LECTƲRES, VPON THE HISTORY OF THE PASSION, RESVRRECTION, AND ASCENSION OF OVR LORD IESVS CHRIST. Beginning at the eighteenth Chapter of the Gospell, according to S. IOHN, and from the 16. verse of the 19. Chapter thereof, containing a perfect Harmo­nie of all the foure Euangelists, for the better vnderstan­ding of all the Circumstances of the LORDS death, and Resurrection.

PREACHED BY THAT reuerend and faithfull seruant of God, Mr. ROBERT ROLLOCKE, sometime Minister of the Euangell of IESVS CHRIST, and Rector of the Colledge of EDINBVRGH.

EDINBVRGH, Printed by ANDRO HART. ANNO 1616.

TO THE RIGHT WORSHIPFVLL, THEIR MOST LOVING FREIND IN THE LORD, MASTER WILLIAM SCOT, OF ELI, Grace in this life, and Euerlasting Glorie in the life to come.

RIght worshipfull, albeit that the true knowledge of Christ cru­cified, of all other, be the most worthie and excellent: & albeit that in him be the only and full matter of mans gloria­tion: yet few there be who striue to know him as they should, and to make him the matter of their reioycing. For to speake nothing of the Gentiles, who count the preaching of Christ crucified to be foolishnesse, or of the Iewes who count it a stumbling blocke, 1. Cor. 1, 23. or of the Turkes, who will not acknowledge him to be their Redeemer: euen they who haue bene baptized in Christ, & professe outwardly his word, & true doctrine, if they remaine in nature, & be not preuēted by the spirit of adoption, whereby they may see their owne miserie, their sinnes, & the terrours of the wrath of God for sinne, in the meane time that they professe Christ, they in heart scorne the Crosse of Christ, his woundes, and his blood, they account the knowledge [Page] thereof of litle value: yea, they will preferre to it the knowledge of any thing here beneath, and they will seeke the matter of their gloriatiō not in it, but either in themselues, or els into the creatures of God, which in themselues are but transitorious shadowes. The naturall man will neuer thinke, that he can finde greater things in Christ crucified, than he will finde, if he obtaine the obiect which most he desires, likes and longs for. The ambitious man will not thinke that he can get greater honour, than to be called the sonne of a King or Emperour: he will not refuse with Moses, to be called the sonne of Pharaoes daughter, that he may be called the sonne of God, Heb. 11.24. The sensuall man cannot thinke that he can find any greater pleasure, than in his sinfull lust, & he will neuer chuse, rather to suffer aduersitie with the people of God, than to enioy the pleasures of sinne. The couetous man can neuer thinke, that any greater happines can be, than here on earth to haue gold, siluer and treasures: he will neuer with Moses esteeme the rebuke of Christ greater riches, than the treasures of Egypt. Only that man whom God preuents by his Spirit, and calles effectually frō the kingdome of darknes to the kingdome of light, wil account duely of the Crosse of Christ, & will say with the Apostle, God forbid that I should reioyce, but in the crosse of our Lord Iesus Christ, Gal. 6.14. and, I decreed not to know any thing, saue Iesus Christ, & him crucified, 1. Cor. 2.2: that man will call it the supereminent knowledge of Iesus Christ, Philip. 3.8: & he only will make Christ crucified to be the matter of his gloriation: for he will see, that God in him, as in a store-house hath placed all treasures, & that in him dwells the fulnesse of the Godhead bodely, Col. 2.9: he will thirst to be woompled in the wounds of Iesus, and washed in the blood of Iesus: yea, that man will see, that God hath manifested in Christ our Sauiour, and in his death and resurrection his glorious proper­ties more clearly, than in the worke of our creation, or any other of his workes whatsouer: (for he is called, the brightnesse of the glorie, & the engraued forme of the person of the Father, & the Image of the inuisible God, Heb. 1.3.) and that man will see, that there is nothing, which the soule of man inlakes, stands in [Page] neede of, or can desire, but he will finde it in Christ. Wouldst thou see the glorious properties of God? consider first, his power: albeit in the worke of creation his power appeared to be incomprehensible & omnipotent, when by his word he formed all things of nothing, & called these things that are not, and made them to be yet in the worke of the Redemptiō he manifested greater power: for notwith­standing Sathan, the power of darknesse, the sinnes of the Elect, which Iesus bare, death and the graue were against him, yet power­fully he raised Iesus from death, Eph. 1.19: there is a great power: and whereas in the Creation he formed to Adam a spous out of his owne ribbe: in the Redemption, he formed the Church of God out of the blood of Christ: there he gaue life, in commanding that to be which was not: here he giues life, not by life, but by death, & by the death euen of his owne Sonne. Albeit in the worke of Creation great, and more than wonderfull doth his wisdome appeare, in ma­king this glorious and beautifull fabricke, & in making all things, euen contraries, to agree in such an harmonie: yet in the worke of Redemption, God by finding out a way, which no creature, neither man nor Angell, could inuent, how that iustice and mercie could stand together, hath shewed greater wisdome: his wisdome is such, that the Angels admires, and desires to looke in it, 1. Pet. 1.22. Albeit great anger & wrath did the Lord vtter many times against sinners: as in the olde world by the Flood, and on Sodome & Go­morrhe, by raining from heauen brimstone and fire, he destroyed man, woman, young, olde, rich and poore without exception: yet more clearely was his anger against sinne seene, when for the sinnes of the Elect he spared not his own wel beloued Son, on whō they were laid: but made his wrath so fearfully to pursue him, that he cried, My soule is very heauie, euē vnto the death, Marc. 14.34: and, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Matt. 27.46. And albeit great loue did the Lord shew toward men, & gaue many testimonies therof, in giuing them life, & breath, & all things, Act. 17.25, in making his sun to shine on them, his raine to fal on them, giuing them fruitfull seasons, & filling their hearts with food & [Page] gladnesse, Act. 14.17: yet neuer such loue shewed he, as when he sent the Son of God to be the Sonne of man, that the sonnes of mē might be made the sonnes of God againe: and when he made him to die, that men might liue. Herein (sayes Ioh. 4.10) is loue, not that we loued God, but that he loued vs, and sent his Sonne to be a reconciliation for our sinnes: here only is an incontrollable te­stimonie of an undoubted loue: and if ye will duly consider all the rest of Gods glorious properties, ye shall finde them all most clearly manifested in the person of Iesus Christ. Now wouldst thou know that in him thou shalt find all things that the soule of man stands in neede of, & can require? What can the soule of man require? Desirest thou honour? If thou beleeuest in him, he shall grant thee that power & prerogatiue, that thou shalt be the Sonne of God, Ioh. 1.12. Desirest thou riches? He was made poore, that thou through his pouertie mightest be made rich, 2. Cor. 8.9: not with transito­rie and corruptible riches, but with riches and treasures incorrup­tible & permanent: desirest thou food, meat, drinke to thy soule? He is that bread of life, he is that water of life: desirest thou wis­dome, sanctification and redemption? Christ is all these vnto thee, 1. Cor. 1.29: Ioh. 8.12: Desirest thou light? He is the light of the world, Ioh. 8.12. Desirest thou life? He is thy life, Col. 3.4: What euer he suffered, it was for thee: for by his stripes we are healed, Esai 53.5: He was burthened with shame, that he might redeeme thee from shame, and cloth thee with glory: he was taken and bound, to set thee at libertie, who was bound with Sathan and sinne: he was mocked, and was dumbe before the earthly Iudge, that thou whose mouth before was closed through the guilt of sinne before God, might haue boldnesse & peartnesse in thy prayers & supplications: he suffered-anguish and griefe, that thou mightst finde comfort & ioy▪ he dranke the gall, that thou mightst drinke of a sweet and ioy­full cuppe: he was naked, that thou mightst be clothed: and if thou wilt goe through all the points of his suffering, and apply them to thy broken and casten downe soule, thou shalt finde, that euery one of them shall furnish comfort vnto thee: yea, if thou be a true pe­nitent [Page] sinner, & beleeuest in him, thou shalt find all these miracles to be wrought and performed in thy soule, which euer the Lord in the dayes of his humiliy wrought on the body of any: thou shalt finde life to thy dead soule, eyes to thy blind soule, eares to thy deafe soule, limbes to thy lame soule, a new tongue to thy dumbe soule, &c. Therefore, as we should take pleasure & delite in reading the whole parts of the Scripture (for it is all by diuine inspiration, & is pro­fitable to teach, to cōuince, to correct, & to instruct in righteousnes, 2. Tim. 3.16) so chiefly, that part which cōtaines the historie of the passion & resurrection of Christ: for of all there is none more profi­table, none more necessarie, none more easie to be vnderstood by the simple, none more easie to be kept in memorie, none more forcible to mooue the affections, either to admire the incomprehensible and infinite loue of God toward sinners, or the fiercenes of his wrath for sinne, or the seueritie of his iustice in seeking such exact satisfactiō, or to moue to detest & abhorre sin, which made the Sonne of God to be made so vnworthily alwayes handled, & at last to be so shame­fully crucified, or to reioyce for these incomprehensible benefits that Christ hath acquired to vs, our effectuall calling frō the kingdome of darknes to his marueilous light, our iustification in pacifying the wrath of God, in satisfying for sinne, in absoluing vs from guilti­nes, in dying that we might liue, in bringing peace & ioy to the con­science, &c. our sanctificatiō, whereby we are repaired to his owne Image. Nothing serues more for the mortificatiō, nor when we con­sider how Christ hang vpon the Crosse for sin, nothing will moue vs more effectually to cōforme our selues to him as an ensample in his humility▪ patience, obediēce, loue: & finally in offering our selues to him, as he offered himselfe for vs, nor when by faith we beholde Christ on the Crosse crucified for vs.

Now this history of the death & resurrectiō of Christ haue ma­ny worthy men learnedly & cōfortably handled & exponed with great painfulnes, & no lesse cōmendatiō: amōgst the rest, that reue­rent & faithful man of God, M. Robert Rollocke of blessed me­mory for his learned & iudicious expositiō thereof, & for his mani­fold [Page] other graces which God vouchsafed on him, deserues with the first to be cōmēnded: for God in him, as in a vine ensample, gaue vs a shew of such qualities & cōditiōs, as are required to be in a Bishop of Iesus Christ, 1. Tim. 3. In him learning & godlines stroue toge­ther, knowledge & consciēce, art & nature, a professiō & an answe­rable conuersatiō: he was faithfull & painfull in his calling, & his calling did he decore with an holy & harmlesse life: for betweene these two there was such an harmony & cōsent, that in reading his writtings, any man might see the maner of his life: & in seeing his life, he might also therein read his writtings: for his life spake what his pen wrote & his person was a patterne of his writtē precepts: he was neuer idle, but euer doing the office of a Minister of Iesus: either did he read, meditate, pray, comfort, preach or write: no trauell did he refuse that he might glorifie God, who sent him, enlarge the king­dome of Iesus Christ, & acquire miserable soules from misery to fe­licity, from darknes to light, & from death to life, that so at last he might finish his course with ioy: that was his meat & his drink, the delite & pleasure of his soule. Great graces did the Lord bestow vpō him, excellēt knowledge, great humility, feruēt zeale, charitable in­terpreting of all mēs doings, compassiō toward all sorts of sinners. Who in cōceiuing was more quick? in iudgmēt more solide? in me­mory more stedfast & sure? in deliuery more pithy, in conuincing more powerful? who with learning had greater facility & easines in declaring his mind, & resoluing ye text of Scripture? greater clearnes in raising ye grounds of doctrine? greater power in applying, greater wisdome in furnishing cōsolation, & greater dexterity in loosing of things obscure & doubtsome? In one word we may be bold to say of him, that which Nazianzene spake of Athanasius, that his life was a good definition of a true Minister & preacher of the Gospell. But we need not to insist in praysing him, seeing so many: euen all that knew him by face, or heard him, doe praise him for the singu­lare & excellēt vertues & graces, that God bestowed on him: yea, they who neuer knew him by face, but by his learned & iudicious writtings dwelling afarre off, haue highly commēded him, & the [Page] posteritie whose profite so much hee regarded in his labours, wee doubt not, shall know & praise him, and we had rather be silent, than to speake too litle.

Now, Sir, because we thought, that these Lectures on this history of the passion & resurrectiō of Christ in it selfe: for the matter so mouing & alluring, would profite & edifie many, if not of the most learned, at least, of the simple sort: & that other Sermons that were deliuered by him, and set out by vs of before, were well liked of by many, & that sundry hearing that they were in hands, longed to see them come to light, we haue takē some paines in reuising & corre­cting them, not only for the loue & duty that we ought to that faith­full & reuerend Author of them, who was our master: but also that with the greater liking & profite they might be read by al them that desire to be edified. And what our paines herein hath bene, few can well iudge, but those who haue bene acquainted with such cases: we haue endeuoured to giue the true meaning of the Author clearly, to make his methode plaine: we haue omitted many superfluous repe­titions: we filled out vnperfect sentēces: we cleared things obscure: we rectified the sentēces which were inuerted: we endeuoured so far as was possible, to giue out his owne phrase, stile and matter. As for the matter, this we may boldly affirme, that it is fully set down, and that it is as good at least, if it be not better than his Latine Commentarie set foorth by himselfe: yea, we doubt nothing, but the matter shall satisfie all men, who craue edification: but as for the phrase & stile, we dare not say, that it will be found so absolute and exact in all thinges, as if it had beene finished by himselfe, before he ended his course, neither as we would wish, and other men woulde require: And what maruell? seeing neither did hee deliuer them of purpose to bee printed, neither did hee euer see them thereafter, neither were they receiued by his Schollers vpon that purpose: but onely for the hel­ping of their owne memorie: yea, and at the first time after, that vpon your request, Sir, wee tooke paines vpon them, [Page] we foūd such hardnes & imperfections, & that his own phrase & elegancy was not obserued, that we feared to hazard the name and credite of the learned & iudicious Author, who deserued so well of vs, yea, of the whole Church of God, & had left off the worke as vn­perfect, if the earnest request of you, & of some other of the learned, (whose iudgmēts are to be reuerēced) had not encouraged vs therto. Yet we trust, that the stile shal not be much blamed, except by those, who beeing delicate eared, regardes language more thā matter: for there is here an easy methode, with a familiar stile condescēding to the capacity of the meanest, & answerable to the matter entreated, to wit, the crosse of Christ, which refuses to be decored with humane eloquēce, that ye matter be not obscured by the stile, but may appeare aboue it, as oft times M. Rollocke himselfe was wont to speake. Yea albeit it may be, that the stile in some few of the first Sermons be somewhat hard and vnpleasant, which we might easily haue amended, if we had not thought it vnmeete to haue set out his matter in our words: yet if any will read forward: especial­ly, from that part where the Harmony of all the Euangelists is taken in, & all the foure are in such sort conferred together, that no cir­cumstāce of the history of Christs death & resurrection is omitted, he shall euer find more & more contētment in all things. And as we haue taken paines for the profite & edificatiō of many: so we doubt not, but the successe & euent shal answere to our desire. For to speake nothing of the history it selfe, which is so plesāt, sweet, plaine, easy & forcible to moue all the affections of the soule: here ye will find, how euery clause & sentēce of euery one of the Euāgelists are linked together, & depend one vpon another; according to the order of na­ture: here ye will see a plaine and an easy methode: here ye will see how clearly the doctrine resultes off the doctrine laid down: here ye will see fit applications to these times: & here ye wil see, when occa­sion offers, how the enemies of the trueth of God, are pithily con­uinced and confuted.

And now, if we would presume to dedicate this worke & our la­bours therein to any other than to you, Sir, whose deseruings haue bin so great, both towards the Author himselfe, & vs also, we might [Page] be iustly blamed, and could haue no shew of reasonable excuse: for first, who knew M. Robert Rollocke, but they also knew what en­tire affectiō you caried towards him, & how carefull you were in all things to please him: euen frō the time that first your acquaintance began, till the time that he finished his course: none loued him more tēderly, none vsed him more familiarly, none delited more to con­ferre with him priuately, & to heare his preachings publikely, none shewed greater gratitude towards him: for it was knowne by many, that it would haue bene your pleasure, if from your hand he would haue receiued a testimony of your loue, as a fruite of your faith wrought by his Ministerie: yea, he himselfe did acknowledge, that none was to be cōpared with you for gratitude & goodwill towards him: but chiefly, you declared your loue towards him▪ whē in his last disease you would haue him to come to your house, where you enter­tained him (& for his cause many that came to visite him) liberal­ly & honourably to his last breath, without any regarde of expēses, euen as a louing sonne entertaineth his father. Next, seeing the wil of the Testator should be sacred & inviolable: & in his testamēt he ordained, that whatsoeuer of his works should see the light thereaf­ter, should be dedicate to you, with these solemne words, expresly dy­ted by himselfe, GVLIELMO SCOTO in perpetuum testimoniū amicitiae nostrae dedico, cōsecróque (that where euer his works were read, your kindnes & affectiō towards him might be knowne, & your memoriall might endure to the posterity) who can iustly be offended, that this worke be dedicate vnto you? who can enuie your praise herein? thirdly, if there were no more, this one cause may be more than sufficiēt, to make this worke to come out vnder your pa­tronage & protectiō, that you haue bene the only instrumēt to make it to see the light: for through your great care, earnest endeuoure & large expēses these Lectures were collected & gathered from all the partes of the Countrey, East, West, South, North, how far distant that euer they were, from the hands of his schollers, who wrote them from his mouth: by your dealing & procurement they were written ouer and ouer againe, reuised, corrected, & now made apt for the [Page] Printing: so that by your means they now go abroad in the hands of mē, we trust, to the cōfort of many: lastly, we for our own parts offer our trauels in this worke vnto your patronage, as a monument, that we acknowledge our selues to be more obliged vnto you, thā we can requite: & of minds desirous not to be foūd vnthākfull for the vn­deserued fauour you shewed to vs particularly: to speake nothing of the testimonies of your loue, which you shewed many wayes towards them whō the Lord hath set in his seruice, both far & near, which they thēselues doe acknowledge & professe. We offer therefore these Lectures, & our labours therein, vnto your patronage & protectiō, not only as a testimony of the Authors great liking and gratitude toward you, but also as a monumēt of our thākfulnes for your kind­nes shewed vnto vs: finally, Sir, as God hath preuented you many wayes with his blessings, & hath made you sēsible of his loue, & hath giuen you an honorable accoūt, & estate in this world: so continue in the honouring of God, & doing good vnto his Saints, for his sake, & the Lord shall performe the fruite of his promises in you, which his Saints find by experience, his mercy shall neuer leaue you, vntill the time that he accomplish the worke he hath begun, & he crowne his grace with glory. Now, the God of all grace & peace, who is able to doe all things exceeding aboundantly, aboue all that we can aske or thinke, grant to you, Sir, according to the riches of his mercy, a long, happy & peaceable life here, to the comfort of his Church & Com­monwelth, & that you may abound in euery word & worke, & that you may fight constantly the good fight of faith here on earth, that whē your course is finished, ye may be assured to receiue that crowne of glory in the heauens, which Iesus hath acquired to them that loue him: To whose gracious protection we recommend you in body and soule, with all the actions you enterprise according to his will, for now and euer, AMEN.

Yours in the Lord,
  • H.C.
  • W.A.

THE FIRST LECTVRE OF THE PASSION OF CHRIST.

IHON CHAP. XVIII.

verse 1 WHEN IESVS had spoken these thinges, hee went foorth, with his Disciples ouer the Brooke Cedron; where was a Gar­den, into the which he entred, and his Disciples.

verse 2 And Iudas, who betrayed him, knew also the place: for IESVS oft times resorted thither, with his Disciples.

verse 3 Iudas then, after he had receiued a band of men, and officers of the high Priests, & of the Pharises, came thither with lanterns, & torches, & weapons.

verse 4 Then IESVS, knowing all thinges that should come vnto him, went foorth, and said vnto them, Whom seeke yee?

verse 5 They answered him, IESVS of Nazareth. IESVS said vnto them, I am hee. Now Iudas also, who betraid him, stood with them.

verse 6 Assoone then as hee had said vnto them, I am hee, they went away back­wardes, and fell to the ground.

VNTO this part of this GOSPELL (beloued in the LORD IESVS) the LORD hath done the office of a Pro­phet and Doctor, going about to in­struct the people of the IEWES in the way of Life and saluation, and to instruct and comfort His owne Disciples espe­cially in these last CHAPTERS. Nowe in the eighteenth and nineteenth CHAP­TERS following, He doeth the office of a Priest. Ye know the LORD he is a King, a Priest, and a Prophet: He playeth the part of a Priest, in offering vp himselfe: Hee offered vp none other sacrifice than his owne bodie for the world, and for [Page 2] the redemption and saluation of mankind. As concerning his pas­sion and suffering, which is rehearsed in these two CHAPTERS, the historie diuideth it selfe verie clearly: First, wee haue his Passion and suffering in the Garden: Next, wee haue his suffering in the Hall of Caiaphas the high Priest: Thirdly, we haue his suffering be­fore Pontius Pilate the Iudge: Fourthly, wee haue his suffering in the place of Execution, which is called Caluaria, or in Hebrewe GOLGOTHA, where he was crucified: And last, in the ende of the nineteenth Chap. we haue the last poinct of his suffering, standing in his sepulchre and buriall, which is the last part of his humilia­tion. Nowe this day wee shall speake somewhat, as the time shall serue, of his suffering in the Garden.

In this first head of Christes suffering in the Garden, first wee haue the part of Christ, offering himselfe to bee taken and bound willingly, and of a set purpose: Next, we haue the part of Iudas, in comming out with a companie of men of warre against him, to the same Garden: hee knewe the place well enough, because the Lord, with his Disciples, were wont to resort thither: In the thirde place, wee haue the communication betwixt the Lord and them that came with Iudas to take him: And fourthly, wee haue a fact of Peter, who will shew his loue towards his Master, and his manhood, by cutting off the eare of Malchus, the high Priestes seruant: And last, the taking of Christ, offering himselfe willingly, his putting in­to the hands of his enemies, and his binding. These things are set downe in the first part of this historie, Of the Passion of the Lord, concerning his suffering in the Garden.

Now to come to the words, and first to Christes part: It is said, When IESVS had spoken these things, he went foorth, with his Disciples, ouer the Brooke Cedron, where was a Garden, into the which hee entered, and his Disciples. There is Christes part: of verie purpose he casteth himselfe to that place, which Iudas knew, and where hee knew that hee was wont to resort: of verie purpose hee went thither, because the houre of his death was at hand. The time is well to bee noted when he doeth this, when he had spoken these things, that is, when [...]ee had sufficiently instructed and comforted his Disciples, and made that prayer for them, and recommended them to the Fa­ther, to keepe them in his absence: then hee maketh himselfe for death, and purposely he went to that place to be taken. Heere is a plaine lesson offered vnto vs in the person of Christ: when hee had [Page 3] discharged a duetie, especially to them who were concredite vnto him, after that he had instructed them, and after that by prayer hee had commended first his owne selfe, and then all his own to God: then in securitie and peace he goeth on to death: hee goeth not to die before he discharge a duetie to them that were committed vn­to him: then willingly he addresseth himselfe to death. Yee knowe the lesson. When a man or a woman hath discharged their calling faithfully towardes them that were committed vnto them, and done their duetie to them to whom they are addebted, then in peace & rest, and with a good conscience they may offer vp them­selues at the pleasure of God, to laye downe their life, and to die: therefore, whosoeuer they be that would die in rest and peace, (and alas, when shouldest thou haue rest, peace, and quietnesse to thy soule, if in the houre of death thou haue it not?) Let them take heed before they goe to die, that they haue discharged a faithfull duetie: and then hauing beene faithfull, when they goe to die, they may lie downe and rest in peace, and in a good conscience. But yee knowe againe one follie in this poinct, and this is the common fa­shion of men, when they haue their health, before the Lord call on them they are so sloathfull in discharging their duetie to them to whome they are indebted, that when the soule is to depart out of the bodie, they are most occupied with businesse, and most trou­bled in making their Testament, and I know not what: Now make thy Testament before hand, and discharge thee of all thinges, and denude thine hand of all worldly affaires, that in that houre thy soule may rest on God, and bee delited on heuenly thinges, and on that life which thou art going vnto by death.

But to come forwards: It is said, He went ouer the Brooke Cedron, with his Disciples: This Brooke Cedron was a water, which ranne be­tweene Hierusalem, and the Mount of Oliues, in a little and lowe val­ley: (Luke 2. Sam. 15.23.) and it was a little streape that ran when it was raine, but in time of drought it was drie: Nowe heere was a Garden, into the which the Lord entered, with his Disciples; to the ende, that euen as in the Garden (to wit, the Garden of Para­dise) the saluation of mankinde was lost through the fall of Adam and Eue; Euen so in a Garden, the saluation of mankinde should be­gin to bee recouered. Christ began his agonie and passion in this Garden. There are sundrie thinges concerning the suffering of Christ in this Garden of purpose omitted, and left out by Iohn, [Page 4] which is mentioned and set downe at large by the rest of the Euan­gelists, by Matt. in his 26. chap. & 36. vers. Mark. 14.37. Luk. 22.9. Onely Iohn speaketh of his taking and binding in the Garden: the rest speake of that agonie and conflict that hee had with the wrath of his Father in the Garden. They who are desirous to haue these things more at large, let them reade the rest of the Euangelists: only I shall touch that battell & agonie that Christ had in his soule with the terrible wrath of his Father before any laide handes vpon him. When he entereth into the gardē, the first thing he doth, he choosed out three of his disciples, Peter, Iohn, & Iames: & he calleth them aside from the rest, to the end, that as these thre were witnesses of his glo­rie, in that his glorious Transfiguration vpon Mount Tabor, when Moses and Helias appeared vnto him, Matt. 17.1. Euen so, the same three should be witnesses of his humiliation, and that dejection in the Garden: and hee commandeth the rest to sit downe together. So these he calleth apart, Peter, Iohn, and Iames, by name: and in their sight, first he beginneth to enter into that combate, and he begin­neth to shiner and quake, & to be exceedingly heauy: and he crieth out with a loude voyce in their audience, My soule is heauie on all sides to the death. There beginneth he his agonie and conflict with the wrath of the Father for our sins, wherewith he was burthened. After that, he went from these disciples, about a stone cast, and hee prayed to the Father with a loud voyce, saying, Father, if it be possible remoue from me this cup: that is, this cup of wrath & death, but not my will, but thy will be done. Thirdly, he goeth forward in that conflict & battell with the wrath of his Father: he feeleth the wrath of God to increase, & he crieth againe that they might heare, Father, if it be pos­sible, remoue from me this cup. Then againe the battell increaseth, & the agonie groweth, & then the third time he prayeth the same words, Father, take this cup frō me: that is, the cup of the heauy wrath of God: at the which time an Angell came from heauen, & comforteth him. Yet the battell holdeth on, and he is in a greater agony with his Fa­ther than euer he was in before, & he prayeth at greater length, and more ardently & vehemently than euer he did of before: So that in his agony the drops of purple blood fell downe from his face to the grounde: such a thing was neuer seene, nor neuer befell vnto anie man since the beginning of the worlde, as to sweate blood: no man was euer vnder such a terrible and horrible wrath of God, as Christ was for our sinnes, and for the sinnes of the whole world.

[Page 5]Now in all this meane time, he is not forgetfull of his disciples, whō he brought with him to be witnesses of his suffering, he is ay going to them, & from them, to hold them waking, & doe what he could doe, they are ay sleeping, the Deuill is busie with them, that in the suffering of CHRIST (they beeing then sleeping) they should beare no witnes of the suffering of Christ, the Deuill was as busie to cast them in a sleepe, as the Lord was busie to hold them waking, to beare witnesse of that agonie & conflict. I will not insist in this matter, reade thereof in Matth. 26. & in Luke 22. & in Marc. 14. and yee shall get this Historie at large: only we haue thus farre of the suffering of Iesus Christ in the garden: first, how heauie [...] weightie a thing sinne is, all this was not for his sinne, but for our sinnes, for the sinnes of the world: Next, ye see how heauie a thing the wrath of God is, that followeth on sinne, for as Iesus Christ tooke on his backe the burthen of our sinnes, so did he also the weight of the wrath of God, and the punishment that followeth vpon sinne: if ye know not this, ye know nothing of Christ. Third­ly, yee see the greatnesse of the loue of CHRIST to man, that first tooke on his backe so heauie a burthen of sinne, and secondly, so heauie a burthen of wrath, and all for mankinde. If CHRIST had not suffered, neuer a man had beene safe, but these burthens had pressed them downe to hell, neuer a soule had beene saued from Adam to the end of the worlde: Looke then what loue hee hath shewed to vs: and last, this agonie & suffering in the garden letteth vs see that the Sonne of God, as he is verie God, so he is very man also, and that he hath the body of a man, & the soule of a man, for this suffering in the garden was especially in the soule: in this battell the soule of Iesus Christ was especially set on by the wrath of the Father. There was none, touching the body of the Lord at this time, but the wrath of the Father was fighting with the soule. But to leaue this, and to marke the purpose of IOHN, his purpose is onely to let you see, that when Iesus Christ died, he died with a great willingnesse and readinesse, that willinglie hee goeth to death, and is not drawen out against his will, but knowing that IVDAS would come with a companie of men of warre to that place where hee was wont to walke and pray, of set pur­pose that hee should be taken▪ hee resorted thither. So this is the purpose of IOHN, to let vs see that IESVS CHRIST offered vp a voluntarie Sacrifice for the sinnes of the world, for except [Page 6] He had offered vp a voluntarie sacrifice, His suffering had not bene obedience to the Father, He had not bene as is said, Phil. 2.8. obe­dient to the Father. So the Lord died, and hee died to be obedient to the Father, that is, Hee died willingly at the good will and plea­sure of the Father. And if He had not bene obedient, His sacrifice had neuer beene a satisfaction for the sinnes of the worlde, and then what good had the sacrifice of CHRIST done to mee, or thee, or to anie man: and therefore hereupon is our faith groun­ded, that we know the LORD IESVS, not onely died, but also, that Hee died willingly; and so willingly, and with such a readi­nesse to pleasure his Father, and to satisfie the wrath of the Fa­ther, as no tongue of man nor Angell can expresse. And when euer thou settlest thine heart on the death of CHRIST, looke that thine heart settle it on a willing and obedient death: for if thou thinke not that Hee died willinglie and chearefullie for thee, thou canst haue no comfort.

Now to come to Iudas part: Iudas knoweth the place where the LORD was: hee knoweth the Garden well enough, because IESVS oftentimes was wont to resort thither with his disciples, and Judas was one of them: for manie times hee was there with the rest of his disciples, and hee knewe, that commonly the LORD was wont to resort thither with his disciples, and on this hee taketh occasion to betray Him: and when hee hath got­ten a band of men of warre, and the seruants of the high Priestes, and Pharises, hee as a Captaine to them, and they as a guarde with swordes and staues enter within the Garden to take the LORD IESVS.

Well, Brethren, it is the acquaintance and familiaritie that Judas had with CHRIST, and with the place where He was vvont to resort, that was the occasion of the betraying of the Lord. If Iudas had not bene acquainted with Christ, Iudas had not come to this place to take Him. It is familiaritie that makes traitours: hee that will betray a man, must be a domesticke & a houshold man to him. Will euerie man betray Christ? No: not euerie man, hee that will betray Christ, must be one that knoweth Him, and His trueth in some measure. Then thou that knowest Christ, take good heede to thy knowledge, and to thy familiaritie, take good heede that knowledge of Christ be in sinceritie, and that thou be not an Hypocrite, but bee a friend indeede, and not outwardly, [Page 7] otherwise, if thy knowledge be but in hypocrisie, and if thy friend­ship bee coloured, thou shalt bee a traitour, and in the ende thou shalt make apostasie with Judas, from Iesus Christ. What is the cause that men become Apostates and traitours, and after that they haue professed and subscribed, they fall away from Iesus Christ? what? but because they were neuer true nor sincere friends to Iesus Christ: All was but dissimulation, and shall end in perse­cution of Iesus Christ, and his members, and they shall end in de­struction, as Iudas did: for after that hee had once made apostasie from the Lord, and betrayed his Master, hee neuer tooke rest till he hanged himselfe. If ye will marke well, ye wil find in the compa­nie of Iudas two rancks & sorts of men: The first is a band of men of warre of the Romane Deputies, that was one part of the guarde: The other was the officers and ministers of the high Priest, they make out the other part. Then the third guarde is partly of Gen­tiles, & partly of Iewes. How came they? They came with lanterns & weapons & lights on a naked man with feare of warre: they nee­ded not. What needed all this companie▪ the Lord Iesus beeing a naked man in the Garden, not minded to fight: What needed Iudas to bring such a guard with him? The Spirit of God marketh in this Narratiue, that Iudas in doing this, had an euill conscience, through his euill doing.

The man that taketh an euill or a wicked deede in hand, will thinke that hee can neuer get men enew to doe it with him, hee shall feare for no cause: if yee should guarde him with all the worlde, scarcely shall hee be in securitie: for hee wantes that peace of GOD. Paul to the Philippians calles it that peace that passes all vnderstanding, and that guardes the heart of man: for peace is nothing, but a good conscience, and hee who wantes this good conscience which is the inward guarde, that man can neuer bee saued with an outwarde guarde: if all the worlde should stand about that man, hee will euer bee in feare, and albeit hee were in the mids of an armie, he will tremble and quake, but a good con­science will rest in peace: as Dauid sayeth, Although I were helmed about with ten thousand men, yet would I not be afraid, for I know assuredly that thou wilt bee with mee. That heart is well guarded that hath a good conscience, for it will haue peace inwardly, and will not seeke that outward guarde. The same thing is set out in the manner of his comming, hee commeth with lanternes, and hee [Page 8] commeth with lights, and in the night. This comming in the night manifesteth▪ that he had an euill conscience: for he that doeth euill, hateth the light. What needed all this company? Was not the Lord Iesus dayly going in and out in Hierusalem? And was He not daylie teaching in the Temple? & yet they layed not an hand vpon him. The verie season and time of his out-cōming, testifieth, that he had an euill conscience in doing of it, and therefore he came not in the day light. Hee that hath an euill conscience feareth the Sunne, hee dreadeth the light, and hee seeketh to execute his purpose in the night. The night maketh an euill man impudent. All these things manifest vnto vs, that Iudas had an euill conscience, but it was not well wakened, but when it was wakened, then he despaired, and he had Hell in his soule, and got no rest, till he had hanged himselfe.

Nowe I goe forwarde to the communication betwixt the Lord and the Guarde: Ihon saith, The Lord knowing all things that should hap­pen vnto him, and that were to come vnto him, he commeth forward, he fleeth not away, he hideth not himselfe, he is not drawne out of an hole, as men who haue done an euill fact, but vnrequired hee commeth foorth vnto them, and vpon his owne free motiue hee offereth himselfe vnto them: then he tarrieth not till they beginne to talke, but first the Lord speaketh, & saieth, Whom seeke ye? and they answere (not knowing him by the face) they say, IESVS of Naza­reth. Hee answereth, not denying himselfe, I am hee: hee confessed himselfe. Will ye marke these thinges: when hee saieth, hee knewe all thinges that should come vnto him, Iohn would let you see that the Lord Iesus willingly and wittingly offered Himselfe vnto the death. This taking and laying hands vpon Him, commeth not of hap-hazard: No, the Lord knew well enough all the things that should come to Him: He is taken wittingly: and as He is taken wittingly, so is Hee taken willinglie: and Hee is readier to offer Himselfe to bee ta­ken, than they are to take Him.

But to come to the wordes: Hee saieth, Whome seeke yee heere? and when they saye, IESVS of Nazareth, then Hee answereth, I am hee. These wordes doe testifie, that wittinglie and willinglie Hee offereth Himselfe to bee taken. And if yee marke, yee shall see in His answere such mildnesse as is vnspeakeable: Hee beginneth not to speake in wrath: and when they saye, IESVS of Nazareth, Hee giueth not an answere scornefullie: So that as Hee offereth Himselfe willingly, so yee see also such a mildnesse in Him, when [Page 9] Hee is taken, (euen as the Scripture spake) as Hee had beene a Lambe. So that ye see that neither in word nor deede, he vttereth anie thing to hinder his obedience to his Father: this then is the thing that IOHN recommendeth vnto vs, and letteth vs see, euen that Iesus Christ was willing to die. And this lesson we should all learne, if it shall please GOD to call anie of vs to suffer for Iesus Christes sake, that we suffer with such willingnesse and plea­sure, that we run to death, and embrace it with our armes: let this mildnesse vtter it selfe in all thy doings: away with that scorning: if thou would be like Iesus Christ, die in peace, & willingly; looke not to the instrument, nor the Hang-man who putteth handes in thee, but lift thine heart to the God of heauen, and say, O LORD, seeing that it is thy will that I die, mine eye is on thee, and as IESVS CHRIST offered himselfe willingly, to bee a sacrifice for the sinnes of the world: euen so am I willing to obey thy will: It is noted that Iudas was amongst the rest, and no question the eye of the Lord is on him, but neuer a worde he speaketh to him. Now I thinke that this standing of Judas is mentioned, to let vs see two things, the first is, that patient suffering of Iesus Christ, he be­ginneth not to vpbraide him, and to speake angrie wordes to him, or to looke to him angrylie. Some would haue thought, that the LORD seeing Iudas, might haue saide to him, Well Traitour, art thou there who hast betrayed mee: No: hee giueth him not an angrie looke, hee is euen a verie Lambe, as the Prophet speaketh of him: a Lambe without anger either in looke or in worde, but in suffering he vseth such a mildnesse and patience as is wonderfull: Next, to let vs see that impudencie of the traitour Iudas, how durst he face the Lord IESVS whome hee betrayed? a traitour is ay impudent and shamelesse, hee hath ay an hard heart, and then a brasen face to the man whome he hath betrayed. Ye see how dan­gerous a thing it is once to harden the heart against Christ, and once to beginne to doe euill against conscience: if thine heart be­ginne once to be indured, thou shalt not come backe, whilst thou commest to extreame induration, and at last, to perdition. Iudas could neuer come backe, after that once his heart was hardened against the Lord, but past forward, till he came to that finall indu­ration and hardnesse of heart. Therefore farre be it from vs once to beginne to harden our heartes against the LORD: If thou beginnest once, thou shalt grow in hardnesse, till thou commest to [Page 10] that finall induration. Lord saue vs from that sinne, the hardnesse of heart against the trueth, and against Iesus Christ. It is to bee fea­red, that these men, vvho vvith the betrayers of Iesus Christ haue set their faces against Christ, & His true religion, & against their natiue countrey, and goe forwarde in such induration and obstinacie of heart, that they shall come to that part of Iudas. And it is a rare thing to see a man who hath gone so farre forwarde in induration, come euer backe againe to grace. Now wee haue the effect that fol­lowes on this word that Hee speakes, I am hee: for these wordes are no sooner spoken, (albeit they be few and gentle) but they are all amazed, tremble, and fall downe backward to the ground. It is an admi­rable thing, that one word (and that so mildly spoken) should haue wrought such an effect: for it is such a worde, as they woulde haue wished for. It is verie wonderous, that such a gentle word shoulde as a whirle-winde, or as a flashe of fire, so haue strucken them. No question, this is to let them see, that the Lord needed not to haue beene taken with them, except it had beene His owne will: No, it was not possible for them to touch one haire of His head: for Hee saith Himselfe in the 10. Chap. and 18. vers. of this Gospell, No man taketh my life from me, I haue power to lay it downe, and to take it vp againe. So the Lord, by this wonderfull effect of that word, I am hee, will let them knowe, that they had no power to lay hands on Him, if it had not bene His owne will. And no doubt, He hath had a respect vnto them, howbeit they were enemies to Him, yet Hee wished thē well. And by the striking of them to the grounde, Hee woulde let them see, that if they encountred with Him, they would die: and He will let them see His power, that He might cause them to repent, or else to make them vnexcusable: and to let them see, that Hee was the Lord of Glorie, and that they put hands to the Lord of Glory, and slew the Lord of Life. Wee may gather of the effect of this worde, that if such a sober and gentle worde, comming out of the mouth of Iesus Christ, did driue them vpon their backes, and cast them to the ground, what if Iesus Christ had spoken an angrie word? what force woulde that haue had? If the bleating of a Lambe had such a force, what force shall the roaring of a Lion haue? Where shall the wicked stand? And if the voyce of the Lord Iesus, humbly and like a Lambe, standing before them Himselfe alone, and speaking with such gentlenesse, had such effect, as to throwe them downe vpon the grounde, what effect shall that roaring, full of wrath and [Page 11] indignation, at that Great day: not out of the mouth of a Lambe, nor of an humble man, Iesus of Nazareth: but out of ye mouth of a lion, out of ye mouth of Iesus Christ, the Iudge, sitting in His Glorie & Majestie, & saying to ye wicked, Away yee cursed to that fire which is prepared for the Deuill and his angels, Mat. 25.41. What effect then shall that voyce haue? Whither shall that voyce driue them? And fur­ther marke: If that voyce had such an effect, beeing no threatning, nor boasting, but gentle and milde; nowe what effect shall this voyce haue, whereby Hee threatneth the worlde, by His seruantes, with His judgementes? If the milde speaking had such a force, what effect shall these terrible threatninges haue against the wic­ked? for it is another thing vvhen Christ threatneth in wrath, and vvhen Hee speaketh meekelie. Nowe, as certainlie as this vvorde that Christ Himselfe spake, vvrought such an effect: As certainelie also the vvorde of Iesus Christ, vvhich Hee putteth into the mouth of His faithfull Teachers and Pastors, heere in this vvorld, shall bee effectuall, either to thy life, or to thy death: and as certainelie the same vvorde shall haue effect to driue the vvicked men vpon their backes: as Zacharie saieth, Chap. 1. vers. 4.5.6. When the men are dead that haue spoken that vvorde, after it hath beene spoken, it shall bee founde liuing: and that same voyce shall haue effect vvhen vvee are dead. It is true (sayeth the LORD) my Pro­phets died with your fathers: but my voyce, which I put into their mouthes, died not with them: and your fathers knewe, that that worde which I did put into their mouthes, was liuing, and neuer left them, vntill it brought on judgement vpon them. The LORD graunt, that euerie soule may reuerence the vvorde of IESVS CHRIST: for it shall bee founde, that either it vvas spoken to thy saluation, or to thy damnation: And, Heauen and Earth shall vanishe awaye, before one jote of that Worde passe awaye vvithout its owne effect.

But nowe let vs see vvhat they doe after they are fallen downe vpon the grounde: Leaue they off? No, no, they rise againe, and the LORD IESVS standeth still, and letteth them rise a­gaine: and vvhen they are risen, they speake nothing: but Hee speaketh first, and Hee saieth, Whome seeke yee? and they saye, IE­SVS of NAZARETH. And Hee answereth, I am hee. Nowe this is a strange thing: Who can thinke, that these men, vvho founde so great a power proceeding out of the mouth of the LORD IESVS CHRIST finding such force, shoulde haue medled with [Page 12] Him againe. But left they Him for all this? No: but they get vp a­gaine, and pursue Him, and take Him, and binde Him. It is an hard matter, to bee giuen ouer to a reprobate sense: that is, to want fee­ling, when the Lord taketh out of the soule in His judgement all sight & sense, that person is miserable: and if thou be once strucken with that senselesnesse of the soule, albeit thou be throwne downe vpon thy backe, thou shalt get vp againe, like a drunken man, and fight against the Lord▪ and that man is worse than any beast, horse, or mule: for once strike a Horse downe, & he hath a feeling therof, and he will beware of the like perill againe: But a man, who should haue reason, after that the Lord hath once strucken him with sense­lessenesse, there is no beast so senselesse as he is: and as hee is sense­lesse, so he shall not leaue off from euill doing: and hee shall compt no more of the power of God, than of a flee: for they feele not the hand of God, they are so astonished: and they will vp againe, after they are casten downe▪ and they will assaye His power againe, and will not leaue off till His wrath destroy him. Striue therefore, euer to keepe the soule in a sense and feeling and let not that miserable scroofe to goe ouer thy soule: but haue still a feeling of the power of God, and mercy of God in thy soule, and alwayes haue a wake­ned conscience: for if thine heart come to that extreame senselesse­nesse, thy soule shall ouer-grow with such a fatnesse, that thou shalt haue no more sense, than a dead stocke: and thou shalt bee like an Oxe fedde to destruction: thou shalt neither haue feeling of mercie, nor of judgement. To ende with this: ye see that Iesus Christ, al­beit he was but himselfe alone, a simple man to looke to, and with­out armour: yet Hee prouoketh them, and speaketh to them first: Hee dischargeth them to stirre Him, vntill first they entered into a conditiō with Him, That His disciples should passe free, there is not such a thing that one of them could haue power to put out their hand to take Him. And if there were no more but this, that they had no power to stirre him, they might see more in Iesus Christ, than in a common man: they might see power in Him to keepe Himselfe: yet their senselessenesse is so great, that they cannot see this. The Lord keepe vs in sense and feeling of Him, that when He hath adoe with vs, wee may feele Him, and see Him, that our con­science may bee wakened, and our hearts mollified, through Iesus Christ: to whom, with the Father, and the Holy Spirit, be all praise and honour for euermore, AMEN.

THE SECOND LECTVRE, OF THE PASSION OF CHRIST.

IHON. CHAP. XVIII.

verse 7 Then he asked them againe, Whom seeke yee? And they said, IESVS of Nazareth. verse 8 IESVS answered, I saide vnto you, that I am hee: therefore, if ye seeke me, let these goe their way. verse 9 This was that the word might bee fulfilled which hee spake, Of them which thou gauest mee, haue I lost none. verse 10 Then Simon Peter, hauing a sword, drew it, and smote the high Priestes seruant, and cut off his right eare. Now the seruants name was Malchus. verse 11 Then saide IESVS vnto Peter, Put vp thy sworde into the sheath: shall I not drinke of the cuppe which my Father hath giuen mee? verse 12 Then the band, and the captaine, and the officers of the Iewes, tooke IE­SVS, and bound him.

THE last day (beloued in the LORD IE­SVS) wee diuided the whole Historie of the Passion and suffering of Iesus Christ, which is contained in these two CHAP­TERS, to wit, the XVIII. and XIX. of this Gospell, in these parts: First, wee haue his suffering in the Garden: Then wee haue his suffering in the Hall of the high Priest: Thirdly, we haue his suffering be­fore the Iudge Pontius Pilate: Fourthly, wee haue his suffering in the place of Execution, in Caluaria, otherwise GOLGOTHA: And last, we haue the last part of his suffering, which is his Buriall. The last day wee entered into the first part of his suffering, which IOHN in this Chapter setteth downe to bee this: The Lord Iesus beeing in the Garden, is taken captiue, and bounde: John passeth by all that [Page 14] agonie and conflict that the Lord had before his taking in the Gar­den, with the heauie wrath of his Father, for our sinne, which hee did beare. As concerning his taking▪ we haue first the part of Iesus, who of purpose, wittingly, and willingly, came to this Garden to be taken: which Garden was knowne to Judas the Traitor. Then wee haue the part of Iudas, he knowing the Garden, commeth forward, (because the Lord vsed, with his Disciples, to resort thither) ac­companied with a band of men of warre, with the officers, and ser­uants of the high Priest, to take▪ and apprehende, the Lord. In the third place, wee haue the communing that fell out betwixt Christ, and them that came to take him; he knowing all things that should come vnto him; hee taketh not the flight, nor seeketh not to goe his way, as he might haue done, because it was night: but hee com­meth out vnsought, and beginneth the speach, and saieth, Whome seeke yee? They not knowing him by face, answered, IESVS of Naza­reth. He answered againe, not denying himselfe, I am he: as he would say in plaine wordes, I am the man whom yee seeke, why seeke yee anie further? to let vs see how wittingly, and willingly, how joyful­lie, and gladly, and howe patiently hee offereth himselfe vnto death for our sinnes. Now he hath no sooner spoken this one worde, I am he, which is a gentle worde, but assoone they start backwardes, and fall to the grounde: whereby the Lord woulde testifie vnto them, that they had no power to take his life from him, as hee said before himselfe, he had both his life, and his death in his owne handes, all the power in heauen and in earth was not able to cause him to die, if he had pleased to haue liued.

But to come to this Text: When hee hath strucken them to the ground, they leaue not off: but when they are risen, they are as bent as they were before. It is a marueilous thing, for if it had beene his will, hee might not onely haue strucken them to the grounde, but hee might haue strucken them thorow the earth, into hell: yet he letteth them rise againe: but they are all senselesse of that diuine power, wherewith they are strucken. The Lord beginneth the speach, and he saith, Whom seeke ye? They answere, not knowing him, IESVS of Nazareth. He replieth againe, I said vnto you, that I am hee: hee denieth not himselfe, but in a manner prouoketh them to dis­patch that businesse which they were about: yet he entereth into a condition with them, Take not these that are with mee, stirre not my Disciples: he giueth them a charge that they stirre them not: and [Page 15] indeed none of that whole companie had anie power to lift vp their hand against them. The words are plaine: ye may easily per­ceiue the note that riseth of this: It is a marueilous thing, that a naked and a simple man, (who was baser than the King of Glorie was in the earth?) a man naked without armour: hee is standing before them, who are like as many Tyrants, or tygers, and yet none of them had power to lay handes vpon him, till hee giue them po­wer: and more, hee will not let them stirre him, till hee make a con­dition with them, That they handle not his disciples: He imponeth lawes vnto them, and without this law, that they meddle not with his Disciples, he will not yeelde himselfe vnto them. So, Brethren, this is to let you see first that diuine power which was in the Lord Iesus: Beholde it, for it is a comfortable thing for Christians, to knowe that diuine power that is in Iesus Christ: for although hee neuer touched one of them, yet that diuine power did so binde fast their hands, and so restrained that pride of their heartes, that they had no power once to moue against him. Next, behold a miserable senselessenesse in them; for it is a wonderfull thing, that they can­not perceiue nor feele this power that was in him. If they had had anie sight of the Godhead dwelling in him bodily, would they not haue ceassed from such a wicked enterprise? Brethren, it is an hard matter for any man or woman once to bee giuen ouer vnto a re­probate sense, and to be strucken with blindnesse and hardnesse of heart: And if God in his just judgement giue thee to blindnesse and hardnesse of soule, albeit hee woulde make judgement after judgement to ceasse vpon thee, and albeit he would strike thee and beate thee vpon thy backe, thou wilt not bee the better: but thou wilt get vp againe, like a drunken man: and if thou bee once giuen ouer to thine owne selfe, it is as sure a thing as is in the worlde, that except the Lord let thee see with his power a sight of mercy, thou shalt euer become worse and worse: and except the face of Iesus shine into thy soule, all afflictions shall harden thee like yron, that is often strucken vpon: and the greater the afflictions bee, except that mercy shine into thine heart, thou wilt bee the more indured. Paul saieth, When the heart is conuerted to the Lord, the vaile is taken away, 2. Corinth. 3.16. Without conuersion of the heart to the face of IESVS, that that mercifull face may shine into the heart, all the thinges in the world will not be able to mollifie thine heart: Therefore, whensoeuer the Lord afflicteth thee, pray for mercy, that [Page 16] as the power striketh thee, so the mercie may be powerfull to con­uert thee: Yea, crie aye for the mercy, or else the power shall worke a further induration in thee, and make thee worse.

To goe forward: Yee see how carefull He is of his disciples: men would thinke, that He being so hard straited, & so neare the death, should haue forgotten his Disciples: for this is our fashion, but the Lord doeth not so. And Brethren, this is a true note and token of a true Shepheard: hee will forget himselfe, and his life, and hee will remember his flocke: and when he is adying, hee will be carefull of his flocke: and when the Wolfe is worrying him, yet hee will doe what lyeth in him, that his flocke, and euery sheepe thereof, may es­cape: and he will giue his life for the safetie of his flocke. This is a good pastor. So wee see the viue image of a faithfull Pastor, in the Lord Iesus: he will giue his life for his sheepe, as hee saith himselfe, Hee is but an hyreling, that will not for the loue of his sheepe laye downe his life. And this is the thing that I note chiefely here: When the Lord becommeth weake in himselfe, thorow infirmitie, yea, vo­luntarie infirmitie (hee needed not to bee infirme: what need had the God of glorie to bee infirme?) hee suffereth himselfe to bee bound till he become infirme. In the meane time he is strong and powerfull in his Disciples to their safetie: for although these that were in the Garden would neuer so faine, yet they could not gette their hands laide vpon his Disciples. The Lord Iesus, when he was hanging vpon the Crosse, the Iewes scorned him, and tauntinglie saide vnto him, Thou who sauedst others, come downe and saue thy selfe: meaning he could not saue himself, because he was crucified, as if he had no power: but they are deceiued, for that same houre that the Lord was vpon the Crosse, and that same verie time that thorowe infirmitie he died, and when he was hanging dead vpon the Crosse, that power went out from him that kept his D [...]sciples, and all the faithfull in the worlde: For except that the Lord had kept them then when he was hanging dead, they had beene a preye to the De­uill. For this is our nature and infirmitie, wee cannot stand a mo­ment in this world, except it be by the power of Iesus Christ.

Well then, Brethren, if Christ Iesus crucified, and crucified (as the Apostle speaketh, 2. Cor. 13.4.) thorow infirmitie, and so weake in himselfe in his humane nature, had so great a power to saue his Church, what shall wee say then? What a power is that which pro­ceedeth from Iesus Christ glorified? and commeth downe nowe [Page 17] from the Heauen, and who liueth nowe (as the Apo­stle sayeth there) by the power of GOD, and liueth nowe in glorie at the right hande of the Father. How great a power must this bee, that proceedeth out from Christ glorified! Alas, if the worlde saw this, if the blinde men saw the thousand part of that terrible power that commeth from Iesus Christ glorified, thinke ye, that for all the world, they durst confederate with the King of Spaine, the Pope, and his power, and enterprise anie thing against Christ and his Church: but, alas, this blindnesse and induration letteth them not see nor feele, but in the ende they shall feele it (if the Lord in mercie conuert them not) to their euerlasting shame & confusion.

Well, to goe forward, IOHN to this purpose alleadgeth an olde prophecie which was prophecied before of Iesus Christ long before hee came into the world; and this is the prophecie: Of them which thou gauest me, haue I lost none. Nowe Iohn draweth this prophecie to the preseruation of Christes disciples at this time, because the disciples that were concredite vnto him, escaped at this time. Marke, Brethren, It is true indeed, that the prophecie properly is to be vnderstood, not so much of a safetie in this life presently, as of a spirituall safetie to life euerlasting: this is the meaning: Yet it hath pleased the Spirit of God, to apply this prophecie to this bodily preseruation: the cause is this, At this time the bodily safetie of his disciples, importeth that spirituall safetie & the life to come: as by the contrarie, the indangering of the present life, indange­red the life to come. If the disciples had bene taken at this time, to haue suffered with their Master, they had all reuolted and denied their Master: Wee may see the proofe of this in Peter, and so they had hazarded not onely this life, but also the life to come, because that the disciples were as yet but children in Iesus Christ, and were not strengthened enough with the power of Christ: and woe is to that soule that will denie Iesus Christ, and chiefly in death. There is not one who will suffer their litle finger only to be burnt for the cause of Christ, except he be strengthened with the power of Iesus Christ, and there is not one that will now suffer affliction but they who are guarded with the power of God, and therefore yee see heere Gods mercie towardes his disciples. This is the mercifull dealing of God with his owne, hee will neuer let one of his owne bee tempted, but hee will giue them power to beare out the [Page 18] temptation, and Hee will neuer suffer them to be tempted, till He giue them abilitie: and when Hee hath giuen them strength, then the LORD will lay on the burthen. It is a wonderfull thing, the heauier the burthen be, that the Lord layes on his owne, the greater strength Hee giues them to sustaine it. The world hath wondered at the Martyres of God, who had so great comfort in the time of their burning in the fire, and how in suffering they would sing Psalmes vnto their latter breath. The world wondereth at this: The heauier that the death hath bene, the greater hath the power of God bene, and the greater hath the life of Iesus beene in the Martyres. And these disciples whom he spared now, when He saw that they were ripe, Spared He them then? No, no, what was the whole lifetime of the disciples, after that Christ departed out of this world, but a perpetuall suffering, till the life was taken from them, they died all by persecution, and then by the lossing of this life, they got life euerlasting, in dying they died not, but in dying they entered into a more glorious life: So this is that mercifull power of God. It appeares that in this countrey there is litle ripe­nesse, because of this litle suffering: and therefore the Lord hath dealt mercifully with vs, and in great mercie hath holden mens handes off vs: therefore wee should pray, if it shall please him to bring any to the triall, to suffer for his glorious Names sake, Lord, I am not able to behold the sight of the fire, much lesse to suffer the crueltie of the fire: therefore if thou wilt haue mee to suffer, giue me strength whereby I may bee able to suffer. Now I goe to Peters part: he setteth downe his action, & certainly, it is worth nothing, albeit it seemeth to bee verie zealous. What doeth hee? hee hath a sword about him, & he seeing them rush on his Master, shevveth his manhood. And he striketh the seruant of the high Priest, whose name was Malchus, and he cut off his right eare. The rest of the Euangelists, Mat, 26. Marke 14. Luke 22) speake of some thing that was done before this: When the Lord was communing vvith them that tooke Him, then comes the traitour Iudas to the Lord, and cryes, Rabbi, Rabbi, Master, Master, & with that he kisseth Him: now this was a signe that hee had giuen vnto his companie, that that man whome hee should kisse, was the man that they should take. Now what doth the Lord, He makes no signe of anger, and there is none of vs, but wee thinke that He should haue vttered great anger to the traitour (fie on thee, traitour, for of all men he is most detestable) but the Lord [Page 19] in mildnes & meeknes of Spirit (for all this whole time He takes purpose to suffer patiently: as Esay sayeth: Hee was as a Lambe before the shearer, & as a sheepe led to the slaughter, & openeth not his mouth) He sayes, friend, betrayest thou the Sonne of man with a kisse, He assayeth if the conscience will bee brought to remorse: There is a wonderfull patience of God to the most vile sinner, & whē he hath giuen them a signe, the whole companie russhed vpon Him. Then the disciples said, Master, shal we defend thee by the sword, but Peter not staying vpō an answere, he was hardie, & striketh off the eare of Malchus the high Priests seruant. Nowe, Brethren, albeit that this Malchus the high Priests seruant, deserued, that not only his eare should be cut off, but also that the head & the life should be taken from him (for he was in a very euill action: indeed he was cled with authority, but with an euill authoritie: if thou hadst the authoritie of all the kings in the world, it wil neuer excuse thee before God, if thou shouldest get a subscriptiō to do euil against an innocent man, the Lord shall not alow thee, but His judgmēt shal ouertake thee) & whether Peter did this of zeale, for no doubt he loued his Master exceeding well, & he would haue had his Master out of his hands: yet for all this, the Lordes owne wordes testifie, that this fact of Peter is to be con­demned. If ye will examine the zeale, it is a very preposterous and vnskilfull zeale: the zeale is nothing worth if a man go beyond the boundes of his calling. What was Peter but a priuate man, & this cōpany being sent by the Magistrats & superior power, Peter ought not to haue resisted them, & to recompense this injurie by reason of his calling, albeit it was the greatest injurie that euer was done in the world. Then the words of Christ doe declare, that he did it of blindnesse: for hee did that lay in him, to stay the worke of the redemption of the world, hee tooke no heede to his hand. Now to marke something: There is nothing more common to men, than this, to cloake their actions with the pretence of zeale, & he or she will say, I did it of zeale, but the Spirit of God in this place, (and marke it) letteth thee see, if thy zeale be a naked zeale, & if it go be­yond the bounds of thy calling, albeit it be in a good cause, yet thy zeale is worth nothing: if thy zeale be with ignorance, & if thou hast not the warrand of this worde, thy zeale is of no value, it will not warrand thine action: if yee would haue surer rules of actions nor zeale is, take heede to th [...]se two thinges: First, to thy calling: Looke that thou go not beyond the bounds of thy [Page 20] calling. Shalt thou that art a priuate man, strike with a sworde? Is that thy calling? Then next, to Gods word: What auaileth it vn­to a man to goe forward in blindnesse? if he be not illuminate with the light of God, it is but a blinde zeale: and if thou wouldest haue thine actions well ruled, then take that lanterne of the word going before thee, to warrand thy conscience in all thy proceedings: for of all graces this is one of the greatest, to haue the worde of God thy warrand in all thine actions. As for zeale, I cast it not awaye, (it is ouer rare to be casten away) for it is a speciall grace of God: but take heede, if thou wouldest haue zeale, looke that it be moderate, and passe not the boundes of thy calling: and then looke that thou haue a warrande of the word of God: looke that the eye of thy soule bee illuminate: Ioyne these two together, and then goe for­wards to the worke of the Lord. Certainly▪ experience hath taught vs▪ that this zeale hath had an euill successe: no man by this zeale did euer get commendation of God. It may be, that men will runne forwards rashly in zeale, and will haue a good entrie: but the ende will tell thee, that it was but foolish hardinesse, & it will forthinke them. And no doubt, Peter, when hee got this answere of his Ma­ster, he repented. No man hath neede to finde fault with men of this age: for there are few Peters nowe adayes: where yee shall finde one like Peter, who hath zeale, ye shall find ten, who haue none. The zeale of God is awaye, that did eate vp the heartes of the men of God of old. Then againe, ye shall see in this fact of Peters, Peter was a good man, and one who loued Iesus Christ very well, and hee was loath to leaue Him: and when as the Lord said to His disciples, Will yee depart also from mee? Peter answered, and saieth: LORD, Whither shall wee goe? thou hast the wordes of life: hee was verie loath to depart from Him: And this action also which hee hath in hand, is a good action & in the defence of Christ. Yet for all this, in this good action, and in the cause of God, see how hee is miscar­ried, & the Lord findeth fault with him. Well, this is our nature, that when we would doe the worke of the Lord, our corruption defileth it, and oftentimes in doing it we will sinne, and we will blot it with some foule blotte. And Peter doing this, with some preposterous zeale, he is not allowed: for an vncleane man, as hee is vncleane, so hee shall make the worke of the Lord vncleane. So the chiefe thing that a man should be exercised withall, is prayer, that ye Lord would sanctifie the person, that the worke that ye Lord hath employed him [Page 21] in may be holily done: and marke againe, the greatest default that was in Peter, was his too great zeale. We need not to be afraide for this in this lande: Nay, we may be afraide for default of it that the worke of the Lord should perish, and wee are to pray, that the King, and those whom he hath employed in this worke may haue an vpright heart, and such an heart, as Dauid and good Ezechias had, an heart louing God, and hating Gods enemies, I would not doubt then, but the worke in his hande should take a good end, and hee should report honour and glorie. Now the Lord seeing what Peter did, Hee forbiddeth him, and sheweth a greater anger against him, than against Iudas: Hee spake not so angrylie against Iudas, or any of them that pursued Him, as Hee did to Peter, and He sayeth: Put vp thy sword into the sheath: and then he subjoyneth the reason: Shall I not drinke of the cuppe that my Father hath giuen me, Thou doest what lieth in thee, to holde off the cuppe, I will drinke of the cuppe that my Father hath giuen me, of necessitie I must drinke it: for it was preordinate before all times, that I should drinke it: and seeing it is so, I will drinke it. Shall any thing be injoyned to vs to doe of necessitie, and shall we not doe it willingly: The Father hath propined vnto mee a bitter cuppe of affliction, and I shall drinke it out, dregges and all. Matthew in his 26. Chapter, giueth mo reasons, wherefore the Lord disallowed Peter, and this is one: Hee who strikes with the sword at his owne hande, whom the Lord hath not armed to strike, he shall be strucken with the sword. It is a dangerous matter to slay, if the Lord put not the sword into thine hand: then he giues another reason, will I be defended with the arme of man: No, if I would pray to my Father, Hee would send me twelue legions of Angels: and lastly, sayeth He, Shall not the Scripture bee accomplished of mee, Shall I make the worde of the Lord false, which hath foretolde of my suffering: and there­fore stay thy rashnes. And note what Luke sayeth in his 22. Chap­ter, verse 51, He takes vp the eare, and puts it on againe: Ye may see here, that the Lord will haue no man hurt in his taking, the Lord will haue no vnjust defence, Iesus Christ will not bee defended with vnlawfull meanes, He will not bee defended with Peters sword: for he had no power giuen him of the Lord, for to strike, He will not haue injurie repressed with injurie: Nay, He will not haue the man that hath the just cause to represse an authoritie. This guarde came from the authoritie, from the Romane empire, and Christ will not [Page 22] haue Peter a priuate man, to meddle with the superiour power▪ He will not haue him to defend Him against the authoritie. It is a dangerous thing to resist authoritie, albeit it be vnlawfully vsed, & chiefly, a priuate man: and albeit that the authoritie had done wrong, yet a man who hath not authoritie, should not represse the injurie done by the authoritie, the Lord will not allow it, the Lord will not haue injurie repayed by an injurie. Well then, if the Lord will not haue a wrong defence against injuries, Hee will not haue a wrong to meete a wrong. What damnation lyes on these men, who do an injurie, & doe delight to oppresse the innocent. If Peter got such a reproofe for the defence of Christ, against his enemies: What damnation shall these murtherers get, who oppresse the in­nocent man, the damnation of these men shall bee great: I de­nounce an heauie damnation against thee: Let the King, the Ma­gistrates, and all the world winke at thee, the hand of the Lord shall light on thee, this shall be thy recompense. Thou who takest plea­sure in oppression, shalt be oppressed▪ the Lord shall thrust downe thine head, and bloodie hand, & shall presse thee downe for euer: the Lord saue vs from this judgement: woe to them that oppresse their neighbour either in word or deede. Now to goe forward: Shall I not drinke of the cuppe that my Father hath giuen me: By the cuppe is vnderstood a measure of affliction, that the Lord will lay on any man: as a cuppe is a measure, so the Lord hath a measure of af­fliction to lay on his owne: as the Master of a familie hath a cuppe & drinketh to his familie, & sayes, Drinke thou this, & drinke thou that: euen so, the Lord is the Master of this world, & He will fill the cuppe of affliction, & He will say, Drinke thou this, & drinke thou that: & if He propine thee a cup, He will cause thee drinke it: all the world cannot saue thee, but if the Lord bid thee doe it, thou must drinke it, He hath commandement ouer his creatures, & good rea­son that we doe His will, either to liue or die as He pleaseth: if the Lord propine thee with a cup of affliction, if thou drinke it not wil­lingly (heere is the danger) thou shalt bee compelled to drinke the dregs thereof, to thy destruction. Woe is to the soule that will in no measure lay down his necke to that burthen: but againe if thou take that cuppe gladly, as the Lord Iesus did (He dranke the dregs of the bitter cuppe of the wrath of the Father: yea, Hee receiued it gladly, and thanked Him for it) albeit thou hadst bitternesse in the beginning, yet in the end thou shalt finde joy and sweetnesse. What [Page 23] followed on that cuppe? Glorie: the more that thou sufferest, if it be patiently, the greater glorie shall be to thee. Then seeing that we must also suffer in this world: for it is nothing but a suffering life (& woe is to thee, that wilt make thy heauen into this world, thou needest not to looke for an heauen in the world to come,) What euer wee suffer, let vs striue against our rebellious nature (for it is full of rebellion) and striue to get patience, and say, Lord, I haue no patience in mine hand, Lord giue me patience & contentment, let this be our prayer in distresse, and they who will seeke this, I will promise them, the most glorious issue that euer was, the bitter­nesse of the affliction shall not stay that glorie. In this world we are all as it were on a Skaffold to trie our faith, & to trie our patience, that afterward all our afflictions may be turned in joy & glorie, & all the teares that will gush out of thine eyes, the Lord with his hand shal wipe them away (wilt thou awaite to see this end) & thou shalt neuer againe see dolour nor displeasure. Now remaineth one thing of the taking of the Lord, then sayeth he, Then the band and the captaine, and the officers of the Iewes tooke Jesus and bound him, He gaue them good leaue, or els they could neuer haue bound Him: but will yee marke how particularly they are named that tooke Him: there is the band of the men of warre, and the captaine, and the seruants, to let you see, that there was no man that was there, and was partaker of that doing, but the eye of God was on him & the holy Spirit recounteth them. Beware euer to be in euill companie, if there were neuer so many in that companie: yea, if there were ten thousand with thee, the Lord shall see thee, and judge thee, whe­ther thou be a Captaine, or a single souldier, or a gudget, beware to bee in euill companie, Say not, I am not a principall man, but a seruant, I must obey the authoritie, and I must followe my Cap­taine: No, that shall bee no warrand to thee, for if thou shalt be in euill companie, the eye of the LORD shall bee vpon thee, to judge thee, let none of these worldly excuses moue thee, but say, Lord, thou seest whither I go, & with whom I come, & what I come to do, or els thy cōscience shal terrifie thee, whether thou be highest or lowest in doing an ill fact, the iudgement of the Lord shall fall on thee. Now to come to his taking, the Lord is taken willingly, & resistes not, & whē they boūd him, he put out his hands to be boūd: looke how he pointes out the suffering of Christ, First, he sayes he was taken, & then he was bound: thinke ye this is for no purpose [Page 24] There is not a worde or a sillabe lost here: the taking of the Lord, and the laying handes on him, was for our cause, who lying vnder sinne, the deuill, and death, and this taking recounters, and meetes our taking by the deuill, and death: Euery thing in Him and His suffering behoued to meete vs, and our suffering, Hee that should redeeme vs, as wee were taken: so it behooued Him to be taken, and as wee were bound, so it behooued Him to be bound, and if His taking and binding had not answered to our taking and binding, Hee had not beene a meete redeemer for vs, and if he had not beene bound as we were, we had not beene deliuered from the bands of sinne, albeit it is hard to Him, yet to the sinner it is joy­full, and if thou findest thine handes bound hard: thus the Lord Iesus was a captiue bound for thee, it would bee the joyfullest tithings to thee that euer was. Who is he, or shee that feele the bandes of death and damnation, but this will bee joyfull ti­things to them, & because we feele not this, when we heare word of His taking, we take litle thought of it, and are so litle mooued therewith. Therefore, Brethren, I recommend this lesson to you, and my selfe, seeing we are all sinners, lying vnder sinne, and death, that we striue to bee found in Iesus, that by faith in Him, wee may finde his passion, and all the partes thereof to be forcible and effe­ctuall to freee and deliuer vs from the bandes of sinne and death, and so may be made partakers of life and glorie, through Him. To whom with the Father, and the holy Spirit, be all honour, praise and glorie. AMEN.

THE THIRD LECTVRE, OF THE PASSION OF CHRIST.

IHON CHAP. XVIII.

verse 13 And led him away to Annas first (for he was father-in-law to Caia­phas, who was the high Priest that same yeere.) verse 14 And Caiaphas was he, that gaue counsell to the Iewes, that it was expedient, that one man should die for the people. verse 15 Nowe Simon Peter followed IESVS, and another Disciple, and that Disciple was knowne of the high Priest: therefore he went in with IESVS into the Hall of the high Priest: verse 16 But Peter stood at the doore without. Then went out the other Disciple, which was knowne vnto the high Priest, and spake to her that kept the doore, & brought in Peter. verse 17 Then said the maid that kept the doore vnto Peter, Art not thou also one of this mans Disciples? Hee saide, I am not. verse 18 And the ser­uants and officers stood there, who had made a fire of coles: for it was colde, and they warmed themselues: And Peter also stood among them, and war­med himselfe.

WEE haue heard (Brethren) the first part of the suf­fering of Christ, vvhich vvas in the Garden, by the Brooke Cedron, into the vvhich the Lord, as he vvas accustomed, entered, vvith His Disciples. In this Garden, after that a cōmuning passed betwixt Him and them that came to take Him, the Lord Iesus is taken, and bound. This is that outward suffering in the Garden, besides the inward agonie in the soule vvith the vvrath of the Fa­ther, for our sinnes, vvhich Hee did beare.

Nowe, Brethren, to passe by all thinges vvhich vvee haue alrea­die spoken, vvee enter into the second part of His suffering, vvhich vvas in the Hall of the High Priest Caiaphas. It is saide, vvhen Hee is [Page 26] taken and bound, they leade Him away, first to the house of Annas, who was father-in-law to Caiaphas, who was high Priest for that yeere. The rest of the Euangelistes, before they come to his part, they report some thinges done before: and namely, they make mention of a gentle reproofe which the Lord gaue to these that tooke Him, & handled Him so roughly, being the justest man in the world, He saies, What needeth all this, that ye should come out against me, as a thiefe and an enemie? Might yee not haue had me daylie whilest I was teaching in your Temple in Hierusalem? for I auowed my doctrine before the world. Then He aduiseth Himselfe, and saies, Whereto shoulde I speake this? this is your houre, and this is the time that the Father hath granted to you to worke the worke of darknesse for a time, and as the Lord hath or­dained, so it must be. But say what He would say, the miserable crea­tures are so blinded, that they goe on furiously against the Lord. Another thing likewise they report: In the meane time that they were binding the Lord, the disciples are scattered and fled. Another thing also, (Marke 14.51.52.) whilest they were leading Him to Hierusalem, there followed a young man, clothed with linnen vpon his bare bodie: and certaine of the young men followed him, and sought to haue caught him, but hee left his linnen cloth, and fledde from them naked. This seemeth to haue bene one, who in the night being in his b [...]d, and hearing a noyse and a dinne, commeth hastily to see what it was. Ye see here the insolencie of these men who will run vpon the Lord, they will take all the worlde if they might: they spare none. Now to come to our matter: They leade the Lord Iesus to Hierusalem, & they bring Him first to the house of Annas, because per­chance it was the first house in the way that they came to, that was an house of estimation: and again, because Annas was father-in-law to Caiaphas, who was High Priest that yeere, & they woulde gratifie him to see this miserable spectacle, for he was a wicked man: Woe is them that delite to see the bands of Iesus Christ. They led Him be­fore ye world to an open spectacle, after they had once caught Him. In these words (to speake this by the way) ye may marke & perceiue a great corruption at this time in the Church of ye Iewes: for before the comming of Christ, immediatly all the estates of Churches and commō weales were confused & troubled: and the estate of ye High Priest being a most notable estate among them, was corrupted. By ye law of God it was appointed, that only one High Priest should bee at once, & he all his dayes should brooke it: yet such was ye corruptiō [Page 27] then, that they chose moe high priests together: & euery one of these serued their course about in the office: & this was yt yere that Caia­phas serued: but it had bene better for him he had neuer serued: for in his time ye moste mischieuous fact was done that euer was in the world, to wit, ye crucifying of Iesus Christ, ye God of glory. So it was not for his good ye he serued. I might tell you moe corruptions in the hie priesthood amōg thē: the high priest was wont to be chosē by the people, & by the mouth of God: this power was takē frō them, & giuē to Ethnick princes, & presidents that ruled the people, they chose thē. And thē the high priests were wont to be chosē of the tribe of Leui, & posterity of Aaron only: but then any man was takē in by bribery, it was bought & sold: & whē they would shoot in one, they would shoot out another: this was the cōfusiō of the hie priests estate immediatly before Christ came. There is nothing mentioned what vvas done vvith Iesus in the house of Annas: they tooke Him in here to driue ouer a piece of time, till Caiaphas should gather his coūsell, before vvhō Iesus vvas to be accused: & it appeares here, that there He vvas bound more straitly than before: Annas sends Him to Caia­phas his son-in-law, straiter bound than He vvas in the garden. It is marked vvhat Caiaphas was, not to his praise, but to his shame, This Caiaphas was he that gaue counsell, that one should die for the people: ye heard of this in the 11. Chap. and 49. vers. This vvas both a prophesie and a counsell. When the Scribes & Pharises vvere in doubt vvhat to doe vvith Christ, hee saies, It is expedient that one should die for the people. In giuing counsell, the Lord guides the foule tongue of him, as He did Balaams tongue: for vvhen Balaam vvas purposed to curse Gods people, the Lord made him to blesse them: Euen so the Lord vsed the tongue of Caiaphas: hee shall neuer haue commendation of that prophesie: hee was seeking the blood of Iesus Christ: yet the Lord ruled the tongue of him to prophesie of that which came to passe. But whereto is this repeated here, that Caiaphas gaue them coun­sell? These words are not in vaine: Iohn would let vs see by this de­scription, that they who tooke the Lord, they brought Him to the greatest enemy He had, to him that gaue coūsell that He shuld die: all mē would haue their counsels put in execution: & namely, a wic­ked mā, if he giue coūsell, he wold gladly haue it put in executiō, al­beit it were neuer so wicked, if he shuld do it himself, he had rather hang himselfe than it went backe, as ye may see in Achitophell. Iohn, the writer of this historie, leaues Christ, and hee returnes to Peter, [Page 28] and makes rehearsall of a thing that befell to Peter in the meane time, of that foule fall of Peter, vvho boasted so fast of his strength, to bee an example to the vvhole posteritie neuer to trust in the po­wer of man: he got a vvorse fall thā any of the rest of the disciples: for he denied the Lord vvith an execration, the rest fled only. In this fact of Peters, vve haue first, how he tempts God: then next, because he tempted the Lord, the Lord tempts him againe: he who tempts God, God will tempt him: thirdly, we haue the foule deniall of Pe­ter by a light temptation. Then Peter first tempts the Lord: for when as they led away the Lord to the Hall of the High Priest, there follo­wed him Peter (albeit the Lord had fore-warned him of his weake­nesse) but afarre off, as Matt. 26.58. Marke 14.54. and Luke 22.54. doe note, and another disciple. What this disciple was, his name is not mentioned: some thinke it was Iohn, for Iohn, when hee speakes of himselfe, he vses cōmonly to suppresse his name, as ye see often in this book. Others think it was not Iohn, nor any of the twelue: but some other godly man, who loued the Lord Iesus well, to see what issue should follow vpon that taking; and this is more prooueable: for I thinke Iohn had not such an acquaintance and court with the High Priest▪ being but a simple mā, a poore fisher, namely, a disciple of Iesus Christ: but whosoeuer it was▪ it is not much to the purpose. When they come to Caiaphas Hall, the Lord is taken in: amongst the rest, this other disciple getteth in, because (saies Iohn) he was knowne to the High Priest. As for Peter, because he was not knowne, hee standes at the doore, which was straitly kept at this time. The other disciple pitties Peters case and estate, (but it was a preposterous pittie) And hee entreateth the doore-keeper to let in Peter. Take heede to friendship: and looke that in pleasuring thy friende, thou bee not an instru­ment of his destruction. Nowe Peter commeth in, and warmeth himselfe amongst the rest. This for Peters tempting of GOD: Nowe let vs examine heere what is commendable, and what is not. Indeede, there is no man that will not like of this loue which Pe­ter did beare towardes his Master CHRIST IESVS, and of this zeale, and of this his vnwillingnesse to depart from his Ma­ster: for hee loued Him so well, that hee would followe Him to the death: and would to God in this cold age, there were but a piece of this zeale in vs, that Peter had: wee haue no zeale: and if it were but this incōsideratiue zeale, yet it is better to haue it, than no zeale. So this loue is cōmendable: for albeit he did wel to loue his master, yet [Page 29] he faileth in this, that in receiuing aduertisement out of the mouth of the Lord, that he was not able to suffer for Him, yet he would go forward: & when Iesus said to His takers, If ye seeke me, let these goe their way, Peter might haue perceiued by this, that he was not able to suffer, hee might haue retired to some priuate place with prayer & mourning, but he would step forward, & would not ac­cept of that, that the Lord said to him, thou art not able: so he fal­leth here very farre. We all haue our lesson here, the day of our trial may come: let vs therefore euer haue our eye on the will of God, & that which He will haue thee to doe, that doe thou, & what the Lord requireth not of vs, that doe not. Thou canst doe nothing better than this, to take vp thy Crosse, and to followe Christ: but if the Lord bid thee not doe it, doe it not, if hee require not at thine hand that thou suffer, enter not to suffer, if he forewarne thee that thou art not able to suffer the fire, go thy way, step aside, and let it bee. But one will say, How can I get aduertisement? Peter had the mouth of the Lord: how shall wee be aduertised by God, whe­ther we shall offer our selues to the fire or not? Iesus Christ is not amongst vs now face to face. I answere, The only way to know this▪ is this: Ere any man offer to put his hand to the Crosse of Christ, look what he is able to beare: looke what strength of God he hath: if thou werest like a Giant, thou wilt not beare the Crosse of Christ, with mans strength: if thou findest in triall yt thou hast not strength enough, take it for a warning from heauen, & draw thy selfe away to prayer & meditatiō, & then being furnished with strength, come out and suffer, & then if thou hast strength, step forward & suffer. Another fault in Peter, when he commeth to the doore of the high Priest, & finding it shut, yet hee standeth, whereas by the shutting of the doore he was commanded to leaue off, at least, to try whe­ther the deede in hand was lawfull or no. It was by the prouidence of God, that the doore was shut: he got a warning there to leaue off, yet hee would not. These impediments that are casten in, when we are of purpose to effectuat or do any thing should not be idlely looked on, but they should make vs to enter into a carefull and ear­nest triall of that deede, to see whether it be lawfull or not: for no­thing is without the prouidence of God: & when thou hast consi­dered the worke, & findest it a good worke conformable to Gods will, & that thou art able to doe it, then goe forward in despite of the Deuill, and the world; but if thou findest after triall otherwise, [Page 30] either that it is an euill vvorke, or else a good vvorke, and yet that thou art not able to doe it: then staye, and leaue off: for if thou doest not, thou shalt thinke shame in the ende, as Peter did: Therefore, let no man looke lightlie to such impediments as they shall finde to bee casten in, in doing anie thing. Well, yee see Peters fall in these two poincts: First, he will not receiue aduertisment: Secondlie, hee will not goe from the doore, till he get in. Search the grounde of his doing, and ye shall see, that albeit Peter was a verie weake man, yet he saw not his owne infirmitie: and when he thought himselfe strong enough in his vaine conciet, he was blinded: hee saw not his owne infirmitie, & this is the ground of his fall. It was the strength of fleshe and blood that was in Peter, and an humane spirite, such a courage as the Romane vvarriours had. This courage of fleshe and blood will carry men a good piece forwarde in the cause of Christ, and will make them take vp and lift the crosse on their shoulders, and to goe to the Hall of the High Priest, and to come to the fire: but there it leaueth them, for they will not put their hande to the fire: and in ende, this humane courage will leaue thee in the mire: for thou wilt neither die, nor put thine head vnder ye axe: therfore, if thou find boldnes in thee, look whether it be throw ye spirit of Iesus Christ, or of manly courage: whether it be spiritual or humane: and if it be of man, thou shalt fal, and if it be of God, thou shalt know it. He who is strong in Iesus Christ▪ he is strong in infirmitie: & he who hath greatest faith in Iesus Christ, he hath greatest sense & sight of his own weaknes: & when he finds Christ liuing in him, he will find himselfe dying in himselfe: if thou find thy selfe nothing, thou hast strength in God: if thou take a conceite of thy selfe, & boast of thy power, thou hast no power in Iesus Christ. Our Lord said to Paul, My grace may suffice thee only, for my power is made perfect thorow weake­nesse. The Martyrs haue confessed in ye houre of death, that they had no strength in themselues, but that they were strong in Christ: if thou haue strength of thy selfe, & not of Christ, it shall leaue thee in the end. Now when Peter hath tempted God, God meeteth him, & tempts him againe: he commeth in, & who is ye instrument that the Lord vseth to tempt him with? euen she that would gratifie him to let him in: he bought his comming in too deare, with the deniall of his Master: And she saith, Art not thou also one of this mans disciples? First marke this well, ye wil thinke this to be a light temptation. Who is the instrument that temptes him? who, but a sillie damsell? if it had [Page 31] bene a man of war, or a man, it had bin thought he had had some occasion to fall back. And what s [...]ies she to him? not boastingly, Art thou one of this seducers seruants? but in simplicitie & gentlenes, Art thou one of this mans disciples? So, whether we looke to the temp­ter, or to the temptation, it is very light: & therfore, the greater is his fall and shame: thou gettest a foule shame, who for a light tempta­tion fallest abacke. Beholde howe the Lord will humble the vaine and proude confidence of man: Peter was too proude: & the Lord will raise vp the silliest of all His creatures, to tempt that man that is proude. All this naturall boldnes is nothing but weaknes, & Hee will not encounter it with a great strength, but with a sillie instru­ment: that man may see, that his own strēgth is nothing. Beside the fall of the proude man, there is shame with it, that shall pearce the heart more, than the hurt, that it should be smitten to the dirt with such an instrument. He will not raise vp a champiō against thē, nor He will not enter Himself with thē, but He will stir vp a thing of no­thing to beat downe carnall courage. She saies, Art thou a disciple of this mans? He saies, I am not. Is this he, that bragges and saies, I will not leaue thee Lord, though al should leaue thee? is this he that denies his ma­ster? By this example we haue a liuely image of the vaine pride and strength of man. The Lord will cause a girle to cast thee downe & it both: yea, the very shaking of a leafe, shall make thee tremble: and vaine fantasies and imaginations shall terrifie thee, although there were nothing out with thee: for whosoeuer hath a confidence in himselfe, the Lord shall cast such terrours into his heart, as shall ouer-throw him. The terroures of his minde, though all the worlde should let him be, shall trouble him, and cast him downe, so that he shall get no rest. Therefore, be neuer strong in the power of man: for if thou hadst all the worlde, yet the basest thing in the worlde shall cast thee downe. But he or she, that would take vp the crosse of Iesus Christ, should striue to bee strong in God, and care not howe weake thou art in thy selfe, for that strength of God will hold thee vp. Paul saies to Timothie, Bee partaker of my affliction by the power of God: and ground thine afflictions vpō this power, for it is ye strength which will holde thee vp: & this is the thing that will beare vp the crosse thorow all temptations manfully to the end. In the next vers. the Euangelist telleth where Peter is standing, and setteth down the place, & a certaine occasion of his temptation, He is standing with a companie of the seruantes and officers of the Priestes and Pharises, who had [Page 32] made a fire of Coles, for it was colde, & they warmed themselues. And then the Maiden commeth vnto him: hee was gone in too farre: for it is not good to enter ouer farre into the houses of wicked men: nei­ther is it good for thee to warme thy selfe in the companie of wic­ked men, nor yet to bee at their table: it were farre better for thee to abide the cold: for if thou accompanie thy selfe with them, & take pleasure at their fire side, then a tempter shall come vnto thee, either a Damsell, or a Boy: And therefore, let euery man & woman beware, and as they woulde bee free from temptation, so let them eschewe euill companie. Hee is well worthie to bee tempted, who knoweth his owne weaknes, & yet will not tarrie out of the com­panie of the wicked: And it is Gods just judgement, that our men make Apostasie, and come home foule Apostates, and Atheistes, who will not tarrie out of FRANCE, and SPAINE, vvhere all is full of temptation: It were better to sit at home, and serue the LORD: for it is harde to knowe, if euer thou shalt get grace to take vp thy selfe, as PETER did. The rest of the Euangelistes say, that PETER had scarce said that, (when as the Cocke crew, euen as the Lord had fore-tolde him) but hee getteth the vvarning, that hee had made defection. Nowe after sinne, there commeth com­monly an induration and blindnesse; and in sinning the conscience sleepeth, yea, it sleepeth so sound, that vvhen it getteth aduertise­ment, it cannot bee vvakened: but the third time it vvas vvakned: for PETER denied his Master once, twise, yea thrise, but at length hee vvakeneth; and yet not so much for the crowing of the Cocke, as for the looke of his Master; vvhereof LVKE maketh mention, CHAP. XXII. VERS. 61. And PAVL saieth, When the heart shall bee turned vnto the LORD, the vaile is taken away, 2. COR. CHAP. III. VERS. 16. This is my lesson: When a man commit­teth sinne, the conscience vvill bee asleepe, and vvill not bee vva­kened: and this falleth not out in the vvicked onelie, but also in the godlie: Yee reade of DAVID, after he had committed adul­terie, his conscience sleepeth still; and after the adulterie, hee fal­leth out in murther, and yet hee is not vvakened, till the Prophet of the LORD came vnto him. The longer that thy conscience lieth still in sinne, the bitterer the vvakening vvill bee. A reprobate vvill get an harde vvakening, Iudas got a sore vvakening, he vvas asleepe vvhilest hee kissed his Master, but vvhen hee vvakened, he hanged himselfe. But the Lord dealeth otherwise vvith His owne, Hee vvill [Page 33] vvaken them in mercie: and in the heauiest displeasure, they shall haue the sweetest joye: and in the greatest aboundance of teares, the greatest comfort.

Of all the thinges in the vvorlde, take best heede to the con­science: for it is alwayes verie readie to fall asleepe, and of all judgementes, a sleeping conscience is the greatest: and therefore let vs striue night and daye to haue a waking conscience, which may rounde in our eares, when vvee lay vs downe at Euen, vvhat vvee haue done all the daye: if thou hast done good, then thou mayest sleepe vvith a sound conscience: but if thou hast done euill, it is better a thousand times, to vveepe vvith teares, and vvake in mourning, till thou findest thy selfe to be recōciled to God againe, than to sleepe. We should neuer let the conscience sleepe, but euer hold it vvaking, to tell vs vvhen vve doe euill, that vve may haue do­lour: & vvhē vve haue done vvell, vve may haue joy, through Iesus Christ: To vvhome, vvith the Father, and the Holy Spirite, bee all Praise, Honour, and Glorie, for euermore: AMEN.

THE FOVRTH LECTVRE, OF THE PASSION OF CHRIST.

IHON CHAP. XVIII.

verse 19 (The high Priest then asked IESVS of his Disciples, and of his Doctrine. verse 20 IESVS answered him, I spake openly to the worlde, I euer taught in the Synagogue, and in the Temple, whither the Iewes resort continually, and in secret haue I said nothing. verse 21 Why askest thou mee? aske them that heard me what I said vnto them: beholde, they know what I said. verse 22 When he had spoken these things, one of the officers which stood by, smote IESVS with his rodde, saying, Answerest thou the high Priest so? verse 23 IESVS answered him, if I haue euill spoken, beare witnesse of the euill: but if I haue well spoken, why smitest thou me? verse 24 Now Annas had sent him bound vnto Caiaphas the high Priest.) verse 25 And Simon [Page 34] Peter stood and warmed himselfe, and they saide vnto him, Art not thou also one of his Disciples? He denied it, and said, I am not. verse 26 One of the seruants of the high Priest, his cousin whose eare Peter smote off, saide, Did not I see thee in the Garden with him? verse 27 Peter then denied againe, and immediatly the Cocke crew.

BELOVED in the LORD IESVS, we haue heard the first part of the Passion of the LORD, which was in the Garden; beside that inward agonie with the wrath of His Father, that Hee felt in His soule, outwardly in the Garden, where Hee was taken like a thiefe & bound: Hee was taken to deliuer vs from that captiuitie and bondage of sinne and death. And then after we entered into the seconde part of His suffering which was in the Hall of Caiaphas: being taken and bound, He is led away to Hieru­salem. The first house that He is brought vnto, is the house of Anna [...], the father-in-lawe to Caiaphas: and there Hee tarrieth a certaine time, till the Priestes, the Elders, and Scribes were assembled in the house of Caiaphas: and then Annas sendes Him bound to Caiaphas the High Priest.

Now we heard the last day the Historie of Peter, how hee denied his Lord and Master: Peter, vpon a vaine confidence, notwithstan­ding of an admonition of the Lord, hee will followe Him to the house of the High Priest. Now the Lord entereth in, and the other disciple vvho knewe the High Priest, and Peter vvas stopped at the doore: this might haue beene an aduertisement for him to haue left off, but yet hee would not: and the other disciple, thinking to gratifie him, he desireth the maiden that kept the doore, to let him in: and beeing no sooner entered in, but that same seruant vvoman tempteth him. This temptation is by a sober instrument, neither vttered she any reuiling vvordes vnto him: yet neuerthelesse Peter falleth: vvhereby yee maye see vvhereunto the confidence of fleshe and blood turneth, for the lightest assault vvill throwe him downe vvho trusteth in it. Hee is standing vvarming himselfe vvith euill companie: and being standing securely, he getteth his reward: hee deare bought his vvarming there: for hee is tempted, and denieth his Lord and Master.

Now to come to this Text: There are two parts of it shortly: the first containes the suffering of the Lord Iesus in the Hall of the [Page 35] high Priest: the second containes the second and third deniall of Peter. As for the first, it is saide, that Caiaphas the high Priest be­gineth to aske of Iesus concerning his doctrine and his disciples: he layeth not downe first such and such particular pointes of false doctrine, because he had none to lay to the charge of the Lord, and therefore this was no formall proceeding and dealing, to draw a man be­fore a judge, and then not to haue one word to lay to his charge. Should not the dittay be made before the man was taken: ye may see the malice of this persecution. Well then, to examine his words, he enquireth about his doctrine, and then for his disciples, whilst he asked him of his doctrine, he would meane, that his do­ctrine was not allowable, and that it might not abide the light, and that Hee teached lies, and whilst as hee speaketh of His disci­ples, hee would meane, that the Lord was a seducer, and had sedu­ced so many among the people: the Lord answeres, The thing that I haue teached, I haue teached openly before the world: and therefore, why askest thou me of my doctrine, as though it were not allowable, and as if I had teached in secret holes and caues: then he appea­leth to the witnessing of his enemies, aske of these men, who haue heard me, I will bee judged by them. This is the effect first, of the question of the high Priest, and next of the answere of the Lord. The first thing that wee marke here, is shortly this, Beholde in the person of Caiaphas, the malice of the enemies of the trueth in their heartes, they know the trueth, and yet they will seeme that they knowe it not: CAAIPHAS knewe the trueth, but hee seemeth not to knowe it, the enemies will count light darknesse, albeit the truth should shine in their faces more bright than the Sunne in the noone-tide of the day, yet they will say, Light is darknesse: But to come to Christs part, as the trueth loues the light, and desires not to be hid, neither to bee teached in secret holes and caues: so the trueth (so farre as is possible) is publikely to bee teached, in the presence of the worlde, it would haue all men to know it, it would euer bee heard, and the light would euer shine through the world. The Ministers of the trueth should euer striue to preach in publike, that all the men and women of the worlde may heare, euen to preach in the most publike places of the world, and if it were for no other thing than this: that thou mayest answere to the Lord, if it fall out that the light come to bee challenged for darknesse, thē thou maiest appeale & say, We haue teached nothing in holes, [Page 36] and that the enemies of the trueth may be conuicted in their con­science, and compelled to beare witnesse of the trueth: I meane not, that at no time it is lawfull to preach in secret places, and as though the trueth of God had euer a free course, and were publik­ly preached: for experience hath teached, that the trueth of God hath fled to the wildernesse in time of persecution, and the Saints of God haue bene glad to goe to holes, to get the comfort of the worde: but I meane this, that so farre as possibly can be, is to bee preached openly, and if that libertie of the trueth be restrained, let vs bee content to suffer, and deliuer in secret consolation by the word. Then marke againe in Christes answere: albeit the Lord suf­fereth willingly, offereth Himselfe to be taken, & giueth his hands to bee bound, yet yee may see, that the Lord will not yeeld to the enemies, that He is a false teacher, or that He is a seducer, or that that light is darknes, or that the trueth is a lie. It is true, that if it please the Lord, that we suffer for the trueths sake, wee are bound to suffer patiently and willingly: but looke to this againe, let neuer the trueth of God be saide to be a lie, neuer yeeld to the enemies that the trueth of God is false, for all the torments of the world: Peter sayeth, Let vs suffer for a good cause, and not as theeues and murthe­rers, 1. Pet. 4.15, 16. It is a paine to suffer for an euill cause, so long as the Lord giueth vs a mouth, let vs protest that the trueth is trueth. Paul sayes, 2. Tim. 2.9. I am in bands, and I am afflicted in bands as though I were an euill doer: yet the word of God that He hath put in my mouth is not bound, & all the enemies in the world, so long as I haue a mouth, shall not restraine it. The Martyres were neuer brought to this, to cōfesse that they suffered for an euill cause: albeit thou yeeld hands and foot to any torture, beware of this, that thou neuer confesse that it is an euill cause, wherefore thou diest; let euer the veritie be free in all our suffering. When the Lord makes this answere, One of the officers which stood by, smote Iesus with his rod, and saide, Answerest thou the high Priest so? Meaning▪ that the Lord had not answered him so reuerently as Hee should haue done. The Lord answereth, If I haue euil spoken, beare witnes of the euil, but if I haue well spoken, why smitest thou me. Alwayes, whether He had well or euill spoken, He findeth fault with him, that he should haue smitten Him so rash [...]y: so, brethren, this is another part of the suffering of Iesus Christ: He suffers not onely of the high Priest, but of his seruants also: Hee suffers of all men, all this was done without any order of law. The high Priest [Page 37] speakes to Him against order of Law, and the officer strikes Him a­gainst order of Law: he failes in this, because he strikes Him for well doing, for He maintained the trueth of His father. Thē againe, why should he haue strucken Him, till He had bene judged? and then, if He were judged, yet it was no place to punish a man in judgement, though he were neuer so euill. So yee see in how many things these men faile. What shall I say? Ye shall commonly find the most inno­cent man, who hath bene brought before euill men, and corrupted judges of the worlde, of all sort of men haue beene handeled most vnformally, & vnreasonably. A thiefe, or a murtherer hath not bene so euill handeled, as the moste innocent: for they will let a murthe­rer, or the wickedest man in the world, tell his tale in patience: and they will delay striking of him till the place of execution: but expe­rience hath taught this, that whē an innocent man is judged, all the proceeding is without order: as we see in this example of Christ, the most innocent man that euer was. And such like in the Martyrs of God; neuer thiefe nor robber was so vnreasonably handled as they. What is the cause of this? Euen this, the malice of the heart of man was neuer so bent against an euill man, as the wicked man is against the innocēt: yea, a just judge hates not so much vnrighteousnes, as a wicked judge hates innocēcie. And therfore, it is a wonder that the judgemēt of the wicked proceedes vnorderly against the godly: the Lord answeres, If I haue spoken euill, thou shouldst not strike mee without order, & if well, why smitest thou me. The Lord binds him that he hath done wrong, howbeit Hee suffered most willingly & patiently: but Hee strikes not againe. Yet marke, in this patient suffering Hee will haue wrong appeare to be wrong, & that which is vnjust to be vn­just. In all our patient suffering let ay right appeare to be right, and wrong to be wrong. Let not a man yt suffers be so dumbe that he say not that wrong is wrong. No, let them speake, that the cōscience of the wicked man may be conuict, and brought to some remorse. The Lord no doubt pities this man that strook Him, & would haue had his conscience cōuict, yt he might repent. So let the wicked see, that wrong is wrong in the most patient suffering, that the wicked may bee conuict, and God glorified. Nowe is subjoyned, that Annas had sent Him bounde to Caiaphas. Hee returnes to the grounde of His accusation: and the grounde is this, Annas sent Him bounde vnto Caiaphas: howbeit in the house of Annas the Lord was not struckē, yet Annas was not blamelesse: for these words are registrated to his [Page 38] euerlasting shame, that he sent such an innocent man to such a bur­rio, & this makes him guiltie of the blood of the Lord Iesus. Med­dle nothing with the suffering of an innocent man, for if once thou seemest to consent to his death, thou art guiltie, and if thou rejoy­cest in the wracke of the innocent, for if thou shalt once consent vnto it, thou art guiltie of all the innocent blood, frō the blood of Abel that was shed, vnto the end of the world: for whosoeuer will consent to the blood of an innocēt man, he may easily be brought on to consent to the shedding of the blood of all innocents yt euer was: keepe therefore thine hands, thine eyes, & thine heart cleane from any assent to the wracke of the innocent. Now to come to the second part of our text, which containes the two denialls of Peter. All this time, Peter is standing warming him with the officers of the High Priest: on this rises another temptation, Some say, Art thou not one of his disciples, there he denies, saying, I am not. First, ye haue the occasion of the temptation, Secondly, the temptation it selfe, Thirdly, the second fall, and deniall. The occasion is, he is standing warming him in such a companie, the words import a great secu­ritie in Peter, he is so farre from a remorse, that is, carelesse: thinke yee not, that hauing denied his Master once, that hee should haue gone aside & mourned & wept bitterly, but ye see he did not so. Sin when it is committed, bringeth on commonly a carelesse security: when a man hath fallen into a great sinne, he will commonly ly still in a deadnesse & senslesnesse, & as a man who falles downe from an high place, for a certaine space lyes without sense, & is dammished with the fall: euen so▪ (what is sinne but a fall from God) after that once we are fallen frō God, we are senlesse altogether, we ly without sense or motion, & the greater alwayes that the sinne be whereinto we fall, the greater is the senslesnesse: but aboue all sinnes, the de­niall of the Lord Iesus, & of His trueth, bringes on most fearfull & deadly senslesnesse, especially if that sinne proceede of a malitious­nesse of the heart, as that sinne of Iuda [...] did: he was senslesse, he was so impudent in sinning, that he kissed His Master, to shew Him to his takers. It is true, the sin of Iudas, was of the hatred of the heart, but the sinne of Peter was not of malice, but of infirmitie, yet hee falles into a deadnesse and sleepe: So, Brethren, euer beware to fall, for after a fall comes a securitie. The estate of securitie is the most dangerous estate that euer was, better to be mourning day & night, than to be in this securitie: so then falling, he lyes still senslesse But [Page 39] looke what followes, lying still in security, another tempter cōmeth againe, to wit, One of the seruants of the high Priest, his cousin, whose ca [...]e Peter smote off, sayd, Did not I see thee in the garden with him? looke what the estate of securitie bringes on it, neuer wantes temptation, & if thou shalt be put to that pinch, that thou should denie thy Lord, let a man ly still in securitie frō houre to houre, he shall neuer want temptation: when the deuill lulles thee asleepe in securitie, then he thinkes that he gets his will. Peter sayes, I am not his disciple: the temp­tatiō is but light, yet for all the lightnes of it he denies his Lord: for denying Him to be his disciple (albeit he spake slenderly) he denies Christ to be his Master: & in effect he denies the Messias: then, Bre­thren, a man or a woman lying in securitie, the least thing in the world, will draw him away, as a sleeping man with a small motion will fall: so when thou art sleeping, if the deuill commeth, the least finger of the tempter will put thee ouer: aboue all things in the world, keepe thee from securitie: for the smallest temptation will put thee away frō thy God: so men in this life should euer be groa­ning vnder the burthen of sinne: had Peter bene groaning after his first deniall, hee had not beene so easily ouercome. Now to take it vp in one worde, sinne bringes on securitie, & when one lyes in securitie, the deuill is busie to tempt him, & that person is easily put ouer: so beware of sinne, and striue to get a waking conscience, that thou sleep not in securitie: for the end of securitie is death euer­lasting▪ when hee is crying peace, peace, then commeth a sudden judgement, like the paines of a woman in trauel. Now come to the last deniall of Peter: he hath denied the Lord twise: after his second deniall, he is no more touched, than he was of before: & the second fall bringes on a greater senslesnesse, than the first fall: the oftener that a man or woman falles, they are the more senslesse, & once fal­ling, & falling againe, thou contractest the greater securitie. There is not a man or a woman that continues in sinne: but after the se­cond fall, that person shall be more senslesse, than after the first: so growing in sinne, bringes on a growing in deadly securitie, & con­tinuance in a dead sleepe, thou shalt finde thy selfe after the second sinne more senslesse than after the first: Well then, Peter conti [...]ues in a securitie, & as Luke noteth, there interu [...]enes one houre be­tweene the second & third deniall: yet he is without remorse, & he is not moued▪ so continuing in this dead sleepe of securitie, com­meth on the third temptation, by a cousin of Malchus, whose [Page 40] eare hee smote off: if thou sleepest in securitie, thou shalt not want new temptation: when thou sleepest, thy tempter is busily waking about thee: the more thou sleepest, and lyest in securitie, the more busie is the deuil to tempt thee: albeit thou feelest it not. Now when Peter hath denied Him once and twise, & as the other Euan­gelists doe note, hee putteth to a curse: Marke, as continuance in securitie bringeth on continuance in temptation: so continuance in temptation bringeth on continuance in sinne. Now, I thinke, if the Lord had not stayed him in the ende, hee had denied Him a thousand times: euen so oft as they had asked of him. So there is neuer an ende of tumbling ouer and ouer, till the creature tumble in hell, where there shall be a blacke wakening: for if thou deniest the Lord once, thou shalt denie Him againe and againe: it is noted when he denied the third time, Then the cocke crew, and Luke noteth, euen as the cocke crew, the Lord looked ouer his shoulder: there goes two things together, the crowing of the cocke, & the looking of the Lord. S. Marke notes, the cocke crew the second time: well then, doth Peter waken at the crowing of the cocke? beganne hee to get a remorse by it? No, all the crying & crowing of the world, wil not waken the soule out of sinne, except the Lord looke in, by the beames of his countenance, and strike in to the heart, if the gratious beames of the Lords face had not strucken on Peters heart, he had neuer wakened. This is to let you see, how hard a thing it is to raise a dead body that lyes in sinne: what crying in the world wil raise a dead body: & so there is no crying, or remedie in heauen or in earth, to thy dead soule, except Iesus Christ looke fauorably vnto thee, & make his gratious countenance to shine in thy soule: who would haue that remorse of sinne that Peter got, and that waking conscience, let that person striue to turne the heart to Iesus Christ: whē the heart is turned to the Lord, thē the vaile shalbe taken away: all the light of knowledge is in the face of Iesus Christ: no heat in the worlde is able to mollifie thine heart, except that heat that commeth from the face of Iesus Christ: so, hold euer thine heart vp to the face of Iesus Christ, that thou mayest haue a continuall remorse: for in the bitternesse of sinne, is the sweetnesse of joy: Nowe to make an ende, and shortly to examine this fall of Peters. Certainely, there are many faults in this fall: First, he is caried away with a vaine confidence of flesh and blood: he will take vp his crosse and follow the Lord, albeit that the Lord aduertised him that hee [Page 41] was not able: and then the doore was shut vpon him, to aduertise him, and put him in minde, yet he would not stay: then when he is let in, alas, he denies his Lord once, he denies Him twise & thrise, till the LORD did staye him: I dare not say, but all this time Peter caried a good heart towards his Lord, & a spunke of faith, & a spunke of loue in the heart, albeit his faith & loue were choked: it was suppressed with infirmities of the flesh, & namely with feare: then when he is entered in and come vnto the fire side, if that faith and loue was suppressed before with his nature, then it was farre more suppressed, & this litle spunke of loue in the man, was smoo­thered, & there falles such a weight of infirmitie on it, that it was pressed downe vnder the burthen of corruption, and vnder secu­ritie: if thou be sleeping in securitie, albeit thou haue a spunke of loue, it will be smoothered, and this is most true, that this spunke of loue was so smoothered, yea, I say more, it was pressed, that except the Lord had looked ouer his shoulder, with the eye of his mercie, and wakened that spunke of loue, it had died out. In Peter we haue a cleare example of the weaknesse of the godly men, into this life: albeit we haue faith, and loue, yet in the example of Peter we see, that the spunke of grace will be choaked with corruption & infirmitie: and then will ye come to God: Peter is one of the chiefe examples of the mercie of God in Iesus Christ: Paul to Timothie countes, that he was one of the greatest examples of mercie in the world: but if yee looke to the sinne of Peter, ye will finde that it was greater than the sinne of Paul: for Paul did all of ignorance, and so if Paul, as hee sayes, was made an example of the mercie of God to sinners: surely this example of Peter, ought much more to bee an example to all sinners: let no sinner that lookes to him, despaire of mercie, how burthened so euer hee be with sinne: for that same Iesus Christ, who was mercifull to Peter, hath store of mercie for all them, that it pleaseth him mercifully to looke vpon: To Him therefore, with the Father, and holy Spirit, be all honour and glorie, AMEN.

THE FIFT LECTVRE, OF THE PASSION OF CHRIST.

IHON CHAP. XVIII.

verse 28 Then led they IESVS from Caiaphas, into the common Hall. Now it was morning, and they themselues went not into the common Hall, lest they should bee defiled, but that they might eate the Passeouer verse 29 Pilate then went out vnto them, and said, What accusation bring you against this man? verse 30 They answered, and said vnto him. If he were not an euill doer, we would not haue deliuered him vnto thee. verse 31 Then saide Pilate vnto them, Take yee him, and judge him after your owne Lawe. Then the Iewes saide vnto him, It is not lawfull for vs to put anie man to death. verse 32 It was that the word of IESVS might be fulfilled which he spake, signifying what death he should die.

IN the eighteenth and nineteenth Chapters of this Gospell (Brethren) is contained the History of the Passion of the Lord Iesus Christ; and it is diuided in these parts: The first is the suffering of the Lord in the Garden: The next, is the suffering of the Lord vnder the High Priest Caiaphas, the Ecclesi [...]sticall Iudge: The third, is the suffering of the Lord vnder Pontius Pilate, the Ciuill and Romane Magistrate: The fourth, is the suffering of the Lord in the place of Execution: The last, in the sepulchre. Wee haue spoken of ye first part of His suffering in the Garden▪ besides the in­ward cōflict He had with ye wrath of His Father for ye sins of ye elect which Hee did beare vpon Him. The▪ Lord is taken like a thiefe or vagabond, and bound, & led to Hierusalem. We heard also the suffe­ring of the Lord in ye Hall of the High Priest, whose name was Caia­phas. When the High Priests & Elders are set down in coūcell. He is [Page 43] brought in before them: and being brought, they haue not a word to say against Him, howbeit they bound Him, & brought Him to judgemēt. This was an vnformall dealing: therfore the hie priest de­mands of Him His doctrine, & of His disciples, to catch a word out of His mouth, wherupō he might make his accusatiō: whē they pre­uaile not this way, the rest of the Euāgelists note, that they begin to suborne false witnes: but they get no vantage that way neither: for they cānot agree together. Thē the hie priest begins in wrath to ad­jure Him, to tell him, whether he be that Christ or no? The Lord denies it not, but saies, Thou hast said it: He giues him a faire testimony of this: after this Hee saies, Yee shall see the sonne of man sitting at the right hād of the power of God, & come in the clouds of heauē. Then the high priest rent his clothes, as though He had blasphemed, & said What haue we more need of witnes? behold, now ye heard His blasphemy, what think ye? Then he, & the rest of the councell, cōcluded, yt the Lord was worthy of death, & so the coūcel departed. In the meane time the Lord is kept still in the Hall of the hie priest, & the officers are al about Him, working all kind of injury against Him: ye rebukes yt shuld haue befallē to vs, are laide on Him, as the prophet said of Him, Psal. 69.10. Some spitted on Him, some put a vaile on His face▪ & smote Him, saying in scorn, Prophesie Christ, who it is that striketh thee: nothing in the Lord but pa­tiēce, He spake nothing He made no more resistāce than a silly lābe before the shearer: whē it is begun to become light in the morning, the Priests & Elders begin to sit down in councell: & the hie priest as­ked of Him the same again, whether he was that Christ or no? He answe­reth, If I should tell you, ye will not belieue mee (what auailes it to speak to an indured heart?) & He testifies again, Thou hast said it: & he giues an argumēt of this, hereafter shall the son of man sit at the right hād of the power of God: Then the hie priest and the Elders, the second time, concludes Him to be worthie of death, & adjudges Him to die: thē the councell arises: & the first thing they doe, they lead Him to Pontius Pilate the Romane deputie to the judgemēt Hall, to him to execute yt sentence they had giuen out. In this Text wee enter into the thirde part of the suffering of Christ vnder Pōtius Pilate, the Romane gouer­nour. First, in the Text wee haue read howe the Lord is led into the Common Hall of Pilate: then vve haue what conferēce was betwixt Pilate & the Iewes, cōcerning Christ. Then it is said, They led him into the common Hall: which is, as vve call it, the Session-house, where the Romane Gouernour sate for the time, and ministrated judgement. [Page 44] Now Brethren, it would be well marked, when it is that they ledde Him to Pilate: it appeares plainly in the writings of the Euāgelists: namely, Mat. 26.59. Mark. 14.55. & Luk. 22.63. that they led Him in after they adjudged Him to bee worthie of death. They led Him not in thinking that Pilate should sit downe & trie whether He was wor­thie of death or no: but that Pilate vpon their word should giue out the sentence of condemnation against Him. Marke & cōsider how they abused ye judge a man better thā thēselues, they make him but a torturer, & the best is, a damner to giue out the sentēce. Ye may see here a liuely image of him who wil be called the hie priest in ye Kirke this day: I meane that beast of Rome, the Romane antichrist. Indeed, this day, there is no hie priest, but Iesus Christ onely, who did put an end to that office amōg the Iewes: there is no hie priest, or small priest, great or small in the world, all is but vsurped authority, He is that only hie priest according to the order of Melchisedeck, who endureth for euer. But he who falsely takes vpon him that stile, followes the fact & example of Caiaphas, first condemning Christ, and then giuing Him ouer to Pilate to execute the sentence: for he will sit downe in his councell, & adjudge the innocent to death▪ as Caiaphas did Christ, & then he will vse the power & arme of the Emperour: for what is the Emp. & so many kings, who haue giuen thēselues ouer to his slauery, but like as many hangmen to the Pope? What is the king of Spaine, but a Burrio to the Pope? he dare not but execute the decree of the in­quisition: was he not compelled to pleasure the Pope & his crue in putting his own sonne to death? Ye saw neuer two things liker to other, than the Pope & Caiaphas. The time is noted when the Lord Iesus is led to the Common Hall: first it is in the morning, after the ri­sing of the Sunne, and after the councell of the hie priest, and of the Elders was loosed. The manner of the deliuery is noted: whē they come to the place of judgmēt, the Iewes will not enter in, because they wil not defile thēselues, if it were with the touching of a profane ethnik, or the walles of an house. O hypocrites! The cause is set downe, They were in a preparatiō to eat the passeouer yt same night: now wil ye see these holy folk, they wil not be polluted with the touching of Pilate: they had polluted thēselues miserably with touching of Iesus that innocent, & polluted both hād & heart, in taking him, & leading him to the judge, accusing him, & abusing him: yet whē they haue done al this, they will not be defiled with Pilate: they are profane in the greatest thing in the world, to slay the Lord Iesus: they are religious in a light ceremo­nie [Page 45] of their owne inuention. Looke the nature of Hypocrites, Paul Ephes. 5.12: It is ashame euen to speake of those things which an Hypocrite will doe in secret: and if ye will come to ceremonies and outward ob­seruations, no man is so precise, and will seeme so holy as they, the faithfullest creature will not be so holy in bodily exercise as they: yea, I say vnto you, if there be no more, but this bodily exercise, & keeping of ceremonies, the Lord countes all but abominations, as ye may see in Esay Chap. 1. Preaching and hearing, speaking, confer­ring, the Lord countes no more of them, than if He had neuer or­dained them, if there be no more but this outward action, and as before, euen so nowe I say, we haue a viue image of the deceiuers of the world. The Popes religion is nothing but a deceiuing of the world, by keeping of vaine and vnprofitable ceremonies inuented by him: will yee come to trifles, of their owne inuentions, they ap­peare to be very religious, and exceeding holy, touch not, handle not, taste not, but their Cloyster Monkes are so defiled, that they defile the world: offer him golde, or siluer, hee will not touch it, and if a woman come into their Cloyster, all must be purified with fire, after that she is come out, though she were a Queene: there is the lounes religion. I pronounce that in Popedome there is but a shew of godlinesse, & haue denied the power thereof: follow the Papistes who will, they haue nothing almost but trifles, & their own inuentions. Well then, come to the conference betweene the Iewes & Pilate, Pilate yeelding to their vanitie, & superstition, not so much to their religion, He cometh out to them, & seeing he must judge the Lord, He asketh if they had any accusation against Him, because they would not come in. It is not enough to judge a man, except the pur­suer haue an accusation, & Pilate would not sit down to judge, ex­cept hee saw the accusation: indeed, the Iewes tooke him, bound Him, and in the high Priests hall handled Him vnworthily, before they had any accusation against Him, & they bring Him in judge­ment, but Pilate an Ethnicke & a sinner as they called him, wil not proceed that way, he is more formall, he wil not sit down in judge­ment, till he heare the accusation, an Ethnicke who liues without God in the world and without the promises, as Paul speakes, he is more just & formall in judgement, than all the Iewes who professed the true God. This falls out oftentimes, that a [...]urke or Pagane who liuing without God in the world) will deale more vprightly in judgement, and especially with Christians who are persecuted [Page 46] for the Name of Christ, than they that take vpon them the name of the Church. It is better for a Christian to fall into the handes of the Turke, than of the Pope▪ or of the Inquisition of Spaine, let them assay it vvho please. Well, Brethren, there is no crueltie or vvrong comparable to the crueltie of these vvho take vpon them the name of the Church: Experience hath prooued this. Nowe hee requires a vardict of the Iewes: but vvhat answere they? If hee had not beene an euill doer, wee had not deliuered him vnto thee. They answere presumptuously, What needest thou to doubt of his deseruing? or of vs? Thinkest thou, that this man vvould haue bene condemned by vs vvithout a sufficient cause of death? So yee see, it is not that hee shoulde sit downe, and trie vvhether Hee vvere innocent or no, that they brought Him to Pilate, but that vpon their vvordes hee might giue out the sentence: Yet there is some accusation heere, that he is an euill doer. Is that sufficient, vvhen a man is deliuered to the Iudge, to say, This man is an euill man? No, hee must qualifie it in particular, wherein he is euill, and hath failed: if they had found anie, they woulde not haue passed by it: in their owne judgement seate they coulde get nothing to say against Him. Nowe when they came to the judgement of Pilate, and striuing to accuse Him, they can saye nothing, but in generall, This is an euill man. Then this I marke thorow this whole processe, that the Lord will alwayes haue these two thinges to bee seene manifestly: First, the innocencie of Christ, for (looke the whole processe, yea, when He is slaine & dead vpon the Crosse) His very enemies themselues are constrained to testifie, that He is an innocent man, as the Centurion did: The next is the wrongfull dealing of the Iewes against their consciences.

Now Brethren, as it was in this matter of Iesus Christ, so it hath beene since in all the Martyrs: The Lord hath made both the in­nocencie of the Martyrs to appeare clearly, and also He hath made the crueltie and tyrannie of their enemies to appeare. Reade the bookes of the Martyrs, and yee shall finde these two. So Brethren, it is well for them that will suffer for a good cause, and chiefely, for the cause of Iesus Christ: yea, although it were but in this, That the Lord will haue their innocencie appearing. What and if all the worlde condemne thee, so the Lord Iesus justifie thee? for albeit thou die, yet thine innocencie dieth neuer. And this is our comfort indeede, that albeit this bodie shoulde bee burnt▪ yet the daye shall come that our innocencie shall appeare: for at the glorious com­ming [Page 47] of the Lord Iesus, thou, and thine innocencie shall stand vp to shame the Tyrants of the world: Thus for their answere. Pilate sayes againe, Yee haue a lawe, take and iudge Him after your lawe. Albeit Pilate seeme to speake these thinges tauntingly, to mocke the Iewes, speaking one thing, and thinking another, to represse their pride: yet the Text following, testifies, that he spake it in earnest­nesse, as he would say, Before that I should condemne any man this way without an accusation, for your pleasure, I had rather re­nounce of my right, and permit judgement to you, condemne and doe as ye will. Well then, it is to be marked: I see here, that ere Pilate had judged the Lord wrangously, he had rather haue giuen ouer his right, and the judgement of Capitall crimes: and well had it bene for Pilate, if he had stood to this sentence, and it had bene better that he had giuen ouer his right that the Romanes had, albeit that hee should haue immediatly beene taken and hanged by the Emperour for it. Alas, the miserable man lost himselfe by the ma­litiousnesse of the Iewes: yet albeit he be an Ethnicke, hee is a man of better conscience than the Jewes were: The light of a naturall conscience in this Pilate surpasses all the knowledge of the Iewes: And the Lord at this time did set vp that light of Pilates on a Skaffolde, as a lanterne and light, to condemne these Iewes that had no cōscience. The very words of Pilate are a lanterne to let the Iewes see, that they had no conscience: God in his wisdome, from time to time vses to doe so, Hee will make the Paganes to stand vp like light, to shame the professours of the Gospell, whose con­science is as it were burnt vp with a hote irone. Is it not a great shame to thee, when the Lord will raise him vp to be a light vnto thee, who should bee a light to him: and as in this worlde Hee will make men without God, to stand before the Professours in this world to shame them: So in the world to come, He will raise them vp to shame, and to condemne them: Sodome and Gomorrha shall rise vp to the judgement of many in this age who professe Christ. Yee shall see howe Pilate, although he was a very euill man, yet hee pities the Lord Iesus, & wil not for their importunity cōsent to his death: They say, It is not lawfull for vs, to put any man to death: They require not that power to bee giuen them▪ that the Romanes had: for fourtie yeere before the destruction of the towne and Temple of Ierusalem, they lost all authoritie to judge on Capitall crimes: they spake truely; And heere they would appeare to gratifie Pilate, [Page 48] when they would acknowledge him to judge in capitall crimes: but in effect they take the power of a judge from Pilate, when vpon their sentence onely, without accusation, triall, or verdict they will haue him to condemne Christ: But better had it beene a thousand times for Pilate, that they had taken that power to themselues: for they inuolued the man in their guiltinesse by condemning Christ Iesus. And I say more, it had bene better for the Priestes, that they had taken the whole judgement vnto themselues, because that blood of Pilate lies vpon them. This is a true thing; the moc thou drawest to communicate with thy sinne, thy damnation shall be the greater. It were better for the Princes of this worlde, who are like as many slaues to the Pope, the Emperour, the King of Spaine, &c. to renounce all the right they haue of judgement to the Pope, when he and his crue haue condemned on innocent of Heresie, to execute him; rather than to be the Popes Burrio. It had bene better for Si­gismundus the Emperour, that hee had resigned all authoritie to the Pope in burning Iohn Husse, and Ierome of La Prage, than breaking promise and oath, to haue executed the Popes malice vpon them: it had beene better he had neuer seene that councell: and one daye the Princes of the earth shall curse the time, that euer they were executers to the Pope. And it were good for the Pope also, that hee inuolued not these Princes in the same guiltinesse, for their blood lies vpon him. Would God their eyes could bee opened, to see that deceiuer.

To returne againe: It is not they that must condemne the Lord: no, but it must be Pilate, hee must doe all, that they may bee cleane: and when the Lord is slaine, are they cleane? no Brethren, let Pi­late condemne Him, and put Him to execution, yet the Priestes and the Iewes are greater murtherers of Iesus Christ, than Pilate was: indeed Pilate hath his part in that woefull action, & woe vnto him that euer he medled with it, and now hee findeth that hee hath his part therein. But those High Priests, & those Iewes, are the greatest murtherers of Iesus Christ. Ye know the Papistes vse to say when a man is put to death, It is not we yt slay the man, it is the ciuill sword of the secular power. Who burnt Iohn Husse, and Ierome of Prage, but the Emperour? The Pope is holy, and his handes are cleane, and these sinnes hurt him not which are done by the hands of the Em­perour. Who executes them in the Inquisition? The Kinges, the Popes holy hāds are cleane of all. Excuse as they will, I pronounce [Page 49] (and the Lord shall ratifie it in that Great day) that they are greater murtherers than the secular power. Away with their vaine excuses. When they haue murthered the man, they will put the fault in the Magistrate. Wil God accept such excuses? In the next vers. Iohn sub­joynes wherfore ye Iewes would not take vpon them to judge of ye life or death of Iesus Christ, and saies, that they answered so, that that might be fulfilled, that the Lord spake, signifying what death he should die. When He was conuersant with His Disciples, He fore-told them, that He should die vpon the Crosse. Now the Iewes will not take vpon them the right of the judging Him, that these words might be fulfilled. If the Iewes had taken it vpon them, they would not haue crucified him, be­cause it was not vsuall among the Iewes: they vsed to stone a decei­uer or blasphemer to the death, according to the lawe, as they did Steuen afterwards. This death of the Crosse was familiar, and vsuall among the Romanes. Then Brethrē, we see here, the God of Heauen is the disposer of the whole action of the persecution & passion of Christ, what euer be mans part. There is not a word vttered, nor an action done, either by Pilate, or any of the Iewes, which the Lord did not dispose. All that Pilate did, & all that the Iewes did, as that spit­ting and buffeting of Christ, were all disposed by the Lord, And this is it that ye reade in that prayer in ye Acts of the Apostles, cap. 4. vers. 28. The princes of the earth are gathered against thine anointed, Herode, Pilate, and the Gentiles. Whereto? That they should doe that thing that thine hand and thy councell hath ordained. Neither Herode, Pilate, nor any of the Iewes or Gentiles, did anie thing in this execution, but that vvhich God appointed. The vnderstanding herof serues to this, that there was nothing done to our Redeamer, but that which His father ap­pointed: they were but persecuters appointed by God, euen as the hang-man: the Iewes, & Pilate & Herod, were like as many hangmen, to execute that decree of God. This would seeme a very light word that the Iewes say, We haue no power to sit ouer the life or death of men: yet this is a meane whereby the Lord bringes to passe that forme of Cursed death. Brethren, we may speake as lightly of thinges as wee please, and many times to little purpose: but there is nothing that passes GODS decree. Looke to that prouidence that GOD hath in His creatures. The LORD disposes the lightest wordes that thou speakest, & He rules thine hand so, that whatsoeuer thou doest, He makes al to effectuate & produce that which He hath de­cerned: the thing that thou wilt speake or doe, it will serue for some [Page 50] purpose to Him, how beit little for thee. In the meane time, let no man thinke, that when men speake or doe euill, that they shall bee the more excusable: for if there were no more but this, it shall make thee vnexcusable: because in speaking euill, and in doing euill, thou hast not the LORD before thine eyes. Thou doest it not for obedience to His vvill. Take this lesson: Let euerie man and vvoman take good heede, that they bee vvell exercised: and if our GOD employe vs, let vs take good heede, that vvee bee in a good seruice, in speaking good, and doing good: Lende not thine heart, thine hande, nor thy tongue to the Deuill in vnrigh­teousnesse: And seeing thou canst not sleepe from morning to euening, but must bee speaking and doing; praye, that the LORD maye employe thee to doe vvell, and to speake vvell; and saye, LORD, let mee bee an instrument to doe well: And more, in doing vvell, bee not content of the outwarde face of the action: but in doing, vvhether it bee little or much, goe euer to the heart, and see the disposition thereof: and looke thou doe it in sinceritie, hauing regarde to GOD. Thinke it not enough, and if the LORD vvorke a good vvorke by thee as an instru­ment: but looke still, that Hee vvorke in thee, that thou mayest finde a good motion in thine heart: For alas, vvhat auaileth the outwarde action, if the heart bee foule, vvhich defileth all? Indeed vvee maye not thinke, that there is anie perfection in vs, or in our actions in this life: but this is the perfect ground that makes that action to smell sweetelie in the sight of GOD, to vvit, Faith in IESVS CHRIST. If that thou findest that thou hast IESVS CHRIST in thine heart by Faith, albeit vvith great vveakenesse in thy selfe, yet in CHRIST all the imper­fection and vveakenesse is hidden: and vvhen the action commeth before the LORD, it is pleasant and acceptable to Him. All thinges are pleasant that come to the Father thorowe the Sonne: there is the grounde of all grace and acceptation. Sticke to the LORD IESVS, and haue Him not in thy mouth onelie, as the Hypocrites doe: but let Him also bee inclosed in thine heart, and dwell therein: for then thou shalt bee acceptable to GOD, through Him: To vvhome, vvith the Father, and the Holie Spi­rit, bee all Praise, Honour, and Glorie, for euer and euer, vvorlde vvithout ende: AMEN.

THE SIXT LECTVRE, OF THE PASSION OF CHRIST.

IHON CHAP. XVIII.

verse 33 So Pilate entered into the common Hall againe, and called IESVS, and saide vnto him, Art thou the King of the Iewes? verse 34 IESVS an­swered him, Sayest thou that of thy selfe, or did other tell it thee of mee? verse 35 Pilate answered, Am I a Iew? Thine owne nation, and the high Priests, haue deliuered thee vnto mee. What hast thou done? verse 36 IESVS answe­red, My Kingdome is not of this world: if my Kingdome were of this world, my seruants would surely fight, that I should not bee deliuered to the Iewes: but nowe is my Kingdome not from hence. verse 37 Pilate then saide vnto him, Art thou a King then? IESVS answered, Thou sayest that I am a King: for this cause am I borne, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should beare witnesse vnto the trueth: euerie one that is of the trueth, heareth my voyce.

THE last day (Brethren) we entered into the suf­fering of Christ vnder Pontius Pilate, the Romane Gouernour, & Ciuill Iudge in Iudeae for the time. Iesus is led into the Common Hall to the House of Iustice, as ye heard, where Pilate sate. Now Pi­late is not rash in judging: but before he sit downe to judge, hee will haue an inditement, and will see what things the Iewes haue to lay to the charge of the Lord: He saw the accusers of Him, the Iewes in multitudes: he saw no accusation: therefore he goes out vnto them (because they would not come to him) and asketh, what accusation haue they against Him: hee receiueth little answere, or at least, little to the purpose: for they an­swere presumptuously, If he had not bene an euill doer, we had not brought him vnto thee. The thing they delate is very generall: it is a sober [Page 52] inditement to say, He is an euill man, that must be qualified, and Pi­late thinkes this of no valour, and castes it off: at the last, after ma­ny words, he throwes another accusatiō out of the Iewes: the accusa­tion is this, as may be gathered of the Text: he calles Him a king, and king of the Iewes, and an enemie to Caesar, who would reaue the king­dome from him, and a traitor, and guiltie against the Majesty of Cae­sar. The rest of the Euangelists haue this accusation more plainelie, and at greater length. The Iewes say (Luke 23.2,) Wee haue founde this man peruerting the people, and forbidding the people to paye tribute to Caesar, saying, he is Christ and king. So howbeit in this Gospell of Iohn is not mentioned, that the Jewes gaue vp this poinct of accusatiō, but that Pilate inquires, whether Hee was a king or no? It is manifest, that they were delators of Christ to Pilate: and Pilate knewe not this of his own head, as the Text following declares. Let vs examine this more deepely: The Iewes that persecuted Him, they delate Him not be­fore Pilate, for blasphemie, they had adjudged Him alreadie worthy of death in their owne councell for blasphemie: but when it cōmeth to the Romane judge, Hee is deleated of treason against the Empe­rour. This is a piece of craft, and of the wisedome of the childrē of this world: they knew the judge to be a profane man, who coūted of religion, but as of a trisle, and knew that hee was deputie to Cae­sar, and that hee woulde bee loath to see Caesars hurt: therfore, they applie well their accusation to the honour of the man, and delates Iesus, as one who had committed treason against Caesar. Yee shall then note heere a piece of craft in this their doing. Yet consider it more deepely: The thing that they deleate to Pilate of Iesus, was a lie: for Iesus was so farre from that, to accept a kingdome in this world, that when the people assembled to make Him a King, Hee conuayed Himselfe secretlie awaye to the Wildernesse: (IOHN CHAP. VI.) and vvhereas they saye, that Hee forbade to paye tribute vnto Caesar, that was false also: for Hee payed tribute vnto Caesar for Him and Peter, and gaue commaundement, to giue vnto Caesar, that which was Caesars. So this poinct of accusation is no­thing else, but a calumnie, and a false accusation.

Yet let vs looke something further heere. The IEWES woulde seeme to bee carefull for CAESARS kingdome, and take delite to haue CAESAR to reigne ouer them: but indeed CAESAR was the only man in the world that they loued worst, and hated most: and the thing that mooued them to giue vp this accusation, vvas [Page 53] an hatred they had against Christ. They flatter the Iudge: and as they are craftie in their accusation, so they are flatterers, and all to get the innocent blood shed: they haue an euill action in hand, yea, the worst that euer man had: and so they care not by what euill meanes, craft, calumnie, or flatterie they bring their purpose to passe. If thou once takest purpose to doe an euill turne, thou wilt not care by what vnlawfull doing thou bringest it to passe: & to speake the truth, if once a man take an euill action in hand, then he will of necessity be compelled to follow out euil meanes: for an euill turne cannot be done but by euill meanes. If a man once set his minde to pursue innocent blood, of force he must vse flattery, calumnies, and euill meanes. Therefore, as ye would eschewe euill doing, eschewe euill purposes: for thou wilt not care to get thy purpose, by all vn­lawfull things. Now to come to Pilates part: when hee hath gotten this inditemēt, he enters into the Cōmon Hall, & calles on Iesus, & saies, Art thou the king of the Iewes? no doubt, they thought, that they hauing accused Him so, that Pilate should not haue looked on Him, but incontinent should haue giuen out the doome: for treason a­gainst great Caesar was no small matter, yet Pilate was so farre from that, that he speakes not a rough word to Him, hee saies not, What traitor, art thou seeking the empire of Caesar? but modestly, Art thou the king of the Iewes? A faire example of modesty and equity, to be in such a man, a profane Ethnick. Christian Iudges may learne at Pi­late, vvhat modestie and equitie they should vse in judgement. This telles vs plainly, that the mind of Pilate vvas voyde of such affectiōs as makes Iudges to peruert judgement: hee shewes hee vvas voyde of hatred, hee carried no hatred against Christ, neither sought hee His blood: the man is euill abused by the High Priestes and the Iewes: he doeth all his endeauour to get Iesus absolued. Looke this vvhole discourse. So Pilates minde is voyde of these affections, of hatred, desire of reuenge, and seeking of innocent blood: for Bre­thren, vve know it is these affections that peruerts judgement. The judge vvho hates and enuies the person accused, he vvill haue him slaine, though he vvere as innocent as Iesus Christ Himselfe. There­fore, let Iudges learne this lesson▪ To bee voyde of hatred in judge­ment: I suppose the man be the vvickedest in the vvorld, yet seeke not the destruction of the creature, but hate his crime, & looke that thine affections slaye not the man, but looke that justice slaye him: for if thou seekest the blood of the man, thou shalt bee guiltie [Page 54] of his blood in the latter day. The Lord answereth, and He answe­reth not at the first time to the point: but first, He sayes to Pilate As­kest thou that of thy selfe, Is that crime that thou layest to my charge, of thine owne head: Or hath any other tolde it thee: There is the mea­ning: So ye see, before the Lord will answere, Hee will vnderstand who is the inuenter of this accusation. Well, Brethren, I see this through all this Historie, that the Lord will haue euery mans part knowne in the action: He will know, who is the delator, and who giues out the verdict: He wil haue Herodes part, Pilates part, the Iewes part, Caiaphas part, all their parts distinctly knowne, what each man doeth: the Lord hath a great eye to this action, as it were the grea­test in the world: and when all is tried, ye shall see that the burthen is laide vpon the Iewes, and especially vpon the Clergie, to speake it so: Pilate had his part, Herode had his part, and both were guilty of the blood of Iesus Christ, but the sinne of Pilate is laid vpon the Jewes, & of his blood they are guiltie. So Pilate this day may curse the Iewes, that euer hee was gouernour of Iudea. Let the Papistes say what they will, and extenuate their martyring of the Saintes, and say, that it was the ciuile sworde that slew them: I affirme in the presence of God, that the whole blood of the Saints shall be requi­red at their hands, & the sinnes of the Princes, whome they haue abused, shall be laide to their charge, and the blood of those who perish, shall bee required at their handes, and we shall see, that the blood of all that haue bene slaine from Abel the just, shall be laide vpon the backe of the Pope, and his Clergie. The Lord saue the Princes of the world from them. Another thing I would marke here: Iesus would haue Pilate to take heede, not to the delation on­ly, but to these also, who giues it vp: He would haue him to looke to the Iewes, and to their disposition and affection. It is not enough to a Iudge, to looke to the crime, but he must looke to the accu­sers, and trie their disposition: for if the accuser seeke the mans blood, he will be a calumniator. There is not a Iudge who is set on life and death, but he is bound to set his eye on the delators. Take heede to Pilates answere: when Iesus hath demanded him thus, then Pilate growes somewhat angrie, that Christ should haue meaned that that sentence should haue proceeded from him: So this is a sure argument, that Pilate very gladly would haue kept his hands free of that blood of Iesus: for hee sawe that He was an innocent man, & that it was a false accusation which was laid against Him. [Page 55] Am I a Iew, sayes he, Thine owne nation, and the High Priestes haue de­liuered thee vnto me. What hast thou done? First, he cleanses himselfe, that he was not the author thereof, because he was not a Iew: and therefore knewe not perfectly His doings: Next, he sheweth who was ye author, to wit, His countrey men, & namely the High Priests: for in conscience hee was perswaded, both of Christs innocencie, and of their calumnie: and therefore cleanses himselfe▪ but he was farre intangled in this judgement, that hee could not get himselfe free: he had done well, if hee had saide, I will haue nothing to doe with thee, or if he had deliuered Him from these Iewes, by his power, but putting his hands once to judgement, he could not get him­selfe free. Looke what it is, once to beginne to judge the innocent: when the Iudge beginnes to satisfie the appetite of wicked men, he can not well quite himselfe, till he defile himselfe with the blood of the innocent, albeit hee would absolue the man, yet his mouth shal condemne him. So, for no mans appetite let not a Iudge enter in judgement against an innocent man, whome he knowes in his conscience to bee innocent: And if thou enter in judgement with him, absolue him, vnder the paine of thy life, or els thou shalt be guilty of his blood. This is a corruptiō sometime of the judgment of SCOTLAND, how the Iudge will say, I behooued to doe it, I did it against my will, I was compelled to doe it. Well, that shall be none excuse to th [...]e, for if thou doe it, thou shalt bee condem­ned for it: it is no small thing be a Iudge. We haue heard Pilates cleansing of Christ, he is so touched in his conscience, with the in­nocencie of Iesus Christ, that hee is compelled to cleanse himselfe first to Iesus Christ, before that Iesus cleanses Himselfe to him. Now followes the answere of Christ to this calumnie: My Kingdome is not in this world: Thou askest at me, if I be a King: I answere, My Kingdome is not in this world▪ he denies not absolutely that Hee was a King: for the Lord Iesus is the most glorious King that euer was, or shall be, but He denies yt He was an earthly king. As the Iewes ac­cused Him, He giues a reason, If my Kingdome were of this world, my seruants would fight for me: he who aspires to a kingdome▪ he wil fight & all yt may doe for him to the very death: if he had bene seeking a kingdome, He would not haue stayed Peter frō fighting as He did. Now to examine Christs answere, First, He denies not yt He is a king, Next, not denying yt He is a King▪ commeth to a distinction, I am a King, But what a King? Not an earthly, but a spirituall King, [Page 56] that is true, the Iewes lay to my charge, yt I affect an earthly King­dome yt is not true. Now, Brethren, this is to be marked, He telleth him indeede, that his Kingdome is not of this world, but He tel­leth him not where His Kingdome was: Hee sayes not▪ My King­dome is in Heauen, Hee sayes not this, My Kingdome is in the conscience of men and women in the world: He teaches not Pilate: this. Some would thinke, that He should speake more clearly of this matter to Pilate, but Christ entred not into the common Hall to play the Doctour, and to teach: but the Lord Iesus set Himselfe to play the Priest, & to suffer patiently, yt part of teaching was ended but knowing that the houre of His suffering was come, & that Pon­tius Pilate should be his judge, He would not stay him: And there­fore Hee would not enter in doctrine, because the time of teaching was past: if Pilate would haue bene taught, he might haue heard Ie­sus teach before, but he would not heare Him: He teaches Pilate as much as might make him inexcusable. Then, Brethren, I see, as Christ hath a time of teaching, wherein He will teach men, yea, his verie enemies, as He vttereth, when they would haue taken Him▪ & sought his life: so He hath a time of silence, when He will not open his mouth, Hee speaketh some thing, albeit litle to Pilate, but Hee speakes not so much as one word to the High Priests, because Hee would haue rather had him safe than them, because they were ma­litious. Christ hath not as yet shut his mouth in this land, but Hee teaches, not sparingly nor scantly, for to speake it so: The raine of the word of God, is powred aboundantly out of Heauen, to wa­ter the thirstie soules of men: & if thou spendest thy time, & wilt not vse it well, I warne thee, that the day will come, when thou shalt not get one word to thy comfort: wilt thou alwayes haue the bles­sed Euangell, and the ministrie thereof? No, as Christ had but one time, & when that time was past, He would teach no more: so hath his ministers: all their teaching shall end as His did: I say, GOD sheweth grace on the persecuters of this Land, when as yet He of­fereth grace to them: but I denounce, as the Lord liues, if they re­pent not in time, they shall not get so much as one good worde to comfort them. Wherefore, let not the opportunitie slip, & whilst it called the day, let vs not harden our hearts. Thus far ye Lord hath purged himself, & hath teached Pilate, what a King He was, not an earthly but a spirituall King. I will not digresse here, to speake of the king­dome of Christ, & therefore I come to Pilates answere, Art thou a [Page 57] King? well then, would Pilate say, thou deniest not that thou art a King: he should haue asked what a King He was, & where his king­dome was, that He might haue gotten a part of it: there is ye cōfessiō that Iesus gaue vnder Pontius Pilate, as is saide 1. Tim. 6.13. Pilate should haue bin inquisitiue of these things, and followed out that purpose about his kingdome: but he breakes off the conference, by an accusation of Iesus. An earthly hearted man knowes not things heauenly, & so he cannot speake of them, but rather he will stay an heauenly purpose: Ye see earthly hearted men, when one will begin to speake of heauenly things, hath no more pleasure in them, than Pilate had: begin once to speake of heauenly things to a prophane man, then he cannot keepe purpose with thee, but hee will breake off purpose, & speake of earthly things, Paul 1. Cor, 2. sets down the groūd here: The naturall man, sayes he, knowes, not the things of the Spirit of God: yea, he will wonder what that means, when thou speakest of Heauen, yea, he hath no power nor spirituall sense: for they are but foolishnes to him: the most wise things of God, are but foolishnes to the naturall man, he delites not in them, because he hath not ta­sted how sweet the Lord is: So Pilate interrupteth Christ, Christ an­sweres, & He sayes, Thou sayest that I am a King. In the which answere, the Lord denies not that He is a King, but He takes the mouth of Pilate to be witnes that He was a King. Then he lets vs see for what cause He came into the world: not to be an earthly King, Came I into the world: but that I might beare witnesse of the trueth: I came not to be an earthly King, as other Kings are, but I came from the throne of a King, & a glorious Kingdome, that I may play the part of a seruāt in bearing witnes to the trueth. Iesus Christ, was God, equall with the Father, & thought it no robberie, but He made Himselfe of no reputation, by taking on the forme of a servant, Phil. 2.6. As though he would say, I came into the world, & tooke on the flesh of man to be a seruant to my Father, & to be a witnes to the trueth: then He subjoynes, lest that Pilate should thinke that office of litle effect, & that He labou­red in vaine, & sayes, They who are of veritie, to wit, begotten of the word, the immortal seed of the word of God: (for by veritie here is meant the word of veritie, as Chap, 17. vers. 17. preceeding, They heare my word. He draweth ne [...]re vnto Pilate: if thou be such an one as is begotten of the trueth, thou wilt heare my word: albeit Christ be stayed from speaking▪ & Pilate would haue put Him off. Hee leaues not, but speakes againe to Pilate: He would haue winne Pilate it had [Page 58] bene possible. Albeit we be interrupted when we speake of heauen­lie things to profane men and women, wee ought not to leaue off, by the example of Christ: but howbeit wee bee interrupted, wee should returne againe, and follow out the thing we haue begun, to see if some wordes will sinke in their hearts: or if they will not re­turne, that they may be vnexcusable. Speake of Christ, and of Hea­uen, it shall neuer be in vaine, but as Paul saies, 2. Corin. 2. it shall bee a sweet odour to God, either to their saluation or damnation that God may be glorified, either in mercy in winning of them, or in justice in their perdition. And therfore, it is good to speake of things Heauē ­lie, the soule is nourished therby. A man that redresses himselfe to a kingdome, would euer take delite to speake of it: if thou hast no pleasure at no time to speake of Heauenly things, it is a sure token that thou hast no part of that kingdom, thou hast neuer tasted the sweetnes of it: for they who haue tasted thereof, will haue somtimes a delite to speake of thinges Heauenly, and will desire that sincere milke of the word, as Peter speakes. So if thou findest the worde of life sweet, why shouldst thou not desire it continually? for it is that only food by the which ye life of God is nourished within thee here: and one day it shall present vnto thee such satiety of all pleasure and joy in the face of God, as the heart cannot thinke of now, howbeit thou gettest but scant in this world. Alas, that we should let such a joy passe away, for fault of feeling & tasting! What is the veritie, saies Pilate? he askes this not with pleasure, but loathing & disdaining, & taries no answere, but goes his way: His stomack loathes Christ. Then in Pilate we haue an example of naturall men: if any will speake of things Heauenly vnto them, of Christ, and of His benefits, they will stay the speach so farre as they can: and if thereafter any will insist, and yet speake on, then at the last, if thou wilt vrge them, they must speake something, but they will speake as Pilate did, lightly and dis­dainfully: and when they haue asked, they will leaue off, and will not care for an answere but askes for the fashions cause, when they are constrained thereunto. We are by nature like to Pilate, either we will not speake one word of things Heauenly, or else if wee bee compelled to speake, and wordes bee throwne out of vs, wee will speake with a loathing, and disdaining of the heart. There vvas ne­uer any thing in the world that could moue the naturall man more to loathing, than ye word of God, he will heare it with such disdain, that when one thing is saide in word, hee will say another in heart, [Page 59] and he vvill thinke him vvho teaches him the most foolish man in the vvorld. And he vvho is vvisest, if he be not regenerated and re­newed, hee shall count Christ, and things Heauenly, most foolish. A simple bodie is sooner vvonne, than hee vvho is vvise in his owne conceit in the vvorld. If thou vvouldest be an hearer or speaker of Heauenly things, striue alwayes to get a reformation of thine own corrupt nature, and let thy meditation and prayer be thus, Lord, re­forme mine heart, that thy vvord maye bee fruitfull in mee, so that both I may heare vvith pleasure, and also that the vvords come not from the teeth forward, but from the deepnes of mine heart, when I speake of Thee, and things Heauenly, that so thy vvord may edifie both mee and others. It is a more dangerous thing, to come to heare, if vve be not duely prepared, than to tarrie away: and better not to speake at all, than to speake of thinges Heauenly vvithout the inward sense of the heart. Now the Lord grant vs grace, that in hearing & speaking of things Heauenly, vve may haue this Hea­uenly disposition in some measure, for Christes sake: To vvhom vvith the Father and Holy Spirit, be all Praise, Honour and Glory, both now and euermore: Amen.

THE SEVENTH LECTVRE OF THE PASSION OF CHRIST.

IHON CHAP. XVIII.

verse 38 Pilate said vnto him, What is trueth? And when he had said that, hee went out againe vnto the Iewes, and said vnto them, I finde in him no cause at all. verse 39 But you haue a custome, that I should deliuer you one loose at the Passeouer: will yee then, that I loose vnto you the King of the Iewes? verse 40 Then cryed they all againe, saying, Not him, but Barabbas: nowe this Barabbas was a murtherer.

[Page 60] WEE heard these dayes past (Brethren) of the suffe­ring of the Lord, First, in the Garden, Next, vnder Caiaphas, the High Priest for the time, and then vvee entered into the thirde part of His suffering vnder Pontius Pilate, the Romane gouernour, who abode in Hierusalem for the time. We heard the accusatiō that the Hie Priests and the Iewes alledge to Pilate the judge, vvhere hee sate in judgement against Iesus Christ: the accusation was not blas­phemous against God, for when the Priests thought Him afore in their own judgement seat worthy of death, but treason against the maiesty of Caesar, he calles himself, say they, the king of the Iewes, as though Christ had come into ye world to be an earthly king, and to take the kingdom ouer Caesars head. Whē Pilate had posed Christ about this, after one or two answeres, he findes this accusation vaine, false, & fained. And therefore, Brethren, first in this Text we haue read this day, we haue the purgatiō of Iesus, and yt out of Pilates own mouth: Next, howe hee seekes by all meanes to get Him out of the Iewes hands: Thirdly, we haue the part of the Iewes, how they seeke mali­ciously the life of the innocent, & preferres Barabbas (a murtherer) vnto Him. As to the first part, it is said, that Pilate went out again to the Iewes, out of the Hall, and professed before them all, that hee found no fault in that man worthie of death. Then Pilate, after his inquisition, fin­ding Iesus Christ, vvho vvas accused before him, free of all affecta­tion of Caesars kingdome, yet finding that Hee denied not but that Hee vvas a king: and that vvas that good vvitnessing that Christ gaue vnder Pontius Pilate, as Paul (1. Tim. 6.13.) saies: but Hee vvas no king of this vvorld. Then Pilate thinkes there vvas no crime in Christ Iesus: as concerning the other kingdome, Pilate thought it but an imagination & fantasie: therefore, thinking that Iesus made Himselfe to be a fantasticke king, and sought not Caesars kingdome from him, he vvould not count Him vvorthie of death, but he clen­ses Him. Politicke and prophane hearted men in this vvorld, vvho smell of nothing, but of the earth, and haue no sense of Heauenlie thinges, if ye will but leaue them the thinges of this worlde, as Cae­sars kingdome, the glory, the honour, the riches, and the pleasures of this worlde, vnto them, they care not what men speake of God, or His kingdome, or of Iesus Christ, or of matters of religion: how­beit that they would say, that they would climbe vp to the Heauen, [Page 61] and raue it from God: they care not for it, as Paul sayes, The natu­ral man countes heauenly things but foolishnes: speake to them of heauen­ly things, all is but imagination, & Heauen is as dreame to them. Lysias the chiefe Captaine who was in Jerusalem after this man, vn­der the Gouernour Felix, when Paul was persecuted in Ierusalem, ye remember what he wrote to Felix, They accuse him of trifles, and of questions of their law, but I finde no thing in the man worthie either of death, or of bands, Acts 23.29. Wordly men countes it not a crime, or a thing worthie of punishment, to derogate from Gods glorie. Well, let men spend their time, one day they shall feele it to their griefe, that religion is the most earnest & excellent thing that euer was: and they shall curse the time that euer they esteemed any thing excel­lent, but religion. Yet this is commendable in Pilate, that he giues so faire a testimonie of Iesus, a Ethnicke, who had no knowledge of God, nor sense of the life to come, to stand vp in ye face of them, who should haue knowne Iesus Christ, & to purge the innocent, might haue made the High Priests & the Iewes ashamed. Yet, will ye marke this more narrowly, albeit his purgation bee faire, yet hee faileth farre, for in purgation he vttereth a prophane heart, whilst he purges Him in words, he scorneth Him in his heart, & condem­neth that Kingdome of His, & that trueth whereof He spake, as a fable. Prophane men, who haue no part of sanctification, whē they speake fairest, and when they seeme to doe best, they doe nothing but sinne: Why? because in the meane time when they speeke fai­rest, their heart is full of vanitie, & in their heart they scorne God: Albeit thou standest vp & speakest much for the defence of Christ, & seemest to be angrie at the Iewes, as Pilate did: if in the meane time thine heart beleeue not in that Iesus, thou art but a scorner, & all thy speach serueth for no purpose to thee, if thou beleeuest not: therefore in speaking of Heauen, & of religiō, & of Iesus Christ, we should take heede to the heart yt it be sanctified, & remember, yt while the mouth speakes God sees the heart, & whē thou speakest of that Name of Iesus Christ, let tihne heart grippe into Him, & so thy speach shalbe edifying and gratious. Now when he hath clean­sed Him by word, thereafter by deede he seekes to get him loose; And it is subjoyned that Pilate sayes: Ye haue a custome that I should deliuer you a prisoner loose at the Passeouer, Will ye that I let loose the King of the Iewes. The rest of the Euangelists, Matthew 27.12. Marke 15.3. Luke 23. setteth downe another accusation that past in order [Page 62] before this immediatly, which I shal touch shortly: the High Priests seeing that they obtained nothing by the first accusation, wherein they accuse Him of treason against Caesar, yet they will not leaue off, but delates to Pilate many things, and heapes calumnie vpon calumnie, and oppresses Him with accusations, as for Iesus, Hee made none answere: Pilate seeing this, he vrges Him once & twise to speake: He will not speake: Pilate wondereth at his great silence: the High Priests insist, & at last they accuse Him of false doctrine, which He had vttered from Galile vnto Hierusalem. When Pilate vn­derstood that He was a Galilean, he sendes Him to Herode, who was Tetrarch of Galile, thinking to gratifie Herode, that beeing at va­riance, friendship should haue beene made: Herode rejoyced at his comming, and hoped that hee should haue seene some wonders of Him: for both Pilate and Herode thought to make a Iugler of Iesus: but Herode gets not one word of Him, much lesse a signe or a won­der: then Herode beginnes to mocke Him, & puttes on a garment on Him, in token of derision, and sends Him to Pilate: then Pilate the second time with his owne voyce cleanses Him. Some will mar­uell, what moued Iesus to keepe such a silence to them all: and some may thinke that this proceeded from stubburnenesse in Iesus: No, Brethren, in this He was so farre from disobedience either to God, or to the Magistrate, that the Lord Iesus vttered a great obe­dience to God, and the Magistrate, and a wonderfull patience, in that He will not repine in one word, knowing well, that it was the will of his Father in heauen, the houre was come: and therefore the houre comming, He will not helpe Himselfe in one word: so plea­santly and willingly Hee offereth Himselfe to the death. This was prophecied of Him in the 53. of Esay: Hee maketh no more repi­ning, than a sheepe or a lambe that stands before the shearer, Hee opened not His mouth, not for stubburnesse, but Hee was patient. Brethren, some would maruell of the boldnesse of the Martyres when they suffered (O the boldnesse that they had in answering, euē in the fire) they suffered not one word to sl [...]p, but they answered for Gods glorie, and well of them that stood by: O! but the Lord kept silence. Some would thinke that Iesus Christ in this point was inferiour to the Martyres: but this is the m [...]tter, Christ was silent, that the Martyres might speake: for except Hee had beene silent, they in persecution should not haue opened their mouthes: He was dumbe, that wee might speake: and was made nothing that wee [Page 63] might be some thing. Now to returne to our text againe: Pilate vses all meanes to get Iesus loose: he vses the present occasion to that purpose, knowing the vse of the Iewes, hee would haue beene glad to haue had Iesus set at libertie, aboue all the prisoners. To speake somewhat of this custome: they had this custome, to get a prisoner set at libertie at festiuall times, to the honour of their Feastes: the Passeouer was a Feast, in rememberance of that deliue­rance out of Egypt, now as they were deliuered, so they would haue a prisoner deliuered, but therewith they dishonoured God: is that to honour God, to breake His commandement? this custome was not from the beginning, but entred in, when the Romane Empe­rour entred in, and this manner of doing wanted not a faire pre­tence, it had a pretence of clemencie & mercie of the Gouernour: we know this, there is nothing wherein a Prince resembleth God, more, than in clemencie: but it is a sin to let a wicked man escape, or that the Emperour should let him goe: for Gods Lawe sayes, Deut 11.12.13. Thine eye shal not spare the murtherer, neither looke vpō him with a pittifull eye. Will ye see what things these men haue for them, who thinke, that Princes may giue men that are conuict of Capital crimes their liues. Some will say, hath not a free Prince licence to giue him his life, albeit the Law of God say, The murtherer shall die the death: well, I say, and it is the trueth, that were as much, as to giue him an absolute power, but all the worlde shall not giue him such a power, hee may well vsurpe it: but not an Angell in Heauen hath absolute power ouer a begger, to put him to death, and to keepe him aliue at his pleasure: much lesse a mortall man: only the great Creator (whose will is the rule of all righteousnesse) hath this power ouer his creature. It is true indeed, a Prince should be loth to put out that life yt God hath put in, & should beware to judge rash­ly in Capitall crimes: It is no small matter, to make a crime Capi­tall, but if the crime bee Capitall and deadly, the Prince hath no power to holde his hand abacke from execution, and to forgiue. Indeede for weightie and great considerations a Prince may miti­gate the punishment, but to say, he may let the man goe free, hee hath no power: but yet they will insist further and say, Is not this one of the judiciall lawes, that was giuen to the Jewes, then what haue we to doe with it. I answere, these lawes, seeing the Iewes and their Commonwealth, and lawes politicke, are abrogate, in so far as they concerned that people, wee haue nothing adoe with them, [Page 64] they are abolished, but for asmuch as they are grounded vpon na­ture, and naturall law, we haue adoe with them: as for this law, it is naturall. Ye know that naturall men, Ethnickes, who had neuer the law of the Iewes, they executed the murtherer: but yet they insist, & they will bring in the example of good kings, who forgaue Capi­tall crimes committed against the very vniuersall and naturall law: and namely of Dauid: forgaue he not Joab for slaying of Abner and Amasa? and Amnon for committing incest: and againe, forgaue he not Absolom for slaying of Amnon his brother: but I answere: We are bound to liue by Gods lawes, & not by examples: as for Dauid if hee had power to haue punished those men, hee failed: but it lay not in the handes of Dauid: sayes hee not of Ioab, the sonnes of Seruia, are too strong for me, 2. Sam. 3.39. Ye know what he left in his Testament to Salomon concerning Joab? 1 Kings 1. Ioab was a great man, if Dauid might haue punished, he failed: sinne cannot be ex­cused, albeit he punished it not. Some will say further, Should not, and ought not each priuate man forgiue a priuate offence: is not that Gods will and commandement? Hereupon they would con­clude, and make it to follow: A Prince may forgiue a wicked man for Capitall crimes: but I say and affirme, that there is a great dif­ference betweene a priuate man and a King: When a King forgiues a Capitall crime, hee forgiues Gods right, hee is free in another mans right: indeede there is a difference betweene these crimes that are Capitall, and the crimes that in their owne nature are not Capitall, but by the lawes of Princes are made Capitall: for vpon just considerations the Prince hath power to dispense with them: as for Exāple, It was not deadly of ye own nature to Simei, to go out of the Portes of Ierusalem, but because Salomon forbade it, it became deadly. Like as it is in the handes of Princes, to make & to change such special lawes: so it lyes in his hands to forgiue such a man, trās­gressing them vpon weightie and great considerations. So to re­turne, these crimes that are Capitall by naturall law, a Prince hath no power to remit them, albeit hee were ruler of all the world, hee derogates to Gods glorie: and secondly, if there were no more to let vs see, that God hath not giuen that power to forgiue Capitall crimes, against Gods Lawe and nature, the Iudgements of God, which ceazed on such men and their posteritie, were sufficient to shevv it: for if thou forgiuest a thiefe, he vvould hang thee on the same gallovves. That sad example of the Iudgement of God [Page 65] vpon Saul, who against Gods expresse commandement, spared Agag king of Amaleck, might terrifie other Princes to remit such persons. Some will come forth, and his remission to his abhomi­nable murther and crimes in his bosome, vpon whome the sunne is not worthie to shine: God forgiue them, who giues or purcha­ses such remissions: the King of Heauen will not haue any to vsurpe His authoritie.

Now, let vs returne, and consider Pilates part: Pilate is carefull to get Iesus the innocent let loose, and at libertie: and herein hee is worthie of some praise. They who should haue saued Him, are persecuting Him: and yet marke well, and ye shall see, that Pilate in thus doing and speaking sinneth. When he is of purpose to set Him free and at libertie: he cares not, albeit Iesus was most in­nocent, that He were counted nocent and guiltie: he cares not, al­though Hee passe free as one worthie of death, and hee compares Him with Barabbas: and when hee doth the best hee can, he doth but euill. Marke the dutie of Iudges, It is not enough to seeke to set the innocent free and at libertie only: No, but also thou must see that the innocent be set free as an innocent man, albeit that all the world should speake against it. The will of that great Iudge is, that not onely the innocent should escape with their life, but also that they escape as innocent, that their innocencie may serue to the glorie of God: thou suppresses the glory of that great Iudge, if thou clea [...]sest him not as an innocent: it were better for an in­nocent to die the death innocently, than to take on him a crime which he hath not done, or to take a remission of a crime whereof he is not guiltie. To come to the part of the Iewes, Pilate goes farre beyond them, albeit hee doeth euill▪ yet they doe ten times worse: Alas, the judgement of Pilate in that day shall be nothing to the judgement of the malitious Iewes: in doing of this, that he com­pares Him with Barabbas, & albeit hee compares Him with him, yet he countes Him an innocent: but he compares Him with Ba­rabbas by a policie, to pleasure the Iewes: they wil not only compare Him with Barabbas, but will preferre Barabbas to Him: Pilate com­pares, they preferre. Brethren, an vngodly man will hate more extreamelie vertue, and grace in a good man▪ than vice in an euill man: as concerning the wicked man, because he is wicked himselfe, he will not hate sinne as it is sinne: the pleasure that a wicked man hath, is to see the GOD of heauen displeased, that is his meat, [Page 66] that is his drinke: if hee doe hate vice, it is not for the vices sake, but because the vice troubles him, because of some skathe and shame that followes it, and because he vvould haue an easie life.

But to come to the grounde: An vngodly man hates vertue, because it is vertue, and because godlinesse is of GOD, hee hates it; and hee hates a godly man, because hee beares the image of GOD: the extreamitie of his hatred is against GOD: hee vvill rather suffer a vvicked man, than an innocent or godly man: but hee neuer hates v [...]ce, because it is vice. The Pope vvill suffer So­domites to dwell beside him, and Bordels: but hee cannot heare of a godly man, but vvill persecute him vvho vvill professe to teach Christ truely: yea, hee vvill pursue him to the death. There is grea­ter hatred in the heart of an obstinate Papist against a Christian, than in ye heart of a Turke: & the greatest hatred, is euer vnder cloke of religion. So there is not one that hates a godly man so greatly, as they who clokes all thinges vnder the name of the Church: The LORD saue vs from them. I say, I had rather fall into the hands of a Turke, than into the handes of a Papist.

What is CHRISTES part? there is nothing but shame for Him: Where was there euer such an ignominie as this? Barabbas is preferred vnto that just one: (if thou be an innocent man, and art counted vvorse than the vvicked, it is a great shame:) and then not onely is hee preferred vnto Him, but in hanging vpon the Crosse, Hee is put betweene two thieues, to testifie, that they coun­ted Him more vvorthie of death, than they vvere. And then, be­sides the suffering of that paine, He suffered paine in that they blas­phemed Him, and helde Him in derision. What euer vvas the part of the Iewes, and of Pilate, the Father of IESVS CHRIST hath His part also: there was not a vvorde spoken, but that vvhich He directed: the Iewes spake not this, but by the Lords disposition, who ruled all this action: they did nothing, (as yee may reade, Acts 4.28.) but that vvhich Hee had appointed from all eternitie. Nowe, His dispensation was for thy vveale: the dispensation of His shame was for thine honour, and, if Hee had not died in this ignominie, thou hadst died ignominious euerlastingly, and He had not beene a perfect Redeamer, if Hee had not suffered this: and as the Lord dispensed all this, how euer it bee that they did vnjustlie, yet it is all turned to our weale. See the wonderfull just dealing of GOD, when they are doing vnjustly, He burthens His Sonne, with [Page 67] no burthen either in bodie or soule, but that which our sinne (that IESVS CHRIST did beare vpon His backe) procured and deserued. Hee vvas moste innocent in Himselfe, and altogether without sinne, but our sinnes vvere laide vpon His backe: for Hee who knewe no sinne, was made sinne for vs, as the Apostle saies, 2. Cor. 5.21. Looke to these sinnes that Christ had vpon Him: they were a thou­sand times greater than the sinnes of Barabbas: for Hee bare vpon Him the sinnes of all the world, many murthers, many adulteries, the LORD IESVS bare them all. So there is nothing that falles to IESVS CHRIST, but that which wee procured vnto Him. What euer CHRIST sustained, the reproches, shame, and blasphemies, the paine, and extreamitie of paine in soule and bodie, it is thy sinne that procured all this. Brethren, marke this well: When men either heare or reade this Historie, they turne them to the Iewes, and vvill defie the Priestes, and the Pharises, and Pilate, and in the meane time they looke not to themselues: but looke not to others, but to thine owne selfe, for it is thy sinne also that pearced Him thorow: and, if thou wouldest weepe, weepe for thine owne sinne. I meane not this, that any man should thinke to take his sinnes away from Christ, and lay them vpon his owne backe: for there is no bodie that is able to beare so much as an euill thought: then let thy sinnes lie vpon Christ, for Hee is able to beare them all: And as thou layest thy sinnes vpon Him, seeke to bee cladde with His righteousnesse: and as Hee is made sinne for thee, looke that thou be made righteous before God in Him, for if thou be clothed with that euerlasting righteousnesse in that Great daye, thou shalt bee counted just, and get that life of IESVS. Wherefore, to ende heere, let vs so abhorre the malice, indignitie, and crueltie of the Iewes against CHRIST the innocent, that vpon the other part vvee maye vvith our vvhole heart reuerence and embrace that moste just dispensation of GOD vpon Him as guiltie in vs, and for our cause: and let vs giue Him thankes and praise continuallie, because Hee hath giuen His onelie Sonne for vs, and Hee hath made Him sinne for vs, and Hee hath made Him subject to all shame, ignominie, dolour, and paine, both of bodie and soule, for our sakes. To Him, therefore, with the Fa­ther, and the Holie Spirit, bee all Praise, Honour, Power, and Glorie for euer and euer: Amen.

THE EIGHT LECTVRE, OF THE PASSION OF CHRIST.

IHON, CHAP. XIX.

verse 1 THEN Pilate tooke IESVS, and scourged him. verse 2 And the Souldiers platted a Crowne of Thornes, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple garment, verse 3 And said, Haile King of the Iewes. And they smote him with their roddes. verse 4 Then Pilate went foorth againe, and said vnto them, Beholde, I bring him foorth to you, that yee may know, that I find no fault in him at all. verse 5 Then came IESVS foorth, wearing a Crowne of Thornes, and a purple garment. And Pilate said vnto them, Be­holde the man. verse 6 Then when the high Priestes and officers sawe him, they cryed, saying, Crucifie him, crucifie him. Pilate saide vnto them, Take yee him, and crucifie him: for I finde no fault in him.

NOwe Brethren, wee insist further in the suffering of CHRIST, vnder Pontius Pilate, the Romane Gouer­nour, who abode in Hierusalem. Wee haue hearde of two accusations that were laid against the innocent Iesus Christ: The first was, that Hee called Himselfe The king of the Iewes, & so was guilty of treason against Caesar. Yee hearde the effect of this accusation to bee nothing: and therefore hee goes foorth, and with his voyce before them all, pur­geth the innocent. In the next accusation, there were many things laide to His charge: and this chiefely, that He had corrupted the whole Countrey, from Galilee to Hierusalem with false doctrine. Nowe when this was tryed, Pilate yet holdes Him innocent, in te­stifying His innocencie: and therefore, hee seekes yet to gette Him set at libertie out of the handes of the Iewes: and considering that the Iewes at the Passeouer were accustomed to seeke the liberty of a [Page 69] prisoner, who was guiltie of a capitall crime, hee vses this opor­tunitie, and askes of them vvhether they vvould haue IESVS or Barabbas set at libertie? Wee hearde the answere to this pro­position, to vvit, they crie, they vvill not haue Him deliuered, but Barabbas. Nowe the other Euangelistes doe insist more largelie in this purpose, and vvrite more of it: and they report, that Pilate, when hee hearde this worde, hee asketh, What shall I doe with Iesus? They crie all with one voyce, Crucifie him. Pilate the third time hearing this, hee cleanses the innocent. Yet they report more, that whilest Pi­late vvas sitting in judgement, there commeth a messenger from his vvife, and saies, Haue nothing adoe with this innocent man: Why? for I haue beene troubled for Him in my sleepe. This is an aduertisement sharpe enough vnto him, and the LORD vvanted not His owne vvorke therein: for the LORD brought this to passe, partlie in respect of IESVS CHRIST, that His innocencie might clearelie appeare before the vvorlde, and that Hee might receaue a testimonie of His innocencie from them vvho had little regarde vnto it: for, had not Iesus beene innocent, vvee had beene little the better of Him, for Hee coulde not haue justified vs: for, ere our faith rest on Him, vvee must haue the full assurance of His in­nocencie: partly in respect of Pilate, that hee should be conuerted, or made vnexcusable, if hee would goe forward. The working of the Lord is wonderfull in the reprobate: for ere that decree of their reprobation bee put in execution, the Lord assaies to bring them to repentance. Rom. 9.22. He suffers with a long suffering the vessels of wrath. Rom. 2.4. Hee inuites the reprobate to repentance: Yea, ere Hee put them in Hell, Hee will inuite them to Heauen: There is not a reprobate that perishes in the justice of God, but ere Hee vtter His justice towards them, Hee will vtter His mercie in warning them to repent. We come, Brethren, to our Text: He followes out the suffe­ring in these words which we haue read: He telles vs how earnestly Pilate seekes the libertie of Iesus: and he lets vs see the meanes that Pilate vses to set Iesus at libertie: first, he takes Him out, and scour­ges Him, & puts Him out to be mocked; thinking that this would satisfie the Iewes; and then the fourth time, hee professes His inno­cencie: Then he bringes Him out to them with a crowne of thornes and a purple garment, thinking that he should haue contented and moued the Iewes to pittie, but all was in vaine. It is said, Pilate tooke IESVS, and scourged him, and not content with this, commanded [Page 70] His souldiers to put a crowne of thornes vpon His head, and a purple gar­ment on Him, to scorne the Kingdome of Iesus Christ: and then smiteth Him with roddes. Ye see, the Lord suffers mocking, & paine in bodie: the Lord of glorie is put to ignominie: consider well & let it neuer goe out of thy minde, that the Lord of Glorie suffe­red such shame for thy cause: But to examine this fact of Pilates, this is commendable, that he speakes so, to get the innocent Iesus set at libertie, but in the meane that he vseth, he failes very farre: Yee shall marke this, in prophane and vngodly men, that one of these two things falles out, if not both: Either they shall not take in hand a good and godly purpose, or els, if any time it falles out, that they enterprise any good deede, that they shall chuse vngodly & vnlawfull meanes to affectuate it, they shall doe euill, that good may come of it. Cast your eyes vpon this Land, & ye shall see this to be true: Yet let vs search vp the ground of this proceeding of Pilate: It cannot bee denied, but that he hath a good purpose and deed in hand: but it is as true againe, that as he hath a good deed in hand: hee lookes not vpon it with an vpright eye, hee hath not God, nor his Glorie before his eyes: for his conscience rather than any regard to Gods Glorie, or His will mooued him to pur­pose to loose Him. Thou must not propone only to doe good, but also thou must propone it, for Gods cause, and for His glorie, Pilate hauing no respect to God, goes astray, and out of the way. This is certaine, Brethren, if the purpose were neuer so good and if thou haue not the Glorie of God before thine eyes, thou shalt wauer: but by the contrarie, that man that hath respect vnto the Lord, he shall not readily wauer, but the Glorie of God shall glance before him as a lanterne into his way, vntill hee prosecute that deede. Blessed is he that hath the Glorie of God before him: there is no light to bring vs thorow this thornie way, but only the Glo­ry of our God. Next, I see in this fact, in following out the means, that hee would haue had the innocent loosed, but so, that it were with contentment of the Iewes, hee would please all parties,, and for their pleasure, when hee would cleanse the innocent, hee pu­nishes Him as a nocent: seeing then that he depended vpon the appetite of vngodlie men, it could not bee possible, that hee could bring a good action to passe: yea, whomsoeuer dependes vpon the lust of malitious men, can neuer affectuate any good thing: or if they doe any thing, they doe it by euill meanes, and so faile [Page 71] greatly: let vs therefore ay studie to please God, let vs, if we should die in the meane time, doe that which is pleasant vnto God, set­ting aside the pleasure of men. Marke Pilates forme of doing, hee vseth worse & worse meanes: The first meane is euill, in comparing Iesus with Barabbas the wicked man, the murtherer: yet he thought by that meanes to set Iesus at libertie, but now he scourges Him: this is a higher degree of euill, and now he failes further: beginne once to doe against conscience, for pleasuring of wicked men, as Pilate doeth all this against conscience: if thou hadst neuer so good & so faire a pretence, thou shalt be compelled by processe of time, to doe a greater euill, albeit thou begannest with lesse euill, & thou shalt not speed at last: It is true, Pilate would doe a lesse euill to get a greater Good done: but when he hath once or twise, against his conscience most vnworthely abused the Lord Iesus: thou shalt see the end of it, he preuailed not. Thus for Pilates part: The men of warre vnder him, haue their part of this action, they platte a crowne of thornes, and put it on His head to his scorne, and to his paine, and they clothe Him with a purple garment, & smites Him with their roddes, and then they goe before Him, and say, Haile King of the Iewes, and this they did at the commandement of Pilate: Lamentable is the estate of the subjects, when the Prince is vngod­ly, and it is a sore thing for the officers, when the Iudge is vnrigh­teous, yea, all the inferiours, euen to the Hangman, may curse the wicked Iudge. This commandement excuses not the souldiers: they lend their hands the members of their bodie, to be weapons of vn­righteousnesse: and this sheweth that there was some malice in their heartes: there is none that lendeth the members of their bodie to bee weapons of vnrighteousnesse, but they will bee con­demned: thou mayest not say, It was my masters will & comman­dement, & therefore I behooued to doe it: the commandement of thy master will not excuse thee for no mans pleasure doe euill, for his commandement shall be none excuse to thee at that great day: ye shal find that these souldiers were worse inclined than Pilat was: this falles out, if the master command them to doe one euill deed, oftentimes the seruants will doe two: they desire but one word, or one winke to set all the countrey in a fire. Looke the Acts of the Apostles, Chap. 4. vers. 27, Euery man in particular who had part in this worke are counted: Herode first, and next Pilate: leaueth hee the part of the men of warre: he calleth them the Gentiles, & next [Page 72] the people of Israel. This witnesses that the eye of the Lord was on them that did this fact, and not one of them all shall be excused: and if it were but a common souldier that is in an euill fact, he shal die at that day. Vaine therefore is the opinion of sillie ignorant bo­dies, who thinke that the commandement and will of their ma­ster will excuse them, for they shall die for their owne sinnes, but their blood shall be required at the hands of their masters. Christ hath his part, Pilate is a worker of euill, and the men of warre also. Now let vs consider the part of Iesus the innocent. He is the suffe­rer, He suffers dolours and shame, and many vnworthie things, & that by the most just dispensatiō of God: & beeing our suretie, he bare our sinnes and iniquities: therefore the wrath of God cea­sed vpon Him most vehemently. There is not a deed done here, or a word spoken, but the Lord decreed it from all eternitie, and dis­penseth it in time, and on his part all was just, because Iesus had taken on Him the sinnes of the Lord, therefore this paine and shame followes that burthen. See the weight of the wrath of God, that lyes on Him who had no sinne in Himselfe: and further, the wrath of God, lyeth not on a common man, but on His only be­gotten Sonne our cautioner. The Apostle to the Hebrewes Chap, 5. verse 9, sayes, Although Hee was the onely begotten Sonne of God, yet He learned obndience through His suffering, that is, He learned, what, and how good a thing obedience was, and what wrath & damnation followes disobedience: And there is not one of the Sonnes of God, but by afflictions they learne the same thing that the first begotten learned, how good a thing it is not to sinne: It is good therefore that God humble vs, that we may say, Nowe I learne what is wrath, and how good a thing it is to serue God, and to bestow my life for Him: & the godly when they feele a portion of this wrath, they will take vp a better course, and will say, What if this God would powre on His whole wrath, on mee, it is no childrens play to play with God, & make a pastime of sin, and then cry peace, that wrath shall come vpon thee like a moun­taine, and then thou shalt cry, Cursed bee the time that I haue disobeyed God, for now I shall feele that infinite wrath. If yee will marke the Text well, ye will see in the whole passion of Christ, that the Lord endeuoures to manifest two thinges, and thinges contra­rie the one to the other by appearance. By appearance Hee will haue Him appeare before the worlde the most innocent man, and [Page 73] the most guiltie man in the world: How can these two stand? The Lord thus wise will haue Christ to appeare, in Himselfe the most innocent man, and in vs the most guilty man in the world. Hereu­pon it commeth to passe, that Pilate absolued Him as innocent, & yet punishes Him as nocent: for Iesus Christ bare the sinnes of the whole faithfull: and it is for this purpose, that we seeing these two things in Him, that we should account Him a meet Mediatour for vs, and our faith should rest on Him: Come to Experience, Except I vnderstand that my Redeemer bee innocent in Himselfe, I will neuer beleeue, that Hee can bee able to beare my sinne, and to re­deeme mee: for Hee could not bee able to beare his owne sinne, much lesse another mans sinne, except He were innocent, Heb. 7.26: such a Priest it behooued vs to haue, which is holy, harmelesse, vndefiled, and separated from sinners: Next, except I vnderstand that my sinnes are taken off my backe, and laid on His backe, and that He hath taken my guiltinesse on Him, the consideration of His innocencie will neuer mooue mee to account Him my Re­deemer: for without this, what is His innocencie to mee. But when thine heart is perswaded of these two things, ye would mar­uell what great and marueilous effects will follow in the heart of a faithfull man: when I looke to His innocencie, I will bee moued with commiseration towards Him, I will pitie Him: As the women followed Him out of Ierusalem weeping and pitying His innocen­cie, Luke 23.17, and when I see, that Hee beeing most innocent in Himselfe, is become guiltie for mee: then arises in mine heart a dolour and displeasure for that, that I should be the cause that He suffered innocently, I am moued for that, that I should haue pier­ced the Lord through with my sinnes: I will bee moued with sad­nesse, as it is saide in the first Chapter of the Reuelation, and se­uenth verse. They shall waile before Him whome they pierced thorow: Then againe, when I finde my selfe disburthened of my sinne and guiltinesse through His guiltinesse, mine heart will be filled with a joy vnspeakable: it is a wonder what a joy will bee mingled with the displeasure, that the world would wonder that these contrarie effectes should bee in the heart of a Christian, this is the effect of repentance, if any man hath felt it: Againe, when I see, that Hee hath loued mee, mine heart will melt with loue to Him againe, as Paul sayes in the 2, Epistle to the Corinthians, 5.14, 15. The loue of Christ constraines me, & binds vp fast my senses, because that [Page 74] once we know that we were dead, and He hath died for vs: And, he to whome much is forgiuen, loueth much. (LVKE CHAP. VII. VERS. XLVII.)

Brethren, yee that haue hearde of the Historie of that notable Martyr IOHN HVSSE, who was burnt for the loue of CHRIST: nowe when hee was brought foorth to bee burnt quicke, then his executers put a paper vpon his head, whereupon were pictured three Deuils, with this title set ouer their heads, HAERE­SIARCHA: the which when hee sawe, hee saide, My LORD IESVS CHRIST for my sake did weare a Crowne of thornes; why should not I therefore for His sake, weare this light crowne, bee it neuer so ignominious? Suffer on: thou shalt not suffer the extreamity: thou who wilt suffer paine or shame for Him, thou shalt bee partaker of glorie with Him.

Nowe I goe to the rest of the meanes that Pilate vses. Pilate, when this is done, hee goeth into the Common Hall, and commeth out himselfe, and the fourth time hee witnesseth of the innocencie of IE­SVS, that hee could finde no fault in Him. I see this, and it appeares well by the testimonie that hee giues to Iesus, that all that Pilate did to Iesus, was against conscience: for woulde hee immediatlie after hee had scourged Him, haue cryed out to cleanse Him, if his conscience had not tolde him that Hee was just? Hee did it to a good end to deliuer Him from death. This is the doing of vngodlie men, who are not drawne out of the puddle of nature: they will doe a smaller euill, for a greater good, as they thinke against con­science: they will not start at a straye; but beholde the ende; it may bee that a good thing may followe thereupon: yet thou shalt haue no rewarde for it. Beware to sinne against conscience, and vvhen thou goest about to doe any thing that thy conscience forbiddeth thee, leaue it off, and let it bee, or else thou shalt goe forwarde, till thou crucifie Christ, and make shipwracke of Faith: Therefore, doe nothing against conscience, yea, albeit it were a good deede.

The thirde thing: hee caused IESVS to bee brought foorth be­fore the people, with a Crowne of Thornes, and a purple Garment, to see if the Jewes woulde pittie Him: To see an innocent man so handeled, it would haue mooued any man to pittie: then hee saies, Beholde the man, I haue done enough vnto Him, yee may bee satisfied nowe. I see heere, that euen during the time that hee sawe Iesus misused so sharply, this doing shewes that hee was mooued with some pittie [Page 75] of the innocent: for his conscience tolde him, that Hee was inno­cent: and not only did hee this against conscience, but euen against naturall pittie: and yet hee went forwardes to examination. If a man haue but a naturall pittie, nature, and all the power therein will neuer hinder him to doe a mischiefe.

Then Brethren, let vs alwayes seeke night and daye, to bee rai­sed vp aboue nature, for if wee haue but the power of nature to holde vs from sinne, wee and our nature both will goe to Hell. Albeit that nature mooue vs to pittie men, yet if there bee no more but nature, the malice of the heart smoothers it, and ouercomes it: onely, the Spirit of GOD is able to fight and preuaile against nature. Otherwise, albeit the light of nature were neuer so great, the worse shall preuaile. Therefore, as yee woulde bee saued from euill, striue to get the Spirit of grace, and saye, Lord, giue m [...]e Thy Spirit, that by his power I may striue against the corruption of na­ture. This shoulde bee our exercise, if wee woulde bee partakers of Heauen: for neuer a soule shall see Heauen by nature. Looke what effect this workes in the heartes of the Iewes: nothing can satisfie them but the blood of the innocent: they cryed, Crucifie him, crucifie him. When men are giuen ouer to crueltie, nothing will satisfie them but the blood of the innocent. Pilate by all meanes assayed to set Iesus the innocent at libertie, yet all in vaine: for nothing will sa­tisfie them, because malice possesses their heartes. Indeede it is true, that by the eternall decree of God it behooued Christ to die: but in the meane time they are vnexcusable: for they did all of ma­lice. If yee will compare them with Pilate, they did worse than hee: hee is to bee preferred to them a thousand degrees: they had the light of the worde of God to haue instructed them, which Pilate wanted: when Pilate got sundrie warninges, and last a sharpe war­ning from his wife, he in a manner gainstood them not, but he had a conscience of the innocencie of Christ, and he had a naturall pit­tie in his heart, and faine would haue deliuered Him, yea, foure seuerall times hee preached to the Iewes, that Christ was innocent. But as for the Iewes, for as oft as they are tolde of Christes innocen­cie, yet their conscience is not wakened, neither can they bee mo­ued so much as to a naturall pitie. So if ye speake of want of con­science, of induration, there is no comparison betwixt Pilate and the Iewes. Thinke not that there is anie man in the worlde that [Page 76] vvill haue lesse pittie in their heartes, than they vvho are lyers against the Trueth, & than they that say they are Church-men, Ho­lie men, and Defenders of the Trueth: And I saye, that the Pope makes lesse conscience of euill, than the Turke: And it vvere bet­ter for an innocent person to fall into the handes of a Turke, than into the handes of the Pope, and those sillie soules that lye in the Holie house would exchaunge the one with the other. The judge­ment of GOD is lying vpon these doers, on HERODE, on PILATE, on the High Priestes, and vpon the IEWES: yet PILATE gettes this grace, that hee hath some conscience, and it is holden waking, and sounding in his eare, and staying him from that wicked action; and then Pilate gettes a pittifull heart. But come to them, to wit, the Iewes and High Priestes, the judgement of GOD lyes so vpon them, that they proceede from degree to degree to fearefull induration, till the action bee finished, and the heartes of them are locked vp from all pitie, and their consciences are blotted awaye; so heauie is the judgement that lies vpon the Iewes. Therefore, thinke not that wee are free from judgement, when wee are sitting in ease, eating, and drinking, in wealth, ho­nour, and glorie: for I affirme, that the heauiest judgement that euer GOD layes vpon anie creature, is a senselessenesse: For, when as a man or a woman is doing euill, and hath no sense of that their evill doing; O! that is the moste miserable estate that can bee: for it is a sure fore-runner of eternall damnation. No out­warde crosse, neither sicknesse nor pouertie, is so sure a token of GODS judgement, as to bee rocked vp in securitie, and to bee lying sleeping in sinne. Senselessenesse is a sure token of a sore judgement which shall ouertake thee, so that thou shalt not bee able to open thy mouth, to saye, GOD helpe mee: and there­fore, beware of senselesnesse. Now the LORD holde our con­sciences waking, although it should trouble vs, that we may cease from going forwardes in sinne, for CHRISTES sake, To whome bee all Praise, Honour, and Glorie, for euermore:

AMEN.

THE NINTH LECTVRE, OF THE PASSION OF CHRIST.

IHON, CHAP. XIX.

verse 7 The Iewes answered him, Wee haue a Lawe, and by our Lawe he ought to die, because hee made himselfe the Sonne of GOD. verse 8 When Pilate then heard that word, hee was the more afraid, verse 9 And went againe into the common Hall, and said vnto IESVS, Whence art thou? But IESVS gaue him none answere.

WEE heard in the beginning of this CHAPTER (Brethren) how Pilate the Iudge insisted earnestlie to get IESVS (whom his conscience dited to bee innocent) set free and loosed: and therfore, first he commandes Him to bee taken and scourged, to bee crowned with a Crowne of Thornes, and clad with a purple Garment, in derision of His kingdome; thinking thereby to haue satisfied the Iewes. Then, when he had done this, he com­meth foorth himselfe, and in presence of all the people, protestes the fourth time, that He was innocent. Thirdly, when hee bringes Him foorth with a Crowne of Thornes, and with a purple rayment, hee vtters a pittifull voyce, saying, Beholde the man, to mooue the Iewes to be content: but their malice could not be satisfied, but the Iewes and Priestes cried out, Crucifie him crucifie him. Thus much we haue heard alreadie. Now in the beginning of this Text, wee haue the replie of Pilate to the Iewes, and the communication betwixt him and them: Take yee him (saies he) and crucifie him, as for mee, I finde no fault in him: He answeres indeed with an anger for he is commoned with the obstinacie of the Iewes, because nothing woulde mooue them, but still they cried out, Crucifie him: but he saies, If ye will take it on your cōscience, crucifie ye Him, as for me, albeit I have right to [Page 78] crucifie Him, I had rather giue my right to you, than to de [...]ile mine hands with the blood of the innocent. Ye heard, when they vrged Pilate, to condemne Him without a verdict: hee answered, on this manner, Ye haue a law, judge Him according to your law: Before I judged a man without a crime, I had rather resigne my right to you. Ye see there, Pilate had rather giue ouer his right, that he had of the Romane Emperour, in judging and executing, before he had condemned an innocent man: this had bene very commen­dable in this Ethnicke man, if it had not beene forced out of him by the guiltinesse of his conscience: his conscience cried within him, Iesus is innocent. So this is forced out of him: for Brethren, ye shall vnderstand, that men doe things in conscience two wayes: either against their will, when they are compelled violently to doe it: or els, with their will, when they doe any thing willingly, when the heart is as readie to doe it, as the conscience charges. When a man doeth a thing vpon constraint, hee getteth litle praise before God: when a man doeth willingly, then there is matter of true praise▪ if yee compare Pilate with the Iewes, who had lost their con­science, he hath his owne praise: for it is better to be commoned on conscience, to doe any thing, than to doe against conscience: But let him who would haue the true praise: not do any thing on cōstraint of cōscience only, but also with a willing heart, as the con­science requireth, that he doe it: so let him be as glad to doe it. Na­turall men will haue a conscience, and doe vpon conscience, albeit they were neuer so prophane, but if the heart agree willingly to do God seruice, there is more than nature there: if thou wouldest haue praise of God, take not onely heede to thy conscience, but looke also that thou haue a joy in thine heart in well doing. Will ye marke through this whole discourse, that the Lord lets not the conscience of Pilate sleepe (Iudges now who will be counted Chri­stians, haue not such a conscience) and as it is waking, so it lets him not rest, but causes him speake: if thy conscience be wakned, thou shalt bee speaking, and shalt be compelled to say, the good cause is the good cause. But looke to the High Priests: there is as great difference betweene them and Pilate, as it betweene the heauen & the earth: ye shall see nothing in them, but the conscience sleeping & locked vp in a sound sleep: & the more that Pilate testifies of the innocencie of Christ, they are the more hardened. This is a wonder, Pilate was but a naturall man, who had none illumination, but [Page 79] through the light of nature: & ye must know that it is knowledge that makes a conscience. As for the High Priests, they had light by the word of God, yet come to the conscience, Pilate had a better conscience than they had all. Would ye search the ground of it: the High Priests, albeit they had the word of God, and light and illu­mination there thorow: yet the malitiousnesse of their hearts put out that light, corruption blotted it out: and when once a man is illuminate, and then beginneth to extinguish that light, it cōmeth by the just Iudgement of God, that the light of nature is put out, and then all conscience is scraped out, and then hee becommeth like a beast, and so falleth into a reprobate sense: keepe the light that ye haue gotten by the word of God, and by that Spirit, as ye would see life: and if yee put it out, the Lord shall make you as senslesse as a beast. They cried both, but Pilate cries, Judge ye him, They crie, crucifie him: Pilate cries, I find no fault in him worthy of death. What euer be Pilates part, who was a judge: what euer was the part of the Iewes the accusers, the Lord hath His part also in it, and hee appointes it by His eternall decree: the houre was come, and Hee will haue His onely begotten Sonne to die for the sinnes of the world, and He will be glorified in His death at this houre, and He will not haue Him to die as one worthie of death in Himselfe, but like an innocent in the sight of the world. Now looke to this wis­dome, that his innocencie should appeare: He will haue the Iudge protesting His innocencie oftentimes, before He should die. On the other part, Hee will haue the conscience of the High Priests scraped out, and He will haue them getting His blood: if the High Priests conscience had beene wakned, Iesus had not died at this time for the sinnes of the worlde: and therefore to the ende that He should die, He hardened the hearts of the accusers. When any innocent man suffers, and chi [...]fly for Christ, the Lord hath dispo­sed the worlde so, that Hee hath made some to testifie of the inno­cencie of the Martyres, and some hath Hee hardened to seeke the blood of the Martyres, that He might be glorified. Looke to Da­niel, Darius had a conscience of his innocencie, but the Princes had hardened hearts, Daniel 6.1. Looke when Paul was accused, the Ro­mane Gouernours, Lysias, Felix, and Festus, had a conscience of the innocencie of Paul: but the High Priestes persecutes Him to the death. When a malefactor sufferes, the Lord will not vse this man­ner of doing: He will not haue the Iudge to testifie the mans inno­cencie [Page 80] where there is none, but he willl let him die and suffer, like a murtherer, an oppressour, or a blasphemer, as he is in very deed, hee will haue Iudge, accusers, and all men conspire together to take awaye such pestes from the earth: Therefore, if there were no more but this, if wee must die, it should moue vs to die in a good cause, and the best cause is the cause of Iesus Christ. Take heede, that thou suffer not like a nocent, and guiltie person, but like an innocent: so thy death shall be glorious: it is a paine to die, and a greater paine to die for an euill cause. Now the Priests answere: Wee haue a lawe, and according to our lawe Hee merites the death: they challenge not a lawe to crucifie Him, or any power to punish Him capitallie: for all power of this was taken away from them by the Romanes, yet for all this, they forget not the right of their lawe, That the blasphemer should die the death: accor­ding to this lawe they affirme Him worthie of death. So, Bre­thren, What euer Pilate can doe, or say, to mitigate and to asswage their malice: speake what he can speake, they continue in hardnes against Christ: looke what blindes them: The word of God that should make them to see it, it blindes them, and they vse it to their blinding. All the things in the world, yea, the best thinges: the very word of God serues to wicked men for nothing els, but for their farder induration: the more they seee, the blinder they are, they will read, but the more they reade, the blinder are they: for why? they abuse the word, they will not make it a rule to direct their af­fections and actions: but they abuse it to their fantasie, & makes a slaue of it. Looke to the Papists this day, they abuse the old and new Testaments, they make them to serue their appetites, they interpret, expone and applie the word as they please, they make the word of God the author of their lies. I affirme, that the word of God doth nothing to the Papists but blinde them: it had bene good for them, that they had neuer seene, heard, nor read the Scripture of God: Write on, say on, this shall bee verified one day: but let vs consider their reasoning: The lawe ordaines, that the blasphemer shall die the death, but so it is, that this man is a blasphemer: for Hee hath made himselfe the Sonne of God: therefore He should die ye death, If ye looke the ground, & the general: No mā can find fault with it: for it is set downe in ye Law, Leuit: 24.14▪ but come to the applicatiō where they subsume, Iesus is a blasphemer, there they faile for Iesus was, is, and shall be that only begottē Son of God: & therefore the [Page 81] conclusion is false, that Hee ought to die the death. So yee see the generall is true, but the assumption, and the conclusion, is a lye. In wicked men yee shall finde this, that no man will laye downe fairer generalles out of the worde of God than they, no man will doe that better: but come on to the application, there they goe astraye, they applie not right, but they applie either to this affe­ction or that: As for example, The murtherer should die the death: if there be an hatred in them against the man, they will applie it vn­to him, but by the contrarie, if hee bee a kinsman or a friende, they will say, this man is no murtherer, howbeit hee bee as great a mur­therer as Barabbas was, and therfore, he should not die. Take heed to thine heart, and thinke it not enough to knowe the generall to bee true, but take heede to thine heart, and to the affections thereof, that they maye bee sanctified, and chiefely thou who art a Iudge: looke that thine heart bee free of hatred, and of peruerse loue: or else thy loue, thine hatred, and thy peruerse affections shall bee poy­son to thee, and shall blinde thee, and shall make thee pronounce false judgement. For, what auailes knowledge, what auailes it thee to haue a great light in thine head, either thorowe nature, or yet thorowe the worde of God, if thou wantest reformation and san­ctification to thine affections? all is for nothing. True Christiani­tie stands in the reformation of the heart, and without this, all the knowledge in the Scripture shall poyson thee to the death: for ex­cept thou be reformed, it had bene better for thee that thou hadst bene ignorant, and neuer seene the Scripture. Nowe to goe for­warde: When they haue answered Pilate, hee continues: and it is said, when he heard that that man was the Sonne of God, if hee had a con­science before, now he hath a greater conscience: Euen, as whatso­euer Pilate can speake to the hie priests, did no more but hardē them on: so all the wordes they vse to put out his conscience, stirres it vp, and wakens it the more: Indeede they sought by all meanes to blotte out his conscience. And all the doing of a consciencelesse man is to blinde thee, and put out thy conscience, like as his con­science is put out, and such a man is dangerous companie: But the Lord, who only hath power ouer the conscience, disappointes their purpose. The Lord hath such power ouer the soule & conscience of man, that whē He will haue it blinded, all ye doings in the world will not waken it: by the contrary, when God will haue it wakened, all the worlde shall not still it: the more meanes thou vsest to still it, [Page 82] it shall be the more aloft: None hath power of the conscience, to waken it, or to still it: No, not a King, nor an Emperour, no, not all the worlde hath power of the conscience, but onely God: Hee hath His throne in the conscience. Yet let vs examine this better, When Pilate heard this, he was the more afraid. Pilate had no knowledge of God, but so much as nature furnished him: he was a man who liued without God in the world, yet at the Name of GOD, and at the Name of the Sonne of God hee is terrified, and his con­science abhorreth to doe any thing against Him. Albeit thou neuer heard of the Scripture, nor neuer saw one of Gods workes, there is one thing within thee, that will tell thee, that there is a God, whom thou shouldest feare and honour: that is, thy conscience, & if thou honourest not that God, thy cōscience shal stand vp & judge thee: I say more, this conscience is verie powerfull: for if it serue not to thy saluatiō, it shall serue thee to thy damnation conscience naturall abhorreth to violate that Majestie, it telleth thee this, ho­nour this God, if thou dishonourest Him, thou shalt die, albeit thou neuer sawest the Scripture, & if there come a wicked thought in thine heart, the conscience will stand vp to challenge it, & like an armed man to sl [...]y thee, & if thou werest but a naturall man, ere euer thou get that Majestie violate, thy conscience shall stand vp to plead for God, & to guarde Him frō thine injuries, & ere thou get Him dishonoured, thou shalt tread vpon the bellie of thy con­science. It is true indeed, albeit this naturall spunke of light of con­science in man be as a precious raine to bridle man from sin, that the Lord hath left him after his fall (He hath left it of mercy) for if it had bin taken away, men had bene more miserable than beasts) yet it is very weake, there is nothing perfect in vs, and there is no­thing in vs by nature, that will be able to holde vs in the feare of God. This naturall conscience for a time will brangle and stand vp against the malitiousnesse of the heart: and if thou haue no more, thou mayest stand for a while, but in the ende thou shalt giue it ouer and succumbe. It is a pitie to see, how Pilate striues, and then how in the ende the conscience failes, and against conscience, hee giues sentence against the innocent, and gainstanding the con­science, hee ouerthrowes it. Trust not to nature, but striue to get grace: nothing is able to ouercome nature, but the Holy Spirit, for it striues and gettes the victorie in the end: Therefore as wee would bee safe in that great day, let vs striue to get that Spirit to [Page 83] pingill out, and get the victorie against this canker in the heart. I see some thing more in Pilate: hee gets not only a sight of God, and so is terrified: but hee commeth forward, and his conscience gets aduertisement of that same verie man, who was standing be­fore them all, that that same verie man was God, not only that He was an innocent man, but that Hee was the God of heauen, hee gets a supernaturall knowledge, that that sillie man was God: the reason is: if hee had not gotten that aduertisement, that that man standing in such contempt before him a glorious Iudge, was God: would his conscience haue accused him, would he haue bene so ter­rified, and would he haue desired to absolue Him, if hee had not gotten aduertisement, that Iesus Christ was the God of glorie? It is a naturall thing to the conscience to speake of God, but not to speake of Christ, that Hee is the Sonne of God: Pilate was more afraide for Christ, who stood before him, like a poore sillie man, than Christ was for him, albeit he was a glorious Iudge in the eyes of the world, but this sight was like the glance of a flash of fire that went ouer the conscience of Pilate. The Lord will giue the wicked glances & tastes of Heauen, but all is but in vaine. Ye see of Agripp [...] Acts.26.28. When Paul was speaking to him, he sayes, Thou perswa­dest me almost to be a Christian: his heart was almost bowed, and was beginning to be perswaded, he scarcely beginnes to haue this per­swasion, when it euanishes: the Lord will furnish to wicked men glimmerings of that life, but they euanish away: thou wilt dreame of happinesse, but this is happinesse, when the Lord giues thee a light, & bowes thine heart, & establishes grace in thee & grace bides with thee, there is thy happines. This glimmering is not for nothing: it serueth for this, to make Pilate vnexcusable, and if it were no more: When Pilate shall appeare before that Iudge, this same blencke shall bee a testimonie against him to his euerla­sting damnation. If thou gettest a blencke of Heauen, pursue it, or els better it had beene for thee, if thou hadst neuer seene it, or neuer to haue seene Christ, or to haue read the Scriptures. Againe this glimmering that Pilate got, shall stand vp against the High Priestes, and giue sentence against them, who had not onely nature, but the worde to guide them. Pilate lookes in thorow that basenesse, and gets a sight of that glorie, that was in our nature in Christ, they cannot looke in thorow that base­nesse: And if there were no more, Pilate shall stand vp like a [Page 84] Iudge to condemne all the Iewes, who by the word was informed, that CHRIST should come in basenesse and humilitie, Esay 53.2. I come nearer: And if there were no more, but that light that Pilate gote, it shall condemne all them that doe stumble at the ministrie of the Gospell. The LORD will not haue the Gospell with an outward glorie, Hee will haue it to shine in basenesse: and if that outward basenesse stoppe thee to looke into it, thou shalt perish, and if thou get not a fight of that glorie, therein Pilate shall con­demne thee one day: yea, Pilate in that great day shall stand vp against all men, who are offended at the voyce of Christ: if thou contemnest ye base ministrie, I promise thee, yt thou shalt neuer get life by that Gospell: if the Gospell be base, humble thy selfe vnder it, and striue to get thine eyes opened, to looke to that glorie of the Gospell, Looke not to men, who doe preach, and be not offended at the outward face of the Gospell, as thou wouldest be saued: Blessed are they who are not offended at the basenesse of Iesus Christ. Nowe Pilate beeing terrified in conscience, and get­ting litle blenckes, immediately he goes in againe to the common Hall, and takes in Iesus Christ, and he sayes to Iesus, Whence art thou? Art thou the Sonne of God: hee had no certaintie of this: this is worthie of commendation, that hee getting a blencke, hee will follow it out: who vvill say? but this was worthie of commenda­tion in an Ethnicke. If it shall please GOD, to giue vs a blencke any time, let vs striue to follow it foorth, and let that glimmering mooue thee to follow it out further: for all the joy in the worlde, is in the sight of GOD, thou neuer knewest what joy is, who hast not tasted of the pleasure of Heauen: fye on thee, who hast not tasted of this joy.

So, if it shall please the Lord to giue vs a glance of Iesus Christ, Pilate learnes vs to followe it: albeit it goe out of thine eyes for a time, rest neuer till thou gettest it againe, although men would giue thee all the pleasures in the world.

Now, Brethren, we must not thinke that it was the loue of the trueth, that mooued Pilate to aske this: No, it vvas rather the feare of danger, that mooued him to aske it: for hee feared some danger to come vnto himselfe, when hee heard that hee vvas the Sonne of God: therefore partly for this cause, and partly, because Christ knew that Pilate disdained Him, and all spirituall graces in Him: Hee gaue him none ansvvere. But let vs follovv out the [Page 85] knowledge of CHRIST once begunne vpon the loue of the trueth, then vvee may bee assured, that according to His promise Hee vvill heare vs: for Hee saies, Verily, verily, whatsoeuer ye shall aske the Father in my name, that shall hee giue you, IOH. XVI. 23. Thou vvho hast that sweet promise, Knocke, and it shall bee opened, shouldest thou not bee instant to make inquirie of IESVS, vvho offereth Himselfe so vvillingly, and saies, I am the Light of the worlde: and, Come to Mee to get the water of Life: Alas, that thou shouldest pe­rishe for default of seeking of grace! Yee vvoulde maruell, that IESVS answered not a vvorde: I spake of this somewhat be­fore I shall saye onely this for the present: The Lord Hee knewe His houre vvas comming that Hee shoulde die, and Hee knewe it vvas His Fathers vvill: therefore Hee vvould not vtter so much as a vvorde to staye and holde backe His death. If Hee had giuen Pilate euident and sure information vvhat manner of person Hee vvas, then happily Hee vvoulde haue stayed, and vvoulde haue procee­ded no further, and vvoulde not haue slaine Him: but hee knewe not vvith vvhome hee dealt, vvhen hee gaue out the sentence of death against Him. But it maye bee asked (vvith reuerence vvee speake it) Was not this an harde matter, that Christ vvould not doe so much as to tell Pilate that this vvas Gods vvorke, and that Hee Himselfe vvas the Sonne of God? vvas it not an hard matter so to hinder this mans saluation? But I saye, What reckoning is to bee made of Pilate, and all the creatures in the vvorlde, Angels, and men, so that God bee glorified? We are all made to glorifie Him, and except He had a respect to His owne glorie in the creature, He would neuer haue made man nor Angell: If it please the Lord to be glorified in thy damnation, holde thee content: Hath not the Potter (saies Paul) power of the claye, to make of the same lumpe one vessell to ho­nour, and another to dishonour. Roman. 9.21. I saye more, God in that his great sa nilie, hath some vessels of honour, and some of dishonour. 2. Ti­m [...]th. 2.20. If that thou finde thy selfe to bee one of the vessels of honour, thou hast no cause to complaine, and to saye, Wherefore was this man made to shame? for thou hast enough: if thou hast gotten mercie, thanke GOD, that of His free will He hath put a difference betwixt thee and him. There are none who are ordai­ned to be vessels of honour, but they wil seeke the honour of God, euē suppose it were by their own destructiō, as ye may read of Moses. This is the nature of all them who haue gotten some assurance of [Page 86] GODS fauour in IESVS: and if thou haue this assurance in thine heart, certainly thou art an instrument of glorie.

Now to ende: Yee see, Brethren, in this whole action the pit­tifull estate of Pilate: he is tossed to and fro betwixt two parties, his own conscience on the one part, vrges and forces him to stand and pleade for Christ; and on the other part, the desire that he hath to pleasure the vnportunate Iewes, and the feare that he hath to offend Cesar, moues him to goe on in that processe against Christ, till at last he pronounces sentence against Him. Iudges by his example are to take good heed to their proceedinges in judgement, and to keepe their hands from euill; and that they sit not in a wicked judgemēt. Be not Iudge against the innocent: Pilate sate in judgement doing wickedly, pronoūcing sentence against the Lord of Glorie. If thou sit in judgement, pronounce not sentence against ye innocent, either leaue that judgement, or then absolue the innocent in despite of the worlde. It is no small matter to pronounce sentence of dam­nation. The Lord grant vs this conscience, that whensoeuer wee shall be employed, we may be employed in doing of good deedes, and in glorifying God, that wee may haue that assurance of grace in Iesus Christ: To whome with the Father, and Holy Spirit, bee all Honour and Praise, for euer: Amen.

THE TENTH LECTVRE, OF THE PASSION OF CHRIST.

IHON, CHAP. XIX.

verse 10 Then saide Pilate vnto him, Speakest thou not vnto mee? Knowest thou not that I haue power to crucifie thee, and haue power to loose thee?

verse 11 IESVS answered, Thou couldest haue no power at all against mee, except it were giuen thee from aboue: therefore, hee that deliuered mee vnto thee, hath the greater sinne.

[Page 87] IN this whole Historie of the suffering of IESVS CHRIST vnder Pontius Pilate, we see a continuall strife betwixt the Iudge Pilate, and the accusers. Pi­late laboures by all meanes to get the innocent set free: The Hie Priests be ye contrary endeuour them­selues to get Iesus Christ crucified. Pilate seekes, if it had beene possible, to followe his conscience: they seeke by all meanes the contrarie, to harden the heart of Pilate. The last words as yee heard, the Iewes rose, and saide, Wee haue a law, by the which hee ought to die, because hee made himselfe the Sonne of God: These wordes of theirs are so farre from that, that they take away the conscience of Pilate, that by the contrarie, by these words the conscience of Pi­late is more wakened than before, and he begins to feare IESVS CHRIST, and humbles himselfe more than euer hee did, yea, in such sort, that when as hee heares tell, that IESVS was the Sonne of GOD, hee demaundes of Him, Whether Hee was the Sonne of GOD, or no? but hee receiues no answere: for the LORD IESVS had concluded to suffer in all patience, and to obey the Heauenly will of His Father. Now in this Text that we haue read, we haue heard how Pilate in anger speakes to Iesus, thinking that Hee had not knowne him, and that Hee gaue him not his due ho­nour, and saies, Knowest thou not, with whom thou hast to doe? and that I haue power to crucifie thee, and I haue power to loose thee? The Lord answeres, No, thou would haue no power, except it were giuē thee frō aboue: he therefore, who hath deliuered mee vnto thee hath the greater sinne. In the first part of this Text, wee haue the conference betwixt Pilate and Iesus. To speake of this demand of Pilates, ye may see by his wordes that the warning that he got a little before, that Iesus was the Son of God, that feare & reuerence of Iesus Christ, wherwith the heart was touched, it was but vanishing. Wee may marke heere the in­stabilitie of Pilate: first, hee hath no feare of IESVS, and then of a suddaintie hee is mooued with a reuerence and feare: and last, this reuerence is scarcelie entered into his heart, when it euanishes away: and beeing angrie against CHRIST, hee falles out in blasphemie against GOD. And this is no newe thing, for wee see this same in men now adayes: Yee will see men who haue liued verie loosely, taking their pastime, and vpon a suddaintie yee shall see them haue a kind of repentance and reuerence, but ere ye looke [Page 88] about you, all shall euanish. This is too plentifull in great men and small. The ground is this, the heart was neuer truely renued, but in the meane time of the fained repentance the heart was full, of the gall of bitternesse, as Peter speaketh to Simon Magus. The reuerence or repentance, was but like a scroofe of honey rubbed on venome, and then when the venome breakes out, the scroofe goes away, as the morning dew before the sunne. Then, if thou wouldest haue the feare of God to abide in thine heart, thou must alwayes be deluing and digging downe into the heart, there is an infinite deepenesse of malitiousnesse in it. Therefore, hee who would haue stabilitie, let him see, that that ground be honest and good, and be not content with the dregges, looke that the heart be sound. There is nothing so deceitfull as the heart of man, Ierem. 17.9: it will not onely beguile another man, but it will be guile a man himselfe, and if that fraud bide in thee, it will not leaue thee, till it bring thee to destruction.

Now, let vs marke the wordes of Pilate, Knowest thou not that I haue pow [...]r to crucifie thee, and to absolue thee. Brethren, wl at els is this, but to claime to himselfe an absolute power, either to slay the in­nocent, or to let Him goe free, as he pleases: this is such a power, as only the God of Heauen hath: Hee hath not giuen this power to no creature, neither to man, nor Angell, this is only proper to the great God. We see by the example of Pilate, that this is na­turall to Magistrates and Princes, to thinke that their power can­not bee restrained or limitated by any lawe, to slay, or saue by the lawe, but to doe with the lawe: as they please. Albeit Princes or Iudges will seeme to be verie modest, and to claime nothing, but that which is right, and agreeable both to Gods Lawe, and mans lawe. Pilate said a litle before, I will not crucifie Christ, because he is innocent: yet for all this modestie: prouoke them once, make them angrie once, they shall vtter suddenly in wrath, what they thinke and esteeme of their power, they will then blaspheme, and & say that their power is absolute.

Experience may teach this, that of all men in the world, the estate of Princes, Iudges and Potentates is most dangerous. The more that a man haue of power, of riches, or of the goods of this worlde, his estate is more dangerous. There is nothing more dan­gerous, than to put a sword or a scepter in the hand of a naturall man: for, Brethren, to put power in the hands of a naturall man, [Page 89] is as much as to put the sword in the hands of a mad man. Paul the third Chapter to Titus, and third verse, calles a naturall man a mad man, albeit hee were neuer so discreete, he is mad. Wee were all madde, sayes Paul, as they are. A mad man will slay others, and lastly, hee will slay himselfe in the ende, and so shall hee who hath power, if hee be no more but a naturall man.

Would to God, that Princes and Magistrates, would take heed to this, it is required that all estates be renued by the Spirit. Woe is to the King, and to the subject, the rich and the begger, who is not borne againe. In the Euangell according to John, Christ sayes to Nicodemus, Except a man bee borne againe, hee shall not see the King­dome of GOD. But it is most requisite that these men who are set in high roomes, and haue gotten all the pleasures in the world at their will, that they bee renued: for without sanctification, all outwarde thinges will make thee worse: As great riches, and ho­nours, as great tentations to make thee to forget GOD. All thy pleasures shall bring to thee as great displeasure: yea, they shall worke damnation to thee in hell, except the LORD giue thee His Spirit. There was neuer a King so wise, great and high, but if hee got not regeneration, hee shall kill himselfe with that same power he got in his hand.

So let vs all seeke this regeneration, and chiefly Kings, who thinke, & will say, Who should be renued but poore sillie persons: they thinke it lawfull for themselues to commit all vncleannesse, fornication, blasphemie, &c. and to sell themselues to all sinne: No, if thou, who hast gotten honour be not renued, thy damna­tion shall farre exceede the damnation of the begger.

Let vs weigh the words: This is a marueilous thing Pilate stood vp before and protested that Christ Iesus was innocent: Nowe hee stands vp againe, and sayes, That hee hath power to doe with him what he pleased. How can these stand? what can be gathered of these two voyces: Euen this, that notwithstanding of His inno­cencie, hee might crucifie Him: for it is as much as this, Iesus, for all thine innocencie I haue power to crucifie thee.

Who will s [...]and vp and say, that hee hath power ouer an inno­cent man, to slay, but only hee who is a murtherer: So Pilate in effect professes himselfe to be a murtherer, for it is as much as hee said, I am a murtherer, & will take thy life from thee, albeit thou be [Page 90] an innocent. Is not this a great madnesse to a Magistrate, who is placed in power aboue others, to call himselfe a murtherer? The ground of this, is pride against God in the heart: a proud man is euer a mad man, for pride is against God, & it makes a man mad: and therefore as the heart is proud, so the mouth is foolish: the most proud man is the most foolish in talking: Looke and consi­der the proud man when thou hearest him speake, and thou wilt say: Yonder man is a foolish man. And this proceedes of the Lords just and wise dispensation: the proud man in his heart dis­honoures the Majestie of GOD. (Thou who art proud hast adoe with God, and not with thy fellowes) Therefore the LORD in His just Iudgement will cause thy mouth to speake to thy shame to accuse thy selfe: Hee will cause thee who art a proude King call thy selfe a murtherer to shame thy selfe, and to be reuenged of thy proud heart. Thus much for Pilates demand: which con­taines a blasphemie against that Majestie: and therefore IESVS will not let him goe away vnreprooued: Hee sayes to him, Well, Thou wouldst haue no power ouer me, except it were giuen thee from aboue: as for them who haue put mee in thine hands, woe is to them. their sinne is the greater, & their damnation the more: to wit, the Priests & the Iewes. There are two partes of this answere: The first concernes the Majestie of GOD, the second concernes the High Priestes, and the Iewes: for the LORD hath adoe with two sorts of per­sons: for there was two sortes of persons who put Him in the handes of Pilate: The first was GOD: The next was the Iewes▪ who deliuered Him to be condemned: As for GOD, Looke what Hee speakes of him, and howe reuerently, Thou wouldest haue no power, except it were giuen thee from aboue: As for man, Hee accuses him of sinne. Nowe let vs examine euery part of these: Thou wouldest haue no power ouer me, except it were giuen thee from aboue: Thou gloriest too much of thy power, as though it were of thy selfe, and not of GOD: for if thou forgettest that heauenlie prouidence, without the which nothing can come vnto mee: But I tell thee, Pilate, if thou shouldest haue had power ouer me, if it were not giuen thee: this is spoken for two respects: First, because all superiour power is of God: Next, in this respect because when a man hath gotten power ouer others, hee can doe nothing to them, nor stirre an haire of their head, but by the pro­uidence of God: Pilate was ignorant of both these, he beleeued he [Page 91] had his power of Cesar only, but Christ lettes him know that there was one higher than Cesar, from whome he had his power: hee was ignorant of Gods prouidence, hee vttered him to be a blasphemer of God: & therefore the Lord hearing this blasphemer, albeit Hee held His tongue before, now He speakes when He heares His Fa­ther dishonoured: for all His suffering was for the honour of His Father: therefore He will now reprooue Pilate: how far are we from thus doing, we are cleane contrarie to this: the very silliest of vs all, if wee heare any thing tending to our owne reproach, then there is such anger in vs, that we cannot be pacified: but who is angrie to heare God dishonoured: Where shall the Lord finde a zealous man in this Land, few in Court, or Councell hath that zeale: they vvho are greatest blasphemers, & greatest enemies to God, by conuoyes are most aduanced: the zeale of God is out of the hearts of men for the most part so that by all appearance, certainely a judgement shal light vpon this Nation, for albeit we were created & redeemed for Gods glorie, yet we haue no care of it, all that is away: vvherefore serues our creation, it had bene better we had neuer bene created, if wee set not our selues to glorifie Him. Yet to weigh the wordes better, we see this plainely, albeit a man be in the handes of a supe­riour power, whether he be an innocent man, or wicked, yet he is in the hands of God: & there is not a King in the world that is able to open his mouth against a man, but by the speciall dispensation of God: so that the life, or the death of the man hangeth not so much on the sentence of the King, as it doth on the decree of God, the life of man hanges more on that decree of His, than all the de­crees of Kings. There is great blindnesse and beastlinesse in vs, that we see not that prouidence: therefore now and then the Lord will let men see, and feele, that the life and death of men hanges not so much on the sentence and decree of the Prince▪ as on that eternall decree & sentence of God. 1. Sam. Chap. 14. When Saul had giuen out the sentence that Ionathan should die, & that for breaking of an vnlawfull law, it lay not in his hands to slay him: & then in Chap. 15 when hee ordained that Agag should liue, the Lord stirred vp the spirit of Samuel, and hewed him with a sword. The Lord will let vs see, that the sentence of Kings makes not a man to die, or liue, but His eternall decree. This is not to be passed by: Iesus warneth Pi­late of two things: First, that he hath his authoritie not of Cesar, He sends him to the heauens aboue Cesars throne, to Gods Throne: [Page 92] Next, vvhatsoeuer hee did in his office and authoritie, hee did it by the dispensation of God. So vvee haue first this lesson: to wit, it appertaineth vnto Princes to knowe, that the authoritie vvhich they haue, it is of GOD: Monarches shoulde vnderstande, that they haue that power of GOD, and so shoulde inferiour Ma­gistrates, how beit they should acknowledge the superiour. Knowe yee not howe Nabuchadonezer learned, that all the power was of God, he was sent foorth like a beast, to liue seuē yeeres among the beasts, to learne this lesson, that all the power hee had was of God, Dan. 4. Next learne, howbeit Princes haue gotten that power of God, yet God will not denude Himselfe of power ouer them: but He so rules them by His providence, that they cānot stirre without His will. Then Princes should looke to God, seeing they can doe nothing without His blessed prouidence, Esa [...]. 10. When Assur boa­sted, that he had done all things by his own hands, & his own wise­dome, ye Lord is more angrie at him for not acknowledging of his power to be from God in that persecution, than Hee is for the per­secution it selfe. He pronounces the sentence against Him, What art thou but an axe or a sawe, in the hands of the sawer? It is a vaine thing for a king, to ascribe power to himself, & not to God: woe is him! it is a sore thing to match with God. Then againe, when Iesus was in the hands of Pilate, denied He the power of Pilate? No, He acknowled­ges his power, but He acknowledged it vvas of God, and therefore He willingly submits Himself vnto it. Wherefore, all subjects should learne this lesson: When they looke to their Princes, or to their su­periours, not to looke so much to the man as to God, who hath ar­med him with that power: he is foolish that thinks not that the po­wer yt the Magistrate or Prince hath gottē, is of God: & this should be the groūd of obediēce, vvhē I see the image of God in him, whē I see him armed vvith ye power of God, I ought to obey him for the conscience of God. Then a game: marke in Iesus Christ, vvhen Pilate the earthly Iudge hath to doe vvith Him, Hee lookes not so much to Pilate, as to His Father. Iesus Christ all this time when He is pul­led here and there, sets not His eye so much vpon men, as vpon His Father, and vpon His prouidence. This teaches a lesson vnto all men, but chiefely to them vvho fall into the handes of men of au­thoritie and power. They ought not so much to set their eyes vp­pon this or that man, as vpon God and acknowledge, albeit it were in the middest of all torments, it is not man that deales vvith me, [Page 93] it is not so much any person deales with me, as it is my God. The King hath not an hand to moue, or a word to speake against me, if my God giue it not to him: he who is in the handes of men, and lookes not to this, is worse than a beast. This is a chiefe point, whereby thou glorifiest God, to acknowledge His prouidence, in suffering or in torment▪ none can haue consolation, but hee who seeth this, there is the matter of consolation, and patience in torments, to see, that when hee is in the hands of a Tyrant, hee is in the handes of a mercifulll Father, and to say, Albeit these tor­ments bee sore and grieuous, and albeit men deale with mee, it is my Father that deales with mee in mercie. Let thee bee torne and rent, yet acknowledge this, thou shalt finde joy that shall exceede all thy torments: Looke to the Martyres, So, Brethren, it is no small comfort to a man, for to set his eyes alwayes vpon God, and especially when hee is into the handes of a Iudge or Ty­rant. Nowe thus farre the Lord hath giuen an answere to Pilate: and hath challenged the glorie of that Majestie. Would to God, we could learne that lesson, to defend the glorie of God, which is blasphemed in this world. Come to the other part it is in respect of the High Priestes: they were the instruments of God, working by his prouidence, to put Christ in his handes: Pilate, thou gloriest ouer me, but woe is to them who haue put mee into thine hands. Woe is to them who put an innocent man in the handes of a Tyrant. Marke this: There is nothing spoken of Pilate, that hee sinned, albeit hee sinned, but Hee speakes of the sinnes of the Iewes, and of the High Priestes, this lets vs see, that albeit Pilate sinned, yet they sinned more, and their damnation is greater than his: hee that beginnes mischiefe, the wrath of God shall especially ouer­take him, and if there were no more but the example of Iudas, it may tell vs this, that Iudas was the first that beganne this worke, Iudas put Him first in the handes of the High Priest: On whome strikes the wrath first? What befell to Iudas? Whilst the Lord Iesus is so handled, the traitour Iudas is put to the torture, and the Lord rents the soule of him in pieces: the miserable Catiue to be free of that torture, he hangs himselfe: Did the wrath of God light first vpon Iudas, who was the first traitour: the wrath of God lightes first vpon the traitours, yet the Jewes are sleeping, they thought they were free of judgement, but still the wrath prosecutes them to induration. Thinke yee that these traitours are free of wrath, [Page 94] No, no, the dolour and vengeance in its owne time shall ouertake them, and they shall not haue a worde to speake. The Papistes, when they haue caught a Christian, who confesseth Iesus Christ, when they haue tryed Him, they will put Him into the handes of the Emperour, or King of Spaine, they will washe their handes as cleane of the blood of the innocent, and who tooke his life, but the King of Spaine? O! but the wrath of GOD persecutes them, and all the blood of the innocent lies vpon them, because they de­liuered them into their handes to bee tormented by them. The judgement of that Antichrist, and of that accursed crue, shall bee heauier than the judgement of the Kinges, who execute their ma­lice. I denounce this IN THE NAME OF GOD: and there­fore, let euery man and woman beware that they be not partakers in the murther of the innocent: yea, if the Hangman knowe that hee is innocent, (albeit hee thinkes howsoeuer the matter goes, he is free) let him not touch him. Reade yee not in the Historie of the three Children, Sidrach, Mesach, and Abednego, who being taken and casten into the hote fierie fornace at the commaundement of Nebuchadnezar the King, that the men that cast them into the fornace were slaine with the flame of the fire? Yea, if it were but in a thought, take heede thou consent not to the death of the in­nocent.

Nowe to ende in a worde: Yee see heere, when Iesus speakes of His Father, and of His doinges, Hee blames Him not, but Hee speakes in all submission of Him: but when Hee speakes of the Iewes, who were instruments of this worke of God: Hee rebukes them shamefullie, and imputes sinne vnto them. This is a wonder, and yet it is the worke of God, and they are instrumentes ruled by God: yet the Lord is Holy, and they are vnholy and wicked, Act. chap. 2. vers 23. They crucified Him with wicked ha [...]des: now the Lord was cleane, and the Iewes handes were vnholie. Howe was this? The cause was, because in all this doing there was not such a thing as that anie of these wicked instrumentes looked vnto God: they are satisfying the affection of their heartes, and drinking vp the innocent blood maliciously. Marke this: Whatsoeuer thou doest in this worlde, whether thou goest out or in, eatest or drinkest, set alwayes thine eyes vpon the Lord, and doe it all to His plea­sure, and saye vvith thy selfe, I doe this to pleasure and to glorifie thee, O Lord, And I aduertise thee, that albeit thou doest anie [Page 95] thing agreeable in it selfe to the vvill of GOD, yet if thine heart bee not set vpon GOD in the doing, that vvorke is vnholie in thine hand. There is nothing to sanctifie thy soule, if thine eye be not set vpon GOD: for vvhen the eye of the soule is set vpon the LORD, there commeth light downe from Him, that sanctifieth the heart. And this is it in a vvorde that I vvoulde saye: Bee ne­uer at the ende of an euill thing: if thy conscience tell thee in thine eare, that thou art at an euill turne, doe it not: I appeale you, when yee doe anie thing in secret, if your conscience vvill not saye, O catiue, that vvhich thou doest vvill bring thee to destruction? Ma­nie men in this Lande, thinke themselues neuer vvell, but vvhen they are at an euill turne: But I forewarne thee, as thou vvouldest bee safe, and finde mercie at that Great day, to holde thine handes cleane from all euill turnes: and chiefelie, from the blood of the innocent. Whatsoeuer thou doest, looke that thou haue a vvar­rande of that reuealed vvill of GOD. And thinke it not enough to bee an executer of the decree of GOD: but see thou bee assu­red of this reuealed will. And yet more: Be not an Hypocrite in thy doing, but doe all thinges vvith sinceritie, and not for mans cause, but for GODS cause, that thou mayest be partaker of that euer­lasting glorie vvith IESVS: To vvhome, vvith the Father, and the Holie Ghoste, bee all Praise, Honour, and Glorie, both nowe, and foreuer, AMEN.

THE ELEVENTH LECTVRE, OF THE PASSION OF CHRIST.

IOHN, CHAP. XIX.

verse 12 From thencefoorth Pilate sought to loos [...] him, but the Iewes cryed, saying If thou deliuer him, thou art not Caesars friend: for whosoeuer m [...]k [...]th himselfe a King▪ spe [...]keth against Caesar. verse 13 When Pilate heard this word, hee brought IESVS foorth, and sate downe in the Iudgement-seate, in a [Page 96] place called the Pauement, and in Hebrew GABBATHA, verse 14 And it was the Preparation of the Passeouer, and about the sixt houre: and he said vn­to the Iewes, Beholde your King. verse 15 But they cryed, Away with him, away with him, crucifie him. Pilate saide vnto them, Shall I crucifie your King? The high Priests answered, We haue no King but Caesar.

YEE haue heard (Brethren) that in this whole Hi­storie of the suffering of IESVS CHRIST, vnder Pontius Pilate, the Romane Deputie, we might clear­lie see a continuall strife and debate betwixt the Iudge Pilate, and the accusers, Pilate euer striuing to get Iesus, that just one, and that innocent (for his conscience tolde him that Hee was innocent) set at libertie: The accusers on the other part, striue to blotte out the conscience of Pilate, and to get Iesus crucified: and as wee haue found this de­bate in the whole Historie before, so also in these words which wee haue read, wee finde the same strife: And, if Pilate before was ear­nest to get Iesus set loose, hee is farre more earnest nowe than euer hee was: and with all his might hee seekes to get Him set at liber­tie: but looke howe earnest Pilate is to haue Him loosed, the High Priestes and the Iewes are as earnest to haue Him crucified: In ende, as wee shall heare, the victorie inclines to the accusers: Pilate giues it ouer, and sits downe to condemne the innocent.

Nowe to come to the wordes, they are plaine, and offer verie plaine and easie doctrine, therefore we shall bee also plaine by Gods grace. It is saide concerning Pilate, that from that time when he had heard these last wordes of Iesus, accusing Him for that blasphemie against His Father, then hee tooke a greater feare, and from that time hee studied more and more to absolue Iesus. Brethren, wee see heere thorowe this whole Historie, that the more Pilate heares of Iesus, and the more that Iesus insistes with him, continually the conscience is the more wakened: and the more that it is wakened, the more earnestly striues hee to get Him set at libertie. So it is a wonder, to see an Ethnick, without God, to haue such a conscience of the innocencie of Iesus: and then, that such a man should labour to get Him loose. I know not if many of our Iudges now adayes, will haue such a conscience, and would be so earnest to haue the in­nocent set at libertie. So when I looke to the vigilantnesse of his conscience, I am compelled to saye, that this man had a speciall [Page 97] grace in this poinct: for one of the best blessinges of a judge, vvho sits on life and death, is to haue a vigilant conscience: By the con­trarie, a Iudge wanting conscience of right and wrong, of all men hee is the moste accursed. Then, Brethren, if ye will looke to this matter narrowly, yee shall say, that Pilate had a great vigilantnesse in his conscience: but alas, hee falles at the last: for certainely, this conscience had beene a blessing, if hee had obeyed this counsell of the conscience: but because hee falles in the ende, and obeyes not his conscience, that which was giuen for a blessing, becomes a cursing vnto him. If God giue thee a blessing, as a vigilant con­science, if thou abuse it, and refuse to heare thy conscience, the blessing sh [...]ll turne to a curse, and that conscience, which was a counseller, becomes a sore tormenter, and vrges thee to put hand into thine owne soule, and teare it in pieces. Pilates conscience so judged and tormented him, till hee was faine to put hand in him­selfe, that was his ende. Nowe, what doe Christes accusers? looke how b [...]sie Pilate can be to get the innocent set at libertie, as earnest are they to get Him crucified: and now they begin to handle Pilate more sharply than before. The greatest arguments they vsed before was taken from a crime laid to the charge of Iesus, from Iesus trea­son against Caesar the Emperour, and from His blasphemie against God. Now they leaue off such accusation, and they laye treason to Pilate, & accuse him of treason against his Master Caesar, If thou let­test this man loose, thou art no friend to thy Master Caesar, thou wilt en­danger thy selfe, and make thy selfe guiltie of treason: and more, this man will pull the Crowne from Caesars head: so if thou let such a man loose, thou shalt be guiltie of treason as well as he, and thou shalt be the friend of the enemies of Caesar: The effect of the accu­sation is this, They accuse Pilate of treason against Caesa [...]: now Pilate heard not the like of this all the day before: and as hee studies to keepe a good consci [...]nce towardes the innocent IESVS, so the temptation gro [...]es on. Nowe, it is not possible to keepe a good conscience without temptation both inwardly and outwardly, and aye the better conscience, the greater temptation, and the last the worst. The Deuill and his impes begins softly with [...]lluring but in ende, if thou yeeldest not they will threaten thee, & saye, Thou shalt either loose thy conscience, or els thy life. Then ye shall marke what is the forest temptation that the deuill & euill men c [...]n vse against men who haue a conscience, Either doe or die, as though one tooke [Page 98] a dagger, and helde it to thy breast, and said, Doe, or die, either re­nounce thy conscience, or die: there is a sore temptation: but to whom is this a grieuous temptation? euen to such a man as Pilate was, whose God was Caesar, a man whose Heauen was in the ho­nour of this world, a man who saw no better life than this present life. And marke the craft of Sathan and his instruments: vvhen they goe to tempt, there is not a mediciner who can apply their medi­cine better than they: ere they tempt, they wil see the quality of the person. So that if they finde a man onely wordly hearted without God, without hope of life, as Pilate was, then they can well bring against him tentations from worldly things, if thou wilt not doe it, thou shalt loose the worlde, and thy selfe. But if thou doe as I bid thee doe, thou shalt haue the world. By worldly things hee will al­lure the naturall man: and by the losse of them, he will terrifie him, and make him to yeeld. This is our lesson. Let neuer any man againe after Pilate trust to a naturall conscience, except hee finde the con­science propped vp by faith, and with better thinges, and higher things, than the things of this world: and if this conscience be bac­ked with hope of that life, it will bee a wonder to see howe a man will stand to the ende: No Crowne, but to him vvho standes to the ende. Hee vvho is so backed, hee vvill stand against the Deuill, and hee vvill saye, I care not for this life, vvhen the Deuill tempts him, if I loose this life, I shall get a better, if I loose the king. I shall see a more glorious king, if I loose this vvorld, I shall find a better: hap­pie is that man, vvho hath his conscience backed vvith faith in Ie­sus Christ, and hath a sight of Heauen, and of God: It is onely this man and vvoman that can stand in temptations against the Deuill, and the vvorld.

Now let vs see the effect: Alas, this assault vvas sore to Pilate: we shall see how by little & little he looses his conscience, & inclines to pronounce ye sentence of damnation against the innocent: assoone as he heares these vvords, he is astonished, and in all hast he brings foorth Iesus, and comes out in sight of the vvhole people, and sits downe in his tribunall: he calles it The Pauement, in Hebrew GABBA­THA: we call it an high seate or loft vvhere the Iudge sate: The time is noted when he goes to that vvoefull judgement, to wit, when as the Jewes were in a preparation to the Passeouer: the houre is noted. The sixt houre, which in our account is the twelft houre: the Lord Iesus was condemned, and deliuered to the men of warre. I neede not to [Page 99] speake of the calculation of the Iewes; they diuide the day and the night into twelue houres, sixe houres before noone, and sixe after noone. The time and the place is so particularly noted, that vvee should giue greater credite to the Historie. But to come to ye mat­ter: Ye see clearly, that this last temptation had the greatest force, & astonished Pilate, and that conscience that had stood so long, it be­gan to saile him, and he begins to decline. Then Brethren, note the force of such temptations, what force they haue in respect of natu­rall men: It is impossible for a man, who hath nothing but nature, without anie portion of grace in him, to abide the force of such a temptation: When hee is straited with these, either to loose con­science, or els to loose honour, riches, life, &c. & so to die the death, it is impossible for him to keep a naturall cōscience, & he will think that man to be a wise man, who will redeame his life by the losse of his conscience, & will think him a foole, who will lay down his life ere he want his conscience. Whereto should we insist in this point? O foole! what is thy life when thou hast lost sense & conscience? the senses, wherby men properly liue, are not so much these outwarde senses, as tasting, touching, seeing, hearing, & smelling, as the fealing of that inward cōscience: So if once thou loose that inward feeling, thou art no better than a beast, for they haue all these outward sen­ses. What better art thou than dead? No, the carion is not so dead as thou, whē thou art past feeling: but yet there is worse: well were it for a senseles man to liue in securitie, that that cōscience should sleep: but marke that same cōsciēce yt before was a coūseller, telling thee what was right & wrong, vvhat thou shouldest doe, and what thou shouldest not doe, (it is the faithfullest counseller that a man can haue, for it will counsell thee night & day to doe good, & leaue euill) after once thou hast hardened thine heart against cōscience, suppose thou lay it asleepe, and passe thy time, yet it will not sleepe for euer: I forewarne all that haue a sleeping cōscience, that it shall not sleepe aye, but it shall come with the terriblest face that euer was, ere all be done. The face of the Burrio was neuer so terrible as thy conscience, when it comes againe to teare thee, rent thee, and draw in pieces thy miserable soule. Howbeit wicked mē for a while will be busie, playing, riding, and running, to get the tormenter at rest: yet I tell thee, that if the LORD haue not mercie vpon thee, it shall vvaken so, that it shall neuer sleepe againe, & neuer let thee rest. Of all the torments in the world, the worst is the torment [Page 100] of the conscience, driuing thee before the terrible tribunall, to cling in thy soule, and drie it vp with the fire of the wrath of God: No peace for the wicked▪ sleepe on as they will, they shall be wa­kened. Now, Brethren, beside the force of this tentation, there is an inward malice of the heart against the conscience: Certainely, a conscience in a naturall man is good, and it is a remnent of grace after the fall, but there is as euill a thing that dwelleth in thine heart, since that fall, & that is a bitternesse & malice of thine heart, there is such a gall of bitternesse, that if there were no more to slay them, it is enough. It is not this outwarde tentation onely, that drawes Pilate so farre backe, but also the malice of the heart: when the conscience sounded in his eare, and said, Pilate doe not this, the malice of the heart caried him against conscience. I say againe, albeit that there were nothing without thee to moue thee, there is too much within thee. These men who runne headlong vnto blood, to wracke religion, and their countrey, thinke yee not, but they haue aduertisment in the meane time, by their con­science, and they know that they doe wrong: But, alas, such is the gall of bitternesse, such is the malice of their heart, against con­science that it caries them as mad men with a furie, ouer the belly of their conscience. Nowe, Brethren, this is well to be marked, When Pilate is set downe in His tribunall, albeit he be caried away by his conscience, will yee looke, yee shall see a priuie battell be­tweene the spunke of the conscience he had, and the malice of the heart. When hee sits downe, he hath a doubt in his heart, that con­science drawes him backe, that hee dare not at the first pronounce the sentence, but hee sayes, Behold your King. He sayes scornefully of His Kingdome, yet hee meaneth in his heart, to haue Him loose: as if he had saide: Is this the man? Alas, hee is little likely to bee a King, a poore miserable sillie poore man: this is his meaning, that he might moue them to let Him liue: So, as I marked before: the force of the tentation outwarde, and of the inward malice of the heart against the conscience. So I cannot passe by this, but in these wordes, I must marke the striuing of the poore conscience, albeit it be once dumbe, yet it will come againe & say, O miserable man, thou art gone too farre in this euill action, repent, As the naturall conscience is a continuall torture, so it wil cleaue vnto him, & will not leaue him. Brethren, as the conscience is an admonisher, so it cleaueth fast, and no man will get it extinguished, albeit the loune [Page 101] vvill striue to shake it off, yet it vvill sticke to him, and vvhisper again to him: but after it be once changed from an admonisher to a tormentor, vvhen thou hast tempted it, if it stacke to thee before it shall sticke an hundreth times sorer, and shall fasten it selfe in thy miserable soule; so that if thou vvouldest hang thy selfe to escape, yet the torment shall neuer die out. Well shake on, and contemne her, shee shall come, and bee the terriblest sight that euer vvas: and, if thou g [...]ttest no mercie, shee shall bee thine euerlasting tormen­tor in the Hell for euer and euer. Thus farre for Pilates part.

Now vvee come to the Iewes: They vvould haue nothing but the death of Iesus, and that a most ignominious death: they seeing Pi­late yet striuing, howbeit they had his head downe, (for nowe they had him at the downefall and sweruing from conscience) they had him downe vvith mightier force than before, and they double their temptation: they speake no more modestly, but for speaking they shout in his eare, that he cannot heare one thing or other, & double the shoutings & cryings. Away with him, away with him, Crucifie him, crucifie him. Take heed to this: if once the deuill haue gottē thy head down, that thou sweruest, then he will come with a double force & hee will cry & deaffen thine head: & howbeit the conscience would cry to thee, hee will make thee so dashed, yt thou canst not heare the conscience. Ye know (2. Chron. chap. 28) cōcerning the idolaters who took their sons & burnt thē quick in a valley neare Ierusa [...]ē. whē the children wept, they caused timbrels to sounde, that they might not heare yt pitifull voyce: So it is yt whē the deuill hath gottē thine head once down he shal make it so dumpish, & so dash thee with double forces that he will make thy conscience to haue no place: therfore, let euery man with al his maine fore resist, & let no tētation sunder thee from thy conscience: for once down, & aye down: when a man once stumbles on the head of a banke, he will neuer stay til he goe ouer the mountaine: close once the eare of the conscience, and the deuill will deaffen thee, & shout so in thine eare, that thou shalt not heare againe a word of thy conscience: there is none of vs▪ but wee may find this by experience. Now come to Pilate: whē they shout & cry, he saies, Shall I crucifie your king? yet hee giues not ouer, hee ha [...]h a doubt in the heart, and a strange fighting: as hee would say, Call ye it a well fauoured thing that I should crucifie your king? this he spake somewhat scornefully, halfe in jest, and halfe in earnest. This is a voyce of the conscience, but of vveake and decaying [Page 102] conscience, he speakes doubtfully now by an interrogation putting it in their option: now the conscience is drawing its last breath, & after that speakes not a worde. There are two voyces in the con­science: one voyce that will say resolutely, I will not doe euill, I will not doe against my conscience for all the world: that is a token of a strong conscience: The other is, which will saye doubtfully, Shall I doe this or not? that is a weake cōscience, when a man will say, Shall I slay? shal I strike? I will say, that man hath done with his consciēce. The voyce of a strong conscience will say, I will doe this, if God will giue me grace, and for the world I will not doe euill. Come to their part againe, We haue none other king but Caesar. Alas! woe woe to them that renounce such a King: Hee, and Caesar might both haue beene their king: Caesar was but His lieuetennant: and the wickedest men that nowe most repine against Him, shall confesse Him once to bee their king. Alas, Caesar is casten in the poore mans teeth, because he had none other God: and all the care he had, was to pleasure Caesar. But marke the hypocrisie of the Jewes: they saye, they haue no king but Caesar: but loued the Iewes Caesar? No, there was nothing yt they would fainer haue bene quite of, than of him, yet they pretende the authoritie of Caesar to slay the poore mans conscience, & to crucifie Iesus Christ. This is hypocrisie, they loued not, ye king, for they who loues not God, loue not the King, nor the Kirke. Looke the forme of Hypocrites: Papistrie is but Hypocrisie: the Pope is an Hypo­crite, and all that rabble, haters of God, of Caesar, and of the king: they desire no king, but the king of Spaine, because hee is their Bur­rio: and, if hee woulde refuse to be their Hangman, they would hate him as they doe others. They pretend the authoritie of Caesar to slay Christ, when they would haue the king slaine, and they will pretend God and religion, to murther the king of Fraunce: Fie vpon these lownes, let neuer king credite them, woe shall be to him. What doe our men pretend? Religion. Our Earles pretend Religion, and Re­formation. What is this? a pretence to destroy Religion and the King: Shame and confusion shall light on all, and first on them, if they gette their intention. The Lord giue euery man and vvo­man grace to take heed, that they haue no medling with such men, who vnder the pretence of Religion seeke to spoyle Religion, the king, and the Countrey for Christs sake: To whom with the Father and the Holie Spirit, be all Praise, Honour, and Glorie, both now and euermore: AMEN.

THE TWELFTH LECTVRE. OF THE PASSION OF CHRIST.

MATTHEW, CHAP. XXVII.

verse 24 When Pilate sawe, that hee auailed nothing, but that more tumult was made, he tooke water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just man: looke you to it. verse 25 Then an­swered all the people, and saide, His blood bee on vs, and on our children. verse 26 Thus let he Barabbas loose vnto them, and scourged IESVS, and de­liuered him to bee crucified.

IOHN CHAP. XIX.

verse 16 Then deliuered hee him vnto them to bee crucified. And they tooke IESVS, and led him away.

WEE haue hearde (Brethren) that Pilate the Romane Gouernour hath striuen verie long against the im­portunitie and obstinacie of the Iewes and High Priestes, to get the Lord Iesus, whom his cōscience tolde him was innocent, set loose and at libertie, but all in vaine: for they are as earnest to haue Him condemned, as Pilate was to haue Him absolued. At the last, when they could preuaile nothing at the hands of Pilate, by any delation, or poinct of inditement against Iesus, whether treason against Cae­sar, or blasphemie against GOD, they come more roundly to the matter, and come to the accusation of Pilate, & lay treason against him, If thou let this man goe (say they) thou art not Caesars friend: This is the greatest temptation that euer Pilate got, hee had no God but Caesar, he sought for no honour but in this world, he saw no life but this life: therefore, hearing treason laide to his charge hee begins to faint & faile, and then quickly hee enters into judgement, and [Page 104] commeth out, and bringeth out Iesus, and commeth to his tribu­nall, in a place called the Pauement, an open place, and there sitteth downe to giue judgement against the innocent: yet hee hath a doubt in conscience: yea, when hee is running to pronounce sen­tence of damnation, hee sayes, Behold your King, to moue them yet to suffer the innocent to escape, but hee preuailes not: for once getting Him vnder, Priestes and people beginne to shout in the eare of the miserable man, so that hee could not heare his con­science crying, Iesus is innocent yet for all this, yet he hath a doubt & stirre in his conscience, and sayes, Shall I crucifie your King. They answere, We haue no King but Cesar: Woe to them that made such change, and they finde it in experience. Now, brethren, Iohn in his Gospel, Chap. 19. verse 16: he subjoynes that Pilate deliuered Ie­sus in the hands of the men of warre, to be crucified, & that they receiued Him, and led Him to the place of execution, But Mat­thew, as ye heard read, reportes of some things that interueened & there are three thinges in speciall (as he recordes) that passed be­fore the leading of Iesus to the place of execution: The first thing, Pilate by a ceremonie of washing his handes, cleanses him of the innocent blood: and as hee disburthens himselfe, so he burthenes the Iewes, as guiltie of the most innocent blood, that euer was, or shall be shed: And they are more glad to take on the burthen, than he is to lay it ouer on them: for with their own tongue they bound the blood of the innocent on their owne backe, saying, His blood be on vs, and on our children: The second thing that Matthew re­hearses, is, after that he hath exonered himselfe, as he thought (a vaine thought▪ he was neuer quite of it, nor neuer shall be) when he thinkes he is exonered, then he goes quickly to worke, then hee begins to serue the foule and cruell appetite of the Iewes, hee lets loose Barabbas, a foule murtherer: Then as Luke, markes, hee giues out the sentence of condemnation against the innocent, then hee takes Him, and scourges Him the second time, and lastly, hee puts Him in the handes of the Burrio, this is the second thing: yet there is one third thing: when they get Him, they lead Him not incontin [...]nt out of the Portes, to that filthie place of execu­tion: but to satisfie the malitiousnesse of their heartes, they led Him to the common Hall againe, and there mis-vse the Lord of glorie. When all this was done, they leade Him out to the place of execution.

[Page 105]Wee shall speake of these thinges according to the rehearsall of Matthew: As for the first, Matthew sayes that, When Pilate sawe that hee could preuaile nothing at their handes, but that more tumult was made, hee cries for water, and washes his handes, and makes a protesta­tion, I am innocent of the blood of this Iust man: And as he protests that he is cleane, hee turnes it ouer vpon the Iewes, saying, See yee to it: ye shall giue an account for this dayes worke, it shall be the dearest worke that euer ye wrought: They say, Let His blood be on vs, and on our children. First, wee shall marke somewhat on the part of Pilate, Secondly, on the part of the High Priestes, and the rest of the Iewes. The Historie is very plaine. This miserable man Pilate hath fought on a reasonable space: yea, a long time for the Lord Iesus Christ, against the obstinacie of the Jewes, at the last, when he is charged as guiltie of treason, when hee sees, hee cannot preuaile, and findes him so straited with so great incommodities, he is com­pelled to yeelde, and hee thinkes that this necessitie should excuse him for his part well eneugh. Brethren, this is the lesson: Men commonly, and especially, such as Pilate was: men without God, naturall men, that see not another life, that see not another world, they will striue, and they will striue wonderfully through the in­stinct of nature, to keep a good cōscience: but at the last if they be importunately straited with great incommoditie, and feare of dangers, they will yeeld and giue ouer. Alas, nature, and all the be­nefites thereof is but a weake ground, at the last they will yeelde: and that good conscience that they contended to keepe they bid farewell, and at the last they will yeelde to a mischiefe: and when they haue done, they will thinke that necessitie, wherewith they were straited: that importunitie of men that compelled them, will excuse them for their doing sufficiently: they will thinke, that albeit they put to their hand, to doe the most wicked action in the world, that that necessitie will disburthen them: This is the judge­ment of naturall men: But this is as true: What euer hee or shee be that perseueres not to the end, shall neuer get the crowne. Take the sentence: Albeit thou hast begunne well, if thou go [...]st not on to the end, thou shalt nor get the crowne of glorie, and the Lord shall neuer account of thy former well doing, more than if thou hadst neuer done a good action. Indeede, I grant, that necessity which is without the cōsent & forces & compelles men against their wils: As [Page 106] for example: When our bodies mooued with externall force and violence, without consent, or voluntarie mouing of the members thereof hurteth another: I say, that necessitie excuseth a man, but as for that necessitie, which for feare of inconueniences and great dangers to followe, makes a man consent to an euill action, it ex­cuseth not. Some will say, I was sore straitted, and I behooued to doe, or die, I stroue so long as I might: and I sawe I could not escape, if I had not done it: But I say, that kinde of necessitie, and com [...]ulsion, th [...]t drawes on an euill action vpon thy conscience, shal neu [...]r excuse thee albeit all the King [...] of ye world should threa­ten thee, & terrifie thee with the feare of torture, & if thou once consentest, all that shall neuer excuse thee: No, if we once consent to an euill action, which may hurt the conscience, wee should ra­ther suffer to be beheaded or hanged, & die ten thousand deathes. The Lord of life, can and will giue thee life, if thou diest in his feare: but miserable shall that life bee, that thou shalt liue, when thou hast done against the Lord, and a good conscience. Pilate calleth for water and washeth his hands: then marke what hee sayes, I am innocent of the blood of this iust man: See yee to it. Well, is this out of his owne mouth: both the speaking and doing of Pilate testi­fieth, that Iesus was innocent: he confesseth, that he was going to condemne an innocent man: so I see, that the conscience of the innocencie of Christ, neuer leaues Pilate: I doubt not, but hee would gladly haue wanted it. It is a maruell, that during all the time of the suffering of Iesus Christ, the Lord will haue the inno­cencie of His deare Sonne to appeare in the beginning, in the mids, and in the ending thereof. All the time of His accusation, Pilate preaches His innocencie, when it commeth to condemna­tion, the Iudge both by word and deed testifies that He was inno­cent: it is not a common person, that protestes this but the Iudge himselfe: then againe, looke to the end of this worke, when Iesus is lifted on the crosse, then the Father frō the heauen testifies, that He was innocent, then the Centurion with the burrio & the men of warre, seeing the wonders, are compelled to say, this is the Sonne of God, and the people seeing this, goe home thumping on their breasts, & say, alas: & so they had cause: so the innocencie of Iesus Christ is declared all this whole time out of the mouth of the Iudge himselfe, & of many others. What meanes all this? No doubt but ye Father herein had respect to ye honour of His Son, for indeede [Page 107] the most honourable death, is to die as an innocent, and if thou wouldest die honourably, die not as a guiltie person, but die inno­cently: And this was to aggreadge Pilates damnation, and the damnation of the Iewes: But brethren, there is another cause that pertaines more to vs, and serues more to our comfort, euen, that we should haue faith in this Mediatour the Lord Iesus: for except He had died as an innocent, I would neuer lay my sinne on Him: the thing that makes mee to beleeue, that Hee hath made satisfa­ction, is because He suffered innocently, and had no sinne in Him­selfe, Heb. 7.26. and as Peter sayes, Hee bare our sinnnes, because I am perswaded, He bare my sinnes vpon Him, I beleeue in Him: so this redounds to the comforte of the members of the Church of God. Yet I see more here, Pilate he hath not only the cōscience of the innocencie of Iesus, but this same very cōscience, it makes him to turne to the Iewes, & to summond them before that terrible tri­bunall. See yee to it, sayes he, I tell you, ye will giue an account of this dayes worke: so this is a citation of the Jewes before that ter­rible tribunall, and they haue found it, and shall finde it: No, Brethren, take heede, thou shalt neuer want summonding: let Kings, and them who are in authoritie, cease to summound thee, let thine owne conscience neuer speake a worde to thee, nor charge thee, the Lord shall not let thee bee without a citation: if thy conscience will not waken thee, He will waken the conscience of a Turke or a Pagane, and he shall charge thee to appeare before that terrible Tribunall. Thou thinkest when thou sleepest, and thy conscience accuses thee not, that all is well, no, the Lord shall raise vp the conscience of a Pagane to summound thee, and I say to thee, albeit thou thinkest thou art at rest, when thy cōscience is sleeping & wilt spend thy time, thou wilt eat & drinke be merrie & take thy pastime, yet it is one of the most heauiest judgements yt euer God laid on any: & then, whē He hath raised the conscience of another man to warne thee, it is a sore warning that if thou sleepe on, and repent not▪ thou shalt be wakened, that thou shalt not get leasure to say, God be mercifull to mee. This world knowes not what it is doing. Yet marke further, Notwithstanding all this conscience of ye innocencie of Iesus: Alas, I s [...]e not this, that his owne conscience accuses him, or sayes to him, Woe to thee, Pilate, thou art going an euill way, thou wilt make thy selfe guiltie of that innocent blood, that will burthen thee euerlastingly: his conscience is busier to [Page 108] accuse the Iewes as himselfe: hee shoulde not bee so busie to accuse the Iewes, as himselfe: for if his conscience had accused himselfe sharply, had he euer said, Thus I am cleane of the blood of this just & inno­cent one? By the contrary, it had vrged out another confession & sen­tence, There is nothing but damnation for me, for the cōdemning of the innocent. What should haue bene the cause of this? He vvas bu [...] a silly naturall man, & his consciēce was wrong informed con­cerning that thing: & hee thought himselfe well enough, seeing he had stri [...]ē so long, & yeelded thorow necessity. All this sluggishnes of his consciēce came of a wrong information, he knew no better. The more thou knowest, the better informed consciēce thou hast. Striue ay to get knowledge. Alas, that blindnes that man lyes in by nature, that makes thee think, that sin is no sin: that is deceit. Striue ay to get a cleare mind, & a well informed conscience, whereof thou should excuse thee, and whereof to accuse thee. Get this out of the word of God, which is the only rule of our life & of all our actiōs, from that light that comes from Heauen, for the light of nature will beguile thee, and it will say, that thou art blessed, when the ma­lediction of God is vpon thee, and it wil say, Thou doest well, when thou doest euill: Therefore, get that light that comes from Heauen to make thee to see. This for Pilates part. Now let vs come to the part of the Iewes: Their part is far worse. This is a great deformitie, vvhen these vvho haue the Oracles of God, are warned by Turkes and Paganes: This is to turne the vp-side of the vvorlde downe. Looke howe readie Pilate is to laye off the burthen from himselfe vpon the Iewes; as readie are they to laye it both vpon their owne backes, and vpon their posteritie. If this exoneration of himselfe vvhen hee disburthens himselfe of the blood of Iesus, testifies, that hee had a conscience of His blood that vvas innocent: It must fol­lowe, if the Iewes vvere readie to take on this burthen, then they had no sight of His innocencie, neither vvere they touched there­with in conscience: and therefore, like blinded bodies, seeing no­thing, vvith an imprecation, they translate the burthen from Pi­late, and laye it vpon themselues. Ignorance is euer temerarious: the blinder the bodie is, the more rashly vvill it endanger it selfe. A blind bodie vvithout knowledge, will run it selfe speedily & without re­morse into Hell, and will take on such a burthen that it shall neuer bee able to laye it off againe. What meanes all this running so speedilie in vvicked courses, but that men vvant conscience, and [Page 109] their owne corruption hath blindfolded them: Is there anie man that hath light, that will run on to their death, to dash themselues on the sworde to deuoure them? It is a miserable thing to want the light of the soule: so the Iewes saw not with whome they had to doe they had no conscience, as Pilate had, and therefore beeing through malice and appetite of reuenge, incensed against the Lord Iesus: blindfolded, they regard not what imprecations they vtter, for they saw not Hell: or els if these Iewes had a light of conscience, they did so rashly against Iesus with knowledge, which is most likely: thē it followes, that they were marueilous malitious: as ignorance is hardie, so is malitiousnesse more hardie, albeit such a man should see, yet against the light, his malice will make him to runne ouer the bellie of his conscience. Yee knowe the voyces of prophane men, Ere I were not reuenged of him, I had rather be in Hell: this commeth of malitiousnesse, to get the soule spirit within him satisfied: but if thou felt one twitch of Hell, thou wouldest recant these wordes: for it would cause thee shoute, and squeele hiddeously: & I incline to this judgement, that this wicked action is more to be ascribed to malice than ignorance: the Iewes and the High Priestes had the word of God, and the Prophets, whereby they might haue knowne the Messias. When I read of the Pro­phets that speake of induration in the time of Iesus Christ, I say, it hath come of an hardnesse and induration of heart: And when I see the wordes of the Apostles, that say, O stiffe necked people, I thinke that they put their owne fingers in their eyes, that they should not see. The Lord saue vs from malitiousnesse, and namely from such malitiousnesse as is not without knowledge: when a man sees, and will pull out his eyes. Compare the Iewes with Pilate: now Pilate sinneth, hee k [...]lled himselfe in the end, and the Lord made his owne hands to be his burrio▪ No doubt, he sinned, who can excuse him? he sinned malitiously he had a conscience, & goes against it malitiously. But Brethren, to speake the trueth, it was not so much malice that pushed him forward, as great infir­mitie and feare for first, he feares to be accused of treason against Cesar: it was no maruell to such a man to feare, who had no God, but Cesar: [...]hen hee saw appearance of great tumult to rise amongst the Iewes. What necessitie was laide on them to haue the blood of the innocent So I see nothing in them but malice, if it were but in this respect, that the sinne of the Iewes weigheth downe the sinne [Page 110] of Pilate, and their damnation is a thousand times greater. What had this man? He had nothing but nature: The contrauension of the light of nature will neuer make vp the sinne against the Holy Ghost, which gets no mercie: but come to them. They had the light of nature, and the light that commeth from Heauen: they had the worde of GOD amongst them, they contraueened an hea­uenly light that came downe from Heauen, and was wrought into their heartes by the Spirit. Steuen sayes in the 7. Chapter, and 51. verse of the Actes of the Apostles, Yee haue alwayes resisted the Holy Ghost, as did your fathers, so doe you, that is not a naturall light but a light that came from aboue. There were some of these men who sinned malitiously against the Holy Spirit. What maruell was it then, that they got no grace to repent: for of all sinnes the sinne against the Holy Spirit, is the most dangerous: they that commit this sinne, haue no grace to repent, & therefore no mercy to them, the Lord strikes their soules with impenitencie: so that soule is euerlastingly hardened: and so beeing strucken with impenitencie they got neuer grace to say, God bee mercifull to me. Seeing then their sinne against Christ, was so great, seeing it was not so much of ignorance, as of malice: it was not only against the light of na­ture, but also against the illumination of the Holy Spirit: what maruell was it, that such a terrible Iudgement ouertooke them, as neuer lighted on any nation. The Iewes found this innocent blood in experience laide to their charge. Ioseph that saw all these thinges with his eyes, writeth, what heauie vengeance and judgement fell vpon Jerusalem & the Iewes: for he testifies, that there was slaine at the siege of Ierusalem eleuen hundreth thousand, beside ninetie thousand that were tane captiues: thereafter the towne was lamen­tably destroyed and sacked. So the blood of the innocent neuer left them: & these yt remaine, yet feele the judgement of the blood of the innocent: for according as they desired yt His blood should be vpon them & their posteritie: so the wrath of God came vpon them to the vttermost 1. Thess: 2.16. It is a wonder that a Iew should be safe, & if ye heare of a Iew to be conuerted, thinke it to be a great mercie. Now to apply this shortly to vs, if it were but this terrible example of vengeance which folowed the Iewes, it should terrifie to the end of the world, all soules to take on the blood of the inno­cent, take on one, & take on all: if thou takest on the blood of one seruant of God, thou shalt take on all the innocent blood from [Page 111] Abel, to that man whom thou hast slaine. Fye vpon foule butchers who are more meete to be butchers dogges, than men. What care they to wash their handes in innocent blood. But I say to thee, if euer thou gettest grace it is a wonder: fye vpon the butchers of Scotland: No, if the Lord would waken thy conscience to torment thee, & present to thee the sight of Him of whose blood thou hast shed, it would bee so terrible, that it would make thee to curse the time that euer thou did it, & one day fearefully without comfort it will torment thee: when will these bloodie men leaue off ye shea­ding of innocent blood, in this bloodie & barbarous nation: o [...] all nations it is the most barbarous and bloodie. Aboue all things dip not thine hands in the blood of Iesus Christ. Thou who sheadest in­nocent blood, & is a persecuter of the seruants of Iesus Christ, and who resistest the trueth, thou wilt say, If thou hadst bene in Christs dayes, thou wouldst not haue cōsented to His death, but thou who sayest so, if thou hadst fallen in these dayes, thou hadst malitiously bene partaker of the death of Christ, & hadst put handes in Him, thou wantest nothing but time: I will tell you, who is it that sheds the blood of Iesus Christ, & takes His blood on them, what euer he or she be that will resist this knowne trueth of Iesus Christ, and persecute the professours thereof, I affirme, they are as guiltie of the blood of Christ, as the Iewes & the High Priests were, and that same blood shall bee laide to their charge in the great daye of the Lord▪ Read ye not in the Epistle to the Hebrewes, Chap. 6. and 10. of them who haue repined, & haue begun to cast off that heauenly power, & so goe like dogges to their vomite, & spues out the light they had receiued, they are as guiltie of the blood of Christ, as Pi­late, & trampe the blood of the Couenant vnder their feete. Woe to them that resist the Gospell, woe to the apostate Lordes of this Land, for thus resisting the light: there is no light but this, to leade thee to heauen. I denounce woe to them if they continue, the trea­sure of wrath, and woe shall bee heaped on them, they shall be as guiltie as Iudas, or Pilate, or the Iewes: hastie & sudden shall be their judgement, except the Lord preuent them with repentance, they & their posteritie shall be cursed, & vnderly a terrible vengeance: Woe to their friends, who will joyne with them: Separate thee frō them, as thou wouldest see saluation: Away out of Babylon. Yee would thinke this a light worde, Let his blood bee vpon our head: As they wish the blood of the innocent to light on them, so it neuer [Page 112] leaues them, nor shall neuer leaue so many of them as repented not, the blood of the innocent shall lye vpon their backes euerla­stingly. This should learne vs to take good heed to our wordes: it was but a worde to cast off the God of glorie, and to take on a Ty­rant: They got Caesar to be their King, and he spoyled them: Take good heede to thy words, for thou who vsest against thy selfe im­precations and cursings, and wilt say, God plague mee, Gods ven­geance light vpon mee, I giue my soule to the Deuill, if this or that be not. Well, hast thou giuen thy soule to the Deuill, he shall get it: hast thou taken a curse vpon thy selfe, thou shalt bee cursed: it is a wonder that the earth should not open to swallowe such men. The Lord makes these thinges to come to passe: nowe and then Hee makes the cursed creature that vses such speaches to bee a terrible example. And if thou be a prophane person, who wilt say, I giue my soule to the Deuill, I saye, and if the Deuill get thee not then, and thou be not thrust into Hell, but gettest repentance, it is a wonder. Such is the judgement of God, that oft times He will let no reuer­sion be, except that earnestly thou seeke for grace and mercie, the Lord, I say, shall make that worde which thou sakest to haue no re­uersion, wilt thou, or wilt thou not: but like as thy foule mouth spake it, so thou shalt bee giuen to the Deuill: for there is nothing more effectuall to a mans destruction, than the wordes which pro­ceede out of his owne mouth.

Well, Pilate is lying in securitie, and hee thinkes himselfe well enough: when he hath once disburthened himselfe, he sits downe, and giues out sentence, and absolues a seditious vagabonde, He let­teth Barabbas loose vnto them. Woe to them, who will absolue a se­ditious lowne, and a murtherer. The next thing is more woefull, he begins to giue out the sentence against the innocent, he comes on and strikes Him, hee scourges Him: this is the seconde time, and when hee hath done, hee giueth Him into the handes of the Jewes, to sa­tisfie their wicked appetite. As long as thou hast a wakened con­science, and so long as it telles thee, This is good, and this is euill, thou wilt not goe so boldly and forwardly in euill. (Well is that bo­die who hath a wakened conscience, suppose it terrifie thee, and holde thee waking) But after it bee once lulled in a sleepe and se­curitie, then thou runnest on, as the arrowe doeth out of the bow, to a mischife: there is nothing to holde thee, but thou runnest swiftly to mischiefe. Ephes. 4.19. After they once lost feeling, they ranne [Page 113] out to all wantonnesse, commiting all vncleannesse, with griedinesse. There was neuer any creature so griedy of any thing in the world, as men who liue without conscience will be of filthinesse. As thou wouldest keepe thy selfe, so keepe feeling in thy conscience, & count it more precious than all thinges in the worlde. Nothing can guarde thy soule from Sathan, but the approbation of a feeling conscience. Thou wilt come out with thy Pearles, and with decked cloathing: but if thou want this conscience, thou art a preye to the Deuill. Fy on these men, who lye in such a senselesnesse, shame and confusion shall light vpon them. Was there euer such a dead and senselesse Generation as this? It is a token that Hell is ouer-taking them, seeing they lye all in such a senselesse securitie. Marke notes a word here that would bee considered, Chap. 15. vers. 15. Pilate did this, to gratifie an euill people: hee would not displease the Jewes. This is the common fashion of Princes, to seeke to be populare, to seeke the fauour of the people. Looke that a Prince seeke not by euill meanes the fauour of the people: for he will hang an innocent man, and let a murtherer goe free, for the fauour of the people: thou buyest it too deare, with the losse of the fauour of God. Woe be vnto the man, though he were a King, that mischieuously falles abacke from the Trueth, and so looses the fauour of God, for the fauour of Idolaters. But will yee come on yet? Got Pilate the fa­uour of the people? No: they persecuted him to the death, they de­lated him to the Emperour, and hee was banished: and for feare of greater shame, hee put handes in himselfe, and slew himselfe. Yea, if he were all the kings in the world, who seekes to gratifie a wicked people in an euill cause, namely, in Idolatrie, and if the LORD haue not mercy on him, that same people shall be his destruction. The Lord graunt Kinges and Princes to see that howbeit they haue the fauour of the people by vnlawfull meanes, and want the fauour of God, that all the fauour of the people that they can haue, with­out Gods fauour is nothing: that they may seeke Gods fauour aboue all things. And the Lord be mercifull to our King for Chri­stes sake: To whom be all Honour and Glory, foreuermore.

AMEN.

THE XIII. LECTVRE, OF THE PASSION OF CHRIST.

MATTH. CHAP. XXVII.

verse 27 Then the Souldiers of the Gouernour tooke IESVS into the common hall, and gathered about him the whole bande. verse 28. And they stripped him, and put about him a skarlet robe, verse 29 And platted a crowne of thornes, and put it vpon his head, and a reede in his right hand, and bowed their knees before him, and mocked him, saying, God saue thee King of the Jewes, verse 30 And spitted vpon him, and tooke a reede, and smote him on the head. verse 31 Thus when they had mocked him, they tooke the robe from him, and put his owne rayment on him, and led him away to crucifie him. verse 32 And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, named Simon: him they compelled to beare his Crosse.

MARC. CHAP. XV.

verse 16 Then the souldiers led him away into the hall, which is the common hall, and called together the whole band, verse 17 And clad him with purple, & plat­ted a crowne of thornes, and put it about his head, verse 18 And beganne to salute him, saying, Haile King of the Jewes. verse 19 And they smote him on the headwith a reede, and spate vpon him, and bowed the knees, and did him reuerence. verse 20 And when they had mocked him, they tooke the purple off him, and put his owne clothes on him, and ledde him out to crucifie him.

verse 21 And they compelled one that passed by, called Simon of Cyrene (who came out of the countrey, and was father of Alexander and Rufus) to beare his Crosse.

LVKE XXIII.

verse 24 So Pilate gaue sentence, that it should be as they required. verse 25 And he let loose vnto them him that for insurrection and murther was cast into pri­son, whome they desired, and deliuered IESVS to doe with him what they would. verse 26 And as they led him away, they caught one Simon of Cyrene, [Page 115] comming out of the fielde, and on him they laide the crosse, to beare it after IESVS. verse 27 And there followed him a great multitude of people, and of women, which women bewayled and lamented him. verse 28 But IESVS turned back: vnto them, and saide, Daughters of Ierusalem, weepe not for me, but weepe for your selues, and for your children. verse 29 For behold, the dayes will come, when men shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombes that neuer bare, and the paps which neuer gaue sucke. verse 30 Then shall they begin to say to the mountaines, Fall on vs: and to the hilles, Couer vs. verse 31 For if they do these thinges to a greene tree, what shall be done to the drie?

WEE haue hearde (Brethren) these dayes past, the vvhole accusation of Christ before the Iudge, & the Romane Gouernour Pilate. Last, wee came to that woeful sentence of damnation, pronounced against this innocent. Now Iesus being condemned to die, & to die the ignominious death of ye Crosse; it rests, that we should come to His suffering on the Crosse; but before we come to it, wee haue to speake of these thinges, namelie, which we haue read vnto you, partlie out of MATTHEVV, and partlie out of LVKE: Then first vvee haue to speake of the deliuering of Iesus into the handes of men of vvarre, to bee crucified at the pleasure of the Iewes; and howe they receiued Him: and then vvee shall see vvhat they doe vvith Him, being receiued: they bring Him backe againe beeing receiued, to the common Hall, to a secret part thereof, and misuses Him at their pleasure: therefore, vve shall come to the lea­ding of Him out: vvith the Crosse, out of the portes of Hierusalem, to that vile place vvhere Hee should bee crucified. We shall speake of the manner of His going out; howe hee goes out to suffer the death of the Crosse: and last, of two incidentes that fell in by the vvaye, as they vvere leading Him out: The one howe Hee met vvith a man, named SYMON of CYRENE, vvhom they com­pelled to helpe Him to beare His Crosse: Another, the multitude that followed Him: and as all Nations resorted to HIERVSALEM at the Passeouer, they followed Him, and vvomen followed Him vveeping, Hee turnes, and answeres them, as yee vvill heare.

It is saide then, that Pilate deliuered IESƲS, vvhen Hee vvas condemned, to the Souldioures to bee crucified: and it is said of them, that as hee deliuered the innocent vnto them, so they tooke Him to [Page 116] the common Hall: they are farre readier to receiue Him, and to crucifie Him, than He was to deliuer Him. The lesson, Brethren, is verie easie, and many experiences teaches it dayly: There was neuer yet a wicked Iudge in the world, so readie to deliuer the in­nocent to suffer, or to desire an euill action to be done, as hee will finde wicked executioners vnder him, to put his wicked sentence in execution: the good Iudges could neuer finde good officers vnder them so readily to execute an euill action as the wicked Iudges finde for an euill action.

Saul, when he had Achimeleck, and the Priestes of the LORD to slay, hee found Doeg the Edomite the knaue readie, and he slew fourscore fiue Priests of the LORD, 1: Sam. 22.18. But Dauid the good King, when hee had to doe with Ioab, who had commit­ted many foule murthers, could not put in excution his will, therefore hee laments, and sayes: I am this day weake, and newly an­noynted King: and these men, the sonnes of Seruia are too strong for mee, me, 2. Sam. 3.38, 39. This is oft seene of good men: that there are verie few good counsellers in the world, to helpe a good King in a good action: and where ye shall finde one good, yee shall finde foure euill: Euill men and wicked counsellers are verie rise: a wicked King shall not want, but shall get moe than hee desires: the deuill hath many seruants in the worlde, but GOD hath few: Our owne Countrey may speake of the experience of this.

But to goe forward: When hee hath deliuered the innocent Iesus to the souldiers, and they receiued Him: Take they Him to the place of execution? No, but whilst all was in preparation, whilst the place, and the Crosse, was in preparation, and whilst all things were making readie, in the meane time the souldiers, with the malitious Jewes could neuer get their heart satisfied with CHRIST, They bring Him to the common Hall, to the Session house, to a secret part of it, and vses Him more cruelly, than they did before: and there They beeing gathered, like as many torturers, there is not one of them, but they abuse Him: First, They put a crowne of thornes vpon His heade: This is the second time: Next they take off His owne cloathes, and cloathes Him with Purple, and they put a reede in His hande, and they kneele before Him, and mockes the King of Glorie, saying, Haile King of the Iewes: Then they take the reede, and strikes Him with it, and in despite spits on His face: [Page 117] When they haue done this, they take off that Royall rayment, and leade Him out, to crucifie Him. Yee woulde wonder at this, for a man, though hee were neuer so wicked, a thiefe and a murtherer. yet after hee bee once condemned, men will giue him peace till he die, and men will striue to comfort him before hee die against the terroures of death, that hee maye die in peace: yea, his verie enemies will thinke they haue gotten enough, when they haue gotten him condemned, and they desire no more: But beholde the enemies of our LORD and SAVIOVR IESVS CHRIST▪ they can neuer gette their heartes satisfied vpon Him, they cannot suffer Him to rest or breathe, their insatiable vvrath cannot bee satiated. The malice of men against vvickednesse vvill ende, but the malice of men against an Innocent, will neuer ende, and name­lie against him vvho suffers for CHRISTES sake: there is no measure of their crueltie, there is nothing that can satiate their bloodie heartes: for the children of darkenesse doe deadlie hate the children of light: the suffering of the Martyres hath euer pro­ued this, that the Antichrist coulde neuer bee satisfied in drinking of their blood. The persecuters of the Trueth will neuer be satiate, there is no satietie of the malice of the haert of ye childe of darknes against the child of light. If thou hadst slaine a mans father, it may be he would haue forgiuen thee: but and if thou bee the childe of GOD, and if hee bee the childe of darkenesse, hee vvill neuer bee satiate, till he gette thine heart blood. The IEVVES and the Souldiours could neuer bee satiate, till they had gotten the heart blood of the Innocent.

But Brethren, we must looke vp higher: for it was not so much with these Iewes and Souldiours that IESVS hath to doe, as with an angrie GOD▪ and th [...]t because Hee bare the burthen of our sinnes: these torturers were but instrumentes of that terrible wrath of the Father vpon the Sonne: It was not so much their wrath, as the wrath of the Father that pursued Him so ardently. After Hee was once deliuered into the hands of these Hangmē, wrath begins so to be powred foorth on Him frō Heauen, that He got no rest till He was crucified & dead on the crosse. It is a terrible thing for a sin­ner, yea, if hee were a king, who is not in Iesus, and partaker of His suffering, to fall into the hands of an angrie God and a consuming fire: if thou bee out of Christ, thou shalt feele it the terriblest sight that euer was, howbeit wanton men and women make their pa­stime [Page 118] to anger that great Iudge, going to murther, defiling their bodies and soules by harlotrie: it may be for a time, that they get rest: but after that once that righteous Iudge put hands in thee, I promise thee, that thou shalt neuer get rest: The verie reprobate when they shall see that there is none ende of wrath, shall crie: O Lord, shall neuer this wrath haue an end: if thou goest to Hell, thou shalt finde none end of wrath. Now blessed is that sinner that gets grace to haue recourse to Iesus Christ, & to lurke vnder His suffering. When they haue vsed Him so vnworthily within the com­mon Hall, and when all is made readie: Then they leade out Iesus, & caries Him out of the Portes of Hierusalem, to an ignominious death: and as they lead Him out: so Iesus Christ goes out wil­lingly to suffer, at the good pleasure of His Father, knowing that now His houre was come. God forbid, but that wee should thinke that Iesus Christ suffered willingly: No, Brethren, in this exam­ple of Iesus Christ the innocent: and that His willing going to death, wee see, that it is the innocent who goe to death willingly, and namely, they who are innocent in the blood of Iesus Christ, that haue their conscience sprinkled with the blood of the imma­culate Lambe: As for men, who are not cled with this innocencie, alas for them, It is not possible, that these can haue consolation, or can with gladnesse offer vp their liues: it may bee, that some will pretend willingnesse, but that is but a shew: Againe, it may be, that there bee some senslesse bodies, that knowes not how terrible death is, and what euill is in it. O! death is terrible for either Heauen or Hell followes on the taile thereof: and wilt thou count litle of that port, by the which thou passest from this life to eter­nitie. So, some may be senslesse, as a Kow goes to the shambles: and some may haue a false conscience: but if thou haue not an assurance, that thou art washed with the blood of Iesus Christ, Woe shall come to thee, wrath shall light on thee. There is no consolation in death to any, but to these who die in the innocen­cencie of Iesus Christ. I marke the manner how He goes out: He goes out, bearing His owne Crosse: or rather drew it after Him: this was after the manner of the Romanes, that the man whome they condemned to die this death, they commanded to beare His Crosse, and therefore they were called Furciferi, gallowes bearers: now they practise this on the innocent Iesus.

Nowe to come to it, that falles out whilst Hee is bearing His [Page 119] Crosse. As they are going out, They meete a man by the way whose name was Simon, the father of Alexander and Rufus, a man in a towne of Africa, and the towne was called Cyrene, a laborious man, retu [...]ning from the Countrey, to Hierusalem, they meete the poore man, and compelles the man to take vp the one ende of the Crosse Iesus goes before, and he goes behind: they would not haue Iesus relieued: No, they pitied Him not, but they would haue Him formest in the burthen. Thinke not, Brethren, that this re [...]ieuing was of any compassion they had to Iesus: No, they had no pitie vpon Him: but it came to p [...]sse, because Christ Iesus was faint, weake, and we [...]ried vnder the burthen: and no wonder, He was a man: He tooke on our nature, and all the infirmities thereof, that wee might bee made strong. After that once the Lord had fallen in their handes, Hee got no rest, Hee got no sleepe that night, Hee fasted, and His soule was vexed: and then all that night, and all that day following, from the morning to the noone-tide, hee got no rest, but was twise scourged, and buffeted: As for the souldiers, they thought themselues too gay: As for the Iewes they thought themselues too holy, and in end He was made a curse (but for our cause) And therefore meeting with this Gentile, Simon, they com­pelled him to helpe Him. This wants not a Mysterie: This Simon was a figure of the Gentiles, and this calling, albeit of compulsion, signifies our calling, beeing Gentiles, to take vp our crosse, and followe Iesus out of the portes of Hierusalem. And as the Apostle to the Hebrewes Chap, 13. verse 13. sayes, Goe foorth of the Ca [...]e bearing His reproach: for here we haue no continuing citie: but wee seeke for one to come. As for the Iewes, they would neither touch Christ, nor His Crosse with their finger, because they judged Him accursed. Indeede, I grant, GOD made Him accursed, but Hee was made a curse, that wee should bee the blessing of GOD, through H [...]m: As Paul sayes to the Galathians, Chap. 3. verse 13. Wouldest thou know thy felicitie in this worlde, and in the worlde to come: it stands in joyning with that man that was accursed, & whosoeuer thou be, yt shalt not joyne with this man who is accur­sed, I giue thee this doome, Cursed shalt thou be euerlastingly, ven­geance & malediction shall lie on thine head euerlastingly. We are Gētiles, not Iewes: let vs thē with this Simon of Cyrene take vp ye Crosse of Christ, & follow Him out of the portes of Hierusalem, to beare His shame, yt we may be partakers of His glory: if thou be not parta­ker [Page 120] of His ignominie and shame, I denounce to thee, thou shalt not be partaker of His glorie: thou who wast not humbled with Christ, thou shalt neuer be exalted with Him: this for the first in­cident. There is another thing that falles out, whereof wee read in the 23 Chapter Luke, as He goes to the place of execution, it is said, that the multitude followed Him: This multitude was not onely of the Iewes, but also of all Nations who resorted to Hierusalem, at the time of the Passeouer. Nowe this multitude followed to see what should become of Him, as men who are inclined to see wonders. S [...]e on what minde thou followest a man to death, these spectacles are spectacles of thy miserie: they followe to see the fashion: but surely this following of Christ, and this going of Christ to His suffering with such a multitude, learneth vs a lesson: it pleased the Father, that Iesus Christ should suffer an open shame: He would not haue Him stollen down, or secretly executed in the night: He would haue Him accused publikly before the great Iudge, who represented Cesars person: Then as Hee went out, He would haue all the worlde to see Him: and then Hee would haue Him mounted vp, and nailed vpon the Crosse in the face of the world: in a worde, the Father would haue the Sonne who became suretie for vs, to die; and not onely to die, but also to be pined: and not onely pined, but also to bee pined shamefully. There is not a sinne in the worlde, (let wanton men take their pastime in sinne, albeit it were done neuer so secretly, goe to thy chamber & doe it, doe it in the night, goe to holes and most secret places and commit wickednesse) but the end thereof, how secret so euer it was, shall bee with open shame: I denounce against secret sinnes against God, thy secret sinnes shall bring an open shame to thee, if thou haue not recourse to the shame of Iesus: either of neces­sitie thou must suffer in thy person eternally, and drinke out the full cuppe of the wrath of God: or els, thou must haue recourse to the shame of Iesus Christ: and this is our comfort, that wee haue: Wilt thou first of all repent thee (an impenitent man will neuer get the cloake of Christs righteousnesse to couer his shame) and turne and beleeue in Iesus Christ: Wilt thou haue recourse to Him, and loure vnder His Passion: I promise thee, that thou shalt neuer come to an open shame: it my bee that men come to an open shame for sinne in this worlde, but in the worlde to come, I promise thee, thou shalt not suffer any shame, in that daye thy [Page 121] sinnes shall not come to the light, neither man nor Angell shall see them. But if thou haue not recourse to Iesus, thou shalt bee roo [...]ed out like a thiefe out of a hoale, before millions of millions of Angels, and before all the worlde, and the secrets of thine heart shall bee reueiled, and heapes of the wrath of God, shall bee powred on thy miserable head: Hell stands not only in paine, but in shame and confusion: thou shalt goe downe to Hell with a fearefull shoute, from the sight of this world, at that judgement.

Now to come to these women: amongst the rest there followes Him certaine women out of Hierusalem: there is a great difference betweene them and the multitude: women oft times shames men. The souldiers pities Him not, their pleasure is in His miserie: wee see not heere, that any of the multitude mournes, but it is saide, that the women of Hierusalem that followed Him, wept for Him. This was done of the Father, to testifie His innocencie, the Fa­ther at all times, will haue the innocencie of His Sonne witnessed: during the time of His accusation, the Iudge preached His inno­cency: & as he was giuing out the sentēce against Him: he both by deed, in washing of his hands, & word, testifies His innocencie: And now whilst He goes out, Hee makes these women to bewaile Him. No question all this was done by the Lords prouidence, Ie­sus the innocent Hee was lamented for. Wilt thou bee innocent like to Him, thou shalt not want bewailing: ye see this, if he be a thiefe, and hee bee penitent, and haue recourse to Iesus, and seeke to be innocent with that innocencie of Iesus Christ, men will pi­tie him: but especially in that great daye, if thou appearest inno­cent in the innocencie of Iesus Christ, thou shalt get such pittying of God, and of all the Angels, that thou shalt neuer die, but shalt be receiued to glorie: and if thou appearest before Him without this innocencie, thou shalt not be bewailed: none shall pitie thee, neither God, nor Angell, but thou shalt goe to destruction: and when thou art going to Hell, thy father nor thy mother shall not weepe nor lament for it, but shall rejoyce & approue Gods judge­ment. Yee see then, howe good a thing it is to be innocent in the innocencie of Iesus Christ, albeit wee be not innocent, but guiltie in ourselues. When Christ heares the lamentation and mourning of the women, Hee lookes ouer His shoulder, And beholding them, He standes, and speakes, Daughters of Hierusalem, weepe not for mee, but [Page 122] for your selues, and for your children: and He giues the reason wherefore they should weepe so, because of that fearce & terrible judgement which should ouer-take Hierusalem, and all for this innocēt blood, and for the refusall of that innocent One: For beholde, the dayes will come (saies Hee) when men will say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombes that neuer bare, and the pappes that neuer gaue sucke. Then shall they begin to say to the mountaines, Fall on vs: and to the hilles, Couer vs. And vn [...]er the destruction of Hierusalem, Hee vnderstands & adumbrates that ter­rible judgement & wrath in the latter day, & that great destruction that remaines for the wicked: & He confirmes this judgemēt which He threatens, by an argument taken from the greatest to the smal­lest, If they doe so to a griene tree, what shall they doe to a withered? what shall they doe to you? By the greene tree Hee meanes Himselfe, who in Himselfe was freshe, sappie, greene, and fruitfull, albeit for vs Hee was like a drie tree, because Hee was guiltie for vs. And by the drie tree Hee meanes vs, who are vnfruitfull in our selues, and meete for nothing, but for confusion, to be casten into the fire. Marke heere shortly of this: It is the sense of misery that makes any bodie to weepe: No doubt when one weepes sore, the heart hath a sense of misery: and this sense is either of a mans owne misery, or for a sym­pathie of the miserie of another. They who haue a sense of the mi­serie of others, they will mourne. I see fewe of this sort in these dayes. There are few now that will weepe for the misery of another. All sympathie is out of the world, and the pleasure of men is in the pleasure of others. Indeede I thinke that Iesus condemned not this compassion. Certainely, compassion vpon the estate of another is good. Away with a pittilesse heart, for it hath not felt the mercie of God, and bowels of His compassion. But this is Christes will, that the ground of their lamētation shuld not be so much His suffring for them as the sense of their owne misery & sinne, which brought Him to such a misery. The Lord would haue the women conside­ring the greatnesse of their owne misery, which made Christ for their cause to bee so miserable: that should haue beene chiefelie the cause of their mourning: that shoulde haue beene the cause of their dolour: for as Iohn saies out of Zacharie, They shall see Him whome they pearced. Our sinnes haue pearced Him. The godly in the latter daye, when they shall see Him, they shall mourne. It was not so much the Souldiours that pearced Him, as thy sinnes. Haue not therefore thine eye so much on Pilate, Herode, or the Iewes, or on the [Page 123] men of warre, or Hang-man, as on thy selfe, and on thine owne sinnes: for it was thy sinnes that pearced Him thorowe: and in the latter day, when the godly shall see Him, whome they haue pear­ced, they shall weepe. Turne thine eyes on thy selfe, and let the ground of thy weeping bee for thine owne sinne, that pearced the Innocent.

There is another thing heere worthie to bee considered: I see it is a good thing to bee in heauinesse: and yee see that the LORD speakes nothing to the men of warre, nor to anie others in the way, but onely to the poore women who were weeping: Hee com­fortes them, and instructes them, Hee leades them to the grounde of their weeping, to the ende that they shoulde repent, and haue recourse vnto Him. The best estate of men and women, is to bee sadde in heart, and mourning, either for their owne misery, or the misery of others: for the Lord saies, Blessed are they that mourne, for they shall bee comforted. And, GOD dwelles in a coutrite heart, ESAY. CHAP. 66. VERS. 2. PSAL. 51. VERS. 19. Thou who laughest, thou needest no comfort. Thou who art mourning for thy sinnes, and the sinnes of the worlde, the Lord Hee shall speake to thee, and giue thee consolation with His owne mouth. Nothing becom­meth a Christian better, than sadnesse, and to haue his sinnes be­fore his eyes, and to bee sadde both at noone and at Euen: for all this joye that a true Christian hath, is sadnesse. Awaye with wan­tonnesse, mocking, and jesting, there is no true joye there: and the Lord vses not to comfort such, nor speake to such, for they neede it not. I fore-warne thee, that thou shalt neuer gette the taste of that joye, but in teares: and then vvhen the heart is broken, and casten downe, then the LORD is mighty to raise thee vp, and to comfort thee. The Lord therefore giue vs grace, when wee looke to the death and passion of CHRIST, that wee maye gette a sense of our owne miserie: and that wee maye bee in sadnesse, and mourne, that our sinnes pearced the sides of the innocent, vvho vvas the GOD of Glorie: and that vvee maye haue recourse to this suffering, and gette grace in our LORD: To vvhom with the Father and the Holie Spirite, bee all Honour, Praise, and Glo­rie, for euer and euer: AMEN.

THE XIV. LECTVRE, OF THE PASSION OF CHRIST.

MATTH. CHAP. XXVII.

verse 33 And when they came vnto the place called Golgotha, (that is to say, the place of dead mens skulles) verse 34 They gaue him vineger to drinke, min­gled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drinke.

MARKE 15.

verse 22 And they brought him to a place named Golgotha, which is by inter­pretation, the place of dead mens skulles. verse 23 And they gaue h [...]m to drinke wine mingled with myrrhe: but he receiued it not.

LVKE XXIII.

verse 32 And there were two others which were euill doers, led with him to be slaine.

IOHN CHAP. XIX.

verse 17 And hee bare his owne crosse, and came into a place named of dead mens skulles, which is called in Hebrewe, Golgotha:

NOwe ye haue heard (Brethren) of the accusation of CHRIST before the Iudge Pontius Pilate, and of His condemnation out of the mouth of the Iudge Pilate, and then wee heard that after the sentence of damnation was pronounced, he deliuered Him into the handes of the Iewes to bee crucified, they take Him, and first of all they leade Him in againe to a moste secret part of the Common Hall, and there they handeled Him more freely, yea, more vilely than euer before, seeing Hee was a condemned man: and when they had vsed whatsoeuer indignitie they pleased against Him, they leade Him to the place where Hee should be exe­cuted. In the Historie wee haue marked three or foure things that [Page 125] fell out in the way: First, how the Lord is bearing His owne Crosse to the place of execution: Next, Hee beeing wearied vn­der the burthen, one Simon of Cyrene comming from the Coun­trey to the towne, is compelled to take vp one ende of the Crosse, to helpe him: So Iesus goes before, and beares the one end of the Crosse, Simon of Cyrene followes, bearing the other end thereof: The third thing: the multitude followes, men of all countreyes, that were conueened, and come out of Ierusalem, at such a solemne time at the Passeouer: Amongst the rest, there were women of Ie­rusalem, better than the rest of the multitude, who followed him, and wept for him. Wee haue heard what answere the Lord gaue them, and how he instructed them in the right cause of their wee­ping. Now the last thing that is marked: it is this, that we haue read out of the Gospel of Luke, there were led out two thieues with him. Then in this dayes exercise, we shall heare of these points: The first, concerning the two thieues that were led out with him: The next is concerning the place: The third is concerning the sowre & bit­ter drinke that they gaue him to drinke: The fourth, concerning the act of the suffering, and fiftly, concerning the houre.

To returne to the first: As hee goes out to the place where hee should suffer: There are ledde out with Him two thieues, to suffer with him in that same place: Iesus is ledde out to the place of execution like a thiefe, beeing innocent, and ledde out with thieues to suffer with thieues. Amongst all the rest of the things that Iesus Christ suffered, beside the paine that he suffered in soule and bodie, he suffered extreame shame, as we say, hee was shamed and shent: I shewed to you, that shame followed alwayes vpon sinne. Iesus Christ tooke vpon him the sinnes of the world, and therefore hee behooued to suffer shame before the worlde. The Lord Iesus Christ was ignominious in respect of the painfull and ignominious death: for hee was mounted vp vpon the Crosse, in presence of them all: and in respect of the multitude, all the worlde was gazing vpon him: and in this respect, when hee goes out to suffer, hee is counted a thiefe among the thieues, and the Lord was also ignominious in respect of the place.

Brethren, in this matter, I looke not so much to the Iewes, or to the souldiers, as I looke to his Father in heauen: who was the disposer of this whole worke. There was nothing done, but that which GOD the Father had decreed to [Page 126] bee done, and vvhat Hee does concerning His Sonne, Hee does it moste justlie: for IESVS became suretie for the sinnes of the vvorlde, and Hee bare the burthen not onelie of murther and theft: but of all the sinnes of the Elect. And as He goes out with the two Thieues, Hee bare the burthen of one of them, and relie­ued him of his sinnes: and the one of them that same night sup­ped with Him in Paradise: Therefore, saye I, vvhatsoeuer was the part of the Jewes or of the Souldioures▪ yet the doing of the FA­THER to the SONNE was moste just. And when wee reade of this, let vs blesse the FATHER of IESVS CHRIST, for wee haue good cause so to doe: For in this justice Hee shewes great mercie towardes vs: and, if Hee had not done this, woefull and miserable had the estate of man beene. Now I come to the place, which in Hebrew is called GOLGOTHA, that is, a place of dead mens skulles, or braine pannes. This place was without the portes of the Towne of Hierusalem. And no question Iesus like an vnworthie re­probate was carried out of the portes of Hierusalem to suffer, and this was figured vnder the Lawe. The beastes that were to be offe­red were carried out of the campes of the people, and there vvere burnt, and afterwardes their blood was carried into the Sanctua­rie, to bee a typicall propitiation for the sinnes of the people, and the people were sprinkled therewith: Euen so, IESVS CHRIST, that eternall Sacrifice, was carried out like an out-cast out of the portes of the Towne, to suffer that ignominious death, that when Hee had suffered Hee might enter in with His precious blood into that Heauenlie Sanctuarie for the sinnes of the world by that eter­nall propitiation, HEBR. CHAP. XIII. VERS. 11. and 12. Concerning the name of the place wherefore it is so called, there is great controuersie and doubting: Some thinke that it was so named, because the skull (or braine panne) of ADAM was delued vp out of that same place where the Crosse was set, and vvhere IESVS suffered. But I count this but a vaine fable of the vain Papists, for their Legēds are full of such like fables. And again, some thinke that it was so named, because in this place were vsed to bee casten heapes of skulles, and dead mens bones to bee kept, which vse may bee seene in sundrie partes, and this is more likely. And last, others thinke that it was so named, in respect of the figure & shape of the place: It was a round knoll, like a mans head, rising vp, and round at the height; also, it was high, that these who were [Page 127] executed might be a spectacle to the people to be wondred at, and therefore in respect of the shape, it was called Caluarie, that is, the skull of a dead man: and those who haue resorted to those parts, they report this day, that the same place is a round knolle like a dead mans skull, where the Lord Iesus was crucified beside Ierusa­lem. But how euer it be, this is most certaine, that this place was shamefull and ignominious: and the innocent is conueyed to that place where the murtherers vsed to bee execute. No doubt, it was vile, and stinked, yet it hindred not that sweete sauour to ascend to the Father, through His death, and the more ignomi­nious that the death was, the glorie and triumph was the greater, and the more stinking that the place was, the more sweetly sa­uoured Hee to the Father, His sacrifice had a most sweet smell in the nosthirles of the Father. This is the thing that I marke: I see, that these Iewes who persecuted the Lord of glorie to the death, cannot bee satisfied, and the hatred against the innocent is end­lesse. They are not content that He die a shamefull death: but they will haue Him to die a shamefull death in a shamefull place, and they will haue Him conuoyed and led out like a thiefe. No, bre­thren, the hatred of the worlde against the children of the light, hath none ende: they hated the Lord first: The Lord Iesus is the light of the world, and euer from that day the children of dark­nesse shall neuer cease to hate the children of light: assoone so euer as a man shall professe that he appertaines to Iesus Christ, at that same moment, the worlde, and the children of darknesse shall be­ginne to hate them, and to persecute them: As the rage of the Iewes was vnquencheable against Christ, so it was after His pas­sion and ascension against all Christians. Brethren, in this matter, we must passe aboue the malice of the Iewes, and behold the coun­sell of God, and see, that all this doing comes from Heauen, for the Father doth it, albeit He vse the ministerie of these Hangmen: I see this, He layes on shame vpon His owne Sonne: and not only shame, but He heapes shame vpon shame vpon Him: He will first haue Him shamed in respect of the death of the Crosse: then Hee will haue the world to gaze vpon Him: and next, in respect of the two thieues that were ledde out with Him: and then in respect of the place: Hee will haue Him to suffer shame in all things, in pre­sence of the world: So that one would wonder, that the Father would pursue the Sonne with such extremitie of wrath: it is no [Page 128] small thing to take on the burthen of sinne. O sinfull soule! runne vnder sinne as thou wilt, yet one day thou shalt find it the heauiest burthen that euer was. If the suretie suffered such a paine, and such a burthen, what shall become of thee? If thou by thy selfe shalt vn­dertake such an heauie burthē of wrath for thy sins? But Brethren, the thing that appertaines to vs concerning the place of execution is this: All this processe & judgement is a type of that great & ter­rible judgement of the world in that Great day: & ye shall see that visible judgement to bee like this judgement that was holden on Iesus. He suffers like a reprobate, and is judged, and that same thing that Iesus suffered temporally, when the great Iudge shall sit, the reprobate shall suffer eternally. Then take heede: It is a terrible thing to fal into the hands of that liuing God, who is a consuming fire. Looke to it as yee will, for whosoeuer hee be that shall not bee saued in Iesus in that day, beside all the shame that they shall beare, the verie place wherein they shall suffer shall adde something to their shame: As their soule and bodie shall bee ignominious; so the place shall be stinking: the very place shall heape shame after shame: let Hell bee where it will, it is the most shamefull and ignominious place that euer was: and thou shalt bee shamed and shent whosoe­uer shall bee casten into it. And by the contrarie, in that Great daye of Iudgement, they who shall bee saued in this IESVS, as they shall be glorious manie wayes: so euen in respect of the place, they shall be glorious. That Heauenlie Hierusalem is the pleasandest place that euer was, and those that shall come to Heauen, beside all that glorie that they shall haue therein, they shall haue glorie in the verie place: for Christ suffered in a place, foule, vile and igno­minious, that they might dwell for euer most glorious in that glo­rious place, that Heauenlie Paradise.

Nowe to come to the third, vvhich is that drinke vvhich is pro­pined vnto CHRIST when He comes to that place: no question He was verie thirstie: beside the paine, He had an extreame thirst: and beeing thirstie, Hee desired to drinke: Hee vvas a vvearied man, for He vvas holden all the vvhole night ouer vvithout either meate, drinke, or sleepe, yea, and all the next daye also, beside the feare of death: and therefore, it vvas no maruell that Hee desired to drinke. And MATTHEVV saies, that they gaue Him Vineger to drinke, mixed with Gall: Then, both soure and bitter vvas His drinke. Now it is true that Sainct MARKE saies, that it vvas Wine mixed [Page 129] with Myrrhe: All is alike: for Myrrhe hath the bitternesse of the gall. There are sundrie opinions about this drinke, which they gaue Him: Some thinkes that this was a delicious drinke, and that it was caried there, and offered by the women who followed Him weeping: to the end He might feele the lesse paine, so long as Hee vnderlay so longsome and cruell death. There are others who thinke that this drinke serued to hasten the death: because the death was painfull, for they count Myrrhe to be of this force, that it will cast out blood at any wound. So when the LORD had drunke, they thought, that the blood should haue springed out at the wounds, and should haue most hastely procured His death.

But I leaue these opinions, and I thinke, that this was no deli­cious drinke: and I thinke againe, that this drinke was not giuen to hasten His death: & I think that this sowre & bitter drinke, was offered in derision and scorne by the Iewes, and souldiers, who had no pitie nor compassion vpon Him, and that of the bitter malice of their heartes they offered it to Him. No mercie for Christ now, but all extremitie: and to thinke so, I am partly moued by that Prophecie which is contained in the 62. Psalme, and 22. verse, wherein the LORD is brought in, complaining and saying, In my thirst they gaue mee vineger to drinke: and partly, by the Historie following, wherein it is saide, Then they brought Him in derision a sponge with vineger, and put it to His mouth: and this His drinke is to bee counted a part of His Passion. Of this we haue this lesson, alwayes keeping this ground, That this Iudgement is a type of the latter Iudgement. Amongst all the paines that they shall suffer, who shall not bee found in IESVS CHRIST, they shall thirst to death, both of soule and bodie, as the LORD thirsted, who was counted as a reprobate: so the reprobate shall thirst exceedingly: And as the LORD got not so much as a drinke of water, to quench His thirst, no more shalt thou.

As the rich Glutton, when hee was in Hell, could not get one droppe of water to coole his tongue, that was so sore burning in torment: no more shalt thou bee quenched of that eternall wrath: for sinne brings the most terrible drowght and hotnesse in the soule and body that euer was. Thou shalt drinke the cuppe of the bitter wrath of God for euer & euer▪ Blessed are they who hunger & [Page 130] thirstes for righteousnesse they shall be filled, sayes Christ. They who shall bee saued in Iesus Christ, shall neuer thirst, for they shall haue in their bellies the fountaine of liuing water. Iesus Christ, when this drinke is propined, Hee tastes it, and would haue no more of it, because as Iesus Christ bare the nature of man, so Hee had this naturall taste, and nature abhorred this drinke: And albeit that patiently He suffered all injuries of others: yet Hee would not vse violence against nature to His owne selfe: let one suffer violence of others, but doe no violence to thine owne selfe: Yet we see, that albeit He knew well eneugh, both the bitternesse and sowrenesse of it, yet Hee tasted it: This learnes vs, that there was no bitternesse nor sowrnesse but the LORD would taste it, that thou shouldest not onely taste, but also drinke, yea quaffe all delicious and sweet drinke euermore: yea, not only of the water of life, but euen the delicious drinke of this worlde, for refreshment of our bodie. Then when thou art drinking a sweet drinke, remember that Iesus Christ dranke a bitter drinke, that thou shouldest drinke a sweete drinke. Otherwise, I tell thee, drinke on, and pamper thy belly as thou wilt, thy sweete drinke shall become a bitter curse vnto thee.

Now we come to the very action of crucifying: Hee is thirstie, He cannot get the thirst quenched: He must suffer the death with an extreame thirst: there is not a thiefe, but hee will get a drinke. The men of warre come to the execution: and first, they stripped the LORD of glorie: They take His garments off Him: So the LORD, before Hee was mounted vpon the Crosse, Hee was stripped naked, and then beeing starke naked, they mount and spread out that glorious bodie on the Crosse, And nailes Him with nailes: and this is complained of before: They pierced through mine hands and my feete, Psalme 22.17. And now beeing nailed on the Crosse, it commeth to passe, as Paul sayes in the Epistle to the Galathians, Chap. 3. verse 13, 14: Hee is become a curse for vs, that wee should become the blessing of God in Him: Not that Iesus beganne then to be accursed of the Father, when He hang vpon the Crosse: No, from the time of His conception: euen all the time that Hee was in the world: As our sinnes were laide vpon Him, so the curse of God was on Him, pursuing our sinne: All these three and thirtie yeeres that Hee liued in the worlde, the curse of God goes neuer off Him: for the curse of God neuer leaues sinne. A wicked man [Page 131] will seeme to bee blessed, and to prosper, and who will sit at such ease as he will, play him, and blesse himselfe in his owne heart, but vvhen hee comes to a miserable ende, and dies a miserable death, when the miserable death appeares, then the world sees, that that man was cursed. It appeared not that Iesus Christ vvas cursed, till He vvas dying, and going to be nailed on the Crosse, then all the vvorld sees that Hee is cursed, beside all the things that sinne brings on a man to: it shall bring thee to a shamefull death: and if thou bee not found in Iesus Christ, and bee not couered with His Crosse, then thou shalt die in the ende a cursed death: although thou be in thy bed, and thy Wife, thy friends, and all thy children about thee, the death that thou shalt die, shall be accursed. Blessed are they who die in the Lord: Cursed are they vvho die not in the Lord, let them be hanged, beheaded, or die in their bed, terrible shall be that death that followes after this death: The death that He died, vvas a sore & odious kinde of death, to a man to be taken quicke, and nailed quicke on the Crosse: and no doubt, Hee hang for the space of three houres: so as ye death of those vvho are not in Christ, is accursed, so it is sore: He suffered not only this paine in body, No, the chiefe torment vvas in ye soule, & it vvas tormented vvith that bitter sense of the vvrath of the Father. It is not a death of the bo­dy that sinne brings on, it brings an extreame bitter paine to the soule. The Lord dies not in a moment, hee is dying, and not dead, a viue image of the death of hell: thou shalt die in the paine of hell, and neuer get an end. Those vvho die in Christ, die vvhat death they will, bee they beheaded, or hanged, or drawne in raxes, or burnt, they shall neuer die a cursed death: their death is a sweete death, and all the joyes that euer was, shall issue of their death: It must be so, What makes a cursed death but sinne: and if thou be in Him, as IESVS was crucified: so thy sinne is nailed vpon His backe: and therefore beeing taken away, what must followe, but that thou must be glorified.

And either thou shalt bee crucified thy selfe, No, not in the Earth, but in the Hells euerlastingly: or els thou must haue thy sinnes crucified on the Crosse of IESVS CHRIST, and be partaker of his death: and therefore, if any of vs would die a blessed death (it is certaine, that wee must die) let vs see whether our sinne was crucified with Christ, or not: Shall I haue no war­rand of the death of sinne in mee, and that I was crucified with [Page 132] IESVS CHRIST, and am freed of all paine eternallie, tho­rowe His Crosse? Will yee that I shall tell you, howe yee shall get the certaintie of this? Looke if thou findest a continuall death of sinne, looke if thou findest this regeneration and a newe life, and loue of GOD and a delite to serue Him in some measure, then assure thy selfe, that thy sinne was crucified on the Crosse with IE­SVS CHRIST: and, if thou liuest in wantonnesse, and gettest no mortification, thou shalt bee crucified in the Hell, yea, though thou were a King. Our lordes and gentlemen will passe their time, but I denounce, albeit thou bee an Emperour, thou shalt bee tor­mented, and consumed awaye by that eternall vvrath of GOD in Hell. Goe on thy vvayes. O, the vvorlde is sleeping! Shall they neuer knowe vvhat they are adoing? What are these oppres­sors doing? these murtherers doing? these adulterers and fornica­tors doing? Is there anie care of Heauen in them? Is Heauen or Hell but tales? No, no: it shall bee the terriblest sight that euer thou sawe. It is not as men saye, to wit, Hell is but a boggarde to scarre children onelie: No, thy miserable soule shall finde in wo­full experience the dolour and woe of that place.

Nowe it restes, that I speake about the houre in the which Hee vvas crucified. Onelie Sainct MARKE calles it, About the thirde houre. Then apparentlie, the LORD IESVS vvas nayled on the Crosse betwixt eleuen and twelue of the clocke: And a little before twelue Hee vvas mounted vp vpon the Crosse: for betwixt the sentence of Condemnation and Execution, there passed not an houre: For there vvas a malicious earnestnesse to hasten Him to the Crosse, neither vvoulde they giue Him leasure to drawe His breath. This lets vs see the fearcenesse of the vvrath of the Father vvhen Hee judges sinne. After that Hee vvas once condemned, Hee gotte no rest, but vvas hastened to the place of Execution, to suffer paine and shame. Looke still to the grounde. This judge­ment is the type of the latter judgement: if the sentence of con­demnation bee passed, immediatelie thou shalt bee pulled awaye (looke to it as yee vvill) to euerlasting torment. Therefore, bles­sed is that soule that hath part of the suffering of IESVS CHRIST. To Him, therefore, vvho once vvas ignominious, and now is glo­rious, bee all Honour for euermore: AMEN.

THE XV. LECTVRE, OF THE PASSION OF CHRIST.

MATTH. CHAP. XXVII.

verse 35 And when they had crucified him, they parted his garmentes, and did cast lots, that it might bee fulfilled, which was spoken by the Prophet, They diuided my garmentes among them, and vpon my vesture did cast lots. verse 36 And they sate and watched him there. verse 37 They set vp also ouer his head his cause written, THIS IS IESVS, THE KING OF THE IEVVES. verse 38 And there were two thickes crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left.

MARKE CHAP. XV.

verse 24 And when they had crucified him, they parted his garments, casting lottes for them, what euerie man should haue. verse 25 And it was the thirde houre when they crucified him. verse 26 And the title of his cause was written aboue, THAT KING OF THE IEVVES. verse 27 They crucified al­so with him two thieues, the one on the right hand, and the other on his left. verse 28 Thus the Scripture was fulfilled, which saieth, And hee was counted among the wicked.

LVKE, CHAP. XXIII.

verse 33 And when they were come to the place which is called Caluarie, there they crucified him, and the euill doers; one at the right hand, and the other at the left. verse 34 Then said IESVS, Father, forgiue them: for they knowe not what they doe. And they parted his raiment, and cast lottes.

verse 35 And the people stood, and behelde: and the Rulers mocked him with them, saying, Hee saued others: let him saued himselfe, if hee be that Christ, the Chosen of God. verse 36 The souldiers also mocked him, and came, and offe­red him vineger, verse 37 And said, If thou bee the King of the Iewes, saue thy selfe. verse 38 And a superscription was also written ouer him, in Greeke letters, and in Latine, and in Hebrew, THIS IS THAT KING OF THE IEVVES.

[Page 134]
IHON, CHAP. XIX.

verse 18 Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and IESVS in the mids. verse 19 And Pilate wrote also a title, and put it on the Crosse, and it was written, IESVS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE IEVVES. verse 20 This title then read manie of the Iewes: for the place where IESVS was crucified, was neare to the Citie: & it was written in Hebrew Greeke, and Latine. verse 21 Then said the hie Priests of the Iewes to Pilate, Write not, The King of the Iewes, but that he said, I am King of the Iewes. verse 20 Pilate answered, What I haue writ­ten, I haue written.

IN these dayes past (beloued in the LORD IE­SVS) wee haue brought this Historie of the Pas­sion of Iesus Christ, to the verie act it selfe, to the crucifying of Him vpon the Crosse. The last daye we spake something of His crucifying, and last wee spake of the houre of the day, in the which He was crucified: MARKE names it to haue bene about the third houre of the daye, which according to our reckoning, and our fashion of diuiding of the daye, fell about the twelfth houre of the daye: which manifestes a verie hastie dispatch and a short space betwixt the doome, and the execution: yea, all this matter was very hasti­lie dispatched, for Hee was taken in the night, in the which Hee gotte no rest, but was hurried first to Annas, and from him to Caia­phas Hall, and then before Pilate the Romane Iudge, and there be­fore him condemned: So that Hee is taken in the night, and the next day before twelue a clocke Hee is crucified. In the night Hee is taken, and brought before the Iudge: The accusation passeth: The doome is giuen: and He is crucified on the morrow following before twelue of the clocke. Nowe to passe by the malice of the Jewes, and their earnestnesse to haue the Lord put to death, we shall marke, that all this judgement wee maye see the swiftnesse of the wrath of the Father, which pursued the Sonne, because He bare the sinnes of the worlde. It lets vs see plainlie that the judgement that shall bee in the latter daye, to the which this is proportionate (it is a type of the latter judgement) that judgemēt also, I say shall passe ouer swiftlie, and the reprobate in that judgement, when the Lord is once entred into judgement, shall not gette leaue nor leasure to [Page 135] draw their breath, till they be castē into Hel. And after that the ter­rible Iudge shall once enter into accompt with them, and giue out that sentence, Depart from mee yee cursed of my Father, with the Deuill and his angelles, immediatelie those damned soules shall bee hurled to Hell. If the wrath was so swift vpon the Sonne of God Himselfe, what shall bee the swiftnesse of the wrath vpon the reprobate in that Great daye? Then come to the Text which we haue read, and to goe forwardes to speake of the thinges and circumstances that fell out in the time that the Lord did hang quicke nayled vpon the Crosse: for, as I haue already declared, Hee hung the [...]pace of three houres quicke, nayled vpon the Crosse, ere Hee gaue vp the ghoste. The first thing we haue to speake of, is concerning the two Thieues that were crucified with Him, the one at the one hande, and the other at the other hand. Next, wee shall speake of that prayer that Iesus conceiued whilest Hee was hanging on the Crosse before His enemies. And thirdly, wee shall speake of that title and inscription that Pilate commanded to bee fixed on the Crosse: to wit, IESƲS of Nazareth, the King of the Iewes: and this contained the crime and cause of His suffering. Last, wee shall speake of the diui­ding of His garmentes, and howe they cast lottes on His coate. All these heads are plaine, & they offer plaine doctrine. Then to come to the first; It is saide, that They crucified with him two thieues, two va­gabondes, two throat-cutters, and they crucified the one of them at his right hand, and the other at his left hand. And Hee hung on the Crosse in the middest betweene them both. They crucifie not the Lord Ie­sus Himselfe alone but betwixt two Thieues: and not at the side, but one of them at each side, and Him in the middest: g [...]uing out thereby to bee vnderstood by all the worlde, who looked on Him, (and there was an hudge multitude of Iewes, Romanes, and Gentiles, looking on) that of all Malefactors He was the greatest. Brethren, I see this thorowe all the Historie of the Passion of Iesus Christ, euer His dolour enc [...]easses, till it come to the ende & to the height. And I see this, that as His paine growes continually, So shame is heaped on His head continually: and whilest Hee is hanging on the Crosse, at the same time the greatest shame is heaped on His head: for Hee hanges vpon the Tree, betwixt the euill doers▪ as Prince of all euill doers in the worlde. To let you see, that as the paine of the reprobate shall bee extreame; so the sh [...]me and confu­sion that they shall suffer in Hell, shall passe all measure. In this cir­cumstance, [Page 136] as in all the rest, I looke not so much to the Iewes, and to their malice, as I looke to His Father in Heauen, to His wrath, and to His Iustice: it is Hee who is the chiefe worker of all these things. All the [...]e men, Pilate, Herode, the men of warre, and the High Priestes, they are like as many burrioes to that Iudge.

The LORD hanges on the Crosse in extreame paine of bodie and soule: and as Hee hanges, in extreame paine, so there is ex­treame shame joyned with it. Nowe, if the shame and paine was extreame, it must followe, that Hee bare an extreame but then of sinne: these goe together in GODS Iustice, extreame burthen of sinne, extreame paine, and extreame shame: for the Iustice of GOD requires, that extreame sinne bee punished by extreame paine and shame. It is true, the Martyres suffered greater shame & paine, than euer murtherer did, or malefactour: yet it followes not, that their sinne was greater than the sinne of them who suf­fers not so great paine. Why? The Martyres suffered not for sinne, Non eo nomine. Neuer a Martyre suffered for sinne, but for the testimonie of the same Lord Iesus Christ who suffered for their sinne: and therefore in their suffering they had an ex­ceeding great joy, assuring them, that they had a remissiō of their sinnes in the blood of the Lambe IESVS CHRIST. But IESVS CHRIST suffered for sinne Eo nomine: it is one thing to a sinner to suffer, & it is another thing to suffer for sin: No, if the Lord make thee to suffer for the least sin, if it were but for an euill thought, thou shalt feele howe terrible a Iudge Hee is. The LORD suffers, and is shamed for sinne: the Lord IESVS suffered extreame shame and paine: therefore the conse­quent followes, He bare an extreame but then of sinne. When I looke to this vtter shame, as I call to minde all the sinnes that IE­SVS suffered for: so chiefly, I looke to that high pride of Adam, and of vs all in Adam, whereby wee aspire to bee like to that High and glorious Majestie, that pride, whereby we would haue spoyled that great GOD of that honour and glorie which was due to Him: Therefore in this vtter shame, the Father of Heauen meetes, randers and requites that high pride of Adam ▪ and for that Hee heapes shame on the head of His Sonne: As thou aspirest to disho­nour Him by pride, so Hee meetes thy pride in His deare Sonne. If thou be not found in IESVS in that great day: the prouder thou bee in the worlde, the greater shall be thy shame, beside that [Page 137] vnspeakable torment of soule and bodie. Now, will yee see in this extreame paine & shame that the Lord suffers, how the won­der of our saluation is wrought: it is so farre from that, that it is wrought with a glorious pompe (the Iewes would haue had this worke wrought gloriously, and would haue had the Sauiour a glo­rious King, and therefore they stumbled at this, at the ignomi­nious Crosse of Iesus,) Yee see by the plaine contrarie, that there cannot be a greater paine nor shame. We are not bought by glorie nor pompe: wee are redeemed from death and shame, by death and shame: such a redemption cannot stand with His Iustice: His Iustice requires blood, Heb. 9.22, Noremission of sinnes without blood, Then euery one of vs, who would attaine to saluation, we must not looke to Heauen first, to get it in IESVS glorified, but we must looke to Hierusalem, and to Golgotha: first, To see Him there hang­ing and crucified: spare not to kisse Him on the Crosse, and to bathe thy selfe in His blood: and if thou takest offence at His Crosse, thou shalt neuer see Him in glorie, but to thy shame: No, by the contrarie, take on persecution with Him, that in that great day thou mayest be glorified with Him.

To goe forward, Luke in his 23. Chapter, verse 34. markes a cir­cumstance which is not marked by the rest, to wit, that IESVS prayed to His Father for His persecuters. This prayer apparantlie hath beene either at this time when they were striking the nailes thorow Him, or els very soone thereafter: howsoeuer, He is hanging on the Crosse at that time: The words are, Father, forgiue them▪ for they know not what they do: 1. Pet. Chap. 2. ver. 23, sayes of Him: When He was reuiled, Hee reuiled not againe: He rendred none euill words againe, when He suffered, Hee threatned not againe, but committed it to Him who judges righteouslie. When they were nailing Him on the Crosse, and scorning Him on it Hee shew not an angrie coun­tenance: Hee committed the vengeance to GOD. In these wordes, hee would let you see, a marueilous meeknesse and pa­tience in IESVS CHRIST, and therefore by the Prophets Hee was compared to a Lambe. No, neuer a Lambe suffered with such mildnesse, as IESVS did. But now in this Historie he goes somewhat further: hee lets vs see, that the LORD IE­not onely recompensed euill with euill: but Hee rewarded good for euill, & whilst they torment Him, he conceiues a feruent prayer for them: and this lets vs see not onely a wonderfull patience, [Page 138] but also a great loue and pitie He bare to His enemies. It is a won­derfull thing to see any in torment to bee patient toward the tor­menter, but it is greater in the torment, both to be patient, & to pray to GOD for him who torments him: and this is the greatest of all, to suffer for the tormenter. This loue properly pertain es to IESVS CHRIST onely. The Martyres haue prayed for them who persecuted them, as STEVEN did, Act, Chapter 7. verse 60. LORD, lay not this sinne to their change: but neither STEVEN, nor any other Martyre in the earth suffered extreame torment for the tormenter. Neuer a man had such a loue, to suffer for his tormenter: No, this loue is proper only to IESVS CHRIST: and in the Scripture it is ascribed vnto IESVS CHRIST, that Hee died for His enemies His tor­menters. These last wordes of that place of Peter, where hee sayes, Hee committed vengeance to Him who iudges righteously, are wor­thie of consideration: for there hee will let vs see the ground of patience in suffering, His eye was on His Father, and Hee sawe his Father to bee a just Iudge, and to take vengeance on them who persecuted them. Wouldest thou bee patient in suffering, goe not to reuenge, but put the reuenge in the hand of the Iudge: except a man haue this consideration, it is impossible for him to suffer a wrong patiently. And it is as true, that these men of this Lande, who in no measure are patient, but are ay reuenging: those who will doe two wrongs for one, (hee will glorie that hee hath slaine two for one, and hee will bragge of his foule murther: and say, I haue one slaine, he hath two, he hath better than his owne) It is impossible, I say, that these men cannot haue GOD before their eyes, they looke not to GOD, because in suffering injuries, they leaue not the reuenge to GOD, and so their damnation shall not bee so much for the wrongs, as because they vsurped the office of the Iudge, and gaue him not vengeance to whome it belongeth. Some of you may aske, how can this be, that Peter sayes. The LORD committed vengeance to His Father, stand with this, that Luke sayes, Hee prayed for them? howe can these two stand? To commit the vengeance to God, and to pray for thine enemies? I answere, These things are different, To commit vengeance to GOD, to commit a wicked man to his owne Iudge, and to begge a ven­geance to a wicked man: IESVS gaue them ouer to their owne Iudge, and gaue the Iudgement to GOD: hee begged not [Page 139] vengeance on them: hee prayes for them to his Father, that hee would forgiue them. To speake my minde heere: This Prayer that the LORD made vpon the Crosse, I take it not so much to be for the malitious Scribes, Pharises, and Priestes, who did this, not so much of ignorance, as of malice: For in the 17. Chapter and 9. verse hee sayes, I pray not for the worlde, but for them that thou hast giuen mee: As for the poore multitude of the Jewes, and the men of warre, and for the ignorant Gentiles, who were there. The effect declares the force and power of this Prayer, for by one preaching of Peter, there were three thousand soules cōuerted of the enemies of Christ, Act. Chapter 2. verse 41. No question this hastie con­uersion of so many, came of the effectualnesse of the Prayer that hee made to the Father, on the Crosse: yea, by appearance the force of that Prayer vttered it selfe then, when the multitude came from the spectacle of the Crosse home againe, knocking on their breasts. But consider the forme of the Prayer, hee sayes, Father, forgiue them, the reason is, They know not what they doe: But they are sillie blinded people, Paul 2. Cor. 2. Chapter verse. 8. sayes: If they had knowne what Hee was, they would not haue crucified the LORD of Glorie. Yee shall euer marke, Brethren, two series of sinners, and two sorts of sinning. There are some malitious sinners, woe to those. Some are ignorant: some sinnes of knowledge: yea, the malice of the heart drawes them to a mischiefe: and some because they know no better, beeing wrong informed. No doubt, many of this multitude thought they were doing good seruice to GOD: Malice in sinning, makes a man inexcusable, and closes his mouth before that Iudge: yee shall see this one day. The ma­licious sinners, when the sentence shall bee pronounced against them, shall not whisper once againe: But ignorance, albeit it makes not a man inexcusable (it will neuer excuse thee before that great Iudge, Beguile not thy selfe, thou shalt not once open thy mouth, and say, LORD, the thing that I did, I did it of igno­rance: and therefore I deserued not death) yet it is not so euill as malice: for whereas malice prouokes the wrath, and judge­ment of the Iudge: for it is a terrible thing to haue an mali­cious heart, and of set purpose to sinne against the Iudge. Ig­norance will mooue the Iudge to pitie and commiseration: and so, ye see, the LORD seeing the poore ignorant multitude Hee pities them, and as Hee pities them, so Hee prayes for them: [Page 140] Ignorance mooued Him to pittie, and to praye for them. In a worde: The Christian man that is persecuted wrongfullie, either hath to doe with malicious men, (wee may finde this in experience ere wee die) who persecute of malice: or with enemies, who are not so much malicious, as ignorant: if hee haue to doe vvith ma­licious persons, patience is required: but if hee haue to doe with ignorant bodies, then not onelie patience is required, but also rueth and loue. Wouldest thou haue patience? then commit ven­geance vnto Him vvho judges justlie: for if thou vvouldest bee patient, looke to thy GOD, and saye, I commit thee in the hands of the Iudge. And, if thou haue to doe vvith an ignorant, see that thou bee pittifull: looke to the ignorance of them that persecute thee; and thou shalt not so soone looke to their blindnesse, but thou shalt not onelie bee patient, but also pittifull, and the ig­norant vvill seeme to bee miserable, and to bee pittied: for this is certaine, that the innocent man, vvho is persecuted, is not so much to bee pittied, as hee vvho of blinde ignorance persecutes him. Alas! What is to bee pittied, but that vvhich procures dam­nation before GOD? So ignorant blinded bodies are moste to bee pittied.

Nowe consider howe all rankes and sortes of people shame Him: and first Pilate shames Him, and commaundes an inscription and title to be vvritten on the Crosse, bearing the crime and cause of His death: It is saide, that Pilate the Iudge, Writeth a title to bee fixed on the Crosse: and bee writeth it, in Hebrew, and in Grecke, and in Latine, to the ende, that men of all Languages might reade it, and vnderstand it, and the effect thereof is this, IESƲS of Naza­reth, the King of the Jewes. This was in Hebrewe, in Greeke, and in La­tine: three Languages, to bee read by Hebrewes, Graecians, & Romanes. There is no question, but this was written according to the fashion of that time: for among the people of GOD, both the judge­mentes and also the punishmentes, vvith inscriptions containing the cause thereof, vsed to bee publicked. And this vvas a com­mendable and allowable custome, that vvhen a man vvas con­demned to die, they alwayes vsed to put vp an inscription, con­taining the crime and cause: to testifie, that hee vvas vvorthilie executed. According hereunto they handle the Lord IESVS: for they lead ye whole proces in the sight of ye people, & went not into a corner to judge Him, but in the presēce of ye whole people, they led [Page 141] Him out of the Portes of Hierusalem, to execute Him. Reade of this custome, Iosh. Chapter 7. verse 19. Of Achan, who stolle the Babylonians garment, how hee was judged of the whole people. Read of that blasphemer, in the wildernesse, Leuit. 24.23. how be­fore the whole people hee was executed publikly. Reade of Ionathan, how hee was judged and condemned of his father Saul, in the sight of the whole people, 1. Sam. Chapter 14. verse 5. As the Iudgement was publicke, so they vsed to put an inscription aboue them, to testifie to the people their crime, and the cause of their death, that they died justly. It is no small matter to slay a man, albeit hee were the poorest that euer was, and there is not a Prince in the face of the earth, that may slay a man without a good cause: No, not the Emperour hath that power. And as no man should bee slaine lightly: so if there bee a just cause of execution, the man may not be executed priuily at the pleasure of the Iudge, but if there bee good justice, the Iudgement must be before the people. The people haue their owne right and entresse in judge­ment seates.

Yee know in that great Iudgement of the world, which shall be at the latter day, not one shall be judged and condemned without the approbation and consent of the whole Elect, which shall stand round about their Lord. Then, how much more hath the people, at the least the best part, entresse in earthly Iudgements, to see good administration of justice, and Iudgement, and that the Iudge vse no Tyrannie. This then was the cause of this Inscription, euen that the cause of the death of Iesus should bee made mani­fest to the people, according to common commendable custome. But Pilate had another respect: Pilate did this, not so much, that the people should know the cause of His death: for his conscience tolde him that He was innocent, as he put it vp, to reuenge him on the malicious Iewes, who compelled him against his heart and con­science to condemne Him. Hee will haue this put vp, that their King was hanged, and that they hanged Him with their owne hands. But GOD hath His part heere, and all was gouerned by that heauenlie Prouidence, Neither is Pilate, nor the Iewes heere so much to be looked to, as the dispensation of the Father, As Pilate did it for one ende, so the LORD did it for another ende: Men will doe a thing vpon an euill intent, GOD will doe the same thing by a wicked instrument to His good ende, by [Page 142] His effectuall prouidence Hee will haue this to be put vp, to ratifie the Heauenly and Spirituall Kingdome of IESVS CHRIST: and Hee vvill let them all see, that IESVS is the onely King: and inspeciall by this inscription the LORD vvill haue it testi­fied to the vvorlde, that as IESVS hung vpon the Crosse vvith paine and shame, that so likewise vpon the same Crosse He trium­phed gloriously ouer His enemies: ere Hee came to Heauen, on the Crosse Hee gotte victorie, and Hee triumphed ouer them all, and ledde them all captiues on the Crosse, as it is vvritten to the COLOSS. CHAP. 2. VERS. 15. More than this: The LORD did it to this ende, To fore-shaddowe, that the preaching of the Kingdome of IESVS CHRIST, to followe on His Ascension should bee to all Nations▪ Kingdomes, and Languages: for imme­diately after that Hee passed out of the vvorld, IESVS vvas pro­claimed to all Nations the King of Glory, and continues to this day, and shall bee for euer. Pilate is a preacher heereof, albeit hee haue little minde of it: but hee vvas like Caiaphas, vvho prophesied, that it vvas expedient, that one shoulde die for the sinnes of the vvhole people, CHAP. 11. VERS. 40. And this is done by the speciall prouidence of GOD, no doubt. The constancie of Pilate in his sentence and vvriting, notwithstanding the strong opposi­tion of the Scribes and the High Priestes, vvho desired him to alter and change the title, and for that vvhich vvas vvritten by Pilate, to vvit, This is the King of the Jewes, to vvrite, That Hee saide Hee was the King of the Iewes: this declares that it vvas of the immutable decree of GOD. Pilate had no power to alter one letter of it for his life. GOD ledde the pene of him so, that hee had no power to doe otherwise, to testifie, that it vvas of that Eternall decree. And this is that drecree vvhereof vvee reade, PSAL. 2.7. I will declare the decree, that is, The Lord hath saide vnto mee, Thou art my Sonne, &c. This decree is vnchangeable, it must bee executed, and it shall last to the ende of the vvorlde: And I saye, the LORD IESVS shall bee King in despite of the IEVVES and the High Priestes, and all His enemies, and that one daye vvee shall see to the full joy of our heartes: To that Glorious King, vvith His Father, and the Holie Spirite, bee Honour and Glorie for euermore, Amen.

THE XVI. LECTVRE, OF THE PASSION OF CHRIST.

MATTH. CHAP. XXVII.

verse 39 And they that passed by, reuiled him, wagging their heads,

verse 40 And saying, Thou that destroyest the Temple, and buildest it in three dayes, saue thy selfe: if thou bee the Sonne of God, come downe from the Crosse. verse 41 Likewise also the high Priesles mocking him, with the Scribes, and Elders, and Pharises, said, verse 42 Hee saued others, but hee cannot saue himselfe: if hee bee the King of Israel, let him nowe come downe from the Crosse, and wee will beleeue in him. verse 43 Hee trusted in God, let him deli­uer him now, if hee will haue him: for hee said, I am the Sonne of God.

verse 44 The selfe same thing also the thieues which were crucified with him, cast in his teeth.

MARKE, CHAP. XV.

verse 29 And they that went by, railed on him, wagging their heads, and saying, Hey, thou that destroyest the Temple, and buildest it in three dayes,

verse 30 Saue thy selfe, and come downe from the Crosse. verse 31 Likewise also, euen the high Priestes, mocking, saide among themselues, with the Scribes, Hee saued other men, himselfe hee cannot saue. verse 32 Let Christ the King of Israel now come downe from the Crosse, that wee may see, and belieue. They also that were crucified with him, reuiled him.

LVKE CHAP. XXIII.

verse 35 And the people stood, and behelde: and the Rulers mocked him with them, saying, Hee saued others: let him saue himselfe, if hee be that Christ, the Chosen of God. verse 36 The souldiers also mocked him, and came, and offe­red him vineger, verse 37 And said, If thou bee the King of the Iewes, saue thy selfe. verse 38 And a superscription was also written ouer him, in Greeke letters, and in Latine, and in Hebrew, THIS IS THAT KING OF THE IEVVES.

[Page 144]
IOHN CHAP. XIX.

verse 23 Then the Souldiours, when they had crucified Iesus, tooke his gar­mentes, (and made foure partes, to euerie Souldiour a part) and his coat: and the coat was without seame, wouen from the top thorowout.

verse 24 Therefore they said one to another, Let vs not diuide it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall bee. This was, that the Scripture might bee fulfilled, which saieth, They parted my garmentes among them, and on my coat did they cast lottes. So the Souldiours did these thinges indeede.

THE time that IESVS CHRIST is hanging on the Crosse, (Brethren) and whilest Hee is in extreame paine and torment, those that stand by they set themselues to doe Him all the shame they can, to the ende, that in that agonie Hee might haue the more annoy and griefe. I cannot diuide better that shame that they did Him, than from the persons who went about to shame Him: the whole, both Iewes and Gentiles, are set to shame Him: And therefore, after He is con­demned, they take two Thieues, and they crucifie them with Him, the one at the one hand, and the other at the other, and Iesus the Innocent in the middest, as if He had beene the greatest of all. Then there is not a ranke of persons amongst them, but euery one be­gins to raile vpon Him, and shame Him. And first to begin at Pi­late, hee begins and shames Him, for hee writes an inscription con­cerning treason against the Majestie of Caesar, and affixes it on the Crosse, where Hee hung, This is the King of the Iewes: howbeit to speake the trueth, Pilate sought more the shame of the Iewes, who by their obstinacie compelled him to giue out the sentence of death against the Innocent, than the shame of Iesus Christ: and by the in­scription the Lord will haue the Iewes shamed, because they hanged their King. But we haue spoken of Pilates part the last day: there­fore nowe let vs goe forward to the partes of all the rest. Then after Pilate, comes in the executioners, who with their hands had nayled Him on the Crosse. It appeares by the wordes of Iohn, speaking of the diuiding of His garmentes into foure partes, that there vvere foure Executioners: (or Hang-men) So that euery one of them got a part thereof. These in contempt, and in despite of Him, in His face, whilest as Hee hanges on the Crosse, they take His garmentes, [Page 145] and diuide them in foure partes, and on his coat they cast lottes. Then af­ter the Hang-men, comes the people, and they wagge their heads on him, and in despite, and bitternesse of heart, they raile on him, and saye, Is this the man that saide hee woulde destroye the Temple, and builde it vp againe? Is it likelie that Hee can doe this, vvho cannot saue Him­selfe from the Crosse? Then comes there the Princes of the IEWES, the SCRIBES, the High PRIESTES, and PHARISES, and they taunt Him also, saying, Thou who sauedst others, saue thy selfe. And after them, comes in the men of vvarre, the ROMANE Souldioures, and they beginne to raile out also, and They offered him Vineger to drinke, and saide, If thou bee the King of the IEVVES saue thy selfe, and come downe from the Crosse. And last, one of the Thieues, vvho vvas hanged vvith Him, falles out in rayling, If thou bee that CHRIST, saue thy selfe and vs.

But nowe wee shall speake of euerie one of these in particular as the LORD shall giue vs grace: and first vvee beginne at the part of the Hang-men. Then in His sight, whilest hee hanges, they take his garmentes, (and made foure partes of them, that euerie one of the men might haue a part thereof: and as for his coat, because it had no seame, and was not sowed, but was a wouen coat, from the toppe thorowout: therefore, they woulde not diuide it, but woulde cast lottes for it, whose it shoulde bee. And all this was done, that that which was prophesied (by Dauid, vvho vvas the figure of Christ, Psal. 22.19.) might bee fulfilled, which saieth, They diuided my garmentes among them, and on my coat did cast lottes.

Now to let you see that these Hangmen did nothing in all this action, but that which from all eternitie was appointed to bee done in the councell of GOD. To examine this fact better: First they doe Him vvrong in spoyling the LORD IESVS of His owne goods: (Howsoeuer they esteemed of Him, yet Hee vvas innocent) Next, they doe Him shame, in stripping Him, and set­ting Him naked vpon the Crosse, in the sight of all the worlde. And last of all, they despite Him, and contemne Him, in taking His garmentes, and parting them in His owne presence, vvhere He Himselfe might behold it. So they did Him vvrong, shame, and despite. But Brethren, as in all other circumstances conjoyned with the Passion. I looke not so much to men, as to the Lord: So heere I looke not so much to these executioners in parting of these gar­ments, as to that Heauēly Iudge His Father, & to His justice in this matter: for whatsoeuer bee their part, and howe vnjust soeuer they [Page 146] bee, that Heauenly Father is just, and that burthen of our sinne vvhich Iesus Christ tooke vpon Him, deserued all this: as suretie for vs, Hee demerited all this.

Nowe to examine more narrowly euerie one of these: to wit, the wrong, shame, and despite, wee shall see howe justly all is done: if yee will looke to His Father, and first consider the wrong done vn­to Him, in taking His cloathes: Hee was wearied of His garments, because Hee was cledde with our sinne. Nowe woulde to GOD that wee could feele in mercy this weight of sinne, which our Me­diator did beare vpon His backe for vs: for then wee woulde not runne on so wantonly as wee doe. And it telles vs this, That a sin­ner that is not in Iesus Christ, vvho hath not put off sinne, but yet beares the burthen of sinne, hath no right to weare so much as a moste vile garment, yea, though it were but a bratte of a sacke to hide his shame from the sight of the worlde; let bee Golde, Siluer, or precious rayment: and if it shall fall out at any time, that hee be reaued and spoyled of his cloathes, let him take it to bee of the just judgement of GOD, whatsoeuer bee mans part therein. And though the Thieues bereaue him, yet the GOD of Hea­uen is just in punishing of him, whatsoeuer part man hath in the action. Yet it telles vs more, for I tell you still, that this judgement of Iesus Christ is the image and figure of the latter judgement: for such processe as is vsed heere, shall bee vsed in the latter judge­ment. Then, I saye, it telles vs, that in that latter daye, a reprobate and sinner, vvho shall not bee founde in Iesus Christ, shall bee de­priued, and spoyled of all the creatures, made for the vse and or­nament of man, and there shall neuer a one of them bee left him, neither shall hee haue so much a foot-breadth of earth, or the mea­nest commoditie in the worlde: yea, albeit hee were a king, let him haue possessions, kingdomes, and the whole earth now, but then there shall not bee any thing in this worlde that hee shall possesse at that daye, but shame in the Hell for euermore. Where by the contrary, they who shall bee founde in Iesus Christ, shall not onelie bee cladde with incorruption and glory in Christ; but also shall be put in possession of a newe Heauen and newe Earth, to reigne with their Head and Lord Iesus Christ for euermore. Yee see then what happinesse it is to bee founde in Iesus Christ at that Great daye. O the misery of him vvho shall bee founde out of Him!

Nowe to come to that shame which Hee suffers on the Crosse. [Page 147] The Father, thorowe His nakednesse heerein also is just: Hee vvas cledde on the Crosse with our sinnes. It telles vs this: that among all the punishmentes of sinne, this is one, to wit, nakednesse, to set the body naked in the sight of the worlde. Yee reade in Esay. 3.17. where the sinfull women are threatned for their pride, that the Lord IEHOVAH shall make naked and discouer their secret parts to the world. But to speake of the latter day: beside all the rest of the pu­nishments of the reprobate, the nakednesse of their carcases shal be a punishment, they shall rise with foule bodies, whereas the Elect shall rise with glorified bodies: and the reprobate shall stand vp in the sight of all men & Angels, with naked bodies, that their shame may be seene, & they shall crie (to hide their shame) on the moun­taines, to couer them, and on the hilles to fall on them. Now last to speake of that despite that Hee suffered: They parte His garmentes before Him, in despite of Him: They goe not to a backside to deale them. Looke to Gods dealing heere: this is a just thing with God, that hee who is a sinner, and who in contempt and despite of God hath sinned, that he be contemned againe, and suffer despite open­lie. And Christ, among all other punishmēts, bare this punishment of contempt vpon the Crosse. Then if contempt be done vnto thee, who art a sinner, & not in Iesus Christ, not cledde with His justice, in respect of God; it is due justice, if thy goods be taken and pulled from thee before thine eyes, if thy sonnes bee slaine in despite of thee, or thy virgins destored, thy selfe looking on, take it for the just judgement of God. In the latter daye, beside all the punishmentes that shall fall vpon a reprobate, despite shall be done to them. If it were but this, that the persons whome they disdained, contemned, and spitted vpon, shall bee glorified in despite of them. So to ende this: This teaches vs, howe good a thing it is to bee in Iesus Christ, and howe blessed that bodie shall bee vvho is founde in Him. And as for thee, who art out of Iesus Christ, woe shall be to thee, suppose thou were an Emperour. Nowe to goe forwarde: After the Hang-man, and after their despite, followes the part of the people vvho gazed on Him, they beginne, and wagge their heads. Dauid foretelles of that in the 22. Psalme, vers. 7. They had mee in derision, and made a mowe, and nodde their heads, and they said, Is this the man who saide, hee would destroy the glorious Temple of Hierusalem, and builde it after in three dayes▪ Come downe from the Crosse, and saue thy selfe. They mistooke the LORD, for the LORD vnderstood of the Temple of His bo­die, [Page 148] which after three dayes by His glorious resurrection, hee should reedifie and builde vp againe: so the opprobrie that they cast vp to Him is this: He was wount to say, He would cast downe the Temple, and builde it vp againe in three dayes: But this is a thing impossible: and their ground they take from His present infirme estate, that inhabilitie He was in on the Crosse. So they gather of that, Seeing He could not free Himselfe, that the other was impossible. Before I marke or obserue any thing on this place, I shall followe out the scoffing, rayling, and mocking of others, After the people came in the Princes of the people, as High Priestes, Scribes, Pharises, Elders, and Rulers, and they raile on Him, saying, This man tooke on Him the Name of CHRIST, let vs see if He can saue Himselfe: As they would say, It is impossible to Him who now hangs so ignominiously to saue Himselfe. After them came the men of war [...]e, and in derision: They offer Him vineger to drinke, And they say, this is very like a King. How can He doe the dutie of a King, to deliuer the people, who cannot deliuer Himselfe. This they saide, because Hee had called Himselfe a King, to the prejudice, as they thought, of Cesars Kingdome▪ And lastly, one of the thieues rayled on Him, to wit, He that hang at His left hand, saying, So like as thou art that Christ who can neither saue vs nor thy selfe. Nowe, because the rayling of the whole is all to one effect: therefore, shortly I shall obserue some things in generall, as the Lord shall offer.

In all this rayling out against Him, yee see the extreame humi­liation of IESVS CHRIST, for our sinnes: Hee is made of no reputation: No, He is trodde on as a worme: And no question, that extreame torment of bodie was not so grieuous to Him, as was this rayling on Him. They speake to Him as a verie repro­bate: and so farre as lay in them, they endeuoured to make Him to despare of all helpe. So yee may seee, this rayling was a thing most grieuous to Him. And Dauid beeing His type, he complaines on this shame, that they heaped on Him, in the 22. Psalme. All this lets vs see, howe dearely the Lord hath bought our life and Saluation: And wee are more than miserable, if we see not this: And also it lets vs see, what should haue become of vs, if He had not satisfied for vs: and what should become of thee, if thou bee not in CHRIST in that great day. And it tells thee, seeing all this is for thy sinne, that thou shouldest haue a sadde heart [Page 149] to haue such a Redeemer made such a spectacle, and thou shouldest groane vnder the burthen of sinne: and when thou readest of the Crosse, thine heart should bee sorrowfull, that euer thou shouldest haue moued the GOD of glorie to such vengeance of His deare Sonne for thee. Thinke not that euery man shall bee relieued of his sinne by Him. No, onlie those who learne to groane vnder the burthen of their owne sinnes, by the which they haue pierced Him: and turne to the LORD vnfainedly, and get fauour. So if thou learnest not at one time or other to groane, vnder the burthen of thy sinne, thou shalt neuer be relieued by Him.

But to marke something of this railing: I see, that these things they cast vp to Him, is the verie verdict, whereupon they accused Him. They accused Him, because He called Himselfe the Christ, and because He called Himselfe the King of the Iewes: and because He said, that He would destroy the Temple, and build it vp againe the third day. So the very thing yt they cast vp to Him in despite, is ye very crime wherefore they condemned Him. Men would thinke, yt it should haue cōtented them to had Him hanging in torment: but Brethren, alas, the malice of the enemies of Iesus Christ is endlesse, there is none end of it: it will not bee the death of one Christian: yt wil satisfie them, it wil not be thy blood that wil quench their thirst: but in thy torment they will raile on, and striue to cause thee to despare, that thy soule may perish. There is such an extreame despite in their heartes, that they would haue thine ashes and thy bones to be exponed to opprobrie and shame, which hath lyen so long in the graue. See wee not this, howe the bones of faithfull Christians haue beene taken vp, and burnt by the Antichrist. The LORD saue vs from their crueltie: But here I lift vp mine eyes, and looke vnto GOD. The Lord Iesus, He suffered most justly, who was cled with our sinnes, and bare them on the Crosse for our cause: and it learnes thee this, that if thou sufferest opprobrie and shame▪ and men raile on thee, that thou goe euer to see, if thou be in Christ, in thy suffering: for if thou be out of Christ, woe is to thee, for that is but the beginning and forerunner of that paine and shame that thou shalt suffer in Hell. I tell this more, in that lat­ter day, when ye reprobate shalbe cōdemned, their sin which was the cause of their death, shall euer be had in memory, but if once thou goest to Hell, ye remembrance of thy sin shall neuer be buried▪ but thy verdict shalbe cast in thy teeth, & thy cōscience shal taunt thee, [Page 150] and shal say to thee, Murtherer, thou delitedst in murther, now goe to murther, nowe free thy selfe out of Hell, if thou canst: and to them who followed Harlots, Thou delitedst in Harlotrie, and in offending of GOD thou vvho couldest not bee satisfied in plea­suring thy foole lustes, nowe satisfie thy selfe vvith these extreame tormentes; nowe goe to thy harlotrie, let see: And to the blas­phemer, Thou delitedst in blaspheming of GOD, nowe let see if thou dare blaspheme, goe thy way nowe, and blaspheme: And to the Idolater, Thou delitedst in worshipping of Idolles, and lef­test the worshipping of the true GOD; nowe goe thy waye to Idolatrie, &c. Nowe, woulde to GOD the worlde coulde think [...] Hell to be earnest. This torment and rayling in the death of CHRIST, is an image of the torment of Hell.

I see heere further, that besides this, there is a grounde of all their opprobrie, to wit, that shamefull Crosse which IESVS was hanging on: They thought, that seeing IESVS was crucified, it was impossible for Him to cast downe the Temple, and to build it vp againe: They thought it was impossible for Him to saue the worlde, seeing Hee coulde not saue Himselfe: and that Hee coulde not doe the duetie of a King, vvho was alreadie hanged: How be­comes it a King to bee hanged? The cause of their offence vvas that shame which Hee suffered and that they sawe that Hee could not deliuer Himselfe. The Crosse of Iesus is foolishnesse to the worlde: & blessed are they who will not take offence at the Crosse of Christ. Looke howe they are deceiued in their judgements: Be­cause the Crosse was the onely meane whereby Hee shoulde haue done all things, when Hee was hanging, was He not destroying the Temple of His body, that after three dayes, by His glorious resur­rection Hee might builde it vp againe? And when Hee was on the Crosse, did Hee not the office of Christ? that is, of an anointed Priest: for then Hee was offering that Sacrifice of His body to the Father: And was He not by the Crosse purchasing to Himselfe and to vs a glorious Kingdome? Yea, on the Crosse, Hee like a glorious King, triumphed ouer the Deuils and made an open shew of them: for Hee had a battell with the Deuils on the Crosse, and triumphed ouer them all. Col. 2.15. This same blindnes of the world remaines still in it: for when the world sees a body vnder afflictiō, in pouerty, bu [...]nt or martyred for Christs sake, then the world thinkes it is im­possible that that body can attaine to glory. They thinke him as an [Page 151] out-cast, and will scorne his profession. They will saye, Are these your Christians? of all men they are the moste miserable, if that be the waye to Heauen, I will renounce to goe that way, this is rather the waye to goe to Hell. This is the voyce of the worlde: And the cause is, because miserable catiues know not what sinne is, which at that time behooued to bee purged by the Crosse: for the justice and Majestie of GOD beeing offended, required that it shoulde bee so: and nowe in vs sinne thorowe manifolde crosses and af­flictions must bee mortified. Let the vvorlde thinke and speake as it pleases, the onely waye whereby thou shalt come to life, is suffe­ring and affliction: and thou must thinke this, that wee must bee racked thorowe Hell, ere wee come to Heauen. Our redemption is wrought by the Crosse: thou shalt not come to Heauen, but by the Crosse. The ground of all is sinne: But alas, the world sees it not. The word will teach thee, that there is no other vvay to come to Heauen, but by affliction: and it will thee, that if thou bee not purged and changed by trouble and affliction, thou shalt neuer see Heauen. Alas, that wee coulde once grone vnder sinne. And bles­sed is the soule, that hath a sight of the weight of sinne: and vvoe to that soule, that hath no sight of sinne.

To goe forwarde: I see in this Thiefe, vvho rayles on Christ, some speciall thing: hee hath a particular of his owne, hee is in torment, and therefore hee saies, Jf thou bee that CHRIST, saue thy selfe and vs. Brethren, a torment, vvhatsoeuer it bee, if it bee not the better sanctified, it vvill mooue the creature to fall out in blasphemie: thou vvilt blaspheme both in heart and mouth, and thou vvilt saye, that there is no power in GOD to saue thee: And the Thiefe in effect saide this, There is no power in thee to saue mee▪ I renounce thee as a Sauiour: and, if thou confesse His power, thou wilt denie His mercie, and vvilt saye, GOD is but a Tyrant. And, if thou vvilt saye, Hee is mercifull: bee mercifull to vvhome Hee vvill, Hee cannot bee mercifull vnto mee: This last distrusting of mercie to thy selfe, is a great sinne. And that to saye altogether, that there is no mercie in GOD, it is a plaine blasphemie. And last, to saye, there is no power in GOD it is to denie GOD to bee GOD: For howe can Hee bee GOD, if Hee vvant power? So I thinke, that this catiue hath beene a great blasphemer of that Majestie: and vvhen I looke on it, I see in him the image of the death of the reprobate, vvhen they are dying and [Page 152] changing this life. (The Lord giue vs grace to die well.) The re­probate shall thinke, that in their doing, God hath no power to saue them: for, of all men in the worlde, the reprobate is the most Ioath to die: for either they shall thinke that God is not merci­full at all, or else at least, that there is no mercie in Him for them: and so the miserable creature will turne his backe on GOD, and immediately shall cast himselfe into Hell and damnation. Wee reade of Sidrach, Mesach, and Abednego, that they were so farre from this blasphemie, that when the Tyrant falles out in blasphe­mie, they meete him, and saye, Our GOD is Almightie, and Hee hath power to deliuer vs if Hee please. Neuer come thou to despaire, though thou shouldest die tenne thousande deathes: but sleepe in His bosome, & hang on Him, and saue His honour, and thinke not that which maye derogate His honour, and saye, Though thou shoul­dest slaye mee, LORD, yet will I trust in thee, and so die sweetlie, re­sting in His armes. Well, I see this hath beene a miserable bodie, and hath died miserablie, blaspheming the God of Glorie: and this is euen as the reprobate shall doe at the latter Iudgement. And yet when I compare him with the Pharises and Priests, I find their blas­phemie greater than his. Well shall it bee to the Thiefe, in respect of them, for they had knowledge, and hee wanted. Who shoulde haue had knowledge but they? They had no torment, hee had sore torment. What neede had they to blaspheme? Therefore, their condemnation shall bee greater than his. And vvhen I compare this blasphemie of the Thiefe with the blasphemie of some men in these dayes, vvho when anie crosse falles vpon them without their expectation, vvill saye, What can GOD doe more vnto mee? so in effect denying power to bee in GOD, and in IESVS CHRIST: I count the blasphemie of these men to bee greater than his vvas. For nowe IESVS is in Glorie: and the Thiefe saw Him on the Crosse in miserie vvith himselfe. If thou now blas­phemest Him so, it were well done, that thy mouth were sowed vp, that thou neuer spakest a vvorde.

Nowe to ende vvith this. The LORD giue vs grace, that neither in thought nor in vvorde vvee dishonour that MAIE­STIE, but maye acknowledge His mercie and power towardes vs in IESVS CHRIST: To vvhome bee all Honour, Glorie, Praise, Power, and Dominion, both nowe and euermore, Worlde vvithout ende: AMEN.

THE XVII. LECTVRE, OF THE PASSION OF CHRIST.

LVKE CHAP. XXIII.

verse 40 But the other answered, and rebuked him, saying, Fearest thou not GOD, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? verse 41 We are indeede righteously heere: for wee receiue things worthie of that we haue done: but this man hath done nothing amisse. verse 42 And hee saide vnto Iesus, Lord, remember me when thou commest into thy Kingdome.

WEE heard the last day (Brethren) of all these railings and blasphemies that the Lord Iesus suffered of all rankes and estates of persons, whilest Hee hang on the Crosse naked, liuing in torment. Pilate began, & fixed on the Crosse an ignominious inscription, That Iesus was a Traitor against Caesar, and that He suffered death for His treason. Then the Hang-men, foure in num­ber, in despite, and in His sight, tooke his garmentes, and diuided them in foure partes: and because his coate had no seame, but was wouen tho­rowout, therefore they cast lottes for it, who shoulde haue it whole. Then comes on the people, with their part, and raile vpon Him, and blaspheme Him, saying, Nowe if thou bee that Christ, come downe and saue thy selfe. Then followe the high Priestes, the Scribes, and the El­ders, who raile on Him, and saye, Is this hee who will saue others? let see if hee can bee able to saue himselfe. Then the men of warre and Gen­tiles beginne to raile, if thou bee the King of the Iewes, saue thy selfe, and come downe from the Crosse. And then one of the Thieues railes out on Him, If thou be that Christ, saue thy selfe, and vs both: but nowe so like as thou art the Christ, thou art adying as vvell as vvee, and art neither able to s [...]ue thy selfe, nor vs: and therefore thou art not a King. Nowe, Brethren, yee maye perceiue that it was no [Page 154] prayer that this thiefe made to CHRIST, as some thinke.

Wee spake of this thiefe the last day: now we haue to speake of the part of the other thiefe: he is twitched with repentance: in an instant hee becomes penitent: and the inward conuersion of the heart to GOD, hee vtters outwardly in sundrie effects: First, perceiuing the other thiefe his companion to blaspheme GOD, the first action that he does, he defends the honour of the LORD against the other thiefe, and rebukes him: and after that, giues a free confession of his sinnes: and last, hee turnes to Iesus Christ hanging on the Crosse, and sayes, LORD remember mee when thou commest to thy Kingdome. The LORD answeres immediatly to the thiefe: Verily, thou shalt be with mee this day in Paradise.

To come then first to the rebuke hee giues to the other thiefe, Fearest thou not GOD? The meaning is, Thiefe, fye on thee, seeing thou hangs in a common miserie and torment with mee, and this man, fearest thou not GOD, who wilt blaspheme and rayle on Him, seeing thou art shortly to appeare before that Tribunall, and giue an account of all thine euill deedes, & chiefly of the blasphe­ming of the innocent. So hee takes vp the blaspheming from the fountaine, and hee lets him see that his heart was voyde of the feare of GOD: for if hee had any sponke of the feare of GOD, he had not fallen out in rayling against the GOD of glorie.

We learne this lesson, that when the hand of GOD is lying on any man, and pressing him to the death, then it is time to be hum­ble, and to feare the LORD, and that terrible Iudgement wherein thou must stand immediatly after this life: and if there appeare no feare of that Iudge in thee, and if thou vtterest a plaine rebel­lion, that testifies that his hande shall neuer leaue thee, vntill it bruise thee in powder, and thrust thee to the lowest Hells. This is the thing that affliction should worke in vs, Humiliation and the feare of GOD. Learne the lesson at the thiefe. Proud soule, and proud creature, if thou wilt not learne at others: But as this re­buke testifies, that this should be: so the rayling of the other testi­fies, that it is not ay in men. There are some men whome all the torments in the worlde will not moue, ere they be the better, they will bee in Hell, hang them, naile them to the Crosse, teare them with pincers, they shall neuer bee the better. What is the cause of this? It is a wonderfull thing, that such trouble & torment should [Page 155] not worke some feare of GOD in the creature. But how can any affliction presse out of the creature that which was neuer in it. The feare of GOD is not in the hearts of many, and therefore howe can they vtter it: a rotten and withered sticke was neuer more meete to be burnt, than thou by nature. So we beeing by nature like as many rotten stickes, albeit wee were pressed with moun­taines, we shall neuer yeeld a sweete sappe, or any repentance: No, before we yeelde any droppe of repentance, we shall be bruised in powder: fye on nature: if thou werest a Prince, thou shalt goe to Hell, if thou haue no more but nature, if thou gettest not one d [...]oppe of grace. Yet yee see, that the other thiefe, when hee is pressed, yeeldes one droppe of sappe: hee becomes penitent, and is zealous of the glorie of the Lord IESVS. These are good effects: The Crosse that wrought euill in the other thiefe, workes good in this thiefe: But who made the difference? Who discerneth thee, saith Paul: Not nature: They were alike in nature, alike in mis­deedes, alike in a wicked life, the one had liued as wickedly as the other, alike in torment: It was IESVS that made the separa­tion, it was a happie time for the one thiefe, that euer he was cru­cified beside the LORD of glorie. The Lord IESVS made the difference: out of that fulnesse Hee powres out one droppe of His grace: He giues none to the other.

Learne this, that all troubles and afflictions, crosses, and all the torments in the worlde, shall neuer make thee better: All the tor­ments in the world, shall not worke one droppe of spirituall moy­sture out of thee: the torments may vvell p [...]esse out sowre and bitter sappe, as blasphemie, rayling, and despare, but no good sappe, as Faith, or Repentance: except thou get it of the fulnesse of IESVS CHRIST: and therefore my counsell is, When thou feelest the hand of the Lord on thee, & namely in the houre of death (a dangerous houre) turne thee to Iesus Christ, and say, thou mayest presse mee downe, but long ere I yeelde one droppe of grace, except thou giue it me: Lord, therefore giue me one drop of grace. Another thing I marke in the rebuke of the other thiefe. Common miserie should worke a mutual compassion: thou should piti [...] them who are in a like miserie with thee, and if thou doest it not, thou do [...]st as the euill thiefe did: I say thou hast no feare of God: & if thou raylest on him who is in miserie with thee, thine heart is full of the gall of bitternesse. By nature we are all alike in [Page 156] miserie: there is not a thing that becomes a sinner better, than to haue compassion on others: an heart without pitie, shall neuer be pitied, not neuer shall see life.

Now, to goe forward, when he hath said, Thou art in like damna­tion, lest that ye thiefe rebuked should haue thought, yt Christ should haue deserued that paine as well as hee (thinke not that they who are alike in miserie, are alike guiltie: No, no, ye are deceiued) Well, he meetes this, we suffer nothing but that which we demerite: I & thou are iustly in this common condemnation, but this man hath done nothing amisse. This rayling and paine, this man demerites not: yet if ye will weigh the wordes narrowly: wee shall see other two arguments, whereby hee rebukes this blasphemous companion. The first is, from their merites: The second from the innocencie of Christ: The first, thou meritest this torment: and therefore should not thy merite worke a feare of God, and a feare of an heauier judge­ment: Lord saue vs from the merite of sinne. When a man is in torment, and chiefly in death, the paine should worke a feare of God: and then considering the merite, there should strike a grea­ter feare in the heart, that there should ensue a greater damnation afterward. The consideration of merite should worke a feare, and the conscience should not so soone stand vp to accuse vs of sinne, but wee should be striken with a feare of that terrible Iudge: but euery man hath not this sense: the thiefe hath not that sense of the merite of the present paine, nor yet of the greater paine that was to insue. What is the cause of this, that euery man feeles not this, The conscience of the merite of sinne is not giuen to euery man: We are all sinners, and merites all our paine, we merite death and Hell. But, alas, where one gets the conscience of their merite, and feeles that they deserue death, ten wants it. It is a pitie to see, how many dies without sense like dogges, and then if it fall so, that one get the conscience of sinne in the houre of death, it falles out ofttimes, that they get not the sense of mercie. It may bee, that thou get the sense of sinne, and be stricken with a feare, but with a desperate feare: for with the sense and feeling of sinne, if there bee not also a sense of mercie, there is nothing but terrour, and a seruile feare. So thou shalt die like a vile slaue in damnation. So the conscience of this thiefes merite makes him to feare God: & no doubt, hee hath had a sweet sense of the mercy of God in Iesus Christ. But who made this difference? It was the Lord: [Page 157] It was a happie thing for this thiefe to be crucified with IESVS CHRIST: for all this slowed out of the Crosse of IESVS CHRIST. Therefore take vp the lesson. Thinke not that in the houre of death thou shalt bee twitched as thou shouldest, either with the feeling of thy sinne and miserie, or yet of mercie: except that thou sweetely turne thee to the Crosse of CHRIST, and say, LORD, I feele neither sense of my merite, and what my sinnes deserues, nor of mercie: LORD, therefore giue mee it, then the sweetnesse of that sense shall swallow vp that paine. No comfort in death but in IESVS CHRIST: except thine eyes be set on that Crosse, Woe is to thee, and woe to thee againe, and better for thee, if thou hadst neuer come in the world. Thou and I, sayes hee, suffer iustly. This confession witnesses the inward con­uersion to IESVS CHRIST: for when the heart of a sinner is turned to IESVS CHRIST, it will taste a such sweetnesse, that the creature will not care by that it bee shamed, so it can get that LORD in whome it feeles such a sweetnesse, glorified: it is a sure token, that these shamelesse sinners, these men who will not shame themselues in the sight of the worlde, but will stand in their pointes of honour, with GOD, these miserable soules, these bloodie murtherers, these adulterers, tasted neuer of that mercie in IESVS CHRIST.

If thou wouldest haue thy sinnes hid from the eyes of GOD, that terrible Iudge, then open them to the world, that the LORD may be glorified: and if thou hidest thy sinnes, the LORD shall rippe vp thy brest in that great daye, and let all the world see the most hid and secret corner of thine heart, to thy shame and con­fusion.

Nowe come to the thirde argument of reproofe, and it is taken from the innocencie of Iesus: This is an innocent and iust man, Fea­rest thou not GOD, to raile on the innocent: if He were guil­tie, as thou and I am, thy railing were more tollerable, but howe canst thou raile on this just man? The lesson is, Iust ones who suf­fer innocently, should not be railed vpon: the LORD keepe our mouthes from railing on them: if thy conscience tell thee of their innocency, reuile them not: & a man who suffers, may be innocent two manner of wayes: for either hee is innocent in himselfe, and not guiltie of that for which hee suffers, or els if hee bee a malefactour, and guiltie, he may be innocent through Faith [Page 158] and repentance through the blood of Iesus Christ, as this thiefe was innocent in Christ. Now if a man be innocent of that crime for which hee suffers, raile not on him on paine of thy life: and if thou findest him innocent in the blood of Iesus Christ, and findest him to haue true and vnfained repentance in Him, albeit he bee neuer so wicked, let him die, and suffer these paines hee should suf­fer: for repentance should not exeeme and free him from ciuile punishment: but beware thou raile on him: surely thy mouth should be stopped, to raile out on him. God forbid that an euill word be spoken out against him as a reprobate, whom the LORD Iesus countes innocent in His blood: for this railing testifies that thou counts that man as a reprobate: and that is too sore a judge­ment thou takes to thee. I see heere further, the LORD neuer leaues His Sonne without a testimonie of His innocencie: Pilate euer on testified His innocencie before hee condemned Him, and said, once, twise, thrise, I finde nothing worthie of death in Him: No, Pilate was neuer brought to say, that Christ was guiltie, suppose he condemned Him, but euer preached, and proclaimed His inno­cencie. Then when Hee is comming to suffer, the poore women followes and testifies: and now the poore penitent thiefe testifies the innocencie of Christ: and lastly, the men of warre were com­pelled to say, Of a trueth, this is the Sonne of God. And if ye consider well, yee shall see two thinges very contrarie: that of all men that suffered, He was both the most just, and the most vnjust: He was innocent in Himselfe, and Hee was guiltie in vs: and this for our consolation: for this lets vs seee, how meete a Mediatour He was for vs: my Sauiour must be innocent in Himselfe, Heb. 7.26. and He must bee guiltie in me. Thus farre this thiefe hath vttered that inward repentance, in rebuking the other for his blasphemie, and sinne, and in confessing his sinnes before the other thiefe and those that stood by: now followes the third effect, he turnes him to the Lord, and in all humilitie seeking remission, grace, and life, and sayes, Lord remember me when thou commest to thy Kingdome. Prayer should follow vpon confession of sinnes: but marke the word, hee calls Him Lord, albeit he saw Him hanging on the tree▪ there like a vile slaue, yet he acknowledges Him to be a King, when he ascri­beth a Kingdome to Him, albeit he sees Him hanging there like a slaue, yet he askes life of Him: albeit he saw Him in weaknesse, in torment, and at the point of death. All these things are maruei­lous, [Page 159] and ye shall see them the more marueilous, if ye will consider well the person of him who prayes, what a man before this time he was, and then what is his estate present, and last, the person of Him to whom he directs his Prayer.

This his conuersion was marueilous: if this man had beene trained vp in the schoole of Christ any space of time, it had beene lesse marueilous: but beeing trained vp in a denne of thieues, where hee had lost all kinde of equitie and naturalitie, where hee had liued like a beast, like a lyon, liuing by cutting of throates, theft, and by the bloode of men: this man to be turned from such an foule heart: to get faith, and seeke mercie so suddenly in a mo­ment: such sudden mutation is more than marueilous aad won­derfull.

Then will yee looke to his present estate: if he had bene free in the body without paine, so that he had gotten leasure and licence to looke thorow that body to His Kingdome, and to that eternall Life: then this doing had beene lesse marueilous: but beeing nai­led quicke on the Crosse, in such extreame paine, that might haue occupied and exercised all his senses: and when he is looking and waiting for the hand of the hangman to breake him quicke on the Crosse, to this man to haue driuen his senses, and to haue set them on a better life, from that hell hee was in, to that heauenly Life, it was more than wonderfull: and I say, it was as wonderfull, as if he had leapt out of the lowest hell, to the highest heauen.

Then come to the person of him to whome he prayes: if hee had seene Iesus Christ standing before him like a glorious King, it had beene lesse to haue beene wondered at, but hee is hanging in that shamefull death, and in greater shame than he: for they railed not on him, as they did on Christ (which, no question, was more grieuous than all torments, as if Hee had beene a reprobate from GOD) So if he had seene Him in glorie, it had bene no maruell, but to seeke life in a man who was dying ignominiously, and who was hanging in a worse estate than Himselfe, and to haue pierced thorow, and seene thorow such a cloud of ignominie, such a faire Life and glorie: I say, it was more than wonderfull.

Further, if he had seene Him before, and bene familiar with Him, heard Him teach, and had seene His wonders, as the Apostles did, it had not bene much to maruell at: but this beeing the first mee­ting, the first acquaintance, and neuer to haue spoken with Him [Page 160] before, they met in an ignominious Crosse together, then to seeke in such a death, such a life: in such ignominie, such glorie, it is a thing more than marueilous. Came anie of the Iewes then, and prayed vnto Him? Yea, came anie of the Apostles? Came anie of His Disciples? Came either Peter, or Iohn, or Matthew? No, all were offended with Him. I saye of this man, to the glorie of God, that hee shamed all that stood by, hee shamed the Apostles, and made them to cast downe their faces: And I saye, hee shames all men and women, who will not beleeue when they see Him not crucified, as hee sawe, but glorified nowe in the Heauens, sitting at the right hande of that Majestie: shame shall light on thee, and this Thiefe shall bee sette vp in glorie, to testifie against thee, and to condemne thee. 1. COR. 1.27. Paul saies, GOD will raise vp thinges naughtie, to shame thinges high in the worlde, and to humble the pride of the fleshe. If euer this was practised, it is practised in this Thiefe. Therefore, in time learne thy lesson at this Thiefe: for if hee doe thee no good, hee shall doe thee euill: and this same preaching shall doe thee euill, if it doe thee no good. The LORD raised him vp vpon a Gallowes, to bee a Teacher of Faith and Re­pentance, of Hope, of Patience, of Loue, and of all graces: and thinke no shame to learne at him: for, if thou thinkest shame of the Thiefe to bee thy master, hee shall giue out a testimonie to ag­greadge thy damnation: and hee shall saye, I went to teach the In­fideles on the Crosse with Thee, and they hearde it, and beleeued not, Lord, let their damnation bee aggreadged. All this that I speake tendes to this, That hee who glories, maye glorie in the Lord: And they who woulde maruell, let them maruell at the Lord. I speake not these thinges, that yee shoulde wonder at the Thiefe, that sillie creature: But all this is, That yee shoulde won­der at Iesus Christ, who wrought such a wonder at this time, and shewed such a power when Hee was weakened: It is a wonder to shewe such power in His humiliation, and such mercy on such a vile sinner, who was not worthie that the earth shoulde beare him, let bee to dwell in Heauen. Wonder at Him who is so mercifull and gracious to poore sinners. To Him therefore, bee praise for euermore: AMEN.

THE XVIII. LECTVRE, OF THE PASSION OF CHRIST.

LVKE CHAP. XXIII.

verse 43 Then Iesus said vnto him, Verely, J say vnto thee, to day shalt thou be with me in Paradise.

IOHN CHAP. XIX.

verse 25 Then stood by the crosse of Iesus his mother, and his mothers sister, Marie the wife of Cleopas, and Marie Magdalene. verse 26 And when Iesus saw his mother, and the disciples standing by, whome he loued, He said vnto his mother, woman, beholde thy sonne. verse 27 Then said He to the disciple, be­hold thy mother: and from that houre, the disciple tooke her home vnto him.

WEE heard the last day (Beloued in Iesus) of the re­pentance of one of the Thieues that hung on the Crosse with Christ: in a moment, wonderfully hee begins to be penitent for all his misdeedes, and for­mer life: and hee vtters his penitencie, and the dis­pleasure that was in his heart for sinne in sundry ef­fectes: First, hee rebukes bitterlie that blasphemie that the other Thiefe speakes out against the Lord, and saies, Fearest thou not God, seeing thou art in the same damnation? Thou and I suffer justly, for we haue demerited all this: but this man (pointing out Christ) hath done nothing amisse. When hee hath thus rebuked the Thiefe, hee turnes him about to Iesus Christ, who hung in the middest, and hee directs his prayer to Him, and saies, Lord remember mee when thou commest to thy Kingdome. The other, the blasphemer, would faine haue liued in the vvorlde: And therefore, because hee sawe that IESVS had no power to giue him this earthlie life: therefore, hee blasphe­meth CHRIST in His face.

[Page 162]But the penitent Thiefe seekes not this present life, but desires that hee may gette entrie in to that Heauenly Kingdome. The last day I spake concerning the petition of the penitent Thiefe. I re­peate nothing. Onely wonder not at the Thiefe, or at such an ear­nest repentance in him suddenly: b [...] wonder at Iesus Christ, vvho in such vveaknesse, hanging so shamefully vpon the Crosse, yet vt­tered such mercie, and such infinite power, yea, one of the moste miserable catiues that euer was in the vvorlde. I goe forwarde, and first I shall shewe you of the answere that the Lord giues to the penitent Thiefe: and then I shall come to the earnest recommen­dation that Iesus made of His Mother MARIE, vnto IOHN. The Lord answeres him, Verily I say vnto thee, this day thou shalt be with me in Paradise. The answere containes a promise: and the thing that the Lord promises, is, Thou shalt bee vvith mee: thou seekest to bee vvith mee in my Kingdome: thou shalt bee vvith mee, and thou shalt bee a subject vvith mee and more, a follower: and vvhereas thou werest a vile Thiefe, I shall make thee a glorious King in the Heauen. And when shall this bee? Without delay: it shall not be to morrowe, or other morrowe, but this same day immediately thou shalt bee transported to that vnspeakeable glorie. And where shall this bee? It shall bee in Paradise. Thou shalt not goe to Purgato­rie, but into Celesti [...]ll Paradise. Of this worde Paradise wee reade in sundrie places of the Newe Testament, as namely, 2. COR. 12.4. (where PAVL speakes of his rauishing to Paradise) and also REVEL. 2.7. But to leaue the vvordes, and to come to the meaning: This Paradise signifies none other thing, but that House of the Father, in the which is manie mansions, as wee saide in the foureteenth Chapter. Nowe woulde yee knowe the place of it? PAVL saies, It is farre aboue these visible heauens, where Christ himselfe ascended, EPHES. 4.10. It is the place of the Throne of that Majestie of that Glo­rie, and of that euerlasting rest of the Kirke of Iesus Christ, and of His Sainctes, where they shall rest in a wonderfull glorie euerla­stinglie. The vvorde is borrowed from that Paradise, that Parke of pleasure, in the vvhich ADAM and EVAH vvere planted, to liue in a vvonderfull pleasure for euer, if they had stoode vvithout sinne.

But to come to the matter. First in this answere that the Lord makes to the penitent Thiefe, yee may see a vvonderfull readinesse in Christ, to heare the petition of a miserable sinner: for hee hath [Page 163] scarcely spoken the worde, when the Lord makes an answere: and no maruell; for Hee that preuentes thee with grace, ere thou thin­kest of grace, Hee will followe after with grace: Hee who giues grace to begge grace, Hee will giue a gracious answere. ROMAN. 8.26. The Spirite of GOD interceadeth for vs, with sighes vnspeakeable. That is the first grace. Then hee subjoynes▪ The Lord who searcheth the heart, knoweth the sense and meaning of his owne Spirite. There is the seconde grace. Thou shalt not so soone open thy mouth to speake to Him with the Spirite, but Hee shall as soone heare thy vvorde: thou shalt not so soone haue a meaning, but it shall as soone touch the heart of the Lorde, as it touches thine heart: because it is not thy spirite, but the Lordes Spirite who speakes in thee. So all the difficultie and hardnesse, is, to gette the first grace to praye: there is no difficultie of the next. And there are wonderous fewe vvho gettes this grace, to begge, to sigh, to sobb, &c. yea, where one hath it, ten wantes it: and when this is once gotten, the other fol­lowes of its owne will: for if thou askest spirituall graces, of ne­cessitie thou shalt gette thy petition graunted. And, if wee aske earthly thinges, either shall wee gette our petition, or else the Lord once shall shewe vs, why Hee will not graunt it: and so wee shall haue contentment to vndertake His will, and shall heartily thanke Him. There is more yet in this answere: Besides this easinesse to heare, marke an abounding mercie, and exceeding liberalitie, of the Lord, passing aboue the petition: The Thiefe onely prayed the Lord to remember him, when He came in His Kingdome: The Lord aun­sweres, Beholde, euen I giue thee more than thou requirest, for thou shalt be with me this day in Paradise, so thou needest not to feare that I forget thee. The Thiefe seekes but a little thing: the Lord giues him more than hee can seeke: the hande of the Lorde is not so scarce. Wilt thou seeke a litle thing? the Lord shall giue a thousand times more than thou canst seeke: the Lord hath neither scant nor want. Brethren, the glory which we shall finde one day, shall bee greater than we can looke or hope for in this world. No, things Heauenlie, which He shall giue, surmountes further aboue our capacitie, than the Heauen does aboue the Earth. Yea, if thou speakest of earthlie things, findes not many by experiēce, that they get such an estate in the world, as they would neuer haue looked or hoped for: I sought but life (saies Dauid, Psal. 21.5) yet the Lord gaue me to be a king: that is, He gaue me not only a priuate & obscure life, but a glorious life in [Page 164] the sight of the people. Besides this easinesse and liberalitie of the Lord, to grant to a poore man, aboue that that he durst pre­sume, He prescribes no time, but this same day. I know not if he durst haue bene so bold, as to haue sought such a time, that same day. Marke further here, a wonderfull power in the Lord, at that time when Hee was in a most vile and ignominious death, which was the image of Hell, to pull a man quicke on the Crosse, to breake Him on a Crosse. The Lord is weakned: the Iewes thought more of the dirt they trode on, than of Iesus: yet ye see what a wonderfull power which strikes out from Him to the thiefe: this is the power of a King, This day thou shalt be with Me in Paradise What Emperour durst speake this? Yea, He vtters the power of GOD Himselfe: This promise is proper to GOD only, to pro­mise participation of that heauenly Kingdome. What Angell durst doe this? None, but the eternall and immortall GOD. It is true, the LORD Iesus, whilst as Hee hang vpon the Crosse, was wonderfully weakned, and that glorious Godhead that dwelt in the humane Nature kept it selfe closse for a time, and held in the beames of His glorie for a time, within that vaile of His bodie (for if Hee had not kept closse that Glorie of His Godhead, the world, could not haue crucified Him) yet He kept Him not so closse, but in the Crosse Hee manifests Himselfe, Hee does the part of a King, and fought a fiercer battell, than all the Kings in the world. Hee fought against all the enemies, and in the ende Hee triumphes in that Crosse, as in a Chariote, and leades them all, as thieues before Him: And if there were no more to shewe that Hee was a King, than this hastie conuersion of the thiefe, it may tell you, if Christ had such a power, whilst as Hee hang in such weaknesse on the Crosse: What power hath He now when He is in the Heauen, exalted in the Throne of glorie. If it bee so, that wee feele not CHRIST powerfull in vs to life, as the thiefe felt. Blame not IESVS, as if Hee wanted power suffi­cient nowe in glorie, who had such power in His humilitie: but blame thy selfe: Thou wants that which the thiefe had: thou wants Faith in Christ glorified: the thiefe may shame thee, who beleeued in Him, whē He was in extreame ignominie. Then to end all this yt hath bin spokē of this answere in a word. Seeing ye Lord of lords, ye Lord Iesus is so readie (Neuer was there King so ready to heare a subject, as Iesus is:) if thou werest the vilest bodie that goes, [Page 165] a Thiefe, a Harlot, &c. yet if thou wilt saye this, Lord, remember on mee, and giue mee a part of thy Kingdome: if thou prayest to Him from a penitent heart, with confidence and assurance, I pro­mise vnto thee, Heauen and Earth shall goe together, ere thou vvantest thine asking. Seeing our Lord Iesus is so liberall, then seeke more than enough, more than a Kingdome, and thou shalt get more. The only cause why we want, is in vs, we haue no hearts to seeke it. And last: Seeing He is so powerfull, let vs seeke from Him with this assurance, that Hee can giue all thinges which either wee can seeke, or can conceiue, and that according to His effectuall power working in vs. Now I end with this History of the Thiefe, & I come to the other History, concerning that recommendation that Iesus makes of His Mother Marie, to John, His Disciple, whom Hee loued. The Lord Iesus hanging on the Crosse in extreame tor­ment & paine: He is not only a sufferer (howbeit indeed He sufferes all extreamitie) but in suffering Hee does manie workes: First, Hee does like a King, in giuing life and glorie to the Thiefe. All the Kinges in the Earth in their Royall Robes, shall not doe so much as Hee did on that vile Crosse. Nowe next, Hee vtters a verie na­turall and louing affection to His Mother, who bare Him, when He is to depart out of this life and to be taken away hastily, He is care­full how shee shall liue when Hee is gone from her. To come to the Historie: Wee haue first the occasion that bringes on this: and se­condly, the commendation it selfe: and thirdly, how Ihon accepts of her. As concerning the occasion: There standes by the Crosse, a man and three women, whilest the LORD is hanging quicke in ex­treame torment, Hee spyes out these foure persons, MARIE His Mother, and MARIE His Mothers Sister, that is, her kinswoman ac­cording to ther HEBREVV phrase, who was either the Wise, or the Daughter of Cleopas, and MARIE MAGDALENE, a kinde vvoman, out of vvhom He had casten seuen deuils: (kindnesse meetes kindnesse) Their heartes vvere vvith Him, howbeit Hee vvas hanging vpon the Crosse. Then, if thou canst doe no more vnto Him, yet follow Him with these women to the death of the Crosse. There are three Maries, better Maries were neuer in the world: and Iohn, whom here he calles the disciple whō Jesus loued: this stile he gets in ye Gospel, because, as Iesus loued him entirely, so hee findes this loue deeply setled in his soule: & well is he that finds that the Lord loues him: All the Kingdoms in the Earth are nothing in respect of that sense. [Page 166] Well. These are the foure that are standing by the Crosse, toge­ther. As for Iohn, I see now certainely this doing of his in the following of the Lord, & this standing by the Crosse, shewes, albeit that Faith in Iesus Christ, in the heart of Iohn, and all the rest, was wonderfully smoothered, for all were offended in Him that night: yet that Faith in his heart was not altogether quenched: No, it was not quenched in one of the Apostles, nor in Peter, who denied Him. To speake of Iohn, Thinke, ye that except hee had had Faith, that euer hee would haue followed Him to the Crosse, and except hee had beleeued that Iesus after such a death should haue risen againe in glorie, except he had looked for a glo­rious resurrection, that euer hee could haue beholden such a mise­rable spectacle: Faith gaue him boldnesse to follow Christ to the Crosse, Hope furnished him comfort, when he beheld Him in ig­nominie and paine. These three women vtters a tender and louing heart towards Him. Brethren, if there had bene no more, but this naturall loue that a mother beares to the sonne, Marie would ne­uer haue followed her Sonne, to such a vile death, if shee had not beleeued that death should haue turned into such a glorious Life. Would she haue stood beside her Sonne, and seene Him torne and rent quicke in such torments? What mother would haue done it? 1. Thess, 4.13. ye read what Paul writes to them: I would not haue you ignorant, that yee mourne not for them which are asleepe, as the Gentiles who are desperat in their displeasure. If thou haue but a naturall loue in thine heart, when thou seest him, or her, whom thou louest, depart, that loue shall worke but impatiencie in thee, & a desperate displeasure, that is, if with that loue thou haue no hope of a glo­rious resurrection, desperate shall be thy dolour, and it were better for thee to want thy naturall affection. Indeede it is true, our Faith▪ and Hope of glorie after this life, will not extinguish the na­turall loue, neither puts it away the dolour that one should haue.

I desire not that a man should bee senslesse without loue: and I count more of a stone, than of one without loue, and better were it, that that person were a stone So I say, Faith and Hope will not extinguish displeasure, but it will mitigate it so, that in a wonderfull heauinesse it will finde joy, and thou wilt say, albeit wee sunder nowe, the day will come, wherein wee shall haue a joyfull meeting.

Come yet to these women: They may teach all men and women [Page 167] to the end of the worlde: Thinke yee not, that they should haue bene terrified at such a Crosse, and that Marie should haue thought shame of her Sonne, so shamefully tormented, and railed out on by all men. Well then, if these women by the sight of that shameful death of Iesus Christ on the Crosse are not terrified nor diuerted from following, albeit they saw His glorie to come, but very ob­scurely, and if their hearts were knit with Him, whilst as Hee hang on the Crosse, and there was neuer a band so surely knit, as their hearts were with Him. Fye on all men and women after these wo­men, who will thinke shame of the Crosse of Christ, albeit they haue greater presence and sight of the glorie of Iesus Christ, than these women had. Shall a sillie worde, shall the sword, shall the fire, terrifie thee? And if it bee so, these same women shall stand vp and condemne thee in that great day. Now let vs consider these wordes, whereby He recommends His mother to Iohn. The Lord, as He is looking from Him, He sees these foure standing together, (for wicked scorners stood together, so the godly who mourne for Christ drew together) and Hee directs His speech to two of them: First, to Marie, and next to Iohn: Woman, He sayes, Beholde thy sonne, poynting to Iohn, not to Himselfe. This stile that He giues her would not be passed by, He calls her not mother, but Woman, and this is the common stile which Iesus gaue her, whilst as He was in the world: it lets vs see whilst Iesus was in the worlde, as at all times, so especially at the houre of death, whilst Hee is liuing in the world, He had His eyes raised vp from all earthly and carnall things, which men in this life count much of, as are, mother, sonne, daughter, husband, wife, kinred, Countrie: And by His example, Hee would teach vs, when we are here to know none according to the flesh: No, not Christ Himselfe: for in Heauens there shall bee neither father nor mother, nor husband, nor wife: but we shall be (all olde things which accompanie the olde creature, beeing abo­lished) like Angels in Heauen. Therefore, Iesus, as a patterne, tea­ches vs this, to turne away the eye piece and piece from this Earth, & all that is in it, that we count not much of them, but that [...]e behold that heauenly life. Paul. 2. Cor. 5.16. When he was speaking of the redemption that the Lord bought with His precious blood, sayes, From henceforth I will knowe no man according to the flesh, and if I did know Jesus sometimes according to the flesh now I will not know Him & hee giues a reason Who euer is in Christ, let him bee a newe creature, [Page 168] the olde creatures are past away, behold all things are made new. Fye on thee, that hast thine heart fixed on these earthly thinges, and for­gettest Heauen. This for the stile that He giues her: Come to the words, He sayes, Behold thy sonne: As if He had said, Woman, I am to depart this life, and I put Iohn in my stead, and I ordaine him to take the protection of thee, and to doe the dutie of a sonne to thee, in my steade: then Hee turnes Him to Iohn, and Hee sayes, Beholde thy mother: As if Hee had said, I goe out of the world, and I leaue my mother to thee, and I ordaine that thou be a sonne to her, and she a mother to thee, and that thou keepe her, and inter­taine her, so long as thou and she liue together. It may be asked, The LORD IESVS CHRIST going to Heauen, might Hee not from the Heauen haue kept His owne mother? might Hee not haue taken the defence of His owne mother? might He not haue preserued Her from all dangers? No question, He might haue kept her well eneugh: yet He committes her to Iohn, whom Hee loues, because He loues His mother well, Hee commends her to a man whom He loued intierely, He will not contemne the or­dinarie meanes, and manner of doing, this same Hee does dayly, the LORD IESVS hath power to saue His Church, and all the members of the same, to protect and defend them, but He will not contemne these ordinarie meanes, He will haue euery one to keepe another, as Hee commended His mother to Iohn to bee kept: And woe bee to thee, who may, if thou keepe none: And namely the LORD hath a care of that infirme sexe, that women bee kept by the protection of men, who are faithfull. She who is kept vnder the protection of any in the worlde, let her giue CHRIST glorie for it: for it is by His direction: as Marie was directed to Iohn. Consider heere further: The LORD at this time is in the seruice of His heauenly Father: and there was neuer a man so occupied in His life, as He was at this houre, and He was neuer so occupied all His time, as now: and Hee was now occupied chiefly in suffering. It is an easie thing to bee occupied in performing duties of the seruice of GOD, in respect of suffe­ring: it is a sore thing to suffer, as to be cast in a fire, to bee nailed on a Crosse: yet in suffering albeit He is occupied so, that He for­gets His owne selfe, yet when Hee sees His mother, Hee forgets not her. I would all men should marke this lesson: The maledi­ction of GOD shall fall on these that deserue the curse of their [Page 169] mother, who glorie in it, let them glorie in it as they will: our dutie to GOD prejudges nothing our dutie to father or mo­ther: thou was neuer so occupied in the seruice of GOD, as was Iesus Christ, at this houre, who in the middest of all this did His dutie to His mother: and Christ will let vs see, that our dutie to our GOD stands well with our duetie to man. Wilt thou pull the first and the second Table asunder, the one from the other: Wilt thou say, that the first prejudges the second, thou doest lie: But looke the order: That CHRIST keepes in these duties: doth He first His dutie to His mother? No, first, He doth His dutie to His Father: Hee is obedient to His Father, to the death, and in the middest of that obedience to the Father, Hee doth His dutie to His mother. Beginne at thy GOD, if thou wouldest doe thy dutie: and next, come to man, and if thou passest by GOD, to doe thy dutie to man, thou shalt doe nothing of loue, nor of sinceritie. Fye on thee, and that loue, and that dutie thou vtte­rest to man: followe not on that loue thou bearest to GOD, and wilt thou say this: I see my dutie to the King, and to my father bindes me, I will doe my dutie to them, and last, I will serue GOD: any thing will serue Him: wilt thou jest so with the LORD, I say to thee, if thou beginnest at man, euen at the King, or at thy fa­ther or mother, and postpone the LORD, I say to thee, the LORD will haue none of thy seruice: And if thou hatest not, sayes CHRIST, father and mother for my cause, thou art not worthie of mee, Luke 14.26. Then, what shall become of them, who preferre father and mother to GOD, he is but a knaue, that will take on him the name of a Christian, and will serue men before GOD: No, that name shall turne to thy shame. There­fore vnder the paine of thy life, doe thy dutie first to GOD, and then for GODS cause doe thy dutie to man, that GOD may haue the glorie of it. Further, there are some in the houre of death that will take so litle care of the worlde, and of them whome they leaue behinde them, that they are destitute of naturall affection, that they regard not if they die, though all the world should fall in one moment: for men wanting that naturall affection, will say, What care I, if once I bee gone from the world. Nowe there are others, albeit they loose not altogether that naturall affection, who haue their senses so occupied, and exercised about the pre­sent paine, that they will not know their parents, kinsfolks, or any [Page 170] that appertaine vnto them. Who was euer in such a paine as Iesus was? And yet out of the middest of torment, of blasphemies, of wrastling with death euerlasting, with the wrath of the Father, and with all the Infernall powers, Hee is carefull of His Mother. No man was euer borne, that had such a naturall affection as Hee: no sonne in this worlde euer loued his mother so well as Hee. And ex­cept thou be in Iesus Christ, and He sanctifie thy affections, that in the houre of death thou mayest sleepe in Him sweetly; either thou shalt loose altogether this naturall affection, or else it shall bee suf­focate: that albeit thy Parentes, and all thy kinred were about thee, thou shalt haue no care of them: No, thou shalt not once by thine head and countenance vtter anie meaning, that thou hast a care of their weale. IESVS CHRIST honoured His Mother beyonde anie man, euen on the Crosse, in such a paine, and such a displeasure. And this testifies, that naturall affection was greater in Iesus, than in anie man. Further: Seeing Iesus from the Crosse, in shame, in torment, in that fearefull battell, &c. commendes His Mother to Iohn, it telles vs, that the duety which wee owe to Pa­rentes, standes not in ceremonies, so much as in performing of ne­cessarie dueties. One word is greater in the houre of death (or the meanest care; than all that thou couldest doe being in health. It is said, Honour thy father, and thy mother. But our lordes and gentlemen thinke it enough to take off their hats, and to bowe their knees to them. Standes the honour of thy Parentes in a ceremonie? Com­mendes God hypocrisie? Learne at Iesus Christ: the honour of thy Parentes standes in performing all essentiall partes of thy duetie to them. Was thy Mother bounde to giue thee sucke? and to bring thee vp in thy youth? I saye thou art as straitly bounde to honour thy Mother, and to nourishe her in her olde age. Woe to them that procure their mothers curse, and who are not tender to their mo­thers, and will neither foster them, nor haue a care of them. This example of Iesus Christ, which is registrate in the Gospell, shall beare witnesse against thee, when thy conscience shal rent and teare thee. Men are come to such vnnaturalnesse, that the Lyon was ne­uer so cruell, as men in Scotland, to them out of whose bellies they came. Now what does Iohn? He takes her home heartily. John takes an­o [...]her mans mother and entertaines her, and he gets but this dire­ction from the Crosse Fie on thee that gettest a direction from the throne of heauē, to honour thy own mother. I say not (saies Christ) [Page 171] my mother, but thy mother. When men will not obeye Christ from that Heauēly Throne, what shall become of them in that great day? Shame shall be heaped on them. And Iohn who tooke not home his own mother, but another mans mother, shall stand vp & condemne thee, who would not entertaine thine own mother. All the speaches of the worlde will not learne men in this wicked generation. Fur­ther, this is not to be p [...]ssed by, that Iohn had an House, and so had the rest of the Apostles: say not yt they were beggers: it is but folly to place religion in beggery. I say it in a word, These priuiledges in the world, Houses, wiues, children, &c. are as well sanctified to a Mini­ster, as thy lordship is to thee. Nowe I beseech thee, as euer thou woldest yt the Lord shold blesse thee & thy posseshōs in this world, & shold giue thee an hope of yt life to come, let the Ministers of the Gospell haue a part of their own: (It is not yours:) as euer ye would giue an accompt to the Iudge, & to be answerable to Him in yt great Checker: for all the blood of perishing soules shall bee required at them, who with-draw these temporal things whereon those should bee sustained, whom God hath sent to feede the soules of men and women to that Heauenly life. To the Lord of that life, be all Ho­nour, Praise, and Glorie, for euermore: Amen.

THE XIX. LECTVRE, OF THE PASSION OF CHRIST.

MATTH. CHAP. XXVII.

verse 45 Nowe from the sixt houre was there darknesse ouer all the lande, vnto the ninth houre.

verse 46 And about the ninth houre Iesus cried with a loude voyce saying, Eli, Eli, lamasabachthani? that is, My God, my God, why hast thou for­saken mee?

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MARKE CHAP. XV.

verse 33 Now when the sixt houre was come, darknesse arose ouer all the land, vntill the ninth houre.

verse 34 And at the ninth houre, Iesus cried with a loude voyce, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lamma-sabachthani? which is by interpretation, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken mee?

LVKE, CHAP. XXIII.

verse 44 And it was about the sixt houre: and there was a darknesse ouer all the land, vntill the ninth houre.

verse 45 And the Sunne was darkened, and the vaile of the Temple rent through the middes.

BELOVED in the LORD IESVS CHRIST, we haue heard the last day, that the Lord, when Hee is hanging on the Crosse, Hee was not onely occupied in suffering, at the will of His Heauenly Father; but also Hee was occupied in doing. First we heard Hee did like a king, howbeit He hung on the Crosse like a vile slaue in the sight of the worlde: Yea, Hee did like God, Hee appardoned the poore Thiefe that hung at His right hand, and was penitent, and sought grace and mercie at Him for his sinnes: and Hee makes a promise to him, that hee shoulde bee with Him shortly in Paradise. Then next wee hearde, that when as Hee hung quick on the Crosse, He did like a louing & kind Sonne to His Mo­ther, who bare Him: He recommends her earnestly to be entertai­ned with Iohn His well beloued disciple. Nowe in this dayes exer­cise wee haue a rehearsall of other thinges that fell ou [...] when as Ie­sus hung on the Crosse: there falles a wonder, there falles a darke­nesse at the noone-tide, the Sunne is obscured: the time is noted, when, at the sixt houre, the space of three houres, as we shall heare: All the time that Hee hung on the Crosse, the darknesse continued on the Earth: The next thing wee haue, namely, out of Matthew and Marke, an heauie complaint, that the Lorde falles out into vvhen Hee had hung on the Crosse about three houres: for Hee falles out in the beginning of the ninth houre into an heauie complaint to His Father, saying, My GOD, my GOD, why hast thou forsa­ken mee? Then vve haue how the Iewes misconstrues the voyce of the Lord: but first we shall speake of the wonder: there falles a darknes in [Page 173] the whole land: or as some interprete, on the whole earth, the cause is noted: The Sunne which should haue giuen light, is obscured: a marueilous Ecclipse contrarie to the common course of Nature, fell on the Sunne. The time is noted: When it was the sixt houre. Now, Brethren, This place requires, that I should speake some­thing concerning the diuision of the night, and the day: for this is requisite for the vnderstanding of the Historie of the Passion of Iesus Christ: the Iewes tooke vp the beginning of their night, from the going downe of the Sunne, and ended at the rising of the Sunne: they diuided their night in twelue houres, whether long or short: they had a more compendious diuision, and diui­ded it in foure partes, which they called quatuor vigilias, foure wat­ches, euery watch containing three houres: as for their day, they measured it from the rising of the Sunne in the morning, to the going downe: and as they diuided the night: so did they the daye in twelue houres, whether it were long or short: and as they diui­ded the night, so did they the daye in foure partes, each part con­taining three houres: they called the first part of the day, the first morning, prima diluculi, and the first houre, albeit it contained three houres, taking the name from the houre vvhere it beganne, the second part, vvhich contained other three houres: they called the thirde houre, taking the name from the houre it beganne at, speaking exclusivè, as vve vse to say: the third part taking the name from the part it beganne at, they called the sixt houre: the fourth part they called the ninth houre. This much for the di­uision of the daye and night, after the fashion of the Iewes. To apply this to our purpose, In this Historie of the Passion of Iesus Christ, yee shall finde mention of all these foure partes: of the first, the third, sixt, and ninth. In the first houre, or in the mor­ning, the LORD IESVS was led into the Common-Hall, to Pilate to bee accused: His accusation continued the first three houres, and much of the third houre, or second quarter, as wee counted it: His accusation continued about the space of fiue houres: Then alitle after the sixt houre in the ende of the thirde houre: as IOHN in his nineteene Chapter sayes, The doome and sentence of damnation was giuen out against the Lord, In the same third houre, as MARKE in his fourteenth Chapter sayes, The Lord Iesus was crucified, so that He was both condem­ned & crucified in the end of the third houre: So betweene eleuen [Page 174] and twelue, a short space passed betweene the sentence of damna­tion, and the execution. In the sixt houre, which was the thirde part of their day: yee see, there falles out, a fearfull and terrible darknesse on the face of the earth: and according to our account the darknesse remaines from twelue houres, to three in the after­noone, the space of three houres: for so long hang the Lord vpon the Crosse. Then yee haue mention here of the ninth houre, the fourth part of their day. The Lord then vttered His complaint to His Father: My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken mee? This is according to our account when it was three after noone: and hasti­ly after this, Hee yeeldes His blessed Spirit in the hands of His Fa­ther. So the Lord Iesus died, and yeelded the Spirit, betweene three and foure houres afternoone. Now this shortly, for the better vn­derstanding of the Historie. Nowe to speake of this wonder and darknesse, His heauenly Father would testifie by this darknesse, that whilst His glorious Son was humbled on that vile & ignominious Crosse: & as Paul to the Philippians 2. sayes Whilst as He was weak­ned, and made of no reputation, at this time His Father would testifie, not onely of His innocencie, as Hee was man, but also of His glorie, as He was God. In humbling of Him, the Father would glorifie Him: But will yee looke to the Sunne, and the senslesse creatures of Heauen and Earth, the very Sunne and senslesse crea­tures would testifie, that they were addebted vnto that glorious Creator: they would testifie that sorrowe that they had, that the Lord of glorie should suffer such an ignominious death. The sens­lesse creatures were moued, the Sunne gloomes, & hides his face at that wicked action: the earth shiuers and quakes, readie to swal­low vp and deuoure those miserable persons: and the Sunne, and the senslesse creatures beginne to teach that senslesse and harde­ned people, with whom they had to doe: Not with a man, but with the Lord of glorie: but teach what they would teach (heere is a miserable example of induration) this miserable people for all this darknesse was not moued, they would not turne. So, Brethren, see what it is once to be giuen to a reprobate sense: if the LORD giue thee vp to a reprobate sense, the earth shall not be so senslesse as thou: and though the earth should stand vp and teach thee, thou shalt not heare nor see what it sayes: Of all judgements that falles on the soule, this reprobate sense is the heauiest and most dange­rous: and if thou continuest in it, it were a thousand times better [Page 175] for thee, when thou werest made a man or a woman, to haue bene made a stocke or a stone: for if there be not a wakning in time out of so dead a sleepe, ere euer thou beware, the wrath of God from He [...]uen shall ouertake thee, when thou criest peace: then shall the wrath come, thou shalt not get leasure to thinke of mercie. The Lord waken this senslesse generation, for there was neuer a genera­tion more senslesse than this generation is, notwithstanding of so many voyces sounding, not only voyces of men, but of the heauen, the earth, and senslesse creatures. I will speake sparingly of this darkning, and (as the Philosopher calles it) the ecclipse of the Sunne, for it serues not much to edification: Onely thus far, that yee may see the greatnesse of the wonder, and that ye may wonder at the Lord Iesus hanging on the Crosse: This Ecclipse was not naturall, for the naturall Ecclipse of the Sunne, falles out, when the Moone is in the changing, at the which time there is a con­curse and conjunction betweene the two Planets, the Sunne, and the Moone: The Moone goes vnder the Sunne, and takes away a great part of the light of the Sunne from the Earth. But this Ec­clipse falles out in the full moone. The Law commanded the Passeouer to be celebrate in the moneth of March, the fourteenth day of their moneth, in the which time, the Sunne and the Moone are as far asunder as they can be, the one beeing in the one side of the Heauen, & the other on the other side: so that betweene them the whole Globe of the Earth is cast in. But in this Ecclipse against Nature, the Moone which was now opposite to the Sunne, turnes her suddenly about, and comes vnder the Sunne, and hides the sight thereof, and brings on a terrible darknesse on the world: So that, as yee will read in prophane writings, during that darknesse, the starres were seene at the Noonetide, as at Midnight. And to be short, it is written that the Philosophers in Athens marking this Ecclipse, endeuoured to search the cause of it, could not finde out the naturall cause, and one Dionisius Areopagita saide, It behooued to be that, either the God of Nature suffered, or els the worlde should suddenly be dissolued, and be lied not. The Lord Iesus the GOD of Nature suffered, and they raised vp an Altar then, and wrote on it, To the vnknowne God, whereof ye read in the Actes 17.

This for the wonder. Nowe let vs come to that that fell out in the ninth houre, that is, our three houres afternoone: Marke, This serues for our edification: ye heard, the Lord Iesus was in extreame [Page 176] agonie, and anguishe in His soule, and also Hee suffered great paine in His bodie: yet all was nothing to that extreame bitter­nesse, that Hee felt in His soule when as Hee hung on the Crosse. Nowe in this agonie, Hee vtters this voyce with a crie, Eli, Eli, la­masabachthani, that is, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken mee? These are the first wordes of the XXII. PSALME: for Dauid beeing the Type of Christ, and feeling that vexation of spirit in some mea­sure, which Christ felt out of measure, hee cryes out, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? This place & these words minister oc­casion vnto vs, to speake of the inward conflict & passion that Iesus had in His soule: And, that yee maye vnderstande this matter the better, I shall rehearse vnto you the vvhole Passion of IESVS CHRIST, in as fewe vvordes as I can. Then, the whole life of Iesus Christ whilest Hee was in this vvorlde, vvas a continuall suffering of the burthen of our sinnes that Hee bare, and that obe­dience to His Father, required, that not onely in His life-time shoulde Hee doe for our saluation: but chiefely, it required, that the Mediator shoulde die. All that Hee did had beene nothing worth to vs, and if Hee had not died: for as the Apostle sayeth, HEBR. CHAP. IX. VERS. XXII. No remission of sinnes without blood. Thinke not, that euer thy sinnes shall bee forgiuen thee, without the shedding of the blood of Iesus Christ: And either thou must die, or haue part in the death of the Mediator. The ende of His suffering, was the perfect abolishing and vndoing of the sinnes of the Elect, as yee may reade in the ninth CHAPTER to the HE­BREVVES. Now marke againe: This perfect abolishing and vn­doing of our sinnes required a perfect passion and suffering of the Mediator. Whether ye looke to the time, it required a perfect time: or will yee looke to the greatnesse of it, it required an infinite quantitie of greatnesse: for if it had not bene perfect in time and quantitie, thou hadst neuer beene redeamed.

Brethren, that yee maye the better vnderstande the vvhole Passion of IESVS CHRIST, I shall point out vnto you the vvhole manner of His sufferinges: For, why shoulde vvee not knowe this? Our life standes in His death: Hee suffered all for vs. And I see thorowe out the Scripture, the vvhole sufferinges of Christ maye bee drawne to these three sortes: The first is, The Lord Iesus suffered temptations: Secondlie, The Lord Iesus suffe­red shame and ignominie: the GOD of glorie suffered shame: [Page 177] Howe agree these two together, Shame and Glorie? The thirde, the LORD IESVS suffered paine, and that verie grieuous paine in soule and bodie: I shall goe thorowe all these three kinds of suffering shortlie, and so I shall make an ende: And first, to speake of these temptations shortlie. I call the temptations that the LORD suffered, those tryalles of Him, by the Deuill His enemie, for hee let Him neuer rest, (and woefull was that battell that Hee had with him on the Crosse) and His temptations by the ministers of the Deuill in the worlde, who solicitated Him to leaue His GOD, euen such temptations as wee are subject to in this worlde, onelie except sinne: for Hee knewe no sinne, there vvas not one spotte of sinne in that holie One: and so Hee was not sub­ject to these foule motions, & inwarde temptations, as we are, who dare not face the Sunne nor the Moone. And wherefore suffered Hee all these temptations? Euen for thy cause: the ende of all His suffering was, that Hee might succour all them who were tempted either in bodie or soule. HEBR. Chap. 2. vers. 18. Art thou temp­ted: if thou canst haue recourse to Him, who was tempted for thy sake, Hee will pittie thee: As Hee suffered, and was tempted, so by His suffering, Hee hath learned to pittie thee. Hee who ne­uer hath tasted of miserie, hee cannot pittie the miserable bodie: And therefore, when thou art tempted, goe to CHRIST, and saye, LORD, thou wast tempted as I am, therefore, now helpe and succour mee. Thus farre for the first sort of Christes suffe­ringes.

The seconde sort was His shame and ignominie, that open igno­minie that He suffered, especiallie on the Crosse. Whether ye looke to His accusation, (they accused that most innocent One, as a vile sinner) or whether ye looke to all these false Testimonies that were brought against Him, or yet whether yee looke to the tauntes and mockinges that Hee suffered, and to that spitting on His face, and blasphemies vpon the Crosse. In all these yee shall s [...]e that shame He suffered for our sinnes. The Apostle, ROMAN. Chap. 15. vers. 3. saies, Iesus Christ, when hee was in the worlde, hee spared not, nor hee plea­sed not himselfe, as wee doe: but, as it is written. The rebukes of them which rebuke thee fell on me. All these despites thou shouldest haue suffered, but the LORDE Hee translated them vpon Himselfe. O the shame that the sinner shoulde haue suffered, and if the LORD IESVS had not taken it off the backe of the sinner, and [Page 178] laid it on His owne backe. Come to the last sort: Thou who wouldest bee freed of paine, either in bodie, or soule: Marke the paine of the Lord, lay holde on it, and apply it to thy soule: for otherwise, Nothing shall remaine for thee, but paine euerlasting­ly: all the kingdomes of the worlde shall not saue thee. Then the last sort, was paine and dolour in body, and paine and dolour in soule, but in the soule chiefly: Looke to the time of it, from His first conception, to His last breath: scarcely was the Lord well borne when thorow the persecution of Herode the Tyranne, His mother was compelled to flee with Him to Egypt, from that time He was vnder continuall affliction, whilst as Hee entered into the thirtie yeere of His age, when Hee takes vpon Him the part of a Mediator for mankinde: from this foorth (for Hee liued after this space three yeeres, and an halfe) His paine grew, and increased in body and soule: and ay nearer the last houre His displeasure and paine grew the more.

Now, Brethren, we shall speake shortly of these paines and do­lours that the Lord suffered in the time of these three yeeres, and an halfe: for the Gospell makes mention of that suffering: during this space, the Lord Iesus is in continuall paine both of body and soule: not in body onely, but chiefly in the soule. His paine during this time is chiefly that inwarde anguish: all His paine was for our sinnes: if yee compare the soule and the body together, the soule is ten times worse, and more sinfull than the bodie: the soule is nothing but a sinke of sinne: all sinne proceedes out of that stin­king puddle of the soule: The body hath no life in it, but that which it hath of the soule: and therefore seeing the Lord offered Him to suffer for our sinnes, Hee behooued to suffer chiefly in the soule.

What shall I say of the impudent Papists, who maintaine this doctrine, that the Lord suffered not that inward paine of the soule: O! that they dare be so bolde, as to auouch such doctrine against the manifest wordes of the Holy Spirit: They knowe not what sinne is: They knowe not what is the greatnesse of the euill of sinne, or the Iustice of GOD: and lastly they know not what is the mercie of IESVS CHRIST, In a worde I proclaime both before GOD, and His Angels, the Pope and his shauelings are open enemies to the Crosse of CHRIST, if it were but in this, that they take away the chiefe part of His suffering. Bee thou a [Page 179] Papist, if thou continuest in that fantasie, thou shalt neuer haue no part, nor portion of His suffering.

Concerning the suffering of His bodie, and of that ignomi­nious death of the Crosse, wee haue bene speaking: Only nowe I shall point out the ground whereupon the sufferings of the LORD arises: First, they rise of that naturall infirmitie: He was an infirme man without sinne: He hungred, as we doe, He thirsted, as we, and through trauelling (Hee rested neuer daye nor night) and sojour­ned through the world: Hee wearied, as we doe.

Then another ground was, that sadnesse and heauinesse of the soule: Hee was in a continuall sadnesse: there was neuer so sad a man as He was: we read that He did weepe, but we neuer read that Hee did laugh. And thinke not, that when the soule is in heaui­nesse, that the bodie can bee well. And last, His suffering pro­ceeded of a violent dealing against Him, and nayling Him on the Crosse: (vvho vvas so violently handled, as the LORD of glory was.)

I leaue this, and vve vvill speake of the dolours which Hee suf­fered in His soule: First, the LORD IESVS, whilst as Hee trauelled vp and downe amongst His people, Hee vvas in a conti­nuall displeasure. When Hee looked vpon that obstinate peo­ple, Hee was sad vvhen Hee entred in Ierusalem, Hee vvepes and sayes, Ierusalem, Ierusalem, faine would J haue gathered you, as a henne gathereth her birdes vnder her wings, but thou wouldest not.

The moste speciall griefe that the LORD suffered in His soule, was that vvhich Luke in his tvventieth tvvo Chapter names an agonie, that is, an anguish in the soule, and an heauie paine proceeding from a battell that Hee had in His soule: it proceeded from the wrestling with the wrath of GOD, and infinite wrath) vvith Hell, and the povvers of it, vvith death not temporall, but euerlastingly.

Novve this agonie Hee vtters in the Garden, when Hee sayes, My soule is heauie on all sides, euen to the death. That vvorde was expressed out of that bitter anguish that Hee had in His soule, whilst He spake so.

To speake of the time of it, I am of that minde, that it vvas not only when Hee vvas in the Garden, but before in the twelfth Chapter of Iohn, vvhen Hee vvas speaking to His disciples Hee sayes, My soule is troubled: And Hee turnes Him to His Father, [Page 180] and Hee sayes, Father saue mee from this houre, yet the nearer He drew to death, it grew greater and greater: it was greater in the Garden, than it was of before: but now on the Crosse, when Hee saide, My God, my God why hast thou forsaken Mee? it was the grea­test of all. I will speake something of this, I will certifie you, the speciall vnderstanding of the suffering of Iesus Christ stands in the knowing of this inward agonie which IESVS CHRIST had in His soule: and if yee knovve not this, yee know nothing of His suffering: it is true, that no tongue is able to tell it: No, all the tongues of Angels: the heart of man, nor Angell, is not able to conceiue the greatnesse of it. The wordes of the Scriptures expresse not the greatnesse of the anguish but so far foorth as the LORD will giue mee the grace, I will speake somewhat of it. In the wordes that the Spirit vses in the Scripture yee shall finde this: The LORD suffers a torment in His soule: then yee shall see in the wordes, an exceeding greatnesse of the anguish in the soule: and lastly, yee shall see in the wordes of the Spirit, not only that He suffered anguish in the soule, and the greatnesse of it, but the very degrees and partes of it particularly.

First, goe to the olde Testament, in the fiftieth and third Chap­ter, and fifth verse of the prophecie of Esay, hath these wordes, It pleased the LORD IEHOVAH, to breake Him, the wordes importes, not only the breaking of the body, but also of the soule.

Then in the hundreth and sixteene Psalme, and at the fifth verse Dauid who was a type of CHRIST sayes, The sorrowes of death haue compassed Mee, and the anguish of Hell hath ouer­taken Mee: These wordes importe not onely a bodily suffering, but they importe an anguish in the soule.

Come to the Newe Testament▪ Matthew in his twentieth and sixt Chapter, My soule is heauie and compassed to the death. Woul­dest thou haue the greatnesse of it, Hee sayes, On all sides: And whereto? Euen to the death: not of the temporall death▪ but euen to the death of the soule. Then Luke in his twentieth and two Chapter sayes, Hee was in an agonie: Hee was in anguish, Hee was wrestling. With whome was this? His disciples were away from Him: There vvas no man vvith Him. It vvas vvith the wrath of the Father from Heauen with a vvrath vnspeakable. Peter 2. Actes sayes, GOD raysed Him vp from death, [Page 181] and raysed Him the doloures of death, beeing loosed, He could not bee retained vvith them. The vvordes in their owne language is, [...], and signifies extreame dolour, like as a woman hath in bearing her birth. The Spirite of GOD vseth to expresse the paine of the Hell in the soule by a similitude of a vvoman vvho trauelleth in birth: for of all paines in the bodie, it is the grea­test and sorest, and yee that haue felt it, yee knowe, that yee could not liue, if it continued with you. 1. THESSALON. CHAP. 5. VERS. 3. Hee settes downe the paine of Hell, by that simili­tude, When they shall saye, Peace, then shall come the suddaine doloure vpon them, like a woman trauelling, then shall they not escape. And MARKE, CHAP. 14. VERS. 33. comes on more particularlie, and saies, Not onelie hee had a paine in the soule: but also hee settes downe the degrees of the paine. The natiue Language is moste proper, [...]: that is, Hee beganne to bee astonished: and then [...], Hee beganne to bee in a grieuous and ex­treame anguishe. When the vvrath beganne to presse downe the soule, then the anguishe arose, and the extreamitie of paine.

But I leaue the opening vp of all thess vvordes vntill the next occasion, and so to ende: As vvee speake of the suffering of CHRIST, So I beseech GOD to open our soules, and our heartes, to feele it: For there is no life, but in His suffering: And the LORDE giue vs grace, that our heartes maye take fast holde of his sadnesse and dolour to our joye euerlasting. To this LORDE bee Honour and Praise, for euermore.

AMEN.

THE XX. LECTVRE, OF THE PASSION OF CHRIST.

MATTH. CHAP. XXVII.

verse 46 And about the ninth houre IESVS cryed with a loude voyce, saying, ELI, ELI, LAMASABACHTHANI? that is, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken mee?

THE last daye (welbeloued in Christ) vpon occa­sion offered in this place, wee began to rehearse ouer all the whole Passion of Christ: and vvee brought the matter to that agonie, and that in­warde anguish of the soule, which the Lord suffe­red, beside all the outward passions of His bodie, especially during the time of three yeeres and an halfe, to wit, the time in the which Hee bare openly the office of a Mediator betwixt God and man. Nowe as the Lord will giue vs grace, by occasion of this voyce, wherby the Lord vttered this hea­uie complaint to His Father, before He yeelde vp the ghoste, when He saies, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? we shall speake this day of that inwarde agony and anguishe of the soule that the Lord was in, when Hee vttered this voyce. I perceiue three groundes whereby we maye bee able in some measure (for who is able to at­taine to the perfect knowledge of the greatnesse of that agony that the Lord suffered?) to come to the knowledge of that agony. The first grounde I shall take out of the vvordes of Scripture, vvhereby that agonie is expressed. The second ground I take from these ef­fectes, that the Lord vttered, partly in prayer, and partly in heauie complaint in that agonie. And the thirde ground I shall take from [Page 183] our owne feeling. What auailes all the knowledge in the vvorlde without feeling of His Passion, and of His Resurrection? Then to goe forward in order, and to open vp euerie one of these grounds: The last day I began to bring to you the words of Scripture, some out of the old Testamēt, & some out of the New, by the which this inward agony yt the Lord suffred in his soule is expressed most viue­ly. I cited to you those words that are in the 53. chap. of Esay, where there is a viue and liuely prophesie of Iesus to come into the world: The Lord (saies the Prophet) tooke pleasure to breake him. This breaking is not onely of the body on the Crosse, but chiefely in breaking of the soule: for the soule of Iesus was rent with sorrow. Then I cited out of the 116. Psalme, the words of Dauid, being the type of Christ: The dolours of death haue compassed me, the sorrowes of Hell haue ouertaken me. Then I came to the Gospel of Matthew, and I cited these words out of the 26. CHAP. My soule is heauie on all sides to the death. There is the heauinesse of the soule, and an heauinesse without any joy, and a heauinesse to death, euen to euerlasting death. Then I came to Luke, who in his 22. CHAP. hath these words, And he was in an agony: there is a battell. But where? In the Gardē. With whom? None was fighting with Him: no man was neare Him. Whom with, but with the heauie wrath of the Father, that He felt in His soule? In the 2. of the Acts I cited the wordes of Peter, Whome God raised vp againe, when He had loosed the dolours of death: The word in its owne languague sig­nifies that paine that women suffer in trauelling, wherby the Scrip­ture vses to expresse the paine of Hell. And last of all I came to the words of Marke, in his 14. Chap. where he not onely vtters this in­ward paine that the Lord had in His soule, but also the greatnesse of it, and the degrees, and partes thereof. The wordes are, When the Lord was in the Garden, he began to be afraid, and astonished, and then to bee in a wonderfull heauinesse. The words in their owne language are more significatiue.

Nowe Brethren, wee shall examine and weigh these wordes of Marke.The first word that Marke vses signifies an astonishment, a feare, and an horrour, whereby the Lord in the Garden was trou­bled suddenly from the Heauen: so that all the members of His bo­die shooke and trembled. It is not a matter of jestes: it arose vpon a sense of the wrath of God comming from Heauē: and a most vehe­ment sense thereof, that lighted on Him suddenly, because Hee bare our sinnes, and this terrible wrath ouer-tooke all the powers of His [Page 184] soule, and occupied them. Brethren, I take this to be none other thing, but that first stroke of euerlasting death, whereby the repro­bate sh [...]ll bee stricken in the first entrie to Hell, when they set in their head first to Hell, the wrath shall so strike them, that all the powers of the soule shall be dammished. The suffering of Christ in His soule is the viue image of the suffering of the reprobate in Hell. And [...]t is it that Paul in the 1. Epistle to the Thessalonians, sets downe, When they shall crie peace, & all things are sure, then sudden de­struction approaches: the wrath and vengeance from Heauen lightes on suddenly: so that all the haires of their heads shall stand on end, and it shall come vpon them suddenly, euen as the showres and dolour, comes on a woman who is trauelling in birth. I can giue no better example of it, than ye haue in the Prophecie of Da­niel, in Belshazzar the prophane man, he is sitting with his Princes, banketting and prophaning the holy vessels of the House of the Lord. What falles out? hee sees come out of the wall suddenly, an hand writting, he sees it not so soone, (look the first stroke of Hel) but he is stricken with a feare & horrour, his knees shiuer & smite one another, & he becomes like a dead man: a viue image of Hell.

This for the first worde that Marke vses, and the first part of that agonie that IESVS CHRIST suffered for vs in His soule. Now wee haue to weigh the second word, Hee sayes, Hee beganne to bee astonished, and to be in a wonderfull heauinesse, The word in its owne language signifies an extreame paine in the soule: Who is able to tell it? (The Lord saue vs from the extrea­mitie thereof) it rose vpon that horrible wrath that He was stric­ken with, and was lying on Him, and pressing downe His soule: First, Hee was stricken, then the heauie wrath of GOD lyes still on the soule so that Hee hath dolour in His soule, that all the powers of His soule is full of wrath. Who can beare the wrath of the Omnipotent GOD: No, not CHRIST as He was man only, no not all the Angels in Heauen: The LORD saue vs from it. When the wrath of the great GOD strikes on any in the Hell, all the powers of the soule faile, and all leaue off to doe their duties, beeing full of displeasure.

It is a mar [...]eilous thing (for as carefull as the LORD was wount to bee of the redemption of man▪ for that was His only care night and day, it was His meate and drinke) yet all that care was nowe away, and He forgets it, and Hee falles out in a Prayer, [Page 185] and Hee sayes, Take away this cuppe from Mee: and that was the cuppe of His Passion for our Redemption: yea Hee bids His Fa­ther take it away, which if it had beene taken from Him, neuer a soule should haue beene redeemed: Consider then, if Hee was in an agonie, or not: when Hee forgate the worke of our Redemp­tion. Now we must not thinke that this forgetfulnesse came of sinne (our forgetfulnesse comes of sinne) the Holy one had no sinne: but it rose of an infirmitie of Nature, wherewith Hee was cled for our sinne. Yee see, if a man be in a distresse in the soule the senses, and all the powers of the soule are so occupied about that sorrowe, that they forget their owne functions and opera­tions, to helpe the part that is distressed: Euen so it was with the LORD: for when for our sinnes Hee was vnderlying the wrath of that Omnipotent Iudge, all the faculties of His soule, His vn­derstanding, His memorie▪ &c, left all their functions, that all might concurre to helpe Him in that common agonie. Well, Brethren, if yee would see Hell, yee haue here the viue image of it: The reprobate after that at the first they are astonished vvith the sudden vvrath: as they continue in Hell, their dolour and paine shall euer be augmented: the vvrath shall still lye vpon them, like a mountaine tumbling on them, and pressing them euer in soule & body: so that they remaine euer in this euerlasting paine. Christ made an end of it: but if thou be a reprobate: this anguish shall ne­uer leaue thee. Oh! that the vvorld vvill not knovv this, and once pause on it: vvould they then, thinke ye, runne to all mischiefe as they doe. And if once thou be cast into Hell, mountaines of dolour, and heapes of vvrath shall be heaped on thee for euermore. These are tvvo parts of that Hell that the Lord suffers: novv vvould yee haue the thirde part▪ I remit you to the 5. Chapter to the Hebrewes vvhere there Paul sayes, that the Lord vvhen Hee prayed in the dayes of His flesh, vvith strong cries, and vvith teares, Hee vvas heard: He had a terrible feare, beside the present paine: He vvas in a feare of a greater danger to insue. If thou goest to Hell once, beside the present paine that thou shalt be in: And, O the vveight of that paine that shall be on thee! thou shalt euer haue a terrible feare of a greater paine to fall on thee, ye paine of Hell is not ended in a moment, but yu shalt finde the paine g [...]ovving euerlastingly, & a mountaine of vvrath shall come after another, as ye vvaues of the sea follovving one another. It is a sore matter to be in this paine euer­lastingly.

[Page 186]Now we haue heard the first ground out of the wordes of the Holy Spirit: Come to the second ground. When He was in the agonie, He vtters such effects, that they who saw Him, and heard that pitifull voyce, might easily see, what anguish Hee had in the soule, He falles out in a prayer, Father, take away this cuppe; that is, the cuppe of thy wrath, wherein He vtters a forgetfulnesse of our redemption, the dolour so increases vpon Him, that Hee prayes with greater intention, with teares, and with strong cries, and with weeping. Hell will cause thee to mourne, and compell thee to squeele, and houle like a dogge: laugh not, it will cause thee to gnash thy teeth, if thou be cast in vtter darknesse: yet as He prayes, the wrath increases, that He did sweate blood, and the droppes of blood fell from His face to the ground. What man read ye of, or heard yee euer of, or euer shall, that was in such a feare, in such a torment, that for the feare of the torment, he did sweat blood. So, that ye see, that the Lord was in such anguish, as neuer a man was. Were any of the Martyres in such a feare, or such an anguish, as this? No, no: Then as Hee vtters His agonie in prayer, so Hee vt­ters it in many, heauie and bitter complaints, Iohn 12. When hee is speaking of His glorification suddenly, He breakes off, and sayes, My soule is troubled, what shall I say? and then Hee turned Him to His Father, and sayes, Saue mee from this houre: and last Hee sayes, My soule is heavie on all sides, euen to the death. But of all complaints, this that Hee vtters on the Crosse: My God, my God why hast thou forsaken mee? is the most heauie, and it proceedes from the most bitter anguish of the soule. Nowe the Lord grant, that this com­plaint may saue vs from that complaint of the reprobate, that they shall vtter in Hell: No question, these words vtter a forsaking of Him, and that Hee was deserted for a time: He was left off, without all comfort in the world: Of all joy that He was wount to haue: all joy was taken from Him: They import not a diuulsion of the Godhead from the manhead: the glorious Godhead dwelt in the Lord Iesus, whilst as He hang on the Crosse: GOD neuer left Him at any time, after that once the Sonne of God tooke to Himselfe our flesh: Hee left it neuer, no, not on the Crosse, nor in the graue: Hee left it neuer, nor neuer shall, but the Godhead kept it selfe so closse in Christ the man, that it would let Him haue no joy, whilst He should pay that ransom to the vttermost farthing, whereby the justice of God was satisfied for our sinnes. And this is [Page 187] the thing He complaines on: Yet whilst He sayes, My God, my God, He lets vs see Hee despaires not, but in the meane time whilst Hee was left, He cleau [...]th to God, & hath His confidence in His God, the Deuill and all the world cannot separate Him from His GOD that dwelt within Him. Confidence in God will ofttimes be in the godly without feeling of joy, albeit that Spirit will not be out of their soules: The Spirit will minister no joy to them, yet the poore soule will neuer leaue off to put confidence in God. Well, this complaint tells vs, that Iesus Christ was deserted for a time, to saue vs, who should haue bene reprobates for euer. But there is a great difference betweene Iesus Christ, and the reprobate. Indeede they agree in this, that both He and they are left comfor [...]l [...]sse, He vtte­red a great complaint: so they shall complaine and houle: And as He cried and wept, so shall they: But here is the difference. He was for a time in a manner reprobate, they shall bee made reprobates for euer: Hee complained for a time, but they shall complaine for euer: He ceases not to put His confidence in God: the reprobate shall haue no confidence, but as God shall leaue them, so shall they leaue God, & as God shall turne His backe on them, so shall they turne their backe on God. This is a sore matter. Then Iesus Hee vttered this complaint, My God, my God: They shall not say, My God, why hast thou left mee: but shall crie, alas, for euer! God hath left me for euer, and cast me off from His presence for euer. This speech My God, is a speech of confidence, and He cleaues to God in His heart, they shall shoute and cry, GOD hath left mee for euermore & cast me off. This for the two grounds, come to the third ground, that is, our owne feeling: for if thou feelest not, all thy knowledge auailes not a straw, Paul to the Phillippians Chapter 3. sayes, He counted all things to be but losse and dung, that he might knowe Him, that is, Iesus Christ. Thē he sets down the parts of this know­ledge, that I may know Him, & the vertue of His resurrectiō, & the cōmunion of His Passions, & be made conformable to His death. Wherin stands ye knowledge of the resurrection of Christ? It is not eneugh to know it only: The knowledge stands in a fe [...]ling of the force of the glorious resurrection in thine heart, and thou shalt feele the olde canker of sinne mortified, and thee to bee quickned with a new life to liue to God. And likewise wherein stands the knowledge of His suffering? It stands of the feeling in thine heart of the mortification of sinne: Thou must feele a regeneration in [Page 188] thee, or else thou feelest nothing, and thy soule shall get no life, howbeit thou knewest all the Bible: All this knowledge of Christ is but a dreame, without a feeling: and thou art but sleeping, except thou findest a vertue proceeding from His suffering to thy soule, to reforme it. But to speake of that feeling-knowledge of Iesus Christ vvho died for our sinnes: Howe shalt thou find and feele in thine heart that Hee suff [...]red anguishe for thy sinnes, not onely in bodie, but also in soule? I thinke there shoulde bee no bodie, but they should bee meditating on an answere: I shall tell you, how I, and thou, and euerie one of vs shall feele that curse and malediction that Iesus suffered, and that was layde on Him for our sinnes. If I finde in my soule in some measure that wrath for my sinnes, which Iesus felt in full measure (Lord saue vs from that measure) if I taste and get a proouing of that bitter cuppe of the wrath of God, that Iesus dranke the dregges of, and all for my sinnes: if I taste of it, and put it to my mouth, vvhen I feele this vvaye and taste, I vvill begin and reason: If I finde my sinnes and the burthen thereof so heauie, that I can scarcely beare one sinne among a thousand, yea, though it were but an euill thought: If I finde the burthen of my sinnes so heauie, who am but a man, O howe heauie must all the sinnes of the Elect bee, that Iesus bare on His backe! (Looke how I come to His feeling from the other.) Then I vvill saye, O howe heauie vvere the sinnes that IESVS bare on His backe! And then I shall saye, If once I can but taste one droppe of that wrath that followes my sinnes, and findes it to bee so bitter: (Let them taste of that cuppe vvho will, they neuer tasted of so bitter a thing) Then vvill I saye, O howe bitter vvas that full cuppe of vvrath vvhereof IESVS dranke out the dregges and all, seeing one droppe of it is so bitter in my soule. There vvee come in some measure to the feeling of that bitter vvrath that IESVS felt. Beholde the dealing of GOD vvith His owne: for although He loued them neuer so vvell, yet Hee vvill let them feele the burthen of their owne sinnes in some measure, & He vvill tye the burthen of them on their owne backes, whilest they grone and peach: and He will touch them with the sense of wrath from heauen; and that to let them vnderstand howe sadde and heauie a wrath it was that Ie­sus suffered for our redemption. And when wee feele anie burthen for sinne, let vs runne to meditate on the sore burthen of IESVS CHRIST, or else thy sicknesse and thy trouble is not sanctified [Page 189] to thee, if thou feelest not that Iesus Christ hath borne the burthen of thy sinne. Well, Brethren, this is a vvay, vvhereby vvee come to the feeling knowledge of the paine that CHRIST suffered, and this is bitter. But there is a sweeter manner: If I feele that sweete mercie of GOD in mine heart, and that peace of conscience in my soule, I will beginne and reason with my selfe after this manner: This mercie that I taste of, this peace of con­science that I haue, this joy and gladnesse that I taste, it behoo­ued to proceede out of the malediction, and out of the wrath that lighted on my Mediator, it had beene vnpossible for mee to taste of mercie, if my Redeemer had not drunken out that full cuppe of wrath. And I saye, indeede to thee, if the Lord Iesus Christ had not drunken out that cuppe of the wrath of God, there had neuer beene such a thing, as any joy, or any piece of conscience in this worlde, nor in the worlde to come, if it had not beene ransomed with the precious blood of Iesus Christ; there is not one droppe of grace, peace or joy, but that which is bought and which the blood of Iesus Christ, hath payed for. Alas, if the world could vnderstand howe deare one drop of grace is: No, ere one drop of grace came, it behoued the Lord to be taken, & put in the winepresse of Hell, & tread on, & tramped on with the feete of the wrath of God: for this Iustice of God who was offended, should neuer haue suffered one droppe of grace to come, if it had not beene satisfied by the blood of the mediatour.

Now to ende this purpose, I know perfectly that all this speech of the Crosse, is but foolishnesse to the wise of the world: These wise Heades who compasse the Worlde with wisdome, all is but foolishnesse to them. It is foolishnesse to them who perish, as Paul sayes, 2. Cor. 4.4. If thou findest the Crosse of Iesus but foolish­nesse, take thee a doome: thou shalt perish, all the world shall not saue thee: & againe by the contrary sayes Paul, The speech of the Crosse is the wisdome of God, & the power of God to them who are saued. All is but foolishnesse in respect of the Crosse: all the strength & might of the world, & things vnder Heauen is but weaknesse, in respect of Iesus Christ, and His strength. If thou countest the speech of the Crosse, to be power & vvisdome: assure thy selfe, thou hast an earnest pen­nie, that thou shalt get life, & blessed is that soule that delites to heare of ye Crosse of Christ, & counts it to be the povver & wisdome of God, which shines wonderfully in this base Crosse: ye wisdome of [Page 190] GOD shined neuer so in the creation of the Heauens, and of the worlde, as in the vile and abject Crosse of IESVS CHRIST. The power of GOD shined not so much in creating thee of nothing, as it shines in thy redemption: The more foolishe that this meane is that the LORD vses in redemption, to wit, a sillie Crosse; the more base it appeares to bee, the greater is the glorie of the wise­dome of GOD, who wrought such a great worke of redemption thorow such base meanes. I say, the more infirme that this meane is, (for what is more infirme than a sillie poore man, or a vile Crosse?) the power of GOD appeares ye greater, who hath wrought such a glorious worke out of such a base meane. And I saye, if thy redemption had beene wrought with a glorie, as the Iewes and the Gentiles imagined, if GOD had yeelded to their fantasie, and wrought our redemption by a glorious meane, that glorie of GOD had beene obscured, and the meane had gotten all the glorie. But it hath pleased the LORD to worke this worke of redemption and saluation by base and naughty meanes, that the world respects no more of, than the dirt which they treade on. Looke what is the difference betwixt the wisedome of GOD, and the wisedome of man: Will yee looke to the cause of our redemption, to IESVS CHRIST, or to the Professors, and to Ministers, they are the foolishest in the vvorlde: sillie bodies, and compare them vvith potent men, they are but contemptible, and of no valour: and, compare them with wise men, they are but fooles. So looke to the Crosse, and to the Ministerie thereof, whereby wee are saued, all is weake, base, and contemptible: and all to this ende, that the LORD onelie maye gette the glorie: and, as the APOSTLE saies, He that glorieth, may onlie glory in the LORD: And let eue­rie one of vs giue glorie to that LORD of Glorie: To whome with the Father, and the Holie Spirite, bee all Honour and Praise for euermore.

AMEN.

THE XXI. LECTVRE, OF THE PASSION OF CHRIST.

MATTH. CHAP. XXVII.

verse 47 And some of them that stood there, when they heard it, saide, This man calleth Elias.

verse 48 And straightway one of them ranne, and tooke a spunge, and filled it with vineger, and put it on a reede, and gaue him to dri [...]ke.

verse 49 Other said, Let be: let vs see if Elias will come and saue him.

verse 50 Then Iesus cryed againe with a loude voyce, & yeelded vp the ghost.

MARKE, CHAP. XV.

verse 35 And some of them that stood by, when they heard it, said, Beholde, hee calleth Elias.

verse 36 And one ranne, and filled a spunge full of vineger, and put it on a reede, and gaue him to drinke, saying, Let him alone: let vs see if Elias will come, and take him downe.

verse 37 And Iesus cryed with a loude voyce, and gaue vp the ghost.

LVKE CHAP. XXIII.

verse 46 And Iesus cryed with a loude voyce, and saide, Father, into thine handes I commende my spirite. And when hee had thus said, hee gaue vp the ghost.

IOHN CHAP. XIX.

verse 28 After, when Iesus knewe that all thinges were performed, that the Scripture might bee fulfilled, hee saide, I thirst.

verse 29 And there was set a vessell, full of vineger, and they filled a spunge with vineger, and put it about an hyssope stalke, and put it to his mouth.

verse 30 Now when Iesus had receiued of the vineger, hee said, It is finished, and bowed his head, and gaue vp the ghost.

[Page 192] DVRING the time that the LORD IESVS hung quicke on the Crosse, which was three houres, and large more, yee may reade (well-beloued in Christ) sundrie voyces that He vttered. When I looke tho­rowe the foure Euangelistes, I finde in number sixe sundrie voyces, and euery one of them is well to be marked: for at that time Hee vttered nothing in vaine. The first voyce wee reade of, was a voyce of diuine power, together vvith mercy, when one of the Thieues, who hung at His right hand, said to Him, Lord remember me, when thou commest to thy Kingdome: The Lord answered him like a King, and like a powerfull and mercifull God, Verily J say vnto thee, this day thou shalt bee with mee in Paradise ▪ The next voyce, was a voyce of humane pittie, and naturall affe­ction toward His Mother: she being by the Crosse with Iohn, and other women, He recommendes her to the custodie of His w [...]ll be­loued Disciple. The thirde voyce wee reade of, was a voyce of sad­nesse, proceeding from an heart that was sadde on euery side to the death, and from that agonie on the Crosse, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken mee? The fourth voyce in like manner, was a voyce of sadnesse, proceeding from a wonderfull heate in the soule and body, I thirst. The fifth voyce by all appearance was a voyce of joye, seeing the worke of Redemption to bee wrought, and the wrath of His Father to be asswaged, He saies, after He had drunken the vineger, Jt is finished. The sixt and last voyce in like manner was a voyce of joye: for finding Hee was to giue vp the ghoste imme­diately, and finding His Father sweetly to loose His soule from His bodie, He saies, Father, into thine hands I commend my spirit.

Now Brethren, all th [...]se foresaid voyces the Lord vttered during the time that He hung quick on ye Crosse: Of these we haue heard, the first, the second, & the third, which was that heauie complaint that Hee made to His Father, My God, my God, &c. This daye as God shall giue vs grace, wee shall speake of the three other voyces; one of them of sadnesse, and the other two of joye. But before wee come to these voyces which are the three l [...]st voyces, wee haue to speake something of the misconstruing of the complaint of the Lord vttered to His God. Nowe the Iewes that stood by Him, and heard Him crie, Eli, Eli, (for Hee cryed aloude) of maliciousnesse, not of mistaking Him, they begin to calumniate and to misconstrue [Page 193] His wordes, because the worde Eli, which is, My God, sounded like Elias: Therefore they said, Hee cryed for Elias, when Hee cryed on His God, Let vs see if Elias will come, and take Him downe. In the which wordes wee may see clearely, that they sought not onelie to destroy His bodie, but the Deuill in them sought to sunder and seuer Him both in soule and bodie from His God: they woulde not heare Him crye vpon His God, but they sought to destroy His bodie and His soule, such was the insatiable malice of the hearts of these Iewes against Iesus Christ. This is the common dealing of the Deuill and his instruments with the godly, and chiefely in that last houre, when the separation of the soule from the body is to follow: Not only to get the body dead, but the soule & God separated: if thou beginnest to pray & call on God, they will scorne thy prayer, & seeke to cut thee frō God, & all hope of life. But to leaue them, & their bitter maliciousnes: As in all the poinctes of the suffering of Christ, I looke more to the disposition of His Father, than to the Iewes, to the deuil, or his instrumēts: So I doe in this. No question as His Father exercises Him inwardly with a bitter wrath: euē so, whē as the Lord by making an heauy mone, seekes an outgaet, & cries, My God, my God, &c: Hee will haue Him met outwardly with bitter­nes. Aime where He wil, He meetes Him with nothing but bitternes & wrath inwardly & outwardly, hell inward & outward, no refuge, nor escaping till yt ransome be payed to the least farthing. Wel Bre­thrē, if ye would see an image of hell, see it here. The Lord Iesus was for a time, & fealt nothing but extreame bitternes. But the repro­bate, after they be once casten into hell, there is nothing for them but bitternes: let thē aime here & there to escape, houle & cry, they shalbe met wi [...]h bitternes. What if it were but for a time! The Lord escaped, His suffering was but for a time; but no escaping for thee, if thou be thrust into hell, thou shalt neuer get out, and shalt find no­thing but bitternes, aime here or there, all shalbe in vaine, & euerla­sting bitternes shalbe casten in thy teeth, and compasse thee on all sides: that is a sore word, An euerlasting bitternes, neuer to haue an ende. So blessed is that soule for euer, who in that Day shalbe found in Christ to get a part of that passiō yt He suffred: the Lord giue euery one of vs grace now while we haue time, to know Him, & to seek to be foūd in Him for wo to yt soule yt shalbe foūd out of Him in ye great day. Now I come [...]o ye voyces, & first to that fourth voyce yt the Lord vttered, whē He said, I thirst. When vttered He it? When He knew that [Page 194] all [...]hinges were ended: To the ende that the prophesie might bee ful­fi [...]led that was spoken of Him before, Hee saide, I thirst. A voyce of sadness [...], comming from an extreame drought of bodie. The Lord Iesus, as He too [...]e our nature vpon Him, so He tooke on all our in­firmities sinne ex [...]epted. Many times was Hee hungry and thirsty: but chiefely wh [...]n He hanges on the Crosse in that extreame heat of His soule and His body. The soule was burnt vp with wrath, and all the moysture of the bodie likewise dryed vp with wrath: at this time the Lord had such a thirst, that the tongue of man cannot ex­presse it: thou sufferedst neuer such a thirst, in any Feuer or disease, as the Lord Iesus suffered for thee on the Crosse. And no doubt, be­side other paines, this exceeding thirst was a part of His paine, and a part of that ransome that He payed to the Father for our redem­ption. Yee see when a man is in a Feuer, the thirst will bee a speciall part of the paine that hee hath: Therefore, albeit the thirst that the Lord s [...]ffered on the Crosse, was an exceeding great paine: yet He will not vtter His voyce, I thirst, till the ransome was payed: Hee would not seeke to quench that thirst, till that wrath of the Father was satisfied. The drought was insatiable: for the infinite wrath of God thirsted after the blood of the Mediator, bearing our sins, and was not quenched till the blood of the Mediator was drunken vp. No quenching of sin, but by the blood of the Mediator: if thou bee not in Him, the wrath of God will thirst for thy blood. After this, followes that bodily thirst: The soule is dried vp: the moysture of the body is clung vp: the wrath suckes all vp. On this rises the thirst of the body: for except the Lorde had had a spirituall thirst, and a pleasure to obey His Father to the death, & to saue thy soule from Hell; it had beene vnpossible for Him to haue suffered that bodily thirst so long. Learne this lesson at the Lorde Iesus, and followe His example: wee should suffer patiently all paine that it pleases the Lord to lay on body and soule, knowing that it is according to His will, and that by thy suffering, thy obedience to Him is tryed. And, as we should suffer patiently all paine [...]; so wee learne at Christ to a­bide patiently this bodily thirst in sicknes or Feuers, knowing well that the Lord layes it on vs, to trie our obedience & patience. But wilt thou know how thou shouldest abide it patiētly? The Lord Ie­sus had a spirituall thirst to obey His Heauēly Father, & for thy sal­uation, that swallowed vp that bodily thirst. Gette thee an earnest thirst to obey thy God: it will bee a wondrous thing how patientlie [Page 195] thou wilt suffer whatsoeuer God wil lay on thee. Therfore Brethrē, in all things we should set our hearts to obey God: and winke and close thy eyes at all dangers: yea, if thou be in extreame thirst, and going to die, say, Lord, I wil obey thee: &, if thou get thy heart thus resolued, and humbled vnder the hand of thy God, howbeit thou be in pain for a time, thou shalt see a faire end. The Lord Iesus after this thirst, and after death, saw a glorious end. So no question, wilt thou leane on thy God, as He did, & abide His will patiently, thou shalt see the joyfullest, & most glorious end that euer was. The Lord giue vs grace to obey God, and to say, Cast me here, or there, & lay on me what thou wilt, I shall obey thee, though thou shouldest slay mee, I will trust in thee. This is an happy r [...]solution. We shall speake of the end wherefore the Lord vttered this voyce: To the ende (saies Iohn) that the Scripture might be fulfilled. In the 5. of Matt. the Lord saies, J come not to dissolue the Law and the Prophets, but to fulfill the Lawe, and to fulfill euerie jote of that Lawe: Heauen and Earth shall perish, ere one jote of that Lawe shall passe away. Now among all the prophesies that Christ fulfilled, there is one here made mention of in the 69. Psalme, Jn my meat they gaue mee bitternesse, and in my drinke they gaue mee g [...]ll to drinke. Nowe this prophesie is accomplished: Dauid spake this in his owne person typically: but the veri [...]y thereof was fulfilled in Christ. Dauid got no vineger to drinke: but Iesus Christ drunke vi­neger. When the Lord came into the world▪ & wrought the worke of our redemption there was not so much as a title that was fore­told of Him, but He fulfilled it: there was not a circumstance of His death, but it was fore-tolde: That nayling was fore-tolde, where it is said, They pearced mine hands, and my feete: The hanging of Him be­twixt two Thieues was fore-tolde, They reckon me (saies the Prophet) amo [...]g the vnjust: The diuiding of His garmentes was fore-spoken, They diuid [...]d my garmentes among them, and cast lottes for my coat. Looke the XXII. and IXVI. PSALMES, and the LIII. CHAP­TER of ESAY. So this drinking of vineger was foretolde. Nowe what learnes this vnto vs? Was there euer any man whose death was pointed out this waye? No, neuer any one. All the Kinges, nor all the Emperoures, had neuer such a particular pointing out of their death. This lets vs see, that the Father had a more speciall care of the death of IESVS, than of the death of anie man that euer vvas: and consequentlie, it lets vs see▪ that there vvas neuer such a vvorthie personage in the vvorlde as IESVS, [Page 196] and that there was neuer such excellencie in the death of any, as in the death of Iesus: in it stood the life of the world. Let men make pompes of the death of Emperours, the Lord had neuer such an eye to the death of any, as to the death of His onely well beloued Sonne, and all the predictions of His death are to this end, that wee comparing the issue of His death, with the predi­ctions, wee might beleeue that Iesus was sent to bee the onely Sa­uiour of the world. When I thinke on this, I wonder at the blind­nesse of ye Iewes, yt cannot know Him to be the Mediator, but after that once a man be giuen to a reprobate sense, he will say, the Sun in ye noone-tide is but darknes. The Gospel is hid, sayes Paul 2. Cor. 4.4. to them who perish: if thou see not & beleeue not ye Gospell, thou hast an earnest pennie in thy bosome, yt thy damnatiō is sealed vp Thus farre for His thirst they gaue Him a drinke: There is a vessell full of vineger: This was a custome that they vsed: they had a drinke beside them who were crucified: Some thinke it was for this end, that the paine might be stanched: There is a drinke of vineger stan­ding beside the Lord: but I knowe not if they gaue such a sowre drinke to the thieues. So this vessell standing beside one of them steps to it in scorne, and takes a water sponge, and puts it on a reede, and puts it to His head, he got litle thanke for his worke: I take this giuing of this drinke to the Lord at this time, to haue proceeded from bitter malice. The wrath of His Father was begun to be asswaged: yet the wrath of the Iewes could not be asswaged. There is none end of the malice of the Iewes, so long as breath is in Him, they neuer cease to rage against Him. Whē He was dead they persecute Him: whē He was in glorie, they thought to shame Him. Whē ye Lord looses ye raines of ye deuill, & of wicked men to chastise his own, they run headlongs to wracke His Church: ye Lord seekes but chastisemēt: they seek wrack of body & soule: he yt knowes not this, he knowes nothing, & if these persecuters got their will, they would not only seeke ye wracke of ye body, but also of ye soule. What doth ye Lord for this? when ye Lord hath pulled in their raines, Hee takes ye scourge, & casts it in ye fire, because they run far beyond their cōmission. This shalbe ye end of their miserable soules. O yt damna­tion yt shal ouertake them! when ye Lord hath chastened vs by them, they shalbe cast in ye fire for euer. Refuses ye Lord ye drinke? indeede before He was raised vp on ye Crosse, He tasted of this, but would not drinke, but He beeing on the Crosse▪ it is said, He dranke it. It may [Page 197] by that after such a troublesome labour, that His drought was so great, that Hee was glad to drinke any liquour. Alwayes, this I know, except the Lord had had a thirst of thy saluation, Hee had not drunken it. The thirst of thy saluation made Him as Hee dranke out the cuppe of the wrath of His Father: So to drinke out this bitter cuppe that was propined to Him, out of the bitternesse of their heartes, Hee dranke out the wrath of God, and the wrath of man, that thou shouldest drinke the water of Life. I say, remem­ber vpon that drinke that Iesus dranke, when thou drinkest deli­cious drinkes: it is not thy money that buyes the wine, except it be bought with the precious blood of Iesus: not a piece of bread, or any thing pertaines to thee, if it bee not bought with the blood of Iesus: to them who are sanctified, all thing is sanctified, & if thou be not in Him, thou shalt bee accused as a violent possessour of all things, in yt great day. Now I goe to the next voyce, when He hath drunkē, He saies, Jt is sinished, that is, yt wearisome worke is now put to an end: now the ransom is payed: now the work of Redemptiō is ended. Brethren, that yee may vnderstand this, The Lord when He was in the Garden, had two workes: The first was, to buy Hea­uen, to conquere life to vs: The second, to put vs in possession of it. The first worke He beganne it in the first moment of His concep­tion, and continues still from that time to that moment: He gaue vp the Spirit to the Father. Now that worke beeing ended, He pro­claimes on the Crosse, cries out in the audience of them all, Con­summatum est, it is finished. Now that wearisome worke is ended, the deare worke is ended, Heauen and life, and righteousnesse is con­quered to the worlde for euer. This is the summe of the Gospel, the worke of our Redemption is ended: this is all our preaching, Heauen, life, & glorie is conquered againe, to the lost world. Thou needest not to giue one pennie out of thy purse for Heauen. Cur­sed are they from the High Heauen, to the low Hell, that open their mouth to say, Thou must pay some of that ransom out of thy purse: Woe to the Papistes who will stand vp & say, Thou must pay some part of that ransome, wo to that foule mouth that dare be so bold to open it, and say, pay thou a part of that ransome with thy money, seeing that Iesus Christ hath proclaimed that all is finished & bought by His blood, woe, vengeance and euerlasting damna­tion shall light on the Pope, and all the Papistes that dare open their mouthes to speake such presumptuous wordes. Yet there is [Page 198] another worke remaining, which is to put vs in possession of Hea­uen, and He began this, at His resurrection: and He holdes it on y [...]t, and shall continue it vnto His comming againe: And at that day of His comming, yee shall heare Him crying, All is ended: not on His Crosse, but in glory: and all the Angels and all the Sainctes shall crie, All is ended, Glorie to him who hath ended all, & no more shall bee. Looke downe to His heart, and to the sense, from whence this voyce arose, whē He saies this: ye shall find that Iesus felt the wrath of His Father asswaged. Before Hee was in an agony: now Hee feeles the agony to cease: where before He foūd no joy, now joy returnes: On the sense of all these thinges, falles out this voyce, All is ended. Whē I looke to this, I thinke I see ye image of a godly Sainct dying: for the godly are like to him in death and life. Before the last mo­ment they are in a battell, and suddenly they will say, I haue gotten the victorie in Iesus: and thē last they will yeeld vp the spirit. Come to the last voyce: It is a voyce of joy. I am of that opinion, that be­fore the Lord yeelded vp the ghost, the agony left him, and that joy that had left him, returned againe, and made him to vtter joy­full words. The Euangelists say, He cryed with a loud voyce. What voyce this is, Luke expresses, Father, into thine hands I recommend my spirit. All that were standing about might haue heard him vttering this po­werfull voyce. Now ye would wonder, that a man immediatly yeel­ding vp his spirit, should haue such a strong voyce. Ye see men and women, in death their voyce will faile them: some will not haue any voyce, and some not any signe: some, if they get that grace to speake, yet it will be a weake voyce, because the strength of nature failes. Yet Iesus all the day before vttered not so shrill a voyce. So it must follow, that naturall strength was not failed in Iesus Christ, and that by the strength of nature, hee might haue liued long: for the other two liued long, and were not dead, till they came and brake their legges. Iesus died against nature: neither was hee bro­ken as they were. What followes of this? Iesus Christ in that same moment that he yeelded the spirit, hee had a power aboue nature: and a diuine power against nature, which puts out the life: and, if he had power against nature to put out his life, hee vttered before the Iewes, that they had no power to put out his life, and that hee had a power to keepe his life if it had pleased him: And that is it which he saies, None takes my life from mee, but I laye it downe, and I take it vp againe. Yee will heare, that when worde came to Pilate that IESVS [Page 199] was dead, hee wondered, and all the world wondered at this yeel­ding vp of the spirit. And by this the Lord would shewe, that hee was not a common man: hee would shewe, that he was God, either to keepe his life, or to put it out, at his pleasure. Hee saies, Father, in­to thine handes I commende my spirite. These wordes are farre from this, My God, my God, why hast, &c. for those words proceeded of great sadnesse mixed with confidence, but of no joye: but these wordes, Father, into thine handes, &c. as they proceeded of confidence, so they proceeded of a wonderfull joye. No doubt, at this time hee feeles that sweete hande of the Father dealing with him moste sweetelie: not as the reprobate: Alas, the hande of the Lorde in justice stri­king the soule of the reprobate, looses it from the bodie, with the sense of extreame wrath. But the Lord feeles the hande of the Fa­ther loosing his soule from the bodie with sweetnesse. And all they who die in CHRIST, will feele the Father loosing the soule with sweetnesse, as these last wordes vtter. Looke to the Martyres: they neuer vtter the first voyce, My God, my God, &c. No, but the se­cond, Father, into thine handes I commende my spirite, because they find joye in torment▪ Steuen, the first Martyr, vttered the second voyce, ACTS, CHAP. VII. VERS. 59. And the rest of the Martyres followed him: which testifies plainelie, that this was a voyce of joye that IESVS vttered. But marke the wordes of CHRIST: yee see that euerie man and vvoman, beside the bodie, they haue a spirite, and more beautifull, and farre more precious of substance than the bodie, and yet it lodges in an house of claye, and in an earthlie Tabernacle. Next, there will bee a separation of the soule and the bodie. Thou thinkest euer to liue, but whether thou wilt or thou wilt not, thy soule shall bee separate from the bodie, and then the bodie shall die. Shall thy soule die? No, if thou bee in CHRIST, the Father shall take thy soule.

Nowe againe, Brethren, see how carefull the Lord is of his soule at the poinct of death. If Iesus, who had no sinne, is so carefull of his soule; I pray thee, who art a sinfull bodie, how carefull shouldest thou bee thereof? It must liue, either in Heauen, or in Hell: if the Lord cryed so loude that the earth quaked again, & till the Temple rent asunder; wilt not thou, a sinfull creature, bee carefull of thy soule? A man should haue care of the soule at all times, but chiefly at the houre of the separation, for at that time the Deuill is busie to deuour thee, and the golfe of Hell to swallowe thee vp. Then [Page 200] looke how carefull thou shouldest be in following the example of Iesus, to recommend the soule into the handes of the Father: and looke how carefull thou art to render the soule into the handes of the Father; the Father shall be as carefull to loose the soule, if thou bee in Iesus Christ, to conuoy it with Him to rest for euermore in His blessed bosome. The LORD giue vs grace to commende our soules into the hands of that faithfull keeper in the houre of death, and that wee maye finde Him readie to receiue and conuoye them with Him to that euerlasting rest, purchased to vs through Christ: To whom with the Father, and the blessed Spirit, be praise for euer­more: AMEN.

THE XXII. LECTVRE, OF THE PASSION OF CHRIST.

MATTH. CHAP. XXVII.

verse 50 Then Jesus cryed againe with a loud voyce, and yeelded vp the ghost.

verse 51 And beholde, the vaile of the Temple was rent in twaine, from the top to the bottome, and the earth did quake, and the stones were clouen.

verse 52 And the graues did open themselues, and many bodies of the Saincts, which slept, arose,

verse 53 And came out of the graues, after his resurrection, and went in­to the holie Citie, and appeared vnto manie.

verse 54 When the Centurion, and they that were with him, watching Ie­sus, saw the earthquake, and the things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truely this was the Sonne of God.

MARKE, CHAP. XV.

verse 37 And Iesus cryed with a loude voyce, and gaue vp the ghost.

verse 38 And the vaile of the Temple was rent in twaine, from the top to the bottome.

verse 39 Now when the Centurion, who stood ouer against him, saw that he thus crying, gaue vp the ghost, he said, Truely this man was the Son of God.

[Page 201]
LVKE CHAP. XXIII.

verse 46 And Iesus cryed with a loude voyce, and saide, Father, into thine handes I commende my spirite. And when hee had thus said, hee gaue vp the ghost.

verse 47 Now when the Centurion sawe what was done, hee glorified God, saying, Of a suretie this man was just.

verse 48 And all the people that came together to that sight, beholding the things that were done, smote their breasts, and returned.

IOHN CHAP. XIX.

verse 30 Now when Iesus had receiued of the vineger, hee said, It is finished, and bowed his head, and gaue vp the ghost.

WEE heard the last daye (vvelbeloued Brethren) the sundrie voyces and speaches vvhich Iesus Christ, vvhilest Hee hung quicke on the Crosse, and vvas nayled thorow handes and feete vttered in the au­dience of the vvhole people. The first two voyces vvere the voyces of pittie and mercie. The one of mercie, to one of the Thieues, that vvas crucified vvith Him, Verily (saies the Lord) this day shalt thou bee with mee in Paradise. The other of pittie, to His owne Mother, (vvho stood by, looking on Him, when as Hee hung vpon the Crosse in extreame paine) recommen­ding her to IOHN, His welbeloued Disciple. Other two voyces, were voyces of sadnesse, and heauinesse of heart: The one an hea­uie complaint to His Father, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken mee? The other proceeding from an extreame drought, that came of that sense of wrath and paine which Hee felt during the time that Hee hung vpon the Crosse, I thirst. The last two voyces vvere of joye, for it appeares well, that before the Lord gaue vp the ghost, comfort and joye returned to Him againe. And I am of this mind, that there are none, who are Gods owne, but before their depar­ture out of this life, (sooner or later) they will get a sense of that joye which they are to passe vnto immediatelie. The first voyce of joye, was, All is ended: As though Hee vvoulde saye, This w [...]ke is done, and ended, and nowe the ransome of the redemption of man is payed to the least farthing. Nowe the last voyce vvas vvhen Hee vvas immediatelie readie to render vp His spirite into the [Page 202] handes of the Father, sayes, with a feeling of joy in the heart, Into thine hands, Father, J commend my Spirit. Now this day, we haue to speake by His grace, First, of His death, and the yeelding vp of His Spirit: Next, of those wonders that fell out immediatly after the Lord had rendered the Spirit: and thirdly, we haue to speake how the multitude were mooued when they sawe these wonders. Novve as concerning His death, the words are but few. Iohn sayes, When Hee had spoken, and cried with a loude voyce, Hee bowed downe His head, and He rendered His Spirit. The wordes are to be mar­ked, Hee renders His Spirit, first, as it were, Hee tooke His soule in His owne Hande, and deliuered it in the handes of the Fa­ther, desiring Him to keepe it well, to the day of His glorious re­surrection: for, Brethren, this is the difference betweene the god­ly, & vngodly in their death: as they differ, and are vnlike to other in their life: so especially in their death. The vngodly cast away the soule and life, and cares not where it goes: but woe is to them that doe so, they will neuer take vp such a life againe, when they haue cast it▪ awaye, not regarding where it goes to, but thinking lightly of it. No, let no man nor woman cast away this life, or dislodge this soule lightly: if the soule goe from thee lightly, and thou carest not for it: better it were for thee, neuer to haue had a life, a soule, or a body. But againe, Brethren, The Lord Iesus, as all His lifetime Hee is carefull for the soule that is lodged in an earthly tabernacle: so chiefly, in the moment, when it is to fllit, The godly, they will not let the soule flit out of the body, vntill they know that the hand of the Lord, is sweetly loosing the soule, to keepe it, vntill the day of their glorious resurrection. Brethren, it would be well marked, There is not one of the foure Euangelists, Matthew, Marke, Luke, or Iohn, but they note very precisely the death of the Lord, and the yeelding vp of His Spirit. As for the circumstances that fell out in His Passion: some will note one thing and leaue another. As for example, These voyces that He vtters on the Crosse, not one of the Euangelists hath them all, some hath one, and some another. But when it comes to the yeelding of the Spirit, they all in one harmonie note, The Lord gaue vp the Spirit. This is a thing not to be passed by, nor to be lightly looked on, and it lets vs see, the death of our Sauiour, the separation of His soule from His body, is so substantiall, and so needfull a thing both to Him to haue suffered, and vs to knowe, that except the Lord had [Page 203] suffered the death, all the crucifying of Him inwardly & outward­ly, all the rest of His suffering had auailed vs nothing, the ransome of our sinnes had not bene payed: for that was the curse that was laide vpon vs, to pull our soule from our bodie: and as it was need­full that He should suffer the death for vs, so it is needfull to euery one of vs to knowe this, that my Sauiour died, and His soule was really separated from His body, it is needfull that thou haue euer­more the Lord Iesus crucified before thee, and know that the soule was separated from His blessed body: for grace and remission of sinnes is conquered thorow the death of the Mediatour: if thou hast not Faith of the death of the Mediatour, it is vnpossible that thou canst beleeue that thy soule shall come to Heauen. The Apost. Heb. 9. hath a notable comparison, hee sayes, When a man hath made a Testament, and his legacie, wherein hee leaues such inheri­tance to any man: his Testament can neuer bee sure, nor ratified, before the man be dead: and if he ratifie not the Testament with his death, it cannot bee sure: for the man in this life may alter the Testament: But after that once he die, there it stands, it cannot be reuoked: Euen so sayes the Apostle, The Heire of the world, Iesus Christ hath made a Testament, and such one as neuer man made, leauing such goods and heritage to His Saints, as neuer man left, euen that heauenly Heritage, that exceeding Glorie, Now, sayes the Apostle, If the Heire of the World, Iesus Christ had not sealed vp His Testament by His blood, it had neuer beene sure, but His death interueening and closing it, then the Testament is sure, & all the world is not able to alter one jote of it, to adde or diminish it. Woe be to him that will adde any thing to the Testament of Iesus Christ: he is counted a villaine, who will adde to a mans Testament. Wilt thou adde or diminish any thing at thy pleasure, from the Te­stament of Iesus Christ. This Newe Testament is the best Testa­ment that euer was: Let Worldlings bee content with the Testa­ments of their forefathers, yet count thou nothing at all, except thou get a part of the legacie left in His Testament. Woe bee to thee, albeit thou get Ea [...]ledomes and Kingdomes and great pos­sessions left to thee by the Testament of thy forefathers, if thou gettest not this Testament. Well, Brethren, this Testament can not be ratified, but by the blood of the Testator. How can I be­leeue it, except I know that He died, and that the soule was as ve­rily separated from the body as euer the soule of man was: so when [Page 204] I consider the death of my Sauiour, who hath made such a Testa­ment, I am so farre from that, to bee offended at that shamefull death, that the death is the ground of my saluation, and that in His death is all my glorie, & the assurance of my life is in the assu­rance of His death, and His ignominie and shame is my glorie.

Now thus farre for the death of the Lord Iesus, Now come to the consideration of these wonders that fell out immediately, as He gaue vp the Ghost: The Ʋaile of the Temple rent asunder, from the toppe to the bottome, The earth quaked: Such things neuer fell out in all the deathes of men in the world: No, not in the deathes of all the Kings in the world: The stones were clouen, the graues of the dead did open. These are the foure wonders that are noted to haue fallen out immediatly, when the Lord gaue vp the Ghost. Brethren, the Lord in His death, Hee was euen in the extreamitie of His humiliation, Hee was weakned, made of no reputation the Lord of glorie was tread vpon by the feete of death, death stamping on Him, He could not be further humbled: there is nothing so ignominious as death: except it be sanctified: it is terrible and ignominious, so that if it be not sanctified in the death of the Lord Iesus: it is but a curse to thee, & a vengeance from Heauen: yet for all this casting downe of Him, His heauenly Father leaues Him not, but in His greatest hu­miliation the Father giues the greatest tokens of His glory, and He testifies that He was not only innocent, but that He was the Lord of glory, & yt Godhead neuer left Him in that ignominious death, nor neuer shall leaue Him, albeit it kept the selfe close, y He might suffer that ignominious death, because it was not expedient that Hee should vtter His power: yet yt Godhead in His death wrought such wonders, that He testifies before the Iewes that yt same man which hung there was the Lord of glorie and the Lord of life. Will yee come further, that albeit that miserable people had not a tongue to speake, and would not giue a testimonie of the glory of CHRIST, the dumbe and senslesse creatures, who had not mouth, nor tongue, nor life, will not bee silent, but will doe their homage to the Lord. Fye on thee, and woe is thee, that euer thou got ye mouth or tongue: the dumbe creatures in their kinds do ho­mage to their God, & glorifies Him, & shames all the world, & they shame all ye disciples: for al were offēded at Him now. So now ye earth and the rockes shame them all: fye on them. The Lord as Hee came riding to Ierusalem, like a glorious King, to giue them a shew of His [Page 205] glorie, Luke 19. When the disciples cryes, Hosanna, Blessed be he that comes in the Name of the Lord, the Pharises were angrie at it: they were offended to see the Lord glorified. Then Iesus answered, if these would holde their tongue, the stones would cry: These stones & senslesse creatures shall cry and glorifie Me, there should not be a wall in Ie­rusalem, but they should haue cried: if the disciples and the multi­tude had holden their tongue: and if men had their tongue, and glorifie not God, the stones shall rise vp, and shame them, and glorifie Him. Now the mouth of the people is close, and not one of the disciples cried, Hosanna: yet the earth forgets Him not, shee cries in her owne manner, Hosanna: the rockes cry: the vaile of the Temple cries, Hosanna whilst it rent asunder. Well, Brethren, blessed is the soule ye hath a mouth to glorifie God: woe to thee that hath gotten a tongue to glorifie the Lord, & does it not: if the Lord in humiliation was glorified by the dumbe creatures, can Hee want His glory now in Heauen? if thou glorifiest not God, another shal glorifie Him: if no man shall glorifie Him, the sea, the earth, the sunne, & the moone shall glorifie Him: & thou, albeit thou were a King, shalt be thrust in Hell to thine euerlasting shame. Now Bre­thren, there is not one of these foure wonders, but particularly they would be cōsidered: & first, The renting of the vaile of the Temple. The vaile of ye Temple was a faire wall, ouergilt wt fine gold there was neuer a thing so glorious outward in this world, as yt Temple, vpō ye which hang a glorious Tapestrie wrought curiously: it diuided ye most holy place, called the Sanctuarie, wherein the Lord gaue His presence, & it was ye type of that heauenly Sanctuary, wherein Iesus Christ entred by His blood, it got the name from the office & vse, it was called a vaile, a couering, because it hid the Sanctuarie from the sight of the people, & of the Priests: only the High Priests ex­cepted who entred in it once in the yeere, and that not without blood: No, for his life hee durst not enter in it without blood. Nowe when the LORD giues vp the Ghost, this Vaile cleaues in twaine▪ and in a manner he makes an answere to the voyce of the Lord. Wilt thou who hast life, reason, mou [...]h, and tongue, an­swere Him, He will make the vaile to answere Him. The Lord saide a litle, before He gaue vp the Ghost, Consummatum est: All is ended, the ceremonies of the Law of Moyses are ended: the sh [...]ddowes are away: there is no more vse of that vaile. When the vaile heares this, The vaile sayes, Amen, it is true my Lord, & here for my part, [Page 206] I giue ouer my office, and I giue the sight of the Sanctuarie to the people, and shall not hide it any mo [...]e: for Iesus Christ hath ope­ne [...] vp the Vaile, and pulled it downe, and mad [...] an entrie to the Sanctuarie by His blood. Well, this is the preaching of the Vaile to the Iewes. But heard they this? Take the High Pri [...]stes any h [...]ed to this lang [...]age of the Vaile? No, they were neuer busier in the Ceremonies, than after they heard this speech: They saw the Vaile rent, but they tooke no lesson by it, there is a wonderfull indura­tion, Paul 2. Cor. 3. tells the cause, There was another vaile laide on their heartes, so that they could neither see not heare. It was harder to rent that vaile, than an hundreth vailes of stone. Lord keepe vs from that reprobate sense: alas, that wee should not take heede to this: The earthly vaile rent asunder at the voyce of the Lord, but the vaile of their heart could not b [...]e rent, neither for the voyce of the Lord, nor yet for the wonders. This is the lesson: Euery one of vs should take heede to our heart: after that once a man bee giuen vp to a reprobate sense, as this people was: after that once thou begin­nest to doe against thy knowledge, either in manners, or in reli­gion: after that once thou beginnest to doe against: conscience, thou wilt do the contrarie of all that it biddes thee▪ thy conscience telling thee, when thou art going to murther, to harlotrie, to op­pression, to anger thy God, all is wrong doe it not: yet thou wilt trampe on the belly of thy conscience. In the first Chapter to the Romanes yee may read the end of this, As thou wilt not heare thy conscience, and the voyce of God, the Lord catches thy conscience from thee, and casts thee ouer to a reprobate sense: so that thou art past feeling, that it were better to speake to a stone, than to thine heart, and when I speake to that piller, it sh [...]ll rather rent than thine heart. Wouldest thou see a wonder: The Papists would bring in wonders, but bring in a man who is regenerate that is a wonder: yea, it is a great wonder, to alter thine hard and stonie heart, than to cleaue the hardest rocke that euer was. Let mee see an regenerate man, from whom that scroofe is taken away: it is a greater wonder to see a regenerate man from whome that scroofe is taken away, than that all the rockes should rent. This for the first wonder: now followes the second. The Earth quakes: No doubt, but with the quaking of the earth, there was a sore dinne, whilst the soule of the Lord separated from the body. O! what a thing was it to draw the soule of the Sauiour of the world from [Page 207] the body: No, the renting of the rockes was nothing in respect of that drawing of the soule of the Mediatour from the body: The Earth is holden vp by the mightie hand of the Lord: and when it shakes, the mightie hand of the Lord shakes it. When the Lord be­gins to shake His arme, all the mountaines shakes: it is no jesting for if Hee hit thee, Hee will bruse thee in pieces, although all the world were about thee. What is miserable man doing, that will not knowe the power of the Almightie God: This shaking meanes a threatning to this people: and the earth threatens to swallowe them all vp, for their indignitie they wrought to their Lord their Maker. If thou dishonourest thy Maker, the earth shall open and swallow thee vp, as it did Core, Dathan and Abiram ▪ who withstood Moyses: No, it is a wonder that the earth should beare men. No, I protest, I would not wonder so much, if the earth opened and swallowed some men, as I wonder that the Lord in His long suffe­ring patience spares them, and holds His hand and Iudgement off them. It is a wonder that the houses fall not downe on the blas­phemers, and the chambers, where they commit their filthinesse should not smoother them▪ But Hee shall cause an heauier thing fall on the body and soule, than a thousand mountaines were tum­bled on them: thou doest nothing but heapes vp wrath, as the Apost. sayes, against the day of wrath. No, wrath, and heauie wrath shall be heaped on them. So the earth threatens th [...]m, for the indignitie they did to their Lord. Yee see, that after the earth quaked, it will swallow vp townes and people: but shee swallowes them not vp now, but the earth vomites them out, as not worthie to beare them in her bellie No, she thought them ouer bitter to be within her, who had dishonoured her Creator: but afterward looke what came on them. The earth will reuenge that foule thing done to her Lord: the land of Iudea spued them out, and the earth will not let that cursed kinde haue a foot-breadth of her. O! what is it to haue battell with the Creator, when He begins to arme the earth or any creature against thee, we would thinke that this shaking of the earth should haue mooued them, yet t [...]ey take no thought for it. At the voyce of the Lord the earth did shake, but did the Priests and the Scribes shake? Are they mooued at the dinne and shaking of the earth? So againe, I say there is nothing so vnmoo­ueable: No, not the earth, as thine hardened heart will be at all the denunciations that will come from Heauen, or Hell: saue thy [Page 208] selfe from a reprobate sense, or else thou shalt neuer bee wakened, till thou bee thrust into hell, where thou shalt bee tormented vvith endlesse vexation without any hope of comfort. This for the se­cond wonder. Nowe let vs come to the clieuing of the Mountaines. This followes on the former: as the earth opened to swallow them, so the mountaines cloue to tumble vpon them: The mountaines will not suffer them to dishonour their maker. What mooued this, the Iewes? Euen as much as the other two. No question it was a great and terrible noyse, when the mountaines cloue. Woe to a senselesse heart: The mountaines may clieue, and shiuer and quake, but if thy soule bee giuen to induration, the stones & mountaines shall bee mooued, and broken, but thine heart shall neuer breake. Woe againe to a senselesse heart, which is not mooued at the word of God: that Scepter of yron (whereof ye reade, 2. Psal.) shall light on thee, & bruise thee in pieces: Therfore, cast away that vaile frō thine heart, and striue to keepe light in thy soule & conscience, and walke in sobriety, till thy God call on thee, and then thou shalt see a bles­sed ende. Nowe wee come to the last wonder which was wrought. The graues doe their duetie: they forget not their maker: but in their manner, they glorifie their Lord God, and honour Him: yea, death it selfe, with the graue, doe Him homage and honour. But miserable man will not honour Him: The graues laye open from three a clock after noone (for about three a clock the Lord gaue vp the ghost,) and they lay open all that day & all that night, & all the daye following, and the next night till the morning that the Lord rises: and then the bodies of the Sainctes also arole, by vertue of His resurrection, and went into the Citie. The graues will tell the miserable people, that the Lord Iesus had loosed the bandes of the graue by His death. By death He slew death: with her owne sword He slew her, as wee speake. Shee would teach them, that the bodies in that Great day shall rise vp by the vertue of that resurrection of Iesus Christ. This question may bee asked. What became of those bodies which arose & went into the City? Did they lay them down againe in the graue, or ascended they to Heauen? I will not bee cu­rious in this purpose: But in my judgement, they were taken vp to the heauēs with Iesus Christ, to be an argumēt of our resurrection & going to the heauens. This was a faire lesson: but this miserable people was not moued. Woe to a stonie & senselesse heart: the graue may open, but nothing will open a senselesse soule. Therefore, I be­seech [Page 209] you striue to get a soft and mollified heart. The voyce of Ie­sus made the earth to quake, the rockes to rent, the graues to open, the deade to rise: but the voyce of the LORD opened not their heartes: then He opens the graues: It is an easier thing to raise a dead body out of the graue, than to raise thy soule, if it bee once ha [...]dened: it is more wonderfull to raise a deade soule, and to see that soule get a sense of Heauen, than to see all the bo­dies of the Church-yard rising.

Nowe to compare these wonders, There are two of them, The first and the last that teach this people: The other two, the second and the third that threatens them. The quaking of the earth, and the renting of the rockes threaten a damnage and destruction to them: and in this temperature of His wonders: As the power of God, so the wisdome of God appeares wonderfully: He threa­tens this people for the indignitie, that they had done to the LORD of glorie, with Hell and death, yet Hee holds vp His handes. O! how vnwilling He is to strike, but if He light on thee, Hee will cause thee squeele: He is ayming: Hee is shaking that ter­rible arme, and threatning them: in the meane time the Lord is remembring His mercie, and teaches them by wonders, to looke yet if they will take a lesson, to repent of all the indignitie that they had done: Hee threatens them with the one hand, and offers mer­cie with the other, to see if they will repent. This is the dealing of the Lord Hee warnes them, and He sayes. Yet I will not swallow thee vp with the earth, and I will not let the rockes tumble downe on thee, to deuoure thee, yet repent: for there is g [...]ace for thee, if thou turnest. Brethren, no man shall goe to Hell, without aduer­tisement to stand, to the end, that if thou wilt not repent, when the Lord begins to put hand in thee, and to rent thee, thy mouth may be closed, that thou canst not say: Lord▪ I got no warning, all excuses shall be put away. Alas, will not men learne for all this sha­king of the mountaines. Lord shake these hearts of ours, & the Lord be merciful to all sinful soules, & to senslesse creatures, lest whē they shall cry Peace, & all things are sure enough, thē sudden iudgement approach & the wrath come & ouertake them. Now come to ye last thing & I shall end. Are there none yt are moued at all at these wonders? Amongst so many hundreths & thousands is there not one moued? yes there are some moued, & who are these? are the high Priests moued? No, not a whit, is there any of ye rest of ye order of ye Priests moued? Not, [Page 210] They continue blinde and dumbe. Are the Pharises, and the Scribes, or the Elders mooued? No: They are not mooued; but the more they heare, their heartes are the more hardened. Who are then mooued at these vvonders? It is an Ethnicke bodie, a Captaine of men of vvarre vnder PILATE, and a Pagane, vvho neuer once knewe GOD, yet vvhen hee sees this, and hearde the voyces, hee saies, Of a suretie this man was just: And more hee saies, True­ly this was the Sonne of GOD. Is there anie moe? Yes: A bande of men of vvarre: Not of the IEVVES, but such as had liued on robberie, vvithout the feare of GOD, they feared greatly, and saide also, Truely this man was the Son of GOD. Who of the IEVVES is mooued? Not the Scribes, and the Pharises, and the rest of the Order, they are nothing moued: but the sillie multitude, vvho cryed before, Crucifie him, nowe they goe home, smiting on their breastes, and crying, vvoe to them for that dayes labour: but there vvas neuer a motion in the Priestes, or in anie of the Princes or Pharises▪ or Scribes. It is a vvonderfull thing, to see that they vvho had judgement and vnderstanding, and who had read all the prophecies of the MESSIAS to come, gotte no sense: yet a sil­lie multitude gettes some sight and sense. Woulde yee knowe and poinct out a senselesse creature, vvho vvill not bee mooued neither by vvorke nor vvorde: It is such a man, as hath this vvorldly wise­dome: Such a man, as hath knowledge, and yet does against his knowledge and conscience: for all that these Priestes and Pharises did, vvas both against knowledge and conscience: They repined against the Holy Spirit, and against their conscience, they crucifie Iesus. Whosoeuer thou art, who opponest thee to the brightnes of the Gospell, thou crucifiest the Lord of glory: and as it shalbe layed to the charge of the high Priests and Pharises, and of Pilate, and He­rode, in that Great daye, that they crucified IESVS CHRIST: So it shall bee layed to thy charge, and thou shalt bee as guiltie of His blood, as they. Woe to that soule which vvill resist that word and the Holy Spirite. Woe shall bee to the great men in this land, vvho against conscience conspires against CHRIST, Religion, and their natiue Countrey, for vvrath and vengeance remaineth for them, if they leaue not off this vnhappie course: The King of SPAINE, and all their associates shall not bee able to holde ven­geance off them, that shall one daye bee heaped vpon their heads. The LORD saue vs from induration, and neuer suffer vs to re­pine [Page 211] against Light, nor to scrape it out of our soule and con­science.

I see heere further: The LORD gettes moe friendes in His death, than in His life: The Centurion, and the men of vvarre, they curse the time that euer they vvere employed in that seruice: The multitude, vvho bad crucifie Him, thorowe blindnesse and ignorance; nowe they repent the time that euer they did it, and they returne homewardes, knocking vpon their breastes. That immaculate Lambe, that precious Sacrifice, hanging thus on the Crosse, Hee cast such a sweete smell on the earth, and on the peo­ple, that they vvho vvere His enemies, goe awaye mourning. This falles out often times in the Martyres, for some people goes out with them, who woulde eate them: and yet the LORD IE­SVS makes their death to cast such a sweete smell, that it is ef­fectuall to mooue manie thousandes to mourne, and to bee con­uerted: So that it is founde to bee true, that the bloode of the Martyres is the seede of the Kirke. And they who woulde haue swallowed them before in their death, pitties them, and become their friendes, thorowe the sweete smell, which they felt comming from their death, and would goe home mourning, that euer they were enemies vnto them, and were instrumentes of their death.

Therefore, let the enemies of the trueth persecute the Sainctes of GOD, and His Trueth, with Fire and Sworde, as they please; They shall gette no vantage, and they shall not gette this Light quenched: for there shall such a sweete smell arise out of the ashes of the Sainctes, which in despight of the enemies farre moe shall bee wonne to IESVS CHRIST by their death, than euer was wonne to Him by their life: To Him, therefore, vvith the Father, and the Holie Spirite, bee all Honour, Praise, and Glorie, for euermore:

AMEN.

THE XXIII. LECTVRE, OF THE PASSION OF CHRIST.

MATTH. CHAP. XXVII.

verse 55 And many women were there, beholding him afarre off, who had followed Iesus from Galile, ministring vnto him.

verse 56 Among whom was Marie Magdalene, and Marie the Mo­ther of Iames, and Ioses, and the mother of Zebedeus sonnes.

MARKE, CHAP. XV.

verse 40 There were also women, who behelde afarre off, among whome was Marie Magdalene, and Marie the Mother of James the lesse, and of Ioses, and Salome,

verse 41 Who also when Hee was in Galile, followed Him, and ministred vn­to Him, and manie other women, who came vp with Him vnto Hierusa­lem.

LVKE CHAP. XXIII.

verse 49 And all his acquaintance stoode afarre off, and the women that fol­lowed him from Galile, beholding these thinges.

IOHN CHAP. XIX.

verse 31 The Iewes then (because it was the Preparation, that the bodies shoulde not remaine vpon the Crosse on the Sabbath daye: for that Sabbath was an high day [...]) besought Pilate, that their legges might bee broken, and that they might bee taken downe.

[Page 213] WEE haue heard these dayes past (beloued Brethren in Christ) what was the part of the whole multi­tude of the wicked, and persecuters of IESVS CHRIST, in crucifying Him, in taunting and scorning Him: Doubtlesse, there were in that com­panie some of the godlie, who loued the LORD IESVS: but seeing we haue heard nothing of them as yet, there­fore this daye wee shall speake somewhat in their behalfe. Nowe, what are they doing in the meane time? They are standing afar off. Some men & many women, who all that time had followed Him before, standing to see that sadde spectacle: yet with sadnesse they had joye, no question: And this is the first part of our TEXT, which wee haue read, out of MATTHEVV, MARKE, and LVKE. After this wee enter into the Historie of Christs buriall: But before we come to His buriall, wee haue in the XIX. CHAPTER of IOHN, the Hi­storie of the taking downe of His bodie from the Crosse: So at this time, by Gods grace, wee shall speake of these two, to wit, Of the part of the godlie, who loued Him, and next, Of the taking downe of that blessed bodie from the Crosse, after it was dead. Then, to come shortly to the purpose: It is saide, And all his acquaintance stood afarre off. There is the generall: Then comes on the particular, Manie women: particular mention is made of them: Manie wo­men are standing afarre off, looking on. Wee heard of before in the XIX. of IOHN, vers. 23. of three women chiefely, Marie the Mother of Iesus, and other two Maries, together with His well-beloued Disciple IOHN: and they were standing at that time when Hee hung quicke vpon the Crosse, so neare hand Him, that He speakes to them from the Crosse, and they hearde Him. So Brethren, this standing afarre off at this time, as I take it, hath beene after the Lord had giuen vp the ghost, when the women are returning home againe, being loath to part companie with Him: and as they were going home, they turned about, & looked to Iesus hinging on the Crosse, on Moūt Caluarie: They stand first near, & thē turning home again, they stand afar off. No questiō, it was ye loue they bare to the Lord, that drue thē after him, whē he went to be crucified, & yt same loue yt they bare to him was so tender & entire, yt it made them to stand & look on him when he hung on the Crosse: and yt loue they bare to ye Lord Iesus made thē to seuer frō the rest of the multitude, [Page 214] and to gather themselues together, and looke backe to Him where Hee was hanging. For this is a sure thing, Those that meete toge­ther in one faith and loue in the Lord Iesus, of meere force they must meet together among themselues, and be linked together by the band of loue in one bodie. By the contrary, those who meet not together in one faith in Iesus Christ, their hearts will neuer be joy­ned in this world, they will neuer meet to make one body, they will neuer separate themselues from the multitude of this world: No, if it were all my kinred, father, and mother, brother, and sister, if they loue not the Lord Iesus, mine heart and his shall neuer bee linked together in this worlde, nor in the worlde to come: Hee that loueth not the Lord Iesus, (as Paul saies, 1. Corin. Chap. 16.) let him be Ana­thema maran-atha▪ that is, cursed for euermore. But hee who loues the Lord Iesus, and meetes with mee in Him, let him bee what hee will, let him bee in the vtmoste corner of the worlde, mine heart and his is linked together, and there is a conjunction which neuer shall bee separated, neither in the Heauen, nor in the Earth: it shall last for euer.

Brethren, when I consider this multitude heere standing, loo­king vpon Him when Hee hung vpon the Crosse, I thinke I see an image of the whole worlde: for it is a worlde of people, who are standing about Him: there are Gentiles, there are Jewes, and the false adulterous kirke, there are Priestes, Pharises, Elders, blinde guides of the people, & a prophane multitude, enemies of all sorts: And as there are manie enemies to Christ, So there is a sillie hand­full of godlie men and women, gathered together, looking vpon that sadde spectacle; who resembled the true Kirke militant heere vpon the face of the earth: And as in all this multitude, like drawes to like, The vvicked and the vngodlie ranke themselues together, The Priests ranke themselues together. The souldiours ranke them­selues together; and also the godly ranke themselues together, and looke vpon that sadde spectacle, their Lord crucified. Well, this is common to all: all are standing looking to CHRIST, han­ging on the Crosse vpon the toppe of the Mount Caluarie, Jewe, and Gentile, wicked, and godlie, all are looking: But in looking there is a great difference: There are some delighting their eyes vvith the spectacle, there are some feeding the malice of their heartes, and drinking the blood of IESVS CHRIST, the Priestes, the Pharises, and the Elders: But the godlie are looking on vvith [Page 215] sadnesse of their heartes: And I doubt not, but as with sadnesse, so also they are looking on Him vvith joy, by faith in His glorious resurrection. There are manie this same houre who haue their eyes fixed on Christ, both Turkes and Paganes, and the true Kirke, and the false Kirke: but one cause mooues not all. Take heede, therefore, howe thou lookest, either to His Crosse, or to His glorie: looke that thy soule bee set on Him, and see that by looking vnto Him, thou preasse to bee partaker of the fruite of His death and re­surrection: for if thou lookest to Him for the fashion, or in malice, as the Turkes doe, and the Pagans, and the Papistes, enemies to His Crosse, thou shalt perish: & better had it bene to thee neuer to haue heard of Iesus, or neuer to haue seene Him. Further, this would be well considered: We see if we haue a friend, whō we loue well, if he betaken out to a shamefull death (there was neuer such a shamefull death as this) we will thinke shame of him, and he will thinke shame that his friendes shoulde see him in that estate. Who would thinke but that the acquaintances of Iesus should haue thought shame of Him, to haue conuoyed their friend to such an ignominious death, and to haue seene Him so shamefully demained. So that, Brethren, when I cōsider this matter well, I perceiue that those His familiars and acquaintance haue seene further into Christ, than men & wo­men doe commonly. No doubt but the friends of Christ, who came to see Him hanging in ignominie, sawe life in that death: they sawe glory in His ignominie; otherwise they had neuer come to see Him hanging in ignominie: And no doubt they felt a sweete perfume flowing from that Sacrifice: It was the sweetest smelling Sacrifice that euer was offered. All the perfume and incense that euer was offered, passed not vp with such a sweete smell in the nosethrilles of the Father, as that one blessed sacrifice did: And as it smelled sweetly in the nosethrilles of the Father: so did it cast a sweeter smell in the nose of the godlie, than euer they founde: and they thought it had such a fragrant odour, and such a sweet smell vnto them, that they thought, ere they had beene separated from Him in His death, they had rather chosen to haue dyed a thousande deathes: for as the Lord saies, Wheresoeuer the carion is, there must the Eagles resort. Well is the man who in his death findes the sweete smell of ye death of Iesus Christ. I haue no more to say of this matter, but if this acquaintance of Iesus for the time tooke such a pleasure in His death, (beeing shamefull,) that they could not bee separated [Page 216] from Him, it is a shame to vs to draw so far backe from Him, not now hanging in ignominie on the crosse, but most glorious in the Heauens. Fye on this dull headed and dead world, that hath no sense of that glorie, and is not allured by that vnspeakable glorie, rather to suffer a thou and deathes, albeit it were the sword, the fire, and all torments, than to be separated from this Iesus Christ: But the womens part is more particularly to bee considered: Let all women take heede: it is saide, Many women were there, Moe of them, haue followed the Lord to the crosse, than men, that I may speake to the glorie of GOD, and shame of men. As for men, I finde nothing but this generall. In Luke a companie of men and women, but in Matthew and Marke, I finde of women espe­cially: they are looking on Him with sadnesse mixed with joy: And from whence came they? It is said, that They came out of Ga­lile, following on Him: they neuer left Him, they wearied not to follow such a guide, they ministred to Him on their owne charge: As they were fedde with that bread of life, that came out of His mouth, so they spared not, freely and liberally to communicate all that they had to Him: And happie is the man, who so findes the effect of the word of life in his heart, that hee would bestowe againe, all that he hath for the loue of that word. Brethren, yee know, what is in hand presently: many words neede not: seeing this diuision of the towne in competent Congregations intended, is to feede your soules with the word of life: spare not for goods to get that word of life.

Nowe, I see beside the multitude, mention made of three wo­men, Marie Magdalene, then, Marie the mother of Iames the lesse, and of Ioses, and Salome, the mother of the two sonnes of Zebedeus: No question, these women mentioned here haue borne a tender affe­ction to the Lord: forgets the Lord that loue they bare to Him in all times before, in following Him from Galile to Ierusalem, and from Ierusalem vnto the ignominious death of the crosse and there staying with the Lord, and not leauing Him, but ministring to Him: forgets the Lord this? No, but He remembers vpon it: thou shalt neuer doe a good deede to IESVS CHRIST, but Hee shall meete thee: they loue Him, and Hee honours them: they ne­uer left Him: they shamed the men yea, His disciples: yea, euen the very Apostles: for we read not of any of all His Apostles, that any of them was there present, except Iohn: Peter had taken [Page 217] him to a backe side, for all his stoutnesse before: the rest were of­fended in Him: These women did cleaue to Him through the band of loue: forgets the Lord this? No: as they loue Him be­yond His Apostles: so the Lord honoures them aboue the Apo­stles. It is no small thing to get the honour to be an eye witnes of the death and resurrection of IESVS CHRIST: it is grea­ter honour than all the honour in the world. No doubt, the LORD made these women in their turning backe preachers to the Apostles themselues: they tolde Peter, Iames and Matthew what they had seene: there is none end of honour, when the Lord be­gins to honour: as He honours them to be witnesses of His death, and preachers of it to others: so Hee will haue the names of some of them to bee registrate to the posteritie. And it is the will of IESVS CHRIST, that this day I promulgate the names of these women in your audience, to their honour, after so many hundreth yeeres, and their names shall be registrate perpe­tually to their euerlasting honour, whilst IESVS CHRIST come againe: yea, their names shall bee written in the Heauens euerlastingly. Neuer one repents the gratitude done to IESVS CHRIST: thou shalt get two good deedes for one. Againe, the LORD will let vs see in the example of these women that oft times in women there will be a more tender loue to the Lord IESVS, than in men, who are the stronger sexe: ye will see the weaker and simpler that the sexe bee, and the lesse worldly wit that it haue, the more spiritually it is disposed, the more affe­ctionate it is to heauenly thinges, the greater heauenly wisdome it hath. If any man, sayes PAVL, seeme to bee wise in this world, let him bee a foole, that hee may bee wise, that is tru [...]ly wise, wise in GOD, 1. Cor. 3.18. And as their loue is great, so the Lord will honour them to the shame of men, and whereas men should preach CHRIST, Hee will make women to preach IESVS CHRIST to men, to the shame of men, and His owne glorie. All tends to this, that as men and women doe desire to bee honoured of God, so all men and women should striue continual­ly to loue and glorifie GOD. GOD loues none, nor honoures none, but only those who loue and honour the Lord Iesus Christ: if thou louest not the Lord Iesus Christ, thou shalt get no loue nor honour of God: yet further, this is not to be passed by, the world vvonders novv, that Hee had such an eye to these three vvomen: [Page 218] There were many hundreth men, but how many of their names were registrate to their honour? Hee had such a respect to them, that He espied them out beside the rest of thousands that were there, and by His Holy Spirit caused registrate them. This registra­ting of them came not rashly, but from an ordinance of God, and His especiall Prouidence. There is not a publike conuention, albeit it were a man hanged, where multitudes of men and women run together to heare & see, but the all-seeing eye of the Lord is vpon euery person in particular, man, woman, ladde, or lasse. Neuer an head there, great or small, poore or rich, noble, or ignoble, but the eye of the Lord is on them: yea, it goes downe to the inward affections, to rippe and search them, to see of what disposition euery soule is. As for example, we are all met together here, sundry men and women, some greater, some smaller, some younger, some older: yet there is not one of vs, on whome the Lord hath not His eye. We are met, to see Iesus Christ crucified on mount Caluarie, there is not one of our hearts, but the eye of the Lord sees it, and Hee sees wherefore, and for what end thou art come to that mee­ting, whether it be to feede thine eares, and to take delectation in hearing of new things, or to take pastime to see, and be seene, or to eschew the shame of the world, or whether thou commest to reape profite, and to be edified of that thou hearest, and to get life of that Crosse and death of Christ: for therein stands thy life, and this should be the end of thy meeting with Gods children. Th [...]n seeing the eye of the Lord is set on euery soule: therefore it becomes eue­ry one of vs, to striue to approue our heartes to the Lord: so that euery one of vs may saye to the Lord, for this ende am I come, O Lord, to be partaker of the fruit of the death of Iesus Christ. Woe to them who come for another cause, or sinistrous respect, and come not to be edified: for the Gospell shall neuer be a worde of life to them, but a sauour of death vnto death. If it worke not life in thee, and if the Spirit worke not life by the preaching of the Crosse, it shall be the power of death to thy soule.

Brethren, we haue heare the first part: Now we haue to speake of the second part: The taking of His bodie downe from the Crosse before His buriall. The taking downe of the body of the Lord Iesus Christ, the Lord of lords▪ comes of a r [...]quest made to Pilate, and made not by His friends, but by His enemies. I see this, this miserable people of the Iewes were spoyled of all power, [Page 219] as they had no power to hang any: so they had no power to take any downe from the Crosse, or from the gallowes, without the leaue of the Magistrate: they were spoyled of all power by the judgement of God, & therefore, they behooued to haue recourse to Pilate: they were slaues, yet they would not acknowledge the true King of glorie, who might haue made them free. I see heere a commendable thing in the Romane policie, As it was not lawfull to hang any without the command and licence of the Magistrate, so they who were hanged, might not be taken without the licence of the Iudge. There sould nothing be done to a guiltie person, but by the authoritie of the Iudge. God in His judiciall Law, gaue not only Lawes concerning the lifting of men vpon the crosse, but also of ye taking down of them frō the crosse. It is wel to be marked, who it is that giues the aduise, that the Lord with the other two should bee taken downe from the crosse, to put an ende both to their paine, and their ignominie. It is not one of His disciples, it is not Peter, nor Iohn, nor Matthew, they are not so bold, they durst not presume it: No, it was His enemies that crucified Him, that interponed their request for Him? Was this a benefite they did to Him? Certainely this was a benefite they did to Him, to take Him downe from the crosse: yet they doe it, not to benefite Him, for any pitie they had on Him: for they thought, that Hee was liuing but the Lord had giuen vp the Ghost. When thy friendes will not make a suite for thee, the Lord will raise vp thine enemies to doe thee good: He cannot only make thy friend doe thee good, but thy foe also. If thou bee the Lordes, He can make them who would wish thee woe, to doe thee good: if thou be the Lords, the fire, the water, and the sworde, which otherwise would deuoure thee, shall benefite thee: the Lord, against all mens expectation, shall doe thee good, if thou bee the Lords▪ thou shalt not want re­liefe. Now, what was the summe of their request? They besought Pilate, that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken downe. That is, that they might bee put out of paine, and that they might make an end of them: for they thought they were quicke. Now, whether this request was vpon a custome vsed amongst them, or not, the Text declares not: but it seemes, except the feast of the Passeouer had interueened that same time, that they would not haue bene carefull of them▪ but would haue suffered them to hang whilst they had yeelded vp ye Ghost. The other two were quicke in [Page 220] paine, when the Lord yeelded vp the spirit. I note this: When thy enemies doe thee a good turne, they doe it neuer of loue. These might haue dispatched the Lorde, and the two Thieues, with lesse paine, than to haue broken their thies: They had taken their liues sooner from them, if they had beaten out their braines. So when thy enemie benefites thee, and does thee anie good turne, bee sure he does it not of purpose, to doe thee good: as we cōmonly speake, If he giue thee a bit, he will giue thee a buffet with it: Soure and bit­ter is the benefite of the enemie. Indeede it is true, that the Lord, who makes all thinges to worke for the best, to them that loues Him, will dispose their doings otherwise, and make them to worke thy good: And therefore, haue thine eye set vpon the Lord, and He shall make the malice and bitternesse of thine enemie to turne to thy comfort. There is another thing to bee marked: The Lord had ordained, that there should not bee one bone broken of CHRIST, and so it was fore-tolde. Nowe will yee see the force of the word and prouidence of God: The force of the worde and prouidence of God appeares the more clearelie by this opposition which is made to His ordinance: The Iewes requested to haue His bones bro­ken, and Pilate gaue commandement to breake them: But is there any bone broken, notwithstanding their sute, and Pilates comman­dement? No, not one. This lets vs see, That if God haue ordained & said any thing, it lies not in the hands of any man to disanull it: If God shall say, There shall not be one bone of my anointed broken; great Caesar, and al the Kings of the earth, the king of Spaine, and the Pope, and all their adherents, shall not be able to doe the contrary. So in the middest of all feare and danger, let vs depende vpon the prouidence of God, and saye, Lord, if thou hast saide otherwise, than these mens intentions are, I will not bee affraide for them, I know they are not able to do any thing without thy prouidence▪ and so, Lord, I leane onely on thy prouidence, and am content with thy will. So in these miserable dayes, we are to leane to God, and to depende on His prouidence, and wee shall see the vaine en­terprises of men vanish away like smoake, and we shall see the wic­ked to bee made spectacles to all the worlde. Let vs see what mo­ued the IEVVES to make this request: Was it pittie that moo­ued them? No: They had no pittie of Him. Was it obedience to the commandement of God, who commāded, that an hanged man should be cut down yt same day, because he was accursed? Deu. 21.22.23. [Page 221] No, it was a vaine superstition that moued them, they were to ce­lebrate the Pass [...]ouer, and this was the day of their preparation, they were preparing them by crucifying the innocent, the Lorde of glorie. Was this an holy preparation? This was the Fryday, and the morne was the Pa [...]che. Iohn sayes, that was, an high day, or a great Sabbath, because they kept two holy dayes together, both their owne ordinarie Sabbath, and the extraordinarie Passeouer, and this they did contrarie to the ordinance of GOD: for they should haue celebrated the Passeouer on Thurseday, as the LORD did: for He celebrated it that night that He was betrayed by Iudas, and led away captiue by the Iewes. So they did cast in the two Ho­ly dayes together, according to their custome: for when ye Passeouer fell to bee on Thurseday, they vsed to delay it vntill the Satterday which was their Sabbath day, lest yt if these feasts which are so neare other, had bene both kept, the people should haue wearied, and if Christ & the other had not bene taken downe, tha [...] yt Holy exercise wold haue bin defiled. So they thought, if they had bin taken down from the crosse, and put away, they had bene holy eneugh. And vpon that same pretence, when they were to accuse Christ, they would not enter in the common Hall, lest they should haue beene polluted. They were Hypocrites, they polluted the world, and de­filed the earth that they tread on. A polluted body who hath no sanctification in Christ, there is nothing that he touches, meat, or drinke: yea, the earth he walkes on, but he defiles all: yet these foule Hypocrites thought, that if Iesus who sanctifies the Sabbath, and sanctifies the heart, had beene taken away they had beene holie eneugh. An Hypocrite is a foule body, & defiles all that he handles. All his religion is outward standing in bodily exercises: and when he hath polluted all, yea, the very earth he treades on: he will say, Handle not, touch not, taste not, that will pollute thee, Coloss. 2.21. There is his religion: When the foule body defiles the aire, the earth, the Heauen, hee bids thee touch it not, lest it defile thee, when he defiles all that he touches.

Nowe they get the request granted them, and gets a comman­dement of Pilate, and so The men of warre came forward, and brake the legges of the one first▪ and then they came to the other, and brake his also: They brake both their legges with great paine and tor­ment.

Now, will ye see these 2 thieues, they are like in their death, both [Page 222] are crucified, & in end both their thighes are brokē: yet for al this, the one of them is a vessell of glorie, and he had a promise of glo­rie, and an assurance of it in his heart: the other had none. So, Bre­thren, take heede: though the death of the wicked, and the godlie bee alike: yet they are not alike in condition: Iudge not of mens estate by the outwarde miserie: measure not Heauen and Hell by the outwarde death: The Elect and the wicked will be oft times alike in death, and oft times the Elect will die in the greatest tor­ments. Who suffered more painefull deathes, than the Martyres did: Beware that thou say, as the Papistes, who are enemies to Christ, say: They teach, albeit that in Iesus Christ thy sinne be for­giuen: yet the paine is not forgiuen: and they say, that the paine that the godly suffer in death, is a satisfaction for sinne: They say that the paine of the penitent thiefe was the punishment of his sinne: but they lie, and the Lord shall justifie it. The Elect suffer no paine for sinne: torment them as they will, burne them, scalde them, all is but a mercifull chastisement, and death to them is a faire port to Heauen: He makes darknesse to be light to His owne.

Well, this for the execution of the two thieues: They come to the Lord, to see whether He was dead or not: they are not rash: they finde Him dead: they finde no sponke of life in Him: therefore they offer not to breake His thighes: See how the word and proui­dence of God takes effect. The Lord had said, One bone of Him should not be broken: and therefore to preueene the breaking, the Lord mi­raculously tooke the Spirit from His Sonne: His death was mira­culous, as ye heard before: by the strength of nature He might haue liued longer, as that great and mightie voyce which he vttered last, testifies: and so His sudden death was a meane to performe the Lordes ordinance: Hee would vse this, as the ordinarie meane to execute the eternall decree of the Father. It is a follie to thee, to say, thou wilt depend on the prouidence of God, and in the meane time to leaue off meanes: for by so doing thou temptest God, who as He hath ordained the ende, so He hath also ordained the meanes to the end. As for example, If thou wouldest goe to Heauen, thou must vse the meanes, the hearing of the word, &c. Yet many will contemne the meanes, and yet bragge they are assured to come to Heauen, they will contemne the preaching which is the instrument that God vses. But I say to thee, thou deceiuest thy selfe: for I denounce, if thou werest an Emperour, thou shalt neuer [Page 223] see Heauen, nor life, who contemnest that meane and instrument which the Lord hath ordained to bee vsed, to bring thee to Hea­uen, which is the preaching of His trueth. Now, Brethren, ye see here the testimonie of the death of Christ, giuen by the bu [...]rioes, they preach His death, as though they had said, Marke, all people: This Iesus whom we haue crucified is dead: and therefore in token that this is true, wee will not breake His bones: after that comes another burrio, a man of warre, and giues the last witnesse, Hee smites Him with a speare: so that out of the wound gushed out blood and water: As though the knaue had said, I shall let you see, that Hee is dead, & that there is no life in Him, and so hee smites Him to the heart, with a speare: The Lord would haue the death of the Lord testified sundrie wayes for thy comfort: for the most shamefull thing that euer was, is death, except it be sanctified: it is the grea­test miserie that can come to man: if thou gettest no remedie against it, for that death of the body is a port to that death euer­lasting. It is no childrens play to haue the soule dislodged: No, it was an ignominie to the Lord of glorie, to be holden vnder the bands of death, and to be tread vnder the feete of death: yet the Father will haue His death testified sundrie wayes: First, Hee will haue it testified with a cry, when He cried with a loude voyce, Fa­ther, into thine hands I commend my Spirit: Next, Hee will haue the bur­rioes to testifie His death, and then He will haue a speare thrust to His heart, to testifie His death, besides the testimonie that all the creatures gaue of His death. Is this for nothing? No, for suppose the Lord Iesus had bene crucified, taunted and scorned, and suffe­red all the ignominie that euer could haue bene, and yet had bene taken downe quicke, and the nailes loosed, & gotten His wounds healed, thou hadst not beene s [...]u [...]d, thy saluation had not beene wrought: Our sinnes had neuer bene forgiuen vs, for without shed­ding of blood, and death, there had bene no remission of sinnes, except I know, beside all the paine the Lord suffered that He suffe­red the death also, I would neuer beleeue to get life▪ & to be saued. Now to end in a word, Looke to the witnesses: the burrioes, they were euill witnesses for themselues but good witnesses for vs▪ for their witnessing testifies to our w [...]ll, that the Lord was dead: and so these burrioes haue done a notable good worke to vs, but not to themselues, because they were His enemies. It is as t [...]ue this day, as it was that day: there is, and shall be witnesses, preaching [Page 224] the death of CHRIST, crying, That CHRIST died for the redemption of the vvorlde, and teaching saluation by CHRIST to others, and others shall gette good by them, yet they shall gette no good themselues. Why? Because they are enemies to the Crosse of CHRIST. An enemie to His death, can preach His death vvell enough. All Preachers of the death of IESVS CHRIST ought to take heede to this: That vvhen they preach to others (as the Apostle saieth) they be not reprobate themselues. Woe to the man who preaches saluation to others, if in the meane time hee bee a reprobate himselfe. I must bee as carefull for mine owne saluation, as for the saluation of others: And therefore, if thou speakest of the death of CHRIST to thy Neighbour, striue to bee assured, that thou thy selfe art partaker of that saluation, through IESVS: To vvhome, vvith the Father, and the Holie Spirite, bee all Honour, Praise, and Glorie, for euermore, Amen.

THE XXIV. LECTVRE OF THE PASSION OF CHRIST.

IOHN, CHAP. XIX.

verse 34 But one of the Souldiours, with a Speare, pearced his side, and foorthwith came there out blood and water.

verse 35 And hee that sawe it, bare recorde, and his recorde is true: and hee knoweth that hee saieth true, that yee might beleeue it.

verse 36 For these thinges were done, that the Scripture should bee fulfilled, Not a bone of him shall bee broken.

verse 37 And againe another Scripture saieth, They shall see him, whome they haue thrust thorow.

[Page 225] THE last day (beloued Brethren in Christ) we entered into the History of the taking of the Lord from the Crosse, before Hee was buried: The taking of Him from the Crosse, it came by a request: The Iewes His enemies, made request to Pilate, the Romane deputy, and Iudge for the time. The summe of the request was, that the thies of the crucified men might bee broken, and so they might bee taken from the Crosse▪ Pilate the Iudge yeelded to the request, & gaue commandement to the souldiers▪ & to the bur­reo, to execute & slay them, that afterward they might be buried. The souldiers came first to the one thief, & broke his thies: thē they came to the other thief, & broke his thies also: and last, they came to Iesus, and finding Him already dead, and to haue giuen vp [...]he spi­rit, they would not breake His legges: Yet to put the matter out of doubt, one of the souldiers came with a speare, and pearced the Lords side, thorow ye heart, & out of the wound there gush [...]d blood and water. Nowe Brethren, this day, as the Lord shall giue vs grace, we shal follow out this History, and we shall speake of three things: First, of the effusion & gushing out of the blood & the water out of the side of the Lord. Then we sh [...]ll speake of that graue testimonie that Iohn, the writer of this Gospel, gaue to the History, & narration, that the bones of the Lord were not broken, and that His side was pearced, and that thereafter the bloode and the water gushed out: Last, we shall speake of the end wherfore these things came to passe. There was not one bone of Him brokē: His side was pearced, to the end that the word of the Lord (long time spoken of before) might be accōplished: And he brings in two Scriptures, the one cōcerning that His bones shuld not be brokē, & the other cōcerning the pear­cing of His side with the speare. Now come to ye first of these heads. I leaue the vaine dreame of the papistes (for all their religion is but dreames & fantasies) I passe their dreame cōcerning this souldier yt pierced the side of the Lord with a speare how they say yt the Griek worde [...], which signifies a speare, was the name of the man that pearced Christes side, and how they saye, that this man was a Cen­turion, & an olde Captaine, who was blind: & after he had pearced the Lords side, hee washed his eyes with the blood that issued out, & got his sight, & the [...]eafter in an instant was conuerted, & became a Christian man and a Martyre: and this is he whom they worship, [Page 226] and whose bones are kept as a relict, and he is called Sainct Longi­mus. I leaue the spirit of vanities: fie on them, they fill the hearts of the people of God with such vanities, and therefore shame and confusion shall come vpō them in the end. Now Brethren, to speake of that which is more profitable, Of the gushing out of the blood and water out of the side of the Lord. IOHN saies, that one of the soul­diours, with a speare, pearced his side, and foorthwith came there out blood and water. No doubt this effusion of the blood and water in a part was naturall and ordinarie: for, they who haue skill in the things which concerne the bodie of man, and knowe the Anatomie, they knowe that the heart of man is a receptacle of bloode, and in the heart is the cleannest and finest blood: The vitall blood is fined in the heart of man, and the bloode there is finer than in the rest of the bodie: Yee heare commonlie that the heart blood is the finest blood, and moste precious: Ye know likewise that there is a fliece, which compasseth and goes about the heart, which is called [...]: and in it there is some liquor and water wherewith the heat in the heart is cooled and refreshed. Then to come to the purpose: The Lord being pearced thorow the sid [...], and in thorow the heart, it was no wonder, that that bloode in the heart: and that water in the fliece should haue gushed out, especiallie seeing that Hee had but newlie giuen vp the ghoste, and Hee was yet warme: so that this blood and this water coulde not bee yet much altered, by rea­son of the shortnesse of time. But Brethren, when I weigh this matter more deepelie, and consider that this bloode and this vva­ter gushes out in such aboundance, and so distinctlie, that the one is so seuered from the other, that they who stoode beside might discerne verie well the blood from the water, and the water from the blood. I see heere something aboue nature, and I am compel­led to thinke, and saye, that there was something heere extraordi­narie: As all thinges that fell out in the death of the LORD IESVS was extraordinarie, and shewed Him to bee more and greater than anie common man that euer died: The giuing vp of the ghoste, with a loude voyce, shewed, that Hee was more than a man. For Brethren, to leaue the speaking of this matter, let vs see what this blood & this water meanes, and to what vse the gushing out of the blood & the water serues for. No question, the gushing out of the blood and the water out of the wounde testifies, that the Lord was verily dead. What man will liue when his heart blood is [Page 227] shed? The heart is the most vitall part of the bodie: It is the seat of the life: Perse it, and there is no life for the man: So this effusion of the blood & water testifies, that the Lord was dead, and there was no life in Him. Yet Brethren, this blood & this water meaned more than this: they testified of the force of that death: they testified not of a death only, but of a powerfull death. No mans death was euer so powerfull, as the death of the Lord Iesus. All the Emperoures in the world had no such power in their death▪ as Christ had. It testifies of a power to purge the sinnes of man. What Emperoures bloode ransomed sinfull man, or could purge him from his sins? What wa­ter came there euer from an Emperours heart, which washed away the corruptiō of thy nature? Now to speak it in a word: This blood and this water testified of a power that flowed from the death of Christ, to the remission of sinnes, and the washing of our foule na­ture: with the bloode bracke out remission of sinnes, and with the water burst out regeneration. Yet to make this plainer: By the bloode of Christ, (which is the bloode of God, God and man in one) wee are ransomed from death and Hell, the guiltinesse of all our sinnes is taken awaye, the punishment with the guilt is taken awaye, Hell is taken awaye, the justice of God that required our blood, is satisfied by that bloode of Christ, that wrath that would haue sucked vp thy bloode, (it woulde not haue left one droppe of thy bloode vnsucked) and that vvrath which cannot be satiate vvithout bloode, is satiate by the onelie bloode of CHRIST. Marke vvell: It vvas not bloode onelie that came out of His side, but it was bloode and vvater: it vvas a vvaterie bloode: IOHN, vvho stoode by, left this in register, That sensiblie in the bloode hee perceiued vvater: to testifie, That by that bloode of IESVS vvee obtaine not onelie remission of our sinnes: but by this same bloode the foulenesse and vncleannesse of our nature is vvashen away: for vvater serues to vvash away filthinesse. This same IOHN, in his first Epistle, Chap. 5. vers. 6. saies, that Christ came into the world by water, meaning the vvater vvhich gushed out of His side: (IOHN coulde neuer forget this sight) Hee came by vvater to vvashe a­waye this inherent corruption vvhich is in vs: for if it bee not pur­ged, there is no entrie to Heauē. I fore-warne thee, thou shalt neuer see Heauen, if thy corruption be not purged away. Then he saies, He came by water and blood: not by water onely, but by water and blood: meaning this blood was waterie, and this water was bloodie: Not [Page 228] only to wash away the inherent corruption, but also to ransom [...] vs, to obtaine to vs remission of our sinnes, and to take away the guiltinesse of our sinne, both originall and actuall, and that pu­nishment, and wrath that was due to vs: In that same Chapter Iohn poyntes out the three witnesses of Christ in the Heauens, and three witnesses of Christ in the earth: And for the witnessing in the earth, hee counts these same two, the blood and the water, & the third, the Spirit, who testifies th [...]t Iesus came & died for thee: where we may see, that this blood and this water that came out of the side of the Lord neuer leaues the earth, neuer ceases to crie, The Redeemer of the worlde is come. If thou be in Iesus, that blood sprinkling thine heart, & conscience within thee shall testi­fie vnto thee, that Iesus is come in the world for thy purgation. So that, Brethren, I affirme this, that all the words in the world, and all the hearing, shall not put that perswasion in thine heart, that Iesus Christ is come for thy Redemption: except that blood and that water cry within thee: certainly, we haue no better assurance that the Lord is come, than when we feele that effectuall working of the remission of our sinnes, and the purgation of them by the mortifying of sinne. Now we haue dayly in our Sacraments of Bap­tisme, & the Lords Supper outward signes of this water, and this blood whereby they are outwardly represented to our eyes. In the Sacrament of the Lords Supper we haue the signe of the blood, in the Sacrament of Baptisme, we haue the signe of the water: and therefore the blood & the water remaine euer in the earth, as wit­nesses, testifying that Christ is come, and they are euer represented to vs in these outward signes and symboles in the Sacraments. So in a word, this blood gushing out of the Lords side, and this water testifies: First, that the Lord was truely dead: Next, that His death is forceable to the remission of our sinnes, and to our regenera­tion. Vnto these two vses, we may joyne the third: this gushingou [...] of the blood and water out of the Lords side, testified, that the sa­crifices, purgations, and washing of the Law, were now abolished they were now no more to haue place, because they were only certaine types and shadowes of the blood and water to come, whic [...] gushed out both together out of the Lords side. Now I come t [...] the testimonie of Iohn, concerning the breaking of the thighes o [...] the Lord, & ye piercing of His side with ye speare, Iohn seales vp this & first, he saies, I testify this, J beare witnes to this, thē he aggreages hi [...] [Page 229] testimonie in sundry words: First, I, as an eye-seeing witnesse, stood by, and I sawe with mine eyes, that the thies of the Lorde were not broken, and that a souldier pearced H [...]m tho [...]ow [...]he side vnto the heart, and that bloode and water came out of His side. Next: As I saw these, so I tell thee, that my testimony is true. Thirdly, I know, & am perswaded, my testimonie to bee true: my conscience perswades me, that it is true, & I belieue it my selfe, to the end that yee may be­leeue it. So therefore, as I beleeue, beleeue thou: This he saies to all, to the end of the world yea, who heares this, beleeue it as well as I. Yee see heere, IOHN is earnest to testifie the death of Christ, that ve­rily He died: And he testifies it with great weight, and manie graue wordes. Wee haue hearde before sundrie testimonies of His death. The Lord in the last wordes Hee testifies of His owne death, when Hee cryes, Father, into thine handes I commende my spirite: All those wonders from the Heauen testified, that the Lorde had giuen vp the ghoste: His Heauenlie Father made the Burreoes and the men of warre to testifie, that Hee was dead, and to preach it to all the people about. Now IOHN comes in last, and with many words, and wordes of great weight, testifies, that the Lorde gaue vp the ghoste. What meanes all this? Ye see there is not any thing in all the histo­rie testified by so many testimonies. The Spirit of God labours not to perswade vs of any thing in all His Passion, so much, as that He died: and to certifie this, that Hee was pearced with a speare. To leaue the Heresies, which fell in the worlde, concerning the death of Christ, for it was much to perswade the world of it: they would not beleeue that IESVS died truelie. All these testimonies lets vs see such a necessitie to bee in the death of IESVS, that except the LORD had died as truelie as euer man died, Hee coulde not haue beene our Redeemer: And except Hee had died truelie, wee coulde neuer haue beleeued to haue beene saued by Him. Except I knowe as truelie as euer I knewe any thing in the worlde, that my Redeemer died for mee, I woulde neuer goe seeke life out of His death. Indeed, a wanton sinner, who is ladē with sin, & feeles not the weight thereof, so lōg as his cōscience is sleeping, that he feeles not ye burreo, & sees not yt fearfull wrath that cānot be quenched without bloode & that terrible justice of God, yt cannot be satisfied, but by death, will count little of the death of Christ: It is alike to him, whether He had died or no: so lōg as thou sleepest al is alike, but after the cōsciēce is wakened, & the Lord once let thee [Page 230] feele the weight of thy sinnes, wherewith thou art ladned: No, if thou diddest but feele the weight of an euill thought, thou woul­dest groane as fast as if the mountaines and rockes were tumbled on thee▪ and then thou would [...]st thinke no life nor saluation for thee, but Hell and damnation, if thou gottest not a Sauiour for thee: and if thou feelest that Iustice of God, and the terrours of Hell before thee, the sight of the death of Iesus would be the most joyfull and comfortable sight that euer thou sawest, and all thy joy & glorie would be in that death of Christ, Paul sayes Gal. 6.14 Far be it from me, that I should re [...]oyce in any thing, but in the death of Christ: he foūd all his life to be in that death, 1. Cor. 2.2. he sayes, When I came amongst you, to speake of the death of Christ to you who knew not what it meant (a vaine companie they were, who delited in vaine oratorie) I would not begin to clawe your itching eares, but I decreed to know nothing but Iesus Christ, and Him crucified. Nowe, Brethren, besides this, In these wordes that IOHN sets downe, and [...] the which hee ag­greadges his testimonie, marke another lesson. Will ye see, from whence our Faith comes? from whence comes our Faith? from whence flowes it? IOHN sayes, And he that saw it, bare record, and his recorde is true and he knoweth that hee saith true, that they should beleeue. From whence then comes Faith in this death? it comes by hearing: Faith is of hearing of a testimonie and recorde: and if thou hearest not a record, thou shalt not beleeue, and if thou be­leeuest not, thou shalt neuer see Heauen. And if thou contemnest the recorde, I giue thee this doome, thou shalt neuer see Heauen with thine eyes, if thou werest a King: So Faith is wrought in the heart by the Holy Spirit, by a recorde and witnesse bearing. So ere thou gettest Faith, some witnesse must stand vp and beare recorde. The Lord must send out some witnesse to cry and preach? but what witnesses must these be? IOHN sayes, He that saw these things, hath testified of them. The witnesses must be seeing witnesses: it must be Iohn, and such as saw Him, and felt Him with their handes. Then, who must bee the witnesses? They must be the Apostles that were conuersant in this world with Iesus Christ, who heard Him preach, and saw Him vvorke vvonders, and savv Him dead, and savv Him crucified, and savve Him pierced thorovv the side: They must be the first witnesses. But more, Brethren, Is it enough that they savve Him with their bodily eye? No, Iohn addes more, that hee vvas persvvaded that his testimonie was true. The vvitnesses, as [Page 231] they testifie that vvhich they savve: so they must beleeue it vvith their heartes. There were great multitudes, hundreths, thousands, vvho heard Him, touched Him, and savv Him crucified, and some of them crucified Him too: yet none of these are made vvitnesses, to preach to the vvorld, but the Apostles vvho savv and beleeued: these are set vp as witn [...]sses in ye world, that all should beleeue. Thē the first ground of thy Faith is the very eye of the Apostles, & their sight and sense: The next ground, is Faith in the heartes of the Apostles. And if yee will say to me, Why beleeue ye the Gospell of Iohn? and the Gospell of Matthew, and the Epistles of Paul, &c. I answere, because these were men who heard and saw Christ, and I will say more, I beleeue them, because they beleeued in their heartes that thing which they saw, and goe before not onely by sight of the body, but also by Faith in the heart.

When yee heare these recordes (albeit the men be not liuing, yet we haue that same thing that they wrote, and that which they themselues beleeued) I beseech you consider them, and passe not ouer lightly, when yee reade of Iohn or Paul, or the rest: I beseech you passe not lightly, seeing the ground of thy Faith is not onely their sight, but the sense of their heartes and Faith: ye who would read with judgement, trauell to goe into the heart, to seeke that Faith into the heart, and that joy, and that sadnesse that they felt: and pray, LORD, seeing these men vtter a feeling of these things that they saw, and which they wrote, touch mine heart, and giue me thine Holy Spirit, that I may attaine to the sense and fee­ling of these things. If ye would haue a testimonie of this: be­holde what PAVL sayes, in the second Epistle to the Corinthians the fourth Chapter, and fourteenth verse, I beleeue, that I my selfe shall gloriously rise: and then he brings in Dauids wordes: J beleeued, and therefore I spake. Alwayes, looke that in reading we striue to haue a feeling and sense in our heart of that which we read: other­wise we make no fruit of our reading, we speake like parrats, wee know not what we speake: I say to thee, if the word of grace rise not from the deepe perswasion of thine heart, thou speakest like a Parrat, thou prophanest that Holy word, and knowest not what thou speakest.

Now all the Apostles are away yet their testimonie remaines, & this is that blessed Gospell that wee haue this day, yet the Lord leaues not the world, destitute of witnesses, who haue liuelie [Page 232] voyces, who will preach like the Apostles, & indeede their record should bee beleeued: if thou beleeuedst neuer a preaching, I say, thou hast no Faith, thou shalt neuer see Heauen. Indeede we are not Apostles, but sinfull men, yet if thou beleeuest vs not, thou shalt die, as well as they who would not beleeue the Apostles: I bid no man nor woman beleeue vs simply, but only so farre as our record agrees vvith the recorde of the Apostles: We may not compare with the Apostles: we haue not seene Him, we haue not heard Him, as they did: they had a greater measure of perswasion, & of Faith, and of feeling, than any Preacher hath nowe (yet the Lord hath giuen His measure to euery one) therefore we desire not that yee should beleeue vs simply, to beleeue euery thing that we say, as the Pope, and that soule crue will bid you beleeue all that they af­firme: No, if he were the best Minister that euer preached, beleeue his recorde, if it agree not with the writting of the Apostles: They haue set downe the ground, and they who teach any other thing but that which is written by the Apostles, or els that follow on their writes by a necessarie consequence, I pronounce a vengeance and a curse shall be on them. Woe to deceiuers, who poyson soules dayly by their vengeance and poyson. Now to come to the last heade, Iohn layes downe the ende wherefore His thighes were not broken, and by piercing of His side: These thinges were set downe, that the Scripture might bee fulfilled, and he cites two te­stimonies: The first is out of the twelfth Chapter of Exodus, Not one bone of Him shall be broken. The next is out of the twelfth Chapter of Zacharie, They shall see Him whome they haue pierced. Some will maruell, that it is said oft times in the Gospell, this was done, that the Scripture might be fulfilled: Some would thinke that this had bene but a light cause, that the thighes of Christ, and the bones were not broken: Wherefore? That the Scripture might be ful­filled: the side was pierced, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. Men would count this but light: but wilt thou count that light, that the word of the Lord might be fulfilled. Thinkest thou it a light thing▪ that that thing that the Lord spake long time before, should come to passe, and the LORD should be glorified in His Trueth. Thinkest thou it a light thing that the Lord should bee found a lyer: No, ere He be a lyer, and ere a jote or title that Hee hath spoken, should passe away vnf [...]lfilled, it is better that Heauen and Earth, men, and Angels, and all the creatures should vanish [Page 233] to nothing. The Lord speakes none idle talke, as man will doe, but what thing so euer that Hee speakes, Hee speakes it of set pur­pose, to the glorie of God, and to the well of His Church: and therefore it is very requisite, both for His owne glorie, and for the well of His Church, that His word be accomplished. Would to God we could consider how highly we sould regarde the glory of God, in beleeuing of His promises of mercie, and His threat­nings of Iustice: Well, the end of these thinges was, that GOD should be glorified, in the trueth of His word. There is nothing the Lord seekes more, than to be knowne in the trueth of His worde, and therefore looke what He will doe to bee knowne to be true in His promise: rather than His promise be not performed, Hee will inuert the course of nature: the thing that the Lord hath once spo­ken, it shall be performed, albeit all the world should say the con­trarie. It is said, Numb. 23.19. God is not as man, that He should lie, nei­ther as the sonne of man, that Hee should repent: hath Hee said it, and shall Hee not doe it? and hath Hee spoken, and shall Hee not accomplish it? Men may lie, but God cannot lie: ere Hee bring not about the thing that Hee hath spoken, Hee will mixe the Heauen and the Earth together, He will bring things about, against all the meanes in the worlde: not onely by and aboue nature, but also contrarie and against nature: As Hee brought the promise made to Abra­ham to passe. Nature can be no impediment to the LORD, albeit a creature can doe nothing against Nature. Looke then what a Faith wee should haue? Wee should beleeue His promise, albeit it were neuer so vnpossible to Nature: Thou must not only glorifie God, when thou seest His promise come to passe, but also thou must also glorifie Him, by depending and hanging on His worde, ere euer thou see it accomplished. It is an easie thing, when thou seest the Lordes promise come to passe, to say▪ Glori­fied bee GOD in the trueth of His promise: but except thou glorifie Him by Faith in His worde, ere euer thou see the promise effectuate, thou doest nothing worthie of praise: belee [...]e His word, let neuer death, nor life, nor power in Heauen or i [...] Earth or the Deuils separate thee from that Faith in His worde. No▪ I say further, thou must so glorifie God by Faith in His word that albeit thou savvest all things threaten the contrarie: yet notw [...]th­standing thou feelest in thine heart that God is true, & this was a fined and purified Faith. Such was the Faith of Abraham, who [Page 234] aboue hope beleeued vnder hope, that hee should haue a seede, not considering the deadnesse of his owne bodie, nor the deadnesse of Saraes vvombe; hee beleeued in despite of nature, and all ordi­narie meanes; and therefore worthilie hee is called, The Father of the Faithfull. Then, wouldest thou haue such a faith as the Lord commendes; beleeue in His promise, though all the thinges in the worlde shoulde threaten the contrarie: Hath Hee promised to thee Heauen and Life, and albeit thou sawe nothing but Hell and Death; yet beleeue Him, for there is nothing more contrarie to Life than Death: And yet, albeit thine owne heart woulde make opposition, and saye vnto thee, It cannot bee that euer thou canst get Life and Heauen, for what seest thou but Death and Hell? Yet thou wouldest glorifie God by beleeuing His promise in despight of Hell and Death: Notwithstanding thou seest the Deuill, man, Death, and Hell threatning, that thou shalt not get life, yet be­leeue the Lordes promise. And if in this case thou beleeuest, thou hast a fined faith, fined and made more precious than Golde in the fornace. And, except thou bee tried by such temptations, thou knowest not what faith meanes. Faith must bee tried by tempta­tions, by troubles, and afflictions. Our Christians woulde passe thorowe the worlde with ease and rest: they will beleeue: but howe? In peace and rest: they cannot abide to bee charged with fire and sworde, but woulde slippe ouer in wealth and quietnesse. But true faith must abide the triall of the fire, of manifolde temp­tations and afflictions. Well, the daye shall come when it will bee seene who among vs hath this fined faith: They haue the fined faith, who will seeke to Iesus Christ, and to His promise in the fire.

I woulde haue spoken of these two Testimonies, but I leaue them vntill the next occasion, and so I ende heere, beseeching the Lorde to haue a care of euerie one of vs, and to furnishe vs vvith grace and strength, that wee maye sticke fast vnto Him, and His promises: Not onelie nowe in peace, but euen in the middest of the fire, and in death it selfe: That after this life bee ended, vvee maye bee glorified in the Heauens, thorowe Christ: To whome, vvith the Father, and the Holie Spirite, bee all Honour and Glo­rie, for euermore: AMEN.

THE XXV. LECTVRE, OF THE PASSION OF CHRIST.

MATTH. CHAP. XXVII.

verse 57 And when the euen was come, there came a rich man of Arima­thea, named Ioseph, who had also himselfe beene Iesus disciple.

MARKE, CHAP. XV.

verse 42 And now when the night was come, (because it was the day of the preparation that is before the Sabbath)

verse 43 Ioseph of Arimathea, an honourable Counsellour, who also looked for the Kingdome of God, came, and went in boldlie vnto Pilate, and asked the bodie of Jesus.

LVKE CHAP. XXIII.

verse 50 And beholde, there was a man named Ioseph, who was a Counsel­ler, a good man, and a just.

IOHN CHAP. XIX.

verse 38 And after these things, Ioseph of Arimathea (who was a disciple of Iesus, but secretly for feare of the Iewes) b [...]sought Pilate that hee might take downe the body of Iesus. And Pilate gaue him licence. Hee came then, and tooke Iesus bodie.

THese dayes past (beloued Brethren in Christ) we haue spoken of the taking downe of ye Lord from the Crosse, after He was dead, which came as yee heard by a request made to Pilate: these who made the request were the Iewes, his enemies: they reque­sted that he should be taken from the crosse: not for any loue they bare to him, but because it was the time of the preparation to the Passeouer: & they beleeued, that Iesus & the other two crucified mē who hung on ye Crosse should haue polluted their holy feast, & holy actiō: & request Pilate, that ye thies of the crucified men might be brokē, that therafter they might be takē down from [Page 236] from the Crosse. The souldiers came first to the one thiefe, & broke his thie, thē they came to the other, & broke his thie also: last, they came to Iesus, & finding Him to be dead, they would not break His thie: but one of the souldiers came with a speare in his hand, and to put the matter out of doubt, he thrust Him thorow ye heart, so that out of the wound ran blood & water in abundance. Whē Iohn hath made a rehearsal of these things, he joynes to a weighty testimony, He who saw these things, hath testified of them, & his testimony is true, & he knowes, that they are true, that ye might beleeue. Last, he sets down the end of these things: first, wherfore the thies of Iesus were not brokē: thē, wherfore His side was pearced: These things were done (sais Iohn) that ye Scripture might be fulfilled: & for this he alledges first ye which is spokē of the type (Exod. 12) Not one bone of the Pascal lambe might be brokē: and Zachar. 12. They shall see him whom they haue pearced thorow. The last day, Brethren, we left off at these testimonies of Scripture: therfore this day, as God shal giue vs grace, we shal speak first of these 2 testimo­nies, & therafter we shal enter to the next History, yt is, to the burial of Iesus. Then to speak of the first testimony, Not one bone of him shal be brokē. Moses speakes these words (Exod. 12) of the pascall lamb: he giues a commandement, that in the eating of the pascall lamb, not one bone of it should bee broken. That which Moses speakes of the pascall lambe, Ioh. drawes it vnto Iesus Christ, because the Lord Iesus was the true pascall lambe: and that lambe that the Iewes ate, was but a figure & shadow of that true lambe, the Lord Iesus, who tooke away the sinnes of the world: therfore, seing the type & shadow had ceased by the death of Iesus Christ (there was not a pascall lambe any more, and all the celebration of the Passeouer that the Iewes vsed after the death of Iesus Christ, was but vanitie) it was good reason, that Iohn shoulde draw that which was spoken of the figure, to the thing signified by the figure: for these wordes that Moses spake of the pascall lambe were accomplished in Christ: there was not one jot of it, but it was perfected and accomplished in Him. Paul (1. Cor. 5) drawes to Christ the very words which Moses vsed in prescribing of the eating of the pascall lambe, Put away the olde leauen, that wee may bee a newe lumpe, as wee are vnleauened, for Christ our Passeouer is sacrificed for vs. Marke this lesson for our instruction: When thou readest of the Types and Figures in the olde Testament, cast away the Types, and keepe the veritie, and appl [...]e it to CHRIST, who is figured by the Types. We are euer reading yt olde Scripture yt speakes of the types vsed in [Page 237] the old Church of the Iewes, as that Scripture of the Paschal lambe and all the other ceremonies of the Iewes: but take heede how yee read them: read them not, as the Iewes read them: read not these Scriptures, as though they were to bee vnderstood of as many types, yet to bee kept in the earth: bevvare of that: Heare them not, as though they vvere any figures and shadowes vnfulfilled, for that were, to exclude the Lord Iesus, vvho only is the body. But in reading cast avvay the types, because they haue alll ceased at the comming, and after the death of Christ. Cast not away the Scrip­ture, but dravv it vnto Iesus: and that vvhole Scripture which the Iewes vnderstood of the type, vnderstand thou of Christ. As for Example, In reading of this Scripture, Exod. 12.41. Cast aside the type, the Paschall Lambe, but cast not away the Scripture, Ye shall not breake one bone of Him, Take this Scripture and vnderstand it of Iesus Christ, that Lambe of God, and His bones. And vve must not thinke, Brethren, that this is any vvrying and vvresting of the old Scripture by the ovvne sense, because the same Scripture vvhich spake of the Type, spake of Iesus, but mediatly by the Types: and the Fathers of olde, by reading of the Types, got a sight of the bo­dy, looking in thorovv the shaddovv to the body. This is no vvre­sting of the Scripture. But novv, seeing all Types are avvay, it is good reason, that those Scriptures novv immediatly be vnderstood of Christ, vvhich before mediatly vvere applied to Christ. I goe to the second testimonie, Zacharie 12.10. prophecies that the Iewes that pierced thorovv Christ, should see Him: and vvhen they see Him, they should vveepe for Him, as for their only begotten sonne. It is a prophecie of the repentance of the Jewes, vvho had crucified Christ, & pierced Him thorovv: a promise of their repentance for that vvofull deede they did. This same thing came to passe in the 2. of the Acts vvhen Peter in his preaching laide to their charge that wicked deede, that they had crucified the Lord of glorie, & had put hand into the Lord of life, at his preaching their hearts were pric­ked & pierced thorow with bitternesse, & they demand of Peter, & the rest, What shall they doe to be safe? & it is said, three thousand of them repented & beleeued at that one preaching. The words wold be marked, How is this, that They pierced Iesus. They pierced Him first with their sins: it was the Jewes sins chiefly that procured the death of Christ: Next, they pierced Him when they persecuted Him, when they crucified Him, & blasphemed Him, and rayled on Him [Page 238] hanging on the crosse: & last they pierced Him, when by the speare in the handes of a souldier, they thrust Him thorow, and pierced His side. And who is this that pierced Him. It was not so much the Ethnicke man that did this, as the Iewes, for whose sinnes Hee came to die: for they were the occasion of all this wickednes. If we will marke narrowly, and will weigh narrowly this matter aright, we will see great wickednesse, malice, and vnthankfulnesse to haue bene in this people: The Lord came to die for them? And who are these that slay Him? Euen these for whome He came to die. Was not this a mischieuous deede? Who will not abhorre and detest such a villanie and malice? Alas, should I who am a sinner, when an innocent man comes to die for my sinnes, slay that man, and be a burrio to Him? Lord saue mee from such wickednesse, and let neuer mine hands be a slayer of that man: and yet this was the ma­lice of the vngratefull Iewes. Againe, will ye consider the won­derfull loue that Christ caried to this people, when they deserued nothing at His hands but death, He dies for them, when they were His enemies: He shed His blood sor them: & thereafter when they executed Him and crucified Him, (beholde His wonderfull loue) Hee brings them to repentance, His mercie ouercomes their ma­lice: so that in them ye see that which is said to be verified, Where sinne aboundes, grace and mercie superabounds, ROM. 5.20. There is no comparison betweene the loue of Iesus, and the sinnes of men: Albeit thy sinnes were neuer so great and hainous, yet the loue & mercie of Christ, will compasse them, and goe round about them all: so that no sinner hath occasion to despare of mercie and of grace. I doubt not, there is none of vs all, but we will condemne the Jewes, and will finde fault with the malice of this people: but looke to thy selfe, whilst as thou condemnest them, that thou disfigure thine owne face, and condemne thine owne selfe. Are there none in this land that haue put hand in Iesus, that died for them, as surely, as euer the Iewes did. Who dare cleanse themselues? Thou darest not say, but thou hast pierced the Lord, either one way or other: There is not a sinne that thou committest, but there­with thou hast pierced the Lord. Hast thou opponed thy selfe to the Trueth, and persecuted the Gospell, then thou hast pierced Christ. Hast thou persecuted the Church of Christ, and troubled His members on the earth? thou hast pierced the Lord: for Hee cries out: Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou mee [...]? Hast thou beene [Page 239] giuen ouer to thy lustes, and led a wicked life? I say, if thou bee in any of these rankes: if thou gaine standest His Trueth, persecu­test Him in His members, or by thy euill life: Protest as thou wilt, thou hast pierced Him, as well, as the Iewes, and thou shalt bee as guiltie of His death, as they were, and as Pilate, Herode, Iudas and Caiaphas were challenged for His death, so shalt thou, except the Lord of His mercie grant thee grace to repent. The Lord giue eue­ry one of vs grace in time to repent, IOH. REVEL. 1.7. drawes this Scripture to the second comming of Christ in the cloudes: for hee sayes, They shall see Him whom they haue pierced, and all the Tribes of the earth shall mourne before Him. Of the which wee may gather, that in the latter daye the very Elect, when they shall rise, and see the Lord, when they shall see these handes, and these seete, and that side, which by their sinnes they haue pierced thorow, their first meeting shall bee with bitter mourning, they shall mourne, as a man will doe for His onely begotten sonne, but immediatly that weeping shall be turned into joy, and the Lord shall wipe away all teares from their eyes, so that they shall neuer mourne nor sorrow any more, but they shall be with the Lord, and rejoyce with a so­lide joy for euer more,

Now I come to the buriall of that blessed body: As the downe taking from the crosse came by a request, so this buriall also comes by request. But who requests for His buriall? Not the Iewes that requested for His downe taking, but good Ioseph of Ar [...]mathea re­quests for the buriall. The Iewes requested not for any loue they bare to Him, but Joseph that worthy disciple of Christ requests vpon loue. Then the thinges that we shall speake of the buriall this day are these: First, by the conference of the foure Euangelists, wee haue a faire description of this man Ioseph: Next, we haue especial­ly in the Gospell of Luke, how boldly he comes to Pilate: thirdly, we haue the suite it selfe: then the good and humane answere that he receiues out of the mouth of Pilate. Then looke how this man is pointed out: First, he is described by his name, his name is Ioseph: Next, hee is described by his countrey: he vvas of Arimathea, a tovvne in Iudea: Thirdly, he vvas described from his substance, Hee was a rich and wealthie man: and vvhat more? What matter of all outvvard things, of our birth, of the place of it, or all the riches and substance in the vvorld, if there be no more: Fourthly, he is described from his office, He was a wise and graue Senator, and ap­parantly [Page 240] hee was in that Councell of the IEVVES, which was called SANEDRIM: yea, apparantly he was on PILATES coūsell, because he was a wise and potent man. But all these are outwarde thinges, therefore the Spirit afterward paints him out by his inward quali­ties: for if thou haue no good properties, I will not giue a pennie for all thy calling, thy substance, and all outwarde thinges: Hee is painted out in these qualities, which concerne this life, & his beha­uior toward mē: he is called a good & vpright mā in his life. But what helpe all these ciuill and morall vertues, if there bee no more, they are little worth. Therfore, the Spirit of God describes him from the inwarde grace of the heart, from faith and hope. And it is saide Hee waited for the kingdome of God. All his riches closed not his eyes from the sight of that life to come. Then as hee hoped for yt Kingdome, so hee vsed the meanes: Hee beleeued in Iesus Christ, and was His Disciple. So then, if thou bee not a scholler to Christ in this earth, looke neuer to dwell with Him in Heauen. Yet there is something wanting: Hee durst not avowe himselfe openlie, for feare of his ri­ches and honour: But now at last, when it comes to extreame per­secution, hee manifestes himselfe: When they sate in the Counsell, concerning the death of Christ, IOSEPH would not giue his coun­sell nor consent thereunto. But yet there is an impediment in this man: for he should not only haue refrained to haue giuen his con­sent, but should haue opponed himselfe against them, as Nicodemus did, for he opponed himselfe boldly vnto them: Doeth our law (saies he) condemne a man before he be heard? IOH. 7.50. where learne yee that? So yee see, it is an hard and dangerous matter to bee a Counseller, either in Kirke or in Policie. There will bee many impedimentes in Counsellers; yea, euen in the best of them: and yee see that when harde matters doe come in question, men will absent themselues from the Councell: but that is not well done. For, if thou bee a Counseller, albeit there were neuer so hard a matter in hand, thou art bound in conscience to bee present: But indeede it is better to absent thy selfe, than to come and giue an euill vote. Againe, there are some, who will come, but will not consent to euill; as IOSEPH here did: But this is not enough: there is an infirmity here: for thou that art a Counseller, art bound to make opposition to euill. Again there are other some who will come, & not only refuse to consent to that which their cōscience judges to be euil: but also wil oppone themselues boldly thereunto, as Nicodemus did. And these are the [Page 241] best sort of Counsellers. Alwayes, wee see this: It is an harde mat­ter to be a good Counseller: for often times this terrour and that terrour will bee casten in to thee, if thou incline either this waye or that way: and somtimes the matter will fall out so ambiguously, that thou wilt not know howe to vote, or what way to turne thee: So that of all men, he who is a Coūseller, either in Kirke or Policie in these dangerous dayes, wherein such terrours are casten in, hath most need to depēd vpon the coūsel of God, reuealed in His word: & in all things to keepe a good cōscience. Let no man offer to doe against his consciēce, for then the cōscience shall take hold on him, intend a processe against him, and challenge him, conuict him, and torment him with anguish before the Lords Tribunall▪ This for the description of the man. We must not thinke yt by fortune or chance or of his owne accord rashly he came to this point: No, the proui­dence of God guided him, led him out for that purpose. And in this action God had respect, not only to the Heauēly honour of Christ: but also to the worldly things, to riches & power. The Lord chose a worldly, rich, & potent man to bury Him; to this end, that the Iewes who by all meanes sought to heape shame & ignominie vpon the Lord, should not oppone themselues, & staye Him to be buried: for if it had bene a poore or meane man, that had taken this in hande, doubtlesse they had opponed themselues, & hindered His buriall. Againe: an honourable man is chosen to bury His Sonne honoura­blie. The Father will haue an Honourable riche man to burie His deare Sonne. Indeede Ioseph of Arimathea got neuer such honour, as by yt buriall of the blessed body of Iesus, the Son of God. His cal­ling was nothing: he had neuer bin registrate for yt he was a Senator in Iudea, except that the Lord had put in his hand the buriall of His deare Son. It is true, the buriall of the Lord Iesus is the last point of His humiliation: for what is the buriall of the body, but the conti­nuance of ye body vnder death? And, if thy burial be not sanctified, it is a terrible thing to be casten in a hole, & to be bound vnder the earth. Woe to that bodie who is casten into a hole, and in the bellie of the earth, and if it bee not sanctified in the buriall of IESVS CHRIST. So I say, the buriall of Iesus Christ was the last poinct of His humiliation. Hee was holden in the fetters of death. Yet the Lorde begins the glory of the Son at that which was ignominious in it selfe. He will not employ euery man in this work, but the most honourable man in the Citie. And then Hee will haue His Buriall [Page 242] not in a vile place, nor in a backside, but in a notable & faire place, couered with a stone. So the Heauenly Father will haue the honour of the Sōne & His glory, to begin at the buriall, which was shame­full in it selfe: and then Hee goes forward, till His resurrection, and to His ascending to Heauen, & sitting at the right hand of the Fa­ther. To worldlinges, this honour of their buriall, is but a part of worldly honour: but heere vnto Christ, that same piece of honour was ye beginning of his heauenly glory. If thou be in Iesus this same honour which is done to thy bodie in this life in thy buriall, is the beginning of thy glory which thou shalt enjoy in the Heauens. The dishonour of the faithful in this life shal be turned to their honour and glorie, and it shall be turned to their weale: All things worke toge­ther for the best vnto them that loue God, saies Paul, Rom. 8.29. If thou lo­uest the Lord, that shame that shall be heaped on thee in this earth, shall bee the beginning of thine honour. Then much more shall the honour that thou shalt get in this life, bee the beginning of that euerlasting honour. Now when Ioseph takes vp the body of ye Lord lying so low at the Gallowes foot, and intends to bury that body: I doubt not, but he hath an eye to that glorious resurrection, and he saw that glory wherewith that body should be glorified & should glorifie the bodies of the faithfull, & make them like His glorious body. If there were no more but that respect of the resurrection of the bodies of the faithfull, in that daye it shoulde make vs count of the bodies of the faithfull, of their death and buriall. 1. Pet. 3.7. Ye reade, that husband shoulde giue honour to their wiues, because they are the infirmer and weake [...] vessels, and because that with them they are to bee heires of the kingdome of glorie, and of that life. Yee see this, that if there vvere but an earthly body, who were appearing heire to a kingdome, men will count of him: Much more then, when we see a man or woman ordained to that Heauenly kingdome, and to that glory, shoulde we not honour them for that respect of glory. Paul to Tim. saies, In a great house are many vessels, some to honour, & some to dishonour. Yee see in a Noble mans house howe honourably they will handle golden and silu [...]r vessels. Then when we looke to a faithfull man, should we not count greatly of him, because hee is so glorious a vessell, and is to be partaker of that glory? All the glory of this world appertains properly to the faithfull: Indeede, often times they haue least part thereof (that they maye knowe their happinesse standes not in this earthly glory, but in that glory of Heauen) & the wicked haue most [Page 243] of it. Yet I say: All the glory euen of this world appertaines to the faithfull only. No honour appertains to a king who is a reprobate: He is but a violent vsurper of these worldly things, and he shal one day giue account of his violent vsurpation: nothing but shame ap­pertaines to him, and all his honour shall bee turned into shame.

Now I goe to the next thing: The boldnes that Ioseph had in cō ­ming to Pilate: Hee lurked before, but nowe when Iesus is lying in greatest ignominy, as wee vse to speake, At the Gallowes foot: The man takes boldnes, & steps in to Pilates Hall, & makes his request. His riches, his substāce, & honour held him abacke awhile: but now he comes out & forgets all, & interceades for the body of Iesus, to bu­rie it. Thy riches & honour of the worlde, are like as many fetters & yron chaines, to retaine thee & hold thee abacke from Christ. Yet all the riches & honour in the world cannot hinder nor hold backe GODS calling, when Hee puts out His hande to drawe thee in to Him: But if He put not out His hand, & draw thee out, thou art so fast detained, that all the strength in the worlde will not be able to draw thee. It is true that Paul saies, 1. Cor. 1.26. Ye see your calling, how that not many wise men after the flesh, nor many noble are called; It is a rare thing to see the Lord draw such men: He vses not to call many wise men, out of the hands of their wisdome; nor many rich men, out of the hands of their riches; nor many Noble men, out of the handes of their Nobility: No, He lets them be. We reade not of any potent men among the Jewes, whom the Lord pulled out to be His Disci­ples, except these two, Ioseph & Nicodemus. There might haue beene moe among the Princes of the Iewes, but wee find the names of no moe registrate. O how hard a thing it is, to draw a wise mā a migh­tie man, or a Noble man to Christ: for it is true that Christ saies,It is as hard to drawe a rich man to Christ, as to draw a Camell thorowe a needles eye. To draw a great body thorow a needles eye, is no lesse difficulty than to draw thee to Christ, who art a Noble man, who wilt sit vp, & talke of thy kinred, & of thy blood. This doing of Ioseph may bee marueiled at. Think ye not yt Ioseph should haue manifested himselfe rather in Iesus lifetime, than nowe after His death? When Hee was going, working wonders, and speaking such sweet sentences as ne­uer man spake, yet all this moued him not to come foorth, and shew himselfe. But now Christ being in shame, he comes out. Whereunto shall I ascribe this? I ascribe it to the force yt came from the death of Iesus. There was neuer a liuing man in the world, that had such [Page 244] force as yt dead body had. No, I say, He had more power hanging dead on the crosse, than when Hee was liuing in the world, & more mighty was His death than His life. The Lord giue vs a sense & fee­ling of ye force of ye death of Christ▪ it is able to cause a dead body rise from death to life. Iohn 12.24. He foretold ye power of His death: When the corne of wheat lyes in the ground and dies, it fructifies and brings foorth much fruit: so the dead body of Iesus fructifi [...]d, and brought with it out of the graue to life many thousand soules, & so does it to the end of the world. Hast thou life into thee, From whom came that life? Euen from the death of Iesus Christ: if Christ had not died, thou hadst neuer felt life. Hee vses also for this purpose ano­ther similitude, Where euer the dead carcasse [...]s, thither resorte the Eagles: Meaning, where His dead body was, the faithfull where euer they were, they should take them to their wings, from all the ends of the earth, & leaue their riches and honour, and by Faith flee to Him, to feede vpon Him, for His deade body casts such a sweete smell thorow the Heauens, and the Earth (a carioun casts such an euill smell, but the body of Iesus hath a sweete smell) that it will allure men & women to come to it. The Lord giue euery one such a taste of His sweetnesse, as Ioseph and Nicodemus found, that with pleasure we may flee to Him, and feede on Him. Now followes the request, he comes in to Pilates Hall, and desires leaue to take vp the dead body of Iesus, as yee saw before, the body of Iesus was not taken from the crosse without the licence of the Iudge, Pontius Pilate: so they durst not burie the body of Iesus without leaue, Why? The Lord vvas condemned, and the man who is condemned, is yet in the hands of the Iudge, vntill he giue Him ouer. If we consider wel this whole Historie of the suffering of Christ, vve shall finde one thing vvorthy to be marked, Albeit the Lord Iesus vvas the moste innocent man that euer vvas in the vvorlde, yet hauing to doe vvith Magistrates, both ciuile and ecclesiasticall, as Pontius Pilate, Caiaphas, and the rest, from the beginning to the end, Hee will haue nothing done but vvith their leaue: vvhen the Magistrate sent out men of vvarre to take Him, He vvould not suffer Peter to resist them, but He reproo­ued him for drawing his sword: Hee would not haue His body ta­ken downe from the Crosse, without the leaue of the Magistrate: Hee would haue nothing done to Him: Hee would not be buried without the leaue of the Magistrate. Hee leaues thee His example, to teach thee, if thou werest neuer so innocent, yet if thou fallest [Page 245] in the handes of the Magistrate, suffer nothing to be done to thee with offence, and with the disgrace of justice and judgement: hee who would die well, and in the Lord, let Him protest that nothing be done to him that will disgrace justice, albeit he suffer innocently. I might let you see an higher ground of this matter, but I wil touch it only. The Lord that came in the world to relieue thee from that great Iudge, and from all the pointes of his Iustice, it behoued Him to suffer all the points of Iustice vnder the earthly judge Pon­tius Pilate, in His condemnation, in His taking from the crosse, & in His burial: this was all to the intent, that thou mightest be fully freed from all the points of the Iustice of GOD, for whatsoeuer thing He either did or suffered, it was for thy cause. There is ano­ther thing here, that would not be passed by: There is no question, but it comes of the Prouidence of God, that this body is neither reaued away by violence, nor stollen away by slight, but the taking away comes of a speciall request [...]: no question, this matter was so dispensed, that the death of Iesus should bee made notable, and come to the eares of Pilate, and all other men: the death was to be made notable to the world, & likewise the buriall was to be made notable, to the end, that His glorious resurrection might be made knowne to the world. These are the two pillars of our Faith, the death of Christ, and His resurrection, & these are the two points that the deuill and the Heretiques haue from time to time striuen to hew and cut downe, that they should not appeare to the world, because they are the chiefe pillars of our Faith: but honour & glory be to the Lord, who of His grace hath kept these pillars constant­ly in His Church, in despite of the deuill, & all his instrumēts. Now the God of Heauen grant vs grace to take holde on His death, and glorious resurrection, that through His death and resurrection we may bee raised from death to newnesse of life here, that hereafter wee may reigne in glory with Him, To whome with the Father, and the Holy Spirite, bee all honour, praise and glorie, world without end.

AMEN.

THE XXVI. LECTVRE, OF THE BVRIALL OF CHRIST.

MARKE, CHAP. XV.

verse 44 And Pilate marueiled; if hee were alreadie dead, and called vnto him the Centurion, and asked of him, whether hee had beene any while dead?

verse 45 And when hee know the trueth of the Centurion, hee gaue the bodie to Ioseph:

verse 46 Who bought a linnen cloth, and tooke him downe, and wrapped him in the linnen cloth, &c.

IOHN CHAP. XIX.

verse 38 And after these things, Ioseph of Arimathea (who was a disciple of Iesus, but secretly for feare of the Iewes) besought Pilate that hee might take downe the body of Iesus. And Pilate gaue him licence. Hee came then, and tooke Iesus bodie.

verse 39 And there came also Nicodemus (who first came to Iesus by night) and brought of myrrhe and aloes mingled together about an hundreth pound.

verse 40 Then tooke they the bodie of Iesus, and wrapped it in linnen clothes, with the odours, as the manner of the Iewes is to burie.

THE last day (welbeloued in Iesus Christ) wee en­tered into the History of the Buriall of the Lord Iesus: and wee hearde that the Buriall came by a request, made to Pilate the Romane Deputie for the time: The request maker was one IOSEPH: Hee is set down and described by all the foure EVAN­GELISTES, in all his properties: Hee was a man of ARIMATHEA, a Towne in IVRIE. Hee vvas a rich man, and also an honourable and graue Counseller. Then, as concerning the [Page 247] qualities of his person: Hee was a good and an vpright man, who liued vprightlie in the worlde: and yet hee had a further respect than vnto this life, for he waited constantlie for the Kingdome of God. And therefore, when Christ came into the worlde, and tooke vp­on Him that great office of the Mediator betwixt GOD and man, hee enters into His schoole, and became His Disciple, how­beit for feare of the IEVVES, hee durst not manifest himselfe, but lurked secretlie for a time, euen to this time that it came to the Buriall of the bodie of Iesus; and then hee shewes himselfe to bee a Disciple of Christ. In that Councell, which was against the Lorde, hee vvas a Counseller; but hee vvoulde neither giue counsell, nor consent to the condemning and slaying of CHRIST. Thus much yee hearde before concerning this man and his properties: Then wee hearde howe hee goes forwarde boldlie to Pilate to seeke the Lordes bodie. Hee lurked before, so long as Iesus was in the worlde, working such wonders as neuer man wrought, & speaking with such a grace as neuer man spake with. But nowe when Hee is dead, hee comes out boldlie, and goes to Pilate, and hee manifestes himselfe: To let vs see, that IESVS in His death, had greater force to drawe the soules of men vnto Him, than Hee had in His life: for from that death there came so sweete and sensible a smell to the soules of sinners, that it drewe the soules of sinners vnto Him: Namelie, the heart of this man IOSEPH: So that hee comes out boldlie, as saide is, and hee goes to PILATE, and requestes him to giue him the bodie of IESVS to bee buried. Thus farre vvee hearde the last daye: Nowe this daye wee haue PILATES answere to IOSEPHS request.

PILATE wonders that He was dead so soone: and for the more certaintie hee calles a Centurion, and askes him, if Hee was dead alreadie. The Centurion affirmes, that Hee was dead alreadie. PI­LATE grantes the request. After this we come to the maner of His Buriall. Wee shall goe forward as time shall suffer, & God shall giue vs grace. Pilate wonders that hee was so soone dead. This wondering of Pilate, no question, imports, that the death of Iesus was extraordi­nary: It was not after the common fashion of men yt were crucified, for men who were crucified, they vsed to hing long on the Crosse, before they yeelded the spirit, dayes & nights; and in end, ere they yeelded the spirite, the life was taken from them by violence: They were broken on the Crosse. So Pilate hearing, that the Lorde was so [Page 248] soone dead, hee wondered, as at an extraordinarie thing. There are sundrie thinges that testifie that death of Iesus to haue beene ex­traordinary: as first, That mighty and loude voyce & crying which the Lord vttered on the Crosse immediately before He yeelded the spirit: for who will giue a loud crie at the yeelding of his spirit? for at the poinct of death, when nature failes, it is a rare thing to finde a man to haue a voyce or a word. Next, The yeelding of His spirit so suddenly, whē by the power of nature He might haue liued longer. Last: This wondering of Pilate testifies, That His death was extraor­dinarie, & that there was a power in Iesus which controlled nature. When nature would haue kept life, the diuine power puts it out. In a word: This wondering testifies, That the death of Iesus was the death of God, the death of a man, but God in the man, glorious and blessed for euermore.

Now it is said, Pilate vnderstood of the Centurion, that Iesus was dead, when hee granted the request of Ioseph, and gaue the bodie to him to bee buried. First, I see Pilate is a good Iustitier, (the Romane Iustice was a good Iustice, the Romane Iustitiers were good) he shewed him selfe to bee a good Iustitier in this: a man condemned to die, hee would not giue Him out of His hands, till hee knew perfectly that He was dead. The Iudge should not giue a man out of his hāds to any, till he know he be dead; Iustice requires that: If they did so to the greene tree, the Lord Himselfe saies, what shall they doe to the withered? If so precise justice was kept on ye innocent, what shall become of the reprobate, who must suffer euery point of justice? Lord saue vs from that justice of the reprobate. I put it out of doubt: This justice kept on Iesus is a liuely image of that justice, that shalbe kept on the re­probate. Thou shalt not escape one point of that justice, but thou shalt suffer in thy carcage ye extremity, if thou be not participate of His blood. Another thing is to bee marked in Pilate: I see a part of humanity in him: hee grants the dead body humanely. And surely this was by the fashion: for the bodies of crucified mē were not gi­uē & yeelded at the request of mē: as their death was ignominious, so was their buriall. I put no doubt, the cōscience of the innocencie of Iesus neuer left him, & the consciēce of His innocēcie made him to be so easie to grant the body of Iesus at the request of Ioseph. Bre­thren, if this matter had bene in the hands of Caiaphas, & the Priests, and the Scribes, & the Elders, they would not haue bene so ready to haue giuē the body to be buried▪ for as they sought to shame Him [Page 249] in His death, so would they in His buriall: they had buried Him like an Asse, & castē Him out like a beast. So who is this that dishonours the Saints of God in their buriall? It is not Pilate, or an Ethnicke, or Turke, or Pagan: it is hypocrit professors, hypocrits, Caiaphas, it is false priests, knaues, with a coloured religion: it is the counterfet hie priests, those shauelings, those monks & friers, who murther the innocēts: there was neuer bitternes nor gal of heart like their bitternes, who wil cal thēselues the kirke (they are a false & a deceiuing kirke) they haue not bene content to martyre the deare Saincts of God, (that bloody massacre shall neuer goe out of memory, it shalbe recent to their perpetual shame, & they shal pay for it one day) but they haue raised vp ye bones of the dead to burne thē: The vessels of dishonour seeke the dishonour of the vessels of honour: but shame and confu­sion shall light vpon them, whē the Saints of God shall get honour. The Lord saue vs from them, and that judgement which they shall receiue. We goe now to the māner of the Buriall. Looke the louing affection of this holy man Ioseph, would to God we could learne at him (who loued the dead Iesus so well) to loue Him now liuing and glorified in the Heauēs. When he hath gottē the body of the Lord, he takes it, & puts it, not in a foule cloth; he takes not an old sheet, but he buyes the cleanest linnē, & finest that culd be gottē: & the Spirit of God notes, that it was a fine linnen cloth, which had neuer touched any mans body before: then he wraps the body of Iesus in that winding sheet. I suppone it was with his owne hands (for wee reade of none other that touched Him) for hee thought his owne hands ouer vn­worthie to winde such a precious and glorious bodie.

Nowe Brethren, as the Buriall of the Lord was honoured by an honourable man, who was the Burier of Him: so it was honoured with a cleane winding-sheet, which is a piece of the honour of the Buriall. But looke to this mans doinges better: When hee procures leaue to bury Him, he departs not, & leaues another to bury Him: he sais not, I haue done enough. I haue gottē his body, he has other friēds thā I, here he has his mother, & his disciples, & other womē, who came with him out of Galile, and others, let them bury him, & doe ye rest to him: No, he saies not so: So this is a cōmendable thing in him, who hauing gottē leaue to bury him, he perfects the worke, he will bury him, himselfe with his owne hands. Let vs learne at Io­seph: If we put to our hāds to the work of Iesus to honour him, (wo to him that honours him not) if thou begin to do him any seruice, [Page 250] leaue not off, whilst thou haue ended it: Count not that which thou hast done, as men doe, who will say, I haue professed, I haue suffered for religion, more than the best of them. But when thou art running that race: neuer looke ouer thy shoulder vntill thou commest to thy races ende: and say, thou art an vnprofitable ser­uant, suppose thou hadst done neuer so much: goe forward, the crowne is not in the middest of the race, but at the end: and hee who persistes to the end of the race, he shall get the crowne, & not he who goes backe againe. Yet the affection of the man would bee considered and weighed, after that once that sweete smell (the sweetest smell that euer was felt) comes from the body of Iesus, that sweet smell of loue (for the sauour of that body is the sauour of loue, such loue as man neuer bare to man, such loue as made the Lord to die for sinners) after that the smell comes to Iosephs soule, it wakened vp in his heart loue towards the Lord: for Hee must loue vs, before wee loue Him: and whilst Hee begins to loue Him, he makes request for Him, & euer the nearer that he drawes to that precious body: the sweete smell that came from that pre­cious body was alwayes the greater, and the heart of Ioseph warmed ay the more with Him: so that he could neuer get rest vntill he got that body in his armes, and wrapped it in linnen clothes. So when we begin to taste that fragrant odour, that sweet smell, our hearts will be allured to draw neare to Him, and as we draw the nearer to Him, wee will ay finde the sweeter sauour proceeding from Him: Thou shalt feele alwaies the more that sweet odour, the more neare thou meete with Him: and who euer thou bee that seekest Him once, thou vvilt neuer rest vvhilst thou see Him, and be vvith Him. Paul speakes this of himselfe, 2. Cor. 4.8. I approoue rather to be with the Lord, than to dwell in this bodie. And to the Phillipians, 1.23. I de­sire to be loosed, and to be with Christ: For as vvell as vve loue this bo­dy, vve vvill be content to slit out of it, to let the body fall dovvne, like a broken pitcher, that vve may be conjoyned vvith Christ: vve vvill be content to slit, and to obtaine Iesus Christ, euen vvith the dissolution of the body.

This for the part of Ioseph, in the burying of Christ, novve fol­lovves the part of one Nicodemus: Whilst as Ioseph is vvrapping the body of Iesus in the vvinding-sheete, one Nicodemus vvho had come to Iesus by night to be instructed secretly by Him, he comes to Him, and hee comes not emptie handed (come not emptie [Page 251] handed to Christ, bring wt thee some gift) he comes with a mixture of Myrrhe, and aloes, a precious odour, and with a great weight, an hundreth pound weight, a great weight, and a great price, for this gift hath bene a costly gift. But to speake of this Nicodemus, to compare him with Joseph, as Ioseph was an honourable man, & a Prince amongst the people, so was Nicodemus an honourable man, & a Prince amongst the people, read the 3. of Iohn. As Joseph was a rich man, so Nicodemus was a rich and mightie man, as Ioseph was a secret disciple of Christ, so Nicodemus was a quiet disciple of Christ, who lurked before, and now comes to light. I read of one proper­tie in Nicodemus, which was not in Ioseph. This Nicodemus is called by Christ, a Doctour, and Master in Israel: He was a Pharise, learned in the law of the Iewes, we read not this of Ioseph. Yet to goe forward in the comparison, As Ioseph brought his honour and riches, and laid them downe at the feete of Iesus Christ, who lay dead in ig­nominie in the sight of the worlde, so this Nicodemus brings his honour and his riches, his learning, and his wisedome, and layes them downe at the feete of Iesus lying dead: there he hum­bles his head, as it were at the feete of Iesus: So that this was the greatest honour that Iesus got in His death and buriall: the wis­dome, the honour, and the learning of the world, and the riches in the persons of these men was all cast vnder His feete, and no doubt, these two men, before they met with Iesus, and knew Him, they stood much on their reputation, they thought their riches, and their honour was something, and they counted much of their prerogatiues in the worlde, but after they got a sight of Iesus, all these, as Paul speakes of himselfe, seemed but losse vnto them: they seemed but dung and dirt, in respect of Iesus Christ, whome they counted to be their only vantage. If thou hadst wisdome to compasse the world, it is nothing but folly, in respect of that eminencie of the wisdome of Iesus Christ, all would stincke, and be dung to thee, thou woul­dest not endure to looke vpon them, if thou hadst a sight of that eminencie of the wisdome of Iesus Christ. Wise men will spitte at the Crosse of Christ: these wise men, if ye speake to them of the Crosse of Christ, they will spit at it: yet albeit they bee wise, the foolishnesse of the Crosse of Christ will shame them all, the foolish­nesse of it shames all the wise in the world, the pouertie shames all the riches of the world, the ignominie of it shames all the honour, all the crownes and scepters in the worlde: and therefore PAVL [Page 252] 1. Cor. in Esayes vvordes, he glories, Where is the wisemen now? where are the Scribes? where is the disputer of the world? Hath not this foolish Crosse of Christ made all but follie: the very foolishnes of ye Crosse of Christ hath made all ye prerogatiues of ye world but foolishnes: the world would not know God in His wisdome, when He had set out such a faire Fabricke of ye world, He determined to saue so many as should beleeue. But how? by Philosophie? No, by wisdom? No, but by the foolishnesse of preaching: thou shalt neuer see Heauen, I giue thee this doome, if thou be not saued by this foolish preaching. This for the persō of Nicodemus, now let vs see his gift, it is a rich gift, a mix­ture of Myrrhe & Aloes of an hundreth pound weight what moo­ued ye man to doe this? now certainly there are few folks yt will cast away their goods, & giue them for nothing: it behooued yt some great mater should haue moued this man: if he had not seene some thing in yt body, to haue moued him to haue brought this gift, he had neuer brought such a precious gift: if he had not seene a won­derfull preciousnes in ye body (euen that dead body was ye most pre­cious thing in ye world) he had neuer bin so liberal, as to haue bought so much precious oyntment what causes men be so loth to bestow any thing on Christ, & His Gospel: ye world sees not how precious He is in His Gospel, when thou seest not ye preciousnes of ye Gospel & of Christ: O! what maruell is this? yt thou bestowest nothing on Iesus & His Gospell: I doubt not, if thou couldest see ye power of ye light, & ye preciousnes of that Gospel, thou wouldest bestow gifts & presents, yea, all yt thou hast to ye glory of Iesus, & and to ye maintenance of it: ye had need to look on this mater at this time. The Lord open the eyes of men to see ye price of this glorious Gospel. But to speak of Nicodemus gift: yt gift is honourable, a gift of odours: what should haue moued this man to haue both such a gift of odours more thā any other: if Nicodemus had not felt ye sweetest sauour & odour, that euer was, cōming frō the body of Iesus, he had neuer brought such a gift, hee meetes a sweete sauour with a sweet sauour: that body needed no odours of Nicodemus, because that bodie was filled with the presence of God, and therefore needed none odours, to preserue it from corruption. The naturall body of a man, beeing dead, will stincke, but the body of the Lord Iesus was not subject to corruption: so ye see, Brethren, all things honour the buriall, ye honorable mā Ioseph honoures ye burial, the winding sheet honoures ye buriall, yt man Nicodemus honours ye buriall yt rich gift honoures ye buriall of ye Lord, so His buriall was on all wayes honorable: So ye [Page 253] glorie of Iesus beganne in His buriall. When Nicodemus is come with his gift, Joseph & Nicodemus joyne hands in hands together, & They tooke towells, and buries the body of Iesus, after the manner of the buriall of the Iewes: Yet I see in this Ioseph a thing commendable: When Nicodemus comes with a rich gift, and a richer gift than hee gaue, he enuies him not, hee enuies neither the man, nor his gift, but hartily they take the body together, and annoynt it. Let no man enuie another, who comes with a gift to Iesus, but let mee with my small gift, and thee with thy great gift, hartily joyne hande in hande together, and glorifie Iesus Christ: put away enuie and emulation, and hartily honour IESVS CHRIST, for if we sawe that all our honour standes in the honour of Iesus Christ, wee would bee content, that euery man should come with greater gifts to honour Iesus Christ: and so emulation would bee put away. Now the Lord giue vs grace to see, that all our honour stands in that, that Iesus Christ may be honoured, that we may be content with all men to glorifie Him: he sayes not, Nicodemus doe thou the rest of it, I haue done my part, I haue bought ye winding-sheete, & now I will goe my way, doe thou the rest, annoynt thou Him, & burie thou Him. No, he leaues Him not, but when once he put his hand to Him he wil not leaue Him: hast thou begun to serue Christ, leaue Him not, albeit a King should command thee, leaue Him not: if thou come not wt odours come with a windingsheet, if not with ye windingsheet, come, put the towell about Him, & bind Him, & if thou doest no more, stand by, & speake to His honur, & glorifie Him, and if thou hast not a tongue to speake reuerently of Him, think of Him reuerently, & honour Him in thy heart If thou honour Him not, woe to thee if thou were a King: wo to thee, if yu glorify not ye God of glory, & this may let vs see by experience, yt ye soule yt hath any will to glorify Iesus, can neuer be at rest, but whē it is occupied in glorifying Him, he saies, this was done after ye custome of ye Jewes: as they buried honorable men, so they buried Iesus, good reasō was it yt so it should be, there came neuer such an honorable man amōg them as Christ: no, not their kings, Dauid, Salomon. &c. were nothing to Him. So it appeares yt this custome in ye buriall was according to their ceremonial law, & therefore these ceremonies yt ye Iewes vsed in these burialls, their washing, their odours & the rest were all figures of Iesus to come, & of yt glorious resurrectiō of His, which is ye ernest pēny of our resurrectiō, for our resurrectiō depēds [Page 254] on His glorious resurrection, and if Hee had not risen, we should neuer haue risen in glorie. Seeing therefore they were shadowes after His death and resurrection, all these ceremonies, all this bal­ming, washing, &c. take an end: and except thou wouldest say, that Iesus is not risen and extinguish the sweet smel of His resurrection, thou must leaue off all the ceremonies. It is true, buriall should be honoured, and certainely in the buriall of men and women, a great respect should bee had: Why should the body of a man bee cast away: the very light of Nature imprinted in the heart by the creation dites, that the dead body of a man or a woman should be buried honourablie, and that in hope of immortalitie: Nature hath a smell of immortalitie, and it causes the body be had in due regarde: the beasts bodies ye see, when they are dead, they are cast avvay and no more is made of them. Come to custome, the cu­stome of buriall that the Fathers vsed from the beginning, teaches vs, that the buriall of man and woman should be respected, and that vpon the hope of resurrection: Beginne at Adam, goe to Abraham, Isaac, Iacob, Joseph, and all the rest of the holy Patriarkes, they had a regarde of their burialls, vpon hope of their resurre­ction: for the bodies of the Sainctes vvho are buried, shall rise gloriously in that great day: and this they did not so much by Na­ture, as by a reuelation of God, and on this hope follovved these ceremonies: the vvashing and balming of the bodies, Acts 9.37 The very vvord the Scripture vses, the vvord of sl [...]eping, shevv the bodie vvould not die for euer: but that they laid downe the body in the graue to sleepe, as if it vvere laide dovvne in a soft bed to sleepe, not to lye for ay there, but to rise again [...] in the morning, vvhen the day shall rise. Iesus Christ is the most glorious morning that euer vvas: and the body that sleepes in Him, sh [...]ll rise againe to glorie, vvhen Hee shall come in the cloudes vv [...]th millions of His Angels. Come to the custome of the nations: their buriall vvas honoured, they did it of imitation follovving the F [...]thers, like Apes, vvanting the hope of resurrection. What h [...]lpeth thee thy buriall, or the honours of it, if thou vvant [...]st that hope of resur­rection: they vvanted the vvord of God the life of all ce [...]emonies, what good doe all these ceremonies vvithout the vvord and pro­mises of God, by them only they are quickened, by them only they liue, vvithout them they are dead shadovves. The very Ethnikes had a respect to buriall: But this vvas in hope of resurrection, but [Page 255] vpon a custome for pompe and vaine glorie. As in all things the Lord gaue them vp vnto a reprobate sense, so in buriall Hee gaue them vp to a reprobate sense. They would cast out some dead bo­dies like dogges, and some vsed to burne the deade bodies in the fire, these are barbarous and inhumane fashions. The body should be buried in the earth, thou shouldest returne to the earth, as thou camest of the earth: Againe, some amongst the Gentiles vsed ouer great gorgeousnesse, and sumptuousnesse in their burialls, placing the effect of the buriall in gorgeousnesse. But to come to vs, if thou werest a King, thou shouldest not followe the Ethnickes in sumptuousnesse: when the Lord brings a man low, wilt thou exalt his head, and exceede measure in gorgeousnesse: vvilt thou hold vp his head, when the Lord is casting downe his head, the Lord will cast downe thine heade, and his both to the dust. Eschew two extremities, First, eschew contempt, cast not away the body: and secondly, eschew gorgeousnesse and superfluitie, keepe a Christian honour: albeit thou werest a King, or an Emperour, thou shouldest keepe a mediocritie, and Christian honestie, and let that sweete smell of the death and resurrection of IESVS CHRIST sauour into his buriall.

What shall we say in burialls then? Shall we make none excep­tion, No, let vs looke to Circumstances: Burie not a begger like a King, looke to the place and time, and person: yet in all times places and persons, let the buriall smell of that sweet smelling odour of IESVS CHRIST, and let that simple Christian ho­nestie be seene in your burialls.

Now because the time is spent, and I will not wearie you: I leaue the rest till the next daye, and commend you to GOD, beseeching Him, that yee may bee like to Him, both in life and death, and in His buriall and resurrection, that wee may dwell with Him for euermore in the Heauens. To whome with the Fa­ther, and the Holy Spirit, be all honour, praise and glorie, world without end.

AMEN.

THE XXVII. LECTVRE, OF THE BVRIALL OF CHRIST.

MATTH. CHAP. XXVII.

verse 59 So Ioseph tooke the bodie, and wrapped it in a cleane linnen cloth,

MARKE, CHAP. XV.

verse 46 And layed him in a tombe that was h [...]wen out of a rocke, and rolled a stone vnto the doore of the sepulchre.

LVKE CHAP. XXIII.

verse 53 And tooke it downe, and wrapped it in a linnen cloth, and layed it in a tombe hewen out of a rocke, wherein was neuer man yet layed.

IOHN, CHAP. XIX.

verse 41 And in that place where Iesus was crucified, was a Garden, and in the Garden a new sepulchre, wherein was neuer man yet layed.

WEE haue in hand at this present (well-beloued in CHRIST) this Gospel of the Buriall of the Lord: When Hee is crucified and dead, His Buriall is ob­tained by a request: which request was made to Pilate, the Iudge and Romane Deputie: he that made the request, was Ioseph of Arimathea, an honourable man, a Senator, a rich, a good, and a godly man. There comes after­ward to Ioseph, one Nicodemus, a Doctor in Israel, an honourable, a wise, and a good man, and a Disciple of Iesus, albeit quietly, as Ioseph was: and he joynes handes in this worke with Ioseph: So these two take the whole worke in hand: first Ioseph, and then Nicodemus. In the Historie of this Buriall wee haue these two partes: First, wee [Page 257] haue the vvinding of Christ, as vve speake commonly, Hee is vvin­ded and vvrapped in a newe linnen cloth, being embaulmed vvith sweet odors. We haue heard already of this first part of His Burial: The secōd part of His Buriall, is the laying of His precious body in the graue. First this day we shal speak of the laying of yt body in the graue: & next falles out a piece of a History, concerning certain wo­men, namely, Marie Magdalene, & the other Marie, the mother of Io­ses, vvho are vvitnesses of yt buriall, & saw that all things vvere vvell done. Thirdly, in that part vve haue read in the Gospel of Matthew especiallie, vvee haue a piece of Historie concerning the vvatching & keeping of the graue of Iesus, after He vvas buried. The Historie is very plaine, and the doctrine thereof shall be plaine also. Then to begin at the first part of the history: The burying of Iesus after hee vvas vvrapped in the vvinding-sheet, Iohn in his Gospel markes the place vvhere he vvas buried: First in generall, he notes it to bee in a Garden; not a Kirke, not an house but, a Garden, in the faire fields: not vnder a roofe, but vnder the roofe of heauē. This burying in Kirks is come in vpon superstition. It maye suffice the greatest lorde of them all to be buried in the fields, as the Lord Iesus vvas buried. So the place vvas a Garden. Next, it is described from the situation of it: Neare Mount Caluarie, the place vvhere hee vvas crucified: Joseph and Nicodemus choosed this place, of verye purpose, because it vvas neare hande: the time straited them: the time of the Passeouer vvas drawing neare, and they vvere to celebrate it after the going down of the Sunne: and therfore they take the commoditie of the place. This vvas their purpose. But the Father of heauen had his purpose in this vvorke. The place vvas notable, & knowne to all the indwel­lers in Hierusalem. The Lorde of purpose chose that place: that as the place of His Buriall was knowen to Hierusalem, so the Resurrection of the Lord should be known to Hierusalem. Al this knowledge that: Hee was buried auailes nothing: if thou knowest not yt Hee is risen againe: & vvithout this knowledge no remission of sinnes, no life. But to come more particularlie to the place: Iohn, when hee had set it downe in generall, he comes in speciall, and hee calles it, a monu­ment; he calles it, a new graue, wherein neuer man lay. It was a graue, not hewen out of the earth: it was hewen out of a stone: and Ioseph cau­sed it to be hewē out, not to Iesus, but to himself: but yet he vouch­safes it vpon Iesus. All was notable; the place, the gardē, the time, the graue, that His Resurrection might be notable & easily known [Page 256] [...] [Page 257] [...] [Page 258] to all the indwellers in Ierusalem, for He made all things to fall out so, that His resurrection should be patent: the Lord prouided that in all respects the buriall of Iesus might be honourable. Looke to these men that buried Him, Joseph and Nicodemus, honourable men: looke to His windingsheete, and cleane linnen cloath: looke to the odours wherewith Hee was embalmed, they were costly: looke to the place, it was hewen out of a stone, with great cost, and trauell, it was a new graue wherein neuer man lay, it was ordained for an honourable man: the Lord will haue His Sonne honoured in all these things, and as He was a chiefe man, farre aboue all the kings in the world, separate from sinners, & made higher than the Heauens, as the Apostle sayes, Heb. 7.26. So His heauenly Father would haue Him appearing a speciall man in His buriall, and namely in His graue: for in that graue wherein Hee was laide, neuer sinfull man come, & well worthy was He, who was separate from sinners to be laide in a graue, wherein neuer sinner was laide: yet the new­nesse of the graue, it importes something more, that when He rose it should not bee saide, that any other man should haue risen, but that it was onely Iesus that had risen. To goe forward to the laying of the body in the graue, the two men, Ioseph & Nicodemus they take the body, & lay it in. They cast it not in, but softly & tender­ly they laid that precious body that they loued so well, they laide it in a graue, as it were in a bed, to sleepe: when they haue laid Him downe in ye graue, they take a great stone, & rolles it on the doore of the graue, & when they haue done that, they goe to the celebra­tion of the Passeouer: As all this worke was directed by pro­uidence of God, so in laying on of this great stone, the Lord Hee had His prouidence. No question, Ioseph and Nicodemus rolled on this stone to honour the Lord, but the prouidence of the Lord in this stone was chiefly, that when the Lord rose againe, the enemies should not say, that the Lord was stollen out of the graue: for it was no small matter to rolle away such a great stone: so the Lord would meete the calumnies of His enemies in raising the stone, and not onely in raising the stone, but in breaking the bands of death, and of the graue, and in raising from death to life, wherein Hee shewed the power of His Godhead: for in nothing did the power of GOD appeare so euidently, as in the raising of Christ from the death: and therefore the Apostle Paul in the first Chap­ter to the Ephesians, verse 19. brings it in as a singular proofe of the [Page 259] strong power of God. Now we haue ended this discourse of the buriall, which in all respects ye see is honorable: so that, albeit the buriall be otherwise ignominious, and by the last part of His hu­miliation: yet in it the Lord begins to honour Him, He begins at it His glory: euen so, albeit the buriall of all men & women beeing shamefull of the owne nature, yet the buriall of all faithfull men and women beeing sanctified in the buriall of Iesus Christ, is the first part of their honour for by it they passe to that eternall glory: but the vnbeleeuers by their buriall passe to shame and confusion. Now we goe vnto the second part of this Text, to the part of the godly women, good Marie Magdalene, who neuer left the Lord, but followed Him from Galile, then the other Marie, the mother of Joses: As they followed Him to the Crosse, so they followed Him to the buriall, and they stand aside, and see Him buried. O that loue! that wonderfull tender loue! that could not suffer them to be reaued from the LORD: for woe is the heart that is separate from Iesus, and that loue that drew them to the Crosse, that same drawes them to the graue with Him: for nothing could separate these women from Iesus: No, the crosse, the graue, death it selfe, cannot separate these womens heartes from the LORD: so out of all question, this following of Iesus to the graue was a token of an intiere loue that they bare to Him: yea, it was rather a token of that loue that came from Iesus to them: that following of Him vttered such a loue and smell, to flow from that dead bodie, that hang on the crosse, and was buried, that neuer man nor wo­man felt the like: He so loued the world, that He died for it, Hee gaue Himselfe for it: for, Brethren, except that force that came from the bodie, had drawen their heartes, it had beene vnpos­sible that they could haue followed Him. No man can loue GOD first, but because He loues vs, we loue Him: None can come to mee, sayes Christ, except my Father draw him: if Hee lay not holde on vs first, our hearts will neuer incline to loue Him. Now certainly, I put no question in it: these women looked with sad and heauie hearts on this buriall: for when we see one buried, whom we loue, we will be sad, nature dites this: But as they were heauie hearted in looking on ye spectacle: so their heart had joy in looking thereon, for they had a great hope to see: yt glorious body rise again, so they had sad­nes mixed wt joy, for wo to yt sadnes yt hath not joy mixed with it. Now yet I see as they cōtinued in following Him, first to ye crosse, & [Page 260] then to the buriall: so the Lord continues in honouring them, for He sends them out as Preachers, & eye witnesses of his death, which honour neuer one of the Apostles got, but Iohn: so He honoured them in His buriall: therefore honour Christ, followe Him to the crosse, follow Him to the graue: thinke not shame of His crosse or His graue, loue Him with thine heart, waite on Him, for Hee will let thee see the most glorious things that euer the eye saw: holde therefore the eye vpon Him, looke to Him night & day, now when He is in the Heauens: and I promise thee, thou shalt finde by ex­perience, He shall make thee a proclaimer of His glory: but thou who settest not thine heart to seeke Him now, when He is gone to the Heauens, thou shalt not haue a mouth to glorifie Him, or to speake of His Name hereafter. Now, will ye looke to ye carefulnesse of these womē, they stand against ye graue a far off & they looke no doubt wt sad hearts, how these two men, Ioseph & Nicodemus handles the glorious body of Iesus, & layes it in ye graue. Men & womē for curiosity & delectatiō vse to look vpō such spectacles, but these wo­men looked wt a carefull & sorrowfull heart, looking that this bo­dy should be tēderly & honorably handled & buried. Therefore, if yu hast yt ability to be a handler, & medler with ye worke of ye Lord, as Ioseph & Nicodemus was: look at least, yt thou be a carefull onlooker & tēder it in thy heart, & see yt all things go wel, & if thou doest that, ye Lord shal count it a piece of good seruice for ye furthering of ye glory of His Kingdom, If thou hast not to bestow on Christ, yet speak wel of Him, if yu canst not speake, yet thinke well of Him: yet these wo­men are not cōtent to look on only, but they will be also medlers in this actiō: & for this cause, whē ye graue is closed, they go home wt, vnspeakable sadnes, & joy mixt together, going home, they prepare sweet odours for ye embalming of Him ye third day following, they cease vpō yt morne, because it was the Sabbath, & vpō ye third day He rose & disappointed them of ye embalming of Him, but yet their intentiō is to be cōmended, they are not cōtent to looke on Him, but according to their power, they put to their hand: but ere they prepared these odours, a sweet smell came frō His body to them: for except a sweeter smel come frō Him, except He giue thee a grea­ter grace, yu wilt not bestow a pēny on Him, except He giue thee a poūd: but being once benefited by Him, thou wilt bestow if it were thy own life, (let be thy goods) for Him & His glorie: and if thou wilt not bestovv on Christ, and vpon His Gospell, I testifie thou hast neuer found the svveetnesse of the Lord, nor of His grace, [Page 261] It may be that He cast a Lordship to thee, or portion of heritage as it were a bone to a dogge, but if thou bestowest nothing on Him, thou hast neuer felt the grace of God, thy soule hath neuer tasted of that odour & sweetnesse that is in Him Nowe I come to the last part which I haue read out of the Gospell of Matthew, concerning the watching of Iesus after Hee was buried. This watching came vpon a suite, as all other thinges came vpon a suite, for nothing durst be done without licence of the Magistrate, of Pilate the Ro­mane Deputie: the Iudge was reuerenced, without him nothing was done. The time of the sute is noted, to wit, the next day after He was buried. This was, no doubt, the Sabbath day, for they began their day at Euen, when the Sun goes downe, (as yee would say on Fry­day at Euen) for no doubt, the vvatch stood about ye graue all night. The sute is made to Pilate, & all is done by the Iudge: it is a circum­stance should be vvell noted, thinke it not a light matter. The Lord in all His suffering is subject to the Iudge, it behoued Him to vn­derly the sentence of the earthly Iudge in all sorts: if Hee had not vnderlyed it, it had behoued thee to vnderly the fearfull Iudge­ment of that euerlasting Iudge. But vvho makes the sute? It is not Ioseph, nor Nicodemus, none of them that loued Christ. Ioseph indeed made a sute that the body should bee buried? But vvho is it that makes this sute? Who but they vvho suted to crucifie the LORD, The Scribes, the Pharises, that vvere enemies to Him. Looke thorovv all this Historie, & ye shal finde sundrie sutes, some euil, some good, some on an euil mind, some on a good mind, many euill, few good, many suters to crucifie Him, many suters to breake Him, many su­ters to hold Him down in the graue: ye read of none but of one Ioseph, vvho makes sute to get the dead body of Iesus buried. Read all the Ecclesiasticall Histories, and ye shall finde these same things that fell out in Christ, to haue fallen out in His members: when a godly man hath beene drawen out before the ciuile Iudge, or to martyrdome: there hath bene sundrie suters for him, some suters good, some euill yet euer moe euill than good. Therefore a P [...]ince or Magistrate was neuer in such danger, in any judgement, as whē he gets a good man fallen in his hands. Pilate was neuer in such danger, as he was into through this action, for it lost him his life present, & the life to come. When the action of a thiefe or a mur­therer comes before a King there is no such danger: but when a godly man is brought before him for the cause of CHRIST, [Page 262] then he should take good heede, where he shall get one to giue him a good counsell: he shall get many to giue him euill counsell, ma­ny shal crie, crucifie Him: & woe to him, if he assent, as Pilate did, for he shall inuolue himself in that same guiltines with them that cried crucifie him. It is true indeede, that Pilate granted a good suite, hee gaue leaue to Ioseph, to burie the body of Christ, yet did this any good to Pilate, saued it him? No, Thinkest thou when thou hast executed an innocent, that thou doest enough, when thou hast gi­uen His bodie to bee buried? No, that shall not excuse thee, nor free thee from guiltinesse. O how g [...]eat and weightie is the burthen of Magistrates! Therefore they had neede euer to haue good men about them, and we should pray the Lord earnestly to guide them and direct them in judgement.

This much for the suters, now come to the sute: the wordes are these: The deceiuer said, whilst as He was aliue, that within three dayes He should rise: command therefore that the sepulchre bee made sure, vntill the third day, lest His disciples come by night and steale Him away, and say to the people, that He is risen frō the dead: so shall the last e [...]rour be worse than the first. In effect this is as much, as if they had said these wordes, this man said, that He should rise the third day, therefore appoint Him a guard to testify of His glorious resurrectiō: ye Lord so directed their words, albeit their meaning was flat contrarie: Marke there­fore a good lesson: euer more the Lord h [...]th snared the reprobate in their wicked deuises, & hath euer turned them from that mis­chieuous end they aymed them, to the manifestation of His owne glory. The Priests & Pharises thought to obscure ye glorie of Christs resurrection, & if it had lyen in their hands to hold Him by force in the graue: but the Lord who workes light out of darknesse, makes their sute to serue for the clearer manifestation of His resurrection, for they could haue done no more for the manifestation of His re­surrection, if they had bene hired for that purpose: so looke what interprise wicked men will deuise to dishonour Him: I say, the Lord shall turne it in end to His glory, but to their destruction: I will say further, (& it may seeme marueilous) peruerse deuises of the wicked often times do serue more to His glory, than the good pur­poses & deedes of the godly: for it is not a greater glory to GOD, to bring light out of darknes, than to bring light out of light: the Lord is a most skilfull and mightie workeman, Hee makes His glo­ry to appeare, by bringing light out of darknesse, by bringing [Page 263] life out of death, and by calling the thinges that are not, as if they were: all the deuises of the wicked are darknesse, the doings of the godly are light: so the Lord will sometimes bee more wōderfully glorified in the doings of the wicked, than in the doings of the godly. But this doth ye wicked no good, nor it serues nothing for their benefite, for in ye meane time they are more mali­cious against ye Lord, than euer they were, they call Him a deceiuer: this is a wonderfull thing, they saw the Lords povver in obscuring of the sun, in renting of the rockes, in opening of the graues, they saw His great glory shine in all these wonders: yet such is the mali­ciousnes of these wicked men, they call ye Lord of glory, a deceiuer, & in so doing not onely they oppone themselues against God, but also they doe so far as in them lay, as to haue spitted in the face of God: yet these miserable creatures, I meane the Scribes & Pharises, came not on a suddaintie to this extreame maliciousnes, but they shew some meane & small beginnings of it, whē Christ first mani­fested Himselfe, & began to preach amongst them: then they pro­ceeded frō worse to worse continually, all the time He was conuer­sant amongst them: thereafter in His Crosse & death they taunted & mocked Him, & put Him to the most shameful death they could deuise: & now when He is buried & laid in ye graue, they vtter more maliciousnesse than euer they did, they come to the extremitie of maliciousnes and induration, they call the Lord a deceiuer. Cursed be yt mouth that calles the Lord a deceiuer, & as Paul sayes, He that loueth not the Lord Iesus Christ, let him be anathema maranatha, 1. Cor. 16.22. This lets vs see the nature of their sinne, it was a sinne against the Holy Spirit, and this is the nature of that sinne, when once thou shalt enter in it, thou vvilt hardly get backe againe, vntill thou com­mest to extreame excecation and induration, to thine euerlasting destruction. My lesson is this, If the Lord giue vs grace to learne it. When it pleases the Lord to shine vnto thee, albeit thou vverest a King, or Earle, or Lord, looke, as thou vvould eschevv H [...]ll & dam­nation, that thou repine not to this light, but greedily embrace it, and vvalke in it: for if thou step forvvard in repining, thou shalt haue an hard backe-comming againe, and thou shalt come from excecation to excecation, vntill thou come to vtter destruction. Novv, I doubt not, but ye are sorrovvfull, vvhen ye heare the Lord a deceiuer, yee are sorrovvfull to heare light called darknesse▪ but comfort our selues vvith this, the Lord vvho vvas free of all guile [Page 264] and deceit, suffers Himselfe to bee called a deceiuer, to purge vs from guile and deceit: for it might seeme marueilous, that the Spi­rite of God shoulde register this name of a deceiuer, suppose they called Him a deceiuer: for this name defiles the aire to call the Lord of Trueth a deceiuer: Yet no question the Spirite hath left it in re­gister to bee hearde and read of all Christians, to the ende of the worlde, that thou mayest knowe what the Lorde hath suffered for thee. And doubtlesse this name was heauier to Him, than all the vexation that was done to Him: it was heauier than the crucifying of him it selfe: and when thou hearest this name thou shouldest say, He was not a deceiuer, but it was I that was a deceiuer, & Hee was called a deceiuer for me who was damned for deceit, that I should be deliuered from the debt & punishment of deceit, and deceiuers.

Now to end shortly: Ye haue a watch, saies he, goe and make it sure, keepe it as yee please. Hee was an easie man to graunt to any man whatsoeuer thing he sought of him: either good or euill. Hee gran­ted to Ioseph his sute to burie Christ: so he grants to the Priests and Pharises this sute to keepe Him in the graue: The reason is, because being an Ethnick, he serued not God, but the affections of mē, whe­ther good or euill: he looked not to God, but hee had a respect to his owne standing: and therefore hee cares not to grant a sute sup­pose it were against God and Christ: Hee had a respect to his owne standing, when he commanded Christ to be crucified: Such like he respected his owne standing, when hee gaue Ioseph leaue to burie Him: and likewise now when he grantes this sute to the Priestes to vvatch His graue, he respected his owne standing. Marke this Bre­thren: It is a miserable thing, vvhen a King or a Iudge hath not God before his eyes: wo to yt king who hath not God & a good cō ­sciēce before his eyes: for he will be a slaue to the affections of any varlot in the Countreye. A Begger, a Horse-rubber, and the vilest slaue that can be among men, is not so vile a slaue as he who serues the affections of men, and hath not God and a good conscience before him: and euer the higher, and the greater his estate be, he is the greater slaue. Nowe hauing gotten leaue of Pilate, they set men of vvarre to keepe Him in the graue, they make the sepulchre sure with the watch, to the ende Hee shoulde not bee stollen awaye: and for the more securitie, they s [...]aled the stone, and signated it vvith Pilates ring: and then it vvas death to anie man in the vvorlde to touch it: Yet the more busie they are, and the more they striue to hold Him in the [Page 265] graue, the more the Lorde glorifies Him, and the more cleare and manifest was his Resurrection. Could Pilates seale holde him in the graue? Could the men of vvarre holde him in? No, they coulde not keepe him: but yee will haare: They fell all downe dead at his Re­surrection, and they had not a worde to speake, suppose such was the impudencie of the Priests, that although they knew that he vvas ri­sen: Yet they hired the men of vvarre to say that he vvas not risen but his disciples stole him away by night: And this errour conti­nues in the vvorlde among the Iewes euer since. But the Lord Iesus arose vvith great power and glorie, and now is in infinite glorie in the Heavens, at the right hand of the Father: To vvhom, vvith the Sonne, and holy Spirit, from our hearts, vvee render all praise, ho­nour, and glorie, for euer and euer, AMEN.

THE XXVIII. LECTVRE OF THE RESVRRECTION OF CHRIST.

MATTH. CHAP. XXVIII.

NOw, in the ende of the Sabbath, when the first day of the weeke began to dawne, Marie Magdalene, and the other Marie came to see the sepulchre.

verse 2 And beholde, there was a great earth-quake: for the Angel of the Lord descended from heauen, and came, and rolled backe the stone from the doore, and sate vpon it.

verse 3 And his countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snowe.

verse 4 And for feare of him, the keepers were astonied, and became as dead men.

MARKE CHAP. XVI.

ANd when the Sabbath day was past, Marie Magdalene, and Marie the mother of Iames and Salome, bought sweete ointmentes, that they might come and anoint him.

[Page 266] verse 2 Therefore earlie in the morning, the first day of the weeke, they came vnto the sepulchre, when the Sunne was now risen.

LVKE, CHAP. XXIIII.

NOw the first day of the weeke, early in the morning, they came vnto the sepulchre, and brought the odours, which th [...]y had prepared, and cer­taine women with them.

IOHN CHAP. XX.

NOw the first day of the weeke, came Marie Magdalene, early when it was yet darke, vnto the sepulchre, and sawe the stone taken away from the tombe.

THESE dayes past (beloued Brethren in Christ) wee haue heard at length of the death and Pas­sion of our Lorde Iesus Christ: and in ende wee heard of His Buriall after His death and passion. Now it followes, as the Lord shall giue vs grace, that we speake of His glorious resurrectiō from the dead. In speaking of the Resurrection of Ie­sus Christ, wee shall follow out the whole foure Euangelistes. Mat­thew in his last Chapter, Marke in his last Chapter, and Luke in his last Chapter, sets downe the Historie of the resurrection of Iesus Christ; but John insists more largelie than the rest, for he hath two Chapters of the Historie of the Resurrection. Then to come to the purpose. Wee finde in none of the foure Euangelists the time and the houre when the Lord arose from the dead preciselie noted. We finde not the manner of His rising out of the graue. Wee finde no mention made of any witnesses that sawe Him rise out of the graue. It hath pleased the Lord in His wisedome, to conceale all these thinges: yet it is certaine He arose out of the graue in the morning (what houre he knowes Himselfe) in the morning, after ye Iewish Sabbath, which was the beginning of the thirde day after His Buriall: for the Iewes counted their day from euen till euē: so the third day began at eue­ning. As it is certaine that the Lord arose out of the graue in the night; so we find in the foure Euangelists, that when He is risen, He testifies a little after, His glorious Resurrection, by many witnesses: And first of all the emptinesse and roomnesse of the graue testifies th [...]s Resurrection. Marie Magdalene, and the other Marie, and Sa­lome, testifie of it: The Ang [...]ls of Heauen testifie of it: The Lord Him­selfe [Page 267] testifies of it by appearing to the vvomen: And these vvomen testifie of it to His Disciples: And then the Lord witnesses His Re­surrection by His owne appearing vnto them.

To come to the Text that we haue read: We haue first of all out of the Gospel of MARKE noted the occasion, how it comes to passe that these women are made witnesses to the Resurrection of Iesus Christ. Next, wee haue the cōming of these holy women out of Hie­rusalem with odours to anoint the dead bodie of Iesus, which they supponed to haue bene in the graue: Thirdly, wee haue the rehear­sall of some things that fell out whilest the women were comming to the graue: There falles out a great earthquake, because their was a glorious Angell comming from Heauen to the graue: And last of all, we shall speake of the part of Marie Magdalene particularly, be­cause she preuented the other, and came first to the graue: shee vvas a woman who loued the Lord marueilously, and waited continual­lie vpon Him. As touching the occasion▪ MARKE saies, that when the Sabbath day was past, Marie Magdalene, & Marie the mother of Iames and Salome, bought sweet ointments, that they might come and anoint him: that is, the dead bodie of the Lord, which, as they supponed, laye in the graue. Note the time well. It was after the Sabbath was past: for after they had seene the Lord layed in the graue by Ioseph and Nicodemus, they returned home to the Preparation of the Passe­ouer, which was as we compt on the Friday at euen, when the Sun was gone downe. On the morrow after, which was their Sabbath, they celebrated the Passeouer, and they rested all that day vntill the euening: Then vpon their Sabbath at euen, which is our Saturdaye at euen, when the Sunne was gone downe, their Sabbath being en­ded, they remember their purpose, and buye sweet odours, that on the morrowe earlie they might embaulme the dead bodie of the Lord.

Nowe Brethren, surely the loue and affection of these women cānot be passed by: They take a purpose to honor the Lord by em­baulming His bodie: They rest on the Sabbath day: a day & a night interuenes yet this time stayes not their purpose (I shall cause one night interuening put a good purpose out of our heads. Indeed we will keep an euill purpose long in our mind: But if we haue a good purpose at euen, wee will forget it ere the morne, it will bee buried with vs, as if wee had neuer thought it.) But this purpose of these holy women would bee better examined, that wee may see wherein [Page 268] they are to be commended: they buy and prepare sweete smelling odours to annoynt the body of the LORD, the LORD was risen at this time, & the LORD had foretolde them oftener than once or twise, that He was after His death to rise on the third day, yet they go out of very purpose that same day, this cannot be com­mendable in them. As for the loue that was in the hearts of these women, it cannot but be cōmended to all posterities to the end of the world, & would to GOD the like loue & zeale to God were in the hearts of men & women in these dayes, but certainly the deed it selfe, seeing they had the word of God in ye contrarie, is not com­mendable: But looke againe in all this doing, the Lord takes more heed to ye heart, than to ye deed, & not only forgiues He the sin, but also He workes out of it, not only His owne glory, but ye well of ye womē: they went out of set purpose to embalme Him, ye Lord turnes this so about, yt He makes them to be witnesses of His glorious re­surrectiō. Now well is them yt loues ye Lord: for to them all thinges works for ye best, out of their sins He workes their saluation, & out of darknes light. But to come forward to the next head: The sweet odours beeing bought, confected & prepared▪ ye women go toward the graue, the time is very precisely noted by all ye foure Euangelists, Matthew calles it, the end of the Sabbath, when the first day in the weeke began to dawne. It was in ye dawning before the Lords day (so called in remēbrance of His glorious resurrectiō, which we vse to call our Sunday). Marke sayes, it was the first day of the Sabbath, early in the mor­ning, in the beginning of the weeke, as he would say, Sunday, early in the morning, before ye rising of ye sun, Luke sayes ye same, Iohn sayes, early the first day of the weeke when it was darke, in a world, it was on Sunday in ye morning, at ye very point of time, whē ye sun rose. Now ye purpose of these women was not to be witnesses of ye resurrectiō of ye Lord but to embalme His body (which as they thought, was lying in the graue) but ye Lord turnes ye matter so about yt He makes them to be witnesses of Christs resurrectiō, & this was no smal honor, He makes women witnesses of ye resurrectiō, euen to ye shame of men, yea, euen to ye shame of His Apostles: for they rose early in ye morning but His Apostles lay lurking still, & goe not out: So in the example of these women, wee may see that to bee true which Paul sayes, 1. Cor. 1.27. The Lord hath chosen the foolish things of the world, to confound the wise, and God hath chosen the weake things of the world, to confound the migh­tie things, that all glorie might redound to Him. Another thing [Page 269] vve see in their example, that vvhich the Apostle sayes, 1. Cor. 3.18. If any man seeme to be wise in this world, let him be a foole, that he may be wise. The LORD in this doing vvill haue His disciples to sit dovvn in the schoole of vvomen, to learne of them that glorious resurrection, He vvil make them to be fooles, yt they may be made vvise, and Hee vvill haue the vvomen to bee their teachers, and if thou acceptest not of the testimonie of these vvomen, & become not as a foole, albeit thou vverest neuer so vvise, thou shalt neuer get a part of the resurrection of Iesus Christ. Novv I goe forvvarde to the third thing vvee haue here set dovvne. It is an incident that falles out vvhilst as the vvomen is on their journey, going to the graue, for as they are going to the graue, there falles out, sayes Matthew, a great earthquake, the cause is noted, for as they were going to the graue, the Lord of glory sends an Angell to tell the resur­rection of the Lord to these women: so in very deed, the Angell is a witnesse before the women, but the women before the men: Al­wayes, the Angel that comes from Heauen, he is a honorable am­bassadour: the blessed Angels are very glorious, & no question the Lord would haue His resurrection first witnessed by so glorious an ambassadour, He would not haue man to testifie first of it, but He would haue a glorious Angell from Heauen to tell, & proclaime the Lord of glorie was risen, and that He had broken the bands of death, & risen vp in despite of the Deuill, & death, & that to our well, yt both we may rise to a newnesse of life, & yt we may be assured, that they who sleepe in Him, as Paul sayes, and lies in the gaue, shall be raised with Him at that great day in glory. An Angell, a glorious creature ho­noures the message, but yet I say, the message and commission ho­noures the Angel more, than the Angell does the message: yea, if it were all the Angels in Heauen, they get more honour by it, than they can giue to it. Well, if the preaching of ye Gospel, the testifying of Iesus, & His resurrection, honoures the Angels, shall we thinke that any man in earth is too good to preach the Gospell of Christ, No, if thou werest a King, it is a great honour to thee, that thou shouldest haue grace to speake of His blessed Name. Well, Brethrē, as the ambassadour was glorious, & the message was glorious, so y cōmission was the joyfullest thing that euer yu heardest: al the An­gels in Heauen, are too vnworthy to tel it. Now as the ambassador was glorious, & the message more glorious, so the Lord of Heauen honours His Ambassadour wt a terrible earthquake: the ambassador of a King hath honour, and why should not the ambassadour of [Page 270] the LORD IESVS haue honour aboue all the Kinges of the world? No doubt the LORD in this Earthquake hath a further respect, for hereby He testified, that His glorious presence accom­panied the Angell, and that to the weale and comfort of the sillie women: for as all the rest was to prepare their hearts reuerentlie to receiue so glorious an Ambassadour, so was also this Earthquake: For if both men and women bee not prepared to receiue the Gos­pel of IESVS CHRIST, let an Angel come from Heauen, if they be not prepared by the power of GOD, they will not beleeue, they will not heare, nor receiue the message with reuerence. Therefore, let no man saye, What needes all this, a glorious Angell to come from Heauē ▪ and such an Earthquake? He might haue come other­wise, He might haue come faire and softly, and in more quyet man­ner, I answere to this: The LORD looked not so much to the An­gell, or the message, as to the women: for if it were an Angell that came from Heauen, He shall neuer be receiued by the silliest bodie, except thine heart be prepared by the power of God.

Now to goe forward: When this Angell comes downe first, wee haue what Hee does: Then wee haue a faire description of this An­gell: The first thing He does, is, Hee goes to the graue, and rowles away the stone from the doore. Ye would thinke this was but a sober and ser­uile office, to so glorious an Ambassadour. Might not men haue done it? It was Joseph and Nicodemus who rolled the stone to the tombe. Might not men haue rolled it awaye againe? Marke, and compare the Buriall with His glorious resurrection: In His Buriall He kept the Godhead close: for if either in the death of Christ, or in His Buriall, that Godhead should haue vttered it selfe, He could neither haue died, nor yet haue bene buried: for the Godhead can neither die, nor bee buried: but in the resurrection, the Godhead that dwelt in Him bodilie breakes out, and raises the stone. Vpon this difference there followes another: in His Buriall, the Godhead keeping it selfe close, He had no Angels, but mortall men, to wit, Io­seph, and Nicodemus, to serue Him: they winde Him, they laye Him in the graue, they roll the stone to the doore of the graue: But when it comes to His glorious resurrectiō, in the which that Godhead that before kept it selfe close, brake out, Hee vses not the ministerie of men, but of a glorious Angell, an Angell rolles away the stone, as it were with His owne hand. Nowe this lets vs see how highlie and honourablie wee should thinke of this glorious resurrection. It is [Page 271] true, the LORD in His Buriall was honourable, but Hee was farre more honourable in His Resurrection: for the honour that Hee had in His Buriall was but a worldlie honour; but in His Resurre­ction Hee had an Heauenlie honour: Indeede Ioseph and Nicodemus who buried Him, were two Honourable men, but an Angell is an hundreth times more Honourable and glorious than anie man, al­beit he were a king, or Caesar himselfe. And so the LORD in His Bu­riall vttered Himselfe to bee a Lorde ouer men, but in His glorious Resurrection He vttered Himselfe euen in our nature, not onelie to be Lord of men, but also of Angels. So Brethren, all tendes to this, to let vs see the glorie of the Resurrection of Iesus. Nowe would to God wee could striue night and daye to get a sight of it: for except we get a sight of it, in some measure here, wee shall neuer see glorie hereafter. But before I leaue this, I see, that in the rolling awaye of the stone, the Lord hath a respect to the weaknesse of these women, knowing well they were not able to remoue so heauy a stone, to see whether the Lord was there or no: He sendes this Angell to roll it away, to the ende, that when the women came, they should see that the LORD was risen from the dead. Well, here wee haue a com­fortable lesson: The LORD will helpe them that seeke Him: Seeke the Lord where euer Hee bee: Seeke the Lord in the graue: seeke the Lord in the Heauen, and thou shalt bee assured, if thou bee a weake bodie, the Lord shall supplie thy weaknesse, and Hee shall cause the strong Angell to doe that which thou art not able to doe. Reade wee not how the Lord hath sent His Angels to fight the battels of His owne? And if thou wilt seeke the Lord when thou art going any way, thou shalt find in experience that the Lord shall send His An­gell before thee, and prepare thinges before thy comming. And I doubt not, but some of you who heares mee, haue founde this in your owne experience, in such sort, that yee haue wondered at that blessed prouidence of His Majestie, and hath bene moued glori­fie Him.

Now there is another thing to be marked: When He hath rolled the stone from the doore, He departs not, but he sits downe, and abides there, to testifie that the Lord Iesus was risen. So yee see the first wit­nesse of the Resurrection of Iesus Christ is an Angell, Hee remaines sitting vpon the stone, to testifie, that Christ was risen in glory. The first witnesses of His death and Buriall, were men and women; but the first witnesse of His glorious resurrection, is His blessed Angell; [Page 272] to let vs see how the Lord would honour His Resurrection, and to make vs esteeme of it, & to wonder at it, for in the sight of it stands our life and glorie. Alas! that once our eyes coulde bee opened, to see the glorie of our Redeemer, sitting at the right hande of that Majestie, then could wee not but wonder at the greatnesse of that glorie.

Well then, as I saide before in this poinct: The Lord had a great respect to the poore women. Alas! an Earthly King will haue a small respect to the poore: But the Lorde of glory had a great re­spect to these poore women. Indeed, the sight of the emptinesse of the graue might haue beene a sufficient testimonie to them of Christes Resurrection, considering the fore-warning they had be­fore, to wit, That the Lord shoulde rise againe the thirde daye: but they were weake in faith: And therfore, He that supplied the weak­nesse of their bodies, by the strēgth of the Angell, He supplies their faith by this same Angel: for they began to doubt, whether He was risen: they thought Hee was stollen away: Yet the Lorde Iesus sup­plies their weaknesse, and to the emptinesse of the graue, Hee subjoynes the saying of the Angell, The Lord is risen from the dead. Then the lesson is this: Againe seeke the Lorde: Art thou sicke in bodie, He will supplie thy weaknesse: Art thou weake in faith, seeke the Lord: & as certainlie as He supplied the faith of these women, Hee shall supplie thy faith. And if thou wilt not beleeue for one te­stimonie, Hee will testifie againe: and I testifie, Hee will neuer leaue thee, if thou once aimest to seeke Him: yea, Hee will heape testimo­nie vpon testimonie, till Hee confirme thee, and bring thee to per­fection.

Nowe Brethren, followes heereafter a faire description of this Angell. In MATTHEVV first he is described from his looke & coun­tenance. The looke and his eyes glaunced, as ye see flashes of fire. Then hee is described from his rayment: Hee is cladde with faire bright rayment, white like the snowe: Hee hath fierie eyes, and his rayment is like white snow. Last of all, hee is descriued from the effect that followed on his sight. But on whome? Not on the women, but on the strong men of warre: for assoone as they saw him, they were not able to looke vpon him but fell downe as dead: they might not su­staine to beholde him, and his glorious countenance. Now, as this great Earthquake, which was joyned with his comming downe from Heauen, vvas a visible signe of the presence of God, accom­panying [Page 273] Him, so that terrible countenance & white rayment were also visible signes of that same presence of GOD, accompanying Him when hee came to the graue. The Majestie of GOD shined in his face, & rayment, & the same presence made the men of vvarre to fall downe as dead. Whereto vvas all this? To glorifie & honour that great commission that the Angell had. Why should not the ambassadour of a glorious King be glorious? Why should not His looke, his countenance, His rayment, and all be glorious? But yet againe, all this is for the vvell of the poore women: In all this the LORD regarded them: for euen as the terrible earth­quake vvas to prepare their heartes to receiue the ambassage re­uerently: Euen so, vvas the bright countenance and shining ray­ment of this Angell. Novve to speake something of the signes of the presence of God, that He hath vsed since the beginning, to set out His inuisible glorie: No, all the Angels in Heauen had neuer povver to get accesse nor apprehend yt inaccessible light. It is true, the great God hath no neede to borrovv either light from the fire-flash, or vvhitenes frō ye snovv, or hue, or hotnes from the fire, to set foorth His glory, for all the beauties in all the creatures are not to be cōpared to yt glory that is in Him. The fire had neuer yt glance to set forth His glory▪ &c. yet it hath pleased ye Lord, for our capacitie submitting Himselfe to our infirmitie, by those things yt are most glorious & exquisite in Nature, to set out & represent His incom­prehensible glory: He takes as it vvere a darke shadovv thereby, to let vs see His shining glory: & therefore (Brethren) take vp ye lesson. When euer the Lord vtters His Majestie by outward signes of His creatures, hold not altogether thine eye fixed on ye outward signes, as though His Majesty extended ye selfe no further, as though there were no greater glory in Him than in them, as though He vvere no vvhiter than the snow, nor brighter than the fire: for the visible creature cannot fully expresse the glory of the Creator: but by the eye of Faith, thou shouldest pierce into that inward light and in­comprehensible glory, whereinto GOD dwells, blessed for euer, which is represented by the beautie of these outwarde signes. Therefore when Hee sets out His brightnesse by the brightnesse of the Sunne: when thou seest the Sunne shining, thou shouldest say with thy selfe, I cannot abide the brightnesse of this Sunne: & therefore what brightnesse is in yt God that made it: and if by the eye of Faith thou lookest thorow the glorie of all the creatures, [Page 274] to the infinite glorie of the Creator, thou shalt haue a faire van­tage, for thou shalt no sooner looke vpon His glorie, by the eye of faith, but assoone shall the Lord by the beames of His infinite glorie, and by a marueilous light shine in thine heart: for as the Apostle sayes, 2. Cor. 4.6. God that commanded the light to shine out of darknesse, is Hee which hath shined in our hearts. And I doubt not but these poore women looking to the glory of the Angell, who was an Ambassadour of Iesus: they saw and considered how glorious Iesus was who sent him: and so they found the glory of the Lord shining in their soule afterwards, which made them to rejoyce with a joy vnspeakable, and glorious.

Now to end shortly, it is said, That for feare of Him the keepers were astonished, and became as deade men. The men of warre, are standing about the graue when His Angell comes: but when they see the Angell, the earth did not shake so fast as they did: they shake and fall downe deade, as it were in a trance: these men were stout be­fore: and it is likely that they had bragged before, that all the world should not get Him out of the graue: for they were acquain­ted with tumultes of warre, and they had seene as many terrible sights, as any men: yet for all their stoutnesse, they looke not so soone to the Angels face, and rayment, but assoone they fall downe dead. Wel, thou art a stout man, if thou wilt say: All the de­uils in Hel shal not smite thee, nor affright thee, thou thinkest thou wilt out-face all the world: this Land is full of such foolish brag­gers, who will say, they will not bee afraide to meete the Deuill: but one blencke of the face of that Majestie of GOD, will cause them fall downe as dead to the ground. Will yee weigh this mat­ter aright, It is not onely the outwarde sight of the Angell that astonishes these men: for if it was the sight of the Angell, why fell not the women downe? Why were they not astonished? the women stood still, and the Angel spake to them, and they to him: so there must be another cause of this terrour? and what was the cause? They were great sinners: sinne did reigne in them without repen­tance: they had an euill conscience: they were enemies to Iesus Christ: and therefore at the sight of the Angell, when the light of GOD enters in, and wakens their consciences, they are stricken with exceeding terrour and feare. The children of God, who haue their consciences purged from the guiltinesse of sinne, vses not to be stricken with such terrour at the sight of God, but rather receiue [Page 275] joy thereby. It is true: The presence of the Majestie of God is ter­rible in it selfe: and the Angells themselues can not behold it in the owne brightnesse: yet it is joyfull, sweet and comfortable to them who are in Iesus Christ: but when it meetes with a sinfull heart, and an euill conscience, of all things it is most terrible: if thou who art a sinfull man, and who art not in the Lord Iesus: if thou sawest Him shine in thine heart, & if thou gettest not a sight of thy sinne, thou shalt finde such terrour and feare, that all the world cannot comfort thee, for that sight of all sights is most ter­rible to them who are not in Iesus Christ. I grant, indeede, that the very children of God: yea, euen the best of them all, so long as this remanent corruption abides in them, they finde the Majestie and glorious presence of God makes them to be afraide: We may see the example of this in these vvomen, at the sight of the Angell they vvere afraid: but after that once sinne be altogether abolished, then His presence shall not be fearfull, but comfortable. Wee shall haue no feare, but joy euerlasting: As for the reprobate, they can­not bee able to abide His glorious presence in that great day: for if that glorie was so terrible that shined in one Angell, how terrible shall it be to them that are out with Christ, when not one Angell, but millions of Angels in glorie: yea, the Lord Himselfe as Iudge of the world, shall appeare in His incomprehensible glorie, it shall be so terrible, that it shall cause them to cry, Hilles and mountaines fall on vs, and saue vs from the presence of the Lambe. The Lord grant, that we may be found in the Lord Iesus Christ here, and that we may haue our consciences sprinckled with His blood, that we may finde the Lordes presence not onely comfortable to vs here, but chiefly in that great day, when we shall see Him face to face. To this Lord Iesus, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, be all praise, honour and glorie for euer.

AMEN.

THE XXIX. LECTVRE, OF THE RESVRRECTION OF CHRIST.

MATTH. CHAP. XXVIII.

verse 5 But the Angell answered, and saide to the women, Feare yee not: for I knowe that yee seeke IESVS, who was crucified:

MARKE CHAP. XVI.

verse 2 Therefore, earlie in the morning, the first day of the weeke, they came vnto the sepulchre, when the Sunne was now risen.

verse 3 And they saide one to another, Who shall roll vs away the stone from the doore of the sepulchre?

verse 4 And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled awaye (for in was a verie great one)

verse 5 So they went into the sepulchre, and sawe a young man sitting at the right side, clothed in a long white robe: and they were sore troubled.

IOHN CHAP. XX.

verse 1 Nowe the first daye of the weeke, came Marie Magdalene, earlie, when it was yet darke, vnto the sepulchre, and saw the stone taken away from the tombe.

verse 2 Then shee ran, and came to Simon Peter, and to the other Disciple whome IESVS loued, and saide vnto them, They haue taken awaye the LORDE out of the sepulchre, and wee knowe not where they haue layed him.

[Page 277] THe Resurrection of Iesus (Beloued Brethren) was without any witnesses; no man saw Him rise: ther­fore, the foure Euangelists recorde not that anie man or womā saw the Lord rise out of the graue: for so it pleased the Lord to arise from the dead, that He would not haue neither man nor woman in this world seeing Him rise. The Testimony of the foure Euange­lists, is, That after He was risen without any witnesses, then His Re­surrectiō was known & made manifest to ye world by many witnes­ses. They set down two occasions of ye Resurrection of Iesus Christ: The first occasion was thorow the womē, Mary Magd. & Mary the mother of Iames, who after they had seene Him buried, returned home to buy odours to embalme the dead body of Iesus, where He lay in the graue. Now whē the Sabbath had passed by, the womē buyes the sweet o­dours in the night time, which proceeded the Lords day, as we term it: & in the night time they confect them, yt in the day they might enbalme the precious body of Iesus. These womē (in the dawning of the day, before the Sun rose) wēt out of set purpose to anoint the Lord. There is ye first occasiō how his resurrectiō came to light. The other occasiō: As these womē came, the Angel of the Lord came down: his pur­pose is to testifie to these women yt came out of the Towne, that the Lord was risen. Now followes the manifestatiō of His Resurrection: The Angell preuents the women, and rolles the stone from the graue, and abides still there, to testifie to the women, that the Lord Jesus was risen frō the dead. After this, the Lord Iesus Himselfe appeares to the womē, and confirmes the Testimony of the Angel. The women hauing re­ceiued these two manifestations of His rising, they get this honour to be made the first preachers of the Resurrection before all men: yea, euen before th' Apostles themselues: and this preaching of the women is the third manifestation. Then after the women had testi­fied to His Apostles, that He was risen, the Lord appeares Himself to the Apostles, and confirmes their Testimony, that verily He was risen from the dead. Now Brethren, it is to be knowne first of all, cōcerning these womē, who next after the Angels were made witnesses of the Resurrectiō of Iesus Christ, yt they came not all to the graue in one cōpany, but as it appeares wel of the History, there has bin two cō ­panies of thē, one cōpany yt came first to the graue, & wēt out of Ie­rusalē before sun rising: another company yt came out after this com­pany, & came to the graue of the Lord before the other companie. [Page 278] If wee marke not this difference, wee will see well howe the foure Euangelists aggree in that Historie of the Resurrection of IESVS CHRIST. As for the first company: There were two women espe­cially, named Marie Magdalene, and Marie the mother of James, not excluding the rest: but they are named, because among all the rest they were most notable, and best knowne to the Apostles. Marke notes three to bee in the first company, these two, and one Salome. Luke notes none, but calles them certaine women, who followed Iesus out of Galile, vnderstanding these same women. Iohn names none, but one, Marie Magdalene, (not excluding the rest) because she was best known for her loue, for her zeale, for her faith, and for her affectiō to Christ, her name is registrate. Brethrē, the last day we heard something of the first company, & the time whē they came, in the dawning of the day before the Lords day, which we cal Sunday. Now we heard, as they came out of Ierusalē, the Angell of the Lord descē ­ded from Heauē, with a great earthquake: No question the women were afraid at this: but being strēgthned with the Spirit, they came forwarde: as they were comming to the graue, they fell in question about the rolling away of the stone frō the doore of the graue: they foresaw not this impedimēt ere they came frō home: but being car­ried with an earnest desire to anoint the Lords dead body: they were not mindfull of any impedimēts. We know whē a man or a womā, would faine haue a thing done, they will not forecast for all perils: but it is better to prouide & foresee in time ye impedimēts ere thou begin the worke: Yet a man or a womā who hath the worke of the Lord, should not cast for all perils: for if he put not his hand to the work of the Lord, except he see al impedimēts remoued, he will ne­uer do any thing to the glory of God: for in performing of ye Lords work, we must not think yt He will remoue all impedimēts at ye first, as these womē foūd al impedimēts to be takē away. Now these wo­men came forward, & as they came, they perceiued the stone to be rolled from the graue. Marie Magdalene seeing the stone away, she ran back, & shewed the matter to Peter & Iames, in Jerusalem, where they laye lurking she brings in her conceit euill tidings to them, & saies, The body of the Lord is stollē away out of the graue & we know not where they haue layed him. So Brethren, in this Text yt we haue read, we haue first a particular Historie of Marie Magdalene, registrate by Iohn: Thē we haue the History of the rest of the women: As concerning Mary Magdalene, wee note of her these foure thinges out of the Gospel of [Page 279] Iohn: First, her outcomming: Next, what she sees when she is come, to wit, the stone rolled away: Thirdly, what shee does when she sees the stone remoued▪ she returnes to Peter: & fourthly, what she saies: she brings no good tidings to Peter and Iames, but she saies, They haue stollen away the body of the Lord, and I know not where they haue layed him. Touching the going out of Marie, I stay not on it, for she came out with the rest of the first cōpany of womē: only this, if any mā would aske wherfore the women got this honour aboue men, ye euen the Apostles, to be made first witnesses of this Resurrection of Christ? I answere, So it pleased the Lord yt directed thē: & this only one cause makes their witnessing also to be autentik, yt no man should except against it. Ye see in ciuil things womē are not admitted to be witnes­ses: but here ye see in this spiritual m [...]tter they are made witnesses before all the world: & their testimony is so autētik, yt if Iohn or Peter or any of th'apostles had refused this testimony, they had hazarded their part & portion in the resurrectiō of Iesus Christ: & if thou re­ject their witnessing this day, thou shalt neuer haue part of His re­surrection. To come to the Text: What sees she, & the rest when they come to the graue? They see the stone rolled away, & so they are relieued of yt care yt troubled thē by the way. Mary Magd. & the rest, came of a great zeale to the graue, to anoint the Lords dead body: yet I wil not cō ­mend this purpose, because they had no warrand of the word of the Lord: for He told He would rise the third day: & therfore they shold not haue come out to anoint Him ye third day. Yet whē they go out the third day to anoint Him, ere they came to the graue, they find ye im­pedimēt to be takē away, the stone to be remoued. Mark this well: If they ye came to this action without any warrande, got all impedi­mēts remoued: How much more, if any man or woman of zeale to God, & to His glory haue a good purpose, & haue an expresse war­rād of His word, shal they find al impedimēts to be takē away? God is the same to vs now, yt He was to thē then. Yet I see again, it is not to be too wise in the work of the Lord: but assoon as we know what is the Lords will, we shuld addresse our selues to perform the same, & commit the successe to Him, who can remoue al impedimēts: for in so doing thou honourest God, & giuest Him the glory, yt is due to Him, when vnder hope against hope thou beleeuest, as Abrahā did, Rom. 4.18. But ye will say, Albeit Marie Magd. foūd the stone rolled away, yet she foūd not the body of the Lord, which she meant to anoint with odours: I answere: she foūd not the thing she sought: but what lost [Page 280] she? She found a better thing than shee sought: she seekes the Lord among the dead, and she findes Him among the liuing: the faith­full who seeke the Lord, shall neuer be disappointed: if thou mis­sest that thing that thou seekest, thou shalt get a better thing, & if thou seekest this life (if thou be in the Lord) if thou loose it: what loosest thou? thou shalt finde a better life. Marie seeing ye stone rol­led away, she goes not forward but returnes home again. Now cer­tainly I cānot deny, but this came of zeal, but I will not excuse her but she shuld haue stayed with ye rest, & haue looked into ye graue, to heare the Angels informatiō, but on a suddenty she returnes. Bre­thren, this falles out in ye best & most godly, they will oft times be miscaried for a while, not yt there is any fault to be found with their zeale, or wt their affection to ye Lord: but ye hastie & sudden doing, comes more of a blindnes & ignorance than of zeale: & therefore marke ye lessō: Who euer would be zealous in a good cause, & would vtter their affectiō toward ye Lord, ere they begin, they shuld beware & know well what they are doing: let knowledge goe before, & let it be borne as a torch, to shew the way, & then let zeale follow, for if zeale follow not, I wil not giue a penny for thy knowledge, zeale without knowledge is better thā knowledge without zeale: a great zeale wt a sober measure of knowledge is better thā al ye knowledge in ye world without zeale: knowledge without zeale serues for no­thing but for damnatiō: if yu vnderstood, & couldest tel ouer ye whole Bible, without zeale that serues thee for nothing: I had rather haue one yt can speake two words wt zeale, than haue all thy knowledge: litle knowledge wt zeale wil saue thee, but if yu hadst all ye knowledge in ye world, without zeale it wil not saue thee. Now ye last thing con­cerning Marie: whē she hath returned back to Peter & Iohn: here she begins to make a sad narratiō, & cōplaines, & sayes, alas, They haue stollen away the body of the Lord, & we know not where to seeke it, speaking in the plurall nūber: she makes a mone & looke to ye affectiō of the woman toward ye Lord: she could not be separate frō Him, whē He was dead in ye graue (alas she had another kind of loue to Him, thā we haue now: but now, albeit He be now glorified in ye Heauens, we will suffer our selfe easily to sunder frō Him without a cōplaint or mone: but if we foūd either ye force of His death, or yet the force of His life & glory, we would neuer be glad vntill we were joyned wt Him▪ Now when she sayes, they had taken away ye Lord, albeit she speakes not ye trueth, yet I will not say, she made a lie, but she failed [Page 281] in ignorance, she spake as she thought, but she knew not yt the Lord was risen. Ignorāce is a sore thing: for whē once any mā cōmits a sin through ignorance, he goes forvvard frō one sin to another: so she makes an euil report to ye Apostles: striue therefore to get this misty cloud of ignorance remoued frō thee: for if thou takest pleasure to ly in it, ye end of it shall be vtter darknes. Brethrē, marke ye mercy of God: ye Lord layes not this to her charge: it is said commonly, loue hides a multitude of sins: ye Lord vvhen He loues a person, He casts ye mantle of His mercy ouer his sins, & hides them: He vvill be loth to reuile them vvhom He loues: a man vvil not shame another whō he loues vvel, much lesse will ye Lord doe it: No, He vvill cast ye cloak of His mercy vpō them yt they appeare not before ye judgemēt seat of His Father. Now, I see further, albeit those things were not true, yet by them ye Lord brings good to ye disciples: for they were lying in sluggishnes, & so wakens them: so He works light out of darknes, yet yt is no vvarrand for thee to do euill. Let no man doe euill, that good may come of it, Rom. 3.8. Marke last cōcerning this womā Marie, I see she comes to ye knovvledge of ye resurrectiō of Iesus with great paine, for she waked ye night before wt care: she comes out early in ye mor­ning to ye graue, & goes home wt great care & heauines. It is not a li­tle thing to come to Christ in His glory: thinkest yu to step in at the first, to see God in His glory: thou vvilt not get leaue to see ye glory of a King at ye first, & thinkest yu to come to Christ at the first: No, yu must come to Christ, & ye sight of His glory vvith many teares, & great paine But what if thou shouldst paine thy selfe all thy lifetime if thou get a sight of this resurrection in glory, & if thou gettest a blencke of yt countenance, if it vvere at thy last end, it shall svvallovv vp in a moment all thy displeasure & paine: if thou shouldest suffer martyrdome, yet yt sight of His glory shall furnish such joy, as shall swallovv vp all displeasure, the sight of that eternall weight of glory makes vs to count all the afflictions of this present life to be but light and momenta­nean, when we looke not to the things that are seene, but to the things that are vnseene. Thou thinkest the time here to be longsome, but once thou gettest a sight of that glory, thou shalt think it but a moment. Novv leauing Marie Magdalene, I come to the rest of the vvomen yt were at ye graue, of whō we haue these four things shortly, first, what they do, they enter into ye graue of ye Lord, for it was large, not an hole: surely they behoued to loue Him well in whose graue they went. Next, whē they enter in the graue, we haue set down what they see: [Page 282] they see an Angell in the shape of a young man, clothed in a faire white robe sitting in the graue: thirdly, we haue how they are ter­rified; and lastly, wee haue the speech of the Angell to the women. Then first, comming to the graue, they runne not away, as Marie Magdalene did, but enter in the graue, seeking the LORD: and in this point, they goe beyond Marie, she went backe, but they goe forward: otherwise she went beyond them, for loue zeale, and faith in Christ. No, not one of the disciples surpast Marie Magda­lene in loue, faith and zeale, yet they surpasse her in this point, and as they excell her in going forward, they get sure information of the resurrection of Iesus Christ, for their reward. Marke the lesson, they who are inferiour in spirituall graces, in some duties will ex­cell them who are superiour: and when the superiour falles backe, they will goe forward: and this lets vs see, that it is the LORD who makes the difference? Hast thou moe graces than thy compa­nion: Hee that preferred thee at one time, will plucke His hand from thee, another time, and put them before thee, and to this end, that thou who gloriest in thy graces, may glorie in the Lord: for thy grace is not in thy selfe, but in His Hand. This for the first thing, followes the next: What see they? They see in the shape of a young man an Angell, cled with a long robe, from top to toe. I take this An­gel to be ye same of whō we spake ye last day, who first remoued away the stone, and then sate downe on it, his eyes burning like lighte­ning: and cled in white rayment. Novve this Angell withdravves himselfe, and hides him in the graue, vvhen hee savv the vvomen comming neere, lest he should haue frighted them away, he goes in the graue, but he sate on the stone, first, to terrifie the men of warre, lest they should trouble the women: & besides this, there is ano­ther cause, why hee goes in the graue, beeing to testifie the Resur­rection, he chuses the commodity of the place, that when he should get the women in the graue, that the Lord was risē in the graue, he might instruct them better by the emptinesse and roomenesse of the graue, that the Lord was risen from the dead. Well, that same Lord that terrifies the wicked with His looke, that same GOD is mercifull to His owne: and that Angell, that terrifies the men of warre, he is a minister of mercie to the godly women. I say more, at that same time, whilst as He chases away the wicked, in doing of that, He shewes mercie to the godly, and He terrifies the wicked, that they should not bee a stoppe or terrour to the godly: all the [Page 283] terrours and judgements of the wicked, as they serue to the glorie of God: so they serue for the well of His owne: for the LORD hath not only His owne glory before His eyes: but also of the [...]ell of His owne. Then consider againe the circumstance of the place, wherein the Angell teaches these women, the resurrection of Iesus Christ. The Father of Heauen is very carefull of euery circumstance, that serues for the testimonie of Christs Resurrection: first, Hee is carefull of the first witnesse of His Resurrection: Hee will not haue a man to be witnesse, but an Angell. Then He is carefull to whome this Angel should tell His Resurrection: He will not haue him testi­fying it to the men of warre (He wil not haue pearles casten before svvine) but to the vvomen: The LORD is carefull of the place vvhere His doctrine should be taught: He vvill haue the vvomen to goe to the graue, to the ende they should receiue the doctrine of Resurrection the better, that by the emptinesse of the graue, the Angell might the better demonstrate, that the LORD was risen. Thinke yee novv, that the LORD hath casten off that care He had then: That care He had of the person of the Preacher, of the per­son to vvhome He sends Him, of the place of preaching? No, that same LORD hath the same care yet, and He vvill loue them vvell, to vvhome He concredites His glorious Euangell: He loues them vvell, vvhom He lets attentiuely and carefully heare His glorious Gospell, and the LORD hath a care vvhere a man may most com­modiously speake for edification, and vvhere men & vvomen may heare Christ pointed out commodiously. This for the thing they savv: vvhat follovves? The sillie vvomen are terrified▪ as the guard of the men of vvarre vvere terrified: I see then, in the person of these vvomen, the presence of GOD is terrible to the godly: and more I see: vvhen men and vvomen are seeking Iesus Christ, the first sight they get of Him is terrible. The ground of this is not only that terrible Majestie, that no creature can bee able to looke on, (and why should not all flesh stoupe at the presence of that glo­rious GOD: but this is not the onely ground: but because in the most godly man or vvoman there is a remanent corruption: there­fore they are afraide at the presence of GOD. Feelest thou it not now, thou shalt feele it ere thou go. This remanent corruption can not abide the sight of that glory: a spot of vncleannesse cannot stand in the presence of that Holy Majestie: yet I see a greater diffe­rence betweene the women and the guard: for the men of warre [Page 284] vvere terrified to the death, but so vvere not the vvomē. Where fro came this difference betweene the vvomen and the Guarde? That Guarde vvas but a companie of prophane bodies, vvithout God, vvithout grace, vvithout faith, vvithout hope, vvithout loue, & vvas full of sinne, & of an euill conscience: But the vvomen, suppose they were sinfull, & had partly an euill conscience (for where sin is, there is part of an euill cōscience) yet in a part they were purged frō sin, & thorow the death of Iesus Christ they had their conscience sprink­led with His blood: & as that euill cōscience terrified them, so that good consciēce held them vp. Suppose so long as we remain in this body we cānot be quit & free of sin & corruption: ye well is ye soule yt in the blood of Iesus findes their sins forgiuen them: for suppose it be terrified, yet it wil not despaire. Now I come to the speach of the Angell to the women: The Angell seeing thē terrified, he speaks and encourages them first, and saies to them, Feare yee not: and then he begins to testifie of the Resurrection of Christ: & last, he giues them a commandement, to tell the Disciples ▪ First hee saies to the women, Feare not. He spake not such a word to the Guarde, but let them lye still, till they gathered their spirites, and rose vp, and ran home: for, for all the world they durst not tarrie there. There is another diffe­rence betweene the godlie and the wicked: When the Lorde hath casten the wicked down, He will not giue them a word to comfort them, but will let them lye still. Woe to them! nothing within them to raise them vp, no faith, no hope, no part of good consciēce: they are full of sin: nothing without them: no, the Lord shall not vouch­safe a good word on them: He will neither giue thē an inward nor an outward comfort: and at the latter day, the Lord shall speak one joyfull word to them: but He will say, Goe your way ye cursed companie to be tormented with the Deuill and his angels. Woe to the estate of them yt shalbe foūd out of Iesus Christ. Albeit yt now these things sound not in thy eares, & now thinkest Heauē & Hell to be but matters of jests: yet one day, though thou be a king, thou shalt find these things to be earnest, & thou shalt wish, whē thou wast made a mā or a wo­mā, thou hadst bin made a stock or stone. But by the contrary: The Lord holds vp ye godly, not only inwardly by a piece of good cōsci­ence, but also by outward means, He speaks comfortablie to them: And He will say to them by His Ministers, Feare not. Marke further: He will not only holde them vp, but that same thing yt terrified the wicked, He will make it to cōfort them: He makes this same Angell, [Page 285] that terrified the men of vvarre, to comfort and encourage them. More than this: Hee will not onely free and relieue them from ter­rour, but He will poure in joye: And no question, this worde had a powerfull force to raise them vp, & comfort thē: And then besides this, He ministers joye, by telling them of yt glorious resurrection. So not only feare is put away, but the glorious Resurrection of Ie­sus Christ is tolde them, whereof there arises an vnspeakeable joye. Well Brethren: albeit we feele not this joy for the present: yet hold still thy eare, & heare on continually, howbeit with pain: for it thou get grace to hold still thy eare, & heare: I promise thee in the name of God, thou shalt get such a joye in the ende as shall make thee to thinke all thy paine to be nothing. Now one word ere I end: Mark how the Lord prepares His own to heare these tidings: He will not haue them to come with a light disposition of heart, as wee vse to doe, without any sight & premeditation of sin & misery. Thou wilt come in, & not once think thou hast neede of the preaching of the glorious Resurrection of Christ. But look the preparation of these women: Ere euer the Lord will haue the Angel speaking one word, Hee will haue them terrified: & no question they were exceedinglie affraid: As euer thou wouldest look for joy, thine heart must be pre­pared with terrour, & in some measure castē down, ere euer the Lord speake one cōfortable word to thee: And therfore, let no man take hardily with the terrours of the word. This is the first. Thē the next poinct of preparation is, Whē thou art casten downe, ere He begin to speak to thee the glad tidings of saluation, He will raise thee vp, He will say to thee who art casten down thorow the sense of thy sin, Be not terrified, but be of good comfort. And if the Lords spirit ac­cōpany this word, it will encourage thee, & it will raise vp thy dead soule. Then when the sinner is raised vp to heare gladly, then hee comes on to the gladde tidings of saluation. Iesus is come into the world for thy sins, & this Iesus is crucified, dead and buried for thy sins: and this same Iesus is risen, and ascended vp to the Heauen, to bee an euerlasting Aduocate for thee. What more? This same Iesus shall come to judge the world, and to take thee with Him one day, and to make thee partaker of His glorie. This is the vvhole summe of the Gospell. The Lord giue vs grace to bee partakers of that joy vvhich the glorious Gospell offers in this IESVS CHRIST: To whom vvith the Father, and the Holie Spirit, bee all Praise and Honour for euermore: AMEN.

THE XXX. LECTVRE OF THE RESVRRECTION OF CHRIST.

MATTH. CHAP. XXVIII.

verse 5 But the Angell answered, and saide to the women, Feare yee not: for I know that yee seeke Jesus, who was crucified:

verse 6 Hee is not heere, for hee is risen, as he said: come, see the place where the Lord was layed,

verse 7 And goe quicklie, and tell his Disciples, that hee is risen from the dead: and beholde, hee goeth before you into Galile: there shall yee see him: loe, I haue tolde you.

MARKE, CHAP. XVI.

verse 6 But hee saide vnto them, Bee not so troubled: yee seeke Iesus of Na­zareth, who hath beene crucified: hee is risen, hee is not heere: beholde the place where they put him.

verse 7 But goe your way, and tell his Disciples, and Peter, that he will goe before you into Galile: there shall yee see him, as hee said vnto you.

WE heard the last day (Brethrē) that there were two companies of women, that came out of Hierusalem, to the graue of IESVS CHRIST: The first com­panie came foorth in the dawning of the daye, be­fore the rising of the Sunne: The next companie came foorth somewhat later, I thinke about the ri­sing of the Sunne. In the first companie vvere Marie Magdalene, and Marie the mother of Iames, and Salome, & others, vvho are not named: These came out of Hierusalem altogether: and as they drew neare to the graue, they saw the great stone that vvas rolled to the doore of [Page 287] the graue, rolled away. Mary Magdalene, assoone as she sees the stone to bee rolled awaye, tarries no longer, but supponing it was done by men, and that they had stollen away the Lordes bodie by night: then in haste shee runnes home, and telles PETER and IOHN, and shee saies to them, They haue stollen awaye the bodie of the Lord, and wee know not where they haue layed him. But the other women tooke more aduisement, than Marie Magdalene, for they abode still, and when shee was gone home, they entered into the graue, and they sawe an Angell standing in the graue, in the likenesse of a young man, clo­thed with a long white robe, sitting at the right side of the graue, at which sight they were wonderfullie astonished. And this Angell to my judge­ment, was euen that same Angel that rolled awaye the stone from the graue: and with His bright looke terrified the Guarde, and frighted them, lest they should haue troubled the vvomen. The wo­men beeing astonished at the sight of the glorious Angell, Hee be­gins to speake to them of the Resurrection, and to tell them of these tidinges. For the better vnderstanding of the Oration of the Angell, wee shall speake of it in these foure partes: The first is a voyce of comfort, a worde of encouragement, Feare not, saies the Angell. The next, hauing encouraged them, hee beginnes to preach to them of the Resurrection of Iesus Christ, testifying vnto them, that the Lord was risen. And hee confirmes by one or two arguments that the Lord was risen. In the thirde part of his Oration, hee giues a commandement to the vvomen, to tell the Apostles, and namelie Peter, that the Lorde was risen: and more than that, that that same Lorde should goe before them into Galile, and there they shoulde see him. In the fourth and last part, hee concludes this speach, and hee saies, Be­holde, I haue tolde you. Then after the Oration of the Angell, vvee haue the effect that the Oration vvrought in the hearts of the vvo­men, to vvit, they feare and rejoyce exceedinglie, and they obey the voyce of the Angell, and they runne home with all haste to tell the Apo­stles, that the Lord was risen.

Nowe to returne to the Oration of the Angell: It is short, but wonderous pitthie: As for the first part of the Oration, Feare not: (Wee spake of it the last daye, and there vvee left off: therfore now wee proceede to the seconde part, to that graue testimonie, which the Angell giues to the Resurrection of Christ) Before he speakes, hee conciliates authoritie to his person. Whosoeuer speakes in the name of Christ, shoulde haue an authoritie of person. The vvordes [Page 288] are these: I knowe perfectly, that yee seeke Iesus of Nazareth, that was crucified, sayes the Angell; hee askes not, Whome seeke ye? but hee breakes off the speech, and he sayes, I know, ye seeke Iesus of Na­zareth, that was crucified and buried, and by this knowledge he lets them see, that hee was sent of God, and knew the purpose of the women, ere euer they reueiled it to Him. What man is he? that knowes the minde of a man, except that the Lord giue him know­ledge extraordinarily: No, all the Angels of Heauen will not know my minde, except the Lord reueile it: No man, nor Angell, can know the heart, and search the secrets thereof, but onely GOD, that made the heart. So he lets them see, that he was sent of God: that the worde might haue the greater credite: for wherefore serues the authoritie of persons, but that the worde they speake, may haue the greater credite. Marke the lesson: There is neuer one that the Lord sends to be witnesses in the world of Christ, of His crosse, and passion, of His resurrection, of the mercies and graces that passe all vnderstanding, flowing from His Passion, and Resurrection, but either in one measure or other, He wil haue them decored with heauenly reuelation, with power, euen to goe downe to the secret thoughts of mens hearts, and to lay them open to them, that they may see their owne vile heartes (for our heartes are not knowne, not to our owne selues, vntill wee goe downe, and pull off the vaile off them) and all to this end, that we may see God, in that person that speakes: and the last end is this, that credite may bee giuen to that gracious word: and should the word of life passe without credite? Paul 1. Cor. 14.24, 25. sayes, If a Prophet stand vp to prophecie, or a Preacher to preach, and if an ignorant person come in, loadned with sinne, and not feeling the burthen (alas, there are too many of this sort) if this person come in, with the force of the word, he is dejected, and he falles downe and glorifies God, and hee will say, GOD is with that man that speakes, and if God were not with the man that speakes, the heart of the man would neuer be dejected: No, all the Kings vnder the Heauen could not deject the heart of the poorest begger. So to end this in a worde: The Lord will know well whome He sends to speake these glorious tithings, that Christ hath suffered, and is ri­sen: and this is sure, these that He sends▪ He will giue them power to pull downe, if it were the heart of a King to the ground: yet the stile hee giues to Christ, would not be past by: marke it well, hee [Page 289] saies not, I knowe yee seeke IESVS the Sonne of GOD: he saies not so: but he saies, I knowe yee seeke Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was latelie crucified: So the Angell, in styling of Him, giues Him the basest and vylest names that hee can: hee names Him from a sillie Towne in IVRIE, IESVS OF NAZARETH: Then from that vile death of the Crosse, That man that was crucified. I doubt not, but in this name he had a respect to the women, who knew these stiles which Hee had in the dayes of His flesh, when Hee was conuersant here: they knewe these stiles better than the stiles of His Godhead, which were from all eternitie: Yet he hath a further respect to these stiles, to let vs and these women see, that hee was not ashamed of His infirmitie, nor at the shamefull death of the Crosse: Noe, the Angels, to whom this death appertaines not so much, as to vs (saies PETER, in his first EPISTLE, the first CHAPTER, and the eleuenth VERSE) delight to looke in to CHRIST, to looke in to that infirmitie, and to that death of the Crosse. Alas, proude sinner! wilt thou bee offended to looke in to it? when Peter saies, it is the delight of the holie Angels to looke in to it: Be­cause these Angels in the infirmitie of CHRIST, they sawe the power of GOD shining: in that foolishnesse of the Crosse of CHRIST, they sawe that wisedome of GOD and, in that justice of GOD, they founde a passing me [...] and therefore nowe, and euerlastinglie, their delight is to looke [...] CHRIST, and His suffering: And as they delight to looke in to CHRIST, and His suffering, so they shall giue praise to Him: and more for that, than for the making of the worlde in His great wisedome and power.

Yet, if wee will weigh and consider well, wee shall finde another respect, which the Angels haue in naming Him after such base stiles, which is, That the glorie of His Resurrection might appeare the greater. It is euen as hee shoulde haue saide, IESVS, of that sober Village NAZARETH, who was counted vile in the worlde, and was crucified, yet for that infirmitie Hee is risen a­gaine, and is in the glorie of the Heauens. So hee names Him after these base stiles, to enlarge the glorie of His Resurrection: for the humbler that Hee was, the Resurrection was the more glorious. It vvas indeed a great matter, and a vvonder, to see a man, a vvorme, treade on by the Deuill, treade on by death, (it vvas a vvonder, to see Him, howe Hee vvas humbled,) that [Page 290] Hee should haue risen againe to such a wonderous glorie. So that at the Name of Iesus all knees shall bowe, Philipp. Chap. 2. vers. 10. But I leaue this, and I goe forwarde. Next comes on the tidinges. The wordes of MATTHEVV are these: First, Hee is not heere. Then the next wordes, Hee is risen. The first worde was an heauie worde to these holie women: for appar [...]ntlie they conceiued with Marie Magda­lene, that His bodie was stollen awaye out of the sepulchre, and thought not that He was risen againe. The next worde they heare comfortes them: The first worde makes them exceeding heauie, but the seconde worde makes them to rejoyce, when hee saies, Hee is risen, He is not stollen away craftilie, but by His owne power He is risen.

In this anunciation, as in a picture, yee maye obserue the forme which is vsed in proponing the EVANGEL and gladde tidinges of Saluation: The beginning is alwayes in dolour and in sadnesse, but the ende is in joye and gladnesse. The first vvorde that vvee heare, is, That the LORDE is come into the worlde, and suffe­red shame, reproaches, and ignominie, and at last, the shamefull death of the Crosse vnder PONTIVS PILATE: These are heauie tidinges to vs, to heare that our LORDE was so hardlie, and so euill entr [...] [...] the vvorlde; and that in ende, Hee died the vile death of [...]osse for vs, and was buried: And yet imme­diatelie it followes, That the same LORDE is risen, and ascen­ded vp in glorie to the Heauens, and there sittes at the right hande of GOD; and, that thorowe His Passion, death, and Resurre­ction, our sinnes are forgiuen vs, wee shall rise againe, and get life euerlasting: And these are joyfull tidinges.

Nowe to insist further: The first tidinges which is tolde to the Kirke in this earth, are sadde and heauie: Thou must suffer: And whosoeuer will striue to liue godlie in CHRIST, of necessitie he must suffer affliction: There are sadde tidinges. But it followes, if thou suffer with Him, thou shalt reigne with Him: These are gladde tidinges. Nowe I shall giue you the wordes of the Scripture for my warrande: Christ (Matth. 16.21.) saies the same to His Disciples, I am to goe vp to Hierusalem, and to suffer, and to bee slaine. And Peter tooke euill with it: These are sadde tidinges. But Hee saies, I will rise againe the thirde daye: And this is joyfull. And in the XVI. CHAPTER and XXXII. VERS. of IOHN, Hee saies to them, The time will come when yee shall bee scattered, and leaue mee alone: (Sadde tidinges.) But [Page 291] I am not alone, for the Father is with mee: Ioyfull tidinges. Then Hee saies to them, Yee shall bee hated of all men for my Names sake: (That is sadde tidinges to them.) But they who continue to the ende, shall bee saued: Gladde tithinges. And againe, in the 16. Chapter of IOHN, and 33. vers. He saies, Jn the worlde ye shall haue affliction: (A sad word) But J haue ouer-come the worlde: gladde tidinges. So yee see these tidinges alwayes beginne with sadnesse, but they ende with joye. And as it is of the worde, so it is of the disposition of the hearers: The sinner will first bee sadde: and then finde such a joye as is vn­speakeable: and this shall bee thy disposition, so long as thou art an hearer: But when thou shalt be a beholder, no heauines of heart, but joye for euer, and all teares shall be wiped away from thine eyes. While thou art hearing, thy teares shall bee mingled with joye, but when thou art seeing there shall bee perfect joy without teares. Thus farre for the tidings. He is not content to tell them onely, the Lord is risen: no, one word will not suffice them, but He confirmes it by Christes prediction, He said it before, the Lord was to suffer, and to rise the third day. Looke the XVI. Chap. of Matth. So he confirmes them by the Lords owne Testimonie. These prophesies and predictions which are fore­tolde of Christ, are much worth: for they haue this vse: When thou readest them in that olde Testament, they seale vp the worde of the Gospell, of the manifestation of Christ in the flesh, of His suffering, and glorification, that that report of olde is fulfilled. But before I leaue this: I see the Lord will not let His owne forget His vvorde which He hath once tolde them: suppose they would forget it, yet the Lorde will haue it called to their remembrance. These vvomen woulde haue forgotten that which the chiefe Priestes remembred, when they sought a guarde of Pilate to watch the sepulchre. Some­times it comes to passe, that the godlie remembers not so much as the wicked, who heares the worde to their destruction: but if thou bee one of His, Hee will haue it called to thy memorie: but if thou bee none of His, Hee vvill not regarde, that vvhen thou hearest, thou let it goe in at thine one eare, and out at the other. Great grace they gette, vvho are in Him: Well is that soule for euer that is in Him. A man vvill thinke it a great thing, that a king vvill speake vnto him: but it is a farre greater thing, that the King of Heauen vvill speake to thee. There is some proportion be­twixt the king and his subject, betwixt the king and the begger: but there is no proportion betwixt GOD and thee: So then [Page 292] this is a great mercie, that He will bring that word that thou hast contemned to thy remembrance, and ere thou remember it not, Hee will send downe an Angell from the Heauen, to call it to thy remembrāce. We haue not Angels now, as these women had then, but I say to thee, as many true and faithfull Ministers, are as like many Angels: take away these men that preach the Gospell (in­deede I grant properly this, to call all things spoken to remem­brance, pertaines to the Holy Spirit, Iohn 14.26.) thou shalt for­get the word of God that is preached, and thou shalt grow more blockish than a stocke or a stone, and they that will not heare this word, He makes them like stones, and well were it to thee, albeit thou werest a King, if thou hearest not this word, that thou werest a stone. But marke the time, when Hee brings it to their remem­brance, when the Lord is risen: this tenour of time is not ay kept, but sometimes ere the thing be done, He calls it to remembrance: for that is a part of our felicitie, euer to be holden in memorie of grace. Woe to thee, that is not holden in memory of it, but indeed it is more joyfull to remember after it is done: and therefore at that great day, when wee shall see all thinges fulfilled, which were foretolde, our joy shall be perfected. I grant, that Hope hath joy, yet it hath heauinesse joyned with it, but sight hath perfect joy, without any heauinesse: and when wee shall see all these thinges, that were foretolde vs, vvhen vve shall see that glorious God, when vve shall see euery word that euer we read in the Gospell to be ful­filled, we shall remember them all with such joy as no tongue can tell. Wee glorie here vnder Hope, but then our glorie shall bee in sight, and vve shall haue it in our hand, and as vvee shall rejoyce then, we shall also glorifie GOD perfectly all manner of wayes, novv vve doe it with great infirmitie, but vvhen vve shall see Him, vvee shall glorifie Him euerlastingly▪ and this shall be a part of our song: Glorie for euer be to that true GOD, Hee promised me much, and novve, I see Hee hath fulfilled it: and so vvee see, there is neuer one vvord, that vvee haue heard, but that Holy and true GOD shall bring it to our memorie, with such a joy as cannot be spoken.

This for the first argument: nowe followes the second argu­ment: The Angell vses to confirme his speech: Come hither and see, sayes the Angell: The LORD is not heere, if yee vvill not credite my vvorde, beleeue your ovvne eyes, [Page 293] and see it, is not this a great mercie, when thou wilt not beleeue His word, the Lord will let thee see: the Lord is not contented to let thee heare these glad tythings, but He will: bring them before thine eyes. What meanes these visible Sacraments, but to helpe the infirmitie of the weake Faith, & besides the Sacraments, this word of God is not like the vvord of man, or of an Oratour, like Demo­sthenes or Cicero, or any man in this world: No, that word in ye gospel in great simplicitie hath a great Majestie shining in it: yea, it is vi­sible, as the Apostle sayes in the first to the Corinthians 2.4. It hath an ocular demonstration, and vvhen it speakes to thee of Heauen, it will drawe thine eye to Heauen: and when it speakes to thee of the Crosse, it vvill let thee see Christ crucified, and if it speake to thee of His glory, it shall let thee see Him in glory, and that is it vvhich Paul sayes in the Epistle to the Galathians, Chapter 3. verse 1. Hee preaches Christ so to them, that he made them see Christ cru­cified before their eyes.

Novve I come to the thirde part: it containes a commande­ment that he giues to the vvomen. Tithings haue euer some com­mandement joyned with them, and commandement requires euer obedience: so when euer thou gettest tithings, thou gettest a commandement, doe this, or thou shalt neuer get part nor por­tion of the tithings. No, Brethren, a Christian life is not an idle life, but practicke, if euer thou vvouldest be partaker of these good tithings, looke that thou striue to doe that vvhich Hee bids thee: Ruane sayes the Angell, home, this haue I told you, Preach ye to the Apostles: Goe tell the disciples, that He is risen. Goe your way ha­stely, to testifie the Resurrection. This glorious Resurrection re­quires an hastie preaching: and I saye to you, that testimonie that is giuen of Christ, requires expedition: and therefore if thou aymest to testifie of the Lord, doe it hastely: the glory Hee gets, vvould not be delayed.

The next part of the direction the Angell giues them, is that they tell the Apostles, that they goe to Galile, because Christ would be before them there.

The Papistes thinke that they haue gotten a great vantage of this, that Peters name was expressed, and not the rest. This spe­ciall direction that is sent to Peter, imports no supremacie, but rather, if ye consider well, that hee was inferiour to them all. It importes this plainely, that Peter had done a great fault, by the [Page 294] threefold deniall of the Lord. Alas, in this action he had an euill conscience, and if there had not beene a particular direction to Him, hee durst not for his life haue come to CHRIST. Thinke ye, that a man that hath denied GOD, dare come to Him, except He be preuented: No, Peter durst not for his life haue looked to the LORD: so this is their supremacie, that they marke of Peter aboue the rest. Now one thing: I thinke no man nor woman should doubt, why these women preached this Resur­rection: The LORD giues, them a sp [...]ciall direction: first, from GOD, then from His Angell, and this commission might satis­fie: so that the Apostles were bound to receiue this commission, that vvas ordained by the LORD of Heauen. I marke this lesson, There is neither man, nor woman can speake in the Name of the Lord except they be sent. So sayes Paul to the Romanes tenth Chap­ter, and fifteenth verse. None can preach, except he be sent? How can one preach CHRIST, and if hee be not sent by CHRIST? da [...]e a knaue stand vp in the middest of a cittie, or towne, and make a proclamation in the name of the Prince, and not haue a warrand, and darest thou stand vp, and speake in the Name of the great GOD of Heauen, and haue no warrand, Indeede it is the LORD who knowes who is sent, & if thou werest neuer so admitted, and warranded by the Church, & the Lord in that great day shall ne­uer count of thy preaching, except thou haue a vvarrand in thy conscience. Will Hee put His worde in the mouth of euery knaue: No, that is a grace, to call IESVS the LORD: No, thou canst not call IESVS the Lord, except thou haue the Spirit of Iesus as the Apostle sayes, in the first Epistle to the Corin­thians, the twelfth Chapter, and third verse. So whether wee bee Ministers, or others, who speake of IESVS, we should looke that that Spirit be in the heart to direct vs when we speake.

I marke next, it was not enough to haue seene this resurrection, and neuer to haue spoken one worde of it: No, Hee commands them to testifie to the Apostles, and the Apostles got this com­mandement to preach it againe: for the Gospell is not a candle to put vnder a bushell, but to holde it vp, and shewe it to the worlde: for it is the life, and the light of the worlde. PAVL sayes to Timothie in his second Epistle, the second Chapter, first verse, That that thou hast heard of mee before many witnesses, the same de­liuer thou to faithfull men, which shall be able to teach others also. No, it is [Page 295] not to be concredite to euery knaue: it is too precious a jewell to deliuer to knaues: let them deliuer it to them that are able to teach others: let the first deliuer to the second, and the second to the third, and the third to the fourth, and the fourth to the fifth, and so let it euer sound in the world. Woe to that soule that im­pedes the course of the glorious Gospell: for what can there be, vvhere it is not teached, but death: No, this Gospell is a stum­bling blocke to the world. Tell them, sayes the Angell, Hee vvill meete them in Galile: for Iurie denied mee: No, would CHRIST say, I will not appoint to meete with them in Ierusalem: for Ierusa­lem is not worthie of mee, but I will meete them in Galile, and so they met with Him, as ye shall see hereafter by Gods grace. Then I see that all these tithings that tell vs of things that are not seene: hath euery one of them a promise joyned with them, yt we shall see them come to passe? Beleeue thou that He hath suffered, and thou shalt see that He hath suffered, and beleeue that He is in glorie, & thou shalt see Him in glorie. We savv Him not vvith our bodily eyes, but we haue that blessing which the LORD pronounced to Thomas, Iohn Chapter 20. verse 29. Blessed are they which neuer saw mee, and yet doe beleeue in mee. Now blessed for euer shall that soule be, that neuer savv the LORD, and yet beleeues in Him, and I speake to thee a sore vvorde, if thou beleeuest not, vntill thou see Him, thou shalt neuer see Him, if thou beleeuest not that He died, vntill thou see that Hee died, thou shalt n [...]uer see Him, but to thy damnation. Hope vnder hope, and against Hope.

Brethren, many are the impediments that will stay vs: so that wee will say, I vvill neuer see Him: I heare much speaking of Hea­uen, but alas, I feare I shall neuer see it: I heare much spoken of life, but alas, I feare, I shall neuer see life.

And these are the tentations of the most godly men and wo­men of this vvorld, yet against all these tentations, beleeue Gods promises, and hope for life: for PAVL sayes in the Epistle to the Romanes. the fifth Chapter, and the fifth verse, Faith brings foorth experience, and Hope makes not ashamed: because the loue of God is shed abroad in our hearts aboundantly by the holy Ghost which is giuen vnto vs. No, let none of these tentations hinder vs: that thing that holdes backe the infidels, shall worke for the best to thee that fearest the Lord: & if thou fearest the Lord, I promise thee in ye name [Page 296] of GOD, all these tentations shall further thee, and thou shalt bee partaker of Life. Now a word, and I shall ende: He signets & seales vp, that which he hath told: I haue tolde you it, saies he: as he would say, It is true that I haue tolde you, and I vvill seale it to be true, and ye sh [...]ll find it to be true, & therefore doubt not. So our lesson is this: Whēsoeuer thou commest to testifie to the people of God, in paine of thy life looke thou speake nothing but that which God biddes thee speake: and that thou mayest saye in conclusion, This is true that I haue saide: and that this is true, I vvill byde by it: and seale it vp vvith my blood. The Angell had no blood: but if thou be not of that minde to shedde thy blood, thou art but a deceiuer. This is a great boldnesse to seale, to seale it vp with thy blood: but if thou haue it not sealed vp in thine heart, thou shalt neuer seale it vp with thy blood: and vvhen it comes to the sealing thou shalt steale away. No, it is a great vvord to say vvith the Prophet Dauid, I beleeued, and therefore I spake. Looke thou speake nothing to the people of God, but that which thou striuest to beleeue. Howe is this assurance got­ten? And vvill euerie vvanton man get this assurance to stande, and seale it vp vvith his blood? No, except thou striue night and day to get the Lorde in thy presence, and not to haue anie joye but in His presence, thou shalt neuer haue this assurance. Then, howe is it kept? The Lord hath appointed reading: Take heede to thy reading, saies Paul to Timothie, in his first Epistle, the fourth CHAPTER, and 13. vers. and giue thy selfe to meditation, and sh [...]we thy knowledge in that that thou hast read, and get not a knowledge onelie, but a sense to speake to others. Reading bringes knowledge, and meditation bringes feeling: and last is prayer. And if it bee the duetie of all men to praye, then es­peciallie the Minister is bounde to praye, both for himselfe, and for them also to vvhome hee is sent. So in a vvorde: Reade, medi­tate, and praye night and daye, so farre as is possible to thee to doe. And if thou doe these thinges, thou shalt seale it vp vvith the ef­fusion of thy bloode, and thou shalt haue more joye in thy death, than euer thou hadst in thy life: So that thy death shall bee the be­ginning of thy life, and of that fullnesse of joye, which thou shalt poss [...]sse vvith Him in the Heauens for euer: To Him, therefore, vvith the Father, and His blessed Spirit, be all Praise and Honour, for euer: AMEN.

THE XXXI. LECTVRE OF THE RESVRRECTION OF CHRIST.

MATTH. CHAP. XXVIII.

verse 8 So they departed quicklie from the sepulchre, with feare and great, joye, and did runne to bring his disciples word.

MARKE, CHAP. XVI.

verse 8 And they went out quicklie, and fledde from the sepulchre: for they trembled, and were amazed: neither saide they anie thing to anie man: for they were afraide.

LVKE, CHAP. XXIIII.

verse 1 NOw the first day of the weeke, earlie in the morning, they came vnto the sepulchre, and brought the odours which they had pre­pared, and certaine women with them.

verse 2 And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre,

verse 3 And went in, but found not the bodie of the Lord Jesus.

verse 4 And it came to passe, that as they were amazed thereat, beholde, two men suddenlie stoode by them in shining vestures.

verse 5 And as they were afraide, and bowed downe their faces to the earth, they saide to them, Why seeke yee him that liueth, among the dead?

verse 6 Hee is not heere, but is risen: remember howe hee spake vnto you, when hee was yet in Galile,

verse 7 Saying, that the Sonne of man must bee deliuered into the handes of sinfull men, and bee crucified, and the third day rise againe.

verse 8 And they remembred his wordes,

verse 9 And returned from the sepulchre, and tolde all these thinges vnto the eleuen, and to all the remnant.

[Page 298] verse 10 Nowe it was Marie Magdalene, and Ioanna, and Marie the mother of Iames, and other women with them, who tolde these thinges vnto the Apostles.

verse 11 But their wordes seemed vnto them as a fained thing, neither belee­ued they them.

I Shewed you from the beginning (vvelbeloued in the Lord Iesus) that there vvere two compainies of vvomen, that came out of Hierusalem, to the graue of the Lord: First, one company, in the vvhich vvas Mary Magdalene, & Mary the mother of James & Solome, with some others: Thē soone after that there came out another company of vvomen, vvhose names vve finde not registra­ted. Wee haue hearde alreadie of the Historie of the first vvomen, vvee hearde of their outcomming, vvee hearde vvhat they saw, and vvhat they hearde vvhen they came to the graue of the Lord. Now this daye vvee haue the returning of the first companie home to Hierusalem, set downe in few vvords. Then we shall goe to the Histo­rie of the second company of vvomen, vvherein first vve haue their outcomming: Secondlie, vvhat they heare and see: and thirdly, their tidinges to the Apostles, vvhat they had hearde and seene. And this Historie concerning the seconde companie is written, by Luke, Chap. 24. vers. 2. Matthew writes concerning the first compa­nie, and Marke also: Iohn speakes onelie of Marie Magdalene. Luke sets downe the whole seconde companie. But nowe to returne to the home-comming of the first companie of women: It is written by MATTHEVV and MARKE, that when they had receiued direction of the Angell, They returned home with feare and great joye, to tell the eleuen Apostles (for IVDAS was fallen awaye) what they had heard and seene. I note shortlie these three thinges in these women: First, I see that there was a feare in them: Next, I see that they had an exceeding joye: And last of all, I see in them obedience to the voyce of the Angell with all expedition. The feare was, because of the presence of that glorious Angell: The joye, because of the joyfull newes, to wit, That the LORDE was risen: The obedience, was, because of the commaundement of the An­gell, to runne home, and tell the APOSTLES. All these three thinges are to bee commended in them: And they teach vs this [Page 299] lesson, howe wee shoulde depart from the presence of our GOD: when wee meete to heare these glorious tidinges, without the which there is no life: and without the hearing whereof, thou shalt neuer see Heauen. Let no man deceiue himselfe: they teach vs howe wee should depart from the worde: Depart with feare and reuerence: that is the first: Then depart with joye: that is the se­conde: And thirdly: depart with a minde to obeye that which thou hast heard: and this is the last. Wee shoulde feare, in respect of the presence of the Lord, whereat all the Angels were afraid: and, where two or three are gathered together in His Name, there is His presence. And if thou seest not His presence in the Congregation, it were better for thee that thou presentedst not thy selfe in the Congregation: The joye shoulde bee of the hearing of these tidinges. Thou deli­test to heare tidinges: but all the tidinges of the worlde is nothing to these, to wit, That Iesus is come into the world, and hath died for thee. And last of all: Depart with obedience: for thou gettest this com­mandement, When thou goest home, communicate these tidinges to others, that thy joye may bee encreased. The light of the Gos­pell requires holinesse and a godlie conuersation: that thou liue so­berlie in thine owne person, justlie with thy neighbour, and godly with thy God. When the daye breakes out, and when the Sunne ri­ses, the light of the daye is not for nothing, it cryes vpon thee, to thy labours, to fall to an honest conuersation: Then much more, the Sunne of righteousnesse, that light of lightes, that LORDE, vvhen Hee shines, and cryes, Shake off the vvorkes of darkenesse, and put on the armour of light: Shake off thy murther, thy adulte­rie, and oppression, in paine of thy life: Thou wilt come out, and sticke and slaye a man in sight of the Sunne: No, that murther shall not so much bee layed to thy charge, as the contemning of GOD, vvho shined before thee vvhen as thou slewest that man. Wee are fallen nowe to such a shamefull murther, as vvas neuer heard of among the TVRKES. What will become of this Kingdome? Suppose there vvere none other sinne, but this sinne of blood, O, it cryes for a vengeance. Marke this: sie vpon thee, that in such a light, and in the sight of that great GOD, thou shouldest commit such villanie. But I goe forwarde: and I enter to the Historie of the seconde companie of women, who went out to the graue of the Lord. The first company sawe but one Angell, but this sawe two Angels: and therefore they are diuerse. The Historie is [Page 300] very plaine, and there can be no other thing almost marked, than that which is already touched: and therefore I shall goe thorow it shortly, as God shall giue the grace. This second companie came out shortly after the first companie: they draw neare, They saw the stone away fro [...] the sepulchre, as the first did, And they enter into the graue, as the first [...]id, But they found not the body of the Lord Iesus, and they are very sad and heauie, supposing it had bene stollen away: they see two Angels, whom they supposed to be two men, fearfull to looke on: the first companie see but one Angell these see two, and the earthly witnesses grow in number: so the heauenly growe: there was but one Angell only who appeared to the first companie, now this companie see two Angels, and all this was for the greater cer­taintie of the matter, and resurrection of Iesus Christ: they seeing two Angels, are afraide: therefore the Angells begin and comfort the women, by telling that Christ was risen, and bids them goe tell the Apostles. Nowe wee shall marke something of the part of the women, and then we shall come to the part of the Angels. As this carefulnesse of the Lord that was in these women, was wor­thie of praise: so the Apostles carelessenesse of their Lord cannot be praised: for it became them to haue come out first: & as the cou­ragiousnesse of these women is to be commended, so the Apostles cowardnesse merites no commendation: and the moe women te­stifie of His Resurrection, that same brings the greater sh [...]c to the Apostles. When thou art a man, and hast a calling, and wil [...] let a Wife goe before thee, it shames thee: and no doubt, the force of His Resurrection, was more powerfull in the poore women, than it was in the very Apostles: for all this spirituall courage flowes from the life of Christ: for except He had risen from the death, and that vve got life thorovv His life, vvee vvould neuer haue life: yea, all the spirituall life, and quicknesse that vvas in the fathers of olde, vvas by the vertue of Christes Resurrection to come, and all this quicknes of ours, is by the vertue of His Resurrection already past, if thou haue that life begunne, it shall be a sure earnestpennie that thou shalt rise in glorie, and liue a life, like to the glorious life of thy glorious Head and Sauiour Iesus Christ. Then I marke another thing in these women: They are subject to diuerse perturbations of minde: they come out with sadnesse, and when they found not the body of the Lord Iesus, their dolour is increased: then when they see and heare the Angels, they are terrified, and last of all, they [Page 301] finde joy. Wilt thou compare the godlie vvith the vngodlie, yee shall finde sometimes in the heartes of the vngodly, greater peace than in the heartes of the godlie: no paine, nor vexation in them, but they say, peace: peace, as the Apostle sayes in the first Epistle to the Thessalonians, the fifth Chapter, and the thirde verse: but be­holde the end: when they haue cried Peace, then a sudden destru­ction from the Heauen, shall ouertake them, and their peace shall end in disquietnesse for euer. The trouble of the godly endes in endlesse joy, the godly beginnes in sadnesse, goes forward in sad­nesse, but euer in the ende they finde joy, and the greater trouble thou bee in, in the ende thou shalt finde greater joy: and vvhen thou shalt attaine to that joy, the verie remembrance of that trou­ble that thou haddest in this life, shall augment thy joy, and thou shalt rejoyce, that euer thou hadst trouble here, if thou hadst bene euen burnt or martyred for CHRISTS sake: and by the con­trarie: The wicked that haue liued heere in securitie, vvhen they are thrust in Hell, in endlesse paine and displeasure, shall finde that the remembrance of the joy that they had in this life shall augment their paine, and they shall curse the time that euer they liued here in such pleasure, and had this false peace on earth. This Historie is plaine, and therefore I goe forvvarde: I come to the part of the Angell: the first speech is somewhat rough: Why doe yee seeke the liuing amongst the dead? Why doe yee this? Then Hee comes on, and sayes, Hee is not heere, Hee is risen. Then he confirmes it by a reason: Remember, women, what Hee said to you, when Hee was with you in Galile, Saide Hee not, that Hee behooued to bee deliuered into the hands of sinfull men, and bee crucified, and to rise againe the third day. This is the meaning in effect. Then vvhere Hee beginnes with a reproofe, there must bee a fault in them: No, the LORD vvill not reprooue thee for nothing: I take their fault to be obli­uion: for so the wordes of the Angell import: they had forgot that Hee should rise the thirde daye, suppose He had told them.

Well, Brethren, I see this, It is the vvill of God, that vve neuer forget His word, & more I see, If thou lettest it slip out of thy mind, as we doe too readily: the Lord will reproue thee, but in His re­prouing & in His anger: He neuer forgets mercy & lenitie: in repro­uing of the women, Hee makes the Angell to instruct and tell them that Hee vvas risen: so in reproouing of thee, Hee will [Page 302] teach thee, and it learnes vs this lesson: Alwayes in all reproofes, teach them whom thou reprouest: if thou reprooue them, without a care to instruct them, thy reproofe auailes nothing at all. Then looke, so soone as his anger goes away, and when he hath spoken two wordes, thereafter hee sayes, Hee is not heere, Hee is risen, Re­member, He said to you, He behooued to suffer, and die, and rise the third day: So we learne this at the Angell, It may be, that God speake a word of anger, but it will soone goe away, and the mercy remaines for euer: and when Hee hath laide His anger aside, Hee teaches in mercie: and I speake this to the childe of God: Manie faults in vs all, and nowe and then He speakes in anger, that His owne perish not with the wicked world: Hee will waken them with some angrie word, and thinke as thou wilt, and if thou be not wa­kened with some angrie worde, thou shalt die in thy stincke, and canker of thy corrupt nature: and so long as we are here, there is euer some matter of anger: so that now and then Hee will speake to thee in anger (for wee are as foolish children, thinking and speaking as children: and therefore haue need to be chastised) but when wee are perfect men, neuer an angrie worde, nor a gloome shall be, but alwayes mercie and pleasure for euer. Then I marke another thing in the Angell, Remember (sayes he) that the Sonne of man must bee deliuered into the handes of sinfull men, and to die, and the third day to rise againe, as Hee shewed to you. Well, then I see, the Lord He forgets not His owne worde, that He speakes, suppose the wo­men had forgotten it: No, the Lord that speakes it, thinkes neuer so light of it as thou doest: Thou wilt forget soone, and thou ta­kest no thought of it: but that word that He speakes, either by Himselfe, or by His Ministers: He will neuer forget it. The word of a King is much, and of great might: then how weightie is the word that comes from the King of kings: Heauen and earth shall pe­rish, ere one jote of that worde perish, or fall to the ground: and as Hee forgets not, so Hee will haue it called to the remembrance, not only of the godly, but also of the wicked: but marke the dif­ference: When Hee brings it to the Elects memorie: H [...]e brings it euer with great joy▪ as He did to these women. But as to the wic­ked, it is euer a dolefull and wofull remembrance, with paine and griefe and this is no small part and cause of the paine of Hell, that all the words which God spake to them whilst they liued, and which they contemned, shall bee brought to their memorie, that [Page 303] booke of remembrance shall bee holden euer before their eyes, that there they may see and reade all the wicked workes that they haue done in their life: yea, the least euill worde shall bee laide to their charge: and then the conscience shall stand vp and accuse them euerlastingly: No, if thou bee out with Christ, I say to thee, terrible shall that sight bee, that thou shalt see,: for the least euill thought shall bee laide to thy charge, let be euill deedes, and that forgetfulnesse of the worde of God, whilst thou liuedst, shall be a great parte of thy paine and griefe: but the forgetfulnesse of the godly shall bee hid, as all the rest of their sinnes shall be hidde in Him, and in that blood they shall bee counted as cleane, as if they had neuer sinned, nor had forgotten Gods word.

Thus farre for the part of the Angell: Now, I returne to the women: When the Angell hath spoken, and informed them of the Resurrection: They returne, and tell to the Apostles, what they had heard and seene: Marke this lesson, They cannot keepe it within their brest, but they will communicate it to others, they will tell the Apostles: Brethren, after that once a man, or a woman hath conceiued that spirituall joy, all the worlde will not holde their tongue: put them in a fire, they cannot but speake of it. Many Martyres haue proued this to be true, if it were but a woman, she must preach it to others: & I say more, if thou hast not pleasure one time or other, to speake with joy of Christ to others: to speake of His Passion, and Resur­rection, thou neuer heardest with joy. We all haue pleasure enough to talke with joy of vaine and prophane tales: but of that plea­sure of pleasures, litle or no delite haue vve to speake. I condemne not only the world, but also the children of GOD, and my selfe with the first. Alas, too litle pleasure haue wee in our heartes to speake of Christ, and His Resurrection. But to whome go they? Goe they to tell the wicked people? No, that people was not worthie of it: they steale in to the Apostles, and them who loued Christ, who were lurking in Ierusalem. So the lesson is this: A man that findes joy, will not communicate it to the prophane man: he will knowe well, that he communicates it to such one as will haue joy with him: if any man bee sad, yee see they will not communicate it▪ but to them that will bee sad with them: so it is with joy, they will not tell to euery man the joy, but to such as wil haue joy with them. Looke the twelfth Chapter to the Romanes and the fifteenth verse: hee wishes them To reioyce with them that [Page 304] rejoyce, and to bee sadde with them who are sadde. Marke this thing al­so. Is not this joye a precious thing? Nothing so precious in the worlde, as joye: and maruell yee not, that they shoulde bee so liberall of it? And if thou hadst all the worlde, it is nothing in re­spect of this joye, and yet they are liberall of it. Paul, Rom. chap. 1. vers. 11. hee answeres to this, J long, saies hee, to come to you, to im­part some spirituall gift to strengthen you. No, this hurt not him, for hee expones himselfe, saying, That I might bee comforted, together with you, through our mutuall faith, both yours and mine. So when hee com­meth to giue grace, hee gotte grace: No, it is a vvonderfull thing, vvhen two holie bodies meete, what joye the one vvill poure into the heart of the other: Put all the Infideles together, they cannot minister this joye one to another. So in a word, Com­munication of joye shall not empaire, but it shall enlarge the joye in thee. Whereto shoulde one stande vp to preach CHRIST, but that by his joye, hee maye minister joye to them that heare him. Nowe the LORD graunt, that both Preachers and hearers may finde in their heartes this joye, which is in CHRIST.

Nowe I goe forwarde: As they goe in the part where the Apo­stles lurked, they finde before them that first companie of vvomen, who had returned from the sepulchre, Marie Magdalene, and Ma­rie the mother of Iames, and Salome: and as they enter in, they finde them telling these same newes to the eleuen Apostles: So that the eleuen Apostles wanted not witnesses; women, after women, testi­fying, that the Lord was risen. Will yee consider this well, and ye shall see, that it imports a deadlie securitie in the Apostles: alas, it should haue beene they, who shoulde haue come to the women, to haue tolde them of the Resurrection of Christ. When Hee sendes so vvo­men after women, it testifies, that they were in a dead securitie, and so it testifies a great mercie of the LORDE, vvho vvill not let them sleepe in that carnall securitie.

Brethren, this same mercie of God towardes His owne, abideth as yet, for in vs is nothing but sleeping, (and if thou feelest it not, thou feelest nothing) Pastors, people, and all sleepes in securitie, as the Apostles did: And I saye to thee, that if the LORDE vvoulde let thee alone, and vvoulde sende to thee no vvitnesses to vvaken thee, and to saye to thee, Sinner, vvake, and arise: No, there is none of vs, but wee woulde sleepe to death. So looke to the LORDS mercy in this thy miserie, He sendes men to thee, He [Page 305] sendes crosses and troubles to vvaken thee. Take men awaye, take awaye these cloudes of vvickednesse, take awaye c [...]osses, I giue the vvorlde their doome (no exception, from the King to the Begger,) and if thou vvantest vvitnessing, that CHRIST died, and rose againe, thou shalt sleepe to destruction. Thou thinkest that this needes not to bee preached: but thou shalt see one daye, that there vvas neuer anie thing so needefull in the earth, as this preaching: and thou shalt curse the time that euer thou vvast sette in the vvorlde, except thou compt this preaching the greatest earnest that euer was.

So this is a token of great mercie towardes them: and yee will vvonder that they shoulde bee so sluggishe, vvho hearde him so long, and that nowe they cannot bee vvakened. Alas! they were not as yet so vvell skilled, that Heauenlie vvit vvas not as yet in their heades, and they had more of that vvorldlie and fleshlie vvit, than of that Heauenlie vvit: and this drewe them to this secu­ritie.

This is the nature of the Regenerate: Suppose the Regene­rate in this vvorlde compt, in some measure, of the crosse of Christ, and of the power of God: yet in the best of them, there is some lacke, some infirmities, and vvantes, and they will thinke sometime the preaching of the Crosse and Resurrection of Christ to bee but vanitie, and a dreame of vviues, as IOHN, PETER, MATTHEVV, and the rest of the Apostles did: for none of them vvoulde beleeue this, That CHRIST vvas risen. Wee vvill thinke that there is some great follie in these tidinges: (I vvill tell you my nature, and the nature of the best man or vvoman:) but vvhen vve shall see That joyfull Morning, as DAVID calles it, then vvee shall saye vvith SARAH, THE LORDE hath made mee nowe to laugh indeede: Shee scorned, vvhen shee hearde saye, shee shoulde conceaue, and beare a childe: shee thought shee coulde not beare a childe: and nowe vvhen shee sees it come to passe, shee saies, The LORDE makes mee to laugh indeede. And so shall vvee saye one daye, that thing vvhich vvee thought but jestes, then wee shall saye, I see this nowe, that I coulde not beleeue vvell enough, nowe I see it is true indeede.

So then, in despite of all naturall vvit, striue to gette an hope aboue hope: and then shalt thou greatlie vvonder at that sight, [Page 306] and maruell foreuer, that there could be such a joy. Now blessed is that man, or that woman that gets a taste of it here for they shall be assured of it for euer. But to goe forward, I see, that it auailes not much to speake to a sleeping person, that is loadned with sin, and feeles it not, that is the worst estate in the worlde, neuer to groane vnder this mortalitie, vnder this burthen of death: They can neuer say with the Apostle: Miserable man that I am, who shall deliuer me from this body of death. And if yee speake to these persons of the Resurrection & death of Christ, it auaileth nothing to them. What did the Apostles? They thought it but a scorne: if the Apostles thought so, what wilt thou doe, that sleepest in thy mur­ther, in thine adulterie, in thy theft, in thine oppression? If the Apostles slept, how! wilt thou sleepe: a sleeping sinner must bee once wakened, as PAVL sayes in the Epistle to the Romanes the first Chapter, and eighteenth verse. The wrath of God is manifest from the Heauen, against all the vnrighteousnesse of men: And I say, the wrath and the vengeance of GOD is manifest vpon the sleeping sinner, and death comes on him, that neuer shall haue an end. But PAVL in the Epistle to the Romanes, the third CHAPTER, and the twentie and one VERSE: hee comes on with other tithings, and sayes, That the righteousnesse of GOD through faith in Jesus Christ is made manifest to them that beleeue. And I will say to thee, that Iesus is come into the world, and died for thee, if thou beleeuest thou shalt be freed of that burthen of sinne and wrath; and vvhen a man heares this, he will thinke it the sweetest tithings that euer he heard: for the sinner will finde life in that death, and that blood will sprinckle his conscience, as the Apostle sayes to the Hebrewes, and thou wilt finde a wonderfull joy, vvhen thy sinnes are remit­ted in Christ, of all joyes vnder the Heauen, this is the greatest. The preaching of Christ auailes to none, but to him who findes his soule loadned with sinne.

Now one word, and so I shall ende: I see in the Apostles, and in their great infirmitie, the great prouidence of GOD: they will neither beleeue, nor misbeleeue, but by His Prouidence: what euer vvas their part in it, the worke was good, & of a good purpose: The LORD will not haue them to beleeue the testimonie of the first companie, nor yet of the second companie of women: No, no, He vvill not haue them to beleeue, vntill they see it with their [Page 307] eyes, and feele it with their handes, and ere they passe out to others, He vvill speake to them, and let them see, that they may be perswaded that it was true.

I alwayes tell you this, It is not a small thing to testifie of the Resurrection of Christ, to preach His Passion and Resurrection: and wilt thou of a light knowledge preach it: No, beware thou speake this, or that, vpon a report. Of all men that speakes in this earth, or is sent with a commission, a Minister hath most neede to beware what hee speakes: Speake hee of the Passion, or Resurre­ction of CHRIST ere euer hee speake, let him get a sight of Him, suppose not vvith the bodily eyes, lay hold on Him by Faith in thine heart. Thinke it not enough to be an hearing witnesse, but a seeing witnesse: and vvhen thou hast gotten that persvvasion, with vvhat confidence vvilt thou speake of His death: thou wilt speake with such euidencie, that the high heartes of men shall be humbled, finding such weight in thy wordes. The LORD giue vs grace, that vvhen vve stand vp to speake of the Resurrection of CHRIST to others: vvee may haue the perswasion of it in our ovvne heartes, and that vve may finde His gracious Spirit working in vs, and as vvee speake of Heauen, and these joyes to others, so vvee may finde some joy beginne in our owne hearts heere, that after this life is ended, we may reigne with Him in glorie for euer with CHRIST: To whome with the Father, and the Holy Spirit, be all honour, praise and glorie, for euermore.

AMEN.

THE XXXII. LECTVRE OF THE RESVRRECTION OF CHRIST.

LVKE, CHAP. XXIIII.

verse 12 Then arose Peter, and ranne vnto the sepulchre, and looked in, and sawe the linnen clothes layed by themselues, and departed, wondering in himselfe at that which was come to passe.

IOHN, CHAP. XX.

verse 3 Peter therefore went foorth, and the other disciple, and they came vnto the sepulchre.

verse 4 So they ranne both together, but the other disciple did out-runne Pe­ter, and came first to the sepulchre.

verse 5 And hee stouped downe, and sawe the linnen clothes lying: yet went hee not in.

verse 6 Then came Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and sawe the linnen clothes lie,

verse 7 And the kerchiefe that was vpon his head, not lying with the linnen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by it selfe.

verse 8 Then went in also the other disciple, who came first to the sepulchre, and hee sawe it, and beleeued.

verse 9 For as yet they knewe not the Scripture, That hee must rise againe from the dead.

verse 10 And the disciples went awaye againe vnto their owne home.

[Page 309] WE haue heard these dayes past (beloued in the Lord Iesus) of the two companies of women, that went out of Hierusalem, towarde the graue of the Lorde, early in the morning. The one company that came first, wherein was Marie Magd. and Marie the mother of Iames, and Salome, with other women. And the next company of wo­men, whose names are not expressed, nor registrate: Wee hearde of their returning home againe from the graue of the Lord: how they come to the place where the XI. Apostles were lurking, with some other disciples, who loued the Lord: We heard of ye preaching that the first company makes: & then the preaching of the secōd com­pany, their preaching all testifying, that the Lord Iesus was risen. Wee heard last, what effect this preaching wrought in the heartes of the XI. Apostles, to wit, they thought it all but follie, fables, & a fained report, & beleeued it not. It is an hard matter, to beleeue ye report of Christ, of His Passion & glorious resurrection. Thus far we heard the last day. Now to come to the Text yt we haue read: We haue first another effect which this report wrought: howbeit it wrought not faith, yet it had its own effect in 2. disciples at least, Peter & Iohn, they are wakened by it, to seeke to the graue of ye Lord, to see if it was so as the women reported. Well then, the report of the women is not altogether fruitles, at the least it wakens some of them vp to run to the graue, to see if it was so as the womē had reported. This testifies clearly, yt euen al the time yt these Apostles lay lurking like cowards, yet all that time there remained in them a seede of faith, a seede of godlinesse, & a sponke of loue toward their Master Christ: Indeed it was smoothered with the drosse of the corruption of nature, but yet it was not quite put out: and therefore, assoone as these women come, and make report of the Resurrection of Iesus Christ, the seed begins to waken and drawe spirits, and makes them to run to see if it was true yt He was risen. For it is true, that they who once haue gotten faith in Christ, in whose heart this seede is once sowne, how­beit for a time they will fall in a slumber, yea, in an heauy sleepe, & that seed will be so holdē down, that it will not be seen to ye world, yea, they that haue it, wil not feele it thēselues: yet it is sure, that true seed of faith, sowne once in the heart, wil neuer be clean put out & extinguished altogether. It is true, it will be for a time lying dead in the heart without life or motion. The Lorde will bee lying in thee without working for a time, and taking a shape and fashion, as the [Page 310] birth in the mothers vvombe does, as the Apostle sayes; Galath Chap. 4. vers. 19. vntill Christ bee formed in you. And all this time Hee lyes vvithout vvorking, the man vvill seeme then to bee but dead: but assoone as that vvorde soundes, vvhich is the vvorde of Life, the vvorde of the Crosse, and of the Resurrection of Iesus, then that man who appeared to be dead, vvill take life, and Iesus, who appea­red to be dead in thee, vvill be quicke. Howbeit they vvill not haue faith, yet it vvill stirre them vp to seeke Christ, and inquire vvhether it bee so or not. In the Historie of the Actes, (Chap. 17. vers. 11.) yee maye reade a vine example of this: There vvere certaine of the IEVVES in a Towne called Berea, and they vvere in the same estate, they had no thought of Iesus, but vvere enemies vnto Him: yet notwithstanding there was some good seede vvithin them: And therefore they are saide to bee more Noble than the IEVVES at Thessalonica. Now the Apostle PAVL comes in amongst them, and beginnes to preach CHRIST: then that little seede be­ginnes to stirre, and they beginne to bee vvakened, and they are thereby mooued to reade the olde Testament, to see if it vvas true that PAVL preached or no: And then they finding it to bee so as PAVL had spoken; manie of them beleeued in CHRIST.

Wee haue our lesson heere: It is not good to be hastie in judge­ment, bee loath to condeme anie, howbeit thou see men fall, and lye long, yet judge not too hastilie of them, for who knowes if there bee a sponke in their heartes, which neither thou, nor they themselues knowe of: but trie, whether the seede bee or no: And thou shalt trie it by this thing: Speake of the Death, Passion, and Resurrection of CHRIST vnto them: if after long spea­king there bee no vvakening, certainlie that is a verie euill token, that there is no good in that heart: if hee bee in such a deadlie sleepe, that nothing vvill vvaken him, that is a faithlesse heart, and an heart full of gall and bitternesse, and replenished vvith iniquitie: But if there bee some quickening, although it vvere ne­uer so little, yea, suppose hee beleeue not, and yet hath a readinesse to heare, and saye this, LORDE open mine eyes to see, and mine heart to beleeue: And if this bee founde in him, that is a good heart, and that birth shall come foorth in its owne time, for as the birth is not perfected in an instant in the mothers wombe, so faith is not perfected at the first, but it growes by little & little.

Nowe when they are wakened, what doe they? They runne to the [Page 311] graue. They went not faire and softlie, but they ranne to the graue. Nowe certainlie this running must needes proceede of some mo­tion in the heart; some motion behooued to stirre them vp: Yee see what motion mooued Marie Magdalene to runne home: she was in displeasure, because shee mist the bodie of the LORD: for shee thought it had beene stollen awaye. It cannot bee displea­sure that mooued them to runne: No doubt it was joye in their heartes, which made their heartes light, and the light heart made the feete speedie: And if thou haue joye, it will cause thee to runne and seeke Him. But from whence came this joye? I see no matter of joye, but in these tidinges which they hearde: But howe coulde they haue joye, seeing they beleeued them not? I answere to this They woulde haue beleeued, and faine woulde haue had it so, and that vvas the thing which they moste desired: And yee knowe, that vvee heare that thing vvhich vvee vvoulde faine haue come to passe, vvee vvill haue joye to heare of it, and our delight vvill bee to see if it bee so. And so suppose there vvas not a full faith in them, yet there vvas a bowing, and an inclination to faith. And it is a strange thing to bowe the heart, for it will bee as hard to bow the heart, as to bowe a strong Oake. So the least bowing to yeelde to the report of Iesus, is wonderfull, and there shall followe an vn­speakeable joye which passes all vnderstanding. The least concep­tion of that joye will bee greater, than thou wilt haue, yea, and make thee a King or a Queene. Seeke euer to that Heauenlie affe­ction, for the Beast hath this earthlie affection: then seeke thou after the Heauenlie, or thine estate shall bee worse than the Beastes one daye. So when the heart is wakened, thou wilt seeke the Lord: but if thine heart be not bowed, it shall stand vp like a wall, or a brasen pillar, and this shall bee thine estate, Thou vvilt haue no joye, but sadnesse, at the hearing of these tidinges: for the stiffe heart receiues no joye, but is in dolour, and there is no seeking of CHRIST there, to see vvhether Hee bee there or not: So in a worde, our lesson is this: Let not a stiffe heart depriue thee of that solide joye which is in CHRIST: fie vpon that heart.

Nowe to goe forwarde: They runne, and they ranne together, striuing who should bee formost, and who should come first to the graue, to vnderstande the trueth of these vvomens reportes. Now our lesson is this: It is an happie thing to striue in good thinges, vvho shoulde bee readiest & farthest forwardes: No, I shall neuer [Page 312] blame one to striue to be first at CHRIST: No, striue with thy father, and with thy mother: No, striue with all thy kinred, to be first in Heauen, and looke that thou neuer giue place to another to goe before thee: but alas, our people striue farre otherwise: we striue who should runne fastest from the LORD, and fastest for­ward to a mischiefe, to murther, blood, and in oppression: this is all the strife in this countrey: Who striues to be first in Heauen? The LORD sayes, Matth. CHAPTER 11. VERSE 12. The King­dome of Heauen suffer violence, and the violent take it by force, and possesse it: The LORD meaneth, that wee should striue to throng in, and to see who should be first in Heauen: Alas, how farre are wee from this godly striuing, dolefull experience teaches vs this day in Scot­land. Thou wilt possesse another mans heritage, but who striues to possesse that heauenly heritage. The LORD sayes in Luke, 13. Chapter, and verse 24. Striue to enter in at the strait gate, Meaning, that we should striue with our whole kinred to be first in Heauen, sup­pose thou wilt let a King goe in before thee at an earthly gate, yet striue to goe in before him to Heauen, and striue to goe in before all thy kinred. Paul that exhorted all men to runne, hee ranne himselfe: he sayes, in the first Epistle to the Corinthians, the ninth Chapter, and the twentie three verse: Hee ranne, and hee ranne on, to be partaker of the Gospell that he preached to others, and hee ran so fast, that hee neuer looked behind him: No, if thou standest to count thy footsteps, another shall passe by thee, and thou shalt come behind: Hee sayes, Hee looked to that prise of the high calling of GOD, Philip. 3.14. If two be running here on the earth, striuing to get the crowne, the one will enuie the other, and he will trauell to get himselfe forvvard, and put his companion backvvard. This earthly race is with enuie, and euery one would take the feet from another: Paul giues a reason hereof, in the first Epistle to the Corin­thians, the ninth Chapter, and the twentie foure verse, and sayes There is but one crowne: but it is not so with thee that runnest in that heauenly race, the one will not enuie the other, the one vvill not put the other behind, he will not put him backe, but hee vvill take him by the hand & say, Goe forward to the end, brother, and thou shalt get the crowne: & this is it, that we should euery one exhort another to doe, euer to goe forward to Heauen, and euery one take another by the hand, to helpe him forward, because there is not a crowne only, but many crownes: looke how many runne, [Page 313] there are as many crownes: wilt thou runne, thou shalt get a crowne, will I runne, I shall get a crowne, and will the third runne he shall get a crowne: neuer one who runnes shall be destitute of a crovvne. PAVL in the second Epistle to Timothie, the fourth Chapter, and the 7. and eight verses, sayes, I haue fought a good fight, I haue finished my course, J haue kept the faith: nowe hencefoorth is laid vp for me the crowne of righteousnesse, which the Lord that righteous Iudge will giue to mee at that day: No, he cannot be just, but He must giue the crowne to thee that hast runne: And not only to mee, sayes hee, but vnto all them also that loue that His appearing: As he would say, to all them that vvill runne vvith mee: and I say to thee, if thou wilt runne on, & lead thy neighbour by the hand, that is vveaker than thou: it shall be so farre from hindering thee from the crowne, that thine honour and glorie shall be augmented, when thou shalt come to Heauen. Paul sayes in the first Epistle to the Thessalonians, the 2. Chapter, and the nineteenth verse, What is our hope, or ioy, or crowne of reioycing? Are not yee it, euen in the presence of our Lord Iesus Christ, at His comming: And therefore well is that soule that winnes ano­ther to Heauen, be thou King, Lord, Gentleman, or Minister: if thou helpest many to Heauē, thou shalt get ye more glorious crowne. To goe forward: they run together, but in ye running, ye one is speedier than ye other, & Iohn leaues Peter behind him, & outruns him, but when it comes to the graue, he only lookes in, and sees the linnen cloathes lying, but hee enters not in, to get knowledge, but seeing the linnen cloathes, hee stands still: Peter that came behind him, enters first in into the graue, & sees the matter as it was: the win­dingsheete, as we call it, lying in one place, and the kerchiefe that was vpon His head in another place by it selfe. To speake this by the way: it lets vs vnderstand this: Amongst the Iewes that the win­dingsheete was not put ouer the whole body and head, as we vse to doe, but from the shoulders downe, and the linnen was about the head: after this manner Christ was wrapped. Wherefore should I speake of the vanitie of the Papistes: they will say to you, they haue the same windingsheete, and this same kerchiefe remaining as re­liques: and they will haue them in sixe or seuen places at one time: is not this a great wonder it should haue lasted so long, and yet should bee kept in so many places at one time: and more they say, the vine picture of Christ is in that windingsheete, His body, they say, made such a dint, that His picture might be seene there: but [Page 314] thinke yee, if it were so, that the Euangelists, who register smaller thinges, would haue hid and conceiled it. But I leaue them to their vanitie, as vnworthie of any refutation, and I come to the matter. In this course and race of Peter, and Iohn, to the graue, I see this course that wee haue in this life, is verie vnequable: it keepes not alwayes one constant tenour, nor wee are not ay alike speedie: sometimes one runnes fast, sometimes hee will settle and wearie, and goe slowly forwarde, and whilst as hee wearies, his neighbour will outrunne him, and ere they come to the end, hee that came out last, will sometimes bee first at the marke, and get the crowne. Marke this well▪ it lets vs see, that to be true which Paul writes in the ninth Chapter to the Romanes, and the sixteenth verse, It is not in the hands of him that willeth, nor in him that runneth, but in the handes of the Lord that sheweth mercie: when the Lord holdes His hande to thee, thou wilt run, and when Hee takes His hande from thee, thou wilt stay behinde, and hee that dragled behinde, vvill bee before thee: this is the course we keepe to that marke: wee should not thinke, that all men should runne alike: and suppose thou seest a dragling person, thinke not, that person will neuer come to the marke.

Peter gets the sight first, Iohn, suppose he gote it not first, yet hee gets it, and it is said in the Text, Hee saw, and hee beleeued. Marke the lesson: Albeit there be many changes by the way, yet hee or shee that vvill perseuere in dragling, shall not vvant the crovvne, as vvell as they that ranne speedily, and came first. It stands not so much in the fast running, as in the perseuering: it is not said, he or shee that runnes fast, shall be crowned, but hee or she that continues to the end, shall be crovvned: looke ay thou pereseuere, if thou may not runne, goe: yet if thou may not goe, fall downe vpon thine hands and feete, and creepe as it were a snaile, or vvorme, albeit it vvere but two foot in the day: & as euer thou wouldest be safe,ly not still: it stands thee vpon life & death: thou must weare away, and night and day thou goest euer to this ende: and if this out­vvard man decay, grovv in the invvard man: and as thou grovvest vveake in this life, striu [...] to grovv strong in that heauenly life, that thou art to goe to. Paul in the second Epistle to the Corinthians, the fourth Chapter, and the sixteenth uerse, sayes, As the outwarde man decayed dayly, so the inward man grew dayly. So to end this in a word: As euer thou wouldest see Heauen, goe either fast or else [Page 315] softly to that life. Well, it is saide, They were ignorant of the Scrip­ture, that tolde, Hee should rise againe from the dead: and so because he saw, hee beleeued: hee should haue beleeued, because he heard it: for hee had the Scripture for his vvarrand: hee and Peter should haue grounded their Faith on the Scripture.

Take heede to this: The Apostle sayes, Wee liue by Faith, and not by sight: yet hovv euer it be, that man or vvoman beleeue, they are blessed: and blessed art thou, man, or vvoman, that beleeuest ei­ther for hearing or seeing: and suppose thou feelest him by the hands, and beleeuest in Him, as Thomas did, that felt Him, thou art blessed: but that is an euill thing, vvhen thou hast the vvorde, and yet suspends thy faith, vntill thou seest.

It vvas an euill thing in Peter and Iohn, that they let the vvorde passe, and beleeued it not: it vvas an euill thing in Thomas, that hee beleeued not, vntill hee felt Christ: and I say to thee, it is a sure thing, if thou refusest to beleeue, vntill thou seest, thou ad­uentourest and hazardest thy life and saluation: and I say to thee, if thou contemnest this word, and say this, I will not beleeue vn­till I see Him, I giue thee thy doome, thou shalt neuer see Him to thy comfort nor saluation.

Therefore if He say to thee, and if Hee promise, Hee vvill giue thee Heauen, beleeue it, and lay holde on it, although thou vverest dying: and if Hee say to thee, that Hee vvill giue thee life, de­pend and sticke by His promise.

Thou honourest thy GOD in beleeuing and depending on His promise: for thou canst not doe Him greater honour, than to beleeue His promise.

And albeit thou see litle appearance outvvardly, and if thou be­leeuest the vvorde, vvithout doubt, thou shalt get a sight of Him one day to thy comfort and endlesse consolation.

Depend and waite on patiently with Abraham, and euer sticke and lay holde on the promise, and I promise to thee in His Name, beleeue the promise of life, and thou shalt see life: beleeue in Him, and thou shalt see Him one day.

Blessed are they vvho beleeue in Him, and yet see Him not: blessed are they who walke by Faith: for one day they shall vvalke by sight. Striue to beleeue in His vvord, and looke on Him, and Heauen and earth shall perish, ere thou wantest that sight of [Page 316] Him one daye. Yet I maye not passe by the vvordes of IOHN: I see in him a wonderfull plainnesse, and singlenesse of heart: which of vs will bee contented that another registrate our faultes, that anie other might reade them. This man sinned this waye, and that waye? Then, who will write vp his owne faultes, with his owne handes, as hee does? Hee sayes, hee was ignorant. So then, if there were none other argument to tell vs, that this Booke is dy­ted by the SPIRITE of GOD, and that it is the worde of GOD, this singlenesse of vvryting their owne faultes without affection or selfe-loue, which euer woulde entise vs to honoure our selues, telles vs sufficientlie.

But naturallie, rather than thou haddest thy Parentes, or thy kinsfolke ashamed, thou wouldest rather haue GODS glorie and justice smoothered and defaced. But see if MOYSES spa­red to register the faultes of LEVI, of vvhome hee was descen­ded: see if hee spared? AARON: See if hee spared himselfe: No, hee telles his owne fault, hee telles his owne infidelitie. And a­gaine, see if DAVID spares himselfe: settes hee not downe his owne adulterie, and murther? IOHN registrates his owne igno­rance. Let GOD bee glorified, and all creatures ashamed: for, to that ende were wee created: for except Hee had respected His owne glorie, wee shoulde neuer haue beene made. Shoulde vvee not then seeke His glorie, although it were with our owne shame? IOHN learnes vs heere another good lesson, howe often soeuer vvee faile through ignorance: (Alas, vvee faile often through igno­rance and misbeliefe, and ignorance bringes on infidelitie.) And therefore, vvhensoeuer vvee faile through ignorance, laye not the blame of thy blindnesse vpon the Scripture: In paine of thy life say not, I am ignorant, because the Scripture is obscure and darke, as the Pope & his shauelings blasphemouslie alleadge: but I affirme, that it is so perfect, that all thinges appertaining to thy saluation are contained therein. And I say in despite of the Pope, thou vvho sayest it is obscure, one day thou shalt not bee challenged so much for thine ignorance, as for thy blasphemie against GOD, when thou vvilt stande vp, and saye, The Scripture of GOD is not perfect, but obscure and vvanting: I tell you, one daye these blasphemers (for all their out-crying) shall haue their mouthes sowed vp, and they shall make an offer to speake, and to saye. The Scripture of God was not perfect: but the conscience of them shall [Page 317] so strike them with feare and terrour, that they shall not be able to answere one word. Woe to them that impaire the authoritie of the Scripture: wee may pingle with them a while here, but wee remit them to that great day, that the Iudge appeare, and then they shall receiue their reward for their blasphemie. But to leaue them, What are these Scriptures that preach CHRISTS Resurre­ction from the dead? In what part is His Resurrection foretolde? In the 13. of the Actes Paul preaching of Christ, he confirmes it by the olde Scriptures: The first Scripture is out of the 55, of Esay, verse 3.24. Where He sayes, Hee will make an euerlasting couenant with you of the sure mercies of Dauid: Then he concludes, Therefore it behooued the Lord to rise from death: Marke the consequent: No, there is not such a thing, as that euer mercie had continued, if Christ had not risen. The Apostle sayes in the 2. Epistle to the Corin­thians, the first CHAPTER, and the 20. VERSE, In Him are all the promises of God, Yea, and Amen, No, thou, or I should neuer haue had Faith, nor any spirituall grace, if Christ had not risen: So, so oft as euer thou feelest a sponke or motion of that spirituall life within thee, thou mayest say, I am sure, that Iesus is risen from the death: for this is sure, all grace and life flowes from the life of Iesus. So, if Hee had not risen, thou shouldest haue had no life. He hath another Scripture, out of the sixteenth Psalme, at the tenth verse, Thou wilt not leaue my soule in the graue, neither wilt suffer thine Holy One, to see corruption. Then hee concludes, therefore Hee is risen. How followes this? It followes well enough, for if He had not ri­sen, His body behoued to rot, and to be corrupted, as ours rotte. And Peter in the second Chapter of the Actes, and verse 31. vses the same testimonie: Likewise in the fiftie three Chapter of Esay, and the 8. verse, where he prophecies of Christ, he sayes, And who is able to count His generation: for all His death He is that euerlasting Essence: meaning, that albeit Hee died, Hee shall rise to life without end.

There is another Scripture, Then they should haue beleeued without sight: But, alas, who is carefull to get this knowledge of this Re­surrection: and if we had a care to seeke Christ, wee would turne ouer these olde Scriptures, to see the prophecies of Christ to come, & then we would come to the New Testament▪ to see these things accomplished, & so wold meditate in ye Scriptures, night & day, to cōfirme our faith, & to get our hearts set & stablished on the [Page 318] LORD: for it is a matter of great difficultie, to get the heart esta­blished with grace: and if thine heart bee not established and fil­led with that worde, thou wilt neuer see CHRIST, nor gette anie grace in Him. So to ende this: I beseech you, as euer yee woulde see CHRIST, bee diligent to seeke the Scriptures, that yee maye settle your heartes heere vpon Him, and beleeue in Him, that heereafter yee maye see Him to your comfort and consolation at His seconde comming, when Hee shall appeare in the cloudes, with the millions of Angels: To Him bee glorie for euer, Amen.

THE XXXIII. LECTVRE OF THE RESVRRECTION OF CHRIST.

MARKE CHAP. XVI.

verse 9 And when Iesus was risen againe, earlie the first day of the weeke, hee appeared first to Marie Magdalene, out of whome hee cast seuen de­uils:

IOHN CHAP. XX.

verse 11 But Marie stoode without at the sepulchre, weeping: and as shee wept, shee bowed her selfe into the sepulchre,

verse 12 And sawe two Angels in white, sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feete, where the bodie of Iesus had layen.

verse 13 And they saide vnto her, Woman, why weepest thou? Shee said vn­to them, They haue taken away my Lord, and I knowe not where they haue layed him.

verse 14 When shee had thus saide, shee turned her selfe backe, and sawe Iesus standing, and knewe not that it was Iesus.

[Page 319] verse 15 Iesus saieth vnto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whome seekest thou? Shee supposing that hee had beene the Gardener, saide vnto him, Sir, if thou hast borne him hence, tell mee where thou hast layed him, and I will take him away.

WEE haue heard (Brethren) before, first of the out-comming of the first companie of women to the graue of the Lorde, and of their returning home againe: Secondlie, vve heard of the out-comming of the second companie of women, and their retur­ning home againe. Thirdlie, and last of all, we heard how Peter and John, beeing wakened with the tidinges which the women tolde them of His Resurrection, came out to the graue, to see if it was so, as the women had reported: They ranne, and in run­ning, they striue who shall bee first: Iohn out runnes Peter, (whether it was because hee was younger, and more able in his person, or whether hee had greater joye in his minde, I leaue that to anie man to judge) and comes first to the graue, and lookes in, and goes backe againe. Peter comes after him, and lookes better about him, and seeing the winding-sheete in one part of the graue, and the lin­nen cloth, wherewith the Lordes head was wrapped, to bee in an­other part, hee wonders at it, and thereafter goes into the graue. Then came IOHN againe, who afore onely looked in: and nowe the seconde time enters in, and when hee sawe, hee beleeued, and went his waye. Thus farre wee hearde the last daye.

Nowe in this Text, ye will see, MARIE MAGDALENE, of whom yee hearde before, who came to the graue of the LORD, with the first company: and drawing neare to the graue, saw that great stone remooued: who hastilie ranne home, thinking verilie, that the bo­die of the Lord had beene stollen awaye, and wist not where it vvas layed. This same MARIE, as appeares, hath followed after Peter and Iohn, suppose shee ranne not with them, yet shee came soone after: but before shee came, they had gotten the sight of the graue, and went awaye: shee comming to it, goes not in, but stands with­out, at the graue vveeping. So this daye vvee returne to the Histo­rie of MARIE MAGDALENE: and first, vve shall speake of her mour­ning: And secondly, wee shall speake of these thinges which shee sawe in the graue, and about the graue, and how shee met with the LORD, [Page 320] for whom she mourned: and last, wee shall speake of the effect that followed vpon these sights, as GOD shall giue the grace, and as the time shall permit. Then to beginne at the first: it is saide in the Text, Marie Magdalene stood without weeping, when she came to the graue. She enters not in the graue, nor lookes not into it, but abode in that opinion, that the body of the Lord, was stollen away, she stands without, weeping and mourning. Nowe certainely, I must ascribe this to a wonderfull loue of this woman: there is no man that can expresse sufficiently this loue, that she bare to Christ: No, well were wee, if wee could loue Him halfe so well, as she did. Yet in this mourning, shee sinneth, for all her loue, her mourning passed measure: No, yee will not finde scarcely in all the Scripture such a mourning as was in this woman: she mournes too much & almost desperately for the body of the Lord: she mournes in vaine, where there was no cause of mourning, but cause of joy. The ground of all this mourning was ignorance and forgetfulnes: she had forgotten that which He had tolde her, that He should rise againe the third day: shee remembred not, but the third daye mis­sing the body, she thinkes it to be stollen away. Marke this: The godly, when they thinke they doe best, they are oft miscaried with their owne affections, they are mourning for Christ, and also louing Christ, and yet in the meane time they are sinning against Him. The ground of this in them, is ignorance and forgetfulnes of the promises of the Lorde, so that if yee would looke into that word, ye need not be ignorant concerning God: & if thou mour­nest for ignorance, blame thy selfe, thou lookest not to the worde: for if thou lookest into this word, and mournest, thou hast forgot, as Marie Magdalene did: and therefore thou deseruest to be casten in a perplexitie. Yet to consider this somewhat better: First, when she came out to the graue, shee ranne home, and seeing the stone rolled away, she tells false tithings, and shee once conceiues a false opinion. Novv she stands, and abides in this opinion, and vvill not goe in to the graue, but stands without the graue, and mournes desperately for a time. Well, Brethren, after that once a vvrong opinion & conceit enter into the head of any, it is not lightly re­moued againe: thou mayest conceiue it lightly, as Marie Magda­lene did: but thou shalt not lay it downe so lightly: Beware of opi­nions concerning God, & religion: & ere euer thou suffer an opi­nion to enter into thine head, consider it in the beginning: had she [Page 321] considered it well, shee had not beene ouer-come with it nowe. Therefore, let not opinions concerning GOD, Religion, and that Life to come, lightlie enter into your heades. Nowe at last she bowes her bodie, & goes in to the graue. When she hath gone forwarde for a season in this vaine displeasure▪ at the last the Lorde bowes her heart: for if she had not bowed her heart, she should neuer haue bowed her bodie, to haue looked in to the graue: Marke the goodnesse of the LORDE towardes His owne: when they haue gone forwarde a while in their owne perplexitie, the LORDE lookes vnto them, and will not let them goe on so desparatelie to destruction: but Hee wiil bowe thine heart first. The first grace is not the giuing to thee the thing thou see­kest, but the moouing of thine heart to seeke, is the first. No, Hee will not present Himselfe at the first before thee▪ but Hee will haue thee to bowe thy selfe to seeke Him. And it lyes not in the handes of anie bodie to bowe himselfe to seeke Him: No, as life is of mercie, so seeking of life is of mercie: And if thou gettest an in­clination to seeke Christ and Heauen, that is the first grace: and He that hath g [...]uen thee the fi [...]st grace to seeke, without doubt Hee will also giue thee the seconde to finde Him.

Nowe shee lookes in to the graue, and her looking in is not in vaine, for looking in, shee seekes; and seeking, shee findes: And marke what shee findes; she findes not a dead bodie, as she thought (shee woulde haue beene glad to haue founde it) but shee sees two gloriou [...] Angels, sitting in the graue, clothed in bright rayment, the one where His head had layen, and the other where His feete had layen. So our lesson is this, Bowe thy bodie, and thou shalt see, seeke and thou shalt finde: yea, I s [...]y to thee, if thou wilt bowe thy bodie to seeke, thou shalt get greater thinges than thou seekest. MARIE sought but Christes deade bodie, and shee findes Angels, bearing witnesse that Hee was risen. So in a worde: Seeke, and thou shalt finde greater thinges than euer thou soughtest. Alas, wee w [...]nt grace, for fault of seeking: And I testifie this, that the worlde wantes grace and saluation for fault of seeking, for their hea [...]te, cannot bowe downe to seeke. Nowe what sees shee? Shee sawe Angels. Peter and John saw something also: but what sawe they when they went to the graue? They sawe but a winding-sheete, lying in one place of the graue, and a kerchiefe in another: but MARIE sawe not this onelie, which might haue witness [...]d that the [Page 322] LORD vvas risen, and not stollen awaye: for if Hee had beene stollen, they vvoulde haue stollen the vvinding-sheete and the ker­chiefe also. Shee sees a fairer sight than IOHN and PETER did: MA­RIE that vvas a vvoman, sees a more glorious sight than two Apo­stles sawe: they see but linnen clothes: Marie sees two Angels: and in this, shee is preferred to the two Apostles. That vvhich I saye of her, I saye of all these vvomen, that they vvere preferred aboue the Apostles.

Marke this, yee that are vvomen: All your s [...]xe is honoured in these vvomen: The first and the seconde companie got the sight of Angels, which none of the Apostles got. And vvhen I consider this their preferment, I finde it standes in these two poincts chiefe­lie: First, they get the first reuelation: it is first tolde to them: and secondlie, it is not tolde to them by men, but by Angels. In both these the Apostles are postponed, they get it tolde them by vvo­men, and then they get it tolde them in the seconde rowme: So that all vvomen haue a prerogatiue in these vvomen. In this, That the LORDE giues this prerogatiue to this infirme sexe, Hee shames the Apostles: and that to this ende, that all glorie maye be giuen to GOD.

Yet I vvill not passe by the sitting of the two Angels: Nothing heere fell out rashlie, all vvas ordained, hee that vvas appointed to sit at the head of the graue, hee sate at the head: and hee that vvas appointed to sit at the feete, sate at the feete: So the LORDE appointed, that not onelie they shoulde speake vvith their tongue: but also by their placing, tell, that Hee was risen. And the An­gell of GOD that sate at the head vvoulde saye, Magdalene, heere is the place where his head laye, hee is risen. And the other that sate at the feete, vvoulde saye, Heere is the place where his feete laye, hee is ri­sen. It is euen so yet in the vvorld, they whom Hee sendes to teache, Hee disposes them so, that by their sitting, their going, and stan­ding, Hee will preach, and Hee vvill make their sitting to informe them, that Hee ordained to life and saluation: The Lorde vvorkes all for the weale of His Elect: yea, the least circumstance is for the weale and saluation of His owne.

Nowe to goe forwarde: Marie hath seene a faire sight: but stayes the grace heere? and thinkes the LORDE Hee hath done enough, because Hee hath let her see such a glorious sight? No, He will haue them also to speake: They both vvith one voyce, saye, [Page 323] Why weepest thou? When the LORDE beginnes once to bowe the heart, Hee vvill let thee see grace: yea, Hee vvill not let thee see onelie: but Hee vvill also let thee heare. Hee woulde not one­lie let her see dumme Angels, but Hee woulde haue them also to speake vnto her, that shee might heare joyfullie: When Hee hath once begunne, ere Hee leaue, Hee vvill fill all the senses vvith grace, Hee shall fill the eye with sight, the eare with hearing, and in the ende, Hee shall fill thine heart fullie with grace and mercie. Nowe what heares Marie? The Angels saye vnto her, Woman, why mournest thou? For, as shee looked in to the graue, shee vvept bitterlie, the teares went neuer from her eyes, nor the sadnesse from her heart, till the LORDE Himselfe saide, MARIE, why weepest thou? Marke the vvordes: The Angell no doubt re­jectes her, because shee wept without measure, and in vaine, be­cause shee thought that the bodie of the LORDE had beene stollen awaye: shee wept for Him who was liuing. But as the Angell reprooues her, so hee pitties her. Then, if thou weepe for the LORD, Hee shall cause the Angels of Heauen to pittie thee. Yet againe: What saye the Angels? They saye not, Woman, feare not, as they did to the rest of the women that came before: And why saye they not, Feare not? Shee was so ouer-come with displeasure, and so sadde hearted, that shee was not afraide of the Angels, and was not astonied, as the other women: for they had not so sad an heart as shee had: for her heart was so filled with sadnesse and dis­pleasure, that feare coulde not get place. The Angell sayes, Woman why mournest thou? because it was mourning that ailed her. The LORD giues alwayes medicine according to the sore: If thou bee sad, Hee will saye, Why mournest thou? The Angell applies the me­dicine, and stilles her. A mourning bodie for CHRIST woulde bee stilled: If thou weepest for CHRIST, suppose thou passe bounds, yet thou shalt not want stilling, though He should send his Angels to still thee: No, there was neuer any yt mourned for Christ, that wanted stilling: Nor there was neuer anie childe that got so sweete wordes to still them, as thou shalt get, who mournest for CHRIST. Then, Blessed are they (sayes CHRIST) that mourne, for they shall receiue consolation, Matth. 5.4. If thou mourne for the loue of the LORDE, thou shalt bee stilled and comforted, and blessed shalt thou bee one daye. Alas, this is a laughing worl [...]-woe vnto it, few men or women are nowe mourning wi [...] [...] [Page 324] Magdalene: alas, vvhat neede haue vvee of stilling: No, vvee are laughing, notvvithstanding of all th [...]se judgements that approach fast, and are neare at hand: they vvill cause vs all mourne one day: But vvhat sayes the Angells to her? Say they in an anger, Why seeke yee the liuing amongst the deade? Beholde the mercie of GOD to His children: she merited, if yee looke to her fault, to haue beene reprooued more sharply: shee forgot the vvord of our Sauiour, and she vvould not looke in to the graue, yet he reprooues her not: hee sayes not to her. Why seeke yee Him that is liuing amongst the dead, as the Angell spake to the other vvomen. This is our lesson in a vvorde: The LORD lookes not vvhat thou meritest but He lookes vvhat thou needest: Hee vvill not speake according to thy merite, but according to thy neede and necessi­tie: for if thou mournest for the LORD, Hee vvill minister comfort to thee: No, He wil not make a sorrowful heart more sor­rowfull: he is a cruel person that vvil do so: no, the Lord wil not do so He will not bru [...]se the brok [...]n reede▪ neither will He quench the smoaking flaxe▪ as it vvas prophecied of Him long before, Esay Chapter 42. and the third verse: But if thou bee sad, Hee vvill raise thee vp vvith such comfort, as cannot be tolde.

Novve to goe forvvarde: When they haue demanded: Why vveepest thou? [...]hee ansvveres without any feare: as their sight terrifies her not, so neither is she terrified vvith their voyce. What vvas the cause that shee feared not? and that at the voyce of the terrible Ang [...]lls shee is not mooued? Euen because her heart vvas ouercome and loadned vvith dolour and sadnesse, that there could be no place almost left to feare.

She sayes: They haue stollen away the body of the Lord, and I knowe not where they haue laid Him. What could she doe vvith it▪ & where­fore vvas shee so carefull? Shee tells vvhat shee vvould doe vvith it: sh [...]e sayes to Himselfe: I would burie it: nowe all this came of a su [...]passing loue: and therefore looke not so much to her doing, as to her loue. Learne at Marie Magdalene to loue the LORD, and shee may learne all the world.

This loue and zeale of GOD is almost out of the heartes of men and vvomen: and when I consider her great loue, I find it is more than any naturall affection, as father to sonne, or man to woman.

[...] [...]cept, there had come a force & vertue out of that body, [Page 325] she could neuer haue loued the Lord so well: No, except He loose our heartes with that loue hee beares to vs, wee cannot loue Him: but when once Hee looses thine heart, thou wilt hate thy selfe to loue Him: so what euer I discommend in her, I discommend not her loue: No, I shall neuer discommend loue, nor zeale in any per­son: Alas, we haue too litle of it, to discommend it: and I doubt not, but all these imperfections that vvere in her, were couered by the LORD IESVS whome shee loued. Our comfort is this, if we loue the LORD our GOD well, albeit wee had a thousand imperfections, they shall be couered with the mantle of the righ­teousnes of IESVS: yea, He shall meete thy loue vvith vn­speakable loue.

Thus farre for the sight, and hearing of the Angels: The Text sayes: assoone as shee had spoken, She turnes her about againe: Men would thinke this an vndiscreet behauiour, to stand and heare two Angels, and then like a vaine person, to turne her about. I will not excuse this altogether, but I impute this to the exceeding do­lour and sadnesse, wherewith their soule was loadned: there must be many faultes ouerseene in a sad person: I had rather beare with twentie faultes in such a person, as to beare with one, in a vaine person.

Now as she is speaking to the Angels: so the LORD comes neare toward her backe, and ere euer He came or shee savv Him, He touches her with a secret and powerfull presence of His Spirit: for I doubt not, as Hee came neare her, but His Spirit both turnes her about, and closes the mouth of the Angels: for He is the LORD both of man and Angell: and if He come, His presence must turne thee: and when Hee comes to speake, all the Angels must holde their tongue, and be dumbe. Yee knowe, that IOHN the BAPTIST vvas a great light before the LORD came, and many followed him: but vvhen CHRIST comes, IOHN closes his mouth, and as he sayes, Ioh. Chap. 3. vers. 29. It is the bride­groome that hath the bride: and I stand, sayes he, & heare Him, and hea­ring Him, I reioyce with an ioy vnspeakable and glorious: No, it is the greatest joy vnder the Heauen to heare Him speake, and if thou hearest Him, thou vvilt not desire to speake: shee turnes her, and shee sees IESVS standing vvhome she sought, shee sought Himselfe, and findes His Messengers, but at the last she finds Him­selfe. In a word, we haue our lesson: Seeke euer the Lord, thou will [Page 326] not get Him at the first: (Thou wilt not get a King at the first) for Hee hath Messengers afore: and wee His Ministers, are all His Messengers: and wee all tell you, and I tell you, that CHRIST is comming, and blessed bee that commer: I bidde thee stande a while, and then the LORDE shall come at thy backe: Happie and blessed art thou that shalt bee asking for Him: thou shalt get such a joyfull meeting as Marie Magdalene did: but woefull shall that meeting bee to thee, who delitest not to heare, nor to speake of Him: for Hee shall come vpon thee like a thiefe in the night. So, bles­sed art thou who art talking with His Messengers: for Hee shall call thee by name, as Hee did Marie, and that shall bee the joye­f [...]llest voyce that euer thou heardest. I saide before, that shee got a preferment aboue the Apostles, in getting a sight of the Angels: but that was common to her with the other women: Heere yee see fur­ther, she got a preferment aboue all women: shee gets the first sight of Iesus, as MARKE sayes, after His Resurrection. And this argues, that her desire to see Him exceeded the desire of all the Apostles, and all the women. So thou that longest moste for the LORD shall see Him first, and joyefull shall that sight bee to thee. Yet marke howe shee receiues it: Shee knowes Him not. This is a mar­ueilous thing: shee neuer left Him, but followed Him from GA­LILE: and yet when the LORDE offers Himselfe vnto her eyes, shee knowes Him not. This must bee imputed to that great stupiditie which was in her eyes, they were so dimme, that shee coulde not see. If the LORDE had anie secrete dispensation in it, or in what forme He appeared, I will not dispute.

Our lesson is this: There enters such a mist into our eyes, that suppose the LORDE offer Himselfe to bee seene in the vvorde, crucified, and glorified in His Gospell, yet thou vvilt not see Him, till the beames vvhich glaunce from His face, shine into thine hearte, and scatter that cloude of darknesse: and vvhen that cloude is awaye, thou vvilt see vvith such a sweetenesse, as cannot bee vttered: and thou who diddest neuer see that sight, thou neuer sawest joye.

Nowe blessed is that soule that can beholde the LORDE in the Mirrour, as it were comming behinde, and happie is that soule that can delite to see Him in the Mirrour: for certainlie they shall see Him one daye face to face, and the LORDE will turne them about, as Hee did Marie, and then these vile bodies, shall bee [Page 327] like vnto His glorious bodie; and that face, which is now but vile, shall then glaunce as the Sunne in the Noone daye. So blessed are they that can awaite till the LORDE come: Thou neuer met­test with one in this worlde, who can make thee so joyefull as Hee will: and euer the greater languor that thou hast for Him, the grea­ter shall bee thy joye. Alas, wee seeke joye heer, and there is but fewe who seeke CHRIST, in whome is all true joye.

Well, Marie knewe not the LORDE, but yet Hee knewe her: No, thou mayst wel forget Him, but He wil not forget thee: but He shall cause thee to knowe Him ere thou goe. Hee sayes to Marie, Woman, why mournest thou? At the first He lyes aloofe. He sayes not Marie, but like an vncouth man: Hee sayes to her, Woman, why mournest thou? Then Hee sayes not, I knowe thou weepest for mee: but Hee sayes, Why, weepest thou? Hee sayes not, I knowe whome thou see­kest: but, Whome seekest thou? So then at the first Hee holdes Him aloofe with His owne, Hee giues them not His familiar presence at the first: but as long as wee are heere on earth, His speach shall bee a farre off: As long as wee liue by faith, Hee lookes to vs as it were afarre off: And this speach is to waken a languor and piece of sadnesse in vs, till wee meete with the LORDE: for the more thou mournest, the greater shall bee thy joye. The Lord if Hee please, in an instant maye take thee to the Heauens, but Hee will let thee lye heere for a while, and the greater that thy sadnesse is in this life, the greater shall thy joye bee in the life to come. O, that joye which that bodie shall haue, who hath longed for the LORDE! Then, thinke long, and waite for that His bright and glorious comming, as Paul speakes: for no man shall get a crowne, but th [...]y who haue waited for Him.

Nowe I shall ende in a worde: Shee supposing that hee had beene the Gardener of the Garden where the LORDE was buried, shee saide vnto him, Sir, if thou hast borne him hence, tell mee where thou hast layed him, that J maye take him away [...]. Looke if shee loued Him not well when Hee was liuing, for in His death shee coulde not bee seuered from Him, so did the loue of IESVS constraine her. In the twentie and fourth CHAPTER OF MATTHEVV it is saide, Wheresoeuer a dead carkeis is, thither will the Eagles be gathered to­gether. Nowe shee is a Mirrour of loue and zeale. Alas, if thine heart coulde melt with loue as hers did. Yet I see in her a marueilous stu­piditie: Shee knowes Him neither by sight nor voyce, her heart was [Page 328] so ouer-come with dolour & sadnesse. And this senselessenesse that fell on good Marie Magdalene, will often-times fall on the best man or vvoman in this life, That, as the Prophet sayes, in hearing, they will not heare, and in seeing, they will not see. So all tendes to this: Let euerie one judge charitablie of another: Bee loath to con­demne anie, for as liuelie as thou art, thou mayest fall downe dead: and therefore waite on the LORDE, and the voyce of the LORDE shall come vnto thee, and call on thee, as Hee cal­led on Marie: and that voyce shall open both the eyes of thy bo­die, and of thy soule: and Hee shall let thee see and feele that it is Hee: and that joye shall bee compleate, vvhen thou shalt come and inherite that Kingdome which was prepared for thee before the foundation of the vvorlde. The LORDE graunt it maye bee our onelie joye, and that vvee maye holde vp our eyes, and vvaite night and daye for that blessed comming of IESVS, at the which time our joye begunne, shall bee perfected, and ne­uer haue ende. To this LORDE IESVS, vvith the Fa­ther, and that blessed SPIRIT, bee all Praise, Honour, and glorie, for euer and euer, AMEN.

THE XXXIV. LECTVRE, OF THE RESVRRECTION OF CHRIST.

IOHN, CHAP. XX.

verse 16 Iesus sayeth vnto her, Marie. Shee turned her selfe, and saide vn­to him, Rabboni, which is to say, Master.

verse 17 Iesus sayeth vnto her, Touch mee not: for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but goe to my Brethren, and say vnto them, I ascende vnto my Father, and to your Father, and to my God, and your God.

[Page 329] verse 18 Marie Magdalene came and tolde the Disciples that shee had seene the Lord, and that hee had spoken these thinges vnto her.

WEE heard these dayes p [...]st (beloued in CHRIST) howe that earlie in the morning, first one compa­nie of women came out of HIERVSALEM, to the graue of the LORD: and next after them another companie: Thirdlie, wee heard of PETER and IOHN, two of the Apostles, howe they came out to the graue of the LORDE, beeing stirred vp by the report of the women. And last, wee heard of the outcomming of MARIE MAG­DALENE to the graue of the LORDE the seconde time, follo­wing after the Disciples PETER and IOHNNE: after they vvere returned, shee comes againe to the graue: Shee offered not to looke in, but stoode mourning for a space vvithout, thinking certainelie, that the bodie of the LORDE had beene stollen a­waye: But at the last it pleased the LORDE to bowe her minde, and then shee bowed her bodie, and looked in to the graue, and sawe two Angeles, the one at the head, and the other at thee feete of the graue where our LORDE had layen, sitting, clothed in bright rayment: and when shee sawe them, shee vvas nothing afraide, as the other vvomen: shee vvas so filled vvith displeasure and sorrowe, and her eyes vvere so dimme vvith mour­ning, that shee coulde not see. The Angels aske her, Why weepest thou? Shee answeres them, They haue taken awaye the bodie of the LORDE, and I knowe not where they haue layed it. Yee vvill mar­uell at this: there is nothing in her minde, but the dead bodie of the LORDE: and as shee is not terrified vvith the sight of the Angels, so shee is not terrified vvith their voyce: and shee turnes her about from them: and finding Him standing beside her in His owne proper person: and the LORDE saide as the Angell had saide before vnto her, that is, Woman, why weepest thou? Hee calles her Woman; speaking strangelie: and Hee pro­ceedes further, and sayeth, Whome seekest thou? as though Hee had not knowne vvhome shee had beene seeking. MARIE sup­posing Him to haue beene the Gardener of that Yearde vvhere the LORDE vvas buried, shee sayes, Sir, if thou hast borne him hence, tell mee where thou hast layed him, that I maye take him vp, and burie him. Nowe, as saide is, there is nothing else [Page 330] in her minde but that deade body of Iesus, which is an argument that shee loued Him exceedingly, when Hee vvas liuing: I say, all that vvas in her vvas exceeding & vehement: in her was exceeding loue to the Lord, & exceeding vehement desire to see Him, & excee­ding displeasure for Him, & for stealing Him out of the graue, as she supposed: so that I may say, she vvas one of the violent ones, that Christ speakes of in the 11 of Matthew, that breakes vp Heauen: he sayes there, That violence is done to the Kingdome of Heauen, and the violent possesse it. She pulled Christ out of the handes of the Apostles and of the rest of the women, and vvent betvvixt them and Him: and therefore she meetes Him first, because she seekes Him before them. Thus farre we heard the last day: now we follow out the rest of the Historie, and that thing that followes of the communing betwixt the Lord and her: the Lord leaues her not so lying in ig­norance, & displeasure, but as He had before somewhat strangely and vncouthly talked with her: so now He comes on more home­ly, and Hee vtters a more kindely word, and He names Her by her name, Marie, Hee speakes nothing but one word but a well cho­sen vvord, an homely vvord, the vvord of a Pastor, of a shepheard: naming her by her ovvne name, as it is said in the 10. of Iohn, The good shepheard will name his sheepe by their name: this was a powerfull word, as will be seene by the effects that were wrought in her: she sawe not of before: it opened her eyes, to see, and her eares to heare: and in a vvorde, it opened all her dead senses. Marke this lesson: When the Lord hath spoken to vs for a time, as a stranger afarre off, as though He knew vs not: at last He will come on with an homely & kinde word, and He will let thee see, that He knowes thee by thy name, by thy face, by thine heart, and by thine actions: Read the 4. of Iohn, speaking to the woman of Samaria, He speakes to her at the first, as though Hee had not knowne her, but at the last He begins and tells her of all that she had done, and that shee was but an harlot lying presently in harlotrie: shee hearing that, shee vnderstands that Hee is a Prophet, and at last that Hee is Christ the Messias. Brethren, though the Lord speakes to vs afarre off, as a stranger that knowes vs not, and wee answere, as though we knew Him not: yet stay still, & heare on, and thou shalt heare one vvorde that shall doe the deede: thy effectuall calling will be performed with one word, it standes not in many words. When He will waken thee, one word vvill doe the deede. Yet to come to her, [Page 331] assoon as she hearest the word, she comes, & turnes her in an instant to Him againe: so it seemes, that shee had turned her from Him, as she did from the Angels that spake to her before: she sayes, Rab­boni: it is a Chaldaicke word, which in our language signifies Master, He speakes but one word, & she another: His vvord is a well cho­sen word, and so was hers: His word vvas homely: hers also vvas homely, His was the word of a Pastour: her word is the vvorde of one of the flocke, His vvord is the vvord of a Master, her vvorde is the vvord of an obedient disciple: and last His word is the word of povver to call her, His vvorde testifies his calling, and the effect of His povver. In this stands our calling, when the LORD names vs by our name, and speakes kindely to vs, and then we an­swere Him: We may not answere any way: No, thou must answere like one of the flocke, like one that knowes the voyce of the shep­heard: thou must answere like one that knowes the voyce of His Master: thou must answere like one that feelest the effect of His cal­ling. When the Lord speakes homely, if thou answerest homely, there shall be exceeding joy, this is it that vve call effectuall calling. The thing that I note, is this shortly: As long as the LORD speakes strangely to vs, we will heare Him strangely, and as long as Hee knowes not vs, wee will not know Him, if it vvere a thousand yeeres, wee will not knowe Him: and this lets vs see, that neither man nor woman can doe ought, except He preuent them with grace: if He loue thee not first, thou wilt neuer loue Him, 1. Iohn 4. and if Hee know not thee first, thou shalt neuer know Him: No, neuer a man will know the Lord, except He know them first: Hee sayes in the 4. Chapter to the Galathians, verse 9. Now seeing ye knowe God, then bethinking himselfe, hee sayes, yea, rather are knowne of God: and therefore thou shouldest say, Lord, loue mee, that I may loue thee, Lord, know me, that I may know thee, &c.

Now I go forward: When she hath vttered this word Rabboni, she goes forwarde to haue embraced Him in her armes: Hee meetes her, and sayes, Touch mee not, for I am not yet ascended to my Father: Some would maruell what mooued the Lord Iesus to stay that wo­man that loued Him so intirely, to touch Him. Wee will heare hereafter, how a whole companie tooke Him by the feete and ado­red Him, as ye may reade, Matth. 28 8. and the disciples touched Him, as ye may read in the 24. of Luke, and the 39. verse, & Thomas put his handes in His side, in this same Chapter, and it cannot bee [Page 332] saide, that these touched Him, after that Hee ascended vp to Heauen, that could not be possible: it is a maruell then, that Hee should be so strange to MARIE: I ansvvere to this, and I take mine ansvvere first, out of the reason, and next out of the com­mission Hee giues to Marie: for first, when Hee sayes to her, I am not gone vp to my Father, and therefore touch me not now the meaning is this in effect: it is not time for thee to touch mee nowe, till that time I bee in glorie, and then touch mee by the armes of Faith, as much as thou canst or mayest: yee must consi­der, that shee vvas too much addicted to His bodily presence, and shee thought that Hee should haue remained and dvvelt with her on earth, as Hee did before: and therefore Hee vvould not let her come neare Him, vntill Hee instructed her of a spirituall touching: that He was not to stay here, but to dwel with His Father in the Heauens: but after He hath instructed her, He lets her & the other vvomen touch Him as much as they vvould: This is the first answere: The other, I take it out of the commission He giues her: the commission was, to tell the disciples, and Hee vvilles her to tell hastely: and therefore Hee will not let her come neare to touch Him, vntill she haue done her commission

Now let vs marke somethings in Marie Magdalene: Yee read in the second Epistle to the Corinthians, the fifth Chapter, and the fourteenth verse, PAVL sayes, The loue of God constraines mee, that is, the loue of GOD binds vp mine heart, and hand, and all my senses. Novv vvould to GOD we could loue Him halfe so well, as he did: hee giues the reason: because Hee loued me, and died, and gaue His life for me: I vvill consecrate me to His seruice, & it is litle enough, thou shouldest doe so, seeing Hee hath bought thee, and then He defines the seruice: hee sayes now, I will know no man after the flesh, that is, for carnall respects, as for Countrie, land, kinred, or parentage. But I acknowledge them as new creatures, I will looke to the grace of regeneration: this is the seruice of Christ, & if I haue knowne CHRIST Himselfe after the flesh: yet I know Him no more: so, Hee had His friends, His kinred, and His Countrey as other men had: but since Hee is exalted aboue the Heauens: I will knowe Him no more, so I will compare Marie with Paul: a godlie man, with a godlie woman: she is like Him in this, that she loued the Lord exceeding well. He died to redeeme Paul, & therefore Hee loued Him exceeding well: shee loued Him, because [Page 333] Hee died for her: but when it comes to the seruice, Marie is not well learned: Paul touches Him by Faith in the Heauens: Marie lookes not to the Heauens, but she goes to embrace Him in her bodily armes: in this shee is behind, but she got better in­struction hereafter.

Marke this lesson: There are some men that will loue the Lord intirely: and yet when they come to His seruice, they will faile: for such is the grossenes of our nature, that we cannot incline to that spirituall seruice, which He chiefly requires. Papist [...]ie is full of this grossenes, they can doe nothing, if they want His carnall presence, either in Himselfe, or in a stocke, or a stone, or in a piece of bread: and therefore they dreame a bodily presence of Him in the Sacra­ment: all their Religion is earthly, no Spirit, no grace in it. But accepted the Lord of that grosse seruice of Marie that she offered: I am certaine, He loued Marie better than the Pope, & all his shaue­lings: yet for as well as He liked Marie, Hee likes not this her ser­uice: Hee sayes to her, Touch me not: then how will he like of that person, that Hee loues not so well, that delites in grosse and wilfull ignorance. The LORD keepe vs from such grosse seruice, and make vs to touch Him by Faith.

Another thing here: He will not suffer her to touch Him, before that she had gotten commission to her brethren. This lets vs see, if the LORD haue giuen vs a commission, He will haue vs doing it with speed, not beeing intangled with any thing: Paul sayes, in the second Epistle to Timothie, the second Chapter, and the fourth verse: No man that warreth, intangleth himselfe with the affaires of this life, because hee would please him that hath chosen him to be a souldiour: if the embracing of a person may hinder thee, doe it not: & if the sa­luting of a person in the journey may hinder thee, doe it not. Yee read in 2. Kings, Chapter 4. verse 29 Where the Prophet Elisha sends his seruant Gehazi to the Shunnamite, he sayes, Make haste Salute no man by the way, and if any salute thee, answere him not: and when Christ sends out His disciples, He bids them make hasle, and salute no man by the way, LVKE CHAPTER 10. VERSE 4. The LORD will not haue vs to decline neither to the right hand, nor to the left, if it were but a looke, if it may hinder thee in the Lords worke, doe it not. Paul receiued a commission, as yee may reade, Philip. Chapter 3. verse 13. he ranne so, that he neuer looked ouer his shoulder, but that hee forgot that which was behinde, and endeuoured to [Page 334] that which was before, till he had ended his course: Yee remember of the wife of Lot, how she was forbidden by the Lord, to looke backe to Sodome: she would not goe forward in her journey, but shee would looke backe againe, and therefore the Lord turned her in a pillar of salt: Hee would haue them speedie in His worke, and, Woe is them, that doe the worke of the Lord negligently, Ierem. 48.10.

Nowe, let vs come to the commission, He sayes to her, Marie, Goe and tell my brethren, Well, gets a woman the commission, where is Peter, & Iohn, and Matthew, and the rest of the Apostles? alwaies in the beginning, it is a woman that gets the commission. The last day, yee remember, I spake of sundrie preferments of women, that they gote before all men: they gote the reuelation of His Re­surrection before all men in the world, and not by men, but by glo­rious Angels: but Marie is preferred to all men and women in this, that shee first sees the Lord, and then shee gets a reuelation of the Lord, that the women got not: she gets the reuelation of His ascension, and yet there is more, she got it not to her selfe alone, but He sayes: Tell the Apostles, tell them, sayes Christ, I goe to my Father: So this is a speciall grace that women got, and especially, Marie, that was furthest casten downe, possessed with seuen de­uils. What should I say? The further thou be casten downe: the higher shalt thou bee exalted. But marke the wordes, Hee sayes, Tell my brethren. Notwithstanding of their sluggishnesse, notwith­standing they were offended in Him, yet Hee sayes, Tell my bre­thren. In the 22. Psalme verse 23. DAVID sayes, I shall preach to my brethren. The LORD accomplished heere that prophecie: heere Hee preaches to His brethren: ye read in Heb. 2.11.12. Hee that sanctifies, and wee which are sanctified, are all of one, that is, wee are of one common nature: and therefore He is not ashamed to call vs bre­thren: and therefore he brings in this place of the 22. Psalme, saying, J will declare thy Name vnto my brethren: the reason is this: Hee hath a common nature vvith vs, and therefore Hee is not ashamed of vs: marke it well. Nowe vvhen He is risen, He calles them bre­thren, and now vvhen Hee is in that passing glorie, the LORD is not ashamed to call vs brethren: if a man of small linage bee exalted in this world, hee vvill not knovve his father, or his mo­ther: But the LORD that is exalted aboue all the Angells, is not the prouder: Hee is also humble to His brethren, as euer Hee vvas in the earth: Hee is not ashamed to call vs poore wretches, [Page 335] His brethren, and sisters, that are heere in the earth: No, if thou bee not ashamed of Him first, Hee vvill neuer bee ashamed of thee.

Now to come to the commission, He sayes, Tell them: I goe to my Father, and to your Father, and to my God, and to your God: Tell them this: The commission that is giuen before by the Angells, telles that Hee was risen, but the commission that the LORD Himselfe giues to Marie, is of an higher degree of glorification: it is of His ascension: for, Tell them, sayes Hee, I goe to my Father, and to your Father, and to my God, and to your God: The LORD, vvhen Hee comes in proper person, brings euer a greater reuela­tion, than vvas of before: All the light that the Angels, Prophets, or IOHN the BAPTIST reueiled of Him, vvas but darknesse, in respect of that light that Himselfe brought. Likevvise, after His going to Heauen, the Apostles, the disciples, and Ministers: Ministers light to the end of the vvorlde: but in that great day, vvhen the LORD shall come, thou shalt see a greater light: thou savvest neuer light comparable to that light. It is hard for thee novve to beleeue, but sober thinges, but then thou shalt see great things (thou shalt haue no stoppe) euen thinges, that the eye hath not seene, neither hath entered in the heart of man.

Yet let vs vveigh the vvordes better: I goe vp to my Father: I goe not dovvne, let them not seeke mee in the earth: I haue beene in it, as PAVL sayes to the Ephesians, the fourth CHAPTER, and the ninth VERSE, Hee descended into the lowest partes of the earth: I goe nowe to the Heauen. The vvorde importes, that Hee vvas to leaue them, and that vvorde vvas sad to them, and to Marie, and they tooke it heauie. I goe, sayes Hee, to my Fa­ther, and to my God: Hee vvent not for His ovvne vvell to the Fa­ther, that the Father might communicate His glorie to Him: I goe, sayes▪ Hee, to my Father, and to your Father, and to my God, and to your God: This imports, that as Hee vvent to His Father for His ovvne glorie and vvel, so Hee vvent for their glory and vvell, and assoone as He should get that glorie, He should communicate it to them: and no doubt, this vvorde, your Father, and your God raised their heartes to follow Him: suppose our bodies bee heere, our heartes are in the Heauen, and vve are citizens there, albeit thy body vvere burnt, if thine heart be in the Heauen, thou art vvell, and if He had not gone to Heauen, neither had He gotten glory, [Page 336] neither had anie glorie beene communicated vnto vs: but Hee go­ing to that Father of glorie, as the Apostle calles Him, and so, as the first begotten of GOD, beeing filled with glorie, wee are made partakers of His glorie, as yee reade in the first CHAPTER of this Gospel of Iohn. The oyle yt was poured down vpon the head of AARON, stayed not there, but ranne downe to his bearde, his breast, his girdle, and the lowest partes of his garment: So the graces that were in Iesus Christ, our head, stayed not there, but flowed from Him, euen to the meanest of all His members. The Lord, who is full of grace giues euery one of vs a part here, and one day we shall bee all filled with grace and glory for euer and euer. Marke the wordes well: he calles Him first, Father, and then he calles Him God, which imports two natures in one person; The Father importes His God­head, and that he calles Him his God, it imports that He is man: so that these two wordes import that Christ is both God & man▪ bles­sed for euer. But marke the order: He sayes not, I goe to your Father, and mine: No, but to my Father, and your Father. Ere euer He be our Fa­ther, He must be His Father. Ere euer He be our God, He must bee the God of Christ, the man: for if it had not bene for the bloode of Christ, Hee had neuer bene thy God: thou hast that bought vnto thee with the bloode of Christ, wee come in vnder Christ our elder brother. Nowe when Marie hath receiued the commission, shee tarries no longer, howbeit shee was loath to depart from Him: yet because shee saw that it was His will, she obeyes. The godly would faine goe and dwell with the Lord: Paul sayes, I haue confidence in GOD, and J choose rather to remooue out of this bodie, and to dwell with GOD, 2. Corint. Chap. 5. Faine woulde the godlie soule bee with GOD: and suppose it bee pressed downe with sinne yet it breaks aye vpward toward the Heauens, to be with the Lord that this mo [...] ­talitie may bee swallowed vp of Life: for, as long as wee lye heere, vv [...]e liue vnder the burthen of sinne. So faine woulde the godlie bee with Him, yet seeing it is his vvill, that vvee bee Pilgrimes heere a vvhile, that our joye maye bee the greater, vvhen vvee mee [...]e vvith the LORDE, vvhome vvee haue longed for, vvee are contented for a time.

Now when Marie departs, what does shee? She tolde the D [...]sciples that shee had seene the LORDE. Shee is preaching, and telling, The LORD is going to heauen, to your Father and your GOD. Nowe Brethren, seeing vvee are Pilgrimes, let vs take heede vvee [Page 337] bee well occupied, and looke wee discharge our commission: for there is no man nor woman but they haue a commission: Thou that art a Preacher, preache both in time and out of time to His glorie: and if thou discharge thy commission faithfullie in thy cal­ling, then euen as Marie was welcome vnto Him againe, so shalt thou bee also welcome, when thou shalt meete with the LORD, and Hee shall accept well of thee. The LORDE enable vs to take heede to this, that seeing wee must remaine absent from our LORDE for a time heere, wee maye euer cast vs to bee vvell occupied, and walke carefullie in that calling that Hee hath pla­ced vs in: And then, when that the LORDE of Glorie shall appeare, whome wee haue serued in this life, our soules and bo­dies shall enjoye the full fruition of His presence in Heauen: To whome be glorie for euermore, Amen.

THE XXXV. LECTVRE, OF THE RESVRRECTION OF CHRIST.

MATTH. CHAP. XXVIII.

verse 9 And as they went to tell his disciples, beholde, Jesus also met them, saying, God saue you. And they came, and tooke him by the feete, and wor­shipped him.

verse 10 Then saide Iesus vnto them, Bee not afraide. Goe, and tell my Bre­thren, that they goe into Galile, and there shall yee see mee.

MARKE CHAP. XVI.

verse 10 And shee went, and tolde them that had beene with him, who mourned and wept.

verse 11 And when they hearde that hee was aliue, and had appeared to her, they beleeued it not.

[Page 338] BELOVED BRETHREN, these dayes past vvee haue heard first the Historie of Marie Magdalene, how shee returned home, and how shee came againe to the graue of her LORD, and of her mourning and weeping at the graue, of her looking againe in to the graue, of the sight of th'Angels meeting with her, of Christes wordes vnto her: first Hee spake aloofe, and afarre off vnto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whome seekest thou? Then Hee speakes homelie vnto her, calling her by her name, and sayes, Marie: Shee answeres Him, Rabboni: as Hee had named her home­lie, so shee answered Him homelie: Hee named her like a Master, and shee answered Him like a reuerende Disciple: Hee calles her as a Sheepehearde, and shee answeres Him as one of His flocke, knowing Him by His voyce, shee offers to embrace Him, but Hee preuentes her, and sayes vnto her, Touch mee not, for I am not ascen­ded to my Father: perceiuing her to bee ouer much addicted to His bodilie presence: before Hee will permit her to touch Him, Hee will haue her first to beleeue in Him, and to touch Him in glorie, by the hande of faith. Then Hee sendes her in commission, Goe to my Brethren, so calling His Disciples: A louing stile: Tell them of other tidinges than euer they haue hearde yet: They hearde of my Resurrection, but they beleeued not: but nowe I goe to the Hea­uens, to my Father, and to your Father, to my GOD, and to your GOD: And this is the commission: Marie receiuing it, shee ex­ecutes it, and runnes to the Disciples to tell them: and, as Iohn sayes, she preaches to them the thing that shee had heard of the LORDE. MARKE sayes, that when shee came to them, shee founde them weeping: This was a weeping time, but shortlie after followed a time of joye. This change of courses yee see in the worlde: for though thou bee wanton and laugh heere neuer so much, yet thou wilt weepe soone after: But wilt thou weepe and mourne heere for a while, when there is matter of mourning, thou shalt laugh and rejoyce shortlie afterwarde. Nowe when Marie findes the Apostles weeping and mourning, shee telles them, that the LORD is aliue: shee confirmes it that Hee spake, and sayes, shee sawe Him with her eyes, But howe takes the Apostles with this commission? They remaine faithlesse for all that she could say: they would not beleeue her: No, it is an hard matter to beleeue the Ar­ticle [Page 339] of the Resurrection, That a man that is dead can rise againe, and take life: fleshe and blood will neuer dite this vnto thee, that one that is dead can liue againe. The women vvho vvere more simple, and not so vvise in vvorldlie vvit, as the Apostles vvere, are more readie to credite the Resurrection than the Apostles, vvho vvere strong, according to the fleshe. The Resurrection is harde to be beleeued of anie man: but this is sure, The Resurrection is har­dest to bee beleeued of them, vvho are vvisest in this vvorlde: No, hee that hath this worldlie vvisedome, hee countes these Heauen­lie and Spirituall thinges but follie, till hee bee made a foole, that hee maye bee made wise, as the Apostle PAVL speakes, 1. CORIN. CHAP. 3. VERS. 18. That is, till hee renounce this worldlie wise­dome, hee shall neuer beleeue these Spirituall thinges. When I consider the wordes of MARKE, I finde manie faultes in the Disci­ples: They were lying mourning: this vvas a vaine mourning: What cause had they of mourning for Him whome they thought vvas dead, but yet vvas aliue? So they had matter of joye, and not of mourning. And from vvhence proceeded this mourning? First, they vvere ignorant of the Scriptures, which had foretolde that he shoulde rise againe: Then, they had forgotten the vvorde vvhich the LORDE had spoken vnto them, That hee shoulde die, and rise a­gaine the thirde daye: Yet there is vvorse in them than this: The first companie of vvomen, vvho tolde them of CHRISTES Resur­rection, they woulde not beleeue them: Then the next companie comes, neither woulde they beleeue them one vvorde. And last, MARIE came, vvho not onelie met vvith the Angels, but also vvith the LORDE, and receiued a commission: and yet they vvoulde not beleeue her, notwithstanding shee tolde them that she had seene Him. So there is not onelie an vnbeliefe, but a stiffenesse in them. So that if yee will count these faultes, their dolour is first without comfort, and secondlie an ignorance of the Scriptures, and thirdly, a forgetfulnesse of the worde of the LORDE: and last, there is an infidelitie, that they would neither beleeue the wo­men, who came from the Angels, nor MARIE, that came from the LORDE, and sawe Him, and spake with Him: So that they are as new to enter to learn, as though they had neuer seen nor known Christ. Yet there was some good thing in them, for certainly, how­beit the dolour came of ignorance, forgetfulnesse, and incredulitie, yet I am sure of this, that the loue which they carried towardes [Page 340] CHRIST caused them to mourne, for if they had not loued Him, they had not mourned for Him. No, there was none of the High Priestes that wet their cheekes for His death. So of necessitie, loue caused them to mourne for Him. And this sponke of loue, that was couered & kept down afore, in end it brake out, & burnt thorowe all their imperfections. It is a wonder to see howe the LORDE will keepe in a sponke of grace vnder an hun­dreth imperfections. And this shoulde make vs to bee loath to judge, and to giue out sentence: for all the euill that wee see in anie, it maye bee that the LORDE will let thee see, that there was some sponke of grace in that man couered; which sponk will breake out in its owne time.

Nowe I haue ended the Historie of MARIE MAGDALENE, who loued the LORDE so well, and so entirelie. In the words following, to wit, in the Gospell of MATTHEVV, there are two discourses: The first is, of the two companies of women, at their turning home againe: as they met with the Angels afore, nowe they meete with the LORDE Himselfe: In the next discourse, wee haue a piece of an Historie of them that were set to keepe the graue, who returned to the Scribes, and to the High Priestes vvith these same tidinges, Hee is risen againe. Nowe I shall goe thorowe this daye the first discourse, and piece of Historie, as GOD shall giue vs grace. Then to returne to the women: It is saide, that as they returned home, The LORDE met them: but Marie was returned before these women came foorth: shee had met with CHRIST, and returned home againe. This company meetes with the LORDE as they returned homewarde. Ye will per­haps aske, what was the cause that Hee met with Marie Magdalene? No doubt this was the cause, She loued Him best, shee loued Him aboue them all, and shee had the greatest languor to see Him, and shee rested neuer, till shee had seene Him, and met with Him. What was the cause that these women sawe Him afore the Apostles? No question their languor to see IESVS, was next to MARIE: The Apostles languor was last, and therefore they got the last sight of Him. Nowe the lesson is easie: Thou that longest moste for the LORDE IESVS, shalt see Him first, with MARIE MAGDALENE: A man will thirst for earthlie thinges, and bee disappointed of them: but it is vnpossible, if thou thirst for CHRIST, and to see thy LORDE, but thou shalt see Him: [Page 341] So, Blessed are they that hunger and thirst for righteousnesse: for they shall be satisfied, Matth. Chapter 5. verse 5. So, if thou vvouldest see CHRIST, first, long for Him (and thou shalt neuer get that blessednesse, till thou seest Him) Then, if thou canst not be the first, in care and desire to see Him vvith Marie Magdalene, yet bee next in care vvith the rest of the vvomen: and if thou canst not attaine to the first, nor second, looke that thou be in the third roome, at least, that thou long vvith the Apostles, and thou shalt get the thirde sight: for blessed are they that get any sight, yea, the last sight: Blessed are they that come either first, or last to Heauen, but thinke not, that this dravving neare of ours, to Him, is the cause that Hee dravves neere to vs: No, if Hee drevve not neare vnto vs first, vve vvould neuer thinke of Him, let be to dravv neare vn­to Him.

So, Brethren, the cause vvherefore our heartes doe dravv neare vnto the LORD, is not in vs, but in Him, because He thirstes for vs, and dravves vs vnto Him: and vvouldest thou haue an ar­gument, that the LORD is neare vnto thee: looke if thine heart dravves neare vnto Him, and if thou findest thine heart longing and thirsting for Him, then the LORD is neare vnto thee, and Hee is present with thee: and if thou findest no sense nor feeling of Him in thine heart, nor no desire of Him, nor no languour for His presence, in the vvhich is sacietie of joy: and if thou haue no languour, bee sure, the Lord is farre from thee, for if Hee be farre from thee, albeit thou hadst all the world about thee, thou art but a miserable body.

When Hee meetes vvith these vvomen, Hee is not dumbe, and Hee speakes not to the eare only, but also to the heart, He sayes, God saue you: the word in the own language would be wel marked, it signifies rejoyce: Is not this a great thing, that Hee that hath joy to giue thee, should bid thee rejoyce: and no doubt, it was an effectuall vvord, and it made them to haue joy vnspeakable. A man when Hee bids thee, rejoyce, hath no power to worke joy in thee, but the LORD is joy it selfe: who hath joy to giue? but the LORD Himselfe? or who can giue peace, but the LORD: assoone as He drawes neare to any person, and giues His presence to Him, to ye end that His presence may worke, He giues a joyful word: the word of the Lord is of power, as Paul sayes, Rom. 1.16. The Gospell is the power of GOD vnto saluation, vnto euery one that beleeueth: So, if [Page 342] thou contemnest this word, that bids thee rejoyce, thou shalt get no portion of that grace that is with Him: so this word is the on­ly minister that ministers joy to the soule: all the thinges in the world, shal neuer minister joy to the soule that is afflicted. Whē He hath spoken this word (and no question it was very effectuall) they are so filled with joy, that they tarie not to make answere, but they fell dovvne at His feete, And embrace Him by the feete, and adore and worship Him, as Thomas did, vvhen hee put his hande in His side: he said, Thou art my Lord, and my God, IOHN Chapter 20. verse 28. Hee refuses not this honour, because Hee vvas their LORD and GOD. Yee see heere, how effectuall the presence of the LORD is, albeit it were but one worde, Reioyce: the povver that is in that worde, workes such a joy in the heart of a sinner, that the poore sinner must meete Him: the LORD cannot meete thee, but if thou feelest that joy, but thou must meete Him againe, and striue to haue Him in thine armes: No, svvord, nor fire, nor hun­ger, nor nakednesse, nor nothing can separate thee from Him, if thou feelest Him in thine heart, but thou must meete Him againe, and cleaue fast to Him. The feeling of this joy, which is through the presence and worde of GOD, mooues vs to desire to em­brace Him, and makes our conjunction vvith Him, vvhereupon arises our joy againe, farre greater than before: The joy that wee haue novv, is but by Faith, and a farre meeting, as farre as is be­tvvene the Heauen and the Earth: yet sayes Peter in his first Epistle, the first Chapter, and the eight verse: Wee not seeing Him, but beleeuing in Him, reioyce with a ioy vnspeakable and glorious. So, be­leeuing in Him, vvee finde joy: but vvhen thou shalt see Him face to face: (Alas, lookest thou not for this) then thorovv thy conjunction with Him by sight, there shall be praise, honour, and glory for euer: No, such shall bee thy joy, as eye neuer savve, eare neuer heard, nor neuer could enter into the heart of man: thou shalt vvonder vvhen thou seest it, that euer there could bee such joy prepared for thee: and therefore measure it not by thy capa­citie.

Yet this vvould not be passed by: They goe not to His throat, to His necke, or to His middle: but they fall dovvne, and takes Him by the feete, and vvorships Him. Marke it, Brethren: a sinner vvill be homely indeede vvith his God, vvith CHRIST: No, there vvas neuer a creature so homely vvith another, as the [Page 343] sinner vvill be vvith the LORD. But marke it: This homelines vvill not be vvith misnourturnesse, and vvith an opinion of paritie: albeit thou wilt bee homely with Him, as with thy brother: yet thou mayest not make thy selfe as companion to Him, and count lightly of Him, but thou must be lowly, thine head must be reue­renced: Hee is our Head, Ephes. Chapter. 1. verse 22. If therefore wee ought to reuerence Him: for He is in a wonderfull sublimitie, and highnesse, aboue His Church: and as this is true, that the soule which is joyned with Him in this life by Faith, sees in Him such a Majestie, that it stoupes before Him: so much more vvhen wee shall see Him face to face in glorie, and His Majestie fully re­ueiled, wee shall reuerence Him, and in humilitie fall at His feete, singing, Holy, Holy, Holy, as yee haue in the sixt Chapter of Esay, and in the Reuelation. Nowe to goe forward: While they are sitting at His feete, the LORD speakes to them, and suffers them to feele Him: and all to this ende, that they might beleeue Hee was risen, and liuing, Then He sayes to them, Feare not: this encouragement importes, that notwithstanding all their embracing of Him, and confidence, there vvas a piece of feare and lying backe in them: I will not commend it, because the Lord hath discommended it. It is true indeed, our joyning with Him by Faith, should be with such a confidence, that it should be without any feare or doubting, but with joy. This should be: but marke it againe: There is such an ho­linesse in that Majestie that we joyne with, there is no spot in Him, & then so long as we are here, there is such vncleannesse, & such an euill conscience in vs, that our Faith is joyned with doubting and feare: so that, if thou hast not a recourse to Him, no peace for thee, we will feare that that Holy one consume vs that are so vnholy: but the Lord who knowes thy feare, He comfortes thee: thou knowest not thine owne feare so well as the Lord does: thou feelest Him not so soone by Faith, but as soone He knowes thy feare and thine heauinesse, as Hee did the feare of the women, and Hee sayes to a sinner that faine would embrace Him: feare not, thou hast no cause of feare: My terrours haue taken thy terrours away: And as the Apostle sayes, Heb. Chapter 4. verse 16. Let vs goe boldly to the throne of grace, with confidence, that we may receiue mercie: & if thou hearest this voyce, thou mayest goe boldly, and He shall put away all te [...]rours and feare. But in that life to come when all matter of seare, as sinne and corruption of nature, is away, albeit vve shall see Him [Page 344] more clearelie, and bee conjoyned vvith Him more perfectlie, yet all feare shall bee taken awaye, for perfect loue castes out feare, as Iohn saieth in his first Epistle, Chap. 4. vers. 18.

Nowe to goe to the commission, Goe, and tell my Brethren, that they goe into Galile, and there shall they see mee: They woulde see mee: bid them goe before mee into Galile, and there they shall see mee. There is heere then a commission giuen vnto the vvomen to the Disciples: There was afore a commission sent vnto the Disci­ples by the Angels: First, of a companie of vvomen, and after­warde another companie: and next, MARIE was sent from the Lorde Himselfe. Nowe Hee sendes a newe commission, to tell them, that Hee was risen, yet they neuer beleeued. Heere vvee see a marueilous patience, in suffering their incredulitie so long. What King vvoulde haue had euer the tenth part of this patience. With this Hee joynes the louing stile, Tell my Brethren. Hee sayes not, Tell these sluggishe and faithlesse bodies. His patience is joyned with loue vnspeakeable. All the worlde cannot expresse the leni­tie and patience of the LORDE towardes His owne: though they shoulde bee neuer so vnbeleeuing, yet Hee calles them His Brethren. Wee shoulde studie night and daye to knowe that the LORDE loues vs: for our standing is not in our loue towarde Him, but in His loue towardes vs: and if thou finde thy selfe roo­ted in His loue, as the Apostle speakes to the EPHESIANS, thou shalt neuer bee separated thorowe anie occasion from that loue that is in CHRIST. Then againe, I see Hee hath a marueilous studie to gette them instructed. Hee sayes not, I haue sent manie alreadie, and yet they will not beleeue: No, Hee sendes euerie companie after another till they beleeue, and till faith be wrought in their heartes. What meanes all this care to instruct them? The Lorde was to sende them foorth to teach others, and therefore all His studie is, (before they instruct others,) that they might beleeue themselues. No, if the Lorde sende thee to tell of His Death, His Resurrection, and Ascention to the Heauens, and of His comming againe to Iudgement, He will haue a care that thou be instructed, and that thou beleeue that which thou deliuerest vnto others. No, I will not giue a pennie for a Minister that hath no assurance, no feeling, nor no sight of the death and Resurrection of CHRIST, and that will stande vp, and speake to the people of GOD. Be­sides this patience, this loue, and this care that Hee hath to instruct [Page 345] them who are to bee employed in His seruice, Hee shewes a mar­ueilous wisedome in humbling them thorowe the teaching of the women: And therefore Hee will not sende an Angell vnto them, but infirme women, to schoole them, and shame them: and how­beit the commission beares not this in expresse wordes, yet Hee will haue the women to saye in effect, Fie vpon you, yee are slug­gishe bodies, yee shoulde haue taught vs, and not wee you. This is it that the Apostles shoulde haue vnderstood: They vnderstoode His wonderfull wisedome, Hee was to sende them to the worlde. He was carefull to instruct them, He sendes not Angels to schoole them, but women, to learne them humilitie, that they neuer for­get this, that they were schooled in the schoole of women: for as it is required that the seruantes of GOD haue knowledge and a perswasion, so they must haue humilitie, or else they cannot bee faithfull Preachers. Nowe one worde, and so I shall ende, Bidde them, sayes Hee, goe to Galile: Hee sayes not, Goe to Hierusalem: No, the LORDE had turned His backe on Hierusalem: for these who contemned Him when Hee was humbled in the fleshe, the LORDE will dispise them when Hee is glorified. Woe to them whome Hee forbiddes His seruantes to goe vnto: Woe to vs, if Hee saye once, Goe not to EDINBVRGH: Woe is them, and woe to that Towne where the Lorde forbiddes His Messengers to goe. Beware of this, that the Lorde saye not to His Messenger, Goe to the North or South, but goe not to EDINBVRGH, for then shall wrath and destruction light vpon it. What confusion and de­struction lighted vpon Hierusalem, after that the Lord had once tur­ned His backe vpon it? Yet sayes the Lorde, Bid them goe to Galile, and there they shall seeme: They beleeued not others, who tolde them of mee, but there I shall speake vnto them mine owne selfe. This is the great mercie of the LORDE towardes His Disciples, vpon whome the LORDE shoulde neuer haue looked, if Hee had re­spected their infidelitie: but albeit they were vnfaithfull, yet Hee remained faithfull and mercifull: for Hee coulde not denie Him­selfe, but where there sinnes abounded, there His grace sur­mounted aboue them all: for, as the APOSTLE sayes, Where sinne abounded, there grace abounded much more. Now al the world was full of sinne when Christ came, yet grace superabounded. Now this was a meeke dealing with them, that they shoulde see mercie aboue their sinnes, to this ende, that they shoulde by experience teach others: [Page 346] for hee that feeles both miserie and mercie, is the best teacher in in the worlde. So beeing to sende them to teach others, Hee lets them finde grace to superabounde. PAVL, Roman. 5.20. sayes, Where sinne abounded, there grace superabounded. Reade the first Epistle to Ti­mothie, Chap. 1. vers. 13. there the Apostle sayes, J was a blasphemer, and an euill liuer, and a persecuter: this was his miserie: and if the LORDE had neuer looked to him, hee had neuer beene an Apostle, nor a Christian man. But what sayes hee thereafter? The grace of the LORDE IESƲS superabounded: and for as high and weightie as my sinne was, yet His mercie was greater, and it weighed it downe. So then yee see the LORDE cares for them that lye in miserie, to tell them of it. I tell you this daye, yee are lying in miserie, and Hee is carefull that the Preacher haue a sense both of miserie, and of mercie, to tell of the wrath of GOD, which is manifest from the Heauen vpon all impenitent sinners: And, if thou wilt repent thee, I assure thee, though thou vvere the greatest sinner that euer was, thou shalt haue mercie: and therefore, if thou hast gone long on in sinne, yet euen for GODS cause at last, take vp thy selfe: and I promise thee exceeding mer­cie in that bloodie Sacrifice of our LORDE and SAVIOVR IESVS CHRIST, who hath died both for thee, and mee, and all penitent sinners: To Him therefore, with the Father and Holie Spirit, bee all Honour and Glorie for euermore, AMEN.

THE XXXVI. LECTVRE OF THE RESVRRECTION OF CHRIST.

MATTH. CHAP. XXVIII.

verse 11 Nowe when they were gone, beholde, some of the watch came into the Citie, and shewed vnto the High Priestes all the thinges that were done.

[Page 347] verse 12 And they gathered them together, with the Elders, and tooke coun­sell, and gaue large money vnto the Souldiours,

verse 13 Saying, Saye, His Disciples came by night, and stole him awaye while wee slept.

verse 14 And if this matter come before the Gouernour to bee hearde, we will perswade him, and so vse the matter, that yee shall not neede to care.

verse 15 So they tooke the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is noysed among the Iewes vnto this day.

MARKE, CHAP. XVI.

verse 12 After that, hee appeared vnto two of them in another forme, as they walked, and went into the countrey.

LVKE, CHAP. XXIIII.

verse 13 And beholde, two of them went that same daye to a towne, which was from Hierusalem about threescore furlonges, called EMMAVS.

verse 14 And they talked together of all these thinges that were done.

verse 15 And it came to passe, as they communed together, and reasoned, that Iesus himselfe drewe neare, and went with them.

verse 16 But their eyes were holden, that they could not know him.

WEE hearde hitherto in the Historie of the Resur­rection of IESVS CHRIST, (Beloued in Him) of sundrie vvitnesses of His Resurrection: First Angels, and next vvomen: Namelie, MA­RIE MAGDALENE vvas the first that gotte the sight of Him after His Resurrection: and af­ter her, other vvomen gotte a sight of Him also, and a direction to His Disciples, to assure them, that Hee vvas risen againe.

Nowe in this TEXT vvhich vvee haue read out of the Gospell of MATTHEVV, vve haue a piece of Historie of another sorte of vvitnesses, that testified of the Resurrection of IESVS; euen of the men of vvarre, who were sent out to watch the graue: they came not to the Disciples, but to the High Priestes, and t [...]ey te­stifie vnto them of the Resurrection of IESVS. Then, in the Historie vvritten by MARKE and LVKE, vvee returne to the true vvitnesses, to vvit, two of them that vvere His Dis­ciples: [Page 348] Hee meetes with them as they vvere journeying from Ie­rusalem to Emaus, and thereafter these two tell the rest, that the Lord vvas risen. Now to goe thorow these two pieces of Histo­rie shortly, as God shall giue the grace, and as time shall permit: When the vvomen that had met with Iesus, had returned, Some of the souldiours that had watched the graue, returnes home to Ierusalem, to tell the things that had fallen out: but they came not to the place where the Apostles vvere, but to the place where the High Priests vvere, from whome they vvere sent, and they tell the Lord was risen.

The Historie is plaine: these witnesses are the souldiours that vvatched the graue: they haue not such a commission as the other witnesses had: they are not sent by CHRIST, nor by His Angels, but runne of their owne accorde: but yet they runne by the speciall prouidence of GOD: No doubt, His proui­dence directed them to the High Priestes, and not so much to in­struct them: for they vvere hardened, as to let them see, that they vvere disappointed of their expectation. They obtained of Pilate, to let men goe out and to keepe Him in the graue, and to haue smoothered His Resurrection, that it had neuer come to light and yet the LORD sendes these same men to Ierusalem, as witnesses of that resurrection, that they would haue smoothered, as if they had bene sent out by the High Priestes, to this ende, that they should be witnesses: they could testifie no better of it: the LORD turnes it about so, that they could doe no better, if the High Priests had hired and waged them, to be witnesses of His Resurrection. It is a vaine thing to striue with GOD, and to hide that thing, that Hee will haue brought to light: for hide it as thou vvilt, in despite of thee He shall bring it to light, to thy shame, that Hee may bee glorified.

Novve to speake what they testified: they testified the same thing that the vvomen had testified: they testified the trueth, they testified All that was done, that IESVS vvas risen: yet there is a great difference betvveene them, and the vvomen: when the vvomen vnderstood, that Hee vvas risen, they came home vvith joy, the men of vvarre came home vvith sadnesse, and vvith dis­contentment, and they preach this to them that were sad to heare it, and ashamed of it: they preach it not to the Apostles, as the vvomen did, but to the High Priestes.

[Page 349]Marke this Lesson: Looke how ye tell tythings: there are some that will make good tithings of euill tithings, and euill tithings of good, as they please, albeit they be neuer so good, if they be not contented with them, they vvill make them euill: but be they ne­uer so euill, if they be contented with them, they will make them good, and tell them vvith joy.

Bevvare hovv ye tell tithings of the Church of ENGLAND of FRANCE, or of GERMANIE, or of other partes. Looke when thou speakest of the prosperous estate of the Church, that thou speake it with joy: and vvhen yee heare that the Church is troubled, speake that not with joy, but vvith sadnesse: Thou that art not content vvith the prosperous estate of CHRISTS Church, thou vvouldest haue hid CHRISTES Resurrection, as the Scribes did: and if thou hadst beene liuing with them. So in a vvord: if the Church be sad, tell it vvith sadnesse, and if she