THE MIRROVR OF HVMILITIE: OR Two eloquent and acute Discourses vp­on the Natiuitie and Passion of Christ, full of diuine and excellent Me­ditations and Sentences. Published first in Latine by the worthy Au­thor Daniel Heinsius, and since done in­to English, by I. H. Master of Arts in Mag. Coll. Oxon.

Aeschin. erat. in Ctesiphont.

LONDON, Printed by Bernard Alsop, and are to be solde at his house by Saint Annes Church neere Aldersgate. 1618.

TO THE WORSHIPFVLL, his worthy friend, Thomas Nicholas Esquier, as also to the vertuous and religious Gentlewoman, Mrs. Iane Nicholas his wife, and my must louing Aunt, all happinesse of this, and a better Life.

Worshipfull Sir,

THe due respect I beare vnto your worth, and the thankes I owe vnto you for the many [Page] arguments of your loue, and in­couragemēts of my studies which I haue receyued from you, were the maine motiues that induced mee to tender vnto your accep­tance, and to commit vnto your patronage this little Pamphlet and Alpha of my endeauours: Let me entreat your goodnesse to enter­taine it. It consisteth of two dis­courses, vpon the Natiuitie and Passion of our Sauiour. The Mat­ter thereof is as he spake of the yron, borrowed: the Language is our owne. That wherein they both concenter and agree, is no lesse then CHRIST; then whom there is no greater, no better. For if the pursuite of anie thing be­sides the happinesse of Heauen be still without end, and neuer with­out danger: then may wee bee fully ascertained, that CHRIST a­lone [Page] is the chiefest obiect, where­on we may fixe the eye of our per­petuall contemplation, and em­brace him with the armes of our deuoutest Affection: who is a Load-starre to direct vs vnto Hea­uen. I will not so much preiudi­cate your zealous intentions, as to perswade you to reade what I haue written: but rather to pardon, if I haue written amisse.

Thus am I still iealous of mine owne errours and inability, bee­ing no lesse desirous to submitte my selfe vnto your iudicious cen­sure: hoping that hereafter I shall addresse my selfe vnto the per­fecting of some larger proiect: yet euer acknowledging that you deserue more then I can performe, and that you haue performed more then I can deserue. And therefore euer consecrating vnto [Page] you both my paines and my pray­ers: the one for your ser­uice, and the other for your safety:

I euer remaine, Yours to bee commaunded, in whatsoeuer, IO: HARMAR.

To the courteous Reader.

NOthing more hard then to please all, nothing more ahsurde then to endeauour it. I am therefore (for my part) resolued to content my friends, and to contemne my foes. They I know, will mildly iudge, these will peruersely censure: being far worse then the Basilisques, they kill before they see. Well, it were impietie to flat­ter them, imbecillity to feare them.

Thine as thou pleasest, I. H.


HOM. I. Vpon the Natiuity of Christ.

THe Epicureā Phi­losophers, (Re­uerend and right worthy Auditors) who neuer had so much as the least relish of coelestiall ioy and happinesse, reposing their chiefest felicity in brutish and corpo­rall pleasure, were accustomed to ce­lebrate [Page 2] the twentieth day of euery moneth in honour of their Archma­ster Epicurus, surmising a twentieth day to haue been the day of his Nati­uitie. And not onely so, but also they adorned their bedde-chambers with his picture, and engraued his portraiture in their plate and ringes, that they might alwayes behold him whom they meant euer to remember. Thus much homage and duty did those prophane & effeminate Pagans performe vnto him that was the pa­trone of their opinion of pleasure. No maruell then if the Church of Christ hath consecrated one day vnto her Sauiour, for the solemnization of his Natiuity, and for the perpetuation of so ineffable a mystery. And yet how­soeuer the mysterie of the Incaruation of the Sonne of God be so great, and the benefite of it no lesse; how lightly do we regarde it, how perfunctorily doe wee celebrate it? I doubt not, but we all plainely see, that by the comming of Christ, God was vnited vnto man, and man reunited vnto God; the ri­gor [Page 3] and seuerity of the Law abated, graces giuen, iniquities forgiuen, and yet how lightly doe we regarde it? how perfunctorily doe wee celebrate it? Some there bee that rather desire to bee curiously inquisitiue into the mystery, then to acknowledge the depth of it with modesty: and doe endeauour to apprehend that by na­turall reason, which farre passeth the flight of humane vnderstanding.

But wee (Beloued) that thinke it to bee a more secure way, and of lesse trouble and perplexitie, rather to a­dore the supernaturall excellency of it, then to assay with a Scotish and a sottish subtiltie, to diue into it; first of all, let vs thinke vpon his cradle, and then afterwards vpon his crown: Let vs take our flight from his humi­lity, that we may at the last so are vnto the chiefest height and sublimity. Let vs consider his conception, his na­tiuitie, his pouerty, his infancie, his impotency; and let vs meditate vpon that blessed, blessed time, wherein hee tooke vpon him not onely the weake [Page 4] nature of man, but also the weakest age of man.

Let vs fixe our thoughts vpon that thrice happie and auspicious day, a day farther excelling many centuries of yeares in goodnesse, then it doth come short of them in extent. A day, whereon Maiestie inuested it selfe with despicable humility, where­on the Word became flesh, GOD became man.

And yet so, that the dignitie & integritie of the Deitie were nothing impeached, although seemingly de­graded and impaired; neyther was there any thing wanting to compleate and absolute humanity which was as­sumed. Now if any man bee so au­dicious, as to prie into the secresie of this Mysterie, and without witte or feare, to addresse himselfe to the dis­couerie of the manner of it, hee may perchaunce quickly strike saile, and retire with an O Altitudo! and still bee as farre from the fruite of his la­bour as from the ende.

If wee looke vpon the Diuinitie, [Page 5] God the Father is, and hath alwayes [...]eene, and is alwayes sayde to bee. Both which properties, alwayes to haue [...]eene, and to be, are as iustly attributed [...]nto the Sonne. For the Deity of the Sonne is not distinguished from the Deitie of the Father. The Sonne is [...]ee that was begotten of the Father, [...]oequall with the Father, in respect [...]f his Essence, though not in regard [...]f his office. Now if thou inquirest, when Christ was begotten, then thou must of necessitie deuolue thy imagi­nation vpon some parcell of time, vn­to which the Deitie can no way bee [...]onfined. And the Sonne, beeing if I may so speake) paralell to the Father, is as well beyond the boundes of time, as the Father. For how can the Sonne bee limited by time, which is, and hath been with the Fa­ther before all time? begotten before all time, as God; but borne in time as man.

As hee is God, so he had no cause of his being; as hee is the Sonne, so hee may in some sort be say de to haue [Page 6] had his origination from the Father; but such a one as is eternall. Heere may mans conceit yeeld it selfe to be but shallow; heere against the marble of this difficultie, may the edge of all subtilitie be rebated: here may the illiterate presume to know as much as the learned. For whatsoeuer is, and hath beene before all time, well may it be credited, it can neuer be compre­hended. For that that hath beene e­ternally before the existence or essence of man, is no lesse beyond the reach and capacitie of man. For as the ima­gination and vnderstanding of man, cannot bee euer drawne beyond the beginning of time, or the extent: So neither without time was euer any man begotten, besides Christ which was man and God, and as vpon this day was borne Man: whom if wee sur­mise to haue beene made, that is blas­phemie: If wee thinke that hee was not begotten, wee shall then derogate much from the Deitie: If wee denie his Humanitie, we then runne the ha­zard of losing our eternall safety, [Page 7] being the fruit and end of his Nati­uitie. Thus (to speake in generall) must wee acknowledge euery thing in God to bee farre aboue the straine of reason, but nothing beyond the reach of faith. No lesse ought wee to conceiue of God the Sonne in particular. For hee is also totall God, as hee is totall man; and yet not totally God because hee is also man; nor totally man, because hee is also God. O in­effable vnion! Surely, this coniuncti­on and combination of the diuine & humane nature, proceeded only from the immediate and sole act of the Deitie. And therefore now, O man, see that thou adore and reuerence this mysterie, and vpon this day thinke vpon thy happy estate and conditi­on, purchased by the obedience and humility of thy Sauiour: who being borne as vpon this day, was notwith­standing begotten from euerlasting: & being God, for mans sake, became man: There being no way to saue man but by dying for man, and no way to dye for man, but by being man.

[Page 8] Here may, wee beholde both his Deitie and Humanitie: The one must worthily be esteemed, because the other is worthy to bee admired.

Man could not be made God, and therefore God became Man. And to this end & purpose, that thou, O man, mightest acknowledge thy Creators power, & embrace thy Sauiors lowli­nesse; that so, although his Maiesty con­found thee, yet his Humility may com­fort thee.

It will bee worthy our contem­plation, if we think, how, as vpon this day God that is most purely immate­riall, and free from all shadow of cor­poreity, was vnited vnto a body: how he that was inuisible became appa­rent and euident; how he that could not bee discerned by the touch, was as vpon this day encompassed with the clasping armes of his tender mo­ther: How hee that neuer had begin­ning, now beganne to be: and lastly, how the Sonne of God became the Sonne of man. So that as vpon this day, God and men, heauen and earth, [Page 9] mortality and eternity, humanity and diuinitie were combined. In whom? in our Sauiour: Whom the Father hath appointed Heyre of all things, by whome also he made the World, being the bright­nes of his glory, and the expresse image or character of his person, who being no lesse admirable for his humility, then incomprehensible in respect of his pow­er, descended farre below the pitch of his eminencie, that hee might preserue by his mercy, what hee had created by his omnipotency. Hee that once was cloathed with the lustre of glory and maiesty, no lesse terrible then admira­ble, whom neither Angels nor Arch­angels, nor Seraphims, nor Cheru­bims could endure to behold; he that once was Lord of hosts, the God of glory, hee that once could with his onely countenance turne the moun­taines topsie-turuie, and wind-shake the foundations of the whole earth: Hee I say, as vpon this day, for vs be­come as one of vs.

The vnspeakable Maiesty of the Father manageth the mysterie, the inef­fable [Page 10] loue and affection of the Sonne as­sumeth our flesh, the incomprehensible power of the Spirite resideth within the narrow limits of the wombe; albeit it cannot bee contained in the vaste ca­pacity & circuit of the world. On this day was death vanquished, because life was produced: On this day was ly­ing abolished, because truth was mani feited: on this day was errour aban­doned, because the true way was dis­couered: on this day was the Man­na of mercie, and the dole of heauen di­stributed, which hee that eates shall not die; but liue eternally. O blessed day, O beautifull and glorious day! A day without euening or ending; the verie period of mortalitie, the begin­ning and alpha of eternitie. A day of our second Natiuitie and Regenerati­on, wheron, that man might bee borne of God, God would be borne like man. In the Creation man was formed accor­ding to the image of God, but now God taketh vpon him the Image of man.

In the beginning God made man [Page 11] of the earth: but now euen GOD himselfe is made that that hee made, that that might not perish that he had made. Now therefore, let the wise­dome and power of man be defaced, seeing the wisedome of God is so clearely manifested. Henceforth, the lame shall walke, the blinde shall see, the deafe shall heare, the dumbe shall speake, the dead shall reuiue, and that with one word, because it is the Word that speaketh, yea & without a word, because it is God that commaundeth. O ioyfull day! O happy halcyonian day! whereon the Sonne of God by his voluntarie humiliation, and by the assumption of our humanity and humi­litie hath now affianced vs vnto him­selfe, by entring with vs the league of brotherhood and fraternitie. A day, whereon hee was borne which was before all dayes, euen the Ancient of dayes; he that made the first day: he sayde, Let there be light, and there was Gen. 1. 4. light. A day, whereon Emanuel (whose name is sweeter then the sweetest aro­maticke odours of Arabia) being with [Page 12] man, amongst men; in man, for man became man. A day that Abraham, and Isaack, and Iacob foresaw. On Gen. 27. 23. this day man ascended, because God descended; and our flesh was aduan­ced and ingraced, because the Word was made flesh. Ioh. 1.

Hitherto haue wee beene the sonnes of Adam, now are wee the sonnes of God: a new people, a new nation, not borne of flesh and bloud, nor of the will of man, but of God. All things Iohn 1. 13. hitherto haue been too transcendent, imperuious without entrie, full of hor­rour and amazement: but now wee may haue free accesse vnto God, the way is neyther chargeable, nor tedi­ous: And therefore now, O man, come vnto thy God, and yet by the mediation of man. For on this day thy Sauiour, of God, became Man; that he might reioyne man to God. O ineffable loue! O incredible mercy! O vnspeakable grace and fauour! wee all acknowledge the inuisible Essence, and indiuisible Vnitie of God the Father and the Sonne; insomuch that the Es­sence [Page 13] of that one hath not beene like to the other onely, but euen identical: and yet hee that is one with God, was as vpon this day made one with man; that man might bee made one with God.

Come now therfore vnto thy Cre­ator, O man: touch thy Creator, & embrace him, touch thy Sauiour, and adore him. Come thou, O blessed Church, draw neere vnto thy Bride­groome; O let him bee folded with­in the armes of thy zeale and affecti­on. For hee hath taken a great iour­ney, euen as farre as it is from heauen to earth, that hee might translate thee from earth to heauen. God hee is, that hee might free and enfranchize thee: and man he is, that without ter­rour and amazement hee might come vnto thee. So that hee hath well tem­pered his Deitie with humanity, and his Maiesty with humility: for as the one confoundeth, so the other comfor­teth; as the one amazeth, so the other animateth. And therefore come bold­ly, and confidently meete thy Saui­our, [Page 14] and as well with thy teares, as with thy words. O crie out and say, I haue found him whom my soule loueth: I helde him and would not let him goe, vntill I had brought him into my mo­thers house, and into the Chamber of her that conceiued me. O let him kisse mee Cant. 3. 4. with the kisses of his mouth: Draw me, wee will runne after thee because of the sauour of thy sweete ointments. Come Cant. 1. 4. O blessed Church, and sing; Vnto vs a Childe is borne, vnto vs a Sonne is Esay 9. 6. giuen; the almighty God, the euerlasting Father, the Prince of peace. Come, I say, and sing with the Psalmist; I way­ted patiently for the Lord, and he enclined vnto me, and heard my crye: In my bed I sought him whom my soule loueth. Tell me, whom my soule loueth, where feedest thou? where lyest thou at noone? Let vs beloued, goe into our Sauiours little and homely chamber of repose, and let vs delight and imparadize our selues with so louely an obiect as our Sauiour is. Away with those proud and insolent Pharises, who presume they know the Law, and yet know [Page 15] not the author of it. Away with Arrius, who held that there was a time when Christ was not. O let him bee perpetually branded with the note of this his infamous and execrable here­sie. Let him tell mee, when had hee no being, which had being in a be­ginning without beginning? In the beginning was the Word. When had Ioh, 1. 1. hee no being which is God from e­uerlasting? And the Word was God, ibid. At what time was he not, which is, and was the Authour of time? All things were made by him, and without him nothing was made, ibid. Away with the No [...]tians and Sabellians, that confounded the Trinity of persons, that held but one person, as there is but one Essence. Away with that igno­minious Stigmatike Samosatenus, that euen when he reposed himselfe vpon the prostituted carkasse of a base and odious strumpet, was so impudent & audacious as to detract and derogate from the Deitie of our Sauiour: and besides this, did not blush to affirme the eternal word of God to be nothing [Page 16] else but a meere vanishing voyce. A­way with Ualentinus, and Apelles, and Marcio, that laboured to disanull Christs humanity. Away with Nesto­rius, that held, that the diuine and hu­mane nature were separated and di­uulsed: and moreouer endeauoured to maintain, that not the Sonne of God, but one that was meere man, was for our redemption nayled vnto the Crosse. Away with that wicked Ebio, that ascribed vnto our Sauiour an earthly father. Away with the whole rout and rabble of Heretikes, or what­soeuer of that leauen, preiudicers ey­ther of his Deitie, or his Humanitie. Away with those Ethnicke Philosophers and Wizards of the world.

But let vs Beloued, confessing our ignorance, and professing our faith, enter into our Sauiours chamber, and sing, The stone which the builders refused, is become the head stone of the corner. This is the Lords doing, and it is maruellous in our eyes. This is the day that the Lord hath made, we will reioyce and bee glad in it. Let vs enter into our Sauiours Psa: 118. 22 [Page 17] Chamber, and sing; The Lord is my strength and song, and is become my sal­uation; Ver. 14: The right hand of the Lord is ex­alted, the right hand of the Lord doth Ver. 16. valiantly. Let vs enter into our Saui­ours Chamber, & sing; Sing O daugh­ter Z [...]p. 3. 14. of Sion, shoute O Israel: Be glad and reioyce with all thy heart, O daughter of Ierusalem. The Lord hath taken away thy iudgements: hee hath cast out thine enemie; The King of Israel, euen the Lord is in the middest of thee: thou shalt not see euill any more. Behold hee that is Iob. 11. 3. higher then Heauen, and deeper then hell, for thy sake. O man, is become man, that he might recouer thee from Hel, & bring thee vnto Heauen.

Behold therefore that sweet Ben­iamin, Christ Iesus; Behold him which is our life on earth, & our way to hea­uen. Behold him that is sprung from the roote of lesse, him that is of the ge­neration of Dauid, the seed of the woman, the arme of God, the vertue and power of the Almighty, and his welbeloued in whom he is well pleased. Behold him that was begotten but not then born: Behold him that is now borne, and not [Page 18] now begotten; being God by the Fa­thers side, and man by the mothers side. Behold him that was, when hee was not borne, being more ancient, not onely then the time of his birth, but euen the birth of time. Behold him whom Abraham the Father of the be­leeuing receyued as a guest, whose fa­ther hee was in respect of the Flesh, whose sonne hee was in respect of Faith. Behold him whose starre Ba­laam Num. 24. 17 saw before the Wisemen, and foretolde it also truely, although vn­willingly. Behold him that now pow­reth forth his teares for thee, hee will hereafter his bloud; and therefore hee will shedde his bloud for thee, be­cause now his teares: who therefore weepeth that thou mightest reioyce, and therefore commeth vnto thee, be­cause he loueth thee. The time was when thou, O man, diddest lye floa­ting in the streame of luxurious de­lights, when thou sacrificedst vnto strange gods that were not. Then didst thou, O miserable man, run the hazard both of Gods indignation, and [Page 19] thine owne damnation, the sorrows of death surrounded thee, the surges of iniquitie ouerwhelmed thee. This Ps. 18. 14. did the onely begotten Sonne of God take notice of, as he lay in the bosome of his Father, & as he sate in the throne of his Maiesty. And therefore hee came downe speedily, hee laide aside his glory, and assumed pouerty, and vndertooke the heauie weight of mi­serie. Hee came vnto the earth, Hee came vnto thee, he came into thee, borne in the night, in the stormy win­ter, being naked & distressed. He had no man to succour him, no man to attend him, no mā that regarded him. The best swadling cloaths his mother had to en wrappe him, were but a few miserable rags. The best cradle hee had was but a manger. Hence is it that hee cryeth vnto thee, and protesteth, that he could not haue done more for man. O what guerdon, what recompence shall man bestow vpon him? It is not beloued, eyther the inuenting or venting of friuolous & fruitlesse questions, concerning his [Page 20] wonderfull Natiuity, not those My­riades of quirkes and niceties, which haue beene extracted from the drossie ore of earthy imaginations, that can be in acceptable sacrifice vnto him. Alas these things rather disturbe our tranqui­litie, then any way procure our safety: these abate our zeale towards God, and set vs at bate with our neighbour: Let vs therefore abandon these foole­ties and fopperies. Let vs put on sack­cloth and ashes; let vs sit in the dust; let vs sitte neere vnto our Sauiours c [...]atch, let vs beat our brests, & weepe for our sinnes, that our Sauiour may heare our sobs, & behold our teares, that so we may testifie how much we are engaged vnto him, who being the euerlasting Word of the Father, for our sakes became silent: who being the wis­dome of the Father, seemed to bee em­payred: who being the Father of eter­nity, became the Sonn of mortality. He came vnto his owne, but his owne receiued Iob. 1. 11. him not. See how he placed himself in a degree below man, that hee might, lift man vnto God: & not only so, but as for man his sake, hee became man; so [Page 21] for mans sake he became miserable; & yet was not he whent hou wast not? Who Esa. 40. 12. hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heauen with the spanne, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountaines in scales, and the hilles in a ballance? O that my people were wise, Deut. 32. that they vnderstood, that they foresaw their last end.

And how happy should wee bee, if, as Christ became like vnto vs in flesh; so wee would endeauour to bee like vnto him in Spirit! He is ours by the one; let vs bee his by the other. There was a time when he came flying vpon the wings of the winde, when hee came in lightning and thunder, when darknesse was his pauilion. Now may wee finde him wrapped in swadling cloutes, lying in a manger. Now may the Church cry out and say, As soone Luc. 20. 12. as I heard him speake, my soule melted within me: I sought him, but I found him not: I called, but he answered mee not. Now crie out and say, Stay mee with flagons, comfort mee with apples, for I am Cant. 2. 5. [Page 22] sicke of loue. Now will I rest vnder the shadow of his wings. Yee are not now come vnto the mount (saith Moses) that might not be touched, and that burned with fire, nor vnto blacknes and darknes, and tem­pest, and the sound of the Trumpet, and the voyce of words, which voyce they that heard, entreated that the word should not bee spoken vnto them anymore, for they could not endure that which was comman­ded: and if so much as a beast toucht the mountaine it shall bee stoned or thrust tho­row with a dart.

And so terrible was the sight, that Moses sayde, I exceedingly feare and Heb. 12. 18. quake. But wee beloued may con­template a more milde obiect, euen our beloued Sauiour which was con­tented to act the part of lowlinesse & humility, who when hee published his Law, hee appeared then as it were, in fire: but now manifesting his grace, and mercy, disdained not to repose him­selfe on a pallat of Hay. Hee whose sublimity is incomprehensible, deiected himselfe as low as might be. Hee as hee lay in the Manger, had not­withstanding [Page 23] the Angels of Heauen about him, as his ancient attendants, and dependences, and the whole quier of heauen singing about him at his Natiuitie, which sang about him in his glory. And although hee were confined to an obscure cottage, yet the rayes of such a candle doe I say? nay of such a Sunne could not be hidden vnder a bushell; but were dis­played euen vnto the remotest parts of the Easterne climate. His Deitie could not bee defaced by his pouerty, nor extenuated. By the power of which Deitie a star in the firmament was commaunded to giue notice of Christs humanity. Whatsoeuer in this mysterie is atchieued beyond the capacitie of man, plainely euinceth, that he is God, who notwithstanding was thus humbled.

Let custome vanish, let nature ac­knowledge her selfe to bee but shal­low in the conceit of the miracles which are wrought by the immedi­ate finger of God. Reason can hard­ly be brought to acknowledge that a [Page 24] Virgin was a mother. It may at length come within kenne of this mysterie: if so bee it bee furthered by the sterne of Gods word, and wafted along by the breath and gale of the Spirit. Bare reason is faiths contradiction.

Now beloued, let vs posse on vn­to that that hath not yet beene touch­ed. And seeing that wee haue conse­crated this day vnto diuine and holy meditation, let vs with a zealous and modest curiosity take an enterview of whatsoeuer pertaineth vnto the birth of our Sauiour. Let vs imagine what­soeuer might haue then beene seene, is now also set before our eyes. Let vs goe visite the childe and his blessed mother, the Virgine; and let vs thinke vpon all those to whome so gracious a mysterie was first reuealed. Let vs lay aside so many Centuries of yeares, which haue passed since his birth, and let our winged thoughts trauerse the large extent of ground which is be­twixt vs and Bethleem, and let vs take an exact suruey of that least, but not least blessed Citie: so that not the slightest [Page 25] circumstance may passe vnexamined. For if the infancy of all children doe much delight & please vs, how much should the infancy of this blessed babe reioyce vs, which for our sakes, that hee might bee an absolute and com­pleate man, dayned to take vpon him the impotency of our childhood? Not farre off from the manger sate the blessed Virgin, herselfe bearing a great reuerence to the miracle: who being not tainted with the contagion of any inordinate lust, doth ingenu­ously confesse that, whereof the rea­son shee cannot conceiue; to witte, [...]hat shee is a mother; who hauing been [...]etrothed vnto Iosph, had receyued his newes from the mouth of an An­ [...]ell, that she should not be the Spouse [...]f man but the mother of God.

Now shee euidently perceyueth, [...]at shee is married vnto heauen, and [...]et her thoughts are still transported, [...] well by amazement, as by ioy. Shee Luk. 1. 13. [...]eth, that euen shee poore despised [...]aide is become the Mother of her [...]ther, a Gouernesse to him that is the [Page 26] Gouernour of Heauen and earth: Shee seeth, that shee hath brought foorth a mightier then Dauid, a senior to A­dam. Shee seeth, that shee herselfe is both mother, midwife, and nurse: that none might touch him, lesse pure then herselfe that bare him. Shee had of­tentimes before entertained many ho­ly meditations vpon the childe, which was in so many places of the holy Scripture spoken of by the Prophets and Oracles of God, and that that childe should spring from the roote of Dauid. She had often thought vpon the Virgine, admiring whom such great and transcendent happinesse should befall. Shee well knew, that Text of Esay, Chap. 7. 14. Beholde a Virgin shall conceiue and beare a Sonne Shee had often reuolued many predictions of the Prophets, and in them had read the storie of her selfe, and knew it not. Shee seeth many Pro­phesies fulfilled, many promises per­formed, many types and prefigurati­ons accomplished. Shee seeth a light, and yet not borrowed from the rayes [Page 27] eyther of the Sunne or Moone. She seeth a night whose serenity surpas­seth the brightnesse of the clearest day. Sometimes shee being, as it were, o­uerioyed in her happinesse, her eyes distil a sweete shower of cristall teares into her yuorie bosome. Sometimes when shee thinks that shee is become a mother, then a modest shame (a probable argument of virginity, and the tincture of vertue) setteth in her snowy cheekes a pure vermilion. Sometimes with a chaste and compo­sed aspect, shee beholdeth her Sonne and Gods; and (yet being solicitous for [...]er Virginity) shee putteth on the most tender affection of a mother, which notwithstanding is frequently [...]nterrupted with the conceit that shee [...] still a Virgin. Now shee beginneth [...]o nourish her Sonne, and to bring him [...]p, whom she had now brought foorth: [...]staining him by miraculous milke, [...]used in her not by the help of man; [...]ut produced by the efficaeie of the [...]pirit of God. The great Founder [...]d Architect of Heauen and Earth, [Page 28] now resteth himselfe vpon the necke of his mother and Spouse, and hee himselfe that feedeth all things, deri­ueth nutriment from her sugred paps. Sometimes our Sauiour with a plea­sing countenance beholdeth his vir­gin mother, and seemeth to know her: Shee againe reflecteth a reciprocall Smile vpon him, and confesseth that shee is his mother indeed; and she par­teth her loue (which she imparteth to no man else) between her Sonne, & her Uirginitie; constantly acknowledging the one, and still retayning the other. Depart yee from this holy and blessed Spectacle, yee vnchaste ones whatso­ner yee are, eyther actually, or patro­nesses of lewdnesse: You I say, that parget and sophisticate your faces; you that are so nice and curious in your gates, you that with your itching and bewitching fascinating glances discouer the wantonnesse of your minds, and lightnesse of your liues; you that so a­dorne your heades with borrowed hayre, and your neckes with laces, and doe laye open your milke-white paps [Page 29] as most powerfull allectiues, to attract the beholders eye, and to intrappe the Spectators affection, giuing him by this light taste of one or two partes, hope to enioy the whole body. You that by your sugered kisses, and amorous embraces set your bodies in combu­stion; you that by your wanton and venereous thoughts deflower your selues before you are linked to your husbands: you, I say, depart from the blessed societie of our Sauiour. For what else doe yee, but that yee may bee espoused vnto the Diuell? who as hee first cheated your grandmother Eue of her blessed estate; so he conti­nually attempteth by the like serpen­tine imposture to dispoyle you of your puritie and integrity. For his sake, and by his inducement do yee dispose the tresses of your haire, bur­nish your faces, consult your looking glasses.

And thus you giue way vnto the Serpent to creepe through the crannies of your eyes into the secrete angles and corners of your hearts. If [Page 30] yee looke vpon the holy Virgin, you shall finde that shee neuer fixed her thoughts vpō any thing but on God▪ and so first giuing him a place in her heart, afterwards shee, most happily entertained him in her wombe. Her soule was as it were diuulsed and se­parated from her body, by an inten­tiue and serious contemplation of her Creator; and the surrendering her­selfe vnto him alone, was no lesse wrapt in the bond and tyes of affecti­on towards him, then she was rapt in admiration of his loue towards her▪ This is that that quencheth and ex­tinguisheth all the flames of lust, and exorbitant loue. This was that that so rauished and extased the blessed Marie: This was that sacred fire that so sacrificed her hart vnto her GOD. This was that that made her (like a true and passionate Loue) neuer to turne her eyes frō her Sauiour whom shee totally and entirely affected. For indeed that soule which is illumina­ted by the reuiuing rayes of the Spi­rit, is vniuocally made al eye, all light, [Page 31] all lustre, all spirit; no otherwise then combustible matter being set vnto [...]he fire is turned into the nature of [...]ire. So Elias in times past, after hee had often fasted, and had giuen the fire of zeale residence on the golden altar of his heart, was not long after rapt vp into heauen in a fiery Chari­ot. Thus is the operation of the Spirit as well attractiue of what re­sembles it, as productiue of that it would haue resemble it. The Spirit is vnitiue and combining, it makes [...]s agree together, and in it. For as they that are married, are sayde to bee one flesh; so they that are linked vnto Christ, are as truly sayd to be one in spirit.

And indeed the vnion of spirits is more neere and strict then the cohe­rence and copulation of bodies. Great reference had Christ vnto Mary, in re­spect of his body: but shee had more alliance vnto him, in respect of the Soule and Spirit.

Come now yee chaste Matrons, and pure virgins, which hitherto [Page 32] haue scarce defiled your selues so much as in thought; come I say (ac­cording vnto the custome of women) and visite this blessed Virgin-mother deliuered of so happy an issue. Heere is nothing about her vnclean or men­struous, nothing vnworthy your pre­sence, nothing that may not become a Virgine. For this blessed Infant, was not begotten in lust, but in entire chastitie; Not by the will of the flesh, but of the Spirit. Come therefore, I say, yee chaste maidens and matrons, em­brace this babe your Sauiour with the armes of zeale, apprehend him with the hand of Faith. Deuote your whole liues vnto his seruice, and endeauour not so much how you may be fruitful in bodye, as faithfull in soule. Come, draw neere, cast your eyes vpon this blessed maide and mother of Christ, in whom wee see childe-birth not to haue impayred her virginitie, nor her virginitie to haue hindred her childe­birth. O blessed virgin, O happy Ma­rie! Embleme of virginitie, patterne of Modestie! For, howsoeuer thou [Page 33] aboue all other women art crowned with honour and dignitie, in that thou art a mother vnto thy Lord, as thou art his handmaide; yet such is thy pietie and humilitie that thou waxest not proud or insolent hereby. Many were those gracious thoughts that she continually entertained, ma­ny were those patheticall eiaculations which she sent vp vnto heauen. Hap­py was Ioseph that had so gracious a woman espoused vnto him, as Marie: and yet more happy was hee, in that the protection and tuition of his bles­sed Sauiour was deputed vnto him. I doubt not but that hee was sorry that hee had no fit roome to receiue him, that the place wherein they soiour­ned was so meane, so vngarnisht, so vnfurnisht, so vnprouided both of meate and vtensiles. How carefully did he ponder euery circumstance? How cheerefully did hee acknowledge that onely faith must beleeue, what onely God doth effect? Now (beloued) seeing we are proceeded thus farre, let vs also thinke vppon those that came vnto [Page 34] this miracle. Surely they were no o­ther then simple Idiots: There were in the same countrey Shepheards abiding in Luc. 2. the field, keeping watch ouer their stocks by night. Kings and Potentates were ignorant of all this, and had no notice of Christ his Natiuitie. They sleepe whiles Christ cometh. So secret and vnexpected shall hee come, when hee shall come the second time as a thiefe in the night. Now a chiefe thing to bee obserued in this historie, is, that the Angels made choyce of Shepheards an innocent and illiterate sort of men, & made thē first partakers of the blessed newes of Christ his birth. The reason was (I coniecture) because they might with more facilitie be in­duced to beleeue the tydings. For as Wooll that hath receiued the die and tincture of no colour, is capable of a­ny: so these blessed shepheards which were neuer before indued with any kinde of secular wisedome and know­ledge, were more apt subiects to en­tertaine celestiall and transcendent in­spirations. The surest meanes to sore [Page 35] vp into heauen, are the wings of faith: that that soonest depriueth vs of those wings, and depraueth our affections, is nothing else but an insolent presump­tion, and an eleuated conceit of our owne vnderstandings. O how hard a matter would it haue bene to haue per­swaded Aristotle, or any of that Lea­uen (I meane the Ethnicke opiniona­ting Philosophers) to haue beleeued that the Soueraign of the whole world should be borne man on earth? O bles­sed bee that wisedome, which in the mysterie of our saluation, hath exclu­ded humane wisedome! For they that were neuer guiltie of any learning & extraordinarie knowledge, they that could not dispute, and could not but belieue, were the prime and first that were acquainted with a matter of so great consequence.

The great Clerkes and Scholers of the world, who examined all by the Touchstone of reason, who euer prefer­red vnderstanding before beliefe, were vtterly discarded, and Heardmen ad­mitted, whose plainesse of simplicitie [Page 36] was a great cause of their mature and speedy proficiency: Unto you is borne this day in the City of Dauid, a Sa­uiour, Luk. 2, 10. which is Christ the Lord. First of of all, they learne that Christ is borne, and then vnto them. What follow­eth? It is said (verse 16) That they came with haste, and found Mary and Ioseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. These shepheards found that good shepheard, which was resolued to lay downe his life for his sheepe. They finde that vniuersall shepheard, that shepheard, whose sheepefold is of no lesse extent thē the whole earth. They finde that shepherd, which hereafter Mat. 25. 21. shall seuer the sheepe from the goates. Nay, they come vnto that sheepe, or rather vnto that immaculate Lambe of Ioh. 1. 29. God which taketh away the sinnes of the world. They come vnto the Lambe, but vnto such a Lambe, as was also the Lyon of the Tribe of Iuda, Who al­though he then lay in the manger, yet not long after hee was aduanced vnto his throne.

Hence (Beloued) may we collect [Page 37] how much God fauoureth holy and modest simplicitie, and disalloweth all nice and scrupulous subtiltie. The first that heard the voyce of the Angel, were the shepheards; the first that heard the report of the good newes, were no more then shepheards. And yet notwithstanding, euen these shep­heards were farre more happy then Caesar, who hauing the third time bar­red vp the dores of Ianus, and appeased all tumultuous garboiles of warre and sedition, which were then raging and predominant, both on sea and land; yet knew not that Blessed, blessed peace and reconciliation which was wrought betweene God and man. Go too therefore yee blessed shepheards, vnto whom the good tidings were fully signified; you that were neuer ambitious of soueraignety, or a blast of fame; you that neuer studyed the in­snaring sophistrie of Monkes and Fri­ers, nor how to coine the copper Syl­logismes of the fallacious Iesuites; you can neyther deceyue, nor this day bee deceyued, because yee belieue onely [Page 38] what hath beene deliuered vnto you from the mouth of God: Goe, I say, and relate vnto your friends and ac­quaintance what Christ hath done for man. Goe and sing an Hosanna vnto your Sauiour; make vp your Cumaean Eglogue, and let your tongues as sweetly warble it, as your hearts doe soundly conceiue it. For now you see the beloued Emanuel hath presented himselfe vnto the world: now are the former ages renued again. Now are all things possessed with ioy and gladnes. O what sugred psalms & celestial odes were written by Dauid concerning Christ represented vnto him onely in the dim glasse of tipes & figures? why should not we that liue in these after­times honor him with our prime en­deauours? Hitherto haue we treated of the shepherds which came to visit our Sauior: now are we descēded to speake a word or two of the Wise men that gaue the shepheards precedence in re­spect of order, but not in regard of vnderstanding. But what was that that drewe the Wise men hither? [Page 39] Surely a starre in heauen, which was appointed to Blazon the royall descent and pedegree of that infant that lay in the Manger. Hence was it that those pillars and Atlasses of learning and knowledge, who coniectured not fu­ture euents by booke, but rather fix­ing their eyes and thoughts vpon hea­uen, which they alwayes beheld en­chased with so many glittering stars as Diamonds, were well ascertained of the natiuity of the King of the Iews: For they had seene his starre in the East. And therefore now they repaire with all speed and officious zeale, vnto that Mat. 2. place whither they were directed by the starre, which accompanied them euen vnto the borders and confines of Bethleem. There they finde him, there they worship him: For so the Text saith, When they were come into the house, they found the Babe with his Mat. 2. 21. mother Mary, and they falling downe worshipped him.

In vaine might they haue sought in heauen for the Lord of heauen: seeing that it pleased him to be foūd on earth, [Page 40] and that in an Inne, in a stable. Come hither now all you that challenge vn­to your selues the titles of Wisemen., you that would refuse to visite your Sauiour in so meane a place; you that looke big in veluet, and ruffle in silke and tissue; see that you confront not the mysteries of God with an o­uerweening conceit of your owne a­bility: Prie not into the Arke of his secresies, enquire not for the reason, why God the Sonne so humbled, so emptied, so deiected himselfe. Doe you rather with these Wisemen a­dore, what you cannot conceyue, & admire what you cannot compre­hend.

This is an Epidemicke and catho­licke disease amongst vs; Wee are too punctuall and pragmaticall in euol­uing what God would haue should lye hidde; and wee too perfunctorily neglect what he would wee should canuasse and discusse. For as the whole proiect of our safety and re­demption hath been brought to passe on earth, wee make a tedious quest [Page 41] the wrong way, & ambitiously climbe vp into heauen to vnderstand the rea­son of it. Vnwise, vngratefull per­sons as we are, why doe we so disdain­fully passe by our Sauiours cratch, wherein he was reposed, his thred-bare swadling cloutes, and homely orna­ments wherewith hee was inuested? What are all these things but argu­mēts of his voluntary humility which hee assumed, that hee might readorne vs with the robes of glory, & a crown of blissefull eternitie?

O Beloued, you that are Artists, and archprofessors of Learning; you that are graced with pues and chaires, come and learne one lecture of hu­mility of these Wisemen. Come and fall downe before your humble Saui­our and adore him; offer vnto him a more acceptable Present then Golde, Myrrhe, or Frankinsence, euen an inge­nuous confession of your ignorance.

And you learned Sages of the East, you that by the direction, and as it were, manuduction of a star, haue vn­dteraken so long & tedious a iorney; [Page 42] returne yee now home againe more learned and more happy then e­uer yee were before. Goe and relate vnto your Countrimen the Chalde­ans (or peraduenture yee are Persi­ans) the newes of this great mysterie o [...] godlinesse, without controuersie the greatest: to witte, that God was ma­nifested in the flesh, iustified in the Spirit seene of Angels, preached vnto the Gen­tiles, to bee beleeued in the world, and las [...] of all, to bee receyued vp into glory. God and tell them, that there is nothing in heauen greater thē that that ye found in the manger.

I haue now sufficiently spoken o [...] the comming of the wise men, which were the last that came to visite our Sauiour. Many indeed they were that came vnto him besides, non were excluded. For he himselfe came humble, and as it were degraded and set below himselfe, that all of what in­feriour ranke soeuer might bee emboldned to approch vnto him, and might haue no excuse to tarry from him.

[Page 43] Now if you desire I should specific vnto you those that presented them­selues vnto our Sauiour, I shall easilie accomplish your desire. There was first a Quire of Angels, and they sang his birth-song. There were wedded people Zacharie and Elizabeth. There was the vnwedded, Simeon. There was a widdow, Anna. There was a Priest, Zacharie. There were the learned, the Wise-men. There were the rude and vnlearned, the shepheards. All which if we compare them together, we shal finde betwixt them a great disparitie: who notwithstanding were all equall, and not one inferiour vnto an other: [...]f we consider them as they all wor­shipped and adored the new borne Infant, as they all submitted them­selues vnto him, as they all celebrated the day of his Natiuitie. Would yee how vnderstand what virgin was at the birth of Christ? I may answer you that a virgin was a chiefe agent, or rather a patient in the mysterie. Such a Virgin as brought forth her Crea­tor, beeing notwithstanding no lesse [Page 44] a virgine then a mother, and more a mother then hee was a sonne: for in respect of his Diuinity, he was her Fa­ther; as onely in regard of his huma­nity he was her Sonne. So that Christ was not onely Dauids sonne, but also Dauids Lord: and not onely the Son of man, but also the Father of man; not onely of the seed of Abraham, but also the Father of Abraham; bee­ing himselfe no lesse the promiser of the Messias, then the Messias promi­sed. O blessed and happie day! on which hee that from euerlasting hath had, and hath his throne in heauen, descended euen to the societie of men This day is the day of our Marriage, of our affinitie, of our restauration, of our reunition vnto GOD, of our re­demption from Hell. On this day, hee that is the eternall God, and still remaining what hee was, for our sakes became what hee was not. On this day, he that without a Body was eue­ry where, by the assumption of a bo­die seemed to limit and confine him­selfe vnto place; that we might obtain [Page 45] that happinesse by grace, which hee had by the right of his nature.

O happy day much wished, long expected! the abrogation of the Law, the period of all prophesies, the begin­ning of the Gospell, yea the Gospell it selfe: The Gospell which was first proclaymed from heauen, and after published on earth, to the end that there might not bee wanting authority to confirme it, nor faith in men to ac­knowledge it.

O how sweet is the remembrance of that day! how comfortable both to men and Angels!

True it is, that wee cannot con­ceyue this Mysterie; and yet wee reioyce in it. True it is, that we can­not diue into the depth and profundi­ty of it; and what though we cannot? Haue not holy men that haue totallie deuoted themselues vnto the exercises of religion and piety, beene as igno­rant as we are? If yee beleeue me not, let mee entreate you to cast your eyes vpon olde Simeon, who, howsoeuer the Scribes and Pharises were buzzard­blinde, [Page 46] and could not behold the Sun of righteousnesse; yet hee foresaw him Mal. 4. long before hee came. And when hee saw that hee was come, O how was hee transported with ioy! How was he carried away vvith the streame and torrent of ouerflowing gladnes? O with what zeale of heart, with what swiftnesse of foot did he flye vnto his Sauiour, so long expected, and now at length exhibited? how earnestly did hee embrace him, not onely with the armes of his body, but also of his affec­tion? How willing was hee to pay his tribute vnto nature? How desirous to shake hands with the world, and its emptie vanities, and to resign him­selfe into the hands of God? With how relenting a soule, with what sweet showers of teares in the instant before his death, did hee warble out his Swan-like funerall song? Now besides holy Simeon, may we behold many of the sacred retinue, as first of all Ioseph, a continuall spectator and obseruer of the mysterie. Besides, Ioseph, there was Iohn the forerunner [Page 47] of Christ, and a Preacher in the wil­dernesse: And besides those, many holy women more religious then lear­ned.

Moreouer, besides the Women, there were the Apostles of Christ, who were instructed with diuine wisdome by the inspiration of the holy Spirite, not by anticipation of secular knowledge, which wee commonly tearme the Handmaid vnto Diuinity. Neere vn­to these Apostles stood blessed Peter, and not farre off were the glorious Angels, who though they were com­pleatly endued with varietie of know­ledge, yet now they could neither sing nor say any thing, but Glorie be to God on high, and on earth, peace. Alas, it was not their ambition to purchase vnto themselues a blaste of fame, and applause of the World. Their chiefest intent was to prayse him who was then borne.

Let no man therefore sooth him­selfe in his learning, and multiplicitie of knowledge. For this day is a day whereon wee ought with modesty to [Page 48] confesse our ignorance. This day belongeth chiefly vnto the vnlear­ned, and vnto those that are but punies in the Schoole of Christ. On this day the Wisdome of God vouch­safed to descend below its most ele­uated & transcendent pitch of know­ledge. On this day the Word of God vouchsafed to speake as inarticu­lately as man in his childhood and infancy.

Let no man therefore take on, or thinke himselfe disgraced, in that hee is not furnisht with the abilities of nature, or not garnisht with the rules and precepts of art; seeing that God, that hee might disappoint those that were well seene in the points of lear­ning, made choyce to disclose him­selfe vnto those that were but meane and simple. It shall therefore bee best for vs, not to soare too high in­to the mysteries of God, lest at last, we flag and flye low with a broken pinion. Let vs, beloued, rather settle and rest our selues in a sober and safe ignorance, which will not onely not [Page 49] preiudice vs, but also bee much a­uaileable to procure our saluation. Farther then this, neuer aspi­red any of the learnedst Diuines that euer were.

The end of the first Homilie.


REuerend, & right worthy Auditors: Wee solemnize a day, whereunto neuer any former lge behelde the aike, neuer any future time shall se­cond it. A day whereon the eternal Sonne of God, hauing formerly assu­med our nature, that hee might there­by restore it vnto its prime and first state, and as it were, reimpatriate vs, [Page 52] and inuest vs with the glory of a better Kingdome, was, not without the horrour and amazement both of heauen and earth, most barbarously slaine and put to death by those, for whose sake he came into the world; by those, to whom hee had often sent his Legates and Ambassadours; by those, whose saluation he had resolued to purchase by the effusion of his most precious bloud.

Such is the weight and grauity of this theame and argument, which by my future discourse I determine to pursue, that it may easily inaudience the Hearer, and procure in him ready and fauourable attention (a thing that Oratours vsually entreate in the Pro­eme of their Orations.) And therfore for my part I will not bee so prodigal of my breath or vnnecessary paines, as to importune you to heare me: for I am well assured that you expect not the enchanting flourishes, or sugred blandishments of Rhetoricke, being solely contented to entertaine a bare Discourse vpon the Passion of our Sa­uiour; [Page 53] the remembrance of whom wil rather resolue vs into a stream of tears, thē any way giue vs occasiō to wish for the fluent and harmonious straines of wit and eloquence.

For if wee duly consider all those tragicall Scenes, and dolefull passages of his life, euen from his cratch vnto his crosse; wee shall finde them to haue beene nothing else but a Mappe of miserie, or a sea of calamitie. For hee was no sooner borne, but hee endured the sharpenesse of a bloudy circumcision: he was no sooner cir­cumcised, but by and by he was de­signed to the slaughter; hee had no sooner published his heauenly doc­trine, but forth with hee was accused of sedition, impiety, blasphemie, fury; and not onely so, but hee was tear­med euen a Diuell, and that of those, whome aboue all the Nations of the world hee had vouchsafed to stile his peculiar people.

Thus whither soeuer I cast mine eyes, I can behold nothing but mise­ry and reproches, and pouerty, and [Page 54] hunger, and thirst, and weakenesse, & wearinesse; so that it seemeth, that our blessed Sauiour vpon his Crosse made vp the full measure of that griefe and anguish, with which hee laboured & was perplexed all his life long, & then to haue sucked out euen the very dregges of that bitter cuppe, which hee had but formerly tasted. Insomuch that when wee meditate vpon those many troubles and torments, with which he was voluntarily afflicted, to the end that hee might pacifie his Fa­thers wrath, and satisfie his Fathers iu­stice: we may well imagine, and bee ascertained, that he alone is the abso­lute embleme & patterne of patience and perseuerance.

The strict Stoickes that so plea­sed themselues in their obdurate indo­lency, came very short of him. Whom that yee may the more admire and wonder at, I will endeauour with the pensill of a large and ample discourse (the matter and substance whereof shall be borrowed from the Penmen and Actuaries of the holy Spirit) to [Page 55] Limme out, and Delineate him vnto you.

After that our Sauiour had sent vp many frequent and feruent eiaculati­ons vnto God the Father, in the be­halfe of his deare & distressed Church; (for whose sake no lesse willingly, then valiantly he endured the weight of so many grieuous afflictions;) by and by after, hauing retired himselfe into a shady priuate garden, hee was most impetuously affronted by Iudas, and a barbarous troupe of Souldiers. And that nothing might seeme to bee done rashly or accidentally, euen this very assault was prophesied by Zacharie, Chapter 13. ver. 7. Smite the Shep­heard, and the sheepe shall bee scattered. And thus he being surprised by so vi­olent a gust of furie, was notwithstan­ding left alone by his Disciples, and forsaken by all his familiars and ac­quaintance, forsaken euen by those, vnto whom, not long before he had imparted the true Manna of his body, Iohn 6. and refresheth their languishing spi­rits with a cordiall of his most preci­ous [Page 56] bloud. Hee that had beene al­wayes reputed his constant friend & follower, most basely prized him at thirty pence: and as if he had beene a vile and infamous malefactour, by a false and Syren-kisse, deliuered him in­to the hands of his cruell and malig­nant enemies. O grosse impudency! O hainous impietie! Now may yee behold him ledde away captiue, his armes and hands being fast bound & manacled: Now may yee see his be­loued, gracious Iohn, who had often leaned vpon his heauenly besome; who had often learned from his sacred lippes many transcendent mysteries and o­racles of wisdome, and had formerly best vnderstood, that the Word was in the beginning, and that the Word was made flesh; him, I say, may yee see lamentably deiected, and ouer­flowne with the waues of sorrow and pensiuenesse. Now may yee see the blessed Saint Peter, whose soule was as it were the mint of Heroicall and holy resolutions, follow and pace a­loofe off; being much appaled and af­frighted [Page 57] at the view of so doleful a spe­ctacle.

As for the rest of our Sauiour his dependences, those, I meane, whom he had eyther peculiarly instructed, or any way releeued, eyther by restoring of their sight, or by staying the fluxe of a bloudy and menstruous issue; or by reuniting, and as it were, cementing the crazed members of those that had beene possessed with a shiuering palsie. All those, I say (whereof the multitude was almost infinite) basely hide their heads, and withdraw them­selues cleane away.

Thus was our blessed Sauiour for­saken by those that should haue res­cued and supported him. Thus was hee exposed to so many perils and ha­zards. By and by after, hee that (by the eternall decree of his Father) was to become the vniuersal Iudge of quick and dead, was conuented before the pettie punie Iudges of the earth; being posted from Annas to Caiphas, from Caiphas to Pilate, from Pilate to He­rod, from Herod to Pilate againe. O [Page 58] turbulent & tumultuous people! how doe they bafle his doue-like innocen­cy? how doe they delude his ingenu­ous simplicitie? how doe they oppose his truth and sincerity by false & sub­orned testimonie? How doe the re­probate rascals, the very froth and scum of basenesse, audaciously domi­nere and insult ouer him? How de­spicably do they veyle and hud winke him? How contemptuously doe they strike him? enquiring of him, whether hee can tell who it was that did strike him? and not onely so, but also by the iniurious commaund of the High-Priest, hee himselfe being the High-Priest of all mankind, is disgracefully whipped. The ignorant and arrogant Pharises, and Doctors of the Law, de­spitefully accuse the authour and pub­lisher of the Law. Herod with his officious glozing Courtiers and ac­complices deride his silence, and that they may the more expose him to laughter, they chaunge his garment. The Souldiers that had embrued their blades in the bloud of Innocēts, [Page 69] most impiously batter and buffet him. And not onely so, but they also dis­charge their filthy foame vpon his most glorious face. And that they may heape sinne vpon sinne, and yet adde more maturity vnto their ful blowne impietie, they set a crowne of thornes vpon that head of his; where­in (as in a casket) all the Iewels of di­uine wisedome and knowledge were inshrined. There was not scarse any part of his whole body, that was not either exposed to reproach, or tormen­ted by griefe. His head pierced with thornes, beaten with fists, bruised with staues; his face beslimed with spittle, his cheekes swelled out with blowes, his tongue and palate offended with distastefull vineger and gall, his eares surcharged with loades of disgracefull contumelies. How thinke you did Christ behaue himselfe in this case? The story informeth vs, that his silence was no lesse then his patience. His aduersaries on the contrary side presse vpon him, and with vehement excla­mations and outcries presse him to [Page 60] speake something for himselfe, and yet (maugre all their furie and exagi­tations) he replyes not so much as a word vnto them. Why doest thou O Infidell, enquire the reason and cause of this patient silence of our Sa­uiour? Why doest thou after his death recrucifie him againe? Let me but aske thus much of thee? To whom should Christ haue returned an an­swere? To Pilate? Alas hee knew but little in the state of the question. To the Iewes? No, they were his accu­sers. What should he haue answered? Hee had already made knowne vnto them that he was the Son of God. This was the onely motiue and impulsiue cause why he was cōuented. This was that that his Aduersaries so earnestly pursued; should he haue denyed him selfe to haue beene the Sonne of God? No. That hee would not, hee could not doe. Truth cannot lye.

Thus much he had both intimated and professed. As for his allegiance vnto Caesar, which they would haue induced him to haue denyed, it was [Page 61] to no purpose, to make any mention of that. For alas, it was not his ambi­tion to sit vpon the throne, and to be placed in the honour-point of an earth­ly Kingdome; it was not that hee in­tended. No, he came into the world for no such purpose. Hee rather came that hee might gather together his Church, dispersed and driuen to and fro vpon the surface of the earth, that he might, as it were, reedifie the de­cayed race of mankind; that he might saue his people by his bloud, and by his word; by his miracles, and by his oracles. The obdurate and peruerse Iewes were ignorant of this, & much more the Romanes. They knew not what he meant by the destroying of the Temple, or by the repayring of it in three dayes. And therefore they are with no lesse fury then blindnes hur­ried against him; who after they had lashed him almost vnto death, & most cruelly diuided those azure channels of his bloud, they bring him in pub­like being ouerflowne with gore, and most disdainefully expose him to the [Page 62] view of the scornefull multitude, with an Ecce homo, Behold the man! Oh my Soule, stand here erected, fixe the eye of thy contemplation vpon the coun­tenance of thy blessed Sauiour. Shake off the multitude of thy fruitlesse va­nities, with which thou art so encom­bred, and bestow all thy time and me­ditation vpon him alone, a person so much to be honoured, so highly to bee regarded. Ecce homo, Behold the man, behold the man of sorrow. Be­hold him that was the fayrest among men, being both white and ruddie, the chiefest among ten thousand. His head is as the most fine golde, his lackes bushie & blacke as a Rauen: His eyes are the eyes of doues by the riuers of waters, washed with milke, and fitly set: His cheekes as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers; his lips like Lillies, dropping sweet smelling myrrhe. Hee that was thus set out, and embel­lished with so many gracefull orna­ments, lyeth now disfigured with wounds, weltring and panting in a crimson riuer of his owne bloud. O blessed Sauiour! what hauocke doe [Page 63] those tyrāts make of thy life? How la­uish & prodigall are those Canibals of thy bloud? How many wide sluces & passages haue they opened for the ven­ting of it? What full streams & torrēts gushed out at his nostrils? And that that was most lamentable & grieuous vnto him, he was so captiuated, as that he had not means to wipe away either his bloud or his Teares, that trickled downe all about his precious bodie.

Ecce homo: Behold the man; This is that most glorious Face, at whose Ma­iestie, men and Angells stand agast!

This is hee, who although hee now stand mute and silent, yet is his voyce heard in the clouds, and the ratling of his thunder is able to strike terrour in­to the stoutest heatts.

Ecce homo: Behold the man; Be­hold him that is Lord Paramount of whatsoeuer is inclasp't within the cir­cuit of this spacious World: and yet now hee standeth poore and vnfurni­shed of all things. He that freeth vs all, and is the onely authour of our li­bertie, [Page 64] leading Captiuitie captiue, is him­selfe apprehended as a Malefactor, and led away as a Captiue. He that cureth vs all by the precious Balme and Pa­nacea of his bloud, is now himselfe mi­serably wounded. And see now, here he standeth before the Iudge, before vs all, yea, and for vs al; He standeth naked & disrobed, that the wounds & gashes which were inflicted by the enemie, and endured for vs, might lye hid to no man. All which, mee thinke, might easily soften and intenerate a flintie heart, and yet the Iewes were nothing moued at it. Who being transported with furie and madnesse, they now goe about to depriue him of life and all. And that they may make his griefe paralell to his disgrace, they charge his weary shoulders with the weight of his burdensome crosse. And not onely so, but they appoint their malepert officious Sergeants to attend him, and giue in charge, that if he pace it slowly, or falter vnder his carriage, they should with bloudy scourges force him on amaine.

[Page 65] Our Sauiour being brought to this grieuous streight and exigent, his strength fainting, his heart panting, his voyce fayling and euen drops doe I say? nay, flouds of water and bloud springing from all the pores and passa­ges of his body, doth notwithstan­ding vouchsafe to direct his deiected countenance and languishing eyes vn­to vs miserable and most vnthankeful caitifes, that neyther sympathize with him in his calamity, nor so much as remember, that hee himselfe stood in the vantguard of the battell, and with his helmet of Patience sheltred vs from the gunneshot of his Fathers indigna­tion. And as his eyes are directed vn­to vs, so is his voice also.

Let vs suppose him speaking vnto vs with these words: O my people what haue I done vnto thee, and wherein haue I wearied thee? testifie against Mich. 6. 7. mee. When I created thee of the dust of the earth, I made thee like vnto my selfe. But thou by the allurement & instigation of the Diuell, diddest most disobediently desire to be like vnto [Page 66] mee, in what was not fitte thou shoul­dest, and so becamest like vnto the Deuill, that arch-lyer of the world, the patronizer and abettour of thy ambitious enterprise. Thou, sinfull as thou art, hast almost razed out the sa­cred impresse of my Diuinity, set with mine owne finger in the chrystall ta­ble of thy soule; and yet notwithstan­ding, I so much disparaged my selfe, as to take vpon me the forme & shape of thine abiect and contemptible na­ture: For thy flesh I assumed, and yet not its impurity; but, as it were, in its prime integrity, refined and purged from that drosse and menstruous cor­ruption which resided in it. And yet for al this I affected no state or pompe in my comming vnto thee; howsoeuer the Fathers and Patriarks in the Non­age and infancie of the World lon­ged for it; and the Prophets after thē often mentioned it. Moses did fore­see it, Dauid did did fore sing it, Salo­mon did foresay it. The Euangelicall Prophet Esay did most plainely and punctually expresse it, hauing then no [Page 67] other meanes to relieue the discon so­late mindes of the Iewes, but onely by assuring them of my comming. But when I came, I found my entertaine­ment not squaring to my expectation. Where I looked for amity, I found en­mity; I receyued hatred for my good will; and for casting out of Diuels, I was accounted one for my labour. O senselesse ingratitude! Thus was my humilitie no lesse misconceyued, then my maiesty vnconceiued! and yet notwith­standing, it was my dayly endeauour to doe good vnto all men. Eyther I cured the bleeding wounds of an af­flicted conscience with the balme of consolation; or I reclaimed the strag­ling sinner, and brought him againe vnto my folde; or I gaue eyes vnto the blind, or feer to the lame, or speech to the dumbe, or health to the disea­sed, or bread to the hungrie: and, if at any time bread were wanting, there neuer wanted a myracle to supplie it. If a mother lamented the death of her onely sonne, eyther I restored life to the dead, or consolation to the sur­uiuing. [Page 68] If any woman wanted wa­ter, I gaue her better then she thought, Euen the water of life. I abhorred not Iohn 4. so much as Publicans and Sinners, I was familiarly conuersant with all men.

Now therefore, O Inhabitants of Hie­rusalem, and men of Iudah, Iudge I pray Esa. 5. 34. you betwixt me and my Vineyard. What could haue been done more vnto my Vine­yard that I haue not done vnto it? Where­fore when I looked it should haue brought foorth grapes, beought it foorth thornes, with which now the Temples of my head are wounded? Wherefore, when I looked for Wine, brought it foorth vinegar to offend my taste? Why had shee nothing but myrrhe and gall to quench the thirst of her drooping Lord? These and the like dolefull complaints, the Iewes had both heard and read; they had noted and obser­ued all the holy actions of our Sauiour whiles he breathed vpon this Thea­ter of earth. They had often heard him teaching in the Temple, teaching in the Synagogue, teaching vpon the Mount, [Page 69] teaching in the high-wayes and tho­row-fares. His goodnesse would not suffer him to conceale or masque vs any thing in darknesse and silence: that might make any way to the safe­ty of the hearer. For now the time was come, wherein God had determi­ned to dispell the thicke fogges of er­rour from the mindes of his people, and clearely to instruct them in the mysteries of his truth. And not one­ly so, but he had also decreede by one sole Hilasticall and propitiatorie Sacri­fice, to purge and expiate the sinnes of the whole world. This was that pure and vnblemished oblation, free from all staines of corruption and im­piety.

Thus much euen the very aduer­saries of our Sauiour could not but a­uerre, who continually yeelded vnto him honor & regard sutable vnto his person. For indeed nothing was done in vaine, nothing by chance or acci­dentally, nothing without the direc­ting hand of him that was afflicted. Who as he stood bound, and in the [Page 70] hands and power of others, yet not­withstanding, hee himselfe disposeth whatsoeuer he suffereth. O the hidden secresie and prouidence of God! what­soeuer appellation or title the Church doth seriously giue vnto Christ, the same doe the Iewes attribute vnto him by way of mockerie and illusion. The prophane Souldier derideth our Lord and Sauiour, and yet in the mean time he adoreth him, bowing his knees vnto him, Unto whom euery knee shall bow. He denyeth Christ to bee a King, and yet by and by, he crowneth him. After hee had crowned him, hee gaue him a reede for a scepter; and that nothing might be wanting, they put a purple garment vpon him, the chiefe ornament of Kings and Prin­ces. Lastly, whiles rhe people play vp­pon him, and contemne him, yet not­withstanding they confesse him to be a Prophet; for by that name they sa­luted him.

Thus the enemies of Christ acknow­ledge him to be both God, a King, and a Prophet. But by what meanes, I [Page 71] wonder came the Romanes to know thus much of our Sauiour? Certaine­ly, to say no more, it was the will and wisdome of God so to dispose. It was also by his iust permission, that the false accusation of Christ, who was truth it selfe: and the iniurious con­demnation of Christ, who was inno­nocency it selfe, should bee reuen­ged by the desperate and voluntarie death of that debosht Stigmaticke Iu­das, who had formerly engaged him­selfe to betray his Lord and Master with a kisse. O how was that candide Diuell, that varnisht hypocrisie, that out­side of a friend, that coppergilt Apostle tortured in soule by the racke of his raging conscience? How earnestly did hee desire to set a period to a co­uetous base life, by an infamous and miserable death? Pontius Pilate, vnto whom the iudgement and arbitrating of the cause was assigned, had often­times witnessed & auerred, that our Sauiour had not deserued any punish­ment at all: And that he might the better confirme his assertion, hee en­deauours [Page 72] to cleare himselfe from the aspersion and imputation of iniustice, by washing his hands in the viewe of the multitude. By and by after hee constantly affirmeth, that Christ was no seducer of the people.

Herod, who had formerly derided our Sauiours silence, dareth not to con­demne his innocency.

Ioseph of Arimathea, being one of the chiefe Senators, retires himselfe into his priuate chamber, and will not bee seene at the Bench, lest perad­uenture he should bee forced to de­termine something contrary vnto his conscience.

The malicious Iewes, although they suborne false witnesses against our Sauiour, yet notwithstanding they testifie publikely before the Iudge, that he is not guilty of any crime. The same Iewes that exclaimed against him as against a seditious person, doe now stile him their King by that wri­ting vpon his crosse, whereon hee was adiudged to die.

Caiphas the high Priest, by enthu­siasme [Page 73] prophesieth of Christ, whom hee persecuteth; & with a loude voice both accuseth and absolueth him, pro­nouncing the mysterie of our saluati­on; to wit, that it was necessary that one should dye for the people.

The last and worst of our Saui­ours aduersaries, was the Diuell, who although hee earnestly and constant­ly endeauoured by all assayes to vexe and trouble our Sauiour, yet (as the Ancients coniecture) hee could not but incite Pilates wife to tell him, that surely the man that was thus malig­ned, accused and condemned, was a iust and righteous man, who although at length he suffered death vpon his crosse, yet hee suffered it not as an impious and infamous malefactor, but as a glorious conquerour. God the Fa­ther together with his whole family & Court of Heauen, stood and behelde the pangs and passion of his beloued Sonne, on whose shoulders hee had layed the weight of the punishment which euery one of vs in our owne persons should most deseruedly haue [Page 74] endured. God, who is tearmed of the Prophets, a deuouring fire, an o­uerflowing torrent of wrath, as vio­lent as a rough storme of hayle, as im­petuous as a tempestuous gust of wind maketh our Sauiour the onely butte to receiue the shafts of his fury and in­dignation. Who lying thus wounded and pierced with the sharpenesse of his extreame agonie, (in respect of which all those tortures inuented by tyrants, all those massacres and tor­ments of the holy Martyres, were but dreames and loue-trickes) is forced not to a duell or single combat, but to encounter a multitude and throng of aduersaries.

Amongst the which hee was to conquer the Diuell, that olde Hydra, and arch-enemie of mankind. Who as hee had beene the cause of the first Adams expulsion, so doth hee now attempt no lesse to inthrall and cap­tiuate the second Adam, and to cast him into vtter darknesse.

In the second place he was to van­quish death, that had a long time ty­rannized [Page 75] ouer all mankind. Our Sa­uiour being to enter the lists with these furious Antagonists, was publikely brought along to an infamous place, where all wicked persons were put to death, which place the people that liued thereabout, called it Golgotha, a place of dead mens sculs.

Now the reason why hee was to conflict in this place, was (as wee may imagine) that hee might giue death the foyle, euen in its strongest hold, wher­in it had so long triumphed, and erec­ted so many trophees of its victorie; that, where the first Adam had beene interred, euen there by the force of the second Adam, the sharpenesse & sting of death might be rebated.

And yet, howsoeuer death was there conquered, yet not without the death of the conquerour: for euen there Christ himselfe was nayled to his crosse, in the view both of men and Angels. Who although he was brought into that lamentable straight and exi­gent, although hee lay groueling and gasping vnder the heauy burden, both [Page 76] of the pangs of death, and the paines of Hell, and the wrath of his Father; yet notwithstanding the loue hee bare vn­to man, was euen then no lesse en­tire then euer it was. For euen then I say, hee saued the theefe at the crosse, and prayed for his enemies. By and by after, he surrendred his blessed Soule into the hands of God.

What shall I now say vnto you sin­full Iewes, by whose barbarous fury, and fatall blindnesse the Son of God was crucified? What penne can ex­presse, what pencill can decipher your hainous and execrable fact? yee haue slaine, yee haue slaine the very Author of life, the first begotten of God, the Creatour of the world, the King of Is­rael: yee haue slaine that innocent and immaculate Lambe, in whome there was no deceit: yee haue slaine the Prince of Peace, the Herald of grace and of our reconciliation vnto God. Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountaine of teares, that I might weepe Ierem. 9. 1. day and night! I will bewayle with the weeping of Iazer, the vine of Sibmah; I Esay 16. 9. [Page 77] will water thee with my teares, O Hesh­bon, and Elealeh. For the righteous pe­risheth, and no man layeth it to heart. The Lord of Heauen and earth was slaine, and Esa. 57, 1. no man considereth it.

O hatefull and hated Nation! O cruell and abominable people! desti­tute of wisdome and vnderstanding, how forgetfull wert thou of him that begate thee? You haue slaine him that brought you out of the land of Egypt, that Ier. 2. 6. ledde you thorow the wildernesse, thorow a land of deserts and pits, thorow a land of drought and of the shadow of death, tho­row a land that no man passed thorow, and where no man dwelt. You haue slaine him Psal. 78, 24. that fed you in the wildernesse, euen with the bread of Angels. Him, that found you in the desert land, in the waste how­ling wildernesse, that led you about, that instructed you, that kept you as the apple of his eye. As an Eagle stirreth vp her Deut: 32. 10 nest, fluttereth ouer her young, spreadeth abroad her winges, taketh them, beareth them on her wings: So the Lord alone did leade thee, and there was no strange God with thee. Bee astonished O yee Ier. 2. 12. [Page 78] heauens at this, be yee horribly affraide, bee yee very desolate. Tell it not Gath, publish it not in the streetes of Askalon, lest the daughters of the Philistines re­ioyce, and the daughters of the vncircum­cised triumph.

That face that vpon Mount Horeb the people could not behold without astonishment, nor the Angels them­selues with horrour and amazement, the wicked Iewes defiled it with spit­tle, and bruised it with staues. And not onely so, but they euen killed the Lord of Hosts, whose name is Ieho­uah. O fanaticke and furious mis­creants, how could yee dare to mur­ther his Sonne, whose Name yee could not vtter without trembling? O ex­treame and sottish impietie, no farther to bee remembred, then detested! O peruerse and wicked generation, how are your rebellious hearts wrapt in the filme of ignorance? See yee not all the creatures of the world standing agast at the sight of your cruelty? See yee not the earth shaken, the rocks rent a sunder, the graues opened? See ye not [Page 79] the glorious beauty of the Sunne mas­qued with prodigious fogges, as defy­ing your dismall fact, and not endu­ring to behold the sadde estate and distresse of its Creatour? Alas, why stand yee gazing vp towards heauen? why stand yee wondring to see the brightnesse and lustre of the day tur­ned to an abortiue night?

Here is no defect of nature, no or­dinarie or vsuall Eclipse of the Sunne. This vnexpected darkenesse cannot be excused, eyther by the head or taile of the Dragon, vnlesse yee meane that old Dragon the Diuell, by whose in­citement yee haue cut off your owne hopes, and the life of the blessed seede of the woman. And therefore because yee destroyed him in whom there was both light and life, yee are now ouer­whelmed with Egyptian and palpable darkenesse; darknesse not caused by the course of time, but by your owne iniquity. Darkenesse accompanied with feare and horrour.

This is that yee haue read in Esay, The windowes and cataractes of Heauen [Page 80] are opened, the foundation of the earth are shaken. The earth shall reele to and fro as a drunkard, and shall bee remoued like a cottage. And all this shall come to passe, because yee haue slaine him, who commaundeth the Sunne, and it ari­seth, who sealeth vp the starres as vnder a signet.

The earth acknowledged him its Creatour; the rockes that claue asun­der confessed him to be God; the Tem­ple to be a Priest; who after the abroga­tion of the ceremoniall Law, and the disanulling of all superstitions what­soeuer, placed his true worship in the spirit of man, and his chiefest Temple in the soule of man. Now besides this, not onely the rending of the body of the Temple, but also of the temple of his body, plainely manifesteth that all sacrifices ended in that one self-sacri­fice, being both the abolishment & accō ­plishment of all oblations whatsoeuer. This Sacrifice was the most Hilasticall and propitiatory of all others.

This sacrifice was a most perfect and absolute Holocaust, for it was totally [Page 81] consumed by the flames of Christs feruent loue vnto man. And as it was burnt, so it sent vp a most sweet sa­uour vnto the nostrils of God. This sacrifice consisted of the purest meale, neyther was it euer sowred with the leauen of any iniquity. Part where­of was offered vnto God vpon the Crosse, and part was reserued for the Priests, that is, for all vs, that thereby wee might bee nourished to eternall life.

By this was the wrath of God ap­peased, and our peace procured. Ne­uer was there such a sacrifice as this before offered, that could so fully mi­tigate the displeasure of God concey­ued against man, whose sinne was so hainous and notorious, insomuch that eyther the Son of God was to dye once for man, or man eternally. But if per­aduenture any man be so incredulous as to demaund, how Christ beeing the Sonne of God could suffer, seing that the Deitie is not subiect vnto passion; hee may bee fully resolued by the Church, whose assertion is, that Christ [Page 82] suffered not in respect of his diuine nature, but his humane. For though the Deity was in the Sufferer, yet was it not in the suffering; though it was in the body of Christs passion, yet was it not in the passion of Christs bo­dy: so that the Humanity onely suf­fered, and the Deity onely sustayned it, and made it able to endure the af­fronts of its impetuous aduersaries. The impotency of the one required the omnipotency of the other.

When I thinke vpon my Saui­ours Humanity, then mee thinke, I see him faultering vnder the burden of his Crosse; When I thinke vpon his Deitie, then me thinke, I see him wal­king vpon the Galleries of Heauen. When I thinke vpon his Humanity, then mee thinke I see him lying in the dust, and weltring in his owne gore: When I thinke vpon his Deity, then mee thinke I see him flying vpon the winges of the glorious Seraphims. Oh how different are these two na­tures of Christ! And yet howsoeuer [Page 83] the [...] betwixt them bee so great, and the disparity so eui­dent, yet notwithstanding in him are they both combined. For although he be not one nature, yet is a one in Person, one Christ, one Mediator, one Redeemer, one Sauiour. For euen as the body and soule of man being two diuers things, doe not­withstanding constitute one man: So the Deitie and humanitie of Christ, albeit they be two diuers natures, yet they make vp one person. Christ in regard of his humanity, died: in respect of his Deitie, he still re­mained entire, vntouched, impassi­ble, invulnerable. This was that, that rowsed vp the interred carcases from their graues, (for many of the Saints that slept, arose, and came into the holy City, and appea­red vnto many.) This was that that rent the veile of the Temple. This was that, that as it were, sealed vp the Sunne-beames vnder a Signet of Cimmerian clouds. This was that that caused that generall con­quassation [Page 84] of the earth. This was that that made the Centurion auerie, (maugre all the peoples vehement re­clamation) that Christ was the true and essentiall Sonne of God. It was the flesh that trēbled, that stood so affrigh­ted and appaled at the grimme visage of death.

It was the flesh that would haue hindered the Word, and haue fore slowed the purchase of our eternall sal­uation. It was the flesh that suffered vpon the Crosse; and it was the Deity that triumphed ouer the bitternesse of death. It was the flesh that was the sacrifice; It was the Deity that was the Priest that sacrificed it. It was the flesh that in the anguish of its passi­on groned and breathed out this sad and dolefull complaint, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken mee? And yet howsoeuer the flesh was thus per­plexed and afflicted, yet its vnion with the Deity remayned still entire. Ney­ther could it possibly bee cast off or forsaken by that, vnto which the links and ligaments of loue had so strictly [Page 85] obliged it. O that our dull and mi­stie vnderstanding were so illuminated, our zeale and affections so seruent, as truly to conceiue the Maiesty, and ear­nestly to embrace the humility of our Sauiour!

Oh that wee could sufficiently meditate vpon the grieuous wounds, that hee suffered; vpon the gracious words that hee vttered! If we reuolue all the Annales and records of time; wee shall neuer finde his paralell, ne­uer any man that spake as hee spake, that suffered as he suffered: Neuer any man that so loued his friends, that so pittied his foes; neuer any so kind to the religious, so mercifull euen to Publicans and Sinners. Who a little before hee dranke the bitter cuppe of his passion, ministred a sweet cordiall of consolation vnto the theefe that was to suffer with him: To day thou shalt bee with mee in Paradise. Thus was that miserable sinner acquited from the death of the soule, although hee suffered the death of the body. Thus was hee by the power and mer­cie [Page 86] of CHRIST, of a malefactor, made a martyr. Surely so strange and sud­daine a conuersion could not but bee immediately wrought by the efficacie of Christs Deitie: which euen in this act shewed its intensiue & superlatiue loue towards that Flesh of ours, which it assumed.

Oh blessed and happie day, where­on our fraile & forlorne Flesh was vni­ted vnto that nature which was ney­ther obnoxious to Corruption, nor subiect vnto Passion!

But, Oh, more blessed and happie day was that, whereon our Flesh being ioyned to the Deitie, so died in Christ, as that wee not suffering death, were notwithstanding restored vnto life.

For as CHRIST tooke vpon him our nature in the wombe, so hee vn­dertooke our death vpon the Crosse. For whatsoeuer he suffered as man, he suffered for man: from whom he can be no more separated or divulsed, then from his Deitie, with which he ioyned our humanitie, that he might saue and secure it from the hazzard of eternall [Page 87] death and damnation, &c.

Oh infinite loue! Oh incompre­hensible mercie! Oh blessed & hap­pie day, wherein the head of the Ser­pent was brokē, the Leuiathan woun­ded, the vast Behemoth ouerturned, the powers of Hell subdued, the Graue conquered, the sting of Death reba­ted.

Oh blessed and happie day, where­in the force and guilt of Sinne was ta­ken out of the world, and the sinner taken vp into heauen. O blessed and happy day, wherein by our Sauiours passion, the gates of heauen were ope­ned; wherein it so came to passe, that wee that were once exiled and bani­shed from the celestiall Paradise, may now againe bee freely therein insta­ted, and reimpatriated.

Now there is no Cherubim to hin­der vs, no flaming sword to affright vs. Now may wee all bee easily admitted, and bee made free deni­zens of that heauenly Ierusalem.

O let not our impenitent insolen­cie, and insolent impenitency bee the [Page 88] cause of our exclusion.

Let vs consider that the incredulous and proud Pharises that challenged vnto themselues so much purity and piety, were the first that were re­iected, their Synagogue neglected, and euen theeues & malefactors pre­ferred before them.

And this was that that so discoura­ged the Diuell, when hee saw those that had beene his slaues and vassals to bee rescued and absolued from death, by one that was condemned to death; when hee saw that Christ was more powerfull in his death then euer any Emperour was in his rule and soueraignety; when he saw not from stones, but from the gallowes, e­uen from hell it selfe, children raysed vp vnto Abraham.

When hee saw the Sonne of God after his buffets and his bonds, last of all, euen in his death, to erect the glorious building and edifice of his Church; when hee saw that blessed inheritance of Christ being but a lit­tle part and moytie of Mankind, still [Page 89] to flourish as the Palme-tree vnder the burden and weight of its afflictions: when hee saw the Church of Christ, which was created by his power, now redeemed by his bloud, vnited by his Apostles, instructed by his Prophets, comforted by his Euangelists, and freede from that heauy yoake of ce­remonies, with which it had beene long oppressed: When hee saw it, howsoeuer diuided in body, yet combined in spirit; Hauing nothing, and yet possessing all things in Christ, which is all in all. In whose passion it gloryed, whose patience it imi­tated.

Which Church of his, although it seeme to wither by the heate of persecution, yet doth it still grow & waxe greene by the dew of grace, and sappe of consolation.

True it is, that the Saints on earth are frequently perplexed with variety of exquisite torments; and yet these are not of force & validity to diuert their zealous and constant resoluti­ons, [Page 90] to separate them from their grand-Captaine Christ Iesus, whom they follow, not as beeing confir­med in their purposes by the irrefra­gable peruersenesse of the Stoickes; nor as beeing induced thereunto by the Sophistrie of Logicke, or by the inchantments of Rhetoricke; but as it were, beeing bound by oath, and deepely engaged vnto their Sauiour: by whose bloud they are refreshed, by whose flesh they are nourished, by whose Spirit they are reuiued, by whose promises they are inuited, by whose precepts they are directed. The chiefest scope they ayme at, is, that they may bee one with Christ, as Christ is one with God.

For thou sweet Sauiour art our head, and wee thy members: Thou our shepheard, and wee thy sheepe, thou the Vine, and we thy branches. By thy death wee liue, by thy life are we raysed from death.

And although wee are here sor­ted and mixed with the world, yet [Page 91] our cogitations and our conuersati­ons are in heauen, whither our Sa­uiour is gone before.

Oh that wee could follow him, that wee could waft our selues vnto that Hauen of ioy; vnto that secure rode of felicity.

But seeing that as yet wee can­not follow thee (sweet Iesu) with our bodies, yet wee pursue thee with our desires, with our sighes, with our affections, with our teares.

In this interim, whiles wee heere suruiuing, seriously ponder those trā ­scendent afflictions of thine, which for our sakes, and yet not for our de­serts, thou sufferedst vpon thy Crosse; whiles we meditate vpon those griefes and torments which were as propas­sions vnto thy passion, how are we rapt into admiration of thy loue? Then doe wee abandon all our fruit­lesse and friuolous cogitations, then doe wee discard all our ambitious Babel building thoughts; then do wee disclaime the insolent selfe-conceites [Page 92] of our owne abilities, then doe wee deepely lament our supine and stu­pid negligence; then doe we grieue that wee haue beene so prodigall of our precious houres, and that we haue not embarqued our selues in those ac­tions which most of all procure our safety and indemnity.

Then are our eyes become foun­taines of teares; then cry wee out and say; O Lord, thou hast ascended on high, thou hast ledde captiuity captiue. Then crie wee out, O Lord, what is man, that thou art so mindefull of him, or the Sonne of man that thou so regardest him? Oh good IESU, what is man, that thou so regardest him? Thou hast cloathed mee with skinne and flesh, and hast fenced mee with bones and sinewes, sayth Iob, Chapter 10 11. Remember, I beseech thee, that thou hast made me as the clay, and wilt bring mee into the dust. Hast thou not powred mee out as milke, and crudled mee as cheese? Chapter 10. ver. 9. and 10. Am I not to bee consumed as a [Page 93] rotten thing, and as a garment that is moth-eaten? How then can it be that I, being of so abiect and corruptible a constitution, should bee saued from death, by the death of the Lord of life? O strange and admirable loue! as farre beyond comprehension, as end and measure. I haue sinned, & thou (sweet Iesu) hast suffered; nay, and I haue also suffered in thee, which sufferedst for me.

Thus by thee am I lyable neither to death nor punishment. My na­ture which I had corrupted, thou hast refined; that that happinesse might re-accrew vnto mee which I had lost by the fall of my first parents. What now therefore shall I say? How shall I sufficiently eyther admire thy pow­er, or prayse thy goodnesse? Thou that art infinite, thou that art neyther confined to time or place, thou that art subiect neyther to death or passi­on, didst out of thy most entire and intensiue loue vnto vs, cloathe thy selfe with our fraile flesh incident to [Page 94] both. Which flesh of ours (maugre the Diuels malice and malignity) thou hast highlie exalted it, and placed it aboue the Angels, the Archangels, a­boue all the glorious Hierarchies of Heauen, euen at the right hand of thy Father, where is the fulnesse of ioy and pleasures for euer more. But before thou couldst ascend vnto that verticall point and Meridian of thy glorie, with what massie loades of calamities wert thou oppressed?

What Hunger, what Thirst, what Nakednes, what Iniuryes, what Re­uilings, what Spittings, what Stripes, what Wounds, what contumelyes, what disgraces, what Death, and Cru­cifying didst thou most mildely and patiently endure for vs!

And therfore, Oh sweete IESU, giue vs grace, that as thou dyedst for vs, so wee may liue heere to thee, and here­after with thee. Graunt wee beseech thee, that thy Passion may be our per­petuall Meditation.

Oh let vs alwayes reflect our Eyes [Page 95] vpon thee, and let thy sufferings take a deepe impression both in our Me­mories and in our affections.

And graunt Oh sweete Sauiour, that wee may put, not the bodily finger with Thomas, but euen the finger of Faith into thy side, and into thy wounds, and with the hand of Faith apprehend thy merites.

Graunt that we may crucifie all the inordinate Lusts of the Flesh, all our wanton and Lasciuious cogitations, and that wee may be like thee in suffe­rings, that we may be like thee in glo­rie.

That wee whom thou hast reconci­led vnto thy FATHER, we whom thou feedest with thy Flesh, we whom thou refreshest with thy Bloud, wee whome thou perpetually reuiuest by the celestiall influence of thy grace, may hereafter bee one with thee, as thou art one with the Father.

To whome with thee and the Holy Spirite bee ascribed and rende­red [Page 96] all power, might, maiesty, dominion and prayse, both now, and for euermore, AMEN.

Gratias tibi Domine IESV.


LONDON, Imprinted by Bernard Alsop, and are to bee solde at his house by Saint Annes Church neere Aldersgate. 1618.

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