TEN SERMONS PREACHED

  • I. Ad Clerum. 3.
  • II. Ad Magistratum. 3.
  • III. Ad Populum. 4.

BY ROBERT SAVNDERSON Bachellor in Diuinitie, sometimes Fellow of Lincolne Colledge in Oxford.

1. Cor. 3.8.

He that planteth, and he that watereth are one.

LONDON, Printed for R. DAWLMAN, at the signe of the Bible in Fleet-street neere the great Conduit. 1627.

THREE SERMONS, AD CL …

THREE SERMONS, AD CLERVM: PREACHED AT THREE SEVERALL VISITATIONS AT Boston, in the Diocesse and County of Lincolne.

The Third now first published, By ROBERT SAVNDERSON, Batchel­ler in Diuinity, and somtimes Fellow of Lincolne Colledge in Oxford.

ROM. 14.19.

Let vs follow after the things which make for peace; and things wherewith one may edifie another.

LONDON, Printed by R.Y. for R. Dawlman, at the Signe of the Bible neere the great Conduit in Fleet-streete. 1627.

TO THE RIGHT REVEREND FATHER in God, GEORGE, Lord Bi­shop of London, my singular good Lord.

My good LORD:

I Had euer thought, the interest of but an ordinary friend, might haue drawne me to that, whereto the despight of a right bitter foe should not haue driuen me: till the Fate of these Sermons hath taught me my selfe bet­ter, and now giuen me at once a sight both of my Errour and Infirmitie. The improbitie of some good friends, I had out-stood, who with all their vexation could neuer preuaile vpon me for the publishing of but the for­mer [Page] of them: when loe, at length the rest­lesse importunity of hard censures, hath wrung both it, and the fellow of it out of my hands. So much haue we a stronger sense of our owne wrongs, than of our friends re­quests: and so much are we forwarder to iu­stifie our selues, than to gratifie them. How euer, if (by Gods good blessing upon them) these slender labours may lend any helpe to aduance the peace & quiet of the Church, in setling the iudgments of such, as are more either timorous than they need be, or contenti­ous than they should be: I shall haue much cause to blesse his gracious prouidence in it, who, with as much ease, as sometimes hee brought light out of darknes, can out of pri­uate wrongs work publike good. In which hope, I am the rather content to send them abroad: though hauing nothing to com­mend them, but Truth and Plainenesse. Yet such as they are, I humbly desire they may passe vnder your Lordships protection: whereunto I stand by so many deare names engaged. By the name of a Visitour; in respect of that Society, wherof I was of late a mem­ber: when founded by your Lordships [Page] godly Richard Flemming, and Thomas Ro­ther [...]am, Bi­shops of Lin­colne, Predecessors, hath had plentifull ex­perience of your Lordships singular both Care and Iustice in preseruing their Statutes, and maintaining the rights of their founda­tion. By the name of a Diocesan; in respect of the Countrey, wherein it hath pleased God to seate me: which hath found much com­fort in your Lordships religious and mode­rate gouernment. By the name of a Master; in regard of that dependance I haue vpon your Lordship by speciall seruice. Which, as it putteth a boldnesse into me, to tender this small pledge of my thankefulnesse to your gracious acceptance: so it layeth a strong Obligation vpon me to tender my best pray­ers vnto Almightie God for the continuance and increase of his blessings vpon your Lordship, to the good of his Church vpon earth, and your eternall crowne in heauen.

Your Lordships Chapleine in all dutifull obseruance, ROBERT SAVNDERSON.

AN ADVERTISEMENT TO THE READER.

GOod Christian Reader, vnderstand, that in the deliuery of these Sermons (because it was fit I should propor­tion my speech as neere as I could, to the houre) I was forced to cut off here and there part of what I had penned: which yet now, toge­ther with that which was spoken, I here present to thy view, distinguished from the rest with this note (") against the lines. Thus much I thought needfull to aduertise thee (because I see men are cap [...]us more than enough,) le [...]t I should be bla­med of vnfaithfulnes, in either adding any thing vnto, or altering any thing of, that which I deli­uered: which I haue auoided, as neere as the im­perfection both of my Copies, and memory would [Page] permit. Reade without gall, or preiudice: Let not truth fare the worse for the Plainenes: Catch not aduantage at Syllables and Phrases: Study, and seeke the Churches Peace: Iudge not anothers seruant. Let vs all rather pray one for another; and by our charitable support, helpe to beare the burdens one of another: and so fulfill the Law of Christ. Amen. Amen.

The Texts of the seuerall Sermons.

I. AD CLERVM. 3.
  • LEt not him that eateth,
    I. Rom. 14.3.
    despise him that eateth not: and let not him that eateth not iudge him that eateth. pag. 1.
  • And not rather as we be slaunderously re­ported, and as some affirme that we say;
    II. Rom. 3.8.
    Let vs doe euill, that good may come: Whose damnation is iust. pag. 50.
  • But the manifestation of the Spirit is giuen to euery man to profit withall.
    III. 1. Cor. 12.7.
    pag. 96.
II. AD MAGISTRATVM. 3.
  • I put on righteousnesse, and it cloathed me:
    IIII. Iob 29.14.
    my iudg­ment was as a roabe, and a diademe.
  • I was eies to the blind, and feet was I to the lame.
    15.
  • I was a father to the poore:
    16.
    and the cause which I knew not, I searched out.
  • And I brake the iawes of the wicked,
    17.
    and plucked the spoile out of his teeth. pag. 147.
  • Thou shalt not raise a false report: put not, &c.
    V. Exod. 23.1. &c.
    pag. 199.
  • Then stood vp Phinehes, and executed iudgement, and so the Plague was staied.
    VI. Psal. 106.30.
    pag. 238.
III. AD POPVLVM. 4.
  • Seest thou how Ahab humbleth himselfe before mee?
    VII. VIII. IX. 3. Kin. 21.29.
    because he humbleth himselfe before me, I wil not bring the euill in his daies: but in his sonnes daies will I bring the euill vpon his house. pag. 283.
  • Brethren, let euery man wherein he is called,
    X. 1. Cor. 7.24.
    therein abide with God. pag. 401.

Some Aduertisements to the Reader.

Know,
Christian Reader;

1 THat one speciall reason I had, to induce mee to print these Sermons, was, the irkesomenesse I had found in transcribing copies of some of them, at the request of some friends that had de­sired it: by my facility in yeelding to whose de­sires therein, I had so farre prouoked others, that thought they had some interest in mee, to request the like; that I had now no other way left to put them off, and to redeeme my selfe from an endlesse drudgery in that kinde, than this of sending them to the Presse. Sundrie mens importunities, I haue staied hitherto for a good space, by promising to print those they desired; and haue now (so farre) satisfied, by do­ing it at last.

2 That the Aduertisements prefixed before the two first Sermons once before printed, concerning the meaning of this marke (") before the lines in some places, ought to be ex­tended to the other eight Sermons also, (now first published,) as well as to those two.

3 That the particular Contents of each Sermon are so pla­ced in the Margent after this note (§) in the beginning of euery Section or Paragraph; that the Reader, with running ouer the Margent onely, may haue a briefe and summarie ab­stract of the seuerall Sermons. God blesse them all to thy In­struction and Comfort. Amen.

THE FIRST SERMON.At a Visitati­on at Boston Linc. 17. April. 1619.

ROM. 14.3.

Let not him that eateth, despise him that eateth not: and let not him that eateth not, iudge him that eateth.

IT cannot be auoided,§. 1. The oc­casion. so long as there is or Weakenesse on earth, or Malice in hell, but that scandals will arise, and differences will grow in the Church of God. What through want of Iudge­ment in some, of Ingenuity in others, of Charity in al­most all; occasions (God knoweth) of offence are too soone both giuen and taken: whilest men are apt to quarrell at trifles, and to maintaine differences euen about indifferent things. The Primitiue Romane Church was not a little afflicted with this disease: For the remedying whereof, S. Paul spendeth this [Page 2] whole Chapter. The Occasion, this: In Rome there liued in the Apostles times manie Iewes; of whom, as well as of the Gentiles, diuers were conuerted Acts 28.24. to the Christian Faith, by the preaching of the Gospel. Now of these new Conuerts, some better instructed than others, as touching the cessation of legall Ce­remonies, made no difference of Meats, or of Dayes, but vsed their lawfull Christian libertie in them both, as things in their owne nature meerly indiffe­rent: Whereas others, not so throughly De nouo con­uersus, & de le­ge Catholica mi­nùs sufficien [...]er instructus. Lyra. catechi­zed as they, still made difference for Conscience sake, both of Meats, accounting them Cleane or Vn­cleane; and of dayes, accounting them holy, or seruile, according as they stood vnder the Leuiticall Law. These later, S. Paul calleth Verse 1. [...], weake in the Faith: those former then must by the law of Opposition, be [...]. Rom. 15.1. §. 2. Scope, Strong in the Faith.

It would haue become both the one sort, and the other, (notwithstanding they differed in their priuat iudgements, yet) to haue preserued the cōmon peace of the Church, and laboured the 2. Cor. 10.8. edification, not the ruine one of another: the strong by affoording faithfull instruction to the consciences of the weak; and the weake, by allowing fauourable constructi­on to the actions of the strong. But whilest ei­ther measured other by themselues; neither one nor other did Gal 2.14. [...], as our A­postle elsewhere speaketh, Walke vprightly accor­ding to the truth of the Gospell. Faults and offen­ces there were on all hands. The Strong faultie, in Contemning the Weake; the Weake faultie in Con­demning [Page 3] the Strong. The strong proudly scorned the weake, as silly and superstitious; for making scruple at some such things, as themselues firmely beleeued were lawfull. The weake rashly censu­red the strong, as prophane and irreligious; for ad­uenturing on some such things, as themselues deep­ly suspected were vnlawfull. The blessed Apostle, desirous all things should be done in the Church in loue and 1. Cor. 14.26. vnto edification, Caietan in locum. aequa lance, and Bulling. in locum. eo­dem charitatis moderamine, as Interpreters speake, taketh vpon him to arbitrate, and to mediate in the businesse: and like a iust vmpire Iob 9.33. layeth his hand vpon both parties, vnpartially sheweth them their seuerall ouersights, and beginneth to draw them to a faire and an honourable composition: as thus. The Strong, hee shall remit somewhat of his superciliousnesse, in dis-esteeming, and de­spising the Weake: and the Weake, hee shall abate somewhat of his edge and acrimonie, in iudging and condemning the Strong. If the parties will stand to this order, it will prooue a blessed agree­ment: for so shall brotherly loue be maintained, Scandals shall bee remoued, the Christian Church shall bee edified, and Gods name shall be glorified. This is the scope of my Text, and of the whole Chapter.

In the three first Verses wherof, there is [...],§. 3. Cohe­rence, [...], and [...]. First, there is [...], in the first Verse; the Proposall of a generall Doctrine as tou­ching 1 the vsage of weake ones: with whom the Church is so to deale, as that it neither giue of­fence [Page 4] to, nor take offence at, the weakenesse of any. Him that is weake in the Faith receiue you, but not to doubtfull disputations. Next, there is [...], in the 2 second Verse, a Declaration of the former generall proposall, by instancing in a particular case, touch­ing the difference of Meates. There is one man strong in the Faith; hee is infallibly resolued, there is no meate Verse 14. vncleane of it selfe, or (if receiued with thankefulnesse and sobrietie) 1. Cor. 10.23 vnlawfull: and be­cause hee knoweth he standeth vpon a sure ground Vers. 2. [...], hee is confident he may eate any thing, and he vseth his libertie accordingly, eating indiffe­rently 1. Cor. 10.27 of all that is set before him, making no que­stion for conscience sake, One man beleeueth he may eate all things. There is another man Weake in the Faith; hee standeth yet vnresolued and doubtfull, whether some kinds of Meates; as namely, those forbidden in the Law, be cleane; or he is rather car­ried with a strong suspition that they are vncleane: out of which timorousnesse of iudgement, hee chu­seth to forbeare those meates, and contenteth him­selfe with the fruites of the earth; Another who is weake, eateth Hearbs. This is Species Facti; this the 3 Case. Now the Question is, in this Case what is to bee done, for the auoidance of scandall, and the maintenance of Christian Charitie? And this que­stion my Text resolueth in this third Verse: where­in is contained [...], Saint Pauls iudgement; or his counsell rather, and aduice vpon the Case, Let not him that eateth, despise, &c. The remainder of the Verse, and of the Chapter being spent, in giuing [Page 5] reasons of the iudgement, in this and another like case, concerning the difference and obseruation of Dayes.

I haue made choyce to intreat at this time of Saint Pauls aduice;§. 4. and Diui­sion of the Text. as vsefull for this place and au­ditorie, and the present assembly. Which aduice, as the Parties and the Faults are, is also twofold. The Parties two: He that eateth, that is the Strong; and he that eateth not, that is the Weake. The Faults like­wise two: The Strong mans fault, that's Litterally, setting at naught; so it is translated, Luk. 23.11. and the Latine translation, which Tertull. followed, rea­deth here fitly to the Greek, Qui manducat, ne nullificet non manducan­tem. Tertul. de ieiun. aduersu [...] Psych. cap. 1. [...], despising of his brothers infirmitie; and the Weake mans faults, that's [...], iudging of his brothers libertie. Proportionably, the parts of the aduice, accommodated to the Parties, and their Faults, are two. The one, for the Strong; that he despise not, Let not him that eateth, despise him that eateth not. The other, for the Weake, that he iudge not, Let not him that eateth not, iudge him that eateth. Of which when I shall haue spoken somewhat in their generall vse, I shall by Gods assistance proceede by way of application to enquire how farre the diffe­rences in our Church, for conforming, and not confor­ming, agree with the present case of eating, and not eating: and consequently how farre forth S. Pauls aduice in this case of eating and not eating, ought to rule vs in the cases of conforming, and not conforming in point of Ceremony. And first of the former rule or branch of the aduice, Let not him that eateth, de­spise him that eateth not.

The termes,§. 5. We must not despise others. whereby the Parties are characte­red, He that eateth, and He that eateth not, haue in [Page 6] the opening of the case beene alreadie so farre vn­folded, as that I shall not need any more to re­member you, that by him that eateth, must be vn­derstood the strong in Faith, and by him that eateth not, the weake. And so reducing the words ab hy­pothesi ad Thesin, this part of the aduice [Let not him that eateth, despise him that eateth not] beareth sense as if the Apostle had said [Let not the strong in faith despise the weake.] Weake ones are easily despised: Strong ones are prone to despise: and yet despising is both a grieuous sinne in the despiser, and a dange­rous scandall to the despised. In all which respects, it was but needfull the holy Ghost should lesson vs, not to despise one anothers weakenesse. Let not him that eateth, despise him that eateth not.

§. 6. Though they be neuer so weake, Weakenesse and Smalnesse, be it in what kinde soe­uer, is the fittest obiect to prouoke contempt. As we trauell by the way, if a fierce Mastiffe set vpon vs, wee thinke it time to looke about, and to bestirre our selues for defence: but wee take no notice of the little Curres that barke at vs, but despise them. When Goliah saw little Dauid make towards him, 1. Sam. 17. the Text saith, 1. Sam. 17.42 Hee disdained him; for he was but a youth. And S. Paul charging Timothy so to behaue himselfe in the Church of God, as that none should 1. Tim. 4.12. despise his youth, implyeth, that youth is obuious to contempt, and likely enough to be despised. And though Eccles. 9.16. Wisedome be better than strength, yet Salomon tels vs, the poore mans wis­dome is despised, and his wordes are not heard, Eccl. 9. Psa. 119.141. I am small, and of no reputation, saith Dauid, Psal. [Page 7] 119. And our Sauiours Caueat in the Gospell is e­specially concerning little ones, as most open to contempt: Mat. 18.10. Take heed that yee despise not one of these little ones. But of all other, that weakenesse is most contemptible, which is seene in the faculties of the vnderstanding Soule: when men are indeed weake in apprehension, weake in iudgement, weake in discretion; or at least wise are thought so. ‘Farre from any reall weakenesse this way, or anie other, was our blessed Lord and Sauiour Iesus Christ, Col. 2.3. In whom were hid all the treasures of wisedome and knowledge; yet because vpon conference with him, hee seemed such vnto Herod, not answering anie of his questions, nor that expectation which the same of his miracles had raised of him in He­rod▪ Herod tooke him for some silly simple fellow, and accordingly vsed him: for hee Luk. 23.11. [...]. set him at nought, and mocked him, and put him in [...]. ibid. a white coat, as he had beene some foole, and sent him back as he came, Luk. 23.’ And of this nature is the weak­nesse my Text hath to doe withall: a weakenesse in iudgement; or as it is vers. 1. a weakenesse in Faith. Where, by Faith, wee are not to vnderstand that iustifying Faith, whereby the heart of a true belee­uer layeth fast hold on the gracious promises of God, and the precious merits of Iesus Christ for the remission of sinnes: nor by weakenesse in Faith, that [...], wherewith the Apostles are Mat. 8.26, 14.31, 16.8. some­times charged; when the Faith of a true beleeuer is sore shaken with temptations of incredulitie and distrust. But by Faith wee are to vnderstand an [Page 8] Fides hic sig­nificat persua­sionem de vsu rerum indiffè­rentium: per Synecdochen generis. Piscat. Schol. in Rom. 14.1. historicall Faith onely, which is nothing else but a firme and secure assent of the iudgement vnto do­ctrinall truths in matter of Faith or Life: and by weakenesse in such faith, a doubtfulnesse and irreso­lution of iudgement concerning some diuine truths appertaining to the doctrine of Faith or Life; and namely, concerning the iust extent of Christian li­bertie, and the indifferent or not indifferent nature or vse of some things. Which weakenesse of iudge­ment in Faith, bewraying it selfe outwardly in a nice, and scrupulous, and timorous forbearance of some things, for feare they should bee vnlawfull; which yet in truth are not so, but indifferent: doth thereby expose the person in whom such weaknesse is, to the contempt and despisings of such as are of more confirmed and resolued iudgements, and are stronger in the Faith.

§. 7. and we neuer so strong:Weakenesse then is in it selfe contemptible, yet not more than Strength is contemptuous. Passiue contempt is the vnhappinesse of the weake; but Actiue the fault of the strong. They that finde truly, or but ouerweeningly conceit in themselues abili­ties, eyther of a higher nature, or in a greater measure than in other men, be it in any kinde whatsoeuer; it is strange to see, with what scornefull state they can trample vpon their weaker and inferiour bre­thren, and looke vpon them (if yet they will at all vouchsafe a looke) from aloft, as vpon things be­low them: which is properly & literally to despise. For so much the verie wordes, [...] among the Greekes, and among the Latines Despicere doe im­port. [Page 9] The Pharisee, it is like, cast such a disdaine­full look vpon the poore Publicane, when in con­tempt hee called him Luk. 18.9, 11. Iste Publicanus: sure I am, that Parable was spoken of purpose concerning such as trusted in their owne righteousnes, and [...]. Luke 18.9. de­spised others, Luk. 18. And they are euer the likeliest thus to despise others, that conceit something in themselues more than others. Wealth, honour, strength, beautie, birth, friends, alliance, authority, power, wit, learning, eloquence, reputation, any trifle; can leauen our thoughts, (partiall as they are towards our selues) and swell vs, and heape vs vp aboue our brethren: and because we thinke we do ouer-top them; we thinke wee may ouer-looke them too, and despise them as vulgar and contemptible. Agar could despise Sarah; the bond-seruant, the free woman; the maid, her mistresse: only for a lit­tle fruitfulnes of the wombe beyond her; because Gen. 16.4, 5. she saw that she had conceiued, and her Mistresse was barren, Genes. 16. All strength and eminencie then we see, be it in any little sorry thing, is apt to breed in men a despising of their weaker and mea­ner brethren: but none more, than this strength of knowledge and of faith, wherewith we now deale. It should bee quite otherwise: our knowledge should praeferre facem, hold the light before vs, and helpe vs for the better discouery of our ignorance; and so dispose vs to humilitie, not pride. But pride and selfe-loue is congenitum Malum; it is a close, and a pleasing, and an inseparable corruption: which by slie and serpentine insinuations conuey­eth [Page 10] it selfe, as into whatsoeuer else is good and e­minent in vs, and poysoneth it; so especially into the endowments of the vnderstanding part. Sharp­nesse of wit, quicknesse of conceit, faithfulnesse of memory, facility of discourse, proprietie of elocution, concinnitie of gesture, depth of iudgement, varietie of knowledge in Arts and Languages, and whateuer else of like kind; are but as winde to fill the sailes of our pride, and to make vs swell aboue our bre­thren, in whom the like gifts are not, or not in like eminencie. Scientia inflat, our Apostle might well say, 1. Cor. 8.1. Quò didicisse, nisi hoc fermen­tum, &c. Pers. Satyr. [...]. Vide Casaub. ibi. Knowledge puffeth vp: And that it doth so readily and vnmeasurably, that vnlesse there be the greater measure both of humility to preuent, and of chari [...]y to vent it, it will in short time breed a dangerous spiritual tympany in the soule.’ A disease, from which the strongest constitutions that haue beene, haue not been altogether so free, but that they haue had, if not a spice of it, yet at least wise an inclination vnto it. ‘Euen this our bles­sed Apostle, who had so much humilitie, as to ac­count himselfe 1. Cor. 15.9. of Apostles the least, but 1. Tim. 1.15. of sin­ners the chiefest; was in so great danger 2. Cor. 12.7. [...]. to be exal­ted aboue measure through the abundance of reuelati­ons; that it was needfull he should haue a [...]har [...]e in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet him, lest hee should be exalted aboue measure, 2. Cor. 12. No maruell then, if these new Conuerts, but lately called by God ou [...] of the darknes of their igno­rance, 1. Pet. 2.9. into his marueilous great light; and not ha­uing their vnderstandings well informed, and [Page 11] their iudgements throughly settled in the Do­ctrine and Vse, in the nature and extent of that E­uangelicall libertie whereunto they were called: no maruell I say, if these, vpon so sensible a change, were more than a little distempered with this swelling aboue their brethren; euen as far as to despise them.’ So hard is it, euen for the most exercised Christian, not to take knowledge of his owne knowledge: or doing so not to despise and neglect the infirmities of his lesse-knowing brother. It was not then without good need, that Saint Paul should become a remembrancer to the strong in faith, not to despise the weake. And there is as good need, the very strongest of vs all should remember it, and take heed of despising euen the very weakest. This despising being hurtfull both to the strong, and weake: to the strong, as a grieuous sinne; and to the weake, as a grieuous scandall.

Despising, first is a sinne in the strong.§. 8. both for the sins sake. Admit thy weake brother were of so shallow vnderstan­ding and iudgement, that he might say in strictnes of truth, what Agur saith but in modestie, and that with an Hyperbole too, Prou. 30. that Prou. 30.2. surely hee were more brutish than any man, and that hee had not in him the vnderstanding of a man: yet the commu­nitie of nature, and the common condition of hu­manitie should bee sufficient to free him from thy contempt. His body was formed out of the same dust, his soule breathed into him by the same God, as thine were: and hee is thy neighbour. Let his weaknesse then be what it can be; euen for that re­lation [Page 12] of neighbourhood, as he is a man, it is sinne in thee to despise him, Pro. 14.21. [Hee that despiseth his Neighbour, sinneth, Prou: 14.] But that's not all: He is not onely thy Neighbour, as a man; but he is thy Brother too, as a Christian man. He hath imbraced the Gospell, he beleeueth in the Sonne of God; hee is within the pale of the Church, as well as thou: though he be not so exquisitly seen in some higher mysteries, nor so thorowly [...] in some other pointe, as-thou art. If it haue pleased God to en­dow thee with a la [...]ger portion of knowledge, thou 1 oughtest to consider, first; that thou art bound to bee so much them one thinkefull to him that gaue 2 it; and then secondly, that it is expected, thou shouldest doe so much the more good within; and 3 thirdly againe, that thou art charged with so much the deeper acc [...]u [...]t for it. If the same God haue dealt these abilities with a more sparing hand to thy brother: in despising his weakenesse, what o­ther thing doest thou than euen despise the good Spirit of God, Iohn 3.8. that bloweth, whe [...]e he listeth, and 1. Cor. 12.11 giueth to euery one as he lasteth? For though there be 1. Cor. 12.4. diuersities of gifts, (both for substance, and de­gree;) yet it is the same Spirit, 1. Cor. 12. And the contempt that is cast vpon the meanest Christian, reboundeth vpwards againe, and in the last re­solution reflecteth euen vpon GOD himselfe, and vpon his Christ. 1. Thes. 4.8. Hee that [...]spiseth, de­spiseth not man but GOD; who hath giuen vnto vs his holy Spirit? 1. Thessal. 4. And 1. Cor. 8.12. when ye [...] sinne so against the [...] and their weake [Page 13] consciences, yee sinne against Christ, 1 Cor. 8.

Thus you see Despising is hurtfull to the despiser, as a sinne: it is hurt full also, as a scandall, §. 9. and the Scandall. to the de­spised. And therefore our Sauiour in Math. 18. discoursing of Math. 18.6. &c. not offending little ones; anon va­rieth the word, and speaketh of Ibid. 10. not despising them: as if despising were an especiall and princi­pall kinde of offending, or scandalizing. And ve­rily so it is, especially to the Weake. Nothing is more grieuous to Nature, scarce death it selfe, than for a man to see himselfe despised. Plaut. in Cistel Act. 4. Scaen. 1. Ego illam anum irridere me vt sinam? Satius est mihi quouis exitio interire, could he say in the Comedy. It is a thing that pierceth farre, and sinketh deepe, and striketh cold, & lyeth heauie vpon the heart: Habet enim quendam acule­um contume­lia; quem Pati prudentes ac boni viri diffi­cillime possunt, Cic. Verr. 5. flesh & bloud wil digest any thing with better patience. ‘The great Arist. lib. 2. Rhet. 2. c. 2. where he thus defineth Anger. [...]. Philosopher, for this reason maketh Contempt the ground of all Discontent; and suffi­ciently proueth it in the second of his Rheto­riques: there being neuer any thing taken offen­siuely, but sub ratione contemptus; nothing pro­uoking to Anger, but what is either truely a con­tempt, or at leastwise so apprehended.’ Wee all know how tenderly euery one of vs would take it, but to be neglected by others; to haue no recko­ning at all made of vs; to bee so reputed as if wee were not, or not worth the looking after Vide opus Adag. Mega­renses neque tertij ne (que)quar­ti. [...], as the Ora [...]cle said to the Mega­renses. And yet this is but the least degree of Con­tempt; a [...]. Arist. vbi supra. priuatiue contempt onely. How renderly then may wee thinke a weake Christian [Page 14] would take it; when to this priuatiue he should find added a [...]. Ibid. Positiue contempt also? when hee should see his person, and his weakenesse, not only not compassioned, but euen [...]. Chrysost. hom. 23. in Gen. taunted, and flouted, and derided, and made a laughing stocke, and a iesting theame? when hee should see them striue to speake and doe such things in his sight and hea­ring, as they know will be offensiue vnto him, of very purpose to vexe, and afflict, and grieue his ten­der soule? Certainly for a weake Christian new­ly converted to the Faith, to bee thus despised; it were enough, without Gods singular Haue mercy vpon vs, O Lord, haue mercy vp­on vs: for we are exceedingly fil­led with con­tempt. Our soule is exceedingly filled with the scorning of those that are at ease, and with the contempt of the proud, Psal. 123.3.4. mercy and support, to make him repent his late conuersion, and reuolt from the Faith, by fearefull and despe­rate Apostasie. And hee that by such despising should thus offend, though but Math. 18.6.10. one of the least and weakest of those that beleeue in Christ: a thousand times better had it been for him, that he had neuer beene borne; yea, ten thousand times better that a Mill-stone had been hung about his necke, and hee cast into the bottome of the Sea; ere he had done it. De­spising is a grieuous Sinne, in the despiser, in the Strong: and despising is a grieuous scandall to the despised, to the Weake. Let not therefore the Strong despise the Weake; Let not him that eateth, despise him that eateth not. And thus much for the former branch of Saint P [...]uls aduice: The other followeth, Let not him that eateth not, iudge him that eateth.

§. 10. Despising and iudging com­pared.Faults seldome goe single; but by couples at the least. Sinfull men doe with sinfull prouocations, as [Page 15] ball-players with the Ball. When the Ball is once vp, they labour to keepe it vp: right so when an offence or prouocation is once giuen, it is [...]; Max. Tyrius [...]. tossed to and fro, the receiuer euer returning it pat vpon the giuer, and that most times with aduantage; and so betwixt them they make a shift to preserue a per­petuity of sinning, & of scandalizing one another. ‘It is hard to say who beginneth oftener, the Strong, or the Weake: but whether euer beginneth, he may be sure the other wil follow. If this iudge, that will despise; if that despise, this will iudge: ei­ther doth his endeuour to cry quittance with o­ther; and thinketh himselfe not to bee at all in fault, because the other was first, or more. This Apostle willing to redresse faults in both; begin­neth first with the strong: & for very good reason. Not that his fault simply considered in it selfe is greater; (for I take it a certaine truth, that to Iudge one that is in the right, is a farre greater fault, considered absolutely without relation to the abilities of the persons; than to despise one that is in the wrong:) But because the strong through the abilitie of his iudgement, ought to yeeld so much to the infirmitie of his weake bro­ther, who through the weaknes of his iudgement, is not so wel able to discern what is fit for him to do. What in most other contentions is expected, should be done in this: not hee that is most in fault, but he that hath most wit, should giue ouer first. Indeed in reason, the more faulty is rather bound to yeeld: but if hee will be vnreasonable, [Page 16] (as most times it falleth out,) and not doe it; then in discretion, the more able should do it: as Gen. 13.9.11. Abraham in discretion yeelded the choise to his Nephew Lot vpon the contention of their Herdsmen, which in reason Lot should rather haue yeelded vnto him. But where both are faulty, as it is not good to stand debating who began first; so it is not safe to straine courtesie who shall end, and mend first. In the case of my Text, both were faulty: and therefore our Apo­stle would haue both mend.’ He hath school'd the Strong, and taught him his lesson, not to despise anothers infirmitie; Let not him that eateth, despise him that eateth not. Now the weake must take out his lesson too, not to iudge anothers liberty; Let not him that eateth not, iudge him that eateth.

§. 11. Wee must not iudge o [...]hers.I will not trouble you with other significations of the word; to Iudge, as it is here taken, is as much as to Ne condem­nato. Beza. Condemne: and so the word [...] is often taken in the worser sease for [...]. ‘Tro­pically, by a Piscator in Schol. ad hunc locum. Synecdoche generis, say Scholiasts: and they say true. But it is a Trope, for which both in this, and Euill man­ners haue bin the spoiling of many good words; as [...], Tyrannus, So­phista, Latro, [...], Venenum, Magus; and in our English tongue, Knaue, Villaine, Churle, &c. See Minsheu, Verstegan, &c. in diuers other words, wee are not so much beholden to good Arts, as to bad manners. Things that are good, of indifferent, we cōmonly turn to ill, by vsing them the worst way whence it groweth, that words of good or indifferent signification, in time degenerate so far, as to be commonly taken in the worst sense.’ [Page 17] But this by the way. The fault of these weake ones in the case in hand, was, that measuring other mens actions and consciences, by the modell of their owne vnderstandings, in their priuate cen­sures they rashly passed their iudgements vpon, and pronounced peremptorie sentence against such, as vsed their libertie in some things, concer­ning the lawfulnesse whereof themselues were not satisfied; as if they were loose Christians, carnall professors, nomine tenus Christiani, men that would not sticke to doe any thing, and such as made ei­ther none at all, or else verie little conscience of their actions. This practice my Text disalloweth, and forbiddeth: and the rule hence for vs is plaine and short, We must not iudge others. The Scriptures are expresse; Matth. 7.1. Iudge not, that yee bee not iudged, Matth. 7. 1. Cor. 4.5. Iudge nothing before the time, &c. 1. Corinth. 4. Kom. 2.1. Thou art inexcusable, O man, whoso­euer thou art that iudgest, Rom▪ 2. And Iam. 4.11. if thou iudgest, thou art not a doer of the Law, but a Iudge, Iam. 4.

‘Not that it is unlawful to exercise ciuill iudge­ment,1 or to passe condemning sentence vpon p [...]rsons orderly and legally conuicted,§. 12. This kind of iudg­ing being for such [...]s haue calling & authority thereunto in Church [...] for this publique politique iudgement is commanded Exod. 22.9. 2. Chron. 19.6. Rom. 13.4. and elsewhere. in the Word of God, and reason sheweth it to bee of absolute necessitie for the preseruation of States and Commonwealthes. Nor that it is vnlawfull se­condly, 2 to passe euen our priuate censures vp­on [Page 18] the outward actions of men; when the Law of God is directly transgressed, and the trans­gression apparant from the euidence either of the fact it selfe, or of some strong signes and presump­tions of it. For it is stupiditie, and not charitie, to be credulous against sense. Charitie is 1. Cor. 13.5. [...]. ingenu­ous, and will Ibid. vers. 7. [...]. beleeue any thing, though more than reason: but charitie must not be As Walter Mapes some­times Arch­deacon of Ox­enford, rela­ting the grosse Simo­ny of the Pope for confir­ming the elec­tion of Regi­nald, bastard sonne to Ioce­line, Bishop of Sarum, into the See of Bathe; concludeth the narration thus: Sit tamen domina ma [...]er­que nostra Ro­ma baculus in aquâ fractus; & absit crederae, qua videmus. Mahap. de nu­gis Curialium, distinct▪ 1 cap. 22. seruile, to beleeue any thing against reason: Shall any charitie binde mee to thinke the Crow is white, or the blacke Moore beautifull▪ Nor yet third­ly that all sinister suspicions are vtterly vnlaw­full, euen there where there wanteth euidence either of fact, or of great signes: if our suspicions proceed not from any corrupt affections, but onely from a [...] [...] siue nostris, siue alienis, expedit ad hoc, vt se [...]ius remedium [...] quòd [...] id quod est deterius: qu [...]d remedium quod est efficax c [...]ntra m [...]tus malum, multo magis est efficax contraminus malirit [...] 4. [...]. 3. charitable ieal [...]usie of those ouer whom we haue especiall charg [...], at in whom we haue speciall interest, in such sort as that it may conceiue vs to admonish, reproue, or correct them when they doe amisse▪ so was Iob Iob▪ 1.5. suspi­cious of his sonnes, for sinning and cursing God in their hearts. But the iudgment [...] & elsewhere condemned, is; either first, when in our priuate thoughts [...]n speeches, vpon slender presumpti­ons we rashly pronounce men as guilty of com­mitting such or such sin [...], without sufficient eui­dence either of [...] or pr [...]g [...]ant signe that they haue committed him. O [...] secondly, wher vpon [Page 19] some actions Aperta non ita reprehenda­mus, vt de sani­tate despere­mus. Gloss. Ordin. in Rom. 14.13. Non quicquid reprehenden­dum, etiam damnandum est. Sen. l. 6. de benef. cap. 39. vndoubtedly sinfull, as blasphe­my, adultery, periury, &c. we too seuerely censure the Persons either for the future, as Reprobates and Castawaies, and such as shall bee certainely damned; or at leastwise for the present, as hypo­crites, and vnsanctified and prophane, and such as are in the state of damnation: not considering into what fearefull sinnes it may please God to suffer, not onely his As Paul, Marie Magda­lene, &c. chosen ones before Cal­ling, but euen his As Dauid, Peter, &c. holy ones too after Calling, sometimes to fall; for ends most times vnknown to vs, but euer iust and gracious in him. Or third­ly, when for want either of charity or knowledge, (as in the present case of this Chapter) we inter­pret things for the worst to our brethren: and condemne them of sinne for such actions, as are not directly, and in themselues necessarily sinfull; but may (with due circumstances) be performed with a good conscience, and without sin.’ Now all iudging and condemning of our brethren in any of these kindes is sinfull and damnable; and that in very many respects: especially these foure; which may serue as so many weighty reasons, why wee ought not to iudge one another. The vsurpation, the rashnesse, the vncharitablenesse, and the scandall of it.

First, it is an Vsurpation. §. 13. 1. Vn­lawfull. Hee that is of right to iudge, must haue calling and commission for it. Exod. 2.14. Quis constituit te? sharpely replyed vpon Moses, Exod. 2. Who made thee a Iudge? and Luk. 12.14. Quis consti­tuit mee? reasonably alleaged by our Sauiour, [Page 20] Luke 12. Who made me a Iudge? Thou takest too much vpon thee then, thou sonne of man, whosoe­uer thou art that iudgest: thus saucily to thrust thy selfe into Gods seate, and to [...]; &c. Chrys. in Gen. hom. 42. inuade his Throne. Remember thy selfe wel, and learne to know thine owne ranke. Quis tu? Iam. 4.12. Who art thou that iudgest another? Iam. 4. or Who art thou that iudgest anothers seruant? in the next following verse to my Text. As if the Apostle had said; What art thou? or what hast, thou to doe to iudge him that Rom. 14.4. standeth or falleth to his awne Master? Thou art his fellow-seruant, not his Lord. He hath another Lord, that can and will iudge him; who is thy Lord too, and can and will iudge thee: for so he argueth anon at vers. 10▪ Why doest thou iudge thy brother? We shall all stand before the Iudgement-seate of Christ. God hath reserued Mali operis vindictam, Bo­ni gloriam, vtriusque Iu­dicium. three Prerogatiues royall to himselfe; Deut. 32.35. Vengeance, Isai. 42.8. Rom. 12.19. Glorie, and Rom. 14.4.10 Iam 4.11, 12. Iudge­ment. As it is not safe for vs then to encroach vpon Tres homi­num species ma­ximam Deo fa­ciunt iniuriam: Superbi, qui au­ferunt ei Glori­am; Iracundi, qui Vindi­ctam; Rigidi, qui Iudicium. Gods royalties in either of the other two; Glorie, or Vengeance: so neither in this of Iudgement; Dominus iudicabit, Heb. 10.30. The Lord him­selfe will iudge his people, Heb. 10.’ It is flat vsur­pation in vs to iudge: and therefore wee must not iudge.

§. 14. II. Rash.Secondly, it is rashnesse in vs. A Iudge must Et nunc Re­ges, intelligite: [...]radi [...]ini, qui iudicutit terram, Psal. 2, 10. Si iudicat cognosce, Sen in Med. Act [...]. Phocylid. vnderstand the truth, both for matter of Et Normam & Causam. Nor­mam, secundum quam; & Causam, de quâ statuendum. Ad Factum haec pertinet: illa ad Ius: ad illam, Pariciâ opu [...] est▪ [...]d h [...]c [...]rudentia. fact, and for point of Law; and he must be sure he is in [Page 21] the right for both, before he proceed to sentence: or else he will giue rash iudgement. How then dare any of vs vndertake to sit as Iudges vpon other mens consciences, wherewith wee are so little ac­quainted, that we are indeed but too much vnac­quainted with our own? We are not able to search the depth of our owne Ier. 17.9. I know no­thing by my selfe; yet am I not hereby iu­stified: but he that iudgeth me is the Lord 1. Cor. 4.4. If our heart con­demne vs, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things, 1. Joh. 3 21. Latet me fa­culta [...] mea, quae in me est; vt a­nimus meus de viribus suis ipse se interrogans, non facilè sibi credendum exi­stimet, quia & quod in est ple­runque occul­tum est. Aug. lib. 10, Confes. cap. 32. wicked and deceitfull hearts; and to ransacke throughly the many secret windings and turnings therein: how much lesse then are we able to fadome the bottomes of other mens hearts, with any certaintie to pronounce of them either good or euill? Wee must then leaue the iudgement of other mens spirits, and hearts, and reines, to him that is Heb. 12.9. the Father of spirits, and alone Psal. 7.9. & 26.2. Ier. 11.20. & 17 10. & 20.12. Reuel. 2.13. searcheth the hearts and reines: before whose eyes all things are Heb. 4.13. [...], as the word is most Emphaticall, Heb. 4. Wherefore our Apostles precept elsewhere is good to this pur­pose, 1. Cor. 4. 1. Cor. 4.5. Iudge nothing before the time, vn­till the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darknes, and will make manifest the counsels of the harts. Vnlesse we be able to bring these hidden things to light, and to make mani­fest these counsels; it is Temeritas est, damnare quod nescias. Sen. Epist. 91. Sunt quae dam facta media, quae ignoramus quo animo fiant, quia & bono & malo fieri possunt, de quibus temerarium est iudicare. August. lib. 2. de Serm. Dom. in morte, cap. 18. rashnes in vs to iudge: and therefore we must not iudge.

Thirdly, this iudging is vncharitable. §. 15. III. Vn­charitable: Charitie is not easily suspicious; but vpon iust cause: much lesse then censorious and peremptorie. Indeede [Page 22] when we are to iudge of In rerum iu­dicio debet ali­quis niti ad hoc, vt interpretetur vnumquodque secundum quod est: in iudicio autem persona­rū, vt interpre­tetur in melius, Aquin. 2a se­cundae qu. 60. art. 4. ad 3. & he giueth a sub­stantiall reason for it, ibid. in resp. ad 2. Things, it is wisedome to iudge of them secundum quod sunt, as neere as we can, to iudge of them iust as they are, without any sway or partiall inclination either to the right hand, or to the left. But when wee are to iudge of Men, and their Actions; it is not altogether so: there the rule of Charity must take place, Glossa Ord. in hunc locū; & Theologi pas­sim. Semper quicquid dubiū est, humanitas inclinat in meli­us, Sen. E­pist. 81. Dubia in meliorem partem sunt interpretanda. Vnlesse we see manifest cause to the contrary, wee ought euer to interpret what is done by others, with as much fauour as may be.‘To erre thus is better, than to hit right the other way; because this course is Error chari­tatis, salutaris error. safe, and secureth vs, as from Melius est, quòd aliquis frequenter fal­latur, habens bonam opinio­nem de malo ho­mine, quàm quòd rarius fal­latur, habens malam opinio­nem de bono homine: quia ex hoc fit iniur i [...]adicui; non autem ex primo. Aquin secunda secundae qu. 60. art. 4. ad. 1. iniuring o­thers, so from endangering our selues: whereas in iudging ill, though right, wee are still Aequum licet statuerit, han [...] aequus fuit, Sen. in Med. Act. 2. vn­iust [...], the euent onely, and not our choyce freeing vs from wrong iudgement.’ True Charitie is ingenuous; it 1 Cor. 13.5. thinketh no euill, 1. Cor. 13. How farre then are they from charity, that are euer suspicions, and thinke nothing well? For vs, let it be our care to maintaine charity; and to auoid, as far as humane frailty will giue leaue, euen sinister suspicions of our brethrens actions: or if through frailty we cannot that, yet let vs not from light su­spicions fal into vncharitable censures: let vs at least­wise suspend our Si suspiciones vitare non possumus, quia [...], id est, definitiuar firmasque sententias continere debemus, Gloss. Ordin. in 1 Cor. 4. definitiue iudgement, and not de­termine too peremptorily against such, as doe not in euery respect iust as we do, or as we would haue them doe, or as wee thinke they should doe. It is [Page 23] vncharitable for vs to iudge, and therefore we must not iudge.

Lastly, there is Scandall in iudging.§. 16. IIII. Scan­dalous. Possibly he that is iudged, may haue that strength of faith and charity; that though rash vncharitable censures lie thicke in his way, he can lightly skip ouer all those stumbling blockes, and scape a fall. Saint Paul had such a measure of strength; 1. Cor. 4.3. With me it is a very small thing, saith he, that I should be iudged of you, or of humane iudgement, 1 Cor. 4. If our iudging light vpon such an obiect, it is indeed no scandall to him: but that's no thankes to vs. Wee are to esteeme things by their natures, not euents: and therefore we giue a scandall, if we iudge; notwithstanding he that is iudged take it not as a scandall. For, that iudging is in it selfe a scandall, is cleere from ver. 13. of this Chapter; Let vs not therefore, saith S. Paul, iudge one another any more, but iudge this rather, that no man put a stumbling blocke, or an occasion to fall in his brothers way. And thus wee see foure maine Reasons against this iudging of our brethren. 1. We haue no right to iudge; and so our iudging is vsurpation. 2. We may erre in our iudgements; and so our iudging is rashnesse. 3. We take things the worst way when we iudge; and so our iudging is vncharitable. 4. Wee offer occasion of offence by our iudging; and so our iudging is scandalous. Let not him therefore that eateth not, iudge him that eateth.

And so I haue done with my Text in the gene­rall vse of it:§. 17. Application to the case in our Church. wherein we haue seene the two faults [Page 24] of despising, and of iudging our brethren layd open; and the vglinesse of both discouered. I now de­scend to make such Application, as I promised, both of the case and rules; vnto some differences, and to some offences giuen and taken in our Church in point of Ceremony. The Case ruled in my Text was of eating, and not eating: the Diffe­rences which some maintaine in our Church, are many in the particular; (as of kneeling, and not kneeling; wearing, and not wearing; crossing, and not crossing. &c.) but all these, and most of the rest of them, may be comprehended in grosse vnder the tearmes of conforming, and not conforming. Let vs first compare the cases; that hauing found wherein they agree, or disagree, we may therby iudge how farre Saint Pauls aduice in my Text ought to rule vs, for not despising, for not iudging one another. There are foure speciall things, wherin if we com­pare this our Case with the Apostles; in euery of the foure we shall find some agreement, and some disparity also: 1. The nature of the matter: 2. The abilities of the persons: 3. Their seuerall Practice a­bout the things: and 4. Their mutuall carriage one towards another. And first, let vs consider how the two cases agree in each of these.

§. 18. Agreement betwixt the two Cases.First, the matter whereabout the eater and the not-eater differed in the case of the Romanes, was in the nature of it indifferent: so it is betweene the 1 conformer, and not-conformer in our Case. As there fish, and flesh, and hearbes were meerely indifferent; such as might be eaten, or not eaten without sinne: [Page 25] so here Cap, and Surplis, Crosse, and Ring, and the rest, are things meerely indifferent; such as (in re­gard of their own nature) may be vsed or not vsed without sinne; as being neither expresly comman­ded, nor expressely forbidden in the Word of God.

Secondly, the persons agree. For as there, so here 2 also; some are strong in faith, some weake. There are many, whose iudgements are vpon certaine and infallible grounds assured and resolued, and that certitudine Fidei, that Cappe, and Surplis, and Crosse, and the rest, are things lawfull, and such as may be vsed with a good Conscience. There are some others againe, who through ignorance, or cu­stome, or preiudice, or otherwise weakened in their iudgements; cannot (or will not) be perswaded, that these things are altogether free from supersti­tion and Idolatrie: nor consequently, the vse of them from sinne.

Thirdly, the practice of the persons are much a­like.3 As there, the strong did vse his liberty accor­ding to the assurance of his knowledge ( [...]) and did eate freely without scruple; and the weake did forbeare to eate, because of his doubting and irresolution: So here, most of vs in assured con­fidence that we may weare, and crosse, and kneele, and vse the other Ceremonies and Customes of our Church, doe willingly, and ex animo conforme our selues thereunto; yet some there are, who out of I know not what nicenesse and scrupulositie make dainty of them, and either vtterly refuse con­formitie, [Page 26] or at leastwise desire respite, till they can better informe themselues.

4 Lastly, there is some correspondence also in the faulty carriage of the parties one towards another. For as there the Eater despised the Not-eater; and the Not-eater iudged the Eater: so here, it cannot be denied, but that some Conformers (although I hope farre the lesser, I am sure farre the worser sort,) doe despise and scandalize the non-Confor­mers more than they haue reason to do, or any dis­creet honest man will allow. But is it not most cer­taine also, that the non-Conformers (but too gene­rally, yea, and the better sort of them too, but too often and much) do passe their censures with mar­ueilous great freedome; and spend their iudge­ments liberally vpon, and against the Conformers? Hitherto the Cases seeme to agree. One would thinke, mutatis mutandis, the Apostles rule would as wel fit our Church and Case, as the Romane; and should as well free the non-Conformers from our Contempt, as vs from their Censures. Let not him that conformeth, despise him that conformeth not: and let not him that conformeth not, iudge him that conformeth.

§. 19. Diffe­rence betwixt them: I. in the Mat­ter.But if you will please to take a second suruiew of the foure seuerall particulars, wherein the Cases seemed to agree; you shall find very much dispa­ritie and disproportion betwixt the two Cases in each of the foure respects. In the case of my Text, the matter of difference among them, was not on­ly in different in the nature of it; but it was also left [Page 27] as indifferent for the vse: the Church (perhaps) not hauing determined any thing positiuely therein; at least no publike authoritie hauing either enioy­ned, or forbidden, the vse of such or such meates. But in the Case of our Church it is far otherwise. Cappe, Surplis, Crosse, Ring, and other Ceremonies, which are the Matter of our differences, though they be things indifferent for their nature, and in themselues: yet are not so for their vse, and vnto vs. If the Church had been silent, if Authoritie had prescribed nothing herein; these Ceremonies had then remained for their vse, as they are for their nature, indifferent: Lawfull, and such as might bee vsed without sinne; and yet Arbitrary, and such as might bee also forborne without sinne. But men must grant (though they be vnwilling, if yet they will bee reasonable) that euery particular Church Article 20. agreeably to the confessi­ons of other Protestant Churches. hath power, for [...]. 1. Cor. 14.20. decencie and orders sake, to or­daine and constitute Ceremonies. Which being once ordained, and by publike authoritie enioy­ned, cease to bee indifferent for their vse, though they remaine still so for their nature: and of indiffe­rent become so necessary, that neither may a man without sinne Constit. & Canon. 30. refuse them, where Authoritie re­quireth; nor vse them, where Authoritie restrai­neth the vse.

Neither is this accession of Necessitie, §. 20. The maine obiecti­on, from Chri­stian libertie, answered. any im­peachment to Christian Liberty; or Ex. 1. Cor. 7.35 insnaring of mens consciences: as Lincolnsh. Abridg. pag. 34. some haue obiected. For then do we ensnare mens consciences by humane Constitutions, when we thrust them vpon men as [Page 28] if they were diuine; and bind mens consciences to them immediately, as if they were immediate parts of Gods worship, or of absolute necessitie vnto sal­uation. This Tyrannie and Vsurpation ouer mens Consciences, the Mar. 7.8. &c. Pharisees of old did, and the Church of Rome at this day doth exercise, and wee iustly hate it in her: In Spiritum Sanctum blas­phemant, qui sacros Canones violant. 25. qu. 1. Violatores. equalling, if not preferring her Constitutions to the Lawes of God. But our Church (God bee thanked) is farre from any such impious presumption: and hath sufficiently Constit. &c. Can. 74. Art. 20 Act for vnifor­mitie; and Treat. of Ce­remonies pre­fixed to the Book of Com­mon Prayer. decla­red her selfe by solemne protestation, enough to satisfie any ingenuous impartiall iudgement, that by requiring obedience to these ceremoniall Con­stitutions, she hath no other purpose, than to reduce all Without pre­ [...]udice to the libertie of other Chur­ches. See Praef. to Commun. Booke. her children to an orderly vniformitie in the outward worship of God; so farre is she from seek­ing to draw any opinion, either of diuine The Church ought not to en­force any thing besides the holy Writ, to be belee­ued for necessi­ty of saluation. Artic. 20. necessi­tie vpon the Constitution, or of effectuall holinesse vpon the ceremony. And as for the preiudice which seemeth to be hereby giuen to Christian libertie: it is so slender a conceit, that it seemeth to bewray in the obiecters a desire, not so much of satisfaction. as cauill. For first, the liberty of a Christian to all indifferent things, is in the Minde and Consci­ence: and is then infringed, when the Conscience is bound and streitned, by imposing vpon it an opinion of doctrinall Necessitie. But it is no wrong to the Liberty of a Christian mans Conscience, to bind him to outward obseruance for Orders sake, and to impose vpon him a Necessitie of Obedience. Which one distinction of Doctrinall [Page 29] and Obedientiall Necessitie well weighed, and rightly applyed, is of it selfe sufficient to cleere all doubts in this point. For, to make all restraint of the outward man in matters indifferent an im­peachment of Christian Liberty; what were it else, but euen to bring flat See Confe­rence at Hamp­ton Court, p. 70.71. Anabaptisme and Anarchy into the Church? and to ouerthrow all bond of subiection and obedience to lawfull Authority? I beseech you consider, wherein can the immediate power and authority of Fathers, Masters, and o­ther Rulers ouer their inferiours consist; or the due obedience of inferiours be shewne towards them: if not in these In rebus me­dijs lex posita est obedientiae, Bernard. Epist. 7. Indifferent and Arbitrary things? For, things De huiusmo­di quippe nec praeceptor ex­pectandus, nec prohibitor au­scultandus est, Bernard. de praec. & di­spensat. See Agell. 2. Noct. Attic. 7. & Bernard. E­pist. 7. absolutely Necessary, as cōmanded by God, we are bound to doe; whether humane Au­thority require them, or no: and things absolutely Vnlawfull, as prohibited by God, we are bound not to doe; whether humane Authoritie forbid them, or no. There are none other things left then, wher­in to expresse properly the Obedience due to su­periour Authority, than these Indifferent things. And if a See Sam. Collins Sermon on 1 Tim. 6.3. pag. 44. &c. Father or Master haue power to pre­scribe to his child or seruant in Indifferent things; and such restraint be no way preiudiciall to Chri­stian Liberty in them: Why should any man, ei­ther deny the like power to Church-Gouernours, to make Ecclesiasticall Constitutions concerning in­different Things? or interpret that power to the preiudice of Christian Liberty? And againe Se­condly,2 Men must vnderstand, that it is an Errour to thinke Ceremonies and Constitutions to be things meerely Indifferent: I meane in the generall. For [Page 30] howsoeuer euery particular Ceremony bee indiffe­rent; and euery particular Constitution Artic. 34. arbitrary and alterable; yet that there should be some Cere­monies, it is necessary, Necessitate absoluta, in as much as no outward worke can bee performed without Ceremoniall circumstances, some or o­ther: and that there should bee some Constitutions concerning them, it is also necessary (though not simply & absolutely, as the former; yet ex hypothesi, and) See Caluin. li. 4. Instit. cap. 10. §. 27. necessitate conuenientiae. Otherwise, since some Ceremonies must needes be vsed; euery Pa­rish, nay euery Quot capita, tot Schismata. Hieronym. Man would haue his owne fashi­on by himselfe, as his humor led him: wherof what other could be the issue, but infinit distraction, and vnorderly confusion in the Church? And againe 3 thirdly, to return their weapon vpon themselues; If euery restraint in indifferent things be iniurious to Christian Liberty: then themselues are iniurious no lesse by their negatiue restraint from some Cere­monies, Like that, Col. 2.21. Touch not, taste not, handle not. Weare not, Crosse not, Kneele not, &c. than they would haue the world beleeue our Church is by her positiue restraint vnto these Ceremonies of wearing, & crossing, & kneeling, &c. Let indifferent men iudge, nay let thēselues that are parties iudge, whether is more iniurious to Christian Liberty; publike Authority by mature aduice commanding, what might be forborne, or priuate spirits through humorours dislikes, forbidding what may be vsed: the whole Church imposing the vse, or a few brethren requiring the forbearance; of such things, as are o­therwise and in themselues equally indifferent for vse, or for forbearance.

[Page 31]But they say,§. 12. And the pur­pose and pra­ctice of our Church herein iustified. our Church maketh greater mat­ters of Ceremonies than thus; and preferreth them euen before the most necessarie duties of preach­ing, and administring the Sacraments: in as much as they are imposed vpon Ministers vnder paine of Suspension and Depriuation from their Ministeri­all Functions and Charges. First, for actuall Depri­uation;1 I take it, vnconforming Ministers haue no great cause to complaine. Our Church, it is well knowne, hath not alwayes vsed that rigour shee might haue done. Where she hath bin forced to proceed as farre as depriuation; shee hath ordi­narily by her faire, and slow, and compassionate proceedings therein, sufficiently manifested her vnwillingnesse thereto: and declared her selfe a Mother euery way indulgent enough to such ill-nurtured children, as will not be ruled by her.’ Se­condly,2 those that are suspended or depriued; suffer it but iustly for their obstinacie and contempt. For howsoeuer they would beare the world in hand, that they are the onely persecuted ones, and that they suffer for their consciences: yet in truth, they doe but abuse the credulitie of the simple therein; and herein (as in many other things) iumpe with the Papists, whom they would seeme aboue all others most abhorrent from. For as Seminary Priests and Iesuites giue it out, they are martyred for their Pro inficiati­one pontificatus foeminei. Aqui. pont. in resp. ad Sol. de Anti­christo, Thes. 15. speaking of the Priests executed in the Raigne of Qu. Elizabeth. religion; when the very truth is, they are See Donnes Pseudo-Martyr per totum; espe­cially, c. 5. &c. iustly executed for their prodigious Treasons, and fe­lonious or treacherous practices against lawfull Princes and Estates: So the Brethren pretend they [Page 32] are persecuted for their consciences; when they are indeed, but iustly censured for their obstinate and pertinacious contempt of lawfull authoritie. For, it is not the refusall of these Cerimonies they are depriued for, otherwise than as the matter where­in they shew their contempt: it is the The practice of our Church sufficiently confirmeth this: which censureth no man for the bare omission of some kinde of Rites and Ceremonies now and then; where it may be presumed by the parties cheerefull and generall con­formity other­wise that such omission pro­ceedeth not either from an opinatiue dis­like of the Ce­remony impo­sed, or from a timorous and obsequious humouring of such as doe dislike it. Whosoeuer willingly, and purposely doth openly breake, &c. Artic. 34. Contempt it selfe, which formally and properly subiecteth them to iust Ecclesiasticall Censure of Suspension or Depriuation. And contempt of authority, though in the In minimis quoque mandatis cul­pam facit non minimam; & conuertit in crimen gravis rebellionis navum satis levem simplicis transgressionis, Bern. de praec. & dispens. smallest matter, deserueth no small punish­ment: all authoritie hauing beene euer sollicitous (as it hath good reason) aboue all things to vindi­cate and preserue it selfe from Contempt; by inflict­ing sharpe punishments vpon contemptuous per­sons in the smallest matters, aboue all other sorts of offenders in any degree whatsoeuer. Thus haue wee shewed and cleered the first and maine diffe­rence betwixt the Case of my Text, and the Case of our Church, in regard of the Matter: the things whereabout they differed, being euery way indifferent; ours not so.

§. 22. II. In the Persons.And as in the Matter; so there is secondly much oddes in the condition of the Persons. The refusers in the Case of my Text, being truely weake in the Faith; as being but lately conuerted to the Chri­stian Faith, and not sufficiently instructed by the Church in the doctrine and vse of Christian Liber­ty [Page 33] in things indifferent: Whereas with our refu­sers it is much otherwise. First, they are not new 1 Proselytes; but men borne, and bred, and brought vp in the bosome of the Church: yea many, and the chiefest of them, such as haue taken vpon them the Calling of the Ministerie, and the Charge of Soules, and the Office of teaching and instructing others. And such men should not bee weakelings. Secondly, ours are such as take themselues to haue 2 fame more knowledge, and vnderstanding, and in­sight in the Scriptures, and all diuine learning, than other men: such as between pitie and scorne seeme most to wonder at the ignorance and simplicitie of the vulgar, and to lament (which is, God know­eth, lamentable enough; though not comparable to what it was within not many yeeres since:) the want of knowledge, and the vnsufficiency of some of the Clergie in the Land. And with what reason should these men expect the priuiledge of weake ones? Thirdly, our Church hath sufficiently de­clared 3 and published the innocencie of her pur­pose and meaning in enioyning the Ceremonies: not so onely; but hath been content to heare, and receiue, and admit the obiections and rea­sons of the refusers; and hath taken paines to an­swer and satisfie to the full all that euer yet could be said in that behalfe. And therefore it is vanitie for these men (or their friends in their behalfe) to alledge weakenesse; where all good meanes haue been plentifully vsed for full information in the points: in doubt. Lastly, vpon the premises it 4 [Page 34] doth appeare that the weakenesse of one Brethren, pretended by those that are willing to speak fauo­rably of them, proceedeth for the most part not so much out of simple ignorance, arising from the de­fect either of vnderstanding or meanes; as out of an ignorance at the best in some degree of wilful­nesse and affectation, is not seeking, or not admit­ting such ingenuous satisfaction, as they might haue by reason: if not out of the poison of corrupt and carnall affections (as they giue vs sometimes but too much cause to suspect) of pride, of singula­ritie, of enuy, of contention, of factions admiring some mens persons. By which, and other li [...]e par­tiall affections, mens iudgements become often­times so blinded; that of vnwilling at the first, they become at length vnable to discerne things with that freedome and ingenuity they should. And so the Cases differ in regard of the Persons.

§. 23. III. In their practice.They differ thirdly in the practice of the Per­sons. There the strong did eate, because hee was well assured he might do it, [...], in the Verse before my Text: and the weake did no more but forbeare eating; as indeed hee might doe, no au­thoritie interposing to the contrary. But here, we conforme, not only because we know we may law­fully doe it; but for that we know we must of [...]. Rom. 13.5. ne­cessitie doe it, as bound thereunto in obedience to lawfull authoritie, and in the Not onely for wrath, but also for conscience sake. Ibid. conscience we ought to make of such obedience. And the refusers doe not onely defacto, not conforme▪ to the contempt of authoritie, and the scandall of others: but they [Page 35] stand in it too, and trouble the peace of the Church by their restlesse Petitions, and Supplications, and Admonitions, and other publications of the reasons and grounds of their such refusall. ‘And verily, this Country and Countie hath been not the least busie in these factious and tumultuous courses: both in troubling our most gracious, indicious, and religious Soueraigne with their Meditations on the Lords Prayer, pag. 12 in the Mar­gent. petitions; and also in publishing their reasons, in a Booke called, The Abridgement, printed 1605. to their owne shame, and the shame of their Countrey. Hee who (as I haue been informed) was thought to haue had a chiefe hand in the collecting of those reasons, and printing of that book; was for his obstinate refusal of conformitie iustly de­priued frō his Benefice in this Diocesse, and ther­upon relinquished his Ministerie for a time, be­taking himselfe to another Calling; so depri­uing the Church and people of God of the fruit and benefit of those excellent gifts which were in him. But since that time he hath, vpon better and more aduised iudgement, subscribed and conformed: and the Church like an indulgent Mother hath not only receiued him into her bo­some againe, but hath restored him too, though not to the same, yet to a Benefice elsewhere of farre better value.’

Lastly,§. 24. IIII. In their behaui­our. there is difference in the faulty carriage of the persons: and that on both parts; especial­ly on ours. For though our Non-conforming Bre­thren condemne vs with much liberty of speech [Page 36] and spirit, hauing yet lesse reason for it than the weake Romanes had for the Strong among them might haue forborne some things for the Weakes sake; and it would well haue become them for the auoiding of sca [...]dall so to haue done; which we cannot doe without greater scandall in the open contempt of lawfull Authoritie:) yet we doe not despise them, (I meane with allowance from the Church: if particular m [...]n doe more than they should, it is their priuate [...]ault, and ought not to be imputed to vs, or to our Church) but vse all good meanes we care to draw them to moderate courses and iust obedience; although they better deserue to be despised than the Weake Romanes did: they being truely Weake ▪ our [...] Obstinat [...]; they Timorous, ours also Contemptuous.

§. 25. We despise not our Bre­thren.Now these differences are opened betwixt the Case in any Text, and the Case of our Church: wee may the better iudge how farre forth S. Pauls aduice heere giuen to the Romanes in their case of eating, and not-eating, ought to rule vs in our case of conforming, and not-conforming in point of Ce­remonie. And first, of not-despising: then of not iudg­ing ▪ The ground of the Apostles precept for not despising him that are not, was his weakenesse. So farre then as this ground holdeth in our case, this precept is to be extended, and no further. And we are hereby bound not to despise our Non-confor­ming Brethren, so farre forth as it may probably appeare to vs they are weake and not wilfull. But so farre forth, as by their courses and proceedings [Page 37] it may bee reasonably thought their refusall pro­ceedeth from corrupt or partiall affections, or is apparantly maintained with obstinacie and con­tempt: I take it we may, notwithstanding the Apo­stles admonition in my Text, in some sort euen de­spise them.

But because they thinke they are not so well and fairely dealt withall as they should be:§. 26. Their grie­uances pro­pounded Let vs con­sider their particular grieuances, wherein they take themselues despised; and examine how iust they are. They say, first, they are despised in being scof­fed,1 and flouted, and derided by loose compani­ons,2 and by profane or popishly affected Persons; in being stiled Puritanes, and Brethren, and Precifi­ [...]s, and in hauing many iests and fooleries faste­ned vpon them, whereof they are not guilty. They are secondly despised, All benefit of Law being denyed them, & they debarred of other meanes by conference or writing for their Defence. Def. of Mini­sters reasons. part. 1. pref to Reader. We doe accuse the Reue­rend Bishops in the sight of God and Man, for their hard and extreame dea­ling towards vs. Remouall of imputations, pag. 40. they say, in that when they are conuented before the Bishops and others in Au­thority, they cannot haue the fauour of an indiffe­rent hearing: but are proceeded against as farre as Suspension; and sometimes Depriuation, without taking their answeres to what is obiected, or gi­uing answers to what they obiect. Thirdly, in that many honest and religious men, of excellent and vsefull gifts, cannot bee permitted the liberty of their Consciences, and the free exercise of their Mi­nisterie; onely for standing out in these things, which our selues cannot but confesse to bee indif­ferent.3

To their first Grieuance we answer,§. 27. and answe­red: The first. that we haue nothing to doe with those that are popishly affec­ted. [Page 38]If they wrong them, as it is like enough they will (for they will not stick to wrong their betters) wee are not to be charged with that: let them an­swer for themselues. ‘But by the way, let our Brethren consider, whether their stiffe and vn­reasonable opposing against those lawfull Cere­monies we retaine, may not bee one principall meanes to confirme, but so much the more in their darknes and superstition those that are wa­uering, and might possibly by more ingenuous and seasonable insinuations bee wo [...]ne ouer to imbrace the truth which wee professe. And as for loose persons and prophane ones, that make it their sport vpon their Ale-benches to rayle and scoffe at Puritanes; as if it were warrant enough for them to drinke drunke, talke bawdy sweare and stare, or doe any thing without controll, be­cause forsooth they are no Puritanes; As wee could wish our Brethren, and their Lay-followers, by their vncouth and somtimes ridiculous behauiour had not giuen prophane persons too much aduan­tage to play vpon them, and through their sides to wound euen Religion it selfe: so wee could wish also that some men by vnreasonable and vniust, o­thersome by vnseasonable and indiscreet scoffing at them, had not giuen them aduantage to triumph in their owne innocency, and persist in their affect­ed obstinacie.’ It cannot but be some confirmation to men in error; to see men of dissolute and loose behauiour, with much eagernesse, and perulancie and virulence to speake against them. Wee all [Page 39] know how much scandall and preiudice it is to a right good cause; to be either followed by persons open to iust exception, or maintained with slender & vnsufficient reasons, or prosecuted with vnsea­sonable and vndiscreet violence. And I am verily perswaded, that Many by their factious behauiour were driuen to be Papists. The K. Maiesty in Confer. at Hampt. pag. 98. as the increase of Papists in some parts of the Land, hath occasionally sprung (by a kinde of Antiperistasis) from the intemperate cour­ses of their neighbour Puritanes; so the increase of Puritanes, in many parts of the Land, oweth not so much to any sufficiencie themselues conceiue in their own grounds, as to the disaduantage of some Prophane; or Scandalous, or Idle, or Ignorant, or In­discreet opposers. But setting these aside, I see not but that otherwise the name of Puritane, and the rest, are iustly giuen them. For appropriating to them selues the names of Brethren, Professors, Good men, and other like; as differences betwixt them and those they call Formalists ▪ would they not haue it thought, that they haue a Brotherhood and Profession of their owne, freer and purer from Superstition and Idolatry, than others haue, that are not of the same stampe? and doing so, why may they no [...] be called Puritanes? The name, I know, is sometimes fastened vpon Of late our English A [...]mi­nians haue got the tricke to fetch in within the compasse of this Title of Puritanes, all orthodox Di­uines that op­pose against their Semipelagian subtilties; of purpose to make sound truth odious, and their owne corrupt nouelties more passable, and plausible. those that deserue it not; ask all people will call any man that beareth but the face of honestie, a Puritane: but why should that hinder others from placing it where it is rightly due?

[Page 40] §. 28. The second. ‘To their second Grie [...]ance I answer: Publique meanes by Conferend [...]s, Disputations, and other­wise, haue beene often vsed: and priuate men not seldome afforded the fauour of respite and li­berty to bring in the allegations. And I thinke it can be hardly, or but [...]a [...]ely instanced; that e­uer Depri [...]ation hath beene vsed but where fa­therly Adm [...]nitions haue first beene vsed, and time giuen to the Delinquents to consider of it, and info [...]e themselues better. This course v­sually hath beene taken▪ though euery priuate particular man hath no reason to expect it.’ The Reverend Fathers of our Church▪ wee may well think [...] [...] much other imploiment, cannot be solv [...] thrifty of their good houres as to lauish them out in hearing contentious persons candem canti­lenam, sing the same note a hundred times ouer; and require farther satisfaction after so many pub­lique and vnanswerable satisfactions already gi­uen. Yet haue the Witnesse the learned Bookes of di­uers Reuerend Prelates; Iohn Whitgift, Iohn Buckeridge, Thomas Mor­ton, &c. Bishops, and other Church Gouernours, out of their religious zeale for the peace of Gods Church, beene so farre from despi­sing our Brethren herein▪ that they haue dispensed somtimes with their other weighty [...]ccasio [...]s; and taken paines to answer their [...]ea [...]on [...], and confute their exceptions, satisfie all their doubts, and disco­uer the weaknesse of all their ground [...] in the points questioned.

§. 29. The third.And as to their third Grieuance. First, for my owne part, I make no doubt, neither dare I bee so vncharitable as not to thinke, but that many of [Page 41] them haue honest, and vpright, and sincere hearts to God ward, and are vnfainedly zealous of Gods

Truth, and for Religion. They that are such, no doubt feele the comfort of it in their own soules: and we see the fruits of it in their conuersation, and reioyce at it.

But yet I cannot bee so igno­rant on the other side, as not to know, that the most sanctified and zealous men are men, and subiect to carnall and corrupt affections; and may be so farre swayed by them in their iudgements, as not to bee able to discerne without preiudice and partialitie, truth from errour. Good men, and Gods deare children may continue in some Sancti stante charitate pos­sunt errare eti­am contra Ca­tholicam veri­tatem. Oc­cham Dial. part. 1. lib. 2. cap. 4. error in iudge­ment, & consequently in a sinfull practice arising thence; and liue and die in it (as some of these men haue done in disobedience to lawfull Au­thoriti [...]) and that vnrepented of otherwise, than as in the lumpe of their vnknowne sins. It is not Honesty, or Sincerity, that can priuiledge men from either erring or sinning.

Neither ought the vnreproued conuersation of men, countenance out their Opinions, or their Practices, against the light of Diuine Scripture, and right Reason: As wee reade Cyprians errour in old time; and wee see So Pelagius, from whose root Popery (in that branch) and Arminia­nisme sprouted, was a man as strict for life, as most Ca­tholikes: yet a most dange­rous and pesti­lent Heretike. Pelagij, viri vt audio sancti, & non paruo pro­fectu Christiani. Aug. 3. de pec­cat. merit. & rem. 1. Istum sicut eum quī nouerunt lo­quuntur, bonum as praedican­dum virum. Ibid. cap. 3. Arminius his corrupt doctrine in our dayes haue spred much the more for the reuerend opi­nion men had of their personall endowments and sanctitie. Secondly, though Comparisons bee euer harsh, and most times odious; yet since honestie and pietie is alleaged, (without disparagement be it spoken to the best of them,) there are as good, [Page 42] and honest, and religious, and zealous men euerie way of them that willingly and chearefully con­forme as of them that doe not. In the times of Po­pish persecution, how many godly Bishops, and conformable Ministers laid downe their liues for the testimonie of Gods Truth, and for the mainte­nance of his Gospell. And if it should please God in his iust iudgement (as our sinnes, and amongst others ou [...] Schismes and distractions most worthily deserue,) to put vs once againe to a fierce triall (which the same God for his goodnes and mercie defend;) I make no question but many thousands of Conformers would (by the grace of God) resist vnto blood, embrace the Faggot, and burne at a [...]take in detestation of all Popish Antichristian Ido­late [...] ▪ as readily, and chearefully, and constantly, as the hottest, and precisest, and most scrupulous non Conformer. But thirdly, let mens honesty, and pietie, and gifts be what they can must not [...] of honesty and pietie, and gifts, liue vnder Lawes? And what reason these, or any other respects, should Non enim in cuius quam per­sonâ praetermit­tendum est, quod institutis generalious continetur. Leo dist. 61. Miramur. exempt any man from the iust [...] of the Church in case hee will not, obey her [...] and conforme to her Ceremonies: especially, since such mens immunitie would but encourage others to presume vpon the like fauour: and experience teacheth vs, that no mens errours are so exem­plarie and pernicious; as theirs, who for their emi­nencie of ours, or sanc [...]itie of lif [...] [...]re beast fol­lowed with popular a [...]lause, and the small admi­ration.

[Page 43]We see their Grieuances againste vs,§. 30. Our Bre­thren how they iudge vs. how vniust they are, in the matter of Despising. I would they did no more despise the Churches authoritie, than we doe their infirmities! But in the matter of iudg­ing: see if wee haue not a iust grieuance against them. As might bee declared at large in many in­stances, out of their printed Bookes, and priuate Letters, and common discourses. I will but giue you a I referre the Reader for more particu­lar satisfaction to Fr. Masons Sermon on 1 Cor. [...] 40, pag. 30. Sam. Collie [...] Sermon on 1. Tim. 6.3. p. 21, 22. and others; but especially to their owne writings. taste, because I know I grow tedious, and I long to be at an end.

First, they iudge our Church as halfe Popish and Antichristian, §. 31. I. The Church. for retaining some ceremonies vsed in [...] though wee haue purge them from their Superstitions, and restored them to their Pri­mitiue vse. Their great admired Brightman in Apoc. cap. 3. opener of the Reuelation, maketh our Church the Dinsey-W [...]lsey La [...]dieca [...] Church; neither hot nor cold. And some of them haue [...]oue [...]ly compared our late gracious Soueraigne Queene Elizabeth of most blessed me­morie, to a This Simile was first vsed by a very Re­uerend, graue and worthy Deane, (who hath many waies deserued well of our whole Church) in a Sermon before, Queene Elizabeth: and modestly and moderately vrged, not at all against the Ceremonies (which by his practice hee did allow) but for the further restraint of Popish Priests and Iesuites, who lay thicke in Ireland, and the Westerne coasts of Eng­land and Wales, as he pu [...] of dust and dirt behind the doores. Yet I here ascribed it to the Puri [...]anes, who (though they father it vpon that good man) must owne it [...] their owne brat; because by mis-applying it to the Ceremonies, they haue [...] their owne—Mu [...] [...]mni [...], incipit esse tuum. slattish housewife; that hauing swept the house, yet lose the dust and dirt behinde the doores; meaning thereby the Ceremonies. If our Church were but [...] so ill, as these men would [Page 44] make i [...], I think euery honest religious man should hold himselfe bound to separate from it, as hi [...] most excellent, Maiestie Meditations on the Lords Prayer. pag. 11. &c. primae edit. 1619. See Hookers pref. §. 8. hath obserued the Brow­nists haue done vpon their very grounds: accoun­ting them as luke warme for not quite separating▪ as they doe vs for no further reforming.

§. 32. II. The Bi­shops.Secondly, they iudge our Bishops, and other Church-Gouernours, as Limbes of Antichrist; Lo­custs of the bottomlesse pit; domineering Lords ouer Gods heritage; vsurpers of temporall Iuris­diction; Spirituall Tyrants ouer mens Conscien­ces, &c. seeking by all meanes to make the name of Lord Bishop odious to the Gentrie and Com­mons. ‘Witnesse their Ma [...]-prelate; and other infa­mous and scandalous Libels in [...] Ha­uing power in their hands, if the Bishop should vse more rigorous courses toward [...] them [...] they haue done▪ could ye blame them▪’

§. 33. III. Confor­mers.Thirdly, they iudge those that subscribe and con­forme, [...] time seruers; formall Gos­pellers; State-Diuines; men that know no consci­ence, but Law, not Religion, but the Kings▪ and such as would be as forward for the Masse, as the Communion, if the State should alter.

§. 34. IV. Mini­sters of infe­riour gift [...].Fourthly, all such Ministers as are not endowed with gifts for the Pulpi [...], [...]hey [...], as hirelings, and not Shepheards: calling them idol-Shep­heards; betrayers of Christ Flocke; intruders in­to the Ministery without a Calling; dumbe Dogs, and I know not how many names besides. Yea, al­though they be such as are diligent▪ according to [Page 45] their measure of gifts to perform such duties as the Church requireth; to present the prayers of the people to God; to declare (by reading the holy Bible and good Homilies for that purpose appoin­ted) the will of God to the people; to instruct the yonger sort in the points of Catechisme; to visit and comfort the sicke and afflicted; and to administer reuerently and orderly the holy Sacraments of Baptisme and the Lords Supper.

Fiftly, they iudge all such as interpose for the Churches peace, and oppose their nouelties,§. 35. V. Them that oppose them. as ene­mies to all goodnesse, men of prophane mindes; haters of Religion; despisers of the Word; perse­cutors of the Brethren, impes of Satan; instru­ments of Hell; and such as vtterly abhorre all god­ly and Christian courses.

Sixtly, and lastly (for I irke to rake longer in this sinke) they bewray themselues to be manifest Iudges of all that are not of their stampe;§. 36. VI. All but themselues. by sin­gling out vnto themselues; and those that fauour them; certaine proper Appellations, of Brethren, and Good men, and Professors: as if none had Bro­therhood in Christ, none had interest in goodnesse, none made Profession of the Gospell, but them­selues. Whereas others haue receiued the signe of their Profession in their foreheads after Bap­tisme, which perhaps they did not: whereas o­thers daily stand vp in the Congregation to make Profession of their Christian beliefe, which it may be they do not or, (if those things be not materiall) whereas others by the grace of God are as sted­fastly [Page 46] resolued in their hearts, if need should be, to seale the truth of their Profession with their bloud, as any of them can be.

§. 37. Their miti­gation remo­ued.But they will say, these peremptorie Censures are but the faults of some few: all are not so hote and fierio [...] ▪ There bee others that are more tem­perate in their speeches, and Moderate in their courses, and desire onely they may bee spared for their owne particular: but they preach not a­gainst any of these things, nor intermeddle to make more stirres in the Church.

1 I answer first: it were lamentable, if this were not so. If all were of that hote temper, or distemper rather, that many are; they would quickely tyre out themselues without spurring. Farre bee it from vs to iudge mens hearts: or [...] men for that we know not by them▪’ Yet of some that carry themselues with tolerable moderation outwardly; wee haue some cause to su [...]pect, that they doe inwardly and in their heart iudge as deepely, as the hottest-spiri­ted [...] And wee gather it from their for­ward [...]sse [...] and vpon euery slender occasion obliquity to gi [...]d, and indirectly to glance at our Church and the discipline and the Ceremo­nies thereof, as farre as they well dare. And if such men meddle no further, wee may reasonably thinke, Eadem velle cos cognosces: d [...] posse, quantum volunt. Senec. Epist. 42. it is not forward of good will to doe it; but because they d [...]e not.

2 Secondly, though they preach not against these things in the publique Congregations; yet in [Page 47] their priuate Conuenticles it is not vnknowne some doe. Though their Pulpits doe not ring with it; yet their houses do: though their ordinary Sermons ad populum be more modest; yet their set conferen­ces are somtimes but too free, especially when they are required their opinions by those that inuite them▪ And what themselues for feare of Censure thus preach but Mat. 10.27. in the eare; their Lay Disciples openly preach on the house top.

Thirdly, although both their Pulpits and Tables 3 should be silent: yet their Practice sufficiently prea­cheth their dislike. And who knoweth not that a Reall and Exemplary seducement maketh the Au­thor guilty; as well as a Verball and Oratory? Saint Peter did not preach Iudaisme; but only, for offen­ding the Iewes, forbare to eate with the Gentiles: yet S, Paul reproueth him for it to his face, and in­terpreteth that Fact of his, as an effectuall & almost compulsure seducement; Cogis Iudaizare, Gal. 2. Gal. 2.14. Vtique conuer­sationis fuit vi­tium, non praedi­cationis. Ter­tul. de prae­script. cap. 23. Non imperio, sed facto. Lyra. Non docentis imperio, sed conuersationis exemplo. Gloss. Ord. Why compellest thou the Gentiles to Iudaize?

Lastly, it is to be considered, whether it may be 4 enough for a Pastor, not to meddle with these things: & whether he be not in conscience bound, especially in case he liue among a people distracted in opinions, to declare himselfe expressely either for them, or against them. If they bee vtterly vn­lawfull, and he know it so; how is he not bound in conscience to reproue those that vse them, or re­quire them? otherwise hee betrayeth the Otherwise what else doe we, but deny and betray the truth? De­fence of Min. reasons part 1. Pref. to the Reader. truth of God by his silence, and suffereth men to go on in their superstition without rebuke. But if hee be suf­ficiently [Page 48] resolued of their lawfulnesse; how is he not bound in conscience to reproue those that re­fuse them, or oppose them? otherwise hee betrayeth the peace of the Church by his silence, and suffereth men to goe on in their disobedience without rebuke. Nay more, euery Minister that hath receiued pa­storall Charge, hath twice or thrice (if not oftener) witnessed his allowance of all and singular the 39. Articles of the Church of England. Once at his Or­dination before the Bishop; then at his Institution into his Benefice, before his Ordinary; and both these by Subscription vnder his hand: and then af­ter vpon his Induction, before his owne Flocke, and that by verbal Approbation. By which Subscription and Approbation, hee hath not onely acknowled­ged Artic. 20. in the Church the power of ordaining Rites and Ceremonies, Art. 20. but hee hath after a sort also bound himselfe Art. 34. openly to rebuke such as willingly and purposely breake the Traditions & Ceremonies of the Church, as offenders against the common Orders of the Church, and wounders of the Consciences of the weake brethren, Art. 34. He then, that for any re­spect whatsoeuer is meale mouthed in these things wherein he is bound both in Conscience, & by ver­tue of his owne voluntary Act to speake freely: nei­ther is constant to his owne hand and tongue; nor is Heb. 3.2. faithfull in Gods [...]ouse; [...] was Moses, in dischar­ging a good Conscience, and reuealing vnto his people Act. 20.27. the whole Counsell of God.

§. 38. The conclu­sion.Thus haue I endeuoured, hauing the opportuni­ty of this place, as I held my selfe both in Consci­ence, [Page 49] and in regard of my Subscription bound) to de­liuer my opinion freely, so farre as my Text gaue occasion, concerning the Ceremoniall Constitutions of our Church: and therein laboured to free, not onely the Conformer from all vniust Censures; but euen the Non-conformer also, so far as he hath rea­son to expect it, from all scandalous Despisings. I beseech you pardon my length, if I haue bin trou­blesome: I had much to say; and the matter was weightie; and I desired to giue some satisfaction in it to those that are contrary-minded; and I haue no purpose (for any thing I know) at all to trouble this place any more hereafter. Let vs all now hum­bly beseech Almightie God to grant a blessing to what hath been presently taught and heard: that it may work in the harts of vs all charitable affections one towards another, due obedience to lawfull Au­thoritie, and a conscionable care to walk in our seue­rall callings, faithfully, painefully, and peaceably; to the comfort of our owne soules, the edification of Gods Church, and the glory of the euer-blessed Trinitie, the Father, Sonne, and Holy Ghost, three Persons and one God. To whom be ascribed by vs and the whole Church, as is most due, the Kingdome, the Power and the Glory, for euer and euer. Amen.

At a Visitation at Boston Linc. 24. April. 1621.THE SECOND SERMON.

ROM. 3.8.

And not rather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirme that we say,) Let vs doe euill, that good may come: whose damnation is iust.

§. 1. The Occa­sion. A Little before, at the fourth verse, Saint Paul had deliuered a Conclusion; sound and comfortable: and strengthened it from Dauids both experience, and testimony in That thou mightest be iu­stified in thy sayings, and mightest ouer­come when thou art iudged Psal. 51.4. Psal. 51. A place preg­nant, and full of sinewes to enforce it. The Con­clusion in effect was; that Nothing in man can annull the Couenant of God. Neither the originall vnwor­thinesse of Gods children, through the vniuersall corruption of nature, nor their actuall vnfaithful­nesse bewrayed (through frailtie) in particular tryals; can alienate the free loue of God from them, or cut them off from the Couenant of Grace: but that still God will be glorified in the truth and faithfulnes of his promises, notwithstan­ding any vnrighteousnes or vnfaithfulnes in man.

[Page 51]But neuer yet was any Truth so happily inno­cent,§. 2. Coherence, as to maintaine it selfe free from Calumnie and Abuse. Malite on the one hand, and Fleshlinesse on the other; though with different aimes, yet doe the same worke. They both peruert the Truth, by drawing pestilent Corollaries from sound Conclusi­ons, as the Spider sucketh poyson from medicina­ble herbes. But with this difference; Malice slan­dereth the Truth, to discountenance it: but Flesh­linesse abuseth the Truth, to countenance it self by it. The cauilling Sophister, hee would faine bring the Apostles gracious Doctrine into discredit: The carnall Libertine, he would as faine bring his owne vngracious behauiour into credit. Both, by making false, yet colourable, Inferences from the former Conclusion. There are Triplex in­conueniens, Ly­ranus hîc. three of those 1 Inferences: but neuer a good. The first; If so, then cannot God in reason and iustice take vengeance of our vnrighteousnesse. The Colour: for why should he punish vs for that, which so much mag­nifieth and commendeth his righteousnesse? Vers. 5. But if our vnrighteousnes commend the righteousnesse of God, what shal we say? Is God vnrighteous that taketh vengeance? The second Inference: If so; then it is 2 iniust either in God or Man to condemne vs as sin­ners, for breaking the Law. The Colour: for why should that action be censured of sinne, which so abundantly redoundeth to the glorie of God? Vers 7. For if the Truth of God hath more abounded, through my lie, vnto his glorie, why yet am I also iud­ged as a sinner? The third, and last, and worst Infe­rence:3 [Page 52] If so, then it is a good and a wise resolution, Let vs sinne freely, and boldly commit euill. The Colour: for why should we feare to doe that, from which so much good may come? in this verse of my Text, And not rather, Let vs doe euill, that good may come.

§. 3. Diuision,This last cauilling Inference, the Apostle in this verse both bringeth in, and casteth out againe: bringeth in, as an obiection; and casteth out by his an­swer. An answer which at once cutteth off both it, and the former inferences. And the Answer is double: Ad rem, ad hominem. That concerneth the force and matter of the obiection: this, the state and danger of the obiectors. Ad rem, in the former part of the verse; [And not rather (as we be slande­rously reported, and as some affirme that we say,) Let vs do euill, that good may come.] Ad hominem, in the latter end; [Whose damnation is iust.] In the for­mer part, there is an Obiection; and the Reiection of it. The Obiection, And not rather, Let vs doe euill that good may come. The Reiection thereof with a Non sequitur; implying not onely the bare in con­sequence of it vpon the Apostles Conclusion, but withall, and especially the falsenes & vnsoundnes of it taken by it selfe; As we be slanderously reported, and as some affirme that we say, Let vs doe euill, &c.

§. 4. and Summe of the Text.My aime at this present is to insist especially vp­on on a Principle of practike Diuinitie; which by ioynt consent of Writers old, and new; Orthodoxe, and Po­pish; resulteth from the very body of this verse, and is of right good vse to direct vs in sundry difficul­ties, [Page 53] which daily arise in vitae communi, in point of Conscience. The Principle is this; We must not do any euill, that any good may come of it. Yet there are besides this, in the Text diuers other inferiour ob­seruations not to bee neglected. With which I think it wil not be amisse to begin, and to dispatch them first briefly; that so I may fall the sooner, and stay the longer vpon that which I mainely intend.

Obserue first the Apostles Method,§. 5. OBSER. I. Diuine truths must be clea­red from cauill. and substan­tiall manner of proceeding: how he cleareth all as he goeth; how diligent he is and carefull, betimes to remoue such cauils, (though he Propter hos arguendos, fecit Paulus hîc qua­si digressionem tractando haec. Caietan hîc. step a little out of his way for it) as might bring scandall to the Truth he had deliuered. When we preach and in­struct others, we should not thinke it enough to de­liuer positiue truths: but we should take good care also, as neere as we can, to leaue them cleare; and by preuention to stop the mouthes of such, as loue to picke quarrels at the Truth, and to barke against the light. It were good we would (so farre as our leisure and gifts will permit) wisely forecast, and preuent all offence that might be taken at any part of Gods truth: and be carefull, as not to broach any thing that is false, through rashnesse, errour, or intemperance; so not to betray any truth by igno­rant handling, or by superficiall, flight, and vnsatis­fying answers. But then especially concerneth it vs to bee most carefull herein; when wee haue to speake before such, as we haue some cause before­hand to suspect to be, through ignorance, or weake­nesse, or custome, or education, or preiudice, or partiall [Page 54] affections, or otherwise contrary-minded vnto, or at leastwise not wel perswaded of those Truths we are to teach. If the wayes be rough and knotty, and the passengers feeble-ioynted and darke-sighted: it is but needfull the guides should remoue as ma­ny blockes and stones out of the way, as may bee. When we haue gone as warily as we can to work, Cauillers (if they list) will take exceptions: it is our part to see wee giue them not the aduantage, lest wee helpe to iustifie the Principals, by making our selues Accessories. Those men are ill aduised, how euer zealous for the Truth, that stirre in con­trouersed points, and leaue them worse than they found them. Aut animo demas, aut viri­bus addas. Dic­tum Archida­mi ad filium. Stomake will not beare out a man without strength: and to encounter an ad­uersary are required As Zuinglius said of Carolo­stadius (whom hee iudged too weake to vn­dertake the defence of the Truth against Luther in the point of Con­substantiation) Non satis hu­merorum habet. Sleidan. Shoulders, as well as gall. A good cause is neuer betrayed-more, than when it is prosecuted with much eagernesse, but little suf­ficiencie. This from the method.

§. 6. OBSERV. II. The Slander of the Mini­sters regular doctrine, is more than an ordinary Slander.Obserue secondly the Apostles maner of speech, [...]. Translators render it; As we are wrongfully blamed, As we are slandered, As we are slanderously reported. And the word indeede from the [...]. Originall importeth no more: and so Writers both Prophane, and Sacred vse it. But yet in Scriptures by a Specialtie it most times signifieth the highest degree of Slander; when we open our mouthes against God, and speake ill, or amisse, or vnworthily of God: that is [...], and properly the sin wee call Blasphemy. And yet, that very word of Blasphemy, which for the most part referreth [Page 55] immediately to God, the Apostle heere vseth, when he speaketh of himselfe and other Christian Ministers [...], as we are slandered, nay as we are blasphemed. A slander or other wrong or con­tempt done to a Minister, quà talis, is a sinne of a higher straine, than the same done to a common Christian. Not at all for his Persons sake: for so he is no more Gods good creature than the other; no more free [...]. Act. 14.15. & Iam. 5.17. from sinnes, and infirmities and pas­sions than the other. But for his Callings sake; for so hee is Gods 2. Cor. 5.20. Embassadour, which the other is not: and for his workes sake; for that is Gods 1. Thes. 2.13 message, which the others is not. Personall Slan­ders and Contempts are to a Minister, but as to another man: because his person is but as another mans Person. But Slanders and Contempts done to him as a Minister, that is, with reference either to his Calling, or Doctrine, are much greater than to another man: as reaching vnto God himselfe; whose Person the Minister representeth in his Cal­ling; and whose errand the Minister delivereth in his Doctrine. For Contempts, Saint Paul is expresse elsewhere; 1. Thes. 4.8. He that despiseth, despiseth not Man, but God. And as for Slanders; the very choice of the word in my Text inferreth as much. The dig­nitie of our Calling, enhaunceth the sinne: and euerie Slander against our regular Doctrines, is more than a bare Calumnie; if no more, at least petty We haue heard him speake blas­phemous words against Moses, and a­gainst God, Acts 6.11. blasphemie [...], As wee are slandered, as wee are blasphemed. That from the word.

[Page 56] §. 7. OBSER. III. The best truths are subiect to Slander.Obserue thirdly, the wrong done to the Apostle, and to his Doctrine. Hee was slanderously repor­ted to haue taught that, which hee neuer so much as thought: and his Doctrine had many scandalous imputations fastened vpon it, whereof neither hee nor it were guilty, [As we are slanderously reported, and as some affirme that we say.] The best truths are subiect to mis-interpretation: and there is not that Doctrine, how firmely soeuer grounded, how warily soeuer deliuered; whereon Calumny wil not fasten, and stick slanderous imputations. Neither Matth. 11.17, 18, 19. Iohns mourning, nor Christs piping can passe the pikes: but the one hath a Diuell; the other is a glutton and a wine-bibber. Though Matth. 5.17. Christ come to fulfill the Law, yet there bee will accuse him as a destroyer of the Law, Matth. 5. And though he decide the que­stion plainely for Caesar, and that in the case of Tri­bute, Matth. 22. Mat. 22.21. Giue vnto Caesar the things that are Caesars: yet there be that charge him, as if hee Ioh. 19.12. spake against Caesar, Ioh. 19. and that in the very case of Tribute, as if hee Luke 23.2. forbade to giue Tribute vnto Caesar, Luke 23. Now if they Mat. 10.25. called the Master of the house Beelzebub; how much more them of his houshold? If Christs did not; thinke wee the doctrine of his Ministers and his Seruants could escape the stroke of mens tongues, and bee free from calumny and cauill? How the Apostles were slandered as Seducers, and Sectaries, and vaine babblers, and Heretiques, and broachers of new and false and pestilent doctrines; their Epistles, and the booke of their Acts witnesse abundantly to [Page 57] vs. And for succeeding times, reade but the Apo­logies of Athenagoras, and Tertullian, and others: and it will amaze you to see what blasphemous, and seditious, and odious, and horrible impieties, were fathered vpon the ancient Christian Doctors, and vpon their profession. But our owne experience goeth beyond all. The Doctors of our Church teach truely, and agreeably to vnanswerable eui­dences of Scripture, the Act. 17.28. & Esay. 26.12. effectual concurrence of Gods will and power, with subordinate Agents; in euery, and therefore euen in sinfull actions; Gods Rom. 9.11.15.18, &c. free election of those whom hee purposeth to saue of his owne grace, without any motiues in, or from themselues; The immutabilitie of Gods Ioh. 13.1. Rom. 11.29. & 5.9.10. & 8.35.38.39. Loue & Grace towards the Saints, and their cer­taine perseuerance therein vnto Saluation; The Rom. 3.28. Iu­stification of sinners by the imputed righteousnesse of Christ, apprehended and applyed vnto them by a liuely faith; without the works of the Law. These are sound, and true, and comfortable, and profita­ble, and necessary doctrines. And yet that impu­dent Strumpet of Rome hath the forehead, I will not say to slander, my Text alloweth more, to blaspheme God, and his Truth, and the Ministers thereof for teaching them. Bellarmine, Gretser, Maldonate, & the Iesuites; but none more than our owne English Fugitiues, Bristow, Stapleton, Parsons, Kellison, and all the rabble of those Romish hell­hounds, freely spend their mouthes in barking a­gainst vs; as if we made God the author of sinne: as if wee would haue men sinne and be damned, by a [Page 58] Stoicall fatall necessitie; sinne whether they will or no, and be damned whether they deserue it or no: as if wee opened a gappe to all licenciousnesse and prophanenesse; let men beleeue, it is no matter how they liue, heauen is their owne cock-sure: as if we cry­ed downe good workes, & condemned charity. Slan­ders loud, and false; yet easily blowne away with one single word, [...]. These imputations vp­on vs and our doctrine are vniust: but [...], let them that thus mis-report vs, know, that with­out repentance their damnation will be iust.

§. 8. With the Causes;It would be time not ill spent, to discouer the grounds of this obseruation, and to presse the vses of it something fully. But because my ayme lyeth another way; I can but point at them, and passe. If seldome Truth scape vnslandered, maruell not: the reasons are euident. ‘On Gods part, on Mans part, on the Diuels part. God suffereth, Man ray­seth: & the Diuel furthereth these slanders against the Truth.’ To begin ordine retrogrado, & to take 1 them backwards. First, on the Diuels part: a kinde of Contrariety and Antipathie betwixt him and it. Hee being the Ioh. 8.44. Father of lies, and Eph. 6.12. Prince of darknesse, cannot away with the Truth, and with the Light: and therefore casteth vp slanders, as Fogs and Mists against the Truth to belie it, and 2 against the Light to darken it. Secondly, on mans 1 part: And that partly in the Vnderstanding; when the iudgement either of it selfe weake, or else wea­kened through precipitancie, preiudice, or other­wise, is deceiued with fallacies instead of sub­stance, [Page 59] and mistaketh seeming inferences, for ne­cessary and naturall deductions. Partly in the Will; 2 when men of corrupt mindes set themselues pur­posely against the knowne truth, and out of mali­cious wilfulnesse (against the strong testimonie of their owne hearts) slander it, that so they may dis­grace it, and them that professe it. Partly in the Affections; when men ouercome by carnall affecti­ons,3 are content to cheate their owne soules by gi­uing such constructions to Gods Truth, as will for requital, giue largest allowance to their practices, and so rather chuse to crooken the Rule to their own bent, than to leuell themselues and their affections and liues according to the Rule. Thirdly, on Gods 3 part; who suffereth his owne Truth to be slande­red and mistaken. Partly in his Iustice; as a fearefull 1 Iudgement 2 Thess. 2.10.11.12. vpon wicked ones, whereby their hard hearts become yet more hardened, and their most iust condemnation yet more iust. Partly, in 2 his Goodnesse; as a powerfull fiery triall of true Do­ctors, whose constancie and sinceritie is the more 1 Cor. 11.19. approued with him, and the more eminent with men, if they Ioh. 10.12. flie not when the Wolfe commeth, but keepe their standing, and stoutly maintaine Gods truth, when it is deepliest slandered, and hotliest opposed. And partly, in his Wisedome; as a rich oc­casion 3 for those, whom hee hath gifted for it, 2 Tim. 1.6. [...] to awaken their zeale, to quicken vp their industrie, to muster vp their abilities, to scowre vp their spirituall armour, (which else through dis-vse might gather rust) for the defence, [Page 60] and for the rescue of that 1 Tim. 6.20. & 2 Tim. 1.14. [...], that pre­cious truth whereof they are depositaries, & where­with he hath entrusted them.

§. 9. and Corolla­ries thereof.These are the Grounds. The Vses, for instruction briefly are, to teach and admonish euery one of vs: that wee be not either first, so wickedly malicious, 1 as without apparant cause, to rayse any slander; or 2 secondly, so foolishly credulous, as without seuere 3 examination, to beleeue any slander; or thirdly, so basely timorous, as to flinch from any part of Gods truth for any slander. But I must not insist. This from the slander.

§. 10. OBSER. IV. Euery slan­der,Obserue fourthly, how peremptorie the Apostle is in his censure against the slanderers or abusers of holy truths: Whose damnation is iust. Ambrosius; Lyra; Piscator; Pareus, &c. Some vn­derstand it with reference to the Slanderers; As we be slanderously reported, and as some affirme that wee say: Whose damnation is iust: that is, their damnati­on is iust, who thus vniustly slander vs. Chrysosto­mus; Caieta­nus; Erasmus, &c. Others vnderstand it with reference to that vngodly reso­solution: Let vs doe euill, that good may come; whose damnation is iust: that is, their damnation is iust for the euill they doe, who aduenture to doe any euill, vnder whatsoeuer pretence of good to come of it. Both expositions are good; and I rather embrace both, than preferre either. I euer held it a kinde of honest spirituall thrift; where there are two senses giuen of one place, both agreeable to the Analogie of Faith and Manners, both so indifferently appli­able to the words and scope of the place, as that it is hard to say, which was rather intended; though [Page 61] there was but one intended, yet to make vse of both. And so will we. Take it the first way: and the slanderer may reade his doome in it. Here is his wages, and his portion, and the meed and reward of his slander; Damnation. And it is a iust reward. He condemneth Gods truth vniustly: God condem­neth him iustly for it; Whose damnation is iust. If we be countable (and wee are countable at the day of Iudgement) for Math. 12.36. euery idle word we speake; though neither in it selfe false, nor yet hurtfull and preiudi­ciall vnto others: what lesse than damnation can they expect, that with much falshood for the thing it selfe, and infinite preiudice in respect of others, blaspheme God and his holy Truth?

But if it be done of purpose,§. 11. Whether ma­licious. and in malice to de­spight the Truth, and the Professors thereof: I scarce know whether there bee a greater sinne, or no. Maliciously to oppose the knowne Truth, is by most Diuines accounted a principall branch of that great vnpardonable sinne, the sinne against the holy Ghost: by some, the very sinne it selfe. I dare not say it is so; nor yet that it is vnpardonable, or hath finall impenitencie necessarily attending it: I would bee loth to interclude the hope of Repen­tance from any sinner; or to confine Gods Mercy within any bounds. Yet thus much I thinke I may safely say; it commeth shrewdly neere the sinne a­gainst the holy Ghost, and is a faire (or rather a foule) step towards it, and leaueth very little hope of pardon. That great sin against the holy Ghost, the Holy Ghost it selfe in the Scriptures chuseth, rather [Page 62] than by any other to expresse by this name of Math. 12.31.32. Blasphemie, Mat. 12. And whereas our Apostle, 1 Tim. 1. saith, That though he were a Blasphemer, yet 1 Tim. 1.13. he obtained Mercy, because he did it ignorantly in vnbeliefe: he leaueth it questionable, but withall suspicious, whether there may bee any hope of Mercy for such as blaspheme maliciously, & against knowledge. If any mans be; certainly such a mans demnation is most iust.

§. 12. or not, is damnable.But not all Slanders of Gods truth are of that deepe die: not all Slanderers, sinners in that high degree. God forbid they should. There are re­spects, which much qualifie and lessen the sin. But yet allow it any in the least degree, and with the most fauourable circumstances; still the Apostles sentence standeth good: Without repentance their damnation is iust. Admit the Truth bee darke and difficult, and so easily to be mistaken: admit withall, the man be weake and ignorant, and so apt to mistake; his vnderstanding being neither distinct through in capacitie to apprehend and sort things aright, nor yet constant to it selfe through vnsettled­nesse and leuitie of iudgement. Certainly his mis­prision of the Truth is so much Inuoluntari­um minuit de ratione peccati. lesser, than the others wilfull Calumnie; as it proceedeth lesse from the irregularitie of the Will to the Iudgement. And of such a man there is good hope, that both in time he may see his errour, and repent expresly and particularly for it; and that in the meane time he doth repent for it implicitè, & inclusiuely in his generall contrition for, and confession of the massie [Page 63] lumpe of his hidden, and Psal. 19. secret, and vnknowne sinnes. This Charity bindeth vs both to hope for the future, and to thinke for the present: and Saint Pauls example and words in the 1 Tim. 1.13. place but now alledged, are very comfortable to this purpose. But yet still thus much is certaine: He that through ignorance, or for want of apprehension or iudge­ment, or by reason of whatsoeuer other defect or motiue, bringeth a slander vpon any diuine Truth; though neuer so perplexed with difficulties, or o­pen to cauill: vnlesse he repent for it, either in the particular, (and that he must doe, if euer God open his eyes, and let him see his fault,) or at leastwise in the generall; it is still a damnable sinne in him; His damnation is iust. We haue the very case almost in terminis laid downe, and thus resolued in 2 Pet. 3. 2 Pet. 3.18. In which are some things hard to be vnderstood, (obserue the condition of the things; hard to be vn­derstood) which they that are vnlearned, and vnsta­ble, (obserue also the condition of the persons; vn­learned, and vnstable,) wrest, as they doe also the o­ther Scriptures, to their owne destruction. Where we haue the matter of great difficultie, hard to bee vn­derstood; the persons of small sufficiencie, vnlear­ned, and vnstable, and yet if men, euen of that weak­nesse, wrest and peruert truths, though of that hard­nesse, they do it [...], to their own destruction, saith S. Peter there; to their owne iust damnation, saith S. Paul in my Text. This from the Censure in the first sense.

[Page 64] §. 13. We must not doe any euill, for any good.Take it in the other sense, with reference to this vngodly resolution, Let vs doe euill, that good may come: it teacheth vs, that no pretension of doing it in ordine ad Deum, for Gods glory, to a good end, or any other colour whatsoeuer, can excuse those that presume to doe euill; but that still the euill they doe is damnable, and it is but iust with God to render damnation to them for it; Whose damna­tion is iust. And thus vnderstood, it openeth vs a way to the consideration of that maine Principle whereof I spake, and whereon by your patience I desire to spend the remainder of my time; namely this: We must not for any good, doe any euill. For the farther opening, and better vnderstanding where­of, (since the rule is of infinite vse in the whole practice of our liues:) that wee may the better know when, and where, and how farre to apply it aright for the direction of our Consciences and Actions; we must of necessitie vnfold the extent of this word, euil, and consider the seuerall kinds and degrees of it distinctly and apart. Wee must not doe euill, that good may come.

§. 14. Touching e­uils of paine.First, euill is of two sorts. The euill of fault, and the euill of punishment. Malum delicti, and Malum supplicij; asTertul. l. 2. adu. Marcion cap. 14. Tertullian calleth them: or as the more receiued termes are, Malum Culpae, and Malum Paenae. The euill we commit against God, and the euill God inflicteth vpon vs. The euill we doe; vn­iustly, but yet willingly: and the euill we suffer vn­willingly, but yet iustly. In a word, the euill of sin, and the euill of paine. Touching euills of paine; if [Page 65] the Case be put, when two such euils are propoun­ded, and both cannot be auoided, whether we may not make choyce of the one, to auoide the other. The resolution is Inter haec da­tur electio; & minus damnum facere licet, vt euitetur maius, Pareus hîc. common and good from the old Maxime, è malis minimum, we may incurre the lesser, to preuent the greater euill. ‘As wee may deliuer our purse to a Theefe, rather than fight vpon vnequall termes to saue it: and in a tempest cast our wares into the Sea, to lighten the Ship that it wracke not: and indure the launcing and [...]earing of an old sore, to keepe it from festering and spreading.’ And this Principle in my Text is not a rule for that Case: that being propounded concerning euils of Paine; whereas my Text is in­tended onely of the euils of Sinne. Wee are here­hence resolued, that we are not to do any euill, that good may come of it: for all which yet we may suffer some euill, that good may come of it. Al­though (to note that by the way) the common an­swer è malis minimum, euen in euils of Paine is to be vnderstood, (as most other practicall conclusi­ons are) not as simply and vniuersally; but as com­monly and ordinarily true. For (as Slater on this place. one saith well) perhaps there are Cases, wherin two euils of Paine being at once propounded, it may not bee safe for vs to be our owne caruers.

But I must let passe the Questions concerning e­uils of Paine, as impertinencies.§. 15. Euils of sin simply such. The euils of sin are of two sorts. Some are euill formally, simply, & per se; such as are directly against the scope & purpose of some of Gods Commandements: as Atheisme [Page 66] against the first, Idolatry against the second, and so against the rest, Blasphemy, Prophanenesse, Disloyaltie, Crueltie, Adulterie, Iniustice, Calumny, Auarice, and the like; all which are euill in their owne nature, and can neuer (positis quibuscunque circumstantijs) be done well. Othersome are euill only respectiue­ly, and by accident: but otherwise in their own na­ture indifferent; and such as may be, and are done sometimes well, somtimes ill. To know the nature of which things the better, since they are of singu­lar vse for the resolution of many Cases of Con­science: wee must yet more distinctly inquire into the different kinds (or rather degrees) of indifferent things; and into the different meanes, whereby things otherwise in nature indifferent, become acci­dentally euill for their vse.

§. 16. Things equal­ly indifferent,Indifferent things are either equally, or vnequally such. We may call them for distinctions sake (and I thinke not altogether vnfitly) [...]. indifferentia ad vt rumlibet; and [...]. indifferentia ad vnum. Indiffe­rentia ad vtrumlibet, or equally indifferent things are such, as (barely con [...]idered) are arbitrarie ei­ther way, and hang in aequilibrio betweene good and euill, without turning the Scale either one way or other, as not hauing any notable inclinati­on or propension vnto either rather than other: as to drinke fasting, to walke into the fields, or to life vp ones hand vnto his head, &c. Now concerning such things as these, if any man should bee so scru­pulous, as to make a matter of conscience of them, and should desire to be resolued in point of Con­science [Page 67] whether they were good or euill; as namely, whether hee should do well or ill, to walke abroad into the fields a mile or two with his friend, the thing it selfe is so equally indifferent, that it were resolution enough to leaue it in medio, and to an­swer him, there were neither good nor hurt in it: the Action of walking, barely considered, being not greatly either morally good, or morally euill. ‘I say, morally; for in matter of health or ciuilitie, or o­therwise it may be good, or euill: but not Quia eorum obiectum non includit ali­quid pertinens ad ordinem ra­tionis. Aquin. 1.2. qu. 18. art. 8. in corp. mo­rally, and spiritually, and in matter of conscience. And I say withall barely considered, for there may be circumstances, which may make it accidentally euill. As to walke abroad in the fields, when a man should be at Diuine Seruice in the Church, is by accident morally euill; through the circumstance of ‘Time: as on the contrary, not to walke, if we haue promised to meet a friend at such a time, and in such a place, who standeth need of our present helpe, is by accident morally euill, through the obligation of that former promise.’ But yet still, these and other circumstances set aside; barely to walke, or barely not to walke, and the like, are Indif­ferentia ad vtrumlibet, things in their owne nature (and that equally) indifferent.

Things vnequally indifferent are such,§. 17. And things vnequally in­different. as though they be neither vniuersally good, nor absolutely e­uill; yet euen barely considered, sway more or lesse rather the one way than the other. And that either vnto good, or vnto euill. Of the former sort are such outward actions, as being in Morall pre­cepts [Page 68] indefinitely commanded, are yet sometimes sinfully and ill done: as, giuing an Almes, hearing a Sermon, reprouing an offender; and the like. Which are in themselues good; and so to bee ac­counted, rather than euill, though some vnhappy 2 circumstance or other may make them ill. Of the later sort are such outward actions, as beeing in Morall precepts indefinitely prohibited, are yet in some cases lawfull, and may be well done: as, swea­ring an oath, trauelling on the Sabbath day, playing for money; and the like. Which are in themselues rather euill, than good, because they are euer euill, vnlesse all circumstances concurre to make them good. Now of these actions, though the former sort carry the face of good, the later of euill; yet in very truth both sorts are indifferent. Vnderstand mee aright: I do not meane indifferent indifferen­tiâ contradictionis, such as may bee indifferently ei­ther done, or not done; but indifferent onely in­differentiâ contrarietatis, such as (suppose the do­ing) may be indifferently either good or euill: be­cause so they may bee done, as to be good, and so they may be done also, as to be euill. But yet with this difference, that those former, though indiffe­rent, and in some cases euill, are yet of themselues notably & eminently inclined vnto good, rather than euill; and these later proportionably vnto euill ra­ther than good. From which difference it com­meth to passe, that to the Question barely proposed concerning the former actions, whether they bee good or euill; the answer is iust and warrantable, [Page 69] to say indefinitely they are good: and contrarily con­cerning the later actions, to say indefinitely, they are euill.

Which difference well weighed (to note that by the way) would serue to iustifie a common prac­tice of most of vs in the exercise of our Ministerie,§. 18. A profitable digression, oc­casioned from the premises. against such as distaste our doctrine for it, or vn­iustly otherwise take offence at it. Ordinarily in our Sermons we indefinitiuely condemne as euill, swearing, and gaming for money, and dancing, and re­creations vpon the Sabbath day, & going to Law, and retaliation of iniuries, and Monopolies, and raising of rents, and taking forfeitures of Bonds, &c. and in our owne coat Non-residency, and Pluralities, &c. Most of which yet, and many other of like nature, most of vs do, or should know to be in some cases lawful; and therefore in the number of those indifferent things which wee call Indifferentia ad vnum. You that are our hearers should bring so much charita­ble discretion with you, when you heare vs in the Pulpits condemne things of this nature; as to vn­derstand vs no otherwise, than wee either doe or should meane, and that is thus: that such and such things are euill, as now adaies, through the corrup­tions of the times, most men vse them; and such as therefore should not be aduentured vpon with­out mature & vnpartiall disquisition of the vpright­nesse of our affections therein, ‘and a seuere triall of all circumstances, whether they carry weight enough with them to giue our consciences Let euery man be fully perswaded ( [...]) in his owne mind, vers. 5. suf­ficient securitie, not onely of their lawfulnesse in [Page 70] themselues, & at large, but of their particular law­fulnesse too vnto vs, & then. But this by the way.

§. 19. How things become acci­dentally euill.Now to proceed. There are diuers meanes wher­by things not simply euill, but in themselues (either equally, or vnequally) indifferent, may yet become accidentally euill. Any defect or obliquity, any vn­happy enteruening circumstance, is enough to poi­son a right good action, & to make it stark naught. I may aswell hope to graspe the Sea, as to compre­hend all those meanes. I make choyce therefore to remember but a few of the chiefest; such as hap­pen oft, and are very considerable. Things not sim­ply euill, may accidentally become such; as by sun­dry other meanes, so especially by one of these 1 three: Conscience, Scandall, and Comparison. First, Conscience; in regard of the Agent. Though the thing be good, yet if the Agent doe it with a con­demning, or but a doubting Conscience, the Acti­on becommeth euill. Rom. 14.14 To him that esteemeth any thing to be vncleane, to him it is vncleane; and Ibid. vers. 23. hee that doubteth, is damned if he eate, because he eateth 2 not of Faith, Chap. 14. of this Epistle. Secondly, Scandall; in regard of other men. Though the thing be good, yet if a brother Ibid. vers. 21 stumble, or be offended, or be made Weake by it, the action becommeth euill. Ibid. vers. 20 All things are pure; but it is euill for that man who 3 eateth with offence, vers. 20. there. Thirdly, Compa­rison; in regard of other actions. Though the thing be good, yet if we preferre it before better things, and neglect or omit them for it, the action becom­meth euill. Matth. 9.13. Goe, and learne what that is, I will haue [Page 71] mercie and not sacrifice: Matth. 9.

The stuffe thus prepared,§. 20. Nothing sim­ply euill, may be done for any good to come there­by. by differencing out those things, which vndistinguished, might breed confu­sion: our next businesse must be, to lay the Rule, and to apply it to the seuerall kinds of Euill, as they haue bin differenced. I foresaw we should not haue time to goe thorow all that was intended: and therefore we will content our selues for this time, with the consideration of this Rule, applyed to things simply euill. In them the Rule holdeth per­petually, and without exception: That which is sim­ply euill, may not for any good be done. We know not any greater good (for there is not any greater good) than the glory of God: we scarce know a lesser sin (if any sin may be accounted little) than a harm­lesse officious lye. Yet may notVide fusè Augustinum in lib. de Menda­cio; & contra Mendacium; & alibi.this be done; no not for that. Will you speake wickedly for God, and talke deceitfully for him? Iob 13.7. If not for the glory of God; then certainly not for any other inferiour end: not for the sauing of a life; not for the Ad sempiter­nam salutē nul­lus ducendus est opitulante men­dacio. Aug de mendac. c. 19. con­uersion of a soule; not for the peace of a Church; and (if euen that were possible too) not for the redemp­tion of a world. No Ea quae con­stat esse peccatae, nullo bonae cau­sae obtentu, [...]ullo quasi bono fine, nulla velut bo­na intentione facionda sunt. Aug. contra Mendac. c 7. intention of any end can war­rant the choice of sinfull meanes to compasse it.§. 21. The first Reas.

The reasons are strong. One is; because sinne in its owne nature, is Suapte natu­râ repugnat peccato, quòd sit eligibile: & propterea nec propter se, nec propter aliud bonum, est eligi­bile. Caiet. in hunc locum. de numero ineligibilium: and therefore as not eligible propter se, for it own sake, (there is neither forme nor beautie in it, that wee should desire it;) so neither propter aliud, with refe­rence to any farther end. Actus peccati non est ordi­nabilis in bonum finem; is the common resolution [Page 72] of the Schooles. In ciuill and popular elections, if men make choice of such a person, to beare any of­fice or place among them; as by the locall Char­ters, Ordinances, Statutes, or other Customes which should rule them in their choice, is altogether ine­ligible: the election is de iure nulla, naught and voide; the incapacitie of the person elected, making a nullitie in the act of election. No lesse is it in morall actions and elections: if for any intended end we make choice of such meanes, as by the Law of God (which is our rule, and must guide vs) are ine­ligible; and such is euery sinne.

§. 22. The second reason.Another reason is grounded vpon that Princi­ple, Aquin. 1. secundae. qu. 18 art. 4. ad. 3. & qu. 19. art. 6. ad 1. ex Dionysio, cap. 4 de di­uin. nomin. Bonum ex causa integra, Malum ex partiali. Any partiall or particular defect, in Obiect, End, Maner, or other Circumstance, is inough to make the whole action bad; but to make it good, there must be an vniuersall Non est actio bona simplici­ter, nisi omnes bonitates con­currant: sed quilibet defe­ctus singularis causat malum. Aquin. 1.2. qu. 18. art. 4. ad. 3. concurrence of all requi­site conditions in euery of these respects: ‘As a dis­figured eye, or nose, or lippe, maketh the face defor­med; but to make it comely, there is required the due proportion of euery part. And any one short Clause, or Prouiso, not legall, is sufficient to abate the whole writ or instrument, though in euerie other part absolute, and without exception.’ The Intention then, be it granted neuer so good, is vn­sufficient to warrant an Action good; so long as it faileth either in the object, or maner, or any requi­site circumstance whatsoeuer. 1. Sam. 15.20. &c. Saul pretended a good end, in sparing the fat things of Amalek; that he might therewith do sacrifice to the Lord: but God [Page 75] reiected both it and him, 1 Sam. 15. We can thinke no other, but that 2 Sam. 6.6, 7. Vzzah intended the safetie of Gods Arke, when it tottered in the cart, and hee stretched out his hand to stay it from falling: but God interpreted it a presumption, and punished it, 2 Sam. 6. Doubtlesse Math. 16.22.23. Peter meant no hurt to Christ, but rather good; when hee tooke him aside, and aduised him to bee good to himselfe, and to keepe him out of danger: yet Christ rebuked him for it, and set him packing in the Diuils name, Get thee behinde me, Sathan, Mat. 16.

But what will wee say (and let that stand for a third reason) if our pretended good intention proue indeed no good intention?§. 23. The third Reason. And certainly, be it as faire and glorious, as we could be content to ima­gine it, such it will proue to be, if it set vs vpon any sinfull or vnwarranted meanes; indeed no good in­tention, but a bad. For granted it must be, that the Intention of any end doth virtually include the meanes: as in a Syllogisme, the Premises doe the Conclusion. No more then can the choice of ill meanes proceed from a good intention; than can a false Conclusion be inferred from true Premises: ‘and that is impossible. From which ground it is, that the Greg. lib. 28. Moral. cap. 13. Euseb. Emiss. hom. 26. and others. Fathers, and other Diuines doe oftentimes argue from the intention to the action, and from the goodnesse of the one, to the goodnesse of both: to that purpose applying those speeches of our Sauiour, in the twelfth, and in the sixth of Matthew, Math. 12.33 Either make the tree good, and his fruit good: or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit cor­rupt: [Page 74] And, Math. 6.22.23. if thine eye be single, thy whole bo­dy shall be full of light: but if thine eye be euill, thy whole body shall be full of darknesse. The light of the body, is the eye; & of the worke, the intention. No maruell, when the eye is euill, if the whole body bee darke; and when the intention is euill, if the whole worke be naught. That which deceiueth most men in iudging of good or bad intentions, is, that they take the end, and the intention, for one and the same thing: betwixt which two there is a spacious diffe­rence. For the end, is the thing propter quid, for which we work, that whereat we aime in working, and so hath rationem causae finalis: but the intention is the cause à qua, from which we worke, that which setteth vs on working; and so hath rationem causae efficientis. ‘Now betweene these two kindes of causes, the finall and the efficient, there is not on­ly a great difference, but euen a repugnancie; in such sort, as that it is impossible they should at any time cöincidere, which some other kindes of causes may doe.’ It is therefore an error to thinke, that if the end bee good, the intention of that end must needs be good: for there may as well be Sed videte ne fortè non sit verè oculus simplex, qui falletur. Ber­nard. de prae­cept. & dispen­sat. a bad intention of a good end, as a bad desire of a good obiect. Whatsoeuer the end be we intend, it is certaine that intention cannot be good, which put­teth vs vpon the choice of euill meanes.

§. 24. The first In­ference a­gainst the Church of Rome.Me thinkes the Church of Rome should blush, (if her forehead dyed red with the blood of Gods Saints, were capable of any tincture of shame,) at the discouery of her manifold impostures, in coun­terfeiting [Page 75] of Reliques, in coyning of Miracles, in compiling of Legends, in gelding of good Au­thors by expurgatory Indexes; in iuggling with Ma­gistrates by lewd Equiuocations, &c. Practices war­rantable by no pretence. Yet in their account but Sancta Hy­pocrisis, was Dominicus his word. piae fraudes; for so they terme them, no lesse ri­diculously, than falsly: for the one word contradi­cteth the other. But what doe I speake of these, but petty things, in comparison of those her lowder impieties? breaking couenants of truce and peace; dissoluing of lawfull, and dispensing for vnlawfull marriages; assoyling Subiects from their Oaths and Allegiance; plotting Treasons, and practising Rebel­lions; excommunicating and dethroning Kings; ar­bitrary disposing of Kingdomes; stabbing and mur­thering of Princes; warranting vniust inuasions; and blowing vp Parliament houses. For all which, and diuers other foule attempts, their Catholique de­fence is the aduancement (forsooth) of the Catho­lique Cause: Like his in the Poet, Horat. lib. 1. Epist. 1. Quocunque mo­do rem, is their Resolution: by right, or wrong, Gaudeo, siue per veritatem, siue per occasi­onem, Romanae Ecclesiae digni­tatem extolli. Ioseph. Ste­phanus de Osc. ped. in Epist. ad lect. the State of the Papacie must be vpheld. That is their vnum necessarium: and if heauen fauour not; rather than faile, helpe must be had from hell, to keepe Antichrist in his throne.

But let them passe, and touch neerer home.§. 25. The second Inference a­gainst a vul­gar error▪ There are (God knoweth) many Ignorants abroad in the world: some of them so vnreasonable, as to thinke they haue sufficiently non-plus't any repro­uer; if being admonished of something ill done, they haue but returned this poore reply, Is it not [Page 78] better to do so, than to do worse? But alasse, what ne­cessitie of doing either so, or worse; when Gods law bindeth thee from both? Iam. 2.10.11. He that said, Doe not commit adultery; said also, Do not kill: and he that said, Doe not steale; said also, Doe not lie. If then thou lie, or kill, or doe any other sinne; though thou thinkest thereby to auoide stealth, or adul­tery, or some other sinne: yet thou art become a transgressour of the Law; and by offending in one point of it, guilty of all. It is but a poore choyce, when a man is desperately resolued to cast him­selfe away; whether hee should rather hang, or drowne, or stab, or pine himselfe to death: there may be more horror, more paine, more lingring, in one than another; but they all come to one period, and determine in the same point; death is the issue of them all. And it can be but a slender comfort for a man, that will needes thrust him­selfe into the mouth of hell by sinning wilfully, that he is damned rather for lying, than for stea­ling, or whoring, or killing, or some greater crime: Damnation is the wages of them all. Murther can but hang a man; and (without fauour) Petty-Larceny will hang a man too. The greatest sinnes can but damne a man; and (without Gods mer­cie) the smallest will damne a man too.’ But what? wil some reply: In case two sinnes be propounded, may I not doe the lesser, to auoide the greater? O­therwise must I not of necessitie doe the greater? The answer is short and easie: If two sinnes bee propounded, doe neither. Emalis minimum, hol­deth [Page 79] as you heard (and yet not alwayes neither) in euils of Paine: But that is no Rule for euils of sinne. Here the safer Rule is, è malis nollum. And the rea­son is sound; from the Principle wee haue in hand. If wee may not doe any euill, to procure a positiue good; certainely Eâdem doc­trinâ quâ hor­remus facere mala vt eueni­ant bona, hor­rere debemus facere mala vt euitemus peiora. Euitare enim peiora, multò minus bonum est; quàm euenire bonum, Cajetan. hic. much lesse may wee doe one euill, to auoide or preuent another.

But what if both cannot bee auoyded,§. 26. The obiection from the see­ming case of perplexitie remoued. but that one must needes be done? In such a straite may I not chuse the lesser? To thee; I say againe, as be­fore, Chuse neither. To the Case, I answer; It is no Case: because, as it is put, it is a case impossible. For Nemo angustiatur ad peecandum ▪ the Case cannot be supposed, wherin a man should be so straitned, as he could not come off fairly without sinning. A man by rashnesse, or feare, or frailety may foulely entangle himselfe; and through the powerfull en­gagements of sinne driue himselfe into very nar­row straites, or be so driuen by the fault or iniury of others: yet there cannot be any such straits, as should enforce a necessitie of sinning; but that still there is one path or other out of them without sinne. ‘The Perplexity that seemeth to bee in the things, is rather in the Non enim da­tur perplexio ex parte rerum: sed contingere po­test ex parte ho­minis nescientis euadere, nec vi­dentis aditum euadendi absque ali quo peccato. Caiet hîc. See the glosse on dist. 13. item aduersus, where hee proueth against Grati­an that there can be no per­plexitie. men; who puzzle and lose themselues in the Labyrinths of sinne, because they care not to heed the clue that would leade them out, if it were well followed.’ Say, a man through heate of bloud make a wicked vow to kill [Page 78] his brother: here hee hath by his owne rashnesse brought himselfe into a seeming strait, that either he must commit a murther, or breake a vow; either of which seemeth to bee a great sinne, the one a­gainst the fifth, the other against the third com­mandement. But here is in very deed no strait or perplexity at all: Here is a faire open course for him without sinne.

Hee may breake his vow; and there an end, Neither is this the choyce of the lesser sinne; but onely the Non docet eligere minus peccatum, sed solutionem mi­noris nexus. Caietanus hic. speaking of the Councell of Toledo. See c. 22. q. 4. per tot. loosening of the lesser bond: the bond of charitie being greater, than the bond of a promise; and there being good reason that (in termes of inconsistencie, when both cannot stand,) the lesser bond should yeeld to the greater. But is it not a sinne for a man to breake a vow? Yes; where it may be kept saluis charitate & iustitiae, there the breach is a sinne: but in the case proposed, it is no sinne. As Christ saith in the point of swearing, so it may be said in the point of breach of vow, Math. 5.37. [...]. Neuer was any breach of vow; but it was peccatum, or ex peccato: the breaking is either it selfe formally a sinne; or it argueth at least a for­mer sinne, in the making.

So as the sinne, in the case alledged, was before in making such an vnlaw­full vow; and for that sinne the party must repent: but the breaking of it now it is made, is no new sinne; (rather it is a necessarie duty, and a branch of that repentance which is due for the former rashnesse in making it,) because a hurtfull vow is, (and that virtute praecepti) rather to be broken than [Page 79] kept.

The Exod. 1.16, &c. Aegyptian Midwiues, not by their owne fault, but by Pharaohs tyrannous command, are driuen into a narrow strait, enforcing a seeming necessitie of sinne: for either they must destroy the Hebrew children, and so sinne by Murther; or else they must deuise some hansome shift to carry it cleanely from the Kings knowledge, and so sinne by lying. And so they did; they chose rather to lye, than to kill: as indeed in the comparison it is by much the lesser sinne. But the very truth is, they should haue done neither: ‘they should flatly haue refused the Kings commandement, though with hazzard of their liues; and haue resolued rather to suffer any euil, than to do any. And so S. Augustin contra Men­dac▪ c. 19. Lot should haue done: hee should rather haue aduentured his owne life, and theirs too, in protecting the chastitie of his Daughters, and the safetie of his ghests; than haue Gen. 19.8. Perturbatio a­nimi fuit, non confilium. Hist. Scholast. in Gen. cap. 52. offered the exposall of his Daughters to the lusts of the beastly Sodomites, though it were to redeeme his ghests from the a­buse of fouler and more abominable filthinesse.’ Absolutely; there cannot be a case imagined, wher­in it should be impossible to auoide one sin, vnlesse by the committing of another. ‘The case which of all other commeth neerest to a Perplexity, is that of an erroneous conscience: because of a double bond; the bond of Gods Law; which to Sinne is the transgression of the Law, 1 Ioh. 3.4. transgresse, is a sinne; and the bond of particular conscience, which also to Whatsoeuer is not of Faith, is sinne, Rom. 14.23. Omne quod fit contra conscien­tiam, aedificat ad gehennam. c. 28. q. 1. Om­nes. §. Ex his. transgresse, is a sinne. Where­upon there seemeth to follow an ineuitable ne­cessitie of sinning; when Gods Law requireth [Page 82] one thing, and particular conscience dictateth the flat contrary: For in such a case, a man must ei­ther obey Gods Law, and so sinne against his owne conscience; or obey his owne conscience, and so sinne against Gods Law. But neither in this case is there any Perplexitie at all in the things themselues: that which there is, is through the default of the man onely, whose iudgement being erroneous mis-leadeth his conscience, and so casteth him vpon a necessitie of sinning. But yet the necessitie is no simple, and absolute, and vnauoidable, and perpetuall necessitie: for it is onely a necessitie ex hypothesi, and for a time, and continueth but stante tali errore. And still there is a way out betwixt those sinnes, and that without a third: and that way is deponere erroncam conscienti­am. He must rectifie his iudgement, and reforme the errour of his Conscience, and then all is well. There is no perplexitie, no necessitie, no obligati­on, no expediencie; which should either enforce, or perswade vs to any sinne. The resolution is damna­ble, Let vs doe euill, that good may come.

§. 27. The Rule ap­plyed in two instances.I must take leaue, before I passe from this point, to make two instances; and to measure out from the Rule of my Text an answer to them both. They are such, as I would desire you of this place to take due and speciall consideration of. I desire to deale plainely; and I hope it shall bee (by Gods blessing vpon it) effectually, for your good, and the Chur­ches peace. One instance shall bee in a sinne of Commission; the other, in a sinne of Omission.

[Page 81]The sinne of Commission wherein I would in­stance, is indeed a sinne beyond Commission: §. 28. The former instance. it is the vsurping of the Magistrates Office without a Commission. The Question is; whether the zealous intention of a good end may not warrant it good, or at least excuse it from being euill, and a sinne? I need not frame a Case for the illustration of this in­stance: the inconsiderate forwardnes of some hath made it to my hand. You may reade it in the disfi­gured windowes and wals of this Church: Pictures, and Statua's, and Images; and for their sakes the windowes and walles wherein they stood, haue been heretofore, and of late pulled downe, and broken in pieces and defaced: without the Command, or so much as leaue of those who haue power to reforme things amisse in that kind. Charitie bindeth vs to thinke the best of those that haue done it: that is, that they did it out of a forward (though mis-go­uerned) zeale; intending therein Gods glory in the farther suppression of Idolatry, by taking away these (as they supposed) likely occasions of it. Now in such a case as this, the Question is, whether the intention of such an end, can iustifie such a deed? And the fact of Numb. 25.7, 8 Phinehes, Numb. 25. (who for a much like end, for the staying of the people from Idolatrie, executed vengeance vpon Zimri & Cos­bi, being but a priuate man, and no Magistrate;) seemeth to make for it.

But my Text ruleth it otherwise.§. 29. Resolued from the rule of my Text. If it be euill; it is not to bee done, no not for the preuenting of Idolatry. I passe by some considerations otherwise [Page 82] 1 of good moment; as namely first, whether Sta­tua's and Pictures may not be permitted in Chri­stian Churches, for the adorning of Gods House, and for ciuill and historicall vses, not only lawfully and decently, but euen profitably? ‘I must confesse, I neuer yet heard substantiall reason giuen, why they might not: at the least, so long as there is 2 no apparant danger of superstition. And second­ly, whether things either in their first erection, or by succeeding abuse superstitious, may not bee profitably continued, if the Superstition be abo­lished? Otherwise, not Pictures only, and Cros­ses, and Images; but most of our Hospitals, and Schooles, and Colledges, and Churches too must downe: and so the hatred of Idolatrie should but Vsher in licentious Sacriledge, contrary to that passage of our Apostle in the next Chapter be­fore this, Rom. 2.22. Thou that abhorrest Idols, committest 3 thou Sacriledge? And thirdly, whether these for­ward ones haue not bewrayed somewhat their owne selfe-guiltinesse in this Act, at least for the manner of it, in doing it secretly, and in the dark?’ A man should not dare to do that, which he would not willingly either bee seene when it is a doing, or 4 owne, being done. To passe by these; consider no more but this one thing onely, into what dange­rous and vnsufferable absurdities a man might run, if hee should but follow these mens grounds. Er­ranti nullus terminus: Errour knoweth no stay, and a false Principle once receiued, multiplieth into a [...]. Arist. li. 1 Phys. tec. 22. thousand absurd conclusions. It is good for men to [Page 83] goe vpon sure grounds, else they may runne and wander in infinitum. ‘A little errour at the first, if there bee way giuen to it, will increase be­yond beliefe; as a small sparke may fire a large City, and a 3. King. 18.44, 45. cloud no bigger than a mans hand, in short space ouerspread the face of the whole Heauens.’ For grant, for the suppression of Ido­latrie, in case the Magistrate will not doe his office, that it is lawfull for a priuate man to take vpon him to reforme what he thinketh amisse, and to doe the part and Office of a Magistrate (which must needs haue been their ground, if they had any, for this action:) there can be no sufficient cause giuen, why by the same reason, and vpon the same grounds, a priuate man may not take vpon him to establish Lawes, raise Powers, administer Iustice, execute Ma­lefactors, or doe any other thing the Magistrate should doe; in case the Magistrate slacke to do his duty in any of the premises. Which if it were once granted (as granted it must bee, if these mens fact bee iustifiable;) euery wise man seeth, the end could bee no other but vast Anarchie and con­fusion both in Church and Commonweale: where­upon must vnauoidably follow the speedy sub­uersion both of Religion and State. If things be a­misse, and the Magistrate helpe it not; priuate men may lament it, and as occasion serueth, and their condition and calling permitteth, soberly and discreetly put the Magistrate in minde of it: But they may not make themselues Magistrates, to re­forme it.

[Page 84] §. 30. The example of Phinehes examined.And as to the act of Phinehes: though I rather thinke he did; yet what if he did not well in so do­ing? It is a thing we are not certaine of: and wee must haue certainer grounds for what we do, than 2 vncertaine examples. Secondly, what if Phinehes had the Magistrates authoritie to enable him to that attempt? It is not altogether improbable (to my apprehension) from the fifth verse of the chap­ter, where the Story is laid downe, Numb. 25.5. e­specially paralleld with another Story of much like circumstances, Exod. 32.27. that as there the Leuites, so here Phinehes drew the sword in execu­tion 3 of the expresse command of Moses the su­preme Magistrate. If neither thus, nor so: yet third­ly, (which cutteth off all plea, and is the most com­mon answere ordinarily giuen by Diuines to this and the like instances drawne from some singular actions of Gods Worthies;) Men of Heroicall spi­rits and gifts, such as were Dauid, Samson, Ehud, Mo­ses Elias, and some others, especially at such times as they were employed in some speciall seruice for the good of Gods Church, were exempt from the common rules of life: and did many things, (as we are to presume) not without the Nec Samson aliter excusa­tur, quòd seip­sum cum hosti­bus ruinâ do­mus oppressit, nisi quò laten­ter Spiritus Sanctus hoc ius­serat, qui per illum miracula faciebat. Aug. l. 1. de ciu. Dei ca. 21. Si defenditur non fuisse pec­catum, priua­tum habuisse Consilium in­dubi [...]anter cre­dendus est. Bern. de praec. & dispensat. secret motion and direction of Gods holy and powerful Spirit, which were therefore good in them (that secret direction being to them loco specialis mandati, like that to Gen. 22.2. Abraham for sacrificing his sonne) but not safe, or lawfull for vs to imitate. Opera liberi spiritus, Chytr. in Gen. 14. & in Exod. 32. say Diuines, non sunt exigenda ad regulas commu­nes, nec trahenda in exemplum vitae. The extraordi­nary [Page 85] Heroicall Acts of Gods Worthies are not to be measured by the common rules of life, nor to be­come exemplary vnto others. ‘Of which nature was 1. Sam. 17. Davids single combate with Goliah; and Iudg. 16.30. Samsons pulling downe the house vpon himselfe and the Philistines; and Exod. 2.12. Moses slaying the E­gyptian; and Iudg. 3.15, &c. Ehuds stabbing of King Eglon; and 4. King. 1.10.12. Eliahs calling downe for fire from Heauen vpon the Captaines and their fifties, and diuers others recorded in Scripture.’ Of which last fact we haue our blessed Sauiours iudgement, in Luk. 9. that it was done by the extraordinary and peculi­ar instinct of Gods Spirit, but is not to be imitated by others, without Imitand [...] ab alijs exprimi nec possunt, ne [...] debent, nisi eâ­dem [...] Spiritus ex­citentur. Chytr. in Exod. 2. particular certaine assurance of the like instinct. Where when the Disciples would haue called downe for fire from Heauen vpon the Samaritanes, and alleaged Elias for their precedent; Luk. 9.53. Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come downe from Heauen and consume them, as Elias did? His answer was with a kinde of indignation (as both his [...] Luk. 9.55. gesture and speeches shew) Nescitis cu­ius spiritus estis; You know not what manner of spirit you are of. Elias was indued with an extraordinary spirit, in the freedome whereof he did what hee then did: but it is not for you or others to propose his example, vnlesse you can demonstrate his Spirit. And if Phinehes Act also was (as most De Phinees autem dicen­dum est, quòd ex inspiratione diuina, zelo Dei commotus, hoc fecit. Aqui. 2.2. qu. 60. art. 6. ad 2. & Theo­logi passim. thinke it was) such as these: ‘it can no more iustifie the v­surpation of Magistracie; than Dauids act can bloody Duels, or Samsons selfe-murther, or Moses's secret slaughter, or Ehuds King-killing, or [Page 86] Eliahs priuate reuenge.’ I haue stood the longer vpon the discouerie of this sinne, that men might take right iudgement of it; and not thinke it ei­ther warrantable, or excusable by any pretension of zeale, or of whatsoeuer other good: and that both such as haue gone too farre this way in their prac­tice already, for the time past, may acknowledge their own ouersight, and be sorry for it; and others seeing their errour, may for the time to come for­beare such outrages; and keepe themselues within the due bounds of Christian sobrietie, and their particular Callings. And thus much of the former instance, in a matter of Commission. I am to giue you another, in a matter of Omission.

§. 31. The later instance.Euery omission of a necessary duty is simply euill, as a sinne. But affirmatiue duties, are but sometimes necessarie; because they doe not obligare ad sem­per: as, being many, it is impossible they should. And many times duties otherwise necessarie; in case of Superiour reason and duties, cease to bee necessarie pro hîc & nunc: and then to omit them, is not to doe euill. Among other necessary duties this is one, for a Minister furnished with gifts and abilities for it; to acquaint Gods people with all ma­teriall needfull truths, as hee can haue conuenient occasion thereunto. And (such conueniency sup­posed) not to doe this, is Sacerdos de­bitor est, vt ve­ritatem quam audiuit à Deo liberè praedicet. 11. qu. 3. noli timere. Ex Chrysost. simply euill. Now then, to make the Case and the Question. The Case thus: A Minister hath iust opportunity to preach in a Congregation, not his owne: where he seeth or generally heareth some errour in iudgement, or [Page 87] outragious sinne in practice to bee continued in with too publique allowance: Hee hath libertie to make choyce of his Text and theame, and leisure to prouide in some measure for it; and his consci­ence telleth him, hee cannot pro hîc & nunc direct his speech with greater seruice to Gods Church, than against those errours or sinnes. Hee seeth on the other side some withdrawments: his discretion may perhaps bee called in question, for meddling where he needed not; hee shall possibly lose the good opinion of some, with whom he hath held faire correspondence hitherto; he shall preserue his own peace the better, if he turne his speech another way. This is the Case. The Question is, Whether these la­ter considerations, and the good that may come thereby, bee sufficient to warrant vnto him the o­mission of that necessary duty?

The rule of my Text resolueth it negatiuely: §. 32. A Minister, in what Ca­ses he may conceale some diuine truths from his au­ditorie; they are not sufficient. The Duty being necessarie, pro hic & nunc, it is simply euill to omit it; and there­fore it may not be omitted for any other good. I deny not, but a Minister may with good discretion conceale many truths from his flocke; at least the opening and amplifying of them: if they bee not such, as are needfull for them to know, either for the stablishment of Faith, or practice of Life; as not onely many nice Schoole-points and Conclusi­ons are, but also many Genealogies, and Leuiticall rites, and other things euen in the Scriptures themselues. Nay more, a Minister not onely in dis­cretion may, but is euen in Conscience bound, at least [Page 88] in the publike exercise of his Ministery, to conceale some particular truths from his Auditorie; yea though they be such as are needful for the practice of life, and for the settling of mens consciences: if they be such withall, as are not fit to bee publikely spoken of; as are many Resolutions of Cases apper­taining to the seuenth Commandement (Thou shalt not commit adultery;) and some also appertaining to the eighth (Thou shalt not steale.) Our men Moulin. Buckler of Faith, part. 2. sect. 4. and not onely ours, but some of their owne too: See Espenceus ad Tit. cap. 1. iust­ly condemne the Popish Casuists, for their too much liberty in this kind in their Writings: ‘Whereby they reduce vices into an Art, vnder colour of re­prouing them; and conuey into the mindes of In quibus plus proficit vi­tiorum ignora­tio, quàm cogni­tio virtutis. Iustin. lib. 2. Hist. cap. 2. corrupt men, Notions of such prodigious fil­thinesse, and artificial Leger-du-maine, as perhaps otherwise they would neuer haue dreamed on, or thirsted after. The loose writings of the vn­chaste Poets are but Quis vete­rum Poetarum plus obscoenita­tis, impuritatis, flagitiorum, professus est, quàm docet Poenitentiale Burchardi? Quot sunt, qui ignorarent multa, quae ibi leguntur, nisi ex ipso didicissent? I.R. in confut. fab. Burdon. pag. 305. Quò Principum sacerdotum, negociatorum, ac praecipuè mulierum vitia in concionibus suis insectentur: quae saepiùs ita depingunt, vt obscoenitatem doceant. Erasm. in Adag. [...]. dull tutors of Lust, com­pared with the authorized Tomes of our seuere Romish Votaries.’ There be enourmous sinnes of this ranke, which a modest man would be ashamed so much as to name, especially in publike. Now of these, only the generalities would be touched in the publike; the specialties not vnfolded, but in the priuate exercise of our Ministery: nor yet that pro­miscuously to euery one, that should out of curio­sitie desire satisfaction in them; but onely to such men, (and that but onely so farre,) as they may con­cerne [Page 89] in point of conscience, and of practice. Be­sides these, there are other Cases many, in which it may be more conuenient to conceale, than to teach some diuine truths at some times, and in some places.

But yet as the Case is here proposed,§. 33. and in what he may not. if it bee a truth questioned; about which Gods people are much distracted in their opinions; much mistaken by some through error in iudgement; much abused by sinfull, especially publike practice; occasioning Scandals and offences among brethren; likely to be ouerwhelmed with custome, or multitude of those that thinke or doe against it; and bee otherwise of materiall importance: I take it, the Omission of it vpon seasonable opportunitie, is a grieuous sinne, and not colourable by any pretence. Beloued, the Minister is not to come into the Pulpit, as a Fen­cer vpon the stage, to play his prize, and to make a faire [...]. 1 Cor. 9.26. flourish against sinne, (Here he could haue it, and there hee could haue it, but hath it no where:) but rather as a Captaine into the Field, to bend his forces especially against the strongest troupes of the enemy; and to squander, and breake thorow the thickest rankes; and to driue at the Fight neither with small nor great, saue one­ly with the King of Israel. 3 King. 22.31. fairest. It is not enough for a Prophet to Esay 58.1. cry a­loud, and to lift vp his voyce like a trumpet, and to tell Iudah and Israel of sinnes, and of transgressions at large: but if he would whet them vp to the battell, he must giue a more If the trum­pet giue an vn­certaine sound, who shall pre­pare himselfe to the battell? 1 Cor. 14.8. certaine sound; he must tell Iudah of her sins, and Israel of her transgressions. If there be in Damascus, or Moab, or Ammon, or Ty­rus, [Page 90] or Iudah, or Israel; Amos 1. & 2. three transgressions, or foure, more eminent than the rest: it is fit, they that are sent to Damascus, and Moab, and Ammon, and Tyrus, and Iudah, and Israel, should make them heare of those three or foure, more than all the rest. Sinnes and Errors, when they begin to get head and heart, must be handled roughly. Silence in such a case is a kinde of flattery: and it is Penè idem est fidem nolle asserere, & ne­gare. Fulgent. lib. 1. ad Thra­sim. cap. 1. Sicut incauta lo­cutio in erro­rem pertrahit, ita indiscretum filentium in er­rore relinquit. Greg. in Mo­ral. almost all one, when sinnes grow outragious; to hold our peace at them; and to cry Peace, Peace vnto them. Our Apostle in Act. 20. would not haue held himselfe sufficiently discharged from the guilt of other mens blood; if he had shunned (as occasion was of­fered) to haue declared vnto them Act. 20.26, 27. [...], euen the whole counsell of God.

§. 34. A more par­ticular Ap­plication, in defence of the former Sermon.In my Application of this Instance and Case, blame me not, if I do it with some reference to my selfe. Being heretofore by appointment, as now againe I was, to prouide my selfe for this place a­gainst such a meeting as this is; as in my conscience I then thought it needfull for me, I deliuered my minde, (and I dare say, the Truth too, for substance) something freely, touching the Ceremonies and Constitutions of our Church. And I haue now also with like freedome, shewed the vnlawfulnesse of the late disorderly attempts in this towne; and that from the ground of my present Text. I was then blamed for that; I thinke vniustly; (for I do not yet see what I should retract of that I then deliuered:) and it is not vnlikely, I shall be blamed againe for this, vnlesse I preuent it. You haue heard now al­ready, [Page 91] both heretofore, that to iudge any mans heart; and at this time, that to slander any truth, are (without repentance) sinnes iustly damnable: [...], they that offend either in the one, or the o­ther, their damnation is iust. To preserue therefore both you from the Sinne, and my selfe from the Blame; consider, I pray you, with Reason and Cha­rity, what I shall say.

You that are our hearers, know not with what hearts we speake vnto you: that is onely knowne to our owne hearts; and to 1 Ioh, 3.20. God, who is greater than our hearts, and knoweth all things. That which you are to looke at, and to regard, is, with what [...]. Act. 17.11. Non requiritur quis, vel qualis praedicet; sed quid praedicet. Distinct. 19. Secundùm. [...]. Plat. in Charmide. truth we speake vnto you. So long as what wee preach is true, and agreeable to Gods Word, and right reason: you are not, vpon I know not what light surmizes or suspicions, to iudge with what spirits, or with what dispositions of heart wee preach. Whether we Phil. 1.15 16.17.18. preach Christ of enuie, and strife, or of good will; whether sincerely, or of conten­tion; whether in pretence, or in truth; it is our owne good, or hurt: we must answer for that; and at our perill be it, if we doe not looke to that. But what is that to you? Notwithstanding euery way, so long as it is Christ, and his truth which are preached, it is your part therein to reioyce. If an Gal. 1.8.9. Angel from heauen should preach any vntruth vnto you, [...], Let him bee accursed: but if the very Diuell of hell should preach the truth, he must be heard, and beleeued, and obeyed. So long as Math. 23.2.3 Scribes and Pharisees hold them to Moses's Text & Do­ctrine, [Page 92] let them bee as damned Woe vnto you Scribes and Pharisees, Hypo­crites, Math. 23.13, 14, &c. Hypocrites, as Scribes and Phrisees can be: yet all whatsoeuer they bid you obserue, that you are to obserue & do.

Let mee then demand: Did I euer deliuer any vntruth? It had beene well done then to haue shewne it, that I might haue acknowledged, and re­tracted it. Did I speake nothing but the truth? with what conscience then could any that heard me say, as yet I heare some did; That I preached factiously, That I came to cast bones among them, That I might haue chosen a fitter Text, That I might haue had as much thankes to haue kept away? For Fa­ction; 1 I hate it: my desire and ayme, next after the good of your soules, was, aboue all, the Peace of the Church, and the Vnity of Brethren. 2 For casting bones (if that must needs be the phrase) they were cast in these parts long before my com­ming by that great enemy to peace and vnity, and busie sower of discord, the Diuell: otherwise I should not haue found at my first comming such snarling about them, and such Gal. 5.15. biting and de­uouring one another, as I did. My endeuour was ra­ther to haue gathered vp the bones, and to haue taken away the matter of difference, (I meane, the errour in iudgement about, and inconformity in practice vnto, the lawful Ceremonies of the Church) that so if it had been possible all might haue beene quiet, without despising or iudging one another for 3 these things. For thankes; I hold not that worth the answering: alas, it is a poore ayme for Gods Minister, to preach for thankes.

[Page 93]For the choyce of my Text and Argument, both 4 then and now: how is it not vnequall, that men, who plead (so as none more) for liberty and plainnesse in reprouing sinne, should not allow those that come amongst them that liberty and plaine­nesse against themselues and their owne sinnes? I dare appeale to your selues. Haue you neuer been taught, that it is the Ministers dutie, as to oppose against all errours and sinnes in the generall, so to bend himselfe (as neere as hee can) especially a­gainst the apparant errours and sinnes of his pre­sent auditorie? And doe you not beleeue it is so? Why then might I not; nay, how ought I not, bend my speech, both then against a common er­rour of sundry in these parts in point of Ceremony; and now against the late petulancy, (or at least ouer­sight) of some mis-guided ones?‘The noise of these things abroad; and the scandall taken there­at by such as heare of them; and the ill fruits of them at home in breeding iealousies, and che­rishing contentions among neighbours: cannot but stirre vs vp, if wee be sensible (as euery good member should be) of the damage and losse the Church acquireth by them, to put you in minde and to admonish you (as opportunities inuite vs) both priuately and publiquely.’ Is it not time, trow yee, to thrust in the sickle, when the fields look white vnto the Haruest? Is it not time our Pulpits should a little eccho of these things, when all the Countrie farre and neere ringeth of them?

For my owne part; how euer others censure me, [Page 94] I am sure, my owne heart telleth mee, I could not haue discharged my Conscience; if being called to this place, I should haue balked what either then or now I haue deliuered. My conscience prompt­ing mee, all circumstances considered, that these things were pro hîc & nunc necessary to be deliue­red, rather than any other: if for any outward infe­riour respect I should haue passed them ouer with silence; I thinke I should haue much swarued from the Rule of my Text, and haue done a great euill, that some small good might come of it. But many thousand times better were it for me, that all the world should censure mee for speaking what they thinke I should not; than that my owne heart should condemne mee for not speaking what it tel­leth me I should. And thus much of things simply euill.

§. 35. The conclu­sion.I should proceed to apply this Rule, Wee must not doe euill, that good may come; vnto euils, not sim­ply, but accidentally such: and that both in the ge­neral, and also in some few specials of greatest vse; namely, vnto euils which become such through Conscience, Scandall, or Comparison. In my choyce of the Scripture, I aymed at all this: and had gathered much of my prouision for it. But the Cases being many and weighty; I foresaw I could not goe on­ward with my first proiect, without much wrong­ing one of both: either the things themselues, if I should contract my speech to the scantling of time; or you, if I should lengthen it to the weight of the matter. And therefore I resolued here to make an [Page 95] end; and to giue place (as fit it is) to the businesse whereabout we meet. The Totall of what I haue said, and should say; is in effect but this: No pre­tension of a good end, of a good meaning, of a good euent, of any good whatsoeuer; either can suffici­ently warrant any sinfull action to be done, or iu­stifie it being done: or sufficiently excuse the Omis­sion of any necessarie dutie, when it is necessarie. Consider what I say, and the Lord giue you vnderstanding in all things. Now to God the Father, Son, and holy Spirit, &c.

At a Visitation at Boston, Lin­coln. 13. March 1624.THE THIRD SERMON.

1. COR. 12.7.

But the manifestation of the Spirit, is giuen to euery man, to profit withall.

§. 1. The Occa­sion. IN the first Verse of this Chapter S. Paul proposeth to himselfe an Argument, which hee prosecuteth the whole Chapter through, and (after a profitable di­gression into the prayse of Charitie in the next Chap­ter) resumeth againe at the fourteenth Chapter, spending also that whole Chapter therein: and it is concerning spirituall gifts, [Vers. 1. Now concerning spirituall gifts, brethren, I would not haue you ignorant, &c.] These gracious gifts of the holy Spirit of God, bestowed on them for the edification of the Church; the Corinthians, (by making them the [...]. Chrys. in 1. Cor. hom. 29. fuell either of their pride, in [Page 97] despising those that were inferiour to themselues; or of their enuy, in malicing those that excelled them therein,) abused to the maintenance of schisme, and faction, and emulation in the Church. For the remedying of which euills, the Apostle en­treth vpon the Argument: discoursing fully of the varietie of these spirituall gifts, and who is the Author of them, and for what end they were giuen, and in what manner they should be employed; o­mitting nothing that was needfull to bee spoken anent this subiect.

In this part of the Chapter,§. 2. Coherence, entreating both be­fore and after this verse, of the wondrous great, yet sweet and vsefull, varietie of these spirituall gifts: he sheweth, that howsoeuer manifold they are either for kind, or degree, so as they may differ in the materiall and formall, yet they doe all agree both in the same efficient, and in the same finall cause. In the same efficient cause, which is God the Lord by his Spirit, vers. 4, 6. [Now there are diuer­sities of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are dif­ferences of administrations, but the same Lord; and there are diuersities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.] And in the same finall cause; which is the aduancement of Gods glory, in the propagation of his Gospell, and the edification of his Church; in this verse, [But the manifestation of the Spirit is giuen to euery man to profit withall.]

By occasion of which words,§. 3. and diuision of the Text. we may enquire into the nature, conueiance, and vse of these gifts. First, their nature in themselues, and in their origi­nall; 1 [Page 98] what they are, and whence: they are the workes of Gods Spirit in vs, [The manifestation of 2 the Spirit.] Secondly, their conueyance vnto vs; how we come to haue them, and to haue propertie in them: it is by gift; [is giuen to euery man.] 3 Thirdly, their vse and end; why they were giuen vs, and what we are to doe with them: they must be employed to the good of our Brethren, and of the Church; is giuen to euery man [to profit with­all.] Of these briefely, and in their order; and with speciall reference euer to vs that are of the Clergie.

§. 4. The explica­tion of the words.By manifestation of the Spirit here our Apostle vnderstandeth none other thing, than hee doth by the adiectiue word [...] in the first, and by the substantiue word [...] in the last verse of the Chapter. Both which put together, doe signifie those spirituall gifts and graces whereby God en­ableth men (and especially Church-men) to the du­ties of their particular Callings for the generall good. Such as are those particulars, which are na­med in the next following verses; Vers. 8-10. the word of wisdome, the word of knowledge, faith, the gifts of healing, workings of miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, diuers kinds of tongues, interpretation of tongues. All which, and all other of like nature and vse, because they are wrought by that one and selfe-same Vers. 11. Spirit, which diuideth to euery one se­uerally as he will; are therefore called Vers. 1. [...], spirituall gifts; and here [...], the ma­nifestation of the Spirit.

[Page 99]The word [Spirit] though in Scripture it haue many other significations,§. 5. By Spirit is meant the Holy Ghost: yet in this place I conceiue to be vnderstood directly of the Holy Ghost, the third Person in the euer-blessed Trinitie. For first, in vers. 3. that which is called the Spirit of God 1 in the former part, is in the later part called the Ho­ly Ghost: [Vers. [...]. I giue you to vnderstand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God, calleth Iesus accursed; and that no man can say, that Iesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.] Againe, that varietie of gifts,2 which in vers. 4. is said to proceed from the Vers. 4-6. same Spirit, is said likewise in vers. 5. to proceed from the same Lord, and in vers. 6. to proceed from the same God: and therefore such a Spirit is meant, as is also Lord and God; and that is onely the holy Ghost. And againe, in those words, in vers. 11. [Vers▪ 11. all these 3 worketh that one and the selfe-same Spirit, diuiding to euery man seuerally as he will;] the Apostle a­scribeth to this Spirit the collation and distribution of such gifts according to the free power of his owne will and pleasure: which free power belong­eth to none but God alone, Vers. 18. who hath set the mem­bers euery one in the body, as it hath pleased him.

Which yet ought not so to bee vnderstood of the Person of the Spirit; as if the Father, §. 6. not as ex­cluding the other Per­sons; and the Sonne, had no part or fellowship in this businesse. For all the Actions and operations of the Diuine Persons, (those onely excepted which are of in­trinsecall and mutuall relation) are the ioynt and vndiuided workes of the whole three Persons: ac­cording to the common knowne maxime, con­stantly [Page 100] and vniformely receiued in the Catholike Church, Opera Trinitatis ad extra sunt indiuisa. And as to this particular, concerning gifts the Scriptures are cleare Wherein, as they are ascri­bed to God the Holy Ghost in this Chapter; so they are elsewhere ascribed to God the Father, [Iam. 1.17. Euery good gift and euery perfect giuing is from aboue, from the Father of Lights: I am. 1.] and elsewere to God the Sonne, [Ephes. 4.7. Vnto euery one of vs is giuen grace, ac­cording to the measure of the gift of Christ: Ephes. 4.] Yea and it may be, that for this very reason in the three verses next before my text, these three words are vsed; Spirit, in vers. 4. Lord, in vers. 5. and God, in vers. 6. to giue vs intimation, that Ne gratia & donum diuisum sit per personas Patri, & Filij, et Sp. Sancti: sed indiscretae vni­tatis & naturae trium vnum opus intell [...]ga­tur. Ambros in 1. Cor. 7. ca. 61. these spiritu­all gifts proceed equally and vndiuidedly from the whole three Persons; from God the Father, and from his Sonne Iesus Christ our Lord, and from the eternall Spirit of them both the Holy Ghost, as from one entire, indiuisible, and coessentiall Agent.

§. 7. but by way of appropria­tion.But for that we are grosse of vnderstanding, and vnable to conceiue the distinct Trinity of Persons in the Vnity of the Godhead, otherwise than by apprehending some distinction of their operations and offices to-vs-ward: it hath pleased the wise­dome of God in the holy Scriptures, (which, be­ing written for our sakes, were to be fitted to our capacities) so farre to condescend to our weaknesse and dulnesse, as to attribute some of those great and common workes to one person, and some to another, after a more speciall manner than vnto the rest; although indeed and in truth none of the [Page 101] three persons had more or lesse to doe than other in any of those great and common-workes. This manner of speaking Diuines vse to call V. Aquin. 1. qu. 39 7. Appro­priation. By which appropriation, as Power is a­scribed to the Father, and Wisedome to the Sonne; so is Goodnesse to the Holy Ghost. And therefore, as the Worke of Creation, wherein is specially seene the mighty power of God, is appropriated to the Father; and the worke of Redemption, wherein is specially seene the wisedome of God, to the Sonne: so the workes of sanctification, and the infusion of habituall graces, whereby the good things of God are communicated vnto vs, is appropriated vnto the Holy Ghost. And for this cause, the gifts thus communicated vnto vs from God, are called [...] spirituall gifts, and [...], the manifestation of the Spirit.

Wee see now, why spirit! but then;§. 8. What is meant by Manife­station. why manifestation? The word, as most other verballs of that forme, may be vnderstood either in the actiue, or passiue signification. And it is not mate­riall, whether of the two wayes we take it in this place: both being true; and neither improper. For these spirituall Gifts are the manifestation of the spirit Actiuely: because by these, the spirit mani­festeth the will of God vnto the Church; these being the instruments and meanes of conueighing the knowledge of saluation vnto the people of God. And they are the manifestation of the spirit Passiuely too: because where any of these gifts, especially in any eminent sort, appeared in any [Page 102] person, it was a manifest euidence, that the Spirit of God wrought in him. As we reade in Act. 10. that they of the Circumcision were astonished, Act. 10.45, 46. When they saw, that on the Gentiles also was pou­red out the gift of the Holy Ghost. If it bee deman­ded, But how did that appeare▪ it followeth in the next verse, [for they heard them speake with tongues, &c.] The spirituall Gift then is a Id est, Donum spiritus; quo do­no spiritus su­am in homine praesentiam de­clarat. Metony­mia effecti. Piscat. in schol. hîc. ma­nifestation of the spirit as euery other sensible ef­fect is a manifestation of its proper cause.

§. 9. By spirituall gifts.Wee are now yet farther to know, that the Gifts and graces wrought in vs by the holy spirit of God, are of two sorts. The Scriptures sometimes di­stinguish them by the different termes of [...] & [...]: although those words are sometimes againe vsed indifferently and promiscuously, either for other. They are commonly known in the Schooles, and differenced by the names of V. Aquin. 1.2. qu. 111.1. Gratiae gratum facientes, and Gratiae gratis datae. Which termes though they be not very proper, (for one of them may be affirmed of the other; whereas the mem­bers of euery good distinction ought to be oppo­site:) yet because they haue beene long receiued, (and change of termes, though happely for the better, hath by experience beene found for the most part unhappy in the euent, in multiplying vn­necessary booke-quarrels;) wee may retaine them profitably, and without preiudice. Those former, which they call Gratum facientes, are the Graces of sanctification; whereby the person that hath them, is enabled to doe acceptable seruice to God, [Page 103] in the duties of his generall Calling: these later, which, they call Gratis datas, are the Graces of edification; whereby the person that hath them is enabled, to doe profitable seruice to the Church of God in the duties of his particular Calling. Those are giuen Nobis, & Nobis; both to vs, and for vs, that is Duplex est operatio sancti spiritus: opera­tur enim in no­bis aliud prop­ter nos, aliud propter proxi­mos. Bernard. in paruis. Serm. 53. chiefly for our owne good: these Nobis, sed Nostris; to vs indeed, but for others, that is chiefly for the good of our brethren. Those are giuen vs geminae ope­rationis expe­rimentum. V­nius, qua nos primò i [...]tus virtutibus soli­dat ad salutem: alterius, qua foris quoque muneribus or­nat ad lucrum. Illas nobis, haec nostris accepi­mus. Bernard. in Cant. Serm. 18. ad salutem, for the sauing of our owne soules: these ad lucrum, for the winning of other mens soules. Those proceed from the speciall loue of God to the Person; and may therefore be called Personall, or speciall: these proceed from the generall loue of God to his Church, (or yet more generall to humane societies;) and may therefore be rather called Ecclesiasticall or Generall Gifts or Graces.

Of that first sort are Faith, Hope, Charity, Repen­tance, Patience, Humility; and all those other holy graces and Gal. 5.22. fruites of the spirit, §. 10. What is here not meant; which accompa­ny saluation: Wrought by the blessed and power­full operation of the holy Spirit of God, after a most effectuall, but vnconceiuable manner, regene­rating, and renewing, and seasoning, and sanctify­ing the hearts of his Chosen. But yet these are not the Gifts so much spoken of in this Chapter; and namely in my Text: Euery branch whereof ex­cludeth them. Of those graces of sanctification first, wee may haue indeed probable inducements,1 to perswade vs, that they are, or are not in this or that man: But hypocrisie may make such a sem­blance, [Page 104] that we may thinke wee see spirit in a man, in whom yet there is nothing but flesh, and infirmi­ties may cast such a fogge, that wee can discerne nothing but flesh in a man, in whom yet there is spirit. But the gifts here spoken of doe incurre into the senses, and giue vs euident and infallible assurance of the spirit that wrought them: here is 2 [...], a manifestation of the spirit. Againe, se­condly, those Graces of sanctification are not com­municated by distribution, (1 Cor. 7.7. Alius sic, alius verò sic;) Faith to one, Charity to another, Repentance to another: but where they are giuen, they are gi­uen all at once and together, as it were strung vpon one threed, and linked into one chaine. But the Gifts here spoken of are distributed as it were by doale, and diuided seuerally as it pleased God, sha­red out into seuerall portions, and giuen to euery man some, to none all; for Vers. 8. to one is giuen by the spirit the word of wisedome, to another the word of 3 knowledge, &c. Thirdly, those Graces of sanctifi­cation, though they may and ought to bee exerci­sed to the benefit of others, who by the Math. 5.16, shining of our light, and the sight of our good workes, may be prouoked to glorifie God by walking in the same paths: yet that is but vtilitas emergens, and not finis proprius; a good vse made of them vpon the bye, but not the maine, proper and direct end of them, for which they were chiefly giuen. But the Gifts here spoken of, were giuen directly for this end, and so intended by the giuer, to be employed for the benifite of others, and for the edifying of [Page 105] the Church; they were giuen to profit withall.

It then remaineth,§. 11. and what is. to vnderstand this Text and Chapter of that other and later kinde of spirituall Gifts: those Graces of Edification, (or Gratiae gra­tis datae,) whereby men are enabled in their seue­rall Callings, according to the quality and mea­sure of the graces they haue receiued, to be profi­table members of the publique body, either in Church or Common-wealth. Vnder which ap­pellation, (the very first naturall powers and facul­ties of the soule only excepted, which flowing à principijs speciei, are in all men the same and alike;) I comprehend all other secondary endowments, and abilities whatsoeuer of the reasonable soule, which are capable of the degrees of more and lesse, and of better and worse; together with all subsidiary helpes any way conducing to the exercise of any of them. Whether they be first, supernaturall graces, 1 giuen by immediate and extraordinary infusion from God: such as were the gifts of tongues, and of miracles, and of healings, and of prophecie pro­perly so called, and many other like; which were frequent in the infancie of the Church, and when this Epistle was written, according as, the necessi­tie of those primitiue times considered, God saw it expedient for his Church. Or whether they be secondly, such as Philosophers call Naturall disposi­tions: 2 such as are promptnesse of Wit, quicknesse of Conceit, fastnesse of Memory, clearenesse of Vnderstanding, soundnesse of Iudgement, readinesse of Speech, and other like; which flow immediately [Page 106] à Principijs indiuidui, from the indiuiduall condi­tion, constitution, and temperature of particular 3 persons. Or, whether they bee thirdly, such as Philosophers call Intellectuall Habits: which is, when those naturall dispositions are so improued, and perfected by Education, Art, Industry, Obser­uation, or Experience; that men become thereby skilfull Linguists, subtile Disputers, copious Ora­tors, profound Diuines, powerfull Preachers, ex­pert Lawyers, Physitians, Historians, Statesmen, Commanders, Artisans, or excellent in any Sci­ence, 4 Profession, or Faculty whatsoeuer. To which we may adde in the fourth place, all outward sub­seruient helpes whatsoeuer, which may any way further or facilitate the exercise of any of the for­mer graces, dispositions, or habits: such as are health, strength, beauty, and all those other Bonae Corporis; as also Bona fortunae, Honour, Wealth, Nobility, Reputation, and the rest. All of these, euen those among them, which seeme most of all to haue their foundation in Nature, or perfection from Art, may in some sort bee called [...], spirituall gifts: in as much as the spirit of God is the first and principall worker of them. Nature, Art, Industrie, and all other subsidiary furtherances, being but second Agents vnder him; and as meanes ordained, or as instruments vsed by him, for the accomplishing of those ends he hath appointed.

§. 12. Inferences hence: The first;And now haue wee found out the iust latitude of the spirituall gifts spoken of in this Chapter, and of the manifestation of the spirit in my Text. [Page 107] From whence not to passe without some obserua­ble inferences for our Edification: Wee may here first behold, and admire, and magnifie the singular loue, and care, and prouidence of God for and ouer his Church. For the building vp whereof, hee hath not only furnished it with fit materials, men en­dowed with the faculties of vnderstanding, rea­son, will, memory, affections; nor only lent them tooles out of his owne rich store-house, his holy Word, and sacred Ordinances: but, as sometimes hee filled Exod. 35.30, &c. Bezaleel and Aholiab with skill and wisedome for the building of the materiall Taber­nacle; so he hath also from time to time raysed vp seruiceable men, and enabled them with a large measure of all needfull gifts and graces, to set for­ward the building, and to giue it both strength and beauty. A Body, if it had not difference and variety of members, were rather a lumpe, than a body; or if hauing such members, there were yet no vitall spirits within to enable them to their proper offi­ces, it were rather a Corps than a Body: but the vi­gour that is in euery part to doe its office, is a cer­taing euidence and manifestation of a spirit of life within, and that maketh it a liuing Organicall body. So those actiue gifts, & graces, and abilities, which are to be found in the members of the mysticall body of Christ, (I know not whether of greater variety, or vse,) are a strong manifestation, that there is a powerfull Spirit of God within, that knitteth the the whole body together, and worketh all in all, and all in euery part of the body.

[Page 108] §. 13. The second; Secondly; though wee haue iust cause to lay it to heart, when men of eminent gifts and place in the Church are taken from vs, and to lament in theirs, our owne, and the Churches losse: yet wee should possesse our soules in patience, and sustaine our selues with this comfort; that it is the same God, that still hath care ouer his Church; and it is the same Head Iesus Christ, that still hath influence into his members; and it is the same blessed Spirit of God and of Christ, that still actuateth and anima­teth this great mysticall Body. And therefore wee may not doubt, but this Spirit, as he hath hitherto done from the beginning, so will still manifest him­selfe from time to time, vnto the end of the world; in raising vp instruments for the seruice of his Church, and furnishing them with gifts in some good measure meete for the same, more or lesse, according as he shall see it expedient for her, in her seuerall different estates and conditions: giuing Eph. 4.11, 13 some Apostles, and some Prophets, and some Euan­gelists, and some Pastors and Teachers; for the perfe­cting of the Saints, for the worke of the Ministerie, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all meete in the vnitie of the Faith, and of the knowledge of the Sonne of God, vnto a perfect man, vnto the measure of the stature of the fulnes of Christ. He hath promi­sed long since, who was neuer yet touched with breach of promise, that he would Matth. 28.20 be with his A­postles (and their successours) alwaies vnto the end of the world.

§. 14. The third; Thirdly, where the Spirit of God hath manifested [Page 109] it selfe to any man by the distribution of gifts, it is but reason, that man should manifest the Spirit that is in him, by exercising those gifts in some lawfull Calling. And so this manifestation of the Spirit in my text, imposeth vpon euery man the Necessity of a Calling. Our Apostle, in the seuenth of this Epistle, ioyneth these two together, a Gift and a Calling; as things that may not be seuered: 1. Cor. 7.17. As God hath di­stributed to euery man, as the Lord hath called euerie one. Where the end of a thing is the vse; there the difference cannot be great, whether we abuse it, or but conceale it. The Math. 25.30 vnprofitable seruant, that wrap­ped vp his Masters talent in a napkin, could not haue receiued a much heauier doome had he mispent it. O then vp and be doing: Math. 20.6. why stand you all the day idle? Doe not say, because you heard no voyce, that therefore no man hath called you: those ve­ry gifts you haue receiued, are a Reall Call, pursuing you with continuall restlesse importunitie, till you haue disposed your selues in some honest course of life or other, wherein you may be profitable to humane societie, by the exercising of some or other of those gifts. All the members of the Body haue their proper and distinct offices, according as they haue their proper and distinct faculties; and from those offices they haue also their proper and di­stinct names. As then in the Body, that is indeed no member, which cannot call it selfe by any other name, than by the common name of a member: so in the Church, he that cannot stile himselfe by any other name than a Christian, doth indeed but vsurp [Page 110] that too. If thou sayest, thou art of the body: I de­mand then, What is thy office in the body? If thou hast no office in the body: then thou art at the best, but Tumor praeter naturam (as Physitians call them) a scab, or botch, or wenne, or some other monstrous and vnnaturall exerescency vpon the body; but cer­tainely thou art no true part and member of the bo­dy. And if thou art no part of the body, how darest thou make challenge to the head, by mis-calling thy selfe Christian? If thou hast a Gift, get a Cal­ling.

§. 15. The fourth. Fourthly, we of the Clergy, though wee may not ingrosse the Spirit vnto our selues, as if none were spirituall persons but oue selues: yet the voyce of the World hath long giuen vs the Name of the Spiritualtie after a peculiar sort; as if we were spi­rituall persons in some different singular respect from other men. And that not altogether without ground, both for the name, and thing. The very name seemeth to be thus vsed by Saint Paul in the 14. Chapter following, where at vers 37 he ma­keth a Prophet and a Spirituall man all one, (and by prophecying, in that whole Chapter hee meaneth Preaching: 1. Cor. 14.37 If any man thinke himselfe to be a Pro­phet, either spirituall, let him acknowledge, &c. But howsoeuer it be for the title; the thing it selfe hath very sufficient ground from that forme of speech, which was vsed by our blessed Sauiour, when hee conferred the Ministeriall power vpon his Disci­ples, and is still vsed in our Church at the collation of Holy Orders, Ioh. 20.22. Accipite spiritum sanctum, Re­ceiue [Page 111] the holy Ghost. Since then at our admission in­to holy Orders wee receiue a spirituall power by the imposition of hands, which others haue not; wee may thenceforth be iustly stiled spirituall persons. The thing for which I note it, is, that wee should therefore endeauour our selues 2. Tim. 1.6. [...], so to stir vp those spirituall gifts that are in vs; as that by the eminencie thereof aboue that which is in ordina­ry temporall men, we may shew our selues to be in­deed, what wee are in name, spirituall persons. If we be of the Spiritualtie, there would be in vs ano­ther gates manifestation of the Spirit, than is ordina­rily to be found in the Temporaltie. God forbid I should censure all them for intruders into the Mi­nistery, that are not gifted for the Pulpit. The se­uerest censurers of Non-preaching Ministers, if they had liued in the beginning of the Reformation, must haue been content, as the times then stood, to haue admitted of some thousands of non-preaching Mi­nisters, or else haue denied many Parishes and Congregations in England the benefit of so much as bare reading. And I take this to bee a safe Rule: Whatsoeuer thing the helpe of any circumstances can make lawfull at any time, that thing may not be condemned as vniuersally, and de toto genere vn­lawfull. I iudge no mans conscience then, or calling, who is in the Ministery; be his gifts neuer so slen­der: I dare not denie him the benefit of his Cler­gie, if he can but reade: if his owne heart condemne him not, neither doe I. But yet this I say; As the Times now are, wherein learning aboundeth euen [Page 112] vnto wantonnesse; and wherein the world is full of questions, and controuersies, and nouelties, and niceties in Religion; and wherein most of our Gen­trie, very women and all (by the aduantage of long Peace, and the custome of moderne education, toge­ther with the helpe of a multitude of English books and translations) are able to look through the igno­rance of a Clergy-man, and censure it, if he bee trip­ping in any point of Historie, Cosmography, Morall or Natural Philosophy, Diuinity, or the Artes; yea, and to chastice his very method and phrase, if hee speake loosely, or impertinently, or but improper­ly, and if euery thing bee not point-vise: I say as these times are, I would not haue a Clergie-man content himselfe with euery mediocritie of gifts; but by his prayers, care, and industrie improue those he hath, so as he may be able vpon good oc­casion, to Rom. 1.11. import a spirituall gift to the people of God, whereby they may be established, and to speake with such vnderstanding, and sufficiencie, and per­tinencie (especially when he hath iust warning, and a conuenient time to prepare himselfe,) in some good measure of proportion to the quicknesse and ripenesse of these present times, as that they that loue not his coate may yet approue his labours, and not find any thing therein whereat iustly to quar­rell: Tit. 2.7, 8. Shewing in his doctrine (as our Apostle wri­teth to Titus) vncorruptnesse, grauitie, seueritie, sound speech that cannot be condemned, that he that is of the contrarie part may be ashamed, hauing no euill thing to say of him. They that are called spirituall [Page 113] persons, should striue to answer that name by a more than ordinary manifestation of spiritual gifts. And thus much shall suffice vs to haue spoken con­cerning the name and nature of these spiritual gifts, by occasion of the title here giuen them, The mani­festation of the Spirit.

Consider we next, and in the second place, the conueyance of these gifts ouer vnto vs;§. 16. The conuey­ance of these spirituall graces vnto vs, how wee come to haue propertie in them, and by what right we can call them ours. The Conueyance is by deed of gift; the manifestation of the Spirit is giuen to euery man. Vnderstand it not to be so much inten­ded here, that euery particular man hath the mani­festation of the Spirit, (though that may also bee true in some sense;) as that euery man, that hath the manifestation of the Spirit, hath it giuen him, and giuen him withal to this end, that he may do good with it. Like as when we say, Euery man learneth to reade before he learne to write; it is no part of our meaning to signifie each particular person so to doe, (for there be many, that learne neither of both;) but wee onely entend to shew the receiued order of the things to be such, as that euery man that learneth both, learneth that first. As wee con­ceiue his meaning, who directing vs the way to such or such a place, should tell vs, Euery man rideth this way; and as wee conceiue of that speech of the Ruler of the Feast in the Gospell, Ioh. 2.10. Euery man at the beginning setteth forth good Wine, and then af­ter that which is worse; though there be many thou­sand men in the world that neuer rode that way, or [Page 114] had occasion to set forth any Wine at all, either better or worse: very so ought we to conceiue the meaning of the vniuersall particle Euery man both in this, and in many other like speeches in the Scriptures; with [...] restringendum est ad praesen­tem hypothesin. Piscat. schol in Luc. 20.38. Instances, see Ioh. 1.7. Rom. 5.18 &c. due limitations, according to the tenor and purpose of the thing spoken of. It matte­reth not then, as to the intent of this present speech (be it true, be it false otherwise,) whether euery man haue receiued a spiritual gift, or no: only thus much is directly intended, that Vnicuique datur] intellige, Vnicuique cum datur. Piscat. in Schol. hîc. euery man who hath receiued such a gift, hath receiued it by way of gift. All spirituall graces, all those dispositions, habits, and abilities of the vnderstanding part, from which the Church of God may receiue edification in any kind, together with all the secondary and inferiour helpes that any way conduce thereunto, they are all the good gifts of God. [The manifestation of the Spirit is giuen to euery man.]

§. 17. is by way of gift;The variety, both of the gifts meete for se­uerall offices, and of the offices wherein to em­ploy those gifts, is wonderfull: and no lesse wonderfull the distribution of both gifts, and offices. But all that [...]. Chrys. in 1. Cor. hom. 29 varietie is deriued from one and the same fountaine, the holy Spirit of God: and all those distributions passe vnto vs by one and the same way, of most free and liberall donation. Haue all the Word of Wisdome? Haue all the Word of Knowledge? Haue all Faith? Haue all Prophecy? or any other spirituall grace? No; they haue not: but 1. Cor. 12.8. &c. to one the Word of Wisedome, the Word of Know­ledge to another, and to others other gifts. There is [Page 115] both variety you see, and distribution of these gra­ces. But yet there is the same Author of them, and the same manner of communicating them: For to one Ibid. is giuen by the Spirit the Word of Wisedome; to another the Word of Knowledge by the same Spirit, and to others, other graces; but they are all from the same Spirit, and they are all giuen. And as the gifts, so the offices too. To that question in vers. 29. Vers. 29. Are all Apostles? are all Prophets? are all Tea­chers? Answer may be made, as before, negatiuely, No; they are not: but some Apostles, and some Pro­phets, and some Teachers. There is the like variety, and distribution, as before: but withal, the same Do­ner, & the same donation, as before. For Ephes. 4.11. he gaue some Apostles, and some Prophets, and some Pastors and Teachers: Ephes. 4. And 1. Cor. 12.28 God hath set some in the Church; first, Apostles; secondarily, Prophets; thirdly, Teachers, &c. beneath at vers. 28. Both gifts and offices, as they are à Deo, for the Author; so they are ex dono, for the manner: from God, and by way of gift. If we had no other, the very names they carry, like the superscription vpon Caesars pe­ny, were a sufficient proofe, from whom wee first had them. When wee call them [...], Gratias gratis datas, Gifts, and Graces, and Manifestations of the Spirit; doe wee not by the vse of those very names confesse the receipt? For what more free than gift? and what lesse of debt or desert, than grace? Heathen men indeed called the best of their perfections, [...], Habits: but Saint Iames hath taught Christians a fitter name for ours, Iam. 1.17. [...], [Page 116] Gifts. They saw they had them, and looked no farther: but we must know, as that we haue them, so as well how wee came by them. And therefore this Apostle aboue at Chap. 4. ioyneth the hauing and the receipt together; as if he would haue vs behold them vno intuitu, and at once. [1 Cor. 4.7. Quid ha­bes, quod non accepisti? what hast thou, that thou hast not receiued?

§. 18. not from Na­ture, or De­sert.Possibly, thou wilt alledge thy excellent natu­rall parts; these were not giuen thee, but thou broughtest them into the world with thee: or thou wilt vouch what thou hast attained to by art and industry; and these were not giuen thee, but thou hast wonne them proprio Marte, and therefore well deseruest to weare them. Deceiue not thy selfe: it is neither so, nor so. Our Apostle in the place now last mentioned, cutteth off all such Challen­ges. [1 Cor. 4.7. Quis te discreuit? Who made thee to differ from another?] Say there were, (as there is not) such a difference in and from Nature as thou con­ceiuest; yet still in the last resolution there must be a receipt acknowledged: for euen cum illius fit gratiae, quod creatus es. Hieron. Epist. 139. Attenda­mus gratiam Dei, non solùm quâ fecit nos— Auggustin. in Psal. 144. Nature it selfe in the last resolution is of Grace; for God gaue thee that. Or, say there were (as there is not) such a difference of desert, as thou pretendest; yet still that were to be acknowledged as a gift too: for God gaue thee that Deut. 8.18. [...]. dictum A­gamemnonis ad Achillem apud Hom [...]r. Illad. [...]. power whatsoeuer it was, whereby thou hast attained to whatsoeuer thou hast. But the truth is; the difference that is in men in regard of these gifts and abilities, ariseth neither from the power of nature, nor from the merit of [Page 117] labour; otherwise than as God is pleased to vse these as second causes vnder him: but it commeth meerely from the good will and pleasure of that free spirit, which bloweth where, and when, and how he listeth; 1 Cor. 12.11 diuiding his graces to euery man seuerally as he will, (at the eleuenth) and Ibid. 18. as it hath pleased him, (at verse 18. of this Chapter.) Nature is a necessary agent, and, if not either hindered by some inferiour impediment, or ouer-ruled by some higher power, worketh alwayes alike, and produ­ceth the same effects in all indiuiduals of the same kinde: and how is it possible shee should make a difference, that knoweth none? And as for De­sert; there is indeed no such thing: and therefore it can worke nothing. For can God be a debtor to any man. or hath any man Rom. 11.35. giuen to him first, that it might bee recompenced him againe? As a lumpe of Esay 64.8. Clay lyeth before the Potter; so is all mankinde in the hand of God. The Potter at his pleasure, out of that Rom. 9.21. lumpe frameth vessels of all sorts, of different shape, proportion, strength, finenesse, capacitie; as he thinketh good, vnto the seuerall vses, for which hee intendeth them. So God after the good pleasure of his owne will, out of mankinde, as out of an vntoward lumpe of clay, (all of the same price, equall in nature and desert,) maketh vp vessels for the vse of his Sanctuary; by fitting seuerall men with seuerall gifts, more or lesse, greater or meaner, better or worse, accor­ding to the difference of those offices and employ­ments, for which he intendeth them. It is not the [Page 118] Clay, but the Potter, that maketh the difference there: neither is it any thing in man, but the Spirit of God, that maketh the difference here. Whatsoe­uer spirituall abilities wee haue, we haue them of gift, and by grace. The manifestation of the spirit is giuen to eueryman.

§. 19. Generall In­ferences. 1. Of thanke­fulnesse for those we haue;A point of very fruitfull consideration for men of all form; whether they bee of greater, or of meaner gifts. And first, all of vs generally may hence take two profitable directions: the one, if we haue any vsefull gifts, whom to thanks for them; the other, if we want any needfull gifts, where to seeke for them. Whatsoeuer manifestation of the spirit thou hast, it is giuen thee: and to whom can thy thankes for it be due, but to the Giuer? Sacri­fice not to thine owne Haba [...]. [...].16. nets, either of Nature, of Endeuour, as if these Abilities were the manifesta­tions of thine owne spirit: but enlarge thy heart to magnifie the goodnesse and bounty of him, who is Heb. 12.9. Pater spirituum, the Father of the spirits of all flesh, and hath wrought those graces in thee by communicating his spirit vnto thee. If thou shinest as a starre in the firmament of the Church, whether of a greater or lesser magnitude, (as 1 Cor. 15.41. one starre differeth from another in glory;) remember thou shinest but by a borrowed light from him, who is Iam. 1.17. Pater luminum, the Father and fountaine of all lights, as the Sunne in the firmament, from whom descendeth euery good gift, and euery perfect giuing. Whatsoeuer Grace thou hast, it is giuen thee: therefore be thankfull to the Giuer.

[Page 119]But if thou wantest any grace, §. 20. 2. of Prayer, for those wee want: or measure of grace, which seemeth needfull for thee in that sta­tion and calling wherein God hath set thee: here is a second direction for thee, where to seeke it. euen from his hands, who alone can giue it. Iam. 1.5. If any man lacke wisedome (saith S. Iames) let him aske of God, that giueth to all men liberally; and it shall bee giuen him. A large, and liberall promise; but yet a promise most certaine, and full of comfor­table assurance, prouided, it be vnderstood aright, viz. with these two necessarie Limitations: if God shall see it expedient; and if he pray for it as hee ought. Thou mayst pray with an humble and vp­right affection, and put to thy best endeauours withall; and yet not obtaine the gift thou prayest for: because, being a common Grace, and not of absolute necessitie for saluation, it may bee in the wisedome of God (who best knoweth what is best, and when) not expedient for thee, or not for his Church, at that time, and in that manner, or measure. Necessarie Graces, such as are those of sanctification, pray for them absolutely, and thou shalt absolutely receiue them: there needeth no conditionall clause of Expediencie in thy prayers for them; because they can neuer bee inexpedient. But these may: and therefore as thou oughtest not to pray for them, but with all subiection of thy desires to his most holy and most wise appoint­ments; so thou oughtest to take a denyall from him, not only contentedly, but euen thankfully, as a gracious fruite of his loue vnto thee, and a cer­taine [Page 120] signe of the inexpediency of the thing de­sired.

§. 21. ioyning euer thereuntoBut if it be expedient; it will not yet come for asking, vnlesse it bee asked aright. Iam. 1.6.7. But let him pray in faith, saith S. Iames: Who so doth not, let not that man thinke to receiue any thing of the Lord. Now that man only prayeth in Faith, who look­eth to receiue the thing he prayeth for, vpon such termes, as God hath promised to giue it: for Faith euer looketh to the Promise. And God hath not made vs any Promise of the End other than condi­tionall; viz. vpon our conscionable vse of the ap­pointed meanes. And the meanes which hee hath ordained both for the obtaining, and the improuing of spirituall Gifts, are study, and industry, and dili­gent meditation. Wee must not now looke, as in the infancy of the Church, to haue the teats put in­to our mouthes, and to receiue spirituall graces by immediate infusion: That Manna, as Hoskins Serm. on Luk. 12.48. one saith, was for the Wildernesse. But now the Church is possessed of the Land, and growne to yeares of bet­ter strength; wee must plow, and sowe, and eate of the fruit of the Land, in the sweate of our faces: and now hee that 2 Thess. 3.10. will not labour, he may thanke himselfe if hee haue not to eate. Hee prayeth but with an ouerly desire, and not from the deepe of his heart, that will not bend his endeauours withall to obtaine what he desireth: of rather indeed hee prayeth not at all. You may call it wishing and woulding, (and we haue Prouerbs against wishers and woulders;) rather than Praying. Salomon ac­counteth [Page 121] the idle mans prayer no better; and it thriueth accordingly with him: Prou. 13.4. The saule of the sluggard lusteth, and hath nothing; Prou. 13.

To make all sure then, here is your course.§. 22. Our owne faithfull Endeauours. Wrestle with God by your seruent prayers; and wrestle with him too by your faithfull endeuours: and hee will not for his Goodnesse sake, and for his Promise sake he cannot, dismisse you without a blessing. But omit either; and the other is lost la­bour. Prayer without study, is Presumption; and study without Prayer, Atheisme: the one bootlesse; the other fruitlesse. You take your bookes in vaine into your hands, if you turne them ouer, and neuer looke higher: and you take Gods name in vaine within your lips, if you cry Da Domine, and neuer stirre farther. The Ship is then like to be steered with best certaintie and successe; when there is Oculus ad coelum, manus ad olauum: when the Pilot is carefull of both, to haue his eye vpon the Compasse, and his hand at the Sterne. Remem­ber these abilities you pray or study for, are the Gifts of God: and as not to bee had ordinarily without labour, (for God is a God of order, and worketh not ordinarily, but by ordinary meanes;) so not to bee had meerely for the labour, for then should it not be so much a Gift, as a Purchase. It was Simon Magus his errour, to thinke that Act. 8.20. the gift of God might be purchased with money and it hath a spice of his sinne, and so may goe for a kinde of simony, for a man to thinke these spirituall gifts of God may be purchased with labour. You [Page 122] may rise vp early, and goe to bed late, and studie hard, and reade much, and deuoure the fat and the marrow of the best Authors; and when you haue all done, vnlesse God giue a blessing vnto your endeuours, be as thin and meagre in regard of true and vsefull learning, as Pharaohs Gen. 41.21 leaue kine were after they had eaten the fat ones. It is God 2 Cor. 9.10. that both ministreth seed to the sower, and multiplyeth the seed sowen: the Principall, and the Increase, are both his. If then wee expect any gift, or the in­crease of any gift from him, neither of which we can haue without him: let vs not bee behinde, ei­ther with our best endeuours to vse the meanes hee hath appointed, or with our faithfull prayers to craue his blessing vpon those meanes. These In­structions are generall; and concerne vs all, what­soeuer our Gifts be.

§. 23. Speciall Infe­rences to those of more eminent Gifts. 1. Not to be proud of them;I must now turne my speech more particularly to you, to whom God hath vouchsafed the mani­festation of his Spirit in a larger proportion than vnto many of your brethren: giuing vnto you, as vnto his first borne, a Deut. 21.17. double portion of his Spirit, as 4 King. 2.9. Elisha had of Eliah's; or perhaps dea­ling with you yet more liberally, as Ioseph did with Beniamin, whose messe (though he were the youngest) hee appointed to bee Gen. 43.34. fiue times as much, as any of his brethrens. It is needfull that you of all others, should bee eftsoones put in re­membrance, that those eminent manifestations of the Spirit you haue, were giuen you. First, it will bee a good helpe to take downe that Scientia in­flat. 1 Cor. 8.1. swelling, [Page 123] which, as an Apostume in the body through ranck­nesse of blood, so is apt to ingender in the soule through abundance of Knowledge; and to let out some of the corruption. It is Magna & rara virtus profecto est, vt magna licet ope­rantem, mag­num te nesci­as. Bernard. in Cant. Serm. 13. a very hard thing Multum sapere, and not altum sapere; to know much, and not to know it too much; to excell others in gifts, and not perke aboue them in selfe­conceipt. S. Paul, who Phil. 4.12. in all other things was sufficiently instructed, as well to abound, as to suffer need, was yet put very hard to it, when hee was to try the mastery with this temptation, which arose from the 2 Cor. 12.7. abundance of reuelations. If you finde an aptnesse then in your selues, (and there is in your selues as of your selues such an aptnesse, as to no one thing more,) to be exalted aboue measure in your owne conceipts, boastingly to make osten­tation of your owne sufficiencies, with a kinde of vnbecomming compassion to cast scorne vpon your meaner brethren, and vpon euery light pro­uocation to flye out into those termes of defiance [Hîc, vers. 21. I haue no need of thee; and, I haue no need of thee] to dispell this windy humour I know not a more soueraigne remedy, than to chew vpon this medita­tion; that all the Abilities and perfections you haue were giuen you, by one who was no way so bound to you, but hee might haue giuen them as well to the meanest of your brethren as to you, and that without any wrong to you, if it had so pleased him. You may take the Receipt from him, who himselfe had had some experience of the In­firmity; euen S. Paul in the fourth of this Epistle. [Page 124] [1 Cor. 4.7. What hast thou, that thou hast not receiued? and if thou hast receiued it, why dost thou boast as if thou had not receiued it?]

§. 24. 2. to make them Rules vnto them­selues; Secondly; Euery wise and conscionable man should aduisedly weigh his owne Gifts, and make them his Rule to worke by: not thinking hee doth enough, if hee doe what Law compelleth him to doe, or if he doe as much as other neighbours doe. Indeed, where Lawes bound vs by Negatiue Pre­cepts, [Hitherto thou mayst goe, but farther thou shalt not,] wee must obey, and wee may not exceed those bounds. But where the Lawes doe barely enjoyne vs to doe somewhat, left hauing no Law to compell vs, wee should doe iust nothing; it can be no transgression of the Law, to doe more. Whosoeuer therefore of you haue receiued more or greater Gifts than many others haue; you must know your selues bound to doe so much more good with them, and to stand chargeable with so much the deeper account for them. Gregor. Crescunt dona, cres­cunt rationes. When you shall come to make vp your accounts, your receipts will bee looked into: and if you haue receiued ten talents, or fiue, for your meaner brothers one; when but one shall bee required from him, you shall be answerable for ten, or fiue. For it is an equitable course, that Luk. 12.48. to whom much is giuen, of him much should bee requi­red. And at that great day, if you cannot make your accounts straight with your receipts, you shall certainely finde that most true in this sense, which Salomon spake in another, Eccl. 1.18. Qui apponit scientiam, [Page 125] apponit dolorem: the more and greater your Gifts are, vnlesse your thankfulnesse for them, and your diligence with them rise to some good like pro­portion thereunto; the greater shall bee your con­demnation, the more your stripes.

But thirdly;§. 25. 3. but not vn­to others. though your Graces must bee so to your selues, yet beware you doe not make them Rules to others. A thing I the rather note, because the fault is so frequent in practice, & yet very rare­ly obserued, and more rarely reprehended. God hath endowed a man with good abilities and parts in some kinde or other; I instance but in one gift only for examples sake, viz. an Ability to enlarge himselfe in prayer readily, and with fit expressions vpon any present occasion. Being in the Ministe­rie, or other Calling, hee is carefull to exercise his gift by praying with his family, praying with the sicke, praying with other company vpon such other occasions as may fall out: hee thinketh, and hee thinketh well, that if he should doe otherwise or lesse than he doth, hee should not bee able to dis­charge himselfe from the guilt of vnfaithfulnesse, in not employing the talent hee hath receiued to the best aduantage, when the exercise of it might redound to the glory of the Giuer. Hitherto hee is in the right: so long as he maketh his Gift a Rule but to himselfe. But now if this man shall stretch out this Rule vnto all his brethren in the same Cal­ling, by imposing vpon them a necessitie of doing the like; if hee shall expect or exact from them, that they should also bee able to commend vnto [Page 126] God the necessities of their families, or the state of a sicke person, or the like, by extemporary Pray­er; but especially if he shall iudge or censure them, that dare not aduenture so to doe, of intrusion in­to, or of unfaithfulnesse in their Callings: he com­mitteth a great fault, and well deseruing a sharpe reprehension. For what is this else, but to lay hea­uier burdens vpon mens shoulders, than they can stand vnder, to make our selues iudges of other mens consciences, and our Abilities Rules of their actions, yea, and euen to lay an imputation vpon our Master, with that vngracious seruant in the Gospell, as if he were Math. 25.24. an hard man, reaping where hee hath not sowen, and gathering where he hath not strewed, and requiring much where hee hath giuen little, and like Pharaohs taske-masters, exacting the Exod. 5.18. full tale of brickes without sufficient allowance of materials? Shall he that hath a thousand a yeare, count him that hath but an hundred, a Churle if he doe not spend as much in his house weekly, keepe as plentifull a table, and beare as much in euery common charge, as himselfe? No lesse vnreasona­ble is he, that would binde his brother of inferiour Gifts to the same frequencie and method in Prea­ching, to the same readinesse and copiousnesse in Praying, to the same necessitie and measure in the performance of other duties; whereunto, accor­ding to those Gifts hee findeth in himselfe, he fin­deth himselfe bound. The manifestation of the Spirit is giuen to euery man: let no man bee so se­uere to his brother, as to looke he should manifest [Page 127] more of the Spirit, than he hath receiued.

Now as for you,§. 26. Speciall infe­rences to those of mea­ner gifts. to whom God hath dealt these spirituall gifts, with a more sparing hand; the free­dome of Gods distribution may be a fruitfull me­ditation for you also. First, thou hast no reason, whosoeuer thou art, to grudge at the scantnesse of thy gifts, or to repine at the giuer. How little soeuer God hath giuen thee, it is more than he [...]. Chrysost. in 1. Cor. hom. 29. owed thee. If the distribution of the Spirit were a matter of iustice, or of debt; God we know is Acts 10.34. no accepter of persons, and he would haue giuen to thee, as to ano­ther. But being, as it is, a matter of gift, not of debt, nor of iustice, but of grace: take that is thine thank­fully, and be content withall; Mat. 20.13.15. He hath done thee no wrong: may he not doe as he will, with his owne? Secondly, since the manifestation of the Spirit is a matter of free gift: thou hast no cause to enuie thy Brother, whose portion is greater. Why should Mat. 20.15. thy eye bee therefore euill against him, because God hath been so good vnto him? Shall the foote enuie the hand, or the eare the eye; because the foote can­not worke, nor the eare see? If the Hic vers. 17—19. whole body were hand, where were the going? and if the whole were eye, where were the hearing? or if the whole were any one member, where were the body? If the hand can worke, which the foote cannot; yet the foote can goe, which the hand cannot: and if the eye can see, which the eare cannot; yet the eare can hearken, which the eye cannot. And, if thy brother haue some abilities, which thou hast not; thou art not so bare, but thou hast other some againe, which [Page 128] he hath not. Say, thine be meaner: yet the meanest member, as it hath his Hîc vers. [...]1, 23. necessarie office, so it is not destitute of his proper comelinesse in the Body. Thirdly, if thy gifts bee meane, thou hast this com­fort withall, that thy accounts will be so much the easier. Merchants, that haue the greatest dealings, are not euer the safest men. And how happy a thing had it been for many men in the world, if they had had lesse of other mens goods in their hands? The lesse thou hast receiued, the lesse thou hast to an­swer for. If God haue giuen thee but one single ta­lent, he will not require fiue: nor if fiue, ten. Fourth­ly, in the meanenesse of thy gifts thou mayst reade thy selfe a daily lecture of humilitie: and humili­tie alone, is a thing of more value, than all the per­fections that are in the world besides, without it. This thinke, that God, who disposeth Rom. 8.28. all things for the best to those that are his, would haue giuen thee other and greater gifts, if he had seene it so ex­pedient for thee. That therefore hee hath holden his hand, and with-holden those things from thee: conceiue it done, either for thy former vnworthi­nesse, and that should make thee humble; or for thy future good, and that should make thee also thank­full. Lastly, remember what the Preacher saith in Ecclos. 10. [Eccl. 10.10. Maximum me­diocris ingenij subsidium, dili­gentia. Sen. in controu. If the iron be blunt, then he must put to the more strength.] Many men, that are well left by their friends, and full of money, because they think they shall neuer see the bottome of it, take no care by any employment to encrease it, but spend on vpon the stocke, without either feare or wit, they [Page 129] care not what, nor how, till they be sunke to no­thing before they be aware: whereas on the con­trary, industrious men that haue but little to begin withall, yet by their care and prouidence, and paines taking, get vp wonderfully. It is almost in­credible, what industrie, and diligence, and exercise, and holy [...]. vers. 31. hîc. emulation (which our Apostle commen­deth in the last verse of this Chapter,) are able to effect, for the bettering and encreasing of our spiri­tuall gifts: Prouided euer wee ioyne with these, hearty prayers vnto, and faithfull dependance vpon God, for his blessing thereupon. I know no so law­full [...]. Matth. 25.27. Vsury, as of these spirituall talents; nor doe I know any so profitable Vsury, or that multiplyeth so fast at this doth your vse vpon vse, that doubleth the principall in seuen yeares, is nothing to it. Oh then, Luk▪ 19.23. cast in thy talent into the banke; make thy returnes as speedy, and as many as thou canst; loose not a market, or a tide, if it be possible; 2. Tim. 4.2. be instant in season, and out of season; omit no opportunitie to take in, and put off all thou canst get: so, though thy beginnings be but small, thy later end shall won­derfully encrease. By this meanes, thou shalt not onely profit thy self, in the encrease of thy gifts vn­to thy selfe: but (which no other Vsurie doth be­sides) thou shalt also profit others, by communica­ting of thy gifts vnto them. Which is the proper end, for which they were bestowed; and of which wee are next to speake. The manifestation of the Spirit is giuen to euery man to profit withall.

To profit whom? it may be, Himselfe. It is true; [Page 130] Prou. 9.12. If thou art wise, §. 27. The end of spirituall gifts, not only our owne, thou shalt be wise for thy selfe, said Salomon; and Salomon knew what belonged to wisedome aswell as another. For, Syrac. 14.5. Qui sibi ne­quam, cui bonus? He that is not good to himselfe, it is but a chance that hee is good to any body else. When we seeme to pitie a man by saying, He is no mans foe but his owne, or he is worst to himselfe; we doe indeed but flout him, and in effect call him a foole, and a prodigall. Such a foole is euery one, that guiding the feete of others into the way of peace, himselfe treadeth the paths that leadeth vnto destruction; and that 1. Cor. 9.27. preaching repentance vnto others, himselfe becommeth a Castaway. He that hath a gift then, he should doe well to looke to his owne, aswell as to the profit of others; and as vnto doctrine, so as well and first to 1. Tim. 4.16. take heed vnto him­selfe: that so doing he may saue himselfe, aswell as those that heare him.

§. 28. but rather the profit of others.This then is to be done; but this is not all that is to be done. In Sunt qui scire volunt, vt aedi­ficent, et Chari­tas est: sunt qui scire volunt vt aedificentur, & Prudentia est. Bern. in Cant. serm. 36. Wisedome wee cannot doe lesse, but in Charity we are bound to do more than thus, with our gifts. If our owne profit onely had been intended, [...] would haue serued the turne as­wel: but the word here is [...], which impor­teth such a kind of profit as redoundeth to Vtilitatem: sc. Ecclesiae. Pisc. in Schol. hîc. com­munitie, such as before in the 10. Chapter he pro­fesseth himself to haue sought after, [1. Cor. 10.33 Not seeking mine owne profit, (he meaneth, not onely his owne,) but the profit of many, that they may be saued.] Wee noted it already, as the maine and essentiall diffe­rence betweene those Graces of sanctification, and [Page 131] these Graces of edification: that those, though they would bee made profitable vnto others also, yet were principally intended for the proper good of the owner; but these, though they would be vsed for the owners good also, yet were principally inten­ded for the profit of others. You see then, what a strong obligation lyeth vpon euery man that hath receiued the Spirit, conferre aliquid in publicum, to cast his gift into the common treasurie of the Church, to employ his good parts and spirituall graces so, as they may some-way or other be profi­table to his brethren and fellow-seruants in Church and Common-wealth. It is an old re­ceiued Canon, Beneficium propter officium. No man setteth a Steward ouer his house, onely to re­ceiue his rents, and then to keepe the moneys in his hand, and make no prouision out of it for his Hines and Seruants: but it is the Luk. 12.42. office of a good and wise Steward to giue to euerie one of the houshold his appointed portion at the appointed seasons. And who so receiueth a spirituall gift, ipso facto taketh vpon him the office, and is bound to the duties of a Steward; [1. Pet. 4.10. As euery man hath receiued the gift, euen so minister the same one vnto another, as good ste­wards of the manifold graces of God, 1. Pet. 4.] It was not onely for orders sake, and for the beautifying of his Church, (though that also) that God Eph. 4.11, 12. gaue some Apostles, and some Prophets, and some Euange­lists, and some Pastors and Teachers: but also, and especially, for more necessarie and profitable vses; for the perfecting of the Saints, for the worke of the [Page 132] Ministery, for the edifying of the body of Christ. Ephes. 4.11, 12. The members of the body, are not euery one for it selfe, but euery one for other, and all for the whole. The stomake eateth, not to fill it selfe, but to nourish the body; the eye seeth, not to please it selfe, but to espie for the body; the foote moueth, not to exercise it selfe, but to carry the body; the hand worketh, not to helpe it selfe, but to main­taine the body: euery Eph. 4.16. ioynt supplieth something, according to the effectuall working in the measure of euery part, for the fit ioyning together, and compacting, and encreasing of the body to the edi­fying it selfe in loue. Hîc vers. 27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

§. 29. in respect 1. of the Gi­uer;Now this necessitie of employing spirituall gifts to the good and profit of others, ariseth first from the will and intent of the Giuer: my Text sheweth plainely what that intent was; The manifestation of the Spirit was therefore giuen to euery man, that he might profit withall. Certainely, as Deus & na­tura nihil faci­unt frustrae. nature doth not, so much lesse doth the God of Nature, make any thing to no purpose, or barely for shew; but for vse: and the vse, for which all these things were made and giuen, is 1. Cor. 14.26 edification. He that hath an estate made ouer to him in trust and for vses; hath in equitie therein no estate at all, if hee turne the commodities of the thing some other way, and not to those speciall vses for which he was so esta­ted in it. So hee that employeth not his spirituall gift to the vse for which it was giuen, to the in Commu­nem vtilitatem collatum est. Erasm. in para­phr. hîc. profit of the Church; hee hath de iure forfeited it to the [Page 133] Giuer. And we haue sometimes knowne him de fa­cto to take the forfeiture; as from the vnprofitable seruant in the Gospel, [Mat. 25.28. See Hieron. in Agg. 2.9. Take the talent from him.] Wee haue sometimes seene the experiment of it. Men of excellent parts, by slackning their zeale, to haue lost their very gifts; and by neglecting the vse, to haue lost the Principall; finding a sensible decay in those powers, which they were slothfull to bring into act. It is a iust thing with the Iam. 1.17. Father of Lights, when hee hath lighted any man a candle, by bestowing spirituall gifts vpon him; and lent him a candlestick too whereon to set it, by proui­ding him a slay in the Church: if that man shall then Matth. 5.15. hide his candle vnder a bushell, and enuie the light and comfort of it to them that are in the house; either to remoue his candlesticke, or to put out his candle in obscuritie.

As the intent of the Giuer, so secondly, §. 30. 2. of the Gift; the nature and qualitie of the gift calleth vpon vs for emploi­ment. It is not with these spirituall gifts, as with most other things, which when they are emparted, are impaired, and lessened by communicating. Here is no place for that allegation of the Virgins, Matth. 25.9. Ne non sufficiat —Lest there be not enough for you and for vs. These graces are of the number of those things, that communicate themselues by Multiplication, not Diuision, and by diffusion, without waste. As the seale maketh impression in the waxe, and as fire conueigheth heate into Iron, and as one candle tindeth a thousand: all without losse of figure, heate, or light. Had euer any man lesse knowledge, or wit, [Page 134] or learning; by teaching others? had hee not ra­ther more? Ec [...]les. 12.9. The more wise the Preacher was, the more he taught the people knowledge, saith Salomon, Eccles. 12. and certainely, the more hee taught them knowledge, the more his owne wisedome in­creased. As the 4. King. 4.4. Widowes oyle increased, not in the vessell, but by powring out; and as the Ioh. 6.11. barley bread in the Gospell multiplied, not in the whole loafe, but by breaking and distributing; and as the 2. Cor. 9.10. graine bringeth encrease, not when it lyeth on a heape in the garner, but by scattering vpon the land: so are these spirituall graces best improued, not by Absconsione minuitur, & communicatio­ne multiplica­tur. Cassiod. in Epist. keep­ing them together, but by distributing them abroad. Tutius incredito, quàm in sudario: the talent gathe­reth nothing in the napkin, vnlesse it be rust and canker; but trauelling in the banke, besides the good it doth as it passeth to and fro, it euer Quò in plu­res diffunditur, [...]ò redundan­tior manet, [fortè leg. manat,] & in suum fontem recurrit. In se enim refluit vbertas prudentiae: & quò pluribus fluxerit, eò exercitius fit omne quod remanet. Ambros. 2.. Offic. 15. retur­neth home with encrease.

§. 31. 3. Of the Re­ceiuer. Thirdly, our owne vnsufficiencie to all offices, and the need we haue of other mens gifts, must enforce vs to lend them the helpe and comfort of ours. God hath so distributed the varietie of his gifts with singular wisedome, that there is no man so meane, but his seruice may bee vsefull to the grea­test; nor any man so eminent, but he may some­times stand need to the meanest of his brethren: of purpose, that whilest each hath need of other, each should helpe, none should despise other. As [Page 135] in a Societas no­stra lapidum fornicationi si­millima est: quae casura, nisi inuicem obsta­rent, hoc vno sustinetur. Se­nec. epist. 95. building, the stones helpe one another, euery lower stone supporting the higher from falling to the ground, and euery higher stone sauing the lower from taking wet; and as in the body, euerie member Ephes. 4.16. lendeth some supply to the rest, and againe receiueth supply from them: so in the spirituall building, and mysticall body of the Church, God hath so tempered the parts, each hauing his vse, and each his defects; Hîc Vers. 24.25. that there should be no schisme in the body, but that the members should haue the same care one for another. Such a consent there should be in the parts, as was betweene the Anthol. 1.4. blind and lame man in the Epigram: mutually couenanting, the Blind to carry the Lame, and the Lame to direct the Blind; that so the Blind might find his way by the others eyes, and the Lame walke therein vpon the others legges. When a man is once come to that all-sufficiency in himselfe, as he may truly say to the rest of his brethren, Hîc vers. 21. I stand no need of you; let him then keepe his gifts to himselfe: but let him in the meane time remember, hee must employ them to the aduantage of his master, and to the benefit of his brother. [The manifestation of the Spirit is giuen to euery man to profit withall.]

Surely then those men, first of all,§. 32. The first in­ference; run a course strangely exorbitant; who instead of employing them to the profit, bend those gifts they haue recei­ued, (whether spirituall or temporall) to the ruine and destruction of their brethren. Instead of win­ning soules to heauen; with busie and cursed dili­gence Mat. 23.15. compassing Sea and Land, to draw Proselytes [Page 136] to the Diuell: and instead of raising vp seed to their elder brother Christ, seeking to make their brethren (if it were possible) ten times more the children of hell than themselues. Abusing their Power to op­pression, their wealth to luxurie, their strength to drunkennes, their wit to Scoffing, Atheisme, Pro­phanenesse; their learning to the maintenance of Heresie, Idolatrie, Schisme, Noueltie. If there be a feareful woe due to those that Matth. 25.30 intelligatur poe­na interuerso­ris ex poena pi­gri. August. in Psal. 99. vse not their gifts profitably; what woes may wee thinke shall ouer­take them, that so vngraciously abuse them?

§. 33. the second;But to leaue these wretches: be perswaded in the second place, all you, whom God hath made Stewards ouer his houshold, and blessed your bas­ket and your store, to Matth. 13.52. bring forth of your treasures things both new and old; manifest the Spirit God hath giuen you, so as may be most for the profit of your brethren. The Spirit of God, when hee gaue you wisdome, and knowledge, intended not so much the wisedome and the knowledge themselues, as the manifestation of them, or (as it is in the next verse) Hîc vers. 8. the Word of Wisdome, and the Word of know­ledge: as Christ also promised his Apostles, to giue them Luk. 21.15. Os & sapientiam; A Mouth, and Wisdome. Alas, what is Wisedome without a Mouth? but as a pot of treasure hid in the ground, which no man is the better for. Syrae. 20.30 Wisedome that is hid, and a treasure that is not seene, what profit is in them both? O then doe not knit vp your Masters talent in a Luk. 19.20. Napkin; smother not his light vnder a Matth. 5.15. bushell; pinch not his seruants of their due Luk. 12.42, 45. prouision; pott not vp the [Page 137] Exod. 16.20▪ Manna you haue gathered till it stinke, and the wormes consume it: but aboue all, squander not a­way your rich portions by riotous liuing. Let not either sloath, or enuie, or pride, or pretended modesty, or any other thing hinder you, from labouring to discharge faithfully that trust and dutie, which God expecteth, which the necessitie of the Church challengeth, which the measure of your gifts pro­miseth, which the condition of your calling exact­eth from you. Remember the manifestation of the Spirit was giuen you to profit withall.

Thirdly, §. 24. the third. since the end of all gifts is to profit: aime most at those gifts, that will profit most; and endeauour so to frame those you haue in the exer­cise of them, as they may be likeliest to bring pro­fit to those that shall partake them. Hîc vers. 31. Couet earnest­ly the best gifts, saith my Apostle at the last verse of this Chapter: and you haue his Comment vpon that Text in the first verse of the fourteenth Chap­ter, 1▪ Cor. 14.1. Couet spirituall gifts, [...], but rather that yee may prophecie. And by prophecying, hee meaneth the Prophetas in­terpretes dicit scripturarum. Ambros. in 1. Cor. c. 63. Prophetia. i.e. donum inter­pretandi scrip­turas. Piscat. schol. in 1. Cor. 14.22. Mysti­cum [...]sensum ad salutem a [...]di­torum expla­n [...]nte E [...]asm. in paraphr ad: 1. Cor. 14. instruction of the Church, and people of God in the needfull doctrines of Faith towards God, Repentance from dead workes, and new and holy Obedience. It is one stratageme of the Arch-enemie of mankind, (and when we know his wiles, wee may the better bee able to defeate him,) by busying men of great and vsefull parts▪ in by­matters, and things of lesser consequence; to di­uert them from following that vnum necessarium, that which should bee the maine of all our endea­uours, [Page 138] the beating downe of sinne, the planting of Faith, and the reformation of Manners. Controuer­sies, I confesse, are necessarie, the Tongues neces­sary, Histories necessarie, Philosophy and the Arts necessarie, other knowledge of all sorts necessa­rie in the Church: for truth must be maintained, Scripture-phrases opened, Heresie confuted, the mouthes of Aduersaries stopped, Schismes and No­uelties suppressed. But when all is done, Positiue and Practique Diuinity is it, must bring vs to hea­uen: that is it, must paise our iudgements, settle our consciences, direct our liues, mortifie our corrupti­ons, encrease our graces, strengthen our comforts, saue our soules. Hoc opus, hoc studium: there is no study to this, none so wel worth the labour as this; none that can bring so much profit to others, nor therefore so much glory to God, nor therefore so much comfort to our owne hearts, as this. Tit. 3.8. This is a faithfull saying, and these things I will that thou af­firme constantly (saith Saint Paul to Titus) that they which haue beleeued in God, might be careful to main­taine good workes: these things are good and profitable vnto men. You cannot doe more good vnto the Church of God, you cannot more profit the peo­ple of God, by your gifts; than by pressing effec­tually these two great points, Faith, & Good works: these are good and profitable vnto men.

§. 35. The Con­clusion.I might here adde other inferences from this point, as namely, since the manifestation of the Spirit is giuen to euery one of vs chiefely for this end, that wee may profit the people with it, that [Page 139] therefore fourthly, in our preaching wee should ra­ther seeke to profit our hearers, though perhaps with sharpe and vnwelcome reproofes, than to please them by flattering them in euill: and that fifthly, wee should more desire to bring profit vnto them, than to gaine applause vnto our selues: and sundry other more besides these. But I will nei­ther adde any more, nor prosecute these any far­ther at this time, but giue place to other businesse. God the Father of Lights, and of Spirits, endow e­uery one of vs in our Places and Callings, with a competent measure of such Graces, as in his wise­dome and goodnesse he shall see needefull and ex­pedient for vs: and so direct our harts, and tongues, and endeauours in the exercise and manifestation thereof, that by his good blessing vpon our la­bours wee may bee enabled to aduance his glory, propagate his truth, benefit his Church, discharge a good conscience in the meane time, and at the last make our account with comfort, at the appearing of our Lord Iesus Christ. To whom, &c.

FINIS.
THREE SERMONS, Ad Ma …

THREE SERMONS, Ad Magistratum. BY ROBERT SAVNDERSON Batchellor in Diuinity, and some­times Fellow of Lincolne Colledge in Oxford.

PSAL. 2.10.

Et nunc, Reges, intelligite: erudimini qui judicatis terram.

LONDON, Printed by R.Y. for R. Dawlman, at the Signe of the Bible neere the great Conduit in Fleet­streete. 1627.

To the Right VVorshipfull my much honoured Patron, Sir NICHOLAS SAVNDERSON of Filingham, Linc. Knight and Baronet.

SIR,

HAuing first, vpon slow deliberation, resolued to publish these three Ser­mons: my next resolution came on more readily, to present them to you. For which there was no need I should deliberate long: the consideration both of the Author and Argument prompting mee thereunto. For my selfe first; As you haue abundantly witnes­sed vnto the world your good affection to mee, both by sundry other courtesies, and especially in being the chiefest meanes, (vnder the good Prouidence of God) by your free collation of a Benefice vpon me, of draw­ing me from the Vniuersitie into these parts, where I am now settled: so I haue beene euer couetous of some faire opportunity, to witnesse vnto the world my thankfull acknowledgement of your kinde fa­uours; [Page] whereof▪ for want of better meanes I desire this Dedication maybe some expression. And then for the Argument; I knew none more fit to Patronage a Theame of Iustice, than your selfe: whom God hath endowed with strong abilities▪ many wayes, of Vn­derstanding, Affections, Courage, Elocution, In­du [...]trie together with outward Meanes and Power, in a gracious measure, and aboue many of your fellowes in the same office; to doe Him, and his Annointed, and their People, good seruice, in aduancing the course of publike Iustice, in the Countrie where you liue. In both which regards, as I presume these my me­ditations concerning Iustice will not come altogether vnwelcome: so I am confident, that the manner of handling vsed therein, in taxing the Abuses with such Freedome, as (it may be) some will not rellish, will yet be by so much more acceptable to you, by how much more freely your owne heart, when you reade of them, shall witnesse your owne freedome from them. In which confidence, with all due respect. I commend these Sermons into your hands; and with my faithfullest deuotions, your selfe, and your Reli­gious Lady, and whole family into the hands of God: who alone is able hath to continue and multi­ply his blessings vpon you in the meane time, and in the end to crowne his owne graces in you with glory.

Yours in the Lord, ROB. SAVNDERSON.

THE FIRST SERMON.At a publike Sessions at Grantham Linc. 11. Iun 1623.

IOB. 29. VERS. 14, 15, 16, 17.

14. I put on righteousnesse, and it cloathed mee: my judgement was as a robe and diadem.

15. I was eyes to the blinde; and feet was I to the lame.

16. I was a father to the poore: and the cause which I knew not I searched out.

17. And I brake the jawes of the wicked; and pluc­ked the spoyle out of his teeth.

WHere silence against foule and false imputations may be inter­preted a Si, cum mihi furta, largitio­nes— obijciun­tur, ego respen­dere soleo meis — non tàm s [...]m existimandus [...]e rebus gestis glo­riari quàm de obiectis non con­fiteri. Cic. pro domo sua. Confession;§. 1. The Occa­sion. there the protestation of a mans owne in­nocency is euer iust, and some­times Mihi de memetipso tam multa dicendi necessitas quaedam imposita est ob illo Cl [...]. pro Syll. necessarie. When others doe vs open wrong; it is not now Vanity, but Charity, to doe our selues open right: and whatsoeuer appearance of folly or vaine boa­sting [Page 148] there is in so doing; they are chargeable with all that compell vs thereunto, and not wee. (I am become a foole in glorying; but yee haue com­pelled mee, 2 Cor. 12.11.) It was neither pride, nor passion in Iob, but such a compulsion as this, that made him so often in this booke proclaime his owne righteousnesse. Amongst whose many and grieuous afflictions, as it is hard to say which was the greatest; so we are sure this was not the least, that hee was to wrestle with the vniust and bitter vpbraidings of vnreasonable and incompassionate men. They came to visit him as friends; and as friends they should haue comforted him. But sorry friends they were, and Iob 16.2. miserable comforters: in­deed not comforters, but tormentours; and Accu­sers rather than Friends. Seeing Gods hand hea­uie vpon him; for want of better or other proofe, they charge him with Hypocrisie. And because they would not seeme to deale all in generalities (for against this generall accusation of hypocrisie, it was sufficient for him as generally to pleade the truth and vprightnesse of his heart;) they there­fore goe on more particularly, (but as falsly) and as it were by way of instance, to charge him with Oppression. Thus Eliphaz by name taxeth him: Chap. 22.6, &c. Thou hast taken a pledge from thy brother for naught; and hast stripped the naked of their cloathing. Thou hast not giuen water to the weary to drinke, and thou hast with holden bread from the hungry. But as for the mighty man, hee had the earth; and the honourable man dwelt in it. Thou [Page 149] hast sent widowes away empty, and the armes of the fatherlesse hast thou broken.

Being thus shamefully, indeed shamelesly, §. 2. Scope, vp­braided to his face, without any desert of his, by those men, Etsi ego dig­nus hac contu­meliâ, At tu in­dignus qui fa­ceres tamen. Terent. who (if he had deserued it) should least of all haue done it, his Psal. 55.12. —14. neighbours and fa­miliar friends: can you blame the good man, if to remoue such false aspersions, hee doe with more than ordinary freedome insist vpon his owne in­tegritie in this behalfe? And that hee doth in this Chapter something largely; wherein he declareth how he demeaned himselfe in the time of his pro­speritie in the administration of his Magistracy, farre otherwise than was layed to his charge. [When the eare heard mee, then it blessed mee; and when the eye saw mee, it gaue witnesse to mee. Be­cause I deliuered the poore that cryed, and the father­lesse, and him that had none to helpe him. The bles­sing of him that was ready to perish came vpon mee, and I caused the widowes heart to sing for ioy] in the next immediate verses before these. And then he goeth on in the words of my Text, I put on righteousnesse, and &c.

It seemeth Iob was a good man, as well as a great: and being good, hee was by so much the better,§. 3. Summe, by how much he was the greater. Nor was he on­ly Bonus vir, a good man; and yet if but so, his friends had done him much wrong to make him an Hypocrite: but hee was Bonus Ciuis too, a good Common-wealths-man; and therefore his friends did him yet more wrong to make him an Oppres­sour. [Page 150] Indeed he was neither one, nor other. But it is not so vsefull for vs to know what manner of man Iob was; as to learne from him what manner of men wee should bee. The grieued spirit of Iob indeed at first vttered these words for his owne iustification: but the blessed Spirit of God hath since written them for our instruction; to teach vs from Iobs example how to vse that measure of greatnesse and power which hee hath giuen vs, be it more bee it lesse, to his glory and the common good. So that in these words we haue to consider, as layed downe vnto vs vnder the person, and from the example of Iob, some of the maine and principall duties which concerne all those that liue in any degree of Eminencie or Authoritie either in Church or Common-wealth; and more specially those, that are in the Magistracie, or in any office appertaining to Iustice.

§. 4. and Diuision of the Text.And those Duties are foure. One, and the first, as a more transcendent and fundamentall dutie: the other three, as accessorie helpes thereto, or subordi­nate 1 parts thereof. That first is, a Care and Loue, and Zeale of Iustice. A good Magistrate should so make account of the administration of Iustice, as of his chiefest businesse; making it his greatest glory and delight, Vers. 14. [I put on righteous­nesse, and it cloathed mee: my iudgement was a robe, 2 and a diadem.] The second is a forwardnesse vnto the workes of Mercy, and Charity, and Compassion. A good Magistrate should haue compassion of those that stand need of his helpe, and be help­full [Page 151] vnto them, vers. 15. and part of 16. [I was eyes to the blinde, and feete was I to the lame, I was a father to the poore.] The Third is Diligence in Ex­amination. 3 A good Magistrate should not be hasty to credit the first tale, or bee carryed away with light informations: but he should heare, and exa­mine, and scan, and sift matters as narrowly as may bee for the finding out of the truth, in the remain­der of verse 16. [And the cause which I knew not I searched out.] The Fourth is, Courage and Reso­lution 4 in Executing. A good Magistrate, when hee goeth vpon sure grounds, should not feare the fa­ces of men, bee they neuer so mighty or many, but without respect of persons execute that which is equall and right euen vpon the greatest offen­der, Vers. 17. [And I brake the iawes of the wic­ked, and plucked the spoyle out of his teeth.] Of these foure in their order: of the first, first, in these words, I put on righteousnesse, &c.

This Metaphore of cloathing is much vsed in the Scriptures in this notion;§. 5. The Opening of as it is applyed to the soule, and things appertaining to the soule. In Psalme 109. Dauid vseth this imprecation against his enemies; [Psal. 109.29. Let mine aduersaries be cloathed with shame, and let them couer themselues with their owne confusion as with a cloake.] And the Prophet Esay, speaking of Christ and his kingdome, and the righteousnesse thereof, chap. 11. thus describeth it, [Esay 11.5. Righteousnesse shall bee the girdle of his loynes, and faithfulnesse the girdle of his reynes.] Like­wise in the New Testament, St. Paul in one place [Page 152] biddeth vs Rom. 13.14. put on the Lord Iesus Christ: in an o­ther exhorteth women to 1 Tim. 2.9, c. adorne themselues instead of broydered haire and gould and pearles and costly aray, with shamefastnesse and sobriety, and (as becommeth women professing godlinesse) with good workes: in a third furnisheth the spirituall souldier with Eph. 6.14. &c. shoes, girdle, brestplate, helmet, and all ne­cessary accontrements from top to toe. In all which and other places, where the like Meta­phore is vsed; it is euer to bee vnderstood with al­lusion to one of the three speciall ends or vses of 1 apparell. For we cloath our selues, either first, for necessitie and common decency, to couer our na­kednesse; 2 or secondly, for security and defence a­gainst 3 enemies; or thirdly, for state and solemnitie, and for distinction of offices and degrees. Our cloakes, and coates, and ordinary suites, wee all weare to couer our nakednesse: and these are Indu­menta, knowne by no other but by the generall name of Cloathing or Apparell. Souldiers in the warres weare Morions, and Cuiraces, and Targets, and other habiliments for defence: and these are called Arma, Armes or Armour. Kings and Prin­ces weare Crowns and Diadems; inferiour Nobles, and Iudges, and Magistrates, and Officers, their Robes, and Furres, and Hoods, and other ornaments fitting to their seuerall degrees and offices, for so­lemnitie of state, and as ensignes or markes of those places and stations wherein God hath set them: and these are Infulae, Ornaments or Roabes. It is true; Iustice, and Iudgement, and euery other [Page 153] good vertue and grace is all this vnto the soule; seruing her both for couert, and for protection, and for ornament: and so stand both for the garments, and for the armour, and for the roabes of the soule. But here I take it, Iob alludeth especially to the third vse. The proprietie of the very words them­selues giue it so: for he saith he put righteousnesse and iudgement vpon him as a Robe and a Diadem; and such things as these are worne, not for necessi­tie, but state. Iob was certainely a Magistrate, a Iudge at the least; it is euident from the seuenth verse: and to mee it seemeth not improbable that he was a Non dubito, quin Iob fuerit Rex. Didac. Stun. in Iob 1.3 King; though not likely such as the Kings of the earth now are (whose dominions are wider, and power more absolute,) yet possibly such as in those ancient times, and in those Easterne parts of the world were called Kings, viz. a kinde of petty Monarch, and supreme gouernour, within his owne territories, though perhaps but of one single City with the Suburbs, and some few neighbouring Villages. In the first Chapter it is said that hee was Iob 1.3. the greatest man of all the East: and in this Chapter hee saith of himselfe, that Iob 29.9. when hee came in presence, the Princes and the Nobles held their tongues; and, that Ibid. ver. 25. hee sate as chiefe, and dwelt as a King in the Army; and in this verse he speaketh as one that wore a Diadem, an ornament [...]. Suid. in [...]. proper to Kings. Now Kings, wee know, and other Magistrates place much of their outward glory and state in their Diadems, and Robes, and peculiar Vestments: these things striking [Page 154] a kinde of Cultus mag­nificus addit hominibus au­thoritatem. Quintil. 8. Iustit. [...]. Homer. [...]. Odyss. 29. Hoc Priami ge­stamen erat, cum jura voca­tis more dabat populis. Virgil. Aen. 7. See Franc. Pollet. 3. hist. fori. Rom. 6. reuerence into the subiect towards their Superiour; and adding in the estimation of the people, both glory and honour, and Maiestie to the person, and withall pompe and state, and solemnity to the actions of the wearer. By this speech then of putting on Iustice and Iudgement as a Robe and a Diademe, Iob sheweth, that the glorie and pride which Kings and Potentates are wont to take in their Crownes, and Scepters, and royall Vestments is not more, than the glory and honour which hee placed in doing iustice and iudgement: hee thought that was true honour, not which refle­cted from these empty markes and ensignes of Dig­nitie, but which sprang from those vertues, wher­of these are but dumbe remembrancers. If we de­sire yet more light into the Metaphore; wee may borrow some from Dauid, Psal. 109.16.17. Psalme 109. where speaking of the wicked, he saith Vers. 17. that hee cloathed himselfe with cursing like a garment: and by that hee meaneth no other than what hee had spoken in the next verse before, plainely and with­out a Metaphore, His delight was in cursing. By the Analogie of which place wee may not vnfitly vnderstand these words of Iob, as intimating the great loue hee had vnto Iustice, and the great plea­sure and It is ioy to the iust to doe iudgement. Prou. 21.15. delight hee tooke therein. Ioyne this to the former; and they giue vs a full meaning. Neuer ambitious vsurper tooke more pride in his new gotten Crowne or Scepter, neuer proud Mi­nion tooke more pleasure in her new and gorge­ous apparell: than Iob did true juris & ae­quitatis, quae virum princi­pem ornant, studiocissimus eram. Vatabl. hîc. glory and delight [Page 155] in doing iustice and iudgement. He put on righte­ousnesse, and it cloathed him; and iudgement was to him, what to others a Robe and a Diademe is: honou­rable and delightfull.

Here then the Magistrate and euerie officer of Iustice may learne his first and principall,§. 6. the Magi­strates first dutie; Zeale to Iustice. and (if I may so speake) his Master-duty, (and let that bee the first obseruation:) namely, to doe iustice and iudge­ment with delight, and zeale, and chearefulnesse. I call it his Master-duty; because where this is once rightly and soundly rooted in the conscience, the rest will come on easily, and of themselues. This must be his primum, and his vltimum; the formost of his desires, and the vtmost of his endeauours, to doe iustice and iudgement. Hee must make it his chie­fest businesse; and yet count it his lightsomest re­creation: make it the first and lowest step of his care; and yet withall count it the last and highest rise of his honour. The first thing we doe in the morning before we either eate or drinke, or buckle about any worldly businesse, is to put our cloathes about vs: wee say, wee are not ready, till we haue done that. Euen thus should euery good Magistrate doe: before his priuate, hee should thinke of the publike affaires; and not count himselfe ready to go about his owne profits, his shop, his ship, his lands, his reckonings, much lesse about his vaine pleasures, his iades, his curres, his kites, his any thing else, till first with Iob, hee had put on righteousnesse as a gar­ment, and cloathed himselfe with iudgement as with a Robe and a Diademe.

[Page 156] §. 7. with some examples,Nor let any man thinke this affection to iustice to haue been singular in Iob: much lesse impute it to simplicitie in him. For behold another like af­fectioned; and he a greater, & I may say too a wiser than Iob: for God himselfe hath witnessed of him, that for 3. King. 3.12 wisedome there was neuer his like before him, nor should come after him, Salomon the King. Who so much manifested his loue and affection to iustice and iudgement, that when God put him to his choyce to aske what he would, and he should haue it, he asked 3. Kings 3.5—11. not long life, or riches, or victory, or any other thing, but onely wisedome; and that in this kind, Prudentiam regitiuam, wisedome Ibid vers. 9. to Discerne iudgement, vers. 11. to dis­cerne betweene good and bad, that hee might goe in and out before the people with skill, and rule them prudently with all his might in righteousnesse and equitie. And the Text saith, Ibid. vers. 10. The speech pleased the Lord, that Salomon had asked this thing. Magi­strates should subscribe to Salomons iudgement, who is wiser than the wisest of them: and yet for farther conuiction, behold a wiser than Salomon is here; euen Iesus Christ the righteous, the God of Salomon, and the Sauiour of Salomon, Col. 2.3. in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisedome and know­ledge. Of whom Dauid hauing said in Psal. 45. that the scepter of his kingdome is a righteous scepter, hee proceedeth immediately to shew wherein especi­ally consisted the righteousnesse of the Scepter of his Kingdome: Not so much in doing righteous­nesse and punishing iniquitie, (though that also;) as in louing righteousnesse, and hating iniquitie. Psal. 45.6, 7. The [Page 157] Scepter of thy kingdome is a righteous Scepter: Thou hast loued righteousnesse, and hated iniquitie; there­fore God, &c. And you heard already out of the eleuenth of Esay, that Esay 11.5. righteousnesse was the girdle of his loynes, and faithfulnesse the girdle of his reines. Magistrates from the examples of Iob, of Salomon, of Iesus Christ himselfe, should learne to make iu­stice and iudgement their greatest both glory and delight.

To bad things examples will draw vs on fast enough; without, yea, many times against reason:§. 8. and reasons thereof. but in good things, it is wel if examples and reasons together can any thing at all preuaile with vs. And here if reason may rule vs; surely good reason there is, we should be thus affectioned to iustice, as hath been said: whether wee respect the thing it selfe, or God, or our selues, or others. The thing it 1 selfe, Iustice, both in the common consideration of it, as it is a vertue, is, as euery other vertue is, honou­rable and louely, and to bee desired for its owne sake: and in the speciall nature of it, as it is iustice, is a vertue so necessarie and profitable to humane, societie, and withall so [...]. Aristot. 5. eth. Nicom. 3. ex Theog. comprehensiue of all other vertues, as that those men who labor to peruert it, doe yet honour it; and euen those men [...]. Philop. in 1. Pri. who them­selues will not vse it, cannot yet but loue it, at least­wise commend it in others. Iudgement, Mercy, and Faithfulnesse our Sauiour Christ, reckoneth as the Matth. 23.23 weightiest matters of the Law, Matth. 23. And Prou. 24.26. euery man (saith Salomon, Prou. 24.) will kisse his lips, that giueth a right answer: that is; Euery man [Page 158] will loue and honour him, that loueth and honou­reth Iustice. Ought you to delight in any thing more than vertue; or in any vertue more than the 2 best? and such is Iustice. Againe, by due admini­stration of iustice and iudgement God is much glo­rified. Glorified in the encouragement of his ser­uants, when for wel-doing they are rewarded: glo­rified in the destruction of the wicked, when for of­fending they are punished: glorified in the en­crease, and in the peace and prosperitie of his King­dome, which hereby is both preserued and enlarged: glorified in expression and imitation of his infinite perfections, when they who are his ministers and deputies for this very thing, for the execution of iustice, doe labour to resemble him whose mini­sters and deputies they are, in this very thing, in being iust, euen as he is iust. Ought you not to count it your greatest glory to seeke his? and can you doe that more readily or effectually, than by doing iu­stice 3 and iudgement? And as for our selues; What Quid est sua­uius, quàm benè rem gerere bo­no publico? Plaut. in capt. 3.2. comfort will it bee to our soules, when they can witnesse with vs, that we haue euen set our selues to doe good, in those callings wherein God hath set vs? Euery man that hath a Calling, must Rom. 12.7. waite thereon, and doe the duties belonging thereto, at his perill: and it will bee much for his ease to bee lightsome and chearefull therein. So shall he make of a Faxis vt si­beat, quod est necesse. Auson. in sent. Periand. necessitie a vertue; and doe that with plea­sure, which he must doe howsoeuer, or answer for the neglect: whereas otherwise, his Calling will be a continuall burden and wearinesse vnto him, and [Page 159] make his whole life no better nor other than a long and lasting affliction. And besides, we much deceiue our selues, if wee thinke our owne priuate good to bee seuered from the publike; and so neglect the publike employments to follow our owne priuate affaires. For the priuate is not distinguisht from the publike; but [...] Xenoph. de venatione; apud Stobeum▪ included in it: and no man knoweth what mischiefes vnawares he prepareth for his pri­uate estate in the end; whilest thinking to prouide well enough for himselfe, hee cherisheth in the meane time, or suffereth abuses in the publike. Ought wee not by making iustice and iudgement our glory and delight, to reape the comfort of it in our consciences, to Quapropter edulcare conue­nit vitam. C. Matius in Mi­miambis, apud A. Gell. 15.25. sweeten the miseries and tra­uailes of our liues and callings, and to secure our priuate in the common safetie: rather than by, or not doing iustice, or doing it heauily and heartles­ly, wound our owne consciences, make the afflictions of this life yet more afflictiue, and in the decay of the publike insensibly promote the ruine of our pri­uate state and prosperitie? And lastly, if we respect 4 others; what can be more glorious for vs, than by our zeale and forwardnesse first to shame, and then to quicken vp the backwardnesse of others; that with ioynt hearts and hands they and we together may aime at the peace and prosperitie, and good of the Common wealth? It is not easie to say what manifold benefits redound to the Commonwealth from the due execution of iustice: or from the slacking thereof, what a world of mischiefes. How honourable are we and glorious, if by our zeale we [Page 160] haue been the happy instruments of those so ma­ny, so great benefits? How inglorious and vile, if by our negligence wee haue made our selues guiltie of these so many, so great mischiefes! If wee neglect Iustice, we countenance disorders, which by iustice are repressed; we disarme innocency, which by iu­stice is protected; we banish peace, which by iustice is maintained; wee are traytors to the King and his Throne, which by iustice are Prou. 16.12. established; wee pull vpon vs Gods plagues and iudgements, which by iu­stice are auerted. Ought wee not much rather by our forwardnesse in doing iustice to represse disor­ders, protect innocency, maintaine peace, secure the King and State, and turne away Gods iudgements from our selues and others? See now if wee haue not reason to loue iustice and iudgement, and to make it our delight; to put righteousnesse vpon vs, and to cloath vs with Iudgement as with a Roabe and a Diademe: being a thing in it selfe so excellent; and being from it there redoundeth so much glory to God, to our selues so much comfort, and so much benefit vnto others. The inferences of vse from this first Dutie, as also from the rest, I omit for the pre­sent; reseruing them all to the later end: partly, because I would handle them all together; partly also, and especially, for that I desire to leaue them fresh in your memorie when you depart the Con­gregation. And therefore without farther adoe I proceede forthwith to the next Dutie, contained in these words, [I was eyes to the blind, and feete was I to the lame; I was a father to the poore.]

[Page 161]Wherein Iob declareth his owne readinesse in his place and calling to bee helpefull to those that were any way distressed, §. 9. The Magi­strates second duty; Com­passion to the distressed. or stood need of him, by affording them such supply to his power as their seuerall necessities required. And like him should euery Magistrate bee in this also; which I propose as the second Duty of the good Magistrate: hee must be forward to [...]. Sophocl. succour those that are distres­sed and oppressed; and to helpe and relieue them to his power. Mens necessities are many, and of great varietie: but most of them spring from one of these two defects, ignorance, or want of skill; and impotence, or want of power: here signified by Blindnesse, and Lamenesse. The blinde man perhaps hath his limbes, and strength to walke in the way, if hee could see it: but because hee wanteth his eyes, hee can neither finde the right way, nor spie the rubbes that are in it; and therefore hee must either sit still, or put himselfe vpon the necessitie of a double hazard, of stumbling, and of going wrong. The lame man perhaps hath his eyes and sight per­fect, and knoweth which way hee should goe, and seeth it well enough: but because hee wanteth his limbes, hee is not able to stirre a foote forward; and therefore he must haue patience perforce, and be content to fit still, because hee cannot doe with­all. Both the one, and the other may perish, vnlesse some good body helpe them: and become a guide to the blinde, a staffe to the lame; leading the one, and supporting the other. Abroad in the world there are many, in euery Societie, Corporation, [Page 162] and Congregation there are some, of both sorts: some Blinde, some Lame. Some that stand need of Counsell, and Aduice, and Direction; as the Blinde: others that stand need of Helpe, and Assi­stance, and supports; as the Lame. If there bee any other besides these, whose case deserueth pitie, in what kinde soeuer it bee; the word Poore compre­hendeth him, & maketh him a fit obiect for the care and compassion of the Magistrate. To each of these the Magistrate must bee a succourer to his power. Hee must bee, as here Iob was, an eye to the blinde, Lyra hic. ignorantem dirigendo; by giuing sound and ho­nest counsell the best hee can to them that are sim­ple, or might without his helpe bee easily ouer­seene. And hee must be, as here Iob was, feete to the Lame, impotentem adiuvando; by giuing coun­tenance and assistance in iust and honest causes the best hee can to them that are of meaner ability, or might without his helpe bee easily ouerborne. If there be either of these, or any other defect, which standeth need of a supply in any other man, hee must bee, as here Iob was, a See Sirac. 4.10. father to the poore, indigentem subleuando; by giuing conuenient safe­tie and protection the best hee can to them that are destitute of helpe, and flye vnto him as to a san­ctuarie for shelter and for refuge in any miserie, grieuance, or distresse. Vpon these hee must both haue compassion inwardly; and hee must shew it too outwardly: Affectu, and Effectu; pitying them in his heart, and helping them with his hand. It is not enough for him to see the Blinde, and the [Page 163] Lame, and the Poore; and to be sorry for them: but his compassion must be reall. Hee must lend his eyes to the blinde, to direct them; and he must lend his feet to the lame, to support them; and he must pitie the Poore as a father doth his children, so pi­tie them, that hee doe something for them.

Princes, and Iudges, and Magistrates were not Non mihi, sed populo, Ae l. A­drianus Imp. — [...]. Aristot. in Epist. ad Alex­andr. ordained altogether,§. 10. with the Rea­sons nor yet so much for their owne sakes, that they might haue ouer whom to beare rule and to Ita Magnae, vires gloriae, de­cori (que) sunt, si illis salutaris potentia est. Nam pestifera vis est, valere ad nocendum. Senec. 1. de clem. 3. dominiere at pleasure; as for the Peoples sakes, that the people might haue to whom to resort, and vpon whom to depend for helpe and succour, and reliefe in their necessities: and they ought to remember, that for this end God hath endued them with that Power which o­thers want; that they might by their power helpe them to right, who haue not power to right them­selues. Senec. in Medeâ. 2.2. Hoc reges habent Magnificum, & ingens &c. Prodesse miseris, supplices fido lare Protegere, &c. This is the very thing, wherein the preeminence of Princes, and Magistrates, and great ones aboue the ordinarie sort [...]ingularly Psalm. 82.6. Hoc tecum com­mune Deis, quod otrique rogati supplicibus ve­stris ferre sole­tis opem. Ouid. 2. de Ponto. 9. consisteth, and wherein specially they haue the aduantage, and whereby they hold the title of Gods, that they are able to doe good, and to helpe the distressed, more than others are. For which ability how they haue vsed it, they stand accountable to him from whom they haue receiued it: and woe vnto them, if the accounts they bring in, be not in some reasonable proportion answerable to the receipts. Wisd. 6.6. Potentes potenter: into whose hands Luk. 12.48. much hath beene gi­uen, from their hands much will bee required; and [Page 164] the mighty ones, if they haue not done a mightie deale of good withall, shall be mightily tormented. 2 And as they haue receiued power from God; so they doe receiue honours, and seruices, and tri­butes from their people for the maintenance of that power: and these as wages by Gods righteous ordinance for their care and paines for the peoples good. God hath imprinted in the naturall consci­ence of euery man notions of feare, and honour, and reuerence, and obedience, and subiection, and contribution, and other duties to bee performed towards Kings, and Magistrates, and other supe­riours, Rom. 13.5. not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake: and all this for the maintenance of that pow­er in them, by the right vse whereof themselues are againe maintained. Now the same Conscience which bindeth vs who are vnder authoritie, to the performance; bindeth you who are in authoritie to the requitall, of these duties. I say, the same Con­science; though not the same wrath: for here is the difference. Both Wrath and Conscience binde vs to our duties; so that if wee withdraw our subiecti­on, wee both wound our owne Consciences, and incurre your iust wrath: but only Conscience bin­deth you to yours, and not Wrath; so that if yee withdraw your pelpe, we may not vse wrath, but must suffer it with patience, and permit all to the iudgement of your owne consciences, and of God the iudge of all mens Consciences. But yet still in Conscience the obligation lyeth equally vpon you and vs. As wee are bound to giue you ho­nour, so are you to giue vs safety; as wee to feare [Page 165] you, so you to helpe vs; as wee to fight for you, so you to care for vs; as wee to pay you tribute, so you to doe vs right. For, Rom. 13.6. for this cause pay we tribute and other duties, vnto you who are Gods ministers; euen because you ought to be attending continually vpon this very thing, to approue your selues as Rom. 13.4. [...]. Luk. 22.25. the ministers of God to vs for good. Oh that wee could all, superiours and inferiours, both one and other, remember what wee owed each to other, and by mutually striuing to pay it to the vtmost, so en­deauour our selues to Rom. 13.8. fulfill the Law of God! But in the meane time, wee are still iniurious, if either wee withdraw our subiection, or you your helpe; if either wee cast off the duty of children, or you the care of Fathers. Time was, when Iudges, and No­bles, and Princes delighted to bee called by the name of Fathers. The Philistims called their Kings by a peculiar appellatiue, Gen. 20.2; & 26.1. & Psal. 34. in titulo. Abimeleob; as who say▪ the King my Father. In Rome the Senatours were of old time called Patres, Fathers: and it was afterwards accounted among the Romans the greatest title of honour that could bee bestowed vpon their Consuls, Generalls, Emperours, or whosoeuer had deserued best of the Common­wealth, to haue this addition to the rest of his stile sed Roma parentem, Roma patrem patriae Ciceronem libe­ra dixit. Iuve­nal. Satyr. 8. —patrem pa­triae appellaui­mus, vt sciret datam sibi po­testatem patri­am; quae est, temperatissi­ma, liberis con­sulens, suaque post illos ponens. Senec. 1. de Clem. 14. Pater patriae, a Father to his Countrie. Naamans seruants in 4 Kings 5. call him Father, 4 King. 5.13. My Father if the Prophet had commanded thee, &c. And on the other side Dauid the King speaketh vnto his Subiects, as a father to his children in Psalme 34. Psalm. 34.11 Come yee children, &c. and Salomon in the Pro­uerbes euery where, My sonne: euen as Iob here ac­counteth [Page 166] himselfe a father to the poore. Certainly to shew that some of these had, and that all good Kings and Gouernours should haue a Vt eos quasi filios cernaret per amorem, quibus pater praeerat per protectionem. Gloss. interl. hîc. [...], &c. Philo de creat. Principis. fatherly care ouer, and beare a fatherly affection vnto those that are vnder them.

§. 11. and extent thereof.All which yet, seeing it is intended to be done in honum vniuersitutis, must bee so vnderstood as that it may stand cum bono vniuersitatis, stand with equity and iustice, and with the common good. For Prou. 3.3. Math. 23.23. Non auferat ve­ritas misericor­diam, nec mi­sericordia im­pediat verita­tem. Augustin. sent. 110. apud Prosperum. Mercy and Iustice must goe together, and helpe to temper the one the other. The Magistrate and Gouernour must bee a father to the poore: to protect him from iniuries, and to relieue his necessi­ties; but not to maintaine him in idlenesse. All that the Father oweth to the child is not loue and main­tenance: he oweth too Education; and he oweth him correction. A Father may loue his childe too fond­ly, and make him a wanton; he may maintaine him too highly, and make him a Prodigall: But he must giue him Nurture too, as well as Maintenance, lest he be better fed than taught; and correct him too, as well as loue him, lest hee bring him most griefe when hee should reape most comfort from him. Such a fatherly care ought the ciuill Magistrate to haue ouer the poore. Hee must carefully defend them from wrongs and oppressions; hee must pro­uidently take order for their conuenient reliefe and maintenance: But that is not all, hee must as well make prouision to set them on worke, and see [Page 167] that they follow it; and he must giue them sharpe correction, when they grow idle, stubborne, disso­lute, or any way out of order. This he should do, and not leaue the other vndone. There is not any speech more frequent in the mouthes of beggars & wanderers, wherewith the Countrey now swar­meth, than that men would bee good to the poore: and yet scarce any thing so much mistaken as that speech in both the termes of it; most men neither vnderstanding aright who are the poore, nor yet what it is to be good to them. Not he only is good to the poor, that deliuereth him when he is oppressed; nor is hee onely good to the poore, that relieueth him when he is distressed: but hee also is good to the poore, that punisheth him when he is idle. Hee is good to the poore that helpeth him, when hee wanteth: and he is no lesse good to the poore, that whippeth him, when he deserueth. This is indeed to bee good to the poore; to giue him that almes first, which he wanteth most: if hee be hungry, it is almes to feed him; but if he be idle and vntoward, it is Non solùm qui dat esurien­ti cibum, siti­enti potum— verumetiam & qui emendat verbere in quē potestas datur, vel coercet ali­quâ disciplinâ— in co quòd cor­ripit, & aliquâ emendatoriâ poena plectit, e­leemosynam dat, quia mise­ricordiam prae­stat. Aug. in Enchirid. c. 72. almes to whip him. This is to be good to the poore: But who then are the poore, wee should be good too, as they interpret goodnesse? St. Paul would haue 1. Tim. 5.3▪ widowes honoured; but yet those that are widowes indeed: so it is meete the poore should be relieued, but yet those that are poore indeede. Not euery one that begs is poore; not euery one that wanteth is poore, not euery one that is poore, is poore indeede. They are the poore, whom wee priuate men in Charitie, and you that are Magi­strates in Iustice stand bound to relieue, who are [Page 168] old, or impotent, and vnable to worke; or in these hard and depopulating times are willing, but can­not be set on worke; or haue a greater charge vpon them than can bee maintained by their worke. These, and such as these, are the poore indeede: let vs all bee good to such as these. Bee wee that are priuate men as Brethren to these poore ones, and shew them Mercy: be you that are Magistrates as Fathers to these poore ones, and doe them Iustice. But as for those idle stubborne professed wande­rers, that can and may and will not worke, and vn­der the name and habit of pouerty rob the poore indeed of our almes and their maintenance: let vs harden our hearts against them, and not give them; doe you execute the seuerity of the Law vpon them, and not spare them. It is St. Paules Order, nay it is the Ordinance of the Holy Ghost, and wee should all put to our helping hands to see it kept, 2. Thess. 3.10 He that will not labour, let him not eate. These vl­cers and drones of the Common-wealth are ill worthy of any honest mans almes, of any good Magistrates protection. Hitherto of the Magistrates second Dutie, with the Reasons and extent therof, I was eyes to the blinde, and feete was I to the Lame: I was a Father to the poore. Followeth next the third Duty, in these words, The cause which I knew not I searched out.

§. 12. The opening ofOf which words some frame the Coherence with the former, as if Iob had meant to cleare his Mercy to the poore from suspition of Partiality and iniu­stice: and as if he had said; I was a father indeed to the poore; pitifull and mercifull to him, and [Page 169] ready to shew him any lawfull fauour: but yet not so, as Ne credere­tur quòd faue­ret eis nimis in preiudicium iu­stitiae; subditur [& [...]ausam.] Lyran. hîc. in pity to him, to forget or peruert Iustice. I was euer carefull before I would either speake or doe for him, to bee first assured his cause was right and good: and for that purpose, if it were doubt­full, Ne fortè mo­tupietatis in discretae con­descenderem ei in praeiudicium iustitiae. Ly­ran. hîc. I searched it out, and examined it, before I would countenance either him or it. Certainely thus to do is agreeable to the rule of Iustice; yea and of Mercy too: for it is one Rule in shewing Mercy, that it be euer done salvis pietate & iustitiâ, without preiudice done to pietie and iustice. And as to this particular, the Commandement of God is expresse for it in Exod. 23. Exod. 23.3. Thou shalt not coun­tenance no not a poore man in his cause. Now if we should thus vnderstand the coherence of the words; the speciall duty which Magistrates should hence learne, would be Indifferency: in the admi­nistration of Iustice not to make difference of rich or poore, far or neare, friend or foe, one or other; but to consider only and barely the equity and right of the cause, without any respect of persons, or partiall inclination this way or that way.

This is a very necessarie dutie indeed in a Magi­strate of iustice;§. 13. The Magi­strates third Duty; Di­ligence to search out the truth. and I denie not but it may bee ga­thered without any violence from these very words of my Text: though to my apprehension not so much by way of immediate obseruation from the necessitie of any such coherence; as by way of consequence from the words themselues o­therwise. For what need all that care and paines and diligence in searching out the cause, if the con­dition of the person might ouerrule the cause after [Page 170] all that search, and were not the iudgement to bee giuen meerely according to the goodnesse or bad­nesse of the cause, without respect had to the per­son? But the speciall dutie, which these words seeme most naturally and immediately to impose vpon the Magistrate, (and let that bee the third ob­seruation) is diligence, and patience; and care to heare, and examine, and enquire into the truth of things, and into the equitie of mens causes. As the Phy­sitian before he prescribe receipt or diet to his patient, will first feele the pulse, and view the vrine, and obserue the temper and changes in the body, and bee inquisitiue how the disease be­gan, and when, and what fits it hath, and where and in what manner it holdeth him, and enforme himselfe euery other way as fully as he can in the true state of the body, that so he may proportion the remedies accordingly without errour: so ought euery Magistrate in causes of Iustice before he pronounce sentence or giue his determination, whether in matters Omnia iudi­cia aut distra­bendarum con­trouersiarum, aut puniendo­rum male ficio­rum causâ re­perta sunt. Cic. pro Cecinna. iudiciall or criminall; to heare both parties with equall patience, to examine wit­nesses and other euidences aduisedly and through­ly, to consider and wisely lay together all allegati­ons and circumstances, to put in quaeres and doubts vpon the by, and vse all possible expedient meanes for the boulting out of the truth; that so he may do that which is equall and right without errour.

§. 14. with some instances,A dutie not without both Precept and President in holy Scripture. Moses prescribeth it in Deut. 17. in the case of Idolatrie, Deut. 17.2. &c. See also Deut. 13.14. If there be found among you one that hath done thus or thus, &c. and it bee [Page 171] told thee, and thou hast heard of it, and inquired dili­gently, and behold it bee true, and the thing certaine that such abomination is wrought in Israel, Then thou shalt bring forth that man, &c. The offender must be stoned to death, and no eye pitie him: but it must be done orderly, and in a legal course; not vpon a bare hearesay, but vpon diligent examinati­on and inquisition, and vpon such full euidence gi­uen in, as may render the fact certaine, so farre as such cases ordinarily are capable of [...]. Arist. 1. ethic. 1. certaintie. And the like is againe ordered in Deut▪ 19. in the case of false witnesse, Deut. 19.17. &c. Both the men between whom the controuersie is shall stand before the Iudges, and the Iudges shall make diligent inquisition, &c. And in Iudg. 19. in the wronged Leuites case, whose Con­cubine was abused vnto death at Gibeah, the Tribes of Israel stirred vp one another to doe iustice vpon the Inhabitants thereof; and the method they pro­posed was this, first to Iudg. 19.30. consider and consult of it, and then to giue their opinions. But the most famous example in this kind is that of King Salomon in 3. King. 3. in the difficult case of the 3. King. 3.16. —28. two Mothers. Either of them challenged the liuing child with a like eagernesse; either of them accused other of the same wrong, and with the same allegations; neither was there witnesse or other euidence on either part to giue light into the matter: yet Salomon by that wisdome which he had obtained from God found a meanes to search out the truth in this difficultie, by making as if he would cut the child into halfes, and giue either of them one halfe; at the mentio­ning whereof the compassion of the right mother [Page 172] betrayed the falshood of her clamorous competi­tor. And wee reade in the Apocryphall Storie of Susanna, how Daniel by Dan. 13.61. examining the two El­ders seuerally and apart, found them to differ in one circumstance of their relation, and thereby discouered the whole accusation to be false. Iudges for this reason were anciently called Cognitores, and in approoued Authors Si iudicas, cognosce. Sen. in Med. 2.2 Cognoscere is asmuch as to doe the office of a Iudge: to teach Iudges, that one chiefe point of their care should bee to know the truth. For if of priuate men, and in things of ordinarie discourse, that of Salomon be true, Prou. 18.13. See Sirac. 11.7, 8. He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame vnto him; certainly much more is it true of publike Magistrates, and in matters of iu­stice and iudgement: by how much the men are of better note, and the things of greater moment. But in difficult and intricate businesses, couered with darknesse and obscuritie, and perplexed with many windings and turnings, and cunning and craftie conueiances, to find a faire issue out, and to spie light at a narrow hole, and by wisedome and diligence to rip vp a foule matter, and search a cause to the bottome, and make a discouerie of all: is a thing worthy the labour, and a thing that will adde to the honour, I say not onely of inferiour Go­uernours, but euen of the supreme Magistrate, the King. Prou. 25.2. It is the glory of God to conceale a thing: but the honour of Kings is to search out a mat­ter.

§. 15. and reasons thereof.To vnderstand the necessitie of this dutie; con­sider. First, that as sometimes Democritus said, the [Page 173] truth lyeth Cic. 1. Acad. quaest. in fine. Inuoluta veri­tas in alto latet. Sen. 7. de be­nefic. 1. in profundo, and in abdito, darke and deepe as in the bottome of a pit; and it will aske some time, yea and cunning too, to find it out and bring it to light. Secondly, that through fauour, fa­ction, enuie, greedinesse, ambition, and otherwise, in­nocency it selfe is often laden with false accusati­ons. You may obserue in the Scriptures how 3. King. 21.13 Na­both, Ierem. 37.13. Ieremie, Act. 24.5. & 25.7. Saint Paul, and others; and you may see by too much experience in these wret­ched times, how many men of faire and honest conuersation haue been accused and troubled without cause: which if the Magistrate by dili­gent inquisition doe not either preuent or helpe to the vtmost of his endeauour, hee may soone vna­wares wrap himself in the guilt of innocent blood. Thirdly, that informations are for the most part par­tiall, euery man making the best of his owne tale: and he cannot but often [...]. Menand. apud Stob. serm. 44. erre in iudgement, that is easily carried away with the first tale, and doth not suspend till he haue heard both parties alike. Here­in 2. Sam. 16.3.4 Dauid failed, when vpon Ziba's false informa­tion he passed a hastie and iniurious decree against Mephibosheth. Salomon saith, Prov. 18.17. He that is first in his owne tale seemeth righteous; but then his neighbour commeth, and searcheth him out. Prou. 18. as wee say commonly, One tale is good, till another bee told. Fourthly, that if in all other things hastinesse and precipitancy be hurtfull, then especially mat­ters of iustice would not bee hudled vp hand ouer­head, but handled with mature Take heede what you doe. 2. Chron. 19.6, deliberation, and iust and diligent disquisition. Senec. l. 2. de Ira c. 23. Cunctari iudicantem decet; imo oportet, saith Seneca: he that is to iudge, [Page 174] it is fitt he should, nay it is necessary he should pro­ceed with conuenient leisure. Who iudgeth other­wise, and without this due search, hee doth not Iudge, but ghesse. The good Magistrate had need of patience to heare, and of diligence to search, & of prudence to search out whatsoeuer may make for the discouery of the truth in an intricate and diffi­cult cause. The cause which I knew not I searched out. That is the Magistrates third Duty; there yet re­maineth a fourth in these words, I brake the iawes of the wicked, and plucked the spoile out of his teeth.

§. 16. The opening ofWherein Iob alludeth to rauenous and saluage beasts; beasts of prey, that lye in waite for the sma­ler Cattell, and when they once catch them in their pawes, fasten their teeth vpon them, and teare them in pieces and deuoure them. Such Lyons, and Wolfes, and Beares, and Tygers, are the greedy Qui pote plus, vrget: pisces vt saepè minutos Magnu comest; vt aues enecat accipiter. Var­ro in Margo­poli.—factus praeda maiori minor. Sen. in Hippol. act. 2. great ones of this world, who are euer rauening after the estates & the liuelihoods of their meaner neighbours, snatching, and biting, and deuouring, and at length eating them vp and consuming them. Iob here speaketh of Dentes & Molares; Teeth and Iawes: and hee meaneth the same thing by both, Power abused to oppression. But if any will be so cu­riously subtle, as to distinguish them; thus he may doe it. Dentes, they are the long [...] a cuert. sharpe teeth, the foreteeth; Psal. 57.4. Dentes eorum arma & sagittae, saith Dauid, Their teeth are speares and arrowes: Mo­lares, à molendo, so called from grinding; they are the great double teeth, the iaw-teeth. Those are the Biters; these the Grinders: these and those to­gether, Oppressours of all sorts. Vsurers, and prouling [Page 175] officers, and sly Merchants, and arrant Informers, and such kinde of extortioners as sell time and trucke for expedition, and snatch and catch at petty ad­uantages; these vse their teeth most, these are Bì­ters. The first, and I know not whether or no the worst sort of them, in the holy Hebrew tongue hath his name from biting. [...] Naschak, that is to bite; and [...] Neschek, that is Vsury. Besides these Biters, there are Grinders too; men whose teeth are Lapides Molares, as the ouer and the ne­ther mill-stone: Depopulators, and racking Land­lords, and such great ones, as by heauie pressures and burdens and sore bargaines breake the backes of those they deale withall. These first by little and little Esay 3▪15. grinde the faces of the poore, as small as dust and powder; and when they haue done, at length Psalm 14.4. eate them vp one after another, as it were bread: as the Holy Ghost hath painted them out vnder those very phrases. Now how the Magi­strate should deale with these grinders and biters, Iob here teacheth him: he should break their iawes, and plucke the spoyle out of their teeth; that is, quell and crush the mighty Oppressour, and Eripite nos ex faucibus eo [...]ū, quorum crude­litas—Crass. a­pud Cic. 1. d [...] Oratore. deliuer the Oppressed from his iniuries. For to breake the iaw, or the cheeke bone, or the teeth, is in Scripture phrase as much as to abate the pride, and suppresse the power, and curbe the insolency of those, that vse their might to ouerbeare right. So Dauid saith in the third Psalme, that God had saued him by Psal. 3.7. smi­ting his enemies vpon the cheeke bone, and breaking the teeth of the vngodly. And in Psalme 58. he desi­reth God to Psalm 58.6. See also Prou. 30.14. Ioel 1.6. breake the teeth of the wicked in their [Page 176] mouthes, and to breake out the great teeth of those young Lyons. In which place it is obseruable, that, as Iob here, he speaketh both of Dentes and Mola­res, teeth and great teeth: and those wicked great ones, according as Iob also here alludeth, hee ex­presly compareth vnto young Lyons; lustie and strong, and greedy after the prey.

§. 17. The Magi­strates fourth Duty; Cou­rage in exe­cuting IusticeNow to the doing of this, to the breaking of the iawes of the wicked, and plucking the spoile out of his teeth; there is required a stout heart, and an vndaunted See Syrac. 4.9. Courage, not fearing the faces of men, should their faces bee as the faces of Lyons, and [...]heir visages neuer so terrible. And this is the good Magistrates last Duty in my Text; without feare to execute iustice boldly vpon the stoutest offender, and so to curbe the power of great & wicked men, that the poore may liue in peace and keepe their owne by them. It was one part of Iethro's Cha­racter of a good Magistrate in Exod. 18. that hee should be Exod. 18.21. a man of courage. And it was not for nothing that euery 3. Kin. 10.20. step vp Salomons Throne for iudgement was supported with Lyons: to teach Kings and all Magistrates, that a Lyon-like courage and resolution is necessary for all those set vpon the Throne or Bench for iustice and for iudgement. When 1. Sam. 17.34. &c. Dauid kept his Fathers sheepe, and there came a Lyon, and a Beare, and tooke a Lambe out of the flocke; hee went out after the Lyon and smote him, and tooke the Lambe out of his Mouth, and when the Lyon rose against him hee tooke him by the beard, and smote him againe, and slew him: and so hee did with the Beare also. Euery Magi­strate [Page 177] is a kinde of Esa. 44.28. [...], saepè apud Ho­mer. shepheard: and the people they are his flocke. He must doe that then in the behalfe of his flocke, that Dauid did. Those that beginne to make a spoyle though but of the poorest Lambe of the flocke, bee they as terrible as the Lyon and the Beare, he must after them, and smite them, and plucke the spoyle out of their teeth: and though they shew their spleene, and turne againe at it, yet he must not shrinke for that; but rather take fresh courage, and to them againe, and take them by the beard, and shake them, and neuer leaue them till hee haue brought them vnder, and broken their iawes, and in spite of their teeth made them past biting or grinding again in hast. He is a base Ioh. 10.12. hire­ling, and not worthy the name of a shepheard, who when he seeth the Wolfe comming thrusteth his head in a bush, and leaueth the poore Cattell to the spoile. The good Magistrate must put on this resolution: to go on in his course, and without feare of one or other to do iustice, vpon whosoeuer dareth doe iniu­stice, & to suppresse oppression euen in the greatest.

A resolution necessary;§. 18. with reasons thereof, 1. in respect of the Lawes; whether wee consider the Law, the Magistrate, or the Offender. Neces­sary, First, in respect of the Lawes: which, as all ex­perience sheweth, are farre better vnmade, than vnkept. Horat. 3. Od. 24. Quid vanae sine moribus Leges proficiunt? The life of the Law is the Execution; without which the Law is but a dead letter: of lesse vse and regard than scar-crowes are in the corne fields; whereof the birds are a little affraid at the first, but anon after a little vse they grow so bold with them, as to sit vpon their heads and defile them. [Page 178] Wee see the experience hereof but too much, in the too much suffered insolency of two sorts of people, (than against whom neuer were lawes ei­ther better made, or worse executed;) Rogues, and Recusants. Now we know the Lawes are generall in their intents, and include as well the great as the small. The Magistrate therefore who is [...]. Arist. 5. Ethic. 7. Lex lo­quens, and whose duty it is to see the Lawes exe­cuted, must proceed as generally, and punish trans­gressours of the Lawes, the great as well as the small. It is an old complaint, yet groweth out of date but slowly; that Lawes are like Anacharsis, apud Plutarch. in Solone: non­nulli Zaleuco tribuunt. Cobwebbes, wherein the smaller flyes are caught, but great ones breake through. Surely Lawes should not bee such, good Lawes are not such, of themselues; they doe or should intend an Inde latae le­ges, ne fortior omnia posset. Ouid. 3. Fast. vniuersall refor­mation: it is the abuse of bad men, together with the basenesse or cowardise of sordide or sluggish Ma­gistrates, that maketh them such. And I verily perswade my selfe, there is no one thing, that ma­keth good lawes so much contemned, euen by meane ones too at the last; as the not executing them vpon the great ones in the meane time. Let a Magistrate but take to himselfe that courage which he should doe, and now and then make a great man an example of Iustice: he shall finde that a few such examples wil breathe more life into the Lawes, and strike more awe into the people, than the punishment of an hundred vnderlings and in­feriour persons.

§. 19. 2. of the Magistrate himselfe;Againe, in respect of the Magistrate himselfe this courage and resolution is necessary; for the main­tenance [Page 179] of that dignity and respect which is due to him in his place and calling. Which hee cannot more shamefully betray, than by fearing the faces of men. Imagine you saw a goodly tall fellow, trick't vp with feathers and ribands, and a glitte­ring sword in his hand, enter the lists like a Cham­pion, and challenge all commers: by and by step­peth in another man perhaps much of his owne size, but without either sword or staffe, and doth but shew his teeth and stare vpon him; whereat my gay champion first trembleth, and anon for very feare letteth his sword fall, and shrinketh himselfe into the croud. Thinke what a ridiculous sight this would bee: and iust such another thing as this, is a fearefull Magistrate. He is adorned with Considera qualia de te praestes, qui tan­tâ authoritate subueheris. Cassiod. 6. Epist. 15. roabes, the markes and ensignes of his power. God hath armed him with a Rom. 13.4. sword; indeed as well to put courage into his heart, as awe into the peoples. And thus adorned and armed, hee stan­deth in the eye of the world, and as it were vpon the stage; and rayseth an expectation of himselfe as if sure this man would doe something: his very appearance threateneth destruction to whosoeuer dareth come within his reach. Now if after all this brauing, hee should bee outdared with the bigge lookes and bug-words of those that could doe him no harme: how iustly should hee draw vpon himselfe scorne and contempt, Horat. de art. Poet. Parturiunt mon­tes? Prou. 17.10. Wherefore is there a price, saith Salomon of the sluggard, in the hands of a foole to buy wisedome, and hee hath no heart? So, wherefore is there a sword, may wee say of the fearefull Magistrate, in [Page 180] the hands of a Coward to doe iustice; and hee hath no heart? You that are Magistrates, remember the promise God hath made you, and the Title he hath giuen you. You haue an honourable Promise; [2 Chron. 19.6. God will bee with you in the cause and in the iudgement, 2. Chron. 19.] If God bee with you, what need you feare, who shall bee against you? You haue an honourable Title too [Psalm. 82.6. I haue said yee are Gods, Psalm. 82.] If you bee Gods, why should you feare the faces of men? This is Gods fashion: hee 1 Pet. 5.5. giueth grace to the humble, but hee resisteth the proud; hee Luke 1.52. exalteth the meeke and lowly, but hee putteth the mighty out of their seates. If you will deale answerably to that high name he hath put vpon you, and be indeed as Gods; follow the example of God: lift vp the poore oppressed out of the mire, and tumble downe the confidence of the mighty and proud oppressour; when you Psal. 75.2.4. receiue the Congregation, iudge vprightly, and feare not to say to the wicked, be they neuer so great, Lift not vp your horne. So shall you vindicate your selues from contempt: so shall you preserue your persons and places from being baffelled and blurted by euery lewd companion.

§. 20. 3. of the Of­fenders. Courage in the Magistrate, against these great ones especially, is thirdly necessary in respect of the offendours. These wicked ones of whom Iob spea­keth, the longer teeth they haue, the deeper they bite; and the stronger iawes they haue, the sorer they grinde; and the greater power they haue, the more mischiefe they doe. And therefore these great ones of all other would be well hampered; [Page 181] and haue their teeth filed, their iawes broken, their power curbed. I say not the poore and the small should be spared when they offend: good reason they should be punished with seuerity. But you must remember I now speake of Courage; and a little courage will serue to bring vnder those that are vnder already. So that, if meane men scape vn­punished when they transgresse, it is oftener for want of care or conscience in the Magistrate, than of courage. But here is the true triall of your Cou­rage, when you are to deale with these great ones; men not much inferiour to your selues, perhaps your equalls, yea, and it may bee too, your Magi­stracie set aside, men much greater than your selues: men great in place, great in wealth, in great fauour, that haue great friends; but withall that doe great harme. Let it be your honour, that you dare be iust, when these dare be vniust, and when they dare smite others Esay 58.4. with the fist of violence, that you dare smite them with Rom. 13.4. the sword of iustice; and that you dare vse your power, when they dare abuse theirs. All transgressours should bee looked vnto; but more, the greater, and the greatest most: as a shepheard should watch his sheepe euen from Flyes and Maukes; but much more from Foxes, most of all from Wolues. Sure, hee is a sorry shep­heard, that is busie to kill Flyes and Maukes in his sheepe, but letteth the Wolfe worry at pleasure: Why, one Wolfe will doe more mischiefe in a night, than a thousand of them in a twelue-mo­neth. And as sure, hee is a sorry Magistrate, that stocketh, and whippeth, and hangeth poore snakes [Page 182] when they offend (though that is to be done too) but letteth the great theeues doe what they list, and dareth not meddle with them: like Saul, who, when God commanded him to destroy all the A­malekites both man and beast, slew indeed the ras­cality of both, but spared the 1 Sam. 15.3.—9. greatest of the men, and the fattest of the cattell, and slew them not. The good Magistrate should rather, with Iob here, breake the iawes of the wicked, and in spight of his heart, plucke the spoyle out of his teeth.

§. 21. The Inferen­ces of all.Thus haue you heard the foure duties or proper­ties of a good Magistrate conteyned in this Scrip­ture, with the grounds and reasons of most of them, opened. They are 1. a loue and zeale to iustice; 2. Compassion to the poore and di­stressed; 3. Paines. and Patience in examination of causes; 4. Stoutnesse and Courage in execution of iustice. The vses and inferences of all these yet remaine to be handled now in the last place; and together. All which for order and breuities sake, wee will reduce vnto three heads: accordingly as from each of the foure mentioned Duties, or Pro­perties, or Rules (call them which you will) there arise Inferences of three sorts. First, of Direction; for the choyce and appointment of Magistrates according to these foure properties. Secondly, of Reproofe, for a iust rebuke of such Magistrates as faile in any of these foure Dutyes. Thirdly, of Ex­hortation; to those that are, or shall be Magistrates, to carry thēselues therin according to these foure Rules. Wherein what I shall speake of Magistrates, ought also to bee extended and applyed (the due [Page 183] proportion euer obserued) to all kindes of Officers whatsoeuer, any way appertaining vnto iustice. And first for Direction.

S. Paul saith, Rom. 13.1. The powers that are, are ordained of God: §. 22. The First; of Direction for the choyce of Magi­strates, & yet S. Peter calleth the Magistracie an 1 Pet. 2.13. hu­mane ordinance. Certainly the holy Spirit of God, which speaketh in these two great Apostles, is not contrary to it selfe. The truth is; the substance of the power of euery Magistrate is the ordinance of God; and that is S. Pauls meaning: but the Specification of the Circumstances thereto belonging, as in regard of places, persons, titles, continuance, iurisdiction, subordination, and the rest, is (as S. Peter tearmeth it) an humane ordinance, introduced by Custome, or positiue Law. And therefore some kindes of Ma­gistracy are higher, some lower; some annuall or for a set time, some during life; some after one manner, some after another: according to the se­uerall Lawes or Customes whereon they are groun­ded. As in other circumstances, so in this concer­ning the deputation of the Magistrates person, there is great difference: some hauing their Power by Succession, others by Nomination, and other some by Election. As amongst vs, the supreme Ma­gistrate, the King, hath his Power by succession: some inferiour Magistrates theirs, by Nomination, or speciall appointment, either immediately, or mediately from the King; as most of our Iudges, & Iustices: some againe by the elections and voyces of the multitude; as most Officers and Gouernours in our Cities, Corporations, or Colledges. The Dire­ctions which I would inferre from my Text, can­not [Page 184] reach the first kinde; because such Magistrates are borne to vs, not chosen by vs. They doe con­cerne in some sort, the second; but most neerely the third kinde, viz. those that are chosen by suf­frages and voyces: and therefore vnto this third kinde only I will apply them. We may not thinke, because our voyces are our owne, that therefore wee may bestow them as wee list: neither must wee suffer our selues in a matter of this nature to bee carryed by fauour, faction, spight, hope, feare, importunity, or any other corrupt and partiall re­spect, from those Rules, which ought to leuell our choyce. But wee must conferre our voyces, and our best furtherance otherwise, vpon those, whom, all things duly considered, we conceiue to bee the fittest: and the greater the place is, and the more the power is wee giue vnto them and from our selues; the greater ought our care in voycing to bee. It is true indeed, when wee haue vsed all our best care, and proceeded with the greatest caution wee can; wee may be deceiued, and make an vn­worthy choyce. For wee cannot iudge of mens fitnesse by any demonstratiue certaintie: all we can doe is to goe vpon probabilities, which can yeeld at the most but a coniecturall certainty, full of vn­certainty. Men ferè maxima pars morem hunc homines habēt: quod sibi volunt Dum id impetrant, boni sunt; sed id vbi iam penes sese habent, Ex bo­nis pessimi, & fraudulentissi­mi sunt. Plaut. in Capt. 2.1. Omnes candi­datos, bonos vi­ros dicimus. Senec. Epist. 3. ambitious and in appetite, till they haue obtained their desires, vse to dissemble those vices which might make a stop in their pre­ferments; which, hauing once gotten what they fished for, they bewray with greater freedome: and they vse likewise to make a shew of that zeale and forwardnesse in them to doe good, which af­terwards [Page 185] commeth to iust nothing. Absolon to steale away the hearts of the people, (though hee were euen then most vnnaturally vniust in his pur­poses, against a father, and such a father; yet hee) made shew of much compassion to the iniured, and of a great desire to doe iustice. 2 Sam. 15.4. O, saith hee, that I were made a Iudge in the Land, that euery man that hath any suite or cause might come vnto mee, and I would doe him iustice. And yet I doubt not, but if things had so come to passe, he would haue beene as bad, as the worst. When the Roman Souldiers had in a tumult proclaimed Galba Emperour, they thought they had done a good dayes worke; eue­ry man promised himselfe so much good of the new Emperour: But when he was in, he proued no better than those that had beene before him. One giueth this censure of him, Tacit. lib. 1. histor. Omnium consensu capax imperij, nisi imperasset: he had beene a man in euery mans iudgement worthy to haue beene Em­perour, if he had not beene Emperour, and so shewed himselfe vnworthy. [...]. dictum Biantis apud Aristot. 5. E­thic. 3. Magistratus indicat virum, is a common saying, and a true. Wee may ghesse vpon likelihoods what they will bee, when wee choose them: but the thing it selfe after they are chosen [...]. Plutarch. in Cicerone. sheweth the certainty what they are. But this vncertainty should bee so farre from ma­king vs carelesse in our choyce; that it should ra­ther adde so much the more to our care, to put things so hazzardous as neere as we can out of hazzard.

Now those very Rules, §. 23. according to the said foure Properties that must direct them to gouerne, must direct vs, also to choose. And namely [Page 186] an eye would be had to the foure Properties speci­fied 1 in my Text. The First, a Zeale of Iustice, and a Delight therein. Seest thou a man carelesse of the common good; one that palpably preferreth his owne before the publique weale; one that loueth his nec vulgi cura tyranni, Dum sua sit modò tuta sa­lus. Valer. Flace. 5. Argo­nant. ease so well, that hee careth not which way things goe, backward or forward, so hee may sit still, and not be troubled; one that would diuide honorem ab onere, bee proud of the honour and ti­tle, and yet loath to vndergoe the enuie and bur­then that attendeth them? set him aside. Neuer thinke that mans roabes will doe well vpon him. A Iusticeship, or other office would sit vpon such a mans backe as handsomely as 1 Sam. 17.39. Sauls armour did vpon Dauids: vnweildy, and sagging about his shoulders; so as he could not tell how to stirre and turne himselfe vnder it. Hee is a fit man to make a Magistrate of; that will put on righteousnesse as a garment, and cloath himselfe with iudgement as with 2 a Robe and a Diadem. The second Property is Com­passion on the poore. Seest thou a man destitute of counsell and vnderstanding; a man of forlorne hopes or estate, and in whom there is no helpe; or one that hauing either counsell or helpe in him, is yet a churle of either; but especially one that is sore in his bargaines, cruell in his dealings, hard to his Tenants, or an Oppressour in any kinde? Take none of him. Sooner commit a flocke of sheepe to a O praeclarum custodem, oui­um, vt aiunt, lupum! custosue vrbis, an direptor & vexator esset Antonius. Cic. Philipp. 3. Wolfe; than a Magistracie or office of iustice to an [...]. Iamblich. apud Stob. Serm. 41. Oppressour ▪ Such a man is more likely to [Page 187] put out the eyes of him that seeth, than to be eyes to the blinde; and to breake the bones of the strong, than to be legges to the lame; and to turne the fa­therlesse a begging, than to be a father to the poore. The third Property is Diligence to search out the truth. Seest thou a man hasty, and rash, and heady 3 in his owne businesses; a man impatient of delay or paines; one that cannot Prou. 29, 11. conceale what is meet, till it be seasonable to vtter it, but poureth out all his heart at once, and before the time; one that is easily possest with what is first told him, or being once possest will not with any reason bee perswaded to the contrary; one that lendeth eare so much to some particular friend or follower, as to belieue any information from him, not any but from him; one that, to be counted a man of dis­patch, loueth to make an end of a businesse before it be ripe? suspect him. Hee will scarce haue the Conscience: or if that, yet not the wit, or not the patience, to search out the cause which hee knoweth not. The last Property is, Courage to execute. Seest 4 thou a man first; of a degeneres animos timor arguit. Virgil. 4. Aeneid. timorous nature, and co­wardly disposition? or secondly, of a wauering and fickle minde: as we say of children; wonne with an apple, and lost with a nut? or thirdly, that is apt to be wrought vpon, or moulded into any forme, with faire words, friendly inuitations, or comple­mentall gloses? or fourthly; that dependeth vpon some great man, whose vassall or creature hee is? or fiftly; a taker, and one that may bee dealt with­all? (for that is now the periphrasis of bribery) or sixtly; guilty of the same transgressions hee [Page 188] should punish, or of other as foule? Neuer a man of these is for the turne: not one of these will venture to breake the iawes or tuskes of an oppres­sing Tygar or Boare, and to plucke the spoyle out of his teeth. The timorous man is affraid of euery sha­dow, and if hee doe but heare of teeth, hee thin­keth it is good sleeping in a whole skin, and so kee­peth aloofe off for feare of biting. Iam. 1.8. The double minded man, as S. Iames saith, is vnstable in all his wayes: hee beginneth to doe something in a sud­den heate, when the fit taketh him; but before one iawe can bee halfe broken, hee is not the man hee was, he is sorry for what is done, and instead of breaking the rest, falleth a binding vp that which he hath broken, and so seeketh to salue vp the mat­ter as well as hee can, and no hurt done. The vaine man, that will be flattered, so hee get faire words himselfe, he careth not who getteth foule blowes; and so the beast will but now and then giue him a licke with the tongue; he letteth him vse his teeth vpon others at his pleasure. The depending crea­ture is charmed with a letter or a message from his Lord, or his honourable friend; which to him is as good as a Supersedeas, or Prohibition. The taker hath his fingers so oyled, that his hand slippeth off when he should plucke away the spoyle, and so he leaueth it vndone. The guilty man by no meanes liketh this breaking of iawes: he thinketh it may be his owne case another day.

§. 24. in some me­diocrity.You see, when you are to choose Magistrates, here is refuse enough, to be cast by. But by that all these be discarded, and throwne out of the bunch; [Page 189] possibly the whole lumpe will be neere spent, and there will be little or no choyse left. Indeed if we should looke for absolute perfection, there would be absolutely no choise at all: Psal. 14.3. there is none that doth good, no not one. We must not be so daintie in our choyse then, as to finde one in euerie respect such as hath beene charactered. We liue not dicit enim tanquam in Platonis [...], non tan quam in Romuli faece, sententiā. de Catone Cic. 2. ad Attic. 1. in Republica Platonis, but in faece saeculi; and it is well, if wee can finde one in some good mediocritie so qualified. Amid the common corruptions of man­kinde, he is to be accounted a tolerably good man, that is not intolerably bad: and among so manie infirmities and defects, as I haue now reckoned, we may well voyce him for a Magistrate; not that is free from them all, but that hath the vitiis nemo sine nascitur: optimus ille est, Qui minimis vrgetur. Hor. 1. serm. Sat. 3. fewest and least. And we make a happie choyse, if from among those we haue to chuse of, wee take such a one as is likely to proue in some reasonable mediocritie zealous of iustice, sensible of the wrongs of poore men, carefull to search out the truth of causes, and resolute to execute what he knoweth is iust.

That for Direction. I am next to inferre from the foure Duties in my Text, a iust reproofe, §. 25. The second Inference, of Reproofe. and withall a complaint of the common iniquitie of these times; wherein men in the Magistracie and in offices of Iustice are generally so faultie and de­linquent in some, or all of these dueties. And first, as for zeale to iustice: alas that there were not too much cause to complaine. It is griefe to speake it (and yet we all see it and know it) there is growne among vs of this land, within the space of not ma­nie yeares, a generall and sensible declination in [Page 190] our Zeale both to Religion and Iustice; the two maine pillars and supporters of Church and State. And it seemeth to be with vs in these regards, as with decaying Merchants almost become despe­rate; who when Creditours call fast vpon them, being hopelesse of paying all grow carelesse of all and pay none: so abuses and disorders encrease so fast among vs; that hopelesse to reforme all, our Magistrates begin to neglect all, and in a manner reforme nothing. How few are there of them that sit in the seate of iustice, whose consciences can prompt them a comfortable answer to that Que­stion of Dauid, Psal. 58. Psalm. 58.1. Are your mindes set vpon righteousnes, ô ye congregation? Rather are they not almost all of Gallio's temper, Act. 18. who, though there were a foule outrage committed euen vnder his nose, & in the sight of the Bench, yet the Text saith Acts 18.17. he cared for none of those things? as if they had their names giuen them by an Antiphrasis: like Diogenes his man; Manes à manendo, because he would be now and then running away; so these Iustices à iustitia, because they neyther do nor care to doe iustice. Peraduenture here and there one or two in a whole side of a countrey to be found, that make a conscience of their duetie more than the rest, and are forward to doe the best good they can: Gods blessing rest vpon their heads for it. But what commeth of it? The rest, glad of their forwardnesse, make onely this vse of it to them­selues; euen to slip their owne neckes out of the yoake, and leaue all the burden vpon them: and so at length euen tyre out them too, by making com­mon [Page 191] packhorses of them. A little it may be is done by the rest, for fashion, but to little purpose; some­times more to shew their Iusticeship, than to doe ju­stice: and a little more it may bee is wrung from them by importunitie; as the poore Luke 18.4.5. widow in the parable by her clamarousnesse wrung a piece of iustice with much adoe from the Iudge that ney­ther feared God nor regarded man. Alas, Beloued, if all were right within, if there were generally that zeale that should be in Magistrates: good Lawes would not thus languish as they doe for want of execution; there would not be that insolencie of Popish Recusants, that licence of Rogues and wande­rers, that prouling of Officers, that enhaunsing of fees, that delay of suits, that countenancing of a­buses, those carkases of depopulated townes, infinite other mischiefes; which are the sinnes shal I say or the plagues? it is hard to say whether more, they are indeed both, the sinnes and the plagues of this land. And as for Compassion to the distressed; is there not now iust cause, if euer, to complaine? If in these 2 hard times, wherin nothing aboundeth but pouer­ty and sinne; when the great ones of the earth should most of all enlarge their bowels, and reach out the hand to relieue the extreme necessity of thousands that are ready to sterue: if (I say) in these times great men, yea and men of Iustice, are as throng as euer in pulling downe houses, and set­ting vp hedges; in vnpeopling townes, and crea­ting beggars; in racking the backes, and grinding the faces of the poore; how dwelleth the loue of God, how dwelleth the spirit of compassion in [Page 192] these men? Are these eyes to the blinde, feet to the lame, and fathers to the poore, as Iob was? I know your hearts cannot but rise in detestation of these things, at the verie mentioning of them. But what would you say, if as it was said to Ezechiel, so I should bid you Ezech. 8.6.13.15. turne againe, and behold yet greater and yet greater abominations; of the lamentable oppressions of the poore by them and their instru­ments, who stand bound in all conscience, and in regard of their places, to protect them from the iniuries and oppressions of others? But I forbeare to doe that; and chuse rather out of one passage in the Prophet Amos, to giue you some short intima­tion both of the faults, and of the reason of my forbearance. It is in Amos 5.12, 13. I know your manifold transgressions, and your Amos 5.12, 13. mightie sinnes: they afflict the iust, they take a bribe, and they turne a­side the poore in the gate from their right: Therefore the prudent shall keepe silence in that time;fortia peccata. vulg. ibi. for it is an euill time. And as for searching out the truth in mens causes, which is the third Duetie: first, those Syco­phants deserue a rebuke, who by false accusations and cunningly deuised tales (Pindar. O­lymp. [...]. [...]) of purpose inuolue the truth of things to set a faire colour vpon a bad matter, or to take away the righteousnesse of the innocent from him. And yet how manie are there such as these in most of our Courts of iustice? Informing, and pro­moting, and pettifogging make-bates. Now it were a lamentable thing if these men should be known, and yet suffered: but what if countenanced, and en­couraged, and vnderhand maintained by the Ma­gistrates [Page 193] of those Courts, of purpose to bring Moulter to their owne Mills? Secondly, since Ma­gistrates must be content (for they are but men, and cannot be euery where at once) in many things to see with other mens eyes, and to heare with o­ther mens eares, and to proceed vpon information: those men deserue a rebuke, who being by their office to ripen causes for iudgement, and to facili­tate the Magistrates care and paines for inquisiti­on; doe yet eyther for feare, or fauour, or negli­gence, or a fee, keepe backe true and necessarie in­formations, or else for spight or gaine clogge the Courts with false or trifling ones. But most of all the Magistrates themselues deserue a rebuke, if ey­ther they be hastie to acquite a man vpon his owne bare deniall or protestation (for si inficiari sufficiet, ecquis erit nocens? as the Delphidius Orator contra Numerium; a­pud Ammian. Marcell. l. 18. Oratour pleaded before Iulian the Emperour; if a deniall may serue the turne, none shall be guiltie,) or if hastie to con­demne a man vpon anothers bare accusation (for si accusasse sufficiet, ecquis erit innocens? as the Em­perour excellently replied vpon that Oratour; if an accusation may serue the turne, none shall bee innocent,) or if they suffer themselues to bee pos­sest with preiudice, and not keepe one eare open (as they write of Alexander the Great) for the con­trarie partie, that they may stand indifferent till the truth be throughly canvassed; or if to keepe causes long in their hands, they eyther delay to search the truth out, that they may know it, or to decide the cause according to the truth, when they haue found it. And as for Courage to execute iustice, which [Page 194] is the last Duty: what need we trouble our selues to seeke out the causes, when wee see the effect so daily and plainly before our eyes? whether it be through his owne cowardise or inconstancy, that he keepeth off; or that a faire word whistleth him off; or that a great mans letter staveth him off; or that his owne guilty conscience doggeth him off; or that his hands are manacled with a bribe, that he cannot fasten; or whatsoeuer other matter there is in it: sure we are, the Magistrate too often let­teth the wicked carry away the spoile, without, breaking a law of him, or so much as offering to picke his teeth. It was not wel in Dauids time, (and yet Dauid a Godly King); when complainingly he asked the Question, Psalm 94.16. who will stand vp with me a­gainst the euill doers? It was not well in Salomons time, (and yet Salomon a peaceable King) when Eccl. 4.1. considering the Oppressions that were done vnder the Sunne, hee saw that on the side of the oppressours there was power; but as for the oppressed, they had no comforter. Wee liue vnder the happy gouern­ment of a godly and peaceable King, Gods holy Name bee blessed for it: and yet God knoweth, and we all know, it is not much better now; nay God grant, it be not generally euen much worse!

§. 26. The third In­ference, for Exhortatiō.Receiue now in the last place, and as the third and last inference, a word of Exhortation; and it shall be but a word. You whom God hath called to any honour or office appertaining to iustice; as you tender the glory of God and the good of the Commonwealth, as you tender the honour of the King and the prosperity of the Kingdome, as you [Page 195] tender the peace and tranquillity of your selues and neighbours, as you tender the comfort of your own consciences, and the saluation of your owne soules: set your selues throughly and cheerfully and con­stantly and conscionably, to discharge with faith­fulnesse all those duties which belong vnto you in your seuerall stations and callings, and to aduance to the vtmost of your power the due administra­tion and execution of Iustice. Doe not decline those burdens, which cleaue to the honours you sustaine. Doe not poast off those businesses from your selues to others, which you should rather do than they, or at least may as well do as they. Stand vp with the Zeale of Psal. 106.30. Phinees, & by executing iudg­ment, helpe to turne away those heauie plagues, which God hath already begun to bring vpon vs; and to preuent those yet heauier ones, which ha­uing so rightly deserued, wee haue all iust cause to feare. Breathe flesh life into the languishing lawes, by mature, and seuere, and discreete execution. Put on righteousnesse as a garment; and cloathe your selues with iudgement as with a robe and diademe. Among so many Oppressions, as in these euill daies 2 are done vnder the Sunne; to whom should the fatherlesse, and the widow, and the wronged com­plain but to you, whence seek for reliefe but from you? Bee not you wanting to their necessities. Let your eyes be open vnto their miseries, and your eares open vnto their cryes, and your hands open vnto their wants. Giue friendly Counsell to those that stand need of your Direction: affoord con­uenient helpe to those, that stand need of your As­sistance: [Page 196] carry a fatherly affection to all those that stand need of any comfort, protection, or reliefe from you. Be eyes to the blinde, and feete to the lame: and be you instead of fathers to the poore. But yet do not countenance, no not Exod. 23.3. a poore man, in his cause; farther than hee hath equity on his side. Remem­ber one point of [...]. Neruus est sapientiae, non cito cre­dere. dictum E­picharmi, apud Cic. 1. ad At­tic. 16. [...]. Eurip. in Helena. The simple belieue euery word. Prou. 14.15. Wisedome, not to be too credulous of euery suggestion and information. But doe your best to spie out the chinkes, and starting holes, and secret conueyances and packings of cunning and crafty companions: and when you haue found them out, bring them to light, and doe exemplary iustice vpon them. Sell not your eares to your ser­uants: nor tye your selues to the informations of some one, or a few, or of him that commeth first; but let euery party haue a faire & an equall hearing. Examine proofes: consider circumstances: bee content to heare simple men [...] Arist. 27. elench. 10. tell their tales in such language as they haue: thinke no paines, no patience too much to sift out the truth. Neither by inconsiderate hast preiudice any mans right: nor weary him out of it by torturing delayes. The Cause which you know not, vse all diligence, and con­uenient both care and speede, to search it out. But euer withall remember your standing is slippery; and you shall haue many and sore assaults, and very shreud temptations: so that vnlesse you arme your selues with inuincible resolution, you are gone. The wicked ones of this world will coniure you by your old friendship and acquaintance, and by all the bonds of neighbourhood & kindenesse; bribe your wiues and children and seruants to corrupt [Page 197] you; procure great mens letters or fauourites as engines to moue you; conuey a bribe into your own bosomes, but vnder a handsomer name, and in some other shape, so cunningly and secretly sometimes, that your selues shall not know it to be a bribe when you receiue it. Harden your faces, and strengthen your resolutions with a holy obsti­nacy, against these and all other like temptations. Count him an enemy, that will alledge friendship to peruert iustice. When you sit in the place of Iustice, thinke you are not now Qui induit personam iudicis, exuit ami­ci. Cicero. husbands, or pa­rents, or neighbours; but Iudges. Contemne the frownes, and the fauours, and the letters of great ones: in comparison of that trust, which greater ones than they, the King and State, and a yet grea­ter than they, the great God of heauen and earth, hath reposed in you, and expecteth from you. Chastise him with seuere Reiecit alto dona nocentiū vultu. Horat. 4. Od. 9. indignation, if he be­gin; and if hee continue, spit defiance in his face, who ere hee bee, that shall thinke you so base as to sell your Libertatè ar­guendi amittit, qui ab eo ac­cipit, qui ideo dat ne corri­gatur. Ambros. in 1. Cor. cap. 19. freedome for a bribe. Gird your sword vpon your thigh; and (keeping your selues euer within the compasse of your Commissions and Cal­lings, as the Sunne in the Zodiake) goe thorough stitch right on in the course of Iustice, as the Sunne in the firmament with vnresisted violence; and as a gyant that reioyceth to runne his race, and who can stop him▪ Beare not the Rom. 13.4. sword in vaine▪ but let your right hand teach you terrible things. Defend the poore, and fatherlesse, and deliuer the oppressed from them that are mightier than hee: Smite through the loynes of those that rise vp to [Page 198] doe wrong, that they rise not againe: Breake the iawes of the wicked, & pluck the spoyle out of his teeth. Thus if you doe, the wicked shall feare you, the good shall blesse you, the poore shall pray for you, posterity shall praise you, your owne hearts shall cheare you, and the great God of Heauen shall re­ward you. This that you may doe in some good measure, the same God of Heauen enable you: and giue you and euery of vs grace in our seuerall places and callings to seek his glory, and to endea­uour the discharge of a good conscience. To which God blessed for euer, Father, Sonne, and Holy Ghost, three Persons and one eternall in­visible and onely wise God, bee ascribed all the Kingdome, Power, and Glory, for euer and euer. Amen.

THE SECOND SERMON.At the Assises at Lincolne 7. Mar. 1624.

Exod. 23. Ver. 1,—3.

1. Thou shalt not raise a false report: put not thine hand with the wicked to bee an vnrighteous witnesse.

2. Thou shalt not follow a multitude to doe euill: neither shalt thou speake in a cause, to decline after many to wrest iudgement.

3. Neither shalt thou countenance a poore man in his cause.

THere is no one thing,§. 1. The necessity of this Ar­gument, Religion e­uer excepted, that more secureth and adorneth the State, than Iu­stice doth. It is both Columna, and Corona Reipubl. as a Prop, to make it subsist firme in it selfe; and as a Crowne, to render it glo­rious in the eyes of others. As the Cement in a building, that Ius & aequi­tas vincula ci­vitatum. Cic. parad. 4. holdeth all together, so is Iustice to the publique Body: as whereunto it oweth a great part both of its strength, (for by it Prou. 16.12. the throne is established, in the 16th.) and of its height [Page 200] too, for it Prou. 14.34. exalteth a Nation, in the 14th. of the Prouerbs. As then in a Building, when for want of good looking to, the Morter getting wet dissol­ueth, and the walls Ventrosi pa­rietes, Petr. Bles [...]ns. Epi. 85 belly out; the house cannot but settle apace, and without speedy repaires fall to the ground: so there is not a more certaine symptome of a declyning, and decaying, and totte­ring State, than is the generall [...]. Soph in Aiace, vbi non est pudor, nec cura iuris, Sanctitas. Pietas, Fides; Instabile regnum est. Sen. in Thyest. act. 2. dissolution of man­ners for want of the due execution and admini­stration of Iustice.

§. 2. both in re­spect of the Magistrate.The more cause haue wee, that are Gods Mini­sters, by frequent exhortations, admonitions, ob­secrations, expostulations, euen out of season some­times, but especially vpon such seasonable oppor­tunities as this, to bee instant with all them that haue any thing to doe in matter of Iustice, but e­specially with you, who are Rom. 13.4. Gods Ministers too (though in another kinde) you who are in Com­mission to sit vpon the bench of Iudicature, either for Sentence or Assistance: to doe your God and King seruice, to doe your Countrey and Calling honour, to doe your selues and others right, by ad­uancing to the vtmost of your powers the due course of Iustice. Wherein as I verily thinke none dare but the guilty, so I am well assured none can iustly mislike in vs the choyce either of our Argu­ment that we beat vpon these things, or of our Me­thod, that we begin first with you. For, as we cannot be perswaded on the one side, but that we are boūd for the discharge of our duties to put you in mind of yours: so we cannot bee perswaded on the other [Page 201] side, but that if there were generally in the Frequenter culpa populi re­dundat in Prin­cipem, quasi de maiorum negli­gentiâ obueni­ant errata mi­norum. Pet Blesens. Ep. 95. greater ones that care and conscience & zeale there ought to be of the common good, a thousand corrupti­ons rife among inferiours would be, if not wholly reformed, at least wise practisd with lesse conniuence from you, confidence in them, grieuance to others.

But right and reason will, that Gal. 6.5. euery man beare his owne burthen. §. 3. and others. And therefore as wee may not make you innocent, if you be faulty, by transfer­ring your faults vpon others: so farre bee it from vs to impute their faults to you, otherwise than as by not doing your best to Qui non ve­tat peccare, cum potest; iubet. Senec. in Tro. ad. In cuius mann est vt prohibeat, iubet agi, si non pro­hibet admitti. Salvian. 7. de prouid. hinder them, you make them yours. For Iustice wee know is an En­gine, that turneth vpon many hinges. And to the exercise of Iudicature, besides the Sentence, which is properly yours, there are diuers other things re­quired; Informations, and Testimonies, and Argu­ings, and Inquests, and sundry Formalities, which I am neither able to name, nor yet couetous to learne: wherein you are to rest much vpon the Faithfulnesse of other men. In any of whom if there be, as sometimes there will bee, foule and vnfaithfull dealing, such as you either cannot spie, or cannot helpe; wrong sentence may proceed from out your lips, [...]. Arist. 8. Top. 11.1 without your fault. As in a curious Watch or Clocke that moueth vpon many wheeles, he finger may point a wrong houre, though the wheele that next moueth it bee most exactly true; if but some little pin, or notch, or spring bee out of order in or about any of the ba­ser and inferiour wheeles. What hee said of old, [...]. apud. Stobae. Ser. 44. Non fiere potest, quin Principes etiam valdè boni [Page 202] iniqua faciant; was then and euer since, and yet is, and euer will be most true. For say a Iudge be ne­uer so honestly minded, neuer so zealous of the truth, neuer so carefull to doe right: yet if there be a spitefull Accuser that will suggest any thing, or an audacious witnesse that will sweare any thing, or a crafty Pleader that will maintaine any thing, or a tame Iurie that will swallow any thing, or a cra­uing Clerke or Officer that for a bribe will foyst in any thing; the Iudge who is tyed (as it is meet he should) to proceed secundùm allegata & probata, cannot Ipsos Iustiti­arios, quos vul­gariter Err [...]n­tes, vel Itine­rantes dicimus, dum errata ho­minum diligen­ter explorant, frequenter er­rare contingit. Excessus nam­que hominum absconduntur, &c. Pet. Ble­sens. Epist. 95. with his best care and wisedome preuent it, but that sometimes Iustice shall bee peruerted, innocency oppressed, and guiltie ones iustified.

§. 4. The Fitnesse,Out of which consideration, I the rather de­sired for this Assise-Assembly, to choose a Text as neere as I could of equall latitude with the As­sise-Businesse. For which purpose I could not rea­dily thinke of any other portion of Scripture, so proper and full to meet with all sorts of persons and all sorts of abuses; as these three verses are. Is there either Calumny in the Accuser, or Periury in the Witnesse, or Supinity in the Iurer, or Sophistry in the Pleader, or Partiality in any Officer; or any close corruption any where lurking amid those many passages and conueyances that be­long to a iudiciall proceeding? my Text searcheth it out, and enditeth the offender at the tribunall of that vnpartiall Iudge that keepeth a priuie Sessions in each mans brest.

§. 5. Diuision,The words are so laid downe distinctly in fiue Rules, or Precepts, or rather (being all negatiue) in [Page 203] so many Prohitions, that I may spare the labour of making other deuision of them. All that I shall need to doe about them, will be to set out the seue­rall portions in such sort, as that euery man who hath any part or fellowship in this businesse may haue his due share in them. Art thou first an Ac­cuser 1 in any kinde: either as a party in a iudiciall controuersie; or bound ouer to prosecute for the King in a criminall cause, or as a voluntary infor­mer vpon some penall Statute? here is something for thee, Thou shalt not raise a false report. Art 2 thou secondly a Witnesse: either fetched in by Processe to giue publique testimony vpon oath; or come of good or ill will, priuately to speake a good word for, or to cast out a shrewd word a­gainst any person? here is something for thee too; Put not thine band with the wicked to bee an vnrighteous Witnesse. Art thou thirdly returned to 3 serue as a sworne man, in a matter of graund or petty inquest? here is something for thee too; Thou shalt not follow a multitude to doe euill. Com­mest thou hither fourthly to aduocate the cause of thy Clyent, who flyeth to thy learning, experi­ence,4 and authority for succour against his aduer­sary, and commendeth his state and suite to thy care and trust? here is something for thee too; Neither shalt thou speake in a cause to decline after many to wrest iudgement. Art thou lastly in any Office of trust, or place of seruice in or about the 5 Courts, so as it may sometimes fall within thy power or opportunity to doe a suiter a fauour, or a spite? here is something for thee too; Thou [Page 204] shalt not countenance (no not) a poore man in his cause. The two first in the first, the two next in the second, this last in the third verse.

§. 6. and Extent of the Text.In which distribution of the offices of Iustice in my Text, let none imagine, because I haue sha­red out all among them, that are below the bench, that therefore there is nothing left for them, that sit vpon it. Rather, as in diuiding the land of Ca­naan, Leui, who had Num. 18.20.21. Deut. 18.1. &c. no distinct plot by himselfe, hauing yet (by reason of the Deu [...]. 33.10. vniuersall vse of his office) in euery Tribe something, had in the whole, all things considered, a See Numb. 35.2—8; and Ios. 21.1. &c. farre greater proportion, than any other Tribe had: So in this Scripture, the Iudge hath by so much a larger por­tion than any of the rest, by how much it is more diffused; Not concluded within the narrow bounds of any one, but, as the blood in the body, temperately spread throughout all the parts and members thereof. Which commeth to passe not so much from the immediate construction of the words (though there haue not wanted Lyran. hîc. Exposi­tors to fit the words to such construction:) as from that generall inspection, and (if I may so speake) superintendency, which the Iudge or Magistrate ought to haue ouer the carryage of all those other inferiour ones. A great part of whose duty it is, to obserue how the rest doe theirs: and to finde them out, and checke and punish them as they deserue, when they transgresse. So that with your patience (Honourable, Worshipfull, and dearely Beloued) I haue allowance from my Text (if the time would as well allow it) to speake vnto you of fiue things. [Page 205] Whereof the first concerneth the Accuser; the se­cond, the Witnesse; the third, the Iurer; the fourth, the Lawyer; and the fift, the Officer: and euery one of them the Magistrate, Iudge, and Iusticer. But hauing no purpose to exceed the houre, (as I must needs doe if I should speake to all these to any pur­pose;) whilest I speake to the first only, I shall de­sire the rest to make application to themselues, so farre as it may concerne them, of euery materiall passage: which they may easily doe, and with ve­ry little change for the most part; only if they bee willing.

To our first Rule then, which concerneth the Accuser and the Iudge;§. 7. The Accu­sers duty; not to raise a false report. in the first words of the Text, Thou shalt not raise a false report. The Ori­ginall [...] verbe signifieth to take vp; as if we should reade it, H. A. hîc. Thou shalt not take vp a false report. And it is a word of larger comprehension, than most Translatours haue expressed it. The full meaning is, Old English translation, hîc. Consentiendo vel loquendo. Gloss. Interlin. hîc. Ne falsi rumoris author, vela ad iutor esto. Iun. in annot. Thou shalt not haue to doe with any false report: neither by d raising it, as the Author, nor by spreading it, as the Reporter, nor by receiuing as an Approuer. But the first fault is in the Raiser: and therefore our translations haue done well to retaine that rather in the Text; yet allowing the Receiuer a place in the Margent. Now false re­ports may bee raised of our brethren, by vniust slaunders, detractions, bachbitings, whisperings, as well out of the course of iudgements, as in it. And the Equitie of this Rule reacheth euen to those extraiudiciall Calumnies also. But, for that I am not now to speake of extraiudiciall Calumny [Page 206] so much, as of that quae versatur in for [...] & in iudi­ciis, those false suggestions and informations which are giuen into the Courts, as more proper both to the scope of my Text, and the occasion of this present meeting: Conceiue the words for the present as spoken especially, or at least wise as not improperly applyable to the Accuser. But the Ac­cuser taken Accusatorem pro omni act [...]re & petitore ap­pello. Cic. in partit. Orat. at large, for any person that implea­deth another in iure publico vel priuato, in causes either ciuill or criminall, and these againe either ca­pitall or penall. No not the Accusee or Defendant excepted: who although hee cannot bee called in strict propriety of speech an Accuser; yet if when he is iustly accused, he seeke to defend him­selfe by false, vniust, or impertinent allegations, he is in our present intendment to bee taken as an Ac­cuser, and as the Raiser or Taker vp of a false Re­port.

§. 8. which may be done 1. by Fi­ction;But when is a Report false? or what is it to rayse such a report? and how is it done? As wee may conceiue of Falshood in a threefold notion; name­ly, as it is opposed, not onely vnto Truth first, but secondly also vnto Ingenuitie, and thirdly vnto Equitie also: accordingly false reports may bee raysed three wayes. The first and grossed way is, when we Struunt de pro [...]rio calum­nias innocentiae. Bern. lib. 1. de Consid. prope finem. faine & deuise something of our owne heads to lay against our brother, without any foundation at all, or ground of truth: creating (as it were) a tale ex nihilo. As it is in the Psalme, Psal. 35.11. They layed to my charge things that I neuer did: and as Nehemiah sent word to Sanballat, Nehem, 6.8. There are no such things as thou sayest, but thou faignest them of [Page 207] thine owne heart. Cis. act 2. in Ver [...]. lib. 3. Crimen domesticum & vernacu­lum; a meere deucie: such as was that of Iezabels instruments against 3 King 21.10 Naboth, which cost him his life; and that of Zibah against 2 Sam. 1 [...].3. Mephibosheth, which had almost cost him all hee had. This first kinde of Report is false, as deuoyd of Truth.

The second way, (which was so frequently vsed among the Romane Accusers,§. 9. 2. by Aggra­uation; that Non vtar istâ acculato­riâ consue [...]u­dine, &c. Cic. Act. 2. in Verr. lib. 5. custome had made it not only excusable, but quae quo­niam accusa­torio more & iure sunt facta reprehendere non puslumus. Cic. pro Flac [...]o. allowable; and is at this day of too frequent vse both in priuate and publicke calumniations) is, when vpon some small ground of truth, we run descant at pleasure in our informations, interweaving manie vntruths a­mong; or peruerting the speeches and actions of our aduersaries, to make their matters ill, when they are not; or otherwise aggrauating them, to make them seeme worse than they are. As tidings came to Dauid, when Amnon only was slaine, that 2. Sam. 13.30 Absolon had killed all the Kings sonnes. It is an ea­sie, and a common thing, by misconstruction to They dai [...]y wrest my words Psal 56.5. Ni­hil est, Quin me­le narrando pos­sit deprauarior. Terent. in Pho [...]mi. depraue whatsoeuer is most innocently done or spoken. The Ammonistish Courtiers dealt so with Dauid: when he sent 3 Sam. 10.2. Ambassadours to Hanun in kindnesse, they informed the King as if hee had in­deed sent Spyes to discouer the strength of the Ci­tie and Land. And the Nehe. 6.6.7. & Ezr. 4.12 Iewes enemies dealt so with those that of deuotion repaired the Temple and the wall of Ierusalem: aduertising the State, as if their purpose had beene to fortifie themselues for a Rebellion. Yea and the malicious Iewes dealt so with Christ himselfe; taking hold of some words of his, about the destroying and building of [Page 108] the Temple, which he vnderstood of the Ioh. 2.19-21. Temple of his bodie, and so Matth. 26.61 wresting them to the fabricke of the Materiall Temple, as to make them serue to giue colour to one of the strongest accusations they had against them. This second kind of Report is false, as deuoid of Ingenuity.

§. 10. 3. by pressing the letter of the Law with rigour.The third way is, when taking aduantage of the Law, wee prosecute the extremitie thereof against our brother, who perhaps hath done something contrary to the letter of the Law, but not violated the intent of the Lawgiuer, or offended either a­gainst common Equitie, which ought to bee the [...]. Epictet. apud Stob. serm. 143. nos legē bonam â molâ, nullâ a [...]ia nisi naturali nor­mâ diuidere possumus. Cic. lib. 1. de legib. Quod fit iniu­siè, nec iure si­eri potest. Non enim iu­ra dicenda sunt, vel pu­tanda iniqua hominum con­stituta. Aug. l. 9. de Ciuit 21. measure of iust Lawes, or against the common good, which is in some sort the Atque ipsa vtilitas prope iusti mater, & aequi Horat. 1. serm. 3.— ex ae quo & bono ius consta [...], quod ad veri­tatem & vtili tatem communom videtur pertinere. Cic. ad Herem. lib. 2. measure of Equitie. In that multitude of Lawes, which for the repressing of disorders, and for the maintenance of peace and tranquillitie among men, must needes be in e­uery well gouerned Commonwealth, it cannot be auoyded, but that honest men, especially if they haue much dealings in the world, may haue some­times iust and necessary cause to doe that, which in regard of the thing done may bring them with­in the compasse of some Statute or branch of a statute; yet such, as, circumstances duly considered, no wise and indifferent man, but would well ap­proue of. Now, if in such cases alwayes rigour should bee vsed; Lawes intended for the benefite, should by such hard construction become the bane of humane societie. As Solomon saith, Pro. 30.33. Quitor­quet nasum, elicit sanguinem; Hee that wringeth the nose too hard, forceth bloud. Guilty this way are not onely those contentious spirits, whereof [Page 209] there are too many in the world; with whom there is no more adoe, but a Word and an Action, a Tres­passe and a Processe: But most of our common In­formers withall, Sycophants you may call them (for that was their old name) like Verres his Canes vena­tici. Cic. in Verrinis saepè. bloud-hounds in Tully, that lye in the winde for gaine, and if they can but trip anie man vpon anie breach of a penall Statute, there they fasten their teeth, and tugge him into the Courts without helpe; vnlesse he will dare offam Cerbero, (for that is it they looke for) give them a sop, and then they are charmed for that time. Zacheus, besides that he was a Publi­cane, was it seemeth such a kind of Informer, Luk. 19.8. Si quid cuiper calumniam eri­pui. apud Tert. 4 cont. Marc. 37. [...] is the word Luke 19. if I have played the sycophant with anie man, if I haue wronged a­nie man by forged cauillation, or wrung anie thing from him by false accusation. A report of this third kind is false, as deuoid of equity.

But it may be thought I iniure these men, in ma­king them raisers of false reports;§. 11. A Cauill re­moued. and am my selfe a false accuser of them, whilest I seeke to make them false accusers of others: when as they dare appeale to the world, they report not anie thing but what is most true, and what they shall bee well able to proue so to be. At once to answer them, and cleare my selfe, know that in Gods estimation, and to common intendment in the language of Scripture, it is all one to speake an vntruth, and to speake a truth in vndue time, and place, and manner, and with vndue circumstances. One instance shall make all this most cleere. Doeg the Edomite, one of the 1. Sam. 21.7. seruants of the house of Saul, saw when [Page 210] Dauid went into the house of Ahimelech the Priest, and how Ahimelech there entertained him, & what kindnesse he did for him: of all which he 1. Sam. 22.9. &c. after­wards gaue Saul particular information, in euerie point according to what he had seene. Wherein, though he spake no more than what was true, and what he had seene with his owne eyes: yet because he did it with an intent to bring mischiefe vpon Ahimelech, who had done nothing but what well became an honest man to doe, Dauid chargeth him with telling of lyes, and telleth him hee had a false tongue of his owne for it, Psal. 52. [Psal. 52.2.—4 Thy tongue i­magineth wickednesse, and with lyes thou cuttest like a sharpe rasour: Thou hast loued vnrighteousnesse more than goodnesse, and to talke of lyes more than righteousnesse: thou hast loued all words that may do hurt; O thou false tongue.] Conclude hence; hee that telleth the truth where it may do hurt, but especially if he tell it with that purpose & to that end that it may do hurt, he hath a false tongue, and he telleth a false lye, & he must pardon vs if we take him for no better than the raiser of a false report.

§. 12. Reasons of the Prohibi­tion; takenWe see what it is to raise a false report: let vs now see what a fault it is. The first Accuser that e­uer was in the world, was a false Accuser: and that was the Diuell. Who as he began betimes, for hee was a Ioh 8.44. lyer from the beginning: so he began aloft; for the first false report he raised, was of the most Highest. Vniustly accusing God himselfe vnto our mother Eue in a Gen. 3.1.4.5 few words of no fewer than three great crimes at once, Falshood, Tyrannie, and Enuie. He was then a slanderous accuser of his Ma­ker; [Page 211] and he hath continued euer since a malicious accuser of his Apoc. 12.9, 10. Brethren: Sathan, [...] &c. hee hath his name from it in most languages. Slande­rers, and Backbiters, and false Accusers may here­hence learn to take knowledge of the rock whence they were hewen: here they may behold the top of their pedigree. Wee may not denie them the ancientie of their descent; though they haue small cause to boast it: semen serpentis, the spawne of the old Serpent; Ioh. 8.44. children of their father the Diuell. And they doe not shame the store they come of; for the workes of their Father they readily doe. That Hellish Aphorisme they so faithfully practise, is one of his Principles: it was hee first instilled it into them, Calumniare fortiter, aliquid adhaerebit. Ier. 18.18. Smite with the tongue, and be sure to smite home, and then be sure, eyther the griefe, or the blemish of the stroake will sticke by it.

A Diuellish practice,§. 13. 1. from the Sinne; hatefull both to God and Man. And that most iustly; whether we consider the sinne, or the iniurie, or the mischiefe of it: the Sinne in the Doer, the Iniurie to the Sufferer, the Mischiefe to the Common-wealth. Euerie false re­port raised in iudgement, besides that it is a lye; and euerie lye is a sinne against the truth, Wisd. 1.11. slaying the soule of him that maketh it, and Apoc 22.15. excluding him from heauen, and binding him ouer vnto Apoc. 21.8. the se­cond death: it is also a pernicious lye, and that is the worst sort of lyes; and so a sinne both against Cha­ritie and Iustice. Which who so committeth, let him neuer looke to Psal. 15.1.3 dwell in the Tabernacle of God, or to rest vpon his holy Mountaine: God [Page 212] hauing threatned, Psal. 50. to take speciall know­ledge of this sinne; and though hee seeme for a time to dissemble it, yet at last to reproue the bold offender to his face. [Psal. 50.19.—21. Thou fatest and spakest a­gainst thy brother: yea and hast slandered thine owne mothers sonne. These things hast thou done, and I held my tongue, and thou thoughtest wickedly that I was euen such a one as thy selfe: but I will reproue thee, and set before thee the things that thou hast done.]

§. 14. 2. from the Wrong;And as for the Iniurie done hereby to the grie­ued partie, it is incomparable. If a man haue his house broken, or his purse taken from him by the high way, or sustaine anie wrong or losse in his person, goods, or state otherwise, by fraud, or vio­lence, or casualtie: he may possibly eyther by good fortune heare of his owne againe and recouer it, or he may haue restitution and satisfaction made him by those that wronged him, or by his good indu­stry and prouidence he may liue to see that losse re­paired, and be in as good state as before. But hee that hath his Name, and Credite, and Reputation causlesly called into question, sustaineth a losse by so much greater than anie theft, by how much Pro. 21.1. a good name is better than great riches. A man may out-weare other iniuries, or out-liue them: but a defamed person no acquittall from the Iudge, no sa­tisfaction from the Accuser, no following endeuours in himselfe can so restore in integrum, but that when the wound is healed, hee shall yet carrie the markes and the scarres of it to his dying day.

§. 15. 3. from the mischiefes.Great also are the mischiefes that hence redound to the Common-wealth. When no innocencie can [Page 213] protect an honest quiet man, but euerie busie base fellow that oweth him a spite shall be able to fetch him into the Courts, draw him from the necessary charge of his family and duties of his calling, to an vnnecessarie expence of money and time, tor­ture him with endlesse delayes, and expose him to the pillage of euerie hungrie officer. It is one of the grieuances God had against Ierusalem, and as hee calleth them abhominations, for which hee threatneth to iudge her Ezek. 22. Viri detractores inte. Ezek. 22.9. In thee are men that carrie tales to shedde bloud.

Beware then all you whose businesse or lot it is at this Assises, or hereafter may be, to be Plaintiffs, §. 16. An exhorta­tion to auoid the fault; Accusers, Informers, or anie way Parties in anie Court of Iustice, this or other, Ciuill or Ecclesiasti­call: that you suffer not the guilt of this prohibiti­on to cleaue vnto your consciences. If you shall hereafter be raisers of false reports, the words you haue heard this day shall make you inexcusable another. You are, by what hath beene presently spoken, disabled euerlastingly from pleading anie Ignorance eyther Facti or Iuris; as hauing been in­structed both what it is, and how great a fault it is, to raise a false report. Resolue therefore, if you be free, neuer to enter into anie action or suite, wherein you cannot proceede with comfort, nor come off without iniustice: or if alreadie engaged, to make as good & speedie an end as you can of a bad matter, and to desist from farther prosecuti­on. Let that golden rule, commended by the wisest [...]. apud Stob. serm. 2. Idque per prae­conem, cum ali­quem emenda­vet, dici iube­bat, Quod tibi fieri non vis, alteri ne fece­ris. Quam sen­tentiam vsque­adeo dilexit, vt & in Palatio, & in publicis operibus prae­scribi iuberet. de Alex. severo Lamprid. in Alex. Heathens as a fundamentall Principle of morall [Page 214] and ciuill Iustice; yea and proposed by our blessed Sauiour himselfe as a full abridgement of theMatt. 7.12. Law and Prophets, be euer in your eye, and euer before your thoughts, to measure out all your actions, and accusations, and proceedings thereby: euen to doe so to other men, and no otherwise, than as you could be content, or in right reason should be content, they should doe to you and yours, if their case were yours. Could anie of you take it well at your neighbours hand, should he seeke your life or liue­lyhood by suggesting against you things which you neuer had so much as the thought to do? or bring you into a pecke of troubles, by wresting your wordes and actions wherein you meant nothing but well, to a dangerous construction? or follow the Law vpon you, as if hee would not leaue you worth a groate for euerie pettie trespasse, scarce worth halfe the money? or fetch you ouer the hip vpon a branch of some blinde, vncouth, and pre­termitted Statute? He that should deale thus with you and yours, I know what would be said and thought: Griper, Knaue, Villaine, Diuell incarnate; all this & much more would be too little for him. Well, I say no more but this, Quod tibi fieri non vis, &c. Doe as you would be done too. There is your generall Rule.

§. 17. and the Cau­ses thereof:But for more particular direction, if any man de­sire it, since in euery euill one good step to sound­nesse is, to haue discouered the right cause thereof: I know not what better course to prescribe for the preuenting of this sinne of sycophancy and false ac­cusation, than for euery man carefully to avoyd [Page 215] the inducing causes thereof, and the occasions of those causes. There are God knoweth in this present wicked world, to euery kinde of euill, in­ducements but too too many. To this of false ac­cusation therefore it is not vnlikely, but there may be more: yet we may obserue that there are foure things, which are the most ordinary and frequent causes thereof; viz. Malice, Obsequiousnesse, Co­uerture, and Couetousnesse.

The first is Malice. §. 18. which are, 1. Malice. Which in some men (if I may bee allowed to call them men, being indeede rather Monsters) is vniuersall. They loue no body: glad when they can doe any man any mischiefe in any matter: neuer at so good quiet, as when they are most vnquiet. It seemeth Dauid met with some such; men that were Psal. 120.6.7 enemies to peace: when hee spake to them of peace; they made themselues ready to battell. Take one of these men, it is meate and drinke to him, which to a well-minded Christian is as gall and wormwood, to be in continuall suits. Virg. Eclog. 3. Et si non aliquà nocuisset, mortuus esset: he could not haue kept himselfe in breath, but by keeping Termes; nor haue liued to this houre, if he had not bin in Law. Such cankered dispositions as these, without the more than ordinary mercy of God, there is little hope to reclaime: vnlesse very want, when they haue spent & vndone themselues with wrangling (for that is commonly their end, and the reward of all their toyle) make them hold off, and giue ouer. But there are besides these others also; in whom although this malice reigneth not so vniuersally, yet are they so farre carried with [Page 216] priuate spleene and hatred against some particular men for some personall respect or other, as to seek their vndoing by all meanes they can. Out of which hatred and enuy they raise false reports of them: that being in their iudgements, as it is in­deed, the most speedy and the most speeding way to Quare solent inimici men­tiri? vt poten­tiam cuiusque minuant de quo mentiuntur. Aug. in Psal. 65 doe mischiefe with safety. This made the Presidents and Princes of Persia to Dan. 6.3.4. seeke an accu­sation against Daniel; whom they enuied because the King had preferred him aboue them. And in all ages of the world wicked and prophane men haue been busie to suggest the worst they could, against those that haue beene faithfull in their callings; especially in the callings of the Magistracy or Mi­nistery: that very faithfulnesse of theirs being to the other a sufficient ground of malice. To reme­dy this, take the Apostles rule, Heb. 12. Heb. 12.15. Looke di­ligently lest any roote of bitternesse springing vp trou­ble you, and thereby many bee defiled. Submit your selues to the word and will of God in the Ministery; submit your selues to the power and ordinance of God in the Magistracy; submit your selues to the good pleasure and prouidence of God in disposing of yours and other mens estates: and you shall haue no cause by the grace of God, out of malice or en­uy to any of your brethren, to raise false reports of them.

§. 19. 2 Obsequi­ousnesse;The second Inducement is Obsequiousnesse. When either out of a base feare of displeasing some that haue power to doe vs a displeasure, or out of a ba­ser Ambition to scrue our selues into the seruice or fauour of those that my aduance vs; wee are con­tent, [Page 217] though wee owe them no priuate grudge otherwise, yet to become officious accusers of those they hate, but would not be seene so to doe: so making our selues as it were baudes vnto their lust, and open instruments of their secret malice. Out of that base feare, the 3 King. 21.11 Elders of Iesrael, vp­on the Queenes letter, whom they durst not di­splease, caused an accusation to be framed against innocent Naboth. And out of this base Ambition, 2 Sam. 22.9. Doeg to picke a thanke with his Master, and to en­deere himselfe farther into his good opinion, told tales of Dauid and Ahimelech. To remedy this, remember the seruices and offices you owe to the greatest Masters vpon earth, haue their bounds set them which they may not passe. [...] Pericles apud Agell. 1. Noct. 3. Vsque ad aras: the Altar-stone that is the Meere-stone; and Iustice hath her Altars too, as well as Religion hers. Goe as farre then as you can in offices of loue and ser­uice to your friends and betters, saluis pietate & iustitia: but not a step farther for a world. If you seeke to Gal. 1.10. please men beyond this, you cannot bee the seruants of God.

Couerture is the third Inducement.§. 20. 3 Couerture; And that is, when either to make our owne cause the better, we seeke to bring enuy and preiudice vpon our aduer­sarie's, by making his seeme worse: or when be­ing our selues guilty, we thinke to Scelere ve­landum est sce­lus. Sen. in Hip­pol. Act. 2. couer our own crimes, and to preuent the accusations of others by getting the start of them, and accusing them first. As Gen. 39.17. Potiphars wife accused Ioseph, and the Dan. 13. El­ders Susannah, of such crimes, as they were inno­cent of, and themselues guilty. An old tricke, by [Page 218] which C. Verres like a cunning Coult often holpe himself at a pinch, when he was Praetor of Sicily; as Cic. in Ver­rinis passim. Cicero declareth against him by many instances, and at large. For sithence the Lawes in most cases rather fauour the Plaintiffe; because it is presumed men should not complaine without grieuance: wee may thinke perhaps to get this aduantage to our selues, and so rather chuse to be Plaintiffes than Defendants, because (as Salomon saith) Pro. 18.17: hee that is first in his owne tale seemeth righteous. To remedy this; Doe nothing but what is iust, and iustifiable: be sure your matters be good and right: they wil then beare out themselues well enough, without standing need to such damned shifts for support.

§. 21. 4 CouetousnesBut the fourth thing is that, which causeth more mischief in this kinde, than all the rest. That which the Apostle calleth 1. Tim. 6.10. —scelerum ma­matrem. Clau­dian. 2. de laud. Stillic. Inde fe­re scelerū cau­sae—Iuuenal. Satyr. 11. the roote of all euill; and which were it not, there would not be the hundreth part of those suites and troubles and wrongs, which now there are, done vnder the Sunne: Euen the greedy worme of Couetousnesse, and the thirst af­ter filthy lucre. For though men be wicked enough, and prone to mischiefe of themselues but too much: yet are there euen in corrupt nature such impressions of. the common principles of iustice and equitie, that men would not often doe great wrongs Maximam partem ad in­iuriam facien­dam aggredi­untur non­nulli, vt adipis­cantur ea quae cōcupiuerunt: In quo vitio latissime patet auaritia. Cic. l. 1. de offic. Sic vita hominum est, vt ad maleficium nemo conetur, sine spe atque emolumento accedere. Cic. pro Sex. Roscio. —pars vlcisima rerum, Certamen mouistis opes. Lu­can. lib. 3. [...]. Diphilus apud Stob. serm. 8. gratis, and for nothing. If Zibah slaun­der his Master falsely and treacherously; it is in a hope of getting the liuing from him. And it was [Page 219] Naboths Vineyeard, not blasphemy, that made him guilty. Those sinners that conspired against the innocent, Prou. 1. [Prou. 1.11. —13. Come let vs lay waite for bloud, let vs lurke priuily for the innocent without a cause: Let vs swallow them vp, &c. they had their end in it: and what that was, the next following words discouer, We shall finde all precious substance, we shal fill our houses with spoyle. And most of our prouling Informers, like those old Sycophants in Athens, or the Quadruplatores in Rome; doe they aime thinke you so much at the execution of good Lawes, the punishment of offenders, and the reformation of abuses, as at the prey, and the booty, and to get a piece of money to themselues? For let the of­fence bee what it will, deale but with them: and then no more speech of Lawes or Abuses, but all is huisht vp in a calme silence, and no harme done. To remedy this; as Iohn Baptist said to the souldi­ers in Luk. 3. Luke 3.14▪ Accuse no man falsly ( [...] is the word there too) and be content with your wages: so if you would bee sure not to accuse your neigh­bour falsly, content your selues with your owne estates, and couet not Exod 20.17. his oxe or his asse, his land or his money, or any thing that is his. Reckon no­thing your own, that is not yours by faire and iust meanes: nor thinke that can prosper with you and yours, that was wrung from another by Cauill or Calumny.

I haue now done with you that are Accusers: §. 22. The Iudges duty; Not to receiue a false Report. whose care must be, according to the Text-rea­ding, not to raise a false report. But the Margent remembers me, there are others whom this prohi­bition [Page 220] concerneth besides you, or rather aboue you; whose care it must be not to receiue a false report. A thing so weightie, and withall so pertinent to the generall argument of this Scripture; that some [...]. Septuag. Non suscipies vo [...]em menda­cii. Vulg. edit. Thou shalt not receiue a false report. Geneu. —hunc sensum sequitur Chal­daeus, Vatabl. Translations haue passed it in the Text. And the Originall word comprehendeth it. For albeit the Raiser indeed be the first taker vp; yet the Receiuer taketh it vp too, at the second hand. As it is com­monly said of stolne goods, There would bee no theeues, if there were no receiuers; and therefore some Lawes haue made the [...]. Phoc. Receiuer equal theefe with the Stealer, [...]: so certain­ly there would bee fewer false reports raised in iudgement, if they were more sparingly receiued. And therefore in this case also the Receiuer must goe pari passu with the Raiser: who, if he giue way or countenance to a false report when he may re­fuse or hinder it, by being an Accessarie maketh himselfe a Partie; and becommeth Non solùm ille reus est, qui falsum de aliquo profert; sed & is, qui citò au­rem crimini­bus praebet. Isid. lib. 3. de summo bono. guiltie of the same sinnes, the same wrongs, the same mischiefes with the first offender, the false Accuser. Dauid, as he inueigheth against Doeg in the Psal 52. Psalme for tel­ling: so hee 1. Sam. 24.9. elsewhere expostulateth with Saul for hearing vniust reports of him. The Raiser and Receiuer are both possessed with the same euill spi­rit; they haue the same [...]. Thucid. apud Stob. serm. 40. Diuell, the same Familiar: Only here is the difference, The Raiser hath this Familiar in his tongue, the Receiuer in his eare. Whosoeuer then sitteth in the place of Magistra­cie and publike Iudicature in foro externo, or is by vertue of his calling otherwise inuested with anie iurisdiction or power to heare and examine the [Page 221] accusations of others: I know not how hee shall be able to discharge himselfe in foro interno from a kinde of Champertie (if my ignorance make mee not abuse the word) or at leastwise from misprision of Calumnie and vniust accusations; if he bee not reasonably carefull of three things.

First, let him beware how he taketh priuate in­formations. Men are partiall;§. 23. Whereunto a threefold care is requisite: 1. in recei­uing infor­mations; and will not tell their owne tales but with fauour, and vnto aduan­tage. And it is so with most men; the Pro. 18.17. Est vitium, cu­ius si te i [...]mu­nem sentis, in­ter omnes quos noui, ex his qui Cathedras a­scendunt, sede­bis me iudice solitarius. Fa­cilitas creduli­tatis haec est: cuius callidis­simae vulpeculae Magnorum ne­minem comperi satis cavisse versutias. Bern. 2. de consid. in fine. first tale possesseth them so, as they heare the next with preiudice: than which there is not a inde eis ipsis pro nihilo irae multae, inde innocentium frequens addi­ctio, in de praeindiria in absentes. Bern. ib. sorer enemie to right and indifferent iudgement. A point so materiall, that some Expositors make it the thing principally intended in this first branch of my Text, Lyran. hîc. vt non audiatur vna pars sine aliâ, saith Lyra. Suiters will be impudent, to forestall the publicke hearing by priuate informations: euen to the Iudge himselfe, if the accesse be easie; or at least­wise (which indeed maketh lesse noise, but is no­thing lesse pernicious) to his seruant or fauourite that hath his eare, if hee haue anie such noted ser­uant or fauourite. He therefore that would resolue not to receiue a false report, and be sure to hold his resolution, let him resolue (so farre as he can auoid it) to receiue no report in priuate; (for a thousand to one that is a false one) or, where he cannot well auoid it, to be readie to receiue the information of the aduerse part withall; eyther [...]. Demost. de cor. both or neither, but indeed rather neither: to keepe himselfe by [Page 222] all meanes equall and entire for a publicke hearing. Thus much hee may assure himselfe; there is no man offereth to possesse him with a cause before­hand, be it right, be it wrong; who doth not eyther thinke him vniust, or would haue him so.

§. 24. 2. in exami­ning causes; Secondly, let him haue the conscience first, & then the patience too (and yet if hee haue the The righte­ous considereth the cause of the poore: but the wicked regar­deth not to know it. Prou. 29.7. consci­ence, certainly he will haue the patience) to make search into the truth of things: and not be daintie of his paines herein, though matters be intricate, and the labour like to be long and irksome, to finde out if it be possible the bottome of a businesse, and where indeed the fault lyeth first or most. It was a great ouersight in a good King, for 2. Sam. 16.4. Dauid to giue away Mephib [...]sheths liuing from him to his Accu­ser, and that vpon the bare credite of his accusati­on. It had beene more for his honour, to haue done as Iob. 29.16. Iob did before him, to haue searched out the cause he knew not; and as his sonne 3. Kin. 3.23. Salomon did after him in the cause of the two Mothers. Sa­lomon well knew, what hee hath also taught vs, Prou. 25. that it was Prou. 25.2. the honour of Kings to search out a matter. God as he hath vouchsafed Princes and Magistrates his own Psal. 82.6. name: so he hath vouch­safed them his owne example in this point. An ex­ample in the storie of the Law, Gen. 18. where hee did not presently giue iudgement against Gen. 18.20, 21. quo exem­plo moniti, ne ad proferendam sententiam—aut temere indili­gente [...] que in discussa quaeque quoquo modo iudicemus: sed exemp [...]o Domi­ni descendamus, videamus, & iusto examine criminoso [...] diligenter perscrutemur. Con­cil. Trib. e. 22. Sodom vpon the crie of their sinnes, that was come vp be­fore him: but he would goe downe first and see whe­ther they had done altogether according to that cry; [Page 223] and if not, that hee might know it. An Example al­so in the Gospell-story, Luke 16. vnder the parable of the rich man: whose first worke, when his Steward was accused to him for embezzeling his goods, was not to turne him out of doores, but to Luk. 16.2. examine his accounts. What through Malice, Obsequiousnesse, Couerture, and Couetousnesse, coun­terfeit reports are daily raised: and there is much cunning vsed by those that raise them, much odde shuffling and packing and combining to giue them the colour and face of perfect truth. As then a plaine Countrie-man, that would not willingly be cousened in his pay, to take a slip for a currant piece, and brasse for siluer, leisurely turneth ouer euery piece he receiueth; and if hee suspect any one more than the rest, vieweth it, and ringeth it, and smelleth to it, and bendeth it, and rubbeth it, so making vp of all his senses as it were one naturall touchstone, whereby to try it: such iealousie should the Magistrate vse, and such industry, especially where there appeareth cause of suspicion, by all meanes to sift and to boult out the truth, if hee would not bee cheated with a false report instead of a true.

Thirdly, let him take heed he doe not giue coun­tenance or encouragement,§. 25. 3. in repres­sing contenti­ous persons and suites. more than right and reason requireth, to contentious persons, knowne Sycophants, and common Informers. If there should bee no Accusers to make com­plaints: Offenders would bee no offenders, for want of due Correction; and Lawes, would bee no Lawes, for want of due execution. Informers then [Page 224] are Accusatores multos esse in ciuitate v [...]ile est, vt metu con­tineatur auda­cia: verunta­men hoc ita est vtile, vt non planè illudamur ab accusatori­bus. Ibid. necessary in a Common-wealth as Dogs are about your houses and yardes. If any man mis­like the comparison, let him know it is Nihil mali est, canes ibi quam­plurim [...]s esse, v­bi permulti ob­s [...]ruandi, mul­taque seruanda sunt. Cic. pro Sex. Roscio. Cicero's simily, and not mine. It is not amisse, saith that great and wise Oratour, there should be some store of Dogs about the house, where many goods are layed vp to be safe kept, and many false knaues haunt to doe mischiefe; to guard those, and to watch these the better. But if those Canes alun­tur in Capitolio, vt significent, si fures venerint- Quòd si luce quoque canes latrent, cùm Deos salutatum aliqui venerint: opinor jis crura suffringantur, &c. Ibid. Dogs should make at the throate of euery man that commeth neere the house, at honest mens houres, and vpon honest mens businesse: it is but needfull they of the house should sometimes rate them off, and if that will not serue the turne, welfauouredly beate them off, yea, and (if after all that they still conti­nue mankeene) knocke out their teeth, or breake their legges, to preuent a worse mischiefe. Magi­strates are petty Gods, God hath lent them his name, Psal. 82.6. Dixi Dij, I haue said yee are Gods, Psal. 82. and false Accusers are petty Diuels; the Diuell hath borrowed their name, Apoc. 12.9.10. de ipso eti­am nomine Dia­boli delatorem. Tertullian de anima. c. 35. Sathan [...], the accu­ser of his brethren. For a Ruler then or Magistrate to countenance a Sycophant, what is it else, but as it were to peruert the course of nature, and to make God take the Diuells part? And then besides, where such things are done; what is the common cry? People, as they are suspicious, will be talking parlously and after their manner: Sure, say they, the Magistrates are sharers with these fellowes in the aduenture; these are but their setters, to bring them in gaine, their instruments and Emissaries to toll gri [...]t to their milles for the increasing of [Page 225] their moulter. Heethen that in the place of Ma­gistracie would decline both the fault and suspici­on of such vnworthy Collusion: it standeth him vp­on with all his best endeauours by chaining and muzling these beasts to preuent them from biting where they should not; and, if they haue fastened already, then by deliuering the oppressed with Iob Iob 29.17. to plucke the prey from betweene their teeth, and by exercising iust seuerity vpon them to breake their iawes for doing farther harme.

I am not able to prescribe (nor is it meete I should to my betters) by what meanes all this might best be done.§. 26. Whereunto some likely good helpes are For I know not how farre the subordinate Magistrates power, which must be bounded by his Commission and by the Lawes, may extend this way. Yet some few things there are, which I cannot but propose, as likely good helpes in all reason and in themselues, for the discounte­nancing of false Accusers, and the lessening both of their number and insolency. Let euery good Magistrate take it into his proper consideration; whether his Commission and the Lawes giue him power to vse them all, or no, and how farre.

And First; for the auoyding of malicious suites,§. 27. 1. to respect informations tendred with­out Oath; and that men should not bee brought into trouble vpon slight informations: I finde that among the Cael. ad Ci­cer. 8. fam. E­pist. 8. vide l. 7. & l. 13. §▪ qui damni. ff. de damno infect. In omnibus causis, siue est, san [...]imus non. li­ter, &c. Nisi prius qui eas exposcunt, iuramentum de calumniâ praestiterint, quod non &c. [...]. Vinc. Cod de iureiurando propter calumn. Romans the Accuser in most cases might not bee admitted to put in his libell, vntill he had first ta­ken his corporall oath before the Pretor, that hee [Page 226] was free from all malicious & Calumnious intent. Certaine it is, as daily experience sheweth, that many men who make no conscience of a Lye, doe yet take some Nam sacra­menti timore contentiosa li­tigantium in­stantia compe­scitur. Ibid. [...]. So­pho [...]l. bogge at an Oath. And it cannot but open a wide gap to the raising and receiuing of false reports, and to many other abuses of very noysome consequence in the Common-weale; if the Magistrate when hee may helpe it, to enrich himselfe or his officers, or for any other indirect end, shall suffer men to be impleaded and brought into trouble vpon Bills and Presentments tendred without oath.

§. 28. 2. to temper Iustice with Equity; Secondly, since Lawes cannot bee so conceiued, but that through the infinite variety of humane occurrences, they may sometimes fall heauie vp­on particular men; and yet for the preuenting of more generall inconueniences it is necessarie there should be Lawes (for better a mischiefe sometimes, than alwayes an Inconuenience): there hath beene left, for any thing I finde to the contrarie, in all well gouerned policies, a kinde of latitude more or lesse, and power in the Magistrates, euen in those Courts, that were strictissimi iuris, vpon fit occasion to qualifie and to Soleo audire in potestate esse iudicis mollire sententiam, & mitiùs vindi­care quàm iu­beant leges. Augustin. Epist. 158. mitigate something the rigour of the Lawes by the Rules of Equitie. For I know not any extremity of Summum ius, summa in­iuria. Ibid. [...]. Aristot. 5. Ethic. 10. Wrong beyond the extremity of Right: when lawes intended for Fences are made Snares, and are calumniously wrested to oppresse that innocencie which they should protect. And this is most properly Existunt eti­am saepè iniuriae calumniâ quadam, & nimis callidâ, sed malitiosâ iuris interpretatione. Cic. lib. 1. de Offic. Scriptum sequi, calumniatoris esse; boni iudicis, voluntatem scriptoris, autho­ritatemque defendere. Id pro A. Cecinna. Calumny [Page 227] in the prime notion of the word; for a man vp­on a meere tricke or quillet from the Aucupia ver­borum, & lite­rarum t [...]ndicu­lae. Cic pro A. Cecinna. letters and syllables of the Law, or other writing, or euidence, pressed with aduantage, to bring his acti­on or lay his accusation against another man; who yet bonâ fide, and in Equity and Conscience, hath done nothing worthy to bring him into such trou­ble. Now if the Magistrate of Iustice shall vse his full power, by interpreting the Law in rigour where he should not, to second the boldnesse of a calumnious Accuser: or if he shall not vse his full power, by affoording his lawful fauour in due time and place, to succour the innocencie of the so ac­cused: hee shall thereby but giue encouragement to the Raysers, and hee must looke to answer for it one day, as the Receiuer of a false Report.

Thirdly, since that Iustice which especially sup­porteth the Common-weale,§. 29. 3. to punish partiality and Collusi­on in the In­former; consisteth in no­thing more, than in the right distribution of re­wards and punishments: many Law-giuers haue beene carefull, by proposing rewards, to encourage men to giue in true and needfull informations, and on the contrary to suppresse those that are false or idle by proposing punishments. For the informers office, though it bee (as wee heard) a necessary, yet it is in truth a very thanklesse office: and men would be loath, without speciall grieuance, to vn­dergoe the hatred and e [...]uy, which commonly at­tendeth such as are officious that way; vnlesse there were some profit mixt withall to sweeten that hatred, & to counteruaile that enuy. For which cause in most Penall Statutes, a moi [...]y, or a third, [Page 228] or Quartam ac­cusatoribus se­cundum neces­situdinem legis. Tacit. lib. 4. Annal. fourth (which was the vsuall proportion in Rome, whence the name of Quadrupla­tores, accusato­res seu delatores criminum Pub­licorum, sub poena quadrupli: siue quòd ipsi ex damnatorum bonis quos accu­sauerant, quar­tam partem consequebantur. Ascon. in Verr. See Fest. in Quadruplato­re, Turneb. 3. Aduers. 9. Lips. in lib. 4. Ann. Taciti. Bisciol. 14. subces. 13. quadruplatores came) or some other greater or lesser part of the fi [...]e, pe­nalty, or forfeiture expressed in the Law, is by the said Law allowed to the Informer, by way of re­compence for the seruice hee hath done the State by his information. And if hee bee faithfull and conscionable in his office, good reason hee should haue it. For hee that hath an Office in any Lawfull calling (and the Informers calling is such; howsoe­uer through the iniquity of those that haue vsual­ly exercised it, it hath long laboured of an Quadrupla­tor, vt breuiter describam, ca­pitalis est. Est enim improbus & pestifer ciuis. Cic. lib. 2. ad Her. ill name:) but hee that hath such an office; as it is meet hee should attend it, so it is meet it should maintaine him: for 1 Cor. 9.7. who goeth to warrefare at a­ny time of his owne cost? But if such an Informer shall endite one man for an offence, pretending it to bee done to the great hurt of the Common-weale, and yet for fauour, feare, or a fee b [...]lke aequitas in paribus causis paria iura desi­derat. Cic. in Top. Quis hoc statuit, quod aequum sit in Quintium, id iniquum esse in p [...]tuit▪ Id pro. Quiq. another man whom he knoweth to haue commit­ted the same offence, or a greater; or if hauing en­tred his complaint in the open Court, he shall after­wards let the suite fall, and take vp the matter in a priuate chamber: this is Praeuaris [...] satoris corruptela ab reo. Cic. in partit. orat. —Praeuaricatorem [...]um [...]sse ostendimus, [...] colludit cum reo, & translatitie munere accusand desungitur. Mar, in l. 1. ff ad Senatus. Turpil. Collusion; and so farre forth a false report, as euery thing may bee called false when it is partiall, and should be entire. And the Magistrate, if hee haue power to chastice such an Informer some semblance whereof there was in that V. Pli [...] ▪ Epist. [...] ▪ l [...]. ff. [...] Rosin. 9. Antiqu. Rom. 25. Iudicium▪ Praeuari [...]tionis in Rome, hee [Page 229] shall doe the Common-wealth good seruice, and himselfe much honour, now and then to vse it.

Fourthly, since nothing is so powerfull to re­presse audacious Accusers, as seuere Punishment is;§. 30. 4. to allow the wronged par­ty large satis­faction; it is obseruable what care and caution was vsed a­mong the Romanes whilst that State flourished, to deterre men from vniust Calumniations. In pri­uate and ciuill Controuersies, for triall of right be­tweene party and party, they had their v. Ascon. in Verrin. 3. sponsiones: which was a summe of money in some proportio­nable rate to the value of the thing in Question; which the Plaintiffe entred bond to pay to the De­fendant in case hee should not be able to proue his Action; the Defendant also making the like sponsion and entring the like bond, in case he should be cast. But in publicke and criminall matters, whether Capi­tall or Penall, if for want of due proofe on the Ac­cusers part, the party accused were quit in iudge­ment; there went a triall vpon the Accuser, at the suite of the Accusee, which they called v. l. 1. §. 2. &c. ff. ad senatusc. Turpil; Rosin. 9. Antiqu. Rom. 25. Iudicium Calumniae: wherein they examined the originall ground and foundation of the Accusation. Which if it appeared to haue proceeded from some iust errour or mistake bona fide, it excused him: but if it should appeare the accusation to haue proceeded from some left-handed respect, as Malice, Enuy, Gaine, &c. hee was then condemned of Calumny. And his ordinary punishment then was, whereun­to he had virtually bound himselfe by subscribing his libell, Poena talionis, the same kinde of punish­ment whatsoeuer it was, which by the Lawes had been due to the party accused, if the libell had bin [Page 230] proued against him. Yea and for his farther shame it was prouided by lege Remmiâ. v. l. 1. §. 2. ff. ad senatusc. Tur­pil; & Gothi­fred. in annot. ibi; Rosin. 8. Antiqu. Rom. part. 2. cap. 22. one Law, that hee should bee burnt in the forehead with the Letter K. to pro­claime him a Calumniator to the world; that, in old Orthography, being the first letter of the word Kalumnia. The same letter would serue, the turne very well with vs also, though we vse it to signifi [...] another thing; and yet not so much another thing, as a thing more generall, but comprehending this as one species of it. But as I said, I may not pre­scribe; especially beyond Law. The thing for which I mention all this, is this: If all that care and seueritie in them, could not preuent it, but that still vniust actions would bee brought, and false ac­c [...]sations raised: what a world of vnconscionable suites and wrongfull informations may we thinke there would be; if contentious Plaintiffes and ca­lumnious Sycophants when they haue failed their proofe, should yet get off easily; and escape out of the Courts without Censure or Punishment, or at the most but with some light checke? and the poor iniured innocent the while bee held-in as in a pri­son, till hee haue paied the vtmost farthing, I say not of what is due, but of what shall be demanded by euery man that hath but a piece of an office a­bout the Courts. It is a strong hartening to Ac­cusers, and multiplieth false report, beyond beliefe; when they that are wrongfully accused, though the cause goe with them, shall yet haue the worst of the day: and shall haue cause to answer the con­gratulations of their friends, as [...]. Plu­tarch in Pyr­rho. Pyrrhus did his after he had gotten two famous victories ouer the [Page 231] Romanes, that if they should get a few more such victories, it would be to their vtter vndoing. If the Magistrate had power to make the wronged party full restitution, allowing him all costs and damages to a halfe peny; nay if hee had power to allow him double or treble out of his vniust aduersaries estate: it were all little enough, and but too little. Zacheus tooke himselfe bound to doe more: when for this very sinne of false accusation hee imposed vpon himselfe, as a kinde of satisfactory penance, Luke 19.8. a fourefold restitution, Luke 19. Here was a right Quadruplator indeed; and in the best sense: you shall not lightly reade of such another.

Lastly, men haue not Lucian in Hermot. fenestrata pectora, §. 31. 5. to look well to his owne seruants and officers. that we can see them throughly and within: yet there want not meanes of probable discouery. Of ordinary priuate men we make coniecture, by their gestures, by their speeches, by their companions. But Magistrates and great ones, who liue more in the eye of the world, and are euer as it were vpon the stage, and so doe personati incedere, walke vnder a continuall disguise in respect of their outward de­portment; are not so well discouerable by those meanes. They are best knowne by their Sirac. 10.2. seruants and retinue, by their fauourites and officers, by those they keepe about them, or employ vnder them. If these bee plaine and downeright, if these bee iust and vpright, if these bee free and conscionable: Sycophants will plucke in their hornes, and be out of heart and hope to finde the Masters of such ser­uants facill to giue way to their false calumnia­tions. But if these bee insolent and hungry com­panions, [Page 232] if these bee impudent and shamelesse ex­actors: it is presently [...]. Isoc. apud Stob. serm. 44. Si innocentes existimari ve­lumus, no [...] so­lùm nos absti­nentes, sedeti­am nostros co­mites praestare debemus. Cic. 2. in Verr. 2. thought they are then but brokers for the Master; and there is no question then made, but that false reports will bee receiued as fast as they can bee raised, and entertained with both armes. Wee haue learned from Pro. 29.12. Salomon, Prou. 29. that if a ruler hearken to lies, then all his seruants are wicked: They durst not be so openly wicked, if they were not first sure of him. It was but a Nemo vnquā tàm reus, tàm nocens adduce­tur, qui istâ de­fensione non possit vti. Cic. 2 in Verr. 2. sory one, when it was at best, but is now withall growne a stale excuse; for great ones to impute their owne wilfull ouersights to the fault or negligence of their seruants. Caius Verres, (whom I cannot but now and then mention, be­cause there is scarce to be found such another com­pleate Exemplar of a wicked Magistrate;) would vsually aiunt eum queri solere nonnunquam, se miserum, quòd non suis, sed suorum comitum pecca­tis & crimini­bus praematur. Cic. ibid. complaine, that he was vniustly oppressed, not with his owne, but with the crimes of his fol­lowers. But why then did hee keepe such a kennell of sharkes about him? why did he not either spee­dily reforme them or vtterly discard them? It were indeed an vnrighteous thing to condemne the Ma­ster for the seruants fault; and an vncharitable in­ference, because the seruant is naught, to conclude straight the Master is little better. For a iust Ma­ster may haue an vnconscionable seruant; and if he haue a in tantâ feli­citate nemo po­test esse in mag­nâ familiâ, qui neminem neque servum neque libertum improbum habeat. Cic. pr [...] Sec. Roscio. numerous Family, and keepe many, it is a rare thing if he haue not some bad: as in a great heard there will be some rascall Deene. But then it is but one or a few; and they play their prises close­ly, without their Masters priuitie; and they are not [Page 233] a little sollicitous to carry matters so fairely out­ward, that their Master shall be the Dedecus ille domus sciet vl­timus. Iuuenal. Satyr. 10. last man shall heare of their false dealing, and when hee heareth of it shall scarce beleeue it for the good opinion he hath of them. But when in the generality they are such, when they are openly & impudently such, when euery body seeth and saieth the Master can­not chuse but know they are such: it cannot bee thought, but the Master is well enough content they should be such. Nehem. 5.15. Euen their seruants bare rule ouer the people, saith good Nehemiah of the Go­uernours that were before him: but so did not I, because of the feare of God. Nehem. 5. What? did not Nehemiah beare rule ouer the people? Yes that he did: there is nothing surer. His meaning then must be; so did not I; that is, I did not suffer my seruants so to doe as they did theirs: imply­ing, that, when the seruants of the former gouer­nours oppressed the people, it was their Masters do­ing, at leastwise their Masters suffering; [Euen their seruants bare rule ouer the People: but so did not I, be­cause of the feare of God.] The Magistrate therfore that would speedily smoake away these g [...]ats that swarme about the Courts of Iustice, and wilbe of­fering at his eare, to buzze false reports therinto: he shall do well to begin his reformation at home; and if hee haue a seruant that heareth not well de­seruedly, to packe him away out of hand, and to get an honester in his roome. Say he bee of neuer so seruiceable qualities, and vsefull abilities other­wise, so as the Master might almost as well spare his right eye or his right hand, as forgoe his seruice: [Page 234] yet in this case hee must not spare him. Our Saui­ours speech is peremptory Mat. 5.29, 30 Erue, Abscinde, Pro­jice; if either eye or hand cause or tempt thee to of­fend, pull out that eye, cut off that hand, cast them both from thee with indignation? rather want both, than suffer corruption in either. Dauids reso­lution was excellent in Psalme 101. and worthy thy imitation. Psal. 101.5. &c. Who so priuily slaundereth his neighbour, him will I destroy: who so hath a proud looke, and high stomacke, I will not suffer him. Mine eyes looke to such as be faithfull in the Land, that they may dwell with mee: who so leadeth a godly life hee shall bee my seruant. There shall no deceitfull person dwell in my house: hee that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight. Hee that will thus resolue, and thus doe, it may bee presumed hee will not knowingly giue either way to a false report, or countenance to the reporter. And so much for our first Rule; Thou shalt not raise a false Re­port.

§. 32. The summe and Conclu­sion of all.My first purpose I confesse was to haue spoken also to the Witnesse, and to the Iurer, and to the Pleader, and to the Officer from the other foure Rules in my Text, as punctually & particularly as to the Accuser from this first; for I therefore made choyce of a Text that taketh them all in, that I might speake to them all alike. But if I should en­large my selfe vpon the rest, as I haue done in this; my meditations would swell to the proportion ra­ther of a Treatise, than a Sermon: and what pati­ence were able to sit them out? Therefore I must not doe it. And indeed, if what I haue spoken to [Page 235] this first point were duly considered, and conscio­nably practised; I should the lesse need to doe it. For it is the Accuser that layeth the first stone: the rest doe but build vpon his foundation. And if there were no false reports raised or receiued: there would be the lesse vse of, and the lesse worke for, false and suborned Witnesses; ignorant, or packt Iuries; crafty and sly Pleaders; cogging and ex­torting Officers. But vnto these I haue no more to say at this time; but only to desire each of them to lay that portion of my Text to their hearts, which in the first diuision was allotted them as their proper share: and withall to make applicati­on (mutatis mutandis) vnto themselues, of what­soeuer hath beene presently spoken to the Accu­ser, and to the Magistrate from this first rule. Whereof, (for the better furtherance of their Ap­plication, and reliefe of all our Memories) the summe in briefe, is thus. First concerning the Ac­cuser, (and that is euery party in a cause or tryall,) he must take heed hee doe not raise a false report: which is done, first, by forging a meere vntruth; and secondly, by peruerting or aggrauating a truth; and thirdly, by taking aduantage of strict Law a­gainst Equity. Any of which who euer doth; hee first committeth a heynous sinne himselfe, and se­condly grieuously wrongeth his neighbour, and thirdly bringeth a great deale of mischiefe to the Common-weale. All which euils are best auoy­ded: first, by considering how wee would others should deale with vs, and resoluing so to deale [Page 236] with them, and secondly by auoyding, as all other inducements and occasions, so especially those foure things, which ordinarily engage men in vn­iust quarrels; Malice, Obsequiousnesse, Couerture, and Greedinesse. Next, concerning the Iudge, or Magistrate; hee must take heed hee doe not receiue a false report. Which he shall hardly auoide, vn­lesse he beware, first, of taking priuate informati­ons; secondly, of passing ouer causes slightly with­out mature disquisition; and thirdly of countenan­cing Accusers more than is meet. For whose dis­countenancing and deterring, hee may consider, whether or no these fiue may not be good helpes: so farre as it lyeth in his power, and the Lawes will permit, first, to reiect informations tendred without Oath; secondly, to giue such interpretati­ons, as may stand with Equity as well as Law; thirdly, to chastice Informers that vse partiality or collusion; fourthly, to allow the wronged party a liberall satisfaction from his aduersary; fifthly, to carry a sharpe eye, and a straite hand, ouer his owne seruants, followers, and officers. Now what remaineth, but that the seuerall premises earnestly recommended to the godly considerati­on, and conscionable practice of euery one of you whom they may concerne; and all your persons and affaires both in the present waighty businesses, and euer hereafter, to the good guidance and pro­uidence of Almighty God: wee should humbly beseech him of his gracious goodnesse to giue a blessing to that which hath beene spoken agreea­bly [Page 237] to his word, that it may bring forth in vs the fruites of Godlinesse, Charity, and Iustice; to the glory of his grace, the good of our brethren, and the comfort of our owne soules; euen for his blessed Sonnes sake, our blessed Saui­our Iesus Christ. To whom with, &c.

At the Assises at Lincolne. 4. Aug. 1625.THE THIRD SERMON.

PSALME 106.30.

Then stood vp Phinehaez, and executed iudgement: and the plague was stayed.

§. 1. The Argu­ment; THe abridgement is short, which some haue made of the whole booke of Psalmes, but into two words, Boys Expos. of proper Psalmes in init. out of Gueuara. Hosannah, and Hallelu­jah: most of the Psalmes spen­ding themselues, as in their pro­per arguments, either in Suppli­cation, praying vnto God for his blessings, and that is Hosannah; or in Thanks-giuing, blessing God for his goodnesse, and that is Hallelujah. This Psalme is of the later sort. The word Hallelujah, both prefixed in the title, and repeated in the close of it, sufficiently giueth it to bee a Psalme of Thanks-gi­uing: as are also the three next before it, and the next after it. All which fiue Psalmes together, as they agree in the same generall argument, the mag­nifying of Gods holy name: so they differ euery one from other in the choyce of those speciall and [Page 239] topicall arguments, whereby the praises of God are set forth therein. In the rest the Psalmist draweth his argument from other considerations: in this from the consideration of Gods mercifull remo­uall of those iudgements, hee had in his iust wrath brought vpon his owne people Israel for their sins, vpon their repentance.

For this purpose there are sundry instances gi­uen in the Psalme,§. 2. and matter of this Psalme. taken out of the Histories of former times: out of which there is framed as it were a Catalogue, though not of all, yet of sundry the most famous rebellions of that people against their God, and of Gods both iustice and mercy abundantly manifested in his proceedings with them thereupon. In all which wee may ob­serue the passages betwixt God and them, in the ordinarie course of things, euer to haue stood in this order. First, hee preuenteth them with vnde­serued fauours: they vnmindefull of his benefits, prouoke him by their rebellions: hee in his iust wrath chasticeth them with heauy plagues: they humbled vnder the rod, seeke to him for ease: hee vpon their submission withdraweth his iudge­ments from them. The Psalmist hath wrapped all these fiue together in Vers. 43.44. Many times did hee deliuer them: but they prouoked him with their counsells, and were brought low for their iniquitie: the three first. Neuerthelesse hee regarded their af­fliction, when hee heard their cry: the other two.

The particular rebellions of the people in this Psalme instanced in,§. 3. The Cohe­rence, scepe, are many; some before, and some after the verse of my Text. For breuitie sake, [Page 240] those that are in the following verses I wholly o­mit: 1 and but name the rest. Which are, their wretched infidelity and cowardise vpon the first ap­proach of danger at the Red sea, verse 7. Their 2 tempting of God in the desert, when loathing Man­na 3 they lusted for flesh, verse 13. Their seditious conspiracy vnder Corah and his confederates against 4 Moses, verse 16. Their grosse Idolatrie at Horeb in making and worshipping the golden calfe, 5 verse 19. Their distrustfull murmuring at their portion, in thinking scorne of the promised plea­sant land, vers. 24. Their fornicating both bodily with the daughters, and spiritually with the Idols 6 of Moab and of Midian, ver. 28. To the prosecuti­on of which last mentioned story, the words of my Text do appertaine. The origine story it selfe, whereto this part of the Psalme referreth, is writ­ten at full by Moses in Numb. 25. and here by Da­uid but Breuiter to­tum dixit: quia non hic nescien­tes docet, sed commemorat scientes. Augu­stin. hîc. briefly touched, as the present purpose and occasion led him. Yet so, as that the most ob­seruable passages of the History are here remem­bred: in three verses three speciall things, The Sinne, the Plague, the Deliuerance. The Sinne, with the Aggrauation thereof, vers. 28. [They ioyned themselues also vnto Baal-Peor, and ate the sacrifices of the dead.] The Plague, with the Efficient cause thereof, both Impulsiue and Principall, vers. 29. [Thus they prouoked him to anger with their Inuen­tions, and the Plague brake in vpon them.] The De­liuerance, with the speciall meanes and Instrument thereof, in this 30. verse. [Then stood vp Phinehaz, and executed iudgement, and the plague was stayed.]

[Page 241]In which words are three things especially con­siderable. The Person; the Action of that Person;§. 4. and Diui­sion of the Text. and the Successe of that Action. The Person, Phi­nehaz. His Action twofold: the one preparato­ry, hee stood vp; the other completory, hee execu­ted iudgement. The Successe and issue of both; the plague was stayed. The person holy, the action zealous, the successe happy. Of each of these I shall endeauour to speake something; appliably to the present condition of these heauy times, and the present occasion of this frequent assembly. But be­cause the argument of the whole verse is a Deliue­rance, and that Deliuerance supposeth a Plague, and euery Plague supposeth a Sinne: I must take leaue before I enter vpon the Particulars now proposed from the Text, first a little to vnfold the originall story; that so we may haue some more distinct knowledge both what Israels sin was, and how they were plagued, and vpon what occasion and by what meanes Phinehaz wrought their de­liuerance.

When Israel, trauailing from the land of Bon­dage to the land of Promise through the Wildernes,§. 5. Balacs plotte; were now come as far as Num. 22.1. the plaines of Moab, and there encamped: Balac the then King of Mo­ab, not Ibid. 2.3. daring to encounter with that people, before whom Sihon, K. of the Amorites; and Og. K. of Basan. Numb. 21. two of his greatest neighbour Princes had lately fallen; Ascitos se­niores Madiani, qui proximi regno eius erant, & amici, consuluit, quid facto opus esset. Hist Scholast. i [...] Num. c. [...]2. consulted with the Midianites, his neighbours and allies, and after some aduice resolued vpon this conclusion, to hire [Page 242] Num. 22.5—7. Balaam, a famous Sorcerer in those times and quarters, to lend them his assistance: plotting with all their might, and his art, by all possible meanes to withdraw Gods protection from them; wherein they thought (and they thought right) the strength and safety of that people lay. But there is no Counsell against the Lord; nor Num. 23.23. inchant­ment against his people. Where hee will blesse, (and hee will blesse where he is faithfully obeyed and depended vpon;) neither power nor pollicy can preuaile for a Curse. Balaam the wicked wretch, though hee 2 Pet. 2.15. loued the wayes of vnrigh­teousnesse with his heart; yet, God not suffe­ring him, hee could not pronounce a Curse with his lips against Israel, but instead of cursing them, Num. 2 [...].11. & 24.10. blessed them altogether.

§. 6. and Balaams pollicy, a­gainst Israel:But angry at Israel, whom, when faine hee would, hee could not curse; yea and angry at God himselfe, who by restraining his tongue had voy­ded his hopes, and Num. 24.11. with held him from pay, and honour: the wretched couetous Hypocrite, as if he would at once be auenged both of him and them, imagineth a mischieuous deuice against them, full of cursed villany. Hee giueth the Moabites and the Midianites Num. 31.16. Reuel. 2.14. See also Ioseph. 4. Antiquit. Iud. 5. counsell to smother their hatred with pretensions of peace, and by sending the fairest of their daughters among them, to enu [...]i­gle them with their beauty, and to entice them first to corporall, and after, by that, to spirituall whoredome: That so Israel, shrinking from the Loue and Feare and Obedience of their God▪ might forfeit the interest they had in his Protecti­on; [Page 243] and by sinne bring themselues vnder that wrath and curse of God, which neither those great Princes by their Power, nor their wisest Counsellors by their Policie, nor Balaam himselfe by his Sorcery, could bring vpon them.

This damned counsell was followed but too soone, and prospered but too well.§. with the suc­cesse thereof; both in their Sinne, The daughters of Moab come into the Tents of Israel; and by their blandishments put out the eyes, and steale a­way the hearts of Gods people: whom, besotted once with lust, it was then no hard matter to leade whither they listed, and by wanton insinuations to draw them to sit with them in the Temples, and to accompanie them at the Num. 25.2. feasts, and to eate with them of the sacrifices, yea and to bow the knees with them to the honour of their Idols. Insomuch as Israel Psal. 106.28. ioyned themselues to Baal-peor, and ate the sacrifices of that dead and abominable Idol at the least (for all Idols are such) if not, as most haue thought, a quem Graecia Priapum dixit. Hist. Scolast. in Num. c. 34. & alij secuti Hieronymum in c 9. Osee; & 1. cont. Io. 12. See Vatabl. in Num. 25.3. Seldem. Synt. 1. de DIs Syr. c. 5. Lael. Bi­scio [...]. 3. hor. subces. 20. beastly and obscene Idoll withall. That was their sinne.

And now may Balak saue his money,§. 8. and Punish­ment. and Balaam spare his paines: there is no need of hiring, or be­ing hired to curse Whoremongers and Idolaters. These are two plaguy sinnes: and such as wil bring a curse vpon a people without the helpe of a Con­iurer. When that God, who is a Exod. 20 5. iealous God, and iealous of nothing more than his Esa. 42.8. honour, shall see that people, whom he had made Deut. 7.6. choise of from among all the nations of the earth to be his owne pe­culiar people, and betrothed to himselfe by an euer­lasting Ezek. 16.8. Couenant, to Ibid. 38. breake the Couenant of Wed­locke [Page 244] with him, and to strumpet it with the daugh­ters and Idols of Moab: what can bee expected o­ther, than that his iealousie should be turned into furie; and that his fierce wrath should Psal. 106.29. breake-in vpon them as a deluge, and ouerwhelme them with a sudden destruction? His patience so farre tempted, and with such an vnworthie prouocati­on, can suffer no longer: But at his command Num. 25.4.5 Mo­ses striketh the Rulers; and at Moses his command, the vnder-Rulers must strike each in their seuerall regiments, those that had offended; and hee him­selfe also striketh with his owne hand, by a plague destroying of them in one day 1 Cor. 10.8. the other thou­sand (Num. 25.9.) it seemeth were those, that were hanged vp by Moses, and slaine by the Rulers. three and twentie thousand.

§. 9. Zimri's pro­uocation;If that plague had lasted manie dayes, Israel had not lasted manie dayes. But the people by their plague made sensible of their sinne, humbled them­selues (as it should seeme, the verie first day of the plague) in a solemne and Num. 25.6. generall assembly, wee­ping and mourning both for Sinne and Plague, be­fore the doore of the Tabernacle of the Congregation. And they were now in the heat of their holy sor­row and deuotions, when loe Ibid. 14. Zimri, a Prince of a chiefe house in one of their Tribes, in the heate of his pride and lust, commeth openly in the Ibid. 6. face of Moses and all the Congregation, and bringeth his Minion with him, Cosbi the daughter of one of the Compare Num. 25.15. with Num. 31.8. fiue Kings of Midian into his Tent, there to com­mit filthinesse with her.

§. 10. and his exe­cution.Doubtlesse Moses the Captaine, and Ele [...]zar the Priest, and all Israel that saw this shamelesse pranke of that leud couple, saw it with griefe enough. But [Page 245] Phinehes enraged with a pious indignation to see such foule affront giuen to God; & the Magistrate, and the Congregation, at such a heauie time, and in such open manner, & for that verie sinne for which they then lay vnder Gods hand; thought there was something more to be done than bare weeping: and therefore his bloud warmed with an holy zeale, hee Num. 25.7.8 starteth vp forthwith, maketh to the Tent where these two great personages were, and as they were in the act of their filthinesse, speedeth them both at once; and nay [...]eth them to the place with his Iaueline. And the next thing wee heare, is; God well pleased with the ibid. 11. zeale of his seruant, and the execution of those malefactors, is appeased towards his people, and withdraweth his hand and his plague from them. And of that deliuerance my Text speaketh; [Then stood vp Phinehes, and executed iudgement, and so the Plague was stayed.]

The Person, the instrument to worke this deliue­rance for Israel, was Phinehes. §. 11. The Person of Phinebes con­sidered. Hee was the sonne of Eleazar, who was then High Priest in immediate succession to his father Aaron not long before deceased: and did himselfe afterward succeed in the High Priesthood vnto Eleazar his Father. A wise, a godly, and a zealous man: employed af­terwards by the State of Israel in the greatest af­faires both of Num. 31.6. Warre and Ios. 22.13.31.32. Ambassy. But it was this Heroicall act of his, in doing execution vpon those two great audacious offenders, which got him the first, and the greatest, and the lastingst re­nowne. Of which Act more anon, when we come to it. In his Person, wee will consider onely what [Page 246] his calling and condition was; and what congruitie there might be betweene what he was, and what he did. He was of the Tribe of Leui: and that whole Tribe was set apart for the Num. 1. [...]9. &c. seruice of the Taberna­cle. And he was of the sonnes of Aaron, and so [...], of the Familie and Linage of the High Priests: and the Priests office was to offer sa­crifices and to burne incense, and to pray and make attonement for the People. Neither Leuite nor Priest had to intermeddle with matters of Iudica­ture, vnlesse in some few causes, and those for the most part concerning matters either meerely, or mixtly Ecclesiasticall: but neither to giue sentence, nor to doe execution, in matters and causes meerely Ciuill, as by any right or vertue of his Leuiticall or Priestly office.

§. 12. The Spiritual Power doth not include the Tempo­rall;The more vnreasonable is the High Priest of Rome, to challenge to himselfe any temporall or ciuill iurisdiction, as virtually annexed to his spiri­tuall Power, or necessarily deriued thence. Templū and Praetorium, the Chaire and the Throne, the Al­tar and the Bench, the Sheepehooke and the Scepter, the Keyes and the Sword; though they may some­times concurre vpon the same person, yet the Pow­ers remaine perpetually distinct and independant, and such as doe not of necessity inferre the one the other. Our Sauiours Luk. 22.26. Vos autem non sic hath fully decided the Controuersie; and for euer cut off all claime of temporall iurisdiction, as by any vertue annexed to the keyes. If the Bishops of Rome could haue contented themselues to haue enioyed those Temporalties, wherewith the bounty of Christian [Page 247] Emperours had endowed that Sea (whether well, or ill, whether too much, or no, I now inquire not) but if they could haue bin content to haue holden them vpon the same termes they first had them, without seeking to change the old tenure; and to haue ac­knowledged them, as many of their fellow-Bishops doe, to haue issued not at all by necessary deriua­tion from their spirituall Power, but meerely and altogether from the Nec in quēquā Presbyterum, Episcopum, siue Papam, conue­nit conctiuam in [...]oc saeculo iurisdictionem sibi habeve; nisi eadem sibi per humanū legis­latorem conces­sa fuerit, in cu­ius potestate est hanc ab ipsis semper reuo­care. Marsil. Patau. 2. de­fens pacis. 5. free and voluntary indult of Temporall Princes: the Christian Church had not had so iust cause of complaint against the vnsuffe­rable tyrannies and vsurpations of the Papacy; nor had the Christian world beene embroyled in so ma­ny vnchristian and bloudy quarrels, as these and former ages haue brought forth. Yet the Canonists, and they of the Congregation of the Oratory, like down-right flatterers, giue the Pope the Temporall Monarchy of the world, absolutely and Papa iure di­uino est directe dominus Orbis. Pesant. de im­munit. Eccles. page 45. idem desendunt Baronius, Bo­sii duo, Zec­chus, Care [...]i­us, alii. directly, as adhering inseparable to his Sea, and as a branch of that Charter, which Christ gaue to Peter, when he made him Head of the Church, for himselfe and his successors for euer. The Iesuites more subtle than they, not daring to deny the Pope any part of that Power, which any other profession of men haue dared to giue him, and yet vnable to assert such a vast power from these inconueniences which follow vpon the Canonists opinion; haue found out a meanes to put into the Popes hands the exercise of as much temporall Power, as they bluntly and grosly giue him, and that to all effects and purposes as full & in as ample manner as they: yet by a more learned and refined flattery, as resul­ting [Page 248] from his spirituall Power, not directly & per se, but See Bellarm. 5. de Rom. Pontif. 6. obliquely and indirectly and in ordine ad spiri­tualia, The Man himself, though he pretend to be supreme infallible iudge of all Controuersies; yet heareth both parties, & taketh aduantage of what either giue him, as best sorteth with his present oc­casions, and suffereth them to fall foule each vpon other, these accounting them grosse flatterers, and they againe these aduersus im­pios politicos. Carer. de po­test. in titulo libri. wicked Politicians: but dareth not for his life determine whether side is in the right; lest, if hee should be put to make good his determination by sufficient proofe, both should appeare to be in the wrong, and he lose all; which, whilest they quarrell, he still holdeth. It is a cer­taine thing; The spirituall Power conferred in Ho­ly Orders doth not include the Power of Temporal iurisdiction. If Phinehes here execute iudgement vpon a Prince of Israel; it is indeede a good fruite of his zeale, but no proper act of his Priesthood.

§. 13. nor yet ex­clude it.Let it goe for a non sequitur then, as it is no bet­ter; because Phinehes, a Priest, or Priests sonne, executed iudgement, that therefore the Priestly in­cludeth Iudicatory Power. Yet from such an Act, done by such a Person, at least thus much will fol­low, that the Priesthood doth not exclude the ex­ercise of Iudicature; and that there is no such repugnancy and inconsistency betweene the Tem­porall and Spirituall Power, but that they may without incongruitie concurre and reside both together in the same Person. When I finde anci­ently, that not onely among the ac Regis qui­dem haec munia esset iussit, pri­mum, vt sacro­rum, & sacrifi­ciorum princi­patum baberet— Dyonis. Hali­car. lib. 2. See also Cic. 1. de diuin. [...]. de Aegyptiis Plu­tarch lib. de Is. & Osir. Heathens, but euen among Gods owne people, the same man might [Page 249] be a King and a Priest, Virgil. 3. Aeneid Rex idem hominum Phoebi­que Sacerdos, as Melchisedec was both a Gen. 14.18. Priest of the most High God, and King of Salem: when I see it consented by all, that so long as the Church was Patriarchall, the Priestly and the Iudicatorie Power were both settled vpon one and the same person, the Person of the Sacerdotium fuit annexum primogeniturae vsque ad legem datam per Mo­sen. Lyran. in Gen 14.18. See also Lyran. in Numb. 3.12. & 8.16. &c. first-borne: when I reade of Elie the Priest of the sonnes of Aaron 1. Sam. 4.18. iudging Israel 40. yeeres; and of Samuel, certainely a Le­uite (though not, as Aug. 17. de ci­uit. 4. & in Psal. 98. Sulpit Se­uer. lib. 1. Hist. sacrae. some haue thought,Leuita Samu­el, non Sacerdos, non Pontifex fuit. Hieron. lib. 1. contra Iouin v. Drus. not. ad Sulpit. Hist. p. 154 a Priest) both going circuite, as a 1. Sam. 7.16. Iudge itinerant in Israel, and doing execution too with his owne hands vp­on 1. Sam. 15.33. Agag; and of 1. Chro. 26.29—32. Chenaniah and his sonnes, Izharites, and Hashabiah and his brethren Hebro­nites, and others of the families of Leui, appointed by King Dauid to be Iudges and Officers, not only in all the businesse of the Lord, but also for In omni nego­tio diuino, & humano. Vatab. in 1. Parab. 26. outward businesse ouer Israel, and in things that concerned the seruice of the King: when I obserue in the Church-stories of all ages, euer since the world had Christian Princes; how Ecclesiasticall persons haue been employed by their soueraignes in their waightiest consultations and affaires of State; I cannot but wonder at the inconsiderate rashnesse of some forward ones in these dayes, who yet thinke themselues (& would be thought by others) to be of the wisest men, that suffer their tongues to runne riot against the Prelacy of our Church, and haue studied to approue themselues eloquent in no other argument so much, as in inueighing a­gainst the Courts, & the Power, and the Iurisdiction, and the Temporalties of Bishops and other Eccle­siasticall [Page 250] persons. I speake it not to iustifie the abu­ses of men, but to maintaine the lawfulnesse of the thing. If therefore any Ecclesiasticall person seek any Temporal office or Power by indirect, ambitious, and preposterous courses: if hee exercise it other­wise than well; insolently, cruelly, corruptly, par­tially: if hee claime it by any other than the right title, the free bounty and grace of the supreme Magistrate: let him beare his owne burden; I know not any honest Minister that will pleade for him. But since there is no incapacitie in a Clergy­man, by reason of his spirituall Calling, but he may exercise temporall Power, if hee be called to it by his Prince, as well as he may enioy temporall Land if he bee heire to it from his Father: I see not but it behooueth vs all, if we be good Subiects and so­ber Christians, to pray that such, as haue the power of Iudicature more or lesse in any kinde or degree committed vnto them, may exercise that power wherewith they are entrusted, with zeale and pru­dence and equitie, rather than out of enuy at the preferment of a Church-man take vpon vs little lesse than to quarrell the discretion of our Soue­raignes. Phinehes, though he could not challenge to execute iudgement by vertue of his Priesthood; yet his Priesthood disabled him not from executing iudgement.

§. 14. Phinehes his fact exami­ned, That for the Person. Followeth his Action: and that twofold; Hee stood vp, Hee executed iudge­ment. Of the former first; which, though I call it an Action, yet is indeed a Gesture properly, and not an Action. But, being no necessitie to binde me to [Page 251] strict proprietie of speech, be it Action, or Gesture, or what else you will call it, the circumstance and phrase, since it seemeth to import some materiall thing, may not be passed ouer without some consi­deration. Then stood vp Phinehes. Which clause may denote vnto vs, eyther that extraordinary spi­rit whereby Phinehes was moued to doe iudge­ment vpon those shamelesse offenders; or that for­wardnesse of zeale, in the heate whereof he did it; or both. Phinehes was indeed the High Priests sonne, as we heard; but yet a priuate man, and no ordinarie Magistrate: and what had anie priuate man to doe to draw the sword of iustice, or but to sentence a malefactor to dye? Or, say he had been a Magistrate; he ought yet to haue proceeded in a legall and iudiciall course, to haue conuented the parties, and when they had beene conuicted in a faire triall and by sufficient witnesse, then to haue adiudged them according to the Law; and not to haue come suddenly vpon them [...], as they were acting their villanie, and thrust them thorow vncondemned. I haue Serm. 2. ad Cler. § 30. elsewhere deliuered it as a collection not altogether improbable from the circumstances of the originall storie, that Phinehes had warrant for this execution from the expresse command of Moses the supreme Magistrate, and namely by vertue of that Proclamation, whereby he authorized the Num. 25.5. vnder-Rulers to slay euerie one his men that were ioyned vnto Baal-Peor, Num. 25.5. And I since finde that coniecture confirmed by the iudgement of some learned men: insomuch as an eminent Writer in our Church saith, that Hall. 7. Con­templ. 4. by [Page 252] vertue of that Commission euerie Israelite was made a Magistrate for this execution. But looking more neerly into the Text, and considering that the Commission Moses there gaue, was first onely to the Rulers, and so could bee no warrant for Phinehes, vnlesse hee were such a Ruler, which appeareth not; and secondly, concerned onely those men that were vnder their seuerall gouernments, and so was too short to reach Zimri, who being himselfe a Prince, and that of another Tribe too, the Tribe of Num. 25.14. Simeon, could not be vnder the gouernement of Phinehes, who was of the Tribe of Leui: how pro­bable soeuer that other collection may be, yet I hold it the safer resolution which is commonly gi­uen by Diuines for the iustification of this fact of Phinehes, that he had an extraordinarie notion and a peculiar secret instinct of the Spirit of God, po­werfully working in him, and prompting him to this Heroicall Act.

§. 15. and iustified:Certainly, God will not approue that worke, which himselfe hath not wrought. But to this A­ction of Phinehes God hath giuen large approba­tion, both by staying the plague thereupon, and by rewarding Phinehes with an Num. 2 [...].12.13. euerlasting Priesthood therefore, and by giuing expresse testimonie of his zeale and righteousnesse therein: as it is said in the next verse after my Text, [Psal. 106.31. And it was accounted to him for righteousnesse.] Which words in the iudgement of learned Expositours, are not to bee vnderstood barely of the righteousnesse of Faith, as it is said of Abraham, that Gen. 15.6. applied by Saint Paul. Rom. 4.3. he beleeued God, and it was imputed to him for righteousnesse (as if the zeale [Page 253] of Phinehes in this act had beene a good eui­dence of that faith in Gods promises, whereby he was iustified, and his Person accepted with God;) though that also: but they doe withall import the iustification of the Action, at least thus farre, that how soeuer measured by the common rules of life it might seeme an vniust action, and a rash attempt at the least, if not an haynous murder, as being done by a priuate man without the warrant of au­thoritie; yet was it indeed, not onely in regard of the intent a zealous action, as done for the honour of God, but also for the ground and warrant of it, as done by the speciall secret direction of Gods holy Spirit, a iust and a righteous action. Possibly this very word of standing vp importeth that ex­traordinary spirit. For of those Worthies, whom God at seuerall times endowed with Heroicall spi­rits to attempt some speciall worke for the deliue­ry of his Church, the Scriptures vse to speake in words and phrases much like this. It is often said in the booke of Iudges, that God Iud. 3.9.15, &c. & 2.16.18. raised vp such and such to iudge Israel, and that Deborah and Iair and others Iud. 5.7; & 10.1.3. &c. rose vp to defend Israel: that is, Iud. 3.10. the Spirit of God came vpon them, as is said of Othoniel Iudg. 3. and by a secret, but powerfull instinct, put them vpon those braue and noble attempts, they vndertooke and effected for the good of his Church. Raysed by the impulsion of that power­full spirit, which Nescit tarda molimina spiri­tus Sancti gra­tia. Ambros. 2. in Luc. 3. admitteth no slow debate­ments, Phinehes standeth vp: and feeling himselfe called not to deliberate, but act, without casting of scruples, or fore-casting of dangers, or expecting [Page 254] commission from men when hee had his warrant sealed within, he taketh his weapon, dispatcheth his errant, and leaueth the euent to the prouidence of God.

§. 16. yet not to be imitated,Let no man now, vnlesse hee be able to demon­strate Phinehes spirit, presume to imitate his fact. Those Opera liberi spiritus, as Diuines call them, as they proceeded from an extraordinary spirit, so they were done for speciall purposes: but were neuer intended, either by God that inspired them, or by those Worthies that did them, for ordinary or generall examples. The errour is dangerous, from the priuiledged examples of some few exempted ones to take liberty to transgresse the common rules of Life and of Lawes. It is most true indeed, the Spirit of God is a free Spirit, and not tyed to strictnesse of rule, nor limited by any bounds of Lawes. But yet that free spirit hath astricted thee to a regular course of life, and bounded thee with Lawes: which if thou transgresse, no pretension of the Spirit can either excuse thee from sinne, or exempt thee from punishment. It is not now euery way, as it was before the comming of Christ, and the sealing vp of the Scripture Canon: God ha­uing now settled a perpetuall forme of gouern­ment in his Church; and giuen vs a perfect and constant rule, whereby to walke, euen his holy word. And wee are not therefore now vainly to expect, nor boastingly to pretend a priuate spirit, to lead vs against, or beyond, or but beside the com­mon rule: nay wee are commanded to try all pre­ten [...]ions of priuate spirits by that common rule. [Page 255] Esay 8.20. Ad legem & ad testimonium, to the Law, and to the Testimony: at this Test examine and 1 Ioh. 4.1. try the spirits, whether they are of God, or no. If any thing within vs, if any thing without vs exalt it selfe a­gainst the obedience of this rule; it is no sweete impulsion of the holy spirit of God, but a strong de­lusion of the lying spirit of Sathan.

But is not all that is written,§. 17. but with li­mitation written for our Example? or why else is Phinehes act recorded and commended, if it may not bee followed? First, indeed S. Paul saith, Rom. 15.4. All that is written is 1 written for our learning: but Learning is one thing, and Example is another; and we learne something from that which we may not follow. Besides, there 2 are Examples for 1 Cor. 10.11. Admonition, as well as for I­mitation. Malefactors at the place of execution, when they wish the by-standers to take Example by them, bequeath them not Imitation of their courses, what to doe; but Admonition from their punishments, what to shunne: Yea thirdly, euen 3 the commended actions of good men are not euer exemplary in the very substance of the Action it selfe; but in some vertuous and gracious affections, that giue life and lustre thereunto. And so this act of Phinehes is imitable: Not that either any pri­uate man should dare by his example to vsurpe the Magistrates office, and to doe iustice vpon Male­factors without a Calling; or that any Magistrate should dare by his Example, to cut off gracelesse offenders without a due iudiciall course: but that euery man, who is by vertue of his Calling en­dewed with lawfull authority to execute iustice [Page 256] vpon transgressours, should set himselfe to it with that stoutnesse and courage and zeale, which was in Phinehes.

§. 18. vnto this zeale;If you will needs then imitate Phinehes, imitate him in that, for which he is commended and rewar­ded by God, and for which hee is renowned a­mongst men: and that is not barely the Action, the thing done; but the Affection, the zeale wherewith it was done. For that zeale God commendeth him, Num. 25. vers. 11. [Num. 25.11. Phinehes the son of Eleazar, the sonne of Aaron the Priest, hath turned away my wrath from the children of Israel, whilest he was zealous for my sake among them.] And for that zeale God rewardeth him, Ibid. vers. 13. [Ibid. 13. Hee shall haue and his seed after him the Couenant of an euerlasting Priesthood, because hee was zealous for his God.] And for that zeale, did posterity praise him: the wise Sirac. 45.23. son of Sirac, Eccl. 45. and good old 1 Maccab. 2.54. Mattathias vpon his death-bed, 1 Macc. 2. And may not this phrase of speech, He stood vp and exe­cuted iudgement, very well imply that forward­nesse and heate of zeale? To my seeming it may. For whereas Moses and all the Congregation sate weeping (a As. Neh. 1.4. Iob. 2.13. Psal. 137.1. Esay. 47.1.8. gesture often accompanying sorrow,) or perhaps, yet more to expresse their sorrow, lay graueling vpon the Earth, mourning and sorrow­ing for their sinne, and for the Plague: it could not be, but the bold lewdnesse of Zimri in bringing his strumpet with such impudence before their noses, must needs adde much to the griefe, and bring fresh vexation to the soules of all that were righteous among them. But the rest continued, [Page 257] though with double griefe, yet in the same course of humiliation, and in the same posture of body, as before. Only Phinehes, burning with an holy indignation, thought it was now no time to sit still, and weepe: but rowzing vp himselfe, and his spirits with zeale as hot as fire, Solida mente. Cassiodorus; Constanter. Lyranus; Con­stantiâ mentis, & audacia operis. Ludolfus hîc. Hee had zeale in the feare of the Lord, and stood vp with good courage of heart. Sitac. 45.23. hee stood vp from the place where he was, and made hast to execute iudgement.

Here is a rich example for all you to imitate,§. 19. Manifested by executing Iudgement whom it doth concerne: I speake not only, nor indeed so much, to you the Honourable and reue­rend Iudge of this Circuit; of whose zeale to doe iustice and iudgement I am by so much the better perswaded, by how much the eminency of your place, and the weight of your charge, and the ex­pectation of the people doth with greater impor­tunity Maiora popu­lus semper à summo exigit. Senec. in Octau. Act. 2. exact it at your hands: But I speake withall, and most especially to all you, that are in commission of the Peace, and whose daily and con­tinuall care it should bee, to see the wholsome lawes of the Realme duly and seasonably execu­ted. Yea, and to all you also, that haue any office appertaining to iustice, or any businesse about these Courts, so as it may lie in you to giue any kinde of furtherance to the speeding either of Iustice in Ciuill, or of iudgement in Criminall causes. Looke vpon the zeale of Phinehes: obserue what approba­tion it had from God; what a blessing it procured to his seed after him, what glorious renowne it hath wonne him with all after-ages; what ease it [Page 258] did, and what good it wrought for the present state: and thinke if it bee not worthy your imitation. Gal. 4.18. It is good, saith the Apostle, to bee zealously affe­cted alwayes in a good thing. And is it not a good thing to doe iustice, and to execute iudgement? nay, Religion excepted (and the care of that is a branch of justice too) doe you know any bet­ter thing? any thing you can doe, more accepta­ble to God, more seruiceable to the State, more comfortable to your owne soules? If you bee cal­led to the Magistracy; it is 3. King. 10.9. your owne businesse, as the proper worke of your calling: and men ac­count him no wiser than hee should be, that slug­geth in his own busines, or goeth heartlesly about it. It is the Kings businesse, who hath entrusted you with it▪ & he is scarce a good subiect, that slacketh the Kings busines, or doth it to the halues. Nay it is the Lords busines; for 2 Chro. 19.6 yee iudge not for man, but for the Lord, who is with you in the cause and in the iudgement: and Ierem. 48.10 Cursed is hee that doth the Lords businesse negligently. That you may therefore doe (all vnder one) your owne businesse, and the Kings businesse, and the Lords businesse, with that zeale and forwardnesse, which becommeth you in so waightie an affaire: lay this patterne before your eyes and hearts? See what Phinehes did: and there­by both examine what hitherto you haue done, and learne what henceforth you should doe.

§. 20. 1 Personally; First; Phinehes doth not poast off the matter to others: the feruency of his zeale made him wil­ling to be himselfe the Actor. He harboured no such coole thoughts; as too many Magistrates doe: [Page 259] [Here is a shamefull crime committed, by a shamelesse person, and in a shamelesse manner: pity such an audacious offender should goe vnpunish­ed. My heart riseth against him; and much adoe I haue to refraine, from being my selfe his executio­ner, rather than hee should carry it away thus. But why should I deriue the enuy of the fact vpon my selfe, and but gaine the imputation of a busie officious fellow, in being more forward than o­thers? A thousand more saw it, as well as I; whom it concerneth as neerely as it doth me: and if none of them will stirre in it, why should I? Doubtlesse my vncle Moses, and my father Eleazar, and they that are in place of authority will not let it passe so; but will call him to account for it, and giue him condigne punishment. If I should doe it, it would be thought but the attempt of a rash young fellow. It will bee better discretion therefore to forbeare, and to giue my betters leaue to goe before mee.] Such pretensions as these would haue kept off Phi­nehes from this noble exploit, if hee had beene of the temper of some of ours: who owe it to nothing so much as their lukewarmnesse, that they haue at least some reputation of being moderate and discreete men. But true zeale is more forward, than manerly: and will not lose the opportunity of do­ing what it ought, for waiting till others begin. Alas, if euery man should be so squeamish, as many are; nothing at all would be done. And therefore the good Magistrate must consider, not what o­thers doe; but what both he and they are in con­science bound to doe: and though there should bee [Page 260] many more ioyned with him in the same com­mon care, and with equall power, yet hee must re­solue to take that common affaire no otherwise into his speciall care, than if hee were left alone therein, and the whole burden lay vpon his shoul­ders: As when sundry persons are so bound in one common bond for the payment of one entire summe coniunctim & diuisim, euery one per se in toto & infolidum, that euery particular person by himselfe is as well lyable to the payment of the whole, as they all together are. Admit loose or idle people (for who can hold their tongues?) shall for thy diligence say, thou art an hard and austere man, or busiest thy selfe more, than thou hast 1 thanke for thy labour. First, that man neuer cared to doe well, that is affraid to heare ill, Eccles. 11.4. Hee that obserueth the winde, saith Salomon, shall not sow; and the words (especially of idle people) are no 2 better. Secondly, Hee maketh an ill purchase, that forgoeth the least part of his dutie, to gaine a lit­tle popularity: the breath of the people being but a sorry plaster for a wounded conscience. Third­ly, 3 what a man by strict and seuere execution of Iustice loseth in the breadth, he cōmonly gaineth it all and more in the weight, and in the length of his Credit. A kinde quiet man; that carryeth it for the present and in the voyce of the multitude: but it is the more solide and the more lasting praise to be reputed in the opinion of the better and the wiser sort a Iust man, and a good Patriot, or Com­mon-wealths-man. 4 Fourthly, if all should con­demne thee for that, wherein thou hast done but [Page 261] Regium est, cum rectè fece­ris, audire malè. well: thy comfort is, thine owne conscience shall bestead thee more than a thousand witnesses, and stand for thee against tenne thousand tongues, at that last great day, when 1 Cor. 4.5. the hearts of all men shall be made manifest, & euery man that hath deser­ued well shall haue praise of God, and not of man.

§. 21. 2 Speedily; Secondly, Phinehes as hee did not poast off this execution to other men, so hee did not put it off to another day. Phinehes might haue thought thus [Wee are now in a religious worke, humbling our selues in a publique solemne and frequent assem­bly before the face of God to appease his iust wrath against vs for our sinnes: Virgil. Ec­log. 9. Et quod nunc in­stat agamus. It would bee vnseasonable leauing this worke now: another time may serue as well to inflict deserued punishment vpon that wicked miscreant.] But zeale will admit no Qui tardè fecit, diu. nolu­it. Senec. 1. de benef. 1. put-offs; it is all vpon the spurre, till it be doing what it con­ceiueth fit to be done. There are no passions of the minde so impetuous, and so impatient of delay as Odit verus amor, nec pati­tur moras. Se­nec. in Here. sur. act. 2. Loue and Dum poenas [...]di: per vim festinat inulto. Horat 1. Epist. 2. Anger: and Nunc ira, amorque cau­sam junxêre: quid sequetur? Senec. in med. act. 4. these two are the prime ingredients of true zeale. If any man should haue interposed for Zimri, and taken vpon him to haue mediated with Phinehes for his repriuall: I verily thinke, in that heate he might sooner haue prouoked his owne, than haue prorogued Zimries execution. Delayes in any thing that is good, are ill: and in the best things, worst. As Waxe when it is chafed, and Iron when it is hot, will take im­pressions: but if the seale or stampe bee not spee­dily put to, the heate abateth, and they returne to their former hardnesse: so the best affections of the [Page 262] best men, if they be not taken in the heate, abate, and lessen, & dye. In the administration then of Iu­stice, and the execution of Iudgement, where there is Zeale, there will be Expedition: and the best way to preserue Zeale where it is, is to vse Expedition. I am not able to say where the want is, or where specially; but certainely a great want there is ge­nerally in this Kingdome of Zeale to Iustice in some that should haue it, if that complaint bee as iust, as it is common among men that haue had suites in the Courts, that they haue beene Saepè causas tantum diffe­runt, quòd liti­gantibus plus quàm totum au [...]erunt: quia maior est expen­sarum sumptus, quàm sententiae fructus. Inno­cent. wron­ged with farre lesse damage than they haue beene righted: there haue beene so many Bernard. lib. 1. de consid. frustratoriae and venatoriae dilationes (as S. Bernard in his times called them) so many lingring and costly delayes vsed. And for Executing Iudgement vpon Malefa­ctors; if Phinehes had suffered Zimri to haue liued but a day longer, for any thing wee know the plague might haue lasted also a day longer: and why might not to morrow haue beene as yesterday with them, and lessened the peoples number 23. thousand more: especially their former crying sinnes hauing receiued a new accession of a double guilt, the guilt of Zimries fact, and the guilt of their conniuence. No racke should make mee con­fesse, that man to bee truely zealous of Iudgement, who when hee hath power to cut him short, shall but so much as repriue a foule and notorious Ma­lefactor; or grant him any respite or liberty to make his friends, and to sue a pardon. Salomon hath told vs, and wee finde it but too true; Eccles. 8.11. Be­cause sentence against an euill worke is not executed [Page 263] speedily, therefore the heart of the sonnes of men is fully set in them to doe euill.

Thirdly;§. 22. 3. Resolutely. Phinehes was nothing retarded in his resolution by forecasting what ill-will hee might purchase, or into what dangers hee might cast him­selfe by executing iudgement vpon two such great personages. The times were such, as wherein sin had gotten head, and was countenanced both with might and multitude: Zimri was a mighty man, a Num. 25.14. Prince of a chiefe house; and he that should dare to touch him should be like to pull vpon him­selfe the enmity of the whole Tribe of Simeon. It seemeth hee was confident that his might, and po­pularity in his owne Tribe, would priuiledge him from the enquiry of the Magistrate; how durst he else haue so braued Moses, and the whole Con­gregation? And the Woman also was the daugh­ter of one of the Num. 25.15. compared with Num. 31.8. fiue Kings of Midian: and could Phinehes thinke that the death of two such great persons could goe vnreuenged? All this Phinehes either forecasteth not, or regardeth not. His eye was so fixed vpon the glory of God, that it did not so much as reflect vpon his owne safety: and his thoughts strongly possessed with zeale of the common good, had not any leysure to thinke of priuate dangers. Zeale is euer Amor timere neminem verus potest. Senec. in Med. act. 3. couragious; and therefore Iethro thought none worthy to bee Ma­gistrates, but such as were [...], vi­ros virtutis. Exod. 18.21. Iuscum esse fa­cile est, cui va­cat pectus me­tu. Senec. in Oct. act. 2. men of courage: And hee hath neither Courage nor Zeale in him befit­ting a Magistrate, that is affraid to doe iustice vpon a great offender Prou. 22.13. & 26.13. The sluggard saith there is a Ly­on in the way: and then hee steppeth backward and [Page 264] keepeth aloof off. But the worthy Magistrate would meet with such a Lyon to choose; that he might win awe to Gods Ordinance, and make the way passable for others, by tearing such a beast in pieces: and would no more fear to make a Worshipfull thiefe, or a Right worshipfull murtherer (if such a one should come in his Circuite) an example of Iustice, than to twitch vp a poore sheepestealer. Great ones will soone presume of impunity, and meane ones too by their example in time learne to kicke at autho­rity; if Magistrates be not forward to maintaine the dignity of their places, by executing Gods Lawes without fauour or feare. Hitherto of the spirit and zeale of Phinehes; by occasion of this his former Action or gesture of standing vp: There yet remaine to be considered the other action, and the successe of it; Hee executed iudgement, and the plague was stayed. Both which, because I would not be long, I will ioyn together in the handling; when "I shall haue first a little cleered the translation.

§. 23. Executing of Iudgement ‘The Hebrew [...] here vsed is a word, that hath three different significations: to Iudge, to Pray, to Appease. And Interpreters haue taken li­berty to make choyce of any of the three in translating this place. The Greeke rendereth it [ [...],] and the vulgar Latine, which for the most part followeth the Septuagint, [Placauit:] as if wee should reade it thus, Then stood vp Phi­nehes, and made an attonement, or appeased God. And the thing is true, God himselfe testifying of Phinehes, Numb. 25. that Num. 25.11. by being zealous for God he had turned away his wrath, and Ibid. 13. made at­tonement [Page 265] for the children of Israel. The Chaldee interpreteth it by Vetsalle; and the ordinary English translation of the Psalmes vsually read in our Churches accordingly, [Then stood vp Phinehes, and prayed.] But Hierome and Vatablus and the best translatours render it according to the most proper signification of the word, and most fully to the story it selfe, [Dijudicauit, Hee executed Iudgement.] Verily Prayer is a speciall meanes to appease Gods wrath, and to remoue his Plagues; & Prayer is as the salt of the Sacrifice, sanctifying & seasoning euery Action we vnder­take: and I doubt not but Phinehes, when he lift vp his hand to execute iudgement vpon Zimri & Cosbi, did withall lift vp his heart to God to blesse that action, and to turne it to good. In which re­spects, (especially if the word withall will beare it, as it seemeth it will,) some men should haue done well not to haue shewne so much willingnesse to quarrell at the Church-translations in our Ser­uice-booke, by being clamorous against this very place as a grosse corruption, and sufficient to iu­stifie their refusall of subscription to the Booke.’ But I will not now trouble either you or my selfe, with farther curiosity in examining translations: because howsoeuer other translations, that render it praying, or appeasing, may bee allowed either as tolerably good, or at least excusably ill; yet this that rendereth it by Executing Iudgement is certainly the best, whether wee consider the course of the Story it selfe, or the propriety of the word in the Originall, or the intent of the Holy Ghost in this [Page 266] Scripture. And this Action of Phinehes in doing iudgement vpon such a paire of great and bold of­fenders was so well pleasing vnto God, that his wrath was turned away from Israel, and the plague which had broken-in vpon them in a sudden and fearefull manner, was immediately stayed there­upon.

§. 24. appeased the wrath of God;Oh how acceptable a sacrifice to God, aboue the bloud of Bulls and of Goates, is the death of a Malefactor slaughtered by the hand of Iustice! When the Magistrate, who is Rom. 13.4. [...], the Mi­nister and Priest of God for this very thing, put­teth his knife to the throate of the Beast, and with the fire of an holy zeale for God against sinne of­fereth him vp in Holocaustum for a whole burnt of­fering, and for a peace-offering vnto the Lord. Sa­muel [...]aith, that 1 Sam. 15.22 to obey is better than sacrifice: and Salomon, that Prou. 21.3. to doe iustice and iudgement is more acceptable to the Lord, than sacrifice. Obedi­ence, that is the prime, and the best sacrifice: and the second best is the punishment of Disobedience. There is no readier way to appease Gods wrath a­gainst sinne, than is the rooting out of sinners: nor can his deputies by any other course turne away his iust iudgements so effectually, as by faithfully executing of Iustice and Iudgement themselues.

§. 25. and stayed the Plague.When Phinehes did this act, the publike body of Israel was in a weake state, and stood need of a present and sharpe remedy. In some former distem­pers of the state, it may bee they had found some ease by dyet, in Psal. 35.13. humbling their soules by fasting; or by an issue in the tongue or eye, in an humble [Page 267] confession of their sinnes, and in weeping and mour­ning for them with teares of repentance. And they did well now to make tryall of those remedies a­gaine, wherein they had found so much helpe in former times: especially the remedies being pro­per for the malady, and such as often may doe good, but neuer can doe harme. But alas, fasting, and weeping and mourning before the doore of the Tabernacle of the Congregation had not strength enough against those more preualent corruptions, wherewith the State of Israel was then pestered. This Phinehes saw: who well perceiued, that (as in a dangerous pleurisie the party cannot liue vn­lesse hee bleed; so) if there were any good to bee done vpon Israel in this their little lesse than de­sperate estate, a veyne must be opened, and some of the ranke bloud let-out for the preseruation of the rest of the body. This course therefore he tryes: and languishing Israel findeth present ease in it. As soone as the bloud ranne, instantly the griefe ceased: Hee executed iudgement, and the plague was stayed.

As God brought vpon that people for their sinnes a fearefull destruction:§. 26. Englands Plague. so he hath in his iust wrath sent his destroying Angell against vs for ours. The sinnes that brought that plague vpon them were Whoredome and Idolatrie. I cannot say the very same sinnes haue caused ours. For al­though the execution of good Lawes against both incontinent and idolatrous persons, hath beene of late yeares, and yet is (wee all know) to say no more slacke enough: yet, (Gods holy name bee blessed for it) neither Idolatry nor Whoredome are [Page 268] at that height of shamelesse impudency & impuni­ty among vs, that they dare braue our Moseses, and out-face whole Congregations, as it was in Israel. But still this is sure, No plague, but for sinne: nor nati­onall Plagues, but for Nationall sinnes. So that al­beit none of vs may dare to take vpon vs to bee so farre off Gods counsell, as to say for what very sinnes most this plague is sent among vs: yet none of vs can be ignorant, but that besides those secret personall corruptions which are in euery one of vs, and whereunto euery mans owne heart is priuie, there are many publique and nationall sinnes, whereof the people of this Land are generally guilty, aboundantly sufficient to iustifie God in his dealings towards vs, and to Psal. 51.4. cleere him when hee is iudged. Our wretched vnthankfulnesse vnto God for the long continuance of his Gospell, and our Peace: our carnall confidence and security in the strength of our woodden and watery walls: our ryot and excesse (the noted proper sinne of this Nation) and much intemperate abuse of the good creatures of God in our meates and drinkes and disports and other prouisions and comforts of this life: our Incompassion to our brethren miserably wasted with Warre and Famine in other parts of the world: our heauy Oppression of our brethren at home, in racking the rents, and cracking the backes, and Esay 3.15. grinding the faces of the poore: our cheape and irreuerent regard vnto Gods holy or­dinances of his Word, and Sacraments, and Sab­baths, and Ministers: our Wantonnesse and Toyish­nesse of vnderstanding, in corrupting the simpli­city [Page 269] of our Christian Faith, and troubling the peace of the Church with a thousand niceties and nouel­ties and vnnecessary wranglings in matters of Re­ligion: and (to reckon no more) that vniuersall Corruption which is in those which (because they should be such) wee call the Courts of Iustice, by sale of offices, enhauncing of fees, deuising new subtilties both for delay and euasion, trucking for expedition, making trappes of petty penall statutes, and but Cobwebs of the most waighty and materi­all Lawes. I doubt not but by the mercy of God many of his seruants in this Land are free from some, and some from all of these common crimes in some good measure: but I feare mee, not the best of vs all, not a man of vs all, but are guilty of all or some of them at least thus farre, that we haue not mourned for the corruptions of the times so feelingly, nor endeauoured the reformation of them to our power so faithfully, as wee ought and might to haue done.

By these and other sinnes wee haue prouoked Gods heauy iudgement against vs,§. 27. to be stayed, by adding to our humilia­tions and the Plague is grieuously broken in vpon vs: and now it would be good for vs to know, by what meanes we might best appease his wrath, and stay this Plague. Publique Humiliations haue euer beene thought, and so they are, proper Remedies against Publique Iudgements: Ioel 2.12.1 [...]. &c. 8. Numb. 25.6. To turne vnto the Lord our God with all our heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mour­ning; to sanctifie a fast, and call a solemne assembly, and gather the people and elders together; and weepe before the doore of the tabernacle of the Congrega­tion; [Page 270] and to let the Priests the Ministers of the Lord weepe betweene the porch and the altar, and to pray the Lord to spare his people, and bee not angry with them for euer. Neuer did people thus humble themselues with true lowly penitent and obedient hearts, who found not comfort by it in the meane time, and in the end benefite. And blessed be God who hath put it into the heart of our Moses, with the consent of the Elders of our Israel, by his roy­all example first, and then by his royall Proclamati­on for a week­ly fast, with a forme of di­uine Seruice, and other di­rections; pub­lished 1625. command, to lay vpon vs a double necessitie of this so religious and profitable a course.

§. 28. the Executi­on of iudge­ment.But, as our Sauiour told the young man in the Gospell, who said hee had kept the whole Law, Mark. 10.21. Vnum tibi deest, One thing is wanting: so when wee haue done our best and vtmost, fasted and wept and prayed as constantly and frequently as feruently as wee can; vnlesse you the Magistrates and Officers of Iustice bee good vnto vs, one thing will be wanting still; One maine ingredient of sin­gular vertue, without which the whole receipt be­sides, as precious and soueraigne as it is, may bee ta­ken, and yet faile the cure. And that is, the seuere and fearlesse and impartiall Execution of Iudge­ment. Till wee see a care in the Gods on earth faith­fully to execute theirs; our hopes can be but faint, that the God of heauen will in mercy remoue his iudgements. If God send a 2 Sam. 21.1. &c. Famine into the land; let holy Dauid doe what hee can otherwise, it will continue yeare after yeare: so long as iudgement is not done vpon the bloudy house of Saul, for his cru­eltie in slaying the Gibeonites, God will not bee [Page 271] Ibid. ver. 14. entreated for the land. One knowne Achan, that hath got a wedge of gold by sacriledge or iniu­stice, if suffered, is able to Ios. 7.25.26. trouble a whole Israel: and the Lord will I will not bee with you any­more, except you destroy the ac­cursed from a­mong you. vers. 12. not turne from the fiercenesse of his anger, till hee haue deserued iudgement done vpon him. If Num. 25.3.4 Israel haue ioyned himselfe vnto Baal-Peor so as the anger of the Lord bee kindled a­gainst them; he will not be appeased by any meanes vntill Moses take the heads of the people, and hang them vp before the Lord against the Sunne. If the Land be defiled with bloud, it is in vaine to thinke of any other course, when God himselfe hath pronounced it impossible that the Land should be Num. 35.33. purged from the bloud that is shed in it, otherwise than by the blood of him that shed it.

Vp then with the zeale of Phinehes, §. 29. A generall Exhortation thereunto. vp for the loue of God and of his people, all you that are in place of authority. Gird your swords vpon your thigh, and with your jauelins in your hand pursue the Idolater, and the Adulterer, and the Murtherer, and the Oppressour, and euery knowne offender in­to his tent, and naile him to the earth, that hee ne­uer rise againe to doe more mischiefe. Let it ap­peare what [...]. Lysias apud. Stob. Serm. 44. loue you beare to the State, by your hatred to them: and shew your pity to vs, by shew­ing none to them. The destroying Angel of God attendeth vpon you for his dispatch: if you would but set in stoutly, hee would soone be gone. Why should either sloath, or feare, or any partiall or cor­rupt respect whatsoeuer make you [...]. Lysias apud. Stob. Serm. 44. cruell to the good, in sparing the bad? or why should you suf­fer your selues, for want of courage and zeale to [Page 272] execute iudgement, to lose either the opportunity or the glory of being the instruments to appease Gods wrath, and to stay his plagues?

§. 30. With parti­cular applica­tions toBut, for that matters appertaining to Iustice and Iudgement must passe through many hands before they come to yours; and there may bee so much iuggling vsed in conueighing them from hand to hand, that they may be represented vnto you ma­ny times in much different formes from what they were in truth and at the first: that your care and zeale to execute Iustice and Iudgement faithfully according to your knowledge, may not through the fault and miscarriage of other men, faile the blessed end and successe that Phinehes found; I de­sire that euery of them also as well as you would receiue the word of Exhortation, each in his place and office to set himselfe vprightly and vnpartial­ly as in the sight of God to aduance to the vtmost of his power the due course and administration of Iustice. And for this purpose, by occasion of this Scripture, which pointeth vs to the End of these assemblies; I shall craue leaue to reflect vpon ano­ther, which giueth vs sundry particular directions conducing to that End. And it is that Scripture, whereinto wee made some entrance the last Assi­ses, and would haue now proceeded farther, had not the heauy hand of God vpon vs in this his grieuous visitation led mee to make choyce rather of this Text, as the more seasonable. That other is written in Exod. 23. the three first verses.Exod. 23.1—3. [Thou shalt not raise a false report: Put not thine hand with the wicked to bee an vnrighteous witnesse. Thou shalt [Page 273] not follow a multitude to doe euill: neither shalt thou speake in a cause to decline after many to wrest iudge­ment. Neither shalt thou countenance a poore man in his cause.] Wherein were noted fiue speciall Rules, shared out among fiue sorts of persons; the Accuser, the Witnesse, the Iurer, the Pleader, the Officer. I will but giue each of them some briefe intimation of their duty, from their seuerall pro­per rules; and conclude.

If thou commest hither then as a Plaintiffe, §. 31. the Accuser; or o­ther Party in a ciuill cause, or to giue voluntary In­formation vpon a Statute, or to prosecute against a Malefactor, or any way in the nature of an Accu­ser: Let neither the hope of gaine or of any other aduantage to thy selfe, nor secret malice or enuy a­gainst thine aduersary, nor thy desire to giue satis­faction to any third party, sway thee beyond the bounds of truth and equity no not a little; either to deuise an vntruth against thy neighbour of thine owne head, or by an hard construction to depraue the harmelesse actions or speeches of others, or to make them worse than they are by vniust ag­grauations; or to take aduantage of letters and syl­lables to entrap innocency without a fault. When thou art to open thy mouth against thy brother, set the first Rule of that Text as a watch before the doore of thy lips, Thou shalt not raise a false report.

If thou commest hither secondly, §. 32. the Witnesse; to bee vsed as a Witnesse; perhaps See Cic. pro Flacco: although Turneb. 13. aduers. 14. interpret the prouerbe otherwise; Graecâ fide, [...]d est, optimâ. Graecâ fide, like a downe-right [Page 274] knight of the post, that maketh of an quibus ius­iurandum jocus est, testimoni­um ludus: laus, merces, gratia, gratulatio pro­posita est— Cic. pro Flacc. oath a jest, and a pastime of a deposition; or dealt with­all by a bribe, or suborned by thy landlord or great neighbour, or egged on with thine owne spleene or malice, to sweare and forsweare as these shall prompt thee; or to [...]. dictum solemne Graecorum. enterchange a deposition with thy friend as they vsed to doe in Greece, Ho­die mihi, cras tibi, sweare thou for mee to day, Ile sweare for thee tomorrow; or tempted with any corrupt respect whatsoeuer, by thy word or oath to strengthen a false and vnrighteous report: When thou commest to lay thy hand vpon the booke, lay the second Rule in that Text to thy heart, Put not thy hand with the wicked to bee an vnrighteous wit­nesse. Though hand ioyne in hand Prou. 19.5. & 9. the false Wit­nesse shall not be vnpunished.

§. 33. the Iurer;If thou commest hither thirdly, to serue for the King vpon Graund Inquest, or betweene party and party, in any cause whatsoeuer (like those deinde prae­tores vrbani, qui jura [...]i de­bent optimum quemque in se­lectos judices referre. Cic. pro Cluent. Vnum ex selectis judi­cibus obijcie­bat. Horat. 1. Serm. sat. 4. selecti judices among the Romanes, whom the Praetor for the yeare being was to nominate, and that vpon oath, out of the most able and seruiceable men in his judgement, both for estate, vnderstanding, and integrity;) or to serue vpon the Tales, perhaps at thine owne suite to get something toward bearing charges for thy iourney; or yoaked with a craftie or a wilfull foreman that is made beforehand, and a messe of tame after-men withall, that dare not thinke of being wiser than their leader; or vnwil­ling to stickle against a maior part, whether they goe right or wrong; or resolued already vpon the Verdict, no matter what the Euidence be: Consider [Page 275] what is the waight and religion of an Oath. Re­member that he sinneth not lesse, that sinneth with company. Whatsoeuer the rest doe, resolue thou to doe no otherwise, than as God shall put into thy heart, and as the euidence shall leade the. The third Rule in that Text must be thy rule, Thou shalt not follow a multitude to doe euill. They are silly, that in point either of Religion or Iustice, would teach vs to measure either Truth, or Right, by mul­titudes.

If thou commest hither fourthly as to thine har­uest,§. 34 the Pleader; to reape some fruite of thy long and expence­full study in the Lawes, and to assist thy Client and his Cause with thy Counsell, Learning, and Elo­quence: thinke not, because thou speakest for thy Fee, that therefore thy tongue is not thine owne, but thou must speake what thy Client will haue thee speake, be it true, or false; neither thinke, be­cause thou hast the liberty of the Court, and per­haps the fauour of the Iudge, that therefore thy tongue is thine owne, and thou mayest speake thy pleasure to the preiudice of the Aduersaries person or cause. Seeke not preposterously to winne the name of a good Lawyer, by wresting and peruer­ting good Lawes: or the opinion of the best Coun­sellour, by giuing the worst and the shrewdest coun­sell. Count it not, as Protagoras did, the glory of thy profession, by subtilty of wit and volubility of tongue to [...]. A. Gell. 5. Noct. Att. 3. make the worse cause the better: but like a Vir bonus dicendi peritut. Cicero. good man, as well as good Oratour, vse the power of thy tongue and wit to shame impudence and protect innocency, to crush oppressours, and [Page 276] succour the afflicted, to aduance Iustice and Equity, and to helpe them to right that suffer wrong. Let it be as a ruled case to thee in all thy pleadings, Not to speake in any cause to wrest iudgement.

§. 35. the Officer;If lastly, thou art in any place or office of ser­uice, or trust, or command, or attendance about the Courts: reioyce not as if it were now in thy po­wer, to doe a friend a courtesie, or a foe a spite. Doe not shew a cast of thy office, for the promise or hope of a reward in helping a great offender out of the Bryars. Compell not men that haue beene long weather-beaten in the Maine, and are now ar­riued at the hauen of their businesse, to wither for their pasports, vntill they haue offered some sa­crifice to that great Diana Expedition. Let no feare, or hope, or bribe, or letter, or enuy, or fauour, no not charitie it selfe and compassion to the pouerty or distressednesse of any, make you partiall for the Person to disregard the Cause. If you would bee charitable to the poore, giue them from your owne, but doe not carue them from anothers trencher. To relieue a poore man in his wants, is the proper of­fice of Charity: but Iustice must haue no eyes to see, nor bowels to yearne, at the wants of any man. Be hee rich or poore, that bringeth his cause hither; Currat lex, Let him finde such as he bringeth; let him haue, as his cause deserueth. The last of those Rules must be thine, Thou shalt not countenance, no not a poore man in his Cause.

§. 36. and the Iudge.If any of these to whom I haue now spoken, Accusers, Witnesses, Iurers, Pleaders, Officers, shall transgresse these rules to the peruerting of Iustice: [Page 277] our refuge must be next vnder God to you that are the Magistrates of Iustice, and sit vpon the Bench of Iudicature. At your grauity and authority wee must take sanctuary, against them that pursue vs wrongfully, as at the hornes of the Altar. It is your Duty, (or if it be, as to most men it is, a more pleasing thing, to be remembred of their Power, than of their Duty) it is in your power, if not to reforme all the abuses and corruptions of these per­sons; yet to curbe their open insolencies, and to containe them at least within modest bounds. Nay, since I haue begun to magnifie your power: let me speake it with all due reuerence to God and the King, there is no power so great, ouer which (in a qualified sense) you haue not a greater power. It is in your power; to Psal. 75.2.3. beare vp the pillars of the State, when the land is euen dissolued, and the pil­lars thereof growne weake: for that is done by iudgeing the Congregation according to right, Psal. 75. In yours; to make this yet flourishing Coun­trie and Kingdome glorious or despicable: for Prou. 14.34. righteousnesse exalteth a Nation, but sinne is a re­proach to any people, Prou. 14. In yours; to settle the throne vpon the King, and to entaile it by a kinde of perpetuity vnto the right heire for many succeeding generations: for Prou. 16.11. the Throne is establi­shed by Iustice, Prou. 16. In yours; to discharge Gods punishing Angell, who now destroyeth vs with a grieuous destruction, and by vnsheathing your sword to make him sheathe his: as here in my Text, Phinehes stood vp, and executed iudge­ment, and the plague ceased. In yours; though you [Page 278] be but Gods on earth, and in these Courts, mortall and petty gods, yet to send Prohibitions into the Court of Heauen, and there to stop the iudgements of the great and Eternall God before they come forth, yea and when the decree is gone forth, to stay execution. In a word, as it was said to Ieremy, but in another sense, You are Ierem. 1.10. set ouer Nations and ouer Kingdomes to roote out, and to destroy, to build, and to plant. Only then be intreated, to vse that power God hath giuen you, vnto edification, and not vn­to destruction. And now haue I done my message. God grant vnto all of vs, that by our hearty sor­row and repentance for our sinnes past, by our sted­fast resolutions of future amendment, and by set­ting our selues faithfully and vprightly in our seue­rall places and callings to doe God and the King and our Countrie seruice, in beating downe sinne, and rooting out sinners; wee may by his good grace and mercy obtaine pardon of our sinnes, and deliuerance from his wrath, and be preserued by his power through faith vnto salua­tion. Now to God the Father, the Sonne, &c.

THREE SERMONS AD POP …

THREE SERMONS AD POPVLVM. PREACHED IN THE PARISH CHVRCH of Grantham in the Diocesse and Countie of Lincolne, BY ROBERT SAVNDERSON Bachellor in Diuinity, and sometimes Fellow of Lincolne Colledge in Oxford.

PSAL. 25.10.

Viae Domini Misericordia & Veritas.

LONDON, Printed by R.Y. for R. Dawlman, at the Signe of the Bible neere the great Conduit in Fleet­streete. 1627.

To the Right VVorshipfull and my much honoured Lady, the Lady MIL­DRED SAVNDERSON, Wife to Sir NICHO­LAS SAVNDERSON, Knight and Baronet.

GOod Madame; It is not so much the kinde respect, which you haue for many yeares past continually manifested towards me, (although that might iustly challenge from mee a farre more ample acknowledgement;) that hath in­duced mee to present you with these three Ser­mons: as your vnfained loue to Gods truth and Gospell, together with your religious care, by a holy and vertuous conuersation, both to strengthen your owne assurances for the hopes of the life to come; and to prouoke those that are sprung from you, or liue vnder you, by the strength of your example, to presse so [Page] much the harder towards the same glorious marke, by the same gracious courses. To the encreasing of which Loue and Care, either in you, or yours, or in any other into whose hands they may chance to come, if these poore Meditations shall adde any furtherance: I shall haue the lesse cause, either to blame the importunitie of those that haue long vrged, or to regard the censures of those that shall now mislike, the publishing of them. The God of power, and of peace, make them profitable to his Church; and preserue your spirit, and soule, and body, blamelesse vnto the comming of our Lord Iesus Christ.

Your Ladyships to be com­manded in the Lord, ROBERT SAVNDERSON.

THE FIRST SERMON.At Grantham Linc. 3. Octob. 1620.

3 KINGS 21.29.

Seest thou how Ahab humbleth himselfe before mee? because hee humbleth himselfe before me, I will not bring the euill in his daies: but in his sonnes daies will I bring the euill vpon his house.

THe History of this whole Chap­ter affoordeth matter of much Varietie and Vse: §. 1. The Cohe­rence, but no passage in it so much either of Wonder or Comfort, as this in the close of the whole both Storie and Chapter. That there should bee Mightie-ones sicke with longing after their meaner neigh­bours vineyeards; That there should bee crafty heads to contriue for greedy Great-ones what they vniustly desire; That there should be officious In­struments to doe a piece of legall iniustice, vpon a Great mans letter; That there should bee Knights of the poast to depose any thing though neuer so false, in any cause though neuer so bad, against any man though neuer so innocent; That an honest man [Page 284] cannot bee secure of his life, so long as hee hath any thing else Sic reus ille fere est, de quo victoria lucre Esse potest. Ouid. de nuc [...]. worth the losing: here is in­stance in the f [...]re-part of the Chapter of all this in vers. 4. hîc. Ahab sickening, and vers. 7. Iesabell plotting, and the vers. 11. Elders obeying, and the vers. 13. Witnesses accusing, and poore vers. 13. Naboth suffering. But what is there in all this, singularly either Strange or Comfortable? All is but Oppression: Actiue, in the rest; Passiue, in Naboth. And what wonder in either of these? Iuven. Satyr. 13.stupet haec, qui iam post terga reliquit Sexaginta annos? himselfe may passe for a wonder, if he be of any standing, or experience in the world, that taketh either of these for a wonder. And as for matter of Comfort: there is matter indeed, but of Detestation in the one, of Pity in the other; in nei­ther of Comfort.

§. 2. Argument,To passe by other Occurrents also in the later part of the Chapter, as, That a great Oppressour should hugge himselfe in the cleanly carriage & fortunate successe of his damned plots and witty villanies; That a weake Prophet should haue heart and face enough to proclaime iudgement against an Oppressing King in the prime of his Iollitie; That a bloudy Tyrant should tremble at the voyce of a poore Prophet; and the rest, (some of which wee shall haue occasion to take-in incidentally in our passage along:) marke we well but this close of the Chapter in the words of my Text; and it will bee hard to say, whether it containe matter more Strange, or more Comfortable. Comfortable: in that Gods mercy is so exceedingly magnified; and such strong assurance giuen to the truely penitent of [Page 285] finding gracious acceptance at the hands of their God, when they finde him so apprehensiue of but an outward enforced semblance of Contrition from the hands of an Hypocrite. Strange: in that Gods Mercy is here magnified, euen to the hazzard of other his diuine perfections; his Holinesse, his Truth, his Iustice. For each of these is made in some sort questionable, that so his mercy might stand cleare and vnquestioned. A rotten-hearted Hypo­crite 1 humbleth himselfe outwardly, but repenteth not truely: and God accepteth him, and rewar­deth him. Here is Gods Mercy; in giuing respect to one that ill deserued it: but where is his Holi­nesse the while, (being Hab. 1.13. a God of pure eyes, that re­quireth Psal. 51.6. truth in the inward parts, and will not be­hold iniquitie;) thus to grace Sin, and countenance Hypocrisie? A fearefull iudgement is denounced 2 against Ahabs house for his Oppression: but vpon his humiliation, the sentence, (at least part of it,) is reuersed. Here is Mercy still; in reuoking a sen­tence of destruction: and if somewhat may bee said for his Holinesse too, because it was but a tem­porall and temporary fauour, yet where is his Truth the while, (being a Tit. 1.2. God that cannot lye; and Iames 1.17. with whom is no variablenesse, neither so much as the bare shadow of turning;) thus to say and vnsay, and to alter the thing that is gone out of his lippes? A Iudgement is deserued by the Father: vpon his 3 humiliation, the execution is suspended during his life, and lighteth vpon the Sonne. Here is yet more Mercy; in not striking the Guilty: and if some­what may bee said for Gods Truth too, because [Page 286] what was threatned, (though not presently,) is yet 4. Kin. 10.10. at last performed; yet where is his Iustice the while, (being a 1. Pet. 1.17. God that without respect of persons rendereth to euery man according to his own workes, and will Exod. 34.7. not acquite the guilty, neither condemne the innocent;) thus to seuer the Guilt & the Punish­ment, and to lay the Iudgement which hee spareth from the Father vpon the Sonne, from the more wicked Father vpon the lesse wicked Sonne?

§. 3 and Diuision of the Text.Thus God, to magnifie the riches of his Mercy, is content to put his Holinesse, and his Truth, and his Iustice to a kinde of venture. That so his affli­cted ones might know, on what obiect especially to fasten the eies of their soules: not on his Holinesse, not on his Truth, not on his Iustice; not onely, nor chiefly on these, but on his Mercy. Hee seeketh more generall glory in, and would haue vs take more special knowledge of, and affoordeth vs more singular comfort from his Mercy, than any of the rest: as if he desired we should esteeme him vnho­ly, or vntrue, or vniust, or any thing, rather than vnmercifull. Yet is he neither vnholy, nor vntrue, nor vniust, in any of his proceedings with the sons of men: but Psal▪ 145.17. righteous in all his waies, and holy in all his workes, and true in all his words. And in this particular of his proceedings with King Ahab at this time, I hope by his blessed assistance so to acquite his Holinesse and Truth and Iustice from all sinister imputations; as that hee may be not onely magnified in his mercy, but iustified also in the rest, and Psal, 51.4. cleare when he is iudged: as we shall be there­unto occasioned now and hereafter in the hand­ling [Page 287] of this Scripture. Wherein are three maine things considerable. First, the Ground, or rather the Occasion of Gods dealing so fauourably with Ahab: namely, Ahabs humiliation; [Seest thou how Ahab humbleth himselfe before me? because hee humbleth himselfe before me, I will not &c.] Second­ly, the great Fauour shewed to Ahab thereupon: namely, the suspension of a Iudgement denounced; [I will not bring the euill in his dayes.] Thirdly, the Limitation of that fauour: it is but a suspension for a time, no vtter remoueall of the iudgement; [But in his sonnes dayes will I bring the euill vpon his house.] Wherein wee shall be occasioned to en­quire; how the first of these may stand with Gods Holinesse; the second with his Truth; the third with his Iustice. And first of Ahabs humiliation: Seest thou how Ahab humbleth himselfe before mee?

This Ahab was King of Israel, §. 4. Ahabs person considered; that is, King ouer those ten Tribes, which reuolted from Rehoboam the sonne of Salomon, and claue to Ieroboam the sonne of Nebat. Search the whole sacred storie in the bookes of Kings and Chronicles; and (vnlesse we will be so verie charitable as, notwithstanding manie strong presumptions of his Hypocrisie, to exempt Iehu the sonne of Nimshi, and that is but one of twentie;) wee shall not finde in the whole List and Catalogue of the Kings of Israel, one good one, that claue vnto the Lord with an vpright heart. Twentie Kings of Israel; and not one, (or but one,) good: and yet than this Ahab, of the twentie, not one worse. It is said in the sixteenth [Page 288] Chapter of this booke, that 3. King. 16.30 Ahab the sonne of Omri did euill in the sight of the Lord aboue all that were before him, at verse 30; & at verse 33. that Ibid. 33. he did more to prouoke the Lord God of Israel to anger, than all the Kings of Israel that were before him: and at verse 25. of this Chapter, that vers. 25. hîc. there was none like vnto Ahab, which did sell himself to worke wickednesse in the sight of the Lord. An Oppressour hee was, and a Murtherer, and an Idolater, and a Persecuter of that holy Truth, which God had plen­tifully reuealed by his Prophets, and powerfully confirmed by Miracles, and mercifully declared by many gracious deliuerances (euen to him) in such manner as that hee could not but know it to be the Truth; and therfore an Hypocrite: and in all like­lihoood, an obstinate sinner against the holy Ghost, and a Castaway.

§. 5. and his carri­age; with the Obseruations thence.This is Ahab: this the man. But what is his carriage? what doth hee? hee humbleth himselfe before the Lord. [Seest thou how Ahab humbleth himselfe before me?] The manner and occasion of his humbling, is set downe a little before; at verse 27. And it came to passe, when Ahab heard those words (the words of vers. 20. — 24. hîc. Eliah the Prophet, dea­ling plainly and roundly with him for his hatefull Oppression and Murther) that he rent his cloathes, and put sack-cloth vpon his flesh, and fasted, and lay in sack-cloth, and went softly. And that is the hum­bling here spoken and allowed of: and for which God here promiseth, that hee will not bring the e­uill in his daies. Lay all all this together; the man, and his ill conditions, and his present carriage, with [Page 289] the occasion and successe of it: and it offereth three notable things to our consideration. See first; how 1 farre an Hypocrite, a Castaway may goe in the out­ward performance of holy duties, and particularly in the practice of Repentance: here is Ahab hum­bled; such a man, and yet so penitent. See againe secondly; how deepe Gods word, though in the 2 mouth but of weake instruments, when he is plea­sed to giue strength vnto it, pierceth into the con­sciences of obstinate sinners, and bringeth the proudest of them vpon their knees, in despight of their hearts: here is Ahab quelled by Eliah; such a great one, by such a weake one. See yet againe thirdly; how prone God is to mercy, and how ready 3 to apprehend any aduantage (as it were) and oc­casion to shew compassion: here is Ahab humbled, and his iudgement adiourned; such a reall substan­tiall fauour, and yet vpon such an empty shadow of repentance. Of these three at this time in their order: and of the first, first.

An Hypocrite may goe very farre in the outward performances of holy duties. §. 6. Obseru. 1. How far an Hypocrite may goe in the perfor­mance of ho­ly duties. For the right concei­uing of which assertion; Note first, that I speake not now of the common graces of Illumination, and Edification, and good dexterity for the practi­sing of some particular Calling; which gifts, with sundrie other like, are oftentimes found euen in such apparantly wicked and prophane men, as 1 haue not so much as 2 Mim. 3.5. the forme (much lesse the power) of godlinesse: but I speake euen of those Graces, which de totâ specie (if they bee true and syncere) are the vndoubted blessed fruites of Gods [Page 290] holy renewing Spirit of sanctification, such as are Repentance, Faith, Hope, Ioy, Humility, Patience, Temperance, Meekenesse, Zeale, Reformation, &c. in such as these Hypocrites may goe very farre, as to the outward semblance, and performance. 2 Note secondly, that I speake not, of the inward power and reality of these graces; for Castawayes and Hypocrites, not hauing vnion with God by a liuely faith in his Sonne, nor communion with him by the effectuall working of his spirit, haue no part nor fellowship in these things, which are pro­per to the chosen and called of God, and peculiar to those that are his 2 Tit. 2.14. peculiar people: but I speake on­ly of the outward performances, and exercises of such actions, as may seeme to flow from such spi­rituall graces habitually rooted in the heart; when as yet they may spring also (and, when they are found in vnregenerate men, doe so spring) from Nature, perhaps moralized, or otherwise restrayned, but yet vnrenewed by sauing and sanctifying 3 Grace. Note thirdly, that when I say an Hypocrite may goe very farre in such outward performan­ces; by the Hypocrite is meant not only the grosse or formall Hypocrite, but euery naturall and vnre­generate man, (including also the Elect of God be­fore their effectuall calling and conuersion,) as also Reprobates and Castawayes for the whole time of their liues: all of which may haue such faire sem­blances of the forenamed Graces, and of other like them; as not only others (who are to iudge the best by the Law of Charity,) but themselues also, through the wretched deceitfulnesse of their own [Page 291] wicked and corrupt hearts, may mistake for those very Graces they resemble.

The Parable of the seed sowen in the stony ground, §. 7. with the ap­plication, may serue for a full both declaration and proofe hereof: which seed is said to haue sprouted forth immediately, Matth. 13.5. springing vp forthwith after it was sowen; but yet neuer came to good, but speedily withered away, because for want of deep­nesse of earth it had not Luk. 8.6. moysture enough to feed it to any perfection of growth and ripenesse. And that branch of the Parable our blessed Sauiour himselfe in his exposition applyeth to such hea­rers; as Math. 13.20. Mark. 4.16. when they heare the word immediately receiued it with gladnesse, and who so forward as they to repent, and beleeue, and reforme their liues? but yet all that forwardnesse commeth to no­thing, they endure but for a short time, Math. 13.21. & Mark. 4.17. because they haue no roote in themselues, but want the sap and moysture of Grace to giue life and lasting to those beginnings and imperfect offers and essayes of goodnesse, they made shew of. Here are good affections (to see to) vnto the good word of God, they receiue it with ioy; it worketh not only vpon their iudgements, but it seemeth also to reioyce, yea after a sort to rauish their hearts, so as they feele a kinde of tickling pleasure and delight in it; which the Apostle calleth Heb. 6.4.5. tasting of the heauen­ly gift, and the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, Heb. 6. And as they receiue the seed ioyfully, so it appeareth quickly; it springeth vp anon in the likenesse of Repentance and Faith and Obedience and newnesse of life. They may bee [Page 292] touched with a deepe feeling of their sinnes; and with heauy hearts and many teares confesse and be­waile them; and not only promise, but also purpose amendment. They may bee superficially affected with, and finde some ouerly comfort and refreshing from, the contemplation of those gracious promi­ses of mercy and reconciliation and saluation which are contained in the glorious Gospell of our Lord Iesus Christ; and haue some degrees of per­swasion that those promises are true, and some flashes of confidence withall of their own personall interest therein. They may reforme themselues in the generall course of their liues in sundry parti­culars: refraining from some grosse disorders, and auoyding the occasions of them, wherein they haue formerly liued and delighted, and practicing ma­ny outward duties of Piety and Charity, confor­mably to the letter of the Lawes of both Tables: and misliking and opposing against the common errours or corruptions of the times and places wherein they liue; and all this to their owne and others thinking, with as great zeale vnto godli­nesse, and as thorough indignation against sinne, as any others. All this they may doe: and yet all the while be rotten at the heart; wholly carnall and vn-renewed; quite empty of sound Faith, and Re­pentance, and Obedience, and euery good grace; full of damnable Pride and Hypocrisie; and in the pre­sent state of damnation, and in the purpose of God Reprobates and Castawayes.

§. 8. and proofe thereof.Examples hereof wee haue, in 1 Sam. 28.9. Sauls care for the destroying of Witches; in Iehu's zeale in [Page 293] killing Baals Priests;4. King. 10.16.28. in Mark. 6.20. Herods hearing of Iohn Baptist gladly, and doing many things thereafter; and, to omit others, in this wicked King Ahabs pre­sent fit of Repentance and Humiliation. ‘At all which and sundry other like effects, wee shall the lesse need to maruell; if wee shall seriously consi­der the Causes and Reasons thereof. I will name but a few of many: and but name them neither. First; great is the force of Naturall Conscience, 1 euen in the most wicked men; especially when it is awakened by the hand of God in any heauy affliction, or by the voyce of God threatning it with vengeance: it pursueth the guilty soule with continuall and restlesse clamours, and hee seeth that something hee must needs doe, if hee knew what, to stop the mouth of Conscience, and so hee falleth a repenting, and reforming, and resoluing of a new course; which though it bee not syncere, and so cannot worke a perfect cure vpon a wounded conscience, but that still it ranckleth inward, yet it giueth some present ease, and allayeth the anguish of it for the time. Se­condly; 2 God will haue the Power of his owne Ordinance sometimes manifested euen vpon those that hate it, as hee got himselfe Exod. 14.4. honour vpon Pharaoh and the Egyptians: that his owne faithfull ones may see and admire the power of that holy seed, whereby they are begotten againe from the dead; not doubting but that the Gos­pell will proue Rom. 1.16. the power of God vnto saluati­on to all that beleeue, when they behold in it the power of conuiction vpon many that beleeue not. [Page 294] 3 Thirdly; God in his most wise and vnsearchable prouidence so ordereth and disposeth not only outward things, but euen the hearts and wills and thoughts and actions of men, permitting his children to fall backwards into sinnes, and brin­ging on his enemies towards goodnesse, so farre as hee thinketh good; as for other purposes, so for this end also among the rest, that man might not bee able See Eccle. 9.1 from those things hee seeth hap­pen vnto other men, or done by them, to iudge in­fallibly of the state of his brothers soule; God reseruing this Royalty vnto himselfe, to bee the only Iere. 11.20. & 17.10. searcher of the hearts and reynes of others. For these and sundry other Reasons it commeth to passe, that Hypocrites and Castawayes, doe of­tentimes goe so farre as they doe, in the outward performances of Holy duties.’

§. 9. Inferences thence; 1. of terrour a­gainst pro­phanenesse.Now if men may goe thus farre, and yet bee in the state of damnation: what hope then (First) of heauen, for such prophane vngodly wretches, as are so farre from hauing 2 Tim. 3.5. the power, as that they haue not so much as the least shew of godlinesse? What will become of those, that Psalm. 1.1. sit them downe in the chaire of scorners, and despise the good word of God, and make a scoffe of those men that de­sire to square their liues by that rule; when some of them, that Mark. 6.20. heare it gladly, and Math. 13.20. receiue it with ioy, and are content to bee ordered by it in many things, shall yet goe to hell? Certainly A­hab and Herod, and such cursed miscreants shall rise vp in iudgement against these men and con­demne them: and they shall haue Math. 24.51. their portion [Page 295] with Hypocrites shall I say? Alas, wofull is their case, if their portion fall but there: but let them take heede lest their portion be not so good as the Hypocrites; and that it be not ten times easier for Ahab and Herod, and the whole crew of such Hy­pocrites, at the day of iudgement, than for them.

Secondly; what a starke shame would it be for vs,§. 10. 2. of exhorta­tion to a­bound in the fruites of godlinesse; who haue receiued the Rom. 8.23. first fruites of the Spirit, not to bring forth Gal. 5.22. the fruites of that spirit in some good abundance, in the frequent and com­fortable and actuall exercises of those habituall graces that are in vs, of Faith, Repentance, Loue, Re­formation, Zeale, and the rest: seeing the counter­feits of these graces are oftentimes so eminent, euen in Hypocrites and Castawayes? Shall a piece of rotten wood, or a glow-worme shine so bright in the darke; and our holy lampes, fed with oyle from heauen, burne so dimme? Nay, Math, 5.16. let our lights al­so, as well as theirs, shine before men; yea and out­shine theirs too: that men may see our truely good workes, as well as their seeming ones, and glorifie our Father which is in heauen. Although all be not gold that glistereth: yet pity it is, that true gold should gather rust, and lose the lustre for want of vsing; when Brasse and Copper and baser mettals are kept bright with scowring. Let not bleare-eyed Leah haue cause to reioyce against beautifull Ra­chel, or to insult ouer her barrennesse: neither let vs who profess [...] our selues to be Math. 11.19. Wisedomes chil­dren, suffer our selues to be out-stript by Natures brats, in justifying our Mother. Rather let their splendida peccata prouoke vs to a godly iealousie [Page 296] and emulation, and spurre vs vp to the quickning of those Graces God hath giuen vs: that the power of Godlinesse in vs, may bee at least as fruitfull in all outward performances, as the shew of it is in them.

§. 11. 3. of Admo­nition, to for­bear iudging. Thirdly, this should teach vs caution in our iudg­ing of other mens estates. Wee are apt to offend both wayes. If we see a man ouertaken with some grosse scandalous sinne; as Drunkennesse, Adultery, Oppression, or Periurie; but especially if hee liue long therein: by and by he is a Reprobate with vs; or at least he is not yet in the state of Grace. Thus we speake, thus we iudge: but we consider not the whilest, how farre and how long God in his holy wisedome may suffer foule temptations to preuaile against his Chosen ones. On the other side, if we see a man forward in the duties of Religion, charitably affected to the poore, iust & vpright in his dealings with men, stoutly opposing against common cor­ruptions, suffering for the profession of the truth: by and by he is a Saint with vs; and wee sticke not sometimes in our folly to wish that our soules might speed as that mans soule at a venture. But we consider not the whilest, how farre the force of Naturall Conscience, and common Morall Grace (if you will allow me to speake so improperly) may leade a man onward vnto all outward performan­ces, who was yet neuer effectually called, nor truely sanctified. And yet, busie fooles th [...]t wee are, wee cannot keepe our selues in our owne bounds; but we must be medling with Gods prerogatiue, and thrusting our selues into his chaire; and be iudging [Page 297] of our brethren, whose hearts we are so farre from knowing, as that wee are scarce well acquainted with our owne. But what haue wee to doe eyther with one or other? what lawfull commission haue we at all to iudge? or what certaine euidence haue we, whereby to iudge? Infallible signes we cannot haue from anie outward things, eyther of the want, or of the hauing of grace, in other men: yet of the two, farre more pregnant probabilities of the want than of the hauing of grace. Because there may be such an open course held in euill things, as wee may iustly doubt whether such a course can stand with grace, or no: whereas there cannot bee anie course held in good things outwardly, but such as may stand with Hypocrisie. What are wee then to doe? Euen this: to vse the iudgement of Probabi­litie, hoping with cheerefulnesse that there is Grace, where we see comfortable signes of it; and to vse the iudgement of Charity, still 1. Cor. 13.7. hoping the best (though not without some Iude 23. feare,) that there may be Grace, where we see feareful signes of the want of it. But for the iudgement of Infallibility either pro or con, what sinfull man dareth challenge that vnto himselfe; vnlesse it bee that 2. Thes. 2.3. man of sinne, who hath nestled himselfe higher than into Peters Chaire, into the Throne of God, sitting in the Temple of God, and there determining as God, and with his breath damning and sainting whom he listeth? But let him goe: and let this bee our direction in this point. Thinke wee comfortably, where wee see no reason to the contrary: Hope wee charitably, euen where wee doe see some reason to the contrary. [Page 298] But iudge wee neither way peremptorily and defini­tiuely, whatsoeuer probabilities we see either way: sith we know not how far a sanctified beleeuer may fall into the snares of sinne; nor how farre a grace­lesse Hypocrite may goe in the shew of Godli­nesse. That is the third Vse.

§. 12 4. of directiō; for the tryall of sincerity:The last and maine Inference, is for selfe-tryall. For if a man may goe thus farre, and yet be an Hy­pocrite, bee a Castaway: it will concerne euery one of vs, as we desire to haue comfortable, both assu­rance of present Grace, that wee are not Hypocrites, and hope of future Glory, that we are not Castawaies; so to bee district in making Tryall, whether those Graces that seeme to be in vs be true, or but counter­fait, and whether the acts thereof be fruites of sincerity, or but of hypocrisie. Let vs not therfore flatter our selues, or be too iolly vpon it, if we finde in our selues some shewes of Godlinesse; but let vs rather labour to finde out, whether there bee in vs the power and life of Godlinesse or no. For there is a kinde of righteousnesse such as it is, an outward formall righteousnesse in Scribes, and Pharisees, and Hypocrites: but that will not serue the turne; Mat. 5.20. vn­lesse our righteousnesse exceede theirs, wee shall in no case enter into the Kingdome of Heauen. Beloued, Hypocrisie is spunne of a fine threed; and is not ea­sily discerneable, without very diligent Examina­tion. And things are not to be measured by the outward shew, or by the lumpe and bulke; but by an exacter rule, whether they be true, or no. Dost thou heare the word of God with Ioy, doest thou bewaile thy sinnes with teares, doest thou auoyd [Page 299] grosse sinnes with care, doest thou oppose against common corruptions with zeale? These are in­deede comfortable signes, but no infallible euidences of Grace: for what is there in all this, which A­hab, and Saul, and Herod, and Iudas, and other Hy­pocrites, either haue not, or might not haue done? But, if not by these fruits; by what other meanes then may a man come to know the sanctification of his heart, and the sincerity of these affections? Di­uines in their Treatises and Writings haue set downe sundry notes and markes, whereby to make this tryall: but I would especially commend to your obseruation, two only out of all that variety, which two are indeed as good as a thousand; name­ly, Integrity and Constancy: for these two are neuer in the Hypocrite.

First, for Integritie. §. 13. by the markes; 1. of Integri­tie. The Hypocrite (we heard) might goe farre in hearing, in beleeuing, in sorrow­ing, in reforming, in suffering: but his affections herein, (for so much as they spring not from true Faith, and the conscience of that Obedience hee oweth to God, but from other respects,) are par­tiall in all those Duties; and carry him so farre on­ly, as those false grounds, which first gaue motion to those affections, leade him, and no farther. Hee receiueth the word with ioy, so farre as it tickleth the eare with choycenesse of phrase, and varietie of elocution; so farre as it fitteth with his humour, and keepeth faire and farre off from medling with his bosome-sinne: but hee is not equally delighted with euery part, and with euery point of Gods word and truth. If the right string be touched, if [Page 300] his sweete darling-sinne be stirred; that is harsh to him, hee findeth no musicke in that: rubbe him where he is galled, and he kicketh at it.Mar. 6.20.17.27. Herod heard Iohn Baptist gladly, and did many things willingly: but when his incestuous marriage was medled withall; then the Luk. 13.32. Foxe was vncased, and the Hy­pocrite appeared in his owne colours, and the Bap­tist lost first his libertie, and then after his head for his labour. And the young man, when Christ told him, what he must doe to inherite eternall life, in the generall, [Mat. 19.17.20. Keepe the Commandements, &c.] was no doubt, a iolly iocund man, [All these haue I kept from my youth vp:] but when Christ hitteth him home, and presseth vpon his particular cor­ruption [Ibid. vers. 21. One thing is wanting, &c.] this nipped him in the head, and strooke cold to his heart, and (the Text saith) Ibid. 22. he went away sorrowfull. And e­uer marke it, in something or other the Hypocrite bewraieth himselfe what he is; if not to the obser­vation of others, yet at least sufficiently for the conuiction of his owne heart, if he would not bee wanting to himselfe in the due search and triall of his heart. A mans bloud riseth, when he heareth a stranger sweare an Oath: but if the same man can heare his prentice lie, and equiuocate, and cosen, and neuer moue at it; let him not bee too bragge of his zeale: his coldnesse here discouereth the other to haue beene but a false fire, and a fruite, not of true zeale, but of Hypocrisie. A Iesuite maketh scruple of disclosing an intented treason, reuealed to him in confession; but he maketh no bones of laying a powder-plot, or contriuing the Murther [Page 311] of an annointed King: a Pharisee is very precise in Mat. 23.23. tithing Mint and Cummin; but balketh iu­stice and mercie: One straineth at a Ibid. 24. gnat and swalloweth a cammell; maketh conscience of some petty sinnes, neglecting greater: Another casteth out a beame, but feeleth not a moate; ma­keth conscience of some greater sinnes, neglecteth smaller. Shame of the world, and the cry of the people, maketh him forbeare some sinnes; an eye to his owne priuate and secret ends, other some; feare of temporall punishment, or (it may bee) eternall, other some; hope of some aduantage another way, as in his credit, profit, &c. other some; the terrours of an affrighted conscience, other some: but if in the meane time there be no care, nor scruple, nor forbearance of other sinnes, where there appeareth no hinderance from these or the like respects; all is naught, all is but coun­terfeit and damnable hypocrisie. The rule neuer faileth, Op. imper­fect. in Mat. hom. 45. Quicquid propter Deumfit, aequaliter fit. True obedience, as it disputeth not the command, but obeyeth cheerefully; so neither doth it diuide the command, but obeyeth equally. Dauid had wanted one maine assurance of the vprightnesse of his heart, if he had not had an equall and vniuer­sall Psal. 119.6. respect to all Gods Commandements. That is the first note of Sinceritie; Integritie.

The other is Constancy;§. 14. 2. of Constan­cy. continuance, or lasting. The seeming Graces of Hypocrites may be as for­ward, and impetuous for the time, as the true Graces of the sincere beleeuer; nay more forward often­times: as in the Mat. 13.5.6. stony ground, the seed sprang vp [Page 302] so much the sooner, by how much it had the lesse depth of earth. But the very same cause, that made it put vp so soone, made it wither againe as soone; euen because it wanted deepenesse of earth. So the Hypocrite, when the fit taketh him, hee is all on the spurre; there is no way with him, but a new man he will become out of hand, yea that hee will; Persius. Momento turbinis. But hee setteth on too vio­lently, to hold out long: this reformation ripeneth too fast, to bee right spirituall fruite: as an horse that is good at hand, but naught at length, so is the Hypocrite; free and fiery for a spurt, but he iadeth and tyreth in a iourney. But true Grace all to the contrary; as it ripeneth for the most part by lei­sure, so it euer Qualitatis verae tenor per­manet: falsa non durant. Senec. Epist. 120. lasteth longer: as Philosophers say of Habits, that as they are gotten hardly, so they are not lost easily. Wee heard but now, that the Faith, Repentance, Reformation, Obedience, Ioy, Sorrow, Zeale, and other the graces and affections of Hypocrites, had their first motion and issue from false and erroneous grounds; as Shame, Feare, Hope, and such respects. And it thence commeth to passe, that where these respects cease, which gaue them motion; the graces themselues can no more stand, than a House can stand, when the foundation is taken from vnder it. The boy that goeth to his booke, no longer than his Master holdeth the rod ouer him; the Masters backe once turned, away goeth the booke, and hee to play: and right so is it with the Hypocrite. Tak away the rod from Pha­raoh; and hee will be old Pharaoh still. And Ahab, here in this Chapter thus humbled before God at the [Page 203] voyce of his Prophet; this fit once past, wee see in the next Chapter, regardeth neither God nor Pro­phet, but through vnbeliefe 3 King. 22▪27. disobeyeth God, and imprisoneth the Prophet. Now then, here is a wide difference betweene the Hypocrite ▪ and the Godly man. The one doth all by fits, and by starts, and by sudden motions and flashes: whereas the other goeth on fairely and soberly in a settled constant regular course of Humiliation and Obedience. In Categ. cap. de qualit. Aristotle hath excellently taught vs, to distin­guish betweene colours that arise from passion, and from complexion. The one, hee saith, is scarce worth the name of a Quality or Colour; because it scare giueth denomination to the subiect wherein it is. If Socrates be of a pale, or an high-coloured complexion, to the question [Qualis est Socrates? What a like man is Socrates?] it may bee fitly an­swered (saith Aristotle) that he is a pale man, or that he is an high-coloured man. But when a man of another complexion, is yet pale for feare, or anger, or red with blushing; wee doe not vse to say, nei­ther can wee say properly, that he is a pale man, or a high-coloured man. Accordingly wee are to pro­nounce of those good things that sometimes ap­peare in Hypocrites. We call them indeed Graces, and wee doe well, (because they seeme to be such, and because we in Charity are to hope that they be such, as they seeme:) but they are in true iudge­ment nothing lesse than true graces, neither should they indeed (if we were able to discerne the false­nesse of them) giue denomination to those hypo­crites in whom they are found. For why should a [Page 304] man from a sudden and short fit of Repentance, or Zeale, or Charity, or Religion, be called a Penitent, or a Zealous, or a Charitable, or a Religious man; more than a man for once or twice blushing an high-coloured man? Then are Graces true, when they are habituall, and constant, and equall to themselues. That is the second Note; Constancy.

§. 15. both ioyned together for Tryall.I will not trouble you with other Notes, be­sides these. Doe but lay these two together; & they will make a perfect good Rule for vs to iudge our own hearts by, and to make tryall of the sincerity of those good things, that seeme to be in vs. Mea­sure them not by the present heate, (for that may be as much, perhaps more, in an Hypocrite, than in a true beleeuer;) but by their Integrity, and Con­stancy. A man of a cold complexion hath as much heate, in a sharpe fit of an Ague, as hee that is of a hot constitution, and in health; and more too: his blood is more enflamed, and hee burneth more. But whether doe you thinke is the more kindely heate; that which commeth from the violence of a Feuer, or that which ariseth from the condition of a mans Temper? No man maketh doubt of it, but this is the more kindely, though that may bee more sensible and intense. Well then; a man fin­deth himselfe hot in his body, and faine he would know, whether it be Calor praeter naturam, or no; whether a kindly and naturall heate, or else the fore-runner or symtome of some disease. There is no better way to come to that knowledge, than by these two Notes; Vniuersality, and Constancy. First for Vniuersality; Physitians say of heate, and sweat, [Page 305] and such like things, Vniuersalia salutaria, partia­lia ex morbo. If a man be hot in one part, and cold in another; as if the palmes of his hands burne, and the soles of his feet be cold; then all is not right: but if hee be of an indifferent equall heate all ouer, that is held a good signe of health. Then for Constancy and Lasting; If the heate come by fits and starts, and paroxysmes, leaping eftsoones and suddenly out of one extreame into another, so as the party one while gloweth as hot as fire, another-while is chill and cold as ice, and keepeth not at any certaine stay; that is an ill signe too, and it is to be feared there is an Ague either bred, or in breeding: but if hee continue at some reasonable certainty, and within a good mediocrity of heate and cold; it is thought a good signe of health. As men iudge of the state of their bodies; by the like rule iudge thou of the state of thy soule. First, for integrity and vniuersality. Is thy Repentance, thy Obedience, thy Zeale, thy Hatred of sinne, other graces in thee Vniuersall? equally bent vpon all good, equally set against all euill things? it is a good signe of Grace and Sanctification in the heart. But if thou repentest of one sinne, and persistest in ano­ther; if thou obeyest one commandement, and breakest another; if thou art zealous in one point, and coole in another; if thou hatest one vice, and louest another: flatter not thy selfe too much; thou hast reason to suspect all is not found within. Then for Continuance and Lasting. I deny not, but in case of preuailing temptations, the godly may haue sometimes vncomfortable and fearefull in­termissions [Page 306] in the practice of godlinesse; which yet make him not altogether Gracelesse: as a man may haue sometimes little distempers in his body, through misdyet or otherwise, & yet not be heart-sicke; or greater distempers too sometimes to make him sicke, and yet be heart whole. But yet if for the most part, and in the ordinary constant course of thy life, thou hast the practice of Repentance, and Obedience, and other fruites of grace in some good comfortable measure; it is a good signe of Grace, and Sanctification in the heart. But if thou hast these things only by fits and starts and sudden moodes; and art sometimes violently hot vpon them, other some times againe, and oftener, key-cold: presume not too much vpon shewes, but suspect thy selfe still of Hypocrisie, and Insincerity; and neuer cease by repentance and prayer and the constant exercise of other good graces to Physicke and Dyet thy soule, till thou hast by Gods good­nesse put thy selfe into some reasonable assurance, that thou art the true childe of God, a sincere be­leeuer, and not an Hypocrite; as Ahab here, not­withstanding all this his solemne humiliation, was. Here is Ahab, an Hypocrite; and yet hum­bled before the Lord.

§. 16. The opening of the second Obseruation,But yet now, this Humiliation such as it was, what should worke it in him? That wee finde de­clared at verse 27. [And it came to passe, that when Ahab heard these words, &c.] There came to him a message from God, by the hand of Eliah; and that was it that humbled him. Alas, what was Eliah to Ahab? a silly plaine Prophet to a mighty King? [Page 307] that hee durst thus presume to rush boldly and vn­sent-for into the presence of such a potent Mo­narch, who had no lesse power, and withall more colour, to take away his life, than Naboths; and that when hee was in the top of his iollity, sola­cing himselfe in the new-taken possession of his new-gotten Vineyard; and there to his face charge him plainly with, & shake him vp roundly for, and denounce Gods iudgements powerfully against, his bloody abominable oppressions? Wee would thinke, a Monarch nusled vp in Idolatry, and accu­stomed to blood, and hardened in Sinne and Obsti­nacy, should not haue brooked that insolency from such a one as Eliah was, but haue made his life a ransome for his sawcinesse. And yet behold, the words of this vnderling in comparison, how they fall like thunder vpon the great guilty offen­der, and strike palsie into his knees, and trembling into his ioynts, and tumble him from the height of his iollity, and roll him in sack-cloth, and ashes, and cast him into a strong fit of legall Humiliation. Seest thou how Ahab is humbled before mee?

And here now commeth in our second obserua­tion: euen, the Power of Gods word ouer the Con­sciences of obstinate sinners;§. 17. Obseru. 2. the Power of Gods word. powerfull to 2 Cor. 10.4▪ 5. cast downe strong holds, and euery high thought that exalteth it selfe against God. That which in Heb. 4. (if I mistake not the true vnderstanding of that place) is spoken of the Essentiall Word of God, the second Person in the euer-blessed Trinitie; is also in some analogie true of the reuealed Word of God, the Scriptures of the Prophets and Apostles; [Page 308] that it Heb. 4.12. is quicke and powerfull, and [...]. more cutting than any two-edged sword, piercing euen to the diui­ding asunder of the soule and spirit, and of the ioynts and marrow. Ier. 23.29. Is not my word, like as a fire, saith the Lord? and like a hammer, that breaketh the rocke in pieces? Ierem. 23. Like a soft fire; to dis­solue and melt the hearts of relenting sinners and true conuerts: but like a strong hammer to batter and breake in pieces the rockie and flintie consci­ences of obstinate and hardened offenders. Ex­amples hereof if you require: behold in the sto­ries of the kings, 1. Sam. 15.24. Saul whining when Samuel reproueth him; in the bookes of the Prophets, the Ion. 3.5. Nineuites drooping when Ionas threatneth them; in the Acts of the Apostles, Act. 24.25. Felix trembling when Paul discourseth before him; in the Marty­rologies of the Church, Tyrants and bloudy Per­secuters maskered at the bold confessions of the poore suffering Christians; in this Chapter, proud Ahab mourning when Eliah telleth him his sinne, and foretelleth him his punishment.

§. 18. with the Cau­ses thereof. [...]. in the In­strument; Effects, which might iustly seeme strange to vs; if the Causes were not apparant. One Cause, and the Principall, is in the Instrument, the Word: not from any such strength in it selfe, for so it is but a dead letter; but because of Gods ordinance in it. For in his hands are the hearts and the tongues and the eares both of Kings and Prophets: and hee can easily, when he seeth it good, put the spirit of zeale and of power into the heart of the poorest Prophet, and as easily the spirit of feare and of ter­rour into the heart of the greatest King. He choo­seth [Page 309] weake Instruments, (as here Eliah) and yet furnisheth them with power, to effect great mat­ters: that so the glory might not rest vpon the in­strument, but redound wholly to him, as to the chiefe agent that imployeth it. 2 Cor. 4.7. We haue this trea­sure in earthen vessels, saith S. Paul, that the excel­lency of the power may bee of God, and not of vs, 2 Cor. 4. Wee say, Words are but winde; and indeed the words of the best Minister are no better, as they are breathed out, and vttered by sinfull mortall man, whose breath is in his nostrils: but yet this winde, as it is breathed in, and inspired by the powerfull eternall spirit of God, is strong enough (by his effectuall working with it) not only to shake the top branches, but to rend vp the very bot­tome-roote of the tallest Cedar in Libanon. Psal. 29.4.5. Vox Domini confringens Cedros, Psal. 29. [The voyce of the Lord is mightie in operation; the voyce of the Lord is a glorious voyce: The voyce of the Lord brea­keth the Cedars; yea the Lord breaketh the Cedars of Lebanon.

Another Cause is in the Obiect;§. 19. 2. in the Ob­iect; and that is the force of Naturall Conscience: which the most pre­sumptuous sinner can neuer so stifle, though hee endeauour all hee can to doe it, but that it will bee sometimes snubbing, and stinging, and lashing, and vexing him with ougly representations of his past sinnes, and terrible suggestions of future venge­ance. And then of all other times is the force of it most liuely; when the voyce of God in his word awakeneth it after a long dead sleepe. Then it riseth and Sampson-like rouseth vp it selfe, and [Page 310] bestirreth it selfe lustily as a Gyant refreshed with wine: and it putteth the disquieted patient to such vnsufferable paine, that he runneth vp and downe like a distracted man, and doth he knoweth not what, and seeketh for ease he knoweth not where. Then hee would giue all Diues his wealth for Luk. 16.24. a drop of water to coole the heate hee feeleth; and with Gen. 25.30.31. Esau part with his birth-right, for any thing though it were neuer so little or meane, that would giue him but the least present refreshing, and pre­serue him from fainting. Then sack-cloth, and ashes, and fasting, and weeping, and mourning, and renting the garments, and tearing the haire, and knocking the brest, and out-cryes to heauen, and all those other things, which hee could not abide to heare of in the time of his former security, whi­lest his conscience lay fast asleepe and at rest, are now in all haste, and greedily entertained, and all too little: if by any meanes they can possibly giue any ease or asswagement to the present torment he feeleth in his soule.

§. 20. 3. in the fit application of the one to the other.A third Cause is oftentimes in the Application of the Instrument to the Obiect. For although Gods word in the generall bee Powerfull; and the Conscience of it selfe bee of a stirring Nature: yet then ordinarily doth the word of God worke most powerfully vpon the Consciences of obstinate sin­ners, when it is throughly and closely applyed to some speciall corruption, whereunto the party cannot plead Not-guilty; when the sinne and the iudgement are both so driuen home, that the guil­tie offender can neither auoide the euidence of the [Page 311] one, nor the feare of the other. A plaine instance whereof wee haue in this present history of King Ahab. When Eliah first came to him in the Vine­yard, he was pert enough, [Vers. 20. hi [...]. hast thou found mee, O mine enemy?] But by that the Prophet had done with him; told him of the sinne, which was noto­rious, [Vers. 19. hast thou killed, and taken possession?] foretold him of the iudgement, which was heauy, [Vers. 21, &c. I will bring euill vpon thee, and will take away thy Posterity, &c.] the man was not the man. Eliah left him in a farre other tune, than hee found him in. The Prophets words wrought fore vpon him, and his Conscience wrought sore within him; both together wrought him to the humiliation we now speake of: [It came to passe, when hee heard these words, that hee rent his clothes, &c.] If you desire another instance, turne to Act. 24.25. where there is a right good one, and full to this purpose. There we reade, that Felix the Romane Deputie in Iury Act. 24.25. trembled, when Paul reasoned of Iustice, and of Temperance, and of the Iudgement to come. What was that thing, may wee thinke, in S. Pauls reasoning, which especially made Felix to trem­ble? It is commonly taken to be the Doctrine of the last Iudgement: which is indeed a terrible do­ctrine, and able (if it be throughly apprehended) to make the stoutest of the sonnes of men to tremble. But I take it, that is not all. The very thing that made Felix tremble, seemeth rather to bee; that Pauls discourse fell vpon those speciall vices, wher­in hee was notably faulty, and then clapt-in close with Iudgement vpon them. For Felix was noted [Page 312] of much cruelty and iniustice in the administration of the affaires of Iury, (howsoeuer Tertullus like a smooth Orator, to curry fauour with him, and to doe Paul a displeasure, did flatteringly Act. 24.2. &c. commend his gouernment): and he was noted also of incon­tinency, both otherwise, and especially in mar­rying Drusilla who was another mans wife. Taci­tus speaking of him in the fifth of his history, pain­teth him out thus;Tacit. Hist. lib. 5. Per omnem savitiam et libidinem ius regium seruili ingenio exercuit. And for such a man, as gouerned with cruelty and rapine, and li­ued in vnchast wedlocke, to heare one reason powerfully of Iustice, and of Chastity, (for so much the word [...] there vsed property importeth,) and of Iudgement; it is no wonder if it make him tremble.

§. 21. An inference against those thus despise the Word.Doe thou consider this and tremble, whosoever thou art, that in thy thoughts despisest the holy word of God; accounting of it but as of some humane inuention, to keepe fooles in awe withall: and thou also, whosoeuer thou art, that vnderualuest this pre­cious treasure, for the meanenes or other infirmi­ties of the 2. Cor. 4.7. earthen vessell wherein it is conveied. Tell me, dost thou not herein struggle against the testimonie and euidence of thine owne heart? Doth not thine owne Conscience and Experience tell thee, that thisEphes. 6.17. sword of the spirit hath a keene edge, and biteth and pierceth where it goeth? Hath it not sometimes galled, and rubbed, and lanced, and cut thee to the very bone; and entred euen to the diuiding asunder of the ioynts and of the marrow? ‘Hath it not sometimes (as it were) by subtile and [Page 313] serpentine insinuations strangely wound it selfe through those many crooked and Labyrinthean turnings that are in thine heart, into the very in­most corner and center thereof; and there ripped vp thy bowels and thy reynes, and raked out the filth and corruption that lurked within thee, and set the secretest thoughts in order before thy face, in such sort as that thou hast bin strucken with astonishment and horrour at the discouery?’ Though perhaps it haue not yet softened and mel­ted thy stony and obdurate heart: yet didst thou neuer perceiue it hammering about it, with sore strokes and knockes, as if it would breake and shi­uer it into a thousand pieces? Doubtles thou hast; and if thou wouldest deny it, thy conscience is able to giue thy tongue the lye, and to conuince thee to thy face. And if thou hast: why then dost thou not readily acknowledge the voyce of God in it, ha­uing felt in it that liuely power and efficacy, which it is not possible any deuice of the wit of man should haue? Take heede then how thou dost tra­duce, or despise, or but vnder ualue that, vpon any seeming pretence whatsoeuer; for which thou hast such a strong witnesse in thine owne heart, from the experience of the vnresisted power of it, that it is indeed the word of God, and not the breath of sinfull man. Felix trembled at it, Ahab was hum­bled by it; the one an Atheist, the other an Hypo­crite: thou art worse than either Atheist or Hypo­crite, if it worke not at least as much vpon thee. Seest thou how Ahab humbleth himselfe at the voyce of the Prophet?

[Page 314] §. 22. The successe of Ahabs humiliation;From Ahabs Humiliation, and the Occasion ther­of; passe we now to consider in the last place the Successe of it. Ahab is humbled at the Prophets de­nouncing of judgement against him; and God hence taketh occasion to be so gracious to Ahab, as (though not wholly to remoue, yet) to suspend and adjourne the judgement for a time [Seest thou how Ahab is humbled before me? because he humbleth himselfe before me, I will not bring the euill in his dayes &c.] And here must Gods Holinesse be brought vnto a tryall; before the barre of carnall reason, if by any meanes it can justifie it selfe. God hateth the workes of Hypocrites; he loatheth euen Osee. 6.6. sacrifices without mercy; his Esay 1.9.—15. soule cannot away with the oblations and new-Moones and solemne feasts of men that haue their hands full of bloud, no not though they make many prayers, and tender them with behauiour of grea­test deuotion, stretching out their hands towards heauen, and Psal. 35.13. afflicting their soules with fasting, and hanging down their Esay. 58.5. heads as Bulrushes with pensiuenesse: but euen their best sacrifices, & confes­sions, and prayers, and humiliations are an Pro. 15.8. abomi­nation vnto him; so farre from appearing his wrath against other sinnes, as that they prouoke his yet farther displeasure against themselues. Such is the Holinesse of our God, and such the purity of his nature: with which holinesse and purity how can it stand, to accep [...] and reward (as here he seemeth to doe) the counterfeit humiliation of such a wretched Hypocrite, as we now suppose Ahab to be?

[Page 315]For the clearing of this difficultie;§. 23. and how it may consist with the ho­linesse of God. first let it be granted; (which I take to be a certaine truth, and for anie thing I know neuer yet gaine said by any,) that Ahab, not onely before, and after, but euen in the act and at the instant of this humiliation, was an Hypocrite. Let it be granted secondly, (which is 1 the thing vrged in the doubt) that this humiliation 2 of his, being performed but in hypocrisie, was not acceptable to God, as a good worke; but abomina­ble before him, as a foule sinne. But yet withall it must be granted thirdly, that, although Ahab did 3 not well in not being humbled with an vpright heart, yet he had done much worse, if he had not bin humbled at all: and that therefore there was, though no true spirituall goodnesse, yet some out­ward morall goodnesse in Ahabs humiliation; at least so farre forth, as a thing lesse euil may in com­parison of a worser thing be termed good. And then are we to know fourthly, that it may stand with Gods holinesse, as it doth with his goodnesse and 4 iustice, to reward outward good things with out­ward good things; and morall and temporary graces with worldly and temporall blessings: as here he re­wardeth Ahabs temporarie and external humiliati­on, with an outward temporall fauour, viz. the ad­iourning of an outward temporall judgement.

That which hence we would obserue, is,§. 24 Obseru. 3. concerning the reward of common graces.That God rewardeth sometimes common graces with com­mon favours, temporary obedience with temporall beneficence. This is proued vnto vs first, from the generall course of Gods justice; and his promise, grounded vpon that justice, to reward euery man 1 [Page 316] according to his workes. To which iustice of his, and to which promise of his it is agreable, as to re­compence Spirituall good things with eternall, so to recompence Quibus non erat Deus datu­ras vita naeter­nam,— si neque hanc eis terre­nam gloriam concederet, non redderetur merces bonis ar tibus corum, id est, virtuti­bus, quibus—Augustin. 5. de Ciuit. 15. Morall good things with tempo­rall rewards, Secondly, from speciall expresse war­rant of Scripture. In Matth. 6. Christ saith of Hy­pocrites more than once, that Math. 6.25.16. they haue their re­ward. As in the doing of their seeming good workes, they ayme especially at the vaine prayse and commendation of men: so they haue the full reward of those workes in the vaine prayse & com­mendation of men. Though they haue no right vnto, nor reason to looke for, a reward hereafter in heauen: yet they haue their reward such as it is, and all they are like to haue) here vpon earth. Thirdly, from particular examples of such, as haue bin tem­porally rewarded for temporall graces. To omit intelligimus—etiam Ethni­cos, si quid boni fecerint, non absque mercede, Dei judici [...] praeterriri. Hieron. in E­zek. 29. God e­uen among the Hea [...]hen, ha [...]h often rewarded morall honesty with outward happinesse. W. Ral. hist of World, lib. 2. cap. 8. §. 3. Heathens, as viz. Aristides, Cyrus, &c. for Iustice; Bias, Diogenes &c. for contempt of the world; Codrus, Regulus &c. for loue of their countrey, and zeale to the common good; and sundry others, for other good things: whose morall vertues are here­in amply rewarded, (if there were nothing else but this,) that their names and memories haue bin pre­serued in histories, and renowned throughout the world in all succeeding generations. I say, to omit these Heathens: we haue examples in Scripture; of Ahab here, of 4 Kin. 10.30. Iehu, of the Ion. 3.10. Nineuites, of others elsewhere: who for their temporary obedience, zeale, repentance, & the like, were rewarded; partly by temporall blessings vpon themselues and their posteritie, partly by the remoueal or adiournall of [Page 317] temporall punishments, which otherwise had spee­dily ouertaken them. Fourthly, from the greater to the lesse. God sometimes temporally rewar­deth the seruices of such men, as are but bruta in­strumenta, brute instruments of his will and pro­uidence; such as are imployed by him for the bringing about of his most holy and secret pur­poses, Citra rationem finis, aut eorum quae ad finem, in the doing of such things; as they doe without the least mixture (in their owne purpose and intent) of any respect at all to God or his ends, but meerely for the satisfying of their owne corrupt lusts, and the atchieuing of their owne priuate ends. A nota­ble example whereof we haue in Gods dealing with Nabuchadnezzar in Ezek. 29. where the word of the Lord commeth to Ezekiel, saying, Ezek. 29.18, 19.20▪ Son of man, Nabuchadnezzar king of Babylon cau­sed his army to serue a great seruice against Tyrus: euery head was made bald, and euery shoulder was peeled: yet had he no wages, nor his army for Tyrus, for the seruice that he had serued against it: There­fore thus saith the Lord God; behold I will giue the land of Egypt to Nabuchadnezzar king of Babylon: and he shall take her multitude, and it shall be wages for his army. I haue giuen him the land of Egypt for his labour, wherewith he serued against Tyrus; because they wrought for me, saith the Lord God. In which place we see Egypt is giuen to Nabuchadnezzar, as a reward for the seruice he did against Tyrus; be­cause therein (though he neither intended any such thing, nor so much as knew it,) he yet was the in­strument to worke Gods purpose vpon and against [Page 318] Tyrus. And then how much more will God re­ward temporally the seruices and obedience of such, as purposely and knowingly endeauour an out­ward conformity vnto the holy will and pleasure of God, though with strong and predominant mix­ture of their owne corrupt appetites and ends ther­withall?

§. 25. with sundry Reasons ther­of;Now the Reasons, why God should thus out­wardly reward the outward workes of Hypo­crites; are: First, the manifestation of his owne 1 Goodnesse: that wee might know how wil­ling hee is to cherish the least sparke of any good­nesse in any man, be it naturall, or morall, or what euer other goodnesse it be; that he might thereby encourage vs, so to labour the improuement of those good things in vs, as to make our selues capa­ble 2 of greater rewards. Secondly; his Iustice and e­quity, in measuring vnto sinners and Hypocrites exactly according to the measure they mete vnto him. They serue him with graces, which are not true graces indeede: he rewardeth them with bles­sings, which are indeede not true blessings. Some­what they must doe to God; and therefore they affoord him a little temporary obedience, and there is all the seruice he shall haue from them: Some­what God will doe for them, and in requitall al­loweth them a little temporary fauour, and there is all the reward they must looke for from him. Here is Quid pro Quo: They giue God the outward work, but without any hearty affection to him: God giueth them the outward benefit, but without any hearty affection to them. For want of which hearty [Page 319] affection on both sides, it commeth to passe, that neither is the outward worke truely acceptable to him, nor the outward benefit truely profitable to them. A third reason of Gods thus graciously 3 dealing euen with Hypocrites, may be assigned, with reference to his owne deare Children and chosen; for whose good especially (next vnder his owne glory) all the passages of his diuine proui­dence both vpon them and others are disposed in such sort as they are: as for whose comfort, this manner of proceeding maketh very much and sundry wayes; as I shall by and by touch in the Inferences from this Obseruation:§. 26. And infe­rences thence; whereunto I now come, because it is time I should draw to­wards a Conclusion.

And first; by what hath bin already said a way is opened for the clearing of Gods Holinesse in these 1 his proceedings. If sometimes he temporally re­ward Hypocrites; it is not either for their owne; or for their workes sake, as if he either accepted their Persons, or approued their Obedience. No: it is but Lex Talionis; he dealeth with them, as they deale with him. They doe him but eye-seruice; and he giueth them but eye-wages. Indeede God can neither be deceiued, nor deceiue: yet as they would deceiue God in their seruice, with such obedience as falleth short of true obedience; so they are deceiued in their pay from him, with such bles­sings as fall short of true blessings. And all this may well stand with Gods both Iustice and Holi­nesse. Secondly; it appeareth from the premises, that 2 Gods thus dealing with wicked and vnsanctified [Page 320] men, in thus rewarding their outward good things, giueth no warrant nor strength at all, eyther to that Popish corrupt doctrine of Meritum congrui, in deseruing the first grace by the right vse of Na­turalls; or to that rotten principle and foundation of the whole frame of Arminianisme, [Facienti quod in se est, Deus non potest, non debet denegare gratiam.] We know, God rewards his owne true and spirituall graces in vs, with increase of those graces here, and with glory hereafter: wee see, God rewardeth euen false and outward & seeming graces, naturall and morall good things, with out­ward and temporall fauours. And all this is most agreeable to his infinite both Iustice and Mercy; and may stand with the infinite Puritie and Holi­nesse of his nature. But this were rather to make God an vniust and vnholy God; to binde him to reward the outward and sinfull workes of Hypo­crites, (for the best naturall or morall workes without Grace are but such,) with true sauing Grace and inward sanctification. Other Inferences and vses more might bee added: as viz. thirdly, for our Imitation; by Gods example to take know­ledge of, and to commend, and to cherish euen in wicked men, those naturall or morall parts that are eminent in them, and whatsoeuer good thing they doe in outward actuall conformity to the reuealed will and law of God. And fourthly, for Exhorta­tion to such, as doe not yet finde any comfortable assurance that their obedience and good workes are true and sincere; yet to goe on, and not to grow wearie of well-doing: knowing that their la­bour [Page 321] is not altogether in vaine; in as much as their workes (though perhaps done in Hypocrisie) shall procure them temporall blessings here, and some abatement withall (I adde that by the way) of stripes and euerlasting punishment hereafter.

But I passe by all these and the like Vses; and commend but one more vnto you: and that is it which I named before as one Reason of the point obserued, viz. the Comfort of Gods deare children and seruants; and that sundry waies.§. 27. especially for Comfort to the Godly. 1. against the prosperitie of the wicked; First, here is comfort for them, against a Temptation which often assaulteth them, and that with much violence and danger: arising from the sense and obserua­tion of the prosperitie and flourishing estate of the wicked in this world. We may see in the Psalmes, and elsewhere; how frequently and strongly Psal. 37. & 73 Dauid, and Iob 21.7. &c. Iob, and Ier. 12.1. &c. Ieremie, and other godly ones were assailed with this temptation. For thy instruction then, and to arme thee against this so common and vniuersall a temptation: if thou shalt see fooles on horsebacke; vngodly ones laden with wealth, with honour, with ease; Hypocrites blessed with the fat of the earth, and the dew of heauen, and abundance of all the comforts of this life: yet bee not thou discomforted at it, or disquieted with it; Psal. 37.1. doe not fre [...] thy selfe because of the vngodly, neither bee thou enuious at euill doers. Thou expectest for thine inward Obedience an vnproportionable reward in the life to come: doe not therefore grudge their outward Obedience a proportionable reward in this life. Some good things or other thou maiest thinke there are in [Page 322] them, for which God bestoweth those outward blessings vpon them. But consider withall, that as they haue their reward here, so they haue all their reward here: and whatsoeuer their present pro­speritie bee, yet the time will come, and that ere long be, when Iob 8.13. the hope of the Hypocrite shall wither, and Psal. 37.38. the end of the wicked shall be cut off.

§. 28. 2. against temporall af­flictions;Againe, here is a second Comfort for the godly a­gainst temporall afflictions: and it ariseth thus. As Gods loue and fauour goeth not alwaies with those temporall benefits hee bestoweth: so on the other side, Gods wrath and displeasure goeth not alwaies with those temporall afflictions he inflicteth. For as he rewardeth those few good things that are in euill men, with these temporall benefits; for whom yet (in his Iustice) hee reserueth eternall damnation, as the due wages (by that Iustice) of their grace-lesse impenitency: so hee punisheth those remnants of sinne that are in Godly men, with these tempo­rall afflictions; for whom yet (in his mercy) hee re­serueth Eternall saluation, as the due wages (yet by that mercy onely) of their Faith, and Repentance, and holy Obedience. As Abraham said to the rich glutton in the Parable Luke 16. Luk. 16.25. Sonne, remember that thou in thy life time receiuedst thy good things, & likewise Lazarus euill things: but now he is comfor­ted, and thou art tormented. As if he had said; If thou hadst any thing good in thee, remember thou hast thy reward in earth already; and now there re­maineth for thee nothing, but the full punishment of thine vngodlines there in Hell: but as for Laza­rus hee hath had the chasticement of his infirmities [Page 323] on earth already; and now remaineth for him no­thing, but the full reward of his godlinesse here in Heauen. Thus the meditation of this Doctrine yeeldeth good Comfort against temporall affli­ctions.

Here is yet a third Comfort, and that of the three the greatest, vnto the Godly; in the firme assu­rance of their Eternall reward. §. 29. 3. against doubtings of their eternall reward. It is one of the Reasons, why God temporally rewardeth the vn­sound obedience of naturall, carnall and vnregene­rate men; euen to giue his faithfull seruants vn­doubted assurance, that hee will in no wise forget their true and sound and sincere obedience. Doth God reward Ahabs temporary Humiliation? and will he not much more reward thy hearty and vn­fained repentance? Haue the Hypocrites Quid dabit eis quos praedi­stinauit ad vi­tam, qui haec de­dit etiam eis, quos praedestina­uit ad mortem? Aug. 22. de Ci­uit. 24. their re­ward? and canst thou doubt of thine? This was the very ground of all that comfort, wherewith the Prodigall sonne sustained his heart and hope; when he thus discoursed to his owne soule: Luke 15.17. If all the hired seruants which are in my Fathers house haue bread enough and to spare; surely my Father will neuer be so vnmindefull of men, who am his Sonne, though too too vnworthy of that name, as to let me perish for hunger. Euery temporall blessing bestowed vpon the wicked, ought to bee of the childe of God entertained as a fresh assurance gi­uen him of his euerlasting reward hereafter. Gen. 25.5.6. A­braham gaue guifts to the sonnes of his Concu­bines; and sent them away: but his onely sonne Isaac he kept with him, and gaue him all that he had. Right so, God giueth temporall gifts to Hypo­crites [Page 324] and Castawaies, who are bastards, and not sonnes; (not sonnes of the Gal. 4.28-3 [...] freewoman, not sons of promise, not borne after the spirit:) and that is their portion; when they haue gotten that, they haue gotten all they are like to haue, there is no more to be looked for at his hands. But as for the inheritance; he reserueth that for his deare Children, the Godly, who are Gal. 4.29. borne after the spirit, and Gal. 3.29. heyres according vnto promise: on these hee be­stoweth all that euer hee hath, (1. Cor. 3.21. all things are theirs;) for on them hee bestoweth Heb. 1.2. his Sonne the heire of all things, in whom are hid all the trea­sures of all good things, and together Rom. 8.32. with whom all other things are conueied and made ouer vnto them, as accessories and appurtenances of him; and on them he bestoweth himselfe, who is 1. Cor. 15.28. all in all, Psal. 16.11. in whose presence is fulnesse of ioy, and at whose right hand there are pleasures for euermore. To which ioy vnspeakable and glorious, O thou the Father of mercies, who hast promised it vnto vs, bring vs in the end, for thy deare Sonnes sake Iesus Christ, who hath purchased it for vs, and giuen in­to our hearts the earnest of his and thy holy Spirit to seale it vnto vs. To which blessed Sonne, and ho­ly Spirit, together with thee O Father, thee per­sons and one onely wise, gracious, glorious, al­mighty and eternall Lord God; bee ascribed by vs, and all thy faithfull people throughout the world, the whole kingdome, power and glory, for euer and euer. Amen. Amen.

THE SECOND SERMON.Grantham Linc. 27. Febr. 1620.

3 KINGS 21.29.

—because hee humbleth himselfe before mee, I will not bring the euill in his dayes:—

I Will not so farre either di­strust your memories, §. 1. A repetition of three for­mer Obserua­tions. or strai­ten my selfe of time for the deliuery of what I am now purposed to speake; as to make any repetition of the particu­lars which were obserued the last time from the consideration of Ahabs person and condition, (who was but an Hypocrite,) taken ioyntly with his present carriage, together with the occasion and successe thereof. He was humbled: it was the voyce of God by his Prophet that hum­bled him: vpon his humbling God adiourneth his punishment. From all which was noted, 1. that there might bee euen in Hypocrites an outward formall humiliation; 2. the power and efficacy of the word of God, able to humble an oppressing Ahab; 3. the boundlesse mercy of God, in not [Page 326] suffering the outward formall Humiliation of an vngodly Hypocrite to passe altogether vnrewar­ded. All this the last time; by occasion of those first clauses in the verse, [Seest thou how Ahab hum­bleth himselfe before mee? because he humbleth him­selfe before mee, I will not—]. Wee are now next to consider of the great Fauour, which it pleased God to shew to Ahab vpon his humiliation; what it was, and wherein it consisted. It was the Remoueall, at least for a time; that is, the suspension of an heauy Iudgement denounced against Ahab and his house most deseruedly for his bloudy and execrable op­pression; [Because hee humbleth himselfe before mee, I will not bring the euill in his dayes.]

§ 2. The opening of.The Euill which God now promiseth hee will not bring, [I will not bring the euill in his dayes;] is that which in verse 21. hee had threatned, hee would bring vpon Ahab and vpon his house, [Vers. 21. &c. hîc. Behold I will bring euill vpon thee, [...]nd will take away thy posterity, and will cut off from Ahab him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut vp and left in Israel; and will make thy house like the house of Ieroboam the sonne of Nebat, and like the house of Be [...]sha the sonne of Ahijah, for the prouoca­tion wherewith thou hast prouoked mee to anger, and made Israel to sinne.] A great Iudgement, and an hea [...]y: but the greater the iudgement is, when it is deserued, and threatned; the greater the mercy is, if it be afterwards forborne: as some of this was. But whatsoeuer becommeth of the iudge­ment; here wee see is mercy good store. God who is Eph. 2.4. rich in mercy, and delighteth to be stiled [Page 327] Deus misera­tionum. Nebem 9.31. the God of mercies, and the 2 Cor. 1.3. Father of mercies, a­bundantly manifesteth his mercy in dealing thus graciously with one that deserued it so little. Here is mercy, in but threatning the punishment, when hee might haue inflicted it; and more mercy, in not inflicting the punishment, when hee had threatned it. Here is mercy first, in suspending the Punish­ment, [I will not bring the Euill:] and mercy a­gaine, in suspending it for so long a time, [I will not bring the euill in his dayes.] Of these two points wee shall entreate at this time: and first and prin­cipally, of the former.

I will not bring the euill.] It is no new thing to them,§. 3. Obseru. 4. Concerning Gods forbea­ring of threatned iudgements, that haue read the sacred stories with obser­uation, to see God, when men are humbled at his threatnings, to reuoke them. Chrysost. in Gen. hom. 25. & ahbi saepè. [...], saith Chrysostome more than once: this is euer Gods manner; when men change their deeds, to change his doome; when they renounce their sinners, to recall his sentence; when they repent of the euill they haue done against him, to Ion. 3.10. repent of the euill hee had said hee would doe against them. Search the Scriptures; and say if things runne not thus, as in the most ordinary course: God commandeth, and man disobeyeth; Man disobeyeth, and God threat­neth; God threatneth, and Man repenteth; Man repenteth, and God forbeareth. Gen. 20.3.7. Abimelech, thou art but a dead man, because of the woman which thou hast taken! but Abimelech restoreth the Prophet his wife vntouched; and God spareth him, and hee dyeth not. Hezekiah, make thy will, and Esay. 38.1-5. put thine house in order, for thou shalt dye, and not liue! [Page 328] but Hezekiah turneth to the wall, and prayeth, and weepeth; and God addeth to his dayes fifteene yeeres. Nineueh, prepare for desolation; for now but Ion. 3.4—10. forty dayes, and Nineueh shall bee destroyed! But Nineueh fasted, and prayed, and repented; and Nineueh stood after that more than fortie yeares twice told. Generally, God neuer yet threatned any punishment vpon person or place: but if they repented, hee either with-held it, or deferred it, or abated it, or sweetened it to them; for the most part proportionably to the truth and measure of their repentance, but howsoeuer alwayes so farre forth as in his infinite wisedome hee hath thought good: some way or other, he euer remitted some­what of that seuerity and rigour, wherin he threat­ned it.

§. 4. with the proofe;A course, which God hath in some sort bound himselfe vnto, and which hee often and openly professeth hee will hold. Two remarkeable testi­monies (among sundry other) shall suffice vs to haue proposed at this time, for the cleare and full euidencing hereof. The one in Ierem. 18.7.8. [At what instant I shall speake concerning a nation and concerning a kingdome, to plucke vp, and to pull downe, and to destroy; If that nation against whom I haue pronounced turne from their euill, I will repent of the euill that I thought to doe vnto them.] The o­ther in Ezek. 33.13.14 [When I say to the wicked, thou shalt surely dye; if hee turne from his sinne, and doe that which is lawfull and right, If the wicked re­store the pledge, giue againe that hee hath robbed, walke in the statutes of life without committing ini­quity; [Page 329] he shall surely liue, he shall not dye.] And euery where in the Prophets, after Denunciations of iudgement follow exhortations to Repentance: which were bootelesse, if Repentance should not either preuent them, or adiourne them, or lessen them.

You see God both practiseth and professeth this course: neither of which can seeme strange to vs,§. 5. and Reasons thereof: 1. from Gods pronenesse to mercy; if we duely consider, either his readines to shew mercy, or the true End of his threatnings. We haue partly already touched at the greatnesse of his mercie. To shew compassion, & to forgiue, that is the thing wherein he most of all delighteth; and ther­fore he doth arripere ansam, take all aduantages as it were, and lay hold on euery occasion to do that: but to punish, and take vengeance is Esay 28.21. opus alienum, as some expound that in Esay 28. his strange worke, his strange act, a thing he taketh no pleasure in. Ezek. 33.11. Vivo, nolo-in Ezek. 33. As I liue saith the Lord God, I haue no pleasure in the death of the wicked, &c. As the Bee laboureth busily all the day long, and seeketh to euery flower and to euery weede for Hony ▪ but stingeth not once, vnlesse shee be ill pro­uoked: so God bestirreth himselfe, and his bowells yearne within him, to shew compassion, [Osee. 6.4. O Ephra­im what shall I doe vnto thee? O Indah, how shall I entreate thee? Ezek. 18.31. & 33.11. Why will yee dye, O yee house of Israel? Ierem. 5.1. Runne to and fro through the streetes of Ierusalem, and seeke if you can find a man, but a man, that I may pardon it.] But vengeance commeth on heauily and vnwillingly, and draweth a sigh from him Esay. 1.24. [Heu consolabor! Ah I must, I see there is no re­medy, [Page 330] I must ease me of mine aduersaries, and be a­uenged of mine enemies; Math. 23.37. Oh Ierusalem, Ierusalem, that killest the Prophets —how oft would I &c. Osee. 11.8. How shall I giue thee vp Ephraim? —my heart is turned within me; my repentings are kindled together.] So is our God Psal. 103.8. slow to anger, and loath to strike Ouid, 1. de Pont. 3. Qui­que dolet quoties cogitur esse ferox: but plenteous in mercy, as Dauid describeth him in Psal. 103. Neuer was man truely and inwardly humbled, but God in the riches of his speciall mercy, truely pardoned him: neuer was man so much as but outwardly humbled, as Ahab here, but God in his common and generall mercy, more or lesse forbare him.

§. 6. 2. from the end of his threatnings. Secondly, the end of Gods threatnings also con­firmeth this point. For doth he threaten euill thinke yee, because he is resolued to inflict it? Nothing lesse: rather to the contrary, he there­fore threateneth it, that wee by our repentance may preuent it, and so hee may not inflict it. Chrysost. in Gen. hom. 25. [...], saith Saint Chrysostome: he foretelleth what he will bring vpon vs, for this very purpose, that he may not bring it vpon vs; & warneth before he striketh, to make vs carefull to auoyde the stroke. In the an­cient Romane state & discipline, the manner was, before they made warre vpon any people, first to send See Dionys. Halicarn. lib. 2. Antiquit. Liu. 1. Decad. 1. Cic. 1 de offic. Heralds to proclaime it, (Bellum indicere, no inferrent,) to the end that if they would make their peace by submission, they might preuent the warre; nor so onely, but be written also in al [...]o amicorum, enrolled as their friends and confede­rates. So God sendeth his Heralds the Prophets, [Page 331] to threaten vengeance against sinners: not thereby to driue them from hope of mercy, but to draw them to repentance and humiliation; whereby they may not onely turne away the vengeance threatned, but also (if they performe them vnfai­nedly and with vpright hearts) interest themselues farther in his fauour and loue. Nor is it to be ac­counted among the least of Gods mercies, when he might in his just displeasure ouerwhelme vs in the very act of our sinnes, asNumb. 2 [...].8. Zimri and Cosbi were runne thorough in the very act of filthinesse; and as 2 Sam. 6.7. Vzzah, and Act. 5.5.10. Ananias and Sapphira, and some few others whom God picked out to shew exemplary iudgement vpon, were strucken dead vpon the sud­den for their transgressions: When God might in iustice deale with the same rigour against vs all; I say it is not the least of his mercies, that he for­beareth and forewarneth and foretelleth and threat­neth vs before he punish; that [...]. Chrysost. in Gen. hom. 25. if we will take any warning, he may do better to vs than he hath said, and not bring vpon vs what he hath threatned.

A point very Vsefull, and Comfortable: if it be not derogatory to Gods truth. §. 17. How all this may stand with Gods truth. Let vs therfore first cleare that; and then proceede to the vses. If God thus reuoke his threatnings, it seemeth he either before meant not what he spake, when he threat­ned; or else after when he reuoketh, repenteth of what he meant: either of which to imagine, far be it from euery Christian heart; since the one maketh God a dissembler, the other a changeling, the one chargeth him with falshood, the other with light­nesse. And yet the Scriptures sometimes speake of [Page 323] God, as if he Gen. 6.6. Psal. 95.10. grieued for what he did, or Gen. 6.6. 1. Sam. 15.11. Ierem. 18.8. Amos. 7.3.6. Ion 3.10. repented of what he spake, or altered what he had purposed: and for the most part, such like affections are giuen him in such places, as endeauour to set forth to the most life his great mercy and kindnesse to sinfull mankind. We all know, we cannot indeede giue God any greater glory than the glory of his mer­cy: yet must know withall, that God is not so needy of meanes to worke out his owne glory, as that he should be forced to redeeme the glory of his mercy, with the forfeiture either of his Truth or Stedfastnesse. We are therefore to lay this as a firme ground and infallible, that our God is both truely Vnchangeable, and vnchangeably True. Num. 2 [...].19. 1 Sam. 15.29. The strength of Israel is not as man, that hee should lye, nor as the sonne of man, that hee should repent: his words are not 2 Cor. 1.19.20. Yea and Nay, neither doth hee vse lightnesse. But his words are Yea and Amen; and himselfe Heb. 13.8. yesterday and to day and the same for euer: Matth. 24.35. Heauen and Earth may passe away, yea shall passe away; but not the least [...]. Math. 5.18. tittle of Gods words shall passe away vnfulfilled: Psal. 102.26.27. They may waxe old as a garment, and as a vesture shall hee change them, and they shall bee changed; but he is the same, and his yeares faile not: neither doe his pur­poses faile, nor his promises faile, nor his threat­nings faile, nor any of his words faile. Let Hea­uen, and Earth, and Hell, and Angell, and Man, and Diuell, and all change: still still Mal. 3.6. Ego Deus et non mutor, God he is the Lord of all, and he chan­geth not.

As for those Phrases then of Repenting, §. 8. how God is sayd to re­pent, &c. Grie­uing, [Page 333] &c. which are spoken of God in the Scrip­tures: that [...]. Chrysost. in Gen. hom. 3. So also ibid. hom. 15. & 26. & 60. & in Psal. 6. & pas­sim. [...], whereof S. Chrysostome so often speaketh, salueth them. God speaketh to vs, and therefore speaketh as wee vse to speake, and frameth his language to our Pro captu no­stro, non pro suo statu. Bernard. lib, 5. de Con­sid. ad Eugen. dulnesse, and teach­eth vs by [...] Chrys. in Psal. 8. our owne phrases what hee would haue vs learne; as Nurses talke halfe syllables, and [...]. Chrysost. in Psalm. 6.lispe out broken language to young children. But what is so spoken [...], of God, after the manner of men; must yet be vnderstood [...], so as befitteth the Maiestie and perfection of his diuine nature. When he repenteth then, we are not so to conceiue it, as if God Nunquam primi con­silij Deos poenitet. Seneo. 6. de benef. 23. changed his mind, or altered anie thing of his euerlasting pur­pose and counsell, eyther in substance or circumstan­ces: it only Quod dicit (Poenilentiam agam) intelligi­gitur metaphoricè dictum: nam homines, quando non implent quod comminati sunt, poe­nitere videntur. Aquin. 1. qu. 19.7. ad. 2. importeth, that he now doth not that; which, so farre as we could reasonably coniecture by his words, or workes, or our deserts, or other­wise, seemed to vs to haue beene his purpose to haue done.

This for the Phrases: but yet the maine doubt for the thing it selfe standeth vncleared.§. 9. the doubt re­solued, Abime­lech and Hezekiah shall dye, and yet Abimelech and Hezekiah shall not dye; Nineueh shall be destroyed, and yet Nineueh shall not be destroyed; I will bring euill vpon Ahabs house, and yet I will not bring it: is not this Yea and Nay? is not this a plaine contra­diction? [Page 334] How is there not here a plaine change of Gods will? If not for substance; because the things were at length performed: yet at least in circumstance; because they were not performed at those times, and in that manner, as they were threatned and foretold. That wretched mis­creant Vorstius, instead of vntying this knot, cut­teth it: who, to maintaine Arminian conclusions from blasphemous Principles, trembleth not to affirme, Vorst. de Deo. In parte aliquâ diuini decreti fieri aliquam mutationem; that there may be some change made in some part of Gods decree. An asser­tion vnbeseeming an ingenuous Pagane, and to be for euer abhorred and held accursed by euery soule that professeth it selfe Christian. Admit this once: and let Man, yea and the Diuell too, be true; and onely God a lyer. Leaue wee him therefore to the iudgement of that great God, whom he hath blasphemed; and seeke wee bet­ter satisfaction. That of Aquinas, and the Schoolemen, is true, but subtile: that God doth sometimes Aquin. 1. qu. 19.7. Velle mutationem, though hee doth neuer mutare voluntatem; that though hee neuer changeth his will, yet hee sometimes willeth a change. That of Cùm exteriùs mutari vide­tur sententia, consilium non mutatur quia de vnaquaque re immutabili­ter intùs consti­tuitur, quicquid foris mutabili­ter agitur. Gregor. in Moral. Gregory is plainer, and no lesse true; Mutat Deus sententiam, non consilium: God sometimes changeth the sentence which he hath denounced, but neuer the Counsell which he hath decreed. Others, otherwise: diuers men conceiuing the same answer for substance, in di­uers and different termes.

That which is plainest, and giueth fullest satis­faction, [Page 335] and whereinto the answeres of Gregory, §. 10. by vnderstan­ding euer a clause of ex­ception, and Aquinas, and the rest, (as many as haue spo­ken with any truth and pertinency to the point,) in the last resolution fall; is briefly this. In the whole course of Scripture, Gods threatnings, and so his promises too,) haue euer a condition annexed vnto them in Gods purpose: which though it be not euer, indeede but seldome expressed; yet is it euer included, and so to bee vnderstood. All Gods promises, (how absolutely so euer expressed,) are made sub conditione Obedientiae: and all his threat­nings (how absolutely so euer expressed,) sub con­ditione Impoenitentiae. And these Conditions, viz. of continuing in Obedience, in all Promises; and of continuing in Impenitency, in all Threatnings, are to be vnderstood of course; whether they be ex­pressed, or not. This is plaine from those two fa­mous places before cited, Ier. 18. and Ezek. 33. Ier. 18.7.8. See Chrysost. hom. 5. ad pop. Antioch. fuse & pulchrè. When I say to the wicked, thou shalt surely dye; if the wicked turne from his sinne, &c. hee shall surely liue, he shall not dye. Where Almighty God plainely teacheth vs, that we ought so to conceiue of all his threatnings, bee they neuer so peremptorily set downe, (as what more peremptory than this, Thou shalt surely dye?) as that he may reserue to him a power of reuocation, in case the parties threatned repent. The examples make it plaine. Abimelech shall dye for taking Sarah: vnderstand it; vnlesse he restore her. Forty daies, and Nineueh shalbe destroyed: vnderstand it with this reseruation; Vnlesse they re­pent. And so of all the rest.

But why is not that clause expressed then?§. 11. though some­times not ex­pressed: be­cause it is needlesse may [Page 336] some demand, I answer: first, it needeth not; se­condly, it booteth not. First, it needeth not. For God hauing in Ierem. 18. and Ezek. 33. and else­where instructed vs in the generall, that all his Threatnings are to be vnderstood with such clauses and conditions and reseruations▪ it is needlesse to repeate them in euery particular: As amongst Christian men, who acknowledge Gods proui­dence to rule in all things, and to dispose of all actions and euents; it is needlesse in euery speech de futuro contingente to expresse this clause [if God will;] wee will goe to such or such a place, or doe such or such a thing, if God will: because wee rea­dily conceiue it, as a clause, which either is, or should be vnderstood in euery such speech, as Iam [...]s 4.15.St. Iames requireth. And so in many promises amongst men, this clause, though not expressed, is yet al­lowed of course, and to common intendement vn­derstood, [Rebus sic stantibus; things standing and continuing as now they are:] so as if a man make a promise absolutely, without expressing that or any other like clause of Limitation or Exception, if in the interim some such vnexpected accident befall, as maketh that either he cannot or may not do what he promised; wee may not in right reason charge such a man with breach of promise, if he perform not all hee promised: because the foresaid clause, though not expressed, is yet presumed to haue been intended by the Promiser. And that Gods Threat­nings, as deiure they ought to be by vs when wee heare them, so de facto they were vnderstood by him when he made them, with a secret clause of re­seruation [Page 337] and exception in case of Repentance; ap­peareth by the vsuall practice of many vpon such threatnings, and the vse they made of them. The Nineuites when Ionah preached destruction within forty daies, without any expresse clause of repen­tance; yet vnderstood it so: else had it beene in vaine for them to haue repented at all, out of an hope of preuenting the iudgement by their repen­tance; as their speeches shew they did. Ion. 3.9. For who can tell, say they, if God will turne and repent, and turne away from his fierce anger, that wee perish not? The like may be said of Abimelech, Hezekiah, and others: and of Ahab in this place.

Againe, as it is sometimes needlesse, so it is al­waies bootlesse, §. 12. 2. bootlesse. to expresse this clause of repen­tance in the threatnings of God. The expressing of it can doe little good; secure ones will repent neuer the sooner for it: but it may doe much harm; secure ones may thereby put themselues in fairer hope of forbearance, and so linger their repen­tance till it be too late. Beloued, it is admirable to obserue [...], Gods gracious courses, which hee vseth for the calling of men to repen­tance. In this particularity whereof we now speak, see how his Psal. 85.10. Mercy and Truth are met together, and doe most louingly embrace each other. Where he spareth in the end, it is most certaine he euer meant to spare Deus perseue­rauit in propo­sito suo, misere­ri volens ab ini­tio. Hieronym. in Ion. 3. from the beginning: but that his euer­lasting purpose is part of his secret counsell, and vn­reuealed will; which as wee cannot learne, so wee may not seeke to know, till the euent declare it. Now to bring this his secret purpose about, he must [Page 338] worke those men to repentance, whom he hath thus euerlastingly purposed to spare: else his iustice should become questionable, in finally sparing the impenitent. Amongst other meanes to worke men to repentance, this is one, to [...]. Chrys. hom. 5. ad pop. Antioch. threaten them with such iudgements, as their sinnes haue deserued: which threatning the more terrible it is, the more likely it is to be effectuall; and the more peremptory it is, the more terrible it is. So then God, to bring those men to repentance whom hee meaneth to spare, in his word and by his messengers denoun­ceth against them such iudgements, as their sinnes haue deserued, and as his iustice without their re­pentance would bring vpon them; denounceth them I say absolutely, and in a peremptorie forme, without any expresse clause of reseruation or ex­ception, the more to terrifie and affright them, and to cast them downe to the deeper acknowledge­ment of his iustice and their owne vnworthinesse: which yet are to bee vnderstood conditionally, and interpreted with reseruation and exception of Re­pentance.

§. 13. The Inferen­ces.You haue heard euidence enough to acquite Gods Truth; and doe by this time, I doubt not, per­ceiue how, as in all other things, so in the reuoking of his threatnings, Gods Mercy and his Truth goe hand in hand together. Let vs now see, what profitable Inferences may bee raised hence for our vse. The summe of all wee haue said, is but this. Gods threatnings are terrible; but yet conditionall: and if he spare to execute them, when we are hum­bled by them, it is a glorious illustration of his [Page 339] Mercy, but without the least impeachment of his truth. Here is something for the Distressed, some­thing for the Secure, something for All, to learne.

First; for the Distressed. §. 14. 1. of Comfort, to the distres­sed; Consider this, and take comfort; all you that Esay. 61.3. mourne in Sion, and groane vnder the waight of Gods heauy displeasure, and the fearfull expectation of those bitter curses and iudgements, which hee hath threatned against sinne. Why doe you spend your strength and spi­rit, in gazing with broad eyes altogether on Gods Iustice, or Truth: take them off a little, and refresh them, by fastening them another while vpon his mercy. Consider not only what hee threateneth: but consider withall why hee threatneth, it is, that you may repent; and withall how hee threatneth, it is, vnlesse you repent. Hee threatneth to cast downe indeed: but vnto humiliation, not into de­spaire. Hee shooteth out his arrowes, euen bitter words: but as 1 Sam. 20.20.21. Ionathans arrowes, for warning, not for destruction. Thinke not, hee aymeth so much at thy punishment, when he threatneth: alas, if that were the thing he sought, hee could lay on loade enough [...]. Chrysost. in Gen. hom. 25. Nemo punire desiderans, quod facturus est comminatur. Hieronym. in Ion. 3. without words: No, it is thy a­mendment hee aimeth at, and seeketh therein: and hee therefore holdeth not his tongue, that if thou wilt take it for a warning, hee may hold his hand. If the Father doe but threaten the childe, when the rod lyeth by him; it is very likely hee meaneth not to correct him for that time, but only to make him the more carefull to obey, and the more feare­full to offend, for the time to come. Canst thou thus gather hope from the chiding of thy earthly [Page 340] father; and wilt thou finde no comfort in the chi­dings and threatnings of thy heauenly Father? whose bowels of tender compassion to vs-ward are so much larger, than any earthly Parents can be; by how much himselfe the Heb. 12.9. Father of spirits is greater than those fathers of our flesh. Yea, but who am I, will some disconsolate soule say, that I should make Gods threatnings voide? or what my repentance, that it should cancell the Oracles of Truth, or reuerse the sentence of the eternall Iudge? Poore distressed soule, that thus disputest against thine owne peace; but seest not the while the vnfathomed depth of Gods mercy, and the wonderfull dispensations of his Truth. Know, that his threatnings are not made voide, or of none effect, when thou by thy repentance stayest the exe­cution of them; yea rather then are they of all o­ther times most effectuall: for then doe they most of all accomplish their proper end, and the thing for which they were intended, in thy amendment. Neither let his truth make thee despaire; but re­member, that the tenor of all his most perempto­ry threatnings runneth with an implicite reseruati­on and conditionall exception of Repentance: which condition if thou on thy part faithfully performe; the iudgement shall bee turned away, and yet Gods Truth no whit impaired. This for the Distressed.

§. 15. 2. of Terrour, to the secure.Now for the Secure. Moses in Deut. 29. speaketh of a certaine Deut. 29.18.19. roote, that beareth gall and worme­wood; that blesseth it selfe when God curseth, and standeth vnmoued when God threatneth. Here is an Axe for that roote, to hew it in pieces; [Page 341] and, vnlesse it Math. 7.19. bring forth better fruite, to cleane it out for the fire. If there be any spriggs or spurnes of that roote here; let them also consider what hath beene said, and tremble. Consider this I say and tremble, all you that make a mocke at God, and at his word, and imagine that all his threatnings are but Bruta fulmina, empty cracks, and Powder without shot; because sundry of them haue fallen to the ground, and not done the hurt they made shew of. But know, who so euer thou art, that thus abusest the Mercy, and despisest the Truth of God; that as his Mercy neuer did, so his Truth shall neuer faile. Thou saiest, some of his threatnings haue done no harme: I say as much too; and his mercy be blessed for it: but what is that, to secure thee? If any where Gods threatnings did no harme, and wrought no destruction; it was there only, where they did good, and wrought repentance. If they haue turned thee from thy sinnes, as they haue done some others: there is hope thou maist turne them away from thee, as some others haue done. But if they haue done no good vpon thee, in wor­king thy repentance; certainly they hang ouer thee to doe thee harme, and to worke thy destruction. Gods threatnings are in this respect, as all other his words are, sure and stedfast; and such as Esay. 55.11. shall neuer returne voide, but accomplish that for which they were sent: if not the one way, then without all doubt the other. If they doe not humble thee, they must ouerwhelme thee: if they worke not thy con­uersion, they will thy ruine. As some strong Phy­sicke, that either mendeth, or endeth the Patient; so [Page 342] are these. And therefore when iudgements are de­nounced; resolue quickly, off or on: Here is all the choyce that is left thee; either Repent, or Suffer. There is a generation of men, that (as Moses com­plaineth) Deut. 29.19. when they heare the words of Gods curse, blesse themselues in their hearts, and say they shall haue peace, though they walke in the imagination of their owne hearts; that (as S. Paul complaineth) Rom. 2.4. despise the riches of his goodnesse and forbearance and long-suffering, not taking knowledge that the goodnesse of God would lead them to repentance; that (as S. Peter complaineth) 2 Pet. 3.3.4. walke after their owne lusts, and scoffingly iest at Gods iudgements, say­ing, where is the promise of his comming? But let such secure and carnall scoffers bee assured, that howsoeuer others speed, they shall neuer goe vn­punished: Whatsoeuer becommeth of Gods threatnings against others; certainely they shall fall heauy vpon them. They that haue taught vs their conditions, Moses and Paul, and Peter; haue taught vs also their punishments. Moses telleth such a one, how euer others are dealt with, that yet Deut. 29.20. the Lord will not spare him; but the anger of the Lord and his iealousie shall smoake against that man, and all the curses that are written in Gods booke shall light vpon him, and the Lord shall blot out his name from vnder heauen. S. Paul telleth such men, that by despising the riches of his goodnesse and forbearance, they doe but Rom. 2.5. treasure vp vnto themselues wrath against the great day of wrath, and of the reuelation of the righteous iudgement of God. S. Peter telleth them, howsoeuer they not only [Page 343] sleep, but euen snort in deep security; that yet 2 Pet. 2.3. their iudgement of long time sleepeth not, and their damna­tion [...], not so much as slumbereth. Doe thou then take heed, whosoeuer thou art, & whatsoeuer thou dost, that thou abuse not the Mercy of God: and to diuorce it from his Truth, is to abuse it. If when God threatneth, thou layest aside his Truth, & presumest on his bare Mercy: when he punisheth, take heed he doe not cry quittance with thee, by laying aside his Mercy, and manifesting his bare Truth. God is Psal. 145.8. patient and mercifull: Patience will beare much, Mercy forbeare much: but being scor­ned, and prouoked, & dared, Furor sit laese saepius patien­tia. Patience it selfe tur­neth furious, and Mercy it selfe cruell. It is Mercy, that threatneth; it is Iustice, that punisheth. Mercy hath the first turne; and if by Faith and Repentance we lay timely hold of it, we may keepe it for euer, and (reuenging) Iustice shall haue nothing to doe with vs. But if carelesse and secure we slip the op­portunity, and neglect the time of Mercy; the next turne belongeth to Iustice: which will render iudgement without Mercy, to them that forgat God, and despised his Mercy. That for the Secure.

Now thirdly, and generally for All. §. 16. 3. of instru­ction, to All. What God hath ioyned together, let no man put asunder. God hath purposely in his threats ioyned and tempe­red Mercy and Truth together; that wee might take them together, and profit by them together. Auson. E­pigr. 10. Diuidat haec siquis, faciunt discreta venenum; An­tidotum sumet, qui sociata bibet: as hee spake of the two poysons. Either of these single, though not through any malignant quality in themselues, [Page 344] (God forbid wee should thinke so;) yet through the corrupt temperature of our soules, becommeth ranke and deadly poyson to vs. Take Mercy with­out Truth; as a cold Poyson it benummeth vs, and maketh vs stupid with carelesse security. Take Truth without Mercy; as an hot poyson it scaldeth vs, and scortcheth vs in the flames of restlesse De­spaire. Take both together, and mixe them well: as hot and cold poysons, fitly tempered by the skill of the Apothecarie, become medicinable; so are Gods Mercy and Truth restoratiue to the soule. The consideration of his Truth humbleth vs; without it wee would be fearelesse: the considera­tion of his Mercy supporteth vs; without it wee would bee hopelesse. Truth begetteth Feare and Repentance; Mercy, Faith and Hope: and these two Faith and Repentance keepe the soule euen, and vp­right and steddy, as the ballast and sayle doe the ship; that for all the rough waues and weather that encountereth her in the troublesome sea of this World, shee miscarryeth not, but arriueth safe and ioyfull in the hauen where shee would be. Faith without Repentance, is not Faith, but Presumpti­on; like a Ship all sayle, and no ballast, that tippeth ouer with euery blast: and Repentance without Faith, is not Repentance but Despaire; like a Ship all ballast, and no sayle, which sinketh with her owne weight. What is it then, that wee are to doe; to turne away Gods wrath from vs, and to escape the iudgements, he threatneth against vs? Euen this: As in his Comminations, hee ioyneth Mercy and Truth together; so are wee in our Humiliations to [Page 345] ioyne Faith and Repentance together. His threat­nings are true: let vs not presume of forbearance; but feare, since hee hath threatned, that vnlesse we repent, he will strike vs. Yet his threatnings are but conditionall: let vs not despaire of forbearance; but hope, although hee hath threatned, that yet if wee repent, he will spare vs. That is the course, which the godly, guided by the direction of his holy Spirit, haue euer truely and sincerely held; and found it euer comfortable to assure them of sound peace, and reconciliation with God. That is the course, which the very Hypocrites, from the sugge­stion of naturall conscience, haue sometimes offered at, as farre as Nature (enlightened, but vnrenewed) could leade them; and found it effectuall, to pro­cure them at the least some forbearance of threat­ned iudgements, or abatement of temporall euills from God.

Thus haue you heard three Vses made,§. 17. The Promises of God how to be vnder­stood; of Gods Mercy in reuoking, ioyned with his Truth in per­forming, what he threatneth. One, to cheare vp the distressed; that hee despaire not, when God threatneth: another, to shake vp the secure; that hee despise not, when God threatneth: a third, to quicken vp all; that they beleeue and repent, when God threatneth. There is yet another generall Vse to be made hereof; which, though it bee not proper to the present argument, yet I cannot wil­lingly passe without a little touching at it: and that is, to instruct vs for the vnderstanding of Gods promises. For contraries, (as Promises and Threatnings are,) being of the like kinde and rea­son [Page 346] either with other, doe mutually giue and take light either to and from other. Gods threatnings are true and stedfast: his Promises are so too [Tit. 1.2. pro­misit qui non mentitur Deus, which God that cannot lye hath promised] saith the Apostle in one place; and in another. [2 Cor. 1.20. All the promises of God are Yea and Amen:] and where in a third place hee speaketh of Heb. 6.18. two immutable things, in which it was impossi­ble for God to lye, his Promise one of those two. The Promises then of God are true; as his Threat­nings are. Now looke on those Threatnings a­gaine; which wee haue already found to be true, but withall Conditionall, and such as must be euer vnderstood with a clause of reseruation or excep­tion. It is so also in the Promises of God: they are true, but yet conditionall, and so they must euer be vnderstood with a conditionall clause. The exception there to be vnderstood, is Repen­tance: and the Condition here, Obedience. What God threatneth to doe vnto vs, absolutely in words; the meaning is, hee will doe it, vnlesse wee repent and amend: and what hee promiseth to doe for vs, absolutely in words; the meaning is, he will doe it, if wee beleeue and obey. And for so much as this clause is to bee vnderstood of course, in all Gods promises: we may not charge him with breach of Promise, though after hee doe not really performe that to vs, which the letter of his promise did import, if we breake the condition, and obey not.

§. 18. and enter­tained.Wouldest thou know then, how thou art to en­tertaine Gods promises, & with what assurance to expect them? I answer, with a confident, and obedient [Page 347] heart. Confident, because hee is true, that hath promised; Obedient, because that is the condi­tion, vnder which hee hath promised: Here is a curbe then for those mens presumption; who liuing in sinne, and continuing in disobedi­ence, dare yet lay claime to the good Promises of God. If such men euer had any seeming interest in Gods Promises; the interest they had, they had but by contract and couenant: and that couenant, whether either of the two it was, Law or Gospell, it was conditionall. The co­uenant of the Law wholly, and à Priori con­ditionall; Luk. 10.28. Hoc fac & viues, Doe this and Liue: & the Couenant of the Gospel too, after a sort, and à Po­steriori Conditionall; Crede & Vines, Belieue and Liue. If then they haue broken the conditions of both couenants, and doe neither Beleeue, nor Doe what is required: they haue by their Vnbeliefe and Disobedience forfeited all that seeming interest they had in those Promises. Gods Promises then, though they be the very maine supporters of our Christi­an Faith and Hope, to as many of vs, as whose consciences can witnesse vnto vs a sincere desire & endeauour of performing that Obedience we haue couenanted; yet are they to be embraced euen by such of vs, with a reuerend feare and trembling, at our owne vnworthinesse. But as for the vncleane, and filthy, and polluted; those Math. 6.6. Swine and Dogs, that delight in sinne and disobedience, and euery abomination: they may set their hearts at rest for these matters; they haue neither part nor fellow­ship in any of the sweet promises of God. Let dirty [Page 348] 2. Pet. 2.22. Swine wallow in their owne filth; these rich Math. 6.6. pearles are not for them, they are too precious: let hungry 2 Pet. 2.2. Dogs glut themselues with their owne vomite; the Math. 15.26. Childrens bread is not for them, it is too delicious: Let him that will be filthy, Reu. 22.11. be filthy still; the promises of God are holy things, and belong to none but those that are holy, and desire to be holy still. For our selues in a word; let vs hope that a promise being left vs, if with faith and obedience and patience we waite for it, we shall in due time receiue it: but withall Heb. 4.1. let vs feare, (as the Apostle exhorteth Heb. 4.) lest a pro­mise being left vs, through disobedience or vnbe­liefe, any of vs should seeme to come short of it.

§. 19. The opening of theThus much of the former thing proposed; the mignifying of Gods Mercy, and the clearing of his Truth in the reuocation and suspension of of threatned iudgements; by occasion of these words [I will not bring the Evill.] There is yet a Circumstance remaining, of this generall part of my Text, which would not be forgotten: it is the extent of time, for the suspending of the iudge- [I will not bring the Euill in his dayes.] Something I would speake of it too by your patience: it shall not be much, because the season is sharpe, I haue not much sand to spend. I will not bring the evill in his dayes. The iudgement denounced a­gainst Ahabs house, was in the end executed vpon it; as appeareth in the sequele of the story, and es­pecially from those words of Iehu (who was himselfe the instrument raised vp by the Lord, and vsed for that execution,) in 4. King. 10. 4 King, 10.10.[know [Page 349] that there shal fall to the earth nothing of the word of the Lord, which the Lord spake concerning the house of Ahab; for the Lord hath done that which he spake by his seruant Eliah.] Which were enough, (if there were nothing else to be said) to iustifie Gods Truth in this one particular. That which Ahab gained by his humiliation, was only the deferring of it for his time; I will not bring the euill in his dayes. As if God had said, This wretched king hath prouoked me, and pulled down a curse from me vpon his house, which it were but iust to bring vpon him and it without farther delay: yet because he made not a scoffe at my Prophet, but tooke my words something to heart, and was humbled by them; he shall not say, but I will deale merciful­ly with him, and beyond his merit: as ill as he de­serueth it, I will doe him this fauour, I will not bring the euill that is determined against his house, in his dayes.

The thing I would obserue hence, is; That,§ 20. 5. Obseruati­on: that though it be some griefe to foresee the euils to come; when God hath determined a iudgement vpon any people, family, or place; it is his great mercy to vs, if he doe not let vs liue to see it. It cannot but be a great griefe, I say not now to a religious, but euen) to any soule, that hath not quite cast off all natu­rall affection; to forethinke and foreknow the future calamities of his countrey and kindred. Herodot in Polyh; Valer. Max. 9.13, Xerxes could not forbeare weeping, beholding his huge army that followed him; onely to thinke, that within some few scores of yeares so many thou­sands of proper men would be all dead and rotten: and yet that a thing that must needes haue happe­ned [Page 350] by the necessitie of nature, if no sad accident or common calamitie should hasten the accom­plishment of it. The declination of a Common­wealth, and the funerall of a Kingdome, foreseene in the generall corruption of manners and decay of discipline, (the most certaine symptomes of a tot­tering State;) haue fetched teares from the eyes, and bloud from the hearts, of heathen men zea­lously affected to their Countrey. How much more griefe then must it needes be, to them that acknowledge the true God, not onely to fore­know the extraordinary plagues and miseries and calamities which shall befall their posteritie: but also to fore-read in them Gods fierce wrath and heauie displeasure and bitter vengeance, against their owne sinnes, and the sinnes of their posteri­ty? Our blessed Sauiour, though himselfe without sinne, and so no way accessory to the procuring of the euills that should ensue, could not yet but Luk. 19.41. weepe ouer the City of Ierusalem, when he beheld the present securitie, and the future ruine there­of.

§. 21. yet it is some happinesse, to be taken a­way before they come.A griefe it is then to know these things shall happen: but some happinesse withall, and to be acknowledged as a great fauour from God, to be assured that we shall neuer see them. It is no small Mercy in him, it is no small Comfort to vs: if ei­ther hee take vs away, before his iudgements come; or keepe his iudgements away, till we be gone. When God had told Abraham in Gen. 15. that his Gen. 15.13. —15. seede should be a stranger in a land that was not theirs, meaning Egypt, where they should [Page 351] be kept vnder, and afflicted 400. yeares: lest the good Patriarch should haue beene swallowed vp with griefe at it; hee comforteth him, as with a promise of their glorious deliuerance at the last, so with a promise also of prosperitie to his owne person, and for his owne time, [But thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace, & shalt be buryed in a good old age, vers. 15.]. In Esay 39. when Hezekiah heard from the mouth of the Prophet Esaiah, that all the Esay. 39.6.-8 treasures in the Lords house & in the Kings house should be carried into Babylon, and that his sonnes whom he should beget should be taken away, and made Eunuchs in the palace of the King of Baby­lon: he submitted himself (as it became him to do,) to the sentence of God; and comforted himselfe with this, that yet there should be peace and truth in his dayes, vers. 8. In 4. King. 22. when Huldah had prophesied of the 4. King. 2.16—20. euill that God would bring vp­on the City of Ierusalem, and the whole land of Iudah; in the name of the Lord shee pronounceth this as a courtesie from the Lord vnto good King Iosiah, [Because thy heart was tender, and thou hast humbled thy selfe — Behold therefore I will gather thee vnto thy fathers, and thou shalt be gathered vn­to thy graue in peace, and thine eyes shall not see all the euill, which I will bring vpon this place.] vers. last.

Indeed euery man should haue,§. 22. with the Rea­son; and euery good man hath, an honest care of posterity; would re­ioyce to see things settled well for them, would grieue to see things likely to goe ill with them. That common speech which was so frequent with [Page 352] Dio. lib. 57. Liberius, was monstrous, and not Illa vox scele­rata atque in humana—Cic. 3. de finib. Vox magna et de­testabilis. Senec. 2. de Clement. 2. sauouring of common humanity Everso juvat orbe mori. Dictum R [...]ffi­ni apud Clau­dian. [...], When I am gone, let heauen and earth be jumbled againe into their old Chaos: but hee that mended it, with Nero. apud Sueton. in Ne­rone, cap. 38. [...], yea (saith he,) whilest I liue; see­meth to haue renounced all that was man in him. Aristotle hath taught vs better, what reason taught him, that Arist. 1. Ethic. 11. Res posterorum pertinent ad de­functos; the good or euill of those that come af­ter vs, doth more than nothing concerne vs, when we are dead and gone. This is true: but yet Terent. Andr. 4.1. Proximus egomet mî, though it were the speech of a Sharke in the Comedy, will beare a good con­struction; Euery man is [...]. neerest to himselfe: and that Charity, which looketh abroad, and seeketh not onely her owne, yet beginneth at home, and seeketh first her owne. Whence it is, that a godly man, as he hath just cause to grieue for posterities sake, if they must feele Gods judgements; so hee hath good cause to reioyce for his owne sake, if he shall escape them: and he is no lesse to take know­ledge of Gods Mercy, in sparing him; than of his Iustice, in striking them.

§. 23. and vses ther­of: the first;This point is vsefull many wayes: I will touch but some of them, and that very briefly. First, here is one Comfort, amongst many other, against the bitternesse of temporall death. If God cut thee off in the middest of thy daies, and best of thy strength; if death turne thee pale, before age haue turned thee gray; if the flower be plucked off before it begin to wither: grudge not at thy lot therein; but meete Gods Messenger cheerfully, & embrace him thank­fully. [Page 353] It may bee, God hath some great worke in hand, from which he meaneth to saue thee. It may be, he sendeth death to thee, as he sent his Gen. 19.16.17. Angel to Lot; to plucke thee out of the middest of a fro­ward and crooked generation, and to snatch thee away, lest a worse thing than death should happen vnto thee. Cast not therefore a longing eye back vpon Sodome, neither desire to linger in the plaine; (it is but a vallie of teares and miserie:) but vp to the mountaine from whence commeth thy salua­tion, lest some euill ouertake thee. Possibly that which thou thinkest an vntimely death, may bee to thee a double aduantage: a great aduantage, in vshe­ring thee so early into Gods glorious presence; and some aduantage too, in plucking thee so seasonably from Gods imminent iudgements. It is a fauour to be non meher­cule quenquam audio hoc anno ereptum, qui mibi non a l [...]iis immort. ereptus ex his miseriis, & ex iniquissimâ conditione vitae videretur. Cic. 5. epist. 16. Fuit hoc luctuosum suis, acerbum patriae, graue bonis omnibus: sed ii tamen Remp. casus secuti sunt, vt mihi non erepta L. Crasso à Diis Imm. vita, sed donata mors esse videretur. Non vidit flagrantem &c. Id. 3. de Orat. Fortunatus illius [Hortensii] exitus, qui ea non vidit cum fierent, quae praeuidit futura—sed illum videtur felicitas ipsius, quâ semper est vsus, ab eis miserijs quae consecutae sunt, morte vindicasse. Id in Bruto. taken away betimes, when euill is determined vpon those that are left.

Secondly, here is a Warning for vs,§. 24. the second; to take consi­deration of the losse of good or vsefull men; and to feare, when they are going from vs, that some euill is comming towards vs. The Prophet complaineth of the too great and generall neglect hereof in his times; [Esay 57.1. The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart; and mercifull men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the [Page 354] euill to come. Esay 57.] When God sendeth his Gen. 19.16. Angel to plucke out his righteous Lots, what may Sodome expect but fire and brimstone to be rai­ned down vpon them? When he plucketh vp the fairest and choysest flowers in his garden, & crop­peth off the tops of the goodliest poppies: who can thinke other, than that he meaneth to lay his gar­den wast, and to turne it into a wilde wildernesse? When he vndermineth the maine pillars of the house, taketh away the very props and buttresses of Church & Cōmonweale; sweepeth away religi­ous Princes, wise Senatours, zealous Magistrates, painefull Ministers, men of eminent ranck, gifts, or example: who can bee secure, that either Church, or Common weale shall Periturae vr­bis, aut malo­rum imminen­tium, vel futu­rae labis, hoc pri­mum indicium est; si decidāt vi­ri consultores— Ambros de Cain. & Abel c. 3. stand vp long; and not tot­ter at least, if not fall? God in Mercy, taketh such a­way from the euil to come: we in wisedome should look for euil to come, when God taketh such away.

§. 25. the third.Thirdly; here is instruction for Worldlings, to make much of those few godly ones that liue a­mong them: for they are the very pawnes of their peace, and the pledges of their securitie. Thinke not, yee filthy Sodomites, it is for your owne sakes, that yee haue been spared so long; know to whom you are beholden: This Gen. 19 9. fellow that came into soiourne among you, this stranger, this Lott, whom you so hate, and maligne, and disquiet; hee it is that hath bayled you hitherto, and giuen you pro­tection. Despise not Gods patience, and long-suf­fering, yee prophane ones; neither blesse your selues in your vngodly waies: neither say, Wee prosper, though wee walke in the lusts of our hearts. This [Page 355] and thus wee haue done, and nothing hath beene done to vs, God holdeth his hand, and he holdeth his tongue at vs; surely Psal. 50.21. he is such a one as our selues. Learne, O yee despisers, that if God thus forbeare you, it is not at all for your owne sakes, or because he careth not to punish euill-doers: no; he hath a little remnant, a Luke 12.13. little flock, a little handfull of his owne among you; a Reu. 3.4. few names that haue giuen themselues vnto him, and call vpon him daily for mercy vpon the land, and that Ezek 9.4. weepe and mourne in secret and vpon their beds for your abomina­tions; whom you hate, and despise, and persecute, and defame, and account as the very scumme of the people, and the refuse and off-scouring of all things; to whom yet you owe your preseruation. Surely, if it were not for some godly Iehoshaphat or other, whose 4. King. 3.14. presence God regardeth among you; if it were not for some zealous Moses or other that Psal. 106.23. standeth in the gap for you: Gods wrath had en­tred in vpon you long ere this, as a mighty breach of water; and as an ouerflowing deluge ouerwhel­med you; and you had beene swept away as with the Esay 14.23. besome of destruction, and deuoured as stubble before the fire. It is Iob 22.30. the innocent that deliuereth the land, and repriueth it from destruction, when the sentence of desolation is pronounced against it; and it is deliuered by the purenesse of his hands. O the goodnesse of our God! that would haue spared the fiue Cities of the salt sea, if among so many thousands of beastly & filthy persons there had been found but Gen. 18.32. ten righteous ones; and that was for each city, but two persons: nay, that would [Page 356] haue pardoned Ierusalem, if in all the Ier. 5.1. streetes and broad places thereof, replenished with a world of Idolaters, and Swearers, and Adulterers, and Op­pressours, there had bin found but one single man, that executed iudgement, and sought the truth from his heart. But on the madnesse of the men of this foolish world withall! who seek to doe them most mischiefe of all others, who of all others do them most good; thirsting most after their destruction, who are the chiefest instruments of their preserua­tion. Oh foolish and mad world! if thou hadst but wit enough, yet, yet to hugge and to make much of that little flocke, the hostages of thy peace, and the earnest of thy tranquillity! if thou wouldest but Luke 19.42 know, euen thou, at least in this thy day, the things that belong vnto thy peace! Thou art yet happy, that God hath a remnant in thee: and if thou knewest how to make vse of this happinesse, at least in this thy day, by honouring their persons, by procuring their safety and welfare, by following their exam­ples, by praying for their continuance; thou mightest be still, and more, and euer happy. But if these things, that belong vnto thy peace, bee now hidden from thine eyes; if these men, that prolong thy peace, and prorogue thy destruction, bee now despised in thy heart, in this day of thy peace: God is iust; Thou knowest not how soone they may be taken from thee: and though he doe not bring the euill vpon thee in their daies; when they are gone, thou knowest not how soone vengeance may ouertake thee, and Psal. 50.22. then shall he teare thee in pieces, and there shall be none left to deliuer thee.

[Page 357]I haue now done.§. 26. the Conclu­sion, Beseech wee God the Father of mercies, for his deare sonne Iesus Christ his sake, to shed his Holy Spirit into our hearts; that by his good blessing vpon vs, that which hath beene pre­sently deliuered agreeably to his holy truth and word, may take roote downewards in our hearts, and bring forth fruite vpwards in our liues and conuer­sations: and so to assist vs euer with his grace, that we may with humble confidence lay hold on his mer­cies, with cheerefull reuerence tremble at his iudge­ments, by vnfained repentance turne from vs what he hath threatned, and by vnwearied Obedience as­sure vnto vs what he hath promised. To which Holy Father, Sonne, and Spirit, three persons, and &c.

At Grantham Linc. 19. Iun. 1621.THE THIRD SERMON.

3 KINGS 21.29.

I will not bring the euill in his dayes: but in his sonnes dayes will I bring the euill vpon his house.

§. 1. The doubts proposed. I Come now this third time to entreate of this Scripture, and (by Gods helpe) to finish it. Of the three parts whereof, heretofore propounded, viz. 1. Ahabs Humiliation; 2. the Suspension of his iudgement for life; 3. and the Deuolution of it vpon Iehoram; the two former hauing beene already handled: the last only now remaineth to bee considered of. In the prosecution whereof; as heretofore wee haue cleared Gods Holinesse, and Truth: so wee shall be now occasioned to cleare his Iustice, from such imputations, as might seeme to lye vpon it from this Act. And that in three respects; accor­dingly as Iehoram, who standeth here punishable for Ahabs sinne, may be considered in a threefold reference to Ahab: that is to say, either relatè, as the [Page 359] sonne of Ahab; or disparatè, as another man from Ahab; or comparatè, as a man 4 King. 3.2. not altogether so bad as Ahab. Now what Quisquam est hominum, qui fuisse illum [Iouem] Deum credat, tàm in­iustū, tam im­pium, nec mor­tulium saltem constituta seruantem; apud quos nefas haberetur magnum, alterum pro altero plect [...] & aliena delicta aliorum ceruicibus vindicari? Arnob. contr. Gent. lib. 7. Iustice first to punish the sonne for the father? or indeed secondly, any one man for another? but most of all thirdly, the lesser offender for the greater?

It is not a matter of so much difficulty,§. 2. for resolution whereof as at the first appearance it seemeth, to cleere these doubts; if all things thereto appertaining bee duly and di­stinctly considered. The greatest trouble will bee, (the things being of more variety than hardnesse,) to sort them in such manner, as that we may there­in proceed orderly and without confusion. Euer­more, we know, Certainties must rule Vncertain­ties; and cleare truths, doubtfull: it will bee there­fore expedient for vs, for the better guiding of our iudgements, first to lay downe some Certain­ties; and then afterwards by them to measure out fit resolutions to the doubts; and then lastly from the premises to raise some few instructions for our vse.

The first Certainty then,§. 3. the first Cer­taintie. and a maine one, is this. Howsoeuer things appeare to vs, yet God neither is, nor can be vniust; as not in any other thing, so neither in his punishments. Rom. 3.5.6. Is God vn­righteous, that taketh vengeance? God forbid: for then how shall God iudge the world? Gen. 18.25. shall not the Iudge of all the earth doe right? Indeed the reasons of his Iustice oftentimes may bee, oftentimes are [Page 360] vnknowne to vs: but they neuer are, they neuer can be vnrighteous in him. If in a deepe point of Law, a learned discreete Iudge should vpon suffici­ent grounds giue sentence, flat contrary to what an ordinary by-slander would thinke reason, (as many times it falleth out;) it is not for the grieued party to complaine of iniustice done him: hee should rather impute what is done, to want of skill in himselfe, than of Conscience in the Iudge. Right so, if in many things Gods proceedings hold not proportion with those characters of Iustice and E­quitie, which our weake and carnall reason would expresse; wee must thence inferre our owne igno­rance, not his iniustice. ‘And that so much the ra­ther; because those matters of Law are such as fall within the comprehension of ordinary rea­son, whereas the wayes of God, are farre remoued out of our sight, and aduanced aboue our reach: and besides an earthly Iudge is subiect to misprisi­on, mis-information, partiality, corruption, and sundrie infirmities that may vitiate his procee­dings; whereas no such thing can possibly fall vpon the diuine Nature. Dauid hath taught vs in the Psalme, that Psal. 36.6. the righteousnesse of God is as the great mountaines, and his iudgements as the great deepe. A great mountaine is eath to bee seene; a man that will but open his eyes cannot ouerlooke it: but who can see into the bottome of the Sea, or finde out what is done in the depths thereof?’Whatsoeuer wee doe then; let vs beware wee measure not Esay. 55.8.9. his wayes by our wayes, nor his workes by our workes: howsoeuer [Page 361] they seeme to swerue from the rules of our wayes and workes; yet still Psal. 145.17. the Lord is righteous in all his wayes, and holy in all his workes. Though we can­not fathom the deepes of his iudgements, (for Ioh. 4.11. the Well is deepe, and wee haue not wherewith­all to draw;) yet let the assurance of the righte­ousnesse of all his proceedings stand firme and manifest as the mountaines, which can neither be remoued nor hid, but stand fast rooted for euer­more.’ This wee must rest vpon as a certaine Truth; howsoeuer, whomsoeuer, whensoeuer, God punisheth, he is neuer vniust.

The second Certainty. §. 4. The second Certainty; concerning temporall, To speake of Punishments properly; no temporall euill is simply, and de toto genere a punishment. By temporall euills I vnder­stand all the penall euils of this life, that doe or may befall vs from our bodily conception to our bodily deaths inclusivè; hunger, cold, nakednesse, sicknesses, infirmities, discontents, reproaches, po­uerty, imprisonments, losses, crosses, distresses, death, and the rest: in a word, all that Eccles. 1.13. sore tra­uell, which God hath giuen to the sonnes of man, to be exercised therewith, and that Sirac. 40.1. heauy yoke which is vpon the sonnes of Adam, from the day that they goe out of their mothers wombe, till the day that they returne to the mother of all things. I say none of all these are properly and de toto genere to bee accoun­ted punishments. For to make a thing simply and properly and formally a Punishment, there are re­quired these three conditions: 1. that it bee paine­full, and grieuous to suffer; 2. that it be inflicted for some fault; 3. that it bee inuoluntary, and against [Page 362] the sufferers will. That which hath but the first of these three conditions, may be called after a sort (and truely too) Malum Poenae, a kinde of Punish­ment. But [...] and properly, that Euill only is a Punishment, wherein the whole three conditions concurre. Now these temporall Euills, though they haue the two first conditions; all of them being grieuous to suffer, all of them being inflicted for sinne: yet in the third condition they faile, because they are not inuoluntary simply, and perpetually, and de suo genere inuoluntary: (to omit also a kinde of failing in the second condition; not but that they are euer inflicted for some sinne deseruing them; but for that, there are withall other ends, and reasons for which they are inflicted, and wher­unto they are intended, besides and aboue the pu­nishment of the offence.) It may not bee gaine­said indeed, but these things are inuoluntary some­times in the particular, and especially to some men, euen the least of them: but simply and vni­uersally such they are not; since by other-some men, the greatest of them are willingly and cheere­fully, not only suffered, but desired. Not but that they are grieuous to the best. (It must needes bee some griefe, as to the Merchant, to see his rich la­ding cast ouer-board, and to the Patient to haue an old festered sore searched and sindged; so to the Christian, to haue Gods correcting hand lye heauy vpon him in some temporall affliction: The Apo­stle telleth vs plainely, Heb. 12.11. No affliction for the pre­sent is ioyous, but grieuous. But inuoluntary it is no more in him, than those other things are in them. [Page 363] As therefore the Merchant, though it pittie his heart to see so much wealth irrecouerably lost, yet getteth the best helpe and vseth the best speede he can to empty the vessell of them, for the sauing of his life; and as the Patient, though est planè quasi saeuitia, medici­na de scalp [...]ll [...]— Non tamen seca­ri ideirco ma­lum: quia do­lores vtiles af­fert—vlulans ille, & gemens & mugiens in­ter manus me­dici, postmo­dum easdem mercede cumu­labit. Tertulli­an in Scorp. cap. 5. hee smart when the wound is dressed, yet thanketh and seeth the Surgion for his paynes, in hope of fu­ture ease: so the Christian, though these temporall euills somewhat trouble him, yet he is willing to them, and he is cheerefull vnder them, and he ac­knowledgeth Gods goodnesse in them, and retur­neth him thankes for them; because hee knoweth they are sent for his future good, and that they will at the last Heb 12.11. yeeld them the peaceable fruite of righte­ousnesse when they shall haue beene sufficiently ex­ercised therby. See Act. 5.41. Peter and Iohn reioycing, when they suffered for the name of Iesus, and St Paul so farre from fearing, that Phil. 1.23. hee longed after his disolution; and the blessed Martyrs running to a faggot, as to a feast. Verily, Gods children see great good in these things, which others account euills: and therefore they take them not as bare punishments sent to afflict them; but as glorious tryalls to exercise them, as gracious corrections to humble them, as precious receipts to purge, and re­couer, and restore, and strengthen them.

So that it is not any of the temporall evills of this life;§. 5. and Eternall punishments. but much rather the euerlasting paines of hell, wherein the just reward and punishment of sinne properly and especially consisteth. Rom. 6.23. The wages of sinne is Death: the proper wages of sinne eternall death. For so the Antithesis in that place [Page 364] giueth it to be vnderstood, viz. of such a death as is opposed to Eternall life, and that is Eternall Death; [The wages of sinne is death: but the gift of God is Eternall life.] Rom. 6. By the distribution of those Eternall punishments then, wee are rather to judge of Gods righteousnesse in recompencing sin­ners; than by the dispensation of these temporall euills. It was a stumbling blocke to the [...]. Marmoreo tu­mulo Licinus jacet; at Cato paruo: Pompei­us nullo. Credi­mus esse Deos? Vario. See Plat. de leg. Cic. 3. de Nat. deor. Senec. de prouid. Aug. 3. de lib. arb. 2. Menand. apud Stob. Serm. 104. heathen to see good men oppressed and vice prosper: it made them doubt; some whether there were a God, or no; others nothing better, whether a prouidence, or no. But what maruell, if they stumbled, who had no right knowledge either of God, or of his prouidence; when Iob, and Dauid, and other the deare children of God haue beene much puzzled with it? Dauid confesseth in Psal. 73. that Psal. 73.23. his feete had welnigh slipped, when hee saw the prospe­rity of the wicked: and certainty downe he had beene, had hee not happily stepped Ibid. 17. into the Sanctuary of God, and there vnderstood the end of these men. Temporall euills, though they be sometimes punishments of sinne: yet they are not euer sent as punishments, (because sometimes they haue other ends and vses, and are ordinabilia in me­lius;) and secondly, they are neuer the onely punish­ments of sinne; because there are greater and more lasting punishments reserued for sinners af­ter this life, of which there is no other vse or end, but to punish; since they are not ordinabilie in me­lius. If we will make these temporall euills the mea­sure, whereby to judge of the Iustice of God, wee cannot secure our selues from erring dangerously: [Page 365] Gods purposes in the dispensation of these vnto particular men being vnsearchable. But those euer­lasting punishments are they, wherein Gods Iustice shall be manifested to euery eye, in due time; at that last day, which is therefore called by St Paul Rom. 2. Rom 2.5. the day of wrath, and of the reuelation of the righteous iudgment of God. Implying, that how­soeuer God is just in all his iudgements and acts of prouidence, euen vpon earth; yet the Counsells and Purposes of God in these things are often secret, and past our finding out: but at the last great day, when Ibid. 6. he shall render to euery man according to his workes his euerlasting recompence; then his ven­geance shall manifest his wrath, and the righ­teousnesse of his iudgement shall be reuealed to euery eye in the condigne punishment of vnrecon­ciled sinners. That is the second Certainety; Tem­porall euills are not alwayes, nor simply, nor proper­ly, the punishments for sinne.

If any man shall be yet vnsatisfied,§. 6. the third cer­tainety; that all Euills of Paine and desire to haue Gods Iustice somewhat farther cleared, euen in the disposing of these temporall things: although it be neither safe, nor possible for vs, to search farre into particulars, yet some generall satisfaction we may haue from a third Certainety: and that is this. Euery euill of Paine, whatsoeuer it be, or howso­euer considered, which is brought vpon any man, is brought vpon him euermore for sinne, yea and that also for his owne personall sinne. Euery branch of this assertion would be well marked. I say first, [Euery Euill of Paine, whatsoeuer it be,] whether naturall defects and infirmities in soule [Page 366] or body, or outward afflictions in goods, friends, or good name; whether inward distresses of an afflicted, or terrours of an affrighted conscience; whether temporall or eternall Death; whether euills of this life, or after it: or whatsoeuer other euill it be, that is any way greiuous to any man; euery such euill is for sinne.

§. 7. [...]owsoeuer considered,I Say secondly, euery euill of paine, howsoeuer considered: whether formally, and sub ratione poenae, as the proper effect of Gods vengeance and wrath against sinne; or as a fatherly correction and chasticement, to nurture vs for some past sinne, or as a medicinall preseruatiue, to strengthen vs against some future sinne; or as a clogging chaine to keepe vnder and disable vs from some outward worke of sinne; or as a fit matter and obiect whereon to ex­ercise our Christian graces of faith, charity, pati­ence, humility, and the rest; or as an occasion giuen and taken by Almighty God, for the greater ma­nifestation of the glory of his Wisedome, and Power, and Goodnesse, in the remoueal of it; or as an act of Exemplary iustice, for the admonition and terrour of others; or for whatsoeuer other end, purpose, or respect it be inflicted.

§. 8. are for the si [...]neI say thirdly, Euery such euill of paine, is brought vpon vs for sinne. There may be other ends, there may be other occasions, there may be other vses of such Euills: but still the originall Cause of them all, is sinne. [Psal. 39.11. When thou with re­bukes dost chasten man for sinne.] It was not for any Ioh. 9.2.3. extraordinary notorious sinnes, either of the blinde man himselfe, or of his parents, aboue o­ther [Page 367] men, that he was borne blinde. Our Sauiour Christ acquitteth them of that, Ioh. 9. in answer to his Disciples, who were but too forward (as God knoweth most men are,) to iudge the worst. Our Sauiours answer there, neuer intended other, but that still the true cause deseruing that blinde­nesse was his, and his parents sinne: but his pur­pose was to instruct his Disciples, that that infir­mitie was not laid vpon him rather than vpon ano­ther man, meerely for that reason because he (or his parents) had deserued it more than other men; but for some farther ends which God had in it in his secret and euerlasting purpose, and namely this among the rest, that the workes of God might be ma­nifest in him, and the Godhead of the sonne made glorious in his miraculous cure. As in Nature, the intention of the see Arist. 2. Phys. End doth not ouerthrow, but ra­ther suppose the necessity of the Matter: so is it in the workes of God, and the dispensations of his wonderfull prouidence. It is from Gods Mercy, or­dering them to those Ends he hath purposed; that his punishments are good; but it is withall from our sinnes, deseruing them as the Cause, that they are iust; euen as the raine that falleth vpon the earth, whether it moisten it kindly, and make it fruitfull, or whether it choake and slocken and drowne it; yet still had its beginning from the vapours, which the earth it selfe sent vp. All those Euills, which fall so daily and thicke vpon vs from heauen, (whe­ther to warne vs, or to plague vs,) are but arrowes which our selues first shot vp against heauen, and now drop downe againe with doubled force vpon [Page 368] our heads. Omnis poena propter culpam: all Euills of paine, are for the euills of sinne.

§. 9. of the sufferer.I say fourthly; All such Euils are for our owne sins. The Scriptures are plaine. 1 Pet. 1.17. God iudgeth eue­ry man according to his own workes. Gal. 6.5. Euery man shall beare his owne burden, &c. God hath enioyned it as a Law for Magistrates, (wherein they haue also his example to lead them;) that Deut. 24.16. not the fathers for the children, nor the children for the fathers, but eue­ry man should be put to death for his own sin. Deut. 24 If Israel take vp a Prouerbe of their owne heads, [Ezek 18.2. &c. Ier. 31.29. The fathers haue eaten sowre grapes, and the chil­drens teeth are set on edge;] they doe it without cause, and they are checked for it. The soule that sinneth, it shall dye: and if any man eate sowre grapes, his owne teeth, (and not anothers for him) shall bee set on edge thereby. For indeed, how can it bee o­therwise? or who can reasonably thinke, that our most gracious God, who is so ready to take from vs the guilt of our owne, should yet lay vpon vs the guilt of other mens sinnes? The only exception to be made in this kinde, is that alone satisfactory pu­nishment of our blessed Lord, and Sauiour Iesus Christ: not at all for his owne sinnes, (farre be the impietie from vs, so to imagine; for 1. Pet. 2.22. hee did no sinne, neither was there any guile found in his mouth:) but for ours. He Psal. 69.4. Non rapui, & exsol­vebam: non pec­caui, & poenas dabam. Aug. ibi. paied that which he neuer tooke; it was Esay 53.5. for our transgressions that he was wounded, and the chasticement of our peace was laid vpon him. Yet euen those meritorious sufferings of his, may be said (in a qualified sense) to haue been for his own sinnes: (although in my iudgement, it bee farre [Page 369] better to abstaine from such like speeches, as are of ill and suspicious sound, though they may bee in some sort defended.) But how for his owne sins? His owne by Commission? By no meanes: (God forbid any man should teach, any man should con­ceiue so; the least thought of this were blasphe­my:) but his owne by Imputation. Not that hee had sinned, and so deserued punishment: but that he had delictorum susceptor, non commissor. Aug. in Psal. [...]8. taken vpon him our sinnes, which deserued that punishment. As he that vndertaketh for ano­ther mans debt, maketh it his owne, and standeth chargeable with it, as if it were his owne personall debt: so Christ becomming surety for our sinnes, made them delicta nostra sua delicta se­cit, vt iustitiam suam nostram iustitiam face­ret. Aug. exp. 2. in Psal. 21. his owne, and so was punishable for them, as if they had beene his owne personall sins; 1. Pet. 2.24. who his owne selfe bare our sinnes in his owne body vpon the tree, 1. Pet. 2. That hee was punished for vs, who himselfe deserued no punishment; it was, because 2. Cor. 5.21. he was made sinne for vs, who himself knew no sinne. So that I say, in some sense the assertion may bee defended vniuersally, and without excep­tion: but yet I desire rather it might bee thus; Christs onely excepted, all the Paines and Euills of men are brought vpon them for their owne sinnes.

These three points then are certaine: and it is needfull they should bee well vnderstood and re­membred;§. 10. The fathers sinnes puni­shed in their children: because nothing can be obiected against Gods Iustice in the punishing of sinne, which may not bee easily remoued, if wee haue recourse to some one or other of these three Certainties, and rightly apply them. All the three doubts proposed in the beginning, haue one and the same resolu­tion: [Page 370] answer one; and answer all. Ahab here sin­neth by Oppression: and yet the euill must light, though not all of it, (for some part of it fell, and was performed vpon Ahab himselfe,) yet the main of it vpon his sonne Iehoram. [I will not bring the Euill in his daies, but in his sonnes daies will I bring the Euill vpon his house.] It is not Iehorams case a­lone: it is a thing that often hath, and daily doth befall many others. In Gen. 9. when Noahs vngra­cious sonne Ham had discouered his Fathers na­kednesse: the old man (no doubt, by Gods spe­ciall inspiration) laieth the curse not vpon Ham himselfe, but vpon his sonne Canaan, [Gen. 9.25. Cursed bee Canaan &c.] And God ratified the curse, by roo­ting out the posteritie of Canaan, first out of the pleasant Land, wherein they were seated; and then afterwards from the face of the whole earth. Iero­boams 3. King. 15.19.30. Idolatrie cut off his posterity from the Kingdome; and the 1. Sam. 2.33—35. wickednesse of Ely his sonnes, theirs from the Priesthood, of Israel. Gehasi with the bribe he took, purchased a 4. King. 5.27. leprosie in fee-sim­ple to him and his heires for euer. The Iewes, for stoning the Prophets of God, but most of all for crucifying the Sonne of God, brought bloud-guilti­nesse not onely vpon themselues, but vpon their children also, [Mat. 27.25. His bloud be vpon vs, and vpon our children.] The wrath of God therefore comming vpon them 1. Thes. 2.16.