TO MY EVER most worthily honour'd Lord, the Earle of NORVVICH.

My most honoured LORD:

I Might not but tell the world, that this Ser­mon which was mine in the Pulpit, is Yours in the Presse; your Lordships will (which shall neuer bee other then a com­mand [Page] to mee) fetches it forth into the Light be­fore the fellowes. Let mee bee branded with the Title of it, if I can thinke it worthy of the publike view, in comparison of many acu­rate peeces of others, which I see content themselues dayly to dye in the eare. Howsoeuer, if it may doe good, I shall blesse your Lordship for helping to aduance my gaine.

Your noble and sincere true-heartednesse to your God, your King, your [Page] Countrey, your friend, is so well knowne, that it can be no disparagement to your Lordship to patronize this Hypocrite; whose very in­scription might cast a blurr vpon some guilty reputati­on. Goe on still (most no­ble Lord) to be a great Ex­ample of vertue and fidelity to an hollow and vntrusty Age: You shall not want ei­ther the acclamations or Prayers of

Your Lordships euer deuoted in all true duty, and obseruance. IOS. Exon.


2. TIM. 5. 3.‘Hauing a forme of Godlines, but denying the power thereof.’

IT is an vnperfect Clause, you see, but a perfect de­scription of an Hypocrite; and that an Hypocrite of our own times, the last; which are so much the worse, by how much they partake more of the craft and diseases of age.

[Page 2] The Prophets were the Seers of the old Testament, the A­postles were the Seers of the new; those saw Christs day and reioyced; these foresaw the reigne of Antichrist and complained. These very times were as present to S. Paul, as to vs; our sense doth not see them so clearely, as his reuela­tion; I am with you in the spirit, (saith he to his absent Colossi­ans) reioycing and beholding your order, he doth as good as say to vs, I am with you in the Spi­rit lamenting, and behol­ding your mis-demeanours: By these diuine Opticks, hee sees our formall piety, reall wickednes; both which make vp the compleate Hypocrisie in my Text; Hauing a forme of [Page 3] Godlinesse, but denying the power thereof.

I doubt not but some will bee ready to set this sacred Prognostication to another Meridian; and indeed wee know a generation that loues themselues too well, much more then peace and truth; so couetous that they would catch all the world in S. Peters net; proud boasters of their owne merits, perfections, su­pererogations; it would bee long (though easie) to follow all: we know where too ma­ny treasons are hatched; wee know who in the height of minde exalts himselfe aboue all that is called God; wee know where pleasure hath the most delicate and debauch'd [Page 4] Clients; we know where De­uotion is professedly formall, and liues impure; and surely, were wee clearely innocent of these crimes, I should be the first that would cast this stone at Rome: but now, that wee share with them in these sins, there is no reason wee should bee seioyned in the Censure. Take it among yee therefore, yee Hypocrites of all professi­ons, for it is your owne; Yee haue a forme of Godlinesse, deny­ing the power thereof.

What is an Hypocrite but a Player, the Zani of Religion? (as ye heard lately:) a Player acts that he is not; so doe ye, act good, and are wicked; here is a semblance of good, a forme of Godlinesse; here [Page 5] is a reall euill, a deniall of the power of Godlinesse. There is nothing so good as Godli­nesse, yea, there is nothing good but it; nothing makes Godlinesse to be good, or to be Godlinesse, but the power of it; for it is not, if it worke not, and it workes not if not powerfully; now the denyall of good must needs bee euill; and so much more euill, as the good which is denyed is more good; and therefore the de­nyall of the power of Godli­nesse must needs bee as ill, as the forme or shew of Godli­nesse would seeme good; and as the power of Godlinesse is good: this is therefore the perfect hypocrisie of fashiona­ble Christians; they haue the [Page 6] forme, they deny the power; here is then a direct and pro­fessed opposition betwixt [...] and [...], the forme, and the power, and no lesse, be­tweene the actions employed about them both; the one ha­uing, the other denying; hauing the forme, denying the power.

As all sinne is originally from the Diuell, so especially Hypocrisie; hee is the father of Lyes, and what is Hypocri­sie but a reall Lye? that is his Darling: and these two are well put together, [...], 1. TIM. 3. 2. in Hy­pocrisie speaking Lyes. Now as all things are more eminent in their causes and originals, then in the effects deriued from them; so it must needs be said, [Page 7] that the greatest Hypocrite in the World is the Diuell: I know hee heares what I say, but wee must speake truth and shame him: For Satan is trasformed into an Angel of light, saith the Apostle; not he was, but he is; so transformed that he neuer did, neuer will put off that counterfeit: and as all his Impes are partakers of the Satanicall nature; so in euery Hypocrite there is both the Angel and the Diuell; the see­ming Angel, is the forme of Godlinesse, the reall Diuell is the denyall of the power of God­linesse. It must be in another sense that that father said, Inno­centia tempore posterior est quam malitia, I am sure the Angel of light was before the Satan; and [Page 8] now because hee is Satan, hee puts on the Angel of light; such shall be our method in this Hypocrite wee treat of: first wee will begin with the Angell of Hypocrisie; and then shew you the Diuell in his true shape.

First then, here is a forme, and but a forme of Godlinesse; A forme do's well, but if it be but a forme, it is an immateri­all shadow of Pietie: such was this of these men; for they were vnnaturall, traytors, hea­dye, high-minded, [...], Surely, if they were vnnatu­rall, they must needs bee vn­christian; if they were tray­tors to their King, they could bee no Subiects to God; if heady and high-minded, they [Page 9] had nothing to doe with him whose first Lesson was, Learne of me for I am meeke; No Creature is more humble then God. Nulla crea­tura humilior Deo, as Lauren­tius well; if they had pleasure for their Idoll, they could not haue the Lord for their God, so as euen without God, they had yet a forme of Godlinesse; Godlinesse is a thing much talkt of, little vnderstood; whiles the ancient Schoole had wont to say, that it is not pra­cticall, not speculatiue, but affectiue; their meaning was that it is in all these; in the heart, in the braine, in the hand, but most in the heart; it is speculatiue, in the know­ledge of God, practicall in the Seruice to God, affectiue in our feare of him, loue to him, [Page 10] ioy in him: Shortly then, to apprehend God as he hath re­uealed, to serue him as hee hath required, to bee affected to him as wee ought, is Godli­nesse; and the outward ex­pression and counterfaisance of all these is the forme of Godlinesse. To this out-side of Godlinesse then, belongs all that glorious Pageant of fa­shionable profession, which wee see made in the World, whether in wordes, gesture, carriage.

First, here is a world of good words, whether to God▪ or of him; here are words o [...] sacred complement with God for the Hypocrite courts God in his Prayers; no man speak [...] fairer, no man louder then he▪ [Page 11] Here is Sauls Benedictus; here is the Pharisees, Lord I thanke thee; here is the colloguing Iewes, Domine, Domine, Lord, Lord.

And as to him, so of him; here are words of religious pro­testation for God, like to the Iewes Templum Domini, The Temple of the Lord. or He­rods [...], MAT. 2. 8. I will worship the Babe. The mans se­cret fire of zeale smokes forth into the holy breath of a good confession; here are words of feruent excitation to the fro­zen hearts of others; yea, if need bee words of deepe cen­sure of the cold moderation which hee apprehends in his wiser Brethren;Neat in words if foule in fact. so as he is comp­tus in verbo, if turpis in facto, as Bernard.

[Page 12] Yet more, here is a per­fect Scoene of pious gestures; Knees bowed, hands erected, turn'd vp eyes, the brest bea­ten, the head shaken, the coun­tenance deiected, sighs ascen­ding, teares dropping, the Bi­ble hugged and kissed, the eare nayled to the pulpit; what formality of deuout Godli­nesse is here vnacted? if the man were within, as hee is without, there were no Saint but he.

Yet this is not all to make vp a perfect forme of Godli­nesse, here is a smooth face of holy Carriage in actions: De­uout Saul wil be sauing the fat­test of the Amalekitish flocks and heards for sacrifice to the Lord his God; good man, he [Page 13] wil not haue God take vp vvith the worst; euery man is not of this diet; too many think any off all good enough for their maker; but here is one that holds the best to be fittest for those sacred Altars; when in the meane time the Hypocrite had already sacrificed them to his owne Mammon, and God must take vp with the reuersi­on: Shall I tell you of another as good, as deuout as he? Doe ye not remember that Absa­lom would goe to pay his vow in Hebron? The faire Prince of Israel was courteour before, now he wi [...]l bee godly too. It was pietie that he would make a vow to God; our Gallants haue somewhat else to doe, then to make holy vowes; at [Page 14] euery word they protest and vow, and perhaps sweare, but all like themselues, vainly, and idly; but Absalom makes a sol­lemne and religious vow; It was more pietie that he would performe it; this is not euery mans care; too many care not how much they runne vpon Gods score; this man will pitch and pay. Vnnaturall par­ricide! first hee had stolne the subiects hearts, and now hee would steale his Fathers Crowne, and all this villany must stalk vnder a beasts hide, a Sacrifice at Hebron; Blood was in his thoughts, whiles the Sacrifice was in his mouth: The old word is, full of curtesie, full of craft; when yee see too glittering pretences in vnap­proued [Page 15] persons, suspect the in­side; Had you but seene a Iewes fast you would say so; Esa. 58. 6. here was nothing but drooping and ash-strawed heads, torne garments, bare feete, starued cheekes, skrub­bed skinnes, pined mawes, af­flictiue deuotions; yet a Iew still: But had you seene He­rods formality you would haue said it yet more; marke a little and see Herod turn'd Disciple to Iohn Baptist; What Saul a­mong the Prophets, Herod a­mong the Disciples? Surely so; for hee heares him; Tush, heares him, what's that? There are those that heare and would not, forced to heare by com­pulsion of Lawes; who may say to Authority, as the Psal [Page 16] mist sayes to God; Aurem per­forasti mihi: mine eare hast thou boared; their eare is a Pro­testant, whiles their heart is a Recusant. There are those that heare and heare not; that come fashionably, and heare perfunctorily, whose eares are like the Psalmists Idols; for forme only, not for vse; There are those that heare and care not; who is so deafe as the wil­full? there is auris aggrauata, Heauy eare. Es. 59. 1.Deafe eare. there is auris surda, Mic. 7. But Herod heares, [...], gladly; with pleasure; he heard because he loued to heare; yea, so doth many a hollow heart still; ye shall haue such a one listen as if he were totus auris, all eare, as if he would latch e­uery word from the Preachers [Page 17] mouth ere it could get out: perhaps it is new, perhaps wit­ty, perhaps elegant, or some way pleasing; yea there are some not onely willing but greedy hearers, they haue au­res bibulas, they heare hungrily and thirstily, but it is but to catch aduantages; somewhat they hope may fall to pay the Preacher; Herod is better then so, [...], hee obserued, hee respected, hee countenanced this rough hewne Chaplaine; Yea, so doth many a lewd Pa­tron for his owne turne; either the easie passage of his Simo­naicall subductions, or for a fauorable conniuencie at his guilty debauchednesse; good lookes are good cheape; per­haps a meales meat may come [Page 18] in for a further obligation too; but here is no good action the while; Herod is better then so, [...], he did too, and did many things; lo he are he doth not heare but doe; and not some things but many; It may bee this Camel-hayr'd monitor told him of some outragious disorders in his Court, those hee was willing to amend; perhaps hee told him of some, bribery of his Officers, vniust or hard mea­sures offered by oppressiue Ministers to his poore Sub­iects, those he was ready to re­forme, [...] he did many things; One would thinke Bernard should not need to brand his Hailardus, with intus Herodes, Herod within Iohn without. foris Iohannes, his very [Page 19] out-side was generally good, else hee had not done many things: Here was a forme of Godlinesse, but let me tell you, and higher forme then many of vs (for ought I see) care to climbe vp vnto; there is is hea­ring, and talking, and profes­sing enough in the world, but where is the doing? or if there bee doing, yet it is small do­ing (God wot.) Some things we may be drawne to doe, not many; one good deed in a life is well; one fault amen ded meriteth: to doe many is not incident to many; so as too many of vs are vpon a forme of Godlinesse, but it is a lower forme then Herods; who heard, and heard gladly, & obseru'd his teacher, and did, & did ma- [Page 20] things; yet a grosse Hypocrite still because he did but many; [...] is God rule.Either all, or none all.

What should I weary you with instances? Doe yee see an Ananias and Saphira making God their heyre of their halfe-shared Patrimony? Doe you see a griping Vsurer build Schooles and Hospitals with ten in the hundred? Doe you see a man whose stomacke in­satiably craues new superad­ditions, vpon the indigested morsels of his last houres Le­cture, and yet nauseates at the publike praiers of the Church? Doe you see a superstitious vo­tary looking rufully from his knees vpon his adored Cruci­fixe; and as Isaac the Syryan prescribes, liuing like a dead [Page 21] man in a solitary Sepulcher, yet making no bones of kil­ling Kings?

Nay, to ascend vnto an high­er key of pretended holinesse▪ Doe yee see some of the elect Manichees lying vpon hard mats, which S. Austin sayes were therfore called Ma [...]tarij? Doe ye see the penances of the three super-mortified Orders of the Mahumetan Saints? Doe ye see an illuminate El­der of the Anabaptists rapt in diuine extasies? Doe yee see a stigmaticall Fryer lash­ing himselfe to blood, wal­lowing in the snow naked, re­turning the lice into his bo­some? Doe ye see a nice hu­morist, that will not dresse a dish, nor lay a cloth, nor walke [Page 22] abroad on a Sunday, and yet make no conscience of cooze­ning his neighbour on the worke-day.

All these and many others of the same kinde are Swans, which vnder white feathers haue a blacke skin; These haue a forme of Godlinesse, and are the worse for it; for as it is the most dangerous and kil­ling flattery that is brought in vnder a pretence of liberty, so it is the most odious and peri­lous impiety that is hid vnder a forme of Godlinesse.

These men, I say, haue a forme; and nothing else saue a forme of Godlinesse, But withall, let me adde, that who­so euer makes a good professi­on hath this forme; and is so [Page 23] farre commendable, as he pro­fesses well: If there bee not matter to this forme, the fault is in what is not, and not in what there is. Certainly Re­ligion is not Chaos-like with­out forme; As not Ciuility, so Godlinesse cannot be without due forme; ye cannot thinke Gods Seruice to be all lining, no out-side; A forme there must be. It was a Law writ­ten in Greeke and Latine Let­ters ouer the gate of the first peculiar partition of the Tem­ple, which was atrium Iudaeo­rum; Euery stranger that passes into the holy Place must die; if hee had not the marke of a Iew vpon his flesh, it was ca­pitall to tread in those holy Courts: The Temple was the [Page 24] Type of the Church; if wee haue not so much as a forme of Godlines; procul, ô procul; with­out shall be dogs; and if a Beast touch the Mount, it shall dye. What shall we say to those gal­lants that hate to haue so much as a forme of Godlinesse? there cannot be a greater disparage­ment cast vpon them, then the very semblance of Deuotion; To say Grace at meals, to bow a knee in prayer, to name God other then in an oath, to once mention Religion, is a base, mortify'd pusillanimous ten­dernesse. What talke ye of a Sermon? a Play if you will; what speake you of weeping for sinns? talke of drinking healths, singing of rounds, courting of Dames, reuels, [Page 25] matches, games, any thing saue goodnesse; what should we say of these men? euen this; He that hath but a forme, is an Hypocrite; but hee that hath not a forme is an Atheist; I know not whether I should se­uer these two; Both are hu­mane Diuels well met; an Hy­pocrite is a masked Diuell; an Atheist is a Diuell vnmasked: whether of them shal without their repentance be deeper in Hell, they shall once feele, I determine not; Onely let me assure them, that if the infer­nall Topheth bee not for them, it can challenge no guests.

Thus such for the forme of Godlinesse, which is the Angel of Hypocrisie; our speech de­scends to the Diuell in Hypo- [Page 26] which is the denial of the power of Godlines: but whiles I am about to represent vnto you the vgly face of that wicked one; God meets vs in the way, and stayes my thoughts and speech vpon the power of Godlines, ere we fall vpon the deniall of that power. What power then is this of God­lines? what doth it? what can it doe? The weakenes of it is too apparent: If we look to the Au­thor of it Christ Iesus; alas, he is [...], a Butt or mark for opposition to shoot at; whereas true power is an Al­chum, that bars resistance, Prou. 30. if to the means of Godlines, here is the foolishnesse of Preach­ing, 1. Cor. 1. 21. if to the effects of Godlines, here is weak grace, strong corruption, Ro. 7. if to [Page 27] the opposites of Godlines, here is a Law fighting; fighting? per­haps so it may be, & be foyled; nay, but here is [...]; a conquering and captiuing Law, Ro. 7. 23. wherby I am not only made a slaue, but sold for a slaue [...], Rom. 7. 14. So then here is an opposed Sauiour, a foolish preaching, a feeble grace, a domineering corrup­tion; and where then is the power of Godlinesse all this while. Know O thou foolish man that God is [...], the strong God; and yet there is a Diuell; Hee could call in the being of that malignant Spirit; but he will not; he knowes how to magnifie his power by an opposite. Christ will be spo­ken against, not for impotence [Page 28] to resist, but for the glory of his preuailing; so wee haue seene a well tempered Target shot at to show the impene­trablenesse of it.

Preaching is foolishnesse, but it is stultitia Doi; and the foo­lishnesse of God is wiser then then the wisedome of men. Grace is weake, where corruption is strong, but where grace pre­uailes, sin dares not shew his head; sin fights and subdues his owne Vassals, but the power of Godlines foyles it in the renewed; so as if it liue, yet it raignes not Great then is the power of Godlinesse; great euery way; great in respect of our ene­mies, great in respect of our selues; of our enemies, The Diuell, the World, the Flesh.

[Page 29] So great first, that it can re­sist the Diuel; and this no small matter to resist the powers and Principalities of Hell; whom resist, stedfast in the faith.

Resist? Alas, what is this? The weake may perhaps resist the strong; the Whelpe the Lyon; We may resist the spi­rit of God himselfe, semper restitistis, saith Saint Stephen of the Iewes; Lo here is resi­stance to God; and not for a brunt, but perpetuall; ye haue alwaies resisted, so the ship re­sists the Rocke against which it is shattered; so the crushed worme turns towards the foot that treads it; Yea, but here is a preualent resistance, Resist the Diuill and he shall flee from you, Iam. 4. 7. Lo, Godlinesse [Page 30] can make a Coward of the great Prince of Darkenesse. Hee shall flee; but, if Parthi­an-like hee shall shoot fleeing, as hee doth; Lo, this shall quench all the fiery darts of Sa­tan. Ephes. 6. If hee betake himselfe to his hold; this can bater, and beat downe the strong holds of sin about his cares; this can enter, and bind the strong man: Shortly, it can conquer Hell, yea make vs more then Conquerors; Lo, to conquer is not so much as to make ano­ther a Conqueror; but more then a Conqueror is yet more; Is there any of you now that would be truely great and vi­ctorious? it is the power of Godlinesse that must doe it: Pyrrhus his word concerning [Page 31] his Soldiers, was Tu grandes, ego fortes; Surely, if our Pro­fession make vs great, our faith must make vs valiant and suc­cessfull: I tell you the con­quest of an euill spirit is more then the conquest of a world of men: Oh then, what is it to conquer Legions?

And as it foiles Sathan, so the world: No maruell, for if the greater, much more the lesse. The world is a subiect, Sathan a Prince, the Prince of this world: The world is a bi­got, Satan is a God: The God of this world: If the Prince, if the God be vanquisht, how can the subiect or suppliant stand out? What doe we talke of an Alex­ander, or a Cesar conquering the world: Alas what spots of [Page 32] earth were they which they bragged to subdue: In so much that Rome which in two hun­dred fortie three yeares had gained but some fifteene miles about, in Seneca's time, when her Dition was at the largest, had the neighbouring Germa­nie for the bounds of it: Loe here a full conquest of the whole world,The whole world is set in euill. Mundns totus in maligno: To conquer the whole materiall world is not so hap­pie, so glorious a worke, as to conquer the malignant, and this the power of Godlinesse onlie can doe, this is the victorie that ouercomes the world; euen your faith. And now what can the flesh doe, without the World, without the Deuill? Surelie, were is not for the Deuill: the [Page 33] world and the flesh were both good; and if it were nor for the Deuill and the World, the flesh were our best friend: now they haue debauch't it, and turn'd it traitor to GOD, and the Soule: now this proud flesh dares warre against hea­uen Godlinesse doth [...] beat it blacke and blew: Yea, kill it dead, Martifie your earthly members, Colos. 3. So as it hath not a limbe to stir, not a breath to draw. Anacharsis his charge was too hard for another, but performable by a Christian, [...] Hee can rule his tongue, his gut, his lust: Sampson was a strong man, yet two of them he could not rule: the power of Godlinesse can rule all: Oh then the great [Page 34] power of godlines that can tram­ple vpon the flesh, the World, the Deuill: Super aspidem, vp­on the Aspe, the Dragon, the Lion: Or as the Psalmist, Psal. 91. Vpon that roaring Lion of Hell, vpon that sinuous Dra­gon the World, vpon that close biting Aspe the flesh.

And as great in respect of our enemies, so no lesse great in respect of our selues, Great, and beneficiall: What won­ders are done by Godlinesse? Is it not a great wonder to make a Foole wise, to make the blind see? This godlinesse can doe: Psal. 19. 7, 8. Let mee be bold to say; we are natural­ly like Salomons childe; Folly is bound to our heart, Prou. 22. 15. in things pertaining to GOD; [Page 35] ( [...]) We were foolish, saith Saint Paul, Titus 3. Would any of vs that are thus borne natu­rals (to God) bee wise to salua­tion? That is the true wisdome indeed, all other is but folly, yea, madnesse to that: The Schooles cannot teach vs this; Philosophie, whether, Natural, or Morall, or Politicke can do nothing to it; if yee trust to to it, it is but ( [...]) vaine deceit, as Saint Paul, Coloss. 2. 8. Triobularis & vilis, as Chryso­stome; It is only Godlinesse must doe it: Please your selues, how you list, without this, yee great Politicians of the world, the wise God hath put the pide coate vpon your backs, & past vpon you his ( [...]) Rom. 1. 22. If ye were Oracles to men, [Page 36] ye are Ideots to God: Malitia occaecat intellectum, Wickednesse blinds the vn­derstanding. as he said, ye quick-sighted Eagles of the world, without this ye are as blinde as Beetles to heauen: If ye would haue eies to see him that is inuisible; the hand of your omnipotent Sauiour must touch you, and at his bid­ding you must wash off your worldly clay with the Siloam of godlinesse.

Is it not a wonder to raise the dead? wee are all naturally not sicke, not qualming, not dying, but dead in sinne, Colos. 2. 13. Yea▪ with Lazarus quatri­duam, and ill senting; yea (if that will adde any thing) as S. Iudes trees, or as (they say of) acute Scotus, twice dead; would ye arise? It is only godlinesse [Page 37] that can doe it: Yee are risen vp through the faith in the opera­tion of God, Colos. 2. 12. This on­ly can call vs out of the graue of our sinnes: Arise thou that sleepest, and stand vp from the dead, and Christ shall giue thee life: Christ is the author, god­linesse is the meanes. All yee that heare mee this day, either ye are aliue, or would be: Life is sweet: euerie one challenges it; Doe yee liue willingly in your sinnes; Let me tell you, ye are dead in your sins: This life is a death: If you wish to liue comfortably here, and glo­riously hereafter, it is godlines that must mortifie this life in sinne; that must quicken you from this death in sinne: Flat­ter your selues how you please [Page 38] ye great gallants of both sexes, yee thinke your selues goodlie peeces; without godlinesse ye are the worst kind of carcasses: for as death or not being is the worst condition that can befall a creature: So death in sinne is so much the worst kinde of death, by how much grace is better then nature: A liuing Dog, or Toad is better then a thus-dead sinner: Would yee rise out of this loathsome and wofull plight, it is godlinesse, that must breathe grace into your dead limbes, and that must giue you the motions of holy obedience.

Is it not a wonder to cast out Deuils? I tell you the cor­porall possession of ill spirits is not so rare, as the spirituall is [Page 39] rife: No naturall man is free: One hath the spirit of errour, 1. Tim. 4. another the spirit of for­nications, Ose 2. another the spirit of feare, 2. Tim. 1. another the spirit of slumber, another the spirit of giddinesse, another the spirit of pride: all haue Spiritum mundi, the spirit of the world, 1. Cor. 1. 12. Our storie in Guliel. Neubrigensis, tels vs of a coun­triman of ours, one Kettell of Farnham, in King HENRY the Seconds time, that had the fa­cultie to see spirits: by the same token, that hee saw the Deuils spitting ouer the Drunkards shoulders, into their pots: the same facultie is recorded of Anthony the Heremite, and Sul­pitius reports the same of Saint Martin, surely there need none [Page 40] of these eies to discerne euerie naturall mans soule haunted with these euill angels, Let me assure you, all ye that haue not yet felt the power of Godlinesse, ye are as truely (though spiritual­ly) carried, by euill spirits in­to the deeps of your knowne wickednesse, as euer the Ga­deren hogges were carried by them downe the precipice, in­to the Sea; would ye be free from this hellish tyranny? on­ly the power of Godlinesse can do it. 2. Tim. 2. 23. If peraduenture God will giue them repentance, that they may recouer themselues out of the snares of the Diuell; and Repentance is you know a maine part of Godlinesse; If euer therefore ye be disposses­sed of that euill one, it is the [Page 41] power of Godlinesse that must do it.

What speake I of power? I had like to haue ascribed to it the acts of omnipotencie; And if I had done so; it had not bin much amisse; for what is god­linesse but one of those rayes that beames forth from that Almightie Deitie? What but that same, Dextra excelsi, The right hand of the most high. wher­by hee workes mightily vpon the soule? Now, when I say the man is strong, is it any deroga­tion to say his arme is strong? Faith and Praier are no small peeces of Godlines, and what is it that God can doe, which Praier and Faith can not doe? Will yee see some instances of the further acts of Godlinesse? Is it not an act of omnipotence [Page 42] to change nature? Iannes and Iambres, the Egyptian. Sorcerers may iuggle away the Staffe, & bring a Serpent into the roome of it; none but a Diuine power (which Moses wrought by) could change the Rod into a Serpent, or the Serpent into a Rod: Nothing is aboue nature, but the God of nature; nothing can change nature, but that which is aboue it: for nature is regular, in her proceedings; & will not bee crost by a finite power; since all finite agents are within her command. Is it not a manifest change of the nature of the Wolfe, to dwell quietly with the Lambe, of the Leopard to dwell with the kid, of the Lion to eat straw like the Oxe, of the Aspe to play with the child? [Page 43] How shall this be? it is an idle conceit of the Hebrewes, that sauage beasts shall forgo their hurtfull natures vnder the M [...]s­sias; No, but rat [...]onall beasts shall alter their dispositions: the rauenous oppressor is the Wolfe, the tyrannicall persecu­tor is the Leopard; the vene­mous Hereticke is the Aspe; these shall turne innocent, and vsefull by the power of God­linesse, for then the earth shall bee full of the knowledge of the Lord, Esay 11. 6, 7. Is it not a manifest change of nature for the Ethiopian to turn white, for the Leopard to turne spotlesse, This is done when those doe good which are accustomed to euill Ier. 13. 23. and this godlinesse can doe: Is it not a manifest [Page 44] change of nature for the Camel, to passe through a needles eye; this is done, when through the power of godlinesse ye great and rich men get to heauen. Last­ly, it is an easie thing to turne men into beasts (a cup too much can doe it) but to turne beasts into Men; Men into Saints; Deuils into Angels; it is no lesse then a worke of omni­potencie, and this godlinesse can doe.

But to rise higher then a change; Is it not an act of om­nipotencie to create? Nature can goe on in her tracke whe­ther of continuing what shee actually finds to be; or of pro­ducing what she forbids to be potentially in pre-existing cau­ses; but to make new matter, [Page 45] transcends her power; this god linesse can do; here is ( [...]) a new creatre, 2. Cor. 5. There is in nature no predisposition to grace; the man must bee no lesse new, then when hee was made first of the dust of the earth, & that earth of nothing; Nouus homo, Eph. 4. 21. How is this done by Creation, and how is he created? In righteousnesse and holinesse; holinesse to God, righteousnesse to men; both make vp Godlinesse, A rege­neration is here a Creation, Progenuit is expressed by Cre­auit, Iam. 1. 18. and this by the word of truth. Old things are pas­sed, saith the Apostle, all must be new, if wee will haue ought to doe with God; our bodies must bee renued by a glorious [Page 46] resurrection ere they can inioy heauen; our soules must bee renued by Grace ere wee can inioy God on earth: Are there any of vs pained with our heart of stone? Wee may b [...]e well e­nough, the stone of the reines or bladder is a woful paine, but the stone of the heart is more deadly; hee can by this power take it out, and giue vs a heart of flesh, Ezec. 12. Are there any of vs wearie of carrying our old Adam about vs? a grieuous bur­then I confesse, & that which is able to weigh vs downe to Hell; doe wee groane vnder the load, and long to be eased? none but that Almightie hand can doe it; by the power of godlinesse creating vs anew, to the likenesse of that second [Page 47] Adam, which is from heauen, hea­uenly; without which there is no possibilitie of saluation: for flesh and bloud cannot inherit the Kingdome of God: In a word, would wee haue this earth of ours translated to heauen, it is only the power of godlinesse can doe it:

And as this power of godlines is great, so no lesse beneficiall; Beneficiall euery way, both here, and hereafter; Here, it frees vs from euill, it feoffs vs in good; Godlinesse is an An­tidote against all mischiefe, and miserie; yea, such is the power of it that it not only keepes vs from euill, but turnes that euill to good: All things worke toge­ther to the best to them that loue & feare God, saith the Apostle; [Page 48] lo, all things; Crosses, sinnes; Crosses are blessings, sinnes are aduantages; Saint Pauls Viper befriended him, Saint MARTINS Ellebore nou­risht him; Saluti fuere pestife­ra, as Seneca speakes; And what can hurt him that is blessed by crosses, & is bettered by sins? It feoffes vs in good; Wealth, Honour, Contentment; The Apostle puts two of them to­gether, Godlinesse is great gaine with contentment, 1. Tim. 6. 6. Here are no iffs, or ands; but gaine, great gaine, and gaine with self-sufficiencie or content­ment; wickednesse may yeeld a gaine, such as it is for a time; but it will bee grauell in the throat; gaine farre from con­tentment. Length of dayes are in [Page 49] the right hand of true wisdome, and in her left hand riches and ho­nour, Prou. 3. 16. Lo, honour & wealth are but gifts of the left hand; common and meane fa­uours; Length, yea, eternitie of daies is for the right, that is the height of bountie; Godlinesse hath the promises of this life, and of that which is to come, saith the Apostle; the promise, that is e­nough; Gods promises are his performances; with men to promise, and to pay are two things; they are one with God; To them that by patient continu­ing in wel-doing, seeke glory and honour and immortalitie, eternall life, Rom. 2. 7. Briefly (for I could dwell here alwayes) it is godlinesse that only can giue vs, the beatificall sight of God; [Page 50] the sight? yea, the fruition of him, yea, the vnion with him; not by apposition, not by ad haesion, but by a blessed parti­cipation of the diuine nature, 2. Pet. 1. 4. I can go no higher; no the Angels and Arch-angels cannot looke higher then this.

To summe vp all then; Godlines can giue wisedome to the foole, eyes to the blind, life to the dead; it can eiect Diuels, change the course of Nature, create vs anew, free vs from euill feoffe vs in good, honour, wealth, contentment, euerlasting happinesse. Oh the wonderfull, Oh the bene­ficiall power of Godlinesse! And now, what is the desire of my soule, but that all this could make you in loue with God­linesse; [Page 51] that in stead o [...] the ambitions of honour, the tra­dings for wealth, the pursuit of pleasure, your hearts could be set on fire with the zealous affectation of true Godlinesse; Alas, the least ouerture of any of these makes vs mad of the world; if but the shadow of a little honour, wealth, promo­tion, pleasure bee cast before vs, how eagerly doe we prose­cute it, to the eternall hazard of our Soules? behold, the sub­stance of them all put to toge­ther offers▪ it selfe in Godlines; how zealously should we em­brace them: and neuer giue rest to our Soules, till we haue laid those true grounds of hap­nesse, which shall continue with vs, when all our riches, [Page 52] and earthly glorie shall lie downe with vs in the dust: Alas, noble and Christian hea­rers, yee may bee outwardly great, and inwardly miserable; it was a great Caesar that said, I haue beene all things, and am neuer the better; It is not your bags ye wealthy Citizens that can keepe the Gout from your ioynts, or Care from your hearts; It is not a Coronet, ye great Peeres that can keepe your heads from aching; all this earthly pompe and mag­nificence cannot keepe out ei­ther death, or conscience; Our prosperity presents vs as good­ly Lillies, which whiles they are whole, look faire and smell sweet, but if once bruised a lit­tle, are nastie both in sight and [Page 53] sent; it is only Godlinesse that can hold vp our heads in the euill day, that can bid vs make a mocke at all the blustering stormes of the world, that can protect vs from all miseries (which if they kil▪ yet they can­not hurt vs) that can improue our sufferings, and inuest vs with true & eternall glory; Oh then be couetous, be ambiti­ous of this blessed estate of the Soule; and as Simon Macchabeus with three yeeres labour tooke downe the top of mount Acra in Hierusalem, that no hill might stand in competition of height with the Temple of God, so let vs humble and pro­strate all other desires to this one, that true Godlines may haue the sway in vs.

[Page 54] Neither is this considera­tion more fit to bee a whet­stone to our zeale, then a touch stone to our condition; Godlinesse? why it is an herb that growes in euery soyle; as Platina obserues, that for 900. yeares and vpwards, none of those Popes of whom sanctity is ascribed in the abstract, were yet held Saints after their death, except Celestine the 5. which gaue vp the Pontificall Chayre, after sixe Moneths weary sitting in it; so on the contrary, wee may liue Ages ere wee heare a man professe himselfe god-lesse, whiles hee is abominably such: He is too bad, that will not bee thought godly; as it is a brazen-fac'd Curtezan, [Page 55] that would not bee held ho­nest.

That which Lactantius said of the Heathen Philosophers, that they had many Schollers, few followers, I cannot say of the Diuiue; wee haue enow to learne, enow to imitate, but few to act; Be not deceiued, Godlinesse is not impo­tent; where euer Godlines is, there is power: Hath it then preuayled to open our eyes, to see the great things of our peace? hath it raysed vs, vp from the graue of our sinnes? eiected our hellish corruptions, chan­ged our wicked natures, new created our hearts? well may we applaud our selues is the confidence of our godlinesse; but if we be still old, still cor­rupt, [Page 56] still blind, still dead, still diuelish; Away vaine Hypo­crites, yee haue nothing to doe with Godlinesse, because Godlinesse hath had no pow­er on you: Are yee godly, that care to know any thing rather then God and spiritu­all things: Are yee godly, that haue neither ability nor will to serue that God whom yee fashionably pretend to know? Are ye godly, which haue no inward awe of that God whom yee pretend to serue? No gouernment of your Passions, no Consci­ence of your Actions, no care of your Liues? False Hypocrites, yee doe but a­buse and prophane that name which yee vniustly arrogate; [Page 57] No, no; Godlinesse can no more be without power, then the God that works it; Shew mee your Godlinesse in the true feruor of your Deuoti­ons, in the effectuall sancti­fication of your hearts and tongues; in the conscionable carriage of your liues. Else lo the wicked, saith God, what hast thou to doe to take my Coue­nant in thy mouth, seeing thou hatest to bee reformed, PSAL. 50. 16.

Yee haue heard the power of Godlinesse; heare now the de­nyall of this power: How then is it denyed; Surely, there is a verball; there is a reall de­nyall; & rebus & verbis, as Hilary, It is a mistaking of Logicians, that Negation is [Page 58] the affection of a Propositi­on onely; No; God and Di­uiuitie finde it more in Pra­ctice; This very power is as stoutly challenged by some men in words, as truely deni­ed in actions; As one sayes of the Pharisees answer concer­ning Iohns calling, verum di­cebant & mentiebantur; They told truth and yet lyed. so may I of these men; It is not in the power of words to deny so strongly as deeds can; both the hand, and the tongue in­terpret the heart, but the hand so much more liuely, as there is more substance in acts, then sounds; As he said Spectamur agendo; we are both seene and heard in our actions. Hee that sayes there is no God is a vo­call Atheist; hee that liues as [Page 59] if there were no God is a vi­tall Atheist; he that should say Godlinesse hath no power is a verball Atheist; hee that shall liue as if Godlinesse had no power, is a reall Atheist: they are Atheists both. We would flye vpon a man that should denye a God with Diagoras, though (as Anselme well) no man can doe this interius, from within; wee would burne a man that should de­ny the Deitie of Christ with Arrius; wee would rend our clothes at the blasphemie of that man, who with the Epi­cures and Apelleians should ex­empt the cares and operati­ons of God from the things below; wee would spit at a man that durst say, there is [Page 60] no power in Godlinesse: These monsters (if there bee such) hide their vgly heads, and finde▪ it not safe to looke on the light; Fagots are the best language to such miscreants: but these reall denyals are so much more rife, and bold, as they can take the aduantage of their outward safety, and vnconuinciblenesse.

Their wordes are honey, their life poyson, as Bernard said of his Arnoldus: And these actions make too much noyse in the world; that which Saint Chrysostome saies of the last day, that mens works shall speake, their tongues shal be silent; is partly true in the meane time; their workes cry out, whiles their tongues whisper: There [Page 61] is then really a double denial of the power of Godlines; the one in not doing the good it requires, the other in doing the euill it forbids: The one a priuatiue, the other a positine denyall.

In the former, what power hath Godlinesse if it haue not made vs good? a feeble God­lines it is that is ineffectuall; if it haue not wrought vs to bee deuout to God, iust to men, sober and temperate in the vse of Gods creatures, humble in our selues, charitable to o­thers; where is the Godliness? where is the power? If these were not aparantly done, there were no forme of Godline, if these be not soundly & heartily done, there is a palpable deniall of the power of Godlines. Heare [Page 62] this then ye ignorant and sedu­ced soules that measure your Deuotions by number not by weight; or that leaning vp­on your idle elbow yawning­ly patter out those prayers, whose sound or sense yee vn­derstand not; yee that bring list-lesse eares seuered from your wandring hearts, to the Messages sent from Heauen; yee that come to Gods board, as a surfeited stomacke to an Hony-combe, or a sicke sto­macke to a Potion: Shortly, ye that pray without feeling, hear without care, receiue with­out appetite; ye haue a forme of godlines, but deny the power of it.

Heare this, yee that weare out the floore of Gods house with your frequent atten­dance; [Page 63] yee that haue your eares open to Gods Messen­gers, and yet shut to the cries of the Poore, of the Orphan, of the Labourer, of the di­stressed Debtor; ye that can lift vp those hands to heauen in your fashionable prayers, which yee haue not reached out to the reliefe of the needy members of your Sauiour; (whiles I must tell you by the way that hard rule of Lauren­tius, Magis delinquit diues non largiendo superflua, quam pau­per rapiendo necessaria; the rich man offends more in not giuing his superfluities, then the poore man in stealing ne­cessaries) Yee that haue a fluent tongue to talke vnto God, but haue no tongue to [Page 64] speake for God, or to speake in the cause of the dumbe: Ye haue a forme of Godlinesse, but deny the power thereof.

Shortly, yee that haue no feare of God before your eyes, no loue to goodnesse, no care of obedience, no conscience of your actions, no diligence in your Callings, yee haue denied the power of Godlinesse; This very priuatiue denial, shall without your re­pentance damne your soules: Remember, Oh, remember that there needes no other ground of your last and hea­uiest doome, then Yee haue not giuen, Yee haue not visited; But the Positiue denyall is yet more irrefragable; If very priuations and silence speake, [Page 65] much more are actions vo­call: Heare this then yee vi­sors of Christianitie, who not­withstanding all your ciuill smoothnesse, when yee are once moued, can teare Hea­uen with your Blasphemies, and bandy the dreadful name, of GOD in your impure mouthes, by your bloody Oathes, and Execrations; ye that dare to exercise your sau­cie wits in prophane scoffes at Religion; yee that pre­sume to whet your law-lesse tongues, and lift vp your re­bellious hands against lawfull authority whether in Church or State; yee that grinde fa­ces like edge-tooles, and spill blood like water; yee that can neigh after strange flesh, and [Page 66] vpon your voluptuous beds act the filthinesse of Sodomiti­call Aretinismes; yee that can quaffe your drunken carou­ses till you haue drowned your reason in a deluge of deadly Healthes; yee whose foule hands are belimed with bribery, and besmeared with the price of blood; yee whose sacrilegious throats haue swal­lowed downe whole Chur­ches, and Hospitals; whose mawes haue put ouer whole Parishes of sold, and affami­shed soules; yee whose faction and turbulencie in nouell o­pinions rends the seame-lesse Coat, not considering that of Melancthon, that Schisme is no lesse sinne then Idolatry; and there cannot easily be a worse [Page 67] then Idolatry; either of them both are enough to ruine any Church vnder Heauen: Now the God of Heauen euer keep this Church of ours from the mischiefe of them both; yee whose tongues trade in lyes, whose very profession is fraud and cozenage; yee cruell V­surers, false Flatterers, ly­ing and enuious Detractors. In a word, yee, who euer yee are, that goe resolute­ly forward in a course of any knowne sinnes, and will not bee reclaimed, yee, yee are the men that spit God in the face, and deny flatly the power of Godlinesse: woe is mee, we haue enow of these Birds eue­ry where, at home. I appeale your eyes, your eares, would [Page 68] to God they would conuince me of a slander.

But what of all this now, the power of Godlinesse is deny­ed by wicked men; How then? what is their case? Sure­ly inexplicably, vnconceiua­bly fearefull; The wrath of God is reuealed from Heauen against all vngodlinesse▪ saith the Apo­stle; How reuealed, say you? wherein differ they from their neighbours vnlesse it be per­haps in better fare? no gripes in their conscience, no afflicti­ons in their life, no bands in their death, impunitas ausum, au­sus excessum parit, as Bernard, Their impunitie makes them bold, their boldnesse outragi­ous: Alas, wretched Soules! The World hath nothing [Page 69] more wofull then a Sinners welfare: It is for slaughter that this Oxe is fattened; Ease slay­eth the simple, and the prosperitie of fooles shall destroy them, PRO. 1. 22. This brasteata foelicitas, which they inioy here, is but as Carpets spread ouer the mouth of Hell; For if they de­nie the power of Godlinesse, the God of power shall be sure to denie them: Depart from me yee workers of iniquitie, I know you not; There cannot bee a worse doom, then Depart from me; that is depart from peace, from blessednesse, from life, from hope, from possibility of being any other then eter­nally, exquisitely miserable; Qui te non habet Domine Deus, totum per didit; Hee who haith [Page 70] not thee, O Lord God, hath lost all, as Bernard truely; dy­ing is but departing, but this departing is the worst dying; dying in Soule, euer dying; so as if there be an Ite, depart, there must needs be a maledi­cti, depart ye cursed; cursed that euer they were borne, who liue to dye euerlastingly: For this departure, this curse ends in that fire which can neuer, neuer end. Oh the deplora­ble condition of those dam­ned soules that haue sleighted the power of Godlinesse? what teares can bee enough to be­wayle their euerlasting bur­nings? what heart can bleed e­nough at the thought of those tortures, which they can nei­ther suffer, nor auoyd; Hold [Page 71] but your finger for one mi­nute in the weake flame of a farthing Candle, can flesh and blood indure it? With what horror then must we needes thinke of Body and Soule fry­ing endlesly in that infernall Topheth: Oh thinke of this ye that forget Got, and con­temne Godlinesse; with what confusion shall yee looke vp­on the frownes of an angry God reiecting you; the vgly and mercilesse Fiends snatch­ing you to your torments, the flames of Hell flashing vp to meet you? with what horror shall ye feele the gnawing of your guilty consciences, and heare that hellish shrieking, and weeping, and wailing, and gnashing? It is a paine to [Page 72] mention these woes, it is more then death to feele them, per­horreseite minas, formidate sup­plicia, as Chrysostome. Certainly, my beloued, if wicked sinners did truely apprehend an hell, there would be more danger of their despaire, and distra­ction, then of their securitie: It is the Diuels policie, like a Rauen, first to pull out the eyes of those that are dead in their sinnes, that they may not see their imminent damnati­on. But for vs; Tell me, yee that heare me this day; Are ye Christians in earnest, or are yee not? It yee be not, what doe yee here? If ye be, there i [...] an hell in your Creed. Ye do not lesse beleeue there is an Hell for the godlesse, then an [Page 73] Earth for men, a firmament for starres, an heauen for Saints, a God in heauen▪ And if ye doe thus firmely beleeue, it cast but your eyes aside vp­on that fierie gulfe, and sinne if yee dare▪ Yee loue your selues well enough to auoid a knowne paine; we know there are Stockes, and Bride-wells, and Iayles, and Dungeons, and Rackes, and Gibbers, for malefactors, and our verie feare keeps vs innocent; were your hearts equally assured of those hellish torments, yee could not, ye durst not con­tinue in those sins, for which they are prepared.

But what an vnpleasing, and vnseasonable subiect am I fal­len vpon, to speake of Hell in [Page 74] a Chrstian Court, the Emblem of Heauen: Let me answer for my selfe with deuout Bernard Sic mihi contingat semper beare amicos terrendo salubriter, non a­dulando falaciter; Let me thus euer blesse my friends with wholsome frights, rather then with plausible soothings. Su­menda sunt amara salubria, saith Saint Austin; Bitter wholsome is a safe receipt for a Christian; and what is more bitter, or more wholsome, then this thought. The way not to feele an Hell, is to see it, to feare it▪ I feare we are all general­ly defectiue this way; we doe not retire our selues enough into the Chamber of Medita­tion: and thinke sadly of the things of another world: Our [Page 75] Selfe-loue puts off this tor­ment, (notwithstanding our willing sinnes) with Dauids pla [...]ue, non oppropinquabit, It shall not come nigh thee; if wee doe not make a league with hell and death, yet with our selues against them; Fallit pec­catum falsa dulcedine, as Saint Austin, sinne deceiues vs with a false pleasure, the pleasure of the world is like that Colchian hony, wherof Xenophons soldi­ers no sooner tasted, then they were miserably distemperd; those that tooke little were drunke, those that tooke more were mad; those that tooke most were dead: thus are we either intoxicated, or infatua­ted, or kild right out with this deceitfull world, that wee are [Page 76] sensible of our iust feares; at the best we are besotted with our stupid securitie, that wee are not affected with our dan­ger; Woe, is mee the impeni­tent, resolued sinner is alrea­die falne into the mouth of hell, and hangs there but by a slender twigge of his mo­mentanie life, when that hold failes, he fals down head-long into that pit of horror and de­solation; Oh yee my deare brethren, so many as loue your soules, haue mercie vp­on your selues; Call aloud out of the deeps of your sins, to that compassionate Saui­our, that he will giue you the hand of faith, to lay hold vp­on the hand of his mercie, and plenteous redemption, and pull [Page 77] you out of that otherwise ir­recouerable destruction; Else yee are gone, yee are gone for euer: Two things, as Bernard borrowes of Saint Gregorie, make a man both good, and safe. To repent of euill, To ab­staine from euill; would yee es­cape the wrath of God, the fire of hell? Oh wash you cleane, and keepe you so; There is no lauer for you, but your owne teares, and the blood of your Sauiour; Bathe your Soules in both of these, and bee secure; Consider how many are dy­ing now, which would giue a world for one houre to repent in; Oh be yee carefull then to improue your free, and quiet houres, in a serious and hear­tie contrition for your sinnes; [Page 78] say to God with the Psalmist, Deliuer me from the euill man▪ that is, from my selfe; as that Father construes it; and for the sequell, in steed of the deny­ing the power of Godlinesse, re­solue to denie your selues, to denie all vngodlinesse and world­ly lusts, and to liue soberly, righte­ously, godly in this present world; that hauing felt and approued the power of godlinesse in the il­luminating our eyes, in ray­sing vs from our sinnes, in e­iecting our corruptions, in changing our liues, and crea­ting our hearts anew, we may at the last, feele the happie consummation of this power, in the full possessing of vs, in that eternall blessednesse and glory which he hath prepared [Page 79] for all that loue him to the per­fect fruition whereof hee bring vs that hath dear­ly bought vs Iesus Christ the righteous, to whom, &c.



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