and aberrations.

Pet. Mart. It is written in the late histories of the Indian peo­ple, that if they finde in their Temples and Sacraries of their superstitions, any horrid or abhorred crea­tures, as owles, or backs, or toads, or serpents, which men account as hatefull and ominous, they dispose themselues to all the shewes of humilitie, that their holiest ceremonies can declare, to expiate the anger of their displeased Zemes and furious Deities, which they hold presaged by such impurities. The like I take it are we to doe, and make collection of these vnclean vermine in the sanctuaries of God, that God is most highly offended with vs, and that these im­pure monsters, and prodigious Harpies doe really prognosticate the threats of heauen, as to the whole land in generall, so to vs of the holy ministerie in particular, whose the Temple is, and the signes por­tended there more peculiar appropriate to our cal­ling.

Wherefore we shall doe well to search and diue into the true reason, and howsoeuer their creeping [Page 158] in or sculking vnder some groundsell or threshold, makes them nothing the holier, but helps their dam­nation as desperate hypocrites, yet the desert is from our selues: so that as we denounce his iudgements to them, so are we to descrie his iustice to vs, so to suffer vs to loose our reuerence and rights, that are fallen a­way from his feare, honouring our selues more then his Sonne, more respecting our riches then our reli­gion, and more caring for gold then wee doe for God.

I beseech you then, right reuerend and renowned Fathers and Brethren, giue me leaue with a light finger, if not to lance this sore, yet not blanch the search: for I take it it is no dead flesh that needs any boisterous rifling, but tender and sensible to iudure the ransacking, nec vt verenda retegam, sed vt in vere­cunda confutem, as sweet S. Bernard; rather with Sem to awake your drowsinesse, then with Cham to di­splay your nakednesse.

First then I feare, it may by some be thought, that your ambition, my Honoured Lords hath excited these Harpies of state, whereby you haue laid open your chests to their rauening hands, and your Chur­ches to their irreligious hearts. Or it may bee you the Canons and Prebends of the greater Churches, that are either couetous, or vmbratilous, or poly­pragmonous: or you my brethren and fellows in the countrie, partly schismatical, partly symoniacal, men seditious or scandalous, more frequenting the palace then the pulpit, and more soliciting the hall with sutes, then heauen with Saints; that haue opened the [Page 159] mouthes of these cursing Shemeis, and rayling Rab­sake [...]s, and strengthened the hand of sacrilegious Achans, and irreligious Atheists. Or it may bee as euerie one seuerally, so all combinedly haue sinned, and committed something preiudiciously to our persons and patrimonies: As for example;

When a symonizing Scholler, agrees with a Ge­hezying Patron; and a Iudaizing Bishop, to make a diabolizing impropriation: or as Malmburiensis wri­teth of one halfe Bishop of Norwich: when there meetes in one indiuiduall, a Scholler, a Courtier, & a flatterer; a Symoniake, a Bishop, and a Pirat. How­euer it be, I would to God that our symonie, and po­licie, and idlenes, and couetousnesse, and absence, and silence, and basenesse and businesse, which hath drawne this miserie vpon vs with cords, and this mis­cheife with cart-ropes, were sifted and expiated as it ought, that God might see our humiliation, and the world our satisfaction.

Therefore we must take this as Gods most iust re­taliation; forasmuch as we haue let goe those grea­ter points of holinesse, mercie, iustice, faith, and faithfulnesse, it is but meete that wee should loose these diminitiues of mint, and anise, and commin: because we giue not God his due, other giue not ours to vs: this beeing the condition of our obligati­on, That they shall be honoured that honour him, and they 1. Sam. 2. 30. but little esteemed that despise him: and this is that which S. Augustine saith, Our inferiours both men and members, derie vs that obedience which we detaine in our places from God.

[Page 160] Magdeb. The historie of the renowned Bishop Amphilo­chius Bishop of Iconium, is well enough known, and the stratageme he vsed to the Emperour Theodosius, to shew him his error in the matter of the Arrians. The holy Bishop had solicited this Emperour to ex­pell the heretikes, that had as then too much fauour in the Empire, as some of their fellowes haue at this day with vs; but the Emperour out of his mildenes had forborne to doe it, as some other doe also now; so as by this conniuence they had almost mard all▪ whereupon the good Bishop was driuen to bethinke himselfe of some remedie, to awake the Emperour out of his dead sleepe: for which cause hauing with­in a while occasion to come to the Court to visit his highnesse, he found the young Emperour Arcadius (whom his Father had newly created to gouern with him) sitting in state together with the olde Empe­rour. The good Bishop made humble reuerence to the Emperour Theodosius, but to Arcadius did none at all. The olde Emperour thinking he had done it by ouersight, put him in minde to salute Arcadius al­so: the Bishop replied, it sufficed to honour him, and therefore needed not reuerence his sonne also. The Emperour now growing into choller at so high con­tempt, bad he should be carried out of the Court: whereupon the Bishop taking the opportunity, told the Emperour to this effect; And doe you, sir Em­perour, take the dishonour of your sonne so hainou­sly? then I beseech you consider, how God wil take it at your hands, to dishonour his Sonne. The Em­perour pawsing somewhat vpon his speech, and [Page 161] waighing the iustnesse of the reproofe, acknowled­ged his errour, and presently tooke order to auoide the Arrians out of the Empire.

Therefore who knowes whether God hath bid Shemei curse Dauid, or sends Senacherib to spoile Ie­rusalem: for as Achior speakes vnto the great Com­mander, If there be error in this people, or that they haue Iud. 5. 10.sinned against their God, then maiest thou goe vp, and o­uercome them: and as Zeres speakes, If wee haue begun Esth. 6. 14.to fall before them, it is to be feared we shall fall more: for they are Iewes: but if we shall repent vs of our sinnes, and resume our first loue, who knowes if he will returns Io [...]l 2. 1 [...].and leaue a blessing behind him, a meat offring and drinke offering to the Lord our God: therefore let the Priests and the Ministers of the Lord, weep betweene the porch and the altar, and say, Spare thy people, O Lord, and giue not thine inheritance a reproach, that the heathen may rule o­uer vs: so shall the Lord be iealous ouer his people, and re­store the yeeres that the locust hath eaten, the canker, the caterpillar, and the palmer-worme, euen the strong host which he sendeth among vs.

But in case for all this, that God shall thinke good to verefie that on vs, which was said of Christ by Iohn, Me oportet minui, illum autem crescere: yet let vs shew the world our Christian patience, and holy confidence, against their furie and falshood, that we serue not God for meed, as they obiect; but in the midst of malice, in the midst of penurie, in the midst of infamie, we will follow our leader without forsa­king our calling: Malus est miles, qui imperatorem ge­mens sequitur: he is but white-liuered, that followes [Page 162] armes but in faire weather.

The world hath been perswaded I feare me, too truly of too many, that schollers flie to the Ministe­rie, as malefactors doe to the Sanctuarie, for sinister and oblique respects; for imunitie, or impunitie, for ease or honour; as many of them that haue had ei­ther foolish or deformed, needie or vnthrifty chil­dren, such they set aside to weare the Ephod; and other doe gladly recount, how their ruined estates and forlorne hopes haue been wholly supported by the pillars of the Church, which otherwise had sunke in euerlasting vndoing: so making the Church their vltimum refugium, the shoot-anker of their fortune, and the bawd of their bankruptnes. Thus measuring others feete by their owne last, presume the same of our diuersions: now let them by our carriage be confuted, and giuen to know we had no Cynosura, but Sion, no collimation but conscience, no aime but Gods honour. And that if God shall please not onelie to touch vs, but to take all the rest from vs, and giue Satan sufferance, not onely to winnow, but to wast vs, yet we will be the same, and serue him still: this may be our comfort, that God dealeth no worse with vs; this our hope, he meanes no more harme vnto vs; this our harbinger, that he may call vs to a harder triall.

For haue we any assurance to fare better then our Fathers? any priuiledge of birth-right to sit safer then our brethren? we haue not yet resisted vnto blood, perhaps we must; therefore let vs not loue these things too much, lest we leaue better things [Page 163] for them▪ let this weane vs from the world, and teach vnto serue God in all weather.

As for our enemies and ouerthwart neighbours, let them not triumph in our tribulations; the fate of Babel, comes in next after the fall of Sion: now the time is, that iudgement must begin at Gods owne house: 1. Pet. [...]. 17.and if it first begin at vs, what shall the ende of them be that obey not the Gospel of God: and if the righteous be scarcely saued, where shall the vngodly and sinner appeare? wherefore let them that suffer, according to the will of God, commit the keeping of their soules to him in well-doing as vnto a faithfull Creator: for this is Gods vse, when he hath beaten his children sufficiently, he will cast the rod in the fire: and the Apostle saies, It is a mani­fest 2. Thess. 1 5.token of the righteous iudgemen of God, that ye may be accounted worthie of the Kingdome of God, for which also ye suffer: seeing it is a righteous thing with God, to recompence tribulation to them that trouble you, and to you that are troubled, rest with vs when the Lord Iesus shallbe reuealed from heauen, with his mightie Angels in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and obey not the Gospel of our Lord Iesus Christ: who shall­be punished with euerlasting destruction from the pre­sence of the Lord, and the glorie of his power, when he shall come to be glorified in his Saints, and to be admired of all that beleeue in that day.

CHAP. VI.
The conclusion: where are touched the fountaine and remedies of all this euill.

ANd now I feele my pen wearie with the chace of this noysome beast, I will sound a retrait and draw to end: so oft as I enter into the serious consi­deration of this sinne, and the great inconueniences that it hath and daily will deriue vnto the Church of God in this land, (as I often doe) I cannot but thinke of that word of Abner vpon the play of the 2. Sam. 2. 16.young men, shall the sword deuoure sor euer: knowest thou not it will be bitternes in the latter end? for seeing the dead sea, into which things must needs descend, in the farthest fall is nothing but atheisme and all man­ner of impietie, let vs a little looke vpward vnto the head, and search whether it may be stopt in the spring, or diuerted some other way.

The true cause then of all this ramping, and re­uelling against God and his holy Church is first, profanes; and seconly, couetousnesse; a verie con­tempt of heauen and all true happines, and a greedy desire to inglutte our selues with Esaus pottage, the commodities and emoluments of this present life.

For the first, if euer this land fall backe againe, by a fearfull recidiuation into the carnall impieties, and earthly sensualities of the Romish religion, as it is in a faire forwardnes vnles God preuent it, it will be by the meanes of our notorious Atheisme and fearfull [Page 165] Apostasie from the true feare of God, and care of all goodnes: for these are at least subordinate one to a­nother, if not identities: for they that will but looke into the manners of the moderne times, shall well perceiue that many that had escaped the Scylla of superstition, are againe verie dangerously beleague­red in the Caribdis of irreligion; teaching their hearts with Platoes Atheist, either that there is no God at all, or that he is not such for mercie or iustice as men are made beleeue, or at least that men may doe (as in too manie spirituall courts) buy out their heauie pennance with light commutements. To which purpose I call to minde a strange narrati­on of M. Greenham a zealous preacher sometime of our Church, of a certaine instable sinner, that at first had been a Papist, till ariuing at better reason, he found their fashions to come much short of their gawdie shewes: then turned he his tippet, and be­came Protestant, where he staid not long, by reason they shewed much coldnes in their profession: at last he separated, and was a Fami [...]st. Now whether it was he had not left himselfe any further choice, or took a better tast of their religion, there he fastened: now the first principle that they sought to instill into him was this, that there was no God. Now whe­ther it was the iust dereliction of God to punish his giddines; or the fatigation of a wandring spirit to purchase quietnes; or the correspondence of the maxime suting well with his wickednes; he drunke in this position verie greedily, and thereupon began to frame conclusions; If there be no God, then there [Page 166] is no heauen nor hell to reward mens actions: if nei­ther of these, what madnes is this to defraud my soule of certaine pleasures for vncertaine phantasies. This diabolicall collusion rather then conclusion, so far preuailed with him, that like some ignis fatuus, it car­ried him headlong into all manner of licentious downefalls: first for pleasure, to eating and drinking like another Euangelicall Epicure; then to maine­tain that charge, to robbing & stealing; and last of all, as the reward of such courses, to apprehending and hanging. Now at the place of his death, & the point of the last gaspe, he requested a stay, where confes­sing his whole manner of life, his wallowing in and out of all religions, his beginning in Papisme, his continuing by Protestisme, and his ending in Ana­baptisme, he deliuered these words; Now do I find at my death, the error of all my life: I was taught, and did beleeue there was no God: but here I finde the contrary, and that he is most iust to reward all wret­ched contemners; and so he ended the Catastrophe. I question not the truth of this storie, because I knew the reporter: I will not scholie vpon his volubilous expatiation, voluminous gradatiō, meritorious con­clusion. Let vs be afraid of these excentricall moti­ons, which the Prophet calleth Spiritum vertiginis, a spirituall giddines, whereby men wander in the la­byrinths [...] sim. 3. 6.of their owne leuities, like Pauls [...], euer learning, and neuer come to knowledge; and Col. 1. 23.let vs follow the Apostles Cubical station, continuing grounded and stablished in the faith, not beeing mooued a­way from the hope of the Gospel.

[Page 167] For the remedie then of this peccant humour, the counsell of the Philosopher is not amisse, to bend Arist. Ethic:the bough the contrarie way: for diseases lightly are cured with their contraries; as fulnes, with fa­sting, malice with mercie, auarice with almes, impi­etie or contempt of God, with an awfull feare of his greatnesse, a faithfull loue of his goodnesse: for hee will be honoured either à nobis, or de nobis, by religi­ous adoration, or dangerous direliction. Therefore if we serue him, he will serue vs; but if wee shall cast off all his feare, plucke downe his houses, mangle his inheritance, hinder his seruice, discourage, disho­nour, disanull his ministers and ministerie, hoe will leaue vs to the counsell of our owne hands, to make lust our law, and might our moderator, punishing impietie with incredulitie, and incredulitie with complete miserie, as he did our heathen auncestors, whom he gaue vp into a reprobate minde, to doe all Rom. 1. 30. such things as were not conuenient, beeing full of all vn­righteousnes, wickednes, couetousnes, maliciousnes: full of enuie, murder, deceit, debate, taking all things in the e­uill part; whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, doers of wrong, proud, boasters, inuenters of euill things, disobedi­ent to parents, without vnderstanding, couenant-breakers, without naturall affection, vnplacable, vnmercifull: God still punishing one sinne with another, till we come to that height, as to leaue our selues neither sinne to commit, nor place to repent; as all robbe-Gods doe.

2. The second maine well-spring of Sacriledge, is that root of all euill, Couetousnesse:▪quid non morta­lia [Page 168] pectora cogit Auri sacra fames—the world now a­dayes doth build their worth vpon nothing but wealth, and their whole reputation vpon that false position, tantum sumus (not quantum scimus, but) quantum possidemus: acknowledging no Dietie but Pluto, and no God but gaine; framing to themselues not heauenly, but hellish felicities: for he that knew them better then wee, called riches thornes; now thornes we know, though at the spring they shewe faire with their greene leaues and white blossomes, yet are they but thornes, and he that toucheth them, except he be better armed, shall feele their prickles; 1. Tim. 6. 9.so doe riches: for they that will be rich fall into tentati­ons and snares, and into many foolish and noysome lusts, which drowne men in perdition and destruction: for the loue of money is the root of all euill: which while some haue lusted after, they haue erred from the the faith, and peirced themselues through with many sorrowes.

sanct. Take one example, in stead of a Comment vpon Pauls text, of Mauritius the Emperour, adopted by Tyberius the second to succeed in the Empire: Hee at the beginning was an excellent and fortunate Prince, subduing and vanquishing the enemies of the Empire, with great applause and admiration, as the Armenians, Persians, Scythians, Lumbards, and Hunnes, and many worthy exploits besides, with much praise and commendation: but in the end be­ing mightily transported with filthy auarice, he ad­dicted himselfe to no other thing but scraping and hoarding of money, and that by any fowle or base meanes whatsoeuer: for beside other sordide and di­shonourable [Page 169] courses, he fell to defraud his souldiers of their pay that serued in his warres, in countries far off, and weather verie grieuous: by which courses hauing lost the hearts of his men of warre, he recei­ued an exceeding great ouerthrowe, whereby a mightie multitude of Christians were taken priso­ners of the Barbarians, for whose ransome hee would not part with one pennie, albeit Caianus offered their redemption dog-cheape, (singulos captiuos, singulis nummis, saith my author) which nummus in gold was but 15s, in siluer 16 a peece; which rather then hee would part with, he suffered the Scythian to cut all their throates. Now see what miserie befell this mi­ser.

There was a certaine religious man, that in a pro­pheticall spirit ran through the streetes of Canstanti­nople halfe naked and mazed, that in the hearing of all the citie fore-spake that the Emperour should die a most bloodie death: whereupon the Emperour ha­uing verie hardly escaped with his life in a tumult that rose in the towne; comming to himselfe, and re­voluing in his minde his wretched courses, and how many thousand Christians hee had cast away by his horrible niggardize, and barbarous parsimonie, hee fell to great repentance, crauing with all earnestnes at the hands of God, all the vengeance that this life is capable of, so that he might be spared euerlasting torments: for which cause sending about his mes­sengers and presents to all the Churches through the Empire, and into the wildernesse and woods to the holy Monks, he desired to be recommended to [Page 170] God in all their deuotions, that he would be pleased to bee mercifull vnto him, and to punish his sinnes here, and not hereafter. Now while in great humi­litie he sued thus to God, he had a diuination or visi­on sent him in his sleepe, to this purpose: Hee see­med to be brought before the image of his Sauiour, which stood ouer the brasen gate of the pallace, with an infinite mul [...]irude of people round about him, and he in the midst. Then came a voice as it were from Christ, saying, Set me forth Mauritius; which bee­ing done, the Serieants and officers of the Assize brought him to the barre, where the Iudge with his owne mouth said thus vnto him, Say Mauricius, where wilt thou haue me punish thee for thy euill life, vpon the earth, or else in hell? to which questi­on he presently answered vpon his knees, Most mer­cifull Lord and iust auenger, in this world: with that the Lord commaunded, that he, and Constantina the Empresse, his sonnes, and all his linnage, should be committed ouer to Phocas a souldier in the armie. Now then so soone as hee awoke, he sent with all speed for Philippicus his sonne in lawe, whom he had long had in iealousie, as laying wait for his life and crowne, and crauing pardon for his suspition, he told him all his vision, and demaunded who that Phocas was, who made him answer, that he was a Lieftenant in the army, a deboshed young man, and an arrant coward: vpon which relation the Emperour con­cluded, that if he were such, nothing would satisfie him but his blood. Now for the further confirmati­on of this dreame, a blazing starre appeared, porten­ding [Page 171] the same euent. Againe, Magistranus his am­bassadour to the Churches returned to the Court, that had solicited his cause to the monasteries and ministers abroad, and from them all, returned this answer, That God had accepted of his repentance, and was pleased to saue his soule, but for his life and state the sentence would not be reuersed. All which things suting well together, Mauricius gaue most humble thankes to God, committing all things to the heauenly prouidence, and for the accomplish­ment of his fatall destinie, rested patiently in hourely expectance. Not long after, the souldiers now ly­ing in garrison, I know not whereupon, rose in mu­tinie, and crowned Phocas so often mentioned, to be Emperour; who presently addressing himselfe for Constantinople, and by sudden surprisall taking the citie, through the negligence of the warders, by the Patriarke and all the people was soone confirmed, some fewe excepted, who because Mauritius was yet liuing durst not assent, which Phocas had forgot: so presently hee goes to the palace, and searching for Mauritius, hee found him fled into a monasterie; whence plucking him out, and carrying out to Cal­cydon, they put him to cruell torments, killing his wife and his fiue sonnes before his face: during all whose death and his owne danger, hee did nothing but pray with great deuotion, euer repeating these words, iu [...]tus es domine, & recta iudiciatua, righteous art thou O Lord, & true are thy iudgements: and so most patiently commending his soule to God, he tooke his death. Thus farre the historie.

[Page 172] By which wee note the truth of the Scripture, which calls riches deceitfull things: for though they present, as I spake of the hawthorne, a faire lustre to the eie, and promise much happinesse to the heart; yet they are like the Apothecaries boxes, which are written vpon, Cordials, but are ranke poisons: for although pouertie is the vndoing of many, yet riches are the vndoing of farre more, as one saith. Where­fore our Sauiour directing his speech to the rich, Luk. 12. 15.saies thus, videte & cauete ab auaritia; see the effects, beware the danger. The world thinks gold is good Deut. 16. 19.for the eyes; and so saith Moses, to make men blind; and the blind, saith Christ, are in danger to fall into the ditch: therfore see and beware; the eie must shew, the feet must shun the danger: that is double, 1. for 1. Tim. 6. 9.this world, Temptations and snares, and foolish and noy­some lusts which drowne men in perdition and destruction: 2. for the other, whose god is their belly, and glory their Phil. 3. 20. shame, minding earthly things, their ende is damnation.

As the anguish, so is the antidote also double: 1. Heb. 13. 5. contentation: Let your conuersation bee without coue­tousnesse, and be content with that you haue. 2. depen­dance on his prouidence: he hath said, I will not faile thee nor forsake thee: so that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, I will not feare what man can do vnto me.

Let not any indent with God, or craue a bill of his hand; If I had so much, I would trust to Gods prouidence for the rest: for we must simply surren­der our selues vnto him. The readiest way to get the world, is to sacrifice it vnto God, as Abraham did his sonne. Salomon asked but wisdome, and had [Page 173] all other with it: happie if hee had also asked grace: But greedinesse is the portion of them that want godlinesse; therefore the Caribes and Sauages set their heart vpon the earth, because they haue no further hope in heauen. Doth God care for oxen, saith Paul? nothing like as he doth of his children: why then should his children care for oxen, or the earth more then for him? But here is a brow and wall of brasse, euer rebounding, and euer resoun­ding, non persuadebis etiamsi persuaseris, which God amend: and so I ende.

Let God be glorified.

Psalm. 83. Breifly paraphrased and scholied: wherein is declared the Vniuersall Conspira­cies of Gods enemies, for the vtter subuersion of the Church: with a propheticall imprecation or prediction of their fall.

A Song of Asaph] this Asaph was a Leuite, of the sonnes of Cohath, by Dauid made magister chori, to say, Deane of the Chappell, for his excellent skill in musique, but more excellent gift and eloquence in Theologie, as appeares by many Psalmes of his making, Psal. 50. and from 73. to 83. as was also his brother Heman, the pen man of some other: for which they were of great account and e­steeme in Court and Church.

The notation of his name (for all this Psalme through, he runnes vpon that figure) doth signifie the Congregation, and thereunto fitteth his inuen­tion in this place, wherin is descried the estate of the Church and Congregation of God.

The parts are 3 first the exordium or entrance v▪ 1. then a proposition against the enemies of the Church, 1. against their enuie, 2. Blasphemie against God himselfe: where is an enumeration of their names, and those nations that were of the league, from ver. 2. to 8. Lastly an imprecation or praier, 1. Touching the Church, that God would deliuer it from the force and furie of her enemies, as former­ly [Page 175] he had don in like impetitions. Which part is am­plified with a reason, because they seeke to ingrosse the inheritance of God, which pertaineth not vnto them, from 8. to 12. 2. Respecting the enemies, that God would defeat and confound them, as he best knowes. 3. Regarding God himselfe, that he would glorifie his glorious name, either in the con­uersion of them that sinne ignorantly, or subuersion, that sinne maliciously, &c.

vers. 1. Keep not thou silence O God, hold not thy peace, and be not still O God. The 70. and vulgar read it, who is like vnto thee? but the Hebrew yeeldeth not that sence, except the preposition el had been with it. This then is spoken [...], as men seeme to sit still, when they doe not succour their friends; so doth God, when he taketh not the defence of the Church vpon himselfe.

The note: God so long seemes to defer his help, while we stand as men amazed at our tribulation, and looke not vp to him: therefore if we would haue God to heare and help vs, we must importune him with our praiers, and peirce his eares with our cries. Againe, though God seemes to deferre his help, to exercise our patience and increase our zeale, and to let the wicked runne on till their sinnes be ripe, yet that is but to set an edge to our deuotion, and to pu­nish their security the more seuerely.

vers. 2. For loe, thine enemies make a noise, and they that hate thee lift vp their head:] Here he setteth downe the be­hauiour of Gods enemies like feirce and furious beasts, whose voice in proper, is not sermo but sonus, a [Page 176] murmure of brutishnes, no manner of manlines. The note, 1. it is not possible they should be men bea­ring Gods image, or children of the Church, or in­dewed with grace, that seeke to ruine Gods house and inheritance: but like S. Iudes [...], beasts without reason, corrupting themselues in those things they know by nature. 2. he calls the enemies of the Church the enemies of God, which is no small comfort to the godly, that they are so neere allied to him, as to haue communes amicos & inimicos, the same friends and enemies, opposites and participants. Such was his couenaut with the Father, and all the sons of faith, to blesse and curse those, that blesse and curse them.

vers. 3. They haue taken crafty counsell against thy people, & con­sulted against thy secret ones,] super populum tuum malig­nauerunt, saith the vulgar. The note, 1. the grudge and malice of the world, (which is truly Ecclesia ma­lignantium) is not of others desert, but their owne enuyous nature and odious rancour, whose swelling and stinging came from the old serpent, and doth reside in all the brood; which deadly feud will ne­uer Reuel 12. 7.end, till Michael cast out the Dragon, so that his place may be no more found in heauen.

2. God will in time asswage the furie of his ene­mies, the red dragon and his complices that now spit fire, and spew out floods of water against the wo­man, his Church and spouse.

3. His hidden or secret ones are such, as dwell vn­der the defence of the most high, and abide vnder the sha­dow of the Almightie: who howeuer they seeme to lie open to all incursion, yet are indeede safe-garded [Page 177] from reall harme in his secret pauilion, not onely from the strength of hands, but euen the strife of tongues of their most virulent ill willers.

vers. 4. They haue said, Come let vs cut them off from beeing a nation, that the name of Israel be no more remembred: These are those soni absoni, and [...], brutish noises and brabling resonings aboue mentioned, of men conspiring to dismantle Gods house, and de­populate his inheritance. The note, 1. the cause why the wicked are so inraged against the religion is this, that Sathan seekes with incessant malice to race it out, and therefore exciteth his deboshed instru­ments to warre against it: but their attempts are as friuolous, as their intents barbarous, by thinking to ouerthrow the counsel of God, on which the per­petuitie of the Church is grounded. 2. Persecution is not euer against the blood and life of Gods Saints, but against the meanes of life, the prouision of the profession: and surely those Neronian humours are lesse bloody then your Iulian rancours, who did, no­ua more expugnare Christianos, deuise a new kinde of persecution, by withdrawing their salaries and ex­hibitions.

vers. [...]. For they haue conspired against thee with one consent, and are confederate against thee:] Here are the holy leagues, the strong combinations, the mutuall con­spiracies of mightest Princes and people, bending their conioyned forces against the Church. Note 1. what armes, what ensignes, what preparations, what prouisions, what conscriptions, what proscriptions doth the Church of Rome at this day raise against [Page 178] the religion, and all to put out their name from vn­der heauen; yet the Iewes continued a nation, and Israel a people, when Moab and Ammon lay in the dust: therefore let vs in like concatenations of our enemies repaire to God, and we shall see Antichrist not onely disarmed, but dismembred; and heare Romes both deuiction and deuastation. True religi­on shall stand, when Popery, though all the world should vnderprop it, shall bee brought downe; Va­leat, vincat, regnet veritas. 2. Though they doe not in direct words bid battel to God, and set vp a flag of desiance against heauen, that rob the Church; yet because through his ministers sides they strike at his Maiestie, he makes himselfe a partie: for it is no hal­ting before him.

ver. 6. 7. 8. The tabernacle of Edom, and the Ismaelites; of Moab and the Hagaren [...]; Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalec, the Philistims, & the inhabitants of Tyre: Assur also is ioyned with them to help the children of Lot.] Here is a full con­gregation, enough to ouer-runne a world. Note, 1. It is fatall to the Church to haue all the world a­gainst her: for error and vice is euer more popular then truth and goodnes. 2. It is customarie, not one­ly to haue the forren enemie on our iacke, but also domesticke neighbours: no deuill to your familiar. 3. He reckons vp such enemies as bordered vpon lewry, whose names and notations shadowe out such enemies as shall euer endaunger the Church: as for example, 1. Edom, a redde (that is bloo­die) or earthie enemie. 2. Ismael, hearing and obeying his owne lusts. 3. Moab, of the father the deuill. 4. Agarens, strangers in affection and religion. [Page 179] 5. Gebal, the limits of extreamitie. 6. Ammon, a troubled or troublesome people. 7. Amalec, a licke­rish nation. 8. Philistims, drunken in pleasure. 9. Tyre, besiegers or procurers of trouble. 10. Asshur, an ey­ing and enuying, a conquering and domineering ad­uersarie. 11. The children of Lot, decliners and Apo­states. These are the names and natures, as Athana­sius & Augustin expound them, of our opposits. And thus much of their malice, and blasphemie: now followes their fortunes and miserie.

ver. 9. 10. 11. Doe vnto them as vnto the Madianits, to Sisera and Iabin at the brooke of Kison, who perished at Endor, and became as the doung of the earth: make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb, make all their Princes like Zebah and Salmana. This is the propheticall praier, Non votum sedprophetia, non maledictio sed praedictio. The note. 1. God doth most commonly deferre his help and deliuerance till the exigent and last cast, to the end his helpe may then bee more conspicuous, and his glorie more illustrious. 2. His former actions and deliuerances remembred and considered, will not a little serue to comfort our affliction, and giue hope and strength to our expectation. 3. As the former, so also these paint out our spirituall haters: of whom we reade in Iosua, chap. 4. 7. 8. 1. Midian, shifting or declining of iudgement. 2. Sisera, exclusion of ioy. 3. Iabin, fleshly wisedome. 4. Oreb, a crow for dilation of repentance. 5. Zceb, a wolfe for rauenous greedi­nes. 6. Zeba, a sacrifice. 7. Salmana, the shadow of com­motion. 8. Kishon, hardnes of heart. 9. Endor, the fountaine of earthly generation. Such were the men, and such were the places where they fell: but [Page 180] in what manner? they became as the doung of the earth: simus foecundat not propagat, it makes the ground fertill, it is not it selfe fruitfull: the examples of euill men are not euill.

vers. 12. Who haue said, Come let vs take the houses of God into our possessions] Here they declare themselues. Note: 1. Let worldlings pretend what shewes they please, they name deuotion, but meane de­uoration: it is not the good of the Church, but the goods of the Church that they seeke after. 2. Churches, Colledges, and houses of old dedication are called Gods, not for his residing in temples made with hands in proper sence, but because such places are dedicated to him, consecrated to his seruice, in­tended to his ministers, as officinae religionis, instru­menta pietatis, & deposita deuotionis. 3. As good hus­bands esteemes their houses and patrimonies, not suffring them to be ruined, or wrested from them, no more will God suffer his enemies to inuade his possessions, or vsurpe his inheritance: and therefore such things ought to be inuiolable and inappropri­able, to any other or any other end; for which cause let them looke vpon them that haue done the like, who they were, how they fared, where they misca­ried; they lined impiously, died desperatly, are re­membred infamously: foxes in their births, woolues in their life, asses in their death.

[...] 13. 14. 15. O my God, make them as a wheele, as the stubble before the winde, as the fire that burneth the wood: and as the flame setteth the mountaines on fire, so persecute them with thy tempest, and scare them with thy storme.] Answe­rable [Page 181] to the old cursed nations, he prayeth here, or prophecieth rather of the ende of the sacrilegious brood. Note.

First, seeing the pride, rage, and rapine of the e­nemie is so presumptuous, associating themselues so dangerously, conspiring our ruine so mischeiuously, assuring themselues of the spoile so confidently, wee haue no other hope but to haue recourse vnto our God, by the example of the auncient godly, by our sacred and serious supplications, desiring him to in­hibite them as he best can, and shall best please; for that their tumults cannot otherwise be tamed, nor their spirits charmed.

Secondly, many are the meanes that God can frustrate his foes by; sometime making them like a wheele, vnstable and vnconstant, deluding their fir­mest conclusions with variable resolutions▪ some­time like stubble, causing the matter of temptations to euaporate in fearefull transgressions: sometimes like wood, ouer-copious but euer fruitlesse: some­time like the mountaines, subliming their proiecti­ons into emptie eleuations: sometime dispersing with the stormes of his indignation, such stubborne humours as will admit no other impressions.

Thirdly, it is not for nothing that the Spirit doth accumulate so many words to the same purpose, as names of enemies, formes of ruine, similitudes of vengeance; but either to shew vs the vehemencie of the Saints affection, or the certentie and celerity of the aduersaries destruction; or else the pertinacie of their opposition; or lastly, the difficultie of the op­presseds consolation.

[Page 182] vers. 16. Fill their faces with shame, that they may seeke thy name, O Lord:] Hitherto of their ende to them­selues and vs: now as it respecteth the glorie of God. Note: 1. Many men by stripes and smaller iudge­ments, are sometime drawne to some confused and obscure knowledge of God, so that their consciences are conuinced that they haue sinned against heauen, to the ende that their truculencie, which is increased by impunitie, may be confined in some bonds of mediocritie. 2. We must make a difference of men that ioyne in the same sin, Limus vt hic durescit & hic vt cera liquescit, Vno eodem (que) igni: for some are feare­fully hardened, other are wholesomely shamed by one and the same iudgement. 3. But how is this, that his verie pesecutors doe seeke his name? did not Saul goe to Damascus a lyon, and returned to Ieru­salem a lambe? so are many laid prostrate, as he was, vpon their faces for conuersion, when other are cast downe too, but on their backs for confusion: but such as belong to Gods election, sic confunduntur vt placeant, sic pereunt vt permaneant.

vers. 17. Let them be confounded and troubled for euer, let them be put to shame and perish: the former vse concerned the corrigible sinner, this the indurate and repro­bate. Note. 1. All are not made of one mettall, nor created to one end; there are vessels of honour, and vessels of dishonour, there are none so desperate but may pertaine vnto election, none so demure, but may be of the reprobation; therefore Augustine praies, aut conuertantur vt redeant, aut confundantur vt percant. 2. Hardnes of heart is a fearfull sinne, and a [Page 183] fearefull signe: that is, such as Bernard writes, quod nec compunctione scinditur, nec pietate mollitur, nec moue­tur precibus, minis non credit, & flagellis duratur, which neither is pricked with sorrow, nor softned with loue, nor mooued with praiers, grows sturdier with menacings, and harder with chastenings: this is a symptome of finall desertion.

vers. 18. That they may know that thou whose name is Iehovah, art the most high ouer all the earth.] Hee endeth with that which is the ende of all, Gods glorie. Note: 1. Though contemners doe hate the light, and like the fish called of some Atramentarius, conceale them­selues in their owne suds; yet God will declare his glorie so in them or on them, that they shal, maugre their hearts, confesse the same, though they had ra­ther be ignorant of him.

2. God is knowne to excell all men, when he set­teth forth his wisedome, maiestie, and power, so palpably and plainely, that man with all his imagi­nations, can neither darken nor denie it. Which must serue to beat downe all our opposition and re­luctation against him, for as much as no policie can alter, no proiect resist that which hee hath decreed; and that is the vp holding of his Houses.

FINIS.

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