THE IUDGES SCRIPTVRE, OR, GODS CHARGE TO CHARGE-GIVERS. A Sermon Preached in St. Nicholas Church of Newcastle upon Tyne, before the Judges, Justices, and Gentlemen of the Towne and Countrey, at the Assises holden there the three and twentieth day of July. 1635.

By Francis Gray, Master of Arts, and one of the Preachers in the same Towne.

Yee shall doe no unrighteousnes in judgement. Lev. 19. 15.
Hee that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; hee that despiseth the gaine of oppression, that shaketh his hands from holding of Bribes, that stoppeth his eares from hearing of Blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing of evill, hee shall dwell on high, &c. Isai. 33. 15. 16.

LONDON, Printed for Robert Milbourne, and are to be sold at the signe of the Vnicorne neere to Fleet-bridge. 1636.

[Page] TO THE RIGHT WORSIPFVLL, Sir Peter Riddel, Knight and Maior; to Sir Thomas Riddel, Knight and Recorder; to Sir Lio­nell Maddison, Knight and Alderman, and to all the rest of his worthy Friends, the Worshipfull Aldermen:
As likewise to the Worshipfull, Mr. Leonard Carr, Sheriffe, and the other late Sheriffs of the Towne and County of Newcastle upon Tyne. FRAN: GRAY wisheth what is most worthy of wishing▪ Grace heere, and Glory heereafter.

RIght Worshipfull, and ever much respected Friends, I find it commanded under the Law, that hee who had not a Lambe to offer Levit. 5. 7. 11.in Sacrifice, was to offer two Turtle Doves, or two young Pigeons; and if his sufficiencie could not reach thereunto, then the tenth part of an Epha of Flower was accepted: And it is written of Licurgus, that hee injoyned the people to offer little Sacrifices to their Gods; For (saith hee) they respect more the inward Affe­ction, than the outward Action. What my hearts desire is, and ever hath been, to expresse my thankfulnesse to your Worships for your many favours, God who best knowes my heart, is by his all-seeing eye insighted therein; yet what to offer that might any way proportionate your Bounties no way having, presuming upon your accustomed courtesie, that you will not disdaine a small tribute of gratitude where a [Page] greater is denyed, I have here made hold to commend to you my Patrons, the Patronage of this my poore and small Labour, assuring my selfe that you will more tender the Authors inward Devotion▪ than his outward Oblation: Which, I present to your Worships, not after a Ceremoniall Submission, but as a Serious and Reall Testification of my bounde [...] Duty: The bashfulnesse of my Disposition, and just consciousnesse of mine owne unworthinesse, were just Remoraes to stay me in this bold attempt to come into pub­lick; Yet the due and daily experience that I have had, and now doe enjoy, of your kind acceptance, became a suf­ficient attractive to countervaile all other retractive dis­couragements. I doe hereby expect to come under the lash of rash Censure, yet had I rather be unjustly taxed by the Vncharitable, than continue ever guilty of that Capitall crime of Ingratitude. Affection, to you (as I doe most sin­cerely professe) not any desire of Ambition to my selfe was that, together with the motion of some friends which pric­ked mee forward to this rash enterprize: Let it have but what I heartily desire, Gods favour, your Worships accep­tance, the Reformation of such vices as therein are justly taxed, and the Practice of such duties as are therein pres­sed, together with the Readers favourable Construction, and then it hath all that either it can beg, or the Author can expect. And I justly hope, that what not long since found your well-liking after your attentive and judicious hea­rings, will not in so short a time meet with the poyson of many malignant tongues: However it fare with others, let it I beseech you, crave your Worships gracious eye of Pa­tronage. I need not to relate unto you in how many respects it is your owne, when in so many respects the Author con­fesseth himselfe to be yours▪ Receiving my Birth among [Page] you, my Education in part from you, & now for the present, the chiefest meanes of my Sustentation, under God▪ by you. But whilst I strive to expresse thankfulnesse, that I might not be judged basely to flatter, as knowing that the soūding out of your Praises is no such pleasing Musicke to your eares; Let this suffice that I Dedicate this my poore paines unto you, and I shall never cease to breath out my hearty prayers to God, the true Patron to us all, for your health and happi­nesse, as also for the Peace, Plenty, and Safety of that flou­rishing Corporation, wherein you are placed Magistrates; which that you may the better Governe, and execute the trust reposed in you, Give mee leave to say to you in the Apostles words, wherewith I will conclude: Let the Peace Coloss. 3. 15.of God rule in your hearts, to the which yee are called in one body, and be yee thankfull, and my love be with you all in Christ Iesus. Amen.

Your Worships in all due respects, to his power to bee commanded, FRANCIS GRAY.

PErlegi hanc Concionem, cui Titulus (The Iudges Scripture, &c.) in quâ nihil reperio sanae fidei, aut bonis moribus contrarium.

Tho: Weekes Episcopo Lond: Cap: Domest.

GODS CHARGE TO CHARGE-GIVERS.

PSAL. 2. VER. 10. the latter part.‘Be instructed, yee Iudges of the Earth.’

THis Verse and Text, (Right Honourable, Right Worshipfull, Worshipfull, and the rest Beloved) without Preface or Apolo­gie, are nothing else but Gods charge by his Prophet, to them who were to give a charge to others; and his holy direction to them, who under him were appointed to give both Correction and Direction unto others.

In the words be pleased, I beseech you to observe with me these three Generall Heads.

First, you are given to consider of the Persons dire­cted: Set downe by their Title, They are called Iudges.

Secondly, you are to take notice of their appellative Restriction, or restrictive Appellation; which, you may be pleased to call their Circuit, or place for the execu­tion of their Authority. In that they are called, Iudices terrae, Iudges of the Earth.

Thirdly, there is to be considered, the Direction, or Charge it selfe which is given; and that is, To be Instructed.

Be Instructed, yee Iudges of the Earth.

The Point then upon which we are first to enter, and by Gods assistance and your gentle patience to handle, [Page 2] is touching the persons directed, here in the Text, called Iudges. The Prophet David, having in some foregoing verses, spoken of the power and Majesty of the Son of God, & declared how able he is to take vengeance on all those who should dare to oppose him in his Sove­raigntie; Now fearing that he should chiefly meet with reluctance in Kings & Iudges, as if because they being Higher Powers, should chiefly presume to oppose the Highest of Powers: Or otherwise, well knowing of what force the silent Rhetorick of the Paternes of great Personages is, either in perswading to good, or in dis­swading from evill, he principally directs his speech to them, willing them to learne, and learning to know, and knowing, to acknowledge the Supremacie of the Son of God, and To serve the Lord in feare, as it follows in the beginning of the next verse, whereupon in the Conclusion wee must also touch.

I hope and presume, that I am not in the midst of a Masterlesse and lawlesse Anabaptisticall Auditory; a Sect, that with might aad maine strives to strike off the head of Government, and would frame the body of Men, like the body of Polyphemus, without an eye, or make it like the confused Chaos of old, that it be, Rudis indigesta (que) moles. So that I should need to stand much to prove the lawfulnes of Kings and Iudges, and how that there ought to be a Superiority amongst the Sons of Men. If I should go no further than the words here of the Prophet, we find God no way condemning them for being Kings and Iudges, neither doth hee wish and will them to leave these the places of their Dignity, but on­ly seeks to put them in mind of their Duty: Be wise now therefore O yee Kings, &c. How Lawfull and Laudable [Page 3] it is that there should be Kings and Iudges, Counsellors and Magistrates; yea, and how necessarily it stands with the good of the Common-wealth, Scripture confes­seth, and Experience confirmeth.

Whilst wee see God in the very first Creation of the World, observing order, and establishing a Superiority amongst his Creatures, willing The greater Light to rule Gen. 1. 16. the Day, and the lesser to governe the Night. And when hee comes to the Creation of Man, whom you may be pleased, as it were, to call the Master-piece of that his Divine Work-manship, Giving him command over the Gen. 1▪ 28. Birds of the ayre, the Beasts of the field, and Fishes of the Sea. Whilst we see Noah, a Commander in the Arke; A­braham, to be a chiefe President; Moses, to be a Ruler; Ioshua, to be his successour, both to persons and places; Samuel, to be a Iudge, to goe from yeare to yeare in Circuit, to Bethel, Gilgal, and Mizpeh, and to judge 1 Sam. 7. 16. 2 Chron. 19. Israel; David, Salomon, Iosia, and Iehoshaphat, to be Kings; who also gave his expresse command to his Iud­ges. Whilst wee behold our blessed Lord and Saviour JESVS CHRIST, no way overthrowing, but still see­king to establish Christian government, paying Tribute, bidding to give Caesar his due, and content to be brought before Pilate his Iudge; Paul also answering submis­sively before his Iudges & giving it in expresse charge, that Every soule should be subject to the Higher powers, to Rom. 13 [...]. Kings, and all that are in authority, and that not onely for feare, but for conscience sake; for that the powers which were, were ordained of God, the thrones▪ of heaven and earth being not contrary, but subordinate.

These, with many more instances which might be used, may serve to stop our mouthes, that wee doe not [Page 4] Vers. [...]. dare with those wicked ones, in St. Iudes time, To speak evill of Dignities, but humbly to acknowledge them to be the breathing Images of the most high God. If we cōpare the body Politick to the body Celestiall, there wee find an Hyerarchy; the Apostle therefore speaks Coloss. 1. 16.of Principalities and Powers, Dominions and Thrones; mention wee find made of Cherubins and Seraphins, Arch-angels and Angels: If to the body Astronomicall, 1 Cor. 15. 41.the same Apostle sheweth us, that One Star differeth from another in glory: If to the body Ecclesiasticall, you Ephes. 4. 11.have the same Apostle affirming, How that God hath gi­ven to some to be Prophets, some Apostles, some Evange­lists, and some Pastours and Teachers: If to the body Na­turall, there wee see all the members of the body to be guided by the governance of the head: If to a body Occonomicall, the Apostle sheweth us, and observa­tion may teach us, that as there be vessels of gold, and vessels of silver, so also, vessels of inferiour met­tall: If to the body Military or Martiall, if there were not Generalls, Captaines, and the like Officers to com­mand, as well as the common Souldier to obey, there were but small hope of victory: If to an hive of Bees, there this superiority is, Ipsius naturae thesis, the very in­stinct of Nature hath taught them to acknowledge a King, Et Rege incolumi mens omnibus una.

If likewise we shall resemble the Common wealth to a Ship, the Orator could tell us, that Alij sentinam hau­riunt, alij plumbum inijciunt, & alius clavam tenet, some are ready to pumpe, some to sound the depth by cast­ing in of the plummet, and some also to sit at the stern. If lastly, to an Instrument of Musicke, there we see the sweetest harmony to arise from differing notes. Thus [Page 5] in the Common wealth, God will have an higher and a lower; some to governe, and some to be governed; some to command, and some to be commanded. Vbi est [...], ibi est [...], want of Government causeth confusion, and equality breeds but contempt: where all will rule, there is no rule; where there is none to rule, there is all misrule: to rule, and to rule well, and to be well ruled is the very bond of humane society. God, we further know, hath set such a majestie in the face of lawfull authority, that it workes confusion, ma­ny times in the face of wickednes, to dare to approach nigh it: and if the visible powers were not often more praevalent with the Sonnes of men, than the invisible God, the world would soone be overrunne with out­rage: were not Authoritie ready to curb the insolencies of the stubbourne, what Incests, what bloodsheds, what lamentable outcries, and superlative degrees of impie­ty would not abound? and each day would appeare to be that last time, whereof the Apostle speaketh, Men 2 Tim. 3▪ 2, [...] to become heady, high-minded, truce-breakers, disobedient, without naturall affection: and every way guilty of the like enormities.

Kings and Iudges there then are, Kings and Iudges there ought to bee, the law of God proves it, and the good of the Common wealth approves of it; Iudges you are, and Iudges you are of God; you receive your warrant from God, as you receive your Commission from the King. It well becomes you to be most faithful to both: as you are of God, so in some sense, you are even called Gods. I am sure that your judgement is called the Lords judgement, Deut. 1. 17. And you are said, as Iehosaphat spoke to his Judges, to judge, not for [Page 6] man, but for the Lord; and the Lord hath promised to be with you in the judgement.

Behold then, and consider what a neere relation God hath to you; and you to God; what shall I then in the first place say, but as Gods Judges, to put on Gods courage, not to feare the face of men, to learne of God, not to have respect of persons in judgement. The pro­mise of Gods presence was that which gave boldnesse to Moses, to Iosua, and to many other godly governors. Doe as they did, and you may in some measure expect to partake of that favour which they found. Christian courage in the heart of a Judge or Magistrate, is that which helpes to put life into those Lawes, which are ready to languish for want of due and discreet execu­tion. What are men in Authoritie more sure to meet with, than distempered and refractory spirits, who hate to be reformed, and think that they may sinne without controule; and if ever sinne hath gotten head, and were countenanced both with might and multitude, surely now: and therefore, when more than now, doth it be­come Judges to bee men of courage? It was not with­out a misterie, that the steps to Salomons. Throne were supported by Lyons; what better might the Embleme or morall thereof bee, but to intimate, that a Lyon-like courage becomes such as sit in the Seat of Judicature and Judgement? And let it ever be esteemed an espe­ciall part of a Rulers honour, that he dare be just in pu­nishing, whilst others will be unjust in sinning; and that hee dare to vse his power, whilest they will dare to a­buse theirs. Iob that holy man may very well serve Iob▪ 29. 19.as a patterne to all godly Magistrates, who was able to affirme this of himselfe, that Hee did not stick to breake [Page 7] the jawes of the wicked, and to pull the prey out of their teeth. And why should not every Judge and Justice, having Gods assurance of assistance, arme himselfe with an holy obstinacy, and learne to preferre Iustice before the favour and frownes of the stoutest evill doer, becomming friends to all, as they become friends to Justice? yea, what more procures credit to Govern­ment, than the unpartiall execution of Authoritie, when great Offendors are forced to feele the smart of great offences? As God knowes no honour, no royaltie, no greatnesse in the matter of sinne: no more may his Deputies. Connivence at the rebellion of the Migh­ty, is that which cutts the very sinewes of a Common­wealth; neither doth any thing helpe to make Lawes more contemptible, than the making difference of Of­fendors, that small trespasses should bee punished, when great ones are permitted to ride in triumph: when that old Complaint comes againe to bee in pra­ctise, that the Lawes are made like unto Cobwebbs, wherein the lesser Flies are onely taken, and the grea­ter doe usually breake through, who will not dare at length to sweepe them downe.

The intention of the Law is an universall Reforma­tion; now the Magistrate hee is tearmed [...], a living Law; and how shall hee goe through in the in­different administration of Justice, unlesse that whilest hee puts on the place of a Magistrate, hee put off the person of a Friend, and goe right on, like the Sunne in the Zodiacke, with unresisted violence? Say not then when God, a good Conscience, a good Cause, and the Law tells you, that heere is Justice to be executed against a great person offending, as Salomons sluggard [Page 8] spake, There is a Lyon without: I shall incurre the dis­pleasure of some great personage. Let not the contents of Agefilaus letters bee too prevalent and powerfull, Si causa bona pro justitia, sin mala pro amicitia, utcunque parce; neither with Saul, goe about to spare the fattest of the spoyle for your owne advantage, but so strive to proceed, that all both great and small may know, that you beare not the Sword in vaine.

Againe in the second place, Iudges yee are; Gods owne mouth you see here honours you with this Title; now what doth more sympathize, or as I may so say, synonamize with Judges, than Justice? So that the very Title of Judges ought to be a continuall remembrancer of that vertue which should be a perpetuall companion of your places. What can be more peculiar to a Judge, than Justice? The Philosopher could ascribe this pro­perty to a Magistrate, that hee be [...], a preser­ver of that which is just; and Iethro, in that his Character of a good Ruler makes this one particular requisite, that they be Veraces, or as Iunius interprets the words, Rati­onē Exod. 18. 21. tantū veritatis habentes, according to the usual rea­ding, Men of Truth. Justice is so requisit in a Common­wealth, that it is not onely the Grace and Glory of it, but the very Foundation, and as it were, the Corner­stone thereof. Hence that old assertion, Tolle justitiam & quid sunt regna nisi magna latrocinea, The removall of Justice makes Kingdomes to become very Dens of Thieves. Now what is Justice I beseech you, according to the old Description, but a rendring to every man what is his due; So that it will well befit Judges and Ju­stices, ere that they can passe for currant maintainers of Justice, so to goe on with an even and equall hand, that [Page 9] Causes be ever rather heard to speak, than Persons: As you are not to exalt the proud Rich man, so neither to hate the poore Just man; as you are not to benefit for Affection, so neither to punish upon Passion; as you are not to do evill upon Malice, so neither to do good upon Covetousnesse; as you are not to permit evill to escape Vnpunished, so neither to let goodnesse to goe away Vnrewarded.

To hang up a multitude of silly Snakes, who are more than halfe dead before they come to dye, through hun­ger, and the noysome stench of a lamentable and base Prison, which I dare boldly say, is more fit for Swine, than for Christian Men; meaning thereby, the Coun­trey Jayle, a Grievance worthy of your Honours best Consideration, and due Reformation, wherein Gentle and Simple, both Male and Female, the Debtor and the Fellon are turned hand over head, in each respect so wofull, that no Minister dare without great hazzard ei­ther to his life or health, goe to offer in Charity, and to afford Comfort and Instruction to the persons condem­ned: I say, to trusse up onely such poore Pesants, Non habet victoria laudem, there is small praise in such Ju­stice: If in the meane time notorious Fellons and Out­lawes, the very bane and poyson of the Countrey, bee not brought in; for Justices and Gentlemen of the Countrey, to be both niggards of their paines and pur­ses, on that behalfe to doe good, the King and the coun­trey good service: If they shall be brought in, then for Witnesses and Jurors, partly by feare, partly by favour, and partly by bribes to be laid off; for composition of thefts, to be as common as the Thefts themselves; for mischievous Murders, that so crying a sinne; for every [Page 10] drop of innocent blood is not onely vocall, but impor­tunate with God for vengeance. For these to bee bu­ried, and through the greatnesse of friends to be smo­thered, for Incest, and Oppressions to walke with out-stretched neckes, and all the more Grand crimes of the place never so much as once to come into questi­on, this will denote that Iustice lyes a bleeding, this will prove an argument of gasping Iustice.

Right Honourable you are called Iudges, Right Wor­shipfull you are called and sworne to be Iustices, give, I beseech you, not me leave, but God, in whose place I stand here, as you your selves are shortly to sit else­where, to put you in minds of what God tells me doth become you: Hath God conferred these places of pre­heminence upon you? Non datur beneficium nisi propter officium, Dignity calls for and commandes duty, and to whom much is given, of them much shall be required. Know therefore that next to the prayers of the righte­ous there is no more acceptable sacrifice to God then the upright administration of Iustice, the blood of Ma­lefactours shed by lawfull authority, is no doubt plea­sing to the most high God: Governours doe even be­come guilty of those sinnes which they seeke not to reforme by Iustice: what better sight in any state then to see an impudent Malefactour ledd▪ to the place of deserved execution. There Death may perhapps seeme harsh to some, but we must learne of God to know, that there is as well a punishing mercy as a mercifull punish­ing, and cursed be that mercy that provokes to anger the God of mercy; It comes to far short God knowes of Iustice, when Magistrates shall dare to humour the peo­ple in their Sinnes, this is not with Moses to make up [Page 11] the gapp and breach betweene God and us, but to make it greater by connivence. Sinne we know is ready by every small approbation to take heart, but if authority once seeme to countenance it, and will not punish it through foolish pitty, it will soone learne to grow impu­dent. As therefore you tender Gods glory, your fideli­ty to your Soveraigne, the Countries peace, and your owne Comfort, suffer not, I beseech you, the great and outragious sinnes of these Northerne parts to passe with a bare giving of them in Charge, or to escape with a Slender reproofe. Thus to doe, is onely to shave that head, which deserves by Iustice to be cut off; this is like to a weake dosis that moves, but removes not the corrupt humours in the stomacke, it is a breach of Iu­stice not to proportionate the punishment according to the Sinne.

Againe give me leave yet once more to touch vpon your title: Such as are Iudges have there name from there office, nomen ab officio convenienter habent: Iudg­ges they are so called, for that it is there office to judge; now, who knowes not that Iudging doth imply a deli­berate action? So that it will be required that to right Iudging there goe along serious consideration, and mature deliberation, that nothing be done rashly, no­thing be effected▪ unadvisedly. And as you are Gods Iudges, it may well become you to learne this manner and Method of proceeding even from God himselfe, who in the Sentencing of sinners went no way pre­cipitately to worke: when our first Parents had sinned, GOD first enters into parley with them, ere that he give them their deserved Doome; so likewise hee examines and questions Cain before hee doth [Page 12] Gen. 18. 21. sentence him, and when the Sinnes of Sodom cryed loud for vengeance, I will goe downe, saith God, and see whether or no, they have done altogether according to Deut. 1. 17. their Cry: What God practiseth thus in himselfe, he gives in precepts to his Deputies, You shall not respect persons in Iudgement, butye shall heare both small and Great: So when Iehosophat comes to give direction to his Iudges, he wils them againe and againe to take heed what they did: the Poet could say thus much:

Ovid de Trist.
Iudicis officium est vt res ita tempora rerum querere.

To consider aright of matters, to poncer times and well to weigh all circumstances, well becomes a Iudge: Mature and grave deliberation, hath ever beene estee­med the Midwife to helpe to bring forth a good action; Temeritas judicis est calamitas innocentis, The Iudges te­merity proves the guiltlesse persons calamity, Et judi­cium temere darum, non tamest judicium, quam judicis vi­tium. An over hasty sentence, deserves an hasty repen­tance. The Graecians they placed Iustice betwixt Leo and Libra, and many are accustomed to protrature Ju­stice with a ballance in her handes, thereby intima­ting, that as men in the places of Iustice ought to be stout hearted, so they ought to Ballance all actions and causes; so that it cannot but much tend to a Iudges ho­nour, wisely to weigh and judiciously to ponder, and not postingly to passe by the poorest mans matter: watch­full diligence then will prove a vertue most sutable to Exod. 18 13.men in places of authority, like Moses, of whom it is said, that he sat from morning till evening to judge the peo­ple. He that is diligent in seeking after these dignities, but having attained vnto them, care not which way [Page 13] things goe, he is sicke of Caligula's disease, who was bo­nus servus, sed Dominus nequum; or as it was reported of Galba, that there was much rejoycing at his entrance, & the people thought that they had done a good dayes worke when they had made him Emperour, but he was not long in, till they began to change there note; for they found by wofull experience that they had mett with a carelesse and cruell governour. It is woefull when it is either with Magistrates or Ministers as Pope Vrban writ to a Prelate in his time very scoffingly, Mo­nacho fervido, Abbati calido, Episcopo vero tepido, & Archiepiscoposrigido, The higher in meanes, the worse for manners. There is then good hope, when Iudges, and all, in all places of precedency, can say with Adrian, Non mihi sed populo; or as it was affirmed of Caesar, Ipse se non habuit postquam mundus habere caepit Prinei­pem, When he became a Governour, hee ceased in a manner to be his owne. And happy sure that People, that Place, that Common-wealth, whose Rulers thinkes no time to long, no paines to great, nor no pa­tience too much, whereby they may glorifie God, and seeke the peoples good, in the appointed places of their dignity: who are so desirous to study the Arte of Go­vernment, that with Caesar they can bee content to di­vide the night, still reserving one part to ponder of the peoples peace and safety.

[...]. Homer Iliad.

It becomes not, (could the Greeke Poet say) a good Counsellour to be to great a sleeper. It is said of Aegi­silaus▪ that through his care of the publicke good, hee could scarse get time to be sicke. Right Honourable then, and Right Worshipfull, Hoc agite, minde chiefly [Page 14] that, to which you are now chiefly called, let your na­tures become answerable to your names, so shall wee have cause to blesse you, and to blesse God for you, to blesse the care of our gracious Soveraigne through you, and justly to thinke our selues blessed in you.

And thus from the first generall, we proceede in or­der unto the second; which is, to consider of the Ap­pellative restriction or Circuit, being here called, Iu­dices terrae, Iudges of the Earth.

Many may bee the reasons of this denomination, which the time, and your Honours weighty occasions will but permit to name. First, what is the subiect matter of your judgement, it is but the things of this Earth, Lands, Livings, Liberties, Lives, and the like, all ap­pertaining to the Earth, Quae supra vos nihil ad vos, the soules of men come not within the compasse of your judgement. Secondly, the place of your resi­dence and abode, the place also where you doe execute your office of Iudicature, it is the very Element of this Earth. Thirdly, those who are the proper object of your judgement, they are not Angels and Spirits, but mortall men, they are such as are but dust and earth. Fourthly, you your selues considered at the best, you are no more than a lumpe of Earth, Earth by creation, and to be Earth by corruption; he who was ready to call you Gods, was as ready in the next words to tell you, that you should dye like men. It was the voyce of God by his Prophet, commanded to bee proclaimed, Isai. 40. 6.That All flesh is grasse, and all the glory of man is as the flowre of the field. The supremest Monarke hath no more power to detaine his spirit in the houre of death, then the meanest member; Sicknesse, and all other the Har­bingers [Page 15] of death, as not afraid of their Crownes and Scep­ters, of their glorious roabes, and sumptuous array, dare without respect ceaze upon the very best of the Sonnes of men. You doe therefore beare those▪ En­signes of honour but in earthen vessels: Let not there­fore, I intreat you, the eminency of your places so transport you, as to blot out of your mindes the remem­brance of your Mortality, but let the assurance of death and of judgement after death, be as continuall Watch­bells▪ to will and to wish you to goe on with care and Conscience, with humility and meekenesse, that as it was said of Valentinian, so it may be said of you, the peo­ple knewe not whether they had Dominum, or Patrem, a Lord or a Father, with such a sweet awfulnesse did hee governe. Humility in the places and persons of autho­rity is a Virtue not more rare than commendable, and yet Saint Bernards rule is, that Quanto quisque est sub­limior, tanto debet esse humilior, The higher in Majesty, the humbler in mind; like the eare of Corne the fuller it is the more it stoupes. It was an excellent Com­mendation that St. Cyprian gave Aurelius and Celari­nus, In quantum gloria sublimes in tantum verecundia humiles fecit, donec nihil in honore sublimius, et nihil in humilitate submissius fuit. How much honour did ex­alte them, so much did Modesty humble them, that Meeknesse and Majesty met together, Greatnesse and Goodnesse kissed each other; in one word, you are but Judges of earth, you are dust and ashes, dust and ashes therefore be not proud. Againe in the Fifth place, you are called Iudges of the earth, and why so, but to confine you to your proper places, to put a difference and distinction betweene you and another Iudgd, whose [Page 16] jurisdiction is of a larger extent, in that he is, et cali et terre iudex, Judge both of Heaven and Earth, Judge of quicke and dead, and as Abraham spake, Iudex totius mundi: Shall not the Judge of all the world doe right. Gen▪ 18. 25. When man judgeth man, there is but earth judging earth, but when God comes to Iudge man, then there is Heaven judging earth, as hee is called 1 Tim. 6. 15.King of Kinges, and Lord of Lords, so also may he be entitled Iudge of Judges, and shall without respect of persons render to every man according to his workes: Coll. 4. 1.Wherefore as Saint Paul willed Masters to doe unto their servants that which was just and equall, remembring that they also had a Master in Heaven: So may it be said to Iudges to doe onely that which is just and equall to e­very man, remembring that they themselves have even a Iudge in heaven. Let not then gifts taken either by your selves, or servants, blind the eye of Iustice; if you doe, be sure that he who shall judge the Secrets of men by IESUS CHRIST, shall disclose them to your Eccles. 12. 14.shame, for He shall (saith Salomon) bring every worke to Iudgement with every secret thing, be it good or be it evel. Whilst the Psalmist calls you Gods, he would have you to be Gods for disposition, upright and just▪ withall, this title may imply that your Courts should be like Hea­ven, voyd of guile, and free from all injustice; nay more, it also wills, that your Attendants should be like unto Saints and Angels, innocent in respect of all cor­ruption. I wish therefore that both you & yours would say to corrupting Clients, as Simon Peter said to Simon Magus, You and your money perish. Bee of Samuels in­tegritie, and you may boldly speake with Samuels ala­critie. If therefore the poore, the fatherlesse and wi­dow [Page 17] shall repaire to your Gravities, as Noahs Dove did to the Arke for refuge, or as the Sparrowe is said to flie into Zenocrates his bosome, for shelter from the pursuing Hawke; oh doe not pocket up their Petitions without pitie, but strive with holy Iob, to bee eyes to the blinde, and to bee legges to the lame; cause, O cause the Widdowes heart to goe away dan­cing for joy.

And now in order it followes to proceed to the handling of the third and last Generall, which con­cernes the Direction it selfe, in these words, Bee in­structed; or as it is in the usuall reading, Bee learned: What more wholsome precept could the Prophet here give in charge to Judges, than to bee instructed. Nescitis, said one very well, quanta bellua sit imperium, Government is not such an easie taske as many make it, and as the most account of it. The right managing of Authoritie, and the swaying of the places of Supre­macie, is called by that ancient Father Greg. Nazian. orat. 1. [...], the Art of Arts, and the very Science of Sciences. And why so? First, for men in Authoritie to make their owne lives an Ex­position of that Law, whereof they are made to bee Magistrates, hic labor, hoc opus est; for by how much greater is the authoritie, by so much the more spitefull is the malignitie of that our mischievous enemie, who in the fall of one great one, seekes the foyle of many. Likewise, to bring to unitie a many-headed multitude so divided by Action, by Faction, and in Affection, how hard is it, unlesse that Governors be instructed, and so Wisdome be made to sit at the sterne of Government; that doubtfull matters may be decided, Controversies [Page 18] comprimized, Causes weighed, abuses respectively pu­nished, dangers prevented, Affaires managed, cunning conveyances brought to light, the falshood of the see­ming simple discovered, and that Justice bee sincerely executed. How stands it most requisite, that Kings bee wise, & that they be learned who are Iudges of the earth: It was therefore not without very good ground, that God Deut 1. 13.gave that in command to Moses to take Wisemen, men of vnderstanding and men knowne among their tribes, and to make such to be rulers over them. Learning and in­struction sutes so well with persons in places of emi­nency, Prov. 8 15. 16that we find Salomon, bringing in Wisdome thus speaking of herselfe, By me Kings raigne, and Princes doe decree justice. Pythagoras his position runs much in the same straine, Tum demum fore rempub: beatam, cum aut sapientes regere, aut reges sapere caepissent, then is there hope of happinesse to a common wealth when wisemen governe, or governors doe begin to become wise, wher­fore that which was Salomons prayer, may well suite with every superior, Cor intelligens da domine servo; Lord give unto thy servant an understanding heart.

But what instruction, what learning is it, that David here would have Kings to know, and Judges to obtaine? that he shewes immediately in the next verse, which is to serve the Lord with feare. For according to the Wise­mans assertion it is timor domini, that is, initium sapien­tiae, Prov. 9. 10. The feare of the Lord is the beginning of wisdome, Nay more, this serving of God in feare it is the tye and knot, the very ground-worke, of all true faithfullnesse betwixt God and man, betwixt soveraigne and subject, betwixt pastour and people, betwixt the Judge judge­ing, and such as are to be Judged by him. Remove but [Page 19] this, and you overthrow the building of goodnesse it selfe. Hence St, Bernard, Omne virtutum adificium illic [...] vergit in pracipitium, si timoris domini amiserit prosi­dium, banish Gods feare and give immediately possessi­on to all follyes: It was the ground of Abrahams feare, and that most iustly, to be slaine comming into Abime­lecks land, when he considered that there was not Timor Domini in terra, The feare of God was not in that Land. Gen. 20. 11▪And assuredly if Gods service and feare be cast behind our backes, farewell care and conscience, both in Magi­strate and Minister, farewell the true ground of good­nesse, even in all.

And to what chiefer cause can we ascribe the genera­lity of sinnes now among us, and swarming in this Nor­therne Climate, then the dayly blaspheming of Gods name, the continuall prophanation of his Sabbath, and other Holy-dayes, disloyall to Magistrates, disrespect of Ministers, Murders, Depopulations, Oppressions, Sur­fettings, Riots, Drunkennesse, dayly Thefts, and all the rabell of rebellious sinnes; but to this one corrupt Foun­taine, Men have not learned, and which is worse, they will not seeke to learne to serve the Lord with feare. It then becomes Judges, and all others, called to places or [...]ignity, first, and principally, to looke to this lesson, that with godly Ioshuathey may be able to say, I and my house Iosu. 24. 15. will serve the Lord; that as they are above others, so they may strive to goe before others in this, which will real­ly make them to be more glorious then others: Prepositi vita est subditorum regula, & quod facit faciendo jubet: Cyprian.Your carriages being Superiours, carries a commanding power along with it; whether it bee in vice or in ver­tue: your faults, as likewise ours of the Ministry, are [Page 20] like the Eclipses of the Sunne, which helpes to bring Detriment to these sublunary bodies: you are as the principle Wheels in a Clock, or as the Heart in the Body; and therefore, as He who hath called yee to these dignities is holy, so ought yee to bee holy in all manner of conversation.

But though this instruction of serving God in feare, begin at home, yet it must not end there; for it most neerly concernes such as are in high places, that they endeavour, to make their power to serve for the fur­therance of Gods true Religion and vertue, that men bee brought to serve the Lord with feare; this well learned, will teach what it is that we owe to you, and you to us, what wee both owe to our King, and what indeed we all owe to God: Feare God, and depart from evill (saith Salomon;) Gods feare is to sinne, as the bankes are to the raging waters of the Sea, to keepe 1. Pet. 2. 17.them within compasse: Feare God (saith the Apostle) and honour the King; the one helpes to bring on the other, for make Subiects truely religious, and make them all in all: wherefore it concernes Iudges, and all Christian Magistrates, that Ab Ione fit principium, that in the first place they have an eye to the honour and service of God, to be more tender, touching wrongs offered to God, his worship, and service, then to their owne particular persons: we dwell, and long may wee dwell under the guidance and government of a wise and religious King, who labours by all meanes, that Gods worship and service may be preserved, and his word may be purely preached. Your Honours are sent out as eyes to espy out offences, and to see to abuses: Be faithfull then to God, to your King, and bee true to [Page 21] Gods feare. Let the service of God bee as deare to you, as the aple of your eye, and be not respectlesse of his honour, who hath beene so respective of yours. And now, Right Honourable, good luck have you with your Honours, ride on, and my hearts desire shall ever be, that he who is one day, to come riding upon the wings of the wind, may ride on with you, to assist, to direct, and to encourage you in the seate of Iudica­ture and Iudgement; that you may so faithfully dis­charge the same, that the Countrey may have cause to blesse you, Posterity cause to praise you, the Wicked cause to feare you, the Righteous cause to commend you, the Magistrates about you cause to thanke you; we of the Ministery cause to pray for you, all cause to love you; your Prince at your returne cause to ap­prove of you, and the great Iudge of Heaven and Earth, in his due time, of his infinite mercy▪ cause to welcome you with that Ioyfull, Euge: Well done thou good and faithfull Servant, thou hast beene faithfull in a little, come and I will make thee Ruler over more, enter into thy Masters Ioy: Into the which joy, the Lord God in his appointed season, bring us all for his Sonne Christ Iesus sake, to whom, together with the blessed Trinity, bee ascribed, as is most due, all Honour and Glory, Praise, Power, Majesty, Might and Dominion, both now and for evermore,

Amen.

FINIS.

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