EXOD. 8. 19.

DIGITVS DEI.

ESAY. 59. 1.

The Lords Hand is not shortned.

2 TIM. 3. 8, 9.

Now as Iannes and Iambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt mindes, reprobate concerning the faith. But they shall proceed no farther: for their folly shall be manifest vnto all men, as theirs also was.

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To the Reader.

MY heart is inditing of a good matter: I Ps 45. speake of the things which I haue made touching the King; my tongue is the pen of a readie writer.

God shall wound the heart of his enemies, Ps. 68. and the hayrie scalpe of such a one as goeth on still in his trespasses.

Loe they that are farre from thee shall perish: thou hast Ps. 73. destroyed all them that goe a whoring from thee.

But it is good for me to draw neere to God: I haue put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy workes.

Confounded be all they that serue grauen Images, that Ps. 97. boast themselues of Idols.

It is time for thee Lord to worke, for they haue made Ps. 126. void thy Law.

Thou hast giuen a banner for them that feare thee, that Ps. 60. it may be displayed because of thy truth.

The righteous shall see it and reioyce; and all iniquitie Ps. 107. shall stop her mouth.

So that a man shall say verely there is a reward for the Ps. 58. righteous; verely he is a God that iudgeth in the earth.

All men shall feare and shall declare the worke of God: Ps. 64. for they shall wisely consider of his doing.

The workes of the Lord are great: sought out of all them Ps. 111. that haue pleasure therein.

Who so is wise, and will obserue these things, euen they P. 107. shall vnderstand the louing kindnesse of the Lord.

Many O Lord my God are thy wonderfull workes which Ps. 40. thou hast done, & thy thoughts which are to vs ward, they cannot be reckoned vp in order vnto thee: when I would [Page] declare them, they are more then can be numbred.

I haue preached righteousnesse in the great Congrega­tion: loe I haue not refrained my lips, O Lord thou knowest.

I haue not hid thy righteousnesse within my heart, I haue declared thy faithfulnesse and thy saluation:

I haue not concealed thy louing kindnesse and thy truth from the great Congregation.

I will speake of thy testimonies also before kings and will Ps. 119. not be ashamed.

Helpe me O Lord my God, O saue me according to thy Ps. 109. mercie.

That they may know that this is thy hand: that thou Lord hast done it.

Let them curse, but blesse thou: when they arise let them be ashamed: but let thy Seruant reioice.

Let my aduersaries be clothed with shame, and let them couer themselues with their owne confusion as with a mantle.

As we haue heard, so haue we seene in the Citie of the Ps. 48. Lord of Hoasts, in the Citie of our God, God will establish it for euer.

The Lord is knowne by the iudgement which he execu­teth: Ps. 9. the wicked is snared in the worke of his owne hands.

This shall be written for the generation to come, and the Ps. 102. people which shall be created shall praise the Lord.

DIGITVS DEI.

Luke 13. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

There were present at that time, some that told him of the Galileans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their Sacrifices.

And lesus answering, said vnto them, Suppose ye that those Galileans were greater sinners aboue all the Galileans, because they suffered such things?

I tell ye, nay; but except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

Or those eighteene, vpon whom the towre in Siloe fell, and slew them, thinke ye that they were greater sinners aboue al men that dwelt in Hierusalem?

I tell ye, nay; but except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

IN the nine and fortieth Verse of the former Chapter, our Lord saith, that He is come to send fire on the earth. And in the one and fiftieth Verse, denies that he is come to giue Peace on the earth, but rather diuision [Page 2] betwixt Father and Sonne, Mother and daughter, one friend and another.

This fire is his Word (Is not my Word like a fire, saith Ier. 23. 29. the Lord? and like a hammer that breaketh the Rocke in peeces?) the preaching whereof hath battered and shi­uered asunder the Rocke of Rome, and hath occasioned great diuisions in the world in euerie age, filling it at this present, with warres of all kinds, reall and verball. For this cause the Romish Catholikes (a politique people) haue taken order to stop the free passage thereof, lest men should burne their fingers with it, &c. Or indeed, lest thereby their Babylon should be set on fire, as, doubtlesse, Rem. Test. Preface. it must be so consumed, 2 Thes. 2. 8.

And surely they haue seene a faire effect of this their policie; For from this silence of the Scripture, proceeds that vniuersall Peace amongst them, whereof they so much boast, and whereupon others so resolutely build. In the beginning and infancie of the world, the Serpent, Ier. 8. 11 12. by Satans procurement, found a meanes to betray our Pa­rents, by teaching them to seeke a prohibited and curious knowledge, saying, Ye shall not dye, for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof then your eies shall be opened, Gen. 3. 4, 5. and ye shall be as Gods, knowing good and euill. But now in the dotage of the world, Antichrist, by Satans inspirati­on, hath found a way to betray the Church, by closing our eyes against commanded and necessarie knowledge, say­ing, Ye shall not dye, for God doth know that in the day ye fast from the Scriptures, ye shall be as Innocents, knowing neither good nor euill. The greatest part of the world, especially of the Feminine gender, beleeue this new­found Paradox of Antichrist; and the rather, because it neuer troubles their consciences, nor straines their wits, [Page 3] nor takes them off from their Canonicall howres deuo­ted to Poeticall fictions; which Legendarie stuffe is the Diuinitie, whereupon at this day the Faith of the Cloister Catechist, is principally founded.

But the word of our Sauiour, though it be the Gospel of peace, is yet a Fire that inflames, a Sword that deuides. It aimes at another peace then worldlings and fleshlings dreame of; they cast their eyes vpon peace with men, this teacheth a peace with God; they seeke temporall peace, though therein they sinne against God and their consci­ences, and doe obstinately pursue and often obtaine it, though it lasts no longer then vntill the stronger hath gotten aduantage by it, for whose purpose and benefit it was onely concluded; this other aimes to reconcile God and man togither, and to breed peace of conscience, the earnest and initiation of an eternall peace hereafter.

The Apostle saith, If it be possible as much as lyeth in Rom. 12 18. you, haue peace with all men. So farre as is possible, Sana conscientia, with a safe conscience, seeke to haue it: but Quod fi­daei vestri conuenit. Sed quan­do de pie­tate aut de virtute quaestio est, tunc nulla pax impijs. seeke it not by wounding the conscience, or proclaiming warre with God. For that, though it be possible to nature, is impossible to grace; thou canst not reconcile Light and Darkenesse, Hell and Heauen, God and Mammon, Christ and Antichrist; nor canst thou by humane policie bring these togither, by causing both sides to abate, and meet in the midst, through thy wisedome.

There is a worldly peace which men vnhappely hunt after, whilst they neglect the peace of conscience and ioy in the Holy Ghost; which peace and ioy the Saints of God, whose hearts are inflamed with that Fire which Christ brought into the world, feele euen in the midst of Iohn 14. 27. tumults, warres, pouertie, persecution, tortures, fire, death.

[Page 4] The worlds peace and Gods peace are diuerse, their fire diuerse, their sectators diuerse, euen as Heauen and Earth is diuerse or rather opposite. We may be farre mis­taken then secking for peace, and behold it is warre; peace with men, may proue warre with God. Beware.

In the fiue and fortieth Verse our Sauiour proceedes to taxe the folly and hypocrisie of man, who can iudge of times and seasons by signes and tokens, but know not the tokens of their owne visitation, when after their internall Ps. 74. 10 vocation by Grace, stormes of persecution and triall fol­fowes; as Sun-shine, and Clouds, and Wind, and Raine, and Frost, and Snow, haue their seuerall turnes. Ier. 8. 7, 8, 9.

Thus we all are wise and perfect polititians in State pe­riods and reuolutions of the world: but for discerning the incrochments made by Antichrist, and his assotiates, ei­ther like Fooles we obserue them not, or like Hypocrites dissemble what we see, as men wishing well to his silent and close inuasion, to his seacret and darke vnderminings. The Lord saith by Ieremie, That he is against those Pro­phets Ier. 23. 30. that steale away his word euerie one from his neigh­bour: And doubtlesse then he is against vs, who sit still in the meane time, and will not ioine with him, and take his part against these politique Theeues, who steale away the Word from vs and our neighbours, saying in the meane time that Truth commands vs neither to say nor doe any thing to the contrarie, but only to winke and shew our Es. 55. 10 11. Ps. 50. 18 consent to their Sacriledge, by silence, like blind and dumbe dogges; as the Psalmist saith, When thou sawest a Thiefe, then thou consentedst to him, and hast beene parta­ker with Adulterers. And thus being once rob'd of the Scripture, that part of the wisedome of God which is ne­cessarie for vs to know, what wisedome can be in vs more [...]er. 8. 9. [Page 5] then in naturall Fooles, more then in beasts that perish? Man being thus in honour hath no vnderstanding, but Ps. 49. 20. may be compared to the beasts that perish; The greater man, the greater beast.

In the eight and fiftieth Verse, our Sauiour giues vs ad­uice to seeke reconcilement with God betimes, whilst we are in the way, whilst it is called to day, before we be arre­sted and haled violently by death before the Iudge; for then there is no remedie.

We seeke after worldly peace and clap hands with Antichrist and his confederates, to procure spirituall trad­ing in his Kingdome, and temporall trading in theirs; but we neglect God and Christ, and make them our aduersa­ries; nor haue we any care to be reconciled to them, and to make peace with them, though we know they haue powre to kill both Bodie and Soule also. Herein we doe foolishly.

Whilst our Sauiour was thus teaching his Disciples and the multitude, there were present certaine persons who told him of the Galileans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their Sacrifices.

And this they did perhaps as supposing the Historie pertinent for that point of Doctrine which our Sauiour taught; that is, To perswade vs to make our peace with our aduersarie betimes in the way; because no man is sure, ei­ther of the time, place, or manner of his death, death com­ming to man so many wayes: and therefore it were good to be reconciled and prepared lest we be brought before the Iudge sodainly, by force or accident, whilst we expect to haue faire warning giuen vs long before, by age, infir­mitie, and sicknesse.

Now though there be no Historie of those times [Page 6] extant, that tells of the cause and manner of this massacre punctually; yet there is light enough giuen whereby we may probably coniecture some of the principall parts and passages thereof, most necessarie for our purpose.

Iosephus tells of one Iudas the Gaulanite, borne in the Antiq. Iud. Li. 18. c. 1. Towne of Gamala, whom a little after he calls Iudas of Galilee, that ioyning in confederacie with one Sadoc a Pharisee, became Author of a new Sect, diuersified from the Pharisees onely in one singular point, consisting in an obstinate pursuit of all courses for recouerie of libertie from the Romane yoke, and freeing themselues from the Imperiall taxe then imposed. And it is verie probable, that Iudas and Sadoc vnder the colour of sacrificing (as the Prophets had wont) assembled the people to mooue [...] Sam. 10 17. them to pursue this proiect: of which Pilate hearing, be­ing then Gouernour of Iudea for Caesar, he sent armed Troopes, and cut them asunder before they could gather head, euen whilst they were sacrificing.

To make this more cleere, Gamaliel, the great Doctour of the Law, brings in the example of this Iudas in his speech before the Councell, and there mentioneth his cause, course, and end, briefly, Act. 5. 37.

This newes being thus tould our Sauiour by such, as it seemes thought him vnprouided of examples to second and backe his arguments, and supposing it suited the pur­pose verie well, to perswade men to reconcilement in the way, lest they should be suddainly cut off, as these Galile­ans were, our Sauiour takes occasion from hence to in­large the point, and to inforce it farther, euen vpon the consciences of such as produced it, saying, Suppose ye that those Galileans were sinners aboue all the Galileans, be­cause they suffered such things? I tell ye, nay; but except [Page 7] ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Thus our Sauiour makes application of this Storie, to all his Auditorie, and causeth it to reflect vpon the consciences of the reporters, as well as vpon all the rest of his hearers.

The Galileans were not hereby wholly excused a toto (as the Schoolemen say) but a tanto, and secundum quid, after a sort; nor was their act of sacrificing (wheresoeuer, whisoeuer, or howsoeuer done) iustified hereby; but our Sauiour condemnes the rash iudgement of such, as make our sufferings from men, infallible markes of our sinnes before God. Wicked men may prosper in euill courses, good men may fall and suffer in holy vndertakings. The Galileans might be sinners in seeking disorderly to free themselues from the Romane seruitude & Imperiall taxe; and the Emperour, with Pilate his Officer, might be grea­ter sinners in laying this taxe vpon the people without their consents (for volenti non fit iniuria) and so forcing them to wrastle for their liberties; yea, and all the other Galileans might be sinners doubtlesse, aboue those that suffered, whilst they sought and desired the same libertie, though they had not hearts to vse the same meanes. So if consent be a crime, where will is present, wanting onely courage to attempt, or powre to accomplish what others aduenture, then the whole Nation were as faultie as these few, though these did only suffer in their persons, because they did only enter into open action, which by the vulgar is euer censured good or badde according to the successe; and though before followed, applauded, and effected ne­uer so eagerly, yet it is presently disclaimed & condemned as soone as it is opposed by power, or crossed and defeated by policie. Thus these fondlings could censure the Gali­leans to be Rebles, Traytors, and Sinners aboue others, [Page 8] and so to suffer worthely for endeauouring to doe that which all of them desired to be done: but they could not see their owne notorious rebellions and treasons against God, who had beene a gratious King and Ruler ouer them, from whose easie and equal yoke notwithstanding, they and their stiffe neckt Fathers shranke and withdrew the shoulder.

The sinnes against man, man censures seuerely, the sinnes against God we passe ouer slightly. The iudgement of Caesar or of his Substitute Pontius Pilate, who haue power only to kill the bodie, we tremble at, and count so terrible, as it frights vs euen from good duties, or frights all men from acknowledging vs, if we fall into their hands, and be branded as capitall offendors, vnder their tyranni­call censures, though it be for performing good duties: but the iudgements of God, who hath power to kill soule and bodie, we extenuate, hide, and peruert with our idle Glosses, Apologies, and Applycations, though we know they be euer Iust, Serious, Obserueable, Sacred, and neuer inflicted but for notorious euill.

But how fond and foolish doe men shew themselues herein? For Caesar owes more to God, then any man to Caesar: and yet Caesar that exacts more for himselfe then his due, denies or neglects to pay God that which belongs to him; yea, all men are more carefull to pay Caesar more then they ought, then God what they ought, and for this will robbe God, to inrich Caesar. Shall they for this be counted wise, religious, obedient, faithfull? And Fooles, Factious persons, Rebels, Traytors for the contrarie? Caesar can kill thee, Caesar cannot saue thee; die thou must when God determines. If Caesar therefore will neither pay God his due, nor permit thee to doe it, thou maist [Page 9] deny Caesar whatsoeuer is found to haue Gods expresse Stipendi­um & Ty­ranno pen­ditur, prae­dicatio non nisi bono prin­cipi. Cass. var. Lib. 9. Ep. 25. Stampe vpon it. I doe not meane the taxe and tribute which he violently exacteth, but prayers for his prosperi­tie. That hath Caesars impression, this Gods. Tribute is due to euill Princes, prayers to good. Giue therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesars, and vnto God the things that are Gods.

Besides, if thou offendest Pilate, there is no meanes to escape, he mingleth thy blood with thy sacrifice; the Hornes of the Altar are not priuiledged; no place, no per­son, is exempted from the force of his fury; no repen­tance, no restitution can serue the turne to redeeme a de­linquent from his rage. O Prophane and cruell heart of man! how seuere art thou against man like thy selfe? I say, like thy selfe, if thou beest Gods Image & not Satans; and if thou beest Satans Image, then much thy better, like thy Master, like thy Maker? Thus if man offend man, there is no mercy: but if man offend God, he may repent and be saued. There is indeed no other remedie but re­pentance; but that remedie is left vs in the greatest extre­mitie. Except ye repent ye shall all likewise perish. If ye repent, not one of you shall perish.

With Pilate there is no remedy, except you can worke with his Wife vnderhand: With Herod no remedie, ex­cept ye can get Herodias Daughter to daunce you into fauour: With Caesar there is no remedie, except ye can giue for a pardon to Maecenas. It is not so with God; He forgiues, though we giue nothing. Repentance only paies all debts. Not the Minion, but the Sonne is the interces­sour. The one sels at a deere rate the temporall fauours of Caesar; the other giues freely, the eternall fauours of his Father.

[Page 10] Ye shall all likewise perish, except ye repent. What all perish by Massacre as these did? Perhaps not so, but by some violent, sodaine, and vnusuall death, as fell out to the greatest part of the Iewish Nation about fortie yeeres after, vnder Vespatian and Titas; Or if not so, yet ye shall perish, dying vpon your beds, when others shall not pe­rish, though they dye a violent death. For some passe by Iob 36. 12. Ps. 144. 10. the Sword when others perish by it. The end of all exam­ples, is to teach vs repentance; and executions are done for the liuing, that they liue no longer in sinne, and not for the dead, who cannot be bettered by example or ad­monition.

To apply this then to our present purpose.

The Waldenses were a People in France, who tooke this their By-name from one Waldus, a wealthy and ho­nest Acts and Monu­ments. Citizen of Lyons. This Waldus chanced, with di­uers of his rich neighbours, to be one day making merrie, when in the midst of their mirth one of their companie fell downe sodainly dead. This accident amazed all, but wrought more effectually with him, who was more sen­sible and apprehensiue of Gods hand in the sodaine and vnexpected stroke; insomuch, as afterward fearing the like death might befall him, he reformed his life, gaue himselfe to almes, and prayer, and to the frequent reading and meditating of the Scriptures; and withall, exhorted others of his kinsfolke, neighbours, and friends to doe the like. Wherein he so farre preuailed, that many sober Christians adhered to him, and a great reformation fol­lowed in that place: at which the Diuell, & his Disciples, the Libertines of those dayes, repining, information [Page 11] thereof was giuen to Rome, that Sinagogue of Satan, against these poore soules, and their pietie was accoun­ted Heresie because they could not finde the Popes Su­premacie (a maine and head Article of the Romane Ca­tholique Faith) confirmed in the Scriptures. For this and other such honest and holy Heresies, the King of France was excited by the Papacie to butcher his owne poore subiects, with he performed which incredible cost and crueltie.

Now I demand (with our Sauiour) Thinke you were these Waldenses sinners aboue all the people that dwelt in the Citty of Lyons or in the Kingdome of Fraunce, because they suffered these things? I tell yow, nay; but except we repent we shall all likewise perish.

The massacre in France is yet fresh bleeding in the memorie of men that liue and sawe it, when vnder co­lour of reconcilen, of a marriage betwixt a reformed and deformed Catholicke, the innocent partyes were wonne from their Serpentine wisedome, and so charmed as there remained nothing in them but the simplicity, sincerity, & security of Doues; wherein asleepe in peace, they were at mid-night awaked with the shricks and grones of their murthered friends, and all-togither be came sharers in the Crowne of Martyrdome.

What then shall wee thinke these holy Saints, sinners aboue all that dwelt in the Citty of Paris and Kingdome of Fraunce, or now dwell in the Kingdome of great Brit­taine, because they suffered such things from Antichrist and his followers? I tell yow, nay; but except we repent we shall all likewise perish.

All these died for their sauing Faith, euen that Faith which was able to saue their Soules from the Iustice of [Page 12] God and the violence and iniurie of Sathan, could not saue their bodyes from the Tyrannie of their owne Prince, who ought to haue beene their safeguard: so mercifull is God, so mercilesse is man.

But see the iust iudgement of God vpon Shepheards that prone wolues; the King neuer prospered after, but was often affrighted with the lamentable shrikes of men, women, children intermixt, as if the massacre had still sounded vengeance in his eares: which noise not only himselfe, but diuerse of his neere attendants did professe to heare often with wonder, horror, and amazement.

And thus languishing a long tyme he fell at length in­to a strange and generall bleeding at all the open parts of his body, which could not be staunched till he died: as if Nature by Gods commandement, would not streng­then the vaines, to hold in that guilty blood, which vn­naturally and prodigally had powred out so much in­nocent blood.

He that will take paines to reade the historie it selfe and to consider euery circumstance aright, shall be fully satis­fied, in the particulars, and may from thence see what foule dealing wee are to expect from Papists, let their words and promises be as faire, and their treatyes, conclu­sions, and vowes as serious and solemne as they please. There they may obserue the simplicitie of the Admirall, otherwise a wise man, but wearyed with warre, and be­leeuing that reconcilement firme, which he desired might bee so, and knew to be so vpon his part, he was wonne or wrought from himselfe by glorious promises, and rockt asleepe in senseles security and ease (the bane of bold and braue spirits) not to be awaked by the thicke and loud alarums of all his friends. There they may obserue [Page 13] how the contrary faction of the house of Guise, seemed to be disgraced, and left the Court for a colour, as if they tooke it ill to be iustled out by the Admirall their aduer­sarie. There they may obserue how the Queene Mother tutors her sonne to dissemble; and still sets a head vpon the faction shee hated, thereby to breake them and be­tray them and religion togither. For religion neuer recei­ued greated blowes then from false heads and false hearts soulderd on for that end by art and deuilish policie. There they may obserue and see, (and be a stonished at it) a young King protest and sweare publiquely, contrarie to his inward purpose, and dissemble so artificially, that af­ter the fact, being retired, he demands of his Mother, and of other his flatterors in priuate, If he had not playde his part well. Perhaps he expected a triumph for lying, for periurie, for dissimulation, and for betraying the too-credulons hearts of his faithfull people, as Nero did for fidling, and fireing of Rome.

There is nothing written but is written for our learn­ing, if examples can make vs to beware and to be wise.

Wee liue intermingled in our Land with the subiects of Antichrist, vnto whom wee are more odious then the Iewes to Caesar, or Pontius Pilate, or to any of the Ro­manes: Those only sought subiection of the body, these of body and soule; Those tooke, these watch to take oc­casion and opportunitie of such massacres amongst vs, as in other places, with all bloody expression of vnrecon­cileable hate, they haue found and effected.

Our Sauiour when he sent out his Apostles to preach, and to plant the Gospel, told them they should goe as Sheepe among Wolues, and will'd them therefore to be [Page 14] wise as Serpents, and innocent as Doues. We are their fol­lowers in Faith and in Fortune; and it is no wisedome in vs to arme the Romish Wolues against our selues, or yet to suffer them to be armed or to arme themselues with Force, Office, or Authoritie to doe vs a mischiefe. Especi­ally, since we haue the Lawes of the Land inabling vs to disarme them, in these and all other respects. And for my part, I beleeue it is no part of inhumanitie or tyrannie to execute the Lawes for the generall safeguard against the seacret and seditious conspiracies intended or imagined against vs; But I thinke it Treason to the Church and State, and Rebellion against God, the King of Kings, to sit still till these arme themselues, and disarme vs, the more safely and speedily to effect a Massacre: which (I am fully perswaded, and they will smart for it who are not so per­swaded with me) they will neuer forbeare any longer, then till they can fit and furnish themselues for it; nor will they abstaine from it, for any other respect of Age, Sexe, Office, or Innocencie, then for the attendance of the first, neerest, and fittest occasion and opportunitie offered to do it surely; which rather then they will long be with­out, and long for when they are fit for it, they will pro­uoke it by force and all meanes possible in their power: yea, they will faine a cause rather then want it, to serue their turne, as a colour for their crueltie.

Assuredly they will then call our Sacrificing Treason, if it can serue their turne to breed a quarrell, when they haue vs vnder hatches, and haue fitted themselues with authoritie and strength to doe vs a displeasure.

But you will aske what should moue me to thinke so, since they haue not found vs bloodie towards them?

I answer, though they haue not found vs such, they [Page 15] haue fain'd vs such in their writings, and what they faine vs to be, we shall surely find them to be in their workes. Their Posteritie beleeue their sayings, and in Foraine parts they thinke, and will not be perswaded otherwise, but that we haue vsed all cruelties against them, and haue cast them to be worried and torne assunder by wild Beasts.

Notwithstanding, whatsoeuer they write of vs at their pleasure, thereby to exasperate their partie, to breed a de­testation of our Liues and Doctrine, and to stirre vp com­passion for the benefit of their persons (all which are as easily effected by lyes as by truth, when preiudice posses­seth the hearer, and both sides cannot be heard indiffe­rently) yet it is certaine they beleeue not their owne lyes, but in their owne soules rest secure that we will do them no violence, how much soeuer we know our selues to be their Masters, except we be vrged and prouoked, beyond the patience of men. Yet this assurance of our lenitie doth no good to winne and soften their affection, but doth rather much hurt, to imbolden their presumption. They know our tenets, our practise, our natures; It is the Romish Milke onely which makes all that tast of those Adulterate Teates to be vnnaturall Wolues, Fratricides, and Parricides. The Powder-Treason was tryall enough of this truth, where Digby, Grant, and the Winters, with others not of the worst natures; and Rookewood, who appeared to be of himselfe a man of tender and good affe­ctions, apprehensiue of other mens sufferings, & inwardly touched with naturall hate of the euill entended, yet all these were so hardned by their subtile and satanicall Guides, vnder colour of the Romane Catholique good, and the merrit of the worke, as they shut the eyes of Na­ture against Grace, and obstinatly, and desperatly resolued [Page 8] to pursue the bloodie plot to the vttermost, though the innocent suffered with such as they iudged nocent, yea-though that blow had giuen an end to the honour of our Nation. Whereas vpon the contrarie part, our clemencie and Christian charitie therein appeared, who fell not vp­on them in furie and rage to root them vp, when the oc­casion would haue giuen countenance to such a reueng, nor importuned our Superiours to extend the punish­ment answerable to the crime, but wept to consider the scandall of our Countrimen, and thought it enough, that some few of the chiefe Malefactors suffered a death ap­pointed ordinarily for Traytours, without the exact in­uention of any new torture proportionable and suitable to the merrit of their cause; when I am fully perswaded, had it beene possible, the Diuell could haue made our Religion guiltie of such a villanous attempt, in any place where they had beene Masters, as we were here, it would haue cost vs a generall Massacre, and all Nations would haue risen vp against vs, and expeld vs their Dominions, as persons vnworthy to liue in the World, or to breath the common Ayre with bruit Beasts, much lesse with Christians. For neuer could Hellish villanie before cause the Name of Christ be so blasted and blasphemed as it might be now through the euill occasion of these Anti­christians. Neuer could that be thought the true Religi­on, which dig'd so deepe for a false foundation, and tooke so much helpe from Hell to aduance it.

Notwithstanding, it may be feared through our remis­nesse, not searching the festered sore to the bottome, or through our too tender pittie (for they will not call it mercie, and Christian charitie, though Rookewood alone had the grace to acknowledge, that as their Act was [Page 9] without example, so his Maiesties mercie in proceeding against them, the Actors onely, was without president) some of this Spirituall generation, may (as Cicero said of Cateline) creepe into the Senate House againe, the place they would haue blowne vp, to fire the Commonwealth by Faction, whom their former traines of grosser Treason could not blow vp. For if the Lord in iustice should so deale with vs, and permit this to be done, we had no more to say for our selues, then the Isralites to the Prophet, 1 Kings 20. 42. Especially when men thus affected for point of Faith (I speake not of their honours) are admit­ted into this high place of Councell, which by Iustice might be that against them, as long as they continue of that Religion, as the Sanctuarie was against the Moabites, though Conuerts, for ten generations, and against the Edomites, and Aegyptians, vnto the third generation, Deut. 23. 3. It is dangerous hauing such blood in the Bo­die of the State, though in the extremest parts, but to haue it in the heart and bosome, nay, about the head, to heare, and see all, and to haue a hand in the highest and most seacret Councell, and in compounding the fundamentall Actes of State, is so dangerous in my poore iudgement, as it makes me say in this respect also, If we doe not repent, we are like all likewise to perisp.

What all perish with Massacres, as the Galileans did? Yes vndoubtedly, except we thinke the young Wolues not so cruell and bloodie as their Syres, or that they ac­count vs lesse Sinners, and lesse Heretikes, then they thought the Waldenses, and the Albigenses, and our inno­cent neighbours in France, Bohemia, the Palatinate, Hassia, and other parts of Germanie, and through the Christian World to be, whom they haue so serued succes­siuely [Page 18] vpon all aduantages presented or obtained. Assu­redly if a Lambe be a Lambe still, a Wolfe will be a Wolfe still, and their Spirituall guides (whom they follow with blind obedience) both traine them vp, and lead them on in blood. You shall not heare of a Minister in the Head of the Troopes, pressing to enter a Worke, or to charge the Enemie with an ambitious and eager forwardnesse; well may they informe, animate, and rectifie the conscien­ces and courages of such as goe on, and assist them by prayers, but they are no open Actors in blood; whereas it is ordinarie, as it appeared at Ostend, and all other places, for Friars, Priests, and Iesuites armed with holy water, and a red Crosse on their Shoulders, to leade on the Troopes most furiously and desperatly, and to mount the place which they are appointed to enter, before all others, ex­cept they be commanded backe by Leaden Bulls, or Iron Arguments. And what they doe publikely, they faile not priuatly much more to inculcate, thereby to breed a dete­station of our persons and profession togither, and to be­get and cherish an vnreconcileable hate betwixt vs. For they know if Kings, Princes, and People, recouer their wits, and become sober, the kingdome of Antichrist must downe at an instant, and the deeper they haue drunke of her dregges, the more they will hate her, and their owne former drunkennesse.

Our blessed Sauiour proceedes farther, in the fourth Verse, to relate that which befell to eighteene persons, who were buried vnder the ruins of a Towre, being part of the Wall of Ierusalem, adioyning to the Fish-poole of Siloah, whereof mention is made in the third Chapter of Nehemiah, the fifteenth Verse, demanding of his Audito­rie, whether or no they thought them greater sinners [Page 19] then all other men that dwelt at Ierusalem, subioining his infallible iudgement, saying, as before I tell you, nay; but except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

The first example proceeded from the tyrannie and malicious crueltie of man, vnder the colourable pretence of Iustice: but this latter example is of the nature of those, whom Ignorance, and Atheisme call and account Accidents. An accident in the iudgement of this Dwarfe Ignorance, and this Monster Atheisme, is such a thing whereof God takes no Of this minde was that Papist who be­ing told by a Re­formed Catho­like that the fal­ling of Black-Friars House vpon the heads of their Idolatrous Priest and people, was a iust Iudgement of God: made answer, That he protested he thought God did not know of it. Which speech of his proceeded out of Ignorance, & then it was pittifull, or out of Atheisme, and then it was damnable. If God did not know of it, they might after be in Hell also without his notice. (from whence there is no redemption.) Their Saints and tutelar Angels therefore were verie negligent in their cures and charges, not to giue information sooner: And therefore an old wife (one of their companie) being deliuered from the danger, protested, she would neuer pray to Saint or Angel more, nor before a Crucifixe or other Image, but only to her Sauiour and Redeemer, who was able alone to heare and helpe of himselfe. Ps. [...]5. 1, 2. Es. 63. 16. notice; a motion which pro­ceeds without the assistance of the First mouer; an action which is produced by a Secundarie cause, without a Pri­marie; or by a cause caused, without a cause causing; nei­ther of all which can be conceiued by any man that con­ceiues and grants that there is a God, and that that God rules all the affaires of the World by an ouer-mastering power, and by his wisedome and prouidence guides and orders all actions and passions, euen the death of a Spar­row, the losse of a haire from our heads (as our Sauiour saith Math. 10. 30. 31.) that is, minutissima & maxima, the least and greatest passages, to his glorie.

[Page 20] There are others who speake of Accident right and properly, which is onely so in regard of vs. So the Philo­pher saith, Casus est inopinatae rej euentus, Chance or ac­cident is the sodaine euent of a thing vnlooked for. Arist. Lib. 2. Phys. And therefore the same man saith in his Metaphys. Lib. 1. Imperitia casum fecit, Want of know­ledge hath made Chance. S. Hierome saith, in his Com­mentarie vpon the Prophet Hieremie, Cap 12. Ver. 4. Quicquid in mundo vel bonorum accidit vel malorum, non abs (que) prouidentia, & fortuito casu sed iudicio Dej. Whatsoeuer good or euill fals out in the world, doth not happen by chance or fortune, but by the prouidence, and iudgement of God. Lament. Ierem. 3. 37. Who is he then that saith and it commeth to passe, and the Lord comman­deth it not? Quia Deus voluit eos contingenter euenire, contingentes causas ad eos praeparauit. Th. Acquin. S. 1. Q. 19 Ar. 8.

In the first example then, Man was vsed as an Instru­ment of punishment, in the second senselesse Stones. Gods hand of Iustice (as our Sauiour saith whilst he threatens the like to all except they repent) was in both, and both fulfilled Gods worke alike; The last, namely, the Stones and materialls of the Wall, not knowing what they did; The first, namely, Pilate and his Souldiers in­tending no more then the Stones, the performance of Gods will, or any such thing as the Lord effected, but pursuing blindly their owne plots and politike pretences Act. 3. 17 18. Act. 4. 27 28. of Iustice, did so effect Gods seacret will, for the punishing of a thanklesse, headstrong, and rebellious generation, who began to forget what the Lord had formerly done for them in many deliuerances from Aegypt, and the Red Sea, euen as we haue forgot Eightie eight, the Massacre [Page 21] in France, and the Powder-Plot.

To bring this then to applycation, We see what lately hath befalne the Sinogogue of Satan, the Temple of The dolful Euen-song in the Black-Fryars. Baal, the Image of Dagon, the Sonnes of Antichrist, the Children of Babylon, who sought to bring all the Roman Idolatries, and Whorish Superstitions into the Land: how the Lord ouerwhelmed them, and brought vpon them sodaine destruction, as he had long before threatned in his Word.

Which Iudgement I relate not as a man that tooke de­light in blood, or in the miserable and lamentable losse of my own deare Countrimen, or as one that hated the per­sons of any that then dyed, or now so beleeue and liue to dye worse, except they repent: nay rather, I pittie and be­mone their losse, and that obstinate blindnesse which led them into that Pitfall; yea though I cannot absolutely with the Apostle desire to be wholly cut off for my brethrens Rom. 9. sake, yet I could wish my body so brused, euen to the losse of this life for the saluation of their Soules that suruiue. As for those that are dead I iudge them not, I excuse them not, they stood or fell to their owne Master, their sentence is sealed vp in seacret from vs, till the ge­nerall Iudgement, when all things shall be opened, nor dare I breake ope the Seale, to passe my sentence with them or against them, till that time come when the day 1 Cor. 3. shall declare it. But what I write is for the benefit of the liuing, and to celebrate the Iudgements of God, which none ought to conceale, nor for any respect whatsoeuer, to cloke, couer, extenuate, or hide from the eyes of men, since that is a notorious Sacriledge, to steale the honour of the euerliuing God, for dead Idols and dead men, of [Page 22] which he is iealous, and for which theft he will hold no man guiltlesse.

I would therefore aduise in Christian dutie, loue, and charitie, all Magistrates supreame and subordinate, and all people whether interested in the cause and losse or other­wise, to giue glorie to God by a free and open publication of this great worke of his Iustice; lest Prince, Priest, and People pay for the concealement by some seuere and strickt Inquisition. For my owne part, these few things that I heare for truthes confirmed, againe and againe by eye witnessesse, I shall reueale to Gods glorie and the Churches edification, togither with such simple obserua­tions as I am directed to make vpon them for the vse of all men. For I beleeue this Iudgement is the more re­markeable, being done vpon them who stand vpon Mi­racles, for the confirmation of their falsehoods, and make euerie thing such, that may be wrested by wit for their ad­uantage, either touching our disasters or their owne feli­cities. And I hope euen the most serious on both sides, who might otherwise iudge my obseruations rash and triuiall, sadly thinking vpon this point, and withall consi­dering and well weighing that this befalls them at such time as they vainely hoped, presumed, & proudly boasted of restautation, when they might rather expect a Miracle from Antichrist, as an Omen of good lucke, and would rather haue fained one (had not this crosse come in their way) then wanted such a meanes to seduce the people, and reestablish them in the common mans conceit, will not condemne me altogither to be a trifler in my obser­uations, but that some or all of them, may profitably passe vnder the verdict of their seuere censures. In assurance [Page 23] whereof, I proceed to propound them, with such exhor­tations as our necessitie and this occasion giue me life and courage to make, to my Superiours and Equals vpon our side and theirs.

First, Obserue that the Romane Catholikes (who are cunning in all their courses) procured this House, and fit­ted it in all respects for their purpose; when doubtlesse they suruaid the strength of the building and capacitie of euerie roome. If the Law should take notice of their vnlawfull assembly (as that was the least of their feares) then they had the French Ambassadours House for a Cloake to which it was adioyning. Or if the People should rise (as this was one of their assayes or tryals be­fore they durst appeare to play in publike, to proue if all men were growne tame enough to be muzled and hood­winked, and whether they would start at holy Water, a Masse, a Procession, or the like) then the Ambassadours House should be their Sanctuarie, against the force and rage of the people. And because it might be perillous to the Spanish Ambassadour to haue the first publication at or about his House, who hath beene the first and princi­pall moouer to introduce or restore Idoll-worship in this Island, to the generall discontentment of the people, therefore the French Ambassadours House must be cho­sen, not for the Papists affection, but for ours, as lesse sus­pecting that Nation for all our antient enmities, then the Spanish for all their new friendship and high alliance ho­ped for, which they proffred with one hand and snatched away with the other, as if they had beene too great for our Royall coniunction, when (I prayse God) ours was too good for their commixtion.

Thus the place is secured against man; but who can [Page 24] secure it against God? Not the French or Spanish Am­bassadors, though they haue more powre and priuiledge in England to serue their Idols, then the Prince himselfe could haue in Spaine to serue God. For though his Chaplaines were sent thither to satisfie him and vs, yet might they say nothing (as we heare) when they came there, to satisfie them.

Secondly, The time is obserueable; It was their fifth of Nouember, wherein they perished by anticipation, as they would haue dealt with vs before vpon the fifth of our Nouember. Here is the difference, they fell downe, as they would haue blowne vs vp; and did alone feele the furie of that sodaine confusion, without stirring their Neighbours Houses, as they would haue blowne vs vp, with the necessarie ruine of diuerse places adioyning. And this they suffered from God, when from the King they had in their fond conceites and mistaken hopes, ob­tained that, for which they would haue made him & his, vs & ours, so miserably suffer without mercie. But we see though Pardons, and tollerations passe freely at Rome, and in other places for politique respects, yet they are not sure, till they be Sealed and Inrolled in Heauen.

Thirdly, Obserue the Play-House stands in that place vnshaken, though too often laden with sin-full multi­tudes of all sorts, sexes, and sects; because it professeth it selfe to be no better then it is, a Play-House; and perhaps some Houses of Corporall Fornication stand there also, because for custome sake, that they may haue the more commings in, they desire to seeme what they are, Bro­thels: But this House which professeth it selfe for Christ, when it is for Antichrist, and playes with the Word and Sacraments in a most Anticke or Apish fashion, euen [Page 25] when it pretends to be most serious; and teacheth men to commit Spirituall Fornication vnder the shew of San­ctitie and Holinesse; this must not stand, but the Lord makes it a spectacle of his Iudgement; as he made the Beare-Garden long since, whilst they prophaned the Sab­bath day (a day at the Creation ordayned for peace and rest) in that beastly sport of crueltie betwixt the Crea­tures, proceeding from Gods curse vpon our Fore-fathers sinne; which sight should make Adam, Abell, and Seth, with their pious posteritie, weepe; as it makes Caine, La­mech, Cham, Nimrod, and Esau, laugh, with all their Sa­uage and impious Seed and succession. These Houses therefore must not stand when they touch vpon the skirt of Religion, to prophane and pollute the holy things of God, whereof man is not so carefull a keeper and zealous defender, as of his own right and interest. It may perhaps not seeme friuolous to some that I mention here, what I haue heard for truth, concerning an other Play-House cal­led the Fortune, in which, repeating their Playes vpon a Sabbath day in the afternoone, at night following the House fell on fire and was consumed to ashes. The Gal­lorie in the preaching place at White hall, which stood from the dayes of King Edward to King Iames, must fall then vnder the Spanish Ambassadours feet, when he was sent the second time to perfect what he had before but rough drawne. I doe not wonder that it fell then, hauing stood so long; I rather wonder it fell not before, being of­tentimes as heauely laden (except with the sin of Idolatry) But that Gods prouidence must reserue it to that instant, at that I wonder; and me thinkes it told me the Spanish footing was not so certaine in this Land as he presumed, but that whilst his power did tread downe the preaching [Page 26] places of the Land, he might hap to tumble with them, and by opposition giue a happy occasion to reedifie their ruines more strongly.

Fourthly, Obserue no Idols, Crucifixes, Crosses, Holy-Water, Medals, Beades, or any sacred Relique or Agnus Dei, whereof doubtlesse there was great prouision laid in, could preserue or protect from this blow. Let this open the eyes of their superstitious and bewitched Customers, and abate the price and esteeme of such Romish and Anti-Christian Reuel. 18 11. merchandize, teaching wise men to distinguish betwixt toyes, trash, and reall safeguards.

And here I make bold to demand, What became of those Wafer-cakes which the Priest had before turned into gods (for doubtlesse some were there or in the roome vnder (which was the Massing place) reserued for the sicke) What were all of them brayned with the Tim­ber and Brickbats, and did they perish with the Priest and the rest of the people? O blind men, lift vp your eyes and see your owne absurdities! Should I feare the ruines of Heauen, if he who sits at the right Hand of God the Fa­ther stood by me, to support the Roofe from his owne omnipotent and my impotent Head? Reply not ye blind who make others blind with your sophisticating tongues, but pray to God for your selues, as I doe for you, that he would vouchsafe to giue you grace to acknow­ledge the truth which you cannot choose but see. When our Sauiour rose from the Graue, the Priests hired the Souldiers to say, His Disciples came and stole away his bo­dy Math. 28 11. whilst they slept. Had he not risen alone, I should ne­uer haue beleeued he could raise me; now I can neither doubt his power or will; Saint Thomas his seeing and feeling hath resolued me. Hire you some Souldiers (if [Page 27] Souldiers will be such hirelings, as doubtlesse you may fit your selues with some zealous Reformados vpon promise of absolution; or otherwise make shift with your owne equiuocating Locusts, armed at all points for the purpose with mentall reseruations and dispensations) to say, they saw the consecrated Cakes rise alone from vnder the ru­ines, or I shall neuer beleeue your Transubstantiation, nor can you perswade any to retaine your erronious opinion any longer, or receiue it farther; except such as you with the Cup of Abhominations haue transubstantiated or transformed Spiritually (as Medea and Circes did their Guests Corporally) into such Don Quixshots or Gorgan­tuahs as would eat vp their God Almightie at a mouth­full, or in their melancholly mood imagine themselues to be such Monsters as could doe it.

The Lord complaines against his People that they rob'd him of Tythes and Offerings: But you haue rob'd Mal. 3. 8. our Sauiour of Head, Heart, Hands, Feet, of a true Body, of his Humanitie.

Fifthly, Obserue how after the Fact, either those that were reserued or their obstinate friends, clouded the worke of God, and out of malice cast the aspertion vpon man, to their owne disaduantage; as if God, who would not suffer them to blow vs vp in Parliament, would yet fuffer vs to pull their Baalitish Temple ouer their eares in time of their deuotions.

So in the Powder-Treason it was their plot and pur­pose after the strocke, to lay the fault (if Gods mercie had not preuented their malice) vpon the Puritans (as now they haue gotten a tricke for their aduantage, to nickname euen good Protestants) & accordingly they had drawne a Proclamation to that effect ready for the Presse. Wherein [Page 28] they charged the Puritans (meaning hereby, all honest men that are not like them) with that odious and execra­ble fact; and with this draught they were found, and ta­ken in the manner, beyond retracting, or shadowing.

O what honest man can be safe among these Slande­rers? The poyson of Aspes is vnder their lips. If they entend mischiefe, the Innocent man must suffer for it; if they suffer from God himselfe, his Seruants shall be bla­med for it.

But they speake truer then they are aware (as Caiphas prophecied) It is true, it is true, O Antichristians, those poore Christians vnpind and sawed asunder the beame which vpheld the flore whereon you stood, from whence you fell.

But they did it onely with Hands lifted vp to Heauen, which will vnpin the principals of Babylon also, and with Sampson, plucke the House ouer the Phelistines, in the midst of their mirth, whilst they are reioycing and tri­umphing before their Idols.

Sixthly, Obserue the silence of all men at that time and in that action, prouokes God to speake and to doe. Peter himselfe had here need of Paule to reproue him to his face, for he was worthy to be blamed; yea, some of those that ought to haue honoured their profession with Martyrdome, before they had giuen silent way to the en­crochments of Antichrist, shew their readinesse to hold their peace if they should be requested, and say it is their Ps. 39. dutie to doe so. Holy Dauid, a man after Gods owne heart, made once a promise to doe the like, but for all that when it came to the point, he would not, he could not hold his word against God and his Truth, but we see his zealous heart was moued to heat, and he spake with his [Page 29] tongue. Silence in Gods cause was an iniunction layd vpon Peter and Iohn by the Councell, who answered, Act. 4. 19 20. Whether it be right in the sight of God, to hearken vnto you more then vnto God iudge ye. For we cannot but speake the things which we haue seene and heard. It was Saint Paules case, whose heart was so stird when he came to Athens and saw that learned Citie deuoted to Idolatry, as he could not hold his peace, though his person was thereby in perill. That Historie betwixt Theodosius the Emperour and Ambrose Bishop of Millan, makes more for the vertue of the Emperour, then for the valour of the Bishop. It is no great matter to say what the Bishop did, since he for so doing may be censured to be satis audax, but what the Emperour did and said of the Bishop, when his anger was ouer, is to the purpose. For as Sozomen re­cords. Soz. l. 5. c. 18. Theodosius dixit se solum Ambrosium dignum Episcopi nomine nosse. Theodosius said he knew one Am­brose onely worthy the name of a Bishop. And this was for speaking truth, and discharging his conscience, though herein he plainly condemned an action of the Emperors, and doubtlesse crost his present desires.

Let no man cloake his luke-warmnesse or personall cowardice vnder the pretence of modestie, patience, dis­cretion, moderation, prudence, or temperance. He that hath a Soule hoping to be saued, will speake for his Saui­our. Shall there be so many offer themselues to plead for Baal, because he cannot plead for himselfe, whilst few or Iudh. 6. 31. none pleads for Christ, who pleads continually for vs all? No, no, Let all men assure themselues if they will not speake because they will not be counted factious, furious, and hot-headed fellowes, but discreet, moderate, and pru­dent persons, fit for preferment and imployment, that yet [Page 30] God can raise vp Stones to doe that which they should, but will not, or dare not; neither shall they escape the Hand of God, but he will find them out, and punish their falshood and faintnesse in his cause.

Proceed to expresse your Christian courages, therefore O Princes, Nobles, Priests, People! Behold God goes before you, Who will not follow? Remember what Nehemiah said to that false Prophet, that hireling, who sought to discourage him, that his example might discou­rage all the rest, Should such a man as I am feare? Surely Neh. 6. 11. it doth not become his Place, his Profession. What could a Slaue, a Coward, a Traytour doe more? O let it neuer be recorded of you, to your perpetuall dishonours, as it was of the ignoble Nobles amongst the Tekoites. Next Neh. 3. 5 vnto them the Tekoites repaired, but their Nobles put not their necks to the worke of the Lord. And what I speake to Ephraim, I likewise speake to Manasses. England and Scotland should be vnited in this. They both looke for examples from each other, both should be examples to each other; England as the richer in regard of the world, Scotland as being no lesse rich in Spirituall treasure; England as the stronger, Scotland as the freer; England as being more engaged for the Royall Presence, Scotland as being more enterested in the Royall birth and educati­on; England as being neerest the danger, Scotland as be­ing too neere to auoid it.

O all ye Peeres, Priests, and People ioyne with your Royall Head, and remember what he hath often said, written, and vowed, and caused you to say, write, and vow, whilst he hath proued by his learned Labours that the Pope is Antichrist. The truth is too strong to be repulced or retorted, since Bellarmine, that Romish Goliah, with all [Page 31] his assistants, could not wrest the Staffe and Sling out of his hand with Arguments. Nor is our Dauid growne so 2 Sam. 21 faint now with age, that he must goe no more to battell, for feare of quenching the Light of Israel.

You that haue fought Gods battells with him against the red Dragon, the seuen headed Beast, and her whorish rider, with all their armie, & can tell how brauely he hath borne himselfe, and what blowes he hath dealt with his tongue and with his pen. It was Saule and not Dauid that fell vpon his owne Sword. If the Pope be not Anti­christ, why hath he written so? It is Gods Word and his Ier. 20. 7 Pen that hath deceiued vs. If the Pope be Antichrist, then to make a Couenant with him, or to trade with him in Spirituall Merchandize, is to make a Couenant with Es. 28. 15 Death, Satan, and Hell, against God, his Sonne, and his Church.

To be a Mahumetane is to be an open profest enemie, which is in comparison honourable; but to be an Anti­christian, is to be a Traytour, For Christ in shew, against him in deed, which is superlatiuely detestable. To be a Iudas, though one of Christs Apostles, is worse then to be a Pilate, though a condemner of Christ. Antichrist of all the enemies of the Church, is the most perillous and most pernitious.

But what need all this? What cause haue we to feare the reentrance of Antichrist? What shall euerie shadow afright vs?

I answer, We doubt not the sodaine reentrance of An­tichrist, but his slye insinuation, and their wiles who pre­tend to worke reconcilement, and say that humour is too much stird vpon both sides. We would not haue confe­rence with the Serpent, nor cast an eye vpon the forbid­den [Page 32] Fruit, though neuer so beautifull. Is it not a little Gen. 19. 20. one? made way for a great offence. We are will'd to come out of Mysticall Babylon, as out of Spirituall So­dome, not to looke behind vs as if we long'd to turne Apol. 18 4. & 11. 8. backe, nor to touch any vncleane thing, but to flee the garment polluted with the flesh. This puritie becomes Virgines and Angels, who will not mixe with Spirituall Fornicators. Such Soule chast Spirits shall onely see the face of the Bridegroome in glorie. We feare to looke of a Moabitish woman, lest she proue a snare and a stum­bling Num. 25 blocke to the Princes and People; or to take a fauor from Antichrist, lest it proue to our Church and State as Achans wedge to the Hoast of Israel. Iudg. 7.

What hope of reconcilement is there, where the er­ring side holds it to be a fundamentall veritie, that they cannot erre. To abate, is to denie their grounds, they know it, they haue set downe their rest vpon it, and this alone forceth them to maintaine shamelesse errours with an obstinate and womanish will, hauing nothing to de­fend their nakednesse, but these arguments that they are old, and belong to an infallible Chaire. For if they should confesse in one, all Babylon were ouerthrowne.

The experience of Charles the Fifth, and Ferdinand his successour, mightie Emperours, armed with all aduan­tages which man can thinke vpon, to procure reformati­on and reconcilement, and studiously and constantly em­ploying their power and policie to that end, with great zeale and affection to the cause, and faire probabilities to effect it, may notwithstanding in their bootelesse endea­uours resolue the World how vaine a worke it is to vn­dertake or attempt such an enterprize which God hath reserued to himselfe to accomplish. It is an easie worke [Page 33] to draw vs to them by corruption, but it is too hard a worke for man to draw them to vs by reformation, which is a kind of regeneration. The passages of the Councell of Trent may instruct vs sufficiently what to hope of their reformation, except we long to be deluded; and for vs to come on vpon their side, and take vpon vs the least marke of the Beast which we haue cast off, therby to buy our peace, and to endeare our entertainment, is to wound our owne Consciences, and to sinne with a high Hand against the Light of Knowledge. And hauing thus swal­lowed one abomination (which God forbid) a reprobate sense will make roome for all, and men, by the iust Iudge­ment of God giuen ouer, will begin to beleeue those lyes in good earnest, which at first they heard and repeated in ieast.

Leaue that great worke therefore, to the Reconciler of Heauen and Earth, to the Moderatour and Mediatour be­twixt God and Man, who will consume the Man of Sin 2 Thes. 2 (by degrees, not altogether) with the Breath or Spirit of his Mouth (by the powrefull preaching of the Word, and effectuall working of the Spirit) and will abolish and de­stroy him with the brightnesse of his comming; till when we shall haue Antichrist, though impotent, old, and in a consumption. Thus let vs guard our owne, for it is pro­bable God will no more vse the temporall power or po­licie of Princes in the totall and finall supplantation and eradication of Antichrist, then he did vse them in the first planting of the Gospell of Christ. They are to be nursing Fathers and nursing Mothers, not generating and naturall Parents to the Church, that Christ may be all in all.

Consider this well ye moderate minded men, and shew vs a way how we may be such politique Christians, as to [Page 34] please God and the Diuel, Christ and Antichrist togither; 1 Kin. 18 21. Or let vs leaue haulting, and declare our selues plainly for Christ by open action as well as profession.

Therefore leauing that which is improbable, and per­haps, impossible, Let vs follow after charitie, and pursue 1 Cor. 14 1. that which is both possible and probable, that is, The vni­ting of the Reformed Churches within themselues. And to this end consider what things they are that keepe vs deuided. Whether they be points of Doctrine, or points of Discipline. Whether matters substantiall and funda­mentall, or ceremonious and circumstantiall. Whether of necessitie and vnalterable veritie, or of indifferencie and variable conueniencie.

If of the first sort, then consider whether they may be reconciled by clearing or remouing some termes diuersly vsed and vnderstood, or by silencing some peremptorie expressions and absolute definitions, setting a modest bound to the inquisition of curiositie and singularitie in matters vnsearchable.

Whether we may be accorded in the generall heads, and the branches and consequences left free for the exercise of euerie mans seuerall gifts, so they depart not from com­mon vnitie, and giue not publique scandall by obstinate opposition.

Whether this or some other way may be found of re­concilement.

If the questions be of the second sort, then whether the formes & diuersities of gouernment may be left free to euery Nation and Church, without the breach of bro­therly loue and charitie, and of the vnion and communi­on of Saints.

Whether, although we iudge it fit to hold those formes [Page 35] amongst our selues in Great Brittaine, and to continue them, being setled, without alteration, yea, to perswade them what we can vpon others for vniformities sake; If it be charitable to suffer other Christian Churches without (holding the same faith with vs) to be embroyled and ex­posed to ruine, thereby to settle them amongst such as hold them not to be indifferent. And whether vpon the other side it be charitie in them who are at libertie, to condemne vs and all other Churches of Antichristia­nisme, who vse those formes and esteeme them indiffe­rent.

Whether it can be imagined that we will in France by Treaties, Articles, and Arguments, or in the Vnited Pro­uinces by reall assistance, or in the Palatinate by chargea­ble Armies, deale so seriously and effectually for the vp­holding and replanting of Religion, as long as these diffe­rences remaine vndetermined, vnsetled, vnreconciled, as the Papists doe for the planting of their Superstition, or, as we would doe if in all respects we were perfectly one.

And whether the Religion in France the Vnited Pro­uinces, and the Palatinate, be not the same in substance with that in Great Brittaine, which we should not doe well therefore to discountenance and abandon for the outward forme sake.

These points in the humilitie of my Soule, and as in the presence of God the Searcher of the Heart, and the Iudge of all men, and all actions, I present with all feare and reuerence to the eye and consideration of my Superi­ours, not with any purpose to contend or saucely to cen­sure the contrarie resolutions of such as God hath placed ouer me in authoritie, or to giue them the least offence [Page 36] or distast by propounding these things publikely, or as a man that thought my selfe able to direct in these bottom­lesse Depths, or to saile in these Seas by my selfe and my owne skill without Compasse, where no Land can be seene; but hoping hereby to giue occasion, to men of place and abilitie, to studie the point, and to pursue it to purpose to a finall resolution and determination. And if these poore vnworthy papers of mine shall euer haue the happinesse to kisse his Maiesties hands, or the hand of any that may whisper a plaine truth into his Iuditious eare, then I humbly desire he may know (and from my Soule, and the sinceritie and simplicitie of my Heart, I speake it) that nothing could haue moued me to write what I haue done (lest thereby I should offend his Maie­stie, whose wisedome hath beene pleased to run a contra­rie course) but onely that I feared to offend God by con­cealing this truth from the eares of his Maiestie, and the rest of his loyall Officers and louing Subiects, which I am fully perswaded God put in my Heart to the end I should vtter it. And to incourage me and prouoke me the more to this worke, the infirmitie of this Season and of my bo­dy with it, are continuall messengers telling me I must make hast, for I am not likely to stay long here, but I must appeare before his Tribunall, where Kings and Beggers Pr. 12. 2. stand vpon euen termes, and where men shall answer, as well for the concealing of truth, as for the venting of fals­hood. The Pestilence also walkes about the Street, and enters euerie mans dore at night or noone-day without knocking; This also makes me the bolder, as men that are in the heat of warre, dare do more then vpon cold blood. But my hope is in the vnspeakeable mercie of God, that he will perswade the Heart of his Maiestie, and all others [Page 37] that shall reade this Treatise, that whatsoeuer is herein vt­rered, proceeds from an vpright and good intention, there­by to helpe to vnite the reformed Churches in one, and to remoue or qualifie such differences as hold them deui­ded, to the great aduantage of the enemie: Wherein if I haue tatled to little purpose, or perhaps a little too much, it is because I am able to doe nothing but tattle; but were I able to doe more, I would doe it, that our deuisions might not be told in Gath, nor our nakednesse published in the Streets of Askelon, to the reioycing of the publike enemie.

For I know how much it concernes the Reformed Churches that they should be vnited in one (if it be pos­sible) that the humours of men might be mittigated, and made in loue with Peace, which is so much in their mouthes.

And I know how much it concernes the prosperitie of our Church and State, and the peace and prosperitie of all Reformed Churches, that England and Scotland should first be perfectly vnited.

I know what aduantage euen in opinion, much more in action, the enemie takes from our deuision; and I feare euen some of those who pretend to be Chyturgions to close the wounds, do make them wider vpon purpose by pressing the Flesh too hard. Force neuer did good, es­pecially with fierie natures, but mollifying Oyles of in­terchange and abatement, may by kind conference close and consolidate all differences.

And vpon the other side I know how much those Spirits haue disaduantaged the cause, that haue made their breath bellowes only to blow vp contention by opposing Superiour powers with violence, and dipping their pens [Page 38] in Gall and Vineger, haue exasperated the humour with­out any other profit to the cause then prouoking of far­ther prosecution, where patience, submission, and expe­ctance might haue qualified and allaid the heat.

In which regard I could wish that men howsoeuer forward and zealous that way, would be warie how they stirre vp coles of contention by writing against Iuda, as if they writ against Aegypt, lest they kindle a fire to the great hurt of the Reformed Churches, which may waste that strength and Spirit within, that, employd abroad, would waste and consume the foundation of Babylon. I speci­ally I wish this course were taken at this time, when his Maiestie hath beene gratiously pleased to condescend to our weaknesse, and to secure our feares and iealousies, by open protestation, that his whole intention is to procure and effect the good of the Reformed Churches and Reli­gion, in all his designes; that he will neuer entertaine Treatie to the contrarie; and to resolue vs of this (a thing that he need not) hath made a fearefull imprecation against himselfe and his posteritie, in case he do otherwise. It is no more then reason that we beleeue what we heare him say and sweare, and shew so much good manners at least, as to meet him halfe way vpon our knees, when he wooes and inuites vs to come; attending a while with si­lence and patience his Maiesties leasure and pleasure, for the timely fulfilling and perfecting of these promises; which as it is my resolution to doe out of dutie, so I wish it were the resolution of all others; especially considering if euer we may haue hope in outward meanes for effe­cting amitie and vnitie amongst the Reformed Churches (a thing so much desired by all that know how to desire that which is good) we may expect it in his Maiesties [Page 39] peaceable Reigne, who is made by God an able instru­ment to this end, being acquainted with all the contro­uersies that trouble the Church, and exercised in all the differences both concerning fundamentall and circum­stantiall points, and armed with power, art, and argument beyond all other princes, to accomplish this worke, which would make him more famous, being finished and com­pounded by his meanes, then if he had conquered the whole world.

And now to conclude by returning to the Romane Catholiques, I desire them that they would not slightly passe by that Iudgement of God executed vpon their Bre­thren in the Black-Fryars, but that they would lay it to heart, and confesse ingeniously it was neither Chance nor Accident that did it, but the Hand of Gods power, which is in all actions, yea, in the ouerthrow of that house wher­in the children of Iust Iob feasted. Shall there be euill in a Amo. 3. 6 Citie, and the Lord hath not done it? Who is he that saith and it commeth to passe, & the Lord commandeth it not? Confesse then your wisedomes had charmed many wise and sensible men, but you could not charme senselesse Stones. Man may be mocked and deluded, God cannot. Submit your selues therefore to him, Kisse the Sonne lest Ps. 2. 12 he be angry, and so ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little.

Acknowledge your Pope to be Antichrist, that Man 2 Thes. 2 of sinne, that Sonne of perdition, that sits in the Temple of God as God (that is dispensing, pardoning, absoluing, bind­ing the conscience, making new Articles of Faith, which none but God can doe) exalting himselfe also aboue all that is called God, and worshiped, that is, aboue Kings, Princes, and Gouernours, Ciuill and Ecclesiasticall, aboue [Page 40] Saints and Angels, whom he appoints to be worshiped, and canonizeth or condemneth at pleasure.

All those that write, and despute, and labour the point so eagerly about personall and visible succession, thereby to retaine you still in their superstitious bonds, doe but labour to proue the Pope to be Antichrist. For prouing a visible Temple of God at Rome, they proue a visible An­tichrist to be there. The Field was well knowne to be Math. 13 the Householders, wherein he first sowed Wheat, & the enuious man after sowed Tares. If it had belonged to the enuious man, why should the Householder or his Ser­uants complaine? Might not he sowe what Graine he would in his owne Field? But it was not his Field, it be­longed to the Householder, and therefore his intrusion, to intermingle Seed for the spoyling of the whole crop, was an effect of Enuie.

The Doctrine of Christ and Antichrist is mingled in your Church, as the Tares and Wheat both in one Field; doe but distinguish that which is of God, and that which is of man, and the controuersie is cleared.

We confesse you haue sauing Truth amongst you, but it is mingled with all-condemning falshood, as Apotheo­caries mixe poyson and preseruatiues. And therefore the rising of Antichristianisme in the Church, is called, A Mysterie of Iniquitie, for the subtile and close creeping in of Errour, and winding about the Root of Truth, so that they seemed all one, and of one age. This Mysterie began to worke euen in the Apostles time, and good men perhaps, out of good entention, were made Seeds-men against their wills, whilst one inuented one thing, another man another; one added this Ceremonie thereby to in­tice the people, another that to win the Heathens from a [Page 41] grosser Idolatry to a lesse, as they thought; and thus doubtlesse if Errour be examined it shall be found to be verie old, and much of it fathered vpon none of the worst men; nay, much of it will be found to be so ancient, as the time when it was brought in, and the person who in­troduced it, will hardly be found; yet if this be compared with the pure Wheat of the Word, which God by his Sonne, and the Ministerie of his Seruants the Apostles of Christ, hath sowne in the Church, it will easily be found to be Tares and trash of humane inuention. Doe but cast Mar. 5. 15. out the Diuell therefore, whose name is Legion or Mul­titude, and the man is ours which is amongst you, and will sit quietly at Iesus Feet.

Acknowledge also your Rome, as it is the Seat and Sea of Antichrist, and the Head Citie of your Church, to be Babylon; and as in the ruines of Shilo, Ierusalem was Ier. 7. 12 taught to see her future miserie, so in this shadow, behold what the Lord will doe (though perhaps mystically, as Rome is mysticall Babylon) to the Sinagogue of Satan, which you now stile the Romane Catholique Church, when it shall be fulfilled which the Spirit of God pro­claimes, Apocal. 18. 2. Babylon the great is falne, is falne, &c. Not that I beleeue the Citie it selfe shall be ruined and burnt, the Houses and Temples puld downe, and your Pope no more named; but that I thinke the Truth shall be reuealed to such as now sit in darkenesse and in the shadow of death, and then Kingdomes, and Countreys, and Churches, will one after another reforme themselues, and forsake the Doctrine of Diuels, that ab­surd Superstition and Idolatry, which you now zealously, out of a scornefull Ignorace, exercise, thinking you doe therein God good seruice. This seemes to be Hieroms [Page 42] opinion vpon these words, 2 Thes 2. 8. Quem Dominus D. Hieron. Com. in Mich, C. 5. interficier Spirituoris. Haec interfectio non abolitionem significat ( [...]aith he) This interf [...]tion doth no signifie a totall abolition, but a cessation of euill life which they led before. Et destruet illustratione aduentus sui. And shall destroy with the brightnesse of his comming. Nun quam autem destrueret, si interfectio, abolitionem sonaret, cum iam esse cessasset.

But let vs returne to consider the words vsed by the Angell, Apocal. 18. 2. Babylon the great is fallen, is fal­len, and is become the habitation of Diuels, and the hould of euerie foule Spirit, and a cage of euerie vncleane and hatefull Bird; For all Nations haue drunke of the Wine of the wrath of her Fornication. (Marke the note of vni­uersalitie, whereof the Church of Rome so much glories, All Nations; Marke also the Metaphor vsed to expresse beguiling Errour, Drunke; The most wise and learned man, may be ouertaken and mistaken in drinke.) And the Kings of the Earth haue committed Fornication with her. (Marke the Metaphor, doting Lust will doe much.) And the Merchants of the Earth, are waxed rich through the aboundance of her delicacies. (Marke the Metaphor, for couetousnesse and commoditie will preuaile verie farre, and make euen good men looke through their fin­gers; but for bad men they will easily be perswaded to proue such Merchants as Iudas was, and to sell their Ma­ster Christ for pleasure and profit.) Here is the strength of Wine, of Women, and of Wealth, or of the King, ioyned 1 Esd. 3. 10, 11, 12 against the strength of Truth, yet at length, Magna est veritas & preualet; Truth is strongest, and beares away the victorie. Yet Truth must struggle for the victorie, her opposites are strong enough to striue, and will not be [Page 43] conquered till we haue fought vnder her Banner, and re­sisted vnto blood. Heb. 12. 4.

Now after you haue heard and considered this adui­sedly, then attend to that which followes immediately after at the fourth Verse. And I heard another voyce from Heauen, saying, Come out of her my People (God hath a People, God hath a number of Elect names, God hath a Church in Babylon.) that ye be not partakers of her sinnes, and that ye receiue not of her plagues; For her sinnes haue reached vnto Heauen, and God hath remem­bred her iniquities. Reward her euen as she rewarded you, and double vnto her double according to her workes: In the Cup that she hath filled, fill to her double. How much she hath glorified her selfe and liued deliciously (Marke; what she hath assumed, challenged, and arrogated to her selfe.) so much torment and sorrow giue her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a Queene, and am no Widow, and shall see Es. 47. 8. no sorrow. (Doth any Church boast so but the Romish?) Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning and famine, and she shall be vtterly burnt with fire, for strong is the Lord God, who iudgeth her. Stronger then all the Kings that would defend her. And doe not say, or hear others saying, that such as perished were grea­ter or lesse sinners then the rest of the Romish Idolators that suruiue (since we iudge not their persons, but opini­ons and actions) For except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

The Lord open your eyes that you may discouer Antichrist in the midst of his masking, and open your eares that you may heare Christ in the midst of the Candlesticks, and turne your hearts from following [Page] the vanitie and Idolatry of those superstitious Fathers of your Flesh, that you may beleeue the Veritie of God the Father of your Soules, and so possesse an eter­nall habitation with him in Glorie and Immortalitie.

Amen.

FINIS.

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