GOD and the KING, In a sermon preached at the Assises holden at BURY S. EDMONDS, June 13. 1631.

BY THOMAS SCOT Bachelour in Divinitie, and Minister of the word at S. CLEMENTS in Ipswich.

Printed by the Printers to the Ʋniversitie of Cambridge, 1633.

TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE Sr THOMAS JERMYN Knight, Vicechamberlain of his Majesties houshold, and one of his Majesties most Honourable Privy Counsel.

SIR, your renowned father was the first Patron of all my studies, whereby he might justly have challenged the harvest of all mine endeavours: all his rights are hereditarily descended to your self; among which, I humbly crave, my duteous respect may be reckoned for one; as an evidence whereof, I do most lowly present to your Honour this little piece, humbly praying it may be valued not by it's own worth, but the minde of the giver; who professeth himself bound to live and die in dutie to your house, and will not cease daily to pray for your felicitie temporall and eternall, nor to be

Your Honours most obliged and truely devoted, THOMAS SCOT.
[blazon or coat of arms]
EZRA 7.26.

And whosoever will not do the law of thy God and the Kings law, let him have judgement without delay.

WHat Almighty God is in his great monarchy of the world, that (in his proportion) is every absolute King in his own dominion: for he is in Gods place unto his people, to nou­rish and protect them. Now because no one man can do Gods office (who is all eye and all eare, and all in every place) Kings are inforced to use the mi­nistry of inferiour helps, to be eyes, eares, and hands for them; that as the sunne whose office it is to en­lighten all the world (which by it's own beams it cannot do at one instant) is therefore inforced to communicate himself to other starres, who in his absence may give light and influence: so Kings (it being impossible that they should be present at all affairs of their kingdome) do lend some of their own authority to lesser lights, who do heare and see, and do for them; among which lights the Judges of a land, to whom sacred justice is committed, are not the least. This was not unknown to that great King Artaxerxes, who intending the full restaura­tion of the people, citie, and temple of the God of heaven, gave order in the verse before for Judges to be set over them; and (though himself an heathen [Page 2] King) made Ezra his Chancellour to give them this divine charge, that, Whosoever will not, &c.

Out of which charge (that I may neither slo­venly chop it into gobbits, nor curiously mince it to a gallamafrie) these particulars (God assisting) shall be insisted upon.

First, That in judgement there must be no partiality: Secondly, That obstinate offenders are chiefly to be looked unto: Thirdly, That Gods honour is first to be provided for: Fourthly, That the Kings law must also be freed from violation: Fifthly, That judgement must in these cases take her due course. And lastly, That execution must be speedy. And this is the trea­sure of the Text: now see the mine where I dig it. Partiality is prevented, in that generall, Whosoever: Obstinacy noted in these words, Will not: Gods ho­nour is first provided for in the precedency of Gods law: The Kings in the next place, by subjoyning the Law of the King: Justice is brought in for her part, Let him have judgement: Speedy execution com­manded, Without delay. WHOSOEVER WILL NOT &c. Of all which while I speak, in my Ma­sters name I boldly call for audience: in mine own name I most lowly crave your Christian and favou­rable patience.

First, There must be no partiality in judgement; Whosoever: as if he should have said, How great or mean soever, noble or ignoble, rich or poore, friend or enemy; the one not to be feared, the other not to be pitied. I confesse, all offenders are not alike: but this difference ariseth not from the quality of the offender, 2. Chron. 19.6. but of the offence. Jehoshaphat told his Judges that their judgement was Gods not mans, in­timating [Page 3] that they ought to judge as God himself would, who accepts no persons. And he whose Dixit was his Fecit, hath said they are, Psal. 82.6. and there­fore hath made them to be, gods: wherefore as in other things, so in impartiality their judgements must be little types of Gods great assises, where sinne shall be judged in all persons alike, saving that the greatnes of the person shall adde to the punishment: for the mighty shall be mightily tormented, Wis. 6.6. Viri sublimis culpa grave peccatum est, saith S. Austin. The greater the man, the greater is the sinne. Varnish is no colour of it self; but yet it addes lustre to every colour: so greatnesse and eminencie of person is of it self neither vertue nor vice; but yet it gives a great addition to either. So then the cause, and not the person, must be judged: for Whosoever &c.

I would willingly (before I leave this point) disgrace this sinne of partiality in judgement by shewing the pedegree of it, and what house it comes of; namely either from bribes, favour, rash anger, or cowardise: evil egges all; for neither barrell, better herring.

First from bribes; as is to be seen Exod. 23.8. as also Deut. 16.19. where we heare that A re­ward blindeth the eyes of the wise, and perverteth the words of the just ▪ two dangerous effects upon two principall parts in doing justice, making the recei­ver first to have a mist before his eyes, and to be stricken with deceptio visûs; and then, not discerning the cause, must of necessitie pervert his words, yea casts him into a fit of convulsion, and draws his mouth clean awry; and then how can he give right judgement? Ah! fie upon this stinking wages of un­righteousnesse; 2. Pet. 2.15.

[Page 4]2. Next from favour, procured by letters, friends, favorites, servants, and the like: for all these will stickle now and then in bad causes, and Judges do too often listen to such motions, thereby ma­king others indebted to them against such an occa­sion. But letters of this nature are best answered with silence: as for friends and favorites, a Judge in his robes, upon the seat of judgement, should be no man of this world; but like the Angels in heaven, where they neither marry, Matt. 22.30. nor are given in marriage; that is, all earthly relations do cease. As for your servants, if they move in a cause, suspect those lesser wheels to be newly oyled, or else they would not go so round: yea of all these say, Magìs amica veri­tas, I will lose you all for justice sake.

3. Sometime from anger: No passion but is an evil guide in execution of justice, even too much compassion; for there is a cruel mercy: but there is none so impetuous and dangerous, as this of an­ger: for if there be an angry prejudice against the person, even slender probabilities will seem vehe­ment presumptions, and presumptions will appeare pregnant evidence. Anger is the drunkennesse of the minde, which robs a man of himself: nay, it is a short madnesse, differing from it onely in duration: for if a man should ever be as in his passion, with eyes staring, countenance red and inflate, teeth gra­ting and interfering, tongue stutting and stam [...]ng, hands shaking and trembling, and all actions thus ir­regular, shewing laesum principium; who would not say, this man were distracted? But if Socrates would not beat his boy when he was angry, how much more should all ministers of justice banish [Page 5] this heady passion from the judgement-seat, lest they heat the oven seven times hotter in their own cause then in Gods, proceeding in heat against the person, and not in zeal against the sinne?

4. Lastly, from fear or cowardise: this cast away Nabaoth; the Judges had letters written in Achabs name, and sealed with his seal, and they durst not go against the Kings Mandamus. With this the Jews brought on Pilate to give sentence of death against the Lord of life, who adjudged him both to die and to be guiltlesse of death, Nè non videretur ami­cus Caesari, Lest he should not be Cesars friend, or ra­ther, lest Cesar should not be his friend: But how much better had it been, if these Judges had prefer­red the displeasure of the great Judge of all the world? and said, Da veniam, Imperator; tu minaris car­cerem, Deus gehennam: I will forfeit mine head, or mine office, rather then my truth. Thus they who be in scarlet should be valiant men.Nah. 2.3. To betray a cause for want of courage, is worse then for want of un­derstanding: this is of ignorance, but that is volun­tary; therefore not to be expiated but by double sacrifice.

A minister of justice of the two had better be [...], then [...], without an head of knowledge, then an heart of execution. But joyn head and heart toge­ther in this sacred cause, wisedome going before like a [...], and courage coming after like a puissant army. And this be said of the first point against this base-born Partiality, descended either from reward, favour, passion, or cowardise; onely let me adde, that, No errour in justice doth so directly flie to the throat, as respect of persons doth: other do but lame [Page 6] her, but this gives her the deadly & mortall wound.

The second point is, Obstinate offenders are chiefly to be looked unto; Whosoever will not, &c. This obstinacy is indeed an Alecto in anothers like­nesse, a meer mock-vertue, walking under the ha­bit of constancy or fortitude, (as many other vices have their cloaks also) but we shall uncase him presently. These obstinates be of two sorts, Dogma­ticall, and Practicall: the one in opinion, the other in life and conversation.

The Dogmaticall obstinates are such as erre in judgement: as Schismaticks led by a particular spi­rit, erring on the right hand; and Papists who are carried with conceit of the religion of their fathers and forefathers, and these erre on the left hand: both of them thinking themselves constant, but are indeed obstinate, as we know. To both I say with S. Paul, It is good to be zealous in a good thing. Galat. 4.18. But of these af­ter in as fit a place.

The Practicall obstinates are they we now have to deal withall. They who do not obey must have judgement; but it is a great and unsufferable increase of the fault, when men will not obey: for Non obedire shuts the doore, but Nolle obedire doth bolt and ram­piere it up against all duty to God and the King. Such S.Rom. 1.30. Paul calls [...], haters of God, and hated of God:Acts 5.39. these be [...], such as will not have God to reigne over them; like Pharaoh, who blusters at Gods message,Exod. 5.2. saying, Who is the Lord? not unlike the Thracians, who in thunder and lightning used by way of revenge to shoot shafts at Jupiter. They are described in Scripture to have words, thoughts, and lives, all peremptorily wicked. For their words, [Page 7] they are stout against the Lord, saying, Depart from us, &c. They set their mouth against heaven, Job. 21.14. Psal. 73.9. and their tongue walketh throughout the earth. Psal. 12.4. Our lips are our own; who is Lord over us? Their thoughts are no bet­ter, for they are haughty in their own conceit, therein making a fool of the whole world. As for their lives, they have a resolution quidlibet auden­di: tell them of death and hell; they are at a point for that, They have made a league with death,See Isa. 28.18. and with hell they are at agreement: And as for counsel (the medicine of putrid mindes) either they will not be charmed, like the adder which, Cassiodorus saith, stops one eare against the earth, the other with his tail; or if in any fit they give it the hearing, they take it by whiffes as they do tobacco, it's no soo­ner in, but it's out with a puffe. In their soaring pre­sumptions they build Babels: but as they begin in pride, so they end in confusion; for this obstinacy in sinning, is ever the punishment of custome in sinne, and is that which S. Paul calls the reprobate minde. Rom. 1. [...]8. These are in respect of Gods and the Kings laws, ve­ry outlaws & lords of misrule in a Commonwealth. The character of this obstinate is this, or such like; By birth he is a Gentleman, or at least an heire of one who lived poore to leave him rich; he is brought up to no­thing but to live upon his lands; for the most part he comes to his lands at one and twenty, and by that time, though young in yeares, yet is he old in wickednesse; by foure and twenty hath spent good part of his estate, and if possibly he can he will sell his land twise or thrise over; he never names God but to swear by him; he is a coyner or minter of new and execrable oaths; he fears not God, nor man, save Sergieants, and Baliffes; he hath already travelled [Page 8] through many prisons; he owes for clothes of six or seven severall fashions, yet he loseth no rent, for he takes it all aforehand: he undoes his tenants by suretiship; for the young master, if he gets into an Inne, he comes not out till his horse pay the reckoning, and there out of his window scoffes at those who go to church; his discourse is nothing but rayling upon, and disgracing the better minded Justices, and other ministers of justice; in every quarrell he is either principall or second; he is a night-walker, and if he should never be drunk, he would die for want of sleep; where ever he comes he misuses the Constable, and beats the watch; he never comes in any publique assembly but a play, nor rides through a town without smoke at his nose: but in processe of time, his means spent, his credit crackt, his hopes forlorn, having nothing left of a Gentleman, but his long lock and his sword, he had rather lack life then living, and either kills a man or takes a purse, and is brought to the assises: Where if ye meet any such, remember the charge, Whosoever will not &c.

3 The third point is, Gods honour must first be provided for, The law of thy God &c. It's true, the charge proceeded from an heathen King, but not from an heathen spirit; and is recorded by the Spirit of God, to be a moving president, and authentick copy for all Kings to write after. Blessed be God, our King, when he gives this charge, alters the terms, and saith for Thy God, My God, and doth so charge it upon his Judges, and all inferiour ministers of ju­stice in their severall orbs, that, Whosoever will not obey the law of My God &c. Now if heathen Artaxer­xes could stoop so low, as to let the law of Ezra's God go before his own: how much more (by a [Page 9] binding argument from the lesse to the greater) will it be expected from all Kings who own him for their God? So that the naming Gods law before the Kings, is not bare complement, and for manners sake onely; but for the naturall precedency thereof. And verily when God made all this world, and brought man not to the bare walls of it, but as the bee to the hive, even readie stockt and stored with variety of creatures, both for necessitie and delight, and placed order therein by his providence to keep the same in reparation, that as men have dominion over creatures, so some men are made Gods depu­ties to rule over men: all this was not to part with his glory to another, or to stand to the curtesie of others, to be at their carving and allowance for his honour; but that all men, even Kings, should hold all of him in Capite, and do him homage for his goodnesse, the Lord granting us indeed the good and sweet of his favours, but as a rent or tribute, by way of acknowledgement, reserving the honour of them to himself. Hence it is, that in Scripture where­soever the Kings power is spoken of, there is also expressed, or at least intimated, Gods supremacy. If Paul saith, Be obedient to higher powers, he addeth,Rom. 13.1. For they are of God. If Christ saith,Matt. 22.21. Give unto Cesar that which is Cesars, he also saith, Give to God that which is Gods. If Solomon saith, Honour the King, Prov. 24.21. he hath first said, Fear God. And so here Artaxerxes premiseth the law of God before the law of the King. Nay, if this be not so, what do ye here? do ye not come to heare Gods charge before ye shew the Kings commission; as if that could not take place, till this had made way for it? Hence is it also that all [Page 10] good Kings and Magistrates in Scripture began their reigne and government with doing something for God and religion, as is evident in Moses, Joshua, David, Solomon, and the rest: and of famous me­mory was that of blessed Queen Elisabeth, who first bound up that tender-babe the Church of England in the swathing band of reformation, before she pro­vided any thing for the establishment of her own throne, by the subjects recognition of her title to the imperiall Crown. And for shame let not us give lesse to God, then the heathen to their Idols, with whom A Jove princip [...]um was a perpetuall rule, ever beginning all their solemne actions with sacri­fice to their gods. The Lord reserved in the Old law as sacred to himself, the first-fruits, and firstlings in every kinde, teaching us in all things to serve God of the first, and best. And what is the Kings law without Gods? what is the Kings peace without Gods peace? outward prosperitie without religion? nay, peace is no peace without religion: unity with­out verity breeds not peace, but conspiracie. Oh then let God be the Alpha and Omega of this sacred acti­on: let the beginning be with God, by his assistance, the ending for God, by providing for his honour.

4 Fourthly, The law of the King must also be freed from violation; And the Kings law &c. There be two sorts offended with this clause. First the Anabaptists, who cannot endure any law of magistracy: account­ing all compelling and restraining government, plain tyrannie; shewing thereby their mutinous mindes, desiring omnia complanare, to beat down all inclosure of magistracy, and to lay all levell and common: and then what could follow, but that every one would [Page 11] do what seemed good in his eyes, if there were no law of the King in Israel? Secondly the Papists, who though they can brook Kings & many of their laws, yet they cannot endure them so neare God and his law, but there must be room left between God and the King for the Pope, whom his flatterers call Vice-god, Monarch of the Christian world, Defender of the Papall omnipotency. (oh blasphemie!) And as for Emperours and Kings, they be but as the Moon, borrowing their light from him their Sunne; and are nothing but his vassals, to hold his stirrop, to lead his horse, to carry his canopie, to hold his bason when he washeth, & to be deposed or exalted at his pleasure. But then let him take it with the appur­tenances: He is Antichrist for his labour, exalting himself, according to S. Pauls prophesie,2. Thes. 2.4. [...], above all that is called God, as Kings are by God himself, Psal. 82.6. But ask Tertullian; he tells us that Kings are homines a Deo secundi, & solo Deo minores, Next to God, and second to none but God: and, as Chrysostom, [...], Kings have no peer upon earth, but are the top and head of all men. And so, for all Anaba­ptists and Papists, we affirm the fourth point, That next to Gods the Kings law must also be freed from violation. Those whom God hath joyned together let no man put asunder: such are every where God and the King, God and Cesar, Gods law and the Kings law: and indeed they be twins, to laugh and mourn, to live and (in some sense) to die together. The Kings law doth clap a shore to Gods law; not that Gods law is in it self weak and needs it, but be­cause men are not so well bred, as for conscience or [Page 12] love of goodnesse to obey, but are much swayed by temporall reward or punishment by mans law distri­buted or inflicted. If any ask whether the Kings law doth binde conscience as Gods law doth; I an­swer, That Gods law is immediately seated upon the conscience, mans law is seated upon the conscience too, but mediately, and as it hath authority from Gods law: for God doth permit Kings to make laws as Kings do Corporations, and Colledges to make Constitutions, provided alwayes that they contain in them nothing contrary to a statute law: So that though the Kings law doth challenge obedience, as Gods law doth, and gives as it were the same arms, yet (like a younger brother) it must be with distin­ction. If any ask further in what things the law of man hath power to command with strictest tie; I answer, That as Merchants sometime suffer their servants in the time of their apprentishood, to trade for themselves in some commodities, wherein they themselves do not deal: So properly the law of man hath his principall strength in things of their own nature indifferent; for these be neither commanded nor forbidden in Gods law: To conclude this point, The Kings law is the sinew of all government, which to cut, is to ham-string Church and Common­wealth; for it is better to live where nothing, then where every thing is lawfull.

5 In the next place, Justice in these cases must have her due course, Let him have judgement &c. By this time Justice calls out to all her retinue, Judges, Justices, Jurours, &c. Is there any who will not obey &c? I charge you let him have judgement, whosoever he be; and saith in Gods words, Thine [Page 13] eye shall not spare in judgement. And heare your charge, O ye Ministers of justice: she hath made you executours of her will, and hath bound you all by oath well and truely to perform it, so farre as Gods and the Kings law shall binde you: See then ye discharge and not deceive the trust reposed in you, lest Church and Commonwealth, the orphanes whose guardians ye be, do lose religion and peace, the legacies which she hath bequeathed them. Ju­dex, saith Isidore, is jus-dicens: for the Judge is a speaking law, and the law is a silent Judge. Verily the law is a dead letter till the Judge breaths the breath of life into it by execution, which is the edge and life of it. The law sees nothing but by the eyes of the Judge, and Judges are the eyes of the Com­monwealth: which if they be by any means put out, a State, though never so potent, is but like big-limb­ed Polyphemus, ready for ruine; or mighty Sam­pson, pulling down all upon their heads, to their own and the ruine of all ingaged with them in the same condition. Cicero could say, that Impunitie is the greatest breeder and nurse of transgression that may be: For to let malefactours go without judge­ment, either not at all or condignly punishing them, is but to stroke the offenders on the head, as Eli did with a Do no more so, my sonnes, and so to give them and other after them a kinde of commission to do the like. Take heed of a weak affectation of mercifull Judges, or mercifull Juries; take heed (I say) ye do not thereby encourage sinne, and clap it on the back. Can that be mercy, which is unjust? The greatest and most admired mercy that ever the world saw, even that whereby we must all live for ever, was it [Page 14] with neglect of justice? No: for Ecce benignita­tem & severitatem Dei may also to this great work be applied, it being hard to determine whether Gods adopted sonnes found more mercy, or his natu­rall sonne more severitie. Bonis nocet qui malis parcit, saith Seneca; By sparing one ye are injurious to ma­ny; for Chrysostom saith well, Dum parcebatur lupo, mactabatur grex, Spare the wolf, and the flock goes to wrack. What though the vulgar account you hard Judges? remember the answer of a King of Thrace to one telling him that (in regard of his severitie) he played the mad-man and not the King, Oh, saith the King, this my madnesse makes my subjects sound and wise.

6 Execution must be speedy, Without delay. Yet no more haste then good speed; mature deliberation must go before execution: nothing must be judged be­fore the time; for that were not speedy but rash judge­ment, an evil in our private and petty carriages se­verely forbidden, therefore much more in pub­lique and weighty affairs. But when the way is made, and the offender convicted, then Judges must (like Almighty God) be swift witnesses; for sinne and punishment must ride both on one horse, let him that hath done the work have his wages; for in criminall causes it is as crying a sinne to detein it, as from the honest labourer: And this hath no lesse place in personall causes between man and man, which if they hang long before a Judge, it is as a sore long under a chirurgians hand, or a quartane ague, which is opprobrium medicorum.

Thus have I with your Honourable and Christi­an an patience passed through the points propounded; [Page 15] I have washed and searched the wounds, and also prepared the plaister: Now give me leave, I beseech you, to lay it on (as tenderly as I can) in a few words of Application: wherein I intend healing, not exaspe­rating; but if any sore smart, it is because it's festred or ranckled, not by any corrosive in the balm. And now what shall I do? shall I be silent and give in a verdict of Omnia bene? that's indeed the shortest cut, and safest way; but so should I make all your sinnes mine own: No, we must review every piece of the Text, and charge the same upon all the Ministers of justice, great and small, upon Judges the Kings eyes in their circuits, upon Justices the Judges eyes in their divisions, upon Jurours who are the scales of justice to weigh all actions, and upon witnesses who put these weights into the scales. But oh hard task, to rake in this kennell, to speak of the many-headed vice in all these particulars, without dislike from you, or check from mine own conscience! so that I may say in Persius his words, Oh, si fas dicere. Sed fas. Shall the stage in a play, and the Poet in a peal of Satyres deride your sinnes with a prophane spi­rit? and shall the Spirit of God in the pulpit be con­fin'd? or must the Preacher stoop at pulpit-doore to take measure of his hearers feet? God forbid; I am sent this day on Gods errand to you all; which if it should not please, remember I beseech you that I am but a poore messenger, and must do my mes­sage at mine own perill. First there must be no par­tiality in judgement. And give me leave, most Ho­noured Lords (lest I should commit a sinne of parti­ality while I speak against it) in the first place to ad­dresse my self to your Honours. I have an awfull and [Page 16] reverend respect of your places and persons; yet re­member, I beseech you, that humilitie in eminency is a singular vertue, if (like the soaring eagle or towring hawk) the higher ye be, the lesse ye seem: and I do well know your labours & pains are great: for magna fortuna, magna servitus: your difficulties also are more then we can imagine; you have the winde and storms in your faces, when we be under the lee; and being fathers of the Commonwealth, do wake for us when we do sleep. I meddle not with your employments of state; they are out of my reach, I am no eaves-dreeper of state; it is for me to observe the ground-winde, not the rack-winde; I keep me therefore within the compasse of my Text, and desire your Honours seriously to ponder, that acceptation of persons in judgement is a stinking abomination in the nostrils of the Almighty, whe­ther it be for reward, favour, passion, or cowardise. For the first, mine own breast doth clear your selves, that ye be not as those Judges in Plutarch, who ever came to the judgement-seat, as to a golden harvest, and I hope ye will as well look to the fin­gers of those about you. Let it not be with you, as with many great ones, who are said to allot no other wages or reward to their servants, but their avales of this nature: partiality for favour findes easier en­trance then the former: but I beseech you remem­ber, that publick places afford not means of plea­suring private friends, but follow that memorable example of Cleon, who being called to the govern­ment of the Commonwealth, assembled all his inti­mate friends, and disclaimed all inward amity with them. And most truly saith Tully, He deprives him­self [Page 17] of the office of a friend, who takes upon him the per­son of a Judge. Yet also take heed of the contrary, of being transported with anger: we use not troubled water till it be setled, we bring not a rough and un­mannaged horse to the turney; no more should you unbridled affections to the judgement-seat; but when ye robe your bodies, ye should also apparrell your mindes with calmed affections. I confesse there is an anger becoming a Judge, for one saith, Qui ca­ret irâ, caret justitiâ, He who cannot be angry, cannot be just: but this is to be understood of that anger which whets courage, not of that which blindeth wise­dome.

As for fear, it's too base an humour to trapper justice, the over-fearfull man is but a piece of a man. Claudius (the first of the Cesars) his mother was wont to say of him for his faint-heartednesse, that nature had begun, but not perfected him. The Egy­ptians had a law, that if great men should command Judges against law, they should refuse it: and Trajan when he invested any Praetour by giving him the sword, would command him to use it even against himself, in case he violated law or equity. Plutarch worthily reproves Agesilaus for writing thus to one of his Judges in favour of an offender; Si insons est, dimitte; sin minùs, meâ causà dimitte: utcunque di­mitte: If he be guiltlesse, good reason he should be discharged; if he be guilty, for my sake dis­charge him: but guilty or not guilty, see he be dis­charged. But let your judgement-seats be (like So­lomons throne) supported on both sides with lions. Oh let Judges be absolute and independent, not having their scantlings given them, and their sen­tences [Page 18] moulded to their hands: for this is to be an apprentise, and not a master in the art.

In the next place I turn my speech to the wor­shipfull Justices, who are also Minores Dii, and the second sonnes of justice: Carry an even hand among your neighbours, help not to smother drunkennesse, basterdy, or any wickednesse in any, though allied or linked in any relation; prosecute not a small er­rour over eagerly in one, whereat ye connive in an­other: in a word, let there be no one sit on our bench, in whom the countrey may observe that the baskets not walking, not giving worship, cap & knee enough, not coming in upon your carting daies, not saluting you on Newyeares day morning, or any such mean respect, or other disrespect will incense you to whet the sword of justice, and so to avenge your private conceits.

Now a word to the Jurours and witnesses, & let it be spoken not onely to them who are so at this assi­ses, but to all that have been before, or that may be hereafter: for I would fain for this short Christmas keep open house, and give every one something. Let me therefore tell you Jurours, There must be no partiality in judgement: but when ye have heard the case opened, counsel speak on both sides, ye know the issue to be tried, ye have heard the proof on both sides, then when ye go together ye have the scales of justice put into your hands to weigh the evidence, ye cannot but see which carries most weight, which scale goes up and which goes down: Now let not reward, liberall charges, or expectati­on of future kindenesses; let not favour, alliance, or neighbourhood, or any such respect; let not anger [Page 19] or malice; let not fear or cowardise make the verdict: but for love of God, for love of justice, for love of your countrey, for love of your own souls do that is right without partiality. But have all Jurours done thus? or will all do thus? Oh no; for how fre­quent is it for a Jurour to be prepossessed of a cause, and to resolve not to go against his neighbour, neigh­bours friend, his kinsman, his old masters sonne, his Lords tenant, and the like; thinking it but a small courtesie and not to be denied, to lend one another an oath in such cases; and so against all right do bring in a verdict which makes the Judge amazed, the whole Court astonished, and justice clean overturn­ed; and all this by a Suffolk Jury, a place not civili­zed only, but noted for religion. But what doth such a Jury? First it tells a loud lie, for it's before all the County: next, they call God to witnesse this lie by falsifying their oath; and as much as lies in them they make him a partie: besides, they justifie the wicked and condemne the just: fourthly, they rob and perhaps undo the party against whom they go: lastly (without Gods wonderfull mercy) they cast away their own souls. Oh! what heart bleeds not to see souls thus thronging to hell by the dozens?

As for witnesses, whose testimony makes the cause weighty or light, and who also binde them­selves solemnly by oath to speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, (here's no evasion) yet how common is it with some to be Knights of the post, for a small reward to be able to frame an oath of any size? yea some will do it for a meales meat, and thus deeply transgresse for a morsell of bread: yea, for a need a man may finde [Page 20] some who will swear to things done before they were born. Others for favour and their friends will desperately stretch their consciences; but, if there be malice, one would wonder at their sound tales against witches and other offenders, and how again they will mince the truth for fear of greatnesse: but remember, a false witnesse shall not go unpunisht: for God either payes them at the stub, by shewing some speciall judgement upon them; or, if it be de­ferred (without deep repentance) they have it with interest in hell for ever.

Gods honour and the Kings must be freed from violation: for I finde them together in the Text, and so I'le keep them in the Application. The sturdy sinnes and obstinate vices of the times against Gods law and the Kings, are those for whom justice at all hands calls for judgement. I pitch onely upon foure which I take to be the bleeding wounds and running sores of this Kingdome; all forbidden by the law of God and the King: These are Superstitious Popery, Blasphemous Swearing, Profane Sabbath-break­ing, and Beastly drunkennesse. A word of each. First, Popery violates the honour of God; it being inglo­rious to each Person in the Trinitie: to the Father, by attempting an Index expurgatorius upon the very Commandments of God, by rasing out the second: to Christ, by setting up a company of miserable saints for mediatours, and joyning works to his all-sufficient sacrifice: to the Holy Spirit, by making the Popes lewd holinesse to be Christ his unerring vicar upon earth, as if Christ were Non-resident from his Church, when he hath said he will be with it to the end by his Spirit: It is also against the Kings law and [Page 21] honour; for it reacheth at his Crown, and (if the Catholick cause requires) at his life too, by setting some base villain for an Assassinate, to change his miscreant life, for the sacred life of Gods Anointed: and a King thus dead, by them dies an excommu­nicate and accursed person; and the other an allow­ed and canonized Martyr. Now the professours of this religion among us, be among the obstinate of­fenders; for few of them will conferre, to be inform­ed; they who will conferre, will not be convicted; or if they be by Scriptures and arguments convi­cted, yet will they not be convinced; and if I had them to speak too, I should have little hope to do them good: yet they shall give me leave to bemone their condition. Poore souls, (I speak of our com­mon seduced ones) they have no religion but that which is in Feofees hands: and in whose hands is it? The Italian proverb tells us, The worst of Catholicks are Priests, the worst of Priests are made Cardinals, the worst of Cardinals made Pope. And the Pope thus bred, is the Feoffee in whom they betrust all their religion: for they have no Faith but that of the Church, to beleeve as the Church beleeves (a short cut to heaven indeed.) And who is this Church? is it not the Pope vertually, and that upon this con­ceit that he cannot erre? and yet some, nay most of these Popes have been Sodomites; and yet he can­not erre: all of them have been ambitious Symo­nists; and yet he cannot erre: Some have mixt poison with the Sacrament; (and so, if there were any such thing as transubstantiation, had poisoned Christ himself) and yet he cannot erre: Some have been Hereticks condemned by their successours; and yet [Page 22] he cannot erre: Some have been Sorcerers and Ne­cromancers; and yet he cannot erre: He must not be reproved, though he should carry millions of souls to hell; and yet he cannot erre: One was a woman; and yet he cannot erre: sometimes there have been Popes and Antipopes together; and yet he cannot erre: sometime none at all for divers yeares together; & then onely he could not erre. Behold your Religi­on, your Faith, your Church, your God in this your Pope, O Catholicks: Poore souls, who bear so great adventure in so leaking a bottom! If these things be so (and many here present know them undoubt­edly to be so) may we not wonder that so many are seduced upon these grounds? but more, that this heresie should dayly gather strength and number, and what the reason should be of the increase of Popery? We have good laws against them, but they (like our arms) lie up and rust. What, do we not still smell the gunpowder, beyond which is Terra incognita, no man knowing what is between it and hell? do we not know that for these sixtie yeares and more, they have laboured of nothing so much as the undoing of their dearest countrey, which bred and bare them? Blessed be God, we have the law in our hands: for had they it in theirs, their little finger would be heavier upon us, then our whole body is upon them. Judges complain for want of infor­mation: what, have the Justices none in their divisi­ons? or do their lands lie too neare together? some others complain, they have promoted, and nothing done. Well, I beseech you, all joyn to put those laws in execution: but (alas!) they are put rather to execution, like those excellent proclamations a­gainst [Page 23] Priests and Jesuites; which once proclaimed, no more is done, but to nail them to a post, and there they hang like malefactours. But remember, I be­seech you all, that Sarah and her sonne can have no securitie, unlesse Hagar and her brat be beaten out of doores. Superstitious Papists will not obey the law of God, nor the Kings law; therefore Let them have judgement without delay.

Secondly, Gods law and the Kings is violated by blasphemous swearing. Our land hath mourned by plague, pestilence, and famine; and why not for oaths? is there any thing dearer to God, then his name? hath he not set a penalty upon the breach of this commandment more then upon any other? and yet how savagely and barbarously is it kicked, spurned, tossed, and blasphemed by all sorts, from Nobles to Peasants! I see and observe that Noble­men and Gentlemen, give over any fashion when it grows common: oh that they would give over swearing, seeing every clown and carter, every host­ler and tapster will swear compleatly. We know also the Kings law against this sinne; but men will not see it executed, but will suffer that infamy put upon Gods name, that they will not endure in their own. What, my good name, saith every one? oh, you touch my free-hold: nay, men will not endure their Father, Master, or Friend to be touched in his name, but will draw their swords in the quarrell: and is not Gods name as deare to him, as thine to thee? or is not God more to thee, then Friend, Master, or Father? Suffer not then so great dishonour done to his name; but carry every oath to the Justice, and let him pay his twelve pence, a petty penalty indeed for so great [Page 24] a sinne, but yet if duely executed, I presume by this time many great men had been reformed, or else sworn out of all their living. But alas (say some) the Justices themselves will swear sometimes: Oh! say not so: what the keepers of the vines not to keep their own vines? to be the guardians of the Kings law, and themselves to be breakers of it? I dare not entertain such a thought of many of them: but if any do break this law, I charge him upon his oath to execute the law upon himself; seeing he never sweares, but in the hearing of a Justice of peace. To end this point, I can never sufficiently bewail the mi­sery of the present and succeeding generation, seeing now oaths do even strive for number with words, and children in the streets can no sooner speak then swear. To all swearers therefore I say, Why will ye hazard Gods threatned displeasure for a sinne so needlesse, and yet so dangerous? To others I say, suffer none to vomit and belch out oaths in thy hearing, without penaltie of the Kings law. Blasphe­mous swearers do violate Gods law and the Kings; therefore Let them have judgement without delay.

In the next place, Gods and the Kings law is bro­ken by profane sabbath-breaking: for God hath pla­ced this commandment between the first and second table, like the common sense between the exteriour and interiour senses, as being usefull to both: for without it, pietie to God and charitie to man cannot be such as they should. Hence it is that God ac­counts the profaning his day, the eversion of all re­ligion, as appeares in many places. We may conje­cture what care man ought to have in the keeping, by the Lords care in the deliverie of it, for he sent it [Page 25] not abroad naked, like many of the other com­mandments; but clothed it (as Joseph) with a gar­ment of divers colours: it is in words larger, in rea­sons fuller then any of the rest. First, there is a Me­mento, for fear of forgetfullnesse; Remember. Next, the bounty of God, for fear of repining; Six daies shalt thou &c. Thirdly, the soveraignty of it, for fear of contemning; It is the sabbath of the Lord &c. Fourthly, the generality of it, for fear of misappli­cation; Thou, and thy sonne &c. Fifthly, the Lords example and benediction, for fear of exception. Thus you see it fortified with an high fence, that it might be made strong for his own self, & like mount Zion, not to be moved. We are not ignorant also of the Kings pious laws in force for the observation of it; yet in despite of both, in many places, how do peo­ple grudge to give God the seventh part of their life? at least they will incroach a little, having some odde job or other to do on that day: nay, (alas) what marketting, what drinking and bowsing, what fid­ling and dauncing, and generally what profaning this day almost every where is to be seen? in somuch that this day brings forth more sinne then any, (I think I may say) then all the dayes of the week: and if any Turk or Pagan should come into many places among us, & ask the reason why we leave our work, and wear our best clothes on that day; and answer should be made, We keep this day holy to our God: it were enough to make him forswear Christianity, or giving their names to that God, who is content to be served on such a fashion. But ye know your charge, Let then profane sabbath-breakers also have judgement without delay.

[Page 26]Lastly, beastly drunkennesse is also against Gods and the Kings law.

Gods law every where pronounces woes against this sinne, denouncing ruine to bodie, goods, and good name; yea by name excluding drunkards out of his kingdome. The truth is, a drunkard puts himself in the ready way to break every commandment; for when he ceaseth to be himself, he is in a fair pos­sibilitie to be any thing; for drunkennesse never goes alone, but is attended by the black guard of other sinnes, as oaths, railings, mutinies, quarrells, fight­ings, murders, chambering, wantonnesse, ribaldrie, adulteries, and what not? so that, in mine opinion, a man must first hood-winck his charitie, before it can lead him to beleeve a drunkard not to be every way vitious: and is it not a common plea with men of this rank, to excuse these and other great sinnes, by saying, they were not themselves? Thus is it against Gods law.

The Kings law hath also wholesomely provided against this overflowing sinne, as we know; but yet (maugre them both) with what a deluge of drun­kennesse is this land overflown? It is grown a sick­nesse Epidemicall in court and countrey, city and town; yea our people are grown artificiall and ex­quisite in this sinne, to drink the three Outs, to drink by the dozen, by the yard, and by the bushell; oh monstrous, even in name! how much more in practise insomuch that it seems to me, the Germanes are like to lose their charter. In Rome there was a street called vicus sobrius, because there was never an ale­house in it: I think there is scarce such a street to be found in England. There is a story in Athenaeus, [Page 27] which gives us a lively picture of the behaviour of drunkards at their meetings: The roaring boyes, meeting at an alehouse, sat by it drinking so long, till their brains were so steeped, that they imagined the room wherein they were to be a ship tossed in the sea, the fancied storm still increasing as the cups em­ptied; so that at last they begin to fear shipwrack; wherefore to make the ship lighter they heave the pots, plate, furniture, and all that comes to hand out at the windows, as if it were over board: And thus do good-fellows at these meetings throw the house out at windows, and keep quarter, to the dishonour of Gods and the Kings law; and yet the Justice is every where milde, & the drunkard merry: I beseech your Honours therefore charge the Justices to abridge the excessive number of alehouses, the shops of drunkennesse, and that they charge the Consta­bles better to look to the demeanour of the rest.

And if I may not be heard, let Justice speak; she saith thus, I have heard Popery, swearing, sabbath-breaking, and drunkennesse, all convicted as disho­nourable to Gods and the Kings law; I charge you then, Let them have judgement; otherwise, I take you all guilty of the same offences, though not by committing, yet by conniving. It's true indeed, Every fat shall stand on its own bottom, that is, every one shall answer for his own sinnes; yet take heed, lest we mistake the account of our own sinnes; seeing those are not to be reckoned our own onely, which are so by perpetration, but those also which are ours by participation.

Justice calls also for expedition in judgement, and desires that poore mens causes might first be heard, [Page 28] and not put off to the last, for they can worst bear the charge of longer delay: but she complains that the poore mans cause lies like the palsie-man at the pool of Bethesda, where the motion is not made but by an Angel, and so the stronger step in before them.

I end with one word for my self; in the nine­teenth of Deuteronomie, at the fifth verse, the Lord appointing cities of refuge for such to flee unto, who had unawares killed his neighbour, doth instance in the hewer of wood: who (if while he is felling the tree, the head of the ax slippeth from the helve, and striketh his neighbour, so that he dieth) shall flee to the next citie of refuge, and live: I have been hew­ing for the Lords sanctuary, and felling down the huge trees of the sinnes forenamed: if the head hath slipt from the helve, and hurt any; my next citie of refuge is your charitable construction and favoura­ble interpretation. And even so I commit you to God, to whose Majestie let us all pray, that this Assises may be much advantage; to the honour of Gods law and the Kings, Amen.

FINIS.

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