PSAL. 119. 90. ‘Tby Testimonies O God, are my meditation’


LONDON, Printed by ANNE GRIFFIN, and are to be sold by ANNE BOVLER, at the signe of the Ma­rigold, in Pauls Church-yard.



sweetest Influence: for by it, the feare which is due, to the greatnesse of your Majesty; is turned into a reverence of the Majesty of your vertues. With this reverence, I humbly pre­sent this Treatise, to your Royall hands: which though it informe you of nothing, you knew not before; yet it may put you in mind of something, you might else forget: and a good Remembrancer, is none of the mea­nest, amongst a Princes Officers: But leaving this high worke, to Apo­stolicall men of whom your Majesty hath many about you; and some, more eminent, as Pillars; I onely with low Zacheus, climb up into this Tree of Devotion: to make me in the contemplation of your vertues, the fit­ter to pray: that all the blessings on [Page] mount Gerizim, in this life; and in the next, all the blessings which Christ preached on the Mount; may be mul­tiplied upon your sacred Majesty, in your owne Person, and in your Po­steritie; in our most gracious Queene MARY; in our most hopefull Prince CHARLES; and in all the rest of your Majesties most royall Issue. Thus prayeth

Your Majesties most humble and prostrate Subject,


To my loving and learned friend, and sometime Compupil at Oxford, Sr. RICHARD BAKER, Knight.


I Conceive that you have beene pleased out of our ancient friend ship (which was first, and is ever best ele­mented in an Academy) and not out of any valuation of my poore judgement, to communicate with me your Devine Meditations upon the Lords Prayer in some severall sheetes which have given me a true taste of the whole. Wherein I must needs observe and much admire the very Character of your Stile, which seemeth unto mee to have not a little of the African Idea of St. Augustines age; full of sweet Rapture, [Page] and of researched Conceipts; nothing borrowed; nothing vulgar; and yet all flowing from you (I know not how) with a certaine equall facility. So as I see, your worldly troubles have beene but Pressing-yrons to your Heavenly cogi­tations. Good sir, let not any modesty of your nature; let not any obscurity of your fortune smother such an excellent imployment of your erudition and zeale: For, it is a worke of light, and not of darknesse. And thus wishing you long health that can use it so well: I remaine

Your poore Friend to love and serve you,


HE ARE O HEAVENS; HEAR­KEN Esa. 1.1. O EARTH; Our Saviour vouchsafes to be our Schoolemaster, and meaning to finish our Redemp­tion in his Death, by delivering us Heb. 2.9. from death, the effect of our sinne: He beginneth our redemption in his life, by deliveriug us from Ignorance, the cause of our Sinne. Wee were cre­ated in light by the Creator of light: but the Prince of Darkenesse came informing us, that our Lig [...]t was darkenesse: whose mistie perswasions making us, first, doubt of a truth; and then resolve of a false­hood: brought us in the end to that passe: that our Eyes indeed were opened; but our sight was ble­mished: wee saw more afterward, then we had done before; but wee saw worse afterward then wee did before. For, taking the Seducer for our leader; and not seeing our way, till seeing our selves out of our way; The Light which shined in us, as refused of us departed from us: so that, creeping now being our Esa. 59.10. best pace; and using, as it were our Hands for Eyes: wee could rather keepe our selves from falling in the wrong way; then give our selves direction, to returne unto the right. Clowded thus with Igno­rance; the Light came to visit us; and being thus strayed out of our way; the Way it selfe, descended Mal. 2.8. [Page 2] to direct us; that, if we be not, as disobedient audi­tours to Doctrine of obedience; as we were Obe­dient hearkners to Counsell of Disobedience: Hee will teach us to make advantage of our losse; and to climbe the higher by the Fall we have taken. Great was the losse, which in our selves wee sustained; and of all losse; the greatest, that we had lost the feeling Eph. 4.19. of our losses; and therefore very Divine was it re­quisite should be our repairer who, before he could restore to us the power of our sences, must qui [...]ken in us the sence of our weakenesse. Great was the dar [...]nesse, we had brought upon our selves; being become, not onely ignorant but dull: and therefore very heavenly was it needfull should be our instru­ctor; who before he should give us a lesson to learne, must give us an aptnesse whereby to learne. This being a worke of as high a valew as our Creation; could not be performed at a lower rate, then our redemption: and therefore, Hee which was above the Angels, and equall with God; brought himselfe beneath the Angels, and equall with man; that as to Gods infinite Iustice, there might be an infinite sa­tisfaction; so for our Fleshes infinite Offence, there might be in our Flesh an infinite desert. Thus sweet Iesu hast thou purchased to us, a Power of Accesse to the Throne of Grace: and thou hast purchased to thy Fph. 3.12. Heb 4.16. Heb. 8.9. [...]oh.16.14. selfe, a Throne of Grace, to h [...]ue power to say: Hitherto yee have asked nothing in my Name; Aske, and [...]eeshallre­ceive: and now, having given us a ri [...]ht to aske; thou heere instructest us, how to aske aright; least o­therwise wee have the Event foretold us by Saint Iames; Yee aske and receive not, because yee aske amisse. [...]. [Page 3] And indeede, None could so perfectly have infor­med us, how God must be prayed to; None could so well have taught us, how man must be prayed for, as Hee; who being God, as being th [...] Sonne of God; and Man, as being the Sonne of Woman; had both Colos. 2.3. the fulnesse of Wisedome dwelling in him; and the Temp­tations of the Flesh making assaults upon him. Certain­ly, O Lord, Thou wert not onely fittest: but one­ly fit to discharge this Office; being nothing agree­able for any to open his mouth against sinne; but for thee against whom sinnes mouth is stopped: and only agreeable for thee to teach us, what words to say to thy Everlasting Father; who art thy Fa­thers Everlasting Word. Often he gave eare, and Ier. 8.6. Deut. 1.45. Zach. 7.13. Ier. 11.11. Esa. 1.15. so foolish were wee, that we spake not: Often wee spake; and so offended was hee, that hee gave no eare: but so divinely hast thou performed thy of­fice of Mediation; making him, first Gracious to Heare; and now, us wise to speake: that being of­fended with all but Thee; He is Reconciled to all, in Colos. 1.20. Thee: and having through our transgressions (though never unmercifully just) as it were no use of his Mercy: he hath now, thorough thy satisfaction, (though never unjustly merciful) as it were no work for his Iustice.

O Immeasurable Bounty! there is not any thing so great but thou biddest us, to aske it: and not any Mat. 21.22. Esa. 51.16. thing we aske; but thou promisest us to grant it; and now, least wee should feare to aske; as not knowing how to aske: thou puttest words in our mouths; and framest an Oration for our Tongues: that wee can no longer doubt of the speeches accepting; since [Page 4] the Prince that must heare it, is the Oratour that did pen it: and seeing thou canst be no lesse graci­ous to the words of thy mouth when thou hearest them; then theu wert to the workes of thy hands when thou beheldest them; wee may bee assured, thou canst not chuse but say, It is exceeding good. Heare then, O Thou which hearest where no sound is, the sound of our soules sighing: and receive O mercifull Father, in thy Fatherly Mercy, the words which our tongues deliver, but our Hearts send: that seeing there comes nothing to thee from us; but what came from thee to us; thou maiest vouchsafe to heare, what thou art pleased wee should say; and contented to grant, what thou art willing we should aske.

If inquisitive thoughts; O my soule, shall curious­ly call in question: since spoken to God, why so much? Since spoken from man, why no more? say thus unto them: something to bee said is need­full, because from man, who is full of neede: much were superfluous; because to God, who knowes all, and yet, as (though never so short) his wisedome is such; it could not be obscure: so, (though never so long) his graciousnesse is such, it should not bee tedi­ous. With the length, or Elegancy of our Prayers; as hee is not wearied; so hee is not delighted: but Devotion is the length: and Faith is the Eloquence which while with perswasions they importune him; with importunity, they perswade him.

There is no set time appointed us, for the saying Luk. 18.1 it; as well, be cause no time is to God more gratefull as because, all times are for us, most needfull: It ne­ver [Page 5] comes out of season to him, with whom all sea­sons are present at once: It never goes out of time from us; who never want so much, that wee have need, to say more, nor ever want so little, that wee have cause to say lesse: like to the Israelites Omer of Manna; which, how much soever they gathered, Exod 16. 8. there was nothing over, and how little so ever, there was no want, But why thould we talke of set times, for the saying of that, which it seemes by St. Paul is to be sayd at all times? For Christ saith, When yee pray, 1 Thes. 15.17. say thus, and St. Paul saith, Pray continually. But what? shall our tongues never lie still? and must wee doe nothing else, but pray? Such indeed, were the Eu­chitae, who laboured to maintaine this opinion; but have the opinion of Hereticks for their labour. For, we may observe; St. Paul sayth not, Pray continual­ly with the Tongue; as though, that should never lie still: but Pray continually; meaning, with that part, which doth indeed, never lie still, unlesse we be still borne; and that is the heart: for, as the heart, is in a perpetuall spirituall motion; and if that once cease, we have no longer any life in our bodies: So it must be, in a perpetuall spirituall motion; for if that once cease, we have no longer any life in our soules. And think not this an impossible matter for, as the perpe­tuall corporall motion of the heart, is the ordinary worke of our Generation; so the perpetuall spir tu­all motion of the heart, is as ordinary a worke of our Regeneration. And this, was well figured in the old law; where, though they did not continually offer sacrifices; yet Fyre, was continually burning upon the Altar, and never went out: So, though we Levit 6. 12. [Page 6] doe not continually offer to God the calfes of our lips; yet the Fire of devotion, and spirituall fervency must continually be burning in our hearts, and never goe out.

But seeing God understandeth the heart, as well as the tongue; and heareth our thoughts, as well as our words: what use is there of our tongues at all? or what need we to say, any vocall Prayers? Yet there is great need, to use words also; and many Reasons, if not all of absolute necessity; yet all, of necessary con­gruity, to induce us to it. For, shall not words bee acceptable to him, who is himselfe the Word? God used words himselfe, in making the world for us; and will he not expect words from us, in making our Pe­titions to him? But this Reason, may be thought transcendent: we may therefore descend, and flie St. Pauls pitch, that, as he saith, The woman ought to cover her head, in the Church, because of the Angels, so we ought 1 Cor. 11. 10. to discover our thoughts by words, because of the Angels: for, Angels know not our thoughts; but they heare our words; and when they heare our tongues, they hope of our hearts; and in that hope, they re­joyce: & we shall do well, as much as we can, to give them cause of rejoycing: seeing they rejoyce at no cause so much, as at our well-doing. And if this reason still, be thought too high: we may take ano­ther, as much too low; that we shall doe well, to use vocall pravers: if it be out onely, to fright the devill. For, he sees not our hearts, but hee heares our tongues: and when he heares our words, because hee knowes not our hearts; he feares they come from our hearts, and in that feare he trembles: and we [Page 7] shall doe well, as much as we can; to keepe him un­der our Feare: seeing he endeavours, as much as he can, to bring us under his Power. But if these seeme rather, Collaterall benefits, then direct reasons, for using of vocall prayers: yet this reason is without exception, that we must therefore use them, because God himselfe requires them: as he saith by Ezechiel Ezekiel 36 37. to the Israelites, That he will be sought, and required of them, to performe his mercies to them: and how should they require it of him, but by their prayers? and the Prophet Hosea, to leave no place at all for doubt: delivers it in plaine termes: Takeunto you words, and Hosea 14. 3. returne unto the Lord, and say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so shall we render the calfes of our lips. For, our words are our calfes; and if we shall refuse to offer to God, our words in pray­ing; it is as much, as if in the old Law, they should have refused, to offer their calfes in sacri­ficing. And there seemes great reason for it. For, whereof is it fitter to make the sacrifice; then of that, for which we make the sacrifice? and ther­fore because our living bodies commit the sinne: Saint Paul would have us to offer up our Bodies, a living sacrifice: and seeing by words wee commit offences: It is fit that b [...] words we should seeke for­givenesse: and as the hands are not washed but by the hands: so the tongue is not cleansed but by the tongue. David praised God upon an Instrument of tenne strings: and hee would never have told how many strings there were: but that, no doubt, hee made use of them all: God hath giuen vs Bodies, as it were Instruments of many strings: and can wee [Page 8] thinke it Musick good enough for God to strike but one string? It is said, where two or three are ga­thered together in thy Name, thou wilt grant their requests: and we cannot make three, unlesse to our thoughts and actions we joyn our words: & therfore Dauid saith: As well the Singers, as the Players on Psal. 87.7. Instruments shall praise thee: that is, bo [...]h our tongus and our hands; meaning, both our words and deeds for, onely these two appeare to men, the other which is the Heart, appeares onely to God: and this not unfitly may be called Gods Consort: when the still sound of the Heart, by holy thoughts, and the shrill sound of the tongue, by godly words: and the lowd sound of the Hands by pious workes, doe all Psal. 10 [...].1. joyne, and are gathered together to make a Musick. Wherefore, O my soule, since thou hast so often said: O Lord open our lips, and our mouths shall shew forth thy Praise: Let others thinke it sufficient to thinke their Prayers: but doe thou keepe company with David, and say, my lips shall speake thy Praise, and my mouth shall entreate of thy word: and therefore Psal. 87.7. to be sure he would not be mistaken, he distingui­sheth them and saith; O God, my Heart is prepared, so is also my Tongue: I will sing and give praise. But above all, the Example of Christ, is peremptorie for it, who so commonly used words in praying: that his very words are often recorded: and that, not pray­ing in publike (where some misconceive, that words are onely necessary) but even in private and praying by himselfe alone.

And now O Lord, since thou hast framed us a Prayer: of which we are assured, that thou art plea­sed [Page 9] with the hearing it: gran [...] unto us, that we may be delighted with the saying it: & that our Zeale towards it, like true love, which groweth by the enjoying, may encrease by the practising; that the oftner we say it, the more we may love it: and the more we love it, the oftner we may say it; that whilst more meditation breeds more knowledg; and more knowledge, more love; more love may bring forth more delight; and more delight, more meditation. And whether our hearts b [...]e endyting a good matter, or whether our tongues be the Penne of a ready writer: whether our spirits cry to thee in silence: or whether our mouthes deliver a vocall message: Vouchsafe O Lord, to send unto us, as a token of thy gracious acceptance, the sweet blessing of a stedfast faith, least fayling in hope, we faile of our hope: and least doubtfully praying, we be certainely deni­ed: Iam. 1.6. for as much, as what our fayth presents not, thy mercy entertaines not, and as thou art infi­nitely trusty, being absolutely trusted: so dost thou certainly faile being once suspected: and as [...]elying on thy goodnesse, thou art better then ou [...] [...]ope; so mistrusting thy kindnesse, thou art worse then our feare.

In delivering to us this patterne of praying: Thou teachest us, first of all, To whom to pray; Considering, that as the marke is the shooters levell so the hearer, is the speakers marke: and that Prayers offred to a wrong power, are the great [...]st wrong that can bee offred to the right Power; so farre, from procuring blessings, that [Page 10] they are the next way, to draw downe curses. If there were any power in Heaven or in Earth, that could challenge a share with thee: thy Iu­stice, I know, is of too just a measure to take all to thy selfe: and if there were any, that could stand us instead, besides thy selfe alone: thy wise­dome, I am sure, is too infinite to have it hidden from thee, and thy kindnesse, too gracious, to keepe it hidden from us: and therefore, seeing thou tellest us, but of one, I assure my selfe, there is no more: and seeing, thou takest it all, to thy selfe alone; to thee alone, will I give it all. In thee only, is my confidence reposed; from thee onely is my happinesse expected: and therfore, to thee onely shall my vowes be payd, and my prayers be directed. When David saith, Whom have I in Heaven but thee? and I require non [...]in in Earth, besides thee: Doe we thinke he speakes it as though hee meant to be singular by himselfe, and that none else should say it but he: or doth he not speake it rather in the person of all the faithfull? and though there be in it a private zeale of himselfe: yet is there in it also, a publike Rule for us all: and lest he should bee thought to obtrude it to us, upon his bare word: he remembers himselfe, and in another place, gives this reason: For, thou h [...]arest prayer, therefore to thee shall all flesh come. Psal. 65.2. Thou hearest prayer, as able to heare it: and thou hearest prayer as willing to heare it: Not onely of us, not onely heere, not onely now, but of all persons, in all places, at all times, and all at once: which no power can doe, but onely his [Page 11] power who is Omnipotent, God, which is all power: which, no love will doe, but onely his love, whose love is his will: God, who is all love.

Thou hast poasted me over to no Deputy, for the hearing it, neither requirest that I should bring a spokesman, for the presenting it, but hast commanded me, to come my selfe: and to come to thee thy selfe. I cannot therefore rec [...]on the doing it presumption, but duty: the not do­ing it, humility, but injurie: and account the Publicanes behaviour, to be recorded, as well for our example, as for our learning: who, though he thought himselfe unworthy to lift up his eies to heaven; yet hee thought himselfe worthy Luk. 18.13. enough, to lift up his voice to God, and though the Pharisee were blamed for presenting his workes, yet the Publicane was not blamed for presenting his prayers himselfe to God.

It is the glory of Princes, to have titles to ex­presse their greatnesse: but it is thy glory, O God, to have a title to expresse thy love, and therefore thou hast given thy selfe a name, re­specting more the subject, then the Prince: and least it should bee too bigge for us; thou hast made it, too little for thy selfe. Thou wouldst not Psal. [...]4.10. say, King of glory, least as beggers we should be out of countenance at thy Majesty: nor Lord of Psal. 84.1. Hosts, least as enemies we should tremble at thy power; nor Iudge of the world, least as guilty we Psal. 94.2. should feare thy sentence: but thou callest thy selfe, our Father: the lowest name, that humility could descend unto, and yet the highest, that [Page 12] love could aspire unto; to give us as being thy children, as well courage to aske as assurance to speed: [...]nd to read us a lesson, as well of boldnesse to approach to thee, as in approaching to thee of reverence.

The deere bargaines, wherewith thou hast purchased this name, are evident tokens of the deere account, wherein thou holdest it: and it is an easie labour to finde, how much thou dost make of man; if we doe but looke how much thou didst labour to make man: for there went more, to Faciamus hominem, then to the making of all the world besides. And as thou didst shew more love by more labour, in thy creating us; so thou hast shewed more love by more cost, in thy redeeming us: for, thou gavest thy begot­ten sonne, to make us thine adopted sonnes, and wert contented he should call us Brother, to the end, we might call thee Father, and sentest him, of a message into hell, to provide us of a passage into heaven.

As thy mercy was infinite, of enemies to make us children; so thy bounty is immeasura­ble, of children to make u [...] heires: and though not all, heires in an equality; yet all, with so unpartiall a partition, that none shall have so much, to leave lesse for the rest; nor none shall have so little, to desire more from the other: None shall be so exalted, to envy others as meane: nor none shall be so meane, to envy o­thers as exalted; but every one to bee owner of so goodly an Inheritance, that to survay the [Page 13] greatnesse, we must have cleerer eyes: and to conceave the excellency, diviner hearts. Thou hast vouchsa [...]ed us the honour, to be thy chil­dren; Vouchsafe us the Grace also, to be thine obedient children; that as thou gloriest, in ex­pressing thy love to us, so we may glory in per­forming our du [...]ies to thee; and that, though our fore [...]athers gave thee cause, to repent thee of creating man; yet we their posterity, may give thee no cause to repent thee of adopting man.

But why say we, Our Father? as though this prayer, were made onely to be say'd in company? for if we say it, by our selves alone, what reason is there, to use the word of number? as though we meant to make God believe, that many of us come sutours to him at once; when it is none, but our selves alone. Or may we thinke, that Christ taught this prayer to his Di [...]iples, as they were together, and they being many, he was necessarily to use a word of number: but if he had taught it to one alone, he would have taught him to say, My father, and not Our Fa­ther? But is it not that prayer, and specially this prayer, is not a common, or rather is not a pri­vate speech; but must be said, as well in charity as in faith: and charity can abide no singular numbers; it is against her nature, to be without company; and company she will finde to joyne with her in pra [...]ing, th [...]ugh she say her prayers by her selfe alone. Indaed prayer without com­pany, is like Samy [...] Without his haire; it is not [Page 14] strong enough to breake the cords of sinne, with which we lie bound. And what is this company but the Communion of Saints? of whom, we have not alwaies the corporall presence, but al­waies the spirituall: and though they be often disioyned from us in place, yet are they alwaies joyned with us in love and charity: and to ex­presse this Communion, & to communicate this charity; we are justly commanded to say, Our Father: as, then our prayers being most effectu­all for our selves, when in them, we shew our selves most affectionate towards others. And as in our charity we desire, that God will heare our prayers in behalfe of others: So in our hope, we may expect, that God will heare the prayers of others, in behalfe of us: and then, doe but con­sider the benefit of this word, how infinitely by it, our charity returnes multiplyed unto us: for when we say, Our Father, including our brethren: Our brethren, that is, the whole Church saies, Our father, and includes us. Let no man therefore presume to come to God, with saying, My father, as though he meant to engrosse God to himselfe, and to enioy him alone: but let us in commu­nion of Saints, say Our Father; that praying as we are taught, we may be heard as we are pro­mised.

And as we have this reason, out of the bond of love to draw us: so we have a stronger reason, out of the bond of necessity, to compell us to say, Our Father: for as charity will not be with­out her fellowes: so faith cannot be without her [Page 15] Master, and this Master is Christ, whom we must take along with us in our prayer: or else all praying will be in vaine. For we are not na­turally the children of God: God knowes we are farre from it: we are all by nature, the children of wrath: Christ onely is his naturall sonne: and it is a naturall sonne onely, that hath right, ori­ginally to say Father: Adopted sonnes have their right, but derived from him: We therefore, that are onely adopted in Christ, have no right to call God Father, but onely in Christ: and as in him we have received the honour of our adop­tion: so from him, we learne the use of our adop­tion; for as he hath made us to become children, so he teacheth us, what becomes us to doe as chil­dren; that if we will obtaine any thing at Gods hands, we must aske it in his Name, in whom we are adopted and made children: and where, in all this prayer (in which we aske all things) doe we aske any thing in Christs name, but one­ly in these words, by saying, Our Father? for if we come with saying, My Father; we leave Christ cleane out, and come not at all in his Name, and so, have neither warrant to call God Father, nor promise to receive his blessing: but when we say Our Father; as we challenge the adoption, so we acknowledge the Authour, and in these two onely words, we expresse the three great vertues, Faith Hope, and Charity: In the word Father, our Hope: In the word Our; our Charity: and in the words Our Father, our Faith in Christ, in whom he is our Father. Let no man therefore [Page 16] presume upon saying, My Father, as though he came to God in his owne right: and stood upon his owne greatnesse with him: bu [...] let us come in the Name of Christ, by saying Our Father; that, praying in his Name as he hath taught us, we may obtaine for his sake, as he hath promised us.

But is God then, Our Father in generall: and as it were in Grosse, and is he not the Father of every one of us in particular? I beleeve, that I am a childe of God; and must I not believe that God is my Father? No doubt you must; and you must not doubt it: but it is not all one, to believe that God is my Father, and to pray to God, by saying My Father: for my believing is onely in Faith, but my praying mast be also in Charity: neither yet can I pray in faith, by say­ing, My Father: seeing my faith, that God is my Father, is onely in Christ, and Christ is betweene God and me: so I cannot come to God, and say My Father, unlesse I put Christ by: for, if I take Christ with me, I must needs say Our Father: and therefore, when Christ taught this prayer to his Dis [...]iples, though in the sentence before, he said Mat. 6. [...]. as speaking to one alone, Pray unto thy Father: yet when he delivers the prayer, he alters the num­ber, and bids them say, Our Father: so, I may truely say, I pray unto my Father; but I doe not duly pray, if I say not Our Father.

Wee have not done with saying Our Father, untill we have said, Which art in Heaven, that so, his humility may bring us to his Majesty, his [Page 17] love may lead us to his bounty: for, as before he abased himselfe in Name, to exalt us; so here he streightens himselfe in Place to enlarge us: and to make us desirous of Heaven, as of the on­ly home, for his children; he restraineth himselfe to Heaven, as to the onely mansion of his being. But is not this word Heaven, as strangely placed here amongst these words; as Heaven it selfe is placed above in the height of the Firmament? For, what words of greater neerenesse, then Fa­ther and Children? yet what words of greater separation, then Heaven and Earth? who neerer to us, then Our Father? what further from us, then to be in Heaven? but, least these words Our Fa­ther, should breed too great a familiarity in us; these words Which art in Heaven; are justly infer­red, to make us keepe a distance. And yet in truth, it is such a distance as doth not so much divide us, as (that which is strange) the very fa­miliarity doth estrange us. For as considering God in heaven, we have just cause to be astoni­shed with admiration, at the greatnesse of his Maiesty: So, considering him our Father; we have iuster cause to admire him with astonish­ment, for the greatnesse of his love: and so, while familiarity, where it findeth effects of defect, breeds cause of contempt: Here, where it finds cause of admiration, it breeds effects of Respect.

And may we not finde, some other treasure wrapt up, in these words: Which art in Heaven? For when we say, Our Father; It carries the mind [Page 18] in an ambiguity: and if we apply it to God; This is yet a transcendent, and gives no period to our understanding: but when we adde, Which art in Heaven; This both determines the ambiguity, and limits the transcendency, and so the mind hath something now in certaine, whereupon to fixe it selfe: which though it afford not a visible symbole, to represent Gods person to our sight; (which the Israelites sought so grossely, in their golden Calfe: and many since doe seeke as vainely, in their painted and carued Images:) yet it affords the visible place of Gods presence; and this serves sufficiently, both to elevate the mind; and also to fixe the understanding: for, we no sooner have a thought of God, but the mind hath presently recourse to Heaven, as fix­ing it selfe upon the place, where he is visible: seeing upon the visibility of himselfe, it can­not.

And is it not another cause, why we say, Which art in Heaven; to make us know, that God is no where to be spoken withall but in Heaven? For, if our thoughts when we pray stay groveling about the earth, and our words rather fall from our mouthes, then rise from our hearts: hough God (no doubt) may heare such prayer, by the extent of his Power: yet he heares it not graci­ously, by extending his grace: for Earth is not the place, where he gives Audience; but he hath placed his Throne in Heaven, where hee sits both in Maiesty and in merc [...]: and though his mercy continually descend to us, yet his Ma­iesty [Page 19] requires, we should come thither to him: For, as to pray to any but God, is Coram non Iu­dice: so to pray any where but in Heaven, is Co­ram non Tribunali. Although therfore, our feet be fastned to the earth, and cannot ascend; yet our hearts, are at liberty, and may: and must indeed I am. 3. 41. ascend, if we will truely pray: for this ascending of the soule in praying is the soule of praying; wch puts a life into our words & thoughts, and carries them thither, where it is it selfe: and as the bre­thren of Ioseph; could finde no favour, without bringing their brother Beniamin with them: so, our hearts are the Benia [...]in, wee must bring to God; without which, neither our words are gra­cious, in his hearing; nor our selves, acceptable in his sight. Wherefore, O my soule, when thou goest to pray; put away from thee all carnall cogi [...]ations, and raise thy selfe up by ascending into heaven; Fixing thy selfe stedfastly upon the Throne of God: and never once offer to open thy mouth, untill thy heart be first fixed there: that thou mayst present thy suit unto him, pure & freed (as in earthen Vessels it can) from Earth­ly mixture: and then, as thy heart hath ascended up to Heaven, so the blessings of Heaven shall descend upon thee, and either bring with them, the things thou prayest for, or greater: for, never any Heart did knocke at Heaven gate, which had it not opened, nor sought any thing in Heaven, which it did not finde: For, though his Maiesty make his mercy, to keepe state, yet his mercy makes his Maiesty to becom gracious: [Page 20] and he never denyed the suite of any, that came so farre as Heaven to aske it.

But thou art not, O Lord, in Heaven onely; who art in all places, wholly: and though no Psal. 139. 7. where as contained, yet every where as present; and though thou takest up no roome, with thy being and power; yet thou fillest all roomes, [...] 23 24. with thy power and being. But when we say, Which art in Heaven, we must not stay, at the Hea­vens, where we see with our eyes, the two great Eyes of Heaven, the Sunne and the Moone: nor yet at the starry Heaven; though, that be the uttermost object of our sight: but there are o­ther Heavens, which Salomon cals the Heavens of Ch [...]o. 2. 6. Heavens: whose height is so great, that it may rather be admired, then can be conceaved: yet are they not high enough to hold God: but Da­vid is faine to goe higher, and saith, He is exalted Psal. 57.5. Eph. 4.10. above the Heavens: and though the highest Hea­vens have their bounds; yet this exaltation hath none, but how high soever we conceave, it is still higher, then that we conceave. And why then doe we say, Which art in Heaven? Not that he is no where else, but that he is no where else in so great glory. And is he not in as great glory on Earth? seeing it is said, as well of Earth, as of Heaven: Heaven and Earth are full of the maiesty of thy glory. Nay, is he not in hell also in great glory? seeing David saith; If I go [...] dow [...] into Hell, thou art there also: and God is no where without his glory; but is glorified, in the punishment of the damned, as he is in the happinesse of the Angels. [Page 21] We may therefore understand it, that God is therefore said to bee in Heaven, because hee is there visibly present, and amongst his most glo­rious Creatures. And this is a reason, why not onely properly; but properly, onely, God is said to be in heaven: seeing in this manner, he never was on earth, nor can be: for, No man can see God and live, much lesse can he be in this man­ner, in Hell: for, how can the vision of God, (which is the cause of all happinesse) bee had there, where nothing is had but anguish and torment? but in Heaven it is had: for, not onely the Angels but the Saints of God, behold his Face: and this is that, which makes the heavens, to be a heaven of heavens: (for, the heavens which his hands made, shall be dissolved: but the heavens which his Face makes, shall bee for ever) and were able to make even hell also, to bee a heaven; if that were capable to receive it.

But how doe we know, that God is any more in heaven, then any where else? or that he is in heaven, or any where else at all? O my soule, take heed of comming so neere, to be the foole that David speakes of though thou say not in thy heart, There is no God yet to let thy tongue, but make it a question. For doth not David tell us Psal. 19.1. that the heavens tell [...]s: The Heaven [...] declare the glory of God, and the Firmament sheweth his handy­worke [...] as much as to say, The heavens declare, that there is a glorious God, and the Firmament is a worke that sheweth him to be the workman [Page 22] The heavens indeed declare it so plainely, by Rom. 1.20. the heavenly bodies, that in them, as in plaine letters, and characters, we may even reade not onely that God is, but that he is there. But if the heavens declare it never so plainely, and we will not take notice, or believe their declaration; what are we the better? For, wilt thou believe that the Starres, which thou seest as small as sparkes; are bigger, yea much bigger, then the whole earth? and then, what a world of worlds must there be in the starry heaven, which yet are all as nothing, compar'd to the magnitude of the greater heavens? Wilt thou believe, that the motion of the Sunne, which yet seemes to stand still; is swifter, yea manifold swifter, then a [...]let from a Canon? and yet is slownesse, com­par'd to the swiftnesse of the Primum Mobile? Wilt thou believe that the earth as great as it is, is yet but a point or centre to the starry heaven? and that the starry heaven is so high above us; that though the sight of our eyes, can reach un­to it, in an instant; yet the swiftnes of a hundred miles a day, cannot reach unto it, in a thousand yeeres? & yet is hard by, compar'd to the distance of the highest heavens? All which and many the like, though they exceed our capacity, yet they exceed not our knowledge; and though they be so strange, that theymake both art suspected, & na­ture, astonished; yet are they so certain, that they are demonstrable. And this is a great ascent from earth to heaven, & yet an easie one: for, we know these wonders of the heavenly bodies, as perfect­ly, [Page 23] b [...]ing on earth, as if we were in heaven to see them. But it is a farre greater ascent, from hea­ven to God, and yet a farre easier: For, who can chuse but know, the first cause to be omnipo­tent; which hath made second causes, so exces­sively potent? Who can chuse but acknowledge the Creatour to bee infinite, who hath made Creatures, that to our capacity, are themselves infinite? And therefore, the authour of the Booke of Wisedome, speaking in proofe of the Wisd. 13.50. deity, waiveth all other reasons, and insists upon this, That by the greatnesse of the creatures, and of their beauty, the Creatour being compared with them, may bee considered. God indeed, hath reserved the sight of himselfe, untill our eyes shall put on Immortality; but the sight of his dwelling, hee hath afforded to our mortall eyes: that, though in it we cannot see his per­son; yet by it, we may be assured of his being; and of his being there. For, as when wee see a building, of invaluable valew, we presently con­ceive it, to be the Pallace of a Prince: so, when we see the Frame of heaven, so full of wonders; (where S [...]arres are but as dust, and Angels are bu [...] Nah. 3.1. servants; where every word is unspeakeable, and ever [...] motion is a miracle) we may plainely know it, to [...]e the dwelling of him whose name is Wonderfull. For, who is fit to inhabit such a house, but hee onely who inhabiteth eternity? and who fit to be Master of such servants; but he who was a Master, before he had servants; that is, he onely, who onely is?

[Page 24] But why doth God write himselfe of heaven; which how glorious soever it be, is but of a late building? For, no doubt, God had a dwelling, and a place to bee in, before hee made heaven; and he should rather write himselfe of his anci­ent mansion place, then of his new seate. But, O my soule, be sober: For, where thou thinkest, that God had a place to be in, before he made heaven; thou art even in that deceived: for, how could he have a place to be in, when place it selfe had yet no being? For, as heaven and earth were twinnes, created both at once; so time and place were twinnes, made both toge­ther; and all of them for the use of the creatures; none of them, for any use to God: for, God be­ing eternall, hath no use of time: and being infinite, can have no place: but out of eternity, by his omnipotent Power, he produced Time: and out of infinitenesse he produced place; for, no use to himselfe, but in relation to his crea­tures. If therefore thou wouldst comprehend where God was, before he made heaven; thou must comprehend infinitenesse, which were not infinite, if it could be comprehended. And yet as no place is great enough to hold God, so none is small enough to exclude him: for he is place to himselfe; he is place himselfe; as David Psal. 32.7. saith, Thou art my place to kide me in: and it is one of the names which the Iewes attribute to God; that he is called, Maquom; that is to say, Place. Yet it is happy for us that God writes himselfe to be in heaven, because we know now where [Page 25] to finde him; least otherwise we might wander infinitely, in the search of him, and be never the neere: not, that heaven limits Gods ubiquity; but that it regulates our capacity: for, as one sayd well, in another sence, Qui ubi (que) est, nusquam est: so certainely, if we knew nothing of Gods being any where; but that he is every where; we might easily fall into the errour, to thinke hee were no where. Iustly therefore doth God write himselfe of heaven; now that he stiles himselfe Our Father: seeing he therefore made heaven, because he intended to be our Father, that there might bee one House to hold both Him and his Children; and that where he is, wee might bee Ioh. 14.3. also: for to be with God, where God was, before he made the world, or where he now is; above, or without the world, is utterly impossible, for men or Angels to attaine to.

But why say we, Our Father which art in heaven, and say not rather, Our heavenly Father? see­ing by that we tell onely where God is; but by this we might tell what he is: By that, we name onely his place, but by this we might name his substance. But we must not be so hasty, in ex­pounding of Gods word; much lesse, in deter­mining of his Nature: for, where in many pla­ces of the Gospell, he is called, Our heavenly Fa­ther; It intends no more then that which is here said, Which art in Heaven: for to expresse the sub­stance of God is absolutely impossible for man to doe, or rather is absolutely impossible to bee done, for man to conceive: for if it could have [Page 26] beene done: It is likely, God would have done i [...]to to Moses, when (being sent of his dangerous message) he asked him his name: for to aske him his name is to aske him his nature, and his sub­stance. Yet God told him nothing but this, I am that I am: shewi [...]g thereby onely that hee is, and hath abeing; and that he onely is and hath a being: and farther then this, we cannot goe in expressing his substance. But when we say, that God is, and hath a being; we must not thinke it, to be such a being as ours is; but his being is in­timated, by his Name Iehovah: which therefore the Iewes justl [...] conceive to bee unspeakable; because it would speake that, which is uncon­ceivable; for this word, in three letters, [...] (Iod, He, and Vau,) expresseth the three times of being; Fuit Est, and Erit; all which in Gods being, are in being at once, and therefore Gods Est, is a participle, as St. Iohn makes it, [...]: and the He­brews Hove: because it partaketh both of Fuit and Erit: for as it never leaves Fuit; so it never tarries for Erit: but both Fuit and Erit; (was and shall be) are still present in Gods Est; as they are all within the compasse of his Name Iehovah. But w [...]th us, it is nothing so; our being is exprest by Est; a plaine verbe. It partaketh neither of Fuit, nor of Erit: for, Fuit is already dead; and Erit is not yet alive, and so our being, God knowes, hangs but by a slender thread: It hath not three times at once; for it hath no time at all: it is one­ly in Instanti, and Instans is no more Tempus then Punctum is linea. But if our being, be so neere a [Page 27] not being; how is then the soule immortall? Not with that true immortality, which keepes Fuit in possession still; and hath Erit alwaies to come, yet alwaies present: but our immorta­lity, is onely by the motion and succession of our Est, moved forward continually, by the im­mortall Psal. 66.9. hand of God: for if God should not con­tinually and every moment move forward our Est: both our immortality, and even our being, would instantly be at an end, as it is justly said; In him we move and have our being: or rather, as the word indeed is, In him ( [...]) we are moved, and continue being. That it is no marvaile, St. Paul saith of God, that he onely is immortall; seeing his immortality is, from and in himselfe: our im­mortality, from and in him: yet as his immorta­lity cannot cease because it is his Essence; so our immortality shall not cease, because it is his pleasure. But all this while, wee are no further in the discovery of Gods substance, then where we began, that he onely is, and hath a being; so that hi [...]herto we might be heathen Philosophers, for they could call God Ens En [...]ium; and for ought appeares yet, we goe no further. And in­deed, if we shall seeke to goe further: shall wee n [...]r perhaps, not goe so farre? For, God hath given us a skantling of his Nature, when hee saith, I am that I am: and this skantling we must maintaine: unlesse therefore we can finde some­thing, that hath as great a latitude as being; we cannot justly give it place in Gods Nature. And such something, we cannot finde: for, To bee [Page 28] Eternall: to be Insinit: to be almighty: have great latituds, the greatest we can conceive; & greater then we can conceive: yet none of them, nor all of them, have so great a latitude as to be: and therfore whatsoever we shall adde to his being, will but diminish the extent of his being; and there must be, no Terminus Diminuens, in expres­sing Gods Nature, if we doe him right. And if we go another way to worke, and call him good: do we not leave the best, for some other? and if we call him best; as the ancients called him Optimus Maximus; doth not this imply, some other must be good; which Christ saith, there is none? And if we thinke to mend the matter with abstracts; and say, He is goodnesse it selfe, and he is wisdome it selfe; shall we not in so doing, make him a sub­stance of Qualities? Or can we fixe qualities, and make them to becom substances at our pleasures? that seeing our capacities, cannot reach so high, as God; wee will pull God downe as low as our capacities? And why is all this? but because, we will be giving him Names of our owne devi­sing: as though we could doe with God, as Adam did with the Creatures: give them Names ex­pressing their Natures? God hath given him­selfe a Name, and spoken it peremptorily; that Exod. [...].15: & 15.3. it should be his Name for ever: and because it is a word made all of Consonants; we cannot pro­nounce it: and because it is a Noune made all of verbes, we cannot conster it; and what can wee thinke is meant by this? but that his Name is therefore accounted unspeakeable, and there­fore [Page 29] unconstruable; that his nature may be con­ceived unconceivable, & acknowledgd unsearch­able. So that still we are no further in discovery of Gods Nature; then where we began: that his Name is Iehovah: that is, that he onely is, and hath a being; and further then this, it seemes we can­not goe. And indeed, what hope can there be, of finding out his Nature; when that, by which we looke to finde it; is it selfe the meanes, to hide it from us? for, we have a little light to see it by; and it is light onely that makes it invisible to our sight: as David saith, Hee covereth himselfe Psal 104. 2. with light, as with a garment. O great God, how miraculous is thy Nature, who art hidden with light, obscured with glory, seene in invisible­nesse, and understood onely, by passing all un­derstanding.

But though we have no capacity, to finde out the substance, and Nature of God; yet God hath revealed unto us, some miraculous secrets of his Nature; that we may hereafter know him, and here admire him. And first, that incomprehen­sible mystery, of the Trinity in Vnity, that he is Three, and yet but One. For, that he is but One, Zach. 14.9. appeares plainely by his answere to Moses. For, when there are many of one kinde, names are necessary to distinguish them: but when there is but one, there needs no name; the very Es­sence is name sufficient: when Moses therefore asked God his Name, hee returned him answere by his Essence, I am that I am. And that he is more then one, may justly be gathered from his [Page 30] owne speech: Faciamus hominem ad Imaginem no­stram: which plainely implies, not so much, a singularity of Majesty; but much rather, a plu­rality of Persons. And being more then One; that they are but Three, and that Three they are; is revealed also to us, by St. Iohn, where he saith, There are three beare record in Heaven; The Father, the Word, and the holy Ghost: and these three are one. And but for feare of prophanenesse, I could here borrow an Argument, from some Philoso­phers, who thought God a Number. For cer­tainly, if he be a Number, He must needs be the first perfect Number, and that is Three. For, One is no number; being lesse, multiplyed by it selfe; then added to it selfe, and Two is but im­perfect, being but equall; whether multiplied by it selfe, or added: but Three is more, multi­plyed then added, which is the true Perfection of a Number.

One other Miraculous secret in Gods Nature, seemes revealed to us by St. Iohn, where he saith, that God is love: for certainely, if he be love, he is all love: seeing God is not any thing in part; and is not this miraculous? wee may conceive that God is just and that he is mercifull; and we may perhaps conceive, that hee is justice it selfe; and that hee is mercy it selfe; but to conceive, that he is all justice, and yet all mercy; that hee is all wisedome, and yet all power; that hee is totally so many things, and yet distinctly but one thing; this is that, we cannot conceive, yet this wee must conceive before wee can conceive [Page 31] what the Substance of God is. What have we then to say here, but as Christ said: With man it is impossible, but with God all things are possible; with man, whose understanding is onely perpendi­cular, and measures all things by streight lines; It is impossible: but with God, with whom cir­cles Esa. 42. 16. are streight lines, and streight lines are An­gles; both this and all things else are possible. And what remaines then for us to doe; but see­ing we know God now, but in Aenigmate; and shall know him hereafter, Facie ad Faciem; that wee beate not our braines to expound this Riddle before the time, but that contenting our selves to sit in the cloude, till he remove it up and shine upon us: we acknowledge him to be infinite; and not to be measured, to be eter­nall, and not to be comprehended: to be all wisedome, and not to be understood, to be all mercy, and not to be conceived; to be all power, and never to be enough magnified; to be all glory and never to be enough adored.

But may wee not make some further use of these words, Which art in Heaven? that knowing now where God is: we may seeke & strive to goe thither, if we desire to be with him. It is enough for God, that he hath descended into Heaven, as David saith, It is a descent to him, to see the things Psal. 113 6. in Heaven: we must not looke that he will come any lower: It is our turne now, to ascend up to him. It is true, he sent once his onely sonne to us on earth; but his entertainement was so ill, that he had not one pleasing day in his whole [Page 32] life, but was Vir Dolorum a man of sorrowes, all Esa. 53.3. the time he was amongst us: but it shall not bee so with us in going to heaven; for if once wee come there, we shall desire to continue there still and never to come from thence any more. For this is the true Hic whereof Peter spake, when he spake in Extasie, Bonum est esse Hic; It is good being here; let us make three Tabernacles, one for Christ, another for Moses, and another for Elias. Not Hic: here on Earth; the being here, God knowes, is not so good, to be worth making Tabernacles: Nor Hic: here on the Mount, as it were be­tweene ler. 51.53. lob 20.6. earth and heaven: for, though we mount never so high; It is but as an apparition; there is no stability in it: but Hic; here in heaven; where Christ hath a Tabernacle, not made with Heb. 9. 11. hands; sufficient to hold, both Moses and Elias, and us all. And it may be mervailed how Moses and Elias were ever gotten to come from thence; to meete Christ on the Mount; but that we may consider, they did not wholy leave heaven, when they came to visit the Lord of heaven; in whose presence are the joyes of heaven. And yet per­haps a further matter in it; that seeing the Law, and the Prophets reach to Christs suffering, It was fit that Moses and Elias, representing the law and the Prophets, should come to Christ, before his suffering: or rather, seeing Christ was to be Authour of a new Testament, and was shortly to have it sealed: It was fit that Moses and Elias representing the Old Testament, should come in person, and make their surrender. E­nough [Page 33] hath beene said, to make us long to be there: but how shall we doe to get thither? For there seemes as great a space to bee passed; as the Gulph betweene Dives and Abrahams bo­some. This must be the worke of the Petitions following: for if we can follow them well; we shall quickly overtake Moses, whatsoever we doe Elias; and come to heaven (in body) as soone as he; though he be gone so many hundred yeeres before us.

Here offers it selfe a note, which though it may seeme of small note; yet because nothing is small in the Word of God; whereof one jot shall not passe: It may not be passed over with­out observing: that, where it is said: Which art in Heaven; and where it is said, In Earth as it is in Heaven: in both places we have in our translation, but onely the singular number: whereas in the originall, and in most other languages, the first is put in the plurall number: which expression, may not perhaps bee without some mystery; seeing one heaven holds all Angels, but all hea­vens cannot hold one God: or rather, seeing the Angels are in heaven, as defined by place; but God is in the heavens; as being in all places, but defined by none: which our language might expresse also, if it pleased: but that it followes the mother tongue, which cannot expresse it, if it would: the word for heaven in the Dutch tongue, having no plurall number: as in the Hebrew Tongue it hath no singular num­ber.

[Page 34] It is a great honour, to bee the sonne of a Prince; and the greater the Prince is, the greater the honour, to be his sonne: O [...]hen, my soule what honour is it to thee, t [...] bee the sonne of him, who is the Prince of Princes; whose King­dome is everlasting, and po [...]er i [...]init? Canst thou thinke this, and not with Paul be [...]apt [...]p into the third heaven, in an extasie? Canst th [...]u [...]ay this, and not with Zachary bee stru [...]n dumbe with amazement? God, the Almighty and Incompre­h [...]n ible God, the God of all Glory and Majesty, [...] our Father? The Angels were created in great glory, yet are but ministring Spirits: We, Iob 4. 19. Dust and Ashes, and dwell in houses of clay: and for us, to bee the children of him, whose dwelling is in heaven! O most admirable pro­motion to us, if it be not more admirable un­worthinesse in us, that we admire it not which is so admirable. But it may be no question why we admire it not: because without question, we apprehend it not: for, if we did truely ap­prehend what it is, to be the sonnes of a Father, which is in heaven: wee could not chuse but skorne all humane things, as meane; all earthly things as base: and thinke it a shame for them, who shall one d [...]y come to fit with him in his Throne, to lie alwaies grovling about his Foot­stoole. Re [...]. 3. 21. But the Angels apprehended it, and ther­fore admired it; and as holy as they were, some of them could not chuse but envy it: and from our rising, tooke their fall. Which fell out well for ou [...] experience: for, by the consideration of their [Page 35] falling, we come to conceive a certainety: to see plainly a probability of our own rising. For, why is it more s [...]range, that heavy things should as­cend, then that light things should descend? that men who are of Earthy mould, should bee lift [...]d up into the high [...]st Heavens; then that Angels who are of Heavenly substance, were cast downe into the nethermost earth? unl [...]sie we thinke, that Gods love towards children, is not so powerfull, as his anger against servants? or that his arme is not so strong, in lifting up, as in casting downe? Wherefore, O my soule; if thou wonder, how it will be possible, for [...]his heavy body of thine to be raysed out of the dust; and to rise to so high a place as heaven; thou mayst leave thy wondring, if thou doe but con­sider how it was possible that the light substan­ces of the Angels were cast downe into so l [...]w a place as hell? For as God brought a grossenesse upon the lightnesse of their su [...]stances which made them descend; so he will bring a lightnesse upon the grossenesse of our bodies which will make us ascend.

But it was after the fall of Angels, that God said to man: Earth thou art and to earth thou shalt returne: but not a word spoken of his comming to heaven. It is true: for, those words were spo­ken by God, as a Iudge: Our comming to Hea­ven, is not spoken by him, but as a Father; and those words, are reserved for his Son, the Word it selfe, to deliver to us: and indeed the word de­livered them to us in Deed, when the word was [Page 36] made flesh: for, when the Sonne of God, [...]ook upon him our flesh, then our flesh tooke notice of being made the sonnes of God, and then the Kingdome of heaven was preached to all belie­vers: and this dignity of our Nature, is a maine object of the divels envy: for, why else should the devill, beare more malice to men then to all other creatures, as we see apparantly he doth? for he will never goe into swine; if he can possibly' get into men: and when he doth goe, it is but to hurt men, that when hee cannot hurt them in their persons; he will yet like lame malice doe them what hurt he can in their goods. Thus the greatnesse of this dignity, which wee cannot see in the light; we may discerne in the darke: for, how can we chuse but know it, to be exceeding great which nourisheth malice even in divels? For certainely if the divels knew nothing, of any such dignity ordained for men in the world to come: they would never doe as they doe; never trouble themselves so much, to trouble men so much in this present life, there­by to hinder them from the glory to come. And are not some men beholding to the divell, in this? who seeking to hinder us from the glory to come in the life hereafter, makes it manifest, that there is a glory to come in a life hereafter, from which we may be hindred. Which if some men otherwise will not easily believe; yet this way at least they can hardly deny. And even this were enough to breed this faith in an Infi­dell; that there shall be certainely a life after this, [Page 37] seeing wee may bee sure the divell would never take such paines for nothing; he is not so idle, to be so busie for trifles: and he would never be so violent in seeking to draw men into sinne: if there were not some great matter to be gotten by their sinning. And what can the divell get, by the sinnes of men, but onely the satisfying of his owne malice? and how is his malice satisfied, but in their miseries? and what miseries have wicked men in this life, who are rather the favou­rites of the world, and as David saith, They are not in trouble as other men, neither are they plagued like Psal. 73. 5. lob 21. 7, 8. other men. There must therefore undoubtedly be another world, where wicked men shall bee miserable, and where the divels malice shall take effect. For, though the hurt of the divell, be all ta­ken in this life; yet it is not fully felt till another life, which if there were none, It should bee skarce felt at all. For, as a man that is wounded in his heate, feeles not the wound till he come to be cold: so we skarce feele the wounds of the divell as long as the heat of life is in us, but when we come to bee cold, and are laid in the cold earth, then begins the smart of his wounds: and then we feele it when we seeme to bee past all feeling: and if this were not so, there should be none in the world more happy then the wicked, there should bee none more miserable then the godly; there should be none a verier foole then the divell: we may therefore be as affured, that there is a life to come after this; as we are assured that the divell is no f [...]ole, that godly men are [Page 38] not miserable; that wicked men are not, nor can be happy. And though it bee no thanke to the divell that we learne this from him; yet it will be worth thankes if we can learne it: for, who that is truely perswaded of a life after this, where the godly shall be happy, and the wicked mise­rable; will not endeavour, and with all earnest­nesse endeavour to leade his life so, that he may die the death of the righteous; and not suffer the transitory things of this world, which are but as a messe of Iacobs Potage; to withdraw his minde from the respect of his Birth-right; which is to sit with Christ at his Fathers Ta­ble.

But for all this, are we indeed satisfied in our consciences, that God is our Father, and that we are his Children? may we not be mistaken as the Iewes were, who thought themselves sure enough that Abraham was their father; yet Christ Ioh.8.39. proves plainly they were deceived: For if (saith he) yee were the children of Abraham, yee would doe the workes of Abraham: which because they did not doe, they could be none of his children, for all their boasting. And doth not God say the same to us? If I be your father, where is my love? [...]. and to love God, in Gods owne exposition, is to keepe his Commandements. If therefore we doe as God commands us, we may be bold to call him Father: but if wee keepe not his Commandements, we may looke us out ano­ther father; wee shall bee but Terrae filii at the best, and never bee admitted into the num­ber [Page 39] of Gods Children. And were not this a miserable negligence to loose the honour of so divine a Parentage as to be Gods Children; and to loose the hope of so glo [...]ious an Inheritance, as to be heires with Christ, onely for want of loving him? Consider then, O my soule the great cause St Paul had to bee so resolute; and doe thou joyne with him in resolution; that nei­ther life, nor death, nor Angels, nor Principalities; nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor de [...]th, nor any other cre [...]ture, shall bee able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ.

But O my soule, if thou wilt indeed be resolute to doe it; canst thou doe it? Canst thou love God when thou listest, & at thy own pleasure? It is a plaine Argument indeed of Gods love to us; that he is our Father: but it is no argument of our love to God, that we be his Children: seeing experience hath made it a Proverb; That love doth descend but not ascend. Gods love comes easily to us because it descends; but how should our love come to God, which against its nature must ascend? St. Iohn indeed, in saying, We love Ioh. 4 19. God, because God loved us first; seemes to shew a reason for it; but Christ gives the reason of it, where he sayth, No man can come unto me, except Ioh. 6. 44. the Father draw him. St. Iohn shewes the motion of a motive, but Christ gives the force of a cause; and lesse would not serve: for our love to God is very Iron; and were never able to ascend if Gods love to us were not a most perfect Ada­mant.

[Page 40] But what say the children of Belial? God saith Deut 13.13. Mal. 1.6. to us, If I be your Father, where is my honour? that is, where is our honouring of him? and may not we say to God, If we be his children, where is our loue? that is, where is his love to us? For, when men are constrained to eate their bread in the sweat of their browes, where is the loving kindnesse of a Father? Nay, when men are faine to begge from doore to doore, where appeare their childrens portions? Nay, when men lie in prisons, ready to sterve with cold and hunger; what likelihood is there of their being heires? These things are often so indeed: yet are such men never the further off from being the true Children of God: For, St. Paul laboured with his hands to get his living; yet no man doubts but he was undoubtedly a deere childe of God: And Lazarus lay begging at Dives gate among the Dogs: yet he was approved to be a child of God; by being received into Abrahams bosome. What shall we say then? Is the love of God a [...]ree that beares no better fruite? Or, are these the Inheritances he provides for his Children? But, O my soule, thou must remember what thou hast said Our Father which art in Heaven. For we shall wrong both God and our selves, if we expect our inheritance in a wrong place; for, where our Father is, there must our inhe­ritance be expected: and seeing our Father is in heauen; we must looke for an inheritance in heaven, and not on earth. And certainely, when men are so hasty to receive their portions, in this [Page 41] life: It is a very presaging signe, they have none to receive in the life that is to come. For, what did Abraham tell Dives was the cause he could not be recei [...]ed into his bosome? but because he had received, Bona sua, his portion in his life time. But was Abraham a fit man to tell him so? who had received more goods, then ever he had done; yet he could come, not onely to be in heaven himselfe, but to be himselfe a heaven for others to be in. We must therefore know that Abra­ham though he received more riches, or more honours; yet he received them not, as Bona sua: they were things he looked not much after, nor set his heart upon them; the goods he looked and longed after was Videre Diem Domini; to see the day of Christ, and he saw it: and in that was all his joy. And indeed, seeing we are bu [...]chil­dren chil­dren adopted in Christ, and to be heires with him; there is no reason we should looke for an Inheritance here where he himselfe had none; for the sonne of man had not where to lay his head: for, that Inheritance Esau kept still, though he sold his birthright.

Yet this makes some men be of opinion, that he is then carelesse of his children in this life, and lookes not after them; but very injuriously. For, may we not thinke that as in the earth there are Hils and Dales, high Mountaines and low Va­leys; which seeme to us to make a great inequa­lity in the even roundnesse of the earth; yet compared to the heavens to which it is but as a Centre, they make all, but evennesse: so these [Page 42] fortunes of men, Riches and Poverty, Honour and Basenesse, Health and Sicknesse; they seeme to us to make a great inequality in mens estates, yet to God who being Eternall reduceth all things to Eternity, they appeare indifferent, and we our selves also when we attaine to our Eternity in heaven shall thinke so too, and shall wonder at our selves that ever we could be so simple to thinke otherwise. In the meane time we can place our thoughts, whereand how we list, and why can we not make our thoughts, to place us: where & how they list? This indeed is an Angelicall cunning, and if we could (as by faith we may) aspire unto it; It would easily make an equality of all fortunes, and turne a Dungeon into a Pallace; a pallet of Netles, into a bed of Roses. And let not this be thought impossible for a Christian to doe in fayth, when the Hea­then could conceive it possible in the onely con­templation of vertue to say upon the Racke, Quam suave est hoc? And never slight it by saying, that this at most were but imaginary: (for, faith will take it in great skorne to bee matcht with imagination; though even imagination, if we give fayth to Philosophy can doe no small won­ders:) but seeing the world is all, as I may say, for the pleasures of that part of the Noune, which may be Seene, Felt, or Heard; give us leave at least to be for the pleasures of the other part, which may bee understood: that if you say of our pleasures they are without sence, we may say of theirs, They are without understanding.

[Page 43] But what say we then to Moses his blessings? Blessed shalt thou be in the City, and blessed in the Field: Blessed shall bee the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy Cattell. These are all Earthly and sensible blessings; and were not these promised to the children of God? No doubt they were, but as Moses himselfe, had a veile over his face; so Moses his words, had a veile over their meaning; and by this meanes, Blindnesse came upon Israel. For, they tooke that for their Iourneys end which Moses inten­ded, but for a bayting place: He allowed them liberall baytes at first, to make them the more cheerefully goe on their Iourney: but they, like foolish Travellors that make a dwelling of their Inne: tooke such pleasure in their baytes, that they never once thought of going any further: Ezek, 20.25. As therefore God sayd, of the ceremonies hee appoynted to the Iewes: that hee had given them Statutes, that were not good: (not good indeed to them, that understood them not; nor could observe them:) so we may perhaps say of these baytes: that God had given them blessings, that were not good: (not good in­deed to them that understand them not; nor can tell how to use them.) But now the veile is layd aside, the baytes cleane taken away; and those blessings of Moses removed a fourme lower: for, they were to them the very face of the pro­mise; but are to us onely the backeparts; they were to them as the first fruits, but are to us as onely gleanings after the Vintage; and therfore [Page 44] though David in the old Testament never saw the Psal 37.25. righteous forsaken, nor their seed begging their bread: yet Christ in the new Testament, could tell us of one Lazarus, who for all his being righteous was faine to lie begging his bread at Dives gate. God in his goodnesse is willing to try alwaies, to see if any way he can bring us to goodnesse: He allowed liberall baytes at first, to make them the more cheerefully goe on their journey: That succeeded not: he hath taken away those baytings now, to ma [...]e us the more intentive to our jour­neys end. Those blessings were promised by the mouth of Moses, a servant: Our blessings are promised by the mouth of Christ, a sonne: They trusted to the blessings promised to the person of Abraham; we trust to the blessings promised to the seed of Abraham: as it is said, And in thy seed shall all the Nations of the earth be blessed. This is that seed, by vertue whereof, we stand here as Gods Children; and have the honour to call him Father: and by which we are borne againe to a new hope of recovering our old inheri­tance, though that be long since removed up to heaven; as appeares by the words of Christ, to the Thiefe on the Crosse; This day thou shalt bee with me in Paradise: that wee can never hope to have a Paradise here on earth any more.

And now, O my soule, seeing thou dwellest in a house, whose windowes are made to looke up­ward: make use of those lights, and afford not the Earth so much as a looke, but stand gazing to see Christ, Ascending into Heaven; whither he is gone [Page 45] not onely to take possession himselfe, but to Ioh. 14.3. provide a place for thee in that Inheritance: and give not over gazing untill an Angell assure thee; that this Iesus which is taken up from you, shall so come as ye have seene him goe into heaven: and till then possesse thy selfe in pati­ence; and let these meditations be thine ankers: that if thou dyest in thy youth; thou dost but goe the sooner to God, that thou mayest bee the longer with him: If thou die for hunger, thou dost but goe fasting to God, that thou mayst have the better stomacke to the hea­venly Banquet: if thou sterve for want of clothes, thou dost but goe naked to God, that thou mayest bee the readyer for putting on the Wedding Garment: If thou die with torment; thou dost but follow Christ to God; that having followed him here, the Sheepe before the Shea­rer, Isa. 13.7. thou mayst follow the Lambe wheresoever he go­eth. And seeing thou desirest to be a Lazarus in Abrahams bosome, thou must first be contented to be a Lazarus at Dives gate: and as thou trem­blest to thinke of being a Dives in hell, to want a cup of water, to coole thy tongue; so thou mayst tremble as much to be a Dives on earth, to fare deliciously every day. And as for the fawning pleasures of the world: consider the fearefull judgements that are passed upon them, Woe unto you rich men: for, ye shall howle and mourne. Luke 6.24. Wis. 6.6. Woe unto you great men, for the mighty shall be migh­tily tormented: Woe unto you that live in pleasures; Revel. 18.7. for how much yee receive in pleasures here, so much [Page 46] shall be added to your torments hereafter. Wherefore, O my soule, close up all with this Corollary; that the forbearing thy portion in this world with Christ; gives thee right in Christ, to have a portion in heaven, and that the enduring of miseries, which cannot long endure; is a way to passe to that felicity, which shall never passe away.

A little hath beene sayd of infinite much that may be sayd concerning the Preface. It followes now, to speake of the Prayer it selfe, which is digested into a structure and composition, so absolute, and yet so rare, that whilst it stretcheth it selfe to all; it is comprehended but of a few; whilst the simplest in it may see their defects; the wisest by it may amend their defects; and if understanding be necessary to learn other lessons Psal. 19. 7.99. & 130. this Lesson is necessary to learne understanding.

If a man shall thinke of mending the Penning of this prayer; he may as well thinke of mending the framing of the world: which, if he should goe about to make proofe of in particular; he would in general make himselfe ridiculous. For, if he should adde any thing, hee would make it superfluous; if diminish, defective; if alter, de­formed: Ec [...]lef 18. 6. and such a one would he prove, that should presume upon mending these Petitions; seeing there is nothing that concernes eyther the life present, or the life to come: nothing that concernes eyther Grace or Glory: nothing that concernes eyther Antidote, or Physicke for [Page 47] eyther soule or body, but it is all here; and all so fully and perfectly here, that whatsoever the wit of man shall devise further to these ends, will be but as branches out of these roots, or as deductions out of these principles; and may adde in bulke, but not in weight. And he should not erre, that would affirme that Christ shewed himselfe as perfectly to be God, by making this Prayer, as by doing his miracles. For (to let passe the many causes of admiration in it, that it is so compendious, and yet so copious; that it is so plaine, and yet so intricate; that it is so fami­liar, and yet so sublime, that it is of so few parts, and yet so compleate: all which are characters of Divinity) who could have given warrant to the sonnes of men, to call the God of heaven, their Father; but he only who is the Son of God, and God himselfe? we call God, Almighty, by his owne warrant to Abraham; and we call him Ieho­vah, Psal 83. 18, by the same warrant to Moses; but we cannot call him Father, but onely by this warrant from Christ: who purchased the name for us, and bestowed it upon us. It is true, God offred him­selfe to the Iewes, that he would be their Father, and they should be his sonnes; but it was with relation and presupposition of receiving Christ; whom because they rejected, they never went further then their Father Abraham: Neither in­deed (to our understanding) had God power in himselfe to communicate his Name of Father to us, but onely in Christ; seeing Christ had in him the whole interest of his Father, as being his onely Sonne.

[Page 48] And now in making Essayes upon the Petiti­ons following: if I shall seeme unto any, and thereupon be blamed, that I am not constant in any one certaine, eyther explication or appli­cation of them: he may know, that these peti­tions have something like in our understan­ding as the Planets have amongst themselves; which alter their forces and even their natures, according to the diversity of their Aspects. And if he complaine for want of order; he may also know, that though Art useth method; yet me­ditation useth none; but receiving her Company as they come; makes use of them in Troope, and not in Files.

God finished the world in sixe daies: and Christ finished this Prayer in sixe Petitions: that so the workes which God formed for man, and the words which Christ framed for man, may may have a correspondence. But is not here a fault at first? Is it not presumption to come to God, with so many suits at once, and thinke to speed in them all? were it not modesty, to doe as David did, for hee made but one Petition; Vnum Petii a Domino: One thing have I asked of the Psal. 27. 4. Lord: and Christ himselfe in another place, told Martha as much Vnumest necessarium: One thing Luk. 10.42. is needfull; so that, eyther there he comes short in his account: or here he makes more a doe then needs: for if but one thing be necessary; One Petition might well enough have served: & most of all, it may seeme strange in Christ who ever used rather substraction then multiplicati­on; [Page 49] as of ten Commandements hee made but two: and now, that of one Petition he should make sixe? But O my soule, Be it farre from thee to have such thoughts, to raise such scandall: For, the Commandements are du­ties, and duties are burthens; and in abrid­ging them hee performes his promise, Come unto me and I will ease you: and well hee might abridge them to us, who hath indeed perform'd them for us: but the Petitions are graces; and the more Graces, the more grace: the more Gra­ces we receive from God, the more grace we are in with God: and Christ will not onely substract burthens, but as well also multiply graces: al­though in truth these sixe Petitions are all in effect but one Petition: that having called God Our Father, we here desire to be his Children: but we must observe a difference in being Gods Children, and being children of men; for here we are children first, and afterwards we doe our Math. 5.45. duties; but there we doe at least some duties first, and afterwards we are children: as it is said: Iohn 1. 12. Rom. 8.14. As many as received him, to them he gave power to be the sonnes of God. And indeed, though Christ dilate it to us here in sixe Petitions for our un­derstanding, yet presently after the delivery of them, he seemes to reduce them againe, to One petition, where he sayth; How much more shall Luke 11.13. your heavenly Father, give the Holy Ghost to them that desire him? for to desire the Holy Ghost is all in effect that wee desire in these sixe Petitions; which therefore some would have to be seaven: [Page 50] that so they may answere to the seven spirits, which St. Iohn speakes of, to represent the Holy Revel. 11.4. Isa. 11. 2. Ghost. Indeed the three last are properly & bare ly petitions, but the three first are as Christ said of Iohn Baptist, that he was a Prophet, and more then a Prophet: so these are petitions, & more then petiti­ons; for they are, both Hallelujahs and Hosannaes: For we glorifie God by the first, that he is our Fa­ther; By the second, that he is our King: by the third, thathe is our Master: and they are petitions also: the first, that we may be his obedient Chil­dren: the second that wee may be his loy all sub­jects: the third, that we may be his dutifull ser­vants: And from these three first, grows a confi­dence unto us, of obtaining the three last, which therfore seeme subordinate to them, that asa Fa­ther, he will give to us his children bread and su­stenance; and as a King he will grant to us his sub­jects, a pardon of our trespasses; & as a master, he will not lay upon us his servants, greater burdens then we can beare.

But may not this Paraphrase be opposde? hath not this Prayer, a correspondence rather, with the fall of Angels? and doth it not make a resemblance of our condition to theirs? but that they were cast downe all at once: and we here fall downe by degrees, for at every petiti­on wee take a fall. At the first we seeme to set out in a high hand, and as though we needed nothing in our owne behalfe we aske all for God. In the second, we fall to asking for our selves: but yet; no lesse then a Kingdome. In the third, [Page 51] we are glad of the condition to be servants: In the fourth we fall to the state of plaine beggars: In the fift we fall yet lower, and come to be in debt: In the last we fall to the lowest, to be in prison, and that under satan. And now we are fallen as low as the Angels that fell: or rather so much lower as we are under them. This indeed is the progresse of our condition in our selves; but Christ our Redcemer, who having put out the hand writing that was against us, and fastned Colos. 2.14. it to his crosse, descended into hell, to set open the prison dores, to let us out; He hath put Revel 1. 18. Psal 142. 7. Esa. 42. 7. another nature into these petitions; and made them to resemble rather the sixe daies of creati­on: as David said, Create in me, O God, a cleane heart: which is but this very prayer in a lesser vo­lume. Psal. 51.10. For, as every day in the Creation, had particular workes; so every petition in this Pray­er hath particular graces: and as it is said, that Eccles. 18.1. God made all things at once; yet the making of each creature, is ascribed to some peculiar day; so this prayer is the supplication of the whole body of the Church and of every Member ther­of: yet each petition seemes to have some spe­ciall relatiou to some peculiar Member. For, the first petition may not unfitly bee thought, the prayer of Angels: the second, the prayer of the Saints departed: the third, the Prayer of the Faithfull, living: the fourth, the prayer of all creatures: the fifth, the praier of penitent sinners: the sixth, the prayer of Infants.

And now having thought these petitions to [Page 52] be for such most proper: let us conforme our selves accordingly to them: when we say, Hallo­wed be thy Name; let us lift up the voyces of our hearts, as if we were now jovning with the An­gels, in singing their Halleluiah: When we say, Thy Kingdome come; let us raise our thoughts, as now offering to set our hands to the petition of the Saints in heaven. When we say, Thy will bee done: Let us fixe our minds wholly as in the so­lemnity of dedicating our selves to God, with all the faithfull upon earth. When we say, Give us this day our daily bread; let us humble our selves as being in state of other creatures, and are glad to joyne with them in their common suite. When we say, Forgive us our trespasses; let us thinke our selves enrolled in the company of penitents: and as the greatest sinners, chosen spokes-men to present their supplication. And when we say, Lead us not into temptation: let us acknowledge our selves in the number and weakenesse of little children, and are glad to joyne with them, in crying for helpe: that the Angell of infants, which alwaies beholds the face of God; may be imployed by him to worke our deliverance. And thus we shall not only goe on the right way, in making our petitions, but we shall have company also to bee affistants in preferring our petitions. And doth not such orderly ranking of the petitions, shew Christ to have beene a most skilfull Herauld in spiri­tuall matters? seeing they all take their places, ac­cording to the worth and dignity of the speakers.

[Page 53] In the first place, are the Angels; that as at the fall of the first Adam, Angels were set at the En­trance of Paradice, to keep us out; so at the com­ming of the second Adam; Angels are set here, at the entrance into Heaven to let us in. As there­fore this Petition, is as the Porter to let in all the other petitions; So holy Reverence must bee porter at our mouthes, to let in thispetition. For when it is said; Hallowed be thy Name; may it not justly be thought the prayer of Angels? of whom it is said: that they say, and sing continually; Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Sabbath; not onely say it, as their prayer; but sing it, as their Psa [...]me, and chief Delight. David did well, in offring God, to build a Temple, to his Name; but by whom was Gods Temple built? Not by David, a man of blood; but b [...] Salomon, a Prince of Peace: so it is well done of us to say; Hallowed bee thy Name: but by whom doe wee say, it must bee Hallowed? Not by us: Non vox hominem sonat; for how should wee Hallow his Name, who have propha­ned his Image? It is a worke for Angels: fit on­ly for them, to Hallow his Name, who have kept [...]oly their owne Nature; for, without a nature of holynesse his Name can never bee truly hal­lowed. And if wee understand it of our selves; will it not proove a worke of supererogation? seeing wee desire to doe more then is comman­ded? for the Commandement is onely, Not to take his Name in vaine; and heere wee desire, It may be hallowed. Unlesse it bee, that the com­mandements being Negative, they get some­thing [Page 54] by Christs resolving them, into Affirma­tives: Or is it to shew how much the Law is improoved by the Gospell? seeing it is no more in the Gospells phrase, to hallow Gods Name; then it was in the Lawes; not to take it in vaine.

But what if God have no Name at all? then indeed the Commandement will be easily kept; but the Petition will bee hardly granted. The Name is but a shadow of the Nature; as therfore a Body which were Infinite could have no sha­dow, the shadow not beginning, but where the Body endeth; so, a Nature which is Incom­prehensible, can have no Name; the Name be­ing not possible to be given; but where the Na­ture is comprehended. But though God have no Name, or no knowne Name to expresse him; yet hee is not without Name, to distinguish him: And what is then his Name, wee desire may bee Hallowed? his Name of Essence: or his Name in Relation? his Name, as it is in himselfe: or his Name, as it is to us? Not his Name of Essence: for how can we hallow that, until we know it, and how can we know it, untill the riddle be expoun­ded? seeing we know him now, but in Aenigmate, but his Name in relation; & as it is to us: his Name of Father, that is it which seemes most fitly, to be here intended: For, when we say Our Father, doth not God, by the Prophet Malachie, seeme to inter­rupt Mal. 1 [...]. us and say; If I bee your Father, where is my ho­nour? for to Hallow him, as a Father, and as an Heavenly Father; Is to honour him, to feare him, [Page 55] to love him, to obey him, to reverence him, and to adore him.

But what should be the cause, that in the three latter petitions; we seeme to be altogether for our selves; as appeares by our saying, Give us, Forgive us, Deliver us: but in the three former there is no mention of Vs at all, as though we were no parties to them? Is it not that we are or ought to be more jealous of Gods honour, then carefull of our owne benefits? and there­fore when we say, Hallowed be thy Name; we dare not say, Of us, least we should make God a Mu­sicke of too few voices. And when we say, Thy Kingdome come; we dare not say, to us: least we should assigne his Kingdome too small a Terri­tory. And when we say, Thy will be done; we dare not say, by us: least we should stint God, in the number of his servants. But we say; Hal­lowed be thy Name, and stoppe there: that so no mouth may be stopped from hallowing it: we say, Thy Kingdome come, but Name not whither: that so it may be intended to come every whi­ther: we say, Thy will be done in earth, but tell not by whom in earth; that so it may be done by all in earth.

By Hallowing Gods Name; we meane, not to make it holy; for it is holynesse it selfe: Nor to make it more holy, for it is infinitenesse it selfe: Nor to keepe it holy, for it is eternity it selfe; but to joyne with the heavens in decla­ring his glory: and with the firmament in shew­ing his handy-worke; as, then onely hallowing [Page 56] his Name, when we name him onely holy; and therein consisting our worke of sanctifying him, when in him we acknowledge, our workes to be sanctifyed.

To hallow the place wherein it pleased God to stand; Moses put off the [...]hooes from his feet: to hallow the day whereon it pleased him to rest, the Iewes put off the workes of their hands: and to hallow the Name which he vouchsafed to take, we must put off from our tongues all unreverent discourses; and from our lives all prophane conversation. And as Gods Name is Vnguentum Effusum, hath many dispersions in our understanding: so our hallowing it must have Linguas dispertitas; Cloven tongues to con­vay it to his hearing: his Name of Father must be hallowed by love; of Lord, by obedience; of judge, by uprightnesse; of almighty, by feare: and of everlasting, by constancy.

But is there no service we can doe, that will serve Gods Name, but onely our hallowing it? we have love, and glorifying, and admiring; and will none of these serve the turne? If we should say, loved be thy Name; that would be too little: for God himselfe allowes us to love our neighbours; and indeed every creature of God, that is usefull to us, deserves our love. Or if we should say Glorified be thy N [...]me, that would not be enough; seeing St. Paul tels us, that one Starre excels another in glory: and indeed the hea­vens in shewing the glory of God, deserve themselves in some sort to be glorified. Or if [Page 57] we should say, Admired be thy Name, that Iudg. 13.18. would not be sufficient; seeing an Angell told Manoah, that his Name was admirable. And in­deed the Angels are Creatures of so transcendent eminency, that they justly deserve our admi­ration. But when we say, Hallowed be thy Name, this sets it apart, and sets it above all other names: and it is so properly, that it is onely belonging to the Name of God; and altogether incommunicable to any creature. For, though we may say of An­gels, that they be holy; yet we cannot say to any of them, Hallowed be thy Name; seeing their holinesse is onely in dependance and a quality: Gods onely independent, and a substance; and it was an inscription upon the Myter of Aaron, as not onely due to God, but due to him in the highest place, Holinesse to the Lord. O Lord God, so sanctifie the faculties of my soule, that I may love thee for thy goodnesse; and glorifie thee, for thy love; and admire thee for thy glory: and hallow thee in them all.

But can we finde nothing in God, more wor­thy of hallowing, then his Name? seeing names are often changed, alwaies changeable; seldome true, never certaine? Our first parent was named Hevah; as being the mother of all living; and yet she proved to be brought a bed of death. The son of Salomon was called Rehoboam, signifying an enlarger of his people; and he enlargde them fairely, brought twelve Tribes to two. Simon was called Peter, as being a Rocke unmoveable: and yet he was shaken with the weake blast of a [Page 58] maydes mouth. But, O my soule, consider; the Name of God is not as the names of creatures: for their natures are mu [...]ble, and therefore their names deceitfull; but in God there is no mutability nor shadow of change. Creatures have a nature, and a name; but Gods Nature is his Name; his Name is himselfe; for whatsoever we can rightly name of God, is the Name of God: that we may be sure we have his Optimum, when we have his Totum; the best in him, when the whole of him: not that any thing in God is so best, as though one thing in him were better then another, who is Totus sine partibus; and Op­timus sine gradibus: but that he is Totum unum, and Totum Optimum; and both Vnum and Optimum; totum, Nomen: nothing but his Name: Or to speake it in plainer termes, that the nature of his Name, is not onely farre beyond the com­passe of expressing, but infinitly above the reach of understanding.

And indeed what can be thought so high: as that, which brings us so low, even upon our knees? and not us onely but the Angels them­selves: as it is savd, At the Name of God all knees shall bow: b [...]th of things in heaven and things on earth: and if this be thought impossible, because Angels have no knees; you may thereby know there is more honour due to God then is possible to be given him. Yet must even Angels, finde such knees to bow downe as God finds eyes to looke on; and by this we may make up a true hallowing of Gods Name; if we can joyne the [Page 59] knees of our bodies as men; & the knees of our soules, as Angels, together: and bow th [...]m all downe to doe him reverence. These indeed, the bowing downe our knees with Daniel; the holding up our hands, with Moses: the lifting up our eyes, with Stephen: are all good expres­sions, but they are but onely outward: It will not be a perfect hallowing, untill we come to Psal. 103. 1. that of David, My soule. praise thou the Lord; and all that is wit [...]in me, praise his [...]oly Name. For, that which is within must under [...]roppe that which is without: or elle, the bowing our knees to the ground will fall to the ground: and these out­ward hallowings will soone be prophaned. And therefore David accounted the lifting up his eyes to heaven, a good expression of hallowing Gods Name; because in him the proppe of it was faith and considence in Gods mercy, which alwaies looke upward: but the Publicane ac­counted the casting downe his eyes (a cleane contrary motion to that of Davids) as good an expression: because in him the prop of it, was humility, and sence of his owne unworthinesse, Wch alwaies looke downward: For even this also is a kind of hallowing Gods Name: when we ac­knowledge the prophanenes of our own natures.

But why should the hallowing of Gods Name bee accounted so great a vertue; when the sinne of not hallowing his Name can be but no­minall? and nominall is much inferiour to that which is reall: and seeing it is made so great a matter, may we not justly aske, Cui bono? what [Page 60] good get we by it? Indeed a most ungratefull question for the tongue to make, seeing this is the chiefe thing for which our tongues were made. Could Philosophers finde cause enough in vertue, to love it for it selfe, though to them­selves there came no benefit: and cannot we finde cause enough in Gods name to hallow it for it selfe, though to our selves there should come no profit? Could they finde brightnesse in a beame of the Sunne: and cannot we finde brightnesse in the Sunne it selfe? For, what is vertue but as it were a beame of that eternall and uncreated light, which is the very essence of God? and by what can we more expresse the essence of God, then by his name? For, when we say, Hallowed be thy Name, we say as much as hallowed be thy Majesty, thy Eternity, thy Glory, thy substance, thy selfe, thy all in all. And yet perhaps it may be sayd, we hallow Gods name, not so much for our selves to get, as that God may not lose: for what greater losse, then disparagment of name? which, if we that be wormes and no men, make so great ac­count of, what may we thinke of God: for the sunne of whose glory, all the starres of heaven cannot make one beame? Our names are but accidentall things, and there was a time when they were not ours: but Gods name is essentiall to him, and it was his before time it selfe was. And if we should say, that not onely his name was, but that it was hallowed before there was eyther Man or Angell to hallow it; though this [Page 61] be more then wee can conceive, yet it is no more then whereof we finde a parallell: for why is it more strange, that his name should be hal­lowed, when there was none to hallow it: then that his voyce was obeyed when there was no­thing to obey it? as when he said, Let there be light, and there was light. But lastly, if men be so set up­on their profit that they will doe nothing with­out a fee: Is not this fee enough for them, that by it they are admitted into the Quier of An­gells? but much more, that by it they attaine to their perfection? for if every thing be then per­fected when it attain [...]s its end; then certainely are our tongues, and indeed our soules perfected when they hallow Gods name, for this is their end. Wherefore, O my soule, let not offences, belonging onely to the name of God, be sligh­ted as onely nominall: but let them be accoun­ted, as indeed they are, of all other the most reall: and as it is the first petition in thy prayer, so let it be the first care in thy heart; that thou speake nothing by which his name may be pro­phaned: that thou doe nothing by which it may be blasphemed: For, though God require a strict observance of all his Commandements: yet he professeth not so punctually; to hold the brea­kers guilty in any as in this: and therefore, when in two notorious crimes, adultery and murther, he spared David; yet in this, that through them his name was blasphemed; he would not hold him guiltlesse; but made him pay for it with the death of his deere Sonne.

[Page 62] And indeed if we marke this petition well, we shall find a peculiar Majesty; an extraordina­ry Preheminence in it above all the other: For, it is not onely the Primum Mobile, from which all the other have their motions: but it is the centre also to which all the other bend their mo­tions. For, when we say, Thy Kingdome come: It is but to come, that we may hallow Gods name: & when we say, Thy will be done: it is but for this, that we may hallow Gods Name: & when we pray for daily bread, it is but to strengthen us, that we may hallow Gods name: & when we say Forgive us our trespasses, it is but to clense us, that we may hallow Gods name: & when we say, Lead us not into temp­tation: it is but to remove impediments, that we Psalm. 8. may hallow Gods name: O Lord our God, how excel­lent is thy Name in all the world! And where we have a triviall yet true saying amongst us, A good begin­ning makes a good ending: it can in nothing more lively be exemplified, then in the marshalling of these petitions: for he that makes his beginning, at the hallowing of Gods name, may be sure to make his ending in the deliverance from evill: and though it be a blasphemous fable of the Iewes that Christ learned in the Temple the name of God; by the vertue wherof he wrought all his Miracles, yet from this blasphemy, we may draw this verity; that it is indeed the name of God, by the transcendent power whereof all miracles are wrought. O Lord our God how ex­cellent Psal 118. 12. is thy Name in all the world! It was this name in which, when Davids enemies came about [Page 63] him like Bees: yet i [...] this name they were ex­stinct. It was this name in which when divels pos­sessed both soules and bodies of men, yet in this name they were ejected. It was this name for whose sake the lsr [...]lites were preserved in the wildernesse: the three children in the fiery Fur­nace: Daniel in the Lions Denne: and Ionas in the Whales belly. O Lord our God, how excellent is thy Name in all the world! It is this name at the sound whereof, the Mountaines smoke the founda­tions of the earth are shaken; the divels in hell trem­ble. It is this name by vertue whereof, the bodies of the dead are raised; the soules of the Saints are glorified; the happinesse of the Angels is eternised: O Lord our God, how excellent is thy Name in all the world! that if wee were as Iames and [...]ohn: and had voices like Thunder; yet we could never hallow this name loude enough: If we were as Methusalem; and had breathes like eternity; yet we could never hallow this name long enough: If we were as Salomon, and had the tongues of Angels; yet we could never hal­low this name worthily enough. O Lord our God how excell [...]nt is thy Name in all the world! Where­fore, O my soule, doe thou by this name of God, as David (in the 119 Psalme) doth by the Law of God; whereof he seemes so jealous and so loath to leave it, that the word is no sooner out of his mouth, but he fn [...]heth it in againe; and there is [...]ot so short a sentence in all this long Psalme, but the Law of God is a word in it. And so doe thou by the name of God, let it [Page 64] evermore be in thy mouth, but ever; more be in thy heart; that thou make it not a common name, but keepe it holy: for if thou take it not in vaine to Gods dishonour; thou shalt be sure not to take it in vaine to thy owne benefit; for God will plentifully blesse it, and the next newes thou shalt heare of, will be the comming of his Kingdome.

And that wee may know Gods Name to bee a substance rather than a Word; or a Word of substance; wee shall finde it to bee hallowed or prophaned, by Actions rather then by words; or by words that make Actions: as Abraham hallow­ed Gods Name, when hee offred his sonne Isaac: because hee beleeved, that hee was faithfull, that had promised: but Moses hallowed it not at Me­riba; when he said to the people: Now yee Rebels, Num. 20.10. shall we bring you water out of this Rocke? Not that Moses himselfe doubted, but that hee spake unad­visedly Psal. 106.33. with his lips; and made the people doubt; hee doubted: and so whilst God honoured him, by manifesting his new Name of Iehovah; he for­got to honour God, by magnifying his old Name of Saddai. And if Moses, for want of perfitnesse in this Petition; were hindred from entring into the Num. 20.12. Terrestriall Canaan; was it not to be a Type for us, that wee for want of perfitnesse in it, may bee hindred from entring into the Heavenly Canaan? O then, my Tongue, make thee perfit in repea­ting it; and O my heart, make thee perfit in re­cording it; and O my life, bee thou perfit in act­ing it: that when yee have done with saying, [Page 65] Hallowed be thy name, in Earth amongst men: yee may be admitted to say: Holy, Holy, Holy, in hea­ven amongst Angells.

If Gods Name were to be hallowed with mul­tiplicity of words; there are men of Incessant Tongues; like the Priests of Baal; that stood bawling to their Idoll, from morning till night: that were likely to doe it: Or if it were, to bee hallowed with eloquence of words: there are men of curious language, that would bee as fit to doe it; as the old Oratours were, to make their Panegyricks to Princes: Or if it were to be done with great and mighty words: there are roaring men in the world, might bee as able to hallow it, as Goliah the Philistine, was to blaspheme it: but none of these have coales from the Altar: and the hallowing of Gods Name, is a sacrifice: and must be done with fire; a fire of feare and reverence, b [...]rning in the heart: and sending forth flames, of holy and devout thoughts in the minde: of god­ly and sanctified communications in the tongue; of lowly and chast aspects in the Eyes, of Inno­cency and deeds of charity in the hands: and when every part both of body and soule, hath thus contributed its heate: there will then be made as perfect a sacrifice to hallow Gods Name, 1 Kin. 8. 65. as the sacrifice of peace offring, which Salomon offred at the [...] of the Temple.

It is a [...] [...]couragement to men, for doing of anything wh [...]ther can see apparent reasons wh [...] they [...]oe it: [...]us what reasons doe wee see he [...]re, for hallowing of Gods Name? O my soule, [Page 66] art thou so blinde of sight, so dull of understan­ding? Hast thou said, Our Father which art in Hea­ven; and dost thou consider his love, as being our Father: his Majesty, as being in Heaven: and dost thou complaine for want of reasons to hal­low his Name? as a Father, he hath created, and begotten us: hee hath Elected and Adopted us: he hath preserved and redeemed us: and have we not reason then, to hallow his Name, as creatures as living creatures, as reasonable creatures, as ser­vants, as children, as heires, as bondmen freed, as leapers cleansed, as dead men revived & borne a­new: & if we should set our selves to reckon them up all: It is not the stars of heaven that would be counters enow to summe them. And if his love afford us so many reasons: doth not his Majesty afford us, as many more? he is in heaven, not with in heaven; within it, but not contained; contai­ned, but not defined. He is in heaven, and that makes the Sun so bright: which without his being there should have no brightnes: He is in heaven and that makes the heavens so glorious, which without his being there should have no glory. Doe we see how bright the Sunne is, and doe we not cōsider how great his brightnes is, that made the Sunne? Doe we see how glorious the heavens are, and doe we not consider how great his glory is that made the heavens? He is in heaven, that he may looke downe in mercy upon us on earth: & he is in heaven, that we may looke up in faith to him in heaven: he is in heaven, to let us downe the Angels ladder from heaven: & he is in hea­ven to draw us up to be as Angels in heaven: & if [Page 67] we should stand to finde out all the reasons, which may be drawne from the consideration of his Maje­sty, for the hallowing of his Name: It would not be be a worke for time, but for eternity: for, as wee know not where to begin, in that which is incompre­hensible; so we should never know how to end in that wch is infinite. O my Lord God, so enlighten my understanding, that I may see the reasons of hallowing thy Name: so sanctifie my nature, that I may above reason be able to hallow it.

We say here, Hallowed be thy Name: but might we not say better with David: Laudate Dominumomnes Angeliejus: Praise the Lord all yee Angels? For so, we should commit Gods honour to the care of Angels, who we may be sure, would alwaies be carefull of it; whereas now leaving it indefinite; while it is com­mitted to none, it may be omitted by all. But is it not that David could goe no higher then Angels, for hal­lowing of Gods Name; In concreto: but Christ tea­cheth us here, to goe higher, in Abstracto: for crea­tures, how eminent soever, are yet but limited: and limited as well in action, as in essence: where the hallowing of Gods Name, is in it selfe, unlimmitted: & therefore we justly abstract it from all matter of the instrument, which necessarily inferreth a restraint: and leave it indefinite, which is capable of being in­finite.

But is this petition, seated onely on mount Gerizim, to warrant David to say, If any man seeke the Lord, and P Sal. 40.16. love his salvation: let him rejoyce alwaies, and be glad; and say continually, The Lord be magnified? and doth it not as well reach to mount Eball: and warrant the Church [Page 68] to proclaime: If any man with Goliah, defie the ar­mies of Israel, and vilifie Gods power; let him be Ana­thema: For Hallowed he thy Name. If any man, with Rab­sakeh, seeke to withdraw the peoples hearts, from trusting in the living God; let him be Anathema: for Hallowed be thy Name. If any man with Iulian shall say in d [...]rision of Christ, Vicisti Galilaee: let him be Ana­thema; for Hallowed be thy Name. And let Anathemaes be still proclaimed, against all the blasphemers of Gods Name, till there be no more left: that two Moun­taines, at last may meet Eball with Gerizim; and Hell it selfe be forced with griefe to houle, what with joy it cannot sing; Hallowed be thy Name.

We have thought this petition most proper to be sayd of Angels, but may we not appropriate it to our selves; & exclude the Angels from saying it at all? In­deed as it is here placed, perhaps we may. For having called God Our Father, and this petition comming so immediatly upon it; we seem to pray, that his Name of Father, may be hallowed by us: & if we understand it so, what have the Angels to do to say it? They may say; Holy, holy holy, Lord God of Sabbath: and so hallow him in his Name of Lord, as Servants; but to hallow him in his Name of Father, as Sons, they cannot. Not, but that the Angels are the Children of God by crea­tion, and grace of holinesse; but that they are not the Sons of God by regeneration and grace of [...]option: this dignity is only proper to men, as being members [...]. of Christ; who tooke our nature upon him, and not that of Angels. But seeing David hath brought into Psal. 148. this Quier, not onely the Angels in Heaven, but the Heavens themselves; not only the Trees and Cedars [Page 69] of the Mountaines, but the Mountaines themselves; not only beasts and creeping things of the earth, but the earth it selfe: Let not us so streighten the Name of God, as that we leave out Angels; (who are our sweetest Quiristers) nor yet other Creatures, (who are our loudest voyces;) seeing loudnesse also hath a place in this Musicke, as David saith, Sing yee loud unto Psal. 118. the Lord, all the earth least seeking to [...]ncrease our own dignity by propriety of the song; we detract from Gods glory, by restraint of the fingers. And enter not O my soule into the shame to thinke, that where all other creatures doe directly sing it, we onely doe but make suit to sing it, and it is thought in us a good degree of doing it; if we can but onely pray to doe it.

And indeed we have need to pray to doe it, seeing praying to doe it, is all in effect we can doe of it, to any purpose. For our hallowing can be, but as our understanding is: and our understanding can be but as it gets ground from our senses to stand upon. And what ground can our understanding have for this, from any sense of ours? we cannot heare him so much as to call to us by our names, as Samuel did: we cannot see him so much as flaming in a bush and not con­suming it, as Moses did: we cannot touch so much as the wounds of Christs side, as Thomas did: and from whence then should our understanding take its rising? It is true, we see the heavens, and they declare the glory of God, but we slight them through too much famili­arity: we heare his words in the Law and the Gospel, and in them is eternall life; but we regard not them, as having them but at the second hand; and they but touch us, as it were, at the bound: but if we could [Page 70] heare God speaking himselfe, as the Israelites did in Sina: Or if we could see but the backparts of God, as Moses did in the rocke: but most of all, if we could see Exod. 33.21. the face of God, which all his Saints and Angels be­hold in heaven; then indeed we should not need this prayer any longer: for the very sight would worke in us the effect of the prayer: and as Peter, at the onely transfiguration of Christs humanity was so astoni­shed, that he spake he knew not what; yet thus much was even extorted frō him by the glory of the sight to say, Bonum est esse hic: so when we shall come to enjoy the vision of God, and to see one sitting upon the Thron, like a Iasper stone: though we shall be never so much Revel. 4.3. astonished at the glory of the fight; yet this will even be extorted from us, to say with the 24 Elders, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour, and power: Revel. 4.10. and wee shall fall of our selves into the song of the Angels; Holy, holy, holy, Lord God almighty, and not only say it, but never cease to say it: for seeing our behol­ding will be cause of our admiring; & our admiring cause of our saying: we shall never cease to say it, be­cause never cease to admire it; and never leave admi­ring it, because never leave be holding it. And indeed till we shall come to see his face; we shall never per­fectly hallow his Nam; and therefore what we want in ability, we must supply with prayer: that seeing our words doe but halt after our understanding, and our understanding after his glory; with our hearts we may adore him, but adore him as incomprehensible; & with our hearts we may hallow him, but hallow him as uns [...]eakable. When we pray for the hallowing of Gods Name, we pray implicitely for all things neces­sary [Page 71] and conducing to it: we pray for the agent, and for the instrument; we pray for the time and for the place; we pray for the speaker and for the hearer; and in one word, we pray for the propa­gation of the Gospell, that doores may be opened to all men of faith, that so the building may goe up of the new Ierusalem: That labourers may be sent into Gods harvest, that so theweeds may be pluckt vp, and the good Corne brought into the Barne: that there may be Ioy in Sion, and peace within her walls: that, not the Trumpet of War, but the Trumpet of praise & thankesgiving may be heard amongst us: that all eares may be circumcised, & all tongues touched with Coales from the Altar; that so nothing be spo­ken, nor any thing be heard; but tending all to the honour and glory of Gods Name.

This petition stands neerest unto God of them all; and makes us stand neerest to the An­gels, and gives us seisin as it were of what wee shall be hereafter; when we shall be sensible of the sweetnesse of it: though now, Flesh and blood finde little rellish in it; having tongues to say it, but not to taste it; untill they shall put on incorruption. For, as little account as men make of it here, this very hallowing of Gods Name is the highest step of the Angels ladder to happi­nesse: and under an Angell none can climbe it. And it may be called the petition of sanctity; for, by it we are reduced Ad similitudinem Dei; Be ye holy as I am holy. And it is proper to this pe­tition, that this onely is eternall; and as it is our first petition here on earth, so it shall be our last [...] [Page 72] ther petitions shall have an end. For though Hosannaes shall cease with the ceasing of fayth and hope: yet Halleluiahs shall continue with the continuance of charity, and not onely conti­nue, but be continuall.

But may we not thinke, that these words, Hal­lowed be thy Name, are not properly a petition; or any part of our prayer: but rather a complement and solemnity attending upon the Name of God? as the Iewes manner is not onely wh [...] they name any of their famous ancestours, the [...] alwaies adde some words of Benediction, as speaking of Moses; they alwaies adde Zechar [...] liberacha: Memoria ejus in benedictione, as we al [...] to say, Of blessed memory; but much more s [...]aking of God, they alwaies adde, Hacadosh Baru [...] Hu: Sanctus Benedictus ille: which is in effect the [...] we say here, Hallowed be thy Name: and it would fall out well to understand it thus; that so, we may make Christ as good as his word; for then, Thy Kingdome come, will prove the first petition: and it will be as Christ sayd, Seeke first the King­dome of God; and the righteousnesse thereof, and all other things shall be ministred unto you: for having sought the Kingdome of God, by this petition, and the righteousnesse thereof by the next; all other things are ministred unto us by the petiti­ons following: For, we have a Deed of gift of all temporall things, by one; and a generall par­don of all faults, by another; and a Protection royall from all evill, by the last. But, O my thoughts, wander not in such by-paths by your [Page 73] selves: where being alone, you are not onely in danger to goe out of the way; but you are in a way to fall into dangers: but keepe the roade, where you have company and conduct; that will alwaies keepe you right, and guard you safe: for these words, Hallowed be thy Name, shall well enough, and most justly be a petition, and a part of our prayer: and yet Christ neverthelesse be as good as his promise: for this petition, Hallo­wed be thy Name, refers only to the honour of God; but of those which relate to our own benefit, Thy Kingdome come, is worthily the first; and so Christs counsaile stands firme. Seeke first the Kingdome of God, and all other things shall be ministred unto you.

Next unto the Angels in heaven, are placed the Saints in heaven; for when it is said, Thy Kingdome; may it not fitly be thought the pray­er of the Saints departed? of whom it is said, that lyingunder the Altar, they cry, How long O Revel. 6.10. Lord, holy and true; wilt thou not avenge our blood upon them that dwell upon the earth? we all indeed pray for the inchoation of the Kingdome of Grace: but these are p [...]operly they, that pray for the consummation of the Kingdom of glory: when all things shalbe made subject to the Father and God shall be all in all. And it remaines onely for these to pray for this Kingdome, seeing they are already lifted up above all other kingdomes; having the kingdomes of the world in contempt; & the kingdome of satan in subiection; and as for the Kingdome of Grace, they have it already in perfection.

[Page 74] Though we have stiled this petition, the pray­er of the Saints departed; as being the most e­minent persons that can say it; yet we doe not thereby exclude our selves, but we enter com­mon with them; or rather, we pray for a King­ [...]ome more then they doe: They onely for the Kingdome of glory: we, for the Kingdome both of grace, and glory; yet may we justly call it theirs, seeing they began it to us, and continue it with us, and enforce it for us.

But doe not the words of this petition crosse one another? and is there not an opposition betweene them? For, Kingdome is a word of Majesty: and comming is a word of inferiority; at most, of equality; and so we seeme to pray to Gods disparagement, we make a superiour inferi­our, at most but equall. But is it not, that we mean not here a descent, but an extent of the King­dome: and a comming, not of duty, but of grace? and so neither the Kingdome disdaineth the comming; nor the comming disparageth the Kingdome; but Kingdome and comming, are magnified both in their uniting.

This petition at first sight seemes to flatter flesh and blood, asking as they themselves would wish; but Christ hath taken them downe from any such hope: professing plainely that his King­dome is not of this world. And though it may be thought am [...]ition, to aske so great a matter as a Kingdome; yet it is in truth, humility: for, untill we attaine to this Kingdome, we cannot be wholly Gods true servants: and it is reason, [Page 75] the suite should be the greater, because we are likely to tarry longest for it. But is it not strange to see us come as we doe here, In forma pauperis; to aske a Kingdome? yet so we must doe, and Math. 5.3. so hath Christ proclaimed it; Blessed are the poore in spirit, for theirs is the kingdome of Heaven. And yet if we marke it well, as poore as we seeme to come; we shall finde, that Salomon in all his roy­alty, was not cloathed as we are by this petition; for by it we are cloathed here with sanctificati­on, that we may be cloathed hereafter with im­mortality.

Some seditious heads may here take occasion to thinke; that to pray for this Kingdome, is to pray against all earthly kingdomes; and to dis­throne Gods Lieutenants of their authority. But know, O world, that this Kingdome, though it take away our subjection to the world: yet it taketh not away our subjection in the world: though we be not of the world which St. Iames Iam. 4.4. Ioh. 17.16. taxed for Enmity with God; yet we are of the world, which Augustus taxed for tribute to Caesar: and this tribute must be paide as well from our hearts as from our purses; for, out of the duty we owe him that hath placed us in his service, we learne to be contented to serve every one in his place.

When we say this petition, we meane not, that Gods Kingdome should so come to be here, as that it should be no where else: for, this were but to remove it, whilst we seeke to enlarge it; and to make that finite, which is infinite: but [Page 76] we pray onely for the beames of the Sunne of righteousnesse; not for the Sunne it selfe: for the power and priviledges of the Kingdome, not for the body: that as Christ saith, No man can come unto me except the Father draw him; So we most properly understand, the Kingdome to come to us, when the Father drawes us, and makes us come unto it: and so in effect our peti­tion is this: that God by his Spirit would so rule over us, that our spirits may wholly be ruled by him; and that his Kingdome of grace may so come unto us, that we may come at last to his Kingdome of Glory.

But what need we to pray for the comming of this Kingdome? for seeing it is infinite, it must needs be every where; and being every where, it must needs be here already. But is it not, that there is a difference between the being of this Kingdome, and the comming? It is in­deed every where, but it comes not every where. It is in the wicked upon earth: and it is in the damned in hell: but it comes onely to the faith­full Revel. 3.20. on earth, or to the Saints in heaven; for, wher it onely is, it is in power or justice: but where it comes, it is in love and bounty: where it onely is, it leaves us at sea, and suffers us to suffer ship­wracke; but where it comes, it brings us into the Haven, and sets us safe on shoare.

This Petition hath but three words, and each word may have its emphasis; each emphasis its meditation. For if we place the emphasis upon the last word: the meditation may be this, that [Page 77] the ambition is not in asking a Kingdome, but that we must have it come to us: as though we thought our selves too good to goe to it: but alas poore lame soules, wee cannot goe to it though we would never so fayne: for the truth is we are in bondage to another Prince; that unlesse this Kingdome come and free us, our Fetters will not suffer us to stir a foote. But is not this directly contrary to that which Christ saith, Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdome pre­pared for you? for here we pray, that the King­dome may come to us: and there we are invited to come to it: Here, we are the marke, and the Kingdome is the commer: there the Kingdome is the marke; and we the commers. This indeed may well seeme wonderfull in our eyes, seeing nothing is more wonderfull in nature, then the nature of this Kingdome is. It comes to us as our Ransome: We come to it as to our Tri­umph: It comes to us, as it came and sat upon the Apostles in fiery tongues: we come to it, as Elias went up in a fiery charriot. It comes to us, as the Kingdome of Grace: we come to it, as to the Kingdome of glory.

And if wee place the Emphasis upon the se­cond word: It may be seconded with this Me­ditation: It is true, we are in this world as in a warre; and have many enemies to assault us: but will no lesse ayde then a Kingdome serve us? Have we not Forces of our owne, which we may muster up, and make resistance? This indeed, was Pelagius his dreame, but all men that are a­wake, [Page 78] finde it otherwise. For seeing those Forces did not serve our first Parents, who were strong and at liberty; what hope is there for us, who are weake and in bondage? But might it not serve to Esa. 41.8. require the helpe of Abraham? For Abraham was Gods Friend; and men will doe much for their friends; how much more will God? This also hath been, and is still the ignorant fancy of some Esa. 63. 16. men: therefore ignorant: because Abraham is ignorant of us, and knowes us not: and seeing, while hee lived, hee came short by Tenne, in hel­ping the Sodomites, whom hee knew; he is like to come much shorter now in helping of uswhom hee doth not know. But would it not be suffici­ent to pray for the ayde of Angells? as God pro­mised Moses, that his Angell should goe with him: and wee may be sure, that God knew well, what Assistance would serve. Of this Errour, it se [...]ms Col. 2.18. by Saint Paul, some Colossians were in danger; but wee see Moses would not trust to that helpe neither; but flatly refused it: (It seemes he took Exo. 33.15. Gods offer but as a try all) and unlesse God would goe himselfe, hee thought it no boore for him to stirre. And indeed who can thinke it reasonable for Sonnes to rely upon their Fathers Servants? Eph. 2.12. For wee fight not with flesh and blood; but with prin­cipalities and Powers; and seeing we have a King­dome to assault us; wee must likewise have a Kingdome to assist us. Neither our owne Forces; Nor Succour of Saints; Nor ayde of Angells will stand us in stead; God himselfe must goe forth with our Armies, or wee shall never be able to overcome.

[Page 79] And if we place the emphasis upon the first word: It may then raise our minds to this me­ditation: There are many competitors for this Esa. 26.13. Kingdome to rule over us: but above all, though [...]udg. 9.14. the basest of all; the bramble satan catcheth hold of us to get it: God is the trne Olive tree; Zach. 4.11. but he cannot take it upon him unlesse he should leave his fatnesse: Hee is the true Figge-tree, but he cannot be King over us, unlesse he should leave his sweetnesse: and that fatnesse and that sweetnesse he left: (the Father when he gave his Sonne: the Sonne when he gave his life) and now let all the Trees of the wood rejoyce: for, Thou O Lord art w [...]rthy to receive all glory, and ho­nour, 1 Chro. 16.33. Psal. 96.12. and power; and the Lord shall raigne for ever. And what then shall we render for this inesti­mable favour, in taking us to be his subjects? O let us offer him, not onely the tenths of our la­bours; but the first fruits of our affections: let Psal. 24.9. us open not onely the doores of our lips, but the gates of our hearts; that this King of glory may come in. And when thou vouchsafest, O my Lord, to come with thy high Majesty under my low roofe; and to worke a miracle, by having that greatnesse which the world containeth not, contained in the little corner of my breast; Vouchsafe also to send thy Grace for the Har­binger of thy Glory; seeing there can no roome be dressed up against thy comming, but onely by thy comming: and no place can be reckoned fit for thee, untill it be made fit by thee. Possesse me wholly, O my soveraigne; raigne in my [Page 80] body, by obedience to thy Lawes: and in my soule, by confidence in thy promises: Frame my tongue to praise thee, my knees to reve­rence thee, my strength to serve thee, my de­sires to cover thee, and my heart to embrace thee: that as thou hast formed me to thine I­mage: so thou mayst frame mee to thy will; and as thou hast made mee a vessell, by the stamp of thy Creation, to serve thee on earth, so thou may est make me, a vessell of honour, by the priviledge of thy grace, to serve thee in thy Kingdome.

In some, the world Governes; and he who is Prince of this world, the divell: and this govern­ment is a very [...]yranny: the people here, are not Subjects but slaves: they have fetters on all their faculties; and if they [...]oe not feele them, it is because they are past feeling. The avre of this place is onely Fogges and Mists, which both blind their eyes, and infect their spirits; and makes it their Paradise, to be wallowing in pud­dle. He is no true P [...]nce but an usurper, and therfore rules all by force and falsehood: He takes upon him to be their Pilot; launcheth them out into the maine, and then leaves them to stormes and tem [...]ests: and their Haven is to split against the Rockes. So here is no being for thee, O my soule, thou hadst need to make haste hence, and to seeke thee out some better harbour. In some the flesh governes; and they which be Ladies of Esa. 47.7. the flesh, Pride and Lust: and this government [Page 81] is a very Anarchy: Every base fancy hath an even sway, with noble reason; Wisdome here is not justified of her children; they may speake the language of Canaan, but they are all natives of Sodome; their eyes are seeled up, yet their flight is onely downe hill: for they are travel­ling to the bottomles Pit. So this, O my soule, is no place for thee neyther; No resting for thee here; seeing here is no rest, but all in motion; and all motion here is commotion. In some the spirit governes: and he, who is the Father of spirits, God himselfe: and this government is a perfect Kingdome: He hath Majesty for his Crowne: Mercy for his seate: and Iustice for his Scepter. He hath wisedome for his Counsailour; Almightinesse for his guard; and Eternity for his date. He hath heaven for his Pallace; the earth for his Footstoole: and hell for his prison. He hath lawes to which nature assents, and reason subscribes; that doe not fetter us but free us: for by them nature gets the wings of grace, and transcends the earth: Reason gets the eyes of fayth, and ascends up to heaven. He hath a yoke Esa. 40.10. indeed, but it is easie: a burthen, but it is light: his reward is with him, and his worke before him. He is established in this soveraignty, not by his subjects election of him; but by his election of his subjects: not as rayfing himselfe to a higher title, but as humbling himselfe to a lower calling: and as not receiving it, from a Predecessor who is before all: so never leaving it to a successour, who is after all. This is the [Page 82] place where my soule shall dwell, here will I pitch my Tabernacle: Onely O Lord, let me be taken into the number of thy subiects; and endue mee with the priviledges of thy King­dome: and I will freely and faithfully serve thee for ever. Other Lords besides thee, have here­tofore Esa. 16.13. ruled us; but now we will remember thee onely, and onely thy Name.

When we make this petition to God, that his Kingdome may come; we should doe well to remember a petition which God makes to us, My sonne, give me thy h [...]art: For, unlesse we Prov. 13.26. give God our hearts; whither can wee thinke this Kingdome should come? For, if it come to the eares, as oftentimes it makes offer at the hearing of Gods Word; it findes that, onely a Thorough-fare which lies open on every side; and no fit place to make a residence in: and therefore commonly goes away as it came: and makes no stay there. And if it come to the eyes, as sometime, it offers at the sight of Gods workes: It findes them not able to stay long open, but must have their windowes shut in, & so are apt to keepe it out; or if they stand open they are apt to let in vanity, which this King­dome likes not; and therefore cannot abide to abide there neyther, but vanisheth away. And indeed, these are but Out-places; this Kingdome loves to be within us, as Christ saith, The kingdome of God is within you: and we have no Luk. 17. 21. place within us, fit to make the Seate of a King­dome, but onely our heart; and this indeed hath [Page 83] no back doore to let it out, as the eare hath; nor no percullis to keepe it out, as the eye hath; but it hath a large entrance, and a boundlesse circuit; and therefore most fit to give this King­dome entertainement. And yet, as fit as it is, God will not have it, unlesse we give it him; and he will not have it so neither, unlesse we give it him all: for it is against his Nature to have a Partner; and he cannot abide to heare of moyi­ties: either he must have all, or he hath nothing at all: to be a piece for God, and a piece for the world; is to be all for the world: to con­clude God at all, is to exclude him from all. Wherefore, O my soule, mangle not thy heart in giving it to God, but give it him all: and thinke thy selfe happy that he will take it all: for the more he possesseth it, the freer he makes it; the more hee dwelleth in it, the fayrer hee builds it; the more raigneth in it, the richer he adornes it. O my Lord God, that thou wouldst come and dwell in my hea [...]ras the owner of it, and reigne in my heart as the King of it: I should not then envy the Pallaces of Princes, nor the kingdomes of the earth: seeing I should have within my selfe a Pallace and a Kingdome, not onely to equall, but farre to exceede them.

But what kinde of Kings will this Kingdome make us? Is it, as one saith: Rex est qui metuit nihil? and indeed there is not such a King to be found amongst all the Princes of the earth: for, how is it possible they should be without feare; [Page 84] who have a sword hanging over their heads continually, but by a thred? yet such Kings shall we be made by the comming of this Kingdome. For, whereof should we be afraide? Of ene­mies? Revel. 7.16. but they shall be all subdued under our feete. Of poverty? But we shall hunger and thirst no more. Of nakednesse? But the Sunne shall not burne us by Psal. 125.6. [...] day, nor the Moone by night. Of sorrow? But all teares shall he wiped away from our eyes. Of death? Revel. 7.17. but Mors ultra non dominabitur. Yet all this will m [...]ke us but negative Kings, and meere negation makes not happy: for, happinesse is a positive thing, and puts us in a reall possession of all good things. And such happinesse too shall we have by the comming of this Kingdome: for, where­in, can wee thinke, doth happinesse consist? If in dainty fare? we shall eate and drinke with Christ, at his Fathers Table. If in fine clothes? we shall all be cloathed in long white robes. If Revel. 6.11. in curious Musicke? we shall heare the Quier of Angels continually singing. If in light? Fulgebi­mus sicut sol. If in knowledge? we shall know, as we are knowne. If in dominion? we shall judge the Angels. If in joy? our joy shall be full, and none shall be able to take it from us. If in [...] Cor. 6.3. Iohn 15.11. Iohn 16.22. glorious sights? we shall see the blessed face of G [...]d, wch is the glory of all sights, the sight of all glory. O happy Kingd [...]me: O happy comming: O happy we to whom it shall come; that we can never be intentive enough in praying; never earnest enough in longing, that this Kingdome may come.

[Page 85] But doth not this petition seeme to cast an eye upon the Iewes: seeing it is not the Kings, but the Kingdomes comming that is here pray­ed for? for, their King it was well enough knowne, was come: knowne by the Wisemens question: Where is the King of the Iewes that is M [...]r. 2.2. borne? Knowne by the peoples acclamation: Hosanna, Blessed is the King of Israel, that com­meth Iohn 12.13. in the Name of the Lord. Knowne by Pilates superscription: Iesus Nazaronus Rex Iudaeorum: Thus their King they saw, but his Kingdome they saw not: for, how could they see that which was spirituall with carnall eyes? neyther in­deed, can they ever come to see this Kingdome, unlesse this Kingdome come and visit them first. And is not this then a fit petition for them also? And if we give way to this fancie of expositi­on; it will not goe much a stray from the for­mer: seeing the comming of this Kingdome to the Iewes, is the immediate Fore-runner of the comming of this King, to us that are Chri­stians.

But it is time now to leave being Iewes: and to pray for the comming not onely of the Kingdome, but of the King himselfe; that see­ing in attire of humanity they knew him not; and in estate of submission, they honoured him not: he would now come at length in the bright­nes [...]e of his Deity; and in the greatnesse of his Soverainety: that the eyes which scorned his humility, may bee dazeled at his glory: and that they which refused the haven of his mercy, [Page 86] may suffer shipwracke on the rocke of his justice. And to this end we doe all of us set our hands and hearts to that supplication of thy Saints; who groaning under the burden of their long deferred hope, doe continually with sighes pre­sent thee this petition: Come Lord [...]esus, come Rev. 6.11. quickly. And if, O God, thou hast Corne behind to reape, which is not yet sowne: and stubble behind to burne, which is not yet sprung: though with patience we will waite the season of thy pleasure, yet with prayers we will im­portune the hastening of thy Harvest: and though we be not worthy to open the Seales: Rev. 5.4. yet we cannot chuse but be tempering with the waxe, that we long for no others comming but thine owne; and reckon nothing long a com­ming but thy Kingdome.

It is proper to this petition; that where all the other have their present dispatches, and are put in possession of their suites, this onely lives in expectation; and is put off with a dilatory an­swer, for God knowes how long: yet is as well pleased with this expectation, as the others are with their present possessions: and therefore may justly be called, the petition of hope; but Rom. 5.5. hope that makes not ashamed: seeing it consists not in the uncertainnesse of the matter, but one­ly of the time.

Next to the Saints in heaven, are placed the Saints on earth: for, when it is sayd, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven: is it not plainely [Page 87] the prayer of the faithfull, living? seeing Christ himselfe, while hee lived on Earth; made use of this Petition, for our example: Father, if it be pos­sible; let this Cup passe from mee, yet not as I will; but as thou wilt.

But may not this petition bee thought super­fluous; to pray for that which is, and will bee done, whether wee pray for it or no? For, God Psal. 135.6. Esa. 14.24. & 46.10. doth what soever he will both in Heaven and in earth: and who hath resisted his Will? But wee must consider, that we pray not for God, but to God for our selves; that having undone our selves by doing our owne will; wee may bee repaired, by doing of his Will: and not of his Will, absolute: but of his Will in relation: Not, when hee com­mands, as when hee said; Let there be Light; but when hee gives Commandements; as when hee said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with all thy heart: Wee therefore pray that this Will of his may bee done of us; by our obedient and cheer­full Acting it; and done in us, by our patient and thankfull suffering it; that concerning the first: we may doe, as the Captaines said to Ieremie: Ier. 42.6. whether it be good or ev [...]ll, wee will obey the voice of the Lord; and concerning the latter, wee may say as Ely said: It is the Lord, let him doe to me, as seemeth good in his Eyes.

But if wee understand it so: Doe we not then free the Petition, from being superfluous; and charge it, with being impossible? For, if we un­derstand it, of doing his Will actively: how is it possible for Earth to doe it, so well as Heaven? [Page 88] and if of doing it passively: how is that done in Heaven at all? and if wee can find an answer for this; shall wee not perhaps free it from being impossible; by making it, to bee either slight, or improvident? for if wee understand it; of do­ing his will, actively; what great matter is it, for Earth to compare with Heaven; seeing all im­piety began first in Heaven? and if, of doing his Will passively: what doe we then by this Peti­tion; but call for Iustice to be done in Earth up­on our selves: as it was done in Heaven, upon the Angels? But O my soule, consider; wee say not, Thy Will be done in Earth as it was, but as it is in Heaven: for, it is true, there was once an Apo­stasie in Heaven; but it was but once: They which exalted themselves, were cast downe ne­ver to rise; and the rest have continued in their uprightnesse, never to fall: for Christ hath me­rited, as for us, to bee purged from our sinnes; so for them, to be established in their holinesse: and what he is to us, in restoring; hee is to them in confirming.

But shall wee make God so peremptory a Prince, as that his Will must stand for a Law? Doe wee well to attribute that stile to God; which wee would scarce attribute to a just Prince? Sic volo, Sic Iubeo; stat pro ratione volun­tas? Indeed where the Will may bee separated from reason: this objection may be reasonable, but not with God: of whose Will, it cannot bee so truly said, that it is ruled by Reason; as that it is the very rule of Reason: nothing being other­wise [Page 89] reasonable, but as it is conformable to his Will: and therefore he gave reason to man, that hee might bee capable to doe his Will: which because hee hath not given to Beasts, they are not: all other things they can doe as well, if not better then men: They can make them Nests and houses: and are better Builders: They can hoord up, and provide before hand: and are bet­ter husbands: They can prevent and circumvent and are better politicians: They can extract the spirits of vegetables: and are better Alchymists: Onely doe the will of God, they cannot: and therefore, how much a man applyes himselfe to doe the Will of God; so much may hee bee said a reasonable Creature: but if once hee leave to doe that; hee is presently compared, to the beasts Psal. 49. 20. & 73. 22. that perish: and yet hee is favoured in the com­parison too: for, all things considered, man is certainely farre the more unreasonable: as ap­peares by Gods owne complaint: The Oxe know­eth Esa. 1. 3, his Owner, and the Asse his Masters [...]ryb; but Isra­el hath not knowne; my People hath no understanding. And, though of the Will of God; wee doe not alwayes know the reason; yet wee alwaies know, there is a reason in it: unlesse perhaps we shall speake more properly, that, not reason is the Rule of Gods Will; but either his Will is Rule to it selfe; as hee saith; I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy: or at least, some supe­riour Faculty, farre above the capacity of our reason: of which it is said; Who hath knowne the minde of God; or who hath been his Counsellour? We [Page 90] are not therfore to stand upon termes with God; and to examine or censure his Will, by any rule of our reason: (which if Abraham had done: he had never beene the Father of the faithfull) but to make an absolute submission: and humbly to say: Thy Will be done in Earth, as it is in Heaven.

But how can wee be sure at any time of doing the Will of God: seeing God seemes oftentimes variable in his Will: and continues not alwaies in one minde? For was it not Gods Will, that the [...]sraelites should offer him sacrifices? yet he tels them a while after: they are an abomination to him. Esa. 1.13. Was it not Gods Will, that Balaam should goe to Bal [...]k? yet when Balaam sadled his Asse, & went, God sent his Angell to stop his Asse in the way: and hindred his going. Was it not Gods Will, that Moses should number the People? yet when David numbred the People: God smote him for it, with a heavie punishment. And how then is it possible, to doe his Will, that is so variable: and so often changeth? O my soule, take heede: for in none of these, nor ever in any, is there any Mal. 3.6. changeablenesse in God at all: all the change is in our selves. For God indeed appointed sacri­fices to the Iewes that were but ceremonies, but hee intended also the substance with them: when they therefore offered not the sacrifices, that were substantiall; had not God just cause to refuse their sacrifices, that were onely ceremoni­all? God indeed commanded Balaam to goe to Balak: but when Balaam went with intent to curse Israel, whom God intend [...]d, hee should [Page 91] blesse, had not God just cause to hinder his jour­ney? God indeed commanded Moses to num­ber the people: that notice might be taken of their great deliverance; but when David num­bred them to ground a confidence upon them; had not God just cause though not to punish his right numbering, yet to punish his wrong con­fidence? For, to doe the will of God, consists not so much in the act, as in the end of doing it: otherwise we should be like Iehu; who did the will of God indeed, in destroying all the house of Ahab: but he had his owne ends in it, to establish the Kingdome to himselfe. We must not therefore thinke of doing Gods will, as Polititians; mingling our owne ends, with Gods Will; but we must doe it as Angels, sim­ply and purely: we must doe it, onely that we may doe it; so doe his will, that we may doe the intent of his will: and thus, if we doe the will of God, we shall finde him alwaies one and the same; and no variablenesse in him at all, nor shadow of change.

We make a peti [...]ion here, that Gods will may be done; but should we not have made a peti­tion Psal. 6.27. Col. 5.9. first, that it might bee knowne? as David prayed, That thy way may bee knowne upon earth: for untill we know it, how can we doe it? & how doe we now know it, seeing it seemes to many to be yet sub Iudice: and so great controversie and division about it; as if the descending of the Holy Ghost in fiery and cloven tongues, had beene of purpose to foreshew the fiery division, [Page 92] that should after follow in the tongues of the Church. But should wee not consider that all Gods Law is fu'filled in our love, and while in doubtfull controversies wee contend what his will is; of this wee bee sure, that his will is not we should contend. And doe we not finde it true, that Nimium Altercando veritas amittitur; the very heate of disputation, makes our judge­ments, as it were, to warpe: that though Da­v [...]d Psal. 69.9. sayd well; The zeale of Gods House had ea­ten him up: yet wee cannot say well, the zeale of Gods cause hath eaten up our understan­ding.

But let it bee granted, that we are satisfied, concerning the knowledge of his will; seeing we have an Oracle for it, Gods word is a Lanthorne Psal. 119.105. to our feet, and a light to our path: yet what rea­son have we to pray, that it may be done in earth, as it is in heaven? For, what doe we know how it is done in heaven? and so we pray, we know not for what. But doe we not know, that there are none in heaven, but Saints and Angels; who are all ministring spirits: and being spirits, must needs serve God in spirit: and Christ fetcheth this argument higher, that Iohn 4. 24. God himselfe is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and truth. If then wee worship God in spirit and truth, wee doe his will in earth as it is in heaven.

It is not enough to believe Gods will; as Da­vid Psal 119.66. sayd, I have believed thy Commandements, For the divels believe and tremble. Nor to remem­ber [Page 93] his will: as he also sayd, I will never forget thy precepts: for such was hee, of whom God complaines; What hast thou to doe to declare mine Psal. 50. 16. Ordinances; seeing thou hatest to be reformed? Nor to approve his Will, as David also sayd, All thy Exod. 19.8. Commandements are true; and I know O God that thy Iudgements are right: for, this the Israelites did to Moses, when they received the law: All that the Lord hath commanded we will doe, but yet did it not. Nor to love his will; as he also sayd: O how I doe love thy Law: for, Peter was not without love to Christ, even then when he denied him. All these are good steppes, but they goe not farre enough: they are but as to looke our face in a Glasse, and so be gon [...] There is no good to bee done with God, without doing good: and therefore David after these, useth alwaies to adde: It is my meditation continually; and I have refrained my seete from every evill way, that I might keepe thy Word: and if the nature of our earthen vessels be such that it will not keepe this water of life untainted and in the native purenesse; yet it shall be accepted of God, if we goe forward; and can truely say with David, Psal. 119.112. I have applied my heart to fulfill thy Statutes alwaies, even unto the end: and I desire to doe thy will, O God. For if unfainedly and seriously we ap­ply our hearts to fulfill his lawes, and desire to doe his will, and doe it to our power; this very applying shall bee counted a fulfilling; this desire shall be reckoned for a deed; and then, we shall doe his will in earth as it is in heaven.

[Page 94] But whether doe wee make this petition, in behalfe of the Will of God, to have that en­larged; or in behalfe of the earth to have that exalted? for it seemes applyable to both sences. But alasse, what enlargement would it be to the Will of God, which is now already done in heaven; to have it also to bee done in earth? For what is it, to adde earth to heaven; but to adde, as it were, a droppe to the Sea? but it is a great exaltation to the earth; to have the Will of God, done in it, as it is in heaven: see­ing to have power to doe the Will of God is the largest franchise that can bee granted of God; and if it might bee fully enjoyed, would make the earth an equall match with heaven. But though it be now prayed for: yet it cannot be expected, till the time come of which St. Peter 2 P [...]. 3. 13. speakes: We expect a new heaven, and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteo [...]nesse: for then heaven and earth shall bee even matches: and it will bee a new world; and newes indeed; to have righteousnesse dwell here, where dwelleth no­thing now but cruelty and oppression. For alas Psal. 14. 3,4. Esa. 1.23. Mic. [...] 7.2. poore earth, Thou art condemned for man, to thornes and thistles: and in revenge thereof, thou bringest forth men, full of thistles and thornes; that as thou skratchest and tearest them, so they skratch and teare one another: and there will be no help for this till the time come, Rom. 8.21. that the Creature also shall bee delivered from the bondage of corruption, into the glorious liberty of the Sonnes of God: and then will [Page 95] be the full accomplishment of this petition.

By this petition wee know that Gods will is done in heaven: and here wee pray, it may bee done in earth: but seeing the petition is chiefe­ly referred to the honour of God; why doe wee not pray, it may bee done in hell also? seeing hell is a large and spacious place: as it is sayd, Tophet is made deepe and large: for by leaving this Esd. 30.33. out, we leave out a spacious circuit, where his Will may be done; and so abridge him in the extent of his command. But is it not that wee therefore pray not, his will may be done in hell; because indeed there are no doers there, but all sufferers; they are all there in bonds, and bound from action: and if we should understand it of doing his will passively; by suffering patiently: that cannot be done there neyther: seeing im­patience is eyther one of their Torments: or one of their tormentors. We justly therefore name not that place in our prayer: because there are no persons in it that are capable of our prayer. And yet God hath a Will that is done even there, enough for his honour: Voluntas Beneplaciti: Not that he is pleased with the dam­ned: but that he is pleased with their damnation. but wee meddle not with this will: and there­fore meddle not with this place, where there is no other will done.

Wee learne by this Petition, what it is wee must doe, when wee come to Heaven; and doth not this make men carelesse, whether ever they come there, or no? for, seeing the Will of [Page 96] God is so unpleasing a thing to doe heere; how can they thinke, it will be any better: or be ere a whit mended, to doe it there? and therefore, if there bee nothing gotten, by going to Heaven; but doing of Gods will: they thinke themselves better as they are: and would bee glad to tarry heere still: where they may doe their owne wills. But O my soule: is not this to bee starke dead in sinne? For, it there were any sence of life; or any life of sence remaining in us; we could not choose but see the beauty, and tast the sweet­nesse, and smell the Odour, of doing Gods Will. Sweeter, saith David, then the hony, or the ho­ny combe. More beautifull, saith Salomon, then Cant. 1.10. the rowes of Iewells: or then chaines of Gold. More fragr [...]t, saith hee also; then an Orchard Cant. 4.13. of Pomegranats: or then Myrrhe and Aloes with all the spices. O thou eternall light, and life of all things: so enlighten the eyes, and qui [...]ken the senses of my soule and body: that I may both see the Beauty; and Tast the sweetnesse of doing thy will: I shall not then neede any greater mo­tives of longing to be in heaven: then that I may be as able, as willing: (who now am scarce willing but altogether unable) to doe thy Will.

But why doe wee pray that Gods Will may be done in Earth; which is done in Earth alrea­dy: and that by Creatures, which one would thinke, were never able to doe it? Hee hath set bounds to the Sea, which it must not passe [...] and the Sea, as raging as it is, and provoked by all the Rivers of the Earth, that come running into [Page 97] it, as it were for the nonce; to make it passe his bounds; yet keepes it selfe precisely with­in the limits. He hath appointed the earth to stand still, and not to move; and the earth though but hanging in the Ayre, and nothing at all to hang upon; yet offers not so much as once to stirre. He hath chargedthe Trees, to bring forth fruit: and the Trees, though even killed with cold of winter, and threatned with tempests of the spring; yet take heart to come forth; and seeme to rejoyce, they can doe as they are bidden. The very beasts, though never so wilde and savage, yet observe the properties of their kind; and none of them encroach upon the qualities of another. And why all this, but onely to doe the Will of God? And that, which may seeme more strange; the Flowers come out of the durty earth; and yet how neate, and cleane? Out of the unsavoury earth; and yet how fresh and fragrant? Out of the sowre earth; and yet how mellifluous and sweet? Out of the duskish earth: and yet how Orient and Vermillian? Out of the unshapen earth; and yet in what dainty shapes? in what curious formes? in what enammelings and Dyapers of beauty? as if the earth would shew, that for all her be­ing cursed; she had something yet of Pa­radise left: and why all this, but onely to doe the Will of God? And why then should there be complaining, as though the Will [Page 98] of God, were not done in earth? O wretch­ed man: It is onely thy selfe that is out of tune in this harmony: Man that should be best, is of all the worst: that should bee cleanest, is of all the foulest: that should be most beautifull, is of all the most defor­med: most full of graces, yet most voyde of grace: of most understanding to direct his will, yet of least will to follow the di­rection of understanding: Man, endued with celestiall qualities: yet leaves them all, to encroach upon the qualities of eve­ry beast: upon the obscenity of swine in drunkennesse: upon the greedinesse of Cor­morants, in covetousnesse: upon the craf­tinesse of Foxes in fraud: upon the cruelty of Tygers, in malice: as if he would strive to exceede his first parents in transgressing: and try whether God had any greater pu­nishment left, then casting out of Paradise, that if Christ would have served us in our kinde, and as we deserve: he needed not have gone for patterns to Heaven, he might have found patterns good enough for us, amongst the meanest creatures of the earth; and as he told the Pharisees; the Queene of the South, should rise up against them in Iudgement; so he might have told us; the Flowers, the Trees, the Beasts, shall all rise up in Iudgement against Man: that Ier. 9.1. we had more need to say: O that my head were waters; and mine eyes a fountaine of [Page 99] teares, that I might weepe day and night: then, after Trees and Beasts have done Gods Will; to come after them all, with but onely saying; Thy Will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

But how doe these Petitions hang toge­ther? or how is not this, directly contrary to that which went before? For, there we desire a Kingdome, that we may doe what we list: and here we desire subjection, and to be at anothers command. Yet here is no contrariety: for there, we desire to raigne over our owne wills: and here we desire to be subject to his will: and this subjection, is our true reigning; this service, our perfect free­dome. Or is it not rather a straighter Ob­ligation? For by the comming of his King­dome, we may be thought, onely subjects at large; but by submitting our selves to his will, we are servants by vow: that seemes to referre to Gods promise to the Israelites: Yee shall be to mee a Kingdome of Priests, and an Exod. 19.6. holy Nation: this seemes to referre to the peoples answere to God; All that the Lord hath spoken, we will doe. And so there is no contrariety betweene the petitions: but the latter is a consectary to the former.

But is it not rather, that wee overshoote our selves; and make it here a suite to bee made bond-slaves? for what is it but slavery when wee can never have our wills, but must live alwaies subject to the will of ano­ther? [Page 100] especially, where there is so great an antipathy, as betweene Gods Will and ours? But, O my soule, consider how wretched a thing thine owne will is! how blessed a thing the Will of God is! and be not here a Dog­matist; but an Empyricke rather: hearken not to thy reason, which oftentimes is but a Para­site to thy sence; but looke upon experience, which rightly discerned; will make thee al­waies to discerne the right. Hath not misery al­waies followed the doing of our owne will? happines alwaies the doing of Gods Will? Our first parents left Gods Will, to doe their owne will, in eating the forbidden fruit; and what fruite followed, but the utter undoing of themselves, and all their followers? Cain left Gods Will, to doe his owne will; in killing his brother: and what became of him? but that hee became a vagabond: lived like a beast: and came at last, to be killed for a beast? Saul left Gods Will to doe his owne will, in sparing Agag, and the fatte of the sheepe: and what was th [...] issue: but the ut­ter destruction of himselfe, and all his is­sue? But looke now upon those who have gone the other way; and see how they have proved: Abraham left his owne will to doe Gods Will, in offring to sacrifice his onely sonne: and was it not his making: and made him the father of all the faithfull? [...]oseph left his owne will to doe Gods will; in not embracing the embraces of his Mistris: and [Page 101] was it not his making; and made all Aegypt embrace him for their Master? Daniel left his owne will to doe Gods Will; in bowing his knee to God, against the decree of the King of Persia: and was it not his making, and made all Persia bow their knees to him? O wretch that I am; I now see how unhap­py I am, that I have a will; yet cannot but thinke my selfe happy, for having a will! For, if I had not a will, I could not love God; and having a will, I cannot love him as I should: for my will is divided, and cannot love him intirely: my will is corrupt, and cannot love him sincerely: my will is w [...] ­vering, and cannot love him constantly: for I am not master of my will, nor ever shall be, nor ever can be; unlesse thy Will, O God, come, and helpe me to master it: That it is not the making the P [...]tition, that makes us to be bondsl [...]ves; but it is our being bondslaves that makes us to make the petition; as having no other way to recover our freedome, but onely the vertue of this Petition, Thy Will be done in [...], as it is in heaven.

To doe the Will of God, as it is done in Heaven; is not onely to doe it fully for the matter; but with delight for the manner: and therefore David describing a godly man, is not contented to say onely; That he walked not in the counsaile of the [...]: but he addeth And his delight is in the Law of the Lord. For without this delight there is no doing it like [Page 102] the Angels; who are therefore perhaps sayd continually to bee singing. And to quicken us the more to this Angelicall perfection; we may consider, that the delight that is taken in God, & in the doing of his Will, doth infinit­ly exceede the delight of all other objects. Godlinesse is the perfecting of the soule; and seeing every thing delights most in its owne perfection; it must needs be, that the chiefe delight of the soule, is godlinesse. And there­fore, where the minde is not sensible of this delight, it shewes plainely, that the soule is de­generated into a grosse corruption, and stupi­dity. For if we did but see a glimpse of this in the native purenesse: it would plainely make appeare, all worldly lustres to be but staines; all earthly pleasures to be very paines. O Lord God, let it be the pleasure of thy Will; that I may take pleasure in doing thy Will; for un­lesse it be thy pleasure, it can never bee my Ier. 10.23. & 24.7. will: for, though we may be good followers, yet we are no good beginners: and therefore though it please thee to say, Turne unto me, and I will turne unto you; as though we should begin first: yet we are faine to returne it backe, and Ier. 3.7. say; Turne us, O Lord, and we shall be turned: for, Ier. 3.20. Lam. 5 [...]21. we, God knows are too unweldy to turne us of our selves: It must be done by strong hand, and none hath strength enough to doe it; but thou, O God, Esa. 40.10. who art the God of strength. And if wee would strive as much with the Angels for holinesse; as we doe with men, for place, and dignity: [Page 103] we should finde God as ready to take our parts as he was to take our nature; and by such a helpe of such a helper, we should be able to make good our saying, Thy Will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

We may know, what it is to doe Gods Will in earth, as it is in heaven: by that which St. Iohn tels of the foure and twenty Elders; That Esa. 4.10. they cast downe their Crownes before the Throne of God, saying; Thou art worthy, O God, to receive glory, and honour, and power: for so must we doe by our wills, which are indeed our Crownes: cast them downe, and resigne them up to God: but cast them down, not cast them away: resigne them, but yet retaine them: for with­out wills of our owne, we can never doe Gods Will: unwilling service is never acceptable: as St. Paul sayth, If I doe it willingly, I have a re­ward: 1 Cor. 9.17. and thus, if wee can have wills of our owne, and yet not doe our owne wills, if wee can willingly renounce our owne wills, & take Gods Will in their roome, and make it our owne will: we shall then doe with our wills, as the Elders did with their Crownes: and then we shall doe Gods Will, as it is done in heaven.

It is a hard matter oftentimes for flesh and blood, to say this petition: For, could our first parents well say it, when they were cast out of Paradise? Nay, did the Apostles (who were something more then flesh and blood) well say it, when Christ told them [Page 104] of his departure from them? yet see the weakenesse of our judgements: the darke­nesse of our understandings: This casting out of Paradise, was thorough Gods grace, an occasion of attaining to a farre better Para­dise: for if they had tarried there still, the Son of God had never come into the world: this departing of Christ from them was a meanes Iohn 16.17. of his comming neerer to them: for if he had not departed, the holy Ghost had not come. And thus, the two greatest seeming crosses that possibly could be, proved the two greatest reall blessings that could be possible. And what account then can be made of these petty cros­ses, or of these petty blessings, which happen daily to us in this world? Surly in prosperities, wee may well moderate our selves with this feare; that they doe but prepare a way for us to greater crosses: and in adversities, we may well comfort our selves with this hope; that they doe but prepare a way for us, to greater blessings. Let us therefore endeavour alwaies, and doe our best, that the best may happen; but let us alwaies thinke that best what­soever happens: so we shall neyther clip the wings of hope, for the future; and wee shall give patience a firme ground to stand upon for the present; and let us remember, that as it hath beene sayd of old: Periissemus nisi Periisse­mus: so it hath beene observed of old; Tolluntur in altum, ut lapsu graviore ruant: that if we give experience leave to speake the truth: Shee [Page 105] will tell us, There is not a weaker threatner, nor a stronger flatterer then fortune is: and there­fore, we can never have any just cause to hinder us from laying: Thy Will be done in earth as it is in heaven.

It is a fearefull thing to make this a petition to God; if we doe not withall, make it a rule to our selves, that all the actions of our life, may be squared by it. And therefore, O my soule; if matter of profit, be offred to thee; lay it to this Rule; whether it bee according to the Will of God, or no: for if it be not; what great advantage soever it make shew of, account it but losse. If matter of honour bee offred unto thee: Lay it to this Rule, whether it be according to the Will of God, or no: for if it be not, what great advance­ment soever it pretend; account it but shame. If matter of pleasure be offred unto thee: Lay it to this Rule, whether it be according to the Will of God or no: for if it be not; what pleasing suggestion soever it hath; account it but misery. It was conceived by Ahab; that it would bee for his profit, to buy Naboths Vineyard; but when he would not lay it to this rule; he payd for his pur­chase, with his blood to Dogges. It was preten­ded to Pharaoh: that it would be for his honour, to pursue the Israelites: but when he would not lay it to this rule: he perished himselfe, and all his Host, in the red Sea. It was suggested to Salomon, that it would be for his pleasure, to en­tertaine the love of strange women; but when he would not lay it, to this rule: God laid it to [Page 106] his charge, both raysing up aduersaries against himselfe, and renting the Kingdome from his Sonne to his servant. We must first therefore endeavour to make it a rule to our selves: and then we may safely make it a petition to God; otherwise, if we say to God, Thy Will be done, and intend not to doe it; we shall but turne the pe­tition from active into passive: Gods Will into his anger: and draw it downe to be done upon us in earth; as it was done in heaven upon the Angels.

Many can say this petition devoutly enough, so long as they understand it not: but when they are told how Christ sayd it, Not my will, but thy Will: and thereby come to know, that to pray for doing of Gods Will, is to pray against doing their owne wills; against their unlawfull lusts; against their covetous desires; against their am­bitious designes; against their malicious pra­ctices, and such like: then it strikes cold to their hearts; their tongues cleave to the roofe of their mouthes: and they could wish the peti­tion might never be made. But he that under­stands it, and yet stands to it; he that speakes it more from his heart then with his tongue; he that is resolv'd to say it, because he sayth, as he is resolv'd: this man makes it a prayer for him­selfe, and an Hallelujah to God; and shall reape the fruit of both in the due time: to the other, it proves but as the sacrifice of fooles: and if it make a noyse, it is but as the tinkling of a Cimball: a Musicke, at which God stoppes [Page 107] his Eares, onely the Divell makes himselfe merry.

But doe we not by saying this petition, seeme to forget both God, and our selves? For, is not God most Iust? are wee not most sinfull? and what can bee the Will of a Iust God to heynous sinners, but wrath and indignation? and will we pray that the Viols of Gods wrath may be poured downe upon us? It is true: we come afterwards and say, Forgive us our trespas­ses: if this had beene sayd first; and wee had first obtained a pardon of our sinnes; we might then with some confidence have sayd, Thy will be done: but whil'st wee are in our sinnes; and not so much as a pardon asked: to come now with this petition, and to put our selves boldly upon Gods Iustice: what can it seeme to argue, but great precipitation and inconsiderate rash­nesse? But is it not, that this petition is also one of our Hallelujahs to God: and a petition made by way of Hallelujah, seemes of all other the most effectuall? although what neede wee goe so high, seeing wee have familiar reason e­nough beside? For, what danger can there be in saying, Thy Will be done: having sayd before, Our Father which art in heaven? for we come not now, as strangers to a Iudge; but as children to a father: and that which is more, to a merci­full father; and that which is most of all, to a most mercifull father: and which is more then that most, to a mercifull father, who is Fa­ther of all mercy, and of mercy to all: and yet [Page 108] this is not all: for may wee not observe, that we pray indeed, that Gods Will may be done in earth; but how? as it is in heaven. And how is it done in heaven, but in bounty and in mer­cy? for, even the Heavens, and even the Angels themselves have need of Gods mercy; as it is said, His mercy is over all his workes. And up­this Foundation of Gods mercy wee may build our assurance, that Gods will is not then done, when his creatures are undone; but that, as it was his pleasure at first to make us; so it is his Wisd. 11.25. pleasure still to preserve us: and as from his everlasting Will, we all have our life: so by his Will, we should all have everlasting life. When as yet we were not: his Will was wee should be: Now that we are, his Will is we should be holy. And if any man sinne, his will is, hee should re­pent: and if a man repent, his Will is, he should be saved. Let this Will, O Lord, be as thy last will; which yet can come but as a streame from the Fountaine of thy first will: for, as it was meerely thy Will, that at first made thee to make us; so it is meerely thy Will, that must lam. 1.18. make us to be holy; that must make us to repent, that must make us to bee saved. These wils in God, are as the chaine of his mercy; whereof every linke is fastned to one another; and all of them firmely fastned upon us, unlesse by the violence of our sinnes, & the finfulnesse of our wils, we doe wilfully breake them. O God, so frame our wils, that they may be fit linkes to be fastned to this chaine of thy will; that as one [Page 109] linke drawne on, drawes on another: so our spirits being guided by thy grace, may be guids to our flesh: and that our flesh, as living by thee, may live to thee: knowing, that though the way of thy Will may bee troublesome in the going; yet the journey shall be comfortable in the ending: and though it be the secret of thy Will, that in doing it we shall meete with ma­ny crosses; yet it is the purpose of thy Will, that by doing it wee shall purchase many joyes; and therefore can have no cause to make us afraid to say: Thy Will bee done in earth as it is in hea­ven.

But is it not too great a boldnesse in this Pe­tition; that where all the other make suite for great, yet possible things; this onely makes a suite which is impossible? for how can earth bring forth as good fruit as heaven? how can men performe as perfect duties as the Angels? Indeed not in equality, but in similitude: Not to doe as well as they; but to doe our best, as well as they: Not that our Vessels can bee as bright as theirs, but be as cleane; and not hold as much, but be as full. And even this clean­nesse; and even this fulnesse not of our selves: For what cleannesse can there bee in dirt? or what fulnesse in vessels that are full of holes? and such we are all of us, not onely ex humo, but ex limo, and Pleni rimarum; quenching the spi­rit as fast as it is kindled; all our cleannesse is in him: to whom we say, Purge me with Hisop, and I shall bee cleane: all our fulnesse from him: of [Page 110] whom it is sayd; Of his fulnesse wee have all recei­ved. Hee onely that hath set us the taske can give us, the power: and by him wee may at­taine to that of St. Paul; I can doe all things in him that comforteth me: for by the comfort of this Comforter, it may be possible to make the pe­tition possible; Thy Will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

But if it be onely in similitude; why doe we pray onely to be like the Angels: and pray not rather, to be like God himselfe? as Christ would have us: Be yee holy, as your heavenly Father is holy: Math. 5.48. Be yee perfect, as he is perfect: for now wee make a prayer that comes short of Christs precept. Is it not that the perfectest patternes that can bee, are in both places propounded to us? and there­fore here, where it is matter of obedience; the Angels are our patternes: of whom D [...]vid saith, Praise the Lord all yee his Angels; that doe his Commandement, in obeying the voyce of his Word: but this patterne, God cannot be, seeing obe­dience cannot be, where there is no superiour: but where it is matter of holinesse or perfection; there God must be our patterne: and therefore we justly forbeare to speake of Angels; where we have a patterne to speake of in God himselfe. O Lord God, if I cannot bee like thee in holi­nesse: yet let me bee like the Angels in obedi­ence: and If I can attaine to neyther, let mee at least aspire to both; and what I want in pow­er, and performance: make me to supply with vowes, and prayer.

[Page 111] The time was when Angels might have en­vyed man for his happinesse: but now man hath just cause, (if any cause can be just) to envy Angels for their happinesse: for what happinesse can be greater then to be made pat­ternes of holynesse: and that by God, to the Image of God? by the Sonne of God, to the Sonnes of God? But, O blessed Spirits, we envy you not, but admire you rather: for, why should we envy you for continuing ho­ly; who pitty us for not continuing? and not onely pity us, but doe your best to relieve us? And how can we choose but admire you for patternes; who so farre exceed the proporti­on of patternes? Patternes are but examples, but you are also Assistants: Patternes doe but lie before us, but you pitch your Tents round about us: Patterns doe but light us to the likenesse, but you delight, to have us be like you. And how then can wee envy you for being our betters: who envy not us, to be­come your equals? O blessed Spirits, we envy you not, but admire you rather; and willing­ly, not onely accept you for our patternes; but under Christ, acknowledge you for our Guardians.

And here now seemes a fit [...]lace to sit downe and wonder, at the unspeakeable love and bounty of God, expressed toward us in these three petitions: For by the first, we are assured of eternity: by the second, of a Kingdome: by the third, to bee like the [Page 112] Angels: or if wee like it better to say; By the first, we are informed what we shall be, as Angels. By the second, what wee shall have, A Kingdome. By the third, what we shall doe; The Will of God. These are blessings worthy to come from a heavenly Father; these are rewards which worthily become a bountifull Master. And now, let the Swine (flesh and blood) goe murmure against God, that he is a hard Father; and a bad Master: and that there is no profit in serving him; because he gives them not the Mal. 3.14 mire of the world to wallow in; as though he had no other way to expresse his favours, but by cloddes of earth: but doe thou, O my soule, meditate upon these petitions; and in them upon these blessings; and in these, upon the infinite love and bounty of God: and thinke how happy thou art to have such a Father: how much thou art bound to love such a Master: and thinke not much to love him with thy whole heart: seeing he hath blessings to bestow upon thee which can­not enter into thy heart: thinke not much Esa. 61.3. to submit thy selfe wholly to his Will; see­ing his Will is, to give thee beauty for ashes: the Oyle of gladnesse for mourning: that we shall ever finde it a most happy thing for us to say Thy Will be done in earth, as it is in Heaven.

It is proper to this petition: that where the other seeme to waite at Gods Throne: this onely waites at his footestoole: and where the [Page 113] other, sing onely the high note, Glory be to God on high: this seemes to adde a Base: saying, In Earth as it is in Heaven. And it may justly be cal­led the petition of obedience: seeing, all the o­ther have their ends in injoying; this onely hath no end but in obeying.

Next to these, as I may say, of the higher House; come in the commons: and first, takes place a generality, as it were a corporation: for when it is sayd; Give us this day our daily bread: is it not plainely the prayer of all living crea­tures? whether living the life reasonable: or the life sensitive: or even the life onely vege­tative? For of unreasonable creatures, it is said: The Lions seeke their meate at God, and the young Psal. 104.21. Psal. 147.9. Ravens call upon him, and he feedeth them. And of vegetables, it is manifest, that though the Corne give bread to us; yet God gives bread to the Corne, by his dewes from heaven. And Psal. 65.9. Hos. 2.22. even the Angels, though they have no bodies, yet they have their bread too: of which it is said, Psal. 78.25. Psal. 145.15. Man did eate the bread of Angels: and of all toge­ther, it is sayd: All things looke up to thee, and thou givest them meate in due season; thou openest thy hand, and fillest with thy blessing every living crea­ture. But as these severall kinds of creatures may be conceived to have their severall waies in ma­king use of this petition: so man, as the summary of them all, partakes with all of them in all the waies of using it. He partakes in using it, with the vegetables, by indigence of Nature: Hee [Page 114] partakes in using it, with the beasts; by appe­tite of sence: He partakes in using it, with the Angels; by acknowledgement of the Authour, and thankesgiving for their preservation; as may be thought included in their Allelujah. In the two former, it is the prayer of nature: In the latter, of grace: which therefore ought chiefely to bee intended, least seeking onely to seed our bodies, God send leannesse into our soules.

This Petition of asking bread, is placed here, in the midst of these petitions; not as some car­nall man would thinke, to serve as a bayte in the midst of a journey; nor yet as some worldly man would thinke, least if we should speake of our trespasses first, wee might haply bee denied it: but therefore it is placed heere betweene Saints and sinners, to shew, that temporall bles­sings are distributed indifferently to them both; and that they lie as the commons of Gods gene­rall goodnesse; not as the severals of his speciall favour. Or may it not give us to observe; that it stands below the petition of Saints, to shew that temporall blessings are below their consi­deration; and that with them, the doing of Gods Will, is before the providing for their owne necessities: but it stands above the peti­tion of sinners, to shew, that temporall bene­fits are the highest of their thoughts; and that they set them before even their very salva­tion.

God made the world without stuffe: and he [Page 115] could nourish man without foode: but as his pleasure was, to make man of the dust of the earth: so his pleasure is, to feede man with the fruit of the earth; that shee which was the mo­ther, might also be the nource: and that seeing from whence we are come; and feeling to what we are come; we might have within our selves continuall remembrancers, to put us in minde of what we have need to have, and of whom we have need to aske.

Thou O God, hast given this life to man, for a time of tryall; and thou hast placed man in this life in estate of frailety; that leaving him in distresse thou mayst see what succour he will seeke; and least it should bee no fault in him to forget thee, if hee had no use of thee: thou hast layd a necessity upon him to make him re­member thee. Thou hast enough O Lord, to give to every one enough: and thy skill serves thee, to serve all alike; but thy pleasure is, to weigh thy gifts unto us in uneven skales: for the revealing and tryall of somes repining, and others ingratitude: and for the tryall and exer­cise of somes patience and others charity.

This prayer for bread; seemes to be a petition preferred by the stomacke; or at least, for the stomacke. For, all other parts of the body, have as I may say, their certaine revenues, and have all of them provision brought in continu­ally; onely the stomacke is a day-labourer; and hath nothing to live on but what it can get a­broad, from day to day: and if it misse but a [Page 116] day, the whole body fares the worse for it, God knowes how long after. And is not this now, a glasse of our mortality? seeing our stocke of life lies all in the hands of the stomacke: and yet the stomacke hath nothing, but what it gets with the hands? Or is it not a glasse rather for our pride? seeing all the strength and beauty of our bodies, (of which we are so proud) have yet no other maintenance, then what they receive from this one poore day-labourer, the stomacke? but most of all; is it not a glasse of Gods boun­ty? for if wee have as good a stomacke to make the petition, as the petition is of purpose made for the stomacke: we may live as happily by this daily almes, as others doe with their full barnes: seeing God gives plentifully to all that aske; not onely beyond their asking, but oftentimes beyond their desiring: especially when they aske as the stomacke doth here, not for wanton­nesse, but for want.

But is it not a petition of idlenesse; to thinke to have that of God by prayer, which must be had by our owne policies, and labours? For, who ever reaped, that did not sow? who ever ga­thered fruit, that did not plant? and what bread should Iacob have had, if hee had not bestird him, with his father in law, Laban? It is true in­deed, Iacob tooke care for his living; but hee had made his way to God by prayer, when hee made his prayer to God upon the way: and vowed his vow, If God will give me bread to eate, Gen. 2 [...], 20. and rayment to put on; then shall the Lord be my God: [Page 117] for otherwise hee might have laid his stickes in his Ewes troughes long enough; before his Flockes should ever have had such strange en­crease. For, when God gives us our bread; it comes easily to us, because our labours are suc­cesfull; and leave us fresh to the enjoying: but when we thinke to have it onely by our labour; it tyres out our spirits: wee make our selves but Silk-wormes, & spin our selves to death. When wee have bread of Gods giving; there comes a blessing with it: It is not onely Noster, but Nobis; Hab. 1.16. not onely ours, but for our good: but when we have it, by sacrificing to our nets; God blowes upon it; we plant the Vineyard, & another eates the Grapes. When God gives us our bread, it turnes to good nourishment, and is a staffe of life unto us; but when it is gotten as Gehezi got gifts of Naaman: It breeds ill blood, and turnes to a leprosie.

There are some that possesse their daily bread, and yet enjoy it not; of such Salomon speakes, Eccles. 6.2. God gives them riches, and honours, but gives them not power to eate thereof; and such a one was Na­bal. There are some that enjoy their daily bread and yet possesse it not, and such were the Apo­stles: as having all things, and yet possessing no thing. There are some that possesse it, and enjoy it both: of whom Salomon also saith; There is no­thing better for a man then to eate and drinke; and let his soule enjoy good in his labour: and such a one was Abraham: and there are some that neither pos­sesse it, nor enjoy it; and such are such as Laza­rus. [Page 118] Yet are these men as miserable as they seeme, in better case then those that possesse it, and enjoy it not; for these have at least, the comfort of a hope; but those may have the hope; but shall never have the comfort of Abra­hams bosome.

But why should wee use this word of giving? for if it be our due; why should wee not aske it, by the word of Paying? and is it not our due, when we have deserved it? and have we not de­served it by the great services we have done to God in the former petitions? O my soule, all this is but proud flesh; there is no soundnesse at all in it: for, all which thou hast done, The hallowing his Name: The advancing his Kingdome: The doing his Will; All is but the tribute due un­to him: and is a Prince indebted to his subject for paying him his Tribute? And such is our case with God; all we can doe is but to pay him his Tribute: wee cannot deserve so much as a bit of bread: eyther we must have it of his free gift, or not at all. Wherefore, O my soule, make much of this Word Giving; and give it not over in any wise; but account it the greatest strength of thy Title; the best Title of thy tenure; for if thou looke for any thing at Gods hands, un­les by his free gift, thou mistakest thycase cleane; and mayst stand without doores, amongst the foolish Virgins. For are there not many, that spend the day in carefulnesse, and the night in watchfulnesse, and yet thrive not? many that tire their bones with labour, and their braines [Page 119] with contriving, and yet prosper not? Many, that doe nothing else, but adde and multiply, and yet encrease not? and all because they seeke to have that by purchase which must be had by gift; and strive as it were to extort that from God by violence: which is not to bee obtained but by prayer. When yee want it, aske God for it; and hee will give it: when yee have it, thanke God for it, and hee will blesse it: Such is the kindnesse of his love; and the franknesse of his bounty; that if we aske him, he counts it a desart; and if we thanke him, hee takes it for a recompense.

This is one way, and a perfect one, for getting of bread, by praying for it; yet Salomon telleth us of another, a more active way; which yet hath its force from this: Cast thy bread upon the waters, and after many daies thou shalt finde it. For Eccles. 11.1. indeed, as poore men stand begging at rich mens gates; so rich men stand begging at Gods gate: and the next way to receive it, is to give it; and if they will have their need, helped; and their hun­ger filled: they must helpe the needy, and fill the hungry.

In this petition, there is nothing to be seene, but bread to put in our mouthes; yet here is a bridle put into our mouthes withall: for, what we ought not to pray for, we ought not to de­sire; but we are taught to pray onely for neces­sities: and therefore to restraine our selves from desiring superfluities. The worldly man would know why asking riches he continueth poore? [Page 120] and why asking honours, hee continueth base? Know O foole: that with asking thou speedest not, because with faith thou askest not; for faith asketh not for superfluities, but for ne­cessities; not wherewith to satisfie the flesh, which having never so much, hath never e­nough; but wherewith to content the minde; which, the greater it is, with the lesse it is con­tented.

Many doubts may be raysed by gracelesse fan­cies about this petition: some may thinke it an absolute discharge from Fasting; and that we may gather from hence, that wee need not to fast at all: for, Fasting is an abstinence from meate one whole day at least: and here we aske bread for every day; and wee should never bee appoynted to aske it, if wee were not allowed to eate it: Some may conceive, that it is a fit prayer to be sayd in the morning when we rise; but not at night when we goe to bed: for, what should wee doe praying for bread for the day, when the day is spent? and when we have eaten as much already as wee meane to doe? Some may reckon it, a prayer necessary for poore men; but superfluons for rich: for, what should they doe praying for bread for the day, who have bread before hand for many yeeres? Some may suppose the petition is but in jest: for why should they aske so course a thing as bread, who have so much provision of more curious and dainty fare? But all these, for all their pro­vision seeme not provided of understanding, [Page 121] to know what this petition meanes. For by saying, Give us this day our daily bread: they pray as well for others as for themselves: and even for themselves they have cause enough to say it; and to say it at all times and in all estates. For, is there not a blessing to bee asked before the eating, as well as a gift before the having? Is there not a blessing to be asked after the having as well as a gift before the e [...]ting? Is it enough to have bread in our barnes, if wee have not meanes to bring it to our mouthes? Is it enough to have bread in ou mouthes, if wee have not power to digest it in our bodies? Know there­fore, O thou, whose barnes are full; thou hast as much need to say this petition, as the poorest man, that hath not a graine. For, there are so many things belonging to Gods giving us our bread; that the onely possessing it, is the least matter of a hundred; and unlesse Gods blessing be had withall, is scarce worth the having. For indeed [...], bread and all other externall things, are of themselves, but lumpes and pieces of the first Chaos; that unlesse their proceede some words out of the mouth of God upon them; there is neyther light nor life: neyther strength nor comfort, eyther from them to us, or in them for us. For, what was the great Lord 2 King. 7. the better, that there was plenty of bread in Samaria; when hee was troden to death before he came at it? what were the Israelites the better for having of Quailes; when they went in at their mouthes, and came out of their nostrils? [Page 122] what was the rich man the better for having more then his Barnes could hold; when a voyce came suddenly: Stulte, hac nocte repentent animam tuam? For if the blessing of God be not in com­pany: eyther, wee shall not have bread; or ha­ving it, wee shall not bee able to use it: or using it, we shall not be strengthned by it: or strength­ned, we shall not continue; or continuing, wee shall not bee satisfied; or satisfied, wee shall not be contented. For all these degrees, and many more then these, are all contained in Gods gi­ving us our bread. God gives us our bread, when he gives the earth strength to bring forth bread: Deut. 11.14. God gives us our bread, when he sends seasona­ble weather, to gather in our bread: God gives us our bread, when he grants us peace and quiet to eate our bread: God gives us our bread, when hee gives us health and strength to earne our bread: and if we could reckon up all the waies of Gods giving us our bread; we should finde them to be more then the very graines of Corne of the bread we cate. Which if men would well con­fider, they would rather be humbled with sence of their just defects; then be puffed up with con­ceit of their vaine excesse.

It is a cheerefull thing to thinke of day; for then the Eyes see, the Feete walke, the sto­macke feedes; and every part hath something to doe, or may doe something to delight it. But what sayth the watchman of Dumah? The mor­ning Esa. 21.12. commeth; and also the night; as fearefull to thinke of, as the day was cheerefull: and therefore [Page 123] as we open our eyes to entertaine the day; so shutting our eyes is entertainment for the night. And why then doe wee not as well pray for sleepe for the night, as for bread for the day? why take we not as much care for our eyes, as for our stomackes? Is it not, because this fol­lowes necessarily upon that? For, when God Psal. 127.2. in the day gives us our daily bread; he gives us in the night our naturall rest: but when men Eccles. 5.12. have bread in the day not given them of God; there when night comes, they are keept waking with cares; and the unquietnesse of their minds lets not their bodies take rest. Or is it not a worse matter? that when God gives us our daily bread, he gives us withall the light of his countenance: but where there is bread, not given of God; there men may revell it out, and runne ryot for a time; but when the night comes they are left without light; and their portion is to bee cast into utter darknesse. Or is it, that as bread feeds us in the day, so sleepe feedes us in the night: and then if sleepe bee bread for the night; in praying for bread for the day, we pray as well for sleepe for the night; for the evening and the morning make but one day.

But what is this day, for which we aske bread? Is it the naturall day of foure and twenty houres? or is it the day of our naturall life? For, if it be that day a little bread will serve; but if it be this day, it requires good store. But be not deceived, lesse bread may serve for this then for that: for [Page 124] in that day we are sure of so many houres: but in this day wee are not sure of one minute of an houre.

But why doe wee aske bread but for a day? would it not be lesse trouble to God; and more providence for our selves to aske it for a longer time? Indeed, if it could be had: but there is no having it for more then a day: our barnes may have it for a longer time, but our bodies cannot: for, as it is out of the very necessity of nature, that we aske for bread; so it is, to the full extent of Nature, that wee aske it for a day. For let us eate never so much; let us fill our bellies never so full too day; yet it will serve but for a day; too morrow wee shall neede it againe as much as wee did before, unlesse wee should thinke of praying for miracles; and to doe as Elias did, goe forty daies together in the 1 King. 19. 8. strength of one meales meate: which we have small reason to thinke of; seeing Christ denyed miracle to Iames and Iohn; as well as hee loved them; and though they asked him for it in his owne behalfe. And may it not be another sence of the word, Too day; that though it bee ex­pressed onely in this petition; yet it is to bee understood also in the petitions following? For the three former are common to us with the Saints in Heaven: but the three latter are pro­per onely to us; and no way communi­cable to any of them: the three former are without limitation of time; but these three latter are bounded with time: they must bee [Page 125] obtained eyther now or never; in this life or not hereafter: they prepare us indeed for ano­ther life; but when another life is once come: both the prayers, and the things prayed for, shall all cease: for after the day of this life, there shall be no more eating of bread, against the Mille­naries: No more forgiving of trespasses, against the Origenists: No more deliverance from evill, against the Purgatorians.

David prayed God to teach him to number Psal. 90. 31. his daies; as though they were so many, that hee could not number them without a teacher; yet they made all but threescore and ten yeeres; which a meane Arithmetician would easily cast up: We have here but a day to reckon; and yet wee shall never reckon it aright, unlesse God teach us, though wee cannot properly say to number it; yet to measure it: which is all one: for we shall have as much benefit, by measuring our day; as David found by numbring his daies; and we shall finde it as hard a matter to measure our day truly; as David did to number his daies rightly: and as it is difficult to measure it true; so it is dangerous to measure it false: for if wee take the measure too long, it may prolong our repentance; and make us surprised, with stulte hac nocte: and if wee take it too short, it may shorten our providence; and make us a laugh­ing-stocke to the Ant: we must therefore have a composition, made of these two; of Provi­dence and Repentance: and this will be the best Elixir, to keepe our life alive; and the truest [Page 126] rule to measure our day: but this wee shall ne­ver bee able to doe; unlesse we pray as David did; that God will teach us to measure our day.

We may know our daies, to bee very misera­ble; seeing we are beholding to bread that wee live a day: and we may know our building, to be very unstable; seeing it hath no Foundati­on, but is faine to stand upon proppes: for what are foode and rayment, but the proppes of our life? And will any man that is wise, in seeking to uphold his ruinous house: choose rather to use fine proppes that bee weake, then course ones that bee strong? Dainty fare; and costly apparrell are indeed the finer proppes; but course fare, and plaine cloathes are the stronger: are we so unwise, to keepe so much a doe for get­ting the finer; and are not contented when we have the stronger?

Is it not strange that having but a day to live; we should make such provision for many yeeres? and yet are not sure to live out this short day neyther. Ere it be long, there will come a long day; for which all the provision wee can make, will be little enough: Are we so unwise to make so much provision for this short day: and for that long day to make so little? for indeed, to have bread against that day will bee worth the having: and if it were not for the day we hope to live then: the day we live now, were not worth the living.

There is nothing more deere to us then this [Page 127] day of ours: yet we are ever finding fault with it: eyther it is too short: or it is teadious: or it is uncertaine: It seldome contents us; ne­ver satisfies. I cannot therefore blame thee, O my soule, if thou often fall into these wishing kinde of thoughts: O when shall the time bee, Rev. 10.6. that time shall no more bee: and when will the day come, after which shall come no night: Esa. 60.19. but now and hereafter shall bee one season: too day, and for ever of one continuance. For, we shall then finde no more fault eyther with the shortnesse, which never shall have ending; or with the teadiousnesse, which ever shall have pleasure; or with the uncertainenesse, which shall bee more fixt, then the poles of Hea­ven.

But are wee so tied to asking bread for the day; that wee must not bee carefull to provide against too morrow? must wee be so carelesse of providing any thing before hand; that we must never looke further then for the present? Is this the meaning of Christs speech, where hee sayth, Take no care for the morrow: that when Math. 6.34. we rise in the morning, wee should be to seeke of meate for our dinner? This perhaps may bee feared to bee taken by some: but such taking is mistaking: for wee may observe, Christ saith not, Take no care for meate to eate: but, Take no care what yee shall eate. Abraham could feast three Angels, with a Calfe, and a Cake; and all the meates of Nature serve not our turnes, un­lesse we feed upon Art. This is that which Christ [Page 128] forbids; our affecting curiosity, not our pro­viding for necessity: for if hee should doe this, hee should deny that wisedome to us which Sa­lomon commends in Ants; who provide in the Summer against the Winter; and should cast upon us an affected carelesnesse, so farre from faith; that it is worse then Infidelity: as St. Paul saith: He that provides not for his Family, is 1 Tim. 5.8. worse then an Infidell. The restraint therefore of care enjoyned us by Christ; is from curiosities, not from necessities: from superfluities, not from sufficiencies: from the licorish longing af­ter this or that meate, not from the naturall desire of some meate: from faring like Dives, deliciously; not from faring soberly like Abra­ham. Or is it that when Christ sayth; Take no care what you shall eate: he meanes by care, our chiefest care; as that which possesseth and takes up our whole heart: and indeed the word used by Christ imports as much: for the smaller [...] cares, stand I may say, without doores in our minde: it is the chiefest care, that takes up all the roome within: and this care must be kept for the Kingdome of God: which as St. Paul sayth, Rom. 14.11. is not meate and drinke: so there is a care which we take, and a care with which we are taken: and we must not bee taken with care what wee shall eate; and yet we must take care what wee shall eate: for it seemes not so much the care, as the degree of care that is forbidden us; and care in a low degree is in Christs account, of no degree; and such care we may take for what we shall eate; [Page 129] and yet observe Christs counsaile, to take no care what we shall eate.

But why pray wee for our daily bread, as though we would have but one kinde of meate continually to feede upon? For if there bee change, how is it daily? and who would not soone bee weary of such a diet? Is it, that how­soever there bee variety or change of meates, yet bread is alwaies one; and is onely, wee may iustly say, of the Quorum of meates? for though man lives not by bread onely: yet onely bread is necessary for man to live by. Or is it, that comming here a begging to God; wee are put into the right language of beggars? who com­monly aske a farthing, when yet they hope for a better almes? Or is it to make us sensible of our estate; that have not so much as a bit of bread, but what it pleaseth God in mercy, to bestow upon us?

But when wee say, Give us our bread: doe we [...]ot speake, as though we thought, God meant to keepe our bread from us and put us to asking for that which is our owne already? But is it not, that wee call it ours indeed: but yet not ours, till God give it: And therefore wee give Gods Giving the first place? Or doe wee therefore call it ours, because we earne it with our labour? but therefore Gods gift, because it is hee that blesseth our labours? Or therefore our bread, because a convenient nourishment for our bo­dies: but therefore Gods gift, because he gives it the vertue of nourishing? Or therefore our [Page 130] bread, because a competent proportion for us? but therefore Gods gift, because it is hee that gives our portion to us? and though Christ here set the words together for us; and make them easie to be sayd; yet wee shall finde them apt to flie asunder againe, and not easie to be practised. For let our hand swarve but a little; and wee shall eyther lay too much upon Gods giving; and too little upon our bread: or too much upon our bread; or too little upon Gods giving. For if we depend so upon Gods giving, that wee neglect our owne Endeavours; we shall but tempt God; and put him to worke miracles, when there is no cause. Or if wee depend so up­on our owne endeavours, that wee depend not withall, and above all upon Gods giving; wee shall then tempt him more, and commit Idola­try, by sacrificing to our nets. We must therefore weigh the words well; and give each ingredient, its just quantity; or we shall never make a compo­sition that will bee profitable: or an exposition that will be reasonable.

But why should Christ tie us to asking onely for bread, and not allow us, to aske a larger Donative, as Riches and Honours? seeing it is all one to God, to give us Quailes, or Manna; and he can make Gold and Silver, as common as Stones in the street, as well to us, as he did to Salomon. No doubt he can doe it, and no doubt he would doe it; if it were for our good that hee should doe it. We may therefore know, that certain­ly, Riches and Honours, are not of that worth the world esteemes them. They adde indeed [Page 131] to our wings; but they adde much more to our unweldinesse and weight: they enlarge the Eccles. 5.11. sailes of our Shippe; but they encrease much more the labours and burthen. And in adding to our wings, we are payd but with Feathers; where in adding to our weight, there is layd a Taxe upon our substance: in adding to our sayles wee doe but gaine breath; where in ad­ding to our labours; we trie our very spirits. Be­sides, It is an ill quality, that Riches & Honours have, they are better Assequentibus then Assecutis: more pleasing in their chase then in their pur­chase. They are too great for our bodies, and too little for our minds. They are more then we can use; and yet lesse then we would have; and so are faulty in both the extreames: both in being superfluous, and in being defective. They are not so good as health, for you cannot buy health with all your money; and as little are you able to keepe it: and every sicknesse takes away both their use and rellish. And therefore the poorest man that is, hath oftentimes a richer Iewell then all the other riches of the world: for, ha­ving life and health: hee hath those things for saving whereof the richest wares in a tempest are throwne over-boord. And if we observe it, wee shall finde, that these Iewels of life and health are oftner lost, by having more then bread, then by having lesse: oftner by surfei­ting, then by starving. They therefore which have this Diamond of life; and this Pearle of health; though they have withall but the Flint [Page 132] of bread; may justly bee accounted of greater Ecclus. 30.15. worth then they who have the Spices, and pre­cious Stones of both the Indies. For they have as David saith most truely, more true content­ment Psal. 4.7. and joy of heart; then they whose Wheat and Wine doth most abound. And to say the truth, these Riches and Honours, are things of which wee may say, Sic Nos non Nobis: wee have them more from others and for others: then from or for our selves. For if there were no others but our selves; there neyther could be any having of Honours, nor would be any de­siring of Riches: And what have wee to doe with others? Indeede in civill duties wee have both to obey the Magistrate, and to doe good offices amongst our neighbours: but when it concernes the mind and contentment of spirit; what have we to doe with others? we shall never have any true contentment and joy of mind; untill wee can reduce our selves to the solitari­nesse that Adam was in, when there was none in the world but he and Eve: (for these two in true account are but as one) and this perhaps made St. Paul professe that hee was crucified to the world; and the world to him: there was no more relation betweene the world and him, then betweene the living and the dead; be­tweene things that are, and things that are not. As therefore the Disciples tooke Christ wal­king upon the water, for a Phantasme or Ghost: so we may justly take all that walke in the world for Ghosts and Phantasmes; as if there were [Page 133] none other really in the world, but Christ and our selves. And why should not I so wholly in­tend to God, as if there were none in the world but himselfe and I: seeing he so wholly intends to me, as if there were none in the world but my selfe and hee? For untill wee can doe this, wee shall never come to walke with God in the Garden of Eden. There will be no quietnesse of minde, untill we can be at home with our selves; and no such being at home, unlesse wee can bee free from others. There will bee no happinesse untill wee can bee united to God; and no such uniting, unlesse wee can bee divided from the world. Let it therefore never trouble thee, when thou seest a man grow rich, and his house to prosper: for this were but to take up Davids errours when he himselfe hath cast them off; for after, when hee entred into the sanctuary, hee understood their end. For these causes, this life of ours is justly compared to a stage-Play; where the matter is not great what part the Player acts, whether of a begger or of a King; all the matter is, what share hee shall receive when the Play is ended. Lord, let mee bee a sharer with thy Saints in the life to come; and let me act in this life what part it pleaseth thee to impose upon me. When Christ therfore bids us to aske only for bread; what is it but to put us in mind, that we rest our selves upon this bare sufficien­cy; and never care to please others, or seeke to bee thought great in others estimation, by ha­ving the pomps of excesse. O Lord God, as [Page 134] thy wisedome hath set a bound to this petition; so let this petition set a bound to our desires; that esteeming riches not for shew, but use: & valuing Honours, not by others breath; but by our owne feeling; wee neither have our soules confined to our bellies as beasts have; nor our felicity layd upon our backes as the Gentiles have; but Contenting our selves, with the diet of thy pro­viding, and with the garments of thy making: wee may count it our best foode to feede on Christ, which is the doing of his will; and our best cloathing, to put on Christ; which is the comming of his Kingdome, and the hallowing of his Name.

The three former petitions were delivered in tearmes Indefinite, as being more like to Al­leluj [...]hs, or as when we make acclamations to a Prince, Vivat Rex: but now we are come to pe­titions in their usuall termes: and seeme more properly to be within the verge of charity: for charity is, Diffusiva sui; and askes as well for others as for our selves; and though it begin at home, yet it tarries not at home, but dilates and spreads it selfe. If therefore any mans charity be so wedded to keepe home, that it meanes not much to stirre abroad; what should he doe using these spreading termes of Us, and Our bread; but rather speake plainely as his meaning is: Give me this day my daily bread? Or if at most, hee thinke it charity sufficient, and that he gives the words their full extent to understand them of himselfe and his family; or of himselfe and his [Page 135] friends onely; let him then consider in what la­titude he hath used the word before. For, when he sayd, Our Father; did he intend it, as though God were the Father of him and his family one­ly: or rather of him & all the faithfull together? and certainely, as far as the word Our reacheth, in saying, Our Father; so far it is very likely to reach, in saying, Our bread: which yet excludes not a civill propriety, though it seeme to include a Christian community. And as when Mary pou­red Mark. 14.3. her boxe of Spikenard, upon the head of Christ; it was then better bestowed then to have given it to the poore: So now, that wee have Christ in the flesh no more amongst us; and that we cannot poure our Spikenard upon his head: It will bee as acceptable to him, if wee poure it upon the poore, which are his Feete.

In all the petitions of this prayer, but most apparently in this; we have need to looke backe to our Grammar againe: for Grammar teacheth, that the Imperative Mood, biddeth and com­mandeth: and why then doe we use the Impe­rative Mood here, as though wee commanded God? Grammar indeed teacheth, that the Im­perative Mood, biddeth and commandeth; but it teacheth as well, that it prayeth and deman­deth: It is as well the Mood, that preferres the petition; as it is the Mood that signes the bill. When Christ granted the Centurions suite, hee did it in this Moode; Fiat tibi: Bee it unto thee, as thou beleevest. So when the Centurion presented [Page 136] his suite; he did it also in this Mood, Dictantum: say the word onely. Indeed God lookes not to the Mood, in which our prayers are made; but he lookes to the Mood, in which wee are that make them. For if wee pray in an hum­ble Mood and a lowly minde, wee may com­mand any thing at Gods hands: but if we come to God in a lofty Mood and a high looke; wee may command, but we are sure to goe without; for God resisteth the proud: and where God resisteth, it is neyther praying nor comman­ding that will prevaile. O my soule, canst thou thinke much to be humble, that hast God for a patterne; who suffers thee to command, that art not worthy to intreate? and no sooner thou openest thy mouth to aske blessings; but hee as soone openeth his hand, and filleth thee with blessings. And as a ball, the harder it is struc­ken downeward, the higher it rebounds up­ward: so the lower thy prayers take their ri­sing from thy heart; the higher they ascend up into the eares of God. Stoope therefore, O my soule, and bee sure to bee humble; and so thou lam. 4.10. mayst be sure to command: faile [...]ot to be lowly; and so thou shalt not faile to be exalted: be con­tent to be strucken the harder downeward; and so thou shalt make the higher bound upward in­to Heaven.

But will not this be a dry diet; to have onely bread, and no drinke to it? Did it not even choake the Bethulians, and almost wither the Israelites in the Wildernesse? Or, why should [Page 137] we thinke to have drinke without asking, more then bread? Is it, for that wee sinned first in eating; and therefore are punished with beg­ging for bread to eate? Or is it, that Christ keeps within his compasse, and teacheth us to aske for bread from heaven: who was himselfe the bread that came downe from heaven? Or is it, as Christ sayd of the poore; that water we have alwaies with us; but bread wee have not alwaies? such indeed, may bee the mazes of thoughts, when they wander in darknesse: but by the light of the first cause, wee shall see the true cause; that Christ, who is himselfe verbum Esa. 10.23. Abbreviatum makes this prayer for us in a kinde of Hierogliphicks, where one character stands for many things; and if Moses comprehended all Elementar matter, as fire, ayre, water, under the one word of earth; why may not Christ comprehend all temporall things, under the one word of bread? and indeed in this sence oftentimes the Scriptures use it; as when wee read in Ezekiel, that one of the sinnes of Ezek. 16.49. Sodome was fulnesse of bread; wee must not thinke that their excesse was onely in eating of dry bread, but that they exceeded in the su­perfluity of all meates and drinkes, adding thirst to drunkennesse; and making themselves Artificiall stomackes, with devises of gluttony. But why then should hee use so many words, even five whole petitions in expressing spiritu­all Graces? Is [...]t not that temporall things, like foule cloathes or ragges, may well enough bee [Page 138] wrapped up in one bundle together: but spi­rituall graces as things more precious, require more roome: and being to make us without spot; are themselves to bee made up without wrinkle. Yet may it perhaps not bee without mistery also; that Christ teacheth us here to aske onely for bread: as he promiseth us in heaven Math. 26.29. to give us onely drinke; to shew that this life and the next, are both but one meale: and that we cannot drinke with him in his Fathers King­dome, unlesse wee first eate him here, the bread which came downe from heaven.

But doth not this petition seeme to be out of his right place? and doth it not come in before his time? seeing Forgivenesse of trespasses, is a more excellent gift then giving of bread; and in all reason, that which is first in excellency should also be first in order? Yet we shall finde reason for this ordering of these petitions; and the lawes of true Heraldry no way transgressed. For, as Rachel sayd to Iacob, Give me children, or Gen. 30.1. else I die: so wee much more justly say to God; Give us bread, or else we die. So that as Nature is before Grace, and life before a happy life: It must needs be reasonable that asking for bread which nature cals for to supply the defects of life should goe before Forgiving of trespasses, which Grace cals for to supply the defects of a hapy life: and as there is this reason in respect of our selves, so their is a stronger reason, in respect of God: for nothing can more admirably set forth the ad­mirable goodnesse of Gods Nature, then the very [Page 139] scituation of these petitions. For by this; boun­ty is placed before his mercy; and it comes to passe, that the Sunne shines upon the good and the bad; and the raine fals upon the just and unjust. And even for us, it is a most happy mar­shalling of the petitions: for, if God should never give us any thing, but when he hath no­thing to forgive us, he should never give us; see­ing our life is a perpetuall encrease of our debts; and while wee aske him, to Forgive us; even in that we commit somthing that needs forgivenes.

It is proper to this petition, that it is not pro­per to any one sort of creatures, but is com­mon to all; and therefore though it stand in a valley, yet it hath the largest prospect. And it may be called, the petition of providence, for, where all the other are intentive to the care of another life; this onely is appoynted to make provision for the present life.

Here now would bee competition for place, betweene the two that follow; but that Repen­tance is in wonderfull grace with God; and hath the Angels also for speciall friends: and therefore hath precedence. For, when we say, Forgive us our trespases; is it not plainely the prayer of penitent sinners? who are alwaies, confessing their sinnes; and professing their a­mendment; imploring Forgivenesse; and de­ploring their owne weakenesse; all which, and onely which, are the parts of this petition. And therefore this petition, if wee did well [Page 140] should not bee spoken with words, but with sighes: for what can come from a broken heart but sighes: and untill the heart bee broken; this petition will never bee truely sound. And least our owne sighes should not bee sufficient, Rom.8.26. the Spirit it selfe makes request for us with sighes that cannot be expressed: which though it bee true of all the other petitions; yet most properly of this: For, if sorrow, griefe, feare, shame: all of them great; and all of them together deserve sighing; they are all here met, or are all heere to meete in this Petition.

There is a word which though it be no part of the petition: yet because it brings the petition in; it is not it selfe to be left out; namely, the con­junction And: which in all the former petitions was never used: because indeed there was no use of it: For, they went all singly by them­selves, as chiefly referred to the honour of God, who is Actus simplicissimus: and chiefely fitted for the mouthes of Angels, who are substantiae simpli­ces: but now that we are come to the Petitions for the onely use of men; now there is use of this conjunction: for all blessings in this world are tied, as it were by linkes together; & are not good but in conjunction; & therefore this conjunction [...]en.1.x. And, is now here used: that as the first use of it, that ever was; was to joyne the bodies themselves of heaven, & earth together; so the use of it here, is to joyne the blessings of heaven & earth toge­ther; for as an earth without a heaven would have made but a miserable world; so these earthly [Page 141] blessings without the heavenly, will make but a miserable man. And therefore wee have no sooner sayd, Give us this day our daily bread, but it presently followes; And forgive us our trespasses: as if it would inferre, that unlesse the spirituall blessings be added also, these temporall blessings will doe us small good: or rather indeed will doe us more hurt then good. For, what good did Dives riches do [...] him, but to beare his char­ges in his journey to hell [...] what good did Ha­mans honour doe him; but to procure him a higher paire of Gallowes to bee hang'd upon? what good did A [...]hitophels wisedome doe him; but to finde out a cunning, how in one act, he might both doe a murther, and revenge it? but all this is helpt by this conjunction, And: for if the spirituall blessing be added to the temporall; thy riches will prove a good unto thee, as being a purse for charity: thy honour will proove a Good unto thee, as being a stage for humility; thy wisedome will prove a Good unto thee; as being a lanthorne for devotion; and a shield against temptations.

The chiefe force of this petition is in the ver­tue of confession: for to confesse our sinnes, is as it were to unsin them againe: at least, it stops Revel [...] the mouth of our great acc [...]ser, the divell. For is it not his quality, as taking no notice of Gods Omnisciency; that he will not come to accuse, but when hee can bring, as it were some new matter; as though he thought to informe God of something that hee knew not before? and [Page 142] herefore, when he heares us confesse already; his worke is at an end: for what should he doe to come charging us with that with which wee charge our selves? and if we can be thus ridde of our accuser; may we not well hope to finde as much favour at Gods hands, as the Adultresse in the Gospell found at Christs? who sayd unto Ioh. 8.10. her when her accusers were gone, neyther doe I condemne thee. But besides this, there is a good quality in the confession, though it pub­lish the ill qualities of the confessour; that it ascribeth to God his due attributes. It ascribeth unto him Omnisciency; acknowledging it were in vaine to hide it from him who knowes it al­ready. It ascribes unto him mercy; for it were madnesse to confesse to him in whom we con­ceived no compassion. It ascribes unto him justice; as St. Iohn sayth, If we confesse our finnes, he is faithfull and just to forgive us our sinne. Where­fore [...]oh. 1.9. O my my soule, if thou canst not be strong enough to resist sinne, be humble to confesse it; but confesse it with contrition; dissolve into teares for that which is past; resolve upon a­mendment in that which is to come; and if thou canst doe this, thou shalt finde this petition the true Balme of Gilead; though thy sinnes were as red as Scarlet, they shall be made as white as le [...]. 8.22. Snow.

But were it not better, Culpa Vacare, quam cul­pam deprecari? were it not better to be without sinne, then to aske Forgivenesse? and we shall [Page 143] not sinne if wee can keepe the Commande­ments: and certainely wee may keepe them if we will; for otherwise wee should make God unjust; to give Commandements that could not be kept. O my soule, this is the right reasoning of our crooked reason: for it is not the hard­nesse of the Commandements that makes them they cannot be kept; but it is the crookednesse of our owne natures, that makes us we cannot be conformable to the streight rule of them. For the Commandements are the rule of our life; and a rule is a streight line: and a streight line is the shortest betweene two points that can be: and such are the Commandements, the shortest and easiest that could be devised, ey­ther betweene God and men; or betweene men amongst themselves. And yet let no man say; we may keepe them if we will; that is, strictly according to the rigour of the law; and by our owne power; for this were to include all the faculties of the soule within the will: which though it were so, would not serve: and being not so; is impossible. For we can neyther forget what wee would; nor remember what wee would; wee can neither love what wee would, nor hate what we would; we can neither thinke what we would, nor will what we would: and seeing a perfection in every one of these, is ne­cessarily required to the keeping of the Com­mendements; how farre off must we needs be, who are defective in them all? and therefore, when flesh and blood shall finde it selfe to have [Page 144] all these in all perfection; then it may talke of keeping the Commandements, and not before; which will not be, which cannot be, untill our bodies shall be raised up spirituall bodies; and 1 Cor. 1 [...].44 untill corruption shall put on incorruption. But this manner of perfection, failing us here; we have a refuge to slie to, in the sanctuary of this petition; Forgive us our trespasses.

By this petition then it appeares; that every man commits sinne; because every man is here enjoyned to aske Forgivenesse: but what say some men? this is no necessary consequence. For, as in the former petition every man is en­joyned to aske for bread; yet every man doth not need bread: (for many have enough in store) so, every man is enjoyned here to aske Forgive­nesse; though every man perhaps may not need Forgivenesse as Zachary and Elizabeth, who were just before God, and without reproofe: and cer­tainly they which cannot be reproved need not be forgiven. But there is no standing for Saints, against St. Iohn, who was as great a Saint as the best; yet he saith of all, including himselfe; If Luk. 1.6. we say we have no sinne. we deceive our selves, and the truth is not in us. But how then shall wee re­concile St. Luke; who saith, They are just: and St. Iohn, who saith that all are sinners? even as wee reconcile the Prophet David with himselfe; who saith, that he walked before God, in the inno­cence [...]l. 18.24. of his hands; and yet confesseth his sinnes to be more then the haires of his head. They were just before God; that is, if we take it legally; they [Page 145] performed not onely all civill duties towards men, but all religious duties towards God; and they were just before God by resolute intenti­ons and endeavours to be just; not by absolute performance of compleate Iustice. And if we take it Evangelically; They were just before God in his Mercy, not in his Iustice; before God as a Father, not as a Iudge; before God in Christ, not in themselves. And in a word, to make good Davids words; They were Iust before God; not by their not committing, but by Gods not imputing sin unto them. Or to speake more Gospel-like with St. Paul; They were iust before God, 2 Cor. 1.23. & 5.5. not by Gods receiving satisfaction from them: but by their receiving a pledge and earnest of Grace from God. But yet, how shall we recon­cile St. Iohn with himselfe, who sayth much more: that They cannot sinne: and yet that all are sinners? Is it not (as one sayth) that the first is spoken in regard of the first fruits of the New man; the later in regard of the reliques of the Old man: for as in Adam who is the Old man, all that come from him are sinners; so in Christ, who is New man, all that live by him, are justified.

There are many phrases in Scripture, by which Gods Forgiving our trespasses is expressed: Micah Mich 7.9. cals it a casting them into the bottom of the Sea: Psal. 103.12. David calls it a removing them as farre as the East is from the West: Another calls it a cast­ing Esa. 38.17. them behind Gods backe; and great variety there is of such expressing it; yet all comes to [Page 146] this: that if our sinnes be once forgiven; they are as if they never had beene done: we are; as if we never had beene sinners; God is, as if he never had beene angry.

But doth it not concerne us to know the ex­tent of this word, Trespasses? For, how can we looke, that God will understand it any other­wise then we intend it? Or that he will extend his forgivenesse any further then we extend our petition? that if we come short in our asking; he is like to come as short in his forgiving. And what are then the trespasses wee desire to have forgiven? Are they the trespasses of our fea­sting, and not as well of our Fasting? Are they the trespasses of our cursing, and not as well of our praying? Are they the trespasses of our prophanenesse, and not as well of our devoti­on? Are they the trespasses of our cruelty; and not as well of our charity? O then, how innu­merable must our vices be, when our vertues themselves are tainted at least with some spice of vitiousnesse. For seeing all our righteousnesse [...]sa. 64.6. is but as a stained cloath; even the best workes we can doe as of our selves we doe them; have all of them a need of saying this petition. That as the divell in the Swine told Christ his Name was legion; because they were many: So wee more truely may say of our trespasses, that their name is legion; because they are exceeding ma­ny: David saith of his sinnes, that they are Psal. 40. [...]. more then the haires of his head: and Manasseth, that his sinnes are more then the sands of the [Page 147] sea: and now, if wee could not say of Gods mercies, that their name is legions of legions; what hope could we have of being forgiven? for what can forgive, but that which exceeds? al­though therefore we thinke it enough, that we put our trespasses here in the plurall number; as being a number able to hold them though never so many: yet seeing wee have trespasses enow to fill it; wee had need looke out some o­ther kind of number for Gods mercies; a number that may not be Quantitas discreta, but continua: and though no such number bee found in art or nature; yet David seemes to have found us out such a number to our hands, where hee saith: Thy mercy O God is from everlasting to everlasting: Psal. 103. that wee may make it the burden of our song, Psal. 136. as David did of his; For his mercy endureth for ever.

When we pray that our trespasses may be for­given: why doe we not tell what trespasses and how many they be? For this might both stirre in our selves a greater intention; and move in God a greater compassion? but is it not, that we tell not what our trespasses bee; First in­deed because we cannot: for who can tell the trespasses he commits against God? which made David pray; Forgive mee O God my secret sinnes. Psal. 19.11. And well might David pray so: for in his sinnes about Vrias and his wife; when God had forgi­ven him his two great trespasses, Murder and Adultery: who would have thought there had beene any more behind? yet God found a con­sectary [Page] of these sinnes, more heynous in his sight, then the sinnes themselves; that tho­row them his Name was blasphemed: which no man could have drempt of, and perhaps not David himselfe, if God had not made it knowne and told him of it. Which made also St. Paul to say; I know nothing by my selfe, yet am I not there­by Iustified: for, though hee knew nothing by himselfe; yet God, he was sure, knew something. And as this may be one cause why we tell not what our trespasses be; because we cannot: so it may be another cause; because we need not: for how great or many soever our sinnes be; yet wee must come to God with this confidence, that his mercies are more and greater then they. And indeed there is none of the petitions, which a guilty conscience can make with more confi­dence, then it may do this: seeing it takes God in his proper element, with whom it is as naturall to forgive trespasses; as it is for fire to ascend up­ward. Which yet we must take with reverence; not as though we thought God a naturall agent: who doth all things, [...]; but be­cause [...]l 15.17. in his Arke of Govenant, hee hath onely Mercy for his Seat; and in his proclamation of [...]od 34.6. himselfe, he hath chiefely Mercy for his Title. We shall not therefore need to tell what or how many our trespasses be; but this we shall need, if at any time sinne assault us; that we looke upon God, as onely all Iustice: but all Iustice to the wilfull: but if sinne have taken hold of us, and overcome us; that we looke upon God [Page 149] as onely all mercy; but all mercy to the peni­tent: so, eyther our feare of God, shall be the beginning of wisdome; or our faith in Christ, the ending of folly.

But how happens it that St. Matthew making Math. 6.12. mention of this petition; sets downe, Debts: and St. Luke, Trespasses: which cannot both be L [...]k. 11.2. true: for if Christ sayd, Debts; then St. Luke is in an errour who sets downe, Trespasses; and if Christ sayd Trespasses; then St. Matthew is in an errour who sets downe Debts. This indeed may seeme a knot, but is none; at least not hard to bee untied. For, the word which Christ used (as Interpreters note) was Choba, a Syri­acke word; and signifies both Debts and Tres­passes; which as to the purpose here are both as one: unlesse we may say, that sinnes may more properly be called Debts; being taken as o­missions: when we leave that undone, which we ought to have done: and more properly Trespasses; being taken as commissions: when wee doe that wee ought not to doe: and the Evangelists being not able in a translate Tongue to expresse Christs word in one; have expressed his sence in two: which shews not so much a diversity in the writers; as an unity of the Spirit by which they write. And yet withall we may observe, that though St. Matthew in the petition it selfe set downe Debts: yet in the repetition presently after hee sets downe trespasses: and St. Luke also though in the forepart of the peti­tion hee sets downe sinnes: yet in the latter [Page 150] part he sets downe Debtours: that it is but a knot sought in Bul-rush to seeke from these words, to lay aspertion upon these holy wri­ters.

But why say we, Our trespasses: have we not trespasses enow, of our owne to pray for; but we must pray also for the trespasses of others? Indeed not onely charitably, but most justly: seeing the trespasses of others, are oftentimes the trespasses of our trespasses. For if we infect others, by our counsaile, or by our example: are not our trespasses a cause of theirs? Or if they infect us, are not their trespasses a cause of ours? and this is all the good wee get by company: Company, the great darling of the world; with­out which it were no world; there were no plea­sure: that it is no marvaile Iohn Baptist went into the Wildernesse to avoyd company; that so he mighty neither infect nor be infected. In­deed if men were to men as God intended them, nothing could cause more comfort; would yeeld more benefit then society: but seeing they have left their first love, the love of God: what marvaile, if now they leave their second love, to love one another: that nothing seemes now more dangerous, nor is oftentimes more deadly, then society.

This word Our, is thrice used in this prayer; and in each place seemes to have a severall ex­tent: for, when we say Our Father; it intends community: when we say Our trespasses, it in­tends propriety: when we say Our bread, it par­takes [Page 151] of both. There is nothing we call Ours; in which we have so absolute a property as in our Trespasses: In Our Father, others have a right: In Our bread, others may claime a share; but in Our trespasses none can challenge any part with us: for every man must beare his owne burden; Cal. 6.5. every man must be accountable for his proper debts.

We have just cause therefore to say, Forgive as our trespasses; but what cause have we to say, As we forgive them that trespasse against us? For is not this a suddaine and strange alteration? We have all this while beene at our prayers; and now to come in with a petition of right? We have hitherto beene the Publicane, confessing our sinnes: and now on the suddaine to turne Pharise, and boast of our workes? But O my soule, doe not so conceive it: for what boasting can there be in humility? and what greater hu­mility, then bearing and forgiving Trespasses? But it is an humble presenting and offering our service to God; whereby wee shew our selves prepared by his grace: and in hope to be capa­ble of his Forgivenesse. And we may perceive by Christ, that there is some great necessity of these words in this petition: for when he had delivered the whole forme of this prayer to his Disciples: he doth not so leave it; but makes of this petition, a repetition; and nrgeth it par­ticularly: Math. 6.14. as if he had some speciall interest in it himselfe; and so indeed he hath: for, what doth Christ so much labour for all his life; as to make [Page 150] us his Disciples? and how are we made his Dis­ciples, but by bearing our crosses, and comming after him? and what is this bearing our Crosse, but our Forgiving of Trespasses? for even this was the laft act of his owne bearing his crosse; when his crosse bearing him, he sayd: Father forgive them, for they know not what they doe. In­juries indeed and wrongs; oppressions and per­secutions may be layd upon us; as Christs Crosse was layd upon Simon of Cyrene; and we made to beare them whither we will, or no: but this doth not make us Christs Disciples: but we Luk. 14.17. must take them up, and beare them of our selves: and as I may say, not with presumption & pre­cipitation, but with patience and charity, crosse our crosses: and so we shall make them a true Christs Crosse indeed: and by this we shall be knowne whose Disciples we are; and thus if [...]oh. 13 35. we present our selves to God the Father; bea­ring the cognisance of God his Sonue; we may be sure of favourable audience: which is the thing that Christ so much desires. Wherefore, O my soule, wonder not that these words are with such earnestnesse taught thee to say; but wonder at the love, and loving kindnesse of Christ thy Saviour; who is so urgent with thee to have them sayd, which are so urgent for thee to be performed.

Many would desire to know, and prize it at a great rate, how they might get the knowledge to be assured, when their finnes are forgiven: and yet it is a knowledge easie to be had; and [Page 153] every man may tell himselfe. For if thou fin­dest in thy heart, a loathing of thy former sinnes; and a resolution to continue in amend­ment of life; and especially a sixed charity, to forgive others: thou mayst be assured, thou art in the favour of God; and thy sinnes past are all forgiven thee. But if thou continuest to take delight in thy former sinnes: and art un­resolved in reforming thy courses; and especi­ally if thou findest in thy selfe a desire of re­venge: and art implacable towards others; thou mayst then be assured thou art still in the state of Gods displeasure; thy sinnes are not yet forgiven. For these things are not onely the signes; but the certaine effects of Gods forgi­ving us; when we confesse and be grieved for our owne trespasses to him; and are compassio­nate and relenting to the trespasses of others to us.

But are we not in this all Naamans? Doe we not all thinke that washing seven times in Iordan, is too slight a medicine to cure our leprosie? that our forgiving of others, can never have the power to worke in God, a forgiving of us? but what is this, O my so [...]le, but to vilifie that which God hath sanctified? If God had sayd unto thee; If thou wilt have me to forgive thy trespasses; then goe sell all thou hast, and give it to the poore; as the young man in the Gos­pell was bidden: Or then goe sacrifice thy one­ly sonne, as Abraham was commanded: oughtest [Page 154] thou not to have done these thi [...]gs? how much more, when he saith; Forgive, and thou shalt be Forgiven? For to skorn the meanes, because they seeme to us to be weake; what is it, but to forget the power of that hand which useth them? Could Christ give power to the Hem of his garment, that the only touching it, drew vertue from him: and cannot God give power to our forgiving of others, to draw mercy from him? could God give power to seven times going about Ierico, to make the walls fall downe; and can he not as well give power to our forgiving the trespasses of others, to make our trespasses fall downe be­fore him? But this is done, to make us know that Gods thoughts are not as our thoughts; nor his waies as our waies: For what Father indeed on earth, though never so loving, would give so great ablessing to so small a duty? what Master, though never so bountifull, would propose so glorious a reward to so meane a service? what King, though never so gracious, would grant so free a pardon upon so easie termes? for this which he requires is not the intending of an action, but the remit­ting of a passion: It is not to suffer, but not to offer: it is not to doe more then we can doe; but not to doe so much as we would doe: yet such a Master, and King, and Father is God; that if thou doe it in charity, and say it in fayth; it will worke with him the effect he promiseth: and this shall be a signe unto thee; thou shalt finde in thy minde that Peace which passeth all understanding; thou shalt finde in thy heart, [Page 155] that Ioy which the world cannot give; and shalt plainely perceive by this subordinate petition, what great cause thou hadst to say; Thy Kingdome come.

But what will be the best time for our saying of this petition? May we not put it off, till we have committed more sinnes; and then aske forgivenesse for all together? May we not run a while upon the skore, and then strike a tally for all at once? O my soule, be not so nngrate­full to God: so improvident for thy selfe: for canst thou thinke it fit, to runne further upon the skore; when thou art more upon the skore already, then all thou art worth? Canst thou thinke it fit to commit more sinnes, when thou hast committed more already, then a thousand deaths can expiate? Hath God spared thee for this, that thou shouldst goe on to provoke him further? Hath he for this given thee a time to re­pent thee; that thou shouldst make him repent him of the time he hath given thee? This de­ferring of repentance dries up the blood of Christ; God in him is a Father now, who knowes how soone he may turne to a Iudge? God in him is now all mercy; who knowes how soone he may returne to his Iustice? This present houre, this very instant is the Faire kept, as I may say, of forgiving sinnes: It may be had now at an easie rate; onely for forgiving them that trespasse against thee: but if thou tar­ry till the Faire be ended; (and who knowes how soone it may be, seeing it hath lasted so [Page 156] long already) there will then be no rardons to be purchased at any rate, but thou must pay for thy improvidence with thy uttermost far­thing. O then my soule, put not off from day to day; least thou come, as it is sayd, a day after the Faire; but whilst it is called to day, call thy selfe to account; and let not the Sunne goe downe upon thy Impenitence to God; or upon thine anger to thy neighbour: least it happen to thee, as to the rich man in the Gos­pell; who to morrow after his barnes were built would gee in hand with repentance, when God would not tarry the building of Barnes; but Hac [...]e repetent ani [...]nam tu [...]m; this very night they shall take away thy soule.

But is there not in this petition a hole left for revenge to creepe in? may we not doe as much as we say; and yet leave some trespassors, upon whom to bee revenged? For, if we forgive some that trespasse against us, we forgive them that trespasse against us, although we forgive not all that trespasse against us: and those we for­give not, will bee left for us to be revenged. But, O my soule, what Sophistry is this to be used to God? do [...] thou not by this entangle thy selfe in thy owne Net? May not God just­ly return [...] thy Sophistry upon thee, and say: Thou desirest to be forgiven, an [...] thou shalt have thy desire: If I forgive thee some of th [...] tresp [...]sses, I forgive thee thy trespass [...]s; al­though I forgive thee not all thy trespasses; and tho [...]e I forgive not, will serve my turne for thy [Page 157] condemnation. And when God shall say this, art thou not well served for thy Sophistry? Wherefore, O Foolish soule, leave playing the Sophister with God; & as it is thy desire to have all thy trespasses forgiven; so let it be thy mea­ning to forgive all, that trespasle against thee: For if thou wilt have a generall pardon; thou must generally pardon.

If our forgiving of others, consisted in gi­ving good words; in shewing faire lookes; in affording smiling countenances; in offering dissembled courtesies; we might well enough thinke, that every man living, performed the condition of this petition; and that the whole world were nothing but charity: but seeing God hath thus centured the Israelites Fasting; Is it such a Fast that I have chosen? Is it to bow Esa. 58.5. downe your heads as a Bulrush, and to spread Sack­clmb and Ashes under you? Doe we not thinke he will not as [...]verely censure our forgiving? Is it such a Forgiving that I require? Is it to smile in a m [...]ns face, and cut his throat behinde his backe? Is it to give good words, and watch a time to take revenge? Is it to carry Honey in the mouth, and G [...]ll in the heart? And how then can wee choose n [...]w but feare, there is sear [...]e a man living that can looke to have his f [...]nes forgiven; and that there is not so much as the poore womans mite of charity in the world. For tru [...] cha [...]ity is without dissimu­lation: and to take dissimulation out of the world; what were it, but after a sort to pre­vent [Page 158] God; and to make a new earth before the time.

But why should God require of us such a quicke returne from anger; who could himselfe carry anger in his minde much longer? for did he not so to Moses? who having angred God a little at Meribah: was punished for it at Ca [...]an a long time after? But O my soule, farre be it from thee to thinke Gods goodnesse, can once be touched with such imputation. God was angry indeed, and upon just cause angry with Moses at Meribah: and sware in his wrath, that he should not enter into Canaan: So the doome was instantly passed, and could not be revoked; and his anger was as instantly passed, and never after shewed. For, when the sentence came to executing; with what circumstances of mild­nesse; with what favour of interpretation was it done? that though the punishment could not be revoked; yet Gods love turned it into a benefit. For, though he might not goe into Canaan with his feet: yet he was suffered to goe into it with his eyes: that having taken the pleasure of seeing the figure; he might goe the more cheerefully to take possession of the sub­stance. Neyther was it perhaps so much a pu­nishment, as a mystery; at least, a punishment not without mystery: for Moses represented the law, and could not therefore bring the Is­raélites into Canaan; because the law cannot bring us to heaven: It must be Ioshuah the type of Christ Iesus; that must bring them into Ca­naan, [Page 159] the type of heaven; as it is lesus, the true Ioshua, that must bring us to heaven, the true Canaan.

But seeing God hath forgiven our sinnes al­ready in Christ; what need we to trouble God, or our selves, to aske forgivenesse againe? as though our words could doe more then Christs deeds? but is it not as when a King proclaimes a generall pardon to all offendours; yet none shall have benefit by it, but such onely as sue it forth, and fetch it out: so God indeed hath granted a generall pardon to all sinners, in the merits of his Sonne; but none shall have be­nefit by it but such onely as sue it forth by the tongue of faith; and fetch it out by the feete of charity; and this is the tongue of fayth; when we say, Forgive us our trespasses: These are the feete of charity, when we Forgive them that tres­passe against us.

But why doe we tell God of our forgiving of Ioh. 22.3. others? For, what is it to God, whither we forgive others, or no? Indeed of all our service there comes no profit to God at all; and our Psal. 16.2. well doing, extendeth not to him: but it seemes this petition would have us take notice of a property in God; who, as at first, his pleasure was, to make us according to his likenesse: so he takes great pleasure still, that he and we should be like: and so much desires to have us like him; that rather then faile, he will be like us: as David sayth, with the pure, thou wilt shew Psal. 18.25. thy selfe pure; and with the froward, thou wilt shew [Page 160] thy selfe froward. And God himselfe seemes to make knowne this property in himselfe; where he saith in Ezechiel: Because Edom hath taken Ezck. 25.12. vengeance, and revenged himselfe upon Iuda: there­fore will I take vengeance, and revenge my selfe upon Edom. And wee can in nothing, be so like to God as in being mercifull, as Christ saith; Be ye mercifull as your heavenly Father is mercifull. But if we care not for being mercifull to others, that we may be like God; let us at least be mercifull to others, that God may be like us: for, if we be cruell to others; there is no avoyding this property in God; he will also most certainely be cruell to us. To obtaine therefore mercy from God to our selves; we justly make profes­sion of our owne mercifulnesse to others; yet wee tell it to God; not to informe him, and make him to know it; but that wee may bee witnesses against our selves, if we doe not per­forme it.

But are there not many other workes, by which we might better have expressed our cha­rity, then by forgiving of trespasses? Certain­ly not any. For all other workes may have lea­ven in them, and worldly ends; but this is wholly spirituall; and without any mixture at all of carnall respects: and therefore though it be not the onely, yet it is the principall; and as I may say, the Quorum of all the workes of cha­rity, as without which, no other worke of ours, how good soever, can indeed bee charitable. For, thou mayst visit the sicke; and take great [Page 161] paines to doe them comfort; yet there may be leaven here; for are there not profits often­times: are there no [...] benefits many waies, from dying men to be expected? and so thy visitati­on may bee far [...]e from charity. Thou mayst build Almes-houses; and give great revenues to maintaine them; yet their is a leaven of vaine-glory; and a leaven of false devotion: as the Israelites gave their earrings, to make the Exod. 32.3. golden calfe; and so thine Almes also may bee farre from charity. Thou mayst give all thy goods to the poore; that thou bring thy selfe to be one of the number, & yet perhaps but poore charity neither: for may there not be leaven in it, seeing heathen men have done as much? Thou mayst give thy body to be burned: which seemes not onely the heate, but the height of charity; and yet perhaps but cold charity ney­ther: for are there not leavens of vaine-glory? of false devotion? of obstinacy, and even of Phil. 1.15. malice? strange leavens indeed: but yet such leavens there are; and so thy seeming Mar­tyrdome, may be farre from charity. But when thou forgivest them that trespasse against thee; this can have no leaven at all in it; for it can proceed from no beginning: it can tend to no end: it can ayme at no marke, but onely cha­rity: and therefore this certainely of all the workes of charity, the fittest to expresse it; and therefore the fittest to bee here expres­sed: For this is the new Commandement; and as I may say, The Law of the Gospell; that we [Page 162] love one another; but no loving without for­giving.

But doth not this petition seeme of a strange condition? for we aske God to forgive us upon condition, that we forgive others: but what if others doe not trespasse us? then wee have nothing to forgive: and so God must forgive us for nothing. But is it not, that though men see the fruite but as it hangs upon the Tree; yet God sees it as it lies in the roote: and it shall be sufficient, if we be such forgivers, as all the godly are Martyrs of whom David sayth, Psal. 44.22. For thy sake are we slaine continually: and as St. Paul was a Martyr at Ierusalem; before he was a Martyr at Rome: an habituall Martyr, before he was an actuall; even then when he sayd; I am ready not onely to be bound; but to die at Ieru­salem Acts 21.23. for the Name of the Lord Iesus. And as such Martyrdome; so such forgivenesse will serve our turnes with God: will serve Gods turne in us.

This petition is in nature of a contract: and how can the contract bee valued; that seemes not made upon a valuable consideration? For, what recompence is it, for our trespasses a­gainst God; that we forgive others? If God had done us any wrong, that wee might say; Forgive us, O God, as we forgive thee: then there were reason in the petition; and good ground for the contract: but alas, there is no such thing. For if Samuel could say; Whose Oxe, or whose Asse have I taken, or to whom have I done wrong? Behold a juster then Samuel is here; [Page 163] one so farre from doing us wrong; that hee is Psal. 68.19. alwaies loading us with benefits: One so farre from bending his fist to strike us; that hee is alwaies opening his hand to blesse us; and where is then any ground for our contract? But Is it not, that if we give a cup of cold water to Gods children; God takes it as if we gave it to him? and if we forgive the trespasses of others; God takes it, as trespasses forgiven to himselfe? And though Gods forgiving of us be of infi­nite more value then our forgiving of others: yet if he be pleased to set so great a price upon ours; and to set no greater upon his owne: what can hinder but the bargaine may stand firme enough. For in contracts betweene God and us: there are indeed, two kinds of values: A value of worth: and a value of Acceptance: and in the value of worth; wee are, God knowes, nothing worth; for what have wee that we have not received? but in the value of Acceptance, there comes in our wealth: which as it chiefly consists in sacrifices; so of all our sacrifices, there is none more accepta­ble to God: None that makes a sweeter In­cense to Gods sence (though to common sen­ces, of no sent) then our forgiving of tres­passes. Salomon offred to God in Gibeon, a great sacrifice; even a thousand Bullockes: and yet behold, a better sacrif [...]e here, then that of Sa­lomon. For obedience is better then sacrifice; and to 1 Sam. 15.22. [...]arken is bet [...]er then the fat of Rammes. If there­fore we make not use of this sacrifice, and for­give [Page 164] not others; we loose the best meanes wee have of improving our wealth: and may with David stand, upon Quid retribuam Domino, as long as wee will; but wee shall never finde any thing, so much worth our givi [...]g, as for­giving. For, this God accepts as a match to his owne mercy; and so bringing downe the price of his forgiving; and raysing the price of ours; hee makes at last the consideration to be valuable, and gives validity to the con­tract.

But have we not a great bargaine from God, by this petition? to have all our trespasses for­given; for onel [...] our forgiving the trespasses of others? No doubt we have; if God give us as well the grace to make use of the petition; as Christ gives us the instruction, to make the petition. Otherwise it may prove the worst bargaine that ever was made: For if wee ex­pect our forgivenesse; depending wholly upon God; there can be no feare: but if we expect it, depending upon any thing in our selves; what hope can there bee? seeing revenge lies boyling, and burning in our breasts; but cha­rity, God knowes, lies cold at our hearts. But may wee not say, there are in God two at­tributes, his Mercy; and his Iustice: and that in this petition, wee are provided for them both? For if wee meete with his Mercy; it is enough to say, Forgive us our trespasses: and if we meete with his Iustice, we have in a readines to say, As we forgive our debtours? This we may [Page 165] say indeed; and it will doe well, if wee can well doe it: but if wee faile to doe it; as wee make not good the condition; so we can looke for no good from the petition: if wee per­forme not to God our promise of forgiving, which we are sure of our selves we cannot: we cannot promise our selves the performance of Gods forgiving; which wee are sure to be most miserable if we doe not.

But will it not give a boldnesse to men; and make them carelesse how much they sinne, if they may have their sinnes so eas [...]y forgiven? we must therefore remember; there is an An­tecedent, Thy Will bee done: and a subsequent, Lead us not into temptation: and an adjunct, As we forgive our debtours: and all these must come tog [...]ther, and compasse in this petition; or else this petition, being left to it selfe alone, will never bee granted; nor our sinnes be for­given. And let us not thinke the suite easie, be­cause we come as children to a Father: for we must consider, we are but children by Adopti­on, and if the condition of Adoption bee not performed, the alliance is dissolved; and then wee become as meere strangers: or rather as very children of wrath as we were before: as the Prodigall child confessed, He was no more worthy to be called his sonne.

But doe wee alledge our forgiving of others, as a cause of Gods forgiving of us; or as a mea­sure? Not as a cause: for so wee should take place of God, and goe before him: Not as a [Page 166] measure: for so wee should limit God and be above him. And yet as a cause; but a cause or capacity of pardon, not a cause of pardou: a cause of approach, not a cause of accesse: not an efficient, and yet without which, no ede [...]t. And as a measure also, but a measure which wee bring empty to God, and looke that hee should fill it; that of his fulnesse wee may all Ioh. 1.16. receive. When wee pray to God to forgive us, as wee forgive others, wee doe not limmit God to our forgivenesse; but wee require his forgivenesse in its owne extent; as much more full and absolute, then ours; as hee himselfe is more absoltute then we: his Mercy more full then ours.

But if this be no cause of our forgivenenesse; what can we say for our selves, why our finnes should bee forgiven? Can wee say, that the Commandements are too many, and too hard to bee kept? but wee sinned as much, when there was but one Commandement; and that one, eas [...]e enough in all reason. Or can we say wee have sinned ignorantly, and beene decei­ved? but that excuse would not be taken, in our first parents; who yet could plead it better then we: for, they were Novices in the world and not acquainted with the Serpents subtilty; which to us that have our prentiship in the world is too well knowne. Or can wee say wee have beene constrained, and have sinned of ne­cessity? but nothing that is not voluntary, shall be laid to our charge. We may thus goe over all the [Page 167] pleas, of excuse: and we shall finde none to to make for us but all ag [...]inst us; unlesse per­haps Psal. 25.11. a plea of Davids, and that a strange one, God knowes: Bee mercifull unto mine iniquity O Lord, for it is great. A strange plea indeed; to make our case desperate; that it may be thought reasonable: to make our selves monsters; that wee may appeare handsome: yet such is our case, that such must bee our course: for if wee mince our faults, wee doe but make them the m [...]re; and if wee hide them from God, wee doe but make him looke more narrowly to Iob 13.27. them: and untill we confesse them to be great; it shews we have no great feeling; if no great feeling, no great remorse; if no great remorse, no great sorrow; if no great sorrow, no great repeat [...]nce. And if we examine Davids words well; we shall finde both a truth in the reason; and a reason in the truth of them. They are Manass. great, great in number; for they are more then the sands of the Sea. Great in weight; Psal 38.4. for they are as a weighty burthen, too heavy for him to beare. Great in voyce; for their cry reacheth up to heaven. Great in continu­ance: Gen.4 10. for they have lasted from the time his mother conceived him; to the time his mo­ther the earth received him againe. And yet in the trnth of these greatnesses, there is great reason of forgivenesse. They are great; and therefore fit to shew Gods Power to bee great, that can forgive them: They are great; and therefore fit to shew Mercy to be great, that [Page 168] will forgive them: They are great; and there­fore fit to shew Gods Wisedome to be great; that knowes how to forgive them in his Mercy, without prejudice to his Iustice: and in his Iustice, without derogation from his Mercy.

But hath David no better reason to alleadge, why God should forgive our trespasses, but the greatnesse of our trespasses? Indeed, as from our selves, hee hath not; from God hee hath: as Forgive me O God, for thy Name sake: for how Psal. 25.11. else could hee verefie his Name of Father: and Save me, O God, for thy Mercies sake; for how else Psal. 6.4. could he justifie his Nature of being mercifull? and even from our selves, though David doth Psal. 110.1. but intimate it, when he sayth; The Lord sayd unto my Lord: yet wee can deliver it in plaine termes; Forgive us, O God, for thy Sonne Ie­sus Christs sake: and this we may justly call a reason from our selves: seeing, He was there­fore given to us, that hee might become of us: that being in us, he might be a ransome for us. Ioh. 11.14. 1 lim. 2.6. And therefore, when we say, Forgive us our tres­passes: doth not Christ seeme to take our per­son upon him? and when we say, As wee forgive our debtours; doe not we seeme to take Christs person upon us? seeing in the petition, that seemes verified which was spoken of Christ, He was accounted among the wicked: and in the condi­tion, Esa. 53.12. Ioh. 1.6. that seemes verified which is spoken of us; Of his fulnesse we have all received.

But though our forgiving of others, be ney­ther [Page 169] cause nor measure, of Gods forgiving of us: yet it may bee inquired, which hath the priori­ty? for they are here so woaven and connex­ed together: that it cannot eafily be diseerned. Gods forgiving is first named; but our forgi­ving seemes first intended. Our forgiving is the condition; and the condition must be first performed before the petition can bee granted. Gods forgiving is our petition; and the peti­tion must first be granted, before the condition can bee performed. So wee are in a laberinth here. Our forgiving proceeds from charity: but what charity wi [...]hout the grace of God? and what grace without forgiving our sinnes? Gods forgiving proceeds from mercy; but what mercy to them, that have not charity? and what charity in them that forgive not o­thers? so wee are in a laberinth still. Our for­giving is our action: but what activenesse in us, to any good; without the assistance of God, the Fountaine of all goodnesse? but God as­sisteth not, where he first forgiveth not. Gods forgiving is his action, and is grounded upon our repentance; but what repentance, without sorrowing for our sinnes? and what sorrowing without forgiving? So wee are in a laberinth still: and no Ari [...]dues thread to guide us out; but onely Gods Mercy; for the same Mercy in God which forgiveth us, enableth us with grace to forgive others. In Gods forgiving, it is derived to us: in our forgiving it is derived by us: In Gods forgiving, we are onely Pas­sive: [Page 170] in our forgiving, we are both Active and Passive: but Passive first in receving the grace; and then active in using the grace. And therfore, we say not, Forgive us as we have forgiven; but as we doe forgive: seeing it cannot be thought when wee desire God to forgive us our tres­passes: but that the not forgiuing the trespas­ses of others, is part of the trespasses we desire to be forgiven. There is therefore no standing with God for priority: but wee shall doe well seeing wee cannot bee too sure of performing the condition; to turne the condition into a prayer: that as in the petition, we understand; I believe, O God helpe my unbeliefe: so in the condition to understand; I am in cha­rity, O God helpe my uncharitablenesse. Helpe me, O God, out of the intricatenesse of this laberinth; so forgive me, that I may for­give: so make mee to forgive, that I may be forgiven.

Doe wee therefore well consider, what wee doe, when we say this petition? For doe we not make these words, Forgive us our trespasses: to stand at the mercy of the words following whether they shall prove a prayer, or no? For if we doe as we say, and be mercifull to others: they are no doubt, an excellent prayer: but if we doe not as we say, and forgive not others: what are they then but a very curse? for what greater curse, or what plainer termes to expresse a curse, then to pray to God to forgive us as we forgive others: and in the meane time to [Page 171] meane nothing lesse, then forgiving of others? and so wee doe worse to our selves: then Da­vid prayed to bee done to his enemies: Let Psal. 109.7. their prayer bee turned into sinne. For wee have lit­tle else left us of goodnesse, but our prayers to bee good: and shall wee turne them also into sinne? and that which is the worst of sinne, into a curse? can wee not bee contented, to commit trespasses against men; but wee must make them reach to a mocking of God? Is it not enough that we be so wicked to deserve damna­tion; but we will bee so desperate to pray for damnation? O my tongue, cleave rather to the roofe of my mouth; then bee made an instru­ment of this petition; unlesse thou finde my heart, to set thee a worke: for so thou shouldst make thy selfe an instance of Gods complaint: They draw neere mee with their mouthes, but their Esa. 29.13. hearts are farre from me. And yet, O my tongue, I must not have thee to forbeare saying it; seeing it may passe for some part of obedience, to say as thou art taught: though thou doe not as thou sayest; and who knowes whether God may not give a blessing to it, whilst it is in thy mouth: that though at first, it rise not from thy heart: yet thorough his grace it may re­vert a convert; and turne backe upon thy heart.

But what say wee to such men, who are so farre from thinking it charity, to forgive their trespassovrs; that they thinke it honour, Not to forgive them? doe more feare the disgrace of [Page 172] men in forbearing revenge: then the displea­sure of God in seeking revenge? May we not justly say of such: that for all their pretending eyther honour or valour: yet they are in truth both cowards and fooles; cowards, to feare where there is no cause of feare; & fooles not to feare, where there is cause. And indeed, is it not a marvailous thing, how men dare be so bold to say this petition; and yet be so carelesse to per­forme the condition? Doe they thinke it to be a charme; and that the bare saying of the words, without more adoe is of it selfe suffici­ent to procure forgivenesse? Or doe they thinke God so prodigall of his pardons, that he besto­weth them upon all commers, without any difference? Or doe they believe, he is so easie of beliefe, that hee takes all promises for pay­ments; and never lookes further after any per­formance? Alas, all these are but suggestions of the devill: they will all be found in the proofe to be of no proofe: but rather these words of the condition will be the ground of their damnati­on: for, from them the Iudge will take ad­vantage, and justly pronounce against them: E'x ore tuo te judico: Thou hast often prayed to be forgiven thy selfe, as thou forgivest others: and yet all thy life long, thou hast done no­thing but breathe revenge: Thou shalt now at last have thy asking; such forgivenesse as thou hast shewed, such thou shalt finde: cast him into utter darknesse; Hee would never forgive; Hee shall never bee forgiven.

[Page 173] But why should God require that of us which hee would not doe himselfe? For when the Angels sinned; Hee would not forgive them, but presently in his anger, cast them out of Heaven: And when our first parents transgres­sed: He would not forgive them, but present­ly in his Iustice cast them out of Paradise. And yet if hee had forgiven the Angels; there had not beene a Serpent to seduce Eve: and if hee had forgiven our first parents, there had not beene originall sinne to corrupt us. But O my soule, take heed; remember, the seed of the woman was not yet promised: and thon mayst hereby see what God is to us, withont Heb. 12.29. Christ; even a consuming fire: and what he is, thorough Christ; a fire still, but to comfort, not to consume: for he having payd the ran­some of our sinnes: it is now as just with God Ioh. 1.9. to forgive sins; as it was before to punish sin­ners: and we are now in the state St. Paul speaks off; Forgiving one another, even as God for Christ [...]sus sake hath forgiven us. So that God requires no more of us then what he hath performed to us: Or may we not be bold to say; He there­fore requires it of us, that he may be able to performe it to us? and let it not bee taken as impiously spoken; that God should not bee able to forgive us unlesse wee forgive others: seeing there is a pious sence, in which perhaps wee may bee bold to say; He is not. For is it not sayd of Christ: that among his owne peo­ple he could doe no miracles: he seemed, not [Page 174] to want will; but to want power; He could Mark. 6.5. not doe them: yet we must conceive this want of power was not in respect of himselfe: but in respect of them; they wanted faith, and were uncapable. And as in them, want of fayth seemed to take away power from him that is omnipotent: so in us, want of charity seemes to take away mercy, from him that is all love: For doth not Christ tell us of a King, who for­gave his servant many debts: but when the ser­vant Math. 18.23. would not forgive his fellow; hee came upon him againe for the same debts, notwith­standing his former forgivenesse: Not, that the King went backe from his mercy, but that the servant went forward in his cruelty: He wanted charity; and was uncapable. For Gods mercy indeed can never enter, where mans cruelty keepes possession: and it is impos­sible a pardon should be sealed to him, in whom hardnesse of heart, suffers not the seale to make impression.

But is there not a difference here betweene the condition and the petition? For, in the petition, we pray to God to forgive our debts: but in the condition we offer God, to forgive our debtors? and why is this difference? In­deed in both must be understood both: yet in each of them there seemes a speciall adressment to each of them. For it followes with God, that if hee forgive the sinne; hee is presently withall reconciled to the sinner: but it fol­lowes not with men; for they oftentimes can [Page 175] be content to forgive the offence: when yet they cannot finde in their hearts to bee friends with the offendour: as it is the voyce of the world to say; I will forgive him, but I shall ne­ver forget him: where, by not forgetting, they meane not loving: and truly if they love not, truly they forgive not.

But seeing our trespasses are of two sorts: some, committed against God; and some, committed against our neighbour: It may bee here demanded; in praying to God to forgive our trespasses, what it is wee meane? For, if only the trespasses committed against God, what shall then become of the trespasses committed against our neighbour? and if in our prayer we meane them also; it may then bee doubted, what God hath to doe to forgive trespasses committed against others, and not against him­selfe? Certainely in our prayer we meane both: and therefore it remaines onely to resolve the doubt: which none but prophane persons would offer to make. Indeed, if thou coulst finde any thing which were a trespasse against thy neighbour: and were not also a trespasse against God; thy doubt might bee thought something, which now is nothing: seeing, there is no trespasse against thy neighbour, which is not first and greatest a trespasse against God. For if a man steale; it is a trespasse against his neigh­bour; but it is first a trespasse against God; be­cause God forbids it. If a man commit a murder, it is a trespasse against his neighbour; but it is [Page 176] first a trespasse against God; because God for­bids it: but this seemes not to remove the doubt. For, did not Cain commit a trespasse against Abel when hee murthered him? yet God had not then forbidden murther. Did not Rachel commit a trespasse against Lahan, when shee stole his Idolls? yet God had not then forbid­den stealing. Indeed, these things were not yet forbidden by the pofitive lawes of God, written in Tables of stone; but they were not­withstanding forbidden by the naturall lawes of God, written in the Tables of our hearts. But this doth not yet remove the doubt ney­ther. For seeing there is some trespasse com­mitted against the neighbour: it must needs belong to him to forgive his part; and not to God to forgive all. Surely, the neighbours part, in regard of Gods part, is scarce worth reckoning: and therefore David though he had taken from Vrias, both his wife and his life; (two as great trespasses against a neighbour, as psal. 51.4. could be) yet hee sayth to God: Tibi, Tibi soli peccavi: Against thee, against thee onely have I sin­ned: as if his trespasses against Vrias, were not worth the speaking off. Yet God is contented to allow the neighbour his part also; and there­fore Christ teacheth us, If our neighbour have ought against us: to goe first and be reconciled to him, before wee come to offer at the Altar: as if else hee might put in a caveat, and stoppe our petition: and so indeed hee may. Wee must therefore use all earnest entreaties; offer all possible satis­faction: [Page 177] make all humble submission to pro­cure our attonement: but if all our endeavours cannot prevaile: if our ability be so small, that wee cannot satisfie; or their hearts be so hard­ned that they will not bee satisfied: it is then Gods prerogative to take the matter into his Psal. 10.4. & 37.33. Rom. 12.9. Psal. 97.1. owne hands: For vengeance is his, and he will repay: and The Lord is King, sayth the Pfalme; the earth may be glad: and glad indeed, we may be all; that the Lord is King, and will judge the earth: for, if men should bee our judges; and our hope of forgivenesse should stand in the breasts of men: alas poore wretches, what man of us all should goe to Heaven? for, what care they how many goe to hell: so they may bee revenged, and have their wills? which David knew well: and therefore when after a great sinne, God offered him his choyce of punish­ments: 2 Sam. 24.13. Eyther famine, or pestilence, or to flee three daies before his enemies: though hee seemed in a great straight; yet he quickely resolved of his choyce: Let me fall, saith hee, into the hands of God, for his mercies are great: and let me not fall into the hands of men. And therefore Christ, out of this prerogative of God, sayd unto the thiefe upon the Crosse: This day thou shalt bee with mee in Paradise: hee stands not to examine his trespasses to his neighbour: hee takes upon him to answere them himselfe; and tells him without more a doe; This day thou shalt bee with me in Paradise. Wherefore O my soule, observe here first; what thou promisest God to observe: [Page 178] Forgive them that trespasse against thee: I doe here therefore forgive all the world: If any man have done me wrong; if any man have in­tended me evill: I doe freely and fully, from my heart forgive him. And then, observe what Christ teacheth thee to observe: seeke all meanes to be reconciled to thy neighbour: I doe here therefore desire forgivenesse of all the world; if I have done wrong to any man; if I owe any thing to any man, which I am not able to pay: I am infinitely grieved, and heartily sorry; and humbly from my heart entreate him to forgive me. And when thou hast done this; thou hast yet a City of refuge to flie unto, God: and to him confesse thy sinnes, and desire for­givenesse: I doe here therefore prostrate my selfe before thee, O God; I confesse and ac­knowledge the heynousnesse of my sinnes: and I most humbly from my heart entreate thee to forgive me. This done, O my soule, thou mayst rise from the earth, and take comfort; and mayst be bold to say, The Lord is my helper, I will not feare Psal. 56.4.11. Heb. 13.6. Ier. 15 11. what man shall doe unto mee. For thou mayst be sure that God will use eyther hisauthority to the world, to make it forgive thee; or his prerogative over the world: and forgive thee himselfe.

But is it not strange this petition should come in so late; which one would thinke should have beene the first? For, how can we expect a do­native before a pardon? that any thing should be given us; unlesse our sinnes be first forgiven us? Is it not, that the foure first petition are [Page 179] very ancient; and were sayd of our first pa­rents, even in Paradise: and in them we alter nothing but the tunes; for they were to them songs; but are to us supplications: They were to them Himns, but to us are Dirges: but the two latter are wholly new, and come but now in; and therefore take their place as they come: For, they are indeed, the meere reparations of our first Parents ruines: and had both of them beene altogether needlesse, if they had not both of them; beene altogether gracelesse. And yet there appeares another reason. For, wee have asked to hallow Gods Name; and that his Kingdome may come: and that his Will may bee done: and that he would give us bread to eate: and now, it seemes by our asking for temporall things, (which is the last care of a Christian man) that Christ would have made an end of the Prayer heere, if it had beene possible; but it would not be: For, our hallowing Gods Name is but imperfect; his Kingdome comes to us but in part; his Will, though it bee done as it is in Heaven; yet it is done in earthen Vessels: and therefore after all this, there is no reme­dy; we must needs come to this at last, and aske forgivenesse: or else all that went before will not serve the turne, for which this Prayer is in­tended. And may it not be another reason why this petition comes in so late, and is placed amongst the last; to shew, that Repentance comes never too late, so it come at last: and therefore Christ makes this one of our last peti­tions; [Page 180] as washing the Disciples feete, was one of his last acts; the very embleme of this peti­tion. Yet wee may observe how dangerous a thing this late repentance is: for, though Peter, no doubt, had often sayd with David, Wash mee thorowly from my sinnes; yet when it grew Psal. 51.2. so late, before Christ came to wash him in­deed: hee would have put it off; if Christ had not put him on, with an extraordinary mo­tion.

But may we not seeme here to be at a stand? For, here are many petitions; but wee can see none of asking for faith: as Christ prayed for Peter, That his faith might not faile: and the A­postles Mark. 22.32. prayed, O Lord increase our faith: and is it not strange that in this principall prayer, we should not pray for that which is the principall? that all our petitions should be for workes: and none of them for fayth? Is it, for some such reason as Moses had: who describing the crea­tion of the world; and the making of all crea­tures: yet speaketh nothing, of the making of An­gels, though of all creatures, the principall? Or is it, that Christ makes this a Prayer, not a Cate­chisme: Heb. 11.6. and a prayer for the Faithfull, not for Infidels: for, He that comes to God, must believe that God is: and that hee is a rewarder of them that seeke him? Or is it, that wee cannot pray for fayth; but it must bee needs, eyther without cause, or without effect: and so be eyther need­lesse or fruitlesse? For, if we have favth already, it is needlesse to aske it: and if we have it not; [Page 181] it is in vaine to aske it: seeing, what we aske not in fayth, St. Iames tels us, we shall not obtaine: and if we aske it in fayth, wee then have faith to aske it before wee aske it. But will it not bee better not to looke out reasons, why wee doe not aske it; but rather to shew reasons, that we doe aske it? and aske it we doe indeed; not verbally, but really. For, doe we not pray for fayth, when we pray for the hallowing of that, which cannot be hallowed but by the tongue of fayth? the Name of God. Doe we not pray for fayth; when wee pray for the comming of that, which cannot come but upon the feete of fayth? the Kingdome of God. Doe wee not pray for fayth, when we pray for the doing of that, which cannot bee done but by the strength of fayth? the Will of God. Doe we not pray for fayth, when we pray for the having of that, which can­not bee had, but by the hand of fayth? forgive­nesse of our finnes. Certainely, seeing we pray for the causes and the effects; for the roote, and the fruits of fayth: it is not the want of na­ming fayth, that can bee a reason to make us doubt, that we pray not for fayth; no more then the want of naming Christ in this prayer, is any reason to prove that wee pray not here in the Name of Christ.

It is proper to this petition; that where all the other are absolute, this onely is conditionall: and where the other are onely contemplative, this is both contemplative and active: for, it is to be done, as well as to be layd. And where all [Page 182] the other petitions looke God in the face: and expect to receive something at his hands; this only, with the Publicane, presumes not to looke up to Heaven; neyther aspires to taste of Gods bounty, but onely of his mercy. And yet as dejected as it seemes, it hath greater spirits; at least speakes greater words then all the rest: for where the other doe but onely sue for grace, to be enabled to doe good workes; this under­takes to doe good workes at its owne perill: and where the other expect Gods blessings all of free gift; this offers to pay for what it takes. And it is proper also to this petition; that it may be called by two names: For, as we say, Forgive us; It may be called, the petition of repentance; and as we say, As we forgive our debtours; it may be called the petition of cha­rity: and they are justly joyned heere togea­ther, seeing they cannot well be parted asunder: for eyther wee must have both, or neyther of both.

Last of all, are placed Infants; who though they be well borne; yet being but children, it is no disparagement to be set at the lower end: For when it is sayd; Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evill; is it not most properly the petition of Infants? who though they cannot say their prayers, in their owne persons; yet seeing they have their Angell, it is like they have their petition, and say it in their Angell: and what is fitter for them to pray, who are most [Page 183] subject to feare; then to pray against that object which is most to bee feared: and feare is the proper character, both of them, and of this peti­tion. And it is fit they should Agnem claudere; be the last that come into the Temple to pray; seeing they are the last that come into the Field to fight; or rather their prayer is, they may not come into the field at all. And this may bee a comfort to those parents, whose chil­dren die in their infancy; that certainely their prayer is heard, and granted: seeing God spares to bring them into the field of temptation: (for Tentatio est vita hominis super terram) but deli­vers them presently from this present evill world.

Here the word And, is set on worke againe; and cold not be spared: for, as before it served to joyn the spirituall blessing to the temporall, charity to prosperity; so here, it serves to joyn one spirituall blessing to another, perseverance to repentance. And it seemes to doe as good service now, as it did before: For if a man have his sinnes forgi­ven; and afterward be led into temptation; and be not withall delivered from evill: he will quickely fall to his old trade of sinning againe; and the end of that man will bee worse then the begin­ning. But all this is helpt by the comming in of And: which brings with it eyther a freedome from temptations, or an assistance in temptati­ons; either an exemption from the battell, or an assurance of victory.

It is proper to this petition; that where all [Page 184] the other are single, this onely is double: and as being the petition of weake Infants, requires the assistance of both the hands of God. And it may bee called, the petition of perseve­rance; and takes the right way for it: for it removes the impediments, and then applies the helpes: and when there is nothing to pull it downe; and a sure proppe to hold it 1 Cor. 1.8. up: what should hinder, but it may last for ever?

Wee have seene now, that even the vertues themselves seeme to speake; and make petiti­ons for us: holinesse, hope, obedience, provi­dence, repentance, charity, and perseverance: and is it not strange, that we see not fayth a­mongst them; and that she, of all other, should be missing here? but may not perhaps the rea­son be, because the seemes not to have any parti­cular worke to doe in this prayer, as the other vertues have; but hath her working in the whole; and in every part; and cannot be so properly said, A Captaine of a Company; as she may bee stiled, the Generall of the whole Army?

But howsoever we may be unwilling to un­derstand this petition, of naturall Infants; yet of spirituall we cannot: of whom Christ saith; We cannot enter into the Kingdome of Heaven, but as lit­tle children. And such we are, the best of us all, when wee are at best; wee can neither goe nor stand, but as wee are led: for if we be left to our selves, we are sure to fall. We are there­fore [Page 185] contented to be led: & have made choyce of our leader; but if he lead us, wher we may chance to fall; what are we the better for his leading? and what is then our prayer; that he will not lead us, into the rugged waies of temptation, where we may dash our foot against a stone; but that he will lead us, in the even paths of righteousnes, where ler. [...]1.9. our feet may neitherslip nor stumble: and if he do not alwaies hold his hand over us, to keepe us from taking falls; that yet at least, he will put his hand under; and keepe us from taking ha [...]mes.

But if we take this petition Generally; doth it not seeme, to make us speake exceeding strangely? as though we thought God a sedu­cer; and where all this while we have expected he should doe us good: wee should now begin to feare, hee would doe us hurt? But the truth is, we are not distrustfull of God, but of our selves; not of his leading, but of our following: Not that God tempts us, for St. Iames hath clee­red him of that, where he sayth; that God tempts no man. But wee have other tempters; the world, the flesh, and the divell; who have all their severall wayes of tempting: For, the di­vell tempts us, by suggestion of fancies; the world tempts us, by allurement of objects; the flesh tempts us, by inclination of will: and these againe are all pressed upon us; by the devill; with the rage of a roaring Lyon: by the world, with the subtelty of a flattering enemy; by the flesh, with the treachery of a false friend: so that, if force and fraud and falsehood would doe it, we were undone: and yet against all these we may do well [Page 186] enough: For, Christ hath overcome the world and hath broken the serpents head; and by Ioh. 16.33. Gal. 5.29. his death hath mortisied the flesh: and so no matter now, who is against us, if God bee with us: but if hee leade us in, that should leade us out; in what case are wee then? God is an Actour in all our actions; and hee hath two hands to worke withall, though he doe not alwaies use them both at once, and what is then our prayer? that hee will bee pleased not to use his left hand of Iustice, to lead us into temptation; but if his pleasure bee to doe so; that yet at least hee will use his right hand of mercy also, to leade us out, and to deliver us.

Wee sayd before, that this last petition of the three latter; seemes to bee subordinate to the last petition, of the three former; and there­fore having sayd, Thy Will be done; we justly now make suite to him to be good unto us; and not to lay too heavy burdens upon us: for of whom should we seeke for mitigation of our burdens, but of him to whom wee have submitted our backes? But why should Christ teach us ano­ther order in our praying, then he used him­selfe in his owne praying? For he prayed: Fa­ther, if it bee possible, let this Cup passe from mee; yet not as I will, but as thou wilt: so putting his petition before his submission: but he teacheth us, to put our submission first, and after to come with our petition? Is it not that Christ might place his petition where he pleased; who had [Page 187] power in himselfe to grant it to himselfe? For he had power to lay downe his life; and hee had power to take it againe: but if we should place our petition first, it might seeme, as if we did capitulate with God; and made not our submission, but upon condition.

When wee say, Lead us not; wee seeme to doubt God: but when we say, Deliver us; wee shew our trust in God: When we say, Leade us not; it implies wee are fearefull: but when wee say, Deliver us; it implies wee are confident. And how should this variation come to hap­pen? In the first, we looke upon our selves; and can see nothing but weakenesse; and there­fore can feele nothing, but doubtfulnesse and fearc: but in the second, we looke upon God; and can see nothing but goodnesse: and there­fore can feele nothing but hope and confidence. In the first, wee consider the great hate and power of the divell over us; and this makes us fearefull: In the second, we consider the great love of God to us; and his great power over the divell: and this makes us confident. In the first, we consider the Law; and what is threat­ned to transgressours, and have cause to feare: In the second wee consider the Gospell, and what is promised to beleevers; and have cause Gal. 3.24. to hope. Thus the Law sends us to Christ; our owne weakenesse to seeke for succour; the tempter to looke out a deliverer. Consider, then, O my soule; what happinesse it is to thee; that though the Law kill; yet Christ quickens: [Page 188] though the [...]esh be weake; yet the Spirit is wil­ling: though thou hast a divell for thy tempter; yet thou hast God for thy deliverer. And may wee not take comfort, to thinke how fitly our temptation, and our deliverance are placed in one petition together; least if they were put into two petitions, they might seeme to be too farre assunder? For if our deliverance, should not bee immediate to our temptation; GOD knowes, what hurt wee might take; but wee all know, what hazard wee should runne.

It may seeme a strange prayer of David; to Psal. 119 37. say, Averte Oculos, [...]e videant vanitatem: Turne a­way mine eyes from seeing vanity: as though God medled with our looking? Or that we had not power in our selves; to cast our eyes upon what objects wee list? But is it not, that what wee delight in, we delight to looke upon? and what we love, we love to be seeing? and so to pray to God, that our eyes may not see vanity; is as much as to pray for grace, that we be not in love with vanity. For indeed, vanity hath of it selfe so grace­full an aspect, that it is not for a naturall man, to leave looking upon it: unlesse the fayrer as­pect of Gods Grace, draw our eyes from vanity, to looke upon it selfe; which will alwaies na­turally be looking upon the fayrest. And as Da­vid here makes his prayer in the particular, A­gainst temptations of prosperity: so Ch [...]ist tea­cheth us, to make our prayer in the generall; against the temptations, both of prosperity and [Page 189] adversity; and very justly: For, many can beare the temptations of one kinde; who are quick­ly overcome, by temptations of the other kinde: So David could beare persecution without murmuring, but when he came to prosperity; he could not turne away, his eyes from vanity. In his crosses, he could say; Examine me, O God, Psal. 26.1 2 and try mee; Tudge mee according to my integrity. But in his prosperity, he was glad to say; There Psal. 31.3.51. is no soundnesse in my flesh; neyther any rest in my bones, because of my sinne. And as David had better shoulders to beare adversity; then eyes to beare prosperity: so there are others, that can beare prosperity with moderation; who are quickly overcome with impatience in adversity. And it seemes the Divell tooke Iob to be of this tem­per: for hee saw his carriage upright, in his prosperous estate: but he told God, It was no marvaile; seeing he had set a hedge about him; a hedge of prosperity: but if he would breake downe that hedge, and let in crosses; he should l [...]b 1 11. finde him, another man then he tooke him for; he would curse him to his face. But though the divell were deceived in Iob, and that Iob could doe this: doe wee thinke, that every one of vs could doe as much? Or rather, not one of a hundred? Or rather, as Salomon sayth; Not one of a thousand? Or rather, as God himselfe sayth Iob 1.8. here; Not such an other in the whole earth. And why then would God lay such crosses upon a righte­ous man, for tryall of that which he knew alrea­dy? was it not enough that God knew it; but [Page 190] a good man must suffer, that the divell might know it? was it justice in God to put a righte­ous man to paine, onely for the divels pleasure? But the case indeed is cleane otherwise: God did it not for the divels pleasure; but for his torment; and not for enforming of himselfe, but for endeering of Ioh: For, as there is no such crosse to the divell, to make him impatient; as to see a man that is patient in crosses; So there is no deed of men, so acceptable before God; as to take all thankefully which hee layes upon them. For, not to murmure; or not to cast our eyes upon vanity: are in themselves any great matters, but when a man murmures not in adversity; which gives so many causes of impatience: or when a man casts not his eyes upon vanity, in prosperity; which ministers so many occasions of allurement: this is a man after Gods owne heart; and this is one, to whom the divell may say, as he sayd to Christ; Art thou come to torment us before the time? But the difficul­ty of doing this; and the danger of not doing this; gives us all just cause to say; Lead us not into temptation.

But if it be not good that God should lead us into temptation; why should wee thinke that God will offer it? and if it be good; why should we offer to pray against it? seeing God, who is the Fountaine of all goodnesse: can never be the streame to carry us to evill? It is good indeed in God; but it is not good for us: It is good in God, that heo should set his Iustice a worke, [Page 191] where his mercy is provoked: but it is not good for us, that hee should lead us in; who is the onely meanes we have to leade us out. Wee are well assured, that God never tempts us: for else St. Iames should not tell us right: and wee are as well assured, that God sometimes leads us into temptation: for else Christ should not lay our petition right: but it is not all one, to tempt us; and to lead us into temptation: To tempt us is properly the worke of sa [...]an: To leade us into temptation, is oftentimes the worke of God: It was God, that led Christ into the Wil­dernesse to bee tempted; but it was the divell that tempted him, in the Wildernesse. And even this is our case; if God lead us into temptation, the divell will bee sure to fall a tempting us, to lead us into sinne: and to resist the divels temp­tings, Christ found it so difficult for himselfe; that he knowes it to be impossible for us: and therefore what hee knowes, wee cannot resist; he teacheth us to prevent; which is onely done by this petition; For if God leade us not into temptation: the divell may have the will to fall a tempting us; but he shall never have the power to tempt us to falling.

But why should we pray, not to bee led into Iam. 1. [...]. temptation; seeing St. Iames bids us, to account it for exceeding joy, when we fall into tempta­tions? Is it wisedome to pray against our ex­ceeding jo [...]? Or is it misery to be led into that, into which it is happinesse to fall? where should bee the cause of our making this petition? [Page 192] Not in the temptations; for then St. Iames would not say, they were cause of joy: Not in Gods leading us, for then David would not desire God, to bee his Guid: Is it, that temptations, which are good in themselves; are made evill, if God leade us into them? Or is it, that Gods leading us, which is good in it selfe; is made evill, if it leade us into temptation? Or shall wee beleeve Christ, and thinke St. Iames was deceived? Or shall we beleeve St. Iames, and thinke Christ was mista­ken? O feeble flesh, what may not temptations worke upon thee; when this very praying a­gainst temptations; becomes it selfe a tempati­on unto thee? But is it not, that some temptati­ons are onely outward; and are but as Files, as I may say, of our rusty nature; of which St. Iames speakes? And some are inward, and are as engines of battery, to our weake nature; of which Christ speakes? and so St. Iames sayes true; that we have cause to joy in those; as the Iron hath cause to joy, to have the rust Filed off: and Christ speakes true, that we have cause to pray against these, as that which is weake, hath cause to pray, it bee not batterd with en­gines: and all comes to this, that God will not lead us into temptation, and there leave us: but so guard us, and regard us in them, that though they File us, they may not foile us: though shake us for our fruite, yet not to our fall, but have the issue with the tempta­tion, 1 Cor. 10.13.

But why should we thinke that God will doe [Page 193] that for us, which he would not doe for Christ himselfe? For, he led him into temptations, of hunger and thirst; of scandals and reproaches; of crosses and persecution; but above all, into that transcendent temptation, which made him cry; My God, my God, why hast thou for saken mee? and how then can we looke hee will spare us? Even for the same love wee looke hee should spare us; for which wee finde hee spared not him. For he therefore led him into temptati­on; that hee might thereby triumph over the tempter; and we therefore looke he will spare us: least the tempter should thereby triumph over us. For God as our Captaine will as well bring us off; as lead us on: and he might well trust Christ with temptations, who had forces of his owne to make resistance; but there is no trusting of us with them, who are all of us cree­ples, from our mothers wombe.

This petition seemes very plausible to world­ly minds; because they thinke there are no temptations, but onely crosses: yet there is something in it that would not like them very well, if it were well understood. For would any man like to pray that he might not be rich? yet so he does, that sayes this petition as St. Paul tels us, They that will be rich fall into many temptations; & into many foolish, and [...]some lusts. And therefore Salomon never puts on the masque of genera­lity, but delivers it to God, in bare termes: Give me neyther poverty nor riches: Not riches, as Prov 30.8. being a temptation to steale away our hearts [Page 194] from God; Not poverty, as being a temptation to make us steale away the goods of others. And yet we need not bee dismayed, or angry with the petition; seeing hee that prayed so against riches, proved not withstanding the rich­est man himselfe that ever was.

But must we not needs thinke this petition more then needs; seeing by the former petition our sinnes are all already forgiven? Indeede if Christ to him that cryed to him for helpe, had onely sayd, Thy sinnes are forgiven thee; we might well enough have made an end of our prayer there: but seeing he addeth, Goe thy way and sinne no more: this makes way for this peti­tion; and now it comes of necessity to bee ad­ded: for if this petition doe not come and helpe us, wee may goe our way, but wee shall never goe the right way; wee may bee made cleane, but wee shall never bee kept cleane: For the former petition was a remedy against our sinne, but this is the remedy against our sinfulnesse; that was phisicke to cure; but this is the phisicke to prevent: and if wee doe not sometimes use preventing, we must not alwaies looke for cu­ring.

But if this be the preventing petition; and the former, the curing; why doe we not use this petition first; and so perhaps we might not need the other? This indeed might well bee done in a sound body; but ours, God knowes, from our conception, have never beene so [Page 195] sound, but that we have ever needed curing; and therefore our prevention is not from disea­ses; but from the growth of diseases; not to keepe us in perfect health; but to preserve us from greater sicknesse.

And as it is a preventive against sinne: so it is, as I may say, a crosse bill against the authour of sinne: for the divell is continually making suite to God; that he would lead us into temp­tation: and we by this petition make suite that he will not lead us; and we have no advantage of the divell, for prevayling in our suite, but onely our sayth: for if fayth fayle us; the di­vell is as like to speed in the suite, as we. But though Christ prayed himselfe for Peter, that Ioh. 17.20. his fayth might not faile: and seemes to leave us heere, to pray for our selves: yet wee cannot doubt, but that comming in his Name, hee will doe as much for us as he did for Peter: and then if Christ by his prayer, obtaine for us, that our fayth doe not fayle: wee may bee sure, by our owne prayers to obtaine for our selves, that God will grant our suite, and not the tempters.

But seeing God is in Power, almighty: in Wisedome, infinite: in Care, most tender: in Watchfulnesse, most vigilant: what neede we to feare, or can we be afrayd off, if he be our leader? No cause indeed of any feare on Gods part: all the feare is on our parts: for though God be powerfull, yet we are weake, as Christ sayth; The Spirit is willing, but the flesh [Page 196] is weake; though God be wise, yet we are foo­lish: that God sayth of us, My people hath no un­derstanding: Though God be carefull, yet wee are wilfull; that it may be savd as well of us, as of the Iewes, that we are a stiff-necked Genera­tion. Though God bee watchfull, yet wee are drowsie; that Christ may say to us, as he sayd to the Apostles, Could yee not watch with mee one houre? And now if God should leave us to our infirmities: and adde his leading to our owne aptnesse of falling into temptations: It were impossible that this house of ours, which is built upon the sands, should ever bee able to stand upright. O Lord, let thy Spirit leade me; for without leading, I am afrayd to fall; but let him not leade mee into temptation; for by such leading, I am sure to fall: so leade me in the way that I bee not led captive away: yet know, O my soule, and despaire not; that if it should so ill befall thee; yet Hee, which led captivity captive, is able to deliver Psal. 68.18. thee.

But why should we talke so much of the di­vels tempting us? For who is able to come per­sonally, and accuse him of any such matter? St. Iames sayth; Every man is tempted, when hee is Iam. 1.14. drawne away of his owne lusts, and entised: but speakes not a word of any tempting from the divell. But may it not be sayd here, Telapalam Iaciuntur; Clam subministrantur? St. Iames seemes to speake of sensible tempting; of which our owne consciences can accuse us: and which we [Page 197] may easily take notice off in our sel [...]: but the divell is no such tempter; hee is one that will not be seene in tempting: he catcheth us as we use to catch a beast; by clawing and loo­king another way, he comesnot more close to us, then he keepes himselfe close from us: and there­fore the more dangerous because secret; his ma­lice is not known till felt, & when felt, yet scarce discerned: It is a skill that passeth our cunning, to discerne Inter morbum mentis, et morsum serpen­tis; betweene the weeds of corruption, growing naturally in us: and the seeds of infection, cast by satan into us: as Christ told Peter, Satan hath Luk. 22.31. desired to winnow thee as Wheate: and what was this winnowing but tempting? yet Peter could not charge the divell with any such matter: he found no such winnowing in himselfe, nor ever should have done till he had winnowed him all to chaffe: if Christ had not prayed for him, that his fayth might not fayle. For as the winde bloweth where it listeth, yet no man knowes from whence it comes: so this windy tempter breatheth his suggestions where he listeth; yet no man knows from whence they come. Our na­tures are so prone to wickednesse; that we may well enough thinke, they come from thence: yet the Divell that never thinkes us prone e­nough: is never backward to set us forward, though by waies and conveyances so secret and hidden: that no Iuggler playes his trickes more closely to our sence, then he ministers his sug­gestions, privily to our fancies, that where [Page 198] Salomon sayth, There are foure things too won­derfull for him; and which hee cannot know: hee might perhaps have added this as a fift; the divels way of tempting in the minde of man. Although therefore we cannot personal­ly come and charge him with tempting us; as our first parents could: yet seeing Christ told 1 Pet. 5.8. Peter, and Peter hath told us; we have reason to take notice of it; and give them the credit to beleeve it.

But may not this petition, with great reason be thought unreasonable? wee would bee taken for pure silver; and can we not endure the try­all? we defire to bee accounted hardy souldi­ers; and can we not abide to heare of the bat­tell? how unlike are we to David in this? For, what wee pray against, hee prayed for; Prove me, O Lord, and try mee; examine my raines and my Psal. 26.2. heart. But was this prayer of David, an opposi­tion to our petition here? he prayed to be tryed in that which was past: wee pray, not to bee tryed in that which is to come: He prayed to be tryed, because he knew his owne innocency; we pray not to be tryed, because wee know our owne frailety. When the matter was onely be­tweene him and Saul; he might stand upon his Innocency and justifie himselfe: but when it comes betweene him and God; he knowes not then, where he is himselfe: but is fayne to fall a praying: Forgive me my secret sinnes: and not contented with that which is past; he is glad to prevent the time and say, Encline not my heart Psal. 141.4. [Page 199] unto any evill thing: and so David is as ready to say this petition as wee; Lead us not into tempta­tion.

But is it not strange how we should be come to this? Doth not this petition suite very ill, with those that went before? For by them we have prepared our selves at all poynts for this spirituall warre: By the first, we have put our selves under Gods colours, and goe under his Name: By the second, we have put on all the Armour of God; and have as much as the King­dome can afford us: By the third, we have put on a resolution to stand to it what ever happen: By the fourth, we have victualed our selves for every day, as long as the warre lasts: By the fifth, we have made our peace with God and the world; and is it not strange that after all this, wee should now shrinke from the battell, and be afrayde least God should lead us to it? Esa. 37.3. But all this is done, as Hezekiah sayd to Esay; The children are come to the birth, and there is not strength to bring forth: that as St. Paul sayth, God hath concluded all under unbeliefe; that he may have mer­cy upon all: So we may say, God hath conclu­ded all under feare and weaknesse; that he may deliver all: and that we may know and acknow­ledge, that we have no hand at all in it; but that our deliverance is wholy and solely, the worke of God: that we may call him, and call Psal. 18.48. upon him with David: O thou our deliverer from our enemies. We onely have a prayer and a song, for [Page 200] all we can doe: a prayer of supplication; that he will deliver us: which is this wee say here; Deliver us from evill: and a song of prayse for our deliverance; which is that, that followes; For thine is the Kingdome, the Power and the Glory. A song of prayse for our deliverance: but from Psal. 49.15. Ier. 9.4. Eccles. 6.13. what, and from whom? From hell, from the grave, from the world, from our enemies, from our friends, from our selves; but above all, from one that makes use of all these against us; from the bramble satan, who catcheth hold of us, to rule over us: but thou, O Lord, art the true Olive tree; and thine is the Kingdome: from the roaring Lyon; that goes about to devoure us: 1 Pet. 5.8. but thou art the Lyon of the Tribe of Iudah, and thine is the Power; from the cruell Pharaoh, that pursues to destroy us; but thou art the Lord of Hosts that gettest thee honour upon Pharaohs Exod. 14.4. Host, and thine is the glory: And for this deli­verance Exod. 15.2. from Pharaoh and his Host, though but a type of ours: Moses long since sung a song so Psal. 118.14. loud, that it hath ecchoed from him to David; and from David to Esay, and from Esay is come Esa. 12.2. to us; Thou, O Lord, art our strength, and our song; for thou hast beene our deliverance.

But is deliverance from evill, the highest blessing, we can reach to, by our prayers? what becomes then of the resurrection of our bodies, and the life everlasting? things so much talked off, and so highly magnified? Are they onely idle names, and are there no such things indeed? Or are they so little worth the praying for, [Page 201] in all this absolute prayer we bestow not so much as a word upon them? Or shall we thinke the prayer unperfect; seeing the greatest things are left unprayed for, and not once named or im­plyed? O my soule take heede, let not the weake fancies of thy owne spirit; or the strong suggestions of a worse Spirit, move such unhal­lowed doubts within thee; For our deliverance from evill, shall plainely appeare to bee the highest blessing wee can directly attaine to by our prayers; and yet our confidence for the re­surrection of our bodies; and for the life ever­lasting, shall have foundation enough to stand most firme. For the three first petitions, seeme chiefly referred to the honour of God; in whom all his attributes are equall; and therefore in them, we goe as I may say, upon even gronnd; we can finde neither rising, nor falling in them; we seeme to see nothing, that carries any higher than the earth, or that tarries any longer then this life; (and therefore that clause, In Earth as it is in Heaven; though it be expressed onely, in the third petition; yet it is by many, un­derstood also in the other two:) but in the three latter, which are referred to our owne benefit; wee seeme to bee climbing up Iacobs ladder; for at every petition, we take a steppe higher. In the first, we begin very low; and aske, as Iacob did, but onely meat and rayment: In the second, we take a steppe higher; and aske a pardon of our faults. In the third, we goe yet higher; and aske an absolute protecti­on [Page 202] from all dangers, and deliverance from all evill: wherein we may be sayd, to have wrestled with the Angell; and obtained a blessing: for this is the highest steppe we can possibly attaine to in this mortall life: But how doth this step reach so high as Iacobs ladder, which reacheth up to heaven? Marke therefore, O my soule, for having begun in humility; It seemes, as if Christ here, should say unto us: Friend, sit up higher: for this step of our deliverance from e­vill, seemes to deliver us to Heaven: seeing it is contiguous and joynes immediately to the first steppe, we shall take in Heaven; when all teares shall be wiped from our eyes; and they be made cleere, to behold the blessed vision of God, which is the highest steppe of all: and in which consists the summe and summum of our eternall happinesse.

But why in all this prayer, should we have for these things, no petition? Is it that wee shall have them rather by the participation of Christ: then by the intercession? rather as sonnes, by inheritance; then by suit, as servants? and is as much beyond our prayers as above our capacities? Or is it, that our deliverance from evill, which is the highest steppe, we are capable of in this world, implies an Adhering to the Deliverer himselfe in the world, where we shall be capable? Or may we not say, that the peti­tion, Thy Kingdome come; though it goe from us with an onely reference to the honour of God; yet it is returned from God to us, with this [Page 203] Interence; Honorantes me Honorabo: and though 1 Sam. 2.30. it reach not so farre as the suite of the mother of Zebedeus sonnes; to have one sit at his right hand; the other, at his left: yet hee rea­cheth as farre as the suite of the thiefe upon the Crosse; Lord remember me when thou commest into thy Kingdome.

But least it should be sayd, that we goe about to take the Kingdome of Heaven by violence, may wee not make the matter playner, by saying: that we therefore pray not for the re­surrection of the body, and for the life ever­lasting: because they are not so properly the objects of fayth, which have most to doe in our prayers; as they are the objects of hope, which is a transcendent to our prayers. Fayth indeed prepares us for hope: and the things we here pray for, for the things we here after hope for: but as it is not the fashion of a sonne, to pray his father to make him his heire; but hee carryeth himselfe dutifully; and performeth his obedience; and then he doubts not but he shall be heire: so it is not our fashion with God; to pray for our inheritance, which is life ever­lasting, and the Kingdome of Heaven; but we pray, that as sonnes, wee may doe our duties, and obey his Will; and then, we have an assured hope, we shall enjoy them. Although therefore by Name, and in expresse termes, we pray here, but for the things onely, which may bee had here; yet by consequent, and as in their causes, wee pray also for the things, which shall be had [Page 204] hereafter. For the Graces, which are the causes preceding now; the blessings which are the effects, will necessarily follow; that is, remission of sinnes: and obedience to his Will; and an uniting to Christ, by the comming of his Kingdome, being here obtayned; the resur­rection of our bodies, and the life everlasting: and the blessed vision of God, will undoubtedly succeed. Wee therefore pray onely, that all impediments of our owne defects, may bee removed; and that all graces necessary, may be supplyed: and for the rest, we rest our selves upon God: and Fayth seemes here, to put us over to hope; for we have no more petitions Heb. 6.11.18. to make; but the next thing that followes: is that, of the Martyr Stephen, concerning our eternall life; In manus tuas Domine, Commendo spiritum meum: & concerning the resurrection of our bodies, that of the Prophet David; My Psal. 16.9. stesh shall rest in hope: For having the promise of his word; and the truth of his promise, and the infallibility of his truth, for our secu­rity; though we have not done with Fayth; yet wee have now more to doe with hope; and thorough fayth are made confident to say in hope; I know, that my Redeemer liveth; and Ioh. 19.2 [...]. though wormes destroy this body, yet I shall see God in my [...]esh. For, we thorough the spirit wayte for the hope of righteousnesse, thorough fayth; and that being justified by Gal. 5.5. his grace wee shall bee made heires, according to our hope of everlasting life. Tit. 3 7.

[Page 205] But yet at last, if it be exacted of this prayer, that it must of necessity include also the bles­sings of the world to come; or else will bee concluded for unperfect: may wee not very justly justifie it, even in this kinde also? Let us therefore take a review: For, though at the first looking, wee have discovered no­thing; yet if wee continue looking, as the servant of Eliah did; wee shall perhaps, dis­cerne a Cloude, arrising from the sea of these petitions: that will serue to signifie, a showre of blessings, immediately to follow. And we need not stand long a looking: for doe not the very first words afforde us a Cloude? For when we say, Our Father: doth it not imply, that wee are his children? and if the Father alwaies be in Heaven; shall the children alwaies be on Earth? how then is it true, that where hee is, we shall be also? and that which Christ sayth: the sonne abideth in the House for ever? For how shall hee abide there, if hee never come there? seeing therefore Heaven is Gods House; and we as children, must in our time, bee in the house with him; we must necessarily at last, come to be in Heaven: and so one of the blessings is found here, which was complayed of, to bee wanting in the prayer. And when it is savd, Hallowed bee thy Name: shall not Gods Name eternally bee hallowed? If then wee bee appoynted, to doe a worke which is e­ternall; must not we be needes eternall, that [Page 206] are to doe it? and so, to our being in Heaven, is added eternity; another of the blessings, complayned of, to be missing. Let us now come, to Thy Kingdome come: and will not this afforde us; to see the Cloude more plainely? For, the Kingdome is but in relation to the subjects; if therefore the Kingdome bee perfect, the subjects must bee perfect also: for without perfection of subjects; It can never bee a perfect Kingdome: and what perfection of subjects could there bee; if their should be no other subjects, but onely Angels? For so, there should be, but one ranke of subjects; which in a Kingdome, were a great imperfection. To make therefore some other rankes, for perfecting of this Kingdome; wee also shall bee taken in; and then certainely, taken in, whole and imire [...]; both hody, and soule: for else, the King­dome should rule over but pieces of subjects; which in a perfect Kingdome must not bee. If then wee bee taken in, whole and intire; then must our bodies be raysed, and joyned to our soules againe; and this is our resur­rection: another of the blessings complay­ned of to be missing. And may we not con­tinue looking still; and come to discerne the cloude yet playner? For, when it is sayd; Thy Will bee done in earth, as it is in Heaven: are not we to doe as much worke, as the Angels? and if wee doe as much worke, may wee not expect as much blessing? and they behold the [Page 207] face of God continually; and therefore wee certainely if wee doe the Will of God, shall doe so to: and so wee have found even the greatest of the blessings, which were com­playned of, to bee missing in this prayer: And we have found it here, where we least expected it. Eor indeed, these petitions will afford, divers waies of drawing forth these bles­sings from them; according as wee take our standing to discerne the Cloude. But this which is done, may serve sufficiently, to cleere this prayer, from all imputation of imperfection: seeing we have all the blessings, now, that can be thought of, worth the ha­ving: Eternall life; and that in Heaven; and that both in body and soule; and in them both, to enjoy the blessed vision of God; which is life everlasting, in its exaltation. Math, 22.32. And now, if any man thinke, that to fetch the resurrection of our bodies; and the rest of these blessings, is farre fetched, and from the Clouds indeed: Let him consider, how farre it was, fetching it, from the words of God to Moses: I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaack, and the God of Iacob: and yet when Christ fetched it so farre; it was taken for a proofe neere hand; and for a Cloude of witnesses. And indeede, there is a be­nefit to us, by this abstruse expressing: for being lesse obvious: It is more speculative in the searching: and more meditative in the finding: and the more it is wrapped up to [Page 208] the sence, the more it is dignified to the un­derstanding.

And though these Petitions may serve suffi­ciently, to afford these Blessings: yet there is a Petition behinde: which though it make not so great a shew, of a Cloude: yet may prove to afford as great a showre of blessings, as all the former. For, when we are delivered from all evill: then if death bee evill, we are de­livered from death; and to be delivered from death, is life everlasting. When we are de­livered from all evill; then if corruption of the body, bee evill; wee are delivered from that corruption; and to be deliverd from that corruption; is the very resurrection. When wee are delivered from all evill; then if re­straint from the sight of God bee evill: wee are delivered from that restraint; and to bee delivered from that restraint: is to be admit­ted into his presence, and to enjoy his bles­sed vision. And now this prayer reacheth full as high, as Iacobs ladder: and so we have ladder enough, to carry us to Heaven; and prayer enough, to obtaine the blessings of Heaven: & wee are come to the Consummatum est; which is not onely a finishing, but a per­fecting: a perfecting in it selfe, in being made perfect; and a perfecting of us, in making us perfect. Let us therefore pray this prayer; and let us pray, that we may pray it; seeing it can never bee too much sayd; which can never be enough done.

[Page 209] Wee have now gone over these petitions, as they lie in the prayer, Ordine recto: but doe they not invite us also, to a consideration of them, as they lie Ordine Inverso? and apply hither, that of Christ: the first shall be last, and the last first. For the first of these peti­tions in our praying; will be the last of Gods accomplishing; and the last will prove the first: and they seeme to have a correspon­dence to Gods favours, shewed to the Israelites, in their progresse in the Wildernesse. For, when wee say, Deliver us from evill: Is it not the first blessing wee receive from God; that we are delivered from the bondage wee were in, to satan? and this was figured, by Gods first favour, shewed to the Israelites, in delive­ring them from the captivity of Aegypt; after many temptations, with signes, and wonders. The next petition is our desire to bee forgi­ven: and to have our sinnes washed away, in the blood of Christ: and was not this also figured to the Israelites, in the Passover? a figure of the true Lambe of God, which ta­keth away the sinnes of the World. And these two petitions, are immediate to one ano­ther: as the two favours were intermingled to the Israelites: For there could not bee a deliverance without a Passover to them; be­cause there cannot bee to us. The third pe­tition is for our daily bread; and this likewise was figured, by the next favour shewed to the Israelites; his sending downe of Manna, [Page 210] day by day, from Heaven; and his bringing wa­ter out of the Rocks. The next Petition is for sanctification; when our wills are made confor­mable unto his: and though by his Adoption, we are children, yet by our owne Vow, are servants: [...]nd this also was Figured in the Israelites, by his giving of the Law: when God said to them, ye shall be to me a Kingdome of Priests; and an ho­ly Nation; and they againe answered God; All that the Lord hath spoken; we will doe. The next Petition, is for the comming of his King­dome: which is not onely wages, as to servants; but an Inheritance, as to children: For it is not only said: Euge bone serve: but venite Benedicti Patris: and this was also figured in the Israelites, when God distributed amongst them the Kingdomes of the Heathen: and every Tribe had their stations Num. 26.54. assigned them in the land of Canaan, some by Geometricall proportion, and some by Arith­meticall. The last Blessing, is our first Petition; when we shall come to be as Angels; and when our Hallowing of Gods Name, which is now our worke, shall be our happinesse: and this was also Figured in the Israelites; when they rested in lesnua 21.44. Canaan, and subduing their Enemies round a­bout them, had nothing but songs of Praise, and Thanksgiving, for the Blessings they enioyed. After this, there is no more Figure; for we are come to that, which cannot be Figured: there shall be no more use of the Name of Father; for we shall Haliow God, in his proper Name: and as hee is in himselfe: and our charity shall bee in [Page 211] that we shall then love God, Not as Misericor­dem; Not as Bonum nobis; but as Bonum: and not onely love him, for himselfe; but not love our selves, but for him: that it is no merveile, Saint Paul leaves Faith and Hope behind this Charity: seeing They are onely for our selves: This, only for God: and great reason: for God shall then be All in All.

And now, before we make an end to speake of Hallowing Gods Name; It may not be unfit; to consider the Three First Petitions; as they are onely Hallowings, or Alleluiahs: for, obser­ving the difference of the songs: we shall per­ceive the difference of the singers. The First, when we say; Hallowed be thy Name; is the Al­leluiah of Angels: and we may truely say, is Canticum Canticorum: the song of songs: not on­ly because it is sung without ceasing; but be­cause it shall be sung without Ending; and is both the cause and the effect: both the signe and the substance of our Eternall Happinesse. The Se­cond (when we say Thy kingdome come) is the Alleluiah of the Saints in Heaven: and is an aspyring to the First; but in aspiring in a very neere degree; Neere in Dystance, though re­mote in Existence: for they are an assurance of Attayning: and doe but tarry the time, but the time will not be; till Time will not be. The Third (when we say; Thy will be done) is the Allelujah of the Saints on Earth: and is an aspiring to the se­cond: but an aspiring in a remote degree: for while they are in the world, they are subiect to [Page 212] all the rubs of the world: while they live in the Flesh: to all infirmities of the Flesh: yet they have a confidence, though no assurance, or an assurance; though but in confidence: and there­fore are remisse, but not dejected, Bold; but not presumptuous: not out of heart; but not out of feare.

And may it not here be observed; that as we beginne in saying Hallowed be thy Name; so we end in a kinde of facting the Hallowing it: and our first and last words, are all for his Glory, who is the first and the last: and these three Attributes, seeme to answer to our th ree first Petitions: Hallowed be thy Name: for Thine is the Glory: Thy Kingdome come: for Thine is the Kingdome: Thy will be done: for Thine is the Power: and we seeme to sing, not only in the first, an unisonewith the An­gels: but in all the Three; the same Ditty with the Saints in Heaven; for their Allelujah is: Thou art worthy O Lord to receive Glory, and Honour, and Power: and ours here: Thine is the Kingdome the Po­wer, and the Glory: that having sung the Song of Saints and Angels here on Earth, we may be ad­mitted, into the Q [...]ire of Saints and Angels in Heaven: and sing eternally Thou art mo [...]thy O Lord, toreceave Glory, and Honour, and Power. For Thine is the Kingdome, the Power, and the Glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

And now O my soule: Consider how perfect this Prayer is: where are the Petitions of Men and Angels; the Petions of the Church Militant and Triumphant; the Petitions of Innocent In­fants; [Page 213] Paenitent sinners; and Faithfull Belee­vers. And then harken, what Musicke it makes in Gods Eares; how Pleasing; where the songs are all of Christs owne setting: how Melodious; where they are all so sweet singers: how loud; where there are so many voyces: especial­ly, when this Chorus Cantantium, this Quire of singers, which hitherto have sung their parts a part, shall all ioyne their voyces together, in that sacred Antheme; For Thine is the Kingdome, the Power, and the Glory; and so End all in that which is the End of all; and is it felfe without End. The Glory of God.


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