TWO SERMONS, ONE PREACHED AT PAVLES CROSSE DECEMBER 20. BY ROGER LEA Master of Arts, of Iesus-Colledge in Cam­bridge: and Preacher at S. Leonards Shorditch, in Middlesex, by LONDON.

ANOTHER Preached in Paules-Church, De­cemb. 26, being S. Steuens day, by IOHN SQVIRE, Master of Arts, of the same Colledge: and Preacher of the same Parish.

LVC. 22.38. Ecce duo gladii hîc.

LONDON, Printed by W.I. for Nicholas Bourne, and are to be sold at the Exchange. 1619.

THE SCEPTER OF RIGHT …

THE SCEPTER OF RIGHTEOVSNES.

A SERMON PREACHED AT PAVLES-CROSSE, DECEMBER 20. 1618.

By ROGER LEY, MASTER OF ARTS, and Minister of Gods Word in SHORDITCH.

PSAL. 45.6.

Thy throne (O God) is for euer and euer: the scepter of thy kingdome is a right scepter.

Thou louest righteousnesse, and hatest iniquitie: there­fore God, thy God, hath anoynted thee with the oyle of gladnesse aboue thy fellowes.

Anno Dom. 1619.

SPECTATISSIMO VIRO DOCTORI MOVMFORT IN ECCLESIA Sancti Pauli London Canonico Resi­denti, huius vitae foelicitatem & futurae gloriam.

FESTO iam peracto (Vir insignissime) cessantibus exparte Ecclesiae vestrae Exer­citiis, quibus Auditores intenti, ad legen­dum minus vacârunt, prodit Libellus no­ster. Vt qui prius in audiendo fuerunt oc­cupati, iam incipiant fieri Lectores. Si quis igniculos aliquos retineat ex illis Sa­cris conceptos: hîc si velit animum exer­ceat. Cuius reiansam praebet materia non multum à tempore dis­sentiens: agitur enim de perpetuo Saluatoris nostri regimine: versumque Textus huius vltimum ex Psalmo 110. Apostolum citare volunt Interpretes. Qui Psalmus Natali Dominico legen­dus ab Ecclesia nostra proponitur. Tractat enim De virga virtu­tis quam ex Sion emittet Dominus. Fateor quidem me animo non intrepido hoc Opus evulgare: Prelum autem quasi praelium periculi plenissimum reformido. Obiiciant fortasse nonnulli iu­ventutem mihi; ideoque silentium quinquennale potius indice­rent. Quibus nihilominus respondeo, in hac aetate iuvenili quin­qu [...]nnalem taciturnitatem effluxisse. Ab initio quoque proposue­ram inter humiles Mirycas delirescere nisi grauioribus excita­tus consiliis: lenta haecingenii vimina (quae propterea magis flecti poterant) huc [...]sque sustulissem. Si quis praeterea sortem me [...]m & locum in Ecclesia mediocrem obiiciat, hunc omitto, nam dona theologica qualiacun que sunt ab aestimatione fortunae & dignitate [Page]loci prorsus pendere non debent. Contra hunc error em vt dicam quod censeo, Tacendo, ei fauere non est virile: quinetiam aptius iudicavi scribendo ad confatationem tanti criminis me offerre, Ipsa siq [...]idem Poemata hoc ab Authore suo exiorserunt ‘Fortunam Domini non meru [...]re sui.’ Solus au [...]em periculosa haee itinera non suscepi, sed ab alio quasi fultus & stipatus. Vique si sax haec mea in mari turbido se osten­dens, Hele [...]a quaedam & portentum videretur, cum tamen appa­reo sub duplic [...] specie, fortunatos cuentus declarar [...] mihi videor; nunc autem sub Castoris & Pollucis titulo bonas interpretatio­nes sperare possum. Haec humanitati tuae & doctorum hominum iudiciis credo satisfacere, illis autem quiminus literati buius O­rationis sensum non percipiunt nihil extra concionem afferre de­creui. Necesse habui contra eruditorum censuras seueriores scuto instar Fab [...]i desensionem parare. Pro caeteris verò, non est tam [...] gendum clypeo Fabii quàm gladio Marcelli: scilicet errores & peccata, ipsa aggredi concione potius, quàm in principio longiores ambages coutexere.

Ad te quod spectat (reuerende Vir) alius Scriptor cum te multa beneuolentia prosequatur; vt Opus hoc tibi dicarem, horta­tor erat acerrimus. Nouit enim in me bene merita tua, meque memorem beneficii, etsi mentem alique testimonio gratam com­probare neglexeram. Accipe igitur in biliothecam tuam amplis­simam paruum hoc animi gratimunusculum Naturalicursu par­ua flumina ni ingentia maria se emittunt: Eadem ratione, mino­racerebri fluenta conseruationem sui in Oceano tuo desiderant. Deus te tueatur incolumem, vt prata Domini rigare valeas, in­que alios extra laetos Academiae fontes sitos, ex tua redundanti [...] gratas aspergines derivare.

Dignitatis tuae cultor amantissimus, ROGERVS LEY.

THE SCEPTER OF RIGHTEOVSNES.
A sermon preached at Pauls Crosse the twentieth day of December, 1618. being the fourth Sunday in Aduent.

1. Corinthians 15. vers. 24, 25.‘Then commeth the end, when he shall haue deliuered vp the kingdome to God euen the Father, when he shall haue put downe all rule, and all authoritie and power. For he must reigne till he hath put all enemies vnder his feete.’

ALL Scripture is profitable and maketh the man of God perfect saith S. Paul, and therefore the Law of God is called a perfect Law in the nineteenth Psalme. Not that euery matter concer­ning this life and the common affaires of this world must bee brought from thence as some vpstart Doctours in our kingdome once did teach: For these men not [Page 2]knowing how to keepe within compasse, haue giuen more then it is capable of. For as one did well ob­serue against them, euery part of Scripture may be called perfect, as well as the whole entire body of Scripture: as euery part of a man is perfect for the end it was intended; although it be not the whole man: Among those I haue here propounded a per­fect part, like vnto the head which conteineth in it all the sences, and from which the sinewes doe spread themselues to giue life and motion to the body. The state of heauen: The state of earth: The state of hell in some sort being here described, The end of this life being set downe, and another without end.

A gouernment here, by men, there by God: vpon which causes is built the frame of our obedience and our due reuerence to the diuine Maiestie most surely confirmed. So then you see perfection in the text, concerning a perfect expounder; that care concer­neth me, whome although I finde not of worth suf­ficient to manage so great a prouince: I ground vp­on his words that said my strength is made perfect in weakenesse. Concerning a perfect auditour that con­cerneth you: See then how Cyprian describes him in the second Epistle to Donatus. Tam ore, quam mente, totus auditores, & hoc amore quo diligis. An absolute hearer shewes it by a fixed countenance and stedfast ge­sture. Secondly, by a minde willing to be taught and to goe away better when the sermon is done, and thirdly, by a louing minde, to accept well that which is spoken, and kindely to censure. If we can thus frame to the text, then may we also bring our businesse to some per­fection. [Page 3]I shall with prosperous speede be at my end, and if our life be but a spanne long as the Psalmist speakes, your life is like the sermon and our time vsu­ally figured by the houre-glasse: your end shall short­ly follow mine, as it is in the [...] Psalme. Thou brin­gest our yeares to an end as it were a tale that is told. Let our endeauors then concurre, that we may pro­fit by the worke, and enioy that end in the begin­ning of the text. Then commeth the end, &c. So may the word of God appeare perfect, for the law of God is a perfect law conuerting the soule in the seauenth verse of the forenamed Psalme, that which is perfect may make perfect: shewing in it selfe a sound per­fection, because it workes in vs a sincere conuersion. These words may be taken as an argument of the resurrection, (among sundry other reasons that I o­mit because of abundance of matter herein contei­ned.) For Christ must be an absolute king, to honour and aduance his subiects into glory by raising them vp into life eternall, and confounding his aduersa­ries the last whereof is death. And as it augmenteth the glory of a king to reigne a long time, to make a manifest and a large declaration of his power, in sun­dry ages, and much variety: so Christ doth not on the suddaine end the world, but deferres his accom­plishment thereof til he hath raigned a certaine time, To put all his enemies vnder his feete. Secondly, these words are for comfort. If any should be ouer hasty to leaue this life, to come to that better kingdome, here S. Paul seemeth to giue a reason of Christs long tarrying: we must not expect our end before our [Page 4]Lord appoints it, but continue in the field and keepe our rankes against the enemies vnder our captaine, till he end the warre and bring vs to a place of rest. Because as Caluin saith, Non est consentaneum medio stadio nos coronari, We must not enioy our crowne before we runne our race, but as constant runners hold out till we come at the iournies end.

We may deuide these two verses in the words of Aquinus, here is first adaptio boni, the performing of good, & remotio mali, the remoouing of euill. Both here by Christ are wrought as a patterne to all rulers, that for the time they are in office their conscience may tell them, this good haue I done, and this euill haue I represt. For he that will hurt none, and doe good to none, but thinkes it good sleeping in a whole skin, and the safest course not to meddle, carrieth a resolution not worthy the minde of a superiour, but by our Sauiours example hee must hazard and put forth himselfe. So in the 24. verse hee sets by the good; Then shall be the end when he shall haue deliuered vp the kingdome to the Father. And in the 15. verse ex­pels the bad. He must reigne till he hath put all his enemies vnder his seete. And as Anchises gaue counsell to his sonne in the which the Romans seemed to bragge for executing the precept. ‘Parcere subiectis & debellare superbos.’ Aenec. 6.

To spare the subiects and to pull downe the proude, The first is practised here in the 24. verse, parcere sub­iectis, To spare or rather to honour the subiects, Then shall be the end when he shall haue deliuered the kingdome to the Father; and the second is expressed in the 25. verse, [Page 5] there he pulls downe the proude. He must reigne till hee hath put all his enemies vnder his feete. Concerning the verses in themselues seuerally considered; In the 24. verse consider first an end of the old world▪ Then shall be the end, the estate of the new world he shall haue de­liuered vp the kingdome to the Father, and the manner of gouernment without degrees of secular power by God immediately, He shall put downe all rul, and all au­thority and power. In the 25. consider. The kingdome, and the conquest, the kingdome, he must reigne, the Conquest, till he hath put all enemies vnder his feete. In the last con­sider the parties vanquished, his enemies, and their miserable ouerthrow & discomfiture vnder his feete. They are put vnder feete. In the first place we haue the last estate of all the world to consider, Then commeth the end. In euery businesse the last issue must bee first concluded, as in running a race we first agree of the end to which the swift motion of the course must aime, and approach. In shooting, the marke and scope it first set vp. Therefore it is obserued that pra­cticall sciences must be handled per methodum analiti­cam [...] fine admedia. We first set downe the end, and then the meanes that leadeth to the end. Of ends there are two sorts, first an end of destruction; and secondly an end of accomplishment when a thing is finished. The one is a bad end, the other a good, by the one a thing is ended, that is, to say consumed: by the other a busi­nesse or worke is ended, that is, it is perfected. In this place Beza vnderstands the latter, the world shall be ended, that is it shall be perfected. But to speake pro­perly, we may vnderstand both. For an accomplish­ment [Page 6]cannot bee without the destruction of some thing. Generatio vnius est corruptio alterius, when a new thing is formed, the old thing must be altered, according to the 36. verse of this chapter. That which thou sowest is not quickned except it die.

Briefely then of these two ends in order. First, the world, and the inhabitants, and all things that we en­ioy, must haue an end: they must be destroyed and consumed. Euery thing that seemeth most strong and beautifull, must in the end vanish and fall away. The cause of this is sinne for when things are in their height, they abuse their time, they beare not them­selues aright in the middest of their glory, the gifts of God are abused, and therefore he plagues the earth and destroyes the world: men are the abusers, and therefore that time which giueth them leaue to sin, bringeth them likewise to an end, and burieth them in a common destruction. This is the nature of sinne, it is still a destroyer. God did threaten Adam in para­dise at the first with moriendo morieris, in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt die the death. And euer since where sinne hath bin committed with a stubborne hand, God hath punished with destruction and de­solation. Euen from hence must euery one confesse that he is a sinner because he carrieth a body subiect to corruption, and in time death shal sease vpon him. When as the Lord did see that the wickednesse of man was great vpon the earth before the flood, hee brought that deluge to ouer-flow the world, that the waters might breake the heart and strength of the earth, that mens liues might be shortned by the pu­trefaction [Page 7]of the Elements, and so weakenesse bee brought vpon the world. We may see it by exam­ples. Noe liued 950. yeares, Terah the father of Abra­ham liued but 205. yeares, and Ioseph that was in a neere generation in the descending line from Terah, died at the age of an hundred and ten, in the 50. of Genesis and the last verse. So the yeares of men af­ter the flood were strangely altered, euer from 950. to 110. in some succeeding ages. Sinne is the cause of all this. Tyrants that rule enioy their kingdomes but a while as histories can testifie. For because their vi­ces and cruelties are most vntollerable, they are soo­nest ended. And vngodly men they liue not out halfe their daies, the Lord hath said it, and God perfor­meth it, when they are an impediment to his worke, & when their iniquity cannot be endured, although it be not alwaies so. For he worketh diuersly as he sindeth occasion: sometime he smiteth, sometimes he suffereth, his prouidence being not tied to any li­mits. But sinne according to the nature of it wor­keth a man to his end, and still playeth the part of a destroyer. If this be so, let vs be carefull to auoide it, and carefull to amend it, make an end of sinne before God make an end of you. For know this, where ini­quity is: Gods hatred followeth, and will cut down that which displeaseth him with a finall confusion. Yet sinne is of that nature that it desires to be conti­nuall, the delight of it coueteth to bee euerlasting, when a man is taken captiue and wonne to carnall bewitching pleasure: he wisheth to dwell there with­out ceasing or interruption. How vnequall then is [Page 8]vice in the proceeding: for although it make an end of the sinner, it will make no end of it selfe. Hence it is that repentance is deferred, and suffereth so many procrastinations till a man finde a fitter time, a better inclination of his heart within, a more conuenient opportunity without, so making his transgression to continue. Hence is it that the euill seruant saith, my master doth defer his comming, therefore he smites his fellow seruants and goeth on with a presuming boldnesse. And will not forecast his heauy euents, nor consider, that although his master deferres his comming; yet he commeth after his deferring, and at last will end his enterprises with vnwelcome issues.

And to what purpose shal the world spinne out an vngodly third? when this fatall stroke shall cut it off: what fruite shall a man expect from a falling tree. Pleasure and content beeing once changed become more sorrowfull; euen as a mans sorrow being chan­ged is so much more pleasant. Alas this end is that which reacheth not sinne alone, but for our sinnes cuts off all that this earth can yeild. The principall matters of a mans estate, that he desireth to get toge­ther for his soule to rest on, by lawfull and good pro­ceeding, his end will cut him short of a full fruition, and make his desires lame in his greatest purposes. This did Seuerus the Emperour truly see and finde by true experience, who hauing passed through ma­ny aduentures at last died in our land ouerladen with troubles weighing with himselfe what his life had beene, he broke forth into these speeches [...] — I haue beene all that might bee, [Page 9]and now am nothing the better. This end is that which ouerturneth all, and will giue a foule wound to the fairest member of our earthly happinesse. ‘The second is an end of perfection.’

For the Lord hath so tempered his heauy blow with mercy, that the good shall gaine by the fall, that God which consumeth others shall perfect them. And for this end the whole world may expect. Rom. 8. verse the 21. The creature shall be deliuered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the sonnes of God. And S. Paul speaketh of him­selfe and the other Apostles, not onely the creatures of the world, but we doe groane within our selues waiting for the adoption, to wit the redemption of our body. Here in earth the seruice of God is not absolute, but in part, ioyned with many infirmities, the reward also of true obedience is not seene, so that the imperfection of things present seemeth to re­quire a future accomplishment. Here wee stand by faith, and our faith is wrought by hearing and rea­ding the word of God. Now although hearing of good newes be some comfort: and the reading of a letter doth somewhat reioyce the heart, that decla­reth the state of an absent friend: yet these are not like the present fruition of the thing desired. So when the Lord dealeth here by the sacred Gospell, the comfortable tidings of peace and ioy: Yet because it is but in hearing, it seemeth to point out at some­thing beyond, for the nature of words are only to signifie or to resemble another thing besides them­selues, by representing somewhat that lyeth hid. So [Page 10]then if in this life our state doth lie in hearing, to shew that we are farre of, neither yet attained to our full expectation. Our end shall be an end of accom­plishment, to perfect that which before did want full perfection. Againe, hearing is for this life, seeing is for the next in enioying a happy and blessed vision, a mans fight is the most noble sence of the fiue, ther­fore that must be the guide or rather the instrument that is reserued to conueigh the blessed gifts of the other life: that the things which are most perfect in themselues, may be deriued to vs in the most perfect manner. Wherefore you see that because our reli­gion hath not all the fulnesse that so worthy a cause requireth: Our end shall be an end of perfection, to finish those hopes, and to make vp those breaches that doe keepe vnder the minde, and doe here re­strame it in some sort.

Secondly, the vices of this world doe crie out for an end, that wickednesse may not vaunt it selfe, but that a better estate and a more perfect condition may beare the sway. And indeede the vices of this world doe proclaime an end of perfection. For what infinite idolatry doth euen since the world stood, and at this very day ouer-spread the face of the whole earth? How doe base surfets and riotous excesse a­bound? How doe oathes breath forth without any reuerence or regard of him that is named? What op­pression and biting of poore men doth passe with haughtinesse and pride? Can wee now thinke that the iust God can euer endure that these should euer stand? Yea and flourish also, and out braue his Ma­iesty? [Page 11]No surely hee will bring matters to a better passe, and set things in a right order by a iust gouern­ment, we must expect an end of perfection.

Thirdly and lastly, as our religion doth require an accomplishment, and as the vices of men that are a­gainst religion doe require a reformation, so our mo­rall vertues that doe not immediately concerne Gods worship, but are vsed as good meanes, and helpes for it, and the ordinary things that are either for necessi­ty or for ornament of this life: they are here so full of want that they seeme to groane for a redresse, to be better seated by a happy end. Our knowledge and vnderstanding, whereby we comprehend the deepe mysteries of God and the hidden qualities of his workes, is full of doubt and difficulty as we haue it in this life. Solomon that did wish it, and was com­mended for his wish, yet heare how he censured it in the first of Ecclesiastes and the last verse. Much reading is a wearinesse to the flesh, and he that encreaseth know­ledge encreaseth sorrow. A mans ioy and mirth, which is of worldly blessings most principall, for men scrape all the rest together to obtaine it, because it is but a shadow, and a flying vanity as we haue it, heare how the same Author doth iudge of it who did enioy all things his heart could desire. I said of laughter thou art mad, and of mirth what is this that thou dost, Ecclesiastes the second verse the second. To leaue the minde and come to the body, eating and drinking, the meanes to preserue our naturall life, it is no priui­ledge aboue the beast, therefore the basest of all de­lights. When a certaine Poet that loued his ease, and [Page 12]that content of pleasing his belly, gaue Hadrian the Emperour a verse, to this effect: the Emperour be­ing a man giuen to versifying.

Ego nolo Caesaresse,
Ambulare per Britannos, &c.

I would not be an Emperour to march among the Britans and to be nipt with the frosts of Scythia: the Em­perour answered him in the like fashion.

Ego nolo Florus esse,
Ambulare per tabernas, &c.

I would not be Florus to walke from tauerne to tauerne, and to bury all my daies in the graue of swinish sensuali­ty. So meane a thing is this corporall pleasure to them that truly conceiue thereof. Let me leaue the minde, and the body, and view the outward contents that the earth affordes. The glory, the pride and honor of this life is much eclipsed with imperfection. That which is lift vp in one day, may fall downe the next. There is prepared a moth for appatell, and wormes and putrifaction doe waite for him that is aduanced: when this end shall come it plucketh the highest vn­der foote, and layeth his honour in the dust. Behold then wisedome and content of minde, the pleasure of the body, the outward pompe of worldly honour, being in themselues lawfull if vsed with moderation, and directed to a right intent: Yet as we haue them in this life they suffer their diseases. We must thinke of a time when they shall be perfected, and refined, for the God of nature doth order all things aright, and whereas they seeme heere to be kept in prison or to miscarry in diuers points, they shall be rectified [Page 13]by an estate aboue, which doth fixe them vpon their true obiect.

Then shall wisedome and knowledge receiue ac­complishment, we shall see the Lord as he is, not ob­scurely as in a glasse, but face to face as the Apostle speaketh.

Then shall a mans ioy be complete and substanti­all, seeing he shall enioy that is better then himselfe: For earthly ioy is therefore imperfect, because no­thing in the world is so excellent as a mans soule, and therefore it cannot rest in these inferiour things, till it come to the Lord who is a spirit, euen the Father of spirits, in whom alone the spirituall soule doth re­ceiue satisfaction. Then shall bodily sustentation also cease, the belly is here for meate, and meate for the belly, and God destroyeth both it and them: there shall be a feeding onely of the soule, and a drin­king of that water, whereof hee that drinketh shall neuer thirst as our Sauiour speaketh. The spirituall contents are set downe by bodily descriptions. How­beit the happinesse is spirituall, for spirituall things are most excellent. Seeing all things must be most absolute. Aquin and Lyra haue vrged this text a­gainst the Turkes that dreame of carnall delights in a bodily paradise after death.

Lastly, that desire of honour which God hath gi­uen men by nature, because the earth is not able to sa­tisfie, doth point out the right way to wandring thoughts. A man ought to eschew basenesse, that is, to detest sinne which doth worke a downefall, and to aspire to that kingdome of glory: that here by [Page 14]honouring God, hereafter the Lord may honour vs, according to that speech giuen out for our encou­ragement. To him that ouercommeth I will grant to sit with me in my throne. In the third of the Reue­lation.

I haue here propounded two ends for you, an end of destruction, and an end of persection. The first end is for all, the second for a few. For vs let it be our care seeing we must end: let vs end the best waie: let vs not loose that faire possibility wherewith God hath endowed vs, by taking vs from the multitude of ali­ants, and made vs members of his Church, in as much as he sheweth vs by his word what is to come: but let our life be so squared, that our consciences may tell vs we seeke perfection. For woe be to him that endeth not the best way, and happie, yea thrice happie is hee whose end is the doore to happinesse. Let that be our resolution, which was the wish of an euill man, of Balaam, who hauing a little touch giuen him, and a certaine light of the end of Gods elect, be­cause he was a Prophet: brake out into a good desire, let vs vse it with a more sound affection, that we may prooue more then wishers and woulders in the case. O that I may die the death of therighteous, and that my last end may be like his.

So much of the end of the old world. [Page 15]I come now to the establishing of a new.

When hee shall haue deliuered vp the kingdome to God the Father.

AS the king doth send forth his generall with re­gall authoritie to the warre, who hauing subdu­ed the enemy, returneth in triumph, and all beeing finished maketh a surrender of his place. So our Sa­uiour came into the world from the Father with e­quall authority, here he discharged his office impo­sed on him, and hauing confounded all his aduersa­ries, at the day of iudgement endeth the warre. And like a Dictatour that gouerneth only in times of dan­ger, so the vsing his authority vpon rebellious men: When the worke is finished, leaueth his function by deliuering the kingdome vp to the Father. Wee may ferch an exposition to these words from the 28. verse of this chapter. And when all things shall be subdued vnto him, then shall the Sonne also himselfe be subiect vn­to him, that put all things vnder him; that God may be all in all. Whereas the Lord did not visibly gouerne a­mong men by shewing the fulnesse of his owne pow­er, but gouerned it by men, keeping as yet his Maie­sty more secret: he shall then put downe all authority of men, and guide all things immediately by his owne hand. That is; To be all in all, to deliuer the kingdome to the Father, and to put downe all rule, all authoritie, and power. Because of some obscurity in these words, I must resolue two doubts that arise from hence. First of all: some may obiect, Wherefore is our Sauiour [Page 16]said to resigne his kingdome to the Father? seeing the Scripture saith, Christs kingdome must haue no end. For the prophecy of him goeth to this purpose. Daniel 2. verse 44. And in the daies of these kings, shall the King of heauen set vp a kingdome that shall neuer be destroyed, and the kingdome shall not be left to other peo­ple, but it shall consume and breake in peeces all these kingdomes, and it shall stand for euer.

Againe, Luke the 1, and the 33. the Angell Gabriel said to the Virgin Marie. He shall reigue ouer the house of lacob for euer, and of his kingdome there shall be no end. How then doth the Apostle say, hee shall bee made subiect, and deliuer vp the kingdome to the Father. Secondly, the Arrians haue vrged this place against the diuinity of Christ, that he is not of the same na­ture, and equality with the Father, because he is here said to bee subiect and to giue ouer his kingdome, therefore his power and dignity is not eternall, hee that is God can be vnder none, as here the Sonnere­signeth his soueraignity to the Father. I will answer both these by expounding the words, for when they are well explained, these doubts will vanish of them selues: to this purpose I lay downe these two con­clusions.

First, not withstanding the words here seeme to in­ferre the contrary, Christ shall reigne for euer. For he sitteth at the right hand of the Father, a place of honour and aduancement. If he then reigned before in the field, much more must he reigne in his owne pallace, where he sitteth in the throne of Maiestie. Christ is the head of the Church, if he be the head, [Page 17]then hee must needs gouerne still, and keepe that height that is due to the highest part. His very hu­manity obteining honour aboue all creatures, euen a­boue the Angels themselues, as it is in the first to the Hebrewes prooued from my text. To which of his An­gels did he say sit at my right hand till I make thine ene­mies thy foote-stoole.

The second conclusion. In Scripture things that are heauenly are vsually ascribed to the Father, al­though they appertaine to the Sonne if they doe not appertaine to his office, to disclose to vs, and doe not concerne this life: then he puts them from himselfe to the Father. Of this we haue sundry examples. Our Sauiour Christ maketh himselfe ignorant of the day of Iudgement. Of that day and houre knoweth no man no not the Angels in heauen, nor the Sonne himselfe saue only the Father. Some haue supposed that Christ as hee was man knew not that day, and certainely he knew it not by his humanity, although it is likely he knew it in his humanity. For as he was man, hee was king, and it derogateth from the Maiesty of a king to be ignorant in his owne times or affaires. Secondly, Ioh. 3.34. he had not the spirit by measure, therefore he knew all that a creature could know or receiue, by vertue of his vnion to the diuinity. But his meaning is, It is not a thing that appertaines to my office to declare, I came to teach things necessary to saluation, but this is a secret thing that must rest in the counsell of my Father. So Caluin vpon the place, Non dubium est quin ad munus sibi a patre impositum respiciat. He had respect to the commission that the Father had giuen him, when he [Page 18]said he knew not the day of iudgement.

Againe Matthew the 20. verse the 23. Christ answe­reth the mother of the Sons of Zebedeus. To sit at the right hand and left hand in my kingdome, is not mine to giue, but it is for them for whom it is prepared of my Fa­ther. No doubt but Christ had power to giue that as well as the Father. Mat. 11.27. For he saith in another place, all things are deliuered vnto me of my Father.

But the meaning is, I come to teach patience, can you drinke of the cup that I must drinke of? and be baptized with the baptisme that I must be baptized with? that is, my office now to declare, but to satisfie these climing thoughts, to tell who shall be highest or lowest in the kingdome of God, and now at first, to answer your request, I come not to doe it in this life: but my Father reserueth it for whom he plea­seth in another world. Againe, Iohn the 14. and the 28. The Father is greater then I. The Arrians haue a­bused that place in the same manner, making Christ inferiour to the Father. Zanchius de tri­bus Elohim lib. 3. cap. 10. But the meaning is. Status ille Coelestis apud patrem praestantior est isto. The glory that I haue here is not so great as the glory of heauen. For when the disciples were grieued because he told them of his departure to the Father, he raiseth them vp with this comfortable speech. The Father is greater then I, that is, the heauenly comfort is better, then that con­tent you haue in my earthly presence. From hence we may collect that the matters of heauen are by our Sauiour ascribed to the Father, although they belong to him. Indeede the Father and the Sonne do reigne ioyntly togither, and wheresoeuer the one reigneth, [Page 19]the other reigneth also. But because the Son tooke vpon him our flesh, and was incarnate among men; whereas the Father was not made man, nor yet seene by any mortall eye, but reueileth himselfe by the Son, as by his image. Earth is the kingdome of the Sonne, and heauen the kingdome of the Father. These He­retikes call not the diuinity of the Father into que­stion, but all confesse him to be a king, yet he saith in the second Psalme and 6. verse. I haue set my king­dome vpon my holy hill of Sion. If Christs ruling do not exclude the ruling of the Father, by the like con­sequence the ruling of God the Father doth no way derogate from the dignity of the Sonne.

These two conclusions being now set downe, all cauils against this truth doe vanish. For Christs do­minion is as large as euer. Euen when he giueth vp the kingdome to God the Father.

Christ is said to deliuer vp the kingdome in three respects. First, because he ceaseth to execute that au­thority, which neuerthelesse he hath, as a Iudge that goeth from the bench, is a Iudge still: although he giue no iudgement but imployeth his time in other occasions. And as a warriour that liueth in the time of peace, or sleepeth, doth retaine his old valour al­though he want opportunity to set forth his might by proouing it in outward action: So Christ is said to resigne his place, not that his authority is subiect to diminution, but that he maketh no shew, for when his enemies are all put vnder, there is no neede that any more blowes should proceed from his kingly power.

Secondly, Christ deliuereth vp the kingdome to God the Father, not because his authority is impay­red, but because the manner of his kingdome shall be changed. He shall not reigne in the same fashion, there needeth no preaching in heauen, because there is no sinne. There neede no sacraments, for when wee enioy Christ that is the thing signified: wee shall want no outward signes. There neede no good lawes to keepe from starting into wicked­nesse, whereas the felicity of Saints is confirmed by an eternall decree. In this respect therefore hee giueth ouer the kingdome, because hee chan­geth the orders of this life into a new kinde of go­uernment.

The third and most absolute exposition is set downe by Aquin. Hee ceaseth to increase his domi­nion. For here our Sauiour by the preaching of his word gaineth more soules to his kingdome, so sprea­deth his dominion further and further. But when the Lord shall haue made vp the number of his ser­uants to his minde, then he will end the world and giue vp his kingdome, namely, hee will cease to en­large his confines any more, but be content with the number of those subiects that hee hath already. To end this point, we learne from hence how great his glory shall be, and how much it ought to draw our minds after it, Christ shall change these obscure go­uernments on earth, into an absolute fulnesse, when he giueth ouer his fierce and stormy conquest, for the happy peace of a quiet calme. For here the most happie subiect that serueth the Lord, standeth in the [Page 21]field, and taketh on him the condition of a souldier. But when the tumults of this earthly warfare shall be appeased, when the Church Militant shall be made triumphant, when the Sonne shall end this king­dome, infinite shall bee that consolation, where the diuinity shall shine forth, and the Maiesty of the Fa­ther is declared. Let ambition refine it selfe and it shall climbe higher then yet it hath aymed by any politicke endeauour. For honour vpon earth is but a type or a shadow of that honour which is aboue. What stirring and shuffling haue we heare for high places? how obsequious will a man shew himselfe, if that can promote him? what flattery of great men? sometime onely for their assistance, or to be shrouded vnder their protection. Whereas all height is but lownesse, all glory but ignominie, and all maiesty but seruitude, compared to this supreame degree of emi­nence. For the poorest Saint that is in Gods kingdome is in a greater state of excellency, then was the royal­tie of Salomon, or Dauid, or the greatest Monarch that euer the Sunne saw. For all these are but the king­domes of the Sonne, and the Sonne tooke vpon him onely the forme of a seruant. And therefore he will end this kingdome because it doth not sure wel with his greatnesse, neither thinketh he that it is worthy to continue, but lifteth vp his gouernment to that dignitie w [...]h is like himselfe. Hee will deliuer vp the kingdome to the Father.

I come now to the third part, which is the forme of gouernment in this kingdome.

Hee shall haue put downe all rule, and all authority and power.

I Finde three expositions of this place. Some an­cient Popish writers expound it of the Angels: God shall gouerne immediately by himselfe, not v­sing the Angels in their degrees, as Ministers to put his commands in execution as now they doe. Beza doth giue it a restraint to bad rulers vpon earth, God shall put them downe, and disanull their authority, For in the next verse it is said. He must reigne till hee hath put all his enemies vnder feete. Calvin vnderstan­deth good gouernours as well as bad, and indeede all gouernment in generall. The best way is to agree to him, and giue the words a large sence. So when God shall come, he will not rule by substitutes or vicege­rents, but he himselfe will be all in all. Concerning the superiority of the Angels, something may bee said, for the Apostles speech may in a sort be applyed to them. And the Schoolemen out of these words do dispute the continuance of their dignity. But that which I conclude shall be in probability rather then exact demonstration. Saint Austen is commended for his silence, a fit patterne for my imitation. The strange conceit wherewith Dionysius hath possessed the Schoolemen of that Coelestiall Hierarchie, of three orders or companies of Angels one aboue another, and that in euery degree there are three rankes, some [Page 23] Thrones, some Dominions, some Powers, some Angels, Dicunt qui pos­sunt, si tamen probare possunt quod dicunt, ego me ista ignorare confiteor Augu­stinus in Enchir­id ad Laurent. cap. 58. and some: Archangels, &c. Because this inuention hath neither warrant in Scripture, nor force of argu­ment to confirme it, let it vanish of it selfe. Questi­onlesse, there are degrees among the Angels, some are higher, and some are lower. Wee reade of Mi­chael the Archangel that disputed with the diuell a­bout the body of Moses, and that Christ at the day of the resurrection shall come with the voice of an Archangel. The Lord hath beautified the creation with varietie, one starre differeth from another starre in glory, In earth among men, one man hath greater gifts then another, among sexes, the man is more ex­cellent then the woman. Among liuing things, those that haue sence as the beasts, exceede the trees, in eue­ry thing there is Order and difference. So likewise among the Angels. But whether it be by nature or by office, it is doubted. Perhaps by nature as in the rest, perhaps their office is according to their nature, here I must confesse ignorance. A dignitie they haue whether it bee onely for a while according to the greatnesse of their worke, or whether it continue longer. Saint Ierome is of opinion that their dignitie aboue one another shall be perpetuall, because that earthly kings haue diuersities of seruants in orders and degrees: much more the king of heauen, will haue seuerall sorts of Attendants to administer in that state of glory. Zanchie confutes him from this text. If God doe abolish all power, if the Sonne seeme to end his kingdome in some sort, then the dignitie that one Angell hath aboue another, must [Page 24]needs fall and Gods immediate power take place a­lone. These arguments doe stand vpon likelihood, neither doe they command beleefe on either side. For resolution; I dare with safety expound the words as of Christ, the Angels shall not gouerne then, as they gouerne now, some ouer one man, some for a citie, some ouer many, some in a larger, some in a smaller prouince, as God doth place them in their sta­tions, according to the greatnesse of particular occa­sions. This kinde of ruling shall be ended togither with the end of the world.

That we may leaue the Angels.

Certainly these words may most properly be ac­comodated to humane authority and secular gouern­ment. We may likewise see the great wisedome of the holy Ghost expressed by these three words, [...] & [...], for herein we finde a most absolute description of earthly gouernment. [...], rule doth signifie the height of place, or superiority of a man in office. [...] Authoritie, doth import the lawful­nesse of rule, when it is not by vsurpation. [...] betokeneth abilitie to discharge it. For then is go­uernment happie, when these three are ioyned, a man to haue dignitie of rule, a lawfull authority, and pow­er sufficient to execute his function. Gods will is that gouernment should bee well armed and furnished, that common wealths may enioy their priuiledges, and for his glorie to stand stoutly to their taske. And the miseries of kingdomes doe then spring vp, when these are seuered. When a man ruleth by tyrannie [Page 25]insteed of authoritie. When a mans authoritie is ma­stered and ouerruled, that hee cannot smite as occa­sion doth require. Or when hee hath both rule and authoritie wanting gifts or power to set them for­wards. You see then these three doe rarely fit the purpose in describing the condition of worldly go­uernment.

This dignitie is put downe at the second com­ming of Christ for two reasons. First because sinne ceaseth. For the law is not for the iust, but for their-religious, the disobedient, and the sinner. 1. Tim. 1. No happinesse in religion or security in temporall matters can stand without it here on earth. Eccles. poli­tic. 1. see. 10. M. Hoo­ker supposeth the worst times of the world to haue beene before the flood. Wee may conclude it also from the greatnesse of the plague a vniuersall deluge. There were but eight iust men and a Cham among them, righteousnesse was so exceeding scant in that age. The cause of this by him is ascribed the want of rulers, We reade not of any till the time of Nimrod the first Monarch, who liued after the flood. Law is the restraint, and the Magistrate the destroyer of sin. From this we haue an vndeniable argument against the Anabaptists, abusing that speech in the twen­tieth of S. Mathew. The princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion: but he that will be chiefe among you let him be your seruant. Hereupon these men haue dreamed, that after Christs comming we should bee without rulers or authoritie. See how this cause and this text doe combine to giue an ouerthrow to their fancie. Rule and authoritie, and power, must hold till the [Page 26]sinnes of men bee ended vpon earth. And when is that? At the last day of iudgement, when the king­dome is deliuered vp to God the Father.

Againe, let vs quench a sparke not yet broken out into that Anbaptisticall flame, I meane our Noue­lists at home, that from the same words haue conten­ded to breake the bond of Ecclesiasticall iurisdiction. The same way discouers their error. If our ministery be yet subiect vnto sinne, and specially to fall by erro­neous doctrine, there must be rulers to suppresse and censure it. If sickenesse be here, here we must haue phisicke, euen a most perfect rule, authoritie, and power, seeing the falles of religion are most dange­rous. For spirituall rulers are to censure things spi­rituall, to keepe vnder falsehood, and to curbe the vi­olence of faction. Onely where sinne is not, there must gouernment cease, when Christ shall wipe a­way euery blemish in the life to come.

Secondly, in this life we are not growne to our full ripenesse, wee are in our none-age, nor as yet ad­uanced to the heritage of heauen. Now Saint Paul saith in the fourth chapter to the Galathians, the first verse. The heire as long as he is a childe differeth not from aseruant, but is vnder Tutors and Gouernours till the time appointed of the Father. Status huius vitae assimulatur pueritiae saith Aquin. The state of this life is the state of a childe, as long as we liue here, we must be guided, no man is so wise but hee wanteth admonition. The counsell of superiours must direct vs, the counsell of Gods word must direct them, and both must still de­sire the Spirit of God to direct both. Euery one is of [Page 27]himselfe vnsufficient to tread the steps of righteous­nesse, his care must be euer bent to chuse a good lea­der, that may guide his feete into the way of peace.

The next thing I obserue from hence, is the na­ming of rulers in the changing of the world. The greatnesse of their power is here declared. As the next life is gouerned by the Father, so the world see­meth to be theirs and committed into their hands. There God is all in all, here on earth they are, all in all. And great is the stroke and infinite are those mat­ters that be carried in the name and office of Superi­ours. The greatnesse of their calling now must shew the greatnesse of their charge. For God giueth not this honour for nothing, but as they stand for him in their dignity. So they be like him in their actions. Let this consideration smite the heart of euery ruler, both spirituall, and temporall, seuerally to examine their conscience, whether in their proceedings they make God a patterne. Euery one that is more then a priuate man, that hath either rule, or authority, or power, be it more or lesse: it is a gift of God, and it is borne not for himselfe, but for God. To the good is a reward vnspeakeable, a double honour, for a double benefit. For wise men they shall shine like the brightnesse of the firmament: but they that turnem [...]ny to righteous­nesse shall shine like starres in the 12. of Daniel. Seeing they liued here like starres that did not keepe their light in their owne Sphaere, but diffused the same a­broad vpon the earth: their glory shall bee like the starres and answerable to their worke. Blessed then is that power in earth that beareth it selfe in true loy­alty [Page 28]and subiection to the power in heauen. But to the bad I must denounce a true tragedy from this text. And indeede tragedies are for great men, the institution is ancient, for in old time the Comedies were for the meaner sort and we obserue the same cu­stome. If we may interpret that which is past, there is some terrible thing in this obseruation. For the mighty to whome is giuen height of place and the same graced with a latitude of prosperity: they flie out without any feare; and because they keepe not within compasse, they are wounded by a higher hand, and dashed vnder the feete of a Supreame Ma­iesty. The Lord will contest most sharpely with these men in the day of iudgement that tooke the sword from him, and either did not manage the cause with courage, or smote against him. He will complaine as Pompey did against the men he put in trust. Comment. de bello cibili lib. 3. Caesar wri­teth, His often exclamations were bent against them. Aquo genere hominum victoriam speresset, ab eo initio fugae facto, pene proditus videretur.

Those men whom he supposed would winne the victory, where the first that did turne their heeles to the enemy, and in a sort be tray him. For vs and our times I now for beare to censure of actions, For in the matters of state, that which is well done may haue an ill shew; and that which is ill done may seeme com­mendable to ordinary apprehension. To come then to the conscience where the testimony should bee most infallible. It is a rule propounded by Philoso­phers, and drawne from morrals of the Heathen (much more must it hold in the Christian common [Page 29]wealth (that the publike good must bee so preferred by the ruler, that hee ought to put it before the pri­uate in his heart, the glory of God before his owne, and the welfare of the countrey before his priuate commodity, all the omitting of necessary good, all winking at euill doth lie vpon the necke of the Su­periour. This must excite a diligent care that a ruler must rule himselfe with more then an ordinary cir­cumspection. In these euill daies wherein the vni­uersall crie of sinne betraies it selfe, when men cry out of a corrupt age, and say that the world is ending be­cause that vice abounds. Here you see a cause that requireth industry. The spirituall power must detect sinne and inueigh with vehemency, the sword of the temporall power must correct and reforme with seuerity, to procure amendment. I must confesse that we cannot haue Platoes common-wealth, neither can we so labour but our purging will leaue drosse be­hind it. Sinne when it is smitten will rise againe, and some abuses will be incurable, yet a man must bestir that power that he hath, and doe his best, or else God will punish him for slacknesse, and visite with a hea­uy Iudgement because he did not visite offendours with his deriued authority, and that iudgement committed into the rulers power. That I may finish this point, there is a gouernment which masters haue; and parents also ouer their children. For the Lord hath giuen much authority, power and rule to them. See the great care of almighty God, his de­sire is to see things well ordered, and hath placed a threefold authority in the world, spirituall in the [Page 30]pastour, temporall in the Magistrate, as also domesti­call in priuate families in as much as a threefold cord is not easily broken. He in mercy striueth to giue sin the foyle and draw vnder the world into true obedi­ence. Doe masters and fathers represent diuine au­thority? Let them be then in Gods place, to bring vp and tutor those vnder them in Gods feare, to teach and instruct them in religion, not to let them sinke or swim, to let them liue or die in ignorance pretending businesse, they haue no leasure, or cor­rupted by the diuell with a foolish bashfulnesse, that maketh them to let passe this duty. Doubtlesse the Lord will require their blood at the hands of slacke ouerseers. But when I say masters must teach their seruants, I doe not meane, they must teach them to lie, or to deceiue, and by example, or command, to corrupt them in their youth in shewing those base and false proceedings, that when the age is greene, and capable of all conditions, youth is spoyled be­fore it can discerne: and the new vessell seasoned with vnseasonable liquor, this is odious instruction. Is this to be a tutor or gouernour in Gods place. This is like to Antichrist that sitteth in the Temple of God, but aduanceth himselfe against all that is called God. I haue the rather insisted vpon this subiect, for the corrup­ter of the earth, the power of hell will alwaies be rea­dy to poison the degrees of gouernment, and muste­reth all the forces against true authority to hinder the endeauours of good men that they may be cros­sed and opposed, that here the bond of amity may be broken, that the affaires of the world, may draw the [Page 31]minde another way, working like to Sampson, that laid hold vpon the pillars whereon the house did stand, that ouerthrowing them: the house and the men might fall in a common ruine. If he also can lay hands on him that is commander, then he is in his prime, such intentions that are fostered in the high­est places doe best agree with his desires, and are most like to spread abroad, knowing that when the fumes and cloudes are fitted in the a [...]re, when the sky is darke aboue, the storme will come; and the earth shall feele a tempest.

Lastly, see that the Lord to shew his power, tri­umphs against them that are highest. To breake downe them that are already low, is an argument of lesser might: but when these are brought downe whome none could tame, when their power is abro­gated that before was not to bersisted by violence, or stubborn contradiction, or gain-said in their com­mands: here we see a mighty arme, and a powerfull blow. This must bee a great argument to feare the Lord, and to dread his displeasure, because his reach is vnlimited, no compasse or strength can stay his force. The greatest man on earth oweth as much humility to God as the meanest, and is equally yoa­ked to vndergoe the edicts of heauen. Wee preach alike to all, and God will deale without distinction. Christ in Daniel is described to ouerthrow king­domes. That Image which Nebuchadnezzar saw in the dreame with a gold on head, with armes and brest of siluer, and the rest: did either signifie the foure great Monarchies of the world or else the three first [Page 32]with the remnant of Alexanders succession. Although this Image was most glorious, yet a stone cut with­out hands, brake the Image, and became a great mountaine, filling the whole earth. And as the Scep­ter was not departed from Iuda, nor a Law-giuer from betweene his feete till Shilo came. So Christ will alwaies make his comming notable with alterations. When Shilo came first, Iuda lost his Scepter, and when he commeth againe the world shall loose all domini­on. You see how infinite is the the power of God a­boue all earthly power. Let no man swell in great­nesse of heart, although the Lord exalt him to height of dignitie, but that mildnesse and moderation may temper him in all his counsels. For there is one aboue euery man, euen our Sauiour, that can turne him as he pleaseth. The time shall come when scepters shall be broken, when power shall grow impotent, and when authoritie shall loose her authoritie.

Thus much for the first, which is the doing of good, I will now enter into the second which is the remoo­uing of euill. He must reigne till he hath put all his ene­mies vnder his fecte. First of his kingdome: As Christ is God hee must reigne. Hee reigneth ouer all, as hee is Mediatour hee reigneth also Which office belongeth to him according to both his natures, whereby hee maketh his kingdome ab­solute by vniting two in one bond: reconciling the subiect and the soueraigne God and man. This assumed kingdome is the thing here mentioned, which is inferiour to the diuinitie. For Christ is God by nature, and of necessity, but he is Mediatour by e­lection [Page 33]and office: it was a thing arbitrarie, he might haue chosen whether hee would haue suffered the world to sinke in sinne, or to haue redeemed it by his merits. Ignatius therefore maketh a threefold diffe­rence, of all: first, of the creatures: secondly, of the office of the Mediatour aboue all creatures: thirdly, of the diuine nature. This kingdome hath a large extent, he reigneth euery way, and in euery place, in the rulers, and ministers, one being the hand, the o­ther the mouth of Christ. In the world his proui­dence extendeth to a falling sparrow, and hee will iudge the Gentiles by the creatures, in the first to the Romanes. But two principall parts doe set out his spi­rituall regiment:

His word, which comprehendeth the lawes and statutes by which his kingdome must be ordered: and the Sacraments, that are his oathe of allegiance to sweare his subiects to fidelitie. I can not now stand vpon all: Onely I will instance is his word, for the same will make vs subiects, as beeing the chiefe triall of our obedience. For the word of God is the iudge and rule of euery word and deede. The chiefe rule a man hath within himselfe is his conscience; there­fore as the conscience is, so is the man: a good con­science will doe well, a large conscience will swallow all, a scrupulous conscience is troublesome with nice curiositie. Here may then appeare the supremacie of Gods word, that whereas the conscience doth rule the man, Gods word doth rule and command the conscience. For our waies are framed according to our minde: and our minde is framed by aduice. [Page 34]Christ hath so large a dominion in mens hearts that he ruleth the minds of the most vnruly, in the 110. Psalme the second verse: Be the ruler in the middest of thine enemies. Hee will make the conscience a mans executioner where it can not be a perswader. When wicked men doe reiect God by their blasphemous thoughts, or will doubt of the life to come, because these spirituall things are inuisible: yet there will a­rise a secret thought beyond that, which reacheth the Atheist, and maketh him to stoope and yeild a­gainst his will. They that contemne or regard not the Lord, will giue testimonie in swearing by his name; to shew that he is the iudge of their speeches, by him their asseuerations must win credit, so they confound themselues. Euery Papist will pretend Christ, the Turkes speake honourably of him. And the Gothes did spare the Christians that fled to the temples for succour when Rome was destroyed, a thing vnheard of in other places; for among Pagans they burnt and destroyed both Gods and temples, as S. Austen obserueth in the first booke De Ciuitate Dei and second chapter.

Thus doth our Lord rule among his enemies; a most large power. Earthly Monarches bee their might neuer so boundlesse, are kept within their owne precincts, and Illa se iactet in aula, is all they haue. Their power is confined to their owne terri­tories: but he who made all, ruleth all; and that man who is against him, he will make turne against him­selfe with the sting of conscience. Let our consci­ences therefore entertaine him peaceably, otherwise [Page 35]hee will let loose his mastiue dogge to torment vs, when he seeth time. The conscience of an euill man in this life, is like a dogge tyed vp, now it pulleth, and onely barketh. And as a dogge may bee stilled with words, or gifts, so worldly pleasure, and merry com­pany, will make quiet the troublesome noise of an vrged conscience. But when a man is loosed from the bonds of his flesh, and seeth where hee stands: that which did barke before will bite then, and teare the hard and hardy sinner. Alwaies therefore let vs honour and obey his word. We haue his kingdome in abundance. This place wherein we liue I may tru­ly call in this respect the Chamber of the King: suffer him therefore to win you, to subdue you by his e­dicts and proclamations in this place. Let this crosse crucifie sinne, that he may vanquish vnder his signe, as Constantine did Maxentius. It is written of him that going once to fight, a banner was seene in the ayre hauing a crosse with this writing [...]. In this thou shalt ouercome. So yeild your obedient hearts, that we may be victorious for our master, and not smite the ayre when we should smite your sinne: our endeauour we doe, but this victory is in the Lords hand. When I doe but consider the many combates in this place, so much preaching against transgressi­on, I can not but say, nihil supra, scarce can any thing be spoken that is not spoken, labourers haue beene so exquisite, that a new speaker may double at the first vpon what subiect his thoughts may fasten. Some­times here doe spring bitter hearbes to cure the cor­rupt diseases, and to expell the spirituall pestilences [Page 36]out of this citie. Carrie not then so daintie stomacks, as to die in sinne rather then take the potion, or like children, to leaue wormewood, and regard the tooth-somnesse rather then wholesomnesse of the hearbe.

Here ariseth a starre to guide wise men to our Sa­uiour, when the errours of Poperie and other false­hoods are confuted. Which light should so guide the learner that the continuall diligent hearers might be furnished with abilitie to controll a Papist, or to foile an aduersarie in an ordinarie point: if that Mammon, the pleasures and distractions of this life, did not pos­sesse their hearts, that no man almost will goe beyond his profession, but leaue learning for those who teach it. Although in iudging and censures they flie quite out of compasse.

Here are administred words of comfort in due sea­son for weake mindes, to preuent despaire, in not fol­lowing common corruption. Bee not so hard as to scorne and neglect them, like the flint to send out the fire of reproch, in stead of hearts mollified with grace to receiue impression.

Thus doe we endeauour that God might rule the best way, that you might yeild rather then stand out. But I feare we speed as Pompey against Mithri­dates, who often did conquer him in the field: neuer­thelesse he returned againe with a new armie, as if he had gained by the fall. In the like manner we are heard, and our sayings passe for current. Yet whole swarmes and armies of offences doe continue. The Lord may complaine of hearing as he did with the Israelites in the three and thirtie chapter of Ezechiel, [Page 38]verse 31. They say, come I pray you, and heare the word that commeth from the Lord, and they come vnto thee as the people vseth to come, and my people sit before thee, and heare thy words, but they will not doe them: for with their mouth they shew much loue, but their heart goeth af­ter their couetousnesse. And loe thou art vnto them as a louely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well vpon an instrument: for they heare thy words, but they doe them not. The verie fashion of our times, men come to heare sermons as they heare musicke: to delight the eare, to see a mans skill, to passe their censure, and there is an end. These humours must know this musicke will raise vp a iarring sound in the conscience insteed of a melodious harmonie: and will make them sing a sad note at their dying day. If Gods word bee a kingdome, it must worke vpon the heart. There it must subdue a rebell, and renew that part of the old man that lurketh in the bosome of the soundest hearer.

So much of the kingdome: I come to the Conquest. First the Enemie, then the Ouerthrow.

His enemies.

REctum est sui iudex & obliqui. A priuation is de­fined and knowne by the habit: and an enemie by a friend, as a crooked line is well discerned if we com­pare it with a streight.

First then, a friend is discouered by his affection, if he loue and desire societie, if he take pleasure in conuersing with the partie: So if a man take delight [Page 38]in holy exercises: that loue and reioycing is a token of a friendly disposition. Whereupon we may iudge those to be no friends, that cannot relish our praiers, to whom preaching is tedious: and such heauenly matters grow troublesome: Those that care not to come to Church, but often keepe a way, because they finde nothing agreeable to their minde: In as much as they care so little for Gods presence in the publike assemblie, and regard comming to his house so lit­tle: they are no friends.

Secondly, De Genesi. ad literam lib. 11, cap. 4. a true friend is tried in aduersitie, so must wee stand in temptation. For God will sifte and search the stabilitie of our loue. S. Austen thinketh it had beene no great matter of commendation for Adam to stand in Paradise, if none had tempted him to fall. If he had beaten backe the alluring temptati­on, the Lord might well haue crowned him with the rewards of blessednesse. The case is euery mans owne, the Lord will command to come to him, and cast im­pediments in the way to draw from him, that he may trie, whether we wil chuse. Yea as the diuel at the first entered into the Serpent, the most subtile of the beasts of the field: so he will euer contriue his strata­gems in the wisest manner. God hath said, he would set enmitie betweene the Serpent and the womans seede, and he will euer be biting at the heele, if hee cannot reach the head. Here wee condemne them for no friends, that will shrinke at euery storme, men that are well disposed in themselues: but will bee wrought into euery shape, and drawne any whither by perswasion. That see not the plots laid against [Page 39]them, but take all that is offered; running through thicke and thin without difference, so they may not displease themselues or others.

Thirdly, true friendship is constant, And as God loueth to the end, so must his friends be led by the same perseuerance. From hence we condemne the Arminian friendship that starteth aside like a broken bow. They imagine a man may haue the Spirit of God, the graces of regeneration, and bee partaker of the priuiledges of a Saint., yet fall away and bee damned. These men haue deuised such a worship towards God, as olde Bias of Greece brought in friendship towards men. When he had considered mans fickle disposition, hee gaue counsell, his loue should not be too earnest, but so to loue that he may thinke of a time to hate. If friendship may be so ex­act that it will bee euer: and him that breaketh off we censure an hypocrite, or a wauerer, or that hee conceiued vaine flashes of vnsetled loue: so he that prooueth an Apostate, was neuer a Saint: either he was an hypocrite, or had some good naturall desires in spirituall things, but neuer well seated by the grace of the holy Ghost.

Fourthly, true friendship excludeth all Neutrals and Corriuals, being onely among two according to Aristotle. For if our fountaine of loue should runne out through many channels, it would bee emptie. Therefore hee who is all complementall, and will loue euery bodie, doth indeede loue no bodie. I confesse the loue of charitie is due to all, but the su­perlatiue affection that is placed on a friend, cannot [Page 40]be well dispersed among multitudes. So the simili­tude is with God. Wee must giue a certaine loue to the creatures, but there is a loue due to God, that no creature must haue besides. Our Sauiour hath said, No man can serue two masters: Math. 6.24.for either he will loue the one and hate the other, or leane to the one, and despise the other: ye cannot serue God and Mammon.

Likewise in the 12. of Saint Matthew, verse 30. he disclaimeth all Neutrals that would giue way to the Pharisies against him, and notwithstanding did wish him well in heart. He that is not with me, is against me: and he that gathereth not with me, scattereth abroad. Therefore commit not euill, and accuse the times. Breake not Gods law, and accuse prouocation. This is to play with both hands, if ye wil be friends, keepe to God alone, resist euill prouocations, stand against euill customes, and reforme them.

Hitherto I haue described a friend, that I might de­clare an enemie. For although friendship be a humane vertue, yet in the way of similitude it doth in some points excellently expresse our dutie to God: and so he vouchsafed the name of a friend to Abraham. Now must I passe this dreadfull sentence, He that in some measure is not such a friend is an enemie. If we could deuise a middle betweene both, all would flocke thi­ther. Men would for their own turne giue God some seruice, except where his law is tedious and difficult; in those parts they would please themselues, preten­ding an excuse, because of the infirmities of flesh and blood. If we could open this middle state, it would be the most welcome and plausible doctrine that euer [Page 41]the world heard. But this cannot be. Our religion maketh no veniall sinnes here, it promiseth no Purga­torie hereafter. There a man shall finde a heauen or a hell, here he must finde himselfe a friend or a foe.

The enemies of God are of two sorts, either open or secret. The open enemies are of three sorts, the in­fidels, the Iewes and the Turkes, Although there bee some doubt concerning the last, whether they be o­pen or secret, seeing they speake well of our Sauiour and acknowledge the Bible, he being an Arrian that togither with Nestorian [...] Munke did make their Alcoran. Yet I agree to Tilenus in his tractate de aper­tis Christihostibus, who placeth him among the open enemies, because hee doth persecute the Christian name, whereas the Heretikes doe grace their errours by Christs name, and pretend his authoritie. The se­cret enemies againe are of three sorts, either here­tiques, or profaners, or hypocrites, which are ene­mies of his houshold. I doe but repeate these diui­sions, my intent only is to take the office of a Scoute or Sentinell to discouer this hoste of aduersaries, and leaue them for others to assault: and for a stronger arme to close with in the field. But lest I should by the discouerie of so huge an armie, seeme to worke the same effect that the Spies did when they returned from the land of Canaan. They terrified the people by relations of so mighty giants, and the sonnes of Anak that the men had no courage but their heart melted with astonishment: I shall avoide this by the next point, there we shall see see them strongly subdued by a fearefull fall, these enemies shall be put vnder feete. [Page 42] ‘Their ouerthrow, vnder feete.’

This heauie lot did the Heathen imagine due to the Giants for opposing their Gods.

Famaest Enceladi semiustum fulmine corpus
Vrgeri mole hac In Virgil.

Aetna was thought a burden weighing downe one of this companie. In Scripture this is taken as a note of conquest as Iosua 10.24. The captaines of the people did tread vpon the neckes of the fiue Kings. Which thing no doubt was a type of this, as Iosua that tem­porall Sauiour was of the eternall Sauiour Iesus. In this kinde also Ioas derideth Amazia King of Iuda. 2. Chron. 25.18. shewing his weakenesse and arrogan­cie vnder this similitude, The thistle that was in Le­banon sent to the Caedar that was in Lebanon, saying, Giue thy daughter to my sonne to wife, and a wilde beast came and trode downe the thistle. For all the enemies of God doe fall miserably, finally, and in the most con­temned manner, and the extremities of all ruine shall confound him that is not an embracer of religion.

Obserue two things in this punishment torment and shame.

1. Torment. As a man that is pressed to death, doth groane and languish vnder the weight, without the comfort of a little ease, or a breathing time to ga­ther strength, to vndergoe the torture with any pa­tience: so are the eternall woes of another life. Gods anger and heauy iudgement shall weigh downe the sinner, the burden of his displeasure vpon the con­science shall be intollerable, and insupportable, griefe [Page 43]shall make the sinner to sinke vnder the heauinesse. This did he a little see that cried mine iniquities are gone ouer my head, and are a burden to heauy for me to beare, yet this is the voice of repentance and not of desperation. So heauy a loade is a mans offence when it presseth vpon the conscience.

2 Basenesse and shame maketh vp the misery. As he that lieth vnder foote is in the state of ignominie and reproch: So at the day of iudgement when a mans villanies are laid open, when his Maiestie appeareth who was offended, then a man shall haue his naked­nesse truely seene like Adam in Gods presence. That which before he did glory in, shall then make him to hide himselfe if it weare in his power: where the filthinesse of sinne shall be laide open in true colours. And are these the men that must not now be spoken to: and strout it in their gallantry? Their wit in this deserueth commendation, that they honour them­selues, and in a case of necessitie doe magnifie their practises, very neede requireth it, they must a little braue it now, they fall so low hereafter. The pretious pearle of the word is ouer topped by the haughtie, and now set light by, and the labours of preaching are as a thing trampled vnder by these men. There­fore these two must change places, God must haue the glory, and they the shame. For wherefore is it that these flourishing offenders are hearers of it, for the learning or the eloquence, or some worldly re­spect. Whereas saluation is built vpon simple admo­nition, and common principles, things that make no shew: because the Lord would bring downe all hu­mane [Page 44]mane inuention and pride to this plainnesse. All brauery, policy, learning, elocution, must at that time stoope to this simplicitie of diuine truth: whereas now we can scarce get this inward substance, this mar­row of diuinitie to take place, but these outward or­ornaments doe obscure it. Strange and lamentable is the folly of the world. As men that are vnfurnish­ed come to a tree to gather fruite, and when they are come: they onely looke vpon the faire body of the tree, and the goodly bowes, and if they can snatch a branch they runne away, and leaue the fruite behind: So fareth it with our common auditours, They are sicke and want, yet come to get some new thing to please their fancy, that may tickle the care, or delight the minde: returning with empty soules, as if God had ordained his word to please and not to profit. Let this then haue the preheminence now, lest the contempt of so high a thing lay the auditour in di­shonour.

Conceiue now what it is to lie vnder the feete of God. They shall call for mountaines to couer them, the weight of iudgement shall be so heauy. Worldly sorrow is grieuous to flesh and blood, burning in fire is a torment that cannot be endured: this is a Tophet prepared with much wood, and the breath of the Lord as a riuer of brimstone to kindle it. Trauell of women is a plague in earth for sinne, this suddaine destruction that commeth vnawares is like it. 1. Thess. 5. Discontents of this life doe sometimes preuaile a­gainst humane infirmitie, that a man ouerwhelmed will delect his minde, goe against nature, and lay [Page 45]violent hands vpon himselfe, If this be so in the sor­rowes on earth; how shall it fare with the sorrowes of hell? If a man doe thus shrinke when he is smitten by the hand of the creature? how shall he sinke when he lieth vnder the foote of the Creator? See here in this life how a wounded conscience doth dismay a perplexed soule. It maketh a man forget all worldly pleasure, that cannot helpe him: It ouercommeth all earthly sorrow, for that yeildeth vnto this: neuerthe­lesse, a troubled minde hath some hope, God may re­lease out of that agonie. It seeth not God and his iudgements, but feareth and suspecteth a miserie to come; it beholdeth vengeance a farre of. If that may so lay a man vnder foote in his life, how shall the fee­ling eternall punishments ouerthrow him. What shall I say more.

Pugna suum finem cumiacet hostis habet.

Equity requireth the fight should cease when the ene­mie is vnder foote. I neede to threaten no longer. But that my end may giue a direction to the end of others. Beware this ditch, for sake sinne that maketh an enemy to God, let his word smite your conscience by reforming you, I cannot speake it without griefe, nor (I thinke) you heare it without pittie, that our Church should haue those hearers that are diligent, and yet vnsound in practise, some that set their salua­tion light, let it goe either way, that follow the world and trouble not their braines about heauen. These men are to bee put among the enemies, among the Iewes and Turkes, euen those that haue not knowne God, that haue blasphemed Christ, that haue borne [Page 46]armes against him: They are in the same degree with them, all are stickes to be put in the same bundle, and cast into the same fire. The diuell hath hid this ditch into which they fall, their owne lust hath beene a mist that rose into the eies to darken their soule: that they will not beleeue it, till they feele it: nor beware it, till they finde it. Yet make peace, for you fight with the Lord of hosts, you shall be ouermatched at the last: although you see not his vengeance at the first. Be hot then in his cause, stand for him like a friend, or else he will account you as his foe, worship him here with a constant and faithfull heart, fall downe before his feete by praier and true re­pentance lest you fall vnder his feete in the day of wrath.

FINIS.
A SERMON PREACHED IN …

A SERMON PREA­CHED IN PAVLES CHVRCH VPON SAINT Steuens day. 1618.

ACTS, 7.57, and 58.

Then they gaue a shoute with a loude voice, and stopped their eares, and ranne vpon him all at once.

And cast him out of the citty, and stoned him.

SAint Steuens Day. The Day dire­cteth me to my Text: the Day of S. Steuen, and the Text of S. Steuen. But how concerneth it Saint Steuen? Declareth it his [...], his Birth and comming into the world? like the day before this, or his [...], his Death and going out of the world? like the day after to morrow. His Death, certainely and necessarily. Yesterday was the Birth of Christ, this day the Death of a Christian: both comprising the [...] and [...] of Christianitie: That day teaching vs to liue, [Page 48]this day teaching vs to die: or rather both teaching vs to doe both, both to liue and die. For our meeting: the Day of S. Steuen, leadeth vs to the Text of Saint Steuen, and the Text of Saint Steuen: to the Death of Saint Steuen. The end of this story is the story of his end: and thus much for the contents.

The contents of my text being Death—Persecution, the parts thereof shall be answerable; two, the Per­secuters, and the Persecuted: the first pointing at a pluralitie of Iewes, the second at a singular Christian: first of them, then of Him: so I direct my discourse In them, the Persecuters, we may note the very body of persecution: they did assault him fine waies, (if ye will) with fiue members: ore, aure, corde, and (as our phrase is) manibus, pedibusque: they did set vpon him with their mouthes, eares, hearts, feete, and hands. First with their mouthes, then they gaue a shoute with a loude voice. Secondly, with their eare, & stopped their eares. Third­ly, with their hearts, they did it all at once. Fourthly, with their feete, they ranne vpon him. Fifthly, with their hands, they cast him out, and stoned him. In him, the Persecuted, two things onely are propounded: the Place, and the Person: the Place was without the citty, and the Person S. Stenen. Arguing his thrice noble excellence, he is thrice repeated, they ranne vpon him, they cast out Him, and they stoned Him. Yee conceiue the ground of my discourse concerning his last houre, which Christ grant that we may remember to our last houre.

In generall, obserue this from the generals: Many Persecuters knit themselues together against one, or a [Page 49] few Persecuted: a kennell of Dogges single out one Deere: and we heare them, hunting after Him in my text. Saul Doeg, the Ziphims and the Amalekites against Dauid: Pontius Pilate, Herod, and his men of warre against the sonne of Dauid: the Scribes and Pharisies, against the Apostles: and the world against Athanasius. In our time, the Turkes, Iewes, Mahometanes, and Pagans, a­gainst vs Christians: In our parts, the Catholikes (as they call themselues) against the Protestants: And in our land, against our few—poore Ministers— It is the Day of Saint Steuen, I will speake the words of Saint Steuen, and I hope with the heart of S Steuen —Lord lay not this sinne to their charge. Act. 7.60.

The first of the fiue particulars, 1 is how they assaul­ted S. Steuen with their mouthes; as we phrase it, they ranne vpon him with open mouth, [...], they shouted with a lowde voice, saith my text.

A rare propertie of Persecuters, doct. to make their tongues the instruments of Persecution. The text te­testifieth that these were [...], that their words were swords, and that their shoute was the prologue to their tragedie. So Act. 19.32. the Ephesians made a confused out-cry, to cry out for the disciples confusion. Pestilently, politicke: that the opening of their mouths, might shut their eares from conueying compassion to the heart, by hearing the passion of the Persecuted. As souldiers beate the drumme, to bury the groanes of their dying troopes: and the Idolatrous Iewes ec­choed out the sound of their shrill instruments, to drowne the shreekes of their frying children, forced through the fire to Molech: Thus they were [...], [Page 50] they shouted with a loude voice.

Surely these Iewes haue some of their off-spring: appl. yet suruiuing [...] crying and yelling against the Persecuted. Euen the sanctified the Iesuites: did euer the Moone behold the like barking rhetoricke, as hath beene yelpd out against our Prince and people, by Becanus, Tortus, Eudaemon, Lessius and Scioppius yea and Suarez also. Adde our owne anominals, our English popish pamphlets: and finally 39. barrels of gun­powder should haue made vp the full cry, of those foule Hell-hounds. They thought to haue made vs all Steuens, all Martyrs, to haue deuoured vs all, when they were [...], when they had so opened their mouthes against vs. But [...]: rumpatur quisquis, rumpitur invidia. Let them throate out their malice against vs [...], with a loude voice, till they rend their mouthes to their nables. We hope that the hand of the Lord, will alway defend vs from the mouth of the Persecuter.

Next as they did open their mouthes against the eares of Saint Steuen: 2 so here they did stoppe their eares against the mouth of S. Steuen. As the Mush-rome is all Head, so they were all mouth: they would speake all but heare nothing: [...], they did stoppe their eares saith my text.

But consider the cause of this their obturation, and obduration: S. Steuen did goade them vp with a sharpe sermon, and the vild Beasts could not but Kicke at him, vers. 51. he tearmed them [...], & [...] a stiffenecked people of deafe eares, and dull hearts, and verse 52. hee told them plainely [Page 51]that they were [...], murderers and traiters. His rough reprehension through their eares, woun­ded their rebellious hearts: (as a resolute souldier will sometime fetch of one of the garrison through their owne loope-hooles.) Therefore, [...], they did [...], make their eares [...], they did damme vp euery chinke and creuise, that the report of the least syllable might not enter into their stubborne hearts: [...] they did stoppe their eares saith the text.

An vndoubted truth: doct. Reprooue a Sinner and thou doest raise a Persecuter. S. Steuen preached against them, instantly they stopped their eares and ranne vpon him. Christ taught it, Math. 7.6. If thou giue holy things vnto dogges, they will turne againe and teare you. Christ felt it, Luk. 4.28, and 29. Christ made an excellent sermon to his owne countrymen, and his owne country­men would haue plunged him from the pitch of a steepe mountaine for his excellent sermon. And eue­ry Christian knoweth it: Let thy reprehension wound the wicked man, & aeternum seruat sub pectore vulnus, the Adder, will stoppe his eares, but sting mortally. Mi­chaiah shall loose his liberty, if he teach Ahab: Iohn Baptist his head, if he touch Herodias: and S. Steuen his life if he rebuke the Iewes: Vpon his reproofe they stoppe their eares, and what followes, remaineth to be expressed in the point following.

1. Thess. 5.20. Despise not prophesying: vse. make a con­science of hearing sermons. If ye come to heare the preachers, as the rich pharisies did. Luk. 16.14. to mocke them: or as the learned pharisies did, Math. 22.15. to intrap them: know ye are within a degree (of super­latiue [Page 52]impietie) of those dogges which will teare their teachers, of those serpents which will sting their char­mers, of these Iewes who did stoppe their eares, and did stone their Preacher. Nor may yee thinke to feed the poore preachers, as the thiefe doth the dogge, porrigit panem vt sileat, he giueth him bread that he may not barke: the Beneuolence must not tonguetie the truth, but we must pleade Gods cause though it be against our Benefactours. Much lesse may yee dreame that we will preach to you, as the Kite craued his damme to pray for her, cum toties aras dei rapinis violatis: when wee see the theefe wee must not runne with him, and (by our silence) we must not bee partaker with the Church-robber. We must practise with Saint Paul did pray for, Ephes. 6.20. not onely [...], but [...] also: Wee must speake truly,—yea and bouldly also: and we hope ye will not stoppe your eares against vs.

To returne to these Persecuters: 3 that wee should not thinke that they did open their mouthes ignorant­ly, or stoppe their eares vnaduisedly, it followeth how their hearts tutored them in this lesson of blood: they ranne vpon him all at once: so wee translate it: the greeke [...], Beza readeth it, concorditer with one heart, and the old translation, Vnanimiter with one minde. The originall is very significant, not [...] in one place, but [...] with one minde. Deriue it from [...], according to the double signification thereof, both animus the minde, and [...] anger: and then it implyeth one anger flaming from one srule, enough to animate there inraged fury. The phrase of friends is more then verified, in S. Steuens foes: of those we do [Page 53]say [...], that there is one soule in two bodies: of these we may say, [...] that there was one soule in a thousand bodies. They ranne vpon him [...] with one minde, all at once saith my text: or with one accord as we reade it in our latter and better translation. Note: doct. The wicked will be at Vnitie to persecute the good: these Iewes, how they ranne [...] all at once vpon S. Steuen? as Ignatius speaketh Epist. 3. [...], all as one man ran vpon him: and as Ignatius Epist. 11. [...], they all harped vpon one string. Psal. 2.2. the Princes did band themselues against the Lord and against his an­nointed. 1. Reg. 22.24. Zidkiiah and foure hundred false proph [...]ts accorded against Michaiah, and Dan. 2.43. the Lagidae and Se [...]eucidae, they mingled thems [...]lues with the seede of men, they married, to Vnite their for­ces against the poore people of Iudae [...], Heretickes ac­cord against the Orthod xe: there hath beene many a [...], many a Theeuish conuentic [...]e against the truth say our Church-stories: onely that of Trent was none of them. Theeues compacting against ho­nest men, haue Vnitie: Cyprian Epist. 69. and the Turkes combining against Christendome haue their singular Vnanimitie, they terme themselues Islami, that is, men of one minde, iust, the [...] of my text. This must bee so: For the diuell will attone his ser­uants to doe a greater mischiefe. Like Sampson hee will tie his Foxes by the Tailes, to set fire where they goe. So agreed these woolues to worry this innocent lambe, [...]: They ranne all at once vpon S. Steuen, to martyr him, to murder him.

Let vs (as Dauid did Goliah) mite them with their owne swords: vse. as Iulian said of the Christians studying Philosophie: let vs propriis pennis percellere, shoote them through with their owne Shaftes: If they ranne [...], at once against vs, let vs stand [...], as one against them. 1. Thess. 4.9. Let vs bee [...], not [...] Friends alone, nor [...] Brethen alone, but both: let vs be [...], Friendly—Brethren, and Brotherly—Friends. Let vs bee Brethren like the Israelites in this chapter verse 26. O let vs not wrong one another. Let vs be Friends like Ionathan and Dauid, 1. Sam. 18.1. Let vs knit our Soules together, and let vs be Brother­ly-Friends like the Ephesians, Eph. 4.3. Labouring to keepe the vnitie of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Let vs be [...] amongst our selues, men of one heart, and of one minde, and then doubt we not, our one God, wil preserue vs from all our enemies.

And where the heart doth command, 4 the feete will be pliable: It followeth therefore, they ranne vpon him. They ranne—yea and more also: [...] impetus, they ranne impetiously vpon him. A military metaphor: As a companie assignd to assault a for­tresse, suddainely cast themselues into the ditch (like one globe) and immediately climbe the breach with a thronging violence: so did these Iewes post vnto their bloody execution. Wee haue the like phrase, Math. 8.32. the heard of swine, [...] from a steepe rock [...] they powred themselues into the sea: like a thicke cloude dissoluing it selfe into a showre, where euery droppe striuing to out strip his fellow, the first seemeth to be last, and the last to bee [Page 55]first, the whole falling downe at one instant: so these ranne with expedition. The poets faine that Mercu­rie, (their [...]oote post of heauen) had wings at his heeles, indeede these persecuters ranne with winged speede, as the Psalmist speaketh, their feete were swift to shedde blood, [...] they ranne, and the blood of S. Steuen was the goale they ranne to.

Apparent therefore it is, doct. that the wicked will take paines to mischiefe the godly. [...] they ranne vpon S. Steuen, saith S. Luke. Math. 23.15. Hypocrites will trauell a large compasse, to bring one within the com­passe of damnation. Improbus labor — infinite is the la­bour of the impious. So Dauid complaineth that hee was hunted by his persecuters: Indeede Hounds, in hope to be fleshed at the fall of the game, will pursue it with indefatigable nimblenesse: and it is their pa­stime to take paines for blood. So these sage Pharisies, who another time, would pace in a plaine roade, as the old greeke did climbe the craggie mountaine, [...], they would haue thought that lit­tle way, had cost them great labour. Now so soone as they sent their game, [...] they ranne—they ranne vpon their pray.

If they take so much paines to runne on vs, vse. let vs take as much paines to withstand their shock. Let vs carefully arme our selues with the breast-plate of righ­teousnesse, and the sword of the Spirit: Let vs labour for intelligience to know the Scriptures, & for innocence to practise the Scriptures. Thus if we haue illumina­tion in our heads and sanctification in our hearts: wee shall be Barricadoed, and Palizadoed against their fu­rious [Page 56]careere. They shall runne on vs, as the hounds doe on the horned stagge, and as the horse on the armed pikes: they runne to their owne death, to their owne destruction. Wicked men may [...], They may runne on vs on euery side, but in the name of the Lord we shall de­stroy them.

Finally, 5 that it may appeare that they were armed, [...], cap a pe: that their whole Body might be imbrued in blood: they set to their Hands also — many hands — many hands to make lewde worke. First they forced his body out of the citty, then his soule out of his body: the text saith, they cast him out of the citty and stoned him. In both as lawlesse as they were Barbarous: in the first they offended against their owne law, their owne law was, Deut. 17.50. that they should haue beene [...], not [...], they should haue brought him, not cast him out of the citty. In the se­cond against the Romane law, as they themselues con­fessed, Ioh. 18.31. It is not lawfull for vs (being vassels to Rome) to put any man to death. But they acted both in a franticke tumult: the President politickly per­mitted fire to come from Millo to consume Abime­lech, and reciprocally from Abimelech to consume Millo that a rebellious people might deuoure one another, the President with coniuence closed his eyes, against this, and such like law-lesse vproares.

Where we cannot but take notice of another pro­perty of Persecuters: doct. Their malice is vnlimited, no law can represse them. In the text, to worke their venge­ance they regard neither the law of Israel, nor that of Rome, but desperately infringe both the one, and the [Page 57]other. And indeed the grand-persecuter, 2. Thess. 2.8. Antichrist, is called [...] a lawlesse vsurper. Dauid did experience this qualitie from Persecuting Saul: a­gainst the law of nature, (for hee was his kinseman) a­gainst the law of the nation, (for he was his King) a­gainst the law of Matrimonie, (for he was his Father:) against the law of Religion, (for he confessed Dauid to be more righteous then himselfe) yet against all law did he prosecute his lawlesse persecution. Wee may easily conceiue the cause. Persecuters haue their eies blood­shot (they sacrifice to their malice (what the old Gaules did to Esus and Teutatus Lactant. 1.21. cruorem huma­num, the goare of men) Blood seeleth vp their eyes, they cannot, they will not see heauen nor earth: and there­fore like the vniust Iudge, Luk. 18.2. they feare neither God nor man, No Law can binde them, no bonds can restraine them.

From these premises, vse. conclude with a rare reconci­liation, we may expect from Rome, if our reconcilers proiect might be imbraced. What Law can protect vs from Persecution? If we dare imbrace with Ioab, feast with Absolon, sleepe with Iaell, and marry with Simeon and L [...]ui, then may we be reconciled to Rome. But as for Lawes, vowes, others, promises, protestations, &c. Such bonds they can breake them, as Sampson did his cords, with an easie nimble dexteritie. And they haue reason for it, propter bonum ecclesiae, for the good of the Catholike cause: it is a resolued case, by a religious councell, fides non est seruanda cum hoereticis, it is law­full to ruine heretikes, by any gracelesse lawlesse meanes. But I trust God will not permit vs to be­tray [Page 58]our selues into the hands of those blood-seeking, blood­sucking persecuters.

Concerning the manner of their persecution—execution how they stoned him: I his point hath beene so sufficiently searched into, by the learned and laboured sermon of my predecessour in this place, on this day, last yeare: that I may truly say he hath not left one stone (for my labour) vnremooued. Trusting therefore that your memory is somewhat answerable to his labour, I will passe it beeing assured that I cannot passe him. Though the time be Christ­masse, yet the point shall be a Passe-ouer; I will omit tautologies.

Thus, 2 from these fiue points, haue ye heard how these Persecuters were armed for blood at all points: Now suppose ye see them in their Campur Martius, trooped out to giue the terrible on set. The Seene lyeth at Hierusalem: and without the walles thereof their Aceldama, the Place where they acted this bloo­die tragedie was without the cittie [...], they cast him out of the citty saith my text.

This point is like Rebeckaes wombe, Gen. 25.23. it doth twinne: obserue here two things. First, the Na­ture of persecuters. Secondly, the reward of perse­cuters.

It is the Nature of Persecuters to pretend equitie and law for their persecution. doct. 1 These Persecuters in and law for their persecution. These Persecuters in the text, pleade the very same. The Place (without the cittie) the law did prescribe, Deut. 17.5. the Action, (to stone the Blasphemer) that law did permit it. Leuit. 24.16. Crimes most lawlesse, must be countenanced by [Page 59]the law notwithstanding. This is no noueltie: Christ foretold long since that some should thinke (therefore all should say) that they did God seruice in klling his seruants, Ioh. 16.2. that it was aequum & bonum, that their Persecution was according to law and equitie. And Christ felt in himselfe what hee foretold to others, nos legem habemus, we haue a law, and by that law he ought to die. Ioh. 19.7. Which pi­ous probleme hath since beene spit out of the mouth of Machiavell himselfe: to seeme religious is profitable (saith he) but to be religious is cumbersome. Diuels therefore will ch [...]nge themselues into Angels of light: and that Diuellish Persecution, may put on the appea­rance of Angelicall equitie, they plead the Law for it: this is the Nature of Persecuters.

Mee thinkes, vse. this may coole our Salamanders who delight to liue in the fire of the Law: Euen, both the quarrelsome cli [...]nt, and the c [...]nning Cou [...]seller, the first bringeth suell, and the other breath to main­taine, that fire, which hath consumed many an house, in our little Island. Yee doe but what is Law! is that a Law for [...]our ooings? what if the extent of Law may put a stone into thy hand: — Wilt thou? — Oh will thou Braine Steu [...]n and ruine thy poore bro­ther? Thou seest that these Iewes in the text were [...] Doctors of the Law: these great Persecu­ters were great Lawyers: and may not great Lawyers be great Persecuters? Let not the Law out-strippe thy Conscience: least all thy actions prooue vnconsciona­ble and lawlesse also: and the prosecution of thy cause the persecution of thy brother. How many tragicke [Page 60]tones haue groaned out the comicke phrase: Sum­mum ius est summa iniuria, that the extremitie of law, is a lawlesse extremitie. Let me tell thy conscience: If thy conscience tell thee, that thou art the Plaintife through raking couetousnesse, the Defendant through proud obstinatenesse, or the Counceller, Pleader or Iudge, for thy fees onely: desiring to feele the cause for thy owne benefit, and not to see the equitie thereof, though it be for thy owne preiudice. Then doe I say, legem habitis, yee haue a Law, and according to that Law yee shall die: your owne law shall stand vp a­gainst you before the great Iudge. Till then remem­ber but this: It is the Nature of persecuters to pretend law for their persecution.

But whatsoeuer the Nature of them is, doct. 2 the Reward of persecuters is most iust and righteous. Oftentimes persecutors are punished in the same things, which they in­flicted vpon others. These Iewes did cast this Saint [...] out of the citty, and they themselues were after cast [...], by the Romanes were they cast out of the citty: They became palabundi, coeli & soli profugi saith Cyprian, the out-casts of all the out-coasts of the earth. Gods iust iudgement denounced, 2. Thess. 1.6. [...] to recompence tribulation to them that trouble you: It is not [...] Reuenge, but [...] a Talio, like for like as we vse to speake, [...] as Theodoret elegantly: whereby thou hast offended, Thereby thou art offended. Of these very Iewes it is obserued in another case, that after they had stoned Steuen, they became yet more stony hearted.

[Page 61]Lapides Iudae a rebellis, In Stephanum limphata rapis, quae crimine duro Saxea semper eris. saith Royard out of Aratus.

When the showre of stones were powred out of the hands of these persecuters, on the body of this Martyr, one stone did rebound from his bodie and smote—not the Elbow of a professour, as the Rhemists rarely sporte themselues (with a fable out Pseude Augustine: but surely it smote the hearts of all those persecuters whence al the Iewes haue euer since haue bin so stony hearted, resisting the truth with a brow of brasse and bowels of Adamant. So also Adonibezech forcing his captiues to gather their crummes vnder his table, with their fingers and thumbes cut of, was forced himselfe to feede in the same fashion. Haman tooke great care to erect a Gallowes for Mordecai, and he had the honour to climbe them in his owne person. In infinite particulars hath God paide persecuters in their owne coine: according to that prime axiome in pra­cticke diuinitie, Quod tibi fieri non vis alteri ne feceris: Doe as thou wouldest be done vnto. Hence doth the Lord frequently—righteously permit that the same Viper shall eate out the bowels of her Damme, and haue her bowels eaten out of her yong: that the Hauke should pursue the Patridge, and the Aegle the Hauke: that the persecuters should bee persecuted in the same kinde, wherein they persecuted o­thers.

This one consideration, vse. is a sufficient Antidote a­gainst [Page 62]many sinnes; if there were neither heauen, nor hell to perswade vs. This very talio may deterre vs from beeing tales: that God will requite sinners in their kinde, in the same kinde, that themselues transgressed.

Defile not therefore thy soule by defiling thy neigh­bours bedde with Adulterie: vse. least the Adulterers spawne robbe thy legitimate children, and that thou take great paines, to bring vp a Basiard to succeede thee in thy inheritance. Vse not fa [...]se dealing in thy trade: least false dealers, false traders, and false ser­uants, cause thee to crie for bread through a grate in an aged beggary. Triumph not in thy couragious quarrels, that thou hast come of from one fight with honour: for a second Duell may lay thy honour in the dust, and Cales sands may be thy graue to bury thee. If Cyrus make the Scythian Prince to bleede, T [...]mris may thrust his head into a vessellef blood. Grinde not the face of the poore by griping vsury: least the Lord make thy wife a widdow, and that the extortioner de­uoure thy children. Swell not with pride through thy preferment, to contemne thine inferiours: know (that the seede of Eli, may bow to Zadocke for a mor­sell of bread) that thy posteritie may crouch to him, who sitteth in the same seate which their father once possessed. Set not thine hand nor finger, (much lesse your heads or shoulders (to ouerthrow the Church, or to impouerish the impouerishes cleargy. Why man! Thou art neither omnipotent nor omniscient: by no prouision canst thou foresay, by no praeuision canst thou foresee, what the calling of [Page 63]thine owne shall be. It may bee thine owne childe, or thy childes childe, may be called to serue at the Alter, to be a poore—so poore a Leuite, that while he liueth if he should sell his wife and children, all would not satisfie the Bo [...]ke seller: and when hee doth die, his distressed widdow, and beggared Orphans, though charitie be in their hearts, yet their loines may curse the memorie of. all Church-robbers: when their owne Fathers or Fore-fathers, haue beene the ringe-leaders of that cursed generation. In a word: Be no Perse­cuter, least thou be Persecuted: be no Iewes, least yee be vsed like Iewes: Throw not a stone at poore Steuen, least it rebound on thine owne head. And cast not an innocent out of the citty, least thou thy selfe bee cast out of the country. There is a iust ludge who will recompence euill to euill men in the same kinde that they themselues did practise it.

From the Place, proceed wee vnto the Person, 2 and then I will requite your attention, with a speedy con­clusion. The Person is the Saint of this day, S. Steuen implied in the text by a threefold ingemination: They ranne vpon Him, they cast out Him, and they stoned Him—first the man which preached to them: verse 54. secondly, the man which prayed for them, verse 60. thirdly, the man which was full of the holy Ghost, verse 55. So that he might exclaime with Cae­sar (murdered by the Senatours) Etiamtu fili? the children to murder their spirituall Father: the people to martyr their Saintlike Brother: and the professed holy Israelites, seruants to the holy God, to stone an holy Saint, full of the holy Ghost!—We may (like [Page 64] Agamemnon at the sacrificing of his daughter Iphige­nia) wee may draw a curtaine before our conceits, our imagination cannot behold so sauage a specta­cle.

Let vs remember this last instruction, doct. euen to our last day. Inraged Persecuters are pittilesse. I hey haue not onely a wooluish antipathy to shedde blood: but also a stoicoll apathy, to distinquish of no persons in their cruell effusion. As Saint Paul speaketh, they are [...] without naturall affection. In the text Steuen that was preaching, they murdered Him: Steuen that was praying, they murdered Him: and Saint Steuen, they murdered Him: yea had the quintessence of all sanctitie, pietie, and caelestiall in­tegritie beene treasured vp in him alone, yet would they haue murdered Him: Math. 10. verse 21. The Brother shall betray the Brother, the Father the Sonne, and the children shall rise against the Parents, and cause them to die. Lurida terribiles miscent aconita no­beriae: the persecuting mothers, will take life from them, to whom they gaue life. Fratrum quo que gra­tia rara est, like the snakie issue of Cadmus Brethren deuoure one another. Iohn Baptist was doubtlesse an incomparable creature. Herod honoured him as a Saint, reuerenced him as a Prophet, and obaied him as a Teacher! Yet when his barba­rous heart was fired, hee persecuted Him, hee im­prisoned Him, and hee beheaded Him. Most like­ly: for other sinnes are bridled by shame, but Persecution is spurred on by the repute of Sanctitie. This maketh Persecuters, like Bandogges to seaze vpon [Page 65]the throate: like sharpe-kept Haukes they will tyre on the Hart. The Persecuter like Saul, 1. Sa­muel, 14. verse 39. If any taste the hony of true re­ligion, though it bee Ionathan my sonne (saith hee) euen hee shall die the death. Herein a Persecuter is like Melchisedech, hee is [...], neither Father nor Mother shall bee spared by the hand of inraged Persecution. As the Adamant cannot bee softned but with the blood of goates, so shall not they bee mollified but with the blood of Lambes, of innocent professours. Heere Saint Steuen was the obiect, abiect, subiect of such sauage impiety, they ranne vpon Him, they cast out Him, and they stoned Him, saith my text.

Luke 14.31. vse. The king sate downe and tooke coun­cell, whether hee were able to meete the twenty thou­sand which came against him. Euery member of the Militant Church must assure himselfe of twentie thousand afflictions, which will come against him. Religion is a iewell, and wee must sell all wee haue to purchase it. Christ is a Spouse: and wee must for­sake Father and Mother to cleaue to him. Let vs therefore in the name of God, sit downe and take counsell, how wee may bee able to with-stand those thousands of temptations. But infinite wonder it is to see, how wee grumble at toyes and trifling trials. For euery slaunder of our inferiour, for e­uery supplanting of our Equall, and for euery dis­grace from our Superiour — oh —wee startle, as if this were the stoning of Steuen, and the [Page 66]combate of Christians. The childe in the nurces armes, the touch of a pinne maketh it crie out as if it were killed: and the Free-Booter standeth at the doore, breaketh into the childe, dasheth his braines against the ground, and then killeth him indeede. Such children are wee: euery tor­ment of our bodie, euery impouerishment of our e­state, euery death of a deare friend, euery little—little discomfort, [...], howe it woundeth our Hearts? it maketh vs to crie and raue and repine, when wee know not how neere the Free-Booter is vnto vs. It may those very hands, which brought kniues for vs by sea, and prepa­red fire for vs by land, those very hands it may bee, are now a gathering stones for vs, watching for the first watch-word of fitte opportunitie. Wee must expect it: Wee haue had Halcyon daies of an Aegles age: after a calme, may come a tem­pest. Let this bee our resolution: Scipio poin­ting to his armie, said there was not one, who would not throw himselfe from the toppe of a Towre for loue of him: So should we say that we would arme our selues euen to be throwne from the toppe of a Towre for the loue of Christ. And this is no noueltie: Wee are no better then Peter, wee may bee im­prisoned: wee are no better then Paul, wee may bee scourged: wee are no better then Iohn Baptist, wee may bee headed: and I thinke Saint Steuen was as good as most of vs: therefore wee may bee stoned.

To conclude: Prisoning, Scourging, Heading, Stoning, Persecuting may come will come. All which wee should indure, all which (in Iesus Christ strengthening vs (wee shall indure! Let vs say it now with our tongues: and the Lord graunt wee may resolue it, and performe it with our hearts for euer­more. Amen.

FINIS.

Errata,

In the epistle, Pagina secunda, linea 9. prò declarari lege declarare. Linea 24. pro ni lege in page 4. line. 9. for Aquinus read Aquinas, line 18. for by read vp, page 5. line 21. for a [...]ali­ticum reade analyticam, Page 7. line 8. for euer reade euen. Page 19. line 9. for kingdome read king. Page 28. line 19. for speresset read sperasset.

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