A PLAINE AND PROFITA­ble Exposition, of the Parable of the Sower and the Seede. Wherein is plainly set forth, the difference of hearers, both good and bad. To which is added a learned answer to the Papists, in diuers points of Con­trouersie betweene vs and them, the heads whereof are set downe in the pages following.

Luke 8. 18.

Take heede how yee heare.

LONDON, Printed for William Bladen, and are to be sold at his shop at the signe of the Bible, at the great North-doore of Pauls. 1625.

  • SECT. 1. & 2. THe word written, and the word preached, both one.
  • SECT. 3. Nothing to be preached but what is written.
  • SECT. 4, & 5. Of diuers kindes of faith.
  • SECT. 6, & 7. Of iustifying faith.
  • SECT. 8. Iustifying faith proper to the Elect.
  • SECT. 9. The faith of miracles.
  • SECT. 10. The name of historicall faith.
  • [Page] SECT. 11. The difference betwixt historicall and iustifying faith.
  • SECT. 12. Of Temporary faith.
  • SECT. 13. Whether Iustifying faith may bee lost.
  • SECT. 14. Whether Peter lost his faith.
  • SECT. 15. Of Virginitie and Mariage.
  • SECT. 16. A friendly admonition to all igno­rant Papists, against the lies and falshoods of their Priests and le­suits.

TO THE MOSTRE­VEREND FATHER IN God, George, Lord Bishop of Chester.

RIght Reuerend. When I first prea­ched these Sermons, I little thought to haue put them forth to publike view, yet such hath bene the importunitie of some of my best hearers, in mouing me to penne them, or some others of my Ser­mons; As I might haue bene thought vn­kind and vncurteous, if I had altogether denied that their godly and earnest re­quest. And the rather was I perswaded by them, because it was hoped that the publishing of these, might yeeld some bene­fite not onely to those persons who former­ [...] heard them, but likewise to those, who hereafter should reade them.

It is well knowne that the papists make small account of hearing Gods word prea­ched they hope to be saued, rather by sight then by hearing.

Though hearing be a dutie Deut 6. 3▪ 4. & 31 12. 13. Math. 17. 5. com­manded by God; exacted by Isai 28. 23. & 66. 2. 5. Ier. 6. 18. & 9. 2 & 10. 1. the pro­phets: [Page] Enioyned by Math. 11 15. & 13 9. 43 Math. 15 10 Luk. 14. 35 Christ: Requi­red by the Act. 13. 16 & 15. 13 Re­uel. [...]. 7. 11. 17. Apostles, and practised Neh [...]m. 89. Luk. 51 L [...]k. 15 1. & 21. 38. Act. 10 33 & 13. 7 44 Act. 16. 14 by all good people.

Though it be an apparent signe of Ieh 8. 47 & 18. 37 1. Ioh. 4. 6 Gods Elect. An infallible marke of Ioh 10. 27 Christs sheepe. A true note of Deut. 33. 3 Gods Saints. An euident token of our Luk. 8. 21 spiri­tuall kinred with Christ. A plaine testi­monie of Luk. 11 28 our happines. A comfor­table assurance of our Math. 7 24 Lu [...]. 10. 42 perseuerance. Though it be an ordinarie and effectuall meane Ier 23 22 Act. 2. 41 1. Cor. 14 24. 25 of our conuersion, of Act. 4. [...]. & 15. 7 Rom. 10. 17 working faith, of Act. 10. 44 Gal. 3. 2. 5 receiuing the spi­rit, of obtaining Reuel. 3. 20. fellowship with Christ, and of enioying [...]. Tim. 4. 16 [...]am. 1. 21. saluation in heauen. And though the neglect and con­tempt of it, 2 Ch [...]o. 24. 19. 23. [...]em. 9. 30. Ier. 26. 4. 5 hath bene, and Deut 18. 19 Math. 10, 14, 15. Math, 12. 42: shall be seuerely punished. Yet the papists little regard the word preached, & seldom will vouchsafe to heare it. As they doe wilfully refuse to heare vs; so doe they iudge it, to be neither greatly necessarie, nor much profitable to heare their owne teachers. Moses was read and preached [Page] Act: 15. 21. euery Sabboth in the Iewes Syna­gogues. It was the custome of Luk: 4: 16. Christ and his Act: 17. 42: 44: & 17: 2: [...]. & 4 Apostles, to preach to the people in the Synagogues euery Sabboth day. The [...]ustin: Ma [...]tye apo­log: 2: Te [...]ull: apolog: c: 39: Origen: in [...]x. od: [...]omil: 7. ancientest of the fathers testifie, that in their times, the people heard a sermon, each Lords day. And di­uers councills haue made Colon: ca [...]: 9: Lao [...]ic: cap: 16, [...]ul. lan: ca: 19: Ma­g [...]t: cap: 25. decrees for the continuance of that custome in suc­ceeding ages. Yet the Romish Bernat­din [...]de Sen [...]s de obserua [...]: sabb: serm: 1 [...]: cap: 3. Toll [...]t. in­struct: sacer­do [...] lib. [...]: ca: 6, Vaux: catech: cap 3. pre­lates haue made it a precept of their Church, that euery one shall see a masse on each Sabboth, but will not make it a pre­cept, to heare a sermon each Sabboth. As if the often sight of a masse were more ne­cessarie and more profitable, then the hea­ring of a sermon: And as if the Sabboth were better sanctified and the peoples soules more edisied, by the masse, then by the preaching of the word. As the priests are accustomed often to say masse, but sel­dome to preach: so the people for one ser­mon which they heare, do see fortie or fifty masses. Imitating [...]hom; Wassingh. hist Augt: in Exwar [...]1, p: 43. & Ido [...] dagm: Neustr: p: 472. De Henrico, 3. that king, who saw three masses each day, but seldome heard any sermon. And being admonished by Lewis king of Frāce, that he must not be­stow all l [...]s time on masses, but sould oftner [Page] heare sermons, answered, that he had ra­ther often see his Friend, then heare one speaking of him, though hee spake neuer so good thinges. As if they might with their eyes see Christ corporally present in masses; and could onely heare some talke of him at sermons. Wherein as they doe most blasphemously preferre their owne inuented idoll, before Gods most holy ordinance: So doe they be­wray their ignorance, touching the neces­sitie and efficacie of the word preached. If they would duely consider the scope and doctrine of this parable, they might easily perceiue, that the hearing of the word, is as necessarily required for the direction of their liues, and the saluation of their soules: As the sowing of the ground with good seed, is necessarily required of them that would reape a plentifull crop at har­uest. And that it is not the sight of their abhominable idoll, but the reuerend hea­ring of Gods sacred word, that must make them fruitfull in all good workes.

Againe, wee cannot but acknowledge, that the Lord hath sent many skilfull and painefull Husbandmen, to sowe his sielde with vs: who according to their office and [Page] dutie, sow it in due season, after a good maner, and with the best seede. And yet it yeeldeth litle fruite. People heare much, learne litle, and practise lesse. Which can­not be imputed to the want of good prea­ching, but rather to the want of good hea­ring: the fault is rather in the ground, then in the sower, or in the seede. The seede is good, and great store is sowne, but the ground is barren. The doctrine is sound, and the maner of teaching prosita­ble, but the people heare amisse, and so for want of good hearing, loose the fruite of many good sermons; because the profit of hearing, dependeth on the maner of hea­ring. A medicine sitly prescribed and rightly compounded, looseth his vertue in curing the patients disease, if it be not duly administred, and orderly receiued. We to our great griese loose our labour in prea­ching, and the people to their great perill, loose their labour in hearing, because they heare amisse. As therefore I was at first enduced to preach these sermons, so was I afterward perswaded to penne them, that by them the simpler sorte (for whose sake onely I do now publish them) might haue some plain direction how to heare for their profit.

[Page] There be some among vs, who seeme Math. 26, 8. Ioh: 12, 4. to be of Iudas his minde, and say quor­sum perditio haec? The pentions giuen by his maiestie, for the maintenance of preachers in these popish partes, might well be spared, or else conuerted to other more necessarie vses, what good doe they in the countrey? Whom his Maiestie may answere, (And no doubt, if he heard their murmuring speeches, would answere them roundly) as the Maister of the Vineyard answered the murmuring labourers: Is it not lawfull for me, to doe with mine owne as I will? Is thine eye Math: 20, 15. euill, because I am good? They may here behold, and if they please, take a tast of the meate wherewith his Maiesties subiects are daily fed. Though their diet be homely, yet I hope it is holesome, though the manner of teaching be plaine, yet is it profitable, especially for such peo­ple as I am appointed to instruct: My iudiciall hearers can testifie, that these sermons were sutable to my ordinary tea­ching, and that in penning them, I haue altered very little, either for matter, me­thode or stile. I thinke few will complaine of the vnprofitablenes of our labours, but [Page] those who doe reioyce thereat, and would haue vs remoued, lest our labours should become more fruitfull hereafter: who would rather haue the countrey still re­maine addicted to popery and impiety, then brought to the obedience of the Gos­pell. How fruitfull our labours haue bene, your Lordship can better iudge then any of them. Yet must we needes confesse that the fruitfulnes thereof, hath bene, and still is greatly hindered by two sortes of persons, namely by popish priests, and profane Py­pers. The priests like Samballat and To­biah, N [...]hem. 4, 7, 8 hinder vs in edifying the Lords Temple, and labour to pull downe, as fast as we build vp: like the old seducers, they creepe into houses, and lead captiue, simple women laden with sins, and 2, Tim: 3, 6 led with diuers lusts. They withstand vs, as Iannes and Iambres withstood 2, Tim: 38 Moses. Yea they subuert whole hou­ses, Tit: 1, 11 teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre. They are sent by the Pope to recouer, if it were possi­ble, the reuenews, rents, & tributes which once he had out of this kingdome, who ha­uing no other meanes wherby to liue, haue raised a gainefull trade of seducing, and [Page] through couetousnes, doe make mar­chandise [...]. Pet: 2, 3. 1. Sam. 28. 7. of the peoples soules. Though it pleased his Maiestie to banish them: yet as a Witch was found in Endor, after that Saul had banished all out of Israel; So now vpon diligent search many priests might be found in these pants.

Though they lurke in secret corners, and dare not shew their faces, yet may we tra [...]e them by their footesteps, and take notice of their presence by their practises, euen as we may discerne where a snaile hath crept on the wall, by the slime which it leaueth behind it. Who maryeth our recusants, who baptizeth their children, but they? Not one recusant is maryed, not one of their children is baptized by our ministers. Shall we thinke that they who hold Matrimonie to be a sacrament, would liue together as man and wife, and neuer be maried? Can we imagine that they who hold baptisme to be absolutely necessarie to salnation, will suffer all their children to remaine vnbaptized? There­in they verifie the Poets saying: In veti­tum nefas gens humana ruit. Before we had any statute lawe against mari­ages and baptizings by popish priests, it [Page] was a rare thing to heare of any one who offended that way: But since that law was made, it hath bene a rare thing in this countrey, to heare of a Recusants ma­riage solemnized, or a Recusants childe baptized by any of our ministers. So as if our law-makers had foreseene the issue, it may be they would haue forborne the ma­king of that law, least as Solon thought of a law to be made against Parricides, they should put men in mind of such an offence. What is the reason of this their wilfulnes? Not onely impunitie, our lawes made a­gainst them, being like an vntimely birth, dead assoone as borne, and wanting exe­cution which is the life of them: but espe­cially because the priests doe euermore excite them to disobedience, and will ca­nonize them for holy confessours; for that their contemptuous breach of our lawes.

And whence commeth it, that scarce one of an hundreth, of all our Recusants and non-communicants, would come to take the oath of allegiance, when they were therevnto lawfully called? but be­cause the priests disswade them from it, by authoritie of the Popes bulles, and by war­rant of the Cardinalls bookes.

[Page] Augustine acknowledged that through Epist. 48. ad viacent. feare of the imperiall lawes put in execu­tion, not onely some few persons, but like­wise many whole cities, who formerly had bene Donatists, became right Catholikes: So if our lawes might be duely executed, if not against all papists, yet against the priests, I doubt not but within a while, we should drawe most of the people to due con­formitie. All their bookes haue bene an­swered, Leges princi­pum rectè im­plora [...]i aduer­sus hostes fider modo id fiat animo corri­gendi, non stu­dio vindican­di. August: epist: 48 Vides epist: 50. 60. 61, 127 167. all their dispersed pamphlets con­futed, and many disputations haue bene graunted them; Seeing then that after so many conuictions they remaine obstinate, I hope all will acknowledge with the same Father, that wee may lawfully craue the execution of the lawe against the enemies; of the faith, if it be done with a minde to correct, and not with a desire to reuenge.

Moreouer I cannot but lament, and with griefe of heart complaine, that still in this part of the countrey, the course of re­ligion is exceedingly hindered, the fruites of our labours greatly frustrated, the Lords Sabboth impiously profained, by publike pyping, by open and lasciuious dan­cing on that day. That it is not consecra­ted [Page] as holy to the Lord, but rather kept as a feast of Bacchus and Venus. That py­ping should put downe preaching: that dancing should draw the people from their dutie: That for one person which we haue in the Church, to heare diuine seruice, ser­mons and catechisme, euery pyper (there being many in one parish) should at the same instant, haue many hundreds on the greenes.

Our learned and late P. Martyr. comment. in Iudic: 21, 19 21, fol. 177 Simler. com­ment: n Exod: 20, 8 diuines doe teach, that the virgines of Israel giuing themselues to dancing on their feast day, did thereby abuse it. And that it was no maruaile, if at the same time, they were all ranished for the punishment of that their sinne. Gregory Nazianzen Orat: in Christi natruit. paulo p [...]st [...]i­tium. exhor­ted his people to celebrate their feastes di­uinely, and not by dancing. And Contra [...]. orat. z prope finem. ac­counteth the vse of it, and such like things, an hethenish maner of celebrating feastes. Isidor Clarius Apud Da­d [...]ae. loc: com [...] tit: [...]estus dies. thought that gam­sters, players, and dancers, sinned more haynously, and should be punished more g [...]sly, then he who gathered stickes, and [...] the [...]wes who gathered manna on that day. Augustine taught In psal: 32 [...]onc: 1, In solitrac [...]: 3 De decem chord: cap: [...] that it was better for men to dig and delue, and [Page] for women to card and spin, then to dance wantonly on the Sabboth, which he ment not of the Iewish Sabboth onely, but also of the Christian Sabboth, because in the same places he exhorted christiās to keepe their sabboth spiritually, end not carnally as the Iewes did by idlenes and dancing. The councell of Toledo, Toletan. corcil. 3. 1. Canon. 22. forbad that custome of the common people on their ho­ly daies: And charged Priests and Iud­ges to suppresse that bad custome in all their prouinces. Leo 4. with 67. Bishops in a Synode at Rome, decreed Can. 35. Vides Flac. Illy [...]is. catalog test. verit. in Leo 4 that priests should admonish men and women, not to gather companies together on their holy daies, after the maner of Pagans to dance and sing filthie songs. And that those who were admonished, and would not cease, should be suspended from the Communion.

Yet the greatest part of our people, spend more then the one halfe of the Sab­both, in as wanton and lasciuious dancing as euer was vsed by any.

The ancient Christians would not cele­brate the solemne daies of the Emperour, with bone-fires, publike dancings, and drinkings. And were defended Verae re­ligionis homi­nes etiam so­lennia eorum, conscientia po­tius, quàm las­ciuia celebrāt. &c. Siccine exprimitur publicum gau­dium pet pub­licum dede­cus: haeccine solen es dies principium de­cent, quae alios dies non de­cent Apolo­get, cap. 35. by [Page] Tertullian for that their refusall: be­cause they would celebrate those daies rather by conscience, then by wan­tonnes: because that were to ex­presse a publike ioy by a publike shame. And those things which were not seemely on other daies, were not seemely on the Emperours solemne daies. Chrysostome Sozom. hist l. 8, c: 20. would not suffer the people to set vp the image of the Empresse, with publicke dancings and stage-playes. Neither would In Genes. 24, homil: 47 in [...], & ho­mil. 55. mino. he tol­lerate any pyping and dancings at wed­dings. The councell of Laodicia Can. 53, 54. for­bad dancing at weddings, and enioyned Cleargie men to depart from meetings where it was vsed. Yet our people iudge it an honest and lawfull keeping of the Lords Sabboth, to pype and dance all the after­noone.

And who are greater maintainers of this impietie, then our recusants and new communicants. Their purses are euer open for the [...]yring of the pyper, their children and seruants, alwaies ready to dance after him, and themselues seldome fayle to be spectators. By this meanes they keepe the people from the Church, and so continue [Page] them in their popery and ignorance.

Though we often preach against this abuse, though we let them knowe that the best learned in the Romish Church, Ludou. v [...]ues de insti­tut. faem. lib. 1. c. 11. Catech. Rom part 3. cap. 7. p. 351. Iudolph de vita christi. part. [...]. c. 66. A. Tho Aqu [...]. Hugo cardio. Ferus. in Math 14. Iansen, con­cord. euangel. cap: 59. haue condemned it as a tricke of wanton­nes, as a prouocation to lust, as a breach of the seuenth commandement, and an exer­cise Polydor vitgil: de in­uent: lib 5. c: 2, & [...], 8, Vaux. catech. cap: 3 vnfit for the Sabboth, yet stur­do canimus, They will not forbeare it, because they are not restrained by autho­ritie. Augustine witnesseth, N [...]tum ist omnibus, nugaces & tur­pes saltationes ab episeopis solere compes­ci. Contr: epist. Parmen: lib: 3 cap: 6. that the Bishops of his time were accustomed to suppresse such vaine and filthie dan­cings. As your Lor: doth treade in their steps, by painefull preaching: so if you would imitate them, by reforming this great disorder, you might greatly further the fruit of our ministery.

The papists of our time and countrey, doe esteeme so little of the authoritie of the Canonicall scriptures, and ascribe so much to humane writings, that though we proue our doctrine by most pregnant places of scripture, yet they will not beleeue it, vn­les they be assured that the old Fathers, and their owne late writers haue taught the same. Therein dissenting from the ancient Fathers, who would try and [Page] Hiero. nim. epist. Tranquilin Augustin. c­piss: 19, & cō ▪ Crescon. lib. 2 cap. 31, 32 Dionys. Alex­andr. apud. En­seb. hist. lib. 7 cap. 23. iudge of mens words and writings by the Canonicall scriptures: but would not iudge of the doctrine of the scriptures by humane writings.

I haue therefore added vnto the ser­mons, a Post-script to papists, to let them vnderstand, that what we preach in the pulpit against them; is not onely warran­ted by the diuine scriptures, but is also witnessed by the fathers, and some of their owne Church. And therefore if they con­demne Quis te non videat in me apertum iacta­ [...]e conuitium, de illis occul­tum quidem; sed tamen si­mile babere iudicium. contr. Julian. lib. 1. cap. 2. vs as heretikes for teaching such doctrine, we may say to them, as Au­gustine said to Iulian the Pelagian, condemning him for teaching the same doctrine, touching originall sinne, which other Fathers taught. Who seeth not, that openly you condeme vs, and secretly you condemne them, yet haue you the same iudgement both of them and vs.

These sermons, together with the Post­script, I now offer vnto your Lordship: not as if the matter of them were worthy your reading: but rather that they be­ing approued by your iudgement, and pro­tected by your authoritie, may better e­scape the spitefull censures of enuious and [Page] superstitious persons. As also that I might thereby testifie my thankefulnes to your Lordship, who not onely from time to time haue much countenanced, and greatly furthered my poore ministerie in these backeward partes: but also of late, consi­dering my long labours, and small meanes of maintenance, did procure the continu­ance of that Pension, which was graunted vnto me by the royall gift of two famous Princes: when as some vpon stinister pre­tences, and by indirect meanes went about to abridge me of a great part thereof.

Thus presuming of a pardon for this my boldnes, I humbly commit your Lord­ship to the mercifull protection of Almigh­tie God: who long continue your health and happie estate, and make you a blessed instrument of much good vnto his church.

Your Lordships in all dutie to be commanded, WILLIAM HARRISON.

THE DIFFE­RENCE OF HEARERS. Or an exposition of the pa­rable of the Sower.

Luk. 8. vers. 11. 12.

11. The parable is this. The seede is the word of God.

12. And they that are beside the way, are they that heare: afterward commeth the diuell, and taketh the word out of their hearts, least they should beleeue and be saued, &c.

CHrist Iesus our blessed Sauiour, did no sooner begin to preach the Gospell, but had many hearers. With such authoritie did he teach, such excellent and profitable doctrine did he deliuer, such admirable miracles did he worke, to confirme his doctrine, and [Page 2] such great fame of him was spread a­broad, that all people were willing and desirous to heare his sermons: yea all manner of persons out of all coastes and quarters of the land, flocked vnto him in great multitudes. Wherevpon he not onely taking a view of their num­ber, but also duly considering their dis­position, how al of them came not with same intent and purpose, how all of them were not alike qualified for pro­fitable hearing, and how all of them, should not receiue the same benefit by hearing of him: he propounded a para­ble, of a sower of corne, to declare the diuersitie of hearers, who be vnprofita­ble, who be profitable hearers. Lest any should imagine, that by any kind of hearing, they might be saued, he lets them vnderstand, that there be bad hearers as well as good. And because many of them were husbandmen, who liued by tilling and sowing of land; and all of them were well acquainted with matters of that nature, for their better capacitie he fetched his similitude from husbandry.

This parable is first propounded, [Page 3] then expounded; propounded in the 5. 6. 7. 8. verses of this chapter: where­of I forbeare to speake, because the doctrines thereof, may be better con­sidered in the exposition.

It pleased Christ for the instruction of his disciples, and for the edification of his Church in future ages, to ex­pound this parable. And it is the first parable which wee find penned with his exposition. The occasion of the ex­position is set downe in the two verses immediately going before: namely a question moued by the Apostles, what should be the meaning of it. And a rea­son rendred by Christ why he would explane it to them, and not to others, because it was giuen to them to knowe the mysteries of the kingdome of God, but not to others.

Now in the verses following, is con­teyned the matter of the exposition, which is double: the former respects the seede: the later respects the ground: The seede saith Christ, is the word of God.

The ground was of foure kinds, and signifieth 4. sorts of hearers.

[Page 4] 1. The first kind of ground was the high way. What hearers are signifi­ed thereby, is declared here, vers. 12. and more may be supplied out of Math. 13. 19. touching whom we may obserue 2. things, 1. the manner of their hearing, 2. the issue and euent of their hearing: 1. the manner of their hearing is not here expressed, yet is mentioned, Math. 13. 19. they heare and vnderstand not.

2. The issue and euent of their hea­ring: which is set forth by the diuells practise and behauiour toward them. And that is described, 1. by the man­ner, 2. by the end of it, 1. by the man­ner of it; for he is said to come and take the word out of their hearts, 2. by the end, wherefore he doth so, which is double, he doth it to preuent 2. things which they might receiue by hearing, the one being subordinate to the other, the former being a meane of the later, and the later being a reward of the for­mer: the one is, least they should be­lieue: the later is, least they should be saued.

2. The second kind of ground was [Page 5] stony: who are ment thereby, is speci­fied, vers. 13. Another sort of vnprofita­ble hearers, who are described by 4. properties, whereof the two first, de­clare their present estate, and the two last, their future condition: 1. they re­ceiue the word with ioy: 2. they haue no rootes: 3. they belieue for a while: 4. In time of temptation they fall away.

3. The third kind of ground was thornie: which also representeth ano­ther sort of bad hearers; described vers. 14. by the causes, and by the effect or issue by the causes; for 3. things are named, which like thornes choake the seede of the word, 1. cares, 2. riches, 3. voluptuous liuing: by the effect, or issue that followeth thereupon, they bring forth no fruite.

4. The fourth and last kind of groūd, was good ground, in which the seede sprang vp and did beare fruit. That is a resemblance of good hearers, as appea­reth, vers. 15. And those are described by 3. properties: 1. by the manner of their hearing: they heare with an honest and good hart: 2. by their keeping of it af­ter they haue heard it: 3. by their fruit­fulnes. [Page 6] And that is amplified 2. waies, 1. by the maner of it, heare, with patience: 2. by the measure and varietie of it: some bring forth more, some lesse, in Math. 13. 23. Mar. 4. 20. some thirty, some six­tie, some an hundred fold.

1. To begin first with the first, and so to proceed in order to the rest, Christ sheweth what is ment by the seede, when he saith the seede is the word of God. By which tytle is plainely mani­fested the vertue, force and efficacie of Gods word. As seede is the beginning and cause of all the fruit afterward rea­ped, so is the word the beginning and cause of all goodnes in vs; euen of all grace in the heart, of all good words in the mouth, and of all obedience in the life. And as good seede if it be well sowne in a fertile soyle, will yeeld fruit, so the word being well taught to ca­pable and docible persons, wil produce some good fruit, for the glory of God, and for their comfort and saluation. The word is resembled to many things in regard of the power and vertue of it: As to an hammer that will bruse vs: to Ier. 23. 29. a fire, that will either purge or consume [Page 7] vs: to a light that will direct vs: to salt Psal. 119. 105. Mat. 5. 13. Ephes. 6. 17. 1. Pet. 1. 23. 1. Pet. 2. 2. Eccles. 12. [...]1. that will season vs: to a sword, that will defend vs: to seede that will beget vs: to foode that will nourish vs: to goades that will pricke vs forward: so also to seede that being sowne, wil yeeld plen­tie of fruit, because of it owne nature through Gods ordinance and blessing, it will prouoke people to obedience. If therefore you receiue it, and doe not beare fruit, the fault is in you, and not in it: you are but barren soyle, vnwor­thy of such seede. Moreouer, it is to be obserued, that Christ compareth the word to seede that is sowne: for in the propounding of the parable, he said the sower went out to sowe his seede: and now Vers. 5. he saith the seede is the word: meaning the seede sowne. Mathew saith, that the Math. 13. 19. Mar. 4. 14. diuell catcheth away the word sowne in the heart. And Marke saith, that the sower soweth the word. And therefore it must needs be vnderstood of the word prea­ched. The word of God as it is written in the scriptures, and conteyned in the bookes of the old and new testament, is good seede indeed: yet it is as seede in the barne vnthrashed, or as seede laid [Page 8] vp in the garner: but the word read and expounded, preached and applyed to Gods people, is as seede sowne in a field. And preachers be the sowers of it: for albeit Christ doth not expresly declare who be the sowers, yet that is apparant from other circumstances: for if the word be the seede sowne, then they who preach the word are the sow­ers. And if they who heare the word taught, be the ground in which the seede is sowne: then the persons who teach them, and whom they heare, are the sowers. So Christ by preaching the word, was a sower, yea the chiefest of all others: the ground was his, the seede was his, & he like a good husbandman, with his owne hands, did sowe his own seede in his owne field. So the Apostles Athanas. de sement. were likewise sowers. Christ was a sower to the Iewes onely, they also to the gentiles: he in the little field of Iu­dea, they in the large field of the whole world. Wherfore S. Paul said, If we haue 1. Cor. 9. 11. 1. Cor. 3. 9. sowne vnto you spirituall things, is it a great thing if we reape your carnall things? as al­so, we together are Gods labourers, ye are Gods husbandry. And so all those who [Page 9] preach the same word which they did, are sowers: for as the sower filleth his hand with seede, and casteth it abroad among the furrowes of the field, not setting it seede by seede, or choosing a peculiar place for euery seede, but lets it lye as it lighteth: So the preacher dis­perseth and dispenseth the word in a mixt people, not able to giue it successe, but as it pleaseth God to giue a bles­sing, and as the hearts of the hearers are prepared for it.

Hence then wee may learne the ne­cessitie of preaching, no sowing, no rea­ping. As you cannot in any field reape a crop of corne at haruest, vnles it were sowne with good seede at the seede time, no more can any fruits of grace, or any good works, bee found in the Church, or children of God, vnlesse the seede of the worde bee sowne among them. Indeed there may be sometimes good sowing, and little good fruit to be reaped. As the Lord did all that could Esai. 5. 4. Luk. 13. 7 bee done to his Vineyard, and yet it brought forth nothing but wild grapes: but if there be no sowing, it is impossi­ble to gather any fruit at all: Christ [Page 10] therefore sayd; Except the wheat corne Ioh. 12. 24. fall into the ground, it abideth alone. Our hearts are the ground, they must be sowne with the seede of Gods worde, otherwise they will bee altogether bar­ren, or else bring forth nothing but bri­ars and brambles, thornes and thistles. Experience may verifie this. Looke in­to those places and Parishes where the worde is neuer taught, or to those persons who will not heare, though they might; and you shall find nothing among them, but Atheisme, Popery, and prophanenesse. Yet in those places where it is taught and heard, wee may finde the frutes of holinesse and righte­ousnesse: If not among all, yet among many.

The consideration whereof should mooue the Ministers of the Gospell, to Use. 1. bee instant in season and out of season; as Paul exhorteth them: The lesse they preach, the lesse shall they profite the people. The more seede they cast into the furrowes of the peoples hearts, the greater plenty of fruit may they expect. We should follow Salomons aduise, who Eccle. 11. 6. sayth; In the morning sow thy seede, and in [Page 11] the euening let not thy hand rest: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, this or that, or whether both shall bee alike good. What shall wee answere to the Lord our Mai­ster, and owner of the fielde, if through our negligence in sowing, his fielde of the Church yeelde him not such store of fruit, as otherwise it might haue done?

And you people should likewise ap­ply Use. 2. this to your selues, and learne from hence to heare often. If you contemne the word, & will not suffer your hearts to bee sowne with the seede of it, you shall bring forth no good fruit, but re­maine as a barren Heath. Doe you not remember what the Apostle saith; That Heb. 6. 8. the ground which beareth thornes and bryars is reprooued, and is neere vnto cursing, whose ende is to bee burned. Fearefull is their case, who are such ground: yet no better can they bee who refuse to heare. As you are con­tent to haue your fieldes sowne yeere­ly, that so you may reape a croppe at Haruest: So must you bee content to haue your hearts cōtinually sowne with this heauenlie seede, that so you may [Page 12] be fruitfull in all grace and godlines, though your fields be sowne but once a yeare, yet must your hearts be sowne continually, because you should yeeld and beare fruit continually. As we are content to bestowe our paines in sow­ing this seede continually (though it be as toylesome a labour as you finde in your seede-time) so be ye willing and readie to receiue this seede into the furrowes of your hearts continu­ally, that so you may from time to time, abound in fruit, for Gods glory, and your owne comfort. But whose word is it, that is this spirituall seede? It is not the word of Angell or of man, but the word of God. This seede did Christ sowe, and none else. And therefore he Ioh. 7. 16. said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. As my Father hath taught me, so I speake. This seede did the Apostles sow, Ioh. 8. 28. & none else. For when Christ sent them abroad, he bad them teach all Nations Mat. 28. 20. to obserue all things, which he had com­manded them. All those thinges must be taught, yet nothing else. And lest they should forget what those things were, hee promised to send the Holy Ghost, [Page 13] who should bring all thinges to their remem­brance, Ioh. 13. 26. Ioh. 16. 13. which he had told them: who should lead them into all trueth: Because (as hee sayd) hee shall not speake of himselfe: but whatsoeuer he shall heare, that shall he speake. And so carefull were the Apostles to sow this seede onely, as they did confi­dently protest, that they receiued of the 1 Cor. 11. 23. Gal. [...]. 8. 9. Lord, that which they deliuered to their hea­rers. And if they, or an Angell from hea­uen, or any man, preach otherwise then they had receiued, let him be accursed. And no other seed must we sow, if we will make the people fruitfull. Christ and his Mi­nisters sow none but good seede in his field: If bad seede, as Tares or Cockle Mat. 13. 24. 25. be sowne, it is done by the enuious man, the Diuell and his instruments. As there be doctrines of God, so there bee doc­trines of Diuels: namely errors and he­resies: those be as tares among wheate, and doe greatly hinder the fruitfulnesse of the good seede. There be also doc­trines of men, as the inuentions of their owne heads, vnwritten verities, De­crees of Popes, Canons of Counsels, traditions of the Church, which wan­ting the warrant of Gods word, are but [Page 14] as chaffe to the wheate: and beeing taught in the Church, will yeeld no Ier. 23. 28 more fruit, then chaffe that is sowne in a field. Vnder the Lawe, God woulde not permit the Iewes to sow the same Leuit. 19. 19. field with mingled seede: And shall we thinke, that now vnder the Gospell, he will permitte vs to teach for doctrines See post­script. Sect. 3. mens traditions, to mingle trueth with error, and his diuine Oracles with hu­mane inuentions?

Wee therefore that bee sowers, must see that our seed be good. As the Hus­band-man Use. 1. against seed-time, will not onely prouide good seede, but will also winnow it, fanne it, and try it, that so he may neither sow chaffe, nor light corne, nor darnell; but pure graine, which is like to fructifie. So wee, be­fore wee come to the Pulpit, must try and examine our doctrine, that it bee sound; and that we deliuer nothing but that which will edifie the hearers. And because, Non omnis fert omnia tellus; Each grounde will not beare each kinde of graine. Wee must, like wise and care­full Husband-men, sow that seed which is fittest for our ground; and deliuer [Page 15] such doctrines, as are most fitting for the capacitie and present condition of the Auditorie: that will yeeld the best encrease.

And you Christian people, as you Use. 2. must take heede how you heare, so also take heede what you heare. It is the word of God, not the word of the Di­uell: It is the word of Christ, not the word of Antichrist, that must make you fruitfull. As you haue great care, that your ground be sowne with sound and cleane seede: so be carefull that your soules bee instructed with sound and wholsome doctrine. Beleeue not eue­rie 1. Ioh. 4. 1 spirit; but try the spirits whether they bee of God. Despise not Prophe­sying, 1. Thes. 5. 21. Act. 17. 11. but try all things, and hold that which is good. With the Noble-men of Berea, search the Scriptures daylie, whether those thinges bee so which are taught you: What you finde contrary thereto, that reiect as tares: what is not warranted thereby, blowe away as chaffe: what is pro­ued thereby, that receiue as good seede into the furrowes of your heartes. I know the Popish Semi­naries [Page 16] will not suffer you to trye their seede, you must trust them, and take it vpon theyr word; but we allowe and require you to trye ours.

If two men offer you Seede to sowe your ground, and the one bid you trye it, and view it well, the other tell you of it, but keeps it in his sacke, you must not viewe it: whether dealing would you like better? whether seede would you receiue? If theyr seede were good, if they taught Gods worde, they would not refuse tryall.

Vers. 12.

And they that are beside the way, are they that heare.

IN the former verse you haue heard the exposition of the seede: Now see the exposition of the ground, in this verse, and the rest. There were 4. sortes of grounds mentioned, CHRIST shew­eth that by them hee meant 4. sortes of hearers: some good, some bad.

Before wee come to speake of them seuerally and particularly, we may note one thing in generall frō them all. That [Page 17] as the same seed, sowne in diuers kinds of ground, doth not fructify in all alike: in some, it yeeldes little or no fruite at all; in some, both good and plentifull fruit. So the same doctrine taught to diuers people, doth not profit all alike. It may profit some nothing at all: others verie much. Though seed bee neuer so good, yet badnes of ground may spoyle it, and cause the sower to lose both la­bour and cost. Euen so, though the doctrine wee teach bee neuer so good and profitable, yet through the ill dis­position of the hearers, it may become vnfruitfull. This seede doth fructify, or not fructify; according to the qualitie & disposition of the ground into which it is cast. If the ground be bad, the seed perisheth; if the ground be good, it en­creaseth. And because some mens hearts be as a barren ground, and other mens harts be as a fertile soile: in some it yeel­deth no fruit at all, in some it yeeldeth great abundance. This difference may by seene in each mixt company and po­pulous congregation, to which wee preach. It was found among Christs hea­rers, it was founde among the Apostles [Page 18] hearers, and may also be found among ours. The consideration whereof, serues for the instruction both of Preachers & people: 1. Of Preachers, to comfort them, and to encourage them in their labours, when they see them vnprofita­ble vnto a great number. Christ spake this Parable, especially of him selfe and of his hearers: He taught the true word of God, & in the best maner that might be, yet did he not profite all his hearers; he had 4. sorts, whereof three were vn­profitable, one onely was profitable. The Disciple must not be better then his Master: if hee be no worse, let him be well content. It doeth not a little grieue the Ministers of the Gospell, to take great paines in teaching the truth, and that in a good manner, and yet see most of their hearers to receiue little or no profit at all; but still remaine, after many yeares teaching, as ignorant, as Non semi­nantis sed suscipient is cul [...]a. Chrys. in Mat. 13. hom. 45. Popish, and prophane, as they were at the first: Yet let them not be dismayed, it was Christs owne case; the fault is in the hearers not in the teachers. God wil reward thee for thy paineful preaching, though few doe profit by it. Let not [Page 13] their fault hinder vs in our dutie, but let vs instruct with meeknesse them that be 2. Tim. 2. 25. contrarie minded, prouing if any time God will giue them repentance: They who be vnprofitable hearers now, may proue profitable hereafter. Till the time of bearing fruit doe come, wee know not which will proue good ground, which will proue bad.

2. This also serueth for the instruction of hearers Seeing that these 3. kinds of bad grounds do paint out 3. sorts of bad hearers, who neuer receiue profite to their soules by the word which they heare: You must know, that you may be receiuers of this heauenly seede: You may be hearers of Gods most holy word, and yet be neuer the better for it, neuer come to heauen by it. Three parts of Christs hearers were bad, as ap­peareth by this Parable: And he telleth vs that many shall say; Wee haue eaten Luk. 13. 26. and drunke in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streetes: but he shall say. I know you not, depart from mee all yee workers of iniquitie. And the Apostle saith: We are 2. Cor. 2. 16. to some, the sauour of death vnto death: and vnto others, the sweete sauour of life vnto life. [Page 20] Euery kinde of hearing will not saue your soules. It must be good and pro­fitable hearing, with good hearts, to vn­derstand, beleeue, and obey what you heare: Yea, not onely they, who wil­fully refuse to heare, but likewise they, who heare vnprofitably, stall bee dam­ned. And therefore as Christ after­ward exhorteth you in this Chapter; Take heede how you heare. As many seeke Verse. 18. and find not, because they seeke amisse: Many runne, and obtaine not, because they runne amisse: Many aske, and re­ceiue not, because they aske amisse: So many doe heare, and profite not, be­cause they heare amisse.

Some imagine, that if they be no Re­cusants, if they be no prophane contem­ners of the Word and Sacraments; but repayre to the Church euery Sabboth day, & heare diuine Seruice & Sermons orderly, as by Law they are enioyned, they are good Christians, & sure to bee saued: But let thē know, that they may do all these things, & yet not be saued: They may offend in the manner of their hearing, and then their case will be no better then if they heard not at all.

[Page 21] The Diuell is very subtill, and this is one of his subtilties, whereby he decei­ueth many people to their perdition: First, he labours by all meanes, if it be possible, to keepe them from hearing, because he knows it is Gods ordinance, and is afrayde least it bee powerfull in them: But if hee cannot keepe them backe from hearing, he deceiueth them with this conceit; that any kind of for­mall hearing will serue their turne. But do not herein beleeue the father of lies: beleeue Christ, who is the way, the life, and the trueth: He tels you, that there be 3. sorts of hearers which shall not be saued; onely one sort among 4. shalbe saued. And therefore examine your selues what kinde of hearers you bee: and doe not cortent your selues with that hearing that shall not edifie your soules.

Now let vs come to the seuerall kinds in particular: And first, let vs see who are they which receiue the seede on the high-way. Some hearers are compared to such ground. You know that if Land lye by the high-way side, or an high-way lye through the mid­dest [Page 22] of a plowed field, some seede in the sowing wil fall on the high-way, and so be lost. Therevnto are some hearers compared, and that very fitly: For first, as the high-way is not kept seuerall and priuate, but lyeth open and common to all trauellers and passengers; so these mens hearts are not enclosed and kept seuerall for heauenly things, but lye o­pen to all tentations and suggestions of the Diuell, to all inticements of the world, and to all idle thoughts & vaine imaginations, and that in the time of hearing. Againe, as the high-way is so troden and trampled by the feet of pas­sengers, that it cannot couer the seede, or if it shoulde couer the seede, yet the trampling will so harden the soyle, as the seede can neuer sproute: So these mens hearts are so hardened by wande­ring thoughts, both in, and immediate­lie after hearing, as the word cannot en­ter, or at least, cannot take any rooting in their hearts. And as corne sowne in the high-way, will neuer yeelde croppe like other ground, so these hearers will neuer yeelde such fruit of the worde as Mat. 13. 19. others doe. But who are these? Mathew [Page 23] sets downe one propertie of them, and Luke another. Mathew saith; They are such as heare, and vnderstand not.

There be 2. sorts of hearers who vn­derstād not the word. 1 Some through naturall infirmitie, & through defect of capacity, conceipt, vnderstāding, & me­morie. If these naturall faculties be not perfit, they cannot possibly vnderstand the word which they heare: but of these Christ doth not heare speake: this is ra­ther an infirmitie then a fault, rather a punishment of sin, then sin it selfe. God may beare with their weaknes; especi­ally if their mind and vnderstanding be as weak in apprehending worldly mat­ters, as it is in diume: If they vnder­stand the fundamentall grounds of Re­ligion: If they mislike this their infirmi­tie, & desire to haue it redressed: If they haue a care, according to their small ca­pacity, to encrease in knowledge: And if they frame their liues according to the measure of knowledge which they haue receiued.

2. Some vnderstand not the word, through negligence, carelesnes & con­tempt: who heare the word, but heed [Page 24] it not, regard it not, marke it not, care not much for it, let it passe as it cōmeth, and are thinking of some other matter, while they should attend to it; who are so farre from laying it deepe in their See Beza. annot. ma­ior in Mat 13. 19. hearts, as they will not suffer it long to continue in their heads.

Of these persons doth Christ heere speake: for he noteth it as a great fault in them, and opposeth them to those, who receiue the word with ioy. And fitly are they resembled to the high way, as before was declared. This kind of hearers is not wanting in these daies; who marke, and vnderstand little or nothing of that we speake, though wee speake neuer so plainely. If they heare a long discourse of worldly matters, they giue attentiue eares, can carry it away, & repeat it to others: but let them heare a poynt of necessarie doctrine, on an ar­ticle of their faith discussed, they con­ceiue little, and afterwards can rehearse nothing at all: So that in them is fulfil­led that Prophecie of Esay, applyed by Christ to the obstinate Iewes: By hea­ring, Mat. 13. 14. they heare & vnderstand note by seing, they see, & perceiue not. Let them [Page 25] know, that their hearing shall not pro­fit them, vnles they vnderstand. Indeed there be some, who vnderstand what they heare, & yet shall reape no benefit by it: yet is there not any, who shal haue any cōmodity by that which he heares and vnderstands not. Wherefore we must say to them, as Christ said to the multitude: heare and vnderstand: you Math. 15. 10. loose your labour in hearing if you vn­derstand not. The Eunuch thought it impossible for him to vnderstand the scripture he reade, without a guide: yet Act. 8. 31. thereby implyed, that if he had a guide, he could vnderstand. Our people haue such guides, and yet many of them vn­derstand little. If one aske them the meaning of a text, which they heard lately and learnedly, pithily and plainly expounded, they cannot tell the sense of it. If one aske their opinion touch­ing a point of doctrine lately taught them, they are not able to speake any thing of it: which declareth that they vnderstood it not: and so they proue themselues to be no good hearers.

Some say they are not learned, they are of a dull capacitie, yet they haue [Page 26] a good meaning, and as good an heart, as those who vnderstand most: they hope God will beare with them, and accept of their good meaning, when as they should rather accuse themselues of negligence. If they did duly prepare themselues, and carefully attend, they might vnderstād much more then they do. But let them first know, that though they be not learned, and cannot reade, yet ought they, and may be able, to vn­derstand, for God hath furnished prea­chers with learning, and appoynted them so to explane the word, that the simple may vnderstand it. Euen as Ezra and the Leuites, reade the booke of the lawe Neh: 8. 8. distinctly, and gaue the sense, and caused the people to vnderstand it. Though thou be not able to vnderstand the word of thy selfe, yet may [...]st thou be made able by them: yea and shalt be made able to vn­derstand the most necessatie points of saluation, before thou canst be made fit for heauen: yea many of the most neces­sarie points are so easie of themselues, that thou may vnderstand them at the first hearing, if thou wilt carefully marke them.

[Page 27] The entrance into Gods word shew­eth Psal. 1 [...]. 13. light, and giueth vnderstanding to the simple. And therefore if thou vnderstand not, thou should rather blame thy selfe for want of attention, then for want of capacitie or learning. Againe, know this, that God will neuer accept of thy good meaning, nor of thy good heart, vnles thou d oin some competent mea­sure vnderstand his word; for it is the word rightly vnderstood, that must di­rect thy good meaning, and correct thy heart: thou maist thinke thy meaning is good, and thy heart good, when both be naught: as indeed they are, if thou vnderstand not the word aright. And how should God accept of thy good meaning, voyd of vnderstanding? It is but the sacrifice of fooles: blindnes was a blemish, which made beastes vnfit for sacrifice. And doest thou thinke God will accept thy blind deuotion? deceiue not thy owne soule herein, but seeke for vnderstanding. There be some that be desirous to vnderstand what they heare, and it may be, would gladly knowe how they may be able: I would aduise them to doe these 6. things.

[Page 28] 1. Let them prepare themselues be­fore they come to heare. As we must prepare our selues before we pray, if we will not pray vainely, and as we must prepare our selues before we come to the Sacrament, if we will not receiue it vnworthily, so must wee prepare our selues before we heare, if we will not heare vnprofitably. The husbandman prepares his ground by plowing it be­fore he sowe it. If thou goe rashly to heare without preparation, thou shalt yeeld no more fruit then a field that is sowne before it be plowed. Thou maist prepare thy selfe by considering before hand, that the word which thou goest to heare, is not the word of a mortall man, but the word of the euerliuing God: that not man onely speakes vnto thee, but that God speaketh vnto thee, in and by the man. That the word is the power of God to saluation, that one day thou must giue account to God for thy hearing. If thou doest seriously con­sider these things before hand, they will prepare thee, to heare with more reuerence and vnderstanding. Againe, prepare thy selfe by vnfained humilia­tion [Page 29] for thy former sinnes; least God for the punishment of them, should blind thy vnderstanding when thou hearest. Likewise prepare thy selfe, by renewing thy faith, in the truth of Gods word, and of his promises, know­ing that the word, will not profit the Heb. 4. 2. hearers, vnles it be mixed with faith.

2. Pray earnestly vnto the Lord, that he would enlighten thy minde by his holy spirit, for the naturall man per­ceiueth 1. Cor. 2. 14. 1. Ioh. 2. 27. not the things of God, neither can he knowe them, because they are spiritually dis­cerned. It is that oyntment, which teach­eth vs all things. Dauid prayed often for illumination. Open mine eyes that I Psal. 119. 18 33. Col. 1. 9. 2. Tim. 2. 7. may see the wonders of thy lawe. Teach me ô Lord, the way of thy statutes, and I will keepe it vnto the end. Paul prayed for it, to be bestowed on others. As for the Colossians, that they might be fulfilled with all knowledge, in wisedome and spirituall vnderstanding. And for Timo­thie, to whom he thus wrote, Consider what I say, and the Lord giue thee vnder­standing in all things. Much more should we pray to obtaine it for our selues. It is the Lords gift, beg it of him by pray­er, [Page 30] the more dull os capacitie you are by nature, the more earnestly and the oftner should you pray to God, that by grace he may make a supply of that, which you want by nature. This is one reason why many heare and heede not, and vnderstand not, euen because they will not pray before they heare. Iames saith, If any man lacke wisedome, let Iam. 1. 5. him aske of God, and it shall be giuen him. So if you want vnderstāding, aske it of God, and it shall be giuen you.

3. Exercise your selues daily, in rea­ding the word, in meditating of it, in conferring and talking of it. Dauid said, I haue had more vnderstanding then all Psal. 119. 99. my teachers, for thy testimonies are my meditation. The Apostle said, that men of age, to whom strong meate belon­geth, through long custome haue their wits Heb. 5. 14. exercised, to discerne both good and euill. If you will often reade the scriptures, or heare others reade them, you shall be better able to vnderstand thē when you beare them expounded, & better carry away the doctrine drawne from them.

4. Attend diligently to that which is deliuered, marke and consider it, thinke [Page 31] then on that onely, and nothing else. Euen as the people gaue heede vnto those Act. 3. 6. Act. 16. 14. things which Phillip spake. And as Lidia, whē God had opened his hart, attended vnto the things which Paul spake. This is wanting in many, and therefore they vnderstād not: for no attention, no vn­derstanding. Paul long agoe forbad 1. Tim. 1. 4. Tit. 1. 14. men to giue heede to fables, yet is it now practised by diuers. If a man tell a winter tale, a fayned fable, or a merry iest, many listen very attentiuely vnto him, marke it well, and will talke of it afterward: but when the preacher spea­keth of heauenly matters, which tend to the saluation of mens soules, he is heeded by a few: which persōs are like the Athenians, who regarded not De­mosthenes Plutarch in De­mosth: when he spake of matters for the welfare of their citie: but listened well vnto him, when he told thē a tale of a contention about an asses shadow, betwixt the owner and hyrer of the asse. You must know, that you cannot vnderstand, vnles you doe carefully at­tend, and expell all other by-thoughts out of your mindes. And that you Luke. 4. 20. may the better attend, you must as [Page 32] Christs hearers did, fixe and fasten your eyes on the preacher: lest gazing on other things, your eyes withdraw your minde from the doctrine deliuered. And if your bodies growe drowsie and sleepie, sit not long, but stand on your feete. Euen as that worthy and Christi­an Emperour Constantine the great, vsed Suseb. de vit a con­stant. lib. 4. Cap. 33. to do, who for reuerence to the word, and for his better attention, could not be perswaded to sit downe, but would most commonly stand at sermons.

5. When you vnderstand not a point, aske them which be learned and do vn­derstand it: This was the vsuall practise of the Apostles, when they vnderstood Math. 15. 15. not the meaning of this parable, they asked Christ and he told them: when they vnderstood not his doctrine, of the things which defile a man, they as­ked him, and he made them to vnder­stand it. Be not you therefore ashamed to aske, you shall find many readie to resolue you: if you will aske, what you cannot vnderstand of your selues, and at the first bearing, you may afterward vnderstand by asking of them.

6. Lastly, be careful to practise, what [Page 33] you doe alreadie knowe and vnder­stand; then shall you be able to vnder­stād more afterward: for as Dauid saith, The feare of the Lord is the beginning of wisedome, all they that obserue them, haue Psal. 111. 10. Ioh. 7. 17. good vnderstanding. And Christ said, If any man doe the will of my father, he shall knowe of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speake of my selfe. Obedience is the key of knowledge. If men sinne against their own knowledge and con­science, the Lord in iudgement blin­deth their mindes, and hardeneth their hearts, that they shall vnderstand lesse afterward, and lesse regard what they heare. So contrariwise, he in his mercy will reward former obedience, with future illumination. The seruant who hid his talent, lost it, but he who em­ployed his talents, had them multi­plyed.

Whosoeuer will obserue these rules shall hereafter vnderstand, and pro­fite more by one sermon, then hee hath done by many sermons in times past.

The second propertie in the first kind of hearers, is set forth by the issue [Page 34] and euent that falles out at his hearing: The diuell comes and takes the word from him. The former propertie came from himselfe, this from the diuell.

In this behauiour of the diuell, to­ward these hearers, wee may note 2. things. 1. his presence: 2. his practise.

1. His presence, in that he is said to come, he commeth to the persons that doe heare, and to the places where they heare. Though here it be translated (afterward) commeth the diuell: yet it might be translated, then commeth the diuell. Marke saith, that Sathan com­meth Mar. 4. 15. immediately, to wit, as soone as they haue heard, and before they goe away from the place, as well as after­ward. Euen as fowles come to the field that is sowne, so will the diuell come to the persons that heare, and to the places where they heare. This is to be considered, because it is not simply said, the diuell taketh the word: but all three Euangelists adde this, he com­meth. And this not onely teacheth vs, Tellet. in Luk. 8. annot. 26. as some haue obserued, that the diuell is out of vs, is not alwaies present; is sometime neere, sometime a farre off: [Page 35] sometime tempteth, sometime temp­teth not. But likewise that he neither feareth the persons that heare Gods word, nor the place where they heare it. He came to Adam and Eue while Iob. 1. 6. they were in Paradise, he came and stood before the Lord, among the chil­dren of God: that is, the holy Angells. He approached neere to Christs most Math. 4. 5. 8. holy body, and carried it from one place to another. We must not there­fore thinke it strange, that he dare come among them, that meete together for the hearing of Gods word, and into Churches which be consecrated and dedicated for the worship of the Lord. Papists imagine that the ringing of consecrated bells, will driue him away: And that permanent crosses of mettall and wood, and transient crosses made on the forhead with their fingers, will put him to flight. Let them shew why he should be more afraid of these, then of Christs body? haue they more holi­nes, or more vertue in them, thē Christs body had?

Seeing the diuell comes to hearers, let vs before we heare, and afterward [Page 36] we haue heard, arme our selues against him.

2. The diuels practise, he taketh the word out of their hearts: The heart is not here taken strictly and properly, but generally, for the minde and affections: yet cannot the diuell immediately, di­rectly, & by himselfe, worke vpon the soule or heart of man, that belongeth onely vnto God, who alone is the sear­cher of the heart. The diuell worketh immediately, indirectly, & by meanes euen by externall obiects, outward senses, and corporall phantasies; he ta­keth the word out of the hart, by inter­rupting the phantasie, and making it vnfit to conuey any thing to the vnder­standing or to the heart: and by con­ueying other thoughts into the heart, and turning the minde another way, so as it shall no longer affect the word, nor thinke of it any more. Neither can he take it by violence, without their li­king, that heard it: but with their con­sent, he taketh it onely from them who were careles hearers, who neuer suffe­red it to sinke deepe into their hearts; but being like to the high way side, did [Page 37] not couer it with the moyst mouldes of holy affections: yea he taketh it from those who neuer had any great loue vn­to it, and therefore might easily be per­swaded to let him take it.

In regard of this his practise, Christ in the propounding of the parable, compared him to the fowles of the ayre, because as they will follow the sower, and will picke vp that, which lyes by the high way side, or any other place vncouered: so the diuell haun­teth the assemblies, where the word is preached, that he may take from the hearers, that which hath bene taught. Yea, in this respect the diuell is farre worse then any fowles; They eate the seede of necessitie, because they want other foode to nourish them: but he of malice, he needeth it not, it doth no good to him. And therefore he taketh it away, not to doe himselfe any good thereby, but to doe them harme, from whom he taketh it. Againe, the birds are soone satisfied, and that with a litle; if they haue once eaten their fill, they flye away, and leaue the rest, though it lye vncouered; but the diuell is neuer [Page 38] satisfied till he haue picked vp euery graine that is not couered in thr bot­tome of the heart. Birds are easily kept away, or driuen away, but it is an hard matter either to keepe the diuell away, or driue him away from those that heare carelesly: till they alter the man­ner of their hearing, he will not be kept from them.

See then what an enemie the diuell is, to hinder the efficacie of Gods word in mans heart.

As the preacher laboureth to cast the word into the heart, so be to take it out. He thrusteth many euill things into the heart, he put treason into the heart of Iudas, to betray Christ: he fil­led the heart of Ananias, to lye vnto Ioh. 13. 2. Act. 5. 3. the holy Ghost. So also doth he keepe all manner of good from the heart, by the one he would make vs bad; by the other, he would hinder vs from being good.

Except it be in praying, hee doth not trouble a man so much in any bu­sines, as in hearing of Gods word, be­cause he is afraide lest man should be conuerted and saued thereby.

[Page 39] This his practise is euidently seene in many. It appeareth by the euent, that he taketh the word from many of our hearers, for when the people haue heard the preacher speake a whole houre together, and deliuer many profitable points of doctrine, and that very plainely, yet few can repeate any thing at all: many will say they like him well, he is a good man, and made a very good sermon, yet cannot tell one word that he spake. What is the reason hereof? the diuell hath taken it out of their hearts and heads.

Report to them an humane histo­rie, tell them some strange newes, or a tale for their worldly profit, or corporall health, they will keepe it well enough, and at any time, and in any company will relate it very readily: but teach them a mysterie of saluation, instruct them in a du­tie to God or man, they forget it as soone as they haue heard it: What is the cause hereof but this? the diuell knowes that the one will neuer profit their soules, nor further their salua­tion, and therefore he will not take it [Page 40] from them: he is afraid lest the other should profit their soules, and further their saluation, and therefore he labours to depriue them of it.

If a man put coyne in a chest, and wares in a chamber, and within a while come and finde none there, he will say, a thiefe hath bene there. So if people heare much, and keepe little or no­thing, it is certaine the diuell hath bene there, to steale it out of their he [...]ts.

This should teach euery one of vs that be hearers, to looke well to our selues, and carefully to keepe that which we haue heard. The diuell will doe what he can to depriue vs of it. If he cannot keepe thee from hearing, he will (if he can) rob thee of that which thou hast heard. If thou be carelesse in keeping, he will be sure to take all from thee. You knowe, that if a man haue some speciall goods, and looke negli­gently vnto them, and care not much whether he keepe them or loose them, and a cunning thiefe be very desirous of them, he is like within a while to get them.

[Page 41] Wherefore, as Abraham droue away the Gen. 15. 11. Fowles that troubled him, when he was sacrifising; so driue yee away the Di­uell, who troubleth you whē you heare. Euen as you chase away the birds that would eate vp the corne sowne in your fields: And as by harrowing of your sowne fieldes, you couer the seed with earth, that so the Fowles may not de­uoure it, and that it may better fructify: So couer the seede of the worde in the furrowes of thy affections, and let it enter deepe into thy heart, and so shall it both be safe from the Diuell, and fit to yeeld fruit in thy life.

This practise of the Diuel is amplified by the ends of it, which are two, the one subordinate to the other. The for­mer is, least they shoulde beleeue. Whence we may obserue two things; one in respect of the word; and another in respect of the Diuell.

1. In respect of the word: namely, that the hearing and receiuing of the word, is a speciall meane to bring men to faith: for the Diuell doth therefore hinder men in hearing, least by hearing they should beleeue. Saint Paul sayth, [Page 42] That faith is by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. How can they beleeue in Rom. 10. 17. him, of whom they haue not heard? and and how can they heare without a Prea­cher? And those for whom Christ pray­ed, must beleeue in him, through the Ioh. 17. 20. Act. 8. 37. Apostles word. Was not the Eunuch brought to faith by Philips teaching? Did not Cornelius beleeue by Peters preaching? Did not the Iaylor beleeue Act. 10. Act. 16. 31. Non om­ [...]ium est fi­des, qui au­diunt ver­bum, sed quibus Deus par­titur men­suram si­dei. August. epist. 105. by hearing of Paul? Though all doe not beleeue, who doe heare, because some heare amisse: yet is hearing Gods ordinance to beget faith. Those then that desire faith, must heare and receiue the worde. Those that may heare and will not, cannot beleeue. Wofull is their case who heare not at all: for whence can they haue faith, if they heare not? Feareful is their case who hear seldome: they haue no faith, or a weake faith. But happie are they who heare often and well; they beleeue, and shall be saued.

2. Another thing is to be obserued in respect of the Diuell; namely, what an enemie he is vnto faith: for he takes a­way the word, as it is entring into mens hearts, lest they should beleeue. This is [Page 43] the very cause why he is so busy in hin­dering the worde; because hee would keepe men from faith. And no maruell though he be a deadly enemie vnto faith: he knowes that the word will not Heb. 4. 2. profite the hearers, vnlesse it be mixed with faith. He knowes that by faith we Rom. 3, Act. 10. are iustified in Christ: that by faith we obtaine remission of sinnes, and e­uerlasting life. Very loath he is that we should enioy these blessings; and ther­fore will do what he can to hinder vs of faith, which is the hand whereby we re­ceiue them. He knowes, that without Heb. 11. 6 Rom. [...]14. 23. faith it is impossible to please God. And that whatsoeuer is not of faith is sinne. Vnwilling he is that we should better please God then himself doth: but glad­ly would he make all our actions sinfull, like his. He knoweth that faith is the Ephes. 6. 1. Ioh. 5. 4 shield, whereby we quench all his fiery darts; & that it is the victory, whereby wee ouercome the world, one of his Champions. And therefore wil seeke to keep this weapon out of our hands, lest himselfe & his champion be foiled ther­with. We may now say with the Apostle, 2. Thes. 3. 2. All men haue not faith. And no maruell, [Page 44] seeing the Diuell is a spightfull foe a­gainst it, and will hinder as many from faith as possibly he can. At the end of the world (as Christ fore-told) the son of Luk. 18. 8 man shall scarce find faith on the earth: Let it not seeme strange: for, as at all other times, so then especially will he keepe men backe from faith, his wrath shall then be great, because hee shall Reuel. 12. 12. know his time is short.

Doe not therefore imagine that it is an easie thing to get faith, and that thou canst beleeue when thou list; thou canst not haue faith, but in despight of the Diuell; so long as he can hinder thee by any meanes, thou shalt not beleeue. The Lord must enable thee to frustrate his attempts, and must bestow this gift on thee against his will; otherwise thou canst neuer receiue it.

But the more he labours to keepe vs from faith, the more earnestly should we labour to obteyne it▪ the more he hateth it, the better should we loue it: If it were not a most excellent grace, he would not hinder vs of it.

2. The other end why hee taketh a­way the word is this; Lest they should [Page 45] be saued: Where also two other like things may be considered: one in re­spect of the word and faith; another in respect of the Diuell.

1. In respect of faith and the word, that they will bring men to saluation: For, whereas Christ saith, the Diuell takes the word out of mens hearts, lest they should beleue & be saued: he ther­by insinuateth, that if the word enter into the heart, do there abide, & worke faith in it, the man shall be saued. And so he shall indeed: For the Gospell (as Paul saith) is the power of God vnto salua­tion Rom. 1. 16. 1. Cor. 1. 21. Ioh. 20. 31. to euery one that beleeueth: to the Iew first, and also to the Graecian. And it plea­sed God, by the foolishnes of preaching to saue them that beleeue. And therefore the E­vangelist saith; These things are writ­ten that yee might beleeue, and in be­leeuing haue life through his Name. The word bringeth vs to faith, and faith to life euerlasting. If we get the one, we cannot fayle of the other.

Oh what an heauenly comfort is this to a beleeuing soule! Cannot the Diuel by all his practises and pollicies, hinder the worde from working faith in thy [Page 46] heart? feare him not, he cannot possi­bly hinder thee of eternall saluation in heauen. Looke what assurance thou hast of thy present faith, the same assu­rance mayst thou haue of the future sal­uation of thy soule. If thou now be­leeue, thou shalt receiue the end of thy faith, which is the saluation of thy soule. But 1. Pet. 1. 9. if Sathan so take the worde from thee, that thou dost not beleeue, neuer looke for saluation in heauen. Onely he that beleeueth shall be saued.

2. In respect of the Diuell, hee is an vtter enemy to the saluation of mens soules; he taketh away the word, and hindereth them from faith, that so hee may preuent their saluation. This is the end of both the former.

The Diuell is enuious; vnwilling he is that any of vs should enioy that glory in heauen which he hath lost. As hee droue Adam and Eue out of the earth­ly Paradise; so doth he, what lyeth in him, to keepe vs from the heauenly Paradise. He goeth about like a roa­ring Lion, seeking whom he may de­uoure.

As the Ammonites, Moabites, Ama­lekites, [Page 47] and many other heathen people, would haue hindered the Israelites from entering into the land of Canaan: So the Diuel & all his Angels seeke to hin­der vs from the Kingdome of heauen. And as the Israelites subdued them, be­fore they could get possession: So must wee, through the mightie power of Christ, subdue the Diuell, before wee can enioy that most happy and glorious Kingdome.

Lastly, to conclude all the poynts touching these hearers: See what ex­cellent things they lose, who suffer the Diuell to take the worde out of their hearts: They loose saith, which is much more precious then gold; as Saint Peter saith. And hereafter they shall lose the saluation of their soules; 1. Pet. 1. 7. which is more worth then all the world. For as CHRIST sayeth; What aduantageth it a man to winne the Mat. 16. 26. whole world, and lose his owne soule?

You may thinke it little danger to suffer the Diuell to take the worde out of your heartes. And it may be some had rather haue it taken from them, then the least parte of their [Page 48] worldly riches: but know that it is a precious Iewell. If you keepe it, you retaine all grace and happinesse with it: If you leaue it, you lose all goodnes with it. Oh then when you haue heard it, make much of it, and keepe it safely, and be content rather to lose any thing, yea all things that you haue, then lose it. If you did truely know, and would duely consider the danger of this losse, you would be more carefull to keepe the word, and more afrayde of losing it. You, who haue Deedes of your Lands, and Leases of your houses, are very carefull to keepe them safely, you will keepe them vnder locke and key, and that in the safest place of your houses, because you hold your lands & liuings by them, and may lose your lands and liuings, if you lose them. As carefull should you be to keepe the word; you hold your inheritance by it: It is your euidence: If it be taken from you, you shall lose faith and Gods fauour in this world, and the happy possession of an e­uerlasting and glorious Kingdome in the world to come.

And they that are on the stones, are they [Page 49] which when they haue heard, receiue the word with ioy.

Now followeth the exposition of the second kind of ground; to wit, the roc­kie and stonie ground. Christ declareth who are meant thereby; euen another sort of vnprofitable heaters. And that he might the better lay open their na­ture and condition, and let all men see who they are, he describeth them at large, by 4. seuerall properties. 1. They heare, and receiue the worde with ioy. These hearers goe farther then the for­mer. The former sort heard the word, but vnderstood it not; if they vnder­stood the words, they vnderstood not the matter. But these are not blamed for that fault; they vnderstood it well: and therefore are sayde to receiue it: their receiuing of it, is made a distinct thing from their hearing. Again, the o­ther lost it as soone as they heard it: the Diuel soon took it from them; but these keepe it a great while, euen all the time of peace, they doe not renounce it, till they be presecuted for it. Moreouer, those did not affect it, the Diuell kept it from entring deepe into their hearts, [Page 50] he tooke it presently out of their hearts, lest it should worke vpon their affecti­ons: they were such as heard it for fa­shion sake, yet had no great liking or loue of it in their hearts. These do much affect it, it pierceth their hearts, it mo­ueth their affections, they reioyce in it.

Lastly, those did not so beleeue as these doe: either they did not beleeue it at all, or with an hystoricall faith one­ly, beleeue it to be true; but not making such profession of it, nor yeelding such outward obedience to it as these doe: as afterward shall be shewed.

The first propertie is, that they re­ceiue the worde with ioy. For the pre­sent time they reioyce in the doctrine of the Gospell, it cheareth their hearts, delighteth their soules, contenteth their mindes, mooueth their affections, and is to them the most ioyfull newes that euer they heard: and yet for all that they are but vnprofitable hearers. Such an hearer was King Herode: when Mar. 6. 20. Iohn Baptist preached, hee heard him gladly; not onely willingly, but also cheerefully and ioyfully: hee tooke delight and pleasure in hearing of him; [Page 51] and yet afterward was the author of his death. Such hearers were most of the Iewes: for Christ told them, That Ioh. 5. 38. Iohn was a burning and shining lampe, and that they would for a season haue reioyced in his light. They ioyed in his doctrine, yet but for a season. Hee preached but a while. Christ fore-saw, that if hee had liued and preached longer, they would haue forsaken him. Such hearers also were the Capernaites, who liked Christs Ioh. 6. doctrine so well, as that they followed him for a while; but afterward forsooke him. Such hearers had the Apostles: And such hearers haue we at this day.

These hearers are not like Pharoh, who Exod. 5. 2. said; Who is the Lord, that I stould hear his voyce? Nor like those impious per­sons, who say to God; Depart from vs, Iob. 21. 14. Act. 13. 45. for we desire not the knowledge of thy waies. Nor like the Iewes, who spake a­gainst those things which were taught by Paul, contradicting them, & rayling on them, & thrusting the Apostles from thē. They do willingly heare the word, they approue the doctrine of it, they loue it, & like it, and reioyce to heare it. They wil rather say to Preachers, as Cor­nelius Act. 10. 33. & his kinsmen said to Peter; We are [Page 52] all here present before God, to heare all thing that are commaunded thee of God.

And if these hearers reioyce in the word, they will not scorne to be taught by the Ministers, but very willingly sub­mit themselues to the Ministery of the word. They will be as forward as any, in frequenting Sermons: for who will not desire to heare that often, which comforteth his heart? Yea, they may sharply reproue, and seuerely censure them, as impious and prophane, who are carelesse and negligent in hearing of Gods word. Yea, they may reuerence the Minister, as Herode did Iohn Baptist: they may patronage, protect and coun­tenance him; they may maintaine him, and be very bountifull toward him: for who will not make much of him that doth greatly comfort his heart? Yea, af­ter they haue heard, they may talke and conferre of the doctrine among their fa­miliar acquaintance: for who will not often talke of that which reioyceth his heart. Of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh. All these thinges may be found in these hearers of the se­cond sort, who notwithstanding are [Page 53] reckoned among vnfruitfull hearers.

See then what faire shewes an vnre­generate man may make, in hearing of Gods word. And consider it seriously, that not onely the publike persecutors, bitter raylers, wilfull contemners, care­lesse and forgetful hearers; but likewise some that loue and like the word, dili­gently attend it, and finde some com­fort in it, may be out of the state of grace, and kept backe from entring in­to heauen. A fearefull thing to consi­der; it should rowse vs out of security, and make vs looke well to the maner of our hearing. There be some who are nothing at all mooued with the worde, neither terrified with the threatnings and curses of the lawe, nor comforted with the heauenly blessings, and sweete promises of the Gospell: whom wee may compare, as Christ did the Iewes, vnto little children, which sitte in the markets, and call to their fellowes, and say; We haue piped vnto you, and you haue Mat. 11. 17. not daunced: we haue mourned vnto you, and you haue not lamented. We sing both mercy and iudgement, and yet they are not moued. Seeing Christ reckoneth [Page 54] them in the Catalogue of fruitlesse hea­rers, who are so moued, as they reioyce at the word: what is to be thought of them, who are no more touched, then if their hearts were of Adamant? If this ioy may be found in the vnregenerate, it Quest. will be hard to discerne who are rege­nerated. It is a propertie of the regene­rate to reioyce at the word. Dauid said; Thy testimonies haue I taken as an he­ritage for euer: for they are the ioy of mine Psa. 119. 111. Nehe. 8. 12. Act. 2. 41. heart. The holy people of the Lord made great ioy, because they vnderstood the words which Ezra & the Leuites had taught them. Those three thousand which were con­uerted by Peters Sermon, did receiue his word with ioy. The Eunuch conuerted by Phillip, & the Iaylor conuerted by Paul, receiued their doctrine with ioy of heart. Is there no difference betwixt the regenerate and the vnregenerate in this their ioy? Indeed both of them receiue Answere. the word with ioy: yet there may be found great difference betwixt the ioy of the one, and the ioy of the other. They differ in these foure things.

1. In the cause of it: and that is faith. And therefore Paul calleth it; The ioy Phil. 1. 25 [Page 55] of faith. The ioy of the regenerate man ariseth from a iustifying faith, whereby he beleeueth that all the promises of God in Christ, shall be performed to him in particular. The vnregenerate hath onely a generall & historicall faith, whereby he certainely beleeueth that many shall be saued by grace in Christ, hath some doubtfull hope that he is one of the number, but no certaine assu­rance. As, if there be many offenders in the same prison; one is certainely as­sured, that the King hath graunted par­don to a great number of them, hopeth that he is one, yet is not sure. And ano­ther is assured that he is one of the num­ber. Both of them will reioyce; yet there will be difference betwixt their ioy.

2. In the measure and degree: for the regenerate haue a greater measure of ioye then the vnregenerate. The regenerate haue as great, or greater ioy in the word, then in any thing else whatsoeuer. Therefore Dauid sayde; I haue had as greate delight in the way Psal. 119. 14. vers. 72. of thy testimonies, as in all riches. The Lawe of thy mouth is better vnto mee, then thousands of gold and siluer. [Page 46] I reioyce at thy word, as one that findeth a vers. 162. great spoile. Their ioy is so great, that S. Peter saith; They reioyce with ioy vnspeak­able. 1. Pet. 1. 7. It may be felt, it cannot be expres­sed. The greatnesse of their ioy, Christ Mat. 13. 44. setteth forth by the example of a man, who finding a treasure hid in the fielde, for ioy thereof departeth, and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth the field.

But the ioy of the vnregenerate is no­thing so great. They seldome haue so great ioy in the worde, as in the world, but neuer greater. Their worldly pro­fits, their earthly honours and prefer­ments, their carnall pleasures, doe as much reioyce them, and more comfort them, then the word can doe.

3. Their ioy differeth in the cōpanions: for the ioy of the regenerate is neuer found alone, but is alwaies accompani­ed with many other holy affections. They so reioyce, as that they also feare and tremble in respect of the Lords Maiestie, and their owne infirmitie. Ac­cording as Dauid exhorteth; Reioyce with Psa. 2. 12 trembling. He himselfe reioyceth great­ly: yet hee saith; My flesh trembleth Psa. 119. 120. for feare of thee, and I am afrayde of [Page 47] thy iudgements: yea the godly doe worke out their saluation with feare and trembling, when as the vnregene­rate so reioyce, as that withall they are secure and presumptuous.

Againe, the regenerate so reioyce in the word, as they put great trust and sure confidence in God and his word. As Dauid, who said, I reioyce in God, because of his word: In God do I trust, Psal. 56. 10. 11. Psal. 119. 42. I will not be afraide what man can doe vnto me. I shall make answere to my blasphemers, for I trust in thy word. When they see no meanes for the per­formance of Gods promises, they will trust his word, which confidence is of­ten wanting in the vnregenerate, he will trust Gods word, no further then he see meanes for the accomplishment of it. Moreouer, the godly man so re­ioyceth in the word, as he loueth it a­boue all things: Therfore did Dauid say of himselfe, Oh how loue I thy law? it is Psal. 119. 97. vers. 47. vers. 121. 136. 139. my meditation continually. And my delight shall be in thy commaunde­ments which I haue loued: yea they so loue it, as they hate all things contrarie vnto it. I hate vaine inuentions, but thy [Page 48] Iaw doe I loue, said the same holy man of God: yea his eyes gushed out with riuers of water, because men kept not the law: his zeale did euen consume him, because his enemies had forgot­ten Gods word. These affections can­not be found in the vnregenerate; If they sometime haue them, it is in a farre lesser measure.

4. Lastly, their ioy differeth in the countinance. The vnregenerate man reioyceth much at the first hearing and vnderstanding of the Gospell: after­ward his ioy abateth. Euen as the Is­raelites liked their Manna well, at the beginning, but loathed it within a while after. And as Iewes well haue reioyced in Iohn Baptists doctrine, for a season, but not long. Ioh. 5. 35.

But the ioy of the regenerate con­tinueth alwaies one and the same. In processe of time, it rather encreaseth then decreaseth. Their faith groweth strong, their hope more stedfast, their outward man decayeth, their inward man is renewed daily: their graces in­crease, and they continually find more experience of Gods fauour toward [Page 49] them in Christ, and therefore their ioy must needs be greater and greater. The ioy of the vnregenerate is like to a vio­lent motion, which is swifter at the be­ginning then at the end: but the ioy of the regenerate, is like to a naturall mo­tion, which is as swift or swifter at the end then at the beginning.

Besides this, the ioy of the godly con­tinueth as well in aduersitie as in pros­peritie: as well in persecutiō as in peace. Dauid in the midst of his afflictiōs could say, I reioyce in God because of his Ps. 56. 4. Psal. 119. 50. Vers. 143. word. I will not feare, what flesh can do vnto me. It was his comfort in trouble, the Lords promise did thē quickē him: yea when trouble & anguish was come vpon him, the Lords commandements were his delight. Christ promised such ioy to the Apostles, as no man could take from them. Men did reuile them, Ioh. 16. 22. Act. 5. 41. did imprison them, did whip & scourge them, and cruelly persecute them, yet could they not take their ioy frō them. They reioyced that they were accoun­ted Act. 16. 25. worthy to suffer for Christs sake, & did sing chearefully in prison, when their feet were made fast in the stockes.

[Page 49] But it is not so with the vnregene­rate hypocrites. A little persecution for the Gospell, will turne their ioy into sorrow. Euen these hearers who in the beginning of this verse, are said to re­ceiue the word with ioy; in the latter end of it, are said in the time of tenta­tion to fall away. Seeing then there is such difference of ioy, doe not content your selues with such a ioy as may be found in the vnregenerate, but seeke for such ioy as is peculiar to Gods Saints.

2. The second properties in these hearers is this, they haue no rootes. Not as if they had no rootes at all, for then they should not grow at all: they could not be said to fall away in time of ten­tation, they would presently wither a­way before tentation did come: but the meaning is, that they haue no deepe rootes, they haue no such rootes as will feede them, and make them able to yeeld fruit: therfore are they resembled to rockie and stony ground which lac­keth moysture, and will neither suffer corne sowne in it, to take any deepe rooting, nor to prosper long. Rockes [Page 51] and great stones are oftentimes hid in the ground, and couered ouer with earth: And therefore the land there, is soft and moyst aboue, but hard and dry belowe. And the corne sowne there, may sprout and growe for a while, but not long, if heate & drought doe come, it will be parched and wither away for lacke of moysture. Such is the case of some hearers, their hearts being mollified in part somewhat soft aboue, but very hard below toward the bot­tome, will not suffer the word to take any deepe rooting in them. It may en­ter into their harts, yet it cannot pearce into the bottome of them. It may be some rooting, yet very ebbe and shal­low. It may prosper for a while, and they make some profession of it, yet not long. And in regard hereof, they be­come vnprofitable hearers. So as from hence we may obserue a double dan­ger and inconuenience, of an heart that is not throughly mollified to the bot­tome: It both hindereth the rooting of the word, and also the fruitfulnes of it.

1. It hindereth the rooting of the word, so as it cannot possibly go deepe [Page 52] enough, the word should descend to the bottome of the heart, and there take rooting, and be continually nou­rished with the moysture of it; but it cannot descend so farre, vnles it be throughly mollified. Not onely they whose hearts are altogether hard, as was the hart of Pharaoh, when he heard Moses and Aaron; and the Scribes and Pharises when they heard Christ: but also they whose hearts are softened onely in part, are vnprofitable hearers: As not onely those rockes which be bare on the top, and altogether hard, and haue no manner of soyle and moy­sture aboue, but likewise those which be couered with a litle moysture and earth aboue, but not much, are vnfit to receiue seede. The one will not re­ceiue the seede at all, nor suffer it to sprout, or shoote forth a blade; the o­ther will cause it to sproute and shoote forth a blade, but neuer to beare a ripe eare.

So they who haue hearts altogether hardened, will not heare, or at least not receiue the word of God at all into any part of their hearts, but those who haue hearts partly soft, and partly hard, [Page 53] may receiue the word, and retaine it for a time, but will neuer bring forth the fruites of it. Wherefore the ho­ly Ghost saith in the Psalmes, and it is applyed by the Apostle, to the hea­rers Psal. 95. 7. 8. Heb. 3. 7. of the Gospell, To day if ye will heare his voyce, harden not your hearts. Because the hard hearted can neuer heare the word of God, so reuerently and ef­fectually as they ought to doe: the Lord biddeth vs not to harden, but to soften our hearts, if we will heare his voyce. The harder the heart is, the more vnprofitable shall be the hea­ring: the softer the heart is, the more profitable shall the hearing be.

Againe, this hardnes will cause men to deny the word in time of ten­tation. The moysture and softnes a­boue, is the cause of receiuing the word with ioy, and beleeuing for a time: but the hardnes and drinesse below, is the cause of reuolting afterward.

When Gods hand was heauie on Pharoh, he somewhat relented, hum­bled himselfe, and confessed his sinne, but as soone as it was remoued, he re­turned with the dogge to his vomit, and became as obstinate as euer he was [Page 54] before. So if a mans heart be mollified onely in part, he may relent while he heares the word, and may embrace it with peace, but in time of persecution, may grow as hard as euer he was be­fore: euen as yron is soft, in some mea­sure, while it is in the fire, but becom­meth hard againe when it is cold.

Let vs not therefore content our selues with an vpper softening, but see that our hearts be softened to the very bottome, that they may melt like waxe at the fire, as good king Iosiahs heart did, when he heard the lawe read. I 2. King. 22. 19. knowe that none of our hearts are so soft as they should be. But if thou fee­lest thine owne hardnes, doest mislike it, desirest earnestly that it may be more and more mollified, and doest vse all good meanes for the further mollify­ing of it: thy heart either is alreadie, or shall be within a while, so softened, as it may receiue the word profitably to thy saluatiō. If Goates blood being warme, can soften the hard Adamant, doubt not but the blood of Christ can suffici­ently Cyprtan. de dupl. mart. mollifie thy heart, though it were as hard as a rocke.

[Page 55] If thou pray earnestly vnto God, to take away the stony heart of thy body, Ezek. 36. 26. and to giue thee an heart of flesh, be assured that he will performe it, seeing he hath promised it by his holy Pro­phet.

3. Let vs now come to the third propertie of these hearers. They belieue for a time. Mathew and Marke say, they endure for a season, that, is they endure in their faith but a while. They doe be­lieue, yet not long. But it is to be con­sidered what kinde of faith this is. Though the Papists teach that there See post­script. Sect. 4. & Sect. 5. & Sect. 6. is but onely one kinde of faith, yet may we find many seuerall & distinct kindes thereof in the holy scriptures. There be foure kindes of faith.

One is proper and peculiar to Gods elect, and to the regenerate.

The rest are common both to the elect and the reprobate.

That which is proper and peculiar See post­script. Sect. 7. & Sect. 8. to the elect, is a true iustifying faith, whereby a man doth apprehend and apply to himselfe, all the promises of God in Christ, and all the merits of Christ, for the pardon of his sinne, [Page 56] and the saluation of his soule. This is called by S. Paul, the faith of Gods E­lect, Tit. 1. 1. because onely they, and all they be endued with it.

And therefore it is said, that as many Act. 13. 48. as were ordained to eternall life, beleeued. Though all of them doe not receiue it at the same time, but some sooner, some later, yet is there not any of the Elect, but at one time or other, they doe receiue it.

This is called an vnfayned faith, or a 1. Tim. 1. 5. [...] faith without dissimulation or hypo­crisie, because it is not counterfaited, and is a faith in deed and in truth: and is seated not in the tongues or the head, but in the bottome of the heart.

This faith is said to purifie the heart, Act. 15. 9. Reuel. 13. 10. and is called the faith of the Saints, be­cause none haue it, but those who be sanctified.

By this faith are we now iustified without the workes of the law, and by this, must we be saued as the Apo­stle Rom. 3. 28. Ephes. 2. 8. proueth at large in his Epistles. But this is not the faith here spoken of.

Againe, there be other kindes of [Page 57] faith, which be common both to the See post­script. Sect. 9. [...]. Cor. 13. 2. Elect and reprobate. And these are ei­ther extraordinarie or ordinarie.

Extraordinarie, as the faith of wor­king miracles, whereof the Apostle speaketh, saying; If I had all faith, sothat I could remoue mountaines, and had not loue, I were nothing. Iudas the childe of perdition had this faith, as well as the rest of the Apostles, for he wrought miracles as well as they.

And many shall say to Christ, haue not we in thy name cast out diuells, and by thy name done many great mi­racles? to whom he shall answere, I ne­uer knew you, depart from me, ye wor­kers Math. 7. 22. of iniquitie.

This was extraordinarie, giuen to some fewe, at the first preaching of the Gospell, but hath ceased long a­goe.

The ordinary kindes of faith, which may be found in the reprobate, are two in number. The one is called an See post­script. Sect: 10. & Sect: 11. hystoricall, the other a temporarie faith. The one I say is called an hystoricall faith: or a dogmaticall, because it is a bare knowledge, and [Page 58] acknowledgment of the historie of the scriptures, and of the things written therein, concerning God, his workes, his promises, and concerning Christ, his merites and benefites: without any apprehension of the things knowne and acknowledged. This is the faith Ioh. 5. 46. 47. Act. 26. 27. Ioh. 1. 1. August. de temp. serm. 181. Credere vera esse quae loqui­tur, multi & mali possunt, August. ibid. Iam. 2. 19. whereby men beleeue Moses and his writings. This is the faith which Paul would needes fasten on Agrippa, to be­leeue the Prophets. This is not fides qua cridimus in deum, sed qua credimus deo, id est credere vera esse quae loquitur. It is not the faith whereby we belieue in God, but the faith whereby we belieue God; that is, whereby we belieue all things to be true which he speaketh. And so differeth very much from a iustifying faith. This faith is found in the vnrege­nerate. They may belieue all things to be true, which are written, though they little regard them: yea this faith is in the deuells: for they belieue and tremble, as Iames teacheth.

And therefore those Atheists, those prophane and obstinate scoffers a­gainst Qui non [...]redunt, peiores sunt quam dae­monis, ad huc, nec dae mones imitantur, August. in epist. Ioh. tract: [...]. See post­script. Sect: 12. religion, which will not belieue the scriptures, nor acknowledge the [Page 59] truth of the things therein reuealed, are worse then the diuels. And if they be worse then diuells of hell, they must needes be farre from entring into heauen.

The other kind of common faith, is termed a temporary faith, which is a certaine ape of iustifying faith, yet is not the same, for although it goe some degrees beyond an historicall faith, yet it comes short of a iustifying faith, not onely in regard of sinceritie, and man­ner of apprehension, but also in regard of the efficacie in internall and exter­nall actes, and in regard of the time of continuance.

This is called a temporary faith, not onely for distinction sake, to put a dif­ference betwixt it and other kinds, but also because it continueth but for a time as appeareth by this place. For this is the faith here spoken of. And al­though some Papists laugh at the very name which we giue it, as if it were a new coyned tearme, yet you see it is grounded on this text. And they might also haue seene it taught by others, if either they had read the writings of [Page 60] the ancient, or their malice against vs, had not blinded their eyes. Augustine August. de verarelig. cap. 50. Bernard. paru. serm. ser. 1. fine. & epist. 42. ad Henr. Sc­non archi­episcop. to 2. col. 63. giues the tytle: and Bernard doth not onely giue it the like tytle, in calling it sides ficta, and comparing it to ear­then vessells that are easily broken, but likewise distinguisheth it frō the dead faith which is without good workes: and from the tryed faith, which endu­reth to the end. And also describeth it at large, by the very words of this my text.

This faith was in those Iewes, who by the sight of Christs miracles at Ieru­salem, beleeued in him. They are said Ioh. 2. 23. 24. Non cura­bat eorum verba, nec mouebatur eorum ap­plausu, vt qui corum feru [...]rem mo [...] refri­geseere c [...]gnosce­bat. Scie­bat quod non adhae­rerent sibi constanter, nec erat cor eorum rectum cū eo. Ferus in Ioh. 2. Act. 8. 13. Act. [...]. 21. 23. to beleeue in his name, and so doubt were perswaded, & did acknowledge that he was the Messiah to come: yet Iesus did commit himselfe vnto them, because he know them all, and what was in them. If he had seene a sound and permanent faith in them, no doubt he would haue trusted them, but be­cause he saw their faith was neither sound nor constant, he would not trust them, he foresaw that for all their pre­sent profession, they might forsake him afterward as the Capernaites did.

[Page 11] The faith also was in Simon Magus, who though before he had bene a no­torious sorcerer, yet hearing Philip preach, did beleeue, and was baptized, and continued with Philip, as a profes­sour of the Gospell, and wondered when he saw the great miracles which were wrought, yet when he would af­terward haue bought the gifts of the holy Ghost for money, and haue made a marchandise of them; Peter told him that he had neither part nor fellowship in that busines, that his heart was not right in the sight of God, that he was in the gall of bitternes, and in the bond of iniquitie. And after that (if we may Epiphan. cont. haeres. lib. 1. to 2. haeres. 21. Euseb. hist. [...]. 14. Niceph. 2. 36. giue credit to humane writings and Ecclesiasticall hystories) hee became a sorcerer againe, and an open ene­mie to Peter and the rest of the Apo­stles, and in a fearefull manner died at Rome.

This faith was in Iudas one of the twelue, he vnderstood the misterie of the Gospell, professed himselfe an Apostle of Christ, preached the Gos­pell as well as other Apostles, and for a long time was of honest behauiour, [Page 62] yet Christ called him a diuell, and the Ioh. 6. 70. Ioh. 17. 12. childe of perdition: Afterward he be­trayed his Maister for money, and then hanged himselfe through desperation.

This faith was also in those who fell into the vnrecouerable sinne against the holy Ghost, for they were enligh­tened, had a taste of the heauenly gift, were partakers of the holy Ghost, and tasted of the good word of God, and Heb. 6. 4. 5. of the powers of the world to come. And yet they so fel away, as they could not be renewed by repentance, did crucifie againe the sonne of God, and made a mocke of him. And this faith haue many others, who heare the word acknowledge the truth of it, hope to be saued by it, make prosession of it, liue in outward obedience, and receiue the Sacraments, and yet in time of per­secution, proue Apostataes.

But that you may the better discerne the nature of this faith, I will note the seuerall degrees of it, for thereby you may clearely see how farre it doth a­gree with an historicall & a iustifying faith, and how farre it doth differ from them both. There be sixe degrees of it.

[Page 63] 1. The first degree is illumination and knowledge. These beleeuers haue a knowledge of Gods word, especially in the chiefest poynts of Gods will and worship: in the fundamentall points of mans redemption, and in the most ne­cessary points of mans duetie. Iudas could not haue beene a Preacher of the Gospell, vnlesse he had knowne these things: Christ would not haue sent him to teach these things to others, if him selfe had beene ignorant of them. Those which fell away to the fearefull sinne against the holy Ghost, were before en­lightned. Vnlesse men know the truth, they cannot beleeue it. How shall they beleeue except they haue heard? And herein this faith agreeth both with an historicall and a iustifying faith. Christ sayd of the Apostles; They haue knowne Ioh. 17. 8. surely that I came out from thee, and haue beleeued that thou hast sent me. Know­ledge is the first step and degree to each kinde of faith. And therefore those who be ignorant of the principles of Religion, come so farre short of a true sauing and iustifying faith, that as yet they haue not attayned to an hystoricall [Page 64] or temporary faith.

2. The second degree is an assent to the truth of the Gospell. They are infal­libly perswaded that the whole doc­trine of the Gospell is true, and euery part of it; & that it teacheth vs the right way to heauen: and that all things ther­in contained, shal certainely be accom­plished; both for the condemnation of vnbeleeuers, and for the saluation of beleeuers. In regard hereof Christ saith; He that receiueth his testimonie, hath sealed Ioh. 3. 33. Rom. 7. 16 that God is true. As Paul sayde; I con­sent to the Law that it is good. So this be­leeuer will say; I consent to the Gospel that it is good. Yea, he will auouch with the same Apostle; This is a true say­ing, 1. Tim. 1. 15. and worthy by all meanes to be receiued, that Christ Iesus came into the world to saue sinners. Herein also this faith agreeth with an hystoricall & a iustifying faith. And therefore those who in their hearts wil not assent to the truth of the gospel, are meere Infidels: though they liue in the Church, yet they haue no faith at al.

3. A third degree is, that he hath a de­sire in his heart of the pardon of his sin, & of the saluation of his soule, through [Page 65] the merey of God, & merits of Christ. Euen as Balaam desired to dye the death Num. 23. 10. of the righteous: and that his last end might be like vnto his, though he had no care to liue the life of the righteous, nor prepare himselfe for death, as the righteous man doth. And as the people of the Iewes, who followed Christ from place to place, whē they hard him speak of the bread which cōmeth from hea­uen, Ioh. 6. 34. & giueth life to the world, desired him euermore to giue that bread. And yet many of them afterward fell from him. Yea moreouer, they which haue this faith, may not onely haue this de­sire in their hearts, but may also expresse it by prayer to God Almightie, and by vsing the meanes of saluation. They may seek to enter in at the straight gate, and shall not be able. As Christ saith many Luk. 13. 24. shall doe. Herein they go beyond those that haue onely an hystoricall saith: for many haue it, yet contemne Christ and his merits, neuer seeke for saluati­on by him, rather feare him then loue him: and with the Diuels, beleeue and tremble. Yet herein they come short of them who haue a iustifying faith: [Page 66] for their desire is not so earnest, nor so constant, nor so effectuall. Not so ear­nest; for the desire of the elect is vehe­ment and very earnest: set foorth by hungring & thirsting, which are vehe­ment and strong appetites in them that haue long wanted meate and drinke: yea, the strongest desires that can be found in man: but these men haue a desire in a lesser measure. Neither is their desire so constant: for it comes but by fits, and may soone be gone a­gaine, like to lightning, which is a sud­den flash, and soone gone. But the de­sire of the other, is like the light of the Sunne, which is permanent. Their de­sire may be quenched, before they haue fully obtayned the thing desired: but the desire of the other can neuer be sa­tisfyed, till they be assured that they haue gotten the thing they wanted. Nor yet is it so effectuall in vsing the meanes of saluation, with such care, di­ligence, painefulnesse, and constancie. The one sort think no paines too great, no labour too long: the other thinke lesse will serue the turne; and therefore leaue off, or lessen their labour in vsing [Page 67] the meanes, before they haue gotten sauing grace for their soules.

4. The fourth degree is this: They may haue an apprehension of Christ and his benefites, an inward feeling of some grace, and a perswasion of Gods fauour in Christ. So they are sayde to taste of the heauenly gift, and to taste of the good word of God, and to be partakers Heb. 6. 4. of the holy Ghost, as was shewed be­fore. Which wordes must needes im­port a particular apprehension, and an inward cense of some good receiued, and some fauour expected. As some of the Israelites tasted of the fruites of the Land of Canaan, did thereby perceiue what a good Land it was, and concei­ued some hope of enioying it; and yet neuer enioyed the Land, but perished in the wildernesse. So these beleeuers may haue a taste of heauenly gifts, and an hope of enioying euerlasting glory, and yet perish in the end. And indeed these beleeuers could not haue receiued the word with such ioy as was spoken of before, vnlesse they had an appre­hension of Gods fauour, and some sense of grace in their hearts. Yet herein doe [Page 68] they greatly differ from the regenerate. 1. In the seat, and so in the synceritie of these graces; for these beleeuers hearts are as stony ground, they cannot receiue the worde into the bottome of their hearts, nor suffer the rootes of it to goe deepe enough; and so their faith & gra­ces are not rooted in the bottome of the heart, but sticke in the superficies or vpper part of it. All things in them are superficiall, and they full of hypocrisie. Whereas the iustifying faith, and the sa­uing graces of the regenerate, are like a solide body, hauing three dimensions, length, breadth and depth; and do pos­sesse the deepest and lowest parte of the heart. 2. In the reason and ground of this their apprehension. And so it is no­thing but vaine presumption: for it is built vpon false and mistaken grounds: they take the shadow for the substance; doe ouerweene their owne graces, and take their faith to be vnfayned, their re­pentance to be sound, and their regene­ration to be effectuall: when indeede they are not. And so they are like vnto beggers, who in their sleepe dreame that they are become very rich. 3. In [Page 69] the measure: and therefore their appre­hension of heauenly things, is compa­red to tasting, because the heart doth as it were, but with the tip of the tongue, lightly taste these spirituall things, and doth not feed on them. Look what dif­ference there is betwixt Cookes and o­thers that taste meat before it be serued vp to the table, & the guests that eat the same at the table: the same difference there is betwixt the vngenerate & the regenerate, touching the measure of grace which they receiue. Though the regenerate do here receiue but the first fruits of the spirit, do know in part, and prophesie in part, & beleeue in part, & find no perfection in thēselues; yet haue they a greater measure then the vnrege­nerate. 4. In the sense & iudgement of their want. The one wanteth more, and yet doth lesse discerne his want: like the Angel of Laodicea, who thought he was Reuel. 3. 17. rich, whē he was poore, miserable & na­ked. The other wanteth lesse, and doth better discerne his want: and therefore will say with that man in the Gospell; I Mar. 9. 24. Luk. 17 5. doe beleeue, Lord helpe my vnbeleefe. And with the Apostles; Lord encrease our faith. Yea, the one like a Pharisie, is proude of [Page 70] that which hee thinketh he hath; the o­ther is humbled, by knowing what he wanteth. The one contenteth himselfe with that which he hath, groweth se­cure, and laboureth not to better his estate: the other striueth to grow in grace, as he groweth in yeeres.

5. The fift degree of this temporary faith, is outwarde profession of the Gospell. A man may haue an hystoricall or dogmaticall faith, yet neuer make profession of it. As many of the chiefe Ioh. 12. 42. Rulers among the Iewes beleeued in Christ; but because of the Pharisies did not confesse him. But they who haue this temporary faith, do professe Christ as long as they keepe it. So did Iudas: he called Christ his Master, did follow him, was content to acknowledge him­selfe to be one of his Apostles, and at his sending, to go abroad to preach the Gospell. So did Simon Magus: he was baptized into the Name of Christ, and continued with Philip as a Disciple of Mat. 22. 14. Christ. And so doe all those, who be called, and not chosen.

6. The last degree of this temporary faith, is outward obedience vnto the Gospell. This was likewise in Iudas. [Page 71] His cariage was so honest among the A­postles, all the time of Christs passion, that when Christ told them, that one of Mat. 26. 22. them should betray him, they did not suspect him any more then any of the rest: yea, euery one did as much suspect Mar. 14. 19. Ioh. 13 24. him selfe as Iudas: and therefore euery one sayd; Master is it I? Yea, they cau­sed Iohn, who then leaned on Iesus br [...]st, to aske him who it was. And Christ did manifest him, by giuing him a soppe, be­fore they could tell who it was. And so this faith doeth farre excell that dead faith, whereof S. Iames speaketh, which Iam. 4. is destitute of good works. Yet euen in this respect is it much inferior to a true iustifying faith. In regard of outward obedience, they differ three wayes.

1. In the cause or fountaine whence it proceedeth. The obedience of the one proceedeth from an heart which hath the corruption of it suppressed and re­strayned, but not mortifyed: and the affections builded, but not changed by regeneration. But the obedience of the other, proceedes from a pure heart and a good conscience: the corruption whereof is not onely repressed and [Page 72] kept vnder, but likewise mortifyed: and the affections not onely brydeled, but also changed by regeneration. Yea, and the man himselfe is in Christ be­come a new creature.

2. In the measure: for the one may yeeld obedience in many things, yet sel­dome in all things: he vsually taketh li­bertie to liue in some one grosse sinne or other, eyther openly or secretly. As Mar. 6. 20. Herode did many things which Iohn Bap­tist taught him, yet continued still his whoredome: hee would not put away his brothers wife, though he was taught so to doe. But the other is carefull to a­voyde Mat. 14. 4. all manner of sinnes whatsoeuer, and to performe all duties alike; know­ing that if hee faile in one point, hee is guiltie of all. And though sometime he Iam. 2. 10 fall by infirmitie, yet he lyeth not long, he riseth againe by repentance.

3. In the continuance: for the one continueth not long in his innocencie; at last by one occasion or other, his cor­ruption will breake forth, and carry him to some grosse sinne or damnable apo­stacie. Iudas for a while liued ciuilly, but at last was drawne through coue­tousnesse [Page 73] to betray his Maister. Simon Magus for couetousnesse would haue bought and solde the giftes of the holy Ghost: and beeing reprooued for that fault, became a notorious apostate. And Hos. 6. 4. therefore the righteousnesse of such, is fitly resembled to the morning deaw, which is dryed vp and gone, as soone as the Sunne ascendeth on high.

But the other perseuereth in his vp­rightnesse vnto the ende: hee hath a good begining and a good ending. E­uen as Iob, who neither by the sugge­stions of Sathan, nor by the losse of his goods, nor death of his children, nor dis­eases of his body, nor aduise of his wife, nor vncharitable censures of his friends, coulde bee induced to sinne against God.

Now then, seeing heereby you may discerne what this faith is, & how it dif­fereth from a sauing faith; examine yourselues of your faith, to see whether it be this or no: & doe not content your selues with such a faith as is not able to saue your soules. Aboue all things, see that you haue a special application & in­ward renouation; for therein consisteth [Page 74] the very life and soule of sauing faith.

As you haue seene the nature and de­grees of this faith, so now see the con­tinuance: for it is here sayd; They be­leeue for a time. A while they receiue this faith, not alwayes: they lose it in the end. As they are hypocrites, for want of synceritie in the bottome of their hearts; so likewise are they tempori­zers, for want of continuance in their courses. The Rhemistes in their mar­ginall notes on these wordes, would haue this to be obserued against the he­retikes (as it pleaseth them to terme vs,) that say, Faith once had cannot be lost: and that he which now hath not faith, neuer had. Bellarmine and other Papists al­leadge De iustifi­cat. lib. 3. c. 14. Staplet. prompt. in fer. 4. post. dom. pasch. this place, to prooue, that true faith once had, may be quite lost.

But we answere, that the faith where­of Christ heere speaketh, may be quite lost, so as a man which once had it, may want it afterward: yet Christ doth not here speake of the true iustifying faith of Gods elect, but of the temporary faith, which may be in the reprobate: as hath beene shewed before. And See post­script. Sect. 13. this is apparant out of the words of the [Page 75] text: For the persons who thus beleeue, are compared to stony ground, who by reason of the hardnesse of their hearts, are no more able to bring forth fruite, then stony ground is able to yeelde a good croppe of corne. God forbidde that wee should imagine that any of the elect in the state of grace, should be no better then these. In the 15. verse Christ speaketh of them; resembleth them to good ground, and sayeth they heare the word with a good and honest heart, do keepe it, and bring forth fruit with patience. Againe, the persons here spoken of are sayd to want rootes, and so their graces are like corne sowne on the top of a rocke, which wanteth depth of earth to send downe and feede the rootes. Now dare they say that true iustifying faith wanteth rootes? or is it in any mans heart where it hath no­thing to grow vpon? Doeth not the Apostle teach, that they in whose hearts Ephes. 3▪ 17. Christ doth dwell by faith, are rooted and grounded in loue. And that they who haue receiued Christ Iesus the Lord, are rooted and built in him, and stablished in the faith. True iustifying faith is the roote of all [Page 76] vertues, on which they grow, and from Laudo fructum bonioperis, sed in fide agnosco ra­dicem. Praefat. in enarr. Psal. 31. Uide Au­gust. pre­fat. in Psa. 139. Col. 2. 5. Rom. 11. 29. De cor­rept. et grat. c. 12. Rom. 8. 30. Rom. 9. 33. which they receiue life, nourishment, & efficacy. Augustine said of Abrahams offe­ring of his sonne; I commend the fruit of the good worke; but I acknowledge the roote in faith. And shall we then say that it hath no rootes it selfe? Certaine it is, that a true iustifying faith once had, can neuer be lost: for it is called a stedfast faith in Iesus Christ. It belongeth to that cal­ling, and is one of those giftes of God which are without repentance. And so it hath beene reckoned long a [...]oe by that anci­ent Father Augustine, and thereby pro­ued neuer to fayle. By this faith we are iustifyed, as the Apostle plainely and of­ten teacheth: and our aduersaries can­not denie, though they hold that we are not iustifyed by it alone. Now if we be iustified, we shall also be glorified. Yea who­soeuer thus beleeueth, shall not be con­founded. The Saintes doe keepe this faith in the hottest persecution that can befall them. And therefore in descri­bing the cruell tyrannie, and grieuous persecution, vnder the greate beaste which opened his mouth to blaspheme GOD and his Tabernacle, and them [Page 77] that dwell in heauen, and made warre a­gainst the Saints, led many into capti­uitie, and killed many with the sword. The holy Ghost breaketh forth into these speeches; Here is the patience, and Reuel. 13. 10. the faith of the Saints: because the Saints doe not loose but keepe and expresse their patience and faith in such afflicti­ons. Neyther can Sathan by his tenta­tions depriue them of faith: as appeareth in the example of Peter. Sathan des [...]red to winnow him as wheate: yet for his comfort, Christ told him that hee had prayed for him, that his faith might not Luk. 22. 32. Ioh. 11. 43. See post­script. Sect. 14. fayle. Christs prayer was not in vaine. Hee at another time acknowledged to his Father, that he heard him alwaies. And therefore though Peter did after­wardes fall most grieuously in denying his Maister, and that with an oathe, and with cursing himselfe: yet did hee not loose his faith. It remayned in his heart, though hee did not professe it with his mouth. Neyther could this be a singular prerogatiue to Peter: for Christ hath as well prayed for others as for him: not onely for all the Apostles, but like­wise [Page 78] for all those that should beleeue in him Ioh. 17. 20. Qui fecit bonos▪ faci­et perseue­rare in bo­no. August. de perseue­rant. sanct. cap. 12. through their word. And therefore in the midst of all afflictions and tentati­ons, they shall be kept constant in faith. Hee who gaue them faith, will make them to continue their faith: as he who made them good, will make them continue in goodnes. He is so faithfull, that he will not suffer them to be tempted aboue that which they be able to beare, but will giue them the issue with the tenta­tion. Their faith may be assaulted, but not destroyed; weakened, but not wa­sted; eccl [...]psed, but not extinguished: hidde and couered as the Sunne vnder a cloude, and fire raked vnder the ashes, but not abolished. The act of it may be lost for a time, but not the habite: for if their faith may fayle, and they perish, why did the Apostle say, that after they beleeued, they were sealed with the holy spi­rit Ephes. [...]. 13. of promise, which is the earnest of our inhe­ritance, vntill the redemption of the possession purchased by Christ? And how is it true, that they are kept by the power of God through 1. Pet. 1. 5. faith vnto saluation?

And if iustifying faith may not be lost, then it is certaine, that if any fall away, [Page 79] and vtterly loose their faith, they neuer had it. Diuers of Christs Disciples did seeme to beleeue in him, yet afterward forsooke him: and thereupon he said to them, there are some of you that beleeue not. And the Euangelist addeth a reason, for Ioh. 6. 64. So teach­eth Mal­donatus in Ioh. [...]. 6. out of Au­gustine and Beda. Iesus knewe from the beginning which they were that beleeued not, and who should be­tray him. As if there were some of his Disciples that beleeued, and some be­leeued not, namely those that tooke of­fence at his doctrine, and forsooke him; as also Iudas the traitour. Euen while they followed Christ, they wanted this faith. Doth not S. Iohn say of reuolters, they went out from vs, because they were not of vs; for if they had bene of vs, they 1. Ioh. 2. 15. should haue continued with vs. Who then doe fall away from the Church, but on­ly those, who indeed were neuer of the Church: were in it, but not of it? And who are they that liue in the Church and be not of it? but those that want a true iustifying faith, for by it we are made members of Christ, and incorpo­rated into his mysticall body, the Church.

But as for the faith spoken of in this [Page 80] my text, it may be lost, yea it is of such a nature, that seldome it is kept to the end of a mans life. Inward tentation by the diuell, or outward persecution by men, may rob the owners of it.

It is like to corne growing in the house top: which may flourish for a while in the spring time, but in heate and drought of summer will wither a­way. And herein consisteth a maine dif­ference betwixt iustifying, and tempo­rary faith: the one is perpetuall, the o­ther for a time. And no maruaile thogh it continue not long, seeing it is built on temporary causes, namely these three.

1. It ariseth from curiositie, for these beleeuers will heare, and learne, receiue and professe the Gospell for the new­nes of it. As the Iewes reioyced for a [...]me in Iohns light, especially for the noueltie [...]. 5. 35. of it. And as the Athenians, would heare Paul preach, and would know the mea­ning of his doctrine, because as they Act. 17. 20. 21. Sunt quis­eire volūt, [...]o ta [...]tum fine, vt sci­ant, & turpis cu­riositas est: In cantis. serm. 34. said, he brought certaine strāge things to their eares. And they gaue thēselues to nothing but to tell and heare some newes. Bernard noted diuers sorts of [Page 81] persōs who desired knowledge of hea­uenly matters, & seueral ends for which they desired it. And the first was of thē, who desired knowledge onely for this end, that they might know, and this is fowle curiositie.

Now you know that a wonder lasteth not lōg. They who haue curious heads and itching eares after noueltie, will not long like the same thing, but as the Israelites at the first liked their Manna, because it was a strange kind of meate, but afterward loathed it, whē they had bene a while fed with it. So these men at the first hearing of the Gospell, for the strangenes of the doctrine, may ad­mire it, receiue it with ioy, and professe the faith thereof, and yet afterward waxe wearie of it.

2. It often ariseth from pride and vaineglory: Because others doe con­demne the enemies of the Gospell, but doe like and loue; honour and com­mend those that beleeue it, & professe it, & liue accordingly: they to get cre­dit & honour among men, will professe the faith of Christ, & submit themselues to his holy Gospel. Euē as the Pharisies Math. 6, [Page 82] did fast and pray, and giue almes, to be Scire vo­lu [...]t vtsci­antur ipsi, & turpis venitas est. [...]. seene and praised of men. These persons as Bernard said, desire knowledge, that themselues may be knowne: and this is foolish vanitie, which men cannot e­scape, the girding taunt of the scoffing Satyricke. Scire tum nihil est, nisi te scire hoc, sciat alter.

It doth thee nought auayle to knowe, vnles thy knowledge others knowe.

Those that embrace and professe re­ligion for this end, cannot continue constant. If the time should come, that true Christians should be reuiled, and euill spoken of, should be made as the 1. Cor. 4. 13. filth of the world, and the ofscouring of all things as the Apostles were: these men would renounce their faith.

3. It often proceedeth from coue­tousnes: for the getting and keeping of wealth and riches, that they may clime vp to high preferment in the world. As appeareth in those, who sought out Christ, and followed him from place to place, not so much for the miracles which they had seene, and doctrine which they had heard: as for the loaues Ioh. 6. 26. [Page 83] whereof they had eaten, and wherwith Scire v [...] ­lunt vt sci­entiam su­am ven­dant, & turpis quas [...]us est: ibid. they were filled. There be others saith Bernard, who deserue knowledge, that they may sell it for money, for honour, and this is filthy lucre. There be other two ends, whercat some doe aime, for some desire knowledge, that they may edifie others, and this is charitie: some desire knowledge, that themselues may be edified: and this is wisedome. And these are to be allowed, but all other ends are to be condemned. Those that [...] Ad Trall. epist. 2. professe Christ for worldly profit, are not Christians, but marchants of Christ, as Ignatius tearmeth them: And will professe his Gospell, no longer then it may stand with worldly profit. As may be seene in Demas: who for a time, was such a professour of the faith, that S. Paul reckoned him in the Cathologue of the Saints, which saluted the Colossi­ans. Coloss: 4. 14. 2. Tim. 4. 10. Yet Paul afterward thus wrote of him, Demas hath forsaken me, and hath embraced this present world. As an house will fall, if the foundation be remoued, and fire will goe out of it selfe, if fewell be withdrawne: so these mens faith will faile, if the Gospell bring no gaine [Page 84] but losse.

And seeing those temporizing pro­fessours haue these causes propounded to themselues, in hearing and receiuing the word, in beleeuing and professing it with ioy, their faith cannot be sin­cere, for nothing is sincerely done, vn­les it be done for Gods glory. And if it be not sincere, it cannot be sound and firme. And both waies it differs from iustifying faith, for as it doth all things of sinceritie, for God himselfe, for Christ himselfe, for the spirituall and heauenly benefites of Christ, as farre as humane infirmitie will permit: so is it firme and constant, being built on such grounds as will not shrinke.

Do not therefore content your selues with this temporary faith, but seeke for [...]hat which will abide for euer: as well in persecution as in peace; as well in time of tentation, as out of tentation; for if your faith faile, Sathan will pre­uaile Reuel. 2. 10. Luk. 10. 42. against you; your hope is gone, you loose the fauour of God, and the saluation of your owne soules: you must be faithfull vnto death, if you will re­ceiue the Crowne of life. Did not [Page 85] Christ commend Mary, for choosing the good part, which should neuer be taken away from her? Imitate her in your choyse of faith. The one will faile you, when you stand in most neede of it. As in the time of tentation, in the time of affliction, and at the houre of death. But the other will abide with you to com­fort and strengthen you at all seasons, and against all the enemies of your sal­uation. If once you get it, whether you liue long, or die soone, whether you be assaulted with many suggestions, or be free from tentation; whether you passe away your daies in peace, or vnder the crosse, you shal be able at your last end, to say to the great comfort of your soules, with the Apostle, I haue fought a 2. Tim. 4. 8. good fight, I haue finished my course, I haue kept the faith: henceforth is laid vp for me the crowne of righteousnes, which the Lord the righteous iudge, shall giue vnto me [...] that day.

4. The fourth and last propertie of these hearers, is their reuolting, which is here set forth by the time or occa­sion, as also by the manner of it.

First by the time and occasion, that [Page 86] is the time of tentation. There is a dou­ble tentation that doth befall men, the one is spirituall and inward: the other is corporall and outward.

The spirituall and inward tentation Math. 4. 3. 1. Thess. 3. 5. 1. Cor. 7. 5. Math. 6. 13. Iam. 1. 2. [...]. Pet. 16. is from the diuell. And therefore he is often called the tempter: and is said to tempt vs. And his suggestions and prac­tises against vs are called tentations.

The corporall and outward tentati­on is from men, who doe afflict vs, who doe hurt and persecute vs. And so all outward crosses, corporall afflictions, and bloody persecutiōs, are called ten­tations: that is trialls, because they try what men are, whether dissembling hypocrites, or sincere Christians; whe­ther their faith be fained or vnfained: wauering or stedfast, little or great.

And of this tentation, must this place Math. 13. 21. Mar. 4. 17. be vnderstood: for in Mathew and Marke, it is called tribulation and per­secution for the word. Christ foresaw, that the hearers and professours of the Gospell, should afterward be graci­ously persecuted: he therefore foretold what it should worke in this kind of hearers, it would cause them to reuolt.

[Page 87] For the manner of it, it is said in Ma­thew and Marke, they are offended; and that by and by, and immediately: but here they goe away, they depart, will not stand to it, as men of courage but shrinke and fall away. And this com­meth to passe by reason of their owne hardnes, as this parable declareth: for as stony grounds mingled with some earth, are commonly hotte, and will cause the corne cast into them, to sprout and come vp very speedily: but will not suffer the rootes to goe any reasonable depth into the earth, there to be fed with moysture: therefore in the dry sea­son of summer, the blade of the corne will wither, together with the rootes. So these men, though they haue some good motions and affections in their harts, & receiue the word with cheare­fulnes, and seeme to be very forward for a time, yet in time of persecution, all their goodnes will be dried vp: they will loose their first loue to the word, and fall from their former profession. They neuer did cleaue to Christ, with their whole hearts, and therefore are more easily drawne away. Men may fall [Page 88] away from Faith, eyther by errour and Heresie, or by sinne and wickednesse. By errour and heresie: as did Hymeneus and Alexander, who made ship-wracke 1. Tim. 1. 19. of Faith. As did Hymencus and Phyle­tus: who erred concerning the Truth: Saying, that the Resurrection is alrea­dy 2. Tim. 2. 18. past, and did destroy the faith of ma­ny. As did Nicholas, whom for his pro­fession, was chosen for a Deacon, yet afterward became an Arch-hereticke; Reuel. 2. 6. 1. Tim. 4. 1. first Founder of the heresies of the Ni­ [...]laitanes.

And as those did, of whom Saint Paul prophecyed, that in the later times Men shall depart from the Faith, and giue heede vnto spirites of Errors, and doctrines of Diuels. And as those that in former Ages, fell from the Truth, to the Here­sies of Arrius, Pelagius, Nestorius, and other damnable Heretickes. And as those that in the dayes of Queene Ma­ry, did fall from the truth of the Gos­pell, formerly professed, to the Errours and Idolatrie of the Church of Rome.

Againe, men may fall away by sinne and wickednes in their liues, as those who put away a good Conscience. As [Page 89] those who beginne in the spirite, but ende in the flesh. As those who turned backe after Satan. As those who had es­caped from the filthinesse of the world, 1. Tim. 5. 15. 2. Pet. 2. 20. through the knowledge of our Lord and Sauiour IESVS CHRIST, are yet tangled againe therein, and ouercome: whose latter ende is worse then the be­ginning. Fulfilling the Prouerbe, The Dogge is turned to his owne Uomite, the Sowe that was washed, to the wallowing in the myre.

Now these doe not fall away in part only, and for a time, as the Apostles did at Christs Passion, but wholly and per­petually.

This is a fearefull falling away. Cor­poral relapses into naturall diseases, are not so dangerous to the body, as these relapses into errour and sinne, are dan­gerous to the soule. For by them, men procure to themselues a double punish­ment: Poenam damni, & poenam sensus; A punishment of losse. For they loose the reward of their former profession and obedience.

If the Righteous forsake his righ­teousnes, and commit iniquitie, all his [Page 90] righteousnes shall be forgotten, and he shall die in his iniquitie, saith the Lord. Likewise a punishment of sense, 2. Pet. 2. 21. and that so greeuous, as it had bene better for them neuer to haue knowne the way of righteousnes, thē after they haue knowne it, to turne away from the holy cōmaundement giuen vnto them. By their backsliding, they more disho­nour God, and offend others, then if they neuer had made any profession at all. And therefore their punishment shall be greater, then if they had neuer knowne the Gospell.

Here then see the danger of persecu­tion, it driues many from Christ: Such is the disposition of some, as they will not suffer any thing for the Gospell: they like and loue it, when it brings peace and prosperitie with it, but they bid i [...] farewell, when it brings persecu­tiō. Though Christ hath suffered much for them, yet will they not suffer any thing for him; they would faine raigne with him, but they will not suffer with him, nor for him.

And therefore if they be called to beare the crosse, they will rather re­nounce [Page 91] the Gospell, then beare the waight of it. But let them know, that if they deny Christ or his word before men, he will deny them before his fa­ther in heauen: he that setteth his hand to the plough, and looketh backward, is vnfit for the kingdome of God.

Let vs arme our selues against this danger, that we may continue constant Gal. 6. 9. in the day of triall. Let not any crosses make vs wearie of well doing, know­ing that in due season we shall reape if we faint not. And because persecution can neuer harme vs, if our hearts be good, let vs take heede, as we are ex­horted by the Apostle, left there be in Heb. 3. 12. 13. any of vs, an euill heart, and vnfaithfull to depart away frō the liuing God, but exhort one another daily, lest any be hardened with the deceitfulnes of sin.

If any of your hearts be not yet mol­lified, so as the word of God cannot take deepe rooting in the bottome of them, troubles for the Gospell, can no sooner befall you, then you will re­nounce it: but if your heartes bee throughly mollified, if the word take deepe rooting and worke iustifying [Page 92] faith in you, neither tribulation nor an­guish, Rom. 8. 35. nor persecution, nor famine, nor nakednes, nor perill, nor sword, shall se­parate you from the loue of Christ, but in all these things you shall be more then conquerours.

And finally, if it be such an hainous offence, to fall away in time of perse­cution, See Gre­gor. Nazi­an. Orat. 1 in Iulian. what shall we say of them, who fall away in time of peace? those doe it by compulsion, by force and violence; these of their owne accord: those doe it halfe against their will, but these most willingly: those to saue their own goods, and preserue their liues; these to saue neither, being in danger of nei­ther; those by constraint: these through contempt: Those among their enemies, who were readie to hurt them, if they would not recant; these among their friends who will helpe them, if they a­bode constant. Those in the field, where Ante [...]ciē victi, sine congressio­ne prostra­te, Cypriā. de saps. Sect. 6. they feared an ouerthrow: these in a lād of peace, where they expected no com­bat. These must needes be more faultie, and more inexcusable. Those subiects who yeeld to the enemies through feare, and for safegard of their liues, are [Page 93] more fauoured and more easily pardo­ned; then they who being in no dan­ger, did willingly run to the enemies, and of their owne accord ioyne with them against their lawfull Prince. Oh then what fauour can those expect at Gods hand, who in these our happie daies, and in this our peaceable land, doe fall away from the truth of the Gospell, to poperie and profanenesse? These are farre worse then dastardly cowards, for they yeeld not, till they see some danger; these yeeld, before any danger appeareth. These are like Pro. 28. 1. Heb. 12. 4 those wicked ones, who flie when none pursueth them. We should resist vnto blood, striuing against sinne. As Christ shed his blood for the saluation of our soules, so should we be readie to shed our blood, for the mainte­nance of his Gospell. How farre are they from this, who fall away, be­fore they sawe any enemies to resist? what hope can they haue of mercy from Christ, who are so easily turned from the sincerity of his Gospell, which they should defend with their dearest blood? Thinke seriously of this, and [Page 94] take heede of declining in such an hap­pie Luk. 17. 32 Fact [...] est statua sa­l [...]s, vt con­d [...]t te. In P [...]al. 69. fine. season. Remember Lots wife, as Christ biddeth you. And consider that she for looking backe toward S [...]dome was turned into a pillar of salt, and that to season vs withall, as Augustine thought. Deceiue not your selues, but knowe for a certaintie, that the hearing of the Gospell, will not further your saluation, but rather aggrauate your condemnation, if you fail away from it, either in the time of persecution, or in the time of peace.

Vers. 14.

And that which fell among thornes, are they which haue heard, and after their de­parture are choaked with cares, &c.

NOw followeth the exposition of the third kind of ground, which noteth vnto vs a third kind of hea­rers. And those also are bad hearers. The ground is full of thornes. There is some reasonable depth of soyle, yet the seede, and the corne sprouted, is choa­ked by thornes and bryars, that come vp among it, so as it yeeldeth no good crop at haruest. In like sort there be [Page 95] some hearers, whose hearts are not so hard as the former, and who are not try­ed by tentation and persecution as they we [...]e, whose hearts seeme to be much mooued, and deepely pierced with the word, and liue in such peaceable times, and places, that they are neuer called to suffer for the word; and yet all is after­ward marred by corrupt affections, which are not yet mortified, but still liue and raigne in their hearts. And so these hearers suffer much from both the former kindes.

The first sort were hindered in their fruitfulnesse by the Diuell, who tooke the word out of their hearts. The se­cond sort were hindered by other mē, who persecuted them for the Gospell. But this sort are hindered by their own carnall and worldly lustes. They differ from the first kind, because those vnder­stood not the word: but these vnder­stand it, and would haue embraced and obeyed it, but that it crossed their cor­rupt affections, which they could not brydle. They differ from the second sort, because they fall away in time of tribulation and persecution. These fall [Page 96] away in time of peace and prosperitie: those were vrged by externall meanes, cōming from others: these are drawne away by internall meanes, proceeding from themselues. Those were hindered in their perseuerance and fruitfulnesse, through the wāt of good: these through the hauing of euill, euen sinfull lusts, and bad affections in their harts, which like thornes choake the word which they heare. Those renounced their profes­sion: these keepe their profession, and yet are vnfruitfull. These hearers are not all alike: for though the word be choaked in them all, yet it is not choa­ked in all, by the same causes & meanes. In some it is choaked by worldly care: in others by the deceitfulnes of riches; and in the rest by voluptuousnesse. And therefore touching these heare [...]s, we may obserue some things in generall, which concerne them all ioyntly toge­ther, and some things in particular, which concerne them seuerally. The things in general which concerne them all, are two: whereof, the one respec­teth the time of their choaking: the other respecteth the causes of their [Page 97] choaking.

1. The time of their choaking: for it is said of them; That when they haue heard, Oi acousan tes kai po­reuomenoi sumpni gontai. and are departed, or gone their way, they are choaked, &c. They are not choaked while they are in hearing, but rather after­ward, when they are departed from the Sermons, and goe about their worldly affaires: then are they choaked by those things whereon their hearts were set. As thornie groūd may haue some good moyst mouldes, and depth of soyle, and cause the seede sowne in it to sprout and come vp, but afterward will not suffer it to prosper, the thornes in time will choake it. So may a man heare the word, reuerētly and attentiuely, marke it carefully, and receiue it willingly: yea, hee may take it to be the word of God indeed, and the onely word that must saue his soule: hee may wish that hee were able to follow it, and haue a purpose to follow it: and yet after­ward bee hindered in the obedience of it, by the corruptions of their owne heart.

As Pharaoh was hūbled while the hād of God was heauy vpō him: but became [Page 98] as hard as he was before, whē it was re­moued. And as some are Sea sicke while they are on ye water, but well again whē they come to land. And as the hardest Mettals are hot, soft, and pliable, while they are in the fire, but become colde, hard, and stiffe when they are taken out of the fire. So are some hearers much moued while they are in the Church, and so long as they heare: and yet after­ward, when they are gone away, and betake themselues to their worldly af­fayres, loose the efficacie of the word, and become transgressors of it.

These are vnprofitable hearers, the word which they heare will not saue their soules. Men may often heare after this maner, and yet neuer come to hea­uen Doe not therefore content your selues with these present motions, while yo are in hearing, but let them conti­nue, and shew their efficacie after you haue heard, & when occasion is offered in your liues. Let not the word onely moue your affections, but also mortifie them. And let it not onely stirre vp your affections, while it is hard, but direct them, and ouer-rule them in your con­uersation [Page 99] afterward. Let not any thing in the world, or any affections in your owne hearts, hinder your obedience to the word. You know that the S [...]nne, who being commaunded by his Father to worke in his Vineyard, did promise Mat. 21. 30. 31. and purpose to goe, and went not: was condemned for not fulfilling the will of his Father. And do you thinke that you shall be taken for dutifull children to God Almightie, if while you heare his word, you loue it, and like it, and pur­pose to follow it: and yet afterward by some sinister occasions, be hindered in the obedience of it? Know this, that God will neuer accept of good purpo­ses, without good performance; nor of good motions in your mindes, without good maners in your liues.

There be some couetous and volup­tuous persons, farre worse then these of whom Christ here speaketh: for these doe heare, and receiue the word wil­lingly for the present, they are choaked afterward. But there be some couetous worldlings, and voluptuous Epicures, who will not heare at all, or not with a­ny patience. They will not receiue the [Page 100] seede at all, and doe choake it as soone as they receiue it. Such were the Pha­risies, Luk. 16. 14. who mocked Christ when he tax­ed their couetousnes. Such were the Iewes, who would not heare the Lawe of the Lord, but said vnto the Seers, See not: and Isa. 30. 11 Micha. 2. to the Prophets, Prophecie not vnto vs right things, but speake flattering things vnto vs: Prophecie errors. Who would haue none to be their Prophet, but he that would lie falsly, & would prophecie to them of wine and strong drinke. And such be those in our dayes, who cannot endure to heare any thing spoken, to curbe them of their carnall pleasures, or a­bridge them of their worldly profites: who raile against the Preacher, & hate him as Ahab did Michaiah, and heare him with no more patience and liking, then the Iewes heard Stephen, when their Act. 7. 54. hearts brast for anger, and when they gnashed at him with their teeth.

But if these hearers, who giue reue­rent attention to the word when it is deliuered, haue some good liking of it, and a purpose to obey it, & would obey it, but that it doth crosse their pleasures and profites, are reckoned in the num­ber [Page 101] of vnfruitfull hearers. What may be thought of those that be worse, who will not heare it, who will not beleeue it, who doe mislike it? yea, maligne him that teacheth any thing that is a­gainst their pleasures or profits, and are ready to worke him some mischiefe: Oh that these would consider their e­state, and remember how farre they are frō that profitable hearing which must saue their soules!

2. The second thing to be obserued in general, respecteth the causes of their choaking, which are three in number; Cares of the world, riches and volup­tuous liuing. From all which together, we may learne, that noysome lusts, and bad affections in the heart, doe greatly hinder the fruitfull hearing of Gods word. Yea, though the heart be much mooued with the word for a time, and be very like to profite by hearing, and the hearer haue a purpose to follow the word, yet corrupt affections, of care, couetousnesse, and voluptuousnesse, wil hinder the fruitfulnesse of the word. As thornes are to ground that is sowne, [Page 102] so are these affections to the hearers of Gods word. You know, that although the Soyle were reasonable good of it selfe, yet if thornes grow among the corne, they will not suffer the groūd to yeelde any good croppe. So if hearers haue indifferent good mindes of them­selues (especially if some froward affec­tions were expelled:) yet so long as those affections remaine in them, they will hinder the groweth of the word. And therefore Peter exhorteth vs; first, to lay aside all malitious [...]es, & all guile, 1. Pet. 2. 1. 2. and dissimulation, and enuie: and then, as new borne babes, to desire the syn­cere milke of the word, that wee may grow thereby. And Iames biddeth vs Iam. 1. 21 lay apart all filthinesse, and superfluitie of malitiousnes, and receiue with meek­nes the ingrafted word, which is able to saue our soules. If grosse humors abide in the stomacke, they will not suffer it to digest the meate which is eaten, but will make it rather to hurt, then to nou­rish the body. So if there be froward and inordinate affections in your harts, they will so hinder the efficacie of the word, as it shall not profit you to the [Page 103] aluation of your soules.

This shoulde teach you, so often as Use. you come to heare, to looke vnto your hearts, and to emptie them of all wic­ked affections remayning in them. As you are carefull when you plow and sow your fields, to rid vp by the rootes all thornes, bryars, and bushes, left they should hinder the corne; So be you carefull to free your heartes from these badde affections, when you come to heare. Christ biddeh you to be as wise Mat. 10. 16. Epiphan. contra hae­res. haer. 37 Ambros. praefat in enarrat. Psal. 37. Bernard. de modo vivend. serm. 28. Ier. 4. 4. as Serpents. Now this is one poynt of the Serpents wisedome (as the learned doth teach;) That when he is thirstie, he goeth from his hole to the water: yet before he drinke he casteth vp the poy­son which was neere his throate. Imi­tate him therein; If any poyson of bad affections be found in your hearts, ex­pell them, lest they hinder the efficacy of the word. Yea, as the Prophet saith; Breake vp your fallow ground, and sow not among thornes. Be circumcised to the Lord, and take away the fore-skins of your hearts, that so you may heare, to the profit & comfort of your soules

Let vs now see in particular, and se­uerally, [Page 104] what are the things, which like thornes doe choake the seede of the word: Three be here named; The first of them is Care; and because there be two kindes of care, the one a godlie and spirituall care, to care for the things 1. Cor. 7. 32, 33. of the Lord, how we may please him, and to care for the things of the soule, how it may bee saued. The other a worldly and carnall care, to care for the things of the world, how to please men, and how to prouide for our bo­dies in this world. In the other Euan­gelists, Mat. 13. 22. Mar. 4. 19. both in Mathew and Marke, they are called, for distinction sake, Cares of the world. These cares are as thornes to choake the word in the hea­rers hearts: They do oftentimes keepe men from hearing at all. Martha was Luk. 10. 40. 41, carefull to prouide good fare for her guests, & troubled herselfe about ma­ny things, when with her sister Mary shee should rather haue heard Christs doctrine. Those guests, who were in­uited to the wedding feast, made ex­cuses, Luk. 14. 18. that one had bought a Farme, and must needes goe see it: another had bought 5. yoke of Oxen, and must goe [Page 105] prooue them: another had maried a Wife, and therefore could not come. Worldly cares keepe many from the Church, who would not be absent if their worldly businesse did not draw them another way: yet will not bee present if their absence serue for their gaine. So doe these cares make their hearing altogether vnprofitable, euen as thornes make the sowne ground vn­fruitfull. Some haue their hearts so ex­ercised with thinking and plotting of worldly matters, that they cannot at­tend to the word deliuered. Others ha­uing beaten their braines, and busied their heads before, fall to sleepe when they should heare. Others that bee a­wake and listen, haue no loue nor liking of that which is taught. The thinges of the worlde haue so put their mouthes out of taste, as they can finde no sweet­nesse in the word.

Others attend, & seeme to like all wel for a time, yet afterward the cares of the worlde enter into their heades and heartes, and driue the worde out of them, euen as one naile driues out ano­ther. There may be in them for a time [Page 106] some striuing and strugling betwixt the world and the word: but the world o­uercomes in the end, and maketh them no better, then if they had neuer heard. Christ bad his Disciples take heede to themselues, least at any time their hearts Luk. 21. 34. were oppressed with surfetting and drunken­nes, and cares of this life, and least the last day should come on them at vnawares. Be­cause cares of the world doe oppresse the heart, as wel as surfetting and drun­kennes, and make vs vnfit for his com­ming to Iudgement. Our people are much oppressed with worldly cares: they rise early, and lye downe late, and eate the bread of carefulnes: they busie their heades, they beate their braines, they weary their bodies, they breake their sleep, they weaken their strength, they hinder their health, and shorten their liues, with carking and caring, toyling and moyling about worldly af­fayres: and this is one speciall cause why they heare so much, and profite so little.

These then who would be profitable hearers, must before and after their hearing, keepe these cares out of their [Page 107] hearts. Let them remember the ex­hortation giuen by Christ; Be not care­full Mat. 6. 25. for your life, what you shall eate, nor what you shal drinke; nor for your body, what rayment yee shall put on. Is not the life more worth then meate? and the body then rayment? Which of you by taking care is able to adde one cubit to his stature?

It is not sufficient for you to free your mindes from these cares while you are in hearing, but likewise beware lest they entangle you afterward. Ex­pell them so soone as they enter into your mindes, euen as you will cut vp thornes, bryars, and thistles, which you see spring vp among the corne after it is sowne. If they be in your hearts before you heare, they will keepe you from attending, from vnderstanding, or else from affecting that which you heare. And if they enter into your heartes after you haue heard, they will hinder you from practising that, which before you liked, and purposed to obey. Such enemies are they to your fruitfull hearing. Who then would haue his minde disquieted with them?

[Page 108] What? (will some man say) must we haue no care of any thing at all? must Ob. wee set all at sixe and seuen, and let the world wag? must we be like some idle and prodigall vnthrifts, who cast away all care?

Not so, we must distinguish of care; Sol. Est solicitudo diligentiae, & solicitudo dis­sidentiae. There is a care of diligence, when men in a good manner, and due measure, vse all honest and lawfull meanes, to get, and to keepe thinges needfull for this life, and for the main­tenance of themselues, and those which belong vnto them.

The Wise-man sendeth the sluggard Pro. 6. 6. 8. to learne this care of the Pismire, who prepareth her meate in the Summer, and gathereth her foode in the haruest. And the Apostle saith, that if there be a­ny that prouideth not for his owne; and namelie for them of his household, hee deni­eth 1. Tim. 5. 8. the faith, and is worse then an Infidell. This care ought to be in all.

There is also a care of diffidence and distrust, which is an inordinate care: when we keepe no measure in our care; when we are not content to vse lawful, [Page 109] but also vse vnlawfull meanes: and when wee will not depend on Gods mercifull prouidence, for a blessing on the meanes; but forecast before hand what shall bee the successe, and disqui­et our mindes with thinking what shall be the issue, and with fearing an ill euent.

This care wee must renounce as a fruit of vnbeliefe; and as a thorne that will choake the seede of the word. We must with diligence and care vse neces­sarie and lawfull meanes; but leaue the issue to him, who knoweth best what to doe. We must cast this bur­den on the Lord, as the Psalmist tea­cheth vs, and hee shall nourish vs. Wee Psal. 55. 22. 1. Pet. 5. 7. must cast all our care on him: as the Apostle exhorteth: for hee careth for vs.

Let vs rest in his good pleasure, and be content to take in good part what­souer hee sendeth, knowing that all Rom. 8. 28 thinges worke together for the best to them that loue God. And so our care shall not hinder the fruitfulnesse of the word.

[Page 110] 2. But to proceede in the text, what is the second thorne that choaketh the word? Christ here nameth riches; they are as dangerous this way as worldly cares. Though some confound these two, and make both but one thorne, yet is there indeede great difference betwixt them. They are heere distin­guished one from the other, as well as voluptuous liuing is distinguished from them both. And in truth they are of­tentimes seuered, and not found toge­ther in some persons. A man may be perplexed with worldly care, yet not grow rich thereby. The poore are of­tentimes as carefull how to liue, and to get wealth as the rich: yea, sometime more carefull, because their charge is greater, and their wantes more, but their meanes be fewer and weaker. It may bee GOD doth plague their great care with great want: the more carefull they are, the more needfull they bee. If they woulde bee lesse carefull, They might bee lesse need­full.

Againe, rich men are sometime with­out care: As is seene in the godlie: [Page 111] Abraham was rich, so was Iob, both in the beginning and also in the later end of his daies: and yet both of them, free from distrustfull care: yet are riches as pricking thornes to choake the word as well as those cares.

Not onely they who vexe themselues with griping cares, how to get, and how to exercise their wealth: but like­wise those who thinke they haue e­nough already, and care not much for more, but like the rich man in the Gos­pell, say to their soules, Liue at ease, eate Luk. 12. 19. drinke and take your pastime, you haue much goods laid vp for many yeares; may be vnprofitable hearers.

Although this Euangelist nameth riches simply and absolutely without any addition, yet is he to be expoun­ded by Mathew and Marke, who call this thorne the deceitfulnes of riches. And that declareth the manner how they choake the word, namely, by de­ceiuing the owners. Then bee they thornes, when they deceiue. If thou enioy them, and vse them in great plen­tie, Chrysoft. in Math. 13. ho. 45. yet shall they not choake the word in thy heart, vnles they first deceiue [Page 112] thy soule, but if they once deceiue thee, they will choake thee. Not the world, but the cares of the world: not riches, but the deceitfulnes of riches, make the word fruitles.

And certaine it is, that they deceiue many, because they make many vn­fruitfull hearers. In regard whereof, Christ said, we cannot serue God and Math. 6. 24. Math. 19. 23. riches: And that a rich man shall hard­ly enter into the kingdome of heauen. And Paul said, they that will be rich fall into tentations and snares, and into many foolish and noysome lusts, which drowne men in perdition. And while some haue lusted after them, they erred 1. Tim. 69. 10. I [...]. 4. 4. 1. Ioh. 2. 15. from the faith, and pierced themselues through with many sorrowes. And Iames said, Whosoeuer will be a friend of the world, maketh himselfe the ene­mie of God. And Iohn said, If any man loue the world, the loue of the father is not in him.

But how doe they deceiue men? we would faine knowe that, will some say.

I answere, that riches deceiue men foure waies.

1. In respect of the cause of them. [Page 113] They make the owner beleeue, that God in speciall fauour and mercy did bestowe them vpon him, and that he would neuer haue giuen him such a­bundance, vnles he had dearely loued him. And therefore imagineth that he is deepe in Gods bookes, and in grea­ter fauour then those that sustaine los­ses, and endure wants. This is a grosse deceit. Salomon teacheth, that a man Eccles. 9. 1. knoweth neither loue nor hatred, of all that is before him: that is, he neither knoweth whether God loue him or hate him, by his outward estate, neither by his riches nor by his pouertie. And he giueth a Vers. 2. reason, because all things come alike to all men: And the same condition is to the iust, & to the wicked: to the pure and to the polluted: to him that sacri­ficeth, and to him that sacrificeth not: As is the good, so is the sinner: he that sweareth, as he that feareth an oathe. And Christ sheweth, yt by doing good Math. 5. 45. to al, we may be children of our heauē ­ly father; who dealeth so in making his sunne to shine on the euill and good; and sending a raigne on the iust and vn­iust. Hereby a man may be led into a [Page 114] fooles paradise, and made to thinke that he is happy, when he is miserable; and that God is his friend, when he is his foe. And a most dangerous deceit this is, hurtfull to himselfe, and odious to God: hurtfull to himselfe, because it will make him secure, and to content himselfe with his present estate, and ne­uer seeke to better it; yea it will cause him to contemne the word, which should make him better, and to thinke that he is already as good as the word can make him. And therefore he will refuse to heare it often, and when he heareth, it is without profit; he decei­ueth himselfe in his owne imagination, Gal. 6. 3. seeming to himselfe, that he is some­what, when he is nothing. And there­fore putteth off from him, the curses of the law, as not deserued by him, but ap­plyeth to himselfe the blessings of the Gospell, as if they properly belonged vnto him. I would we had none such deceiued rich mē in this our age. Those that be such, let them know, that this fond conceit is odious to God: for he threatneth, that when a man heareth the curses of the law, and blesseth him­selfe [Page 115] in his heart, saying, I shall haue Deut. 29. 19. 20. peace, although I walke according to the stubbornenes of mine owne heart; thus adding drunkennes vnto thirst: The Lord will not be mercifull vnto him; but then the wrath of the Lord, and his iealousie, shall smoake against that man: and euery curse that is writ­ten in his booke, shall light vpon him: and the Lord shall put out his name from vnder heauen. Wherefore let all rich men take heede lest they be thus deceiued: let them know, that riches are common both to good and bad: yea, that the worst often haue them, and the best often want them: and ther­fore let not the hauing of them, make them to presume any whit the more on Gods fauour, or lesse feare his iudg­ments.

2. Riches deceiue men, in respect of the nature of them: In making them to thinke that they be farre better then indeed they are. That they are good in their owne nature, that they make thē better that haue them. That they yeeld the greatest blessings, benefits & com­forts, that man receiueth on the earth. [Page 116] That those who enioy them are the hap­piest, and those who want them are the most miserable in the world. This is a notorious deceyt: for they are not good in their owne nature, but onely in the vse. Not good to all, but onely to the good: who knowe how to vse them a­right. They are not Riches in trueth, but in showe, and doe as much differ from true riches, as the shadowe diffe­reth from the substance. Happie men may want them, & miserable men may haue them.

Naball had them, when Dauid wan­ted them. The Rich Glutton, that at at his death was sent to hell torments, had them in abundance; when as La­zarus, who after death was carryed to Abrahams bosome, did want them. The Apostles had neither golde nor siluer, and yet were happie. They make fewe better, but many worse, and are occasi­ons of much euill. Neyther can they yeeld any great benefits to the owners, 1. Pet. 1. 18. either for soules or bodies. They can­not redeeme our soules: wee were not bought with corruptible things, as sil­uer and golde.

[Page 117] The whole world, and all the wealth thereof, were not a sufficient Ransome for one soule, nor a full satisfaction to Math. 16. 26. God for one sinne. They rather hinder, then further our saluation.

Can they exempt men from Gods iudgements? Doe not Rich men feele them as well as poore? Can they free our bodyes from diseases? Are not Rich men subiect to diseases, as well as poore men? Can they preserue vs from death? Doe not Rich men dye as well as poore?

All the benefits which you can reape by them, are no better, & no more then Luk. 16. the Rich Glutton had; who was cost­ly cladde, and daintily fedde. Are not they then fondly deceiued, who thinke so highly, and make so great account of them?

Wherefore take heede least you be thus deceyued. This deceyte is also a Thorne in the heart, to choake the worde. It will cause men to set theyr heartes on Riches, to loue them, and desire them, and seeke them more then they ought.

It will make them to serue God, and [Page 118] keepe his word, no further then it ser­ueth for their commoditie. If the word command any thing, which they thinke will hinder their profite, they will ra­ther transgresse the word, then forgoe their gaine. Such men will not get and employ their wealth, as the word doth direct: but would haue the word and the teachers thereof, to allowe them to get and employ their wealth as they list.

Take heede of this deceit. If thou be deluded in this sort, euery trifling com­moditie will hinder you in obedience to the word.

3. Riches deceiue men in regard of their effects, because they will not performe that which they seeme to promise, and which their owners ex­pected at their hands. They seeme to promise, and men expect nothing but good from them; and yet they bring much euill with them. As thornes doe beare greene leaues, white flowers, and sweete blossomes, yet vnder the same, doe carry sharpe prickes, that will make a man to bleede, if he doe not handle them choysely and warily.

[Page 119] So riches doe promise to men great ease, high honour, many pleasures, and much contentment; and yet withall they bring great paine, much trouble, and little contentment. They are not gotten without great labour; nor kept without great care and feare; nor lost without great sorrowe. And so they are little better, then the apples of So­dome, August. de ciuit. dei. lib. 21. cap. 5. which seeme to be faire and ripe, and fit to be eaten, but if one taste them, they vanish into powder and smoake.

And that which is worse, they will seeme to make a man more fit, and yet in truth doe oftentimes make him more vnfit for Gods seruice. They puffe vp his heart with pride, they make him more secure and careles of heauenly things, lesse to feare God and his iudgements, and lesse to regard and obey his word. And therefore the Lord, not without iust cause, gaue war­ning before hand to the people of Isra­el, that when they were placed in Ca­naan, (a land that flowed with milke Deut. 8. 11. and hony) and had eaten and filled themselues with the fruites thereof, [Page 120] they should beware that they forgat not the Lord their God, not keeping his commandements, and his ordi­nances. And afterward he thus com­plaineth of them: I spake vnto thee Ier. 22. 21. when thou wast in prosperitie: but thou saidst, I will not heare, this hath bene thy manner from thy youth.

Dauid in the time of his exile and persecution, committed no such sinnes, as he did when he was setled in his kingdome. And it hath bene obserued and confessed by many of the learned, that the Church more abounded in pietie and zeale, when it was perse­cuted and poore; then when it was peaceable, and endowed with riches. And thereupon it was said, Religio pepe­rit diuitias, sed silia deuorauit matrem. Fox. Acts. & monū p. 716. ex August. Religion brought forth riches, but the daughter, hath deuoured the mo­ther.

That as the Church encreased in possessions, so it decreased in vertue. Hieron. Some write, that whē Christian Empe­rours, with good entents, enriched the Polychron. lib. 4. cap. 26. Church with lands and possessions, a voyce was heard to crye; This day [Page 121] is venome or poyson powred into the Church. And afterward the Church began to complaine, and say, In pace mea amaritudo mea maxima; In pace mea, Bernard. in cantic. serm. 33. amaritudo mea amarissima. In my peace, my bitternes is the greatest; In my peace, my bitternes is the most bitter. Not so bitter before by the death of Martyrs, and conflict with Heretikes, as now by the manners of the house­hold.

So that not a fewe, but many, haue bene deceiued and corrupted by riches this way, and therefore all had neede to looke to themselues.

4. Lastly, riches deceiue men, in re­spect of the continuance. Many trust to them, and hope to enioy them long, when as they are presently depriued of them.

Thus was Dauid deceiued. In his pros­peritie, he said, I shall neuer be moued: the Psal. 30. 6. 7. Lord of his goodnes had made his mountaine to stand strong, but thē the Lord did hide his face, and he was troubled. In regard whereof, Salomon saith, Wilt thou cast Pro. 23. 5. thine eyes vpon that which is nothing? for riches taketh her to her wings, [Page 122] like an Eagle which flyeth into the heauen. And Paul bad Timothie, charge rich men, not to trust to vncertaine 1. Tim. 6. 17. riches, vncertaine they are, and there­fore not to be trusted; they will de­ceiue those that trust to them. They will faile vs in our greatest neede, as namely, at the houre of death. That rich man, who enlarged his barnes, and laid vp goods for many yeares, when Luk. 12. 20. he was in great hope of enioying them long, had his soule taken from him that night, and knew not who should en­ioy them. Naked came we into this world, and naked must we returne: 1. Tim. 6. 7. wee brought nothing into it, neither must we carry any thing out of it: hic Ambros. acquiruntur, hic relinquntur, here they are gotten, and here they are left.

All those waies doe riches deceiue men. And whom they deceiue, in their hearts they choake the word.

Such impediments are they to the word, as they hinder many from re­ceiuing and professing it.

Christ said, the poore receiue the Gospell. Math. 11. 6.

And Paul said, you see your calling, [Page 123] that not many mightie or many noble 1. Cor. 1. 26. are called: but God hath chosen the weake ones to confound the mightie: and base and despised ones, to con­found the noble.

So likewise they hinder men in the obedience and practise of the word. Rich men are more bound to serue the Lord then the poore, for on whom he bestoweth much, of them he requireth much: As he is more bountifull to thē, so should they be more dutifull to him: yet oftentimes it commeth to passe, that they seldomer heare it, and lesse obey it, then others doe. But the grea­ter is their sinne, and the more fearefull shall be their iudgement, if they doe not amend.

You then that be rich, looke well a­bout Use. 1. you, take heede lest your riches deceiue you, and in deceiuing you, make the word fruitles. It had bene better neuer to haue enioyed them, then thus to be deceiued and hindred by them. Salomon thought this to be an euill sicknes which he saw vnder the sunne: to wit, riches reserued to the owners Eccles. 5. 12. thereof for their euill. And is it not verified [Page 124] in them: whose Riches doe choake the worde in their hearts, and make it vn­fruitfull in their liues? what greater euil could befall them? Do they not here­by endanger their owne soules? In a woefull case they are, and farre worse then the poorest in the world.

CHRIST sayth vnto such, Woe be vnto you that are rich: for yee haue re­ceyued Luk. 6. 24 your consolation. Some com­fort they may find now, but none here­after. And Iames saith to them, Go too now yee Rich men, weepe and howle, for the miseries that shall come vppon you: your Iam: 5. 1. 2. 3. gold and siluer is cankred, and the rust therof shalbe a witnes against you, and shall eate your flesh, as it were fire. Ye haue heaped vppe Treasure for the last dayes. Though now they feare no dan­ger, yet one day they shall feele it, to their great sorrowe. It is strange to see howe craftie and wise Rich men bee in worldly affaires. In all their dealings, they take such good heed, that they can hardly bee deceiued by any, yet in spi­rituall matters, touching the saluation of theyr soules, they may easily bee o­uer-reached.

[Page 125] They are to theyr great losse often deceyued, and yet doe not perceiue it: Their owne riches deceiue their soules, and yet they cannot discerne it, nor will acknowledge it.

Oh consider, that as the Diuell may deceiue you, and as other men may de­ceiue you, so also your own wealth may deceiue you, and that as dangerously as any.

It may so deceiue you, as it may procure your euerlasting destruction, if in time, you do not espie it, and redresse it.

CHRIST would neuer haue said that the deceitfulnes of Riches, as Thornes choake the seed of the word, vnlesse ri­ches did deceiue men, and make them vnfruitfull hearers. Let his words then be an admonition, to make you take better heede.

There is not any one of you, but if a Friende tolde you of a Couzener, that had beguyled manie, and went about to deceyue you, to your great dam­mage, you would take warning, and ey­ther refuse to haue any dealings at all with the man, or else, if by necessity you [Page 126] were compelled thereunto, you would be so very circumspect in your dea­lings, that hee should hardly defraud you. Christ Iesus here lets you vnder­stand, that riches are deceitfull, and that in deceiuing men, they hinder them in that which serues for Gods glory, and the good of their owne soules. And will not you receiue war­ning, and beware of them? Take heede of them, they seeme to be your good friends, and much to pleasure you, yet is there falshood in their fellowship. The better you like them, the more you loue them: and the more you trust them, the more readie are they to de­ceiue you.

And indeed this is one of the stran­gest and grossest deceits that can be found in the world In other matters men are deceiued against their wills, but in this, with their wills. In other things the deceiued, doe of themselues soone espie the cosenage, and seeke to helpe themselues: but in this, many are deceiued continually, and yet can­not discerne it? yea, if another tell them of it, yet will they not beleeue it. [Page 127] In other fraudes the deceiuers are most in fault; but here the deceiued are in greatest fault: for riches deceiue you, not through their owne craft, but through your corruption: not through their fraudulēt perswasions, but throgh your fond affections: not through their bad practises, but through your madde behauiour. Riches are no causes, but occasions of the deceit. Men take occa­sion by them, & vse them as meanes to deceiue themselues. As Paul sayd of Rom. 7. 11 Sinne and the Law; Sinne tooke oc­casion by the Commaundement, and deceiued me, and thereby slew me. So may we say of mans corruption and ri­ches: His corruption taketh occasion by riches to deceiue himselfe, and ther­by to destroy himselfe. He is deceiued by the supposed pleasantnesse of riches; as Eue was deceiued by the pleasantnes of the Apple. And as Eue was more to be blamed then the Apple; so is the rich man more to be blamed then his riches.

If riches doe so dangerously deceiue Quest. men, how may we vse riches, that they may not deceiue vs; nor like thornes, hinder the fruit of the word.

[Page 128] You neede not to cast them away, as Answ. Crates the Thebane, and some other Philosophers did. They are the good blessinges of God, and may be well v­sed, for Gods glory, and mans good. Obserue these 5. Rules, and they shall not deceiue you, nor choake the word in your hearts.

1. Set not your affections on them, desire them not too earnestly, loue them not too dearely: according to the instruction of the Kingly Prophet; If riches increase, set not your hearts there­on: Psal. 62. 10. 1. Cor. 7. 31. but rather as the Apostle exhor­teth; They which vse this world, let them be as though they vsed it not. It is your inordinate affection toward them, that makes them to deceiue you, and hinder you in the obedience of the word. The more you loue them, the lesse will you loue the word, the lesse desire wil you haue to heare and learne it, and the lesse care to obey it. If your hearts be set on wealth, it will so de­ceiue you, that no sinne can be gaine­full, but you will be ready to practise it: and no dutie bring any damage, but you shall neglect it. Is not the desire of [Page 129] money the roote of all euill? What 1. Tim. 6. 10. makes some to lye in their bargayning? some to sweare vainely & falsly? some to vse fraude and cousonage? some to oppresse and wrong others, but an im­moderate desire of riches? This is the very spawne of all sinne, in vniust dea­ling: therefore learne to moderate it. Doth not Christ say, that he who loueth Mat. 10. 37. Luk. 14. 26. father or mother, sonne or daughter, wife or children, or his owne life, more then me, is vnworthy of me: hee can­not be my Disciple: And is he worthy of him, or can be his Disciple, who lo­ueth lands & liuing, wealth and riches, better then him? Doth not hee say; If Ioh. 14. 23. any man loue me, hee will keepe my word? Those then that transgresse his word for their owne aduantage, and sinne against him, to get, to keepe, or to encrease their riches; doe they not loue their riches better then him?

2. Be content to employ your riches as the word directeth you. You are but Luk. 16. 2 Stewards of your riches, the Lord is the owner, and wil one day call you to giue an account for your Stewardship: you must not therefore vse them as you list, [Page 130] but as he will: how he would haue you to vse them, he teacheth you by his word. Wherefore make the word your Counsellour in all your dealings. Doe not get your wealth by any other meanes then the word alloweth: doe not keepe it any longer then the word permitteth: and doe not otherwise bestow it or spend it, then the word ap­proueth: Then cannot your riches hin­der, but will rather further your obe­dience: the vse of them will be a prac­tise of the word.

3. Account the word of God, and the graces and blessings conueyed vnto thee thereby, greater riches, and more precious Iewels then all the wealth of the world. Know that godlinesse (as the Apostle teacheth) is great gaine. 1. Tim. 6. 6. Phil. 3. 9. Be of Pauls minde, who thought all things but losse, for the excellēt know­ledge sake of Christ Iesus our Lord: for whom hee counted all things losse, and did iudge them to be dung, that hee might winne Christ. As the soule is more excellent then the body; and as heauen is more excellent then the earth; so those thinges whith belong to the [Page 131] soule, and come from heauen, are more excellent then those things which be­long to the body, and come from the earth. If thou doe so esteeme of them, thou wilt not suffer the wealth of the world to hinder thee of them. If thou canst not enioy both together, thou wilt rather forgoe wealth then the word. The want of this due estimati­on, causeth riches to be an hinderance to many. They thinke too highly of worldly wealth; but too basely of Gods word and his graces: and therefore had rather get and keepe ther wealth, then obey thé word, and increase in grace.

4. Pray earnestly vnto God, that he would giue thee grace to vse riches a­right, euen for the glory of his Name, for the good of thine owne soule, and for the benefit of others. Say vnto the Lord with Dauid; Encline my heart to Psal. 119. 36. thy testimonies, and not to couetousnesse: for thy heart cannot be enclined to both together. Pray thus before thou come to hear; pray thus after thou hast heard. And in all thy dealings of the world, pray to God to plucke these thornes [Page 132] out of thy heart, lest they hinder thee in the obedience of his word. The more thou prayest thus, the lesse shall the de­ceitfulnes of riches hinder thee.

5. Though thou abound in wealth, yet be not proud; but be as lowly and humble as if thou liued in want: for GOD resisteth the proude, and giueth 1. Pet. 5. 5 1. Tim. 6. 17. grace to the humble. Paul would not haue commaunded Timothie, to charge rich men, that they be not high minded, vn­lesse there were some danger that way. They are in danger of being proud, and when they are proud, they are in dan­ger of disobedience: for proude men will despise the word, and will thinke scorne to be taught their dutie, and to be reproued for their faults by a poore Minister: and will no further obey the word then they thinke it may stand with their credit and honour. Know that God is no respecter of persons: the poore may be as acceptable to him as the rich: he more respecteth mans dis­position and behauiour, then his out­ward estate. If thou be poore, be not dismayed: if rich, be not proud.

Lastly, if riches deceiue men, and Use. 2. [Page 133] hinder them in the obedience of the word, let not the poorer sort alwaies follow the example of rich men. Their riches doeth often choake the worde which they heare, so as it taketh no ef­fect in their hearts, nor yeeldeth any fruit in their liues. If then the poorer sort will doe as they doe, they will prooue vnprofitable hearers. In world­lie matters the poorer sort will follow them no further then serueth for their present profite. If the rich should sow among thornes, and reape a course croppe of corne at haruest, through ill husbandry; the poore will not be drawne by their example to vse the like ill husbandry, nor bee content to reape the like croppe: but what­soeuer the other doe, they will be carefull to dresse their ground after the best manner, and seeke to make the best profite of that little lande which they occupie.

And why then should they imi­tate their ill husbandry in spirituall and heauenly thinges? If in Christs time, and the Adostles time, the [Page 134] poore had beene led by the example of the rich, very few had embraced the Gospell: many of them did receiue it, though most of the rich did reiect it. Consider this, that their example will not excuse you before God: your meane estate hath least impediments. The wise man desired God to giue him Pro. [...]0. 8. 9. neither riches nor pouertie; but to feed him with foode conuenient, lest being full, hee should deny GOD, or beeing poore, should steale, and take Gods Name in vaine. And therfore as ground without thornes, yeeldeth greater in­crease then that which is ful of thornes: So you who be of middle and meane e­state, should performe greater obedi­ence, then those that be exceeding rich, or very poore.

The third and last thing, that as a thorne choaketh the word, is voluptu­ous [...]. liuing, or the pleasures of this life. Though Mathew omit this, yet Marke mentioneth it as well as this Euange­list; and calleth it, The lusts of other things, or lusts about other things. This differeth from the former: for men may be rich, and yet enioy no pleasure. Salo­mon [Page 135] sayde, hee saw this euill vnder the Sunne, and it was much among men. A man to whom God had giuen riches, and Eccle. 6. 1. 2. treasures, and honour, and wanted nothing for his soule, of all that it desired: but God gaue him no power to eate thereof, but a strange man shall eate it vp. This is vani­tie and an euill sicknesse. Some are so miserable, as they cannot finde in their hearts to vse their riches for their owne comfort; but let them lye by them, as a sicke man doth his meate. Againe, there be many who liue in pleasure, and yet enioy little wealth; who waste their wealth in wantonnesse, and care little for riches, so that they may haue their pleasure for a time. Such are the wanton youthes of our age, who like the prodi­gall Sonne, spend their patrimonie by Luk. 15. riotous liuing.

These carnall pleasures will no lesse choake the seede of the word, and hin­der the fruites of it, then cares of the world, or deceitfulnesse of riches. Salo­mon was a myrrour of wisedome: yet when hee gaue himselfe to voluptous­nesse, he forgat himselfe, neglected his dutie to his Creator, and gaue way to [Page 136] abhominable Idolatrie. And for this cause did Iob sacrifice for his children [...]ob. 1. when they were feasting, lest the plea­sures thereof should make them blas­pheme God in their hearts. And Paul 1. Tim. 5. 6. sayd, that the widdow which liueth in pleasure, is dead while she is aliue: be­cause such are no more able to per­forme the duties of Christians, then one that is dead is able to performe the of­fice of a man. These pleasures hinder the fruitfulnes of the word in three re­spects.

1. In regard of the nature of the word, & the obedience therof, it affordeth no such carnal pleasures as the natural man desireth: though it yeeld spirituall and heauenly pleasures, yet it it yeeldeth no corporall or carnall pleasures. And ther­fore voluptuous persons, who minde nothing but their pleasures, haue no care to obey the word, which bringes them no such pleasures as they desire. Nay the word doth crucify our lusts, doth curbe & moderate our pleasures. And therefore the naturall man, who hath his heart wholy set on pleasures, and will not be stinted in the vse of [Page 137] them, cannot endure it.

2. In regard of the effect of plea­sures, they breede securitie in the heart, make it more vnfit for grace, more prone to vice, & lesse fearefull of sinne and punishment. And therefore it is sayd, That Whoredome and Wine take Hos. 4. 11. away the heart. Pleasure, like another Cyrce, so enchanteth mens mindes, that like bruite beastes, they are altogether giuen to sensuallitie, and wholy neglect their dutie to God.

3 In regard of the matter of plea­sures: for many carnall pleasures con­sist in the vse of vnlawfull thinges, and in the practise of some sinne. Now if a mans heart bee set on plea­sure, then to satisfie his pleasure hee will sinne against GOD, as Eue did in eating the forbidden fruite. And as Herode did, who though hee heard Iohn Baptist gladly, and did many thinges that he taught, yet he would not put away his brothers wife, as he was commaunded.

Voluptuous persons wil not embrace such doctrine, nor follow such teachers as condemne their vnlawfull pleasures. [Page 138] They will not suffer wholesome doc­trine 2. Tim. 4. 3. (as Paul fore-told,) but after their owne lusts, get them an heape of tea­chers, to trie whether any will tollerate their sinfull pleasures, and them will they like best. Uolupt as est escamalorum: Homo ca­pitur vo­luptate, sicut hamo piscis. August. Pleasure is the baite of sinne. And man is taken with pleasure, as the fish with an hooke. As the Fisherman couereth his hooke with a baite, that the fish bi­ting at the baite, may be catched with the hooke: So the Diuell doeth baite many sinnes with pleasure, that man re­ceiuing the pleasure, may be catched with the sinne. In regard whereof, the voluptuous man, who will not bee a­bridged of any pleasure, committeth many sinnes against God, and fayleth often in the obedience of the word. He may often heare the word, yet will not obey it in any point which crosseth his pleasure. As some sicke patients are content that the Physition pre­scribe them a dyet, and sometime aske him a question, whether such meate be good for them or no: though the Phy­sition, who best knowes what is hurt­full for him, doe forbid them some [Page 139] kinds of meate, yet haue they so strong an appetite to some of those meates, as for all his direction, they will not for­goe them, but onely would haue beene glad if he would allow them. So men come to heare the worde, and thereby to learne what is good and ill for the health of their soules: though the Prea­cher giue them good direction, yet so earnest is their desire of pleasure, that they will take their delight in those thinges which hee by the worde doeth forbid.

This may teach vs, to take heede of Use. pleasures. If our hearts be drawne away with them, wee shall be barren soyle. We professed and promised in our Bap­tisme, to renounce the vaine pompe and glorie of the world, and all car­nall desires of the flesh: shall we then by seeking & following them, choake the word in our hearts? Although be­fore our conuersion, we were (as the A­postle speaketh of himselfe and others) Tit. 3. 3. disobedient, deceiued, seruing the lusts and diuers pleasures: yet now after our conuersion, we must forgoe many plea­sures, that so we may yeeld better obe­dience [Page 140] to the word of God. It was fore­told by Paul, that in the last daies shall come perilous times: for men should be louers of pleasures, more then louers of God. I may say to you, as Christ sayd of 2. Tim. 3. 4. Luk. 4. 21. Isaiahs Prophecy; This day is this Scrip­ture fulfilled in your eares: now are come those perilous times. Now doe many men loue their pleasures, more then they loue God. The loue of God is seene in keeping his Commaunde­ments. Those then that are more care­full, take more paines, and defray more charges, to satisfie themselues in their pleasures, then to glorify God, by the obedience of his word: Are they not lo­uers of pleasures, more then louers of God? And those that wilfully breake Gods Commaundements, that so they may enioy their pleasures; as some by whoredome; others by surfetting and drunkennesse; others by scoffing and iesting; others by lasciuious dancing, riotous gaming, wanton sports & pro­phane pastimes on the Sabboth day; Are they not louers of pleasure more then louers of God? And if they loue their pleasures more then they loue [Page 141] God, they may rather be counted pro­phane Epicures, then godly Christians. The greater their pleasures is now, the Reuel. 18. 7. greater will their paine be hereafter.

Many of these are so addicted to their pleasures, as they will not by any meanes be reclaymed: wee finde it an harder matter to reforme them, then to reforme other offenders.

The Phylosophers obserued that ma­ny Eras. apo­phth. lib. 7. in Arcesil. fel from other Sects to the Epicures; but not any from the Epicures to other Sectes. When we speake against their pleasures, wee but speake to the bellie, which wanteth eares. Surdo canimus; they are like the deafe Adder, that stop­peth her eare. But if they will take no warning, let them goe on, and trie what will become of them in the end. Reioyce Eccles. 11. 10. O young man in thy youth (as Salomon spea­keth) and let thine heart cheere thee in the dayes of thy youth: and walke in the wayes of thine heart, and in the sight of thine owne eyes: but knowe that for all these things GOD will bring thee to Iudge­ment. Hee that is vniust, let him be vniust Reuel. 22. 11. still: and he which is filthie, let him bee filthie still: yet shall they find that Christ [Page 142] will come shortly, and his reward is with him, to giue to euery one accor­ding to his worke. And then those which with poore Lazarus, endure paine, shall bee comforted: but those which with the rich glutton, enioyed their pleasures, shall be tormented.

What? will you abridge vs of all Quest. pleasures? must we become Stoickes? may we not take pleasure sometime for our refreshing?

We will neyther with Stoickes con­demne Answ. all pleasures, nor with Epicures commend all pleasures. Onely we teach you what pleasures are to be auoyded, and how other pleasures are to bee moderated, least they hinder you in grace, and in your dutie to your good God. Wee acknowledge that GOD hath giuen vs his blessings, and graunted vs the vse of his creatures, not onely for necessitie, but likewise for delight and pleasure. Adam en­ioyed pleasure before his fall: Para­dise where hee was placed, was cal­led the Garden of Eden, that is, The Garden of pleasure. The Lord hath proomised delights and pleasures [Page 143] as a reward and blessing to his people that obey his voyce. The Lord (saith the Prophet) shall comfort Zion, he Isai 51. 3. shall comfort all her desolations, he shall make her desart like Eden: and her wildernes like the garden of the Lord: ioy and gladnes shall be found therein: praise and the voyce of sing­ing. And God giueth not onely bread Psal. 104. 15. to strengthen mans hart; but also wine, to make his heart glad, and oyle to make his face shine. But take heede how you vse them: The abuse of them, dishonoureth God, and hindereth the saluation of many mens soules. If you will knowe how to vse them aright, obserue these foure rules.

1. Regard the matter of them, that it be not a thing forbidden by God, for euery sinfull pleasure, shall be punished with a sorrowfull paine: voluptas transit, peccatum remanet. The pleasure passeth Augustin. away, the sinne remaineth, and the pu­nishment shall follow: he that taketh pleasure in any acte of sinne, is like to gnats and flies, that play with a candle that burneth them. As Dalilah spake faire to Sampson, and much delighted [Page 144] him for a time, but at last betrayed him, and deliuered him into the hands of his enemies, and was the cause of his destruction. So these sinfull pleasures may delight men for a season, yet in the end, they will betray them, and procure their euerlasting condemna­tion. There be but two ends of these pleasures, either repentance or punish­ment. Those that doe not seriously re­pent, shall be seuerely punished.

2. Obserue a due measure in them. Though the things wherein thou takest delight be lawfull, yet moderate thy selfe in the vse of them: thou maist tast of them, but not surfet: hony is sweete and wholesome, but hee that eateth much, may surfet of it, and annoy his body. So pleasures are necessarie to sa­tisfie the infirmitie of our fraile nature, and to make vs more chearefull in Gods seruice: yet superfluitie is dan­gerous to the soule, and will breede securitie, and contempt of spirituall things in the heart. Doe not turne Christian libertie, into licentious Epi­curisme. As he that will haue an health­full body must vse sobrietie in his diet: [Page 145] so hee that will haue a sound soule, must vse temperance in his plea­sures.

3. See that the time be fitting, plea­sures must not be perpetuall; nor con­tinuall. It is noted as a fault in the Luk. 16. 9. rich man, that he was cloathed in pur­ple and fine linnen, and fared delicately euery day. Now and then had bene enough. There is a time for all things, Eccles. 3. 4. said the wise man. A time to weepe, and a time to laugh. And so there is a time when we may take our pleasures, and a time, when wee must abstaine from them. The Lord reproued the Iewes, that when he called them vnto weeping and mourning: to baldnes and girding with sackcloath. Then Isai. 22. 12. 13. there was ioy and gladnes, slaying oxen, and killing sheepe: eating flesh and drinking wine. And therefore if God doe visite the land with any pub­like calamitie of pestilence, famine or the sword, we should rather hūble our selues with sorrowfull repentance, with fasting & prayers, thē delight our selues with the pleasures of the flesh. If any will thē addict thēselues to their wōted [Page 146] delights: we may say to them as Elishah said to his seruant Gehazi: Is this a time 2. King. 5. 26. to receiue money, and to receiue gar­ments, and oliues, and sheepe and oxen? Is this a time to sport your selues with carnall pleasures, and worldly delights? Is it not rather a time of mourning, then of ioyes? We must weepe with them that weepe. And therefore if our brethren and neere neighbours feele the hand of God heauie on them, we must then forbeare our pleasures, and mourne for them. The Lord denoun­ced Rom. 12. 15. a fearefull woe, against them that were at ease in Sion, which did lye vpon beds of Iuorie, and stretch themselues vpon their beds; did eate the lambes of the flocke, and the calues out of the Amos. 6. 4. 5. 6. stall. Did sing to the sound of the violl, and inuented to themselues instrumēts of musicke like Dauid. Did drinke wine in bowles, and annoynt themselues with the chiefe oyutments, but were not sorry for the affliction of Ioseph. Know then, that all times are not sea­sonable for your pleasures. And then onely vse them when it is fitting.

4. Doe not content your selues one­ly [Page 147] with carnall and earthly pleasures, but also seeke for spirituall and heauen­ly pleasures. Doe not count this to be your onely pleasure, to liue deliciously for 2. Pet. 2. 13. a season, as some heretofore haue done, and were iustly taxed by the Apostle. But know that there Rom. 7. 22. are delights for the inward man, as well as for the out­ward. There is Psal. 1. 2. a delight in the lawe of God. There Rom. 1. 4. is consolation by the scriptures. There is Phil. 21. consolation in Christ. And a reioycing Gal. 6. 14. in the Crosse of Christ. There is Rom. 14. 17. a ioy in the holy Ghost. There is Phil. 1. 25. a ioy of faith. There is Rom. 12. 12. a reioycing in hope. There is a 2. Cor. 1. 12. Psal. 1. 2. Ps. 112. 1. reioycing in the testimonie of a good conscience. Do not therfore satisfie thy selfe, with outward and corporall de­lights, but seeke also for those that be inward and spirituall: these are more permanent, and profitable, and will yeeld true comfort to thy soule. Be like that blessed man, who delighteth in the law of God, and meditateth therein day and night, who feareth the Lord, and delighteth greatly in his comman­dements. Imitate the blessed Virgin, Luk. 1. 47. whose spirit reioyced in God her Saui­our. [Page 148] And the holie Apostle, who deli­ted in the law of GOD, concerning the Luk. 1. 47. Rom. 7. 22. inward man.

Then shalt thou bee satisfied with the fatnesse of the Lords house: and he shall giue thee drinke out of the Riuer Psal. 36. 8. Ps. 16. 11. of his pleasures, as Dauid speaketh.

There be also pleasures in heauen: for in the presence of God is fulnesse of ioy: and at his right hand are pleasures for euermore. Those farre excell all the pleasures of the garden of Eden. They yeelde full contentment, and make all them happie which doe enioy them: Therefore seeke especially for them.

A woefull thing it is, to enioy plea­sure in this life, which is but short, and to endure paine in the other life, which is eternall. If you cannot be partakers of both together, seeke for the better. Make Moses choyce, who refused the delights of Pharaohs Court: and chose Heb. 11. 25 rather to suffer aduersitie with the peo­ple of God, then to enioy the pleasures of sinne for a season.

Lastly, from the consideration of all these Thornes together, wee may ob­serue, that not one onely corrupt affec­ction, [Page 149] but likewise manye corrupt af­fections in mans heart, doe choake the seede of the word: Euen all these three, mentioned before. A man may as well be hindered by one of them, as byan o­ther; as well by any one of them, as by all of them. It is not impossible to finde them all three in one & the same man.

A man may be much perplexed with worldly cares, how to get and encrease riches, and when he hath gotten them, hee may be deceiued by them, in thin­king too highly of them, in louing them too dearely, and trusting too much vn­to them. He may then also liue in plea­sure: he may be carefull to get riches, and to encrease them, that so hee may consume them on his owne lustes. By reason of his worldly care, and the de­ceitfulnes of his riches, he may be spa­ring and niggard-like in relieuing of o­thers, yet in regarde of voluptuousnes, he may spend much on himselfe.

That Rich-man, Luke 12. had much Lu. 12. 19 goods layde vp for himselfe, for many yeares. Not any for others, but all for himselfe: and therefore he would liue at ease, eate, drinke, and take his pastime. [Page 150] And the rich glutton, which would not Luk. 16. 19. 21. giue so much as the crums that fell from his table, to poore Lazarus: was giuen to pleasure, & spent much on his owne back & belly: Such men as these, haue many thornes growing in the field of their hearts: they haue many impedi­ments to hinder them in the obedience of the word. And therefore cannot be profitable hearers, and diligent practi­sers of the word. The more thornes growe in a sowne field, the lesse corne is reaped at haruest. So of all carnall hearers, these yeeld the least fruit.

Yet are these three things distingui­shed one from another, as was shewed before, are oftentimes seuered in their subiects, one of them may be found in one man, and not either of the other. And one of the other may be found in another man, and not that. A man may be carefull: and yet poore. A man may be rich, and yet not giuen to plea­sure. And all of them haue their speciall and seuerall effects, one hindering after one manner, and another after another manner.

And therefore any one of these, is [Page 151] able of it selfe to hinder the fruitfulnes of the word. You knowe there be many kindes of thornes: with vs there be white thornes, and black thornes, haw­thornes, and slowthornes: And the word in the originall, is taken not one­ly Scapulae lexicon in Akantha. for thornes, but likewise for bryars and brambles, and any thing that hath prickes. And therefore as one kind of thornes, (if there be many of that kind) may as well hinder the fruitfulnes of your fields, as many kindes. So one kind of corrupt affections in your harts, may hinder the efficacie of the word, as well as many. And therefore as when you plow and sow your ground, you rid vp not onely one kinde of thornes and bryars, but likewise all of each kind. So when you heare the word, expell out of your hearts, not onely all bad affections of one kind, but likewise all bad affections of each kind.

It is lamentable to see, how fondly people deceiue themselues herein. Ma­ny men doe harbour one noysome lust, one corrupt affection or other, in their hearts, and because they keepe out [Page 152] many others, they hope all is well with Quid re­fert, si hoc vel illo mo­do pereas. Agricola quocun (que) modo pere­nutia semi­na pariter luget, &c. Chrysost. in Math. 13. homil. 45. them. The couetous worldling con­demnes the voluptuous epicure: And the voluptuous epicure, condemnes the greedie and miserable worldling. The couetous man thinketh that he is a good Christian, because he is not giuen to prodigall licentiousnes: And the vo­luptuous man, would be esteemed a good hearer, because hee abhorres worldly cares and miserable couetous­nes. But let them both knowe, that ei­ther of these two sinfull lustes, are suffi­cient to condemne their soules: and let them not purge their hearts from the one alone, but from both together, if they will be fitte soyle for the Lords seede.

The last thing to be obserued in these hearers, is the effect of their choaking: namely, what is the issue and euent that befalls them, when they are thus choaked by those corrupt lustes: they bring forth no fruite. Though they doe not fall away from their professi­on, as those hearers mentioned in the former verse: but still continue professours and hearers of the Gos­pell, [Page 153] yet are they vnfruitfull in their profession. The originall word doth properly signifie, that they doe not bring [...]. forth any full and perfect, any ripe and truely fruite. As if they might bring forth some kinde of fruite, yet no good fruite, no full corne, nor profita­ble gaine. Corne sowne amōg thornes, may yeeld some kinde of fruite, yet not such as will please the husband­man: It will be an vntimely fruite: it will wither away, before it be through­ly fed, and fully ripe. It will be very thinne on the ground, when it is rea­ped, it will proue nothing but short eares, and small gaines; and when it is threshed, nothing but light corne, and vnprofitable. Such is the obe­dience of those men, which be giuen to couetousnes, and voluptuousnes, they may performe some outward du­ties, yet not many: onely such as doe not hinder them in their worldly pro­fits, nor abridge them of their carnall pleasures. And those which they doe performe, are very imperfect, neither acceptable to God, nor comforta­ble to their owne soules. They are [Page 154] not such as God exacted, they doe not proceed from such sinceritie of the heart, neither are they directed to that right end, neither are they per­formed in such an holy manner as he requireth. Though they seeme to be­gin well, yet their inward lusts doe so hinder them, that they cannot bring their actions to a due perfection, but waxe wearie of doing well: And ei­ther quite cease from their enterpri­ses begun; or else efaint much in their proceedings, before they bring any thing to a good end.

Whence first we may take notice of the nature, qualitie and maner of their obedience, whose hearts are still posses­sed with the cares of the world, and the pleasures of this life. They may per­forme many good duties, yet faile in some maine dutie.

And yet those which they performe, cannot please the Lord, we haue preg­nant examples hereof in the scriptures.

Naaman the Syrian, being cured of his leaprosie by the Prophet Elisha, vowed vnto him, to worship none other God, but the God of Israel, [Page 155] yet desired he to be tollerated in one point: that when he went with his Mai­ster into the house of Rimmon, and when 2. King. 5. 18. his Maister leaned on his hand, and he did bowe as his Maister and others did, the Lord would be mercifull vnto him therein. Though he misliked that idola­try in his heart, yet because he could not enioy his gainefull place and office vnder his Maister, vnles in that point he dissembled, he for his gaine would in outward behauiour, ioyne with others in that idolatrous worship, he would be a Proselyte, so farre as it might stand with his worldly commoditie, but no further. And the reason was, because worldly lustes were not then mortified in his heart. Iudas had diuers commendable things in him, otherwise Christ would neuer haue chosen him to be one of the twelue: he heard his sermons, liued a long time ciuilly, and preached the Gospell to others: yet be­cause couetousnes did still raigne in his heart, for money he betrayed his Maister.

That rich yong man which came to Christ to knowe the way to eternall [Page 156] life, had so kept the commandements for outward actes, as Christ loued him, Mar. 10. 21. yet because his corrupt affections were onely kept vnder, and not killed, he left Christ, and had rather breake his commandement, then leaue his owne wealth.

Herod (as you heard) did many things which Iohn Baptist taught, yet because the word was not powerfull in his heart, to mortifie his sinfull lustes, he would not breake off his incest, nor put away his brothers wife.

If you suffer the like affections to a­bide in your hearts, your obedience will be no better.

You see by experience, that corne growing among thornes, is neither so much, nor so good, as that which groweth in other ground; And that it might haue bene more, and also better, in the same ground; if the thornes before the sowing, had bene ridde vp.

Doe not then imagine, that your obedience can either be plentifull or acceptable, so long as these inordinate affections be harboured in your hearts. [Page 157] Knowe this, that though other affecti­ons be suppressed, yet so long as these beare sway in you, so long as they doe hinder you in good, and prouoke you vnto euill; you are not mortified by the spirit of sanctification: for mortifi­cation is a change and reformation not of part onely, but of the whole nature of man, yea of all the faculties of the soule, and of all the affections of the heart: he that is washed (saith Christ) Ioh. 13. 10. is cleane euery whit. And will God accept of any fruites, that come from an heart not sanctified? Wherefore purge your hearts from these lustes: And be willing to yeeld obedience as well to those commandements, which seeme hard and vnpleasant vnto you, as vnto those that be more easie, and de­lightfull. For this is not thanksworthy to obey those commandements which doe nothing crosse your worldly pro­fits and carnall pleasures: but herein is your dutifulnes especially seene, if you be content to forgoe your profit, and abridge your selues of your pleasures, that so you may keepe the commande­ments of the Lord.

[Page 158] Moreouer, if those which bring forth such fruites as these, be condemned, what shal we say of them, that be worse then these? that bring forth very little or no fruit at all: which heare much, and practise almost nothing: who re­ceiue Gods seede into their hearts, but bring forth the diuells fruits in their liues. We haue many such hearers, as the Prophet Ezekiel had, the people came vnto him, and sate before him, Ezeck. 33. 31. and heard his words, yet would not do them: but with their mouthes made iestes, and their hearts went after their couetousnes.

Let such knowe, that not the hea­rers, but the doers of the lawe are iu­stified. Rom. 2. 13.

And that they, who be hearers onely, and not doers of the word, deceiue Iam. 1. 22. their owne soules.

To shew their folly and their daun­ger, Christ compared them to a foolish Math. 7. 24. man, which built his house vpon the sand; The raine fell, the floods came, and the windes blew, and beat vpon that house, and it fell, and the fall there­of was great.

[Page 159] Iames likeneth them to a man that be­holdeth Iam. 1. 23 his naturall face in a glasse, and when he hath considered himselfe, go­eth his way, and forgetteth immediatly what maner of one he was. They doe not onely lose their labour and reward, but likewise prouoke the LORD to wrath, and procure fearefull iudge­ments against themselues. Their punish­ment shall be more grieuous, then if they had neuer heard. Christ shall say to them which heard him preach in their Cities, and would not obey him; Depart from me, yee workers of iniqui­tie, Luk. 13. 26. Ioh. 15. 22. I know you not. And hee sayd of the Iewes to whom he preached; If I had not come and spoken vnto them, they should not haue had sinne; but now haue they no cloake for their sinne. The Ministers which haue preached vnto them, shall one day be witnesses against them: and their Sermons shall be so many billes of inditement against them. As it is an haynous thing in the Ministers to say and not doe; so is it also an haynous thing in the people, to heare and not do: yet are many of our people faultie this way: There is no sinne forbidden, but [Page 160] they may often heare it condemned by the word: As the filthy sinnes of Whor­dome: the beastlie crime of Drunken­nesse: the prophane sinne of Swearing: the impious sinnes of polluting the Lords Sabboth: the vncharitable sins of Iniustice, fraude and oppression: the malitious sinnes of rayling, backbyting and slaundering: and yet the people will not forsake them: But like the Ier. 7. 10. presumptuous Iewes, they steale, mur­ther, commit adulterie, sweare falslie, and practise other sinnes; and yet will come and stand before the Lord, in the house where his Name is called vpon. There be no duties of the first or second Table, which they owe to God or man, but they are often taught them, and yet they doe as carelesly omit them, as if they neuer heard them. They content themselues with bare and idle hearing, as if that were all which God requires, as if that were sufficient to saue their soules. Oh remember you what Christ sayth; If yee know these things, blessed are yee if you doe them. Though you heare Ioh. 13. 17. them neuer so often, though you know them neuer so well, yet are you not [Page 161] blessed except you doe them. Would it not greatly discontent you, to send your seruants each yeere to sow your fieldes with the best seede, and yet after many yeres sowing to reape no croppe, but to lose both labour and cost? And doe you thinke that the Lord will bee well pleased, to send his Ministers from yeere to yeere, to sow the good seede of his holy word among you; and yet af­ter many yeeres labour, to reape no fruit at all? The Apostle teacheth, that the land which drinketh in the rayne, Heb. 6. 7. 8. and bringeth forth fruit for them, by whom it is dressed, conceiueth blessing from God: but that which beareth thornes and bryars, is reproued, and is neere vnto cursing, whose end is to be burned. Are you as soyle sowne with the Lords seede, and dressed by his Husbandmen, and yet yeelde no fruite for his glory, and for the comfort of those that take paines among you? And will you expect a blessing from the LORD? Those that be such, may rather feare a curse. Did not CHRIST curse the Figge Tree, which bare leaues, but no fruite? [Page 162] if they still continue barren, their case shall be worse then theirs of Sodome Mat. 10. 15. and Gomorrah: for if the Sermons which haue beene preached among vs, had beene preached in Sodome and Gomorrah, they had repented long a­goe in sack cloath and ashes: but there­fore shall it be easier for them of Sodom and Gomorrah at the day of Iudge­ment, then for these disobedient peo­ple. Take heede lest by your contempt of the word, you lose it. Christ taketh his Kingdome from them that be vn­fruitfull; Mat. 21. 43. and will giue it to a Nation which shall better bring forth the fruits thereof. If you often sow a fielde with good corne, and at haruest can reape no good croppe, you will sow it no lon­ger, you will let it lie, and sow some o­ther. And can you thinke that GOD will still continue his worde to you, if after long sowing, you will not yeeld a­ny fruit? It is a speciall fauour and mer­cie of God, to haue the Gospell among vs. God hath not dealt so with euery Nation. Happie are our eyes, to see Psa. 147. those things which we see: and happie are our eares, to heare those thinges [Page 163] which we heare: Many righteous men would haue beene glad to haue seene and heard them, and yet could not. Let vs walke worthie of this blessing, that it may bee continued to vs and to our posteritie.

Uerse. 15.

But that which fell in good ground, are they which with an honest and good heart heare the word and keepe it.

YOV haue alreadie heard the expo­sition of three sorts of ground, and what kinde of hearers were signifi­fyed thereby. Now see the exposition of the fourth and last kinde of ground. And that was good ground, in which the seede sowne sprang vp, and brought forth fruit with great encrease. Vnto this ground good and profitable hea­rers are compared. As all the other groundes set forth to our view the na­ture and properties of bad hearers; so this describeth the conditions of good hearers.

Before we come to the speciall pro­perties [Page 142] of these hearers in particular, we are to obserue one thing in generall, and from the coherence; to wit, That although Christ had diuers sorts of hea­rers; and nany of them were bad, some one way, some another way; yet all of them were not bad, some were good and profitable hearers: all his seed was not lost; some sell on good ground, & yeelded plentifull encrease. Though the Scribes and Pharises, and many of the common multitude were bad hearers; yet the Apostles and many other Dis­ciples were good hearers, did keepe the word in their hearts, and brought forth fruit in their liues. And therfore he told the Iewes, that whereas they neyther receiued Iohn nor him: Iohn came nei­ther Mat. 11 19. 20. eating nor drinking; and they said he had a Diuell: The Son of man came eating & drinking; and they sayd, Be­hold a glutton, and a drinker of wine, a friend of publicans and sinners. They woulde neither receiue the one for his austeritie, nor the other for his affabili­tie: yet Wisedome is iustifyed of her children. Mat. 11. 25. And hee gaue thanks vnto his father, because, that although he had hid these [Page 165] thinges from the wise and men of vn­derstanding; yet he had reuealed them vnto babes. Though some of his hea­rers in Capernaum tooke offence at his Ioh. 6. 66. 68. doctrine of eating his flesh, & drinking king his blood; and from that time went backe and walked with him no more. Yet the Apostles would not for­sake him, but frely ackdowledged that they would neuer leaue him, because he had the words of eternall life: and they did beleue that he was the Christ, the Sonne of the liuing God. When he preached in the Temple, at the Feast of the Tabernacles, there was dissention Ioh. 7. 40. 41. 43. 46 among his hearers: Some sayde; Of a truth this is the Prophet. Others sayd; This is the Christ. Some sayde; Shall Christ come out of Galilie? Others said; Neuer man spake like him. At another time, some that heard him, saide hee Ioh. 10. 20. 21. had a Diuell, and was mad, and blamed men for hearing him any longer. Others said; These are not the wordes of one that hath a Diuell. Can the Diuell open the eies of him that was borne blind? Such diuersity of hearers had Christ: his worde did not worke alike in all that [Page 166] hard it. Some waxed worse, & some were made better by hearing of it. The like effect was seene in Pauls hearers: When he and Barnabas preached at Iconium, a Act. 14. 1. 2. 4. great multitude, both of Iewes and Graecians beleeued: though there were some vnbeleeuing Iewes, that stirred vp, and corrupted the mindes of the Gentiles against the brethren. In that deuision of the Citie, though some were with the Iewes, yet some were with the Apostles. And when he prea­ched Act. 17. 32. 34. at Athens, some mocked him for his doctrine of the Resurection: some would heare him againe, as if they were not fully resolued, but desired to be fur­ther instructed: yet certaine men did cleaue to Paul, & beleeued; as Denys a Iudge, of Mars Streete, Damaris a wo­man, and others with them.

And thus it pleaseth GOD still to blesse the Ministerie of his seruants. Though they cannot conuert all, yet they doe conuert some; they doe not altogether lose their labour. As there is no field so barren, but if it be sowne, some seede will come vp, and yeeld en­crease: so is there no place or congre­gation [Page 167] so bad, but if the truth be there sincerely taught, it will in time winne some. Though some continue obsti­nate, and remaine as ignorant, as Po­pish, and as prophane, as euer they were before they heard. Yet Wisedome shall be iustifyed of her children; as many as are ordayned to eternall life shall be­leeue. Some shalbe called, and by hea­ring shall grow in knowledge, in grace, and obedience.

This may comfort and encourage vs in our labours: Though it bee some griefe to see many non proficients, who heare much, and are neuer the better: yet if it please the Lord to giue some happie issue vnto our labours, that wee edifie some, though not all, that wee profite a few, though not many: wee should therewith be content, and praise the Lord for it. If indeede wee should conuert none at all, yet must wee not faint, but still continue our paines, and expect a reward at the Lords hands: for he will reward our laboures, though we should do others no good thereby. And therefore the Prophet sayd; I haue Isai. 49. 4. laboured in vaine, I haue spent my strength in [Page 168] vaine, and for nothing: but my iudgement is with the Lord, and my worke with my God. It is not our worke, but the Lords worke, to conuert soules. Paul may 1. Cor. 3. 6 plant, Apollos may water, but it is God that giueth the encrease. Wee haue re­ceiued and taken vpon vs, Curam non curationem; A care and a charge, not a Bernard. de consi. der. lib. 5. cap. 3. curing. Non est in medico, semper releuetur vt ager; It is not in the power of the Physition to cure his sicke patient at his pleasure. Euery one of vs shall re­ceiue a reward. Secundum laborem, non se­cundum 1. Cor. 3. 8. prouentum; according to his la­bour, not according to his fruit. As Ber­nard well obserued. And therefore Paul 1. Cor. 15. 10. sayd not; I haue profited more then all; but I haue laboured more then they all. And rather reioyced in the abundance of his labours, then in the fruitfulnesse of his laboures. It a quaeso, fac tu quod tu­um 2. Cor. 11. 23. est: Nam Deus quod suum est satis abs (que) tua solicitudine & auxietate curabit: Doe then I pray thee, that which is thy office and dutie; God will haue care enough of that which belongeth vnto him; sayd the same Bernard; But if we con­uert and edifie some by our poore Mi­nisterie, [Page 169] we may comfort our selues by them: and say of them as Paul did of the Corinthians; Yee are the 1. Cor. 9. 2. 1. Thes. 2. 19. seale of our Apostleshippe in the Lord. And as hee did of the Thessalonians; What is our hope, or ioy, or crowne of reioycing? Are not euen you it in the presence of our Lord Iesus Christ at his comming?

When wee sow good seede in the Lords field, the enuious man soweth tares. Wee must not looke that in a populous congregation all should be good and true hearers: If some onely be good and profitable hearers, let vs praise GOD for them, and pray vn­to him, dayly to encrease their num­ber.

But to come neerer to the proper­ties of these hearers in particular: In the description of them, and by com­paring them with the former hearers, wee may easilie perceiue, that in some thinges they doe agree with them: in some thinges they differ from them, and doe much excell them. There were some commendable thinges in diuers of the former hearers, [Page 170] and would haue wrought good in them if they had beene well vsed. In these things doe these good hearers agree with them. They haue the selfe-same things, though in a better maner, and with better vse.

1. They agree with them, in that they heare as well as the rest. All the persons spoken of in this Parable are hearers, both good and bad: and they all heare one and the same doctrine, though not after one and the same ma­ner, nor with the like efficacy and fruit. And therefore those which refuse to heare, eyther through error, as our Re­cusants: or through contempt and neg­ligence, as some carelesse and carnall people, are so farre from beeing the ground here mentioned, as that they are worse then the bad ground spoken of before. There cannot be any good­nesse in their hearts, nor yet in their liues. Can any field yeeld a good crop of corne at haruest, which was not sowne at the seede time? They are worse then many reprobates haue beene and are: How then can they looke to be as good as the Elect are and shall be?

[Page 171] 2. They agree in the vnderstanding of the word: for it is sayd in Mathew; He that receiueth seed in good ground, Mat. 13. 23. Mat. 13. 19. is he that heareth the word, and vnder­standeth it. And although the first sort of bad hearers are sayd to heare and not vnderstand: Yet the other two sortes are insinuated to haue vnderstood: for how could they receiue the word with ioy, vnlesse they vnderstood it? How could cares of the world, the deceitful­nesse of riches, and voluptuous liuing, choake the word after it was heard, vn­lesse it had beene vnderstood? So that as the vnderstanding of the word is not sufficient to make you good hearers: so on the other side, the want of vnder­standing, declareth you to be bad hea­rers. All good hearers vnderstand the word, though not onely they. Good hearers must practise that which is taught them: But how can they prac­tise that which they vnderstand not?

3. They agree in their affection to the word. Those that be as stony groūd, receiue the worde with ioy. So also doe these good hearers, though the thing it selfe be not expresly mētioned. [Page 172] The Gospell is glad tydings, and reioy­ceth the hearts of all that embrace it. There is no commendable propertie in the reprobate and vnprofitable hea­rers, but it is found in the elect and pro­fitable hearers, and that in a more ex­cellent manner. And therefore those who are nothing mooued nor comfor­ted by the word, are worse then some bad hearers, and must not be reckoned in the number of good hearers. Not­withstanding, in this description of these good hearers, wee may perceiue that in diuers other things, they differ much from all the former hearers, and therein doe greatly exceede and excell them all. They are described by three properties, and by them all, they differ from the rest. 1. By the manner of re­ceiuing the word: They receiue it with an honest and good heart. 2. By the maner of reteyning it; They keep it. 3. By the maner of practising it; They bring forth fruit, and that with patience and plentie.

Touching the first propertie 2. things may bee noted: The one more gene­nerall; and that is the instrument of hearing, it is with the heart. The other [Page 173] more speciall; and that is the qualitie and disposition of their heart, it is an honest and good heart.

1. Concerning the former, we may hence obserue, that those, who will be profitable hearers of Gods most holy word, must heare it with their hearts, not onely with their eares to harken vnto the sound of it, while it is vttered: nor onely with their heads, to vnder­stand that which is deliuered, but like­wise with their hearts, to keepe it and obey it. The Lord required of the Deut. 6. 6. Iewes, that the words which he com­manded them, should be in their heart. The wise man thus exhorted his sonne, Prou. 3. 1. 3. Forget not thou my law, but let thine heart keepe my cōmandements: binde them on thy necke, and write them vp­on the table of thine heart. And for this cause, when Lydia went to heare Paul, Act. 16. 14. the Lord opened her heart, that so she might attend to the things which Paul spake. If her hart had bene shut, so as the word could not enter in, she had bene an vnprofitable hearer: but God ope­ning her heart, that shee might re­ceiue the word into it: shee became [Page 174] a profitable hearer. And there is great reason why al profitable hearers should receiue the word with the heart, and into the heart.

1. For the reformation and direction of the heart, by nature mans heart is cor­rupt: Gen. 6. 5. yea, all the imaginations of the thoughts of his heart, are onely euill continually. And out of the heart (re­mayning corrupt) come euill thoughts, Mat. 15. 19. Murthers, Adulteries, Fornications, Thefts, false Testimonies, Slaunders, & such like sins, which defile the man, as Christ teacheth. Now the worde is an Instrument of sanctification: Christ Ioh. 15. 3. said his Disciples were al clean through the word which he had spokē to them. And praied to his Father; Sanctify them Ioh. 17. 17. Ephe. 5. 26. with thy trueth, thy word is the trueth. And the Apostle teacheth, that GOD doth sanctify the Church, & clense it by the washing of the water through the word. Now thē the plaister must be ap­plyed to the place that is wounded or sore. If it be applied to any other place, it will do no good. If the disease come frō the hart or inward parts, it is in vain to lay the plaister to the head, to the [Page 175] eare, to the hand, or to the foote, so long as the heart & inward parts are not cu­red, they will minister new corrupt matter to the outward parts. If then our hearts be corrupt, we must not onely be content to apply the word to the eares by hearing it, to the head by vn­derstanding it, to the tongue by tal­king of it, but also to the heart, for the purging of it, at the first; and for the guiding of it alwaies afterward.

2. Againe, the heart is the seate of the affections, you must therefore re­ceiue the word into your hearts, that so it may worke on your affections, both to sanctifie them, as also to stirre them vp vnto good. Thou must loue the word, trust in the word, and reioyce in the word, or rather thou must loue God, trust in God, and reioyce in God, because of his word: as was shewed be­fore in the example of Dauid. Thou canst not doe this, vnles thou receiue the word with thy heart. As meate can­not nourish thy body, vnles it be re­ceiued into thy stomacke. And as seede can neuer sprout nor come vp, vnles it be cast into the furrowes and clods of [Page 176] the earth, no more will the word profit thy soule, vnles it be receiued into thy heart.

3. Moreouer, the heart is the com­mander of the whole man, and sets all on worke according to the disposition of it selfe. Of the abundance of the hart, the mouth speaketh, as saith our Saui­our. A good man out of the good trea­sure Math. 12. 34. 35. of his heart bringeth forth good things: and an euill man out of the euill treasure of his heart, bringeth forth euill things. As the primum mobile doth turne all the other inferiour orbes, round about with it. And as the watch wheele of a clocke, guideth all the o­ther wheeles. If it stand, they stand: if it goe, they goe: if it goe slowly, they goe slowly: if it go swiftly, they go swiftly: So doth the heart of man, rule and order all the senses and parts of his bo­dy, either to good or euill: they are exercised, as it is affected.

Those then that would be obedient hearers of the word, must needes re­ceiue and embrace it with their hearts: that so their hearts louing and ly­king, and beleeuing it, may set all [Page 177] their senses, and all the parts of their bodies on worke, to practise it.

4. Lastly, the heart is the safest place for it. As sowne corne, if it lye on the top of the furrowes, may easily be de­uoured by the fowles of the ayre: but if it be hid and couered, is free from that danger: so the word which thou hearest, if it goe no further then thy eares or head, it is easily taken from thee: but if it descend to the bottome of thy heart, it may there be safelie kept. It is an heauenly treasure. And therefore thou must imitate that man, who finding a treasure in the field, did Math. 13. 44. hide it, and for ioy thereof, went and sold all that he had, to buy that field. Though men will suffer their baser stuffe, and wodden vessell, to be more common, and lye more open, and re­maine in greater danger: yet their best and most costly stuffe, their iewells and coyne, they will lay vp in the safest pla­ces. So seeing the word of God, is most precious, of great value and worth, lay it vp safely in the bottome of the heart.

And if this be a property of good hea­rers, Vse. [Page 178] to heare the word with their hearts, then those who bring their bo­dies to the Church, and leaue their hearts at home: who draw neere to God with their lippes and with their eares, when their hearts are farre from him, cannot be good hearers. If thou wouldest be of that number, prepare thy heart before hand, and while thou hearest, let not thy heart be thinking on any by-matters, but onely attend to that: heare with thy heart, as well as with thy eares, and then shalt thou be blessed by thy hearing.

2. Againe, note hence more special­ly, the qualitie and disposition of their hearts, who heare profitably, they heare with an honest and good heart. It is not any kind of heart, that will make your hea­ring profitable, it must be an honest and good heart. Though thou shoul­dest heare with thy heart, as well as with thy eares, yet vnles it be a good heart, it will little auaile thee. For in the goodnes of the heart consisteth a maine difference, betwixt these hea­rers, and some of the former. Those which be compared to stony ground, [Page 179] did heare with their harts: For they are saide not onely to heare, but also to re­ceiue the word with ioy. Yet were they not good and honest hearts.

They were hard and stony, and would not suffer the worde to take rooting deepe enough. And those that be re­sembled to Thornie ground, did heare with their hearts, yet were their hearts not good: They were full of worldly cares, and carnall delights, which after­ward choaked the word. But these re­ceiued it with good and honest hearts, Kalè ka [...] agathe. and therefore did both retaine it, and obey it.

In describing of the qualitie of this their hart, Christ here vseth two words which be of a neere, yet not of the same signification. There is some difference ketwixt them: the one properly signi­fieth faire, beautifull, seemly, and come­ly: the other signifieth good and ex­cellent. The one noteth the outward apparent qualitie, the other expresseth the inward nature, and inherent pro­pertie of the thing. And so here by is Beza anot. maior in hunc locū. signified, that the heart of these hearers is good each way: both outwardly be­fore [Page 180] men, manifesting it self to be good by open profession, by aboundance of fruites, and by constant perseuerance. And also inwardly in it selfe, and be­fore God, by a sincere sanctification, and holie disposition. And so their heart differeth from the heartes of the former hearers. For though they in re­ceyuing the Worde with ioy, in belie­uing it, and bringing forth some fruites of it, did make some faire showe, and gaue some outward signe of a good heart, yet their heart was not effectu­ally sanctified within: and they made those faire showes but for a time; Af­terward they reuolting in time of Ten­tation, or failing in their fruites, tho­rough worldly cares and voluptuous­nes, bewrayed the filthinesse of theyr hearts.

Those then that would bee good hearers, must haue good hearts both waies. Both inwardly, in their owne na­ture and inclination, as also outwardly before men, by the fruites and testimo­nies. As is the heart, so will the hea­ring be.

[Page 181] Good meete will not nourish that mans bodie, who hath a bad stomacke, that cannot well digest it, before it be sent to other partes, but eyther leaues it rawe, or turnes it to grosse humors. No more can sound Doctrine profite that man, that hath a corrupt and wicked heart.

If this be so, that no man that hath a Obiection. bad heart should come to heare: and if he doe come, he shall loose his labour, and neuer be made better by hearing. But wee knowe the contrarie, manie haue beene amended by hearing: yea, theyr bad haue bene made good.

This must be vnderstoode of the whole acte of hearing. Not onely of Answere. the time before they come to heare, but also of the whole Time, while they are in hearing.

Those men which had badde hearts before they came to heare, and still haue badde heartes all the time of their hearing, and goe away with as badde hearts as they brought with them, shall neuer reape profite by theyr hearing. But if theyr heattes were badde be­fore, yet are changed and sanctified by [Page 182] their hearing, they are profitable and fruitfull hearers.

The hearts of those three thousand, which were conuerted by one of Peters sermons, were not good, till they heard Acts 2. 37 41. 42. him preach: but then were their harts pricked and made good. And at that instant they became fruitfull hearers: For they receyued the worde gladly, were baptized, & added to the church, and continued in the Apostles doctrine and fellowship, and breaking of bread, and prayers.

The heart of Lydia was not good be­fore shee heard Paul, but God then o­pened Act. 16. 14 her hart, & by opening it, made it good; and it being made good, cau­sed her to attend to his doctrine, and to bring forth the fruites of it, by kind entertaining of her teachers.

That vnbelieuer and vnlearned man, which as the Apostle writeth, came in 1. Cor. 14. 24. 25. when all did prophecie, brought a bad heart with him. For he was rebuked of all, and iudged of all, and the secrets of his heart made manifest: yet was his hart made good in the very time of hea­ring: and therefore did he fall downe [Page 183] on his face, and worship God, and said plainely, that God is in you indeed. Wherefore knowe this, that so long as thy heart is bad, thy hearing cannot be good; but so soone as thy heart is chan­ged, thy hearing shall be profitable. Some write that Manna tasted accor­ding August. in epist. 118. c. 3. Re­tract. 2. 20. Roffens. li. 1. c. 12. Heskins parlicinēt. 3. 12. to the disposition of the caters: to the good it had a sweete and plea­sant taste, euen such a taste as they desi­red: but to the bad a bitter and loath­some taste. Though this be vncertaine, Augustine once wrote it for certaintie, but afterward doubted of it, because he could find no warrant for it, but onely in Apocrypha: yet the like may be seene in the word of God, our heauenly Man­na. It tasteth, it nourisheth and profi­teth the hearers, according to the seue­rall dispositions of their hearts. To them which haue good hearts, it is sweet, comfortable, and profitable: to them which haue corrupt hearts, it is loathsome, terrible, and vnprofitable.

This should teach euery one of vs, Use. 1. to looke to our hearts, and see that they be good, that so we may be fruit­full hearers: husbandmen haue great [Page 148] care to make their ground good and fertile, before they sowe it. If it be barren, they will marke it, they will set mucke and dung on it, to make it more fruitfull. As carefull should thou be to make thy heart good, seeing it is the soyle in which the Lords hea­uenly seede must be sowne. If it be not good alreadie, vse all good meanes to make it good, pray earnestly vnto God, that he would sanctifie it by his holy spirit.

And if it be good, labour to make it better: the better it is, the more fruit­full shall thy hearing be: And for this purpose, heare the word oftner, for it will make thy heart better. The longer that the ground of your fields is tilled and sowne, the more bare and barren it will be. But it is not so with the ground of your hearts, the oftner and the longer they are sowne with the seede of Gods word, the more fruitfull will they be. Such is the nature of this heauenly seede, that it will not make the ground more barren, but more fer­tile by often sowing.

As the seede is good, that is sowne in [Page 185] your hearts, so let the soyle be made answerable vnto it, and then you neede not to doubt of a plentifull encrease. Let not so good seede be lost, by ligh­ting into bad soyle, heare with peni­tent hearts, with sanctified hearts, with beleeuing hearts, with resolued hearts, to receiue and obey, whatsoe­uer is taught out of the word, and you shall be happy hearers.

2. Furthermore, we may hereby dis­cerne, Vse. 2. who haue good hearts, who haue bad. It is the goodnes of the heart, that makes the hearer to bring forth fruit. It is the corruption of the heart, that hinders his fruitfulnes. Those then that heare much, and practise little, haue bad hearts: but those that heare and practise the word in their liues, haue honest and good hearts. Though none knowe the heart of another, imme­diately and directly, but God alone, who is the onely searcher of it: yet as the Physition can iudge of the in­ward temperature of the body by the pulse, and as wee may iudge of the tree by the fruits: so may we iudge of the inward goodnes and badnes of [Page 186] the heart, by the outward behauiour in the life. And to keepe me to the present comparison of this para­ble.

If a man knew a field sowne in a good sort with good seede, yet after­ward did see the corne to be thin and course, and yeeld no good crop: he will say the ground is barren. But if he passe by a close, toward haruest time, and see the corne very thicke and rancke, and beare a long eare full of corne, he will say it is good land. So if we knowe people to be well taught, and yet yeeld little obedience in their liues, we may iustly suspect. that their hearts be not vpright before God: but if we see them reforme their liues according to the word, auoyd those sinnes which it forbiddeth, and practise those duties which it commendeth, and that in a constant course of their conuersation, we may be assured that their hearts be honest and good.

If therefore you would haue others to thinke, that you haue honest and good hearts, shew forth the fruits of the word in your liues.

[Page 187] The second speciall propertie in these hearers, is their keeping of the word.

They doe not onely receiue it with their hearts, and lay it vp in the bot­tome of them, but likewise there they keepe it fast. They will not let it goe Katéchou­sie. Beza An­not. maior. in locum. out thence, nor suffer any to take it from them.

The originall word as some haue obserued, is very emphaticall, and importeth a keeping with much la­bour and difficultie.

And so fitly expresseth the manner of their keeping, which is with striuing and strugling against their owne cor­ruptions, against Sathans suggestions, and against the worlds allurements. Though all conspire, and ioyne their forces together, yet doe they keepe it so safe and sure, as that they cannot wrest it from them. And herein they also differ from all the former hea­rers.

The first sort lost it as soone as they receiued, it: euen while they were in hearing, the diuell tooke it from them. The second sort kept it a while, but [Page 188] not long, for they beleeue for a time, they keepe the word no longer then they kept their faith. Though they kept both in time of peace, yet they lost both in time of persecution. The third sort kept the word, yet not long, when as afterward it was choaked by cares and pleasures, it was taken from them. But these kept it for euer, neither the diuel by his suggestions, nor other men by their persecutions, nor their owne lusts by their prouocations, can depriue them of the word. Such an hearer was the blessed virgin, the mother of Christ, she kept all her Sauiours sayings in her Luk. 2. 51. heart; she did not onely lay them vp, but also kept them. And not onely in her head, but also in her heart: and not some onely, but all his words. And such keepers are all profitable hearers, for if the word enter into mens harts, and af­terward goe out againe, it will doe them little or no good at all.

Though the meate which a man ea­teth, be receiued into his stomacke, yet vnlesse it continue there for a time, and be there digested, it will not nourish and feede his body.

[Page 189] Though seede be cast into the fur­rowes, yet vnles it doe there remaine for a season, to sprout and take rooting, it will not yeeld any crop to the rea­pers. Euen so, though the word should be receiued into the heart, yet vnles it doe there abide, it cannot fructifie in the life. But if it be there safely kept, it will bring forth plentifull encrease. And therefore Christ said, Happie are Luk. 11. 28. they which heare the word of God and keepe it. Yea he accounteth them more hap­pie for that their keeping of it, then was the wombe that bare him, and the pappes that gaue him sucke. The bene­fite of this keeping is double.

1. It serueth for direction: for the word, kept in the heart, will direct a man in his life, teaching him what sins to auoyd, what duties to performe. It will be a lanterne vnto his feete, and a light vnto his path. It will be a guide, to say vnto him, this is the way walke in Isai. 30. 21. Psal. 119. 11. it, when he turneth to the right hand, or to the left. And therefore Dauid said of himselfe, I haue hid thy promise in my heart, that I might not sinne a­gainst thee. As if the hiding & keeping [Page 190] of the word in the heart, were a speciall and an effectuall meane to keepe men from sinne. And he also writeth of o­thers; The mouth of the righteous will speake of wisedome, and his tongue Psal. 37. 30. 31. will talke of iudgement: for the lawe of God is in his heart, and his steps shall not slide. If you will carefully and safely keepe the word in your hearts, you shall shew forth the fruit of it in your liues.

2. It serueth for perseuerance. It will make a man constantly to conti­nue in grace, in obedience, in the Lords fauour, and in state of saluation. It is certaine, that so long as men keepe the word in their harts, they cannot wholy fall away from God. Now those that heare with good and honest hearts, shall alwaies safely keepe it: neither can the diuells tentations, nor the worlds persecution rob them of it: neither can their owne corrupt affections being mortified, expell it out of their hearts. Though other hearers may loose the word by those meanes, yet not any of these which haue these honest & good harts. And therefore as they are now in [Page 191] grace, & in state of saluatiō, so shal they continue therein for euer. Whereupon Iohn saith; Whosoeuer is borne of God, sin­neth 1. Ioh. 3. 9 not: for his seede remaineth in him: neyther can he sinne, because he is borne of God. He cannot sinne totally and final­ly, so as he should thereby quite cut off himself from grace, and from saluation.

Wherefore this propertie of these hearers, confuteth their opinion, who hold, that a man once in state of grace, may vtterly fall away, and become a re­probate. If any will obiect, that so long as they keepe the word in their hearts, they cannot fall away: but they may loose the word, it may be taken out of their hearts, and then they may perish. I answere. That in this their argument they begge the question: for neyther can any other take the word from them, neyther shall they lose it of them­selues. For this perpetuall keeping of the word, is a speciall propertie in these good hearers, whereby they differ from all other hearers. As their hearts are farre better then the rest; so shall they better keepe the word then any of the rest. Those bad hearers, which had their [Page 192] hearts mollified but in part, or had their hearts fraught with worldly cares and voluptuousnes, may receiue and keepe the word for a time, and loose it after­ward, as you heard before: but these who haue honest and good hearts shall keepe it, and bring forth fruit. This is a maine difference betwixt them; that the rest keepe it for a time, these keepe it for euer. If these hearers might after­ward loose it as well as the rest, and bring forth no fruites of it, then were there no difference betwixt them and the former. But certainely there is great difference. And therfore those who re­ceiue it, and keepe it not long, receiue it with bad hearts. Those who receiue it with good and honest hearts, shall keepe it vnto the end. In this respect Christ compared him that heard his words, and did the same, to a wise man, which built his house vpon a rocke: the Mat. 7. 24. 25. raine fell, the floodes came, and the winds blew, and beat vpon that house, and it fell not: for it was founded on a rocke. So firmely is this hearer built on Christ, that sure & immoueable Rocke, that no troubles, tryals, persecutions, or [Page 193] tentations can ouerthrow him. In the same respect Christ said, Euery branch Ioh. 15. 2. that beareth not fruit in me, my Father taketh away: and euery one that bea­reth fruite, hee purgeth, that it may bring forth more fruit. To signifie, that none are cut off but barren branches: those that be fruitfull shall neuer be cut off, but be made more fit to beare more fruit.

If it be further obiected, that so long as their hearts are honest & good, they shall keepe the word, & bring forth the fruits thereof: but their hearts may be corrupted, and lose that goodnes, and then they shall lose the word. I also an­swere, that if their hearts be once made such good & honest hearts, as be here spoken of, they shall neuer be wholy & finally corrupted, they shall keepe their goodnes to the end. For as the Apostle Rom. 11. 29. saith; The gifts and calling of God are without repentance. He who first made them good, will cōtinue them in good­nes. He will confirme thē vnto the end, that they may be blameles in the day of 1. Cor. 1. ye Lord. Hath he not promised to make an euerlasting couenāt with his people? [Page 194] and neuer to turne away from them, to doe them good? and to put his feare into their hearts, that they shall not de­part from him. For this purpose did Au­gustine De bono perseue­rant. lib. 2. cap. 7. Quifecit bonos, fa­ [...]iet perse­ [...]erare in bono. de perseue­rant. sanct. cap. 12. alleadge that, and other places. And further saith; Sicut operatur vt ac­cedamus, sic operatur ne discedamus; As he worketh, that we may come to him, so doth he worke, that we may not de­part from him. I confesse, the grace and goodnes of the heart, may lie for a time, as fire vnder ashes; yet is it neuer vtter­ly extinguished. A man in a traunce see­meth dead for a time, yet doth he re­uiue, because his soule is in him. So shall these within a while recouer, because grace still remaineth in them.

Hence then must we learne to keep the Vse. word, that so we may enioy these be­nefites, and be reputed good hearers. The Apostle exhorteth vs to let the Col. 3. 16. word dwell in vs plenteously, teaching and admonishing vs. It must not lodge in vs as a stranger doeth, for a night in his Inne; but haue continuall residence and abode, as a man hath in his dwel­ling house. The voyce of it must not be like the stroke of a Musitian, which [Page 195] onely affecteth a man while he heareth the sound: but rather like the receipt of a Physition, which worketh in the body a long time after it is taken.

It may be while you heare some doc­trines, you knowe no present vse of them; yet keepe them in your hearts for the time to come: Heare for after­wards, Isa [...]. 42. 23. as the Lord speaketh by his Pro­phet. As Ioseph in yeeres of plentie, layd vp store for yeeres of famine. And as the Ant in summer gathereth prouision for winter: So must we at one time learne instructions, which may stand vs in stead at another time. In time of peace we must furnish and prepare our selues for warre: in health, for sicknes: in prosperitie, for aduersitie: in life, for death. The Lord will not admit vs to be of his priuie Counsell, to acquaint vs before hand how hee will vse vs, and what he will bring vpon vs: wee must therefore so keepe the word, as we may be prepared for all occasions, and know how to behaue our selues in all estates. We must be like the wise Virgins, who kept Oyle in their Lamps for al seasons. A carefull Householder will not cast a­way [Page 196] an implement, because he hath no present vse of it, but will keepe it for 7. yeeres, thinking ye within that space he may need it. No more do you reiect any doctrine which serues not for your pre­sent purpose, keepe it stil in your hearts, the time may come, when it may much comfort your hearts, much edifie your soules, and bee a good direction for your liues. We haue in these dayes few such hearers. Many mens hearts are like a broken pitcher, that will hold no water. Or like to Siues, which hold water no longer then they are kept in the water. There be some who are de­sirous to heare much, and yet they keep little; they forget as fast as they learne. As it is better to eate lesse meate, and keepe it in the stomacke, and digest it, then to eate much, and presently to cast it vp againe: So is it better to heare lesse, and keepe it well, then to heare much, and presently forget it. No more shall profit vs then that we keepe.

What must we doe, that we may be able to keepe it? Qu [...]st.

1. Emptie your hearts of euil thoughts and wicked imaginations, worldly Answ. [Page 197] cares, and carnall lustes: and if they be once expelled, keepe them still out: for as you often heard, they will choake the word. Isaack and Ishmael could not dwell together in one house. The Arke of God and Dagon could not stand to­gether in one Temple: No more can the word and these lustes be kept together in one heart: therefore keepe them out, that it may be kept in. Countrey Far­mers hedge and ditch, and make good fence round about their sowne fieldes, lest beastes should breake in, & destroy the corne. So must thou gard & defend thy heart, lest these vngodly lusts break in, and destroy the seede of the word.

2. Meditate often of that which thou hast heard; that is also a good meanes to keepe it: it will imprint it more deep­ly in thy heart, and cause it to worke more effectually vpon thy affections. In this respect, he is reputed a blessed man, that doth meditate in the Law of God Psal. 1. 2. day & night. Beastes after they haue ea­ten their meate, will chew the cudde; fetch it vp againe out of their belly, and chew it ouer a new. Such were cleane Leuit. 11. 2. vnder the Lawe, fittest for meate vn­to man, and for sacrifice vnto GOD. [Page 182] The best learned in olde and late times, haue thought, that holy meditation is signisied thereby. You must then after you haue heard, call the doctrine to minde againe, meditate of it, so it will best nourish your soules, and make you most fit for the Lords seruice. He that neglecteth this, cannot long keepe the word.

3. Vse holy and Christian cōference with others, touching that which you haue heard. This was commaunded vn­der the Law. The Lord enioyned the Iewes, that the words which he com­maunded D [...]ut. 6. 6. 7. them, should bee in their hearts: yet not that onely, but they must rehearse them continually to their children. Yea, euery one must talke of them when he taried in his house, when Deut. 11. 16. he walked by the way, when he did lie downe, and when he rose vp. It was practised and approued vnder the Gos­pell: The two Disciples that trauelled to Emaus, conferred together touching Christ: Christ liked their conference so Luk. 24. 14. 15. 17. 27. well, as hee vouchsafed them his pre­sence, made a third person in the con­ference, and opened to them the Scrip­tures, [Page 199] which foretold his death and re­surrection; and made their heartes to burne within them, while hee talked with them; and did manifest himselfe to them, to confirme their faith in the truth of his resurrection. So graciously did he approue and blesse that holy ex­ercise. In conference we may helpe o­thers, and others may helpe vs, one bringing that to the others memorie which hee had forgotten. So also we may helpe our selues: for that which is then repeated, is more surely imprinted in the memorie, and is not afterwards so easilie forgotten.

4. After thou hast heard, pray ear­nestly vnto God, that hee will imprint his word in thy heart. He promised by Ier. 31. 33. his Prophet, that in the new couenant of grace, he would put his Lawe in the inward parts of his people, and write it in their hearts. The Lawes of the for­mer Heb. 8. 10 concnant hee wrote in Tables of stone: but the Lawes of the latter co­uenant hee will write in the fleshly ta­bles of mens hearts. If he write them in your hearts, by the finger of his holy spirit, they shall neuer be rased or blot­ted [Page 200] out. Wherefore pray earnestly vn­to him, that hee would write them, and so shall you be able to keepe them for euer. Wherefore be carefull to vse these meanes.

What is the cause why people heare much and keepe little, but are like to bottomlesse barrels, which let water runne out as fast as it is powred in? That of all the Sermons which they haue heard in their whole life time, they haue scarce the abridgement of one left in their heartes or heades, for their direction and consolation? But euen because they haue neglected these meanes. Vse them hereafter, and you shall finde how well they will make you able to keepe that which you heare.

And bring forth fruite. The third and last propertie in these hearers is this; They bring forth fruite. And this is another speciall difference betwixt them and all the rest: For the rest, ey­ther bring forth no fruite at all, as the first sorte; or but for a time, as the second: or imperfect fruite, and [Page 201] in some things onely, as the third. But these bring foorth not for a while, but continually; not in some things onely, but in all; and that type and perfect Fruite. If good seede bee sowne in good ground, it vsually bringeth foorth fruite, for the vse of them which owe it and sowe it; So if some Doctrine bee preached, and people heare it with good heartes, it will bring foorth fruite in theyr liues.

These fruites are brought forth, not by profession, but by practise; and doe consist not so much in wordes, as in deedes. And therefore Paule prayed that the Philippians might be filled with the fruites of Righteousnes. And that the Colossians might please God in all Phil: 1. 11 things, being fruitful in all good works. And he saith of the Romanes; That they Coloss: 1. 10. being freed from sinne, and made ser­uaants vnto GOD, had theyr fruite in Holynesse. So that this fruite cannot Rom: 6. 22. be vnderstood of the reward which the saints receiue in heauen, but of the obe­dience which they performe on Earth: for that is a fruite which they receyue: [Page 202] this is a fruite which they bring forth: That they receiue from God, this they yeeld vnto God: that is a fruit of glory, this is a fruit of grace.

See then the disposition of these good hearers: They doe not onely heare the word with their eares, and vnderstand it with their mindes, and keep it in their hearts; but they doe also practise it in their liues. This is the chiefest end of all the rest. Therefore doe they heare it, and learne it, and keep it in their hearts, that they may order their liues by it, and practise it when occasion is offered. Happy are all those which thus heare. For as Iames saith; Who so looketh into Iam. 1. 25 the perfect law of liber [...]ie, and continu­eth therein, hee not being a forgetfull hearer, but a doer of the worke, shalbe blessed in his deede.

If therefore you would haue your hearing to be acceptable to God, and comfortable to your owne soules, let it end in obediēce. Ground that is sowne with good seede, though it shoot forth a broad and rancke blade, will not con­tent the owner vnlesse it bring forth a good croppe. No more can you please [Page 203] the Lord by hearing, vnderstanding, and professing the word, vnlesse there­withall you bring forth fruite of obe­dience in your liues. All the know­ledge and learning that men can possi­bly haue in any Arte or Science, is no­thing worth without practise. And can you thinke that your knowledge in matters of Religion will profite you any whitte without practise. And in­deede wee learne no more then wee practise: As that Pambo acknowled­ged; who (hearing the first Verse of the 39. Psalme, I said I will take heede to my Socrat. hist. lib. 4. 18. wayes, least I offend with my tongue) con­fessed that he had not learned it in ma­ny yeeres, because he had not in many yeres attained to the right practise of it. We should be carefull to bring forth these fruits, both in respect of God, and also in respect of our selues.

First, in respect of God, because they serue for his glorie: Therefore say de CHRIST to his Disciples; Herein is Ioh. 15. 8. my Fathet glorified, that yee beare much fruite. And therefore Paul prayed, that the Philippians might be filled with the Phil. 1. 11 fruites of righteousnesse, which are by [Page 204] Iesus Christ, vnto the glorie and prayse of God. Those which glorie in the Lawe, and breake it, doe dishonour God: but Rom. 2. 23. they which heare it, and obey it, do ho­nour him. If then you haue any zeale of Gods glorie, bring foorth those fruites.

Againe, in respect of our selues, be­cause we shall receiue the reward of thē. Those that haue theyr fruite in holines, shall haue their end in eternall life. The Rom. 6. 22. Ephes. 5. 11. works of darknes are vnfruitfull works, they bring no good to the authors: but the workes of Righteousnes are fruite­full, and procure a great rewarde to the doers. The fruits of grace are the seedes of the fruites of glorie. He that soweth to the Spirit, shall of the Spirit reape e­ternall life. Gal. 6. 8.

Let vs therefore, as the Apostle ex­horteth vs, not be wearie of well doo­ing: 1. Cor. 15 38. for in due season wee shall reape, if we fainte not. Let vs be stedfast and vnmooueable, aboundant alway in the worke of the Lorde: For as much as wee knowe that our labour is not in vayne, in the Lorde. Yea, let vs bee fruitefull in all good dutyes, as well in those that abridge vs of our fleshlie de­lights [Page 205] and worldly gaine, as in other; seeing the losse and want of those here, shalbe recompenced with greater plea­sures and profites in the Kingdome of Heauen.

But take heede, least you be decey­ued, in iudging amisse of these Fruites; For some haue erred, in taking those to bee good Fruites, which are none: and those to be none, which are.

1. These fruites come of the seede, and bee of the same kinde and nature with the seede. As nothing is good seede, but the Worde of God: so no­thing is to bee taken for good Fruite, but the practise and obedience of the Worde. And therefore the actes of Will-worship, the Obseruations of vn­written Traditions, and the practise of mens precepts, are not the fruites heere spoken of. The Lord may say to them that bring foorth such fruite; Who required these thinges at your handes? These things, (as the Apostle saith) may Cal: 2. 23. haue a shewe of wisedome in voluntary Religion, and humblenesse of minde, and in not sparing the Bodye, nor ha­uing it in estimation, to satisfie the flesh; [Page 206] yet they perish with the vse: they are after the commandements & doctrines of men, and therefore cannot please the Lord. God requires, that you, who haue beene taught the word, should bring forth the fruites of it, and not the fruites of humane traditions. If a man sow his field with corne, and it bring forth more grasse then corne, it will not content him, the grasse would haue growne there, though it neuer had beene sowne with corne. In like sort, if you be taught the word of God, and be more carefull to obserue mans traditi­ons thē Gods truth, you shall not please the Lord therby, but rather offend him.

2. Againe, as some haue erred in ta­king those to be fruits which are not, so on the other hand, some haue erred in taking those to be no fruits, which in­deed are good fruits. Know you, that the practise of euery dutie cōmanded in the word, is good fruit. Notwithstan­ding, as there be diuers kindes of seede, some of one graine, some of another, & also diuers kindes of fruits, some of one graine, some of another: So there be di­uers kinds of doctrines, & diuers kinds [Page 207] of duties. And as al fields are not sowne with the same graine, but some with one kinde, some with another, as they will best beare. So all doctrines and duties are not imposed and enioyned to all persons, but some to one, some to another, according to their calling, place and estate. And therefore as all fields doe not bring forth the same graine, but euery one that kind where­with it was sowne: So all persons can­not performe the same duties, but some one kinde, some another, according to their estate and calling. The Magistrate therefore bringeth forth one kind of fruite, the minister another, the people another. The father one kind, the child another, the Maister one kind, the ser­uant another: The rich one kind, the poore another. Yet as that is accounted a fruitfull field, which bringeth forth a plentifull encrease of that graine wher­with it was sowne, though it be not the least graine of all. So those persons are fruitfull hearers, who carefully per­forme all such duties as belong to their place, state and calling, though they be not able to performe such good [Page 208] workes, as are accounted the greatest and most profitable.

Some haue imagined, that the Foun­ding of Colledges, and Schooles, erec­ting of Hospitalles, buylding of Chur­ches, bountyfull Almes, giuen to the Poore, and such great good workes, which can be performed by a fewe, are the onely, or chiefest good-Fruites. Though wee will not denye, but that these be excellent fruits in theyr kinde, if they proceed from a good roote, and bee directed to a right ende: Yet are there many other good Fruites, that may bee as acceptable to God, and as comfortable to the dooers. Not onely the common dutyes of all Christians, but likewise the particular dutyes of e­uery mans especiall calling and estate; (though it be neuer so meane and base, in the iudgement of the world) if they be performed in such a sort as the word directeth, are most acceptable fruites: such as God will approoue and reward.

Hee that is a seruant, and in his ser­uice is put to many base workes: yet if hee performe the common dutyes of all Christians, and likewise performe [Page 209] the workes of his calling, in such a man­ner as the word teacheth him, the work of his seruice are good fruites. And therefore Paule bad seruants bee obe­dient Ephes. 6. 5. to theyr Maisters in singlenesse of heart, as vnto Christ: not with eye-ser­uice, as men pleasers, but as the seruants of Christ, doing the will of God frō the heart. As if by seruing theyr Maisters, in a good sorte, they did serue Christ: Yea, he lets them vnderstand, that God would reward that their seruice: for whatsoeuer good thing any man doth, that shall hee receiue of the Lord, whe­ther he be bond or free. And elswhere Vers. 8. 2. Cor. 8. 12. the Apostle teacheth, that if ther be first a willing minde, it is accepted, accor­ding to that a man hath, and not accor­ding to that he hath not. This bringing forth of fruite is amplified two wayes: 1. by the māner, 2. by the measure of it. First, by the maner of it, for they are said to bring forth fruit with patience. And herein may also be seen a difference be­twixt these, & one sort of the other hea­rers: Those that are compared to stony ground, in time of tentation fal away, & so faile, both in profession and practise; [Page 210] and the reason is, because they want pa­tience to beare the crosses that doe follow the word. But these at all sea­sons and in all estates, continue con­stant both in their profession and prac­tise, because they be endued with pa­tience, to endure all troubles that doe befall them for the words sake. After ground is sowne with corne, it endures many violent stormes, and intemperate seasons: faire weather and fowle, frost and snowe, cold and raine in winter, heate and drought in summer, before it can beare fruit in haruest. So those who heare and receiue the word, for the saluation of their soules, doe often­times endure great troubles, and suffer much affliction, before they can bring forth the fruits of it. Yet if they be en­dued with patience, they will be con­tent to beare all. Hence it is, that the Apostle telleth the Hebrewes, that Heb. 10. 36. they had neede of patience, that after they had done the will of God, they might receiue the promise. As if by pa­tience, they might be made able in those bloodie daies of cruell persecu­tion, to doe the will of God, and so to [Page 211] receyue the promises. And thorough want of patience they should fayle in the deede, and not obtayne the pro­mise. And for this cause hee exhorteth vs to runne with patience, the race that is set before vs. As if none could holde Heb: 12. 1 out to the ende of the Race, but onely the patient. And therefore in the midst of the greatest persecutions, the pati­ence and faith of the Saints is commen­ded and admyred: As when it was said; Heere is the Patience, and the Fayth of the Reuel: 13. 10. Saintes; Because by patience in bearing the Crosse, and by faith in belieuing to receyue the Crowne, they were made constant. Thus will Patience arme a man against all Crosses, so that by it hee shalbe made able manifestly to encoun­ter with them, and safely to passe tho­rough them, and not be hindred by any of them, in the obedience of the word. Howsoeuer in others, Cross [...]s and Tri­bulations doe breede faynting and Re­lapse: yet in these Hearers, Tribulati­on Rom: 5. 3. 4. bringeth foorth patience; patience, experience; experience hope; and hope maketh not ashamed. What is the cause, that one hearer, to preuent some [Page 212] inconuenience which hee feareth, or to remoue some trouble that hee feeleth, will refuse to performe the dutie taught him. And another will rather chuse to endure all Crosses and losses, all disgra­ces and dangers, yea imprisonment and death, then sinne against his God? but because the one wanteth patience, the other is endued with patience. So ne­cessarie is patience for our practise. So greatly doth it further vs in our obedi­ence.

This should be a motiue to perswade euery one of you to seeke for patience. It is in vaine to heare Gods word with intent to obey it, vnles by patience you possesse your owne soules: For other­wise your owne crosse, will stoppe your course, to turne you out of the way that leadeth vnto life. The more patience, the more obedience: the lesse pati­ence, the lesse obedience: we should loue Religion so dearely, wee must bee content to suffer persecution for the profession and practise of it, and ra­ther lay downe our liues for the main­tenance of it, then fayle in the obedi­ence of it. The same minde ought to be [Page 213] in vs, which was in the blessed Apostle Paul; who knowing that bands and af­flictions did abide in euery place: yet passed not for them; Neyther was his Acts. 20. 24. Act. 21. 13. life deare vnto himselfe, so that hee might fulfill his course with ioy. And when he was tolde by Agabus the Pro­phet, that hee must be bound in Ierusa­lem; did openly protest, that hee was readye not onely to be bound, but also to dye there, for the Name of the Lord IESUS. Yet consider that you can­not endure the least of those things, vn­lesse you be endued with patience; you knowe not what may befall you heere­after, and therefore pray vnto God, that he will grant you patience, to beare that which shall come.

In time of publike peace, and when the Gospell is defended by the autho­ritie of Magistrates, men may endure some secret and priuate persecution, by inferiour persons: Especially in these popish parts, where some hold of Christ some of Antichrist: where papists grow head-strong through impunitie. And where many are Protestants in shewe, but Papists in Truth.

[Page 214] If they cannot persecute you by the Sworde, they will persecute you by the tongue. If not by fire and fagot, as they were wont, yet by priuate wrongs and spitefull displeasures. Yea the Church Gen. 19. Gal. 4. 29. is no better nowe; then was Abrahams house, in which the sonne of the bond­woman, by scoffes and mocks, did per­secute the sonne of the free woman.

Did not Cayne and Abel sacrifice to­gether? Genes: 4. yet Cayne enuyed Abel, be­cause his Sacrifice was better accepted, 2. Cor: 11 26. and afterwardes slewe him for it. Was not Paule often in perilles among false Brethren? And did you not heare out of Bernard, howe the Church complai­ned, Pax a pa­ganis, pax ab haereli­cis, sed non profecto a filijs. In cant: serm. 33. that in her peace, shee had greatest bitt [...]rnes? Of a peaceable time he said, Et pax est, & non est paz; There is peace, and there is not peace: peace from Pa­gons, peace from Heretikes, yet not peace indeede from the sonnes. Many friendes, were foes indeede. We must therefore in all times looke to receyue some Affliction for the Gospells sake: And therefore seeke for patience at all seasons, that so in the time of persecu­tion, and in the time of peace, you may [Page 215] continue constant in the profession, and practise of Gods word.

2. Moreouer, this theyr bringing forth of fruite is amplified by the mea­sure of it, which was great in all, yet not alike in all.

All were fruitefull, yet there was great difference and variety in the qua­litie of theyr fruite, some brought forth lesse, some more.

Though this be not heere noted in Math: 13 8. 23. this Euangelist, yet is it mentioned by the other two Euangelistes; and that Marc: 48 20. both in the propounding of the Para­ble, and in the Exposition of it. They say, Some brought foroth thirtie folde, some fixty folde, some an hundred fold. So much did each Seede multiplie and encrease.

Wherein CHRIST speaketh accor­ding to the qualitie of the best ground in Iudea: The whole land was very fer­tile, as the Scripture teacheth. It was a land that flowed with milke and hony: and therefore would yeelde great en­crease of Corne. The worst of it was as good as the best of our grounds; and therefore the best must needes bee ex­ceeding [Page 216] fruitfull. The ground of other lands, haue yeelded great encrease. When Isaacke sowed corne in Gerar, he receiued an hundred measures for one G [...]nes. 26. [...]2. Plin. Hist. lib. 18. 10. Herodot. in M [...]l­pom lib 4. pag. 125 E [...]in Clio. li. 1. p. 35. that he sowed. Forraine writers record that Byzazū in Africa, for one bushell of seede yeelded an 150. of encrease. That the countrey of the Euhespe­rites yeeldeth an hundred fold. The countrey of the Cynopeans, three hun­dreth fold. And the land of Babylon in some parts hath bene so fruitfull, that it neuer yeelded lesse then two hun­dred fold, sometime three hundred fold. Now the land of Canaan especi­ally in some parts, and in a seasonable yeare) was not inferiour to them, and therefore would yeeld great encrease, yet not all alike: some parts of it was more fertile then other, and so brought forth greater store of fruit.

The [...]by doth Christ set forth the di [...]sitie of fruitfulnes in his hea­rers.

All good hearers yeeld plentie of fru [...] yet some more, some lesse.

The word worketh powerfully in them all, yet more powerfully and [Page 217] effectually in some then in others. So fruitfull is the seede of the word, that of a few graines there springeth an ad­mirable encrease of all vertues. A plentifull store of all graces in the heart; many heauenly meditations, holy thoughts, and godly motions in the minde: all sorts of good words in the mouth; and all manner of good workes in the life: yet all good hea­rers, haue not all these in the same qualitie and number.

In some they more abound, in o­thers lesse. And therefore as before you sawe some difference betwixt bad hearers: so here you may behold some varietie and difference among good hearers. For one doth much exceede another in the multitude, and en­crease of fruites, according to the mea­sure of Gods grace giuen to euery one.

The Rhemistes teach, that this diffe­rence Annot. on Math. 13. 8. sect. 1. See post­script. sect. 15. of Fruites, is the difference of merits in this life, and rewards for them in the next life: according to the diuersitie of states. As that the hun­dred fold agreeth to virgins professed, [Page 218] threescore fold to Religious widowes, thirty folde to the marryed.

And hence would many popish wri­ters proue, the excellencie and dignitie of single-life, aboue Widow-hood, and Mariage.

But therein they manifestly declare, that they neyther vnderstand the scope of the Parable, nor the meaning of Answer. Christs Exposition.

1. For first it is apparant that Christ spake it not of receyuing fruites, or re­wards: but of bearing, and bringing forth fruites of obedience.

Though these be so linked together, as the one sorte doth certainely followe the other: yet doo they much differ.

The one sort of fruites, are our deeds, performed by vs vnto God: the other sorte are Gods rewardes, which hee in mercy bestoweth on vs, and which wee receyue from him.

The one sort are the fruites of grace, heere brought foorth for a time on the Earth; the other are the fruits of glory, receyued and enioyed in Heauen, for euermore.

Of the former kinde, Christ speaketh: [Page 219] For it was not his purpose to shew the difference betwixt men in heauen; but a difference betwixt good hearers, in bringing forth the fruits of the word on the earth. Euen as before he noted a difference betwixt bad hearers, not as they shall be hereafter in hell, but as they are now liuing in the world: how then can his words proue any merit of workes, or difference of me­rits in the next life?

2. Christ in this parable spake not of any outward estates, or different degrees of men in the world, but onely of diuers sorts of hearers. Peo­ple of all estates and conditions, did then heare him, and afterward heare the Apostles, and doe now heare vs. Now Christ teacheth, that of what state or condition soeuer they be, whether single persons, or maried, or widowes, they shall beare fruites, ac­cording to the manner of their hea­ring, and according to the inward dis­position of their hearts.

And therefore a maried person hea­ring in a better manner, and recei­uing the word with a better heart, then [Page 202] a virgine then a widowe, shall bring forth more fruites of the word, and receiue more benefite by his hea­ring.

3. Againe, God will neither re­spect nor reward any, for their out­ward estates and conditions, but for the right vse of them, and for their good cariage and godly behaulour in them.

And therefore Augustine said, M [...]lior est maritata humilis, quam virgo superba. Inpsal. 75 An humble maried woman, is better then a proud virgin.

And Cyril compared virgins which In leuit. lib. 2. in sine. had chastitie of body without puritie of minde, without grace in the heart, and obedience in their liues, vnto those fiue foolish virgins, that had lampes without oyle, and were not suffered to enter into the bridegromes wedding chamber.

And Augustine preferred maried mar­tyrs, De virgi­nit cap. 45. before chaste virgins.

But to leaue them with their ab­surd collection, and to come to the doctrine here entended by Christ, we [Page 210] are here taught, that many may heare the word of God together, and all be profitable hearers, and all be sa­ued by their hearing, yet all doe not profite alike, nor bring forth the same fruites of obedience in their liues: but some fewer, some more; accor­ding as their hearts are prepared, and according as it pleaseth the Lord to bestowe his graces. Yea though they all heare one and the same man, and the same sermons, and one heare as often as another: yet may one be more plentifull in the fruites of the word, then is another.

All furrowes of the same land, doe not bring forth an equall number of eares: and all eares of the same fur­rowe, doe not beare an equall num­ber of graines: but some more, some lesse, as it pleaseth the Lord to giue an encrease.

The consideration whereof, ser­ueth for the instruction of all sorts of good hearers, whatsoeuer measure of fruits they doe bring forth.

[Page 222] 1. First, this may comfort those good hearers, who profite not so much in hea­ring as some others doe, doe not attaine to such a measure of knowledge, nor are able to yeelde such aboundance of fruite as others doe.

If theyr hearts bee holy and good, if they doo all of Faith and sinceritie, and desire to bring forth more fruites: God will account them profitable Hearers, Siue parū, siue mul­tum, om­nes horreo erunt. August: in Psal: 128. and accept of theyr obedience. And the Worde which they heare, shall saue theyr soules.

As Husbandmen are glad of all Eares which haue Corne in them; though some bee longer, some shorter; some containe more graines, some contayne fewer; yet will they gather all into the Barne. So God doth accept of all per­sons that bring foorth the fruites of the word, and will bring to Heauen, as well those that haue lesser, as those that haue more fruits.

Such is his Mercie and Bountie, that although hee requyre the same measure of all, yet finding difference among them, because of the diuer­sitie of his grace, hee doth so receyue [Page 223] the first and the best, as hee doth not re­fuse the second, and middle-sorte, nor yet reiect the last, and least. Vnder the Lawe, there were some Sacrifices chea­per, some more costly; If men or womē, Leuit: 12. 8. by reason of theyr pouertie, were not a­ble to offer the better, the Lord was cō ­tent to take the meaner. And therefore CHRIST commended the pore wid­dowes two mytes, aboue all the great gifts, which rich men cast into the trea­surie. Mar: 12. 43. Mat. 25. And vnder the Gospell, the Ser­uant which receyued two Talents, and by employment made them foure, was commended and rewarded of his Mai­ster, as well as he that had receiued fiue, and made them tenne. And they that wrought but one houre in the Vine­yard, Mat: 20. receiued the same penny at night, with them that had borne the heate and burden of the day. Wherefore let not thyne owne penurie, and other mens plentie of fruite dismay thee: but con­sider; That if thou practise what thou knowest, doest as many good workes as the Lord doth enable thee; and art willing, and desirous to doe more, if a­bility were afforded, and occasion offe­red; [Page 224] thou art a good hearer, and mayest goe to heauen with those that farre exceede thee in the number of their fruites.

Yet let not any take occasion hereby to be more backward and sparing in their fruits, as if a small quantitie would serue the turne All of vs ought to striue to bring forth abundance; yea each yeere more then other. Those which be planted in the house of the Lord, do flourish and bring forth in their olde age. It is to be feared, that he who de­sireth Psa. 92. 14. to be no better, is not good at all: and he that desireth to bring forth no more fruites, bringeth forth none at all that be good. Let them vnderstand, that none bring forth such store of fruit as they ought. And that he which sow­eth sparingly, shall reap sparingly: & he that soweth liberally, shall reape libe­rally. 2. Cor. 9. 6. God will crowne his owne gifts in vs. The more fruits they beare heare, the more glorie shall they enioy in hea­uen. Let them therefore striue to a­bound more & more in all good fruits: knowing that this consolation belon­geth not to the which will not abound [Page 225] with more, though they might: but onely to those which would abound with more, and cannot, being hinde­red by their infirmities, or through want of abilitie and opportunitie. In them GOD will take the will for the deede, and will no lesse reward them, then those who hauing more meanes, and better abilitie, haue brought forth more fruits.

2. Lastly, this diuersitie of fruit in good hearers, may teach them that bee more plentifull in hearing them then o­thers be, not to be proud of thēselues, nor to despise those that bring forth fewer: for both of them are reckoned in the number of good and profitable hearers. They which bring forth some lesser fruits, may haue good hearts, may be iustified, may be sanctified, may be in fauour with God; and at last enter into heauen as wel as thou, who aboun­dest with more. Paul laboured more 1. Cor. 15. 10. 2. Cor. 11. 23. abundantly then all the Apostles, and suffered more then any of them. And therefore farre more then any common Christian. Though toward his end, the remembrance therof did much comfort [Page 226] him, so as he could say; I haue fought a good sight, I haue finished my course, I haue kept the faith: hence forth is layde vp for me the Crowne of righteousnes, which the Lord, the righteous Iudge, will giue vnto me at that day: Yet hee addeth these words, con­cerning 2. Tim. 4. 8. his copartners in the reward; And not onely vnto mee, but vnto all them also that loue his appearing. Because many others, who came short of him in the abundance of labours and sufferings, should be crowned as well as he.

Dost thou surpasse others in the mul­titude of fruites? be not high minded, 1. Cor. 4. 7. doe not despise them: for what hast thou, which thou hast not receiued? And if thou hast receiued it, why boa­stest thou of it, as if thou hadst not re­ceiued it? If thou abound more then o­thers, thou mayst say with the Apostle; It is not I, but the grace of God which 1. Cor. 15. 10. is with me; and by his grace, I am that I am. The more lowly thou art, the better are thy fruites. The more and the better graines that an eare of corne hath in it, the lower it will bowe downeward; but the fewer and the worse graines it hath, the higher and [Page 227] straighter will it stand vp. Euen so, the more good fruites for number, and the sounder for qualitie, that any man hath, the more lowly and humble will he be. The prouder he is, and the more he in­sulteth ouer others, the fewer & worse be his gifts and fruits. Therfore be low­ly and humble, not Arrogating to thy selfe, but ascribing to God the glory of all thy fruites. Not disdayning any, for the small measure of their fuits: but ho­noring them for their good beginning, and praying to God, that they may a­bound more and more. And this I pray for you all, as the Apostle did for the Phlippians; that your loue may abound Phil: 1. 9. 10. 11. yet more and more in knowledge, and in all iudgement: that yee may discerne things that differ, that yee may be pure, and without offence, vntill the day of Christ, filled with the fruites of righte­ousnes, which are by IESUS CHRIST; vnto the glorie and prayse of GOD. The Lorde graunt you all these things, for his mercies sake, in his beloued Sonne,


A POSTSCRIPT, to the Papists in Lancashire.

I Am not ignorant how hasty and rash manie of you bee, in condemning all things spoken and written against the Doctrine of your moderne Priestes. If you vouchsafe to reade our wrytings, you commonly giue no more fauoura­ble Censure of them, then Iulian the Emperour gaue of the Ancient Fathers Sozim: hist: 5. 17. [...]. bookes: who thus said of them; I read, I vnderstood, I condemned. And we might iustly answere you, as Basil, and other Learned Byshops answered him. Thou hast read, but not vnderstod; For if thou hadst vnderstood, thou wouldst not haue con­demned. [...]. Ibid: Iude. 10. Some of you are like those men, whereof the Apostle Iude spake: who condemne those things which they knowe not. Others of you knowe and vnder­stand more, yet reiect all things as erro­nious [Page 230] and Hereticall, which you knowe to be contradictorie to the positions of your popish priests. Yea, many of you be such vnequall iudges, that although you cānot but approue almost all points in the booke: yet if there bee but one only thing which you distaste, you pre­sently condemne all the rest for it; And take it to bee as a leafe of Coloquyntis; which marreth a whole messe of pot­tage: and as a deade Flye, that spoyleth a whole boxe of Oyntment.

In regard whereof, I may iustly feare your sharpe and bitter censures of these my Sermons, nowe put foorth to open sight: I can expect no more indifferen­cie and fauour at your hands, thē others my betters haue formerly found. Not­withstāding, as often hereto fore I haue laboured by many meanes to giue you satisfaction, in your Doubtes and de­maundes, both by priuate Conference, with diuers of the Layitie, by seuerall Answeres made to the wrytings of the learned on your side, and also by open disputations with your priests, (as some of you cannot denie, if you would testi­fie truth.) So would I now giue you full [Page 231] contentment, (if any reasonable thing will content you,) for all such excepti­ons which I thinke you wil take against these Sermons. Whereas the learned on your side doe charge vs, that in our sermons and writings, we interpret the Scriptures according to our owne fan­cies, and priuate conceits: and not ac­cording to the vniforme sense giuen by the Fathers, and the common expositi­on of the Church; and thervpon would perswade you, not to heare, or reade, or belieue any thing which we proue by the scriptures. I will make it apparant, that in those points of cōtroucrsie, tou­ched in these sermons, and confirmed by seuerall texts of scripture, I haue the consent of the ancient Fathers, and also of many of your owne late wryters.

Cardinall Bellarmine acknowledgeth, that before the Pelagian heresie arose, the Fathers did not exactly handle the que­stionof Degra. & lib. arbitr. lib. 2. cap. 11. initio. Praedestination by grace: but onely when occasion was offered, did briefly set down their opinions. And that Chrysost: did not plainly preach preuēting grace, because at that time they were not risen vp, which denyed it. Ibid. lib. 6. cap. 6.

As if the Fathers did speake and write [Page 232] plainely & fully of those poynts onely, which were controuerted and impug­ned in those dayes. Now is it certaine, that few of those poyntes which I men­tioned, were called into question in their dayes. There were many contro­uersies de eo quod creditur, non de eo quo creditur (as the M. of Sentences, out of Augustine distinguisheth) of the things Lumb. sent. lib. 3. dist. 23. c. to bee beleeued, or of the obiect of faith: yet not of the habite of faith, or of the gift or qualitie whereby we be­leeue. And therefore the trueth is not to be gain-sayed, though we could not produce very pregnant and plentifull testimonies out of their writings, tou­ching the nature and kindes of faith. Notwithstanding, they haue not left themselues without witnes, in that they do vpon occasions, declare their iudge­ments therein, which serue to confirme the trueth on our side. These testimo­nies of theirs, and the testimonies of your owne Doctors, I did forbeare to recite in the Pulpit, or write in the co­pie of the Sermons, that so I might a­uoyde tediousnes. Yet hauing diligent­ly perused them, and hoping that they [Page 233] would be of force with some that duly consider them, I thought good to set them apart by themselues, and to adde them as a postscript after all.


WHereas I taught, that the word of God is the spirituall seede, which must bee sowne in our hearts, to make vs fruitfull in all good workes: And that Preachers ought to teach, and people ought to heare and receiue nothing but the word, and did limit the word, to the word written: I know it crosieth the doctrine of some in your Church: and therefore may per­haps be misliked by you.

First your countrey-man, Doctor Stapleton, writing a Postill for the in­struction Promptu­ar in Do­minica sexagesim. To the same effect the Rhe­mists. of Popish Preachers, could not finde in all this Parable, any poynt to be obserued against vs, but onely this, that the word is the seed. And will haue, not the word written, but the word preached to be the seede. Yea, he maketh two words of God; the one [...]

[Page 230] Now, what is preaching, but expoun­ding of Scripture, and deliuering the true sense of it? As appeareth by the practise of Ezra, and the Leuites, who Nehe. 8. 8. reade the Lawe of God distinctly, and then gaue the sense, and caused the people to vn­derstand what was read. Those then, who in their Sermons deliuer the true sense of the word written, according to those seuerall kindes of expositions, must needes deliuer the word of GOD, euen the selfe-same word that is writ­ten.

Againe, not onely the things expres­ly set downe in the Scriptures, but like­wise such things, as by sound and ne­cessarie consequence bee collected thence, are taken for written truthes, and not vnwritten traditions. Alfonsus Uiruestus, a Popish Bishop, and a bitter Aduers. Luther. dogmat. philippi. cap. 9. p. 147. enemie to Luther, acknowledgeth so much: For he saith, That things may bee contayned in the Scripture, eyther formally and expresly: or materially, being drawne by a necessary collection from the contents. And this he saith is called Uirtualis con­tinentia. To denie this (saith hee) is not [Page 237] Christian wisedome, but Iewish superstition. And then teacheth, that wee are as much bound to giue assent to those things that be materially, conteyned and drawne thence by a lawfull collec­tion, as to those that be formerly and expresly conteyned. Bellarmine cannot deny, but that Scotus taught, there was De Eu­charist. lib. 3. c. 23 not any expresse place of Scripture to proue Transubstantiation, without the declaration & expositiō of the Church. Neither dare the Cardinall reiect that Quia col­ligitur ex scriptura diuina. assertion; but saith, that Transubstanti­ation belongeth to the Catholicke faith, because it is collected out of the diuine Scrip­ture. In his iudgement, then that is a written truth which is collected from the Scripture, as well as that which is expressely set downe in the Scrip­ture.

If therefore Preachers deliuer no o­ther doctrines in their Sermons; if they confute and condemne no other errors; if they teach no other duties; if they reproue no other sinnes; if they minister no other consolations; and if they vrge no other exhortations, then they haue [Page 238] warrant in the written word of God, eyther by expresse testimonies: or by necessary collections, the word which they preach, is the very same in kind, in nature and substance, with the word written. And so there is not one word written, and another word preached, as the Docter would beare men in hand; but one and the same word di­uersly vsed. So absurd is this his obser­uation, so voyde of reason, so destitute of proofe, and so discre [...]ant from the doctrine of his owne Church, that it may well be thought, that rather ma­lice against vs, then any warrant from the text, caused him to s [...]t it downe. And heere behold how farre malice doth carry your teachers, euen to for­sake their owne companions, and to o­uerthrow the cōmon and receiued doc­trine of their owne Church, that so they may crosse and condemne vs. And to conclude with him: he that will regard what he writeth in the lat­ter end of his obseruation, may easily perceiue how hee ouerthroweth his owne note obserued in the beginning: For he produceth the Apostle Peter, as [Page 239] an in different witnes in this case: who saith, that the Word of God endureth for e­uer: and this is the word which is preached among you: whose testimonie doth eui­dently prooue, that the word written, and the word preached then by the A­postles, and other Ecclesiasticall per­sons, was the very same word. For it is apparant by that verse which he al­leadged, that the word of God which endureth for euer, and the word which then was preached, were one and the selfe same word.

Now what was the word that endu­reth for euer? was it not the word written? If any will denye this, let him reade the former verse in Peter, and compare that verse and this, with the Isaiah: 40. 6. 7. 8. words of the Prophet Isaiah, and hee shall finde it to be the word written by the Prophet. So as Peter maketh the word written by the Prophet, and preached by the Apostles, to be the same.

Againe, this great Docter saith, Immuta­bile est in natura & substantia sua, etsi propaga­tione & explicati­one variū. the Word is the Seede, because it is vnchange­able, in it owne nature and substance: though diuers in explication: and proueth [Page 240] it out of Basil and Uincentius Lyrenens [...]s, who make that agreemēt betweene the word written, and the word preached: that they are both one in substance, for they preached nothing but what was written, yet the word writtē was made fruitfull by preaching.


BVt to leaue the Doctor and his ob­seruation; It may be some others will acknowledge, contrarie to his minde, that whosoeuer preacheth no­thing but such doctrines, as are either expresly taught, or necessarily gathered from the scriptures, preacheth nothing but the written word. And yet will likewise contradict me, because they hold that there is another word of God, besides the written word. Bellar­mine De verbo D [...]i non script. lib. 4. e. 1. saith, there is verbū Dei scriptū, & verbum Dei non scriptum. A word of God written, namely, the bookes of the old and new Testaments. And a word of God not written, namely, the traditions of the Church, which be not written in the scriptures. Gregory de [Page 241] Ualentia Refutat. falsar. cau­sar. Her­brand. cap. 1. holdeth it for a most cer­taine thing, that the word of God is not onely conteyned in written letters (as it pleaseth him to tearme the scriptures in way of disgrace) but is also put in the voyce of the Church, and there doth sound. Coster the Iesuite, spea­keth more plainely and peremptori­ly. Et autē scriptura, ec­clesiae catho­licae consen­sus, & con­cors omnium Christiano­rum per totū terrarum or­bem, doctri­na. H [...]ius scriptura, praestantia [...]ltis parti­bus superat scripturas, quas nobis in membrams Apostoli re­liquerunt. En [...]h [...]ria. cap. 1 So also saith Hosius. Quod ecclesia docet, expressum Dei ver­bum est. De expresso, Dei verbo: fol. 119. in 106. That the consent of the Catho­like Church, and the consonant doctrine of all Christians throughout the world, is the scripture. And in many points ex­celleth the scriptures which the Apostles haue left vs in parchments. And this he maketh the first and chiefest kinde of scripture, which now wee haue vnder the Gospell, and saith, that is a scripture penned with their owne hands. The scriptures penned by the Apo­stles and Euangelists, he placeth in the second ranke. And addeth, that a scripture of the third kind, is in the degrees of generall Councells; The decrees whereof, if a man respect truth, if he respect the seale and confirmati­on of the holy Ghost, or the presence [Page 242] of Christ haue the same waight and mo­ment, So also saith Hosius. Quod Eccle­sia docet ex­pressum Dei verbum est. De expresso De [...] verbo. fol. 119. in 16. that the holy gospells of God haue. And so, whereas Bellarmine made but two words of God, he maketh three, and two of his three, are neither of the Cardinalls two. Now those who depend on such teachers as these, wil hold, that albeit the seede be ye word of God, and Preachers must teach nothing but the word, yet they may preach the traditions of the Church, and the canons of councells, as well as the contents of the written word, because these be the word of God, as well as the written word.

Wherevnto I answere, that if the Traditions of the Church, the word put in the mouth of the Church, and the decrees of Councells, be eyther expresly taught in the written word, or may be warranted thence, by iust and lawfull consequence, we will ac­knowledge them to be the word of God. But if they be praeter verbum: besides the word writtē, hauing nei­ther way, any warrant thereby, they are not to be preached as the word of God, but to be taken as the word [Page 243] of man. And if they be contrary to the word written, they are so farre from being the word of God, as they must rather bee reputed to be the word of the diuell. I neede not to stand on the first and last kinde. For we acknowledge the first, as well as the papists; and the papists doe in generall condemne the last as well as we, though they iustifie some in par­ticular. All the doubt is, whether such traditions and canons, that bee praeter verbum, are to be taught to the people, as the true word of God, and be ye seede, which was sowed by the sower, and is able to make the recei­uer fruitfull in all good workes, and heire of saluation in heauen. To that which I deliuered in the sermons, I will adde more for your satisfaction, to proue them not to be Gods word, nor to be taught by the preachers of the Gospell.

1. Christ himselfe when he was vpon the earth was a Sower, and a principall sower, when he preached the word, as is acknowledged by Athanas. Chrysostom: Hieronym: Tho. Aquin. Ludolph: Hugo Cardi: all writers in the parable. Look then [Page 244] what word he preached, that onely was ye true word of God, (there cal­led Seede,) and no other: what hee taught not, that was not the word of God. For he called his Disciples Ioh. 15. 1 [...]. friends; because he had made known to them, all things which he heard from his Father.

Now it is most euident, that Christ neuer taught any Traditions of the church, nor decrees of coūcels: he of­ten Matt. 5. 21. 27. Math. 15. 2. 3. 9. codemned the decrees of the Elders, and the traditions of the Pha­risies. And tolde them, that in vaine they worshipped God, who taught for doctrines, mens precepts: But himselfe neuer taught any such.

He receiued his doctrine immedi­ately frō his Father. And therefore he said, Ioh. 7. I. Ioh. 8. 26. 28. My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent mee. The things that I heard of him, those speake I to the world. As my Father hath taught mee, so I speake these things.

Will they say, that Doctrine receiued immediately from God, and presently taught to people, is at the first teaching of it a tradition? [Page 245] Then all the visions of the Prophets, and all the reuelations of Saint Iohn were traditions. They holde onely those to be traditions, which being not written, are conueyed from one man to an other.

Againe, though Christ receiued his doctrine from his Father, euen as the Apostles did from him: yet was it no other, then that was caught and writ­ten in the Bookes of the olde Testa­ment, eyther by Types, or Precepts, or Prophecies, or Promises.

And therefore he bad the Iewes Ioh. 5. 29. Search the Scriptures, because they testified of him. And Ioh. 5. 46. 47. tolde them that Meses accused them. For had they belieued Moses, they would haue belieued him. But if they belieued not Moses writings, they could not belieue his words.

His Sermons were Math. 5. expositi­ons of the Lawe, and the Prophets. (12) Luk. 4. 17. Hee (11) tooke Texts to expound. Hee alleadged Testimonies out of the Olde Testament, to prooue his Doctrine; And Ioh. 7. 38. that both in his publicke Sermones, Luk. 24. 27. [Page 246] and in his priuate conferences.

Whereas he preached pardon of sinne, to all that belieued in him, Pe­ter tolde Cornelius and his companie, Asts. 10. 42. To him giue all the Prophets witnes, that through his Name, all that belieue in him, shall receiue remission of sinnes. Augustine said perēptorily In eo tanta praedi­cat [...] & pre­nun [...]atio n [...] ­ [...]itestament [...] est, vt nulla in cua [...]gelica atque aposto­ [...]ca disciplina reperiuntur, qua illis etiā libris veteri­bus desint. Contr. Adi­ [...]ant: cap. 3. there was in the olde Testament so great prea­ching and fore-shewing of the New Testa­ment, that nothing are found in the Euan­gelicall and Apostolicall discipline, which be wanting in these olde Bookes. Yea, he found so great consent of doctrine betwixt the two Testaments, that he affirmed, Quaest: super Exod: qu: 73. that in the Old, the New was hid, and in the Newe, the Old was re­uealed. Let the Papists name any one doctrine taught by Christ, which they take for a tradition, and I will vndertake to proue it, out of the old Testament.

Moreouer, what Christ taught, the Apostles afterward did write, thogh not euery word, yet the summe and substance of all.

Luke did Luk. 13 perfectly search out all things from the beginning, to write therof: [Page 247] from point to point. And said, Act. 1. [...]. he made the treatise of his gospell, of all that Iesus began to doe and teach, vntill the day that he was taken vp.

Beda, Lyra, Hugo Cardinal. in Act. 1. Expositors hold, that the E­uangelists wrote all his wordes and deedes, which he thoght worthy and fitte for the office of his dispensation. Augustine De con sensu Euang: lib: 1. ca. 35. saide, whatsoeuer Christ would haue vs to read of his deeds and sayings, he commanded them to write. And althogh any one of the Euange­lists did not of himselfe make a per­fect narration of all Christs doctrines and deede. Yet all of them together haue don it. For they who wrote last, tooke a viewe of those things which the former had written, & by direc­tion of the spirit, added such things as they had omitted.

It is testified by Euseb: hyst: lib: 3. c. 21. Epiphan. haeres: 51. Hieron: Ca­talog: scrip­tor. in Io­hanne. August: prae­sat. ad tra­ctat: in E­uang. Iohan. most Au­thors, that when Iohn percceyued how other Euangelists wrote onely the things of one yeare, euen the yeare after Iohns imprisonment, hee Antonin: summ: hist: part. 1. tit. 5. cap: 8. approued those: and in his Gospell added the things done and taught in the former yeares.

[Page 248] And because some Heretickes de­nyed the God-head of CHRIST, he Sixt: Senens: Biblioth. lib. 1. in Ioh: p. 18. & lib. 7. haeresis. 5. p. 583. considering that other Euangelistes did at large describe his Humanitie, but spake little of his God-head, did in his Gospell write such thinges as proued him to be GOD. And added those Sermons, which the rest had o­mitted.

And therevppon, Sixtus Senen­sis Exom­nibus simul coniunctis, cō ­sonantissima ac perfectis­sima salutis nostrae hysto­riaresultet. lib. 7. haere­sis, 5. saide against the Alogan He­retickes, That from them all ioyned together, there ariseth a most Conso­nant, and most perfect Hystorie of our sal­uation.

It is then to be examined, whe­ther the Euangelistes haue written that Christ taught any traditions re­ceyued from men. If they write no such matter, it is certaine that hee taught none at all.

Let our Aduersaries runne tho­rough the whole Newe-Testament, and they shall not bee able to finde any one of theyr Traditions recor­ded by the Euangelistes, as a doctrine taught by Christ.

Seeing then Christ taught no [Page 249] traditions, why should wee presume to teach any? must wee not receiue from him the matter of our Doctrine, and imitate him in the manner of tea­ching?

Saide not Ambrose well, Nos no­ua omnia, quae Christus non docuit, iu­rè damna­mus, quia fi­delibus via est Christus. Si igitur Christus non docuit quod docemus, eti­am nos id de­testabile iu­dicamus. De virginib. li. 3. that wee doe iustly condemne all newe things, which Christ hath not taught, because Christ is the way to Belieuers.

If therefore Christ haue not taught that which wee teach, euen we doe iudge it to be detestable?

2. Againe, the Apostle Paul was a painefull Sower, and did sowe all the worde of God. And therefore could Act. 20 26. protest to his hearers, that hee had kept nothing backe from them, but had shewed them all the counsell of God.

Now what word taught he? Did hee teach traditions, and mans ordi­nances? Did he not teach only writtē truths? Did he Acts. 17. 2 not proue his doc­trine by the scriptures? Did he not in his apologie before Festus Act. 26 22. auouch that hee taught none other things then those, which the Prophetes and Moses did say should come.

[Page 250] And how could the Acts 17. 10. 11. Bereans haue examined his doctrine by the Scriptures, if hee had deliuered anie thing not taught in the Scrip­tures?

Yea, Saint Paul was so farre from preaching any other Doctrine then that which was written Galath. 1. 89. that hee denounced him to be accursed, whe­ther hee were man or Angell, that should teach otherwise. I knowe Bellarmine would elude that place by two seuerall answeres, yet all in vaine.

First, De ver bo Dei non script. lib. 4. cap. 10. he saith that the Apostle speaketh not onely of the word writ­ten, but of euery word, whether it be written, or it be by tradition. But be­sides that hee beggeth the question, he hath the wordes of the Text, and the testimonies of the Fathers, and of some Popish writers against him. For the Apostle speaketh of that worde, which hee and the rest of the Apostles preached, and therefore he saith;

If wee or an Angell, preach otherwise then that which wee haue preached; And [Page 231] what worde hee preached, I haue proued before: not any traditions, but the written word. If it be true which Irenaeus and Nicephorus doe Iren. li. 3. c. 1. Niceph. hist. lib. 2. c. 34. write, that what the Apostles prea­ched at first, was afterward by the will of God set downe in the scrip­tures: it must be acknowledged that they preached no traditions, seeing we can finde no traditions penned by thē in their Epistles. And though they had bene traditious when they were preached, yet they ceased to be traditions, when once they were written by them.

Againe, the Fathers restraine the words of the Apostle, to the scrip­tures, as if he were accursed that would preach any thing not cōtai­ned in them. Augustine is most plaine Vobis ann [...]n­ctauerit prae­terquā quod inscripturis legalebus & euangelicis accepistis, anathema sit. therein. Whether concerning Christ, or concerning his Church, or any other thing that pertaineth to our faith or life, I will not say, if wee, (for we are not to be com­pared to him, who saide, if wee) but euen as he going forward, added, If an An­gell from heauen, shall preach vnto you, besides that which ye haue receiued in [Page 232] the scriptures of the lawe and the Gospell, let him be accursed.

Basill likewise teacheth, that hea­rers, who be skilfull in the scriptures, Cont. lit. Pe­tilian. lib. 3. cap. 6. ought to examine those things which bee deliuered of their teachers. And to re­ceiue those things which be agreeable to the scriptures: and to reiect those that be Sum. morae. sum. 72. cap. 1. not. And produceth this testimonie of the Apostle to proue it: which had bene an impertinent proofe, if the Apostle had spoken as well of a word not written, as of a word writ­ten.

The Cardinall mentioneth both these testimonies, and would auoyd Bellarm. de verbo dei non script. lib. 4. [...]0. them, by saying, that they doe not of purpose expound this place, but doe proue by this place, that it is not lawfull to auouch any thing contrary to the scriptures. Yet cānot he deny but that they doe alleadge this place of the Apostle. And I hope he will not say, but that they doe deliuer the true sense of it, and doe alleadge it accor­ding to the true meaning of the A­postle? Doth the Cardinall thinke that such learned fathers would giue [Page 233] one sense of it, when purposely they expound it, and another sense, when they alleadged it, to prooue a point which they haue in hād: This were to wrest the scripture, to make it serue their present turne. I hope he will not so iudge of such reuerend men.

And to say, that they onely proue thence, that it is not lawful to auouch any thing contrary to scripture, is to alter and inuert their words. Doth not Augustine say, praeterquam quod ac­cepistis, besides that which you haue re­ceiued, but of that afterward. And if by that place, they proue that no­thing must be taught contrary to the scriptures: then must they not hold with the Cardinall, that the Apostle speaketh of each word, as well writ­ten, as not written, but onely of the written word. And so the Cardinall maketh them to confute him. Chry­sostome purposely expounding the In Galal. 1. place, saith, Paul preferreth the scrip­tures, before angels comming from heauē. Si vel pau­lum euange­li zauerint praeter euangelium, quod acce­pistis. Quam illud quod contine­tur in euan­gelijs & in epistolis & in sacra scrip­tura, implici­te vel expres­se Thom. in Gal. 1. As also that Paul doth not say, if they preach contrary things, or if they subuert the whole Gospell, but if they preach [Page 234] but euen a little beside the Gespell, which ye haue receiued, let them be accursed.

Thomas Aquinas their Angelicall Doctor, professedly expoūding that place, doth write, that nothing is to be preached, but that which is conteyned in the Gospells and in the Epistles, and in the holy scripture, implicitely or expresly. Will they say that their Traditions are conteyned in the scriptures, ei­ther expresly, or by way of implica­tion or consequent? thenare they not vnwritten verities as they tearme them.

A second answere of the Cardi­nall is this, that the Apostle by Prae­ter, vnderstood Contra. And there­fore did not forbid new doctrines and precepts, which were besides those that were deliuered: but one­ly doctrines and precepts contrarie to the former. Yet will not this serue his turne. For in matters of faith and religion; proeter and contra are both alike. Whatsoeuer is taught as neces­sarie to saluation, if it be besides the scripture, must be condemned, as well as that which is contrarie to [Page 235] the Scriptures. The reason is, because the Scriptures conteyne all thinges which Ministers are to teach, as ne­cessary to saluation. And therefore Paul told Timothie, that they were able 2. Tim. 3. 15. 16. 17. to make him wise vnto saluation: And were profitable to teach, to improue, to correct, and to instruct in righteousnesse. Two of which, respect mens mindes, what they are to know and beleeeue as the trueth, and what they are to reiect as errors. Two of them respect their maners, what sinnes they are to auoyde, what duties they are to performe. Is there any things need­full to bee taught the people, but these things? And because the Car­dinall answereth, that the Scriptures are profitable for all these things, but not sufficient. Consider the wordes of the Apostle following, where hee declareth the end of this profitablenes: namely, that the man Verse. 17 of God may be absolute, being made per­fect to all good works. By the man of God, he meaneth the Minister of the Gospell. That tytle had he in his former Epistle giuen vnto Timothie. 1. Tim. 6. 11. [Page 236] And Lyra saith, the man of God 1. Tim. 6. 11 Homo dei. 1. ad diuinum officium or­dinatus, qua­lis estu. Lyra in 2. Tim. 3. was one ordeyned to the diuine office, such a one as Timothie was. If then the Scrip­ture being profitable for those foure vses, will thereby make a Minister of the Gospell absolute and perfect for each good worke belonging vn­to him: he is not to teach any things ouer and besides the Scripture.

Theophylact thus writeth on the former place; Hee doth not inferre, if In Gal. 1. they onely preach contrary things: but if they preach that which is beside that which we haue preached: that is, if they shall adde any thing, that is but a very lit­tle more, they are subiect to the curse.

And indeed it may seeme strange, that the Papists are so earnest to haue vnwrittē traditions as wel preached, as written truthes, seeing the things written are more cettaine, more ex­cellent and necessary, and require a long time to bee all taught and lear­ned. They are more certaine, because all men are more certainely assured, that the Scriptures, & the doctrines conteyned in them, bee the word of God, then that vnwritten traditions [Page 227] be his worde. Bellarmine confesseth De verbo Dei. lib. 1. cap. 2. that nothing is better knowne, nothing more certaine then the sacred Scriptures, which bee conteyned in the writings of the Prophets & Apostles: that he must needes be most foolish, who denyeth that they are to be beleeued. And produceth 5. in­uincible and infallible proofes, that they are the very word of God. Whē De verbo Deinōscript. lib. 4. cap. 5. he commeth to speake of traditions, he alleadgeth no such proofes: but onely goeth about to prooue, by 4. places of Scripture, which haue bene long agoe answered, that there are some traditions: though neyther he, nor any of his fellowes, can tell what they are, nor can make a perfit Cata­logue of them; so vncertain are they. Indeede hee deliuereth fiue rules, whereby true traditions may bee De vero. Dei non script. lib. 4. cap. 9. Ibid. lib. 4. cap. 2. discerned from false and counterfait traditions: yet those rules are groun­ded on the authoritie of men, and do not infallibly proue them to bee the word of God. Yea, he teacheth, that al traditions haue not the like autho­ritie: some haue diuine authoritie, some haue Apostolical, some ecclesi­astical. [Page 238] And therfore all of them can­not haue the same authority with the written word, which himselfe before proued to haue diuine authoritie.

And how do they know any thing to bee a tradition, but by humane writings and histories? which as the Cardinall confesseth, can breede but De effect. sacram. lib. 2. cap. 25. fine. humane beleefe, wherein may be falshood.

Neither are they so necessarie and profitable as the Scripture. It is able to make a man wise to saluation. It is the seede ofregeneration. It is the foode of our soules. It is the sword of the spirit, to defend vs from the Diuell. It bringeth vs to faith and saluation; as before I proued. Can such profite bee reaped from traditi­ons? Did euer any approued authour ascribe such vertue and efficacy to them? Did euer any Christian ob­teyne these benefites by them?

Moreouer, the thinges taught in the Scripture are not easily learned. Augustine wrote, that the profunditie of the Scripture is so great, that hee Epist. 3. might hee might dayly profite in them, if from the beginning of his childhood, to [Page 239] his crooked old age, he should with grea­test leisure, chiefest studie, and better wit, endeuour himselfe to learne them onely. The Papists will not gain-say this, seeing they hold the Scripture to be very obscure. Pambo confessed, that in 19. yeeres hee had not learned to Socrat. hist. lib. 4. c. 18. practise one lesson, taught him out of Psal. 39. to refraine his tongue from euill. How many yeeres then may our people require to learne the meaning and the practise of al things written in the Olde and New Testa­ment?

I would therefore wish our Popish Priestes and people, first to learne how to vnderstand and practise all thinges that bee written: and when they haue learned all those, then to begin with traditions. It is no wise­dome to contend much, and busie themselues greatly about traditions, before they haue learned and practi­sed all things written, which be farre more certaine, more necessarie, and profitable. If they would take this course, I am assured, that there is not any one of them, though he liued to [Page 104] be as old as Methuselah, that would euer trouble, eyther himselfe or vs with traditions. But it skilleth not what doctrine Papists heare, if Tollet Si rusticus credat suo episcopo pro­ponentiali­quod dogma haereticum, meritur in credendo. Instruct. sa­cerdot. lib. 4. cap. 3. say truely; That a countrey man belee­uing his Bishop, deliuering hereticall doc­trine, doth merit by beleeuing.


IN describing the second propertie of hearers, which was their belee­uing for a time, to shew what kind of faith that was, I taught, that there be diuers kinds of faith; one proper to the elect, and others common both to them and to the reprobate. I may iustly feare, left that doctrine will not be receiued of all my coun­trey men and neighbours, because the contrary is taught by many Ro­mish Rabbines. The Catechisme of the Part 1. cap. 1. p. [...]. Tridentine Counsel teacheth; That though there bee diuers degrees of faith, yet it is but one in kind. The Annot: in Iam: 2. sect. 11. Rhemistes holde, that the dead faith, whereof S. Iames speaketh, and the Ca­tholicke faith is all one. Coment. in Mat. 9. 2. Maldonatus [Page 241] scoffeth at them, who make three kinds of faith; Historicall, Miraculous, & Iusti­fying. De Rom pontif. lib. 3. c. 21. Et de iustifi­cat. lib. 1. c. 4. Bellarmine maintaineth it very stifly, that there is but one faith: And that the historicall faith, the the faith of miracles, and the faith of promises, are all one: and that this is the iustifying faith.

Lest I bee mistaken, I would haue you to vnderstand, that I acknow­ledge that there is but one faith, in respect of the obiect, or of the things which are to be beleeued. In regard whereof, the Apostle saith; There is Ephes. 4. 5. one Faith, one Baptisme: Meaning, that we all beleeue the same thing, as we are all baptised with the same rite: De iu­stif. lib. 1. c. 4. Sect. Iam. vero catho­lici. as Bellarmine doth truely expound it. And in this respect De Tri­nit. lib. 13. 2. Agustine taught, that there was but one faith of all beleeuers. Eadem credentium fides vna: But one faith of all them which beleeue the same things. And in this respect the Fathers Leo de pass. Dom. serm. 14. August. de Natur. & grat. c. 44. & in Ioh. tract. 45. write, that there was but one faith in all ages: that the beleeuing Iewes vnder the Lawe, and beleeuing [Page 242] Christians vnder the Gospel, had one and the same faith, differing onely in the manner, not in the matter: they Fulg [...]nt. ad Monum. lib. 2. paulò postinitium. beleeued in Christ, who was to come; and Christians in him, alrea­die come. Augustine De tri­nit. lib. 13. c. 2. sayd truely: Aliud sunt ea quae creduntur, Aliud fi­des qua creduntur. The things which are beleeued, and the faith whereby they are beleeued, are not one and the same. The former (saith he) con­sist in things which haue beene, which are, and which shall be: but the other is in the minde of the beleeuer. And there­fore, though there bee but one faith, in respect of the obiect, and thinges to bee beleeued: yet there may bee diuers kinds of faith, differing much one from another, in respect of the habite, or facultie of the minde, whereby we doe beleeue them: be­cause all persons doe not beleeue the same things, after one and the same maner.

Againe, I doe confesse that there is but one true sauing and iustifying faith in all the Saints, and in all the elect. Though euery one of them [Page 243] haue a proper and peculiar faith of his owne; yet it is the same, with the faith that is in others. The faith of one, may differ from the faith of ano­ther in degrees: so as one is stronger, another weaker: but not in knde, not in nature and substance. Yet there bee in other persons diuers o­ther kinds of faith besides this, which bee not the same with it, but doe much differ in substance and kinde; not onely from it, but likewise one from another. The difference and diuersitie of these kinds, I haue in the Sermons going before sufficiently proued by testimony of holy writte: I will now proue the same by the te­stimonies of ancient Fathers, and late Popish writers. And that first in generall, then in particular. In generall, that there is not onely one kind of faith, but diuers and seuerall kindes of faith.


MOst of the Fathers, and many of the Romish writers haue di­stinguished [Page 244] betwixt these three; Cre­dere Deo, credere Deum, & credere in De [...]: To beleue God, to beleue that he is God, and to beleeue in God. As namely, De temp. serm. [...]81. Augustine, Insym­bol. hom. 2. Euse­bius, Emissenus, In Rom. 3. & in Iacob. 2. Beda, De sanct. Andr. ser. 3. Ber­nard, Sent. lib. 3. dist. 23. D. Lumbard, The In e­pist. ad Rom. 4. initio. Ordi­nary glosse, 2. a 2. aequ. 2. art. 2. & com­ment in 1. Pet. 1. 8. Thomas Aquinas, Sum. part. 4. tit. 8. cap. [...]. sect. [...]. Antonius, Serm. 6. cap. 2. Bernardinus de Senis, Compend: theolog: lib. 5. cap: 21. fine. Iohannes de Combis, and Com­ment in Ioh: 6. Fe­rus. And I maruell much, that Bel­larmine writing so much of the diffe­rence and vnitie of faith, did neuer mention this distinction, beeing so rife in all Authours Now these three doe so much differ among thēselues, as that they cannot possibly be actes of one and the same faith in kinde.

First, they differ in respect of the nature and properties of them. And therefore De temp: serm. 181. Augustine thus distin­guished them: Credere Deo, To giue credit to GOD, is to belieue that those things are true which he speaketh. Credere De [...], is to belieue that he is God. Credere [Page 245] in illum, to belieue in him, is to loue him. So else-where hee saith of two of them: Mul­tum interest vtrum quis­que credat ipsum esse Christum, & vtrum credat in Christū. &c. De verb. dom. serm. 61. There is great difference, whether a man belieue him to bee Christ, and whether hee belieue in Christ: For the Diuels belieue him to be Christ; yet did not belieue in Christ. Hee belieueth in Christ, who both trusteth in Christ, and loueth CHRIST. He that be­lieueth in CHRIST, by belieuing in Christ, CHRIST shall come into him; he after a sort is vnited vnto him, and is made a member in his body.

To the same effect speaketh De symbol. ho­mil: 2. Eusebius Emissenus: Credere Deo, is one thing: Credere Deum, is another: Credere in Deum, is another: which none is proued to doe, but he who deuoutly trusteth in him.

The like difference doeth Bernard put betwixt them: Crede­re in Deum, est omnem spem suam in illum dirige­re. De sanct. Andr. serm. 3. in fine. Credere Deo, is to giue credit to his wordes: Credere De [...], is to confesse him to be euery where: Credere in Deum, is to direct all his hope vnto him. Bernardine Serm. 6. cap. 2. likewise saith, that credere Deo, & credere De [...] ­may be acts both of a dead & liuing faith: [Page 246] but the third onely, Credere in Deum, is an act of a liuely faith. Seeing there is a faith, Quacredimus Deo, and a faith, Qua credimus Deum, and a faith, Qua credimus in Deum, and all these three doe so much differ one from another in their naturall properties, how can they al be one and the same faith? Againe, the same Authours shew a difference betwixt them, be­cause some of them be sometime gi­uen as well to the creature, as to the Creator: another belongeth onely to the Creator. It is to be knowne, said Augustine, Scien­dum est, quod ecclesiam credere, non tamen in ec­clefiam cre­dere debea­mus. &c. De temp. serm. 131. that we ought to beleeue the Church, but not in the Church, be­cause the Church is not God, but the house of God. And in another place, Credi­mus Paulo, sed non cre­dimus in Paulum &c. In Ioh. 7. tra [...]. 7. That wee may say of the Apostles; We beleeue Paul, but we doe not beleeue in Paul. Wee beleeue Peter, but we doe not beleeue in Peter. Ruffinus likewise obserued, Expo­sit in symbol. that in the Creede, we are taught not to say, In Sanctam Ecclesiam, I beleeue in the Church: for then we should haue the same saith toward it, that we haue toward God. And fur­ther noteth; That in all Articles which [Page 247] concerne the Godhead, the praeposition, In, is added: but in those that concerne the creatures, it is omitted. And by it, is put a difference betwixt the Creator, and the creatures, betwixt diuine and humane things.

Though the Rhemistes, finding that they can call on none but in whom they doe beleeue, doe Annot. on Rom. 10. 14. sect. 14. teach, that we may beleeue in the Saints, that so they my bee inuocated. Yet is that their assertion condemned; not onely by the Greg. Nazian. de theolog. orat. 4. Cyril thesaur sanct. lib. 12 cap. 15. August. in Psal 77. Fathers of for­mer ages, but also by their owne Lumb. sent. lib. 3. dist. 23. d. Tho. Aquin. in Ioh 6. 29. Coster. en­chirid. cap. 14. de vene­rat. sanctor. p. 467. Fe­uardent dia­log. p. 45. Ferus in Ioh. 14. [...]. fellowes of late time, who with one consent doe teach, that though we may beleeue others, yet we must beleeue in none but God alone.

As therefore that feare and reue­rence, that seruice and worshippe which we owe to men, as well as to God, doth differ in kinde, from that which wee doe giue onely to God. So that faith which wee haue as well toward men, as toward God, must needs differ in kind from that which we haue in God onely.

[Page 248] Lastly, many writers teach a ma­nifest difference of these three, in re­spect of the persons in whom they are found. Augustine sayeth, Soli serui Dei, so­li sancti. Dei. soli side filij Abrahae, soli filij dilectio­nis, filij pro­missionis. Homil. 17. that the saith which worketh by loue, (namely, Credere in Deum; onely the seruants of God haue, onely the Saints of GGD, onely the sonnes of Abraham by faith, onely the sonnes of loue, onely the sonnes of promise. And when I come to speake of Iustifying faith in parti­cular, I shall prooue, that this belon­geth onely to the elect.

But the other kindes are found in others: Saint Iames teacheth Iam. 2. 19. Mark. 1. 24. 34. that the Diuels belieue there is a God, and but one God: they knew Christ when hee was, euen the holy one of God. Augustine De verb. Dom. serm. 61. sayd, the Diuels belieued, ipsum esse Christum, that he was the Christ: nec tamen in Christum crediderunt: yet they did not belieue in Christ. Likewise, De temp. serm. 181. Credere ipsum esse Deum, & Daemones possunt. Yea, hee further saith, De cognit. verae vitae. cap. 37. Not onely the Diuels, but likewise the Pagans, credunt Deum. De sanct. Andr. ser. 3. Bernard writeth thus; Deum & Deo credunt [Page 287] Daemones non in Deum. Lumb. s [...]nt. lib. 3. dist. 23. d. The Mai­ster of Sentences, that Diuels, and wic­ked men, and false Christians, may crede­re Deum & credere Deo. Ferus, Com­ment. in Ioh. 6. that it is not all one thing, Crede­re Deum, credere Deo, and credere in Deum: vngodly men can doe the two former; but onely godly men do the last. Com­in 1. Pet. 18 Thomas Aquinas hauing distin­guished all three, sayth, the two first suffices not, because all men credunt De­um: and Heretickes credunt Deo, be­cause they beleeue those thinges to be true which be written by the Pro­phets and Euangelists, concerning God & Christ. Who then can thinke, that the faith which Diuels, Pagans, wicked men vngodly men, false and counterfaite Christians, and Here­tickes haue, is the selfe same in kind, in nature & substance, with that faith which God bestoweth on the elect, on them which be his children, be holy and iust? As they are better be­loued of God, and in more fauour with God; so assuredly they be en­dued with a better kinde of faith, whereby they are made partakers of that his fauour and grace.


BVt to leaue those Authours, and that distinction, let vs come to other writers, who in other termes set forth diuers kinds of faith. Bernard saith, that there is a foure­fold faith; A dead faith, a fayned faith, Fides mor­tua, sides fic­ta, sides per­uersa, fides recta. In coena. Domin. serm. 10. a peruerse faith, and a right faith: which he also called, a Catholicke faith. In the first (saith he) are proud men, ri­otous, couetous, theeues, robbers, and such like. In the second, are men disobedient to spirituall Fathers, vnthankfull for heauenly gifts, who are without brotherly affectiō, with­out peace of charity, accusers-of their brethrē, louers of pleasures more thē louers of God, hauing a shew of god­linesse, but denying the power there­of. In the 3. are Hereticks, lifted vp against God, proud of their errors, and blasphemers against God. In the last are meeke men, patient, gentle, humble, chast, louers of God & their neighbours, & ready to euery good worke, waiting for the redēption of the sons of God. And her eckoneth [Page 251] euery one of these, as a faith of some Christians. Will any man say, that all these are one and the same faith in substance and kinde, and differ one­ly in degrees? hee might as well say that crooked and straight, heate and cold are the same qualities.

Tollet the late Cardinall, in plaine tearms acknowledgeth diuers kinds of faith. There is one kinde of faith, Est vnum fidei genus, quacredi­mus & ass [...] ­timus dog­matis reue­latis & pro­positis per ec­clesiam vt credantur, &c. Alterū fidei genus est, qua non tanti dogma­tis assenti­mus, sed eti [...] id quod fieri petimus, effi­ciendum à whereby we beleeue and doe assent to the doctrines reuealed, and propounded by the Church to be beleeued, which Cyrill cal­led a dogmaticall faith. There is another kinde of faith, whereby we doe not onely assent to the doctrines, but also doe be­leeue, that the things which we aske to be done, shall be accomplished by God: which we call an assurance.

Stella also as plainely maketh two kindes of Faith. There is a faith (saith he) whereby we beleeue whatsoeuer is to be beleeued, and this is a theologieall ver­tue. There is another faith, which is a cer­taine confidence, to wit, that whereby we beleeue, that the Lord will giue vs that which we aske of him.

I could produce more witnesses [Page 252] speaking to the same purpose, but I Deo credi­mus. Quam siduciam eti­am appella­mus. Tollet. in Luc. 5. an­not. 36. Est fides qua cre­ditur quic­quid creden­dum est, & haec est virtus theologica. Altera, quae considentia quaedam est, scilicet qua credimus quod denabit dominus id quod ab eo petimus, Stella in Luc. 5. to cap. 145. spare them, till I come to speake of the seuerall kindes by themselues, yet consider that not onely the an­cient Fathers, but likewise some great Clearkes in the late Romish Church, haue made diuers kindes of faith. Why then should we be con­demned as Heretikes, for teaching the same.


LEt vs now come to the seuerall kinds of faith in particular. And let vs first cōsider a little, touch­ing iustifying faith. It may be you will mislike two things in that de­scription of it, which I set downe in one of the precedent sermons. The one respecteth the nature of it, the other respecteth the persons that be endued with it, because some of your side teach contrary therevn­to.

1. Touching the nature of it, I shewed that by it a Christian doth apprehend and apply to himselfe, all the promises of God in Christ, and [Page 253] all the merits of Christ, for his pre­sent iustification, and for his future saluation. I know it as well as you, that many of your learned mē teach the contrary: and therefore I feare, that you will rather beleeue them then me. The Rhemists say, that to Annot. on Rom. 3. Sect. 7. apprehend Christs righteousnes by faith, is a ph [...]ntasticall apprehension of that which is not. And that it is a false faith. And afterward, that the Apostle Annot. on Hebr. 11. Sect. 6. knewe not speciall faith, the forged faith of Protestants, whereby euery one of these new Sect-maisters, and their followers, (as it pleaseth them in the meeknes of their spirit to tearme vs) beleeue, their sinnes are remitted, and themselues shall be saued. And else-where, that a Annot. on Iam. 2. 26. Sect: 1 [...]. speciall faith, is a forged faith, that neither Paul nor Iames, nor any other sacred writer, euer knewe or spake of any such faith.

Cardinall Bellermine maintaineth that Faith is neither Fiducia, an assu­rance De iustifi­cat. lib. 1. cap. 5. 6. 7. of Gods mercie, or the Pardon of a Mans owne sinnes: nor yet Noti­tia a cknowledge of such thinges: but [Page 254] but onely a firme and certaine assent to the truth of those things which God hath propounded to be deliuered. Doctor Sta­pleton calleth them Heretickes, who place Promptuar. cathol. infe­ria: 5. hebdó: 1. Quadra­ges: the whole nature, propertie, vertue, and greatnes of faith, in a particular appli­catien of Gods geuerall promises to Belie­uers.

Indeed that which they say is true, if there were no other faith taught in the word, nor wrought in the hearts of Christians, then that which is generally taught and found in the present Romane Church. But they which vnderstand the word aright, and are iustified by Faith, do know and feele another kinde of faith farre surpassing that. Bellarmine doth much wrong vs, and more trouble himselfe in this point then needed. He saith that they differ Haeretici re­stringunt ad solam pro­missionem miser [...]cordiae specialis. De instif. lib. 1. cap. Sect. I­ta (que) tribus. from vs in the obiect of iustifying faith, because we (whom he commonly calleth by the name of Heretickes) doe restraine it to a sole promise of a speciall mercy. And afterward spendeth ma­ny chapters, in prouing, that the ob­iect of a iustifying faith, is not a spe­ciall [Page 255] mercy, but all things which God De iustifi­cat. lib. 1. cap. 8. 9. 10. hath reuealed. For we doe not hold, that the promise of a speciall mercy to a man in particular, is the obiect of a true iustifying faith, vnder the new testament we finde none such made to any of vs: The generall pro­mises of mercy in Christ are the ma­terial obiects, which being indefinit­ly propounded, it is an acte of faith, to make a true Christian to apply them particularly to himselfe.

But to come to the matter now in question. It may easily be proued, that a iustifying faith, is not onely an assent to the truth of things reuea­led in the word, but likewise an ap­prehension, and particular applying of the generall promises of Gods mercies, and Christs merits, for the remission of sinnes. In the scriptures faith is called a receiuing of Christ. Ioh. 1. 12. Gal. 3 14. And a receiuing of the promise. Can there be a receiuing of a thing, with­out application? was Christ recei­ued generally of all together, for all together: and not particularly by euery one for himself? When Thomas [Page 256] saide to CHRIST, My God, and my Lorde. Did not he especially and par­ticularly applye Christ and his bene­fites to himselfe, who was GOD and Lorde to all true Christians? Yet Christ gaue it the name and Tytle of Faith, saying vnto him: Because thou Ioh. 20. 29. hast seene mee, thou belieuest: And ma­keth that his faith, the very same with their faith, who were blessed for belieuing, when they had not seene. Yea, with the faith of Gentiles. For Gentiu fidem praedicat at (que) commendat. [...] ▪ Ioh. 20. Tract. 121. Galat. 2. 20. Augusti: thinketh he did thereby preach and commend the faith of the Gentiles.

When Paul saide, Christ hath loued me, and giuen himselfe for mee: Did hee not applye particularly to himselfe, Christ and his benefites? yet this hee did by that faith, whereof hee spake immediately before, euen by that faith in the Sonne of God, whereby he then liued.

Is not Christ that bread which must nourish our soules? and is not Faith the eating of him? as himselfe decla­reth at large. Ioh: 6. Whervpon Quid paras dentē & ven­trem, crede, & māducasti Io Io. tract. 25 Credere in Christum, est ma [...]ducare panē vinum Tract. 26. Au­gustine said, What preparest thou thy teeth and thy belly? belieue, & thou hast eaten.

[Page 257] And can there be any eating, vn­lesse there be be a speciall Applicati­on of the meate to the person that is fed? Doth not euery one pray in par­ticular for speciall mercie? And is not euery one to belieue, that what he as­keth he shall obtaine?

And certaine it is, that who­soeuer doth worthilie by Faith, re­ceiue the sacrament of the Lords sup­per, hee doth by faith particularly re­ceiue Christ and all his benefites, and particularly applyeth all the promises of Gods mercies in him.

Bellarmine confesseth, that they a­gree De sacram. in gener: lib. 1. cap. 2. with vs, that Faith is necessarily required for the profitable receiuing of the Sacrament.

And is there not an Analogie be­twixt the signes, and the thing signi­ed? Loo [...]e then how wee receiue the outward Signes, so must wee by faith receiue the thing signified.

As therefore euerie one doeth particularly with his owne hand re­ceiue to himselfe, and for himselfe, the outward signe: So euery one that belieueth, doth particularly receiue [Page 258] to himselfe, and for himselfe, Christ and all his benefites.

Let vs come to the Fathers. It may be some of you will neither yeeld to scriptures alleadged by vs, nor yet to any reasons, vnles you may heare the Fathers speake as we doe.

N [...]ncre­dit in Dcum, qui non in eo solo collocat tot [...]s f [...]li [...]i­tatis suae si­d [...]am. De duplut M [...]rtyr, Sect: 40. That godly Martyr Cyprian said, that although a man daily re­hearsed all the articles of the creede: Yet he doth not beleeue in God, who doth not place in him onely, the assurance of his whole felicitie: he holdeth that faith is a confidence or assurance, and not in generall, of the happines and salua­tion of all Gods children, but in par­ticular of his owne happines. This his assertion doth so gall the Papists, that Est [...]ti­ [...]m [...] [...]endum. A [...]t in Cypr: Pamelius said, it must be read warily: because he knewe that if it were reade in the very sense which the words did beare and the author meant, without some corrupt glosse contrary to his meaning: it would iustifie our doctrine of faith, and make most of the popish crew, who haue no confidence of their owne saluation, but an assent to the truth [Page 259] of Gods worde, to be a company of vnbelieuers. The same Father saith, Quantū illuc fidei ca­pacis afferi­mus tantum gratiae inun­dantis haurt­mus. Epist. 2. That how much Faith we bring thither to receiue, so much we draw of Gods ouer­flowing grace.

This is appointed of God, (saide Hoc con­stitutum est a Deo, vt qui credit in Christum, saluus sit sine opere, sola si­de gratis ac­cipiens remis­sionem pecca­torum. in 1. Cor. 1. Ambrose) that hee who belieueth in Christ, should bee saued without works, by faith only, receiuing freely the remission of sinnes

To the like effect speaketh Hesy­chius, Gratia ex miserecor­dia, & proe­betur, & fide comprehenditur solasine operibus. In Leuit: lib: 4. cap: 2. Grace of mercie, is both of­fered, and also apprehended by faith alone without workes. Quomodo in coelum manum mit­tam, vt ibi sedentem teneam? fidemmitte, & tenuist [...]. In Ioh. 11. tract. 50. Augu­stine maketh Faith the hand, whereby euery one must lay holde of Christ, now sitting in Heauen. Is not that more then a bare assent to thinges re­uealed? Is not this a speciall Appli­cation?

When the same Father stirred vp his owne soule with these wordes, [Page 260] Dicat a­nima, omnino secura dicut, Deus meus es tu, qui di­cit animae no­strae, salus tua go sum, dicat secura, non f [...]ctet in­ [...]riam cum hoc dixerit imo faciet si non dixerit. In Psa. 32. conc. 2. Let my soule say, yea, let it altogether confidently say, Thou art my God, who doth say to my soule, I am thy saluation, &c. Did hee not in particular appro­priate and apply to himselfe the ge­nerall fauours and mercies of God, and made him, who was God ouer all, to be his God in particular? And when he sayd, Ecce cre­d [...]mus in Christum, quem side accipimus. In acciptendo nouimus quid cogite­mus: midi [...]ū accipimus, & in corde saginamur. De verb. Dom. serm. 33. Behold we belieue in Christ, whom we receiue by faith: In receiuing, we know what we thinke: we receiue a little, and are fed in the heart: he shewed the nature of faith to be rather an apprehension, and applica­tion, then an assent.

Chrysostome writing of the promises made to the Patriarches, and of the maner how they receiued them, saith thus: Sola autem fide certam de ijs cōcepe­runt siduciam, procul [...]as videtes ante quatuor generatio­nes, &c. Tam certa de ipsis erat ys persuasio, vt etiam eas salutarent. &c. Vides quòd illud (acceperūt) est expectare, & de ys confidere. Siergo cōfidere est accepisse, nobis quo­que licet accipere, in Hebr. 11. homil. 23. Theophilact. on Ephes. 6. 16. Ne (que) vere huius religionis cognotionē fidem hoc loco dicit, sed eam quae nihilhaesit ās, facit vt futura tam certa habea­mus, quam habemus praesentia. They did by faith alone con­ceiue [Page 261] a certaine assurance of them, seeing them a farre off, before foure generations: they had such a certain perswasion of them, that they did euen salute them, as Sea-fa­ring men doe a farre off see the Cities de­sired, which they salute before they enter into them. Thou seest that this (they re­ceiued) is to expect and haue confidence of them. If therefore to haue confidence, is to receiue, We also may receiue them. Wherein he declareth the nature of faith, not to consist onely in an assent giuen to the truth of things reuea­led, but a confidence and assurance of the promises of God made to man. And that by this confidence beleeuers are saide to receiue the promises. And that as they then re­ceiued the promises, by that their confidence, so also we now by the like confidence are to receiue them.

Damascen, expounding the Apo­stles description of faith, that it is the ground of things hoped for, hath these words, Indu­bitabilis & iniudicabilis spes, tam eo­rum, quae a Deo nobis promissa sunt, quam assecutionis nostrarum petitionum. De orthodox. fide. 4. 11. Faith is an vndoubted and vniudge-able hope, as well of those things which are promised vs of God, as of obtey­ning our petitions. If then any man may [Page 262] particularly aske the forgiuenes of his owne sinnes, and the saluation of his owne soule, he may in particu­lar beleeue, that his owne sins shall be pardoned, his owne soule saued. Bernard is plentifull this way, thus he saith; If thou beleeuest that thy sinnes cannot be blotted out but by him, against whom onely thou hast sinned, thou doest well: but yet adde more, that thou also beleeue this, that thy sinnes are forgiuen thee by him. Is not this a speciall faith? Is not this more thē an assent in Sed adde adhuc, vt & hoc credas, quia per ipsum ti­bi peccata donantur. In annunciat. Mariae. serm. 1. ini­tio. generall to things reuealed? Is not this the faith so much impugned by our late papists? And for a speciall application of Christs merits vnto vs, for the pardon of a mans owne sinnes, and the saluation of his owne soule, he speaketh as plainely, Nisi quòd non e­rat de mem­bris Christi, nec pertine­bat ad cum De christi merito vt suum praesu­meret; suum diceret quod il [...]ius esset, tanquam rem canitis membrum. Ego vero fidenter quod ex me mihi deest, vsurpo mihi ex viseribus domini, quoniam misericordia effluunt. In cantic. serm. 61. medio. But that Caine was not of the members of Christ, nor had any thing to do with the merit of Christ, that he might presume the same to be his, he would haue called [Page 263] that his owne, which was Christs, as the member doth that which is the heades. Thereby teaching, that the true be­leeuer, being a member of Christ, doeth call that his owne which is Christs, and doth without sinne pre­sume, that the merit of Christ is his in particular. And therefore in the next words he saith thus of himselfe: Whatsoeuer is wanting vnto me from my selfe, I boldly take it vnto me, out of the bowels of the Lord Iesus, because they flow out with mercy.

Let vs descend to the Popish wri­ters: we may finde many of them to iumpe with vs herein: Ferus was commended by Sixtus Senensis, to be Bibli­oth. sanct: lib. 4. in Io­han. Ferus. p. 265. 14. Non enim semper sides est, quod nos fidem di­cimus: fidem nos dicimus, assentire ijs, quae diuinis scripturis produntur, & quae eccle­sia credenda proponit. Co­mēt. in Mat. 8. lib. 2. a man excellently learned in the di­uine Scriptures, whose equall in the office of preaching the Gospell, the Catholicke Churches of the Germaines haue not in this our time. Yet doeth hee in many places condemne the Popish de­scription of faith, and approue ours. Secun­dum scriptu­ram fides non aliud est, nisi fiducia mise­recordiae di­uinae, promissae in Christo. ibid. Non apprehenditur manu, corporis, sed manu cordis quae est fides. Ferus in Ioh. 3. 16. That is not alwayes faith, whith we [Page 264] call faith: we call it faith, to assent to those things which be deliuered in the diuine hi­stories, and which the Church propoun­deth to be belieued. The Scripture spea­keth farre otherwise of Faith: For accor­ding to the Scriptures, faith is nothing else but a considēce of Gods mercy, promised in Christ. And he bringeth Abrahams ex­ample for proofe thereof. And of this faith (saith hee) mention is made in the Gospell, where it is sayd; Hee that be­leeueth in the Sonne of God, shall not bee condemned. The faith which the Scripture commendeth, is no other thing, then to trust to the free mercy of God: this is the true faith, whereby the iust man liueth: this alone is it which God requireth of vs. An example of this faith we haue in the Centurion: for we do not read, that he rehearsed the Articles of faith, but that he came to Christ with great trust. These wordes make so much for vs, that Sixtus Senensis Biblio­thec. sanct. lib. 6. annot. 43. sayd of them, that hee seemeth to al­lude to the error of them, who teach, that iustifying faith is nothing else but an assurance of Gods mercy, forgi­ [...]ing our sinnes through Christ. And [Page 267] Dominicus Soto tooke vpon him to confute him in that poynt: but Mi­chael Medina defended him against Soto. And else-where he speaketh as fully for vs: Sed est certà firma & stabili fi­ducia, Chri­stum om­nia (que) eius bo­na complecti, eis (que) toto cor­de, tota ani­ma, totis (que) viribus inhae­rere. In Ioh. 6. 29. To belieue in Christ (saith hee) is not to know his works: for Sathan knoweth this: neyther is it to re­member or thinke with himselfe, that Christ hath suffered and risen againe: for euen vngodly men remember these things, and thinke of them, and yet are made no­thing better. But it is with certaine, sure, and stedfast trust to take hold of Christ and all his benefits: and to sticke to them with all the heart, all the soule, and all the strength.

Pighius in his booke of controuer­sies, dedicated to the Pope Paulus, 3. doth teach, that although Faith, as it is vsually taken by ecclesiasticall wri­ters, bee that habite of the minde, whereby we do certainly, and with­out any doubting, assent to those things, which for our saluation, are reuealed of God, to his Church, Huis fidei, & ra­tionis men­tis (que) assen­sui, quo per­fecta fides di­ci possit, ad­iuncta esse debet, etiam animi, certa quaedam, fir­ma (que) si [...], qua Dei verbo, veritati (que) ita in nititur, ita fidit fid [...]lls a­nima, vt abs (que) vlla haesitatione, quicquid illud sit, velut si manibus teneret, certum habeat, &c. Controuers. 2. de fi­det & Iustificat. fol. 40. 41. in 80. Paris. 1542. [Page] Yet vnto this faith & assent of reason and the minde, that it may be called a perfect faith, there ought also to be adioyned a certaine sure and firme trust of the heart, whereby the belie­uing soule doth so stay vpon, & trust to the worde and truth of God: that without all doubting, whatsoeuer it is, he hath it, as sure as if he held it in his handes. And hee further addeth, that this is the Faith, and not that as­sent of reason, which the Lord euery where required of them, whome hee vouchsafed to heale. Of that he spake, when he saide, Daughter be of comfort, thy Faith hath made thee whole. And this is the same Faith, which maketh prayer effectuall, & which Christ and Iames require in them that pray.

Didacus Stella, Enar­rat. in Luc. 5. Imò etiamsi peteret illa dimitti, si non confide­ret & certis­si nè crede­ret, illa sibi aimittenda, nunquam di­mitter [...]ur. hauing distin­guished of faith, that there is one to belieue, whatsoeuer is to be belieued, called a Theological vertue: another is a Considence, by which we belieue that the Lorde will giue whatsoeuer we aske.

He saith, that without this faith, 1. this Confidence, our sinnes cannot be [Page 267] forgiuen. For although a man belieue all thinges contained in holy Scrip­tures, to be true, and all things which the Church belieueth: yet if he shuld not trust, and most certainly belieue, that they shall be forgiuen him, they should neuer be forgiuen him. And saint Iames saith; Let him aske in faith, nothing doubting.

To the like purpose doth he after­ward distinguish of faith, & describe the later kinde: saying, Fides dupliciter ac­cipitur. Uno modō pro ha­bitu creden­di, secundum quam assen­timur verita­tibus sacrae scripturae, &c. Alia est fides quae con­sidentia vo­catur, qua petit aliquis a Deo con­fidenter, spe­rans & cre­dens certis­sime se conse­quuturum a Domino, id quod postu­lat. quae fides necessarià est oranti, alias nihil vnquam impetrabit. Enarrat. in Luc. 7. Faith is taken two wayes; One way for the habite of belieuing, according to which we doe assent to the trueths of the Scripture. And this is the Faith, without which it is impossible to please God. And this is one of the three Theologicall vertues. 1. Cor. 13. And by this faith, a belieuer differeth from an Infidell.

There is another faith, which is called a Confidence, whereby a man asketh of God confidently, hoping and belieuing most certainly, that he shall obtaine of the Lord, that which [Page 268] he asketh. Which faith is needefull for him that prayeth: otherwise hee shall neuer obtaine any thing.

If this be the faith required of them that pray aright, it is the faith of all Gods Saints, and of them which are iustified, for they pray often, and are heard. And if this man write truely, then those who teach, and haue no other faith, then an assent to the truth of things reuealed, can neuer obtaine pardon of their sinnes, nor haue their petitions graunted.

Tollet taught, Hoc in loco non acci­pitur fides promentis as­sensu, sed pro voluntatis fi­ducia, vt rec­tè. Euthymi­us, quae signi­ficatio fre­quens est in scripturis. In Luc. 12. an­not. 52. and that out of Euthymius, that Faith in many places of scripture, is takē, Not for the assent of the minde, but for the assurāce of the will. Iansenius also writeth the same, Proin­de, rectissi­me, vt appa­ret, dicetur nomine fidei in euangelijs, cum ei tri­buitur aut salus aut con­secutio omnium quae volumus, complecti vtrum (que), & as­sensum illum sirmum in credendis de Deo ac Christo, & fiduciam ex illius bonitate conceptam. &c. Concord. E­uang. cap. 32. Therfore most rightly, as appeareth, it may be saide, that by the name of Faith in the Gospells, whē saluation, or the obtaining of those things which wee desire, is ascribed vnto it, both these are comprehended: both [Page 269] that firme assent in things to be belieued, concerning God and Christ: and also a Confidence conceyued from his goodnesse, &c. For these two doe so cleaue together, that neyther can there be any Confidence without Credulitie, neyther can Creduli­tie without Confidence, obtayne any thing of God. And to the same effect after­ward thus. Haec duo, nempe credulatas & siduciasi­mul viden­tur includi in nomine (si­des) cum subditur dix­isse dominū, secundum fi­dem vestram siat vobis, vt sit sensus, si­cut creditis me posse vos sanare, & ob hoc confiditis me curaturū vos, ita fiat vobis. Con­cord. Euang. cap. 35. These two, to wit, Cre­dulity and Confidence, seeme to be inclu­ded together in the name (Faith,) when it is set downe that the Lord sa [...]d: Accor­ding to your Faith, be it vnto you; That the meaning may be, As ye belieue that I can heale you, and for this doe trust that I will heale you: So be it vnto you.

If then, by the testimonie of these Authors, Faith bee often so taken in the Scriptures; And if this be the only Faith whereby we obtaine such things at the handes of God: Why should wee be condemned as Here­ticks, for teaching such a faith? Ought not we to haue such a faith in Christ, for the saluation of our soules, that those men had in him, for the curing of their bodyes?

Though Stapleton denie this speciall [Page 270] Considence, yet hee acknowledgeth prop­ter. hanc fi­dem, vtram­que & inter­nam & ex­ternam sani­tatem dedit. Promptuar. domini. 18. post pentecost. that for one, and the same faith, Christ gaue them both outward & inward health.

Paulus Burgensis saith, that Abra­ham, by the Faith which was imputed to him for Righteousnes, did not onely belieue that he should be the Father of many Na­tions, but rather that he & his seed should obtaine euerlasting life in heauen.

In Genes. 15. Addit. 2.

The Diuines of Colone taught, that Per fidem verbi Dei, operan­tis in nobis veram con­tritionem & paenitentiam est, iustifica­mer tanquā per causam quādam prae­paratiuam & dispositutam. Persidem autem, qua abs (que) dubitatione, fir­miter considemus, nobis peccata nostra propter Christum esse dimissa, iustificamur tanquam per causam suscepti­uam. Ant [...]didag. Coloni [...]ns. de iustificat. hom. fol. 21. through the faith of the word of God, working in vs true Contrition and Repen­tance, and other works of preuenting grace, we are iustified as by a certaine cause, pre­paring and disposing vs. But through the Faith, whereby without doubting, we doe firmely trust, our sinnes are forgiuen vs through Christ, wee are iustified, as by a cause receiuing it.

And also adde further, that the Non quomodo extranos in ipso est, sed sicut & quan­do eadem nobis (dum tamen side apprehenditur) ad iusti­tiam imputatur. ibid. [Page 271] Righteousnes of Christ, is the cause of our Iustification; not as it is out of vs in him, but as, and when the same is imputed vnto vs for Righteousnes; yet so that it be ap­prehended by faith.

Cassander who was so highly estee­med for learning and wisedome, that two Romane Emperors, Ferdinand, and Maximilian 2. sent to him for his ad­uise, howe to compound the contro­uersies in religion, approueth their o­pinion, & saith, that Consul­tat. art. 4. Booke was greatly commended of all the Lear­nedst diuines through Italy & France, as a Booke that excellently relateth the summe of the Ancients opinion touching religion: out of whose wri­tings, the booke is as it were confir­med. And with great approbation, citeth these words out of it.

Fate­mur verum esse, ad iusti­ficationem hominis om­nino requiri, vt homo cer­to credas, non tantum, ge­neraliter, quòd propter Christum vere paeniten­tibus remit­tantur pecca­ta: sed & quòd ipsi ho­mini remissa sint propter christum, per sidem. ibid. Wee confesse it to be true, that it is altogether required for the iustifying of a man, that a man doe certainly belieue, not onely general­ly, that for Christ, sinnes be forgiuen to them that be truely penitent, but also that they be forgiuen to the man himselfe, for Christ, by faith.

[Page 272] Hee also alledgeth, out of the Ra­tisbone booke, these words, Voca­mus fidem viuam mo­tum spiritus sancti, quò vere poniten­tes eriguntur ad Deum, & vere appre­hendunt mi­screcordium in Chry [...]o promissam, vt iam verè sentiant, quod remis­sionem pecca­torum & re­conciliatio­nem prop­ter meritum christi gratuita Dei bonitate acceperunt, &c. Ibid. We call a liuely faith, a motion of the ho­ly Ghost, whereby they who truely repent, are lifted vp to God, and doe truely apprehend mercie promised in Christ; that now they truely per­ceiue, that they haue through the free goodnes of God, receiued re­mission of sinnes, and reconciliation for the merits of Christ, and doe crye Abba F [...]ther.

And therevpon hee inferreth, that rightly & agreeably to the scriptures, it is saide, that this is the nature of a Iustifying Faith, that it perceiue, that feeling of Gods fauour, which the holy Ghost worketh in vs.

And further addeth, that to ob­taine Iustification, Ad [...]stificationem consequendam requiritur talis fides, qua h [...]mo exemplo Abrahae, ad promissionem Dei, non h [...]tet per diffidentiam, sed praeter spem in spem credat, Deum credenti in eum, qui suscitat Iesum a mortuis, imputaturum hanc fidem ad iustificationem, & peccata nor imputaturum. Cassand. ibid. p: 13. Such a Faith is [Page 273] required, whereby a man after the ex­ample of Abraham, doth not doubt of the promise of God, through dis­trust, but aboue hope, belieueth vnder hope, that God will impute to him, that belieueth in him; who raised Ie­sus from the dead, this Faith to his iustification, and will not impute his sinnes to him.

An example whereof (as he saith,) we haue in the cure of corporall dis­eases, which beareth an image of the inward cure. For there Christ re­quired a Faith, whereby a man did belieue that Christ was endued with that power, that he was able to heale him: and trusted, that such was his goodnes, that he would cure him.

Cardinall Bellarmine, after hee had written very much, to prooue that Faith is only an assent to the truth of things reuealed, and not an assurance or speciall application of the promi­ses, doth at last ouerthrowe all, and yeelde to vs. For thus hee writeth of vs, Rectè dicunt, posse vnūquem (que) promissiones generales sibi applicare per fidem. Nam quemadmo­dum side ca­tholica credo christū mor­tuum esse pro omnibus, ita eadem, fide credo mortu­um esse pro­me qui sum vnus ex om­nibus. De iu­stif. lib. 1. cap. 11. Sect: Deni (que) quod dicunt. they say rightly, that euery one may by faith applye to himselfe the generall promises. For as I doe [Page 274] belieue by the Catholicke faith, that Christ dyed for all: So by the same faith I doe belieue, that hee dyed for me who am one of them. What need we any better witnes, then hee who before was our greatest aduersarie? Doth not this lay open the nature of Iustifying faith, to bee the same that wee teach? Is a particular applicati­on of generall promises, no more then a bare assent to the truth of things re­uealed? By that faith, whereby I be­leeue Christ dyed in generall for all, doe I also beleeue, that hee dyed in particular for me. And yet shall wee say, that a speciall faith is a forged faith, that it is against the nature of faith, to apprehend and apply particu­larly to my selfe, the promises of God and the merits of Christ?

Yet for all this, the Cardinall will not graunt, that any man is to beleeue the pardon of his owne sinnes in par­ticular, because the generall promi­ses are not De iu­stificat. lib. [...]. cap. 11. sine. absolute, but conditi­onall; euen with the condition of faith, as we acknowledge. And there­fore demaundeth, how a man can ab­solutely [Page 275] beleeue that his sinnes are forgiuen him, seeing he cānot learne by any worde of God, that hee hath such a faith, as is required for the ob­teyning of the pardon of sinnes: And saith, that none which beleeue are saued, vnlesse they beleeue as they ought to beleeue. But therein the Cardinall doth not onely contradict himselfe, but likewise many of his fellowes, who teach, that there is but one faith at all: that the dead and Catholicke faith are all one: as was shewed before. If some beleeue as they ought to beleeue, and some beleeue not as they ought; haue they all one and the same faith? If some so beleeue, as by beleeuing they shal bee saued; and some so beleeeue, as by beleeuing they cannot be saued; shall wee say, they haue all one and the same faith? Then may wee also say, that Peter and Iudas had one and the same repentance. The Cardinall here sheweth, that they do indeede beleeue Si re­uera (sicut oportet) cre­dant, hoc est si fide habeant, quae per di­lectionem operatur. De iustif. 1. 11. fine. as they ought to be­leeue, who haue faith, which wor­keth by loue. Yet else-where he la­boureth [Page 276] to prooue that De Iu­stificat. lib. 1. cap. 15. a true and Christian faith, which by way of disposition, iustifyeth the vngod­lie, may be separated from charitie, and from other vertues. How repug­nant are these things one to another?

Againe, hee that beleeueth, may know that he hath faith: orherwise Paul would not haue bidden the Co­rinthians to 2. Cor. 13. 5. proue themselues whe­ther they were in the faith. Augustine sayd, Fidem videt quis (que) in corde suo esse, si credit: vel non esse, si non credit. De Trinit. lib. 13. c. 1. Nec fidem quisquam ho­minum videt in alio, sed v­nusquis (que) in semetipso. Ibid. cap. 2. & Epist. 112. cap. 4. Euery one doth see faith to be in his owne heart, if he do belieue; or not to be, if hee doe not beleeue. And that no man can see faith in a­nother; but euery one may see it in himselfe. The Cardinall saith, They beleeue as they ought, who haue faith working by loue: yet may a man easily know whether hee haue loue or not. In E­pist. Ioh. tractat. 5. Therefore sayd Au­gustine, Let a man looke to his heart, and see if he haue charitie, and then let him say, I am borne of God. Yea, let not any one aske another, let eue­rie one returne to his owne heart; if he there finde brotherly charitie, hee may bee sure hee hath passed from [Page 277] death to life. Would hee haue sayd thus, if a man could not haue knowne whether he had charitie or not? Mi­chael Medina, as Sixtus Biblio­thec. sanct. lib. 6. amict. 215. Senensis testifyeth, in defending Ferus against Soto, saith; There is no man which doubteth but that wee may know true loue and faith to be in vs. See­ing then that by charitie a man may know (as the Cardinall teacheth) whether hee beleeue as hee ought to beleeue: and seeing a man may know whether he haue charitie or not, hee may also know whether hee beleeue as he ought: and if he beleeue as he ought, then by the Cardinals owne confession, he may particularly apply to himselfe the generall promises, and certainely beleeue that his owne sinnes are pardoned.

And to conclude this poynt, see­ing this speciall faith hath such testi­mony, not onely from the diuine Scriptures, but likewise from the an­cient Doctors of the Church, and al­so from the late Romish writers, doe not condemne it as hereticall, but seeke earnestly for it, as the speciall [Page 278] meane of your saluation.


THere remaineth another point to be considered, touching the persons that be endued with a iusti­fying faith: I taught, that it is proper to the Elect. Notwithstanding, I knowe that Cardinall Bellarmine go­eth about to confute Caluine, for De Iust [...]ficat. lib. 3. cap. 14 holdin that Faith and true righte­ousnes is proper to the Elect: Yet doth he not bring any one argument to proue, that it is not proper to them, but onely laboureth to proue that faith may be lost. Touching this point, we will acknowl [...]dge that the best faith which many of the popish prelates doe teach, is common both to the reprobate and Elect. The re­probate may giue an assent to the tr [...]th of things reuealed, as well as the Elect. But there is another faith besides that, and more excellent then it, as I haue proued before, and that is peculiar to Gods Elect. No maruaile though those papists who [Page 279] knowe it not, or will not acknow­ledge it, doe hold that there is no faith peculiar to Gods Elect. If they knew the nature of a iustifying faith, they would not contend with vs about the persons who haue it. Though many haue not written of this point, yet besides the texts of scripture alleadged, we haue the te­stimonies of some, Hom. 17 Augustine (as was declared before) saith, that the faith which worketh by loue, onely the ser­uants (4) Horum sides quae per dilectionem operatur, profectio aut omnino non d [...]ficit, aut siquisunt, quorum de­ficit, repara­tur ante­quam vita ista finiatur, &c. De corrept. & gratia. cap. 7. fine. of God haue, only the Saints of God, onely the sonnes of Abraham by faith, onely the sonnes of loue, the sonnes of pro­mise. Will any say that the reprobate are the seruants and saints of God, or the beloued sonnes of God, or sons of promise? If once they were such, they should alwaies continue such. For as the Apostle teacheth [...]. Ioh. 3. 9. 1. Ioh. 5. 18. who­soeuer is borne of God, sinneth not: yea he keepeth himselfe, and the wicked touch­eth him not. Is Num igitur Deus pater malo­rum est? Absit. Epist. 54. God the father of the wicked? said Augustine, God forbid. The same father said, that the faith of the praedestinate, either doth not fayle at all: or if there be any of them, whose faith fay­leth, [Page 280] it is repayred againe, before this life be ended. But as for those that finally fall away from faith, out of doubt (saith he) at that time when they liued well and godly, they were not to be reckoned in that number, for they were not seuered from that masse of perdition by the prescience & predestination of God. And therefore they were not called according to his purpose, and therefore not elected. If therefore the elect haue such a faith, as neuer shall fayle to the end of their life, and yet there be some who haue a faith that shall finally fayle, and they be none of the Elect, it must needes fol­low, that a stedfast and permanent faith is proper to the Elect. Feras Fides ve­ra est solorū praedestina­torum. In Ioh. 17. 6. taught that the true faith belon­geth onely to the predestinate. Though Dominicus Soto tooke vpon him to confute him; yet Michael Medina defended him, and saith pe­remptorily, that only the Elect haue true faith, that the faith which repro­bates haue is no true faith, and con­cludeth, that this doctrine is no he­resie, but the sentence of Christ and his Apostles. Sixtus Senensis Biblioth. sanct. lib. 6. annot. 214. men­tioneth [Page 281] all this, yet doth hee not speake one word against Medina, but leaueth him vncontrolled; thereby declaring that he approued his opi­nion.


LEt vs now proceede to other kindes of faith. The first kinde of faith which I said was common both to the Elect and reprobate, is a miraculous faith, which I made to be a distinct faith from the rest. But the Rhemists say, Annot. on 1. Cor. 12 sect. 3, it is not another in substance, then the common faith in Christ, but is of another accidentall qualitie onely, that is of more fer­uour, deuotion, zeale, and confident trust, specially for doing of miracles. And Bellarmine affirmeth, that De Iu­stific. lib. 1. cap. 4. De sacram. baptis. lib. 1. cap. 14. & de Iustific. lib. 1. cap. 11 15. all their Catholikes hold that the faith of miracles, and the faith of promises are all one. And he saith, that the faith of miracles is no other thing then a true Catholike faith, but ex­cellent, and iustifying after his ma­ner. Yet they may easily be proued [Page 282] to be seuerall and distinct kindes of faith.

First, they differ in their obiects and actes. The one layeth hold of Gods promises & mercies in Christ, as hath bene formerly proued, but this hath the power of God for the obiect, for by it a man beleeueth, that God by his speciall power will enable him to worke a miracle. And therefore Thomas Aquinas Fides per quam mira­cula fiunt ni­titur om u­potentiae Dei. In 1. Cor. 12 lect. 2. Apertissime videmus si­dem miracu­lorum respi­cere tanquam obiectum omnipotenti­am & diui­nitatem filij Dei. Bellar. de Iustificat. lib. 1. cap. 8. saith, that the faith, by which miracles are wrought, doeth rest and stay it selfe on the omnipotencie of God. The one resteth on Gods promises and mercies, for the pardon of our sinnes, and the saluation of our soules. The other relyeth on Gods power, in re­gard whereof, a man is assured that God will enable him to doe some great and supernaturall worke, to ra­tify the truth of the Gospell, and to confirme the f [...]ith of others. Can these bee one and the same habite? Can the one bee a degree of the o­ther, seeing they differ so much one from another in their nature, in their obiects, and in their actes?

[Page 283] Againe, a iustifying faith is an or­dinary grace bestowed on men in all ages: for there alwaies were, now are, adn alwayes shalbe some endu­ed with it. The Church alwaies hath beene, and euer shal continue, to the end of the world. And it consisteth of a number of true beleeuers.

But the Faith of Miracles is an ex­traordinary gift, bestowed on some men, at some certayne time. And 1. Cor 12. 9. therefore it is reckoned by the Apo­stle among these extraordinary gifts, which in his time were bestowed on some in the Church: To another (saith he) is giuen faith by the same spirit: mea­ning not the common faith, but that whereof he speaketh afterward, If I had all saith, so as I could remooue moun­taines: as Theodoret and See Bel­larm. de bo­nis operib. in particul lib. 1. cap. 9. sect. hinc legimus. others doe expound the place. And the A­postle maketh it not onely an extra­ordinary, but likewise a seuerall and distinct grace, as well as any of those which there hee mentioneth. Many writers teach Gregor. homil. 29. Beda in Marc. 16. Bernard. in Ascens dom. serm. 1. Hu­go card. in Mar 16. Ferus in Math. 8. that this gift was needfull at the first preaching of the Gospell, and the first planting of the [Page 284] Church, but not afterward. Euen as at the first setting and planting of a tree, watering is needfull, but not af­terward when it hath taken deepe rooting. Now, can an extraordinary gift be the same with a common and ordinary? Can an extraordinary gift, long agoe ceased, be a degree of an ordinary gift, still continuing in the Church?

Moreouer, theyr difference may bee seene, in respect of the persons who receiue them. The Iustifying faith is proper onely to the elect, and to the Saintes of God, as before hath bene proued. Yet they may want this miraculous faith. A man may bee in state of grace, and yet want it. As appeareth by the examples of Gods Saintes in all ages, who were iustified by faith, and yet were not a­ble to worke miracles.

But wicked men may haue it. Those had it, who by Christs Name did cast out Diuels, and worke great workes, and yet shall heare him pro­fesse to them, Depart from me, ye wor­kers Math. 7. 23. of iniquitie.

[Page 285] Augustine confesseth, that Cont. li­ter. petilian. lib. 2. cap. 55. the schismaticall Donatists had it, as well as the Orthodoxall Christians. Popish writers teach, that Tho. A­quin. 2. 2. qu. 178. art. 2. wicked men be sometimes indued with it. Ill li­uers, Rhem. annot. in 1. Cor. 12. 8. Sect. 1. which haue not other gra­ces of God, whereby their persons should be gratefull, iust, and holie in Gods sight. Yea, Coster. enchirid. cap. 4. a man that is out of the state of grace.

Yea, a Tha. Aq. in 1. Cor. 12. lect. 2. Pigh. controu. 2. de side. Bellarm. de iustif. li. 1. cap. 15. man that is destitute of Charitie. Now how can that be the highest degree of a iustifying faith, which wicked men sometime haue, and which godly men often want? If it be the highest degree of a iusti­fying faith, then none could haue it, but they must haue a iustifying faith. Though some might bee iustified without it, yet none could haue it, but they must needes be iustified.

Bernard put a manifest difference betwixt them, saying, Parui sermon. serm. 1. There is one faith of precepts, and another faith of miracles; that is, qua credimus in De­um, qua credimus Deum: By the faith of precepts, we belieue in God: Cre­dere autem in Deum: But to belieue [Page 286] in God, is to trust in him, and to loue him. By the Faith of Myracles, Credimus Deum, quia talia potest, & omnia potest. Wee belieue that God can doe such things, and can doe all things.

Theophylact. distinguisheth them Duplex est fides nostra. as plainly, on Rom. 12. 3. saying, that Faith in this place, is to be taken for the grace of God, whereby they wrought miracles. For our faith is double; The one, as that, Mar. 10. 52. Thy Faith hath made thee whole. Another is the gift of God, by which miracles are wrought: as that, If you haue faith as a graine of mustard-seede, and say to this Mountaine, &c.

Stella likewise distinguisheth this, Enarrat. in Luk. [...]7. to 2. p. 1 [...]3. from that faith, which Papists make their iustifying faith. For he will not haue that faith, wherby the Apostles might say to the Mulbery tree, Plucke thy selfe vp by the roots, & plant thy selfe in the Sea: to be vnderstood of faith, a Theologicall vertue; to belieue all things written; but to be that Con­fidence, whereby they were assured to obtaine what they asked, though [Page 287] it were the remoouing of a Moun­taine. Chrysosto­mus & Eu­thymius fi­dem miracu­lorum, non eam qua Christiani sumus, intel­ligunt. In Math. 17. 20. Accipitur hic fides, non pro ea virtute, aqua dici­mur fideles, quomodo ac­cipitur a Paulo, cum tres dicit esse vertutes, fi­dem spem charitatem, &c. quam fi­dem habent omnes chri­stiam, & tum habebant omnes [...]posto­li. Sed accipi­tur pro fide signorum, &c. huius­modi autem sides non est aliud, quam siducia impe­trandi vel fa­ciendi mira­cula cum o­pus est, aut vtile, invo­cato nomine Dei, Con­cord. Euan­gel. cap. 68. Non est hic sermo de fide credendo­rum, sed de side agendo­rum. Illa e­nim commu­nis est omni­bus christia­nis, haec vero quibusdum tantum con­uenit. in 1. Cor. 12. Est autem haec fiducia toto genere diuersa ab ea quam in se includit fi­des catholica, & cui praeci­pue fides mi­raculorum adiuncta e­rat. &c. Nam illa Dei verita­tem proprie, pro obiecto respicit, haec Dei bonita­tem magis, vt iam per mu­tuum, amo­rem, quo­dammodo nostra facta est. &c. Potest illa fides etiam omnes ac perfecta, in ope­rarijs iniquitatis esse. At ista iustorum tantum & sanc­torum est, &c. Controuers. 2. de fide. p. 42. in 8. An. 152.

Maldonatus saith, of that Faith commended by Christ, to his Apo­stles, for the remouing of mountains, Math. 17. 20. That Chrysostome and Euthymius, vnderstand the faith of myracles, not that faith whereby we are Christians. Ian [...]nius vpon the same words, doth in his owne name expound it of the same faith, and di­stinguisheth it from the other faith, saying; Faith is here taken, not for that vertue whereby wee are called belieuers, as it is taken of Paul, when hee saith, there are three vertues, Faith, Hope, Charitie: which faith all Christians haue, and then the A­postles had. But it is taken for the faith of miracles, which Paul put­teth, 1. Cor. 12. among the diuision of Graces, which the holy Ghost im­parteth to diuers men, diuersly, euen as he will. And this kinde of faith, is no hing else but a Confidence of ob­taining or working mirac [...]es, when it is needfull or profitable, by calling vpon the Name of God.

[Page 288] Caietane doth put as great diffe­rence betwixt them, writing vpon those words, 1. Cor. 12. Alteri fides in eodem spiritu; saith thus. There is no speech heere concerning the faith of things to be belieued, but concer­ning the faith of thinges to be done. For that is common to all Christians, but this agreeth onely to some cer­taine persons.

Pighius also writeth, that the faith which is Fiducia, an Assurance or Con­fidence, is in the whole kinde diuerse from that Catholike faith where vn­to the power of miracles was adioy­ned. For the one doth properly re­spect the truth of God for the ob­iect: the other respecteth the good­nes of God, as made ours, after a manner by mutuall loue. That go­eth before the loue of God, and is separable from it: so as the Apostle affirmed, that he might haue all faith of that kinde, though hee had not loue. But this doth follow loue, and is a bud of it. That may be euen in the workers of iniquitie, who at the day of iudgement, shall heare Christ [Page 289] say to them, I neuer knew you.

But this belongeth onely to iust and holymen, who haue already san­ctified or Dedicated their soules to God, through the obedience of Charitie. So many wayes doth hee distinguish them, and so farre was he from making them one and the same kinde of faith, or making the one to be a degree of the other.

Consider then I pray you, how the Rhemistes and Bellarmine, are singular in this their conforming of a miracu­lous faith, with a iustifying faith: ha­uing not only the scriptures, but also all sorts of writers gainsaying them. And therefore it may well be suppo­sed, that rather a desire to contradict vs, then any consent of theyr owne Church, or any sound reason to war­rāt them, hath moued them to make that confusion of two distinct gifts. And will you giue credite to such spitefull and partiall writers?

Of Hystoricall Faith.

THe first kind of ordinary faith, which is common both to the Elect and reprobate, I called an historicall, or dogmaticall faith: yet I knowe there be many, who neither can abide the name and tytle of hi­storicall faith, nor yet will acknow­ledge any difference betwixt the thing signified thereby, and a iusti­fying faith, but make them both one.

Touching the name, Gregory Mar­tine Disco­uer. of cor­rupt. tran­slat. cap. 12. said, that historicall and spe­ciall faith are hereticall tearmes, newly deuised. Cardinall Bellarmine saith, that De iu­stific. lib. 1. cap. 4. Catholikes do not vse the name of historicall faith, least they should seeme to thinke that the deedes of the Saints, which are recorded in scripture, are not belee­ued, but for the authoritie of the hi­storie writers. And that there is De Rom. pontif. lib. 3. cap. 21. but one faith, which is neither to be called historicall, nor miraculous, but a Catholike faith.

[Page 291] Yet the thing feared by the Car­dinall, to arise vppon the vse of the Name, is but a vaine pretence. If he and his fellowes had feared the like daunger in the vse of other Names, they would neuer haue allowed the name of Transubstantiation: lest any should thinke that they holde a reall Conuersion of the substance of the Bread and Wine, into the substance of Christs bodie; for so much doth the proper signification of the word import; when as the name of hysto­ricall faith importeth no such thing as he feareth. The onely reason why hee and his fellowes contemne the tytle is, because we sometime vse it. Such is their hatred to vs, that they are vnwilling to vse anie Terme of ours, though it bee neuer so fitting and proper.

But first, let them knowe, that we may lawfully vse terms and tytles to expresse our meaning: if the thing meant thereby, may be prooued by the Scripture, though the Terme it selfe bee not expressely found in the Scripture. The ancient Fathers gaue [Page 292] to CHRIST the name and Tytle of omousios, consubstantiall, to expresse the equalitie of his Godhead with the Father. The Arians misliked it, because they found it not in the Scriptures. Yet the Fathers, Etsi for­tasse nomen ipsum non in­ueniretur, res tamen ip­sa innenire­tur. August. ad pascent. epist 1 4. Has voces, tame [...]si in scripturis non reperiantur, habere tamen eas eam sen­te [...]tiam, quā scripturae vo­lunt, &c. A­thanas lib. [...]uod Ni­cen. synodus congruis ver­bis exposue­rit Et cyrill. de Trinit. [...] 1. p [...]ulo post initium Fulg [...]nt. obiect. Arianar. discuss. obiect. 7 pag. 192. one after another defended it, and vsed it still, because, though the Name it selfe were not there, yet the thing signified thereby, was found there. Euen as the Arians themselues gaue to the Father the tytles of Unbegot­ten, Incomprehensible, Incircumscripti­ble, Incorporall, and such like: which words were not found in the Scrip­ture: yet were the things meant thereby. The Cardinall relateth this at large De christo lib. 2. c. 7. with many testimonies. And acknowledgeth, that in expres­sing the mysterie of the Trinitie, De christo. lib. 2. c. 2. they vse many names and words, which although they be not found in scripture, yet their seedes and e­quiualents are there found. And the Rhemists graunt Annot. in 1. Tim. 6. 20. Sect. 4. that wee may [Page 293] not measure the newnesse or olde­nesse of wordes, and tearmes of spea­king in Religion, by holy Scriptures onely: as though all those, or onely those, were newe and to be reiected, that are not expresly found in holie Writte; but we must esteeme them by the agreeablenesse, or disagreea­blenesse, they haue to the true sense of Scripture.

Now wee meane nothing by this Hystoricall Faith, but that firme assent which men doe giue to the thinges written in Scripture; Not onely to the hystories of Acts done, but like­wise to all doctrines of faith, & man­ners there taught. And therefore we also call it a Dogmaticall Faith: a faith whereby wee beleeue all the Doc­trines of the Scriptures to bee true. By which tytle the Cardinall confes­seth, Bellarm. de iustificat: lib: 1. cap: 4. sect: quan­quam. Cyrill and Chrysostome haue called this faith. And hee himselfe, Bellarm: de iustif: li. 1. cap: 11 sect: per vocabul. calleth that a Dogmaticall Faith, which (hee saith) wee call an Hystori­call Faith. And the faith which we meane, by the Hystoricall Faith, wee prooue out of Scriptures, as may be [Page 294] seene in my former Sermons. Yea, the Papists will not deny, but that there is such a faith taught in the Scriptures. Yea, this is the onely faith which they require. Yea Bellar­mine, though he scarce dare vse the name, yet he acknowledgeth, Si ta­men hoc no­mine (nempe fide historica) appellare fas est, assensum quem a [...]hi­bemus nar­rationi rerū praeteritarū, non ob homi­num, sed ob Dei ipsius, qui ea reue­lauit, autho­ritatem. De iustif. lib. 1. cap. 5. that by our Historicall faith, wee meane that faith, which they call, An assent which they giue to the narra­tion of things past, not for the au­thoritie of men, but of God himselfe, who hath reuealed them. And that faith he proueth by Scripture.

If then they agree with vs about the thing, why doe they wrangle with vs about the name? It is a folish thing saith Stul­tum est, cum de re constet, litigare de nomine. De eucharist. lib. 3. cap. 23. Bellarmine, to striue about the name, when men are a­greed of the thing.

Moreouer, not onely the August. de vtilit. cred. c. 3. De genes. ad liter. cap. 2. Hieronim. Eucher. apud. Sixt. Senens. biblioth. lib. 3. p. 133. old Doctors of the Church, but likewise the Romish Sixt. Senens. ibid. Durand. rational. lib. 1. c. 1. Bellarm. de verbo Dei. lib. 3. cap. 3. writers doe teach, [Page 295] that there is an historical sense of the Scriptures, and that both simple and figuratiue, proper and metophori­call: yea, and that this sense is espe­cially to be beleeued, and Sixt. Senens. ibid. Bellarm. de verbo Dei. lib. 3. cap. 3. Widdringt. apolog. pro. iure principi­um. p. 259. that no arguments are of any force, but those that be drawn from that sense. Now may not wee well call that an historicall faith, whereby wee be­leeue all things to be true, which are taught and proued out of the word, according to that historicall sense? And indeede, the Papists haue no more reason to mislike the tytle of an historicall faith, then to mislike the tytle of an historicall sense: but that the one is vsed by vs, the other is often vsed by themselues. They themselues haue inuented strange names and tytles, which they giue to faith: as to call one, Faith vnfor­med, an other formed: one Implicitie, an other Explicite, when as they can prooue neither the names, nor the things signified thereby out of the scriptures. Why then wil they blame vs for vsing a tytle, the meaning whereof, by their owne confession, [Page 296] is warranted in the Scripture?

Yet was not this Tytle first inuen­ted by xs: Distin­guamus ergò quam Fidem debeamus Hystoriae, quam fidem debeamus intelligentiae, &c. Quaesit stabilis, fides siue historica & tempora­lis, siue spiri­talis & aeter­na. De vera Relig: cap: 50. Augustine did long agoe vse the name, and distinguished it from other kinds of faith; saying, Let vs distinguish what faith we owe to the Historie (or Hystoricall sense) what faith we owe to the vnderstan­ding (or mysticall sense:) and which is a stedfast Faith; whether Hystori­call and Temporall, or spirituall, and Eternall. Ferus, a learned preaching Fryer, vseth the Tytle, and maketh this faith to be the same, with th po­pish vnformed faith: for, writing of the Centurions faith, hee saith: Non hic loquitur de historica, aut informi fide, sed de fiducia misericordiae, &c. Comment: in Ioh: 8. This is not spoken of an Hystoricall, or vnformed faith, but of a Confi­dence of mercie to bee shewed tho­rough Christ.


AS there is some Difference be­twixt vs & our aduersaries, tou­ching the name, so is there grea­ter [Page 297] difference betwixt vs, touching the thing. Namely, whether this hystoricall and dogmaticall faith be the selfe same with Iustifying faith, or whether it be a distinct kind of it selfe, differing from a iustifying faith. Many of our aduersaries make them both one.

The Annot. in Rom. 4. 24. Sect: 9. Rhemists say, that the Faith which was reputed for Iustice to Abra­ham, was his beliefe of an Article reuea­led vnto him by God, that is to say, his assent and credite giuen to Gods speeches. And that iustice shall be reputed to vs, by belieuing the art [...]cles of Christs death and Resurrection; & not by any speciall faith. And that the Catholicke Faith, is that, wherewith we belieue the articles of the Faith, which onely iustifieth

And Bellarmine alleadgeth much, to proue De iu­stifi [...] lib 1. cap. 6. 7. 8. 9. that faith which iustifi­eth, is neither Fiducia, nor Notia, but onely an assent to the truth of those things which God hath reuealed.

And in very truth the Papists must hold, that either this faith iustifieth, or none at all: because they teach no better ordinary faith then this, as [Page 298] appeareth by their treatises of faith. (3) Tollet. instruct. sa­cerd. lib. 4. cap 1. Coster enchirid. c. 4. de fide. initio.

But it may euidently appeare that this is not the faith which iustifieth vs. There is another faith aboue this, and farre more excellent then this, and much differing from this, which doth iustifie vs alone, & none other but it. I will declare the difference betwixt them, that so you may per­ceiue that they bee not one and the same.

1. First, they differ in their nature. In Sect. 7. For I proued before, that by the iu­stifying faith, a Christian doth ap­prehend, and particularly applye to himselfe all the Promises of Gods mercies, and of Christs merites for the pardon of his sinnes, and the sal­uation of his soule. But the Papists themselues acknowledge that this faith is of another nature, onely an assent to things reuealed. Compare that which I wrote before, touching the nature of a true iustifying faith, with that which the Papists teach to be the nature & forme of this faith, and you may see great difference.

2. They differ in their essentiall [Page 299] degrees, and therefore cannot be the same faith in specie. I knowe that magis & minus non diuersificant speciem, more and lesse doe not alter the kinde, as the Logicians speake. Yet the wāt of the true vnderstanding of that Axiome, and of applying it aright to the mat­ter in question, hath caused some pa­pists to erre in coufounding diffe­rent kindes of faith. It is true in ac­cidentall, but not in substantiall and essentiall degrees, for there be de­grees of both sortes. There be acci­dentall degrees, as degrees of quan­titie, & quantitatis continuae & quanti­tatis discretae. A great horse is of the same kind with a litle horse. And the greatest number of the same species, with the least.

There be also substantiall and es­sentiall degrees, as appeareth in the faculties of the soule. The sensitiue facultie is a degree aboue the vege­tatiue, and the reasonable facultie, another degree aboue the vnsensitiue.

These being substantiall and es­sentiall Degrees, doe alrer the kinde, though not in the same indiui­duo, [Page 300] yet in diuers. So as that crea­ture which hath an higher degree, is of an other kinde then that which hath a lower degree. Faith hath the like degrees.

Some be accidentall, and respect the quantitie of Faith. So there is Math. 6. 30. 2. 26. 14. 31. Eligopistia, a little faith, or weake assurance. And Heb. 10. 22. Rom. 4. 20. Plerephoria tes pisteos, a full assurance, and strong faith. And so faith is saide to be les­ser and greater, Exten­siue, quando plura credi­bilia cognos­cuntur & [...]reduntur explicitè. In­tensiuè, quan­do credibilia clarius, cog nos [...]untur, & firmius ser­uentius (que) te­nentur. Lyra in Luc. 17. 5. both extensiue­ly, when more credible things are knowne and belieued expressely, as may be seene in belieuers, who know much. And intensiuely, when credi­ble things are more clerely knowne, and more firm [...]ly and feruētly held. There be also substantiall and essen­tiall degrees of faith, which respect the substance and forme, the nature, and naturall propert [...]es of it. When one b [...]lieueth all that another doth, and also more, and that in an other manner and forme.

So he that hath a iustifying faith, belieueth all things that hee belie­ueth, who hath an historicall or dog­maticall [Page 301] Faith: and that in the same manner. Yet doth hee belieue more also, and after an other manner. Hee doth not only belieue that all things written in the Scriptures be true, but likewise belieueth, that God will performe his generall Promises, in particular towards him, for the par­don of his sinne, and the saluation of his soule. The one of these is, Crede­re Deo; to giue credite to God: the other is, Credere in Deum: to belieue in God.

Augustine thus said of them, Sicredi­tis in eum, creditis ei. Non autem continuò, qui credit ei, cre­dit in eum. Nam & de­mones crede­bant ei non credebant in eum. In Ioh: 7. Tract: 29. If yee belieue in him, yee giue credite to him. But not alwayes he that giueth credit vn­to him, belieueth in him. For the Diuels giue credite to him, yet did not belieue in him. Yea al papists do freely acknow­ledge a substantial differēce betwixt these two, in the very forme & man­ner of belieuing. And therfore some doe make of them, 2. seuerall kindes of faith, as before I proued. Others say, that there is no such Degree a­boue dogmatical faith: which before I confuted: And which heere, by the testimony of Augustine, is conuinced.

[Page 302] 3. They differ in their obiects, for the one respecteth the truth of God, shewed in things reuealed: the other respecteth the mercy and goodnes of God in Christ, offered to penitent sinners. Bernardinus de Senis, Exparte eius quod creditur, hoc est rei credi­tae accipitur differentia hoc modo. Nam Deus credulitate fidei tribus modis accipi­tur, primo vt veritas, 2. vt potestas, 3. vt bonitas. Se­cundum pri­mum mo­dum credere Deo. s [...]per comparatio­nem adveri­tatem, hoc est, vera esse quae dicit 2. modo credere Deum, &c. De euangel. atern. serm 6. art. 3. cap. 2. fine. out of Alexander Halensis, saith, that credere Deo, hath the truth of God for his obiect: and so we be­leeue him, because we thinke those things to be true which he speaketh: but credere Deum, respecteth his power, as he is omnipotent, and the Creator: but credere in Deum, hath respect to his goodnes, wherevnto we come through loue. Pighius na­ming but two of these three, (for he ioyneth two of them together) saith, Illa Dei veritatem proprie pro obiecto respicit, haec dei bonitatem magis, vt tam per mutuum amorem quodam modo nostra facta est. Controu. 2. the one doth properly respect the truth of God for an obiect: the other doth rather respect the good­nes of God, as it is after a sort [Page 303] through naturall loue now made Quod syncero pecto­re fideret illius boni­tati. Parae­phras. in Hebr 11. 4. ours. The faith which made Abels sacrifice acceptable to God, was a iu­stifying faith: yet Erasmus said, God accepted his sacrifice, because he did with a sincere heart trust his goodnes.

And we heard before Con­cord. Euan­gel. cap. 32. fiduciam ex illius bonitat [...] conceptam. out of Iansenius, that the faith by which mē are saued & obtaine their requests, doth not onely comprehend a firme assent in things to be beleeued, but likewise an assurance conceiued and arising from his goodnes. Can these be one and the same habite, who differ so much in their speciall and proper obiects?

4. They differ in their proper and immediate effects. For first the one iustifieth, the other doth not iustifie. That there is a faith which iustifieth, Paul teacheth at large, and in many places. Rom. 3. 28. We conclude (saith he) [...]hat a man is iustified by faith, with­out the workes of the law. Rom. 4. 5. And to him that worketh not, but belee­ueth in him that iustifieth the vn­godly, his faith is counted for righ­teousnes. [Page 304] And Gal: 2. 16. know that a man is not iustifyed by the workes of the lawe, but by the faith of Iesus Christ. I need not proue this, seeing the pa­pists confesse Concil: Trident: sess: 6. cap: 8. Bellarm: de grat: & li­ber: arbitr: lib: [...]. cap: 6. De Iustific. lib: 1. with vs, that there is a Faith which iustifieth, though they contend with vs, about the ma­ner how it iustifieth.

That there is a Faith that iustifi­eth not the Apostle Iames teacheth; Namely, Iam. 2. 17. 20. &c. a dead Faith: a faith without works, such a faith as the di­uels haue. Augustine teacheth vs, which is the Faith which iustifieth; Namely, the faith qua credimus in De­um, whereby we belieue in God: and which is the Faith which iustifieth not; namely, Fides quacredimus Deo: wherby we giue credit to God: whē he saith, Credi­mus apostolo, sed non credi­mus in Apo­stolum, non e­nim aposto [...]us iustificat im­pium, creden­ti autem in [...] qui in eum qui iu­stificat impi­um deputa­tur Fides eius ad Iustitiam. In Ioh: 12. Tract: 54. we belieue the Apostle, but wee belieue not in the Apostle: because the Apostle doth not iustifie the vngodly; but vnto him that be­lieueth in him who iustifieth the vn­godly, his faith shall be reputed for Righteousnesse. As if Credere Deo, [Page 305] which is an historicall and dogma­ticall faith, were not sufficient to [...] ­stifie vs, but credere Deum, which is to haue a special confidence in God, as before was declared.

Not only In Ioh. 7. tract. [...]9. Augustine, but like­wise De sanct. Andr. serm. 3. Bernard, and the Lumb. sent. lib. 3. dist. 23. d. M: of sentences, doe teach, that the diuels credunt Deo, doe belieue all things to be true which God hath reuealed, which is a right historical faith. And yet I hope the Papists will not say, that the diuels are iustified For then might they holde with Origen, that they shall be saued.

Per hanc fidē iu­stificatur im­pius, vt dein­de ipsa sides in [...]ipiat per delectionem operari. Sentent lib. 3. dist. 23. d. Lumbard hauing shewed the difference betwixt these three, Cre­dere Deo, credere Deum, and credere in Deum: doth say of the last By this faith the vngodly is iustified, that afterward, Faith it selfe may be­ginne to worke by loue. Because a man is iustified by it, and not by ey­ther of the other two, and because it doth worke by loue, not before it iu­stifie, but rather begins to worke by loue, when it hath iustified. And therefore doth not iustifie by vertue [Page 236] of charitie, whereby it worketh. Are you then so simple to belieue, that the Faith which iustifieth, and the faith which iustifieth not, are all one? That two men, hauing one and the same Faith, the one of them should bee iustified by his Faith, and the o­ther should not be iustified by his? If they bee one (and the same Faith) whence comes this great difference in theyr proper, and immediate ef­fects?

But the other faith is without good workes, Iam: 2. 17. 20. as Saint Iames teacheth; and this is called by him, a dead faith: The Councell of Trent Uerissimè dicitur Fidem sine operibus mortuam, & etiosam esse. Sess. 6. cap. 7. acknowled­geth, that it may most truely be said, Faith without Workes, is dead and idle. And what faith is this, but euen an hystoricall faith?

Ferus wrote, Hanc Scholastici in­formem, Ia­cobus mortu­am appella fi­dem, qualis autem est, qua mortua est, forma (que) sua substan­tiali caret? profecto non fides. sed opi­nio vana est, Commen: in Matth: 8. 8. that by Faith whereby wee assent to those things which be deliuered in the diuine hy­stories, and which the Church pro­poundeth to be belieued; the school­men call vnformed Faith, and Iames calleth a Dead-faith. But what faith is that which is dead, and wanteth [Page 307] his substantiall forme. Truely (saith he) it is no faith, but a vaine opinion. And then afterward describeth a iu­stifying faith, as being another kinde of faith. Though Dominicus Soto went about to confute his description of a iustifying faith, yet did he not mislike any thing which hee spake of the hy­storicall, vnformed, and dead faith. And so by his silence doth iustify him heerein, as may appeare Bibli­oth. sanct. lib. 6. annot. 43. in Sixtus Senensis.

Now the faith with workes, and the faith without works doe so much (27) Iam. 2. 14. differ, that the one is properly called a faith, and a true faith; the other is not called a faith, but only by equi­uocation. Therefore Augustine said, Non credit Iesum esse Christū, qui non sic vinit, quomo­do praecepit Christus. In epist. Ioh. tractat. 10. hee doth not belieue Jesus to be Christ, who doth not so liue, as Christ hath commanded.

Iames saith, (26) Shewe me thy faith by thy workes, and I will shewe thee my faith by my workes. As if neyther of them had any true faith, vnlesse they could shewe it by their workes. Whervpon Thomas Aquinas gaue this glosse; Verba mihite habe­re fidem per aliqua certa signa non po­teris probare, cum desint opera, verba non sunt tes­tes sufficien­tes. In Iacob. epist. cap. 2. Shew me thy faith. As if [Page 308] hee should say, Prooue vnto mee by some certaine signes that thou hast Faith: thou canst not proue it when workes be wanting: wordes are no sufficient witnesses. And in another place hee saith, In 2. thess. [...]. 2. That vngodly men seeme to haue true faith, when indeede they haue not. Gregory 1. (once Bishop of Rome,) telleth vs, That Fidei nostre veri­tatem in vitae nostra consi­deratione do­bemus agnos­c [...]re. tunc c­nim veraci­ter fideles su­mus, si quod verbis pro­mittimus, o­peribus im­plemus. Ho­mil. 29. we ought to make knowne the truth of our faith by the conside­ration of our life: for then are wee beleeuers in truth, if that which we promise in words, we fulfil in works. And frō him the Councell of Mentz protested, Ille ve­ro credit, qui ex [...]et ope­rando, quod credit. Con­cil. Mogunt. can [...]n. 1. that hee doth truely beleeue, who exerciseth by working that which he beleeueth.

If then the one of these bee a true Faith indeede, and is truely and pro­perly so to be called: and the other is not a true faith indeede, and im­properly so called; how can they be one and the same faith? No more then a working horse, and an idle painted horse are one and the same. Againe, these two doc so differ, as that the one is called a liuing Faith, [Page 309] the other is called a dead Faith. That which iustifieth and bringeth forth good works, is called a liuing Faith. Rom. 1. 17. Galat. 3. 11. So the iust man is sayd to liue by Faith. And Paul sayd Galat. 2. 20. I liue by the Faith in the Sonne of God. Ferus ha­uing described the nature of a true Iustifying faith, that it is nothing else but to trust to the free mercy of God: Com [...]t. in Math. 8. he addeth further; This is the true Faith, whereby the iust man liueth. But that which iustifieth not, and is destitute of good works, is tearmed a dead Faith by the Apo­stle: Iam. 2. 26. Yea, as the body is dead without the spirit, so is faith dead without workes.

But the Annot. in Iam. 2. 26. Rhemists De iu­stif. li. 1. c. 15. Car­dinall Bellarmine, Enchi­rid. cap. 4. de fide. obiect. 2. Coster the Ie­suite, and others, doe answere: that the Apostle doth not compare a dead faith with a dead man, but with a dead body. And therefore as a dead body is a true body, so a dead faith is a true faith.

But they must knowe, that al­though the Apostle compare a dead faith not to a dead man, but to a dead body, yet he compareth it to [Page 310] the dead body of a man, which is no true humane body indeed, because it wanteth the soule which is the forme of it. The Philosopher will teach them; That when the bodye is dead, there is neyther foote nor hand, but onely by equiuocation, for all the parts of the body, are de­fined by their office and facultie, therefore when they lye dead, they are not the same, but onely retaine the shadow and shew of the name. Though a dead body haue the earth­ly and materiall parts, yet it is not the true body of a man, nor the same body that it was before, seeing it wanteth his forme, life, and actiuit [...]e, operation and motion. So a dead faith hath some materiall parts of a true faith, as knowledge, vnderstan­ding, and assent: yet it is not a true faith indeed, because it wanteth spe­ciall application, which is the soule of faith. It wanteth actiuitie, cha­ritie, and obedience, which are the life of it. Didimus Alexandrinus, did oth [...]rwise take the words of S. Iames, then these papists doe, for thus he [Page 311] writeth, Notan­dum scilicet, quia cum si­des mortua sit praeter opera, iam ne (que) fides est. Nam ne­que homo mortuus, ho­mo est. Enar­rat an Epist. Iacob. cap 2. It is to be marked, that seeing faith is dead without good workes, it is now no faith at all, for a dead man is not a man at all. Their owne friend Ferus is as peremptorie against them, and for vs. Faith with­out charitie (saith he) Sine charitate fi­des, totulum quidem fide [...] habet: caete­rum si non ob­scurè de care loqui velis, p [...]rinde si [...] est, quasi cor­pus exanime, homo: aut extincta can­dela, lumen: vel ex isa a [...] bor est arbor. &c. Postill. Domin. quinquages. Serm. 7. hath in­deed the tytle of faith, but if thou wilt not speake obscurely of that matter, it is not in that sort faith, as a body without a soule is a man: as a candle put out, is light: or as a tree cut downe is a tree. What kind of light is that, which doth not shine and giue light? what kinde of fire is that, which is not kindled? what kinde of man is that, which neyther seeth, nor heareth, nor feeleth, nor moueth? What kinde of tree is that, which hath neyther rootes, nor boughes, nor bringeth forth fruite? Such a kinde of faith is that, which is without charitie; namely, a dead Faith: as Iames nameth it. How then can any man iustly say, that these two are both one and the same faith?

[Page 312] Lastly, they differ in their effects, because the one procureth the salua­tion of our soules: namely, that liue­ly and speciall faith, which worketh by loue: for of that it is sayde, Who­soeuer Ioh. 3. 16. beleeueth in the Sonne, hath euerlasting life. And by Ephes. 2. 8. grace wee are saued through faith, and not of our selues.

But the other, the Historical faith, destitute of works, cannot saue Iam. 2. 14. any man: so teacheth the Apostle. And that all those places cannot bee vnderstood of one & the same faith, all writers giue euidence. Augu­stine said, not that faith of the Diuels, (43) De fide & operib. cap. 16. who beleeue and tremble, and con­fesse Iesus to bee the Sonne of God, is that foundation, which suffereth none to perish: but that faith which the Apostle saith, worketh by loue. Now what he took to be the faith of the Diuels, I haue before shewed: Credunt Deum, & credunt Deo, they haue an historicall faith, to beleeue all things to be true which hee hath reuealed: Non credunt in Deum, they put no confidence in him, & so want [Page 313] a speciall iustifying faith, that should saue them. So Bernard In De­um qui credit non consun­detur. &c. Deum & Deo credunt Daemones, sed in illum non credunt (In quem qui credit, non confundeter) quia spem su­am non po­nunt in illum. De sanct. Andr. serm. 3. writeth; He that beleeueth in God, shall not be confounded: And therevpon in­ferreth, that the Diuels, though they beleeue God, yet they doe not be­leeue in God (in whom, whosoeuer beleeueth, shall not be confounded) because they doe not put their hope in him. Now who that hath any vn­derstanding in Religion, will say, that the faith which is able to saue a mans soule, and the faith which is not able to saue a mans soule, are both one in kind, in nature, and sub­stance? And that those, who are tor­mented in hell, can truely say, that while they were on earth, they had the very same faith which brought the Saintes to the Kingdome of hea­uen.

By that which hath bene spoken touching this point, you may vnder­stand what a kinde of faith is taught by the greatest Doctors in the Ro­mish church, & what is the best faith, which they require of the people: e­uen an hystoricall faith, to giue as­sent [Page 314] to the truth of things reuealed. Which faith, as hath bene prooued, may be in wicked men, in Repro­bates, in men out of the state of grace, in men that shall goe to hell. Yea, such a faith as is found in the very diuels of Hell. What saluati­on can be obtained in that Church, whose preachers teach no better faith? Who would be ledde by such guydes? I knowe that they would make a difference betwixt the faith of their right Catholickes, and the faith of diuels: because the one hath Charitie alwayes accompanying it, the other wanteth Charity. But they might consider, that according to their doctrine, this maketh no essen­tiall, but a meere accidentall diffe­rence. Seeing they teach, that the same assent to the truth of things re­uealed, is in some with charitie, and in others without charitie, it euidēt­ly appeareth, that according to their doctrine, Charitie is not a proper, immediate, necessary, and essentiall propertie of it, but meerely acci­dentall.

[Page 315] Indeed wee hold, that Charitie is a proper, & necessary effect of a iusti­fying faith; so as faith is no sooner wrought in the heart of any, but forthwith hee is endued with loue. (45) Uel quòd vna es­set de ratione alterius: vel quod vna ne­cessariò nas­ceretur ab altera, &c. Licet chari­tas oriatur ex fide tamē non oritur vt propria pas­sio, quae neces­sariò fluit a subiccto, sed vt virtus, ad­quam alia disponit & inclinat. De Iustif. lib. 1. cap. 15. Sect: quintum ar­gum. He cannot but loue him, in whom he belieueth, and of whose loue and fa­uour he is perswaded. And there­fore charitie, though it do not make, yet it may declare the essentiall dif­ference, and the nature of this faith. But seeing it is no such necessary ef­fect of their assenting faith, it can neyther make nor declare any essen­tiall difference of it. And therefore he who wanteth charitie, may haue the same faith in substance, that hee hath, who is endued with Charitie.

Bellarmine going about to proue, that true faith, (meaning theyr assen­ting faith,) may bee separated from loue, draweth one Argument from the proper reason & nature of them both. If they cannot be seuered saith he, (46) It is eyther because the one is of the reason (or being) of the other, or that the one doth necessari­ly arise from the other. Not the first, [Page 316] because Faith & charitie are not one vertue, but two. And besides that, haue diuers subiectes, actes, and ob­iectes. For faith is in the vnderstan­standing, Charitie in the will. Faith belieueth, charitie loueth. Faith re­specteth the first trueth, Charitie the chiese good. Not the second, be­cause although charity arise of faith, yet it doth not arise as a proper pas­sion, which doth necessarily flowe from the subiect, but as a vertue, vn­to which an other doth dispose and encline.

And Thomas Aquinas saith, Seeing Cum charitas sit extra essen­tiam fidei, per [...]ius aduen­tum vel re­ [...]essum, non [...]tatur sub­stantia eius. In Rom. 1. [...]ect. 6. Charitie is without the essence of faith, by the comming or depar­ture of it, the substance of faith▪ is not changed. And although Bellar­mine holde with the school-men, that Charitie is the forme of faith; yet he For­ [...]am esse ex­trinsecam, & [...] intrinsecā, qu [...] det illi non vt sit, sed [...] moueatur. De Iustif. lib. 2. cap. 4. tteacheth that it is an outward, not an inward forme. And such a forme as doth not giue beeing vnto it, but motion. Howe then can it make it make any essentiall differēce betwixt that faith which hath it, and that faith which wanteth it?

[Page 299] I know that the Fathers do some­time note loue, as a difference be­twixt the faith of Christians and di­uels, and betwixt the faith of good Christians and bad. Yet do they not make it the onely difference betwixt them: they teach an essentiall diffe­rēce by belieuing in God with trust and confidence. Againe, they might better make it a difference of theyr faith, then the Papists can make it a difference of the faith which they teach, because it was a necessary and proper effect, proceeding from that their faith, & not from any other. For those that do so belieue in God with hope and confidence, of his mercie and goodnes towards them, cannot but loue him. But papists haue no such confidence nor assurāce in their faith, which should make them to loue God, they may haue all theyr faith without loue. And therefore loue cannot distinguish it essentially from the faith of diuels.

So then, to shut vp this point, it still remaineth apparent, that in the nature and substance, there is no dif­ference [Page 318] at all betwixt popish assen­ting faith, and the faith of diuels. And surely those that now content themselues with such a faith, as is no better in substance then the faith of diuels, may iustly feare, least hereaf­ter, they shall haue no better estate in substance then the deuils haue.


THe last kinde of faith which I mentioned, I called a Tempo­rary faith: which differeth from a dead faith, because while it lasteth, it bringeth forth outward fruites. And yet is not the same with a iust­fying faith, because it commeth short of it by many degrees, doth not saue any, and continueth not vn­to the end.

This faith is scarce knowne to the papists, very fewe of their writers make any mention of it: Yet lest any should thinke, that it is a new coy­ned tearme, and a newly inuented faith, I will shew what authors write of it.

[Page 319] Augustine long agoe Quae sit stabilis fides, siuehistorica & tempora­lis: siue spiri­tualis & ae­terna. De ve­rarelig. cap. 50. vsed the name and tytle, together with the name of Historicall faith, as before I declared.

Bernard Mittunt nos ad quan­dam fidet tri­fariam diui­sionem: vt dicatur sides mortua ficta, probata. &c. Fictam autē ego arbitror illam vocari fidem, quae suscep­ta quidem ex charitate vita moueri inchoat ad bene ope­randum, sed n [...] perseverans deficit & moritur tanquam abortiua. Eo vti (que) sensu fictam dixerim nominatam, quo vasa figuli vocamus fictilia: non quia videlicet vtilia non sint, quamdiu durant, sed quia fragiliacum sint, diu mini­mè durant. De hac fidei fictione put o illos notari in euan­gelio, qui ad tempus credunt, & in tempore tentationis re­cedunt. Luc. 8. &c. Tales sunt animae, parvam adhuc & teneram hahentes charitatem: & ob hoc earum fidem viuam sed fictam necesse est in tentatione desicere. &c. Epist. 42. doth at large describe it, and sheweth the difference be­twixt it and other kindes of faith, he maketh a diuisiō of a threefold faith. There is a dead faith, a fained faith, and a tried faith. The dead faith the Apostle defineth to be a faith with­out workes, which doth not worke by loue. The fained faith (saith he) I thinke that is called, which hauing receiued life from charitie, begins to be moued to worke well: but not [Page 320] perseuering, doth faile, and die as an vntimely birth. In the same sense in­deed I may call it fained or fashio­ned, that we call the potters vessels fictilia non because they are not pro­fitable so long as they last: but be­cause, seeing they are brickle, they doe not last long. Of this fayning of faith, I thinke they are noted in the Gospell, who beleeue for a while, and in time of tentation goe away. When, and whither doe they de­part? surely from faith to infidelitie. And these (saith Christ) haue no rootes. He doth not deny but they haue that which is good: but he ra­ther blameth them that they were not rooted in that which is good. Such are the soules, hauing as yet a little and tender charitie, and for this cause, their faith though liuely, yet fained (or fraile) must needes faile in tentation. What kinde of faith euery mans is, tribulation doth try. If any man faile, it is knowne to be fained. If any mans continue, it is iudged to be a tried and a perfect faith. &c. So likewise, in another [Page 321] place, he hauing described what is an vnfained faith Non fic­ta ponitur ad differentia [...] mortu [...] fide [...] & sictae mor­tua fides est, quae sine ope­ribus est, fides ficta, quae ad tempus cre­dit, & in tempore ten­tationis rece­dit, vnde eti­am ficta, id est fragilis [...]i­citur, parui serm. 1. he addeth, that it is called an vnfained faith, to shew the difference of it from a dead faith and a fained faith. A dead faith is that which is without workes. A fai­ned faith is that, which beleeueth for a season, and in time of tentation go­eth away: whence it is called ficta, fayned, that is fraile or brickle. Ber­nardine hath the same distinction, and almost the very same wordes with Bernard in the former place, and De E­uangel, aetern. Feria 5. post cineres, serm. [...]. art. [...]. cap. 3. fine. proueth the difference of a fained and failing faith, from a dead faith, and a tried faith, by the words of the Euangelist, Luk. 8. 13. they beleeue for a time.

Michaell Medina, was so farre from thinking that this temporarie faith was the same with a iustifying faith, that he accounted it, while it continued, to be no true faith at all. For this he writeth Uera fi­des tantum electorum est. Credunt reprobi fateor, sed ad horam: tempore enim tentatioms recedunt, quam fi [...] vt pote quae radices non [...]git, veran fidem sancta scriptu­ra non vocat. &c. Sixt. Senes. biblioth. li. 6. annot. 214. True faith, is [Page 322] the faith of Gods elect onely. I con­fesse the reprobate doe belieue, but for a season. For in the time of ten­tation they goe away: Which faith, because it hath no rootes, the holie Scripture doth not call a true faith. And that faith which doth not bring forth the fruite of glorie, is no faith before Christ.

In this respect, the reprobate are accused of vnbeliefe. Because, al­though they seemed in outward ap­pearance to belieue, yet they did not truely belieue: because they wanted eyther true Charitie, or Constancie, which is so annexed to true faith, that in Scripture, faith is taken for fidelitie, and that hee proueth by the wordes of the Apostle, 1. Pet. 2. 6.

These wordes and many more to the same effect, are related by Sixtus Senensis, yet not confuted, nor con­demned: and therefore seeme to be approued. Doe not you therefore condemne me for teaching the tem­porary faith, to be another faith then iustifying faith is.

Thus I hope you plainely see, that [Page 323] there is not one only faith in all men, as some of your teachers would bear you in hand; but that there be diuers kindes of faith, really distinct one from another, in nature, in degrees, in efficacy and operation. And that this hath beene the ancient doctrine of the true Church, and still hath bene taught by some in the Romane Church. I pray God that you may not deceiue your selues with a fained faith, nor content your selues with that assenting faith, which some doe falsely tell you is sufficient. But that you may seeke and also obtaine that iustifying faith, which is able to saue your soules.

Take heede of giuing too much credite to some late popish writers. Their malice against vs, prouoketh them to speake worse of faith then they ought. Though it be the most necessary and most effectuall grace, which God here bestoweth on man, yet are they greater enemies to it, and seeke more to disgrace it, then any other gift or grace whatsoeuer. Some haue thought so basely of it, [Page 324] as they haue taught it was too mean a grace for the Virgine Mary to be endued withal. Though Augustine Beatior Ma [...]ia per­c [...]p [...]ndo fi­d [...]m Christi, quam conci­pi ndo car­ [...]m Christi. De virginit. c [...]p. [...]. sayd, Mary was more blessed by per­ceiuing the faith of Christ, then by conceiuing the flesh of Christ. Yet Albertus Magnus (who, as Hosius saith, Alher­tus quo (que) non temere mag­n [...]s appella­tus, de ex­pr [...]sso Dei v [...]o. was not without cause cal­led Gteat) goeth about to proue, that she Albert. Marial. c [...]p 76 d [...]fi­deving. Ma­riae. had not faith at all, but a cer­taine kinde of knowledge aboue faith. Such a knowledge and puri­tie, as neuer any had in the way: but the Angels haue in heauen.

Oh consider, that this is the D [...]uels p [...]llicie and practise, that if he can­not make men otherwise to thinke, then that faith is absolutely necessa­rie to saluation, hee then stirreth vp some to teach them a false and insuf­ficient faith, because hee knoweth, that will no more profite them, then no faith as all. Wherefore searce out the true faith, and seeke for it.


IN speaking of that Faith, which is called Temporary, and may be lost, [Page 325] I touched a question, whether true Iustifying Faith may be quite lost. And the rather, because some popish writers alleadge that place, to proue that it may bee lost. Not to say any thing of those reasons, and texts of Scripture, then produced by me, to proue that true faith cannot be lost: I will now, for your further satisfac­tion, set downe the testimonies of diuers learned men, approoued by your side, who consent with mee in this poynt. Augustine taught, that those who haue this faith shall neuer perish, but shall certainely be saued. [...]id's quae per di­lectionem o­peratur, ne­min [...]m perire permitt [...]t. De fi [...]e & operib. c. 16. The Faith which worketh by loue, suffereth no man to perish, said he. So in another place, when he Omnes qu [...] si [...] cre­dunt, tan­quam lapides sunt viui, de quibus t [...]m­plum dei aedi­ficatum est, & tanquam lig [...]a impu­tribilia. qui­bus a [...]ailla compacta est, quae in dilu▪ uiom [...]rg non po [...]nt. I [...] Psa [...] 1 [...]0. in [...]o. exhorted men to a true and right faith, so to beleeue in Christ, as that they loued him. Not to beleeue in him as the Diuels did: who though they beleeued, yet did not loue Christ: and therefore saide to him, What haue wee to doe with thee, thou Sonne of God? But so to beleeue him, as wee loue him: and say not, What haue wee to doe with thee? [Page 326] but rather say, Wee belong to thee, thou hast redeen ed vs. He therevp­on inferreth, that all they which thus beleue, are as liuely stones, of which the Temple of God is built, and as those neuer putrifying plancks and timber, of whieh the arke was made, that could not bee drowned in the Flood. If they that thus beleeue, can­not perish, then their faith cannot be lost: for they are kept and saued by faith. If any will answere, that if they keepe their faith, they shall not perish; but they may lose their faith, and so perish. Let them heare the same Father, in plain tearms denying that: For speaking of the praedesti­nate, Horum sides aut om­nino non defi­cit, aut siqui sunt, quorum defi [...]t, r [...]pa­ra [...]r, [...]te­quem v [...]a ista s [...]i [...]tur, & del [...]ta quae inter curre­rat iniquita­t [...], vs (que) in fi­nem perseue­r [...]ntia depu­tatur Au­gust. de cor­rept. & grat. cap. 7. he saith; These mens faith which wor [...]eth by loue, eyther doth not fayle at all; or if there be some of them, whose faith fayleth, it is re­payred before this life bee ended: and the iniquitie which came be­twixt, being blotted out, they are reputed to haue perseuerance vnto the end. And further teacheth, that they whose faith finally faileth, were neuer of the number of the elect, nor [Page 327] of the number of Christs Disciples. Yet more plainely afterward, Pro his igitur inter­p [...]llante Chri­sto, ne d [...]fi [...]iat fides eorum, sine dubio non d [...]fi [...]iet vs (que) in sinem: a [...] per hoc perseuerabit vs (que) ad finem noc eam nisi permanen­tem vitae hu­ius inueni [...]t fi [...]is. De cor­rept. & grat. cap. 12. Christ therefore praying for these, that their faith might not faile, with­out doubt it shall not fayle vnto the end: and therefore it shall continue vnto the end neyther shall the end of this life finde it otherwise then continuing. This hee speaketh of them, who were called according to Gods purpose: as the words imme­diately going before doe testifie: In whom (as there hee saith) the gifts and calling of God, are without re­pentance. And in this respect, hee there preferreth the state of the prae­destinate, aboue the estate of Adam in Paradise. And sheweth that this gift of perseuerance is more needfull for the praedestinate now, because they are assaulted with so many, and so great Tentations. And at last At (que) ita homo D [...]i, non sol [...] quia mi [...]erecordi­am consecu­tus est, vt si­delis esset, verum etiam qu [...]a files ip­s [...] non d [...]t, qui gloriatur, in domino glorictur. Ihi [...] in [...] c [...]pi [...]is. concludeth, the faithfull man, not onely because he hath obteyned mercy, that he may be faithfull, but also because his faith it se [...]fe fayleth [Page 328] not. When he glorieth, let him glo­rie in the Lord.

Beda rehearseth Sine pae­ni [...] sunt Dona & vo­catio Dei, id est, sine mu­tatione stabi­litur fixa sunt. In Rom. 11. 29. the words of Au­gustine, touching the efficacie of Christs prayer, in keeping the faith of them (who be called according to Gods putpose) from fayling, rec­koneth faith as one of those gifts of God, that are without repentance, and faith, they are without repen­tance, because they are stedsastly fastened without changing. And those who beleeue, are taught of God, and none of them shall perish, because Christ looseth none of those whome the father hath giuen him. Gregory the great, did very fitly distinguish of Gods gifts; Alia sunt dona illi­us, sine qui­bus, ad vi­tam nequa­quam pertin­gitur. Alia quibus vitae sanctitas pro aliorum vti­litate decla­ratur. man­suetudo nam­que humili­tas, patientia, sides spes charitas, dona eius sunt, sine qui­bus ad vitam homines [...]eruenire nequaquam possunt. &c. In h [...]s igi [...]ur donis, sine quibus ad vitam peruenire non possunt, spiritus sanctus in praedicatoribus su [...], siue electis omnibus sempermanet. &c. Moral. lib. 2. cap. 42. and shewed the difference betwixt them in regard of continuance: There be some gifts of his, without which a man cannot attaine to life. There be [Page 329] others, by which holines of life is de­clared for the profit of others, for meekenes, bumilitie, patience, faith, hope, charitie, are his gifts: but those without which, men can neuer come to life but prophecie, the gift of hea­ling, diuersitie of tongnes, interpre­tation of speech, are his gifts, yet such as shew the presence of his power for the correction of the be­holders. In those giftes therefore without which men cannot come to life, the holy Ghost doth alwayes a­bide in his preachers, or in all the e­lect. But by the other, he doth not alwayes abide.

To the same effect hee likewise speaketh else-where, In sanc­torum cordi­bus iuxta quasdam virtutes sem­per perma­net. &c. In fid [...]spe & charitate, & alijs do [...]is, si­ne quibus ad cael stem pa­triam non po­test venire, perfectorum corda non de­serit. Suoer Ezechiel▪ ho­mil 5 saying. The holy Ghost according to certain ver­tues, doth alwayes abide in the harts of the Saintes. But according to o­ther, hee doth come and goe away: goe away, and come againe. For by Faith, Hope, and Charitie, and other graces, without which a man cannot come to Heauen, he neuer forsaketh the hearts of the perfect.

Bernard In caena Domin. serm. 10. propou [...] ded a questi­on; [Page 330] How any of those who are vni­ted to Christ by faith, can be cut off from him, as vnfruitfull branches are cut off from the Vine? Seeing be that is coupled with Christ, is one spirite with him? And answered it by di­stinguishing of faith: that there is a dead faith, a fained faith, a perue [...]se faith, and a right faith. And there­vpon inferred, that hee whō had any of the three former, might be cut off, but he who had the last, could not be cut off from that Vine. Hee shall a­bide in Christ, and beare fruite, and the Father will purge him, that hee may beare more fruite. Most of the learned Papists seeme to come neere vnto vs in this point.

Though Saepius pec [...]ando, & saepius recidi­vando, eo tandem per­veniunt, vt & fidem ip­sam amit­tant. &c. Promptuar. domine. 4. post epiphan. Stapleton teach, that saith cannot be lost by euery mortall sinne, but by sinning often, and fal­ling often into the same sinnes, it may be lost: As the rootes of a Tree will not wither, if onely one twig be plu [...]ked away, but if all be plucked away, they will dye. Yet is he con­tradicted by all his fellowes.

Thomas Aquinas acknowledgeth, [Page 331] that faith remaineth in men, when they fall from holynes to sinne. Tho. 2. a. 2. ae. qu. 4. art. 4. Whereas some helde, that man sin­ning mortally, after he had receyued a formed faith; That faith was lost, and another habit of informed faith, was infused of God, in steede of it: He thought it was not conuenient to say, any gift of God should bee be­stowed on man, for the practise of mortall sinne, & therfore he holdeth, that after mortall sinne committed by a Belieuer, the same habite of faith remaineth, which was in him before. And how can any of them say otherwise, who teach (as I shew­ed before) that the faith which is in a man before grace, before his repen­tance, and conuersion, is the selfe­same habite in number, that is in him after grace and conuersion?

The Councell of Trent Asse­rendum est, non modo in­sidelitate, per quam & ipsa fides amitti­tur, sed etiam quocun (que) alio mortali pec­cato. quam­vis non amit­tatur fides, acceptam iu­stisicationis gratiam a­mitti. Sess. 6. cap. 15. decreed, that Faith is lost by infidelitie, and by euery mortall sinne: though faith be not lost, yet the receiued grace of iustification is lost. As if a man could not loose his faith by any mor­tall sinne, but onely by infidelitie. [Page 332] And that by mortall sinne, a man might loose his former grace of iu­stification, & yet not loose his faith.

And according to that rule Bellar­mine writeth, De a­ [...] grat. & s [...] pec [...]at. lib. 1 cap. 8. sect: quod au­tem s [...]cundo. that there is no sin which doth necessarily exclude faith, but that which is opposed vnto it, which is infidelity. And this is mani­festly testified by experience. For we see among the Catholickes, manie publicke sinners, Murtherers, Forni­cators, Thieues, drūkards, who with­out all doubt, giue credit to all those things which the Church propoun­deth to be beleeued.

Coster the Iesuite, likewise En­chird. los. com. [...]ap. 4. [...] in p [...]oribus. p. 178. as the best Physitions by intempe­rancie, breaking the Rules of theyr arte, doe not thereby loose the skill and knowledge of Physicke: So a Christian, who against the testimony of his owne conscience, doth sinne contrary to the lawes of faith: ney­ther looseth his faith, nor ceaseth to bee Christian. And seeing that by faith, belieuers differ from Infidels, if sinners want faith they should be Infidels, and be separated from the [Page 333] Church, after the manner of Infidels. And yet sinners bel [...]g to the church, as Ta [...]es are in the same fielde with wheate. Good-fish in the same Net with bad.

But by the way, consider what kinde of persons they acknowledge for true belieuers: euen the worst, that almost can be. Publike sinners, Murtherers, Fornicators, Theeues, Drunkards: Such as ought for theyr leawd liues to be excommunicated: Such as be tares among wheate. A man may finde as holy beleeuers as these in Hell. Is this that faith which S. Iames would haue a man to shewe by his workes? It is true indeede, that their Assenting faith may bee found in such vngodly persons, for it is found in the very diuels Yet a true sauing faith, wherof the question is, cannot be found in any such persons as keepe a continued course in the practise of these sinnes.

True beleeuers may somtime sinne of infirmitie. yet not of wilfulnesse: Thogh they fall, yet they arise again, and doe not long continue in sinne.

[Page 334] Cyprian asketh Crede­rese inchri­stum quomo­do dicit, qui non fa [...]t, quod Chri­stus facere pr [...]c [...]pit. De simpl [...]. prae­lat. [...]6. vera fides est. qu [...] quod verbis dicit, mori­bus non con­tradicit. In Marc. 16. lib. 4. how any man can say hee belieueth in Christ, who doth not that which Christ comman­ded him to doe? As if hee had no true faith, who wanteth obedience.

That is true Faith (16 [...] saide Beda, which doth not contradict that in māners, which it speaketh in words. They might therefore better say, Such sinners neuer had true faith at all: and so cannot loose that which they neuer had.

Againe, obserue what their be­leeuers loose by their mortall sinnes; Though they loose not the habite, yet they loose the forme of faith: Yea, they loose the life of faith: for now it is become a dead faith, seeing it wanteth good workes. Yea, they loose the grace of iustification, and so become guilty againe of all theyr former sinnes.

They might as well loose faith it selfe, such a faith as is lost, will doe them no good. What an absurditie it is to hold, that a formed faith, and an vnformed faith; a liuing faith, and a dead faith; a iustifying faith, and a [Page 335] faith that iustifieth not; are one and the selfe same faith, hath bene suffici­ently proued already: Yet to this ab­surditie are they driuen, that so they may maintaine the vnitie of faith in all sorts of beleeuers. When as they should rather acknowledge, that their assenting faith, and a true iusti­fying faith, are distinct kindes, and that those who liue and continue in grosse sinnes, though they may haue the former, yet they neuer had; and therefore cannot possibly loose the later. Michael Medina one of their See Sixt. See nens bibli­othec sanct. lib. 6. [...]nnot. 179. fine & annot. 191. 1. Tim. 5. 8. Tit. 1. 16. owne Church, doth stiffely main­taine it, that though an vnformed faith doth not vanish away by mor­tall sinne, yet that sound faith which Christ requires in the Gospell, can­not stand with a peruerse continu­ance in haynous offences. And pro­ueth it by the testimonies of S. Paul. And therefore that they onely haue a true faith, who stil continue in wel doing.

But although that most of our ad­uersaries teach, that faith may not bee lost by deadly sinne: yet they [Page 336] hold, it may bee lost by Infidelitie: (as if Infidelitie were not a deadly sinne.) And if this be so, then Bellar­mines De iustificat. lib. 3 cap. 14. arguments, whereby he would prooue that faith may be lost, are al­together impertinent, and fall to the ground of themselues, seeing they are drawne from a relapse into sinne, not into Infidelitie. When the Lord spake by his Prophet, That if the righteous man did forsake his righ­teousness, and commit iniquitie, hee shall dye for the same, (which is the Cardinals first argument.) He spake not of a falling from righteousnes into Infielitie; but of a falling into mortall sinne, as they call it. When Christ said, Eue [...]y branch that bea­reth not fruite, hee will take away: hee vnderstood not of any reuolt to Infidelitie, but of the sinnes of omis­sion, in which men fayle in their du­ties. The like may be said of Christs words, that iniquity should abound, and charitie waxe cold. And of Pauls beating of his body, and bringing it into subiection, which bee other of his arguments for that purpose. He [Page 337] also endeuourth to proue it by 8. se­uerall examples of persons, who lost their faith. Yet all of them are in the same maner impertinent.

The bad Angels and Adam, be­fore their falles, had no such faith as now wee haue, nor any such pro­mise of perseuerance: yet dare hee not say that any of them fell to Infi­delitie. For the Diuels haue their as­senting faith, as before I haue pro­ued: but it is apparant, touching the rest whom hee alleadgeth. Wall the Cardinall say, that Saul, Dauid, Salo­mon, Peter, and Iudas, fell frō faith to Infidelitie? Became they Pagans by their falls? Did they not still prosesse the same God that they did before? Did they denye the trueth of his word? Why then will hee produce their examples, to prooue that a man may lose his faith, seeing he himselfe De amiss. grat. & stat. peccat. lib. 1. cap. 8. before taught, that faith cannot bee lost by any mortall sinne, but onely by Infidelitie? Let the Cardinall therefore, eyther alter his opinion, or bring more pertinent proofes.

But may true faith be lost by infi­delitie? [Page 338] may a iustified beleeuer be­come an Infidell, a Iew, a Turke, a Pagan? surely no. A man may quite loose their ass [...]ting faith, and of a professed Christian, become an Infi­dell; but he who hath a true Justify­ing faith, cannot quite loose it, he may fall in outward shew onely, still retayning faith in his heart: so did Peter in his fall, as shall afterward appeare: but he who falleth away in­deed and in truth, totally and finally, neuer had this iustifying faith. Mar­cellinus Bishop of Rome, seemed to fall into infidelitie, when he sacrificed to Idols, did he then loose his faith? was he then become an Infidell in­deed? Then may the Bishop of Rome, not onely erre in matters of faith, but likewise quite loose his faith, and become an Infidell, yea an Infidell then may be the head of the Romane Church. To auoyd this inconueni­ence, Bellarmine answereth, that he was neither Here [...]icke nor Infidell, but onely in outward acte for feare (19) De Rom. pontif. lib. 4. cap. 8. fine. of death, did sacrifice to Idolls. As if he kept faith in his heart, when he [Page 339] performed the outward act of an In­fidell. De Rom. Pontif. lib. 4. cap. 9. sect: ex qui­bus. And of Liberius, another Bi­shop of Rome, he likewise saith, That though it be true that he subscribed to the Arian heresie, yet hee was no Hereticke, but onely sinned in out­ward acte, as Marcellinus did. Why then may we not say, that a Iustified beleeuer, though hee through feare fall to the outward act of Infidelitie, yet still keepeth faith in his heart?

Moreouer, the testimonies which I alleadged out of the Fathers, are absolute & generall: as well against the losing of faith by infidelitie, as a­gainst the los [...]o [...]g of it by sinne.

But if any did fall to Infidelitie, not onely in outward act, but also in hart, totally, in deed, & in truth; they were iudged by the Fathers, neuer to haue had this faith. Augustine Procul­dubio nec illo tempore, quo bene, pie (que) vi­uunt, in isto numero com­putandi sunt, &c. De cor­rept. & grat. cap. 7. Ioh. 6. said, that those who doe not perse­uere, but so fall away from Christian faith and conuersation, that the end of this life finde them such; out of doubt, at that time, when they liued well and godly, were not to be rec­koned in the number of the elect, [Page 240] and of them who are called accor­ding to his purpose. So hee writeth Quia ergò non ha­buerunt Perseuerantiam, sicut non ve­rè Discipuli Christi: ita verae Fi [...]ij Dei fuerunt, eti­am quando esse videban­tur, & voca­bantur. De corrept: & grat: cap: 9. of the Discciples which for­sooke Christ at Capernaum; That they were called Disciples, the Gos­pell so speaking: and yet they were not Disciples in truth; because they abode not in his word; According to that which he saith; If yee abide in my Worde, yee are verily my Disciples. Therefore because they had not per­seuerance: As they were not truely the Diseiples of Christ, So neyther were they truely the sonnes of God, Euen when they seemed to bee, and were so called. And if they were not truely the Sonnes of God, they had no faith. For by Faith are we made the Sonnes of God, as the Ioh: 1. 12. Gal: 3. 26. scripture tea­cheth. Yea, the same Father profes­sedly expoundsng the place of Iohn, where those Disciples are mentio­ned, saith, Inter non credētes, & ipsi depu­tandi sunt, quamuis dis­cipuli, dice­rentur. In Ioh: 6. tract. 27. They were to be rec­koned among vnbelieuers, though they were called Disciples. If any suspect that I wrest his wordes con­trary to his meaning; Let him reade Maldonatus a Papist, who writeth, [Page 341] that (52) the Disciples which belee­ued (25) Au­gustinus & Beda existi­mant, nun­quam istos, qui retrò abi­erunt, habuis­se fidem, &c. Maldonat: in Ioh: 6. 66. not, when they followed Christ, were Iudas and the murmurers. And that Augustine and Beda doe thinke, that those which went backe, neuer had faith: no more then those, which S. Paul said 1. Tim. 5. 15. were turned backe after Satan; But of what faith must this be vnderstoode? What faith did those Disciples, and othe Reuolters want, when they were taken for Disciples, and Christians? Was it an Hystori­call, or assenting faith? The Iesuites will not yeeld that. Castor holdeth, that Enchi­rid: cap: 4. De fide. Sitne fides in pecca­torib: p: 179. all in the Church haue such a faith: yea, though they be as Tares among wheat, bad fish among good, foolish virgins, wanting oyle in their Lamps: as the guest, wanting a wed­ding-Garment: and like the ince­stuous Corinthian. Bellarmine, De Iu­stificat: lib: 1. cap: 15. sect: quartum Ar­gumentum. auoucheth, that all in the Church are such beleeuers, though they be wic­ked ones, and instanceth in the fore­named Parables: as if all the persons noted therein, had that faith, though they wanted charity & good works. Those Disciples, and other reuolters, [Page 342] before their backe-sliding were in the Church, and yet wanted faith. As Christ Ioh. 6. 64. himself, Augustine, and others haue taught. And therefore seeing that by the doctrine of the Ie­suites they could not want an histo­ricall and assenting faith, they must needs want another faith, namely, a true iustifying faith.

But of all others, Michael Medi­na is most plaine and copious in this point, as in parte I declared, when I spake of a temporary faith: yet more may be added, to shew his resolute opinion, that none haue true faith, but they which keepe it to the end. Verita­te Christiana vera Fides tantum illa iudicetur, quae habet ef­ficaciam con­sequendae sa­lutis, &c. Uera pro­fecto Fides vera dilectio­ne constat: vera autem dilectio illa tantum dici­tur veritate morali, quae perseueran­tiam habet & perma­nentiam, &c Deinde rogandus, an fidelis ille dicatur, aut emicus, qui horaria amicitia, aut fide illi fuisset con­iunctus, quod si non diceretur, quomam de ratione vere fidei & charitatis est permanentia, & constantia, &c. Apud Sext. Senens. Biblioth. lib. 6. annot. 214. According to Christian veritie (saith he,) onely that is to be iudged a true faith, which hath the efficacy of obtayning saluation. According to that; Hee that beleeueth in mee hath eternal life. And afterward he addeth; [Page 343] That true faith indeede, doth consist with true loue; but that onely is cal­led true loue by a moral truth, which hath perseuerance and continuance. And that the Scripture neuer called the faith of them who beleeue for a time, to be true saith. And that those who are damned, neuer had true faith. And in conclusion, he asked Soto, whether he is to be called faith­full, or a friend, who should be ioy­ned vnto him for an houre by friēd­ship and faith: which if he will not say, because continuance and con­stancie is of the nature and being of true faith and charitie; then cannot such offenders be called true belee­uers in Christ.

Cardinall Bellarmine holdeth a­gainst some who then liued, that Christ did not onely Ora­uit Dominus paulo post pro perseuerantia omnium apo­stolorum, imò etiam omniū Electorum. Ioh. 17. Pa­ter sancte, serua eos in Nomine tuo, quos dedisti mihi. De Rom. Pon­tif. lib. 3. cap. 3. sect: altera expositio. pray that Peter might continue in faith, and in the fauour of God vnto the end, but that he also prayed a little after, for the perseuerance of all the Apostles; yea also of all the elect. Ioh. 17. Ho­ly Father, keepe them in thy Name, whom thou hast giuen me. How then can the [Page 344] Faith of any of the Elect faile? Shall wee thinke that Christs Prayer was not heard? Doth not hee else-where acknowledge that the Father heard him alwayes? Was his prayer effec­tuall against the losse of grace and faith, by sinne, & not against the losse of them by Infidelitie? Then was his prayer heard but in part. How can they proue that difference?


IN prosecuting this point, I produ­ced Peuer, for an Example; who though he denyed his master with an Oath, yet still kept Faith in his heart. And least any should thinke, that this was a speciall priuiledge in Peter, I shewed, that Ioh: 17. 20. Christ pray­ed for others, as well as for him.

Now if there be any, who imagine that Christ prayed for them after a different maner, and to another end; let them remember what I alleadged before out of Augustine, touching Christs prayer for all the elect; name­lie, [Page 345] De Cor­rept. & grat. cap. 12. That Christ praying for them, that their Faith might not fayle: with­out doubt it shall not fayle vnto the end: and therefore shall continue vnto the end: neyther shall the end of this life find it o­therwise then remayning. But because that De Iusti­ficat: lib: 3. cap: 14. Bellarmine and others doe teach, that Peter did quite loose his faith, and the righteousnes thereof; I will let you see the testimonies of all sorts of writers to the contrary.

Tertullian Sed & cur Petrum? ob vigorem fidei. Ad­uers. Mar­cion. lib: 4. said his name was changed, and he was called Peter for the strength of his faith: but he ill deserued that name, and Christ erred in giuing him a name not a­greeable to his nature, if hee quite lost his faith.

Againe, hee speaking of Christs prayer for him, thus saith of those words, (That thy faith might not fayle) Ne defi­ceret Fides tua, id est, ne tantum Dia­bolo permit­teretur, vt fi­des periclita­retur, quo ostenditur, v­trum (que) apud Deum esse, & concussio­nem fidei, & protectionem cum vtrum (que) ab eo petitur. Et vti (que) Filius Dei protecti­one Fidei habet in sua potestate, &c. De fuga in persecut: that is, that so much might not be permitted to the Diuel, that his faith might be endangered. Where­by it is shewed, that both are with [Page 346] God, both the shaking of faith, and the protection, se [...]ing both are as­ked of him. The shaking is from the Diu [...]ll, the protection is from the Sonne. And surely the Son of God hath the protection of faith in his owne power, which hee asked of his Father, of whom hee receiueth all power in heauen and earth. If his faith was not endangered by the di­uel, but protected and kept safe by God, through the prayer of his Son, how can any truely say that hee lost his faith?

Hillary Cōment: in Psalm. 52. 4. taught (as is testifyed by Biblioth. sanct. lib. 5. annot. 181. Sixtus Senensis) that Peter in denying his Maister, lost not the firmenesse of his faith, because, al­though, through the trembling of his flesh which he could not brydle, his tongue burst forth into the deni­all of Christ: yet a firme faith of con­fessing Christ vnto Martyrdome, did not depart from his heart.

I might also vrge that, which not onely he In Math. can. 20. See Sixt. Se­nens Bibli­oth. lib. 6. annot 160. elsewhere, but likewise Ambrose, Com­m [...]t. in Luc. 22. lib. 10. together with him, hath written in excuse of Peters denyall: [Page 347] That he denyed him not to be God, but denyed, that he was only a man. Though See Sixt Senens. Biblioth. li. 6. annot. 160. Hieronym. in Math. 26. Theophylact. in Luc. 22. Ierome & Theophylact do confute them, because so to excuse the Apostle, were to make his Mai­ster a lyar, who told him before, that hee should that night denie him thrice. Yet doth In Luc. 22. [...]2. & in Math. 26. 75. quan­quam possu­mus Hylari­um & Am­brosium ab errore, beni­gna interpre­tatione libe­rare. Maldonatus excuse them both. And thereby they plainely declared, that they were farre from thinking that hee lost his faith. Augustine alleadged the pray­er of Christ for Peters faith, against the Pelagians, who held that man could not continue in grace and in faith, vnlesse mans free will did con­curre with Gods grace.

Dare thou say that Christ praying for Peter, that his faith might not faile, that it should haue failed, if Pe­ter (12) An au­debis dicere etiam rogante Christo, ne deficeret fides Pe­tri, defecturam, fuisse, si Petrus eam desuere voluisset. &c. Sed quia praeparatur voluntas à Domino, ideo pro illo non possit esse inanis Oratio, quando roga [...] ergò ne Fides eius deficeret: quid aliud rogauit, nisi vt haberet in Fide liberrimam, fortissimam, invictissimam, perseue­rantissimam volut atem? De corrept: & grat: cap. [...]. [Page 348] would haue had it to faile? (that is,) if hee would not haue had it to continue vnto the ende. As if Peter any way willed any other thing then Christ prayed for him, that he might will. But because the will is prepared of the Lord, therefore his prayer for him could not be in vaine. Therfore when he prayed, that his Faith might not faile: what else asked he, but that hee might haue in faith a most free, a most strong, a most inuincible, a most perseuering will.

Prudentius, that ancient and Chri­stian Poete, Fleuit [...]egator de­ [...] (que) ex ore prolapsum [...]efas, cùm [...]ens mane­ret innocens, [...]s (que) ser­ [...]aret fidem. Kathemerin. Hymn. ad Gallicant: paulo post ini­tium. thus wrote of Pe­ters denyall.

With mouth his Maister who deny'd,
Hee for that cryme did weepe:
When innocent his minde remainde,
And Faith his heart did keepe.

Leo Bishop of Rome, thus saith of Peter, Adsint [...]extera Do­ [...]ini Iesu Christs, qu [...] labentem te, prius quam deijcereris, exciperet, & firmit a­tem standi in ipso caden▪ di periculo recepists, vidit in te Dominus Fidem non fi­ctam, non delectionem auersam, sed constantiam fuisse t [...]rbatam. De Pass. Dom. Ser. 9. The right hand of the LORD IESVS CHRIST was pre­sent, [Page 349] which took thee vp, as thou was falling, before thou was cast downe: And thou receiuedst strēgth to stād, in the very danger of falling. The Lorde saw in thee, not that thy Faith was fained, nor thy loue turned from him, but that thy Constancie was troubled. Weeping abounded, when affection fayled not: and the foun­taine of Charitie washed the words of fearfulnes. Neither was the reme­die of abolishing deferred, where there was not iudgement of will.

Theophilact, doth make this para­phrase Quam­uis breu [...]tē ­pore concuti­endus sis: sed habes recon­dita semina fidei. Etiamsi folia abiece­rit (Pneuma) spiritus inua­dentis, sed Radix viuet, & non defici­et Fides tua: In Luc: 22. of the wordes of Christ to Peter, Luke, 22. 32. Although within a short time, thou must be shaken, yet thou hast the seedes of faith lying hid. Although the spirit (or winde) of the inuader, shall strike off the leaues, yet the roote shal liue, and thy Faith shall not fayle.

Bernard said, Etsi Princeps A­postolorum in profundū Ne­gationis sub­mergitur, non est tamen qui de manu Dei p [...]ssit eruere. Serm: de tripl: cohae­rent: vin: clau: & glut: Though Dauid be branded with the marke of horri­ble crimes, though the chiefest of the Apostles bee plunged into the depth of denyall. Yet is there none that can take them out of Gods hād.

[Page 530] And in an other place, Petrus [...] peccauit, charitatem [...] amisit, quia peccauit potius in ve­r [...]tatē, quam in charitatē, [...]m se non [...]sse [...]mentitus est in re, cu­ [...]us totus erat in corde. De natura & Dignit. a­ [...]or. Dium. cap. 6. Peter when he sinned, he lost not Charitie. He sinned rather against veritie, thē against charitie: when he told a lye, that hee was not his in deede, whose wholly he was in heart. And there­fore the loue of Truth, did presently wash away the denyall of falshood.

When hee could not be plucked out of Gods hands, whē he had cha­ritie, & when he was wholly Christs in hart; did hee euen then at that in­stant want faith? Surely no. These things appertaine not to vnbelieuers.

Beda ascribed such vertue to Christs prayer, for the confirmation of Peters faith, that he thus expounds them. Ipse [...]uam Fidem, [...] Satana tentante, de­fi [...]iat, orando protexi. In Luc. 22. l. 6. I haue by praying kept thy faith safe, that it shall not fayle when Satan tempteth thee.

The Maister of Sentences, resoluing the question, whether Peter had the faith of Christs Passion, when hee saw with his owne eyes, CHRIST as man to suffer? Answereth, Lumb. sent. lib. 3. dist. 24. B. That he had faith of his Passion, not in that hee belieued that man suffe­red, but in that he belieued, hee was [Page 351] God that suffered: thereby signify­ing, that he had not lost his faith, at the time of Christs Passion.

Caietane sayd, Def [...] ­cit confessio fidei, cùm ter Christum negauit, sed non defi [...] si­des, quonia [...] timore nega­uit, non in­credulitate. Luk. 22. 32. Peters confessi­on of faith failed, when he thrice de­nyed Christ: but his faith failed not, because hee denyed▪ through feare, not through incredulitie. Tollet also Petr [...] non negau [...]t esse Christū, fidemve eius abiecit, sed negauit se no­uisse eum. In Luc. 12. an­not. 23. that Peter neither denyed him to be Christ, nor cast away his faith, but denyed that he knew him.

Catharinus likewise, that Com­mentar. in epist. ad Ga­lat. 2. p. 260. Peter could not lose his faith: for the Lord had peculiarly prayed for him, that his faith might not faile. And least it might be thoght that he praied for that Sea only, and not for his person, he called him by his old name Simon, To wit, for thee Simon particularly.

Maldonatus vpon these wordes, All yee shall be offended by me this night: Non significat fidem apostolos perdituros fidem, e­nim nemo eorum perdidit, ne petrus quidē ipse qui nega­vit, &c. Comment. in Math. 26. 31. saith, that Christ did not signifie that the Apostles should loose theyr faith. For none of them lost it; No, not Peter himselfe, who denyed him. Although some olde Authors were [Page 352] wont so to speake, as if hee lost his faith. Not distinguishing the con­fession of faith, from faith it selfe: and the denyall of Christ, from the losse of faith, which are farre diffe­rent things. And so afterward, Com­mēt: in Mat: 27. 75. The vulgar error of them is to be ta­ken heede of, who thinke that Peter lost his faith. For he lost not his faith, but denyed it, which diuines say, is 24) Ore ne­gauit, animo retinuit. Comment: in Luc: 22. 32. another thing. And besides this, he saith, their opinion is false, who think that Peter lost his faith by denying. He denieth with his mouth, but kep [...] it in his heart, as we haue heard Am­brose, teaching on, Psalm. 43.

See then, what a clowde of wit­nesses wee haue against Bellarmine. But it would make any man to won­der to behold his inconstancy in this point. For he plainely contradicteth himselfe, euē like a right Iesuite, hol­ding the affirmatiue, or negatiue, as it best serued his present purpose.

When hee would proue that faith and iustice may be lost, De Iu­stificat: lib: 3. cap: 14. he pro­duceth Peters example to proue it, as if he lost both. He sorteth him with [Page 353] Adam, as if he lost his faith and iu­stice in the same manner that Adam did at his fall, & brought himselfe to the same estate, though hee recoue­red his former state, as well as Adam. Yea, herein the Cardinall equalleth Peter with the diuel, with Saul, with Iudas, & with Simon Magus. Though hee make him vnlike to them in the recouery of it, because hee got his faith againe, but they could not. Yet for the manner of loosing it, and for his present estate, after it was lost, till it was recouered againe, he maketh him altogether equal with them. Yet at other times, and vpon other occa­sions, he teacheth the cōtrary. When he pleadeth for the pope, that his ho­lines cannot erre, De Ro­man: Pontif: lib: 4. cap: 3. sect. Est [...]gi­tur tertia. At Petro Dominus i [...] ­petrauit, vt non posset vn­quam cadere, quod ad Fi­dem attinet. he auoucheth, That Christ by his Prayer obtained this priuiledge for Peter, that hee should neuer loose true Faith, though hee was tempted of the diuel.

Which he maketh more then the gift of perseuerance, because hee is saide to perseuere to the ende, who falleth, and riseth againe: and so is found faithfull in the ende. But the [Page 354] Lord obtained for Peter, that he could not euer fall, so farre as belonged to Faith. And brings in diuers Fathers to testi­fie this: And afterwards answering them who alledge Peters denyall, to proue that the Pope may erre; Hee saith, Addo pr [...] Christum à Petro nega­tum fuisse, Ore, roncor­de, [...]de per [...]idisse cō ­fessionem fi­dei nonipsam fidem. De Rom. Pontif. lib. 2. c. 8. [...]ct. Respon­demus, san­ctum. that Peter denyed Christ with his mouth, not with his heart. And therefore Peter lost the confessi­on of faith, but not faith it selfe. And confuting them, who held that Faith was onely in the brest of the Uirgine Mary, at the time of Christes passi­on: De Ec­cles. militant. [...]. 3. cap. 1. Hee saith, it is not proba­ble, that the Apostles then lost their faith, seeing Christ sayde to Peter, I haue pray­ed for thee, that thy Faith might not faile.

Is this man to be credited, who is so vncertaine in his opinion, and so contrary to himselfe? Is there such double-dealing to be found in the great Oracle of Rome? Did hee thus write of forgetfulnes, or of wilfulnes and set purpose? wherein will you belieue him? In the negatiue, or in the affirmatiue? Both are taught by him. A wise man finding him so contrary to himselfe, will belieue him no fur­ther, [Page 355] then hee soundly proueth the thing which he writeth.


IN the last poynt of the Sermons, touching the diuersitie of Fruite, brought foorth by the hearers of Gods word, I confuted the obserua­tion of some Papists, who thence would proue the excellencie of vir­ginitie, before widow-hood, or Ma­riage. As if the hundred-folde be­longed to Virgins, sixty-fold to Wi­dowes, and thirty-folde to Marryed persons. If those 3. reasons which then I alledged, will not satisfie you, I will adde more.

1. That collection cannot be war­ranted by any word or circumstance in the Parable, but onely from the exposition of some few Fathers. And therfore the Rhemists Annot. in Math. 13. 8. sect. 1. sp [...]ake pre­sumptuously in saying, that this dif­ference of fruits, is the difference of merites in this life: and that an hun­dred fold agreeth to Virgins, when as no sillable, nor word in all the Pa­rable [Page 356] doth import so much, & when as all the force of the argumēt depen­deth on the interpretation of some fewe Fathers. And Bellarmine, Demo­nach. lib. 2. cap. 9. writing of Euangelicall Councels, had no reason to place the argu­ment drawne thence, among testi­monies of Scriptures; but should ra­ther haue sorted it with the testimo­nies of the Fathers.

2. The Fathers who so expound it, doe not giue the litterall sense of the place, but deliuer an allegoricall or anagogicall exposition of it. As Maldonatus acknowledged, saying, Non tam interpretan­do quàm con­scionando, In Math. 13. 22. that Augustine and the Fathers spake so, not interpreting the Scrip­ture, but preaching to the people. Now the best learned among the Papists, as Biblioth. sanct. lib. 3. p. [...]36. Sixtus Senensis, Bellar. de verbo Dei. lib. 3. cap. 3. sect. Sed quan­quam. Aduers. Io­vinian. lib. 1. Bel­larmine, and others doe teach, that no forcible arguments can be drawn from any sense, but onely from the literall sense; because that which is gathered immediately from the words, is certainely the meaning of the Holy Ghost: but it is not alwaies certaine that other senses bee inten­ded [Page 357] by the Holy Ghost.

3. There is not any one Father, saue onely Ierome, who so expoun­deth it as the Rhemists doe; That an hundred folde agreeth to Virgines: but eyther expound it in the same maner that I did, or otherwise apply those differences of fruite, then Ie­rome did. Will they forsake all the the rest of the Fathers & follow one? Were they not sworne Sess. 4. according to the decree of the Councell of Trent, and according to the Nec sa­cram scriptu­ram vnquam nisi iuxta v­nanimem cō ­sensum pa­trum, accipi­am & inter­pretabor. Bulla Pij. 4. super forma Iuramenti professionis fi­dei, Annex: concilio. Bull of Pius 4. neuer to expound Scrip­ture but according to the vnanimous consent of the Fathers? Would they, or will others wittingly and wilfully forsweare themselues, that so they may crosse vs, and get some shew of patronage for the dignitie of their vnchaste votaries? And whom doe they follow? Euen him, that of all the Fathers, is least worthy to be re­spected in this point, being very par­tiall, and no indifferent Iudge of this matter. Beatus Rh [...]nanus said, Veteres omnes, at (que) adeo Hiero­nymius ipse, matrimonto parum aequi fuerint, vir­ginitatem & castitatem maximi faci­entes. Certè constat Hieronymum hac de causa Romae male audisse. Argument, in Tertul. lib. de exhort. ad castitat. All [Page 358] the old writers, and especiall Ierome himselfe, were little indifferent to mariage: chiefely esteeming virgini­tie and chastitie. It is certaine, that Ierome for this cause was euill spo­ken of at Roma. When hee had writ­ten his bookes against Iouinian, in commendation of virginitie aboue mariage, they so displeased many, as that Pammachius, his olde schole­sollew, fignifying so much to him by a letter, Apolog. ad pammac. pro libr. ad­vers. Iovini­an. he was faine to make an apologie for himselfe. And they who found fault with him for that, were neyther meane, nor base, nor few. Impen­dio semper fa­v [...]ns virgini­tati, & obid nuptijs [...] ­qui r [...]quam episcopi qui­dam esse vo­l [...]bant. Ar­gum in lib. 1. aduers. [...]ou [...] ­nian. Erasmus saith, that hee al­waies exceeding much fauoured vir­ginitie: and for that was more vne­quall to mariage, then certaine Bi­shops would haue had him. Yea, and Mul­tos off [...]nde­rant libri, quod propon­sior [...]deretur in laud [...]m virginitatis quam opor­tuisset, & du­rior in ma­trim [...]m. Argum. in apolog. ad Pammac. that his bookes offended many, beccause he seemed to be more for­ward in the commendation of virgi­nitie then hee ought, and harder a­gainst mariage. But although that hee by that his application, did pre­ferre [Page 359] virginitie before mariage, yet doth he acknowledge that marryed persons are good soyle, & do bring forth, one sort of those fruits, name­lie, thirtie fold. And whereas some in those dayes, as more vnequall to mariage, (as hee thought) referred the 100. fold fruite to Martyrdome, and 60. fold to Virgins, & 30. fold to Widowes: hee blamed them for it, saying, Si sunt sancta con­sortia nuptia­rum, cur ex­cluduntur abono frue­tus. Com­mentor in Math. 13. Erasm. scho­lia. in lib. 1. aduers. Io­uin. num. 6. If the coniunctions of mariage bee holy, why are they ex­cluded from good fruit? And so he ouerthroweth the force of Bellar­mines argument, drawne from hence, to prooue that single life is an Euan­gelicall councell. De mo­nach. lib. 2. cap. 9. That which Christ doth not command (saith he) but commend, he counselleth. Now in the opinion of Ierome, Christ doth here commend mariage, though not commaund it: and it yeeldeth good fruite, as well as single life, though not altogether so great store. And therefore if the one be an Euangeli­call Councell, the other also is.

But now I will shew that the rest of the Fathers doe otherwise exopūd [Page 360] the wordes then Ierome did. And therefore hee being alone, must not be followed. Cyprian alluding to the words, giueth indeed an allegoricall exposition: yet hee saith, Primus enim, cente­rius marty­rum fructus est, secundus sexagenarius vester. De disciplin. & habit. virgin. sect. 1. that the first number, 100. folde, is the fruit of Martyrs: and the second, 60. fold is yours, yee Virgins.

Pam [...]lius Atqui longè aliter D. Hieron. Graeci vero comment. Cy­priani se quuntur, sen­tent [...]m. A [...] ­ [...]ot. in Cypr. ibid. num. 78. acknowledgeth this difference betwixt Cyprian & Ierome: and confesseth, that the Greeke Com­mentaries, do follow the opinion of Cyprian. If therefore Bellarmine from Ieromes exposition, referring an hun­dred-fold to Virgins, can proue vir­ginity to be an Euangelical councel: wee may also from the exposition of Cyprian, and the Greek Commentors, referring the hundred-folde to Mar­tyrs, proue that Martyrdome is an E­uangelicall Councell. But heerein see the cunning of the Cardinal, De monach. li. 2. cap. 9. sect. tertium testi­mon. who in that his argumēt, could con­ioyne these two Fathers together, as if they both expounded the place a­like, and both commended virgini­tie alike.

Thogh the Cardinall, & likewise the [Page 361] Rhemists, doe also for the same pur­pose ioyne Augustine with Ierome, yet he differeth more from him, then Cy­prian doth. In one place Cen­tesimū mar­tyrum, prop­ter satieta­tem vitae vel contemptum mortis. sexa­gesimum vir­ginum prop­ter ocium in­terius, quia non pugnant contra consu­etudin [...] car­uis triceci­mum coniu­gatorum, quia haec est aetas prae lian­tium. Quaest. evangel. li. 1. cap. 9. he saith, the hūdred fold belōgeth to martyrs, for the society of life, & contempt of death: The sixty fold to Virgins, for theyr in­ward rest, because they fight not against the custome of the Flesh: The thirtie fold to Marryed-folkes, because this is the age of warryers.

In an other place [...]uic­quid significet foecunditatis illa diuersitas, vid [...]rint qui haec melius quam nos intelligunt. siue, &c. Siue quod pro­babilius mihi, videtur, quoniam divinae gratiae multa sunt munera, & est aliud alio maius & melius: vnd aicit a­postolus, aemulamini autem dona meliora. De virginit. lib. 45. he propoun­deth the matter very doubtfully, and scarce dare determine it, saying thus; What that diuersitie of fruitfulnesse signifieth, Let them see who vnder­stand these thinges better then wee: Whether the Uirgines life bee in the hundred fruite; the Widowes, in the sixtie; and the Maryed, in the thirty. Or rather, that the hundred-folde fruitfulnes is to be imputed to Mar­tyrdome; [Page 362] the sixty fold to Continenci [...] and the thirty fold to Mariage. Or whether Uirginitie, Martyrdome bee­ing added to it, fulfill the hundred folde: But being alone, is in the six­tie. And Maryed folkes, bringing forth thirty fold, may come to sixtie folde, if they be Martyrs. Or else, that which seemeth most probable to mee, that there are many giftes of the diuine grace, and one is greater and better then an other. Where­vpon the Apostle sayd, Desire yee the best giftes. Where you see hee pro­poundeth fou [...]e seuerall opinions, maketh Ieromes to bee most impro­bable. But that which I shewed to be the sense of the place, namely, that by the diuersitie of the fruite, is meant the diuersitie of graces and giftes in men, to be most probable.

May not they then bee ashamed, that say, he ascribed an hundred fold to U [...]rgins? Indeede hee else-where (19) Au­gustin. de [...]i­vit. Dei. lib. 21. cap. 27. relateth an opinion of some, who so vnderstoode the diuersitie of that fruit; As if it signified, that the Saintes for the diuersitie of their me­rites, [Page 363] should at the day of iudgemēt, some of them saue thirtie, some sixtie, some an hundred. Which he reiec­teth as absurd, Yet hath it a good Warrant from the Text. And is al­most the same, with the Rhemistes, who say, Annot. in Math. 138. sect. 1. that this difference of Fruites, is the difference of Merites in this life, and rewardes for them in the life to come: according to the di­uersities of states, as that the hun­dred folde agreeth to Uirgines pro­fessed, &c. Especially considering, that they Annot. on 2. Cor. 2. 10. sect. [...]. & Annot. on Coloss. 1. 24. sect. 4. holde, that they may meria and satisfie, as well for others, as for themselues.

Athanasius referred the diuersitie of these fruits, not to those estates of men and women, but to the obedi­ence which they yeeld to the worde taught, saying; Homil. de parabol. sementis. Vbi doctrina opus procedit, & fructus ope4um soli­d [...], &c. That wee doe Tyll and Sowe this Field, that it may yeeld fruite: Yet doe we not know the condition of the Soyle: The likenesse of the Leaues doth often deceyue the mai­sters of the Tyllage. But when doctrine proceedeth vnto Worke, and the fruite of works waxeth stronger, then is it known [Page 364] who is a Belieuer, who an Hypocrite.

To the same effect wrote Chryso­stome, and Gregorie Nazianzene, whose words I need not to set down, seeing Cardinall Tollet Com­ment. in Luc. 8. annot. 17. confesseth, that not only Augustine and Athanasius, but like wise they two, do referre this difference vnto theyr persons; Yet so, as some worke well, some worke bet­ter, some worke best of all in this world. And thinketh this to be a more pro­bable opinion, then theirs who re­ferre it to mens seuerall estates, be­cause they who are in a perfect state, doe not alwayes liue perfectly.

Gregory 1. like wise referreth them not to any such states of men, but vn­to their personall behauiour in theyr estates, whatsoeuer they be, In Eze­ [...]el. lib. 2. ho­ [...]il. [...]7. say­ing, that men bring forth thirty folde, when theyr minde conceyueth the perfecti­on of Faith in the Trinitie. And sixty fold, when they perfectly bring foorth the workes of a good life. And an hundred folde, when they proceede to the contem­plation of eternall life. Here is no speech at all of Virgines. Beda In Marc. 4. writeth to the same effect, and almost in the [Page 365] same wordes.

As for the Popish writers, the el­der sort are doubtfully; Tho. Aquin. Au­rea catena. in Math. 13. Ludolph. de v [...]ta Christi. part. 1. cap. 64. D. for they propound many expositions, and wil not determine which is the best: yet the yonger sort are peremptorie, and hold with vs. Ferus relateth those se­uerall expositions, deliuered by Tho­mas and Ludolphus: Quòd idem ver­bum Dci maiorem fructum in vno homine faciat, quàm in alio, secun­dum quod terra ipsa magis idonea est. Commēt. in Math. 13. how some referre thē to beginners, to proceeders, and to the perfect: some to Uirgines, Widowes, and maried persons: some to thought, speeche, and deede: some to them, who expose their goods, their bo­dies, and their liues for Christ. Yet (saith he) Christ seemeth heere to meane, that outwardly the worde of GOD doth conuert more in one place then in another: and also that the same word of God, doth bring forth more fruit in one man then in another. Ac­cording as the ground is fitter.

Tollet hauing propounded the dif­ferent expositions of some Fathers, Domi­nus de fruc­tu ipso loqui­tur, qui non semper statui respondet praeterea loquitur de fructu semi­nis dum est in terra, volens significare se loqui de ijs qui in hoc seculo fructus hosce referunt. Comment. in Luk. 8. annot. 17. saith, their opinion is the fittest, [Page 366] who referre that difference of fruits vnto mens persons, as they worke well, better and best in this world, in what estate soeuer they bee; be­cause they doe not alwaies liue per­fectly, who are in a perfect state. And it often commeth to passe, that they who are in a lower state, bring forth greater and more abundant fruite, then they who are in an higher: for the Lord speaketh of the fruit it self, which is not alwaies answerable to the state. And hee speaketh of the fruite of the seede, while it is in the earth. Whereby he would signifie, that hee spake of them, who bring forth these fruits in this world.

Iansenius saide, Cente­sim [...]m affe­runt, qui per­fectam ac su­mam vitam agu [...]t: sexa­gesimum ve­ro qui medio­crem, trige­simum qui in feriores sunt, fructum ta­men bonum afferentes pro suis viribus. Concord. E­uangel. c. 47. They bring forth an hundred folde, who leade a perfect and chiefest life. They bring forth sixty fold, who lead an indiffe­rent good life. And they thirty, who are inferiour, yet bring forth good fruite, according to theyr abilitie.

M [...]ldonatus reckoneth vp fiue se­uerall opinions out of the Fathers, yet will not stand to any of them: but saith, Fruc­tum vocat, aut operabo­na, quae sidei & verbi Dei fructus esse solent. vt Math. 21. 43. aut vi­tam [...]ter­nam. v. 2. Cor. 9. 6. In Math. 13. 23. That Christ calleth [Page 367] fruite, eyther Good workes, which are accustomed to be the fruits of Faith, and of the word of God: As when it is sayd, The kingdome of God shall be taken from you, and giuen to an other Na­tion, which shall bring forth the fruites thereof. Math. 21. 43. Or else eter­nall life, as 2. Cor. 9. 6. Galat. 6. 7. 8. Iam. 3. 18.

Do not therfore blame me, though in expounding the variety of those fruites, I doe dissent from the Rhe­mists, and from the Cardinall, seeing I haue the consent of so many of the Fathers, and of your owne writers.


BVt to conclude, least I might seeme, ouer-much to exceed the l [...]ngth of a Postscript, I knowe (1) See con­cil. Chalce­don. act. 1. your Priests do confidently tell you, that they haue all the anciēt Fathers on their side against vs; Euen as Eu­tiches and Dioscorus insolently brag­ged, 1. that the Fathers taught their errour. And as the Arians falsly pre­tended, Atha­nas. epist. De sentent. Dio­nysij, Alex­andr. contra. Arianos. that Dyonisius Alexandri­nus [Page 398] was of their opinion. And as the Pelagians Bellarm. de amiss. grat. & statu peccat lib. 4. cap. 9. alledged, Clemens Alex­andrinus, Ambrose, Arnobius, Chrysost: & others, as maintainers of their he­resie. I haue therfore giuen you a tast of that vntruth, euen in those Con­trouersies, touched in these sermōs. The like hath bene done by others, and may be done againe, in other Controuersies. Doe not therefore belieue those their vaine brags.

Againe, whereas they boast much of vnitie, doe make it a marke of the Church, and would thereby proue Bellarm. de notis ec­cles. l b. 4. cap. 10. themselues to be the true church: you may by these few points euidently see, that they haue many iarres and contentions about the chiefest points of faith: As the Ari­ans long agoe were Socrat. histor. lib. 5. 22. noted, not onely to differ in opinion from the orthodoxall fathers of the Church, but likewise to differ much one from another, and that in many points of religion. So may it now be obserued, that the papists doe not onely varie from vs, but likewise dissent many waies one from ano­ther. [Page 399] And that not onely in ceremo­nies and circumstances, or matters of lesser moment, as they charge vs to contend among our selues, but likewise in the substantiall points of mans saluation, in the very forme, nature, and properties of a iustifying faith.

And lastly, whereas you all pre­tend, that you haue that true faith in Iesus Christ, which is able to saue your soules: I would wish you to consider, that all those doe deceiue themselues therein, who doe not te­stifie their faith by their workes as the Apostle teacheth. Much hath bene written, and that by sundry men, in times past, touching the bad maners of Rome, we who reade those reports, and doe knowe the maner of your conuersation, may well ima­gine, that sinfull deeds are the pro­per fruites of poperie. And that pa­pists wheresoeuer they be, whether at Rome or else where, are all alike prophane in their behauiour. I know that like pharises, you are very strict in obseruing humane preceps, as not [Page 400] to eate an egge in Lent; not to doe any worke on one of the superstiti­ous holydaies, abrogated in our Church; not to go out of the doores, before you haue blessed your selues with the signe of the crosse, not to take the better hand of a crosse stan­ding in the high way side: not to speake of a dead man, vnles you say, God haue mercy on his soule.

Yet are most of you very carelesse in keeping Gods commandements. Where may we finde more vngodly swearing, more impious profanati­on of the Sabboth, more wilfull dis­obedience to lawfull authoritie, more beastly drunkennes, and disor­dered drinkings and swaggering, more filthy whoredome, more wast­full gaming, more bitter rayling, and vncharitable back-byting, then is to be seene in the Recusants, and non­communicants of this Countrey? And so infectious is sinne, that theyr bad example doth corrupt the mind and manners of manie about them. Doe these hope to be saued by their good works? Will these be accoun­ted [Page 401] confessours of their Religion? And yet keepe no good conscience in their conuersation? Augustine Boni sunt ca­tholici, qui & fidē integram sequuntur, & bonos mores. Quaest. in Mat. ca. 11. said truely, That they are good Catho­liks, who follow both sound Faith, and good manners. Why then should we account them good Catholickes, who haue neither sound Faith, nor good manners?

The Lord of his mercie, open your eyes, that you see his truth, and some out of Babel: And also worke true faith in your hearts, that you may through his Sonne, inhe­rite his euerlasting king­dome.



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